are the stars out tonight?

life and stuff


getting around this city is getting harder and harder, particularly at the weekend - this morning I took a bus, another bus, a tube (with a change) and then two more buses, for a journey that I could do with one overground and one tube on a weekday (in about half the time).

serves me right for attempting to get to work on a saturday morning, i suppose, but with all the station and line closures around town, it seems almost like a concerted effort to stop people travelling about.

i doubt there's a quango in whitehall scheming up ways to annoy londoners (and tourists), but occasionally it's not that difficult to imagine a bureaucrat, with an office in city hall dedicated to making my life harder.

"yes," he would say, "definitely close shepherd's bush central line station for eight months. excellent. the next matter on the agenda is what to do about the victoria line, she's been taking that a lot recently."

his cowering subordinate offers a suggestion: "what about if we shut it at 10 in the evenings and completely at the weekends?"

"brilliant!" he shrieks with a note of glee in his voice, "let's go to her favourite pub. gather up 30 of your closest colleagues, we're making sure she won't get a drink tonight!"

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what a strange question

so last night, someone asked me, "are you on email?". i mean how very 1997.

isn't asking somene if they have an email address a bit like asking them if they have fingernails? at this point, don't we just assume everyone has at least one email address?

i've actually lost track of the number of email addresses i have/have had, but i'm pretty sure it's in double digits.

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just in time for his court date, here's a re-cap and a preview for r kelly's work of genius trapped in the closet. made. of. awesome. in the loosest possible sense. strong language etc, probably not really safe for work.

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5 years gone

so ATSOT is now 5 years old, happy birthday blog. i feel like a neglectful parent, my offspring - unable to take care of itself - left to languish in a corner while i live the high life, throwing it scraps occasionally.

it's not that i don't think about blogging anymore, just that i don't actually, y'know, get down to doing it. there's something instantly stultifying about the blogger interface these days that somehow depresses me, or at least supresses my urge to communicate.

and i've become more secretive in my old age. sometimes i want to write something, but the urge to obfuscate it leaves me frustrated and my writing seems to be more abstract than the average horoscope.

but i will not abandon you, blog, you're still a weird part of me, and much beloved.

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the amazing adventures of

I may have mentioned my incredible love for the author michael chabon once, twice, or three times. since I first read the mysteries of pittsburgh, aged 14, i've wanted to see him speak - there are a few videos, and podcasts around, but it's never quite the same as actually seeing the author in the flesh.

it seemed incredible that he hadn't come over to this country in all that time - true, his books have a kind of classic americana feel to them, but that didn't have to mean that he was a pariah in this country. so when i spotted that he was going to appear at foyles, i was pretty fucking excited.

and last night stu and i went to see him read from his newest novel the yiddish policemen's union. and it turned out i was exactly right that he hadn't been over to the uk in 12 years. he very kindly signed my copies of the new novel, kavalier and clay and his debut the mysteries of pittsburgh (mine has the original, much less attractive cover), and posed with me for a photo (in which i look like i'm about to burst with joy). he is such a nice man.

i am slightly disappointed to see that the mysteries of pittsburgh has been made into a film with sienna miller. what the heck is it with that woman, turning up in films i would like to enjoy. also i think mena suvari is too old to be playing phlox. and they've cut out arthur.... i think i feel an an aneurysm coming on...

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all shall be well

frankly, i'm pretty surprised that in nearly five years of blogging, i have never mentioned julian of norwich, whose revelation of divine love was the only book i actually vaguely enjoying on my middle english course.

julian (not her real name) was an anchorite at the church of st julian in norwich, she was born in around 1342. during a bad illness, she had visions of God, and wrote them down in her 'revelation'.

actually, that's not what i remember, i've got all of that from wikipedia just now. what i remember is one line: "all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well".

regardless of whether you believe what julian did (that she had received this revelation from god), a fantastic optimism just radiates from the statement.

and it makes such a fantastic motto that i have been using it in stressful situations ever since. although julian, perhaps, might have had a different revelation had she too been on a fixed term contract.

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like every blogger in the world (or so it seems), i've been thinking about twitter lately.

twitter was founded by evan williams, who was a co-founder of blogger. it is "a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send "updates" (text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) via SMS, instant messaging [and] the Twitter website" (from the wikipedia entry. Those updates can also be sent to 'friends' (in that great web 2.0 sense) as text messages, and you can recieve the updates of the people you 'friend'.

i've had a twitter stream (log? page?) since january, but i'm yet to really see a point to it. honestly, it mostly seems like a pretty good way to stalk someone. and with stuff like twittervision (which is strangely mesmerising), it feels like just another way to see into the minutiae of strangers' lives (much like Blogger).

nonetheless, i suspect that if more of my (real-life) friends were using twitter, i might be more interested in it. certainly, one of the most appealing features of facebook is seeing people's updated statuses. if facebook made it possible to update your status by text - that would be great, and a twitter/facebook mashup (where your status updates were archived on a particular page) would be pretty fantastic.

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