Tuesday, February 26, 2002
To a Briton, the scale and form of this place is hard to identify - the sun is turning my skin ruddy while the mountains remain snowcapped and there were even drifts blowing around like smoke from lava this morning. Every few blocks the same names repeat themselves - there are more MacDonalds than in the Aberdeen phone book. I'm eating well - Agilent Technologies' lunchtime burritos and Ruby Tuesday's sublime salad bar being good opportunities to avoid those staples, beef and cheese. And I've consumed 2 glasses of wine and 3 pints of cider (cider! yes! at Jack Quinn's Irish Pub) and no more in the last week.
All this vocational and epicurian distraction leaves little room for immersion in the cultural bivouac I packed, although I was adequately entertained by William Boyd's Armadillo (although it's very much in the Charlie Higson or David Baddiel mode) and am presently being drawn in to The Rotter's Club by Jonathan Coe, which I bought solely because it contains a fictional review of Tales From Topographic Oceans.
Speaking of music, currently on heavy rotation in my brain (and occasionally on MP3) are
- Trey Gunn - Raw Power
- Suzanne Vega - Songs In Red and Gray
- Tony Levin - World Diary (and I've just ordered his other two)
- JS Bach - Goldberg Variations
I have been saving all my quarters to use in the laundromat at the place I'm staying, and left them in a neat pile in my room. Whoever cleaned my room today assumed they were a tip and took them. Try doing that in Britain.
Thursday, February 21, 2002
The last two days work have been draining and satisfying. I really wish I worked here. Just as well. Two days down, 48 to go. I miss my Helen, but she sounds happy!
Sunday, February 17, 2002
Four hours sleep later, I was in the first panel of Sunday morning. I am getting a cold, probably due to lack of sleep. All the gin and tonics probably may have some impact too. Off downstairs now for the Dead Ringers panel. And a drink.
Friday, February 15, 2002
I got a bit weepy when being waved off by Helen at Edinburgh airport. Met some fellow Gallifreyans at the departure gate at Heathrow, and enjoyed a pleasant flight - 51st State being great fun, especially Robert Carlyle's brave but doomed Scouse accent. The journey then demonstrated Zeno's paradox perfectly - the closer we got to the destination, the slower we moved.
Maybe I was just wiped out from the journey, but after speaking to Helen at 2am her time, the night went downhill. One or two loud, pissed-up, or over-flirtatious Brits really spoiled the atmosphere, and the convention not having started, they had an empty canvas to defile. Being quickly brushed-off by a former on-line acquaintance when I introduced myself to him for the first time was a bit crushing, too. However, Maggie Stables is enchanting, and Mark McDonnell engagingly down-to-Earth.
An unsatisafctory night, neither civilized nor riotous, but having the worst aspects of both. Retired at 11pm but woke again at 3:30 and have stayed up to unpack, and am feeling far less unsettled now that I have imposed some order on my lovely large third-floor room.
I think I may press ahead and learn an edited version of one of Ronnie Barker's monologues for the cabaret on Saturday night - Getting Your Wrongs In The Word Order. In the meantime, I am joining a massed visit to Universal Studios today. Just time to go and forage for high-fibre food (a brave objective) and maybe have a swim if it's nice at 8 o'clock. I'm glad to be here. Bath time.
Monday, February 11, 2002
Cycled in this morning against fierce wind. And the weather was a bit blustery, too. I have still not recovered from 30 lengths of the pool on Thursday. Hope I can find somewhere to swim in Colorado Springs.
I will have enough mp3 music and drama with me to run a medium-sized radio station for a month or two. None of the sodding DVDs I have ordered to take with me have been despatched. Arse.
Monday, February 04, 2002
Helen and I attempted valiantly to get in to Gosford Park on Sunday night before giving up and going to Pizza Express in Stockbridge, where the pizzas are getting smaller and less pleasant with every visit ("not as good as yours", said Helen; the kind of bare-faced lie that endears her to me ever more), and we were the only couple without a designer baby. We consoled ourself with another Richard E. Grant appearance, specifically, Withnail and I, with DVD commentary my Paul McGann and Ralph Brown. They talked so much that I'll be able to watch it again soon and find the dialogue relatively fresh. Grant's absence from the voice-over booth is a bonus, since McGann and Brown discuss his nature unselfconciously.
Only ten days left in the UK until April.