Friday, June 29, 2001

Don't have a cow, man:
FYI: Amy Lamé's real surname is Caddil. Try saying that with an Iowan accent...
The ever-lovely Guy has come up trumps again: Radio 1's Fatboy Slim mixing competition. Check it out now. There's a trip to Ibiza to be won, although I don't think my pitiful efforts stand much of a chance.
Thank you to Michael at Tokyo Tales for confirming that the Japanese script on my T-shirt is simple gibberish. Bizarrely, Michael - who lives in Tokyo - has a link to the O2 Centre on Finchley Road.
Gay Pride Mardi Gras tomorrow; six days to Hamburg; 21 to New York and Boston. Oh, I'm going to love July.
You could have knocked me over with a feather: Ian dropped a bombshell last night. Two, in fact. I wonder when he'll tell....?

Thursday, June 28, 2001

The live scoreboard at has put paid to any work getting done in our office this afternoon.
Now Jonathan tells me he snores! After we've booked ten days of shared hotel accommodation. One of us shall return alive...
The guy I have recently been sleeping with [ha!] suffers from sleep apnoea. I'll rephrase that: I'm the one who suffers. He snores. Loudly. Very loudly. And then stops. Stops breathing completely, that is.

His snoring pattern looks something like this:
gxnkmnkx... ZNKMX.
gxnkmnkx... ZNKMX.
gxnkmnkx... ZNKMX.

I found this table, which lists the four types of snoring and how they affect the person sleeping with them:
Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
Patient's Complaint Patient sleeps quietly and well Patient snores but breathes well and sleeps well with good daytime energy Patient nores very loudly and sleeps restlessly causing lack of refreshment Patient stops breathing during sleep and is very sleepy during the day
Partner's ComplaintPartner has no complaints Partner kept awake by noise and sleeps badly themselves Partner sleeps in other room Partner frightened by patient's breathing and kept awake with worry

But there's a fifth group: Partner driven crazy by patient's snoring and kicks him repeatedly, jabs him in the ribs, puts pillow over his head, holds patient's nose and covers patient's mouth, screaming "stop your fucking snoring for chrissake!"
Recently, someone asked me who my favourite actor was. Without any hesitation, I said Jack Lemmon. So it is with great sadness that I've just heard that he has died, aged 76. But what a career, particularly the peerless Billy Wilder films, Some Like It Hot, The Apartment and Irma La Douce. Although he was best known for comedies, I loved him in serious roles: Missing, Glengarry Glen Ross and, best of all, the alcoholic in Days Of Wine And Roses.

Some Like It Hot ends on the killer line "Nobody's perfect." Maybe not, but Lemmon came damn close.
I used Word Counter to find out which words I use most often on this page. Parts of this read like poetry.
one 22
got 12
just 12
last 11
night 10
off 9
jonathan 8
know 8
round 8
search 8
june 7
new 7
quiz 7
three 7
two 7
very 7
again 6
come 6
dave 6
day 6
deep 6
done 6
get 6
go 6
ian 6
loo 6
look 6
marc 6
next 6
nothing 6
ooh 6
sex 6
want 6
almond 5
bit 5
did 5
goes 5
listening 5
man 5
much 5
pics 5
pop 5
read 5
right 5
story 5
week 5
away 4
back 4
big 4
boys 4
comes 4
down 4
drunken 4
fast 4
four 4
fun 4
gay 4
going 4
great 4
guy 4
hard 4
home 4
neither 4
pub 4
really 4
scrotum 4
see 4
seen 4
solo 4
something 4
thought 4
tom 4
use 4
votes 4
wait 4
went 4
world 4
yes 4
album 3
although 3
asked 3
blog 3
blogs 3
blood 3
cd 3
chemical 3
cock 3
coming 3
david 3

Wednesday, June 27, 2001

I pity my colleagues who don't blog, don't read blogs, don't have their ears to the ground, their fingers on the pulse of the zeitgeist, like wot I do. Pity them? Sneer, more like it. Take today, f'rinstance: "David, have you seen this great website, hats of meat?" Yes, months ago, dear. "How about this one: stinky meat?" Ho hum, that is so last year. "Ha ha, look: the end of the internet." Been there, done that. Send me something new! Perhaps I should let them in on my big blogging secret?

Since I started blogging, I have seen so much, learned so much, accumulated so much rubbish. Perhaps this is why I can't work up any enthusiasm for reading at the moment - my brain is full.
Jonathan has posted the pics from our drunken quiz victory last week. Our very drunken victory. Our embarrassingly, mortifyingly drunken victory. Watch four nice men turn into drunken louts as the night progresses. But be warned: this one of me buggering Ian in a phone booth will give you sleepless nights.
Don't you hate it when work gets in the way of your personal life? I try not to let it happen too often, but I have been slaving away over a hot Mac all afternoon. Never mind, I have an evening ahead with my Oval-teen. [OK, so he's not a teen.]
Bit of a disastrous quiz last night. Dave is off to Oz today, so was far too busy packing to bother with such trivialities. The Lovely Darren [TM] was down in Southampton, so it was up to me, Ian and Jonathan. Or so I thought. Due to a misunderstanding, Jonathan thought we weren't going at all, so he stayed at home, leaving just me and Ian. The fact that the big money was won last week - by us - led to a low turn-out - just seven teams in total.

We could have done with Dave's input on the 80s round - we got Herbie Hancock's Rockit, but didn't recognise Songs From Under The Floorboards by Magazine or something called Funking For Jamaica by someone called Tom Brown. The next round was the spot-the-connection one, and was obvious - they'd all been sampled by Fat Boy Slim.

Next up was a round almost designed for Jonathan - The Sublime Genius Of The Pet Shop Boys. No problems there - got all three on the first note. We did dreadfully on the punk/noo wave section, guessing X-Ray Specs correctly, but Devo and the Gang Of 4 went unrecognised, leaving us with a pitiful six out of ten.

I was filled with dread when I heard that the next round was on Blaxpoitation films, as that's Darren's speciality, yet we got all three: Isaac Hayes' Shaft, Curtis Mayfield's Superfly and Rose Royce's Carwash. We got just one-and-a-half points for the new releases, recognising Gorillaz and Eminem [but not the group he was with] but missing Heaven Is A Half-Pipe by OPM. Next was a nineties round, where we got Janet Jackson's Got Till It's Gone and Sneaker Pimps' Spin Spin Sugar, but not Aphex Twin's Come To Daddy. For once, we got the year right.

Our final score: 14.5 out of 21. The winnners were another team of two, scoring an exceptional 20 out of 21. They drew the envelope containing the money - but only seven quid. I rubbed it in by going over and telling them we won 120 quid last week.
On the tube last night, I saw a Japanese girl wearing a T-shirt which read:
Note the mis-spelling of "girls". It got me to wondering if Japanese people snigger when I wear my T-shirt with Japanese [if that's what it is] writing on it. If anyone can translate this, please let me know. Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.

Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Assorted dickheads.
Google's image search facility can provide - ooh - minutes of fun. For instance, take a look at these pics of Nick Jordan, Tom Coates, Ian Martin, Martin Griffiths and Tom Ewing.
I asked for distractions, and I got 'em. Stephen King's Misery, in 20 seconds. Thanks, Guy. I'd only need another 240 of these to fill the rest of my working day. Enter The Dragon's sound-effects amused me.
Another day, another dolour. Press day approaches, and although I am supposed to be frantically laying out pages, I keep finding distractions. I have the attention span of a ooh look at the pretty butterfly.
Paul has bad memories of the Rat And Parrot on the corner of Wardour and Old Compton streets, traditional home of blogmeets. He may thus be relieved to hear that the pub will soon be renamed The Duke Of Wellington, which was its original name before it became a chain pub. More importantly, it will be repositioned as a gay pub. Yes, the last straight pub in the gay ghetto has thrown in the towel.

Monday, June 25, 2001

Proof that Davids are [slightly] better-looking than Ians. Britta, I wouldn't suggest you try this!
Bilingual: muchachos de animales de la tienda; garçons de magasin de bêtes; Geschäft für Haustierejungen; ragazzi del negozio di animali; meninos da loja de animal de estimação.
On the 21st of May, I joined Jonathan, Tom and Iain in an attempt to boost search engine results by including all the most popular search terms in one posting. An unlikely combination of cartoon characters and sex. Not that unlikely it would appear: I am sorry to disappoint you if you have come here looking for digimon sex pics, real pokemon naked pics, dragonball cool sex, hardcore digimon sex or digimon sex fucking. Or, indeed, Readers Wifes sex, eek!
Story update: one vote for chemical peel, two votes for portaloo, three votes for neither, and four votes for both. 'Both' wasn't an option, so neither it is.
Yesterday was Minkered Dave's farewell party. As a going-away present we blogger boyz [me, Ian, Jonathan, Scally and Rob] bought him Go check it out to see the wonders Scally has wrought using a logo I knocked off and an animated graphic Ian and I created.

Friday, June 22, 2001

There have been four votes. There have been four results. One man has asked me to relate the portaloo story, one has asked for the chemical peel incident, one has insisted I tell both, and one - a woman - has said she wants to hear neither. Which story do you want to hear?
Gadgets for God.
Which story do you want today?
  • I inadvertently gave my scrotum a chemical peel.
  • My three terrifying hours spent in a portaloo.
  • Neither - keep these bizarre revelations to yourself.
    Vote now!
  • Just got sent this by email. It goes on a bit, but it's mildly amusing.

    Indian Curry Rhapsody

    Naan, just killed a man
    poppadom against his head
    Had lime pickle now he's dead.
    Naan, dinner's just begun
    But now I'm gonna crap it all away.

    Naan, ooh, ooh
    Didn't mean to make you cry
    Seen nothing yet just see the loo tomorrow
    Curry on, curry on
    Cause nothing really Madras.

    Too late, my dinner's gone
    Sends shivers down my spine
    Rectum aching all the time
    Goodbye onion bhaji, I've got to go
    Gotta leave you all behind and use the loo.

    Naan, ooh, ooh
    This doopiaza is so mild
    I sometimes wish we'd never come here at all.

    guitar solo

    I see a little chicken tikka on the side
    Rogan Josh, Rogan Josh, pass the chutney made of mango

    Vindaloo does nicely
    Very very spicy
    Byriani (Byriani)
    Byriani (Byriani)
    Byriani and a naan

    (A vindaloo loo loo loo)

    I've eaten balti, somebody help me
    He's eaten balti, get him to the lavatory
    Stand you well back
    'Case the loo is quarantined...

    Here it comes
    There it goes
    Technicolor yawn
    I chunder
    It's coming up again
    (There he goes)
    I chunder, it's coming back again
    (There he goes)
    Coming back again (up again)
    Here it comes again.
    (No no no no no no NO)

    On my knees, I'm on my knees
    On his knees, Oh, there he goes
    This vindaloo
    Is about to wreck my guts
    Poor me.. poor me...poor meee!

    guitar solo

    So you think you can chunder and then feel alright?
    So you try to eat curry and drink beer all night?
    Oh maybe, But now you'll puke like a baby
    Just had to come out
    It just had to come right out in here.

    guitar solo

    Korma, sag or bhuna
    bhaji, balti or naan
    Nothing really madras
    Nothing really madras
    To meee....
    After the book-signing at Borders last night, I went to Barcode. My sort-of date and I circled each other suspiciously for a minute or two. "Marcus?" "David?" We chatted for a bit, nervously gulping beers far too quickly. Got off on the wrong foot, then kept putting the other foot in it [must learn not to diss Janet Jackson]. He saw through me pretty quickly: "you always have to be right, don't you?" It was one of those nights where I knew everybody, normally a great thing, but not when you're trying to have a deep and meaningless chat. Guy turned up [he's so desperate for a mention here] and I pushed him off the stage and then disappeared into the night. Into deepest, darkest Oval, actually. Even there I wasn't safe. A voice from a passing car: "David!" It was Little Steve. "Where are you going?" "Where d'you think?"
    Is it a book? Is it a CD? It's both. It's The End Of New York by Marc Almond. A collection of poems and stories set in a New York which is long-gone. A pre-Disney New York. A world of Latino hustlers, video booths, big cock contests and jack-off clubs. The beautifully designed package comes with a CD of Marc reading this stuff.

    Thursday, June 21, 2001

    The reason the entire office was clustered around my monitor: A shockwave video parody of the Backstreet Boys - I Want A Fat Babe.
    Jonathan invites you to poke him in the eye, pinch his cheeks, pull his hair. Go on, you know you want to...
    First, go off and read Nick Jordan's tale of twisted testicles. Now, if you managed to read that without crossing your legs and blacking out, you may be man enough to read the following story - although I warn you it contains scenes of graphic sexual acts, pain, humilation and genital modification. From the outset.

    This happened when I was 25. I had a convenient occasional sexual relationship with a guy who lived in the building next to mine. Now, Marco liked it deep, fast, and hard. And he liked to let you know that he liked it deep, fast, and hard. "Deeper!" he would cry, "Faster! Harder!" And I would plug away at him, as deep and as fast and as hard as I could.

    Until one night...

    There I was, working up a sweat, slamming away like a jack-rabbit, like a pile-driver, when it - well, it slipped out. Without my realising. And I slammed it as deep, and as fast, and as hard as I could, into his groin. It was like slamming it into a wall.

    I felt - heard? - a snap! and blacked-out instantly. Marco clearly thought I'd just fallen asleep or something, and went to sleep himself.

    Several hours later, I woke up in agony. I slid off the bed and crawled gingerly to the bathroom. I switched on the light, looked down, and... screamed. Where my scrotum had been was now a huge purple ball, about the size of a grapefruit. In fact, it looked like a large black satsuma. I passed-out again.

    The next day, I went to the doctor, and he explained what had happened: the shaft of the penis is made up of two sponge-like columns of vascular tissue which fill up with blood, producing an erection. Well, the force of slamming it into him had sheared one of these columns, snapping it in two, causing the blood to seek the only escape route open to it - my scrotum. Yes, in laymen's terms, I had broken my cock.

    There was nothing for it but to wait for it to subside. And wait I did. It took a couple of months for the discoloration and swelling to completely disppear. The blackness gradually faded to deep purple, and it slowly became smaller and smaller till there was just one plum-coloured spot on my, er, plums.


    About three days after the accident, when it was still ripe and swollen, I had an horrific thought: my scrotum was filled with blood - what would happen if I wanked? Would it explode in a bloody rain? Would I be covered in torrents of gore? There was only one thing for it. Yes, although it was the most painful thing I had ever done, even though my cock felt like it was stuffed with broken glass, I took myself in hand and forced myself, coaxed myself to wank...
    I have a sort-of date tonight with a guy I met very briefly two weeks ago. I have only a vague recollection of what he looks like - youngish, slim, shaved head- ie like every other gay man in London. So why oh why did I arrange to meet him in the busiest bar in town? Come along - it could be fun watching me staring suspiciously at strangers.
    Last night's The Drug Laws Don't Work on Channel 4 reminded me why I don't smoke dope - a load of annoying students sitting round giggling and then getting out a set of bongo drums and - wait for it - a didgeridoo. Another group headed off into the woods to practise their juggling and fire-breathing skills. Tossers.
    Apparently I'm a member of the online rock critic elite. Freaky Trigger is back, and so is the Focus Group, featuring pithy - and pissy - reviews of the best - and worst - singles of the last six months.
    I bought two albums on Monday: Marc Almond's Stranger Things and Outrospective by Faithless. Guess which one I've been listening to all week? Wrong! It's the Faithless one, particularly the songs sung by Zoe Johnston, who was responsible for the best tracks on the Bent album. Someone give this woman a solo recording contract.

    And the Marc Almond one? Look, as I said earlier, I don't do easy listening.

    Wednesday, June 20, 2001

    I am doing this from one of the new! improved! BT Multiphones. They are not free anymore, but they do at least have proper keyboards now - even if you do need superhuman strength to depress the keys. It remains to be seen if they're any more durable than the previous model.
    As Jonathan says, I have a bewilderingly encyclopedic knowledge of a musical form I have no interest in: easy listening. I would like to state that I have never owned any records by Andy Williams, Dean Martin or Anthony Newley, yet I always manage to recognise them at the pop quiz. I honestly don't understand it. It's not due to parental indoctrination: my dad's record collection - as I have said before - leans more towards camp disco divas.

    Here's an example of my mystifying talent: this afternoon, I have that song Magic Moments going round [and round and round] my head. You know the one - "Maaa-Jick! Mooo-Ments!". That's the only bit I know, apart from the jaunty [read 'annoying'] whistling bit, but I somehow, puzzlingly, know that it's by Perry Como.

    I've just done a quick web search to confirm that, and sure enough, it's the late Mr Como himself. No wonder I don't know the rest of the song - it's Merrittricious in its wordplay:

    The way that we cheered whenever our team was scoring a touchdown
    The time that the floor fell out of my car when I put the clutch down
    The penny arcade, the games that we played, the fun and the prizes
    The Halloween hop when everyone came in funny disguises.
    Maaa-Jick! Mooo-Ments!
    As announced by Davo, here is the owned by Big Brother hunk Dean: Gifts For Girlfriends.
    blog of the day: blog of the day.
    In an ideal world, Dave's last-ever Retro Bar pop quiz before he jets off to Australia would go something like this:
  • Wendy would reserve a table for us and bedeck it with streamers and balloons, and generally make us feel special.
  • We would buy a disposable camera and take loads of silly pics.
  • The quiz would be challenging yet entertaining.
  • We would have loads of fun and get very drunk.
  • We would tie for first place.
  • We would send Dave up for the tie-break question.
  • He would get it right.
  • We would win 120 quid.

    Welcome to an ideal world.
  • Tuesday, June 19, 2001

    What have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this? There was a time I received loads of hits from Google, but they've almost completely dried up. A search for "Vauxhall Tavern" used to return one of my pages right at the very top, but now I barely feature at all. Hell, I don't even get any disturbing search requests from Google any more.
    I am starting to get used to my new phone, though I still think the menus are ridiculously non-intuitive. However, I've had it for a week and still haven't 'accessed the internet' with the WAP function. A recent survey suggests that fewer than one in three WAP-enabled-phone owners use the WAP facility. I bet it's a lot less than one in three - I can't see any real use for it. Do you use yours? What for?
    Do I want to join the table-free zone? I know that you can produce layouts that look like they are done with tables, without using table tags, but I don't understand why you would want to. Can someone explain it to me?
    Everyone knows when they look at us
    'Course they do, it must be obvious
    I already own all the Pet Shop Boys' albums, but the recent re-releases are a revelation. Each album has been remastered and is accompanied by an extra CD of 'further listening' - remixes, B-sides and demos. The real bonus, however, is the booklet that comes with each album - full lyrics, great photos and a track-by-track analysis of the writing and recording procedure. Essential stuff for anyone who loves great pop.
    I don't like Country & Western.
    I don't like rock music.
    Um, I don't like, I don't like Rockabilly.
    - Rock'n'roll in particular -
    I don't like much, really, do I?
    But what I do like, I love passionately
    Second night in a row spent at home, watching telly, not drinking, early to bed. Second morning in a row of feeling like death warmed up. I must have withdrawal symptoms - I feel so much better after a night on the town. My body is wondering what this strange red stuff is flowing around my alcohol system. I shall have to go out tonight's pop quiz and rectify the situation.

    Tonight is Dave's last pop quiz before he flies off to Australia. So we have to win. I suppose it would be decent of me to at least wait till he's left before I advertise a vacancy...

    Monday, June 18, 2001

    Drunk people and mobile phones, parts one and two [the names have been changed to protect the inebriated, but you know who you are]. The first story is an email from a friend describing a call he received last night from a drunken friend:
    Cheers Xxxxx for the numerous drunk calls from Ealing tube station. David, you have to know this: he thought he had lost his mobile phone and was searching the carriage while talking to me on it! I have to say, the penny never dropped with me either, but I was in bed asleep when he rang, in my defence.
    The recipient of that phone call received yet another drunken call from yet another drunken friend - this one on holiday in Spain. During the call, he was treated to the sound of vomiting, followed by the spectacular sound effects of our mate falling into a bush. "Ooh, it's gone all green," was the last thing said, though I'm not sure if that was a reference to the shrubbery or the puke.
    Sports and shorts:
    It has been a weekend for pitch invasions. Pakistan supporters surged onto the field toward the end of their one-day cricket international against England, injuring a steward. But they do it in style on the continent. Fans streamed onto the field at the end of a Roma-Parma football match, and stripped the players of their, er, strip.
    Ida Barr. Remember that name - you're going to be hearing it a lot round here. Ida is the latest incarnation of comedian Chris Green - probably best known for his country-and-western alter-ego Tina C.

    Ida Barr is a creation of jaw-droppingly-inspired genius. She is a down-on-her-luck faded music-hall star who has had to return to the stage to supplement her pension. Ms Barr wears all the trappings of Marie Lloyd - a pink satin Edwardian dress with a bustle, a bedraggled ostrich feather in her hair, and lame jokes told in an asthmatic cockney accent that even Dick van Dyke would have sneered at. In an attempt to update her act for a younger audience, Ida has turned to young people's music - gangsta rap.

    Her performance at Duckie Up West on Friday night included two Missy Elliott songs: She's A Bitch, about putting her little doggie out to stud to make a few extra coppers; and Missy's latest single about a pensioner's day-trip: Get Ur Coat On.

    The show's moment of true genius came at the end: Ida divided the crowd into three parts. Over a stuttering Timbaland beat, she started the first section off singing "Underneath the aaaarches, I dreamed my life awa-ay". The second group chimed in with a line from I've Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts - "Roll-a-roll-a-ball, a penny a pitch". I don't know what the third section were taught to sing, as I was concentrating on rolling my balls, but Ida finally added an anthemic "as long as he needs me" over the mix.

    Sheer genius.
    Jonathan has managed to trick Google into returning over a billion hits, with +and. Can anyone top this?
    Jonathan, Rob and Ian have related their stories of their first gay bars; and Sandra has written to me with the story of hers:
    It was a lesbian bar in Santa Clara CA, when I used to live in the SF Bay area; can't recall the name. It was about 5 or 6 years ago. Not only was it my first lesbian bar, there was karaoke to boot. Lesbian karaoke. Don't laugh. I went with two out lesbians that I'd only recently just met through a mutual friend, liked a whole lot, and wanted to know better. I had not actually come to realize I leaned that way myself; going willingly, even eagerly, should have been a huge clue.

    I had an awesome evening and even got in a few tunes (R.E.M.'s "Fall on Me" -- oh, Michael Stipe would have smote me had he but heard it). I distinctly recall one woman doing a kick-ass Melissa Etheridge. Fondest memory of the night was my deciding to put my shoulder-length hair up into a twisted knot, securing it with a scrunchie (elastic covered with a tube of velvet). One of my companions looks at me and says, "When did you put your hair up?" "Just now." Surprised look. "Without a mirror?" she asked incredulously. I nod. "Wow. You just scored *major* femme points."

    Friday, June 15, 2001

    What a fabulous weekend ahead:
    Tonight (after I get some sleep): Duckie Up West - deranged, boozy, studenty gay night. An eclectic mix of 80s classics, glam rock stompers, punk rock shouters and new romantic screamers. Plus offbeat cabaret from Chris Green's latest character, Ida Barr, who is described as a mixture of gangsta rap and music hall. A cross between Missy Elliott and Gracie Fields.
    Saturday: the new installation at Tate Modern in the morning, followed by a barbecue in Islington, then Hope in Brixton.
    Sunday: Oh, I don't know. I might give this Vauxhall Tavern place I've heard so much about a try.
    Freudian or what? There's a guy who used to work here, who I always really fancied, to the extent that I once had a disturbingly real erotic dream about him. Today, he sent me an email, saying he was coming over here after work for a drink, and enquiring whether I was going too. I have just re-read my reply:
    No, I am going home. To sleep. Perchance to cream.
    Do you remember the first time? The first time you visited a gay venue, that is? Mine was a bar in Pretoria called Scruples - a dimly-lit anonymous building on the corner of a main thoroughfare and a dark, quiet street near the station. I knew it was a gay bar, as some of the lads at work joked about it. I'd passed it many times, never being able to pluck up the courage to go in. I actually walked through the door a couple of times, but couldn't bring myself to go down the stairs. But then one night, I decided I'd do it.

    I cased the joint for a while, walking nonchalantly past it several times, making sure there was no-one around, and then I crept in and hesitantly descended the red-carpeted stairs. For a gay bar, it was decidedly womb-like: red flock wallpaper, red carpet, red velvet curtains, red mock-leather armchairs and red-topped barstools. I skulked round to a quiet, empty corner of the bar and asked for an Amstel. (I had never ordered a drink before, but I knew Amstel was the posh beer.) I handed over the money, my hands shaking so much that coins went clattering all over the bar. I downed my drink in record time, not daring to look at anyone, and as soon as I'd finished it, I fled.

    I was back a couple of nights later, still nervous as hell, still avoiding the eyes of other customers, but I managed to stay longer each time, and eventually got to know a few of the other customers. And then I discovered that the lads at work, the ones who were forever joking about the place, were regulars too. Eventually I became another regular, enjoying my weekly dose of cabaret and drag, a pattern I've kept up for nigh-on twenty years.

    Do you remember your first time?
    At an arena near you this November: the Here And Now Tour 2001, featuring all the artists that were never, ever cool; not even in the eighties: Curiosity Killed The Cat, Go West, Heaven 17, Kim Wilde, Nick Heyward, Paul Young and T'Pau. God help us!
    All the B-list queens have been going on about Big Brother's Josh and Brian. Ian says Josh is a real-life Stuart from QaF, as does Barbelith, who call the situation 'the hamster principle': "two gay men, placed together in the same space, will either fight or shag." The Guardian reckons the British public, even the gay ones for a change, will allow common decency to overrule their hormones, and kick Josh out of the house. Actually, anyone with taste knows that the loveliest contestant is Dean.

    The Mirror published the URL of Josh's gaydar page. But - as Scally reveals - anyone visiting it hoping to ogle a 'sexy fit jock', will instead discover that Josh is really a 24-year old transgender Asian woman. Luckily Jonathan copied the original text before it was hacked.

    Big Brother addicts should check out Tired Li'l Brit Girl's Big Brother II site. She's not obsessed, no way.
    A friend [not someone you know] has just discovered he has impetigo. Sounds lovely!
    -----Original Message-----
    >From : Robyn Wilder
    To :
    Date : 14 June 2001 19:33:26
    Subject : Please please please
    Don't let it be that atrocity that Gloria Hunniford hosts.
    >Please. David. No.
    Gloria Hunniford?
    I'm afraid so.
    I hang my head in shame.
    Well, you see, Marc Almond was on. And as you may know, I'm a huge fan. But, honest, I'd never seen Open House before, and had no idea who Gloria Hunniford even was. I do now! Actually, although the show is a load of brain-numbing tosh aimed at the blue-rinse brigade, Ms Hunnniford herself was a consummate pro. And she was wearing a lovely long beige polyester coat. The show started late, so we were subjected to the worst warm-up stand-up throw-up on earth. The audience were all die-hard Marc fanatics, refusing to raise even the ghost of a smile.

    And what a fascinating line-up: first we heard from the Richardson family of Southport, who were embarrassed by the way Dad dresses, so we met Dad, and he went off with a "celebrity" hairdresser (Trevor someone - Sorbet??). Then we saw the finalists in a photograph of the year thing. Then Marc came on, looking gorgeous - Ms Hunniford's make-up artists clearly know a thing or two about glamourising ageing stars - and did his "I took loads of drugs and went through hell, ruined my health, destroyed my career, but now I'm back" thing, and he and Gloria compared their peroxide jobs, and then he sang his new single in the conservatory. Then, joy of joys, Mr Richardson came back unrecognisable after his make-over, in his beige polyester suit and with his eyebrows and nose-hairs trimmed. And was reunited with his daughter he hasn't seen in ages. We whooped and cheered. In an ironic stylee, obviously.

    Oh, and as we were leaving the TV studio, Jonathan bit into a prop biscuit and almost broke his teeth.

    Thursday, June 14, 2001

    I am off tonight, to be an audience member on a TV talk show. I am, however, too embarrassed to name the Channel 5 show, or its fuddy-duddy hostess. Any guesses?
  • In the guard's room of a train between Portsmouth and Bournemouth, with the guard.
  • In Chris Eubank's dressing room at Sun City [no, not with Eubank, but with one of the TV crew].
  • With a member of a boyband.
  • In a Ladbroke's betting shop, after hours.
  • In a tower block an hour outside Prague, with someone who spoke no English.
  • In a stable.
  • In an army barracks.
  • In the underground parking garages at Bloomsbury and Cavendish squares.
  • In Hyde Park, Green Park and Central Park.
  • In the first-but-one row of an outdoor Marc Almond concert.
  • In the middle of a crowded stadium gig.
  • In her parents' bed, and in a tent, with my brother's girlfriend.
  • In cars parked on hills overlooking Cape Town, Johannesburg, Madrid, Paris and London.
  • At a cousin's wedding. With a cousin.
  • I somehow received a link from this site, full of marvellous photos of sumo wrestlers in drag. Which led me to do a search for more, and - boy - did I find them: here.
    Curiously, Davo, Luke and Simon have all received hits fron the original sumo site, too.
    Evidence that Jonathan and I were at Tuesday's blogmeet before running off to the pop quiz. I went to yet another quiz last night - a work function. My team did dreadfully, finishing 15th out of 18 teams, but we gained the moral high ground by claiming we were more "University Challenge", and this quiz was more "Family Fortunes". We staked our Joker [which doubled one's points] on the music round. How were we to know the quizmaster's taste in music ran to Sarah Brightman records?
    Ha! Beat them all! Google allows you to simply search for one digit, thus a search for '1' returns 553,000,000 results.
    Woke up this morning thinking, "I know! 'html', that'll return loads of Google results," only to discover that Tom had the same thought before me. 265,000,000. Curses!

    However, Kylie trounces both of us with 'you'. Any advances on 324,000,000?

    Wednesday, June 13, 2001

    Ron from leatheregg trumps my "home" with not. Any advance on 231,000,000?
    My playing around with using Google to find pages containing spelling errors got me thinking. Google currently claims it searches 1,346,966,000 web pages. Obviously, a search for a less-commonly used word or phrase will return fewer results than a search for an everyday term. But what is the greatest number of results you can get Google to return? It won't bother searching for words like "the", "why" and "what". But a search for them returns 73,100,000 results. Google finds 113,000,000 pages containing there, 114,000,000 containing free, 130,000,000 pages containing they; and it returns a whopping 214,000,000 for home.

    Can you beat that?
    I'm currently on one of my health kicks. Of course, with me, a health drive does not involve actually doing any exercise, eating healthily or giving up alcohol. No, it just means I chuck a couple of packs of vitamins into my shopping basket alongside the three bottles of Chilean red. Yesterday I went to Holland and Barrett and bought some huge jars of St John's Wort and multivitamins. The vitamins are huge speckled brown things that look like something you'd worm your dog with. They smell like something you'd give your dog, too. And that's just on the way in. They have some strange effects on the way out - my urine is an intense fluorescent yellow; and it smells like brewers yeast.

    This reminds me of something very, very silly I did when I was young...

    I was 18, and I'd heard that appetite suppressants made you high. I browsed the shelves of the local chemist and took the cheapest diet pills I could find to the counter. The chemist didn't think to ask why an overly skinny lad would need slimming aids. The recommended dosage was two tablets, so I reckoned that in order to have the desired effect, I should take triple that. So I popped six pills down my throat. The pills were small, round and - and this is the important bit - bright turquoise.

    I then went to my favourite local gay bar and had a couple of beers while I waited for the effects to kick in. Nothing. I had another beer, but still no change. All that beer had made me need a pee, however, and I went to the loo. Now, this bar had a wonderful old-fashioned urinal - a long, gleaming expanse of white porcelain stretching into the distance. There were four of five other men there, so I positioned myself at one end and began to pee...

    My urine was bright turquoise. It was the colour of the first flush after you've put a new Jeyes Blue freshener in your toilet. Once I'd started peeing, I couldn't stop, and I stared in fascinated horror as this ultramarine stream gushed out of me and sloshed down towards the drain. The others at the urinal turned to see where this blue stuff was coming from, their eyes following it back along the porcelain, up to the source, my dick: "Jesus Christ, son, are you OK?"

    The irony was that the pills I took did not contain anything mind-altering - they were not appetite suppressants, but laxatives. I spent the next two days curled up in agony around the toilet!

    Here endeth the lesson.
    Dave has the details if last night's quiz. It was the hardest quiz on earth, yet the winners somehow got 20 out of 20. We scored considerably less than that. Inspired questions, though, including covers of alt-rock hits done in a lounge style by one Richard Cheese, and Kraftwerk songs performed on a groovy cha-cha-cha tip by Senor Coconut.

    I've just spotted that Richard Cheese is on while Jonathan and I are in New York, so that's our Friday night sorted. I might even stalk him.
    proffesional: 28,500
    flourescent: 42,000
    experiance: 42,100
    intrest: 42,100
    freind: 42,500
    relevent: 51,600
    mangement: 51,800
    liason: 61,200
    consistant: 64,100
    enviroment: 101,000
    truely: 126,000
    independant: 162,000
    wierd: 163,000
    recieve: 268,000
    seperate: 277,000
    thier: 295,000
    accomodation: 311,000

    transexual wierd virgina:4

    Tuesday, June 12, 2001

    Last week, Jonathan reviewed the mobile phone he had on loan, the Motorola T250. His verdict? "It's a piece of shit." I got a new phone today. Guess which one? Yes, the Motorola T250. Well, it's tri-band, so Jonce and I will be able to track each other down the morning after wild nights out in New York. It's also got voice-dialling, it's WAP-enabled and - my favourite thing - it's got a voice-memo facility, which means you can record three minutes of a conversation. Or record yourself drunkenly doing Elvis impressions on the way home from the pub.

    PS:Jonathan was soright. It is such a piece of shit. Trouble is, I can't upgrade again for a year. Shit!
    The magazine I work on is a business-to-business publication, and its look reflects its content and target market; ie it's dull. But it's time for a design refresh. I've been charged with completely re-designing the damned thing, so am spending the day leafing through competitors' magazines and more trendy publications, looking for layout ideas.

    Some of the magazines I've read today could easily feature in the guest publication slot on Have I Got News For You: Wastes Management, The Warmer Bulletin, Waste Watch, European Rubber Journal, and my own personal favourite, Sacred Hoop. If you know of a good sourcebook for modern business magazine design ideas, let me know.
    I've got my weekly pop music quiz tonight; and it's our work quiz night tomorrow [main question on everyone's lips being 'have I still got a job?']. Better practise.
    The Juan Munoz installation in the foyer of Tate Modern's Great Turbine Hall sounds literally incredible. I have to go check it out this weekend.
    Today's A Word Of The Day word of the day is:
    Pertaining to or given to drinking. Nothing to do with potatoes, unless the drink in question is vodka.
    Oh Jeezus. Bette Midler has released a cover version of the wonderful Kirsty MacColl song, In These Shoes. And it's number 11 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart (hello?). I bloody well hate Bette bloody Midler.

    But I do love Kirsty, and am very pleased to hear that Westminster Council have accepted a proposal to place a bench in Kirsty's memory in Soho Square, central London. Soho Square is the setting for my favourite song on the "Titanic Days" album. The bench funding has been raised purely from donations by Kirsty fans around the world. The surplus donations will be given to the Music For Cuba Fund, and the bench is due to be unveiled this summer.

    Monday, June 11, 2001

    Remember my marathon walk across London? Remember how I was going to write it up? Well, I've finally done it. Click here for my step-by-step account of the walk, with a huge map at the bottom of the page. The write-up has taken me longer than the walk itself!
    Homosexuality is divinely ordered, says catechism.
    I didn't vote on Thursday. My constituency is Hampstead and Highgate, my MP is Glenda Jackson. She didn't exactly need my vote - she won the seat with an 8,000 majority. I was never going to vote for the Tory candidate, and although the Lib Dem chap seems very nice, he never had much of a hope. So I guess my vote should have been for none of the above. Sister XNunoftheabove, to be precise, who stood in my constituency (and unfortunately lost her deposit).
    A couple of days too late, but here's more election silliness. Paxman.
    I deserve a bloody medal, crawling into work on just two hours' sleep. I got in at 6:45 this morning, and set my clock for the very latest time that I could get up and still make it to work: 8:45. I have that hollow, somehow grey feeling that only comes with sleep-deprivation. Am I hungry? Am I tired? I don't know. But I do know I'm very, very irritable. So don't mess with me today, sunshine.

    Saturday, June 09, 2001

    Attention Londoners wishing to travel cheaply: act quickly. Book before midnight on Monday to take advantage of Ryanair's special deals. Fly to Frankfurt for £4, Hamburg for a fiver, Salzburg, Turin or Brussels for eight quid; or Venice for 18. I am off for a dirty weekend to Hamburg, the second weekend of July.

    Friday, June 08, 2001

    Barker, Panther, Little Fox, Squirrel, Little Arrow, Little Bee, Little Fly, Little Lady, Beauty, Blackie, Little Star, Little Wind and Little Piece Of Coal - the first 13 dogs sent into orbit. Or, to give them their far more poetic-sounding Russian names, Laika, Bars, Lisichka, Belka, Strelka, Pchelka, Mushka, Damka, Krasavka, Chernushka, Zvezdochka, Verterok and Ugolyok.

    Only five of the dogs died in space - the others returned safely to earth. The Americans fondly called Laika "Muttnik". Accompanying Zvezdochka was a wooden dummy cosmonaut named Ivan Ivanovich. (Not this Ivan Ivanovich.)

    What has this got to do with anything? Absolutely nothing. But it's more interesting than reading more bloody election analyses, isn't it? Or doing any work.
    Are you a loony leftie? A fascist? Do you respect authority? Or are you a person of loose morals? I've always thought myself left-of-centre, but it turns out I'm neither left nor right. I am, however, one heck of a libertarian:

    The politician whose ideology is closest to mine is re-elected Lib Dem MP for Southwark and Bermondsey, Simon Hughes.

    Where do you stand?
    Marathon pub crawl alert! Met up with Guy and Andy last night in the yard of The Yard. We didn't like it there [ie none of us fancied anyone] so off we went to Barcode, where we bumped into Phil. We drooled over the barman for a bit [how many white T-shirts does one man need??] and then trooped over to Compton's. That was pretty dire [and clearly unmemorable], so after one we left for Manto's. Ian managed to track us down there, and after lurking in the claustrophobic but oh-so-cool basement, we were off again - this time to Rupert Street, popping our heads in at The Friendly Society on the way. We presided over Rupert Street from our superior vantage point on the sofas for a bit. Closing time came and went, and so did we - back to Barcode. I left at midnight, and, er, got home round three.
    I've had Systems Support in all morning, trying to fix my Mac, checking IP addresses, fiddling with Apple Share, dithering with Dave, tweaking my chooser, all to no avail. Till I noticed the network cable wasn't plugged in...

    Thursday, June 07, 2001

    Karen reminds me that I didn't finish the story of my childhood, the first part of which I blogged in February. I left off at the age of 12.

    9. St Mark's High School, Mbabane, Swaziland, age 12 to 15.
    St Mark's was established in 1910 by Rev. Christopher Watts, as a school for white children in this small African country. By the time I attended, the situation had reversed, and my brother and I were almost the only white kids boarding at the hostel. The school tried hard to hold on to its public school traditions, so we had housemasters supervising prep in the common room, and wore a uniform suitable for the English climate, not the blazing African sun. Educational standards had fallen, making annual prize-givings 'Me Night', as I scooped almost every available award.

    10. Waterford-Kamhlaba, Mbabane, Swaziland, age 15 to 17.
    The best of all the schools I went to. In fact, I'd go so far as to say this is one of the best schools in the world. Waterford is one of ten United World Colleges worldwide. The school served as a refuge from South Africa's apartheid regime. Many of South Africa's current political elite were educated at Waterford - indeed I was at school with many a Mandela, Tambo and Tutu. I have many, many happy memories of the place. There was a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere, and a rigorous academic standard. I completed my O' Levels there and considered staying for my A' Levels, but my dad decided to move to Cape Town.

    11. Settlers High School, Bellville, Cape Town, South Africa, age 17 to 18.
    Unfortunately, I have few happy memories of this place. Returning to PW Botha's South Africa after five years in Swaziland was a huge culture shock. This was a huge, strict, whites-only, fear-of-God, fear-of-democracy kind of place. Tuesday mornings were cadet practice, where we wore Army uniform and learned how to fire rifles, practising for the inevitable onslaught. I hated it. I hated being there, I hated the teachers, I hated my fellow pupils, I hated the curriculum. Most of all, I resented having to go to yet another school - I had gone to my first school at the age of three. Thanks to bureaucracy, I had spent fifteen years at school. I had had enough. I rebelled against the place, refusing to learn anything. I deliberately failed maths and science, and therefore couldn't go to university, which was fine by me, as yet another place of learning was the last thing I needed.

    Somewhere along the line, I have forgotten several schools. I believe I went to fourteen, but can remember only eleven. All this moving around meant I found it difficult to make, and keep, friends. No sooner had I become friendly with someone than I was whisked off elsewhere. Without being too dramatic, I think this scarred me for much of my life. Only now am I finally more trusting, more open to new friendships.

    On the plus side, however, my exposure to so many different education systems has given me a broad knowledge base, and an ability to pick things up very quickly. I have always envied those kids who went to just one primary school and one high school, and had the same friends all their lives, but I should think many of them would probably envy my more exciting, more varied upbringing. Wanna swap?
    Major restructuring here at work. It's all top secret, so I'm not allowed to tell you anything about it. However, even if I were allowed to, I'm not sure I'd be able to. We were all called into a high-level meeting with the MD, who showed us about fifty overhead slides, each one less understandable than the one before. Slide after slide of graphs, diagrams, organisational charts, but all completely generalised. No specifics. The penultimate slide was a complex tangle of arrows and boxes with generic labels, signifying nothing. The next slide contained simply one word: "Questions".

    My unasked question was "what the hell did all that mean?" What I actually asked was "How will this affect our day-to-day working relationships? Will our teams be broken up?" The MD's answer: "We don't know yet. The specifics still have to be worked out." A few others had questions, which were answered in much the same way.

    So I think I still have a job. I'll let you know when I find out.
    Princess Diana's death foretold in the works of Morrissey
    What a great find! I bought this book for a friend's birthday. Note the name of the illustrator!
    Stomach-churning mpeg of a kickboxer's leg snapping in two. Mmmm, just in time for lunch.
    Popular gay bar, the Vauxhall Tavern, now has its own web site at The Vauxhall Tavern, Kingston-upon-Hull, that is!
    Netscape Navigator is no more, but fear not, as Windows XP is coming to save the world, with the most overblown press release I have ever read.
    For Morse, there was that first telegram, which read, "What hath god wrought." Alexander Graham Bell famously used his new telephone to summon his assistant: "Mr. Watson, come here; I want you." Perhaps e-mail inventor Ray Tomlinson has largely been forgotten by history because his first e-mail consisted of the distinctly uninspiring message, "QWERTYUIOP."

    While it might at first seem presumptuous to carve the names of an entire team of software developers onto history's list of communications-technology giants, the newest version of the Windows operating system seems indeed poised to ignite the next revolution in human communication when it launches Oct. 25.
    Phwoar! Davo has redesigned Brainsluice, replete in gorgeous russet, burnt sienna and amber. Makes one long for fireside autumnal afternoons.

    Wednesday, June 06, 2001

    Want to know why it's called 'Swish Cottage'? Want to know what I look like? How old I am? I've added a sort of FAQ thing at left.
    Not everybody is impressed with Rachel Whiteread's Monument. The Guardian asks passers-by for their opinions.
    John, 73, and Joanne, 76, Durno-Cockrayne, retired:
    "What, a sculpture? That's a sculpture? I thought it was a pile of old rubbish. I'm sorry, but I believe sculpture is lions, horses, fountains. What's it meant to be? I haven't got a clue. Whatever it is, it's a pile of old rubbish. This is Trafalgar Square! They should have a sea admiral, something more respectable. It's supposed to represent silence, you say? Well, everyone does stand there in silence looking at it and wondering what the bloody hell it is. We've seen a lot of people looking at it and just laughing and laughing. I don't like modern art. I like to see a painting, not a load of old scribble. I like Picasso, though, because you can see what it is. They should get rid of this glass rubbish. We're from Warwickshire, you know." Go. Play. Marvel. While you're there, check out the original yugop site, too. Thanks to Paul for reminding me of this.
    If you go down to the woods tonight,
    Put some bloody mosquito repellent on.
    'specially on your tender bits.
    Oh, last night's quiz? We were rubbish. Our speciality subject, the one era that we know more about than anyone else, is the 80s. Especially electronic music. So last night's 80s electronic round should have been a gift. Ha! Still, we retained our credibility by failing even more dismally in the boyband round. Jonathan has the details of our shame.

    Tuesday, June 05, 2001

    Londoners will be aware of the debate surrounding the empty plinth at Trafalgar Square. The plinth was built in 1841, but the intended statue of William IV was never realised, due to lack of funds. Over the last two years, a series of temporary sculptures have been erected - the latest being Rachel Whiteread's Monument.

    Monument is a brilliant idea - an inverted clear resin cast of the plinth itself. On first sight, I let out a disappointed "oh, is that it?" It's much smaller, far less noticeable than I had imagined it. Being clear, it reflects the available light, a commodity which is in short supply in England. In the dull twilight, it is like the view at British seaside resorts - grey. I should imagine it looks stunning on a lovely day, reflecting the blue sky.

    It reminded me of nothing so much as the electricity substation in the middle of Elephant and Castle roundabout. It has that same "Is it glass? Is it metal?" duality. My second thought was that it was a huge clear eraser. It is somehow both glassily hard and squidgy, icy and warm, solid and airy, bulky and imperceptible.

    As I walked round the plinth, it came to life, changing colour, becoming deeper, darker, lighter, allowing refracted glimpses of buildings, trees, sky. The longer I spent walking around it, the more I liked it. Which is more than can be said for the plinth's previous tenant, Bill Woodrow's Regardless Of History. The pigeons seem wary of Monument for the moment, but it can't be long till it's covered in bird shit and discoloured by traffic fumes. See it now - preferably on a clear day.
    While we're staying in New York, Jonathan and I are sleeping under the stars. In Boston, we're staying at the Chandler Inn. PS: any New Yorkers or Bostonians reading this, we'd welcome suggestions of things to do/see/etc. We'll be in Boston from the 20th of July, and in New York from the 23rd to the 30th.
    Princess Diana's death foretold in the works of Morrissey.
    If you live in north-west London [Fraser, Marcia, Luke, Meg and Davo] you might want to know about Shish. It's a kebab joint. But - sheesh - what a joint: a light, airy space fronted in floor-to-ceiling glass. A 75-foot wooden bar snakes around the restaurant, giving you a view of the chefs preparing your food. There's a bit of a poncey concept - according to the menu the food is inspired by the Silk Road, an ancient trade route that linked Rome and China.

    The kebabs are served either in wraps or with a side dish - your choice of chips, rice, couscous or salad. We had the three-fish kebab [salmon, cod and - er - another white fish] and the Mediterranean lamb kebab, served with a baby spinach salad. The restaurant is licensed [and they seve Hoegaarden, hurrah!] and there are very cool little taps on the counter, allowing you to help yourself to still or sparkling mineral water.

    Of course, style costs. You can get two kebabs at the grubby dive next door for the price of one at Shish, but you'd probably get a lovely case of botulism, too. You can find Shish across the road from Willesden Green tube. It's swish.
    Everyone else has already linked this, but if you haven't seen or heard it yet, download the BBC's virtual theremin.
    If she r-r-r-rips the paper out of that p-r-r-rinter once more, I'm going to r-r-r-rip her bloody head off.
    I have only voted once in my life. It was the 26th of April 1994, South Africa's first democratic elections. A week of turbulence, turmoil, terror, excitement, hope, frustration, fear, wonder... We queued outside the polling station for four hours - which was nothing compared to some stations, where the lines were several kilometres long, meaning voters had to sleep nearby, returning to vote the following day. Now that's what you call an election.

    I'm not voting in this week's UK elections. I live in an ultra-safe Labour constituency - Glenda Jackson's Hampstead and Highgate. Apathy Rules O.

    Monday, June 04, 2001

    He was a very sexy guy. I really damaged him.

    I've just ordered an album by Phoebe O'Connor.

    Bloody predictive text messaging. I didn't damage him - I fancied him. And who would have thought that my Nokia phone would know about Sinead's lesser-known relative Phoebe?
    The coolest thing you will ever see. If you visit just one link, make it this one: powers of ten.
    View the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach a tall oak tree just outside the buildings of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. After that, begin to move from the actual size of a leaf into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons.
    Link nicked from OutSider.,,, - who are you?
    Went to oh-so-trendy Hoxton gallery White Cube2 on Saturday, to see the new Gilbert and George exhibition, New Horny Pictures. There's nothing new or horny about them - I could have stayed at home and read a copy of QX instead. As with most G+G work, the concept is more interesting than the resulting product. It would appear they have been sitting at home, leafing through the classifieds sections of gay magazines. Escort ads are blown up and arranged in huge grids. I assume the ads are real, and that the phone numbers are genuine - I wonder if any of the escorts have made any new business from the show?
    How insensitive I must have seemed
    When he told me that he loved me.
    How unmoved and cold I must have seemed
    When he told me so sincerely.

    Why, he must have asked,
    Did I just turn and stare in icy silence?
    What was I to say?
    What can you say when a love affair is over?

    Now he's gone away and I'm alone
    With the memory of his last look.
    Vague and drawn and sad, I see it still
    All his heartbreak in that last look.

    Why, he must have asked,
    Would I just turn and stare in icy silence?
    What was I to do?
    What can one do when a love affair is over?

    Written by V. de Moraes, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gimbel. Performed by Kirsty MacColl.
    "There will be an interval of 20 minutes between ACT ONE and ACT ONE.
    There will be no interval between ACT ONE and ACT ONE."

    Programme notes for Noises Off, for which we got free tickets [and eventually - after the interval between Act One and Act One - seats] courtesy of the gorgeous Mario. The disastrous play-within-a-play reminded me of a school performance of "The Ghost Train", in which I starred as Richard Winthrop way back when in my last year of school.

    Everything that could go wrong, did. As I made my dramatic entrance, the doorknob came off in my hand. I shoved it into my suit pocket, quite forgetting that another character needed to make an equally dramatic exit. Not quite so dramatic when he burst into gales of laughter and had to sidle off nonchalantly around the curtain.

    The play comes to an exciting climax as the identities of the two masked men are revealed. In the original version, as the mask is whipped off the first man, Charles Murdock cries, "Why it's Price!". Moments later, as the mask is removed from the second man, Winthrop cries, "Why, it's Saul!"

    In our version, however, my friend Ian got it wrong, and as Price's mask is removed, he cried "Why it's Saul!". Thinking on my feet, when Saul's mask was actually removed, I cried, "Why, Murdock, you're right, it is Saul!"

    Cue five minutes of riotous, uncontrolled laughter from audience and cast alike, plus a further ten minutes of false starts collapsing into hysterics, and a sudden curtain call.
    My friend
    You come into my life and paint my fantasy
    How do you dare to show me some of your green eyes
    Thin disguise
    So fancy-free
    My friend

    Lesley Rae Dowling: My Friend
    In the first series of Big Brother, I fancied Darren. In this series, I fancy Dean. Can you spot a pattern?

    Yes, that's right... I clearly fancy men with the letters D, E, A and N in their names.
    Thank you to Vaughan for bringing to my attention the Observer's special report: AIDS: The First 20 Years. Read it.
    The United Nations estimates that 36.2m people worldwide are presently living with HIV, and that 20m people have already died from the virus. Cumulatively, this is almost as many people as the entire population of the United Kingdom.
    I do like my friend Richard, but his taste in music is dreadful. I © the 80s as much as anyone. But not as much as Richard, clearly. He lent me a couple of CDs this weekend. The first, An Electronic Tribute To The 80s, is simply lame - covers of eighties classix done in a slightly more modern stylee. The second album is so bad, so hysterically bad, it's great. Trance League Express contains trance covers of Human League songs performed by such outfits as Arcane Passage, Maggots From Mars and Bønehead. Regulars at the pop quiz should be aware that these two CDs may make an appearance when I get round to being guest compiler. In the meantime, they will continue to brighten up my morning commute, as I play spot that godawful cover.

    Friday, June 01, 2001

    This is from today's Guardian:
    A German television documentary has uncovered one of the last, and weirdest, secrets of the Third Reich: Hitler's SS bodyguards dressed up as showgirls to take part in a song and dance extravaganza featuring one of the Führer's favourite film stars.

    The pyramid of angels, wrapped in feather boas, in the 1942 film Die Grosse Liebe (The Great Love) was made up of members of the elite Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler.

    "When you look closely at the faces you can see that some have two or three days' growth on their chins," said the documentary's co-editor Jörg Müllner of the ZDF channel.
    Hmm... perhaps Gary Numan was onto something?
    There are loads of really, like, kewl animations and sounds at force feed:swede.

    But can somebody please, please put me out of my misery and tell me what the looped sample is that's used on the 'girls are odd 1' clip [the first pill on the second row].
    The cover art of Marc Almond's new album, Stranger Things, due for release on the 18th of June, is stunning, with Marc looking like some kind of jewel-encrusted reptile. I can't help wondering whether it is computer-generated, or if Marc really did submit himself to some crazed drag queen with a tube of super glue and a bag full of sequins.
    Ian quotes the Independent review of the Pet Shop Boys/Jonathan Harvey musical: "Closer to heaven? I'd say it was nearer to purgatory." Michael Billington in the Guardian is no less complimentary, giving it two out of five: "When the club owner cried 'You know where the exit is' I felt like taking the hint."
    At Ebay now: Godzilla "King of the Monsters" vs Jesus "King of the Jews" action playset.
    Iain doesn't drink caffeine. Explains a lot, really...

    But then again, I haven't had any this morning yet. My alarm went off at 8am, and I pressed snooze.
    It went off five minutes later, and I pressed snooze.
    It went off five minutes later, and I pressed snooze.
    It went off five minutes later, and I pressed snooze.
    It went off five minutes later, and I pressed snooze.
    It went off five minutes later, and I switched the bugger off.

    An hour-and-a-half later, I woke up.