Monday 23 June 2008

Seven Songs

Merrick tagged me with this:

“List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your [summer]. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they’re listening to.”

I should warn you that my taste in music is just as chaotic as everything else in my life, which at least should keep everybody awake. Sorry that I’ve been extremely lazy and linked almost everything to YouTube – please try not to get too distracted there by searching for talking cats.

Other disclaimers: I’ve gone for what I’m honestly listening to right now rather than turning it into “My Top Seven Tracks Ever,” and if you asked me again next week I’d probably pick seven completely different and equally random tracks. Also I’m totally useless at describing music, so you’ll have to use the links to find out what it all sounds like. Come back and tell me if you like them though.

1. “Two of Us” by Aimee Mann – cute, summery, close harmonies – yum.

2. “Oops Oh My” by Tweet and Missy Elliot – loud and dark and sexy. Strangely I find it sexier without the skinny nearly-naked women in the weird ice palace thing, but they’re here if you want them.

3. “Revolve” by Hush the Many – I first heard this a couple of days ago when Merrick did this meme, and now I can’t turn it off – thanks Merrick! I love animation, especially when it’s kind of dark and creepy.

4. “Bobby Brown” by Frank Zappa. Also pretty dark and creepy, although in a different way…

5. “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum – because I’m off to Glastonbury festival tomorrow, and because my mum warped my musical taste early on. She wants this at her funeral, which might be rather odd at an otherwise very pointedly Jesus-free event. Mum’s having Elvis instead of Jesus.

6. This choice shall be known only as “Malcolm Middleton – Choir Eddie Cointreaus 2008 Redo” – not because I’m deliberately trying to be obscure, but because someone posted me that link, it’s something their friend did, and I’m not even certain that I’m strictly supposed to tell anyone else about it. But I love it. So sue me.

7. ELO “Hold on Tight” Apparently when I was very little I thought the lyric was “Hold on tight ‘til you’re three,” and imagined that something amazing would happen to me on my third birthday. If it did I can’t remember, but I did hold on.

So, I’ve managed to do seven things I’m currently listening to without mentioning this by Howard Jones (discovered by accident when I got a Robert Knight song in my head) or the theme tune to the chipmunks. Phew!

Might do some more of this when I get back from Glastonbury, if there’s any call for it. I promise to tag seven other people when I get back too, but it’s very late now and I need to pack my tent, which I put up in my living room three days ago. It seemed like a good idea at the time…

Wednesday 18 June 2008

Let Me In

Everyone liked "Wake Up Cat" so much that I thought I'd better post the new one "Let Me In", also starring Simon's Cat

"Wake Up Cat" can now be found here

Sunday 15 June 2008

Change of Address

I mentioned recently that I've been having big problems with, who have provided my e-mail account for a couple of years now and who are crap. I just about managed to dump them before they dumped me this week, but not without spending several sunny days indoors staring at a stupid computer screen. Sorry if I’ve been ignoring you.

When I first set up my account I couldn't get it to talk to Outlook properly/at all so I ended up just leaving everything on the server, and it was oh-so-convenient to be able to access it all from any computer anywhere. This did eventually mean having two years worth of correspondence saved somewhere out in cyberspace and not backed up anywhere, but hey, that’s not a problem when it’s all working fine, and what could possibly go wrong…?

A few days ago, just as I was beginning to get warnings about having reached my capacity and needing to delete some old messages, Bluebottle sent an email to all their users to let us know that they're no longer going to be providing free accounts, we have ten days to download any of our correspondence that we'd like to keep, and then please would we bugger off if we're not going to give them any money.

“Panic” would be too strong a word considering the way I’d probably feel about, say, finding that I’d fallen into a polar bear’s private swimming pool, or being trapped in a lift for 41 hours, but I was pretty quick to send a pathetic message to Techie Friend begging him to come over and make it work please. Techie Friend being good at this kind of thing, it now does work in that all 3000+ messages that were on the server are now on my machine and won’t be deleted by Bluebottle. Unfortunately, the downloading process and the fact that I haven’t bothered to organise anything into folders for two years means that I now just have a very very long list of messages in no particular order. In fact it looks quite a lot like my paper filing system.

I've spent nearly four hours today putting thousands of messages into 38 sub-folders in Thunderbird. This is in addition to time spent persuading five Yahoo groups to use my new address, trying to somehow capture all the e-mail addresses I've ever used which Bluebottle holds onto forever in a massive, badly-punctuated list rather than permit me to keep a proper address book, changing 38 subscriptions to various accounts and websites many of which I'd forgotten I had, and writing to everyone I’ve ever met to let actual real people know my new address.

So, apologies to anyone reading this who has written to me recently and who I haven’t yet replied to.

If you still only have either of my old addresses then my new one is the same username – I will get anything sent to the riseup address, but the process of moving has left me with three different inboxes and a large folder called “dump” which is going to take me a while to sort through. I will reply to you all, but for the moment you are probably marked blue for “To Do” in a funky new Thunderbird folder somewhere.

I honestly don't remember it being this hard to change my physical address, although it has been a while since I've moved house and I'm probably forgetting.

On the plus side, I've got my new address talking to Thunderbird to avoid ever having all this hassle again. I can now do italics and different colours and all kinds of exciting things, and other people's text gets wrapped rather than keeping going for six feet or so off my screen to the right. Unwrapped text quite unfairly makes people seem very longwinded. I haven't even started on creating my own mailing lists yet, but look out world…