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This isn't one of those nobbing petitions you get through e-mails. This is a proper petition for Medecins Sans Frontieres to help keep drugs cheap for developing countries. This kind of petition has worked before when 39 companies took the South African government to court to prevent the country from importing cheap AIDS drugs. In that case, MSF collected nearly 300,000 signatures from more than 130 countries. Following public outcry, the companies eventually backed down and dropped their court case.

So SIGN SIGN SIGN http://www.msf.org/petition_india/international.html
Having no internet at home is now officially driving me insane. I don't really feel comfortable updating properly in the middle of a lab. I've been among the most unproductive people in the world recently. On Sunday, the housemates and I spent most of the day watching "The 100 Greatest Power Ballads" on TV (you should have heard our jamming session afterwards. It was eightiestastic), occasionally screaming in disgust that the song being played was by no definition a power ballad. Oh yes I've created a definition.

Power ballad:
1. A song about love with 80s drums to which one can fist-clench.

It must be noted here that not all songs to which one can fist-clench are power ballads, but all power ballads can be used as an aid in fist-clenching. The no.1 appalled us all royally. It was Cefuckingline fucking Difuckingon. I keep changing my mind as to what the no.1 should've been. Something along the lines of "I Wanna Know What Love Is" by Foreigner. Classic 80s shehoozy.

Then yesterday, I had an early day and came home so that Dave and I could watch all 5 Rocky films (soon to be 6 - that's gonna be awesome in the sort of Arnie's-made-a-comedy sort of way). It was a good evening. We even got Fiona to watch one (she's known among us as a Rocky-hater). She watched Rocky IV and thought it was hilarious. Oh yeah, another convert. We all know that Rocky III (Mr. T Rocky) and Rocky IV (where Rocky single-handedly defeats communism) are shit-hot.

Talking of which, my vocabulary seems to have gone incredibly downhill. The only two positive adjectives I've been using recently are awesome and shit-hot (and a few variations on the theme - the shit, the shizniz etc.). I need to start making up some words. Off to London Friday night. Hopefully I'll get internet again soon and the good times will roll. Hope you're all zipedeedoodah.
Howdy doody all. I'm now back in Manchester. Among other things greeting me when I got home was a loverly present from the loverly celandinex. It was very unexpected and most appreciated. Ta very much chuck!

Other than that, the past few days here have been a mixture of disaster and triumph. I arrived back to find out that Dave is gonna be moving out! Zut a-bloody-lors! This is the Dave I sit and jam with regularly and is teaching me guitar and owns half the instruments in the music room and helped me paint a giant Bob Dylan on the wall! Needless to say I was a bit gutted. Apparently he's bored of Manchester and wants to move back to Stoke. We still haven't had anyone move in to the other two spare rooms either, so it's gonna be just Fiona, Kelly and me there for a while.

Don't get me wrong, Fiona and Kelly are wonderful and I enjoy their company muchly, but they're not as fun as Dave and they don't do anything musical. On the up-side, when talking to Kelly...

She: "I'm still advertising the house as having a music room even though there's not gonna be much in there, though I am gonna bring some drums up."
I: "Well my piano, didgeridoo and tin whistle are still gonna be there, and I'm gonna buy myself a guiitar."
She: "Oh, just have this one, a gift from me to you."


Yes, that's right, I've just been given a guitar! How awesome's that! Apparently it's been hanging round a while from a previous occupant of the house. Awesome I say, awesome.

Officially gone back to work now, though my supervisor's on holiday so I can see myself getting at a loose end pretty soon. Handed in my literature review too. Lets hope that goes down OK. I'm not really enjoying my job at the moment, but I'm sure it'll pick up. Oooooh! I did some excercise yesterday! Oh yes, I'm actually gonna start doing excercise proper. I refuse to spend my life blobbing away like some sort of amorphous blob. So I'm gonna start swimming at least a few times a week... but really this time... I hope.

I'm sure I had some other news, but I can't remember what it was. Ah well, in the mean time, I've been tagged by sabyne to do one of these meme malarkies. Enjoy!

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.
6. Tag five people.

"More better kai-kai," he said, presenting it to us. I unpacked it and found six square loaves of bread and six bottles of anonymous fizzy lemonade. He had bought both bread and bottles from a trade store some twenty miles up the coast to which he had just delivered a load of copra.

Hmmm... I feel I have stumbled upon rather an unrevealing set of sentences.

Tagging - well I don't normally do tagging, so tag yourselves. I tagged you! Yes you! so go do it. Toodles
Yo yo yo peeps, whatcha, wiggedy woggedy wo, sup and all that jazz - That's right, I'm hip. You wish you were as cool as me but get up out of my grill, I'm trying to cook. I've no idea what's going on. Just felt like writing some nonsense which sounds like the sort of things the young whippersnappers are saying nowadays.

Anyways, for some reason, my mind is moving in random directions at the moment. Well it's not that unusual, but normally I at least get moments of some sort of clarity. Right now, it's becoming rather difficult to string an entire idea together in my head because my mind is wandering all over the shop. That's possibly a good thing at this instant since it stops me thinking about anything serious for too long, but it's gonna be a pain when I wanna go to sleep.

Anyways, there was something I was gonna write down here, but I forget. Spent some time with my grandpapa (Gagham is his name due to my eldest brother's apparent inability to say granddad, similarly, my other granddad was pom pom derived from grandpa). I love old people when they talk even though they don't really listen to what you say in response. They just say what they wanna say, remain quiet while you respond, and then carry on with what they were saying without any acknowledgement of what you said or any clue that they might have actually taken any of it in. Nice. Unfortunately, my grandpa reads 'The Daily Express' which is almost identical to 'The Daily Mail' (are they run by the same people? I have it in my head the people who do the London Evening Standard do both those papers). Anywho, These papers pretty much blame everything bad that's ever happened in the world ever on immigrants.

I don't know if he buys the paper because he's a bit racist or whether he's a bit racist cos it's the only paper he reads. Anyways, a little racism is always forgivable in someone his age (83 tomorrow, woot!), in fact sometimes it's quite endearing. E.g. when he forgets my cats names, he calls the black one Sambo. I know I'd probably think differently if I saw him call a black person Sambo, but I don't think he actually would.

Anywhos, sorry about the great incoherency of this post. My mind feels like it's on speed.
Howdy doody! Long time no post! Well I meant to post again before I went down to London for New Year, but, well, I didn't. I was busy eating and trying to finish my first draft of my literature review so I could have a break while in London (successfully I might add!). I set off down to London on the 30th and managed to do quite a bit while down there. As you may have noticed in the past, the longer I leave between posts, the less coherent the post is. Well this is no exception, so sorry.

Here you might expect an account of my new year's celebrations, but there is a problem. In my memory, there is the fun of much drinking of wine, amarula and the odd alcopop at Alex's place and a very vague memory of use leaving for a pub in Soho at around 9.30pm. I even have a very small recollection of me travelling up an escalator from the tube and announcing happy new year to the people going down the other escalator (apparently most people were delighted with the well-wishing, but one American tourist was decidedly hostile - meh, I wonder why). Then there is a big huge giant gap in my memory which only stops with me waking up the following morning! Now this isn't the usual drunken memory loss you get with much haziness and the remembering of a few things here and there. There isn't the whole remembrance thing where someone tells you something you did and you go "Shit, ohhhhhhhhh yeeahh!" Nope. Nothing. Not a smidge.

I know I was out and apparently had a whale of a time. I've had various accounts and photos (oh god the photos - in one I even look distinctly Harold-esque) of the evening. There are pictures of me looking especially foolish and especially drunken as you might imagine. I've been told of the much hugging that I did (I can be very touchy feely as a drunk, but not in a pervy way, in a huggy way) and of much kissing of people's heads (I don't know). Beyond that, I'm lost. I've been accounted for for most of the evening though, so I'm pretty sure I wasn't date raped (It's my double-chin they normally find irresistible). However, apparently I disappeared at about 1am from the pub in Soho and was not seen again til they found me at home substantially later. So, now there's a whole section of an evening where anything could've happened! Who knows???

Anywhos, the rest of the week went pretty good but I'm too lazy to write about any of it. I saw a bunch of friends and did a bunch of your normal drinking and eating in social hootenannies as you might expect. The best bits are when Alex and I FINALLY went to the biggest second hand bookshop in London, Quinto's, which is opposite the British Museum. It doesn't look that big, but the ceilings are pretty tall and the books go all the way up and you have to use those ladders tee hee awesome! We ended up going there two days in a row because we're just cool like that. Other than that, not much to report other than that I now miss London and my London-friends more than ever. DAMN! Oh and I've been doing far too much thinking over the last week (never a good thing really), but that may well be the subject of a later, far more self-deprecating blah blah blah post.

Hope all is well with you people! Toodles.

Dec. 26th, 2006

HAAAAAAA! I love this song! It's fifties blues sensation Billy Boy Arnold. I'll tell you what disturbs me. He doesn't have his own wikipedia page!!! I mean for fuck's sake!!! Mr Blobby has his own wikipedia page, but not Billy Boy Arnold!!! Take my word for it - he's a legend of the Chicago blues scene of the fifties. You may know his song "I Ain't Got You," made famous by the Yardbirds. Anyways, back to the song. The entire basis of this song is Billy Boy very nearly saying rude things but not quite. The more astute among you may notice that the title "Loving Mother For You", when said in a certain way, sounds quite similar to "Loving Mother Fucker."

My personal favourite verse is:

"Sister went to milking but she didn't know how,
She grabbed a bull instead of a cow,
Run here mama and run here quick,
Sister got the bull by the head of his..."

Despite how crude it appears written down, it sounds kinda innocent in a childish giggly way to me. Add to that some great blues/rock 'n' roll piano and guitar accompaniment and it's some good shit. I'll upload it at some point when I get back to Manchester.

Anyways, enough of the song I'm listening to and back to life. I had an OK boxing day. In the small amount of morning remaining after sleeping in, I read a bit, but early in the afternoon, I had to head off to a pub meal with my brother, mother and father. OH GOD! It was one of the most uncomfortable things I've ever had to sit through. My mother really starts acting very rude in a moany kinda way around my dad. Luckily, my dad and brother decided a good way of picking up the conversation was to mock me. For the last few years, my dad's had an obsession with pointing out how much fatter I am than him. Add to that the "When are you gonna learn to drive?" "Your flexible working time means you have a lazy job" and the brother joining in and it's all fun fun fun for Paul.

What's worse is the pub we went to. It looked like a nice pub, a proper local. I think it would've been a good place to have a few drinks and a good place to read. To eat, not good. The service was terrible and the menu wasn't pub food. It was more what you'd expect to find in a greasy spoon. Anyways, the meal wasn't exactly a hoot, but meh, 'sonly a couple of hours.

Afterwards my Pops and I went off for a walk in Hardcastle Crags, an area of countryside well known to all brought up around Calderdale. It's a lovely place to go a-walking. Due to the time of year, we couldn't walk for that long since it gets dark early. However, by the end we were walking in quite dark twilight. I love walking by twilight. It makes it feel as though what you're seeing is not quite real. I think it may be because it's at that sort of light level where you're starting to use your rods more and your cones less. This means that your resolution goes down as does your perception of colour. However, because there are obviously differences in light levels around, you see some things as vividly coloured and other things as virtually black and white and also less clearly. It's really funky! I need to do it more often.

I miss all the walking I did around London. Where I live in Manchester, there's not really anywhere to walk to. I don't have a lovely 2hr round trip to Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and the Houses of Parliament. This isn't helped that on three sides of Levenshulme are rough areas that you wouldn't really want to walk into at night. Not to mention the fact that it's much less well lit than London.

Anyways, it was a good walk. Since then I've had to be doing a whole bunch of work on my literature review. It's taking so much longer than I thought it would. AAAGGHH!!! Anyways, toodle-oo.
Ah, mother's say the sweetest things. I love my mother: We were watching the news last night and it was on about Iran getting sanctions from the UN and Mum said "Why can't they all just get along???" AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW... nice.

Anyways, here's a merry christmas to ye and a happy new year though I've no doubt I'll be back on here before then. Ho ho ho and all that jazz.
I was just watching a little bit of Top of the Pops 2 when getting a drink to help ease my literature review work along and Cliff Richard was on singing a new christmas song called "21st Century Christmas." It's incredibly awful as you might expect from Cliff Richard. It sounds like one of those horrible American christian rock bands *vomit*. Anyways, the point is that it brings up the perennial question which occurs to me (does it occur to anyone else, or is it just me?): Why on earth was Cliff Richard popular during the sixties (not to mention the seventies and eighties but lets keep this small)?

I think that America has managed to almost completely avoid the disastrous phenomenon that is Cliff Richard. In the UK, however, he became popular in the fifties and remained popular ALL THE WAY THROUGH the sixties. It baffles me. This is the time when people like The Beatles, Bob Dylan (BOB DYLAN!!!), The Rolling Stones, Nina Simone, Odetta, Marvin Gaye etc. etc. etc. Obviously I could go on for a long time. Anywhos, you get my point. Why, in an era of such immense talent, could someone so incredibly shite be so popular??? And why is he still known??? People of lesser annoyance such as Herman's Hermits (I don't care, I like them) have been almost forgotten while Cliff Richard still drones on and on and on. ARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!! Anyways, enough of that rant. If I can't rant it here, well then what's the point?

Soooooooooooooooooo, I feel like these past few months I've been a bit pants at this whole updating malarky. It's probably because I've had to do the updating at work and so I don't feel that comfortable writing personal stuff and I don't feel right spending too much time on non-work stuff. I know, it's sad but true. Hopefully when we eventually get internet sorted in the house in Manchester, I'll update properly more often. As for now, I don't have heaps to say I'm afraid.

Amy, Amy's sis Anna and I went to the cinema in Bradford today. We all went to see 'The Santa Clause 3.' I know what you're thinking - why on earth would someone with such impeccable taste like Paul be going to see something which looks so shite? Well my furry friends, Amy and I really like Martin Short, who plays Jack Frost in this film. In most films, he's the fool and falls over a lot in a slap-stick manner. Films you may have seen him in include all the 'Father of the Bride' films (Steve Martin annoys me too much for me to like these though), Get Over It (I don't care what you say ms_elusive, I think it's hilarious) and of course, the Three Fugitives. Anyways, as you might expect, the film was indeed shite, but Amy and I somewhat enjoyed the Martin Short-ness of it all.

Other highlights of the film were Judge Reinhold (FUCK YEAH!!! Vice Versa was one of my favourite films of childhood) and Alan Arkin, who was pretty darn good and Amy assures me is fantastic in 'Little Miss Sunshine' which I have yet to see.

Anyways, enough of my incoherency and random ranting. Hope all is happy and festive where you are.

Well some of it kinda works

Sorry, I've been doing far too many of these meme malarkies recently, but I'm a very bored child when I'm waiting for a PCR to finish and a gel to destain. Enjoy, I know I did.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, cheeesuschrist sent to me...
Twelve thundercats drumming
Eleven neighbours piping
Ten musicals a-leaping
Nine penguins dancing
Eight yardbirds a-milking
Seven blues a-skiing
Six sonnets a-reading
Five bi-i-i-ill withers
Four tom waits
Three dylan thomas
Two norah jones
...and a blackadder in a poetry.
Get your own Twelve Days:
I'm still being particularly grumpy at the moment. I don't know what's wrong. Nothing in particular really. Maybe it's that old SAD, but I think that's probably balls. From what I hear, SAD doesn't really affect that many people - they just think it does. Anywhos, got my Mum a computer for christmas, so I had to be go home to accept delivery on Tuesday. It's nice to be at home where I don't really have proper responsibilities and I can have home-cooked meals and spy the christmas cake. Also, I didn't realise how much I missed my room at home. It's great being completely surrounded by books and CDs. It's quite cramped because of all my shite, but I like that - it feels cosy.

So 'tis the season for christmas parties. Last night was the MIB christmas party (my building) which was pretty fun. It started off a bit slow and the labs tend to keep to themselves somewhat, but after a few chugs of social lubricant, the younger sorts started slithering into different groups and having a good old-fashioned drunken socialising session. It was definitely really good to get to know some of the younger people in the building, presenting possible future socialising opportunities woot (I really should put that in a less geeky way). My Mum rang at about 10pm though, struggling using the printer at home, so I had to leave and explain step by step how to do everything. I realised on the journey back to Levenshulme though that it was probably good that I left because I couple more drinks would have probably taken me back to vom city.

Anywhos, tomorrow is some beer + pizza thing for all the Life Sciences 1st year PhD students and Tuesday is our lab's Christmas dinner, so it should all be fun. Ooooooooh and today we had port and mince pies in our lab meeting. Apparently we had our first person looking round our house yesterday. I haven't seen my housemates since though, so I don't know what's going on. Hope all is just zippedeedoodah and hopefully I'll have stopped being grumpy soon.