Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Can I Take It To The Bridge?

Ugh. I feel dog tired today. Worked 12 and a half hours yesterday, which meant I got up in the dark at 6.30 and ended up rolling in again at close to midnight. Everyone was asleep when I left in the morning, and everyone was asleep when I got back home.

Even James Brown screeching “Hot Pants!” into my ears isn’t helping me to shake myself out of this fug of exhaustion today. Whenever I try to do anything, my body responds just a little bit too slowly, as if I’m swilling around in a translucent vat of molasses, pushing against the air just to get anything moving.

A short while ago, I forced myself to go outside to grab lunch, and to sit and read a book. Yes, it’s a bit too cold to be sitting outside, but I needed a bracing hit of murky North London oxygen. As I sat reading, a massive hunk of cigar ash landed in my lap and exploded in a little cloud of grey filth all over my clothes, courtesy of my boss flicking his rancid stogie off the wrought-iron staircase, which curls from the ground floor straight up to the second floor fire exit, where he was sucking on that wizened little necrotic cock of a cigar like he was gobbling down some indispensable elixir.

Like I said before: Ugh.

Well, once today is over, I’m off for the rest of the week, the reason being that tomorrow marks Buttercup’s First Birthday. Time flies, don’t it?

The combined forces of my commute and my job keep me away from her far too much at the moment, but I make the most of it over the weekends. This last weekend, I taught her how to hum the theme tune from Bonanza. I have no idea why, other than the fact that we both had a hell of a lot of fun doing it. And I think the pair of us have now seen Monsters, Inc far too many times to be healthy, I’m sure. She scooches across the couch until she’s comfortably nestled into the crook of my shoulder, sucking vigorously on her thumb with her eyes glued to those uniquely popping Pixar colours. Anyone who says that small children have a short attention span hasn’t seen my daughter giggling at the antics of Monstropolis’s Finest.

Anyway, I can’t hang around here all day. I’ve still got a good few hours work that they want to squeeze out of me.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Here's a quick rundown of the stuff that's been floating around my ganglia and sparking bright lights across my cerebral cortex over the last couple of weeks. Check out the shape of AKA's head in September '05:

Land of the Dead
– George A. Romero, the Big Daddy of them all, finally got the opportunity to bring his shuffling flesheaters back for a fourth instalment of The Dead. As always, Romero has his satirical laser-sharp eyes on the world around us, taking potshots at Homeland Security, and a world in which it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell who are the monsters and who are the victims. Despite the hefty bodycount, this is by far the most optimistic entry in the series.

Scott Pilgrim – Only half way through Volume 1 at the moment, so I'm hesitant to recommend this wholeheartedly, but so far, so great. Riffing on everything from manga comics to videogames, Bryan Lee O'Malley's tale of a young Canadian slacker trying to woo the rollerblading object of his dreams is vibrant, passionate and damn good fun. Jump onto the Pilgrim bandwagon before the rumoured Edgar Wright movie adaptation comes along, so you can say you knew about it years ago.

Carl Hiaasen
's Skinny Dip – If Elmore Leonard was an outraged liberal and committed environmentalist, he'd be Carl Hiaasen. One part crime fiction and one part justifiably vitriolic screed about the rape of Florida's Everglades, with a nice line in oddball characters and killer one-liners. There might be a feeling of over-familiarity for Hiaasen fans, but a page-turner nevertheless.

The Engine - Comic creator and curmudgeonly Old Bastard Warren Ellis has set up a new online forum with the purpose of giving a home to people who want to promote their indy comics, or just for creators to hang out and talk about creating, writing, drawing and promoting their creations. Obviously geared primarily towards comic writers, but a lot of stuff here is applicable to anyone of an Artistic Bent with that fire in the blood that makes you want to get stuff out of your head and out into the world. And it's an Absolutely No Superhero Zone. Which is nice for a change. Go, Explore.

And with that, I'm gone.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Iron in the Soul

Jean-Paul Sartre was one miserable motherfucker. In my teens, I tried to read Nausea and I absolutely hated it. I think it remains the only time in my life I have given up reading a book half way through and hurled it into a rubbish bin in disgust. He may as well have just sprayed arsejuice all over the page. That’s how appalled I was with his moping, pretentious moans of existential pain. I’ll take a chunk of Camus over Sartre any day of the week.

But there is one thing of value that ol’ JPS squeezed out of his anguished existence. This excellent, multi-purpose quotation that I find sums up my feelings on an increasingly regular basis: “Hell is Other People”.

It was the office Summer Party last week. (Judging by the arctic gusts off the Thames, I’m guessing the party was a month late this year). And it’s becoming obvious to me that I don’t like most people. Outside of my circle of friends and family, I’d rather spend time on my own than be subjected to the inebriated blatherings of complete strangers.

I don’t know why People I Don’t Know think that it’s appropriate to share their sexual predilections and patently-bogus peccadilloes with me. I don’t care how drunk you are, I really don’t want to hear about your cunnilingus technique, and I could do without the exaggerated reconstructions to underscore the point.

And I hate the whole social pantomime of being asked dull questions that I don’t want to answer, followed by watching them as they ignore everything I say. Gah!

Other than that, the New Job is OK. No, really, it is.

Damn, too much coffee and not enough water today. I’m going to feel like I’ve been punched in the kidneys later on.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Query-Based Snapshot

Yes, clearly I’m a terrible bastard because I started a new job and then dropped off the face of the Earth.

OK. Here’s my current thinking on the shape of my world - I have absolutely loads of interesting, nascent observations about The New Job, the people, the area, etc…but I’m holding fire at the moment for two reasons:

Firstly, this is early days still, and whatever I write will inevitably become obsolete within the subsequent 24 hours and, secondly, and more importantly, I’m working in the kind of office where I wouldn’t be surprised if someone stumbled across the blog, and then I’m fucked. So, I’m not planning on writing jack until I’ve sussed the place out a bit better.

I’ll tell you this much, though: About a week ago, I set fire to a computer, and the smell of scorched plastic filled the office for hours. I was convinced I was going to get shown the door, but I managed to get away with it. I have no idea how…

Another reason I haven’t blogged much in the last couple of weeks: I suddenly got a great idea for a zombie movie that wouldn’t stop bopping around in my head, and it’s still pinballing away up there. It’s gone from a deadly serious zombie movie last week and now it’s mutated into a satirical, very funny zombie comic book this week. Still tinkering with it. Knowing me, it’ll just end up on the growing pile of Things I Must Finish Writing At Some Point. I’m going to keep punching it until it surrenders to me and turns into something workable. I’m very itchy creatively at the moment, and I have to keep scratching or the desire to write becomes a bit too overwhelming. Developing…

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Woolly Headed

Note to self: never, ever blog drunk again. Ever. That was two in a row!

Not making apologies here, really, just adding a bit of context. A surfeit of alcohol allows my righteous indignation to rage unchecked, careering down the slippery roads of my thoughts and pulling free of my fingers out onto the keyboard and released untamed into the world.

One last link on the Katrina nightmare. And that’s the last I’ll say on the matter.

God, I’ve got a raging hangover today…

Dixie City Jam

Over 24 hours later, and I’m even more disgusted with Bush than ever. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it that inept fuck’s job to look after the people of the United States? Isn’t that one of the fundamental components of his job despcription? Isn’t failing in that regard kind of a deal-breaker? Can’t you finally impeach this fool?

With regards to rescue and relief efforts, Bush concedes: “The results are not acceptable.” Not acceptable? Not fucking acceptable? You are the President! Fix it! That is your JOB! Being President isn’t a hobby you fit in around international banquets and a round of golf! Your concession doesn’t change the staggering and mounting death toll. The man is a killer by omission. His failure to act effectively is essentially a death sentence for hundreds of people.

But wait, there’s more, amidst reports of lootings and shootings, there is this (excerpted from BBC News articles): "You've got an entire nursing home evacuated five days ago - people in wheelchairs sitting there and slowly dying," and, worse, this: “At the Superdome there were two reports of rape, one involving a child.”

It may be 1.40 in the morning, and I may have a total of six beers obliterating vital neurons and receptors in my weary head, as well as the early flutterings of a killer hangover, but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that It Is Now Official: The World is in serious trouble and I shudder to think of what is going to come next.

A hot shower, two pints of water and a good night’s sleep might make me feel superficially better, but the facts will remain unalterably and distressingly the same…

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina and the Waves

Good Evening, and welcome to Drunk Blogging! Nothing like an ice cold beer or three after a not-remotely hard day in the office.

Today, I was going to write about my first day on the new job, but my pleasure at rejoining the Daily Grind has to go on hold temporarily. I’ll come back to AKA’s Fun with Work another day. This evening, I’ve got my blood up…

Before I start, go and take a look at this. Go on. I’ll wait.

So, that motherfucker, not content with the deaths of Iraqi civilians and US troops in huge and growing numbers, decides to just fiddle with his little instrument whilst people on Homeland (and I have no doubt the irony of that will be lost on him) watch their lives literally float away.

How the FUCK did this man get re-elected? How can this fucking chunk of barely-sentient mucus be the leader of the world's last superpower? Doesn't this shit terrify and disgust you? Can someone please please please assassinate this prick?

In completely unrelated news (and totally jarring and inappropriate contrast), the OTHER thing making me sick this week is this – Tom Sizemore spunking away his dwindling millions. (By the way, this is by far the least worksafe thing you are likely to see today, unless you’re the webmaster for porn sites of corpulent Hollywood burnouts).