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Hump Day

Posted 24 February 2005, 6.06 am by VanGogh

So... It's 8:35 on a Wednesday morning. Here in America we call Wednesday "Hump Day", because once you get through it, you're on your way downhill into that glorious time of joy; The Weekend. (Aside: Wednesday may indeed be called "Hump Day" in all parts of the world, but since I haven't had the time to sponsor a Gallup poll on the subject, we'll assume it to be American slang and move on from there. )

Anyways, it's 8:35 on a Wednesday morning. Hump day. I find that moniker to be uniquely suited as I sit here sipping coffee and reviewing free porn submissions to one of my sites. Currently I'm looking at a series of photos featuring a petite blond lady and her supposed plumber engaged in some serious tension release. ( Hump day indeed... ) She doesn't look like she's enjoying this very much. Probably got suckered in for some soft-core shoot, then pressured or bribed into doing some hardcore. (That happens a lot with the low-end content providers.) The supposed plumber on the other hand seems to be having a fine time laying pipe.

This is just one of 300 or so galleries I'll be reviewing this morning. I had one earlier with midgets. I don't care who you are, or how politically correct you choose to be on a daily basis, If you open up a web-page to find twenty photos of two midgets in leather doing naughty things, and you don't immediately bust out laughing, then you need to have your pulse taken. You may very well be dead.

Or maybe it's just me. I've been an Adult Webmaster (AW) for awhile now. I've earned 'my props', as those crazy kids say. Sometimes I worry that my sense of reality has become tragically skewed. The other day I had a 20 minute debate with another AW regarding a set of photos he had purchased. The theme of the set was close-ups of a nice woman with man-juice all over her face. My friend insisted that it was obviously real, whereas I took one look and decided that they had whipped out the Elmer's Glue. (Often 'Facials' and anything else featuring man-juice is actually white glue, or yogurt, or whatever else is handy.) My supporting evidence was that in order for a man to produce that much on her face, he would have had to deflate his chest cavity. He argued for multiple-donors. 20 minutes we debated.

Not once did either one of us stop and say, "Good god man, what is on her face? Why would she let him do that, let alone have photo’s of it taken?"

I also have no noticeable response to scat (feces-related), wet stuff (urine-related), or any of a hundred other bizarre niches that turn up on a daily basis. Sometimes I become disgusted with a submitted gallery that has scat on it, but only because the AW who submitted obviously didn't read my rules that bans the scat niche from that particular site.

So yeah, my moral barometer is probably cracked in a big way. But I still find child exploitation of any kind to be the most god-awful, horrendous stuff on earth. So I'm not completely dead inside, just warped. ( ...and speaking of CP, you'd be sickened by how much of it there is. Not a week goes by that I don't report a new CP site to the authorities.)

But none of that is what I wanted to tell you. It's 8:35 on a Wednesday morning. Hump day. Humpty-hump day for this petite blond and the supposed plumber she's grinding. The gallery has just opened up in front of me. There’s one too many ads on this gallery to comply with my rules. And this layout looks like something from 'Beginning Web Design 101'. But despite all of that, I'm going to green light it and send the owner about 40,000 hits in the next 24 hours.

Why, you ask?

Because the girl has a leg cast on. A full leg cast. What kind of crazy content provider shoots porn with a girl in a full leg cast? And what the hell is she thinking? Regardless, I have a new rule. Anyone doing porn shoots in a full leg cast gets my blessing every time.

God I love this job.

Life's Path

Posted 7 February 2005, 2.28 am by ArtemisKat

At the moment I’m very “life path” oriented. I seem to be thinking of things in terms of the future and change, of gaining experience and of storing memories. And it makes me wonder: What is it that caused me to be so much more conscious of the big picture? This is in relative terms of course, considering that I’m thinking mostly of just my own life.

I was talking with Aqua in chat and we were discussing going on an adventure. At the same time I decided to read a friend’s website. The two coincided in a strange way and Adam’s blog ended with a quote (presumably from Groundhog Day), “What if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today!” This set me to thinking, yet again.

What have I done with my life? What if there really isn’t a tomorrow? Will there be any lasting impact to show the world that I once lived? Even if said impact lasts only with one person through their death, would that be enough for me? Would I have fulfilled my purpose?

Now, I know that several of you reading this site have known me either online or off for a while now. You knew me when I was younger and going through my selfish phase where I believed no one would even notice if I were to suddenly disappear. You knew me through the months and years as I grew out of that stage, but remained a negative and ungrateful youth. I’ve recently discovered, to my great delight, that through a large number of direct influences stemming back to my English teacher in my junior year of high school, I have suddenly become something of an optimist. I go to bed nearly every night believing that tomorrow will be a great day. I wake up and rush to get ready and out the door so as not to miss any part of my classes. I’ve always been one to get bogged down by winter. This year has been different. I’ve been finding myself saying things like, “It’s half way through January and therefore nearly February. February is a short month and after February comes spring, so spring isn’t far away.” Even on the bitterly cold days, I’ve been happy to be alive and glad to experience the cold so I can enjoy and appreciate 40 degree days in February and later, 80 and 90 degree days with 80% humidity in July.

This brings me back to the quote, “What if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today!” If there really is no tomorrow, then I think I’ll be glad simply to have had the experiences I’ve had. Why should I regret things I have or haven’t done? They’ve been a part of my past and have made me who I am. If my life path continues, they will help to shape that. I really do hope there is a tomorrow, but even if there isn’t, that’s okay. I’ve already lived a very full life.

Stockholm University--February

Posted 5 February 2005, 3.48 pm by Lilith

I arrived at the university in darkening light of early afternoon--an hour and a half early for my class, in order to validate my student card and register for a course segment later this spring semester--only to be greeted by indignant beeping at the card activation machine: "How DARE I assume it would know I paid electronically to have my card renewed just this morning?!"

Thank the gods for the nice girl at the social anthropology student office--she was rather understanding about the machine, and registered me for the classes anyway (while letting me know the damn machines take a week to register the fact one has paid before they will validate the card). Joy. Of course, while she reviewed my records, we also discovered that one of my grades from the fall semester has somehow dropped through the computer cracks, and was not registered at all--great! Looks like I am going to have to dig up the actual exam essay with professor's remarks and the grade, or contact the professor, or even both. Not at all the fault of the nice student office clerk, so I resisted the urge to growl out loud. I think I will send her a thank-you card (or maybe a note to her boss), as she is a lifesaver at the worst of times. Hm--for that, I will also need to, one day, find out her name. Thinking about mailing the card made me realize I don't even know it.

So, with an hour remaining till the class, I need to find a nice spot with a chair and table, to settle down and wait--Stockholm in February doesn't exactly invite frolicking in the park or being outside for any amount of time beyond the necessary at all. Indoors, there is a bustle of activity even during classtime, as off-lecture students crowd in the halls and find places to slap a laptop or paper notebook down, and type or scribble furiously, filling the air with a comfortable tap-tap-tap-scratch-scribble-scratch, the noise of actively learning crowd. I love this atmospehere, the crowds sitting in the university coffee shops and arguing over books, and important or trivial issues. It is the atmosphere that really makes me feel alive, the one where I feel I really belong. I think I could go to school all my life and never get bored.

I find a seat in one of the large study areas of the linguistics building, near the nexus of all activity, the large departmental bulletin boards, the intersection of the moving streams of students, the coffee shop with doors flung open and bright lights illuminating pastries and fruit behind the glass, and the stands for projects near the main stairwell.

At one of those stands, there is a Polish university delegation with booklets spread all over the counter, and posters pinned to the counter-front and the bulletin boards behind them--probably recruiting exchange students from Sweden to come for a semester or two in Poland. Polish universities need the money Swedish government shells out on its exchange students--not that I would begrudge it to them, far from it: the accomodation deals they were offering were quite nice as dorms go, actually, and I hear Krakow is beautiful at any time of year. The thought of going on a student exchange yet somewhere else in Europe was almost tempting for a moment--until I remembered that I am no longer single (and yes, boyfriend and two cats do count), and, besides, I think I have outgrown the time when living in dorms (even nice ones) full of noisy students seemed like a fun thing at all. I also was rather cooled by the thought that at this point, going on an exchange stint would not help me with Ph.D. admissions a year hence--not to mention that I would miss boyfriend to tears within a week or even less of being away.

Strange--or, perhaps, not too much so--how moving to another continent shakes one's sense of independence. Here, with my still rather rudimentary Swedish (and fluent English), I have trouble getting things done--not due to the language at all, but because I do not know where and what and how these things should be done. I am a child in this country, trying to grow up faster to lighten the load my boyfriend and friends have to carry on my behalf. Having been an independent adult for years prior, it is a rather unsettling feeling.

Hence, the university courses in Swedish this semester. The language courses might not (won't, probably) improve my understanding of the society and how its bureaucratic machinery operates, but it will definitely improve my ability to learn to understand the aforementioned social machinery, and make job search easier as well. That, and I like to know the language of the area where I live fluently--not to mention that I need decent Swedish to successfully graduate with my Magister degree next year. I start Magister classes in the fall, and I must be ready to understand lecture in Swedish (all course texts are in English), come hell or high water.

I've become terribly goal-focused in my old age, even, I note, for my own peace of mind.

The break is over, and the frantic running-around of students subsides in the main stairwell. I have about half an hour before I move to search for room number something or other in the huge, lumbering, multi-storied maze of this building.

In the meantime, I am going to get some coffee.

12 2 04

Posted 22 January 2005, 6.27 am by Princess

untie my muse and stir this fire.
Tamed, it is pale and leaves me
cold.
almost absent from my own life.

warm me and let my skin burn
this heat remembers me
and I know you do too.

dark muse,
tired and broken,
come listen

listen to a sweet song of words
and feel them on your skin
reach for me-

I dare you.

My Dentist Has A New Lamp

Posted 15 January 2005, 5.01 pm by Villager

My dentist has a new lamp. The old one seemed perfunctory enough, though this one is a little brighter. Maybe that explains it. The old one had a little steel plate in the middle that gave a dim but barely distinguishable reflection of your mouth when reclined in the chair. You were never quite sure if you would have preferred a clearer reflection, to witness the brutality being carried out inside your mouth. Would it be worse, seeing the incisions being made, the tooth excavated by something that wouldn’t look awry on a building site (a slightly bigger version, at least)? The blood, the puss, creeping down your throat on a mission to invoke the gag reflex after the trauma of their release? Or would it be somehow easier if you were able to match sensation to action, take all the mystery out of it? Such thoughts as these did occupy the mind, but without answer, so glance instead to the frame of the lamp. This was rather dull, but in a worthy effort to distance yourself from the assortment of pains you’d meet with some success in making it interesting. If you caught the right angle, the reflection of light would dance between shapes with just the faintest of movements. Best not move the head too much though, who knows what awful calamity might befall following a sudden jerk, or even a twitch. I hope I don’t sneeze.

It always takes longer than you think. You portion out the parts of the lamp for scrutiny and stare at them until their utility in distracting you fades, so you move on. Suddenly, you’ve run out of lamp. Your eyes dart around looking for fresh stimuli, posters instructing proper dental hygiene, a table full of torture instruments on the table. In the panic to find something, anything, to latch onto – something to read would be marvellous – your sight swings up and into full view comes the dentist. There’s something extremely disconcerting about the facemask dentists wear, at least when you’re being operated on. All it leaves are eyes, cold and intent, menacing even. Before you’ve even decided to, your eyes dart away. It just feels wrong. There’s something unusually awkward about it, as though you’re being invaded in some way but you both want to deny it. You can’t see the hands, except for when they leave and enter the operating area. All of a sudden you become aware of the surprising downward pressure being exerted upon your jaw. I wonder if that’s necessary or peculiar to my dentist. Thoughts try to wander further. How should one think of a dentist? As a technician, a surgeon, an artist?

Not any more. No, the minds that produce and procure dentist lamps have decided that a crystal clear, mirror view of events is better. I was anxious enough at the prospect of having a tooth removed with seemingly negligible anaesthetic. To have it done and SEE it being done, well, that’s quite another prospect altogether. I was overcome with a sense of dread, a refined and particular sense of dread accompanied by a suggestion of betrayal, and of helplessness. How could they do this to me? Without even so much as a hint of patient consultation. The bastards.

I couldn’t look. Even during the anaesthetisation I couldn’t bring myself to witness what feels like several feet of needle violating the most tender of muscles. I am dispatched to the waiting room whilst I am “numbed up” and am left to ponder the forthcoming terror. Children sit in silence, despite the presence of numerable toys. They know it too. They know what awaits them when they are summoned to the pale room with the big man in the scary mask. And then to be insulted with compensation in the form of a smiley sticker. Why do only the children get stickers? Am I no longer deserving of compassion for my suffering? When my name was called – something that always takes less time than you hope and anticipate – I returned and skulked into the chair, mumbling to the affirmative that I was suitably numb. I opened wide, clenched my eyes shut and did my best to pretend I wasn’t actually attached to the tooth anyway. I’m not quite sure what was done before the actual removal – I neglected to look, and I wasn’t told - but it hurt more than the main event. It was by something of an accident that I did open my eyes. There was an interlude in the pain, and my muscles relaxed. When I saw the size and shape of the instrument she had in her hand, my eyes were transfixed. It was violent, reasonably painful and incredibly difficult to look away from once I was watching. I don’t normally have a photographic memory, but that little scene plays itself over in my mind easily enough.


As I walked away from the building thinking about how much I loathe seeing the dentist, it occured to me that it would be rather worse if they didn’t exist.

A letter to a freind

Posted 13 December 2004, 12.31 am by Lithia

December 11th, 2004

I'm sorry I haven't kept in touch for a bit... I've been at the hospital with my kid. He got hit by a car.

I was so mad at him before. I mean, when he started doing drugs and stole all my stuff it sucked. But, I couldn't be mad anymore when I saw him...

The first night, the neurosurgeon worked on him. His skull was crushed, and they had to put it back together. His face has a lot of stitches.... The next day, they worked on his leg, because they had to put a metal plate and some pins in it. All of his ribs on his right side are broken, and one of his lungs collapsed. It's not a pretty sight.

I've been at the hospital for essentially 3 days, with a brief stop in at home here and there.

Joshua just woke up yesterday. They said he would probably have brain damage if he lived, because his skull was all tore up. I was so afraid! My baby boy was always the most independent person on earth. He was smart and thoughtful (though always a bit disturbed), but definitely always "thinking on his feet." It was hard enough seeing my once tall and proud little boy so completely broken, with machines breathing for him and tubes and wires everywhere. But if he woke up and didn't know who I was, I wasn’t sure I could handle that.

So I walked into the room and the one eye he can open looked at me. And I looked at the eye. And it recognized me! I tried to kiss him on some of his forehead that didn't have stitches, and we talked. He doesn't remember getting smashed between the car and the light pole. But, he remembers everything except the accident just fine. He can't move right now, but the doctors say his spine is okay, and he'll be able to move as he gets his strength back.

My friend December had said to me the night of Josh's accident:
"He'll be fine. Nothing can kill that kid. You just wait. Pretty soon he's going to wake up and say something to piss you off to all hell and then you can quit all this worrying shit. Just don't smack him, no matter what he says. He's been through enough."

Sure enough, inside of a minute I wanted to smack him around. He swears he's going to kill the kid that hit him. It was a hit and run, but the girl who called the paramedics saw the kid... Agh! No "thankful to be alive." No "Gee, l've been here for 3 days. You must be so worried." The first thing he starts talking about is killing the kid that hit him...

If he was up and about like always and saying those things, that might be different, because then he's scary. I taught him to be tough and good with weapons and stuff. But, it was the drugs that gave him that unstable quality that made him seem so frightening.

Seeing him sober, lying in a hospital bed in a mangled and broken body and saying those things was just pathetic.

All my friends came to see him too. My ex who helped me raise him most of the years was there. Everyone was like "Maybe this will wake him up. Maybe he'll quit doing drugs." I want to believe that.... But, he's got the same mind he had before the accident, and he won't change his behavior unless something changes his mind.

I do feel better now that he woke me up and pissed me off real good. That means there's no brain damage and I feel like I can be sure he's going to be okay now. No matter what a rotten little brat my baby is, as long as he's alive he could change his ways. I've buried family and friends and lovers, but it would hurt me more than anything ever has to burry my Joshua. He might be an awful child, but he's MY awful child...

So, that's my last couple of days. I just woke up, and I'm going back to the hospital after a shower. I'll try to write again soon.

Peace & Love,
Jenifer DeLemont

Morrissey by Pat Reid

Posted 11 December 2004, 8.00 am by triple

‘Morrissey’
by Pat Reid
(Absolute Press)

There are few musicians more enigmatic, or so slavishly adored, as Steven Patrick Morrissey. As frontman of The Smiths – one of the most influential bands to come out of Britain in the past three decades – then as a solo artist, Morrissey has inspired adulation, outrage, confusion and controversy in pretty equal amounts. All the while, Morrissey’s private life has remained unusually private. The UK music press, in particular, has variously lauded and lambasted the man and his music over the decades, but their opinion has become less relevant since Moz set up home in Los Angeles, and unexpectedly found the Mexican-American community the source of a new fanbase.

Pat Reid has been a fan of Morrissey and The Smiths since his student days, and penned a previous volume about him – ‘Bigmouth: Morrissey 1983-1993’ in 1997. This latest book illuminates Morrissey’s meandering career path from teenage misfit to aspiring rock writer then articulate, if not controversial, singer with The Smiths, and finally to exiled, chameleon solo artist.

Reid is an incisively perceptive writer, and his book is chatty and highly readable. It comprises a subjective though fresh look at Morrissey’s ouvre, many anecdotes and arguments about music and culture, and a discussion of the Morrissey’s sexuality, a topic which has always vexed the prurient press. Despite the singer’s claims of celibacy, and the fact that he has seemingly been single most of his life, most people who give the topic any thought – Reid included – assume him to be discreetly gay. Morrissey also has the unusual quality of eliciting a sexual response from men who aren’t gay – Reid describes him as ‘a gay icon to straight men’.

Sexual controversy has dogged Morrissey since early Smiths lyrics were suggested by music journalists to refer to child abuse. This was probably unfounded, but Morrissey went on to stir up trouble with a series of flippant though racially insensitive comments. He then compounded problems by waving the British flag onstage during a support slot to ska band Madness, whose audience at the time included a far-right nationalist contingent. Penning a song called ‘The National Front Disco’ didn’t help either (imagine an American artist singing about the KKK Klub and you can understand why this could be inflammatory) – Morrissey was deemed a racist by the UK’s most influential music paper. Like Eminem, Morrissey is an artist who uses lyrical personas, and often should be taken with a large pinch of salt – when Moz crooned “England for the English”, was he being racist, or simply poking fun?

Reid’s book doesn’t address this issue in much depth, probably due to its being written without any contact with Morrissey himself. As a seasoned music journalist, Reid could almost certainly have arranged interviews with Moz had he wanted, but chose not to, aware of the potential disappointment of meeting his idol, and wary of Morrissey’s delight in upsetting journalists. So, Reid’s assertion early on that ‘this book is about Morrissey, his life, his music and his sexuality’, is only partly true – he discusses all those things, but the book is possibly more revealing about Reid himself than about Morrissey. Nevertheless, some of the most interesting and entertaining parts of the book are nothing to do with Moz – Reid is an informed and lively guide to the politics of the UK music press, the changing currents of the music scene and the wider popular culture. Reading his book is like having a long, opinionated conversation with a wittily bitter old friend. By the conclusion of the book, Reid realizes he’s gone off topic, and acknowledges that he’s “not really writing about [Morrissey], but about the things that happen around him, and the debris that trail in his wake”. This book will speak to Morrissey fans of every denomination - Reid avoids the common journalistic assumption that readers are familiar with all the music and artists that he knows, and thorough annotations make his arguments accessible whether or not you’re conversant with the intricacies of the UK music scene. The really interesting parts of the book deal with the aspects of music and popular culture which Morrissey has variously confronted, confounded and controlled. Whether you’re a devoted Morrissey fan or just interested in how the music scene has evolved over recent decades, there’s treasure to be found in Reid’s “trailing debris”.

La Ville des Vides (The City of Voids)

Posted 11 December 2004, 3.23 am by Villager

Take me away from this place,
Where flies do gather, stink and die
Pass me by, turn your face,
Rushing to live, forgetting why

Terrible youth stains the walls
The old afraid, stay indoors
Beggars as lepers stare, shivering
This shameless circus of
Shameful anonymity

Brave the cold, take the tube,
Ugly glare of neon loneliness
Hold your breath, hurry now,
With darkness comes menace
The rats smell blood, ever closer

Not peace nor rest,
Even in the dead of night
Demons lurk, and whisper,
In sleepless shadows
Everything moves, nothing alive

Unseen, I suffocate
In a commotion of melancholy
Choking on blackened emptiness,
The sadness endures.
Please, take me away.

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I truly believe that Vancouver has one of the most beautiful cityscapes. This photo was taken late in the afternoon. The way the sun was hitting the water almost brought me to tears. I think that someone should make this into a postcard that promotes our beautiful city.

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Props to Green Mamba for bringing the weirdness

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!

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