Thursday, 13 September 2007

a simple marital medieval knees-up in north wales

how cool did you say we looked again?

where's the fucking mead?

look! look! it's Christian Bale!

bloody hippies

fuck off with your comfy chair.

she's married you know.

ok, they do look quite cool actually.

rob, experimenting in the kitchen.

i very badly want the footage of the bmx-jousting. priceless entertainment. good wedding.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

look. over there...

you ain't sin me. right?

carry on.


Friday, 9 March 2007

miscellany bites

something of a pot pourri today. which is a nice way of saying i'm a bit all over the place. first up here's a very interesting (and long) article from the New York Times about the whether man is predisposed to belief in the supernatural and how this could have occurred from an evolutionary perspective. lots of juicy stuff about what "benefits" shared religious belief could have given early man and the evolution of human cognition. not exactly friday afternoon fodder i'll admit.

which is why item 2 concerns the inventive pop stylings of harlem milkshake maestress kelis. for me she veers too unpredictably between zeitgeist-nailing genius and dull as socks sub-r'n'b noodling depending on who she's working with. this is possibly a factor in her album bombing mightily in the US last year. however, the once thing she seems to have done well is to avoid "the mike skinner trap" (i.e moaning on and on about how hard it is being famous and thinking people will indentify with that as much as they did your early stuff). the single she's just released over here (lil' star) has latched itself firmly onto my consciousness. it's very simple has some great instrumentation and is just a very cheery 3 minutes of pop music.

in another time i'd have had myself beaten up for listening to such lightweight guff, but there you go. i blame lily allen.

and finally, just to ensure that i've annoyed as many ppl as possible in this post, it appears that if we make it past PSV, (and we beat them 2-0 earlier in the competition), liverpool have another semi-final against chelsea to look forward to (i'm assuming they'll get past valencia). bet that'll be a boring, controversy-free match. can we play someone else now please?

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

don't i hate you from somewhere?

i rather like crowds. not the back-of-the-stadium-watching-bon-jovi kind of crowd, more the bustling street of busy, purposeful types weaving in and out of each other in a complex ballet of lunchtime errands, shouted mobile-phone conversations and lateness. it gives you an opportunity to people-watch more surreptitiously than in bars and restaurants where people know they're being looked at and are consequently more guarded in their expressions. plus, in the shifting maelstrom of a thousand ppl with 'somewhere to go', your chances of seeing someone you know/recognise go up massively.

now i work in Oxford Circus, haven for out-of-town shoppers, office workers and anyone else too dumb to avoid it without good reason. however, due to it's proximity to Broadcasting House, if you're sharp, and have a good memory for faces, in amongst the burberry-clad spend-monkeys, you can quite often get a "ooh - it's that bird off X" moment, which i rather enjoy as whilst it proves i watch too much telly, it means the rest of my pattern-recognising, simian brain is functioning ok. also, in these paparazzi obssessed days i think it is important for the public to hassle even the most minutely well-known person to such a degree that it becomes thoroughly undesirable to be even marginally famous.

so i now present for your delectation, all my recent crap spots, rated according to my own, arbitrary criteria. basically - the more famous they are, the fewer points as even my hypothetical dead grandmother would recognise noel edmonds, for example. also additional points if they look particularly different from their onscreen persona or if i think the thing they are famous for is in any way cool. no blurry stalker photos yet - still working past shame issues, just lots of low rent comedy goodness:

matthew holness aka garth marenghi: like whoa. is so hardly famous he was actually glad when i told him i liked Dark Place. frankly, he looked amazed that i'd seen it. 5.32

michelle gomez aka Sue White off Green Wing: this is as close as i've come to seeing someone even vaguely impressive. excellent dealing with public skills - completely ignored my attempts to congratulate her (disappointingly normal-sized arms tho). 7 easily.

jeremy vine aka er...jeremy vine: bbc radio non-entity with a great nose for radio. can been seen every morning hiding in EAT quizzing his assistant on the phone about the days events. tall. 2.43

mark lawson aka the fat bloke off newsnight review: and there was me thinking the bbc costume dept gave him those jumpers for a laugh. another illusion shattered. 2.42

samantha siddall aka Mandy Macguire off Shameless: i'm quite impressed with this one seeing as i've not seen more than 30 seconds of Shameless since the first series. nice beret. 6.2

grace strumpet off BB7 aka the poisonous twiglet: the least impressive (due to her high recognisability and low kudos score) and let me assure you, most unimpressive. so shit she doesn't even rate a page in wikipedia. oh for a ricin-tipped umbrella. 0.2361

steve wright - radio 2 deejay: i'd say he'd let himself go, were it not for the fact that he never really had himself in hand to start off with. a potential food resource in a post-apocalyptic london. 3

simon mayo aka god-bothering BBC stalwart: if the bags under his eyes are anything to go by, hasn't slept for at least 10 years. bet he fucking hates ben fogle. 2.54

right - i'm off to bask in the early spring pollution with a sandwich. avanti!

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

analyse this...yourself

i've spent several days trying to finish a long and worthy post about this cartoon and how it highlights some shit or other. i give up. it made me laugh anyway:

from GYWO

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

did you leave your basket unattended at any time, sir?

there can't be many perks to working in brixton sainsbury's local. not because its a particularly rubbish job - lots of jobs are rubbish. you just ask phillip schofield. but it's very busy, everyone is extremely grumpy and it's blatantly only there to stop people going to the market, which sells much nicer, more interesting food but is fractionally more inconvenient. i don't imagine you get many free tickets to film premieres for example. or xbox360s. or respect from the local community for your frankly vital pasta selling work. but if it were me, there'd be one thing i would definitely enjoy and that's psychoanalysing your customers based on the contents of their shopping baskets.

this is obviously a game you can play without working in the shop. and it works in any shop of course, but i suspect there is a richer soup of human diversity in brixton sainsbury's than almost anywhere else i can think of. on my way home. where i regularly shop. (that's enough qualification. ed)

the joy of casually ascribing wildly inaccurate backstories to ppl based on the particular brand of tinned tuna they have purchased. the horror of seeing what groups of flat-sharing girls will actually call a meal in order to competitively out-under-eat each other. the record so far - 1 x pack of rice cakes 1 x small tub of low fat cottage cheese. for 3 of them. the nervous boyfriend trying to impress his bird with a "taste the difference" ready-meal, some salad, a "gu" pudding and a fearsomely expensive bottle of white wine. what better way to have your prejudices confirmed than by assigning them to random ppl based on the fractionally different configuration of the same old sainsburys rubbish you yourself have bought. what larks, pip.

but then, sometimes, someone comes along who makes you stop and take a good long hard look at them and yourself:

a squeezy bottle of tomato sauce and a bottle of martini cinzano bianco. WTF? what kind of meal could you have possibly prepared where those are the only 2 items you are missing?

is this some new cocktail? am i hopelessly out of touch for not regarding this as a normal combination? what's in the suspicious white bag?

to give you something to go on, this guy was heavily southern european, bordering on native american. fashionable jeans, ubiquitous but expensive "racing-style" motorbike jacket, large but also fashionable woolly hat and fake ray-ban aviators. i am fresh out of ideas. answers on generic supermarket receipt to this address, please.

as an aside, whilst finding a link for martini cinzano i found this fantastic archive of lots of leonard rossiter stuff including the cinzano adverts he did with joan collins. advertising as telling social commentary. with gags. those were the days. hurrah.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

i am a weak-minded fool

goodness me, it's been 2 weeks already. i'm probably taking self-censorship to unnecessary levels here. however i spent much of last week recovering from various hang-overs and i believe all evidence suggests that if you're not safe to drive, you're not safe to post.

however, sobered as i am by all the salacious carnage the world has conjured up in the last few days, it is my skills as a rat catcher that has inspired me to post.

according to Desmond Morris, who knows a thing or two about cat behaviour, the little dears have a few problems dealing with the complexity of human/cat relationships. as domestic cats are descended from mostly solitary cat species, their little catty brains only really have 3 templates to base their relationships on: parent to child, child to parent and competitor to competitor.

so jah is very happy to be a kitten sometimes in order to get fed and have her tummy tickled, but there are times when the fact that she is a rock-hard mother of 9 takes over and she attempts to address the fact that, tho perfect in almost every other respect as one of her offspring, i do not catch rodents.

this is obviously a serious failing on my part. how can i be expected to survive in the real world without this elementary skill? jah frets. and wonders if maybe i'm a bit thick. so she responds in the only way she knows how.

cue screaming rodent dropped at your feet and a look of encouragement bordering on the patronising from jah.

now i have laughed in a smug, human sort of way at this behaviour. silly cat i have thought to myself. trying to teach me to catch mice. ridiculous. but until last night i had not perceived the subtlety of her scheme.

small mice don't present much of a challenge as they are far too much fun for jah not to bat around for a good forty minutes. consequently by the time they are presented to me for training purposes all that is required is that they be taken to an outside bin. this however is but the first step in my indoctrination.

next a very large rat will be brought in and dispatched with terrifying ruthlessness. again my job is purely to dispose of the corpse. jah hides her disappointment that i didn't take the opportunity to practice some neck bites or even a two handed pounce. but she knows what she is doing.

finally a medium sized rat is recruited to the cause. this, jah brings in and then "accidentally" lets go of it for a second. rat, sensing it's fate might not be as tightly sealed as it thought, makes a bee-line for cover. jah feigns indifference. "rat? what rat?". "that fucking rat, jah - the one behind the stereo. get rid of it!"

we then spend ten minutes as i flush the rat towards jah in the hope of her dealing with it. H informs me this is an exceptional spectator sport. sometimes jah can be persuaded to remove the interloper and sometimes she'll pop outside to lick flowerpots importantly and this is where her trap is set.

left with a decent-sized, uninjured rat in the house the only course of action is to don a gardening glove and go after the fucker. after some swearing, furniture recalibration and comical, high-speed twister-style manoeuvres, the rat can then be hurled through the cat flap to make it's merry way off to wherever it likes. prolly the nearest rat bar to relate this tale to some slinky lady rats in the hope of getting laid.

now this has happened a few times without me making the connection. then, last night, the same drill: medium sized rat makes a break for the back of the chest in the living room. i take a look at jah and, realizing help is unlikely to be forthcoming, trudge to the kitchen, retrieve my glove, and catch the rat by it's tail within 30 secs or so. hurl rat as far as possible down the garden in the hope of killing it without having to watch it at the same time. as i walked back up the garden, i registered the expression of pride on her catty face and i knew.

i have been trained to catch rodents by my cat.

the shame. me - top of the food chain and everything. still, good rat eh? still wriggling too.

next week H teaches me to clean the cooker using subliminal messaging.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

full of the joys of schadenfreude

it's funny what can cheer you up isn't it? i mean, there are so many wonderful, heartening, warm-glow inducing things in the world: the news that your friend's long awaited baby has arrived, being given an extra couple of slices of chorizo by the cheery lady who made your lunchtime sandwich, an amusing anecdote in David Niven's autobiography. any of these things could be enough to stop you feeling sorry for yourself and remind you of the quixotic joy of life here on earth.

so, it is a sad reflection of the depths my black, heathen, smug-bastard soul has sunk to, that it was none of these things that made stop my self-absorbed strop.

it was Richard Dawkins being rude to creationists.

70 life-enhancing minutes of it. priceless. via the Guardian

as bill hicks would say, sit down and strap in.

you can see talk he actually gave here but that's just a boring mix of rational philosophy and science. nowhere near as fun as watching as his responses become terser and terser till he can eventually stand it no more and transmogrifies into a giant, raging, axe-wielding yeti and slaughters half of lynchburg in a bewildering orgy of atheistic destruction.


i was further gladdened by the cursory research i did into Liberty University, the source of all these imaginary-friend sharing lunatics. check out their statement of purpose. aside from some jolly reasonable stuff about contributing to a knowledge and understanding of other cultures, it contains this gem:

2. Promote an understanding of the Western tradition and the diverse elements of American cultural history, especially the importance of the individual in maintaining democratic and free market processes.

yeah, i remember Jesus being really hot on the free-market.

Matthew 12 vs 34: "Jesus sat down with the temple money changers and discussed the possibility of increasing their margin by introducing a traded exchange for sacrificial currency and perhaps diversifying their portfolio to include sacrificial property."

this venerable institution was setup by none other than Jerry Falwell, baptist bible-thumper extraordinaire. after the September 11 attacks he came out with the now classic, "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen."

thanks jerry. we are feeling the love.

one of the other purposes of this bastion of educational rigour has been to provide academic justification for intelligent design. and they even have some "3000 year old" dinosaur (or as they call them: dragon) fossils dug up by this joker to help prove their point. to give you an idea of the strength of his argument, here's a sample quote:

"There is just no way that the theory of evolution can be reconciled with the truth of creation as recorded in the Bible."

well that's that dealt with then.

so yes, i'm a lot happier now. there's nothing like a load of intelligent, educated people spending millions of pounds, willfully disregarding logic and the accumulated knowledge of the panoply of human scientific endeavour in order to create a scientific basis for a bronze age creation myth they had the dumb luck to be brought up believing, having the piss ripped out of them to put a smile on my face.


now coffee...

Monday, 22 January 2007

still grumpy...

well wrap me in magnesium foil and set fire to me with a blowtorch if i am not the grumpiest bastard alive. i have been moping around since my last post making H's life hell and generally finding the glass not just half empty, but with the wrong pissing stuff in it to start off with so take it back and give it to someone who gives a haemorrhaging fuck. the reason for this stream of super-heated, petulant man-bile? anyone? bueller? exactly. nothing. not the slightest genuine ripple in the smooth-flowing stream that is my life. and yet. and yet.

i've been tagged to tell you 5 things you probably didn't know about me and i will once i've calmed down enough to type past the glowing red mist that currently envelopes me. however, in the meantime, i will treat you all to 5 things that have absolutely made my blood boil last week:

1. these 3 prematurely louche, denim-ridden cock monkeys were about 14 weeks old. dressed to a man as if they were speed-tottin', hard-livin', groupie-fuckin' roadies with no conception of anything beyond summer 1982, they were walking down regent street in a manner that suggested their band had just scored a 24 date world tour supporting the Ramones. feet at 90 degrees to each other. shoulders rolling like someone with dentures eating a caramel baguette. conversation so drawn out that any normal person would have had to have recorded it and then replayed it at twice the speed in order to catch anything vaguely intelligible, let alone comprehensible.

then they went into macdonald's. and one of them's mum rang. presumably to remind him to drink his breast milk. god i hated them. so much i could hardly hold the phone steady as i chased them down the street.

2. Ruth Kelly. i mean. really. never mind the fact she looks like henry kelly's lesbian sister, this woman is responsible for our govt's flagship made-up Dept for Communities and Local Govt. to quote from the number 10 website: "DCLG will be the successor department to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (that's the one they had to take back off John "Moronic Fat Twat" Prescott for being an incomprehensible philandering knob-jockey). It is an expanded department with a powerful new remit to promote community cohesion and equality." the irony of her being a member of cartoon-villain catholic sect Opus Dei was presumably lost on our dear leader when he gave her the job, seeing as Opus Dei are as much about promoting ecumenical understanding and community cohesion as they are about handing out free condoms and smoking crack. now she's undermining some pretty reasonable legislation on gay equality by lobbying for her catholic chums to be exempt from bits of it they don't like. THE POINT OF EQUALITY LEGISLATION IS THAT EVERYONE HAS TO ABIDE BY IT OR THEY'RE BEING DISCRIMINATORY YOU CLUELESS HARPY. AND YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO LET YOUR PERSONAL RELIGIOUS VIEWS EFFECT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GOVT POLICY. aaarrrgh. matron! bring me laudanum, a pint of absinthe and an illustrated copy of the Da Vinci Code.

3. anyone living in London who complains about it being cold. if you are cold in london, either you are not wearing enough clothes or you're dying slowly of blood loss. with 10 million ppl all smoking marmoset and cranberry frappacinos, carrying round their own personal patio heaters and burning 4x4s to keep warm, even on the rare occasions when some vaguely less than warm air heads our way, it's still only about as cold as a chain-store coffee about 30 seconds after you get it. shut up.

4. the coaching Jade Goody received for her CBB exit interview. yes i know, but by this point my rage was such that i was deliberately seeking out sources of annoyance in order to fuel my fires of hate. i am not so naive that i think the whole thing isn't a massive pile of hastily pre-arranged cock, but at least, C4, try and maintain the illusion. try and carry out the whole thing with a teensy amount of skill or forethought. remind the bigoted, kebab-flashing bimbo you're exploiting to not start sentences with "when they told me, i mean when i just saw..." or edit it better. or just fuck off.

5. my inability to write blog posts i am in anyway happy with.

there. i feel better now. oh. no i don't. grrr.

Thursday, 18 January 2007

big, hairy arsecakes.

today, i am powerful with the grumpy side of the force. fear my peevishness. however, H has put a smile on my face by doing an excellent impression of dennis the menace given female form and promoted to wicked witch of the south-east.

check these puppies out:

for the record, she has asked that her hair is not included in order that any girls reading are not instantly driven into a frenzy of jealousy that casues them to damage their computers. in some way.

anyway, i'm so angry i nearly did an overly long and doubtless unnecessary post about the deeply unfunny slabrity big brother racism controversy. thankfully (for you that is dear reader), as i do so often in these situations, it thought, "what would linda smith do?" and the answer was painfully obvious.

she once said: "i don't really want to talk about jeffrey archer because i don't want to give him the oxygen of publicity. in fact, i'm not really certain i'm happy with him having the oxygen of oxygen."

this sums up my feelings on the whole matter so well, that i am relieved from commenting further.

it does, however, suggest an incredibly satisfying solution to the whole affair.

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

i'm not angry - you're just thick

chris (to printer):
mutter...come on you crappy thing. your mother was telex.

printer (cheerfully): chunter chunter printy noise printy noise collate collate

user (getting up and walking over at least 3 km from far side of the office):
is this printer not working?

chris (to user):
why? can't you print to it?

user (with expression that suggests his poor brain might just explode from the pressure of all this conversation):
i don't know.

chris (with impressively straight face):
have you tried printing to it?

user (he's going to cry soon i can tell):

chris (who can see where this is going and is slowly reaching for a LART):
so why do you think you can't print to it?

user (picking up on the "if you're being as dumb as i think you are i am going to be mildly withering" vibes, meekly, and with annoying AQI.):
because you're standing here?

chris (admirably holding back the images of violence and office-based slaughter):
i am doing some printing.

grrr. twitch. grrrr

Puffin Chunks...mmm

today's post is really a thinly veiled and unnecessary attempt to boost BBC DVD sales. If you never heard 15 Storeys High on radio4, then there was absolutely no chance of you having seen it on telly, due to the BBC's policy of hiding anything with an microgram of originality between repeats of FUCKING COUPLING WITH JACK KILL-ME-NOW DAVENPORT (this might not be it's real name - i forget) and programmes for schools.

Apparently, the corporation in it's inestimable wisdom has finally scheduled both series to be released on the 19th Feb 07. which is lucky for them, cos what they don't know is my office window is the perfect sniper's nest for their building. so commissioning editors and schedulers beware. i am watching you.

and i have a can of blue rat to hand.

Monday, 15 January 2007

time for an admission

i am about as far as you can get from the stereotypical image of the football-shirted, lager-spilling, monomaniacal sports fan as it is possible for me to get, without actively wearing a ball-gown with "i really hate sport" printed on it.

my sporting prowess can be summed up in this photograph:

which will have any of you familiar with the game of cricket crying into your MCC coaching manuals and casting aspersions about me "batting for the other side".

i am fine with this. but i love sport. not just some sports, but sport. from late-night thai-boxing on espn to the UK Windsurfing Championships from Windermere. even sports i think are rubbish like golf. i love it.

now this is something of an admission given H's attitude to sport (if it hates her - she's going to hate it right back). but it's the whole "triumph of human endeavour" thing that gets me every time.

it doesn't matter if it's 2 OAP's trying get a lop-sided black orb marginally closer to small white ball than each other, or 2 teams of brain-dead jocks trying to get a ball into some brightly coloured advertising space at either end of a field. if it matters to them - it can matter to me.

so it was with great pleasure, with H out of the house yesterday afternoon, that i sat down to indulge, my 2 guiltiest pleasures. yes, the 2 sports that other sports would push into a corner and laugh at with pointy fingers and would then have a heart-attack if they tried to run away: darts and snooker

and was rewarded with an unbelievably exciting afternoon's entertainment.

H laughed at my joy. yes. i am that sad.

Saturday, 13 January 2007

and now, for my next trick....

ahh, the safe paralysis of indecision. it's that difficult second post you see. which of a billion directions to take? and, instead of the tawdry scrabble for ideas that will doubtless characterise my 2000th post, my mind is leaping between options like a dubious, thin-faced fairground worker between tea-cups on a waltzer.

initally my seething outrage at this speech by our dear leader seemed like a good way to go, but was quickly discarded as too way too political/dull.

then, a random conversation last night drew me towards the ukulele orchestra of great britain who are nowhere near as famous as people as witty and skillful as they are should be (even for a jokey covers act). but ultimately there's not much you can say apart from "check these guys out - they're skill" and i seem to have just done that.

so i was forced to head on, deeper in to the tangenital recesses of my mind. which, duly came up with the fact that at some stage i need to do a meet the family post. but i'm enjoying the paper-thin sense of mystery for now and there's plenty of time for all that.

then, salvation arrived in the form of adrian, solveig and, of course, the ever fashionable freyja, who came over for lunch today and gave me plenty of tasty food for thought. H and I are not yet "babied up", but increasing numbers of our friends are (interestingly coinciding with them developing a hitherto unexplored interest in blogging) and this has inevitably led to some shifts in everyone's relationships. for years, the social currency of my friendships has been the drunken, rambling, late night conversation, often after a club or some such music-heavy, conversation-light entertainment. you know the sort of thing - somewhere between:

"ish fickin great to see you, man. you're my mate, yeah. s'really good to see you."
(repeat ad infinitum, occasionally throwing in a reference to the previous night's music)


"i think what Perec was trying emphasise was the richness of human existance evident even within the banal, bourgeois, confines of a Paris apartment block, yer cnut"
(veer wildy between highbrow erudtion and scatological abuse)

and then, once kids come along, you have to come up with a whole new set of social situations to get the love, admiration and sense of self-satifaction when ppl laugh at your jokes, you previously regarded as yours by right. cos babies and warehouse parties just don't mix. of course, the more organised ones amongst us started this process early and if you've actually got kids i think hormones and playgroups just take care of the whole thing for you.

but, if you're a bit rubbish like me, it comes as a massive relief to remember that friendships forged in the white-hot crucible of the fashionable dance music scene are just as rewarding in the warm afterglow of a shared meal and a walk round the park with the little'un. ultimately, having children only puts time-constraints in the way of your friendships, it's not a brain-transplant or anything and that's something us smug, childless, dinkies would do well to remember.

but if any of you tell me "of course, you've got all this to look forward to." i will have you fucking killed.

which they didn't, and i love them for it.

so there. that was pretty long for a second post and just in case you got bored halfway through, your reward is this mind-boggling fantasic clip, also from Jools Hollands show, that H insisted i put in:

thangyewvermuch, goodnight.

Thursday, 11 January 2007

well Chris, here are the keys to your shiny new blog...


hmmm. bit dark in here. still, once we've got the place decorated it'll be quite nice, i think. have to rip out all this naff 70's html tho. smells of chinese food and dog wee. i think ikea have got a formatting sale on. it'll look like everyone else's blog, but at least it's cheap and re-sale value is so important these days.

anyway, hello. this is where it starts. bloggety-bloggety-blog-blog. it's been coming for a while, if i'm honest. if you can't beat 'em, bitch about them on your own blog that's what i say. there'll be tears, there'll be wry observations, there'll be coruscating satire, but for now there'll just be a cup of earl grey and some supper for the lovely H who'll be home soon and'll need sustenance. So i'll leave you with:

which cheered me up no end when i found it the other day and say hello and goodnight.


/me bangs his head on a headline banner on the way out.