Tuesday, January 28, 2003

“…one of them has to eat Peking Duck out of a pie dish. A pie dish! How the hell are you supposed to roll the pancakes on a plate with raised edges? It’s impossible! I don’t know how they manage…” My darling mother on our cousins’ inappropriate crockery.
So I finally had a day off yesterday to make up for the 12 day stretch I did over the last two weeks. I spent it well, mainly spending money on a particularly ignoble cause: spoiling myself. And my parents – I took them for lunch in Chinatown and had a merry afternoon in a restaurant where they push the food around on little glass-sided trolleys. The idea is that you spot something you like the look of, flag it down like a taxi, the waitress/ trolley pusher marks what you took on a slip and you pay up for your lot at the end. The food is often lukewarm (or cold), you can’t often tell what is what (especially if everyone seems to speak Mandarin and the stuff all looks a bit murky and dark and generally unidentifiable in their little bamboo steamer baskets), and you often end up eating lots of things that catch your eye but are not necessarily what you were wanting anyway. But it’s quick and good fun and does the job, so no complaints from me.

The afternoon passed in further Chinese pursuits – a haircut and some shopping, the kind of thing a Hong Kong tai-tai would get up to on a Monday, and am feeling much more rested after a rather hellish period of work, work, work, sleep, eat, work, work, sleep, eat, work, sleep, work.

In other news, it will be Chinese New Year on Saturday, hence the Oriental themed day yesterday. Haircuts, flowers, cleaning and a whole lot of cooking and eating are the order of the festival, a lot of incense, lucky red envelopes (Cash! Money! Moolah! Dough! The well-timed rescue from my position teetering on the cliff-edge of my overdraft!)

I have also made a date with some work colleagues to go to a casino which is having a Chinese New Year theme night: one colleague is going for the all night Chinese buffet, another is going for the chance to win (or lose) a million and I am going to find a husband. Preferably a nice boy who is good to his mother, owns his own takeaway (maybe more than one…), is a doctor/lawyer/accountant in his spare time and will give me lots of sons. I *will* go home a winner, I swear.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

"You could have picked a better spot" - Gimli to Legolas regarding their position on the battlements at Helm's Deep.
After the agonisingly long wait, after hundreds of false tries and failed dates, after avoiding all the spoilers yet dithering over fansites on the net, after watching all the interviews and promos, after everyone else has seen it, I finally managed to go to the cinema and watch The Two Towers.

I thought...

I forgot to breathe in the whole run-up to the battle at Helm's Deep, when both sides are lined up, facing each other and the rain starts to fall on all the assembled troops.

The Elf Army made a *very* impressive entry to the battle as did Gandalf the White. I got a lump in my throat when he suddenly appeared with the Rohirrim(?) at the bleakest point in the fight.

The trees were cool for what they were - a bunch of nicely done CGIs, but had nothing on what I got from the books. They looked far too human and moved with much more fluidity than I imiagined for them. I wanted to see great big, scratchy, creaky things lumbering through the story, threatening the other side with their wisdom and patience and age, not these leafy human shapes that looked like extras from Sesame Street.

Gollum was amazing - unexpectedly poignant as an example of what Frodo could become as ring-bearer, and wonderfully creepy, pathetic and evil.

Gimli was excellent ballast to the otherwise incredibly slashy (for those with no knowledge of fanfiction, I mean gay), humourless and intense relationship between Aragorn and Legolas. Yah, they are extremely beautiful together and are ripe for slashing in this film, especially as they spend most of the time communicating in Elvish over the heads of everyone else, and that most telling of moments when Aragorn finally makes it to Helm's Deep after being presumed dead and all Legolas can say to him is: "You're late" and "you look terrible."

The Dead Marshes scenes with all the sleeping faces under the water were extremely well done. Tolkien apparently meant the Marshes to depict the legacy of WW1 over which the ravages of WW2 played out, and there was such a sadness in the scene, such a ghostly, remorseful feel, I felt genuinely moved by it.

The cuts between the different stoylines were as good as they could be, though some juxtapositions were clunky and oddly inappropriate.

The film didn't have enough dwarf-tossing. The scene where Gimli grudgingly asks Aragorn to chuck him onto the bridge was perfectly placed in the midst of fighting, a good point to be made about the ridiculous, the necessary and the fearlessness in battle. Also, the line "you'll have to toss me...please don't tell the Elf" is a total winner.

There's so much more I want to talk about, but I was so utterly and completely swept away by the film, I'm not actually able to discuss it fully.

Let's just say that I was enjoying the film so much, the twat two rows behind who rustled a plastic bag throughout the entire film couldn't distract me, and the teenage boy who kept stroking my leg for the first two hours until I turned around and whispered "I can feel that, you know," was only a bonus to the whole experience.

I am oddly delighted by this latter experience. I've been smiling all day just recalling those tentative teenage fingers on my thigh, in that darkened room, last night. The educated, independent, 22 year-old arts professional with her own bank account, own place to live and tough opinions on feminism exterior is currently aghast but the 14 year old wearing too much make-up, unsuitable high street shoes and without my own doorkey interior is still giggling and reading too much into it. A lot.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

"Zon Lap Ji Dan Bay Nei Bowl Tong" - [lit. give you a bullet for making soup], one way to say "I'm going to shoot you" in Hong Kong.
Well, I wasn't talking fei wah (literally "crippled statement" - bullshit) in my last entry, I would rather dam see hmm tau sic (literally "I would rather transport sewage than steal") than mislead anyone about my intentions. I really do mean to expand my Cantonese and have found some delightful resources for this purpose online, including a few with sound clips to hear the correct inflections for a phrase. Thus, I can can say with confidence that work is currently ho fan ah (very busy) and regarding the fire brigade going on strike again, I say to their stinking Union leader: ding nei gor fei (literally "support your lungs" - meaning something along the lines of - "I would rather condescend myself to act as the support for your sorry pair of sickening lungs than to back up you pathetic strike action, you greedy, selfish, inconsiderate fuckers") The whole situation is lei sai po (utterly ridiculous) indeed.

Well, have we all learnt something today? Good.

In other news, I have a work experience girl to look after, which is a rum do since I am still on probation myself here. I've been a work experience girl myself far more times than I care to remember but hopefully, seeing as I am experienced at having work experience, I'll be able to take care of her without demeaning/ overworking/ patronising or demoralising her.

Hai gum seen (That's all for now...)

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

"I licked all the custard out of his doughnut, I put his chocolate eclair in my mouth and sucked," - me and Flatmate A discussing our pudding last night.
Since I last strolled through the Avenue and left some literary litter, I have done the following:

gone to work

taken my brother through a Final Cut Pro weekend course

watched DVDs in bed (Malcom in the Middle, series one - comfortingly dysfunctional)

done my laundry

scanned lots of photos

not slept enough.

Fascinating, oui? Non? No, it wasn't for me either.

In other news, I have come to the conclusion that I am not paid enough and that my job title is woefully incorrect: my title should be something along the lines of: "The Only One Who Knows How Anything Works and Does Weekends Out of The Whole Lot of You, You Lazy Clueless Bastards." Cannot currently decide between waiting for my next appraisal to raise these issues or to run naked through the office with "Gimme a Raise!" painted across my arse in Daddies sauce (of which we have a jar, sitting reeking in our laughable "kitchen" area.) Hmmm. I think making my point without any condiments will serve my purpose better. Or not - suggestions welcome, to the usual place, Ithankyew.

In other news, I'm looking to start some kind of sport or activity in the spring - should I go for fencing or for contemporary dance? Pilates or tae kwan do? Spinning or... tap dance? African drumming? Synchronised swimming? Extreme juggling/ironing/letching after floppy-haired public schoolboys? I dunno...

Thursday, January 16, 2003

"Oh, fall on me, press on me, splash on me like the crashing waves of the sea, let your tumultuous passion tumble like the pull of the tides, let your unleashed virile longing spray me with your salty ocean spume!”
I should be writing up the procedures for all our shiny new equipment and arranging the start of the next course for Monday but I'm far too caught up in expanding my cache of badly phrased, mild 'n' tender, softly, softly erotica. Still, I'm working through the weekend (9am on a Saturday and Sunday! Holy mother of god, surely I didn't volunteer for this! I suspect I was drugged and / or hypnotised into agreeing to this absurd staff rota...) and can catch up with "work" then. In the meantime, I will allow myself to indulge my drooling prose and let my imagination run damply across the keyboard...

In other news, I am tentatively and hypothetically considering living in other parts of London. What areas are recommended for a) spacious living b) security c) reasonable rent d) good transport links and e) nice places to shop, eat and/or drink that *don't* involve fried chicken, All Bar One, Wetherspoons or open-fronted halal butchers. Suggestions to the usual place, much appreciated, yahyahyah.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

"How about a company uniform? And a company anthem? And... and... some kind of mascot..." - at the staff meeting today.
There's making a creative contribution and then there's just being silly.

In other news, I have pictures to show you all, of my most recent adventures over Christmas and New Year. Jessops very nearly had me upon them, frothing at the mouth and going blue in the face with rage when my colleague came back from lunch with none of the photos he had so kindly offered to pick up for me. Two phonecalls later, I was informed that the photos had been delivered to the shop only moments after "my husband" had left, and that either one of us could pick them up later. Rage was quickly abated by choking laughter: Mr Hypatia was unable to explain this mix-up. Waaaah.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

"The idea of pouring Bolly over half-dead tramps has made me cackle like a Hyena. A Hyena cackling in the Serengeti over the corpse of a large male wildebeest which a lion has been too full to eat and has left sprawled juicily on a nice Italian salad sprinkled with Parmesan and balsamic vinegar." - Flatmate A, today, re: our current pasta problem
Yes, everything sounds better out of context.

In other news, I have pictures from Christmas and New Year's Eve! Although only one of the two rolls I handed in to the developers has come back, meaning another trip up the high street during my lunchbreak tomorrow to queue behind a huge crowd of people at a counter manned by only one cowed work-experience girl/boy whose mind is focused only on what sandwich they can afford with their paltry expenses from Benjy's next door. Abusive screaming rant-space has been reserved for the chance that the second roll of film may not actually return, developed or otherwise. Uploads to follow...

Friday, January 10, 2003

"Oh! Clock!
Why do you mock
Me so?

Such a shock
That despite tick-tock
I still have an hour to go."

Some heinous poetry to pass the time until I am free of the bonds of work. Apologies, my most profuse and sincere apologies...

Speaking of bonds, however, how bizarre is this news item on the hostage situation in Hackney? I've been following it agog since Christmas - the blue plastic bag of food being hauled up through a window, the negotiators trying to keep the panic out of their voices, the bulletproof vests, the cordon around the whole area, neighbours trapped in (or out) of their homes and the dramatic escape of the traumatised hostage himself... the fire was the most exciting bit to watch, in a sick kind of compelling-car-crash-can't take-eyes-off-it, pass-the-ketchup kind of way. Well, they don't call it human drama for nothing. ::scoffs popcorn unabashed::

We really need a prequel to understand what the hell was happening in this chapter. And by the way, he dies in the end. Hmmm.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

"Now tuck your heels under yourself and lean back onto your forearms. Stretch the neck as you go back, expanding the chest, pushing your hips forward and breathe in..."
...said the yoga teacher yesterday. Went bolting across town to make it in time to the class with Flatmate A and burst in on an oasis of dimly lit calm. We stretched and "ohmmmed" and arched and tensed/relaxed and held and breathed and realigned our chakras, all under the restful voice of the instructor, in the dim glow of the darkened room. This is the first prolonged exercise I've had since summer 1999 - and it didn't even hurt! Am most amazed. Will be back next week, for sure.

In other news, does anyone remember the Hippopotamousse adverts from our (mid-80s) childhood? A hippo reference today ( no connection to the width of my thighs or overall dress size actually) made me recall it and have been wondering all day if I am just making up the memory of a big, blobby pink cartoon hippo in a tutu leaping in and out of tubs of the pink, fluffy dessert. I certainly don't remember eating any of this stuff. Does anyone know what I am talking about? Anyone? Hello?

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

"Anything more than 7 inches is just ridiculous." - said Hypatia this morning about the snow.
Well, what did you think I was referring to?

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

"It's snow, isn't it Neil?" (Pause) "No Vivian, it's risotto." - from The Young Ones, the episode when the housemates are very poor and are forced to improvise with their foodstuffs
It's very definitely snow - it's cold, wet and very pretty. Our part of London looks suddenly very pure and clean and picturesque, which is deceptive because it's really the land where a crackden and a rubbish tip come together to spawn a drug-addled vista of unkemptness. It has, also, made my extraordinarily cold room a veritable deep-freeze chamber. When I awoke from my icy, drink induced, farewell to Prandial, good luck in your new country, we'll miss you lots, keep in touch sleep, I had to knock a thin layer of frost from the top surface of my duvet. It would be wise to mention this to my landlord, but then he is likely to mention back to me my complete lack of rent.

So I'll be putting a jumper on over my nightie tonight. Ho-hum.

In other news: the Sci-Fi London Film Festival is starting on Jan 30! And there'll be an anime all-nighter! Hours and hours and hours of scantily-clad school-girls being attacked and seduced by interestingly drawn aliens! Incomprehensible and untranslatable Japanese jokes! Endless scenes of people shouting at each other where one person will get angry and their head will suddenly fill the screen and big blue sweat drops explode off their temples! Can't wait. Who's coming?

Monday, January 06, 2003

"...Did you ride his throbbing man-prong until the stars burst behind your eyes?"
Oh, this is still so much fun. Feel free to use the comments section below to add to our growing compendium of drooling soft-focus Channel Five quality sensuous commentary. However, "man-milk" and "gloopy, irridescent baby-batter" are now deemed over-used, so please avoid if possible. With thanks to August Dangerlove for the filthy man-prong and the countless other naughty words and phrases - have a pickled egg for your troubles.

BTW, to whoever changed my comments link below to read "poseurs" - fuck off. And also thank you: as enetation seems to be having a good run at the moment (though I've probably jinxed it to crash and burn all year by typing this), you've given me lots of ideas as to how to customise my comments link. Whoever you are ( and I think I know who it is *cough*BigBrother*cough*), you've inspired more inventive ways to vent my time-wasting brain dribble. Which, if it is the person I think it is, was completely not your point. Oh, I do enjoy irony, don't you?

Friday, January 03, 2003

"...Did you let his hairy man globes trail over your quivering girlish thighs? Did he pour his special man-milk all over you in your mutual passion?"
Well, I'm back online at last. The countryside was very nice (very wet and cold too but apparently that's... natural) and after a week in our adorable little cottage, I feel very rested and refreshed. We walked alot, investigated strange bloated dead animals on the roadside, had meals together like a family, played card games, board games, watched Withnail and Ias city-dwellers are obliged to do when they find themselves in the woods, got caught in the rain and had a party for New Year's Eve. And at this party, we had...

Guests who came to see us especially. Aw. We love you guys.

An endless stream of freshly made potato wedges and dip (courtesy of me and my innate clucky Chinese mother genes, "You all gotta eat! Eat!")

Flashing boobies at the fireworks over Reading across the fields at midnight

Jammed phone networks, inevitably.

Photos of certain people sprawled across certain cars in our drive. Did he park it in the right driveway, darling? Did you give his gearstick a good wiggle?

Unexpected and unsavoury couplings in the living room which have spawned an endless stream of soft-porn commentary.

An endless stream of tears in the kitchen and several hallways as is obligatory on New Year's Eve.

An endless stream of vomit (from me sometime in the morning. "Potato wedges will soak up the worst of the alcohol! You'll feel better for eating something!" Oh, really?)

A sharpened leek stored in the freezer to be used as a murder weapon later (no, I didn't get that one either)

An endless stream of taxis taking people away in the morning, into the start of 2003.

It was grand. But it's good to be back. Pictures to come. ::evil, evil plans of blackmail and mockery brewing:: Muahahahahah!