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april 30, 2003

I will make millions by patenting my exclusive, musical and easy to unclasp, One Hit Wonder Bra.
But who would wear such a thing, and why? More importantly, what the hell is it?
stephenb 15:39 - [Link] - Comments ()
As any marble bust of Julius Caesar or laurel crown wearer knows, if you want to methodically colonize and dominate a country and its people, you should first force a new calendar upon them.
This thoroughly disorientates the population and consequently they cannot organize a protest or a rebellion because they do not know what day it is.
Bearing that in mind, here is some information for you:

Today is Rupertday, the 45th day of Tambo, in the Year of The Rottweiler: There are minus-seventeen days until Phlanatant. In Greenland and the Azores we celebrate the Feast of Magenta, and it is Saint Herbert's Day in New Zealand and the Aleutians - all Saint Herbert statuettes should be stored in the Loopanasium.
Please be advised that Plantain harvest begins in two sectors of Nym on alternate Riminibbers - so please no jumping in the Grebathon this year.
Please respond by Oboday, the ninth day of Jiminiah to receive your free Booklet of Regulations and new haircut. Otherwise you will be shot as a traitor and your body dumped in the Tiber.

stephenb 10:04 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 29, 2003
Perhaps someone can tell me what the point of a "live" review of a musical concert is. Surely anybody who didn't go isn't interested, and anybody who did go already knows what happened. The event is over, it is gone, and it will never happen again in the same way - so nobody can learn anything from the details of the review.
Frankly, the best live concert I ever saw was Johnny Thunders. He walked on stage nearly three hours late, guitar slung over his shoulder, accompanied by two dreadlocked men carrying bongo drums. He said, "Hi I'm Johnny and these are my Rastas." Then he fell over and didn't get up again so there was no music.
A truly magical evening for me, and worth every penny.
I heard that Johnny Thunders died of a heroin overdose shortly afterwards.
Oh well.

stephenb 15:16 - [Link] - Comments ()
Very Random

He was a big bastard called Norman who ate with his hands. Could have been court jester at the court of Alphonse IX if he played his cards right. No such luck. But his blood was medieval, plowman's blood, and it flowed through a stained-glass heart with a picture of Pontius Pilate At His Breakfast on it. I hated him. They said his brother was Norwegian, but I could smell the Balinese all over him. It stank in his hair like an imported tropical gel. Very greasy, very, very slippery. "No, not today, thank you," I told him. "We don't accept Balinesian coinage in this establishment. Not from the likes of you at any rate."
He tried to sell me a sledgehammer with a bit of the handle missing. No takers. It was solid oak, though, you could feel the quality, feel the width.
"I've got to get a bus to Omaha." he said.
So I slammed the fucking door in his face.
I heard later he took part in human pyramid scheme somewhere out in the desert. He was on the bottom as usual and didn't get a drink for fifteen days. That's his skeleton hanging up in the corner. We went round the medical college with it but couldn't give it away: too bleached, they told us, been out in the sun too long.
That's always the way. Bloody Norman. Useless to the last drop.
stephenb 13:53 - [Link] - Comments ()
Attended a Satanic ritual last night. Here is what happened.
The moon was low, and a creeping mist enshrouded the hollow hill. Somewhere an enormous crow farted, then ruffled his own feathers and flew off into the ink black night. As usual, the Bretheren met in the sacred circle by the abandoned church. All were hooded except Brother Bartholomew, since he has a massive afro and cannot fit his hood over his head. The secret chant was chanted and the sacrificial calf was led into the center of the circle by a golden rope. Satan was summoned, the calf's throat was slit, blood flowed into the magical goblet and - Hey Presto! - the sacrificial calf was turned into instant roast beef with baked potato,
asparagus, and pearl onions! Hallelujah in reverse. All hail Satan - the Lord of Sunday lunch on Monday night.
But wait.... no gravy? This must be why Satan is known as the Evil One. Yet again we had been tricked by His diabolical sense of humor and His poor knowledge of sauces and appropriate garnish.
stephenb 10:03 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 28, 2003
Hope you get my little joke in the sub-header above.
If not, well....
Anyway this one is dedicated to John Coxon
GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time, and it's what they say on the BBC World Service (broadcasting to everywhere on Earth except North America) when they are telling you what the time is at Bush House.
Greenwich is a town in England on the Thames, downstream of London. Somebody whose name escapes me wrote an interesting book about the place and it's association with Time.
Right now it's 19:05 GMT, so about two of the clock in the afternoon here in Boston.

stephenb 14:15 - [Link] - Comments ()
It seems people are often led unawares to this page by Google and other search engines. And I sit and think to myself, "What in the name of Baphomet's Beard could they have been looking for that this little waste of internet space was one of the most relevant results?"
Well, it turns out that Stephenhead is also the name of some Italian (I think) musical company. Frankly, I would be pretty annoyed if I was looking for Italian musical composition and came across this load of nonsense.
Mind you, I would be equally annoyed if I was looking for a load of nonsense and found Italian music instead.
stephenb 13:55 - [Link] - Comments ()
Jazz is the most extreme genre of music: at best it provides a perfect soundtrack to certain moods indigo that no other type of sound can provide; but at worst, well, pass those ear plugs with handy sick bag attachment.
The diction of Jazz, for instance, is absolutely cringe-inducing -"cat" as an adjective to describe some ponytailed buffoon with a saxaphone being the most obvious example. Even the very word "Jazz" is spine-chillingly hideous; apparently it is ancient urban slang for scrotum gymnastics.
Anyway, on Saturday night I was forced to listen to the most shockingly disastrous finger-snapping rendition of My Funny Valentine that I have ever heard - with the exception of Elvis Costello's obviously - sung by a wretchedly untalented employee of the restaurant I had the misfortune to be eating in.
I began to wonder what could possibly be so funny about this guy's valentine - perhaps she has a face like a moose? Hence her looks, which according to the lyricist are so laughably unphotographable.
Or perhaps she was an equally untalented stand-up comedienne, who - shiver racing up my spine like a Ferrari- might be the next employee/act about to take the stage. Or maybe she was just, you know, funny in the head, a mental case.
It's hard to tell in the world of Jazz.

stephenb 11:34 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 25, 2003
A girl on the train this morning was reading a book called Dating For Dummies
Is there any other kind of dating?
As I always say, "My hobbies include yawning a lot, staring into space, and never calling you back."
And she replies, "That's really great. I'm a big fan of ordering the most expensive thing on the menu, going to the bathroom every twenty seconds, and twitching uncontrollably because my clothes are too tight."
"Perhaps you should take them off."
I remember some rubbishy stand-up comedian saying, "The term One Night Stand isn't accurate because you're not standing." - just goes to prove what unimaginative, unsexy, and unfunny people stand-up comedians are.
I mean, what if you are in an alley?

stephenb 09:51 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 24, 2003
I went to a party last night where one of the guest was boring everyone senseless with pretentious and conceited descriptions of all the old ragtime jazz vinyl records he owned. So I decided to sit down and trump him with a list of names of all the old Vaudeville song sheets I have collected over the years: Oops Mrs Walker Where Are My Trousers etc... and he shut-up.
Regular readers of this blog will no doubt realize that I just made these song titles up as I went along, and that there is no such collection. Fortunately the red-faced fool didn't know me.
The only exception to this nonsense was the first song I mentioned to him, I'm Bringing A Watermelon To My Girl Tonight, which was a real olde-tyme song.
I do actually own a copy of this great song, recorded by the Bonzo Dog Band in the sixties. The lyrics are truly superb. The first verse begins with the singer stating that he bought his girl an apple and she let him hold her hand. He then brings her an orange and "she let me touch her here and there". Finally he brings her a watermelon and, well, you have to use your imagination.
The second verse begins with him providing his girl with ribbons for her hair. Unfortunately the relationship then goes into decline, and he ends up bringing her a rope so she can "go and hang herself."
Great stuff.
stephenb 15:45 - [Link] - Comments ()
The weather gets warmer, and all of a sudden there are more bums on the street. I am a great believer in private charity, but it depends a great deal on the phraseology used when I'm being tapped:
1. "Buddy, can you spare a dime?" - Most gladly.
2. "Spare some change for the homeless?" - Not on your life.
I mean, the change spared isn't for "the" homeless is it: no, it will almost certainly be exclusively pocketed by the person asking for it, who is usually about as homeless as the Queen of Spain.
My personal favorite are the loungers who hang around outside late night stores holding the door open for you, then abuse you if you don't give them something when you leave. For some reason, this particular genre of bum almost always wears really expensive Nike sneakers. Who are they trying to kid?
I'm no great bewhiskered Victorian philanthropist, but I suppose I give about two dollars a week to authentic, beaten-up, grimy looking Gentlemen of the Road who ask me for a dime and call me "Buddy".
stephenb 10:06 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 23, 2003
Pick up any newspaper, substitute the word "inertia" whenever you see the word SARS, and you have the front page of my life today.
This weary, heavy-limbed, elephantine lazybones drags himself over to the computer, and with one finger he types the tired, lacklustre entry you see before you.
No. No sun, etc.
stephenb 15:05 - [Link] - Comments ()
No. No inspiration today

A bleak gray smudge of clouds. Wind blowing northeast chases it's own tail like a bored cat and paws at the windows. Spring is hesitant to dip it's toe in the stagnant pools of oil-slicked rainwater that drown the hollows in this pot-holed street. No. No sun. A child spins by riding his bicycle, falls off and grazes his knee. Patch of blood. A desperate plea for a faraway mother. Gaunt and as yet leafless trees shiver with cold, their black branches demanding warmth from this brooding, unlistening sky. No. No sun. Not today.
A man, perhaps the sort of man who writes a blog everyday, every single day without end, crushes a curling wave of plain cream cheese on the surface of a plain bagel with his plastic knife. Then he puts his plain cream cheese smothered plain bagel on a plain plastic plate, for he, let us speak plainly, is a plain man.
A plain man lost beneath a bleak gray smudge of clouds. Wind blowing northeast chases it's own tail like a bored....
For Pete's sake! What am I going on about? I mean, my God...
No. No God, etc...
stephenb 10:30 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 22, 2003
Received a German gas mask in the mail today; rather an unusual postal event for me.
Actually I won it in a competition, the challenge being to come up with a good email signature line. My entry was a quote from Ludwig Wittgenstein: "That of which we cannot speak we must pass over in silence." I thought it was very apropos for email, and I was right.
However, personally, I have never considered them to be words to live by.
stephenb 15:23 - [Link] - Comments ()
Whart (mis-type but I'm going to leave it because I love it - think I'm going to spell 'what' like that from now on!)
Anyway, whart I like about the little picture above is that I pasted the stephenhead and the picture on to the book she is reading, thus it becomes one of those scenes that goes on forever - a girl reading a stephenhead book with a picture of herself on the front reading a stephenhead book with a picture of herself on the front reading a stephenhead book with.... but what about that blurb on the back?

Good night last night for me ... asparagus and fava bean salad, followed by rainbow trout with rainsins and pine nuts over spinach, all topped off by chocolate and espresso mousse. Then I went home and watched Fellini's Satyricon
I have a great fear that the world will actually end up rather like Fellini's vision of decadent, collapsing Rome.
Petronius' actual book The Satyricon is one of those few classical texts that I've never been able to finish.

stephenb 09:37 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 21, 2003
When packing for a trip, it always pays dividends to plan for the unexpected. Personally, I always ensure my suitcase contains a re-sealable packet of strawberry flavored powdered drink. This way, if my travel plans go awry and I find myself floating on a wooden raft in the middle of the Indian Ocean, forced to drink my own urine to stay alive, I just add the strawberry flavored powdered drink to the mix and it doesn't taste so bad. I should add that you also need to pack a sturdy plastic beaker to drink out of, and a straw too, not to mention a plastic spoon for mixing purposes, and a selection of fresh fruit makes a suitable and attractive garnish. But then you also need a paring knife to cut the fruit into easily handled segments, and a clean napkin just in case any of the strawberry urine and fruit juice dribbles down your chin. I suppose you could always use your life jacket as a sort of kid's bib thing to wipe away excess spillage - but that would be bad table manners. So in case any other survivors are also clinging to the raft, I suggest you push them off so that you can use your life jacket in any way you see fit without causing embarrassment to yourself - Quick Tip: you can use your paring knife to stab at the fingers of the other survivors if they put up a fight.

But that's just me - you can just pack an extra pair of shoes if you like, but it won't do you any good.

stephenb 14:57 - [Link] - Comments ()
And speaking of Winslow Homer, seascape painter supreme, I think it is very important that I mention the wonderful BBC shipping forecast again; that eerie, ghostly sounding, poetic litany of ocean streams and coastal waters, the weather performing sleight-of-hand tricks around and above the plucky oilskin-clad trawlermen as they navigate a steady course through Southwest Viking, North Fiztroy, Fastnet, and Thames Dover: a crackling voice emanates from the shortwave: "Southwest Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger. Cyclonic 5 TO 7 becoming westerly 4 OR 5. thundery rain or showers. Moderate or good."
Great stuff. Very relaxing if you're not actually out there in a boat being buffeted against implacable undersea rocks by merciless winds and waves; and fortunately I am not.
But I will have the baked filet of sole. Thanks.
stephenb 12:25 - [Link] - Comments ()
Here are some adventure story spoof ideas that need chewing over, perhaps a few rapier stabs in the backside might do the trick and force them into shape:
Last Of The Dodecaheedrons - something about Einstein paddling an animal skin covered canoe furiously upstream: the secrets of Native American sacred geometry involved somehow?
Gullible's Travels - a very tall man is easily fooled by a travel agent into taking a vacation to Pittsburgh: would it work if he met people called The Lilliput-one-over-on-you-ians? No perhaps not.
The Count of Monty Python - wacky, zany nobleman who dresses like a woman and talks in a high voice is kept imprisoned in a parrot cage. He pretends to die, and his owner takes him back to the shoppe to complain. Perhaps this is when he escapes? Is there room in the plot for an exploding penguin?
That's enough adventure story spoof ideas for now.

stephenb 11:49 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 18, 2003
The Concorde: from sonic boom to sonic bust. Oh well.
When I was a kid I used to make paper aeroplanes and twist and fold the nose over so they would look more like the Concorde.
They never flew either.
stephenb 10:53 - [Link] - Comments ()
Running Away To Join The Media Circus
So I went to the photoshoppe and bought the store.
That's a portrait of some British parliamentarian by Thomas Gainsborough with my face stuck on and the wig pouffed up a little bit. The obligatory bag of poison is added for good measure.
stephenb 10:45 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 17, 2003
Time Sensitive

Thursday afternoon and time is moving really slowly. In fact, it's normally already Friday morning by now.
But no, not today - or to be accurate - no, not tomorrow.
On the whole, I would say that today has been roughly seven hours and twelve seconds longer than yesterday was, not counting the brief moments I spent laying unconcious on the floor.
Does this mean that Friday will be even shorter than it usually is?
Or will Friday - that most roister-doistering of days - borrow a few hours from Saturday, since Saturday put the squeeze on Sunday last week and Friday has come to collect.
Who can say?
Personally I have to go now. My time is up.

stephenb 17:19 - [Link] - Comments ()
Recent scientific experiments with refracted light in my Lab have been extremely satisfying, and I am pleased to announce that I have discovered a new level of black that I am calling "The Black of Beyond" - it is a remarkably murky and abysmal eldritch hue of pitch black and travels at what Peter Cook called "the speed of dark", which means it doesn't travel at all.
Black of Beyond can swallow a whole black hole and spit it out without anyone noticing because it is so infinitely black.
In short, Black of Beyond is the new black.
If you would like a Black Tie outfit - suitable for weddings and gala openings - made out of specially dyed Black of Beyond blackened and worsted wool, please remit your entire bank account to:
Black of Beyond Promotions
The Black Buildings
Blackness, Black 00000.
Or why not stop by in person, we are the first black door in the black corridor leading to the basement. Ring the black buzzer. If we can see anything we will hand over the goods.

stephenb 13:27 - [Link] - Comments ()
Great actors of the world's stages

1. Dirk Bogarde - sleek, sophisticated, and arch. Dirk would undoubtedly play me if a film were ever made of this page and he wasn't dead already.
2. Roger Livesy - the ordinary man's leading man. Tremendous speaking voice. Who can forget Roger's kilt wearing activities in I Know Where I'm Going?
3. Pierce Brosnan - the James Bond's James Bond. The James Bond to end all James Bonds - and if I was particularly hungover on a Sunday with nothing to do I even found Remington Steele vaguely watchable.
4. Me - the me's me. Those who were fortunate enough to catch my performance as Merry Jim in the Cackleton Mental Asylum Player's production of Excuse Me, There's a Genie in my Bottle of Syrup o' Figs will never forget it. The Cackleton newsletter was moved to remark, "Mr. Stephenhead in the role of Merry Jim reminded this reviewer of Dirk Bogarde and Pierce Brosnan playing the two halves of a pantomime horse. We left before the second act."

stephenb 11:05 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 16, 2003
My friend Shari's birthday, and here is the card I made for her.
Very topical.
stephenb 15:13 - [Link] - Comments ()
My Maxims, or Words To Live By

1. Children should be seen but not heard.
2. Feet should be heard but not seen.
3. Women you like should be both seen and heard, then asked out to dinner, then heard but not seen, then invited over, then seen but not heard, then heard but not seen... it gets really complicated, I really wish Seneca or Oscar Wilde or somebody could help me out with this one.
stephenb 10:31 - [Link] - Comments ()
Telling It Like It Is

The sun comes out, temperatures rise, and the slovenly, disheveled masses cast several hundred years of enlightened civilization to the winds: yes, I'm talking about people wearing flip-flops.
Personally, I never leave the house without a tie, even on those days when you can fry up breakfast for six on the hood of a car. But then I never take my coat off until after the third date either. Presentable and cautious - it's just the way I like to live my life.
The first days of warm weather always remind me that Jamaica is the last place on Earth I would wish to visit: terrible music that sounds like someone's made a cheap harmonica by folding old rolling papers over a toothless comb and stolen his mother's saucepan to bang on; dumb drinks that look like someone poured the contents of a dirty fish tank into a marguerite glass and then stuck a curly thermometer in; and childishly painted, hand-carved wooden stick paraphernalia for the awful dysfunctional "pot" experience that comes as part of your package tour.
"Would you like to buy my pretty shells?"
"No thanks."
"This shell is also a massive bong."
"Go away."
Jamaica is to me what kryptonite is to Superman.
My idea of a great vacation is traveling to Venice and hiring a speedboat with a really loud klaxon - creating enormous waves as I motor towards the Lido, tie fluttering over my shoulder.
"Get out of my way!"

stephenb 10:07 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 15, 2003
Sense, Perception and Money - How The Mind Really Works
With particular reference to my own

I sit here and think, if I were in New York today I would wander down to the Mercer Kitchen, order an omlette for $20, then stroll up the street to the APC store and buy one of their nice polka dot shirts for $160.
Since I am not in New York today, that means I have actually made a savings of $180 - and therefore I can spend at least $100 of my savings up here in Boston as a reward for saving money by not being down in New York, and I also make $80 on the whole deal!!
It's very simple arithmetic.

stephenb 14:12 - [Link] - Comments ()
Obviously nobody likes taxes, but it is a far superior system now than in the olden days when they were called "tribute", and you would have to hand over half your oxen herd, a sack of potatoes, and your (hopefully) still virginal youngest daughter.
Fortunately I always get money back after doing my yearly tax return, but I don't get as much as some people seem too - you know the type: "Just got my tax refund and I'm going to buy a yacht with it."

stephenb 09:52 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 14, 2003
After much inner turmoil and heated mental debate, I have finally decided to add Thorne Smith to the exalted company of my Great Ones Of The Earth in the left hand column of this web log.
Thorne Smith wrote The Passionate Witch which was adapted for film as I Married A Witch starring the unbeatably gorgeous Veronica Lake, and later inspired the TV series Bewitched.
He also wrote the original novels that became the Topper series of films. But his best book is probably the truly unique Nightlife Of The Gods which has never been filmed but should be.
First edition copies of these books now sell for a small fortune, but in my opinion are not really as funny as people claim. In fact they seem rather over-labored when compared to, say, PG Wodehouse.
But he was a true original, and so he gets in.
stephenb 16:46 - [Link] - Comments ()
Some thoughts on the Great Outdoors

1. My idea of "The Wilderness" is a stretch of land without high-end department stores in it and no artsy cinema.

2. My idea of "roughing it" is shared bathroom facilities in a quaint Bed & Breakfast somewhere picturesque.

3. The only kind of tent you are likely to find me in is a special events pavilion erected in case it rains during an alfresco party; or the Big Top at Cirque du Soleil (if someone gives me free tickets).

The High Seas, however, well that 's an entirely different matter - I'm the kind of salty sea dog pirate who plunders the Spanish Main with a cutlass clasped between my teeth, forcing landlubbers to walk the plank, and employing a variety of hefty bosomed cabin girls to wipe the parrot crap off my shoulder.
stephenb 13:47 - [Link] - Comments ()
Here is the guest list and notes for my Annual Swashbuckling Classic Adventure Hero dinner party that I am hosting this weekend.

Robinson Crusoe +1
Last of the Mohicans (must bring his own finger bowl this year)
Count of Monte Cristo
Davey Crockett
The Three Musketeers - except Athos, the boring one.
Scarlet Pimpernel (prompt arrival appreciated)
Swiss Family Robinson (child portions optional)
Tarzan and Jane (proper dress required)
Flash Gordon
Dale Arden
Doctor Zharkov (just in case the blender breaks again this year)
Sherlock Holmes (no smoking at the table)
Miss Marple (liquids only)

If you would like to be included in this festive occasion, email me explaining how you daringly escaped from Cutthroat Island, saved the Queen of France from the evil Cardinal, or how you killed Captain Blood in a duel to the death.
You must bring chocolate cake if you come.

stephenb 10:18 - [Link] - Comments ()
Last night I held one of my Special Pampered Luxury Sunday Nights at home.
This generally involves the following elements:
1. Soaking in my imported Count of Monte Cristo bubble bath.
2. One pair of scarlet silk boxer briefs.
3. One silk smoking gown with chinoise pattern.
4. Two bottles of Chateau Rake Special Reserve Vin Rouge.
5. One paquet hand-rolled Prince of Tonga gold tipped cigarettes.
6. One Atlantic salmon, freshly caught, thinly sliced.
7. One baguette de extra longue sans crusty bits on the end.
8. One Roger Moore James Bond Film.
9. One Samurai film
8. Slinky female in Cleopatra wig and skimpy see-thru toga who does my taxes for me.

stephenb 09:35 - [Link] - Comments ()
Checkered Flag And A Checkered Past

People often say that their darts or pool game improves dramatically after a few drinks, well, I find the same is true for me with international motor racing.
For example, at the recent Monte Carlo Grand Prix I was driving about twelve seconds per lap behind the Lotus team - so I check into the pit stop, change the oil, sink about sixteen beers, get back on the track - and what do you know - all of a sudden I'm running two hours and twenty seconds ahead!
After I crossed the finish line I was so wasted that I popped the champagne cork into my own forehead and knocked both bikini clad girls off the victory rostrum - but that's the magic of Formula One.
stephenb 09:03 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 11, 2003

It is surely time that I came clean and confessed to my Three Greatest Sins:
1. I am far too secretive and never reveal anything about myself.
2. I raise people's expectations and lead them on by claiming I'm going to confess my sins, but then let the matter drop without another word.
3. I pretend to make lists of three items, but the third one doesn't really exist.
4. I lie and add a fourth thing to the list when I promised there would only be three, even though the fourth item really doesn't exist either.

I would like to apologize for wasting your time by making meaningless lists. It's one of my greatest sins, the others are:

1. I am far too secretive and never reveal anything about myself.
2. I raise people's expectations and lead them on by claiming I'm going to confess my sins, but then let the matter drop without another word.
3. I pretend to make lists of three items, but the third one doesn't really exist.
4. I lie and add a fourth thing to the list when I promised there would only be three, even though the fourth item really doesn't exist either.

Oh God, what am I doing? I'm shutting the computer off before too much light is cast into my hidden depths.
stephenb 19:03 - [Link] - Comments ()
I have been put in charge of the children's shows section of the new pro-American Iraq TV station.
Here are some examples of shows I will be producing:
Bob The Re-Builder
Thomas The Tank Destroyer
Mommy and Baghdaddy
Winnie The Kurd
The Puppets, featuring Chirac The Frog and Miss Priggy
Paddington Blair
Britney Spears live in Babylon
Can't think of anymore right now.

stephenb 17:00 - [Link] - Comments ()
Having A Quiet Word About This Page

From time to time I get emails from disgruntled viewers of this page, and the basic drift of their opinions goes something like this: "This is not a real blog. It's just stupid."
Fair enough. Return to Blogged Down or whatever other pages you came from.
As Hassan Ibn Sabbah the Old Man of the Mountains might have said if he had a laptop and a blogging tool, "Nothing on this page is true, everything is permitted."
If you want to know about truth, I refer you to the New Man of the Mountains, Mohammed Said al-Sahaf
Now he has some blogging to catch up on....

stephenb 14:48 - [Link] - Comments ()
The Self-Deceived

I am dedicating today's entry to Mohammed Said al-Sahaf, former Iraqi Information Minister, and surely one of the most unequivocably lovable and eccentric figures of modern times: a true head-in-the-sand propagandist of his own self-evident nosense; a buffoon of extremely high calibre; a one man orchestra playing a comic tune of his own composition while the ship goes down; and all his 'pure drivel' briefings were performed sans standard issue Iraqi moustache! - here was a man, balls out and straight faced, with nothing to hide except his own concept of reality.
Mohammed Said al-Sahaf - you, sir, are a genius. And I salute you.
stephenb 11:39 - [Link] - Comments ()
I notice with some concern that my parents are wasting yet more of my inheritence on a cruise down the Nile. They euphemistically refer to it a "much needed vacation", but I call it blatant theft.
At this rate Juan will not be able to live in the bowl style he has become accustomed to.
My father is turning into one of those, "Oh Golly, they don't make things like they used to, nothing is built to last anymore, people are incredibly stupid nowadays.. but isn't life fine and dandy ha ha" Andy Rooney sort of old men.
No doubt this will be my fate too, if there's enough money left for me to have a fate. Or, as the French say, "Oo will pay fur ze fish fude?"
stephenb 09:52 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 10, 2003
Take me to your leader: Cut out picture of my friend Abby's head transposed on to old photo of a child (me) wearing a sailor suit. Background is called Garages and was painted by some modern artist or other. Pirate logo came from the webdings font.
Yes. I have been busy with photoshop.
stephenb 15:28 - [Link] - Comments ()
For maximum effect, the following blog entry should be read aloud in a dry, educated, Nature documentary-type monotone

Here in the Scrotum Orchard, the individual scrotums hang from their branches like tiny wrinkled baubles on a fake pink Christmas tree.
The fields are phallo in this, the Scrotum Orchard. Budding scrotums hide amongst the wiry tendrils and curling bristly roots but are easy prey for the foraging fingerbeasts that prowl through this, the Scrotum Orchard.
It is Autumn in the Scrotum Orchard. Fall arrives with a russet tongue, and the wind whispers in a much lower tone through this, the Scrotum Orchard.
The farmer's daughter is making cider, she...
stephenb 12:42 - [Link] - Comments ()
More about Juan

The Ballad Of Juan
Lyrics by Stephenhead/ O. Hammerstein/G. Verdi
Music by D. Shostakovich: arranged for solo bassoon by G. Mahler.

Hear my song, a gentle yarn
About a goldfish called Juan

That's all we have so far. I mean, let's face it, Juan hasn't been alive very long and hasn't done very much with his life, except, of course, defy death every week when his fish bowl is cleaned out. He's no Robin Hood or anything like that, therefore Juan's song is a modest one.
stephenb 09:28 - [Link] - Comments ()

I have acquired a small goldfish whom I am calling "Juan".
I am his only friend, his sole confidante.
Over the following weeks, possibly days or even minutes, I shall be providing you with updates on Juan's progress: his hopes, his dreams, and how his life is a constant brush with death.
Tomorrow, for example, I am placing Juan in the bathroom sink while I clean out his fish bowl.

Interesting facts about Juan:
Juan's favorite method of transport is a clear plastic bag full of water.
Since the bag expands when you put more water in, Juan calls it his stretch limousine.

stephenb 08:53 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 09, 2003
Cesare Borgia's Blog

Fortunately, the amount of poison I drink everyday is completely harmless.
I am very partial to two particular flavors of poison in particular: almondine de bittere au regular, and plain carbonated bitter almond - or the green poison and the red poison as they are more commonly known.
Lucretzia keeps both flavors in small glass vials that she secretes twixt her ample breasts. When I am not looking, she pours one of the poisons into my afternoon glass of grappa and I have to guess which one it is.
"Almondine de bittere au regular?"
"Wrong!" and she kicks me playfully in the groin.
Then I go outside and invade the Campagna with my soldiers.
Sometimes Niccolo says to me, "Many years from now your descendants will move to a place called New York, and they will learn to balance their lunch boxes on huge swaying iron girders high in the air as they drill rivets into the superstructure of the Empire State Building."
"And what else will they do?"
"They will fight over who makes the best spaghetti bolognese."
"And who will win?" I ask.
"He who uses The Prince brand spaghetti sauce."

stephenb 16:07 - [Link] - Comments ()
No idea what came over me just now, but here it is

I'm going into the food business this Easter with my new Palm Sundae - yes, that's right! - it's ice cream flavored with Heart Of Palm. And there is a big cherry on top which signifies the blood of our lord, Jesus Christ.
My new Palm Sundae - Mmmmm! - doesn't so much rise from the dead as rise from the stomach.
Doubting Thomas? Well stick your finger in the thick, creamy topping and give it a good swirl - Mmmmm! - Palm Sundae!
Last one being sick in the toilet is a rotten Easter Egg!
Order now while supplies remain fresh (about half an hour).
But why not try stale also? Mmmmm!

stephenb 14:32 - [Link] - Comments ()
I have been looking into hooking myself on to the Digital Radio bandwagon, such as it: a few old carts pulled by a lame donkey by the looks of things.
Anyway, you have to buy a subscription for Digital Radio like you do for satellite or cable TV - and just like the TV services, there are basic channels that come free with your radio subscription, and then there are premium channels for which you pay extra. One of the premium channels is Playboy Radio - now who in their right mind would pay over the odds for pornography on the radio?
Yeah, those moans, grunts, and slimy sounds come through crystal clear in Digital.
But the really bad thing about Digital Radio is the lack of hiss and pop noises that I love so much with Shortwave. It's just that the bastards at BBC World Service no longer transmit to North America.
You can receive BBC World - occasionally - by tuning to their Carribean frequency, but that's about it, unless, of course, you don't mind listening to the Jew-bashing American NPR.
There is the webcast too, but that's a really crap way to listen to anything.
stephenb 13:08 - [Link] - Comments ()
Went to see the movie called Spider for the second time. It is depressing, gray, and somewhat disturbing, but also very artfully constructed, acted, and filmed. You should see it if you have the chance, I cannot recommend it too highly.
Amongst all the other dross, garbage, worthless glitz, and empty spectacle, I cannot remember any other film of recent vintage that has stayed with me when I left the theater like Spider has.
And, it must be said, tremendous performance by Ralph Fiennes - ugh, now there I've said it.
Miranda Richardson and Gabriel Byrne are also excellent, but then they usually are - especially her.
I'm no big fan of David Cronenberg, but I really think this film is so vastly superior to anything else in the last ten years.

stephenb 11:51 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 07, 2003
As I was sorting out my book shelves last night, I found an old paperback copy of The Big Sleep wedged next to a coffee table book about 19th century British Art.
And so..

A new Sir Samuel Spade, R.A. hardboiled mystery:
Suitable For Framing geddit?

It was a long time since I'd been back in the Big Easel. I hailed a hay cart and went up east to the Goblin Market. She was laying there on the divan like some kind of Persian fantasy by Frederic Leighton. Her full-on Oriental splendour caught me smack right in the old Jamie Whistlers. But I had to admit, the Garden of the Hesperides never looked so good and I have always been a sucker for significant form.
I said, "So what's it to be, Babe? Venus Disrobing For Her Bath or Truth Revealed By Time. There have been six Pre-Raphaelites in this town in the past twenty-four hours, and I'm going to find out the whole Helen Of Troy on what's been going on, you hear me."
She shook her garland of daisies scornfully: "This ain't no ordinary Round Table, Johnny." she replied. "Pack up your paint tubes and go home before your sienna gets burnt."
"I don't like your exaggerated perspective, sweetheart, we're mixing from different palettes and we always have."

That's all I've done so far.
stephenb 17:46 - [Link] - Comments ()
Dubious Moral Tale

At this juncture I think it important to point out that I was never a bully at school.
I was, however, the boy who told the bully what to say.
Our school bully was not very eloquent, and he needed all the help he could get when it came to thinking up snappy on-the-spot insults.
In short, then, I was the devil on the shoulder of the bully, his right-hand man, and in this role I provided a valuable service.
Targets were more often than not accused of the crime of being themselves - a ghastly hideous crime in most cases, I mean these were horrible little spotty eleven year olds - and then we held mock trials where the accused could try and defend himself.
Usually the accused would plead not guilty to the crime of being himself, and consequently the trial would last for weeks as we tried to prove that he was.
Witnesses, experts on the subject (the accused's so-called friends), forensic evidence, and photographs and tape recordings of the accused being himself would all be paraded through the court. Finally, the accused would be harangued for hours until his spirit broke and he confessed to being himself.
Then we all went home for our dinner.
The bully often said to me that he thought bullying should be a lot more simple and straightforward than the rigorous proceedure described above. It is only with the benefit of hindsight that I can see that the bully was right.

stephenb 14:56 - [Link] - Comments ()
Over the weekend I was forced at gunpoint to rent the DVD filmofthebook called About A Boy starring Peer Gynt or somebody or other.
I felt the title was highly misleading because it was not about a boy at all; in fact it was about people making a movie, and contained all these "interview" style scenes of Peer Gynt and extras dressed as the so-called cast and crew talking about how much they liked each other- then I realized I was watching the "Making of the filmofthebook" documentary special feature by mistake.
Have to say that I like Peer Gynt. The rest of the interviews were boring and the directors - two of them! - looked especially slovenly.
The actual movie? It was alright.

stephenb 12:34 - [Link] - Comments ()
My squat, fat, nerdy, ugly little puke-colored Imac is acting up and being very, very slow today. Sometimes it's like a backwards child.
So I've made it sit in the corner all morning wearing a dunce hat - one of those really ignominious cone-shaped dunce hats - and then later on I'm going to throw it's shoes into a tree and steal it's lunch money.
I think part of the problem is the Mac program called "Stickies". I've tried to erase it off the hard drive but I can't. It keeps reappearing like that spotty, awkward little kid at the back of the bus who wants to be your friend and won't go away. I'm afraid hardcore bullying is the ONLY answer.
You know, if you were a super-villain and wanted to destroy the Pentagon's computers, all you would have to do is install "Stickies" on them and hey presto! - instant success.
Honestly, I think I would rather have bubonic plague rather than "stickies".
stephenb 12:10 - [Link] - Comments ()
Dave the Feng Shui plumber has been around my apartment again:
"Toilet facing north creates bad energy flow and pipes get blocked and will not flush away evil spirits."
"How much am I paying you?"
"Sixty dollar service fee and ten dollars for magic herbs."
Dave places a small enamel statue of Confucius on top of the cistern and ignites a stick of specialty made bleach scented incense.
"There is bad chi trapped in your shower so water sometimes runs tepid."
"How do I get rid of it?"
"Medicine cabinet should be removed so mirror does not reflect bad chi back into room and bounce it off deodorants and shaving cream back into hot water tank. Evil bathroom spirits are attracted by pale blue towels and hide under bathmat. Toothbrush must...
This is the third time Dave has been here: anything to explain why he can't fix things.

stephenb 09:38 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 04, 2003
Knights In Au Gratin
Just popped into my head. Can't honestly think of anything to say about that... King Arthur in cheese sauce on a round table... no, there's nothing coming through.
Performed by The Goudery Shoes? No.
But it is a great title for something. Perhaps I could sell it to Weird Al Berkowitz or whatever his name is.
stephenb 14:51 - [Link] - Comments ()
Morbid Friday

You know, when I die, I'm thinking of putting a small portion of my Last Will and Testament aside to hire a skywriting plane. And I want this skywriting plane to write my name in huge letters across the sky, with the words "is dead" after it.
Reckon I could raise the money from the proceeds received by auctioning off my vast collection of French New Wave Cinema action figurines. Well, a good portion of the money, anyway.
stephenb 12:41 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 03, 2003
Nostalgia Factory
Found some old photographic slides of me as a small boy.
Quite horrified to realize that I still dress in pretty much the same way as my mother dressed me.
The dirt on my face is dust on the slide: I was actually a very clean child.
Photograph was taken by me father in Sutton Park, a large expanse of greenery in Sutton Coldfield, England. This is where I learned to ride a bike. Dad held on to the saddle and I pedalled my way over the grass, and then, suddenly, I looked around and he was standing off in the distance laughing and I was riding by myself without help: I had felt too secure to be frightened. It is probably my earliest memory.

stephenb 13:22 - [Link] - Comments ()
As a rule, I am not particularly keen on blood sports. However, I must admit that such country pursuits did contribute the word "brace" to the language as a description of a set of two of anything; and I like the word "brace" as a description of a set of two of anything.
Actually, I am currently attempting to introduce "brace" in to my vocabulary as a replacement for the tired, passe, and rather worn out word "pair" as a description of a set of two of anything, for example:
1. A brace of donuts - random everyday use, as in "small coffee and a brace of plain donuts, please."
2. A brace of postcards from Valparaiso - rare usage, as in "Fiona went on vacation and sent me a brace of postcards from Valparaiso."
3. A brace of black socks - questioning usage in the laundromat, as in "I had a brace of black socks when I came in here. Now I only have half a brace."
4. A brace of boxer briefs - no. no that doesn't sound right does it, could give the impression that I am recovering from a hernia.
Nice alliteration, though.

stephenb 12:39 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 02, 2003
For some reason this blog has been as religious as all Hell recently (ha!).
Anyway, supposedly there have been another rash of Weeping Madonna manifestations. Doesn't anybody realize that the reason why these Madonna's weep is because they have been dumped in some musty, smelly old church, or left beside some damp and grim Irish bog for years on end? I mean, even after five minutes both such places are absolutely guaranteed to get a good flow rolling down both of my cheeks.

stephenb 17:09 - [Link] - Comments ()
Crisis Of Faith

When I was a very small boy I had this imaginary friend. I would tell him my problems, my secrets, and about the bad things I had done: but now that I am all grown up I don't go to church anymore.
Actually, one of the pitfalls of living the flippant life is that people often take what you say at face value.
For instance, not so long ago I went shopping with a young lady friend of mine of short acquaintance.
We were in a department store, and I told her that I was looking to buy a few new pairs of boxer briefs and could she help me pick some out.
"What size are you?" she asked.
Engage automatic flippant mode: "Extra small." I told her.
Twenty minutes later she walked up to me and said "There aren't any extra smalls but they have regular small. Would they be too big?"
I looked at her and said "Oh ye of little faith."
She didn't really get that either.

stephenb 10:52 - [Link] - Comments ()
april 01, 2003
Blogging At Bloggings Expense, or How Bilbao Bloggins Got His Fingers Burned

Since I have none of those cutesy little symbols on this blog to indicate the mood I am currently in, I'll just have to write it down in longhand.
And so:
Currently I feel like an IOU for a million bucks!
Essentially this means that I feel "not bad-ish" at the moment, and that I am expecting to feel "really good" either tomorrow or the next day.
It all depends, of course, on when I actually get the IOU money in my hands. But then I could lose the IOU or get it all mangled up in the laundry or something, in which case I may feel "not bad-ish" for the foreseeable future... or even worse, I may go into complete Mood Decline and start feeling like a million bucks (used and somewhat grimy bills) that have been stashed in an unclaimed suitcase in an cobwebbed vault of an obscure Swiss Bank that even the oldest and longest serving bank employees have either completely forgotten about, or think is Nazi loot that they would rather not discuss.
So, frankly, over all, I'd have to say that I would feel more secure if I felt more like a Wire Transfer for a million bucks rather than just some crummy IOU for a million bucks that's not worth the paper it's printed on.
But that's just today. Tomorrow I will probably feel "alright".
stephenb 16:05 - [Link] - Comments ()
Boomerang Trash
They say "give and ye shall receive", and when in a more talkative mood they also say, "cast thy bread upon the waters and it shall come back to ye tenfold".
This is certainly true in the case of household trash. You throw it away and the next morning, miraculously, there is yet even more. Personally I have been forced to hire an industrial skip just so I can dispose of all my thousands of used tea bags, coffee filters, twix wrappers, well-thumbed copies of Le Figaro Pour Le Jeune, and my plastic gallon containers of Rouge Vin El Cheapo, 2003 Out-Of--Controlle, Bottled In Hong Kong, Imported by Wino Brothers Corp, Turn Left In The Basement, 13a Stainedcarpet Business Park, Pittsburgh. Goes Down Nicely With Beef Dishes Or Anything Microwavable.
At least that's what it says on the label.
I bought a crate of the stuff and my teeth all went purple so I had to rinse them off with a magnum of Bollinger 1875. Now that bottle I can recycle.
I have written about Biblical Truths before. Read it here

stephenb 13:40 - [Link] - Comments ()
Rustic Charm

Spring is in the air; and so, once again, I am posting my annual letter to Vogue magazine.
The contents of my letter are extremely straightforward, and always the same: "When is the Busty Milkmaid look coming back into fashion...I'm waiting..."
And yet they never reply.
The Busty Milkmaid is a very cheap - in both meanings of the term - and democratic look, for the Busty Milkmaid's day was a simple one:
5am - Wake up in Hay Loft, remove excess straw from cleavage.
6am - Milk cows in highly suggestive manner.
7am - Flirt with shy, awkward ploughboy who becomes very flustered.
8am - Take milk to market on rickety cart pulled by donkey.
9am - Slap and tickle in roadside ditch with local squire.
2pm - Arrive at market looking somewhat disheveled.
3pm - Flirt with farmers who receive slap in head by wife.
4pm - Have genre portrait painted by Watteau or Fragonard, whichever artist happens to be in the neighborhood at the time.
4pm - Leave market with rickety cart and donkey.
5pm - Brief stop to feed apple to donkey.
6pm - Pose as model for small ceramic statuette suitable for mantelpiece or side table display.
7pm - Leave cart and donkey at dairy and go to second job as Busty Barmaid.
8pm - Get absolutely drunk out of head and flirt with everyone.
4am - Back to Hay Loft and go to sleep.

stephenb 09:46 - [Link] - Comments ()