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December 2007
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February 2008

Blue Monday

Listening to Blue Monday (on the headphones) for the first time in years is explosive.

What an extraordinary piece of work that piece of music was. It will never not sound current.

Meanwhile, well done to the truly wonderful Last.FM for shaking everything up. And continuing to shake.

Go, and see just how bizarrely Ben Folds oriented Zoonie's Last FM profile is! Usually because I have hardly got anything ripped on this laptop, and when you press "play" then go in to meetings, iTunes continues playing everything I've got. Which consists of its own small frame of reference: a hell of alot of Mr Folds, plus some Beethoven, Bach and Beck.

I had no idea that the letter B was so important in music until just this moment.

Sorry, sorry, sorry

My router's gone up the spout. Well, no, in fact it's my laptop's capability of seeing the router. Despite the fact that the Mac can.

No real time at work to post, and working alot in the evenings at present.

Brief update:

-Nora started pre-school nursery! She gets to wear a uniform n everyfink. Totally, absolutely loves it. She only does half days though. Mackay has given up the part time teaching. We are now officially skint.
-James threw up in bed the other day, but then didn't carry on throwing - so no harm done but a sad wee boy
-Heath Ledger. Damn. Someone on Gawker found a NYT interview conducted only a couple of weeks ago (sorry, no time to find the link, apologies for that) in which Heath Ledger had appeared to be very, very stressed from his performance in Batman - only sleeping 2 hours a night, taking sleeping pills and them failing, and on edge throughout the interview.  the reason I feel sad is that as regular readers will know, I fell in love with a dorky big crush, with "Brokeback Mountain". It immediately entered my top 5 films, and the reason for its emotionally resonant power was Heath Ledger. He was a fine actor, and I was looking forward to seeing him mature in to an even better one.

...loads more obviously. Hottest January on record, and we've got a week more to just prove the point a little more. The words, I think you'll find, are "Oh, shit". This isn't just a sleepwalk, this is the race surfing toward the tidal wave, and picking up speed. What I don't understand is, surely the horror at events is a pure, and very human reaction: a selfish, desperation to survive? Given that it at it's gut is a base reaction to the situation (me! me! save me! Save my kids!) surely you'd think that more fucking people would have it? As in: fuck the voters, fuck the fucking economy - move NOW.

I keep being reminded of the beginning of War of the Worlds. Here we all are, drinking milk from cartons, spreading jam on speciality breads and typing inane rubbish in to computers.

How long?

I promise something inconsequential and fluffy for my next post, which will be live in literally minutes. More than several minutes.

Abercrombie and Fitch advert

On our way back from visiting Aunty Claire and Uncle Tim (and the now sitting up and arm waving cousin, Jake) I saw an A&F advert from the M4. It said "FIERCE" in a suitably dynamic looking helvetica based font. It was referring the black and white still of a young lad, with no shirt on, a slimmed down version of a six pack and the top button undone on his jeans.

I think that's just about as far from "FIERCE" as you can get. I think you'll find that having your hire car charged at by a raging grizzly bear whilst driving up the Canadian west coast might be, in fact, the definition of fierce. I fail to see what use a half naked 17 year old with his trousers falling round his ankles might be in such a circumstance.

Other than a useful deflection.

God's wrath be upon me

We've been suffering a plague of flies.

The only sane explanation is that the rat poison we had to put under the floorboards (again) to save our electrics (again) and to stop the house from burning down has done its job, and in the unusually mild weather, some rogue bluebottle found it's way in. Thus, the whole recycling of rat in to the form of growing maggot, then buzzing, black armour plated insect took place.

...and invaded us over Christmas. James took to carrying a piece of rolled up magazine around the place, randomly bashing; our Christmas Private Eye is now a reinforced, taped up fly basher with a tattered open end, stained with yellow and red (yes, it can get rather revolting)  and good lord, McK and I are damned good flybashers. I don't feel satisfied without a little growing pile of shiny black ex-buzzers with an occasional feebly waving leg waiting to be transported out of the catflap. I'm monumentally annoyed, since it hammered with rain yesterday and the collection of anything up to 300+ flies dispersed before I could take a photo of the carnage. One thing's for certain, I have lost all my vegetarian credibility and karma build up with the Lord of the Flies.

Words of advice on any future fly battling, based on extreme experience:

  1. Don't get freaked out. They're only flies, doing their job. They don't bite. Be calm and methodical
  2. Switch off all lights but leave a path to the one light which remains on. This one should be in a space which can be restricted (ie: closing off escape routes - so maybe a hallway light or something) and then periodically used for to hone your bashing skills ie: rid you of insects for a while.
  3. Mid-air bashing can be extremely satisying, but you have to be eagle eyed for the stunned fly on the floor - so don't choose to do that where the fall area is dark.
  4. They are easily picked up by the wings, which makes it less freaky if they wake up from a stun, when you thought they were dead. You might be less likely to drop them in a shuddered "Ew!"
  5. They seem to do this thing where they are not so much stunned, but play dead. I have found that a relatively light bash, if well aimed, can make them drop to the floor, but they are seemingly uninjured, and will jump to their feet a minute later, flying off as fast as they bloody well can.  If that's the case then just get them out of the house quicly but smoothly, so they can be on their merry way and not disturb you any more - there's no need to bash the living daylights out of them if you don't have to (you see, I do retain some karma points)
  6. Keep food covered up for the duration of your fly invasion, and get some alcohol rub or something to rub down your surfaces - you never know.

The number of flies has gone down considerably now - we only have 2 currently doing the rounds in the living room. They're so folorn, I don't have the heart to bash them. Time was the other night when I was removing at least ten every hour, and Mackay similarly. The total for today in contrast since waking would be maybe 14, 15?

It sounds ridiculous that I'm discussing this in such a blase way, but after a week of waking up to find twenty on one window pane and that's before any lights have even gone on in the house, killing unwelcome buzzing visitors is now second nature!

Nora seems to have been at least reasonably cured of here total squeemishness regarding flies, and personally, I don't think one / six /several dozen could ever really bother me again. So every cloud (of flies) has a silver lining.

New year does have resolutions, yes

But nothing too stressful or unattainable, I hope.

Read more, use bike more, spend less. Since 2 should lead to 3 that immediately gives me bonus points.

At the start of the year I am: Unhealthily overweight; happier than I probably should be given some recent push and pull (that's what 2 weeks at home with the kids does for you! More of that please... oh, damn) and I just had a really cool idea for a film which I shall endeavor to precis well enough to give it to someone else to write so it might actually get made or you know, acted upon in some way instead of sitting in my head for the next ten years (like the post-apocalypse novel which I'd worked out so much detail for, then read Octavia E Butler's "Parable of the Sower" which duplicated so many of the same thought processes I nearly choked).

On a slightly different tack - just look at that link. That's a brilliant book, written by a wonderful woman, and the only way you can get the bloody thing is second hand. She deserved wayyy more press and now she's dead so even if she was "discovered" it would be too late anyway. There are faults in it, but the ambition and imagination is magnificent. You should buy it.

On a different tack again, maybe I Should go ahead and write it anyway, since science fiction from a black American woman seems not to get sales, so no one would notice anyway.

The only unfortunate thing about the relationship between 2 and 1 is that the fatness enhancing world of public transport does give one ample opportunities, not only to become ample, but to read. My blanding out in front of the net will have to be reduced if I'm to read more. Bugger.  I could "read" mp3 books whilst cycling, but then again, I do value my life slightly more than being distracted by visualising a reading of "War and Peace".

Oh yes. Children x Christmas was wonderful. I shall attempt to relate some events shortly. But not tonight.