All entries for January 2006

January 23, 2006

Killing time

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

I think I might already have done this, back in the blogging day. But I can't remember, and I have some time to kill. My answers won't be as funny as Roisin's though.

TEN Random Things You Might Not Know About Me
1. If I wasn't here, I'd be a showjumper by now. Maybe.
2. I play the clarinet. Or I did.
3. I'm actually from Bangor, not Belfast.
4. I'm a vegetarian who used to be a vegan but missed pizza.
5. I banged my head on the ceiling this morning.
6. I used to breed guinea pigs.
7. My first job was cleaning the floor at a dogs' home.
8. I have serious arachnophobia.
9. I'm dating my ex-blog-stalker.
10. I was Bonny Baby of Bangor, 1983.

NINE places I've visited
1. The equatorial line in Kenya.
2. The Eiffel Tower.
3. The Empire State Building.
4. The bottom of the sea in Turkey, where I came face to face with a rather scary fish.
5. Williams, Arizona.
6. San Francisco.
7. Freddy Mercury's birthplace in Zanzibar.
8. Greenwich Village.
9. The Alps.

EIGHT ways to win my heart
1. Have integrity.
2. Make me laugh.
3. Express yourself articulately and honestly.
4. Make the people around you feel comfortable.
5. Look right into my eyes.
6. Give me a nice big hug. Go on.
7. Have a beautiful voice.
8. Be unashamedly kinky.

SEVEN things I want to do before I die
1. See more of the world.
2. Publish a novel.
3. Have a really good photography exhibition or publication.
4. Sign an autograph as myself (not as Jamie Oliver).
5. Get a standing ovation from a sold-out theatre. YES I AM AN UTTER EXHIBITIONIST.
6. Die at least once, in a movie or a play. Then I'll be better prepared.
7. Be on one of those '100 Greatest' shows saying 'I don't have a fucking clue who any of these idiots are'.

SIX things I'm afraid of
1. SPIDERS
2. Loneliness. Boohoo.
3. CLOWNS.
4. COTTON WOOL.
5. BUSES.
6. SANDPAPER aaaargh

FIVE things I don't like
1. Rude people.
2. Being frustrated by morons.
3. Being let down.
4. People talking in loud voices about things they do not understand in the slightest.
5. Spiders, clowns, cotton wool, buses and sandpaper.

FOUR ways to turn me off
1. Take yourself too seriously.
2. Be forcedly quirky. Or wacky, even worse.
3. Seek too much attention.
4. Shout 'I didn't tell you to come' during sex. Yes, it's happened.

THREE things I do every day
1. Have a chat with mad old Random.
2. Take a picture. Most days.
3. Lift some weights, hooha!

TWO things that make me happy
1. A vast blue sky, most preferably stretching over a vast blue sea.
2. Love, love, love.

ONE thing on my mind right now
1. Popping candy is such a strange invention.


Catch a boat to England, baby

Well now!
Monday morning, I appear to have been the first person into the union today, which is especially not cool as I'm not even a student any more. However, I'm not going to worry, no, I'm just going to hope that Jobseeker's will seek me out a decent job after my appointment with them on the 25th. All is well in Canley apart from the arrival of an apocalyptic crow which has taken to roosting outside our house and screaming 'BWAH!' just as we wake up. The utter hideousness of the heckling neighbours has been nullified, anyway, by the injection of sophistication to the Can which was the awesome cocktail party – much dignity and discussion of French music, good. Good news also is that Random and I are taking a holiday to Stockholm in February, just after my birthday, so I'm feeling pretty happy despite being unemployed. My jobless status makes it perfectly justifiable for me to watch television programmes such as 'The Jeremy Kyle Show', 'Celebrity Big Brother', and, last night, 'Britain's Best Psychic Ever' (or similar). Presented by Trisha (remember her?) this was a gameshow in which contestants competed to be crowned The Most Psychic Idiot in England. My scepticism about this was compounded by the show itself, in which hapless idiots determined to be bowled over by the extrasensory capabilities of more hapless idiots engaged in conversations such as these:

Fake Psychic: 'I'm getting something… it's… some sort of figure is appearing…'
Hapless Idiot: 'Oooh, yes! That must be my grandmother!'
Fake Psychic: 'It seems to be taking on…a female shape…she's telling me that she cares for you very much…was this a maternal figure in your life?'
Hapless Idiot: 'Oooooh!!!'
Fake Psychic: 'I'm getting the letter… A?'
Hapless Idiot: 'Hmmm…'
Fake Psychic: 'The letter B?'
Hapless Idiot: 'Ooooh! My second husband's middle name was Barry!'
Fake Psychic: 'She seems to have…more spirits around her…'
Hapless Idiot: 'Oooooh! Has she got my rabbit? And how's Grandad Smith?'
Fake Psychic: 'She seems to be holding an animal…perhaps a pet? And she's with a male figure…'
Hapless Idiot: 'Oooooh!!!'

My god. Surely, the televisual equivalent of the latest advice given by 'Ruth the Truth' in this week's 'Chat' magazine:

'Joanne from Portsmouth, your dad wants you to know that he's very happy on the other side, and he's got both his legs.'


January 18, 2006

Okay, I did the lookalike thing…

Apparently I'm most like…

1.) John Hume. My god.
2.) Richard Avedon. I don't know who this is, but I think the similarity may rest entirely on the fact that we both wear glasses.
3.) Beyonce Knowles. An astonishing result for us both!
4.) Patricia Arquette. I doubt this also.
5.) Audrey Tatou – in what way?!
6.) Peter Ustinov
7.) Sania Mirza
8.) Jon Voight
9.) Marcel Reich-Ranicki. What?
10.) River Phoenix – oh, that's cool! But I probably only look half as much like River as I do like John Hume. Goddammit.

Could have been worse, I guess….

…yielded the sterling result of a similarity to Ho Chi Minh.


January 17, 2006

Buzz Aldrin says that it's alright

Nothing much to report, except that I have officially signed on. And I've uploaded some new photos to the Safari gallery and have created a New York gallery

Here's a few of my favourite pics from NY…

A little cafe, photo'd from the top of a double-decker bus

Chinatown

Ground Zero…an eerily silent place considering its central location

A corner of Little Italy

Staten Island ferry port

More to come!


January 13, 2006

Every Friday at The Hollywood

Well, well!
It's been a fairly eventful couple of days, considering that I'm unemployed. I have failed to sign on as yet because the people from the dole office keep on neglecting to call me; or, when they do call me, I answer the phone to nothing but the sound of MORE CHRISTING 'ON HOLD' MUSIC – how many times can I reasonably be expected to listen to 'Greensleeves' played on a Moog? Badly? Other than that, though, all is well – I'm getting my PHD application sorted so hopefully I may soon return to the welcoming bosom of Mother Study. Yesterday, I assembled a bookcase, which was my first foray into DIY for many months. It may also be my last, as the entire process took around six times what was estimated. My amazing new fisheye camera arrived in the post today, so much fun should ensue shortly. Otherwise, that's about it. What are you up to, dear reader?

Warwick students reading this – stop shouting into your phones. There's absolutely no need for it.


January 10, 2006

Hyperbolic fantasticness

Well now!
What can I say except…


FITZ THE CAR PASSED HIS MOT. No, I don't really know how it happened either, but it feels good. Mind you, it was a hard-earned triumph, necessitating conversations such as these…

Me (at 8am this morning, quite pissed off): Morning.
Mechanic #1: Key.
Me: I'm sorry?
Mechanic #1: Key.
Me: Oh right, here you go…. Right… Well, I'll come back later then… … Right.

Me (returning at lunctime): Afternoon.
Mechanic #2: After- what? Oh. What? Hello.
Me: How's the car doing?
Mechanic #2: What?
Me: The car.
Mechanic #2: Umm… ahh… Hmmm.
long pause
Mechanic #2: What was it?
Me: How's the Fiesta?
Mechanic #2: Oh. Ah… Hmm. It's… Hmmm. Well. If you just… Hmmm.
Me: Sorry?
Mechanic #2: Yeah. If… hmm.
Me: I'll come back later.

Me (at around 4pm): Hello.
Mechanic #3: What was it?
Me: Fiesta.
Mechanic #3: Oh yeah. It… ahh… hmm.
Me: Did it pass the MOT?
Mechanic #3: What?
Me: MOT.
Mechanic #3: Oh yeah. It… hmm…
long pause
Mechanic #3: What car was it?
Me: THE FORD FIESTA SITTING RIGHT THERE.
Mechanic #3: Oh yeah.
Me: Did it pass its MOT?
Mechanic #3: Hmm. Well I checked it over the other day.
Me: Yeah. By the way, did you check the brake fluid?
Mechanic #3: Hmm. Ah.. the brake fluid in the Fiesta?
Me: YES.
Mechanic #3: Ah… hmmm. Ah… I can't remember.
Me: Right. Did it pass the MOT?

Enter Mechanic #4
Mechanic #4: Yes it did!
Me: Ripper!

Fitz manages a mighty 0-20 in only about 90 seconds as we slowly burn rubber out of there

Oh yes!
But seriously, kids, stay in school. This stuff is not fun.

In other news, some of my photos may well go on display in Toyk in the next couple of weeks, so please go in and check them out. My brand new toy is this…

And arriving soon in the post will be this fisheye camera…

from the awesome website Lomography

Hoo-ha!


January 09, 2006

It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it…

'Please hold, and you will be connected to an advisor shortly'...
These are the words which have haunted my dreams over the last few days, as I have spent hours and hours variously trying to sort out:
a.) the ridiculous amounts of money of which I have been deprived due to inaccurate taxing. For some reason, the tax office thinks that I have been working for the university, rather than studying. Ha…
b.) the demise of my car which I am attempting to halt. Unfortunately, speaking to mechanics on the phone is about as mind-numbing as sitting through the entirety of Madeleine Peyroux's latest album.
c.) my attempts to claim jobseeker's allowance (I know, kids. It's not cool. Stay in school.)

A sample conversation of the last few days has gone something like this…

I dial a new number in hopeful anticipation

The phone rings for several minutes

Operator: Hello!
Me: Hello!
Operator: Hello, you've reached the advice line for having someone else pay your rent / having your car welded back together / getting another meaningless job etc. None of our advisors are free to take your call at the moment, so please hold.
KT Tunstall: Suddenly I see, suddenly I see!
Me: Christ!

Several more minutes pass

Advisor: Hello?
Me: Hello?
Advisor: Hello?
Me: Hi, I was wondering if you could give me some advice on not being poor / having a car with four wheels etc.
Advisor: I'm sorry, you've actually been put through to the wrong department. Just let me –
Me: No!
KT Tunstall: Suddenly I see!

Several more minutes pass

Advisor: Hello, you're through to the helpline for customers suffering from nervous breakdowns after being put on hold for half of their life expectancy. Please press 1.
I press 1
Advisor: Please press 0.
I press 0
Advisor: Press 3 to stay on the line.
I press 3
Advisor: Please enter the name of your first pet, followed by the Hash key.
Me: Eh?
Operator: I'm sorry, none of our advisors are on line to take your call at the moment. Please ring back later.

In conclusion, the only thing worse than being employed is being unemployed.


January 06, 2006

Didya miss me, baby?

Well, well, well. After almost two months' absence, I have thoroughly returned. Here's hoping that my loyal fan base of devoted readers (er…) will soon be attracted back to my glowing, sparkling, all-new-ish blog. I certainly have missed articulating my thoughts in that specifically blog-ish way, although now I'm back I am suffering from a little bit of writer's block. Still, let's see, what have I been up to… I spent a week in New York towards the end of November which was absolutely awesome; climbed the Empire State Building (yes, straight up the side, King Kong-style), took the Staten Island ferry out to old Lady Liberty, visited Times Square, Ground Zero, Brooklyn, Harlem, Soho, Chinatown and my favourite, Greenwich Village. Many photos will soon follow. After that, I resumed working at Fopp, which was incredibly hectic but a good time, especially as the most ludicrous statement addressed to me was 'do you sell CDs here?', a huge victory over the unremitting absurdity I endured in my previous job, as you'll already know, blog fans! That took me up to the Christmas holiday, which was a very nice few days spent back in Ireland. As of the 31st of January, my contract ended and I am now unemployed – that's right, unemployed – although hopefully this is a temporary state. Yesterday and the day before saw the staging of 'Tossford Park', this year's Freshblood panto, which was a great success – thanks to all who came to see it. Anyway, I promise to post some more witty things later…just breaking myself back in slowly…

razzle dazzle!


January 03, 2006

Freshblood Panto TOMORROW and Thurs!

I'm back!....But more of that later.

Here's hoping you had a fantastic Christmas, and letting you know of a rather entertaining way to start the new term…come on now, you're not really going to go to your lectures on Wednesday the 4th and Thursday the 5th, so why not come along to the slightly-belated FRESHBLOOD PANTO at 1pm in the Cooler on either – or both – days? Prolong that Christmassy feeling a little bit more by shouting 'oh no he isn't!' at the cast and crew of Chris Carter and Eimear Ballard's 'Tossford Park', the new show from your favourite society. 'Tossford Park' is a dark murder mystery with several twists – a host of bizarre characters are invited to a dinner party, only to discover their host to be sadly deceased. Who should they suspect first? The undeniably insane Mister Extreme, the murderously irritating Warwick Blogs, or possibly even the dubious Detective Inspector Jack Shitt himself? There's only one way to find out…

'Tossford Park', Weds 4th and Thurs 5th, the Cooler, 1pm.
See you there!


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