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Tuesday, February 22, 2005
The hardest part of being the northlondonhippy isn’t taking lots of drugs and having more fun than everyone else. No, it’s never remembering all the clever ideas you have for interesting things to write about.
I’m always thinking of fun stuff to share with my hippyfans, but usually I think of these things while I’m far away from my PC. I try to make little notes to myself, but that’s not always possible. Such was the case today, when I spent around 3 hours in bed, trying to get to sleep.
I went up around 11am and don’t think I finally found sweet slumber until 2:30pm. I was up at 7pm, so I’ve had just over 4 hours sleep. Not enough, not even close, I’m feeling quite tired.
My drive was unpleasant, thanks to the near-arctic conditions here in London. It was like a blizzard as I crossed the centre of town, with wind-blown, heavy snow falling at an alarming rate. The temperature has been hovering right around freezing, so at the moment, there’s no snow on the ground or roads, but another degree in the wrong direction and my drive home could be a bit slippery!
The problem with snow in London is that it’s rare, which means people aren’t use to it, especially drivers. It confuses them and makes them do really stupid things behind the wheel. There’s no such thing as tyre chains or snow tyres here either. It can be a mess.
But you didn’t come here for my weather and traffic updates, did you? No, you all come for the drugs, but you stay for my fantastic wit, humorous observations and intense sexual magnetism. Can you dig it, fuckers?
I’ve had time to reflect on the passing of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Tuesday’s UK newspapers, which for the most part I’ve read already, are filled with tributes and recollections from various people who knew him well. There’s a lot from Ralph Steadman, the artist who illustrated most of the good doctor’s books.
In the Independent, Steadman quotes Thompson, who once said “I would feel trapped in this life if I didn’t know I could commit suicide at any time.” You can read the entire article RIGHT HERE, if you are so inclined.
Now I can relate to that, I understand where the doc was coming from. There’s a certain power in knowing that you hold your own fate, in your own hands. What it has always meant to me, with my similar view, is that each day we carry on and endure is a choice. It’s a choice we’ve made, because we are aware the alternative really is an option.
I’ve always taken a twisted comfort in that knowledge and while it might seem at first to be quite a bleak view of life, in reality it is a very positive one. We all have the ultimate power of life and death over ourselves. It’s actually a very empowering statement.
Stick around a while, there could be even more fun to be had, just around the corner! But when the time comes, well, then it could be an option.
Let’s face it, old age ain’t for everyone. For every spry, active 80-year-old, there’re probably half a dozen oldies who don’t do very much. That’s the problem with living too long; the years at the end aren’t the best ones. For most people, they’re probably the worst. A little self-determination might not be a bad thing.
I’ve read various reports speculating on why HST topped himself, but more than likely we’ll never know. Maybe he didn’t even know himself. Perhaps all he knew was that it was the right time to go. I hope he was at peace with himself when he pulled the trigger.
Context, they say, is everything. HST captured the American spirit and the death of the “American dream”, but so did another recent dearly-departed writer, Arthur Miller.
I don’t think I mentioned Miller’s passing here in the blog, but he was also one of America’s greatest writers. “Death of a Salesman” is a classic and worthy of your valuable time. There’s a great version that was done for American cable tv years ago, with Dustin Hoffman in the lead. His “Willy Loman” would bring tears to your eyes. If you get chance, see it!
So that’s two great American authors gone in the last fortnight. Bad things happen in threes, so who’s going to be next? I’m sure we won’t have long to wait to find out.
Now, on to the trials and tribulations of consumerism. I tried to order my new mobile phone this morning, online from the provider’s own website. I spent ten minutes carefully typing in my details, credit card numbers, bank account info, address, all that shit. At the final screen, I clicked on the button that said “confirm your purchase” and low and behold, the website crashed.
It instructed me to telephone their sales team to complete my order. Instead, I phoned the sales team to make certain my order wasn’t processed. This company was selling me on a totally online experience, no paper bills, all admin done via their website. If the site crashes when you’re trying to spend the money to buy the phone, how dependable do you think it is? I’m not going to stick around to find out.
I’m now going to purchase the same phone, the incredibly sexy and desirable Sony-Ericcson S700i from yet another company. There’s no difference between thei online tariffs and high-street tariffs, so I can just walk into their shop and buy the goddamn thing.
Nothing is ever easy or simple here in the UK. They don’t really understand consumerism and the simple, yet well known American view that the “customer is always right”. Spending your hard earned cash is frequently an ordeal.
Like this morning, when I stopped off at my local supermarket. I like this particular shop because they have a big car park (for my little Yaris) and they are mostly open 24 hours. That’s a good thing when you keep weird hours. However, due to the archaic trading laws here in the UK, shops can only open for around 6 hours on Sundays.
That means on Mondays, the shop doesn’t re-open until 8am. Now, I arrived at this supermarket at around 7:50am. I wasn’t the only one, there were around 10 people, standing outside in the cold, waiting for them to open the doors.
Can you imagine it? Nearly a dozen people ready to part with their dosh and they won’t let us in the shop until 8am on the dot. It boggles the mind.
My next potential minefield in the world of consumerism is the new computer. I’m ordering it this week, probably on Wednesday. I’m hoping my shopping experience with Apple will be more satisfying.
I’ve been agonising over whether or not to purchase an iPOD. Oh, hippy, the problems you have!
Mainly, I don’t know which of the 7 different models to go for. I’m torn between the 1 gig iPOD shuffle, which holds around 240 songs or the 40 gig classic iPOD, which holds around 10,000 songs. I can get the shuffle for around 90 quid, thanks to my union discount, or the 40 gig’er for around 270 pounds. Basically, it’s around 40 times the storage for about 3 times the price. The decision should be easy.
The dilemma is a simple one, do I spend more money or less. Either device will be an improvement over my current mini-disc player, which only holds about 5 CD’s per disk, which is around 50 songs. I don’t know what to do. Anyone that wishes to offer me advice, please feel free to leave me a comment or even better send me an email!
Decisions only confuse me. It’s taken me around 6 months just to decide whether to go for a new PC or an iMAC. I’m normally not a ditherer, but its big money and I want to get it right. Same with the car purchase, it took me months to reach a decision, but when I finally decided what to buy, I got it quite quickly.
I’ll probably just damn the torpedoes and go for the 40 gig model. It’s only money!
Big-up to “narbomb”, who was kind enough to leave some nice comments in my guestbook. I’m always pleased to hear from any hippyfan and it’s always good to know that someone, somewhere is enjoying whatever it is I do here.
I’m not really sure myself what I do here most of the time, but we all sure do have a lot of fun doing it! The fun never stops!
If you dig the hippy, why not let me know. I don’t get enough praise, but then, who does? Better yet, tell a friend, then you can be hippyfans together. I’m the gift that keeps on giving, all year round!
Remember kids, I’m blogging my life away, every night and every day, just for you! Yes, you, fucker!
And you wanna hear something funny…of course you do, that’s why you’re here! When I chose the date for the big VOSS, Saturday 19th March, it didn’t actually click that it was near a very significant date.
On Friday 18th March 2005, the northlondonhippy blog will be one year old. So if you didn’t have a good enough reason to join the big fuck-off VOSS, now you do! Drop by and help me celebrate my one year anniversary! And they say my attention span is limited! Fuck that, I’ve been doing this shit for nearly a year.
How about a yipppppeeeee for that? Go on, I haven’t asked for one in ages!