Wednesday

bad statistics

Forecasters say UK population may grow to 108m by 2081 | Society | The Guardian

at the start of the article:
Britain's population could almost double to 108 million within 75 years, according to government projections published yesterday.


at the end of the article:
The official prediction that Britain's population could almost double over the next 75 years certainly makes an eye-catching headline. But there is such a wide variation between the "high scenario" and the "low scenario" published by the Office of National Statistics that their figures range between 108 million by 2081 at the top and 64 million by the same date at the bottom.


yes, it does make an eye catching headline, doesn't it, the guardian?

Tuesday

jokes

so my taste in jokes -

why is ravioli like a party game? it's a pasta parcel!

- has evolved somewhat into practically based non-jokes. stuff that would be funny if you said 'wouldn't it be funny if...' but wouldn't if you actually did it. most of them at the expense of my long suffering girlfriend.

after famously stinking of garlic after i went to garlic and shots, i thought it would be funny to eat some raw garlic bread before it went in the oven. cause, you know, that would be ridiculous.

and so after inexplicably annoying rachel with a text that i was staying over at our friend emma's (what with it being half an hour from work (theoretically; it actually took nearly two hours) and an hour from home, it made sense), and saying that i was in fact excited to be doing so. apparently she was annoyed that i didn't say 'i hope you're ok too' (although i did put about ten 'x's on the end of it and had spoken to her for about forty minutes that evening), not that i want to go into the particulars, i thought it would be funny to put a picture of her as my desktop background. cause she'd gone to a lot of effort with some of them.

it occurred to me that maybe i should just say that i'd done this, rather than waiting to let her experience the actuality. well, she didn't exactly blow a fuse, but she was rather upset in a tragi-comic way. i changed it to a picture of steve reeves.

what she didn't get was that the joke was not that, hey, look, i put a picture of someone else on my desktop, but actually that i thought the whole joke itself was funny. as i say, a practical joke, with me as the fall guy.

all the world's a stage.

Sunday

YouTube - Everything about you (Ugly Kid Joe)

as you now know, i am having to re-think sex because of the recently blocked sample.

ryan suggested using a live version, thus ignoring the actual mechanical copyright. however, this video is taken from mtv so is still owned by someone. so what could be better than this hand held crowd video of a dutch band covering it extremely well? skip to about 1:30 for the sample. boys, we are ready for planet rock.

Monday

Master use of "Everything About You" by Ugly Kid Joe (the "UME Master) as sampled in "Sex" by Grilly/ Ex Libris Records (the "New Recording")

David:

Further to your request sent to my attention dated November 11, 2007 to use the UME Master recording of “Everything About You” as performed by Ugly Kid Joe as sampled in the new Grilly’s recording entitled “Sex”, after consideration of your request, unfortunately UME has determined that it does not wish to participate in this project at this time. As such, this letter shall confirm that your request is hereby denied.

Please be advised that any use of the UME Master without UME’s express written consent will be deemed an infringement in and to the UME Master Recording.

Thank you for your time and understanding.

Kind regards,

LaVelle Leverette | Universal Music Enterprises, A Division of UMG Recordings, Inc. |

Friday

scott

my friend scott died last week (as i wrote this; it's two weeks ago now). i say friend although i've not seen him for two years, because i always thought i would. several of us at the funeral hadn't seen him - or each other - since two christmases ago, at a holiday meet up at the governer's in cheadle hulme. i'd just finished purple milk, if i remember correctly, which puts it at 2005, when i was living in manchester (this timeline gets very hard to keep track of).

i was in two minds about going initially. the distance seemed almost too great, until i realised that i just had to go, and then i realised i just couldn't afford to go, and then i realised again that i just had to.

so i went up to manchester last sunday and stayed at my (biological) father's in stockport, and luckily got to see my mum in hospital too, as she'd just had her hip operated on and was fortunately just a couple of villages away from both my father's, and the cemetery.

i might add a tangent about ewan mcgregor's awful 'going south' programme or whatever it's called (actually 'long way down', but 'going south' is a better description). i've never seen anything closer to tvgohome's 'sting cares'. ewan and another 'famous' person ride motor bikes from john o'groats to cape town in 80 days, complaining about how they don't get to stop anywhere. pointless. hateful.

so after i left the hospital, just outside cheadle, and found a bus back to stocky. i wasn't feeling too bad, and i had the best part of an hour or so to hang around the cemeterary before (because you don't want to be late for the ceremony), and it's a nice place, as they often are. not very grand and probably not very many famous people buried their - made me think back to budapest, nearly getting locked in on halloween, the graveyard an inverted skyscape of candles, with the massive monuments to budapestian heroes, those who tried and failed to resist against napolean, the ottomans, the nazis, the soviets... a funny bunch, the hungarians. there was another funeral before scott's - there were bagpipes, cars, and suits. i had time, once i'd been all the way round the cemetary, to leave and get a bottle of water, then come back in. when i did so, i went back to the chapel in the centre and found martin, mark, luke - crikey, i just typed 'and scott', without even thinking. and luke's parents too, who looked the same as ever. matt and dom turned up just as we were queing up to go in, matt sporting some apparently brand new shiny black shoes. i was just wearing smartish wear, what i would describe as 'work smocks' - not something that i would consider particularly respectful to scott, but i would to his family so i wasn't going to argue this time. i did have to call up martin and ask if it was going to be smart wear though. 'do people still do that?' i thought. 'surely that's not our tradition.'

it was an explicitly humanist funeral - did they have to say that? couldn't it just be one, without it having to be pointed out? anyway, luke, martin, scott's mum and his girlfriend jojo all wrote fabulous pieces that the director read out. then the curtains closed and we didn't see the coffin rolling out of sight (?). there's something utterly final about a cremation - someone you love is dead, and instead of trying to preserve them, you destroy the body. i think it really helps the grieving process.

afterwards, we adjourned to the hesketh, right near our old school, and et and drank and reminisced. scott was such a charmer, and one of the funniest people i've ever met. upon meeting, he'd be able to take the piss out of you for something, entirely accurately, and never with a hint of maliciousity. we told our stories, had a laugh, and got on like we always used to. then i got the train back down to london and went to sleep.

the next day was worse i suppose. back at bloody work, and it had really sunk in. i am normally a solidly stoic person, but scott dying was just so completely unfair that i really couldn't help but get genuinely upset.

Wednesday

a qwik catch up

as i'm approaching the point where what i'm writing about happened three weeks ago, i thought i'd better do a whirlwind tour of the recent past to get myself up to speed. hey, i'm reading this too.

that sunday - the 28th - i met dan and ed in a pub on great portland street. ed had brought a massive stack of computer games with him from home, more than you could really sit through every day after work. but some classics from the golden era of the mid 90's. ed and dan argued about semantics, then i went back to his for dinner. a more than somewhat unusual combination, but all i remember was falafels and cream corn fritters. i stayed over since it was closer to work than where i live. like everything.

monday night i went home, grabbed my guitar, et, and headed back out to a different back of beyond, tottenham (actual tottenham, not the street in town) for to practice with the girls girls girls for their acoustic gig. jez was to move over to piano for it and i filled in on guitar. it felt like being back at youth theatre, doing fiddler. someone else's material, bashing stuff out to be heard and add rhythm and an occasional flourish. we played for about an hour, then back to finsbury park to the pub for a bit. home late.

the gig itself, on thursday, was really good. i did a solo set first (whenever i can) and my good friend sam had the good fortune to turn up just while i was sitting down. i played through some songs, i forget what, other than pregtard's acoustic debut. love i think, and purple milk... i dunno what else. being mic'ed up was difficult, feedback and volume issues, so i switched to plectrum for the show. it went very well, i forgot a few chords, getting mixed up between 'dreams' and 'the sweeny'.

after wards, sam, ed, and i went up to primrose hill with some martini and i woke up with a hang over.

the next day i was off to rugby to see laurence for the weekend. we got up to all sorts of mischief. played a silly boardgame about cheese that would have lasted forever if people hadn't conspired to let someone win. having too many players unbalanced it, and when we played it again later in the weekend with only four players it was fine. the 'party' )more of a gathering( was fun and lasted forever. it was a shame rachel couldn't come up - part of me really wants to take her round all my old haunts - favourite films, best friends, exes - as i feel it says even more than just being around me, about myself. but we've been going out 6 months now, so it's getting a bit late for that kind of thing. anyway, ben++, corey, martin++, aimee, and nicola (who i'd not met before; ++politics that i'm not going into here) a big pot of curry, and mr and mrs ashmore, and yashi, made for a grand old time. plus a man who's name i i forget, but he kept getting confused between scifi books and i knew which one he was talking about everytime. just don't get me started on 'stranger...'.

the next wednesday i had the good fortune to two tickets to the guitar hero 3 launch. i don't really like guitar hero - it's explicitly not as much fun as playing the guitar. but i got to meet up with log again, which was fun, and bring sam. the free beer was great, but the free jaegermeister was a killer. both bands - funeral for a friend and maximo park - were dull, and sam and i ended the evening sat back on a couch complaining loudly about the music industry.

the next day i had a hangover. then rachel and i met up at oval and went to see my old friend debora in a piece of physical theatre - i don't suppose you'd call it a play as such. a terrific piece of loony-tunes inflected mime, riffing on the mirror sketch from duck soup and taking it beyond. it just shows you can do so much more with mime than with props. like radio. the sound effects, all from the mouth too, were great. and to top it off, there was george mann, from the old youth theatre days. what a nostalgic couple of weeks i was having.

the night after, lizzie was having congratulatory drinks, on behalf of her being crowned european champion of her chosen martial (made sure i typed that correctly) art. here's the vid. there was a nice man there, who won his silver medal, a raw food vegan. we had a good old natter.

then was alison's house party. big fireworks. dj grilly on the deck, getting the complaints for not playing anything from beyond the 80's, which was obviously when alison and alan stopped buying records. plenty of specials, and blimey, i never knew, chas 'n' dave are actually good! that's worth an exclamation mark, you see. ed fell asleep from too much drink and was carted off in a taxi with vic (also asleep) to hampstead at about 5.

the next day i got up about 12, went home to sort myself out, then got a train north - a slow, slow train - up to my dad's in stockport.

Friday

doll face

so the next day (we're talking two weeks ago now) was friday and i'd taken the day off work. i cooked up some halloumi, but we'd got the wrong stuff and it melted and tasted like cheddar. so i don't know what that was about, but it was pretty rubbish. rachel (on half term) and i stayed in all day, worked on my c.v. and cover letter, and watched 'the fatal glass of beer' (much of which i'd forgotten) as well as other delights. fiddler on the roof finished downloading, but was password protected; a quick search revealed the key, only to find it was subtitled, which is quite a distraction. there's plenty of dubbing too, since most of the locations are rough and there's so much singing, so it's got a wierd feel; it's in english, dubbed into english, with english subtitles.

i'd said something the night before about going round to leslie's, but what with all the ingredients i'd bought, and rachel, it was going to be too much hassle. so instead we took it all round thalia's and made tea there, discovering that half of it was mouldy or off. thalia's flat is very... creative. her and her permanent flatmate are two very expressive, artistic, girls, and the flat is a jumble sale of skewed taste. broken chairs nailed to the wall, used as shoe racks, stacks of boxes of bits and bobs, and oh so many mirrors. thalia has an interesting collection of cuddly toys; a threadbare old lion she bought from an antiques shop after falling in love with him, a cute tiger from childhood, and an innocuous small doll with it's bonnet leaning down over it's face. upon lifting it's head up, i was shocked to screaming to discover it didn't have a face. just two slanting lines for eyes and a massive torn hole where it's mouth had been. it had been nibbled by mice, she said, but she still loved it. to her, it's slow decay must have seemed like consistancy and it wasn't disturbing at all. but to rachel and i, it was hideous.

we stayed up til two, then slept in jo's bed, since there was no need to waste time on the night bus. in the morning rachel had gone, she needed to tart up her flat ready for her mum's birthday. i rose and had a lovely breakfast with jo, then went home on the (painfully slow) silverlink. that evening was another birthday meal, this time esther's and at masala zone; trying to be cheap, i just had a chaat and a daal, oh and a roti, which nearly cost the same as an actual meal and didn't fill me up. luckily there was plenty of left overs from everyone else, but still it showed frugality doesn't work.

ruth was having difficulty breathing, so we went back to london fields and watched 50 first dates, with rachel and her mum. the good thing about bad films is it's okay to talk over them. i did feel like ignatius reilly though, declaiming my disbelief at the horrors i was watching, yet still not turning away. at least i know i never have to watch it again; it's worth seeing, not because it's so bad it's good, but because it's so bad it's fascinating.

sunday... i can't remember. probably something really good.

Wednesday

aaron

the next wednesday, i didn't go to see valerie. they were playing at the launch of a book about the riot grrl movement, with three other bands and electralane and others djing. even in my current circumstances, this was worth 6 pounds and a few minutes on the bus. what's wrong with me?

i suppose part of the reason i didn't go might be a feeling of intimidation by valerie now. perhaps too associated with marion. there's a different feeling though, some kind of embarrasment at seeing them again, after a gap of nearly two years. i dunno. the real reason i didn't go was that rachel and i went off back to hers from whitechapel to drop her bags off, and never left again, instead just sat on the couch like a couple of stoners. oxytocin junkies.

the next night i met her at finchley road and we went to see aaron mcmullen. it turned out that while pre-arranged, the gig was technically open mic, in a nasty gaudy i-can't-believe-it's-not-whetherspoons pub. the doorman was heckling the acts; 'do some rapping!' he shouted during the sound man's opening set of delta blues dirge. obviously i asked to do a set. aaron was marvellous, his inability to look at the audience resolving itself as a gaze fixed on a particular ceiling tile. his song performances were urgent spasms of need and pain, like a mouse pestered and terrified until it finally, viciously, attacks; only hindered by the neccessity to play guitar along with them. i advised him to drop it and get a band behind him so he can focus on being the front man that everyone looks at.

i started my own set with 'forever' since we had some people from melbourne, australia in the house. i got half way through and couldn't get any further; those lyrics are like an avalanche until they stop, then they're like a train wreck. in fact, a freight train would have been a better analogy to start with. i didn't do gxs, unfortunately. but upon someone requesting ugly kid joe(this actually happened) i played sex then everything about you. blimey. went through a series of jovial songs and jokes until i realised i'd been up there far too long, at which point i handed the guitar over to three misguided students who did an abysmal take of 'save tonight', including a hilariously repetitve poorly fretted chord of G major, where he seemed to have forgotten he'd put the guitar into dropped d.

Thursday

'don't call me a shoa denier'

David irving, denying he's a haulocaust denier.

Irving told the JC on Wednesday: “I am indignant at being called a Holocaust denier. i am not sure that i have changed my position, it is just that i was not properly represented in the press.”...

...Meanwhile, Irving has said he will not now participate in a “free speech” debate at the oxford union next month, alongside British national Party leader Nick Griffin.


How far could we take this? next year, irving could admit that he is a 'holocaust denier', thus becoming a 'holocaust denier denier denier', and so on.

at least he makes the world a richer place.