How I Take My Coffee

I don't have the strength to write up tonight's gig right now. So in the meantime, it's meme time. Courtesy of David.

What is your occupation right now?

I'm a freelance teacher. It's the most intellectually challenging and financially unrewarding job I've ever had.

What is your favorite color?

It used to be red - the redder the better. But then one summer I spent months researching chromakey blue for a film project - it's the deep, rich blue you sometimes see actors placed against for backdrops to be put in later. Nowadays they tend to use chromakey green, which is much better for technical reasons - and because it's easier for the actors to avoid wearing green than blue, so their clothes don't accidentally become part of the backdrop. Unfortunately, it's a horrible colour.

Next time you watch Star Trek: The Next Generations, notice the complete lack of any green in the clothing - it's all blues, reds and blacks. That's because the show used 'greenscreen' technology all the time.

So now it's choromakey blue.

What are you listening to right now?

I've had a night full of loud music, so I'm listening to silence. Or a laptop fan, the sound of keys clacking, my own breathing...without music, the world is actually quite noisy. Just ask John Cage.

But the music in my head is by Ashbury Heights, my current favourite upbeat-but-somehow-downbeat faintly-gothy-emo synthpop band.

What was the last thing that you ate?

A pittabread filled with my own special version of scrambled egg. Microwave the eggwhite for a minute, then mix in the yolk, which cooks in the heat of the white.

I've almost quoted some Sisters of Mercy lyrics in the last line.

Can you drive a stick shift?

I don't even know what that is. Should I?

Last person you spoke to on the phone?

It was either the other half of my band...or the closest thing I have or want to an 'other half'.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Dumb questions in memes.

How old are you today?

38. Or as I think of it..."Oh my shitting god I'm nearly 40! How the frell did that happen?!"

What is your favorite sport to watch on TV?

I don't watch sports. I sometimes watch the kind of lycra shorts with no underwear you only find in one other place. And that place is usually called 'The Dungeon' or 'The Pain Vault', and only opens to registered members after midnight.

What is your favorite drink?

I'm English, so I drink tea. With milk. Cow milk. I'm not sure I like it, but when I think of having a drink to relax, that's it.

Have you ever dyed your hair?

Yes, I dyed it blond. Which is to say, I shaved it as short as it would go, then dyed the roots blond...together with my eyebrows, and any slight beard stubble, just to be sure.

I was playing a nasty nazi-defending-lawyer in a stage play, and I thought I should go as aryan as humanly possible.

Favorite food?

Chocolate biscuits. I think they're the reason I drink tea. I like dunked chocolate biscuits - I find that if I count to three, they've reached the optimal stage of maximum taste while still not breaking apart and falling with a dispairing plop into the teacup.

What is the last movie you watched?

I've honestly no idea. It was probably sci-fi, and may have been one of the better Babylon 5 movies. So it can't have been 'Legend of the Rangers'.

Favorite day of the year?

Um. A parent's birthday is usually good, because we generally mark it by going to an expensive resteraunt, and completely failing in our pretense to be the kind of upper middle class types who go to expensive resteraunts.

How do you vent anger?

I work on some project until I'm calm enough to ask why I'm angry. Usually the reason isn't as good as it first seemed.

What was your favorite toy as a child?

I quite liked my Star Wars action figures. Next door there is a septic tank which probably still contains the Sand Person I lost in it.

What is your favorite season?

I think autumn. Not too hot, not too cold, and the sky being dark at what feels like the right time for other people to be asleep, and for me to wake up.

Cherries or Blueberries?

Oh I think cherries. Mainly because you couldn't imagine someone using blueberry as a metaphor for sex - but cherries are constantly used like that. Popping someone's cherry, sucking out the cherry pip, biting the black cherry.

Do you want your friends to e-mail you back?

If they've got something more to say than 'Thanks, I got your message".

Who is the most likely to respond?

The one I sent the message to my mistake, by mistyping the address.

Who is least likely to respond?

The one I really want to hear from.

Living arrangements?

I live alone with two parents. Or in sin with a blog. Or in servitude with five dogs and three parrots.

When was the last time you cried?

No idea. So it probably wasn't over anything important.

What is on the floor of your closet?

I don't have a closet. I just have a floor. Everything's there.

Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to?

People have friends for a long time?

What did you do last night?

I went to bed. Then I had an idea about implementing the Karplus-Strong algorithm to synthesise plucked strings, so I got out of bed and spent five hours working my implementation. Which is useless for plucked strings, but good for electric pianos.

What are you most afraid of?

Being incompetent.

Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers?

Can I have spicy cheeseburgers?

Favorite dog breed?

Maltese are good - small, dense, and so covered in fine white hair you can't tell which end is which. I like Dachshund's too, or as everyone I know calls them "Columbo Dogs", because a famously rumpled detective owned an equally rumpled example.

Favorite day of the week?

I'm going to pick Tuesday. On the grounds that no one else in the world likes Tuesdays. They're not at the start, they're not at the end, they're not even half way through. They're the nowhere day.

How many states have you lived in?

State of independence, state of inebriation, state of decay,

Diamonds or pearls?

Hmm. Uncut diamonds or pearls in weird colours.

You thought I was going to say something about a pearl necklace, didn't you?

What is your favorite flower?



  1. I can't rest until I know your favorite day of the week.

  2. As Mr Tuvok said, "Then you shall not rest."

    Unless you check the revised post.

  3. Too right...Tuesday's a nowhere day.

    But at last it's found appreciation here.

  4. Surely with the London Olympics on the way, you'll have a few weeks to embrace and enjoy the most dazzling and awesome sport ever: Synchronized swimming!

    I prefer iced tea--very sweetened of course. But I like it hot with some milk, too.

    Took me a while to figure out that when you said biscuit, you meant cookie. A biscuit over here is a warm bun, usually goes great with meat gravy or as side dish that replaces bread.

    I like how you deal with anger. I do the same thing sometimes. I walk away to clear my head.

    I'll take blueberries over cherries any day. Blueberries are sweet and delicious!

    Tuesday nights mean two dollar margaritas special at the local bar!

    Fantastic answers!

  5. erm, sorry to be such a pedant but Columbo's dog was a Basset Hound, not a Dachshund. Not that, in the scheme of things, it matters a jot.

    What I really want to know is how was the gig? And, did you record it for our aural pleasure?

  6. @Eros: Syncronised swimming. If someone came to you saying they'd invented a sport combining water-polo and ballet - and it was for women only - you'd probably think they were a bit strange.

    I had no idea the word biscuit had that meaning over the pond. It's a good job 'cookie' doesn't have an alternate meaning over here, or we'd be really confused.

    @Camy: You're absolutely right about the dog. Not that I'm entirely clear what the difference is.

    The gig was recorded, and will be broadcast at some point. The soundman is inordinately busy, so I don't know just when he'll have time to give us a copy of the master.

  7. may have been one of the better Babylon 5 movies. So it can't have been 'Legend of the Rangers'.

    I really enjoyed the ending credits... it meant my agony was over.