Wednesday, February 22, 2006

[The Life of Shaun #35] Re: Reality TV

OK, it got worse. Showed the patients having diarrhea, showed the nurses cleaning it up, and then gave a model demonstration showing how the withdrawal effects the intestines and produces said diarrhea.

It's definitely time to turn it off and go to bed.



[The Life of Shaun #34] Reality TV

So I've always thought American TV was sinking low with some of their reality TV.  Remember "Married by America"?

Well, our Anglo TV has outdone American.  The newest reality hit: "Going Cold Turkey".  It's the live-on-TV display of three people quitting their heroine addiction cold turkey.  They're pretty much locked in rooms with nurses & cameras.  It comes complete with interviews with family members watching on screens in the studio as well as full scenes of emotional breakdowns, shivers and vomiting.  And this is episode two.

Wow.  Penis week back a few weeks ago seems so tame now.


Shaun Coley
London, UK
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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

[The Life of Shaun #33] Like sands through the hourglass...

No, I am not going to wish you all a happy VD day... just a musing. I just had a lovely dinner with my flatmate and her boyfriend, wine, prosecco, wine, wine, you know, a normal Tuesday night... ;) But as I was doing dishes I realized where I was ten years ago.

With a comfortable margin, I had left Vegas.
I was very recently finally able to throw away my fake ID (I was Mike Odynski from St. George, Utah).
I was in San Francisco - at 54 Saturn Street!
I had never been to New York.
I had a car and liked having one.
I was about to get my first real boyfriend.
I was at my third college; and still had four more ahead of me before I got a diploma.
I lived on $800/month.
And, of course, I didn't realize how good I had it.

To many of you it might be a little silly and trite, but I can't believe it's been ten years since then... come next year it's ten years since I *LEFT* SF. This is crazy to me because, in most respects, my life didn't start until I got to SF, so now it's this mile stone that gets more & more distant. And now I sit here in my flat in London remembering then and it seems so, so long ago.

But on the other side - almost everyone I had around me that was important when I left SF is still important to me now, with many more amazing people met since. So I guess in some ways it really wasn't all that long ago.

But man, ten years. Shit.

OK, *FINE*, happy VD day.

Shaun Coley
London, UK

Friday, February 10, 2006

Another all-about

Ah, the question thing we all know so well! But I like this one more than most, so I decided to do it. I won't ask you to send back unless you want to. Feel free to add a question or two. I did. :)


[Marital Status]
It's complicated...
[Shoe size] 11.5
[Parents still together] As in "roommates", yes
[Siblings] Two; identical twin sisters
[Pets] A cat, Cooper, but he lives at a boarding house in New Jersey :(


[Color] Yellow
[Number] 14
[Animal] Seann William Scott
[Boy] today, Max Foster; he was sooooo cute this morning! He really makes getting up bearable.
[Girl] Kiki
[Drinks] Thank god this is a plural question... just keep water out of it and we're good
[Soda] I haven't had a Coke in days and I never have any in the fridge here. You may all pick your mouths off the floor now.
[Book] "Mother Tongue" by Bill Bryson (I've never been excited to get home just so I can continue reading before.)
[Flower] Does a sphincter count as a flower? (In checking the spelling for that I came across this --> . God I love the internet.)

[Color your hair?]
[Twirl your hair?] My pubes, yes, that's how I know when it's time to trim again
[Have tattoos?] Just got #2!
[Have Piercings?] None currently in use
[Cheat on tests/homework?] No, I just used unapproved study aids
[Drink/Smoke/Snort/Shoot-up?] Yes, no, yes, no
[Like roller coasters?] Absolutely
[Wish you could live somewhere else?] Absolutely not
[Want more piercings?] Not on ME, but on someone else.... ;)
[Like cleaning?] Only foreskin
[Write in cursive or print?] Print
[Own a web cam?] Not anymore, my computer's in a shared space
[Know how to drive?] Yes
[Own a cell phone?] No. I own a MOBILE phone
[Ever get off the damn computer?] Yes, as soon as the boy I was chatting with shows up


[Been in a fist fight?] Nope
[Considered a life of crime?] If by life of crime you mean illicit drug use, then yes
[Considered being a hooker?] Yeah, but then I realized I wouldn't get to pick my clients and what fun is that?
[Lied to someone?] Hey, everyone adds an inch in their profile, so I plead the 5th.
[Been in love?] Yeah, but don't worry, I got over it
[Made out with JUST a friend?] Made out? No. Blown? Yes.
[Been in lust?] 400 times a day.
[Used someone] 395 times a day.
[Been used?] 390 times a day.
[Been cheated on?] God, I hope so.
[Kicked someone in the nuts?] Yes, but he actually LIKED it!
[Stolen anything?] Yeah, many times, and the one time I got caught was the most embarrassing, shameful event with my parents ever. NEVER happened again.
[Held a gun] Only bee-bee guns and, well, "guns"


[Current clothing] For me that means pretty much what I had in 2004.
[Current mood] Coming down from drinking at lunch
[Current taste] I still like the London boys. Good thing!
[What you currently smell like] Cheap red wine & chocolate
[Current hair] Short
[Current thing I ought to be doing] Ought? My boss would say working. I say sleeping.
[Current cd in stereo] Stereo? Someone old made up this list. though I did add two Celine Dion songs to my iPod this week (shut up, we all have our shames!)
[Last book you read] All the way through.... I think "A Short History of Nearly Everything". Partially, "Eats, Shoots and Leaves".
[Last movie you saw at the theater] Brokeback Mountain and I loved it. I love it more as time passes & it sits in my head, too.
[Last thing you ate] Mac & cheese (with ketchup, of course!)
[Last person you talked to on the phone] A work guy from Philly
[Do drugs?] Not right now, but OH DO I WISH! Give me till next weekend.
[Believe there is life on other planets?] In theory, yes
[Remember your first love?] Yes, I'm still alive after all
[Still love him/her?] Yes!
[Read the newspaper?] Two a day, Mon-Fri
[Have any gay or lesbian friends?] Gay friends, yes! Lesbians don't have friends.
[Believe in miracles?] Only bad ones (what % did Bush get in 2004 again?)
[Do well in school?] #7 out of 550 in HS, honors in college
[Wear hats] Nope
[Hate yourself?] Not a bit
[Have an obsession?] Travel, friends, drinks & boys. yup, that sums me up quite nicely.
[Collect anything?] See above.
[Have a best friend?] Yes, more than one; I'm a fu(king lucky guy
[Close friends?] See above.
[Like your handwriting?] No
[Care about looks] Yes, of course I do.
[What do you do when you are bored?] Masturbate & web surf

[First crush]
The co-host of "New Animal Kingdom" on the Disney Channel. He had such hairy arms! I still get butterflies & tingles in my joints when I think about how I felt looking at him. How intense chemical reactions are at that age.
[First kiss] Yes, I remember the sensation, but not the person. (Talking about with a boy here, so first meaningful kiss.)
[Do you believe in love at first sight?] No
[Do you believe in "the one?"] Only in 5-minute time frames
[Are you a tease?] Absolutely
[Too shy to make the first move?] Depends on how much I really like him and how much I've had to drink.


[Daydreamer] Definitely
[Bitch/Asshole] No, not genuinely
[Sarcastic] Without end
[Angel] I'd say so
[Devil] Yeah, let's say yes to this one, too
[Shy] Totally depends on the situation
[Talkative] Yeah, most of the time
[Sexy] Yes, I think so. I certainly do myself well in the mirror. ;)

Shaun Coley
London, UK

[The Life of Shaun #32] NYC/Miami in March

Hey all,

I've changed my plans for NYC & Miami a little... I was having too hard a time thinking when I'd see everyone since the weekend of March 25 is pretty much a wash for planning anything, so I've added a few days to the front of the trip. I will now be in NYC from 17 March until 28 Mar (Friday to the second Tuesday) and Miami from 28 March to 01 April (Tuesday to Saturday). So it eases things a little. And now I will definitely be there over a $2/pint night at Phoenix - fab!

Terry, please kindly let Blake know he is welcome to sleep on your sofa these dates. ;)
Looking very forward to seeing everyone!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Islington & Clerkenwell

London Borough of Islington

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
London Borough of Islington
Shown within Greater London
Status London borough
— Total
Ranked 352nd
14.86 km²
ONS code 00AU
— Total (2004 est.)
Ranked 82nd (of 354)
12,106 / km²
Ethnicity 75.4% White
11.9% Afro-Caribbean
5.4% South Asian
1.7% Chinese
Leadership Leader & Cabinet
Executive Liberal Democrats
MPs Jeremy Corbyn
Emily Thornberry
London Assembly
— Member
North East London
Jennette Arnold
Official website
Arms of Islington London Borough Council
Arms of Islington London Borough Council
Islington Town Hall
Islington Town Hall

Islington is a borough of London to the north of the City of London, west of Hackney, east of Camden, and south of Haringey. Population 179,000 (1998 ), ethnic minority population about 20%. It was formed in April 1965 through amalgamation of the Metropolitan Borough of Islington and the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury. It is an area of significant social contrasts (55% of population live in council housing, yet some houses of value greater than 3 million GBP). Islington contains one of the largest intact areas of urban Georgian architecture , and the borough is also known for its shopping facilities and "trendy" restaurants, bars and clubs. Its most prominent institution is Arsenal F.C., one of the world's most successful football clubs. John Stuart Mill, the famous economist and philosopher, was born in Pentonville, one of its areas, 20 May 1806.

The borough contains two Westminster parliamentary constituencies; Islington North and Islington South & Finsbury.




Districts of Islington

The borough includes the areas:


Famous residents

Tony Blair, Prime Minister, once lived here (at 1 Richmond Crescent in Barnsbury). Other famous residents include the writers George Orwell, Nick Hornby and Douglas Adams, playwright Joe Orton, politician Boris Johnson, former nurse Abi Titmuss and pop musicians Dido, David Gray and John Lydon.


Major Public and Private Bodies in Islington


Attractions in Islington


Demographics of Islington

According to the 2001 census Islington has a population of 175,797. It is 75% White, 6% Black African, 5% Black Caribbean and 2% Bangladeshi. 32% of the borough's residents are owner–occupiers.



The area was recorded as Gislandune (c. 1000) and Iseldone (Domesday Book , 1086), from Old English *Gisla (man's name, genitive *Gislan) and -dun (hill, down).


External links

Crest of Greater London Greater London | London | City of London Flag of the City of London

London boroughs: Barking and Dagenham | Barnet | Bexley | Brent | Bromley | Camden | Croydon | Ealing | Enfield | Greenwich | Hackney | Hammersmith and Fulham | Haringey | Harrow | Havering | Hillingdon | Hounslow | Islington | Kensington and Chelsea | Kingston | Lambeth | Lewisham | Merton | Newham | Redbridge | Richmond | Southwark | Sutton | Tower Hamlets | Waltham Forest | Wandsworth | City of Westminster

Sui generis: City of London

Enclaves: Inner Temple | Middle Temple



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Ordnance Survey
OS grid reference: Maps for TQ315825
London borough: Islington
County level: Greater London
Region: London
Nation: England
Ceremonial county: Greater London
Historic county: Middlesex
Police force: Metropolitan Police
Fire brigade: London Fire Brigade
Ambulance service: London Ambulance
ITV franchise: ITV London
BBC region: BBC London
BBC Local Radio: BBC London 94.9
Post office and telephone
Post town: LONDON
Postal district: EC1
Dialling code: 020
UK Parliament: Islington South and Finsbury
London Assembly: North East London
European Parliament: London

Clerkenwell (pronounced "clarkenwell") is a locality in the southermost part of the London Borough of Islington . Clerkenwell is also known as London's Little Italy due to its once extensive Italian population from the 1850's to the 1960's.




Clerkenwell has a long history. It took its name from the Clerk's Well in Farringdon Lane. In the Middle Ages, the London Parish clerks performed annual mystery plays there, based on biblical themes. Part of the well remains visible, incorporated into a later (19th or perhaps early 20th century) building called Well Court.

Clerkenwell had strong monastic traditions. The nuns of St Mary's, Clerkenwell, lived on the site of the present St James' Parish Church. The Monastic Order of the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem had its English headquarters in Clerkenwell. ( The Blessed Gerard founded the Order in order to give medical assistance during the crusades.) St John's Gate (built by Sir Thomas Docwra in 1504) survives in the rebuilt form of the Priory Gate. Its gateway, erected in 1504, and remaining in St John's Square, served various purposes after the suppression of the monasteries, being, for example, the birthplace of the Gentleman's Magazine in 1731, and the scene of Dr Johnson's work in connexion with that journal. In modern times the gatehouse again became associated with the Order, and was in the early 20th century the headquarters of the St John Ambulance Association. An Early English crypt remains beneath the neighbouring parish church of St John, where the notorious deception of the "Cock Lane Ghost," in which Johnson took great interest, was exposed. Adjoining the priory was St Mary's Benedictine nunnery, St James's church ( 1792) marking the site, and preserving in its vaults some of the ancient monuments. The Charterhouse, near the boundary with the City of London, once served as a Carthusian monastery. The Charterhouse later became a school and almshouse, which latter still remains.

In the 17th century Clerkenwell became a fashionable place of residence. A prison erected here at this period gave place later to the House of Detention, notorious as the scene of a Fenian outrage in 1867, when it was sought to release certain prisoners by blowing up part of the building. Before Clerkenwell became a built-up area, it had a reputation as a resort where Londoners could disport themselves at its spas, tea gardens and theatres. Sadler's Wells has survived, after rebuilding, as heir to this tradition.

Clerkenwell Green and St James' church
Clerkenwell Green and St James' church
Mount Pleasant postal sorting office
Mount Pleasant postal sorting office

The Industrial Revolution changed the area greatly. It became a centre for breweries, distilleries and the printing industry. It gained an especial reputation for the making of clocks and watches, which activity once employed many people from around the area. Flourishing craft workshops still carry on some of the traditional trades, such as jewellery-making. The owners of many former industrial buildings have recently converted them into loft dwellings.

Clerkenwell Green lies at the centre of the old village, by the church, and has a mix of housing, offices and pubs. In conveying some impression of its history it probably gives the appearance of one of the better-preserved village centres close to central London. In Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, Clerkenwell Green is where Fagin and the Artful Dodger induct Oliver into pickpocketing amongst shoppers in the busy market once held there. Indeed Dickens knew the area well and was a customer of the Finsbury Savings Bank on Sekforde Street, a street linking Clerkenwell Green to St John's Street.

In 1902, Vladimir Lenin moved the publication of the Iskra (Spark) to the British Social Democratic Federation at 37a Clerkenwell Green, and issues 22 to 38 were indeed edited there. At that time Lenin resided on Percy Circus, less than half a mile north of Clerkenwell Green. In 1903 the newspaper was moved to Geneva. It is said that Lenin and a young Stalin met in the Crown and Anchor pub (now known as The Crown Tavern) on the Green when the latter was visiting London in 1903. Clerkenwell's tradition of left-leaning publication continues today, with The Guardian having its headquarters a short walk away.

Clerkenwell contains the Mount Pleasant postal sorting office, the largest in London.

Pubs and Restaurants

The first gastropub, The Eagle, opened in Clerkenwell in 1991. The Eagle has been joined by, among others, The Peasant and The Coach and Horses, Clerkenwell pubs which have since been converted in gastropubs.

St John Food & Wine, a traditional English restaurant and the Michelin-starred Club Gascon head up the bill of leading restaurants, taking full of advantage of the proximity of Smithfield's meat market.

Clerkenwell is also home to the capital's two finest Belgian bar/brasseries - the Dovetail and L'Abbaye. Both offer a full range of Belgian ales in the heart of London.


Clerkenwell is the home of two of London's largest nightclubs, Turnmills and Fabric, giving the area reputation as one the very best areas in London for an evening out. The nightlife is centred on the north side of Smithfield market, revellers gathering alongside delivery teams from across Europe at the meat market on nights throughout the week. Several pre-club venues such as Smith's of Smithfield, Meet and Bed Bar have flourished in the area. A number of traditional pubs also line the market and the surrounding warren of streets.

Nearest places

Nearest tube station

External links


  • Andrew Rothstein, A House on Clerkenwell Green, 1966. A history of 37a Clerkenwell Green and activism in the area.

Main districts of the London boroughs | List of places in London

Acton | Barking | Barnes | Barnet | Battersea | Beckenham | Bermondsey | Bethnal Green | Bexleyheath | Brentford | Brixton | Bromley | Camberwell | Camden Town | Carshalton | Catford | Chelsea | Chingford | Chislehurst | Chiswick | City | Clapham | Clerkenwell | Coulsdon | Croydon | Dagenham | Deptford | Ealing | East Ham | Edmonton | Eltham | Enfield Town | Feltham | Finchley | Fulham | Greenwich | Hackney | Hammersmith | Hampstead | Harrow | Hendon | Highbury | Highgate | Holborn | Hornchurch | Ilford | Isleworth | Islington | Kensington | Kentish Town | Kilburn | Kingston upon Thames | Lambeth | Lewisham | Leyton | Mayfair | Mitcham | Morden | Orpington | Paddington | Peckham | Penge | Pinner | Poplar | Purley | Putney | Richmond upon Thames | Romford | Ruislip | Shepherd's Bush | Shoreditch | Sidcup | Soho | Southall | Southgate | Stoke Newington | Stratford | Surbiton | Sutton | Teddington | Thamesmead | Tottenham | Twickenham | Upminster | Uxbridge | Walthamstow | Wandsworth | Wanstead | Wealdstone | Welling | Wembley | West Ham | Westminster | Whitechapel | Willesden | Wimbledon | Wood Green | Woodford | Woolwich

Shaun Coley
London, UK

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

British TV

I love Channel 4...

Mon: The Perfect Penis
Tue: Chopped Off: The Story of John Wayne Bobbit
Wed: The World's Biggest Penis
Thu: The Half Ton Man (sorry, I mean the Half Tonne Man)

And they are not afraid to show things here that would never, never fly on US TV. For instance, letting you see all the ins & outs of a penis enlargement surgery, which taught me that, GET THIS, the surgery is done under local anesthetic!!!

The Perfect Penis show also taught me that I am firmly against injecting silicone into my penis; I wasn't even aware this was something I needed to have an opinion about. I mean, who'd'a thunk it? But ya know, many guys have thunk it and after thunking about it a while thunked "Well, yes! That'd be swell!"

Now that's the kind of culture I'm all about! Can't wait to find out what's on next week... The World's Deepest Vagina? The Woman Who Lives in Her Bra? I Know I Am But What Are You: One Hermaphrodite's Personal Tale of Indecision?

God bless the UK! But hey, you all got the State of the Union address last night, so I guess everywhere has its perks.

Yes, it's true, we do have to pay £126.50 ($225) per year for the hono(u)r and privilege of having a television in our flat, but isn't that a small price to pay for countless hours of high-brow entertainment?


Shaun Coley
London, UK