The Spectral Court

Daringly Poking the Octopus of Wit with the Pointy Stick of Wryness.

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Location: Caerffili, Wales, Antarctica

Currently blogging at The Fractal Hall Journal and contributing to the Toybox of Solitude.

Friday, September 30, 2005

I Am Actually Going to Kill Someone

I've just heard a dance remix of Cream's Sunshine Of Your Love, my all time favourite rock song. It's times like these when I hate everybody. I've just spent ten minutes on the phone with the Beloved detailing the horrific ways I'm going to take whoever's responsible out. It has brought into my mind, once again, the lingering knowledge that one day, someone will sample Voodoo Chile.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

All of Human Life is Here

Canton is a neighbourhood of Cardiff, and is a lot like every other small town that's been absorbed by an expanding city. It's centred around a main road lined with shops. It's got a few laundrettes, grocers, butchers, pubs, chapels, a Tesco, the Cardiff Communication Worker's Union, a police station, some hardware shops, about a million cafes and coffee houses. I had a coffee and a muffin in one of them. I considered joining the Communication Workers Union. I considered joining the Police. I considered buying a tool, and sort of regret that I didn't.

You see, Canton also has a Kwik Fit. My car had ended up with freshly ground rear brake discs and had to be Seen To. The mechanic was helpful, friendly, and completely wrong in estimating that the service would only take an hour or so. I ended up on a day trip to a part of town that's about ten minutes walk from my flat.

There's a model/RPG shop called Dice & Disk on the main road that I never knew existed. For some reason, it sells a ton of comic book back issues from the early 90s. There's a sex shop called Lovecraft that may or may not have inspired the title of the Super Furry Animals' last album. It's got a product in the window called Joy Jelly that sounds like those wobbly sweets in plastic packets moulded after cartoon characters; I particularly remember the Ghostbuster ones. I doubt anything in Lovecraft has ever appeared free on the cover of the Beano, although we're in a whole new Century now so you never know. I know for a fact you can still get the jelly sweets in Woolworths, for Canton has one of them too. I went there and bought House of Flying Daggers for seven quid. Note it's more expensive on their website. I'm supposed to be cutting down on impulse buying, but fuck it, it was a long day and it was seven quid. It could have been worse. I almost walked with a Batman Begins Utility Belt and 3 in 1 Power Gauntlet.

I whiled away the hours in the library, which is situated on Library Street, which a wonderful name. I want to live on a Library Street. A little further on is Chapter, the contemporary arts centre. There was a woman outside with a posh camera taking a picture of a drain cover, which is how you tell how arty it is. I stopped there for a cup of tea (which was 50p) and a fruit tart (which was not).

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A Fresh Start

This is a personal blog to go alongside the SF one my cohort Swaine and I write for. The below posts were originally on, but I've decided to move it here for ease of use.

They Call Me the Hunter

Hello, my friends. I have returned from my sojourn.

I have had a fine, rodent-free week in deepest Cornwall in the arms of my lady-love and the grip of fine clotted-cream fudge. We observed much extraordinary scenery before walking over most of it. It is with a heavy heart I return to find out if my stuff has more holes in it now than when I left.

Halfway through the week I received a phone call from the incorrigible Mr T, flatmate, gentleman and raconteur.

Me: Anymore mouse encounters?

Mr T: Nah, nothing on the traps. But...

Me: Yes, yes?

Mr T: I can hear something scrabbling around at the back door.

Me: Well, not much I can do here.

Mr T: I know. I just had to tell someone.

I haven't seen him yet. I can only hope I haven't overlooked his chewed-up corpse hunkered down in his wardrobe. But anyway, no sign of the meeces inside, though one seems to have chewed through the plastic bin on the fire escape. It must have been lurking in a bin bag when last we disposed of the rubbish, and then had to gnaw it's way out. I pray this is the last time I have to report such things.

Oh my Giddy Aunt

The call came early in the evening, during my exile at my parent's house. My sister is convinced I'm the biggest wuss ever as I abandoned flat and stayed somewhere I'm 90 percent certain won't have mouse urine spread over any kitchen utensils. My flatmate, the indomitable Mr T, had been left to his own devices. The conversation went something like this:

Mr T: We've caught it.

Me: Excellent news.

Mr T: Not really. It's foul. It's just dangling there, and I've got to make my tea.
Are you coming home soon?

I explained that, unfortunately, I was unavoidably detained while having my own tea prepared for me, and he'd have to be the man on this one. And to his credit he was indeed the Man, and had disposed of the corpse by my return. I entered the flat with a song in my heart (Hey Mickey, You're So Fine, to be exact), to find the T-man hunched over in the shower, whimpering about how the blood would not wash from his hands.

My good humour was short lived. Before bed, I'd set the traps again just incase. And we caught another, this time with me on disposal duties. ("Oh God, I think that's a bit of guts- no, wait, it's the strawberry syrup we used when the chocolate mousse ran out".)

That's right. We have Mouse Plural.

And that's it for a bit; I am off to Cornwall for a week, leaving my dear friend on rodent watch.

M signing out.

The Great Hunt
Current mood: Foiled

Stuart Little 4, Human Beings 0.

The fucking thing had no less than four pieces of Dairy Milk off the traps without setting them off. I have now smeared them with chocolate mousse in the hopes that it will get its nose stuck in. Don't fear the Reaper, little one. At the moment, we're doing little more than feeding the bugger. In all honesty I expect to get back home to find it licked clean with a note requesting something other than chocolate for tomorrow's supper.

As this is myspace, I thought I'd post something music related. Following on from a previous list of mine, here are my Top Five 60s songs written after the 60s.

1. There She Goes - The La's

2. Chicken Payback - The Bees

3. Uptown Girl - Billy Joel

4. Pretty much anything by the Coral

5. My Massive Wang - Hunter McEvoy

Getting the Mouse out of the House

I usually blog over at A Fractal World which relates to the fiction site I run, The Fractal Hall Journal. I think the Fiction/SF/Giant Robot stuff should stay there, and the Music/Personal stuff move here. And so, I include the complete unabridged text of the last post:

On Rodent Extraction.

Due to the arrival of an unexpected guest in my bedroom (and not in a good way) everywhere I look I see movement out of the corner of my eye. It's like being in a 50s B-movie called Watch the Floor. I'm twitchy enough as it is, having spent far too much time playing Ghost Recon, hunched down in bushes scanning the skyline for wretched Commies.

Despite my uncomprimising Marine-style outlook on life, I'm not actually fantastically keen on summary execution of small mammals. Invertebrates? No problem, murderise the fuckers. Except spiders. Spiders eat flies, which makes them the Good Guys, and they also share a name with one of my favourite superheroes. It's this kind of arbitrary judgement you can make while at the top of the food chain. Bwa ha ha.

Much as I'd like to just open the kitchen door and let the chastised mouse scurry out, shamefaced, it's not going to happen so Steps have been Taken. I headed for B&Q's Animal Extermination aisle. Point; the packaging for the rat-traps show a picture of Civilisation's sworn enemy, the viscious, plague-ridden rat, hackles raised, teeth bared, hellfire glowing in its eyes. The mouse traps have a fuzzy-furred big-eyed innocent, more at home in a child's loving arms than chewing through my fucking stuff.

So I bought a couple of plastic supercharged doom-killers, Les Mmes Guillotines. Using scientific curiosity and a pen, I estimate the bite pressure of the mechanism to be c. 2 tons per square centimetre, i.e. slightly less than that of a Great White. As my flatmate pointed out, he is likely to be woken in the night by a cracking noise and a warm rain of arterial spray.

Delusions of Bandeur
Current mood: Supreme

I've been hired by extraordinary local band Sophie I Love You, Sophie I'm Dead to aid them in their sonic journeys. What they haven't realised is I intend to bend them to my will, becoming little more than my Soviet Puppet States, threatening the hegemony of the continent of Music. They are the Tin Machine to my Bowie, Box Car Racer to my Blink 182, the Supremes to my Phil Spector (minus, of course, the gunshot wounds to the face).

They are the pilot for my proposed television series, Pimp my Band. I will strap chrome bumpers, smoke machines, a phat sound system and a hot pink colour scheme to them. Before they realise it they will have new members including an MC, a DJ, an STD, and a sullen mop-haired teenager playing the Electric Bongos.