Month: June 2005

A Million Little Pieces

a million little pieces by james frey

I’ve read a few books like this not many and occasionally it’s seemed to be a design decision rather than a writing decision the reasoning more to do with being clever or arty or whatever but for this book it feels right correct spot on and definitely matches the mood and content of the book. The only other book which has unusual prose that I consider is valid for the style of the book is American Tabloid and whilst I wouldn’t place this book in the same league as anything by James Ellroy it is still an excellent read.

On it goes like this page after page after page and soon you don’t notice and it’s just the way it is after a few pages it’s nothing new at all it feels right even though you know it’s wrong.

At times it’s hard to read so much detail the thoughts hammering hammering hammering into your head, the pain and suffering feeling more real as you match the stream of consciousness style prose skipping your brain along in time helping you empathise with the character. There are some gruesome moments moments to laugh at moments to cry at and it’s all real Yes it’s all real every word this is not a novel this is an autobiography and as that realisation hits you it becomes all the more powerful more effecting affecting real real real.

If you can get past the way it’s written the story of a recovering addict a man seriously close to losing everything family friends and life itself then you’ll be easily drawn in rivetted repulsed and engrossed in this gruesome disgusting heartwarming and uplifting story.

More information from the author himself.

UPDATE: You can read an excerpt of the book here which gives an idea of what it’s like.

And re-reading it, my review completely fails to capture just how involving and affecting it was to read this book. But then it’d take a lot longer to capture WHY that is than I have time for at the moment.

And relax…

Car Tax purchased. Phew.

Highly entertaining little old lady at the Post Office as well, insisted on talking to the entire queue about how she didn’t look it but she was 65. It was quite obvious that she was older than that but it made everyone smile and chuckle.

However it did highlight a problem with the new Chip and Pin cards. She couldn’t hear the man behind the screen and when he asked her if she wanted to withdraw all of her pension – he was shouting so everyone could hear him – she said yes, that she got £85 and was entitled to it! Would she put in her pin number, he asked. Yes she said, it’s …..

Awful. She took a while getting her pension sorted and we ended up leaving around the same time. I let her walk in front of me and I followed her into town, for some reason wary that someone may have overheard.

Anyway, that wasn’t what I wanted to talk about (I do have a question about post titles still but that can keep, it’s boring me now). Are the new .xxx domain names a good thing?

I say yes, it should make filtering p*rn sites a lot easier.

Other new domains that have just been approved:

  • .xxx (approved)
  • .jobs (approved)
  • .travel (approved)
  • .cat (approved)
  • .post (approved)
  • .mobi (approved)

The temptation to rush off and purchase www.kitty.cat is very tempting…

Cardiac Pixie

To follow on from yesterday’s posts – and I suggest you have a quick skim of it and the comments or none of the following will make sense (but then, does it ever?) – I’d like to delve further into the whole “post titles” thang, how do you use them and what that may say about you (or quite possibly I’ll ramble on a bit and try to pretend that I’m quite clever).

Firstly a confession.

Bless me father, for I have sinned. I do not consider how people may find my site, I do not consider what they may be looking for when they come to my site, I am an evil sinner and by the power of the almighty Google, I ask for your forgiveness, blessing, and enough traffic to justify having adverts (subsequently allowing me to retire at 35).

Phew, that feels better. Now, where was I? Ohh yes.. just let me put away the ritual devil worshipping skull rosary beads.

Post titles then.

As Adrian notes my posts have a tendency to span topics, it’s an affliction brought on by this current design – I can’t bear the thought of a three line post sitting beneath those big green letters, so out of proportion *shudders* – and something I’ll be addressing soon(ish).

So what is my method? Well most of the time is startlingly similar to everyone else’s. I either go with something relevant and meaningful, something I reserve for factual posts (lessons, articles, whatever you want to call them), or I grab a song snippet or pop culture phrase. Lastly I use the Pirillo method.

This method is highly advanced and not for the faint hearted. It can take some time to master but is good to have as a fall back when the title fairy refuses to sprinkle some pixie dust on my brain. The tip itself was gleaned from an early edition of the Lockergnome newsletter (highly recommended).

So, if you think you can handle it, I’ll give you the method. Those of faint-heart should skip to the next paragraph (bemusement from reading my site is one thing, cardiac arrests quite another). Ready? It’s simple really leave the title to last and, once you’ve written your post, randomly pick two or three words to make the title. Simple. Typically your title will be nonsense and completely baffling but hey, no-one reads the titles, do they!?

OK, for those that skipped ahead I’ll be honest, it’s not that big a deal, go back and read the paragraph, the rest of us will meet you at the start of the next one (they gone? what a couple of suckers!).

And there you have, ladies and gentlepeeps, my cut out and throwaway guide on how to title your posts.

Now, the next bit is hidden from general view and is specifically in response to the comment the pixellated diva left on the post below. I have a feeling I know which will garner the most comments today… (and I know who’ll be first, although he’ll now spite me by not commenting until someone else has… you watch…).
Read More

Sated Blueprints

Whilst I realise I’m not hugely representative of “mice and men”, I’m currently struggling to plan and control several different projects both at home and at work. Now, I’ve yet to finish reading Getting Things Done, and I have been trying to implement some of the ideas, but I’ve not had time (and for those who’ve read the book – yes yes, I know!!) to clear the slate. Evidence is below should it be required.

It has a knock on effect here I think. Blogging becomes a chore but is an “easy” diversion, and other things that I prefer doing leap to the top of the queue, knocking things like “buy car tax” below where it should be (and I didn’t set a date for it.. doh!).

Enough of my nonsense! I say. Although ALL of this is my nonsense, but you know what I mean. Onto other matters then.

A question for you bloggers; Presuming you have them, how do you go about titling your posts?

I’ll take the one above as an example. The thought in my head when I started to write this was “best laid plans of mice and men”. Now I happened to remember that I’ve used “Mice and Men” as a post title before, and whilst I’m not bothered about repeating these things, I do like to put a teeny bit of thought into it. Hence the above.

Laid Plans. Laid = Sated. Plans = Blueprints. Simple. No?

Hey I never said the thought was logical.

Well it’s either that or bizarre references to songs and as no-one mentions them I presume they skim right over your heads (I expected better from you though, yes YOU, you there. You know who you are).

Random thought, my wife is blonde, almost every woman on my “allowed list” is brunette*. Is that because no other blonde could compare? Or because, and this is more probable, I prefer brunettes? Anyway, I’ll go with the first one I think, just in case.

And, darling, if you read this just remember. You’re exactly the same!**

* Helena Christensen, Lisa Snowdon, Angelina Jolie, Liv Tyler, Kirsty Gallacher, Alyssa Milano…
** Tom Cruise, Adrian McMahon, bloke in Smallville, bloke in Roswell…

Ohh and HELLO GOOGLE!

Wrinkles

As a very old and very wise man once said: “Problems will only occur if someone else fucks up”.

Well I’m not sure if he was particularly wise but he was very VERY old.

Anyway, it turns out you can’t rename your Car Tax online if you don’t have an electronic MOT. You also can’t do it by phone. This is doubly frustrating as our car DOESN’T NEED A MOT!!!!!!

So having been through their online system once more last night, where it states that “where applicable” you may be asked for electronic MOT details, and through their phone system which states the same, and both times the application process just stops with no explanation, I now find myself typing up a blog entry whilst waiting to speak to a human being.

I’m currently pondering if the system is screwed up deliberately to make it impossible for people to get the Car Tax and so incurring a fine. I’m also pondering that I should have done this last week. I’m also pondering that we are currently without a valid car insurance certificate (it’s in the post) as I’ve only just renewed it. Maybe I’d better organise that first…

Ahhh yes, but a fax cover letter won’t be accepted, will it? Arse.

Yup, DVLA have confirmed that it needs to be an original cover letter. Which we don’t have as “it was a bank holiday on Monday” which means the letter wasn’t sent out until yesterday. Clever online system that, knows when it’s a bank holiday…

So, no Car Tax, no proof of Car Insurance, and the advice from the DVLA is “to keep the car off the road”. That’ll be the car that Louise has at work, that she needs to use to get to work as there aren’t any buses.

So now is where I hold up my hands and say I should have organised all this last week.

Won’t stop me emailing the DVLA to tell them their online Car Tax system is crap though (that bit most certainly ISN’T my fault).

God, I hope today gets better. Thoroughly fucked off now.