In need of a redesign since 2011.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Fancy pants

Some of you might remember my curious fascination with Wrong Jeans. For those who don't, or just want to look at bits of lady again, check the link. Well I've done a bit more hunting, and guess what! There are more Wrong Jeans out there, ranging from the sexy to the strange. Enjoy.

Not so much 'ripped' as 'carefully dissected.'
Ohhh... that's why they're called distressed...
Knees! Flaunt 'em if you've got 'em
A rare case of Doin' It Right
And, to close, What? No.

I promise to be back with some actual writing as soon as I get my essays etc. finished. In the meantime, please excuse me - I have to go kill some worms. Usually my conscience would object, but these worms are a) cartoons and b) armed, so they know what they're getting into.
Armed with weapons, not arms.
Worms with arms would be terrifying.
Worms: never grow arms.
For me.
Thanks, worms.

"Humor is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humor; for a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious, and a jest which will not bear serious examination is false wit."

Monday, 26 April 2010

Life: that thing that stops one from blogging

Well, the impossible seems to be happening! I'm (slowly) improving my eating habits, (mainly by snacking on bowls of cereal), getting on with my work (by being paranoid about deadlines and writing them down everywhere), and finding time to kill zombies and splash at the beach with my friends. Could be doing a lot worse! And as soon as uni ends, I'll work on the haircut-and-room-tidying stuff I've been letting slide.

My sister texted me today to say that she was trying on her wedding dress... it's really not long now, and soon I'll have a brother-in-law!

Oh yeah, about that. My sister's getting married. I've just realised that I don't actually write about a lot of life-related things on my blog, being caught up as I so often am by minutiae and trivialities instead. So, let's see, what things should you know...

  1. I am still very much in love with my boyfriend, and have been with him for coming up to three years now. Weird.
  2. I still live in Cardiff, and love it here, but I'm really missing home (again!)
  3. I like Glee, and I feel no shame about this.
  4. My twitter addiction continues unabated, having recently just passed the 10k tweets mark. In case you don't know how many that is in the grand scheme of things, it's this many: too. Too many.
  5. Other things taking a back seat until uni finishes: Calligraphy, ukulele, photography, reading everyone's blogs. If I haven't commented on your blog in a while, leave me a comment here and I promise I'll catch up soon.
I love the website Hacked IRL. It's not quite as revolutionary as it could be, but the little graffiti / culture jamming examples it gives are pretty fun. Here are some of my recent favourites:

And here are some more pictures; unrelated, but awesome.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Elections I have survived

"I don't like him. He looks like a monkey, his smile is fake, and he looks like he only pretends to like children."

Such were my erudite thoughts at the age of ten, when Tony Blair was voted in by the British public. I was only dimly aware of the whole proceeding, and that this meant saying goodbye to the man with the glasses. As I recall, Britain was slightly distracted by a dead princess at the time, but they got over that pretty fast.

For some reason they don't let you vote at ten, which is probably a good thing, or we'd all be serving under the Mighty Wizard Edmonds to this very day.

I tried cosmic ordering once. My pizza still hasn't arrived, High Wizard Edmonds.
There had been elections before that, of course; Maggie Thatcher was elected for the final time the year I was born. Hence my having no vivid memories of the fabled milk snatchery. I think I can be forgiven for not paying attention to these things when I was five, so the 1997 election was really the first time I noticed it - Glasses man versus monkey face, who will win?

Also there was Paddy Ashdown.
I do not remember this man.
The 2001 election was essentially New Labour's sequel. I don't recall there even being a discussion over who would win, and I certainly wasn't asked. This time I wish they had asked me - Prime Minister Anthony Head would have done great things for this country.
Sebastian agrees.
By 2005, I was disillusioned with British politics. Labour won again, but I didn't really care. It seemed like Blair and Bush were joined at the hip, we couldn't have one without the other, and change was a distant hope. With 9/11 still rumbling about in people's minds (or as we Brits call it, 9/11), there was a lot of noise and drama and not much risk of competition. The dynamic duo remained in the top jobs.

Blair and Bush
Prior to the 2008 political campaigns, I'd been rather unimpressed by politics, American politics in particular (I may even have made scatological references, which is understandable given the inspiration for that post). But then! Things got exciting in America. People were finally ready for Change with a capital Chuh; Obama got voted in, and for the first time I actually bothered to be 'politically aware.' I started getting itchy for an election over here. I finally cast off my voter apathy, and was all ready to make a difference, but the months rolled by and the election was never announced.

We had to wait five years for the next one. I'd occasionally ask when it was due, but nobody really seemed to know, or to be bothered by how horribly long it had been since the last one. Only five years, you might say, but from age 17 to 22 is an awfully long time - I've been at least three people since the last round.

Speaking of three people, this is the first time I can recall in which all three candidates have a fair chance at the prize. I'll try to be as impartial as I can here. Nobody likes Gordon Brown (I'm trying!), though many see him as necessary, and the lesser of two evils. David "call me Dave" Cameron seems to have polarised the nation into those who get their news from Murdoch and those who don't.
via @JonathanHaynes
Now, I was already leaning towards the Lib Dems, but I cannot stand Murdoch sticking his finger into the ear of politics and giving it a twiddle. A lot of people seem to feel the same way, and the tawdry excuse for journalism pictured above is why the #NickCleggsFault hashtag was trending on twitter today (and indeed still is). Whether that's portrayed as sarcasm or not will depend entirely on the newspaper, although the Guardian gets it.

My reasons for supporting the Lib Dems, then, are as follows: they are less corrupt. Not because they're better, or more moral - they may well be, but who can tell at this stage? - but because they've had less opportunity to be corrupted. They've been stood in the shadows for so long that nobody's bothered to buy their allegiance, and dammitall if that doesn't excite me. They're like a field that's been left fallow for years.

Will they win? No idea. Maybe we'll have a hung parliament; many say that's a good thing, though I've yet to do the research. One thing's for sure, for the first time in my memory, it's really a three horse race.

PS. From this, you might assume that I'm voting Lib Dem. Nope. I didn't get my random bit of paper off in time. They let you fill it in online, but then you have to print it off and snail-mail it to some office? WTF? So yeah, I really should have done my research sooner.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Found on Flickr 9

Banksy Downtown LA, originally uploaded by Sonja Teri.

Mr Glass, originally uploaded by SiLver sKY.

Plus, some non-Flickry (but equally awesome) pics:

We don't want your kind here!

The graffiti pictures are in LA, where Banksy's documentary is premiering tonight.

Ooh, actually, while we're on photography, I thoroughly recommend This Isn't Happiness for interesting and unusual images.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Little Brother

This is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside-down. Now I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, I'll tell you how I stayed up way too late reading an incredible story.

Yesterday, while researching the Digital Economy Bill, I stumbled across mention of an ebook called Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. I knew the author's name, of course; Doctorow is something of a big noise on the interwebs, though I'd never read anything of his before. The Creative Commons license on Little Brother and the price tag (£0.00) intrigued me, so I downloaded the PDF and decided to come back to it later.

That night, I was in Gavin's spare room. Our sleeping patterns are so different (me being a student and all) that I usually bring a book with me to read until I get tired. In the absence of a book, however, I resorted to reading on my phone; PDF wasn't an option, but such is the magic of Creative Commons that it was available in loads of different formats. I ended up reading the HTML version.

For five hours.

I got wrapped up in the story: a teenage boy and his hacker friends. A government that responds to terrorism with shows of force. A prison kept secret from the public. All these elements caught me up and kept me reading, long past the point where it was just 'something to do until I got tired.' For the first three hours, I told myself that when my already-low phone battery died, I'd go to sleep; but when it finally did, I went downstairs and got my phone charger. I endured multiple phone crashes, every time patiently restarting and scrolling to where I'd left off.

At some points, I had to stop reading just to catch my breath and let my heart slow down. At others, I completely forgot where I was - I couldn't have cared less, all that mattered was the story! It's hard to classify, exactly. It's technically a dystopic, futuristic sci-fi, I suppose; but it could be non-fiction within a couple of years. That alone makes it deeply unsettling, and thoroughly in the spirit of Orwell's 1984, for which it was named.

Being the excitable little fellow that I am, I couldn't even wait until I finished it before telling the world. I announced on Twitter: "Head full of thoughts. Too excited to sleep. Damn... You KNOW when you're reading something that will change you." It's been an awfully long time since a book's done that to me.

Obviously, I can't promise that you'll react the way I did, or even that you'll like it. But I feel compelled to share it. There's a lot of information in the book about what you can legally do with it and why, and Doctorow's kindly allowed for the fact that I want EVERYBODY to read it. I have the PDF on my USB key; I will leave a copy on the desktop of everyone I feasibly can. Is he losing money on it? No, I fully intend to buy a copy, something I wouldn't have done previously. Another small victory for the new way of doing things, I think.

Read Little Brother for yourself. The link will go in my 'interesting things' sidebar.

PS I'm listening to a Podcast of the Lib Dem debate on the DE Bill, it makes for very interesting listening.
PPS For something less serious and more noodly, check out Spaghatta Nadle.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

On the other hand

When I was learning to write, I had a neat little system for when my hand (unused to all the complicated lettering) got tired. I'd switch to the other one. My teachers didn't notice, but I was ambidextrous until I was eight. Eventually, my mother picked up on the fact that my writing was a lot neater at some times than at others. She watched me writing, and noticed this little trait; something that hadn't seemed strange to me, and had gone unnoticed by everyone else.

My writing with my left hand was scruffy, and my writing with my right hand was neat. So my mother claims, and I suppose I should take her word for it; although as I'm mostly left-handed now (I eventually got used to all the strenuous words and settled on one hand) that seems strange.

I say 'mostly': I write, draw, and paint with my left hand. Most other endeavours - stirring a cooking pot, holding a tennis racket, lifting shopping bags - I undertake with my right.

I mention this now, because I'm starting at square one again. My boyfriend gave me a cute little calligraphy set a few months ago, and after suddenly deciding that I'm interested in typography, I've finally picked it up. But, you know, being a lefty has its disadvantages, including smudged ink and the nib being slanted in entirely the wrong direction. Oddly, I decided that the easiest way to tackle this challenge is to be right-handed for this. So I'm learning to write right from the beginning. I'm mastering an unwilling pen and a stubborn hand, and forcing them to comply, just like I did in primary school. And you know what? It's actually really exciting!

Saturday, 3 April 2010


It puzzles me.
How can she be
So close to what I was?
A single voice
Of broken choice.
I'm scared for her because
I fought so long,
And went so wrong,
And she could stumble too.
And worst of all,
If she should fall,
I'd think our nightmares true.

Like me, she sees
The sky-wrapped trees
And wonders what they mean.
Like her, I saw
An open door
That promised things unseen.
And from her lips
And fingertips
I hear the words I'd use
To speak my fears,
And joy, and tears.
I think we share a muse.

Inspired by Shawna's blog.

EDIT: Alright, obviously it's time I unretired Creative Splurges. I don't really like that name, though, so I'm unretiring it at the new address of Please join me there, that way I can stop poeming all over this one!

Who else? (no spoilers)

A new doctor. A new body. Isn't that strange? Maybe that's why I can finally let go of Rose, and maybe now he can too. My friend Katie made the excellent point that all recent companions have been compared with Rose, and personally, I didn't warm to any of them in the same way. But now? A whole new body, a new companion, and in the words of Matt Smith: She's a ten.

Maybe that's just my thing for redheads cropping up again.

(To my American friends: I can't guarantee that the comments will be spoiler-free. Best avoid for now.)

Iambic, I am back.

I made my home amidst the noise,
I wrote my dreams down small.
If truth be told now, girls and boys,
I'm blushing for it all.
For who am I to write a blog?
To think that it's worth sharing?
And are you not appalled by all
My arrogance and daring?

For five years now I've been the same,
With precious little to my name
Besides this blog - my paltry fame,
Both undeserved and fleeting.
But the fire of passion's heating,
And at last I've seen the light.
I've made a choice, and it feels right
So onwards! Upwards! To the fight.
The drums of war are beating
So it's time to have a meeting
(I hope there's sufficient seating)
And I've finally found my feeting and I'm not sure that's a word

But basically it's time
That I rediscovered rhyme.