2 7 / 0 4 / 0 6:
'w h a t p r i c e a n a k e d f a c e ?'


so. hostess elisabeth suggests i should do something called 'exfoliate' whilst i'm in the shower. once i'd established it wasn't some kind of bizarre and deviant sex act (not that i'm not game you understand but the bathroom is a dangerous place to experiment) i thought i'd give it a go. what she didn't tell me was that the tube of ooze she said to try was mentholated... cue cries of "argh, it burns it burns" etc. well it hurt like hell but i did it (does this make me a metrosexual?), perhaps now i can claim to have the skin of a 12 year old boy... without having to follow the sentence with the words "hanging in my wardrobe".

my parents have finally bought a stereo system that brings them into the current century. apparently it's a jvc 5 disc cd player which, if i'm honest, is a better choice than i'd given them credit for (shame on me). my dad has admitted to filling the thing with 5 barbara streisand albums and then doing the housework. so since his retirement he's taken to cooking, baking cakes and now listening to ol' babs while dusting. so he's gone gay then. i half expect next time i visit to be greeted by a young asian houseboy, hired to relieve my father's newfound 'needs'.

one of the side effects of the co-codamol tablets that hostess elisabeth is taking for her back pain is listed as "nightmares".

"shocking: patients given a common treatment for kidney stones could be four times more likely to develop diabetes, experts said yesterday. shock wave therapy - also known as lithotripsy - breaks down kidney stones, allowing them to pass out of the body through urine. but u.s. scientists said the shocks pass through the pancreas, damaging its insulin-producing cells. it can also lead to scarring of the kidneys, which affects the secretion of hormones that influenece blood pressure."

- new scientist magazine

um, so i'm screwed then...?

hostess elisabeth (to me): "when you lived in southend, did you have what every woman wants?" what a bizarre question. just how much did she suspect i'd changed? turns out that in scotland there were a chain of shops called 'what every woman wants', and as we didn't have them in essex where (unfortunately) i was brought up, i had to admit that in no way w h a t s o e v e r could i answer her question in the affirmative.

courtesy of the elusive tobias, a very odd museum located near baden, switzerland (not to be confused with baden baden -germany- presumably so good they named it twice). as an added oddity, be sure to check out the story of otto mouse at the bottom of the 'english' page...

bought a new record player (or 'turntable' as we're now apparently supposed to call them), that i'd read in a review was "the best for under £300", and very happy with myself brought the thing home. now apart from the fact that the enclosed assembly instructions might as well have been in aramaic... or indeed invisible, it turned out that for some reason the 'pro-ject iii' has no easy, or indeed practical, function to change speeds. to, say, change from 33rpm to 45rpm, the user has to take off the 'platter' (for the uninitiated the bit where the record sits and spins), change the belt onto a different part of the motor and then put the 'platter' back. what? what?! this makes no logical sense w h a t s o f u c k i n g e v e r. i mean, i've heard of elitism in these things but this is just fucking absurd. it's like making a television set that you have to take the back off of to change fucking channels. is it me? the project iii website: "historically, pro-ject and other high-end record players have concentrated on sound quality at the expense of comfort features found on consumer class products." comfort features??!! o do fuck off. then i read that there is apparently an attachment you can buy called a speed box which changes speeds at the touch of a button. phew i think, fixable then... and so it is, for an extra 70 fucking quid. what kind of moron do these people take me for? ok, so i bought the thing but... o shut up.

need a fashion accessory that could survive a nuclear war? why not try a cock(b)roach!

another irritating phone sales call:
"hullo, am i speaking to mr. ______?" (hostess elisabeth's surname).
"no," i answer, "you want miss ______".
"huh?" he replies rudely.
"you're after miss ______" i repeat.
"huh?" he says again. by this time, i've had enough.
"huh?" i mimic.
"huh?!" he says again. i decide to end a conversation which seems to have just become a tennis match of the same unintelligible syllable.
"don't just say 'huh' to me when you're trying to sell me something, that's just a little tip." i say and hang up. ignorant fucking morons.

found an earwig in my bed... screamed like a girl.

so, i'm in an office in bow. the white girl i'm talking to turns to a black guy who was passing and says "oh anthony, i wanted to ask you-" the black guy sitting right opposite her pipes up "he's james. i'm anthony." his face like stone. these are people this girl works with everyday. she made a slight attempt at ameliorating the situation by trying an offhand "o don't mind me i'm all over the place today" kind of response but the intimation remained that she thought that all black people looked alike. the awkward atmosphere could have been cut with the knife, a knife that this girl probably wished was available to open her wrists... oooooh. was it wrong of me to find this amusing? to gain amusement from her horror? ho ho ho.

myself and hostess elisabeth visited a chain restaurant at canary wharf called 'chilis'. we like chili, we thought, how can we go wrong? o foolish, foolish us. my word but the food has to rank as some of the worst things i've ever put in my mouth; and that's saying something. we ordered the 'boneless chicken wings' for starter. ok, we thought, fried chicken, perhaps a bit spicy, should be nice. i mean, we weren't expecting haute fucking cuisine but christ on an exercise bike i was literally choking before it even got into my mouth. not joking. the acrid vinegar fumes coming off of the chicken actually made me gag. fucking vile. it was like it had been steeped in the stuff for a week. like solidified vinegar, battered and deep fried. jesus. the burger i had to follow was dry and barely adequate. the chicken hostess elisabeth chose may as well have been made by pirelli; and infused with salt. fucking awful food. don't ever go there.

calvin and hobbes live again! o my lard i'm glad someone's done this. not sure how long it'll last though, what with mr. watterson being notoriously litigious. grab it while you can...

the painful soap opera of hostess elisabeth's back goes on. it turns out, following the mri, that it's not a prolapsed disc (hoorah) but the scan showed that she has something called a 'nerve sheath cyst' on her spine (not hoorah), plus wear and tear on the vertebrae (neither a hoo, nor a rah of any kind). so it would appear that good old sciatica is to blame after all (probably) and the cyst, by all accounts isn't playing a part in her pain at all (then what is it doing then? i hear you ask -your guess is as good as mine, and possibly better than the medical profession's). when he viewed the results the doctor told her she now had to see a bloody neurosurgeon. reeks of buck passing to me. so, she goes and sees the neurosurgeon, some miserable old git on harley street (larrdeedarr) who took her £250 (for a twenty minute consultation) and effectively told her to have hot baths and take nurofen, adding that the cyst was nothing to worry about and that it could take years for it to grow enough to cause stress to the spinal column (he didn't go into what that might entail). he said he wasn't sure what was causing her so much pain and said she should have 'nerve tests' done. more tests. she decided to stop this private nonsense right there before she was thousands of pounds down she couldn't afford with nothing concrete to show for it. so now it's the nhs and what hostess elisabeth describes as "a constant, nagging tooth-ache style pain and when i go out walking it's accompanied by a tingling in my left leg and numbness at the lower back." what a fucking mess.

learn what the name leonardo meant before that 12 year old lesbian look-a-like di caprio came along. amazing stuff (no code required).

my new shaver (remington r-970, purchased through the radio times) is frankly rubbish. not only does it feel in the hand like something that fell out of a cheap christmas cracker, it also leaves me with a red raw shaving rash; something akin to taking a blow torch and a bottle of lemon juice to your face. apparently it originally had a rrp of £80, though just how pissed off i'd be if i'd paid that i cannot even begin to calculate. how much do you have to pay to get a reasonable bloody shaver? the only reason i bought the fucking thing was because my old one (which cost me £70 some years ago) has to be held together with an elastic band to keep the beard trimmer retracted in order to use the main shaving foils. ripped off at every turn. unbelievable... and yet at the same time strangely unsurprising.

apparently there is a photograph of me in rather dubious drag that has slipped behind a chest of drawers at jobless jon in japan's parents' house in norfolk. over for a visit, jon tried in vain to retrieve the incriminating picture but to no avail; the chest of drawers is bolted to the wall. um... i'd love to see whoever's face when, some years (decades?) in the future, they find it. a strange transvestite time capsule for posterity...

hearing that hostess elisabeth's back had been hurting her, one of her workmates one day presented her with a lavender heat cushion which, when heated in a microwave, retains its heat for quite some time and thus can be used to alleviate pain. surprised, hostess elisabeth thanked the man, taken aback that he was so thoughtful. there was a pause. "it's only three quid" he said. another pause, saying nothing but implying everything. "i'll get my purse" she replied. cheap bastard wanted paying for it. £3. u n b e l i e v a b l e.

i'm sure i'm not the only one to have noticed the growth in popularity and usage of the word cunt in recent years. while still the most 'shocking' of the swear words, it is being used more and more here there and everywhere; i suppose it's not that surprising, what with the continued presence of ainsley harriot on our television screens. but what happens when the word is as commonplace as bloody, piss or sod? where do we go from there? invent new profanity? can i suggest 'grottle', 'sump' and 'tik frottler'? ("alright who's got a boil on his semprini then?" etc.) in the meantime cunt still seems to have maximum offence-effect if used to describe a woman. strange considering they're the ones who actually own the things; probably something to do with a perceived suggestion that that's all they are... use it to replace the common word 'bitch' in conversation and see what happens.

some kind of alarm has been going off downstairs in our building now for some two days solid. what it's triggered by or how to stop it fuck only knows. the fact is though that while it is quite quiet, still it makes sleep something of a problem and w i l l n o t s t o p . . . what is odd is that if i lie on my right side i can't hear it but if i turn over i can; suggesting that there has been some hearing damage over the years in my left ear to do with high frequencies. the problem with this is that if i lie on my right side the sun wakes me up... damnit.

a useful and informative email from the venerable gude (obviously a slow work day): "it may be elementary, but this question has been bothering me for a few days now. every now and then my brain deviates from the day's distractions to settle upon something fundamental that it has always taken for granted, but never before saw fit to question. this appears to be the answer to one of those questions, which I thought i'd share, in case you'd been lying awake at night worrying about the same thing, too..." and d'you know what? i had always wondered about that.

recently mr. liles suffered a rather nasty sounding eye injury. in his own words: "wind was blowing hard - lit a match really close to my face - the sulphur bit flew off on fire straight into my eye and burnt my lower eyelid and surface of the cornea - had to go to hospital in the evening when the pain become unbearable - like acid in the eye" oooh that'll be sore in the morning -in fact i'm told it was just that. sadly, and much to my disappointment, he didn't have to wear an eye patch; which is a shame as i think he'd make a great pirate. i think i'll try and talk him into a monocle.

recommended: (audio) kodo / (comestible) hostess elisabeth's lemon meringue pie / (visual) the drawings of leonardo da vinci / (sensorial) the idea of me as a cross-dressing time capsule

reviled: (audio) that fucking alarm / (comestible) foul, replusive and inedible 'boneless buffalo wings' from chilli's, canary wharf / (visual) an earwig in my bed / (sensorial) unprepared exfoliation