Thursday, November 30, 2006

For the love of Pete, will somebody please wear this corsage?

For my Spanish class we have to do a group project, holding a five-minute conversation with another classmate. Asking people to do the project with me feels like I'm asking someone to a school dance:

"Uhm, hey I was wondering, if, uhm, you have a partner yet for, uhm..."

I've been shot down twice, with one of the girls making it actually feel like I was asking for something more: "Oh, dear. I'm so sorry. I've already got someone. I'm really sorry -- I'm sure you'll find someone, though."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Childhood trauma

  • According to a computer at Cardiff University, I have a kinaesthetic learning style.
    I also learned that I am not dyslexic. Take that, James Joyce, you fuckin' retard.
    All of this comes as part of a series of tests to determine whether I have any learning disabilities. I went to the Student Support Centre last week in hopes of figuring out why I feel like I'm struggling so much more than I should be. The fact is, though, this is a waste of time. I know it is. I was tested for learning difficulties on numerous occasions back when I was flunking high school, and they didn't find anything.
    I had one teacher who thought I might have a learning disability that had not yet been discovered. Her general theory was that I had become so good at bullshitting I had never learned to do things properly. There is probably some truth in that.
    In thinking about it now, I haven't been studious since third grade, when I wrote a story about a parrot. It was apparently so good that Mrs. Brown took me and another kid to compete in a school-district-wide (this was the massive Houston Independent School District) creative writing competition. I promptly went nowhere in said competition because we were given 45 minutes to write on the utterly bullshit theme of how to deal with bullies.
    My suggestion was to stab the bully. I very clearly grew up in a different era that no one pulled me aside and gave me a talking to; I was simply given a cheap blue ribbon for participating.
    Mrs. Brown then took me and the other kid to lunch at Whataburger. I ordered a plain cheeseburger but it came out with pickles on it, so I just ate my fries.
    I don't remember trying much after that; from then on, my main interest in school was getting girls to pay attention to me.
    So, rather than a learning disability, it's probably my 21-year gap in studiousness that's making things so hard for me now. That's not really comforting.

  • Oh, well this is just lovely. Actually, it would be lovely if Rachel or I were employed over here because it would mean that all our debt has been effectively halved.

  • I saw this quote from the UK Foreign Office in response to Kofi Annan's claim that Iraq is on the brink of civil war:
    "The situation is serious but it is not on the brink of civil war. In 14 out of the 18 provinces, security is not as bad as it is in Baghdad."
    You've got to love that spin -- "security is not as bad as it is in Baghdad." That's not really saying very much is it?
  • Tuesday, November 28, 2006

    Exporting Thanksgiving

    This week's column is out, but I'll warn you that it contains a blatant lie. I am not actually developing a South Wales accent.

    For some unexplained reason, my Texas accent seems to be returning ever so slightly.

    Monday, November 27, 2006

    Learning Welsh at the university level is like taking fluoxetine without the side effect of bad poetry (unless you count englynion)

  • That is probably the most esoteric headline I've ever written.

  • If you have a NaNo project going on this month, I wholeheartedly apologise for not reading it. I hope you can understand that I can't even seem to manage my life more than six hours ahead, so I'm somewhat short the time it would take to read several novels.

  • Related to the above, if you are expecting to see me in London on Saturday that is now looking less likely. I haven't given up yet, though.

  • The good news is that there are now less than three weeks until my Christmas break, which lasts until 29 January (chalk another point for the British university system). I'll be stuck writing two papers over that break, but I think I may manage to avoid wanting to throw myself in front of a bus for a whole month.
    I need it the break. My brain is so fried these days. I feel like I'm operating on some kind of weird behavioural drug that depletes 60 percent of my personality.

  • I saw today that you can buy episodes of the latest series of "The Real World" on iTunes, which prompts two questions:
    1) That show still exists?
    2) Who in the great googly-moogly would purchase that?
  • Sunday, November 26, 2006

    Ringa pakia

  • For those of you playing along at home, I hope you had a good Thanksgiving. The child bride and I held our feast on Friday because I had a Spanish exam on the actual day. We had a handful of people over and I think it went relatively well. Thanks to the fact that Welshies (and one Scot*) don't eat as much as Americans, Rachel and I have leftovers and desserts to last us well into the next week. We especially cleaned up in beer -- at the end of the night, I had gained 36 bottles or cans of lager, ale or bitter. The lesson there is to always invite the BBC to your parties.

  • I was thinking Friday about the end of "A Christmas Carol" when Mr. Scrooge has an enormous goose anonymously sent to the Cratchit family. I wonder how Mrs. Cratchit felt about that: "Oh, fuck you very much anonymous donor. I was already stressing over putting together the Christmas meal and now I have to use up precious extra coal to cook up this fucking great goose. This being the Victorian era, I don't have a meat thermometer handy, and I may not be able to read a cookbook let alone afford one, so all the things I know abut how long a goose should be cooked and at what heat kind of go out the window in the face of this monstrosity."

  • The night before the Wales-New Zealand match, I was talking with Chris and Geraint about the two teams and somewhat dancing around my deep-rooted dislike of the All Blacks. Ooh, I hate them. This goes back to the 2003 Rugby World Cup when they soundly defeated Canada 68-6. After the match, I saw a Canadian player motion to exchange jerseys with one of the All Blacks who just waved the Canadian off and gave him a look that said the Canadian wasn't good enough to expend the energy removing a jersey.
    Fucking cocky bastards is what the All Blacks are.
    They are also babies. In response to the haka, Wales were Saturday planning on singing their national anthem back at the All Blacks, but they were having none of it. Like the proverbial kid who gets upset, takes his ball and goes home, New Zealand performed its precious little tradition in the locker room because they refused to allow a response to it. All Blacks are the NBA players of rugby.

  • Note to Gavin Henson: You have to get in front of a person to tackle him -- stepping to the side in matador stylee won't actually stop someone from getting past you.

  • Just in time for the various Spanish essays I have due over the next fortnight, Merriam-Webster now has a Spanish/English dictionary. I think that says something about the exponential growth of Spanish-language influence in the U.S.

  • To answer a question from Isabella Snow (dude, a professed writer of smut reads my blog -- I am definitely doing something right) the child bride turned 30 this month. Here's the explanation of her nickname.

  • I was standing at the train platform Thursday morning, looking at how miserable my fellow Arriva-sufferers looked in the wind and spitting rain, and I found myself wondering why they all looked so miserable and I was fine.
    Then I realised it was my coat. My pea coat is proper military clothing and it actually works, bitches. I was so impressed by this fact that I actually said, aloud: "Dude. This coat rocks."
    No one shared in my happiness.

    *The Scot who was born in Herefordshire and has a slight Australian accent.
  • Wednesday, November 22, 2006

    That's deep, Elton

    "Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids;
    In fact, it's cold as hell.
    And there's no one there to raise them
    If you did."

    But then it all falls apart, doesn't it?

    "And all the science I don't understand.
    It's just my job five days a week."

    What kind of fucked-up space programme sends a bloke into space who knows fuck all about science? And he's in space -- where exactly does he go the other two days in the week?

    Also: "There's no one there to raise them if you did." If you did what? If you raised them on Mars? There would be no one on Mars to raise your kids if you did raise your kids on Mars.


    Monday, November 20, 2006

    I love you, Louisa

  • As much as I hate to admit it, yes, Mona, I do watch "EastEnders." I can't help it. It's some kind of weird illness that compels me to follow the lives of Ruby Allen (guess how pissed I am that she's leaving the show*) and Bradley Branning and WHAT THE HELL EVER HAPPENED TO JAKE? I haven't forgotten you, Jake!
    Worse than that, however, is the fact that I refuse to miss "Strictly Come Dancing." My "EastEnders" loyalties mean that I'm partial to Louisa, but I'm also a fan of Emma Bunton and Matt Dawson. I feel vindicated in watching "Strictly Come Dancing" due to the fact that one of my professors also watches. If someone who is smarter than me and inherently cooler than me (he's Irish) watches the show, surely it's OK for me.

  • Wait, when did Kurt Angle join TNA? What is happening in America?

  • Fun fact about Welsh: Verb forms often sound like the names of Star Wars characters. E.g., "Gwnêl Adnabyddont"

  • Lyrics that have amused me over the past few days:
    - "Stop writin' raps and go play volleyball."
    - "Let there be wind and occasional rain, chilli con carne and sparkling Champagne."

    *Jesus Christ Our Lord and Saviour in a Cardboard Box and Shipped Internationally At Reasonable Rates, how sad is it that I know behind-the-scenes information about the future of "EastEnders?"
  • Psst, I'm still in the room

    Last night the child bride and I were watching Ireland beat up on Australia, and Rachel suddenly launched into a long monologue about how it amazed her that some of the rugby players could be so attractive.

    "I mean, just look at the guy," she would say. "I can't believe that he would just look like that. It's amazing. I can't believe that he's real."

    I don't think I want to watch rugby with her anymore.

    Friday, November 17, 2006

    Horseshoes and Handgrenades

  • I still haven't managed to get past 2:05 in holding my breath.

  • Best name for a song I've heard this week: "Almost Only Counts in Horseshoes and Handgrenades." Unfortunately the band's the song doesn't live up to its name.
    I have recently discovered PureVolume, which means that everyone else probably knew about it 1994 and there are infinitely better versions of the same thing, but I've still been enjoying it. Because you just can't get enough Christian artists and 17-year-old-laden punk bands recording tinny versions of bad songs.

  • Please help me to Google bomb the Conservative candidate for Cardiff West by clicking on this link: "y plentyn gordderch Ian Beale."
    That's Welsh for "the bastard son of Ian Beale." The reason should be obvious when you see a picture of him (for those of you playing along at home, Ian Beale is a character in EastEnders who seems to be turning heel these days).
  • Wednesday, November 15, 2006

    120 seconds without air

  • In all my yammering about trains Tuesday (Wednesday's train fun: the wheels appeared to be slipping on the tracks at one point, forcing us to crawl our way to Fairwater in a way that was slightly reminiscent of my mother driving on ice), I forgot to mention the highlight of Tuesday: I managed to hold my breath for more than two minutes.
    I was sitting in the train at the Radyr station, staring at the platform's digital clock, when I thought: "Hey, I'll pass the time by depriving myself of oxygen."
    Curly says he's the type of person who has nothing better to do than sit around on a train platform for a few hours, and apparently I am, as well. But, still, two full minutes, bitches. Go ahead, try right now -- can you do better*?

  • I saw today that Malta is the fattest country in Europe. Congratulations, Malta, you fat bastards.
    Of course, although Malta's average body mass index is 26.6, that is still comfortably better than my home country, where the average BMI is 29. Yes! Maybe some day we'll be able to rival Micronesia, where the average BMI is 32!
    In case you're wondering, according to the BBC's BMI calculator, my BMI is 23.23. I am the picture of health, ladies.

  • Yes, I am lame for being impressed by this. I think I am most impressed by the outside-the-box thinking required to come up with the idea.

  • Best. Wikipedia. List. Ever.

    *I get a sense that perhaps Omega can beat my attempt. He can probably also kill a shark with a bread knife at the same time.
  • Tuesday, November 14, 2006

    160 cups of tea

  • TS Eliot measured life in coffee spoons (or, at least, I think he did -- the whole of my TS Eliot knowledge comes from that one Crash Test Dummies* song that mentions him); Mike Doughty** measured heartbreak in beer cans; so, I think it's worth noting that since moving here I have prepared 160 cups of tea.
    Tuesday afternoon, I emptied the box of Murroughs Paned Gymreig that we bought at Asda on our first day in Cardiff (I would like to point out that the child bride and I were delirious with sleep deprivation when we went to Asda; we learned shortly after that it is owned by Wal-Mart and have never returned). Since I often drink more than one cup a day and have occasionally shared my precious tea with Jews, it doesn't quite work out to 160 days lived in Wales, but it still feels like a sort of benchmark.
    I am gradually sloughing off various mental and material ties to the United States; I suppose that's a good thing. Chavtacular Caerdydd is starting to grow on me a bit.

  • In response to a few comments on this blog, the BBC has adjusted the playback feature for the "Eye on Wales" programme so you can now actually hear me getting the last word.
    And, I've got to say, it is immensely ego inflating to have one of the world's largest, most respected, most valued media organizations respond to stuff on my blog. But I have known for a long time that the BBC is tracking me via a device they implanted in my skull; remember when that reporter showed up at the pub?*** I suppose, though, it's comforting to know that if I am attacked by chavs, robbed of all my shiny fake jewellery and New York Yankees paraphernalia and then left for dead, the BBC will know where to find me.

  • If you listened to the "Eye on Wales" programme Monday, you heard me reading out a post that mentioned Cardiff's laughable train service. Being disappointed by Arriva Trains is an experience that almost every Welsh person can relate to.
    If I had more time, I would probably start a blog dedicated solely to Arriva's daily fuck-ups. I experience fewer trouble-free train journeys in South Wales than I did sexual intercourse in high school.
    On Tuesday they managed to turn an 11-minute journey into an hour-long clusterfuckapalooza.
    I always feel bad for the train company employees in these situations, because there's often not a whole hell of a lot they can do when a 20-year-old multi-tonne piece of machinery breaks down and blocks the line. Off the top of my head, I have never met an Arriva Trains employee that I wouldn't happily buy a pint. But having said that, Tuesday was the second time my attempts to arrive at Danescourt in a timely manner have been thwarted by a train breaking down. And I find it interesting that the last time this happened to me, that train also broke down at the Ninian Park platform... also at 2 p.m. ... also on a Tuesday.
    If you think of Cardiff as a large circle, running roughly up the middle of that circle is the River Taff. On either side of the river, roughly, there are train lines: the City and the Merthyr/Rhondda. Some women will need a mirror for this, but a good (albeit immature) way to think of Cardiff is to imagine it as an enormous vagina -- with the City and Methyr/Rhondda lines serving as the labia minora, the village of Radyr serving as the clitoris, and Cardiff city centre serving as the perineum. I live on the left side of the labia minora, close to the clitoris, and the university is on the right, closer to the perineum.
    On this particular rainy Tuesday at 2:06 in the afternoon, I had just barely managed to be at the train platform on time. I had a pint of Guinness in my tummy from lunch and after I found a seat near one of the (atypically functioning) heaters, I was feeling content and warm. I closed my eyes and tried to think of the paper that I would be writing into the ungodly hours of the morning.
    Then I realised the train wasn't moving. And on cue, I heard the conductor shout: "All change, please, ladies and gentlemen. All change."
    For those of you playing along at home, "all change" is train lingo for "everybody get off this train." You are most likely to hear the phrase when something gets fucked up, which means you hear it quite often in South Wales.
    After first herding us toward another train, but then deciding that said train would go instead to Barry -- the spiritual anus of Cardiff, if not necessarily geographically -- we were made to stand on the platform for half an hour.
    At 2:36 p.m., the next scheduled train arrived, but the broken engine was still in the way. However, the platform supervisor had figured out that while it was impossible to move a train north on the City line, the southbound tracks were clear. So, he could send us up to Radyr via the Merthyr/Rhondda line and then finally back down to the places we had hoped to be a quarter of an hour before. His determination to overcome any obstacle to reach the clitoris no doubt means his wife is very satisfied.
    This plan confused the blokes running the train, and in a scene that is quintessential to the British train-travelling experience, a passenger had to explain it to them. The passenger was me. At least they didn't ask me to help fix the train.
    Once we were all clear on what the hell we were doing -- bypassing three stations and going straight to Radyr -- the train driver seemed eager to answer a question that I've always had about the trains that run on these lines, that being: "How fast do these pieces of shit go?"
    Since trains on the lines don't go more than a mile between stops, they tend not to move very quickly. But with about four miles of open track we were able to find out what the old Pacer could do. And what she could do was scare the shit out of me when she hit a rail joint. As the train bounced toward Radyr, it would occasionally hit a particularly uneven section of track and the floor of the second car would leap about a foot and a half.
    A scheduled journey of 14 minutes, we covered it in five. And then we sat at Radyr for 20 minutes.
    I finally got home at 3:08, which was 51 minutes late, or, nine minutes shy of the point at which Arriva will refund my money (and don't think I won't pursue my £1.40, yo. That's a half pint).

    *Crash Test Dummies. How's that for obscure? Points to you if you know the song I'm talking about. Side fact: one of the lines in the chorus of that song is a life ambition for me.

    **But the Mike Doughty reference is even more obscure. Extra special bonus points to the person who can name the song I'm referencing.

    ***A woman walked up to me and asked: "Are you Chris Cope?" She then explained that she was from BBC Wales and that she had been sent to interview me because "someone had heard" that I was at the pub. The story is located in the massive post that I wrote during three weeks without Internet.
  • Is Trying Enough?

    My latest column is out. Admittedly, it's a little less cheerful than usual, but, uhm, yeah.

    Here's my favourite line: "Relationships, academics, bank accounts, careers, opportunities to make friends in the Klingon community -- I've driven them all into the ground at some point."

    Monday, November 13, 2006

    I got the last word, bitches

    Many moons ago, when the child bride and I still lived in the United States, one of the things we most disliked to see on television were joint press conferences with President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair.

    The presence of someone who grew up properly articulating words always served as dramatic contrast to Bushy's mumbling Texan style of speech*. Impossible as it may seem, he would sound even dumber.

    I thought of those press conferences Monday night as I listened to my interview with "Eye on Wales." If you missed it, you can listen again (follow the link to the programme and then click "Listen Again" on the upper right-hand corner) and you'll hear that when contrasted by British accents, I come off as ChrisCo the Slack-Jawed Yokel: "Yee-haw! Put on yer clean pair o' pants, darlin' -- we's goin' to Kumree!"

    All in all, though, I'm pretty happy with how things turned out, because I got the last word in the programme. And, I think I got more airtime than Annie (although her story of going to the dentist was more interesting than my yammering on about trains). Go me.

    As an added bonus, the BBC is sending me a CD copy of the programme. I plan to burn additional copies and make loads of cash selling it illegally in East Asian black markets. Because that's what East Asian black markets are clamouring for these days: Kalashnikovs, teenage prostitutes and bootleg copies of "Eye on Wales."

    *It really is a Texas thing. Some Texans just don't like putting in the effort to speak clearly. I refer you to the recording of my grandfather saying grace as proof.

    Blogging made the radio star

    If you are near a radio or computer tonight, or if the CIA is beaming Radio Wales directly into your head, be sure to tune in at 6 p.m. (noon U.S. Central Standard Time) to listen to the "Eye on Wales" programme.

    I was interviewed for the programme, as were an unknown quantity of people who are probably more interesting than me.

    I think blogging is a difficult phenomenon to convey on radio -- in the finite space that is a radio programme, how does one explain the appeal of millions of substandard writers yammering on about themselves or how much they dislike conservatives/liberals/religions/bands/Bruce Forsyth? I am eager to hear how it all turned out.

    If you miss the programme, it will be available on the BBC's rockin' Listen Again feature for seven days -- just follow the link above.

    Sunday, November 12, 2006

    We've got your photos

    I finally upgraded to a pro account at Flickr today, which means two things:
    1) I am now paying to store my pictures online.
    2) Flickr will either go bankrupt or become obsolete in a few months.

    What I found amusing was the sort of ransom note that they put on top of my homepage that was supposed to encourage me to upgrade: "None of your photos have been deleted, and if you upgrade, they'll all come back unharmed."

    They should have added something like: "Do not attempt to contact the police. Leave the money for your account upgrade in a plain paper sack, underneath the flyover at the Gabalfa Interchange. Don't try anything smart, Chris -- you wouldn't want any sort of an accident to happen to your pictures of castles, would you?"

    Thursday, November 9, 2006

    Steak and a drink

    I finally got a chance Wednesday to meet Chris, aka Curly. Interesting fact for the ladies: his voice is deeper than I would have expected. I learned this when he serenaded me with a touching rendition of Luther Vandross' "How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye."

    OK, I made that up.

    Nonetheless, by purchasing dinner for me (£5.45 for steak and a drink!), he has secured himself as one of the bloggers that I will mention as my favourites. Here are a few of the high points from our conversation:
    - Good name for a band: Big Gay Mexican
    - His Canadian accent is shit.
    - My Welsh accent is shit.
    - Crystal is pretty.
    - Astrid is pretty.
    - Alan Titchmarsh is an ass
    - When Wales wins at rugby, Chris drunkenly calls his parents to tell them he loves them.
    - Like much of the Western world, after drinking consecutive pints of Guinness we'll inexplicably start speaking in shit Irish accents. Much to our chagrin, this impresses no one.

    Somehow it took us three hours for us to cover all of that.

    Everything's all better now, right?

    "Tomorrow you're all going to wake up in a brave new world -- a world where the constitution gets trampled by an army of terrorist clones created in a stem cell research lab run by homosexual doctors who sterilize their instruments over burning American flags. Where tax-and-spend Democrats take all your hard-earned money and use it to buy electric cars for National Public radio and to teach evolution to illegal immigrants. Oh, and everybody's high."
    - Steven Colbert on Election Day

    So, the Democrats now -- it seems -- have control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. In the midst of this, Bushy suddenly comes out and announces that Rummy's getting the boot.

    I can't help but wonder about the timing of that last one. Why, after years and years of calling for his removal, does Rumsfeld suddenly get the boot on Election Day? I think perhaps the White House is trying to kill its critics with joy. Perhaps they're hoping that liberals would suffer jubilation-induced heart attacks and no longer be on the planet for the 2008 elections.

    Of course, you get the sense that some Democrats didn't really want power at this point in history. Without a Democrat president, there's only so much they can do about Iraq, but they will almost certainly find themselves shouldering blame a few years down the line. And they're unlikely to be able to effect any real sort of positive change in the economy. The only thing they can do is pass loads of environmentally friendly legislation, which they won't because they're pansies and it wouldn't carry enough political weight.

    Ah well. Theoretically, at least, this means Terry Schiavo-like fiascos are less likely. Theoretically.

    Tuesday, November 7, 2006

    Ooh, Election Day, innit?

  • I have to admit that I didn't vote this year. The child bride and I ordered absentee voter forms but then got distracted in buying methamphetamine and sex from a male prostitute and mailed the forms back too late. Or we are being disenfranchised because we're black. Either way, we never got our absentee ballots. So, whatever the outcome of Tuesday, I don't have much right to complain about it. After all, in the "America: Love it or leave it" equation I chose the latter.

  • Have you ever had that discussion in which you found yourself arguing that "The Muppet Show" was some kind of strange tear in the fabric of reality that somehow allowed a show that was, in fact, too good too exist to be aired? This same phenomenon explains "Monty Python's Flying Circus." Perhaps these shows were/are/will be produced in Heaven and some sort of snafu caused them to be aired on Earth.
    Anyway, if you needed it, here's more proof for the case of "The Muppet Show."

  • Good name for a band: Love Box
  • Gwallt

    A rare English-language video post in which I ask the all important question: "Do I look gay?"

    I have no idea why the lighting and sound are so totally different at the end of the video, despite the fact that they were both shot in exactly the same way.

    Monday, November 6, 2006

    No turning back

    The child bride and I are scheduled to be on a plane tomorrow. The plane is flying from London Gatwick to Minneapolis.

    We won't be on it.

    When we bought our tickets to move here we found it was cheaper to purchase return flights rather than singles ("cheaper to purchase roundtrip rather than one-way," for those of you playing along at home). Hoping to get the best price on the tickets, I set their return date for well out of the summer season and before the holiday season -- 7 November.

    A few weeks ago, when things were so bad and I was feeling like I had made a huge irreversible mistake by moving here, I found myself staring at those tickets. I don't know how serious I was about it, but I was aware that they were my last best chance to give up. If I wanted to crawl back home and try to quietly fall back into the same old routines that had once frustrated me so much that I dropped everything and moved 5,000 miles away, these tickets were it.

    We don't have the money now to buy any other tickets. When that plane takes off tomorrow morning and we aren't on it there will be no contingency plan -- despite the sage of advice of Bruce Willis in "Armageddon." We can only succeed from here. Or fail really, really big.

    As Omega said, "You're living the dream. But no one said it would be a nice dream."

    It's a good sign, though, that I had managed to forget about the tickets over the last week. I was reminded only by the e-mail from Northwest airlines offering to let me check in for my flight online.

    Thursday, November 2, 2006

    I met Peter Johnson and you didn't

    Radio Wales' "Eye on Wales" programme came to the house to interview me Wednesday. They're doing a radio documentary type item thingy on bloggers in Wales and since Curly is likely to rile the pensioners with his controversial pro-Canadian stance, they went with me to fill the "bloggers who aren't influential or necessarily good" niche.

    Wait. That was supposed to be a self-depreciating comment, but because I looped Curly in there, it comes off a bit wrong. I'll leave it there, though, because I really just wanted to link to him as a nod to a fellow (English-language) blogger in Wales.

    Perhaps by singling him out in a post and buying him a pint when I see him (next week?) it'll make up for the fact that I failed to mention him when I was talking about other bloggers I read regularly. When asked about my favourite reads, I listed Donal, Esther, and Jenny.

    Jenny was perhaps an odd one to list, since her blog is password protected. But, after a bit of thought, I realised why these names came to my head right away. All three listed above have bought me beer.

    Admittedly, they're not the only people to have bought me stuff*. And I should point out to Chris, who has bought me booze and multiple meals, and showed me around London and given me a computer lead that makes my laptop work in the UK, that I was mentally looping him in with his wife. As someone who seems to be as stupid over his significant other as I am over mine, I doubt he will take offence that for conversation purposes I deferred to his better half.

    I even read a bit of an Esther post, but there's no promising it will end up in the final product. Odds are, in fact, although I talked to Peter Johnson for nigh 30 minutes my bit of the programme will last only 20 seconds.

    Nonetheless, I'll try to get details on when exactly the programme will air so you can hear it.

    *At present I have a mental image of Elisa digging in her purse. I assume I chose to log this in my head because she bought me booze. And, I'm pretty sure Linus bought me a pint as well, but even if he didn't, he served as a guide through the mean streets of Dublin.


    Special bonus feature

    I originally wrote: "...after a bit of thought, I realised why these names came to my head right away. All three listed above have bought me beer or feature in my illicit sexual fantasies. Actually, now that I think about it, Donal has also bought me beer."

    I scrapped the line because I wasn't sure the "Jenny and Esther have bought me stuff; Donal has done nothing more than to exist in my mind wearing an enormous dildo on his head" joke came through.