Thursday, June 30, 2005

Some Honey and Plenty of Money

You may or may not be interested in this; I can't predict your whims and tastes any more than man can hold back the tide. Except with dams, but they don't help me decide whether you'll be interested in what's about to follow, it just means that I've chosen a poor metaphor.

Anyway, if you've got thirteen minutes and forty-six seconds going spare, then you may like to listen to Stewart Lee be overly literal in trying to get to grips with Edward Lear's The Owl and the Pussy-Cat by downloading this mp3. More info can be found here. It's very funny, but ultimately tragic.

That is all.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Reflections on Staring Out of a Train Window (Not Those Sort of Reflections, Smartarse)

[I jotted this down longhand on a train I took at the weekend. It's the most writing I've done since exams, probably.]

It's quite pleasurable to take the overland train out of Charing Cross. You soon see housing overhanging the tracks. It' can't be much fun in the file-filled rooms that are clearly offices, with only smudgy single-glazed windows dividing you from the snaking journey of the squealing 1106 from Charing Cross. Another of the things I have to be thankful for in my job is that my office isn't right on top of one of the major national rail networks. (I think I've just added an extra year to my eventual length of service with that piece of bright-side looking. Dammit!)

You also get to see advertising for long-extinct beers - Sharp, Double Diamond, Bovrilbrau - out of the window, and I'm left with the maudlin consideration that no-one will ever taste these drinks again (except for Bovrilbrau, of course; I made that one up because I need a third item for my list, following the Iron Law of Comma-Separated Lists:

If it be a list ye write,
three things mus show or else thee'll fright,
reader, writer, editor all,
and the cursed list shall be your downfall.
Just you try and avoid it - it's devilishly difficult). There must be a society dedicated to the preservation of the recipes of once popular alcoholic beverages (Two Dogs! Hooch! The old low alcoholic content Heineken!), much in the same way that Cecil Sharp did in the early 1900s, going round collecting and transcribing folk music. There's also four strains of Pimms that are no longer existent - the campaign starts here! The campaign for someone else to do something about it!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Boris Johnson & Wireless Festival

Morning. It's a bumper fun-packed edition of Angriest Man in Crouch End today. Huzzah!

I've just seen Boris Johnson on the way to work. He was walking his two little kids to school. If you think he's got blond hair, these kids are positively fluorescent. I was just lucky I was wearing sunglasses, otherwise I'd forever have their faces burnt on to my retinas, haunting me for eternity, or the rest of my life, whichever is shorter. Still, at least in these days of doubt and marital infidelity, there's no doubt over their paternity. Yay family values!
Went to the Wireless festival on Friday. Well, I say festival - it pales in comparison to Glastonbury, but hey, what are you going to do? - and the Dresden Dolls were very good, playing to an audience of about twelve people who'd sneaked off work early. I wouldn't like to meet the drummer in a dark street thought. Angry, angry young man. The scary clown face-paint didn't help either. Also saw New Order, who were very good, as ever, but I did notice that Bernard Sumner was wearing exactly the same t-shirt on Saturday when they played Glastonbury. Ugh.

[whisper - you don't think perhaps there might be too much coverage of Glastonbury in the media? Radio One haven't shut up about it for months, and if I read one more article about wellies or how to look chic in the mud I - might - kill - again. Just a thought.]
Got lots more I need to type from the weekend, but the pressure of occasionally needing to do some work prevents me at the moment. Lets have it tomorrow, eh?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Dresden Dolls

OK. I'm quite excited today. On a whim I've bought tickets to go to the Wireless Festival, the Poor Man's Glastonbury as the organisers are strangely refusing to call it, from (now only £25 with £0 booking fee). Now, the excitement derives only in small part from the fact I've paid £25 to stand in Hyde Park. The rest of the excitement is a strange co-mingling of: coffee; Friday; a lessening of existential worries that comes from my new-found belief that, Copernicus be damned, the world revolves around me; coffee; and the fact that my vagary of the moment, The Dresden Dolls, will be playing.

If you hear a better song this year than The Jeep Song, please let me know, because it would be a very good song indeed. It manages to soar, ache earnestly and be witty and angry. It really is very very good. Plus, they look funny. I suspect I'm in for some performance art this afternoon. Goody!

In other news, I've given up my dreams of owning a fair-trade kitchen gadgets shop. It was stupid. It'd never work. I'm instead going to move into the more lucrative market of fantasy & role-playing games, orcs and elves, witches and wizards, that sort of thing. I'm going to call it 'Everybody's Tolkein At Me'.

Monday, June 20, 2005

How Judy out of Richard and Judy Visciously Beat Me With Her Fists and Assorted Weapons That Came to Hand

This week, my main excuse for not doing any work will be:

A buzzy bee comed in fru the winder

Yes, I'm back from holiday. I've not turned off my out of office message, because I want to let people know subtly that mother, I can never come home again 'cause I seem to have left an important part of my enthusiasm somewhere somewhere in East Devon. Really nice holiday, and feels genuinely strange to be back in London.
This next bit is really to keep myself in check. It's to mitigate against the all-too-human tendency of Inevitable Exponential Anecdote Inflation, whereby each telling of an anecdote contains a rapidly decreasing proportion of truth.

Yesterday, Judy out of Richard and Judy elbowed me.

OK, that's already slightly blown up; yesterday, Judy out of Richard and Judy brushed past me. Quite roughly, to be fair, as she was moving at quite a lick.

Fairly soon, I think, the natural tendency for these things to grow in the telling will mean that both Richard and Judy will be raining down savage punches and kicks to my poor broken body, while their daytime TV faces are rent by evil grimaces and shout nonsensically agressive phrases like 'Wooha, how do you like me now?' (Richard) and 'Who's the daddy? Who's the daddy?' (Judy). The Queen and Gyles Brandeth stood round the edge of the scene, their inaction a tacit approval of the brutality of the Richard and Judy team bashing.

How, you might well ask, did Judy come to be in a position to mete out this vengence? It was at a screening of The Wedding Crashers that P was reviewing and took me along to. I'd seen Richard and Judy come in as I was waiting for P - Richard's quite tall, Judy's quite short, but you can tell their relative heights on the telly, so I'm not giving much away there. When inside, everyone had to hand over their phones and ipods. Phones and ipods! In case anyone was going to record it in abysmally low resolution and size for pirates. Ha. I got around that anyway by using the enormous power of my brain which I used to memorise the dialogue of the whole film. I then went straight to a dodgy East Asian criminal gang, and recited it verbatim so they could record it. They then just needed to get the visuals on which to overlay my faithful rendition of the film. I suggested they just paste it on top of the visuals of 'Meet the Parents'. No one would notice the difference (Ha! Take that, major Hollywood film!). Anyway, while the plebs were handing over their valable consumer electronics, Richard and Judy were being whisked behind us, and that's when Judy errupted into her orgy of violence. Hold on, I've just checked the start of this post. When I say 'errupted into her orgy of violence', I mean 'brushed past me'. Anyway, the film was three stars. There'll be a much more detailed review in the quality press soon (by quality press, I mean none other than the Times/Chronicle series published in Northwest London, obviously).

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I am away from my desk

Right. I'm buggering off on holiday, so my rarely updated blog will languish once more like the homepage of a Buffy fanatic in some cobwebbed corner of the internet for a bit longer.

I did the funnest thing that you can do at work without punching someone or stealing stationery - I set my out of office message. Even typing 'out of office' gives me a watered-down secondary thrill. Typing it again just made me sad, so I won't be typing it again for a while. Anyway, I got a bit carried away, and rather than the standard text that says something like 'I will not be reading my emails for a while', I wanted to really rub it in, and say that I would be away from my office and unable to read my mail, but such was my giddy excitement that I ended up with:

I will not be away from the office and unable to read my mail until my return on 21st June.

I realised this when I got the message back from myself, but not before some sarcastic bugger had emailed me. I had to tell him that I'd not not noticed it, and wouldn't be unchanging it. This didn't stop me enjoying my out of office message - it just made it all the sweeter.

Damn. I've just remembered the first rule of writing: know your audience. If I know you at all, it's because you're the slack office-bound, desperate for escape from emails that read 'for your soonest attention' and end in 'best regards', and who long not to be reminded of the drudgery that overwhelms them for eight hours a day.

Oh well, I'm on holiday. Ha!
In other news, I've had to abandon my dream of owning a pub called the Tequila Mockingbird, because I've seen the pun used too many times now. Chastened, I've decided to put my talents to more altruistic ends, and I'm going to open up the country's first fair-trade kitchen appliances shop. I'm going to call it For The Grater Good.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Nerd's the Word

Right. A semi-comprehensive list of the nerdy things that I did yesterday:

1. Thought that the film Sin City which is being advertised on the radio a lot was actually Sim City when I heard it once. Sim City being the computer game below. I then went off into a whimsical reverie, imagining how great a film about an ambitious mayor of a town who spends decades building up a beatiful community with all the work, amenities and leisure opportunities a town could want, keeping it free of crime and social problems, and then summoning Godzilla, earthquakes and tidal waves to smash it into tiny pieces, just for yucks.
2. I was wearing a badge. Yes, that's pretty nerdy, but the badge was a nice little drawing of a BBC B Micro , which is about as nerdy as a badge can be, except for a badge that says 'nerd'. Which I used to have.
3. I watched the entire first series of the Leauge of Gentlemen. That's quite nerdy.
4. I discussed audio leads.