Friday, December 28, 2001

I have never been a fan of computer games. Oh, way way back in the 80s [1982, to be precise] I got a Sinclair Spectrum, and got totally hooked on primitive 3D puzzles like Batman. But - apart from a period in 1995 when I'd stay in the office till the early hours of the morning blasting monsters in the labyrinths of Doom - video games have left me cold.

So I was worried about buying Marcus a Playstation 2 for Christmas. I feared he'd spend hours engrossed in some other world, leaving me feeling ignored and neglected. Well, Marcus has got engrossed in another world, but he has taken me with him.

The world of Jak and Daxter.

It's basically a 3D platform game, but one of a totally new generation. The graphics are stunning; the characters - thanks to the input of ex-Disney staff - have real personalities; each world is different, with its own unique environment and challenges; and just when you think you might start to get a bit bored of jumping from rock to rock, you are set incredibly difficult, but incredibly addictive, tasks to complete. It's the little touches that continually enthrall me - the heat distortion above fires, the rings puddling around your feet as you run through the swamps, and the genuinely funny unexpected touches of humour.

OK, so Marcus and I haven't spoken much to each other apart from the occasional "Bugger!" and "Fuck!" but that can have its charms, too!

Tuesday, December 25, 2001

What a wonderful Christmas so far. [Not too sure about the Swedish tradition of four different kinds of raw herring, though!] I shall spend the rest of the day playing with the digital camera my lovely boyfriend bought me. Now, if only we could get the Playstation 2 I bought him working - it's something to do with a SCART cable, far too technical for me.

I hope you are having a fantastic Christmas, too.

Friday, December 21, 2001

What a cool game!
It's been quite a year on the internet. B3ta remind us of the best stories, including Britney's death hoax, tourist guy, that bodybuilding child, All Your Base, Peter Pan, the Queen Mum death rumours, Jamie Oliver's fat tongue and - my favourite - the Kaycee Nicole thing:
That girl WITHOUT leukaemia - she didn't die!
Simple story: Girl writes web page. Girl pretends to be dying. People get upset and send flowers. Girl dies. People try and attend funeral. Oops. The girl made it all up. Not everything on the Internet is true. Shock.
As I enter Kilburn tube station this morning, I heard my train pulling in, rumbling overhead. I sprinted up the stairs, taking them two at a time, dodging slower people, flying past two little old ladies. "Ooh," said one of them to the other, "I'd love to be able to move like that!"

You have no idea how long I've waited to hear that. Or how long I'll have to wait till I hear it again.

Thursday, December 20, 2001

I have uploaded a pop lyrics quiz that I was emailed today. It's in Excel format and it cleverly tots up your score as you go through it. Let me know how you do.
Jonathan and I are sending each other secret messages in each other's referrer logs.
Spectacle! I like spectacle!
I like decapitations and eviscerations
I like insides turned inside out!

Some people find it artistic
When Hamlet gets gloomy and glum
My tastes run to the sadistic
So a flaming hot poker shot right up his bum!
Go see The Rose And The Ring at the Hen and Chickens. Go see it now! Composer Michael Jeffrey and lyricist Peter Morris have come up with an utterly charming take on a William Makepeace Thackeray novella.

To paraphrase The Princess Bride, it's a great tale of romance, fencing, fighting, humor, torture, revenge, chases, escapes, true love and miracles. It is a great tale of a two nations called Paflagonia and Creamtartery, a girl named Rosalba, a boy named Giglio and true love.

The songs are delightful, with brilliantly witty rhymes. Sorta Cole Porter, or Gilbert and Sullivan. I kept being reminded of Stephin Merritt. Part of the show's charm lies in its smallness - the theatre seats 50 people - so you are engaged in it, within the drama. Oh, it's simply delightful.

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

God save the queen. This time, we really do mean it, maaaaan.
We get into the Christmas spirit still further tonight as we're going to see The Ring And The Rose at the Hen and Chickens, Islington. Starring Paul Keating of Closer To Heaven fame, it sounds like a riot. Camper than Christmas. The Guardian says:
This delightful musical is based on William Makepeace Thackeray's comic novella about an unfortunate fairy gift of two talismans - a rose and a ring - that render their owners utterly desirable.
Since when has Keating needed any help in that direction?
The Retro Bar is the best damn pub in London. And Wendy is the best landlord in London. It is wonderful to find a bar where the staff clearly love the place, love making their customers happy. Too many other pub landlords seem to forget that's what hospitality is all about - enjoyment.

And, boy, did we enjoy last night! We had never been to their annual panto before, but you try stop us going next year.

By the time we arrived just before nine, the party was already in full swing. The place was packed. Rammed. Fuller than a very full thing. The party spirit was much in evidence. The party beer, too. We found Dave and Scally and Iain, wearing silly hats and munching mince pies at the centre table, so the four of us - me, Marcus, Ian and Darren - squeezed in too.

When I heard last week that the staff were going to put on a pantomime, I imagined something dreadfully amateur. And it was - but it was fab, fab, fab! The cast - bar staff and regulars - had put a hell of a lot of work into it.

The plot of Cinderillaz, of course, was familiar. Ish. All ended happily with Cinders marrying Buttons rather than the prince. Cinders, you see, was played by a lesbian barmaid, and Buttons was Wendy in swashbuckling, thigh-slapping butch get-up. We booed the ugly sisters. We chanted all the stock phrases of panto: "Oh no you're not" and "It's behind you!" And a new one to me: "fuck off you slack-arsed old cow" every time the evil stepmother appeared.

Then came the carol service: a veritable greatest hits of Christmas - one verse each of all your favourite songs.

When we were all Gloriaed in Excelsised out, Father Christmas arrived and it started snowing. [OK, so it was someone chucking handfuls of polystyrene out of an upstairs window, but the effect was heartwarming. Yes, I'd had a few pints by this point.] Santa handed out gifts and then Wendy handed out awards to regulars - most embarrassing moment, service above and beyond the call of duty, etc. Sadly, no award for best quiz team.

Oh, there was a late licence, too. We all got very drunk and had a bloody fabulous evening. Finally, I actually feel like Christmas is coming.

And what did all of this cost us? One pound, which went to charity. The Retro Bar is the best damn pub in London.

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

My thighs are sticky, with sweet, warm, milky juices running down them. Yes, I just spilled a cup of tea on my lap. Now it's drying, and my jeans are sticking to my leg. Urrrggghhh. And it's at least another hour till I can go home and change.
In the weeks running up to Christmas, your boyfriend will occasionally mention something, and you'll think to yourself: "must make a mental note of that. Perfect Christmas present!"

Mental note to self: mental notes to self don't work.
That's funny - I don't remember buying stain remover from Clone Zone on Saturday...!

Monday, December 17, 2001

I was going to enter the lyrics quiz over at Troubled Diva. But then I started cheating...
You know those nights where you are mysteriously popular? When you find yourself the centre of attraction, the belle of the ball, and can't figure out why? Why this particular evening? Is it this shirt? My hair? Am I giving off special pheromones?

I had one of those evenings on Saturday. Marcus and I went to Queer Nation in Brixton. As I put it the next day, "I had more black men sniffing round me than a Dalston crackhouse!" Fortunately, Marcus was more amused than anything else.
By the way, putting spaces between the letters on quiz questions in an attempt to stop colleagues finding my entry when searching for the answers doesn't work! Google cleverly saw through my ploy and spidered it anyway. So I've deleted that post. Thanks to everyone who provided me with answers. I'll let you know if I win.
There are mysterious goings-on behind the scenes at London Underground. For all their efforts at keeping customers informed, you sometimes get the impression that the system is verging on chaos, careening out of control.

This morning, Jubilee Line passengers were informed: "Trains will not be stopping at Bond Street. I don't know the reason. As soon as I know, I'll inform you."

Five minutes later, we were told: "Trains will not be stopping at Bond Street. This is due to an incident on the platform." Ah, one of London Underground's best euphemisms - it's shorthand for a suicide. Some poor bugger who couldn't face another Monday at work.

Then came the announcement: "Trains will not be stopping at Bond Street. This is due to an incident on the platform. Neither Central Line nor Jubilee Line trains will stop there." God, you think to yourself, that's quite a suicide. How much mess did it make?

As our train crawled through Bond Street, we could hear a panicky in-station announcement: "Please leave the station now! Can you all just get out now?!"

I have no idea what that was about, but I was glad our train pulled out sharpish. Had it been a month earlier, I would have been paranoid about anthrax or sarin gas or something, but now I just put it down to LU not knowing what's going on.

Friday, December 14, 2001

Jonathan has written an exhaustive summary of the Marc Almond show at Union Chapel, and Ian has given his thoughts on Marc's appeal, his weaknesses and his audience. All it remains for me to do is give a few of the highlights:
  • The queeny strop: Marc introduced What Makes A Man A Man by saying "I find this song very moving. I get quite choked up, especially in the third verse." So it was perhaps understandable that he lost his temper with the drunk couple in the front row who sang along, loudly, anticipating every word. At the end of the second chorus, Marc deliberately held back on the line, "Tell me if you can" so that the whole house could hear the people in the front. "Right!" he shouted, "Go on then, tell me if you can! Go on! You sing the song, why don't you? Do I come and interrupt you at your work when you're flipping burgers in McDonalds??"
  • The website put-down: The very first thing I did when I first went online back in 1996 was to search for a Marc Almond site. I found the Marc Almond Message Board, now resident at Indigo Blue - "a place for fans to meet, chat, share information, play, sulk and argue". Over the last five years I have made many friends through the site, most of whom were at the show last night. In fact, I sat directly behind the site's moderator, Alan. So it was pretty damn galling when Marc ranted about all the sad fan sites on the web. " or Indigo Blue or something. Not that I've looked at them personally - friends tell me about them: 'You won't believe what they've done now - there's a top ten worst albums list.' What a bunch of sad twats!"
  • The sing-alongs: perhaps the only time an audience has been encouraged to perform a mass sing-along paean to masturbation? "Mother fist never gets lonely, mother fist, she never gets bored..."
  • Broken Hearted And Beautiful: My favourite song ever. And I don't just mean my favourite Marc song. The lilting rhythm, the seedy atmosphere, the observant lyrics: "She thought she'd find his angel face in the bottom of a whiskey glass", the exact sense of place and time: "the man on the TV calls 'Cathy, Cathy come home".
  • I Created Me: A big two-fingers-up to his detractors: "I created me - a little irony - cuz I hated me. I created me from words that always hurt, the ones that cut you deep like bender and pervert, weirdo, sicko, freak, queer and faggot too."
  • Midnight Soul: I had tears in my eyes. OK, I'm a sucker for Marc's 'beautiful loser' shtick, but I can identify, y'know? "I'm tired of drifting, I'm tired of lying, I've been walking, when I could have been flying"
  • St Judy: simply sensational. Marc writhing in the pulpit, shouting "Kip Noll, John Holmes, and me - all in bed and we were going O.T.T. - what a sight to see!".

    Now let's see what Marcus made of it...
  • Today's favourite search request:
    gay photos of guys called marcus

    Thursday, December 13, 2001

    From what I have read about them, I'm going to love Miss Kittin & The Hacker. They've been likened to Ladytron and Soft Cell:
    A clinical, electro-pop version of art-punk Peaches, Miss Kittin is a dancefloor dominatrix, a sex robot who declaims her tales of mindless celebrity obsession over clicking electro backing tracks that sound like Giorgio Moroder dragged through a hedge backwards.
    Lyrically, their album is Heat magazine distorted through a hall of mirrors; musically, Miss Kittin and the Hacker reflect nights in pristine ski-resort discos listening to cack-handed hi-NRG and the new romantics.
    I think I'm going to like them a lot. So much, that I added The First Album to my wish list. I did, I'm sure I did. I remember doing it.

    But it's not there anymore. In fact, Amazon now deny all knowledge of the French techno-chanteuse and her sidekick. They seem to have been removed from their database - perhaps the album has been deleted? Merde!
    Today's favourite search request:
    hated london moved back to south africa. Quite the opposite, dear.
    This page is powered by rocket fuel!

    In the coffee aisle [outta my way, bitch] in Sainsburys last night I spoted Rocket Fuel - ground coffee with Extra! Caffeine! and Added! Guarana! Whoo! Big mug this morning! No, not that I feel a big mug for buying it. It does work. I feel a buzzzzzz. My fingers are fliying over the jkeyboar. Who cares what kweus they/'re actually hitting. Whoooooo! Hey! Work could be fun today. Until the comedown, of course.....

    Wednesday, December 12, 2001

    I'm taking my boyfriend to see Marc Almond at Union Chapel tomorrow night. I am a bit nervous about this - Marcus doesn't think he likes Marc, though I doubt he could name any of his songs apart from Tainted Love. This show may be the ideal show to make a new convert, or the one to send him fleeing in terror. More a theatrical performance than a gig, this should be spectacular. Gruelling perhaps, but awesome. No hits, no disco beats, no da-dink-dink. Just raw emotion, pain, songs about sleaze, fear and death. Or as Marc himself put it last year, "an evening of morbid, depressing songs and B-sides."

    A big thank you to the blogger who offered me a pirate video copy of last year's Union Chapel show on CD-ROM. I declined, of course!
    Jonathan has the details of last night's Retro Bar pop quiz.

    Tuesday, December 11, 2001

    Brian Harvey axed. [Sorry!]
    The Great Bellybutton Lint Survey
    After last week's blip, Dr Terrible's House Of Horrible found its feet last night in in an episode entitled Voodoo Feet Of Death.

    Each week's episode is introduced by a creepy bloated, bald monster [whom a certain unnamed blogger last night likened to one of his best friends and my ex]. "Tonight we shall see a dancer who is destined to become... foot loose!"

    Set in the 30s, this was like Edward Scissorhands, but with feet. Top dancer Lester Crown - Mr Dance himself - loses both feet in a gory accident:

    Lester spies on cheating wife. Climbs roof. Delightfully fake rain. Lester slips from roof. Giant scissors fall on top of him. Snip off both feet at the ankles. Gushing stumps. Severed foot grabbed by dog. The other one too.

    Meanwhile, in a dockyard far away, a black harbour worker loses his feet. These are grafted on to Lester's stumps. Lester awakes and lifts back the sheet: "Aargh! You put them the wrong way round!" "No, Lester - you have your legs crossed!"

    Doctor: It will be a year before you will be able to walk again
    Lester: And how long before I can dance? A year? Two years?
    Doctor: You'll just have to take it a step at a time.

    Lester is paid a visit by a mysterious black man. "What is your name?" "It's Unimportant." "Oh, hello, Mr Portant." "You have my brother's feet!" "Your brother?" "Yes, Most Important!"

    "Your feet will wreak havoc." "My feet?" "Believe me, they will reek!"

    In a fit of rage, Lester, driven wild by jealousy and led by his feet - now sprouting two-foot-long toenails - goes to the theatre where his wife and his suspected rival are rehearsing. "Lester, you can stand!" "Only so much, my dear!"

    Finally, the transplanted feet caused him to jump off the roof: "My feet are killing me!"

    The final voice-over: "You cannot defeat de feet."

    Monday, December 10, 2001

    Today's favourite search request:
    matthew is a bastard toronto john fab
    Met up with Marcus, Jonathan, Mark, Nikki and Ian at the Hen and Chickens at Highbury Corner, then jumped into cabs and went to an art exhibition in a church. None of the art was particularly brilliant, apart from the life-size-naked-woman-candle, which was gorgeous. Jonathan has a pic of it.

    We went for a couple of drinks at the Edward VI, and then Marcus and I - and his friend Håcan - went to Fiction. I've always enjoyed Fiction's chilled atmosphere and sumptuous surrounds, but all was not well there on Friday. It seems to have lost what once made it special - its exclusivity, perhaps. Marcus wasn't feeling well, and the two snotty sneering eastern Europeans swanning around the dance floor with a bottle of Möet didn't help his mood at all.

    We spent the trip home trying to work out what sex our minicab driver was: looked like a man, talked like an anorak.

    Still, the evening had quite a lovely ending, as we opened a bottle of red wine and Marcus and I had a real heart-to-heart, dicussing our respective childhood traumas till the sun came up. No, honestly, it was lovely!

    A day in bed. We slept in till late, then Marcus got up and made me breakfast in bed. As for me, I didn't set foot out of the bed all day, till we went to Blockbusters and rented Best In Show and The Gift [both so-so]. We stuffed our faces with junk food - jelly tots, jelly beans, mints, popcorn and dill crisps [a fine Swedish innovation].

    Go on, hazard a guess!
    The question on everyone's lips on Saturday evening: Who would win Record Of The Year? Would it be OMD, Betty Boo, Cathy Dennis or Mud? In the event, the great British public voted for S Club 7's Don't Stop Movin' which - astonishingly - was actually co-written by one of the poppets.

    Eight months ago I wrote about my favourite albums of the 90s, including the fabulous Betty Boo album, Grrr!
    Betty Boo was the original Spice Girl. She invented Girl Power. I imagine Simon Fuller listened to “Grrr!” and came up with the idea of a group of girls who, like, are really good friends who look out for each other. The CD booklet shows Betty dressed in a range of outfits: posh in little black number, scary in tiger print, sporty in track suit, babyish cuddling a teddy. But definitely no ginger.
    In a recent Guardian article on how today's pop charts are dominated by behind-the-scenes 80s popstars, Betty Boo says:
    "Eventually I got this phone call from Chris Herbert, the chap who discovered the Spice Girls. He told me that when they were auditioning for the Spice Girls, they were looking for five Betty Boos - larger-than-life cartoon characters."

    Friday, December 07, 2001

    The silliest, most tasteless game on earth: Jizzmoppa!
    My stats have gone mad in the last week or two, and I'm getting nearly 600 hits a day. This should make me happy, no? No.

    No, I don't have Blue Thingummybob's porn pics, but - thanks to Popbitch - you can find them here.
    No, I haven't the faintest idea what a hum-head is either.
    But, yes, I do have the pics of Justin Timberlake you're looking for. They're here. Now go away.
    Further to Ian's eye-witness report of the blast in Wapping yesterday:
    Firecrews are still damping down at the site of a blaze which caused a hugh pall of smoke over east London.

    Around 80 firefighters tackled the blaze at a builders' yard in Raine Street, Wapping, which is believed to have started in a skip.

    It is thought it began to spread when 50 tonnes of roofing material, which had only been delivered the day before, caught alight.

    That spread to propane gas cylinders, which exploded, raining debris on to a nearby elderly peoples' home.

    Thursday, December 06, 2001

    Who said chemists don't have a sense of humour?
    What's the difference between miazole and urazole? The size of the ring...
    Laugh? I nearly did. Molecules with silly names.
    The highlight of Marc Almond's show at Union Chapel last year was his sacrilegious performance of St Judy. Heavily tattooed, Marc delivered the song from the pulpit, writhing as if possessed, all wide eyes and overkill. You can watch a webcast of the entire gig or, as Jonathan has discovered, you can fast-forward to 1hr 39min, and watch St Judy, over and over. That's what you call a star, boys. That's what you call a star.
    My new favourite web site: The MegaPenny Project. Makes my coffee jar full of small change look a bit silly. [via iamcal - can you tell the recently updated UK blogs list is working again?]
    I had forgotten all about What should I put on the fence? but it's good to see it's still going strong.

    If you've never seen it before, the idea is this: there's this bloke who works in central London, see. He used to cycle into work and chain his bike to the fence outside. One day a notice appeared: "Bicycles found chained to these railings will be removed without further notice". So he took to chaining other things to the railings - not bicycles, but anything else: a pan, an ironing board, shoes, a toast rack... Whatever you suggest, really.
    Walking to the tube station this morning, I put on headphones, pressed 'play', and... nothing. My Discman's batteries were obviously flat. But, still, I kept the headphones on - they were keeping my ears warm. Yes, I came to work wearing earmuffs. High-tech earmuffs, perhaps, but earmuffs nonetheless.

    Wednesday, December 05, 2001

    Two signs I saw on my home yesterday which made me laugh:

    Go on, think about it!

    How do you lose your shoes? And how can you be so vague about just where you lost them?
    It had to happen:
    [If I were an online test, I would be The 'Which Online Personality Test Are You?' Test]

    I'm The 'Which Online Personality Test Are You?' Test!

    Oh irony of ironies! I just can't get enough postmodernism, so of course I'm this same test I've just taken. Ho-ho!

    Click here to find out which test you are!

    Do you know anything about The Believer? I just received a text message from my friend Andy, asking if I've seen the ads on the Tube for the film: "the skinhead is so gorgeous".

    He's also a neo-nazi, intent on killing all Jews.

    He's also a Jew.

    This Sundance-award-winning film sounds like a fascinating, complex movie that deals with dangerous issues in a sensitive way. But then, I was fooled into thinking the same of American History X and, er, No Skin Off My Ass. Wrong!

    Have you seen The Believer? Should I?
    The question on everybody's lips: What are hum-heads? [I haven't the foggiest.]
    I have written before about the sexually graphic classifieds ads in gay magazines such as QX. The ads in The Pink Paper, on the other hand, are another thing entirely:
    Men seeking men

    Midlands/Anglia. 71-year-old gent, seeks older friends for meetings/holidays. Stocky/chubby a bonus.

    Cuddle doctor, 33, 5'9", moustache, occasional goatee, seeks active, tall, hairy, beefy, NSm guy, possibly gentle giant/bear, for cuddles. Wakefield. [I can't help wondering what an 'occasional goatee' is. Something like an occasional chair, perhaps?]

    Caring, trustworthy, schoolmaster type, London, nice physique, retired, youthful. Seeks boyfriend/nephew type, 21-33. Safe fun. Inexperienced welcome.

    Black female to male transsexual, 41, interests: boot sales, bargain hunting, etc. Seeks female 30-45 for long-term relationship. [You do know this is the 'men seeking men' category?]

    Guy, 41, seeks strict, dominant, attractive guy, 6', 32-38, medium build, SL/SA, to treat him like a pupil, across the knee, spanking, 1-2-1 relationship.

    Lazy, work-shy bus driver, 31, unfit, likes eating, being driven about on day trips. Prissy queens need not apply.

    Semi-retired passive, submissive guy, seeks active partner to use and abuse me. Pennines/anywhere.

    Mixed connections:

    Black/white couple 20s. seek black sperm donor, no co-parenting option. Yorkshire.

    Healthy older donor, Nottinghamshire. Attractive, talented, English. Will help anyone regardless of nationality/disability. [I am convinced this is just some enterprising straight bloke.]

    Missing relationship with children? Want to be aunt/uncle/grandparent to delightful bright boy (8) and girl (2) in Stoke Newington?

    Graduate in his prime, 42, seeks woman/couple with Scandinavian blood to make baby. Financially stable and self-employed. Looking for serious involvement. [Non-Aryans need not apply?]

    Donor/potential part-time dad wanted by friendly, creative, sussed and self-aware lesbian. Must be disability-friendly.

    Women seeking women

    Natural, tall, attractive GF, 49, NSm, caring, creative, polymath, GSOH. Likes arts, computers, philosophy, sci-fi, (DU enjoy 7 of 9?). London.

    Socially inept emotional cripple, 40-ish. White van driver. Enjoys weekends at Pontins. WLTM Brooklyn babe, 40-ish, for coffee, possibly cake. No time-wasters.
    A few weeks ago at the Retro Bar Retroteasers Pop Quiz, Simon Hobart (the promoter of Popstarz) was in attendance. Foolishly, he told the manager Wendy that he had been in a band in the 80s. "They were called Red Lipstick, but with a funny spelling." Wendy asked me to see if I could find out anything about them on the internet. I love a challenge, so off I went...

    Simon was obviously none too proud of the band, as none of the online biographies of him mentioned it. I changed tack and started searching for the band by name - a funny spelling? How about Red Lipstique? Bingo! There was indeed an 80s band called Red Lipstique - they had released three singles: Drac's Back, Shame Shame Shame and Oskar Wilde.

    So off I went to Gemm is " the world's largest music catalog - 13 million items from more than 4,000 sellers". It allows you to search the databases of record shops all over the world. If Gemm can't find what you're looking for, no-one can.

    I found it all right. Last night I presented Wendy with copies of two Red Lipstique singles. She was ecstatic - so ecstatic that she bought us a bottle of champagne. The champagne was consumed along with our usual quota of beer, which may help to explain my headache.

    It doesn't help to explain how we won, however. I'll leave that to Davo.

    Tuesday, December 04, 2001

    So... blogadoon celebrates its first anniversary today. Still my favourite blog, still the first one I check every morning, still the one I'd choose over any other, my desert island blog. And not just cuz he's my besht mate. The best writing there is out there on the personal publishing internet thing. (Dodgy links, mind!) Happy birthday, Ian.
    Mike has listed his pop obsessions in chronological order. A fine idea. This is my own pop progression, the bands I was absolutely crazy about:

    The Sweet, ABBA, Queen, Blondie, The Beatles, Marc Almond, Prince, Kirsty MacColl, Pulp, The Divine Comedy, The Magnetic Fields, no-one much.
    I spent a couple of minutes last night rhapsodising to Marcus about Dr Terrible's House Of Horrible. "It's brilliant - it's wossisname - that Alan Partridge, Paul Calf fella - Steve Coogan. Every week they spoof a different era of horror film."

    A pity, then, that last night's was the episode in which they chose to parody lame 70s schlock films. It was such an accurate piss-take that it was itself dreadfully dated, with hammy soap-opera acting and pseudo-psychedelic effects. This episode didn't have much to recommend it, apart from the exchange between an elderly gypsy woman and a property developer: "Three generations have lived on this site." "Yes, but only for the last two months!" The 70s period details were all there - even the names were delightfully 70s telly: property tycoon Denham Denham, columnist Stephanie Wise and revolutionary architect Michael Masters

    Last week's episode, The Curse Of The Blood Of The Lizard, spoofed Hammer horror films, with a mad Scottish scientist searching for a potion to make humans flame-resistant. He hit upon the idea of using reptile blood, which seemed to work, but had the unfortunate side-effects giving the patients a hideously long tongue and a taste for flies. One poor sod was so depressed by the side-effects that he hung himself. With his tongue.

    The brilliant lines kept coming:
    "Not the chameleon serum theorem!"
    "Let me be as plain as a kilt with no tartan"
    "Let me be as blunt as a Scotch egg"

    In next week's episode, World Champion ballroom dancer Lester Crown's career is cut short when he loses his feet in an unfortunate freak brush with a giant pair of scissors!

    The series is produced by Baby Cow Productions. Geddit?
    Can anyone tell me how to solve level 11? [Update: it's OK - it came to me in a blinding flash - I'm stuck on level 16 now.]
    Hello to Pano, my ex, who is probably reading this site for the first time ever, right now. Was this really a good idea, I worry?
    Today's favourite search requests:
    Huge Breasted Satan's Girls
    string + anus + pics
    free pictures of naked men from Northern Ireland with huge dicks
    gorgeous AND hayfever
    Guy's birthday cake. Made by Andy's sister-in-law and modelled, allegedly, on Guy himself. [Though I suspect Andy's brother may have been called upon to model for some of the finer detail.]

    Monday, December 03, 2001

    I meant to link and think on Saturday. I did think, but didn't manage to link. It's been a mad weekend. And it hasn't ended yet...

    Guy's birthday party at Joe Allen's. We eventually found the restaurant after wandering around Covent Garden, leaving SOS messages on friends' voicemails. Good food, good company, good friends, good cake. Good God, what a good cake! Made by Andy's sister-in-law, the cake was fit for a night at The Hoist - a man, naked apart from a leather harness and a cock ring. When it was presented at the table, it caused quite a stir at nearby tables: "What is it? Is that....? Oh, it can't be!" The debate over where to start cutting it was hilarious: "Cut the cock off!" "Ow! No!" "Start with the head!" "Straight down the middle!" Rumour has it we went to Barcode after the meal. Don't ask me.

    Another birthday party. This one for Marcus's flatmate Janne, who turned 30. He was sent out of the house for a few hours while we shopped and blew up balloons. Me, Marcus and Tomas staggered home from Tesco with: four bottles of no-name vodka, 48 beers, four boxes of wine, four litres of orange juice, 50 packets of crisps and two bags of peanuts.

    I'm not a party person. I usually feel uncomfortable around crowds of strangers. I'm no good at small talk. Hell for me would be one eternal cocktail party. So I was nervous about this party, but I needn't have worried, as it was great fun. This may have been because I drank rather a lot to steady my nerves. At one stage, I realised that I was the oldest person in the room. It was just after that revelation that all the vodka got the better of me, and I, er, retired to bed.

    Favourite party incident: an Italian girl named Giusi [pronounced "Juicy"] who developed a schoolgirl crush on me.

    Most embarrassing party incident: the guy who ends every party by shoving a couple of balloons down his shirt and camping it up.

    Most puzzling party incident: this same guy and his boyfriend. They left suddenly, under a cloud, then phoned Janne from the taxi cab, and told him that whatever he does, he should not trust me, Marcus and Cameron, as we are evil. Marcus called him the next morning to find out what that was all about. The reason given had us in stitches all day. It seems that we were dancing too sexy! Ah yessss, beware, I shall lure you into my evil trap with my sexy dancing!

    While everyone was sleeping off their hangovers, Marcus and I cleaned the kitchen. Everything we had bought for the party had been consumed apart from the peanuts. Anyone know a recipe that involves thousands of peanuts? Although we both felt a bit wobbly, Marcus and I went to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Like us, the DE Experience was a bit the worse for wear, but the show was pretty good. We showed off our sexy dancing, then joined Ian at Dukes, and - whaddayouknow - some bloke bought us a drink.

    Called in sick.