Listening to: Night of the Wolverine – Dave Graney & the Coral Snakes (ah, definitely one of the twenty sexiest songs of the ’90s)

This book intrigues/excites me – Flow : the cultural story of menstruation. Not only the subject matter, but I’ve heard/read universally good things about it so far (unlike, say, Cunt, which could also have been cool but which no one in the world – including me – actually liked).

Today it was too rainy to go walking…but I went, anyway. My poor sneakers are never going to dry. The lure of the closed bridge was too great:

<img src="Closed to traffic but not feet.” alt=”” />

I think I’ve given up on being London’s foremost super-explorer, though, and am settling into using my week for crafty/reacreational-academic endeavours. I’ve been studying today – I decided the best way to teach myself Dutch (that again – I know) was to throw myself in at the deep end, so I’ve started translating (from Dutch to English) a Henning Mankell book I got when we were in Bali a million years ago. It’s quite fun and I expect the funness to increase as my vocabulary improves (I had to look up 27 out of 77 words in the first paragraph, although some of that was just to get confirmation). I have no real use for the ability to speak Dutch, but there is something satisfying about softening all your consonants (or whatever the linguistic term is) and I don’t think it gets enough credit for how pretty a language it is.

I have been trading off Battlestar Galactica episodes with Freaks & Geeks (rewatching), which is a nice balance.

Remind me, remind me that I need to go to the Women’s Library at some point – their Women’s Liberation exhibition has been on since October and I still haven’t seen it.


Listening to: That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore – The Smiths

Oh my god, oh my god, this is the greatest thing ever: Christina Aguilera and Le Tigre to collaborate. How genius is that? I knew Christina Aguilera was cool. I’m so excited!

Also, this is not exactly the greatest thing ever, but some of that laughter you hear might be mine – my housemate B and I were at this taping last week!:




It was so much fun to go to! I hate Johnny Vegas – cannot stand him – but they seem to have cut most of his stuff out anyway, because it was utter incoherent nonsense. Jimmy Carr seemed to find him as irritating as I did and did lots of quiet huffing and pointed ignoring. (I’ve been listening to Jimmy Carr’s Writers’ Room podcast lately, and I have a new appreciation for him. He’s quite funny and surprisingly interesting.) The team captains didn’t have as much to say as the edit makes it seem – Sean Lock pretty much stared into space for much of the last hour or so of taping (everyone was a bit tired, and he apparently has a new baby at home). But there was a lot of really funny stuff, and it was interesting to watch it all happen. Also, the BBC employs some very attractive camera crew people.

P.S. Also from The Guardian new Lemonheads album!

Listening to: Won’t Say Anything – Hello Seahorse!

C. had never heard of Stephen Fry, so I present to you the latest episode of QI available on YouTube (and it’s a pretty awesome one):

Episode 7: Fingers and Fumbs






Listening to: Starbright Boy – Bis


I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, but Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace is, of course, on YouTube:



(Richard Ayoade is in it. C., I will swap Dylan Moran for him.)

Listening to: Hammer Horror – Kate Bush

Greetings, traveller. I’m Garth Marenghi, horror writer. Most of you will probably know me already from my extensive canon of chillers, including Afterbirth, in which a mutated placenta attacks Bristol. Back in the 1980s, I wrote, directed and starred in Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, a television program so radical, so risky, so dangerous, so goddamn crazy, that the so-called powers that be became too scared to show it…

Argh! Why is Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace not easier to get hold of on DVD here?

Listening to: V.G.I. – Julie Ruin

– Do wolves have accents? I found this cool link on Ask Metafilter to animal sounds in other languages. Bees, ravens and cows are pretty consistent, but I wonder how people settled on their particular national parrot phrases.

Article from the Guardian about musicians performing in UK prisons:

For two hours, in a place where hope was the rarest commodity, [John Martyn] lifted hearts and humanised souls like nothing I had ever experienced. Watching him perform May You Never – just him and an acoustic guitar, singing just for us, the unwanted, reminded us that we were members of the human race. Any musician who can go into a prison and do that deserves all our gratitude.

Here’s an earlier article about Jail Guitar Doors.

Also, Pauline Campbell died in May, and I meant to link to some articles about her (1, 2,
3, 4). Her daughter died in prison in 2003, and she dedicated the rest of her own life to campaigning for prison reform.

– There was free running on The Bill tonight!

– I am trying to figure out Peruvian knitting, because it seems to be the fastest method and I have a lot of projects I want to try. You hold the right needle like a pencil and manoeuvre the yarn with your right middle finger…which is the part I’m finding almost impossible. I have taken to staring intently at Women of a Certain Age who knit in public, trying to figure out the trick.

Listening to: What a Life – Juliana Hatfield

You know, for all our heated disagreements lately about how to run the library (and how cool is it that I even get a say in these things?), I would just like to say that my friend C is lovely. That is all. The nice things she has done for me are too numerous to count.

Also, my mum just gave me a new diary as a thank you for proofreading her millions of assignments lately (seriously, don’t get a degree in speech pathology). I am swimming in good will.

Also, despite the fact that they ate my weekend, I had two of the best shifts ever at my public library on Saturday and Sunday. I don’t know what was different about them, but I really enjoyed myself (not that I ever hate it, but it is work). I think because things weren’t too quiet and I had some really nice borrowers. They were all really nice. And it was fun to hang out with my colleagues, and I flicked through the cook books in my downtime, and I actually found the answers to some difficult questions for people. Dude, libraries are where it’s at.

And ABC2 has been showing Degrassi High every night at 6.30 pm, and it makes my day every time. I know it’s available on DVD now, but I don’t have it yet (and my DVD player died) and I really look forward to sitting down to watch it every night. I guess that’s a bit sad. Hmm.

Anyway, yes, I will be starting one of those Oprah gratitude diaries soon.

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