Shut Up

And yes, I am listening to Sleeper. Stop laughing at the back…

Back To Politics Again, I'm Afraid

Wow, Mr. Blair, you really have taken Mr. Bush’s “You’re either with us or against us,” spiel to heart, haven’t you? Missing Robin Cook’s funeral, getting the Lord Chancellor to look into restricting the power of judges…congratulations! All you need now is to endorse intelligent design and we can start heading back to the dark ages too!

(incidentally - has this been played up in the news anywhere? The mayor of Baghdad being deposed by a militia - oh sure, we’re in the last throes of the insurgency all right…)

currently playing: Sleeper — Lie Detector

Round of Applause For The Internet


(will hopefully write more once I’ve recovered from jetlag and finished Harry Potter…)

currently playing: Blur — The Universal

First Thoughts

The sun is shining, so why is it so cold?

currently playing: Sleater-Kinney – Entertain

Laura is Completely Sober

This picture taken at 1am, fact fans. Alcohol consumption at that point: considerable.

More Scenes From Thursday!

Collin and Esther dancing to New Order!

(with Collin's alter-ego in the background, too!)

Stacie And Srav!

Stacie (right) and Srav (left), just before Thursday night's craziness.

Not The Usual Playset

Am I the only one who finds this accessory a little…disturbing?

"Forget it, Jake. It's Carrboro."

Leaving again. Wandered around Weaver Street again this morning, saying goodbye to Collin, and bumping into people that I’ve met over the course of the past three weeks. Outside on the grass, the weekly brunch is in full swing; crowds of people having breakfast while a a singer-songwriter plays his guitar earnestly. It’s Carrboro. Things are a little different here. I laughed at Collin on my first day when he said that he didn’t go into Chapel Hill much anymore, but at the end of the trip, I can see where he’s coming from. Going back on Franklin seems strange compared to the quieter and less commercial main streets of Carrboro (its concessions to typical America consist of a Wendy’s and a Harris Teeter). Not that there’s anything wrong with Chapel Hill; it just takes a little adjustment.

(Also, it’s quite charming to see just how well the town is simply ignoring last November’s result. Go into Carr Mill’s parking lot, and you will see hundreds of stickers for Kerry/Edwards. It’s like a little Tinkerbell Experiment)

While we’re on the capitalist kick, it’s been a little sad to see how many places have closed. The Carolina Theatre showed its last film while I was here, although Stacie and I have grandiose plans to buy it (with Monopoly money, obviously), and turn it into a gay bar called Bottom of The Hill. (joke only valid to citizens of Chapel Hill, I’d imagine). Even Southpoint has seen shops close. But they still have sesame chicken…mmmmmm.

Laura spoke disapprovingly of RDU airport, but I think it has a hapless charm. Which means I was disappointed to see an advert for the new, improved terminal that they’re going to be building shortly. It’s all huge glass corridors, just like every other airport. Boo.

To all those reading from Chapel Hill (unlike Simona, I didn’t plug my blog to everybody else in the car last night, but most of you know it anyway), thank you for a wonderful time. Once again, lots of new experiences, new people, and great moments that I’ll always remember. Hope to see you again, whenever I can.

currently playing: James Taylor — Carolina In My Mind

Do We Have To Give The Bouncer Two Pennies?

The last Saturday, and as you might imagine, a few things to mention. After having breakfast at Weaver Street Market (waking up quite early to go and check my email using their free wireless - hurrah!), and visiting The Carrboro Yard Sale That Could (admittedly, it might have been very impressive at 8am. At ten, however, there was a yard, and not much of a sale), I headed off for…The Last Walk To Franklin Street In What Can Only Be Described As Far Too Warm Temperatures Whilst Looking For A Skirt. The walk part went reasonably well, I guess.

But then! Stacie, who had been spending the past five minutes talking in my shorts (the mobile phone keyguard was on, but obviously, it’s still unhappy about going home), tracked me down, and we headed off to the Wootini toy shop in Carrboro. The shop is extremely dangerous to wallets and credit cards, being stacked full of all sorts of weird and wonderful Japanese toys. Oh, and books. Now, you’d think that a manga version of Cinderella would be fairly tame, wouldn’t you? And so it was, to begin with. Until Cinderella walks around naked. A few pages later, one of the Ugly Sisters rips her breasts off. The Japanese: still weird.

Having done so well scaring the drivers around Raleigh by having Laura wear a Batman mask the night before, Stacie and I thought it would be a fantastic idea to buy some more, and wander around Carrboro like a pack of, well, Batmen. Our quest took us to Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart, a dollar shop, a party/costume shop, KB Toys, and I even made Stacie confront her fears and go into a Hot Topic, but it was all for nought. The Triangle area is bereft of Batman masks. Damn them all!

For dinner, we headed back to the Spotted Dog, where we made ourselves the Customers From Hell, drinking gallons of soda, taking ages to order, and general teasing (sadly, our plan to deliver a tip in pennies failed due to lack of earlier planning. And we wouldn’t be that nasty really. Maybe). Mind you, we almost didn’t eat there, as when we went in, the host told us that Laura wasn’t there; news to us as she was supposed to be working a double-shift. While we went outside and pondered the possibility that she had taken the Batmask too far and was, at that moment, fighting crime and injustice on the mean streets of Chapel HIll, the host came back out: “Oh, you’re still here! Did you mean Spiff?” Remember, at the Dog, always Ask For Spiff.

Stacie had to head back because she was working on Sunday, but she mixed Collin and I a Blue Penguin (the official drink of Monavidulo, Inc and of course the Blue Penguin group), as we sat down to watch The Corporation. The perfect recipe for a great Saturday night in! It’s good greed, job destruction, continual law-breaking, tax-dodging, and the destruction of the planet’s resources! But Naomi Klein is hot.


Anyway, Laura got off from work, Naomi came in from her work, and it was time to go to Hell. And yes we did inquire, and yes, they have heard every permutation of Hell Jokes over their lifetime. Apparently, Hell is going to be holding dance parties every month from now on, and I can definitely recommend it; lots of hip-hop, dance, a smattering of 80s classics (Blue Monday featuring a little cameo by M.I.A.’s Bucky Done Gone. Oh, and Galang made an appearance as well; she’s quite popular here (plus in Stacie and Laura’s cars, but they don’t really count, seeing as how they were playing CDs I had made for them)). Lots of fun was had; as Collin put it: “We were dancing machines, Ian!” (He may have had a little too much to drink. Possibly) I had a tiny Eternal Sunshine moment, but thankfully it passed and enjoyed being asked to dance, actually dancing, and making a shameless fool of myself during the Crazy In Love /1 Thing mix.

We stumbled out of Hell (ahahahahaha. How the staff don’t go on a killing rampage every time a new person says “Boy, it’s hot in here! But I guess it’s supposed to be hot in Hell, right?” is beyond me) around 2am, dropping off Tara and Simona at their houses before heading back to Laura and Collin’s. Naomi and Laura went off to bed, but Collin and I were made of sterner stuff (okay, in Collin’s case, it was because he had had a four hour nap earlier, and in my case, well, it’s not as if I pulled a double-shift or worked in a shop with faulty air-conditioning all day), so we went over to 112. The legendary number. The house where it all happens. Having said that, it was actually fairly quiet; only Esther and Ryan were there. Still enough for a little craziness, (drunken VCR hookups! Sleeping on the roof! The sketchiest area in Chapel Hill! Invented holidays! And more besides) and a fun couple of hours.

Collin and I got back at four. As final days go, I think I managed to pack a lot in. And I can offer a helpful tip — really, don’t wear stripey tights underneath trousers to a dance party while it’s already quite warm outside. I have a new-found respect for the goths of Camden. Which is not something you can say often…

currently playing: The Railway Children — Somewhere South