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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

22 February 2002

Nobody tells me these things in time.

Apparently, today is National Slacker’s Day. In these times of stress and strain, and what with the UK holding the title for both the longest working day in Europe alongside the shortest average life expectancies, we should really be grabbing every opportunity to slack off with both hands.

They’ve even got Television’s Simon Pegg to add some words of wisdom, for no particular reason. Television’s Pegg said:

"It is vital to understand the importance of doing nothing. Slacking is a necessity; it is Yin to activity's Yang. How can you possibly comprehend the value of your own hectic endeavour if you don't occasionally put your feet up and experience a state of complete calm. So, when Slacker Day comes around, stop Yanging around and Yin out for a bit. You'll feel better."

Wise words from Television’s Simon Pegg from off of the television there.

(Of course, on closer inspection, you’ll see that this is just a marketing device from a website called oncus.com, but I’ll take any excuse.)

I am well aware that this is horribly bad form, but I thought it was important to share with you today my feelings of happiness and non-hostility towards the world. I'm in a blindingly good mood, and though it might be too much to actually go round telling other people that I'm quite happy to be awake today, I'm going to be rude enough to inflict the news on you good people. I apologise in advance if anyone find this distressing.

Last night I went to see Ben and Jason play in the smallest venue imaginable, in front of a relatively lack lustre crowd, and it was one of the best gigs I have ever been to in my life, in terms of how brilliant the band was, and how wonderful the music was. I've never been able to see them play live before now, what with one thing and another - I'm just so busy, you see - but have had their albums for ages and ages. And listening to them play last night, it was like I'd never heard the songs properly before. It was just brilliant. Their new single, How The Hell Do I Explain is out on Monday. You must buy it.

And then this morning, I got up at 7am - 4 hours after I'd gone to bed - and had a bath, thus using all the hot water in the house and depriving my flatmate of any, cos he had used it all on me the day before. Ah, sweet revenge. So I think it's mania caused by sleep depravation, but I don't care. It's Friday, and I've got lots of caffeine.

God’s revenge, of course, is to make it snow all day today. I made the mistake of complaining to my friends about the stupid snow, and how horrible and cold and damp and slippy it makes everything, and they all damned me to hell as if I’d just walked into the room and declared that I’d killed each and every one of their goldfish, just for the heck of it. Snow is not good. Snow is, in fact evil. And horrible. And everything that I just said. Although, it is, of course, a fabulous excuse to stay in and drink hot chocolate.


19 February 2002

Check me out. I'm Blue. What colour are you?


You give your love and friendship unconditionaly. You enjoy long, thoughful conversations rich in philosophy and spirituality. You are very loyal and intuitive.

Find out your color at Stvlive.com!

Miracle of miracles. The sheer craziest thing has happened. Driven almost deranged by the constant and regular lack of sweet *anything* to do in my new job as person-who-sits-in-office-pretending-to-be-busy-while reading-recaps-of-Dawsons-Creek-on-the-internet (which means I’ve started saying “dude” more than is strictly necessary), I’ve actually managed to find a weblog that I liked.

This isn’t probably the best thing to be harping on about, but I’m gonna - it’s my blog, and you can’t stop me. Yes, the strangest of all things. I can’t remember how exactly I found it, but I feel it must have been fate. Meet Cormac, aka Red King, a blogger from Ireland that I can finally read about for more than three seconds without wanting to gouge my eyes out with my stapler.

Thanks to him, the ten minutes I’ve had today that hasn’t left me gasping for air while being drowned in a vat of pure desperate crushing boredom have been a result of this game - obviously, it’s Russian Roulette and it’s more exciting than you think it’s going to be.

And if that doesn’t tickle your fancy (although I can’t see why not) then go over here and playing dressing up with Jesus. It’s what Tuesday afternoons were made for.

18 February 2002

I’m terribly angry today. Well, I suppose I’m terribly angry most days, what with one thing and another, but today I’m particularly furious, and about one thing in particular.

Jon Holmes, the DJ/comedian/bloke who talks on the radio, who so kindly allowed us to visit his radio show on Virgin in the name of Comedy Lounge last December, has been suspended. Nothing, I hastily add, to do with us.

Various rumours have been flying around all corners of the internet, particularly around the radio gossip website, which is notorious for breaking news before the DJs themselves have been told. Their guess is that he’s been suspended, pending investigations, for complaints which could cost the station record fines of up to £100,000.

But thinking about it for just one moment - when the goons Virgin Radio hired Jon, they already knew his track record for, let’s call it “close to the bone” material. So, when they encouraged him and paraded him around as their new “shock jock”, it seems that they weren’t willing to stick by him once the proverbial hit the fan.

It’s a huge shame, really, but possibly something that we should all have seen coming. The list of possible complaints, which I’m not going to reproduce here, are all items that I heard first hand on the show, and at the time I was surprised they were letting him get away with it. Apparently, they were - but only as long as nobody else was looking. Once the big guns came out, they whimpered away and appear to be letting Jon himself take all the blame.

Which has left me royally pissed off, as you can imagine.

15 February 2002

Don't forget that today, February 15th, is Skeletor Day. This is the day on which we get to celebrate bitterness, rejection and hate.

So why not relieve some tension by posting death threats, diatribes and mindless abusive rants on the internet, or on a wall outside your local shop? Maybe you secretly detest a workmate, or wish to spite a person you sent an unrequited Valentine to? Perhaps your family / flatmate / spouse is getting you down, and you'd like to beat them about the head and face with some mental and /or physical abuse?

February 15th is the day for you.

Unhappy Skeletor Day!

13 February 2002

Last night, I did something that a lot of people have told me they would never, ever consider doing. It is actually something that I find myself doing more and more often, due to one thing and another. Initially, when I first started doing it, it was purely through necessity, and the lack of any other choice. But now, I’m doing it purely because it’s quite often the way that I prefer it.

Last night, I went out to a comedy gig. On my own. All on my lonesome. I asked a couple of people to come with me, but they were otherwise engaged, and so I wandered in to the show on my own. Last weekend, I went to the cinema on my own. On that occasion, I didn’t ask anyone to come with me.

Going out on your own, to any kind of event, is often seen as being quite a daunting prospect, and something that a lot of my friends – particularly my female friends – say that they would never dream of doing. If they can’t talk someone into going with them, they say, they just don’t go. But I have found that, through repeated exposure, it can actually be a much richer experience than you would first think.

I started going to comedy gigs on my own roughly about a year and a half ago, in the course of my job as a comedy reviewer for the local newspaper. I was to review some comedian or other, but I couldn’t for the life of me persuade anyone to come along. This was partially my own fault, for not warning people of the danger that quite often the acts that I get sent to review are absolute joyless rubbish. Obviously, it’s not a particularly strong selling point – please come with me, it’s going to be awful – but because nearly all of my friends had been exposed to some very bad comedy thanks to me and my lies, nobody trusts me any more. So I had to go on my own.

And, surprisingly, I quite enjoyed it. The thing is, I like to people watch. I like to stand quietly in a corner, and watch the mini soap operas that unfold around me. It’s something a lot of people do, I know, because we tend to find each other in a room. Whenever you look around, there is almost at least one other person per table looking around too. There’s a secret code among people watchers, in that you must never acknowledge one another’s presence, but at the same time there is something of a camaraderie between us all. But God forbid you might catch someone else’s eye – that leads to immediate checking of the mobile phone, or fixing your shoe, or (if you’re that way inclined) lighting another cigarette.

When you’ve done it a couple of times, walked into a club, a theatre or a cinema and picked up your single ticket with your single booking, it just gets easier each time. Some people do give the occasional glance in your direction – the first time it happened, I wanted to make it damn clear that I hadn’t been stood up and that this was my choice, but wasn’t sure quite what facial expression conveys that. Of course, I get to cheat slightly, given that I do usually have a purpose for my presence, and if the staring and glances get a bit more than just occasional, I do tend to wave my pen and notebook around more than is strictly necessary.

Something I have yet to do is dine out alone. Obviously, everyone has picked up a fast food meal or a sandwich, and hung about in the restaurant long enough to eat the meal and run back out the door, but I’ve never gone the whole hog and booked a table for one. Stephen Fry has described that particular experience as “one of the most exquisite pleasures the world has to offer”, but I’m yet to be convinced on that front. It’s one thing to have the occasional odd glance in your direction – but I think sitting in a restaurant would be pushing it a bit, don’t you? I don’t want to be taken for a nutter.

11 February 2002
Apparently, a lot of people with weblogs read a lot of other people’s weblogs, and the polite - nay, almost official - thing to do is to link to everyone else’s, and then they’ll link back, and then we’ll all become on great big happy clique.

Unfortunately, just getting words up on the screen here is something that is achieved through hours of sweat and torment, so linkage might still be just beyond my grasp. I have also tried having a look round the interweb to find some other weblogs that I might like to link to, should I ever discover how to. I couldn’t find any. No, to clarify - I couldn’t find any I wanted to link to. Is that unbearably snobbish of me? I just can’t seem to get into the whole world of wanting to read about what anybody else thinks on a regular basis. So it’s probably arrogance on an extreme level that I think anyone in the world would care about what I say. Which is why it was probably a big mistake to submit the URL of this site to the weblog review, a site that rates and reviews English language weblogs. They’re bound to use the words “self indulgent” and “rubbish” in relation to this nonsense, particularly now that I’ve baited them in to it. I’ve really only done it in an attempt to feel like I’m not just talking to myself here. We’ll see what comes of that.

In other news, I thought of yet another thing to add to the list of things that I don’t do. I don’t eat meat, because I’m a vegetarian. I don’t smoke, because I gave up 9 months ago. I don’t drink alcohol (much) because it makes me feel sick. I don’t eat eggs or dairy products for much the same reason. I don’t buy Nestle products, or eat in McDonalds, Pret a Manger or Starbucks, because they are evil destroyers of the earth. I don’t do drugs, because I’m afraid I might die. And now, because I obviously don’t suffer enough, I don’t take the bus anywhere.

This came about because I’ve decided I don’t walk enough, and I realised that it would have the added bonus of being environmentally friendly. For some reason, I have decided to take the worries of the world upon myself, and try to do everything possible that you are told to do that will stop the world from spinning off it’s axis and everyone around us being killed and/or maimed by mutant flying things made up of the rubbish we don’t recycle, or something. To this end I buy the The Big Issue, email President Bush to ask him to stop blowing up the world, stick “Stop Esso” stickers to fly posters, shake my head despairingly at the news and give money to as many different charities as I can find. Even with doing all of this, I still feel that I am responsible for most of the debt in the Third World.

Am I taking life too seriously?

08 February 2002
To Deirdre on her birthday…


Here is a politically correct birthday poem I have found for you. Enjoy

A Politically-Correct Birthday Greeting
by Janine M. Smith

At last--Today's your Special (1) Day!
The World (2) all stops to shout hooray(3) !
We(4) wish you peace and joy and fun
Today you're the exalted(5) one.

So have a drink (6) or a cigar (7),
Go to the beach (8) or buy a car. (9)
And cut a piece of chocolate cake (10)
Just after (11) a big juicy steak.(12)

And everywhere you go (13) today
The crowds (14) will part, as people (15) say,
"Oh bliss, oh glee, oh happy joy!" (16)
And thrill to see the birthday boy. (17)
So dance (18) and sing and have a ball! (19)
A Happy Birthday from us (20) all!

1 Except where this day is a holiday celebrated by other cultures, or others whose birthday should fall on this day, respecting the effect of the International Dateline.
2 Or, more properly, the portion of the world immediately surrounding you, which may differ significantly in any way from other cities, towns, or countries, all of which are valid and important in their own right.
3 Except persons speaking other languages, who may shout whatever version of "hooray" their specific culture supports.
4 "We" being any who consent to such a wish, not including persons of differing viewpoints who may dissent.
5 Not to imply others may be any less exalted, either today, or on their own birthdays, or any day of their choosing.
6 This does not endorse excessive alcohol use, nor does it condone such irresponsible behaviour as drinking and driving. We support completely the objectives of 12-step groups and other support organisations.
7 Except in no-smoking areas, or in situations where second-hand smoke may harm or offend others in the vicinity. Not an endorsement of the tobacco industry or of this or any other addictive behaviour.
8 Reflecting a proper concern for the environment, please take public transportation, do not introduce sun lotions or other pollutants into the ocean ecosystem, and remember to remove all litter when you leave.
9 Non-combustion engine, high mileage, carpooling only, please.
10 Made only from food products that are rain-forest friendly, served on reusable plates made from recycled materials only. Watch your cholesterol count.
11 Not intended to defame or offend those who prefer to eat dessert first.
12 Due to the ecological inefficiency of raising beef, we recommend a steak of non-dolphin-endangering tuna.
13 Please restrict your movements if we are in a Stage 3 or higher Smog Alert.
14 Recognising the unique qualities of each individual, even though we refer to them collectively as "crowds".
15 Not to exclude any animal, insect, plant, or other life or non-life from that wishes to join in.
16 See note 3 above.
17 Not intended as an assumption of age or sex, nor as a patronising nickname.
18 Reflecting, if possible, the influence of third-world music, the costumes of sub-Arctic cultures, and an attempt to choose partners who are differently-abled.
19 Made from recycled materials, filled with purified air, bounced with due concern for the privacy and quiet of those around you.
20 See note 4 above.

Copyright 1997 by Jzine.

lots and lots of love


07 February 2002

Oh, nearly forgot...



repeated Friday nights at 11.50pm

Okay. Enough already of the bad stuff. Let me tell you what I've been up to, since apparently some people seem to think this should be updated more regularly - like I haven't got enough to do already...

Just back from London where myself and Susan appeared on the Xfm Breakfast Session with Christian O’Connell. It was one heck of a morning, which you can read more about when the new issue of Comedy Lounge goes on line on Sunday. Highlight of the morning was when Christian demanded that one of the “press gang” from Comedy Lounge came forward to the microphone to interview him on air. I unwisely stepped in to the breach, and he asked how his show compared to other shows we had visited. Not thinking straight - we had been up since 4.30am after all - I made the mistake of mentioning that we had been on the Jon Holmes radio show on Virgin, their rival radio station. Christian immediately started screaming, and threw us out of the studio, but not before he had taken all my notes off me and ripped them up. On air.

I recommend you listen to Christian every morning. The show can be heard on the Xfm website, every weekday morning from 6.30am - 10am. It’s fantastic.

There. That’s news. Now leave me in peace.