Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bladar, or, I see black people

Here's a rule you need to know about the life of ethnic peoples here: if you start in, say, London, and go north, the further you go, the less black people you will see. I, with my hapa-self, constitute about 15% of the black population in Edinburgh. Since I've come to Scotland-land, I've been cultivating my Bladar. (Actually I don't know if I like this name, but I can't think of anything else.) Essentially: I'm keenly aware of when black people are around, mostly cos I see so few.

And my Bladar went off on Saturday:

After my match (we won 5 sets to nil, in case you were wondering), I had to stick around and referee the match after ours. The team they played came from Dundee, north of us. Remembering the rule first mentioned, you have to know that there ain't really 'posed to be no black folks up there.

The Dundee team was warming up. I wasn't paying too much attention, as I was trying to get my things together after the match, but the Bladar was going off. And there he was. Fine, the blackness was way back there in a couple of generations, but he definitely was black. Even if he didn't know it, I knew it. The Bladar doesn't lie.

To the untrained eye, you would think that he was a regular old white person. But no, my friend, he was not. The odd pasty colour -- not quite white -- was signal number one. The ginger (red) hair was number two -- clear sign of a black person who's all mixed up with the predominate culture (read: white folks). Third was the high-jacked booty.

My pal Macca thought I was crazy. "That boy is pure Scottish," she said. "But.. he can jump." As they say where I'm from, she has come to recognise.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Party playlist

Can I run the playlist for my party past you all? The problem is, most people coming to the party don't listen to hip-hop or rap. This list is me toning down the inclusion of it. Ha ha. Thing is, I want upbeat songs, but a variety of genres and from different times. Tell me what songs I should leave out -- or include.

How Do You Want It - 2pac
Disco Inferno - 50 Cent
Tootsie Roll - 69 Boys
Back and Forth - Aaliyah
I Saw The Sign - Ace Of Base
1 Thing - Amerie
Every Heartbeat - Amy Grant
Iesha - Another Bad Creation
Eleanor Rigby - Aretha Franklin
Chain Of Fools - Aretha Franklin
Tennessee - Arrested Development
Roam - The B-52's
Hazy Shade of Winter - The Bangles
One Week - Barenaked Ladies
Watch Out Now - The Beatnuts
No Escapin' This - The Beatnuts
Loser - Beck
Girls Dem Sugar (feat Mya) - Beenie Man
Poison - Bell Biv DeVoe
Rush - Big Audio Dynamite II
Still Not a Player - Big Punisher
Get Your Roll On - Big Tymers
Lets Get it Started - The Black Eyed Peas
Pump It - The Black Eyed Peas
Definition - Black Star
Hey Leonardo - Blessid Union Of Souls
No Rain - Blind Melon
One Way or Another - Blondie
Run-Around - Blues Traveler
Motownphilly - Boys II Men
Things That Make You Go Hmmm... - C+C Music Factory
Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) - C+C Music Factory
Galvanise - Chemical Brothers
The One and Only - Chesney Hawkes
Come On Over ( All I Want Is You) - Christina Aguilera
Ain't No Other Man - Christina Aguillera
Say I - Christina Millian feat Young Jeezy
1-2 Step (feat. Missy Elliot) - Ciara
Booty Bidness - Cody Cods
No Me Jodas - Cody Cods
Dan The Head - Cody Cods
Freak I Am - Cody Cods
I Wanna Sex You Up - Color Me Badd
The Light - Common
Flavor in your Ear - Craig Mack
100% Pure Love - Crystal Waters
Ants Go Marching - Dave Matthews Band
Electric Youth - Debbie Gibson
Groove Is In the Heart - Deee-Lite
Breakfast at Tiffany's - Deep Blue Something
Roll To Me - Del Amitri
Jumpin', Jumpin' - Destiny's Child
No No No, Part 2 - Destiny's Child
Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat) - Digable Planets
The Humpty Dance - Digital Underground
I Know - Dionne Ferris
Let Me Clear My Throat - DJ Kool
Ruff Ryders' Anthem - DMX
Gin & Juice - Dr Dre & Snoop Doggy Dogg
Party All The Time - Eddie Murphy & Rick James
Hound Dog - Elvis Presley
Free - Estelle
Lean Back - Fat Joe, Remy & Terror Squad
London Bridge - Fergie
Good Thing - Fine Young Cannibals
Ready or Not - The Fugees
Follow You Down - Gin Blossoms
Hey Jealousy - Gin Blossoms
Stomp (remix ft. Kirk Franklin & Salt) - God's Property
You Can Do It - Ice Cube
We Be Clubbin - Ice Cube
Funkier Than a Mosquita's Tweeter - Ike & Tina Turner
Legend Of A Cowgirl - Imani Coppola
Listen Me Tic - Ini Kamoze
Devil Inside - INXS
This Old Heart Of Mine - The Isley Brothers
Get Up (Sex Machine) - James Brown
I Got The Feelin' - James Brown
Think - James Brown
Miss You Much - Janet Jackson
Alright - Janet Jackson
Izzo (HOVA) - Jay-Z
Hard Knock Life - Jay-Z & Original Broadway Cast
Let's Get Loud - Jennifer Lopez
Jenny From The Block - Jennifer Lopez
Right Here, Right Now - Jesus Jones
Crush On You - The Jets
Foxy Lady - The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Can You See Me - The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Pump It Up - Joe Budden
Oh Yes - Juelz Santana
There You Go - Juelz Santana
Come Baby Come - K7
I Predict a Riot - Kaiser Chiefs
Touch the Sky - Kanye West
Jump, Jump - Kriss Kross
Random - Lady Sovereign
Doo Wop (That Thing) - Lauryn Hill
Forward, Never Scared & Stand Up Tall (Remix) - Lethal Bizzle ft. Busta Rhymes, Lil Jon & Dizzee Rascal
Get Low - Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz
The Jump Off - Lil' Kim
Crush on You - Lil' Kim
LDN - Lily Allen
Let the Beat Hit 'Em - Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
Number One Spot - Ludacris
Harder To Breathe - Maroon 5
This Love - Maroon 5
Breathe, Stretch, Shake - Mase
Make Em Say Uh - Master P
2 Legit 2 Quit - MC Hammer
No More Lies - Michel'le
Girl You Know It's True - Milli Vanilli
Sunshine To The Rain - Miri Ben-Ari ft Scarface & Anthony Hamilton
Ching Ching - Miss Jade feat. Nelly Furtado and Timbaland
We Run This - Missy Elliott
This Is How We Do It - Montell Jordan
Universal Magnetic - Mos Def
Lights, Camera, Action - Mr Cheeks
What the Hook Gone Be - Murphy Lee
Shake Ya Ass - Mystikal
Wonder - Natalie Merchant
These Words - Natasha Bedingfield
Hip Hop Horray - Naughty By Nature
Shake Ya Tail Feather - Nelly feat. P. Diddy and Murphy Lee
Hangin' Tough - New Kids On The Block
Like A Feather - Nikka Costa
Spider Webs - No Doubt
Hypnotize - The Notorious B.I.G.
Boys Will Be Boys - The Ordinary Boys
Shout - Otis Redding
The Way You Move - Outkast
Forever Your Girl - Paula Abdul
Club Banger - Petey Pablo
Raise Up (North Carolina Dirty) - Petey Pablo
It's all About the Benjamins (Remix) - Puff Daddy feat. The Notorious BIG, Lil Kim, & The Lox
Breathe And Stop - Q-Tip
Let's Ride - Q-Tip
Vivrant Thing - Q-Tip
What's the Frequency Kenneth? - REM
Stand - REM
She Wants to Dance With Me - Rick Astley
Superfreak - Rick James
It Takes Two - Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock
Dangerous - Roxette
Do You Really Want Me - Salt-N-Pepa
Champagne - Salt-N-Pepa
Don't You (Forget About Me) - Simple Minds
All For You - Sister Hazel
1979 - Smashing Pumpkins
Informer - Snow
Sweat - Sons of Steel
Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think) - The Specials
Two Princes - Spin Doctors
Nothing's Gonna to Stop Us Now - Starship
Fly - Sugar Ray
She's So High - Tal Bachman
Get Ready - The Temptations
Ain't Too Proud To Beg - The Temptations
Luv 2 Luv U (Remix) - Timbaland And Magoo
Creep - TLC
Aint Too Proud To Beg - TLC
All I Want - Toad the Wet Sprocket
Local Girls - Typical Hawaiians
Vertigo - U2
Yeah - Usher feat. Lil Jon and Ludacris
Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice
Switch - Will Smith
Land of 1000 Dances - Wilson Pickett
Hey Now - Xzibit

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A new phenomenom

Yesterday was spent celebrating Volleyball Best Pal's (VBP) birthday. She had a bit of an impromptu celebration, not sure if she really was interested in doing anything. Boy and I spent from Thursday to yesterday debating her age. I knew my pal was a year younger than me, more or less, therefore only becoming 29. He was convinced she was hitting 3-0, mostly because of the text she sent him on Thursday, inviting us to the last-minute party:
    Hey, going to have a small thing at the flat on Thursday, celebrating my passage into old c*** status...
Is that some British code word? I asked Boy. He seemed to think that it was implying she was turning 30. Anyway, in the end, I was right: she is only 29.

After some drinks and chat at her's, we went off to a club. The Citrus Club was chosen cos it was supposed to be playing 60s cheesy music on their "Indie" night. And it was free entry before 11.30. "Cheap and cheerful" was VBP's motto for the night. I personally should have left after the drinks cos that shit is clearly not my thing. But she is VBP and I love her to bits, so I thought that I would do it for her.

The cheesy 60s music never arrived -- well, if you call Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady" cheesy, then it did (and we had to cajole the DJ into even playing that). Mostly it was rock music, not bad, but we were there to dance. Most of it was too slow and only good for singing along with. And British people love a good sing-a-long. They would much prefer standing on the dance floor, arm linked, singing. Then they would have to pretend that they weren't pants at dancing. And they are, generally speaking, pants at dancing.

Apparently, this is what "Indie" nights are. VBP's partner, Niles, explained this concept to me. He assured me that we would be hearing Stone Roses' "Waterfalls" tonight, which, sure enough we did. Sign of a typical Indie night, he said. This was blowing my mind. So, all this bad music to dance to -- it was on purpose? Niles gave me a look, basically: don't expect anything more.

And with that revelation, I made my way to VBP on the dance floor. She didn't seem to be enjoying the music that greatly, but she's the kind of person that can do a drunken sway to just about anything. With Niles hunkered down with his extra-large can of Red Stripe, not about to nag her about leaving, she had no worries. I begged off, kissed her good-night, and made my way to the chippy's, the place I had been trying to get us to. Ah, nothing like a late night chippy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My pickiness is so embarrassing

Friend Roofer (aka, "The Party Planner", aka "The One Who Makes Things Happen") sends me this email today:

    hope this finds you in cracking form. soooooo everything is looking good for the party, do not panic! (Boy) is doing a grand job of organising everything in great detail. only thing is he can't remember the name of that cake shop you mentioned, can you let me know what it is purlease?

    cheers dude,

What in the world is Boy telling her? Fine, this is a well-established fact among the peeps that know Army Autumn -- the perfection-seeking missiles; my desire, like a four-star general, for precision and control. Until now, I've been able to hide that from Roofer.

Anyway, I write back, as normally as possible:

    I was thinking that he might be able to get something from Manna House. But that's not set in stone. Any nice cake shop would be good. Any kind of cake, but please no, no, NO nuts of any kind, as one of my closest friends has a severe nut allergy. And no raisins, sultanas, etc, as I just hate them. And not a chocolate cake, either. And nothing with a hard frosting, cos I don't like anything like that (that's not a very American thing). I like untraditional kinds of things. Maybe a pie. Or cupcakes. But otherwise, anything is good. Ha ha.

Could I BE a bigger control freak? I think the problem is is that I know too much. Boy is so concerned in vexing me with this party -- doing something that I will absolutely hate -- that he's running everything by me. Sort of defeats the purpose of a surprise party. I think that if it all just happened, then I would probably just get over it.

Except for the cake. The cake better damn well be right.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

An invasion, aka I, Pigpen

Right. So ever since our trip to France (did you look at and appreciate the pictures, you buggas?), two things have happened. One, I never gave the girl who took care of the dogs any money. Pet is a friend from volleyball -- actually my only American friend over here. She said that she was happy to do it, no money. But Boy and I agreed at the outset that we would anyway. But I've not been able to get to to her. We got back in August! So, now that it's October, is it just slack for me to hand her over £30? "Here, I'm the biggest numptie in the world."

The other thing is that my house has flies. Pet must have not actually stayed here, cos we found a lot of mikons were just rotting when we got home, with loads of fruit flies. And the buggas have stayed. Part of it has to do with the summer. It was warmer than usual, attracting a lot more animals that the Scottish permafrost of July would have normally killed. The ones swarming my head as I speak (I am Pigpen), are larger than fruit flies, but smaller than houseflies. They are wily, evolved beings, always evading the swat. I think that I'll be buying some fly killing spray today. I'm not actually sure what it's called. Deet, maybe? I remember just having these black aerosol cans, maniacally spraying the area after flies. And our food tasting tangy with pesticide. Pesticide.... hmmm....

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A bit random, but you know me

So I've been leaving my new job early nearly every afternoon. Why? Well, it's not because I'm miserable. I love the place and I'm the happiest I've been, professionally, in a long, long time. I'm in full-time, permanent employment, have my own space (a gigormous classroom -- rare in my trade), and it's all only a 25-minute commute away.

I've been scurrying off each day to attend Continued Professional Development courses -- CPD, to those of you not in the know. Tonight, iMovie. I basically decided to go cos I had been fiddling about with it at home and couldn't get the daggone thing to work. Now, I'm even more likely to not get the thing to work, having so much info crammed into my head in a 2-hour session. Anyway, this is what I came up with after all my work.

Well, I did say this was going to be a bit random, so here's the next odd bit: my birthday invite. Boy's friend Roofer made it up for me! I cropped out my address and what not, just in case it doesn't seem like its right size. Looking at my ultra-cool invitation, I'm so excited, I could scream and piss myself.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Getting played

So I read this story about the former Congressman Mark Foley with particular interest and amusement. In case you didn't know, the formerly Honourable Mr Foley (or Maf54 to his friends) has resigned and entered rehab (Mel Gibson's his hero) after it was revealed that he sent overtly sexual emails and IMs to teenage Congressional pages. Teenage male Congressional pages. Ah, Republicans and their need to share family values.

Anyway, I'm amused about how the story is being told. Interestingly, most of the articles that I read about it in the American press downplays the homosexual angle. Some even eliminates it completely, like People online. I guess they didn't want to depress their regular subscribers, those like me seeking frivolous and light entertainment news. (In case you wanted to know: Kelly from 90210 has had her third child! Isaac Hanson of MMMBop fame marries!)

I first read the story about Mark Foley, who was also the co-chair of the caucus on missing and exploited children, in the Guardian (click here for the link). Their headline?

Republican resigns over 'sick' email
to 16-year-old boy

(Oh, by the way, the Guardian is a left wing paper. Can you tell? I bet when they saw this, reporters for the Guardian were shitting themselves with joy and cackling with glee over the irony.)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hawaii 3-0

In case you don't a) know, b) been living under a rock for years and years, or c) give a toss, my birthday is arriving shortly. On the 22nd of October, to be exact. And yes, it will be my 30th. Presents are to be expected, of course.

The party is at both times British and American. It's a fancy-dress party -- British speak for a costume party. Fancy dress parties are huge over here. The people love them. It gives them a prop in order to socialise. VBP and her partner had a fancy dress party for his 30th and it had an 80s theme. Boy dressed up as Morrissey (yeh, only a few of you will even know to whom I refer) and I went as a workout junkie. I wore an outfit reminiscent of Jane Fonda in the early 80s. Headband, the unitard, leg warmers, the works. I would have won the award for the most authentic costume, but some guy came dressed up as John McEnroe and he seriously channelled him. Knee-high socks, the red tracksuit jacket, headband. The hair. The nut busters.

Well, my fancy dress party's theme is Hawaiian. And of course, the name will be Hawaii 3-0. If that doesn't rock, I don't know what does!

The only problem is that Boy has decided that he wants to surprise me with the party. I have a serious problem with this. Not because I don't love and trust him. Okay, I don't trust him. I am a control freak. I want to know what the hell is going on! And if I get too uptight about this, this means that I don't love him. I don't win.

The invite is fab, though. He had his "birthday planner" (aka, friend Roofer) do it. And she's done a brill job.

Anyway, all are invited. Make sure you RSVP with Boy.