Arthur Daley

Phew!

Kat is out of surgery and recovering well.  She's in one of the top specialised renal units in the country, and she's a tough cookie as well, but there's always that niggling doubt that something might not work properly - especially when it's your daughter.  It looks like everything is working though; hopefully her new kidney will settle in properly and do its job.

Huge thanks to everyone for the good wishes, it really means a lot.  I'm really happy to have such great friends. :)

One thing I am definitely going to do now is carry an organ donor card at all times.  It's only thanks to the generosity of an anonymous stranger and his or her family that Kat has her life back.  It's really quite a humbling thought.
  • Current Music
    Underworld - Juanita / Kiteless / To Dream of Love
Arthur Daley

(no subject)

Out of the blue, Kat was told last night that they have found a donor kidney for her.  She's in theatre at St James's now, having a transplant.  I'm dealing with the stress and worry...just.  I have had better days though.
  • Current Mood
    worried worried
Arthur Daley

That iguana meme again...

Thanks to the lovely notgothdammit for the questions.

1) What face cream do you use? Seriously. You don't look your age and I want the secret!

I don't, honestly! I briefly used some of the exfoliating stuff with the bits in it a couple of years ago, but got bored with that. I don't have any kind of grooming routine - in fact, maybe it's the fact that I never use soap on my face. Either that or just blind luck. :)

2) Its the end of the world as we know it. No one feels fine, because there's a giant tsunami headed for Britain, and its going to wipe us off the map. Which colour swimming shorts would you choose to die in?

I was tempted to say Black #1, but on reflection I'd have to don my appalling multi-coloured neon shorts, probably the one garment I could least bear to lose. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have the pleasure of being able to wander round the house the morning after a party, making people's hangovers worse at the sight of me. They're that offensive. At least it would distract people from the imminent GIANT WAVE OF DOOM.

3. Why AREN'T you scared of clowns?

Clowns are unsettling, but always in the back of my mind I know that they're just human. Even if a particularly sinister one gets right up close and menacing, a swift knee in the laughing gear would drop him like a stone. That's what "Tears of a Clown" should really be all about...

4) There's a round the world ticket with your name on it. But its in a pit filled with snakes and creepy crawlies. You can only use your teeth to get it. Is it worth it?

Nope! I don't have any phobias of bugs or creepies, but I am squeamish, so I wouldn't want to dive right in for the hell of it. If I wanted that trip badly enough, I'd save up for it - treats are always that little bit sweeter when you know you worked hard to earn them rather than have them given to you for doing nothing. And I'd also very much enjoy watching someone else dive in to claim the prize.

5) An accident involving a spoon and a lawnmower means your eyes have been damaged. You can still see, but in various shades of one colour. Due to the magic of medicine, you can pick that colour. Which one would it be?

Funnily enough, I was thinking about this the last time I was watching CSI. The three CSI franchises are each coloured subtly differently; NY has a blue tinge, Miami is orange, and Las Vegas is slightly greenish. Unless I'm imagining the whole thing... So with that in mind, orange is right out; I couldn't stand the prospect of encountering Horatio Caine with his stupid shades. Green would be tempting, but I'd have to plump for blue. In fact, I might just relocate to New York and hopefully not notice the difference!
Arthur Daley

What are these fucking iguanas doing on my coffee table?

And come to think of it, what's the significance of that question? It's a mystery wrapped in an enigma, that is. I like it!

This post marks my happy return to the near-forgotten world of LJ memes, namely the following:

Comment to this post with "What are these fucking iguanas doing on my coffee table?" and I'll ask you five questions. Answer them and repost the meme in your own journal until we all get sick of questions.

These were posed by the lovely crazyspideylady, who definitely gives good question.

1) If you could only listen to one genre of music for the rest of your life, what would it be?

This was a fairly quick decision, although it was with a heavy heart that I had to reject electronica, and face the prospect of never hearing Kraftwerk or Aphex Twin again. However, I'd choose prog rock, for several reasons.

My love for most forms of music comes and goes; there may be times when I adore 80s pop, or EBM, or even goth, and I went through a huge metal phase in the 1980s and early 90s. Prog, however, has always been a constant, and very many prog rock tracks form the soundtrack to particular well-remembered episodes from my past. I love the sheer musicianship of most of the people involved; you can't really be in a prog band and not have some level of musical virtuosity. The likes of Emerson Lake and Palmer or Focus can be heavy going at times, but it's always a treat to hear the skill they have. Prog covers a huge variety of styles too; Yes and Genesis went from 15 minute epics in the 70s to three-minute radio-friendly rock in the 80s, and lost none of their appeal. And as long as I'm able to bend the rules enough to include Rush (and really twist them to breaking point to include Hawkwind too), then that's two of my all-time favourite bands I'm always assured of being able to revisit.

And lastly, the fact that prog is so very unfashionable means that to be a fan of it makes me considerably cooler than all of you. Oh yes.

2) You outwardly appear to be ageing in reverse. What's your secret?

If I knew, I'd probably try to market it! It might be good genes (although my younger brother looks older than me by some margin), or possibly my habit of avoiding stress whenever I can, but most likely it's just the fact that mentally (and often, emotionally) I'm still a teenager, and probably always will be. Maybe the fact that I haven't grown up is just because I don't really want to.

3) To you, did Princess Leia look hotter in the slave outfit or in the bounty hunter disguise (in the bit where she takes her helmet off)?

As much as I like feisty females, a role Leia always pulled off beautifully - and I dare say there have been interesting papers written from the feminist perspective about her various aspects across the three films - I'm still a red-blooded male, so I'd be lying if I didn't say the slave outfit. Leia's still one hell of a character regardless of what she wears though. So much more to her than the vapid Padme Amidala.

Digressing slightly, it did always puzzle me that Jabba the Hutt had Leia dressed like that to start with. It's something of a stretch of imagination that he'd find her aesthetically (let alone libidinously) appealing in a barely-adequate gold bikini. Far more likely would be for him to have her fed to the Rancor; I can imagine her screams and the crunch as she got bitten in half to be far more erotic to a Hutt than a flash of skin. But never let it be said that George Lucas doesn't (or at least didn't in those days) know what his audience wanted!

4) Describe your perfect holiday, in a real or fictional time/place.

As a military history geek, I'd like to time travel to 1861. I'd join the great and the good of Washington DC society as they enjoyed picnic lunches overlooking the first battle of Bull Run, the opening engagement of the American Civil War. It would appeal to me to experience the naivety of those who expected that there would be a glorious parade ground display by the Union army, the secessionists would flee with their tails between their legs, and the rebellion would be over. Instead, what they got was McDowell's Union army routed, and the civilians who had turned out to watch were swept along with the fleeing troops, losing their possessions and in some cases their liberty to the Rebels. Their short and glorious battle turned into four years of carnage as their nation almost tore itself apart.

It's an odd choice for a holiday perhaps, but I'd choose it in a heartbeat over a fortnight on the Costas...

5) You are alone in your house. The cats are outside. Suddenly, a fire breaks out. If you could only save one of your possessions in escaping from the blaze, which one would you choose?

The only thing I'd make a point of grabbing would be my box of photos and photo albums. Although I'm a compulsive hoarder, it's all just stuff, and stuff can always be replaced with more stuff (at least until the oil runs out and we revert back to being hunter-gatherers). Memories can't be replaced, which makes them the only really priceless thing anyone can own.
Arthur Daley

Sunday musings

I'm sure my childhood, or however much I can remember of it, was a mixed bag. I guess everyone's is the same. But there's something about Thunderbirds that instantly takes me back to the good parts of mine. I get a tingle up and down my spine as soon as that familiar Jeff Tracy "5-4-3-2-1" intro starts. These days I'm watching it on DVD (yes, sadly, I have the complete 9-disc luxury boxed set) rather than waiting in those pre-VCR days for it to start on Saturday morning ITV, but other than that it feels like nothing's changed at all.

The first episode especially (Trapped In The Sky) is a quite remarkable piece of television. This - the climactic sequence of Scott and Virgil trying to land the Fireflash without it lowering its undercarriage and setting off The Hood's bomb - is genuinely the most thrilling eight minutes of television I've ever watched. I could never get tired of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_LuUi4lQYo

On the other hand, there will always be those Philistines who refuse to acknowledge the concentrated awesome that is Thunderbirds. So I have something for you instead...some quite wonderful alcoholic philosophy.

http://www.drunkard.com/md_wino_wisdom.htm

Dos dedos mis amigos!
  • Current Music
    Japan - Gentlemen Take Polaroids
Arthur Daley

My Sweet Life

Yeah, that's not something I say a lot.

But right now life is about as good as it could be, unexpected lottery wins and the acquisition of superpowers notwithstanding.

1) For the first time, I have a great job that I love. For those not in the know, after I graduated last summer I spent a few weeks wondering what to do in the time before I could apply for a Graduate Teacher Programme place, and Brook Street (bless 'em) placed me in none other than Leeds University as a temp for just over a month. Coincidentally, the Uni HR department were recruiting for seven posts, and the former HR manager was now working in the Equality Unit where I was temping, and knew exactly how to advise me to fill in the form and sit the interview. With that kind of good luck, the job had to be mine. So now I'm earning a higher salary than I ever have before, working for an organisation I love, and with people I really like. Result!

2) I not only have the most awesome girlfriend ever, in the shape of sara_pebbles, but she's got a place at the Uni to do an MSc starting in September. This makes her very happy, and consequently makes me very happy too. The fact that crazyspideylady is also coming to Leeds Uni in September makes it even better.

3) My kids have grown to be the loveliest people you could imagine. Kat is a very sensible and well grounded young lady (albeit prone to blonde moments), even despite her illness. Declan is still prone to moodiness, but he's still only 17, so you'd expect that. Taking him to see Rammstein for his birthday was a lovely father-and-son moment, and his enthusiasm over his new discovery of Combichrist (who were supporting) is a treat to see. I love the company of both of them.

I could go on all day, but you'd be reaching for the sickbags soon enough. I shall now finish, but I'm grinning like a loon right now, just because I want to. I promise my next post shall include some of the whingeing you expect from me. :)

Digressing slightly, and talking of superpowers, what would be your ideal power, and why?
  • Current Music
    Chicks On Speed - Little Star
Arthur Daley

Back...did ya miss me?

This is a very long overdue post indeed, isn't it? Well over eighteen months since I last posted anything on the pages of my old friend Livejournal. My only excuse is that I was seduced by the glitz and flash of Facebook...a rather poor one, I think you'll agree. Especially given what Facebook has turned into since the innocent days when you needed an academic email address to even open a Facebook account.

Say you'll forgive me? I promise to stay and post, honestly.
  • Current Music
    Apollo 440 - Disco Sucks
People's Poet

Whitby-goers...

Morning all.

Anyone going to Whitby who has a bit of floor space I can crash on on Saturday night? I know it's short notice, but I'm DJing the Alternative that night, and my crash space fell through.

Can anyone help?
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    hopeful hopeful
Blue Man

Me come fe mashup de nation

It's been a long time - probably over a year - since I visited the website of my favourite creator of mashups, Monsieur ToToM. Some may know him as the creator of "With Boots", a complete album of mashups involving tracks from Nine Inch Nails' "With Teeth".

Well, it appears he's been busy, with a triple album of mashups from "Year Zero" too. As you might imagine, he uses Nine Inch Nails a lot, but not exclusively. Anyone who likes a good mashup should go and download some of his creations.

Britney Spears vs David Bowie? Genesis vs Dr Dre? T Rex vs Avril Lavigne vs Duran Duran? Oasis vs LCD Soundsystem? All present. And better yet, his three-way mashup of Kraftwerk's "Spacelab", Depeche Mode "Policy of Truth" and Nine Inch Nails "All The Love in the World" appears on the Bootwerk compilation. A lot like 2 Many DJs at their best, but with a Kraftwerk theme running throughout. You can even download the whole album as a mix mp3. Genius!
  • Current Music
    Kraftwerk vs Robbie WIlliams - The Madonna Calculator