This is not my main blog. This is the other blog. The one that charts all the random bumps on the highway that is life. It was also my first blog, so it is, in it's own special way, still the best.

The other one, the one that I update regularly, can be found here.

That's all for now.

March 21, 2006

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

I ended up watching this movie on Sunday night with a couple of my housemates and I was blown away by it. It was probably one of the best movies I've seen in a long time, and one of the few ones that I've actually felt motivated to go and buy (rather than stumbling across in a sale and grabbing while it was cheap).

It's written and directed by Shane Black, the writer behind Lethal Weapon, and in some ways follows the same formula - a mixture of action and comedy wrapped up in a buddy movie. The difference here is that all that's wrapped up in a film-noir and the buddy's are a small time crook, a hard nosed, cynical, gay P.I. and a failed actress.

This film plays on the film-noir strategy beautifully. It's fully of gloriously almost pointless violence and for some reason it's all directed at the small crook. Barely a scene goes by when he isn't getting beaten up or attacked. On top of this the jokes are fast and furious. So quick in fact that at times you're so busy laughing at one that you miss the second! It's blithely self-referential and you can just tell that everyone is having fun with it.

Basically you need to see this movie.
That is all.

March 13, 2006

And another thing...

When did hangovers cease to be any fun? (In fact when were hangovers ever actually fun?) All of a sudden a decent night out means that you can write the next two days off. Movement is reduced to practically nothing for a day and it's all jsut generally bad.

Surely that can't be right?

Post-Modern Paranoia

I've come to the conclusion that I live in a weird world of permanent paranoia about all the wrong stuff. For instance: I've currently got a stomach ache. It's possible it's just a hangover but it feels slightly off.

Now most people out there would shrug it off. They might call in sick to work and spend the day in bed recovering. Other people would just ignore it and get on with their day as best they could. A very small number of people would immediately get an appointment at the doctor to deal with the first few stages of stomach cancer (because what else could a dodgy stomach be?).

I instead spend my time worrying that I might start worrying that my stomach ache is actually Stomach Cancer. Which is a slightly weird way of looking at things.

Here's another one: I've never really spent much time around any disabled people. Not for any specific reason, just because I've never made the opportunity. Now obviously I 've got no problem with them, but whenever I do meet one I start worrying that I'll end up acting weirdly around them. Right now for instance I'm trying to decide if "disabled person" is correct or if it should be "person with disability", whereas what I should really ask is "would they care?" And yes, I probably do end up acting weirdly around them by deliberately trying to not act weirdly around them...

How weird is that?

EDIT: I've recently been pointed towards the Implicit Association Tests a series of tests which gauge how you unconciously register differences. For instance you can consciously not discriminate against someone but accidentally discriminate against them. It's interesting, check it out.

March 09, 2006

Avoidance techniques

So far it hasn't been too bad. I've taken the simple and straight forward step of avoiding work by not doing any. I should really get around to logging on to my work pc... (I have two pc's at work, one for work and one for messing around. It's possible the second one has another reason for existing but I've given up on finding it.)

Mexican Chimichangas for lunch. They seem to have sobered me up slightly but that just means I've now got a permanent headache. And the entire afternoon is spread before me with nothing but Questionable Content to keep me going. I've only got about two hundred more issues to go, so it might be close.

Oh, and I've just entered the lunchtime slow down period...

Deep breaths.

Bad day...

Due to an unfortunate series of events last night, I arrived to work an hour late. I'm currently hungover and wearing the same clothes that I a) wore yesterday and b) slept in.

It's going to be a bad day. I can sense it.

Oh, and I don't have my train ticket so getting home's going to be interesting too.

March 08, 2006

World Fusion...

I've recently started getting into World Fusion music. For those who don't know, World Fusion is a catchall for the next stage in the World Music movement. It basically came about because all ethnic music got lumped into one single category.

By the time the world music fans started to write music they had been influenced by music from all over the world, and so they did the logical thing - they combined it all. It's slightly weird hearing a celtic jig written to a dance beat with a traditional african bass underneath, and yet somehow it works.

At the moment I only seem to have got a mainly seems to be an African/Celtic mix, but I'm hopeful I shoudl start finding some more stuff soon. I reckon Paul Simon's Real World Studio would be the best place to start, since it was deliberately set up to expose more people to music from around the world - one of the few examples of a record studio that has an aim outside of jsut making money (although I'm not stupid enough to believe making money isn't a small part of it!).

Real World also has the distinction of being the home of the very cool AfroCelts (who either used to be, or are again the AfroCelt Sound System) a band I've been enjoying for years now They keep things interesting by inviting in other artists pretty much whenever they can to get more influences from more places in the world - so I'm not really sure if the Afrocelts title holds anymore...

Also, check out Baka beyond I'm pretty new to them, but I'm liking them. They're much more subtle - and less dancy than the afrocelt, but still fun to listen to!

March 07, 2006

Hey Kat (aka Quitting Smoking 2)

You know it completely didn't occur to me that you might back track from my comment on your blog to here. Huh.

I'm also guessing that you're probably the only other person who knows this blog exists other than me (unless you've told Perro, in which case I guess he knows as well). The only other place I put a link to it was in my forum profile, but I can't see people reading it from there (if there are forum peeps out there then let me know, I'd be interested to find out).

I'm still in the fun playing around with the template/tone of writing stage I'll start telling people once I've decided what I'm going to finally go with. I've got to say the current affairs rant really doesn't seem to work for me. I guess I'm just not that kind of guy...

However the main point of this was to update the blog on whole smoking thing. I guess it wasn't quite as straight forward as I thought since whilst drunk on Saturday I ended up having a cigarette. On the plus side I only had half of it and then had to stub it and down a pint of water to try and wash the taste out of my mouth. It was gross, so I haven't had one since.

I haven't really decided about the whole what to do at Easter thing. Bizarrely the point of this latest attempt isn't to quit smoking it's more of a moral support thing. Basically one of my housemates girlfriends (Cat) decided she needed to cut down on her chocolate eating. So she decided she'd give it up for lent. But then she didn't think she could manage it. Muggins here got somehow talked into giving up smoking if she gave up chocolate. So we'll just have to see what happens come Easter. But if I can't have even a half cig without having to stop I'm guessing chances are good that I'll just keep on trekking.

March 06, 2006

Police State and Counting.

So apparently the American Patriot Act has been upgraded to remove even more civil liberties. This not long after the British Government rejected the House of Lords attempt to make sure Identity Cards were not compulsory.

I've found myself wondering, if a government fails it's citizens then it should be changed or replaced. That's the very basis of democracy, as soon as the government begins to fail you then you can change it to a better one (or to quote the West Wing, the lesser of 'who cares?'). So what happens when you are unable to change the government through such means? What if in ten years time the ID card is just the tip of the iceberg and we have slipped down into a weird police state?

I can see a weird future where a countries very citizens are forced to become terrorists (although they'll of course be called 'freedom fighters', like that excuses it). Wouldn't it be better to halt the slide now and start actually trying to listen to people a little more clearly? Maybe even try and help them a little bit?

The quote that springs to mind is: "start treating people like criminals and they will start acting like criminals".

God I hate the modern world sometimes. Too many people trying to force people to be better people. When are we going to accept that we're all just people, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that?

March 03, 2006

Quitting Smoking

You know I completely forgot, I quit smoking two days ago. Errr... three.

I've stopped smoking for lent, how's that? :) Although technically I did have a cigarette first thing on Wed morning, so I started a little bit later than lent officially starts.

Anyway, I've finally got as far as actually thinking about it this morning, and I was considering either turning this into a "look I've quit smoking blog" or creating a new one for that. But I realised, well, I really don't have anything to say.

The problem with quitting smoking is that most times people do some weird variation on cold turkey. They might try using replacements, or refocusing the addiction somewhere else, but basically they go cold turkey. So all they do is stop smoking and then try and deal with the cravings. Surely it makes more sense to deal with the cravings first and then stop smoking? After all if you don't actually want a cigarette then you won't be tempted to smoke, and you can get on with life.

Basically people will tell you quitting smoking is really hard, when in actual fact it's easy. After all nicotine cravings are so weak that generally they won't even wake you up at night! I mean yes, I do know people who've woken up to have a cigarette each night, but they're the exception rather than the rule. And even then they go far longer during the night than they would even consider during the day.

Another thing people forget is that nicotine burns out of our system within three days of smoking a cigarette. Then it's gone. No more cravings. The problem has never been quitting smoking. I don't believe there's a single smoker who can't (with the right mindset) quit quickly and easily without problem. However I do think that there's a number of smokers out there who try to make out that it is difficult and so refuse to quit. Or if they do attempt to quit, they go about it completely unprepared to deal with anything that might be even slightly problematic.

March 02, 2006


I saw AeonFlux last night.

I know this has had a load of bad reviews, but I thought that an attractive woman running around with pretty explosions and some fun fights and gun play would be enjoyable. Instead it turns out that there was very little fighting/gunfighting, and the attractive woman was in less than attractive apparal. Overall it all just ruined the movie for me.

To make matters even worse there was no tension to the entire thing since the impression was that she could wipe the floor with the rest of the planet and not even break a sweat if she wanted to. They tried throwing in the traditional upper arm shot at the beginning to make her seem more human. Instead it just came as if the only reason she got hit was because she hadn't quite been paying attention. She certainly wasn't in any danger, for goodness sake, she was only up against... I dunno, it was somewhere between 1 and 10 people at that point. It doesn't really matter, they only lasted about three seconds in total.

And as for the major themes and revelations they were hardly surprising, or original. Or fully formed to be honest. Genetic memory is a pretty stupid theme unless it's involved in a plot point. The only one that counts in AeonFlux is pretty rubbish.

And all the ideas were already used in the Island, a film which does have lots of pretty explosions/fights/gunfights/attractive woman running around. AND uses all it's plot points to full effect.

Pointless Story

You've probably worked out by now that this is a pretty pointless blog. It has, as it were, no real purpose in life other than I had to sign up before I could comment on Kat's blog.

But now that I've got it, I suppose I might as well use it. It's just, well, as you might of guessed I really do have nothing to say. I don't really do much of anything, except program and get stories.

Actually, that's weird, there really is no word for the process of gaining stories. You can read a story in a book, you can hear a story being narrated, you can watch a story on tv, in the theatre or at a cinema.

You don't remember these stories, you might learn them I guess but you don't acquire them with the idea of learning them. You want to be fascinated and enthralled by them. You want to learn how to handle life from them.

And above all you want to find the good ones, the quick tales, the long epics, the emotional wholes and the other sneaky little narratives that turn you around.

So I guess I do have something to talk about after all. :)