January 31, 2005

Felix

One of the problems with liking house music is that it is mainstream, which means it's pretty difficult to go out and dance to famous DJs in a pleasant environment. If a house DJ is good and gets famous, then he tends to start playing to massive crowds at so called super clubs. Thankfully the era of superclubs seems to have passed, but still while I'm hugely looking forward to going to listen to James Zabiela and Sander Kleinenberg in the next month or so, I'm really not looking forward to going out to dance at Turnmills and Ministry.

So it was with delight that I learned that the very famous and good (© anyone Japanese) Felix Da Housecat was to be playing at the Key, a 350 capacity club in Kings Cross. It got better and better; I had expected that it would be me and George alone, which is good enough, but Dave and Jo wanted to come as well, and it turned out to be possible to persuade Olly to come along, and Matt was already a massive fan, and Kiran had been intending to suggest it anyway, and George brought Chris and Des down, and Des brought Shaby, and then at the last minute Noriko decided to come too. So two became eleven and the night was set.

There isn't much to say about it really - it was a cracking night with great company and an awesome set of DJs. The club was pretty cool: despite being tiny it was well laid out and never really seemed that small. There were shiny shiny disco balls, a lit up dancefloor, plenty of soft couches and a great vibe. The music was incredible, everyone was loving it, twisted or straight and the only problem was that it all came crashing down at 5am when Felix, who'd arrived late, was cut off only an hour into his set when the lights went up and the sound was killed. That sucked.

Entertainment: Olly, bless him, seems to have found raison d'etre — perhaps more accurately his excuse d'etre — a guileless Irish girl who'd never done anything stronger than Guinness before she met him, and who now seems to be driving him to ever greater depths of drug misuse. This is, at least, how he characterises it; I suspect strongly that when she makes an ignorant suggestion which is in line with what he already wants, he tells himself it was her idea. Anyway, while pissed on Thursday night, they somehow decided acid would be a good idea. Three tabs, some speed and 36 hours without sleep and he's sitting on my sofa, sweating, silent and staring straight ahead. Another 4 hours and he's in the club, finally talking, laughing, being basically sane. And then a random guy wearing his jeans really low wanders past our room and bends down to do up his shoes. His builder's crack extends like a fissure in the fabric of the earth and sends poor Olly right back to acidland.

From left: Nik, Noriko, Chris, Kiran, Olly, Matt and George
Posted by Oxygenik at 2:20 PM | Comments (2)

January 25, 2005

Variety is the Spice of Life

http://software.silicon.com/os/0,39024651,39127108,00.htm

MSFT guy: "Sir, we've discerned that it is the variety and diversity of Linux distributions that are winning them all that marketshare!"

Posted by Oxygenik at 1:15 PM | Comments (2)

January 23, 2005

iPod: handy startup and rescue disk

Erk - I installed a dodgy piece of software on my Powerbook and it bit me right on the butt - when it recommended I reboot I did just that, and the damn thing just kernel panic'd even before the spinning Grey Wheel of Anticipation. This would have been a royal PITA at the best of times, but it was exacerbated by two factors, one psychological, one logistical.

The psychological nail in the neck was that I had read on some forums before trying this software that it caused kernel panics. My response was one of pure, undiluted hubris ("The fools with their poorly configured machines! It won't happen to me."), which did indeed precede nemesis. The logistical problem was disk space: with only 438MB free on my 60GB disk, how was I supposed to reinstall Mac OS X? The options the installer gave were:

  1. Archive and install: copy the old system files to a new location and install a new instance of Mac OS X alongside. This option was greyed out due to lack of space.
  2. Erase volume and install: no thanks. I'd lose months of digital photos, have to reinstall all the extra apps and so on.

So what to do? The answer sprang into my head at 4am this morning. Macs can boot from external firewire hard drives easily. And I happen to have an external 60GB hard drive: it's small and white and also plays music. My Photo iPod, a technological white elephant in other respects, was to be my saviour. Had I bought a normal 40GB iPod (the largest non-photo iPod) I would not have had enough space to perform this trick, but Mammon was on my side.

I simply plugged the iPod into my laptop, put on Mac OS X from the install disc, rebooted the laptop (holding down 'f' as it started to select a firewire startup disk) and then removed enough crud from the main hard disk to let me reinstall OS X. A very Apple solution. Now I think I'll keep a stripped down OS on the iPod as a rescue disk in case this ever happens again.

Posted by Oxygenik at 1:52 PM

January 12, 2005

Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150AD

Recently I've been watching Doctor Who: Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD with Peter Cushing and Bernard Cribbin. It's quality celluloid (or perhaps quality pitted aluminium and polycarbonate in these modern times) and I strongly recommend it. The soundtrack is especially good, with some toe-tapping jazz during the action sequences and some appropriately funny scoring during the all important comedy moments.

It's nice to see that in London in 2150AD advertising styling has reverted almost two hundred years, and that Harp is still selling. In fact, they will be releasing a new blonde lager I for one am looking forward to trying, if the Doc ever feels like giving me a lift to London 2149AD. It must be a society-wide trend because the Underground has gone back to vintage style station design, and the Circle and District lines have been closed at Embankment. Maybe they go to Charing Cross.

One thing I don't remember from when I was young is how useless both the Doctor and his enemies are. Doctor Who seems to have no special skills or cunning whatsoever, and gets out of the scrapes he blunders into due to the even greater incompetence of the Daleks who, in turn, don't have any obvious planet-conquering talent. I'll have to watch some of the series and see if the film is a reflection or an aberration.

Posted by Oxygenik at 12:09 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2005

Galactyforce Remix

This is a review not as a C64 remix, but as a stand-alone trance track. I haven't ever heard the original SID (you likely require one of these to play it), but as a piece of music in its own right, this track is almost awesome, but for one critical failing. I say, "almost awesome," not because it's very good but not quite awesome, but because that failing very nearly ruins it completely. It's got a great sound, juicy fat bass, nicely spaced sounds and a very effective emotional buildup from the beginning right up to the end. But it has this one critical failing.

The track is too short. In fact, there's only a little over half as much as there needs to be. It builds up very nicely, raising the temperature and quickly breaking down between the 1:49 and the 3:21 mark when the principal synth surges back in. This extended buildup sustains the pace and the keeps the anticipation high, and the whole thing meshes extremely well. Several neat musical themes are deftly introduced, and cutting the whole drum part at 3:06 for a measure expertly pushes the temperature that bit higher in anticipation of the return of the melody line introduced originally at 1:03. But then only a minute or so into this nearly euphoric synth it starts the fade out! Why?! It was so good, why stop there?

As I wrote, Putzi introduces the musical themes up until the fade-out point very skillfully, but the fade-out leaves them all unresolved. It really needs at least another 3 or 4 minutes to bring in the sounds and melodies from the initial buildup and blend them in with the main synth line from 1:03 and 3:21. The piece as a whole really needs to see them reintroduced and resolved before the end. At the moment, this track is like a mountain with a sheer drop on the far side: you go up the mountain and see an amazing view, and then you fall of the other side and die :-( :-(

I have to decide whether to score the track as a whole (which is missing its second half) or for the part we have been given, which is brilliant. But I can't, so it gets two scores: if this is all there will ever be to this track, I'm desperately sorry because it just leaves me feeling cheated, like an incredibly hot girl who takes you back to her flat, lets you take a shower and then kicks you out. I've been there, I know what it's like, and if this is the case, I can't ever listen to it again. If, on the other hand Putzi is going to finish it off and leave me relaxed and happy, then I'll have to give it a massive score.

Situation 1 (go home empty handed): 40%, and I'm really angry
Situation 2 (go home the next morning): 90%, and I'll come back that evening for another helping

Posted by Oxygenik at 10:23 AM | Comments (3)

January 9, 2005

Randomness

I'm about to sleep for the first time since before the most random night I can remember having. It involves a lunatic bling crack dealer, two entirely different varieties of woman, cascading hotel upgrades and the wonder of a body that has a stop mechanism for when the mind cannot... like I said, random.

Since the destructively fun night of New Year's Eve, I've been ill with a chesty, phlegmy cough which degenerates into a nasty hacky cough when all the phlegm has run out. I think I've been pissing my officemates off because Sarah my boss told me quite explicitly to go home on Friday afternoon, which I did. I rested a little and then I suddenly realised that while not exactly in keeping with the spirit of being sent home to get well, I might be able to meet my Japanese friends Osamu and Tomoko at the airport, as they were flying in that afternoon. Sarah, if you're reading this, I was only trying to help some foreign friends. I didn't expect the rest of this to happen! I'd had a rest and felt well enough to sit on my arse on a tube for an hour in each direction, and maybe even well enough to sit on my arse waiting for them to appear in Arrivals as well. That was all I was expecting.

So I hastily concluded my various chat conversations and immediately undid the afternoon's rest by legging it to the station. Their flight was delayed so I had enough time to get there and find a suitably occluded spot from which to jump out and surprise them. Mission accomplished, I took them to their hotel in Earl's Court - they had a fifty quid twin room booked over the net. Unfortunately, after their 13 hour flight, 3 hour check-in, 1 hour delay, 1 hour baggage retrieval and 1 hour tube journey, the hotel couldn't actually give them a room due to the fact that they were renovating at the time. Instead, they paid for a taxi and upgraded them to a twin in a much nicer 4 star sister hotel, The Shaftesbury, in Piccadilly!

During the journey, A rang to tell me about a leaving do in Bar Soho on Old Compton Street he was going to for one of his Aussie friends, H, who was going back to Perth in a few days, so I had a plan for what to do once my friends were encsconced in their new, upgraded hotel room. The Shaftesbury was actually a pretty nice place, but on check-in we found that the room wasn't ready; it had been very recently occupied, probably by a staff member who didn't realise that it was going to be given out and thought he could get away with a bit of gross misconduct. Reception sounded suitably mortified and immediately sent up a porter with new keys. Apparently there was some trouble finding another twin room because they got two new rooms instead of one old twin room. In fact, they must have had trouble finding any two other rooms as my friends got two Executive Suites, with a rack (walk-in) rate of well over three hundred quid a night!

Naturally, they gave one to me. Result.

All set, with a party to go to and a key to a 4-star Executive Suite in my cashmere overcoat pocket, I grinned like a loon and headed off to the bar while leaving some messages and sending some texts along the way to put the word out about my Executive Suite. At the bar I met A and his friends, none of whom I had seen before, including the very cute T, the exceedingly cute P, and the exceedingly fun and lively H. Men in the audience will have already discerned that she wasn't that attractive. I told the story so far and started gaming T, who was sitting next to me and already interested. Was witty and sparkling and not too interested and soon T was game. Discerned that P was very attached to her beau in Oz so resolved to appear to move in on H in order to keep T on the boil. Turned out H was actually really funny, so I wasn't at all unhappy about chatting. I had initially wanted to get out there and work the room for quality company, but as I was drinking with friends and as the company was pleasant, I stuck to it. What was not good was that despite my illness I was drinking, my beer goggles were on and, with that room key in my pocket, set to maximum warp.

I moved back to T, but as this happened some chump sat down next to her and started touching her! Turned out that this was her boyfriend, with whom she was just getting back together. It was obviously doomed, but not because of me - I have some social skill, I've been told, and it would seem to me that stepping in and ruining a reforming relationship is the height of bad manners when you know the people involved. A would later comment gravely, "I'm very disappointed in T's boyfriend." It's true, he was about as entertaining as a laundrette, and about as attractive. The poor girl kept flashing desperate glances at the rest of us as if to say, "Save me!" but it was clear to me that even going for that rescue would make enemies a simple shag wasn't worth.

As time wore on the clientele of the bar shifted from office drinkers (suits and open shirts) to Friday night drinkers (fairly normal apparel), to pre-club drinkers (shiny disco clothes), to post-pub drinkers (some more suits) to nowehere-else-is-open drinkers (very ragbag assortment). Thanks to my illness I had felt pretty pissed on just a few bottles of beer earlier, so I'd been laying off, but still felt pretty dulled. T and her bloke had exited at around 12:30am, A at 1am or so and I'd been trying to use the remaining two girls P and H (one attached, the other really nice but no spark) to get other girls, but they weren't interested in joining the dancefloor. To be fair, it was getting pretty messy on the dancefloor by this time. Anyone who hadn't pulled was doing his best to, by fair means or foul, and everyone who had was starting off the foreplay there and then. There was an entertainingly disgusting 4-way circle snog and grind going on between some fat retired gay bikers in jeans and pressed shirts and their frankly vile old fag hags, which neither girl was enjoying as much as me... but I've always had a fascination with the grotesque.

The girls decided it was time to blow the joint, and I just went with the minimum effort option: taking H back to my suite. As I have said, she wasn't anything special to look at, but she was a lot of fun to talk to, and I was looking for fun more than anything else. She was the one going back to Australia in an couple of days, so a final fling was probably high in her thoughts, and as for me I thought it would be something of a nice going-away present for a good friend of a good friend: a shag in a flash hotel with a fairly fit guy she'll never see again. However, there is a huge difference between thinking, hey, there's no spark but what the hell when wearing industrial strength beer goggles in a darkened environment and the same assessment made feeling ill and tired and under the uncompromising fluorescence of a hotel lobby, after sobering up. She was a lovely girl, but 'dog' doesn't really cover it. She was rough like grade 3 sandpaper. Ugly as all seven cardinal sins. I had to invent a new language of ugliness to describe her, but if you're not the kind of callous fucker who can just dtich people on the spot, what do you do? Well, I took my amputee roadkill upstairs, thinking, we're both biologically normal people (I suspect) so let's have a laugh and a shag and enjoy the £325 hotel room! We got to the suite, which was awesome: big flatpanel TV, amazingly comfy Queen-size bed, nice bathroom, mini-balcony and of course minibar! We kissed, and that's when it all started to go really wrong.

Kissing is very important, and I made a tactical error by not kissing her earlier, because it was awful. Not merely awful, but spectacularly, catastrophically, incapacitatingly awful. What's more, under the brighter lights and now really close up, I could see her skin, which was typically sun-damaged, but to levels I can't remember having seen anywhere before. Ginger people should all leave Australia and go and live somewhere overcast. I would welcome them and their recessive genes all to England if it reduced the number of people in the world who had skin like H's - she was heavily lined and flaky like a 50 year old detective who can still carry a tune. Still, you can close your eyes, can't you? Not when the actual kiss is so distressingly bad you end up staring in wide-eyed horror as the road accident unfolds in front of you. I think you can sometimes say that two people's mouths just don't mesh very well, but in this case, I'm sorry to say, I think she was just a shocking kisser. Her mouth opened up to the size of a 2p piece (actual size) and her tongue had all the flexibility and subtlety of a child poking an anthill with a stick. Every time she touched me I thought I was the donkey having its tail pinned on and she had obviously shaved her 'tache off because it felt like I was back on Old Compton Street snogging a gay blacksmith. To add grievous insult to already mortal injury, her mouth smelt like the furnaces of hell. With her top off, her body consisted of layers of softening lard flowing over a mound of jelly. Her bottoms were staying on. Mr Floppy had arrived to say, "No!" where my mind was still saying, "Maybe." Thank god for Mr Floppy!

By now it was past 3am and pulling opportunities in Soho were drying up, but this was too much. If it was her or nothing, I would settle for my book, clean sheets and a newspaper at my door in the morning. I had to get rid of her, but how could I do it now without making her feel like a piece of meat I'd decided wasn't even worthy of a stew? I manufactured a huge coughing fit and went in to the bathroom to think. On the phone was a message from about 2 hours ago from J, the #1 person I wanted to be in that hotel room right now, saying, "Have you found anyone to share your room with yet?" Aaaarrrrrrgggggh! Shit! Fuck! No! No! Don't fuck! I quickly texted back and thought with a clarity and focus I wish I'd been able to achieve at university. Cough a bit more, flush the empty toilet and once more into the breach! I had been coughing on and off all night as it was, so I merely ramped it up a little more and and winced like it was inducing a crushing headache. H offered an ibuprofen, but I flowed around that obstacle like a river around a rock with a quick fictional allergy. I knew that J was likely to take her time in replying, so over the next half hour or so I made the symptoms worse and worse until it was entirely congruent that I might say, while in a posh suite in a posh hotel on Shaftesbury Avenue, "I just want to go home."

H understood entirely and sympathised with me. She could see it was nothing to do with her lying all the way over at the wrong end of the bell curve and everything to do with my illness. I'd made her feel desired and she was so happy that she'd been able to spend the evening with me up till that point and said so repeatedly. I offered to let her stay in the hotel room, knowing that she wouldn't feel comfortable checking out of a hotel she hadn't checked in to, and so everything was rosy for us both. I found her a licensed minicab and packed her off home with a thankfully final kiss, waited until the cab was round the corner and whipped out the phone to J. She needed a little persuasion but came down. We got a chocolate and breakfast at Balans Cafe, which my brother explained to me later was the pretence she had needed to come in to London at 4am. Amongst men, even an invitation as blunt as "I've got a suite at The Shaftesbury, you should come down and fuck?" would result in instant acquiescence, but apparently women need some non-sexual justification. By this stage I was actually genuinely very very tired, so after we got back to the hotel room my game wasn't on form. In the end I just said, "You're not going until you've kissed me!" and so at last I got it on with someone I wanted to. And everything that was wrong with H was right with J. Her kissing was confident and powerful, her body was firm and her touch was deft. My guess is that she's probably had more practice with better quality partners than H, despite H's extra 8 or 9 years! If only I had read that text while I was still in the bar and I had met up with her when I hadn't been physically wrecked. We kissed again at the car and that was that.

The night for me was now officially over. Time to get a couple of hours kip in the room before helping my Japanese friends get a train to Sheffield. But Soho tells you when your night is over, not the other way round. "Hey, you!" I heard. I walked on. "HEY YOU! SEE! SEE!" I stopped. Why do I always stop? This sweaty, edgy looking black guy absolutely covered in silver chains and rings walks very quickly up to me and gets right in my face. "Hey you! C! C! Charlie! Crack! You want it?" Fuck this I'm gone, so I walk on but he darts in front of me and starts jogging backwards saying over and over again at about a thousand words per minute, "You see, you smell, you taste, you touch. Then you buy." I am so gone, but then he glances down and stops dead. Why oh why do I always stop? He glances back up at me and says, "I'll give you 5 rocks for your shoes!"

This time I really am gone. If you find yourself having sold your shoes for crack at 7am in the morning, going barefooted is the least of your problems.

Posted by Oxygenik at 3:07 AM | Comments (0)

January 4, 2005

New Year's Eve

It's an old story, and everyone knows it: New Year's Eve is shit. It's an institution, the shit NYE, as certain and predictable as the Queen's Speech, and about as fun. There are basically two things that you seem to be able to do on New Year's Eve

  1. Go out and get plastered
  2. Stay in and get plastered

It's almost as if culturally we have developed a defence mechanism against the awfulness of NYE, and that is to get blind drunk. Drunk so that we can enjoy ourselves in even the most awful situation, and blind drunk so that we can't even see how awful it is. Consider the typical situation when you go out: you go to a bar you probably wouldn't go to normally, pay, usually through the nose, just for the privilege of being in a position to buy overpriced drinks in a vastly overcrowded venue, and then proceed to imbibe at such a rate as to render yourself incapable of reminding yourself just what a fool you were for coming to this horrible dive in the first place. Come midnight you look around for some people to get hold of but even the taste of their mouths can't take away the bitter taste of predictable boredom in yours.

Staying in is just as much of a risk. Unless you have a select group of friends and can actually just enjoy each other's company and reflect on the occasion without regard for the expectations of it, you're stuffed. And even then, why aren't you having this cosy get-together on any other day of the year? Because on any other day of the year there isn't that absolute need to do something, so you don't feel the necessity to band together and defend yourself against the certainty of crushing disappointment should you go out. Staying in on NYE with friends is all about huddling together against the bleak inevitability of anticlimax and manning the psychological watchtowers to warn about impending washout.

So the only option that made any sense to George and I when we got together one evening in December was doing exactly what we would have done on any other Friday night, only with the added bonus that the one person we hadn't been able to share a Friday night with was in the country for a few days over Christmas and the New Year. He would definitely help make it a special occasion, NYE or not. Dave and I used to go clubbing in Japan, then George arrived and got into the scene, then I left and Dave and George went clubbing a lot, then George came back to England and he and I resumed operations. Now with Dave back, effectively for one night only, we were all set to kick ass and chew bubblegum. Except we were all out of gum.

So George, Dave and I hit up The End, a fairly small and nicely relaxed club near Tottenham Court Road for a night of house and twisted disco. We hooked up at mine first and prepped for the evening with some music, chat, a few tinnies and a special New Year's present from me to the guys, straight from Peru. A drink at the pub round the corner let us gauge our arrival to give us just enough time to get into the club, take a dump in the toilet (it's Dave's and my little ritual) and drop some sweeties down our necks before midnight. And they were selling Chupa-Chups in the toilet for a pound each. Everyone wins!

Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!

Midnight rolled around, and we danced a little up by the bar, waiting for the action to start. Sitting down at the tables we met a whole bunch of people and got a stick on the go. There were a couple of guys who seemed insanely grateful when I passed it on in their direction, as though no one had ever handed them a spliff in a club in their lives. It was so sweet, but I suspect the gratitude was chemically enhanced, as was my generosity. Dave, George and I focussed our attentions and got in with the girls. There was one, a little British Chinese girl (on the left, in my clutches) who was pretty cute in a dress which didn't even cover her very pert arse. It was nice just to look at, but then after I got up she literally bit me on my own arse, so that was obviously game on. I didn't see her until a fair while later, when Dave, mentally broken already, was asking her name. Having put enough down his throat and into his gums already to critically weaken his mind, and having just come back from Japan, when he found himself talking to an ethnic Chinese girl, he got confused. That night, Dave got very confused, very often. When she said her name was Jessica, he heard, "Sachiko," and that's what stuck.

Dave: "So, what's your name?"
Jessica: "Jessica."
Dave: "Where are you from in Japan?"
Jessica: "Ah ain't from Japan, Ahm from Landan!"
Dave
Simply Dave

later...

Dave: "What part of Japan are you from?"
Jessica: "Ah told you, Ahm from facking Landan innit!"
Gettin' Fucked
Well on the way already...

The sweeties worked. The studio fuel worked. The music was wicked. We danced for hours. The girl who bit me hove into view, which was lucky because if she'd left it much later I wouldn't have been able to see her. We danced. We bumped like dodgems and we ground like Starbucks: it was dirty, but for some reason we didn't kiss. I guess my mind was so firmly locked into the incredible sounds of Layo & Bushwacka on the decks that extraneous factors like hot women didn't even scratch the surface of my deteriorating consiousness. Every thought I had seemed to be in a race with the thoughts I'd already had as well as the ones yet to form, all trying to rush out of my head before I could even apprehend them. I found myself repeatedly performing unnecessary but familiar actions just to get a sense of control. So it was that I went back in to the toilets and passed Dave standing by the water cooler trying to work out what he should do. I gave him my bottle to fill up and bought 8 Chupa-Chups. It seemed like a good idea to spend 8 pounds on sweets.

George and Nik
George and Nik - check G's fist: no muscle unclenched!

A few minutes later Dave handed me back a bottle of water that had about 2 teaspoons more water in it than I had left with him. He said it had taken ages to fill the bottle and he had got thirsty and drunk everyone's water and sorry but Happy New Year and wasn't this awesome! All riiiiight. I gave him a lollipop to show there were no hard feelings. I also used a lollipop to get Jessica's attention, which resulted in a good tonguing for a few hours. Nice, but I couldn't get it through my increasingly fragile head that she spoke English, so I barely said two words to her all night. I couldn't actually think of anything to say anyway - my mind was revving so fast I could hold on to a small part of a train of thought for about 2 seconds, as could George. Dave was out of the picture by now, his brain turned to jellied eels. Looking around I saw George dancing with Syl, Jessica's friend, chewing his gums off. I whacked a caramel Chupa-Chup in his mouth to get some saliva flowing and to stop him chewing, but he immediately crunched down on it and crushed it into spiky glue which locked his jaws shut! Dave and I met again in the slightly less hectic environment of the upper bar and he tried to explain what happened at the water cooler. He'd been standing there filling up the bottles when a guy came up and told him it would be faster to fill it from the basins in the toilets. This didn't sink in at first, but then he realised the sense and went in. Not wishing to mix drinks, he emptied all the water he had put in the bottles and then filled them up again. Then he drank it all.

Nik, Dave and George, with locked jaws!
Nik, Dave and George, with locked jaws!

later...

Dave: "When are you going back to Japan?"
Jessica: "Fack awwwf!"

The pills we were doing were MDA - a slightly shorter lived high with less empathy but way more visual effects than MDMA, which was very cool: when I flicked my eyes, voluntarily or not, the club furniture, DJ booth, pillars etc stayed solid like in a strobe flash, but everyone's faces had massive motion blur. What's more, people's faces were covered in animal skin and in some cases were distorted to look like the animals too! One guy, who had a load of hair, had fur on his face, which had warped into a cat's. Everytime I saw him on the dancefloor, he looked like a Thundercat! It was very cool indeed, and not at all scary. I just looked at him and knew full well he didn't really look like Lion-O, but there he was. It was almost like he had gone to a lot of effort for the night, and this made me happy. Jessica had weird UV spots on her face, like alien freckles, despite there being no obvious UV in the club and her having typically pure east asian skin, and when I looked around at other people in the place, I saw all kinds of bizarre deformities, like finely patterned lizard skin, strangely pointed heads and more. It was really nice to see people changing their DNA for the night!

I wub you George! I wub you Nik!
I wub you George! I wub you Nik!

But if you think I was struggling, Dave was proper fucked! I don't think he was prepared for the jump from 1 or maybe 2 Japanese pills to 7 English ones with a load of charlie. He was just there dancing, eyes slack with a lollipop hanging out of his mouth, so I went up to him, put my arm around him and asked him if he was OK. He didn't respond, so I stepped back and slapped him with both hands on his cheeks. He turned, grinned at me and gleefully pronounced, "I've lost my mind!" The light in his eyes went out and he returned to his previous position, oblivious. He told me later he had been running that line through his head over and over again, because someone had talked to him earlier but had wandered off before he could formulate a coherent reply. He thought if he just said that line to anyone who said anything to him it would explain everything!

I love my finger!
Dave wasn't responding, so Nik enjoyed his own finger instead!

As the night drove on relentlessly, I stuck with Jessica because I have to have someone to feel connected to. It doesn't really matter who, as long as they reciprocate. This is the one thing that is utterly predictable about me an pills: at some point I'll feel either an incredibly strong connection with someone or an intense emptiness where I want that connection to be, so everytime she was out of sight I started feeling this pulling in my chest to find out where she was and reconnect. However, as I mentioned before I had absolutely no comprehension that she could speak English. Maybe Dave had programmed this into me, or maybe I really was as broken as him. Anyway, as the end of The End approached, and with considerably more saliva than conversation having been exchanged, she seemed to be trying to build some rapport with me. Perhaps this was because she wanted to get to know me but knew she was going home to be the chillout host the friends she had come with rather than staying with me to look after my degrading mentality, or perhaps she was just interested in who she'd been snogging for the past 4 hours. In fact, I had asked her back to mine but she had said, cruelly bluntly, "How many pills have you had? 5? 6? You won't be able to do anything. It'll be dry and sore. I'm going home wiv my mates!" The funny thing was, I fancied her more after that. I guess you always want what you can't have, but it was also really attractive being with a girl who didn't fuck around with games and innuendo. All I wanted anyway was just to keep on kissing her forever, my mind stuck in a very short loop. Anyway, whatever her motive she was trying to ask me some questions, but I was so fucked I couldn't grasp that she was even asking me in English. I was too preoccupied with trying to connect with the parts of her head which weren't covered in freaky UV spots. In my mind I was thinking, "This is too much. I simply can't even try to explain it to you. It's way too difficult for you to understand in English, and I can't be arsed to put it into simple words." To be honest, I really doubt whether I could even have strung any kind of reply together.

Raaaar!
Raaaar!

George and Dave left, and I stayed behind pathetically trying to persuade the sympathetic girl to stay with me so I could hang to my empathy. I should have left with the guys. I have realised recently that the manner of your arrival at and departure from a club has a big effect on your mental state and your overall appreciation of the event. When you all arrive at a club at different times, it's very hard to get on the same wavelength until you're all battered, so I think it's important to meet up beforehand and go for a drink somewhere so you can all arrive together and you're all already enjoying each other's company. As for leaving, when George and Dave left, I suddenly felt very alone. It is really nice to leave the club together and, while still with your friends, slowly adapt to the sober daylight of the real world.

Nik and Syl
Goodbye Syl...

So we all said goodbye, she left, I left, got home, sent her some ill-advised texts and went to sleep. We'll see what comes of that, but what a rocking night! I haven't mentioned much about the music, but it was great. The atmosphere was great, the punters were lovely, the girl was sexy and fun and everything turned out sweet. George, Dave and I met up yesterday for debrief and burgers at the Gourmet Burger Kitchen in Battersea, where we discovered that we had all independently cried at films the previous day! George cried at Edward Scissorhands, Dave at Return of the Jedi, when Vader throws the Emperor down and me at Return of the King, during the battle scenes with the Rohirrim! Feeling a little fragile we were!

Update - 10 days afterwards: the comedown from this night was horrific. At first, we laughed at our little cry at the movies, but as time wore on nobody was getting any happier. Over a week of feeling flat and dull, a week of having all the joy in the world turned to ennui, all the colour drained and all the humour rewritten by Richard and Judy. This led to my first behavioural resolution of the year: don't do this again. It was a great night, but while it's OK when the comedown lasts a couple or even a few days, a week scraping the bottom of the barrel is too high a price to pay for any night out.

Posted by Oxygenik at 3:12 PM | Comments (1935)