Thursday. Here endeth the extraordinary first month of the office restaurant. It was just nearing completion before Christmas when miserable and sad I was leaving alone one night, passing its glass doors. The three proud men in charge of it called me in and insisted on plying me with food before I could go home. They could see my unhappiness through the glass and wanted to cheer me up. Bizarrely the cafe/restaurant extends downward in a series of small platforms into what was clearly a swimming pool (obviously a vital accessory for any embassy). Still with its blue tiles and steel ladder this bottom zone now hosts a sofa and some deep squishy armchairs. Am still not quite used to getting into a workplace and having to go straight away for a scrumptious cooked breakfast, followed not long after by an often-delicious lunch.
Wednesday. Gloriously, headcold begins going away. Happy day! I get illusory feeling that uplifting songs by specific singer have over last 3 days driven vile bacillus from my sinuses. Tim Buckley must have been in my sisters' record collections. Some are articulate: Sweet Surrender; some remind of Scott Walker:
Pleasant Street; some have a wonderful energy cutting across bittersweet lyrics:
I Never Asked to be Your Mountain;
precious, dreamlike: Song of the Magician;
raucous, exultant: Honey Man. All of them seem rich with texture and unusual shifts:
Gypsy Woman /
Blue Melody /
Down by the Borderline. Couple of nights pondering all the loves I've lost, and hey presto, foul pox gone: health & energy restored.
Tuesday. 1969 gets advance warning of Early-70s Folk Apocalypse.
Monday. Guardian warns of cyber-threat, still calls it 'capitalism'.
Sunday. Month-old headcold worsens again. Fabulous. Feeble of me to complain though when Bukovsky is doggedly alive, still releasing vital material.
Saturday. Increased concern that Chinese hardware builder Huawei might be spying for Chinese state.
Friday. Further climate shockers: Global warming doesn't cause hurricanes. Imagine our surprise. Meanwhile, masturbating man in Oregon restaurant resists arrest by 12+ police officers. The mighty power of rough drugs.
Thursday. Irish writer shows tin ear judging English Brexit voters.
Wednesday. Two men claiming to be God continue to resist eviction from interfaith arts centre in Tennessee.
Tuesday. "People's Vote" campaign attempting to rerun 2016 EU referendum to get a Brussels-pleasing vote 2nd time descends into infighting.
Monday. Turns out that recently discovered Neolithic stone circle in Scotland in fact dates from the distant 1990s.
Sunday. Background inside Labour to this month's fascinating constitutional shenanigans. Here too.
Saturday. Almost a surprise - am roused from headcold lethargy by news of a late-post-Hogmanay party at Robin's flat. Perhaps this is Eastern Orthodox Hogmanay. Mellow guests and odd exchanges. Odd in a good way, obviously.
Friday. There are mysterious blue people in Kentucky?
Thursday. Wonderful article from two years ago. 'Progressive' journalist describes uncanny encounter with possible Trump voter.
Wednesday. Nice essay about the Victorian reimagining of the vampire. Seems that Dracula is Byron.
Tuesday. China's computer creepiness continues: a new app will tell you if you walk near someone the state wants debt-shamed.
Monday. Women's mag shrewdly notes some news manipulation.
Sunday. Woman with medical condition cannot hear men's voices. Unprecedented! Probably no link to claim Cuban embassy sonic attacks are crickets.
Saturday. Physical book sales revive, as I predicted 8 years ago.
Friday. Could these two stories be connected? Euro is "dysfunctional", for those who didn't know that already. Oh, and Germany slides into recession.
Thursday. Actual snow today. The view today from the office up on Crypto Hill specacular: frost-encrusted trees clustered on snowy slopes. Scots archeologists "find" a new rare stone circle.
Wednesday. German politician attacked. Of course the AfD is referred to as "far right".
Tuesday. Weather gets cold again. A short rant about English grammar.
Monday. A couple of sciency things: biologists debate the evolutionary function of beauty, and another article about the "insect apocalypse". For most of us, that means more of them. Plus some kind of shrimp has world's best eyes.
Feast of the Epiphany. Paul calls it Feast of the Three Kings.
Saturday. Jimi Tenor, the Joe 90 of Finnish funk, plays 'Moonfolks'. On the topic of musical and mathematical notation, here's a charming short talk by an American maths teacher.
Friday. The 9/11-hacking story still on - showing potential.
Thursday. Tiresome illness continues. I perform the ritual of chopping ginger, lemon, and garlic into a pot of honey.
Wednesday. Hearing a high-pitched hum in the morning from the neighbouring apartment, I briefly imagine the Arab lads vacuuming the flat, dismiss this as obviously laughable, so pop out into the corridor and knock on next door. Sure enough, a harassed-looking Hungarian cleaning girl answers. I check if the Arabs have gone and she wearily says yes, muttering something about never having seen a flat this dirty before. I sleep during much of the day. Though still feeling quite ill, make it to Mexican place late afternoon to meet Davor and Anton. Anton alerts me to a curious Forbes story from this afternoon about an apparent 9/11-related blackmail effort aimed at some insurance companies.
New Year's Day. At around 8am, once silence has fallen on the street outside for several hours, a single kazoo honks plaintively a few times, like a bird left behind the day after a big migration. I seem to be properly ill, at least with a serious headcold. Much of day in bed, taking vitamins. Always a good time to revisit the hot/crazy matrix and its bluffly businesslike presenter: "These are your redheads, your strippers, anyone named Tiffany." Luckily, it seems that feminists find sexist men sexier. Of course.
Mark Griffith, site administrator /
markgriffith at yahoo.com