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Tuesday, 20 July 2004

Indignation and Rantation

Mood:  incredulous
Topic: Vic Jameson

I'm still in that halfway area, where I wonder if all this dull routine is a good idea, whether I should just fucking rip up the credit card by flying somewhere improbable, when I get home, log on to write one of the last entries on my blog, when ... nothing.

Does not connect. Stupid ISP. The cheapest available in the country, unable to deal with any customer comments by email, I'm used to ringing them up.
Only this time is different. This time they haven't fucked up. They've pulled the plug. I've been booted from my fucking ISP.

A summer entirely devoid of flicking through bollocks on the net flashes before my eyes. They what? They fucking what?! For what reason? For what fucking reason is it pulled?
(thinks: I only called that guy on a messageboard a cocksucker in my head, I didn't say it out loud)

For illegal use.


Apparently, I downloaded a movie. I downloaded it, then shared and uploaded it to others. They even knew the name of the movie. Mean Girls.
Yes, not even a good movie.

Mean Girls! But I went to see that at the cinema! (catch in throat as I nearly - nearly - say 'you can look at my blog for proof if you don't believe me'; I have enough markers of my fall from social dignity already, I don't need others).

When I installed a bit torrent client the other week, I clicked on some movies. Idly. Playing. I started downloading them - Whale Rider, which came down with Spanish overdubbing, and Mean Girls. It took forever, so I stopped the download. And went to see it at the cinema instead.
Idly. Playing. I don't burn CDs and pirate them at the local car boot sale. Almost everyone else I know online does, as it happens. Not me.
I downloaded these two. Watched neither. Deleted them.
Of course I'd be the one they pick up for web piracy. Of course I'd be worth the damn time and effort to raise their stupid corporate figures on crime waves. Why go for the big villains? Why not stand by and let them do what they like, then pick on the penniless half insane bitch who lost everything last year? Of course. Peter Parket (version 2) would. Forget about the little guy.
But. It dawns on me that if I fileshare on torrents or on Kazaa, then if I fail to delete something, it's automatically uploaded to others.

"What you need to do, madam, is to send us a fax saying you've read and agreed to the Terms and Conditions, and to the Acceptable Use policy."
How can I do that?
How can I read the website's Terms and Conditions if I can't get online?
"Just send a note saying you have, and you can check later."
But how can I avoid breaking them if I don't know what they are to break?
"You'll have to go round a friend's house and use their computer, then."
I sense, somehow, that it would be arguing for argument's sake to ask what friends?

The next doozy: "If you offer a written apology regarding your illegal download of the film Mean Girls, than give your name, signature and date, and mark it for the attention of the ISP abuse team, we'll reconnect you."

*pause for sense of shock to flood through already overloaded adrenal system*

So, it was illegal, but an apology is enough? How does that make sense?
I ask about tv programmes. I downloaded whole series-worth. Copyright.
What about music. Copyright.
So I could have my ISP pull the plug for uploading things I legally have on my PC, such as music I've bought?
If it's copyright, yes.
But Kazaa and bit torrent clients don't check copyright, they just upload automatically, don't they?
I'm getting worried about prosecution as a pirate, now, as if I'm making money out of this. Mr ISP Bastard says "it's illegal to have Kazaa" on my machine.
No, it's not.
"Well, no, you're right it's not.
But downloading materials with Kazaa is."
No it's not.
"No, you're right, it's not.
But if the material is copyright, it is."
So it's just me out of millions? I'm starting to feel stupid, and giving up the argument - 'what about everybody else' is a logically redundant argument, usually employed by morons. I prepare to buckle.

"Listen, we know everybody does it, but you've been unlucky."
Oh for riced shakes, so you're actually admitting that it's nonsense? The admission doesn't improve my mood. Nor does the next one.
"The infraction was filesharing, but the apology required is for downloading. Downloading a movie which isn't even on dvd yet."
So if I illegally pirated something less popular you'd turn the blind eye you just admitted to?

Argh. Rage. Blind, purple dot-seeing, furious, fist clenching rage.

I go out. Five pm. Takes me twenty minutes to find somewhere that does faxes. Of course the fax number they gave me doesn't work. Of course I didn't bring my phone. I'm the unluckiest bastard in the world, why would I bring my phone.
Reprise. This time, six pm. Nowhere in Penge sends faxes at six pm. What for?
Rage. Fury. Simmering resentment. Mad stare at the guy in the internet cafe's double take when he sees I'm paying for a fax to an ISP abuse team.

It took a shit fit in Lidl (home of cheap but necessary beer), and the simmering sense of indignity that if I had friends in England, or money, I could be slagging off my ISP in a pub by now, the discovery I can read Creepy Lesbo via my mobile phone, and this morning's realisation that there are other unlucky people in the world to calm me down.

Looking for a scrap of purple note paper on which to scrawl my fax, I'd found the following lines from an unwritten blog post, composed last February.

"There's a lot of things I could have ... or should have done. But I figured out a few weeks ago, that when you get right down to it, most of them don't make a difference one way or another. So what the hell ... why bother?"

Right, I've fired off my indignation to the internet, now. That's what you do if you don't have a girlfriend, money, freedom or friends, you know.


Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Creepy Lesbo
"Another shit day.

How old am I?
I'm 28.

I can tie my own shoelaces.
I can tell the time (just).
I can pick my nose and eat it (and I still do).

And yet I am still unable to wipe my own arse after a night on the slosh without dragging streaks half way up my back.
Why IS that?"

This page graced by sarsparilla at 6:03 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 20 July 2004 6:05 PM BST
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Rantation and Indignation

Topic: Vic Jameson

Francesco posted this fantastic Proustian quote on my moblog: "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."

So my plan for week one of the summer was beholden to this quotation. And day one began thus: detention at work (I decided to do three hours work at 9am each day this week - I get paid the same if I do it or not, so the only purpose is to get me into and out of bed at half reasonable times); wander into a part of London I think I know and take photos (started with a challenge - Beckenham; difficult to find anything but listless office workers and Marks and Spencers); go see a movie (Spiderman 2 - even more a bunch of fucking arse than Spiderman 1 was - ninety minutes till it gets going, fact fans! And while 1 at least ended the torture on an interesting, very adult premise - setting aside personal need for duty ... 2 reverses this. 2's message is do what the fuck you like, and don't worry who you trample over while you do it, everyone will love you for 'being yourself'. Forget about the little guy. Aaarrrgh!); then kick back at home and write, then read, or listen, or watch something (Radio 4 are serialising 'Ripley's Game' at ten forty-five each night this week, read by Stanley Tucci - it's going to be most axcellent, it's one of Highsmith's best books. And you can listen via the web, too, fact fans).

So far, so .... well, so a plan. Plan B.

It doesn't stop me worrying that my summer is going to be so boring it sends me insane, or rather, even more insane than last year did, but it's a routine, and when in a tight spot, I've learnt a routine can save you.

My imperatives are:
I have two small cats to be devoted to, so I can't travel;
I have less than no money to spend, so I can't travel, eat, drink or socialise;
my mates are all on holiday, so I can't socialise;
I need to lose six pounds, so I can't eat;
I'm a loony fucker, so I can't drink;
my car is finally fixed and legal and only costing me back payments, so I *can* drive anywhere, as long as I can get back the next day to feed cats.

The balance is precarious: a sense of personal injury against the world for my lack of money, combined with deep introspection, and a lazy streak.
Which are the perfect conditions to create a monster: an overblogging geeko keyboard warrior.
*This* is the reason the blog must end this week. I can't spend another fucking summer online because I'm busy waiting for a life to happen.

So, apart from the money issue, it's okay. When my parents asked me what I want for my birthday, I thought about what I don't currently possess - the satisfaction of shopaholicism and greed, so asked for a meal out or a new outfit. The new outfit looks superfunkycool, which makes it feel less like I can't afford to even park in most of Greater London, which makes me less resentful of having to think about amounts of money I'd not previously had to blink over.
#1.60 for a coffee. #1.30 to park outside Iceland in Penge. #0.50 to send a fax. The minor, bruising indignities of a life you had thought you'd left behind at 24.

I was going to bank on the sale going through, max my credit card out, rent a cottage somewhere, drive my cats up, then proceed to issue invitations to friends. This was plan A, the better plan than B.
The sudden wave of bad luck last week when I became one of the first in the country to get my car clamped for being untaxed, and to be fined for being in a bus lane cost me #500, in toto, and made me realise that I *need* that spare space on the credit card - it's the last safety net I have left.
So, no cottage. No holiday (didn't have one last year, after I crashed my car). No sense of entitlement to Tesco Super Luxury Ready Meals For One.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: SarahSpace
"1. Are Spiderman?s superpowers a metaphor for his penis? Is it one of those ?I am going to fight crime with my enormous cock? type things?
2. I completely believe that it is possible to bitten by a radioactive spider and get turned into a Spiderman, but this Dr. Oct thing seems completely improbable. Why were the arms needed? What do the 4 extra arms have to do with creating fusion? Am I the only person who is bothered by the implausibility of this? And isn?t there a flaw in your thinking about creating a new power source that needs electricity to maintain itself? Spiderman pulls the plug out of the wall and everything stops?"

This page graced by sarsparilla at 2:59 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 20 July 2004 6:03 PM BST
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Saturday, 10 July 2004

Recap 2

Now Playing: Bernard Bresslaw as a cyclops in 'Krull'. Creepsville!

Topic: Vic Jameson

So I got home, and rang my family, then whinged.

They pointed out that I can't keep driving the car if it's untaxed. I'd assumed I had a 14 day leeway where double jeopardy outruled clamping my car again. Not so. What if I only leave it parked off the public highways? Nope, they changed the rules from it being illegal to use the highways untaxed, to it being illegal to own a car that's untaxed. Damn. That's suddenly made going to visit my family this weekend a lot more expensive.

A package has arrived, a present for someone. Something Creepy plays with. It seems important to drink copious quantities of wine (two glasses = paralytic) and play with the present.

Oopsy. It's two am before I know it.

My jaunt to central London having been cancelled by peachykeenyboyBoss in revenge for yesterday's insurrection, I have the assignment from hell to end the day. I figure with a cunning plan of switching offices three times, and leaving very inept notices directing people to the wrong place, I can weasel my way out of confrontations for 45 minutes at least.

To my very great surprise it works. Hurrah for invidious weaselling.

Duch rang, and cheered me up no end - Havaianas is going to oversee all the repairs on the flat in Bow so the sale goes through, and he's going to do it for an incredibly reasonable price. I immediately offer to tip him #100. I don't have #100 but his quote is so low that I feel evil taking advantage of it. She reassures me that I'm not Job, I'm not plagued by boils, that I'm right to avoid meeting old flames when I'm feeling less than robust, especially when they were never known for their tact. She also points out that no holiday for the last two years may be affecting my response to hard times, and that when the money from the house sale does come through, I have an unparalleled opportunity to change my life permanently, if I choose to take it.
She's right. How many times have I wished I had the money to travel again, to work abroad without becoming trapped into the first job I accept, to study a different subject, to retrain as something else? When will I ever get this opportunity again? I'm reminded how much fun Duch is when she's buttering me up. ;o)

After work, I had to collect documents from my flat in Bow to get my car taxed so I can use it again and reclaim the #120 wrung bloodlessly from my empty wallet the day before. Bearing in mind I'm on the breadline already, (mortgage on one property, plus rent on another) my credit card is taking serious beating to cover this.
Going back could be difficult - one set of keys are trapped in the unopenable glove compartment of my car, another with Tybalt, another with the estate agent. This could easily take four hours of travelling from place to place just to get in.

When I do get in, after hiding the front of my car and it's offending tax disc by parking it half way into a bush, it's the first time I've seen the place since Tybalt redecorated it in neutral colours. It's horrible. Really horrible. I feel like one of those people in a makeover show who sees the 'improvement' and starts wailing that they liked the squalor.

Joy of joys, a letter to the owner of the red VW Golf. A #100 fine for driving in a bus lane when I was lost in Dulwich last week. Payable within ten days. Still, I got a nice photo of my car blatantly crossing a bus lane.
A red letter from the gas company, based on an estimated reading from back when anyone lived in the flat. I'd correct it, but I can't remember where the damn gas meter is. I think we walled it in when we built the kitchen. Then a #3000 bill from the freeholders for repairs - some done, some not.
How does that work? Pay us a few thou, and we'll pretend we're going to fix things? Pffft.

With the help of an old candle, I eventually find the documentation for my car, and the insurance certificate I need, only to find the car insurance ran out last Wednesday.
I don't give two fucks about the government's car tax, particularly, but driving without insurance? Sheeeyit. That's norty.
Ringing the insurers, they assure me they renew automatically. So where's the certificate? It was posted to the Bow address this morning. So: assuming I don't live in Tower Hamlets, the district on record with the slowest postal service in the country, I can pick it up tomorrow morning.
Oh, yeah, that's right. I do.
Make that next Thursday, then.

A week of skulking and hiding the car in bushes.

Seems like a good time to update my insurance details, and try to get a few discounts. I lost my no claims bonus when I wrecked a car a year ago, but now I should be able to barter a bit.
I move the address on the insurance details from Bow, where cars are burgled on average once a fortnight, to Sydenham, where it's parked offroad, and I don't even need to use the wheel lock.
But apparently more people claim in Sydenham. Well yeah, they do drive like maniacs, but surely there's more car crime in Bow?
Thinking about it, I only claimed for one in ten break ins to the car - it wasn't worth losing the bonus. Fuck.

Okay, so take the second driver off. Tybalt isn't going to drive my car ever again, and never paid for the benefit of doing so anyway.
That'll put your premium up by forty pounds Madam.
What? You pay extra to put another driver on your insurance. Surely it shouldn't cost extra to take them off?
Apparently, single people tend to put in car insurance claims more often than couples.

I think about how bloody knackered I am, how if I had a partner, I'd have promised them anything to get them to drive me back home after all this. Yeah. okay. So #70 a month premium it is. Fuckers.

I can't get south across the river any time between four thirty and seven o'clock - the rush 'hour' traffic stretches back into Essex, so she delay and delay and delay, to quote Van Helsing.
I took a few photos in Bow and the Isle of Dogs, then popped into the cinema in Crossharbour for an early showing of Mean Girls.
Docklands cinemas are great, specially on kid's films. Everyone in the area is there to work, or is a yuppie with no kids yet, or a loft living gayer. There's never a single child in the auditorium, much less other adults, and it feels like they're showing the film just for you. I doubt you could repeat that experience at many other auditoria in the country.
Well - you could - but you'd probably have to have sex with Michael Winner afterwards.

I'd forgotten how much my love of the movies restores wellbeing. Mean Girls is all about having the inner strength not to be limited by other people's expectations of you to look perfect, but behave badly.
Just what I needed this week.
On the way out, two size eight thirty something women totter down the funky bluelit escalator, in Manolo shoes, Harley Street noses and boobs, professionally applied makeup and designer outfits, reassuring themselves the film was crap, that they're not that impressed by teen movies anyway. I resist the impulse to tell them they didn't like it because they could easily have played the villains.
But the cinema restores me, it always always makes me feel better about life, no matter how bad the film. I'm singing on the way home, and decide to go back to the Bow flat on the way and pick up some of my more flashy clothing and furniture. Rah.

I'm deliberately banning myself from watching Big Brother this week, even though it's the best series ever - because chatting on usenet boards about BB conspiracies after the late show is interfering with my ability to get out of bed at half six and do my job properly.

So it makes total sense that I stay up till two chatting on usenet BB boards while drinking two glasses of wine till I'm paralytic any old way.
Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Too Much and Too Little
"I think I've been to a church twice in my life, thanks to the prompting of James, who promised that they could be "fun", and indeed they were, compared to getting a root canal without anasthestic as performed by a coked-up dentist having an epileptic fit. In other words it was so painful I could have sworn - but couldn't, because God doesn't like people to use naughty words like AHHH FUCK ME LET ME OUT OF HERE OH SHUTTHEFUCKUP WHO ASKED YOU ANYWAY - A BORING BASTARD IS YOU while in His house.
I was in Sunday School when I was in kindergarten and it was a horrible experience, involving many picture books of white people in heaven mingling with tigers and bunnies and stuff. It was part of my mom's nefarious plan to make sure I would never be religious and it worked."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 5:21 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 17 July 2004 4:09 PM BST
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Wednesday, 16 June 2004

Pollinating via Subliminally Expressed Rage

Topic: Vic Jameson
Back! Here I am, with my #200 keyboard. Biscuit bits hoovered, and everything.

Every year since I moved to London in 1990 and began having to inhale seven tons of diesel fume each morning, I've gotten hayfever. It only lasts through June and early July, so I generally figure it's not too much of a problem. Since I learnt to drive in 2002, though, the snuffling and nose-drools and red-eyed weeping have increased.
Now I notice four hayfever periods a day - two coinciding exactly with rush hour, and two that occur within any enclosed airless space (ie, work, my flat, my car, a bus, a tube) about two hours after rush hour. Combine that with the fun experience of trying out a different anti-histamine every year, to see which one is going to work this time, and it all gets a little time consuming.

It's public knowledge that the pollution has added to the allergy load this year. (hence, I voted for Ken - anyone at all who reduces pollution in the capital has my vote forever - and hypocritically, there's no way I'm not using my damn car unless you force me out by hitting my pocket.) Most of the chemists are actually selling out of anti-histamines, as people are beginning to double and triple their doses to get the same effect.
What they tend not to bark on about is how hayfever affects your ability to see when you're driving. When I get a hayfever surge, my eyes go crimson red and boiled looking, they stream tears, and they itch like goddamn billy-oh, as if grit had gotten caught under a contact. Then, if you watch it in a hand mirror, the eyeball whites merge into a yellowish pink, with a bloodshot warning streak, and it actually starts to swell up.
I sat in my parents' garden once and watched it happen - a bulge about three millimetres deep slowly appeared.
If you're driving at the time, it's quite scary, because fifteen minutes into this weird flesh-swelling, and you lose the ability to focus, and around one minute after that, you pretty much can't see anything at all until either the air clears (meaning you get out of the car), or your anti histamine kicks in.
Happened to me on the M25. Heart thumping to a speed-beat, I swerved left and made the car kerb-crawl along the hard shoulder to the nearest exit, with about the same level of visibility as those tv camera effects when they try to show you the world from the point of view of the partially sighted (usually involves murdering someone who used to be on Melrose Place) (unless the bling person used to be on Melrose Place, in which case: DUCK! they're coming to get you).

The other thing they don't tell you is how a bad year's worth of hayfever lowers your tolerance to other allergens. Mozzie bites start hivng and looking weird. You start reacting to (or craving) food differently (no, it's not a virgin birth, thanks), and animals make your skin crawl.
Great opportunity for SkinnyCat to decide that my pillow is her personal territory, and wage a three month war to claim it, then. I'm sure unwitting hours of sleep with my face in a cat's crusty arse, inhaling fish fat, fluff, and dander are just what the doctor ordered.

So, you can imagine (or actually, it's probably better not to) how I'm looking at the moment. Rabid loud sneezing at unexpected moments. Snuffling like a junkie. And these bulging, prominent, boiled and weeping eyes, that every now and then turn yellow and swell to massive proportions. You can't dress it up with make-up, cos it's four minutes till you scratch the stuff off, in a desperate clawing frenzy.

Today, out of every anti-histamine (bar the useless herbal ones that so obviously don't work I dont even stress about taking eight times the daily dose), I went in to Superdrug to see which pills the pharmacist would recommend this time.
The swollen, painful, weeping itchiness which spreads over your entire skin surface, (including such hard to publicly cratch areas as pubes, arsehole, scalp, pits, gooey yellow eyeballs) means I can't stop myself from having enraged mental battles with any passing conversationalist, which so far, I've mostly been able to keep inside my head.

Pharmacist who looks like Jean-Luc Picard: Madam, how can I help you?
[Eh? Look at me. Look at me! Are you really in any state of confusion about what I want? Would I really be walking around with a crimson eyeball popping out of my tear strewn face on the offchance that you had some cough syrup?]
Gullible Twat: I want [heavy sigh] hayfever pills.
Jean-Luc: Aha!
[Oh right, the facial deformity clued you in, at last?]
Jean-Luc: This week we are recommending this product... [presents own brand packet from shelf]
[Oh, the own brand useless packet of shite right in front of my face, you mean? The crud that's so insipid you don't even need to stack it up behind the pharmacist, you put it right out on display for any five year old to tea-leaf? Shyah, yeah, rrrrrrrrrrright, I think that will work simply because you get a 0.000001% store commission on it. I mean, it's not like there's a FUCKING HUGE GROWTH on my GODDAMN EYEBALL, is it? Not like there's a PROBLEM here?]
GT: I've tried that, it's no good.
Jean-Luc: Ahhh, then maybe ..... [gestures expansively across the front display cabinet]
GT: Tried that.
[Are you blind?]
GT: And that.
[Do you think perhaps people really look like this?]
GT: And that.
[Stop palming me off with placebo relief - my eyeball is hanging out of its socket, and bouncing off my bloodied cheek, gently.]
GT: None of those work.
[And you ask me do I want the useless brand, have I really tried ALL the useless brands? Isn't there some sort of Hippocratic Oath that says pharmacists have to not be INCOMPETENT FUCKWITS?]
Jean-Luc: Are you sure? This is the market leader.
GT: [in floods of unbidden weeping, sure by now that the moisture is blood, not tears] Just give me the packet, okay. Quick!
[You bastard: I'm standing in front of you in obvious pain, and you're faffing about as if I were selecting a tie. Bastard. Bastardbastardbastardbastardbastard.]
GT: Thank you so much. Good bye.
[ I shall find you. I don't know how, but I shall find you, and all your little Picard children, and I shall infect you with the bulging eye, till you too feel like you just took off the wrong swimming goggles. I shall wait till you wake with yellow crust floating across the burning violent red of your distended eyeballs, and I shall laugh.
Until we meet again, "Picard".
And we
shall meet again. Bwhahhahahahaha!]
Jean-Luc: Goodbye, Madam.

When did pharmacists turn into the bloody maitre d'?

By the way, free cash, endless perverted sex and unlimited supplies of Haribo for the one hundredth caller: 09011 21 44 02

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: ScreamingSeed
"So here I am surrounded by all these little girls in frilly party frocks, all smelling of cheap bubble bath and talcum powder, humming theme tunes to kid's TV shows and making their cheap rip-offs of Barbie dolls dance on the table between the sausage rolls. I've got my eye on the mouthwateringly sickly looking butterfly buns but I've been told I have to eat some salad first.
I don't really know why I put this whole tomato in my mouth. I guess I was just trying to be entertaining, but the other party guests look far from entertained. There's just no pleasing some people."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 12:05 AM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 23 June 2004 12:08 AM BST
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Friday, 4 June 2004


Topic: Vic Jameson

Ugh. I feel like poo. Reformed biscuit based poo. Yesterday I took the ferry to France. It costs six pounds, cheaper than a London travelcard, but you need to get up at five in the morning to get there, so by eleven, you feel like you've done an entire day on a floating council estate already, and end up drinking. On an empty stomach.

I took humongous hordes of pictures, but by the journey home again, was drunk enough to be forcing people to prance about the train in my underwear, apparently pinching people on the arse, and losing at finger wrestling.
I fell asleep on the last train home, found myself lost in Penge (where does everyone disappear to so fast when they disembark from the last train? It's like cockroaches scuttling for cover - you never see where they go), being kerb crawled by a helpful turkish guy who was most concerned for my welfare, and walking for an indeterminate length of time to find a mini-cab firm. Perhaps that sense of safety and security was what possessed me to sleep with all the windows and curtains open?
Today, I possess, as ever, a face only the cat could love, a stinking cold, a camera full of close ups of French Fairy Figurines and blue rum babas, and my flat looks like there's been an explosion.
Yep, tonight, I have a date. Good timing.
The sharking technique of waiting till I'm drunk then asking out anyone within fifty feet radius proves scattergun but effective.
I got tickets for The Black Rider. So although my prospective datee has gone awful quiet when faced with my incredible taste in venue selection, at least there's a sizeable chance of pensioner nudity from Marianne Faithfull.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Casino Avenue
""Ah, this is the one we've been waiting for," said one of the little gang of bus fans outside. It's like a smaller, unrevamped version of the Routemaster, all wooden floors and springy seats. We set off up the Bow Road, a couple of mums-and-kids got on, past the church (as Steve Norris' campaign bus passed us) and up the Blackwall Tunnel approach road for a short distance as usual. Left at Old Ford, straight on... "Wrong way!" Oops. These all being run by enthusiasts, and the 8 being a tricky route, something had to go wrong... a quick bit of reversing, and back on course. Going on a bus going backwards seemed to make the kids' day."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:22 AM BST
Updated: Saturday, 5 June 2004 3:44 PM BST
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Monday, 3 May 2004

Alice's Live Journal

Now Playing: Hornrimjobs' version of alice's Live Journal

Topic: Vic Jameson

Very into the audio of a bank holiday.

Listen here

Today was really awful.
I got out of bed really late because my alarm clock has broken and I cannot afford a new one at the moment.
I feel good because today I getting my lip pierced! Finally! Mom said I could and she's signed the forms and EVERYTHING!
I'm so sad. My kitten got run over this afternoon. I found him when I was coming home from school. His head was all squished. I took some photos. I'll miss him. Poor kitty.
Last night I had to shave my entire body.
Apparently, the lice that I caught from Amanda's friend are really hard to get rid of. I look quite strange with no hair and eyebrows. I'd post pictures, but my webcam is broken.
I want to tell the world that my girlfriend Amy is the bomb! She made pizza last night, and even though I burnt my lips on the cheese, it was awesome!!!
I am really annoyed with those assholes at _are_you_hotter_than_us_?, because I am so much cuter than them, and those photos don't do me justice. They can't reject me, so I'm starting my own rating community. Click here to join (the first five applicants are automatically accepted).
Today, I got a digital camera! Yes! Here's ten thousand photographs of my cat.
I want to say thanks to the world for absolutely fucking nothing! You all suck. I feel so alone, no one ever reads this journal, or even comments to let me know that I'm not suffering alone. It's cold here, and I want to die, but I cannot figure out how many of you to take with me when I go.
I went to the doctor yesterday, and he said I have bipolar disorder, which makes me different enough to be interesting, but the same as all the other cool people with bipolar disorder.
You should all do this quiz! It's amazingly accurate. You just put in your name and birthday, and it will tell you who you're sexually compatible with.
That's enough for now. But I'll leave you with my favourite Buffy fan-fiction piece I wrote last year when I was in hospital.

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Wednesday, 28 April 2004

The Corps of Discovery

Topic: Vic Jameson

- journals of Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, Sergeants Charles Floyd, Patrick Gass, John Ordway, and Private Joseph Whitehouse

March 03, 1804 Meriwether Lewis
The Commanding officer feels himself mortifyed and disappointed at the disorderly conduct of Reubin Fields, in refusing to mount guard when in the due roteen of duty he was regularly warned; nor is he less surprised at the want of discretion in those who urged his oposition to the faithfull discharge of his duty, particularly Shields, whose sense of propryety he had every reason to believe would have induced him reather to have promoted good order, than to have excited disorder and faction among the party...
... The abuse of some of the party with respect [to the] prevelege heretofore granted them of going into the country, is not less displeasing; to such as have made hunting or other business a pretext to cover their design of visiting a neighboring whiskey shop, he cannot for the present extend this previlege.....

March 09, 1804 Meriwether Lewis
(Louisiana was officially transferred from Spain to France at St. Louis, with Lewis as the chief witness)

March 10, 1804 Meriwether Lewis
(Louisiana was officially transferred from France to the United States at St. Louis.)

April 01, 1804 William Clark
(Orderly book lists the permanent detachment "destined for the Expedition through the interior of the Continent of North America")
(Three squads formed, each headed by a sergeant who was elected by the men: Pryor, Floyd, Ordway)

May 04, 1804 William Clark
("Memorandum of Articles in readiness for the Voyage" lists what the food they're taking, how much they weigh, etc.)

May 13, 1804 William Clark
River a Dubois opposet the mouth of the Missouri River

Sunday May the 13th 1804

...all in health and readiness to set out. Boats and everything Complete, with the necessary stores of provisions & such articles of merchandize as we thought ourselves authorised to procure -- tho' not as much as I think nessy. for the multitude of Inds. thro which we must pass on our road across the Continent &c. &c.

April 14, 1804 William Clark
Rained the fore part of the day...
I Set out at 4 oClock P.M, in the presence of many of the neighboring inhabitents, and proceeded on under a jentle brease up the Missourie...a heavy rain this after-noon.

May 14, 1804 Patrick Gass
The corps consisted of forty-three men ... part of the regular troops of the United States, and part engaged for this particular enterprize.
The best authenticated accounts informed us, that we were to pass through a country possessed by numerous, powerful and warlike nations of savages, of gigantic stature, fierce, treacherous and cruel; and particularly hostile to white men. And fame had united with tradition in opposing mountains to our course, which human enterprize and exertion would attempt in vain to pass.

May 14, 1804 John Ordway
A Journal commenced at River Dubois
Monday May the 14th 1804.

Showery day.

Capt. Clark Set out at 3 oClock P.M. for the western expedition. one Gun fired. a nomber of Citizens see us Start, the party consisted of 3 Sergeants & 38 Good hands, ... we Sailed up the Missouri 6 miles & encamped on the N. Side of the River.


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Updated: Wednesday, 28 April 2004 9:43 PM BST
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Tuesday, 27 April 2004

Turn-Off TV Week

Mood:  quizzical
Topic: Vic Jameson

My verdict from Turn Off TV Week: As I don't usually watch TV (having split up from a long term partner, I'm in the I Need No Material Goods phase that indicates she won in the divisions of spoils), it's embarrassing how much this experiment is teaching me, actually.
Firstly, I realise now how often I put the radio on, not to listen to it, but put it on slightly too low to hear distinctly.
Secondly, I come from Oop North in England, where tradition dictates you leave the tv on, which makes it seem ubiquitous - whereas the fashion in the posher South is to switch it off unless it has your full attention - but with the result that it's louder and more intrusive when it's on. I think I tend to associate television with the worst aspects of both halves of the country, whereas it is actually possible to have the thing on only occasionally, and at a reasonable volume.
Thirdly, choice of tv listings magazine is all. It's dawned on me that the mag I usually get (for the paparazzi shots and gossip, natch), actually foregrounds the rubbish tv, whereas if I get a more expensive magazine, there's actually lots of decent, stimulating stuff on that isn't publicised in my usual rag. So my normal anti tv snobbery is actually more of a statement of my sorry choices of reading material.
Fourthly, I realised all these things just two days into the experiment. So there's limited point in forcing yourself to not watch tv, unless you never watch tv in the first place.... (makes sense inside my head ... mumble, mumble)
Humiliating to say, I think I might actually take up watching more tv as a result of this 'speriment.
Oh the shame! Turned on by Turn Off Tv Week...

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Updated: Tuesday, 27 April 2004 8:14 PM BST
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Wednesday, 14 April 2004

Whether You Like It or Not...

Now Playing: 21 Grams on repeat play . . .
Topic: Vic Jameson

I've been watching movies, and you're going to have to put up with me while I wax knowledgeable here.

21 Grams
I have a whole new crop of 'Oh yeah, who is that guy' moments, all from the one film. (don't knock it; previous members of this category include former supporting actors like Oscar winning Chris Cooper) The majestic 21 Grams, which I've been watching again and again, is not a patch on my favourite film of the century, Amores Perros, but is better plotted than Memento, better acted than Mystic River, better cinematography than Ali or City of God, and it contains a ton of those really great supporting actors whose moment hasn't yet come, may never come, but know how to actually act, as opposed to hogging the starlight.
Clea DuVall, the sexy butch one from 'But I'm a Cheerleader', Melissa Leo, the sexy butch one from Homicide (sensing a theme here?), a cameo from Danny Huston, whose marvellous lead turn in IvansXTC made it my best film of 02. There's minor roles also from great background actors like John Rubinstein (an old fave as evil lawyer Linwood from Angel), and British actor Eddie Marsan, who is in the crowd shots of absolutely every movie ever (oh I dunno, Gangs of New York, Gangster Number 1, This Year's Love, etc). Even the dreadful Sean Penn actually put in a powerful, restrained performance, in contrast to the shoddy sub-Pacino mugging of Mystic River.
Anyway, it's lovely. If you can, watch it twice. The opening shot, of Penn and Watts in bed, is beautifully framed, in a way that Sofia Coppola can only dream about.

The Godfather II
Easily my favourite of the trilogy. I love Coppola's direction of the opening and closing sequences of I, but the book Puzo wrote was about Michael, about how an all-American boy can travel so far from his identity to become a Sicilian crime lord, and this section of the trilogy focuses on that in a way the other two films don't quite achieve. Every shot of De Niro as the elder Corleone, building his empire in New York, contains a reference to the damnation that awaits Michael - the traders, the shots of money pinned to poles to honour the community festival, the religious reverence for the Madonna. Underestimated is Diane Keaton's portrayal of the American wife, Kay, the second best, the pale American imitation of the first wife, the emigre at sea in the Sicilian world. Caught between religion and feigning ignorance, she's a Lady Macbeth; when she understands the reason all the Corleone women spend their days in church is to pray for their husband's sins to be forgiven, her world splits, and she rejects the vision of America Michael is coming to represent. The pathos of the scene where Michael cuts first Freddy Corleone, then her from her family's life forever is beautifully done: his eyes betray his knowledge that his role imprisons him.
Coppola's finest feature here is in controlling his lead actors, though; Pacino and De Niro can be such terrible old hams, these days - was Al even awake during Scent of a Woman? - but he managed to draw incredibly miniaturised, understated, controlled performances from men who were at that time unknowns.
I'm biased; I had to read Puzo as background reading to studying Old English texts like the Battle of Maldon, Beowulf, Wulf and Eadwacer - and never forgot the tension in Michael's emergence as a mephistophelic force in the novels. I also first saw the trilogy all in one day, nicking the video box set from a flatmate and not emerging from the duvet on the sofa till the whole damn tale was told. Gorgeous.

Young Adam
This seems like a typical Scottish fart burner of a boring romp through the exciting nightlife of postwar barge living at first, until you realise its sources. It's based on a story by a Beat writer, Alexander Trocchi, the countercultural ideas-pusher behind sigma, "the smack addled icon of Beat literature", and once you know that, the sex every four minutes suddenly seems less of an excuse to show Ewan McGregor's increasingly generous arse, and more of a violent, intoxicated, murderous fuck you to the conservative society he wrote about never belonging to. Like both the films above, it veered deep into the territory of guilt: guilt at the monster you can unwittingly, carelessly become in life.

Now that I've confessed my obsessive poring over certain supporting actor's career histories, you just know I'm going to fuss excessively over Clifton Collins jr in this one, don't you?
It's refreshing to see a latino actor not imprisoned within the guido-gangster roles he had to make his name in (look him up on imdb and see how many of his roles adhere unerringly to monikers like Cesar, Loco, Nando, Nino, Ramon), and Clifton (formerly Clifton Gonzales Gonzales) sets the screen drippily awash with his teary eyed, badly written monologues on the idyll that is life as a smalltown butcher, but holds us still, eyes fixed on the screen through his group scenes when he transmits acerbically the fear and insecurity of anyone who's been promoted too early, of anyone stupid enough to assume their own merit then have it proven the hard way their position is merely fall guy.
Colin Farrell was why I watched the movie in the first place though (which overall, was an overdramatic hysterical pile of llama-toss); you have to support your European boys made good in Hollywood, after all. But mostly, I'm intrigued by him: he's blink and you'll miss it blandness personified in Minority Report, snoozing through a bigscreen role where the source material offered up the chance to brood and menace with much more impact. The Recruit (Pacino, again, ruining it again) was so bad I had to switch the thing off - a pretty rare move for me. But Phone Booth - amazing. Clearly more of a one-act play than a viable movie, he *held* it together in a way that most Hollywood product couldn't dream of. (And I swear his character reminds me of the real life Boz.)
Similarly, Tigerland shows someone in control of his material. What's with that? Why can't he just be always good or always shit? Or even mostly mediocre? I forgive Tom Cruise for it, after all.

The League of Extra Ordinary Gentlemen [deliberately spaced]
Poor Alan Moore. What bullshit. Speaking of how Hollywood can ruin a young actor, pushing him into freefall in a shower of overpriced shit, what the fuck is the brilliant Stuart Townsend doing in this? Do they suck their brains out at the US border or something? He came from the disturbingly horrific Resurrection Man via shagging an ex supermodel, playing a fucking pixie, and now this? Sheesh.
Only remarkable for again proving what I know to be true about Richard Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge's wicked Duke, Sherlock Holmes, Dracula in the upcoming Van Helsing) - he is genius, he is godlike, he needs to be the next Bond.
I'll brook no argument on that one.

Starring the impeccable Kate Beckinsale (who played the dominatrix in Cold Comfort Farm, also soon to show up in Van Helsing) in very very tight rubber. You don't need much other reason to watch this movie, but actually, she and her ex, the luminously talented Michael Sheen save the film. It's obviously informed by the eye of a comic book enthusiast, but its plot is twuntery to the point of effrontery.
Beckinsale and Sheen play it straight, deadly serious, though, to the last minute, and save the damn thing, make you cheer for it.
Oh, and Bill Nighy's a vampire. But then we always suspected he was, didn't we?

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Updated: Wednesday, 14 April 2004 3:45 AM BST
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Monday, 12 April 2004

Oh how I love a spiracy of a bank holiday
late afternoon

Mood:  mischievious
Topic: Vic Jameson

I wanted to post this as a comment in the Book Club Blog, home of the most well researched who-is-BdJ-'spiracy about, but the daemonic java pop ups will not let a heathen pass, so I'll put it here.

Reading the Cardigan archives, (an early progenitor of the brilliant Dean Allen's Textism blog), I was struck by how muchly Belle de Jour in her heyday reads as if she ticked off the categories on this cliche list, written way back in the dawning of a new century, 2001:

* * *
Everyone feels uncertainty about major decisions made in the course of his or her life. Is your book a lengthy exercise in self-reassurance and rationalization?

Is your book a resume of your cultural tastes, and/or desirability to potential sexual partners?

Are the sex scenes there for no other reason than that it was fun to write them?

Was the book written to aggravate someone who once rejected you, or spurned your advances?

Is there an alarming frequency of social situations, such as at bars, parties or media events?

Are we introduced to your characters only by that which they consume, by their jobs, their hobbies, their hipness?

Is the protagonist plainly and transparently you?
* * *
If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, by all means consider undertaking a career in the exciting and fast-paced world of online marketing.

All of which points away from the Lisa Hilton theory, nuh?

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Updated: Monday, 12 April 2004 7:31 PM BST
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Saturday, 3 April 2004


Now Playing: Guys and Dolls

Topic: Vic Jameson
I'm addicted to cake at the moment. Cake and Easter eggs. Violent thanks to Martin for not telling me I had a chocolate cake goatee and tache all yesterday afternoon. Impressive. Particularly when I bumped into an ex colleague and asked for a job. I shall get you.
My local bakers is a Penge institution: Slatter's.

It used to be owned by a master baker who did all the cakes for The Generation Game - on the conveyor belt, in the icing-cakes-challenges.

The Beckenham branch was the HQ, and used to have signed photos of said competitive cakes alongside Bruce Forsyth. Little bit of Sarf East Lahndan history there.

This is my local Slatter's and it's just been refitted as 'The Cake Store'. It's all pink and bland, and stocked with cutesy pictures of children in a range of skin tones holding whisks with smudges on their noses.
Apparently, Mr Slatter's son, Kenny Slatter, has inherited the business, and wants to stamp his own image on the chain. Which apparently consists of making cakes that look like large tits for Peter Andre.

Still, the cakes are the same. Well, apart from their new 'saucy cake' range, I guess.

Actually, that looks right up Brucie's street.

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Monday, 29 March 2004

Holy Mackerel

Topic: Vic Jameson

I'm temporarily stunned. Too many layers of meaning.

First shock: Noam Chomsky has started a blog. !

Second shock: some cheeky berk has submitted one of his posts to my favourite popularity ratings catcher, Blorgy. !!

Third shock: (It hasn't happened yet, but I know full well it will within minutes) Noam Chomsky - the Noam Chomsky - will have his post rating ripped down to 2.5 in favour of some well meaning but inconsequential crap from Dooce. !!!

Noam Bloody Chomsky. For whose theories I fucked up a Sociology A level, but good.

Just too many layers. !!!

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Updated: Thursday, 8 April 2004 3:28 PM BST
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Friday, 19 March 2004

That Bandwagon that was rolling by a while ago...

Now Playing: the chitter chatter of internet munnikeys chimping their wares

Topic: Vic Jameson

Sometimes the story just won't die ...

This page graced by sarsparilla at 5:06 PM GMT
Updated: Friday, 19 March 2004 5:18 PM GMT
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Turns out, nobody asks permission, see . . .

Topic: Vic Jameson

The results of the MIT Media Lab Blog Survey are in. Apposite timing, too, what with events snowballing around BdJ (always a little too near to BDSM for my taste), and Creepy being hounded out of her blog [by evil witchy schoolmarmy types who think it infringes the privacy of their previously unknown online pseudonym].
"Formerly viewed as a marginal activity restricted to the technically savvy, blogging is slowly becoming more of a mainstream phenomenon on the Internet. Thanks to much media hype and some high profile blog sites, these online journals have captured the public?s imagination. As novice authors plunge into the thrilling world of blog publishing, they soon realize that publicly writing about one?s life and interests is not as simple as it might seem at first. As they become prolific writers, more bloggers find themselves having to deal with issues of privacy and liability. Accounts of bloggers either hurting friends? feelings or losing jobs because of materials published on their sites are becoming more frequent.

"Here we report the findings from an online survey conducted between January 14th and January 21st, 2004. During that time, 486 respondents answered questions about their blogging practices and their expectations of privacy and accountability for the entries they publish online:

- the great majority of bloggers identify themselves on their sites: 55% of respondents provide their real names on their blogs; another 20% provide some variant of the real name (first name only, first name and initial of surname, a pseudonym friends would know, etc.)

- 76% of bloggers do not limit access (i.e. readership) to their entries in any way

- 36% of respondents have gotten in trouble because of things they have written on their blogs

- 34% of respondents know other bloggers who have gotten in trouble with family and friends

- 12% of respondents know other bloggers who have gotten in legal or professional problems because of things they wrote on their blogs

- when blogging about people they know personally: 66% of respondents almost never asked permission to do so; whereas, only 9% said they never blogged about people they knew personally.

- 83% of respondents characterized their entries as personal ramblings whereas 20% said they mostly publish lists of useful/interesting links (respondents could check multiple options for this answer). This indicates that the nature of blogs might be changing from being mostly lists of links to becoming sites that contain more personal stories and commentaries.

- the frequency with which a blogger writes highly personal things is positively and significantly correlated to how often they get in trouble because of their postings; (r = 0.3, p < 0.01); generally speaking, people have gotten in trouble both with friends and family as well as employers.

- there is no correlation between how often a blogger writes about highly personal things and how concerned they are about the 'persistence' [ie, longevity when cached online] of their entries

- checking one?s access log files isn?t correlated to how well a blogger feels they know their audience

- despite believing that they are liable for what they publish online (58% of respondents believed they were highly liable), in general, bloggers do not believe people could sue them for what they have written on their blogs.

"The findings in this survey suggest that blogging is a world in flux where social norms are starting to flourish. For instance, many bloggers reveal the names of companies and products when they blog about them, except when they write about a company for which they currently work or have worked in the past. More bloggers are becoming sensitive about revealing the full names of friends on postings as well. But for all of the careful publishing guidelines that are starting to evolve, bloggers still do not feel like they know their audience. For the most part, they have no control over who reads their postings. The study also shows that bloggers usually have some idea of their ?core? audience (readers who post comments on the site) without really knowing who the rest of their readers are ? in many cases, this latter group makes up the majority of their readers.

When confronted with questions of defamation and legal liability, respondents in this survey paint a conflicting picture. In general, they believe that they are liable for what they publish online. However, bloggers in this study were not concerned about the 'persistent' nature of what they publish ? which tends to be a major aspect of liability ? nor did they believe someone would sue them for things they had written on their blogs. Moreover, 75% of respondents said they have edited the contents of their entries in the past. Even though most respondents explained that they usually edit typos and grammatical errors, 35% of respondents said they had edited for content as well: entries they decided were too personal, entries they thought were ?mean?, some respondents mentioned having gone back to entries to obfuscate names of people. These results reveal a certain naivete in how most bloggers view 'persistence' and how it can operate in networked environments such as the net, where information is being constantly cached. As blogs become more pervasive and their audiences grow, the ever-'persistent' nature of entries and the direct link to defamation and liability are likely to become even more of a burning issue."


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Updated: Friday, 19 March 2004 12:10 AM GMT
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Wednesday, 17 March 2004


Topic: Vic Jameson

I had to read some (mostly powerful) poetry written by a colleague today, and this one line sticks in my head, and won't go away.

"I don't belong to these grey walls"

Creepy Lesbo has come up against the obstacle of friend's objections to her blog, and is inviting ideas about what to do. I say, up sticks, shut the blog down, start a new one - new links, new pseudonyms, new everything. We'll all find it eventually, Creepy. You don't belong to blogspot, you don't belong to your readers, and you don't need to be held hostage to someone else's sense of propriety.

I dunno, I just can't imagine William Burroughs shooting his wife in the face, and his mother saying "you're not going to put that in your damn blog book".

Creepy's writing is honest, and it's good because it's excoriatingly honest. Painfully, brutally honest. She reminds me of Dickens in a weird way, because I hang on waiting for the next instalment to slice up another part of lesbian life, lance another pompous fart's asinine self-serving behaviour, dissect it and boil it in acid flavoured blog-jelly for me to read about.
Nobody could sit and knowingly be a topic for unforgiving focus like that. So I say move it. If she's censoring herself, she'd be censoring more than just a few words. She'd be censoring the writing, the unburdening, and the talent that keeps improving every time she publishes another instalment.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 4:18 PM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 17 March 2004 4:29 PM GMT
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Monday, 15 March 2004

11/M Reading Material

Topic: Vic Jameson

"Frequently the personalised, subjective, unpolished viewpoint [ of a blog ] strikes me as far more engaging than the Soho House arse licking of your average journalists' take on life."

Therefore, in no particular order, and tending to no particular style, geography being the only defining component, the news from Spain:

Iberian Notes
Puerta del Sol Blog
First Conditional
Think Back
A Fistful of Euros
Tim Blair hosted english versions of guest blogs from the authors of Hispa Libertas
Baldie (Catalan)
Jeroen Sangers
The Fruitman Chronicles
Living in Europe
Buscaraons (Catalan)
Euro Pundits

This page graced by sarsparilla at 2:14 AM GMT
Updated: Monday, 15 March 2004 3:31 AM GMT
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Sunday, 7 March 2004


Topic: Vic Jameson

It's okay, I've cheered up now and stopped ranting. I'm very very very busy procrastinating today. So I've read just about every blog on the sidebar.

Which leads me to a bit of an advert for audio-blogs.
If you've never heard me ooohing and ahhhing the comments about Kat's voice, you should listen to this. I love listening to blogger's voices - somehow it makes them seem farther away to be smacked in the face with their foreign accents.

And criminy, do they sound foreign. You forget how the internet disguises and homogenises our differences. And how the blogs you read are written by real, cute, complex, demanding people.

I mean, who knew Bitter Little Man would talk like he writes? Or that Fridge Magnet sounds quite normal, really, despite the predilection for penguins? Or that Ryan's voice is as cute as his photos?
The Hard Artist's audio posts are legendary in my single occupancy basement flat in Penge. Mind you, if you want a sheer testosterone injection, no-one can beat the Grand Ennui. He sounds like I imagine Jack Nicholson kisses. Or Beaker. One of those guys. But enough about my strange predilection for mature men.

Sigh. I love audio posts. I have to make do with my imagination for all the northern lesbian bloggers out there, although I have spoken to lemonpillows by phone (conversation ran along the lines of: "tee hee, you have an accent, tee hee hee", but I blame the champagne.)
As per usual, I've fantasised wildly about what Eurotrash and SarahSpace's accents are like. If I had decent blog software, I could do one. As it is, if you have a broadband connection, because it's huge, you'll be forced to make do with a crappy video of me wandering round the house talking to myself.
I sound dead common, me. Like a fishwife. Nothing like a Sarf East Lahndaner. Honest.

God, what a ramble this post turned into. I apologise for the dreadful quality of posts over the last week while I've been procrastinating wildly.
Here, have some quality. Here's a line that made me think found on Alyssa's site:

Epicurus posed this question of religion two thousand years ago: If God is willing to prevent evil but cannot, he is not omnipotent. If able but not willing, he is malevolent. If neither able nor willing to prevent evil "then why call him God?"

This page graced by sarsparilla at 3:19 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 8 March 2004 6:41 AM GMT
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Sunday, 29 February 2004

New Belle on the Block

Topic: Vic Jameson
Every time I read Just Pop It In, I squirt my pants laughing. Something about the scurrilous, wicked, wanton repetition of the c-word gets me giggling like there's a slug in my socks. Even better, Charlene's been stalking me, much as I'd hoped to stalk many of you, and has discovered my true identity:

? ?going to London to see my eldest - I decide to play safe and walk. Nice one, old tart fitted out with good walking shoes in amongst the many and varied tourists trekking through each others photo-shoots. There I am, not far off Westminster Abbey minding my own when this hairy 6' something 16 stone

(though he would say 183cm 97Kilo - and don't even think of reaching for your calculator to check my conversion 'cos I am old enough to remember when conversion was the real thing - yeah Towns Gas to North Sea Gas!)

ploughs into me while chasing after a bus.

Now I had thought in my mind's eye (mind's eye?? oh well) that Vanessa was a svelte, chic London Dolly Bird ( ouch - that may not go down well - but I am thinking praise here ) but I was pulled up short, after all - I only read her blog. I mean ? was he Vanessa? I only assume that she... and this hairy flying twat did say something like "..'king blog.." in hefty mid-european. I mean was he - her ? and did he/her recognise me/me or I am displaying that country yokel thing that everybody in London knows everybody else? or did those Tequila's the night before remove the last neurons in my head?? ?

This page graced by sarsparilla at 4:33 PM GMT
Updated: Saturday, 28 February 2004 8:46 PM GMT
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