Friday, November 29, 2002

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.
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

…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


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!!!

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

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…
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. ---

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:


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

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...

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::



::dances about::

::falls over from overexcitement and fatigue::

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


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

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

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

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 d├ęcor 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.