Thursday, 29 January 2009

Punctuality is a virtue

One of my friends, an American, was getting married to another of my friends, a Japanese lady. They decided to get married in Maui as people often do in these situations. It's half way between the US of A and Nihon. It's nice. The weather is usually very good and there a plethora of very nice hotels.

A whole bunch of people were invited and I and my very good friend H-Dog travelled down together. Now H-Dog looks a bit like David Bowie and was sporting a ponytail at the time. It should be noted that looking like the Great White Duke in Japan is a very good thing if you want to attract the attention of the local ladies. Add to that an excellent command of the Japanese language and an ability to make the girls laugh, whatever their nationality, and you have a man who women want to be with.

None of this seemed obvious to any of the airport security personnel we had to contend with on our trip down there. They seemed to see a gay couple traveling together which, apparently they didn't like. I have never been pulled out of  a security queue and had the contents of my luggage searched with such frequency before or since. 

We arrive in Maui having spent the flight over (+ interchange in Honolulu International Airport) indulging in the spirit of air travel, and also the wine and beer of air travel. But there was trouble in paradise. The man with the sign saying "A MOUSE" was conspicuous by his absence in the arrival hall and we had to take a taxi to the Grand Marriott. I was quite upset about this as there is nothing that says "Welcome" to me more than a nice man waiting to pick up your luggage and drive you to your hotel without any hassle.

My temper was considerably improved by the presence of sea kayaks at the resort and this led me to be standing, post paddle, in my board shorts and rashie, carbon fiber paddle in hand watching the hotel staff decorate the gazebo on the lawn for my friends' wedding.  The time 4:30pm. Start of wedding 5:00pm.

Now, I have never and I mean NEVER been to a wedding which started even remotely on time. After a brisk run back to my hotel room (yes, shared with Mr Dog, the whole gay boys on tour theme continuing strong) and a shower, I was stood in the room shouting at room service about the lack of a car to pick us up at the airport. Time 4:57pm.

A brisk walk down to the lawn saw us arrive and be seated 30 seconds before they started playing "Here comes the Bride". Time 5:03pm.

Lesson 1 - Hotel weddings always start on time.  Who knew?

The lawn was a wonderful place. The sun was shining and it was a fine place to be in a pair of board shorts and a rashie. It wasn't so fine being in a suit and tie. In fact, it was a wee bit on the hot side. I had wisely chosen to wear  a blue shirt for the wedding. As the wedding finished and we all retired to the drinks table for a hard earned champagne, it became apparent that I could not take my jacket off even though the wedding was over. I was sopping, my shirt was sopping and definitively a very different color of blue from the bits that weren't sopping. I was trapped in a jacket until I managed to cool down a bit and dry out. Disaster.

Lesson 2 - Wear a white shirt to weddings which will be hot.

Luckily a jug of iced water, some shade and the odd flute of champagne allowed me to regain my composure and with a loosened tie and a song in my heart, I set off to make sure the DJ equipment and sound system had arrived.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Art and real life

Went to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" last night. I thought it was a good film. One of the signs of a good film for me is that I am still thinking about it the next day.

It has me thinking about the impermanence of life, its ultimate futility and the challenges associated with knowing this and still trying to live a life that is full of meaning (however you might judge that).

As an aside, I bumped into 3 groups of people I know as everyone was leaving the cinema. HK is a small place, but I think we all know that.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

iPod issues

The other day Madam Mouse and I got into a cab.  We had your standard issue Cantonese man with a blocked sinus. However he had the radio turned on low and was listening to some beautiful classical music.  After some hard listening, I realised it was Beethoven's 9th (which I really like).

We got out of the cab, thankful that the cabdriver had eschewed the usual diet of wailing cantopop (which I don't like at all) and felt quite well disposed to him despite the staggering amount of sniffing that had gone on.

In a very unsettling way, the music followed us and it was at that point I discovered I had turned my iPod on in my pocket. It was my music after all.

Aha ahahahaha.

But apparently I am not alone in doing this, so I now feel much better about the whole thing

Sunday, 18 January 2009


Here is poem I wrote some time ago. It's chief virtue is its brevity.


Tru' de jungle do dey go
See the eeele-phants go to and fro
Blimy, dem tings are huge, mon.

Saturday, 17 January 2009


Socks are marvelous things.

I used to take them for granted until I started spending a lot of time hiking. A good pair of boots and a good, and very importantly dry, pair of socks are absolutely vital. My father (who used to be in the Army) was adamant about this point. I have to say he was spot on.

There are all sorts of things to do with socks. You can, of course, wear them. You can roll them into a ball and throw them at people. You can roll one up and put it inside the other one (if they are long sports socks) and create the schoolboy equivalent of a mace. If you are really bored, you can make very bad hand puppets.

But you can also take them off. I think there is a whole episode of Coupling that discusses the "sock zone" which is where a man unfortunately takes off his trousers before his socks and then stands there, in his undies and socks. Even if you have a physique that you can smash walnuts on, it is difficult to look good in this situation.

I was Djing at a wedding once. It was going well at the afterparty and the amount of clothing being worn was on the decease. My friend H came over and noticed I was wearing neither shoes nor socks and inquired why. I merely pointed to the man standing on a chair, trying to take both his trousers and socks off at the same time and said "Sock zone".

Monday, 12 January 2009

Brass Monkey Weather

Irrespective of where it came from, the phrase is applicable today. We all know that for the same temperature it seems much colder in HK than in, say, Europe. I know my bedroom is bloody freezing. 'Nuff said

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Month of Bass

In a concerted effort to live up to one of my New Year Resolutions ( Number of cigarettes smoked this year 0.0. Unfortunately not one of my NYRs), I have been playing bass almost every day.

Here is a picture of my Kramer 450B. It's an old school bass with a big aluminium plate in the neck.

I love it dearly and I bought it back in the day when I was at Uni and cost me a significant portion of my net worth at the time.

It has a very warm sound and I love playing funk with it.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Physics games

Happy New Year everyone.

This website has been absorbing a lot of my free time. 

More later this week.