Sunday, October 29, 2006

Things I have learned this week...

Working long hours and alcohol do not mix.

No matter how justified one may feel, dirty protests are not big or clever. They are however funny, particularly when one has no recollection of them (see point 1).

Sober friends are very useful in stopping dirty protests escalating into open warfare. Even when you swear at them. A lot.

No matter how good an idea it seems, opening a bottle of wine after a night out is never wise.

Flatmates' enjoyment of DVDs may be hampered by loud snoring from drunken idiots with undrunk glasses of wine.

Sometimes the events of a night out can only be reconstructed from various stains and bruises.

Torchwood was finally worth watching after 2 previous aborted attempts. It's also an anagram of Doctor Who, which I needed pointing out. I'd be rubbish on Countdown. Apart from the numbers game. I'm good at that.

I have too many friends that I haven't even contacted, let alone seen in a long time.

My closest friends are all screwed up to the point that my life often seems straight forward yet I wouldn't swap them for anyone. Well, maybe Kylie.

A beautiful woman forgetting your name is crushing.

I haven't had my hair cut since I wrote about it on here.

I love my new phone to the point of unhealthiness. Being able to watch films and TV programs on the train make the commute almost bearable and just one of its many magical features.

I might actually have finally worked on a good game.

I might actually get to work on an even better game and it won't turn out to be a rushed, half-baked waste of a licence. Maybe.

Getting home from work before midnight is good in theory but in practice has proven somewhat elusive.

The only time people talk to you in the street is when they want something.

Shouting 'dude' and jabbing me in the back is not the best way to illicit a favourable response if you want something.

My DVD addiction was only in remission.

Women eating in Choccywoccydoodah always look away guiltily if you catch their eye.

My flatmate has the patience of a saint and is a veritable domestic goddess.

Now matter how much I rail against it, I am, deep down, a geek.

I like it when people refer to me as a writer.

I'm the sort of person who counts just how many things I have learned this week and then adds one last point to make it total 23.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Mick and Bob in da bungalow

Those of you that don't live in the Regency Ward of Brighton will have been denied the pleasure of Mick and Bob's monthly newsletters. A self-styled dynamic duo currently campaigning for two seats in the next council elections. On receiving their first contribution I had to re-read it several times to work out if it was a serious political statement or some unsubtle satire of the Conservative party's candidates.

One can imagine the pair looking to the skies and beholding the 'Mick and Bob' sign, highlighting that political peril was afoot when they described themselves as 'first on the scene' for a meeting with the director behind the i360 viewing tower, planned to replace the West Pier. I can just see the Labour candidate cursing himself and muttering about 'getting away with it if it wasn't for those meddling kids'.

On answering such a perilous call for arms, the duo didn't disappoint.

'Will the tower complement the surrounding buildings?'

'Will it be safe in all conditions?'

'Will it disturb the peregrine falcons atop Sussex Heights?'

In the face of such fierce opposition, I'm surprised that the project wasn't cancelled immediately although it's possible that the questions received the answers they merited;

'It's a 600ft, high tech looking tower in the middle of a Regency area. What do you fucking think? Hold on, don't you actually write a column on architecture?'

'Well we initially thought that we'd make it collapse at the first sign of rain but after a rethink it should be ok although we haven't ruled out nuclear strikes, earthquakes or large numbers of hen parties dressed as cowgirls yet.'

'Did you only ask that in a very poor attempt to show your Green credentials? What next, a trip across the Artic with huskies?'

'Do your mummies know you're out?'

Sadly, the dynamic duo didn't tell us what the actual responses were but that's probably because it's very difficult to capture hysterical laughter in the written form.

While in interviews they continue to ride the Green ticket, no doubt with several cars following them with a change of clothes and political briefs, pointing out that living in the centre of Brighton with strong transport links removes the need for car ownership they are also fighting the introduction of new parking zones.

'Surely more parking zones mean more cars', I hear you ask, 'so that's a good thing to campaign against?'

Apart from the fact that the council are looking to consolidate eight parking areas into two, totalling a reduction of 700 places not increase the amount of parking. So while fighting for 'quicker and healthier transport options' it seems that the loss of nearly a thousand cars doesn't fit into this agenda. Keen to maintain the traditions of the area they point out that the new pay and displays will also 'look hideous and spoil the character of the area'. Of course, 600ft towers will blend into the background.

Bob, or it could be Mick, boasts riding motorbikes as a hobby although we shouldn't question his environmental impact too much as he doesn't actually own one. This suggests that he participates in his hobby in a similar manner to mine of fucking supermodels.

They state concern over the fate of the Hippodrome, closed as a bingo hall and its future uncertain. Part of this uncertainty, we are told, is because its guardians are the same that have overseen the fate of the West Pier. That's the same West Pier that they are planning to replace with a 600ft tower and of which our dynamic duo’s most damning indictment was the possibility of a bird getting caught in its turbines. And I'm not talking about those hen parties.

So onto the current crusade and the great fight against crime. After criticising NCP's over enforcement of parking in the city, again flying in the face of their Greenness but not their political greenness, they suggest that traffic wardens should, wait for this, be deployed as 'community wardens' to help prevent crime. Armed with the latest IT equipment they would be able to report incidents to the council who would deal with it promptly.

Pause.

And Laugh.

Ignoring that we are all equipped with the latest IT equipment, namely a phone, capable of reporting incidents in seconds, when has the council ever dealt with anything promptly. Yes, vandalism, graffiti and discarded waste are undesirable but wouldn't a hotline for the public to call be a far more effective and cost efficient way for the council to ignore it? And isn't it the police's job to deal with the more serious matters, which are again easily reported without paying for vigilantes to patrol the street?

I wonder how the traffic wardens would feel about taking on all these extra duties. Perhaps if their workload was decreased by, say, removing eight disparate parking areas and replacing them with two main ones, with a reduction in cars to check for valid tickets, they might find time. Or perhaps the extra revenue from a new pay and display system could go towards compensating them for their extra work.

This is part of their campaign to make West Street safer at night, which they hope giving traffic wardens these new duties will achieve. Of course, there is one, huge, glaring hole in this suggestion, which I'd love to point out but I really don't want to risk insulting the intelligence of any 5 year olds that may stumble upon these pages. Plus it would be unfair to distract them from writing Mick and Bob’s next manisfesto.

It's not surprising that they call themselves action men. They're plastic caricatures of a bygone age in need of constant revision to seem current and relevant yet still lacking any balls.

Vote Monkey. You know it makes sense.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sign o' the times

The other day I noticed an unusual sign at the front of the harbour, 'Warning - Student Police Officers In Training', which struck me as strange since I wasn't aware that the student population had reached such a point of unlawlessness that they needed their own special officers. Surely the odd traffic cop to check for missing traffic cones, flashing beacons and comedy sounding street signs would suffice?

They had done some research on their subject matter though. In the area where the training was taking place, a PA was blasting out the Billy Ocean hit 'When the going gets tough (the tough get going)'. It's obviously very important to subject the student police to such musical attrocities given that the 80's are very much de riguer with the youth today in that ever so ironic way. I just hope that they are equally prepared for facing the vomit drinking and scrotum shaving of the rugby team's night out.

If part of their duties are preventing harpies shrieking like banshees at 3am or stopping blokes pissing against the nearest wall after 2 shandies I'm all for this new initiative. I'd like to hope that playing incredibly crap music at full, tinny volume on a mobile phone is also on the list. While we're at it can we ban the whole emo movement? Or am I the only one who on hearing that term is reminded of Emo Phillips, a gangly, lanky haired, badly dressed loser whining about not being sexual attractive to his headmaster as a child? They're nothing but goths with allusions to coolness.

Let's add not drinking in any pub I am likely to frequent and queuing at any cash point at any given time. Stupidly themed fancy dress parties are right out, as is using any catchphrase of any comedy show ever. And talking. About anything. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I believe that we actually do need this new arm of the law. Unfortunately I suspect it's all doomed to failure.

They were training before midday.

You're never going to find a student at that time.