Saturday, 28 August 2010

A poem about a hangover

I woke up last night in a little bit of pain
there was something in my eye that was driving me insane
I got up to have a look but alas I couldn't see
So I went back to my bed and then quickly fell asleep
I woke up again this morning with a very painful head
I should have gone down to the gym and not the pub instead
I should not have had the fourth and definitely not the fifth
The Sambuca was just silly, and my god was there a sixth
Well it couldn't have been that bad as at least I caught the train
and a bloody taxi doing speeds that are insane
I hope I didn't make a noise as lock evaded key
and as I ran straight up the stairs, busting for a wee
I found one sock still on my foot, the other on the floor
I felt like I was just alive, I felt a dirty whore!
I needed sleep, I needed food, I needed a new head
but the headache wouldn't let me sleep when I went back to bed

Eventually I got back up and went down to the shop
I needed something chocolaty and some fizzy pop
The chocolate and the fizzy pop worked so very well
And now, apart from tiredness, I am feeling swell!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

WTF Wednesdays - 25/08/2010

This week sees the start of a new weekly feature to this blog, which I have chosen to Christen WTF Wednesdays.

The idea of the WTF Wednesday is to deliver a small piece of the internet, or the outside world (hmm, natural light, *shudder*!!) which makes you stand still for just a few seconds and think "what the F***?!"

I'm hoping to make this a regular feature and would welcome any suggestions as to future posts.

As a start, I came across this apparently genuine sign this morning

It really does beggar belief that somebody would actually put a sign up informing people that the sign is dangerous. Not only that, but the sign in question appears to actually have rounded edges which may prove to be less sharp than would warrant such a sign!

Ho hum.

Happy Hump day, and I hope it is a good one for you :0)

Monday, 23 August 2010

Killing Music?

Recently, there has been more talk of the internet generation destroying modern music by downloading tracks illegally, and using services such as Spotify to stream their music rather than buying the albums. But it strikes me that in my entire musical memory, record companies and the powers that be have always said that home taping is killing music, and yet music has always survived. These days, live music is more popular than ever, and speaking from the UK point of view, there are far more festivals than there ever used to be. If we look at the festival calendar we find that the older festivals such as Glastonbury and Reading now act as cushions surrounding the likes of the Isle of Wight, Download, Creamfields and V. Many of the highlights of the festival calendar are broadcast on the BBC and other national TV stations and reach audiences in their millions worldwide.

So it would seem that live music is more popular than ever, but the record companies themselves still insist that the music industry on the whole is failing. So where is the gap between people going to the festivals and those that are buying singles and albums? I, for one, think that the answer lies in the music that is presented to us by the commercial radio stations. The fact is that there is a lot of good music out there, when one takes the time to go out and actively seek it, but the commercial radio stations choose to furnish us with the same generic rubbish year on year.

I like to think of this as the Simon Cowell affect. Simon Cowell seems to have been around forever, invading our TV screens for the best part of 9 months every year. Under his belt, he has such classic tunes as the Blobby song and Bob The Builder, as well as countless series of PopStarz, Pop Idol, X-Factor and Britains' Got Talent. One of the questions that comes about from the rise of these shows is, If Britain's got talent, why can't Simon Cowell seem to find any? Or any that lasts, anyway. Off the top of your head, how many "winners" of these shows can you remember? And how about the runners up? Figured!

The problem doesn't necessarily lie in the brand of music that he is creating. Let's face it, we've all had a little bit of a dance to the likes of S Club 7, Steps, and various others, but it is the opinion of this particular blogger that music should be about music. I don't care what the people making the music look like. It speaks much more to me that people sing their own songs, in their own voices (it came to light that some of the recent X Factor audition videos broadcast on the show had been post edited and autotuned to make the contestants sound better), and with the passion that was originally put into the lyrics.

A recent of the "looks are better than lyrics" generation comes in the form of Lady Gaga. Personally, I find both her style and her music utterly deplorable, and for want of a better word, boring! Anybody can look like a cross between Courtney Love and Snow White after a bad night with all seven dwarves if they want to, that doesn't make for a talent. As for the music, if you listen closely, you easily hear the autotune kicking in quite a lot. Also, many of the lines in songs such as Telephone are split so that a single word can cover half a chorus (I give you t-t-t-t-telephone!). This is not an original concept. Some of you may be too young to remember Stutter-Rap by Morris Minor and the Majors

Nothing in music appears to be original anymore. That's not to say that there is no good music out there. One of the most exciting bands out there at the moment are Paramore, but can they really be called original? Probably not. People look to the old masters to get the best music of previous generations. Once again, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and other older bands are rising in popularity. People want to find something new, but with record companies refusing to let us hear anything truly new, we have no choice but to go backwards in what we are listening to, and then draw the similarities between those bands around today and the bands that were around then!

To quote a line from one of my favourite films, following his untimely death, one of the lead characters, reading from an essay says the following. "Always finish on a quote, since somebody has already said it better, steal from them and go out strong". A quote that could so easily be referring to certain factions of the current music industry.

However, I don't see this as the end of the music industry. People may stop buying albums and singles from the main record companies for a time, but while the record companies begin to yield less power, so the smaller record distributors, and the local bands become ever stronger. I look forward to a time when the radio is dominated by bands and musicians who have a passion for writing and performing, who don't seek overnight success and accept that to really make it as a musician you have to hone your craft and work at it, sleep in camper vans for months at a time playing small clubs and growing an ever loyal fanbase. Embracing the new technologies available to them and utilising them to reach as broad a fanbase as they possibly can. Maybe this will be the wake up call that the major players in the music industry have been waiting for.

We wait, with bated breath!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The perfect late-night snack

A bit of a lame post this, I know, but here is a recipe for the perfect Friday/Saturday (/tuesday!) late night left-the-pub-and-everything-was-closed snack. Enjoy!

2 slices white or brown bread
3 slices sandwich ham/turkey/bacon
Some grated Cheddar cheese
An amount of ketchup

Chop the ham/turkey/bacon into 1/2 to 3/4cm squares
Toast one side of the bread
Spread the ketchup on the untoasted side of the bread
Sprinkle the ham/turkey/bacon pieces onto the bread
Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top
Toast until the cheese starts to turn golden

Voila! That's it. Simples!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Suffering from the cold!

I was on my way to work this morning, and as I approached the train station, it suddenly occurred to me that I was absolutely freezing. Of course, living in the UK, this is nothing new. Our summers tend to vary between spitefully cold, and bone-drenchingly wet, with only the odd day of real summer sunshine.

For as long as I can remember I have suffered from terminal coldness. I remember being on holidays when I was younger and always having a jacket handy waiting for the moment when the sun went down and I wasn't in direct heat. But as I move on in years, I seem to be feeling the cold more and more, despite the media's take on the onset of global warming.

It seems these days that everywhere I go, I am cold. I get on the train in the mornings, and the air conditioning is switched to "Keep the turkey cold for Christmas". I get off the train at Waterloo, and walk over Waterloo bridge, which has a severe cross-wind coming straight off Old Father Thames. I get to work, and back into the air conditioning for the day.

Why is air conditioning so mean? I would be fine with it if the temperature it was set to was the actual temperature that is coming out of the fans. Instead, it seems that the actual air temperature is at least fifty Celsius below that!

Incidentally, on a random side-note, why do we still refer to temperature in Centigrade. Everywhere we look, and in every modern text book, temperature is referred to as Celsius, and the term Centigrade ceased to exist in 1948! Strange thing is, I'm sure I remember being taught Centigrade when I was at school, and I'm not that old!

I say it's about time we get rid of air conditioning. In a country such as this, it is completely unnecessary. If we really want some cooler air coming into the office, then why do we not just open a window. The air is much cleaner, and contains the right amount of humidity to stop sore throats and dry eyes. Also, air-con units are a haven for germs of all sorts and i believe they are the main causes of things like this.

With that, I'm off to wrap myself in a duvet with a hot water bottle!!!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Are chicken nuggets really that good?

Just a short post this one, but it really did make me chuckle!

Some of you may have seen the news report the other day of one Melodi Dushane of Toledo, Ohio, who has been sent to jail after a case of food rage.

The story goes that, finding herself rather hungry early one morning, she went to her local drive through fast food restaurant, and ordered some chicken nuggets. Told that the restaurant was not serving chicken nuggets at that time as it was too early, and they were still serving breakfast, she decided her best course of action was to assult the counter staff.

She got out of her car, and apparently punched the attendant in the face before smashing the kiosk window.

Now, I admit that I haven't had chicken nuggets in quite some time, but I have to be honest and say that I never really liked them. Maybe the recipe has changed!

So, I ask, are chicken nuggets really THAT good?

Click here for the video :0)

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Man Flu - One of the deadliest diseases in the world!

As I write this, I am sitting in bed with my laptop on my lap (let's face it, where else would it be!), a cup of Lemsip on my bedside table, four toilet rolls stuffed up my nose, a half packet of Paracetomol swimming in the already consumed Lemsip in my stomach, and a few tears running down my cheeks.

The fact is, I am dying. Many among you will feel that I am just being a wimp, and that it is just the usual bout of summer cold, but I am sure there are some out there who will sympathise with how I feel. I suspect that the divide between those who think I am a wimp, and those who think I am entirely justified in wanting to lie down and die very loudly (what is the point of dying quietly when making it known how you feel is so much more fun!) will be evenly divided between the male and the female of the species.

Yes, this is why they call it "Man-Flu". An ordinary cold that affects men far more than it affects women. An affliction that will be complained about as much as possible by the sufferer as they claim that they are dying (and rightly so, in my opinion!) while still maintaining enough energy to claim it as loudly as possible!
It always starts with the sore throat that feels like somebody has taken a cheese-grater to it. For most people, this would result in the sufferer to consume lots more water, try to relax a little more, get a couple of nights of decent sleep, and take a few lozenges. For the Man-Flu sufferer, however, this is a sign that he should begin telling as many people as he can that he is coming down with a cold. This is when one of the lesser known symptoms of the cold will start, that of feeling sorry for yourself!
A day or two of the sore throat, and the stuffed-up-ness will start, closely followed by the runny nose. Some men choose to advertise this by stuffing toilet paper up their nose, leaving just enough outside of the nostril for people to notice.

The man will eventually give up the fight against the inevitable onslaught of illness and be forced to spend at least one day in bed equally dividing his time between sleep and Jeremy Kyle (Man-Flu is proven to take away any sense of taste!).

From here on out, it's anybody's guess. It could go anywhere, and until it is over, there is no telling which way it will go. It could end with the victim feeling much better, and having a different view of the world after being so close to the edge. On the other hand, it could end in death by drowning (don't think about that too much!!).

For this particular victim, time can only tell. If I survive, I will see you on the other side. If I don't, then I hope in years to come you will remember me. Wish me luck!