June 29, 2006

Sickie MacDougal

Irony #1: We're heading to Scotland this Saturday for the long 4th of July Independence Day weekend, uhh the holiday against the British.

Fact: England are playing Portugal in the World Cup at 4pm Saturday.
Fact: Scotland hates England.
Fact: Our flight leaves from London to Inverness at 4:30pm.

Irony #2: Our flight's JUST been cancelled. Our flight to Scotland. Scheduled thirty minutes after kick off.

HA!

This is what I love about the UK, a country of contradictions, traditions and irony. Well, at least this means WE get to watch the game now TOO ...

with the pilot and the inflight crew:
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- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

News article from The Guardian (British newspaper)

World Cup to kick-off sickie epidemic
British businesses are set to lose almost 100,000,000 for every day England is in the World Cup, according to figures released by the UKs provider of absence management.

Active Health Partners has estimated, through using workplace absenteeism data captured during previous key sporting events, that for every game England plays in the first round of the World Cup, employee absence will increase by 20 per cent. This figure can realistically be expected to increase to as much as 40 per cent if England progresses through the rounds, resulting in a significant loss to UK industry...And cancellations of flights on game days... [wink]

Posted by slin at 10:56 PM

June 26, 2006

Bargie on the Beach

That was a 100% obscure entry title, if you can figure it out, you ARE one cool persona (and know your Indian film).

Took a jaunt out to Paris this weekend (wonderful apertifs, pain au chocolat and all the camembert and chevre chaud you could ever ask for in a mere 2+ hour train ride ... fantastic!) However, I was lured over this time by my lovely pal Riam (Sarafina), who was my very first pepper partner in Edinburgh, and part-time roommate 12 years ago (eek!)

But! Not only was the lure seeing Sarafina, but it was getting to stay on her barge/"flat" directly across from the Eiffel Tower.

I.shite.you.not.

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It was amazing, here you were in THE middle of a sprawling, lively city, but it felt like you were living off the shores of a coastal town... except for uhh, being across from a major international monument trafficked 24/7, (with an added delight to heighten tourist zeal - a 1,000,000 gigiwatt epileptic-light show thing every night, and 30 foot tourist barges with 50+ tourists and booming loudspeakers in French translating "and here to the right is..."

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Although having said that, the waves and wakes that they created mimicked the constant ebb and flow of a choppy ocean. Heaven.

I'm a little sleepy so this entry is going to be kinda boring, but I'll let the visuals do the talking.

The Students' Exhibit at Some Famous Parisian Art School
oh wait, I found the name - Portes Ouvertes Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris

(my fav, the printing department)

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The Grand Palais Exhibit

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This is how a wee little tyke interpreted the "fine art"... puts it all into perspective dunnit?

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All The Rest

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Muchisimo thanks to Saz for the fantastic visit!!

The whirlwind of Euro-oh-so-near travelling continues as we head to lurvely Inverness/Highlands of Scotland this coming weekend for some haggis, black pudding, Highland "keuuws" and mountainous walks...

Posted by slin at 10:17 AM

June 22, 2006

BARC

Soooo... where to begin?

Barcelona.

I never know how to write about trips and experiences sometimes, I think I get so overwhelmed by it all that I don't know how to verbalize the sensations. It usually never comes out when people ask "how was the trip?", but more when I see something or feel something that reminds me OF the trip, then it makes it easier to explain, to describe.

So having said that, this posting will come out more like Terrets-style outbursts (minus the expletives), than lovely mellifluous prose.

SONAR: 3-day festival of young hip things gyrating to DJ/electronica in massive warehouses outside the outskirts of the city, flooded with neon shadows of light, feeling the major bass beats in yer gut at the wee hours of the morning.

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Nuns crashing Sonar By Day...

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BARCELONA: Vibrant. Buzzing. Colorful. Boisterous.

The Europen Man Purse Phenomenon - No, it ain't a "sachet" or a "bag", it's a MAN-purse. These pics are really blurry and include parts of Jen in them because I had to take them on the sly. Actually got a few friendly waves from ... uh, "victims" : )

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Aforementioned Vampiric Troupe - yeah, I don't know how to explain this one. "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" Does "America's Top Model"? I dunno... they were all dressed in lovely matching pinstriped suits with tails, uhh ... but then they started chasing (well, more like marching in time towards him ... think dance seen in Thriller) the skinny white dude and growling at him. I was seriously waiting for the skinny white dude to rip off his mask and turn into Michael Jackson),

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The Loveliness That Is Barcelona

Las Ramblas and all the open markets...

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...which leads to picnics in the park (Guell Park), reached by outdoor escalator (!)

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... and back to Las Ramblas for general chill-outness.

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Era manera agradable encantadora pasar todo su dinero en un lugar (!)

Post Script
We should give a shout out the now semi-defunct spoofchicken (fondly called "spoofy") co-creators on vacation...

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El Fin.

Posted by slin at 01:53 AM

June 20, 2006

neither a bird nor a plane

Just got back from a flippin' absolutely amazing weekend in Barcelona.

WHAT a cool-ass city. That city does not sleep, seriously, vampires... we saw some. A whole troup of 6' foot lithe woman in pin-striped suites, high heels, whites faces, fangs and all, chasing some skinny white dude. (Yes, easier to explain with visuals.)

They was so much click that the camera battery died, so will need to charge it up before I can show slides of the European Man Purse phenomenon, as well as the multitude of blurry neon-light hazes of Sonar.

Onto more serious England events ... England vs. Sweden tonight, 8pm (!!)

Here's some roars from the other side of the Atlantic... (YEA! nephew got the cape! Wow, I can see his adenoids)

brent cape 02.jpg

(site note: dunno what the deal is with my archive section, still trying to clean it up, but because the list is longer than a foot of inch-worms tied together, it's causing some wonky cutting to my posts. Lo siento.)

Posted by slin at 01:00 AM

June 13, 2006

[refrain]

Ok, this is getting out of hand.

I think that because I'm in London and spend a lot of time working from home, I get to listen to music ALL DAY LONG, I mean I did in SF as well... but it was more background music, snippets of every other song/note/band...

But here, along with the tunes readily available via com-pu-tar, and because I also walk so damn much all over the place (travel in slo motion - but actually really like it a lot), I get to plug in the mp3 and I'm off.

But it's beginning to fuel the music mayhem.

There's not much that I can afford here, but I can honestly say that I've probably purchased about 20+ CDs since I've been here (!) eek! ...I'm still on the fence about downloading.

And NOW we're heading to the Sonar Festival in Barcelona! I can't WAIT! I have to admit, I wasn't entirely prepared because of all the other stuff going on, but this morning, I've been checking out the bands/DJs and now I'm allatizzy!

(side note: good lordy it seems like everyone and their second uncle's cousin has a myspace band site...but cool to hear the tracks right there and then)

Those That I Would Be Most Pleased To See:

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The Pinker Tones

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circlesquare (this link is their video - "Fight Sounds")

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Hot Chip (these guys have a HI-larious flippin' video for "Over and Over" on their site)

I just noticed that most of the stuff I want to hear starts at 00:00.

excellente

Posted by slin at 03:05 AM

June 12, 2006

pilgrim's progress

Did a lot of carving over the past day or so, it's been so warm and humid here that the lino is really soft and a lot more maleable.

Here's an update on the plate:

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I ended up doing a test print outside on my back porch, just to see how it would look. I think I got so 'inebriated' by the 'spirits' (UK-ese for turpentine) that I stabbed my finger and thought it would be funny to do bloody thumbprints (since I was already doing fingerprints).

looooooooooopy.

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Posted by slin at 12:12 AM

June 06, 2006

let there be light

Summer has FINALLY arrived in London! (altho now that I typed that, the clouds will prob descend upon the land...) It's been absolutely blindingly sunny and warm the last few days, so much so that I can now open BOTH doors in my office/room.

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(hanging out the climbing rope to dry)

My little herb garden is flourishing as well on my back porch. I think I'm up to about nine or so spices, which I'm proud to say, I've used about 3 or so of them consistently (rosemary, mint, chives, thyme) since they are now growing at vine-speed because of the new sun-shine... (but really though, how do you use majoram?!) Although I'm confused about the black bamboo plant, it doesn't seem to grow in sun or shadow, but I guess as long as it doesn't shrink, it's all good, eh?

And I'm experiencing something I've never experienced before, something associated with Summer... World Cup mania.

It's begun.

You cannot, CANNOT, turn a corner, a tv channel, a neck muscle without seeing something related to it. (Even now as I'm typing this, I can hear a soccer game kitty corner from my backyard). There are England flags flying everywhere, the whole of London seems to have red and white stripes across it.

And I admit, I couldn't help it ... I got my nephew an England CAPE! (which he will have no clue about), but it's made of this cool silky material and I thought if anything, he could pretend he was some, I dunno, Red & White Superhero... uhh, for England, or called "England"... trust me, he'll thank me when he's older.

cape.jpg   cape_back.jpg

Posted by slin at 10:43 PM

June 05, 2006

immigration process

Finally started on my linocut, started carving today (and yeah, stabbed myself, but it wasn't a gusher), here's the sketch ..

immigrants.jpg

It's a guy getting fingerprinted, (I'm going to use my thumbprint).

Posted by slin at 06:12 AM

June 03, 2006

take it to the bank

Oddly enough, Memorial Day (May 29th) also ended up being a bank holiday in the UK. I added the link to this entry because I just dunno how to explain bank holidays to anyone outside the UK.

It's a "holiday", but not really one because it doesn't really celebrate anything except the fact that the banks decide that they don't want to work that day.

Seriously.

No parades. No presents. No national slogans. No banners. No honorary statues.

Not even a Hallmark card (!)

The.bank.decides.to.close.for.the.day. Period.

But what the heck, other than not being able to wait in long queues to withdraw and/or deposit funds, morgages, loans, etc. it means everyone gets the day off!

It was time to get out of Dodge and head for the hills, specifically the Peak District. Land of Yorkshire pudding, rolling green hills, and Penistone (England's sister city to Intercourse, PA).

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[Un]fortunately (?) it's an absolutely gorgeous day outside today, so I'm going to go and run around. But, I'll throw up some choice pics and a few words here or there.

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"Rock on"...

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"Rock off"...

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Water in your eye...

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Posted by slin at 08:43 AM | Comments (0)