anarchist_nomad: (Big Hair)
( Feb. 6th, 2014 05:20 pm)
About to go shave. Is it wrong that I'm listening to the soundtrack from Sondheim's Sweeney Todd right now?[*]

[*] In 2013, I saw 54 plays performed on stage, setting a new record for myself. Of these, the two that I enjoyed most were Titus Andronicus and Sweeney Todd. Both involve murdering people and baking them into meat pies. Should I be worried? (Should YOU?)

anarchist_nomad: (Still me... but wearing a funny hat)
( Feb. 12th, 2013 12:02 am)
People frequently credit songs like The Power of Love, Hip to be Square, and The Heart of Rock & Roll to Huey Lewis, disenfranchising the News entirely. In contrast, I've never heard anyone neglect to give shared credit to the Mechanics when discussing songs like The Living Years, Silent Running, and All I Need is a Miracle.
No coherent subject for today's entry, gentle readers. Just taking a snapshot of the week and using this space to jot down a few of my current thoughts. Enjoy!

  • Concert: As expected, the Roger Waters show on Monday was phenomenal! To describe The Wall Live as a "concert" is a bit of a misnomer. Tis more of a total immersion experience, really! Having seen it once before, the experience was somewhat different -- particularly with a different audience[*] and seated only a few rows from the stage -- but no less intense! Seated in the row ahead of me was a man who had flown over from Lebanon to see this performance. At the interval, the person two seats over from me commented that he had lived for twenty-four years... but the preceding hour had been, without a doubt, the best hour of his life. Also during the interval, I ran into a couple of kids from back home -- New Yorkers who had seen the show three times in the States and had popped across the pond to see it again!

    I later learned that the excellent [ profile] bethanthepurple was also at this performance... though we did not chance to run into each other in the crowded arena. It makes me curious, though: Has anyone else on my f-list seen this show??

    After the show ended, it took over an hour before the parking lot had cleared enough for me to try to leave. No matter, though; twas a cool Summer evening and I sat by the waters of the Birmingham canal and listened to Roger Waters songs that were being loudly played by somebody in the car park.

  • Speaking: This afternoon, I received an invitation to present a seminar on the recent T2K results to the High Energy Physics group at Cambridge. This is a very happy-making thing, and I quickly accepted. Since my seminar on supernova relic neutrinos at Imperial College two weeks ago, my professional speaking calendar has been empty for the first time in many months! Tis good to have something on it once again.

    As a complement to my professional speaking, I also received an invitation on Monday to present another outreach talk. I have been asked to speak to the Deep Sky Section of the British Astronomical Association at their meeting in March. As it will be just past the 25th anniversary of Supernova 1987a, the theme of the meeting with be the death of stars. I have specifically been requested to discuss what SN 1987a has taught us about supernovae; since this is the only supernova that humanity has ever detected neutrinos from, there will be much to talk about. My outreach calendar is in rather healthy shape, with an engagement in October to present to the Astronomical Society of Glasgow in October and a return to co-host the Oxford University Cosmology Day in November with two lectures.

  • Housing: Just for fun, I was recently looking at real estate in Oxford. It is unlikely that we will buy anything in the near future as (a) I need to sell at least one of the two houses in the States first, to provide the down payment[**], (b) I would prefer to have a more permanent position at one step up on the career ladder before committing to a long term purchase, and (c) right now, by renting, we can afford to live in a nicer place than we would be able to buy. I estimate that, with a 10% down payment and a 30 year mortgage, our absolute maximum buying power on a home would be £250,000.[***]

    During my search, I found this listing. Tis our old Flat With No Name, where we lived from November 2008 through October 2010! It is not as nice as Chiron Beta Prime, where we are now, and is significantly smaller... yet it is listed for £235,000. Ouch! With approximately 30% more space than our old flat, I shudder to think of what this place would cost! Also, even with the extra space, I would not want to buy Chiron Beta Prime. Although a flat is fine for the time being, I ultimately want to purchase a house.

  • Fuel: Last weekend, my beloved [ profile] cheshcat and I had a lovely three-day trip to the Lake District, returning for the first time since 2007. That deserves its own entry -- complete with pictures -- which is forthcoming. In the interim, though, it is worth noting that we drove just over 700 miles on the journey. Tracking fuel costs allows me to calculate that our current cost for transport is about 17 pence per mile driven. At the current exchange rate of $1.60/£1, that works out to about 27 cents per mile. Ouch! Bear in mind, dear friends, that this is with a car that gets about 32 miles to the US gallon (or, for those who prefer metric, 8.5 miles to the litre). Petrol prices are currently about £1.35 per litre at the pump -- or about $8.20 per US gallon -- making these road trips a bit more costly than they were a couple of years ago! Ah, well. Still worth it for the gorgeous scenery and a splendid escape with my darling life partner!

With that, I believe that we have reached the end of today's journaling. The beautiful [ profile] miss_amaranth will be arriving in two hours and I still have much to do between now and then. Stay tuned, as upcoming posts will include the promised pictorial travelogue of the Lake District, a mid-year review of 2011, and details of the annual Event Horizon summer party!

[*] Birmingham bringing out a different flavour of crowd than New York City.

[**] An event that seems likely to happen in the next six to eighteen months.

[***] By a very happy coincidence, this is precisely the price that one can buy a home for without paying any Stamp Duty Land Tax.

anarchist_nomad: (Loch Ness Monster)
( Jun. 27th, 2011 07:55 pm)
At the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham now, waiting for the Roger Waters concert to start. "The Wall live" again! Can't wait - this is going to be fantastic!!

October's show at Madison Square Garden was already awesometacular! This time, making it even better, I have floor seats on the aisle and near the centre, just a few roads from the stage! Mega-huzzah!!
anarchist_nomad: (Road trip!)
( Jun. 9th, 2011 12:36 pm)
Tis now Thursday, my fourth day back in Merry Old England since returning from Japan on Monday morning. It is most excellent to be back at home in Oxford again, and to see my beloved [ profile] cheshcat, my adorable kitties, and my darling [ profile] miss_amaranth.

Since returning home, here is a quick snapshot of what your friendly neighborhood Nomad has been up to:

  • On Monday, I went North (about 50 miles) to Stratford-upon-Avon, with [ profile] cheshcat, where we saw Sir Patrick Stewart play Shylock in an excellent Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Merchant of Venice.

  • On Tuesday, I went South (about 50 miles) to Winchester, where I saw the lovely [ profile] miss_amaranth perform in a student production.

  • On Wednesday, I went East (about 50 miles) to London, where I spent the day at Imperial College working with RT and PS.

  • On Thursday, today, I will go West (about 75 miles) to Bristol, with both [ profile] cheshcat and [ profile] miss_amaranth, where we will see the awesometacular Jonathan Coulton perform in concert with Paul & Storm.

That pretty much covers the four cardinal directions, one per day. Ironically, I have not yet been to the city centre of Oxford, about two miles distant, since my return. I think this says something... though I am not quite sure what. In any case, the oversight will be rectified soon because:

  • On Friday, tomorrow, I will stay local, going into Oxford city centre to do some interdisciplinary collaborating with some good people at the University of Oxford.

That is my week in a nutshell, dear friends. What have you been up to?

anarchist_nomad: (Doctor Nomad)
( May. 19th, 2011 02:12 pm)
Looks like I failed to dodge the jetlag bullet on this trip. I've been in Japan for about 78 hours now... and have slept for eleven of them. In bursts of two hours, two hours, three hours, and four hours. This works out to about three hours and twenty minutes sleep per day.

Back in my hotel room now; skipping the afternoon session of ND280 analysis talks to take a nap. Ideal? Not so much. However, there is at least one talk this evening, starting around 18:00, that promises to be interesting and important. I want to be as focused as possible for this, so resting now is a fair trade-off.

Meanwhile, just to see what cleverness my dear friends can come up with, I leave you with a game before I sleep. Starting with one line from a particular song, the idea is to come up with another line -- from a different song -- that shares a phrase. Then somebody else can use a different phrase from your line as the input for adding their own. Use the comments to play, and let's see where this goes. I will start with several lines, by way of example:

1) "Benny and the Jets" (Elton John)

2) "When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way" (West Side Story)

3) "Let's go all the way" (Sly Fox)

4) "Hey, ho, let's go!" (The Ramones)

5) "Hey, ho, wish you well!" (Slade)

Clear? Good!

Now it's your turn, gentle readers! Check the comments, find the latest line to be added, and continue on from there. Ten points to each person for every line contributed! I'm off to bed for a couple of hours... give me something interesting to read when I wake!

Greetings and salutations, gentle readers! Today, I am going to impose on your collected wisdom. One hundred points to anyone who provides me which information that ultimately helps me resolve two situations. One is in Boston and the other here in the UK... so you may only want to read the section that is local, or regional, to you (if either applies).

1) Let's start with the Boston situation: After my beloved [ profile] cheshcat's mother passed away, back in 2004, she co-inherited a condo in the Boston area. North suburbs, to be more precise. City of Gloucester[*], to be quite specific. We would now like to sell said condominium. However, the only two real estate agents in the area that I know of are both bozos[**] that I would not trust with the task. I decent fraction of my f-list lives in the Boston area -- can any of you recommend an agent near to Gloucester that I could engage for this task? If not, contact information for a competent agent closer to the city of Boston would be the next best thing, as I could ping to see if they had any recommendations slightly further North. Of course, one can easily find a plethora (and a half) of real estate agents online... but I would prefer to go with a specific recommendation for such an important task. Thanks!

2) Next, for those of you who are in the United Kingdom, I was wondering if you might recommend unto me a trustworthy place (preferably online) where one can buy and sell concert tickets. As I have mentioned previously, I am in possession of two tickets to see Roger Waters perform The Wall in London. Having already seen this show in New York, last October, I know that it is absolutely incredible! I believe that "fan-freakin-tastic" was the phrase that I selected at the time. One of the three best concerts that I have ever attended. Oddly enough, I have found it impossible to find somebody to take the second seat for the May 15 performance -- everyone that I have approached is either not a fan (e.g., my beloved [ profile] cheshcat, who had right of first refusal) or not available on that date/time (e.g., [ profile] josington). I would have imagined that giving away a free seat to such an amazing show would have been exceedingly easy. Shows what I know!

In any case, I am happy to go by myself, just as I did in May 2008 when Waters was performing Dark Side of the Moon in the same venue. Additionally, the date that I have tickets for is not ideal, as there is a T2K collaboration meeting that begins in Japan mere hours after the concert ends, Very difficult to get from London to Tsukuba that quickly! Thus, I have a cunning plan! If I sell both of my existing tickets, I can use the money to purchase a single seat to one of the earlier shows, on either May 11th or 12th. In all likelihood, going from two tickets to one means I can probably get a better seat for myself. And, of course, I can then leave for Japan on Saturday May 14th, arriving in time for the first day of the meeting at KEK.

Tis a good plan... but I have zero experience in the second-hand ticket trade within the UK. Tis far too easy an area for scammers, which I obviously wish to avoid. In the States, The Kiddo has achieved good results with StubHub; does anybody know a British equivalent that they could recommend? Thanks!

[*] Because every place in the NorthEastern United States is named after a place (or a person) in England... unless it is named after the native tribes that were killed to obtain the land for said place.

[**] Yes, that is the technical term.

anarchist_nomad: (The Eyes Have It)
( Feb. 24th, 2011 07:54 pm)
Good evening, gentle readers!

I write this entry from the Oxford Tube, as it slowly seeps through the morass of traffic that is the A40. Said traffic jam provides the perfect excuse for writing an entry that has been percolating in my head for quite some time.

March is nearly upon us. The days are getting longer, the air is getting warmer. Spring is starting to, um, spring! This Dark Period has been rather productive, with progress in several areas -- not least is my impending application for settlement in the UK. As the Dark receeds, however, it becomes time to venture forth once more and seek out new adventures and excitement! My beloved [ profile] cheshcat and I have our first road trip of the year coming up this weekend, with several more explorations to follow in short order. The outward looking outlook of the Light also means that it is time to start planning more social activities. And that is precisely what this post is all about!

There are a few events coming up that may be of interest to the UK-based portion of my f-list. Take a look below and see if any of these suit your fancy, dear friends:

March: Party time! My birthday -- which falls on March 13th this year -- is a mere three weeks away. Having had two most excellent birthday parties last year, though, I am planning a three day road trip with my beloved [ profile] cheshcat and the lovely [ profile] miss_amaranth to celebrate this year. Besides, there is a better reason to party just one week later: The terrric [ profile] tawneypup is coming to town! After nearly two years, my lovable lass is returning to Merry Olde England, much to the delight of [ profile] cheshcat and myself. Any time that we get to spend with her is a sheer delight, and the last time she popped across the pond we all had quite a blast! Most of my UK people have not had the pleasure of meeting dear Tawney... so we will be throwing a party in her honour. If you are on my LJ f-list, you can consider yourself invited!

March 19th at Chiron Beta Prime. Be there!

May: As the Royal Wedding will be giving many of us an eleven day holiday from April 22nd to May 2nd, there will be no big social events organised by us in April. [ profile] cheshcat and I are planning a nice long road trip to the continent to get away from it all. Not quite sure which places we plan to visit just yet. Berlin, Prague, and Vienna are just some of the places on our list.

In May, however, there is much niftiness to be had. Regular readers of this journal may recall that, back in October, the Kiddo and I went to see Roger Waters perform The Wall live at Madison Square Garden. What an absolutely amazing concert that was -- one of the best that I have ever been to! Puppets, flying pigs, amazing animations... and, of course, the building and destruction of the wall itself! If you like, check out a fan-recorded clip of the show here!

The US tour of The Wall has now finished... but the European tour is just about to begin! As it turns out, I happen to have two tickets to see the May 15th performance at the Venue Formerly Known as the Millennium Dome in London. The seats are not as good as the fantastic ones that the Kiddo and I enjoyed at MSG, but they are not bad. My person that I originally wanted to take to this show when it was announced last year is no longer available. [ profile] cheshcat then had right of first refusal; she did, indeed, exercise that right quite well, having refused to go several times now. Pink Floyd is not exactly something that we agree on. Thus, I have an additional ticket. If you think you might like to go to the show, drop me an e-mail and we can talk.

June: In June, Bisexual Oxford brings you the second annual Oxford BiFest! We will be returning to the same great venue as last year, the Oxford University Club. There, from 11am to 11pm, there will be twelve awesometacular hours of workshops, social events, and pure unadulterated fun! (Okay, we will let adults in, too)

Check out the Oxford BiFest webpage here... and stay tuned for the announcement of workshops and other programming!

I have to say: 2011 has been off to a fantastic start already. Now, with the warmth and the daylight coming, things are only going to get better! Wahoo! Fasten your seatbelts, good souls, the ride is just about to begin!
She has gone in for surgery now. They wheeled her in about half an hour ago. We arrived at half past seven this morning and I waited there with her until they were ready. I read to her while we were waiting. Sense and Sensibility, the first four chapters. I read and we held hands and we waited. At 10:42, they came for her and wheeled her away. I came home then, and I will wait here until she calls me to say that it is done. Then I will go back.

It is the left knee this time. The last two were the right. This one has not been touched before, not for nearly three decades. It had been the right that had been giving us all the trouble, at least until they fixed it sixteen months ago. Today should go smoothly. It should be a relatively minor procedure: Make a small hole, pop in for a look, clean up a little, do a lateral release. We shall see if that helps. If not, we will need to go back for the works, for the full treatment, for a repeat of the much more intensive procedure that was done on the right in 2009. We shall see.

The whole thing should take about half an hour on the table, once they are ready. The risk is exceedingly low. Nothing is likely to go wrong, recovery can be expected to pass quickly. She may stay overnight or she may come home this evening. We shall see. Regardless, I find that I am anxious. Does it make sense? No. The risk is exceedingly low. Still, I am anxious. My life partner, of over sixteen years now -- 6021 days, to be precise -- is in the hospital. I am not a Vulcan, I am not made of stone; therefore, I am anxious. I will be better this afternoon, when it is done, and even better still this evening or tomorrow, when she is home again.

In the meantime, words from Rent spring to mind:

There is no future,
There is no past
I live this moment as my last.

There's only us,
There's only this
Forget regret or life is yours to miss.

No other road,
No other way,
No day but today...

Another step up the mountain has been taken. The top gets ever closer. We clear away the blocks to beauty. We clear away the blocks to bounty. We clear away the blocks to splendour.

[ETA: She's done! Just received a phone call from her, at 12:54. Still not sure when she can come home, but I'm heading back to the hospital now!]

[ETA #2: She's home! We left the hospital at 14:30, just seven hours after we arrived on the ward. Now that's more like it! Will provide a more detailed update later.]

anarchist_nomad: (Big Hair)
( Oct. 7th, 2010 08:05 pm)
Happiness is....... listening to the utterly amazing [ profile] squeektoy42 singing It's Raining Men, Barbra Streisand style! My beloved [ profile] cheshcat and I nearly fell over laughing. For that matter, so did Squeeky! Who says that last minute festival preparations have to be boring, all work and no play?
Just got back from seeing Roger Waters perform The Wall at Madison Square Garden. Short synopsis: Fan-freakin-tastic!

The show ticked every box, meeting all the expectations that one could have from a Roger Waters concert... and then some! Giant floating pig? Check! Fireworks? Check!

What else? The puppets of the schoolmaster, the mother, and the wife were stunning! The building of the wall throughout the first half was amazing! Particularly powerful when the last few bricks went in, sealing it off. The projections on the wall in act two were spectacular, especially the animations! And, of course, the utter destruction of the wall at the very end of the show was breathtaking!

We received a very special bonus treat during Mother -- using footage recorded during the 1980 live performance of The Wall at Earl's Court[*], Waters did a duet with himself. Spiffy!

Given that The Wall has only been performed live in its entirety a few dozen times, I feel very lucky to have seen this concert. Doubly so to have procured such excellent seats! Kudos to The Kiddo for pulling that off! I highly recommend this concert to anyone on my f-list; if the tour takes it near where you live, do try to get tickets! It now ranks up there with Billy Joel's Millennium Concert[**] and his Last Play At Shea as one of my three favourite concerts!

Aside from the show itself, it was also rather nice to spend an evening with The Kiddo. Growing up, we saw each other every day -- more than we even saw either of our parents. Even after we left for school, we both stayed in the NorthEast corridor and saw each other frequently. Ditto when I lived in Chicagoland and he lived in Bloomington-Normal; with us both in Illinois -- only 117 miles apart -- it was fine to drop in for a day, a weekend, or even just dinner. Since 2007, though, we have been separated by many miles. With me in Oxford and he living near Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California, it is a rare thing for us to be in the same place at the same time. This may have been the first evening that we have spent alone together in a couple of years. It was excellent to catch up with the man who matches my DNA closer than any other person out of the six and a half billion who co-inhabit this rock with us.

Time for bed now! Despite officially being on vacation this week, I have a T2K meeting to run in about five hours. Then the rest of the day will be spent making final preparations for P**T*** 2010! Thirty-nine hours to go -- I am so excited!!

[*] Known to many fans due to the live Is There Anybody Out There? album.

[**] Also at Madison Square Garden.

anarchist_nomad: (One Day More)
( Oct. 1st, 2010 12:33 pm)
Random question that popped into my mind on the way to work this morning:

Does anyone actually take the song Don't Cry For Me Argentina seriously?

As in, does anybody actually consider the song to be poignant and moving, rather than conniving political hash? I wonder...

I know that there are other musical theatre geeks on my f-list. Whadda you think?
Turns out that I did watch an episode of Jeeves & Wooster with my beloved [ profile] cheshcat last night. Seemed like a good counterbalance to my day, having read Kafka's In The Penal Colony and also listened to most of the first disc in The Wall[*].

That was last night. So far today, I have:
  • Found a new (and improved) place to live when our lease comes up in November.
  • Tallied the final attendance and meal details for the Sooper Sekrit Pagan Gathering and relayed this data to the site. Looks like we will have about a hundred people coming home for my favourite four day weekend!
  • Rung Stedman Doubles, Cambridge Surprise Minor, a touch of Plain Bob Minor, and Stedman Triples at the St. Andrews practice tonight. I'm not sure if I have ever rung so many methods in one evening. Since both Stedman and Cambridge are relatively new for me, this was rather exciting.

Before the evening ends, I also have to finish the draft of my full application for the fellowship. So it may be a fair bit longer before I can sleep. We shall see.

In other news, it looks like we are going to have a substantially larger living space when we get back from the States in mid-October. As such, we were considering throwing a party on Friday October 29th. It would be a bit of a combination celebration: part Halloween party, party flatwarming party[**], and part "Welcome to Oxford!" party[***]. Costumes, games, ghosts, ghouls, and more! (Plus plenty of crash space afterward!)

Before moving forward with these plans, we were thinking to take stock of who might be interested in such a thing. For that, my dear friends, we must move beyond even the Magic 8 Ball and use the ultimate tool in divination -- the LJ poll!

[Poll #1625181]

Right. Fun stuff over -- time to rechain myself to Ye Olde Deske and get back to work...

[*] Technically not true, as I cannot presently find my CDs for The Wall, nor have I imported the tracks to my MP3 player. However, I did pop in the first disc of Is There Anybody Out There?, which amounts to much the same thing. Might be somewhat better, actually, as I get to hear the excellent track What Shall We Do Now? instead of the far-inferior Empty Spaces.

[**] For [ profile] cheshcat and myself.

[***] For the awesometacular [ profile] josington.

Really really really want to listen to The Wall right now. Eight more days. And nine.
anarchist_nomad: (Doctor Nomad)
( Sep. 21st, 2010 06:29 pm)
Good news! The aforementioned fellowship application has been approved for sponsorship by the University of Oxford. The game moves on to the next level. Admittedly, the odds are still very much a longshot, as there are only a maximum of twelve such fellowships awarded in the entire country. Am I clever? Am I good? Yes... but so are plenty of other people. Still, can't win if I don't play, so I am giving it my best shot! Besides, in the unlikely event that this does come through, my career is basically set. So I remember the advice of the Man of La Mancha and dream the impossible dream...

Meanwhile, tonight has been dedicated to P**T*** organizing. With an hour and a half break to ring bells at St. Andrews, of course! T minus seventeen days and counting! Lots and lots (and lots) of work to do between now and then! If I thought that the week before Oxford BiFest was hectic... well, were I to go back in time to March, I would employ an old adage to tell my [slightly] younger self that he ain't seen nuthin' yet!

Listening to Pink Floyd's Shine On You Crazy Diamond right now. Through the years, it has remained my favourite song to listen to when working. Probably because the music is good does not distract me from what I am actually trying to accomplish. How about the rest of you, gentle readers? Any favourites to work by?

She likes me.
I think she likes me.
But does does she 'like me' like me,
Like I like her?
Will we be friends,
Or something more?
I think she's interested,
But I'm not sure.

Music from Avenue Q seems to be playing a recurring role in my life of late. At least this time, it is a much more cheerful circumstance than it was in this post.

I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn't even matter

I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn't even matter
I have to say, gentle readers, that I have some most incredible friends! Who would have ever thought that an journal entry about a roundabout -- even a magic one -- and Swindon would garner much attention? Yet garner it has! My previous entry now holds the record for Most Commented Upon Post to date in my journal... with 210 comments! Ye gads!

As my beloved [ profile] cheshcat put it two days ago: How the Hell did this post get 180 comments!?!? I don't know.

With twenty people commenting, the discussions have ranged from earmworms to glider flights... but most of the conversation -- amazingly enough -- has indeed been about Swindon and roundabouts! So much so that my post now contains more information on things to do in Swindon than is listed on the city's own tourist information site!

As replying to comments about Swindon and The Magic Roundabout have eaten up nearly all of my LiveJournal time in the past four days, I am well behind on the various and sundry posts that I have wanted to make (e.g., a much-requested follow-up to this entry on heroes). However, there is a very timely post that I want to make today, in honour of the UK elections, and so I cannot let the timing window for that pass me by!

As a UK resident for the past four years -- and for the foreseeable future -- I am, quite obviously, interested in the outcome of the election. My personal hope is for a hung parliament; the reasons for this should be obvious, given that I am an Anarchist! We shall find out tomorrow.

Meanwhile, today, I have been honouring the election by listening to Chumbawamba's second album: Never Mind The Ballots[*], from 1987. A concept album based on exposing the myth that democracy and voting actually grants any real power, there are some excellent songs and also some very spiffy quotes:

They break our legs... and we say "Thank you" when they offer us crutches!


Democracy Street, Britain's longest running soap,
with the added illusion of audience participation.
Our act tonight: on the left, Capitalism that's right;
on the right, Capitalism is it;
in the middle, probably the best Capitalism in the world.
Remember, it's your choice, your five seconds worth of action that counts.
I mean that most sincerely, voters. Sit tight, keep quiet, 'till the next time.
The next time being one thousand eight hundred and twenty five days away.
Well, if freedom is the choice between greed in practically the same impressions,
then I'll take the one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five days.
Never mind the ballots, here's the rest of your life!


There comes a time then we organise
When we take control of our daily lives
When we don't obey orders from authority
When we disbelieve the myth of Democracy


All real change
Must come from below
Our bosses must live in fear
Of the factory floor
And when they smile
And they ask for my support,
I'll give them these words
And a bloody nose:
You don't help your enemy
When you're at war

and amongst my absolute favourites:

There are moments in all our lives
Tiny sparks still deep inside
When a new-born baby cries
When you're watching clouds in a summer sky
The first time you walked out of strike
Love and sex and holding tight
Things that can't be bought
By promises and votes

Of course, I am not actually able to vote, what with not being qualified to become a UK citizen yet. If I were able to, I would do the same as I have done in every US presidential election since I turned eighteen: Vote Green! A protest vote that differentiates me from being lumped in with the apathetic who couldn't be bothered... but which also says NO to all of the choices that I am realistically being presented with.

As the late great Anarchist Ammon Hennacy liked to say, when asked why he never voted: "I did vote. I just didn't assign responsibility to do things to other people. I accepted responsibility and saw to it that something got done." Or, to put it more simply, here is one last Chumbawamba quote: "Organise -- here's the rest of your lives!

[*]... Here's The Rest Of Your Life!

We interrupt this LJ entry[**] to bring you an important announcement that is only relevant for Oxonians. If you do not live in Oxford, feel free to skip the next paragraph.

Hear ye, here ye, fellow Oxfordians! I bring you tidings of great opportunity! On this Wednesday -- March 24th -- my beloved [ profile] cheshcat and I shall be seeing the Oxford Theatre Guild perform a version of Sophocles's classic tale, Antigone. This particular version is a modern adaptation, written by Jean Anouilh and first performed in Nazi occupied Paris. We have excellent seats and, as chance would have it, we have one extra ticket. Free Wednesday evening? Fancy coming along? Just let me know and that ticket is yours!

As promised yesterday, here is the Official What I Did At The Weekend Post. Because all the cool kids are doing them... and I am always the first to conform![***]

Friday evening, my darling [ profile] bunnypip drove down to join [ profile] cheshcat and I for a production of Graham Greene's The Ministry of Fear at the Oxford Playhouse. The show itself was quite good... though [ profile] bunnypip and I spent the first act trying to make sense of the plot. [ profile] cheshcat was unfazed, explaining that it was film noir and would all become clear later. Which, to her credit, it did. Still, at one point in the first act, the main character confusedly exclaims: "I don't understand what's happening? I leaned in to [ profile] bunnypip and murmured: "He's not the only one."

After the show ended, we made our way to Cowley to get food at the new Atomic Burger joint. This is our third visit in three weeks -- I think we may have a new addition to our list of favourite places to eat in Oxford! Huuzah!

Saturday morning, [ profile] bunnypip and I enjoyed a nice lie-in. When we finally began moving, all three of us made our way into town again, as the Oxford Literary Festival was beginning. I swung by Christ Church to pick up our tickets, then met my two sweeties at Corpus Christi for a lecture on Shakespeare, Sex, and Love by the highly accomplished Professor Stanley Wells, CBE. The lecture itself was rather impressive, though his ability to answer questions afterward was less so. Case in point: I asked how one differentiates sexual subtext that Shakespeare deliberately wrote into his plays from subtext added after the fact by people interpreting his work. The answer? "It's difficult. You have to do research." Um, thanks for that elucidating response!

Saturday evening, my dear [ profile] bunnypip and I made our way into London to attend this year's "God Is" Easter party. The theme was 80s music... so she dressed as Fade to Grey and I put on some red, white, and blue -- plus a star-shaped belt buckle -- to go as Born In The U.S.A. I also get automatic credit for being Walk Like an Egyptian... because I always do! It was good to see people, though the party itself was..... underwhelming. This was my second "God Is" party -- the first being two years ago -- and I remember that one as having more excitement and more going on. Ah, well. They can't all be spectacular. We left left around half one and returned to the Flat With No Name just before four... as a "can you give me a lift, it's on your way" request morphed into an hour's detour. Ooops!

Sunday, our coven celebrated Oestara with a ritual written by Darelle. I was quite proud of her, as this was only the second ritual that she has written... and the first for a group of more than two! It was well done, containing a narrative, a guided meditation, and some tarot work. So hooray for her on this significant spiritual milestone!

So that was the weekend that was. Time to go splat now, as tomorrow is shaping up to be a rather busy day. Somehow, my [infamous] to-do list has crept back up to 125 items[****]... with thirty of them for tomorrow! I'll need a full night of sleep -- and maybe a can of spinach -- to tackle all of that successfully!

[*] Or Wednesday.

[**] Before it has even begun! (Impressive, huh?)

[***] Or something.

[****] Not quite breaking the record of 141... but coming frighteningly close! Eeeep!

There is now an MP3 for the Total Eclipse of the Heart literal video. I'm listening to it right now.

Hurm. A literal video without the video. This strikes me as..... somewhat strange. A bit post-postmodern, perhaps?

Like everyone else in the Free World -- or at least every child of the 80s -- I enjoyed this literal video immensely. Without the visuals, however, it is more an assortment of random words than parody. Bizarre.

ETA: On second thought, the altered lyrics don't make less sense than the original lyrics to some other songs from the 80s.

[*] Why, yes, I am posting in uncharacteristically large volume today! Why do you ask?

[**] No, really, what do you think my current choice of music is?



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