Friday, October 31, 2008

Why I am wont to throw down some Mencken and follow up with some Vincent Millay for good measure.

"A person who publishes a book blog willfully appears before the populace with his pants down . . . . If it is a good book blog nothing can hurt him. If it is a bad book blog, nothing can help him."
Edna St. Vincent Millay

"There are two kinds of books blogs: those that no one reads and those that no one ought to read."
H.L. Mencken

"There are no dull subjects--there are only dull writers."
H.L. Mencken

[those quotes and there's more | more | more | more]

How true you are people of the olden day age. How true. And, yes, remind me to read more H.L Mencken. He throws down the aphorisms like a mofo. We won't get into his confusingly elitist politics. N.B. for confusing read: possibly racist, definitely anti-democratic, but more than likely he was deliberately contrary in an effort to wind people up and get more attention. A cleverer Jeremy Clarkson, perhaps; although that's a comparison that only Jeremy Clarkson could be happy about.

But, what do I know. I am reading a book at the mo that's got a chapter on him, but it concentrates more on his writing than his life. So let's concentrate on the condensed and brutal sentences he churned out. Sit back and enjoy some superficial wit and perspicacity. How long have I waited to find a sentence where I could wedge that word in! Ahhh, shallow shallow shallow, but pleased...

Here. You. Look at these. Look at these:

H.L. Mencken

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.

All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.


Before a man speaks it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks, it is seldom necessary to assume it.

Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood.

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.

It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics or chemistry.

It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull.

On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

He throws them down for fun, does H.L.M. I'm not sure if half of em means anythin, but they don't half sound good. And right proper clever. And he just seemed to come up with them in his lunch break. Many many many...

Okay, class. Notebooks out. Jones, are you listening? ... We'll all just wait for you, shall we? All sit here waiting ... Hmmm. Hurry up, boy! Thank you, tttt. Now then, where were we? Yes.

Here is your homework: remember at least one of these quotes and throw it into a conversation tomorrow and pretend it is yours. People will be flummoxed and assume that you are bear of great word power and intellect. Reading H.L. Mencken is like swallowing an entire year's worth of the Readers' Digest. (see how lame that line is compared to the Henckster's efforts). The only problem will be when someone says, "Who said that?" to which you reply, "H.L. Mencken, of course."

Cos there will be no point in pretending you made the line up. We know half of these already without realising where they come from. Pretend you've always been a fan of the great man. That's what I'm doing right now.

Now our Edna's words are less famous, so you might be able to get away with stealing them...


Edna St. Vincent Millay

Yes, don't forget about the Lady of the Aphorism, our Edna St. Vincent Millay. If he was a rabidly productive journalist, she was a poet whose word count wasn't in the same league, but she produced enough. And her politics were a little more to my taste.

These are perfect little boxes of words, wrapped and perfumed. You start to think they're a little trite and greetings cardsy, but, under the cleverness there's a little salty nugget of truth:

Life is a quest and love a quarrel ...

I am glad that I paid so little attention to good advice; had I abided by it I might have been saved from some of my most valuable mistakes.

It's not true that life is one damn thing after another; it's one damn thing over and over.

My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends - it gives a lovely light!

The longest absence is less perilous to love than the terrible trials of incessant proximity.

Please give me some good advice in your next letter. I promise not to follow it.

Life must go on; I forget just why.

I'm especially fond of this one for soppy reasons:

Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.



Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why Russell Brand is a lovely big legged genius. Why I don't want to be left out there all on me own.

"Comical little geezer. You'll look funny when you're fifty."

"You're Jack the Lad"

What the world needs now is blog, sweet blog. It's the only thing that there's just too little of.

What the world needs now is complainin, sweet complainin,

No, not just about Russell Brand, but about everything....

Ahhh, that feels good. For if complainin be the food of Blog then read on, Macduff. Read on.

"You know I don't think I'm going to let you stay in the film business"

"Things have changed"

But first I would like to make the following statement. And please note, I have a tear in my eye. My left eye. My right eye is a bit dry. I think I might need Optrex, but ignore that for now. Concentrate on the tearful left eye. Very sad. What a picture. If you could see it you would feel my pain. I am feeling a lot of eye pain. I should probably take my contact lenses out.

But here is my statement, I am going to get a spokesperson with a sad & serious voice to read it out for me. Hopefully with a slightly Scottish lilt. My spokesperson may be a little drunk:

"The *blog* known as 'Not a Fad and Not that Kidney' would hereby like to make the following statement. It would like to apologise for the way it has behaved during the current *Russell Brand shagged my granddaughter* fiasco. Both of the blog's readers have not written in to complain about the lack of coverage of this overhyped issue. NAFANTK can assure both of its readers that this failure to write about this sort of VERY IMPORTANT STUFF will probably happen again.

"Should either of the aforementioned blog's readers -  (Hello, you two!!!! Lolz *Big happy waves* ) - feel that they have missed out on some uninformed ranting on the subject of Mr Brand, Mr Ross, Ms Young Lady & her Granddad, NAFANTK will be happy to buy them both a copy of the Daily Mail and post it to them. Once again, no ....... ohh, no, I'm sorry, I'm losing the will to live. I never wanna hear another word on this subject ...... zzzzzzzzz."

"He's an ignorant boy. An out of date boy"

But it is all meat & drink to the complaining blogger. And I feel I've missed out. And it's not fair, is it? I've missed my chance. The window of opportunity to aggressively complain: gone...

"Putting a little stick about. Putting the frighteners on flash little twerps"

But COME ON! I didn't know that that Evil Monster Russell Brand saying nasty naughty things was gonna be this big & important to the world!!!

I didn't know I was supposed to blog about it!!! I didn't get the email! I didn't get the text:

"Hey NAFANTK. We needz u 2 bloGs on Rusel Brnd phne thing. Be angry. Lolz."

I mean can't someone *Twitter* me when a subject comes up that needs my insightful, slightly dull and self-regarding commentary? I mean, it's just not fair.

I wouldn't mind, but I did read about it in the newspaper. I even watched the YouTube footage. 8 minutes of my life I'll never get back. I even went as far as to comment on The Guardian website. And I hate the Comment section of the Guardian. I said it was a bad thing. I thought it was at the time anyway (was that 3 days ago?) .

But now. O well. 

"They're a bunch of liars and wrigglers. Give 'em a bit of stick."

The next day I read Andrew Collins' bloggage. He was angry. But he was at least a day late, but fairy nuff, I thought, have your say. Wade in with your oar then we can all *move on*.

Interest rates. The US election. The war in the Congo. No, I don't know anything about these things either, but I think I probably should...

"United we stand, divided we're lumbered"

And now 27,000 people have screamed at the BBC via its website. Andrew Collins has had 135 vitriolic comments. Ummm.

"Who do you think you are, the Lone Ranger?"

I've really missed my chance haven't I? To be relevant and useful. Adding fresh thought to the mass-debate. I did think that the singing and swearing at an old man's answering machine was a bad thing and not that funny, but ... ummm. It was not worth wasting both of your time writing about it. That is if you could be bothered reading about it, which you probably couldn't, could you? No. So...

But now everyone is so SO SO deliciously angry, I've had to change my mind. I've thought about changing the date on this post and back-dating it to two weeks ago. To try and pretend I was ahead of the game. But that's probably not the right way forward. I believe in truth.

But EVERYONE is FURIOUS. So where does that leave me? As a blogger, I am forced to take a position. It is this, thus:

Jonathan Ross has lovely hair. Russell Brand has a nice beard. I want to give them a lovely big hug. I want to kiss them and, if it were possible, have their children.

There. Flag and knickers nailed to the mast. O, and don't ask me for reasons. No one cares about reasons. Pah. Get away with your *reasons*.

I'm just jealous and guilty really.

"I like a bit of a cavort, I don't send 'em solicitor's letters. I apply a bit of pressure."

See one of the nice things about being a bloggerationer is that at the end of the year I'll be able to sit back with my spokesperson, have a cup of cocoa, and look back on the year 2008 and how it was represented in the NAFANTK blog:

SPOKESPERSON: -Ahhh, so, tell me, Sullivan. Let's start with October, what kind of month was that? What was going on in the world?

SULLIVAN: - It was a bit of a rubbish month really. A bit cold sometimes. There were a lot of days. 31 I think. I wrote some stuff about dead film stars from the 1930s.

SPOKESPERSON: - There was quite a lot going on in the world though, wasn't there. American election, the Russell Brand/*S@tanic Sl#t* fandango? What did NAFANTK have to say on those issues?

SULLYMAN: - Errr, ummm. Well, the blog was mainly all about mice, gas meters and singing and dancing films from the 1930s. Errr ummm. I did a quiz. Is that.... no...

SPOKESPERSON: - No, but seriously. It wasn't, was it? ... O. You're nodding....How about September? The big Credit Crunch hoo-ha. That was the big story wasn't it. Anything in the blog about what was going on in the world?

SULLYMAN: - No. Mainly just stuff about Madonna's eyebrows. Her eyebrows in 1986. O, hang on, there was some contemporary stuff. Big ear holes, they're modern, aren't they? Gordon Brown quoting Seinfeld, is that... ? No? How about The X Factor and being addicted to the tellybox? That is very modern. Not very original or ...

No. It's no good. I've failed in my mission. I'm not contemporary. 10,000 other more up-to-date bloggerers are laughing at me.

"Why don't you play us a tune, pal?"

I just think DJs should play more music and generally shut up more. Am I wrong? Am I controversial? No. No. O well. I tried.

I should probably just go back to reviewing films. Something modern. Like from the 1960s mebbe. That's up to date enough isn't it? Performance. Directed by Nicholas Roeg. How brilliant is that film? And it has contemporary relevance.

Well, it did in 1986 when Big Audio Dynamite were quoting it. And I've been quoting it in this blog: so how contemporary is NAFANTK now? We is modern, mate, modern, never mind your *Killers* and whether they are or are not *dancer*. I'll give you '80s music, matey boy/girl..................................................



"The man's dead, and who's left holding the sodding baby?"


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why do we even believe in God? Why does He bother even bothering?



It is a little known fact that G-O-D spelled backwards is D-O-G. How about that? Talk about *The Di Vinci Code* for early readers... Makes you think, huh? Jesus, however, spelled backwards is Susej. And that doesn't make any sense. Eve backwards? Hmmm, THE SAME!!! No different *eve*n when facing the other way (towards the Devil!). Mada=Adam. She stays the same, he gets madder... Now we're talking religion. Or else it's a parable for marriage. Hmmmm. All starting to make sense, isn't it? Isn't the Bible great?

No it isn't. It's not interesting. Well, I'm not talking about the Bible here. The Bible is lovely. I keep meaning to read it. If I'm ever in a plane crash and I've got a spare few minutes, I think that'll be a good time to start.

Come on, I'm only joking. Really. I love God. He is great. He looks a bit like Gandalf but friendlier. Definitely a man. Prove me wrong, if ya can.

I only mention it coz I've been doing a lot of killing recently & as a vegetarian it's not easy. Well, I'm not sure that actually matters, the vegetarian part, coz eating the corpses has never been part of the process. Hitler, as everyone knows, was a vegetarian. Though I suspect it was because he had a digestive disorder, rather than coz he was *particularly* squeamish about the *murdering another living creature* angle. But this is my life:

  • I kill.
  • I dispose of the bodies.
  • My conscience burns.
  • The bin man arrives Wednesday to take away the evidence.
  • 8 corpses so far.

How grim is this? I need to shave my head, get a big devil tattoo on my shoulder, and possibly a Grim Reaper branded across my back. I probably should start wearing black. And I definitely need to wear rubber gloves. Yes, it's the God damn mice, Dog dammit.

I was kinda livin with the issue. Well, sorta. I thought there was just one friendly little chap - or possibly two little chaps.

I was hoping they were a gay couple - Tristram & Shaun - slightly liberal in their views, but they definitely didn't want children. They wanted their freedom. They wanted to party. They didn't want to have to stay in at night, y'know, lookin after a bunch of little feeders. Nah. That is not how Tristram wants to live. Shaun is slightly more homely, but Trist just wants to party all night. Whoo hooo. LOL. We've been here before.

Big however: my housemate came into the kitchen the other morning and found a veritable gay disco full of mice running around. It's previously been a bit of a theoretical issue for him as it was only me that had spotted the wee beasties. Now action had to be taken. Alpha Male action. Never mind all my empty words previously. My pointless, harmless traps dotted around the house. Skipped over, laughed at and ignored. Nevermind my endless kvetching & bloggeration. It was time to get medieval on their furry asses.

With flatmate *Fred* involved in the trap purchasing, we suddenly moved into a whole new world of mouse pain. And suddenly we were catching them. Hour by hour, minute by minute. The blighters are throwing themselves into the non-safe traps. Nasty traps that involve me having to put them out of their misery. The Grim Reaper indeed... Eek.

All I want to say is: I tried. I've chased one round my bedroom - and he ran towards my friendly - "Let me catch you then plonk you somewhere else miles away, in a nice field perhaps" trap - and ran away when he saw it was a trap. (He was supposed to rush headlong through the little trap door, walk into the little room and have the door slam shut behind him. Trapped but comfy. Waiting for me to deport him. But it was never gonna happen. There was a Digestive biscuit inside as well. He could have had that. I might have kept him as a pet. It all could have been so much easier.)

So now I am an avenging angel. Man cannot live with mouse unless there is a cage or a Pet Shop Boy involved in the equation. I cannot sit down and break bread with the rodents. I am a Man not a Mouse. I have had to choose sides.

But God. How is there a human God, but no mouse God? Perhaps there is a mouse God as well? And a giraffe God. But if there is only one God, who looks like us (only more bearded), why did He bother creating all the little animals? Was that just practice, like someone learning to draw? Coz He was pretty inept when He was making the amoeba, I mean, what kinda shape is that for an animal - a 3 year old could do better. Was God 3 years old when He started making the universe? He must be really old now. Is that why He is so grumpy? Do His knees ache? Are floods God emptying out his bath water?

I have nothing to add to the centuries old debate. I have trouble believing what anyone says to me at the best of times; people in big funny hats n robes make me even more suspicious. But who creates our conscience? Where do our morals come from? Is it just from watching vandals destroying the Blue Peter garden and feeling Percy Thrower's pain?

So, sorry, if there are any mice reading, sorry. I know not what I do. I hear your pain & know I need to act... Let us never talk of this again.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Why no one with any sense would want this to happen.

No one wants it to happen. Really. But y'know, you get drunk. You don't know what you're doing. Drunk texting to your ex. "I loves ya, I really does       :0(      evry time I hear Simply Red or Phil Collins sing I cry. And Bryan Adams. He makes me cry."

But that's natural, isn't it?

I cry every time Westlife bring out a new single.

Please, noooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Is there a God? Well is there? How the jeff can you let this happen? This must be the End Times. What other explanation is there?

Those vile, song-ruining, soppy soap-faced Irish granny botherers are in the charts again. Or they will be. In the run up to Xboxmas. And they are soap faced. The lead singer looks like a melted bar of soap. I'm sure he smells of pine disinfectant.

But hey, lad, cheer up, there's nothing wrong wi ya. Turn off the radio. Nothin a few pints of ale and a wallow in your own misery couldn't solve. Listen, hear that in the distance, drum beat thumping through the wall from next door? I think you'll find that's the theme from Titanic.

Your heart will go on, aye, tis reet that is. And that is why you should have your donor card with you at all times. Someone else could use that heart. Never mind broken, you go ahead, top y'self, we'll find a use for it at the infirmary. Some poor unhealthy, wheezing, bugger would love to have that thumper poundin away in his chest...

Which is fine. But if I kill myself in a way to ensure that my internal organs can be used by someone less (more) fortunate than myself - i.e. no drug overdose or jumping from a 10 storey building - I want to say here and now. No way is that chubby one from Boyzone having my heart. I don't care how *poorly* he's feeling. No. Forget it. I'd RATHER LIVE!!!!!!!!!!

But no. None of that. Didn't happen. Not on the agenda. Not relevant. I am not even drunk. 2 cans of light ale. My first alchofrol for 2 whole weeks. And yet, here I am engaging in the blogging equivalent of the late night ex-bothering booty call... Posting a *video* that everyone has probably already seen, bla bla yadda yadda. But...

There are no excuses. No carefully crafted words. Just a news report everyone should watch. I cannot help but be shocked and saddened by it. And feel guilty. I feel guilty. I shouldn't, but I do. How can they say that? What could I do? How could I help? How could I not help. O, why is this ALL ALWAYS always always ABOUT ME...




Watch before you click here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Why the Gay Divorcee makes me dance and smile.

Aunt Hortense: Be feminine and sweet. If you can blend the two.

Egbert Fitzgerald: Guy, you're not pining for that girl!
Guy Holden: Pining? Men don't pine. Girls pine. Men just... suffer.

Tonetti: Your wife is safe with Tonetti, he prefers spaghetti

Review Summary

Based on Dwight Taylor and Cole Porter's play of the same name, The Gay Divorcee centers on Mimi (Ginger Rogers), a woman seeking a divorce from her husband. Mimi travels to an English seaside resort, pursued by the love-stricken Guy (Fred Astaire), whom she mistakes for the hired correspondent in her divorce case. Among the many musical numbers featured are "Night and Day," the only song from the original Broadway musical included in the film, and "The Continental," which won the first ever Academy Award for Best Song.

Guy Holden: Chance is the fool's name for fate.

Ten Brief Reasons Why This is One Of The Greatest Films Ever. Ever!
1. Songs. Dancing. Whipsnap dialogue. Idiots. Geniuses. Plot. Twists. Misunderstandings. Love. Divorce. Gay. Puppets. Toasted scones. All your basic ingredients for a gimcrackery split of a film!

2. Beautiful heroine. Angry, stand-offish, witty, married, doe-eyed, dances like a spinning top, married. Wearing a beret. Who could ask for more?

3. Fred Astaire with his peanut shaped head. The Michael Stipe of his day. As thin as a cigarette. Puzzled, frowning, wickedly devoted to a woman he's barely met, feet sliding like he's on castors, spinning like an office chair, charismatic, not very tall. Genius.

4. Brighton has never looked lovelier! Brighton has never looked more like a Hollywood set. Which is what it is, clearly. And that's funny. The Ingerlish countryside has a CaliforneeI.A. look to it too. And the drivers sit on the left, American style. But it's Hollywood 1934. Was there really a Great Depression on then? Who woulda known watching this?

5. Aunt Hortense & Egbert Fitzgerald are far better than Will & Grace's sidekicks. And far more *gay* in the modern sense. She's a boiler; he's a lemon sucker, afraid of all females. (Note to self: A *lemon sucker*? I hope that isn't derogatory? I have no idea what I mean by that. The words just plonk themselves onto the *page*... Turns out I wasn't far wrong according to urban dictionary. He has got a face like a smacked arse & she is definitely a lemon sucker...)

6. Cole Porter songs. And Betty Grable or Fred or Ginger dancing - make you want to stand up in your living room and pretend to dance along. Who needs Playstation 3 Dance games?

7. Did I mention the dialogue?
Aunt Hortense: You know, you're beginning to fascinate me, and I resent that in any man.

Mimi Glossop: I hope you like what I ordered. I've never had breakfast with two men before.
Guy Holden: I've tried it. It's no fun.

8, & 9. I don't want to overplay things. In the last 20 minutes the plot has to coalesce and everyone stands around looking surprised, then rushes around in a farcical funk, before it all gets settled happily and Fred & Ginge can get it together. Well, hold hands & kiss. But she's already married! It's about divorce. And it's clearly gay in its tone as well as its name. So it's far from run-of-the-mill. And even if it is, it's a smiley old mill.

10. I love it. All critical facilities spent while pretending to tap dance on carpet. Yip. And more yips.
And when you G00gle it. You get to find out that *funnyman* Matt Lucas has just completed the first ever gay divorce in Britain. Which is... actually not that interesting.

But...



Guy Holden: Can I offer you anything? Frosted chocolate? Cointreau? Benedictine? Marriage?
Mimi Glossop: What was that last one?
Guy Holden: Benedictine?
Mimi Glossop: No, the one after that.
Guy Holden: Oh, marriage?
Mimi Glossop: Do you always propose marriage as casually as that?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why you are an addict & it's time you just admitted it, mate.

Look, we're all suffering. We are all guilty. We're in a bad situation even if we don't realise it. I'm just here to add a little so called *gosh darn* common sense thinkin to the issue. Throw some ideas up into the air and see if they fly. Like tiny baby birds falling out of a tree and hoping for the best.

Except, in that situation? Make sure the birds have got out of their eggs first. Eggs can't fly.

Come on. You know you want to. Come with me on this journey. We all just have to come out and say it out loud.

Hi, I'm (insert name) & I am addicted to the internets. I try to stay away but but ... I can't. Even when she treats me bad & makes me feel like a useless pathetic dumb-brain with a headache I just... Y'know, she wastes my time and times me out and feeds me horrible repetitive spam every day. Every blinkin day. Tellin me my winky isn't right. Needs tablets to make it work right. How do you think that makes me feel, ego-wise? Huh? About 3 inches tall, I tell you. A couple of times she's even given me I.T.D.s (internets transmitted diseases). And, who knows where she's been? Where she goes to when I'm not there to keep an eye on her. And yet... And yet. I keep coming back for more. It's like love. Bad love. One way love. Coz she feels NOTHING for me. If I never went back, she'd never notice. She has so many people that she can *connect* with. I don't know why I bother...

Meet me:

Hi! Lol. *grins* :-)

Me today in the *Real World* I had some *real* work to do. Writing some thingymojig/boring nonsense. So I decided to use these things called *a paper & pen*. Pretty hilarious items they are too. But y'know, I figured em out. How are you supposed to hold a *pen* though? It's sort of weird. What are all your other fingers meant to do while your thumb and other finger are doing all the work - just like lie there and watch? O sigh. My spare right-hand fingers did twitch a bit. Like a spare part. Like they wanted to start doing that regular dance they do: over the JKL; keys.

Yeh, and this paper stuff? Where's the delete key? For eff's sakes, man. The stone & paper age. But the *good* thing is: when I get bored with this paper/pen/scrawly ink blobs thing - when I turn over the page looking for idle distraction - there's just another blank empty page looking hungrily at me, wanting to be fed more ink. All I can do is doodle. That's the very definition of idle fun in the pen n paper world. All you can do is draw.

In a computery situation there are always other words already there for you. Waiting for you round every corner. On every page you pick. And I need to read everything. I read ingredient lists. I read terms & conditions notices. I want to own every word and picture in the world inside my mind. My favourite book is the one I've not read yet. Or I hope it is. It better had be or I'll be disappointed.

I want to try everything regardless. Food. If you lay out a 1000 different types of food on a table: I will want to try them all. My favourite foods are: tapas, buffet, what-someone-else-is-having. I really do *want that*. I want what I don't have.

I am like a Buddhist in a pizza parlour.

I am the last person who should be allowed to run about on the internet. I'm like a dog without a lead. I'll end up getting into mischief. I'll end up lost and wondering where I am. How did I get here? How do I get back? Where are my friends? Where did the time go? Why am I so hungry?

So I do a bit more dull writering on this papery substance. Wondering how I save it. If I leave it here on the desk - it won't crash will it? Okay, I believe you.

But I get bored and distracted. And I flick on the tellybox for a lickle tiny moment just to see how Bargain Hunt is getting on. See if the team in blue sweatshirts are making back their money on novelty/antique lavatory brushes. End up watching Kidney Swap live or some such imaginary programme.

Then do a little bit more. Make more tea. Stare out of the window at ... nothing. Why is the view from other peoples' windows always more interesting than the view from mine... bah, that's easily explained.

But when it comes to I.A., it's the email that does it. That always gets you. It's the addiction it is okay to admit. It's the *legitimate* end of the addict's universe. It's like you're on a Mediterranean holiday and your friend/partner says, so what are you gonna do this afternoon then, boyo?

"Mmm, well after lookin at all that fascinatin culture stuff. Them churches n ruins that you dragged me round - I mean, that I enjoyed taking photos of this morning. I thought I'd take it easy this avvie. Just relax. I might quickly pop into that cafe down the road and check if any new pictures of pictures of frightened dogs have been posted on 4chan. Then I'll probably surf for conspiracy theories about how lizards are taking over the world, do a random G00gle search for *pictures of insects fighting scorpions*. And probably join you down on the beach at around 4. Do you want me to bring you anything? Are you taking the sun cream?"

No. No. Not likely. You would not say that.

But this is fine. This is an accepted bit of conversation/normal behaviour: "I've really just gotta check my emails cos I'm wondering about (insert something appropriate and self-aggrandising/self-obsessive). It's a pain in the neck really, but y'know. I have to find out if they've sent that (bla bla excuse)." Then you can check your spam-filled email box & spend the next 59 minutes of your Internet cafe hour wandering around like Babe: Pig In The City. Not a clue where you're going. Not sure why you're going in the first place. Thinking but not thinking at all.

Incidentally, I have just purposefully G00gled *pictures of insects fighting scorpions* - a phrase I just came up with for no real reason/because it sounded stupid. And the results are a bit grim. Televised bouts on Japanese tv. And I don't know if it's just me: but the millipede looked scared. It's too cruel for my tastes. So no link. DO NOT LIKE..... So, yeh. That's a good thing in a way. Coz that's the sorta thing that's gonna put me off lookin at this thing ever ever again/for a few hours at the most.

Back to the pen n paper I think, I've got some squiggles that need colouring in ...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why Halloween & Bonfire Night light up my life like an IED.

See I don't get it. We burn & drown witches 364 days a year and then on the 31st of October they get the night off to mess with our minds and influence children in ungodly ways. Why don't we have Serial Killer Night? Or Shoplifter's Weekend? How can we promote this black magic nonsense?

We will all be travelling round on brooms if they had their way - and then what would the oil industry do? Hmmm. And! They'd be curing things with their *spells* - and then what would the pharmacutical industry do? Terrible.

And. Isn't it just hypocrisy for society to say: look, witches, do not fuck with us and throws spells on us all year long. Okay? You sexy ugly goth chicks. Listen, if you ever - I repeat - you - do anything even *vaguely* suspicious we will dip you in the village pond and see if you can swim or not. And if you can swim we will see if you can do 25 metres to the other end of the pond & back. And if you can do that, we will see if you can swim while wearing your pyjamas. And if you manage that, well, next week we'll get you to pick up a rubber brick from the bottom of the pond. After that you can maybe progress to going on to doing your lifesaving badge...

HOWEVER, you evil witch... oh fuck it, it's what? What you say? The 31st of October? Halloween. O shit! Everyone! Gooooo crazeeeeee. Come on everyone, let's dress up like we're going to a Goth Hen Party.

Witches are evil. That is important to remember. And sexy. And naked sometimes via that link.

But. How can that be a good thing? Also, but unrelated:

How many little girls (and in this modern world, boys) have dressed up as a witch on All Hallows Eve and thought:

"When I does grow up I is wanting to be a witchypoo. Coz of the big hat und tha rice crispie warts that are good on your face. I like. More sweets. Give give give or I will smack broom round your head. More sweets. Ride off on broom. Pretty black colour. I am EMo. More sweets. SWEETS!"

Obviously any cute lickle girl thinking like this will inevitably be diagnosed as *mentally troubled* and sent to the nuthouse where she belongs. But y'know. It's a good point well made. What next - pro-Christian festivals? Pro-egg festivals? Pro-spending money/watching tv festivals? Yeh, okay, we has got them too. But also? Bank holidays? Do the banks deserve holidays in this day and *age*? Should the banks not come round our houses with nice biscuits, say how sorry they are & ask if we've got any chores that need doing. Sure, that rickety fence out back could use some work... We owns you you beeeeeeeeeatches. Or words to that effect.

Happily it's not all Satanism and Scary Mary Goths round about this time of year. There's the entirely tv invented *tradition* of *Trick Or Bastard Treat*. Something that I first saw on Charlie Brown back in the days when you counted yourself lucky if you got to *bob for apples* on Halloween night. I mean, in my day, we had to work for our healthy snacks and endure - what I believe is now known as - waterboarding - where basically your hands are held behind your back and your head is forced forward into a large bowl of water and you have to simultaneously breathe and also bite into waxy skinned Granny Smiths (she was a witch, apparently, it's all highly symbolic).

Look Timmy, my little brother, can you see the apples in the pan? If you see the apples it means you're a witch! If you don't see them, err, you're also a witch. Ha! Now shove your head in the pan--->>>

Happily there are other things to look forward to in the coming weeks. There's the Hindu festival of Lights, Diwali on October 28th. Which being a Festival of Lights involves a lot of fireworks. Which ties in nicely with *remember, remember the 5th of November* where we get to celebrate the burning of Catholics. How popular is Bonfire Night in Northern Ireland these days? Is it impolite to ask? Obviously the autumn explosions season gets off to a bit of bang with Ramadan at the end of September. All the main religions doing their bit for the fireworks industry. Good to see you working together you guys. Hey! You Jews & Buddhists!? Couldn't come up with any firework based celebrations to keep us going through the autumn months? For shame.....

Personally I like a good firework display. So long as they do it for just the one chuffin day only, please? Not from September straight through to MalcomXmas.

Anyway. I am looking forward to Obama Night on November 4th. The United States presidential election of 2008. Of course my hope is that it'll be a celebration rather than a night for cursing and swearing at the tellybox.

Some nice links forthwith:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Why I'm in a quandary.

See, I'm a nice person. Or I want to be, despite any desires I may have to occasionally murder & maim, it rarely comes to anything. Rarely. Nothing I want to admit to here. No bodies buried in my cellar. There is no cellar, it's all concrete.

Open the cellar door, just concrete, nothing to see there, move along. Seriously, there is nothing suspicious about a cellar completely full of concrete. We used to have this student lived here, artist she was, don't know if she came to anything. Her name was Racheal. Whiteread, I think. She basically liked filling things with concrete, seemed like a daft idea to me. I'm sure she'll never get anywhere with that concept....

Ahh well, any joke that requires the reader to g00gle to get it - is probably a bit rubbish...

She did send us a postcard, did Rach. Apparently she's doing quite well for herself, well, well enough to be able to afford herself a nice holiday in Tameside, any road...

Any road, point is: what is a man to do? About one of the most important issues of the day - one of the issues that brings together everything liberal and right with everything pointless, wasteful and mean? I'm lost in a world of contradictions, I just want to sit in my kitchen making a series of paper planes. What else can I do?

Dear Mariella, I have a problem... it's not sexual, don't worry. Well... if you've got time later there is something you might be able to help me with, but that's not the thing right now. I've got a problem and it's this: junk advertising. I'm not talking about junk mail here; I'm not talking about highly annoying internetty ads that appear over the bit you're reading & sometimes follow you down the page - and probably follow you home and eat your biscuits - but that's fine - cos thats how the internets are free. All hail capitalism!!!

I have issues with leaflets/flyers/printed up ads that get shoved through the letterbox. And of course we can all go a bit Daily Mail about that. I want to get postcards from the Tameside Canal Festival & what do I get? Hmmm? Hmm?

  • Taxi numbers printing on cards [no thems is quite useful].
  • Leaflets detailing all the offers on at Pongsight Lidl this week [again, informative, thanks].
  • And and - loads of other stuff!!!!
  • Leaflety rubbish!!! What a joke it is! Who reads it!
  • Who wants to know about a Nigerian man that can tell me my future. No, really, can he? Do you think? Does he have friends in the Dead World?
  • And how about this firm offering to clear the garden & decorate & move unwanted waste materials & build an extension & do a nice cheap driveway for us - well they're a talented bunch, how could I not be impressed by them?
  • Or this lot: offering me cheap price Coke & kebabs ----->>>>> which obviously isn't a terrible idea. Although I don't really go in for cola & meat based snacks; but I can see the appeal. Particularly if they are promising to deliver within a 4.5 mile radius of the shop. Which it seems they are. I could always get a falafel & a mango lassi....

Okay. This is going nowhere. This sounds like I'm in favour of all this leafletting. And I MOST ASSUREDLY AM NOT. etc.

I could go down the road of bringing up all those scammy scamps that give me leaflets asking me for my old underwear & any single shoes I have hanging round the house that they might want to give to sad sounding people in foreign climes that are suffering from all sorts of tribations including earthquake, unfashionability and death-based issues of the like. But no. Too easy. Too obvious. Much has been written of that already. I don't like that kinda whinin.

But all the same - I agree with it. I don't want any more leaflets from them chaps.

http://clothingcollection.org/ list all the bad ones, but they're all bad ones aren't they? Mebbe. Although I saw a documentary about how people in (a country in) Africa liked to buy their second hand clothes from the market rather than being given Man Utd tops and forced to wear them. They wanted Aston Villa tops & leggings instead. So I can relate to that. I'd rather freeze to death as well. Fair enough.

Now where was that point, it was around here somewhere. Give me a minute, I'll have a look...

....

... O. Ummm. No, that's not it... Hang on...

...

Yeah, there it is. Gotcha. Okaydoke. It's this: I don't want these leaflets. Not really. If possible. I just sweep em up n shove em in the recycling bag. And they get squished up by a recycling machine to be made into slightly lower quality leaflets to come back through my letterbox a year later whereby I, slightly older and grumpier, lean down to pick up the leaflets and shove them into my recycling bag.

Ahhh, the circle of life!!! [Cue stirring Elton John song & thoughts of vibrant young lions prancing.]

But a friend's mother has a solution, y'see & I'd like to try it. Mrs Friendsmum, she put a little note on her front door:

NO EFFIN LEAFLETS & FLYERS, PLEASE.

Of course she didn't write effin or jeffin or the rooder replacement word. Just all the other words. And she says it works. A bit. But I thought: the people that deliver the non-post office junk leafletting round our way - *pound to a penny* they don't speak Ingerlish, do they? I mean, why else would you be doing that God awful street walkin n leaflet posting if you could speak the language. You'd be a - someone - doing something better paid.

So I had a brilliant plan: write up that note - but then feed it into Babelfish & write the translated versions of the words on a sheet of paper, get it laminated & staple it to the front door. As below:

  • KEIN verdammt BLÄTTCHEN & FLIEGER, BITTE.
  • 没有该死的传单& 飞行物,请。
  • GEEN bastaard PAMFLETTEN & VLIEGERS, TEVREDEN.
  • AUCUN & de FEUILLETS de chier ; INSECTES, SVP.
  • NENHUM & dos FOLHETOS da merda; INSECTOS, POR FAVOR.
  • 출혈 전단 & 없음; 플라이어.
  • ΚΑΝΕΝΑ απορροφώντας ΦΥΛΛΑΔΙΟ & κοκκόρων ΙΠΤΑΜΕΝΑ, ΠΑΡΑΚΑΛΩ.
  • ОТСУТСТВИЕ мочиась & ЛИСТОВОК; РОГУЛЬКИ, ПОЖАЛУЙСТА.

There, I got a bit carried away for a change. A bit like that.

But I was a bit worried. Cos I don't remember telling people to give me insects. That's not really the intention, but it seems to have come out that way in the French translation. When I re-entered the French version back into Babelfish just to see what it said. And who the eff knows what the Chinese translation says? Wait, I'll check:

Should not die circular & The flier, invites

How about the Korean?

Hemorrhage leaflet & Nil; Flyer

I mean, I don't want to annoy people even more. People who are getting paid about £1 a day, who have to live 8 to a room, who have travelled miles and miles to get to Pongsight. I mean, I respect these folks and their dedication. I hope they're happy here. I hope they're not wondering why they bothered. I'm not sure I would have had the gumption to do that big journey. I'd be happy to stay in the wilds of the Canton, or Afghanistan or Stockport. Or wherever. So big respect going out to the leaflet delivering massives. Ayyyyyyyy. I am assuming that these delivery people are doing this job cos they're poor. And that they're poor by dint of their illegality, cos they look far too clean & are too diligent in their work to be poor purely due to their drug habits or cos they got no GCSEs cos they couldn't concentrate in lessons & can't get a job at Maccy Dees as a result.

Anyway... too many reasons. And after all, what Russian person could possibly be annoyed by a nice little note that reads:

ABSENCE of [mochias] of & LEAFLETS; FLYERS, IF YOU PLEASE.

Do not post any plops through my letterbox, thanks. Do not kidnap my monkey. Send me postcards from the Tameside Canal Festival. That's what I want really. Nothing else.

BTW - I don't want to annoy any foreign language people via this bloggage either. It's all entirely randomish. Them words.

So. Where does that leave me. In the circle of recycling life. Cos at least when I get the leaflets I do actually glance at them & recycle em. Every other bugger probably plops em in the binhole. I mean, WHAT MORE can I do? Other than buy the stuff they're trying to sell me? How humanitarian can I get?

Hello, yes, I'm phoning up about your offer to come round and tidy up the back garden. Yes, I was very impressed by your leaflet you got some poor innocent to randomly shove through my letterbox. I'd like to buy what you're selling please. Whatever it is...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Why wi needz an lolcat in diz house. Why it's never nice to have a cockroach sitting next to you in bed. Why slugs like curry.

Them mices should make their own damn sandwiches. It's not fair is it? Frozen bread, y'see, youse has to leave it to de-frostify. Obviously you're aware of the random creatures that rush across the kitchen floor every day now and again. But the bread'll be okay up there on the ------

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
O! mY SHITing GoD!!!! The little twatter!

Here is the scene - I'm coming downstairs to do some basic making a drink/having a late night snack - carrying a cup n plate in one hand - flick on the light with the other - glancing into the kitchen in that way you do when all you're expecting to see are the usual kitcheny objects and the only movement you're expecting is the gentle throbbin/buzzin of the Frigidaire ----- c0ck in fLAmin Sh1tingtons!!! WanK pL0p!!!

There it is runnin across the cabinets - runnin towards the cooker to get back down to the ground - then seein me and runnin in the opposite direction. Hidin behind the spices, probably eatin my cumin the little spice lovin vermin. I do the only thing I can do & grab a wooden spoon. And a cup, just in case. I have no idea what I am going to do but I will I WILL not let the little fooker get away with this. I could cope with him/her - let's go with him - as we're gonna go mano-a-mano - I could cope with him runnin round the floor picking up bits of carrot & grains of rice. Fine. It's almost symbiotic. Like those little fish that swim around after sharks pickin up the morsels of dead human. It's only fair. Waste not want not. But when he starts havin a bite out of tomorrow's packed lunch - boy, you just stepped OVER THE LINE!!!!!!!!!

It's like a sandwich 9/11. The twin baguettes. Wrapped in plastic, on the counter: not on the floor, not crumbs. This is a direct attack on me. A flagrant abuse of inter-species entente cordiale. It was I think round about nine minutes to eleven so it's not even a joke.

It was a Black Swan event. There was no going back now. The parade of *humane* traps that littered my bedroom and the kitchen. The joking *slightly annoyed* attitude I had taken to their insurgent activities around the house could continue no longer. It was time to get medieval on his ass - with a wooden spoon & a Cinderella mug.
I poked at the cumin with the spoon. I shoved the stick angrily. Nothing. Then again. Then a blur of brown fur and I just don't know what happened. It was all too quick.

Basically nothing happened. The mouse terrorist lived to feast another day. Somehow he wedged his way out behind the spice rack and disappeared to his den. WHERE HE HOPEFULLY LIVES ALONE > CHASTE & VIRGINAL...

But let's be honest. This isn't the first time I've had visitors in this house - and I don't mean exchange students from Norway...

This is my house. This is my life, apart from the big dress & the singing.


But with added kitchen slugs. Where they come from I have no idea, but there they are every night like a troop of commandos, crawlin on their bellies across the kitchen floor and up the the cabinets, desperate to paint some abstract expressionist silver trails all over the wok, chopping boards, pizza trays. Anything recently washed or put away in the cupboard next to the sink.

I'm sure they would like to help. They'd be good on silver. Set em to work and the little blighters will slowly shine up your sporting trophies, jewellry & expensive silver bric-a-brac. Unfortunately I don't own any silver. Not even a silver bullet in case of werewolf attack

[Note to self: given the current species warfare in the house, it might be a good idea to stock up on anti-werewolf protection.]

O, but this news just in: slugs also enjoy a nice bit of cake or even a spot of vegetable curry. Though they may have been put up to it by the mouseian hordes. A couple of nights previously, I'd made a massive wok full of veg splodge chillied up to resemble a curry concoction. Came down to wash places & put any left-over food into the fridge and who do I find silkily sliding their way up the side of the pan? Huh? Hmmm? At least these blighters weren't fast enough to make a getaway.

Pass me the salt, or would you prefer me to sling you out the window? I don't think you have any choice my friends. Try to eat my curry = get salted like a kipper... die die die##########

Previously of course we (I) had the cockroach problem. Loads of the fuuckers. Just everywhere. Get up at night and it was like living in a heavily populated shared house. Like you'd have to remember to put clothes on to go to the toilet - well shoes at least, cos you don't wanna be steppin on em barefooted.

I got the council in for that one. They told me: you live in a terraced house. There's nothing you can do. They'll come in whatever. Nice. I bought a thousand tubes of filler & filled everywhere. Every crack n slither of gap between floorboards n wall. It has helped. It's been a while since I've returned from brushing my teeth to see a cockroach perched on my pillow. It's not a restful sight. It just... isn't.

Well, I can laugh about it now but at the time it was terrible... except - it's not over is it?

I've just trapped a mouse in the bathroom. Was it the kitchen mouse or does this one live in the bathroom exclusively? Does she eat soap? I trapped her in a bucket and set her free down the road. So she'll probably wander back into the mosque on the end of the terrace row. Get bored in there cos there's nothing to eat and work her way back here round about next Tuesday. O well, it's certainly an adrenaline shot when you're sitting down and relaxing in the bath and a little brown critter goes shooting across the lino-ed floor. O, I love it of course. It's like living in an episode of *I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here* except not in the least...

I've used poison, glue traps, old fashioned traps, humane traps, weird homemade traps. I have a network of obstacles under my wardrobe that they just walk past. Like they know. A nice bit of oatcake they'll eat it if you leave it on a shelf, but put it on the floor in a trap: ignored.

On second thoughts, I don't need a cat; I need a pigeon. Or a weasel. Yeh, or a badger might do the job. I might run a poll & ask for advice and get my imaginary reader to vote.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why I now understand what a *meme* is. Why the clue is in the spelling: me me...

See, I'm still a-discoverin what it is that the Blogerati do. What the whole frickin point is. Of the whole *sharing your mindburps* thing. There is a danger that everyone is SHOUTING and no one is listening. But that's cool, cos it's the *thought that counts* in a way. If it's theraputic, it's useful, if only to the person pissing thoughts into the wind. I should know. But yeah...
*What people do in the privacy of their own homes is up to them. So long as it doesn't hurt anyone.*

I was brought up to believe that these statements are true.

And of course there are communities of bloggers with like-minds and shared interests who read each other and comment. It seems, as I write this, that that might be nice. If you're a sheep shearer in New Zealand you can share your thoughts and experiences with a sheep dipper in North Wales; and a sheep enthusiast in Tokyo can look at the pictures. Happy is the man that finds a friend who will listen.

So I troll around the blog0web looking for a community to fall into, but I haven't found one yet. I'm standing outside in the rain scratching ideas onto the back of piece of wet cardboard. And I overhear talk of *Meme*, *Internet Meme*, *Meme Monday* - which leads me to find out about the
Noosphere, which leads me to not really understand and not really care...

So what is a Meme?
"A meme (pronounced /miːm/)[1] consists of any idea or behavior that can pass from one person to another by learning or imitation. Examples include thoughts, ideas, theories, gestures, practices, fashions, habits, songs, and dances. Memes propagate themselves and can move through the cultural sociosphere in a manner similar to the contagious behavior of a virus. [Wiki]

So what is an Internet Meme?
"The term Internet meme is a neologism used to describe a catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from person to person via the Internet.[1] The term is a reference to the concept of memes, although this concept refers to a much broader category of cultural information." [thanks again, Wiki, my bestest pal]

So it's some viral video passed from inbox to inbox; it's some daft person getting fame as brief and bright as a nightlight candle; it's endless quizes being passed from person to person. I saw a chain of Irish bloggers where they were challenging each other to photograph themselves in the bath (if you get what I mean: self-photographed, non-pr0nograghic). Sort of - wow - nice idea - if it's for Comic Relief. Or else, umm, am I allowed to ask... why?

You see more of the questiony me!!!me!!!s

People ask each other - or a computer? asks them - to ask themselves & pass on the chain-letter style questions to other bloggers - things like:
  1. How many pairs of shoes do you own? What is your favorite pair?
  2. Have you ever bought shoes online? Did they fit?
  3. What is the most you've spent on shoes? The least?
Obviously this isn't a questionaire I would want to get involved with on any level. I do own a pair of shoes. That seems the right amount. Only having one shoe would be silly. I also have a pair of wellies. Of course my shoes fit. And shoes always cost the same amount at Tommy Ball's Shoe Store. All Mr Ball's shoes retail at £9.99 or there abouts. So really, stupid question, again.

I understand it. O, I get it. It can be interesting, it can be - not...

http://bethanyactually.com/meme-monday/
http://bleedingespresso.com/2007/07/moaning-meme-monday.html
http://whydoidance.blogspot.com/2008/10/five-things.html

It can make you think, it can make you want to click the little X on the right-hand corner of your browser window, and I guess it can make you want to join in. It can be used as a way of tapping into previously uncharted thoughts; it mostly seems as banal as fuck. But I can dig it. It's a framework, a constriction, a path - it's like a sonnet or a haiku where you have to follow the form. It gets you away from mindless verbiage but also insists that you answer the questions.

I'll have a go and to hell with the self-obsession: me me me me meme. Feel free, imaginary reader, to do likewise, but I suspect you have more self-respect. I do this for the [imaginary] team.....

Five Things (they call this one)

10 Years Ago I was:
* Younger? Does that count as an answer? Fucked if I know. Cycling everywhere.
* Living in a relatively nice house.
* Doing some bogus Internet/web design course.
* It might have been when I went on that holiday in the Autumn to Tenerife. That was odd.
* Ambitious but hopeless at the same time.

Five Things On My To-Do List Today:
* Write some novelage.
* Do some teachery lesson reflections/lesson plans/research for tomorrow's lesson.
* Make pizza or flapjacks at least.
* Murder the drummer boy next door.
* Definitely exercise my lazy body in some way. Pretty feeble output so far, I have to say. Skates need to be applied to feet if I'm going to get through this list. Damn. Perhaps I should be doing one of these things, hmmm?

Five Snacks I Enjoy:
* Fruit
* Nuts
* Rich Tea biscuits
* Human flesh
* Fruit loaf/rock cakes. I really would like a rock cake but I haven't had one since 1989 or there abouts. If I buy eggs I can have a go at making some. Put it on my to-do list.

Five Places I have Lived:
* On a settee in Cardiff for a year.
* With mad angry people in a variety of stinkholes in Manchester for far too long.
* Above a pizza shop in a North London suburb.
* In pain.
* On beaches & benches in France for a month; on a floor in Greece for a few months.

Five Jobs I Have Had:
* Cleaning the floor in a bakery
* Pizzaologist
* Reminiscence Workshop Leader (with *older* people in a hospital - I sort of argued with the other workers/*artists* & had to consider my position. I decided to consider telling them to fuck off. And telling them they were fuckin useless fuckin idiots. Instead I said something nice & said I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue being involved in the project etc...)
* Washer-upper at Butlins (and elsewhere - they wanted me to stay on - I was really fantastic. This was clearly my vocation.)
* I worked on my own in a big office on Christmas day on an Internet helpdesk for an I.S.P. that didn't seem to have any customers. Or none that wanted to speak to me at 50p a minute. I had a nice packed lunch.

Five Pet Peeves:
* My own laziness.
* Other people's thoughtlessness - particularly towards the noise, litter, smells and atmospheres they create. Don't they realise how delicate a flower I am?
* Appointments at the hospital where clearly from 8am they never have any intention of getting you in at the advertised time. It's just a bit of a joke to make sure you're not late. Everyone gets there 2 hours before they go in. It's kind of a powertrip really, I'm sure. Fuckers.
* The way I get distracted so easy.
* Winter. The end of British Summer Time. Every year = shit. Darkness. What a really rubbish idea. Peeves me off.

Five Things That Bring Me Joy:
* Good stuff- when I find it amongst the cultural plop that generally gets plopped out and labelled as *quite good*. When you like a book, a film, a recipe, a person - what's better than that? Or am I actually meant to mention specifics here?
* Homecooked vegetable lasagne with crunchy bits on top. Outstanding. Cooked for me.
* Achieving something worthwhile... Doesn't happen enough.
* Communing.
* Arriving somewhere on time. The other people not making me wait.

Well I got to the end. I may be the only one, but I'm still here, ready for a cup of tea... The world is going to heck in a handcart so perhaps the safest place to be is inside our own little brains...

Why I am William Powell

"You are the classic rogue, a stylish rake with the devil of a wit and a flair for mischief, and you shake your martinis to waltz time. You are charming and debonair, but slightly untrustworthy, and women should be on their guard. If married, you are simply a bit of a flirt, even if it's just with your own wife...but if you're single, watch out. You usually rein yourself in to concentrate on one lovely beauty at a time, but with you, we never know. You're an inviting partner, but there's a playful devil behind your eyes, and those trying to get close to you should know they're playing with fire. You're stylish and fun, but you follow your own course, which may or may not include a steady gal. Co-stars include Myrna Loy and Carole Lombard, classy ladies with an adventurous streak."

My result for The Classic Leading Man Test...

William Powell

Yes, My Man Godfrey & Nick in The Thin Man. I'll settle for that. I wanted to be Cary Grant, but I guess I'm just too much of a debonair cad... c'est la vie. But I think I want to grow a moustache, look slightly puzzled all the time and be raffish. I love William Powell. Generally forgotten but never equaled. I want to live a screwball comedy life. I want crazy adventures & women that wear hats. Now where is that champagne I ordered?

http://www.helloquizzy.com/tests/the-classic-leading-man-test

O, the mindless pleasures of quizzy self-assessment. Takes me back to to my pre-teen days of reading my sisters' copies of 19, Jackie & Cosmo and trying to find out if I was a good kisser or not... Now then, perhaps I should find out what kind of *classic dame* I'll make by taking the Classic Dames Test. Surely there's nothing more useful I should be doing...? I should probably be learning how to mix the perfect Martini; it's a skill I need to have...



Why I now know the colour of 4 of the 5 humours. Why I now understand the potency of cheap champagne.

"Why do I drink Champagne for breakfast? Doesn't everyone?" Noel Coward

There are as I understand it
5 bodily humours:
  1. Sanguine
  2. Choleric
  3. Melancholic
  4. Phlegmatic
  5. Sense of
Let the Wikiword hordes explain:
  • Sanguine indicates the personality of an individual with the temperament of blood, the season of spring (wet and hot), and the classical element of air.
[sounds nice]
  • Choleric corresponds to the fluid of yellow bile, the season of summer (dry and hot), and the element of fire.
[sounds sexy - if we miss out the icky bile bit]
  • Melancholic is the personality of an individual characterized by black bile
[sounds like a moody bastard]
  • A phlegmatic person is calm and unemotional. Phlegmatic means "pertaining to phlegm", corresponds to the season of winter (wet and cold), and connotes the element of water.
[sounds like they would enjoy a bout of double-entry bookkeeping, followed by a round of knock-out whist, a quick cup of cocoa & bed.]
  • *Sense of* is is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement.
[sounds like a nice idea.]

"There comes a time in every woman's life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne." Bette Davis


So, this weekend just gone I went to (one of my many) older sister's wedding. 2nd wedding if anyone's counting - and I mean that in a metaphysical rather than a legal sense - she did get divorced from the 1st fella. As far as I know. No, I'm pretty sure she did. And clearly, that's really not important right now. And it was very nice too, I want to say at the outset. Good time had by all. Hotel in the middle of somewhere. Smartly dressed guests. Men in black ties - which I now realise DOESN'T MEAN - *wear a black tie, like you would if you're going to a funeral* - it means the *52nd James Bond Lookalike Convention 2008*. And me, dressed like James Mason in The Odd Man Out. But, y'know, whatever....
That's it, James, hold that pose. You'll be needing it later...

"Remember gentlemen, it's not just France we are fighting for, it's Champagne!" Winston Churchill.

But the colour of the humours - that is my profound revelation of the weekend.
  • Sense of Humour. The most obvious to all but the hardest to define. A wickedly chameleon like creature. It seems like it should be coloured hot and warm like the sun. Red for the embarrassment that allows you to smile when you've slipped on a banana skin, but more usually it is more like an eclipse of the sun, a dark grey circle of irony with just a cheeky slice of optimistic joy peeking round the edge of the generally black humour.
"But Champagne is not drinking." David Niven: When asked why he was drinking.
  • Phlegmatic viz. Phlem: do we really need to *go there*? I have never been able to do that *hawwwkkkkkkk hwwwacckkkkkkkkkk* thing that people do in the morning. But it's green. 2 out of 2.
"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."John Maynard Keynes
  • Melancholic: I have walked around with a grey cloud of melancholy surrounding me often enough to know the colour of this one. Sadness, despair, self-pity; the world plays out in black'n'white; your life is painted charcoal grey. Romantic, interesting in a 1950s film or 19th century French novel: dull as ditchwater in *real* life. Melancholy is the colour of washing-up water stained with wasted food. 3.
"After all, what is your hosts' purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they'd have simply sent Champagne and women over to your place by taxi." P.J. O'Rourke
  • Choleric: so this is an odd one. Not something you hear too much about. People get described as being melancholic, sanguine about stuff or having a good *sense of*, but choleric has gone out of fashion. It's the Odd One Out. It's the humour I had no sense of until this weekend. O, the colour? Yellow. As yellow as cheap EU coloured chedder cheese. That bright. That unnatural. That horrible. 4.
"Champagne is the only wine that enhances a woman's beauty." Madame Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV.

Today is Tuesday. I have not drunk anything alcoholic since the early hours of Sunday morning. I should be feeling tip-top by now. Ummm. An error was made somewhere. An error that caused my first ever 2 day hangover. 2 part hangover. I need to analyse what went wrong. I need for this to not happen again.

Wedding Planning: To Do List
  • Get there on time. Try to be polite to all and sundry. [achieved]
  • Try to dress appropriately [well...]
  • Try not to dance stupidly in a drunken carefree manner ---
Yeh, well, y'know? There comes a time in every evening where despite the fact that there's a *Swing band* playing music you want to dance in all the styles you have no experience of, no talent for and everything else that says no, no, no...

I watched some Jive dancers in London about 3 weeks ago. They were great. I like the idea of partner dancing & yet mostly I see Salsa dancing and there seems something sleazy about it that would prevent me ever going to classes, cos, really? Men going to Salsa dancing classes; they're signing up for Speed Dating with extra wiggling n hand holding, right? But, yeh, I like the idea of olde worlde dancing - like I like the idea of playing the guitar - but lack the desire to ever practice or master the skills involved. Instead, I just kind of punk rock my way through. Pretend I know what I'm doing - and in this case, try not to step on my partner's toes. Or else swing her round so fast - that no one knows what's happening.

I did manage to stop myself from breakdancing or bodypopping. Usually that's something I can't help but do. Not that I can. Not that I don't look like an idiot. But y'know... it's funny?

"Champagne is the one thing that gives me zest when I feel tired" Brigitte Bardot

Other things not to do...
  • DON'T MIX YOUR DRINKS [achieved. With honours. Hurrah for me. Did a grand job there, sir]
Except. Ummm. No. Critical, critical error.

I get there. They do the ceremony. The staff hand out glasses of champagne. Quite nice. Tingly. Fizzy. Light. Possibly cheap pomagne, I have no idea. I see no bottles...

"Three be the things I shall never attain: envy, content and sufficient champagne." Dorothy Parker

It is free. There is a spare glass that someone doesn't want. I neck it. I'm chatting with assorted nieces & nephews, discussing college, tattoos, broken bones & really not thinking as I intermittentantly lift the polite little glass to my mouth and sip. And sip. And sip.

"I had taken two finger-bowls of Champagne, and the scene had changed before my eyes into something significant, elemental and profound" F Scott Fitzgerald

There. Decision made. I'm not going to go to the bar and buy something daft like Guinness or Boddies. I'll have a big jessie glass of white wine, please. Then more white wine with the meal & more champers to do some toasting with later. And if anyone isn't going to drink their portion of fizzy alcopop - I'll have it. Drink the same thing: you know where you are. Although: you buy a pint of Guinness; you get a pint of Guinness. Who the fuck knows what I was drinking. Or how much. Or why. With inevitable results...

"Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right." Mark Twain

There's a potency in cheap quotation theft & I'm in the mood for cheap easy bubbly quotes. Already opined, already collated by someone else & now ready to be used and abused and recycled by me. So are all these great thinkers n talkers selling a lie? The wonderful French posters, do they not tell the true story? Is champers all it's cracked up to be, or did I get a bad batch of Netto Cava? Or was it just that when the music stopped and everyone dispersed I made the mistake of just lying down. Never never lie down at that stage of the night. Sit. Chat. Chill.

Stare blankly into space if you have to. Drink water. Never lie down - for 12 seconds before rushing into the bathroom and beginning a night of weirdly otherworldly stomach spasms and empty-bellied throat clearing. Ummm. Say no more. Say even less than that. Eventually I discovered the colour of the 4th humour. Bright yellow like sunshine...

"I'm only a beer teetotaler, not a champagne teetotaler." George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright.

"There are three intolerable things in life... cold coffee, lukewarm Champagne, and overexcited women." Orson Welles

"My dear girl, there are some things that just aren't done, such as drinking Dom Perignon '53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That's just as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs!" James Bond; Played By Sean Connery In the 1964 Film: Goldfinger

"Pleasure without Champagne is purely artificial." Oscar Wilde

As Noel Coward said: "Never underestimate the potency of cheap music [champagne]."