Monthly Archives: April 2011

“Wish I had lipstick on my shirt/Instead of piss stains on my shoes”

Friday Night, Saturday Morning
The Specials
from Ghost Town (1981)

Jones & X.Ray bring me greatness once again…

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Uh Oh

It’s been the season for the teaching union conferences and so given the state of the universe my union (the ATL) have voted to ballot for strike action, which has not happened nationally since 1979. I am concerned about this for a number of reasons, but whatever the outcome I feel I must be able to justify my position on what is a very complex and often confusing issue.
“It’s not about losing a day’s pay. It’s about losing 25% of your pension, which is deferred payment of your salary. You agreed to be paid less in the public sector because you would get a decent pension. A pay freeze for the next two years (with inflation running at 4-5% this year and next) + a 3.5% extra to pay into your pension equates to a loss of 12% approx of salary over two years. In the long-term the govt is looking to reduce your pension and ask you to work in a highly stressful job until you are 68. A day’s loss of pay is not a big ask under these circumstances Some teachers will die in service. You must make a stand!”
“The people who run the Unions are political animals who work on behalf of Labour, unlike the majority of their members, even in the NUT, who want them to work for what’s best for teachers.

What do teachers really worry about ? Yes, they worry about the pension, but behaviour, paperwork and deskilling are also to the forefront.

The Unions have done nothing to benefit teachers in recent memory, their sole ‘opposition’ to things like Cover Supervisors has been to ‘raise issues’ and ‘make statements’.

Now the Tories are in strikes are to the forefront again. No-one outside the fantasy thinking left will see them as anything other than political.”
comments from TES – NUT voted to strike on pensions – Do you agree?
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Horse Hydration

“There is a big difference between targets based on the work you do, and targets based on the behaviour and commitment of 30 odd teenagers over whom your influence is limited. Stress isn’t a result of targets per se, but of targets that aren’t within the purview of the member of staff. You can bust a gut all you like, put on extra classes, stay late, come in during holidays, answer questions via email at weekends, and still find it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference, because you can lead a horse to water but can’t make it drink. The problem we’ve got is that teachers have targets based on hydration levels of horses, and some of the horses are so damn lazy that IV fluids seems like hard work for them.”

comment from Guardian – Stress drives teachers out of schools
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“Tell-Tale” full movie in full HD from Greg Williams

On the subject of Carla Gugino, here’s an oldie but totally hot goodie NSFW
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Justified Objectification

Marshall Raylan


One week after I noticed the Sheriff in The Crazies was pretty goshdarned hot, here I am spending my Sunday not working on lesson planning (like I do that anyway) but making screencaps of a topless Timothy Oliphant in Justified.

This weekend I was also prompted to watch Elektra Luxx because he was in it, though I will say i’d been meaning to see it before I knew of him – I do loves me some Carla Gugino. Elektra was bad but amusing in its sloppiness (at least I didn’t pay for it); Gugino was great to watch as usual and it did have Oliphant looking pretty fucking hot: Gah his smile…!

Anyhoo, when i’m not ogling Marshall Raylan Justified is a good watch. Not the most taxing of programmes and I would say so far (eight episodes into the first season) it’s a bit on the lightweight side; there are clearly story arcs going on, but to be honest it feels a bit like Hawaii Five-0 with swearing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that mind you.

I guess that i’m interested in the lead character’s background and motivations but not much is being revealed (yet) whilst the supporting characters are all being filled in nicely; hopefully this will change as the episodes progress.
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“We were terrified and we were in love”

“You and I were always talking about risk because she was the beautiful woman we were both in love with, right? The one who made us feel the most special, the most alive? We were always trying to have one more dance with her without paying the price. All those quiet, huddled conversations we had in Afghanistan: Where to walk on the patrols, what to do if the outpost gets overrun, what kind of body armor to wear. You were so smart about it, too—so smart about it that I would actually tease you about being scared. Of course you were scared—you were terrified. We both were. We were terrified and we were in love, and in the end, you were the one she chose.”
from Vanity Fair – Sebastian Junger Remembers Tim Hetherington [via]
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Noma (gangrenous stomatitis) as depicted by Robert Froriep (1836) [source]

I’m reading A Quiet Flame at the moment; the book is part of a crime series that I particularly enjoy that deals with Germany pre- and post-war. As many of the characters in the books are based on real individuals a peruse of Wikipedia dug up this startling image – the Doctor in A Quiet Flame performing abortions in Buenos Aires in the 1950s is Josef Mengele AKA The Angel of Death.

He performed surgical experiments on people contained at Auschwitz during WWII. At times he might have been doing good science but the majority of his experiments had no clear investigatory intent. Something he took an interest in was the causes behind this rather hideous disease which was rare until the Nazis showed their skill at treating humans worse than cattle.

The child in the image looks like an extra out of a zombie film; the livid colours tunnelling through his cheek contrasting with the milk-white skin and clear blue sky eyes. Unnerving.
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Day at Kew Gardens with a colleague:



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Diary (2010) by Tim Hetherington

Diary (2010) from Tim Hetherington
Diary is a highly personal and experimental film that expresses the subjective experience of my work, and was made as an attempt to locate myself after ten years of reporting. It’s a kaleidoscope of images that link our western reality to the seemingly distant worlds we see in the media.”
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Casualties of War

Sleeping Soldiers_single screen (2009) from Tim Hetherington

Tim Hetherington photojournalist and director was killed today in Misrata.

He was with a group of photographers covering the ongoing situation in Libya and was killed along with Chris Hondros of Getty Images; in addition two others were wounded. I’d seen his photos in Vanity Fair and the New York Times – his work on Afghanistan was particularly strong; he co-directed with Sebastian Junger the excellent and HIGHLY recommended Restrepo.

A very great loss.

NYT Lens Blog – A Parting Glance: Tim Hetherington
NYT Lens Blog – A Parting Glance: Chris Hondros
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Drinking & Thinking…

Everybody’s Weird But Me
from Not Music (2010)

After two and three-quarter pints of cider i’m at a familiar junction in my life.

With the inebriation comes feelings of being a badass, hot shit etcetera etcetera: feeling sexual and willing to take on the world yet chilled out. At the same time there come feelings of self-harm, like Goddamn I need to reach into my toolbox and cut a nice (superficial) line in my forearm. Knowing that if I do so i’ll feel ashamed of myself and that i’ve let myself down, been weak.

Running my hand over the contours of my body taking in the soft and the strong. Textures of skin, hair, areas that fit just right in the palm of my hand. Squeezing my shoulder and noticing the roll of the muscle under my fingers. The weight of flesh.

Isn’t this how life is to some small extent? A balance between immolation and existence?

Haircut tomorrow.

Future Sport


Today I imagined myself one year older than I am today and applied for my London 2012 tickets. Woo. No guarantee i’ll get anything but fingers crossed.

I’ve applied for the opening ceremony (yes, even an embittered cynic like me would like to go), the mens Lightweight Boxing semi-finals and mens Freestyle Wrestling 66kg and 96kg medal positions. Bottom of the ticket prices of course (£20.12-35) but will turn out to be pretty reasonable if I get the tickets i’ve put my name into the hat for.

Plus, OLYMPICS! Exciting!!
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Tom Mullica – Magic

I fucking *love* this guy!

I saw this waaay back in 1997 on the brilliant series “Stuff The White Rabbit”; it was filled with magic that restored my “faith” (if you can call it that) in magic being a wonderful thing.

Alas I can’t find any of the full episodes online and it seems that there’s no list of the performers :( I can tell you that Jerry Sadowitz was on it…
“It is hard to figure out just how monstrous Jerry Sadowitz is.”
from The Scotsman – Smoke and Mirrors
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Source Code – The Crazies Hot Sheriff – Le Chevrefeuille – Espadrilles


A whole seven days in the company of my family.

I saw the engaging Source Code and spent ten minutes arguing with my brother as to whether Jake Gyllenhal was in the future, a time loop or a parallel universe.

Crazies I greatly enjoyed the “Oh noes the townsfolk have turned into zombies!!” The Crazies and fell in love with Timothy Olyphant as the beleaguered sheriff of the infected by a bio-weapon town. SIGH.

Mr Olyphant seems to be rather popular on the internets – I had no idea. See Time For Tim and Fuck Yeah Timothy Olyphant.

I took advantage of an unlimited Sky package and what seemed like a five feet-wide flatscreen TV – Inception was watched in the dark with the speakers up. I re-watched Season Three episodes of ER and was reminded how brilliant it was. Doug Ross. SIGH.

I wandered about the streets of Manchester over a couple of days and managed to find a bottle of Annick Goutal’s Le Chevrefeuille which is sparklingly delicious and I have found myself reaching for it many times over the last few days. Mmmm…

I bought a pair of white espadrilles so that the Crockett outfit is officially COMPLETE. Woo!

I had another delicious meal at the wonderful local gastropub Sutton Hall “Good Pub Guide County Dining Pub of the Year 2011” – Saltfish, caper and potato with crispy poached egg to start followed by roast chicken and tarragon suet pudding with buttered mash and seasonal veg. Delish.

I had many discussions with my Dad (or should I say against my Dad) on a variety of subjects but usually covering something along the lines of misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia and a complete inability to see things in anything other than black and white. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.

Frustrating. Anyway, I got to spend some quality time with my brother which was both good and important and also time with my Mum before her upcoming operation. Not a total loss then.
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Tinie Tempah ft. Travis Barker
Simply Unstoppable (Yes Remix)

Yup, it’s wrong, but I find myself *loving* this advert- the music, the visuals. All round feeling of epic.

Not a big fan of Mr. Tempah but Barker’s drumming makes this awesome. Nice to see a female boxer too…
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Up visiting family for the first week of my two away from the whiteboardface; I swear to the Gods I don’t believe in that within FIVE minutes of me walking through the door my Dad was giving me a squeeze around my waist to determine my relative fatness. He then proceeded to take the piss and pester me to reveal how much I weigh.

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Secret Shame

from Newsweek – The Military’s Secret Shame [via]

Horrifying. In some places the authorities are compelled to arrest if someone comes forward to report a case of rape or domestic violence. I don’t know whether this helps or hinders things, and I don’t know if compulsion would help the men and women in service who find themselves in such a position.

I always figure that soldiers are like school kids – as I am their teacher I am in loco parentis; I am responsible for their welfare and safety under my watch so to speak. The kids under my care should be able to feel safe in their environment and be safe from all harm. Same goes for soldiers- the Armed Forces are their employer and so have legal responsibilities to ensure a safe workplace but as a society do we not have a duty of care towards these men and women?

I think that as the military is a micro-society it reflects the problems that can be found in society at large, i.e. sexual assault is under-reported and victim blaming is the norm. Rape culture ahoy and all that. So, until our attitudes as civilians change, it is very unlikely that this will happen in the military. At the same time, these people are doing a job and as such have the right to work – and indeed live – in a safe space. And yes, safe ain’t always obvious when your daily tasks involve playing Russian roulette with IEDs, but harassment and assault is something that you can have control over.

On a bit of a tangent, why is it that women are still not allowed to serve in the line of fire? If you want cohesiveness surely the question of whether a person is capable of getting a job done rather than what gender they are is more important? With the number of soldiers available dwindling as forces are stretched across the world there are going to be capable women who are underutilised.

I find it hugely insulting that many people assume just because you’re a woman you couldn’t have been either heroic or been through anything traumatic whilst serving. “Women ain’t veterans – they just drive trucks and bandage wounds.”

Oh, and gay men and women? Don’t get me started on that one… At least in the UK people are able to serve without shame.

Wikipedia – Sexual assault in the United States military
BBC News – Women at war: How roles are changing
Guardian – Sexual harassment rife in armed forces
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Today in-between using up what seems like half a box of tissues courtesy of the innards of my nose and wandering the sunny streets doing errands I have become rather interested in the Latin phrase Amat victōria cūram.

For this i’ve STATHAM to thank, or at least an image from his latest explosion-fest The Mechanic. It’s sitting as yet unwatched on my machine, but upon flicking through it to assess how good a Statham dose it will be I spotted a very shiny gun with “Victory Loves Preparation” stamped into it.

Nice subtle use of fonts there, the slightly larger capital letters at the beginning of each word. Clean. Shiny.

Anyways, I did a bit of searching and have become quite taken with the phrase and its meanings:

Victory (loves preparation)
            (loves the care)
            (favours those who take pains)

I guess I could be considered a “creative type” through the use of my brain and skillset at work even if i’m not a writer or artist; i’m good at cutting corners but am thorough when I have to be, so the phrase sits well with me. Or at least I like it :)

Of course being font-y I then got to thinking about tattoos; i’ve not had any lettering done and I am rather nervous of doing so as letters have to be just so and so room for error is even smaller than it is usually. A slight fluctuation in the line of a petal is not really an issue, but on the upstroke of a letter it is baaad. With lettering there is the additional concern with sizing as over time the lettering can spread and thus the wording deform.

It’s a phrase I think i’d like to look at and remind myself of and so it would need to be placed somewhere I can see it, so perhaps a wrist…? Thing is, getting something inked there has the potential to be problematic job-wise. Or at least I think it would be something I might be judged upon having; at the moment I can cover my other tattoos when necessary (no sleeveless tops for me at work). Hmmm…

Bestiaria Latina: Audio Latin Proverbs – Amat victoria curam
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Chicago Micro Mix

Moreno Sketch

2 by Manuel León Moreno [cc]

Friday night watching 24 Hour Party People (one of my favourite films); inspired to search out some Chicago House:

Chicago Micro Mix

Trax Records
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toes by figurehead1 [cc]

Today was the first day of the year that i’ve been able to wear a skirt without tights. Tomorrow is a half-day at work and then it’s two weeks of freedom. WOOOOOOOO all round.

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“What Do You Make?”


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“I harbour a fantasy that one day I will ride in a stretch Humvee/ similarly horrendous limo that *must* be black and *must* have undercar lighting. Black leather interior, privacy screen and something chilled in the mini-bar. You get the picture.”

Part of what i’ve written in the “The most private thing I’m willing to admit” section on OKCupid.

Funny how I get lots of interest from people I have *no* desire to meet.

Oh dear.
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ThinkGeek-ing Out

ThinkGeek-ing Wow.

   Oh, for a place of my own/

      A metal bikini and the body to wear it/

A fabric recreation of a time when a fictional character had to be slid inside the very innards of a fantastic animal in order to survive.

Star Wars Epic Wall Art

Star Wars Wampa Rug

Tauntaun Sleeping Bag

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The Ultimate Battle:


Indiana Jones vs. Han Solo.

No blasters, whips, revolvers, Wookiees or Sallah’s to give assists.

This epic question for our time was put to me on OkCupid by a guy who, as usual, lives in the town I do not. Anyway, I thought it is an interesting question, and apparently it’s a popular concept.

Film School Rejects – Indiana Jones vs. Han Solo: Who Would Win?

i think Han would win.

I also think that I would pay a shitload of cash to watch these two icons of my childhood duke it out; I also know that I would probably watch from behind my fingers and have to turn away frequently, like I was watching a UFC fighter punch their opponent into unconsciousness.

I’m not sure I could cope with anyone losing or indeed winning. Imagine if Han won- there’d be no living with him. What I can say for sure is that i’d really like a t-shirt with a copy of that mashup I made at the top there. Onto the To Do list. That I don’t have.
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Tip Of My Tongue

Beggar’s Prayer
Emiliana Torrini
from Me and Armini (2008)

Via my supposed* doppelgänger Ellen Page

Super, super beautiful track that’s perfect for the end of a Sunday.

*as told to me by a variety of kids I teach
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Come here (touch me)

Fly On The Windscreen
Depeche Mode
from Black Celebration (1986)

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fuck Today whilst in the process of wandering around town I saw MW#1 for the first time in nearly a year.

I was making my way home having just slaked my John Lewis thirst (hooray for payday) and I happened to see him as I exited the store. I wasn’t really looking at anything when I suddenly realised that the man stood in front of the window was him.

Our eyes met for a moment, my stomach dropped in an “Oh, fuck” moment of recognition and then I had moved past him.

Over the past year i’ve spent months and months worrying about bumping into him; when i’ve finally stopped worrying about the prospect it happens. When i’ve got my best scowl on and am feeling overly warm and a bit hormonally delicate. Hee.

After the initial surge of adrenaline had passed there was no longer term OH NOES-ing; I was a bit shocked and thoughts about him were filling my brain but I kept on walking and unsurprisingly the world did not end. I’ve often wondered how I would react if I saw him. Of course, it wasn’t like I was drunk in a club and saw him across a dance floor eating the face of his latest squeeze but baby steps and all that…

I still think about him from time to time, wonder how he’s getting on etc. but I don’t want to be with him. I’m well aware though that until there’s someone else in my life that no new memories are going to be created to overwrite the old ones. I’m also aware that he was important to me for a good many years and so i’ve got lots of time to heal.

Also, picked up the perfect aesthetically-pleasing bin from John Lewis. :D

FUCK image: With apologies to Robert Indiana’s LOVEFont
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