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Friday, 19 September 2003


Mood:  accident prone
Now Playing: silence

I got an unexpected reprieve from Shakespeare duty today, which means I don't have to read the play for another week. I shall spend all the extra three hours this gives me fantasising about getting enough sleep tonight.

I also no longer have to record the dreadful SATC on Friday nights for HarvardBoy, as the DH can take over now. The idea that some real humans somewhere might be like this overpaid, overaged, self-obsessed materialistic gorgon-fest was getting me down considerably.

Went out to Duch's place last night, where we both downed an entire bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape while loudly boasting of our new no-alcohol regimens...hmm....
No doubt this had more than a little to do with The Whingeing on yesterday's blog, which got posted eight separate, drunken, premenstrual times. D'ohhhh.

Recent - verbal - comments on my blog:
"it is funny, but it makes me feel slightly weird and stalkerish to read it"
"here's my IP address; so you will know when I'm reading it"
I love having bonkers friends, me. :o)

This page graced by sarsparilla at 7:28 AM BST
Updated: Friday, 19 September 2003 9:00 PM BST
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Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: jatb on the phone

Have you ever been forced into a role you didn't want to fulfil?
I mean, something a little like when you visit your parents* for dinner in your thirties and they still tell you to eat your carrots; there's a split second of shame when you realised you actually whined.
(*generalised example, I don't mean my parents! before Sue tortures me with carrot anecdotes while camping in the forest this weekend.)
About six months ago I felt that I was stuck in (what I suppose US psychs would term) a holding pattern of always being the bad guy in pretty much all the relationships I have. Friends, colleagues, partners. The one who says no, the one who gets annoyed, is hard to contact, is selfish, doesn't think about others, never returns calls, cuts you off for weeks without reason, doesn't react rationally, goes off on one, etc. There's a certain, icy power in that, but you also end up finding it difficult to speak about any emotion. Not good. Not progress.
So part of the purpose of the summer, alone with me, (well, the purpose after the Having No Money At All purpose) was to be On My Own. Nobody to incriminate me, or tempt me to be difficult, or make me feel emotionally blackmailed into being what they want me to be.
It was a tad lonely on the odd occasion, but what happened little by little was that I seemed to turn back into me again. Slowly. Slooooo-o-o-o-owly.
I could do what I want, listen to what I want, go where I want, see whomever I want, to do whatever I wished. This is not normally the case. It wasn't all roses, and I think the bloody blog itself is testament to how dispiriting enforced isolation can be at times.
Come September - new academic year, new promotion, old girlfriend returning; the old habit of feeling the pressure to fit into other people's expectations of how they'd like me to be resurfaced. I resisted; I like this new freedom. And people don't like it. The DH does not like it.
I'm getting used to the rolled eyeballs when I don't respond as demanded to some barked request. A heavy sigh if someone enters a room and I'm in it. The sulks if my comments are not quite what was expected. Friends and colleagues who've hung in there over the summer have already been through this, seem to have given up trying to shove a stereotype onto me, and mostly now comment on how much more like my old self I seem after more than a few years of being rather remote, distant and unreliable.
I have to gamble that the long-term positive response is a pattern, a prevailing one.
I wonder if this change is a good thing? Or am I just becoming older, more stuck in my ways? More smug in my selfishness? Perhaps it's more of a fear of change than a change at all?
I turned down that promotion today. I haven't spoken to anyone I saw when out socialising about it, because I don't care what they think. I'm sick or carping competitivity, snappy one liner put downs, working all hours to show how bloody successful I am. I don't want to be a fucking management consultant. I want to please me, not you.
But then, the question becomes... how far does the Brand New Selfishness go before it needs to be stopped?

This page graced by sarsparilla at 12:03 AM BST
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Wednesday, 17 September 2003

aversion therapy

Mood:  sad
Now Playing: muted teev, showing images of carnage and violent bloody deaths..... eeek

Some people are scared of snakes, frogs, mice, bluebottles. I go freaky at cockroaches.
I saw a programme on teev tonight where people explained morbid fears of hedgehogs. The phobia, right, is that they might sink their teeth into an ankle high death grip, and have to be sawn off.
Another (nice, normal, apparently well-adjusted bloke) needed intensive therapy to open a tin of Heinz baked beans. This involved taking a bowl of baked beans and using his finger to sculpt a baked bean map of Australia. Even I found that a little disgusting...
Makes me feel a bit better that for the last seven weeks, incrementally, in fact, my fears have focussed entirely on visualising everything that could go wrong when the DH comes back.

Like the people in the teevee show, perhaps it's actually a sign of progress when all your fears are realised for you.
I have to admit that barricading yourself in the bedroom and yelling 'I don't give a shit' could be improved upon as a greeting.

Minor good things:
New Model Blogger Eurotrash, has linked to my blog, after I de-lurked on her comments, called her "wet" and told her wake up to herself. Rah! What a woman.
Coincidentally, according to a New York Times algorithm, my blog's writing style is decidedly masculine. I queried this in terse, masculine sounding emails, to no avail. Apparently, terse, snippiness is a male preserve. (tell the boss that...) Call me Leon.
In the which case, fuck off.

No, really.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:22 PM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2003 11:33 PM BST
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Tuesday, 16 September 2003

Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: talk radio

busy busy busy busy busy busy

This page graced by sarsparilla at 8:20 PM BST
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Monday, 15 September 2003

To drink or not to drink?

Mood:  spacey
Now Playing: Classic fm (snakes alive!)

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind / To suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, etc, etc....

Reasons to drink wine:

I have had a really difficult day. Not a stressful day, not a hard or tiring day, just difficult. Sort of a fucked by the fickle finger of fate day.
The sort of day where you'd really quite like a glass of wine at the end of it.

My car broke down in the Blackwall Tunnel. I managed to get it to the exit and off the road by rumbling along in a sweat-stained panic. Thank Christ. If I hadn't done that, most of Greater London's traffic would have ground to a total halt. Aaaargh!
Waited in the disused Millennium Dome car park for three hours for the AA (slight error in their procedures, they're normally ace). Drank as much coffee as I could lay my hands on. Had given up on coffee and started in on sushi and bento boxes for early lunch by the time they fixed the car.

I was also supposed to do appraisals for three people whom I manage today; three of the most terrifying people in the whole organisation. So terrifying that I can't remember what the appraisal process is, or what I'm supposed to ask them. I telephoned them at 3 o'clock (coward!) and begged for a stay of execution. I have till Wednesday. Like, shyah, management techniques will be my new religion by then.

See, all good reasons to have the odd glass of wine. Or two.

Reasons not to drink wine:

But Dave K told me (after relating a hilarious tale of a holiday in the Spanish mountains with his new gf's children and no sweets) it was a good idea to go on the wagon (that and never to holiday with anyone's children), and he was right. I'm trying to get 6 hours sleep a night, but actually I'm mostly getting 4, with about 2-3 nights of sheer devilment where I get 5. That's not really enough time to sleep off more than one glass and leads to hangovers like you wouldn't believe.

It's getting pretty hard to stop at one or two glasses, too, I mostly can drink a full bottle, and that's a bit stupid.

Plus, I went out and got trollied all weekend. (Much good it did me, in the pikiest gay nightclub I've ever had to misfortune to smash a glass in.)

But most plus of all, the DH flies home tomorrow (she'll get here by Wednesday). She doesn't know the locks have changed on the front door. Owing to a slight disagreement of the sort all couples no doubt encounter from time to time, the night before she went, when I threatened to change the locks and throw her stuff away, I haven't actually dared to tell her this.
Of course, some things are easier to say than to email (and certainly easier to say than to blog - to say this blog is tangential at best is quite an understatement of the true horror^^^tedium of daily life in Catford). However, I can only really telephone her at about 12am-1am ish my time, to get her at 8am hers. The combination of staying up combined with the fact of 6am starts has meant that every single time I've rung her in Oz so far, I've been pissed out of my tiny skull.
You've never really felt like a functioning alky till you've drunkenly blurted crap at someone who's just woken up on a weekday.

God, blogging can be tedious. It's taken me half glass of Shiraz just to get this lot typed.

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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 9:27 PM BST
Updated: Monday, 15 September 2003 9:29 PM BST
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Sunday, 14 September 2003

God takes the Central Line

Mood:  smelly
Now Playing: cat purring steadily

Good Lord. I went to Leeds yesterday, and found it's gone all ritzy and metropolitan now ... there was a 'delicatessen' near the station selling pork pie and mushy peas. Hmmm. Some ways still to go, there, Leeds.

The journey to King's Cross was utterly bizarre.
Firstly, two wrinkly round faced old people on the tube were rubbernecking and smiling beatifically at the other passengers for so long that I began to believe they were incarnations of some deity, briefly mortal, and come down to bless us all before the tube rammed us into a twisted pile of metal and charred bones. I got off at Bank, rushing slightly to get away from redemption.
Secondly, I saw a fat little boy waving shyly to the train driver as the tube swung along into the platform. Made me wonder when it is exactly that we stop believing that firemen and train drivers are Gods who walk the earth? Evidence: count up the number of trains and fire engines you waved desperately at as a kid .... and the bliss when they tooted a horn. You remember roughly when you stop believing in Santa Claus, but when do you stop believing in train driver-gods?
Thirdly, after having a snippy email exchange about whether you can tell someone's class by their clothing (my argument was that all clothing is drag in some manner), I decided to dress upper middle on the journey to Leeds. This took the form, partly, of a blue shirt**. I rarely ever buy or wear blue shirts, due to a slightly paranoid inner voice telling me that blondes who wear blue shirts look like NHS staff.
Boarding the tube at Holborn, a squat old gent dressed in tweeds and Toad of Toad Hall get-up was so impressed at my manners, that he toook great care to enunciate "Thank you, Nurse."

(** Strangely, whenever speaking to someone in Leeds I eventually mentioned that I was from London; clear assumption: "I hail from a superior city; kowtow accordingly"***)
(*** whether the blue shirt had any connection with the geographical arrogance****, I have no idea)
(**** needless to say, kowtowing failed to occur)

Was barred from the bar in a ritzy hotel (for nothing! It was the others who were pissed-up angry and flailing, not me! Barred by association), yet still persuaded them to bring me breakfast in bed. The concept of room service itself was enough to carry me through most of the Full English breakfast, but even I couldn't stomach the sheer levels of lard-swimming involved in a Northern variant of the meal.

Finally, hard evidence that UK cats are becoming ever more pampered. In the process of buying off guilt by feeding super 'spensive Sheba catmeat to my poor, neglected little, pretty, mewling things, I noticed the Cat Powers That Be have rejigged the catfood, to make it look much more like scrapings of human food.
Doubtless the overindulged little epicures simply did not feel sybaritic enough when stuffed to their splendid little gills with mere 'cat' food.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:06 PM BST
Updated: Monday, 29 September 2003 11:28 AM BST
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Saturday, 13 September 2003

Flat caps and whippets

Mood:  lazy
Now Playing: dub reggae

I'm utterly incredulous that I could have a hangover, *and* the squits after a pint and a half of Leffe blonde last night. The curse of drinking in Kent; there's always a moral price to pay later.

I should be getting my stuff sorted to go up to Leeds today. It always seems a bit odd to be going to Yorkshire - I admit that I quite like York and Leeds now, but years of indoctrination at Lancastrian and Scouse primary schools induce a gut reaction of pity at any mention of Yorkshire. Sure, you know it's there, and you feel for them - they can't help being from Yorkshire... but why would you want to go there?
What for?

Anyway, by 6pm -- assuming I can find the train tickets, get dressed and ignore this hammering headache -- I shall be looking for clubs in Leeds.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:15 AM BST
Updated: Saturday, 13 September 2003 10:18 AM BST
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Friday, 12 September 2003

Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Foo Fighters

For the past two days I ate not much more than prawns. Prawns, crab, fresh salmon, and so on. With tons of chilli and lime. And butter.
I found out that prawns make you fart like a bastard, belch like you're Welsh, your stomach rumbles constantly and you feel quite ill. Combine it with 3 inch heels, and it's an accident waiting to happen, frankly.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:13 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 13 September 2003 12:18 AM BST
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Thursday, 11 September 2003

9 / 11

Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: Jazz

I've been talking to a lot of people about what their version of 9/11 was. Where were they, and what did it feel like for them? Here's my account.

I didn't know anyone in the building or in New York, and I didn't lose any friends or family. It seems slightly odd that something a continent away had so much effect on us in Europe, but it was massive. Everyone was astounded by it ... like watching an accident that you can do nothing to stop.

I was teaching in North London. I finished the last class of the afternoon at around 4pm, and was packing away my stuff to get upstairs to afternoon registration, when Panayiotis, a generally hysterical greek drama teacher in his fifties, burst into the room sweating and all wild eyes. He burst out with "Pakistan have bombed New York City! Everybody is dead! Look on the news - this time tomorrow Pakistan won't exist any more. The Americans will wipe them out!"
I couldn't really understand what he was trying to tell me, but as a child of the eighties I'd hidden behind the sofa during 'Threads' and'When the Wind Blows', so a huge chill went down my spine at the words 'Pakistan won't exist any more'.
I went upstairs where I usually registered a sixth form class in a computer room, and asked them to log onto CNN to find out what was happening. That was the second scary moment - when we realised that CNN was down.
Nobody could raise any news. We all agreed to go home and listen out for what was happening. Some kids decided if America had been bombed, there'd be a war, so they wouldn't have to do their exam projects or come in tomorrow. I wandered in to the empty staffroom, and scoffed at the latest rubbish that Panni had come out with, and one or two stragglers interrupted to tell me it was true.
I decided to go home and find out. It was a two hour drive, and I heard the real story on Radio 4 as I sat in various traffic jams. I'd been up the WTC the year before, and was thinking about the photographs of us all standing and waving on the viewing platform. Later on, when the buildings fell, I thought more about the pictures of us in the malls deep below.
I'll never forget the moment when they interviewed a bystander who was describing the scene before her, the confusion - then she screamed and screamed as people first began to jump. I had to pull over then. It was too horrible - a situation where people were alive, but had so little chance of escape that they would choose this.
They replayed that sound clip again and again, on into the next day, and the next. It's the sort of thing that sticks with you way beyond the sell-by date.

It wasn't till I got home that I saw the images on the news. Most people I know recall it as a visual thing, and certainly, when the second plane crashed, it was as chilling as watching the first smart bombs explode onscreen in the first Gulf War. But, it was radio that told me about it first, and that really humanised it, because it was all ordinary people, standing in the street, just like Londoners do when there's yet another bomb scare, and chatting about what might be going on.
When the second building went down it was horrific. There's a beauty and majesty in watching buildings being demolished at any time, and in a horrible sense that fascination was mixed in with the realisation that this building was full of innocent people. The scale, the occupants, the symbolism of it all - it was really tangibly a 'big' moment, and I remember stuffing my hands into my mouth in horror.

That was the start of a really really hard year at that school. The anger felt by everybody at what had happened was palpable. For us that was a problem, because the majority of our students were immigrants, recent immigrants, many of them from Afghanistan. They hadn't bombed America, and it became a matter of urgency to avoid a religious war happening at the school. Fearing a riot, we took care to hold our two minutes silence for the victims of the four plane hijacks, the people killed, and for victims of terrorism everywhere.
The next day, the personal attacks on the children travelling to school began. The school was situated in an opulent, middle class area, and the students were by and large bussed in from areas like Haringay, further into London. My 17 year old female students often stopped coming in - if they wore a headscarf in public, they would be spat at by fellow bus passengers, and told that the deaths were their fault. Young girls, told that they'd killed thousands of people because of a piece of cloth that represents piety and religious faith. It was incredible, really.
For the next six months, the whole school had a bomb threat almost every week. At one point we'd be stood shivering on the sports field every other day. Because there were Afghani refugee children at the school. One particular afternoon, the police who by now regularly patrolled the place deemed the threat real, and we were all told to leave the site and go home, as it would take six hours to secure the building from any threat. It was raining, October, kids had no coats on, no money, and lived ten miles away. The teachers had no money to give them to get home, either - all our cars were trapped in the car park, and our car keys stuck inside the school. There was nothing for it, but to ask children to look after younger siblings, and to walk home in pairs and threes; make sure they weren't in public alone. I recall that time sitting down in the playing field to wait the six hours, unable to walk the 16 miles home, watching these little kids shivering as they set off. Because some of them were Afghani. Incredible how some people's minds work.

This year, I tried not to memorialise it at work, although I had last year. Today I chatted to one student with learning difficulties who had been in NYC at the time - his memory of 9/11 is of being grounded for no reason, being unable to fly home for an extra week, and being stuck with a family who didn't dare to let him out of their sight for an instant. His feeling about 9/11 is simply that he hates America, because he got grounded. It's sad and kind of innocent, at the same time.

This morning I started to wonder about the reasons that it had felt so shocking, given that we in Europe were so far away.
(treat as a given that it felt shocking because it was shocking - yet it's not the only such carnage in living history - look at the entry titled 'Have You Forgotten' on 3rd September on here for a reminder of times when we were the terrorists.)

I think obviously the increase in global media meant we witnessed a visual record of tragedy as it happened in a way that had never happened before.
But it wasn't just that - it was the sense that this was not a media event. If anything, it was the first truly unmediated media event. You could see that the picture behind the newsreader wasn't meant to be doing that. You could see that the newsreader was as stunned as you were; he just didn't know what to say.
And you could also see too much. I never want to see the pictures of those people jumping ever again.

Each year I have to give seminars contrasting American and European cultural attitudes. This year was the first I had to specify we were discussing a time and a culture that was 'pre-9/11' - to an outsider, American attitudes to themselves and the world seem to have changed irrevocably since then.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 8:51 PM BST
Updated: Thursday, 11 September 2003 9:26 PM BST
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Mood:  down
Now Playing: Primal Scream

Feel like crap today. Although bacon sarnies for brekkie helps. These emoticons at the top are annoying, aren't they? Makes me feel like an AOL teen-geekazoid. Perhaps today is a grown-up high heeled shoes day...

My inner child is sixteen years old today

My inner child is sixteen years old!
Life's not fair! It's never been fair, but while adults might just accept that, I know something's gotta change. And it's gonna change, just as soon as I become an adult and get some power of my own.
How Old is Your Inner Child?
brought to you by Quizilla

Dave came over to show me how a proper cat-owner plays with, pays attention to and cuddles a cat yesterday. One cat loved him, the other cat disappeared from the face of the earth till he was out of the building. I have split personality cats!

This page graced by sarsparilla at 7:07 AM BST
Updated: Thursday, 11 September 2003 7:16 AM BST
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Wednesday, 10 September 2003

Streaks of unsavoury things

Now Playing: Radio 4: John Humphries badgers politicians of a morning

Blogging before work... naughty.
Almost as naughty as breakfasting on toast and maple syrup each morning. yumzah!
This morning, I couldn't maintain the fiction that I wear a suit any longer. I've been trying to simplify my mornings so I can sleep four minutes later, by acquiring a range of non-descript black suits (fashion tips from John Major... hmm, odd lifestyle choice). But today I'm going to have to admit that I haven't done my homework, and I feel that somehow my clothing should reflect the disorganisation and chaos I feel within!
Unfortunately, choosing clothes at 6am is a pretty hit and miss affair. I ended up in tight stripey brown cords (hurrah for post-summer diets, at least they're tight as in skinny, not tight as in half your arse on display) and a yellow sweater. I'm always telling the DH off for wearing odd colour combi's - if someone wears red and brown, I dunno, it always reminds *me* of dysentery, somehow, no matter how nice the outfit.
Tried to up the smartness level with kinky boots, jackets, etc, but can't shake off the association.
Yellow + brown ..... bird poo .....

This page graced by sarsparilla at 7:24 AM BST
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Tuesday, 9 September 2003

New and Improved

... although not noticeably so....

Mood:  mischievious
Now Playing: Radio 4 political review of the day

Damn angelfire disabled my blog for most of today and half of yesterday. Sorry. Apparently 70 hits a day is too much, so now I've spent $5 extending the bandwidth, and have slapped myself for sticking up photos with gay abandon. Too late to blog now, I've decided to try three times a week to get a minimum of 6 hours of sleep a night. If I can do that for two weeks in a row, I'm then going to try eating vegetables..... woohoo!
Booked tickets to go to Leeds on Saturday, where I shall go clubbing with vodka queen. Wahey! That should right the sleep index somewhat.
Now, shall I take some homework to bed or not....? Don't be stupid.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:46 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 9 September 2003 11:51 PM BST
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Monday, 8 September 2003


Having a nice evening doing downtime, bunking Shakespeare (big Antony and Cleopatra deadline coming up, but all I can find in the thing is sex, and no politics), being cuddled by too many chilly cats, and feeling sleepy. So I'm watching mucho teev (no movieness for a week now, the teev will get lonely if I don't watch.)
The delights of channel five await me: 'Angel' (three series behind, so I get to watch all my old favourites again), 'The Curse of Friends Reunited' (will feel vindicated at not wanting to go to any reunions).
I'd list more, but the cats are fighting over who gets to lie on the warm keyboard and pull up all the keys; they've wiped six paragraphs by now, and at some point you have to accept that fate doesn't like this sort of a blog.
Ah well, it's altogether a more cuddly sort of unruly chaos than daytime presents.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 8:21 PM BST
Updated: Monday, 8 September 2003 8:40 PM BST
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smug mug

I only have two minutes before I have to be slaving away in work, so better blog quick, then hit the Blackwall Tunnel (anyone who's seen 28 Days Later, it's the tunnel full of swarming rats....I'm sure you can visualise rush hour traffic there)
I came in for some well-deserved criticism this weekend. So I'll respond in a self-serving, self-aggrandising, one-sided manner, now. After all, this is a blog, what else d'ye expect?

Firstly I have to rescind my criticisms of udate. I go on there and I have to laugh at the horror that awaits, because my profile is always browsed by 48 year old male(?!) perverts who ming. However, friends have proved by sending photos from there that others have a different experience, and in fact there are plenty of gorgeous, attractive, sane people on udate - they just don't mail or browse me. So there.
Also, it is apparently abysmal manners to relieve oneself on the floor in a nightclub. I have to point out that nobody saw, it was in a roped off VIP area. It was very very dark, and I *pray* they don't have CCTV. It was also the most jumped up arrogant smug wanker-filled place I've been to ina long time. What were they thinking, letting a commoner in?! Plus, I'm sorry! Will that do?

Finally, the reason I blog is partly to practise writing more, because it's important for my job, but mostly so the DH, who is travelling without me in Australia for 7 months, knows that I'm only up to the usual stupid acts, nothing horrendous or naughty. I miss her, and she doesn't email enough, so I have to constantly check the time zones of visitors to the blog, and count up all the Australian ones - this is what makes me ramble on, half-fascinated and appalled about having foreign visitors.
Oh, and for Sue: Dave commented yesterday that it must have been intimidating growing up with me for a sister. Hah! Shyah, riiiiiiiight.....

This page graced by sarsparilla at 7:20 AM BST
Updated: Monday, 8 September 2003 8:37 PM BST
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Sunday, 7 September 2003

Vee I Pee

On Friday I failed to secure entry to a Singalonga Sound of Music, or to a Singalonga Wizard of Oz, so met up with jatb and yidaho at Bellini (again! yummy food) in High Street Kensington (foreign readers: that's near Diana's old palace). They were both incredibly late, so I was wellied on pinot grigio by the time they got there, really wellied.
We got smashed, then attempted to gain entry to a member's club in Knightsbridge (or rather jatb flirted shamelessly, while the rest of us giggled at the bad plastic surgery of the members going in.) The doormen rejected us firmly and repeatedly, but did get us a cab and VIP entry to Funky Buddha in Mayfair.
I think I've read about it before in celeb magazines - the sort of Chinawhite type place that Meg Mathews type C lister slebs go to, and true to form, Hollyoaks actors were w**king on about their careers inside. I'm bloody surprised they let us in, actually, although at #20 for three drinks, perhaps not.
So posh C list celebs - they're all white, they all dress with a lot more care than me, and not a single one of them can dance at all. Nor do they even care!
I got utterly trollied, danced like a loon, then peed on the floor in the VIP lounge. Uncouth? Moi?

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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.
This is my blogchalk:
United Kingdom, London, East London, Bow, English, German, Vanessa, Female, 31-35, Literature / Movies, Food / Eating / Drinking.

Read THIS blog:

<< # Gay Brits ? >>

< # Blogging Brits ? >

< # BloggingBitches ? >

See the books I've read on my Bookshelf at

This page graced by sarsparilla at 12:17 AM BST
Updated: Sunday, 7 September 2003 12:42 AM BST
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Saturday, 6 September 2003

Do I Know You?

Someone who chose the nickname 'secretsubmissive' has added me to his 'friends' list on udate, home of the terminally optimistic minger. This is what he put on his profile:
Where is the best place to go on a Date ? my Mistress s wish is my command.
Where will you be in 3 years from now ? Hopefully serving my Mistress
What really makes you happy and what makes you sad ? Being dominated and controlled by and serving pleasing and obeying a Dominant Female.
I reckon he's at least a high court judge. I've added him to my 'Friends' list, alongside the transvestite who browsed my pic a week ago.

On Thursday I tried to meet up with some lezzers who call themselves the 'East Benders', at Vespa Lounge. I had a nice, if brief time, but not being a terribly 'scene' homosexual, I have no idea where most lesbian clubs are, so it was a little difficult finding the place. (Note to postman: "Centrepoint" is not a terrifically specific address to give any establishment), and I was pretty late anyway.
Was only when I got there, to find a bar full of intimidating looking, pretty, young, slightly butch types playing pool that I realised I'd forgotten to establish:
a. any way of recognising them;
b. their real names.
This meant I had to go up to complete strangers serially, and introduce myself.
Things weren't looking particularly auspicious, when I started by ordering a bottled beer, because the barman, unprompted, informed me that Bud was #1.80 a bottle. Do I look poor?
Patently I do look poor, very very poor, because as he passed me the beer, he also kindly added that "for next time, Carlsberg is #1.60 a pint."
Beer safely in my poverty-stricken lesbian stomach, I proceeded to work the room. You have no real idea of what 'humiliating' entails until you have spent an evening alone in a bar, walking up to groups of strangers, and asking "Do I know you from the internet?"
Personally, I know loads of people I met via the internet, I'd merely be amused if the boot were on the other foot. But judging by the looks of sheer horror and disgust, this is not the general experience....
After a few of these encounters, I retired to the bar, to converse with the drunk pensioner who was watching 'Bad Girls' on the big screen, and to drink the remainder of my pikey poor people's beer.
As I sat and pondered if this were the most embarrassing hour of my life, or not, a new circle of hell emerged: anyone leaving the bar would first come up to me and pat my knee in a pitying fashion, whispering "I hope you find your internet friends" as they left.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 9:26 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 6 September 2003 10:06 PM BST
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Would like to blog, and have so many things to blog about, but I'm actually desperate for a good old East End pie n mash, and the market closes at four, so you'll have to wait.

Once I'm sated with eels in green liquor, then I'll be back....

This page graced by sarsparilla at 3:37 PM BST
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Thursday, 4 September 2003


I'm meant to be meeting some women about a mile east of here in around ten minutes, for a drink. The drink will take place about a mile west of here.
It seems silly to go one way then back the other, and this logical flaw in the plan is making me drag my feet in getting ready. Actually, that's a little specious: I know full well I'm the world's worst time keeper (witness: my oldest friends always always arrange meetings places that offer chairs, refreshments and magazines for the wait.) In fact, am sitting about, blogging, in a work suit and a crumpled white shirt, and sneezing copiously. Then wondering if I can get away without washing the 'snailtrails' off. Ew. Not the best midweek drink outfit I've ever seen, however well trimmed me pants are.
I warned them I might be late, also (another poor justification for dawdling) and rentawitch promised to text me their location if I didn't make the first assignation spot in time.

Five minutes till I'm sposed to be there. Hmm.
I could get changed. Into something clean, say.

Look snotty, crumpled and spod-like, or look better dressed but possibly miss the whole thing?

Tomorrow, somebody I know (I dare not say their name, for fear of embarrassing them to David Kelly proportions) is going to go to the Singalonga Sounda Music with me. I shall spend my Friday night in the company of singing drunken transvestite nuns! How do you solve a problem like Maria, indeed.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 7:27 PM BST
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Wednesday, 3 September 2003

Chips with gravitas pliz

I've been trying to push my luck at work, to test my new theory that I've achieved new gravitas and standing just by having lived longer than I had last year. My theory involves pissing about blatantly, or robbing them blind, and waiting to see if they actually comment, much less object.
Round 1 - blatant four hour tea break in the office with feet up, biccies and a paper, when working against a deadline.
Me half a point, jatb half a point. Somebody came by and 'offered' to meet my deadline for me twice (see yesterday's blog), then sighed and went off and started the work without me.
Round 2 - Setting up a tv in my room, and watching Trisha on full volume with the doors open, when working against a deadline.
Me two points, jatb nil points.
Round 3 - Nicking the tv and giving it away to a friend.
Haven't developed the bottle to do this yet....
Round 4 - Performing hits from corny musicals in the corridors when up against a deadline.
Rounds 5 and 6 - yet to be invented.
I'm on Round 4 tomorrow, and I've bet jatb a fiver that if I continue in this vein, they'll not even mention that my behaviour is becoming a little odd by Friday.

Adding weight to the spurious smell of 'gravitas' is the repeat of yesterday's promotion convo, today. I hadn't looked that eager, so they went away and sweetened the deal for me (bastards! I don't want to do it, but greed and curiosity are pulling me, pulling me doooooowwwwwwwwn....)
It's a bit like last Easter, when I lost all interest in working for a living and disappeared for two weeks straight, then turned up back at work again. Quite contrary to the bollocking and marching orders I had expected, suddenly I could do no wrong - I'd gone in a trice from 'gullible wage slave loser' to 'management material written all over her'. They sent me on all these courses about becoming a senior manager.
Weird, huh? In a 1940s BBC information film I'd be the twitching dumbshow visual behind the double-barrelled announcer "Workers! Don't make effort at work. Promotions is gained by disassociation from the working class. Act as though you are no longer dependent on money. If you appear too unstable to make a living, you will be admired and feted by your betters."
Today's deal is double the money, and I don't have to do my current job at the same time, like before. That surprised the heck out of me (I hadn't been negotiating, I genuinely don't want to do it.) I'm holding out for no responsibility for mistakes, and all confrontational situations taken off my hands. Cos I'm a delicate sensitive flower.

So, here's where my luck patently migrated from:
CNPS - 19. Still.
Celebdaq - 32677th place.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:36 PM BST
Updated: Thursday, 4 September 2003 12:03 AM BST
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Tuesday, 2 September 2003

Fat Bob. Bob the Blob. Fat Blobby Bastard Bob.

Don't worry, my Site Stats Psychosis can't last much longer. All it takes is someone in the real, offline world to explain quietly how silly it is or give a disapproving look, and that usually quells the thing for a whole month.
But not yet.......... he he.
I dickered with the Guestmap ==> Free Guestmap from Bravenet and turned everyone's icons into something different, amongst other things. I'm a pink rabbit now.
It seemed funny at the time.

Today I knew I had a huuuuuge amount of carrying very very heavy things to do. Enough to fill most of the day.
So, eager to get started and prove my mettle, I sat in the general office and read my newspaper frantically from 8am till 1.30pm in the hopes that I was a senior enough figure for nobody to question this (tee hee! Worked! This is A Bad Sign).
But eventually, Peachykeenyboy pointed out that if I simply asked absolutely everybody to help, it wouldn't take long. I agreed, and voted to wait another hour while I worked up the strength to ask; so he, being peachykeeny and all, went and asked everybody for me. That's helpful, but it's also just too peachykeeny.
I pointed out that it was really lunchtime-ish and I should wait till I'd finished the whole paper, so they all started it up without me. That gave me guilts, so I had to join in.
It took about four hours or so of really really hard physical work. We carted up around 8000 chunky A4 sized hardback books. (yes, it's actually part of my job to count the things... ffs - thankfully it's such a ridiculous concept that nobody can ever be bothered to check.) That's up four double flights of stairs. when you've pretty much walked to the car and back three times a week all summer it's no joke.
At one point the stairs were chocka with 6 people who were hot, tired, carrying too many things too far. No words were possible in that stifling muggy heat, so the entire stairwell sounded like a bad porno movie.

In fact, after three and a half hours everyone else (i.e., those who had no vested interest in carrying books/shortening natural life span) quite understandably sloped away, leaving me with about 400 books left. I did two more super huge piles, then nearly had an aneurism on the stairs. Like, proper puffy! I had to climb out of peachkeenyboy's window and sit on the roof till I could breathe again. (Christ, what's the point of never having smoked if all those 20 a day bastards don't have to lie on the roof for 20 minutes to calm down?)
I had no idea I had gotten so bloody unfit again. Well, okay, slight exagg: I knew I hadn't moved far for weeks; I knew I had put on six pounds - a Bad Thing - but to come across as Buster Blood Vessel for walking up and down stairs a few times?
This might be serious. This might involve Actual Exercise. . . . .

This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:47 PM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 3 September 2003 12:39 AM BST
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