I'm Chandler Bing from Friends!

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Animation As a character Mickey Mouse has always been a bit bland. Ask anyone what they think of him and they'll probably tell you 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' or the ears. Donald Duck was daffy. Mickey had a squeaky voice. But as an icon for a multinational enterntainment comany he's perfect. Which is why on Walt Disney's anniversary renowned painter Eric Robison has been comissioned to paint 100 Mickey's in various poses and styles. The resulting website, the originally titled 100 Mickeys is a very rich experience, and all of the images are featured, a mix of abstract and traditional. The history of a mouse in one easy sitting.
Blog! The mark of a really good weblog is still being consistently good once the initial interest has died down a bit. Supermodels are lonelier than you think, collects together relevant news stories of the beauiful people (well just women really) together for our edification. Must agree with Monday 11th's post about the Julie Delpy GAP advert -- how did they manage to use such an awful picture? She's cross-eyed in it for goodness sake...
Sculpture Anthony Caro specialises in monolithic sculpture -- objects which are meant to be walked through and experienced. Pieces like Babylon (1997–2001) feel like the most alien of places but with a nagging familiarity (rather like my train journey tonight). From the white cox, you're transported to an organic place, a sterile place into somewhere quite natural, smell of paint, to odour of wood. Oddly, he once objected to the idea of visitors walking into sculpture: "You use your eye as a surrogate for the body. If it’s a sculpture for children or a public sculpture, then by all means invite the spectator to interact in a physical way. I hate the “I can run my hand over it” sort of tactility. By and large the idea of sculpture for the blind is nonsense. Distancing yourself, and imagining yourself in, but not going in, has been an important feature of a lot of my work. A sculpture has an invisible barrier around it."
TV The television version of the Radio 4 series 'Dead Ringers' premiered tonight to very few adverts -- a dry run I suppose. The show was largely successful, with a laugh out loud moment at least every couple of minutes although one of the problems with the radio series still remained -- once the suprise of the impression or situation had passed, the actual sketch took a bit to long. Some master strokes though. The David Dickinson impression is spot on, appraing 'The One Ring', nice mix of pop culture icons; Tracy Emin in Watercolour Challenge (the chin...the foul language); George from Rainbow being bungled (suddenly my childhood is destroyed). One particular worry was how these Tom Baker prank calls could possibly be translated to the tv. Needn't have worried. There was John Calshaw wearing what looked for all thw world like Tom's original Doctor Who costume confusing the clerks in a furniture under the bundling misaprehension that the wardrobes on sale were TARDISes. One of my TV moments of the year so far then is a Cyberman at DFS getting battered to the ground by The Doctor, his weapon of choice, a feather pillow ...
Commuter Life The lights were off in the railway carriage tonight, so that the dusk outside wasn't drowned out by the spotlights inside for a change. A carriage full of people sat in hushed silence watching the scenery, so familiar and yet under these conditions so unreal. The dirty windows rendered the landscape, a charcoal effect, buildings and hills becoming dark shapes interrupted by electrical light. I sat in awe at how the world can be different through even the subtlest of changes, and decided that every train should have a dark place for people who want to have these moments of absolute calm away from the loudness of life beyond the rails.
Six Months On I wasn't here on Monday, so I'll leave you tonight with some thoughts about how I feel now ...

Stuart Ian Burns is a twenty-seven year old call centre advisor living in Liverpool, England.

September 11th was the first day off sick I'd had in months, getting over a cold. I'd spent the morning in bed watching the video of 'Bullett' and had moved to the couch for 'Ever After' which I turned off for a bathroom break as the second plane hit the building. I remember swearing loudly and like everyone else who saw it I suppose just kept watching as the footage was played over and over.

I was divorced from what was happening. I wasn't really thinking about the human cost -- all I kept thinking and saying was that the buildings couldn't continue to stand. I suppose the part of me which cared was shut off somehow, like it didn't want to think about the people inside, what was happening in the building. But I clung onto the speculation. 5000 dead. 6000 dead. 7000 dead.

It was only the next day, on my train into work as I sat reading my newspaper, the tableau photography of the site of the disaster that it began to sink in. As the train passed through Warrington Central I began to weep. I began to think of the people, how I would have felt if I'd been them. I worry about the future a lot, how I'll feel when the people I know are no longer there, and these thoughts overwhelmed me. These people I need to talk to sometimes when it hurts. What happens when they are gone. And self-indulgently I suppose I thought about how I had reacted whilst it was happening. Why was I crying now, the next day? For the first time in a long while I felt like an ugly person.

So, even though I wasn't there, I was so far away from what happened I felt the pain. Like everyone I just felt numb, unable to talk about much else. I'd see people I hadn't seen for a while and I'd still feel the need to talk about it even though they hadn't brought it up. Where where you when? What happened? How did you feel? And I knew it brought down the conversation and that it ruined the night (or day) but it felt like it had to be talked about.

Have I changed? I think so. I saw the end of 'Ever After'.
I'm more tollerant with people than before, expecially strangers. But I was always a reasonably calm person before -- I already felt the urge to see beauty in everything. I think the most significant thing is how I am with people in general. I try and make the most of the time I spend with them, and feel bad when I don't spend as many moments as I could. I get annoyed with others who I know should and could be more giving, but their personal survival instinct stops them.

And there is one other thing. Before I never said goodbye to people. I would be acquanted with someone and I knew I might never see them again when they left the country or left my company. And I would always say 'until next time' or 'I'll see you soon...' Now I just say two words, but they are always heartfelt, and I always mean them, even if they seem a bit false sometimes.

Take care.

[previously posted in this thread at Metafilter; here is the article of inspiration]
Blog! For fans of cultural diversity we have reborn-by-design, the work of an Israeli girl living in Canada. Mirroring this place, we have a blog which integrates personal insite with links to interests close to her heart. The post about weblog-as-memorial is particularly poigniant.
Commerce You'll notice that I linked to a page at someone who isn't Amazon above. I've actually been buying at a company from Jersey, Play.com -- I ordered 'Coyote Ugly', Sunday night and it arrived this morning. In a package which had to be signed for. Three points here. Yes, Coyote Ugly. It's a great film. Despite the bizarre dog howl on the menu page. The postage charge. There isn't one. Quite how they're planning on staying afloat with this I'm not sure. And with that in mind, the price. Under Rug Swept is £8.99, which is odd for what is essentially quite an un-commercial album (well it isn't Will bloody Young). So I think I'll be going here in future for anything which isn't books -- well until they go into receivership, anyway.
Music I know you've all been waiting for my review of Alanis Morissette's Under Rug Swept. It's been difficult to find the words, which is why I've probably been shying away. Anyone who read my thoughts on Jagged Little Pill will know how much 'Supported Cornered Flatulant Monkey' was a disappointment. Not so 'Rug'. Here we find an album which fuses the lyrical flexibilty and imagery of the first album with a more carefree musical attitude. In fact whilst Natalie Imbruglia seems intent to be going ever further in Alanis' direction, the Canadian is going towards where the Australian began -- although Morissette wouldn't be found 'naked on the floor' (just in pop videos and on her cds). Something which can be listened to in the background quite successfully -- not that it should. As, again, with Pill we have a series of songs which work excellently in isolation. And Morissette's lyrical verbosity is still intact -- I like a challenge when I sing along and here it is -- why have one syllable in a word when six will do? Of course this makes some sound slightly rushed but this can only begat party games ('What the hell is she singing now?' 'Another 21 things I want in a lover' 'Other possible Alanis song titles') So yes, buy. Yes. Quick word about the cover though. Huh? Why does she persist in album covers which hide one of her greatest assets, her eyes? This one looks like something from a bargain bucket PC paint programme. I almost expected the little sticker on the cover to say '100000 clip art picture free!'
Interrupted Why didn't anyone tell me how fiddly moving a website would be? Here I am though, load much quicker and with everything intact. Slightly worried that my 100mb bandwidth quota has already hit the 9.75mb mark in only past few days, but I'm sure a proportion of that is just me noodling about trying to get things to work. It does demonstrate however how much of a loss Geocities must have been making hosting even just weblogs for free. You all know how little I actually talk about site design (which is odd because some webloggers seem to talk about little else), so I'll get out of the way. How easy is it to set up a simple tabe set. No -- not going to work. Not able to talk about computer stuff -- so let's go elsewhere shall we?
Welcome Don't forget to wipe your feet ...

See you after the break...

When I was fourteen, I had the almost misfortune to be going to an all boys school, and since I lived out in the sticks in comparison to the rest of my friends, I had to take a half hour journey to school on the same bus everyday. The only other educational establishments to use this company where the all girl schools a bit further down the line. As you can imagine it was a breeding ground for teenage crushes and broken hearts (as well as, I suspect, the odd future marriage).

Being of that age I suppose, I had multiple crushes on the go at the same time. There was the one in the grey blazer with the brown hair. The tall one in the brown blazer. And the blonde in the purple blazer.

Oh the blonde in the purple blazer. My heart sang. I would have given the world to the one in the purple blazer. Who happened to look almost (but not exactly) like someone glimpsed in a Coca-cola commercial. The one which Robin ‘one hit’ Beck made into a number one single. So whenever ‘First Time’ would churn through the local radio play list and the commercial appeared on TV, my heart would flutter and I’d get a pain in the pit of my stomach. Even though the blonde in the purple blazer wasn’t even there.

She was the image of all cheerleaders in all American high school teen movies. Blonde hair tied back in a scrunchy. Blue eyes. Rouge red lips. I’d sit every journey just looking at her. She was like nothing I’d ever seen before. She smoked, but I knew that when we were together I could persuade her to kick the habit. She drank Pepsi, but I knew I could change that too if she knew about the commercial.

The thing played out as you would expect, with shuddering predictability. She asked me why I was on the same bus as her again and wanted to know why I was following her. I told her I loved her (at the age of fourteen this amounted to asking for her hand in marriage). She looked me up and down. ‘Well I despise you,’ she spat back at me (I mean top marks. If you’re going to crush someone’s heart this was the word to go for. Not sure if she knew what it meant or if she’d heard it on ‘Neighbours’ sometime). I gaped. I turned. I walked away, head bowed. And didn’t listen to the song again for six months. That’s the trouble with advertising -- it never takes into account life’s little tragedies . . .

General Sites AdCritic, The Ad Graveyard, The Commercials Archive, The Google List, The Living Room Candidate, Televisioncommercials.com & The Shame Ads

Product Archives David's Volkswagens, Fifty Years of Coke Ads, Michael Jordan's Ads, Star Wars Episode One, Brad Meltzer Commercials

Articles Ferrero Rocher, Long Live Flat Eric., Hi-tech video recorder that's no advertisement for commercials, Shock Tactics, So you’d like to use one of my songs on your advert, Superman ‘walks’ in TV commercial & AltCulture Infommercials