Jan 25, 2003 · 2 minute read
Not a snappy title there. Anyway, today's entry is just a general hodge-podge of things mashed together, in the hope that they'll be slightly entertaining (I'm not optimistic about this).
First up: the new phenomenon that is sweeping the nation (or possibly just filling up a few column inches that an editor desperately needed to fill. You decide): Google Stalking. Cower in fear as a person who has a passing interest in you decides to see if you have a history on the Internet, and discovers that you once got involved in a Superman vs. He-Man argument. Or that you got bitch-slapped by Roger Stern. At least Warren Ellis never told me to kill myself. I think.
The Internet. Helping the neurotic to become even more so.
Of course, there's the beneficial flipside; speaking entirely hypothetically, if somebody you like turns out to be a possible member of PETA, it's probably a good idea to be prepared beforehand, just in case she doesn't react well to a suggestion of a steak dinner (also, it might be advisable to look for pick-up lines in places other than Leonardo DiCaprio films. Just saying). (there's far too many parentheticals in this entry. Cut it out —Ed.) (Sorry) (Stop that —Ed.)
On a slightly different subject: Neko Case. A further indication that my taste in music is faltering rapidly, or quite good? I can't decide.
I finally got around to doing my first homework for the Technical Writing course today. It turns out that I was right in thinking I could do it in an afternoon, but next time, I'll try and get it done a little bit earlier than two days before the deadline. And not get distracted by anime series featuring normal and genetically-enhanced humans beating each other up via the use of huge mecha battle suits. I promise.
Time to play Tumble Dryer Lottery again. I'm working up to a full "Why doing the washing in America is quite annoying indeed, actually" post, but in the meantime, just understand that not all tumble dryers are created Equal.
Jan 24, 2003 · 2 minute read
It's just NOT FUNNY
. And it's not edgy at all, being a lukewarm copy of People Like Us, only without the jokes. My campaign for the continued existence of the laugh track aside, why does every feature on The Office seem to hype this feature? It's not the first comedy to do it, so I don't see why they keep bringing it up at every opportunity.
Also, American writers not being able to write subtle comedy? Cheers? M*A*S*H? The Simpsons? Futurama? The Daily Show?
Poor Iain Lee. Oh, wait. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Sorry. Just had to get that out of my system. To be honest, I won't be truly happy until everyone who was involved with the 11 O'Clock show is publicly flogged and exiled to Inner Mongolia. It's just a little thing I have.
< stewart lee>BUT WASN'T ALI G. FUNNY?</stewart lee>
I believe in Voltron.
Jan 24, 2003 · 1 minute read
- Funny Face (1957)
AMC, Sun Jan 26 01:00pm EST
- Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
AMC, Sun Jan 26 03:10pm EST
- Sabrina (1954)
AMC, Sun Jan 26 05:35pm EST
- My Fair Lady (1964)
AMC, Sun Jan 26 08:00pm EST
- Roman Holiday (1953)
AMC, Sun Jan 26 11:20pm EST
- How to Steal a Million (1966)
AMC, Mon Jan 27 01:45am EST
Jan 23, 2003 · 2 minute read
I woke up this morning feeling extremly ill. I managed to rattle off an email telling my students that I wouldn't be in this morning, and clamboured back to bed. Out of sheer chance, I looked out of the window.
And once again, I had no food. Thinking that spending the day eating junk food would probably not help my stomach much, I had to get to a supermarket. Normally, this would be easy, but the only flaw in Chapel Hill's otherwise excellent bus network is that it shuts down at the first sign of a snowflake. This meant that I'd have to walk to Carrboro and back. Again, not usually a problem, but it was -7˚C outside.
It was great fun. Especially on the way back, when I finally had my soup in a bread bowl (it's a long-running family joke, don't worry). The snow hadn't frozen at all, so it wasn't too hard getting there, except when the wind picked up. Then it got very cold indeed. Anyway, I managed to get all the food for the weekend without succumbing to frostbite.
I had lots of plans for today; I was going to get started on my marking, work on some of the coursework, but my stomach had other ideas. In the end, I did nothing. Hopefully, I'll be feeling better tomorrow...
Jan 22, 2003 · 2 minute read
Firstly, I would like apologise to everybody. For some reason, I have been convinced that the children in the Narnia stories died at the start of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
. That isn't true. Their first visit to Narnia was in 1940, and the train crash was in 1949 (presumably at the start of The Last Battle
). So I'm sorry if I misled anyone with my faulty memory. Though I still can't believe that Susan was prevented from entering Heaven because she wanted to grow up. Lipstick is evil, children.
Listening to Radio 1 through the RealPlayer feed is a frustrating experience. I wish they'd hurry up and implement the Ogg streaming that they've been promising. On the bright side, I managed to hear part of the new Meanwhile Back In Communist Russia record before I lost the connection, so it wasn't a total waste of my time.
Richard: Yes, it was rather a rambling post. Thanks for taking the time to post all the legal information. We'll put you in the "Lawyers who we'll spare when the Revolution comes" pile...
David Munns, chairman and chief executive of EMI Recorded Music North America, called Rosen "a tremendous advocate" who has been "extremely influential in both transforming the music industry in the digital age and in fighting piracy."
But if we're to believe the RIAA
, Internet piracy has been the scourge of the industry for the past six years, and it's getting worse by the day. So, she's not exactly been successful, has she?
Jan 21, 2003 · 1 minute read
Every day, I fully expect somebody to barge into my office and shout "Fraud!" Today was no different; I spent this afternoon in a wireless meeting desperately trying, but failing, to form coherent sentences.
It's stupid, I know. I graduated with a First from Manchester, close to the top of the class. I got decent A-Level grades, and my GCSE results weren't bad either. Despite all this, I still don't feel clever. Or even reasonably competent. Ho-hum.
But enough of that, as it's boring, and you've heard it before. I spent last night watching Bonnie and Clyde and The Good . Yes, I've never seen Bonnie and Clyde. Would you think less of me if I admitted I've never seen Apocalypse Now either? Or Raging Bull? Thought so. Just ignore the last few sentences, and we'll be fine. I liked them both, although they weren't exactly uplifting...
Well, that answers that question about next season's Buffy. And yay for Xander! I'll stop here, before Bonnie attacks me with a chainsaw.
Nobody wants to play with George. Aww.
Jan 20, 2003 · 1 minute read
"He should also realise that many of these pirate operations are linked to organised crime on a worldwide basis."
Coming up next week: Kim Howells
describes how downloading music helps keep Long John Silver well-fed on the High Seas. Someone should really tell him how this Internet thingy works.
Our friendly fire alarm welcomed us back to Chapel Hill this morning. Next time, I will remember that although the dressing gown looks warm, the coat would probably be a better choice.
Back to work tomorrow. Sigh...
Jan 19, 2003 · 4 minute read
Saturday morning finally catches up with me, and I awake to find myself sleeping in bed next to a girl.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning. The journey to Myrtle Beach was fairly uneventful, only almost losing control of the car once, and running one red light. We stop at a random Wendy's, meeting three other car-loads of our group who also decided to stop there on a whim. We also have to stop to buy drinks, which is slightly more complicated than it sounds.
Apparently, North Carolina law prevents spirits above a certain strength from being sold in normal shops. Instead, this type of alcohol can only be bought from a state-run chain (ABC). This probably explains why Smirnoff Ice here is made with vodka flavouring instead of real vodka. Rishi and I are given the task of buying the alcohol, as we're the only ones who are legally old enough. I should have realised there and then what sort of weekend this was going to be.
When we arrive at the hotel, about an hour from midnight, the drinking begins in earnest. Somehow, our room becomes the focus of the night activities. Everyone makes up for the reasonably late starting time by drinking as much as possible.
Maybe it's just my lack of experience, but I don't seem to remember drinking games being a big part of student life in Manchester. Most likely because we could all go out and get drunk without facing arrest. Unless you attempted to steal a traffic cone, but that's another story for another time.
Anyway, people got very drunk, very quickly. I'm coaxed into joining a game called 'Circle of Death', during which I'm glad I mixed myself a rather weak drink. Then it's 'Have You Never Ever?', which is a wonderful game for people looking to start a blackmail racket. By the time this ends, it's almost four o'clock. We now have a few mean drunks, people being sick (in our bathroom. Oh, and in the bath as well. Nice), and a call from the front desk complaining about the noise.
At this point, it's time to think about going to bed. That's when things really start to fall apart. Some are locked out because the person with the key has already gone to sleep. Others go to their room only to find that some people have decided to use the room for...other activities. So at five in the morning, we have to come with a new sleeping plan that gives
everyone a chance to sleep in a bed that hasn't already been slept in. Space rapidly becomes short...
Which brings us to the start of today's entry; for your benefit, I'll skip the hour-long discussion searching for the meaning of life (thankfully it ended just before the sun came up). People start to wake-up around midday (as ever, I'm up much earlier than that), and we go to a local pancake house for breakfast.
A pancake house which has quotes from Numbers (1:1, if you're interested) on their placemats. Still, nice pancakes.
Saturday seems to end quickly; a trip to a local mall and returning to watch the end of the UNC basketball game eats up the daylight hours. Dinner is at the Carolina Roadhouse, which is pleasant enough, and then the drinking begins again. This time, I'm cajoled into playing more of the games, but no-one watches me pour my drink, so I play just with Coke (yes, I'm boring. But I didn't really fancy getting drunk. And this way, they don't feel as if they're leaving me out). This goes on until about two in the morning.
After again waking up before everybody else on Sunday morning, I decide it might be an idea to go to the beach. As it would be rather silly to drive for five hours and not actually see the sea. Stupid, stupid, stupid idea. So cold.
I wonder what the legal limits for drink-driving are in North/South Carolina. Because I'm sure that every driver taking the group back home would have been breaking the law back in Britain. Thankfully, everybody gets back safely. And we have Monday off, so we can use that time to recover.
It was a very short trip, especially as most of Saturday was spent waiting for everybody else to wake up. But I had a good time, and I now know everybody's name. A few months late, of course, but better now than never.
And that, Class, was how I spent my weekend. What was your like?
Jan 16, 2003 · 1 minute read
Yes, it's snowing. This could cause problems, as I'm sure you'll understand. This could raise the weekend into Adventure status. Or we could get stranded and forced to eat other. If I'm not back by Sunday evening, round up the usual suspects...
Jan 15, 2003 · 1 minute read
At this rate, you'll have locked up all the celebrities
by the time I get back. Excellent.
Spent the day listening to a sonic assault; Electrelane, A Silver Mt. Zion and Godspeed You Black Emperor! Music for planning mass invasions.
I wish I had something interesting to write for my third post of the day (make the most of it; I'm not taking my computer to South Carolina this weekend), but the most exciting thing to happen to me today was a visit to the Post Office (Bonnie, your package should arrive in 2-3 days). So there's not a lot to talk about. Talk amongst yourselves for a while.