life

Science, bitches: it works

Disgracefully, I haven’t written a blog post in a little over a month; predictably, I have an excuse; surprisingly, it’s a really good one. Since easter weekend my partner, Raven, and I have been engaged in a seemingly never-ending battle against the forces of contagion present in the numerous furry creatures we’ve chosen to take on as pets. As you may be aware, we are the proud keepers of a number of rats, and since Good Friday we’ve been trying desperately to manage an outbreak of respiratory infection that spread through the colony faster than internet rumours about John Travolta’s predilection for man-handling the occasional man-handler. As we spent many an hour trying to persuade our collection of adorable nuisances to take a variety of different medicines, weighing them to ensure correct dosing, measuring the amount of food and drink they were taking each day to make sure they were getting enough, and looking for changes in both their behaviour and demeanour, it occurred to me that we were, in a very real way, demonstrating successful application of the scientific method. How do I know it was successful? Simple … it got results. Read more “Science, bitches: it works”

Dead Jew On A Stick

As a sign of how increasingly eccentric and silly a place to work our office has become, one of our colleagues had organised a massive easter egg hunt on Thursday. While sofa cushions were upturned and coffee jars emptied in a desperate hunt for hidden chocolate, I was reminded of two things; first, that our office is peopled exclusively with adults who turn into overgrown children with the appetites of a cluster of super-massive black holes whenever sugar-heavy goodies are made available, and, second, that none of the traditional symbols of this apparently christian festival have got anything to do with christianity. Forever dodging the questions of exactly what relevance the eggs and bunny rabbits of the pagan celebrations usurped by Team Carpenter have to easter, they will instead try to divert your attention to the one and only symbol they have got; a symbol of the boundless love that the one true god (apart from all the others) has for anyone prepared to devote themselves to his service in perpetuity – a half-naked, Palestinian torture-victim nailed to a tree. Read more “Dead Jew On A Stick”

Sign Here

Do you want to hear something really spooky? This post is my thirty-eighth on this site and it comes in the week when I celebrate my thirty-eighth birthday! Isn’t that weird? What do you think it might mean? Hold on, don’t answer, because it gets better! I share my birthday with Dave Grohl, Faye Dunaway, and Richard Briers, which is amazing because, get this, I really like the Foo Fighters, “The Towering Inferno” is one of my favourite films, and I thought Margot was the funniest character in “The Good Life”! Isn’t that incredible? The connections are just so far beyond explanation, it’s almost as if there was some kind of cosmic plan, a purpose to it all … don’t you think? No? Really? Well thank fuck for that because that means you’re not a cloud-brained dipshit who infers a meaning behind every coincidence – I can’t stand you people. If you were too busy drooling out of one side of your mouth when your parents explained the concept of probability to you by way of throwing dice, wake up, wipe your chin, and pay attention – it’s time to learn something. Read more “Sign Here”

New Year’s Peeve

I hope you’ve all managed to make a suitable recovery from the, no doubt, riotous fun you’ve been having over the past week? So, did you all enjoy your last christmas ever? I trust that you had a wonderful, gut-busting lunch or two, a stack of great presents, a few hefty drinks, and … what? Yes, I did say it was your “last christmas ever”, why? Didn’t you know? According to a Mayan prophecy, and a worryingly large number of panicky, gullible idiots who foolishly believe in prophecies (despite their persistent failure over the millennia to actually come true), the world is going to end on December 21st 2012. They don’t say how, just that it’s “going to end” – a tad vague for something so important, don’t you think? But, anyway, yeah, that was it, your last christmas, your last full year, and this will be your last New Year’s Eve ever, so it might be worth making it one for whatever history books will remain after next year. Or, you know, you could just enjoy yourself knowing that it’s all bollocks. Read more “New Year’s Peeve”

Rant-a Claus

It would be very easy for me to talk this week about the death of Christopher Hitchens, and for that reason I’m not going to; everyone else will have said it far better than I and, besides, I’m sure he would have interjected at some point to ask for both an end to the fawning tributes, and as to whether someone could furnish him with directions to the bar. I could talk about how the morning after Hitchen’s passing would also have been the 50th birthday of the late Mr. Bill Hicks, in whose honour this site is named, and how he, like Hitchens, has had a profound influence both on the way I see the world, and how I choose to write about it. But again, many others will have beaten me to the punch, and I don’t like being repetitive (or repetitive). Therefore, rather than spending 3,000 words getting all sombre over the two fine names from my heroes list who sadly don’t get to survive this season, I shall instead attempt to give you a more positive and upbeat christmas post that will hopefully provide some useful advice on how you yourselves can survive this traditionally stressful and treacherous holiday. Read more “Rant-a Claus”

The Fairy Fella’s Master-Stroke

This week, on a couple of occasions, I found myself locked in a bathroom, crying like a girl who had just seen her favourite dolly viciously decapitated by the razor-sharp jaws of the family dog. I make no apologies for that, just as I make none for the fact that I shall again be talking a little about myself in this post (it is after all, the subject I know best). What prompted these highly-emotional sabbaticals to the nearest toilet was the fact that, on Thursday, it had been twenty years since Freddie Mercury, one of my all-time heroes, had been lost to AIDS. So, in honour of this anniversary, and its patron, this week’s post will have a bit of everything; some ranting, some religion, a little bit of love and joy, obviously some music, drama, and celebration of life, and perhaps a tiny hint of self-analysis. Oh, and I’m afraid to say there’ll be a bit of Ben Elton as well … sorry. Read more “The Fairy Fella’s Master-Stroke”

About a boy

Having spent last weekend gallivanting around that London, determined to put in whatever effort was required to enjoy, at all costs, the one big treat I had afforded myself this year (namely seeing the awesome Within Temptation at the Brixton Academy with my fellow radio 4 radical, Simon), I returned to a rather hectic week of work, domestic chores, and an attempt to rectify the recent sexual laziness that has managed to creep in between my boyfriend and I by trying to have it every day (and in every logistically feasible way) this week. Okay, you probably didn’t want to know that, and I apologise for the mental bleach you’ll now require to help rinse any unseemly images out of your head, but I was trying to find the most efficient way I could of bringing together the subjects of “fun”, “hard work”, and “my boyfriend” in the opening paragraph of this, a post for my Raven in celebration of his 30th birthday. Now, be good, click the “Read More” link, and I promise I’ll try to keep any talk of leather and buggery to a minimum. Read more “About a boy”