The Bran Report

It's good for parts of you that you'd probably rather not think about.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Nor in Arizona

Too honest, Facebook. Too honest.

School days

There are things that I expected to be different in moving from Oxford to Loughborough, the most obvious of which is the number of people here who think of sports as something grander than a passtime.

Something I wasn't prepared for is that I have, essentially, gone back to school. Yesterday I had lectures at nine, ten, eleven, two and three and tutorials (which, it turns out, in Loughborough mean "Lectures") at twelve and four.

Also, there is naïve sexual graffitti everywhere.

What's the deal, Loughborough?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

On Hold

You might be wondering why, after all this time, my bloggin' and brannin' are still unsynchronised. We've had a lot of trouble getting the internet set up at home, and I'm starting to suspect that it's because whenever you call our ISP there's a random 30% chance that you get redirected to the home phone of a disgruntled former employee.

Today's conversation included talk about accoutn numbers, working-day countdowns to the arrival of welcome packs, monthly fees, email addresses... all the kind of thing you'd expect a conversation with an ISP to have.
When I called them yesterday, I got a guy asking if I wanted my internet to have one megagig or two, then concluding the conversation by saying "Yep, that's all cool" and then falling totally silent. Maybe he was concentrating hard because he was trying that thing where you roll a joint with the seam on the outside, I don't know. After a while I hung up with the vague impression that things were cool.

This morning's call, incidentally, led me to hear Jack Johnson over the telephone in one ear and Michael Jackson from upsatirs in the other. I'm still feeling a little nauseous. Still, I think the phase in my life where I have the hotline number memorised may be coming to a close. I tell you, it's not a moment too soon.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Dogs and Horses

I am endlessly amused by the vast gulf in the experiences of a day at the races and a night at the track. While the dress-code, price, time of day and above all the percieved social class of the clientele changes, the fundamental premise of racing animals and betting on them remains the same.

In my few short outings as a paperboy I have gained a little insight into the world of newspapers and I now realise that this also applies to soft pornography. If you live on Brookfield Avenue you are most lilely to buy the Mirror or News of the World, both papers that are a very reliable source of what I'm going to call "classic" cheesecake. Conversely, if you live on Beacon Hill you probably get the Sunday Times, which this week carried a delightful example of "Aesthetic" softcore.

Classic is really a subset of the genre, strangely enough. It relies heavily on certain cliches, and is very, very, un-selfconscious. Aesthetic is for people who want to make it clear that they enjoy pictures of attractive young women in various states of undress for artistic reasons. To be fair, the photographers here do make an effort to create visually interesting or thought-provoking images. The Sunday Times banner-image was of an athlete in the paralympics whose legs end at the ankle. That said, someone did make the decision to take the message along the lines of a classical "Looking at the camera over the shoulder while topless" direction.

Being the helpful sort, I've made a bullet-pointed list for any of my readers who happen to be models, newspaper editors, or photographers.

  • Figure: Classic demands a wasp-waist and breast size of the we-think-you-may-have-a-growth-hormone-irregularity kind. Vary from this formula and you're pretty much OK.
  • Hair colour: Bottle blonde is out. Again, once you're away from that mainstay you're good.
  • Expression: Best to go for "Pensive".
  • Setting: On now account use some comical gimmick, such as "Hawaiian" or "World's least sufficient nurse's uniform". Seriously, people. What we're aiming for is a background that is matrix-briefing-room-white, empty void, or an autumnal forest.
  • Lighting: Make sure you have very strong lighting from one direction. Why? Because who wants to see the texture and relief of a girl's skin while concealing more popular salient details in shadow? Us afficioandos of legitimate art, that's who.