I just spent 20 minutes watching a cow eat grass while listening to a chorus of moos.
Nature has the capacity to rock
zō-et’ik: of or pertaining to life. [Gr. zōē, life]
During my time at uni, I put myself through school as a bartender by earning tips at The Opera House, a kickass venue in Toronto. Choice cuts from the cornucopia of stories I have to share – which I will, until the day I die – here.
Big love to Josh Miles Joudrie, who laboured as a sound engineer during the three years I worked as a peddler of alcohol.
He recently passed through London for two nights on tour, so we went out for drinks, as you do. London is like New York. Everyone comes through at some point.
I hadn’t seen Josh in a decade.
Three hours traipsing down memory lane over pints? Time well spent.
One anecdote: The first gig I ever worked.
Cyber metal lords and unparalleled theatrical originators.
Me: “Watching them cover the walls in plastic sheeting was unforgettable.”
Josh: “Forget that – watching them cover the monitors, cables and sound desk buttons in cling film was even better.”
Me: “Watching the naive bartender sluts come to work in white was fucking hilarious.”
Josh: “That show was nothing compared to the open-air acts that featured set changes, background flats and the alternate costumes for hot or rainy weather. They had a 53-foot trailer. Watching a golf cart full of disembowelled babies [puppets, not humans] trundle across a field was priceless.”
One of the most amazing things about metalers: they are almost always, without fail, chivalrous and well-mannered.
To discuss the science of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll – all explored in my new book – I will be speaking throughout the UK this autumn and winter…
September 25th – The Bus Driver’s Prayer, Kahaila Café, 135 Brick Lane, London. 7.30pm. Tickets Here
September 28th – Wigtown Book Festival, The Booth, Wigtown, Scotland. 2:30pm Info Here
October 10th – Lichfield Literature Festival, George IV Pub, Lichfield, 7:30pm. Tickets Here
November 19th – Last Tuesday Society, Hackney, London, 6pm. Tickets Here
My grandfather turns 90 today.
What’s his secret?
He barely drank and never smoked his whole life, which must have helped. He read voraciously, knew the entire works of Shakespeare by heart, and has the most extensive and accurate encyclopaedic memory I’ve ever encountered. But probably more than anything: he lived it up, every single day of his life.
This man took life by the balls and showed it who’s boss.
As my mother puts it: “Most fun things in life are bad for you – but nothing will kill you faster than having no fun at all.”
Carpe diem, carpe nocte kids. It’s Friday and you’re alive. Go out there and live it up.
I have some slightly odd but (in my opinion) redeeming ticks: I adore paper products, the handwritten word, and meticulous archiving.
During the superbly noisy 5am thunderstorm two days ago, I thought: “Well, I’m not going to be able to sleep through this. So I might as well use the time productively.” I re-read and indexed every memento ever sent to me.
To everyone who has ever sent me a postcard, made me a painting, crafted me a mixtape, or wrote me a letter: Know that I kept them, treasure them, transported them across oceans, and still preserve them safely within wooden boxes and leather pouches. Your words, art and music were appreciated and archived.
Revisiting the poems, paintings and musical menageries… Dude. I have talented friends. Damn.
I’m not normally into apps: the more you let technological tools do the leg-work, the less you use your brain, the less you remember, and the less you are capable of. Just my opinion (Louis CK agrees with me, however).
Also. I hate when they fail to do what they purport to. I cannot count the number of times Shazam has done fuck all.
But I think it’s brilliant when you use them to enhance your cognitive capacities, not ameliorate them. Anyhoodle. “Spider in da house” is THE BOMB. I believe (though I might be mistaken) that the charming creature floating above my doorway is a lovely female of the species Araneus diadematus.
Spiders rule. One of the best things I’ve ever seen: a battle between two insects.
Contestants: Spider vs. Bee.
Location: My garden.
Date: September 2008.
All I can say is: Thank god my dad lives in Canada and can’t see this.
I would like the jury to note that I didn’t write the headline.
I’ll never forget the time that, pouring with sweat, unbearably dizzy and trembling the morning after my 29th birthday, suffering the worst hangover of my entire life, Kier Wiater Carnihan introduced me to the power of the incomparable brown brew. I had incurred liver damage from seven months taking a foul drug called Lamotrigine for my temporal lobe epilepsy, and just four glasses of red wine on my birthday left me completely paralysed and in utter agony the next day.
“Kier… I can’t move.”
“You’ve had paracetamol, a shot of vodka, cayenne pepper and ibuprofen? That’s it: we’re going to the bar.”
Practically having to carry me, he led my quaking semi-corpse to the nearest pub.
“If nothing will fix it, Guinness will fix it.”
A pint and a half later my vision was clear, the shakes vanished and I was human again. Truly, I don’t know anyone who has done more to celebrate and demonstrate the power of this drink than he. So it’s only fitting that they showcase his grubby ass with his band Parlour in an advert.
Now that’s the kind of selling out I can get behind. As he put it, “Sold out to Guinness, albeit probably for less money than I’ve given them over the years…” Aces high kids.