Friday, June 29, 2007

Calv's Friday Moment of Zen: George and Alan

As it's Calv's birthday this Sunday, he's harrassed asked me to put this post up with the Volvic adverts featuring tyranasourus Alan and George the Volcano. I like these ads, but not like Calv and Li, who litterally piss themselves laughing whenever they talk about them. Which in Calv's case is quite often.

So Happy Birthday Calv. Just for you: the Volvic ad. Pity the water tastes like crap

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Overheard in a music store

Why is it that people who play random instruments seem more often than not a insanely posh? I was standing in this tiny music store to return a cello case, and a woman was being served, who must have played the harp, based on how she was going on about this harp tuner and that piece of music, but I realised how unposh I am (especially in my jeans and trainers) when the shop keeper and the woman had this conversation: (now remember: You have to read this with the west london, sloaney fake Gwyneth "I'm English" accent:)

Shop keeper: "Oh I promised myself I wouldn't eat anything today but I'm getting frightfully peckish now"
Harpy Woman: "I do know what you mean! I have to go to a gastly nibbles party tonight, so I'll have to pop out and get myself a bite to eat soon. Did you know that my 9 year old son was told off in his IT class for listening to Elgar. So I thought I'd buy him some music so he can have a bash about at it!"
Shop Keeper: "That is lovely isn't it! And of course he'll be able to play some of it naturally"

Gastly? Bash About? ELGAR? Playing ELGAR at 9? I mean I like Elgar but I'm 29 and the Elgar pieces I like I can't even play it! What sort of freak at 9 is this kid? Enough to make me feel inadequate! If you'd like to see what I mean, check this out from youtube:

I can not play like this and I do not do any of these uber serious facial expressions, unless she starts to manically giggle whilst playing which I'll admit, I do do sometimes. Usually when I've just fucked something up...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Moment of Zen: Tasty Tasty Tasty

We’re off to the Taste of London festival tonight for hopefully a bang up night of Michelin star food, drinks, good times and celebrity heckling. Unfortunately my old mate, that twat, Jean Christoff Novelli or his equally annoying coutnerpart Anthony I've-Kissed-A-Goat Warol Thompson will not be there (who will I try to insult to their faces now?!), but Angela Hartnett from the Connaught will be, as well as Stuart Gillies from the Boxwood CafĂ© and people from Fino (who make the yummiest Crispy Pork Belly!). The weather report has said it's going to be pissing down all day, so I'm wearing massive hiking boots, which really goes a long way to making me feel all feminine.

If you're in London this weekend, I'd say you'd best get your arse to Regents Park because this is a fantastic 4 days of foodie treats! If you're not, then this is my Friday moment of Zen: A Chocolate Bunny getting the brunt of my annoyance and anger. I hope you enjoy it more than the bunny did!

I'm a pretty vegan bunny

What's that? Can't hear you?

I can't see!


Mother Plucking

I have just come home from a night out at the theatre (christ how posh do I sound??!). Despite having spent the last 1/2 hour bitterly complaining to C about how tired I was and how I wanted to go to sleep, it still has taken 30 minutes between getting in the door and collapsing under my duvet. Why? Because recently I have been reading and watching and listening to too many bloody guides that have the opposite effect of making me feel motivated for how to look good, act good, be good, eat right, drink well, blah blah blah, and instead have made me paranoid and anxious. There is this constantly and annoyingly stream of information, with advice and helpful hints for making us all be more feminine and 'beautiful', like How to Look Good Naked, Trinny and Susanna's What Not to Wear, Trinny and Susanna's What to Wear, How to Walk In High Heels, How to Look Fabulous Without Making it Look Like You're Trying to Look Fabulous Even Though It's CLEARLY Taken You 2 Hours to Get Ready To Go Out To Ensure You're Looking Fabulous. Plus hanging out with my girlfriends who are all annoyingly pretty, with their annoying ability to walk in stiletto heels, have the right hair cuts, have the perfect cool clothes and be exceptionaly well put together, that recently are making me feel downright inadequate. On top of that, if I wasn't getting enough advice on my physical appearance, I am also recently being barraged with their advice for how to "be a single girl in London": I've been put aside and told I need to 'act single and start flirting' with bartenders/waiters/any man with a pulse. The entire world seems to be conspiring against me right now, that instead of making me feel motivated, upbeat and attractive, I just feel unattractive, depressed, unhappy and all other adjectives describing 'ugly'.

So tonight, rather than just falling straight into bed and sleeping, I've stayed up extra late to pluck my mother fucking eyebrows. This, only a few weeks after having unleashed a plucking on them that skinned the poor little buggers within a inch of their lives. I have learned the ultra hard way that the difference between looking tidy and looking constantly surprised, or even worse, bald just above your eyes, really is a total of about 5 hairs.

Why is it that woman feel that if they aren't making a consistent effort they are some how failing in society, destined to be alone in the world, possibly looking after hoards of cats? I have realised that being a size zero isn't the way forward (depressingly, as a size 12, I am far and away the largest girl in my team, and there are a few of us. They range from a size zero to a size 8. Then there's me. If that isn't enough of a kick to your self esteem, I don't know what is). Why do we feel the need to always be pruning, exfoliating, cleansing, toning, weazing through exercise classes, or exercise in general, epilating legs, filing nails, massaging cellulite, tinting eyelashes, dying hair, pumicing feet, watching what we eat, checking what we're wearing, and all the rest of the bloody crap that seems to be thrown at us? Why can men get away with doing frankly chuff all other than showering and possibly wearing deoderant if they remember, but if we haven't attacked ourselves with every possible beautifying device, potion, lotion, miracle cure for wrinkles, spots, and lines, known to man, we're not taking care of ourselves because "we're worth it"?

Why can't sitting on a couch, eating bags of pork scratchings and watching EastEnders be a perfectly acceptable way of life? Or is it it's not necessarily society that's to blame for women being ultra high maintenance, but ourselves? Are we our own worst enemy? Ugh.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Randomness of London

What I love about the randomness is Lonon is that you'll never know who you'll see on an average night out. Take last week for example. A friend and I went out for a few drinks and a meal at a cool Japanese restaurant called Tokyo Diner in Chinatownlast week. Deciding we wanted some ice-cream, we went to Leicester Sq around the corner, and right into the barriers for the Fantastic 4 world premier. So we ended up waiting for an hour, chomping down our Ben and Jerry’s' scrunched up against a metal barrier waiting for Jessica Alba and Ioan Gurrudd (aka the mean hearted Horatio Hornblower, dashing sea faring naval officer who marries Julia Swahala out of pity and then spends all his time ignoring her.. poor dear). Whilst Ioan, clearly was embarrassed that he has any association with this film based on the fact that all the would be C list celebrities and hanger ons strolled out of the theatre, looked at the crowd, waved etc, poor Ioan came running out, dragging his wife/girlfriend behind him, eyes to the ground, not making eye contact with anyone. Jessica, who was crowned the Most Beautiful Woman of the Year, on the other hand, who I didn't think much of, actually looks annoyingly pretty in real life, plus she was annoyingly nice when she did come out, waved at the geeks waiting for her, and autographed posters held up by spotty nerds.

So here is the fruit of our 1 hour wait: a very blurry and crap picture taken on my phone (incidentally, what is the freakin point of having a camera on a phone if the pictures it takes are so rubbish? I think I'd prefer to not have a camera if I could exchange that for extra battery life, but that's a whole other rant)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

More Cool Stuff From the Grand Designs Live Show

If you're vaguelly interesting keeping polar bears from losing it's natural habitat, and reducing your carbon footprint, then this device is one cool little gadget. Called Bye Bye Standby it works by 'reducing daily energy consumption on electrical devices by completely cutting power to the devices plugged into it when they're not in use thus saving the power that these devices would otherwise have consumed in Standby Mode'.

Seriously it is really, really cool. Basically, it's an adapter you plug the power board to which powers things like your telly or dvd player. You then get a remote switch which works within a 30m range of the device, so you can then just turn off all your appliances in one go. The coolest part is that you can have multiple of these devices all configured to one remote switch, so you can turn multiple electrical devices off at the same time. And this is exactly why I'm going to buy it! Yes, I am interested in reducing my carbon footprint (not so much so that I've gotten around to offsetting all the airplane trips I've taken this year yet, though I have calculated that it would cost me about £25 to offset them all. If you're interested in seeing how big your footprint sites like are good. To whom you should actually pay the money to I'm still unsure because I did quick check on google to find that loads of these offset companies are not necessarily the best places to give my hard earned mula to. Perhaps just donating that money to recognised charities that actually do good conservation work might be the answer.. If anyone has any ideas let me know, and yes the obvious 'just don't take planes' is good, but in reality, I'm not about to stop doing that just yet..)

I digress. I'm going to buy the Bye Bye Standby not only for it's green factor, but because it is the perfect solution to the following tricky problems:
  1. How to turn on and off the tv in my bedroom without having to get out of bed now that I've lost the remote control, because I am lazy.
  2. How to have multiple little lamps in my bedroom and lounge room to create little pockets of mood lighting and and be able to turn them all on and off in one go, thus avoiding having to go around the room and do them individually, without having to spend a fortune on an electrician to rewire the whole house.
It's a fantastic find!!

Things I will start to do

  1. Pay less attention to some of the rubbish people talk at me
  2. Start eating more fruit
  3. Try to post more regularly
  4. Go to bed before 2am so I can stop waking up at 8.35 which just happens to be the exact same time I am supposed to be at the train station, on my way to work. Yes, 8.35 is not the time I should be jolting myself awake thinking "hmm, my spidey senses are telling me something isn't right in the world...", finding not only have I slept through both my alarms, but I have also managed to get up, get the alarm clock, bring it back to bed and put it under my pillow to muffle the sound in case it, you know, wakes me up, as is it's very raison d'ĂȘtre. All without me even remembering I've done it.

Right. As it's 1.34AM I think I'll post this, and go to bed. Ahh, 1.34. Nice early night for once.

Design Show Madness

Li and I went to the Grand Designs Live show on Sunday. Not only is she fantastic, she has some fantastic friends, one of whom is dating a guy who works as an event co-ordinator for large shows. One of which just happened to be the GDL. He recommended that we go on the last day of the show, because most of the stall holders all want to off load tons of stuff on the cheap rather than having to lug it back (a fact I had never considered). He then offered to bag us some free VIP tickets for free, show us around, and introduce us to the owners of these fantastic shops to see if we could get discounts! It was fantastic!

We started the day with him taking us to a stall where there were loads of lovely furniture, one of which was a £300 glass console table. When Li asked the owner how much for it, he looked at our new best friend, said "is she a good friend of yours?" and when he found out she was, he told her "if you can take it away with you today, you can have it". I.e. For Free. Gawd Damn! In the end, Li had to physically force £50 in to the stall owners hand, and we lugged her table back to the car. I have to admit I was pea green with envy! There was loads of nice stuff at this stall, but the last thing you want to do is be the hanging on friend who tries to then get stuff for free as well, because then it just puts the stal holder and our organiser friend in an awkward position. Damn I wish I had no scrupples!!

So we pretty much tried to spend the day as we started it. So everywhere we went, and whenever we saw something we liked, we'd ask if they wanted to sell their display items for a discount (well, honestly I say 'we', but Li has much more decorum than I do, and I became a bit unhealthily obsessed with trying to get something beautiful on the cheap). However, that tactic did help me obtain this lovely mirror and glass bathroom cabinet, with an even lovelier £80 discount. Whilst not free, a massive discount, and it not being from Ikea means that I was pretty chuffed with myself let me tell you. That was of course until our organiser friend said "why didn't you call me? I could have got you that for like £50!"

Highlight of the day:
  1. Getting suckered into a £5 plastic broom, which everyone at the show seemed to have and feeling like we were in some super cool, super elite broom carrying club. Sadly it was the fact it had a squeegy attachment to it that made Li and I decide we couldn't live without it. I have swept my house dead clean now and used it to clean my windows, so perhaps survival would not have been possible without my rubber broom. Not witch like in the slightest by the way.

  2. Finding out I can get new floors for £11.50 a meter so that my bedroom can look like this:

  3. Find these ultra cool lights, which I loved but not £190 worth:
  4. Seeing this MASSIVE angelpoise light at the SAAB stall. This thing is way taller than me, and I so want one in my house. Except that it wouldn't fit even in my ultra high ceiling:
  5. Stalking Kevin McCloud! The Grand Designs man! We kept seeing him (it's a bit hard not to see him if you follow him around like a puppy), and when we mentioned to Li's friend how I thought he was uber cool, he suggested we come back to the media centre and we could probably have a cup of coffee with him if we like. This was something I don't think I could have faced....
  6. Walking right past Mr Kevin, with Li saying "oh my god, you completely ignored him! He was right next to you!!" then embarrasingly asking him for a photo, and making it sound like we were only asking it for the Ex Flatmate who loves the show... He looked so drunk he really didn't even know what was going on... or he was really bored and he didn't care... either way, I had Keving McCloud put his arm around me, and I have photographic evidence! (Looking at this pic, he definitely looks smashed...)
Great day all in all...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I'm not dead

Just insanely busy. It's been an insane almost 2 weeks of my stupid day job, (we're trying to work to the release of our software), out of work busy-ness, having a cold for almost a week, and being away.

So to update, cliff notes style I've:

1) This has been so long ago, but our little concert evening went really well! I won't bore you with the details but yes, air bowing did take place. No, I didn't fuck up so badly I thought "I'm never doing this again". Anyway, no one was really watching me, what with the other 4 fabulous cellists playing with me. Plus at the end of the night we had a giant "jam" session where we tried to sight read things like The Can Can (and then play it over and over again, each time twice as fast as the previous, until my arms felt like they were going to drop off!). I have come to the conclusion having watched some of the acts that there are some wacky, wacky people out there though.

2) Been to Brighton for 2 weekends straight, both to see my friend Li. First weekend to go see the Brighton Open Artists Festival where, as it says on the tin, artists open their houses to the public so you can look at their art. Or, as we were there really to do, take a sticky beak around their abodes. In both cases, their art work and their houses made both my art work and my house feel inferior. That and Li's damned house is so bloody nice that even things like her walls make me think "god her house is lovely. She's even picked really nice paint in every room. And wow, look how well it's plastered. Damn I wish my house looked like this". Last weekend was her birthday party, where she had a live band come and play. A live band! In her backyard.

2) C, a friend Pop and I went to the Mind, Body & Spirit Festival. (Dr D and The Magic - shurrup). All in all it was interesting I suppose. About 1/3 of the vendors there did massage, 1/3 sold books, jewellery, and other paraphernalia. And 1/3 where there to tell you your fortune and perform exorcism. Surprisingly, very few had the hag like gypsy qualities I always used to associate fortune telling with, but heck this was my first foray into this domain. Yes, in case you're wondering I did go to a clairvoyant, who said she could see me working in the health industry (programming and nursing not the same thing really) and that she could see a little girl in my future. So to all my female friends out there, this is a shout out that I am expecting, no demanding, that one of you to have a little girl that I can babysit, perhaps being the cool, slightly wacky 'aunt' figure in her life, who she goes to for sneaky glasses of kahlua when she's underage cause her own mom isn't nearly as much fun, cause dammit, I am not sprouting kids anytime soon.

The one thing she clearly said was that I was going to Vegas. And packing lightly. Jeez, I hope she wasn't meaning feet first.....