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Friday, October 29, 2004


Gift of The Magi Munchkins 

Why is Sally longing for a large brandy in the middle of the afternoon? Referring to herself in the third person? It's shock, I tell you. Shock.

Tara was creating so much noise as we set off to the local shops that she attracted the attention of The Evil Ones across the street. They emerged from their lair, reeling and exhuding cider fumes. She was wearing a black leather skirt and red lipstick. He was clad in a white shirt, black waistcoat and black trousers. Here's the gist of it:

Me: Hello. You look...smart. Are you going out?

Munchkins: Yes. To the Mall. (The MALL?!) Do you want us to get you anything while we're there?

Me: Um, no thanks.

Munchkins: Alex at work then? When's he back?

Me: Not for a few hou...I mean...minutes.

Munchkins: We've got something for Tara.

Apparently, the Male had in his possession a gold and diamond pin in the shape of a letter of the alphabet. His wife has the same first initial as our daughter, but she didn't like it and had decided it would look great on a four-year old (!) Refusal was futile. It was pinned to her sweater before I knew what was happening. Being a little girl with *no* aesthetic sense whatsoever, she loved it.

Me: I'm sorry, but I can't really accept this. If your wife doesn't like it, surely you can get a refund? Don't you have a receipt?

The way he looked when I said that made me wish I hadn't asked. Then I got the usual tirade from his wife:

"You look tired. You know I'll always help you out, don't you? She's such a lovely little girl. We'd love to take her out if you want to go out with Alex sometime...And you look so much like my daughter. She's seventeen now.(Christ knows what foster home or crack-den she's been living in for most of her life) You look so much like her. Remember, we're only across the road..."

Time to call the police, I think. I've never been so terrified in my life. Alex is going over there later to return the pin. Deranged people are scary.



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Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Evil Glenn's Halloween: A Filthy Lie 

Not long ago, I received the following e-mail:

I am a lawyer banker acting on behalf of a Puppy-blending, Commie-Praising, Satan-worshipping client in Tennessee, who urgently needs to move funds out of the country in the run-up to the election. Free travel to the U.S is available for willing victims volunteers!

Not having my contacts in, and ecstatic at the thought of visiting DisneyWorld, I signed up immediately! Even the following proviso didn't deter me:

Prey Applicants must observe U.S customs, and wear costumes for Halloween: The theme for this year is "Street-Urchin".

I could do that. I handed Tara a pair of scissors and prodded her in the direction of my wardrobe. Half an hour later, I recieved another e-mail instructing me to touch the screen.

*WHOOSH!!!*

I had the feeling of a hook wrenching me by the stomach, a blurry glimpse of a vast ocean and...

*THUD!*

When the world stopped spinning, I realised my screen had been a PortKey to...

Sally: What is this dank, foul-smelling place? This is more like King's Cross station than Disneyw...GAH! I'm in Castle Glenn! You tricked me, Reynolds!

Evil Glenn: Yes, I thought I'd do something particularly Evil this Halloween. Welcome to America! Let's get the formalities over with. Now, are you, or have you ever been a Communist?

Sally: No!

Evil Glenn: Pity... And where are you staying?

Sally: I don't know...

Evil Glenn: So, technically, that makes you...

Sally: Evil Glenn! I have a home...

Evil Glenn: Not here, you don't! What is your purpose of visiting the United States?

Sally: I wanted to go to DisneyWorld. Then I was kidnapped.

Evil Glenn: May I see your Visa?

Sally: You know damn well I don't have one!

Evil Glenn: Indeed! So, by your own admission, you are a homeless illegal alien, which makes you subject to trial by Lawyer...

Sally: No! I won't be able to stand the excruciating agony of endless litigation!

Evil Glenn: OR..."THE GAME".

Sally: "The Game"? What does that entail?

Evil Glenn: You get a bowl of soup, a pair of boots, and a two-minute head start! Can't say fairer than that!

Sally: Is it anything like this game?!

Evil Glenn: Why, in all my time subverting sites on the Internet have I never seen something so *interesting*. Breeding Super-fit Hobos will make the Game much more competitive. Now, about your imminent death...

Sally: Objection!

Evil Glenn: Sustained! Counsel is leading the witn...I mean, Over-ruled! I bet you don't even have Health Insurance, do you? Oh, this is just the best Halloween EVER! And I've been dying to break in my new Hobo-Whacking Stick, or should I say, you'll be dying to...

Sally: Where the hell did you get that?

Evil Glenn: Early Christmas present.

Sally: From?

Evil Glenn: Myself. Harvey paid for it though. I've been hacking his bank account for years!

Sally: I want to go home! Home...home...that's IT! There's no place like home...there's no place like home...there's no place like...

Evil Glenn: Hey! Hands off my Ruby Sandals!

Sally: Back off, Reynolds, or I'll tell my neighbour that you've got a bottle of Meths!

Evil Glenn went pale paler. He was obviously remembering his last encounter with that creature more terrible than himself. I made a grab for the sparkly open-toed items.

Evil Glenn: I need those for the Robo-Dancathon next week!

*WHOOSH!*

*THUD!*

Thank God! I was safely back, and sitting at the computer. Onto the screen flashed the following message:

I'll get you, my pretty! And your little dog, too!

Then he hit me with a lawsuit. Bastard!


Permalink | Pre Haloscan 3 | |

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


What's For Dinner? 

For those days you really meant to go to the supermarket, and didn't. Just type in whatever you have left in your refrigerator, and this neat little Google tool will make some suggestions!

Handy for Moms, batchelors and, hmmm, I wonder if this is being primarily used by students ? "Let's see: Peanut butter, beer, canned hotdogs, olives, pickles..."

Here's what I got!

I could have really used this when I had pregnancy cravings...

And for the love of God, don't mention this to Evil Glenn!



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Monday, October 25, 2004


Two Funnies 

Both stolen from An Englishman's Castle. It's also his online birthday. Happy Birthday Tim!

A Cunning Stunt

Tony Blair's Desktop. Click all the buttons.


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Saturday, October 23, 2004


Halloween  

Blog-niece VW, of "One Happy Dog Speaks", has a great link for Halloween Costumes.

It got me thinking about the differences between U.S and U.K culture. Over here, the tradition is to dress as something spooky. Ever since I read the "Ramona" books as a child, I knew that in America you dressed up as anything you wanted. It's weird that the U.S custom hasn't made it's way over here yet.

Oh, I'm forgetting the Trick or Treaters that are groups of six-foot teenage boys that have gone to all the trouble of buying a £2 mask, and mumble, "Trick or Treat. Give us money if you like." I keep a stash of Barbie lollipops especially for them.

Anyway. Choice is limited over here. Tara has dressed as a little devil, a pumpkin, and a witch. This year I think she should be something much scarier. What do you think?


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Friday, October 22, 2004


Little Known Facts about Evil Glenn 

This week's Filthy Lie offering is up at Alex in Wonderland. Enjoy!


Permalink | Pre Haloscan 0 | |

Blogroll Musings 

As you know, I'm crap at updating my blogroll. If I'm looking for something new, I'll lazily surf off Boudicca's site, because she's super-organised, and I know I'll find something good there.

If I want to read Frank J, I click the link, then go read the paper while the page loads.

As for my "Everyday Reads", they're all stored haphazardly in one folder, without any particular preference as to where. Just a vague approximation of alphabetical order. I just sling them in there. But Fate, it seems, has conspired to create order of a sort. Check this out:

IMAO

Mountineer Musings

Madfish Willie's Cyber Saloon

Man Meets Baby

What has been going on in The Champagne Room? Does my computer have psychic powers?

So, I was wondering, could your blogroll tell a little story?

DISCLAIMER: This post is in no way intended to frighten either of the lovely above-mentioned people. This computer accepts no responsibility, or liability for events in the near, or distant future. Neither does it do Lottery Number requests.


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Thursday, October 21, 2004


Surfing U.S.A 

The last post reminded me of my first experience of Americans on the internet. It wasn't a good one, which is why I'm delighted to find myself amongst so many intelligent, educated, gracious, sweet and funny people in the blogosphere.

I've mentioned that Alex and I used A.I.M when he was away. It'd usually be private messaging, but we'd sometimes go in the rooms and chat to people. One night we were on quite late and something like this happened:

Dave: Oh Christ. Look at the time! It's the Yanking Hour!

Sally: What are you talking about?

Dave: It's when thick American teenagers get home from school and come in here.

Sally: LOL! You're calling someone thick?

Dave: No, really. I just can't be assed to argue with them. They're pathetic.

Alex: Dave's right. For once. It's impossible to argue with these kids.

Sally: I'll have a go!

Alex: It's not just taking the piss, like we do out of Dave. They won't want a serious debate either. If you've got a point to make, they won't have the vocabulary to understand it.

Sally: What's all the fuss about? I like Americans!

PING!

U.SboyIQ4: Hello you lilly-livered scumbags! We sent more troops to Irak they you!

Sally: (Laughing) Yes you did. Your country is quite a bit bigger than ours. It's a matter of proportion.

U.SboyIQ4: F**K YOU ENGLISH BITCH ALL OF YOU ARE GAY!!!!!!!!

Alex: See?

Dave: What's the wanker saying? I've got that one on "ignore".

Sally: *Click*
Who cares? What were we talking about?

There were plenty of rude, ignorant teenagers from the U.K, of course. Horrible adolescents are sent to try us all! I'd just find it amazing that they'd deliberately go to a U.K chatroom only to be ignored, or laughed at. "The Yanking Hour"... I bet Dave didn't make that up on his own! Sorry Dave *grin*





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Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Now I get it! 

I saw this at Tammi's and thought, "Oh Lord! More attention-seeking journalists. Now I'll feel duty bound to argue the case against Brits wanting to vote in your elections!" I confess I missed the point Tammi was making, which was an excellent one. I didn't even read the actual replies. When it cropped up on I.M.A.O, I looked at the comments and laughed a bit.

"The Guardian" *is* a Liberal newspaper. Over Here. Where we have a system which supports more than two main Parties. Liberal, for us, is kind of middle-of-the-road. It is not "far-left", as the American readers at Frank's had assumed. I was sufficiently interested to click the link, and when I did, I laughed my head off!

It's kind of hard to explain, but we have a culture where "winding people up", is very common. We are rarely sincere and "straight down the line". We have quite an oblique sense of humour. We don't have the emotional capabilities of the average American, so when a tragedy occurs, we usually make jokes about it, in order to diffuse the situation. We are "Chandler", from "Friends". The area I live in is particularly famous for making light of the most terrible things.

As soon as I saw the letters that they'd printed, I saw the whole exercise for what it was: An attempt to outrage Americans, which ended in the predictable fury and indignation which so amuses some people over here. The title, "Dear Limey Assholes" kind of gives it away. Here's my favourite:

KEEP YOUR FUCKIN' LIMEY HANDS OFF OUR ELECTION. HEY, SHITHEADS, REMEMBER THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR? REMEMBER THE WAR OF 1812? WE DIDN'T WANT YOU, OR YOUR POLITICS HERE, THAT'S WHY WE KICKED YOUR ASSES OUT. FOR THE 47% OF YOU WHO DON'T WANT PRESIDENT BUSH, I SAY THIS ... TOUGH SHIT!
PROUD AMERICAN VOTING FOR BUSH


That told me!

Here's another politically sophisticated perspective on the issue:

Real Americans aren't interested in your pansy-ass, tea-sipping opinions. If you want to save the world, begin with your own worthless corner of it.
Texas, USA


The best of them all were the ones about our English teeth. Remember the episode of "The Simpsons", when Bart doesn't want orthodontic treatment and is shown "The Big Book Of British Smiles"? I cracked up when I first saw that, and I'm ashamed to say I was very amused by the remarks made to The Guardian. I'm ashamed because it's the humour equivalent of verbally teasing a younger sibling who doesn't understand where you are coming from, and gets frustrated trying to express their rage. Next year, when we have our election, I hope you do something similar. The Guardian is a very naughty boy! No spankings for him.

I was relieved to see a few people in the U.S who responded with appropriate sarcasm. I like this one:

My dear, beloved Brits,
I understand the Guardian is sponsoring a service where British citizens write to Americans to advise them on how to vote. Thank heavens! I was adrift in a sea of confusion and you are my beacon of hope!

Feel free to respond to this email with your advice. Please keep in mind that I am something of an anglophile, so this is not confrontational. Please remember, too, that I am merely an American. That means I am not very bright. It means I have no culture or sense of history. It also means that I am barely literate, so please don't use big, fancy words.

Set me straight, folks!
Dayton, Ohio


That had me giggling even more than the teeth thing. I love people who can take the piss out of themselves.

I also liked this:

I just read a hilarious proposal to involve your readership in the upcoming US presidential election. At least, I'm hoping that it is genius satire. Nothing will do more to undermine the Democratic cause in Ohio than having patronising Brits wander around Clark County telling people how to vote.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to clean the three yellow teeth that remain in my smug, arrogant, colonial tea-sipping head.





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Perfect for Christmas Comment Parties! 

I'm sure we'll all enjoy playing this.

Hat - tip to the lovely Steve who sent me this over e-mail from yet another part of the U.K that isn't London. Thanks Mr M!


Permalink | Pre Haloscan 0 | |

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


Access All Areas! 

Here are my Free - Pass people. Please don't take the title the wrong way ;-)

Johnny Depp: Because he says "F**k You", to Hollywood, and because he dresses as a Pirate. I read an interview recently where he said someone asked his young daughter what her Daddy did for a living, and she said, "My Daddy's a Pirate!" How cool is that? Shame on you, Boudicca, for dropping him!

Harrison Ford: As Han Solo. Or as Indiana Jones. Resourceful, funny, self - effacing.

Russell Crowe in Gladiator, or in Proof of Life. As long as he's had a shave.

Sean Connery: As "Bond... Jamesh Bond" He was O.K in "Highlander" too, despite playing a Spanish bloke with a Scots accent.

Young Elvis: In his first four films before he went into *cough* "The Army". The black and white ones. Except I think one of those was in colour.






Permalink | Pre Haloscan 4 | |

Monday, October 18, 2004


I thought it was "Cook" in the Kitchen? 

I make a point of cooking something new with Tara at least twice a week. That's why I'm a S.A.H.M - so I can do all this stuff. She's an only child, so it's possible. Sometimes, however, I wish I were out doubling our income. Like today.

We decided to make Marmite cheese straws. They were absolutely awful. She'd been messing with the scales, so I didn't put in nearly enough cheese. And the pastry! Because I had a four - year old helping me rub the butter into the flour, well. You can imagine. The expression, "light pastry hands"? Little kids have pastry hands of lead!

And then there was the mess. Pastry and flour everywhere. Oh well, she had fun. And was the only one of us to actually eat the things. Anyway. The upshot of this was that I was looking for something to cook next time and found this quiz:

Are You a Kitchen Slut?

Just out of interest, the recipe book says, "everyone has a warm memory of being in the kitchen with Mom, with all those lovely baking smells". Do you?


Permalink | Pre Haloscan 7 | |

Sunday, October 17, 2004


Li'l Orphan Carbon Rod 

Has issues

Bless it.


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Friday, October 15, 2004


My Hero! 

A metre long metal bar fell on Alex's foot yesterday. Vertically. Sharp side down. From a height of about five feet. I couldn't bear to look as the subcutaneous bleeding spread rapidly up the foot, and the whole area puffed up. What did he say?

Thank God it didn't happen to you or Tara!

He's gone to work, which involves hours of driving. With a broken foot. Maybe we should start a Carnival of the Warm Fuzzies!



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Evil Glenn's Software - A Filthy Lie 

I took Tara to school this morning, and returned to find I didn't have my housekeys. Damn! It was raining too. I ran for shelter and called Alex. He said he'd be there in forty minutes. Half an hour later, I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye. What? A bottle of Meths? It moved again, and I went to investigate. As I followed it round the corner I could see it was attached to a rotten piece of string and...GAH! Evil Glenn! Hobo - filleting knife at the ready.

Sally: YOU!

Evil Glenn: Oh Hello! I didn't recognise you without your labrador.

Sally: What? I don't have a dog.

Evil Glenn: Yeah, you do. Blonde, big eyes, about so high...

Sally: *sigh* That's my daughter.

Evil Glenn: Oh. It must be these damn sunglasses. My night - vision is excellent!

Sally: What are you doing out of your coffin at this hour?

Evil Glenn: I'm wearing factor 350+ sunscreen, plus it's kind of gloomy. That's why I thought you were a vagrant. I'd better give you your keys back. I've been letting myself in and leaving puddles on the floor, chewing stuff up, you know. I thought you might want the troublesome pup to go if...

Sally: We've been blaming Tara for all that! She missed out on a trip to...Oh, you've hit a new low, Reynolds, making little girls cry!

Evil Glenn: Wow! I'm even more despicable than I meant to be. Sometimes I just get these lucky breaks. What can I say?

Sally: Aren't you supposed to be in America, helping John Kerry?

Evil Glenn: BAH! An oversight. I thought he was kindred, if you know what I mean. Turns out he's only eighty seven. Damn botox...

Sally: So why were you here? Apart from trying to lure me to certain death with Meths on a string?

Evil Glenn: Oh. I've been developing some new software. I thought I'd crash Alex's computer with it try it out here.

Sally: Is it any good?

Evil Glenn: Yes! It'll take him years to fix! Muhahaha!

Sally: Oh Dear Lord. It is a new version of Windows isn't it?

Evil Glenn: Indeed! Windows E.G, version 666. It's got some pretty nifty features, I can tell you. For a start, I've done away with that pesky Homepage thing. In the future, anyone in the world who wants to access the Internet will have to do so via Instapundit. It's also got a new "Exploding Monitor" thing happening if anyone wants to see Boobies.

Sally: (Darkly) Harvey won't like that. Don't tell me you're upset about his last lie?

Evil Glenn: On the contrary! I loved it. Couldn't have put it better myself! I just can't get it out of my head.

Sally: Um, me too. So. What else have you got?

Evil Glenn: I've renamed the "O.K" button, "Indeed". "Retry" is now called "Litigate!". And the software supports some great new peripherals.

Sally: Don't tell me. Blenders right?

Evil Glenn: Damn, you're good! In fact, you don't need to speak to me at all. You know me so well, why, I bet you could write these posts without any input from me. How about you just make it all up next week?

Sally: Wha...But I...Reynolds! Stop deliberately confusing people, you inhuman lawy...

Evil Glenn: Programmer! Here're your keys. Catch!

With that, he threw them onto the roof, and dematerialised into the gloom, cackling loudly.


Permalink | Pre Haloscan 3 | |

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


There's Always One, Isn't There?! 

And they've done it again!

If I were a member of the Bigley family, I'd be heading over to the local mosque with the semtex.


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Monday, October 11, 2004


Scary Urine 

Tara: Mummy. I did a wee wee and it was all horrible.

Me: Jesus Christ, it's five in the morning! Get back to bed.

Turns out I'm the worst mother in the world. For once, she wasn't just messing about. I looked in the toilet and nearly fainted. Dark pink urine. Her inner Barbie had gone too far. The worst case scenarios are flooding my mind: Abuse. Terminal illness. Then I calm down, get a doctor's appointment, and call London. I love them up there:

Specialist: So take her to the Doctor Who Doesn't Know What He's Talking About, and if it hasn't stopped by tomorrow, call me. You can give her a dose of Tranexamic, or bring her here.

Me: So what if the Doctor Who Doesn't Know What He's Talking About thinks it's a Urinary Tract Infection, despite her having no other symptons?

Specialist: Ignore him. Just get him to check there's no injury.

Ha! So, I'm off to TDWDKWHTA with a sample of scary urine. I'll try to keep calm.

UPDATE: Dr Clueless just excelled himself.

"This doesn't look like blood at all. I'll just do a test....Hmmm, this is full of blood!"




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Friday, October 08, 2004


Evil Glenn's Daydreams - A Filthy Lie 

I ran into Glenn Reynolds at the circus. He had stolen the Ringmaster's top hat, and was hiding it under his Opera Cloak. He was questioning a horrified cashier.

Evil Glenn: So, this Penguin display. What does it entail "exactly"? How does that man use the whip? And what are they wearing? I'm not paying good money to see them "perform" in anything less than latex...

Sally: Evil Glenn! Is there no place I can safely bring my daughter? You've already desecrated the Petting Zoo!

Evil Glenn: Did you know these people are "of no fixed abode"? I wonder if I can...

Sally: Help them after the show please, Glenn. And while you're here, you can tell me what you daydream about.

Evil Glenn: Oh, you know, the usual. Uncloggable blenders, free blood banks, Hillary Clinton

Sally: GAH! What are you doing to the trapeze artist's safety wire? Give me those scissors right now! What else do you daydream about?

Evil Glenn: Well, I think about Human Rights a lot.

Sally: What about them?

Evil Glenn: I want to get them all abolished!

Sally: Hell is full of people like you!

Evil Glenn: Indeed! I try to get down there on the weekends. It helps me relax.

Sally: Any other daydreams?

Evil Glenn: Communism features heavily, of course.

Sally: I suppose in a perfect world, Russia would be the greatest Communist nation on earth?

Evil Glenn: No. The United States would! Muhahahaha!

With that, he glided away and set about herding the clowns into the tiger cage whilst making sure the live webcast was all ready to go.



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Thursday, October 07, 2004


Uh-Oh! 

Looks like that poor inanimate carbon rod has another grievance against Harvey... Harvey? Is Munuvia down? Excellent!

On behalf of the carbon rod, I'd like to mention XXX Black Peeing Porn

Muhahahaha!


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Wednesday, October 06, 2004


Peace Talks Continued... 

Chatting in the comments to this post at Johnny-Oh's reminded me of this.

I was on holiday in Spain. This town was an urbanisation in which most of the houses were owned by people from Ireland. Apparently, they were dancing in the streets when England were knocked out of the World Cup. Here's a conversation I'm surprised I can remember after several drinks. Note: It was good-natured "ritual" insult thing. I've had this sort of exchange several times over the years at family gatherings. It's sort of the way we get aquainted.

Irish People: You took our country.

Me: No I didn't. Besides. You tried to blow up my Dad!

Irish People: Your ancestors did.

Me: My ancestors are Irish.

Irish People: Oh. But you're from England. At least we're Citizens, not Subjects.

Me: Hahahahaha! You obviously don't know me. How can I be a Subject? I don't remember voting for The Queen.

Irishers: You could, under British Law, be tried, and found guilty of Treason...

Me: If I slapped The Queen, for instance? O.K. I'm going to do that, as soon as I get home. And I'll e-mail you all pictures of me not getting sent to prison. Hah! (Spanish vodka is, like 99% proof)

Irishers: We're CITIZENS.

Me: Of EUROPE! You don't even have your own currency! You're citizens of the smallest nation in Europe that has only just got itself an economy! You're citizens of a country surrounded by water that has never even had a Navy!

Irishers: We invented Guinness.

*Silence*

Me: So, my mother's mother was a McCarthy, of Cork...



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The Soundtrack to my Life 

That One Guy did it, and then Alex did. Here's my effort:

1. Comfortably Numb, by Pink Floyd.

This was the song I had my teen - angt to. I probably wrote terrible poetry about how nobody understood me whilst listening to it. I still like it now, especially the guitar solo, which is one of the few things I was determined to teach myself to play.

2. Something, by The Beatles

The chord changes in this are so clever and unusual, I can't listen to this without wanting to go play it immediately.

3. Hey Joe, by Hendrix

I got the Purple Haze C.D one Christmas. along with a guitar! How disheartening it was...

4. Orange Crush, by R.E.M

A teenage party staple. Whenever I hear it, I remember being seventeen again. I'd listen to this on the way to wherever I was going, and get charged up for whatever stupid thing I'd invariably end up doing. These days I play it to psych myself up to doing something I don't want to do. The helicopter effect is fantastic. It makes me wish I was a soldier.

5. Birdhouse in Your Soul, by They Might Be Giants

This never fails to cheer me up. It's one of the happiest songs I know.

6. Pure Shores, by All Saints

For some reason, whenever we're going somewhere nice in the car, this comes on the radio. Also, I listened to it a lot when I was pregnant. Theres something about the effects, and the film clip in the video depicting people underwater that's suggestive of the way it felt when the baby moved. God, I'd forgotten that! I miss that feeling. (Men, ignore this one)

7. Let Me Entertain You, by Robbie Williams

I know it's stolen a lot from "Sympathy For the Devil, but when I hear this, I do whatever I'm doing in triple time.

8. Don't Get Me Wrong, by The Pretenders.

It's not his, but it's my special "Makes me think of Alex", song.

9. Edie, by The Cult

According to my friends, I saw The Cult at Wembley Arena in the late eighties. I'm sure they were very good. I only remember getting into a fight in the Ladies Room. It was a classic movie moment where you go "Oh YEAH...?", and you turn around to realise your opponent is two feet taller and a hundred pounds heavier than you.

10. Layla, by Eric Clapton

The slow bit. The bit they play in "Goodfellas", when all the bodies are being found. Eric was on the bill when I went to see The Who at Hyde Park. We were all freezing, but I wouldn't leave till I'd heard that. It makes me giggle every time I think of George Harrison challenging Mr Clapton to a guitar duel. The arrogance!

11. Perfect Circle, by R.E.M

I don't know if it was ever released as a single, but this, in my opinion is a great example of a ballad that's poignant, without being dirge - like. (Yes, Mr Stipe. Your new stuff *is* terrible)

12. I Had a Dream, by Pink Floyd

O.K, I'm pretty sure that's not what it's called. But it's on The Final Cut. I like pretty melodies with sad lyrics. This one makes me glad I'm not a soldier.

13. Brimful of Asha, by Cornershop

The Norman Cooke remix, or course. I played this every day for about a year because it's so bouncy and cheery. When I coached basketball, I'd stick this on. If I was shooting a movie about basketball, I'd have this in it.

14. Love Me Two Times, by The Doors

Great keyboards. The last time I was made to endure a holiday with my parents, I consoled myself with my self-made Doors compilation tapes. And alcohol. Whenever I hear this, I recall the taste of vodka and lime in Cornwall. It was a time of my life when I dressed like Jamie Gertz in "The Lost Boys". I've still got some of those things somewhere.

15. Something About You, by Level 42

The Soundtrack to my Future. Alex and I fell in love to this. This is not a song I listen to when things need doing. I get too teary.




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Monday, October 04, 2004


Firework Season Begins 

As my Wise Irish Granny once said: "When Life Gets Tough, have a good rant about it under a pseudonym on your weblog."

Or something like that.

It's early October. Guy Fawke's Night is November Fifth. So it makes sense to buy fireworks and try them out now doesn't it? We had to deal with the first of them waking our daughter at half past ten last night. Sunday. School night. Perfect!

Well she's going to have to get used to it. And she will. By the end of this month, it will sound like we're living in a war zone. It gets that bad. You can hardly talk on the phone, it's so loud. Tough luck, if you have pets, or young children. People just won't wait for the fifth any more. O.K, I could understand letting off fireworks at the weekend before, or after the holiday, if people were having a party, and the fifth was midweek, but it's truly ridiculous these days.

When I was a kid, Firework's Night was special, because it was restricted to one night. You remember how the "Christmas wait" was a matter of weeks, not a period of three months? It's so unfair on the kids.

I don't know how it is in the U.S. I'm hoping you don't have to deal with this.


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