contains mild peril

Saturday, January 28, 2006

move away; there is nothing to see. move away from the blog...

Haven't blogged in a while - mainly been pissing off friends by being an aresehole and getting pissed. But not necessarily in that order.
Honestly, I have nothing to report. Saw "Jarhead" - disappointing (superficial. Not that I want a searing indictment but I would like some characterisation. is that too much?). Got offers of work starting around end of Feb (if they come off) so better buy that ticket to Guatemala tomorrow. Am going to Aus in June/ July to be best man for a mate out there (it would be someone else but he can't make it). Got pissed with a mate, and ended up chatting to/ up two girls in a bar in Brick lane. They haven't got back in touch...

as i said, nothing to report. I'll invent something juicy. bear with me...

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Friday, January 20, 2006

some blogs

Ok, here's a coupla things I found recently.
Let this not fool you. I found loads of stuff, but most of it wasn't worth mentioning. However:

  • "Arseblog" is a must for all Arsenal fans. As they proudly say, "its fucking excellent". And updated daily (does the guy not work??!)
  • "Plasticbag" is by someone in the web-world which made me think of returning to the industry after my sojourn
  • "" is something I've just signed up to - a community site (don't all yawn) based on music you listen to (it gets a feed from your iTunes or other mediaplayer). Interestingly it says it needs about 300 tunes to get any sense of your listening preferences. Either this'll be good, or its sucking over 4000 choons off my computer....
  • "daidala" is a blog for typographers. It made me laugh with real joy and recognition. Start on the link on the right, but if you want the particular entry that made me laugh then here it is. enjoy
  • "Museum of Online Museums" is a wonderful resource of very good design related sites and resources, as well as museums catering to a... wider audience. I mean, who else would have a link to the Museum of Temporary Art?

anyway, enjoy.


on moidering a metaphor

So, I've been surfing a lot more. Actually, "surfing" is a shite analogy. Its actually far more like "snorkeling".
Honestly, you put yourself in, you wander around looking down into an environment you don't usually look at and you do whatever takes your fancy, whether its diligently studying a piece of coral or following the biggest brightest fish.

And dialup was like not actually having a snorkel - just holding your breath.
And no. "Scuba diving" hasn't happened yet. If you do want to carry this analogy on (and far be it from me to stop throttling and whalloping a straining metaphor), this state will only happen when we not only interact with the internet through browsers but through lots more as well. But we're getting there (eg mobile phones or gadgets being used to 'ping' stores and be notified of offers or recommendations - "your mate Brian bought that pair of trainers here last week...").

there that's enough.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

ch ch ch changes

Well, I've been surfing like nobody's business (and it really isn't any of your business, but I'll tell you anyway...)

My online behaviour is utterly transformed by now being broadband. No longer am I clicking a link and then chewing my nails as the browser goes white, and I watch the blue bar bottom left creep along and let me know that, yes, its thinking about it... yep, it thinks there might be a site there.... oh, ok here's the first few bits (it looks like you really did want them as you'd waited long enough), and ok here's the rest of the site.
Honestly, "browsing" the internet is a wholly innappropriate description when using dialup. I mean, you don't pay for how much time you've spent in a library or newsagent, constantly checking your watch, skimming quicker than you want and then rushing out so as not to pay too much.

Dunno about you (maybe wealthier, maybe you made the switch years ago) but I developed 'tactics' for "browsing" and trying to avoid being completely stung every 3 months by BT. The old right-clicking and opening up the target in a new browser was a fave and I'd end up with 10 or more browser windows across my Taskbar - I'd quickly kill the connection then read at my leisure. Although of course I was scuppered in following any links... on second thoughts not exactly "leisurely".
Other tactics involved actually buying the saturday paper for TV and movie listings! Yeah, I know. crazy.

Now I'm online as soon as I turn my computer on. I get the info I need when I want it. I don't wait for the phone to be out of use. I don't 'wonder' anymore.

This change between dialup and broadband will be seen in about 5 year's time as similar to the widespread use of mobile phones. I mean, can you remember what it was like?
"I'll meet you about 7pm at the station"
"OK. [pause while thinking and planning...] We'll probably go to The Royal Oak first, and then move on up to the Cooper's. No, I think we'll probably pop into the White Hart, then the Cooper's"
"Right. Royal Oak, then the Cooper's then the Whi..."
"No, The Royal Oak, then the White Hart then the Cooper's"

And effectively that's yer night planned out if you actually wanted to meet this person. Otherwise, plenty of hunting around, and waiting. Now we don't even plan:
"Right, finishing around 6ish. I'll call"
"Cool. see yer later"

maybe not even 5 years. maybe in 2. In 5 years time we'll all have forgotten and remember it nostalgically.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

another Mair moment

Eddie Mair on Radio 4's PM talking to Mark Oaten, who's just come forward as a Liberal leader candidate, about his private views.

"How much do you drink?"
"erm, I share a bottle of wine with my wife at the weeken.."
"Do you think its any of my business?"
"Eddie, I'll tell you if it is none of your business. No, I'm happy to answer that. Actually I drink less as I realised that after reaching the age of 40 I put on weight with alcohol.."
"Cocaine could help you with that"
"No, never done drugs..."



Ren! Oh Ren...

THIS should keep you amused.
Ren & Stimpy game. I got thru the 3rd level and discovered what happens... ohh, can you possibly wait to know....?

no, thought not. Still, a chuckle.

Monday, January 09, 2006

and now, the end is near..

And fittingly, I'm having a vaguely frustrating day. Nothing too bad, just sometimes I notice a small thing that would make the whole experience better and its frustrating that it wasn't done.

For example, I went to the much-hyped (by guidebooks anyway) Picasso Museum in Malaga. I'm leaving the next day so haven't travelled out of the way for this. I'm interested to see how they'v treated his work as they apparently got a lot of the collection from the family (Malaga is his birthplace).

Actually I can't comment on the entire collection as some of it was in galleries being renovated. However, what was frustrating was that no context was given for any of the work. I tried to work it out as I walked through, thinking it'd be standard chronology but there was no reminders as to when he was born/ how old he was or who the sitters were, and certainly no pointers as to "this piece being interesting as it shows a divergence from his so-far naturalistic approach" etc.). The National and the Tate(s) are usually quite good at this, and if the information is not informative or Art-critic arsey then it can be ignored. But to have nothing... It left me confused and suspecting that it was a ruse so as not to highlight massive gaps in the collection. In one room there was a 'hole' of 10 years not represented...

anyway, some really interesting pieces nonetheless. An early sculpture really grabbed my attention - it was a woman's head, and though the physicality of the head was powerful, the profile was delicate. Also he'd scored into it fine lines for eyes and mouth which played across this powerful shape with the wit and rhythm that his brushwork showed (presumably later in his career).

ah well, London tomorrow.
and in the words of those great philosopers Ren & Stimpy:
"Happy, happy,
Joy, joy..."

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Ronda - a bit dizzying

Well off to see Ronda but this time the town not the ex-wife of me mate. Although beautiful, great views, a cliff face and can make you dizzy (yeah yeah, still talking about the town) it looks like this may be my first bad day of weather as it starts out overcast on the verrrryyy slloooowwwwww train from Algeciras.

Actually the day was wonderful. Tried to capture it in pics but this is a place about dizzy angles and panoramas, which my ixus (though lovely) can't handle (sod off all you "poor workman blames his tools...")

anyway, you can try here for some pics.

(hmm, if I trust the views counter, it looks like someone's been looking!!)


"urgh, I hate him! My own son!!"

Met a wonderful retired couple in Cadiz. (Cadiz by the way is an avoidable place. Its ok, but don't leave a great place for it).
Anyway, back to the couple. Met them in a posh tapas bar/ restaurant. This place was very unlike the stickier beer'n'wine'n'crumpled-napkins places I'd been in so far. Of these I'd really liked a couple in Seville, but many were forgettable greasy minifork-like places (especially in Cadiz). This posh place however was far more upmarket, with better heeled clientele. And for these discerning types, the tapas was a bit more interesting and tasty (Pinchu Moronu had lamb and dates on the skewers - really really good).
Anyway, back to the couple (actually I tend to stray from the point when I chat - "no shit you-who-know-me-cry" - but hell, I'll get there I'll get there. and the journey may be fun. Actually this is a crap story to expose you to the joys of my meanderings as this ain't that good a story but...)

Anyway, they were a retired couple from Switzerland who had come to Andalucia 10 years before. They love Spain. Especially the wife who was the chatty one. She loved Spain so much that now, she rarely goes back to Switzerland for more than a coupla days a year "After that, its too much; I have to leave, its so... so.... ooooueeerrurghhhh! [no translation available]".

She then went on to tell me about her wonderful children. Her son, he learnt percussion and is "Very successful. Worked with very good people. He also worked with Sting... and travelled to Africa, America, New York, but still, still he's so swiss! I hate him. My own son!! I hate him! He's so swiss! urgh!"
"Its the mountains" says her husband imitating blinkers with his hands.

Perhaps a bit 'neat' for mountains and flat areas creating different outlooks, but a lovely couple who've discovered a great life in Spain.
Even if they have lost 'connection' with their place of birth.

and kids.


I hate 80's music

I hate 80's music - berk

I used to say (actually i still do) that I hated 80's music. What I meant was I hated the stuff I heard growing up at the time (mainly). This is shown in the fact that I was into Dire Straits. I stumbled across some interesting stuff in the late 80's but tend to remember the floppy haircutted ToTP stuff (follicle envy?). I also became a muso snob, hating "popular" stuff and preferring 'unusual' stuff (like all adolescents?) but couldn't find enough of the bloody stuff!

Why am I telling you this? because Fopp is saving me from a lifetime of stoopidity with its £5 CDs. So, I'm getting into bands i didn't know at the time. Currently its Talk Talk. and right now its Spirit of Eden I've got on. Jeezus its good.



i was very ignorant of Spain before I came. probably still am. But I'd been told that the Alhambra at Granada was "the most beautiful place in the world". So high expectations and actually, these were more or less met! It really is a wonderful place and I'm glad I went. However, from Granada I went to Sevilla and truly, THIS is the most beautiful place I've been yet (save possibly Florence, but so long ago...).

This place is so beautiful I feel it my duty to offer a health warning. Don't take your girlfriend (or allow her to take you) unless you wanna propose. Going down on one knee at the Alhambra would be a tad naff, but after having had a day or so navigating the bewildering Moorish streets and discovering tapas in the afternoon/ evening and generally relaxing, to then go to the Alcazar... the layout of the Mudejar Palace and gardens and ability to walk back and forth (without annoying guards like the Alhambra) with the play of light and warmth and texture, to wander through delicate, carved spaces and then out into gardens and smells and running water... this allows a far better overall experience than Granada. Its not just the palace and garden but to know that there's a great evening ahead... yep, I'd propose in the gardens. Now (December) is nice with very few people around and relative peace but it would be nice to be warm when out of the sun too. I just have to figure out when its both warm, yet not deluged with tourists...

oh, and find a woman.

mind you, if you find the right person then aisle 5 in Sainsbury's next to the ketchup is probably the right spot too.

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The worst bit of drinking alone

My mate Joe was right when we were chatting one time. The worst bit of drinking alone is that you have to take all your shit to the toilets each time. Or just risk it left on a chair...

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Why am I so dumb?

Well, maybe nothing apart from even more wistfulness would have come from this episode, but I can't help feeling I missed out. Again.

I'm sitting at the bar in Granada (O'Hanigan's) watching a bullshit football match I don't care about. Its just that I didn't have anywhere else to go and (obviously) I know noone here. The game is so bullshit that I'm the only person in the bar actually watching it (Portsmouth vs Spurs for those that care - Redknapp's first game 'back').

So, a really cute brunette comes up to the bar in front of me, makes an order then turns and says "Hola" in her best American accent. I say "hola" back but I'm completely confused as she's talking to the single, bald guy at the bar watching footy.
"How are you?" I ask.
"Oh - you speak English?" (now, I look VERY English. Or German. Though I'm 2nd gen Irish so this is a tad diengenuous. or dumb).
"Ye-es. How long have you been in Granada?"
I won't subject you to anymore but it really was as painful as this. Me staring at her thinking 'you are sooooo cute' and trying to remember to talk. Luckily she was desperate to talk so I let her.
She (her name was Sarah - anywhere between 19 and 22, American and with her sister who was studying in London) came back to say "Hi" again, and then once again to say goodbye as she and her friends were leaving. A couple of them were quite rightly looking askance at her chatting to lone-guy-at-bar-watching-sport (not an acronym for "S.A.D" but...).

Why am I saying all this? Because I had various opportunities and at no point did we exchange email adresses.

I'm an idiot.

Later I chatted to a guy who claimed to work in IT doing websites using designers in London who he was paying (too) good money for (bullshit in other words) and then some girls came along and then it all got very drunken and one of whom I snogged. Although she was lovely, I reckon this was just my horniness from earlier being satisfied.

why am I so dumb?

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Saturday, January 07, 2006

god i hope its so...

... Henry pledging to stay. God we need him. One of the things he seems to have said is that the fans never booed him or wound him up about not committing himself to the club. And its something I was trying to explain to my brother-in-law, that to be honest, if he went the fans would never boo him, or even if he returned with Barca. I'd even wonder whether Cole would get booed...

Mind you, there's actually nothing new in this story. We always knew that he would only stay if we bought 2 or 3 quality players in certain positions and proved our strategy for the Premiership and Europe.

so, actually, no news. Which is good news I guess.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Liberals - high and dry?

Ws gonna blog this last night but couldn't be bothered. Well, a night is a long time in politics blah blah...

Did you see Charles Kennedy's performance on Channel 4 news with Jon Snow? This was Kennedy's big chance. A stage to barnstorm on and be vital and decisive and brilliant. Instead he looked pasty, ill, tired. I thought "hell, he's blown it".
Now of course we get the "revelation" that he has a drink problem. Biggest open secret in politics aside, it looks like they'll challenge and hope he recovers 'away from the stresses of front bench... more time with his family... etc'

Which will leave Cameron as the longest serving party leader come the next election. hmm... this is gonna be interesting...

anyway. normal service will now resume as we go back to Spain stories and women etc.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

happy new year

its 7.25pm and i'm still drunk/ hungover from new year revelry. Am i getting old? maybe, but then again, I had 2 bottles of champagne and a bottle of red (added to the 5 or 6 pints of Kronenburg I had earlier, while watching Arsenal be average).

memories of last night are sketchy. Think I was locked into an embrace with a woman at one point. had good craic with another coupla people and danced a bit (well, I call it dancing). Left the place feeling wobbly but happy, watching friends play table football in their front room. So, thanks to Ben for a good party I reckon.

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