Other than that I’ve been pretty busy. Or been in the process of being busy. Trying to rent a new flat with the Hafters. Yep will be cool to move out of my tiny bedroom into a new palace. This is all pending agreement with the landlord on a few things. If we do get it then spring in London is going to rock with lots of bbq’s on our terrace. Can’t wait and (fat) fingers crossed! Check out the listing of the flat here

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1st floor

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2nd floor

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front of the place

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I have an answer to this. Who really wants to date an Asian guy? NOT ME! I likey the white crackers!!!

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Loose Change – a movie about September 11th conspiracy. Interesting and would you really put it past the Bush administration to have concocted something so fucked up? Decide for yourself.

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I have just arrived home from a reading from DBC Pierre, Chuck Klosterman and Michael Smith at the Royal Festival Hall.

First off, let’s start by saying it is as cold as a witch’s tit outside. Not from a temperature reading that makes you think “brrr”, but from a wind chill factor that makes your bones feel the Arctic and your feet go numb. I guess what I am getting at is that it is a miracle that yours truly did the March of the Penguins to see anyone – let alone a few authors of which I hadn’t even finished (or heard of) their novels. But miracles do happen in these modern times and I did actually make the trek to see these three.

And how did it actually fare?

I began my defrosting phase by having a few pints of lager. I was a bit confused when I was asked if I were in the Purcell Room or the Elizabeth Hall – and upon response given the plastic cup. Were these telltale signs of the ghettoness of my experience to come? Or more pointers toward the “rock star” aspect of the authors and their following? Needless to say, I slammed my beer out of fear that I would be asked to relinquish the contents upon entrance (not the case as it turned out).

The reading started out with Michael Smith accompanied by some unknown figure whose name I fail to recall at this juncture. Mr/Miss Jujubee for the sake of this story. Michael is a Northerner, handsome fellow with a bit of beard growth, just the right length that you would figure him to be a writer or slacker (pretty interchangable really). He read from his novel “The Giro Playboy” along with some downtempo music. His accent was quite thick and his words came slowly. The reading was nice and hypnotic. The right mixture of charm, humour and heartbreak to keep an audience enraptured.

Next came Chuck Klosterman. A downright American who has that hint of North Dakota that makes it hard to diffentiate him from a Canadian because there is something not quite right about him (at least to this Californian). Yet another author whom I have not read…His book – “Killing Yourself to Live” which is subtitled as being “85% true”. This is a book about his trip across the States to visit sites where famous rockstars have perished, but ends up actually dealing more with his life, loves, etc.. (from what I gather, remember, I haven’t actually read it)… Anyways – Chuck’s reading was very entertaining. He has a natural flair for public speaking that verges on the front of comedy – besides, the Brits love any American that is self-depreciating.

Moving on to the star diva of the night DBC Pierre. Author of the Booker Prize 2003 for Vernon God Little. Pierre was reading from his latest novel from which I could surmise is about siamese twins looking for mail order eastern European brides. Title = Ludmila’s Broken English

WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU SAY?

Yes, that is correct. You heard me. Siamese (or conjoined) twins looking for mail order eastern European brides.

Is this a John Irving novel? Are there bears? Am I smoking crack? What the fuck did you just say?

No. No. No. And I said – Siamese (or conjoined) twins looking for mail order eastern European brides.

OK. Now that we have that clear…how was the reading? It was. Interesting. He read complete with Russian (bordering on Estonian) accents to a plot that I wasn’t sure I was following. Perhaps I drank a pint too many and was clouded by the fact that I was trying to plan a quiet escape to the toilet, but all in all I was not that excited. Both authors that had preceeded him were far more in tune with the audience. A skill that I don’t expect people who write to have exactly – but I still wasn’t captured by the reading.

Following all of this – and my imminent escape to the bathroom – was the questions portion of the evening. Again, Chuck and Michael stole the show with light and fun responses to questions. I had the feeling when DBC answered anything that he was a) taking himself far too seriously or b) totally drunk on whiskey. If B were the answer, then I respect him a lot more….

The outcome of the evening? I ended up buying all three books, getting them signed (like some literary groupie slut) and will read all of them before passing further judgement.

Because – remember what they say – you can’t judge a book by its cover.

And I guess you can’t judge an author by his reading…So I’ll let you know how it all turns out.

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Like a Friend – Pulp

Don’t bother saying you’re sorry.
Why don’t you come in?
Smoke all my cigarettes – againe.
Every time I get no further.
How long has it been?
Come on in now,
Wipe your feet on my dreams.

You take up my time,
Like some cheap magazine,
When I could have been learning something.
Oh well, you know what I mean.

I’ve done this before.
And I will do it again.
Come on and kill me baby,
while you smile like a friend.
And I’ll come running,
Just to do it again.

You are the last drink I never should drunk.
You are the body hidden in the trunk.
You are the habit I can’t seem to kick.
You are my secrets on the front page every week.
You are the car I never should have bought.
You are the train I never should have caught.
You are the cut that makes me hide my face.
You are the party that makes me feel my age.

Like a car crash I can see but I just can’t avoid.
Like a plane I’ve been told I never should board.
Like a film that’s so bad but I’ve gotta stay til the end.
Let me tell you now,
It’s lucky for you that we’re friends.

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Sad news for the hip hop world today. Yes, a death that has nothing to do with East Coast v West Coast rivalries, drug overdoses or HIV. J Dilla died on the 10th of February due to complications from Lupus. Yes, Lupus. That stupid, stinky disease that yours truly suffers from (although these days I have been feeling much better, thank you).

Seems he was fighting up until the end – recording his album from the hospital. That is pretty brave and strong. I know what it feel likes on my bad days and I’m not suffering from a life threatening form of Lupus – so I can only imagine how difficult this must have been for him.

RIP J Dilla
February 7, 1974 – February 10, 2006

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j dilla

Hip-hop artist J Dilla, 32, dies

NEW YORK (Billboard) – J Dilla, a founding member of hip-hop act Slum Village, died Friday (February 10) in Los Angeles. The Detroit-hailing rapper/producer succumbed to complications from lupus. He was 32.
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Before his passing, J Dilla (born James Yancey and also known as Jay Dee) had been working on “The Shining,” the follow-up to his 2001 solo debut, “Welcome to Detroit.” The new album was scheduled for a June release via BBE Records.

“Jay was one of my favorite hip-hop producers of all time. His passion for music was a rare thing amongst people in the music industry,” BBE founder Peter Adarkwah said. “His music and presence will be sorely missed for many years to come.”

Since forming the rap trio Slum Village in the late 1990s with MCs Baatin and T3, J Dilla has worked closely with such artists as A Tribe Called Quest, Q-Tip, Common and the Pharcyde.

J Dilla left the group to pursue a solo career, and in 2003 released “Champion Sound” with fellow rapper/producer Madlib. J Dilla’s instrumental album “Donuts” was released last week by Stones Throw.

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I’m watching Match Point right now and it brings up the question that I have been wondering time and time (or movie and movie) again. What the hell is the facsination with Scarlett Johansson?

OK – she isn’t harsh on the eyes. I get the fact that she has some massive DSLs (dick sucking lips) coupled with an enormous bosom. Add her dyed golden hair, flawless skin and the fact that the camera seems to really favour her and she seems to be the incarnation of a classic Hollywood beauty.

But let’s now discuss her acting (or lack therefore of) ability. I am always left with a feeling of overwhelming emptiness whenever I see any movie that she is in. It seems that every role she is placed in has her as a lost soul trying to find her place in the world. A shell of a human. Usually weak and slighly confused. And then there is the over emphasis on her sexuality (back to those lips again). Her performance always lacks flair, depth and any sense of reality. It is like listening to a robot drone on and on with no emotion.

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“Open the pod bay doors, Hal.”

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed her performance in Lost in Translation, but maybe because that was the entire point of her character. The lost soul looking for her place on earth. An empty shell. Then there was The Girl with a Pearl Earring. Did she even speak once in that movie? I’m having trouble remembering. And In Good Company she plays another lost soul. Boring as usual. Finally Match Point. Lacking the same fire.

So what the hell am I missing? Why is she the hottest thing in Hollywood? Can’t we stop putting her in serious roles and relegate her to Marilyn Monroe like status of the ditzy blond? Although I’m not sure she can even pull of that air-headedness with her deep man voice.

Or is it just me?

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