You Know I Could Stay Here All Night

Friday. End of a week off (which is why I haven’t been about/replying to email much). Spent it doing the spring cleaning I’ve been putting off for a month or so now.

Spring cleaning was soundtracked by Billy Bragg, The Dropkicks and the Levellers, so naturally, what I feel I should be doing now is smashing the state in some way. I may compensate by reading another chapter or two of Demand The Impossible, a book on the history of anarchism that I never got around to finishing, largely because it had migrated to somewhere under the bed.

Speaking of books – I seem to have acquired a copy of “The Watcher’s Guide” volume 2 of a series of Buffy annotations books, the sort of thing that I’d never have willingly paid cash for, and I don’t recall ever reading it. Can anyone explain why I have it? Did I borrow it off someone (and can you remember why)? Did someone leave it at behind at our place, and has it just migrated in here? Have I been anywhere that they would have been giving them away? And, assuming that no-one sticks their hand up here in the next fortnight to claim it as theirs, would anyone like it? It’s just taking up shelf space, and I don’t have enough of it to waste.

(In a similar vein: anyone want copies of Cerulean Sins or Incubus Dreams, the Laurel K Hamilton books? I bought them in a fit of desperation for anything to read at an airport, and read them both, and now never need to do so again, ever, please don’t make me, so could so with the shelf space back. If they’re not taken in a fortnight, they’re going in the recycling.)

Fun weekend coming up – Saturday afternoon: board games in a pub. Saturday evening I: Flogging Molly gig. Saturday evening II: clubbing – last weekend was written off to that cold, one the basis I’d rather have written the night off than most of the week.

Sunday will probably be recovery, and not much else. Catching up on my reading after spending most of the last six months in a state of having run out of new stuff to read, I now have a respectable pile to read, and really ought to get on with it.

Monday, it’s back to work, where the insanity will almost certainly have begun – I had to cancel a day of my holiday, and go in to work on Wednsday, for what turned out to be a six-hour meeting in Luton. I can recommend against both of those things.

Right, time to tidy this desk. The rest of the place is tidy, so having a desk like a bombsite rather spoils the effect. Also, I’ve lost my My Bloody Valentine tickets, so they’d better be on here somewhere. Plus, there may be paperwork that needs sorting out on here.

13 Resolutions

I don’t usually do New Year’s Resolutions – if I want to change something, I’ll do it whenever, but this year, I’ve let a few things slide, and I really ought to make more of an effort, so I’ll use the same arbitrary day that everyone else does to make the start of my attempted changes.

  1. Go to the gym three or four times a week. (I’m aiming for four in the hope of achieving three. Two is bare minimum acceptable, in a really busy week.)
  2. Put at least 104 photos on-line. (2 a week, but I’m now used to the idea that I go through periods of one-a-day versus extended stretches of nothing.)
  3. Make a serious effort to sell some prints.
  4. Read one new book a week, and write a short review of it.
  5. Listen to one new album a week, and write a short review of it. (The emusic subscription should come in handy.)
  6. See at least two films a month in the cinema. Reviews optional.
  7. Go to at least one art exhibition a month. Reviews optional.
  8. Drink less alcohol. (Scheduled parties/special occaisions aside, when the rules are suspended, I won’t be drinking at all in Jan and Feb, and will be cutting back to a limit of three single whiskies or equivalent, while out for the rest of the year.)
  9. Eat more healthily. I have been extremely rubbish at this, this year.
  10. More socialising. I have not seen enough of many of my friends this year.
  11. Clear my debts.
  12. Make a serious attempt to organise an exhibition, preferably to include other people’s work as well as my own. (May be for 2008, but I should have at least have a date and location for one by the end of the year.)
  13. Develop and release at least one useful website-related tool to the public. (I think this is least likely, purely on the basis of time constraints, but I’d like to have a go.)

Well, that was a bit bloody good, then.

Top weekend. Friends, gigs, drinking, unexpected clubbing, and generally full of fun and frolics. More of that sort of thing, I think.

Tonight: gym and photo processing. Apologies to those waiting for more Rollergirls pics – I’ve got a few more queued up, and a few more I think I can make something good out of, but LJ was down Saturday, so I had no chance to put anything up. (Before anyone says “Sunday” see above remarks regarding other activity, and understand that a certain amount of recovery was required.)

A Bad Workman…

I’ve just gone through the photos I took at the Evil Genius gig last night. Any y’know, it’s not my tools – my camera is quite good, after all. But suffering zombie jesus, what I would give to be able to take photos at gig venues where the lighting guy has a a clue.

If anyone out there is a lighting person for a small venue, here’s some helpful hints:

There should a spot of some kind on the lead singer – doesn’t have to be constant, if you really like turning lights on and off for some reason, just perhaps on for about 75% of the time. I’m not even fussy about the colour (although, I shoudl also add that red and sodium orange are the ones everyone else is using, and everyone is used to seeing bands lit in red, and I know I’m sodding bored of it), I just have this sense that it might be important to see him or her. More than, perhaps, the bassist.

Secondly: if you cut across the very front of your lighting display with a beam of white light from the side, aiming the dancefloor wall, rather than, say, the band, it will become harder to see through it. Two additional random-motion colour-changing downlights aimed at the crowd are similarly pointless – if you want your lights to do all that pattern and colour throwing shit, and generally change every ten seconds, well, OK, but aim it at the stage, not the crowd. The band are getting money to compensate them for your annoying inability to pick a lighting design and stick to it. All this shit in front of the stage does is get in people’s eyes. There’s a reason the house lights go out, and it’s not just that the crowd are often ugly.

Yes, I am whinging about this because it fucked up my photography. And yes, I should be able to get around it, but even a hood on the lens didn’t do the job, and I don’t like to use the flash at gigs for lots of reasons. But y’know, the reason it fucked up my photography was in part that it was very hard to see anything with my goddamn eyes, and I’ve got good nightvision.

Why yes, I did just go through 150 photos, and find nothing usable. Does it show?


Am I Mouse Or Man?

A question that men have struggled with through the ages. Tonight, however, I find it a moot question. Regardless of which I am, my plans have gong[1] agley.

ewa‘s away this weekend, so the plan had been to indulge in chronic anti-social nerdism, and to spend the weekend playing City of Heroes,. moving from my computer only to find the phone and order pizza. But I find that the hot weather and my computer disagree. Specifically, when my graphics card starts to work (as is demanded of it by City of Heroes) the temperature inside my computer hits something like 70 degrees centigrade. So, in self defense, it shuts down. In this heat, it’s running at the very limit of what it can cope with, just running Firefox and Thunderbird. So that’s my plans out the window.

So instead, I have a bottle of very cold white wine, and I intend to watch the second half of the second season of the West Wing. You have to make the best of these things, after all.

[1] I assume that this is the correct past tense…


Those few of you who have ninthart on your friends pages have probably just had the paged deluged.

That’s because today is Ninth Art‘s final update, and it’s bloody enormous.

After a bit over five years, we’re shutting up the shop. Not that, to be honest, it’s much to do with me. The article I wrote (my Top Nine comics, should anyone who hasn’t been reading 9A be interested) in this update is my first contribution to the site in a about two years, aside from a little bit of programming tweaking that no-one but I will have noticed, and prior to that, I was just producing the odd column. I’ve never had much to do with the regular running of the site.

Credit for keep the site running, week in, week out belongs to anw and antonyjohnston. Andrew has edited every damn word on that site (one and a quarter million words at a conservative estimate, or about 10 novels worth) and Antony has dressed up some 1200 articles with header graphics and images. Every bloody week.

So, please, give the pair of them a round of applause, as they shuffle off to the sanatorium, broken and gibbering.

Ninth Art will remain in place as an archive, and there’s a bit more work required to change it from a chronological publishing tool to a useful archive (which probably means I’ll spend more time tinkering with it over the next few years than I ever have while it was live) but for now, that’s all she wrote.

[Charidee] Slightly less gentle reminder:

There are still a number of people who said they’d stump up for Charidee if I shaved my head, and haven’t.

I’ve shaved it three times now, with a fourth on the way tomorrow, so really, there’s not a lot of room for people to say they didn’t know I’d done it.

The form at will close on the 2nd of June. I’m afraid it’s not practical for me to accept donations any other way.

I had pondered threatening to name and shame anyone who’d pledged, but didn’t stump up. But I don’t think that’s in the right sort of spirit.

So just this: a couple of people already made their apologies for one reason or another, and that’s absolutely fair enough. I completely understand that circumstances change between pledging and donating, and that one can’t always do what one wants, or that it might be awkward for some reason for some people to pay on-line. But I’ll think a hell of a lot less of anyone that pledged that doesn’t either stump up, or get in touch just so I know not to expect their cash. No excuses or apologies required, just let me know not to expect anything, please…