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Thursday, 8 July 2004

Red alert over. Had some sleep, able to deal. Tried to drink myself into a stupor, but felt better after two glasses of wine. Just caught me at a bad time. It's all grist for the resume.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: 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."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 8:16 AM BST
Updated: Thursday, 8 July 2004 8:19 AM BST
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just when i think i got out - they pull me back in

Topic: Lactose Incompetent

"I play this game.
It's pointless and annoys me, yet I'm compelled to play on"

I was doing okay, I was cheering up, I was rationalising my fears.

Then .... something happened. I ignored it. Something happened. The 'worst thing'.

You never know the worst thing till it's here, and the worst of the worst thing, is your absolute certainty that this is only the worst so far.

Thank christ I was with other people, and had to keep a lid on it, act unconcerned. It felt like I was falling into a cavern. How could this be happening to me, now, here? Didn't I just spend two years dealing with this? Didn't I just get to the point where I could maintain civilised defences?

I left, I sat in darkness in my car for a while, staring blankly at an empty church. I screamed at someone and averted an accident. See, not evil. I'm not evil.

It's been a while since I've been evil. The year before I wrote this blog, everything I did was interpreted as malicious, every stray thought that flickered over my face was assumed egregiously wrong. The standard interpretation of anything I did was: you did it to hurt me, you bitch. I'm not talking about one person feeling this way about me. I'm talking about almost all of them.

I'm a terrible one for not taking criticism well. As I was doing the punishment anyway, I decided to enjoy the crime.

The last year, it's been normal. Mad, draining, emotional, but- hey - normal. I can walk across a road without feeling like I'm doing something wrong, hurting someone somehow, being wicked, not caring enough about everybody else, showing my true, nasty nature by walking across that road.

In the darkened car, in the driver's seat, I turned on the CD player - the soundtrack to 'The Hours' came on. Philip Glass, violins, music from the moment where Nicole Kidman drowns herself, fifty years later and at the same moment, Julianne Moore takes too many painkillers and river water floods into her hotel room, over her bed, as in another age Meryl Streep watches her beloved friend Ed Harris die of AIDS. It really wasn't pick-me-up listening.

Of course the moon had to be out, like all those so many nights, so so many many nights, when I used to drive to the Heath and cry where no-one could overhear me.
Of course it had to be raining with stormy destructive winds, branches flailing to the ground. Of course.
Of course I had to be in London. Not Hawaii. Not South America. I had to be in Catford, the moment that I had to deal with this. In Catford, eating out with some colleagues, going home to a blank anodyne empty flat, three weeks before my thirty fourth birthday.
Why would fate make it any other moment? Why would fate make this something I had a hope of dealing with well?

I looked at the water lying deeper than you think on the oily surface of the road, the hunched shoulders of people scared as they rushed to safety from the street, the rain, the dangerous unknown. I wondered what could be more scary than the thing I was now considering.

On the way in to the restaurant I'd had one of those flash moments - those moments where a voice in your head speaks briefly. Your limbic brain, your sub conscious, your 'you', something, and it tells you an insight, but it might also be just a fear. Looking at a street sign that symbolised a road narrowing, then a junction, I thought about how late I was, how I didn't really feel like this meal, and a voice inside said: 'but you're not happy.' And I know it's not talking about the meal.
I pushed it away. Course I've not been happy. Why would I write all that shit on my blog if I were happy? The blog and the life have an inverse relationship - write shit, live good; live bad, write good. I've been doing better, I pleaded with my id, my ur, my limbic brain. I got out of the car and ran. Running creates endorphins, it stops you thinking depressing thoughts. It worked. It was gone.

Till the phone call. So, after, I sit in the dark on the same street, in front of the same street sign and I try to rationalise it, tell myself it's an understandable response to be falling into a pit with only mud and dirt for sides, where no-one will find you again. It's okay.
What a bland and stupid statement is 'it's okay'.
I try to connect things up - if I find patterns in my behaviour, my state of mind, I can find ways of dealing with an unexpected attack.

The worst moment? Right, if I'm not happy, the answer is to know why I'm not happy. What's the worst that could happen scenario. Forget that it's taken me a year to be able to cope with written references to what happened, forget that I can't even - I write four blogs and I write every fucking day for god's sake! - I can't even begin to articulate what happened and god knows last night - last damn night! - I tried. Worst case scenario.
What worst moments have I had this weekend? where I enjoyed myself, where I had a good time - what scary worst nasty moments did I live through, so I can tell myself I can live through it again.

I was scared of working too much last weekend. I passed over another promotion, again, the third this year, because I know my own tendency to be obsessive, to distil concentration out of all proportion to time, because I know if they ask me to do things, I'll always say yes. I feared trapping myself there - yeah, there in the job that I enjoy, that I look forward to doing. So I passed.

I was scared of being bored by people last weekend. I stood in a garden surrounded by strangers making small talk, getting on with it, using their myriad vile fat toddlers to prop the gaps in the conversation, and I refused to speak, or make it easy for anyone. I just scowled my way through it, wondering if I could go now. Or wait ten minutes. And go now. Ten more?

I was scared of meeting Tybalt and having to endure her at Pride. Make no mistake, if I went to Pride, it'd be to pull. I was scared of what she'd do if she saw that. What exact way she'd find to quietly punish me. I was scared that if I didn't go, I'd lose all my friends. Again. Somehow every social situation involving Tybalt, and I always come away feeling like carrion - like I've lost all my friends to her. If a friend is someone who listens and does not judge - someone who can bite their tongue just a few months and not say 'well, no, I think you're being unfair to her on that detail' - yeah, okay, that would count as having lost them all.

I was scared of making past mistakes, of restarting relationships that were already dead, had always at some level been dead; and I was also in the same weekend scared of starting new relationships that I didn't feel invested in, had no compulsion to continue, just to avoid being alone.

I was scared when I stayed out late for cocktails on a date last weekend, missed the train home, had to get a night train then a night bus from Lewisham. I was so scared I flagged a bus down on the street - I felt drunkenly confident, but the driver commented on how 'lost' I looked, which made me focus on it, start to feel scared all over again. I knew I'd have to get off by a gas tower, walk through an industrial estate, down a deserted high street that's had three murders in the four months I've lived here. I saw seven foxes, one madman who screamed at me to 'shut up shut shut shut up stop talking to me shut up', one hooded figure just standing beneath a blasted leafless tree in the centre of a council estate, and not one single lighted window, not one single car. I was scared that if something did happen to me, nobody would notice. For a few days.

All these fears. And that's just four days worth.

But mostly I'm usually scared that being scared makes me not do things that I should, makes me lose out. Lose out on a promotion, meeting the woman of my dreams at Pride, reconnecting with my friends, being calm enough to make smalltalk, put people at ease, take risks with new relationships, and forgive the criminal other of the old ones. And walk home tall.

So this is what's beneath tonight's bad news. Do I follow all my instincts - run, hide, stay away, don't get involved, avoid these people, these situations forever. Just a few people in a really big world. Do I need to beat myself up by going through it all again with them?
Can't I just walk away, live my life without accusations, or jealousy, or the underlying itching permanent scab of knowing that someone thinks I'm evil?

Or am I just saying that to myself to make me brave? To distract attention from the fact I always run?

"You're pretty convinced that you like the parts of your life that trap you
But you worry that your usual tendency to sell yourself short
Sold that to you."

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: 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?"

This page graced by sarsparilla at 12:21 AM BST
Updated: Thursday, 8 July 2004 12:58 AM BST
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Tuesday, 6 July 2004

Things to Do While Waiting for Your Fibonacci Numbers to Come Around

Now Playing: Sidsel Endresen: 'Do Do Do'

Topic: LondonLifer

Stuart of Kitchentable was blogging about things to do before you die. Or become 40. Feh. Same diff.

So which ones are still on the list to get done afore I peg it?

Tick these off, they're done:
-go out of your way to befriend someone entirely new who isnt already in your friends circle
-quit one of your worst vices (cut drinking last autumn)
-have an orgy (come off it, who's gay and hasn't?)
(PS, if my mum reads this, I'm lying)
-naked photoshoot (got that one covered several times over already)
-fall in love (over-done that one)
-Buy a new leather jacket, put tweed patches on the elbows, and try and claim that you're "being gracefully punk rock."
-sponsor a child in the third world on a monthly direct debit so he or she can go to school
-Get a love-bite.
-Wait around after a gig to get an autograph.
-Hang out for an afternoon in a bus shelter with your mates, a bottle of cider and a ghetto-blaster.
-Whip your top off on a podium while mouthing all the words (it's been a while).
-Cover your bedroom wall with a collage of magazine photos.
-Write a love-letter on pink notepaper drenched in scent, with a "secret" acronym on the back of the envelope.

Nah, nah, nahhh, yew ain't done nonna these:
-a balloon trip
-pose naked for an art class
-write a novel
-see all seven wonders of the world (Mostly becuase I don't really know what they are)
-get a tattoo (Ewww, tats are ugleeee)
-learn to play an instrument from scratch (not the blue veined piccolo)
-Run with the bulls in Pamplona.
-Grow a moustache, and try and claim that you're "being ironic." (this one might be hard)
-Buy the Franz Ferdinand album, and claim - ah, it doesn't matter what you say, no one will believe you.
-Carve ____WOZ ERE on a tree-trunk.

Right, better get cracking on some of those. I'm not going to be 33 (the year of the sideways boobies) anymore in a few day's week's time, and the blog at least, is dying.
I've got me pen knife. Where's Pamplona?
Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: 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."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:01 PM BST
Updated: Thursday, 8 July 2004 12:50 AM BST
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Monday, 5 July 2004

The Most Annoying, Alarming and Appalling People, Places and Things in London and the Nation

Topic: Empty Fridge Light

Infighters, bitchers and troll-baiters. Okay, it's a release every now and then, but if you're slagging things down all the time, then you need to check yourself, get some psychological help from somewhere.

Shit drivers: culprits in Leiston, Suffolk; Blackheath, London; Sydenham, Sarf East London. Those pretty flashy things on the side of the car? They're mirrors. Those twinkly fairy lights on the other cars? They're signals and it's the damn law that you use them.

London Magazine Editors. For the madness of plastico fantastico celebrity culture. Hey, let's take a bunch of overpaid self obsessed over achievers whose worst fear is that they have no innate talent and are valued for their looks alone, then stick them on the front of every magazine in a bathing suit with none of the usual blatant airbrushing. That'll do wonders for our eat-till-you-feel-better, bitching-helps-me-forget-my-woes, never-judge-myself-harshly-when-judging-everyone-else-is-so-easy populace to feel the self esteem they need to not buy shit mags, not buy fad diets they won't stick to, and not walk around secretly hating themself. Have you ever met a woman who doesn't secretly hate her body in some way? Have you ever met a bloke (who's not BB5 Jason) who doesn't fear he folds the flab just where he wants muscle? Isn't that just a peachy culture in which to start publishing banner headlines like 'Best and Worst Beach Bodies 2004'?
The weird thing is, if you look at a spread of these Sleb-Bitch-Mags, you see the same outfits / bodies appearing on one mag's 'Best Dressed' page, and another one's 'Most Mingin'. Yep, they're quite quite sure that we are That Stupid as to swallow it.

Every single person who's ever been responsible at a senior managerial level for the crap that is our transportation system. Especially Mister Norris.

The London Eye. You order tickets in advance, queue for thirty six years, to get into a pod half the size of a London single decker bus, equally as crowded, and moving almost as slowly. If it's moving. Is it moving? I can never tell if the thing's broken down or not. Why is it such brilliant engineering? It's only pods on a ferris wheel, it's nothing particularly new. If the same engineers could work out a decent checking in system at Heathrow we'd improve the lot of twice as many tourists and locals. That I'd call engineering. There's no view as such, because it's uniquely situated in a spot where there's nothing in the distance to see. They should have put it up on Hampstead Heath or somewhere with a vista.
The single positive redeeming feature is when it's lit up in blue, it looks pretty from across the other side of the Thames. Which is the only place you see it from, because wandering along the South Bank is just unpleasant. But fuckit, we could light up any old building along the Thames in blue. I vote Buck House, and the Lords. It'd be descriptive, at least.

The Nanny State. For a gazillion reasons. Look at the news, there's practically a new reason everyday. Today's reason is their attempt to force through a ban on smacking children, only just reduced to a compromise by the Lords. Because that will stop child abusers, won't it? We all know they're exactly the sort of person to worry if an action's illegal before carrying it out. (Pity the same aversion to perpetuating a culture of violence didn't apply in Iraq, huh?)
The state has no reason to criminalise activities when it is patently to no effect. I almost imagine them sitting around the focus group doughnuts, responding to a rise in the city's murder rates, and plotting how they'll be seen to act strongly and decisively, by outlawing murder.

Even worse, the wankers who've moved seamlessly between politics and entertainment. And then back again! I mean you, Portillo, Kilroy-Silk, Widdecombe. Can they not at least pretend there's a difference?
The topic of getting away with murder reminds me: Shirley Porter. Nuff said.

In fact, I'd like a few artists and writers on that list. Damien Hirst, Charles Saatchi, Richard Rogers, Germaine Grrrrrreer, Tom Stoppard, Harold Pinter, trading on past glories the lot of them. They're no more active artist than the personality-free jobbing radio DJs who plague the airwaves. But DJ's at least are moronic and talentless, they have somewhat more of an excuse. Add to that the partisan, nepotistic biased load of luvvies who run the Booker, Turner and Orange Prizes.

And why not the vacuous attends-the-opening-of-an-envelope-debutante-detritus that clogs up the more boring London clubs and means the floor's crowded with rich wankers who can't dance? Put every model, ever on that list, then top it with Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller. Snorting coke in a miniskirt is not a career.

The gayers. Okay so at one point in the eighties and nineties, gay culture was interesting, invigorating, loud, reinventing itself, ahead of the crowd. Now we're the most repressive group in society bar none (middle england: never despair! vote us! vote the gayers! we want to marry, join the army and become a priest!)
Our music's shit, we have no decent politics left to speak of, we fail to stand up for any other minority group because it just doesn't mesh with our citizenly rights to snort cappucino, leer at McFly, gossip in an infantile fashion about Franz Ferdinand and mad musical old biddies who are probably incontinent by now. We (we the gayers) have too much money to fritter it away on pretending we're still seventeen and the extra twenty years don't show. We don't have children, we don't have pregnant partners, we don't have commitments. We're potentially a massive, untapped economic force for change. And what do we do with it? Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and late night cloney bars that straights queue to 'patronise' because the drugs are better. Do we mind if they give the snogging couple dirty looks? No, take the money, quip a few one liners, lust after the ones who look like they might be brutal. Pathetic.
The scene sucks. It sucks because the gayers suck. I leave the obvious one liner open to you for completion.

Finally, a pertinent reprise:
Infighters, bitchers and troll-baiters. Okay, it's a release every now and then, but if you're slagging things down all the time, then you need to check yourself, get some psychological help from somewhere.

I'm off to follow my own advice.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: 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."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:30 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 6 July 2004 9:15 PM BST
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Sunday, 4 July 2004


Topic: Looby

It's been pointed out to me that I got more than a few details wrong in the previous post. Firstly, I was going to Suffolk, not Norfolk. Apparently, the two counties/areas/whateverthehelltheyare have loathed each other since time immemorial, and the mere fact that I'd never heard of them and had no idea where they are is no excuse or reason not to feud for a few centuries. Well, millennia, probably, thinking about where they are. (Viking territory, right? Anglo Saxon collaborators, hisssss)
Also, I didn't mean to make it sound like I was going away for a weekend with Martin - I was of course going to Alistair's wedding, and Martin, Zobo, Louiz, and fortunately Alistair's new wife were also going, but only Martin has a blog.

My car broke down on the way, then I got lost because of course I didn't bring a map with me, reasoning that every town in the South of England has a 'London Road' that points downward, and surely that should be enough to orient me. Surprisingly, this method of navigation usually does work.
Which meant I missed everything but speeches and cake. All the jokes about the female vicar's peep toe shoes were therefore lost on me.
Between the reception and the barbie, knocking on the bride's front door resulted in a set of ten fingers through the letterbox and a small voice informing me that 'mummy is upstairs'. Cue much shrieks of 'oh no, they're consummating! We'll come back later.' And that is the honest reason why I was caught red handed outside the chip shop twenty minutes later. Honest guv'nor.
I've never seen a newlywed husband leave his bride at home on her wedding night to go down the pub with his mates, before. I'm presuming the aforementioned consummation will be withheld for a further eight years as punishment?
Apparently I was scowling or looking miserable most of the time, or so I was repeatedly informed by those who had access to alcohol when I did not. I restrained myself from pointing out more than once that I was missing Gay Pride, (these days rebranded as 'Pride' - we'd not want any nasty 'GAY' clogging up the name, oh no, no room for all the PC acronyms there), aka my one serious chance to pull this year, and it's hardly my fault if they couldn't remember to try to look like 12,000 rhinestone trannies. Nevermind, toasting hot dogs more than made up for the opportunity to have random drug sozzled al fresco sex with a sequence of strangers.
It was very sweet to have a pub conversation where when talking about computers (geeks, eh?), someone blushed and admitted in a quiet voice that they mostly liked reading blogs these days. Oh what conversational suicide that was. Couldn't shut me up. Pub Blog Bore.
There's been a lot of Weather, innit? It veers through flash storms, gales, then back to raging summer within the space of forty minutes. Surely no other country's this changeable. In windscreen wiper flicker terms, I drove through 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 on the same stretch of road.
Okay, maybe describing my journey in windscreen wiper ratings is less than engaging.
The journey up was enough of a nightmare to make me navigate via tiny country 'B' roads most of the way back. I bet you can't wait for all my photos of quiet market towns A through E, alongside the old ladies I helped into church, my chats with the garden centre woman who makes her own Disney costumes for adults, the dog I had a walk in the dunes with, the cinema I popped into to catch Fahrenheit 9/11 (which didn't mention Ray Bradbury once!), or the sixty acre piggery I explored. On the basis of a three hour lazy lunch during a downpour, I'm checking out derelict property prices in Aldeburgh (aka North-London-by-the-sea).
Before I left London, I mused over a lightly browned English muffin with two teaspoons of French compote that B & B breakfasts are always revolting. True to form, the next morning I grinned a watery grin and told lies to the help about how lovely my limp, damp, whitebread 'toast' was. What the fuck do they do to it? Wave it around the fridge freezer, then run it under a tap? And it cost #6. Bastards.
I found out that some other blogger who shall not be named, ups his stats by trying to predict the next day's search terms. Gasp! I'm glad to tell you that I would never never exploit events of the magnitude of the sweaty underdog Federer's Wimbledon glory, of Shapapova's very tight knickers, or Greece's 1-0 Euro 2004 success, or of the rebuilding of Ground Zero, merely to inflate my own sense of self importance.
Not blogging the date. Aren't I discreet?! Who knew?

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: 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)."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:04 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 6 July 2004 8:56 PM BST
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Friday, 2 July 2004


Topic: Yidaho

Okay, thanks for the advice and comments on the manic depressive posts of the last few days. I liked Looby's suggestion that drinking helps you not to think about such stuff, but unfortunately, when I drink, I don't process things - I just remain static, at the same impasse I was first stuck on, never admitting the road's blocked. When you've ditched a nine year relationship in the previous year, you gain a perspective on putting up with intolerably depressing circumstances, and drinking to forget doesn't help me to move beyond.
Took me a week, but I've almost figured it out now. I've worked out the physical cause (delayed withdrawal from some meds, which I unfortunately decided to combine with drinking, with dieting, and with trying to stop drinking so much strong coffee, all at the same time as going for a promotion. Stressful much?), and the emotional trigger (summer, and fearing the isolation and boredom of last summer recurring - I like my job, and without the pressure and instantaneousness - and sometimes the danger - of it, I tend to retreat into myself).
I've got the root causes sorted out - it's just a matter of time, now till I work out how to beat it.

In the meantime, I'm off out for a drink with Second Dater, then up to Norfolk for the weekend to meet this guy and attend a wedding of someone I met via t'internet (I know! Geeks aren't meant to marry, are they?).

Can't go to the eviction tonight, but a woman dressed as a chicken may put in an appearance. If you see her on your screens, point out to the dozing form by your side that you read the blog of the woman whose Big Bruvva photoshops got their own double page spread in a national newspaper today!
Marco to go. I trust you to make it so.
Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: 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."
[I wish I got search strings like "steven you ginger knob" ....]

This page graced by sarsparilla at 5:41 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 6 July 2004 8:32 PM BST
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Wednesday, 30 June 2004

I'm a blogger and I live in London, me

Topic: LondonLifer

I feel compelled by jealousy of other London bloggers, and the awful feeling that I may be simply a blogger in London, to mention the tube strike.

That's all I can do, though. Mention it. I walk to work. Didn't make a rat's fart of difference to me.

It ... erm ... it made me wary of driving down the M4 tonight, but so did not having had more than an hour's sleep, and the fact that windows kept rippling.
So - no. The London tube strike didn't affect me at all. Get off your fat rich twentysomething arses and get to work the old fashioned way, you London bloggers, you. And stop whingeing.

Oh fuck, they'll never anoint me a London blogger, now, will they?
Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Creepy Lesbo
"But what's the point in regretting things?
Where does it get you?
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..."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 8:55 PM BST
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apolutrosis, or redemption

Topic: Creepy Lesbo
Reading and watching and listening and thinking has me, well, thinking.
You'll forgive a rambling, disconnected hiatus while I try to work out what to do with my life. It won't make sense to you. No apologies for that. The point has ceased to be intelligibility. Stop reading it.

I play this game.
It's pointless and annoys me, yet I'm compelled to play on

Searching for reasons isn't the point
The process is the answer
The journey, not the destination
We're all seeking redemption in some way

looking to forget our past

am I just here to be haunting the place?
depressed, trapped, helpless?
wandering about, unable to change

unable to change the situation

And what aobut my soul - do I even have one?

But redemption is a recovery
of something

something sold, or lost

"(Theol.) The procuring of God's favor by the sufferings and death of Christ; the ransom or deliverance of sinners from the bondage of sin and the penalties of God's violated law.
In whom we have redemption through his blood. --Eph. i. 7."

salvation from sin? What sin?

"the purchase back of something that had been lost, by the payment of a ransom.
The Greek word so rendered is _apolutrosis_, a word occurring nine times in Scripture, and always with the idea of a ransom or price paid"

A price paid.
A recovery
of what's been lost.
Yes, I can see that one.
But through blood?

Where do I have to bleed?
Where do I have to go?
How hard will it be to
move myself
to pay the future's ransom
to purchase my freedom from all this?

And if it can be done, then why can it be done?
And what does permanent mean?
What do I do?
How do I forget the things I did
but make room for the things I wish to do
How do I forget the things I am
and make room for the person I will be

And is it possible?
To change that much?
What is redemption, is it a bribe?
A serendipitous, spiritual bribe?
Blood money to shut your soul up for another ten years?
How is that possible?
Why is it possible? how is that fair?

Do I stay in this hole, hiding
haunting myself

Do I assume inviolability
That the past doesn't matter?

Do I plague myself
with questions
in the hope
the assurance
the inevitability
the hope of stasis?

What do I do / what did I do / what shall I do.
Here / there / maybe nowhere.

Redemption. Buying it back.

If nothing we do matters, then . . .

all that matters . . .

is what . . .

we do.

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Tuesday, 29 June 2004

Rising action - Climax - Resolution

Topic: Casino Avenue

What have you learnt about this person during your one year on the blog?
What have you learnt that you know for sure?
What do we know for sure?

I learnt that you're preoccupied with trivialities of the most trivial sort, Vanessa.
You like being preoccupied like that. It stops you from thinking.
I mean, there's no need to go do charity work in Sudan if all you're worried about is eight pounds of fat on your belly.

You're not immortal.
You're not compelling.
You're not the centre of it all.
You're not even necessary.

You surprised me when you found out you can't deal with routine.
Can't open letters, answer the phone, answer the door
Well, on bad days, anyway.
Because you've stubbed yourself out
dug yourself in
on a life filled with routine,
and somehow you think that's going to save you

I learnt that there's more rage than you think in there.
That even if you put a lid on it,
We can hear it echo.

I learnt that you can't deal well with music any more.
Listening to music means you can't hide.

I learnt that you have more issues than you realise.
I learnt that there's a lot of emotion wrapped in a sarcastic shell.
That your evasions and lies are all too believable.
That you're scared. Of being alone.
That you're scared. Of being with others.
That you're hard on yourself, expect to solve things just like that.
There's a symbiotic relationship going on, but unfortunately it's only with your own sleep rate.

You're pretty convinced that you like the parts of your life that trap you
But you worry that your usual tendency to sell yourself short
Sold that to you.

You hid things from a lot of people
It's almost second nature.
But you don't hide yourself. Openness is all very well
If you can articulate what's wrong.

There's this big sore area of red that you daren't go near

And as well: you're ashamed.

What do I know for sure?
Just the shame.

But that's not knowing. That's a cop out.
Exaggerated emotion for reader effect.

What have you learnt?

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: 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"

This page graced by sarsparilla at 4:42 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 29 June 2004 10:16 PM BST
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She theenks you ah straight, Jason, heh?

News from the Web Feed - The Med is palayyyyyyying the game

The Med trips up Jason.

(a.k.a. when in a dry patch, rip off your own material.)

Vic, Med, Stu, Jay, Becki, and Dan in the garden.
Med: "she theenks you ah straight Jason, heh? eh heh? heh heh heh? She say there are only three straight guys."
Becki: "oh are you gay? are you bi?"
{ tweets }
Jason: {'fuck that' interlude}
Dan: "You told me you were bi."
Jason, hurriedly: {'fuck that' interlude}
Vic, Stu, Med: uproarious laughter.
Dan: "We were talking and you said that."
Jay: "Yeah, in yer drrrrrrrreeeeeeeams, mate."
Vic, Med, Stu practically pee themselves laughing, and Dan covers his face with his cap.
Jason, gruffly, to his audience at large: "I dunno where the fuck youse guys kip ge'in the idea tha' ah'm gee fram. Fuck tha'. "
Vic, Stu, Med: laughter becomes very blokeish and nervous.
Dan, a look of pure vinegar crossing his face, and enunciating: "From your fucking mouth, darling."
Jay, Stu, Vic, Med: blokeish laughter for ten beats too long for complete heterosexual comfort.
Becki, trying to change the subject: "what sort of woman would it take to turn your head, Dan?"
Med: cackles.

Twenty minutes later, Jay, Med, Stu, Dan still present. The Med decides he hasn't finished milking this one yet.

Med: "Dan? Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrru offendied?"
Dan, overenunciating: "By h-wh-hw-what?"
Med: "Arrrrrrrrru offendied by wha' he say? By he ssssssssexu-alitay?"
Dan, in the sort of studiously clipped posh tones that indicate absolute offence: "No I'm not offended."
"I've just lost a bit of respect for him, that's all."
"I'm not a liar."
{tweet tweet tweet tweet}
Jay, without his testosteraudience present: "You mosta misonderstooooood, thassall. Doant be offindid."
Dan: "Yeah."
Jay: "Wha' people purron their application form, thassall. It's nor really true."
Dan: "Yeah."


Jason attempts to tickle Daniel's nips roughly (in Manhandling Vanessa fashion - TM): "so ye've loast respick for meh, big man, eh? eh?"
Daniel remains absolutely motionless, not least his facial freeze.

Footnote: Duch fancies Jason. Won't hear a word said against him. Snee-hee.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: 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?" "

This page graced by sarsparilla at 1:32 AM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 29 June 2004 2:10 AM BST
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Monday, 28 June 2004

Ways to self medicate a bout of blues:

Topic: Hurtling to Obscurity

Alcohol - not that effective, though uses up time; definitely a depressant.
Seeing friends - very effective, especially if you talk to them about it, rather than pretending you're a chipper little squirrel.
Asking people out - not very effective. Starts off fear on top of the dour determination that everything will go wrong.
Videos - the entire series of Wonderfalls is an appropriate replacement for BB, is transparently stupid and meaningless enough not to worry if any get skipped (not my taste, sorry, Rev and Billy), but ends up losing you sleep. So, no, a depressant.
Concerts - Gorecki's symphony of Sorrowful Songs - not the best choice in the world. But the London Sinfonietta surprised me by first playing my current favourite piece of music - Arvo Part's Tabula Rasa.
Museums - photographing dead animals, skeletons and stuffed animals takes your mind off things while doing so, but is a bit of a bummer when you later look at what's in your pictures folder. Going roung central London taking pics of statues and Chinatown was better.
Admitting what's really bugging you - took me a while, but I'm stressed out about the coming summer. Last summer was the shittest summer of my life (which was why I was so incredulous when I got shit from everyone I know that I appeared to be living life to the full, according to the blog), and I just couldn't bear to experience anything that dull ever again. It would *end* me. Yet I haven't enough money to leave SE26. Pah. But knowledge is power, and now I know where the strop is coming from.
Checking the calendar - one thing I've noticed is that single people, while paying forty two times the price in any outbranch of the tourism industry - we sure do filling up the calendar well. It's getting hard to shoehorn anything in. Hopefully, this isn't a temporary blip.
Having a sickie - I'm utterly sleep deprived, everything in my body aches for some weird reason, and I'm turning into a clumsy, stupid oaf who mooches. I patently need to recharge. There's nothing to do at work right now anyway, certainly nothing that takes precedence over my health. Result.
Cuddling cats - they've decided to wage a war, a campaign, a battle to the death, to gain rights of access and control over my pillow. I wake up every morning with a cat's sphincter in my face, and a pillow full of horrible wiry black hairs and cat dander. This is the battle to end all battles. There will be no cuddles or snuggles or schnuffly shakes. There will only be scratches, arguments, and with holding of anything but dirty looks till it's over. Downer.
Reading blogs - it's ages since I properly went through bloglines, kinja, and the blogroll. There's some really truly beautiful writing out there, you know. If you're becoming bored of blogging, just start reading more. Inspiring.
Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: 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.... 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..."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 1:53 PM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 30 June 2004 4:06 AM BST
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Saturday, 26 June 2004

Bleak Patch

Now Playing: Snow Patrol and Scissor Sisters

Topic: Yidaho

Sorry for bad tempered posting this week; after a few weeks of going out often, the inevitable grumpy crash occurred. Last weekend with Derby and Krystal was so cool that everything looks dull and draining in comparison. After I smacked my cheekbone open earlier in the week (much better, thanks), I've had that constant feeling that I'm about to cry.

The interesting one on one chats on BB all occur about 1am, and so, tiredness from excursions, plus staying up till two every night, make me a No Happy Bunny. Decided to recharge by spending a weekend at home - cue guilty conscience because I haven't seen my dad to give him his father's day or birthday presents, and they're too heavy to post, plus irritable refusal to go sit in the laundrette and wash the four foot pile of dirty clothes. Which means I smell bad and my clothes are grubby.

Added to this, a creeping need to drink alcohol. I had given up drinking entirely, then at Easter I decided it was okay to drink when I go out with friends; just the last few days, knowing I was getting grumpier, sulkier, and waiting for the strop to descend, I found myself thinking about glasses of white wine all the time.
Yesterday evening I gave in, bought a bottle, then realised I don't own a bottle opener. It took two hours of cruising local shops (witnessed by an embarrassing number of my customers from work), then experiments with screwdrivers to get to three whole glasses of wine. And as per usual, it didn't make me feel better to have given in.
Of course, having spent a Friday evening in, drinking alone and watching telly, combined with the terribly retrograde decision to engage in e-mail conversation about trivialities with an ex (an as yet unblogged ex who could only really benefit me by never having slept with me in the first place) - that's all going to make me feel so much better.

The only bright spark in the tunnel of oblivion that's this weekend has been watching the Glastonbury highlights. Shit performance from Kings of Leon, but I was jealously enjoying Snow Patrol, Oasis, Franz Ferdinand, PJ Harvey, Spearhead and Goldfrapp, and remembering how great gigging can be. Not that jealous, though - the site looks full enough and corporate enough to remind me of Donington or Reading; where's the hippie nonsense? Where's the other mindbending, black market barter economy, toilet roll grabbing stuff that makes Glastonbury what it really is - the annual opportunit to find out how rapaciously snobbish hippies really are?

Ah well, if we didn't have bleak patches, I suppose we'd never know when we're happy. Or somesuch obvious bullshit.
Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: 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)."

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Updated: Saturday, 26 June 2004 4:15 PM BST
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Friday, 25 June 2004

What do you mean, posting too much?
Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: 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."

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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 3:24 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 26 June 2004 4:32 PM BST
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Aprille is the cruellest month

Topic: Shy Lux

A Tuesday in April:
My sister was meant to ring when she set off from Cambridge, so I could meet her at Victoria. I usually don't do touristy stuff with her, so we'd talked about going to the Wallace Collection or the John Soane museum, perhaps. All very relaxing.
Unfortunately, I'd taken a snooze pill at midnight the day before, and responded to no external stimulus for some time. I remember waking very briefly, and noticing how different medicated sleep is from normal sleep, because if I closed my eyes, the rest of the world was just wiped out entirely, and doesn't exist.
Normally, you sink back into sleep during a lie in, enjoying the physical sensations of not jumping, gulping, rushing, stressing. On medication, you shut your eyes, the world isn't there any more, and you don't remember that it ever was.
And that goes double for alarm clocks.

When she rang from Victoria station, asking if I'd be long, I was finally awoken, but so disoriented I couldn't make sense of myself, let alone which way was up. Swearing profusely, I arranged to meet at Starbucks in Marylebone High Street, instead, which I dimly implied was somewhere opposite Baker Street tube station.
Only it isn't.

I hurtled out of the house towards the station at a billion miles per hour, leaving a trail of destruction and forgotten maps, telephones, cash, etc, behind me. Didn't even realise why that might be a problem till Bond Street, about an hour later.
As I began to finally wake, the red mist cleared enough to remember that Regent's Park is the stop for Marylebone High Street, that it's a good half an hour's hike from Baker Street, that an arsey neighbourhood meant coffee shops with no easily visible signs outside, in fact that the only reason I thought that Starbucks to be any sort of landmark at all was that I tended to turn a sharp vehicular right past the leather sofa on my way to my secret cheap parking spot in Spanish Place.
None of which is that obvious to someone without a car who doesn't live in the capital. Whom you can't contact by phone because of course you don't write your phone numbers down anywhere, you'll always remember your damn mobile.

I waited an hour in the cafe with no sign in a street a good half an hour from where I'd asked her to get off the tube. Stretching my reality-deprived synapses as far into logic as I could I realised that if you walk directly ahead from Baker Street, there is, in fact, a Starbucks. Groaning ensued.

I dashed towards the other Starbucks - the only phone number I could remember was my parent's, and that was tenuous, as they never listen to their answerphone. Recalling the vague mention of the Wallace Collection, I realised that it was halfway between the two cafes, and desperately dived in there to see if serendipity could give me a fucking goddamn break for once.

My experiences with head honcho at the Ritz had encouraged me to believe that if I spilled the whole sorry tale to the museum security guard, at worst, I'd end up a heritage industry anecdote, so I did my best. "Has anyone who looks a bit like me been in?"
It wasn't the most humiliating. Just close.

But by the time I'd done a fast cycle of the entire Collection to make sure, and realised that writing a quick blog in the visitor's book (another embarrassing moment becomes a matter of public record, huh?) weren't the most effective sister-tracing decisions I'd ever made, she walked in the doors. Only mildly furious, in fact, given that I was effectively three hours late, and had been within a whisker of giving up and going home.

So spending the day tramping dourfaced past limitless number of renaissance paintings, getting wet, sulking through a torpid I-Max cartoon about Big Haired Rock Musicians who get Haunted by their Mothers, then taking her out to the wilds of Sainsbury's New Cross - that will all have restored amity and fellow feeling. Made up for my egregious wrongs. No, no, I'm sure.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: 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."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 3:23 PM BST
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Avril Ravine

Topic: Eurotrash

A Friday in April:
Insulted many people at genericjob by asking them to do pointless crack-papering tasks way below their capabilities - was surprised to note that they really enjoyed the lack of pressure, and I ended the day laden with easter eggs, chocolate gifts, impromptu cards secretly bought at lunchtime, and bottles of wine. Jeez, I should lower everyone's standards more often.
Then I realeased Martin from his Penge prison, to go look for the dinosasurs in Crystal Palace. Buggered if I could find anything even worth looking at, let alone rubber dinosaurs, so we loafed for about three different rush hours in my favourite battered leather window sofa in Cafe Ponce. Was fab, really fab to sit and stare at people walking past, in the sunshine, with just enough patch of blue to throw your mind into.

A Saturday in April:
Went to meet Toulouse before Duch's big (cough)tieth birthday dinner. I was about 45 minutes late, which considering he came from France, is a little unforgiveable. We met in a cafe basement in Bumboy Street (Tybalt always used to aver this was a homophobic name for it, but I disagree), but as I'd decided to exercise my short sighted eyes by wearing spectacles as little as possible, I first spent time in the wrong cafe, then in a men's basement toilet, then when I finally found the right location, accosted the first reading student I saw with a very familiar forearm stroke, accusing him of being Toulouse. I all but broke into a hug. He looked so shocked and horrified that I was halfway across the place, backing away before I realised Toulouse was actually sat next to him.
Like, duh.
I've documented the rest of the evening. Venison goulash combined with jaw grinding rage, politely suppressed. Quite fun, actually.

Best Blo'te of the Century So Far: Light From an Empty Fridge
(bears a longer quotation than usual, because, typically, it's brilliant)
"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.
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.
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."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 2:42 PM BST
Updated: Friday, 25 June 2004 3:00 PM BST
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April Revisited

Topic: Lactose Incompetent

Do you know what? There are posts I forgot to put on the blog way back in April. I was feeling better tempered then. Happy Easter.

A Thursday in April:
Visited the Ritz to see the head honcho on the door. Many enjoyable chats ensued with chaps in full uniform - white gloves through their epaulettes, pillbox hats - people who'd worked there for thirty seven years. Listened to tales of opening doors for the Queen, for Thatch, of turning celebs away for the crime of wearing jeans, and took tea with the head waiter in the Palm Court. Honcho arranged for me to take a tour of the rooms - it was taken as a given that I'd be curious - who wouldn't be? Most suites at the bottom end of the price range were as large as my flat, frankly, and although Green Park is a depressing vista, gold bidet taps would help soothe the disappointment, I'm sure. I didn't get to see the #1,900 a night Berkeley Suite, but was assured that the gold leaf on the walls and ceilings was both real and a bugger to clean.
I also wandered into IBM's training centre on the way home, to be reassured that all the hardware that my bosses have spent #50K on last year is of 'limited functionality'. Cue bitter laugh, and forgiveness felt towards Sarcastic IT Guy, who hasn't fixed my PC since last January (I fell behind on my toadying duties).
In the evening, continued a row over keys by phone with Tybalt, while going out to what looked to be a junior doctor's pub in London Bridge, if cheaply cut M&S suits are anything to judge by. Did perfectly well for hours then fucked it all up by binking dreer. Dammit. Funniest line of the evening (that appealed particularly to my massive self absorption, of course) "Are you exceptionally girlish and flirtatious, or are you drunk?"
Repeated this line to Toulouse on Saturday, accompanied by impersonation of self in the moments before said line; "for a moment there you looked like Vanessa again". Not sure if this is a good or a bad thing, or just shows that I never go to Paris without getting wrecked.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: 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."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 2:40 PM BST
Updated: Friday, 25 June 2004 2:45 PM BST
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Office Politics

Topic: Eurotrash

The run of bad luck continues.

Don't you just hate it when people walk into you, just assuming you'll get out of their way if they're bolshy enough? I try not to respond, but if they haven't mastered the art of walking in a world that contains other people yet, I draw the line at moving out of their way.

At a work lunch today, they not only reduced the size of the plates for their damn buffet (dirty trick! boo!), people would spend ages leaning over the cheese finger sarnies, choosing (oooh! cheese! or - ooh! wait a minute! other cheese!), and not letting me sidle past with my carefully constructed tower of cocktail sausages. So, in a damn mood, again, I decided I'd wait, but I'd not get out of their way, too, unless they asked politely. Passive aggressive, moi?

So the Head of Pointless Mumbling, on her third course already, decides to march up and into me aggressively, in the - vain - aspiration I'll step neatly out of the way of her superior firepower. Stupid old cow, her muzzle is drooping, and her ammunition is not what it once was. I'm not moving unless she speaks to me. What does she do? She shoves.
I can't believe a forty five year old woman has shoved me, throwing strawberries, cherry juice and cream all over me in the process. So she wouldn't have to say "excuse me".

I look down, at the spoon and dish still hanging from my white and pink pinstripe jeans, clinging on by cream stickiness alone. I don't speak. The Head of Pointless Mumbling begins to berate me. "It got caught in your scarf" she says, in lieu of an apology. I have a striped blue scarf tied at hip level. When I inspect it, there's a sticky red spoon now embedded in its folds. I know I'm tall, but for her to be carrying her dessert at hip height is ridiculous. She defensively asks for her spoon back.
I remove it and throw it onto the dinner table. Then sigh. The jeans are ruined.
In typical bitchy older woman style, she offers me a fresh spoon. "Don't worry about it," I say. (I so love the moral high ground, can't you tell?) The damage is done - anything else is just making the old cow feel better.
"No, here, you can use it to scrape the fruit off."

What is it with women in the generation above me, anyway? They've been like this since school. Competitive. Bitchy. Up themselves. As if someone's videoing them and counting the score. As if apologising for acting like a dickhead would lose them a weeks' bonus points.
I dunno what I've done to fuck her off, but I kind of suspect it's something along the lines of exist, be younger than her, not care too much about her obsession with her own authority, not pay obeisance.
Fuck this crap at work. I hate office politics.

I may have fruitshit all over my trousers, but I know how to make way for others and I know how to open my mouth and apologise when I fuck it up for people.

Footnote: I'm probably only really ranting because then I fell asleep in front of the England v Portugal match, and dreamt I was Nadia from BB, taking penalties. Don't even go there, there's nothing good or fruitful in those few moments of delirium.
Blo'te of the Day So Far: 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."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 12:52 AM BST
Updated: Friday, 25 June 2004 1:34 AM BST
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Wednesday, 23 June 2004


Topic: Hurtling to Obscurity

I didn't mean to blog again today, but I have to fucking externalise, or I'll end up knocking on neighbour's doors to tell them to fuck off, like I did all my colleagues' offices today. Yeah, right, calming down and going back and apologising, that was fucking fun.

Day started with cat puke all over the kitchen. Feh. I'm wise to that by now. You just wipe up the stuff on non absorbent surfaces, and step over the stuff that's soaked in. Damn cat was disgusted, and spent the day fastidiously ripping things up and tugging them into the kitchen to cover the old puke with. Me, I'm not bothered. Houseproud? I can't even be bothered to look at the place I live in right now. It's just a shell, a cover from the rain. Soon as it's brighter, I'm moving on. Long as I don't step in it, it's not my concern. And I wonder why those subsequent dates are so hard to come by.

Next, I ripped a chunk out of my cheekbone. I've got one of those cuts that's dark, still opens a bit, like a stab wound, and is dark - too dark. More blueish purple than blood coloured, just so you know there's muscle under there, and it's half way to hanging out. I woozily took my concussion off to the nearest nurse and gained twenty minutes of numbing ice pack, which I then felt guilty for bleeding all over, then get back to work, love, we've decided you're covering all the extras today. Clients all pointed at the weeping gash, and red blush spreading across one side of my head and asked what I'd done to myself. Yup, they got the entire story. I asked them to let me know if blood ran down the side of my face, and they helpfully agreed.
The cut's right on the edge of my cheekbone, so apparently, I won't get noirish panda eye in the morning, but the right side of my face is already lifting off from the skull and sponging itself outwards in a pink swollen mass. The extra plumpness and blush went through a moment or two of actually looking quite attractive, although the contrasting deathly pallor and unfocussed gaze of the left hand side doesn't really help. And I suppose the open wound on the bone line is less Princess Fiona, more Shrekish.

Staggering about with my head injury, I was more than delighted to give up all my tea and lunch breaks to deal with the client overspill from Uber-Boss's pisspoor planning. And it was just yummy that my own appointments were supplemented by Hippy Boss sending me a coachload of Russians who'd come to see how 'differently' we do things over here.
A coachload of Russians.

I mean, we all have bad days, right, we all have the odd accident that gets triplicated and magnified till we feel like shit. But a coachload of Russians is no fair.
A coachload of sodding Russians is rubbing salt into the wound then pissing on it.
Take the worst day you've had this month, go over it in your head, then try to imagine a scenario in which adding a coachload of bloody fucking Russians would ease the strain. You get me?

No matter how many panicky memos I sent scrawling 'I don't think this is the right place for them to be, hint hint', 'do you really want visitors to see this shambles?', or 'I had no warning for this!', 'take them away early, at least', they were all greeted with a strangely Dystopian scribble 'they have no agenda; please accept them.'
It can't have been in anyway instructive for the Russian hordes, either - unless they have #7K worth of technology available in every office back home, there's no way they could reproduce what I was doing. Although judging from the cherry red elastic jumpsuits, heavy gold chains and inexplicable gold vaseline-shimmer smears across the bridge of each Russian's nose, they may possibly do it with more style.

So now I have to blog it all out like a bloody saddo, 'cos I find out now that one of the things of being single is there's nobody there to say 'oh you fuckwit', or 'oh shit, you didn't?', or even perhaps 'yeah, you're right, that looks like it needs stitches'.

I didn't tell you how I cracked open my cheekbone, did I? Oh the usual fuckwit simpleton style stupidity. I slammed a car door on my face.

I'm my own bloody court, judge and jury, I am. And a hanging judge at that.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: 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?!?"

This page graced by sarsparilla at 5:15 PM BST
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I Don't Even Drink, I Can't Explain It

Topic: Yidaho

yidaho says:
i'll have to buy some shite bread tomorrow
yidaho says:
and crap margarine
yidaho says:
what's the worst?
yidaho says:
Vanessa says:
Everyone where I live chucks their old bread out the window
Vanessa says:
no, lard
yidaho says:
yidaho says:
i'm not making lard!
Vanessa says:
yidaho says:
i'll use vaseline instead
Vanessa says:
make it into bread and butter pudding
Vanessa says:
Vanessa says:
pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease make a hair sandwich
Vanessa says:
it'll be so funny
yidaho says:
i dont know how
Vanessa says:
stick a load of hair into some bread and photo it
Vanessa says:
i f I had enough hair, I would do one now
yidaho says:
yidaho says:
maybe in the morning, eh?
Vanessa says:
it won't seem funny then
Vanessa says:
i can guarantee it
Vanessa says:

yidaho says:
yidaho says:
so.. two bits of bread..
yidaho says:
with hair between
Vanessa says:
simple but disgusting
yidaho says:
yidaho says:
Vanessa says:
unless you want mine to hurry up and grow
yidaho says:
if i don't have to use butter i could
Vanessa says:
ugh! no butter
yidaho says:
Vanessa says:
you'd have butter on your hair
Vanessa says:
and that would be a bad thing
yidaho says:
Vanessa says:
and don't actually eat it, either
yidaho says:
yidaho says:
yidaho says:
2 mins
Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: 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."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 12:46 AM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 23 June 2004 12:57 AM BST
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The Worst Thing

Topic: LondonLifer

There's a large, unsightly, pus filled, red crater oozing from beneath the liquid skin on my lower calf.

That's not the worst thing.

The worst thing is when you dash out a list of preliminary blog notes in a quiet rural cafe in the high peaks of the Pennines, while a schoolboy on minimum wage keeps the cream teas flowing, then do someone a favour, and hand them, along with the notes they asked for, a page of unproofed, undeveloped, hard-drafted blog ideas.

What they might make of 'I really like my arse. It's my favourite body part' is anybody's guess.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: 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."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 12:16 AM BST
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