Saturday, March 25, 2006

In retrospect clicking on this link at work was probably a mistake

From the popbitch issue that informed me of what a polecat is (it's a nocturnal weasel not a cat, and a prairie dog's a rodent) I came across the following.
Find out what happens to breasts when girls run:

An unusual Saturday post

Unusual in the sense of there aren't very many Saturday posts, as opposed to this a particularly unusual post of itself.

Now I must admit that I have on occasions walked down the train tracks. I've never really considered this to be a dangerous occupation. Of course I've never been trying to write a text message as I walked down the tracks, but still if I did I would still feel fairly safe. Of course I'm not deaf, and by that I mean I'm not the (no longer) reigning Miss Deaf Texas. (This only got as far as a chortle, although I did laugh when a friend asked so who is Miss Deaf Texas now — a question that needs answering, I think you'll agree.)

This is not bias it's very simple: protesting a war that started three years ago and is now incredibly unpopular is just not very interesting so that's why the BBC didn't report it. It's not like the war is still going on, what is happening now is that we've stirred up all sorts of shit in Iraq and have to hang around until at least some of it dies down. Of course, whether the troops continuing presence is increasing the friction or calming the nerves is a whole 'nother matter. One which deserves serious thought as opposed to knee jerk reactions, so not much hope on that front then.

Maybe I'll leave the office and go and watch Inside Man this afternoon.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Reason number 713 why the author is going to hell

This story made me laugh. And not just smile or chortle but actually laugh out loud a couple of times. I found it particularly amusing that the TV show was called A Challenge to the Heart.

Like I said I'm a bad person and I'm going to be toasty for eternity.

In other news, I saw V for Vendetta this weekend. On the plus side Natalie Portman's attempt at an English accent was marginally less irritating than I thought it was going to be. Actually I thought the film had a lot of plus sides, of course I haven't read Alan Moore's version yet so maybe after I do I'll think less of the film. It was kind of fun though, as long as one didn't go in expecting a really frantic action packed film or something terribly deep and meaningful I think they'd generally enjoy it. Of course anybody who goes to see Hollywood films expecting them to be terribly deep and meaningful is going to come away disappointed a lot of times.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The "Are you married?" post

In the morning I wake up, have a shower, drink some orange juice — or grapefruit, sometimes — and then start my stroll to work. There are days however when for one reason, or another, there is no juice in the house and I have to start the walk un-juiced. Yesterday was one such day.

On such occasions I usually stop in at the United Dairy Farmers on High Street (the one at 12th, not the one at 1st — that one is my PBR UDF, not my juice UDF) and pick up a juice based drink. Yesterday I managed to select my juice beverage from the refrigerator and was at the counter, or till if you prefer, trying to purchase the item. Before I continue, I should probably point out that at this point in the day I'm generally about 70-80% asleep. Anyhow, the girl behind the counter noticed I had an accent and asked me where I was from, the conversation went something like this:
"Where in England?"
"London! I have some friends Essex..."
"London? Are you married?", shouts a girl on the other side of store restocking some shelves.
"Yeah, if I was still pretending I liked boys and not girls I'd hit on you too" says the counter girl.
"Right" says Ryan, and walks, read shambles, out of shop more than a little confused and befuddled.

As was pointed out to me last night, the correct response would have been to say "No" to the marriage girl and then turn back and say "Well we can try change that" to the counter girl.

Maybe next time. But somehow I doubt it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

With a smattering of sex, smut and innuendo

Actually this post doesn't really contain any of that, I just thought it would be amusing to write it and then have people's hopes and dreams crushed, under a giant stone. Well okay, I didn't really think that I just thought it would be amusing to write it and ...

You remember that Brit went to drunk camp last weekend, well this week he got to go and meet with his probation officer. What fun! Because he had high alcohol content in his breath test he now has to go for 'Alcohol Assessment', which entails going and speaking to some sort of analyst who decides whether you need to come back for a 14-16 week once a week course of therapy. This is therapy that if recommended is mandatory if you're not to violate the conditions of your probation and spend 57 days in jail. It is something of a scary system when you go and speak to someone for a couple of hours and then that person decides whether or not you need to come back for the full 16 week course, which is payable by you to them. What's more interesting is that you have the option to either pay $75 for the 2-hour assessment or pay nothing (depending on which of the state approved places you choose). So is it better to pay the money because the free place is more likely to recommend you so that they make some money off you? Or is it better to not pay the $75 as if you do they'll think you're willing to pay 16 more times? Umm.. I honestly don't know.

Ryan's quick film fill in (in the order which I saw them).
Firewall = Pile of old tosh. Didn't choose it and didn't pay for the tickets so can't really complain though.
Good Night, and Good Luck = Surprisingly good. I was initially put off by the Clooney factor, but it turns out to be a smart, compact little film about the McCarthy era and the power of the press. I do feel a little dirty liking a movie that George Clooney co-wrote and directed though.
Cache = Odd. Good. But odd. But good.
Night Watch = Not quite Russian enough, but quite enjoyable. And by not quite Russian enough I mean it looked a little too much like a Hollywood movie. The subtitles were fantastic though, eg. when someone was swimming in the pool with a nose bleed the red subtitles washed away as though they were written in blood in a pool.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Drinking and God
This weekend was Brit's three day getaway to the drunk class (yes, this was for his bicycle DUI). As I'd borrowed his car for the weekend I thought it only appropriate that when I picked up I brought him something. So I decided on a bottle of beer (naturally) and a copy of this book, Al-Anons Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions — which I found quite by accident whilst browsing through a used book store in Yellow Springs. I was very pleased with myself.

It was only when we read the twelve steps last night that I realised that Alcoholics Anonymous (and their strange offshoot Al-Anon) were a bunch of crazy religious folks. Yeah, I know sometimes I'm pretty unobservant. I thought they were just trying to help people who had drinking problems. Now I'd heard of the 12 Steps, but I had no idea what they were. That is until yesterday. (AA Lousiana has them up on this site.)

They start of pedestrian enough by getting you to admit you are powerless over alcohol, but from step 2, Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity., I started getting scared. Step 3 had me terrified with, Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him., I'm really not sure what the as we understood him part is about. After that it peters off into religiosity before steps 8 and 9: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. and Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.. Which sounds like one part rational and one part Isaac Asimov.

Ho hum, you learn a new thing every day I suppose.

Walking down the train tracks
Which is always fun. At least it's always fun if you've been properly indulging in activities that would make the AA people frown.

Jewish Propaganda
I had the misfortune to see On Wings of Eagles last night. It is one of those horribly pervasive (although thankfully not persuasive) infomercials that American TV (and increasingly British TV I imagine) is rife with. This one was paid for by an organisation called "International Fellowship of Christians and Jews" and was encouraging the audience to donate $350 to return a Jew to Israel (their words not mine). You can even donate on-line. The show itself was a mixture of old decrepit people looking miserable in the former Soviet Union, essentially racist comments about the Arabs (in particular how they are breeding too much), happy faces of contented Jewish folks in Israel and, of course, a liberal splash of biblical quotes interpreted as proof that God wanted Israel for the Jewish people and them alone. Suffice to say at one point in the show it featured Pat Robertson, a man for whom my contempt knows no bounds, waffling on about something or other. I don't know what he actually said as I was screaming abuse at the TV by that point. To cut a long story short the TV show part baffled and part terrified me, reminding me that that whole freedom of speech thing is, as always, a two-edged sword.

Ashley Cole
So there you are, one of those multi-millionaire footballers that the papers are so obsessed about and the News of the World suggests that maybe you like other boys, do you a) Sue them or b) Have a laugh at the story and light another Cuban cigar using a fifty pound note, just cause you can. Obviously if you're Ashley Cole the answer is a) and you're a twat. In fact you're so much of a twat that you get upset and think that Google, the company who said no to the American government when it wanted records, need to tell you why they link the word gay to Ashley Cole. Like I said Ashley Cole you're a twat and what's more with all this fuss I reckon you're probably gay as well. Which would all be kind of amusing if it weren't for the fact that Britain's only openly gay footballer (I think), Justin Fashanu, ended up committing suicide. Poor bastard. You're still a twat though Ashley.

Me not posting
Well, at least up until now it was.