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Saturday, 24 July 2004

Last Post on this blog


Days Gone By

A creme de la creme round-up of one's best posts from the previous year. The ones that I really enjoyed writing!

January 2004
What font?
Audience
Portrait Under Lock
Correspondence
Cathartic, Bleak, Volatile
September 2003
Do I Know You?
God takes the Central Line
Stalker
Fractured Femur
February 2004
Urban Burbs #3
Continuing Dull Diary
My 302nd entry
Brave New World
December 2003
Lidl
Fucked #1
Fucked #8
Fucked #10
Tea at the Ritz
July 2003 My Head Doesn’t Hurt
October 2003
Drinks Menu
Numeric
Sixty Things
Why The Big Read Sucks
Effluvia
March 2004
Question
Blue Paint
& Prejudice
True Love
Mrs Opposite
Sub Text
November 2003
Troy
London Fog
Ignis Fatuus
How to Be a Cat
Cancel Christmas
April 2004
Catalogue of Idiocy
Safe
You
She Wants My Hot Beef
Not Anything Good
Turn Off TV Week
July 2004
Appalling People in London
Donald Sutherland’s Hair
Demonic Possession
La La Laaaaaa
Blogs Once Blo’ted
May 2004
Conversations
Death in the Family
Politicaaal
Posh Voice
LPHbet
You Doan’ Know Me
Whisper I broke the blog
June 2004
Verboten
How to do a Date
Self Medicate
Rising Action
Apolutrosis
August 2003
Busy Busy Busy
48 Hours
Details, Details

It's a blog, dammit - narcissism is endemic to the genre.

Dammit, I can't make this look right as a table.

I give up! (see what I did, there?)


This page graced by sarsparilla at 4:29 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 24 July 2004 5:34 PM BST
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Pre Uni Cum


Topic: Belle de Jour


Jatb said I had to blog the rest of my birthday festivities, as she bought me a highly expensive repast in a Hungarian restaurant (no prizes for guessing where) last night.
After yesterday's supreme confidence about being 34, I had a slight set back. Accidentally spilling coffee all over the carpet, breaking half the dishes and finding a four inch millipede on the filthy carpet, I inadvertently wore a hideous combination of clothes out, (White empire line flares and pringle sweater? Would Modom like a 50s knitting catalogue pose with that?) and not even sucking in, tucking and posture would hide the previous day's ice cream related gluttony. I can truthfully tell you that the best best best recipe for an attack of the olds is to walk into a restaurant with champagne waiting, and your oldest friend to whisper 'look: no competition; we're the most attractive people in here by miles'.
After that boost, it was mere icing on the strudel to witness jatb 'innocently' ordering a glass of industrial waste disguised as a liqueur, and rather revoltingly named 'unicum', from a bottle shaped like a bollock. Yes, it is pronounced like that.
Billy was very very lucky to excape a drunken phonecall from either of us...
So tonight, I shall be attending this thing, recommended by this blogger, and this, and accompanied by this blogger too. Does that count as a blogmeet then, if we all refuse to own up to them?
And that will conclude my birthday festivities, as well as my blog festivities. Just one Best Present mention for Toulouse, and his gay erotica sent from the Cayman Islands. I haven't watched it yet....

This page graced by sarsparilla at 2:54 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 24 July 2004 3:32 PM BST
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Friday, 23 July 2004

How lucky am I


Topic: Casino Avenue


I got to thinking about how lucky I am.

Yesterday, it was my 34th birthday, and I didn't feel particularly old (all my friends are older), and I didn't particularly mind (the last five birthdays previous, I'd prepared for months with the diets and the hair streaks and the sit ups and shit - this time - nothing. Quick bath, and out).

I got lots of really funky weird presents from people, and once I shut my inner demons up and asked people to come out or visit, the next week is - just full - ping, just like that. I told Krystal before she went to India about how scared I was of doing nothing this summer, and the last thing she did before going was to ring Derby, also off to another part of India, to ask her if I could borrow her cottage on the side of a mountain in the Peak District while she's away. Derby stepped up to the plate like the star she's always been (she's rescued me from homelessness three times already), and bingo, just by asking, a summer holiday at no cost.

Just by asking, your bad luck changes. Who'd have thought it was that easy.

I slept most of this week. Slept with a side order of many movie thrown in - and can I just say how amazing Almost Famous and Capturing the Friedmans are? Honeytom wrote the most amazing review of the latter film, and it turns out to be the sort of thing that keeps in your mind for days. About the family of a man accused of multiple pedophilic ritual activites, and how social hysteria overtook their lives. And starring the saddest clown in NYC. Amazing. Anyone who felt uncomfortable when an angry mob rocked the van containing the Soham murderer should see this.
And Almost Famous was nothing like what I'd expected - full of typical Cameron Crowe deviations from the story - beautiful moments that simply don't get you anywhere, but are lovely to watch. It's enough to make you put on a prog rock album, though I made do with 8 replays of some cranky old Paul Weller album.

But I'm digressing. The acitivity that simply could not wait on my birthday was a visit to Thamesmead car pound - in the wilds and wastelands of Erith. If you imagine a desesrt island, with the original General Ford Motor Company circa 1955 transplanted there, you have Erith. It's a mad mad place, and strangely beautiful in the sheer brutality of its landscape. I know Casino Avenue hates what they've done to Charlton, since building the yuppie complexes at North Greenwich, but this is how I remember the northern end of Charlton used to be. Blasted, fruitless, inhumane. Full of synthetic smells - bread, cake, fish, liquorice - that are one sub-note off, slightly not right for the real thing. More metal and piping on view than any human should have to stare at, and taking up the entire horizon.
The best thing about waiting at the car pound, though , is the chance to watch the unluckier cars being crushed before your eyes. Oh the cruelty! In car terms it was King Lear.

Anyway, I didn't even get there. You know me, I'm so lucky. I waited till the last possible minute to go drive at rush hour to Thamesmead, stepped smartly outside of the house I hadn't exited in two days of sleep - and my car was gone.

Stolen. Told you I was lucky.

It's been broken into many times, but no-one's actually been a decent enough thief to drive it away. I'm standing there, then running to the other three car parks near the flat, wailing, renting my birthday card in despair. Knowing that I need a car to go pay my car pound money.

Thinks. There's no glass on the floor. I was really angry the last time I drove it. I was driving in and out looking for fax shops, for ISP details, etc. Really angry.

So angry that .... I'd forget where the car was?

There's a car park half an hour away that I do remember parking in. I also remember heavy cases of beer. How would I know they were heavy? Unless I ... walked home with them.

Fuck.

I left my car for three days in a pay-park!

Shit shit shit shit shit. Now I'm running. It's going to be ticketed. It's going to be clamped. It's going to be towed. That'll be another £600. I pass loads of people I know from work on the street, but I'm too panicked at how fucking stupid I can be to even grin like a loon as usual at them.

Forgot her car in a pay per minute car park. For three days. How lucky am I. Never live this down. Never find where they've taken it now. Three days. What kind of a fucking fool. Didn't even realise. Looking for it in the car park at home. No glass. Could have been stolen. Best case scenario is vandallised with parking tickets.

How lucky am I? The car is there. It's fine. The stereo is still glinting expensively in the sunlight. There's no ticket. I'm nearly heaving with relief.
A fortnight ago, all pay per minute charges were lifted from this Free Car Park.

The tension! The cruelty! The drama!

This page graced by sarsparilla at 1:26 PM BST
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Thursday, 22 July 2004



Happy Birthday to me....!

This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:05 AM BST
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Wednesday, 21 July 2004

Other Blogs, Once Blo'ted


Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Yidaho

Watching London Burn
"Bloggers
Visual traits: None. Highly dangerous. Actually, one possible clue: wearing a Blogger T-Shirt. Unf.
Aural clues: talk about it continuously. All the f*cking time.
Dangerous aspects: all bloggers are obsessive. Anyone, who regularly writes down their most intimate thoughts to a PC must be slightly psychotic. Especially anyone who writes their views on politics, as these blogs are typically links to news articles with some of the bloggers own deranged commentary. They only do this beacuse they are unable to talk to people and engage in conversation, which would expose their lunacy. Socially retarded, one and all. Worst of all they all think they are going to be multimillionaire authors once penguin or random house find their blog. Yeah, right."

CGP

"I understand that it is necessary to have a penny, because it is the smallest unit of currency, but why-oh-why a coin that represents two of the smallest unit? It's useless as I have yet to find a price that ends in .98 and, worst of all, the two pence coin is huge. As the second most valueless coin, it's also the third biggest"

 

Eurotrash
"The reason we Europeans don't like your accent (apart from you southerners, we love that one) is that you sound like you are talking out of your noses to us. All we hear is a kind of twangy WAAA WAAA WAAAAAA WAAAA WAAAA WAAAA WAAAAAAA thing, which has the same effect as scraping a fork down a plate to our ears. Afrikaaner South Africans aren't much better, I'm afraid, as all we hear when they speak is coughing. Much like the Dutch.

Heyrdupesi
"I was sitting on a bus last night on my way over to Umbrella's when an old drunk approched me. Hello beautiful. I was not in the mood to be polite so I gave him a *who the fuck are you* kind of look and then looked out the window. He got the message, staggered off and sat in the seat behind me. I may be a sad old bastard but I still have an eye for the ladies he then said and opened a can of beer."

Exhibit 5a
"All I gotta say is that it's just great, GREAT that we're depicted as obsessive compulsive computer geeks who would rather blog than do anything. Lemme tell you something, there are lots of things I'd rather be doing else. Like, sex for example. Much more fun than blogging.
Shut up, I have so DONE IT before.
You don't know her.
She lives in Canada."

SarahSpace
"I could get drunk, but that is rather mundane. I could go get a tattoo on my lower back to complete my slut look. I could take my “one day I will buy a house” savings and spend the day at Churchill Downs. It must feel exhilarating to say “$10,000 on 4 to win in the 6th and . . .” Really, I am never going to buy a house. I could take a sabbatical and spend the summer following the Professional Bull Riders circuit around the county. I could just fuck it all and finally join that convent. I don’t know. I am open to suggestions."

Boyhowdy
"Willow, what should daddy write on the computer?

(silence)

Willow?

(silence)

Should I write...Willow is sick?"

Bastitch
"I don't give a fuck whether or not you give a fuck. You know why? I don't need to you validate my existence. I can only hope that the feeling is mutual. But honestly, I don't give a fuck. Fuck a blog."

Die Puny Humans
"A hyperlinked Sparkline would make webpages like superdense, fractal, layered, zoomable resources, and make the top-level of each topic look vital and organic like a terrarium of squirming data.
The next step would be to see Sparklines in the street, not just delivering data, but harvesting it - being it.
Crawling up lamposts as electricity consumption spikes during the ad-break of Coronation Street. Or infesting the wounds of a pigeon flattened by a delivery truck, updating the national epidemiological database and the air pollution record for that borough based upon trace metal readings in the carcass..."

Lost in Hype
"Obviously she'd been there before. Obviously she was smarter than me.
Then in the space of a second the following happened:
1. I realised where I recognised the girl from.
2. I remembered her face from her book.
3. I remembered her photo in City Life.
4. I remembered her voice from a radio interview.
5. I remembered her smile from a TV interview.
6. I knew that the girl was Gwendoline Riley.
7. I remembered that I actually had her first book, 'Cold Water', in my Technics bag.
8. I considered talking to her.
9. I remembered another interview with her where the journalist called her a 'sourpuss'
10. I considered asking her for help with the terrifying Easy-Internet ticket machine from hell.
11. I considered some sort of lame 'oh hello aren't you Gwendoline Riley?' sort of greeting.
And then, finally, 12. I completely bottled it, imagining that I would probably sound like some sort of deranged stalker, incapable of working the ticket machine, and Gwendoline would quote a line from a Russian classic at me and I would be forced to retreat to the Disney store and find solace with a life-sized Tigger."

Madame Finistere
"Sometimes I completely forget the reason why I'm not calling you when I feel like it, or sending you a birthday present, or writing you a pretentious e-mail trying to display my so-called literary capacities and trying to make you laugh. I forget why I'm neither responding to nor deleting your cellphone messages.
The reason is love.
I try to tell myself that as long as I do not forget this, you will be ok."

Casino Avenue
""Ah, this is the one we've been waiting for," said one of the little gang of bus fans outside. It's like a smaller, unrevamped version of the Routemaster, all wooden floors and springy seats. We set off up the Bow Road, a couple of mums-and-kids got on, past the church (as Steve Norris' campaign bus passed us) and up the Blackwall Tunnel approach road for a short distance as usual. Left at Old Ford, straight on... "Wrong way!" Oops. These all being run by enthusiasts, and the 8 being a tricky route, something had to go wrong... a quick bit of reversing, and back on course. Going on a bus going backwards seemed to make the kids' day."

Reckless Writer

"I don't want to go into the touchy, weight issue territory but I just want to confirm my hypothesis about human behavior. I really wonder why I find fat men excruciatingly adorable but can't say the same thing about fat women? Fat men compensate for their chubbiness by being sweet and humorous. Fat women on the other hand compensate for the extra lipid by throwing their weight around by being arrogant bitches."

Stefangeens
"Perhaps I should just start a new genre where I do not actually write a blog but just describe imagined blog entries that I have not written. Noncommittal writing, I would call it, and I would engage in it in the more transient phases of my life, when nothing is really certain or cherished notions are in a state of flux, when writing down thoughts would give them more permanence than they deserve, like putting shacks up on the World Heritage List. And there is something wonderfully Calvinoesque or Borgesian to it all. Maybe I should just post reviews of my imagined rants, pronounce them the work of genius, but report back inexpertly and confused, and depend instead on the imagination of readers to construct something of proper greatness out of them."

Bandhag
"What if, contrary to the popular saying, you can take it with you?
How gutted would you be to get to the Other Side and find that even there you were priced out of the property market and that it was only the pious fuckers who'd sunk all their disposable income into ISAs and bonds instead of pissing it up the wall on booze, drugs and thousands of impulse-purchases that could afford the biggest, fluffiest, whitest clouds and the fanciest gold harps, while you had to share a flimsy Cirrus with your mates and fight over who used up the last of the manna?
Aetheism - you know it makes sense."

Sashinka
"So I've got this friend, right, and she's going out with some guy, and she really likes him, it's been a couple of months, and then she calls me up in a real state: he forgot to mention he's still living with his girlfriend. What should she do? (Of course, that should be "what should she do, girlfriend?") Obvious to me: no-one wants to be second choice, it's bad for your self-esteem, blah blah blah, these kinda people never change. She loves him. I can't help wondering how much he loves her. I keep schtum."

Gia
"Cunt really, honestly, is my favourite word. I’ve been trying to use it at least once daily – more often in polite company – since I was introduced to Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s album Come Again as a teenager in the late 80s. I had no feminist reasoning behind it then, I simply loved the word. I loved the reaction it got from people. I loved the fact that this word, those four letters strung together, those four letters that when spoken created that harsh and nasty sound, could make men and women, young and old absolutely disgusted. A word! Wow! It was the moment I realised the incredible power of words."

Peeling Wallpaper
"Simple pleasures. One of the baristas at my local Starbucks calls me "hon." She is probably fifteen years younger than me. "Hon" is a word of minimal endearment patented by aging waitresses in diners serving coffee from grimy carafes to truck drivers and high school kids too stoned to go home and face their parents. "Can I take your drink order, hon?" the barista asks me. I want to respond, "I'll have the usual, Flo. A cuppa Joe and a generous helping of your sweet smile." But she wouldn't get it. She's too young and she's nothing like the TV character Flo. She would never admonish me by saying "eat my grits." All I would get is a blank stare and my $3 latte and the satisfaction that I remember some really weird shit from my TV watching youth."

ScreamingSeed
"So here I am surrounded by all these little girls in frilly party frocks, all smelling of cheap bubble bath and talcum powder, humming theme tunes to kid's TV shows and making their cheap rip-offs of Barbie dolls dance on the table between the sausage rolls. I've got my eye on the mouthwateringly sickly looking butterfly buns but I've been told I have to eat some salad first.
I don't really know why I put this whole tomato in my mouth. I guess I was just trying to be entertaining, but the other party guests look far from entertained. There's just no pleasing some people."

OnePotMeal
"You couldn’t remember buying the suit, but there it was.
People came into your office sometimes but never asked about work, never knew about Yees, only about the shirt(s) you were wearing, and you wondered how long you could get away with changing shirts all day long and doing no work, how long until you could retire and commit full-time to the search for a poet named Yees.
Meanwhile the poet who rented your old bedroom downstairs got a sunburn because your old room had so many windows. The spines of his books all faded until the titles and authors were gone.
You rubbed aloe into his peeling back, asked if he knew the work of a poet of Yees, but he said, No, no, I’ve never heard of this Yees. Are you sure he’s a poet at all."

Hackney Lookout
"Sat opposite a huge transvestite on the tube. Long blonde hair, tanned and cratered face, a pummeled nose: like an Aussi full-back on a hen night. Elbows held high, shielding eyes with a newspaper but highlighting legs like cabin logs."

Kitchentable
"We did a few shots of me in my massive boots unlaced, jeans, and with my top off, all that. Fairly innocent. Then some adding a biker’s jacket that he’d brought with him. All very Gay Icon, but I can live with that.
So once I was comfortable with posing in semi-nudity, he tipped out a bag of what can only be described as Things. Some of the things, I didn’t even know what they were!
There were wrist restraints, chains, (tweet, tweet, chirp chirp twitter) and handcuffs.
I put on the (twitter, chirrup tweet) and my friend helped me to fasten the (tweet tweet tweet chirp, faint sound of an aeroplane passing over) at the back. And to make my body glisten we (cut to outside of Big Brother house).
‘Do you mind wearing this?’ he asked, offering me a (cut to shots of the hose-pipe, followed by shots of the outside of Big Brother house, and then the oven).
‘Actually, I’d better just rinse it under the tap.’ he said."

Cyber Vassals
"Open letter to the woman I saw on the street yesterday:
I'm sorry. But if you can fit the word "DANCER" across your ass, you probably aren't one."

Bandhag
"I expect she'll remember for a while about an old friend from school emailing to tell her you'd joined the fucking Police force. I expect it will all have come flooding back to her and that, for a while, she'd be unable to stop herself from recalling everything about that time - the pain, the humiliation, the wretchedness, the shame and the silence. The crying and the apologies, the promises and the blame - it'll all be as fresh as the day it happened. And for a while, I would think she'll want to find out where you are, who you know, who you're working for. Tell them what you did, what kind of person you were and what you put her through. She'll remember anger and hatred and she'll want to punish you and damage you and make you pay for what you did.
But then she'll remember something more important.
She'll remember that she's changed."

SarahSpace
"Remember when I made all that homemade porn a few months back? Well, I put it all on a CD for safe keeping. Now, the CD is missing. If you happen to come across it, I would appreciate it if you would return it to me. Thanks."

Fuck Everything
"Google search: how to perform an autopsy pics
This... Is really disturbing. I don't think anyone should be taking a DIY approach to autopsies. And I had better not be seeing Autopsies for Dummies on the book shelves anytime soon.
"Autopsy? Autopsy?! I can't WHACK off to Autopsy! Orrrr can I?!?"

Stefan Geens
"Margaretha married Rolf, the man she broke up with Bengt for; they've had two children and lived in Luxembourg and Gothenburg before settling in Stockholm. It turns out that when I called, the children were under the impression their dad was her first love. But how many of us know the details of our parents' pre-marital love lives? I certainly don't, and it will stay that way unless somebody calls me with news of a long-lost love letter addressed to my mother from somebody patently not my father.
After I called and Margaretha saw the letter online, she looked for Bengt M— online, found him living in the area where they grew up and called him. He remembered her without prompting."

Smacked Face
"Shut up! Shut up! Shut up, all you armchair pundits and office commentators. I don't want to hear about this bloody game any more, do you hear? Listen to yourself, weedy, wacky guy in the Christmas jumper - like as not, you haven't even seen a football since compulsory sports at school, you do not have the right to comment on anything of a physical nature. And you, braying public school bore, stick to the rugby and memories of group buggery, and shut it! You are all so tedious it's a miracle you haven't sent yourselves to sleep."

Random Gestures
"Today absolutely sucked.
Then, for a sec, thanks to Chris, it didn't.
Then it sucked to a power of 10.
Then, for another second, it didn't, thanks to esch.
Then, after lunch, it began to follow a steep curve into hell."

La Noiraude
"So, the optometrist.
He was old and grumpy; he lived in some kind of dusty-smelling dark lair. Or so it seemed at the time.
I was a quiet child, but not a very compliant one. I was even less compliant when scared. On that day, I was terrified. He shouted at me, grabbed me by the arm and forced me to sit on the examination stool.
To cut short ten minutes of ordeal, in terror I peed on the stool - not out of spite, although the idea is appealing - simply out of fear. I would like to say at this point that I graced his stool with a copious stream of urine - but that would be lying. It was more the pitiful letting go of the true fearful."

Light From an Empty Fridge
"There are people who will always answer questions while eating, are happy to make and take calls at any time of the day, will check their work mail during the weekend, and who often assume that this is what you do as well. What does this say?
I am so terrified of losing my job and/or desperate for the approval of my superiors that I will prostrate myself pathetically in this manner in front of the Gods Of Work for any tiny, tiny advantage that it might bring, despite the fact that 90% of the time nobody notices and 10% of the time they think "useful idiot, give him some more to do". I would probably do better rolling on my back and pissing all over myself, but I might get fired for staining the carpet.
or
I have become so blinded by my own concept of the work ethic that selling widgets to morons is more than a job to me. It's more than a career. It's a calling, it's an intrinsic duty. A contract of employment is an oath of fealty stronger than anything any samurai ever swore. Making money for other people matters more than anything else in the world, and I can't believe it doesn't to you too.
N.B. When my job is outsourced I will likely shoot the entire office and then myself, so you might wish to invest in some sort of ballistic protection.
or
I'm a self-important arsehole who enjoys feeling superior, and "hours worked" is a scoring system that lets me rate myself higher than you.
or maybe just
I hate the rest of my life.
or any combination of the above."

The Final Broadcast
"My last few days (hopefully on the bus):
A small jotting of thanks to those on the 428, my 'friends' as this week should be the breaking of our Fellowship.
1) BonJovi Boy: Thanks for playing your Bon Jovi CD every day for the past 3 and a half years. It seems like it was the same CD, although I feel that it would be far too sad if it were.
2) DrPepper Girl: Always reading the Sun and sitting in front of me, so I get the chance to read it too. It's the swigging of Dr Pepper at 7.40am that gets me. I'll miss your obvious need of a cigarette.
3) Kid-who-falls-asleep: This lad's gone through so much change, it's like we've grown up together (I say grown up - it's been 3 and a half years, yet he's about 2 inches taller)."

Muscle 68
"...bullshit, that was a great pour." She just laughed at me. Whatever, she was just jealous. "So we're going to another bar, it's ladies wrestling night." Well, you know me. Anything involving alcohol and girls wrestling and I'm there. So we finished the last of our beers and headed over. It was only a 30 second drive and...
...the hell not, I asked myself. Jager's always a fun choice, so I told her, "Sure, jager shots, let's go." She poured and we all took a shot together. Good times. It's a very bonding experience, drinking with someone. You don't ask people if they wanna go and grab a water, or go and grab a soda, but you can always ask someone if they wanna go and....
...off my chest." Kinda awkward, seeing as how her husband was right there. But who am I to argue? She laid on the bar, smashed her fakies together, and I sucked the Jager shot down. She stood up. "You missed some." And she then lowered her shirt more. So of course, I had to lick off the...
...had no idea where the girl in the luchador wrestling mask came from, but there she was, imitating oral sex on the other female bartender. Then she screamed. Seems the luchadora chick bit her thigh. Seeing a girl put ice down her pants is pretty funny, especially in a ghetto bar after drinking a shitload of...
...the dude's birthday, I had to buy him a drink. I also had to yell at his girlfriend to set me up with one of her sisters or hot aunts or something. I mean, if they looked anything like her, I'd be happy. So we both cheered ourselves, and we took a shot of Jager. "Happy Birthday my man." "Well thank you, it was really nice of...
...timate cheeseburger, sourdough jack, and 2 tacos, thanks." Me and B were going to eat like kings on our way home "Shit man, do you have any money?" He grabs his pockets. "You know, I don't think..."

Looby
"It does piss me off a bit that no-one seems to write as a truly disaffected parent. There's these wanky Guardian columns from Reluctant Dad, where Nicolas Lezard pretends to be pissed off with his children, but when you actually read it it's basically the same sort of mystifying mumsy conversation that I hear constantly from girlf and her pals. "Oooh, I'm so tired", "Oooh, he really wound me up the other day", "Oooh, they've been horrible today." I really have to bite my lip to say "Well, it was you that fucking wanted them - you deal with them. Have you never thought of attempting to overcome your biology and this fatal womanly flaw of wanting children with the same right-on man who loves you, which, you know, is a bit optimistic in this day and age?" "

Billyworld
"jude, you'll never guess where I am
....
no, @sd@
.....
yeah, well they have a sign on the door - have you seen it
.....
it says "admittance will be denied to anyone improperly dressed"
.................
yeah, well I've just realised I'm not wearing any knickers - wouldn't it be funny if I got thrown out"

Creepy Lesbo
"But what's the point in regretting things?
Where does it get you?
So.
I've written WorkshopLeader an email.
And I sent it yesterday.
And it was harsh but less offensive and accusatory than it could have been.
And now I have to face the consequences.
So I should storm into the front room and turn on all the lights and plug the phones back in and prepare for the inevitable onslaught.
Face it like a hero, right?
So why am I still sitting here?
Why indeed..."

Rubbish Gays
(You really need to see Rubbish Gays' BB themed pictures to get full impact...)
"Hi, I'm Jason from the Big Brother house. I'm not gay. That's me in the first picture bending over for a gay housemate (I'm not gay). There I am in the second, mounted on top of the same housemate. He's gay, but I'm not. Did I say that already? The last picture, just a bit of fun, nothing remotely poofy going on there. Did I mention I'm training to be an air steward? One more thing, I'm not gay."

Unluckyman
"Fuelled by alcohol once again, just when I should be exercising the restraint I’d shown in the cold sober light of day, I’m doing the exact opposite: I’m obtaining ‘cashback’ on my credit card to pay for a private dance in the ‘Penthouse suite’.

Sitting in a ‘de luxe’ vibrating leather chair watching a young Brazilian divorcee undress in front of a fake, illuminated city skyline, I suddenly realise I’m literally sitting in one of those ‘dark corners’ I reserve for soul-searching questions. Even at the end of a surreal, escapist, ostentatious day, I’m sober enough to realise this is excessive, not moderate, behaviour. Why am I here? I wouldn’t normally do this kind of thing. Haven’t I got a good, healthy social life already? Do I really need this? (Of course, I stay. It’d be rude to walk out)."

Exhibit 5a
"Ah yes, there is really nothing sweeter than coming into the office after a long weekend. If by sweeter you mean sucktastic, of course. I've never understood the logic of making your employees work the day after a long weekend. You should never have to work the day after you have more than one consecutive day off. Think about that for just a second and you'll see the brillance of my plan."

Van Mega
"One of the main ways listeners propelled artists was through the art of the mixtape. According to George, mixtapes were huge, and shared extensively (don't forget CD's and the internet was kinda rare and still quasi-cutting edge back then). George then argued that today’s music climate was now in a position to take on the same exciting diverse traits of the early 90's. He the presented a challenge to the viewer to not just get back into making mixtapes, but getting selfless about it. He challenged everyone watching to regularly make mixtapes and mix CD's, featuring the bands which they personally felt were vital and interesting, regardless of if they were obscure indie groups or glossy major label types. Most importantly, George challenged us to share and give away the mixtapes *to strangers*, as a way to spread the word. You know, just leave them lying around in a classroom or wherever, and see who picks them up, and see how they get passed on. Kinda like a pay it forward kinda thing, but the currency is sonic.
[ ... ]
I challenge other bloggers to publish a mixtape. Do it up, you've got an audience, spread the word (or whatever). Get in touch with me and let me know when you step up and publish a mixtape. I'll cherish your mix and link your ass, like whoa."

Oeillade
"Quietly, softly, it finds its way in
To play down your virtue and highlight your sin.
The weights are all hung and the tunnel's in place,
We'll help wipe away that fat smirk from your face.
How long can one spend intending to fly
If two in the hand is worth one in the eye?
Come in from the outside, come in from the cold.
What use is your pride if you're not bought and sold?"

3rd Engine
"Only a few minutes later, my math utopia was compromised to reality. You know the kid who no one really wants to sit by, but one unfortunate soul has to because they straggled into the room too late to choose their choice seat? Well, this was me and my friend ‘Big Popa’, as he likes to be called I guess. The lad is about 6’ something-or-other, and he’s about 180 pounds of pure wigger. He had it all: the velvet jumpsuit, the sideways baby blue baseball cap, and more ice than the Atlantic ocean. About five minutes into class, we had to create our own name tags for our designated area of the tables. I spent about two minutes on mine, merely writing ‘Ty’ at first, in big, smeared, black mechanical pencil-y letters. I guessed that at a point, someone may inquire as to what my last name was, chiefly the teacher, so I promptly wrote another line of sketchy letters a few spaces away from the freshly created disaster to the left after much deliberation. ‘THURSBY’, all in caps. Now they’d know I meant business. My wigger friend decided however to take the high road by writing ‘(Big Popa)’ above his real name, which based off his funny glasses and towering white kid frame was no doubt Arthur or Clark. We’ll just have to assume because I never actually saw. The only words of conversation this kid would provide was cursing everything under his breath. Any excessive direction from the teacher, any assignment given by the teacher, any stupid joke made by the teacher. Essentially, just anything the teacher did prompted a good, “What the fuck”, “Shut the fuck up”, “Fuck this”. This kid is clearly oozing with substance and I can’t wait to see him everyday now."

Light From an Empty Fridge
"As I said, nothing happened today.
Nothing significant, anyway. Nothing that, when it comes to adding up lives at the end of the universe, will even produce a pause of the pencil. “Alive, alive, alive, yes yes, same again"… flick through the pages… “ah! he fell over a bollard in August! That’s plus one funny points. Another four hundred and ninety and he gets a toaster".
I wouldn’t mind a toaster."

He's Welsh, You Know
"I have a recurring anxiety dream in which I get the opportunity to work for Radio 1 legend John Peel. I suspect the pay would be miserable, but I would drop everything for the opportunity. However, in this dream, John eagerly asks me to book for Maida Vale my "mate from the pub" who sings an amazing rendition of the gospel tune "Salvation on Faith."
"That is such a beautiful song. I really look forward to hearing your friend's rendition of it," John says excitedly in his gravel voice.
"Oh fuck," I immediately think to myself.
That's just a song my mother used to sing to me when I was a kid. I've never heard anyone sing a particularly stunning version of it. Then I wonder if perhaps I had at some point drunkenly bragged to John about having a friend who does a sterling version of the song. Because I would do something stupid like that -- tell an all-out lie just to garner the attention of John Peel."

Too Much and Too Little
"I think I've been to a church twice in my life, thanks to the prompting of James, who promised that they could be "fun", and indeed they were, compared to getting a root canal without anasthestic as performed by a coked-up dentist having an epileptic fit. In other words it was so painful I could have sworn - but couldn't, because God doesn't like people to use naughty words like AHHH FUCK ME LET ME OUT OF HERE OH SHUTTHEFUCKUP WHO ASKED YOU ANYWAY - A BORING BASTARD IS YOU while in His house.
I was in Sunday School when I was in kindergarten and it was a horrible experience, involving many picture books of white people in heaven mingling with tigers and bunnies and stuff. It was part of my mom's nefarious plan to make sure I would never be religious and it worked."

Shy Lux
"I'm only linking to this because the guy lived.
Crapweasel of the day: Kenneth Smith, author of An Open Letter to My Deep Fear That My Girlfriend Will Be Really Fat Later in Life. Kenneth, I hope you go bald, slowly, in an awkward, non-pattern baldness kind of way. And I hope your girlfriend makes partner in her law firm and leaves your skinny ass for a younger, more attractive gentleman with a smokin' bod. And that they have lots of gorgeous children, while you grow old all alone and have to move in with your mother and start wearing shorts with black dress socks that offset your pale, skinny, hairy legs. And I hope Kenneth Smith isn't your real name, because eventually your girlfriend will google you and find this public declaration of love."

Looby
"The "pub" nearest to me (I say pub, but it's really a community centre and venue with a bar attached), is somewhere I never normally go, partly because it looks like the set for a pisstake TV sitcom about yoghurt knitters. It has a strange attraction for 50-year-old weirdy beardy men, and people who suffer from imaginary illnesses like ME, (a strangely class-specific virus which somehow affects university lecturers and psychotherapists more than it does catering assistants and people working in care homes). They also have a rule of not serving alcohol before 4pm, although you wouldn't want to be in there at that time anyway, unless you want to hear Proud Mum noisily cooing things like "Ooh, seven today! What a clever boy! Yes, Leo, we're going to go and paint our ant faces now."

Feeling Listless
"Will it really have power to sway the voting habits of a country?
What is startling for me is how little Moore has changed the way he presents the story. Although I missed the original release of Roger and Me (I was reading about robots in disguise at the time), for some reason I caught all of TV Nation when it turned up on BBC Two and that took me into my university years. Considering the controversy, it's interesting to note how close the new film is to the short ten minutes stories which appeared on television and his previous work.
Throughout, there is still the mix of old tv footage, stunts and illustrative contemporary interviews. The proportions of each have been reduced and increased depending upon the story being told but it is very much Moore's style and just as distinctive as latter day Woody Allen."
[...]
"I saw the film at a Saturday 3:45 showing and it was full. Many journalists and writer who have been to see the film with the public to see their reaction have talked about the heckling and the applause. At my showing the only time anything happened was when a clip of Britney Spears appeared in which she was asked about the Iraq war From out of the darkness deep male voice shouted: "Whore!" He was utterly silent through everything else ..."

Conazo
"If you accept the premise that cinema provides us with vicarious experiences through which we can live out our dreams, then it would seem reasonable to suppose that you can work backwards from the movies to figure out what our innermost desires might be.
Movies tell us that love conquers all and bad guys always get their comeuppance, but what about darker, more fringe beliefs? After all, isn't the collective subconscious less Disneyland, more Arkham Asylum? What do movies tell us about half-thoughts so disturbing they have to be manacled in a reeking cell?"

Breakfast Any Time
"There's a lot of things I've been meaning to tell you, but I lost my notebook and now I can't remember how to spell any of those things. If you're in the Chicago area, be on the lookout for a small black notebook. Then start your own website where you just keep posting the things I've written down in my notebook. Then give me the address. Seriously, it'll save me alot of time."

Peeling Wallpaper
"I have this idea for a soft porn novel. You know the kind of book people leave behind at bus stations and train terminals, the ones with the covers torn off, the ones that catch your eye because of the provocative language, starting on page one, with very creative parts of speech for very intimate parts of the body. You’ll look down from your seat at the train station at the abandoned book on the seat next to you and the words “swollen hamlet of love” will jump right up at you and you will think, “well, this isn’t Tom Clancy.” "

Diary of a Glitter Splashed Britney Lovin' Lesbo

"Every time I venture out I always seem to stumble upon someone who recognises me from school. Of course that means they must grab me, pull me in all directions in some faux 'I love you' kinda of way and tell me how good it it is to see me as I'm left scrambling for air and a name. I finally remember who they are (4 years older, 6 years younger) and also remember never having exchanged a single word with them, ever. Yet here they are despereate to tell me bout there fabulous new boyfriend, their children and how they work in an office and shag the boss. Touched as I am to have these complete strangers reveal their lives to me, why choose me? Because I have a friendly, inviting face? I'm quite sure not, so what is it? Because they think in all their skinny and tannedness they are better than me? Maybe. But most likely it's because I will sit there and listen to their crap, take it all in, gasp and guffaw at appropriate intervals and even stroke their pregnant guts when instructed."

SarahSpace
"1. Are Spiderman’s superpowers a metaphor for his penis? Is it one of those ‘I am going to fight crime with my enormous cock’ type things?
2. I completely believe that it is possible to bitten by a radioactive spider and get turned into a Spiderman, but this Dr. Oct thing seems completely improbable. Why were the arms needed? What do the 4 extra arms have to do with creating fusion? Am I the only person who is bothered by the implausibility of this? And isn’t there a flaw in your thinking about creating a new power source that needs electricity to maintain itself? Spiderman pulls the plug out of the wall and everything stops?"

Creepy Lesbo
"Another shit day.

How old am I?
I'm 28.

I can tie my own shoelaces.
I can tell the time (just).
I can pick my nose and eat it (and I still do).

And yet I am still unable to wipe my own arse after a night on the slosh without dragging streaks half way up my back.
Why IS that?"


This page graced by sarsparilla at 1:43 PM BST
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La La La LaLaaaaaaaaa, I can't hear you


Topic: BillyWorld


A musical meme pinched from the beloved and delectable Bandhag, who in turn pinched it from Dearie Me or Maffydoo. It's one of those 'randomise the shitty mp3s on your pc and confess to the crap that floats to the top' efforts.

Done with some reservations, as this is a frigging laptop, so I'm not going to spend large amounts of time destroying good music by feeding it through these tinny one inch speakers. But I've failed massively to blog lots about music on here, as was one of my original intentions last July - largely because events overtook me, in the form of my own seven month self -imposed ban on listening to any music at all beyond Estonian classical improv, which has made me very few, though treasured, friends. :)
So, a randomise reveals one demo by a fellow blogger, two Gray Album tracks, one track from a CD I actually own (Endreson) after fellow blogger Jez recommended it, and the rest are all downloads taken from Van Mega's now defunct mixtapes, or the odd link from Large Hearted Boy's mp3 multitudes.
So I'll actually have to listen again to even have a clue of what's on there. In compensation for the shite writing, I might as well really fucking annoy my ISP by whacking up the mp3s themselves for your delectation. Yes even the two really really embarrassing ones.
(If you're downloading, right click and save, there's no handy webpage; I can't be bothered, because they always end up looking really embarrassing afterwards)

Metric - Hustle Rose
Fucking awful intro that always makes me laugh. It's like a bad dream that you're shagging Phil Oakey. Aren't all the best songs like that? (More)

Sidsel Endresen & Bugge Wesseltoft - Truth
Gorgeously dykey. Of course it's dykey, you never heard kd lang? A million lesbians bite pillows to this sort of music. Imagine Bjork having a multiple in the room next to her parents. This is the only track that turned up from an album I actually possess, therefore this is the clearest indication of what I actually listen to.
Except it sends me to sleep. I only listen to music in the car at the moment, so I had resolved to ban it from my playlist. Sorry, Jez. (More)

Lemonpillows - Heartbeat demo
Very sweet, and reminds me of Darling Violetta a little. Like the overdubbing. What I don't get is why people sing with a different accent than the one they speak with? Lemon sounds like a wee angel from Surrey here. (More)

Jay-Z and DJ Danger Mouse - Moment of Clarity
Love the intro and fadeout to this one. It's so Beatlesy. Well, erm. Obviously. Other than that, it's not my favourite off the album; though the samples are used beautifully, the actual vocals are bollocks. "Nigga feel my juice"?
Overall, though I much preferred tracks like 'My First Song' off the Grey Album. In fact, I'll upload that one too. [Cue grievous attempt number one to sway the ranomised list off onto a list that makes some bloody sense.]
Speaks for itself. Lovely old skool interpretation. Musically not as satisfying a use of a classic as 'Moment of Clarity', but curiously far more listenable. Sounds like there's some bloody emotion and passion to it, anyway. Unsurprisingly, it's about the crass self-destroying commercialisation that wankers like 50 Cent represent in music. (More)

The Animals - Rising Sun
Well, this is two bloody seconds of the intro (why do I have two seconds of the intro?), so I'm going to pretend it was number 11 on the list instead:
Tom Waits - Books of Moses.
Now this is a song that begs to be remixed. Lovely, but myself, I'd prefer a few tracks from 'At Their Satanic Majesties' Requests' if I feel like some hoary old fucker groaning in my ear, but I'm dead conventional like that. Still, it's pretty meaty, growly, bluesy grumpy oldbloke gurning, and it's holding it's randomised place in the list with pride, especially after the execrable 'Moment of Clarity'. (More)

Jay-Z and DJ Danger Mouse - Interlude
Way better than the previous one. A genuine rethinking of the original. Good running music, or morning driving tunes. Ah but, I would say that, I'm into modern Estonian classical improv, remember? An interlude is the only damn thing I'm used to listening to. On second thoughts, I'm the only human alive who would enjoy this track, beware.
Therefore, I'm going to give you track number 12 as a substitute:
Dilated Peoples feat Kanye West - This Way
This is the sort of thing I play on the car radio, and tap me auld feet to, and get shitloads of criticism from everyone I know over. They namecheck some of the best corny old hiphop favourites in my vinyl collection in there, and I'm a dirty great sucker for that sort of thing. Okay it's a bit feelgood/easylistening, but it's still gospelish, too. (More)

The Flaming Lips - Do You Realise?
It just wouldn't be an entirely randomised playlist without some jingly jangly shoegazer idiots on the coat tails, would it?
This is from a Van Mega mixtape, and in the context of Tegan and Sara, Iron and Wine, Starsailor, etc, it makes a really good segue from harsh track to smoother paced track. On its own, I'd turn the radio over, I'm afraid. In fact I accidentally muted it while listening. A Freudian finger-slip, I'm sure. The poor auld Flaming Lips. Ah well. They just don't realise. (More)

Calexico - Quattro
I actually like this one. I've listened to it while reading blogs many a time - mostly because its tinny whiny meteallic guitars really suit the tinny effect of the tinny laptop speaker, and contrast beautifully against the spiralling chords, burped trumpet peals and crooner-vocals. It's what I'd call a travelling song: rhythmic as fuck, and it builds, so you can attempt to impute progress where there is possibly none. (More)

Elliot Smith - Waltz #2
Again, I've barely ever heard this one before, but it's nice. The big band drums are slightly annoying, but the sub Beach Boys harmonies make up for it. Harmless. Quite nice, in a way. Great ending. (More)

Damien Rice - Amie
Argh! Number ten! Why couldn't it have been Jacques Brel? I've tried randomising another ten times, but each time it's something even more embarrassing and further up the list.
Okay, having slagged it off no end, it's not that bad. Bland as expected, like the Corrs had a sex change and took on Barry Manilow's old act. But pretty polished for all that. Although I always still expect him to sing "Amie, come sit on my face".
You know what the hideously embarrassing truth is? Melons told me to stop listening to this guy after someone at work lent me the CD. And yet still I got an email asking me if I wanted free tickets to his show this Saturday. (I don't! Not unless he promises to sing my lyrics)
Thank god it wasn't 'Cannonball'. (More)
In fact, I'm just going to reject this Rice nonsense and pretend it's actually number 13 on the list instead - why break the habit of a list-time?
Pilate - Melt Into the Walls
I love this sort of soaring indie guitar music. I like it even more when it's over the top miserable - great for people who're trying to endlessly stretch out two break ups in one year to infinity to excuse their patent inability to move on. Ahem. Like me. Just imagine how Muse could do this track.... (More)

Aah, fuckit, that didn't work. Did it?

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Watching London Burn
"Bloggers
Visual traits: None. Highly dangerous. Actually, one possible clue: wearing a Blogger T-Shirt. Unf.
Aural clues: talk about it continuously. All the f*cking time.
Dangerous aspects: all bloggers are obsessive. Anyone, who regularly writes down their most intimate thoughts to a PC must be slightly psychotic. Especially anyone who writes their views on politics, as these blogs are typically links to news articles with some of the bloggers own deranged commentary. They only do this beacuse they are unable to talk to people and engage in conversation, which would expose their lunacy. Socially retarded, one and all. Worst of all they all think they are going to be multimillionaire authors once penguin or random house find their blog. Yeah, right."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 1:58 AM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 21 July 2004 5:32 AM BST
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Tuesday, 20 July 2004

Indignation and Rantation


Mood:  incredulous
Topic: Vic Jameson

I'm still in that halfway area, where I wonder if all this dull routine is a good idea, whether I should just fucking rip up the credit card by flying somewhere improbable, when I get home, log on to write one of the last entries on my blog, when ... nothing.

Does not connect. Stupid ISP. The cheapest available in the country, unable to deal with any customer comments by email, I'm used to ringing them up.
Only this time is different. This time they haven't fucked up. They've pulled the plug. I've been booted from my fucking ISP.

A summer entirely devoid of flicking through bollocks on the net flashes before my eyes. They what? They fucking what?! For what reason? For what fucking reason is it pulled?
(thinks: I only called that guy on a messageboard a cocksucker in my head, I didn't say it out loud)

For illegal use.

Eh?

Apparently, I downloaded a movie. I downloaded it, then shared and uploaded it to others. They even knew the name of the movie. Mean Girls.
Yes, not even a good movie.

Mean Girls! But I went to see that at the cinema! (catch in throat as I nearly - nearly - say 'you can look at my blog for proof if you don't believe me'; I have enough markers of my fall from social dignity already, I don't need others).

When I installed a bit torrent client the other week, I clicked on some movies. Idly. Playing. I started downloading them - Whale Rider, which came down with Spanish overdubbing, and Mean Girls. It took forever, so I stopped the download. And went to see it at the cinema instead.
Idly. Playing. I don't burn CDs and pirate them at the local car boot sale. Almost everyone else I know online does, as it happens. Not me.
I downloaded these two. Watched neither. Deleted them.
Of course I'd be the one they pick up for web piracy. Of course I'd be worth the damn time and effort to raise their stupid corporate figures on crime waves. Why go for the big villains? Why not stand by and let them do what they like, then pick on the penniless half insane bitch who lost everything last year? Of course. Peter Parket (version 2) would. Forget about the little guy.

But. It dawns on me that if I fileshare on torrents or on Kazaa, then if I fail to delete something, it's automatically uploaded to others.

"What you need to do, madam, is to send us a fax saying you've read and agreed to the Terms and Conditions, and to the Acceptable Use policy."
How can I do that?
How can I read the website's Terms and Conditions if I can't get online?
"Just send a note saying you have, and you can check later."
But how can I avoid breaking them if I don't know what they are to break?
"You'll have to go round a friend's house and use their computer, then."
I sense, somehow, that it would be arguing for argument's sake to ask what friends?

The next doozy: "If you offer a written apology regarding your illegal download of the film Mean Girls, than give your name, signature and date, and mark it for the attention of the ISP abuse team, we'll reconnect you."

*pause for sense of shock to flood through already overloaded adrenal system*

So, it was illegal, but an apology is enough? How does that make sense?
I ask about tv programmes. I downloaded whole series-worth. Copyright.
What about music. Copyright.
So I could have my ISP pull the plug for uploading things I legally have on my PC, such as music I've bought?
If it's copyright, yes.
But Kazaa and bit torrent clients don't check copyright, they just upload automatically, don't they?
I'm getting worried about prosecution as a pirate, now, as if I'm making money out of this. Mr ISP Bastard says "it's illegal to have Kazaa" on my machine.
No, it's not.
"Well, no, you're right it's not.
But downloading materials with Kazaa is."
No it's not.
"No, you're right, it's not.
But if the material is copyright, it is."
So it's just me out of millions? I'm starting to feel stupid, and giving up the argument - 'what about everybody else' is a logically redundant argument, usually employed by morons. I prepare to buckle.

"Listen, we know everybody does it, but you've been unlucky."
Oh for riced shakes, so you're actually admitting that it's nonsense? The admission doesn't improve my mood. Nor does the next one.
"The infraction was filesharing, but the apology required is for downloading. Downloading a movie which isn't even on dvd yet."
So if I illegally pirated something less popular you'd turn the blind eye you just admitted to?

Argh. Rage. Blind, purple dot-seeing, furious, fist clenching rage.

I go out. Five pm. Takes me twenty minutes to find somewhere that does faxes. Of course the fax number they gave me doesn't work. Of course I didn't bring my phone. I'm the unluckiest bastard in the world, why would I bring my phone.
Reprise. This time, six pm. Nowhere in Penge sends faxes at six pm. What for?
Rage. Fury. Simmering resentment. Mad stare at the guy in the internet cafe's double take when he sees I'm paying for a fax to an ISP abuse team.

It took a shit fit in Lidl (home of cheap but necessary beer), and the simmering sense of indignity that if I had friends in England, or money, I could be slagging off my ISP in a pub by now, the discovery I can read Creepy Lesbo via my mobile phone, and this morning's realisation that there are other unlucky people in the world to calm me down.

Looking for a scrap of purple note paper on which to scrawl my fax, I'd found the following lines from an unwritten blog post, composed last February.

"There's a lot of things I could have ... or should have done. But I figured out a few weeks ago, that when you get right down to it, most of them don't make a difference one way or another. So what the hell ... why bother?"

Right, I've fired off my indignation to the internet, now. That's what you do if you don't have a girlfriend, money, freedom or friends, you know.

Next!

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Creepy Lesbo
"Another shit day.

How old am I?
I'm 28.

I can tie my own shoelaces.
I can tell the time (just).
I can pick my nose and eat it (and I still do).

And yet I am still unable to wipe my own arse after a night on the slosh without dragging streaks half way up my back.
Why IS that?"


This page graced by sarsparilla at 6:03 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 20 July 2004 6:05 PM BST
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Rantation and Indignation


Topic: Vic Jameson

Francesco posted this fantastic Proustian quote on my moblog: "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."

So my plan for week one of the summer was beholden to this quotation. And day one began thus: detention at work (I decided to do three hours work at 9am each day this week - I get paid the same if I do it or not, so the only purpose is to get me into and out of bed at half reasonable times); wander into a part of London I think I know and take photos (started with a challenge - Beckenham; difficult to find anything but listless office workers and Marks and Spencers); go see a movie (Spiderman 2 - even more a bunch of fucking arse than Spiderman 1 was - ninety minutes till it gets going, fact fans! And while 1 at least ended the torture on an interesting, very adult premise - setting aside personal need for duty ... 2 reverses this. 2's message is do what the fuck you like, and don't worry who you trample over while you do it, everyone will love you for 'being yourself'. Forget about the little guy. Aaarrrgh!); then kick back at home and write, then read, or listen, or watch something (Radio 4 are serialising 'Ripley's Game' at ten forty-five each night this week, read by Stanley Tucci - it's going to be most axcellent, it's one of Highsmith's best books. And you can listen via the web, too, fact fans).

So far, so .... well, so a plan. Plan B.

It doesn't stop me worrying that my summer is going to be so boring it sends me insane, or rather, even more insane than last year did, but it's a routine, and when in a tight spot, I've learnt a routine can save you.

My imperatives are:
I have two small cats to be devoted to, so I can't travel;
I have less than no money to spend, so I can't travel, eat, drink or socialise;
my mates are all on holiday, so I can't socialise;
I need to lose six pounds, so I can't eat;
I'm a loony fucker, so I can't drink;
my car is finally fixed and legal and only costing me back payments, so I *can* drive anywhere, as long as I can get back the next day to feed cats.

The balance is precarious: a sense of personal injury against the world for my lack of money, combined with deep introspection, and a lazy streak.
Which are the perfect conditions to create a monster: an overblogging geeko keyboard warrior.
*This* is the reason the blog must end this week. I can't spend another fucking summer online because I'm busy waiting for a life to happen.

So, apart from the money issue, it's okay. When my parents asked me what I want for my birthday, I thought about what I don't currently possess - the satisfaction of shopaholicism and greed, so asked for a meal out or a new outfit. The new outfit looks superfunkycool, which makes it feel less like I can't afford to even park in most of Greater London, which makes me less resentful of having to think about amounts of money I'd not previously had to blink over.
£1.60 for a coffee. £1.30 to park outside Iceland in Penge. £0.50 to send a fax. The minor, bruising indignities of a life you had thought you'd left behind at 24.

I was going to bank on the sale going through, max my credit card out, rent a cottage somewhere, drive my cats up, then proceed to issue invitations to friends. This was plan A, the better plan than B.
The sudden wave of bad luck last week when I became one of the first in the country to get my car clamped for being untaxed, and to be fined for being in a bus lane cost me £500, in toto, and made me realise that I *need* that spare space on the credit card - it's the last safety net I have left.
So, no cottage. No holiday (didn't have one last year, after I crashed my car). No sense of entitlement to Tesco Super Luxury Ready Meals For One.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: SarahSpace
"1. Are Spiderman’s superpowers a metaphor for his penis? Is it one of those ‘I am going to fight crime with my enormous cock’ type things?
2. I completely believe that it is possible to bitten by a radioactive spider and get turned into a Spiderman, but this Dr. Oct thing seems completely improbable. Why were the arms needed? What do the 4 extra arms have to do with creating fusion? Am I the only person who is bothered by the implausibility of this? And isn’t there a flaw in your thinking about creating a new power source that needs electricity to maintain itself? Spiderman pulls the plug out of the wall and everything stops?"

This page graced by sarsparilla at 2:59 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 20 July 2004 6:03 PM BST
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Sunday, 18 July 2004

Loudly loudly loudly drowning out with noise


Topic: Lactose Incompetent


A weekend of coffee, wine, driving or eating, never concurrently, but always at least one of the above occurring at any given time. I had some facts I wanted to ignore, you see, so it was best to stay busy, to occupy myself, and avoid thinking about the last time I got my leg over.
On Friday night, I drunkenly slagged off Duch's choice of movie, loudly shouting that Nicole Kidman was too old and ugly for the part (Cold Mountain) until I passed out on the living room floor just before the big love scene, which is a mercy. The effects could have been unbearable. I have no idea how I got to bed, or who put those pyjamas there, but feh, it was comfier than a night in my clothes on the living room floor.
As I found out to my cost on Saturday night. I drove too late to get to Euphemism Town for tea, but texted a plea to save some pudding. It was several wines into the evening that I checked in the fridge and noticed it had been a birthday tea. I missed my own birthday tea! Still, large inscribed chocolate cake, and all, plus, more wine remedied that realisation. So I watched Empire of the Sun, loudly corrected everybody's interpretation because I'd read the book, drank some wine, Minority Report, loudly corrected the director's interpretation because I'd read the book, drank some whisky, Ed Wood, mumbled in time to the dialogue obsessively, drank some wine, The Talented Mr Ripley, loudly informed everybody what happened in all six sequels because I'd read every possible book related to the damn film, ate some more choccy cake.
At least I think I did, because I don't actually recall seeing or thinking about most of the movies. I do remember everyone else was in bed by one in the morning, when Ed Wood came on, so I had to play the game of I Know All The Words To This Movie on my own. But I certainly don't remember anything from "what these babies? Lost my front teeth in dubya dubya two" until dawn awoke me curled over a cushion on the living room floor at half five.
So I appreciated the consideration of the very manly-voiced butch gentlemen who phoned in giving me that extra bit of lie in. Albeit that when Brendan did the meme, he got bevies of Texan girlies ringing him - I didn't get any women, much less leggy Texans - actually, I'm somewhat suspicious about that now...
But I think I'll take the number down (I can try to make it look like an in-joke, something between just me and the weekend readers, don't you know).
I'm happy that it's one more little chip that makes this place less of a blog. Six days to go!
Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Diary of a Glitter Splashed Britney Lovin' Lesbo
"Every time I venture out I always seem to stumble upon someone who recognises me from school. Of course that means they must grab me, pull me in all directions in some faux 'I love you' kinda of way and tell me how good it it is to see me as I'm left scrambling for air and a name. I finally remember who they are (4 years older, 6 years younger) and also remember never having exchanged a single word with them, ever. Yet here they are despereate to tell me bout there fabulous new boyfriend, their children and how they work in an office and shag the boss. Touched as I am to have these complete strangers reveal their lives to me, why choose me? Because I have a friendly, inviting face? I'm quite sure not, so what is it? Because they think in all their skinny and tannedness they are better than me? Maybe. But most likely it's because I will sit there and listen to their crap, take it all in, gasp and guffaw at appropriate intervals and even stroke their pregnant guts when instructed."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:27 PM BST
Updated: Monday, 19 July 2004 12:48 AM BST
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Saturday, 17 July 2004

Better than an alarm clock by far


Topic: Eurotrash


It was very nice to hear some new voices this morning - thanks for calling. Made me get up and move my damn car to somewhere away from the wardens, which enabled my extra cappucino and croissant at l'Hirondelle. You croissant enablers, you.

If you feel like helping out tomorrow, now that Harv is staying in Hamburg I shall be annoying my parents by sleeping in their spare room all day, and could do with a reminder to get out of bed before ten o'clock. Or some nice music on my voicemail, I need to vary my influences. Perhaps a text message, if you're not in England?
Thanks.

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See, there's no depths I can't stoop to for attention, are there?

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Peeling Wallpaper
"I have this idea for a soft porn novel. You know the kind of book people leave behind at bus stations and train terminals, the ones with the covers torn off, the ones that catch your eye because of the provocative language, starting on page one, with very creative parts of speech for very intimate parts of the body. You’ll look down from your seat at the train station at the abandoned book on the seat next to you and the words “swollen hamlet of love” will jump right up at you and you will think, “well, this isn’t Tom Clancy.” "

This page graced by sarsparilla at 3:09 PM BST
Updated: Thursday, 3 March 2005 8:21 PM GMT
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Friday, 16 July 2004

Demonic Possession


Topic: Shy Lux


Jesus K-Riced! Is there any other job where you have to deal seriously with demonic possession before nine in the morning? ! I know I've been a tad irascible of late, but - really!
I tried to keep a straight face, but couldn't help suggesting referral to a mental institution, which isn't going to help my customer-niceties reputation. Nor the parting comment of "get out, please, you're creeping me out now."
Argggggh. Just call me Basil and put me out to seed.

I'm going out to Duch's to get my brain fuzzed, and a parking ticket for over sleeping. If you see a mad woman on C4 throwing flip flops at The Med, it's Another Sarah. Whereas if you pass an internet cafe and see someone wailing and gnashing at the screen, it's a poor misfortunate Blogger blogger, frustrated by their decision to change their editing screen to make sure it doesn't actually work. Way to go, Blogger.

No Blo'te today, just Brendan's Ace Meme:
"This morning I woke up to the sound of the telephone ring. On the other end, a person who cares about me asked what the hell I was doing in bed, and whether I thought I could write in my sleep. In which case, she submitted, then I was surely talented.
I'd like to think that I write everday, but you know what would be great? Is if every now and then someone checked in. Even a total stranger. "

I'd appreciate a wake up call around 8, tomorrow morning, please, if you're about. Ask for Vanessa.

07too late now16


Cheers.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 6:30 PM BST
Updated: Sunday, 18 July 2004 11:38 PM BST
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Thursday, 15 July 2004

Beckham's Balls


Topic: Casino Avenue

News just in from Tristan about Beckham's bollocks:

Unbelievable!

26 people so far are bidding on this, which isn't for the ball but for the CONTACT DETAILS of the guy selling the ball.
So far the bid is £510

Some chancer has set up an Ebay auction in which he starts saying do you remember that penalty miss by Beckham, and then if you bother reading it it explains that this is not for the original ball, but for a ball signed by some Scottish actor pretending to be Beckham in a reenactment! £41 with 24 bids and still going strong with 9 days to go.

Meanwhile, the guy selling the real ball is currently on £2.3 million and 6 days left with 123 bidders.

It is about his bollocks, isn't it?


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Vanessa/Female/31-35. Lives in United Kingdom/London/East London/Bow, speaks English and German. Spends 40% of daytime online. Uses a Normal (56k) connection. And likes Literature / Movies/Food / Eating / Drinking.
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This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:47 PM BST
Updated: Friday, 15 April 2005 12:36 AM BST
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Yeh, so about Not Watching BB, right


Now Playing: Jason singing on the live feed - He Just Wants To Feel Real Love, apparently

Topic: BillyWorld
I love the nervous pre-eviction night chats - suddenly they switch out of their delirium and start to ask each other questions. Jason and Victor are like those comedy cockney blokes talking shite on Smith and Jones years ago.
And Ahmed chips in just to be talking, completely missing the point:

Jason: Do you feel like home is just an hour away, or is it another world?
Victor: It's another world.
Ahmed : Ees not an hour. Ees thirty minutes. Forrim. Ees haf' an hour.
Jason: Aye, even from Manchester.
Vic: It's half an hour.
Ahmed: Unless it's rush hour.
Jason: It's another world.
Ahmed: (firmly) Haf' an hour.

Then they chat about London.
Jay starts repeatedly mouthing "It's a harsssh worrrrld, London, a harsssh worrrrld."
Inbetween the dips in sound caused by the potential for the entirety of London to take offence at Ahmed's suggestion that people who live as near to Heathrow as Elstree Studios must endure a living hell (sic), you garner the information that Jason's worldly knowledge of London comes from a journey once where the bus was rather crowded.

Vic, of course, sticks to unintelligible "pfft", "pshaw", and lip sucking responses, thus coming across as 'street', as 'London', and simultaneously being careful never to challenge Jason's interpretation that complete bollocks-talking is justified.

Ahmed proffers the wisdom that you should never buy a woman a drink because all women earn more than men, who are all on the dole. Jason points out that he only buys people drinks for twenty minutes of chat, or if he really really fancies someone. Vic says he doesn't buy people drinks (the charmer), and Ahmed goes on to issue his direst warning of the evils of the female species yet - if you buy a woman a drink, she will expect another drink the next time (unless you warn her, buts in Victor - nice technique, you smooth talking lad you), and before you know it she will be used to you opening the car door for her. Jason points out that it's only gentlemanly to open a car door, and the others dissolve into giggles at this break in ranks from the pussywhipped pompadour. "Doorman! Doorman!" they giggle.

Even the jungle codgers get bored of their own mutual wank society, though, and fall into mumbling and gently singing their favourite songs. And what a choice of songs! Jay's off in his own world, singing Madonna's latest, enthusing about her past albums, then quietly segues into Kylie Minogue's early hits. Can he act any more gay?
Victor tries to rescue Jay's masculinity by gently crooning a little R&B, but the Jungle Codger is oblivious to Victor's subtle remonstrations - he fires up the Kylie, and turns up the volume on his voice.

Brilliant. Please please please vote out the boring ones, and leave these self deluding nutters where they are this week.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Breakfast Any Time
"There's a lot of things I've been meaning to tell you, but I lost my notebook and now I can't remember how to spell any of those things. If you're in the Chicago area, be on the lookout for a small black notebook. Then start your own website where you just keep posting the things I've written down in my notebook. Then give me the address. Seriously, it'll save me alot of time."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 9:34 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 17 July 2004 4:06 PM BST
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Wednesday, 14 July 2004

Dozy, disorganised, lame posting ahoy


Topic: Lactose Incompetent


I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open to type this.
Last week of work before my birthday opens the holidays (two presents already, one bearing a Cayman Islands postmark - hurrah!), so I have to get everything done in time, which means long hours at work, and even longer hours at home trying to shake off the feeling of actually having worked.
I managed about three hours per night of shuteye so far this week (it was rather an inopportune moment to decide to download imagine the entire series of Kingdom Hospital, when I could have just been organised enough to watch it on telly).

But being organised isn't my forte. I finally taxed my car, only for post office clerk to tell me she's never even heard of someone actually being clamped under the new tax rules, yet. So that undisturbed street with no parking regs, and barely even any pedestrian traffic where I park my car was the one spot the DVLA chose to implement their new national programme, huh?
I attended my detention with Hippyboss yesterday, and have been grounded, now for the first morning of my holidays. It turns out my resentment and paranoia were resentment and paranoia, and she is punishing me to save face towards others (I'd rather just be slapped on the wrists than meaninglessly slapped on the wrists, but, meh), and now I get little cards and notelets all day at work to reassure me of how wonderful she thinks I am, with my idle, lax, renegade, unpunctual ways.
I've managed to refuse to see a whole horde of people, including refusing third and fourth dates from Second Dater, and still haven't taken my dad's mid-June birthday present round. Perhaps I should eat it... ;-P
I've buggered up the blog persistently for the last three months, and now seem incapable of not offending people, either via content, quoting or comments. The readership is diving dramatically. (from average 140 per day to 80 per day - god knows who reads this rubbish), although for some reason the linkage is rocketing (167 links? Double the amount of readers?) How does that work?

For some reason, though, despite the hideously disorganised exterior, the interior is kinda girl-scout right now. I've baked a lot (new knowledge: stewed rhubarb tastes foul unless you put all the sugar in), cleaned a lot (hurrah for toilet disasters and having to clean up the raw sewage!), tidied a lot (it's only clean knickers on the floor now, I'll have you know).

Perhaps I'm trying to subconsciously prove to myself I am organised, I am capable of selling my flat without going mental defective.
It would have helped reaffirm my sense of strength of mind if I hadn't forgotten to lock or shut my front door since last Friday.

It's seven pm. I'm going to bed.

Best Blo'te of the Day so Far: Conazo
"If you accept the premise that cinema provides us with vicarious experiences through which we can live out our dreams, then it would seem reasonable to suppose that you can work backwards from the movies to figure out what our innermost desires might be.
Movies tell us that love conquers all and bad guys always get their comeuppance, but what about darker, more fringe beliefs? After all, isn't the collective subconscious less Disneyland, more Arkham Asylum? What do movies tell us about half-thoughts so disturbing they have to be manacled in a reeking cell?"

This page graced by sarsparilla at 6:50 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 17 July 2004 4:11 PM BST
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Tuesday, 13 July 2004

then I'll MAKE it my party...


Topic: Hurtling to Obscurity


Blegh. I made my own London Bloggers blog. Now I'm going to vote one off each day till at long last after a weary battle, it's me, Saltation and Unlucky Man battling to the death at dawn with razor sharpened toothbrushes, graoning and bleeding over the haplessly strewn corpse of Random Acts of Reality.

So there.

Watch your goolies, lads. I could blog below the belt. But in a fluffy way.

Yesterday's Scores~ UnluckyMan: 7/10, Sal: 0/10, Reynolds: 7/10, Sarsp: 3/10. Two people not really trying! Suddent death: London Metblogs, for its photos of Soho Square.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Feeling Listless
"Will it really have power to sway the voting habits of a country?
What is startling for me is how little Moore has changed the way he presents the story. Although I missed the original release of Roger and Me (I was reading about robots in disguise at the time), for some reason I caught all of TV Nation when it turned up on BBC Two and that took me into my university years. Considering the controversy, it's interesting to note how close the new film is to the short ten minutes stories which appeared on television and his previous work.
Throughout, there is still the mix of old tv footage, stunts and illustrative contemporary interviews. The proportions of each have been reduced and increased depending upon the story being told but it is very much Moore's style and just as distinctive as latter day Woody Allen."
[...]
"I saw the film at a Saturday 3:45 showing and it was full. Many journalists and writer who have been to see the film with the public to see their reaction have talked about the heckling and the applause. At my showing the only time anything happened was when a clip of Britney Spears appeared in which she was asked about the Iraq war From out of the darkness deep male voice shouted: "Whore!" He was utterly silent through everything else ..."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 12:13 AM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 14 July 2004 12:35 AM BST
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Monday, 12 July 2004

The Job of my Dreams




I'm shattered. Hedgehead at work ended the day gossiping at me about weird single women who drink too much wine and have twenty cats in one ear, while Hippyboss decided to exercise her right to the odd Gestapo moment by upbraiding me in front of 200 colleagues in the other, because she thought I looked as if I might want to leave her sucky meeting early. What I was actually doing was craning my neck to see someone's data and work out who'd fucked up, me or them, on it.
So, for that, and for skipping the 8.15 Monday morning meeting for 52 weeks so far, and for other sins which I cannot remember, I have a detention tomorrow. A penalty meeting at the end of the day, with Hippyboss. Who will no doubt at best say something barbed that could be interpreted wrongly if you gave a fuck what she thinks she could do to you, and at worst decide to be nice, clasp you to her unrestrained heaving bosoms and stroke your face till you pretend you're grateful.
Ageing hippies are far more trustworthy when they're doing the decent thing and stabbing you in the back.

I must be a very very naughty co-worker. I felt thoroughly ashamed of my lack of team spirit and went home to sigh heavily at my twenty cats.

Far away from the guilt circus that is a job you have no interest in politicking over, in reality news, I have the opportunity to retrain as anything I want (bearing in mind I'm shit at maths, though). The sense of choice is overwhelming.
What would you do if you could have the job of your dreams?

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Looby
"The "pub" nearest to me (I say pub, but it's really a community centre and venue with a bar attached), is somewhere I never normally go, partly because it looks like the set for a pisstake TV sitcom about yoghurt knitters. It has a strange attraction for 50-year-old weirdy beardy men, and people who suffer from imaginary illnesses like ME, (a strangely class-specific virus which somehow affects university lecturers and psychotherapists more than it does catering assistants and people working in care homes). They also have a rule of not serving alcohol before 4pm, although you wouldn't want to be in there at that time anyway, unless you want to hear Proud Mum noisily cooing things like "Ooh, seven today! What a clever boy! Yes, Leo, we're going to go and paint our ant faces now.""

This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:42 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 13 July 2004 1:54 AM BST
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Sunday, 11 July 2004

Does Donald Sutherland Have Curly Hair?


Topic: Yidaho

No doubt I've blogged about my crush on Donald Sutherland before.

But Don't Look Now is on telly, I've eaten too many boiled gooseberries in sugar, and it occurs to me to wonder if his hair is really curly, and straightened now, or if he felt the need for a demi-wave for both this film and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. To be right for the theatrical demands of the part, you understand.

So I looked for a split screen comparison - fat old grey beard Donald with the straightening irons clamped to his silver barnet, versus permanent waved virile frizzheaded emu-faced Donald of the sixties. And found a startling reality behind the hair.

So startling, I can't even pin it down. But there's something going on - something very very wrong - with Donald Sutherland's hair.

Can these all be the same man?














Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Shy Lux
"I'm only linking to this because the guy lived.
Crapweasel of the day: Kenneth Smith, author of An Open Letter to My Deep Fear That My Girlfriend Will Be Really Fat Later in Life. Kenneth, I hope you go bald, slowly, in an awkward, non-pattern baldness kind of way. And I hope your girlfriend makes partner in her law firm and leaves your skinny ass for a younger, more attractive gentleman with a smokin' bod. And that they have lots of gorgeous children, while you grow old all alone and have to move in with your mother and start wearing shorts with black dress socks that offset your pale, skinny, hairy legs. And I hope Kenneth Smith isn't your real name, because eventually your girlfriend will google you and find this public declaration of love."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 12:18 AM BST
Updated: Sunday, 11 July 2004 12:59 AM BST
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Saturday, 10 July 2004

Recap 2


Now Playing: Bernard Bresslaw as a cyclops in 'Krull'. Creepsville!

Topic: Vic Jameson


Thursday:
So I got home, and rang my family, then whinged.

They pointed out that I can't keep driving the car if it's untaxed. I'd assumed I had a 14 day leeway where double jeopardy outruled clamping my car again. Not so. What if I only leave it parked off the public highways? Nope, they changed the rules from it being illegal to use the highways untaxed, to it being illegal to own a car that's untaxed. Damn. That's suddenly made going to visit my family this weekend a lot more expensive.

A package has arrived, a present for someone. Something Creepy plays with. It seems important to drink copious quantities of wine (two glasses = paralytic) and play with the present.

Oopsy. It's two am before I know it.

Friday:
My jaunt to central London having been cancelled by peachykeenyboyBoss in revenge for yesterday's insurrection, I have the assignment from hell to end the day. I figure with a cunning plan of switching offices three times, and leaving very inept notices directing people to the wrong place, I can weasel my way out of confrontations for 45 minutes at least.

To my very great surprise it works. Hurrah for invidious weaselling.

Duch rang, and cheered me up no end - Havaianas is going to oversee all the repairs on the flat in Bow so the sale goes through, and he's going to do it for an incredibly reasonable price. I immediately offer to tip him £100. I don't have £100 but his quote is so low that I feel evil taking advantage of it. She reassures me that I'm not Job, I'm not plagued by boils, that I'm right to avoid meeting old flames when I'm feeling less than robust, especially when they were never known for their tact. She also points out that no holiday for the last two years may be affecting my response to hard times, and that when the money from the house sale does come through, I have an unparalleled opportunity to change my life permanently, if I choose to take it.
She's right. How many times have I wished I had the money to travel again, to work abroad without becoming trapped into the first job I accept, to study a different subject, to retrain as something else? When will I ever get this opportunity again? I'm reminded how much fun Duch is when she's buttering me up. ;o)

After work, I had to collect documents from my flat in Bow to get my car taxed so I can use it again and reclaim the £120 wrung bloodlessly from my empty wallet the day before. Bearing in mind I'm on the breadline already, (mortgage on one property, plus rent on another) my credit card is taking serious beating to cover this.
Going back could be difficult - one set of keys are trapped in the unopenable glove compartment of my car, another with Tybalt, another with the estate agent. This could easily take four hours of travelling from place to place just to get in.

When I do get in, after hiding the front of my car and it's offending tax disc by parking it half way into a bush, it's the first time I've seen the place since Tybalt redecorated it in neutral colours. It's horrible. Really horrible. I feel like one of those people in a makeover show who sees the 'improvement' and starts wailing that they liked the squalor.

Joy of joys, a letter to the owner of the red VW Golf. A £100 fine for driving in a bus lane when I was lost in Dulwich last week. Payable within ten days. Still, I got a nice photo of my car blatantly crossing a bus lane.
A red letter from the gas company, based on an estimated reading from back when anyone lived in the flat. I'd correct it, but I can't remember where the damn gas meter is. I think we walled it in when we built the kitchen. Then a £3000 bill from the freeholders for repairs - some done, some not.
How does that work? Pay us a few thou, and we'll pretend we're going to fix things? Pffft.

With the help of an old candle, I eventually find the documentation for my car, and the insurance certificate I need, only to find the car insurance ran out last Wednesday.
I don't give two fucks about the government's car tax, particularly, but driving without insurance? Sheeeyit. That's norty.
Ringing the insurers, they assure me they renew automatically. So where's the certificate? It was posted to the Bow address this morning. So: assuming I don't live in Tower Hamlets, the district on record with the slowest postal service in the country, I can pick it up tomorrow morning.
Oh, yeah, that's right. I do.
Make that next Thursday, then.

A week of skulking and hiding the car in bushes.

Seems like a good time to update my insurance details, and try to get a few discounts. I lost my no claims bonus when I wrecked a car a year ago, but now I should be able to barter a bit.
I move the address on the insurance details from Bow, where cars are burgled on average once a fortnight, to Sydenham, where it's parked offroad, and I don't even need to use the wheel lock.
But apparently more people claim in Sydenham. Well yeah, they do drive like maniacs, but surely there's more car crime in Bow?
Thinking about it, I only claimed for one in ten break ins to the car - it wasn't worth losing the bonus. Fuck.

Okay, so take the second driver off. Tybalt isn't going to drive my car ever again, and never paid for the benefit of doing so anyway.
That'll put your premium up by forty pounds Madam.
What? You pay extra to put another driver on your insurance. Surely it shouldn't cost extra to take them off?
Apparently, single people tend to put in car insurance claims more often than couples.

I think about how bloody knackered I am, how if I had a partner, I'd have promised them anything to get them to drive me back home after all this. Yeah. okay. So £70 a month premium it is. Fuckers.

I can't get south across the river any time between four thirty and seven o'clock - the rush 'hour' traffic stretches back into Essex, so she delay and delay and delay, to quote Van Helsing.
I took a few photos in Bow and the Isle of Dogs, then popped into the cinema in Crossharbour for an early showing of Mean Girls.
Docklands cinemas are great, specially on kid's films. Everyone in the area is there to work, or is a yuppie with no kids yet, or a loft living gayer. There's never a single child in the auditorium, much less other adults, and it feels like they're showing the film just for you. I doubt you could repeat that experience at many other auditoria in the country.
Well - you could - but you'd probably have to have sex with Michael Winner afterwards.

I'd forgotten how much my love of the movies restores wellbeing. Mean Girls is all about having the inner strength not to be limited by other people's expectations of you to look perfect, but behave badly.
Just what I needed this week.
On the way out, two size eight thirty something women totter down the funky bluelit escalator, in Manolo shoes, Harley Street noses and boobs, professionally applied makeup and designer outfits, reassuring themselves the film was crap, that they're not that impressed by teen movies anyway. I resist the impulse to tell them they didn't like it because they could easily have played the villains.
But the cinema restores me, it always always makes me feel better about life, no matter how bad the film. I'm singing on the way home, and decide to go back to the Bow flat on the way and pick up some of my more flashy clothing and furniture. Rah.



I'm deliberately banning myself from watching Big Brother this week, even though it's the best series ever - because chatting on usenet boards about BB conspiracies after the late show is interfering with my ability to get out of bed at half six and do my job properly.

So it makes total sense that I stay up till two chatting on usenet BB boards while drinking two glasses of wine till I'm paralytic any old way.
Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Too Much and Too Little
"I think I've been to a church twice in my life, thanks to the prompting of James, who promised that they could be "fun", and indeed they were, compared to getting a root canal without anasthestic as performed by a coked-up dentist having an epileptic fit. In other words it was so painful I could have sworn - but couldn't, because God doesn't like people to use naughty words like AHHH FUCK ME LET ME OUT OF HERE OH SHUTTHEFUCKUP WHO ASKED YOU ANYWAY - A BORING BASTARD IS YOU while in His house.
I was in Sunday School when I was in kindergarten and it was a horrible experience, involving many picture books of white people in heaven mingling with tigers and bunnies and stuff. It was part of my mom's nefarious plan to make sure I would never be religious and it worked."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 5:21 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 17 July 2004 4:09 PM BST
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Recap 1


Now Playing: The Prisoner of Zenda, starring Stewart Granger as Rupert of Rassendyll, and James Mason as Rupert of Hentzau. Brilliant.



Thursday: Wake up determined to weather the storm, post apology on blog, go to work.

While at work get told to fuck off x 12, called a dickhead x 5, punched in chest x 3, shoved x 2, kicked x 3, and told repeatedly by manglement that any extra unpaid time I spend on projects is a treat that I must earn by attending pointless extra (unpaid) training days on subjects in which I hold no interest.
It's what you'd call a difficult day.

Ruin things further by telling them 'don't fucking bother', which is hardly textbook manglement, but which seems to work: I don't have to do any extra training, any extra projects I'd offered to do are cancelled in revenge, so I don't have to do unpaid extra hours, and Peachykeenyboyboss (who's temporarily NewBoss since I refused to be) is suffused with silent resentment at how I managed that one.

Sheer negativity makes me join in the Resentment Huddle that occupies a corner of the Coffee Area daily, and which I usually scuttle past in case they infect me with their impotent rages. Joining in makes me feel self-righteous, brave, and ultimately negative and shit.

Big surprise.

Wander out of work at four to find my car has been wheel-clamped. Uh-ohh.
There's no parking regs on that street, but it was parked right next to some roadworks that had a 'no parking here' sign last week, it was parked halfway on the pavement (but that's the general way of doing in Lewisham, it seems - so are all the other cars), and the tax is out of date.
There's no sticker on the window or phone number on the clamp, and thus begins an hour long hunt to find out who clamped the thing, so I can pay the no doubt few hundred moulah it takes to get it unclamped, and quick, before all the authorities go home at quarter to five.

I could walk home I suppose, but I'm wearing T shirt, jeans and flip flops, it's intermittently pissing down with grey icy drizzle, and a storm is brewing. Plus I need to find out what time it was clamped, so I don't overrun the 24 hour rule that sees it towed away.
My one advantage - I have a phone.

At least I thought it would help, until I try to remember the number of the new Directory Enquiries service. 118 118, isn't it? I seem to remember a fairly odd advert employing gym teachers from the seventies with it emblazoned across chests.

Gullible Twat: Hi, I need the number for Lewisham Council parking department. The main switchboard number will do, though.
118 Monkey: Lewisham Council. There isn't any number for them.
GT: Yes there is, they're the borough council. Of Lewisham. Try London Borough of Lewisham.
118 Monkey: Aha, yes, here we are, London Borough. The council of Kent.
GT: No-oh, Lewisham is in London. Kent isn't. London Borough of Lewisham. It's the local council.
118 Monkey: Ah. Hold on. Okay. (adopts patronising tone)There is no Lewisham Council. There's only one council in London, you know. I've found the number of London Council for you. Shall I put you through?
GT: No. There is no such thing as London Borough Council. There's only different boroughs who are councils within London. Not London Council.
118 Monkey: Oh. I'll try again. Here: Borough Council of Lewisham?
GT: I'll try that, they should be able to redirect me to the right extension.
118 Monkey: shall I put you straight through at 9p per minute?
GT: Er, ohk-- (blip)
Complete stranger: Hello, ******* School, Borough of Morden, here. How can I help you?

Thankfully, the nice lady school receptionist in Morden, Surrey had a phonebook to hand and found in ten seconds the number 118 118 had taken five tries to fail to get. She also told me the real, BT service is 118 500. Phew.

Cue a million referrals through Lewisham's phone system to the bins and waste control department, who were getting heartily sick of me, till someone offered the info that the DVLA clamp cars if the tax is out of date.
DVLA it is. They pass me on to a Clamping unit in Thamesmead, and tell me I'll have to book them to unclamp it, except they've probably all gone home by now (it's an hour later, five o'clock), and if I leave it till morning, it'll be towed.
Oh joy. I try my best Sarf Eest Lahndahn accent, crawl my way into everybody's good books by being craven, and extract a promise that the car will be unclamped at least within the next three hours, at worst, by midnight.

All I have to do is wait in the area. It costs me £80 fine, and £120 deposit, repayable if I collect it from Kent in person within 14 days, showing my up to date tax. Compared to Tower Hamlet's on the spot £200 parking fine if you're ten minutes overtime in a bay, it seems reasonable, although I'm not going to be shopping anywhere better than Lidl anytime soon.

It's cold,the locals (who all know me from my job) are larffffing at me, and sympathising in that 'but I'm not gonna get you a cup of tea, you fucker; payback' way, and I haven't eaten since yesterday.
I wander back into work and do some more.
I get a train down to Bellingham, get some money out, and eat some chips, then walk back.
I pick up a paper, sit in the car reading it in the rain. Chat to passersby.

Come ten o'clock, six hours later, it's getting dark, the area's not that salubrious, there's an impromptu teenage motorbike rally up and down the surrounding streets, I'm starting to think about the three different yellow murder boards in the neighbourhood, and trying not to read the SubStandard's scarifying reports about a Catford rapist at large who preys on his victims at nightfall from his motorbike.

The bloke who eventually unclamps my car is wordless, doesn't meet my eye or return my greeting.
He unclamps, then runs back to his car. Only when safely locked inside does he risk a parting wave and eye contact. I have to dash out of the car and flag him down to ask him where I have to go with my new tax disk to reclaim my deposit.
He winds the window down to a large crack - enough to pass me a note with the address on, but not enough for me to grab his neck or clothing or to punch him. Not that I would, but shit, what a hairy scary job he has that he has to take those precautions.

I get home fifteen minutes past bedtime. Know what I'd been going to do tonight? Take myself out to dinner, construct an elaborate date with myself in a transparent attempt to feel better.
Oh well.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: He's Welsh, You Know
"I have a recurring anxiety dream in which I get the opportunity to work for Radio 1 legend John Peel. I suspect the pay would be miserable, but I would drop everything for the opportunity. However, in this dream, John eagerly asks me to book for Maida Vale my "mate from the pub" who sings an amazing rendition of the gospel tune "Salvation on Faith."
"That is such a beautiful song. I really look forward to hearing your friend's rendition of it," John says excitedly in his gravel voice.
"Oh fuck," I immediately think to myself.
That's just a song my mother used to sing to me when I was a kid. I've never heard anyone sing a particularly stunning version of it. Then I wonder if perhaps I had at some point drunkenly bragged to John about having a friend who does a sterling version of the song. Because I would do something stupid like that -- tell an all-out lie just to garner the attention of John Peel."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 2:37 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 10 July 2004 4:48 PM BST
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Friday, 9 July 2004

Call Me Job


Topic: Shy Lux


Eeek! It actually got too shit to blog. I *whip* must *whip* learn *whip* the word "worst" *whip* just provokes *whip* her. *whip*

Fate, I mean.

*whip*
Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Light From an Empty Fridge
"As I said, nothing happened today.
Nothing significant, anyway. Nothing that, when it comes to adding up lives at the end of the universe, will even produce a pause of the pencil. “Alive, alive, alive, yes yes, same again"… flick through the pages… “ah! he fell over a bollard in August! That’s plus one funny points. Another four hundred and ninety and he gets a toaster".
I wouldn’t mind a toaster."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:06 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 10 July 2004 12:16 AM BST
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