these moments that I've had.

Sunday, February 29, 2004  

There you go, two days without blogging, even though I blogged Thursday to avoid this scenario.

Here's the denouement of the epic drama over gay marriage.

It's going to happen, it's going to happen within a generation, and it's going to happen even though George W. Bush teed off his re-election campaign this week by calling for a constitutional amendment to outlaw it.

As the country has now had weeks to digest, it has already happened in bulk in San Francisco, where images of couples waiting all night in the rain to be wed finally wiped Janet Jackson off our TV screens.

The first of those couples, Phyllis Lyon, 79, and Del Martin, 83, were celebrating a partnership of 51 years.

Take that, heterosexual marriage!

The most famous practitioner of mixed-sex nuptials this year, Britney Spears, partook of a Vegas marriage that clocked in at 55 hours.

Whatever their short-term legal fate, the San Francisco weddings mark a new high-water mark in one of the most fast-paced cultural tsunamis America has seen.

- NY Times.

An unusual outdoor art exhibition called "The Snow Show" brings together top architects and artists to build a shimmering, mysterious Arctic ice colony.

"In summer, we fish and make love," one Laplander deadpanned. "In winter, we fish less."
The Oscars tonight. Though I've got Lord of the Rings: Return of the King down for Best Picture and Best Director, I only have it down for a total of six statuettes and am under no illusions that it won't be beaten out by the Academy-ish Master and Commander, or the sentimental, "isn't America great"- Seabiscuit.

*crosses fingers, but also states that winning an Oscar doesn't mean a film is the "best" anything*

posted by Darren | 1:20 PM

Thursday, February 26, 2004  

Struggling to think of something to write about, but I rarely blog on Friday's so I can't let two days go by without posting something, even if this is all it amounts to.

Must away to Crimewatch UK and Wire in the Blood. I have a crime show fetish. I think that I HAVE mentioned this before.

Good news today (*crosses fingers*); looks like I WILL be able to get a NEW car in my new job, rather than a 're-allocated' one, previously used by someone in our company. Keep it quiet though, in case someone tells someone who tells someone else.........

posted by Darren | 8:40 PM

Wednesday, February 25, 2004  

The Vultures are circling

They're already jostling for position at the office and I've still got six weeks there and eight weeks until I start my new job. In one sense, it is amusing to stand back and watch this, in another it is a little disheartening to see oneself as a commodity. Old loyalties will start to fray as my leaving date approaches, and maybe we'll see some true colours showing themselves.

posted by Darren | 9:44 PM

Tuesday, February 24, 2004  

Leader of the FREE World - today:

Eight years ago, Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage for purposes of federal law as the legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.

In recent months, however, some activist judges and local officials have made an aggressive attempt to redefine marriage. In Massachusetts, four judges on the highest court have indicated they will order the issuance of marriage licenses to applicants of the same gender in May of this year. In San Francisco, city officials have issued thousands of marriage licenses to people of the same gender, contrary to the California family code. That code, which clearly defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, was approved overwhelmingly by the voters of California.

... a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization.

Activist courts have left the people with one recourse. If we are to prevent the meaning of marriage from being changed forever, our nation must enact a constitutional amendment to protect marriage in America.

... every state would be forced to recognize any relationship that judges in Boston or officials in San Francisco choose to call a marriage.

For all these reasons, the Defense of Marriage requires a constitutional amendment.

An amendment to the Constitution is never to be undertaken lightly. The amendment process has addressed many serious matters of national concern.

And the preservation of marriage rises to this level of national importance.

The union of a man and woman is the most enduring human institution, honoring -- honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith.

Ages of experience have taught humanity that the commitment of a husband and wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society.

Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society.

Government, by recognizing and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all.

Today I call upon the Congress to promptly pass, and to send to the states for ratification, an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of man and woman as husband and wife. The amendment should fully protect marriage, while leaving the state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage.

America is a free society,"


"...which limits the role of government in the lives of our citizens".


"This commitment of freedom, however, does not require the redefinition of one of our most basic social institutions.

Our government should respect every person"


" and protect the institution of marriage. There is no contradiction between these responsibilities".

Errrrr, I beg to differ.

We should also conduct this difficult debate in a manner worthy of our country, without bitterness or anger.

In all that lies ahead, let us match strong convictions with kindness and goodwill and decency."

I'll believe it when I see it.

posted by Darren | 8:37 PM

Monday, February 23, 2004  

Following the Christmas number one cover version of their "Mad World" single, Curt Smith returns to the fold, alongside Roland Orzabel, as Tears for Fears prepare to release their first album with the original line-up since 1989's "The Seeds of Love". A welcome return, but on first listen, the new single "Closest Thing to Heaven" is very poor. Songs usually grow on me, if I want them to(!), so I'm hoping that will happen, while also hoping that it isn't the strongest track on the album, "Everyone Loves a Happy Ending", due April 6th.

Great weekend in Blackpool by the way. GLORIOUS sunshine both days, runs on the beach with Edward, riding our bikes on the Promenade. Marvellous.

posted by Darren | 9:09 PM

Thursday, February 19, 2004  

I've won €800,000 on the Spanish El Gordo Lottery according to José Something-or-other, from Super Standard Company. A quick Google search shows that the exact same e:mail I got, has been sent out quite a few times (under-estimation) to lots (further under-estimation) of people in the last few weeks.


Off to Blackpool tomorrow for the weekend. It's gonna be warmer up there than the South East this weekend. Freeze your asses off, Muthafukkas!

posted by Darren | 8:44 PM

Wednesday, February 18, 2004  

Monday, I totally forgot to mention the reason for banging on about a new car. No-one has mentioned that I forgot to mention it, so I really can't be bothered.

(Oh, come on, stop acting like a spoilt child. Tell us - Ed.).

I've got a new job. Same company, totally different outlook. Moving away from my office-bound IT role(at last), into our field-based Audit Dept. I get a car with it. Sounds geeky, boring even, but I've been interested in this role for nigh-on 15 years, one way or another.

I hope it's the new direction I need in my work. You're sure to hear otherwise.

posted by Darren | 9:22 PM

Tuesday, February 17, 2004  

Brits 2004:

Best British Album - The Darkness - 'Permission to Land'

Best British Group - The Darkness

Best British Male - Daniel Bedingfield

Best British Female - Dido

Best British Rock - The Darkness

Best British Dance - Basement Jaxx

Best British Urban - Lemar

Best Pop Act - Busted

Best British Single - Dido - 'White Flag'

Best British Breakthrough - Busted

Best International Group - White Stripes

Best International Male - Justin Timberlake

Best International Female - Beyoncé

Best International Breakthrough - 50 Cent

Best International Album - Justin Timberlake - 'Justified'

Outstanding Contribution to British Music - Duran Duran

posted by Darren | 8:43 PM

A bit late in the day, but I did say earlier on, while at work, I think I'll revise my views on the major Brit winner tonight, not withstanding catching the spoilsport BBC News just before 7pm tonight, who nearly gave the game away(maybe) an hour before the 'live' broadcast on ITV.... step forward The Darkness.

posted by Darren | 8:06 PM

Monday, February 16, 2004  

Wedding of the Year - in tatters.

Coronation Street comes up with the goods... again.

posted by Darren | 8:36 PM

Sunday, February 15, 2004  

Would he hurt a fly?:

Can someone please explain to me the law on unsolicited mail; flyers, menus, free papers, ads for double-glazing etc, that are posted through our letter boxes daily and that generally go straight into the bin or recycling pile?

We have recently installed security gates at both the front and rear of the house, both on the inside. The front gate also allowed us to remove the useless mail/post basket from the front door. One of Edward's favourite games, in defence of his home, is to grab the letters as they come through the letter box and, generally, tell whoever is putting them through, that they should go away and not try to infringe upon his domain. He does this by barking at them, as well as grabbing the offending mail and taking a bite out of it. He usually doesn't chew them to bits, but you can guarantee there will be a little corner missing. We sometimes have important stuff come through the mail, so stopping him doing this was preferable.

Dave forgot to close the gate when he and Edward returned from their bike ride/run. The postman doesn't come on Sundays of course, but those below-minimum-wage, sometimes illegal immigrant, delivery boys/girls are quite prevelant around our way 7 days a week. We were upstairs on our PCs when Edward went crazy in the hall. Realising the gate was open, I went down to find a kebab shop menu, slightly chewed and Edward coming to the end of his tirade, ensuring that the enemy had wandered off and would not try yo gain entry to his home. A few minutes later, though, gate secure, there is a knock at the door. Thinking it was our friend Tom, coming round to watch the Italy vs. England rugby match, as he said he may do, I went to the door, Edward kept slightly under control and open the door slightly. I then say, in a humorous (OK, maybe slightly girly) voice, "Is that Uncle Tom?!".

It wasn't Uncle Tom. It was two (foreign) delivery boys(men).

Edward had caught one of them with his teeth when he had put his (crappy, poorly made) leaflet through our letter box.
The one who had NOT been 'bitten' was keen to do all the talking. I got the impression the man who HAD been 'bitten' may not have made a fuss of it, but for his friend.

Holding back the urge to tell them it serves him right and to get off my private property (cos I'm not that kind of guy and am always willing to sit on the fence, see both sides of the story and help out my fellow man), I went and got a plaster for him. They asked if 'your dog is a dangerous dog?' (Errrr, he is a little Jack Russell and you were infringing upon our property). "No, he is not, he just doesn't like things being put through the letter box. I've got you a plaster and apologised, would you like to take this any further?". "Errr, no". "OK, anyway, sorry about that".

We had meant to poster/sign on the door. We will do this, this week. Some of 'them' don't read English, and a woman up the street had to resort to taping up her letter box because her sign was constantly ignored. She is at home all day. She can collect her mail/post. We cannot.

They had better not take it any further. Edward was protecting his home. We have taken measures to ensure that 'this kind of thing' doesn't happen. What was he doing putting his hand through the letter box anyway? I'm rambling.

I'll keep you posted.

posted by Darren | 3:13 PM

Saturday, February 14, 2004  

5 weeks ago I mentioned coveting the Lexus RX300. The £30,000+ price tag is obviously something of a barrier to fulfilling my dream. In the interim, therefore, I'm thinking of compromising:

The current car is not exactly on it's last legs, but we can feel it's not performing as it used to. There is also another reason for change of car, which I'll talk about on Monday.

Jonathan Creek returns tonight. A bit far-fetched, but one of those quaint, cosy, British shows that it's nice to sit back, watch and wallow in for an hour. I like it, anyhow. We saw Alan Davies(Jonathan Creek) on New Years Day, in Islington.

posted by Darren | 9:55 PM

Thursday, February 12, 2004  

Which of tonights new Sky One shows will last the distance?

Jake 2.0?

Latest News:
"VERY surprising news has just come in. Because of being the least watched drama of the SEASON, 'Jake 2.0' is now canceled. The full season order commitment has been demolished."


Latest News:
Suspend disbelief as the writers reach new depths of unbelievability, by way of twists and turns that infinitely outstrip series one and two.

Not sure if I'm ready for this, or even prepared to stick with it. We'll see; they just won the Golden Globe for TV Drama, after all.

Cold Case

Latest News:
errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, I don't have any, and I've only got thirty minutes before it all starts. Things to do....

And not forgetting the return of network television's homegrown Wire in the Blood. I've read some of Val McDiarmid's crime fiction, but didn't manage to catch the first TV shows last year. I'll give it a go. I love a thriller. I love crime... as long as it remains on the TV screen and is fictional.

posted by Darren | 7:34 PM

Wednesday, February 11, 2004  

We've never been fans of Footballers Wives, but our interest has been piqued this time round. Episode One certainly showed us that Conrad is keen on the old rumpy-pumpy. Both ways. Still waiting on anything beyond the suggestion of man-on-man action, though.

posted by Darren | 10:35 PM

Tuesday, February 10, 2004  

You're gonna have to find out for yourselves
You're gonna have to find out for yourselves
You're gonna have to find out for yourselves
You're gonna have to find out for yourselves
You're gonna have to find out for yourselves
You're gonna have to find out for yourselves
You're gonna have to find out for yourselves
You're gonna have to find out for yourselves
You're gonna have to find out for yourselves

posted by Darren | 10:26 PM

Monday, February 09, 2004  

Central Park Zoo's gay penguins ignite debate

Roy and Silo, two chinstrap penguins at the Central Park Zoo in Manhattan, are completely devoted to each other. For nearly six years now, they have been inseparable. They exhibit what in penguin parlance is called "ecstatic behavior": That is, they entwine their necks, they vocalize to each other, they have sex. Silo and Roy are, to anthropomorphize a bit, gay penguins.

When offered female companionship, they have adamantly refused it - unless it's a request to go shopping and advise the females on a new outfit.

At one time, the two seemed so desperate to incubate an egg together that they put a rock in their nest and sat on it, keeping it warm in the folds of their abdomens. Finally, they were given a fertile egg that needed care to hatch. Things went perfectly, and a chick, Tango, was born. For the next 2 1/2 months they raised Tango, keeping her warm and feeding her food from their beaks until she could go out into the world on her own.

posted by Darren | 8:17 PM

Sunday, February 08, 2004  

And continuing a theme...........

Thanks to DG for guiding me to here, where you can make your own map of Great Britain 'counties' visited.

posted by Darren | 8:03 PM

DG in the Comments box below sums it up quite well. Though the other areas of most interest are a couple of guest appearances by some British thesps, which was a nice surprise; and some remarkable multiple roles from Streep and Thompson. I'll say no more, in case people other than Dave have also video-taped it for later viewing. One other point of interest for me is Patrick Wilson in the role of closeted, married mormon. Come over this side of the pond Patrick, I'll give you a hand! (Strangely unfamiliar faggy moment there, Darren - Ed.).

posted by Darren | 7:59 PM

Saturday, February 07, 2004  

The Golden Globe winner for Best Mini-Series, Angels in America arrives on UK screens tonight.

Golden Globe Winners (for their roles in this mini-series) Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeffrey Wright(he also won a Tony Award for this role on Broadway in 1994), plus Oscar winner Emma Thompson and further Tony Award nominated supporting cast. Written by Tony Kushner, from his award winning play. Directed by Oscar and Golden Globe winning Mike Nicholls.

This had better be good.

posted by Darren | 8:41 PM

Friday, February 06, 2004  

It's very tiring, this 2.5-day-week-lark. Edward flapping his ears between 4am and 4.15am every morning, can lead to not being able to get back to sleep, even when Edward is coaxed out of the bedroom and the door closed.

God love him.

posted by Darren | 10:29 PM

Thursday, February 05, 2004  

Go Johnny! Go Johnny!


He has.

Shit. Who the fuck comes anywhere close to deserving to win?


Oh.. and Happy New Year and Happy New Year.

posted by Darren | 9:59 PM

Wednesday, February 04, 2004  

Karen Carpenter, voice of an angel, the sound you hear when you go through the pearly gates of heaven, tragically died on February 4th 1983. I cannot express just how much of a tragedy this really was.

Liberace - the sound and image you are bombarded with for all eternity when condemned to hell or limbo, also died on February 4th, in 1987.

It just don't compare.

posted by Darren | 10:16 PM

Oh go on then, let's all join in here:

Looks pretty poor in comparison to Dave, John, Alan and (for the USA) Jimbo. But he has an advantage. Being American.

Must get me skates on!

posted by Darren | 7:07 PM

Tuesday, February 03, 2004  

Kastrup Airport, snow, minus-degrees, dry, shopping, Woody Allen's "Anything Else", The Little Mermaid (yeah, it's not the greatest thing, but it was actually bigger than I expected after all the dissing) , Rundetarn, Illum, Magasin, Fona, Hans Christian Anderson, Nyhavn, bicycles, cobbles, Centralhjornet bar, Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River", Museum of Erotica, Men's Bar, Cash Machine in pieces (don't mess with me), neon advertising on rooftops, Eastern Bloc street-lighting, Marble Church, canals, Tivoli (closed).

posted by Darren | 9:36 PM

Monday, February 02, 2004  

We're back, but not in black.

Post-holiday blues.

posted by Darren | 8:54 PM