Something for the Weakened

Archive for February, 2008

A Note on The Subject of Temperance

February 29th, 2008 by

I have now managed to spend a full four weeks sober, news I’ve inevitably bored any of you that have come within hearing distance of me with. This evening shall be my first night reacquainting myself with booze, so I thought I ought to document the experience before my brain returns to it’s normal addled state. Unfortunately it’s all too tedious for me to even think about, let alone write down. There’s probably a moral here, but I’m arsed if I know what it is. I’ll be in the pub if anyone wants me. Ta-ra.

Tango for Cash

February 28th, 2008 by

Yesterday I received an email from Borders (they sometimes send vouchers, so I tend to read them) offering gift ideas for Mother’s Day. One of these was a limited edition print from Last Tango in Paris. A print from a film most famous for a scene where an actress rams butter up Marlon Brando. Now is it just me, or is it a little unsettling to think that someone out there is going to give that as a gift to their Mum?

Webcomix

February 16th, 2008 by

Did I mention that I’m partial to reading the odd comic? Often the odder the better. While I’m more than happy to blow small fortunes on my folded paper produce, I don’t spend an awful lot of time reading stuff online. This has been limited to weekly doses of Johnny Ryan’s absurdist filth, Tony Millionaire’s Maakies absurdities and daily hits of James Kochalaka (whose daily tales of the erect amphibian Fancy Froglin are around at the moment and approved). Over the past couple of days two others have come to my attention that I thought it’d be nice to share with the group.

Dan Clowes should be known to you all, at the very least for Ghost World though why you haven’t given A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron a go yet is beyond me. Anyhoo, Danny boy’s been busying himself with a gig at the New York Times recently, a tale that he has recently completed and can be read in it’s entirety here. Start at Chapter 1, not the Conclusion at the top as it’s, um, the end. The second Chapter 18’s actually Chapter 19, so do read that before the conclusion too. By the way, it’s all in Acrobat, which leads to the interesting experience of watching near abstract globs of colour load up and slowly form themselves into the actual images of the strip. Well, it did on this low tech piece of carp. Clowes’s replacement on the page is the anthromorphic Scandawegian Jason, which might be one to watch too. So watch, alright?

Sage of Southend Warren Ellis should be even better known to you than the Clowes creature and not just because of his accusing me of theft once (don’t think I’ve gone out about that one yet – something for A History of Collecting if I ever rev that bugger up again). He’s recently launched his first attempt at a long form comics work initially published solely online. FreakAngels is a weekly ongoing strip I advise each and every one of you to bookmark. Not heard how long the experiment is to run for, nor whether there will be an archive of previous episodes or a definite collection at the end of it, so I’d reckon checking every Friday from now on’s probably you’re best bet.

There was another one I was going to mention but can’t for the life of me recall what it was called or who it was written by. It was a small press publication, that much I do know, and the creator had stuck the first issue online. I forget where I found the link as well and never actually got round to reading it, so it’s entirely possible you’re missing out on nothing. Should anyone feel the desire to recommend any other strips or what have you, please do send them in. Much taing (in the marsh?).

Thankings

February 13th, 2008 by

Much gratitude must be shunted in the direction of first time correspondent The Mysterious Dr. M, who kindly wrote in with an answer to my plea. The answer lay in my utter stupidity. My assumption that right clicking and going to ‘Save as . . .’ would simply save the link was in fact entirely wrong. Reading more closely would have shown me that I would in fact be ‘Saving target as . . .’, which transpires to be a completely different thing. So I had been doing it arse about face all along, like the technophobic muppet I am. I am now happily awash with discs full of the wonders of Peter Cook and decade old satire. Me am a happy luddite.

A Plea

February 12th, 2008 by

I’m stumped and wonder if anyone out there in internet land might have a solution for me. I have of late been deriving some pleasure from downloading various bits of old radio and generally public domain audio comedy. These I’ve then been transferring onto CD so’s I can listen to them at work, while on the move, or what have you. This hasn’t proven much of a problem with most of the standard downloading I’ve tried, but now I seem to have hit something of a wall. I’ve been trying to extract the files found here and here, but to no avail. The Real Player pages that the download links lead one onto will happily play the audio, but I can’t figure out anyway to actually get the ruddy things onto my hard drive. I’ve wasted more hours than I’m prepared to go into scanning drives, manually transferring files and all manner of other tat. Should anyone have any simple solutions I should love to hear them. If you haven’t, do follow the links anyway. There’s amusement to be found.

Date ‘N’

February 10th, 2008 by

Has it really been ten days since the last drop of sweet, sweet booze passed my luscious lips? Looking at the computer’s clock, it transpires that it has been. So what has this sustained period of abstinence done to me (apart from causing me to lose track of the date)? Do I feel magically healthier? No, not even remotely. If anything I’m feeling a lot worse as my body seems to be reacting to the absence of minor poisoning on a daily basis by contracting some sort of flu like symptoms. This might have occurred anyway, as is the way of the virus, though I’m inclined to see the two as being conjoined in a Chang & Eng kind of a way. The flu like symptoms might also be a by product of my now chugging down twice as many fags as I would ordinarily, what with the sore throat and all, but again I feel I should place the blame firmly on the absence of alcomhol.

Two surprising things have arisen from this experiment though. The most obvious of these is the shock that I do actually possess some willpower and aren’t an alcoholic after all. That I wasn’t expecting. T’other is just how easy it’s been. Once I obstinately placed the thought in my mind, I’ve stuck by it without an awful lot of mental taxing. Even while still spending an awful lot of time in public houses (that aspect of my life remains unchanged), the simple act of turning down drinks has come far more naturally than I had expected it would. Trying to find something non-alcoholic to drink for a whole evening has proven to be a trickier matter – there’s only so much generic cola substitute I can stand and nowhere seems to sell ginger beer with a bit of bite to it anymore – but I’ve coped with it.

Other downsides have included; a feeling of exclusion as others begin to slur and enjoy themselves; seemingly being far less amusing than I imagined myself to be (hmmm, you probably realised that one anyway); continuing exhaustion because of my inability to go to bed before one o’clock, because I am a nob. But there must be some up sides too, mustn’t there? Mustn’t there? Well, I’m waking up at four in the morning far less frequently (though I still am, and am still downing half a pint of squash as if I’m as dehydrated as an orange husk on a DelMonte factory floor) um, and . . . erm, no that’s probably about it really. I’d love to say I’m saving money, but as I’m still out as regularly as when I was lapping up the liquor that hasn’t really proven to be the case.

So why continue? Sheer bloody mindedness I suppose. Will I last the whole month? I should think so. I’ve only wavered once so far and believe my obstinate nature should carry me through. The twenty-ninth doesn’t count though. Just so that’s clear.

On The Wagons Ho

February 4th, 2008 by

The original title for Leaving Las Vegas I believe.

I am Barry Cryer (circa 1996).

_ _ _ as a bone

February 3rd, 2008 by

I’m three days into another of my inevitably doomed to failure experiments in abstinence. No, the celibacy one isn’t intentional. This time around I will be endeavouring to abstain from the consumption of alcohol for the duration of February. But don’t worry boozy pals, it’s not down to doctor’s orders or a sudden conversion to Islam. No, I realised that I’d only had about ten days of sobriety since the start of November and that this probably wasn’t a good thing. Also, the waking up dehydrated at four every morning then failing to get back to sleep wasn’t doing me many favours. I shan’t even go into the flatulence issues, but rest assured, issues there were. So using this shortest month (not short enough – damn you leap years!) to regrow some liver cells seems like a grand idea. Quite what I shall do to soothe the pain now is uncertain. I hear crack’s quite cheap this time of year.