A triptych

What do you call a priest that excorises mucus demons?
Deacon gestant.

Why is prince excited that his new year's eve ticket cost under 20 quid?
'Cause tonight he's going to party like it's £19.99.

What's the difference between a healthy horse and a wealthy whore?
One's BrighT eyed and the other's a Thai Bride.

(thanks to dan for help with the feed on the last joke)


funny pictures
moar funny pictures


mount batten

so something i find slightly embarrassing happened on sunday at band practice. it was the first full band rehearsal with new bass player alex, meaning i'll have to update the fambly tree. we're aiming for half new songs at our first gig under a different name, and are still open to suggestions, with 'doppler gang' currently leading the pack. so i suggested 'amon göth', because his name sounds metal and tolkienian, like, you know, amon amarth, or amon tobin.

then some smart alec piped up that amon tobin is actually his real name. no, i said, he's named after a mountain in lord of the rings, 'cause it sounds cool. like amon amarth, you know, mount doom.

i checked with the wiki; amon tobin is his birth name. i'm living in a fantasy land, and worse, i think everyone else is too.


half man half biscuit videos are generally home-made and piss-poor, mainly consisting of pictures of whatever reference nigel is making, which makes this entirely proffessional effort even more welcome. it's a proper video, but based entirely around the actual song. and it doesn't even appear to be sanctioned by the band. being baffling, and based around such a dowdy pun, just makes it more brilliant.


my wonderful half term pt 1 - londonness

so when my contract finished the monday before half term, i was left adrift somewhat; i wasn't going to beable to find any work in the four-day gap before the half term, and the holiday i'd booked. four days off work isn't normally an issue, but i didn't have any reserves other than what i'd put aside for the holiday, and there was no way i was tampering with that. half term was one of the fullest weeks i've ever had.

so friday finally rolled round, which meant i could stop worrying about it. i'd found time to program some drum patterns for my 'mwng' cover album. i do intend to do it, but back then i had a more industrial mindset towards it, and now i want to take more time over it. record it a song at a time, rather than all the drums, then all the acoustic guitars, &c; i'd burn through it if i did it like back, but carelessly, and i've decided that's not how i want it to be. also coming forth are (still!) my prince charmander remics and my december's burning remics, stripped back to the cello part and rebuilt from there.

saturday was ruth's birthday party; thalia and rachel took her to see the belly dance superstars, while ian and i prepared a fantastic meal for everyone. i made a starter of ovened patatas bravas (which rocked - the bbc normal one appears to be better than the bbcgoodfood one, a trend i'm noticing) and ian made a rissotto for mains. of course, had i remembered about the rice crisis, i'd have told him off. but i only remembered last night, reading the spice business curry industry mag. so that was all going well, we had rachel and i, ian and thalia, and ruth, and then seb arrived later with young scarlett. scarlett of course immediately went round collecting all our cuddly toys, which set ruth's chest off from the dust (many were in forgotten areas such as down the side of the bed.. not that we neglect our cuddle chums, or 'the kids'as we call them).

the next day, we went over to camden's fashionable primrose hill for a massive greek feed with: rachel and i, big bro dan and maria, dimitri, karen, and iona, and an old friend of dim's and her daughter. it was phewsome, and i barely communicated with theother half of the table (karen et al) at all. afterwards, dim, dan, maria, rachel, and i piled back to dan's and had a quiet evening in.

that was sunday; monday was rachel's mum pam's turn for birthdayness, we decorated the flat with balloons, banners, and party hats on all the inanimate creatures, and cooked her a brunch. rachel got her a wonderful towelling dressing gown amongst other pretty things. then we went out to the tate britain to see the francis bacon exhibition. oh, it was so totally inspirational. so metal. well, i suppose more precisely, hardcore. his early stuff looks how pig destroyer sounds. it made me want to thrash the fuck out of everything... and the black and white photo of his studio in the program, now cut out and stuck up on my wall in front of me... if my studio can't look like that, at least i can be reminded how a true artist works. bacon's early works cry out with angry athiest nihilism; i'd forgotten that used to be my view. it's not a view you can convert any god-botherers with; you end up trying to portray athiesm as a positive, liberating, experience, which it can be. but we mustn't forget that we are, to quote charlie brooker, 'cadavers in waiting', which bacon continually, brilliantly, reminds us. i fucking loved it. and it was nice to see him mellow, doing surreallistic portraits of his friends and lovers, even if it wasn't as harrowing and meaningful as his earlier work; it was nice that once he'd done alienation, and murder, and hate for religion, he got on with his life and painted really good pictures of people. i'm especially glad we went to that, because the alternative was rothko; great, loads of pictures of nothing. as if modern art galleries didn't resemble wallpaper showrooms enough, we have to have a rothko exhibition. i was reading a page on the tate website about different interpretations of rothko's work, it came very close to admitting straight up that you can say anything about it because it's totally vague. i don't know whether it's worse to call a picture of nothing 'untitled' or something descriptive (eg 'maroon on red' or mural for end wall') or a post-modern psuedo-wanky name like 'liturgy for aggamemnon'. i really don't, we could have a chat about this sometime. anyway, i digress; one paragraph of the page dealt with his paintings as nihilist tracts, which i suppose did resonate in me. when i see one of his paintings up large, it can be very imposing and impressive; seeing several annoys me.

but i had to dash off early, because i had an interview with a teaching assistant agency. this is a story for another post, but suffice to say, nothing has come of it.
i hooked back up with the mother and daughter twosome in angel islington, where we went for dinner at gallipoli. it was a fantasmic feed. we all ordered the set vege meal, but there was some mistake in the kitchen as we were delivered a full mixed meze to start with, rather than the reduced set meal portions. so after clearing away our 'starters' - which we'd finished - we were asked if we would like desert, to which we replied, 'er, we've got another course coming yet', and some stifled laughter from some of the other waiters. well, we got our main course, which we couldn't finish, and then our set pudding, which was a very disappointing milk thing we could only take a few bites of. then we waddled to the bus stop, which i was an experimental trip to a bus stop i've never been to before, in order to find the bus that takes us all the way to our door. it was a bit of a wait (in which rachel managed to loose two seperate oyster cards, by putting them in her inside pocket, then forgetting she had one, despite me repeatedly asking if she was sure she didn't have any inside pockets. not that i haven't been guilty of a very similar mistake myself, with the double pocket of my nurse shirt totally outwitting me), but the bus went down all the cutesy backstreets between london fields and angel, including going past the wenlock arms, a very good pub we can now call our local. we turned in.


ben goldacre on cholera

ever wanted to know how cholera works?

In fact, the story that science can tell about cholera is well characterised and fiendishly fascinating. If you swallow some cholera bacteria, they shut down to pass through your murderously acidic stomach, and then, when they detect (from the changed chemical environment) that they are in your small intestine, they start producing curly whip-like tails. These rotate to propel the bacteria through the pasty mucus that lines your small intestine, and up against the intestinal wall, where they can thrive.

Once here, they again respond to their changed chemical surroundings, and stop producing the tails, and instead, start producing cholera toxin. This toxin pulls chloride ions across the bowel wall, and so water is drawn across with them, by osmosis, from your blood supply and into the passageway of your small intestine.

This happens on a massive scale: your small intestine is suddenly full of water, which flies out of your arse at a phenomenal rate, carrying the multiplying and thriving new generations of Vibrio cholerae bacteria out into the drinking water and so on to the next host, chillingly, perhaps your brother, perhaps your girlfriend – unless proper sanitation measures are in place.

Meanwhile, as this water flies out of you, dehydration rapidly begins to set in, and the only thing you can do to save your life is make sure you consume – almost continuously – the right mixture of dilute salt water and sugar, to replace the blood’s water and salts lost in the diarrhoea.

And fascinatingly, the single most successful evidence-based medical treatment in the history of humankind is something you’ve probably never heard of: the WHO rehydration recipe, used to treat people with diarrhoea, which has saved 3 million lives a year for the past two decades. In fact, diarrhoea kills more young children around the world than malaria, AIDS and TB combined.

from his post ostensibly about teaching hocum in universities.



so here's everything that happened between me finishing at kids' city and the start of half term:

week 1: kids' city. at the end of the week the band played a gig at the white hart, at which we were the only band, following two non-descript acoustic acts. we played all the songs we new and had a great old time. seated gigs rule. the next day i went off to mole end cottage with rachel and her mum; they were going for the week to work on their book, and invited me to come for the first weekend.

mole end was in some remote surrey micro-village, a lovely furnished rustic terraced cottage owned by the next door neighbours, with a shared garden with a river at the bottom, two gay swans, and the possibility of an otter swimming by at dusk. we never saw the otter, although sitting outside listening for the distinctive splish-splashing sounds was marvellous. we went to sutton hoo, which i had become all excited about - i had been reading the ilustrated version of heaney's beowulf, and some of the treasures used as illustrations had come from there. it was too hot to do much but still good for a wander, despite the burial mounds being pretty anticlimatical. mysterious yes, but not as much on a boiling hot day with loads of people wandering around. all the stuff was on display inside the visitor's centre, most of which is replicas of stuff that's now at the british museum - so as a site, it's not very thrilling. but a very nice corner of the wold.

week 2: i came back to london on monday, to spend the week without rachel or employment. she was due back on saturday and james - who was living with us at the time - and i were to keep the house in order until then. or at least, get it in order for then. the week passed quickly with nothing coming in from my agency, and me not doing much here. that was until thursday night, when we had ian and thalia for dinner. you can read all about that night here. however, what i never filled you in with was the repercussions.

i felt very ill the next day and spent it largely in bed, being sick a couple of times. ian came round later that evening to use our internet and we watched the blues brothers film. saturday, i was feebly trying to get the flat in order in preparation for rachel's return, with a little of james' help, before he dashed off to brighton pride at 9 in the morning. i felt... strange. i was still ill. the hangover had mutated into an odd kind of indigestion that nothing could clear. i did the best i could - not very good - then left the flat in still-a-bit-of-a-state to go to rugby and see laurence and his parents. i shouldn't have done, but circumstancers being what they are it was my onlychance to see laurence those 6 months. i came back on sunday, having digested as much as i could, to an understandably stressed rachel - what had i been doing all week, &c - in no fit state to comfort her.

week 3 - i rang up the agency in the morning and was offered work in a post room. i regretfully took up the offer, pottered around a bit, still constitutionally amended, and got there for about 11.30. there was talk that the post was ongoing, rather than the week i had been told; i didn't exactly jump at the chance to stay on there, saying how i would be looking for other things. it involved a lot of lifting, being not in the post room exactly, but rather the loading bay for parcels - which i also expressed reservations about, having had back problems in the past. in quiet moments (there were alot with exactly nothing to do) i would read. the next day i felt really too sick to go back, and rang up to let them know, to find that they 'would no longer be requiring my services', ostensibly due to my appearance, which was smart office dress as i had been told. this was upsetting to both rachel and i, who felt i had squandered the opportunity, which i had needed to make things work for both of us, through fecklessness. ah well.

that weekend we went to rachel's colleague alison's wedding at hackney town hall, which was fun in quite a ridiculous way. walking down the aisle to the theme from the sweeney - no sorry, it was minder; they giggled through the wedding vows; the reading was the lyrics to 'especially for you'; the speeches were everybody slagging off everyone else, inaudible over the chattering bridesmaids. it was like the whole thing was a big joke. but the dinner was good and the disco was fun. it was all just very silly.

week 4: london fields moved to the brecon beacons for the green man festival. it was very wet and muddy. there are photos on my flickr page. oh god i had a whole list of reccomendations. the following were at least good, based on names i recognise off the play bill:
radio luxembourg
cats in paris (their album is the best i've bought in... two years?)
wild beasts
bower birds

on the other hand - sennen - you were shit. you were a dismally boring band. indie pretending to be post rock. wierd that bands like that filter through. how does it happen?

not long after that, i found some work - for mailsource again, but at a different bank. that's the great thing about these big companies, you can get sacked from one branch and find work at another and it's totally anonymous. i bought a job lot of blue work shirts and finally understood what 'blue collar' means. i worked there for two months then was replaced by a permanent guy who can drive. no big whoop, but the problem was i was let go the week before i'd booked a week's holiday, circumstance that left me totally dry of cash for weeks about... now.

coming next:my half term hols by me xxx

the most embarresing phone call i've ever had to make

monday morning after half term. i've got a full to-do list to work my way through, but at the top of it is 'ring agencies'. after all, there's no point doing any of the other things if i could actually be working instead. so i call reed, and lo and behold, one of their temps just happened to be ill and oh boy, there's a front of house greeting role in the city waiting to be filled asap. smart dress &c - i take it and run to the bathroom to have a shave. as i'm laying out my clothes, i find my 'smart' shoes - a pair of doc martens boots - and remember that the left shoe has split away from the sole in a huge, unmistakable, gape. if this were the shoe people, it would yabber away and that'd be fine, but i weigh up my options and realise there is no way i can make this job in these shoes. so i ring the agency back and say, hi, yeah, uh, i can't do that job after all, because i'm a slovenly ape. i retire back to the to-do list with my pen between my legs, and write at the top: 'job for the day: NEW SHOES'

job number two: beg parents for money for new shoes.


Pop ups

What language do pulp fansites use to control their pop up windows?



Dirty weekend

i'm skipping ahead now - i honestly do intend to blog every week between august and now - to this weekend just gone. it has been in some respects monumental.
after work on friday, i came home via the cafe that sells half price sandwiches after 5. i then jacked into quake and the internet until andrew arrived, in his car, with his mobile studio. we said hello then unpacked his assortment of flight cases, boxes of wires, rucksack, plate of pasta, mixer and laptop, and then he went straight off for dinner with jo. Then i went out to see euros childs with ian and his lovely mate john. don't worry, this will pick up soon. because it was part of concrete and glass, an urban festival, i'd missed several other bands and only just arrived in time for euros himself. being part of an urban festival also meant it was full of people who weren't really bothered, probably because they were only there because tv on the radio was full. i went up to the front of the gig to find a four foot gap between the stage and the audience - a terrible sign. alan tan lun wasn't in the band, which is tragic, and the new material was a mixed bag. but some was great. i could have stayed - i'd paid 8 quid to get in - but ian and john were leaving and andy and jo were some way off so i followed them out. we walked past the queue for tv on the radio, which was mega long - what kind of an idiot would join the back of something like that? you're not getting in - and i left them at the door to the james holden venue. i went in search of cash, picking up a somosa sandwich and a coffee on the way; but the free cash machine was closed. i wandered on, in the direction of liverpool street, and got a call from jo that they were now finally in shoreditch. i turned tail and met them in cafe kick, where we remained until it's midnight close having a real good natter. the queue for james holden wasn't that long, but it was static. we waited in it for a while, weighing up our options. jo went off to do some recconaissance or something; she came back explaining that the passout system was a pentagram drawn on the hand. jo then decided to try and get in, which she appeared to do as we got a phone call from her. andrew and i joined the re-entry queue but couldn't figure out how she'd managed to skip both this queue and the normal one. we figured it must have had something to do with cheating. we couldn't bring ourselves to follow her and brought her out. we went to the offy and got the bus home, borrowing a bottle-opening technique from the man sat behind us. drinking on the bus really felt rebellious. we got back to jo's and she djed and tried on dresses, while andy and i talked about stuff she wasn't interested in.

the morning after, andrew and i reloaded the car, then drove up to jo's for a baked egg, crossaint and toast. i thought it was a frivilous detour on the way to the warehouse but it didn't last too long. driving in london really is a complete waste of time unless it's necessary. our journey was fine until we hit aldgate which appeared to have been closed, and we got to the warehouse after 12, a depressing three hours after i'd set the alarm for.
we recorded an album those two days, and squeezed a gig in. it took me until about thursday to recover. i won't go over the details, like i was going to, because i don't think they're intereseting anymore. the record will be it's own story.
the main point is we put down an album of songs we were sick of, and lost a bass player. we will now hide away to gestate and pupate, come up with a new nname, sound, and look, with our new bass player (alex out of kefranski - the rock family tree needs updating and is going to get wierder), and then have to play those old songs again.
one last feeling: rachel was away that weekend in kent. thought she'd leave us musos to it. i remember feeling on saturday night that rock was good, but would have been better if my girl had been there. that whole 'rock/sex' thing, y'know?


more photos

hello! i've put some more photos on the flickr, and added an rss feed to make it easier to see when i do so over there -->
i'll fix it so it shows the latest photo soon.


A twgpt tn dap

a twist too far
i was reading a plot summary of 'the force unleashed' on wookiepaedia. it wasn't given in much detail, so i found the biography of galen 'starkiller' marek, which gives the plot in it's entirety, since he is born and dies within the confines of the story (and yet somehow i just know they'll find room somewhere for yet another spin-off). since it was written as a book and game together, the plot follows a repetitive pattern of arriving on planet, wiping out hundreds of enemies, defeating special tough enemy, repeat. but i persevered because it was supposed to contain revelations about the original films.
now, how can there be anything left to reveal about the first star wars film? it's three decades since they retconned the first scene into the first meeting of a father and daughter. we need a new word; one that reflects a newly invented revelation. retvelation? so they found some space where they could fit more facts in, as they do, and crammed away.
so, spoiler warning: darth vader created the rebellion to distract the emperor from his plot to take the galactic throne with malek - the son he never had - well he did, but that's beside the point - by his side. quite why the sith bother with these apprentices is beyond me, you train someone for twenty years, telling them explicitly to betray you.. paradox ensues.. images of kato.. but anyway, i thought that was quite a cool little twist in the star wars cannon, which didn't affect the characters too much. but! then we find out that that was just what the emperor wanted malek to think, and actually that whole plot was a trick by the emperor to get all his enemies in the same place so he could capture them all; then malek somehow lets them get away and sacrifices himself for the good of the rebellion.
turned out vader was following old palpatations orders all along. you know what? I liked the first twist better. like the wicker man: we tricked you here as our sacrifice (good twist); everything you've seen and heard has been an act to make you walk into our trap (bad twist). the second, bad, 'everything was a setup' twist totally undermines the whole plot of the piece. It makes you wonder why you paid any attention in the first place. the prisoner, all those years ago, played with the 'everything was a setup' plot, by having number 6 continually trying to get deeper than the setup only to find more - except in one episode, where the seeds of suspicion sown by such elaborate plots meant the downfall of a band of rebels, who couldn't believe they'd actually found other real people - unless all that was an unclaimed setup itself. the genius of the prisoner is you never find out how deep the conspiracy goes. or what it is or who or what it is hiding. actually there's more genius to it than that but it's irrelevant to this post.
so yeah.
plus eurogamer gave the game an extra point, on the open value of being a star wars game, which is rubbish.



It just occurred to me, the other day, how amazing wells are. I think i always just used to think of them as some sort of large underground bucket, that only held as much water as their volume. Out of the blue, it struck me that they're actually mining the aquifer - the level of water in the well is the same as the level of water in the rock (it might take a while to trickle back in after you take some out though). That's a lot of water. I can honestly say i have a newfound respect for wells.
Btw, if you're wondering why i'm started using capitals, it's cause i'm doing this on my phone and it automatically does it.



What weighs more - a tonne of bricks or a tonne of nothing?

Welfare to work

my week at kids' city was great, overall. Those are long days, when you're looking after kids full time. Often not looking after them like you probably think i mean it; it's a combination of looking out for them, and playing with them; at no point should they have felt looked after. So it was half fun and half - like watching a slow documentary about childhood. when i say 'fun', even then i was constantly looking over my shoulder and struggling not to let any particular kids monopolise my time. It's a playscheme, not a pastoral system, although i was often called upon to adjudicate petty squabbles, and the lack of resources made for some schneider-esque deviations from the week's schedule; 'thursday: tents and dens. We have no tents or construction materials. Free play!' the two activities i lead - a treasure hunt and a 'science experiment' involving lemons and red cabbages - were both very well recieved, and though the kids didn't quite grasp 'hydrogen potential' they were amazed by the liquid changing colour before their eyes. I could go on for ages and should have liveblogged it. But time marches on.
So how did it all feel? By the end of the week, i was taking a whole lot less jam from the kids. Although some of the permanent staff didn't seem to have a quiet mode - raising their voices seemed to be their mode of operation, only leading to such tones becoming ever less effective in the ensuing arms race - i don't think i was worn down into aggression with the kids, instead i'd built up the confidence needed to speak to them with authority, or even ignore the trouble makers telling on each other. Well okay, part of it was savvy, part of it may have been being sick of them whining, but they need to make you sick of them, so that they can make you make them sort it out themselves, right? It's a survival strategy.
Halfway through the week i found out i'd got into east london uni for the teaching course which was awesome.
Ok, that's enough of that. Next: my 'week' at barclays bank..


The side entrance to liverpool street

I arranged to meet rachel for lunch, at 'the side entrance of liverpool st station.
lp st is a tricky one; it should really be called bishopsgate station, as that's actually quite a big road, compared to lp st itself which only runs the length of it's namesake station. I suppose lp st defines it's location better, but it's far too tiny a road to name such a grand station for. Perhaps bethlehem, which it sits on top of, or simply 'spital? I think 'spital station' has a nice ring to it.
so i've always thought of the front entrance as the epic one on bishopsgate. This would make the side entrance the one on lp st. I warn't aware of the other two exits, a tunnel off to the other side and an undercroft leading out to a hideous work of iron and some kind of large circular restaurant, which according to the above definition, would be 'rear'. There must also be some debate as to whether the entrance on lp st, with it's kindertransport memorial, is really the front entrance, in virtue of the station's silly name, if not it's size.

needles to say, rachel and i had different conceptions of what constituted the 'side' entrance


Excuse me sir, you're doing it wrong

On my way back to the office at lunch yesterday, i came across a gentleman of some years dragging a trolleycase. I have a mild dislike of such trolleys - unusual for me, as my dislikes are usually raging - as their owners never seem to take responsibility for their cumbersome metal tail, and they always get in my way. In this case, however, the man was dragging it up side down, so that the wheels were in the air and the metal or plastic case was scraping the pavement. Such an opportunity for actually saying to someone in real life, 'ur doin it rong'. But i didn't take it. I said excuse me enough times that if heard me and stopped, when i pointed out he had his case the wrong way up. Surprisingly he ignored me and shouted down the street, '[name more often heard in half man half biscuit songs], this man's complaining'. A younger man i hadn't noticed, far enough down the street for me to think him unrelated, turned with his bag and came back for the gent. Ah, i thought, that explains it. I pointed out he was doin it rong, the younger man smiled, and on i walked.
Next: grilly bumps into someone on the street, says 'fail'.


it's been a good month

since i've written. no, a _good_ month. i've had the month off y'see, to pursue 'other projects'. unusually, an album is not one of them. the band and i have so much material to work through, and absorb so much musical energy, that i really don't have much time for new works, although having my acoustic down now means that side is satisfied again. i recorded a four minute uke improv yesterday, and listening back it's a bit aimless so i won'tbe putting it out there. there's a new acoutsic feel to my myspace.

i got wind through a friend of a friend that there bach's b minor mass was being performed (featuring her naturally - we're all so talented. i took rachel and it was a proper date. it was at the church at trafalgar square, where they've turned the crypt into a restaurant (well it's a bit of a touristy cafe but it looks good - like those incredibly spacious places you see in american psycho). great reverb - just about a second and a half. utterly brilliant performance. stamina and talent. alison described it as 'phat liturgy' which i can't really beat. afterwards rachel and i went into soho for pizza and wine. at a cool, good place, somewhere off the main drag.

my contract at UCATT finished without much of even a whimper; i've never felt so good about finishing work. i usually get a little upset; despite not finding the work dull, i'm usually terrified by the insecurity, the fact that it could be weeks before i see anymore money coming in. this time, i knew there would be weeks, and i was prepared; i had an interview at east london uni for a pgce (teacher training) to prepare for, i had an interview to volunteer at a playscheme, i had lesson observations. i even cancelled a gig because it was the friday before tuesday's pgce interview. unheard of! absurd! this was a month i didn't want other obsessions to get in the way of.
the interview at kid's city, the playscheme, went actually well. there were two lovely people interviewing me, who really seemed interested. i went purple once when they asked me about teamwork, but i didn't go too far south and they didn't seem to mind. i booked myself in for a week.
being free, i was able to come and meet rachel for lunch, often as part of work experience, and usually not at all. but we did have a couple of lunches, curries natch.
i spent alot of time in doors, preparing for the big interview - the questions, the hilarious interactive interview, the curriculum. i prepared the presentation on my chosen subject - averages - and thought and thought (and played some pc games, but not enough to get in the way really).

then was the 'introduction to playwork'. an interesting slightly 'aura'ish woman led three days of ideas and facts about working with children compressed into a weekend. it really felt exhausting being so squished up, with lots of scary stuff about what to do if a kid tells you they're being abused. and it turns out that step is incest after all. just in case there was any confusion.

the pgce interview was a shocker. i arrived at stratford station with ten minutes to spare, what i thought would have been plenty of time given the map... with some running, i got to the front desk right on time, to find that my department was somewhere in the campus, follow the signs. i jogged along prettily where i could, through oodles of building work, and got there; no one seemed to notice my apparent lateness and i never know whether to bring it up. they sat me in a room and gave me some maths questions (about maths rather than of maths) and a comprehension. i had no idea how long i was meant to have; when the man came back in i;d only finished the maths bit. i think it was just because the interviewer was waiting, but i just don't know. the interviewer reminded me of a guru-type figure; big hands and floppy hair. it seemed short, i fumbled some questions although others he said 'good' at said i was obviously an idealist. we disagreed over whether a square is a rectangle or not. he asked me how i would introduce a class on angles. i completely fluffed, i hadn't prepared this, i'd prepared a presentation on averages, a fact that totally slipped my mind until i was on the bus home. i had no further questions. someone came and hooked up the pc so i could type out the comprehension. it was a piece from some paper about klondike kate; i got most of the way through, but stuck on the last question: ' write about a personal hero or villain of your own.' i blanked.

next: my week at kid's city.



so right now, i'm sitting at home on my laptop.
this will make sense in respect of the previous (forthcoming) post, but i'm listening to dillinger escape plan's 'calculatinginfinty' and it's makingsense,

i went out with james to this night that the girl he's moving in with runs. we walk, and buy beers (lech) on the way, then hang out at the george and dragon, shoreditch, talkingpolitcs,until the other girl he's mpoving in with turns up, one piece denim dress with a serious backline, then head ovwer to catch 22 for the girlcore night. downstairs is not girlcore, they're playing wierd 80's disco tunes, we go upstairs. there is hardcore porn stuck to the walls, then i realise it is cut out an darranged into the words 'fuck my cunt'. we meet james' friend off of gaydar, who is catalan and nice (i swap spain stories and conject (amnd he agrees) upon catalan being the ireland of the english and the belgium of the french). upstairs is... heavy. it's bsiaclly dance music and i'm not comfortable, no matter how many lesbians (apperently girlcore started as an exclusively female night and now lets men in)

i haven't mentioned that i'm wearing some sort of hybrid nurse/tenis player outfit. sweatbands + nailvarnish and eyeliner and that shit.

so then the other girl he's moving in with gets on the keyboard with her band and groooves away a bit - real good music. we're enjoying the black budvar. it's my round and i order everybody's drinks plus my double tequila.


we're downstairs now. they were playing better music - 80'ser, more danceable. some girls were trying to dance with me (bless ''em) taking photos and i really hope i can find them online, i am dressed somewhat like a nurse. i get the drinks in, james and ueldald go back upstairs where it's crowded & popular. after a fashion i follow them and eventually we go outside for a breather. i drain my liquid. some ciggerettes are passaround. it's almost ilicit, but dammit i want one. now my throat is shit. so we're all outside trying to make lighters work. all of assudden its like some kind of crzy shit currency. i'm leaving, i need to go home and listen to dillinger escape plan and throw myself around the living room, and i just want a fag for the journey home. try it, it's hilarious; "i've only got two left" or " i literally just bummed this off someone else". so eventually i'm waiting at the bus stop for what seems like ages, and eventually some guy turns up, with beer, and then reappers from behind (tramps?) with a fag. i ask him if i can bum a drag - fuck knows where this notion came from - and he, the kindest man alive, says 'sure, you can have some of my beer too', i say, 'ah, grolsch - import or exort?' he doesn't know, but adds that i can have a bus too - there just happens to be one coming around the bend. what a gentleman.

i get on the bus, but i only last a stop, the alcohol that has builit up is too much and i'm getting motion sickness. i jog home, slowing whenever i cross anyone, some black girl comments but i keep her awsay with a 'sure' and speed walk on. soon enough i'm home, after priming mslef for all these facts. 'mustn't forget to write about', 'secret of the universe discovered', &c. will that do?

so i get home and put on 'calculating infinity'; and try as i might, dancing fallsafoul of blogging. i'm now on track 10, 'weekend sex change'. a;ll i wnated to do was dance. man, ciggarettes are rubbish.and so is too much tequila. it's baaaaaaaad. no matter how fun it was in 1998.

amen break and the golden ratio

i don't know about this... is it cool? or pushing the point too far?


dj carrott and mc stick

well, that must have been the first time it felt good to finish a job. there's usually somesort of resentment or fear of uncertainty... well, uncertainty of the future coupled with the definite knowledge that the next few weeks will entail poverty. but after working this contract for a full year, loathing every envelope i sealed (well not quite but ykwim), spending two hours a day schlepping this way and that, i'm honestly, so glad i've finished. the last couple of weeks have been so positive for the next few months. i'm really looking forward to everything.

today i had an interview for kid's city that was really nice and friendly and passed. i've got a weekend of training. i totally balked at the 'teamwork' question - it was a real (and obvious) interview question, and i bombed. 'erm. teamwork. yeeees. that is important'.

basically it works like this:
i've got an interview for my pgce on july 15th.
they're probably going to want me to do a maths enhancement course because apparently my degree wasn't mathsy enough. who knew?
the enhancement course runs january to july 2009, i'd start the pgce in september and finish in 2010. 2010! that's how far ahead we're thinking here. i'll be 28, which is ok because i keep thinking i'm 27 for some reason. maybe it's because i'm thinking of the future a lot.

so given that, if i don't pass this interview (do you talk about interviews in terms of pass/fail?) i reapply instantly for 2009 entry, get in, because of my awesome experience with children at kid's city, maths enhancement, experience of teaching assistantry, and early (rather than late, like this year), i will be well in there. it's a win-win situation (with a little extra win on the side, on the offchance i get in this year). brilliant.



how come they call it 'obsessive compulsive disorder'? there's nothing disorderly about it. no-one is obsessively compulsive for leaving things messy.



i've noticed that before i start reading reviews online, i usually skip to the start of the comments to see the response first, to check if the review is worth reading.

how web 2.0 is that?


nerd girls

10:19 AM me: now, i have often thought that many girls are just as nerdy about makeup and stupid shit like that as 'nerds' are about stuff they care about
10:20 AM laurence: i thought nerd was more about what you were nerdy (obsessive?) for
10:21 AM me: surely it's really nerdy to know what shade of brown is in fashion at the moment?
laurence: would they describe that shade in hex? or pantone? or xyz colour space?
10:22 AM me: ... point


new photos

while i've not been blogging mych, i've also not been posting up my photos on flickr. situation resolved; 6 months worth, including most of the rehearsal photos


lock up your credit cards

stress and anxiety over my going-nowhere application to start teacher training this year. i've suffered two rejections - one quick, the other after 'passing the first hurdle - and i can't see any reason why the others would accept. if they do, then i've got to get past my first interview since... spannerworks.

so i'll probably have to rethink my 'plans'. do i spend the year getting the experience i need, and reapply for the year after, or chuck the whole idea in the bin and figure out something else?

i've finally got the gig bug. i was at emma's first gig with world before wireless last night and wanted to be on stage. i was itching to go. it's a bourgeoning addiction and it's wyrd to notice it at these early stages. i like to think it's rocking out that does it, the andrelin, feeling the music, but of course there's the attention too. but then on stage, you can't really see the audience. it's nice when they clap without prompting innit though. mustn't let it get out of control - but i wish i was in a position where it might. last saturday's gig was great - i'm enjoying them a lot more now that i'm letting myself drink before hand (with a whisky on my amp to keep my throat warm).


i'm re-reading the silmarillion, which is great and i only read it last year - memorably, on a couch in a belly dancing club while watching rachel but being to tired/self-concious to go dance - but he's hardly worked out a coherent view of his magic system, has he? creatures just seem to have powers without explanation; glaurung's gaze might freeze you, or make you forget everything. luthien and put people to sleep or make her hair go all rapunzley, melian can hide whole kingdoms. in this post-d&d world, fantasy worlds are almost built around modular skills and levelling up - night watch immediately springs to mind, it's not even dressed up in that. 'i'm only a level two technician' and so on.

and with that, i'm going to go and play ultima underworld 2 on my lunch hour. there's something about stress and anxiety that makes a person want to... withdraw.


2 neologisms

thingoled: to have fallen suddenly, deeply, in love, to the point of neglecting everything else in your life - friends, family, hobbies, bruised pilgrim, &c.
named for the quendi of the telari in the silmarilion, who bumps into melian of the maiar, and forgets that he was supposed to have been leading his tribe to the land of the gods. the big idiot.

autopeadophilia: wanking over childhood photos of yourself - a minefield of consent!


no subject

she’s trying to give me nits. maybe i should have actually washed my hair rather than just wetting it in the bath last night. but she shouldn’t have said about the nitty girl at school. it’s not just the nits, it’s what the nits represent; the remind me of the time of controversy, instability, and comics.

i bought sam ‘n’ max surfing the highway for the second time in my life. i lost it maybe 12 years ago? so it finally got re-released, by tell-tale games, who are also the people making the new games... i love it when a plan comes together.

i spend too long reading the comments.

i got massively into lost winds for it’s three hour length, then realised it was made by david braben and was impressed, then found out they’ve already announced the sequel… and came to the opinion it’s a glorified demo/shareware episode. which is nice too i guess. now, do i invest in the final fantasy city building game that’s meant to be quite good? or leave well alone and make more music? i hate that computer games are so selfish.

our eurovision party rocked. rocked a fat one. we figure we had thirty-five people all told, almost enough for one a country, but people get confused round the balkans and everyone wants to be france.
when people ask how i am, i say, “we’re fine”.


i'm not the murdoch press

i notice that yesterday i posted two anti-beeb links. firstly i should point out an error - the bbc issued a cease and desist only when 'someone tried to sell one of her patterns on eBay'.

now, i like the bbc. i have a fondness for auntie in the same way i love the labour party. that is, sometimes relations can become fairly strained. obviously right now labour are a detestable pack of mad yapping hounds who deserve everything they got in the local elections and i want my labour party back. things can get similar with the bbc; there's only so long you can apologise, so long before some murdoch-funded columnist actually makes a fair criticism in amongst the litanies of hate.
so whereas i love the idea of a media corporation that does not advertise and thus cannot be said to be producing material just to keep people in front of the telly for as long as possible - actually that's not a very good point, since their licence fee does basically depend on how much is consumed, but at least it's a direct link, not through a third party business buying ad space - just as i love the idea of a political party that fights for workers rights against the wealthy landowners, sometimes you want to love something more than you actually love it.

'and i... wanna fall in love.... with you...'


BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Dr Who fan in knitted puppet row

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Dr Who fan in knitted puppet row

how dare the bbc claim copyright on something that they claim just ripped straight out of lovecraft/futurama? this _screams_ public domain.

anyway, the bbc are a public corporation and if she pays her license fee, why the hell should she not feel entitled to make bbc knitted toys...

Conductor Daniel Barenboim on his hopes for peace in the Middle East | World news | The Guardian

Conductor Daniel Barenboim on his hopes for peace in the Middle East | World news | The Guardian: "The story of my maternal grandparents, however, is a very special one. When they arrived in the harbour of Buenos Aires (he was 16, she 14) after the miserably long trip, it was announced that only families would be allowed to disembark; the quota for all others had been exhausted. They were both alone, and my grandfather said to my grandmother, 'Let's get married!' And they did. Once on land, they went their separate ways. After two or three years they met again by coincidence, fell in love and spent the rest of their lives with one another."

BBC to drop BBC Parliament service for Olympics | Media |

BBC to drop BBC Parliament service for Olympics | Media |
this is the last straw, this is. as if the olympics weren't offensive enough in terms of the ridiculous cost, the lies told to bring it to this country, the money being diverted from actual neighbourhood sport schemes to put on this pimping parade of nonsense, and the fact that it's to do with sport, now they're going to take off the parliament channel, so if you want to escape by watching repeats of classic general election coverage (since parliament will be in recess at the time), you can't. thanks, olympics.


1 in 5 parents refuse daughters' cervical cancer jab | Society | The Guardian

1 in 5 parents refuse daughters' cervical cancer jab | Society | The Guardian: "some may have concerns that allowing vaccination may promote promiscuity, because the cancer-causing virus which the vaccination targets is passed on in sexual intercourse."

if the only reason you're not having sex is because you're afraid of catching cancer - or rather, you won't immunise you's daughter so that she's afraid of having sex because she might catch cancer - then there's something seriously wrong with you and i think you've proved yourself undeserving of the right to an opinion or anything else, except education. which is a duty anyway.

or, perhaps:
parents who decide to not have their children immunised should be charged with child abuse.

how economics is understood by the lay-person

'those charan fruit, they've gone up to 99p. mind, they didn't have many, 'cause they probably knew they wouldn't sell very much at that price.'


that's what i was trying to say

It's no coincidence that I chose to follow-up last week's New Cult Canon entry Primer with a look at Pi, because the two films have an awful lot in common. They were both shot on 16mm instead of video, despite having budgets ($7,000 for Primer, $60,000 for Pi) that would seem to forbid the expense of film stock. In the face of expensive space adventures passed off as science fiction, both demonstrate that sci-fi can be a genre of ideas, too, and that those ideas can be left to ferment in peoples' minds for next-to-nothing.

how to admit you're rubbish completely

WELCOME TO THE CRUCIAL MUSIC CLUB: "You will need to bring your own crowd as we have very little passing trade and other acts have their own fans who will probably not stay to see you"

unintentional goatse: the solicititors


american apparell being dicks again

american apparell 'added that the company sometimes used billboards "for non-commercial social and political commentary."'
the great thing about woody allen is that you can't help reading the phrase "especially egregious and damaging because Allen does not engage in the commercial endorsement of products or services in the United States" without using 'his' voice.



so i've not blogged since the first proper gig - four weeks, a full page of my google calendar. i'm just finding it tricky to keep up with the moving and the band and the interacting with people too much. i'm looking back over a very long weekend now, four days of bedlam and sodomy and actually realising i live here and how did that happen?

so we did a gig in newcastle. it was the gig we got together for, which feels a funny way round to do things -
oh i'm really too tired for this and i need to wash up and apply for a job i don't meet the specification for and it's really too long ago...
the gig... the gig was watched on video last week by most of the band and it was pretty comical. we're not as good as we thought we were - you can't fool a camera with wit and charm. so it's back to the drawing board under sam's watchful gaze; he seems to be much more up for the 'things are more fun if you're really good at them' idea much more seriously than even i. my main memory - or lack of - of the gig was the megabus, 7 hours trapped each way, with islets of conversation that lasted until i could crane my neck round the chairs anymore. we need to avoid this kind of thing, this kind of slapdash last minute planning.

so what else happened..
i saw sarah's new band madam with ed, who didn't really move me tbh. then laurence and julie came over. (realising how much there is to write up..) i met them at the royal exchange at bank, a huge epic crossroads of power, &c. basically it was a good landmark with some cover for the rain... we hopped on the bus and dropped things off at rachel's, then headed straight back out to the ICA for st david's day. there was a bunch of welsh bands on, and ben and mim came out too. gigs aren't great places to go to catch up with people, but mc mabon was palying and how often does that happen? so mr huw played and was good in a brit pop kind of way - proper chord based indie - and then mc mabon who was a bit more melodic and rappy too, then radio luxembourg who were great and obviously very into their gorkys (even to the point of being produced by euros childs). then genod droog who were immense dumb fun - kind of black grapey, finshing their set with a cover of house of pain's jump around. it was a good night. then we all wandered into soho for drinking which didn't really happen and curry which did but with a central london mark-up. then we wandered off.
l & j managed to stay the whole weekend, due to it simply being more convienent. the next day, although rachel had bought all the things you'd want for a lovely fry up, they insisted on going out for one, for the real british fry up experience; we brought some more with us and sat around in the corner cafe. then we went out to camden - crowded, smelly camden, to catch up with aimee and nicola, who initially spurned us for shopping. we got a pint at the lock tavern, home of the girls girls girls' acoustic set that i played guest guitar at. then wandered round as much of the market as possible, finding out where 'neverwhere' got it's inspiration from. there was a really good metal shop too. once we met up with n & a, we went back to london fields and the dove, railroaded into the dining area for lack of room and ending up eating as usual. then we went home, played backgammon, and watched the brazil documentary.

the day after, sunday, we went to brighton. it was quite a focused visit - we saw chris t-t and rifa, and jess, went to all the shops we needed to. the juice bar where the bobby mcgees worked has disappeared so i didn't see them, which i do need to do very soon or we'll collapse.
i think i'm gonna have to break this into sections. we met chris and rifa in wai kika mu kau, which seems to have become the hangout of choice for the young parents. every table but ours had at least one child. it's a generation thing. then seeing jess and stompy in our old local, the park crescent was good, marred by the usual electronic music. it should be nice relaxing folk in there, always has to much of a pre-club feel. badger ale and so many dogs, i bought a 'save iceland from big business' tshirt which i'm very proud of. and there's always the train journey to brighton to pacify you.
the next day rachel and i weren't around to entertain them, so they went to kew, as one does.then they bought us curry. julie had to get up at 5 in the morning, and we were woken up by the sound of laurence trying to get back in through the deterioting lock which no longer works right.

laurence took himself round town then we met up after work and went to see girls girls girls at their 'most important gig ever', doing the old whiskey & ginger beer at islington precint trick again. loads of old familiar faces and joy and a really short set. then we went home eraly enough for laurence to play through almost all of portal, until he got stuck on the annoying box-tube/missile launcher puzzle while i was asleep. such is life.

nearly forgot one

did you here about the punctuation mark that had legendary stamina?

it kept going ~ break of dawn!


models wanted

What mathematical functions are concerned with the distribution of hair?

Perms and combs!

Sent from Google Mail for mobile |

why shlep?

it's a joke

did you hear about the man who lived on a diet of white rice and died in a burning building?
he suffered from firemen deficiency!


boom boom

what do you call an irish lady who stands in the garden, keeping everybody warm?

patty o'heater!

n.b. this joke does not endorse these gas-guzzling, ineffecient, co2 emitting devices.



man walks into a pub, which turns out to have a stiff records party on. he about to go up to the bar when a man with a walking stick starts shouting at him, 'oi! you! you don't belong here! get the bleedin' hell out!' and pushes him over, and throws a stool at him, breaking his arm.
i tell you, he suffered a really nasty ian dury.


my week of living ridiculously

it's time the tale was told... of how i et out four times in a week. ah, birthdays.
my father was worried that my birthday money would disappear into the void-hole of my debt. fortunately for him, i just spent it instead. it's what he would have wanted.

i suppose i should start with my lovely saturday with ian, watching the polysics. such a great pop band. reader, i moshed. i haven't moshed for years - perhaps since 'this is the mad style' by mad capsule markets, in brighton. but the only way to enjoy that show, to be close enough to the band to have fun and also move around lots, was to mosh. it wasn't real moshing - not proper metal moshing. for me, it was more about hugging as many people as possible. full-on feel-good rawk, with as many exclamation marks as possible. drink vodka and ginger beer in the shopping precinct before hand just added to the experience.
and then we were so pumped up for going out... but speaking of pumps, ohmygodimissyou, bethnal green's burlesque disco showcase thing, had had to introduce a footwear policy to cut down numbers... you think they'd just make it more often, but i suppose that depends if they're doing it to make money or not. what happens when demand outstrips supply again? so anyway, instead of going to that - the only way we might have got in was to dress up in '60's gear - we went back to ian's and got tired and drunk with his new australian flatmates.

the next day was our first gig, described over on the party piglet blog, which is due to be expanded into a full website any week now. we wrote out the setlist over a cheap thai buffet, then got surprised as to how many people came, then didn't ask if they owed us any money (if we get 20 in, we're supposed to reclaim half their entrance fee back). then my back fell out from the lugging and i took the next day off work. rock and roll!

that day, that i'd have off work, my mother had bought me two tickets for daniel barenboim playing beethoven piano sonatas at the royal festival hall. i took rachel and we skipped through the confusing experience of getting to, then inside, the royal festival hall. we know now that it's the big one with the glass front. we had platform tickets - stupidly choosing to sit behind barenboim, so that we could see his hands, when surely his face would have been better. since we had to take our seats early, we slided into long journey games such as twenty questions. we were also totally confused by the order of ceremonies - people didn't clap between pieces, instead they showed their appreciation by coughing. between sonatas, they did clap, and there was a short break, like an interval, but no-one stood up. we had to ask the man sat next to us what was going on. during the interval we both went in the 'unisex assisted' toilet in the lobby. the door was broken so i stood outside for rachel. a lady came in. she said, 'excuse me, this is the ladies.' i said, technically correct, 'it's actually unisex'. she looked at the door outside and said two weeks ago it was ladies. in a criminally retrograde move, they've converted the ladies into the disabled. so they have a men's toilets... and a disabled toilets. what kind of a message does that give?
i apologised to the lady - she was quite in the right really - and said i was also minding the door for my girlfriend since the lock was broken, and i'd go and use the gents because i could, for which she seemed quite grateful.
then we dithered about which of the crazy ice cream flavours to buy, finally going for honey and ginger 2 minutes before the second half started. we gobbled it down, then moaned in agony with brain freeze and managed to shut up before the maestro came back on. on a steinway, on a steinway. the music itself started a bit pretty-pretty, but i think they got better and grander as the show went on.

afterwards we went to wagamama's below, who rushed us through since it was the national wagamama's staff party (which i'd love to have seen, all those tight t-shirts...). it was undeniably tasty. but the start of a bad habit.

thursday, i'd meant to have been recording with jamie, but it was some saint's day... we actually had a really unpleasant time and i upset rachel by adamantly refusing to acknowledge valentine's day. she didn't believe that i had caved in and made her a card - in fact two cards, so that i could choose the best one - and then left it at work. we went for a drink, and bumped into ian's flatmates, who i insisted join us for a drink. it wasn't a good move. when we got home she showed me the card she made, a big red thing with pictures of me, her, and a life-sized r. kelly doll hidden behind heart shaped flaps and in closets. it was heart breaking. but then we got over it.

the next day things were better, and we went to the dove with james and ruth and had a big feed and drink. veggie burger + kwak, delerium tremens, & westmalle triple, i think. everything was great except the cost but we didn't like to think about that and had to get back into the routine of enjoying ourselves after the night before, so it was worth it.

the next day, i had band practice as usual, then actual proper band drinks for the first time ever, in the first pub we could fit in - the last table upstairs in an off-road drinking hole full, as everywhere was, with football fans. we told each other jokes and stuff. then i went to meet dan, maria, and rachel at a greek restaurant in soho. it was fairly quite good.
we went back to mine and were excited about the prospect of a free sunday. sadly we pissed it away at home and the missed the tate modern and every other sunday entertainment. we went out to soho again, and sister ray was still open. as i was umming and ahhing over 4 cds, rachel said 'as long as you remember you didn't get me a valentine's present', and i felt guilty. i settled on dillinger escape plan's new one and iliketrains' first. we met james and his new fella in the john snow, had a quick drink, then they went out to see the london gay orchestra, while we went off to see 'that new cloverfield that everyone said is good'
we found a suitable place that was showing it, and handed over 20 quid for the privilege. we'd never been to the cinema together so it was kind of an important milestone, but we still felt insulted. we got tea at woodlands, a wonderful but overpriced veggie indian, and felt very poor indeed. then we went to see the film and oh, it was shit. a pointlessly stressful hour of dialogue-free, inspiration-free, backstory-free, disappointment. the cost just made it even worse. we went back to mine again, shaken and pissed off. thanks, bad robot. throbot.


my birthday, precious

my birthday party, or company, took place in the glasshouse stores, soho. basically my only stipulation was a central london sam smith's pub, and the glasshouse has the perfectly sized and shaped table for the number of people i was expecting. i got there just after six, and snagged it as soon as the downstairs had opened.
over the next five hours, people wandered in and out, through and round, not to mention any names, and a swell time was had &c, although i had the feeling i couldn't get round everybody.

by the time kicking out time had rolled around, we'd a hardcore contingent of couples - rachel and i, ian and thalia, joel and annie - and wendy, and tommy - and a plan. soho is great. i love it now. we went to a gothy-electro night downstairs in a swiss restaurant, since we figured it would be the most likely place to play 'it's no good', and it was just round the corner. there was a beautiful, cavernous but tiny (a grotto?), stage, with the most ordinary band i've ever heard playing, while a fantasticly lithe woman in a corset professionally gyrated meaninglessly in front of them. i couldn't really bring my self to look at her. about a quarter of the people were done up in gothy wear, the rest were tourists like us. my enduring memory of the night was walking to the toilet when 'master and servant' was being played, the dj who'd played our request for us dancing, dressed in similarly bonded gear, but with cat ears and a tail. it was a good place, and we left at about three. when i got home after spurning rachel - for some reason, i genuinely didn't believe she'd want to stay at mine that night - i spent twenty minutes thinking i'd lost my keys, before finding them in a pocket i'd forgotten existed. i was wearing my nurses uniform with all it's extra pockets.

for my actual birthday, i met dan and rachel in soho again - they'd met at piccadilly circus, luckily, after my attempt at letting rachel know what we were doing was an email at half fiven which she'd recived when she'd given up and gone home. actually, the more i think about the last few weeks, the more i think what an absolutely rubbish boyfriend i am to her. it just gets worse. i fucked up st. valentine's day tragically. anyway, we went to this indonesian place i'd spotted on a cross-street, which served what one indo-reviewer termed 'home-style comfort food'. it was ok. but nethermind. dan heaped a huge amount of presents on top of me, on top of the meal, then went home (it was late and this was after band practice).

the next night, i had a school reunion to attend in clapham common, which i willingly had a good time at. there were people there who i really wanted to see again, and hadn't in the year and a half i've been in london. of course, i had to leave at 8, when most people got there, but catching up with catherine farrell and liz ainsley-smith for an hour was very nice.



i saw something back in madrid i think, in the window of a music shop. i paused for a second.. an accordian with midi out? impossible. i must be confused. then we moved on, as people crowded round. i'd completely forgotten about it until i saw this, which i think illustrates how roland have developed what might be the ultimate musical instrument:


in the street of denmark

that was meant to sound a bit like 'in the port of amsterdam, so just nod and smile.

as i was a-walking down denmark street, the sound of an altercation taking place down a side alley was heard. we walked past, and stopped. a tall black man was being held against the wall by a shorter, peak capped, be-spectacled, white man, who was saying he was a police officer and the man was under arrest for dealing drugs, saying he'd just swallowed something, while a nearby homeless person was protesting that he'd just asked for some change. the man claiming to be police shouted at us to ring for the police, which under the circumstances was the only reasonable thing to do, and i would have done if someone else wasn't already doing it. i stood and watched for a bit, offering moral sympathy, while adrian went to pick up his bass. the man - now adding he was an off duty police officer - was holding him firm, and being wound up by accusations of racism by the 'dealer', who seemed to absolutely accept whole-heartedly that the man was indeed a police, something that i just wasn't sure about. why on earth would an off duty police officer take it upon himself to walk down central london backstreets and look out for drug deals, before going it alone to try and arrest people? as he harped on to the man - he did sound like a police - he was holding about how when they got him to the station and took his prints and see what they led them to, &c, the 'dealer' started resisting a lot more. he shouted at me - straight at me - to help him hold the guy. i told him it was none of my business. he said 'i'm ordering you as a police officer to help me'. i walked away. rounding the corner, the 'dealer' legged it past some seconds later, and then the police cars rolled up. i'd have loved to find out if the guy was actually a polcie man or not, but i suppose we'll never know now.

it all reminds me of the start of 'a confederacy of dunces' - i should have started shouting that 'the poliss are all comuniss' and how the poor boy was just waiting for his mother. that would have been confusing, if nothing else.


diary stuff

so there was our first band practice, as somewhat detailed over on - i don't think i captured the daylight feeling of the meeting at london bridge. it's irksome that we've not hung out as a band yet. it's irksome that we can't play the songs yet either, but i'm sure that will come when we gel as a unit and people know what they're meant to be doing at any given moment. i printed off songbooks today, i'll annotate them for individuals so we can do a few practices off paper.

after the rehearsal, i wasn't going to, but i hightailed it over to somewhere north to join in with girls girls girls acoustic. it turned out they didn't need my help this time - the only acoustic instrument was the bass. but i did a couple of numbers of my own - starting with a premier of 'jammie thomas'

i then played lake and, oh some others. i tried to get through 'my disgrace' by kefranski but ed shouted for me to stop. i haven't learnt how to deal with hecklers yet.

the thursday after, we finally had that aaron in the back of our car to to the vocal on the 'don't think i'll sleep tonight' remix. it's done but it's a little scratchy; you can head over to dj gallowslutt's myspace if you want to listen to it right away, but i reccomend you wait a few weeks til i've fixed the vocal perhaps. but what if i never do? maybe you should give it a listen now then. listening to it now, that vocal is to loud. and too double-tracked. i've got some great footage of aaron too, which hopefully i'll sequence up into a proper video for it and it'll be a massive multimedia youtube hit.


new blogness

for specifically band news, please got to
it just occurred to me - why would i want to be in a band? it just makes recording more expensive. these thoughts are obviously reserved for my personal blog.

the aaron mcmullen remix is finished and awesometastic.i'll upload it as soon as i get authorisation from the record label/can be bothered to sit and wait for stuff like that.

what's funny is how good my remix album sounds. it's my best album ever. i should be ashamed. or maybe it's just that long-distance collaborations are a really good idea.

i miss rachel. she's been awfully ill all this week. we just want her to not be in constant pains.



so i've been reading nick cohen's 'what's left?'. once i've finished it i might write more but i've some things it's made me think of.

as i read it, there's a lot i agree with, but i do try and read critically and i know i'm easily convinced by text. there's also something deep down that i can't formulate yet that i resent about the book, but hopefully if i don't listen to my walkman too much i'll be able to drag it up.

something i know i disagree with is his smearing of the anti-globalisation movement - 'they can't even decide on a name' (not a direct quote) being one of his criticisms. they're a diverse, pluralistic bunch. they're protesting at exactly the same kinds of things he's writing about - the failure of western governments to act effectively in times of need. mainly, i just don't think you can make generalisations about 'the anti globalisation movement'. cohen seems to assume that they're one thinking block, and then criticises them when they don't think or act like it. and then criticises the middle class herd instinct. and then criticises people who criticise people both ways.

one thing its reminded me of was my reasons for protesting about the iraq war. cohen begins the book with a long hard look at just how bad saddam was, stuff i never knew. so why was i against removing him from power? well that's the thing isn't it - i wasn't. but i didn't want a war. i guess the question is, what did i want? what was my big idea for getting rid of saddam? as i admitted at the time, i didn't have one. as i said at the time, something had to be done about him. the reason why i went on the anti-war march was because i was so fucking furious at our government. there were clearly no wmds, so that was a lie, despite half the american public at the time believing they had in fact been found, a belief created by suggestion and falsification - i remember enumerable reports saying things like 'we've definitely found evidence in this dump now, we just need to send them away for testing but this looks like it'. it was clearly not a humanitarian mission - the iraqis had been in dire straits since they'd been abandoned after the last gulf war, when instead of taking out saddam, they'd just contained him at the saudi's bequest. if blair had been the pretty straight guy he lied he was, he would have said 'look, right, there's absolutely no reason why we should go into iraq now instead of twenty years ago. but this is the time the americans are doing it, and whatever reason they have for going in, it's going to make iraq a better place because saddam is _that bad_,' i'd have had to say i agreed with him. the only thing is having a villain like saddam means you can get away with still being absolutely terrible, and playing the 'not as bad as the last guy' card, right? so you can go in, and gut the public services, and sell the whole fucking country to your friends' companies and leave it in a state of terror, whoops, people don't thank you. that moment that soldier put an american flag over the statue of saddam's head was terrifying. i remember i said to alex adkins at the time, i know no matter how many people march, it won't change anything, they'll invade iraq. but i wanted blair to know we were watching and we cared and if he was going to do it, he'd better not fuck it up. and they did. depends on who you listen to, as to whether it's better or worse than under saddam, depending on their bias. so we'll not know unless we listen to the iraqis. ourselves.

i'm not going to re-read this and edit it today. so sorry if it's a bit shit.


super mega catch up

christmas. why did no=one ever open a pub called 'bar humbug'?

so i went home for a long time... lots of too much of everything... food and constant inebriation and quite a lot of telly, but not in the grumpy (i think they mean smug) old men way of escaping the family. although i was quite glad when i just had my immediate family to myself.

then i came back here at th'weekend afore new year.

i failed jasmine's party and instead played it safe at rachel's. she'd been railroaded into hosting the pre-party, which was a good big gang of people. if i try to remember everyone i'll leave someone out so i shouldn't try, but i think it was - the parny crowd of esther, ruth, jo; the thalia crowd of ian, thalia, claire; the faversham crowd of james, his sister heather, and lorraine. i know this won't mean anything to most people. there was so much food, and it all got et; homity pie, chilli con quorne, dips & shit. i hope i never hear that bloody whalefish song ever again, leading me to internet it over to the esure and cillit bang remixes.

then we went outwards, to the pub where we were supposed to have tickets. ruth and i went upstairs to check out the craic with the band, who were a drumless acoustic five piece, it transpired that ruth had orchestrated the whole thing - saying it was gonna be a really good night, it's ohmygodimissyou endorsed &c. - just so she could try and get off with 'dj ian' from the afore mentioned ohmgodimissyou who she knew would be there. she pestered him all night, to which he successfully remained feckless.

i've not been out on new year's for.. i can't actually ever remember doing it. at school i just went round emma halls or bov's or something. i think one year i went to brighton beach. it's not an experiance i really want to repeat (damn i'm writing shit today). i can't be bothered to realise my reasons; new year's is a big pile of croc and i don't want to spend it surrounded by people who think it's a special day. try explaining to people how you can't have a start to a year because it's circular, they won't believe you. the dj's were playing a very mixed bag, which is good because i could dance to some tracks but others were just's difficult trying to explain to someone who's never heard of brakes why you don't like them. i tried to leave just gone midnight but got talked into staying a bit longer, and did actually enjoy it for a while. we walked home for about two and snacked.

i'm getting old; it wasn't a heavy night - or it didn't feel like one at the time - but the next day i was wrecked. sigh. we went for a decent fry up and just sat around for a bit. then got noodles and played settlers of catan.

this week wasn't too bad. the first day back at work i got to have lunch with rachel on clapham common, but the heron and the cormorants were away. last night, i made a very good aubergine/halloumi/tomato/pasta dish with adrian, the only effect we used was cumin seed. sorry i mean seasoning. not 'effect'. the rest of the time i've been trying to make this prince charming/like i love you mash up work, getting frustrated at free (no, actually free) software. i'll do some now i think. after another post, a piece of toast, and starwarscraft.