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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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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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Wednesday, 23 June 2004

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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Friday, 18 June 2004

Most Haunted

Topic: LondonLifer

Watching a documentary on people who have vivid dreams or walk / talk / move in their sleep, and I'm reminded that I used to be like that.
I often woke up in night terrors, or with strange bruises, or a partner informing me that I'd been chatting to them, and no memory. Looking at night vision footage of people in very disturbed dream states looks wild and unsettling - it's quiet a relief to realise the weird unnervingness of it all wasn't just a side effect of it happening to you. The worst thing is the slowness of waking up - with a really bad set of night terrors, you sometimes can't quite shake the feeling it was all so real even fifteen to thirty years later, I find.
I still recall a recurrent dream from when I was six years old, when (suddenly worries about posting this on a public weblog) I dreamt regularly that someone was forcing cutlery up my arse - knives, forks, spoons, as my family watched, uncaring. For weeks, it would alternate with the less memorable nightmare of brown bears chasing me through Hyde Park. I vividly remember the final sequence every time - of looking down at my buttocks (it's so vivid that I can remember the quality of the skin, the shape - wish my arse looked like that now) and seeing the skin distorted into the shape of the cutlery beneath, with the fork tines stretching the flesh almost to breaking point. I think even at six I knew this wasn't the sort of dream you talk about when you wake up.
(Another reason why the opening sequence of 28 Days Later is so freaky, is its captureness of that strange, unreal feeling that sticks around for so long after)

These days it never seems to happen - despite living in a dark basement flat surrounded by a family of foxes who howl and claw at the windows on a nightly basis (they had a taste of my cat once, and the memory calls to their stomachs, I think). Or perhaps it's just that there's no-one there to prod me and remind me that I need to shut the hell up if I ever want a leg over again.

One of the weirdest active sleep episodes I ever had was while staying for a week at Duch's house. I know Duch regularly has sleep terrors much like mine had been. Although the emotions experienced aren't what we'd call waking real, they're very real at the point of experience, and it's a heartbreaking thing to witness someone you love experiencing such horror.

She walks, talks and has conversations. At that point, so did I.
Four in the morning (is there any more desperately emotionally draining hour of the day to be awake?), Duch sleepwalked into the guest room, and screamed hysterically, sleep-seeing burglars in the room. I half awoke. In my narcoleptic state, I saw not Duch, but a primitive subhuman, crouching naked and screaming. I did the logical thing: sat bolt upright and screamed hysterically at the neanderthal at the door, who steadily morphed into a screaming Duch.
Which was nice for Tybalt. 4am, Lunatic either side.
Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Hackney Lookout
"Sat opposite a huge transvestite on the tube. Long blonde hair, tanned and cratered face, a pummeled nose: like an Aussi full-back on a hen night. Elbows held high, shielding eyes with a newspaper but highlighting legs like cabin logs."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 12:38 AM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 22 June 2004 11:13 PM BST
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Wednesday, 9 June 2004

Fuck, I've Bloody Gorn and Done It Now

Topic: LondonLifer

I have to take my laptop to be fixed tomorrow, and I'm not sure when I'm getting it back. I've tried blogging from my work PC, but as I justify rarely taking work home by working intensely without pause from the moment I get there till the moment I leave (early!), experience tells me I can whack out around 200 very ill considered words per two days, if I'm lucky. I don't know when the PC will be fixed (if they find out how many US tv shows I've been downloading imagining, possibly never), so for the next week or two, this is auf wiederschreiben from me. And a brazenly inscrutable stare from them.
That should see off the rest of the readers (what? You haven't noticed the campaign to be offensive? Started way back).

If your life is a gaping void of pfft without me, then have a dekkers at some of the ten Blo'tes of the previous fortnight, or the remarkable stuff on here or over there on the blogroll. They're all strong, opinonated ranters.

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

PS You want to guest blog? (That's me actually begging you, if you didn't realise)
E-mail me your post, (remember to include your URL so you get publicity!) and I'll whack it up here. Suggested topics - spiders, summer, magpies in puddles, driving like a lunatic, creases in your shirt, fat porky bellies, Watford, flip flops, penguins, pre-menstrual shopping choices, the shockingagic thinnifying mirrors in Oasis, body image, Derbyshire, buddhists, pikeys or music. That's all the posts I was going to write.

PPS How much do you bet they won't fix my Letter A problem?

This page graced by sarsparilla at 9:23 PM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 9 June 2004 10:53 PM BST
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Monday, 31 May 2004

txt msg frm ntrnt wrdo

Topic: LondonLifer

In the long and thumb numbing process of transferring old numbers to a new phone, it occurs to me that I should validate someof them by testing them. First ginger attempt at this procedure is Cheese, an ex girlfriend.
Message sent by user: Vanessa
Recipient: Sarah C M +44795!962*9!
Sent: 11:25:42 30.05.2004
Text: This still your mobile number, sarah? Love Vanessa

Sender: Sarah C M +44795!962*9!
Recipient: Vanessa
Sent: 11:37:15 30.05.2004
Text: who the fuk r u -- wat u want s this a jk

Message sent by user: Vanessa
Recipient: Sarah C M +44795!962*9!
Sent: 11:49:05 30.05.2004
Text: Erm, just checking this is still your number, cos I haven't seen you in 5 years. Vxx.

Sender: Sarah C M +44795!962*9!
Recipient: Vanessa
Received: 19:21:17 30.05.2004
Sent: Who in fucks name r u txt bk

Sender: Sarah C M +44795!962*9!
Recipient: Vanessa
Received: 08:26:39 31.05.2004
Sent: Wat u V txt bk
What do you reckon? You think my ex, a schoolteacher, a Literature graduate, is fucking with my mind by spelling like a moron?
You think this is a complete stranger, and the start of a long and beautiful relationship?
I so want to txt bk reply.

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

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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.

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This page graced by sarsparilla at 1:14 AM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 1 June 2004 7:30 PM BST
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Thursday, 27 May 2004

Sme LPHbet, fewer vowels

Topic: LondonLifer

My mn cts got into my lptop n they rippe up the keyborsxx. I trie putting the letters bck in the right pl\ce, but I'm relly not sure bout the "z" nd the "xxxszzxxxxxxxxxxx", which doubles up rndomly when it slides under the "s" nd jms the thing up.
The letter "d" does work, but rrely, the cpitl "I" opens lod of windows, but worst of ll, I've lost my letter " ".

You cn't even see wht dmn letter I've lost, becuse it's just not here.

I ws peeing my pnts lredy fter I got memo from Dozy IT guy, sying he wnted the lptop bck to virus check it. Oh fuck, I hve to delete ll the downloded progrmme, tv hows, movies, ll the emils, the dmn BLOGS, not to mention bout 5,000 digitl pictues tht I've never bothered to print out.
Now I hve to give it him for his once yerly check over, without dmn keybord.

If you get n mil from me with ny letter " "s in it, think yourself very bloody privileged. It tkes me hlf lifetime to go bck nd copy nd pste the letter " " in everywhere. There's no fucking wy on erth nyone's getting cpitl.

It wouldn't be so bd if I were clled Julie or something.

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

This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:45 PM BST
Updated: Friday, 28 May 2004 7:14 AM BST
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Thursday, 6 May 2004

Fish Snuf M*vie

Topic: LondonLifer

So I went to Whitstable, with Rose Madder, on Monday, and took my camera because I wanted to photograph dead fish. It was raining like a blood shower in a slashpic, and the cold gradually froze me over until I couldn't feel anything at all, and got giddy. My brain froze over the worst.

Rose Madder used to be a photographer of sorts, and I hoped I could pick her brain for ideas, although my main idea was to go to the fishermen's market stalls on the wharf where they sell the fresh catch, and photograph series of dead fish. Rose Madder's advice was to be brash, stick your camera in people's face when it's the right moment, and shoot, without worrying about etiquette or permission. She said they let go of the scruff of your neck eventually.

I couldn't do it - I got one snap of some cockles and mussels and chickened out. I resolved to take a series of pictures of fish that had died of natural causes, instead.
Meantime, the rain was barrelling down, and we ducked into a harbour pub to shelter, and eat oysters. In May. Wrong month to eat oysters (yeah, now you tell me that, old woman at work, now you tell me).
Feeling nauseated, queasy, bilious, tipping slightly to the left on bends, feeling rather at sea, I try to walk it off along the beach. The tide is out and I want to jump the scum on the waves, and see if I can get further out into the harbour than anyone else, so I can be King of the Beach. I want to skim a stone that goes further than three hops. And I want to find me a dead crab, a fish if possible; failing that, 700 digital close ups of seaweed bunches will do.
First beach I got to, I could not believe my luck. I found a wild fish, about two foot long, a handspan in diameter, died of natural causes. I snapped away like a paparazzi finding Becks' bidet occupied. Brilliant. I found a salmon!

I did mention the cold was freezing my brain over, didn't I? A salmon. Wild. Yeah. On the beach. There were other varieties, too. Plaice, Giant Crabs, Dover Sole, Lobsters. Died of natural causes. No embarrassment in photographing this lot in close up for hours.
I found three salmon, actually. I was lining em up to snap 'em and p'raps even pretend I'd been on a trawler and brought up the nets myself, when I saw one of them was wearing a barcode label.
It even took me a while longer to work out what creature had filleted all the flatfish so neatly. Or to look further up the estuary towards the back doors of all the Oyster restaurants lining the flood barriers.

In other news, Vanessa learns that eating bad oysters can be compounded if all subsequent meals mainly consist of chilli, tabasco, beans, and boiled eggs.
I am not pleasant company in any small, airless space right now.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:06 PM BST
Updated: Thursday, 6 May 2004 10:22 PM BST
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Saturday, 1 May 2004


Topic: LondonLifer

With apologies to anyone who's tried to talk sense to me this week.

On how to deliver a Killer Chat Up Line (conversation in a pub):
Martin: I never use chat up lines.
Me: You not only used to use them, you used to email them after to everybody with your success rate noted.
N/C: You have to be charming.
Me: Do you mean oily?
N/C: Amuse people.
Martin: Making someone laugh with a corny chat up line can work.
N/C: Yes, make her laugh, then wow her with your amazing personality.
Me: Wow her. With my ... personality. I was afraid you'd say that.
N/C: The most charming man I ever met didn't use chat up lines. He was friendly, rather like a playful labrador puppy.
Me: So when I meet her I should jump on her chest and lick her face.
N/C: That might not work so well now you mention it.
Martin: It would allow you an appropriate moment to ask about the handcuffs.

On how to Race To Lose Weight (conversation via text):
Yidaho: Did you get hold of any weighing scales yet?
Me: I managed to lose the key to my other flat, so I haven't picked them up. Still, I'm sure I've lost weight - my 'fat' clothes feel loose on me. But the normal sized clothes still provoke unsightly rolls of fat.
Yidaho: Then I've clearly won the competition
Me: No way. You haven't even mentioned that you lost any weight. How do I know you're not fatter?
Yidaho: I feel lighter when I jump.
Me: I bet I can jump higher than you. I win.
Yidaho: I was jumping with lead in my pockets. The beers are on you.
Me: Bollocks. I bet you've ballooned like Hedwig.
Yidaho: Ballooned is half right. Heck, I'm so light I have to be tethered to stay earthbound now.
Me: Beyond the bounds of realism there a tad. I'm going to blog you for this.
Yidaho: Bah... Fell for your evil plan to overcome your obvious blogstipation. *shakes fist* I'll get you back, I swear...
Yidaho: Mrs J.S. McCorkle?
Me: Bah.
Yidaho: Hah. 1-1.

On how to Prevent a Burglar from Entering the House (conversation via telephone):
Duch: This old drunken irish guy keeps turning up and wanting to do jobs in my garden. He says he's the last remaining emember of the Birmingham Four. I'm quite scared of him - he breaks everything.
Me: He's a convicted terrorist? You could tell him not to fix your garden.
Duch: Well he's terribly charming and articulate. He offered to mow the lawn, but mowed over the cable, then broke the lawnmower into pieces trying to fix it when he was too drunk to stand. Oh shit, that's him at the door now.
Me: What, now? This minute? That's a bit of a coincidence, isn't it?
Duch: Oh dear, he's banging on the door. I'm a bit worried he's going to break the door down.
Me: He's someone you barely know, you said. Why would he do that?
Duch: Should I answer?
Me: No, you're talking to me, not entertaining the local drunkery. You're on the phone.
Duch: He'll be awfully upset if he thinks that I'm ignoring him. I shan't answer. I'm in bed with no clothes on, anyway. But what if he can see the light from my bedroom?
Me: What if he can? You're not under an obligation to answer the door.
Duch: I don't want to seem rude. Oh no, he's still banging on the door. It's getting louder. I think he might break it down. I'm actually quite scared.
Me: Hang up and ring the police then, if you're that scared.
Duch: What if he breaks in? I'm too scared to hang up.
Me: You've got two phones - ring on the other one. They'll come over and tell him to stop banging on your door, and he'll get the message that you don't want to answer it right now.
(hammering sound increases)
Duch: Oh my god, he's breaking in! Oh my god!
Me: (silence)
(loud crash as door relents to pressure)
Me: Duch ... ?
Duch: (screams)
Bestmate: Why the *hell* aren't you answering the door?
Duch: BESTMATE! Oh my god! I'm so glad it's you.
Me: Oh for God's sake.
Duch: Ohhh, I thought it was the drunk Irish guy breaking down the door!
Bestmate: Do you think you can come outside and tell all your bloody stupid neighbours who are lined up in the street that me and Flamboyant aren't burglars? They're convinced we're breaking in.
Duch: Don't be silly, sort them out yourself. I'm on the phone to Vanessa.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 4:23 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 1 May 2004 8:00 PM BST
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Wednesday, 28 April 2004

Whatever you do, DON'T use this chat up technique

Topic: LondonLifer

Gullible Twat: Oh. Um, it's Vanessa.
Innocent Victim: Hi.
GT: Yeah, I met you the other weekend at < mumble mumble > ... and you said to phone you.
IV: So now you're phoning me.
GT: Yeah. So now I'm phoning you.
IV: Hi.
GT: Yeah.
IV: So ... how's your week been?
GT: I'm in a supermarket.
IV: Er ... what?
GT: Oh. Yeah, you know. Okay.
IV: Did you say you're in a supermarket?
GT: Yeah. How was your week?
IV: Fine, great. I've had a good week. You know?
GT: Erm, yeah, I'm in a supermarket. I ... er ... never mind.
IV: Right... So, what -
GT: I wondered if you wanted to go out sometime this weekend?
IV: Oh. Yeah. Erm ... sure. I'm busy. Bank holiday weekend. Looking after my nephew, out of London. What are you up to?
GT: Staying in London, as usual.
IV: As usual?
GT: Er ... yeah. Parks, forests.
IV: Parks are good.
GT: No they're not. Forests.
IV: Right.
GT: What about the weekend after?
IV: Oh. Well ... it's possible. I have more time then.
GT: Okay, so we'll meet. < mumble >day.
IV: Okay, yeah, that should be possible. ring me again next week, and we'll sort out an arrangement.
GT: An arrangement.
IV: Oh dear, I'm useless at making arrangements.
GT: Know what you mean. Yeah. So. < mumble >day, eight o'clock at the < mumble > Bar. We'll decide what to do after.
IV: Oh. Okay. Not this < mumble >day.
GT: No.
IV: Sure. Have you -
GT: Bye!
IV: Oh.

Disclaimer: in the case that anyone real ever finds this post, ever ever ever, I made it all up, alright?

This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:16 PM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 28 April 2004 11:46 PM BST
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Saturday, 17 April 2004


Topic: LondonLifer

Rarely does an online personality test freak me out so consistently as the one that decided I am a RANDOM BRUTAL LOVE MASTER.

I mean come on, would a RANDOM BRUTAL LOVE MASTER have a blog? And if they did, wouldn't there be frequent and disturbing recurrences of a vaulting horse, or horribly grown up versions of Cat's Cradle?


The Sudden Departure
Random Brutal Love Master (RBLMf)

Sweet. Dear. Loving. At Gate 18. Final call.

You are The Sudden Departure.

You've been in a lot of serious relationships. More than a few have ended ugly. Uglily. Whatever. Our guess is that you're a really fantastic girl who doesn't really know what she wants, and you've broken a few hearts as a result. You fall for people easily, and you enjoy the feeling of falling in love, but once you're there, either boredom or the old "grass is greener" syndrome sets in. The mind wanders, and with it goes the flesh. And then the toiletries.

Your exact opposite:
The Intern (Deliberate / Gentle / Sex / Dreamer)

We know you're not the classic "love 'em and leave 'em" type, at least not in a purely sexual sense. You have too many serious bonding tendencies for that. But even though you're theoretically looking to settle down, you don't settle long on one person. "Serial monogamist" is probably something you hear a lot. "Emotionally loose" is another way to put it. To the poor girls eating your dust and sniffing your panties, it doesn't really make much difference. Of course, it's not really your fault that people get hurt. You have every right to move on when you choose.

ALWAYS AVOID: The Intern, The Maid of Honor

CONSIDER: The Sudden Departure, someone just like you

Of course the reason I'm so fucked off about this is that they just might have a nugget of a nucleus of a thing, there. The bastards.
I blame wiffle wiffle, who tricked me into experiencing this horror.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 2:43 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 17 April 2004 3:06 PM BST
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Sunday, 11 April 2004

Nanna Knuckles

Now Playing: Rachmaninov, which is perhaps making the chicken assume a greater sense of importance than it should . . .
Topic: LondonLifer

Shyah, right, I can do this.

Simplest Roast Chicken

1 5-6lb chicken,wing tips removed

I read Devil in a Blue Dress, I know that wing tips are a jazzy type of men's shoe.
S'okay, my chicken came with feet ready removed, thank christ (oooh, topical!), no need to worry about footwear.

1 lemon -- halved
4 whole garlic cloves

I may have some of those things. I may have forgotten to use any of them, but the at the time, breaking into the Easter Egg early seemed more tempting than looking up a recipe. So yeah, they're still in the bowl, glowering uselessly at me. Oopsy.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter -- (optional)
Kosher salt to taste

Kosher salt? Is that, like blessed, or something? I don't even have a salt mill, I just hurl lumps of rock salt at things and remember to check before I swallow.

Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup homemade or canned chicken broth -- water,
fruit juice or wine, for deglazing

I'm not really sure what that is, but I once did a paint effect in bright red on my bathroom wall, and it ran down the tiles something dreadful. I had to paint them white when I moved out. I'm sure this experience will prove useful.

1. Place oven rack on second level from bottom. Heat oven to 500 degrees.

I really hope that's the same as 200 degrees. For the simple reason that 200 degrees is the temperature I cook everything, apart from toast. Can't be that different from a pizza.

2. Remove the fat from the tail and crop end of the chicken.

Remove the what? You mean where the chopped off head goes? Fuck off, I'm not touching that. I'm pretending this chicken never had a head, and you can't make me do otherwise.

3. Discard the neck and giblets or freeze for making chicken stock later. Reserve chicken livers for another use.

No you didn't. Rip its flakey neck flaps out?
The fuck you ... the neck?
Ohhh, you think I bought a chicken with it's bits intact. Cool, my no neck chicken is not the norm. Okay.
Shit, I hope there was nothing in a plastic baggy inside it.
I did think of checking, but it seemed rude to stick my hand in and see. I looked, but it was dark up there.

4. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the lemon, garlic and butter, if using. Season the cavity and skin with salt and pepper.

No bloody way am I putting anything up there. I picked the thing up and it felt like a dead woman's tit, I'm not putting my fingers inside it.
Oh shit, what if that ruins it? Maybe you need stuff inside to make it moist. Ack, it's only been in for an hour - that might make it less like raping a corpse to do it. Um. I'll try. Ready for a shafting, mister lemon?
What if my fingers get burnt? Stuff your hand up a half cooked hot chicken's arse, Vanessa. God, cooking is so prosaic.

Edit: I can't do it. I got it out, and I tried. Well, in the sense that I looked at its hole with dawning horror.
It will have to remain stuffed with a rapidly melting plastic bag full of sub edible offal, no lemon required. Firstly, it's hot, and I'm a wimp, secondly it's clammy, white, dead, and clammy, and I'm a wimp, thirdly, it's an arsehole. I ain't going to go there.

No chicken skin rubbing either - raw chicken skin always reminds me of my granny's fingers while she baked. Last time I saw her, she was in a coffin, and rubbing salt into this chicken's clammy flesh would just confuse the hell out of me. No. The answer is no. Hear me?

5. Place the chicken in a 12-by-8-by-1 1/2-inch roasting pan, breast-side up.

Like I said, I'm growing some cat grass in the roasting pan, inside a drawer in the living room. I'll have to use the grill pan. The rented flat grill pan. Ew. Some scrubbing required. Who knows whose sausages have been squirting onto that thing?

6. Put in the oven legs first and roast 50 to 60 minutes, or until the juices run clear.

The dead chicken wrapping said two hours. Shit. Which is true? Sarah said to baste it every ten minutes. For two hours? I'd never get any bathing done. And it's been a few days, I need a wash.
It's done one hour, so far, and it looks pretty raw to me. No bloody juices. I wonder if humans have juices? Well, apart from the obvious ones. Eww.

Does handling raw flesh always make you think about sex and corpses all at the same time? Butchers must be fucked in the head if that's true. Yeeuch.

7. After the first 10 minutes, move the chicken with a wooden spatula to keep it from sticking.

I tell you, it's an hour later and it's not even that warm, let alone sticking.

8. Remove the chicken to a platter by placing a large wooden spoon into the tail end -

Now I know you are kidding me...

- and balancing the chicken with a kitchen spoon pressed against the crop end.

You mean balance the entire chicken against two wooden spoons? Oh come on, you are having a bubble.

As you lift the chicken, tilt it over the roasting pan so that all the juices run out of the cavity and into the pan. Pour off excess fat from the pan and put the pan on top of the stove. Add the stock or other liquid and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom vigorously with a wooden spoon.

Okay, but I bought a pint of fresh chicken gravy in a microwaveable placcy jar.
I guess I'll just chuck it in if the 'vigorously boiled excess fat' looks too much like the plastic surgeons waste bin in Fight Club.

9. Let reduce by half. Serve the sauce over the chicken or, for crisp skin, in a sauce boat.

So where was the deglazing? What was the damn deglazing?

The Washington Post 12/20/95,from "Roasting: A Simple Art"

Says you.

Makes 4 servings

Or two day's meals if youre a total fucking glutton like me. I may need an emergency second Easter Egg, now.

Note from author Barbara Kafka: "If there is no lemon, garlic or butter on hand, Kafka says, roast the chicken without them. Or play.

I vote play. I have cats, I have string. Shall we play chase, or shall I just truss them now for boiling?

Use peeled shallots or a small onion, quartered. Add a couple of sage leaves or orange wedges.

Yah, yah, yah, I threw all sorts of weird vegetable shit in there with it.
One carrot looks like it's had a bad encounter with some anthrax, but otherwise the whole thing remains resolutely uncooked.

To avoid a smoky kitchen, be sure your oven is clean before you start and use the right-size pan."

Oh. I just opened windows. Can't I just open windows?

That was - why is my chicken still raw? Will it ever stop reminding me of my dead nanna's knuckles?

This page graced by sarsparilla at 5:42 PM BST
Updated: Sunday, 11 April 2004 6:09 PM BST
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Thursday, 4 March 2004

Topic: LondonLifer

This page graced by sarsparilla at 3:05 PM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 4 March 2004 5:43 PM GMT
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Wednesday, 18 February 2004

Obvious NoseJobs

Topic: LondonLifer
It irritates me. When movie stars have perfect noses ... just fourinches too smallfor their faces. Otherwise physically perfect, these midget noses make their eyes and cheeks look like satellite dishes. In a worst case scenario I'm irredeemably reminded of a beautiful woman morphing slowly into a boxer dog. What's wrong with a normal sized nose, anyway?

The Worst Defamers of the Pert Nostril

5. Kate Hudson
4. Gwyneth Paltrow
3. Keira Knightley
2. Charlize Theron
1. Julianne Moore

This page graced by sarsparilla at 2:43 PM GMT
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