Tuesday, December 24, 2002

"And I hate all that fucking Xmas food with bloody, ooh look, a sultana in it. Sultanas are fucking crap."
I have just received what is quite possibly the *best* home made present ever from Flatmate A: Draco Malfoy and the Girl Who Didn't Give a Shit. Fanfiction of the best kind, starring Draco Malfoy, me, a large quantity of alcohol, lots of bile and invective against Xmas and the Tube and a startlingly indepth knowledge of what I would be like if I was stuck in a pub in the wizarding world at Xmas with only Brandy Alexanders and a grumpy, snotty boy wizard for company. Choice quote from this wonderfully presented piece of fanfiction goodness:

Draco was beginning - against his will - to warm to this girl. She was so refreshingly rude."Cheers!" he said and raised his glass. H looked at him. He felt a burning sensation in the back of his head and realised she was trying to set fire to him with her eyes. Never had he seen such hatred incarnate in so small and attractive a form.

Not so much a hurt/comfort fic, more a "Lets hurt other people together in an effort to spread our misanthropic dislike for all things festive" fic. God bless her, lovely Flatmate A.

In other news, we had our extended family Xmas bash yesterday at my parents place and was scraping toddler-induced food spillages off the carpet all morning. Despite some intitial scenes of girl-toddler intimidating boy-toddler, it was delightful having the Little People there, and we all had a great time playing with them (and their toys). I think Xmas always works out better when you can enjoy it through kids, no? A Good Time was had by all - no Playstation/ dancing/ maracas this year (thankfully), and we held ourselves back and didn't drunkenly rip open our presents on receiving them as usual like the unrestrained gluttons my particular part of the family sometimes are... the 25 should see a smaller scale re-enactment of yesterday. I'm looking forward to it: repors to come - watch this space.

Friday, December 20, 2002

"One of the interesting initiatives we've taken in Washington, D.C, is we've got these vampire-busting devices. A vampire is a - a cell deal you can plug in the wall to charge your cell phone." - George W. Bush
Well, golly. That was an astonishing office secret Santa. The quote above is from the book More George W Bushisms which I have just received from an anonymous co-worker. Which I am really pleased to get. We all did quite well, considering this is the first Christmas most of will spend with the company. And hopefully not the last. We shall see the likelihood of this after the office party which is due to start... ooh, about now.

In other news, there really have been ensemble singalongs of the Muskehound themesong. And we are all currently taking the test so that we can start addressing each other by our correct names. From the first day back in the office, I insist on only being called "Milady." I always liked that cat - her black half-mask seemed pretty kinky to me even as a wee child. Meow.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

"...Milady, the Countess de Winter! Mistress of disguise and deception, poisoner, traitor, you always make sure you're on the winning side. Being gorgeous and female helps you soften up your foes for the kill. Meow!"
Oh, you just *have* to do the quiz and let me know: which Muskehound are you? Tuesday, I got everyone singing the squeaky song of the mice, "We will fix it, we will fix it," from Bagpuss by showing everyone my lunchtime Christmas shopping. Today, the office shall ring with the ensemble chorus of...

"One for all and all for one,
Muskehounds are alreadys ready,
One for all and all for one,
Helping everybody,
One for all and all for one,
It's a pretty story,
Sharing everything with fun,
That's the way to be..."
(for full lyrics, which I just can't be bothered to put here, have a look here.

In other news, I've just heard the most gut-wrenchingly bad kitchen health and safety rap on the radio. Hong Kong radio. ::hangs head in incredulous shame:: It's not exactly Eminem, y'know. But I have learnt that the Cantonese for "saucepan" rhymes quite nicely with the Cantonese for "knife." I told you it was educational.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

"Caga Tió, atmelles i torró, si no cagues bó, et donaré un cop de bastó."
Holy shit.

No wonder Prandial is only going out there *after* Christmas. There is only so much Yule log a boy can eat after all. (Thanks to MetaFilter - as always!)

In other news, I am going cottaging on the Berkshire borders for New Year. Aw, aint it pretty?

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

"Develop your own sense of humor. Maybe even take a class to learn how to be a better comic -- or at least a better joke-teller at that next party. Be funny every chance you get -- as long as it's not at someone else's expense!" - from How Laughter Works
Whatever teh guide says, I don't think I will be able to laugh off my current slump into ill health. But I will try! So here's a joke...

Far away in the tropical waters of the Caribbean, two prawns were swimming around in the sea - one called Justin and the other called Christian. The prawns were constantly being harassed and threatened by sharks that patrolled the area. Finally one day Justin said to Christian, "I'm bored and frustrated at being a prawn, I wish I was a shark, then I wouldn't have any worries about being eaten..."
As Justin had his mind firmly on becoming a predator, a mysterious cod appears and says, "Your wish is granted", and lo and behold, Justin turned into a shark. Horrified, Christian immediately swam away, afraid of being eaten by his old mate.
Time went on (as it invariably does...) and Justin found himself becoming bored and lonely as a shark. All his old mates simply swam away whenever he came close to them. Justin didn't realise that his new menacing appearance was the cause of his sad plight. While out swimming alone one day he sees the mysterious cod again and can't believe his luck.
Justin figured that the fish could change him back into a prawn. He begs the cod to change him back so, lo and behold, he is turned back into a prawn. With tears of joy in his tiny little eyes, Justin swam back to his friends and bought them all a cocktail. (The punch line does not involve a prawn cocktail - it's much worse).
Looking around the gathering at the reef, he searched for his old pal. "Where's Christian?" he asked. "He's at home, distraught that his best friend changed sides to the enemy and became a shark", came the reply.
Eager to put things right again and end the mutual pain and torture, he set off to Christian's house. As he opened the coral gate the memories came flooding back. He banged on the door and shouted, "It's me, Justin, your old friend, come out and see me again." Christian replied "No way man, you'll eat me. You're a shark, the enemy and I'll not be tricked."
Justin cried back "No, I'm not. That was the old me. I've changed......................"
"I've found Cod. I'm a prawn again Christian!!!"

My profuse apologies to anyone who got this far. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Monday, December 16, 2002

"your head come on is dead and gone
it might as well be said so long
it's suds and soda a brain decoder
and can i wait for my denoter"
- dEUS Suds and Soda from their gloriously nutty Belgian art-rock album Worst Case Scenario
My head is indeed quite dead: I have succumbed to illness again and am suffering some kind of dreadful ear, nose and throat infection which is very painful, messy and unpleasant. And of course, just in time for Christmas.

To halt this blog from turning into a flu diary once more (god, how fucking tragic to be doing that again so soon), let me recount a conversation I had on entering the office this morning:

"How are you?"
"Not very well. How are you?"
"I feel bloody awful. I was ill all of Saturday. How much did we drink on Friday?"
(Pause) "I don't know. Quite a lot I suppose. How long were we there for?"
"Till closing time I think. They kept asking us to leave."
"But... but I got home before 11pm."
"How did that happen?"
"I don't know. I did run for a bit, down the high street. I thought it was...funny. maybe i got home quicker that way. Did I fall over? I've got a bruise on my knee."
"Oh. I didn't see that. Did I get into a fight with that man?"
"What man? Did you have a fight?"
(pause) " Maybe we got kicked out."
(Pause)"Ah... that could be it."

Oh, those water cooler moments...

Friday, December 13, 2002

”We gonna lock ah-lound da crock to-niiight…” - Elvis Chan, Jailhouse Rock, The Garage circa. 1997
Well, to while away the lonely hours of catching up with admin on front desk, all by myself (yah, I know, boo hoo, poor me and so on) I’ve been listening to Hong Kong Radio and have somehow got everyone else listening to it too. We’ll be having Faye Wong tribute nights in the conference room soon and start bopping around the photocopier to godawful Cantonese boy bands. The music is feckin’ terrible – I’ve always hated the stereotype that Chinese people have no musical rhythm and now I hate that stereoptype even more: Chinese people actually have no musical taste. However, the talkie bits are training my ear to take in a bit more Cantonese than normal, especially trying to follow the news which is always read in a very different register than conversation. After speaking the language all my life, I may actually, eventually, become fluent...

In other news, I heard a very good song at Brave New Word last Sunday (as well as some pretty darned good poetry too…) and may be embarking on a slightly different Elvis tip from now on. Are there any Chinese Elvis Costello impersonators out there? If yes, I’d like to see that, oh yes, I would…

Thursday, December 12, 2002

"Sugar pretending to seduce an invisible man, begging him in a voice almost hysterical with lust. 'Oh, you must let me stroke your balls, they are so beautiful - like . . . like a dog turd. A dog turd nestling under your . . . ' Your what? Shush had such a good word for it. A word to make you wet yourself? But Caroline has forgotten the word, and now's not the time to ask." - Michel Faber, The Crimson Petal and the White
You know, I thought this *ahem* entry would win, or the one where the cries of "Chairman Mao!" ring out with orgasm. Yah, that one was pretty good too. However, neither attained this most respected and highly anticipated literary award.

In other news, I think I deserve a change of scenery. And I've decided that I need to do more when I say I want a change of scenery than swapping posters from one bedroom wall to another. So I may be in the countryside to see in the New Year, which will be very exciting as I've realised the only place I've been to this year, outside London, was a stressful afternoon in Leicester (see previous entry on that little excursion...) Hurrah for last minute plans!

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

"In between mugging little old ladies and joyriding, I once built my own crack den out of fuzzy felt. It was so nice... so warm... so fuzzy." - on comparing my childhood with others who had joined the Brownies and Girl Scouts, including one who was asked to leave because she sewed her bobble hat wrong.
And how did I have time to recall the days of my youth yesterday? And get some Christmas shopping done? And fall asleep on the sofa the second the Simpsons finished to wake only in time for dinner, after which I went back to sleep?

Well, it's all thanks to the totally unexpected and totally unexplained powercut we experienced in the office yesterday morning at about 11am. The place just...stopped. We took all the students across the road to the cafe and had a round of coffees in a hlaf-arsed effort to wait for the power to come back on but 1) it didn't come back on and 2) no-one was really in the mood to go back anyway since we followed security procedures and had locked up the whole place. So after an hour and a half at work, we all went our separate ways and I had a merry lunch and shopping trip with Mumsy. Who isn't aware I am Peter Pan, a boy in tights. Please don't tell her Big Brother!

I was horrified while shopping: I can't bear Christmas decorations - garish and tasteless and completely useless, they don't even manage to look good, which is surely the point of decorations. And the damn tinsel, baubles and frankly shite cuddly musical Santas disturbed me beyond my usual intolerance of bright useless objects that sit around the house looking crap.

Still, the Christmas spirit, if not the Christmas look, has entered my soul and I am looking forward to it all. I just have to let out the occasional "Humbug!". So...

"Humbug!"

Sunday, December 08, 2002

Beauty is as summer fruits, which are easy to corrupt, and cannot last: and for the most part, it makes a dissolute youth, and an age a little out of countenance: but yet certainly again, if it light well, it maketh virtues shine and vices blush. - Francis Bacon, 1597, Of Beauty
And to add to this discussion of beauty, I give you further pictures. Enjoy the sights before we are all corrupted like the soft, smooth, ripe, downy peach shrivelling in the heat of the sun...

In other news, the mince pie frenzy shows no sign of stopping anytime soon and we are progressing to savoury pie-making. The Christmas tree lights up every time we turn on the video and there is a suspiciously light bottle of cream liquer in the living room. My old stereo now resides happily in its retirement home on the shelf in the kitchen and is pouring seasonal choral music out at us at all times and I can see my breath when I go to bed, snuggling down under my blankets and counting the days until I am on holiday. Oh dear: there really is no escape now, is there?

Saturday, December 07, 2002

323. Travel abroad to find some supressed aspect of yourself on public display. - Life's Little Deconstruction Book, Andrew Boyd
Umm, though I've been a firm fan of this little book since my literary theory days at Uni, this particular entry recently caught my eye and has confirmed for me the fact that I am not a traveller and I never will be. Ugh, imagine bumping into my own sexual fantasies on a street corner somewhere abroad... it would be an environmental disaster, as well as psychologically scarring for all those public schoolboys, RAF pilots and members of Asian Dub Foundation... ::shudders::

In other news: Flatmate A has been making mince pies this morning and Flatmate B has been decorating our tree again! And I have been growling in a corner of the living room over the Saturday papers, drinking all the sherry and generally acting like a grumpy Saturday morning dad, a role which always seems to fall to me in our household. Must be my slippers, cardigan, pipe and constant dribble of whiskey and other spirits down my throat. Huh, talk about type-casting.

Friday, December 06, 2002

But who can live for long

In an euphoric dream;

Out of the mirror they stare,

Imperialism’s face

And the international wrong.
Since I started an Auden trip earlier this week, I’m revisiting some of my favourite poems by him and getting embroiled once more in this fascinating debate. The quote above is from September 1, 1939 and there are two lines later on that originally read “We must love one another or die.” After WWII, he changed the line to “We must love one another and die,” which sparks the literary debate of a writer’s right to edit, comment and reflect on history within existing work and whether or not a completed work can or should be changed and whether or not the altered work can replace the original or if it should exist as “the altered version” alongside it.

Personally, once I’ve written something, it stays exactly as it is, forever. Editing and tidying up some text is fine, but I rarely, if ever, make changes to the meaning and the intent: if I want to change meaning and intent, I’ll start from the top and write something new. I’d rather have fifty thousand versions of the same thing than just one which doesn’t hint at all at the processes, footnotes, change of heart and change of mind behind it.

Also, this poem has stuck in my mind since we did a class on it at Uni because of the heartbreaking sadness the change in the line suggested. At the outbreak of war – we must love one another or die trying, we must love one another or not have lived at all. But after the war, the notion has changed and we must love another and die anyway. How horrible to see Auden reneging on what was once a desperately hopeful idea and to know what he experienced to change his mind so drastically, so cynically, so pessimistically. I hope none of us ever have to make revisions such as this in our writing, in our thoughts, in our time.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

"The fact that we value money not for itself but for what it brings is one reason why even the most venal among us can declare truthfully, with hand on heart, that money is not so important. there are indeed a great many more things in life than money, and it is money that gives us access to most of them." - Terry Eagleton, The Gatekeeper
Very true words as usual from the great cultural theorist. But this is all free. Keep an eye out for these particular flyposters - they're art but you wouldn't know it, since we are bombarded with the inanity of the flyposter wherever we look in this blessed city. What is especially cool about this visual assault (all entirely free of charge, of course) is the contact number on the bottom of each poster: you get a text message with info on the artwork and designer. I've yet to try this since I've not actually spotted any of these due to my appalling eyesight and general inability to look around me as I walk along (hey- I grew up here; I keep my eyes down okay?). Watch out for lampposts!

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

“And motives like stowaways

Are found too late.” – W H Auden

So… after another fabulous monthly reunion with my pals of the YWP,I returned home to find the festering – oh, sorry, festivetree festooned with the overenthusiastic sparkly Christmas efforts of Flatmate A and B. Which was nice. And over a glass of totally unnecessary Amaretto which just about kept us tiddly girls topped up in terms of alcohol, I managed to keep up a pretty fucking deep and not particularly drunken conversation with Flatmate A.

In our surprisingly lucid discussion we covered:

The redundancy of the terms "winning" and "losing" in modern warfare.

How the age of irony, cynicism and intense self-reflection avoided its inevitable slide into hedonism then anarchy then self-annihilation with the occurrence of September 11.

How September 11 simultaneously helped us avoid a backlash against irony which would logically (but probably not practically) have seen us all becoming over-earnest and sentimental.

Whether or not the backlash against irony and self-reflection would in fact have been sentimentalism.

The quarter-life crisis being the new gap year.

Turning 30 being the new coming of age - and whether or not anything you do before 30 can be remembered as anything other than precociousness and mere media hype.

How feminism has failed if women don't fight on the frontline - and just how deeply ingrained are the double standards of post-feminism in the age of global terror and imminent hostile military action.

Whether it is wiser to give all you can in love and suffer for it, than to give what you think you can manage and always wonder if there is more to it.

The internet and new communications as a new global support system - and the unforeseeable consequences of treating it as such.

Whether or not we should have another or go to bed.

Yah, it was one of those nights.

Monday, December 02, 2002

"I'd probably be bisexual if I got out of the house more often."
Said to Flatmate A one very quiet evening.

In other news, we have a Christmas tree. I was not filled with Yuletide joy as I was introduced to it, for two reasons: 1) I am more Grinch than gleeful when it comes to this time of year and 2) I knew for a fact that it had been unearthed from a pile of discarded laminate flooring on a street corner near us. ::sigh:: Oh, how I long for the day when none of my home furnishing (Christmas or otherwise) has come from a feckin' skip. I'm too ladylike for it. ::pouts, picks nose and eats findings::

Friday, November 29, 2002

RADIO KILLED THE VIDEO STAR
Have discovered the joy of digital radio which is keeping me company on this lonely front desk. Only thing is, I don't know what to listen to: I'm suddenly able to access stations from all over the worlds, of any musical genre that I wish. Have been sampling some big band and '40s swing channels and have accidentally stumbled into a playing of The King and I soundtrack: yes, it's happy camping and mincing all the way where I am. I'm hoping to pick up something a little more weird and wonderful - a station dedicated to Mongolian nose-singing might help the afternoon pass less painfully (or more painfully, depending on how much duo-tonal nasal voice-throwing I can take...) Suggestions for aural gratification would be appreciated, with hearty cyber-handshakes all round for your efforts.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

...
Holy shit, I think my brain is melting out of my ears. This day has been so dull, it is hurting my head. Grrrrr.
SHINY NEW NOISES
I gots me a new stereo! And I've torn apart my room trying to position it to maximise quality of sound. It's all terribly exciting. Especially as my old "stereo" hasn't been able to play CDs for half a year, had a busted cassette deck and dented speakers. And, I'm sad to say, this one really rocks my world at the moment because it can also be used as a clock radio. Yah, pathetic, I know, when there are so many other, more technologically fantastic details on this thing to get excited about... but clock radio ::sighs dreamily::

In other news: I think I've managed to set up an RSS feed. Can someone tell me if I've done it properly, and what I need to do once it's up and running? Huh? Must I have a feed on my site or can I just set it up and hope that this site feeds to others? Am mystified, but enthusiastic. Which seems to be the way I approach most things in life. Such as rejuvenating my wardrobe by cutting sleeves off my shirts and slashing old dresses in half in order to make new clothes then losing all the bits, forgetting why I did it in the first place and having to walk around in patchy, mismatched clothes. I've never been accused of being a trend-setter...and I never will be.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

I DON’T KNOW WHAT POSSESSED ME…
…to stay up and watch The Devils on Channel 4. But I did. And I wish I hadn’t. I feel very dirty right now. ::puts head in hands:: I think I’m going to go on a cuddly, clean Disney cartoons and happy, clappy musicals binge to make up for this. The Sound of Music anyone?

Oh, wait! That’s got nuns in it! No! NO! NO!!!! ::runs to cleanse self with scented candles and fluffy toys::

::But not in a kinky way.::

Sunday, November 24, 2002

THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE...
Underground...

By the way, has anyone else noticed how Avril Lavigne sounds like Stan's horrid older sister from South Park? I've just heard a radio interview with her and she's horrible. As is her "music." Sk8ter Boi? Like, totally g0 fuck urself!!!!111!!!

HAPPY DAYS, HOLIDAYS
Hurrah! I'm off work until Wednesday! This means that I'll be offline for most of this period. Or possibly online more often than normal as I'll be pootling on my computer at home with no "work" to stop me from spamming people with nonsense all day. Hmm. Since I appear to be spamming my own blog with brain-drool, it looks like the latter is more likely.

In other news, I think I've figured out how to host my pics. Pictorial spam will ensue...

Friday, November 22, 2002

THIS DIDN’T HAPPEN IN THE VERSION I SAW…
Did I end up at the wrong cinema, the wrong screen? Where was the scene involving Harry “confronting Lucius Malfoy and calling him a "cock-sucking motherfucker" then claiming he was going to "blow his fucking head off" with a semi-automatic wand loaded with dum-dum spells capable of "turning your insides into hamburger"? I was obviously missing something the first time round. I wanna go again. Just to see "Hermione's first delightful forays into the pleasures of the flesh." Yeah, I’d buy this version on DVD…
MESSING UP AND SORTING OUT
Apologies for the roadworks: the Avenue has unfortunately been struck by "I'm bored, let me change something on my blog template" syndrome and now the diggers are in, the traffic cones are up, there's only one lane running and there are lots of people in reflective jackets standing around with cups of tea, shaking their heads and saying: "I don't know love...we could be stuck like this for weeks until we find the problem. Got any biscuits?" I should really stop playing with the code for this site. I am so lame.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

LUNCHTIME NOSTALGIA
Hmm. Prolonged time in front of a computer with broadband connection has led me to surfing nonchalantly to parts of my recent past: I've found people and places I've lost touch with / haven't visited for a while and am now steeped in nostalgia for the misty, majestic, muddy paths of Cambridge, the bleak concrete pit - sorry, playground - of my primary school and the lovely people I had a lovely time with on several lovely plays and projects that were my world while they were running but then only blurred photos, a hangover and a contacts list of numbers I failed to call once the show was over. I want to say to all these people I've lost touch with to get back in touch - but I don't know how to do it. If you're (somehow, miraculously) reading this, any one of you, leave a comment or email me - I'd love to hear from you.

In other news: I almost fainted today. I had breakfast and coffee as normal and not a particularly stressful journey to work; I also didn't leave lunch too late, but still, at 1pm today, I went upstairs to collect some paperwork, got into reception, leaned over to get the files and everything went white and thin. My knees buckled and my mouth went dry and I couldn't grip the edge of the table cos my arms were so limp. I blanked out for about half a minute. Then I went out in the rain and got myself an enormous lunch and felt much better immediately. Weird, I know.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

MEDIA FRIENDLY
9am – get into office, have staff meeting. I raise the issue of my new printer/copier/scanner and point out it still hasn’t been installed. I also point out the lack of decent coffee pots etc for the reception area.

9.40am – the facilities guy boots me off front desk and starts installing the new printer/copier/scanner. We all stand around like kids on Christmas morning, watching him rip open the box and haul out the sexy lump of Samsung technology.

10.15am – front desk is taken apart and all equipment unplugged and rearranged. There’s nothing I can do, so I wander around outside with a cigarette.

11am – I go into conference room and start setting up the coffee morning for the current students. Not only do I receive an array of exciting biscuits on silver trays, I am also presented with two shiny new silver coffee pots.

11.15 -11.45am – eat biscuits, drink coffee, admire new desk arrangements, chat to the students.

11.45 -12.20pm – hover near front desk while facilities guy reinstalls Windows on my computer. Answer a few phone calls. Have another cigarette outside.

12.30pm - call Rio cinema in Hackney about the Kurdish Film Festival and arrange some mutual advertising.

12.40pm – former student comes in to borrow a camera. I do all the paperwork and send him on his way.

12.55pm – get an email from CEO thanking me for booking out the camera to former student: he’s taking it to film the new Miss Dynamite video and will be crediting the company.

1pm – have lunch.

2.15pm -

2.30pm – organise screening for Big Issue film competition. Organise the prize we are putting up as our involvement in the competition.

4pm – finish writing up interview with film-maker and check over the Beta SP transfer of his short film; prepare both for MTV, for Friday.

It’s been a long day. And it ain’t over yet, no sir…

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

FRANTICALLY ASSEMBLED BLOG ENTRY
Phwoar. I think that is the best word to describe a totally amazing theatre experience. I can’t call Peepshow a play, or a musical or a performance piece because it defies all of that; it’s an experience – and holy fuck, it was a grand one. I won’t babble on about it too much because it’s the kind of theatre that literally defies words: Frantic Assembly take a story and tell it in words and then in movement when words aren’t enough. There were times in Peepshow when the whole audience were gaping open-mouthed and broken-hearted at what we were seeing: all the unspoken and unspeakable things being played out to us in breath-taking movement and music, going beyond all conventional expression.

And the soundtrack! All by Lamb, with the completely unexpected live singing of the cast at certain points – yet again, an original Frantic Assembly touch, getting the actors to sing at points where the emotion and tension was so high, normal speech and sounds just can’t convey what was really going on. The mixture of Lamb, unique Frantic Assembly physicalisation of story and feeling, an amazing set that was two floors high with a set of lift doors in the middle which the cast at one point crawled all over, leaping and climbing and twisting up and over and through trapdoors and cupboards and under beds, through windows, over each other so they made a complete circuit of the structurewas utterly, utterly amazing.

And the cast was damn fine sexy too.

Am seriously considering getting back into contemporary dance (not that I was so “in” contemporary dance before, but enough to miss it, so no mocking please…) Am feeling the urge to fling myself about to evocative, come-down, chill-out music while abusing the furniture and my immediate surroundings in a contemporary dance kind of way. Please take this as a warning, all of you out there. Apologies in advance while I flex my creaking, sleep-deprived, nicotine and alcohol riddled, mashed potatoes and bag of lard dumping ground of a body.

::swings arms around in lame attempt at “dance”:: Ouch.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

SUNDAY REVIEW
Well, the last few days have been surprisingly close to The Plan...

Friday, 1pm - Leave the office and go to St Pancras

2.35pm - Board train for Leicester; the train is packed and I have to stand near the buffet bar, wedged between a Nordic skater boy with a very loud Walkman and a gang of beer-bellied, desperately jovial middle-management men in casuals, on their way up to a stag night in Sheffield. They reminded me a lot of Geoff and his middle-management men in The League of Gentlemen - I half-expected to hear them try to outdo each other with tales of their time in the TA...

2.55pm - Despite everything going on around me, I fall asleep standing up, leaning against some suitcases.

3.55 - Wake up at Leicester, leap off train.

4.00pm - Locate funding body's office, which is gratifyingly close to the train station and hand in funding application. Breathe loud and dramatic sigh of relief.

4.20pm - I find a nice-looking bar along a pretty pedestrian walk - reminded me Garret Hostel Lane in Cambridge. Very pretty in a wrought-iron lamp post and autumnal trees kind of way.

5pm - I walk a different way back to the train station and marvel at the amount of smart-looking Indian restaurants in the town.

5.30pm - Board fast train back to London and miraculously get a seat. Immediately fall asleep.

6.45pm - Wake up in London, get Tube to parents place.

7.30pm - Sit down to dinner with whole family jeering at me and my day. Parents look worried and slightly disapproving when they see pictures of the Underground party: "Darling, why are all these people in bed together? Couldn't you find places for them to stay? They couldn't have been very comfortable; look - they're all lying on top of each other..."

11pm - Decide that I can't be fucked to move, so I stay in my old bedroom and go to bed travelsick, drunk and full to bursting with Papa’s cooking as predicted but with less guilt and self-loathing.

Saturday, 7.30am - Stagger out of bed completely disoriented.

9am - Make it into work, still disoriented.

6.30pm - Get back into flat, still disoriented.

12am - Go to bed, still disoriented.

Sunday - I feel less disoriented today, though several hours of Spider Solitaire and unlimited websurfing while I'm alone on front desk hasn't helped.

So, dear readers, how were your weekends?

Saturday, November 16, 2002

SIMPLY...ANNOYING
Do you know anyone more annoying than Mick Hucknall of Simply Red fame? It's a tough one, but I'm sure you can think of certain people who can outdo the gurning, lard-arsed, unwashed, ginger dreadlocked, late eighties, meaningful "message-pop" crooner - others have made their suggestions. Why don't you add yours too?

I can't remember where I came across this link (and just to let you all know that I was not actively and eagerly looking for info on this singularly ugly and repulsive singer), so I'm afraid I can't credit wherever it came from. Thanks anyway...

(Is "credit" a verb? Or should that sentence have read "I'm afraid I can't give credit to wherever it came from" ? Sub-editors and other language pedantics, answers in the comments box please.)

Friday, November 15, 2002

FRIDAY ROUND-UP
I’ve just got into the office and this is the plan for the next few days:

Sort out everything for the weekend course before 1pm.

1pm - Go to St Pancras and buy a ticket to Leicester.

2.30pm - Board train for Leicester.

4.15pm – Go to funding body offices and hand in urgent funding application which should have been handed in yesterday but because I cocked up the alarm system on Wednesday night which required CEO to get out of bed and come to the office at midnight and then again at 1am, which then cocked up the whole of Thursday for everyone, it wasn’t done on time, and plunged me into a pit of shame and guilt.

6.30pm – Get train back to London. 8pm – go to parents place for dinner, with excuses and profuse apologies.

11.30pm – go to bed travelsick, drunk and full to bursting with Papa’s cooking, still wracked with guilt and self-loathing.

Saturday 7.30am – get out of bed, get ready for work.

9am – get into office, prepare a kids’ morning course and a freelancers’ course simultaneously.

6pm - Go home. Weep.

Sunday 7.30am – get out of bed, get ready for work.

9am – get into office, prepare the second day of the freelancers’ course.

6pm – go home. Feel sorry for myself. Watch TV and get used to the fact that there is no one else to blame but myself. Consider weeping. Complain loudly to Flatmates A,B and B’s boyfriend. Go to bed.

It will be interesting to see, at the end of the weekend, just how closely this 3-day plan was followed, considering that at the moment, there is 1) a fire strike which has screwed up all transport systems 2) I have never been to Leicester before 3) I had my keys confiscated and don’t know how that will affect the fact that I will be the sole staff worker for the weekend course 4) I’ve got 3 major deadlines for my marketing work on Monday.

You can’t see it but I am grimacing, with head in hands. A lot.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

SHINYSHINYPRINTYPRINTY
I've just received a cute little scanner/copier/printer for front desk! This thing does everything! (Except make coffee and tell me I'm looking great today, everyday. Hmm. Reminds me: I must hire myself a gimp to carry out these duties on squeaky vinyl-covered bended knee for me. (8!)#

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

HOMAPHRODITES AND HOUSE PARTIES
I’ve got an offer for a night of viewing pleasure with the former in my hotmail, and a set of photos from the latter. Both items have depressed me. Regarding the former: what the hell is a homaphrodite? And I am missing something if I don’t watch them have sex with themselves, all for the bargain price of $19.99 per download?

Regarding the latter: I was obviously too shitfaced to operate the flash so I am now the proud owner of twenty odd pictures of my sister looking sloshed, my flatmates in pseudo-lesbian poses, my neighbour leering at the young ladeez, certain friends of mine wandering round as the peedofiles and kiddy-fiddlers of pop music and the flat masquerading as an overenthusiastically decorated rubbish tip. All of which I can see all the time, so I feel like I have been photographically cheated of the visual one-off wonders that made the Underground party what it was.

In other news, I thought I'd add this link just for the hell of it. Delete it if it's not to your taste...

Monday, November 11, 2002

DOWN THE TUBE
So… because I am too cheap to pay for Blogspot Pro, I am unable to have any images on this site. Which is lame. So I will have to put all the wonderful sights and scenes of the Underground party into words until I’ve figured out a way to get my pictures up on the web somewhere and link to it. Imagine if you can…

Jonathan King and Michael Jackson turning up as Theydon Bois [They Done Boys, Central Line], Jonathan King again and Gary Glitter also turning up as Theydon Bois (for a station in Zone 6, “Where the fuck is that?” land, it was a popular station for the evening.)

A girl in a green jumper with “Mind the Grass” on her front and a piece of astro-turf on her back [Green Park] and her boyfriend covered in tea-stained old street maps [Old Street].

The inevitable boy dressed up as a shepherd and his girl dressed up as *ahem* ladies bits to become, cunningly, Shepherd’s Bush.

A girl in a big floppy condom hat [Cockfosters] and a boy with a noose [Hangar Lane]

The specially written “The Muffin Man” from the Junior Poems on the Underground series (Flatmate A “commissioned” it) and the specially written “On the Auspicious Occasion of the Big-Headed Prawn and its Inscrutable Soup-Ladle” from the Incomprehensible Ethnic Poems on the Underground series (“commissioned” by me)

My sister in a green clerical collar [Parson’s Green], the Appleton sisters [All Saints, DLR], Pimp Flatmate A [Pimplico] and watery-crotch with a maple leaf Flatmate B [Canada Water]

A bloke all in Gap. [Mind the Gap – hohoho. Or should that be “corporate casuals ho”?]

Boy in tuxedo, girl in dress safety-pinned together, a boy in tennis gear [Bond Street, Pinner, Wimbledon]

A bright yellow bowl of Pimms and lemonade with a sneaky addition of vodka, and all the cucumber slices trodden into the carpet.

Two beautiful golden girls drinking evil raki in the kitchen [Golders Green]

Two plastic shopping baskets, two cardboard boxes and a binliner full of empty bottles in the morning, melted CD cases and glitter everywhere – did Gary really have to rub his sparkly crotch all over our flat? And then leave his thong in my bin?

A soaking wet sofa and some torn up posters that will be sadly missing from our walls.

A London tourist in a jester’s hat, clutching an A-Z, looking lost and moronic, having a piss on our doorstep (one guest who will never, ever, EVER be invited to our house again. NEVER.)

A trail of crumbling leaves and fir cones wherever I had been – leaving a line as well as leaves on the line, geddit?

The rusty red crust left in the Seabreeze punch bowl that we hope is just dried cranberry juice and not actually vomit (um, did anyone check?)

And the last image of all: our faces, aged ten years by the experience. It was 6am the next day before it was over, and then 6pm before Flatmate A had stopped being sick. It was 9pm before I got out of bed.

Thanks for coming everyone. ::yawns:: We should do it again sometime.

Friday, November 08, 2002

I SELL MYSELF FOR ATTENTION
And I've got a bunch of slogans to do it. "Kids will do anything for Hypatia" - oh really? ::ponders Harry Potter film poster for a little too long::

--- Thanks to Prandial - the best Prandial in the world. Probably. ---

FACE TO FACE VS. EMOTICON TO EMOTICON
Following on from the previous entry on accidentally pulling faces at my CEO in chat, here's a new emoticon for all you weary travellers along this high street:

(8!)#

Gimp icon! Hahahahahahaha!

Any more non-mainstream icons out there? Every entry will get a Tube station named after them on the "strips of multi-coloured electrical tape and bits of paper stuck directly onto the wall" Tube map we put up last night. (Oh, alright, the Tube map that Flatmates A & B put up while I lay on the floor drinking wine, but I was still technically helping. Really.)

--- Thanks to August Dangerlove - "Well, gosh... sir, I just love your books! They're the best Mills and Boons we've had in our shop!" ---

Thursday, November 07, 2002

STILL GOING STRONG
Since I've made such a big fuss about the film, and will continue to do so until it gets very very very boring, I will endeavour to actually discuss the film rather than the fact that I have seen it. So...

It was a lot less pretty than the first one. There were fewer lingering shots of the honeycoloured sandstone buildings, lovingly assembled feasts in hall, Harry looking meaningful by leaded windows and more scenes in murky bathrooms, menacing forest and underground tunnels. The sequence with the spiders was truly horrifying; think of the goblin sequence in the Mines of Moria in LotR and add in the unpleasant scuttling of arachnids. Mmmm...arachnids...

The Quidditch was amazing - it looked feckin' dangerous and bloody painful too, as did all the action scenes. When these kids got hurt, it looked like it really hurt. And the humour was a bit more sophisticated than the first film - Seamus' wand did not blow up in his face once, and Branagh did a pretty good job of Lockhart, playing him as less comic relief than a character whose vanity was making him actually quite dangerous to the people around him. Dobby was lame and could have been 1) funnier 2) less like a walking turd with a funny voice 3) better explained since house-elves make more appearances in the next books and he was basically a rubbery looking CGI plot-propeller for the kids impatient to get to the action bits.

And all their voices have broken! Oh My God! ::is very confused by the odd emotions this invokes, especially recalling the way they all looked in Quidditch gear:: Ahem. I do believe that I have to see the film again to give a much more in-depth review. Especially the bit with Tom Riddle striding about looking very pretty in a schoolboy way, explaining all his dastardly plans to a stricken Harry a la every baddie in a Bond film.

Gosh, it is rather warm in here...

STILL GOING
Am ridiculously busy today and will be on front desk fielding all sorts of crises and enquiries and people wandering in assuming I'm main reception for the whole building and getting angry with me when I can't tell them where the Socialist West London Gay Men's Choir Business Enterprise Committee meeting is taking place. And I am on the rota until 6pm which actually means 6.30 or 7pm because, of course, someone is always burning a CD or dubbing something or downloading something teeth-grindingly long and tedious which means I have to sit around and wait with my coat on and the keys in my hand, poised by the light switch so I can just GO HOME.

Yep, I'm beginning to feel tired. The total lack of sleep and general burn-out from my Harry Potter high is kicking in.

God, I'm tired.

But it was worth it. Oh god yes.

yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes

I've seen the Harry Potter film!

::does exhausted happy dance::

::collapses::

EXHILARATED EXHAUSTION
::gibbers::

::dances about::

::falls over from overexcitement and fatigue::

Last night... at midnight... 9 days before the official release...

I SAW HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS.

Yes. I did. And it was good.

Gratitude and eternal hugs and Nice Things to Lucian for letting us into his cinema to see it, and many thanks and Nice Things to Prandial for the sweets: my dentist thinks you're great. And of course, liberal doses of loveliness to Flatmates A & B on this bright and happy post-Harry morning. You know, I only got into bed at 4am and was out of it again at 7.30 - but I feel fucking fantastic. Cos I've seen the Harry Potter movie. And it was good. More overexcited dribbling to ensue as my body catches up with my overheated brain and I am able to write up this most exclusive event...

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

THE NOT SO LITTLE FRIEND
I have been the proud owner of Donna Tartt's latest novel The Little Friend since Thursday, and it is a novel which I have been waiting for nearly 7 years, as I discussed in a rather nostalgic and over-sentimental Proustian entry previously. It's a slow burner and it's coming along nicely but goddamn it, it's a feckin enormous hardback and I can barely read it lying in bed when I'm stationary and relaxed, let alone dragging it around on the Tube in an inadequately sized handbag. As it is, I'm still on Chapter 2.

Instead, I've been reading Metro alot and getting ideas for the Tube party - I've narrowed down my costume options to: Leaves on the Line or Signal Failure. Have been researching trees and leaves on the web and particularly liked this one. But I got a bit stuck on signal failure; it's certainly a curious thing...

Monday, November 04, 2002

AVENUE OF FAME
So, the Avenue was mentioned in an MA class in the North, and held up as a shining example of what happens when a girl gets a blog and what she does with it. Mainly this: moaning about how I am feeling at the moment. And at the moment, I am feeling a little hungover. Not catastrophically, green-faced, about to puke and start gibbering in agony hungover (but prepare yourselves for an outpouring when I am in the throes of one such hangover - verbal or otherwise). Today, I am feeling merely delicate and tired with a restless tummy. It's a beautiful bright autumn day which I can't appreciate because the outdoors seems a little too bright, and I can't concentrate very well. 'Tis a pastel coloured hangover, I've decided: I feel fine except for a hint of greenness.

::sighs: How was I to know that wine with a meal would lead to this? Hmm? I would have stopped after the first bottle and saved myself this vague but insistent discomfort.

::sighs again but louder::

Friday, November 01, 2002

IT'S IN THE STARS
Okay, everyone who is ever in West London looking for a beautiful, elegant, chilled out place to have a drink and a meal, go to the Seven Stars. A whole gang of us met there last night and it was an appropriately special place to host our special occasion. Well, it wasn’t such a special occasion, more a case of us all being in the same room at the same time which has so far been so rare an occurrence that it can be classified, if you squint your eyes and look at it sideways, as special.

The food is excellent, and the wines are good, the décor and atmosphere very relaxing and stylish. The dining room had broad dark wood tables and dark green leather high backed chairs, as broad and deep as armchairs but as high and stiff as dining chairs. The walls were maroon and the whole place was done up in dull dark wood and dark green leather: it had an odd, antiquated feel to it and made me think of the dusty dark drawing rooms of colonials trying to relax in a genteel Victorian way in the wilds of the dark subcontinent.

And the thick white dribbling candles placed on every possible surface lit the place in a soft shadowy glow so that the colonial feel was intermingled with a faint Gothic tone, giving an edge to what would otherwise have been a subtle and quite neutral room. And it was Halloween and was appropriately shadowy and candlelit to assuage our guilt at not participating in the festivities.

Actually, we did do something for Halloween: there was a prolonged series of impersonations - James and Sarah wearing glow in the dark false teeth and doing creepily accurate Drusilla impressions - and a really frightening moment when Sarah popped some change into a wee poppet’s trick or treat bag and said, in all sincerity, “Go and buy yourself some sweets, dear.” Oooh, spooky.

James, if you’re reading this, I want you to note that I have name-checked you twice in this entry and there has not been any “freaky techie shit” at all. So there. ::raspberrypppphhhhhhppttttttt:: And I’m sure I’d have more comments if enetation (my webby comments service) were to ever stop going offline to upgrade itself. Though I hope the recent extended offline upgrade period will reveal some new and exciting personal web publishing stuff a la Movable Type. Which I’ve just been reading about and am finding terribly exciting stuff.

Oh. Just realised that was a whole bunch of “freaky techie shit.” Sorry.

Thursday, October 31, 2002

TECHNOGAFFES
Because of the literal and figurative upstairs/downstairs layout of our office, and because using phones is just so last decade, we use Instant Messenger a lot to communicate. It’s fast and informal and doesn’t precipitate the formalities of picking up the phone, dedicating your attention to the one conversation, remembering to say hello and goodbye in a nice way, having to spell names or enunciate numbers and so on. However, it is not without the gaffes and pitfalls of speech, as I’ve just found out: somehow, in a fairly serious and urgent exchange with the CEO, I managed to stick my tongue out at her. She promptly gave me a frowning face (in lieu of a “sticking two fingers up at you” emoticon?”) at which I was obliged to apologise. With a little smiley face. Hmm. Office chortles in cyber space, its something to get used to. ;-p

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

WIDDLE FLUFFY BUNNY WABBITS
...because every Wednesday morning needs them. Now, to go back to my desk and ponder the metaphysiological quandary of "Hutches: Pro or Con?"

Monday, October 28, 2002

WOW AND MORE WOW
Okay, this being such a busy and squishy Monday afternoon and all that, I completely didn't notice that it is a busy and squishy Monday 28th October . Which means that on this day, I will finally be able to purchase and read a copy of The Little Friend. I have been waiting 7 years for this book - 7 years since I read The Secret History and fell totally and utterly in love with it, to the point of seriously considering taking up Greek and Latin for my A levels and at university, and taking off into the frosty wild plains of an insular and snobby place of education where I could reinvent myself Talented Mr Ripley style and pass myself off as an aesthete, an artist, an exclusive and elitist eccentric throwing "ironic" cigars and port parties in my college room late at night, chipping my front tooth on a sink whilst being pyrotechnically sick after being pyrotechnically sick all over a grandiose courtyard, going to lectures on crutches because of drunken and eventually very painful boxing lessons the night before, never doing any work then doing it all in one nightmarish 72 hour period, eating nothing but cheese and marshmallow teacakes and going blind with malnutrition when the bank won't give me any more money, climbing in through windows and climbing out of them, saving hedgehogs and stealing 9 foot tall hollyhocks, swanning around in a self-absorbed fog of black clothes, Marlboro Lights, hangovers, theatrics, hysterics and hilarious drunken accidents...

I was so impressed with snooty little snowy Hampden College and its range of fucked up poor little rich girls/boys, I went to Cambridge. My parents blame my innate ability for timewasting and petty melodrama for this particular career path but I blame Donna Tartt. She put me where I am today.

7 years ago I was about to sit my GCSEs. I had seen my first operas and traditional ballets at the Opera House, I had chosen, booked and attended my first play without parents or teachers interference (it had a lot of naked gay men and the box office staff had to consult senior management before they would take payment from me), I was trying to choose an A level college and A level subjects and doing a lot of visual art, cutting and pasting made and specially prepared images in a primitive Photoshop kinda way. I wore an odd combination of Doc Martens, chinos, tiny t-shirts and a suit jacket or fifties style pedal pushers and floaty scarves, I read a lot of good novels and bad poetry, I wrote introvertive poems and funny dialogues based on what I heard amongst my classmates in maths...it was a funny old time.

What were YOU doing when you were 15?

I MUST have that book.And to make it a double wow day, Tori Amos' new album is released today! Woo-HOO! More red-headed wailing and piano thumping. And aha! more money spent that I as yet don't really have...

SQUISHY
Woke up this morning and swung my legs over the side of the bed, groaning that special Monday morning groan and stood up on my carpet that squelched alarmingly underfoot. It appears that my radiator had leaked slowly but surely over the night. Oh dear.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

I’M NOT SAYING ANYTHING
Whatever happened last week to Blogger has happened, can’t be undone, seems to have resolved itself and since I was sound asleep for most of the situation (in fact most of the weekend), it will not be discussed here. However, one question needs to be asked: dude, why?

BTW, it wasn’t a relapse, it was just a peculiarly melodramatic combination of a) and b). And a quick trip to Garlic and Shots that evening for some medicinal vodkas and genial company seemed to kill off all threats of a return of the lurgie. Which was nice. I also managed to acquire info that allows me to get in touch with the Daleks should I need their assistance: just dial 020 8433 1244 - do it now! (Thanks Prandial for recommending them: I’m sure one day I’ll need to conquer some very level, even ground, in which case, a set of creaky, squawking dustbins on wobbly wheels with what looks like a case of robotic thalidomide arms will certainly come in handy.)

In other news, we have a new boiler. It almost cost us our lives, as myself, Flatmate A and Flatmate B were out for dinner in a distant but extremely beautiful part of London the night before the plumber was due and had to be put up by our lovely hosts in their really rather fabulous guest cabin at the end of the garden because the nearest train station was on fire and we couldn’t get home. That meant that in the morning, when the first ghastly streak of crisp autumn light came crashing in upon us and the train station was still having pyrotechnical problems, we had to jump out of our wine-induced stupor and sprint back across town, lurching through the Tube system seeking “alternative routes” like a small scale re-enactment of Night of the Living Dead (and yes, Big Brother, we kept the integrity of your favourite film as we were making the appropriate zombie noise and were the appropriate shade of green) to let the plumber in. We made it just in time, and now have a sparkling new boiler that has made our little flat really rather warm. ::sits back in bikini, running an ice cold g’n’t across forehead:: Phew.

Oh yeah, thank you (you know who you are) for the ::winks:: special stuff – it’s just fried chicken, right? And aren’t you having any yourself? ::mops up nosebleed::

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

RELAPSE
After an evening of feeling slightly better, having steamed my head like a pudding and going to bed early, I now feel absolutely awful again. I’m shaky, hot and my eyes are sore, my head doesn’t feel as stuffy but I’m definitely light-headed and even a bit faint. Either this is a mother of all relapses or: a) the effect of too much celebratory “hey, I can taste things again! Gimme a cup of that fantastic freshly brewed Colombian stuff that seems to go around on the hour, every hour” coffee, b) not eating because I have no appetite at the moment c) I’ve damaged something in my over-forceful nose-blowing and I’ve just started a chain-reaction of nerve damage and organ failure.

If it is a), the solution is simple: stop drinking the coffee. If it is b) I should eat something. If it is c) I’m really screwed and I might as well go shopping. If I’m going to have major organ failure, I want to be wearing really nice shoes and some well-fitting, flattering trousers when it happens.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

SPEAK UP...
...I can't hear you, because my ears have decided to go the way the rest of my head has gone and have filled themselves up somehow with unwanted fluids. Oh, dear friends, the pressure is so strong in my poor little stuffy head that I think if it was to increase, my dear little shoes would indeed be blown off in a catastrophic example of What Happens When Your Body Decides to Make More Mucus Than It Knows What to do With: It Explodes.

Would it be unwise to have a cigarette to soothe my jangling, frayed nerves, pushed as I am to the end of my patience as I sit here watching the clock, waiting to go home? I know it will only make things worse but I need to smoke... ::mopes::

Would it be very unwise to take a vacuum cleaner to my nose to undo the blockage that is threatening to suffocate me? It's tempting, I must say, especially as the office cleaner has just come by with a very snazzy looking new Hoover...

Monday, October 21, 2002

TO THE RESCUE!
Well, I’ve been wandering all over the internet this morning in the name of market research and discovered that there’s fanfiction… then there’s
THE UNFORGIVEABLE ABUSE OF BOOKS THAT SHOULD BE LEFT ALONE.
Pheh.

That little trip down the bile ducts of the Amazon has made me so angry, I can feel my magic powers surging up inside me and any moment now, I am going to become a Superhero and avenge all the works of literature that have been harmed in the name of “loose adaptations” “based on” and “an interpretation of…”

I just have to think of a suitable Superhero name for myself. All suggestions welcome, though currently I am going under the guise of Festering Disease Riddled Snotty Tissues Woman and her amazing Coughing and Hacking Sonic Ear-Blaster and Ah-Choo long distance death ray – she can shatter windows with just one sneeze! Blagh.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

WRONG AND UNNATURAL
This is possibly the first time I have ever seen 7.15am on a Saturday morning getting out of bed to go to work rather than sitting on a hill and wondering just how I got there from a party that started on Thursday evening on the other side of town. It feels odd, my friends, odd, wrong and unnatural. I want to be in bed, drinking fruit juice and being cared for as I sink luxuriously inot full blown stay at home flu. ::sighs piteously:: Oh, I'm so tired...

Friday, October 18, 2002

SICK
Waah! It feels as if I've been swallowing sawdust and razorblades and had a beating with a big stick - I think I have finally succumbed to the office lurgie. Somehow, I don't think crossing my fingers and running away across the playground shouting "Vainies! Vainies!" is going to keep this dreaded thing away. What a shame that the old methods of protecting my health and safety don't seem to be very efficient in the era of antibiotics.

And I can't even lounge in bed tomorrow and get over this feckin' itchy eyes, sore throat, aching limbs, fuzzy head and running nose because I have to come in and work. Oh boo and indeed, hoo.

Some painters have just wandered in and marked my door for painting: great, perhaps the smell of the donated toxic paint so evil and noxious that it probably walked off the back of a lorry on its own initiative will clear my impending cold. Or maybe not. Bah. And sniffle.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

WORD UP
Oh no! ::slaps self across forehead:: I completely forgot it was time for Brave New Word! I promise I will be there for the next one though none of my writing is ready to be performed: I am still coming up with the hand actions for my sing-along version of The Wasteland.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

UNDERGROUND PARTIES
::giggles:: Check out my new links on the right. Oh, and if anyone has any ideas of what to wear to a Tube-themed party, do drop me a line... Going as Victoria or Angel is thankfully banned as they are almost the default stations people will go as. I considered going as Barking but would anybody be able to tell I'm in costume?

Monday, October 14, 2002

NOW BOOKING
Okay, this is the current wishlist of Things to See and Do…



Theatre: Peepshow by the amazing Frantic Assembly at the Lyric Hammersmith

Crazyblackmuthafuckin'self at the Royal Court

Film: Twins at the ICA

Mulholland Drive at the ICA

Talks:Stuart Hall and George Lamming at the ICA...hell, I wanna go to everything at the ICA...

Fucking enormous flowers:Blimey, this thing is unbelievably huge, and I just have to see it with my own eyes.
And just to balance all this high culture, I might go and see Lilo and Stitch cos I'm a sucker for bright and happy cartoons. And I'm still on a high from seeing My Fair Lady with Mama on Saturday, which was...brilliant. I struggle against admitting I loved a musical so much, being so high brow and all that, but by god, I had a good time. And while I'm slumming it in the world of arts and culture, I might try and catch another episode of Celebrity Fit Club. Is that a misspelling? Shouldn't it be Celebrity Fat Lardarse Crikey You're the Size of a Whale and You Sweat When You Chew You Disgusting Tubby C-list Talentless Timewasting Scum Club? Hmm?

Friday, October 11, 2002

LOOSE INTERPRETATIONS, INCREASINGLY TIGHT TROUSERS

This had me giggling all morning.Check out the Star Wars hand puppet film and the Lord of the Rings. As good as the Lego Lord of the Rings, but not as great as the re-enactments with childhood toys they used to do on the Adam and Joe show.

Can’t wait for November and December when I am allowed to become a raving HP/Ring-obsessed loon again. And there’ll be more Very Secret Diaries! More marvelling over how much the actors in HP have grown (and wondering just how long it is until they are legal…) more unlikely but nonetheless compelling slash pairings across both! More! More! More!

Went to the most amazing restaurant last night – the newly opened Sofra in Pimlico. Beautiful, elegant, tasteful surroundings, great staff, gorgeous (but tiny) bar area, excellent, excellent food – try the rose ice cream: fragrant and delicate. I could have happily tried everything on the menu but there’s only so far that stretch trousers can stretch.

Ahh… when will it ever be lunch?

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

CHILDREN CROSSING - DO NOT BRAKE


Another moment of unnecessary but delightful
invective
against the world and all its inanities, which in its own inanity, just adds to the madness out there. And in here. And in the undefinable thereabouts of hyperspace.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

COURTING

Had an exciting day of marketing strategy brainstorming yesterday and sat in meetings agonising over names for projects - Progression? Ultimate Image? Turntable Ninja Warrior Saturday School? Mrs Miggins' Monday Night Music Shoppe for Motivated Young Moppets? I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here But At Least I'm Not Taking Drugs? And then went schmoozing at the Royal Court, mingling in the bar with people I used to work with, then more mingling in a nearby bar with people I used to write with. Went home exhausted but fully networked. And am suffering from text thumb and over-emailing eye strain. It was that kind of day.

Currently reading: The Tiger in the Well by Philip Pullman, Not Wanted on the Voyage by Timothy Findley, Christie Malry’s Own Double Entry by BS Johnson – read the book, see the film and take up your very own brand of accountancy. I couldn’t recommend these more; I’ve tried to but ended up choking on my own enthusiasm.
Currently listening to: the sound of my CD player’s awful whirring, clunking and clicking death rattle.
Currently watching: the leaves falling off trees in a melancholy, consumptive Russian playwright way, and longing for a Moscow Mule… I used to really enjoy those.

But due to the inevitable callousness of a materialist, petty bourgeois society, and the very turning of the world which persecutes my happiness, hounding it into horror as this globe swoops me relentlessly from day to night to day again, I have never regained my beloved, my sweet, clear and ginger-ly refreshing alcoholic pre-mixed drink in it’s cunning little copper-coloured bottle, that saw me through a year of my hedonistic youth. I haven’t seen it anywhere. It’s the bitter tonic of adulthood from now on, my friends; I must progress in to the shadowy future accompanied only by the medicinal reek of gin and the occasional glass of wine with meals. Oh, to be young again, oh, to sip the delights of a bottled alcopop as innocent and unashamed as a naked Eve bringing the apple to her lips…

I wish I was 18 again.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

AN EVENING WITH THE PRETTY BOYS

::sighs:: I've exhausted myself with swooning. I almost went to Paris this afternoon - Flatmates pounced on me completely unexpectedly (come on, Saturday afternoon and someone's got a plan? It doesn't happen in our house...) and told me that they were just about to book Eurostar tickets to Paris on some kind of super cheap deal and would be leaving in an hour's time, if I wanted to come. I didn't. I had just got back in from grocery shopping for the week and was not prepared to go back out into the ninth circle of hell that our area becomes every weekend. And the deal stipulated a very VERY early return tomorrow morning, and Flatmates weren't booking any accomodation either and were planning to just keep going until dawn and since I've just very grudgingly paid my rent and have yet to be paid, and can't afford even this trip whcih seems to consist of little more than a few hours of fun and then sitting freezing on a park bench until sun-up... it just didn't appeal.

So what did I do? I rented The Talented Mr Ripley, bought myself the most orgasmically rich and deep Chilean red wine I have tasted since one memorable Valentine's day in Cambridge, sat back and just wallowed. Before I flicked on the video, I got distracted by Plunkett and McLeane and watched that - a very good-looking film if a bit flippant. It's clever but only in the way modern Shakespeare is: innovative, refreshing, original while simultaneously butt-clenchingly embarassing and tawdry. Pretty boys though. And nice costumes. But too many wigs.

And in Talented Mr Ripley - god, I want to go to Italy. It was like one long moving postcard, with "Wish you were here...?" scribbled all over it. And of course, Jude Law and Matt Damon are quite attractive too. Who would like to join me in playing with them?

Oh, after this evening's viewing, how will I ever get to sleep?

Thursday, October 03, 2002

IN LEAGUE WITH THE GENTLEMEN

I want to move to Royston Vasey: oh Pauline...oh, Mickey luv...

BETWEEN A PIECE OF GUM AND A SMOKY PLACE
I am currently torn between buying cigarettes or nicotine gum. I am on a knife edge here...

I have also decided that I really, really, really, REALLY hate wearing glasses. They never sit on my face properly (nothing ever does...;->)I'm getting a constant headache from them and probably need a new prescription, so might as well go for contact lenses. Which I would find much more comfortable if I gave up smoking, therefore not getting smoke in my eyes.

Oh, now you see: it's all coming together. In a horribly healthy, new look, new me kind of way. ::shudder::

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

LOBSTERS LIVE FROM THE SMOKING WOK


Had to stay at my parents last night because of the BASTARD TUBE STRIKE and managed to make it into work at a decent time. We had lobster - am still picking fragments of shell from my fingernails. I don't particularly miss home (probably because I'm there so often...) but I do miss dad buying live lobsters and crabs from Chinatown and dumping them all in the sink. I miss poking at them with a chopstick and shrieking when they retaliate. I miss crowding into the kitchen to watch dad crouch on the floor over his chopping board, positioning the lobster or crab carefully upon it and then smashing his cleaver through the shell. Lobsters have the best reaction: their bodies arch and their tails fan out then spasm.

It shouldn't do, but the thought of all this makes me hungry.

In other news: I am very much looking forward to this. You should be too. Ooh, they are such pretty young Toms...

Monday, September 30, 2002

DO ROBOTS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?


Started new job today and am quite pleased with everything. But slightly too overwhelmed to comment at the moment: there is an Avid editing suite, a Final Cut pro suite, a stack of ibooks and a whole room full of double monitored G4s, plus a few projects such as Women in Broadcasting and Into Action, a web and computer skill building project for asylum seekers and refugees. Caught myself drooling and had to slap my own wrist several times as I was led around the various media suites. I think I have discovered yet another Happy Place. As it is, I have a 9am start tomorrow and will have to face yet another BASTARD TUBE STRIKE in the evening and the following day - but even though I know I should get some rest, I still can't sleep.

Have tried counting sheep but I keep thinking of interesting ways to edit their leaps over the fence when I finally apply my itching fingers to the interesting bits of equipment I will be working with everyday from now on.

Baa. (Cut!)

Sunday, September 29, 2002

SALUT, SAMEDI!


Donc celui était aujourd'hui de ces jours qui sont seulement subitement grand. Est allé au Royal Court voir le stupéfiant nouveau pièce par Caryl Churchill, A Number. Alors avait un premier dîner avec Andrew et Tom avant d'allant à du sud Kensington rencontrer ma soeur, son fiancé et l'ami de son fiancé. A passé quelques heures buvant et avoir un intense conversation de l'avenir, notre autre soeur et notre frère, notre nombreux cousins et tantes et oncles, l'importance d'enseignement notre avenir enfants les Chinois, transférant à France et autre profond et merveilleux choses. Alors nous aussi ont été bu cuisiner si nous a reçu takeaways et regardé Christophe chante et danse à vieux français albums alors a pris un autobus a la maison. Et le radio a vintage Nirvana seulement joué. Un bon jour, véritablement.

Okay, I cheated and had some help translating my appalling French into readable French via Free Translation

And this is what I said when the French is translated back into English:

Therefore the one was today of these days that are only suddenly big. Went to the Royal Short one to see stunning it new piece by Caryl Churchill, HAS Number. Then had a first dinner with Andrew and Tom before of avenue to south Kensington to meet my sister, his fiance and the friend of his fiance. To passed some hours drinking and have an excessive conversation of the future, our other sister and our brother, our numerous cousins and aunts and uncles, teaching importance our future children the Chinese, transferring to France and other deep and wonderful things. Then we also were drunk to cook if we received takeaways and looked at Christophe sings and dances to French old albums then took a bus has the house. And the radio has vintage Nirvana only played. A good day, truly.

Hmmm. Makes a lot of sense at this point in the morning. Or should I say "good moaning. I was jost pissing by" a la 'allo, 'allo

Friday, September 27, 2002

HAPPY, HAPPY, JOY, JOY

Just discovered the most amazing shop called Joy on Coldharbour Lane: it is truly a pleasure dome of the kitsch and useless. I will, of course, be spending a lot of time and money in there: a girl can't have too many plastic flower shower curtains and shot glasses decorated with slogans such as "I'm on my period, therefore I have legal rights to kill you." Oh, this place and the little stall that sells stick on, glow in the dark holy water stoops and rhinestone crucifixes in the market are just full of mindless birthday presents for my unsuspecting friends and family. Blissssssssss.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

LOCAL MICE, FOR LOCAL PEOPLE

Last night I went to Mouse vs Supermouse?, a talk at the ICA (my current favourite place on earth) on the future of comic books with a panel that included Dave McKean, my very favourite artist ever. He is responsible for all the amazing and spooky Sandman covers and the artwork for other Neil Gaiman non-Endless graphic novels. However because of the BASTARD TUBE STRIKE I was stuck on a bus in a godawful traffic jame for the duration of the talk and only caught the 20 minute Q&A at the end. Got quite alot out of it but was not the same as actually having heard the debate. Bah.

Still, am on a break at the moment and in a super relaxed holiday mood so was surprisingly mellow about the whole thing. Ended up walking across a beautifully moonlit St James Park to see a friend in Victoria and ended up staying up all night watching The League of Gentlemen on DVD - the whole first series. Had a bottle of wine to myself and was unable to go home - which I couldn't do anyway because of the BASTARD TUBE STRIKE.

So, due to the BASTARD TUBE STRIKE I missed the best part of a talk I was really looking forward to but ended up having a great night, including several Royston Vasey induced dreams and a really very nice pizza. Funny how things work out, yah?

Watched the Simpsons, Buffy, Faking It Changed my Life and the first episode of the new League of Gentlemen series this evening. Sod achingly hip contemporary arts: TV, I love you. If it was legal and my family would accept it, I would marry the little TV set we have in our living room and quite happily spend all my time in bed, lying there, just watching it, like an old perv. No, married life wouldn't change me much, clearly...

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

MIGRAINE MUSIC
I am currently listening to Zoe Ball on Xfm (a radio station I have just rediscovered and am really enjoying along with the late lounge on Jazzfm which seems to be a blip in their usual scheduling as it plays trendy chillout music at the perfect wind down hours between 11pm and 1am instead of the insane elevator music they seem to play during the day) and she is driving me insane. They've also just played Radiohead - some godawful headache-inducing, atonal crap from the unbelievably successful Kid A album - why? Why??? It's so deliberately unpleasant! It's so fucking self-indulgent! "We don't like tunes, because tunes are commercial and capitalist, so here' s an hour's worth of music to have a migraine to." Bleurgh. Must find something else to listen to as soundtrack to a day I am happily wasting by not doing very much at all.
LONDON STRUCK

The whole of London seems to be enjoying this tube strike: no one seems to have gone into work, or else has but went on a very pleasant boat trip into the Docklands. Glad I'm on holiday and am at leisure, therefore, to stand at overcrowded bus stops, watching overloaded buses go by as I stand around trying to make the most of my time off. Fun, fun and more (or less) fun...

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Well, here I am, exposing myself on the web. This blog, I know even now, will not be about the weird and wonderful of the web so forgive the lack of links; however, there will be roadsigns and fingerposts to whatever has caught my eye, has made me laugh or rant or goggle in disbelief.

Although I've been voyeur to several blogs in the last few months and have generally enjoyed the world of blogs and livejournals, I've not actually maintained one myself. There will no doubt be some hold ups, pile ups, congestion, bottlenecks, roadblocks, traffic cones, old senile people crossing really slowly whilst laden with shopping, joyriding and bicycles in the bus lane, there may even be only one lane open and that will probably go the way you really don't want to go - but hopefully no fatal crashes. Just be patient and don't toot your horns if this thing doesn't go fast enough or traffic seems slow and dull: we'll all get there in the end. Gods of the highway, please look after us.

First entry and I'm already rambling. Hey, I'm learning this blogging business pretty damn fast!

Hypatia Avenue: very street.

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