Friday, May 30, 2003

"You know what it smells like in here? It smells like someone died after eating loads of boiled eggs and the corpse is rotting in a pile of horsehit."
TODAY

9.00am Staff meeting.
9.30am At desk; remove all incriminating files saved on PC that I suddenly realised at 4am last night would get me sacked
9.45am Cigarette break
10.00am Start typing up minutes from the staff meeting in between emailing friends and bitching in IM with colleagues
10.55am Server goes down like a Hollywood ho on an Englishman, taking the internet connection and printer connection with it
11.10am Cigarette break in the sun. We notice the drains are blocked and start throwing out an evil smell.
11. 20am Server is confirmed as suffering from heat stroke. Half the office vacates to the shops to buy it an air conditioner
11.30am Evil smell proliferates our halted office. I discover old radio and plug it in and play with it while showing colleague how to fold flapping paper birds.
12.00pm Colleague successfully completes his first flapping paper bird. I play with the radio again. We close all the windows and doors because the drains smell as bad as the headline on this entry suggests and the chemical the caretaker chucks about to clear the mess smells possibly worse.
12.20pm Despite the smell, my hunger overcomes me and I have my lunch.
12.25pm The air conditioner is installed.
12.35pm Server comes back up. There's no excuse but to do some work.
12.50pm Fail to start any work.
1.00pm Go on the internet
1.20pm Notice that the smell has gone. Ponder cigarette break.Read blogs and emails
1.45pm Start blogging.
2.00pm Still blogging.

Would you believe that this is a relatively normal day for me? Like, pheh.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

"I am articulate, conscientious, punctual and diligent in all matters."
"I also have a wazzo pair of norks. Would you like to see them?"

Apologies to Flatmate A whom I hindered more than helped in the putting together of her application for Grown Up School. Hope it went off in time and that you're pleased with it, despite the hold up last night with my range of inappropriate and... inaccurate words and phrases.

"I may be the irongmonger's daughter, but I know a surprising amount about fish."
"One of the most notable qualities about myself is my villainy and excellent record of dastardly deeds."
"I enjoy knitting, gardening and sodomising small helpless animals I find in the street."
"My capacity for work is surpassed only by my ability to avoid it."
"My typing speed is in excess of 65wpm. I like to be spanked for typos."

That last one was, of course, inspired by my weekend's cinema-going. Quite important to add when applying for new office-based jobs, as the film so helpfully informed me.

In other news, I've just had my first ice-lolly of the year, after my first outdoor meeting which followed lunch al fresco, which I enjoyed after a series of cigarette breaks. Outside. Yes, I have spent more time outside than inside today, and have managed a surprisingly large amount of work. I *like* summertime. Whee!

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

"I want that back, you bastard!"
The scene: Saturday night: August Dangerlove is sitting on his sofa. I am sprawled next to him, picking my way through a bumper bag of Revels, hoping to find a handful of Maltesers amongst the yucky orange creams. August D, who has so far ignored all the snuffling and chomping and wolfing emanating from my corner of the sofa, accepts the one single chocolate I offer him from the bag. Just before he puts it in his mouth, I'm struck by the utter and absolute conviction that it is a Malteser and I say "If that's a Malteser, I'm going to kill you. I bet there's only one in the whole bag and if you get it, you die." He looks at me, chocolate halfway to his lips. He puts it in his mouth. He bites down on it. The mocking sound of a malty crunch echoes around the room. I howl. He laughs. He doesn't choke. I'm left with the conviction that the only Malteser in the whole bag has gone down his gullet and I'm left with a sack full of orange creams, coffee creams, chocolate peanuts and rock hard caramels.

I cannot forgive him. I cannot.

I finished off the rest betwen shoe shops the following day. That really was the only Malteser. The only Malteser in the whole feckin' bag. Bwah.

In other news, we saw Secretary - and it was very good. Very kinky. Very funny. Surprisingly sweet and lovely. The typing test on the website is quite amusing, though James Spader does not leap out of the screen to slap a saddle on you if you fuck up. Which is a shaem. Whoops. I meant to type: "which is a shame." Hmmm. See the film. Typos will never be the same again.

In other news, the weekend involved home-made Thai curry, shoes, feckin' huge coronary disease-inducing pancakes, shoes, Mussorgsky, Eurovision song contest results (no songs - couldn't have dealt with that after the Malteser affair), going out for quiet drinks in the oddly deserted bars of the West End with newly blonde friend down from Scotland and the usual crew which turned into a rather epic evening, shoes, watching all the Bank Holiday Monday films such as The Prince of Egypt and crying (hungover, hormonal), shoes, watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and laughing (he named himself after the dog!), shoes, more shoes.

Am now back at work. Need more shoes.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

"...I was briefly siezed by a desire to leap the tracks, cling onto the outside of her train and pursue her..."
But dear old August Dangerlove has decided to take up the chase via blog instead. I admit, it is all my fault: mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

In other news, I've acquired a taste for lunchtime shopping. Lots of shopping. Shoes. Clothes. Scarves. Shoes. Shoes. Shoes.Not bags, oddly, though of course, if I spot any I like I may be obliged to purchase them. All of them. Yes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

"I love pie."
And I love Weebl for the distraction he (and sometimes his friend Bob) offers.

Colleague1 says: pie in a jar - im ordering one, as long as the hick in the photo delivers it personally- mabey then Boyfriend will marry me
Hypatia says: I just don't get how it works...
Hypatia says: is it like baby food? do you have to submerge the jar in hot water?
Hypatia says: can you only eat it if you have a gun and have married your own brother/father?
Colleague1 says: the pastry must just sit under the lid ? - but really that makes it filling in a jar with a pastry top
Colleague1 says: you can only eat it if your 4th generation inbred
Hypatia says: ah... well, your tastebuds would be on the soles of you feet so no wonder these things are popular
Colleague1 says: lol
Hypatia says: I'm going to order one for Colleague2
Colleague1 says: He would actually probably eat it and enjoy - "and mabey then he would marry you" - ohh - there is a 'how do we do it' section - im gonna investigate this phenomenon
Hypatia says: you go girl! yee-hah!
Colleague1 says: duu hu
Colleague1 says: one guy says " A salesman sent me this pie in a jar…what an order he got! " mabey we should send pie in a jar to all our contacts
Hypatia says: ... [new project] in a jar?
Colleague1 says: here's another one .... "i just wanted to let you know the the pie I ordered was received in Kuwait...and was shared by a few of the guys there " - no wonder there is so much trouvble in the middle east
Hypatia says: lol - they probably buried hte jars for Blair to find as "weapons of mass destruction" later on
Colleague1 says: poor inocent children getting third degree burns from boiling pie filling explosions - I hope amnesty are aware of this
Hypatia says: "Agh! Duck! Flying pie! Everyone get down, GET DOWN!"
Colleague1 says: lol !

Monday, May 19, 2003

"Oh no, it's the pigs! In their jam sandwiches with the woo-woos on!"
August D's loving description of the police going by in their vans late Saturday night. Or early Sunday morning, for the pedants among you.

I realised this weekend that I've been consistently on the bottle and undeniably off the wagon since just before my birthday. I feel, not to put it too lightly, like pigswill and have finally admitted that I am probably a fifth of the size of the people I drink with and really shouldn't try to match the quantities they imbibe with how much I can manage. Rising to the challenge and failing miserably is just too regular an occurrence. And as I pointed out previously, my poor Big Bro is going to run out of trousers one day.

Why the sudden temperance? Last Monday, I was bored and feeling a bit low (ie. hungover) and so retired to my room with a bottle of champagne, my notebooks and a copy of Tennyson's works and got fuzzy-headed. Again. On Wednesday, it was my graduation. I got drunk at the dinner afterwards and carried on back at my place with Flatmates A and B. On Friday, it was my BigBro's birthday and I turned up drunk from drinks after work to carry on the merry-making at the dinner table, and then back at my place, I carried on having drinks with whoever was around. The weekend following this excessive Friday, I was either drunk, hungover or asleep. Again. This blog is getting repetitive, and I'm bored of being hungover. It is just so dull. There must be more enlightening ways to use up my spare time than lying on the sofa feeling rotten and wishing I had bought more Alka-Seltzer. So I'm going to take a break - from writing about it at least.

In other news, I got lots of books!

Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code
The Talented Mr Ripley
Coraline
A Series of Unfortunate Events: Book the First - A Bad Beginning.

I am *so* excited - these are all the books I've been wanting to read for the last few months and I've finally got them all. Yes, three of them are technically kids' books but by god, they look good. Thanks to the lovely August D, who I *will* bring over to the dark side... the dark side of the kids' section, muahahahahaha... Reviews to come...

Friday, May 16, 2003

Hypatia says: what is best way of eating an orange?
Andrew says: with your mouth
So, on Wednesday 14 May I took the day off work and went along to Guildhall to finally graduate from my Post-Graduate Diploma in Cultural Management. I slept in, went to see my parents and had noodles with them and a rather unexpected but nonetheless interesting and stimulating conversaiton about the root of anti-Semitism with Mumsy. Then we trailed off to Bank and the graduation ceremony in our finest gear and spotted a cousin who was also graduating that day with an MSc in a completely different subject. I became jealous and envious of the gold lining on her robes and developed an overwhelming urge to go back to academia and work my way through every possible outfit and qualification going. As it was, I was wearing just a black robe with a maroon hood and green neck band (yes, *so* attractive) and as sole representative of the class of 2002, I felt a little conspicuous. Hmmm.

At least this time I didn't have to kneel to receive my qualification or hold anyone's finger and be led along to the college president sitting on a throne - and there was no Latin either, unlike the ceremony at Cambridge, of which I have many stories, none of which I want to mingle in with this particular graduation tale. That was a different world entirely and this time round, it was just a pleasant, rather demanding day full of photos, big smiles and nice surroundings.

After a long series of photos in the yard outside Guildhall, it was time to take off the robes and silly hat and proceed to dinner - on the way to which I managed to lose both parents in the rush hour crush at Bank tube station. We went to the usual Chinese restaurant near my folks' place and the staff were absolutely wonderful, the food was amazing and a good time was had by all. the menu included:
Chicken's foot and coconut soup
roast duck and fried bread dumplings which we ate with condensed milk
eel in black bean sauce with dried fruit peel
beef, spinach, cold meats and stuffed tofu, aubergines and peppers
a beautifully presented fruit plate
a sweet soup of semolina and red lentils and... other unidentifiable stuff.

Yummy. You see? It's true - there are lots and lots of things you won't ever see or order on the "Western" menu. And you are all missing out. Or not.

So after that day of excitement and celebration, I was back in the office to do not very much and waste everyone's time in IM.

Hypatia says: I only knew the cantonese for goolies
Hypatia says: and to this day i don't know the proper word for it
Andrew says:in what language?
Hypatia says:heh - cantonese. I'm quite aware that the proper english word is...
Hypatia says: rumbling fuzzy man-globes
Andrew says: that's the one
Hypatia says: or two if you're normal
Andrew says: ssshhh

In other news, 'tis Big Brother's birthday today. His is the second in the slew of summer birthdays in our enormously extended family and the veritable stream of cakes and meals and presents won't let up until mid-October. Jealous, are you? Ah, well... I can't help it if we were all summer-time babies...

Saturday, May 10, 2003

"I'd seen a vodka ad once, just a glass full of vodka standing in the middle of a snow-drift in a blue light, and the vodka looked clear and pure as water, so I thought having vodka plain must be all right. My dream was some day ordering a drink and finding out it tasted wonderful." – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
On the theme of drinking, I exceeded the usual pissed-up pratfalls of a Friday night last night. It's rather disturbing how often my entries here on the Avenue read like this, but here goes...

So, the CEO is away at the moment and my line manager is in charge. None of us, including the aforementioned line manager has any motivation after the launch to actually do any work so we spent the day in IM giggling and being silly until it was an acceptable time to go to the pub. Once there, we embarked on an office outing to TotallyFuckedLand until I realised I was drastically late for dinner with my parents and had to run away as best as my alcohol-addled legs would allow. (That’s not very fast by the way. In fact, I got further just standing still and letting the swaying pavement take me into the distance...)

Burst into the house to find everyone at the table finishing dinner. I make no apologies - mainly because I can't as my face seemed to have collapsed in on itself by then, and start to eat, thinking that some food and plenty of cool, clear water will sort me out. However, I had no idea that our cousin who works for Harrods had been wine-tasting for that illustrious emporium of over-priced...stuff that afternoon and had very kindly furnished our meal with the left over bottles. So the plan to sober up was...unfeasible, after all. And it all ended with me sitting in a puddle of red wine, apologising profusely as the booze seeped into my clothes, the table and the carpet... then I had to go home (couldn’t exactly stay after that little catastrophe…) wearing a pair of my brother's trousers and suffered the loss of one, then the other contact lens whilst stumbling through London Underground, struggling in vain to 1) see where I was going and 2) keep the trousers from falling down by yanking them up with both hands in a comedic slapstick fashion every two steps. Ugh. This must not, *cannot* turn into a tradition, a ritual, a habit. My brother will run out of trousers one day.

There have been few references to the world outside the Avenue, I know; but things have been... self-absorbing lately and will probably continue to be so until the wedding is over. So, please feel free to keep peering through this (Microsoft?) window into my world - or pull the curtains closed behind you and come back later, there’s a good chap.

By the way, is it tragically sad or hopelessly hip to avoid a party because you’ve been partying too hard and need a night in? I can’t decide if it’s an embarrassing sign of not being able to keep up and keep going or a sign of admirable and sensible self-preservation. Well? Hmmm? Huh?

Friday, May 09, 2003

"What the hell do I look like...?"
For the love of god, please don't tell me - it's very clear what I look like: a twat. A very drunken, out of focus twat. But at least everyone else does too. Muahahahahaha etc.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

"Wait - that's not right. How old am I? If I've lived 23 years, then...then... is this my 24th birthday? I don't understand..."
I got confused. I am still confused. I am still 19, and I have decided that I will be for the foreseeable future as I am unlikely to figure out the conundrum above. :: sigh :: I was thinner when I was 19. I had less chins.

The great mysteries of life aside, The Birthday was great and surprisingly lengthy too. After the extended post-launch bash on Thursday, at which there was some birthday cheer when the people present could pull themselves out of their pint glasses to slur at me loudly and damply "Haaappp-yyy buurrrr-(hic) day, Hagel... Hazzle... whoever the fuck ye are....", I went to have dinner with my folks on Friday evening. It was sad not to have my LittleBigSister and the French Fiance there and things were rather subdued. The slightly subdued atmosphere could also have been a side effect of my absolutely rotten hangover and the reeeeallly unwelcome calls from Least Favourite Cousin No.1 ( on whom I will not comment on in this blog as there is no html tag for "sheer, unadulterated, blind, seething hatred.") but things went as well as they could in between the bouts of ear-splitting outraged shrieking.

Saturday was spent being delightfully selfish and insular: I did absolutely nothing except fiddle about with my computer (I'm now online at home - woo-YAY etc.) watch Blackadder IV (the whole series in one glorious, neverending loop...) and then lie in bed scribbling away idly in a series of notebooks. It's lucky I had this day to myself as Sunday proved rather busy...

So Sunday, I got out of bed and had a leisurely long breakfast of coffee, toast and pheasant eggs (!), rounded off nicely with a mint Cornetto (!!) and then dragged myself around the shops in the blazing afternoon sun, getting in the stores for the afternoon's party. And boy, it was a paaaaarty. It was good. It was very good. I feel loved and cherished and very pleased. Thanks everyone - this is one to remember.

Saturday, May 03, 2003

"How great are we?"
Well, how great are we?

After two weeks of stress, strife, bribes to stay late in the form of very good pizza and amazing Thai takeaways, a cab home from the office because I worked so late I missed the tube, an emergency dash to the docklands to nurse the server, harassing the Sweden-based designers and general all-round panic and hair-tearing, we managed to get the website running, managed to get in and upload and stream 12 brand new films *and* organise the event at the IMAX cinema including personalised badges and information folders for all our guests and an amazing exhibition space that included 12 G4 laptops connected wirelessly to the net and our new site for all to peruse after the presentation on the feckin' big screen in the auditorium.

Phew.

This is the biggest thing I've done since mounting my own play from scratch at university - I didn't think I'd ever do anything so multi-faceted, so nerve-wracking, so nail-bitingly exciting and frustrating all at the same time. But I did. And it was amazing. We're not greatly organised as a relatively new staff team with a very new project such as this, but we pulled it off and it was a spectacular day. And an even more amazing evening afterwards...

We got into the IMAX at about 7.30am and were divided into 3 teams - the cinema team were setting up the actual presentation, running Powerpoint slides, screencaps and the actual website, live from the internet onto the big IMAX screen. The exhibition team were setting up the laptops and projectors in the foyer and I was in the meet and greet team on reception downstairs. Due to my epic night in the office the night before, I was late (surprise, surprise) and turned up in my jeans and pyjama top (I was in a hurry, k?) and was looked at aghast by the rest of the team who were all scrubbed up nice for the day. I had to defend myself strenuously and run to get changed before I got pelted with USB cables and screen wipes... reassuringly, 20 minutes later, I emerged like a butterfly out of a public convenience-shaped chrysalis and went down to reception, ready to meet and greet with full Boots make-up counter war paint on. The transformation was so complete, one relatively new staff member didn't know who I was - which suggests to me now, in hindsight, how much of a mess I must look on an average day, slobbing around the office in my Big Bro's cast-off jeans and dinner-stained sweaters...

Well, the guests arrived, they were loving the exhibition and their personalised name badges and info packs and the generally slick, sleek and interactive pre-show stuff.... then the show started and fuck me, we knocked their socks off. We all held our breath backstage as the website was brought up on screen, direct from the internet and we were terrified that an Error: page cannot be found screen would come up, or maybe the site would come up and the whole thing would be ballsed up... but it was fine and dandy and a nifty little site, which you can go see for yourself... it was fabulous to see it, finally, after all the long hours, tantrums and tears.

We were all packed up and ecstatic by 2.30pm and all de-camped to a restaurant bar nearby and started on a merry trip into Group Drunkenness. I don't know when we broke into two separate camps but senior staff somehow disappeared by the time the rest of us moved into the NFT bar and the drinks came in thick and fast, there was much joyous celebration and woo-ing and cheering for getting through the whole thing and managing it all so well and then two of us left and then three, leaving three of us there to stay on drinking and shouting and indulging in ...well, let's just say, "behaviour unsuitable for two colleagues to carry out in the office but kinda okay under the table in a bar by the South Bank..." And then a long and blurry journey home to my bed, exhausted but too exhilarated to sleep. But finally, I slept. And it was a sound and sweet sleep. We did it! We did it! Woo-YAY!

Gosh, and it's my birthday too. Must dash - got to keep celebrating...! I'll be back to report on my entry into my 23rd year. Watch this space...

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