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Friday, 23 July 2004

How lucky am I


Topic: Casino Avenue


I got to thinking about how lucky I am.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stolen. Told you I was lucky.

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

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

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

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

Fuck.

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

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

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

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

The tension! The cruelty! The drama!

This page graced by sarsparilla at 1:26 PM BST
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Thursday, 15 July 2004

Beckham's Balls


Topic: Casino Avenue

News just in from Tristan about Beckham's bollocks:

Unbelievable!

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

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

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

It is about his bollocks, isn't it?


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Vanessa/Female/31-35. Lives in United Kingdom/London/East London/Bow, speaks English and German. Spends 40% of daytime online. Uses a Normal (56k) connection. And likes Literature / Movies/Food / Eating / Drinking.
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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the best pretty good okay pretty bad the worst help?


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This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:47 PM BST
Updated: Friday, 15 April 2005 12:36 AM BST
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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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Tuesday, 8 June 2004

Outdoors


Topic: Casino Avenue

It's been a whopping temperature high of Muggy here today, doing a nice sideline in Stuffy and Humid.

No air con where I work, are you kidding me? If you've seen either my work blog or my moblog, then you've seen the third world state of my office kitchen area; we're not even allowed to purchase fans, and offices generally contain thirty souls, plus hardware. In a darkened, airless room I had to lean over the back of a fearsomely heated monitor to give a presentation today - and then they complained about the handwriting on my discussion notes!
Fuckers were lucky they didn't get a bleared, lumbering monitor impacted in the side of a sweaty red cheek.

Indoors, the heat reached its crest of still, damp and inert; I existed, conserving effort beyond the attempt to stand in poses where the least amount of grubby dark fabric touches overheated skin.
Outside there were irregular drafts of feebly thermal air. The pollution hangs or the pollen drifts, and everybody's eyes are red raw or streaming pain. I've never seen so much pollution allergies - the shelves in the blessedly cool and white chemists are bare of anti histamine products, and most people in the city are on two or three times their RDA.
Lads in South East London with only minorly grey and flaccid pot bellies feel disencumbered, and bare them above garish sweat pants rolled to the knee, chain puffing on a dusty fag as they amble through exhaust fumes. Lacklustre leaden flesh constrasts against the gold of the neck chains, and the faded blue tattoos of a body that works outdoors. Nobody gives the slightest fuck if you think they look like a chav, mate.

The fat lady with the five children on the corner of the estate had hefted out a fleshy armchair to sit in comfort on the baking concrete step and watch the kids water battles. The chair is overpadded, corpulent, new, wrapped in industrial plastic. The thought of that film sticking and tearing away from blotchy swollen legs left me hotter than anything.
I ducked into a designer boutique, desperate to feign indecisive pauses in front of their tall fans. Pre-menstrual purchases glower. Neon pink striped satin jacket, bum-skinning italian jeans I have to peel up over my clammy swollen thighs. In the cool dressing room mirror, inflamed ruby eyes bleared back at me.

I need salt to cope with this. My dank, cool basement flat with a freezer full of iced fizzes had never looked so filthily welcoming. I'm sat burning saline into my tongue, blogging my way through vinegar crisps, caviar (an affectation I can't crack), chocolate chip and Marmite cookies. Tempted to lick the rock salt crystals in the salt grinder.

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

This page graced by sarsparilla at 7:03 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 8 June 2004 7:20 PM BST
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Saturday, 29 May 2004

Good Things


Topic: Casino Avenue


A few weeks ago, travelling across country with Suprnova and Circe, I noticed that when things break, other people get frustrated. Since October, so many things have broken so many times for me (moving house, finalising my queer divorceage, breaking car, phone, head, heating, computer, etc), that I realised I've finally managed to develop the fatalism about Bad Things that all Buddhists strive for.

Well, sort of. I dunno if 'of course it broke everything breaks' is entirely as enlightened as it should be.

Anyway, this weekend, the six month curse of everything always going wrong lifted temporarily. It was such a shock, I realised the fatalism had become permanent - I actually never expect anything to go right any more.

  • I rang my mobile company about the mike on my phone not working, and they sent me a new one, free of charge, right away. You can ring me now!

  • It's a bank holiday weekend, and I have 4 days off work.

  • I found the missing rubber tip that goes under the A key - wedged it back in with spit (and cat hair), then slammed the key in hard on top. It's permanently depressed, but now if I smash it with my pinky, I get a letter A! Yay!

  • Big Brother this year has started, and it's entirely gay people. Well okay, there's one or two straight people in there, but you can tell they're beleaguered already. Okay, this in itself would only please a weirdo like me, but they're also loud, argumentative gay people, thus ensuring more fights than last year. Good good (and Victor to win).


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

This page graced by sarsparilla at 8:51 AM BST
Updated: Sunday, 30 May 2004 11:38 PM BST
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Tuesday, 27 April 2004

Diary of Joseph Price, (1752-1828), Quaker Farmer, Innkeeper, Undertaker, Militiaman, Diarist, Saw Mill Operator, Milestone
Topic: Casino Avenue



26th Wind N W & fine day at work at Mill Lobb helping. turnd from Double Gear to Single as it was at first 1 qt Whis 1s6 So

27th Wind N W. of[f] soon at Rees's back to breakfast, then of[f] to Mill & Got it to Go again it appears to Go very Slow but take's much Less water & goo Strong, afternoon Holgate Runing Yerkus s Lot, and 2 acres for Sister Jane & Rebecca, he Run it over on me further than Ever it was before

28th Wind N.W & Rather Cool to be pleasant Disbury plowing with the Widows horses for me in Meadow geard up Bulley & Poney & plow them all Day or till we finished the first time he was tryd

April 29th 1804 Wind S W two or 3 Light Showers before noon with thunder to W, I at Rhudolph Sibleys the Elder, he very Ill Will dye Alley Roberts their Making his Will but they Left it too Late I think he did know me, I think he is dying or Cant Live but a few hours, he made his Mark & we witness it So home at Rees Price Eat & Drink their & so home, then with Morris to Jacob Latch he pd. him on Judgment against Saml. Jarvis 21L 9s9d So home Got Prety Cool, this being first day

30th Wind W fine day at Rees Morn Sanders their Turning Trimers I helping to fix the Centers, John Wilson here I sup with him, then back to Rees's again, then of[f] at the request of Saml Evans to his house, Concerning Some Dispute between him & one hunt a Constibill [constable] that Lives in town they his wife had paid the Money & they had Gone or I would been his bail, I home by Youngs he not at home, Stopt to See Willson he very Sick, home spent 111/4Evening at Wilsons again Yerkus along back

Source

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Saturday, 24 April 2004

Ghost in the Machine


Mood:  surprised
Topic: Casino Avenue

I know it's actually in itself a compliment that someone should want to, but does anyone else feel like someone's walked across your grave when you notice that someone is busy reading your archives?

[Pssst! The whole blog is archived in text format over to the left, without comments or that annoying sitemeter box that takes an age to load - if you prefer to download, read it offline, and in the right order, my sitemeter won't prickle the back of my neck about it. :D ]
[ P.S. Before anyone gets para, there was more than one person reading. I was imagining them communicating: 'oh holy crap, she's moaning about her gf again' / 'here, look, she's posting up pictures of her dinner now' / 'man this girl likes taking photos of cats', etc ]

Turn Off TV Week ~ I'm spending a week living an imaginary life as a couch potato, to see if it's any more fulfilling.

Daily Selection: I might have watched ~

1. 7pm, C4, Russia: Land of the Tsars ~ Exploring Russia's royalty, beginning with profiles of Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great. It's been becoming increasingly embarrassing that my entire knowledge of Russian history has been derived from watching the bloke cavort on Boney M's song 'Ra Ra Rasputin'. This must be corrected, and quickly, before anyone realises I was making it all up.
2. 9pm, C4, Sex, Secrets and Frankie Howerd ~ A look behind the public persona of the troubled comedian. I quite like finding out that all the big comedians are manic depressive paranoiac lunatics - it makes me feel better about the jammy bastards finding it so easy to crack a joke. Howerd should be particularly good - sixties era, he should have an anecdote or two about Hancock, Sellers, Sid James and the like.
3. 10pm, C4, Rod Hull: A Bird in the Hand ~ Documentary profiling the turbulent life of Rod Hull, who with his anarchic emu puppet, became a top-ranking star of British showbusiness and a multimillionaire. The programme details both his enormous success and his subsequent downfall, and the life he led before his premature and tragic death. See what I mean? A premature and tragic death. What more could we ask of a family comedian?
I had an emu puppet toy as a kid - the thing is meant to go for anyone at the throat as Hull tries to hold a conversation. Brilliant. There IS no other toy that licenses - nay, encourages - you to viciously attack and punch other kids and even (especially) adults. Not to do so is to desecrate the spirit of the puppet. My dad rued the day I got that damn bird. And Rod always had a better fake plastic arm than any mere ventriloquist.
Verdict: Well, I'm stunned. Stunned that there's actually anything at all watchable on any of the five channels on a Saturday night, in an era when even the broadcasters admit the programming on offer is so execrable that the vast majority of viewers are renting a dvd or replaying a video. And it's all from channel four, the minority taste channel that tried to become populist, missed, and just became supine. Well done, mate. Still not unmissable, though.

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Sunday, 18 April 2004

interim


Topic: Casino Avenue

Too busy gritting my gums and fighting the good fight against insomnia to blog. I seem to manage to sleep at night now if I break off to wander around the flat/read/watch movies every three hours. During the daytime is fine, I can sleep like a stone, but as my eight days of holiday finish tomorrow I have to be up at six for genericjob, and for hippyboss' hour and a half long morning meeting (she bribes us with crap tasting croissants). Eek, I'm going to see daylight for the first time in most of a week tomorrow. What if I melt?


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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.

Rate Me on BlogHop.com!
the best pretty good okay pretty bad the worst help?


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See the books I've read on my Bookshelf at BookCrossing.com...




i say, "FUCK!"

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Vote for this site at Freedom Forum


This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:32 PM BST
Updated: Thursday, 22 April 2004 9:55 PM BST
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Saturday, 10 April 2004

Safe


Topic: Casino Avenue

I believe that where you feel safe in the world is very much an instinctual thing, and rarely corresponds to actual risk.
I once sweet talked a bus driver, who'd finished his route, into going a little further and dropping me at my east end home, rather than cross the five lane junction. It was only idleness or at least weariness that prompted me to ask, and I was pretty surprised he'd agreed. It soon dawned on me that he thought I'd requested an extension to my journey because I was frightened.
'How can you stand to live somewhere so dangerous?' he asked, as he drove me home in a gigantic red juggernaut (police cars and ambulances aside, the most dangerous vehicle on the roads, if you ask me).
'Aren't you scared? I would never walk around safely in an area like this.'

Fact is, my presence in the area was one of the effects of yuppification. Too mediocre to own expensive things*, I was always going to be bobbing on the surface of any 'ghetto', and never going to be a target for violence like the never-mixing black, asian, and working class white congregations were.
[* I'd like to identify with the moneyed classes of St Katharine's Docks, Wapping, Canary Wharf, etc, but reality intrudes: the one time I was burgled, the police officer consoled me with the words 'with all due respect madam, there's nothing in your flat that anyone would want to steal']

A friend who'd grown up in the slightly more violent area of Whitechapel had been stabbed in the street there a few years back. Yet he regarded my area as too violent to hang out in. Having seen a daylight stabbing in Whitechapel myself, I thought the reverse to be true, but was disabused: 'Bow's more dangerous than Whitechapel, because the violence is under the surface there,' he assured me.
I deduced that personal safety must be something nebulous; I'd never felt unsafe in Bow; ergo it wasn't unsafe.
Compare and contrast to Bromley by Bow where I was once conned into getting into a strange van and had to plead to be let out, where I've glimpsed dancing figures around forty foot bonfires in the centre of what were meant to be tennis courts, where the local authority housing is infested with rats and children are covered in open cuts and scars, where the yuppies in the local private gated community actually run to the local station in the mornings, resolutely staring ahead, away from the cars with broken windows. I'd rather be boiled in oil than wander around there alone after dark, but the yuppie flats there are selling like, um, hot flats, whereas mine markets as more of a sort of stodgy, unwanted tapioca pudding. (dead metaphor alert)

Sydenham on a dark boozy Saturday night feels dangerous. There are gangs of loudly chatting youths in dark driveways and alleys, who deliberately exaggerate their gestures as you pass. Cars hurtle up and down the hill at improbable speeds, and traffic signs become more of a guideline than legally binding. People bundle out of kebab shops and offies running or shouting, and you try not to look too closely to find out why.
Most of the streets are deserted, but the Chariot cafe on the high street has a different middle aged couple (feasting on coke and roast chicken dinner) in the window seat every weekend. It's tempting to sneer, but hell, they're the ones eating a large meal, with someone, looking perfectly happy under neon strip lighting with a wipe clean menu to peruse, and you're beyond the glass walking slightly too fast as you pass, huddled under a hat that looks white when you nervously glance at the CCTV screen, so who's the idiot?
The lady who owns the beauticians is alone there every night, sat at the nail bar, over bleached hair looking vulnerable in the last bright circle of light. She looks nervously at an open doorway in the rear of the shop as you pass, where a bulky tattoed line of defence may or may not emerge.
You begin to notice the cars, slowing as they come level to you, that have passed three times now, and that out of the two middle aged women on the street, one's slack face holds dark pinpricks of wasted, unseeing eyes, and the other: is she leaving the late night grocer, or is she being thrown out? She has the smooth cheeks and the too attentive posture of the mad. That leaves you, and the kids at the crossing with the cans and the plastic bags. And the car that you might have seen before, turning in the street ahead.

Safety's a purely nebulous, instinctive thing. I feel safe here, but I have bars on the windows, a video entry phone, casement locks, and I draw all the curtains when I leave.
It seems unnecessary to me, right now, but it would take just one incident for those bars to feel more like they're penning me in than keeping others out.
So I'm holed up in my beige basement, and I'm not going out tomorrow. I have a roast to cook (never done that before), I have the entire series of Roots to watch (never done that before), and I'm not so sarcastic about jatb's apocaplyptic theories to actually go looking for trouble (she pointed out that after 9/11, 3/11, tomorrow's 4/11, it's a big religious festival, this is London; come off it, I've seen enough horror movies to know when not to push my luck).
It's me, a dead bird, and Alex Haley from hereonin.
"When you clench your fist, no one can put anything in your hand, nor is there anything you can pick up" Omora Kinte

Happy Easter.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:28 PM BST
Updated: Sunday, 11 April 2004 3:52 AM BST
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Wednesday, 7 April 2004

interim


Mood:  accident prone
Topic: Casino Avenue

Um, sorry. I will blog today. Honest.

I know it's half two in the afternoon, but I've been busy, I've been crapper on every possible front than anyone will ever believe (involving the bright idea of blogging in the visitor's books of aristocratic houses, and culminating in me wandering, bedraggled, into museums in central London and asking the security chap to listen to my story and find me a sister), and I only just woke up, an all.

Although, after all my pontificating about blogs, community, netiquette, cliques and honesty, some things have made me laugh. The hordes of cliquey comments on here, for one (yay).
That fabulous blog I found that's been going for two weeks, and likes to blog which blogs have been getting shit lately and are evicted from his favourites, for two. I quote from Jessica Asche, Will You Marry Me:

Have you noticed that when a blogger gets a book deal, their blog instantly sucks?

Dropped from my bookmarks today: this and this and this and this.
Several others are in danger of being dropped soon.
(Me and tittybiscuit are both in decline, apparently, although unlike me, tittybiscuit actually made his links in the first place - but notice also that we both supercede Noam Chomsky in the list of doom; way to go, hon).
Now that's the sort of pisstaking honesty I like in a blog. Jessica Asche, marry me, not him.

What I particularly love about my new, hyper cool, hyper fun, hyper funky, site meter, though, is the musical live time alerts of who's reading the blog. And it turns out the Travelling Welshman is still with us after all. Coooee!

More later. We swearsssss.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 2:29 PM BST
Updated: Thursday, 8 April 2004 3:03 AM BST
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Friday, 12 March 2004

Somnambulent


Topic: Casino Avenue

I can't keep my eyes open. Literally, I find myself practically in a foetal position on Pink Nasty, blogging from a laptop leaned against one raised knee, as my nostrils beocome dry and parched, my breathing grows irregular, and somewhat rasping, and my eyes don't so much close as blink rapidly light beatingly sideways - flashing their new invisible alligator lids, for periods of around twenty ... um ... winks.
My chin sinks into my chest like an eighty year old, and jerks up alarmingly as if I were still sixteen, and this were still the first hot minute of the first slow dry faint of my life, still trapped in the sunny spot on that first ten hour bus journey home from a bone shatteringly lively hippy nudey festival.
Blink.
I'd arrived home from the cinema in a snowed over black cab at midnight, cold, romantically blustery, dark, with a cosy eiderdown awaiting me. So I've no idea what possessed me to stay up till three, then get up at five to go to work early.

In fact the utter redundancy of turning up at my Friday office to work at that ungodly, criminal hour was emphasised when I ran into an ex-client on the way in. She cast a shadowed bruised looking lid over me and said: 'I have personal issues at the moment. That's why I'm here early today, and why I've been staying so late. I'd rather be here than home right now. So what's your problem?'

It's a little embarrassing to just say 'procrastination' faced with a dramatic intro like that.

Every time I listen to my self breathe, or watch my chest rising and falling, I'm hypnotised again, and halfway there, into another realm where I don't have the slightest hope of control over things like lifting my neck, co-ordinating my fingers to type in sequence, plain old looking forward. Eyes closing ... blink. Blink blink.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 5:59 PM GMT
Updated: Friday, 12 March 2004 6:03 PM GMT
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Wednesday, 3 March 2004

Evidence


Topic: Casino Avenue
You know you're really ill when ....
You ring in sick to work, leave a message, and they ring you back to ask if you were actually speaking in English or not
When yidaho MSN's you, you refuse to believe it's actually her, and demand she text proof of her identity before you'll reply
You dream that peachykeenyboy has sent you to organise a work team bonding outward boundey thingy at the North Pole
Every time you speak it turns into a whinge
The phone rings next to your bed and it seems too far away to pick it up
Your hair is so greasy and dirty it's started to go all Alex Parks all by itself
When someone texts you, you put the phone to your ear and wonder why they aren't speaking
Footnote:
And when you take a few aspirin, you'll discover that (1) a raging fever really warms the place up, and (2) yidaho has spent all afternoon trying to push your raddled mind over the edge by sending repeated texts along the lines of 'it's in the orange airing cupboard', 'beneath a polo mint', and 'which?'


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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 3:49 PM GMT
Updated: Saturday, 6 March 2004 3:43 AM GMT
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Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Povvy


Topic: Casino Avenue
Some of the older, forty plus, women at work were comparing their lifestyles to those of their mothers. Marvelling at the fact they could remember washing done on a washboard, and then put through a mangle. At how their parents did without dishwashers, yet they've become essential timesavers in their own lives, to the extent that none of the women present could imagine doing without them.
I thought about how quickly things from previous decades date. We got our first trimphone in the eighties, but only had two people to phone with it. It was years before we got a (VHS or Betamax) VCR, because we thought it was a passing trend that wouldn't last. The finger crushing agonisingly stiff typewriter that you typed letters to the bank on, or the treadle table that the engraved Singer sewing machine fit into. I remember that you got taught to beat eggs with a whisk not a machine, to rinse hair with beer or orange juice, to cross out a mistake neatly, to use your carbon layer twice, and make puddings with leftovers.

I listened to the conversation, sniffling slightly in my four sweaters, my chair carefully positioned nearer the heater than theirs, but I didn't say anything. I couldn't contribute to the wonder at how far we've come, because your perspective switches incredibly rapidly if it's taken away. It's not the march of history or inevitable progress, because it only needs one or two little changes for you, here, now, to lose a lifestyle that you really made assumptions about.
As they talked about their dishwashers and washer driers and SUV cars, it brought it home how far removed my life has become from convenience and dishwashers, from yuppie smug success and that feeling of entitlement - in one fast month.
I was stopped from speaking out by a combination of poverty (the bank has cancelled my debit cards, I have lost my cheque books), cold (my flat's 'economy' heating system means it's warm at four in the morning, the rest of the time I have to sit here in scarf, hat, gloves, hoodie and blanket, and still my nose goes numb), pain (my car's still broken and there's no money to fix it, or to get transport, so I have to walk everywhere, which - being a delicate flower - means my feet have metamorphosed from lily white soft callouses into bloodied, blistered, raw gaping messed up wounds, and walking anywhere hurts), stench (no hot water to bathe in except at 6am, no washing machine to clean clothes in), and hunger (no money for food, have to fast at work, and eat the furry sprouting potatoes I brought from the last flat at night).
I didn't speak out - why? Was that shame? (and there I believed myself to be shameless) It's not exactly my fault this stuff is happening - living in two different places, paying two sets of bills has it's price.

Meh, cold does seem to make your brain work slower. It took me two weeks of sitting indoors under a blanket to figure out I could just go and buy an electric heater.
Cold, hunger, and pain make you sniffle and sleep with a hot water bottle stuffed up your sweater for longer than you should. I feel ill. In fact, that's my excuse for such a whingey rant of a post. So you'll have to make do with a crappy whining post. Hey, I tried to hold off on the Oliver Twist overtones, here.

Interestingly, yesterday, when my feet were bleeding, and I took four hours in the frost to ride the cheap buses up East to switch the heating on in the old flat, because the estate agent said people viewing it felt chilly, which was a psychological disincentive for them, I 'spent' more money than I've ever spent in my life. I dropped the price of the flat by ten thousand pounds. Oh boy, was I in trouble for that one. But dammit, I can't live a long time like this, I need a rapid sale, and that won't happen if the place is overpriced.
It's odd, being poor after years of being fairly rich. I mean, I was poor twice before - as a kid in the seventies, before moving south, when we lived on factory land and thought everybody couldn't afford puddings (by eck, it were bitter in our cardboard box) and during four years as a student, when pride wouldn't ever allow me to go to my parents' house for a single vacation. But it's different being poor and, well, old. In a way.
Old as in, I'm not seven and willing to believe that the second hand colour telly we waited years for makes us millionaires. And old as in, I'm not twenty two and there's no way I'm doing ten crappy jobs shovelling the shit from someone else's poor service skills just so I have enough money for a travelcard.
And you know what else? Old as in, I have a credit card.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 9:59 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 2 March 2004 10:42 PM GMT
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