Thursday, April 27, 2006

Tasteless jokes

I like jokes, but I have no talent at ever remembering them at opportune times. But I heard one at my course on Tuesday that made me laugh - mainly at the sad truth. (I'll explain why in a bit). Joke #1 A man and his son are driving down the A23 when the car flips and crashes. The man dies on the way to the hospital but the son is in critical condition and needs to be operated on. The surgeon comes in and says 'I can't operate on him - he's my son.' Why is that? The surgeon was his mother. The reason why it made me laugh, yet was saddened was because none of the all-female students or our tutor (a female) knew the answer. None of us ever considered that the surgeon could be a woman. Here's a REALLY TERRIBLE joke that I received by email. Joke #2 Tired of constantly being broke, and stuck in an unhappy marriage, a young husband decided to solve both problems by taking out a large insurance policy on his wife (with himself as the beneficiary), and arranging to have her killed. A "friend of a friend" put him in touch with a nefarious, underworld figure, who went by the name of "Artie." Artie explained to the husband that his going price for snuffing out a spouse was 5,000 quid. The husband said he was willing to pay that amount, but that he wouldn't have any cash on hand until he could collect his wife's insurance money. Artie insisted on being paid SOMETHING up front. The man opened up his wallet, displaying the single pound coin that rested inside. Artie sighed, rolled his eyes, and reluctantly agreed to accept the quid as down payment for the dirty deed. A few days later, Artie followed the man's wife to the local ASDA.There, he surprised her in the produce department, and proceeded to strangle her with his gloved hands. As the poor unsuspecting woman drew her last breath, and slumped to the floor, the manager of the produce department stumbled unexpectedly onto the scene. Unwilling to leave any witnesses behind, Artie had no choice but to strangle the produce manager as well. Unknown to Artie, the entire proceedings were captured by hidden cameras and observed by the store's security guard, who immediately called the police. Artie was caught and arrested before he could leave the store. Under intense questioning at the police station, Artie revealed the sordid plan, including his financial arrangements with the hapless husband. And that is why, the next day in the newspaper, the headline declared: "ARTIE CHOKES TWO FOR A POUND AT ASDA."

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Nostalgia

A busy day, buzzy day where I had bags of energy, but not enough time to do much with it. I spent 3 hours writing my essay for my course, due tomorrow, and emailed it over to my course tutor. I had a chance to look at a story I wrote last year which I'd totally forgotten about, but I didn't do any of the writing I'd planned. For some reason, I'm feeling nostalgic for the past today. Listening to Tribe reminded me of a very long time ago, and I began to wonder what happened to my 20s. Maybe my nostalgia has been kicked off by Jamie's leaving. He's gone today, for all intensive purposes to begin his life in the States. He says he'll be back every 2 months to play at Slackers, but I know this is the BIG MOVE. I guess it reminds me of when I made my BIG MOVE over here in '97. My soul feels weary - of something, I don't know. Maybe it's the fact that my computer screen flickers every two minutes. I think the reason is deeper. I told Jamie maybe it was a tiredness of Brighton, and he suggested I come back to the States. A serious move would be a shock to my system, and I really don't see that happening. I think I'll be going back for (fucking hell, stop it!) a visit, this year. I'm not even sure why or what the point is, but my soul craves it. You lucky, lucky people. You probably missed "Michael Carroll: King of the Chavs", a documentary about the Norfolk ASBO lottery winner. But hey, Channel 4 are presenting a week on the mafia. I'm gonna cut out and watch "The Godfather and the Mob". I never watch tv, but I decided to set up my long-abandoned set and tape the aerial to the wall so I can get reception AND sound. Adios.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Books

I got this from Darkly Scarlett. As I've admitted before, I have an unhealthy fascination with these silly meme's. Perhaps the 13-year-old inside all of us?? Take the five nearest books and string together a paragraph: from... Book 1: the first sentence Book 2: the last sentence on page 50 Book 3: the second sentence on page 100 Book 4: the next to last sentence on page 150 Book 5: the final sentence "'Mark!' bellowed the organiser of the Chichester Festival. This talk about free selling and buying, and all the other 'brave words' of our bourgeoisie about freedom in general, have a meaning, if any, only in contrast with selling and buying, with the fettered traders of the Middle Ages, but have no meaning opposed to the Communistic abolition of buying and selling. At first she felt a little panic; the absurdity of her situation struck her, and for the first time she saw herself as planless; she had only a little money, an apartment to keep up, and no idea what to do next. So picking is not really to be recommended. Thank you very much." In order: It's Not a Runner Bean..., Manifesto of the Communist Party, Who Do you Think You Are?, Food for Free, Bridge the Gap? Random you want, random you get. I should really stop procrastinating now and get back to my writing. If you want to see a better example of coherent randomness in action, check out my meme source - DS.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Lists of lists

I've just added my blog to a list of blogs. Most of the sites listed are news oriented, but some are just personal blogs with a slant on media, news, world events, etc. Check it out. http://news.blogranking.us/

Algorithms and a Strong Cup of Coffee

I've been doing research on cryptographic algorithms for my novel, which, for those of you who know me, is a subject way out of my league. I originally started thinking about different types of code, which is one of the main character's passions, and after talking to various people, this led me to reading about John Forbes Nash Jr and other mathematicians. I still need to find some good sources on scientific development in the early '90s, but in the meantime, the best I can do is browse the internet for ideas and further grounding. I came across the website for Phil Karn, a computer networking engineer who fought a legal battle with the US Government from 1994-97 regarding the US encryption export laws. The US State Department Office of Defense Trade Controls ruled that the seminal work on cryptography "Applied Cryptography" by Bruce Schneier could be exported out of the US. However, a floppy disc containing the source code taken directly from the book could not be exported. If you want to learn more, go to his site. I found these quotes on the main page of Karn's site and found them interesting enough to include here:
...[A]fter all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a parliament or a communist dictatorship ... That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country. -- Hermann Göring, from Nuremberg Diary by G. M. Gilbert.
The national government will maintain and defend the foundations on which the power of our nation rests. It will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality. Today Christians stand at the head of our country. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit. We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theatre, and in the press -- in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of LIBERAL excess during the past years. -- Adolf Hitler The Speeches of Adolph Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1, Michael Hakeem, Ph.D. (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pp. 871-872. from
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the American flag. -- Huey Long
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. -- James Madison, 4th US President and primary author of the US Constitution

Friday, April 21, 2006

I Know It's Friday Night, But...

I took a break from my writing to look up a few things and instead I got distracted, as per normal, by some sites wholly unrelated to the research I was doing. Found a site that was a 5 on content (at first glance) but found this cool thing and couldn't resist the lameness. A half day at work. It still doesn't feel like I'm doing work, but the work involves doing things I always do, at break-neck speed, so a slower pace just feels like I'm cheating. I found out that my boss is a published author - another writer. I love being surrounded by creatives who also care about their day jobs. Tonight might be a SPAM night. I talked to Jamie - he's on later, before Tom from the Autobots & Bez. I really want to get down and "represent" but I know the steak meal planned for tonight might take it out of me. God, I don't want to turn into a big pig. Jamie's States-bound as of Tuesday, which makes me a bit sad. I know he'll love it, and he'll be with the fabulous Marin. Um, might get more wine. I went out last night as well. It was pretty dire (the club, I mean) but I had a fun time being an idiot. Why would anyone think it was a cool idea to put a DJ booth in a disused VW Bug? Jesus on a pogo stick. Still, I had 3 margaritas bought for me AND I didn't wake up with a hangover. I only woke up to a boyfriend who was still drunk, which is always fun.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bank holidays are the way forward

I love these short weeks. I managed to recover from my cold/flu before the weekend hit, but I made the fatal error and thought I was okay. Hence, drinking led to being sick with an audience of one (the toilet) on Saturday morning, then met up with friends from London at Food for Friends. I haven't seen Arif and Iman probably since their wedding in Sweden, almost two years ago. Iman is pregnant now, though when I guessed, I was only joking around. She didn't look it. Being vegans, they were in seventh heaven when I took them to Infinity Foods. Later that evening, I went to Slackers and felt like death. It was an early night. Monday was the 2 year mark for me and Essex-boy. Yes, two years of putting up with one another. Oysters, Spanish chorizo, olives and bubbly in the park. Apart from sitting too close to the juggling club and having random dogs trying to carry off with our meat, it was a nice, chilled out day. The week has been relaxed since then. Went to a meeting for work yesterday and came to the conclusion that people who live outside of Brighton have strange hair. Big, sheep-dog like dos. I should have taken pictures. I managed to catch my hair on fire on Tuesday night at a friend's reading of her recently finished script. Just as she'd gotten the actors ready, I leaned over the table to stub my cigarette out. I didn't notice the candelabara to my left. Suddenly my hair went up in flames. Everyone shrieked. All I could do was pad the flames out with my hand, hoping my entire head didn't alight. It's hard to know what will happen in that sort of situation. Maybe my head will turn into a birthday candle. Who knows? Thankfully, the fire went out, bits of hair and ash covered my notebook and I was chastised for apologising. I felt like the drunk idiot nobody knew and managed to come uninvited. "What's your name again?" people asked afterwards. Today's a writing day and the border patrol have finally decided I do not have illegal Mexican immigrants hiding in my backseat. I'm in California. Somehow this novel is going to come together. All I can do is hope. x

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Too Many Meme's, Too Little Time

Why, why, why? My friend DS is addicted to meme's and I have to admit, they're a lot more fun than squeezing out orange juice from a vein ie writing. I'm a sucker for procrastination. Hence... The rules: once you are tagged you MUST write a blog entry about your six weird habits/idiosyncrasies as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next six people to be tagged and list their names.
  1. I clean my ears with Q-tips (cotton buds) once, if not twice, a day, for no apparent reason.
  2. I frequently drink tea and coffee from bowls.
  3. I keep pennies in jars. Just in case.
  4. I don't like anyone coming in my room unless invited. I think it's an only-child hangover.
  5. I talk in my sleep and I mumble nonesense first thing in the morning. But who doesn't?
Write a little paragraph about your username, why you chose it, what it means to you, etc. My LJ name is Miss Scribbler and the reason is simple. I write everything by hand and I have terrible handwriting. Everyone's agreed on that one. What would you change your name to, if you were changing it? For a while I really wanted to change my name to Amy KitKat. I'd be a mouse detective with a nose for a good lead and bullshit. What is your favorite username? Why? On nuskoolbreaks, there's a person called Squeaks. It's cute. Tag - you're it. Mood: Restless Listening to: "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" - Leo Sayer

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Recommended Cocktails

Sorry if the title is misleading because I'm not going to launch into a dazzling array of recipes (not yet at least). My cocktail of the evening consists of: 1 lemon (squeezed), honey, sugar, 20 drops of echinacea, hot water & 2 cup fulls of brandy. I'm desperate. Seriously. Two whole days of sobriety is driving me nuts. What do you do with so much clarity and awakeness? Just finished "Still Life With Woodpeckers" by Tom Robbins, and have just delved into "It's Not a Runner Bean" by Mark Steel. The best antidote for not being able to do anything but lie in bed and be charming to oneself is to read funny things. I read this week's Insight but it made me cringe with disgust. Despite a latent tendency to feel sorry for myself, interesting developments on the film are underfoot. One, some guys are considering doing the sound design work. My instinct (they told me) is that they're probably too busy to take it up, but I also just heard from JQ and he said he's passed on the email to some of his people. BTW, JQ & Ben are finishing up the opening credits, which is incredibly exciting. I'm finally seeing the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel on this project, which is nearing the 3 year mark since we started. My life will finally feel like it's no longer on hold, listening to the Muzac version of Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry". I also heard from my friend Arif, who said he and his wife are coming to Brighton this weekend. This spring is definitely bringing up old friends. It makes me smile, then sigh. I hope I'm up for it. Mood: Tipsy Listening to: People in the kitchen talking

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

May 12 (or shortly before)

This goes out to DS, who's important big date is 12 May, or something around then. I said I'd send out positive karmically good thoughts, but seeing as I have a cold, I thought I'd enlist the help of a few spare Tibetan monks. Just in case.

It's All In the Mind - yeah, right

Someone who shall remain nameless (because that's all he deserves) suggested that my cold wasn't real. "It's all in the mind," he said. I knew this comment was inspired from that article in the Sunday Observer about the scary Scientologists. I also knew that I did not conspire with my mind to get sick. Not on day 5 of my new job. HWSRN complained that he was hungry. "Ah," I said. "Hunger is all in the mind too. If we are merely spirits, then our bodies are merely our physical hosts and can therefore be ignored." HWSRN cocked his head and thought about this. "You know, you're probably right." HWSRN proceeded to warm up some soup, then passed out 5 minutes later.

Needed: Sound Designer for Film

Sound designer needed for feature-length low-budget DV film. Payment offered. Email me for more details: DOWNamy@WITHamyriley.SPAMcom

Oh yeah...

My birthday is 26 February 1975. Forgot to mention that in the last post. PS I didn't wake up in time to make my appointment, which is pretty shit on my part. I kept dreaming about eating Bombay mix, and my mother's ex-boyfriends made a guest appearance. Last night, I discovered this herbal syrup propolis AND IT CURED MY COUGH. It didn't say on the bottle what it was for. I guess those weirdo Swiss like to keep you guessing.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Three Facts, And Only One Death

Becuase I am sick (no, the hippy cure-all didn't work), I am writing upon request, from Darkly Scarlett's LJ, and so the title is a reference to that, which is in turn a reference to some obscure French film. Go to Wikipedia and look up your birthday (excluding the year). List three neat facts, two births and one death in your journal, including the year. THREE FACTS 1797 - The Bank of England issues the first one-pound note. 1991 - Tim Berners-Lee introduces WorldWideWeb, the first web browser. 1993 - World Trade Center bombing: In New York City, a truck bomb parked below the North Tower of the World Trade Center goes off, killing 6 and injuring over a thousand. TWO BIRTHS 1802 - Victor Hugo, French writer (d. 1885) 1932 - Johnny Cash, American singer (d. 2003) ONE DEATH 1994 - Bill Hicks, American comedian (b. 1961) I'm going to see my GP tomorrow about my hand, but maybe he can do something about my cold.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Throw away your computer

It's gorgeously sunny outside today, and I'm about to venture into it. Pavement isn't cold to bare feet, no tinge of cold in the breeze. I did wake up with my throat on fire, and apparently I was sleeping with my mouth gaping open like a corpse. I hate taking pharmaceutical drugs but I have to admit: they do what it says on the package. Since starting my job, I've felt an immense sense of relief and gratitude at having somewhere to go during the day. There's something about a new job, before you start feeling tired, jaded and useless that's magical. Everything is new, you feel purposeful and productive, and the cherry on the top is that you get paid. This week I've worked out how to use the microwave and discovered I don't have to lick my own stamps. You don't know what a relief that is. The place is full of quirky interesting characters. The woman on reception is extraordinary. She's older, and though I can't place her age, she must be over 60. The story goes that after decades of marriage, she told her husband that she wanted to live by the sea. He wasn't having it, so she packed her bags and moved down to Brighton without him. She cam not knowing a soul or even the look of the place. I think that's immensely brave. I'm going outside and I suggest you do the same.

Friday, April 07, 2006

I never knew there was a reason for washing your hands

Sigh. It's spring-filled dizziness, the air ripe with exploding pollens, left-over winter colds, and I'm the last person to fall susceptible to a cold. Sneezing all day at work, then a pile of bricks fell on me when I got home. I mustered two more chapters as I lay curled up in bed with my duvet, which smells of sweat. I'm supposed to be legging it up to Oxford on Sunday for my friend's baby's christening, so it looks like from now til 7am Sunday morning, I'm going to be on the down-low. I've made a miracle cure which has been helping stave off the lurgies: lemon, honey, echinacea and vast quantities of hot water. I guess I should have figured there was something wrong when 2 glasses of wine made me silly. A fucking light-weight is what I've become. I got twatted last night and I have to admit, it wasn't worth it. Do you know when you get a strong intuition that you shouldn't go out? The dark skies were screaming at me as Grant and I made our way across the bridge to catch a bus into town. Stay home. What a fool. I've decided that drinking the way I do tunes me in to the bad voices: mean-spirited creatures that spin neat little tales. On an extremely positive note (I actually don't feel that bad but regret is a terrible thing), Ference just popped into my room and told me that physical was at a critical point yesterday so it's up from here on. Mental high, emotional low. Okay. That makes sense. He's asked me to download "You see the trouble with me", some remix of the Barry White song by Black Legend. He says listening to it is life-changing. Ference is still going around the house carrying a laptop case. He doesn't have a laptop, but a friend gave it to him and he's practicing carrying it around before he goes to Spain. Apparently. Who knows? The hippy juice is working - hurray! Just in time for Grant's lamb curry and copious amounts of red wine ! Mood: Not feeling sorry for myself Listening to: "For once in my life" - Stevie Wonder

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Are men psychic?

When I was in my early 20's, I used to believe that I had a vision that was slightly different to what people commonly refer to as "women's intuition". It's the ability, which I think all people have, to see what people's true natures are. To be able to look behind the facades and pretenses that people put up. Sometimes it was the ability to see things about people, such as experiences. I'm not sure how discerning I am anymore. The world has gotten infinitely more complex in a short space of time, and I am no longer the person I was. I've more or less come to the definite that I don't possess the aforementioned "women's intuition". For me, it seems to be clouded by misinterpretations, latent conspiracy theories and probably moments of sheer insanity. It used to pain me to see people walking down the street. I saw too much. I stopped looking so carefully, for my own well-being. It's no good being a nervous wreck before you've even gotten into work. But men are an interesting species. I once had a boyfriend who visibly reacted to men he could see were being sleazy towards me. It was a dog-like instinct that I was very much in awe of, and at the very least, flattered by. I had the situation with an ex-boyfriend where he'd always call when I was spending time with another man. I always found it strange, that he somehow "knew". Which makes me wonder: are men psychic? They definitely get a monthly premenstrual moodiness, fixed on some internal cycle of their own. Hm. Something to consider. I've been writing all day and have hit the 42k mark. It's good. The only reasonable instinct, apart from survival (which, even that is slightly suspect), I seem to have is a creative intuition. The dilemma I had yesterday seemed to vanish the more I typed. There was a reason for all of the unconnected sections, and it becomes more apparent with each passing day. Thank fuck. Mood: Speculative Listening to: yet again "Club Tropicana" - Wham

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

April SPAMness

S*P*A*M Magazine: The Icon & April Fools Issue - it's out now! You can pick up a copy at most decent pubs and bars around Brighton, ie Druids, Pressure Point, Riki Tiks. (Not that I'm saying any of these establishments are decent.) I've got 2 pieces in this month's issue: an interview with Tom from the Autobots & a retrospective on Hunter S Thompson. For all those living outside of Brighton/UK or simply too lazy to leave the house, click on the below link to download the magazine. GIVE ME SPAMNESS OR GIVE ME DEATH Those monkeys at Zero Culture accidentally left their site open and I took advantage. They will probably shut it down as soon as one of them reads my email. *I know this is the same message as my email (for those of you whose email I have) but what can I say? I'm lazy. Anyways, enjoy!

Why it's no longer safe to travel in your own country.

Drug carriers beware: it has emerged that train stations in London and throughout the South coast of England are being equipped with drug dogs. I've also been told that police can stop to check your bags. I'm not advocating drug use, but I think people should be aware of what's going on. Specific mention was made of Victoria station, but I assume it's happening throughout London. Is it a war on terror or an inward war on the people? Mood: Busy Listening to: "Overneath" - Aquasky

The morning after

Last night was writer's group, and now I'm wondering what to do with NOVEL. A lot of good feedback flew my way, but I'm scratching my head. Do I make a u-turn? This would make writing a lot easier. I also gleaned a useful bit of info from Ed, who said writing the second half of his novel was easier, because he got out of Brighton and into Brazil, which is where his novel is set. It occured to me that I was limiting myself by seeing the plot's high point the escape, when maybe there's more to the story beyond that. There's a theory about problem-solving that Nobel Laureate and mathematical genius John Nash came up with. Trying to solve problems is like climbing mountains. If you can't climb the first one, try a different mountain. From that vista point, you can look back and see the top of the first mountain you couldn't climb. I'm also feeling a little fragile today. I nursed my one glass of wine for hours. I didn't want to get too drunk. Despite having 1 large + 1 small, I'm feeling like I drank about 2 bottles of wine. Is it possible to periodically develop the Asian intolerance for alcohol? It's Easter holidays so no class for me today. Over a fry up for breakfast, I was reading a new free Brighton zine called "Good/Bad Brighton". It takes different aspects, shops, features of Brighton and breaks down everything that's good and bad about it. Simple, but addictive. Like Minesweeper. Like the Argus. Sick. On the NOVEL front, I'm stuck for a name. At the moment, it's called "Hamburgers", which was name of the short story the NOVEL developed out of. But "Hamburgers" is a stupid name. It sounds like some American teen B-movie from the '70s. I considered "Hunt for Dark Matter", but that has no connection to the book and sounds a little Sean Connery and "Hunt for Red October". Maybe one will come to me in a dream. Speaking of which, I had the best dream last night. I was eating pizza and drinking margaritas. Then I was at a hotel with a big swimming pool and jacuzzi. I keep dreaming about hotels, which means only one thing. I really want to go on holiday. Mood: Foggy Listening to: "Elevated" - Earth, Wind & Fire

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

New job

The spell has broken: I got a job! Yesterday was my first day of work, and I could barely get to sleep the night before. It was like being a kid again, anxiously awaiting the first day of school. Unfortunately, my excitement has translated into apprehension. After being burned so many times in past jobs, I automatically worry about getting into a bad situation. Not good. I was so pleased to be working in a functional office. I thanked the IT guy ten times for sorting out my computer. I'm so used to having to sort out my own IT problems. The job entails facilitating forums for NHS trusts, which consist of local people who are able to contribute on how health services are run and delivered. It's along the lines of what I've been doing, but I'm doing a quick catch up on the local health services. I think it will keep me busy. Started reading Coetzee's "Disgrace", which I've been meaning to read for ages. I hope I'm never unemployed for so long. It pains me to think of the frustration and depression people experience when in long-term unemployment. Even though I was doing a lot of writing, it was harrowing not having anywhere to go. If it weren't for my classes, I wouldn't have had so much structure to my days. Someone's written on my dry erase board..."Friday: turn head inside out" Don't let the monkeys in your room. As soon as I get my first paycheck, I'm going to buy a new print cartridge and start getting enquiry letters out to agents. The longer I put it off, the longer I have to hear people (friends, strangers, dogs, etc) reminding me to do it. Enough - I'm on the case. Hoping the daffodils are pushing up for you! It's a late spring here and the flowers are hesitant to commit their winter coats to storage. I'd do it too, if only I could work out how to remove paint from my jacket. I'm worried if I try to dab white spirit on, my army green jacket will suddenly turn into a tie-dyed monstrosity. Urgh. I wish I wasn't so careless. Tip: don't lean against a freshly painted door.