Thursday, February 21, 2008

Quantum Sense

I was up looking at the Anatomy Lecture Theatre today with David and Martin, to see how it would work out for the Simon Armitage talk next month. I've never been in the Anatomy department before and was a bit scared that I'd walk in and immediately find myself surrounded by dead bodies being disected by heartless medics. Luckily, this wasn't the case.

While we were there we also had a look at the Anatomy Museum, which was actually less horrifying than I'd expected. I'd always imagined a small dusty room filled with jars of appalling deformities, but it's actually a very light, airy room. As long as you walk down the middle and don't look to the sides too much, it's fine. Mind you, there was a couple there who seemed to have come out for a romantic walk round it and they were getting quite amorous. Which was a wee bit disturbing...

After that I went on a mad postering spree, taking in some turrets:

and Michael, who I hoped might be able to insinuate a poster into the Research Club. He said he didn't actually have a key any more, but I took his photo anyway. He was very pleased, as you can see. Or maybe it's because I was leaving at that point...

After that, I went down to Byres Road with more posters and went into Thornton's where a couple of women were talking about a colleague whom they felt was a bit arrogant because she'd been to Uni. And somebody else they knew who was doing Quantum Physics at Paisley (I'm not sure what he had to do with it). One woman then said "Of course anybody can learn quantum physics. If you've got a month and someone to show you how to do it. But you can't be taught common sense."

I think she's maybe being a bit optimistic on the quantum physics front. I did a couple of months of it at one point and ended up none the wiser. But she's quite right about the common sense. The upshot of all this being that I can neither do quantum physics, nor do I have any common sense. Bugger.

Anyway, just before I went to catch the bus home, I dropped in to Oxfam where I bought a Russian Cookie Monster bag! Isn't it fantastic?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Leonard Cohen Supper

The latest Vital Synz event involves Liz Lochhead, the McCluskey Brothers, Donny O’Rourke, Stuart Ennis, and David Wilson in a celebration of all things Leonard Cohen.

The evening includes live performances of Cohen’s songs, film footage of the man himself in discussion, and opportunities for the audience to raise their own voices (and a Cohen Cocktail) to the writer of hits such as “Hallelujah”, “Bird on a Wire” and "Suzanne".

Thursday 28th February, 7.30pm, Sloans, 62 Argyle Arcade, 108 Argyle Street, Glasgow G2 8BG.

Tickets £10 (£5 conc) on sale at the door from 7pm

P.S. Click on the picture if you want a bigger version of the lovely poster to download, print out and pin up in salient points around the city...:-)

Moving Pictures

While I was in town tonight, I dropped in to see Stuart's (a.k.a. potatojunkie) movie-themed photo exhibit at the 13th Note. This is a rather badly exposed (and consequently grainy) picture of him and one of his lovely (and correctly exposed) photos. The exhibition's on until March 2nd, so you should go and have a look!


The moon and stars

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Still Burning

I was out last night at the first performance of Dave Whyte's song cycle based on
Donny O'Rourke's book "One Light Burning".

Donny Reading Film Noir - which didn't become a song, exactly, but had lots of accompaniment, as pictured below:

Eddie McGuire playing some Chinese influenced tunes. I remember the percussionist (whose name I didn't manage to catch) playing the harp at a similar event last year, but this time she had lots of unusual percussion instruments. This one was a bit like a very tuneful bin lid...

Elizabeth, a fiddler from Orkney.

Donny and Dave sing about the river.

Birthday cakes and candle.

Larry Butler.

Donny watching Peter Nardini choose a harmonica (he had lots secreted about his person).

Eddie McGuire.

Siobhean McCloskey talking about her trip to the Himalayas to help build a village school.

Taking a bow.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


This seems to be the season for people to yell at me. On Wednesday I had some guy come up to me at the bus stop on Byres Road and start barking loudly at me about "those Asian guys over there". "Not that I'm racist or homophobic", he said (always a bad sign) then went on to complain bitterly about how they'd cut in on a conversation he was having with the woman "behind the bar...I mean counter in Oxfam" (a Freudian slip perhaps). When he finally paused to draw breath I asked him why on earth he was telling me all this, and I didn't see why I should be berated by random strangers while waiting for a bus. To which he replied that I was "as bad as them!" and stomped off in the huff.

Usually the folk who try to engage me in conversation at the bus stop are a bit puzzling for one reason or another, but perfectly friendly. Sometimes too friendly. Recently I've chatted to: an old lady who told me her life story; a disabled guy who seemed very nice, but I couldn't quite make out what he was saying; and a very drunk student who smoked intently at me for a few minutes then tried to kiss me as I got on the bus (which had arrived just in time).

However, today the piano tuner turned up and spent the first ten minutes or so yelling at me for having "killed this piano!" This always happens when I get someone to tune the poor thing. I tried to explain that it wasn't my fault, my parents - whose piano it actually is - had originally kept it next to a radiator, unloved, for about five years before I rescued it. As usual, this cut little ice. But also as usual, he managed to get it back to a perfectly reasonable state for a pianist of my limited abilities (they always do, being good at this kind of thing).

He did mutter darkly, though, that it wouldn't be at concert pitch. I suppose I'd better ring the RSNO and tell them not to bother coming round for that concerto we were going to play in the dining room...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Smoke and mirrors

Multiple personality problem getting worse. Not done in Photoshop (for a change). Guess how...