Friday, December 29, 2006

Painfully time between Christmas and New Years

Painful not emotionally, but physically, soley due to eating too much roast pork, smoked salmon, m&m's, rolos, Christmas pudding, Christmas Mince Pie Ice cream, cream in general, roasted spuds, crackers, cheese and chorizo. Unfortunately, none of my pain was booze related, for I couldn't try as I might, muster up any desire to drink. I hope I'm not getting old.

I'm currently gripped in the horror of realising I've eaten too much over Chritmas and am now carrying a fair old chunk of holiday weight, right in time for a New Years Eve. And, as you can see from the following conversation, I'm taking it very, very seriously:

K: "So do you want me to bring over a curry or chinese take away for dinner tonight"
Me: (slightly indignantly) "Neither thank you very much. I'm trying to not eat too much before New Years, because I have to fit into a dress, so I intend to eat either very healthily, or nothing at all, for the next 3 days"
K: "Oh ok. Um.. Are you eating right now?"
Me: (Not so indignant now) "Umm.. yeah.."
K: "What are you eating?"
Me: (in a very small, embarrased voice) "Big slice of cold roast pork, wedge of stilton cheese and a couple of crackers"
K: "You sure you don't want a take away then?"
Me: (resigned) "Oh, go on, bring us a large fish and chip then"

I'm hoping to be back before NY's, but if not, I hope you had a lovely Christmas, and a fantastic New Years. I'm off to a hotel in Kensington with 15 good friends, dinner, dancing in a ball room, and the dress above that I might need to be sewn into because I've chubbed up a treat in the last week!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas party update

Yes, I had a fucking good time. Yes, I didn't care that I don't look like a supermodel. After many years of careful experimentation, this is my personal recipe for a fantastic night out, direct from me to you:
  1. heavy self medication on G&T's, red wine, and other fun drinks
  2. a free bar that lasts the whole night
  3. cheesy good time music
  4. dancing your arse off with guys who know how to twirl a girl round a dance floor
I ended up wearing a black halter neck top, black skirt, and some heals that for once didn't rip my feet to shreds, and despite my low self esteem, I actually thought I looked pretty good for once. Don't worry, that was just a passing phase :)

The only problem I had with the whole night was that I constantly kept losing my drink! I swear I kept leaving my drinks on various tables and I didn't just skull them. There must have been some cleaning fairies that would just sweep half drunk drinks off tables.. damn them!!

Out of 150 people in our company, our little group of 12 or so were the last ones left on the night, until we got kicked out of The Clink at 2.30 in the morning. And, as is natural, we all ended up in our house for a SingStar sing off.. One of our bosses and his wife came home with us, and as people were singing and drinking, he kept looking really bewildered at us asking questions like: how often do we do this? Do we practice? How do we know the words? and saying that he couldn't believe that people would go to someonse house for kareoke. I think he thought we were all really sad, until he tried it himself. And then we couldn't keep him off the microphones. Kareoke fun? Well millions of Japanese think so, and they can't all be wrong my friends. Our house really is the party corner of South East London. Not only can our neighbours not hear us, but we have more booze than god lying around our house. At about 5.30 am people started going home, and the rest of us who were staying the night, passed out on my couch, voices raw, and eyes bleary.

Once I get some more pictures from The Flatmate and grow some balls, I'll put pictures on my flickr account of us lot, all dressed up, and dancing like it's 1999.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Your Friday Moment of Zen: Being paranoid at office Christmas parties

I've got my office Christmas party tonight, which I've been helping to organise since last February. Finally, after months of work, it's upon us. And I'm really not looking forward to it. At all.

The problem with my work is that there seems to be an abundance of very good looking girls who work in my team. You'd think that that wouldn't be the case since I work in IT, notorious as it is for being a male dominated industry, but there you go. These size 0 girls, who laugh allot in the way popular girls in high school do, and get chatted up by all the guys in my team, means that I end up just standing there like a nigel-no-friends, getting more and more pissed, trying to be funny and interesting to anyone who'll talk to me, in a desperate attempt to compensate for my lack of looks. (Why? Why do I care? Why do I often spend nights in the toilets texting the Flatmate screaming "it's not fair! Why can't I be annorexic. Then I'd be popular" Why? Because I like to eat food that's why. (I know, I know, being annorexic will not make you popular when your a walking skelaton, but from this end of the weight spectrum it sure seems to fucking help)).

Last night I spent about 2 hours in the bowels of my wardrobe trying on every single article of clothing that I own that vagully resembles something dressy to try and work out what dress/trousers/top/shoes/ear ring combination to wear. And since our house is so crap, we do not have one single mirror where you can see yourself in fully head to toe. So to check myself out from my head to my chest I have to go to my bathroom mirror, to see my chest to my lower thighs I have to go to the Flatmates room and look in the mirror on his bedside table, positioned just at the right height to be nicknamed "The Gut Mirror", from there down I'm on my own. This constant circular trek from my bedroom, to my bathroom, to the Flatmates room is exhausting and frustrating. Then I end up moaning at the Flatmate about how unattractive and wide I look , to which he at first replies "no you look fine", however a few hours later, after my millionth costume change and footstamp, he will just roll his eyes and go "I liked the first thing you had on, just wear that. Or just wear ANYTHING, I do not care any more. Please, it's 2 am. Go away".

The party is in 3 hours, and I still do not know what to wear. God damn it. I was going to leave now at 4pm to get home, shower, change and get ready, but then I realised that even though I am heffer like, even I do not need 2 hours to get ready for the ball.

Grrr. So there is no zen like moment today. Just angst and annoyance. Merry fucking Christmas

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'm on DesignSponge!

Well, technically, the building that is next door to my office is on design*Sponge! I read this blog every day, and I'm so excited! When someone famous in the blogosphere has a post that vaguely has something to do with you, you get the same buz of excitement you feel when someone famous talks to you, or looks at you, or just looks in your general direction... Check out her post here.

That's my work, right there on the right side of the photo. The tiny sliver of brown building you can see right there. That's where I am currently sitting, typing away, listening to people talk about work, and the building site next door drilling right next to my desk.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

So Bittersweet it's palatable

The Flatmate wanted to show me a few pictures of his niece he got tonight from his brother in Oz. This quick 5 minute digital snapshot exhibit obviously turned into a 40 minute look at every digital picture he'd taken in the last 6 years of our lives in London. I love looking back at how we've changed, not only physically (more hair, less hair, wider, thinner, and back again), but also at all the random things we've done, and mostly how happy we've seemed doing it all. We've spent the better part of the last hour going "oh my god! Look at our old house in Swanley! We literally owned nothing back then! Remember how we were so poor, we could only buy one Christmas decoration a week!" and "yuck! What was I thinking wearing those clothes out? EEK!" and "You look much better with a beard. Definitely. Never shave it off again."

So many pictures are of our urban family - a collection of people, who, according to hundreds of pieces photographic evidence, seem to spend countless hours in pubs drinking their salaries away. None of us have family in London, so we seem to cling on to each other for support (or because we weren't drunk enough that we have to cling to the floor for dear life). Looking back 5 years worth of pictures, we've been such a great bunch of druken louts.

I guess seeing as The Flatmate is going home at the end of February, tonight has left me with a real bittersweet sense of pain. I love looking at these pictures, but I hate how it leaves me with a real deep in my guts, down to the marrow of my bones sadness. Sadness partly at getting older, but mostly because I really like my life this way, and I hate the idea of it all changing. It's almost a child like, foot stamping annoyance and anger that things have to move on, and that I can't make time stop and just keep things the way they are, because I can't see it ever being this good again.

Soon I'll be moving out of my home (finally my draft contract has come through) so I should be moving into my new place sometime in January. And I don't feel excited about this, I just feel scared. And, pathetically, I feel really lonely. This is so stupid, becuase I don't know why, since clearly looking at these pictures tonight, I am very, very, very lucky to have all these fantastic friends, and so I have no reason to feel like this at all. I know that whilst it might feel all dim and low at the moment, eventually, somehow, everything will work out, and I'll come through this fine, and not even understanding how I ever felt this upset.

OK, sad rant's over now. I just needed to vent. Tomorrow's topic: the sheer panic I'm currently feeling about my office Christmas party. I normally don't dread a good knees up mother brown. But this year, honestly, all I can think is eek: I will never look good enough to go to this stupid party, what with all the bloody model like "easy on the eye" girls I now work with, who don't look like they've ever eaten a proper meal. Fan-fucking-tastic.

Oh yes my friend, I am action packed full of issues. Action packed.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

You're Friday Moment of Zen: Too much religious chocolate

Having just mentioned our Advent calenders, I thought this would be a great moment of zen. We never, ever eat these on time, or on the days they're supposed to be eaten on, so we end up having about 5 all in one day. I've literally just eaten from the 1st til the 6th of December, and I feel a bit sick now. Nothing to do with the 4 pints of bitter I've drunk tonight.

Advent chocolate. Jesus was born so we could spent chuff loads of money on gifts people don't want, chocolate we shouldn't eat, and turkey that's dry and one one likes. Zen like.


Random Conversations on My "Friday"

1. Quote The Flatmate: "But surely any type of fisting can't be good?"

2. Upon opening our advent calenders today 6 DAYS LATE:
The Flatmate: "ooh my milkybar advent calender today says 'Santa's coming'"
me: "Eww.. and it's white!"

So very childish. So very funny.

Today is "Friday" for me. I've got Friday off. I'm doing sweet fuck all tomorrow. Tools down time everyone. Tools down.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Perfect Guy

I am the sort of geek that loves a unix text editor called vi. You can keep your Word's or notepad's or whatever. Give me my text based editor that scorns mice, and uses only keystrokes to do everything. It rocks so much that I even wrote my thesis using it. But even as a sad geek, I am quite ashamed of this conversation today:

Me: "Why don't you pipe everything to a text file, and use vi to globally replace the commands, make the file executable, and run it. Loads easier"
Guy at work: "That's not a bad idea.. god you love vi don't you?"
Me: "Yeah, I do. If vi where a guy, I'd marry him. "
Guy at work: "Really?"
Me: "Yeah, and if vi were a guy, he'd be hot and everything. I'd definitely ask him for his number, go out for a date, romance him a bit, then marry and have his kids"
Guy at work (clearly losing any tiny bit of respect he might have had for me): "hmmm... ok.. that's pretty geeky"

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

What a catch! What a catch!

"Crash". "Defeat". "Losers".

These are all words used for the Aussie's win over those pommy bastards in the second test of the Ashes! And I don't care if I am English soon. I'll always be true blue!

Ok, enough of bragging. AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE! OI! OI! OI!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Cruelty Free With Added Punches

Calvin's sister, Li, who owns and runs, asked me to help her on her stall at the Cruelty Free Christmas Fair yesterday. I jumped at the chance, because for years I'd listened in wonder of tales of the crazies who go to these shows, and I wanted to see them for myself. Plus I secretly quite like playing shop.

Once I got over my paranoia that people would be able to tell that I enjoy barely cooked steak and wearing leather just by looking at me, I really, really enjoyed myself. And whilst I knew being vegan isn't at all easy, with so many things being on the no-no list like meat, diary, or KFC Bargain buckets, I never appreciated all the little things someone who wants to be cruelty free can't eat, like fudge, jelly babies, white chocolate or marshmellows. And it's because Li sells all these things, and especially the little tuck shop bags of sweets, that meant we were completely swamped all day. We started the day with nearly 1000 bags of mixed, gelatine free lollies like licorice all sorts, jelly beans, dolly sweets, and within 4 hours had sold out completely.

At the end of the day, Li sent me home with loads of vegan chocolate and a couple of bags of vegan soya based cajun bacon flavoured jerky. Being a fully fledged meat eater, I feel strange about eating something I know is completely cruelty free, so I in order to keep a balance in the universe in check with the amount of cruelty I inflict on animals when I normally eat something, I am forced to punch the Flatmate everytime I eat a piece of the delicious dark, milk free chocolate. And to bring balance to the force, after a day spent being at a vegan fair, when I got home the Flatmate made me a lovely dinner of net caught tuna and pasta, with added dolphin for flavour.

As for the crazies? Unfortunately I didn't meet any of them, as every one was just incredibly friendly. Though, I did have a very wierd conversation with one wide eyed woman about soya milk:

Lady: "Do you sell soya milk? I'm looking for soya milk".
Me: "Soya milk? No, but we do have this vegan whipping cream, just in time for Christmas"
Lady: "Whipping cream? Cream is made with milk."
Me: "No, no, this is vegan whipping cream. It's made with soya "
Lady: "Cream? No I want soya"
Me: "This is soya."
Lady: "You said cream? This is a vegan festival you know"
Me: "No, this is whipping cream made of soy. It's completely vegan"
Lady: "No, I want soya milk, not soya cream. Didn't you hear me? Do you sell soya milk?"
Me: "No" (me thinking: oh go bugger off.)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Your Friday Moment of Zen: Love your pearlies

Last night I finally had "The Teeth Dream". Much like the going-to-school-naked dream, or the not-studying-for-exams dream, this one is pretty horrific and disturbing. It's the one where you lose your front teeth, for no particular reason.

Last night, I dreamt I'd lost my two front ones, plus the ones on both sides. They just dropped out in one clump, and behind my two front teeth I had grown one large front tooth. It was a pretty harrowing experience, because when I looked in the mirror I had the most hideous smile, all gummy, and toothless. And because it was really disturbing and in my dream I'd started crying, it felt really real, so when I did finally wake up, the first thing I did was touch my teeth and let out a massive "YES! Get in! I'm not ready to be photographed for the Big Book of British Smiles!".

So my Friday moment of Zen is a picture of some pretty perfect teeth. Not that mine are, but I sure as hell am gonna start treating them like a million bucks, so that hopefully I'll never have to actually live through that experience.

Dental hygenie. Random Moment of Zen

Monday, November 27, 2006

An analogy I'd never imagined could have existed

At orchestra on Saturdays, we're forced to endure 45 minutes of music theory, where we learn about key signatures, timing, scales (minor, major) and crap like that. Why? I guess it's supposed to make people better musicians. Me, I just wanna play. Whilst this sounds painful and boring, it's not nearly as bad as The Magic's class, where he has to endure patronising git conductor forcing them to read out load from a book like they are in primary school and who a few weeks ago, threw a pen at him for texting in class. The Magic is in his 30s. How you can throw a pen at a man in his 30s for texting in a music class I'll never understand.

Anyway, in our class, we have lots of really posh, annoying git's, who say things like "Oh the minor 7th! I can always recognise the minor 7th, because it's the beginning notes from Tristan and Isole" (which has me thinking "Tristan and his ol'? Tristan and his ol' what? Dog? Wig?)".

This culminated into the most random analogy that a middle aged, white haired, posh, tory loving, poor people hating woman came out with this week:

Old Bat: "Oh I do try to write in the trebble clef, but I find it awfully hard"
Teacher: "Well, why not just write in alto clef then?"
Old Bat: "Oh I couldn't do that, that's just would not be acceptable! It would be like being an immigrant to this country, and not learning how to speak English"

Holy fuck. My eyebrow could not have gotten any higher as I looked at the floor in front of her with sheer disbelief mixed with a good dash of repulsion. That people like this actually exist amazes me.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Your Friday Moment of Zen: Howzaat!

Please don't misunderstand me. I don't really like cricket. However, 2 days ago The Ashes first test started at the Gabba, and us Aussies are doing our best to crush those bloody pommy bastards! 602-9 declared! I only have a vague idea what that means, but I know that it's great, especially compared to Englands score of 53-3. Get IN!

If you don't know what The Ashes are, a good explanation is here. Basically in 1882 following a match at The Oval, Australia beat England in England for the first time, and some paper published a satirical obituary saying that English cricket had died, and the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. Since then, biennially, Australia and England play five 5 day test cricket series (25 days of bloody cricket), to decide which country will win a tiny, tiny, tiny urn with the ashes of the stumps from the original 1882 cricket game.

The last series, England actually won The Ashes for the first time since 1989 (or something ridiculous), so this time round us Aussies are gonna take it back.

So today's moment of zen (well zen if you're an Aussie, not so zen like for those poms out there) is a picture of yesterday's game when some English batsman got caught out, to end a dismal day for England.

Ah. Nothing like a bit of competition. It's M a r v e l l o u s. Bloody marrr--velous.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

RCA Secret 2006

This weekend, the Royal Academy of Arts will be showing their annual RCA Secret, which gives us punters a chance to buy one of 2500 individually created postcards. All postcards are on sale at £35 each, but the real kicker is that the postcard's artist is unknown to anyone until the card is actually purchased, and as some very famous artists contribute, including "Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Paula Rego, David Bailey, Christo, fashion designer Sir Paul Smith, musicians Graham Coxon and John Squire", as well as new budding artists from the RCA, you could own your very own very cool original piece for very little dosh. However, you can only buy up to 4 cards, and can only buy them this weekend. No cards can be reserved or puchased before hand, so it's a first come first served basis, which seems pretty fair.

You can have a look at all the postcards on sale here, and they go on sale from 8am-8pm Saturday the 25th, and 10am-4pm Sunday 26th. If you'd like to purchase one, you have to register with them by today (via email) or in person, before Saturday.

I'm planning on going, so hopefully I'll be able to pick up at least one of the pieces I like!

Take a look at treacleDown for a great write up, or the rca secret blog for more info.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Your Friday Moment of Zen: We've got nothing to declare

In honour of the worlds greatest spy being reincarnated and rebooted today, I thought I'd put up one of my favorite Bond moments from The Living Daylights. It is this film that started my obsession for learning the cello.

I'm quite excited about the new Bond film, Casino Royale, despite that fact that 2 years ago, just before they announced Daniel Craig as the new 007, I betted a couple of quid on Betfair (they have a market for everything), on who the next Bond would be. Did I win? Of course I bloody didn't. It's ME after all.

Anyway, I digress. Your Friday Moment of Zen: the KGB chase scene in The Living Daylights. Timothy Dalton's first bond film. I absolutely adore this movie. It's got Timmy Dalton, fantastic cello case riding chase scene, great theme by A-Ha, but because without it, I'd never have known anything about the mujahideen.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Musical self flagellation

Last night the Flatmate and I went through a sort of "dance down memory lane" by meandering through his iTunes playlists, listening to loads of old,

cheesy, cheesy songs. We sang, giggled, relived high school moments of embarrassment with songs like "More Than Words" by Extreme, pretended to ice skate around his bedroom to our favorite mormon song (Beach Boys' "God Only Knows"), and threw some seriously bad shapes to "Dancing Queen", and "Ice Ice Baby". He ended up giving me loads of crap music (cause I kept shrieking "OH MY GOD! I love this song!!"). Unfortunately, in the cold light of day, now that I'm listening to this rubbish, I'm actually sitting at my desk, red faced with embarrassment, yet unable to switch it off.

All I can say is THANK GOD for the telephone, which has stopped me listening to Boyz II Men's "Down on Bended Knee" (oh yes, it's cheesy, R&B goodness baby). This is such a hark back to days of teenage angst, really bad fringes, logarithm, flannel shirts (hey I thought I looked cool), and sitting in my room, staring at pictures of Dean Cain, with this song on repeat for literally hours. I listened to some awful crap when I was young. Though, who do I think I'm kidding, I listen to some awful crap now!

Oh god no! It's "Motownphilly". OH NO.. If you know my number, for god's sake CALL ME! SAVE ME! Why am I listening to this? Why have I just started to play Down on Bended Knee again? Why? Why?

"Can someone tell me how to get things back to the way they used to be.
Oh god give me a reason, I'm down on bended knee.
I'll never walk again, until you come back to
I'm down on bended knees".

The Big Three

I'm in the long and drawn out process of buying a house (well, I say "house", it's more 50's ex-council estate flat). I've done all my paper work (for once) and I'm just waiting for the vendor to sign all his stuff and send them back to his solicitors. This seems to be taking forever, as according to my good-for-nothing estate agent, it's not that my vendor has changed his mind, or the house he's trying to buy has problems, it's just that he hasn't been bothered to send back the surveys because he's just "plain lazy".

This lack of movement however has not stopped me from going out and browsing (read gawking) for The Big Three: Washer, Cooker, Fridge/Freezer. So I went to my new house last week for only the 3rd time ever (how wierd, I've spent more time in a cheap pair of jeans, trying to decide if it makes my arse look big before I buy them, than in the house that's going to cost me more money than god) so I could measure the spaces for The Big Three.

In my head, everything is always, well, a bit on the crazy side. In my head, I'd managed to make my new flat seem tiny and dark, with no welcoming or redeaming feature, where I have to always be on my guard in case zombies (or thieves) break through the ground floor windows and get me in the middle of the night. However, when I walked through the front door, I remembered exactly why I loved it.
1) It's just so pretty inside.
2) It's got a fantastic kitchen, which is about 3 times the size of the current 3ft x 2 ft pathetic excuse of a kitchen I cook our meals in.
3) It's got 2 (yup, you read right: two) shower heads in the bath! Water wasting decadence.

Since I've been renting from the first day I moved to Britain (i.e. the last 5 years), I've never had to buy any major kitchen appliances, such as ones to keep food from rotting.
So now that I'm browsing for The Big Three, I've managed convince myself that I am in desperate need of:

* The extra large, 6 burner, gas stove/cooker, with wok attachment, seperate gas grill, seperate fan forced oven, with possibly even a longer 3rd oven on the side
* The extra large double door American style fridge freezer, with water cooler and ice machine attached, which is plugged into the central plumbing. Essential for constant cold water, plus crushed ice, which every girl needs for the essential cocktail making and ice bucket chilling for the soon to be established "Champagne Thursdays".
* Extra large washer with tumble dryer, for fluffy, fluffy towels.

And because I feel some small glimmer of guilt for having such extravagant appliances, they all need to have lowest energy ratings around, thus thrusting their prices into the upper echalons of the spending stratosphere.

Where I'm supposed to get the ready cash for these little beauties I haven't quite worked out yet... I'm thinking about possibly selling non-essential organs on the black market... (who the fuck needs two kidneys anyway?). Besides, what's cash to me these days when I am soon to have a crippling mortgage but little bits of paper that drift in and out of my life like snow?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Shocking the old biddies with dogs

The Flatmate and I discovered a documentary called "The Aristocrats" last night, which we had to keep flicking to and from, because I honestly don't think we could have watched it in one go. Made in 2005, it's a documentary about the infamous longstanding dirty joke told amongst comedians, where the premise and punchline are the same, but it's the joke's midsection which the teller reworks to be anything they want, as long as it's completely improvised, is how this is used as a mental stretching exercises. The language and situations described are as foul and nasty as the dirtiest joke you've ever heard, but the shock value is only half the joke. The other half is how cleverly the comic can mix an mix the scatological material with the ultimate perversions. Blood, vomit, incest, bestiality, group sex, necrophilia, etc. are all blended together into a 'shock' joke as extreme as the teller can make it.

The joke involves a person pitching an act to a talent agent. Typically the first line is, "A man walks into a talent agent's office." The man then describes the act. From this point, up to (but not including) the punchline, the teller of the joke is expected to ad-lib the most shocking act they can possibly imagine.

In this documentary, about 100 comedians reminisce, analyze, deconstruct and deliver their own versions of the world's dirties joke. Each story is different, some of which are absolutely hilarious, some made us cringe, and some forced us wrestle for the remote to try and change the channel as soon as possible before the last vestiges of decency got sucked out of our bodies. Watching Carrie Fisher explain how her "mother was the queen of golden showers" was particularly disturbing, especially if you've ever watched "Singing in the Rain".

At our usual morning coffee break in Benugo, I was trying to explain this film to K and P from work, when I noticed this middle aged, extremely middle class, Daily Mail reading posh woman standing next to us, unconvincingly trying to look like she was wasn't eavesdropping on our conversation. Normally trying to freak out middle aged women is not something I do, but this old bat just got on my nerves so I started graphically explaining some of the film. To her credit she stuck around for the incest, group sex, defecation parts, but it was when I said "You know dog-fucking and arse fisting seem to be a very popular topic amongst these people", that she finally gave up, looked at me with a shocked "you working class, dirty, common slut" look in her eye, and ran for her life out the Benugos. She especially didn't seem to appreciate it when she looked back at me in the window and I beamed her a big old smile and a wave.

Ah, who says that TV is a bad influence?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Never, ever, yawn

A few months ago I started to learn the cello through the East London Late Starters Orchestra. For the last 2 months, I've been forced to see something that I've tried to avoid for years: an early Saturday morning.

Yesterday, we were rehersing the pieces we're doing for our December concert. And since, as a complete beginner, and a 3rd cello (i.e. we mighty 3rd cellos play only 4 different notes, with great gaping rests in the music, where we sit there. Playing nothing). As the conductor was busying himslef hassling the 1st and 2nd orchestra members... I started to look around the room, watching people, being bored, and since I was pretty tired from a stressful week, and lets face it, still hung over from my Friday night, I, shock horror, yawned.

Big fucking mistake.

All the way in the back, me, not making a single peep, and only yawning for fucks sake, managed to get the full wrath of the most arsey, rude, and horrid conductor I've ever met. His head swivelled round, ad stopping mid tirade at the viola section said to me in the most sarcastic tone: "I'm sorry, but am I keeping you awake? Am I boring you?". oh fuck.. I wanted to say "Well yes. You wrote this music, and we have 3 notes. For the whole piece. You are rubbish." But instead, I just hung my head in the shame I'd not felt since being told off in primary school, and kept all future yawns stifled.


Damned Jen

Damn it damn it damn it.

There is nothing as bad as betting on something, and watching your bet lose. The only thing worse is watching something, writing up your tips for a betting website, not posting it, and then watching that 8/1 tip start to COME IN.


If you're watching "Make me a supermodel" then,'s Pin Girl says "BACK JEN TO WIN".

Come on Jen. Win the fucker. Beat the rest of these skinny arsed bitch whores. Especially Mariane, who when asked her opinion about size zero models in an interview said "well it makes it easier for the designers if all the models are the same size. Oh, and everyone knows that clothes look better on thin people than big people".

So I say back Jen. You know why? Because she's not a bitch, she's not skinny, and she's not thick as two planks.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Gawd Damn

I've not written much in the last week because work has been riding my arse like you wouldn't believe. And no, that is not euphemism for something dirty. For the last week (well, last year really) I've been the go-to bitch for one of our clients. A client, I might add, who've got lots of people working in their IT & business team, all of whom are paid fucking shit loads of cash, none of which can go to help them buy a fucking clue.

So I will again endeavour to post with a frequency that I need to do to help me get through my day. And also because if I don't vent here, I will definitely get fired. Highlighted particularly well I thought after yesterday's little "discussion" with my boss, where at one stage I didn't let him get a word, and I managed to get him so pissed off that he stormed out of the office. Again. You know, I'm quite convinced it's my only talent.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Another Betting Disaster on Four Legs

Yesterday was the Melbourne Cup. The horse race of the Australian calander, which "stops a nation", literally. On the first Tuesday of every November, 23 or so horses race a Flemington Raceway in Melbourne, and everyone puts a bet on. Sweeps from offices to primary schools accross the country are conducted, televisions put in prominent areas, people stop working, and, if you're in Victoria, you get a public holiday. This is a big race.

And this was yet another fine example of how me and betting do not mix. At all. Much like the World Cup disasters here and here.

The multiple bets I had were: "Maybe Better" to win, "On A Jeune" and "Tawqueet" (the favorite in Australia) to place. Did these horses win? Of course they bloody didn't. The two Japanese horses, Delta Blue and Pop Rock (both of which I was contemplating on betting on, but since I'd already spunked £10 decided that I didn't just want to throw more money at the situation) came first and second. And third? Of course. The only horse I didn't put money down to be placed, Maybe Better, came third.

I bloody suck at betting. Close my betfair account please.

Friday, November 03, 2006

You're Friday Moment of Zen: Rivers in Botswana

This coming sunday the BBC will be showing new episodes of Planet Earth which has the most amazing footage of animals, insects and landscape you'll ever see.

This picture of the Okavango Delta in Botswana is really beautiful, so I thought I'd share as a real zen like moment. This picture comes from the collection of wallpaper they've got, which includes penguins, polar bears, vistas of the Gobi Desert in Mongolia.

If you get a chance to watch Planet Earth (especially on a high definition projector at Magic's house), I'd recommend it, as it is an amazing documentary series. If not, catch a load of their clips here.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Rant. Level: Extreme. It's like being in high school

Rant Warning: This is a pretty angry rant. Won't do you much good if you're offended by the word fuck.
End of public announcement

Fucking fucking fuck.

I started to blog as a way to vent, and I've been wanting to do this for ages, so here it goes.

I'm so sick of all the bloody paraphernalia that goes with blogging. It's (I was going to say "ironic" but NO Alanis, meeting the man of your dreams, then meeting his beautiful wife is not IRONIC, it's just dumb fucking luck). Anyway, it's pathetic I suppose that I'm bitching about blogging on a blog, but there you go. I am pathetic.

It's seems that when I started this blog a few months ago, it was just about the blog. And all the blogs I stumbled across themselves where just about "the blog". Now though it's all about the listings, and the voting, and whose got links to who and who is best "blogging buddies" with whom, and whose blog is "blog of the day" on one of the billion sites that exist now so they can make revenue on advertisement OR make money on auctioning that title. You can't open a blog these days without the 50 odd links to "link sites" or "Vote for me!" icons, or blog rolls, or other fucking crap like that.

I only visit a handful of sites, and few of them are personal ones. The thing is, a couple of months ago, I managed to get linked by a few people, none of who I knew, but I thought "fantastic! someone's reading my crap! someone likes me!". I know that the way to keep "buddies" is to then visit their sites and leave copious amounts of comments. The problem is that I'm just not a comment kind of girl. I like to read a blog, have a laugh at what they've said, then leave. If I really like what they've said I'll leave a note. And because I do most of this (ssshh) in the office, I don't have masses and masses of time it seems you need to do the comments and the chatting and the network, blah blah blah. And this works completely against my favour, because now I'm finding that the people who used to link me have removed me. Cast me aside, and thrown me out, like I'm some sort of insane, rich aunt who used to be good to know because they'd buy you ponies and houses, but now they've lost all their money and their marbles have well and truly gone, so they get ignored and tossed out on the street. For some reason, these people whom I don't even know, have made me feel like shit. Which is SHIT, because, for fucks sake it's a fucking href on a fucking BLOG.

So I'm pissed off. I am really pissed off. I wish I had the time to sit there at night, read all my "buddies" daily posts, leave a message. But I can't. And that's not the sort of attitude that will make you popular in the blogging world is it? No Siree Bob.

The annoying thing is that I like getting comments, I like being read. And because I'm essentially lazy, this has definitely bit me in the arse. Is anyone else out there pissed off about this? The thing is, if I get down the root of the problem, I'm angry with myself for being this upset about something that is such a none event, because my pathetic low self esteem is in desperate need of the approval of people I don't even know. "Can you like me again? oh can you? I'm a bit chubby, and a geek, but pretty, pretty please, if you get to know me, I'm sure you'll like me. " It's just like being in high school again, when you're trying to hang out with a group (who I might add, weren't even the cool group at school), but you end up having one of them tell you they'll race you back to the playground only if you go the long way, and when you get there they're pointing and laughing at you and then they scatter as far away as possible, leaving you there like a sado billy-no-mates. And then you end up crying your eyes out in meditation class, desperately hoping they can't hear you, but knowing they can because they're giggling. And yes, I know that's exactly what it feels like because Emily and her friends in year 7 did that very thing to me. Bunch of bitchy catholic school girls.

Wow. What a rant. I started this blog so I could stop having to pander to all the people in my real life and bottle all these crappy feelings of worthlessness inside until they explode out of every pore like some sort of disgusting disease. So fuck it I'm gonna start doing that again.

And yet, I still know that I'll keep trying to do stupid things like remembering to add "blogroll" to this site. Why? Because I am fucking, fucking pathetic. And there's always room for me to be angry at myself for that.

Guy Fawks

Christ alive I'm pissed off. However I will keep it in and keep it together as I am at work, and because if I start I won't be able to stop and I want to be able to give this my full attention. Plus I've been so fucking busy at work to do a proper post in ages. (Parental Warning: Look away if you're offended by bad language (though that's too fucking late by this stage)): fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck and fuck.

If you're planning on going to a bonfire or fireworks for Guy Fawks night this weekend, I found (despite this being on Capital Radio) this cool site to help you find one.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Better than Oxford and Cambridge

I was sick (again) yesterday, so I spent yet another day on my couch, wrapped up in blankets, watching tivo'd tele that I never get a chance to watch. Yesterday I found a rogue University Challenge lying about from god knows when, which I love. For those of you who don't know University Challenge, it's a fantastic knockout trivia quiz show where teams from different universities battle it out, answering questions on anything like 16th century literature, medical terms, history, picture and music rounds. The flatmate and I love it, and whenever we get a question right, we've taken to doing a "Dr K", which means raising both hands in the air, loudly saying "YES! BOOYA!" and the other flatmate congratulating them (K never actually congratulates, he just says "I would have got that"). Whenever we don't know the answer to a question (which is more often than we like to admit), it generally leads to both of us giving an answer combining the words "jimmy" and "bob" such as: Question -"Who was the 12th century Earl of Wessex, who descended from King Ethelred I, elder brother of Alfred the Great", Our answer - "Jimmy Jim Bob Bob, Earl of Wessex!". Question: In what year was Newtons derivation of Kepler's laws from his theory of gravity read by the royal society?" Our Answer - "In the year of Bob-die Bob Jim Bob", and so on and so forth.

Yesterday though, they had their music round, which is usually something like "name the composer of this piece of baroque music" but in this case was "name the song title and the band". By the second beat I had already shouted loud and proud "Girls Aloud! Song title: Biology! YES! BOOYA! BOOYA!", and was dancing in my coughing, sneezy way on the couch. And I have to say, I felt so happy because none of the 8 Oxford or Cambridge students knew it! Yes yes yes! I'm smarter than the 8 geeks from Oxford and Cambridge! In your face smug uni geeks! In your face!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Your Friday Moment of Zen: There's nothing as scary as a clown

I wasn't a big fan of Sony's "ball" ad (possibly because it was filmed in San Francisco and I'm not a fan of that town), but I do love their new "paint" ad for the Bravia. Directed by Jonathan Glazer, the man behind the horses running through the surf ad for Guinness, this was filmed in July this year on a soon-to-be-demolished council estate in Glasgow using 622 bottle of paint bombs, 455 mortars, 57 kms of copper wires and 1700 detonators! I especially love the fact that when they made this, they had to cover the surrounding houses in tarpaulin to prevent them getting splattered with pain, and paid for trips to the seaside and discos to local residents to compensate for any disruption.

There are loads of "in the making of" films on youtube, like this one and this fantastic 5 minute documentary:

For a detailed analysis check out the bbc's page here

There you go, paint and scary clowns. A true Friday moment of zen. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I have a confession to make: I was thinking about giving up meat until Christmas.. but I don' t think that's going to happen, because I've just eaten almost my whole body weight in Sarrano Ham I bought from Brindisa today as a snack. And as it's almost finished, I'm even contemplating licking the wrapping paper it came in...

I feel a bit sick now... but I'd do it all over again!


I've had a rash on my eye lids for months now, culminating with the skin on my eyelids drying out and cracking - which is especially painful when you tears get into your eyes. If you're defective like me, every time you yawn tears come streaming out of your eyes like you've turned on a faucet, then you end up screaming cause your eyelids feel like their burning. (nice).

After months and months of procrastinating (and because I didn't want to go to the doctor just because my eyes had some bad skin.. how uber high maintenance is that?), I finally went to the doctor who took one look at my eyes and diagnosed me with seborrhoeic dermatitis. eeeww. to me this sounded gross, but it just means that my immune system was in overdrive to handle a form of yeast that everyone has on them (that's right people we're all covered in yeast. Look at your arms: yeast covered.. legs? yeast covered too... neck, face, throat back? uh-huh.. that's enough to send a paranoid person off the edge). Apparently it's not that common, and about 3% of adults get it. Doctors don't know why it occurs in some people and not others, since it's not contagious, it just happens. Much like stuff or shit.

When I got home from the docs, the Flatmate asked what was wrong with me, and when I told him I what I was diagnosed with he said "no way. That's what I've got!". Snap! We then went and compared prescriptions, swapped stories of pain and woe, and showed each other the areas where our skin was breaking, much like a couple of proud lepers.

We're such a caring, sharing pair the Flatmate and I - if only it wasn't the sharing of the same uncommon disease, it would be almost sweet.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bacon Caramel

This recipe from Eatin' and Drinkin' is so strange. My instincts say "YUCK" but something deep inside says "hmmmm.. but you do love pancakes with bacon, smothered maple syrup....". This recipe is just classical caramel (sugar, cream and butter), with some pre-cooked, crispy bacon added at the end. Apparently, according to, the non-traditional bacon uses have been around for a while, and this is just one of a long list: bacon cereal, bacon ice cream, bacon baklava ....

I'm not sure if I'm going to try this recipe... but I thought I'd throw it out there into cyberspace, seeing as I seem to have an obsession with all things piggy (like those healthy, delicous pork scratchings). So you decide: Bacon Caramel - delicious and a must try or plain disgusting?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Not so dainty letterpresses

I have a confession to make: I am in love with stationery and stationery related paraphernalia. Honestly, nothing is sexier to me than lots and lots of beautiful paper, pens, paperclips, staples, pacers (self propelling pencils if you from the UK).. you get my gist.. I'd spend days in paperchase just walking around, looking at blank handcrafted paper if it didn't make me look like such a loon... and if I could get away with it without being man handled out of the store by my friends..

At the moment, I am particularly in love with letterpress stationery, and these two companies have definitely caught my eye, because of their incredible tongue-in-cheek cavalier attitudes:

Paperstories do this fantastically halarious range called "bittersweet" which I adore. This range includes such lovely phrases like: "suck it", "thanks for nothing" and "sometimes i just hate you".

Ella Studio do a similar range, with these really cool notebooks. They also do a range of cards, gift tags in the "pinup" range (above).

There is something deeply satisfying about letterpress which take the piss like these ones. Mostly because I always associated letterpress stationery with wedding invitations, and obsessive bride-zillas who want every part of their wedding to be so damn perfect, and lord help you if the invitations aren't gold embossed with tiny flowers on them. To them I say:

Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday Moment of Zen: Brought to you by sad songs that'll make you cry

For no reason whatsoever I'm listening to my "sad and depressing" playlist today. So I've put my list up for you, as well as YouTube links (where possible) so you too can enjoy the sadness.

My favorite is definitely You Am I's "Heavy Heart", played here by Timmy Rogers on Recovery a few years ago. You can see a a live version, played in Ireland here

Get Drunk, Ring Yer Friends - You Am I
Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley (not greatest version, but best I can find)
Please Don't Ask Me To Smile - You Am I
Mr Brightside - The Killers
Run - Snow Patrol (Currently doing the rounds on "Wide Saragossa Sea", on BBC4)

You're Friday Moment of Zen: Brought to you by beautiful boys and their guitars.

Trump this

I've just finished watching the last episode of the third season of the american version of "The Apprentice" (yes, I know, I watch alot of tat on tv), and I am incensed and outraged. Here in old Blighty this show is only on at very, very late at night on BBC2. Plus, doing a quick scan on the net, I've just realised that we are about 2 years behind, because I think they're filming season 410 now or something, with a very, very, very old Donald Trump and his masterpiece wig (because lets face it kids, he clearly went bald at 20, and the thing with the most talent on this whole show is definitely his tupee. I mean LOOK AT IT!).

This is the second season I've watched this show, and from what I can gather, the "Apprentice" gets to do a high profile, high risk, and challenging job working in the "Trump Organisation". This 3rd season it has ended with two girls bitch fighting it out to sell their souls to high business. So what do these ladies get to choose to do as the reward for months of slogging it out against a bunch of backstabbing, arsey people, doing incredibly stupid tasks to be able to show a rich man they can make him even more money than God? What is their reward I ask you? Is it good? Is it challenging? This season, the two girls got to choose between:
  1. Redecorating a house on Palm Beach.
  2. Oh, now wait for it, cause it's every girls dream: organising Miss World!
Yup you read right. Organising MISS FREAKING WORLD. Oh WOW! Dream come true girls! Let's spend our time working out which tiara would look bettter on the stick like and clearly anorexic girl in the two piece see through swim suit, who only wants "world peace", a big fat pay check, possibly a sex scandal with a millionaire or politician, and her yearly supply of tanning oil.

Fuckin' hell. What a completely patronising, pathetic, insulting show. Ooh, organising Miss World. If the Apprentice is the way to get ahead in this world, I'll just stick to being a lowly programmer, because at least that way, I won't have to work out if cerise or baby pink looks better on a sash.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Talk about rejection!

I've been involved in the interview process of new people at our company for the last few months. I've looked through about 50 CV's (most of them get filtered out before it gets to my stage), and interviewed about 15 people now. After months of searching, we'd finally offered 2 people jobs. Both accepted, both were supposed to start next week.

Last week, the first guy who accepted called us to let us know he was just offered a placement at a corporate graduate scheme he had applied for previously. That's kind of fair enough. He did say he had gone of that position when we interviewed him, and but he hadn't heard back from them, and that was what he'd set his heart on. Ok. It was a shame, but you know, no hard feelings.

Today however, the second guy, who I wasn't convinced was going to stick around anyway, changed his mind about us. Just like that. No mention of another job, no mention of why he'd changed his mind. Nada. Nothing. So how did he let our manager know he didn't want to work for us? Did he come into the office? Did he call someone on the telephone? Did he send a "Dear John" letter in the post? Like fuck he did. He weasled his way out via email. Via email. He didn't have the balls to, at the very least, call us up on the telephone and explain. What a complete coward. When a company offers you a job that you accept, if you decide to change your mind, a week before you're supposed to start, you ought to have the guts to actually speak to someone, not do it via the impersonal and frankly pathetic medium of email. What a complete git.

Then to top it all off, we were about to go into an interview this afternoon for yet another applicant, and 15 mins before he's due to come in, he calls up and leaves a message with reception saying he's just accepted another job. 15 mins before the interview.

What is wrong with people these days??

This much I now know

When your plucking your own eyebrows, the difference between looking well groomed and looking permanently surprised, with a gap in one of your eyebrows so it looks like you're trying to communicate via morse code on your forehead, is about 5 hairs.

Good work me.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Too many things.. but first, the property two step

Recently I've noticed that I've done things in my life that I've either barely metioned or not blogged at all. Some small (making pasta for the first time on Saturday with the new pasta machine I've been eyeing for years now), to really, really big things (like going home to Australia for a week, and for all my bitching and moaning surprisingly enjoying myself in a way that I never thought I could have).

The biggest, life changing event right now is that I'm buying my first house. I put my offer for my new place the very day I left for Sydney, back in August. In fact, as I was going through passport control at Heathrow, I had the blood sucking estate agent on the phone, congratulating me because my offer had been accepted. Since the Flatmate is finally moving back to Australia, I've been trying to find a new place to live for months (if you remember my first dismal attempt, or the nest of geekdom that was the second place I liked). This apartment however is different. It's a huge ex council 2 bedroom ground floor flat, about 5 mins from two tube stations. And it's lovely on the inside. A few years ago, a couple of architects had redone it and it's just my sort of taste. Really crisp white walls, dark floors, big bedrooms, and a kitchen that blew me away, mostly because it was bigger than the 3 by 2 foot one I'm living with now.

So why didn't I blog it? Why didn't I say anything? I've been wondering about this for a while, and the only explanation I can come up with is this: I am dead shit scared. And if I don't mention it, don't talk about it, it's almost like it's not really happening... though £530 worth of surveys will tell me otherwise. Scared of a mortgage I'm worried I can't afford, scared of possibly living properly on my own, scared that since this is a ground floor flat my complete paranoia will lead to me never ever opening any windows in case someone breaks into my house whilst I'm sleeping, steals all my stuff, kills me, then uses my scalped skin as a suit to dance around in. (Oh believe it, I am this crazy.)

So first thing's first. Fear of a huge crippling debt: I couldn't work out why people were always so scared of having mortgages, but now, after the sleepless nights of me staring at the ceiling wondering if I can possibly afford to do all of this, I understand where that deep fear comes from. What if I lose my job? What if, despite all my careful planning of my finances, I've fucked up and in fact I'll be able to pay my mortgage every month, but have to start eating cat food because I can't afford anything else, and at least cat food has more nuitrients than cheap 2 minute noodles? What if I end up booted out of my house, having to sell all my possessions to pay the bailiffs, wondering the streets with a shopping cart?

Living on my own on the ground floor: Ever since I've left Australia, I've lived with the Flatmate, so whenever I heard anything vaugelly scarey at night, I'd run into his room, fearing we were getting robbed. I did live in Belgium for almost a year on my own, but since I went back to London on weekends, I never really felt that bad. Besides, it's hard to feel scared when you live in an apartement hotel, with a concierge downstairs. This new place will be completely different, mainly because this is a GROUND FLOOR flat. For the last 4 years the Flatmate and I've lived in a 4 storey block. The bottom 2 storeys are a marine engineers office, and the top two floors are our apartment. There's no one else in our building. You'd have to break into the building first, then the dead locked apartment door, before you've got a shot at getting into our place, so essentially I've been living like that princess in the Never Ending Storey, i.e. in a huge, tall, fuck off tower. And on top of that, this flat has been my home for the last 4 years. It's the first place I really felt at home in, and I've had so many memories here. I really love where I'm living now, and ever time I walk home from work, it feels like the last time and I end up like Barbra Striesand in the "The Way We Were", all teary eyed, singing "Memories... like the corners of my mind" (i.e. pathetic). I'm paranoid as all hell in our current fortress like building. God knows what sort of wreck I'll be in my new flat. They'll find me, sitting in the corner of my new bedroom, tennis racket in hand, trying to pathetically defend myself from intruders, windows and doors bolted shut from all air and light.

Despite all of this, it's too late to back out. The surveys are done, I've got a lawyer, I've got a mortgage. Like the song goes "nothings gonna stop us now". And despite all of these fears (most of which are really unwaranted, and frankly insane and stupid), I wouldn't back out even if I could. I'm shit scared, but I'm also excited. This is how I felt when I left Australia to move to the UK. Scared of what could go wrong, but wanting to find out what is happening next. This is a huge turning point in my life... I never would have missed moving to the UK, making all my friends, and having the most amazing time of my life here, I don't want to miss out this first proper step on the property ladder, on this new home... I just hope I have the courage to open my windows...

Friday, October 13, 2006

You're Friday Moment of Zen: Devils Drink

I feel terrible today. Last night, after our french lession, Calv and I went out for a few drinks and some food. Unfortunately for me today, I had two too many almangacs in lieu of desert, (looking back in the cold, sober, painful, and oh so terribly bright light of day, really one almangac is the optimum number). However, this did not stop me at midnight starting to watch yet another episode of the West Wing, whose lethal, sleep deprived grip I'm currently being held in.

All day I've felt really off my game, and I had to try to rush around terribly hungover, gripping walls between the toilet and shower room, fighting with a pair of tights, trying to not fall over getting my boots on, and I had to try and get to work early because I've been giving interviews todays. There really is nothing worse I think that having to pretend to be intersted in what a potential employee is saying, all the while trying to keep from ever so gently swaying, eyes glazed over, and a grin plastered on your face that is threatening to turn into a grimace..

You're Friday Moment of Zen: drinks that I do not want to touch again. Enjoy, don't enjoy, just don't throw up.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lego Cool

Finally blogger has come back to life!

Continuing from last friday's moment of zen , I found these at and despite what I said about Lego, I do think they are very cool. Lego, who have pretty much merchandised every possible item in the world, have moved into kitchen ware:

Lego Ice Cube Tray (though you may not be able to build your own Lego sculptures from these blocks), Lego Salt & Pepper Shakers, which look a little sinister, Lego coasters , and the Lego apron, which isn't exactly made of lego, but it will give the cook a cool lego body.

I will conceed these are pretty cool, and there are a whole range of other Lego kitchen ware items out there. Unfortunately, their website is a bit of a bitch to maneouver through when you're in a hurry...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Around, not round

On a packed train this morning:

Me: So, after the Run London, are there any more 10K runs happening before the end of the year?
K: Yeah, one in about a month.
Me: Any later on in the year?
K: Not sure, why you thinking of doing it?
Me: Well, kind of I guess... I'm not a runner, but you know... maybe..
K: Ah you want to run around, so you can stop being round eh?
Me (eyebrows knitting with displeasure): hmmmmm
K: You're going to blog this aren't you?
Me: You can bet your arse I will.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sickedy sick sick sick

I've been sick. This, in fact, has been the 4th day I've had a pretty horrid cold, which has moved from tonsilitis like symptoms where my gynormous tonsils have gotten so big I can't breath if I tip my head in a certain way, to a blinding sinus headache, which has led me to squint at the sun, clutching my eyes and head whenever I moved, and I've blown my nose so much I think I've blown out my left eardrum.....

Despite all of this suffering, I've now had 2 days off from work, and I've got to say, I really like it. I like it so much, that I think I could do this for a living, however that might constiute as me being unemployed, thus making rent a thing of difficulty.

In the last 4 days, I've watched copious amount of absolute trash that I've had recorded on my tivo for the last few months, and there is a lot of glorious rubbish on freeview. I won't go through it all (though a quick aside, I've sacrificed myself so you don't have to: never, ever, ever, ever watch Elizabethtown. It's TERRIBLE. Even now, I couldn't say what it was about, because this film did not know what it was about.. love story? story of a mans failure at work? story of a man trying to connect to his now dead father? Road trip story? I do not know. It was TERRIBLE. I like Susan Sarandon. I do not like hearing her say the words "I felt my neighbours boner" whilst she's on stage, before going into a tap dance routine as a commemoration to her late husband,
whilst a rock band play and a giant papermache bird cathes on fire that causes an entire hotel to almost burn down. Do you understand what I'm talking about? That's ok I don't either).

Anyway, the absolute worst thing on tv right now is ITV's Ladette to Lady. This is ITV at it's all time low. This type of reality tv is even worse than shows about people who like to "do" their pets, or "plastic surgery gone wrong". Basically, they've taken a bunch of badly educated, poor girls who like to get wasted on weekends, get into fights and flash their breasts in nightclubs, and are using 1950's etiquette school training of eloqution, society ettiquette, cooking, dressmaking lessons, and the most important skill of flower arranging to try to turn them into "ladies". All of the teachers, one of whom I am convinced is a man dressed up in drag to look like the queen with horrendously yellow, crooked teeth, are filmed trying to "teach" these girls all the while making them feel as bad as they possibly can about themselves through a heady mix of bilttelling, flattery, and screaming. At the end of every epiosde there is a big dinner party with "Britains most eligible batchelors" where the girls mix "with millionaire stockbrokers, viscounts and gorgeous heirs". (some of whom are old enough to be their fathers "yar yar, do you think any of them would like the 'older gentlemen' yar yar"). At these dinner parties, these "gentlemen" get these girls really drunk, then try to take advantage of them (I saw one dirty old one man actually pinch one of the girls nipples, whilst she had to cling to the chair she was sitting on because she was way too drunk). The only reason why these men are allowed to be called "gentlemen" is because they have alot money and a posh accent. These rich, discusting, lame and sorry excuses for "men" should really never, ever be allowed out of their pens, because they are absolute pigs, and I don't understand why having money means a man feels they can grope a girl infront of a camera. At the end, the girls are all lined up, and verbally executed by their teachers, before one of them gets thrown out of the school. The girl who leaves is filmed, wiping her nose with her hand, whilst proclaiming she "don't fff-huckin' need dat anyways, cos I don feel like me, know-wha-I-mean", then they burst into tears because they don't want to go. I know it's wrong, but this show has to be the very definition of car crash television, you know that it's wrong, and bad to stare at these vicitims going through hell, but you just can't look away. Besides, I now am am desperate to know if the blonde skinny girl who knocks backs drinks, gets really drunk, then makes a complete arse of herself will get thrown out. Somehow I doubt it...

So, that's where I've been for 4 days now. On my couch, watching tv, drinking juice, and, in the proper tradition that would make my mum scream, eating candle toasted marshmallows on a fork. The good news is that I've finally started to feel better, the bad news is that means I have to go back to work.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Your Friday Moment of Zen: To all the toys I've loved before

In the office we're embroiled in a "discussion" (read war) about which kids toys were the best when we were young:

Guy 1: "Action man was the coolest"
Guy 2: "No GI Joe was better - he was bigger and taller"
Me: "You realise that they're all still dolls right?"
Both guys: "No way! They're 'action figures' not dolls!"
Guy 2: "GI Joe can't be a doll, he had a car."
Me: "So did Barbie. A pink convertible. Face it fellas, all the boy dolls only existed to be boyfriends for Barbie anyway"

I'm not getting into the lego vs mechano vs whatever else is out there. Let's just face facts: Playmobil is the best. I did say this, and mentioned the fact I never really got into Lego, which sparked this exchange:

Guy 3: "Well, that's probably cause you're a girl, and girl's don't really play with Lego. I don't want to say anything prejudiced but.. "
Me: "Too bloody late for that don't you think?"

This Friday moment of zen is dedicated to Playmobil: My dad bought me the Knights Empire Castle below when I was 4 years old. I also go train sets, and a Playmobil train station, road construction sets, and Playmobil warehouses. I think he really had wanted a boy. But still I loved them anyway. I guess I never was a girly girl...

Friday Moment of Zen: Sponsored by toys you had when you were young. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Throwing the gauntlet down at you The Magic

I've just created my "singstar classics" play list containing:
  • Groove Is In The Heart - Dee Lite
  • Gold - Spandau Ballet
  • A Little Respect - Erasure
  • And oh yes baby: White Flag - Dido
The Magic: I'm throwing the challenge out into cyber space at you. About 3 bottles of wine, 15 bottles of beer, lots of crips, everyone we know and I think a 1 am Sing Star battle should take place. It's been too long my friend, and oh yes, you're going to LOSE!

"And when we meet, which i'm sure we will, what was there, will be there still. I'll let it pass, and hold my tongue, and you will think that I've moved ooooo-oooooooo-ooooooooooooon"

The next Tracy Emin

Stumbled across a London based design shop, Thorsetn Van Elten, and I love the things I found on their site! I especially love:

Still Life by Barnaby Barford & André Klauser:
"Who needs a Vermeer if you can have the "Still Life Fruit Bowl". Create your own masterpiece with this bowl and frame that can be combined in 4 different ways."

I think this is sooo cool AND it has the added advantage in our house as we no longer would need to feel guilty about our fruit going old and mouldy, because it's art darling. Art.

Stamp Cups by Valeria Miglioli & Barnaby Barford:
"Those irritating ringmarks that mugs and cups leave..... well, you can turn them into a nice floral pattern now with a set of Stamp Cups. The pattern on the base of the cup match up so you can join as many marks as you want."

With these cups, we could now just use big long pieces of butchers paper instead of a table cloth, which could then be turned into a piece of art, with the added bonus of not needing washing when it does get too dirty.

Whilst all these potential art pieces aren't quite the same as, say a tent with the names of all the people you've ever slept plastered inside, I think they're definitely more appealing.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Not quite like Aunty 'Melda

I know I've got lots of shoes. I've got boxes and boxes of shoes under the bed, inside my cabinet, and a pair or two on every stair going up our apartment. Flip flops, boots, kitten healed stilletos, trainers, slippers, pink ballet shoes with sparkley things on them so they look like rainbow trout. The thing is, I don't really feel like I've got a shoe fetish. It's not like I can't walk past shoe shops without going in, I'm not desperate to own Manalo Blaniks and I don't stand by a shoe shop window cooing "hello lover" or anything.... And to make matters worse, I don't even wear most of them, for several, very good reasons:
  1. Won't wear them if they are not waterproof, and in Britain, that's quite important. If there is even the remotest chance that my feet could get wet, the shoes will stay in their box, waiting for an elusive sunny day.
  2. If the shoes have got a heal, then I find as soon as I get to the end of the street my feet feel like they're important documents, being shredded into tiny, little pieces, and it's really unsightly watching someone walk along, blood trailing behind, and stumps at the ends of their legs, encased in painful torture devices.
  3. If they've got a heal that resembles anything like a stiletto (oh yes, even if the heal is only 1/2 an inch high), I can't even walk from one end of my room to the other without falling over. Honestly, I've tried. It's really embarrassing.
This means that in my world, the trainer is king.

Having said all that, I must have some sort of disease because I have found some really cool boots (thanks to design*sponge) by Tamara Henriques that I love, and I fully intend to track them down here in London so I too can own a pair of wellies, that I will never ever wear.

I want them, especially the S&M loving black cowboy boots. Yeeha grandma. Find your very own pair here.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Today I hate

  • Trying to fix bugs in ODBC connections to Oracle since I've spent the last 2 working days trawling the internet trying to understand why ODBC CHANGES THE GOD DAMN FUCKING DATE FORMAT ON INSERTS, SO THAT INSTEAD OF INSERTING 19-SEP-2006 IT THINKS IT'S 20-SEP-0009. As in the year of our lord 9AD. 9AD! GRRRR
  • Deciding that rather than wearing my usual uniform of t-shirts and jeans, I thought I'd actually try wearing a skirt today. Since I cycled in to the office, I put all of my clothes in my bag (skirt, t-shirt, tights, little dainty shoes that I never wear), and forgot my freaking jumper. So now I'm sitting here freezing my arse off all because I was too preoccupied worrying about making sure I brought the right tights in. And then those stupid tights had holes in the foot, so when I walk all the blood gets cut off from my big toe. And the t-shirt I'm wearing is bright turquoise, which looks great under a black v-neck jumper, but overly 80s bright on it's own. Who the hell can actually pull turquoise off? Lord knows it's not me.
  • I hate the fact that ALL of my socks and tights in my closet have holes in the toes. And despite the fact I bought 50 pairs of socks a few years ago, I've lost every single one of them. Seriously, every single one. And our house isn't even that big. And yes, I've look under my bed, couch, and the dining table. No socks. Anywhere. I believe they've all been socknapped, being held ransom because they match. If you have them FREE MY SOCKS!
  • The fact that for the past 2 months I seem to be on the same toilet cycle as a girl in another department downstairs. Even though I'm quite good friends with her, it's now becoming extremely embarrasing that everytime I go to the loo, she's there. We make polite conversation, as you do when you see someone in the ladies you know, but it's starting to feel like I'm stalking her, so now I'm holding off going until the point where I can barely walk down the stairs because I've got such bad cramps.
  • Stupid, stupid clients who change their specifications, then 2 months later, change their specs again, then 2 months after that go "oh wait, you had it right the first time. Could you change it back?". GRRRRRR. UNDERSTAND YOUR BUSINESS LOGIC THEN COME TO ME. NOT BEFORE.

So, now I've got that off my chest, what do you hate today?

Friday, September 29, 2006

Your Friday Moment of Zen: Cheese Dreams

I've given up for the day, and am looking forward to a weekend at the Great British Cheese Festival in Cheltenham. Cheese, cheese, cider, pork scratchings, cheese, oh and more cheese. There'll be cheeses tasting, cheese recipes, cheese workshops, cheese competitions, oh and eating some cheese.

Saturday night will be fantastic: too much cider + too much cheese = a night of horrendous cheese dreams.

So just for you, a picture of a recent trip to france, and their cheese. It's Friday. Forget that more than a matchbox size piece of cheese would make a dieter run into the hills screaming. Have a big block tonight and enjoy the ride in your psyche.

Why do all hospitals smell the same?

Last night was supposed to be a regular Thursday night, involving pints of beer and probably some very unhealthy food (of the fast variety I'm sure). It started normal enough, a bunch of us chatting and laughing and trying to make our dull lives seem interesting to our friends, when we got a call from Calvin saying during the course of his football match, he managed to really badly mangle his ankle (so bad he thought he'd broken it at first).

So in our slightly drunk state, we rushed ourselves off to St Thomas' hospital, nervous and excited because it was the most interesting thing to have happend in a while. Whilst waiting for him to be transferred from St Guys' we decided to have some food at the hospital canteen. My lord was I glad I was in the hopsital when I had dinner there, because I wouldn't want to be too far away from emergency medical treatment after having such a culinary feast. Dr D (or little k as he likes to sign himself as) sure does know how to treat a girl well, offering to buy me a chicken pie that was old and dry, looked like it was filled with glue, and tasted like old horse. Mmmm I'm lovin' it.

When we did finally get to see Calvin, the poor thing looked like he was in so much pain and his ankle had swollen up so badly it was like he had a baseball on each side of his leg. I have to admit, if I were in hospital with a fucked ankle/leg whatever, the last thing I'd want is two slightly pissed friends turning up going "OH MY GOD! Look at the size of your foot! Can I touch it? Can I touch it? Let's see if we can get it to move the other way! Wow that this is HUGE! Is it broken? Is it broken? Does this hurt?"

So that was my Thursday night. Spending 2 hours in the hospital waiting room, waiting for my friend to get x-rayed, watching all the people come into A&E, some of which were very scary - like the girls who looked like they'd been drinking too much and one of them had fallen over and broken a rib, or the two old drunk guys who didn't know each other when they came in, but started to bond with converstaions like "And a nuver fing, aaahhrrrggghh", or the guy who'd mangled his hand up so well he was dripping blood all over himself and his fingers had gone a really attractive shade of dark purple.

Ahh we sure do know how to have fun in London huh.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Come here little piggy

Yes yes yes!!! has so made my day! Having spent practically decades loathing myself for loving pork scratchings (or pork rinds if you like), slashfood has posted about an article from mens health praising them for their nutritional value, and proclaiming them to not be nearly as unhealthy as we were all led to believe. It also goes on to say explain why you should include them in your diet, even if you are trying to not end up the size of a house. And heck, who am I to argue with a man when he's right (or when he says what I wanna hear, and this my friend, I want to hear)

Note: look away if your squeamish, vegetarian or a health nut.


Why you think they're bad: These puffy snacks are literally cut from pigskin. Then they're deep-fried.

Why they're not: A 1-ounce serving contains zero carbohydrates, 17 grams (g) of protein, and 9 g fat. That's nine times the protein and less fat than you'll find in a serving of carb-packed potato chips. Even better, 43 percent of a pork rind's fat is unsaturated, and most of that is oleic acid -- the same healthy fat found in olive oil. Another 13 percent of its fat content is stearic acid, a type of saturated fat that's considered harmless, because it doesn't raise cholesterol levels.

You hear that people!! Less fat that you'll find in a serving of carb-packed potato chips! WOOHOO!!

oh yeah :) This weekend I'm going to the Gloucester International Cheese festival, where I will drink barrels of cider, and eat bags of pork scratchings.

Bring. It. On.