Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Mufti Day

So Trinny & Susannah return to television tonight. They are, perhaps, the worst side effect of the whole cult of celebrity that has exploded since 2000. What gives them the right to tell us what to wear?

I wear what I want to wear. If anyone tells me I don’t look fashionable or it doesn’t suit me then sorry but I don’t think they are the type of people I want to know in the first place. What we wear says a lot about our personality and it can define our image. By being told what to wear and succumbing to these slaves to fashion you are stripping away part of what makes you you.
It’s great to dress up, to look smart now and then but day to day I’m quite happy in something comfy even if that is a battered old pair of jeans and faded polo shirt!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Ever Decreasing Circles

When you were young you were obsessed with friendship. You probably made lists ranking all your friends with the hallowed title of ‘best’ friend changing every week. As you get older you come across more and more people and your extended circle of acquaintances gets wider. Sadly your close circle of friends seems to shrink. The last five years has seen that happen to me. Back in 1999 I had a close circle of 7 or 8 friends that I would spend most of my time with. University happened and they all went their separate ways. Over the five years it’s sad to say that I’ve pretty much lost contact with all of them – apart from one – my bestest of best mates. Now he has also moved on to a city about 25 miles away. It doesn’t seem like much but as I have no car it hinders things so I have resolved to make sure I make every effort to see him. Today was the first attempt and it went well, spending a lovely afternoon with him and catching up.

Three years ago I was best man to another close friend, he also moved away and sadly I lost touch with him, until yesterday when I bumped into his Mum who told me the bad news of his split. I just don’t want that to happen anymore. Life can be cruel and lonely – friends are what makes it rich and fun. I have lost too many friends in my twenties. It’s natural I suppose, we’re finding ‘other halves’ new lives and new careers in these important years but it is all too easy to lose sight of the important things.

So go on, got someone you haven’t seen for a while on your mobile phone directory? Text them, ring them, say hello. Tell them smeg sent you.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Drumming up an atmosphere

Just got back from tonight’s gig, an odd one at best. It was a 50th Birthday party and featured a wonderful crowd and an extremely talented live band. I don’t know why but I just couldn’t get it going this evening. Eventually after half an hour or so of faffing around I captured a crowd on the floor for a while as I dug out some classic 80s. I had them for the best part of an hour until I put on the Monkies. They usually work as a great sing-a-long but tonight they repelled. At the end of the evening the drummer from the live band did a 20 minutes solo. It was stunning stuff and left me amazed that such raw talent was left waiting to be discovered.

Overall nice crowd, nice atmosphere but I just didn’t get the party started. 6/10

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Tally Ho!

So it seems that fox hunting has finally been given the axe. I must admit it’s an issue that has never particularly bothered me. I was shocked to see such violent clash between the supposedly civilised pro-hunt demonstrators and the police at Westminster yesterday and was even more shocked when my girlfriend got very vocal about the issue. "It’s another mistake made by the Governement." She complained. Usually she takes little interest in current affairs but she is pro-hunt with concerns over the welfare of the hunt dogs and the chipping away of traditional British life.

It got me thinking, what British traditions do I hold dear? The sad thing is I don’t. The culture of my generation – the under 25s is probably far less ‘British’ than the one of the generation above. If anything we’ve been influenced more by America. When we were young it was US cartoons that started trends – Ghostbusters, Turtles, Thundercats and Transformers. Films were all American. I’ve noticed that I pronounce advertisement, lieutenant and harass in the US preferred way and now music is dictated by American trends. Youth fashion is more US inspired than ever before with skater style loose pants commonplace. In my twenties I have idolised the characters of Friends as having ideal lives where realistically it should be the characters of Coronation Street or Emmerdale.

I sat and thought really hard and have decided there are only two British traditions that I can really claim I follow. That is I’m a lover of Fish ‘n’ Chips and enjoy a nice pint after work. Try banning those if you dare Mr. Blair!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Rude Awakening

I don’t have to be into work today at until 4pm so I felt I’d have a lie-in. This hope was shattered when I heard a loud crash and smash coming from outside the kitchen window. Bizarrely it seems that a window has fallen from the flat above and smashed onto the roof of the flat below.

How rude.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Remember, Remember, The 11th of September

So today is September 11th 2004. Events that happened three years ago have forever made this day a day of reflection, a day of remembrance and a day of memory
But do we honestly remember 911 for the right reasons? Do you really look back and think of the tragic human suffering? The people hurling themselves to death out of windows in an attempt to escape death?

That day watching the 24-hour news service it was as if Hollywood had come alive - it was the plot of dozens of action movies right in front of our eyes. Just like those movies, just like Die Hard, or Lord the Rings I feel that people don’t remember 911 because of the human element, they remember 911 because of the stunning 'special effects'.
On another note. Should do we have the right to mourn the people in 911 when our governments have used it as an excuse to go to war.
  • 3000 People died in 911
  • This week the 1000th US soldier died out in the Gulf.
  • Since 911 the Bush government has been responsible for over 10,000 innocent deaths in the East.

Perhaps we should reflect on who the terrorists really are…

Friday, September 10, 2004

Limping around...

It seems my day off yesterday was wise. No sooner had I finished posting my blog that I got a severe shooting pain and discomfort from my ankle as the swelling increased. I called my mum, luckily a registered nurse, to come and have a look. I feared more severe damage but, happily, she diagnosed a severe sprain and left me some instructions to follow. After two hours the swelling had decreased.

Today I woke up to find mobility had increased greatly so decided to carry out some cleaning duties I had neglected yesterday. After half an hour of tidying the swelling has returned so shortly I will return to the sofa with Star Trek DVD’s in hand.
It’s not good – my girlfriend is hosting a dinner party for friends tonight, also I am Djing tomorrow. It’s a pain in the, well, ankle.

DJ Review Saturday 4th Dec.
Last Saturday I hosted a wedding which went very well. Good atmosphere despite one lardy cow shouting ‘put fucking Scooter on’ (I was very happy that, when I played said record, the dance floor cleared proving that my choice of sound was distinctly better than hers.) Luckily the Scooter fans soon upped and left, leaving the party to develop full swing. 8/10

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Hmmm It's probably the size of a Squash Ball now...

Ankle Biter

In almost eight years of service to my current employer I have only ever had 4 days off sick. Three of which were in the last twelve months. Today is my fifth. I hate it. I hate phoning in sick. On November 11th last year I damaged my knee, yet still managed to get into work – hobbling around dosed up on painkillers. In February I had bad stomach pains. I made it to work but after 15 minutes started vomiting and was sent home.
I really feel that most illness is in the mind. People who take days of because of a cold irritate me. It’s pathetic. Last night though I got up too fast off the sofa and turned my ankle. This morning I awoke to find swelling the size of a golf ball and the ability to walk about as well drunken Essex-girl in white high heels.

I wanted to go to work, I tried walking around and around the flat to try and get my ankle working again but it is just not having it. So I’ve phoned in sick and I’m now bored. I’ve watched some of my Star Trek DVDs and some of Channel 4’s Teachers on DVD but I hate just sitting around not doing anything, especially when I know I’ve got loads to do at work.
The internet will distract me for a while, as will the fact I still have to write this week’s pub quiz. So an afternoon of listening to radio two and feeling like a pathetic moron is all I’ve got to look forward to.

Oh well I’d better keep it elevated. Also I know I want a cup of tea in half an hour – I’d better start walking to the kitchen now!

Monday, September 06, 2004

Names to faces?

Fifteen minutes ago, at 23.20 I left work and walked home via the local BP garage to buy some eggs. My girlfriend wanted me to bring some home from breakfast. (I always thought it was bring home the bacon!)

"Eggs? Normally piss-heads buy those at this time of night to chuck them around." Replied the girl behind the screen. I don’t know her name but she has served me almost every time I’ve stopped at the garage, on the way home, about once a week for the last few months. The thing is I don’t want to know her name. It would spoil things. We always share a joke, she always smiles then I disappear into the night as she deals with the drunkard wanting fags and crisps behind me.

It’s like the fat guy that always serves me in KFC. There’s the crap girl in McDonalds who serves me every time, always getting my order wrong. At first it was annoying but now I find it funny as I do a mental sweepstake as to which item she’ll forget. (Apple Pie last time) There’s the lovely older woman that always serves me in WHSmiths as I buy my Times or Star Trek mag. She asks how I am and comments on the weather. There’s the girl with puffy eyes in Pizza Hit or the guy with fuzzy ginger hair in Powerplay record shop who serves me up my weekly single releases. (No, I don’t like McFly, I need it for DJing. "That’s what they all say" is his usual reply.) There’s the barman in Wetherspoons who always says hello and knows what I want before I ask.

It’s funny how a survey a week or two ago said that the clone cites major UK chain stores were creating were lacking this personal interaction. Strange then that all the instances above are major UK chains.

I love this familiarity of life in my home city. I missed it when I went to Uni. Every face was one of a stranger. Towards the end of the first year I began to recognise faces but then had to start all over again as I moved out of Halls and into a house the other side of town. Coming home after three years of uni was a blessing and made me realise I wouldn’t leave again.

There’s no moral to this post, just that familiar, but nameless, faces are a great and underapprieciated part of life.

Friday, September 03, 2004

The Truth Is Just Left of Pisces

Exciting news came yesterday. It seems that ET may have phoned home. The SETI program (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) discovered an unknown single coming from somewhere near the Pisces constellation. (Cool – my own star sign could be the key to contacting alien life!)

So do aliens exist?

Well say there are 100 UFO sightings.

Personally I believe that out of these 100, 90 are completely explainable. Misidentified aircraft, planets, birds etc.

I reckon another 9 of them are military black projects being tested.

Then there’s that final 1. A genuine UFO. That’s what interests me. What is it? Who are they? Are they future time travellers observing us, aliens or people from another dimension?
The government love the UFO phenomenon and deliberately help to hype it by classifying files and creating an air of mystery around sites like Area 51. This means that they can then test top secret craft right above our heads knowing the public would rather believe it’s an alien spacecraft than a military craft.

Isn’t it a coincidence that the UFO phenomenon started just as the Cold War began – no, it isn’t it’s completely deliberate! Remember that the US didn’t reveal the Stealth Bomber for years, so now it’s common knowledge just imagine what the current secret jets are like… the so-called Aroura and the Silent Vulcan.

Area 51 houses nothing, thanks to the press frenzy about it in the mid 90s (largely thanks to Bob Lazar) I’m sure the military would have moved all the ground breaking experiments to another more secretive air base. If there is anything there it isn’t alien – it’s just our future!

Join the search for Alien life here!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Two fat ladies...

Last night I did something really enjoyable. My girlfriend and I went to bingo. What are two 24 year olds doing in a hall full of grannies I hear you ask? Well the truth is it’s not like that.
While I agree that a high percentage of the audience are eligible for a bus pass there were a lot of youngsters in the crowd. At least 40% were under 40. There were a lot of young girls 18 – 22 and suprisingly a lot more men than I thought would be there.

Another myth about Bingo is that it is a slow grannies game. Nope. It’s actually very fast and you can soon find yourself two or three numbers behind if you don’t keep up. If this happens you’re doomed because the minute the next number is called any claims for the previous number are void! Also these days the traditional bingo calls just do not happen, there are no 'fat ladies' and eleven has no 'legs'.

The jackpots are good too. Last night a house was £200
Oh and the final evidence that you should really give Bingo a go for a fun night out – it was only £1.10 a pint!!