childeric: (Default)
Today I am full of snot and horror and loathing for myself and all humanity. I really fancy a chai tea latte from Starbucks, even though it's full of sugar and giganticglobalcorporation bad karma, but there's no possibility of my getting one any time soon.

Last weekend, however, was Infest, which was simply great. I'm not bothering with a review as such here, as you've heard it all before. However, I should say that all that D, DD & PPTM seem to have awoken the clubbing beast that has been slumbering inside me all this year, and suddenly it has become incredibly important that I cut some serious UV-reactive 180bpm rug in the very near future. But where to go? [poll] )
childeric: (Wicker Man)
Another day, another trivial pop culture poll...

[spoilers for the poll in comments, so give your answers first and then read them]

[Poll #805485]
childeric: (Default)
[Poll #801576]

Entirely unrelatedly, I am just back from a fantastic luvvie-and-organic-wholefood-filled weekend at the Edinburgh festival with [livejournal.com profile] denalyia, [livejournal.com profile] miss_wonderly and [livejournal.com profile] zoo_music_girl (and also meeting up with [livejournal.com profile] rabhairt). We utterly failed to see several friends that we really should have, and meant to (um, sorry! *smiles winningly in mistaken belief that this will somehow help*), but show-wise we did get to see (amongst many others) a live-action version of Nosferatu and also Macbeth Re-Arisen, in which the erstwhile king comes back as a chainsaw-wielding zombie. Of course!

Ron Mueck, at the Royal Scottish Academy, was also pretty amazing, and I'm definitely in the pro- camp regarding his stuff; but then I'd thought I would be. More of a surprise was finding a Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition I'd entirely not heard about at the City Arts Centre: apparently it's only done Birmingham and Edinburgh and is then back to New Jersey (Boo! The provinces just get all the best shows... ;-p). Superb, anyway.

And now I'm back to work for a whole three days before I pack up and head off on my travels once again, this time to Bradford for Infest and an entirely different - but hopefully just as fun - sort of weekend. Crumbs! What a splendidly eclectic and rounded individual I!
childeric: (Default)
The door to the registry office is the door out of Bohemia
Arthur Ransome (wearing his scabrous boho hat, not his ripping-adventures-in-the-Lakes/Broads/Fens one)

Here is a poll about weddings )

In other news, I'm in full on blagging mode (really not a pretty sight) for a lift to Infest. Reliable sources inform me that the Infest Bus is not an Infest Bus this time round, but an Infest Minibus, and an already-full Infest Minibus to boot. There is also a rather strange bus going from London and advertising on the Infest LJ community, but that is likely to be full of hairdressers from what I can see, and seems like an altogether strange deal. I fear it. So, y'know, I was wondering, is anyone who's driving up likely to have a few microns of space unstuffed with gigantic UV-reactive platforms and available to accommodate me? I'm frightfully witty and amusing and can tell you wildly funny anecdotes all the way. Or, err, shut up, if that's what you prefer? G'wan. I'll be your friend...

(Pathetic, isn't it?)
childeric: (Default)
Clarification: As [livejournal.com profile] dougs quite rightly points out, the 13% headline rate is actually 13% over 3 years, i.e. closer to 4% per year (and 2% of that is not even definite), as described here:
The pay increases agreed as a result of these negotiations are as follows:

August 2006: greater of 3% or £515
February 2007: 1%
August 2007: 3%
May 2008: greater of 3% or £420
October 2008: 2.5% or RPI (as at September 2008) whichever is the greater*

*if the review provides evidence of higher education institutions' ability to further improve the pay of staff in 2008-09 this would be included within these negotiations.


[Poll #744233]
childeric: (Venom)
Hello chaps, how are we doing, then? I trust we've all been inverting our crosses and biting the heads off bats and whatever else it is that's expected. I'm trying to do a few things to promote the reign and dominion of our master The One With Horns, although it's a touch tricky this morning as I have a lecture to write that really can't wait, and besides, the University of London campus is absolutely the last place on earth that I have the slightest chance of laying hands on a virgin to sacrifice. Perhaps I shall start small by just not holding doors open for people or something. Though that's just rude, really, and not awfully Satanic, so perhaps I shan't.

Oh well, in honour of the date, have this lyrics quiz )

The Scores So Far:

[livejournal.com profile] kixie 5
[livejournal.com profile] sarcaustick 4
[livejournal.com profile] swisstone 2
[livejournal.com profile] rich_r 10 (Satan wants him for a sunbeam)
[livejournal.com profile] vin_petrol 9 (Be the Devil's Own: Lucifer's my name!)
[livejournal.com profile] thermaland 6
[livejournal.com profile] nils 7
[livejournal.com profile] purplestuart 4
[livejournal.com profile] magfish 11 (Princess of Darkness)
[livejournal.com profile] zoo_music_girl 7
[livejournal.com profile] wardytron 4
[livejournal.com profile] redcountess 9 (her middle name is Damian, you know)
[livejournal.com profile] d_floorlandmine 11 (For the devil sends the beast with wrath...)
[livejournal.com profile] gramie_dee 14 (Metal God)
childeric: (Default)
Their poor weak little minds turned by all the popular adulation, poutingly curvaceous groupies and so on attendant upon their previous historical tours of London, Whitby, Winchester and elsewhere (have we done some others? I forget), [livejournal.com profile] swisstone and [livejournal.com profile] childeric are very happy to announce that they are once more venturing forth. Again they invite all their friends to be thrilled, amazed and edified by the sparkling chrysoprases of scholarly insight and historical knowledge which will issue from their manly yet still sensitive and artistic lips.

To be brief (thank goodness), Tony and I shall be going for a walk around Canterbury in August, and shall point out some interesting and picturesque bits to anyone who stands still long enough, trying at the same time to put it all in something approaching historical context. If that sounds too wildly cerebral for you, we'll also, I imagine, be popping into a pub for lunch (there are some jolly splendid ones in Canterbury), and generally having a nice day out in a market town.

The day we have planned for this is 12 August. Further details, reminders, and so on closer to the time, but it'd be a great help in judging numbers (and making sure that we haven't ended up clashing with anything vital) if you could fill in this poll:
Will he manage to avoid the temptation to mention Chaucer? Answers are under here )
childeric: (Default)
Following on from a conversation over the weekend...

[Poll #717304]

(I did think of including a second question on this poll based on another Whitby conversation about who was the most fanciable serial killer, but eventually I decided that that was tacky and in really poor taste. Besides, it's patently obvious that it's Ted Bundy.)
childeric: (Default)
1) Where on earth has Swear gone?

They moved a couple of years ago from that bit close to the entrance to the stables market up to a space in-between Cyberdog and Black Rose, but yesterday when I went there all ready and psyched for Preposterous Footwear, The Buying Of, imagine my horror when I saw that they'd been and upped and left.

I wandered around a bit looking for somewhere they might have hidden themselves, but the hideous leering face and rasping apelike chatter of Homo Camdeniensis pressing in from all sides began to get to [livejournal.com profile] zoo_music_girl, so we left without tracking it down.

Failing Swear, where else might the well-dressed boy about town find utterly utterly über trainers, do you think? Platforms for preference, but most importantly big and rubbery and cyber-y.

Incidentally and somewhat to my surprise, I think the new bit in the middle of the Stables Market actually works reasonably well. All the jeremiads and end-of-the-world-is-nigh-ishness seems somewhat overdone in retrospect. But then, I'm not sure that alternative kidz are ever happy except when they're being Oppressed and having something to get Very Cross Indeed about.

2) Who's planning on going to see Covenant at Islington in May?

[Poll #690078]

UPDATE! Hell, I knew I'd forgotten something. There is a point 3.

3) Is there a sushi-quality fishmonger that anyone can recommend? In Islington, if poss...
childeric: (Default)
[Poll #667712]

Update That's interesting, nobody has the faintest clue what I'm drivelling on about. Well, I mean, as per, of course, but were none of you members of the Puffin Club, then? Weird. We all were in TW10 when I was a lad...
childeric: (Default)
Firstly a short gig review, as I can't be bothered to write a proper one.

The Prodigy: they rocked. You didn't see them. I did. Hahahahahahahaha.

And now a poll:

[Poll #627953]

Update: A Special Prize to the first person to point out the elementary grammatical error in that poll (not including the admittedly rather dodgy sentence structure).
childeric: (Default)
Sorry about the long LJ silence, everyone. Do you find that it's very easy to get out of the habit of posting once one's stopped for a bit? I do. Anyway, here I am again...

What the thunder said

Since showering this morning I have been slightly deaf in my right ear. I think it's getting better now, but earlier it was quite pronounced, and had the weird side-effect of making any movement of air past my ear sound whooshing and gushing and rather sea-shell-like. Given that it was a fairly breezy morning and I walk pretty fast, it meant my whole journey in was accompanied by the sort of bleak, blasted-heath-and-totally-alone wind noises that the makers of all historical documentaries seem to feel compelled to include whenever they want to convey 'the dark ages'. This, incidentally, is horrendously insidious and pervasive. I've been studying the Anglo-Saxons et al for a good fifteen years now, and know very well that they had just as many or just as few undramatic and slightly showery nondescript sorts of days as there are at present,1 but I still can't entirely rid myself of the faint subconscious conviction that it was a more-or-less constant howling gale before the year 1100.

But I digress.

What the unwonted sound effects rather impressed on me is that by comparison with what I normally hear as I pick my way through that neither-quite-Clerkenwell-nor-Islington-nor-Finsbury swathe of degradation and horror that lies between King's Cross and Bloomsbury, the whole freezing-solitary -moors-bereft-of-habitation-and-friendly-face shebang actually sounds rather cosy and appealing. I know that St Pancras and district are gradually improving with all the hods of cash that have been thrust at them in recent years, but crikey, they're taking their time over it...

The Panther

On a not-wholly-unrelated note, when in York recently, I purchased (at the rather splendid Ken Spelman's bookshop) a remaindered hardback edition of Ted Hughes's Collected Poems. For the less-than-princely sum of £15, incidentally, which pleased me greatly. I like Hughes. I did some nature poems for A-level, but never really got them at that age: I was way too much of a Romantics boy then, and if it wasn't Keats or Shelley I wasn't really terribly interested. Since then, though, and greatly aided by seeing him live in York in '93 (with Tony Harrison in the special guest slot), I've really come to enjoy his stuff.

Continued exposure to the Collected Poems, though, with all their raw and brutal red-in-tooth'n'claw-ness seems to be having the most appallingly deleterious effect on my character. I keep on developing the yen to be a lot more brooding and dark and filled with the sort of savage animalistic sensuality that is a thrilling but horrendous danger to all that behold it, and that throws the right sort of artsy girl into positive palpitations at the very thought.

Anyway, all this is all very well, but for the fact that to do that sort of thing properly one really has to be dark. It just doesn't really work terribly well popping up being all tow-haired and fair and so on and yet trying to be storm-tossed and awful and Heathcliff. For that your hair is actually supposed to be as black as your heart and your mood, sympathetic fallacy and all that. Genetically I fear I am predisposed to nice-but-dull hero roles, which I find deeply unfair. I mean, who wants to be Mark Hamill?

But this has set me thinking about the way in which physical attributes (or actually the culturally-determined narratives attached to them, if we want to be dully academic about it) condition personal choices and behaviours) Well, something like that, anyway. Basically, yes, it's just an excuse for another rather over-written poll. Hooray!
Read more... )

1 Yes, loathsome sticklers, there were various warmer and cooler periods during the early middle ages, but we're leaving that aside for the sake of argument, as this really isn't the time or place for discussion of isotope analysis of ice-cores from Greenland.
childeric: (smoulder)
Dear Reader,

I risk, I know, sounding like the Daily Telegraph on a choleric and dyspeptic day, but I'm always rather depressed by what some people would seem to like to make the conventional styles of address in formal emails (the hyphenated or hyphenless state of 'email' is another question, but that way madness lies).

Particularly worthy of excoriation is the obnoxious habit of omitting the 'Dear' from the greeting. I don't know why people do this. Does it seem too friendly? Do they wish to avoid the implication that the recipient is in any way dear to them? Rampant red-blooded wildly-heterosexual-and-not-at-all-anxious-about-it-honest macho corporate culture run riot, perhaps? Or is it an attempt to parrot the cold, mannered, clarity of 1950's civil service memoranda, a rejection of letter-writing norms in favour of a more direct approach?

Equally interesting, but less annoying, is the uncertainty which many seem to feel with regard to concluding emails. At first, as I recall, most people either plumped for the traditional 'Yours sincerely/faithfully' option or dodged the issues and didn't use any farewell at all, merely signing their names at the bottom. Then, from out of nowhere, someone or other decided to liberate 'Best wishes' from the torpids of frostily-distant-yet-not-actively-impolite things to put on Christmas and birthday cards to next-door neighbours and paper boys and neglected minor cousins and other people who-must-have-cards-but-one-doesn't-actually-really-know where it had been languishing, and set it loose on the world as a new way to sign emails. I think [livejournal.com profile] gothgrr was the first person I saw using it, back in nineteen ninety something, but I very much doubt that it was her coinage. Since then, I have seen various permutations on the 'best' theme, together with 'regards' (making an unexpected renaissance and a number of others contending to be the standard form, but with no particular winner evident as yet.

Personally, although I do sometimes use it, I think 'best wishes' is a touch daft, and, unless I'm being even more ingratiating than normal will tend to treat email like a proper letter and stick to whichever of 'Yours faithfully' and '...sincerely' is correct for the recipient. However, I think I may have been right and I'm actually a choleric and apoplectic Telegraph reader in this respect.

I am, sir, your most humble and obedient servant,

Col. Blimp (retd.)
Have your say on this burning issue of current moment )
childeric: (Default)
Every gal and every boy that's born into the world alive, Is either a little Liberal or else a little Conservative (Fa la lah)

[Poll #584258]

Of course, we all know that Boris would really be the best bet. Unfortunately, though, the Conservatives have still not recognised that their chief role in life is to provide light relief to the political process and are running round possessed of the extraordinary notion that they're a serious party which might one day return to government. Tragic, really, when it happens like that...
I'm currently wondering whom I fancy. )

And bats with baby faces in the violet light, Whistled, and beat their wings, And crawled head downward down a blackened wall

On an entirely different note...

I have quite a strong yen to see Hawkwind live again. I don't think I've seen them since 2002, when they supported Motorhead at, oo, Wembley, I think. Notwithstanding the fact that they were absolutely awful on that occasion, I think it might be fun to go again. They're doing their regular Christmas show at the Astoria on 21 Dec, and there'll be dancers and explosions and swirly lights and, well, major hallucinogens and that sort of thing! Fun for all!

I'm in the unfortunate position of knowing that not a single one of you would dream of wanting to accompany me, but I thought I'd mention it nonetheless.

Also, is there truth in these rumours about Neil Innes forming a Bonzo Dog Band line-up for a tour next year? It sounds like an absolutely terrible idea to me, but never mind...
childeric: (Default)
I think there is not enough traffic on www.serendipiccy.co.uk, and you should all go and contribute. Actually, if you haven't before, go and have a look at all of [livejournal.com profile] sarahloo's stuff at www.slhodkinson.co.uk, as it's really really good, and she's quite irritatingly talented! (Do I get a free print for the plug? ;-) ). She should put that picture of the flags that she had on her journal the other day up on her site, too, though. It's very Now and Zen-era Robert Plant.

Which reminds me, does anyone fancy coming and seeing him in December? £30, unfortunately, but it's bound to be a good show. I've not seen him since the Unled-ed tour in 1994!

I presume that the usual suspects are VNV-ing at Islington Academy? Suzi said she wasn't, I think, but lots of the rest of you will, won't you?

Beneath this cut tag is a poll about Infest, about which I'm almost ridiculously over-excited already... )
childeric: (Default)
Vaguely inspired by something on Alice's journal, I present a Very Quick Poll on Ambiguous Acronyms. Write down what you take these acronyms to mean. I'm only interested in your first thought, not deeper reflection.

[Poll #544440]

Update: Damn, should also have included PCB.

Are there more that deserve a mention?
childeric: (Default)
A poll inspired by someone with a scarf entirely covered with an 'I ♥ Jesus' print I saw on the tube this morning... (not that said person was particularly attractive to me, I hasten to add, but she did have fantastic hair, and it set me thinking)
Read more... )
I have a nasty feeling I've run a poll like that before. I'm starting to repeat myself as my lj sinks into its dotage...

I'm off to see Star Wars tonight. Hooray! It's been twenty eight years. Do you realise that? Twenty eight years. Not that I was ever that huge a fan, but still, it's nice that it's completed. Maybe the BBC will take notice and finish the Tripods.

Yeah, right...

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