Friday, February 28, 2003 I Don't Exist Stuck my boss's name into Googlism and discovered she is "a licensed and certified massage therapist who specializes in Swedish" and "no longer there".
Stuck Iansie in there and never realised he was "director of coaching for the countryside youth soccer association in clearwater" and "throwing the hardest and you can tell by the sound of the ball hitting leather". So why was I always the one answering the pub quiz sports questions?
Serendipitous Socialising Knackered after work, went into Composts. Over the top of my foaming (-ish) pint of Carling thought I recognised a face by the window. That looks like someone off the web, thinks I. My track record of recognising people off here from photos is pretty grim, the low point being the night I asked someone: "Scuse me arent you X?" and he answers not best pleased: "That twat, no Im his ex!!!"
Nothing ventured nothing gained, went up to him and said: "Scuse me, aren't you ..." ... and so i met diamond geezer.
I've had plenty of those snatched 30-second barman conversations with Faye the bargirl in Barcode before she buzzes off to serve someone else. But last night she came in on her night off with her new blonde barnet and we managed to have a proper talk for the first time ... opera and DJs and strangely no mention of Star Trek. Cool.
Thursday, February 27, 2003 News Flashes It was a three-way toss-up for story of the day between:
a. The German company planning to tap into a Teutonic national nostalgia trip with an East German theme park in Berlin complete with surly guards and crap food - welcome to StasiWorld, and
b. The woman saved from a dog attack by a chicken.
But this one had to win ...
Ju-ry! Ju-ry! Ju-ry! A Texas judge did what Jerry Springer has proabably only dreamt of doing when he ordered an abusive defendant’s mouth to be taped shut after the man kept interrupting him and his lawyer during an aggravated assault trial.
For about 20 minutes, Carl Wiley, 36, ignored pleas from Judge Jim Darnell and his own mother to keep quiet during the hearing in Lubbock.
Finally, Darnell ordered bailiffs to seal Wiley’s mouth with packing tape.
"He was being very disruptive," the judge said, "so the court duct taped his mouth until the jury came in. Then I had him removed from the courtroom." Wiley was later found guilty of ramming his vehicle into his estranged wife’s car. She was not injured.
The Brick adds: The duct tape was, it needs hardly be said, cannibalised from the courtroom's anti-Osama bomb shelter.
Tuesday, February 25, 2003 Sunshine in Sarf London Walked from home to Compton Street in sunshine to have a pre-work coffee this afternoon and didn't need to wrap a scarf round me neck, didnt need to nestle the cup in me hands to keep the fingers warm or huddle under the street heater that gives the top of my freshly shaven head first-degree burns.
Sunshine on the face. I could feel the vitamin D (E? K? Q? ... whatever) coursing through the winter-hardened veins. Even with the breeze it felt nice and warm. And it wasnt that thin wintry warm you get off bright sunshine in January. This had undertones of spring, Easter high notes lingering on the palate ... that kinda bollox. You can almost smell the privets. Maybe I'm being a little optimistic, but Im pondering turning my heating off at home. I've got these antiquated storage heaters that either blast heat out when not needed or are totally inadequate when the temperature drops anywhere near freezing. In one word: useless.
Even went so far as to open my bedroom curtains and look longingly out at the flat bit outside the window that people apparently call a ga...rd...en and thought about herb patches, tomato plants, barbeques and long mothy evenings with a cool glass of wine. Then I looked at the yard out front through the living room window and thought: "Who the f**k dumped that fridge out there."
Dozy Sod I love my bed. After two months sleeping on Sef's floor and another month and a half on a makeshift matress of assembled duvets in my own place, the wrought-iron monstrosity that now makes up most of my bedroom is like paradise, a prairie of rumpled bed sheets.
But getting out of it is becoming a problem cos Im having trouble waking up. No matter what time I go to bed, I can't wake up before early afternoon. Since I mostly don't start work til 4pm, this is not a huge problem professionally. But it feels like Im wasting the day and my life is becoming work-sleep-work-sleep-work with the occasional pint of Carling or cuppa coffee (see above) squeezed in somewhere.
The quantity of sleep's not the problem, I dont think. Got the full eight hours on Sunday, but then did 12 hours last night after going straight to bed after work. And there's no waking up and dozing off again ... I just sleep all the way through. Maybe my body just needs it at the moment or maybe it's a hangover from cold winter nights and mornings that will melt away in the sunshine (see above). Could be I'm just a hibernating gerbil. Squeak!
Headline of the Day Two Escape Flying Moose ... from The Guardian
No explanations, any would be far too prosaic.
Monday, February 24, 2003 Zyban Death A coroner has blamed this anti-smoking wonder drug for being a contributory factor in the suicide of a teenager. A mate was on it last year to try and give up the weed, went through his GP to get it and was told about the side-effects of mood changes. He was so miserable and tetchy on it for weeks that he just stopped taking it. Had mulled over trying it meself, but seeing Sef's reaction on it and now seeing this ... No Chance!
Now I knew it was amphetamine-based (or has a chemical structure similar to amphetamine), but didn't know that it was originally designed as an anti-depressant and marketed under a different name - but wellbutrin was obviously not funky enough so they gave it the more sci-fi sound of zyban. Okay, it's only on prescription in the UK so should in theory be quite tightly controlled, but how many prescription-only drugs do we know that seem to be easily available. Found a bunch of online chemists flogging it with just a click of me Google.
And this Macclesfield student is now just one of 19 UK deaths that have been linked to Zyban. That's out of 270,000 prescriptions since it came out here and there have been 3,500 official complaints about serious side-effects. Add to that 73 reports of people suffering seizures. One of those was a Manchester ambulance driver who crashed when responding to an emergency call.
Gotta take the figures with a pinch of salt, cos there were almost certainly other root causes in some of the fatal cases ... but Im sticking to cold turkey.
Village People The career spread of the people who hang around in the Vauxhall Gay Village never ceases to gobsmack me ... from myriad head teachers, lawyers, media types, artists etc to the odd rent boy. And I will always hold a soft spot for the vicar who turned up at the RVT in dog collar (a religious one ... down boys!) only to take it off to reveal a spangly blue skin-tight t-shirt underneath.
So a hearty welcome to the latest arrival: the son of a former Southern African chief justice.