Monday, October 24, 2005
There was no link to it on the main search engine so I typed in ‘Gmail’ and was taken to a news link that said
Internet search leader Google has been forced to change the name of its free Gmail email service in Britain after failing to secure the necessary trademark.
‘Google has been sparring with UK financial research company Independent International Investment Research (IIIR) since launching Gmail on April 1, 2004 and shaking up the free email market by offering large amounts of storage for free. Starting Thursday, British users who sign up for Gmail, which has been in a "beta" trial phase since its launch last year, will receive addresses ending in "googlemail.co.uk" rather than "gmail.com." The two companies have been in heated negotiations to settle the dispute, but they have been unable to reach an agreement.’
Anyway, I sign up for a Google account only to find out ‘Googlemail’ is invitation only, so that’s as far as I got. I’ve emailed a few people recently and if you’ve not got my mail then I can only apologise and blame NTL, its not me ignoring you!
‘On Saturday, the show won the ratings war with BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing for the second consecutive week - with an average of 8.1m viewers compared to 7m for the BBC talent contest’
I guess that pretty much sum’s up that the nation are avid reality tv fans and that light entertainment is now firmly in second place. After following a link to another news segment I mentioned that the recent American X-factor pulled in an amazing 31 million viewers for the final back in May of this year.
I’ve always been a fan of reality t.v but my thoughts of late dwell on where it’s actually going to go? Will it become an integral part of today’s telly and remain for good or will the current surge of interest end? Time will tell.
That night I went across to dad’s with Dave my mate, the plan being to have a top night out in the town where my dad lives, it never happened. Firstly Dave was late and began to moan he had a cold, then when we got to dads instead of going out straight away we ended up installing a dvd drive on his pc and installing some new software, by the time we got out it was nearly 9pm and I was quite pissed off.
Dad had promised the landlord in his local a hard drive after he asked if we could get him a free one, as Dave works in an IT job it was no problem, so we took the free hard drive in, only to get a vexed expression in return from the landlord. I asked if it was ok and he shrugged ‘I really meant a pc, but a free one’. You could have knocked me down with a feather, the cheeky beggar!
Anyway, we stopped for beer or two and this large bloke perched at one end the bar started to get aggressive with the landlord, as we looked on at the ensuing scene he turned to us and said ‘what are you looking at !?’ then began to turn his abuse our way, we all kept cool and in due course he wobbled off towards another pub but by then the night was soured.
Instead of staying over at dad’s Dave took his cold home and I ended up taking a walk to a Chinese take away feeling like my one night out in a blue moon had been wasted, oh well !
Sunday, I gave dad a bit of tutoring on his pc before he drove me home, I joked as he dropped me off home that it wasn’t Wembley stadium outside my flat, alas I tempted fate and the little imps returned to play football.
Friday, October 21, 2005
If his films are as good as some of his songs, then we are in for a surreal treat, a tour de force of the dark side of a mad genius’s imagination.
Oh yes, and I just had to find a photo with his gorgeous girlfriend Dita Von Teese on it !!
Whatever happened Pulp front man Jarvis Cocker?
Where is the angular, slender and very iconic pop star? Where are those working class anthems he used to do? Songs with lyrics that tell a story to a jaunty tune that you just can’t get out of your head, songs of peaceful rebellion and real life love?
Come back Jarvis, this country needs you!
1 - The Passions – I’m in love with a German film star
2 - Heaven 17 – Temptation
3 - Blondie – Atomic
4 - Visage – Fade to grey
5 - The Stranglers – Golden Brown
6 - Kraftwerk – The Model
7 - Human League – Don’t you want me (baby)
8 - B-Movie – Nowhere girl
9 - Vision – Lucifer’s friend
10 - Duran Duran – Union of the Snake
11 - Men without hats – Safety Dance
12 - The Associates – Party fears two
13 - New Order – Blue Monday
14 - Teardrop Explodes – Reward
15 - Gang of Four – I love a man in uniform
16 - Siouxsie and the Banshee’s – Happy house
17 - All About Eve – What kind of fool
18 - Kajagoogoo – Big apple
19 - Falco – Rock Me Amadeus
20 - Gary Numan – Cars
21 - Belouis Some – Imagination
22 - Sisters of Mercy – This corrosion
23 - Adam and the Ants – Antmusic
24 - Spear of Destiny – Never take me alive
25 - Frankie goes to Hollywood – Two tribes
26 - Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Geno
27 - The Adventures – One step from heaven
28 - Department S - Is Vic there?
29 - INXS – Never tear us apart
30 - The Go-Go's - Our lips are sealed
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
My dad has finally entered the realm of personal computers, work was selling off some cheap ones for £80 and they were very good for the money so I grabbed dad one. I was over at dads at the weekend taking him through his first tentative steps on the pc, it was quite funny really but then it struck me that although dad doesn’t know how to use a pc he can strip and rebuild an engine, something I cannot do, it was a classic case of the generation gap, things being more hands on in dads day.
One thing that’s bugging me is the amount of junk mail I’m getting via Mr Postman, when I had to sign for a parcel the other day I asked why I was getting so much of it and he replied he gets paid extra for the leaflets he posts, good for him I say but a waste on resources really, plus they always get binned by me, its sort of reality spam.
My psychotherapy certificate arrived yesterday, so that closes that chapter, I was surprised it was level 3, the last part of the diploma being level 2, so I was a happy bunny. Of course now I have to go and get a counselling type job but in truth I’d rather be a film extra, backpacker or a multitude of others that flit through my mind daily.
Oh yes, I had a huge hangover at the weekend too, thanks go out to Holsten pils for that!
Friday, October 14, 2005
Well my little slice of self history goes back about four or so years ago when I was in the middle of a rapidly declining two year relationship. After being made redundant from my job at the brewery I decided to go to college and get some formal IT skills in certificate form, after all breweries aren’t ten a penny in towns. Being a student at 30-something was a lot of fun, it brought out the inner child within me and got the creative juices flowing, within no time I was doing a spoof college newspaper, getting into lots of trouble and loving it. It’s all well and good being mature and sensible but if there’s one thing my psychotherapy background has taught me it’s that the inner child is always present, I’ve never shunned my inner child, its part of who I am.
Anyway, whilst in college library one day in walked the most cute little thing, flowing brown hair, curvy, a mona lisa type of face and lips that offered a thousand kisses – from that moment I was smitten. I tried not to stare but soon she was having problems with her pc so I did the gallant thing and helped out. Her voice was gentle, her manner shy and coy just talking to her my legs were shaking. She explained she was just there to take a test to see if she could get on a course at the college. I had to drag myself away from her, she was intoxicating, she took the test and left, my heart sank - would I see her again? I recall the vision as she left, she had a creamy woollen top on, a long formal skirt and a lovely round face, her shoulders were framed by a mass of thick chestnut brown tangled hair clasped into a loose ponytail. Some would say she looked frumpy, to me she was an angel.
Several weeks passed and then one morning when I sauntered into the college reception and she was there, my heart nearly leapt through my chest when she smiled at me in recognition, from that moment the chase was on. Needless to say the past moment in the library when I’d helped her had paid dividends. Soon we were sharing laughter in the canteen at lunchtime, going for walks in the nearby woods after, tentatively clutching hands - I was drowning in a sea of love. It was school boy stuff, only here I was in my thirties, the last thing on my mind was sex, I was just awestruck.
Then the darkness came, people see other people happy and want to change it, they want tears and misery because they don’t have the same, envy turns to jealousy and then the lies begin. Several unsavoury characters and certain people I’d pissed off with my spoof college newspaper began to exact revenge. It was easy for them really; Deb was a family girl, very naïve to say she was in her late twenties so she quickly fell victim to the untruths and deceit. She seemed to be spending a lot of time with a tutor who’d fixed her pc, he seemed pretty harmless and not being the jealous type I didn’t think much of it.
Soon after it was nearing time to leave college and Deb’s course was ending too, she took me for a final walk in the sunny filterd woods after lunch and ended what we had. She walked back and I remained staring at the trees, tears cascading down my face, so hot I thought they’d burn rivulets in my cheeks.
We both left college, the last week being agony as we hardly spoke but then to my joy I started receiving emails from her and things suddenly looked up. On leaving college I’d got a crappy job in Nottingham proof reading for a publisher, the job sucked and my retina’s felt burnt out at the end of each day, Deb was on my mind 24/7 and at work I used to craft emails to her in my head then send them later, even though my eyes stung. A few weeks after we met again, kissed softly and hugged, nothing more happened, I didn’t want it to, she was like a vase of purity that I didn’t want to break. We began to spend more time together, mainly Saturday’s, each encounter at my place led to us immersing ourselves in each other. We’d not made love yet but we’d come close.
Soon after I got my present job, the wage was good and it was close to where I lived, I would type Deb long emails whilst at work, it was a nice time. Then one weekend she told me she wanted to stay the whole weekend, spend more time with me, I was floating with excitement. When she arrived she seemed fine, and then as I leaned in to kiss her she pushed me aside before going to the toilet and locking herself in, sobbing uncontrollably. Despite my pleas she stayed put so I waited at the top of the stairs, musing what I’d done wrong. She came out and sat beside me, tried to force a smile and then clutched my trembling hand. She told me she had something to tell me, something terrible and that after I would not want to know her at all. Ashen faced I nodded and then she began.
It turned out that she’d being seeing the tutor who had fixed her pc, they’d been on several innocent dates and she saw him as someone that would help her build her confidence but on her last date with him things had gone wrong. They been out for a meal and then gone back to his, he’d put a video on and then plied her with cider. Later when she wanted to go home he made the excuse he couldn’t drive and she could sleep in the spare room but on helping her upstairs he sprang his trap and began to forcibly kiss her. He then guided her into the bedroom and had his way, she recalled she just froze at the time, it was over quickly and he fell asleep, she huddled and cried until the morning. When morning came he took her home, they sat in silence in the car like nothing had ever happened, flatly she told him she would not see him anymore, he drove away.
As the story ended every ounce of life had left me, I lay on my stomach and began to cry, hiding my head in my arms but my tears soon turned to rage, I was thumping the landing so hard my knuckles bled, on that landing, on that night my world collapsed. I’m not used to anger and when you aren’t it consumes you totally, rationality leaves you, it’s like an out of body experience. Eventually I calmed down, she was crying too, then she led me to the bedroom and the unexpected happened as she said ‘ make love to me Jay’. Amazed I turned to her and said ‘why?’ she replied ‘because I want to know what real love feels like – real love Jay.
A night of uncontrollable love making followed, as we entwined with each other and became tangled in the sheets, we paused only to cry or drink water, it was passion like I’ve never felt or known, it was sweeter than the sounds of summer.
Our real relationship began then and those first months were magical, weekends filled with laughter and lovemaking, it was as good as it gets – I was such a happy hobbit.
But read on my friends the tale does not end there.
When you love someone utterly you tend to be oblivious, you give all of yourself and nothing else matters, love after all should be unconditional.
That’s when things started to go wrong, I gave to much, became complacent and that’s when Deb began to take advantage. I recall seeing an offer on two mobile phones, back when they weren’t cheap, so I decided to buy two matching ones. On showing them Deb she wasn’t impressed, they just weren’t good or expensive enough. Then later at Christmas I spent over £400 on presents for her, Christmas morning came and she opened them ‘it’s not much is it?’ she said without emotion opening her sixth present. Soon after it was her birthday and I decided to do something impressive, a new restaurant had opened in town so I rang and booked a table. The night of her birthday came and we walked into the new restaurant, Deb was on my arm and I felt on cloud nine.
‘I booked a table for two back on Wednesday’ I said to the maitre-de
He again asked for my name and added it wasn’t there, I laughed and said there must be some mistake, he looked again and confirmed that my name wasn’t present. I turned open mouthed to Deb but she was already storming out the door. Hastening after her she began wailing theatrically and stomping her feet – how could I do this to her on her birthday!?
In an attempt to calm her down I suggested another new place across town that was supposed to be good, I calmed her down and coaxed her there but to my horror they were fully booked. Getting outside her screams filled the busy street, was this my Deb? The she announced it was over, she was calling her dad to pick her up. I recall everyone was looking at our scene, grinning at the misery on my face. As she stormed to a phone box I noticed a nearby Indian restaurant that I used to frequent and in a last ditch effort I managed to persuade her to go there. She did so but reluctantly, she still told me it was over and that after the meal she would leave. Composing myself I recognised one of the Indian waiters, slipping him a crisp tenner I told him to lay it on thick with the service and bring the champagne on in the silverware ice trolley, he did so and did me proud. Before long she was playing footsie with me under the table and laughing. I was left feeling stunned yet sympathetic to her outrage; I put it down to just drawing bad cards on the night but her sudden mood swings were beginning to puzzle me.
After that, things didn’t get any easier, Deb became more confident, made more decisions and I became more passive but still eager to please. I knew I was fast reaching a point where I couldn’t meet her demands, whatever I did just wasn’t good enough. I had a heart to heart with a confidante at work and she said to me ‘Jay, it sounds like this relationship is making you more sadder then happy’ – she was right but I still didn’t want to end it.
As time passed and Deb and I reflected on the past I began to notice several holes in her story about her night with the tutor, so in a drunken rage I rang him and demanded answers, he seemed surprised by my accusations and vehemently denied them; adding Deb was more than willing.
My whole life was descending into apathy, nothing I did was ever right and I felt worthless, my self esteem hit rock bottom and I couldn’t handle Deb’s mood swings.
Some time later Deb had shall we say a ‘female’ problem with her downstairs and that ruled sex out, we spent less time together, I tried to visit and support her through her ordeal but I was shunned, she thought she had something seriously wrong with her and feared the worst. Time passed, we chatted on the phone almost daily but we knew it was over, instead of visiting she’d make excuses, she said she was having a time out and staying at a hotel retreat but several weeks earlier I’d found a text from a fella on her mobile. Yes as you probably guessed, the end came, she dumped me over the phone and I never saw or heard from her again, she lived several miles away so at least I wouldn’t have the pain of bumping into her again, with or without a new fella.
So, the end brings us to my friends blog, where she looked back and reflected, saw she was being used and wanted to share her painful past with us, her disclosure has to be admired and respected – how brave she really is.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Let’s face it, a high percentage of Americans want to be actors, a fact their own media and films highlight often. America is probably the biggest promoter of reality telly and of course the actors wouldn’t be moaning if they got a slot fronting a reality tv show! Personally I think reality tv happens to be a phase the television industry is going through and in due course the excitement over it and the current reality show trends will settle down but lets not forget the positive side of reality tv.
The positives to me outweigh the negatives, shows like international wife swap often conclude with both families having learned and gained something from the cultural cross exchange that takes place, not only do they make friends from it, they also realise their own short fallings and rectify them. How can shows like this be a bad thing? Of course there are other shows that depict obvious benefits and show social and psychological personal improvements, show’s such as ‘Bad Lad’s Army’ and the recent 1950’s holiday camp one which offer people a fascinating insight into our recent past. Programme’s like this show visual improvement in people as they realise the constraints of the past and what people had to endure so thus through hardships thus we see personal growth and improvement, no bad thing in today’s trashy society (ok I like trashy). There’s a lot of other show’s I could mention, the driving school ones, the cookery ones but the thing is, as people we can relate to them, we can identify with driving school shows and quip at how we made the same mistakes during lessons. The bulk of non celeb reality shows are interesting socio-psychological experiments with more often than not positive out comes for all concerned.
The beauty of reality tv is that it offers the chance for joe public to volunteer, to become the actor/actress, there’s no affiliation to actors guilds or acting school qualifications needed, just a personality, and joe public often shines through to make top entertainment. I often wonder how many times characters have been told by other people in life ‘your funny or talented – you should be on the telly’? At least reality tv gives the masses a chance to shine, it’s a forum.. Ironically its wannabe actors that are trying to get on reality tv to get noticed, I refer to the recent Makosi big brother revelation when it was leaked she was actually with a talent agency.
Ok, so there’s a lot of crap reality tv show’s on the box right now but lets take the ones like I’ve mentioned and embrace the fact that they are an insightful look into the human psyche and generally something we can all learn from as well as have a light hearted giggle at and not take too seriously. When I watched the X factor at the weekend I had a lump in my throat as the hopefuls made it through the final and when show’s like that evoke empathy and put us in touch with our emotions, that’s got to be a positive, Seeing people get on in life instead of resenting it like the cynics and critics has to be admired in anybody.
Friday, October 07, 2005
I rate Dominik Diamond, I like his fresh, witty and forthright column in the Daily Star plus the stuff he does for computer magazines etc. I’ve always thought he was cool since his Gamesmaster days on Channel 4 when he was almost always sublimely sardonic with the guests and contestants. In his recent Wednesday column in the Daily Star he mentioned how British family seaside resorts are dying a slow deaths due to yobs on stag weekends and tacky boozers. I grinned when he mentioned the Australian theme bars known as ‘Walkabout Inn’s’ because I work for them in an indirect capacity and I personally think they suck. I remember on the first date with my ex, we were in Nottingham and before she caught the train home we decided to have a drink down by the river Trent. We stumbled upon a Jongleurs comedy bar which are actually owned by Regent Inn’s who also run the Walkabout pubs. On entering we were greeted by a throng of vociferous rugby player types all competing in some pant dropping game, not my idea of a first date location but how was I to know! The drinks prices were hideous and the toilets were verging on medieval. Dominik was right in his column, Walkabout bars are naff, totally and utterly naff, I’m sure they reflect nothing of what a real Australian pub is like. That’s the thing with these big pub chains these days, they are killing the individuality of pubs by making them generic homes for beer quaffing yobs who think they are somewhere stylish.
It makes you giggle sometimes how the press sensationalise things at times. I refer to ex big brother star Jade Goody who headlined the tabloids this week with an alleged shoplifting incident. After the hullabaloo has died down it seems the millionairess was just involved in a misunderstanding with shop staff and no charges are being made. A lot of people sneer and mock Jade but you can’t fault her for her fame, all she did was volunteer for a reality tv show and happen to do well out of it. I’ll admit a lot of the people that go on big brother have no talent at all, they are wannabe’s (alot of us are) but Jade has that common touch people relate too, she’s not a smart arse, she’s just working class girl that’s done good and enjoying life, which is something most of us crave.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Also worth a mention to fellow Kiss fans is the Kiss Expo is coming to Nottingham Rock City on Saturday November 19th. Kiss drummer Eric Singer will be making an appearence as well as Kiss tribute band 'Dressed to Kill'. There's also a Kiss podcast site I've found though sadly it's subcriber service though very good still for Kiss news.
Kiss Expo link: http://kissexpo.co.uk/
Kiss Podcast link: http://www.kisspodcast.com/
Dressed to Kill link : http://www.dressed-to-kill.co.uk/page-welcome/page-welcome.htm
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Marv’s story aside, Sin City is a brooding noir ballet of bullets and scantily clad broads, in short, Sin City is my top film of the moment, I could even be bold and make a sweeping statement and say of all time. Sin city is a comic book pumped with steroids and unleashed onto the big screen with a cast of film gods and angels. It’s lurid, its sublime, its sardonic and perverse – a collection of class vignette’s where the rain always falls and the sun never rises. Sin City is a place where the characters are more crooked than the alleyways and the dame’s are dangerous, it’s a city of escapism, it’s a movie triumph. Mr Rodriguez I salute you. Did I gush enough?
Anyway I’m going shopping to Asda after work so I gotta back to reality and do my grocery list.
The company I work for has decided in their infinite wisdom to get the Matrix style Agent Smith boys in the I.T dept to crack down and censor what websites workers can access. Whilst I understand what they are trying to do I also things it’s damn petty too. Working shifts like I do the internet has been a saviour, it’s kept me ticking over and entertained in those dull moments when I can relax, surf, pay bills, read other blogs and look at pvc lingerie. Luckily I can still access my blog because the men in black suits (not pvc) in I.T don’t realise I know Neo and can still access the matrix! Makes you wonder though how much the corporate big brother is actually watching you. The next job I want is an ice cream man, because even if the van breaks down people will walk to it to buy ice creams – well that’s my theory anyway. So the picture above is dedicated to the guys in I.T !