childeric: (Default)
Due to the indisposition of [ profile] zoo_music_girl, we have a free ticket to see Chris Addison at the Bloomsbury Theatre tonight at 8.00! This is free to the first person who texts me for it! If you can get yourself to Brunswick Centre Giraffe for 6.30 you can even have the pleasure of dining with the pouting and abundantly curvaceous [ profile] steer and myself. And Steer assures me that afterwards he will dance a hornpipe for your delectation just to add to the merriment, gaiety and general joyfulness of the occasion.
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Gmail 'targeted' ads are really anything but. They're a sort of reverse Royal Canadian Mounted Police: they almost never get their man. As a good No2ID member I should be being pleased, I suppose, at this utter abysmal failure of the burgeoning surveillance society, but mostly it makes me wonder exactly what it is that I've been saying in my emails that leads Google to imagine I'm in need of a product to prevent my urinating in the wetsuit I don't actually have. Apparently the device in question is a belt for warming the kidneys of surfers, so at least it's something fairly funky and youthful and it isn't just Google saying that the sort of nonsense I spout with such superlatively disinterested largesse in my emails is symptomatic of a more general micturatory weakness or anything. Still, I can't help but feel mildly aggrieved and as though I need to do something to prove somehow to the world in general that I Don't And Never Have Peed In My Wetsuit. Really, I don't. Or am I insisting on this too much now?

the bit I'm slightly ashamed about and am thus concealing beneath a cut )

Anyway, enough of my goatish horridness: what this post is actually about is something that's only going to be remotely meaningful to about five people reading, namely Kalamazoo. From the programme sitting plumply on my desk I discover that my paper is consigned to a somewhat graveyard slot at 8.30 on Sunday morning somewhere completely unfashionable like Fetzer. Argh, the morning after the dance! I've scarcely made it to any Sunday 8.30s ever in all the time that I've been going to Kalamazoo, let alone actually been capable of coherent speech. I very much hope such audience as I have will be zombified too, or at the very least kind-hearted and forgiving. Anyway, I'm curious as to whom I should expect to see there, and when you're all on, so for that purpose there is a poll beneath this cut )
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Coo, aren't there a lot of good bands playing soon?
Read more... )
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A review of the following just popped up in my mailbox:

Morrison, Susan Signe. Excrement in the Late Middle Ages: Sacred Filth and Chaucer's Fecopoetics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. Pp. xiii, 271. $89.95. ISBN-13: 978-1-4039-8488-3.

There are many things that might be said, amongst which is 'Blimey, ninety dollars?!'.
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Oh god, there are times when you're going into work and you see something that turns you from the fairly laid-back chilled sunny sort of individual you broadly aspire to be into a foaming frothing torrent of rage and hatred and spleen venting that wants to fire off severely-worded letters to the BBC (John Humphreys in particular, as he'd understand), Private Eye, the Prime Minister and heaven knows who else. There are, of course, many things that might trigger this response, but in my case this morning it is the van of a company that describes itself as offering 'foodservice solutions'. 'Solutions' on its own is quite bad enough and horribly over-used, but what new horror is 'foodservice'? The poor old English language has suffered some horrible indignities in its time, but 'foodservice solutions' makes me want to set up a sort of English equivalent of the Académie Française. This one, though, would have real teeth: heavily-armed teams equipped with copies of Fowler and the OED and perhaps also a portable scaffold would roam the streets hunting down and wiping away such solecisms: 'Sorry, sir, you knew the penalty, but you have a notice here advertising "apple's". Unless you can show pretty hastily that you are a vendor of products that belong to an apple or an individual named Apple, then justice must have her due.'

Even through the red mist, however, all my rational being is saying annoying, sensible, things like 'You're just being a linguistic conservative. A healthy language isn't preserved in aspic but embraces the new. English is a more enthralling mistress for her many and lusty couplings with all who will have her, not to mention the new and exotic excitements her lively and productive imagination has dreamt up, than ever she would be as some pure and unsullied spinster, shrivelled up in her lofty (and lonely) hauteur (oops, that's French, but that rather illustrates the point, doesn't it?).' Then, my irksome rational being continues, 'And isn't it rather shameful that of all the things in the world that there are to get worked up about, the one that really brings you out in a tearing passion is some idiot caterer riding a neologistic bandwagon?'

My rational being is, of course, looking for a good solid punch in the face, mostly because he (I assume, for no especially good reason, that my rational being is a he) is quite correct.

But oh god, still, 'foodservice solutions': you want a shotgun handy.
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I think I may need a new laptop. My venerable six-year-old Dell had a big crash the other day, with a blue screen and lots of gibberish scrolling across a black screen immediately afterwards. When Windows eventually re-started, it sent a 'major fault' (I think that was the terminology) notification to Microsoft. That, in itself, didn't seem to augur especially well, but last night I had an even bigger crash: blue screen and lots of scrolling text again, but this time it made crackling noises for what seemed like an eternity, but was probably more like four seconds. That's quite long enough, though. Windows wouldn't re-start, even in safe mode.

In a spirit of supreme optimism and because I'm the sort who likes prodding at corpses to see what they'll do, I tried booting this morning and it actually loaded Windows (in normal, not safe, mode) fine and worked unproblematically. I see this, though, as man's last surge of youth in his autumn before the winter, to borrow a line from the Chameleons. If this were a mawkish nineteenth-century melodrama and my laptop were the hero, then the surgeon would be emerging grave and stony-faced from the bedroom and the lovely doe-eyed but fiery heroine would be having to be restrained from rending her clothes and tearing her hair in a torrid excess of grief and fear bordering upon the insane. Gosh.

Anyway, obviously I'm pulling everything useful off the hard disk, but I think it may be time to start thinking about getting something new. In particular I'm wondering about these really really dinky miniature laptops that have become popular in the past couple of years. What's the feeling on them? Are they viable, decent computers or are they fun little toys? And if I didn't go by that route, then I would probably be looking at trying the Dell Outlet site for a full-size laptop. Is there any good reason not to? I've probably got around £300 £500 to spend. Any thoughts or advice much appreciated.
childeric: (cape)
Oh dear, it's about a million years since I've properly updated, and I'm not going to now, either. Mea culpa. Typing which has just set me thinking about a truly terrible Enigma song from 18 years ago. And probably you too now. Oh dear. Mea even more so culpa.

But yes, anyway, three things:

1. Does anyone know if Infest is actually happening this year? There seems to have been remarkably little activity on the site and the mailing list, and I hear disquieting rumblings on the jungle telegraph. I really hope it does happen, 'cos Infest rocks bleeps.

2. Are vegans allowed to read parchments?

3. Some questions about the coming week:

[Poll #1338982]
childeric: (bwwhitby)
i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh.... And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you so quite new

e.e. cummings

Sorry, I know it's enormously self-indulgent to post poetry, but thank goodness it's at least not anything I've written.

Shocking fuzz of your electric fur!
childeric: (Default)
In a comment, give three good reasons in less than sixty words in total why I shouldn't cultivate a soft boomerang of love à la Jesse Hughes from EoDM:

Illustrate with examples of better facial hair role models if you feel this will assist your case.

Obviously I'd need the aviator shades, too, but I have lots of those already.
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Not only is Chinese Democracy actually going to be released (well, supposedly), but final proof that the Beast is rising and the seventh seal has been opened is surely furnished by this statement from the Guardian:

Faced with a weakening economy, the central bank of China today cut its key lending rate for the third time in six weeks, down from 6.93% to 6.66%.

Also, other things:

(1) However used you may be to signing off emails to many of your friends with kisses, it's a really really good idea not to seem over-familiar to the new director of your institute by giving him the same treatment.

(2) I wish I'd known about this in advance. I vaguely know one of the people the article mentions as giving a paper. I'm always a bit embarrassed about the less legit medievalism end of my research profile, which is the category my academic interest in HM/HR falls into, but this sounds really interesting.
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Oh god, not content with drifting ever more right-wing, the Cleggist LibDems are just being downright embarrassing with this cold-calling stunt of theirs. Who on earth in a million years really thought that that'd lead to a big rise in LibDem popularity? I'm feeling that disillusionment and falling of crests you get when somebody you really fancy turns out to believe that there is such a word as 'wierd': it had all been going so swimmingly and you were so proud, but actually no, scales-drop-from-eyes time: this is, it suddenly transpires, no grand passion and maybe you're not actually going to introduce them to your friends after all, and abundantly not in any forum where they might happen to be writing about the uncanny, the arcane or even simply the unfamiliar.

But where does this leave the oh-you-know-vaguely-left-liberal-decent-sort-of-pinko-Guardianista to go? Neither Dave nor Gordon are exactly enticing options and both are still to the right even of the New LDs. So err, what's left (in all senses)? Am I going to have to change my Facebook politics status to 'apathetic'? !!! Like the heroine of a nineteenth-century novel, I am disenchanted, dismayed and like to swoon.

And another thing: how come there are so many people called Clegg about all of a sudden? There used only to be Peter Sallis, and he always seemed perfectly harmless and normally rather charming, really, but now they're absolutely everywhere. It's terrifyingly like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and something really ought to be done about it.

But anyway, a poll: Read more... )
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Is it my (admittedly shonky) connection or is Google Chrome really *really* slow?

Anybody see what I did with the title there? Such larks!
childeric: (Default)
Sorry about the above ^^^. It's all [ profile] fracture242's fault. I've had bloody Bodycount in the House going through my head ever since something on her journal yesterday set it off.

There is something so gloriously silly about that song, though, that you really have to forgive Ice T, despite it all: I particularly like the introducing-the-band bit in the middle, and that line 'And back here on the bass is my main motherfucker named Moose Man!'. Right up to the word 'named' that's fine and thoroughly rock'n'roll, but he just so utterly loses it as soon as he starts talking about Moose Man. I mean ghetto names are all very well and no-one could hope to be more hip to that sort of thing than am I, but what on earth possessed anyone to think that Moose was a good idea? Mm, moose. If you ask me, Ice T should make sure he gets himself a less ludicrously soubriqueted main motherfucker if he wants to be taken at all seriously. Which, to be fair, I suspect that he doesn't. Isn't he playing a cop in some tv series nowadays? Thus forever laying to rest the nonsense that Americans don't get irony.

Oo, though, talking of really laboured attempts to get song titles into LJ posts, for some reason this morning as I awoke my first thought was how fantastic it would be if Dr Clegg the Elder were to attend Pride and then (perish the thought!) get enormously drunk. Because when it was written up on LJ there would never be a better reason to have 'Beers, [ profile] steers and Queers' as the title! I hasten to add that it only seemed funny and like a splendid idea whilst I was still very much Lethe-wards sunk and that I mention it solely to give you all an insight into the rather worrying state of my subconscious in the fond hope that you'll then have sympathy and that sort of thing and I'll be able to get away with murder, ha-ha! Oh, and for anyone that doesn't know fifteen-year-old Revolting Cocks songs, this whole paragraph isn't going to make an enormous amount of sense. Honestly, Simon, what crack are you on today?

Ye-es, so, moving on...
the actual point of this post )
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Reposted (oops) as I mucked up some of the type="check" bits.
Under here )
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My Lovely New Flat is gradually emerging from the piles of boxes with which it has been filled for the last month. Last night I even took what I consider a significant step towards oh you know houseproudliness and bourgeois respectability and all those Daily Mail/Middle England sorts of virtues by removing the table which had been holding the bathroom door permanently open for the last three weeks. There really wasn't anywhere else it could go, but it did rather curtail the range of guests I was ready to admit to closer friends only, especially if they seemed likely to require the lavatory at any point during their visit. There's only so much looking the other way and stuffing fingers in ears that one can do. Now it - the table, that is - is sitting in the kitchen and getting in the way terribly, but still I suspect this is what the How Clean Is Your House people would counsel had they happened to visit. Thank goodness they haven't. I wouldn't want to know about their bathroom habits.

Anyway, none of this is awfully to the point, which is that I'm just about to set up my phone and net and I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations or ghastly cautionary stories of woe relating to land line/broadband bundles, Tiscali (my currently favoured option) in particular? Any thoughts?

Also, there is a special prize for enormous cleverness and being desperately well-read for everyone who recognises the quotation in my title. But it would be very vulgar to call attention to the fact that you do recognise it, so the way that you qualify for the prize is by just reading the title and then nodding and inwardly smiling to yourself as you sit at your computer and thereby share with me a moment of self-congratulation and smug recognition of our cultural bond.1

1Please note that this competition is not open to anyone whose degree happens to be in Eng Lit as you have a terribly unfair advantage. Just leave it for the Computer Scientists and that sort of person as they'll feel ever so much prouder if they win.
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... or even, frankly, an indifferent or wholly morally bankrupt one. I'm no snob.

  • Indesit W113 Washing Machine 1100 spin

  • Moulinex FM 1535E Microwave Oven 650w

  • Double bed and mattress see picture below

All free to anyone who can pick them up from the Blackhorse Rd area of Walthamstow.

I have a nasty feeling that most people I know are far too well-off for this sort of thing, though, so, alternatively, does anyone know of any charities that would want these and which would pick them up?

Please do pass on to anyone who might be interested. If no-one bites by Friday then they'll go on Freecycle.
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Yesterday was a triumph of a day.

Firstly, on impulse at lunchtime I went for a wander around Cargo on TCR and in their sale purchased a black mock-croc tea tray. Awesome or what? I mean, yes, okay, it's a tea tray, and at that you're all shaking your alternative-as-anything heads and sharing concerned glances of the 'Ohmygod, the bourgeois domesticity bug has bitten this one hard. What price integrity, rockstardom, scuzziness?' sort, I know, but come now, it's not just a tea tray, is it? It's a black, mock-croc tea tray, which is just cool on a stick if you ask me. I bet Ozzy has black mock-croc tea trays, or would want one if someone happened to mention them to him. Anyway, I'm terribly pleased, and keep glancing across to it as it sits next to me on my desk and smiling.

Pub/Gig review: Queens of the Stone Age, Hammersmith Odeon or Apollo, I suppose, although really it's the Odeon, 11/02/08 )
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Okay, just one last blast from me (and then I promise I'll shut up about it) to say

Come to my birthday tomorrow!

Holloway Road

Nearest station is Holloway Road: turn left out of the station and walk straight up the Holloway Road (spookily enough) until you get to Big Red, which is on the left. I'll be there from 6.30 or some bloody silly time like that to get seats, but come whenever you feel is fashionable. Oh, and half the rest of the world is having birthday things in there that night too, so you'll be just too uncool if you don't make it.

Now, I'm just off to go and collect some keys.
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Quick question that has so far proved un-googlable...

I know Germans and Germanophones are a bit weird - to Anglo-American eyes - about correctly using academic titles and get wildly hung up about people omitting any, hence the nonsense of 'Professor Doktor Schicklgrüber' or 'Doktor Doktor Schicklgrüber' if Schicklgrüber happens to have more than one title. But I'm currently dealing with an Austrian who would seem to want me to address her in correspondence by the style 'Mag', short for 'Magister', as she is the possessor of a magister artium degree. Surely that can't be normal, even in Germany/Austria?

It is, I should mention, possible that she or I have got entirely the wrong end of the stick in the process of translation, but does anyone happen to know if Germans with MAs really seriously expect to be called Magister/Master?

Update I've just noticed that the Austrian in question has addressed me as 'Mr'. 99.99% of the time I couldn't care less about that, but just this once it has a certain amusement value.
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I'm trying - in a tearing hurry - to find a third speaker for a session on colonial literatures in the central middle ages. I already have Ian Short, from Birkbeck, who does Anglo-Norman stuff, and I'm thinking of pairing him with Matt Townend, from York, who does Scandinavian lang and lit in the Danelaw, but has anyone got any thoughts on a third to go with them? It should be someone pretty high-powered and working on language or literature in colonial/contact situations anywhere in Europe - although west is probably better - and between, say, 800 and 1250 or so - the extremely long C11th, if you like. :)

Also, medieval travel: anyone know of anyone doing anything interesting on it? Central middle ages for pref, although early med or high med are probably okay too.

Oops, should add, this is for the Anglo-American Conference of Historians in the first week of July, which is the week before Leeds. So far as I know there's no money to pay for transatlantic flights or anything, unfortunately, which is a bit of a bind, but if there's someone from the States who really fits the bill, then do let me know anyway.

Any suggestions will be gratefully received.


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April 2009

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