Hey, that's amazing! That seems to have done the trick. The hippies have stopped drumming.
But now there's some arse out there hammering instead.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:11 pm
So, what's up today? Well... it's hot again (*swelter*), and thankfully the roadworks outside the office have been completed so we don't have to put up with the lovely sound of drilling all day. So instead, there's been a troupe of hippy drummers pretending they're some long lost tribe or something. Shutting the window simply isn't an option in this heat. Grrrrrr... I'd happily see the buggers relocated to the rainforest. SHUT UP YOU BASTARDS!!!!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:40 pm
Bad news: We've got a company meeting this lunchtime.
Good news: The meeting is in the pub!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:17 am
...but the good news is: I've just realised that it's pay day. Hurrah!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:11 am
Bad news: I've got a headache from listening to Motörhead too loud on my CD walkman... *Whimper*
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:09 am
Wednesday, June 27, 2001
I've given in to this bizarre urge that I've been having all week, and have gone out and bought a Motörhead CD. I don't know what brought that on, to be truthful. I just feel a need for loud heavy metal music for some reason. I'm not normally a metal fan. But Motörhead I always thought of as being a metal/punk crossover anyway... they weren't too far removed in many ways from my faves The Damned. The liner notes include that famous quote from Lemmy that "We're the kind of band that if we moved in next to you, your lawn would die." I always had a soft spot for Motörhead since my sister reported that a friend of hers liked the band because they sounded like "coal falling down a chute". A lovely analogy!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:39 pm
Tuesday, June 26, 2001
Oh dear... Here are some classic quotes from our dear pal Jamie Oliver:
BarDwellr: Hi, does jamie ever use the 2nd oven in his kitchen? he only seems to use the big one...
Jamie Oliver: Size counts when it comes to ovens with me. The more knobs it has the better.
James Freemantle: do you like watching yourself on tv?
Jamie Oliver: I don't mind because I like being myself and not being told what to do. I tried being told what to do, and ended up looking like a complete idiot.
Kirk Martinez: What's your fave Veggy dish to cook?
Jamie Oliver: Its got to be something with fresh pasta and I'll come back to that in a minute. Steak and chips.
Bob Brown1: What makes you really laugh?
Jamie Oliver: Moonies. It doesn't matter how grumpy, sad. If someone pulls a moonie, it makes me laugh. Moonies make the world go round.
From BBC chat transcript: www.bbc.co.uk/livechat/transcripts/transcript5.shtml
What a prawn! And I liked the comment "...and ended up looking a complete idiot"! But, he always looks a complete idiot. Would we have noticed the difference?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:52 pm
These past few days I've been listening to one hell of a lot of Skunk Anansie. This morning I was listening to their first album "Paranoid and Sunburnt" on the train on my way into work. Out of curiosity I just now checked their website at www.skunkanansie.com and found the following:
SKUNK ANANSIE - PRESS STATEMENT The multi platinum selling band Skunk Anansie have split up. The band decided that they had taken Skunk Anansie as far as they could and that now the time is right to pursue solo careers. This has been a mutual decision and the band remain the best of friends.
Skunk Anansie formed in 1994 and released three hugely successful albums, Paranoid & Sunburnt (1995), Stoosh (1996) and Post Orgasmic Chill (1999). In total they have sold four million albums worldwide and notched up eight hit singles. Skin and Ace are both currently working on solo albums, Cass is concentrating on careers in photography and music, while Mark has acted in a short film and also continues to pusue music.
Skin¹s album is due for release early in 2002.
ARSE! Why do my favourite bands always seem to split up?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:10 am
Whew... it's so darned HOT! The office is like a furnace. As is my bedroom at home. The cat has got the right idea; he's been sleeping in the garden.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:18 am
So, I knew there had to be some point to all this tennis malarky.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:57 am
Sunday, June 24, 2001
Wimbledon is nearly upon us. Yes, it's that time of year again. But tennis is just so BORING. It's just a ball being knocked back and forth over a net. Yawn! But what I really can't stand about tennis is all the grunting that goes on. Most players these days seem to insist on vocalising a very unattractive sounding grunt whenever they hit the ball, as if in some way the making of this noise actually improves their performance. I simply can't watch tennis, because my mind focuses on the ridiculous silly noises going on until that is the sole thing that I notice. Grunt... (thwackk)... grunt... (thwackkk)... grunt... etc.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:03 pm
Some of you may have seen this before; I wrote it for a science fiction fanzine years ago:
Thunderbirds: The John Tracy Interview
5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 - Thunderbirds are Go! and all that kind of Supermarionation malarkey. Yes! What memories! Who can forget Scott and Virgil sliding around on their little chutes and conveyor belts as they speed towards their awaiting craft; Thunderbird 1 blasting off from beneath the swimming pool; the palm trees obligingly bending back to allow Thunderbird 2 to trundle past along the runway; Lady Penelope keeping her cool in the tightest of situations (except for that time she was scared by a little radio-controlled mouse); Parker the chauffeur and his foiled attempts to practice a little light robbery; Thundebird 3 blasting off into space heroically piloted by Alan; Tin Tin being glamourous and generally speaking in a funny accent; Brains and his own peculiar speech impediment; Gordon steering Thunderbird 4 down to the deepest darkest depths of the ocean; the villainous schemes perpetrated by the evil Hood (those eyes!)... I could go on and on (and probably will if someone doesn't stop me - Ouch! Thank you).
International Rescue - a force to be reckoned with. What brave lads - always there in the nick of time when you most need them. We salute them all!
But haven't we forgotten someone? What of John Tracy, space monitor extraordinaire? Well, here with the help of a modified CB radio, we have managed to secure an exclusive interview with the legendary lad. So hang onto your seats as we discuss the many untold adventures surrounding the dynamic Thunderbird 5:
Gina: John, it's good to be able to talk to you. Can we start by asking you to describe what it is that you actually do?
John: I'm the space monitor on Thunderbird 5. I monitor all the different frequencies for messages calling for International Rescue's assistance, and I alert base of impending disaster.
Gina: Sounds fun...
John: Oh, it is, I can tell you, what with all the radio equipment, recording equipment, state of the art electronics and computer equipment...
Gina: Aren't you ever envious of your brothers' craft? I mean, Thunderbird 5 doesn't really see much action.
John: Oh no, I can't have that! It's action city around here some days. It's all go, go, go, sometimes, you know. With the receivers receiving, speakers- er- speaking, and, umm, spools of tape, errmm, well, spooling.
Gina: But not much adventure? Don't you wish you could be brave like Scott and Virgil and heroically face danger...
John: Ahh... now danger! I'm no stranger to danger. Why, only last week I was involved in a little incident, but I kept my cool and averted disaster.
Gina: What incident?
John: Oh, umm, well, I was cleaning the tape-heads and accidentally spilt some of the cleaning fluid and was nearly overcome by the poisonous, deadly fumes...
Gina: ...but you "kept your cool"...
John: ...and averted disaster, yes! After a couple hours lie down I was as right as rain.
Gina: Hhmm, right...
John: I didn't even miss that many emergency calls while I was having a lie down. I don't think too many people died.
Gina: Err?... splendid. So John, are you always on duty or do you ever get any time to relax?
John: Well I've always got to be on the alert...
Gina: No, I mean, have you any hobbies? What do you do to, ahem, relieve the boredom?
John: Aha! No, there's no time for boredom here on Thunderbird 5! There's always so much to do: tape-heads to clean, spools to change, frequencies to check, meters to calibrate... which is all rather fortunate really because when it comes to hobbies and interests, I'm really into cleaning tape-heads, spool changing, frequency checking and meter calibrating.
Gina: So you're always on duty?
John: Just about. Yup!
Gina: So do you always wear your International Rescue uniform?
John: Of course! If I'm on duty, I'm in uniform.
Gina: But there's no-one to see you! It's just you up there. Are you sure that you're always in uniform...
John: Are you getting at something?
Gina: No, no, of course not. I mean, well... YES actually. It's just that I've heard that several items of Tin Tin's lingerie vanished from off the washing line during your last shore leave. Know anything about that, do you Johnny boy?
John: Now look here...
Gina: Oh, come off it John! You're probably swanning around the place up there right now in a ball gown and heels...
John: That's it, I've had enough...
Gina: So tell me, John, why is it that all your so-called friends and family hate you so much?
John: What do you mean? I'm very well respected by my family. As the eldest son I have been assigned the extremely important and responsible position of space monitor...
Gina: Do you actually know anything about satellites, John?
John: Well... like what?
Gina: Like, they don't need to be manned! Your incoming distress messages could be relayed by Thunderbird 5 back to you on Earth! John, you could be doing this job back on Tracy island sitting around the pool with a margarita in one hand and Tin Tin in the other. If you explained your, err, little interest, you could even do it wearing your favourite dress, bikini or whatever.
John: You mean...
Gina: That's right John, you've been stuck up there on Thunderbird 5 simply to keep you out of everybody's way.
John: But they wouldn't do that to me? My family love me.
Gina: Wise up John, even Gerry Anderson hates you!
John:(Blubb, blubb, blubb, etc)
And there we leave John Tracy, blubbing away to himself in deepest space. Next issue we'll be interviewing Captain Kirk and generally taking the piss out of his rug.
Hear'Say eggs and beer glasses attack 'premeditated' Students leaders say an egg-pelting attack on Hear'Say was premeditated. The band also had plastic beer glasses thrown at them when they played in Cardiff. Hear'Say were performing at a university event at Cardiff International Arena. Steve Young, president of Cardiff University Students' Union, told The Sun: "I'm disappointed that this happened. It was clearly planned - you don't just carry eggs around with you for the hell of it. "I was standing backstage and when Hear'Say came off they didn't look very happy at all. We had to appeal to the audience to calm down and stop hurling things." Hear'Say's new single The Way To Your Love is out on Monday but has only been put on Radio 1's C-list.
Well, I think it's fair comment. And that comment is "we don't want this manufactured shite music any more". Well done, the egg pelters! And if I can make a suggestion? Britney Spears...
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:33 am
Well, last night wasn't too much fun. I really hate work dos (that is, "dos", plural of "do", no apostrophe needed because it is plural). Last night it was someone's leaving do, and as ever at these things I found it hard to follow any of the conversations. Everyone babbling at once, me not knowing which way to turn. And I was damned if I was going to discuss work after a whole stressful day of it. But I don't feel at all like this when I'm with a group of my friends (as opposed to people I work with). OK, I don't always follow what's going on because I become quite deaf when there is background noise happening, but at least I can enjoy myself and I can relax. I always feel on edge with my work colleagues. They are not my friends. OK, some of them I quite like, but it's not the same thing as being with your real friends.
And some partners and friends of some of the others turned up too. There was one guy, I think his name was Neil, and he was a really obnoxious ****. (I really wanted to use the "C" word there. I don't like that word, but that's how strongly I took a dislike to this fellow). He was just SO offensive... some of the things he was saying to his girlfriend were just so out of order and you could see that although she was putting a brave face on things, and telling him to fuck off in a jokey voice, that there was resentment and an underlying tension and when she jokingly said fuck off she really meant it and would have gladly kicked him in the bollocks, dowsed him in petrol and set light to the irritating shit that he was. And then danced on his corpse. And I would've joined in. I just sat there loathing this fellow, this goddamnfuckingawful blokey arsehole of a man. I don't think the extremely racist comment he made about the Welsh enamoured him to me right from the start.
So, about 9-ish I made my excuses and legged it out of there!
I stopped in at the chippy when I got back to Didcot, and arrived home with a bundle of fish and chips large enough to feed Rwanda. Talk about generous portions! I had to leave most of the chips, and I shared the fish with the cat.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:12 am
Friday, June 22, 2001
... well, that only served to depress me.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:26 pm
Phew... the end of the week is in site at last! I've found this week a real struggle. And I've been hitting the bottle in the evenings to help me get by. (*hic*) I don't normally like to drink mid-week, but every night this week I've felt that I've needed a brandy. So... that was fun.
There's not a lot else to talk about right now. I'm kinda feeling apathetic at the moment. I really want to get back on form and start rambling on about this and that. But I can't even find the enthusiasm to take the piss out of Jamie Oliver. So things must be bad.
Perhaps I'll go on over to www.ananova.com and see if I can find some daft news stories to amuse and delight...
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:06 pm
Thursday, June 21, 2001
This story amused me:
'Serial guest' sneaks into hundreds of wedding photos Couples married in a New Zealand city have discovered a 'professional guest' in their wedding photos. The mysterious woman is thought to have been a regular at Catholic weddings in Dunedin for 40 years. She managed to sneak on the edge of hundreds of wedding photos and has even been pictured with just the bride and groom. The elderly woman is believed to have ended her 'reign' in the 1980s. One Dunedin resident told the Timaru Herald: "We think she must have died. She is in hundreds of people's wedding photos. "Often there's the bride and groom with their families - and there in the corner is the woman."
I'm sure I've heard similar tales of serial guests at funerals.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:43 am
Wednesday, June 20, 2001
Great to see that Die So Fluid (fave band of Annie and Yours Truly) are now online with a new website. About time too!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 4:08 pm
I have to confess that I've been struggling for the last three weeks trying to read Will Self's "How the Dead Live". I appreciate that the guy has a immense literary talent, but the plain truth is that is doesn't make easy reading. It's not the kind of thing I can dip into for quarter of an hour on the train to and from work. Neither is it the sort of book I want to grab at the end of a long hard day, just before retiring for the night. So, I've been to Waterstones and, taking advantage of their 3 for 2 offer, I now have some dead easy reading books by Bill Bryson, Mike Gayle and Nick Hornby. But I've not wimped out, honest guvnor! I shall perservere with the Will Self novel, but I shall also have some lighter reading on the go at the same time.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:34 pm
Summer's here, it's hot, and I've got the fan on and the windows open at work, and why the hell do they always insist on doing roadworks in the summer right outside the office? It's never in the winter when it's cold and the windows are closed. Buy the roadmending guys warm coats, I say. Do the work in winter and stop giving me a bleedin' headache. Drill drill drill... Grrrrr!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:05 am
Tuesday, June 19, 2001
I can't really afford it, but I've bought myself a new CD walkman, cos I NEED it. This time it's from what I hope is a reputable manufacturer - it's a Panasonic. My last couple of CD walkmen were Goodmans and they hardly lasted me. The last machine decided to play up big time; first of all it decided it didn't like playing CD-Rs (and I like making compilations for train journeys, etc) so that was a pain; then it decided to indiscriminately refuse to play about 50% of the rest of my CD collection for no apparent reason. And before you ask, yes I did try cleaning the lens. So, I decided it was high time I got a new machine, and have splashed out - not big time, because I'm not paying big bucks for a machine I'm quite capable of dropping on the floor by accident. But, yeah, it sounds great - much better than the old one, and it is supposedly CD-R and CD-RW friendly! Ooh-err!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:27 pm
What is the deal with bag ladies? On my way into work this morning, one such individual shuffled past me on the pavement, muttering to herself and clutching hold of three plastic bags, all of which were stuffed full to almost bursting point with what appearred to be... more plastic bags! What on earth is that all about? Is it a recognised psychological condition?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:37 am
Monday, June 18, 2001
...which reminds me: a couple of years ago I regularly used to go to the transgender chat room at Debbie's Den. I think I was addicted to it; I'd spend hours on the internet every day, and most of the time I was in that chat room. Sometimes the conversations could degenerate into much surreal lunacy, especially if Sherri, Tamsin and I were all in the chat room at the same time. On one occasion I posted a picture of Masaaki Sakai as Monkey in the open chat room and said "this is a picture of me without the make-up", and one of the tranny admirers who was also using the chat room got really upset and started saying, "Oh great, thanks for spoiling the illusion, I didn't really need to see that..." etc, which absolutely cracked me up. As if he thought that could really have been me. The fool! Can you imagine all the shaving that would be involved in order to glam up for the night. Yikes! I don't think even a Mach Three could cope.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:59 pm
Doh! Ever since Annie and I saw that lad from Supergrass in the street the other day, I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out who else reminds me of Monkey.
I have just spent a pleasant weekend with Annie who came over to visit. Yesterday, we went into Oxford, looked around a few shops and wandered around the historical College buildings, then there was a sudden downpour so we dived into the Turf Tavern, which is famous for having been the hostelry used in many Inspector Morse pub scenes. Wandering around Oxford we also spied Gaz from Supergrass although we did briefly mistake him for King Monkey The Great Sage Equal of Heaven (and Aware of Vacuity apparently too). We then had a meal at Gino's, a gorgeous little italian restaurant near the bus station (as usual I had the mussels for starters... Yummy!) then we went to the Playhouse to see "Fool For Love", which was a violently passionate play set in a revolving motel room(!). We both enjoyed the play, although it was over much quicker than I expected, and we were back home in time to catch "We Know Where You Live" on Channel 4, a charity comedy performance in aid of Amnesty International, and hosted by Eddie Izzard. Again, we both thought Izzard was just going through the motions, repeating very old material (some of it even from "Unrepeatable"), and not even doing it very well. It seems that he's gotten very complacent and lazy. A great shame, because he was very innovative, but yeah, we think he's lost it now. We were relieved that we hadn't shelled out vast sums of cash to see the thing live in Wembley. The best part was Izzard, Harry Enfield, Alan Rickman and Vic Reeves doing their take on the old Monty Python four yorkshiremen sketch. Vic Reeves was by far the funniest; he slipped effortlessly into that role.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:24 pm
I've just been to www.knowhere.co.uk and looked up Didcot, which is where I live. It makes for depressing but quite accurate reading:
Market Place shopping centre (a contradiction in terms!) is where the yoofs hang out - and that's it until mega plans for a new town centre for the sprawling town see the light of day. Building should begin late next year for completion in 2002. Then the yoofs will have somewhere new to hang out the open amphitheatre inside the planned Orchard Centre. ...
The Worst Things: Small minded bigots and websites that host their opinions. Those unfortunate enough to suffer from mental health problems can do with out being labbeled lunatics by the same people who years ago would have called black people niggers and made fun of the physically handicapped.
A high proportion of local lunatik inmates come from Didcot. I have seen under age kids loitering around the Station whilst changing trains... disturbing. Didcot is really a bit of a pathetic town.Its going no where and doesnt care. Its really really small in every way.
What a lovely place I live in, eh? I mean I've walked around the East End of London (the Kray Twins' manor) in broad daylight in full make-up, pvc jeans and high heeled boots and had no problem, but if I do the same in "cosmopolitan" Didcot I get abuse. It's pathetic... last time I got abuse for wearing make-up after having just come back from a Damned gig in Oxford (by the way, I had no trouble at the gig at all), the two lads got more than they reckoned when I turned on them. They were just not expecting me to turn around and answer back, and they very soon backed down. I won't put up with that kind of shit. I don't see why anyone should.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:15 pm
A German engineer has invented a "sniff machine" that produces smells to go with scenes from films. Stefan Reutz says the machine will allow audiences to watch films in "smelly vision" by recreating the aromas of a movie. The Walkman-sized gadget is worn around the neck, squirting out appropriate fragrances when activated by a radio signal.
More at: www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_326225.html?menu=news.quirkies
Why not just go the whole hog and have films in 3D and smellovision? And why not have someone next to you, slap you about a bit during fight scenes so you can experience the hits and punches? And a stick of dynamite under each seat for the ultimate accompaniment to those all important explosive scenes?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:03 am
Stupid, stupid, stupid! Going home from work in Oxford last night I accidentally got on the Bristol train by mistake. Grrrrr... I had to change at Swindon and get a train back to Didcot. It took me AGES to get home. I wasn't exactly the happiest person at the time. The only minor plus point in this extended detour home, was that outside of Swindon I spied a clam. (Yet another piece of aquatic trainspotting there!)
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:19 am
Weakest Link host Anne Robinson could become the summer's unlikeliest pop star - thanks to her success in the US. American record labels are in a bidding war to sign up a single by Echobass Featuring Ratpack, which features the game show host. [...] On the record Robinson can be heard saying: "It's votes that count" and "You are the weakest link, goodbye".
Anne Robinson in a leather jacket and spike heels? Now that is scary. Need I say more?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:30 pm
Last week (on Wednesday June 06, see archive) I posted a list of "Bizarre americanisms that make no sense to me at all". In the interest of fairness, getting a balanced view on stuff, and getting things into perspective, here's my list of Great Things To Come Out Of America:
*Sigh* ... I've had no emails for two days now. What's wrong? Have I offended the multitudes? Are you all Jamie Oliver fans? Has the mention of Doctor Who a couple of times in a row scared you all off? ("We didn't mind her being a transvestite, but a Dr Who fan?!!! Weirdo!"... but don't worry folks - I've got that habit under control now.)
And I send messages to other bloggers whose writings I enjoy on a frequent basis, but do they ever mail me back? Nooooo... the blighters! What happened? Did they take one look at my blog and think (a) "You call THIS a blog? My cat could do better.", or (b) "Transgendered? Scary!"?
So come on folks - and fellow bloggers (blogettes?)... I'm a nice person, really I am. I'd probably even be nice to Jamie Oliver if I met him in real life (I'd still take the piss out of him though). So - mail me: email@example.com [Edit: email address no longer valid]
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:11 am
I spent hours last night tidying my room; giving it a bit of a (late) spring clean. Phew, what a chore that was. And you should have seen some of the rubbish that I turned up. (No, you don't want to really). I don't know why I don't use the bin more. I mean, I hang onto scraps of paper for no apparent reason at all. I suppose I'm a hoarder. I really have to force myself to throw things away. But first of all I had to clear the floor. Yes, I've actually got a floor now! Before it was just a mound of clothes, magazines, video-boxes and high heels. I also turned out my old sea chest (it belonged to a sea-faring ancestor of mine - he'd painted a pair of pugilists inside the lid, so it's most likely worth a few pounds). It was full of old videos - old VHS tapes and even old Betamax cassettes, mainly filled with Sci-Fi shows such as Doctor Who, Star Trek and The Prisoner. There were also a few compilation tapes I'd made of 1980s music. I wouldn't mind seeking out my old beta-machine and watching a couple of those. Yes, I have still got one. Actually, I have two, as I have a spare! I think they might be up in the attic.
As for the Doctor Who tapes, those date back to when I used to do swaps with other Doctor Who fans. This was before the BBC issued so many of the shows as official video releases, and before repeat screenings on UK Gold. Fans used to "acquire" episodes, and make copies for one another. Everyone would compile a list of what they had, and what they wanted, and would phone around, write letters, and do swaps. You could turn up all sorts of "rare" Doctor Who material that way, but often the quality was very very poor, being of multiple generations. I think one of the rarest tapes I acquired into my collection was of "The Power of the Daleks". This was one of the "lost" stories that the BBC had junked, and the original of my copy had been re-constructed from a series of still photographs (screen-grabs) taken when the show was originally broadcast, married to a tape recording of the soundtrack. And it made for VERY VERY DULL watching, I'm afraid. Yawn...
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:55 pm
The new Collins Concise English Dictionary now includes an entry for David and Victoria Beckham, a.k.a. Posh and Becks (or is it the other way around?). According to the BBC News website:
"News correspondent Kate Adie and actor Ronnie Barker are some of the famous names removed from the new Collins Concise English Dictionary to make way for David and Victoria Beckham. Conservationist David Bellamy and footballer Paul Gascoigne have also been axed. ... Celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Gary Rhodes are new inclusions alongside game show hosts Anne Robinson and Chris Tarrant."
Norwegian police set sail to retrieve stolen toy A Russian naval officer who stole a three-year-old's toy tractor while he was on shore leave had to give it back when police boarded his ship with a search warrant. The officer stole the boy's tractor after his ship docked in the Norwegian port of Vik and Mats Hillestad Jacobsen's parents informed police. A police officer was forced to set sail and boarded the ship to retrieve the tractor as the Russian vessel was home bound by the time he reached the port. According to witnesses, the Russian officer was riding a bike when he took the toy from the boy. His parents said they didn't have time to contact authorities before the ship set sail from the harbour.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:35 am
Outrageous! I've heard more people talking about that Big Brother crap (No, I'm NOT linking to it) than I ever heard talking about the general election. Hello???? One is important, the other is a complete load of bollocks. So-called "reality TV" sucks. Grrr... We want proper television! Where is the quality programming? Where are the plays, the dramas, the serials, the comedies? Stop force feeding us this quick'n'easy cheapo garbage featuring totally unloveable (and quite loathsome) members of the public ... people who've been through scores of interviews to get onto the programme and are hardly the average Joes that they are made out to be. "Reality TV", my arse! Tsh!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 7:58 am
Monday, June 11, 2001
Dr Who to be resurrected online The BBC has announced plans for a new episode of Dr Who which will only be broadcast on the internet. The special one-off audio drama will be called Death Comes To Time. It will be broadcast on the BBC's website on July 13. It will be the first new Dr Who story since the TV movie in 1996. Sylvester McCoy will play the Doctor while Sophie Aldred will take on the role of his companion Ace. They both played the roles on television at the end of the 1980s. Stephen Fry, John Sessions and Jacqueline Pearce will also co-star in the episode. The 30-minute audio play will see the Doctor enlist the help of a mysterious Timelord, played by Fry, to battle an alien warlord. The warlord, played by Sessions, is fighting for control of time itself. Listeners will also have the opportunity to review the drama and vote on whether they want the Doctor to return.
Richard Fell, head of BBC Fictionlab, who produced the interactive event, said: "Since the programme first hit BBC screens on November 23, 1963, it has become an institution and we are sure that the Doctor's online regeneration will be warmly received by a legion of fans."
And on a related topic:
Woman claims Daleks ruined her life Generations of frightened Dr Who fans watched their favourite programme from behind the settee - but a Scottish mother-of-two says she is still living in constant fear of the Daleks. Even though Dr Who hasn't been on television for years, other than the odd repeat, Shona McLaren, 39, says her life is being ruined. Her phobia is so strong that she won't even watch television, on the off chance the Daleks might be on, while the Daleks' catchphrase "Exterminate!" sends her into a blind panic.
"I know they're fictional but they scare me to death," Shona said. "The sight of them on TV or in magazines drives me mad. Daleks make me ill, they have ruined my life." Shona, from Tullibody, Clackmannanshire, Scotland, has sought medical help and asked her local church to pray for her, The Daily Star reports. Her phobia began in 1973 when Shona was watching Saturday night TV as just a six-year-old girl. She has been living in fear ever since. Husband Kevin, 42, said: "I thought it was a joke at first and couldn't believe someone could be scared of Daleks - but I realise it is a very real fear. We've just learned to cope." Mark Kenwright, a phobia expert at London's Maudsley Hospital, said: "As in this case many phobias can be traced back to childhood experiences."
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:51 am
The Aphex Twit
Sam sent me this lovely photo. Apparently it's from an Aphex Twin record cover. Isn't it gorgeous?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:10 am
Sunday, June 10, 2001
OK, I'll backtrack now, and explain the last couple of posts a little more. The thing is, that I've not been feeling very well - you may have guessed that already. I don't know what started it. On Friday night I went back into Oxford (when I just wanted to stay in at home and watch telly) because it was Gillian's birthday and we were supposed to be meeting up. Gillian and her friends had been punting. I'd been invited along as well but declined that part of the invitation as I'm not good on water anyway (I do have a fear of falling in) and with my bad leg from the sunburn the previous week I didn't think it'd be a good idea trying to go on a punt. When standing up is a chore, not being able to put weight on my left leg, and generally limping around like a limpy thing, then perhaps avoiding punting is the way to go.
So... we were supposed to be meeting up at Maxwell's which is a kind of cocktails bar and "restaurant" (allegedly; they mostly serve burger-type fare). I went in and looked around for Gillian and Co but could not see them. I also found the atmosphere inside very intimidating. It was very loud, crowded and full of noisy laddish types, so I exited and waited outside for half an hour. Eventually, I decided I must've missed them so I went in again, and heard Gillian calling me. Apparently there'd been a few punting casualties so it was a good thing that I hadn't gone. Gillian herself had fallen in, and had to get herself a change of clothes. Is was quite appropriate and topical that I had signed her birthday card with "I hope you don't get too soggy". Oh, how we laughed. Anyway, we ate and talked and drank. I only had two cocktails - a Mai Tai on each occassion (and funny how the guy making the cocktail was trying to be flash, a la Tom Cruise in that dreadful Cocktail movie, but kept dropping the bottles) - but at the end of the night I was feeling really lousy. The others went on to a club - the last thing I needed - and I made my way back to Oxford station where I discovered hoardes of people awaiting severely delayed trains. Oh what joy!
I eventualy caught a Virgin Trains Inter-City back to Didcot. It was one of those old trains - six or seven aging carriages pulled by a diesel loco. Coming into Didcot I made my way to the end section of the carriage and leaned out of the window on the door as we neared the station. I just love doing that, but it has to be at night when all is dark and you can see the station lights approaching, and all is quiet except the sound of the train and the wind. It is one of my favourite feelings in the world! You have to open your mouth so as to be able to breath, what with the air rushing past, which invariably causes my eyes to stream. I can't explain why I enjoy the sensation so much. It has a sentimental quality to it. Possibly it's knowing that it's something that I won't be able to do for much longer when these kind of trains are scrapped and you can't lean out of the window. I don't know. I think it could be a hanging onto the past kind of thing because there is this feeling of nostalgia somehow attached to it.
So I crawled into bed at about half past midnight and I felt wrecked. I felt really sick (but wasn't) and I'd only had two drinks. What was all that about? So, the rest of the weekend I've been trying to recover. I've still been feeling lousy, but perhaps this explains my previous posts about why the kid from next door pissed me off so much, and the one about my dream.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:37 am
I've not long woken up after what feels like the longest sleep in history, although it's not actually that late on a Sunday morning. Mind, I did go to bed early last night as I was not feeling well. But back to the plot, I was having the most bizarre dream, and for once I can remember it, so I thought I'd briefly scribble it down, omitting some of the more trivial bits that are difficult to describe.
So, it started out with waiting on platforms for trains and having double-decker buses pull up instead. Then finally having a train pull up, but one comprised of very old rolling stock. On the train itself there was someone giving all the passengers a talk about the new style trains that were just about to go into service. These would have every comfort for the passenger and a music room was mentioned and also a swimming pool (which I thought was a crazy idea on the journey from Didcot to Oxford as there would hardly be the time to get changed out of your swimming costume and dried, etc). Then I noticed that everyone around me had these electronic tablets on which they were designing virtual environments for themselves that they could use on the new trains to make the journey more comfortable. Using a drop and drag technique they were able to choose the room layout of their environment, the decor, the furniture and fittings, etc. Everyone was producing these really amazing pieces and I looked at my own screen and it was a blank white nothingness, the default setting, save for my seat in the middle. So I quickly flipped through some of the pre-sets and soon everyone was laughing what I'd done, as it looked really tacky (I hadn't meant it to), as if it was a set from Magnum P.I. It even had a sunken seating area.
Then suddenly we were not on the train anymore but were walking along the railway track itself. (This is a very common recurring theme in my dreams, and I'd love to know what the hell it's all about). There was a group of about 5 or 6 of us. I remember that Annie was there, and that I was in full Gina mode (wig, make-up, dress, high heels, etc), and we were walking along the track carefully trying to avoid the electric rails, which for the most part was easy, but where tracks crossed each other or at points these were a little more difficult to negotiate. Then we found there were a series a tracks crossing ours at 90 degees, and on these were railway vehicles that we had to negotiate, either by climbing across them or by ducking underneath (and as they were moving - albeit slowly - this was very dangerous). I remember that as each of the team negotiated one of these obstacles, this victory was celebrated with a photograph (sepia-tinted) of that person, arms in the air ("Hooray, I did it"), with the rest of the team around them, possibly supporting them on their shoulders(?).
We managed to find a track without electric rails and decided it would be safest to follow that one. The walls alongside the tracks were of the red-brick (black-brick?) variety that you often see, especially in London. But then we had to urgently hide. I can't remember what the problem was, but assume there must have been some railway personnel about for us to run from, as obviously we were trespassing. So, we all made a bee-line for one of those small arches in the brickwork, with one of our number shouting something about "Jack Russells". Inside the archway we found a door, so we all piled inside. Inside we found ourselves in brightly lit corridors, with several doors leading off to adjacent rooms. Peering though the door to the outside world, the scene had changed and there was a Jack Russell Terrier trial going on. Lots of men in tweeds and their small yappy type dogs engaged in some kind of competition. Nevertheless, these people still posed a threat to us, and we needed to hide, so each of us started opening doors and looking for a hiding place. I went into a room that resembled a doctor's surgery. I saw another door which I assumed was some kind of closet and I quickly went into this, to find that it contained a toilet. There was a small window in the wall, and from outside I could hear voices. Then suddenly a voice just directly outside started saying, "Ah yes, I remember this toilet! 10 years old, gawd bless her." and he started patting the window, so hard that it started to open (it was on one of those horizontal swivel hinges). "Oh, I think there's someone inside... good luck to you!" Well, this was enought for me! The guy was a bloody loon. And his voice sounded suspiciously like Melvyn Hayes (Gloria, of "It Ain't Half Hot Mum" fame).
So, I exited the toilet and doctor's surgery, and rushed into one of the other rooms, where I found somewhere to hide behind a large desk. Only to discover two of our team already hidden there. But then there was an announcement on the tannoy outside that the contest was still awaiting the arrival of a swiss Count (there was a name given, very pompous sounding but that is one detail of the dream that I cannot remember) and his staff. On hearing this one of the guys under the desk arose, and putting on a bad swiss accent announced to us that "I am the Count". And we were his staff presumably. Oh, and this guy now seemed to be Jon Pertwee, although he hadn't been earlier on in the dream.
There were no worries about our team not having a Jack Russell terrier. Actually, now the whole contest had changed, and the object now was firing a rocket into space (presumably to see who could get their rocket to go the highest). We had a rocket, the swiss team must had sent it on ahead of their arrival, and I remember us all looking at it, and the "Count" deciding that it would never do (all the coloured plastic cups making us the nose-cone), and that we must re-build it. And then there was talk and speculation about how we could use the rocket to get back to our "home planet" (!), which bearing in mind this was a model rocket of about 18 inches in length sounded a bit adventurous to me.
And about then I woke up. So... what the hell was all that about then?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:52 am
Saturday, June 09, 2001
So, there I was this morning, lying in bed, drifting in and out of sleep, and feeling like hell on toast (to borrow an expression from Eddie Izzard), and there comes an urgent knocking on the front door. Who can that be? Perhaps the postman with a parcel? "Hold on!" I shouted down the stairs not wanting to miss out on the prospect of an exciting delivery, and scrambled into my dressing gown and half-dashed half-limped down the stairs. I opened the door a crack to be confronted by the kid from next door. "Can I have my tennis ball back? It went into your garden." said the child. I just felt too groggy and said I'd throw it back "not now, but later" (to borrow an expression from Jools Holland). Pesky little scamp. Then I looked at the clock... it was only 9:00 a.m.! That kid had got me out of bed at 9:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning with me feeling "delicate". Grrrr... Pesky little scamp? Irritating little shit, more like!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:36 am
Friday, June 08, 2001
OK, re: the earlier entry about Parr and whether or not it is a type of fish. From what I can ascertain after a quick search on the net, a parr is a juvenile form of salmon and/or trout. That sounds like a bit of a cheaty name for railway rolling stock, if you ask me.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:19 pm
Cor, I wish our headmistress when I was at school would have eaten worms. I'm sure we'd all have worked hard as an incentive to see that!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:03 pm
Bees 'use tiny spirit levels' to build straight nests. A biologist says bees and wasps build their intricate honeycombed nests using miniature 'spirit levels'. He says the tiny crystal tool helps them keep the layers of their dark nests level even though they are building without light. A team headed by Jacob Ishay, a physiologist at Tel Aviv University, used an electron microscope to scan nest cells of the Oriental hornet. They found a tiny crystal, no more than 0.1 millimetre in diameter, glued to the domed roof of each cell, reports the journal Nature. After studying its make-up Mr Ishay now believes the crystal acts like a spirit level, guiding the hornets as they build. The crystals are magnetic but Ishay believes hornets use them as a guide by tapping the hive with their feet. According to InScight, he said: "The crystal does not dance in the same way as the rest of the comb, enabling the insects to glean information about the orientation of their nest."
Thanks to Maggie for this story... I'm not sure where she found it
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:49 pm
Speaking of aquatic trainspotting I've another fishy-inspired railway track-laying vehicle to add to the list: perch. I've also seen a parr, but is that a fish or a sea creature? Not heard of that one.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:05 am
OK, I'll stop talking about politics now on this blog. Normal service shall be resumed, and we'll be getting back to the topics that matter: high heels, guitars, groovy music, Cult TV, nightclubbing, aquatic trainspotting, Jamie Oliver bashing... Oh, you know you love it, really! But first, before all that, I'll leave you with one last political piece, my very own article for The Moon (from June 2000): Numbrrr 10 - Blair insists on igloo.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:45 am
I turned on the telly first thing this morning, just so I could find out the election results. I caught the speech that William Hague made about his defeat and in which he announced he was going to stand down as leader of the Conservative Party. Oh, what a shame. Won't we all miss him? NOT!!! All he was ever good for was name-calling. He had a knee-jerk reaction for condemning the Labour Party for just about anything that ever happened, and taking the opposing stance not because it was what he believed but because it was anti-what-the-Government-were-doing. A pathetic man; just a big kid really. I can picture him, in my mind's eye dressed up as a great big baby, a laGeorge Dawes in his romper suit on Shooting Stars.
So... it was a landslide victory for the Labour Party and Tony Blair. So, no surprises there. (And don't you already hate that word "landslide"? It's the kind of word the papers all LOVE and will use to death and piss us all off.) What alarmed me was the low turn-out to the polls; the public apathy. I am very serious about exercising the right to vote. It is a privilege that people have fought and died for, and should not be dismissed lightly.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:02 am
Thursday, June 07, 2001
Vote For We - Clint Eastwood & General Saint
This is party political broadcast
on behalf of the Eastwood & Saint Party:
Vote for we, lord god vote for we
Vote for we, crowd a people vote for we
Put down the mike, don't be no M.C.
Pick up politics and go be the M.P.
Crowd a people would a vote for we
Say crowd a people would a vote for we
The Council is planning a new policy
Building housing scheme for the economy
Find a solution for the community
Vote for we, lord god vote for we
Vote for we, crowd a people vote for we
Cos in a politics them play nuff tricks
In a Parliament we say they have nuff lyrics
Conservative, Labour or the S.D.P.
House of Commons or the E.E.C.
But Eastwood and Saint we have a new party
Vote for we, lord god vote for we
Vote for we, crowd a people vote for we
Muggers in the street, muggers in the alley
Just through some people living in poverty
Cos just the other day them mug an old lady
Just lef it to we, just lef it to we
We a go send the whole of them go a penitentiary
Lef it to we, just lef it to we
Put on your hat
Put on your coat
Everybody have fe vote
Just vote for we, lord god vote for we
Vote for we, crowd a people vote for we
OK, it's a few years old now (the SDP???) and I think their policies are a bit suspect ("make everywhere look like suburban city") but I like it.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:17 pm
Hhhmmmmm... the archiving system on this blog seems to be up-the-spout. More Grrrrr...
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:45 pm
Warning: Tea-cosy related injuries on the increase A British Government report on safety in the home warns tea-cosy related injuries are increasing. The number of people hospitalised after trouser-related accidents increased from 5,137 to 5,945. Injuries inflicted by vegetables also rose from 12,362 to 13,132. This year's Home And Leisure Accident Surveillance System report, based on 1999 data, shows 37 tea cosy injuries, compared with just 20 the year before.
Bird-bath accidents rose significantly - from 117 to 311, but researchers recorded a more modest rise in the number of accidents caused by place mats - from 157 to 165. The New Scientist reports other objects involved in accidents included toilet-roll holders, clogs, false teeth and wellington boots. But researchers also found some encouraging statistics - a drop in armchair-related injuries from 18,690 to 16,662. The Department of Trade And Industry looked at a sample group of British hospitals to compile their annual figures on home accidents.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:38 pm
If no-one emails me, I shall have to resort to taking the piss out of Jamie Oliver again, just out of boredom.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:28 pm
Helloooooo???? Is anyone out there? I've had no emails at all. Have you all deserted me? Have I done something to offend? I know the blog was down for a while, but that was totally beyond my control. And I have been making an effort to reply to emails straight away these days and not to let them languish in my in-box until I forget about them. So, come on! Whatchalldoing? I need input!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:26 pm
Election Day! ...and I already voted on my way in to work this morning. I just took a slight detour on the way to the station. There's a couple of bizarre things going through my head this morning (so, nothing new there then), one of which is the phrase "Vote. For Scrote." which came from an episode of The Wonder Years and seems quite appropriate for many of today's politicians. The other thing that I just cannot get out of my head this morning is the song "Vote For We" by Clint Eastwood and General Saint from the classic reggae album "Stop That Train" (Greensleeves Records, 1983). I've just been doing a search on the net for the lyrics, but can I find them? No! Grrrr...
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:22 am
Bizarre americanisms that make no sense to me at all (Part 1):
Displaying dates in Month-Day-Year (MMDDYY) format instead of the European Day-Month-Year (DDMMYY) style. It isn't ascending and it isn't descending, it's just a bloody bizarre way of doing it. The most logical way of displaying dates would be Year-Month-Day as this would correspond with the way in which we display and read the time, i.e. Hours-Minutes-Seconds, descending from the largest unit of time. Also this raises the question, why do Americans say "the 4th of July", and not "July the 4th"? They're so inconsistent!
The Emergency phone number, 911. However did that come about? Who chose it and why? The UK emergency number of 999 seems to make much more sense, being easy for anyone to remember, although it does have the drawback that it's also easy for small children, babies, cats, dogs, parrots, sheep, chickens, water buffaloes, etc, to accidentally dial. But having said all that, this doesn't really keep me awake at night - I've had no occassion to use the US emergency phone number (seeing as I've only ever been to the States on the one occassion), so I'm prepared to let the baby have its rattle on this one!
US so-called A4 sized paper. It's all the wrong dimensions! The whole point of A4 is that you can double the dimensions to make A3, double that to make A2, double that to A1, etc - all sizes having the same relative proportions. And likewise, if you halve A4 you get A5, halve that and you get A6, etc, etc... But start arsing about with the dimensions and none of this works.
The use of the word pumps to describe high-heeled shoes (usually court shoes as opposed to the strappy sandals that I personally favour). This has caused much confusion. In the UK, when speaking of footware, pumps are casual shoes, such as canvas deck shoes or tennis shoes. UK pumps are definitely not fabulous shoes, and the word itself is hardly fabulous. It just sounds wrong.
When it comes to food in America there are some strange naming conventions. Ask for a bag of chips and they will give you crisps. You have to call them fries, and even then they are not the same. And jelly is called jello, and jam is called jelly. It's very confusing. And then they are always going on and on about Twinkies and Hershey Bars as if the rest of the world knows what they are talking about. Grrrr...
Just what is the whole deal with tortoises and turtles? Americans make no distinction between these shell-carrying reptiles, calling them all turtles despite the fact the the former are land-dwelling beasties appropriately equipped with legs and claws, and the latter are swimmy-type creatures with flippers and living in the sea.
More things to be added as and when I think of them!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:28 am
Tuesday, June 05, 2001
Well, this is bizarre. I have actually located the errant blog archive for April... I'm just not sure yet how to get it listed along with the other archives in the left hand margin here. Does anyone have any helpful hints?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:09 pm
Sneeze, sneeze, sniffle... My hayfever has really kicked in today. Not fun. At all. I've just been out and bought some tablets for it and some nasal spray. Bloody hell! Why does medication cost so much? And why do we pay TAX on it for crying out loud? Sodding government! "Hayfever" is caused by pollution in city centres (I was fine this morning, until I got off the train in Oxford; then it was sneeze sneeze sneeze ALL the way to the office) and by those fucking farmers' insistence on growing that EVIL yellow rapeseed stuff. Why should I be taxed because of that? The bloody farmers and the bus companies should pay for our medication. Bastards.
Please please let it stop! The sore and itchy eyes, the runny nose, the constant sneezing, the whole damn queasiness of it all! I'd do anything. Even watch a video loop of all of Jamie Oliver's Sainsbury's adverts. (As long as I'm allowed to shout obscenities at the television set.)
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:25 pm
I've just been looking at my stats on my GeoCities website (link in the margin) and notice that I am now getting hits from http://www.tvdating.dingojunction.com/tvlist.asp, which is a bit bizarre. I have obviously been added to this list without being asked. Let me make it clear that I am not available for TV dating. My personal relationships are my own business and it is not one of the things that I talk about on this blog. Some things are - well - personal.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:04 am
Monday, June 04, 2001
There's lots of catching up to do, I know. So, where've I been this last 10 days or so? (Maths was never my strong point. I got a grade "U" for my Maths 'O'-Level and I'm proud of it! But that's another story.) I've had such a hectic time, that I'm not too sure where to start. I've visited best friend Annie; caught up with friends from the old Eddie Izzard message board (Barb plus Wolf and Lisa and baby Sophie); been to see Eddie Izzard himself do a gig at the Red Rose Comedy club; indulged in some light heckling with same ("Eddie, just get on with the show" ... don't ask, it's a long and complicated story); got sunburnt quite badly; visited the scarily long Southend Pier and felt summarily quite green (i.e. not with envy, but the kinda green you go when you feel sick); been to see the wonderful Die So Fluid do another gig; drank obscene amounts of alcoholic beverages; and spent too much money (mainly on the aforementioned alcoholic beverages).
So, does that fill in the gaps in the blog sufficiently, do you think?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:03 pm
I'm back, and will once again be making regular blog entries. Yeah, the blog was down for a little while. First of all there was a problem with the Blog*Spot server, and then when the techie guys had sorted it all out, I apparently needed to "republish" my blog. But - I was away from home and was unaware of this problem and lots of people were emailing me and asking what had happened.
Anyway, I now notice that my archive for the month of April has vanished, and I am bloody livid! I certainly did not delete those files, they must have been lost in the blog*spot server changeover. I don't know how I can ever ressurrect those postings. Any ideas, anyone? Or does anyone have a copy on their hard disk (just on the off-chance)? Help!!!! Please.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:07 am