Sunday, 25 February 2018


Two students, looking through course documentation, choosing classes:

Jim: OMG, look! There's a class on bras! I'm doing that one! Should be fun, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. I've always been interested in bras, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

Kev: There's a class on bras? Where?

Jim points to a course heading.

Kev: What are you talking about?

Jim: Bras.

Kev. Yeah. No. I mean, that's not a course on bras. It's a course on CObras. The snakes.

Jim: What?

Jim looks more closely.

Jim: Oh. I thought it was bras.

Kev: You can read. What did you think the C and the O were about?

Jim: I thought they were a winking face emoji. You know, like... "bras" *wink*. Or *wink* bras. Because they know it's rude.

Kev: Why would they put an emoji in the course name? Anyway, a C can't be a winking eye. There's no vertical winking. 

Jim: Isn't there? *winks*

Kev: It's a shame. I bet a course on bras would be pretty interesting. It could be mainly a fashion thing, but they could also get into bras as a political/ social symbols. Like burning bras and stuff. I think the history of the bra would be an interesting topic. 

Jim: Yeah, it's a shame. I suppose it would be unlikely for them to run a course on bras here at Sheffield Reptile College.

Kev: Yeah.

Jim: Not sure if I'll sign up for cobras. After all, I'm already doing that course on pythons.

Kev: How's that going?

Jim: I don't like it. I only signed up by accident. I thought it was a class on pylons.

Kev: Oh. Did you think the TH was, what, some kind of wonky waffle emoticon?

Jim: Mmmmmmmmmmaybe.... *waffles*

Saturday, 24 February 2018


I've started another one. I wanted to call it Ovum, but I don't know why. Sometimes a title just calls to you, like Lord Beckon (which is a title in the aristocratic sense, and also beckoning might be calling, except usually beckoning is a gesture, so maybe it should have been Lord Hail or Baron Getoverhere or something a bit closer to the thing I intended to evoke).

Yeah, I'll post this one, I'm sure.


I wish Blogger would stop telling me that Google prevented a suspicious attempt to sign in to my account using my password.

I mean, they did. It was suspicious and not me. I'm glad they caught it. But I've already gone and changed my password, and my phone number. And they're still reminding me about it. I have thoroughly reviewed my activity. What else can I do?

Every time I log on here (which is more often than you might care), it's up there: a narrow red reminder of a past violation, like blood on the sheet.

Ugh. That was disgusting imagery, especially in the current climate of people yammering on about bed linen.

Review Activity Now would be a good name for this post. It could be ambiguous because I'm also reviewing the activity of writing this. I'm always reviewing that activity. And actively reviewing the review. But the post is called Ovum, so we'll have to chalk this up to experience and down to the blackboard shop for a refund.

I wonder if posting about this will only encourage the password fraudsters.

Well go ahead. If you can guess my password, you deserve access to the several dozen draft blog posts that aren't good enough to publish, my slotted spoon-based Google+ account and my inflammatory search history.

My new password is unguessable, with a lot of special characters and upper and lower case letters and five numbers. You've have to be bloody Judd Hirsch to figure it out.  Or Judd Nelson. Or Ashley Judd.

Which was the Judd that was good at guessing passwords again? Oh yeah, there isn't one. It was a trademark Headscissors non-sequitur, the likes of which we have not seen these many years.

Do your worst, hackers!

I'm off to check my emails.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Tell Him Something Pretty

I just finished a rewatch of Deadwood. 'Tell Him Something Pretty' is the title of the final episode.

I like that title, so I thought I'd write a blog post called 'Tell Him Something Pretty' even though I don't want to write about anyone telling anyone else something pretty, and I don't want to write about Deadwood.

I may have figured out why writing this blog is so difficult. It's because I'm writing not for its own sake, but because I want to go back in time. I want to go back to the time in my life when I did write blog posts, and I can't. It's like fighting against the current. That's why I keep writing these and not posting them (see a lack of hyperlink here for examples of previous unpublished posts). As I type, I have a momentary sense of treading water, but I can't go backwards.

Trying to write has the futility of those anxiety dreams I have all the time. I had one recently where I was trying to fill the dishwasher, but every time I thought I was close, more dirty crockery would appear, and I'd have to reorganise things. Even with my superior dishwasher organising skills, it was impossible to finish.

I haven't yet dreamt about writing a blog post that I'm unable to post. Maybe it will happen tonight.

Of course, I could just post this. I could just post the other ones. I could post a story I've already written: just a basic copy and paste job.

I could... but I can't.

Because of the reason up there. The one about not being able to go back in time.

I need to convince myself to travel forward in time, not backwards. I may not be able to go back to blog-writing times in the past, but I could travel into a future where I write. That's a journey I can make. I can get carried along by the current instead of fighting it, I can relax and I can float, I can catch my sleeve on a fountain pen, I can dash my head on the rocks of stream metaphors somewhere round the bend in two-thousand-and-god-damned-nineteen-or-some-shit.

But I don't want to hurl myself into the future. Donald Trump is President there. I can barely even bring myself to write it. Donald Trump is President there. And Brexit. And... everything else. Things genuinely are much worse now, right? It's not just a subjective thing, is it? You know I hate it when people imbue their own times with MAJOR SIGNIFICANCE just because they're alive. I don't think I'm doing that. It just is that bad.

It's no wonder I want to go back in time. Even treading water is better than going forward. Even trying to tread water is better than going forward.


OK - I just went to get lunch, and I was mulling it over. Maybe the world isn't that much worse. I put my pessimism down to two things: Twitter and Southampton Football Club.


I don't have any friends. You might think that would be the headline of this issue, but I'm going with Twitter. I don't have any friends, so my only real view of the outside world comes from Twitter. And maybe it's just the people I follow, but Twitter mainly gives me the despair of current events, and the negativity of reactions to said events, and the further negativity of reactions to said reactions.


[Contemporary Edit: I never finished this. What a shame. It was so interesting and original. If only we could hear more about why Twitter is bad. Alas...]

Thursday, 22 February 2018

It Gets Better (Not life. That doesn't get better. I'm talking about the blog.)

There was always doubt, but I stayed ahead of it. The words came, and the doubt followed. But the doubt was never strong enough to justify deletion. Well, maybe sometimes. But it was rare.

But I got slower, and the doubt got stronger. The doubt and the words were neck and neck. Sometimes the words won, sometimes the doubt. Sometimes the neck.

But now it's not even a contest. The doubt is way ahead, and the words are ess ell oh doubleyou.

The doubt is a mile in the lead, and it's laminating the track. My crayons have no purchase, they just squeak feebly as I stumble.

So now there are no words. There aren't even any gifs or embedded videos. It's not even about the words. It's about confidence.

The doubt is the undisputed champion. So undisputed that this whole thing, which you would think would be so long as to be undeletable, will never see the light of day.

And in the past, when I wrote with similar skepticism, I would end up posting it anyway. And in the back of my mind, I knew I'd post it.

But I'm not going to post this. There's no question about it.

Even though I'm essentially goading myself into posting it, I'm not going to.

I suppose certainty is a kind of comfort.


[Contemporary Edit: Now I am posting this. Certainty has been yanked off me like so many stolen blankets.]

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The Backblog Project

What if I kept writing this blog, every day, for over a year but didn't post anything?

Can you imagine?

Well, I haven't been doing that.

But (and it's a medium but) I have done about ten.

They're sitting there in Draft, rattling their prison bars, yanking their rusty chains, gnawing at, like, some kind of warden or whatever. They want out. Soon, my pretties. Soon.

These are an assortment of posts deemed unpublishable for a number of reasons. Some are inflammatory. Some were written at a time when I felt incapable of dealing with the praise they would inevitably generate. Some were all ready to go when I was called into the kitchen to rescue a burning cake.

The only thing they have in common is that they're not of sufficient quality to publish.

Not on their own, anyway.

But if I put them all out there, as part of an overarching project, these insufficient crumbs will form a lumpen scone that just about passes muster.

I'm going to try to publish a post a day for ten days. I'll seem quite prolific.

Prolificacy (or prolificy, or prolificness) is all a matter of timescales. If you cram a couple of good things into a single second, you can claim to be prolific. But if those good things are spread over four point two billion years, people will make fun of your sporadic output.

One man's 'Terrence Malick' is another man's 'Terrence Malick from 2011 onwards'.

I think I just explained explained what the word 'prolific' means. What a waste of time!

At the moment, it says (11) next to the Draft posts. That's because of this one. This is also a draft.

Wouldn't it be funny if I didn't post this one either? Imagine if this one was thrown into jail cell to join the others, crammed in, American-style, never to see the light of day.

How ironic that would be!

But no. I will post this one. This is up-to-the minute. By means of proof, to show you how current this is, I can tell you that...

*checks newspaper headline*

print isn't dead.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The Decade Hence Observatory

Leave it to Piven.


(I meant to post this two months ago.)


(This blog is 10 years old.)


(+ 2 months.)

Wednesday, 17 May 2017


Blog Post Preliminary Plan:

Topic: Shivering

Abrupt start
Relate to current news event (Theresa May ref)?
Pompous intro

  • Cold
  • Fear
  • Disgust
  • Pirates (timbers)
  • bees - punchline: "S. hive ring"

Something about evolution
Undercut argument

Sudden dismount:
Out of nowhere reference to obscure culture (Flossie Teacake?)

[NOTE: do not publish until fully polished]