Saturday, May 31, 2003

The Sunday Column #3 - Underwear

Dear readers, it may or may not have escaped your notice that I am a student, and shall remain so until this July, when they give me a rolled up piece of paper to hold for a photograph in unflattering robes and pretend it is a degree. It may perhaps also have eluded you that not only am I a student, I am the type of student who steals traffic cones, thinks kebabs are legitimate sources of nutrition, and will take any opportunity to dress in a silly manner and act like a fool. In short, I am delta chi tau through and through, I honestly won't believe I have graduated until I wear a sheet and get rat-arsed, and as such the events of this Friday night should not have fased me in the slightest bit.

But for heaven's sakes, somebody has stolen my underwear!

I don't mean one of my housemates or a guest has taken my panties surreptitiously from my drawer, or even that some perverted type has sneaked a freshly worn g-string from the floor of my room or washing basket. No no gentle reader, what I mean is that someone, on the night of Friday May 30th 2003, opened my back gate and took three pairs of clean black lace panties from my washing line, leaving untouched my socks and the copious amount of assorted black clothing that hung forlornly with them. Some nefarious soul has removed three pairs of only a total of fourteen pairs of black underwear.

Now, it wasn't particularly good underwear, you understand. My mother bought me one of them, but to be honest though it was comfortable and one pair was a gift, its loss causes me no great pain. Even the fact that somebody has breached the security of my house and taken my personal property does not bother me perhaps as much as it should, possibly because I myself has librated items of council property in my day. But the question that I find myself asking is - WHY?

I would like, in my deeply Romantic heart, to think that perhaps some impoverished woman of approximatly my size was in need of underwear, and thus removed my garments for her own use being unable to afford her own. I would not even mind if it were that a groups of students not unlike myself purloined the panties in question under the influence of some fermented product. But some deeply buried part of my tormented psyche lingers through these ponderings, lamenting the fate of my undrwear in the hands of some grubby creature with a fetish for Persil non-bio and black lace. In my mind's eye I see the items in question in his feverish grasp, inspiring him to new heights of frenzy and degradation.

Perhaps it is a little vain of me to imagine my underwear as masturbatory inspiration, but I feel it is rather a neccesary reaction. I tend to suspect the worst in any situation, and in this one, the worst is most definatly that of your underwear falling into the clutches of a derranged madman. It could be one of my neighbours - I rarely close the curtains at night, meaning that when I happen to remove my clothes, anyone who cares to cast an eye towards Box Five can see my underwear if they so wish. I cannot help allowing my mind to wander freely in a land where my neighbours are derranged sex-starved fetishists who have gazed at those black lace panties from afar, awaiting the chance to liberate them from my washing line. No matter the vanity of the situation, the plain fact still remains that someone, without my permission (lord knows I always ask permission when removing female lingerie. They get rather annoyed when you don't ask) has laid hands upon my underwear.

So don't be too surprised, my dear reader, when you see the sign on the back gate of my house demanding their return - unsoiled and undamaged - and assist me in an Underwear Amnesty.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

I've got a brand new online journal, an' I'll give you the key!

That's the new actual journal. Columns will carry on here, PD will continue to be updated, it was just time for a change, you know? Just don't ever forget The Doll's House, it's not dead - just not daily either.
My Spirit And Your Voice

Hearing is believing,
Music is decieving
Harsh as lightning,
Soft as candlelight

Mood : Cranky
Music : "Another Lonely Night" Gladys Knight and The Pips

The last lyrics quiz answer was "Heaven's Light" from Disney's "Hunchback of Notre Dame" and I'm presuming nobody bothered as it was just too damned easy, I refuse to put the next line in of the one above, as that *really* gives it away, but go on, I'm wondering how many people know that version. If you're thinking it looks familiar, try reading it aloud and listen to the rhythm.

Big thanks before I start to Awesome Man for his random hugs, tea-drinking chats and generally being - well, Awesome... and now I'm afraid it's time for a ramble.

You know, I've been thinking about something. A dangerous practice, and one sure to warrant medical attention when you find out what it is I've been thinking about. But right now, anything but thinking about my horrific Philosophy exam is good. As you well know, music is one of the main driving forces of my life, without my music I truly think I would be less of a person, or at least an incredibly different person, and though I love many kinds of music for many different reasons, what I tend to focus on is quality of voice.

I don't mean just technical ability. One can be a virtuoso, but still not be counted in my list of great voices, like Sarah Brightman (yes, I actually have a physical list, I'll get to that) purely because of a lack of passion, of feeling, of purity, technical precision isn't everything;

"Elle a fait le progrès merveilleux et ceux-là qui elle ont entendu ont prophétisé qu'elle serait le plus grand chanteur dans le monde. Pendant ce temps, le père mort; et soudain, elle a semblé avoir perdu, avec lui, sa voix, son âme et son génie. Elle a retenu seulement, mais seulement seulement, assez de ceci entrer le conservatoire, où elle ne s'est pas distinguée à tout..."

Many apologies to those of you who couldn't read that. I'll be happy to supply a translation upon demand, but I just felt for some odd quirky reason, possibly because I'm feeling cantankerous and just enjoy the book better in the original language (for one thing it makes the style far far less clumsy) and felt like quoting it. But in any case, what I'm actually getting around to is that I have come to a disturbing conclusion about my list of the Great Voices. There is a distinct lack of males.

Now, I have noticed that many women preffer to listen to female singers. This is no great sin, simply a matter of taste, but I happen to love a beautiful male voice, and that is why I find it so puzzling that in the compilation of my list I have seemingly ignored the men. Here is my list as it stands, voices I love for their sheer power and richness;

Billie Holiday
Ella Fitzgerald
Eartha Kitt
Peggy Lee
Shirley Bassey
Michael Ball
Judy Garland
Eva Cassidy
Kate Rusby
Maire Brennan
John Lennon
Demi Moore
Frank Sinatra
Paige O'Hara
Bette Midler
Richard White
Michael Crawford
Jane Horrocks
Tom Hulce

That last one may look a little surprising to you, particularly if you have partaken of such deadly fruits as "Animal House" or Ken Brannagh's "Frankenstein" or even (lord forbid that you should be as hooked on this film as I) "Amadeus" but Tom Hulce actually has a wonderful singing voice, he's a very light top range tenor, very clean and pure, and his only real vocal fault is a heavy vibrato, but it can be easilly excused. I'm aware also that many of you may not know Paige O'Hara or Richard White - if not, I suggest "Beauty And The Beast" since they are both in it, respectively as Belle and Gaston. Richard White was also of course the Phantom - in fact I've just noticed I have three Phantoms on my list, which isn't really surprising as it takes an exceptional voice to really pull it off, not that I'm stroking my own fluffy ego here at all. Did you know that Michael Crawford is also a phenomenally gifted pianist? Try and listen to his "Carol Of The Bells" it's simply stunning. Demi Moore also requires Disney to appreciate - Hunchback this time, also starring Tom Hulce, and Jane Horrocks.. well Jane Horrocks is astonising, truly. Watch Little Voice. But justification over with, doesn't that list look a little too tipped towards the fair sex to you, dear reader?

I just don't understand it. If anything my prefferences tend away from the soprano range, which is possibly why I have the dark voices such as Shirley Bassey and Eartha Kitt on my list, but some of the others are most definatly up there on the top C's, and I cannot stand a note too high. My hearing extends far higher than normal into the upper registers, which is why you will find me with organ music on when my head is feeling tender, yet I don't see a single natural baritone on there. How strange.

Veering wildly away from topic, I've also developed an odd affection for swing, which I blame wholey upon Jim Carrey, it's all his fault. If I didn't love "Hey Pachuco" (which was in "The Mask") so much, I would probably never had downloaded quite so much by the Cherry Poppin' Daddies. Some of the blame must also rest upon the wiry shoulders of Mr Al Yancovic however, whose version of "Zoot Suit Riot" ("Grapefruit Diet") sent me running to Kazaa Lite for the original. There's nothing wrong with liking swing, it just seems to sit awkwardly with my adoration of opera, but then again so does my strange passion for German techno.

As I have been modifying that list as I go along, I've noticed that I've come up with more and more men on it, thus making this entire ramble rather more random and pointless than usual, but never mind, we shall press bravely onwards, because I really should be revising and right now I am running dangerously close to a migraine. That isn't like me at all I know, but shaking my funky stuff to Sir Mix-A-Lot isn't at all like me either and that's been happening recently too.

Kazaa is brilliant for one's musical tastes. You end up downloading a lot of random music that you would otherwise perhaps never have heard purely on a whim because you wanted one song in particular and found all these others, it's wonderful. Now, I refuse to disparage anybody's musical taste, just because I happen to find a great deal of dance music thoroughly irritating and repetitive (indeed, much like this 'blog at times) does not mean it has any less musical value than any other kind. People value different things in music - and all I need from it is that it makes me feel something, which I think is basically what most people want really, though I could be entirely wrong. Any kind of music can do that for me - anything from Wagner to the Vengaboys, and yes I really do listen to them occasionally, they are very happy and uplifting in an entirely different way to, say, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

Have you ever noticed that is in no way night music? At least not by my definition. For a start it's a major key piece, which I tend to associate with a sunny morning or afternoon, and it's just far too full of the joys of Spring to be night music. The Mass in C Minor, THAT'S night music. I've realised Eine Kleine has really grown on me, which I would probably formerly have taken as an indication that my musical taste had taken a rapid downturn, but which I now simply regard as my taste broadening. In my opinion, this is always a good thing. I've realised now that I have entirely deviated from the subject of this entry, and will simply close it with something that I know in my heart of hearts to be the absolute truth;

"Hey Jude" is one of the best songs ever written.

Monday, May 26, 2003

The (Incredibly Late) Sunday Column

I would try and make excuses for why I haven't actually written a Sunday Column until Tuesday morning, but I really can't you know. I haven't been sleeping well and frankly exams are a living nightmare. I *could* have fired up that rant I have stored up about Dario Argento's Phantom but I think I'll save that for when nothing at all is niggling me. For now, I think I will once again roll out the bandwaggon and get out my trusty trampoline, for this morning, The VVR joins the Great Pan-Blog Debate....

The Great LURPS Argument

It is never a good idea to start a column with quotes from something else. It just looks like you don't have anything good to start off saying, so that is why I am writing this explanation, to make it look as if I do. Now, right, Mike's 'blog. I am not a regular reader of this particular corner of the Web, for no reason other than that it already takes me an hour to get through the 'blogs that I do read, but just recently, I noticed people had reacted not directly to what Lucretia had said as I fully expected, but to Mike's commentary on it. Having engaged in a litlle light debate with people via M'amselle's diary message board, I decided to read the offending article myself. I have seen things that have been festering at the bottom of my washing bin unbeknownst to me for three months that caused me less disgust. Let's just indulge my ego for a moment here shall we?

That is great, we are very very placid and laid back. Then there is the smoking, or lack there of. no one does it, this is good

Pardon me *lights a Berkeley menthol and offers one to Byron, Stoney, Louis and Cuzzin* but I think you'll find that is just factually innacurate. Quite a few of us (if only in my case occasionally) indulge in a flirtation with death in the form of burning paper and dried leaves. Indeed, it would be very good if we all didn't smoke, I utterly agree with this, much as I enjoy my tar-sticks, it would be far better if we didn't, but the fact is that we are (shock horror!) a cross section of a varied and thriving University community. By its very nature the University is incredibly diverse, and it is fair to assume that at least some of those diverse peoples will indeed smoke.

In the barcrawl on friday i saw 2 distint groups (with like 10 metres between) those in the corner and those in the middle.

Yes, and if you will have noticed, those groups basically also divided into "People who are on LUBBS, mostly programmers, who wanted to have a discusion about tech" and "People who are randomly chatting" and if I remember correctly "Ziggy, Fluzz, The VVR and Maggot playing a silly pub game in the middle" - think of it as a chat room with lots of different areas, would you want to try and have a conversation about one thing in a room for general chat? No, you wouldn't, you'd annoy everyone else there who was there for mindless chatter, and so you'd take it elsewhere. It's not anti-social, it's actually very considerate.

people in a lot of black, males with long hair, wearing T-shirts which say "SPAM" and "i used up all my sick days, so called in dead"

The SPAM shirt is Maggot's, but I'm in confusion over the other. You see, Mike has an ex girlfriend who I know owns one of those shirts, if it's her you mean Mike, shame on you for digging at an ex for their fashion sense, you should do it upfront if at all. On the other hand, I do know of someone else who owns that shirt.


Right, now it's personal. Let me put this incredibly simply for you; I do not consider going around with shirts that say "Serial Killers Are People Too" or "Hold My Beer While I Kiss Your Girlfriend" (and yes I own both of those too) any more silly, cliquey or statement-making than going aroung with "Bench" or "Kappa" writ large across one's bosom. Believe me, If I found a shirt that was really comfortable, that I liked, that was cheap, and that would wash well - and it happened to say "Bench" on it, I would wear it just as surely as I would wear the same shirt emblazoned with the words "I'm Not Crazy, Ask My Camel, Steven" and yes it most likely would be black. Black, as most people know, goes with anything, is appropriate for almost any occasion, will not show stains of most things (though an obvious flaw has arisen in the penchant recently displayed for White Russians among the Alternate Society members) and can be purchased in any style you so desire. I happen to favour velvet, leather, PVC and fishnet, but Monsieur le Vicomte may be more commonly seen in cotton or silk, Dark Ambition in lace, you get my point don't you? Black is practical, black is slimming, black is low effort, black is versatile, black is easy to wear all day and jazz up quickly with some nice make up and jewelery for an evening out, and let's face it we all lead busy lives. I wear black because I like it, and for some of the reasons above, and if I like a shirt I will wear it no matter what it says across the front, provided it doesn't say "Hitler Is My Lord And Saviour" or something equally offensive. Does my Sick Days shirt cause offense? Does Maggot's SPAM shirt cause offense? I am militantly against man consuming meat, but *I* don't find his shirt offensive. I never take sick days myself, but I'll wear that shirt, because I like the shirt, damn you, just like Byron likes her incredible eye make up.

Just what is being suggested here? Are we all to deliberatly change ourselves because we want people to think we are just like them? Or are we individual people who happen to enjoy sci-fi, roleplay, writing, whatever and so socialise with others of the same interest group? I rather think the latter, which brings me to our close-knit sense of community, as embodied through our little Rituals.

It's Friday night, you are sitting in County bar, spirits are high in both senses of the term, though when I partake I tend to preffer a good pint of the Evil Brew myself, you are happy and among friends. First, a pause to reflect on what "friend" is; A friend is someone you can talk to, most commonly you share many interests with them (though not always. This evening I sat and consorted with my mistress with a young man with whom I share only two things; the fact he lived with my ex, and an interest in obsolete computers, and whom I count as a friend) a friend will not judge you. Someone among your friends shouts "TIGHT!"

Well there's only one thing to do.

You shout "DIRTY!" and so it goes on, until we all get sore throats, and does the entire bar turn at stare at us? I think not. Oh certainly one or two people will be thinking "bloody weirdos" but tell me honestly have you never thought that about someone? I know I have. Picture the same scene, only you're on a College bar crawl and it's your College song, girls vs. boys. Same result. What in blue blazes does it matter what people think? We're enjoying ourselves, we're not harming anyone, if someone complained to us with a good reason we'd stop doing it or at least discuss their reasons with them. LURPS as a society is not dying, PULSAR as a society is not dying, every year we get new members and every year we grow and change. The Tight/Dirty chant is new to me, it didn't happen when I was a Freshman, proving that we are not some static unchanging pool of people stuck in outmoded roles, we are individuals who have our own ways of having fun, and as long as nobody is hurt, what is the harm in that?

It seems to me (without getting into a personal attack) that what is the true problem here lies in Mike's statement that he has consciously changed himself. Evidently he is not happy at all with the way he was percieved, and has now changed. Somehow, he has inextricably linked the way he was with the behaviour of LURPS and PULSAR, and thus because he was not happy with that, he is now not happy with our behaviour. Well that's just foolish. Now I am going to get into a personal attack I'm afraid. Godwin dictates that I say what I think with as much tact as possible. Here is what I think; Yes, Mike, you did have a silly image and yes you did play up to it. Now that image and your behaviour has lost you something you valued a great deal, and after this upheaval you (rightly) blamed your behviour. But this has gone too far. We don't all act like such fools that we lose a relationship over it, and the LURPS/PULSAR way of behaving, if there even is one which I strongly doubt, is not to blame. Personal difficulties cannot be blamed on society, but responsibility must be accepted by the individual alone.

And after that, I think it's high time I went back to Plato.
Just One More

You know you're bored when you start not only taking Quizilla tests but *making* them..... Enjoy, kiddies!

Blog Of The Day #2 - At It Again...

Well y'know... punjab lasso, nice suit. *grin*

You are Brian!
You are Brian Molko!

Who are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Go on, worship me, I really don't mind...

You are Psychic!

What's Your Magic Power?
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I am there inside your mind! I AM EVERYWHERE!!!!!

You're the smirk,a frown-smile hybrid that's a
little bit cocky and usually associated with
evil or arrogant,but attractive people.You
probably just don't give a damn,but it's
everyone else's fault if you don't because
you're too awesome to have any real faults.

What Kind of Smile are You?
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Well that was obvious.

Period Goth
Period Goth

What Kind of Goth Are You?
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OK I think I'm done now...Oh alright one more. These things are addictive!
you can say that you like Mozart, but not obsessed
like. You pretty much enjoy his songs and
that's about it.

How Mozart obsessed are you?
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Well that's good to know... for someone who uses "Amadeus" as screen name in some places *ahem*... though mainly that's because of my irritating laugh, and because it's my favorite film.

I think my mouse may be dying....
Dammit I should read my guestbook BEFORE I write an entry.... well done to Erfalaswen who got the lyrics competition right! Here, have a haddock.
Heaven's Light

I knew I'd never know, that warm and loving glow
Though I might wish with all my might,
No face as hideous as my face
Was ever meant for heaven's light.
But suddenly an angel has smiled at me
And kissed my cheek without a trace of fright
I dare to dream that she might even care for me

Mood : Weary
Music : Track Down This Murderer

Bank Holidays seem a bit pointless when one is at University you know. The Uni doesn't observe them, so lectures and other events go on ahead as if there was nothing different, only the banks on campus are closed, the bus service to campus is even worse then usual, and if you don't have any lectures there's no option but to stay home because barely anything is open. I'd mind if it wasn't for the fact that I *do* have something to do today - I have to revise for my Plato and Aristotle final exam on Wednesday, which is going to be horrific I can tell.

On a brighter note, my Romanticism exam went well. I did "Examine the presentations of a sense of the divine in Romantic literature" from the wider knowledge section and I think I talked about everyone we'd actually studied so that should be fine, and for the close analysis section I did "Examine the figure of the outcast in at least two Romantic texts" - you can only talk about one author on that section, so I did "Manfred" "Cain" "Don Juan" and "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" and somehow managed to bring it down to Godwinian self-government. Hmmm. I was going to do "Alastor" but then I'd have to also talk about "Prometheus Unbound" which as you know I wrestled with for a long time before giving up. I cannot understand why Shelley liked that work so much, it's just NOT good.

Oh, lyrics competition... OK here you go;

Sting : "King of Pain" - would also have accepted Alanis Morrissette as she covered it
Blue Oyster Cult - "Don't Fear The Reaper"

Today's should be damned easy, since it has the title in the quoted section!

Ack, I feel damned sick now. Had to have something to eat to stop Louis the Wonderspod whining at me. Tell me truthfully, does he honestly think nagging me will help??! Let me just put you stright on this, nagging does not work unless you happen to be Mousewouse, and I cannot stress how much he's not.

Dark Place on Saturday - I think I'm still detangling my hair after Paradise City! Lots of fun, and allowed me to finally get some sleep as I was just so physically exhausted that it overcame my insomnia. That's what dancing all night will do to you I suppose, I should do it more often, because frankly I'm at that stage where I turn my head and the room spins, it's not a nice place to be. I'd blame the drugs if it wasn't for the fact that I haven't had any all day, I've run out of tobacco. It comes to something when you run out of papers or tobacco before you run out of the special ingredient!

Well in any case, I'd better go revise Plato some more. Plato is a great thinker and I love his theories, but does that change the fact that I hate revision? Hell no....