Meet The Family!

Presenting! Laura! Her bear, Ralph! And introducing Stefan, the Giant Pink Flamingo!

If They Were Me And I Was You

Laura’s birthday was a quiet affair, if of course, you discount wandering around Carrboro with a giant helium-filled pink flamingo (being Carrboro of course, this only generated a few weird looks; for the most part, people seemed to think it was just part of the general oddness that surrounds this town). But we had a very pleasant dinner at Panzaella, meeting up with a few old UNITAS friends as well, which is always fun.

But then! My first scavenger hunt! Laura split us into three teams, and we had to go all over Chapel Hill and Carrboro to find various items (which were different for each team). Our team (consisting Christa, Meredith, and myself) managed to brave mauling by dogs, avoid the threat of a towed car, and wondered just how drunk that guy on Columbia Street was, finally coming joint first due to our creativity. However, as we came joint first, it meant that the prizes went to the losing team, while the two winning groups got lumps of coal. Oh well, I guess you can’t win them all.

While Laura and Naomi then went off to a party for a short time, Esther and Ryan came over again, and we subjected Christa to another night of New Order videos. Fun for us, although I think if Christa sees or hears anything by New Order in the next few weeks, she’ll run screaming into the forest…

currently playing: Wilco – i am trying to break your heart

Juxtaposed With Whom?

I think it’s amusing, that after all these years, the Super Furry Animals still close their sets with The Man Don’t….

So hurrah! Yes, I saw SFA at the Cradle last night. And, what’s more! I went to a concert with other people! SHOCK (Admittedly, of the three concerts I’ve been to this year, only one was by myself, but it’s still a novelty to me)! It’s a little odd, having to accommodate other people; if it was just myself, I would have turned up when the doors opened and spent an hour or so just hanging around before things began. This time, Collin, Christa, and I didn’t turn up until Manitoba/Caribou were doing their penultimate song of the night. Thankfully though, it was Crayon, so a very good point to arrive.

SFA are one of those bands that while I’ve always liked, I’ve never really got into them in any depth. Of all their albums, I only own Fuzzy Logic and have only bought three or four singles. I don’t know, they just passed me by a little. They do put on a fun live show, though, with Power Ranger masks, chemical suits, a motorcycle on stage, and a video display that shows footage from the town they’re currently in, which was nice touch. I think I may have been one of the only people in the audience to get the ‘Bishop Brennan’ joke, sadly. Still, good times were had.

But! Things didn’t quite end there, as we met up with Esther, who wanted to watch the New Order DVD that I had bought earlier in the holiday. So it was back to Laura’s for a New Order Dance Party. Yes. Stop laughing. That lasted until about 3am, at which point Collin retired to his room so he could grab some sleep before going to work later in the morning (in the end, he was a little late, but the sentiment was there), while Christa and I were left to fight out which couches we were going to sleep on. A fun night, which I guess shows you that I might be bipolar.

And it’s Laura’s birthday today!

currently playing: Gene – Olympian

OH MY GOODNESS! THE HORROR!

Imagine! Being detained WITHOUT CHARGE for thirteen days!

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said “a good deal of work behind the scenes” had helped secure their release. “It has been distressing for the Wises and for their family,” he said.

You know, somehow, I don’t think that the Iranian Foreign Office will have much luck when the first Iranian is detained over here. Funny that, us being all civilised and all…

(although, hey, I am currently in a country whose leaders are more concerned with who leaked information about secret CIA prisons than with the quite-possibly-illegal prisons themselves)

currently playing: The Pogues – Birmingham Six

Thursday I Don't Care About You

Well, if nothing else tonight, I learnt I’m going to die alone.

In fact, I learnt it twice, but I’m only going to talk about the major event.

The Indie Disco was perhaps not the greatest idea. I should have heeded the warning that nobody else could come (Laura had worked a double shift, was tired and facing another such shift early tomorrow, while Collin and Christa both had to get up very early in the morning for work), but heck, I’d been looking forward to going, and I’d promised Canon that I’d show up, seeing as how we’ve had a few conversations over the past few months.

Now, one thing needs to be clear: there was absolutely nothing wrong with the venue itself. In fact, watching a bunch of Americans dancing to Common People is incredibly amusing. But then there was me, strapped to the back of the room, terrified, unable to forget my self-conscious nature. So yes, I can wander around campus with a Pac-Man costume on, but I can’t step out onto the dance floor by myself.

I stayed for about an hour and a half, saying hello to Canon up on the stage, smiling at the choice of Panic by The Smiths, and looking enviously at the girl in the black top and grey skirt, who, looking a lot like Manda Rin from Bis, was happily dancing away by herself. But I was mostly English, and just couldn’t.

I suppose, looking at the bright side, I’m now a Local 506 member, three years late admittedly, but now a member…

currently playing: Joy Division — Love Will Tear Us Apart

INDIE DISCO!!!!

This is where I will hopefully be tonight:

Yes, all this way for an indie disco…

currently playing: Cat Power – islands

ahahahaha!

Good news from back home!

(and by thirty-one votes! Who knew that the Labour backbenches still contained a few good men (and women)? Admittedly, they’re not completely off the hook, as they went for a 28-day detention, but the bloody nose given to Blair is possibly more important than the victory here. Maybe, just maybe, it’ll give him a little pause, and give the backbenchers more courage to stand up against ID Cards and Incapacity Benefit)

currently playing: New Order — In A Lonely Place

Two Ghosts On A Bus

The haunted P2P bus of DOOOM!

Gobble Gobble Gobble

Like many great plans, it started as a throw-away comment, about a game of Pac-Man played with golf carts. A look was exchanged, and then Stacie and I went into insane-evil-cackling-plan-mode. A visit to Wal-Mart got us some fabric, while a stop at Toys ‘r’ Us saw us buying chalk.

An hour later, we walked into the Spotted Dog as Pac-Man and Inky.

After harassing the customers and making sure that all Laura’s co-workers knew that she had weird friends, we rushed off to the UNC campus, for the next stage. Drawing a Pac-Man grid around the Polk Place quad.

This would have worked out so much better if we had remembered the sprinklers. When we came back with Laura an hour or so later, we were confronted with the sight of water washing our lovingly-constructed play area away.

But we were undaunted. For the next morning, we woke up, gathered our things, and headed to campus.

Laura, Stacie, and I played the various parts, with Laura and myself being ghosts and Stacie taking on the role of Pac-Man. As you might imagine, we got a few odd looks. Then people came up to us and asked us what rules we were using (including a distressed girl who was worried when one of us tagged Pac-Man, causing Stacie to play dead for a moment or two). It was, obviously, a lot of fun.

But we needed something more, something to replace the grid. So we headed off to Lenoir, pinched a bunch of chopsticks, and used them to mark out a new grid. By this time, Naomi had also arrived, and volunteered to film us while we went about our business. The later performance was even better, with people making the arcade noises, yelling out encouragement, and yes, even warning Pac-Man about oncoming ghosts.

There was also a cry of “where’s the pink ghost?” Well, we couldn’t let that pass, so we headed over to the girl who shouted that, and handed over the pink costume to her, and a purple one to her friend. In the end, she decided that she’d rather be Pac-Man, and thus, we had a complete, five-person game of Pac-Man on the UNC campus. A result.

This led to a celebratory lunch back at Laura’s, and after watching Goodnight, and Good Luck, Stacie and I picked up Rachel for a night of reasonably cheap drinking, compressed into about two hours. During which time, the three of us put on the Pac-Man costumes, riding the UNC P2P bus and scaring the hell out of anybody who got on.

We have plans. Washington D.C. has been mooted for next April. Muahahahaha.

currently playing: Saturday Looks Good to Me – Ambulance

The Beards of Asheville

The kidnapping went slightly awry at the last moment, as two of the kidnappers dropped out on the day of the event. So, seeing as how it was just going to be the two of us, Stacie came out and told me the options: we could either go to Washington D.C., or Asheville in west North Carolina. We couldn’t make up our minds, so we consulted an oracle. Having found Leigh in her workplace, we explained our predicament, and she looked at us funny. Eventually, it was decided that Asheville was the place to be.

A quick three hour drive later, and we were in the centre of Asheville. Watching a drumming circle. That seemed to be there just because it was what caught people’s fancy that night. A little curious. But then, Stacie pointed out a disturbing fact about Asheville: all the men have beards. And it’s true (aside from out of town folk, obviously). At first, it’s funny, but then, you start thinking about the reasons, and come up empty. It’s a vast beard conspiracy! No-one is safe!

So we spent a day in Asheville, having a marvellous lunch in Doc Chey’s Asian Kitchen, meeting Stacie’s friend Kate, and buying an impressive amount of soy milk. Then, back to Carrboro, where further adventures awaited us…

currently playing: Cat Power – Love & Communication