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Sunday bloody Sunday

Posted 19 February 2002, 9.44 pm by Sickan

I was walking along an empty street this Sunday morning. Walking in my own thoughts and just minded my own business when I noticed a car backing up against me, so I walked to the left so the driver wouldn’t hit me. I saw the car make a sudden turn and the next I knew it hit me. Not hard or anything and I stayed on my feet, but still hurts pretty bad to have a car bumped into your hip. The driver didn't notice me or ignored me and just drove off… and I stood there looking after him while I realized what had happened. There was nothing to do but to go home and feel bad. So I did. The hip wasn’t hurting that bad (fist came a couple of days later with this black mark heheh) but my back started to kill me. Oh well a little pain wont kill ya I thought and ignored it (trying to be hard, didn't work).
Oh well, after a couple of hours I had to sit in a train for like 4 hours to get home from my “lovely” vacation. As we all know it isn’t much fun to sit in a train, no matter what. So I mentally prepared myself with a good book and some coffee. I noticed an old couple seated next and across me. So I smiled friendly and was kinda happy that it wasn’t a flock of teenage girls or some lonely man talking about his failed marriage. (that kinda people always entertain me in trains!!) So I got as comfortable as possible and opened my book and started to read. After a while the man (seated in front to me) fell asleep… and about half an hour later he stared to snore… just a little bit, but then he just kept on, pretty annoying but I could live with it. Then he just turned up his volume and snored as if it was his last day on earth or what ever! Damn he made some noise, I could hear people around staring to laugh at him and whisper and stuff. I looked at his wife, who didn't notice at all. I tried to focus on my book but I couldn’t, I couldn’t focus on anything except the old man. I looked up again and he had stared to drool. I closed my eyes and tried to go to my happy place!! About 4 hours later I got to my destination. Hadn’t been able to find my happy place so I instead dreamed about taking a big ass gun and blast him to hell or the ocean where this god damn Deep-one came from!!!
Finally I got off the train and home, without being hit by a car or run into a snoring monster with drool around his mouth.
Some days are bad, but Sundays are always a pile of crap!
I admit this one was really rare, but just proofs my philosophy about Sundays; we have to have bloody Sundays!

Rome

Posted 19 February 2002, 7.14 pm by Villager

The first thing that strikes you about Rome when you enter the city (most of the airports are a 30 minutes outside of the city centre) is the number of deteriorating houses and flat blocks. Mile after mile of nigh-deserted ghettos. Doesn’t exactly fill one with optimism as to the city's quality. When you get into the city centre, it is at first glance much like any other major city; bustling with people, deadlocked traffic and lots of buildings in a very small area. The second thing which strikes you, unfortunately, is that there is graffiti everywhere. I have been told that such should be expected in any major city, but I've been to London, Paris, Portsmouth, Southampton etc, and seen nothing like the sheer plastering of crap on the walls. There is also a huge problem with litter. While distinctly overshadowed by the graffiti, it does seem that the local authority would do well to invest in controlling the mess.

When you get past these initial setbacks, although wherever you go in the city you seemingly cannot escape them (I mean, how often have you seen a Bentley showroom marred with red and white scribble?), there is a damned good culture and history to be sampled. The food - a focal point of judgement in any city - is excellent, and also very competitively priced. You can get a full sized pizza with a number of toppings for under £3 / $4.50 in most restaurants, and all of the restaurant staff which I encountered were accommodating, friendly and, most importantly, all spoke English fluently. When you get down to the more purposeful business of visiting the places of historical interest and importance, you will find a cheap, comprehensive tube and train system that comprehensively covers the main city with services running around every ten minutes or so until 12am (or at least the ones In visited). British Transport Secretary Stephen Byers take note.

The most enjoyable site personally was Ostia Antica, a two thousand year old sea port of the ancient empire. Completely buried for the bulk of that two thousand years, there is mile after mile of nigh-perfectly preserved ruins, often complete with original mosaics entirely intact, which is rather impressive. The site provides you with a comprehensive and interesting of the city and its history, and one could easily spend a whole day perusing the site, which is surrounded by beautiful countryside, and there is the obligatory gift shop and caféteria if you get thirsty. There is also the Colloseum, which while impressive and interesting, is slightly smaller than I envisaged it, and very decayed.

The second place you simply must visit is Vatican City. The size, detail, quality and preservation of the entire site will leave you utterly gobsmacked - it is difficult to comprehend the context in which such a creation could have originated, and you can fully appreciate that the thing took over 80 years to construct. Absolutely wonderful. The city also has an extensive and varied collection of fashion and lingérie outlets - but that's another story.You’ll like Rome if you like football, as the locals are mad about it and the local Olympic Stadium has quite an impressive atmosphere once in full flow.

I feel, somehow, that I should end upon a low, so I will. Everywhere you go you are plagued by people trying to sell you shit you don't want. There is stall after stall selling Roma shirts and cheap memorabilia, and a multitude of people trying to sell little items of no use and little interest, often in an uncomfortably forceful fashion. Anyhow, it is a mightily impressive city - it's just a shame that the more modern part of Rome failed to continue in the same vein of excellence.

Vampire: the Masquerade Redemption

Posted 19 February 2002, 5.58 pm by Villager

I used to play a lot of computer games, in my earlier youth. From the Amstrad to the N64, I would spend hours each day working my way through games, be it alone or with equally addicted friends on multi-player Death Matches. Since I started working, and going to college, I've barely touched them. That may be due to 'growing out of it', or simply not having the time or enthusiasm for it anymore, having more profitable, urgent things to be doing. Recently, however, a game has caught my attentions by the balls and it won't let go. The game is Vampire: the Masquerade Redemption

The game begins as a standard enough RPG (for those new to all this.. Role Playing Game) whereby you take control of a Knight (our Hero Christof, who has a remarkably solid jaw) and, predictably enough, do battle with evil (in this case the naughty vampires which are running around everywhere). The storyline soon becomes more complex, with Christof falling prey to the vampires, and is now one of the Kindred. From here you develop new alliances and new enemies within the dark world, and Christof somewhat reluctantly recruits various comrades to fight alongside him/you, forming what is known as a cotérie, and you can control, and are responsible for, up to four characters at a time.

The game has an intricate storyline, with suspense, intrigue and drama at every turn. One drawback is the linear nature of the game - despite the developer's efforts to circumvent this by allowing you to choose Christof's speech at times - but it detracts little from the quality of the game. If you have any interest whatsoever in games which deal with Vampires or the medieval period, then this game will most definitely appeal to you, and you’ll soon be cursing the blaspheming wretches who hath stolen ye mortal social life!

One of the best features of the game is the time travel. Far from being restricted to one time or place, the game spans two time periods - medieval and modern, and four cities - Prague, Vienna, New York and London. As expected, the weapons, characters and peripherals are all upgraded to modern standard, and it really is an impressive despatch of ideas. The graphics are excellent, the sounds are often too realistic, and the game-play is engrossing. The genius in design of some of the levels will leave you wide eyed and bare-fanged, with each passing dungeon serving only to increase your thirst for blood and aggravate the beast within...

The game is challenging, but not so hard as to risk your giving up, as there is always the promise of discovering what the fruits of your current mission will be. It will take you weeks to complete, and the online multi-player feature will keep you going even longer. It’s not often I can be bothered to play games now, but Vampire: TMR really is the complete package. Pure quality. So, unsheath thy blade and gird thy loins knave, for there be a great battle upon us..

rapid rifle's rattle

Posted 19 February 2002, 5.49 pm by Villager

Have you ever had an admiration, or indeed a love, for something and then gone on to study it, in an academic context? I ask in relation to the subject of poetry, which, when I was first introduced to it, fascinated me. The way that words could be arranged in such a fashion as to come to life, to embody the writer’s imagination and, through mere words, convey intrinsic details of emotion and experience.

Then I studied it in school, and now college. When you analyse a poem with the eye of a student, or of a critic, you lose a degree of the appreciation for the creation as a whole. We use classifications and labels to dissect and corrode the structure of the poem. We see oxymorons we see alliteration we see onomatopoeia we see assonance we see euphemisms. I am claiming this as no bad thing in itself, but once a poem is broken down into its fundamental constructs, then we lose sight of the poem as a whole.

I find it very hard to read a poem and not be immediately drawn to the individual make-up. While this does indeed allow me to appreciate to a greater degree the level of skill a poet may have in moulding different forms and methods to create what he will, I find it undermines the beauty of a poem as a whole, singling out and labelling each feature, detaching it from the context of the poem. As such I no longer really enjoy reading poetry, good as it may technically be, and I’ve found writing poetry myself has become a much harder task if I am to satisfy I have neither focused on structure nor neglected it.

Is poetry alone in such effects? Have you experienced anything comparable with music, art, or anything else?

I love Tuesday

Posted 17 February 2002, 6.00 pm by Craig

I've spent the last couple of days reading an online Comic named Tuesday.

Visit Tuesday!!.

That is all...

Hang a Coin Around Your Neck

Posted 17 February 2002, 1.08 am by Acheron

When I was a young boy, the Olympics were the highlight of, well, every set of four years. I have vivid memories of simply sitting and watching the CBC's (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's) coverage of the Olympics, day in and day out. My favourite games were always the winter, and my favourite sport was ski jumping. Recent events in the world of figure skating have forced me to re-evaluate my stance on the Olympic Games.

I no longer see the Olympics as a showcase of ameteur sport. Except for a few rare exceptions, like cross-country skiing, the individual-level rivalries have been replaced by gigantic advertisements, space-age bodysuits, and oversized flags. The Olympics are a chance for the world's nations and corporations to take their stolen hard-earned money and throw it at a glorified metaphor for war. For the most part, every medal is merely the result of either:

a) A larger pool of athletes in the home country (ie: the sport is more popular in that country).
b) Better funding for research, training, and the athletes themselves (ie: the sport is more profitable in that country).

Indeed, every medal must result from these circumstances. Imagine the chaos, the decline in nationalism, and, worst of all, the ineffectiveness of jingoism as a sales tool if athletes won simply because they were indisputably better than everybody else. Picture athletes competing without the flags of their home countries - such a picture destroys the entire purpose of the Olympics; without flags, the Olympics is just a really big track meet - such an event would not garner the sort of television ratings that the Olympics manages to pull in. Why are the Olympics popular? why is the World Cup popular? because tribalism - the at times savage desire for one's own country's victory - is intrinsic to human nature.

The fundamentally nationalistic tone of the Olympics has several negative repercussions on the athletes themselves. First of all, athletes of equal natural talent are often of unequal skill in competitions simply due to fiscal differences. Secondly, sports needing totally objective yet still human judges suffer. Can the Russian judge of pairs' figure skating be totally at fault for his/her decision? When an entire nation desires a certain outcome, that nation's judge will almost certainly take the chance to make that outcome manifest, even if it means ignoring objective truths. Simply put: the nationalism of the Games themselves can and will breed nationalism within the judges of said Games.

The only people truly hurt by this bias are the athletes themselves - dedicated idealists who devote their lives to self-improvement, then have their dreams whisked away by a flag or a dollar bill.

A Link For Dot

Posted 16 February 2002, 2.44 am by Berly

When I first stumbled upon this site, I immediately thought of Dot. Anyone who knows our beloved Dot knows how much she loves the contents of people's wallets. Dot, this link is dedicated to you.

Want a well written, simple to navigate and very humorous site? Visit What's Inside Jeremy's Wallet.

The content is exactly what the title page implies - "The Oldest Wallet On The Internet - Hot Wallet Action Since 1995, Baby!", by Jeremy Wilson. Make sure you check out the photo that moved 21 employees of the Detroit Film Society to collectively email the woman in the photo (but due to delivery complications, it got delivered to Jeremy.)

I wonder

Posted 15 February 2002, 5.18 pm by Villager

Every now and again, it occurs to me that of all the things I do, few are the result of any carefully deliberated thought, and none are of any great significance; my life will toddle on happily enough regardless of which route I choose. Life is easy. Life is a pre-planned path we all travel, and from which few deviate significantly. On first analysis, this seems wrong. But then, are not the lives of creatures the world over merely the result of chance, possibilities and paths chosen? Life is not a magic box. It is a magic garden in which we are free to wander, but which we cannot leave. I wonder why I look for a way to leave the garden.

Perhaps I am merely lacking contentedness, and search for meaning greater than life presents me with. Such immature wonderings are the product of a life unexplored, nonchalance and apathy, unfulfilled fantasies and elaborate dreams. Perhaps such a lack of direction is indeed the 'product of an unfortunate age'; life in the C21st requires more than instinct and nature to be content and happy with one’s lot.

Why am I even typing this, when I know that putting my thoughts down onto the screen threatens to further confuse and clutter my rationale as much as it promises to help clear my thoughts? Why, moreover, am I posting them here for you to see? Because we all, or many of us I suspect, search for ways in which our minds can leave that garden, and look back from afar, and truly appreciate the world in which we do live. We may not be able embody what we can conceive of, but the world can be that much more like we dream of it, you just have to believe in it; in your own ability to positively affect and sculpt the world around you.

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"New Orleans at Night" Acrylics on Canvas. I recently saw a shot of Bourbon street in New Orleans. I liked the shot enough that I wanted to paint something like it, to sort of reproduce the feelings the photograph gave me. I want to go to New Orleans myself and do another painting in the same vein.

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Hmph

80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!

Yo ! Does this work ?

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