VSX, A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist: Starbuck Powersurge - a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of Viper Squad Ten, a long-disbanded group of stranded timetravelling troubadours, formed to help finance repairs to their time-machine. Now very much stuck in C21...
All text is copyright the Viper Squad Ten blog team 2003-2006 unless otherwise quoted or credited. If we've not credited you properly, please let me know. Throw us a link if you're desperate enough to use this guff...
I wonder, is it indicative of a fragile pressurised mindstate that, whilst walking around a shop displaying soft cuddly toys at the weekend, I found myself muttering to myself... "He's a cunt, they're cunts, he looks like a cunt".
Q: Why did the apiarist clinical psychologist pour an infusion of leaves and buds from the shrub Camellia sinensis through the top of his beehive?
A: Because he wanted to see bee tea! (CBT)
[26TH JULY UPDATE] To atone for the above, I implore you to make at least one one-off £1.50 donation to OCD-UK by texting "OCD" to 84424 (UK) or via their website if you're feeling more generous (or less UK-based).
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Cheap Innuendo
 Having somehow missed out on the whole Harry Potter franchise phenomenon, I've hardly been swept up in all of the chatter about the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Spoiler.
However, I was incredibly excited to recently discover that Jim Dale, star of eleven twenty-ninth of the Carry On film series, reads the audio book version in the States (as opposed to Stephen Fry's dulcet tones for the Brit editions).
Dr Nookey aka the Rumpo Kid doing Potter spoken word? Marvellous casting - after all, he was destined for the role.
Way back in 1966 he played the role of Albert Potter in Carry on Screaming...
As an old fuddy-duddy who refuses to go near MySpace and who doesn't have the resources to seek out any decent mp3 blogs, I sometimes worry that whole new exciting musical genres will pass me by, despite my best efforts (i.e. reading the Guardian on a Friday).
What will I say to any future offspring when they start talking about γ-aminobutyric acid braindump trance and I don't have a bleedin' clue what the hell they're on about?
So its nice to have just stumbled across Mary Anne Hobbs' 13th July Radio 1 show on the information superhighroad, only to find that I'm a massive fan of dubstep music. I feel 10 years younger already.
As a new non-Shameless Channel 4-commissioned UK drama series is quite a rarity nowadays, I thought this would be worth a look. And the first episode was enjoyably intriguing, with every stylised shot built for satisfying viewer consumption.
Yeah, I know the writers desperately want Lost-style mass viewer pontification on what this is really about (blah blah are they actually in limbo or is that just to bleedin' obvious blah blah), however I'm all pontificated out (I'm still suffering from Matrix Theory Exhaustion Syndrome). Though that said, its already premiered on Showtime in the States (as "Meadowlands"), so I'm already stepping around spoilers left, right and centre. And I can't help but wonder whether Meadowlands is, you know, actually an isolated Prisoner-style community actually on, wait for it, Cape Wrath, the most north-westerly part of Scotland. But with better weather. Hmmm. We'll see.
So all in all, not bad at all. C4 need more of this homegrown stuff, especially now that Sky are likely to just buy up any hit "cult" US shows they might want to nurture.
"You'll never guess who I had in my funeral car the other week"
If there's one thing I hate its talking to taxi drivers.
I try to avoid taking taxis, just to get around having to share disinterested chitchat with someone whom I don't know and whom I am overpaying good money to carry out a service and to just let me get on with enjoying my journey.
Its the same as with hairdressers - I enjoy the procedure (it can feel fairly luxurious being pampered), however its the social part that's the problem.
So I was horrified on the afternoon of my Grandma's funeral to find myself in the front passenger seat of the funeral car, sealed in with the driver and away from the safety of family by a soundproof barrier!
I sat there, quiet within the safety of funereal contemplation, feeling fairly safe that I would not be expected to engage in casual conversation with the driver about weather, holidays and immigration. Surely he wouldn't
My worst expectations were confounded, however, when he pulled the rug from under my feet with an attempt at conversation about fire plates. Fire plates! Fire plates? FIRE PLATES!
[purely as a personal record]
My reading from my Grandma's funeral
Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there; I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sun on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning's hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there; I did not die.
Thinking about my Grandma
I find that it leaves a very strange feeling when someone you love dies, when the circumstances are that death itself is the least worst thing that can realistically happen to your loved one.
You cannot after all grieve for something that has set them free from their pain or torment.
All you can do is contemplate. Celebrate. Remember.
I'm finding myself drifting off into remembrance quite a lot. It almost feels like a part of my mind is on a different plane of existence, that sensation of it working at a different level bordering on the subconscious. I hook my awareness into it and I find that part of myself reliving my life with my Grandma, reliving our shared experiences.
It sounds stupid, but if feels like I'm close to the divine, and believers of course would say that that is exactly what I am experiencing, that she is still close by (except that I've found that this self-same sensation is achievable through art, whether pieces of sound or music, physical spaces, or visual works of art. In beauty.)
Its just the feeling of another strand of thought dreaming away somewhere under the surface.
When I think of my Grandma right now, I think of her laughing with uncontrolled delight as the cat in that old Goodies episode trampled all over London (she was a real cat lover, not that her cats loved me - I must've only seen them a dozen times in all the time she was alive!) Her infectiously rich laugh, her warmth, her love.
I think of my parents driving us down towards London to stay with her at weekends, so many years ago, in a house that I recall as clearly as my current home. In fact, I'm sure that one of the things that must have appealed when first seeing my current home with a view to buy is that structurally and in atmosphere it is in fact incredibly similar to my Grandma's home!
I remember the mysterious glass containers of coloured salts and crystals in the bathroom. I remember the excitement of taking a bath there, the London water seeming silky soft and exquisite by contrast to our own hard water.
I remember feeling adrenalised by the sound of the Heathrow flightpath, the roar of Concorde passing over - little things that made life seem so different compared to my own locality, and the excitement of the capital.
I remember small things that now seem intensely personal to my Grandma, like going into her bedroom in the mornings to watch her use her teasmade, or the extravagant breakfasts that she would put on, complete with toast in the rack, something which made me feel like royalty. Little things, personal things, things that made up my Grandma.
All I can hope is that one day I will be made up of so many beautiful, wonderful parts.