Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Civil Partnership Bill...
The long promised Civil Partnership Bill will be unveiled by the Government today. It essentially means that in England and Wales gay couples who sign the civil partnership registry will get joint rights. Yay!

These might include:

- Visiting rights in hospitals (incredibly this causes more heart ache than any other issue)
- An ability to gain parental responsibility for each other's children (I guess it is the 21st century)
- Recognition for immigration purposes (have to be together 3 years)
- Joint state pension benefits (not possible until 2010 though)
- Obligation to support each other financially (like that doesn't happen already!)
- Ability to claim compensation for fatal accidents or criminal injuries (good one)
- Recognition under inheritance and intestacy rules (there have been so many cases of a family muscling in when one partner dies)
- The right to register their partner's death and continue tenancy of a property (about bloody time!)
- Exemption from inheritance tax on a partner's home (about bloody time too!)
- Exemption from testifying against each other in court (would you go out with a crook? now you can!)

Dissolution of a civil partnership could be based upon separation, desertion, unreasonable behaviour or the deliberate passing on of a sexually transmitted disease and would mean dividing up of the jointly owned possessions with recourse to the law if needed. On the up side, adultery will NOT be a grounds for dissolution. Yay! And pre-nups are allowed too. Yay!

The plans have already faced criticism for failing to offer similar rights to unmarried heterosexual couples. But let's face it - straight people have the option to get married. Also The Christian Institute has mounted a spirited campaign against the idea - a campaign that still rages as we speak.

Incidentally the Government has no plans to allow same-sex couples to marry. The bill will create an entirely new legal status of civil partnership. Couples (defined as adult, same-sex who are not in an existing registered partnership or marriage and not closely related) would give intention to register at a registry office, and could sign the civil partnerships register 15 days later.

And best of all, once signed we would have the legal right to call each other that wonderful dry and clinical title 'civil partner' - how sweet.

And for those of you who know Mark and I and are perhaps less than keen on the idea of civil partnerships look at it this way - it'll be an excuse for the giant piss up at our expense! Yay!

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

El Greco...
On Saturday afternoon Paul and I mosied on down to the Sainsbury's Wing of the National Gallery to go and see the El Greco exhibition. Before getting there I knew nothing about El Greco (or Domenikos Theotokopoulos as he was known to his friends). And after leaving I'm not sure I know much more. But what I do know now is what a great artist he was. His use of perspective, light and photorealistic painting techniques make for a stunning body of work; huge paintings of what I can only describe as kinetic art propel the eye across the canvas and up into the heavens; really amazing, sweeping landscapes of Biblical scenes dramatically recreating heaven and hell on earth. His portraits are no less impressive - my two favourites being of A Lady In A Fur Wrap (very Alison Goldfrapp) and Fray Hortensio Felix Paravicino (very Dorian Gray). If you get the chance - go see.

Kath and Kim...
K&K are being relaunched on UK Living TV on Thursday 8th April at 10pm. And you'll able to buy the DVD of series 1 here soon. I read that Americans seem to like it too.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Time Keeps On Slipping, Slipping, Slipping; Into The Future...
Yesterday the clocks went forward by an hour. So we all lost one hour's sleep. Well some of you did. Not me, I lost many more than that. For I was working. Helping a friend out. And what time did I have to get up to do this favour? 5:30am (that's 4:30am only money). Well before any cocks started crowing.

At 6am I was perched at the top of a 60ft ladder in Brewer Street in the middle of fashionable Soho attaching cables to the outside of the Prowler Soho store freezing my nuts off - perhaps you late clubbers may have seen me - yawning above the awning. By 8am I was atop a step ladder in Prowler's, rather sweetly named, 'blue area' fixing Cat5e sockets to the wall - having a yawn amongst the porn. By 10am I was up in their office on the 2nd floor drilling through window frames - I popped a couple Pro Plus as by this point my yawning was getting so frequent as to be distracting. By 11am we were done (yay, Pro Plus!). Or where we? No, there was still another store to do. So at midday we were at Kings Cross Prowler, tools in hand. By 1pm we were banging and crashing and pinning and screwing and bolting like two well oiled banging-crashing-pinning-screwing-bolting machines. Fuelled by more Pro Plus at 3pm we were completely done. Complete done-in more like.

Time enough to get home and a bit of R&R before welcoming Marky home from his travels in Berlin later that day. He had a wail of a time which I was really pleased (but by that point oh so tired) to hear about. Hopefully I'll be more awake to hear more tonight.

(BTW for those of you not too tired to read any further: everything you always wanted to know about British Summer Time but were afraid to ask)
Sidewalk Chalk #6...

Friday, March 26, 2004

Personal Ad - Reading Between The Lines...

[Thanks Guy, good to have you back]
Madonna tickets...
I was thinking about buying Madonna tickets today for her 18th August gig (I had four on reserve) - but with tickets ranging from £50-£150 and Earls Court having the acoustics of a barn and such bad lines of sight I'm not going to bother. Making this an easier decision is the fact that the last show she did here wasn't that great (even if I did get in for free).

I haven't really liked her last two albums: Music was poor and samey; Amercian Life was worse. Both are gathering dust at the back of a cupboard somewhere. I still regularly play both Like A Prayer and Ray Of Light which says it all really.
Speak or Spell?...
I just got my mobile phone bill for last month: Cost of calls £2.29; cost of SMS: £23.48. So I spend over ten times as much on texting as I do on calling. Is anyone else addicted to texting?
Sidewalk Chalk #5...

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Kiki and Herb...
Stephen, David, Pano and I went to see Kiki and Herb perform an 'exclusive' one-off gig at Tutu's Bar in King's College Student's Union last night. On stage for over an hour the musical mayhem and rants were as spot on as ever. Talking Heads, Bonnie Tyler, Britney Spears, Kelis, Mystique, Eminem all got the treatment - all mixed in with the usual gut-wrenching angst and glib side swipes.

Careering through some of the medleys like a brakeless go-kart down a very steep hill Kiki would sometimes go all wobbly (both vocally and physically) and swerve out of control into a new direction. Playing the drunk to a tee she fell over twice. She would perhaps genuinely forget some of the words to a song but the ensuing banter between the performers just made it all the more funny and kept the momentum going. The encores were fab of course, but eventually the four wheels of this particular go-kart all fell off with a crash and they were gone. A great, great night.

(Note to KCL Tutu's Bar manager: your bar is too fucking cold! We were freezing. We had to keep our jackets on even when dancing. Cheap beer though!)
Pop Quiz Answers...

01. Complex
02. 1979 (it was a trick because it was supposed to be an 80s quiz)
03. Number 2
04. 1983 (not 1985 as Wendy claimed - thanks Mike!)
05. We are detective, we are select, we are detective, come to collect
06. 1983
07. Tom Baily, Alannah Currie and Joe Leeway
08. Jimmy Sommerville, Steve Bronski and Larry Steinbacheck
09. Ultravox
10. 1980
11. No. It only got to number 29
12. Depeche Mode
13. 1981
14. No. It only got to number 57
15. Eight
16. Fad Gadget
17. The Associates
18. John Foxx
19. German
20. Giorgio (the trick being that putting 'Giorgio Moroder' was incorrect and only got you half a point)
Sidewalk Chalk #4...

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Pop Quiz...
Last night Darren, Blake (where does Darren get all these cute work colleagues from?) and I ventured into the night to join the merry throng at the Retro Bar for the weekly Popteasers Quiz. The Retro Bar is undergoing a refit at the moment (i.e. they're painting the walls red again) and Wendy, the electric landlady, kindly gave Mark and I invitations / freebie drinks tickets for this Saturday night's Facelift launch party.

It was to be an 80s quiz and a cheer went up as this was announced. Everyone was going to get a very high score. We all knew it. But wait; the quiz had been set by Wendy who openly admits to knowing nothing about the 80s and so was relying very heavily on the Guiness Book Of Hit Singles. This could be sink or swim quiz then. And as it turned out it was 'sink'. The winners got just fifteen points (and won the cash - again) and we 'came second' with twelve points. Dismal.

See how you get on:

01. His first three hits all went top ten. One of them was Cars. What were the other two? (one was as a band)
02. When was Cars first a hit in the UK? (slight trick question)
03. How high did Freez's IOU get in the UK charts?
04. What was the year Freez's IOU was a hit?
05. What is the twelve word chorus to the Thompson Twins's We Are Detective?
06. What was the year the Thompson Twins's We Are Detective was a hit?
07. Name the three members of the Thompson Twins.
08. Name the original three members of Bronski Beat.
09. Who had a hit with Sleepwalk?
10. What year was Sleepwalk a hit?
11. Was Sleepwalk this band's first top twenty single?
12. Who had a hit with Dreaming Of Me?
13. What year was Dreaming Of Me a hit?
14. Was Dreaming Of Me this band's first top twenty single?
15. How many top ten hits have Simple Minds had to date?
16. Which electro band had a track Ricky's Hand?
17. Who had a track called White Car In Germany?
18. Who had a track called Underpass?
19. Who nationality were the band that had a hit with Dr. Mabuse?
20. What's the artist's name that had a hit with From Here To Eternity? (slight trick question)
Sidewalk Chalk #3...

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Sad To Be All Alone In The World...
I'm on my own all this week. Marky Mark has jetted off to Berlin for a week's holiday; back on Sunday. He's never been before but judging by the numerous text messages and odd phone call from him he seems to be having lots fun which is great. He deserves it.

So in case you're reading this Marky here's my little phrase guide to help you in those day to day situations:

guten abend - good evening
ein bier, bitte - one beer please
zwei bier, bitte - two beers please
danke - thank you
sprechen sie Englisch? - do you speak English?
ja - yes
ich suche ... I'm looking for ...
ich möchte ... I would like ...
gute nacht - good night
Sidewalk Chalk #2...

Monday, March 22, 2004

Fireman Sam...
I don't know how it happened but I've somehow been persuaded into taking a Firewarden Training course today. I've been promised a real fire, real fire extinguishers to play with and a real fireman to talk to (oh wait, now I know how I was persuaded...)
Sidewalk Chalk #1...

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Who next?...
William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann and now Christopher Eccleston. Good choice.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Why, thank you...
Yesterday my company threw a little lunch party for me. The reason? - I'd worked for them for ten years. I had a little ceremony, got a framed certificate and £350 to spend. Very nice of them I must say.

So what rock 'n' roll thing did I put the money towards? What leftfield wacky thing did I blow it all on?
Click here to find out:

Sad man that I am.
Microsoft Local Language Program...
Microsoft have announced that they are going to support 40 more languages through their Local Language Program. These will include: Welsh, Catalan, Bahasa, Gujarati and Tamil. The aim is to to increase usage by minority language speakers. All very laudable. But I see from the list there's no mention of the gay slang language of Polari? Not so bona.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Kiki & Herb...
Kiki & Herb's new show called Mount The President is coming to London throughout April. The show will be on HMS President on the Thames. Should be a blast. I'm planning on going twice: the first Friday (2nd April) and on the last Friday (23rd April). Anyone else coming? Rumour has it they're playing Duckie either this week or more next too.
The Swearing Xylophone...
Strange but true - a Xylophone that swears.
[Thanks Rich]
More ticket madness...
The ticket buying frenzy continues: El Greco, Gadda Da Vida, Kiki & Herb, Tina C and Kiki & Herb (again)

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Scissor Sisters on TV...
Take Your Mama has been confirmed as the next single by the Scissor Sisters. It's out on 29th March and will be backed with Backwoods Discoteque Part II.

Last Sunday they were on Channel Four's Popworld with the making of Take Your Mama video. Very funny. And here are some upcoming TV appearances:

Sun 21 March - POPWORLD (C4)
Sun 21 March - NME AWARDS REPEAT (C4)
Fri 26 March - JONATHAN ROSS (BBC1)
Sun 28 March - T4 (C4)
Fri 7 May - LATER (BBC2)

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Take Your Mama...
It's been a busy time here at overyourhead lately throwing myself into London life. Going to Wig Out for the first time a few weeks back, Popstarz for the first time in ages a couple of weeks ago and last Saturday's adventure was to go to Shinky Shonky at Pitch (the newly rechristened Flip).

Shinky Shonky having been described in glowing terms as, "the ultimate in off-the-wall, off-your-face and off-this-planet quirkiness and pure unadulterated mindless mayhem" I was expecting a fun night out. And indeed my expectations were almost met.

True, Boogaloo Stu was a wacky host; the music was de rigueur trendy-disco-pop-'the Cathy Dennis Collection'-trash; the live stage act was an amusing mix of slapstick and cheese; the jellybeans, naughty-botty badges and Hula Hoops were a nice touch: but it wasn't quite the "Tiswas on magic mushrooms" I had been promised. The venue was just a bit too cramped, the music wasn't quite quirky enough for my taste and the night smacked a bit of college-disco.com (if there is such a thing).

I guess I've been spoilt with Duckie and end up comparing everywhere to that now. Fool that I am.
Tickets, Please...
Here at overyourhead I've been booking tickets like a loon recently: Kiki & Herb for next Wednesday, Scissor Sisters for early April, Marc Almond for mid-April, Marc Almond for late July, Marc Almond for later July (again), The Producers for late October... will this boy never stay in?
Me and Paul...

[Thanks to Marky for the pic]

Monday, March 15, 2004

What's Your Favourite Swear Word?...
A simple enough question. And this Channel Four ad pulls no punches in telling us how some famous people would answer that question (beware: may not be suitable for high volume at work as there is lots of swearing!)
[Thanks Rog]

When Is A Planet (Not) A Planet?...
When Nasa says so apparently. Calling it Sedna seems a bit odd though. Makes it look like a typo. "One group of astronomers believe that Pluto is not a true planet but merely one of the largest of a vast number of minor objects in the outer Solar System. The alternative standpoint is that Pluto is a planet and those who believe that will have to classify Sedna as the tenth planet." So there you go.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Brain Teasers...
1. What number comes next in the sequence to replace the question mark?

2, 7, 11, 20, 38, 69, ?

2. What letter should be used to continue the following series?

F, S, T, F, F, S, S, E,
Marky Mark MA...
Congratulations to Mark who has just heard that he's passed his masters. He can now add Master Of Arts (MA) after his name. You're a star.
It's Friday! Shake It, Baby, Shake It Like A Polaroid Picture...

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Sin Songs...
Marc Almond is doing another residency at the Almeida Theatre called Sin Songs - Torch and Romance with summer. So far the six nights confirmed are from 20th - 25th July 2004. Tickets go one sale this Monday 15th March. Should be fab.
George Michael retries retires...
George Michael's new album Patience is out on Monday. The reviews in Time Out, Q etc all say it is fantastic and give it either four or five stars. So I'm looking forward to listening to it, fan that I am. Interesting that the BBC earlier were reporting that on the Jo Wiley show yesterday George Michael says that he's retiring. I notice they've hastily changed that headline to 'George Michael shuns music industry'. What he actually said was after a duet's album in 2005 he's only going to release music online and for free and not promote another album because he hates the press.
God Particle...
When I was studying theoretical physics at university the Higgs Boson, or 'God Particle', was a hot topic. Did it exist? Could ever be found? What would its energy/mass be? Now it looks like someone might have found some strong evidence for it and even know it's energy/mass too. Cool. The Standard Model (diagram below) needs the Higgs Boson to give the universe mass - something the other 16 fundamental particles and interactions that have been found so far just can't do. Poor loves, they do try.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Looks like I'm going to be a brother-in-law again and a step-Uncle again too. Yippie! My sister, Joanna, and her beau, Martin, got engaged the other Saturday. Congratulations to you both! I'm really happy for you.

Naturally Martin asked my parents' permission first. Luckily for him they didn't sit him on the sofa and ask him for a CV, audited accounts and two references. It would have been fun to see his face if they did!

Welcome to the family, Martin. Or as Drew put it when Marky and I got 'registered' a few years ago, "there are enough dead-beats in this family - why should having another onboard make any difference?" The wag.
Do you love cats? Well, here's a cute movie (in Windows Media Video format) that'll make you go ahhhh.
Do you hate cats? Well, now you can shoot them like clay pidgeons.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Feel Great...
This advert for Nutrigrain is really weird. But it'll make you feeeel greaat!
The Four Word Film Review...
I love the four word film review - it tells you everything you need to know about a film in four pithy words or less. Saves reading all those pesky long film reviews, huh?.

Last night we went to see Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (again): FWFR's verdict? "Three. Ring. Serkis." or "Hard Hobbit to break" or "One ring. Five endings". I'd have rather seen Lost In Translation ("Blief Encounter") or Big Fish ("'Forrest Gump' with freaks") though.

Sunday we saw two films on TV, Barbershop ("Hip hop barber shop") and Intolerable Cruelty ("Clooney penetrates Catherine's pre-nup").

FWFR's top ten reviews are:-
Titanic: Icy dead people.
The Blair Witch Project: Tense. Intense. In tents.
Breast Men: Sale of two titties.
Amadeus: Salieri has pianist envy.
The Pianist: Schindler's Lizst.
Superman: The Great S Cape.
Basic Instinct: Crossed, un-crossed, HELLO, crossed.
Saving Private Ryan: Brother gets own bedroom.
Kramer vs Kramer: I bet Kramer wins.
The Matrix: Dude, I'm Christ? Whoa!

Monday, March 08, 2004

Flipstart PC...
I so want one of these. Out in Q3/4 this year - target price £750. Ouch!
Jason and Me...
Here is a snap of my friend who lives in Spain, Jason, and me. I'm looking a bit drunk rosy-cheeked.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Marc Almond and Trash Palace...
This coming Wednesday 10th March Marc will be appearing as the special guest of Trash Palace at 93 Feet East, 150 Brick Lane, London, E1. He will sing Serge Gainsbourgh's 'I'm The Boy' with them and then later will also be playing a DJ set. Doors open at 7.30, tickets are £8 and are available from www.ticketweb.co.uk For further information go to www.93feeteast.co.uk
[From Theatre Of Marc Almond]

Friday, March 05, 2004

Music Plasma...
A great use of the Amazon API, this site will let you search for music visually. Way cool.
When TV shows collide: Celebrity Fit Club vs. Footballer$ Wives...
Being a recent convert to the oh so trashy Footballer$ Wives on ITV1 it's been fun to catch up with all the bonking and bitchiness and thinking what a laugh the writers, cast and production crew must have had making it. It's a sort of Dynasty meets Carry On film meets tabloid football melodrama. One of the funniest story lines currently running is new wife Tanya Laslett (played by Zoe Lucker) trying to kill off dicky-hearted ex-club chairman Frank Laslett (played by John Forgeham) with sex to inherit his cash and be free of him. Will she succeed in shagging him to death, the evil minx?

The other show I love watching at the moment is Celebrity Fit Club - the B-list dieting show - which stars our own, our very own Amy Lame as the gobby lesbian who wants to shift a stone or three. Along side Amy are seven other fatties who also would like to slim down (and get a bit of TV exposure at the same time). The eight are split into two teams of four and they try and out do each other by losing the most weight each week. And surprise, surprise who do you think is on Amy's opposing team (in so many ways)? Why, it's John Forgeham, the actor from Footballer$ Wives!

Well, Tuesday's Celebrity Fit Club episode was a peach: Amy and John fell out over a little bitchiness in the gym. But John's reaction to this was incredible. He went absolutely bonkers at Amy; there was swearing and threats to walk off the show and tantrums and drama and shouting and bullying and more swearing and fingers in the ears and sexism and homophobia and more swearing and at times it was actually unpleasant to watch. I'd rarely seen such unwarranted bile on the screen; all directed at our poor little Amy. Great TV though, albeit a little uncomfortable to watch at times.

So we hate John Forgeham now. And when we were watching Footballer$ Wives the following night and Tanya was shagging John's character Frank to try and kill him we were actually cheering her on! Go girl! Kill the bastard!

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Top Ten Gadgets for 2004
It would set you back £8,420 to get the ultimate gadgets for 2004 according to Stuff magazine but here they are anyway to drool over:
- Bluetooth Mobile (Nokia 6600)
- MP3 Jukebox (Apple iPod)
- Plasma Screen (Pioneer PDP-434HDE)
- Home Cinema (Pioneer NS-DV990)
- Personal Video Recorder (Sky+)
- Digital Camera (Pentax Optio S4)
- Games Console (Microsoft Xbox)
- Wi-fi Laptop (Sony Vaio)
- Wireless Network (Netgear)
- Watch (Seiko Arctura Kinetic)
Rio bashing...

[Thanks Kevin]

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Hush, hush...
Funny story: as we were staggering along on our bar crawl a man, Neil, came up to me in The Yard last Friday night and says he works for ftn (a smallish cable channel here in the UK that show xxxxxx xxxxxx) and says, "You're Jonathan!" So I say, "Guilty as charged". And he says, "I recognise your face from your web site. We read it at the office and you're a big xxxxxx xxxxxxx fan!". "Again guilty as charged", say I (ok, I was completely wankered so saying 'guilty' seemed the only thing to say). Then he tells me that they, flextech, are xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx in the UK on a bigger xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx, and they are having a xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and would I like to come and would I like to xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx and this and this and that and that and... everything (well, he was pretty excited by this point - and so was I to tell you the truth). So maybe I might actually get a chance to xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx. Time, as they say, will tell.

Oh, and I said I wouldn't shout about it too loudly until things are a bit more definite - so I guess I'll need to censor this post. You'll have to fill in the blanks yourself. My lips are sealed.
Advert for Phone...
Not quite so subtle this one.

[Thanks to Kevin]

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Lea DeLaria...
As promised, more about Duckie last Saturday: all my favourite Jasons were there: Jason #1, Jason #2, Jason #3 and Jason #4, Marky came which was great, David and Kevin and Angus and Clive and him and her and them and everyone. It was great fun.

The act on was Lea DeLaria, lesbian jazz singer / comedienne extrordinaire. She was promoting her new album Double Standards (jazz covers of pop classics like Blondie's Call Me and Sound Garden's Black Hole Sun.

Best gag of the night? Lea: "There are a lot of sexy looking women here. It's giving me a wide on!" Excellent.
The Art Of Ligging...
For the past week we've had my friend Jason to stay with us; and it's been fantastic. I've known Jason for about 18 years and he lives in Barcelona. Last time he came to Britain was 6 years ago - and a lot has changed here. But he hasn't. Jason is a ligger par excellence. To explain: Friday night we went on a bar crawl in Soho to limber up (more of that later) and then went to Popstarz at The Scala for a bit of a bop and boogie; there we waltzed to the front of the queue, Jason did the chat, got in free, got all our drinks for free and put our coats behind the DJ booth. On Saturday night after going to Duckie (more of that later) we went on to Wig Out at The Ghetto, waltzed to the front of the queue again, Jason did the chat again, got in free again, got all our drinks for free again and put our coats behind the DJ booth (you've guessed it) again. So two big nights out - paying exactly zero. Naturally I rode the coat tails of Jason both night - after all he's the man with the gift of the gabble. I've learned his gabble is usually honey talk but occasionally it can be coercion. An example: well after the bar had closed at Wig Out he came up with this line to one of the bar staff, "Don't make me ask Simon (the owner) to get me a drink. We wouldn't want that now would we?" More drinks magically appeared. If I hadn't been wankered I'd have been embarrassed - but I was, so I wasn't. It'll be sorry to see him go today.