29.09.2004 - Odd and Sodom and Gomorrah-able...

Saddened by the news on Saturday that Dame Julie Andrews' voice has been ruined by a routine throat operation, I rushed out and bought Thoroughly Modern Millie on DVD. Such a great treat of a film; what more could a queen ask for but to watch Dame Julie, Carol Channing, Mary Tyler Moore and Beatrice Lillie while doing the ironing on a Sunday afternoon? And whilst in my local DVD emporium I noticed Tiger Bay on sale for the bargain price of £5 and so I snapped that up too. That will have to wait until next Sunday's ironing for a proper viewing.

I notice that Augusten Burroughs has a new book out, Dry, his follow up to the excellent Running With Scissors. Burroughs' childhood makes the Addams Family look like normality itself. Another good read, especially for those who, like me, have a fascination with things morbid is Stiff by Mary Roach. This book looks at the life available to corpses; everything from organ harvesting to being a crash test dummy. Read this book then donate your body to science.

At the moment I'm reading Mark Simpson's Saint Morrissey. This book sparkles and is written from the perspectives of both Devil's Advocate and Counsel for Canonisation. It displays Morrissey's cutting wit, painting a picture of him as a latter day Oscar Wilde.

I can't resist quoting from an interview Morrissey did where he was asked what he thought of TATU's cover of How Soon Is Now?. Morrissey said that he thought that it was magnificent but admitted that he did not know too much about TATU. The interviewer explained, "They're teenage Russian Lesbians." To which Morrissey replied, "Well, aren't we all?"

Now I know that this has been written about before but has anybody listened to Laurie Anderson's O Superman post 9/11? The lyrics are prophetic regarding that day and the subsequent fallout. The track was released as a single in the UK nearly 20 years before the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. It's strange and not a little disturbing to see now how well they describe the events of 9/11 and our reaction to it.

So hold me, Mom, in your long arms.
In your automatic arms.
Your electronic arms.
In your arms.
So hold me, Mom, in your long arms.
Your petrochemical arms.
Your military arms.
In your electronic arms.

link | 1 year ago | 2 years ago | so... tell me

28.09.2004 - Branded...

My mobile contract was up with Vodafone a couple of weeks ago so I rang them to see what they could offer to make me stay with them...

The nice operator told me that they could upgrade my Sony Ericsson T610 to a Sony Ericsson K700 for £167. I told them that on the Vodafone website they were offering it for free to new customers signing up for the same price plan as me. Pause. The operator passed me onto another department where they offered it for the knockdown price of £100. Again I explained that they were offering it for free to new customers signing up for my price plan. Pause. Once again I was passed to another department. Here, at last, they offered it to me for free.

I wonder how many Vodafone customers agree to pay the £167 or £100 to upgrade their handsets because they don't realise that you can get a free upgrade?

Those of you who have a contract phone with Vodafone will know that they heavily brand the phone's operating system. The original Sony Ericsson menus are multi coloured affairs replete with 3D icons that show off the phone's display to the full while the Vodafone menus are limited to four colours, 2D and rather dull. This I can live with.

Not content with the usual one button to access WAP pages (the default page is always Vodafone which you can't change) they have customised menus so that there are at least four methods of hooking up to their vile Vodafone Live! page. I am forever inadvertantly logging on to this useless service. Again, this is something I can just about live with.

The Ericsson K700 boasts the ability to play MP3s as ringtones and alarm sounds. Unless, of course, you have a Vodafone branded handset where this feature has been disabled. Why? Vodafone keep citing MP3 licences and Digital Rights Management but the MP3s I want to use have been paid for and I'm allowed to use them for my my own personal use. Could this instead have something to do with Vodafone's soon to be launched MP3 download service at Vodafone Live!?

Another handy feature on this phone allows you to hook up with instant messaging services such as ICQ, Yahoo and MSN via Yamigo but again, Vodafone have disabled this feature. Of course, I can at a price use the Vodafone messenger service via (you guessed) Vodafone Live!

You may argue that Vodafone need to recoup their money for the handset in some way but neither O2, T Mobile nor Orange brand their phones this heavily. What is the point in upgrading to a feature packed phone where many of the features have been disabled?

link | 1 year ago | 2 years ago | so... tell me

21.09.2004 - The art of onanism...

Many thanks for the messages to yesterday's miserable post. No I'm not about to give up, not just yet. However, I still have nothing to say. Actually I have lot to say; just nothing worth reading. And so I sit here pleasuring myself...

In an act of sheer desparation I bring you the top 50 phrases that have borne you, the internet's flotsam and jetsam, to my virtual sandy shore...

 Rank   Phrases 
 why do clocks go clockwise? 
 straight lads 
 Kailashgiri Brahmachari 
 why do clocks go clockwise 
 dna celts 
 hijra nude 
10   michael fagan where is he now 
11   milennium stadium cardiff 
12   fiona bruce nude 
13   cockney rhyming slang: What's that? You'll have to speak up, dear, I'm a bit mutten 
14   cd players arcam alpha 
15   lyrics "what's he got" "he's got the lot" 
16   st trinian's 
17   abseiling lesbians "House of Commons" 
18   46 inch waist levi 
19   Kumbh Mela men woman's clothes 
20   prince charles miners strike 
21   Urdu Sex Stories Urdu Sex 
22   "as gay as a" .uk 
24   s.o. 
25   fanny craddock 
26   chris bryant mp underpants 
27   abseiling lesbians 
28   "Variations" "andrew lloyd webber" 
29   trick maths questions 
30   children's TV presenter carlsberg 
31   young naturist photos 
32   Witty lines 
33   sylvester mccoy, nina simone, science 
34   chris bryant gay underpants 
35   increase brain power 
36   cyberkenny 
37   the best funk album in the world ever 
38   Harald Bluetooth 
39   so...duncan 
40   how many sentences in a paragraph? 
41   st trinians adult 
42   Gay Old Men Wanking 
43   gay danish prince joachim 
44   trinians "character actors" 
45   duncan alexander so 
46   Famous Palindromes 
47   who owns the most pairs of socks 
48   ann summers 
49   what is the reaction to the idea that ian huntley maybe innocent? 

After staring at the above list I'm amazed at how many of the phrases would make great names for blogs. Some of them seem familiar, almost. Drop me an e-mail if you'd like to help me start a collaborative blog with a title such as #42...

link | 1 year ago | 2 years ago | so... tell me

20.09.2004 - Do the Shake'n'Vac and put the freshness back...

How many times have I sat down over the last couple of days to blog about something and then lost interest and given up? How many times have I thought about packing it in? How many times have I wondered why I'm writing this stuff and who's it for anyway?

It's not like I'm really busy to the point where I don't have the time. I read the news online and no story has grabbed me to the degree where I want to comment on it. I read other blogs and marvel at the wit and gasp at the passion and nothing moves me to post anything on my own blog.

I feel stale and washed up; with regard to this blog, my job, life in general. I'm fast becoming a bit of a sad old git. I need some Shake'n'Vac for the soul.

link | 1 year ago | 2 years ago | so... tell me

08.09.2004 - I've tried to think of some witty way of framing this post...

This year's Mobo Awards will not feature Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel because they've had their Mobo nominations withdrawn after apologies were not forthcoming from the pair with regard to the homophobic content to some of their songs:

Bow cat, sodomite, batty man fi gat assassination (Yeah)
Vybz Kartel – Bedroom Slaughteration

Battyman fi dead!
Please mark we word
Gimme tha tec-nine
Shoot dem like bird
Elephant Man - A Nuh Fi Wi Fault

"Mobo has not yet received written apologies as previously promised. We have therefore alerted the Mobo Academy to this situation and a decision has been taken to withdraw the nominations for Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel" - Mobo spokesman.

It has emerged that Mobo has been in discussion with the Black Gay Advisory group and the police before the nominations were announced. Outrage! have campaigned for some time about their inclusion in this year's awards and have welcomed Mobo's decision to axe them from the best reggae act catagory.

Yes, I've tried to think of some witty way of framing this post about these homophobic reggae stars but I can't find anything remotely humourous in promoting the murder of someone because they're gay.

I'm a bit funny that way...

link | 1 year ago | 2 years ago | so... tell me

04.09.2004 - Mardi Gras...

I spent most of yesterday at Cardiff Mardi Gras with the bf. There were a few fairground rides, a couple of bars, the usual range of stalls and too few toilets. As you might expect there was the usual sprinkling of clones, drag queens, faux sailor boys and winged disco bunnies sporting thongs.

Dave won a bottle of whiskey at the Labour Party stall and so had his photo taken with Chris tighty-whities Bryant MP.

He's looking a little pissed off in this photo because as he and Dave were posing, a madman had muscled in on the photo and then gone berserk, wrecking the stall before running off.

We caught up with lots of people we’d not seen in ages as we drifted around the field, pints of tepid lager in hand. We met up with Dave who was with his new boyfriend, Jodie. We spent most of the afternoon with them, catching up with Dave and getting to know Jodie. A pleasant afternoon.

The line up on the main stage wasn’t that exciting. Steve Strange put in an appearance, mumbling and slurring some message of support before fronting an up tempo version of Fade To Grey and Ruth Madoc (soon to be seen as the mother of Dafydd, the only gay in the village) was drowned out by roars of “Hi-de-Hi!”.

Jordan of Less Ordinary was there but unfortunately I didn't run into him. As the camera panned across the front row of the throng pressed against the stage I'm sure I spotted Chig on the big screen changing lenses. But then perhaps I imagined it. We left before the finale - I couldn't stand the excitement...

link | 1 year ago | 2 years ago | so... tell me

01.09.2004 - Ebola...

Sudden onset of fever and malaise, with extreme prostration and weight loss. Subsequent symptoms include: sore throat, chest pain, abdominal pain, skin rash, and diarrhoea. The patient's blood fails to clot, and patients may begin to bleed from needle/injection sites as well as into the skin and stomach, intestines, and other internal organs. Excessive effusions from internal organs occurs, followed by pulmonary interstitial oedema and renal dysfunction.

This list of symptoms was taken from Tara K Harper's notes on Ebola.

What this list of symptoms does not state is that your testicles swell to the size of lemons and putrify in your scrotum as the virus turns them to mush.

What's even more scary is, given what the virus is doing to the rest of your body, your rotting gonads are the least of your problems.

I'm currently reading Richard Preston's The Hot Zone. It's graphic and gripping and a great read if you enjoy being scared shitless.

Some patients become jaundiced. About 15% of patients experience hiccups when infected with Ebola Zaire; 38% develop bleeding. Within 7 to 10 days, patients who will survive begin to recover. Recovery can take 5 weeks or more, and is marked by prostration, weight loss, and amnesia for the period of acute illness.

Patients who are at greatest risk of dying experience diffuse or extensive haemorrhage into the skin, mucous membranes, and internal organs, including the cavities of the stomach and intestines. Swelling of the spleen, lymph nodes, kidneys, and brain occurs. In addition, there is usually evidence of interstitial pneumonia and sometimes of pancreatitis and inflammation in the eyes.

By the end of the first week of acute symptoms, the patient can bleed freely from the eyes, ears, and nose. Patients begin to vomit a black "sludge" of blood and disintegrated internal organs. Capillary leakage results in vascular collapse. Patients experience coma and convulsions, followed by respiratory distress, and finally death.

link | 1 year ago | 2 years ago | so... tell me