I've just spent the past four or so hours watching Band of Brothers. The reason was that I was bored and I think that it is one of the best series ever made for television. It is also one of those programmes that makes you think. Especially for someone of my age – the people I'm watching are portraying people who only 18 or 19.

It is somewhat scary to think that if I had been born 60 years ago I could have been one of those people. What scares me is that I don't know how I would have reacted in the situations that one faces in war. Would I have been able to pull the trigger to kill the other person?

Well that train of thought has depressed me enough so I'm going to write about and now for something completely different (really need to stop watching Monty Python). There is a girl on the floor of my Hall of Residence (somewhat like a Dorm) who is going out with a boy in another part of the hall. It started innocently enough and overtime they slowly became more open about the relationship. However recently I've felt that they've become slightly too open.

What I mean is that they will actually make out while there are other people in the room, namely me. I'll be sitting their innocently watching TV when faintly I'll hear what I can only describe as a squelching sound. My fucking God, it is not as if they don't get a chance to do this seeing as they sleep in the same bed every night. Now another person on my floor declares this to be cute and I agree up to a point. Cute is holding hands in public and making a quick peck on the lips as you say goodbye, but not sticking your tongue halfway down someones throat while there are other people in the room.

Hopefully this doesn't spiral further downwards. Nothing more awkward that feeling as though you are hindering someone giving a handjob...

The Further Adventures of...

So, following my last instalment, I spent a fairly uneventful weekend. Last night, two noder friends independently suggested to me that the United States of America may be on the brink of some form of collapse. It's an interesting thought. I can see some of the faultlines, but I'm not at all sure what would trigger balkanisation or civil war. Maybe it's just liberal wishful thinking to expect one of the world's great powers to disintegrate, but I'm struck by the thought that the United Kingdom's continuing devolution may be leading this country in that direction.

It's been lovely and sunny here in London today. Coming to work this morning, I passed a rack of tabloid newspapers at St James's Park tube station. The Mirror (newly rid of Piers Morgan) was announcing 'We'll kill Huntley' - a reference to convicted child killer Ian Huntley. The Sun, clearly keen to keep up the old tabloid rivalries, had 'We'll kill Madonna'. Unsurprisingly, neither story featured on the BBC TV news. Once I got to the office, I found my time mainly occupied in making literally thousands of photocopies. This week is going to be all that way, I fear, as I'm organising, and largely producing, a massive mail-out.

At lunch-time, I went and got a cup of tomato soup from the nearest branch of EAT. Looking out across the park from my office window, I could see scores of people relaxing on the grass, soaking up the sun and enjoying the summery atmosphere. We don't get properly summery weather much in London, so everyone's taking the chance while they've got it. After lunch, the copying continues. At one stage I realise I've made over 7000 copies. I notice that the packet of copier paper I've just emptied has a big cheery green picture of a tree on it, and '50%' beside it. 'Wow,' I think, 'that's not so bad - half of this is recycled.' Closer inspection shows that at least 50% of the paper is from responsibly managed forests, which isn't really the same, somehow. I feel like I've become the death of trees. After the copying, I started sticking labels on forms and envelopes. It's mind-blowingly repetitive work, so I was glad for a colleague who called out the cricket scores periodically. I didn't really spend four years at university so that I could be an envelope-stuffer four years after graduating, though.

I actually managed to get home at a reasonably humane time today. For the past eight months I've been taking evening classes in Swedish. But now the course has finished, and I missed the final exam while I was in Torquay last week. So today I left the office at about 6pm, and came straight home. The confirmation class I was helping with also finished last week, so I'm looking at a lot of free evenings. I may even get some serious writing about history done, and noded. I see from the BBC news website that the Canadian Prime Minister, Paul Martin, has called a general election. this election will be held on June 28, 2004. That's right - just over a month's time. Yet the election campaign in the neighbouring United States has been rumbling on for five months - as long as Mr Martin has been in office - and will do so for more than as long again. The US election has already cost a fortune in donations, and will subsequently cost millions of tax dollars in federal subsidies. No-one outside the States understands the complicated rigmarole of primaries and caucuses. Why not do things quickly, like the Canadians?

Today I got lumbered with the torture that is the UK's MOT. This is a basic test of mechanical safety (or otherwise) of all cars on the Queen's wonderful highways that are over the age of four. My car is now coming on for ten years of age, but it's got a fairly low mileage, and is doing fairly well. It's a Mazda 323 2 litre V6 and it had a small flap on one of the tyres. This was right in the centre of the nearside front tire, and unfortunately went just down to the canvas, so there was white poking out from underneth when you levered it back.
I don't know how it happened, but it cost me over a hundred pounds to get another tire. One Hundred quid! All because I have sixteen inch alloy wheels rather than fifteen inchers.
The point of all this is to prove that size DOES matter.
sorry if this is a bit too gtky'y for your tastes...

My 21st birthday was initially rather tame and staid. I went to my summer work, did my computer thing, and came back home. I boiled some frozen dumplings, and ate them with one of my good friends. After that, he and I then went out to the beer store, and he got his usual while I pored over the list, trying to figure out what would best fit both my budget and palate. I eventually settled on Yuengling's Black and Tan. Nothing quite matches the giddy feeling of finally being able to stand at the counter and order a case of whatever it is you'd like to have.

Following that, I sat around for a bit, waiting for my beer to get drinkably cold. I caught a couple of episodes of Law & Order, and then decided that it was time for that beer. This fueled, of course, a betterment of my drunken state. My friends and I took to a local bar and they proceeded to fill me with all manner of mixed drinks, followed by a shot or two. I was apparently removed from the bar after managing to puke into an empty pitcher.

Now I look at the rest of my life and I see no major birthday-related milestones to look forward to. I would almost say that I'm disappointed that this has happened, but really, what has happened is that I turned another day older. And that's all that has happened, every day, since I was born.

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