January 31, 2004

THE JOY OF LETTING WOMEN DOWN: Secrets of the Worshipped Male

"too good for mere words" says Nick Barrett

In case you hadn't already seen it listed in our Other Books section, this is a small but perfectly formed sort-of-sex-manual which N and I collaborated on (I did the cartoons, she did the, um, exposé). The reason I'm bringing it up now is because Nick Barrett - journalist, critic, blogger and life-commentator extraordinaire at taliesin's log - has just posted the*most* fabulous* review (he also published it at BlogCritics) which I urge you to read and then rush to Amazon UK and order this little gem. How, you may well be asking, can I claim to have done the cartoons when I am myself a cartoon? Easy: I have the ability to pour myself at will into other cartoon personages - male, female or indeterminate.

Here is a taste of  The Joy of Letting Women Down

Only grown-ups and the immature will understand this book. ("WM" stands for Worshipped Male and "rm" for reliable male). Warning to the politically correct: this book is not politically correct.

The Joy...:sample pages from "The Joy.."


January 30, 2004


This is gratitude day. Quite a few brilliant bloggers have warmed the cockles and muscles (OK, mussels) of our hearts recently with their encouraging comments here or on their blogs. We know we are great but it's essential to hear it from other people once in a while. So here's a big sweet thanks: firstly to our friend and fellow Mac-enthusiast Michael Scott, who came over yesterday to cure me of Digital Camera Anxiety and this is the first result. I offer it in thanks and homage to Michael, and to fellow bloggers who light up this space with their presence and whose virtual homes I love to visit, and who have mentioned me (and/or Natalie) lately : Liam O'Donnell and Cassandra and Common Beauty and Demian Stimson and taliesin's log and Nick Piombino and Bongo Vongo and Dick Jones and Luigi Bertuzzi and frizzylogic and Martin and Global Suburbs and Kathryn Petro and, whaddya know, both Ming and voice of humanity have put Natalie on their lists of "People to Watch". Go on, watch her all you want but keep your best eye on me.

Some more types of THOUGHTS will be added to the list this weekend.

Apple and pear
Cox's English apple and Rocha Portuguese pear captured with Fujifilm FinePix 205S by Augustine.


January 28, 2004


I've added six more kinds of THOUGHTS. I wonder why I left those out in the first place?

January 26, 2004

THOUGHTS: The Kind We Have

Here is a puzzle: if a serious subject is approached in a lighthearted yet profound way, using cartoons and a minimum of words, why is it not given the serious consideration that a weighty thesis on the same subject in many thousands of words, with no cartoons, would be given?

January 22, 2004


The above appeared while thinking about Bloggers Parliament and the responses to our questionnaire and the whole issue: what is a problem, what is a solution, etc. Do I have to elaborate on this? I'm trying to use more pictures, less words.

January 19, 2003

Oof. We've begun posting Bloggers Parliament Members' replies to the questionnaire we sent them recently. Thought it would be all done in a couple of hours but fiddling with tables, background colours, sorting out who said what, copy/pasting, checking links and all the usual tooth-grinding hair-tearing webpage-designing hassles, it's only a quarter finished and that's taken all day.Plus thinking about the content of the answers, of course. Time for bed. (update 6:23 PM: it's all done now. Glitches sorted out. Time for tea).


January 17, 2004


January 13, 2004


Ghostwriter and MBP Demian has been doing wonderfully offbeat things since he turned into a Doodle Blogger recently. If you are not yet a fan, you soon will be. Do not miss, among other things, his January 8th strip cartoon: A Doodle Blog Solution for the Blaggers Parliament ( how to be a blogger even if you lack access to computers and the blogiverse). In a naive but expressive style of drawing and understated, tongue-in-cheek text he manages to insert subtle and serious food for thought. His latest spark is Advertice : advertisements that are part advert, part advice, and he writes: "I'd love to see other people come up with adverticements of their own - doesn't have to be in doodle form. could be photography or text or whatever you do..."Remember not to be owned

So come on, friends, take up his challenge. Here's my first adverticement. Thanks a lot for this inspiration, Dem.


January 12, 2004


We were asked what we wanted for Christmas.
Rashly, N said: a digital camera.
I said nothing. Foolishly generous, the family got together and on Christmas day gave N an envelope with the specified cash for the specified camera, an unassuming little number with a good reputation, simple operation and lots of useful features. How N knew this is because she wasted hours scouring the net, reading all the reviews of all the digies in the lower price range.The Digital Camera
I tsk tsked the whole time, asking why we needed yet another gadget, another concession to consumerism, another distraction from the gnovel? She huffed, puffed and sneered that we were not going to use the camera, she was going to use it and I could like it or lump it. So I lumped it and said: is it going to end up like the camcorder which has been gathering dust and condensation for the past ten years? Or the electronic keyboard which has been sleeping under an attractive ethnic shawl for the past....shall I go on? As you can imagine, my intervention was not welcome. However, I persisted and threatened to withdraw my blog unless the digital camera was going to be under my jurisdiction. That did it. Without Blaugustine, who is Natalie? So, yes, you may see some digital photos here but they will be my digital photos. And first of all the camera has to be taken out of its box.


January 9, 2004


So that this blog's friends and visitors will remember Pat too, I'm copying the Obituary published in the New York Times today:

Pat and her last dogPatricia A. Sides
SIDES Patricia A. - Died in her sleep January 1, 2004, after a long illness. Born in Cyprus, she was raised in California, in Riverside and San Mateo, and educated at Pomona College, Stanford University and Universita di Firenze, Italy. An adventurous spirit, she combined her love of travel with writing and foreign language to create a career in television from the 1960s on. Over the next 30 years, residing in NYC, she won national and international awards as a producer/director/writer of documentary films. Her most recent work was as senior producer for the New York office of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and for arts news on MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour. Earlier for WNET/ 13, she produced two Emmy award-winning series: "The New Immigrants'' and "Skyline with Beverly Sills.'' For PBS, she produced a series hosted by Abba Eban on "Heritage: Civilization and the Jews''; a series by Bill Moyers on international issues and a series called "Woman Alive!'' Documentaries for ABC included "Directions'' and "Make A Wish.'' She worked in collaboration with Downtown Community Television Center on films about people of other cultures from Cuba to Vietnam. Her independent production, "Washington Square Wrap'' on the sculptor Francis Hines, has been rebroadcast many times since 1982. For the last several years, she devoted herself to volunteer work for New England Border Collie Rescue. Pat will be much missed by her beloved border collie, Katie, and her fellow rescuer and companion, Viv Ramos, as well as her many friends. A memorial service will be held Tuesday, January 13, 11 AM at the Church of the Resurrection, 119 E. 74 St. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to New England Border Collie Rescue, c/o Jalyn White, 136 Edgemere Rd, Coventry, Connecticut 06238, USA.


January 6, 2004


Last night we heard that our dearest and longest-known friend, Patricia Sides - writer, documentary film producer, ballroom dancer, life-enhancing human being - died in New York at 3 AM on New Year's day. This is for Pat.

Pat, Patina, patineuse
you skated lightly on life's thin ice
Travelled light, small bag packed
always ready to go. Hated shopping
Hated stopping when you could have
another cigarette. Didn't bet, didn't
look back with regret, never judged.
Gave your all, had a ball, won the
ballroom dancing prizes, won the film
award, never asked for more.
The dog came first, dog's life
with Pat was bliss.
No dogs were
ever loved like this. And people
too, like me, lucky to be your pal.
How well we laughed, how well you knew
the simple rules of friendship.
Gliding lightly now in Paradise, glide this way
sometimes Patina, leave your smile here with me.