Sunday, July 27

Serge Protector

I was giggling in Target today.

We needed a Surge Protector for the computer.

As I made my choice from the multitude of options available, it hit me that Jane Birkin's birth control could have been called the same thing.

Or else, what a name for France's foremost superhero!

I appreciate that Serge and Surge may sound different to some people, but in my accent they are the same.

Some days I totally think I'm funny.

Saturday, July 26

Culinary Fireworks

I would like to think I invented a new dessert this afternoon.

I took a freshly baked zucchini bread, and smeared it with chocolate pudding.

And it was beautiful.

Thursday, July 24

Happy Belated Wishes

I totally missed the anniversary and birthday of 2 old friends this week.

Adrian got hitched in 1996 only a few months after me. I traveled to many different places with Adrian, who is a pharmacist.

Everywhere we went he would demand that we visit a pharmacy to see what medicines were available over the counter.

He once dragged me into a Tijuana drug store - I'd been tricked into eating some dodgy Mexican food. While he reeled off scientific words with excellent scrabble scores I prowled the upset stomach aisle. Loaded down with fake Rolex and other contraband this was one of only 2 places we could escape those annoying little kids selling candy for loose change. Little bastardos!

The other place was a run-down hotel (are there any other types in Tijuana?) that employed an organist in the lobby. Odd.

Only days later we would eat the greasiest pizza ever in Lake Havasu City, home of the old London Bridge. It rained there as I recall.

Adrian and Elizabeth, Happy Anniversary.


Claire turned thirty-something this week, but because I live in another country and never see her, she will eternally be in her 20s.

Despite a number of boozy evenings with Anne during our 12 years of marriage, I still think I have thrown up more times with Claire than anyone else.
This picture is from her brother Richard's 18th birthday. I was going through an artsy phase of shooting photos in black and white. I think one of us threw up that night too.

Cheers Claire, hope I see you soon!

Wednesday, July 23

Who saws metal at 10.30 at night?

My ass-hat neighbor.

Next question please.

Monday, July 21


Many kids in England are taught the colours (with a u) of the rainbow using the following mnemonic: Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain.

Richard of York gave battle in vain at The Battle of Wakefield on Dec 30, 1460. Whereabouts in Wakefield you might ask? At Sandal Castle.

I know this because at the time I learned this mnemonic I went to a school that backed onto Sandal Castle. In fact our cross country running course went around, up and down the castle.

This battle is also the origin for The Grand Old Duke of York. You may remember, "he had 10,000 men and he marched them up to the top of the hill and marched them down again."

Like the Grand Old Duke of York and his 10,000 men, the pupils of Manygates Middle School also found the hill to be an absolute bummer. Unlike the mnemonic Duke, we often had to do the run in our football boots, complete with studs (cleats).

This was no problem when running on grass, but the tarmac parking lot of Sandal Castle (which probably wasn't there in 1460) was a nightmare. Once you bypassed that skid row, you ran down hill on a paved road. Exhaustion plus the chance of splitting your head open.

Continuing the castle theme, our school had a concrete dry moat running around it. Again, a wonderful way of stopping when you were running around during break time.

Good times.

Sunday, July 20


Drive Thru Starbucks on Rt1 Northbound
Coming soon - a double edged sword. Their products will take money out of my wallet*, make me fatter and also expose me to yet more morons.

* Speaking of wallets
I ordered a new one 3 weeks ago and it still hasn't arrived.

iPhone 2.0
Finally got around to updating yesterday. Great! I have the "More Cowbell" app. but the iPod freaks out when it tries to play long songs. Considering that I spend most of my commute listening to old radio shows this is thoroughly disappointing. Currently reverting the phone to original factory setting - have v. low expectation of success.

They didn't have my Diet Iced Tea. Bastards!

Kids in Burlington
Hanging out in Nordstrom, checking out the latest Ed Hardy Vintage Tattoo clothing. You look about as street as Ryan Seacrest.

The commercial TV station in the UK for so far only making 8 episodes of the excellent Lewis. I'd let a tiny bit of quality control slip for 6 more of these babies.

ABC Golf coverage
1. Stop yapping on and on and on about Tiger Woods. The guy is sipping cocktails with his knee in an ice pack.
2. Shut up about Greg Norman just because he's married to the serial sports groupie Chris Evert.
3. Stop playing Irish music when the tournament is in England.
4. Stop pandering to twattish Brits by referring to it as "The Open Championship", instead call it "the one big event not in the U.S".
5. Fire the guy who keeps on editing together saccharine recaps of past glories - even Hallmark would call this guy cheesy.
6. Stop saying how difficult it is because the wind is blowing. These millionaire pussies need to grow a pair of balls.

Saturday, July 19

Pool Party

I'd like to think there is a 10 year old kid kicking his dad clean in the nuts somewhere in Boston this weekend.

Friday night, and the kid asked for a pool party - meaning some kind of summer jam vibe with water wings and a diving board.

Instead he found himself in a downtown bar playing billiards with a bunch of grown-ups in chinos and ugly print dresses.

Who has a 10 year old birthday party in a pool hall?

Also, why is it that an old coot like me has to show ID, yet the kid was sipping beer and high-fiving his parents?

Tuesday, July 15

Bad Vibes

Last week on ebay I bid for this t-shirt.

I get the feeling that the price was pushed higher by the seller. My smart techno-speaking wife probably knows the phrase for this practice, but all I know is that I ended up bidding more than I should have.

Still, it's hard to find Comme des Garçons clothing in Boston.

My e-mail just pinged with this message from Hong Kong.

"hi, the shirt had post on 16/7, after 7 day you will receive.
i hope can deal with you, thank you!"

The guy had no reviews on ebay. Hardly a power seller. If I do receive the shirt, it will probably be a knock off.


Monday, July 14

Le quatorze juillet

Bastille Day was always a big deal at my school.

Our French text book was called Tricolore. It was set in La Rochelle and the central character, Martine Domme, lived with her family at the fictional address of 12, Rue de la République.

Martine always did something special on July 14th. I don't remember this specifically but I imagine her father was un professeur and her mother une secretaire. They always were ...

Sunday, July 13

Did it!

I managed to watch all 13 episodes of Mad Men this week. All set for the start of Season 2 later this month.

Pitcher this

We trundled down the Pike to Brimfield this afternoon. I guess one man's trash is another man's treasure.

Among the 100s of stands we found a glass pitcher. Sangria all round then.

Also had a meatloaf sandwich, so it was well worth the trip.

Saturday, July 12

What Not to Wear

We were invited to a party tonight but we had to cancel at the last minute.

The party had a theme, and the theme was "preppy".

This is what I would have worn.

Dodged a bullet there.

Friday, July 11

Crazy Gig

At one of the first jobs I worked, there was a designer who loved 2 things. Lentils and The Cramps.

His love of lentils was a substitute for heroin, which he had quit a few years previous.

The Cramps were his band of choice, and he loved to tell a story of them playing a gig in a mental hospital.

Here it is.

Thursday, July 10

Style over Substance

So I saw this ad for the first time last week, and loved it.

It captures the essence of 60's La Dolce Vita, it has a Dusty Springfield song, it's set in Bellagio were I vacationed only a few months ago. And it has a young girl in a silly sailor's hat.

What more do you want?

Saturday, July 5

Pussy Galore

I was reminded recently of an event that Anne and I attended when we lived in London. One of my clients designed packaging for a well known brand of cat food, and as a consequence they had been invited to help out at a national cat show being held at Earl's Court.

My client asked me if I would pitch in, and I agreed for 3 reasons.

1. They remain the best bunch of people I ever worked for
2. Anne and I love cats
3. I find it hard to say, "no"

We showed up bright and early on the Saturday morning of the show and were handed 3 items to wear.

1. A bright yellow sweatshirt emblazoned with a massive logo of the brand.
2. A name tag
3. A flimsy piece of yellow card, that to my horror connected together to form a pair of cat ears.

For the next 2 hours Anne and I had to hand out leaflets inviting people to the tradeshow booth of our customer. Dressed in bright yellow.

I recall one moment when a crazy cat lady upon seeing Anne's name tag said, "My name is Anne too". Maybe in print that sounds OK, but it was delivered in a voice that said, "Will you be my bestest ever friend forever and ever?"

The job of handing out leaflets is best left to people with more self-confidence. We re-convened after an hour and strategized our exit plan.

For some reason we talked ourselves out of just throwing them away, and instead I came up with the genius plan of flushing the leaflets down the toilet.

And that is how I came to be stuck in a public restroom wearing paper cat ears, plunger in hand, urging the paper to "stop floating" and just go down the bowl. An event organizer asked if I was OK, and I had to make up a story that I didn't feel very well.

Eventually I just tore the leaflets up into little shreds and hid them in a bag. We snook out the best we could, which is not easy in yellow sweatshirts.

Friday, July 4

How did these guys win?

I'm an Englishman in America on Independence Day, and yet I have to express concern at the current populace.

Wednesday night I went to the cinema to see Wanted. Basically I needed a fix of explosions, gory deaths and car chases (God Bless America for violent movies).

The previews began with some lame Disney trailer starring Taco Bell dogs, and went further downhill with cutie-pie ads for the most PGish of PGs.

One trip out of the theater to check the board and two checks of the R-rated ticket stub later, it was decreed that we were in the wrong movie ... but nobody else noticed. A theater full of people who paid $11 to see atrocious gun violence are laughing at some animated magician.

Finally my movie-going colleague exclaimed. "This is fucking Wall-E", and out we went (again) to tell the Showcase professionals.

A flick of a switch later and we re-entered the theater and I swear nobody was any the wiser.

My thoroughly American friend Beck said, "Americans are so fucking stupid". I replied, "It was mostly people from Revere." Either way, they kicked our ass 200+ years ago, so who's the idiot?

Surely not the guy watching Wanted in Revere on a Wednesday night?