Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Another rambling load of old nonsense

First up, I must apologize to everyone on my blogroll, as well as to those who for some reason (i.e., no decent reason) aren't on my blogroll but I still visit regularly, a big "sorry" for being a poor visitor of late. It's a combination of work and selling stuff on eBay that's taking up all my time.

I can't believe how much time and effort it takes to make a few quid on eBay. I've sold 18 "items" and made over £100 so far, plus P&P (though I don't make much profit on that cos I'm not one of those rip-off bastards).

But it's all the confirming buyers' addresses, packaging stuff up, going to the post office... It all takes time, y'know.

So I've made £100. Well, then I went to the dentist, didn't I? Bye bye £190. And I paid £200 off my credit-card bill. I'm making money, yet I'm still out of pocket. What the fuck...?

Yes, then, I was in London Town yesterday (where my dentist still is). And I'm going to London Town again next Tuesday (for my birthday tattoo), and again on 16 March, for a gig up in Camden. Truly, I think that by the end of March, I will have been to London more this year than the whole of last year. Weird. I want to be there at 5:30pm one evening to see the alcoholic ladies and filthy kids from the Adam & The Ants song "Mowhok". The lyrics go: "London Town / 1730 / Women drunk / Children dirty", you see.


It's my mum's birthday today. She's 58. Happy birthday, ma. You know that my folks split up a couple of years ago? Well, I'd meant to call my dad yesterday. It's been a while since I last spoke to him. But I forgot, what with the dentist, then getting home late, then having to do some work, yada yada yada. Well, I can't very well call him today, on my mum's birthday, and I can't call him tomorrow, on what would have been their wedding anniversary. So I've got to wait until Friday. Soz, pappy.

In other news, I finished reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Wow. Well. What can I say. I sort of loved and hated it. I really liked the story itself. But I cannot put into words how much I abhorred the way it was written.

Candy, I know you love the McCarthy, but man... It really fucked me off. Not only is his omission of apostrophes inconsistent (e.g., cant, wont, but let's), in some cases it seems even more wrong than others -- e.g., "in two day's time"; that apostrophe should be after the s because it's a possessive plural. Aaaaggghhh! And I even found a stray sentence fragment that clearly should have been deleted and should not have made it to the printed page.

Still, I read the last 20 pages or so on the train on the way to London. And you know, that bastard brought a tear to my eye. In fact, one tear for each eye. Maybe I was feeling particularly open to the emotion, giving how it ends and the e-mail I'd read just a couple of hours before from a blogpal. A tear for each of you guys.

Peace out.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

And the winner is...

"Ooh," I hear you whispering, "the winner of what? Is he going to tell us the winners of the Oscars, or is he going to tell us who won his competition? Both are clearly equally important to this egotist."

Well, no, because the results of the Oscars being what they were, my little 20,000th-person contest is waaaay more important to me! Yay for egotism.

So, without further ado, the Nowtie goes to... Lee of studio-twenty-three fame! So, well done to her. She will receive -- if she's silly enough to give me her mailing address -- a bundle of goodies hand-made and hand-chosen by little ol' me. Maybe this is me trying to share the love à la Chuck Palahniuk.

Thanks to all who visited and revisited, and who continue to visit regularly.

Oh, yeah... apparently there was some movie award thing last night, too. Well, turns out I got 12 right from the list I posted on Saturday. Bear in mind, of course, that my list was not predictions but rather what I would have liked to see win.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

My Oscar hopes

So, bring it on, Oscar. Let's see how many I get right...

And for those of you in the UK, tonight you can see David Lynch's great movie Lost Highway on Channel 4. My review is here, if that'll help you decide.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

A prize, you say...?

Well, Cappy, cheeky monkey that he is, has asked whether I am offering a prize for the 20,000th visitor to this blog.

Truthfully, this hadn't crossed my mind. And really, I suppose, why should it?!

To be honest, though, perhaps I should offer a wee prize. After all, I'm fucking flabbergasted that anyone comes here, much less that 20,000 visits have been made in less than a year. (Of course, I couldn't possibly guess how many of those must actually be me, but let's not go there, shall we?)

So, what could this prize be...? Well, I ain't got much to offer, guys 'n' gals, but I am currently streamlining and getting rid of a bunch of old tattoo magazines on eBay, so the 20,000th visitor to this blog will get a tattoo mag of my choosing from my collection. (If it's me, then I'll give the prize to the next visitor.)

PLUS... ("There's more?" you ask, incredulously!) I'll make a special video dedication to you on this very page. Woo hoo!

AND I might even throw in a mix CD, so you can see what music I like, and a unique specially made artwork or something.

Wow, you must all be pretty fucking excited by that, huh? So, what are you waiting for? Go away... and then come back again lots of times over the next 24 to 48 hours.

Have a great weekend, y'all!


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Busty ladies (and men)

Busy, busy, busy today. I don't know if it's just me -- and one day this will prove very embarrassing -- but often when I try to type "busy", I end up typing "busty". Can you imagine? There I am typing to a woman who might potentially give me some work: "Hi Geri. Are you still busty? If so, give me a call -- I might be able to help you out." Ouch!

Anyways, Red is still under the weather, so I'm trying to help her out a bit, but I'm also snowed under, and it's only going to get worse.

And tonight we can't even work a straight 12-hour day because we have "men" coming to look at our kitchen, which we are hoping to totally renovate before the summer. It's a galley kitchen, and this has been a long time coming, but it is quite necessary, even though we'll likely only gain three or four inches of walkway space. But show me a man who wouldn't be happy for three or four more inches...

I put a review up over at Such As They Are: it's for Good Night, And Good Luck., so why not go check it out?

In other news (and totally ignoring the real news in the world, such as the Italian prime minister resigning; God help us if Berlusconi gets back in), if recent traffic is any indication, I should receive my 20,000th visitor sometime over the weekend. If it's anyone I recognize from the SiteMeter, I'll give a shout-out. It could be you!

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Freedom of Information Act to be “neutered” by UK government

This is from this week's NUJ newsletter, which dropped into my inbox this morning. Although it may not affect you directly, I think this is something that we should all be alarmed about. (Bold type is my emphasis.) I've written to my MP this morning.

It’s the last chance to get in your protests about Government plans to neuter the Freedom of Information Act. The Act has been successfully used by journalists across all media to uncover information politicians, corporations and others want to keep secret.

Plans by the Government to amend the Act will make it easier for public authorities to turn down legitimate requests on the basis of cost. There are also plans to exempt MPs from the requirements of the Act.

The NUJ has joined forces with campaigners and industry bodies to oppose the changes. Make sure your voice is heard before the Government consultation closes on 8 March.

Sign up to the Press Gazette petition at

Tell your MP what you think. Go to

For further information and other campaign tools see Do it today – before it’s too late!


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Thought for the day

The British National Lottery has been running for -- what? -- 10 years now. Do you think some cunt could invent a vending machine for these tickets so I don't have to waste seven minutes of my life queuing behind a gaggle of no-hopers at the Co-op, all clamouring for their pointless tickets and scratchcards, when all I want to buy is a couple of breadsticks and a fucking banana?

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One-minute bathroom

This is a video of some of our bathroom. It lasts one minute. Thanks to Stiff Little Fingers for music that lasted the same length of time.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Some stuff

We are in a slightly unusual situation at Casa AsteRed right now: Red is rushed off her feet, juggling at least five projects; and I've currently got hardly anything on.

That's not quite true about me, since when I have no work on, that usually changes within minutes. In the meantime, though, I am of course helping out the missus with her workload. Especially cos she's not feeling very well still.

Also, look out for some fun stuff coming this way in the next few days. Should that say "even more fun stuff"? Well, whatever...

It's my niece's birthday today: she's nine. Awww. Happy birthday, C. xx

People who are into David Lynch can head over to Such As They Are to check out my review of his movie Lost Highway.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Early morning postings

Nothing new here just yet, but Cat has updated his blog with a tale of more disaster.

And you'll find a review of the film Junebug over at Such As They Are. Upcoming reviews include Lost Highway, Domino, and The Libertine.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Candy Minx sold Asterisk’s Brew

Asterisk's Brew (complete)

"Bye bye, Asterisk's Brew": a commemorative poem

Oh, bye bye, Asterisk's Brew...
It's been a pleasure knowing you.
You looked great with drips in pink.
Going up, they made us think.

And now you've found a home,
no longer need you roam.
You'll hang upon a wall,
bringing joy to all
who see you.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

An open letter to Ultimate Burger

Dear Ultimate Burger,

The thing is, if you're going to name your company/restaurant/chain Ultimate Burger, you better fucking well be serving people the ultimate in burgers, you dig? Because when I walk into somewhere called Ultimate Burger, I'm expecting the ultimate burger.

And in my opinion, you know what the ultimate burger has in it? NOT FUCKING RAISINS, THAT'S FOR FUCKING SURE! What kind of cunt are you, putting fucking raisins in a fucking hamburger? Where the fuck did you grow up, eating that shit?

It would be all well and good if your burger bar was called Raisin Burger or some other shit like that, but it's not, is it? You, my friend, have set yourself up for a fall with your restaurant name.

You see, when I go into Hamburger Union, which I have before and I will again, I am expecting only to have a union with a hamburger. And that's what I get, and I'm very happy. But Ultimate Burger? You fucking muppet! Don't bullshit me with your bullshit name. Take those fucking raisins out of your burgers.

Not that it really matters now, you dozy cunt, cos I won't be coming back. I'm committing my future custom to Hamburger Union. Because when I get the urge to spend £6 on a burger, I don't expect a mouthful of cunting raisins.

Yours faithfully,

* (asterisk)

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A little light relief

About a month ago, Cliff at This Is This tagged me, but I only just realized a couple of days ago cos it happened to coincide with my holiday to Spain for Red's birthday.

Anyway the tag is Six Things Most People Don't Know About Me, and this is a mix of real-life people and blog people I'm talking here.

1. I was a mod. For a couple of hours for a segment of BBC TV's The Clothes Show. (That's me in the picture above.) This was at a time of my life when I used to do a bit of acting and directing. The other highlight was a double-bill fringe production in Covent Garden; half of it I was in, the other half I directed.

2. Obviously anyone who knows me in the flesh knows this: I'm losing my hair. Well, I've been losing my hair since about the time I started growing hair. I guess it comes to us all, and I've just got to live with it. That said, I have considered buying a wig. Not a toupée -- I'd never do that. A proper, full-on, theatrical wig. Long and dark; or short and blond and spiky.

3. I think there are certain things that don't belong in a burger. I'll come back to this in more detail in my next post...

4. Yesterday I made an appointment to get my next tattoo started. I'm psyched. It's with a tattooist I haven't been to before, and it's going to take up most of my right arm, covering up one of my old ones in the process. Red's paying for the first session for my birthday present. Ain't she lovely?

5. Most people don't know I've got a blog, or however many blogs I currently have. It's quite a few now, isn't it? I've told about four people, one of whom is family. As far as I know, none of them has told anyone else, and I'm pretty sure that none of these people ever visits. Not sure why, though.

6. I consider myself to be a romantic. Well, it's Valentine's Day, innit?

It's been a while since I did a tag/meme thing, and I won't tag anyone in particular. If you wanna do it, knock yerself out. Let me know, though, so I can come and take a look.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Inland Empire

Now don't tell me you don't know what Inland Empire is. It's the new David Lynch film, and I've mentioned it here before.

I've just finished reading a great article about it in the latest issue of Sight & Sound, and I am more excited than I've been about a movie in yeeeaaars, let me tell you.

And it comes out on 9 March, perfect timing for it to be my birthday-week movie.

Trouble is, I feel bad for Wife. It's no secret how much she hates Lynch and his films (with the possible exception of The Straight Story), and she has previously told me in no uncertain terms that she won't sit through another. (Mulholland Dr. drove her to the ice-cream stand, and she doesn't even eat ice cream.)

I felt compelled to point out that she has hated the last two films we sat through as her birthday movies (Lost in Translation and Brokeback Mountain), so how much more fun should she expect to have watching a film that she didn't choose?

Looks like she might concede... as long as she can bring the iPod. Well, what more can I ask for?

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Time for a cuppa?

Okay, luvs. Go on now -- go and put the kettle on. Don't wait while it boils, though; you know what they say about a watched kettle.

Then, when it's boiled, take the kettleful of boiling water and pour it over the hands of a young child. Let's say a three-year-old. Better still if it's one of your own kids. And way better if the kid's got some horrible disease, too.

And you know what's even better? Take that kid, then, and lock her in the bathroom without any food. When she gets hungry, perhaps you can force her to eat her own shit.

Are we having fun yet?

I don't know about you, but I can't think of many people who I'd wish to have scalding water poured over them. I've had friends who have been scarred for life after having accidents with pans of boiling water as children, so I've seen first-hand how these injuries look years later, even after years of cosmetic surgery.

Don't have a clue what all the above is about? Lucky you. It's about a pair of cunts in north London who were sentenced to a total of 22 years between them on Thursday for torturing their cerebral palsy-stricken daughter in just the way I described above.

I take it back about not being able to think of anyone I'd like to pour boiling water over. If anyone deserves it, it's surely these two, preferably somewhere very sensitive. The genitals sounds like a good idea.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith: * 1967 † 2007

I wasn't sure whether or not to post about this. I almost did last night, since I had to return to my desk for the night shift after we'd heard the news.

Bottom line is, I just don't know what to think. (Apologies to Karen, who's read some of this before, since it's being recycled from a comment I made at hers.)

I've never been a "fan" of Anna Nicole Smith, and I'm not really in a position to give anything resembling a meaningful comment on her life or death, but from the stuff I've seen of her on TV, including her short-lived reality TV show, I found her to be an incredibly sad and lonely person, albeit someone who still liked to have some fun. She seemed like a woman who had begun, unfortunately, to come to terms with the fact that maybe people only thought of her as a joke, if not a gold-digger, too.

On the subject of that show, I watched it on only a handful of occasions, and usually only when Wife had fallen asleep beside me on the sofa and I was wandering through the channels looking for something interesting. It always drew me in. Anna Nicole came across as charming, somehow, despite all the drugs and whatever else she may have been on.

I wonder if maybe she was just looking for acceptance; perhaps she found it in an unusual place. Maybe it was really love. Who knows?

Then all the court battles over that fortune. Then having a baby girl and losing a son within days of each other.

Regardless of everything, clearly Anna Nicole had a terribly tragic last few years, despite all that early promise of an entertainment career of some sort. Her premature death at the age of 39 is a horrible -- and very final -- full stop to it all. Very sad.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

I love these “other buyers” things...

You know, when you look and see what other purchases people have made based on one particular purchase? The idea is, I guess, that it inspires people to make other "similar" purchases.

Well, check out the "recommendations" arising from this Buddy Holly CD on

I'll tell you something now: I think only one person has ordered this CD, and that's me. Why? Because I have also made all those other exact purchases from the same retailer. How weird is that?!

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Well, they did say it was gonna snow...

february snow
The law of averages says they gotta get it right once in a while.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Thinking about things, like a walk in the park, things, like a kiss in the dark

Actually, I'm not thinking about things like that at all. Well I do occasionally go for a walk in the park, and that's nice. I'm enjoying walking more often. And it's the best way to explore a new city when you go away for a break.

I'm not thinking about a kiss in the dark, either. Although I do occasionally have kisses in the dark. Best not say any more about that, though ;-)

What I am thinking about follows.

1. My birthday. It's only four weeks away today. In four weeks -- that's two fortnights, twenty-eight days, etc -- I will be 37 years old. It's weird, because just yesterday I was thinking that I was 38. So realizing I'm not even 37 yet makes me feel even younger. Maybe this is one of the greatest things about being a toy boy: you already see that being older is not so bad.

2. Valentine's Day. It's only one week away, guys, so don't forget to buy something nice and/or make a special effort for the loved one in your life. At the risk of sounding like a brown-noser (or should that be "pussy-whipped wuss"?), I try to do nice stuff year round for my woman. Sometimes I fail, though. It seems I criticize more than I ought to. I don't even realize I'm doing it, so I'm gonna make a real effort to fix that.

3. Work. Face it, we all gotta do it from time to time. It's taking me away from blogging as much as I'd like, too. Oh well. Actually, that's not strictly true. I somehow find time to write a post each day, but I'm struggling to find time to visit all my fave hangouts. Sorry to you all, but I am making efforts to rectify that too.

4. The weather. Apparently we're going to be hit with a shitload of snow over the next 24 hours. Brrrrrr. The logs are in the cellar ready for a nice open fire.

5. Spring cleaning. Yes, I know that's a bit of a girlie thing to think about, but our cellar is a damn mess. There are two DVD players to throw out (they don't work) and one 24-inch TV, which I suspect no longer works because it's been in the cellar too long. There's also a huge stack of videotapes to sort out, and a big box full of paper to recycle. PLUS we have to sort out the lounge because we have a new piece of furniture coming soon, so we need to make room for it.

6. Cat. He hasn't blogged in a long while, and I fear his few readers are losing patience. It's not through want of trying; he just never gets a look in on the computers these days. He sends his apologies.

7. Films. I am loving watching movies again recently, so much so that I can't keep on top of my reviews (such as they are).

8. The new David Lynch film Inland Empire. This is the film I am most looking forward to this year. Tomorrow there is a screening in London, with a Q&A with Lynch afterwards. I entered a competition to win tickets, but I doubt I'll get them. And even if I do, with the impending snowstorm set to paralyze the nation, I'm not sure I could get there and back...

Anyways, I think that's all I'm thinking about today. Oh, and you, of course.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Update on being banned

So, I thought I'd have another go at getting Such As They Are accepted by BlogExplosion yesterday afternoon. I entered all the details again and hit Submit, or whatever.

Then, when I turned on my mail this morning, I find that it's been accepted. Nothing about objectionable content, even though I hadn't changed anything.

Clearly there are several people responsible for accepting/declining applicants, each applying the letter of the law in different ways.

For example, their ground rules state that excessive profanity is not acceptable, although occasional use is okay. I'm sure I fall into the "excessive profanity" camp. And that's fine by me and most of my readers, I think. Context is everything. Take the words "fuck" and "cunt", say. I use both of these liberally, but I hope in a non-offensive and sometimes humorous way. I mostly don't actually intend to offend, believe it or not.

I use those words as a little bit of colour in my posts. Nine times out of ten, I could remove them with no detrimental effect on my message, but I like them. They are words that were suitable for great English authors through the centuries, so why not a piss-poor blog addict like yours truly?

These words are part of my heritage, and I'll be damned if I'll let some blog-hits-exchange site tell me how many cunts I can use. The swines.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

This ain’t a scene: or, The unmentionable deity

Of course I'm probably a little more excited than the next soon-to-be-37-year-old man about the release of the new Fall Out Boy album. Indeed, it's on my wishlist of potential Valentine's and/or birthday gifts. But you know what's funny?

I've been singing along to the new single "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" for a couple of weeks now, whenever it comes on the Kerrang or Scuzz music-TV channels. I may even have caught it on MTV2 once or twice.

Today, though, when I went to, I discovered something unexpected. Where I had merrily been singing, "This ain't a scene, it's a damn arms race", along with the falling-out boys, it seems the unexpurgated lyric states: "This ain't a scene, it's a goddamn arms race". And sure enough, I tracked down a version of the song online that confirms this to be true.

So we are now not allowed to use the word "God" in lyrics? Or is it just because it says "goddamn"? Either way, it's fucking stupid and annoying.

Sort of reminds me of the extra whipcracks that have latterly been added to "Gay Bar" by Electric 6, so as to hide the words "war" and "nuclear war" in that song. So instead of the words going "Let's start a war, start a nuclear war," it goes, "Let's start a [whipcrack], start a [whipcrack whipcrack]". How fucking ridiculous is that?

I fucking hate censorship. And speaking of censurial cunts, BlogExplosion has denied me permission to register my movie reviews site, saying "we have deemed the content on your blog as content that is not appropriate for other members". Um, exsqueeze me?

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Movie reviews

I have finally finished transferring my backlog of movie reviews over to my movie review site Such As They Are.

Additionally, of course, there are quite a few that are exclusive to that blog, including the most recent additions, United 93 and Inside Deep Throat.

Coming soon: Junebug, The Break-Up, Domino, and more...

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Buddy Holly: * 7 Sep 1936 † 3 Feb 1959

A long, long time ago,
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
that I could make those people dance,
and maybe they'd be happy for a while.

But February made me shiver
with every paper I'd deliver:
bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn't take one more step.

I can't remember if I cried
when I read about his widowed bride.
Something touched me deep inside,
the day the music died.

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Street life

Going back a decade or so ago, the town in which I grew up decided to name a new street after Bob Geldof. I thought this was scraping the bottom of the barrel. It seems I was wrong.

As you can see from the genuine newspaper clipping above, we in the UK have now begun naming streets after medical practices.

So after Dental Close, where can we go next? Orthodonty Way, perhaps? Chiropody Street? Gynaecology Grove? Rhinoplasty Road?

Yes, great names all, coming soon to a housing development near you. What other suggestions can you make?

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Classic literature

One of the quotes of the day on my personalized Google page today came from Mark Twain: "A classic", he is attributed as saying, "is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read."

Funny you should say that, Mark, on two counts:

1. I've never read any of your books, recognized classics though they are. One day I might. I want to have read them, but... well, you know.

2. Today, 1 February, marks the day I am supposed to start reading another classic, Don Quixote, along with Karen, Candy Minx, and Red, so we can all debate it and stuff. Trouble is, I sort of lost a week last month, and I thought it was still around 22 January. I still have quite a lot of The Road to read. I'm trying to catch up, but it might take a day or two...

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Something you should know about me

I'ma tell it straight, right here, right now: I don't give a good goddamn fuck for Jeremy Piven or his shitty-ass show Entourage. All right? Glad I cleared that up.

He's, like, no one to me. Just a little, weird-looking dwarf-boy. What's the big fucking deal?

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