6 March 2009

Down St. Earl Street, Thursday night...In the city that sounds nice...Talking shit with my colleagues...Did we do the same degree?

All right? How's about ya? What are you like?

Prior to Xmas last year a Westfield shopping mall opened up in west London and people here went absolutely nuts about it. Me and NOAG (Number One American Girlflen) went to check it out and were all like, "What's the big deal, like, I mean, really?" There aren't any actual mall-type malls over here, Certainly not in London, so seeing the expressions of drooling awe at this shrine to materialism on people's slack-jawed mugs was reminiscent of the day when Belco Mall first opened it's doors...back in 19-flippin-78! Come on, people, this is not a revolution in shopping technology. It's just a collection of the same flashy trashy stores selling the same over-priced crap as they were before, only instead of being arranged horizontally at street level they've stacked them in a box. It was difficult to get zoning permission for such a monstrosity so it's in a pretty remote location in the North West. In fact, regardless of where you live in London, in order to get to the mall you have to travel past multiple instances of the exact same stores the mall has. Understandably, non-mall business owners are worried because people like shiny new gimmicks and the parking is free. Frankly, anything which draws the slavering hordes away from the places I go and into a convenient location easily identified by fighter planes from the air is fine by me.

What do you think popped up over Edison's head when he got the idea for the light bulb? Salette thinks it was a candle but I think it was some weird-arse prototype light bulb and he was all like, "Forsooth! What the fuck is that?"

How crazy were the Victorian bushfires? I fired up news.com.au for the first time in ages to catch up on what's going on back home and BAM! How horrifying and tragic for all those people. Thankfully Phil and the Gang, who live right in the middle of the fire zone, had the sense to get out when the going was good and ride out the firestorm in Melbourne. We all know bushfire season is part and parcel with living in a hot dry climate but 200 people dead? Come on! And you know who's to blame, don't you? No, not Baby Jeebus...it's smokers. Smokers and teenagers, what with their arson and their lung cancer and their ping pong machines.

There's a bunch of awesome music festivals coming up later this year, and I was super stoked to learn that Mastodon, Lamb of God and Machine Head will all be playing on the same bill at Sonisphere in August. Still reeling from that bombshell, I then learned that Faith No More are reforming to play at the Download festival in June. Are you flippin' kidding me? And as if that wasn't mind-blowing enough, I THEN found out that The Jesus Lizard are reforming and playing their first gig at the Forum in London! As Robin used to say, "Holy fucking shit, Batman!"

I got to go back to Dublin for a couple of days for a project with a new client. Just before I left I got an email from one of my flatmates informing me my bike got nicked Bastards! We live in a secure complex and it was chained to a metal drainpipe in our back yard which can only be accessed from inside the house...how the feck did they get in? Surveying the scene with my ultra-violet CSI semen light, I deduced that someone from the neighbouring block of flats (who have a clear view of our yard from their upper floors) jumped the shared fence, ripped the drainpipe off the wall and scarped back over the fence with Sweaty Betty in their evil clutches. As pissed off as I am about the whole thing, you've got to admire that kind of tenacity. No doubt poor Betty has been stripped down to her parts and flogged at Brick Lane along with the multitude of other stolen bikes. Can we all please have a moment of silence for the recently departed...Ave, Betty!

My plans for a visit to Oz have, alas, come to naught. There were too many timing conflicts and the NZ leg with Salette proved more expensive than we originally anticipated due to our offer of "free" accommodation ending up being for just a couple of nights and not the entire time as we first thought. So with our leave approved and our hopes of finding some sun fading faster than the advance for John Howard's memoirs, we spent three frantic weeks working on a backup Plan. It's been a really long time since either of us had to plan a trip with another person so it got off to a comical start, as we politely tried to accommodate each other's wants and needs. The comedy quickly turned to frustration, though, as the deadline approached and we still couldn't decide where we wanted to go, whence ensued a brief period of selfishness where we went only for things we knew each other would hate. In the end a happy medium was reached and on Sunday morning we jet off to Mexico for two weeks in an off the grid eco-hotel on the Yucatan Peninsula. Arriba! Our cabana is sandwiched between secluded beach and virgin jungle and there's no electricity other than what they generate through solar and wind. There's a biosphere nearby as well as Mayan ruins but the whole point of it is that there's nothing to do but sleep, swim, read books in the sun and shag your arse off, all punctuated with bouts of delicious Mexican food and killer margaritas. How ever will I cope? Maybe an occasional application of sand to the genital will take the edge off the bliss...

Jimbo was kind enough to send me a bunch of pics from back in the band days. Man, talk about a trip down memory lane. The fashion, the hairstyles, the hats! Check it out on my Facebook profile and try and control your envy at just how rockin' I was back then: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=67573&id=752123545. If you don't use Facebook then I'll post them on my Picasa site later.

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