Sunday, February 05, 2006

Antigua - Shirley Heights sunset 2There's nothing quite like sending out a bulk email to all the "other" people in my address book (well, elderly Excel file) only to have a third of the emails bounce instantly, is there? And this was without attempting to use any of the great many which helpfully still all end Even the PhDers who stayed on have finished by now.

Moral of this story: even if one happens to still have the same hotmail address (recently cleaned out; it's amazing how few of the eighteen hundred unread emails actually mattered. And it's even more amazing how pathetic Hotmail's spamfilters are; the messages didn't have to resort to dyslexia or l33t-speak) as one has had since the mid-nineties, it does not necessarily follow than an address last used at Christmas will still be valid.

And it's quire annoying that some of the bouncers are people I vaguely wanted to get in contact with (oh, and that whole Hollywood/American Media thing of X found out that their piano teacher was wanted for genocide in 4 states/Y discovered her husband has 12 other wives/Z found out that her date was heir to Acme Paperclip Company through Google - have you ever tried Googling anyone you know or knew? Unless they happen to be called Tallulah Sheluxlikarula*, you haven't a hope in hell. If you're lucky, you might find someone with that name selling bits off an old Land Rover in Farnborough, but then you've got the problems of trying to work out if A is the type of person to cannibalise Land Rovers, and if they would be likely to be in Farnborough).

* I'd swear that was in a song in Bugsy Malone, but Goolging for "She looks like a ruler" does rather suggest otherwise (although learning how to spell Tullalah might help [er, and I can't even get Tallulah right when I'm thinking about it, although that version is an improvement on my earlier "Tula". Look, I've had a weekend of struggling French, someone lapsing into Danish ("Whipping-boy" in Danish is a classic), played piggy in the middle in a German conversation, learnt which bits mean vowels in both Hebrew and Arabic, had someone try to teach me the Mandarin for what sounds like a banjo, watched a JPG'd French film with Greek subtitles far too late at night, had other people discussing the Hindi-Urdu-Persian continuum, and then had my brother ring up asking me how much tomato puree to put into bolognaise, which completely threw me as he was supposed to be coming here to eat the bolognaise I'd already cooked, which made me a little bit paranoid about whether or not I'd lost the ability to communicate in English. Which given my brain works on "default" and "other" all means my head is beginning to hurt, and I'm probably about to ay aitch-ref someone]).

Sorry, I'm tired, dehydrated, hungry, yet to lazy to buy proper food with actual nutrients in it, got a headache from one flatmate cremating enough incense to mask every smell west of Ulan Bator, worried about various things, but not actually doing them, realising I haven't actually left the building this weekend [a lie, but not by much] and wondering why my computer is being so strange.

But in other news, the heating now works again [said he feeling the radiator only to find it's cold. Uh oh]. On Friday night it was off a few floors up the building. Come Saturday and the entire bottom half of the building didn't have any heat, although cunning highly-illegal, potentially-dangerous use of the oven, stopped it getting too cold, as did leaving on everything vaguely electrical in my room. Huzzah for internal heat gains, and for inclusive rent.

My response to having no heating was:
- Draw the curtains for about the first time since moving in. Briefly popping out made me aware that it was obvious which part of the building didn't have heat as of all the rooms with lights on only those below a certain level uniformly had their curtains drawn.
- Go and buy essentials. These include: rum, raisins, candles [plus mayonnaise, pickled beetroot, fabric conditioner, the last of the half-price bagels (anyone else been living off those?), mango chutney, sugar, lemon juice, milk. Look, I may have a car, but it's two hours away, and I haven't quite got my head round having it here, so instead I have to heft everything back, so if I'm going I may as well carry heavy things when I haven't got potatoes to lug as well].
- Go to buy essentials using the Tube (well, my transport decision making strategy consists of seeing if there's a bus in sight, and if not carrying on to the Tube station) making full soporific use of the inefficiencies of the electric motors (is the heat from conversion losses, or is it simply from all the people?). And why the hell is the up escalator at Oxburrow so cold? Every time there's a howling draught screaming down from the street grating one's eyes and cheeks as it goes.
- Buy thoroughly pointless Euromillions lottery ticket (at 19.33 by my watch), because I was feeling impulsive and rather depressingly realised that despite overwhelmingly unfeasible odds, it represented the most probable means of me ever having £125 million (and because the whole "from a flat without heating, to house in a climate where one doesn't need heating" aspect would make good headlines, even if it's a slight misrepresentation of the truth, and I wouldn't exactly want advertise how much money I might have). Memo to self: restrict future impulsiveness to reduced bakery items, which while less likely to lead to great riches [just think what a hot cross bun would have to do to someone to be worth an eighth of a billion in damages. Unless it was a very fortunate chocolate and toffee pieces fortune cookie] are significantly far more probable sources of gains, albeit low-level, short-term and potentially solely to my waist size.
- Cart said essentials back and up several flights of stairs. Heavy load, plus slightly overdressed, plus a little bit unfit (although I can normally beat the lifts. The lifts are therefore crap) plus yeigh [how does one spell "yay" as if demonstrating displacement with hands?] many metres equals rather warm by the time I dump the shopping on the floor (where much of it has stayed).
- Cook, which added to the omnipresent oven means I end up fairly well done, as well as most of the flat being reasonably warm and smelling slightly of onions.
- Return to room to discover it's not that cold, as I grew up with in a house which fluctuated a fair bit (acres of single glazing and a kaput radiator valve, which drained the radiator whenever it was adjusted, will do that), habitually used to leave my window open in Exeter, lived for a while in house without any form of heating, and in an uninsulated attic room in my brother's flat (which did have heating fitted, but neither of the other people in the flat believed in it), and have been in Scouts and doing psuedo-scoutsy stuff long enough to discover the joys of youth hostels which thought glass (or any other material which might impede the flow of air) was a luxury and the thrill of packing ice-laden tents.
- Get out candles in preparation for using them as heating, only to realise that the sodding cooker is electric and I don't smoke. I contemplate trying to use the element in a toaster to light one, but decide I'll wait for the first icicle to appear before I do.

The heating's come back on with a bang. Literally. And quite a shudder too.

Hurrah! I've got frozen peas! Sorry, only just remembered, and my body's been craving anything which isn't bread (and bolognaise). I must learn that just because it's reduced does not mean I have to buy it. And yes, Morrisson's may reduced everything to nine-pence, compared to a local Sainsbury minimum of 19 p (for some reason some branches only go down to 20 or 25 pence, which is annoying as I know one which regularly marks everything as 10 p as soon as they start reducing, rather than the endless rounds of management sanctioned 10%, 20% and finally 30% off. It's always entertaining when you see the someone has put to their time, and thus the company's money, into taking three-pence of the price of something which they'll have to pay to dispose of anyway), but just because it's cheaper does not mean I need more than what I've already bought, which still is too much.

Anyway, I probably ought to be doing something - and I'm suddenly aware just how cliched that is, having been reading new, and plugged by two blogs I read, Infinite Muppets, which has some good stuff, once you get past the swearing (would anyone find is amusing if I said "They're a load of dearth plethoras. It's all dearth. The plethoraing dearths..."? It's just words. Or is swearing massive?).

Point of order (what? It was an answer in Grauniad's quick crossword in the copy of G2 I found abandoned on the Tube): Mr Muppet contends that "Do you think ANY of you could refer to the (damn fine and very beautiful) film Brokeback Mountain* without resorting to the phrase 'gay cowboy movie'?"

Er, I thought I did, and I managed to avoid using gay, cowboy or movie (ok, so I used gay, but with a different meaning), although I did also make heavy use of the phrase "damn fine". So can any of you describe the film without making use of the words "damn fine"?

Oh wait, Az already did.

I am of course aware that the above sounds a bit childish (nowt wrong wit'at), and hence I. Muppet will probably rip the piss out of it if he ever finds it (and do we think he will? Well, he's a self publicist, and I'm not, which probably explains why he'll be onto his four-hundred-thousandth visitor before I get to 15,000). But one shouldn't ask questions if one doesn't want them answered, should one?

By the way, all questions in this blog are rhetorical - until someone answers them, but the chances of that happening are fairly low, given certain people can recognise magicians they've passed in the night while standing in Covent Garden, yet be stumped when asked "where is this" of a picture of Covent Garden. And that, ladies and gentlemen (although I think my readership has a small bias towards the latter), was why that daft guessing game went on so long, because the person I assumed would get it instantly didn't, which meant the postcard of triumph had to be delayed until heavy hinting lead someone else there. Oh, and Stuttgarter #1, if you actually want your prize, an address might be helpful, unless rumours that you're coming to collect it in person prove true.

And now I really must do something else,


Well? Re: last post, was I right? Do i get a merit? :P
But is the expressed air at the same temperature on exiting the nostrils as it would be on leaving the mouth?
Hmmm....*scratches head* Well, yes, it would still come out at body temperature, it cant be cooler, well not so cool as to not cause any condensation.
Alors! Je ne sais pas, mais, je pense que je suis correct, non?
Why can't it be colder? And what do you mean when you say "body temperature"?

Mais, je ne connais pas les temperatures exactement dans les poumons, et tu [ou peut-etre vous - et je peut me rappeler les fins des verbes plus facilement pour vous que tu, donc je vais utiliser vous] as/avez écrit quelque chose que est assez vrai. Alors je vous donnerai un point de maison.
Howdo -

Bit harsh, wasn't it?

All the best,

PS - Please note lack of profanity above.
PPS - Shit, cunt, fuck, piss, soapy titwank
Harsh: Me or the film?

[Is it a good thing to forget what one wrote? A quick rereading later…]

I suppose you might mean me.

Self-publicist: I might have misunderstood the bottom of this.

PS. Duly noted.

PPS. Sodding hell, you cunting wankstained bastard. I've been trying so fucking hard not to swear on this arseburger site and then a bloody gobshite like you comes and buggers me sideways with your bollocks. I don't know what I'll do if, through losing my "fun and games for all the family status", I lose the 3 visitors MSN sends me every month. Though MSN's crap anyway.

Now sod off you turd.

[Not completely off, you understand, as I do need someone to replace the people thick enough to use MSN, although after this I'm not sure you're quite right].
Ah, your first 'this', from Casino Avenue. Yeh, I think you might have misunderstood what he'd written. He was slagging off the link exchange thing (whatever that is, I'm new to this) and then saying that it wasn't all bad, coz there was stuff out there that he liked (including the muppets).

At least I think that's what he was saying, especially as we did exchange mails, doffed mutual caps in respect etc.

Hope that clears it up and we've not fallen out.

Now, fuck off

Damn these people with their ability to read more than one meaning into a set of words. I took it more as "despite sending out link exchange emails he's actually worth linking to". Ok, so maybe, just maybe, you're right.

Fallen out: What were we in?

Me fuck off? It's my site, so fuck you.
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