Sunday, April 30, 2006
I went out to see the film called "16 blocks" on Friday. This was the latest film staring Bruce Willis. I enjoyed the film don't get me wrong. It reminded me a lot about a film called the gauntlet that starred Clint Eastwood. Bruce is still fun to watch because is not afraid to be getting old. I agree with the reviewers, that the film was exciting in the first half. It was very soppy and sentimental in the final 20 minutes. It woukd have been a better film if they had wasted the witness. Anyway this type of film is not high art. Still some small changes would have made it much better.
Although the point of this blog is more focussed on my travels through the worlds of booze, drugs, and fetish sex, I do find that I am quite excited by the idea of web 2.0. The things that google and yahoo are doing seem very interesting. Many of things that the internet promised are now starting to be realised. If the BBC open their archives that will be fantastic. I will be able to see smilys people again without buying the DVD. I have read some of the books written by (non-technical business )people who first got the web in the early 90s. They did seem to be living in some buble universe. Perhaps, things will be different this time.
I sucumed to the advertising for the "click" dehoderant from Lynx. These are the adverts where you just spray it on and chicks come up to you and you get to click on some kind of counter. This always struck me as kind of weird, because the guys in the adverts never seemed to actually score, but just kept clicking on some counter. Anyway after my shower I put my hand on the can. I have used dehoderant before. All you do is to press the button on the top of the can. Simple. Anyway I pressed the button on the can and a huge gyser of freezing liquid shot out close to my important private parts. It suddenly became clear why none of the guys scored with interested women on the TV adverts -- their tackle was frozen solid. Anyway the smell of the stuff is fine. Trouble is I still find myself farting a lot....
Sunday, April 23, 2006
I went out and spent two whole pounds for a Judy Garland CD. I guess you get what you pay for. It is some kind of recording of a later show. I was expecting something very innocent and sweet even though I know she was a pill queen. I just cranked up the volume on the Stockhausen classical CD. Absolue incoherent rambly insanity. I have no idea what it means, but it sounds great in a clever way.
Given that I am expanding my musical tastes by listening to this classical music stuff. Perhaps I should widen what I listen to even further from my standard fare of staple indie CDs. While I was in the classical section of Virgin's I noticed that there were some very cheap Judy Garland CDs for sale. THis has always struck me as a bit of the middle of the road easy listening type of stuff, but she was a druggy with mental health problems, so my kind of singer. Now that Bod Dylan is a DJ I see that he likes Judy Garland as well. So I will be in good company.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
I just read "everything bad is good for you" by Steven Johnson. This was a very important book about how popular culture is actually making us smarter. I was so impressed by this book that I went out and got a copy of the PsP2 game grand theft auto. I started playimg it on easter monday. I seemed to spend a lot of time crashing cars into walls and rivers. I got quite good at car jacking. I seem to have annoyed the cops because after I punched one in the face a couple of times and the stamped on them to bring up fountain of blood, I would get jumped and arressted. This of course sucks. Sometimes I could steal a a car fast enought that I would not get shot. I was still not fast enough to steal their weapons. I believe there are some kind of missions like robbing a petrol station. It is a huge game. I do get annoyed when I can't get into buildings, although in the real world I can't go into every building. When I was walking to work, I passed all these parked cars. I thought, I could just wait around for the owner to show up, then I could jack the car. Anyway, perhaps I am not getting any smarter, but I am getting new ideas.
I am listening to a classical CD by Stockhausen. The CD is called "Aus den sieben Tagen". The last time I went to a classical concert was over 10 years ago. I found that I enjoyed the sound of the tuning of the instruments more than the actual performance. Stockhausen suits me well, but I expect that John Lee Hooker is going to get played real soon.
On Thursday night I dreamt that I was paying a bill in a restaurant. On Friday night I dreamt that I was giving a lecture with out enough preparation. All a bit boring really. No Freudian worries there. I met someone in the pub once who was recording his dreams for a creative writing class. He claimed that the teacher was using this technique to get the students to write stories. I did suggest that perhaps a prerequisite for a writing class is having something to write about... Of course, being an interesting person I can write about paying a bill in a resturant and worrying about teaching. I did have a dream about the Universe once. I watched it for sometime, before complaining that although I admit the universe is beautiful, I would rather have the women back.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
I went to see the film "the hostel" last night. A normal person is not meant to see a toe being cut off someone with a bolt cutter. There was a lot of unpleasant violence in the film. Of course I knew that before I went, but still there was a lot of blood and guts on the floor. Some of the US made films have extreme violence, just for some attempt to win some kind of oscar for blood letting. There was a bit part for the Japanese director Miike Takashi. He is one the clients who pays to murder people. Miike says "be afraid in there. You will end up spending all your money". This translates to "you yankee wa*nkers are still second best to Asian extreme films".
Monday, April 17, 2006
I am happy to annouce that I have joined myspace. I was fairly well shot down by Eric, who said "I thought myspace was for people at high school". How mean? The onion has an even better link on myspace. I hope that the link a survives.... I am more interested in the collaborative artistic part of the site. Anyway, most new bands have pages on myspace, so I get to find out the cool happening stuff before....
I have spent a lazy day -- just doing nothing. In the morning I hacked out around on the web. I the afternoon playing the a psp2 game grand theft auto. I am going to eat some liver and onions and then go out out to see some bands play at the Liverpool barfly. I also spent part of the afternoon updaying my myspace area. Ok, it sounds an idylic life, but I remain unsatisfied. Perhaps, I am too old for these things. I expect I should have spent the day looking at a tree or perhaps walking up a mountain. My interest in gaming has perhaps a touch of interest in non-linear narritive in the web based electronic medium, but I do get very excited when I run over cops. I am haunted by a charchter in crime and punishment by Dostoevsky. He hung around "the younger crowd" to get some kind of advantage. As my says "you don't want to be the oldest swinger in town".
I am such a cheapskate. The cost of "grand theft auto sanandreas" a psp2 game went down to the point where I shelled out some cash for the game. I know that if I was really cool, I would have downloaded the game a year ago. Anyway I have now found that I am am even worse driver on the psp2 than in the real world. I seem to have spent the afternoon playing, so I can now drive down the streets without smashing into other buildings, peoples or cars. I am still having problems learning how to use the weapons. I can't seem to shoot straight. I am not sure that this is a good use of my time. Still, it is the bank holiday, so I get to play a little.
I have always hated classical music. It seems very complicated, just complexity for sake of snobbery amd small penis elitism. However, I have been fairly religously listening to the freakzone radio show on Sunday afternoon. This is show on the very fine BBC6. The DJ faciltator annouced that the show on Sunday was about classical and experimental music. My heart sank. Did I really have to listen to this stuff. The hole point of a show like the freakzone is that you have to listen to all the stuff, because it all about expanding the stuff you normally listen. I may not think I like what I am hearing now, but the nextr track may blow me away -- leaving scouring record stores for the next ten years. It is a bit like when you put your hand in flame to impress your friends. You can't remove the hand util your friends freak with terror and/or puke. Anyway I listened to most of the show. (Apart from a quick pint in the Cambridge), There was a fantastic piece by Stockhausen called Helicopter String Quartet. Cool. This was a string quartet with each musician in a seperate helicopter. The sounds of the chopper went well with the strings. Totally insane, but it converted me to classical music. There is more information here I can't get a CD os this in the UK from amazon. I have spent some part of morning looking for it on the web. Do these DJ people know what they do to us when they expand our musical minds. I was going to spend the day helping cure the sick and end all wars, but instead I ordered: Cage: Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano - John Cage; Audio CD Stockhausen: Kontakte - Karlheinz Stockhausen; Audio CD from Amazon. There are a number of things I am also going to have to get La Monte Young - Day Of Niagra 1955. For completeness: freakzone on 6 music
Sunday, April 16, 2006
I dreamt I did some kind of armed robbery last night. The dream was a bit confusing, but the busies were on to us, but I seemed to get away. My plan was to walk carmly away and get a train to Chester. AS I awoke I thought, I need to hide a bag of stuff at Lime street just in case. Umm, not withstanding the fact that Chester always reminds me of shopping at Laura Asshlys, this was a strange dream. Earlier in the day I did buy grand theft auto san andreas for playstation 2. I thought I had to play the game to get bad dreams.
I wanted a night out last Tuesday. So the magic of the web told me I just needed to go to "Korova" bar on woods steet in Liverpool to hear some bands play. This is not a venue I usually go to, but the venue is close to the center of Liverpool. I found the street, and went to a door-staff free bar, However, there was kind of dancing in the pub. I feel more of a loser sitting in a pub drinking a beer while couples are dancing. A bad omen. I found the venue, but the door was locked. There was a big glass window at the front with a closed purple curtain. I could hear sounds of people having fun while I waited outside in the cold. The story of my life really. However, another day came and I got my chance to hear some bands and drink some beer, Last Thursday I went to see the crack zombie gig at Bar fresco. I was actually let into this gig. I listened to some local metal bands.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
I am flying back tomorrow via Zurich with Swiss air. I have been trying to make an attempt to eat traditional Hungarian food. Last night I sat in a restaurant ans was all ready to eat some traditional food, when I saw a dish called "lucifers something". I am only human so I ordered that with boiled potatatoes. What wwas the thing that swung it for me, well it was that the dish came with plenty of chilli. I can be bourght very easily....
This afternoon I wnet to the "house of terrors" at Budapest. This is a meseum about the scret police in Hungary. They used the same building that the secret police used to torture people in. The museum is very leverly designed. Even, the heavy door to get gives a sense of dread. I got the audio guide. The communists purge a huge number of people in the late forties and early fifties. The people in charge were power mad (and in most cases just mas as well). There was a fancy car with communist insigna as decoration of the car seatings. The communists used many of the techniques deveoped by the Nazis, particularly the use of terror and propaganda. The meseum didn't just focus on the torturing done by the scret police but also focussed on the failed 1956 uprising that was crushed by Soviet troops. They were so close to be free from the yoke of communist rule. Although they just beat people to death in the cellars they also had some information on hanging. There is very slow lift from the second to basement that has a short DVD on the process of hanging someone. They took some gallows from a prison some place else and put in one of the cells in the cellars. I have never seen a gallows before. What a relaxing way to spend an afternoon on holiday.
Budapest is famous for its hot water bathes. I did at some stage plan on taking a tip. Then, I could be cleasened of all my hang up and toxins. I could come back from my holiday and say things like "yes I am sure the old Craig would do things like that, but now the new super clean me will just take a glass of water". Anyway I didn't bring any swimming gear with me. It started to look very complicated as the guide books had different days for men and women to use the mud bathes. Also, the guide book noted that some of the bathes were used for gay cruising and some people might not be comfortable with that. So I decided to just take a hot shower at my hotel. So the same person who went away will be coming back.
I have just been to see the fine art museum in Budapest. It was a bit late in afternoon to start on beer, so I went to the exhibition of Spanish artists at the galary. I usually spend some time looking at pictures when I am on holiday. Everytime, I think I should really do some reading on "art", so I have some idea what I am looking at, but then as I like what I like, and I am unlikely to follow the words of wisdom of at Eton educated art critic then perhaps there is no point. The exhibtion was packed. There were a number of Spanish painter from the fifteen century to the nineteenth century. I particulary wanted to see the paintings by Goya, for some reason that I can't articulate. The early paintings were of a religous nature. The colours were incredibly vivid on many of the paintings. There was one of Mary Magdiligton, with a tastifully exposed nipple. I bet the artist would not have guessed that in five hundred years, she had gone from whore to wife of Jeseus -- largely thanks to a literary scholar named Dan Brown. After the religous paintings there were some portraits of famous people at the time of painting. These tended to be rich dudes. There were some spanish courtiers who looked pretty mean and evil. I would be the lats person to make fun of their twisty mustaches (even hidden by the safety of a blog). The final room contained the pictures by Goya. There were pictures of simple peasants, maybe a knife grinder. This was a change in style from the portaits of the rich and powerfull. The little card said that Goya got depressed after a stroke and his paintings took on a more sinister air. There was one of battle scene in the spanish civil war for independence that looked like a blood stained mascare with very little glory. The final picture was two boys playing happily with a dog. The colours were bright and immediate. Yiu see I need to do more reading about Goya at least. I wonder if the rest of the audience knew the background to the pictures.
One of the advantages for me taking a holiday outside the Uk is that I am not tempted to buy a lot of books or CDs. I did find a shop that sells CDs. The windows showed all the titles I might expect to see in the UK, such as the "artic monkeys". I have alsao seen people with ipods. Less people here are wired into some digital music system, than in the UK. I didn't note the cost of the CDs, as this would be an imporant onsideration if I would ever want to work here.
While I was killing time around heroes square I saw a sign for "the time wheel". What the f**k is that I thought. So I followed it around the back into the start of the city park. There was certainly a wheel there. Luckily there was a sign to explain it to me. It was a giant hour glass. The sand in the top half slowly filters down to the bottom. It is meant to talk about a year to do this. The wheel probably has a 5 foor radius. Apparently it was build to commerate Hungary joining the EU. It looked cool, but somewhet pointless. Why can't we build, useless, monuments in the UK. We only seem happy to build something that someone can make money out of. We seem to prefer to build Diana's water park, to remind us that the people's princess, was a hopeless sex addict. Even this monument has to be closed, because of all the accidents. I was sort of hoping that that the timewheel could help move forwards or backwards in time.
I went to my first museum today. This one of the buildings in "heroes square". I originally thought that the buildig was the museuem of agriculture. So I decided to give that one a miss. I began to have doubts about that because a sign above the building had "cool hunters" written on it and there was an art shop in the building. The sign also had a picture of a plump "Myra Hinley" type chick. As, I am not one to pass up an opportunity to be cool, I went in. The only problem I have with modern art is that it usually sucks. Things didn't start well when I went into the room and saw a large number of video screens. Frankly, I find the videos of artists both preticious and terrible. The exhibition was about young people finding their way in the consumer landscape. What I thought were leaflets about the pieces turnned out to be adverts for the computers and terminals. I did actually enjoy many of things there. I wish I had my pen, because there were a number of things I wanted to note down. There are people who use the engines that drive computer games, such as doom or quake, to create films. How come I have never heard of this before? Also, there was a film of some people taking a porsche out for a high speed drive through Stockholm. The ideas was to break as many traffic rules as possible. It was insane. Apparently it is also available on the web somewhere. FRom watching the same screen I could see a loop that played some rap videos where they used porno stars to dance. I am not totally sure what the point of this was, but it works well you watch it at the same time as a porsche drives at high speed through Sweeden. There was another good film of blindfolded children cleaning pistols. Big guns, yeah. In of the rooms there was a loop of five girl bands playing videos. There was also a smoke machine that would sometimes belch out smoke every couple of minutes. One of the bands was from Liverpool. They looked kind of young. I think the band's name was "venus". The film was partly financed by FACT. In fact part of the video looked to set in the coffe shop at the FACT center in Liverpool. One of the good things about modern art is that they don't put much in one room. So even if it sucks you can view it fairly quickly.
As I was walking to the hotel, I suddenly thought that discussing Hungarian politics, while I was actualy in Hungary was probably not wise. Even though Hungary is a democracy, I doubt that people would be pleaseed to hear that a guest to the country described one of their political leaders as someone who looks like he would weld an iron bar. I have been on the look out for a black mercadez car filed with people in leather jackets and shades. Although, I doubt that the Hungarian readership of this blog is so large, I did suddenly worry that I had left the blog page open at the cyber cafe. I could be carried way to a house. Some old guys would look happy to be able to put on their black steel lined gloves agaian. "I have note word these since 1989". Tony Blair would have to intervene to get me released. Even, as I bled and screamed my way through the plane journey back to the UK, honest Tony would be giving press conferences, about even though I had said seom bad things about hime personally, I was still a British citerzin and hence had the protection of Her Magercities goverment. The press would put a picture of me spewing blood and teeth out as I got off the plane under the headline "The idiot returns". Yes, better to say nothing. The weather here is nice and warm. It has not rained fro two days. Life is sweet.
Friday, April 07, 2006
I am still bitter about this Hungarian wife situation. I have decided to take my revenge. There are some height resrictions in Budapest for how high they can bulld. All buildings should be lower than some famous building that I have already forgotten the name. I have not seen a building bigger than 10 storys. I have decided that I will build the first 40 story skyscraper just to spite them. I will live on the top three foors. I will close one of the famous baths and pump the hot water up to my pool on the top floor. I will then be able to bathe in the hot water and look down on the city. People will look up and know I was there and feel my power and influence. Now that Hungary is part of the EU, the building height restrictions probably contridict some EU directive. Perhaps, these building restrictions hurt my human rights, so could be outlawed in some special way to make me happy. I was going down to one of the cafes close to the parliament building. I could then start the process of getting the approval for my building by buying some rounds of drinks. I have a more cunning plan. My guide books tells me that the Hungarian football team beat England twice around 1955. Things seem to have gone downhill for their football team since then. Although this doesn't mean that they will not beat England again, given Englanf's sporadic form. I think that it is clear that I need this big building to help the Hungarian team beat the English team and win the European football championship, in some way that I believe, but can't prove. Anyway everyone has been very nice to me here, so my dreams of creating huge skyscraper in the center of Budapest is just mean and ungratefull.
The MSZP is the new name for the scocialist party that used to run the country until the early 90s. I like the leaders face. I would vote for them, He has a kind of smart and casual face. He would be the kind of friend who gave good advice, but when needed would go round to you enemies face and threaten to mangle him with an iron bar. He doesn't look too crooked, but I was told he is the 83rd wealthist man in Hngary. Apparently, he did very well out of privatation of Hungary assets. He compares very favourbly to Tony Blair, who obly manage to saddle his party with ten million pounds worth of debt to fund the new labour spin machine. I doubt that slimy Tony would ever go round to a friend's house and threaten them with an iron bar. I think that makes him a worse leader than the leader of the MSZP party, So good luck to the people of Hungary for the election. It won't change anything, but if it makes you feel better, then hey. The tour guide on the bus told us that Education is free in Hungary to the University level. How elitist! Hungary will have to learn the freemarket ways of England and start charging.
When I first walked around Budapest I noticed a large number of posters with fat middle aged men on them. I am not perhapss the most perseptive person, but even I thought hat there is an election coming up. I believe that there are parlimentary elections on Sunday (the guide on the tour bus told us). Given that I live in a cuntry where we have a tradition of elections for some of the people for a long time (ok, I should know exactly how long), I feel that I should give the nation the benifit of my experience. However, as I don't vote anymore. It is hard to see the point when the choice is new labour versus tory. What is the difference?
When I did get down to the water front I found a tourist bus. This gave me a two hour tour of Budapest. If I can remember all that the guide told me then I know everything that needs to be known about Budapest. I can tick the following boxes: Parliament Citadel Opera house Some churches syngagoue Heroes square. So I did all the tourist stuff in two hours. Now how am I going to fill my time. A glass of beer perhaps.
I started my holiday by walking down to the Danube river. It took some time, but there were lots of interesting buildings to look at and no one gave me any crap. There are fewer beggers and general insane people in Budapest, When I got to the river I noticed that all the enterances to the boats were underwater. Where boats, I mean floating restaurants. This seemed strange. Coming from LIverpool, I just thought that this was a way of stopping people boarding the boats and stealling all the booze. Later I learnt that the Danube river has actually floaded. Most of the prominade is under water. I was told that this is the highest tide since records were first made. It makes the river front more serene because it has stopped the traffic a bit. The roads of Buadapest are full of cars, but the drivers are not as super fast as the speed freaky London driving crew.
Today is Friday, so I decided to visit the "Terror house". This is a museum about the secret police in Hungary during the cold war era. However, i could not get in their because there was a huge party of school children going in. The building is so cool and grey. It would be so sad if I could not get in there. I might learn valuable tips that I could use at the Unversitty of Liverpool. Perhaps, I will walk up there again. Bah, children, always in the way.
I have a terrible admission to make. Do you remember all those TV stories about men bringing women over from Eastern Europe to be their wife. Sometimes, when I am talking to a waitress, I secretly think that they might want to come back with me to the West. However, when I look at the big expensive German cars on the streets and the people are dressed fairly smartly compared to me at least, I think that they are probably happy where they are. In Budapest, they even have bins for dog shit. A city that has time to worry about dog shit on the ground is probably doing ok economically. As far as I can tell I am paying one pound for a beer, so perhaps a better idea is for me to marry some cute Hungarian woman and we can live here. I could perhaps slob out. I can believe that this would not be so appealling. As the title says "I think bad thoughts'.
On Thursday, I got up ande decided I better do some tourist stuff After staring at the mapin the guide book, I decided that it would be better if I turned right on the big road close to the hotel. This turned out to be a much better choice, as I soon reached streets full of shops and bars. So I really am in a city. I started to walk down to the Danube.
The area around the hotel seemed very quiet. However, I ddn notice on two street corners a number o women just standing there in the rain. None of them made any attempt to talk to me as I limped past. I first thought there where whores, but they did not try to talk to me. Also they looked fairly wholesome. Perhaps, I was just judging by the standards of Liverpool prostitues, who ask me "whether I am looking for business" and usually seem fairly well strung out on smack. The women were all wearing white. This struck me as strange about a day later, after some intense reflection. I now think that perhaps they were priesteses of some arcane religion. Perhaps, they stood in vigil for the return of some minor God. I had, just moved into the hotel. Coincidence, maybe not?
I was not very impressed at the sites I saw of Budapest as we drove from the airport. The city did not look as run down as the outskirts of Moscow do. It was very green nnd there were the familar signs of neon for Macdonalds and chains of similar US origin. Did I mention that Budapest looked very green? As I went for a stroll outsidethe hotel it was raining. Places with green lucushous vegatation get a lot of rain. For my stroll on my first night at Budapest, i went left on the big road next to the big chrch. Everything looked a bit dark and drab. Not many shops around. I thought I must be a long away from the center of the city. There were some bars, but they seemed full of drunken crazy local people, and I was too cowardly to go in. I did pluck up courage to get a cheap chinese meal. When I go to a country where I can not speak he language, I always worry that I will starve, because the locals can or will not understand me. I also worry about money, as I am cutt of my gaurdians in he hole in wall. After, I had eaten my chinse meal, I knew I would not starve and my money was good in this city. Now I just needed to know where I was.
I got into Budapest on Wednesday evening. The magic of Expedia meant that I had arranged my transport from the airport already. Normally, I sepend hours worrying about getting to the hotel. THis time some guy turned up with a sign with my name on it. I am a high roller at last. I am staying at a one star hotel called Dominik Pnnzio, that is close to the East Railyway station.