Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Years Honours List 2012

I sometimes come across as a bit of a cunt on the internet, I’ll warrant. This is a wee, gruff, but heartfelt aside to let people understand I actually do like them, a lot, and I hope you have wondrous 2012s filled with success, good health and sexytime adventures. Oh, and #FF.

The London Lot

Kyle Your-Real-Name-Is-LUGER Birch - without question one of the warmest, kindest people I have met all year.

Dave Thank you for being a pervert when I needed it and a friend when I needed it. Same goes for

The Kentish Lot

Alex. ALEX K! Thank you for calming me whenever my PC (PCP!) does something detrimental to my soul like not start up immediately and reading 10,000 word emails and letting me dress you up like a girl.

Finch and Claire - I miss my toxic twins! I’m really pleased 2011 is ending so happily for you both.

Sophie - Thank you for the emails and for holding me up at Stay Beautiful, you gorgeous woman.

Alli. You’re alright. Sometimes. Even if you did unfollow me. Arsehole.

Charly Fellow Manics-fan with all the trappings that goes with that – wit, angst and firm friendship. Thank you for all the messages and the mousemat.

Kam Stopped off in Brighton for half an hour on his way to Canterbury. Five hours later we were blasting out breakcore in the Pavilion Gardens and drunkenly climbing up walls. You deserve a brilliant 2012 man.

The Brighton Lot

Rez Local sleb of the Brighton rawk scene who encouraged me out of hiding when I needed it most, and introduced me to a lot of cool people.

Alex Yet another person I added on Twitter for the sheer hell of it, and because they were very glamorous and witty. I have since been welcomed into her Twitter Family. #Dawww

Dave Thank you for the Christmas food/drink/film marathon and for making me cry wine by guessing the answer to the cracker joke “What’s brown and creeps around the house?” – which everyone knows is ‘Mince Spies’ – was “a ninja stick”.

Naomi for reminding me of the kindness of strangers. I met her entirely through chance on Twitter and haven’t looked back.

Rossilini - Both a dyke and a dick. Likes a drink as much as I do. And dubstep. Relentlessly funny fucker too.

Richey - I was trying to see how I could widen my local network since I’d sort of scuppered that with my scrapping of Facebook. I’d noticed him DJ-ing everywhere I went and thought he seemed like a cool person to get to know so I Googled the shit out of him. Thanks for not calling the police. And for sinking all my battleships. Yeah.

The Other Lot

James and Emma. Formerly a Kentish lot, now a Soton Lot, soon to be a Brighton lot – I live in hope!! Forever white wine in the sun.

Olliebanoffee Former Kentish lot, now global jetsetter. I would have to do a whole separate blog post to say how much your friendship has meant to me over the years. Thank you for travelling great distances to come and watch Cooking By the Book and listen to this with me.

Think of this as a kind of Twitlonger-thing (hopefully minus the sheer annoyance of that); there’s obviously people not on Twitter that have meant a lot to me in 2011 but they’ll probably get a nice, highly sought after, personalised text message instead. Like I did with everyone on Christmas day, which seriously ate into my stuffing myself with Quality Street and replacing my bodily fluids with Buck’s Fizz time.

Normal service will now be resumed.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Blog for Plague Lovers - Manic Street Preachers Christmas Party

In the Beginning

I’ve been a fan of the Manic Street Preachers for just over a decade and their Christmas party gig on 17th December 2011 was the first time I’ve ever seen them live. And let’s face it, probably last. By the time they get around to putting out a second batch of greatest hits and accompanying concert I’ll be too old for gig-gallivanting (sciatica was already preventing me from pogo-ing as much as I’d’ve liked) and they should be old enough to know better themselves. Bassist Nicky Wire already frequently complains about his back, pulled his shoulder during Revol and was wearing knee supports (from my position I could only see the tops of them, and assumed he was wearing knee-high socks. Another girlish dream crushed.

When We Were Winning

MANIC STREEZ. Innit blud.

My MSP-worship has known varying degrees of intensity, taking a nosedive after Lifeblood, and being recently reignited with club night Stay Beautiful being resurrected by Manics biographer Simon Price in the city I currently call home.

Ifabandevermadeitonstageontimeitsworldwouldfallapart

Last picture I got before my phone died. Well worth it, I'm sure you'll agree.

“Be punctual!” the emails leading up to the event shrieked. “The Manic Street Preachers have 38 songs to get through and will be on stage at 19.30 on the dot so be on time if you want to hear everything!” Our reward for our good timekeeping was an extra twenty minutes of twee Christmas tunes, much to the dismay of the Russell Brand lookalike to my left in the crowd, who shook his mane and bellowed “NOOOO!” To be fair, James Dean Bradfield apologised. And I got to look at a Russell Brand lookalike.

As usual I amused myself with crowd-watching as much as band-watching. What I found most astonishing was the ratio of Nu-Manics fans to Old-Manics fans. I was expecting a sea of glitter and feathers and leopardprint; however, the hue of the night was predominantly beige. “We don’t talk about love/We only want to get drunk” – you’re not supposed to take it literally, you oaves! For fuck’s sake, it’s the Manics! And it’s a motherfucking Christmas party! There’s a disco ball the size of Pluto dangling from the rafters! DIY destruction on channel chic! Tart up a bit, you tossers! Harumph. Seeing a group of burly beer-swillers moshing to Tsunami (of all songs) and crushing a fey, waifish eyelinered boy left a particularly bad taste in the mouth. Honestly though, some of them must’ve just been there on the basis of hearing ‘There By the Grace of God’ or something, and it makes you wonder, who exactly buys a £35 ticket off the back of that?

Our Royalties, They Exist

Grizzly, congested Super Furry Animal frontman Gruff Rhys joined MSP for ‘Let Robeson Sing’; to some people’s horror taking REEETCHEEE’s spot on the stage, usually left poignantly vacant. Not as horrifying, however, as JDB's announcement following his thanks to Gruff.

“And now! From one Welsh hero to another! Richey Edwards!”

*collective intake of breath, puzzled looks from the crowd frantically scanning the stage and each other’s faces*

“Who wrote this next song, ‘Faster’!”

James, you utter, utter bastard.

The guest of the second set was of course dainty Swedish Cardigan Nina Persson, who joined them for ‘Your Love Alone Is Not Enough’. We were encouraged to thank her for travelling all the way from America, which begs the question of why she didn’t join them on stage for the Traci Lords bit of ‘Little Baby Nothing’ if that was indeed the case.

Black Dog on My Shoulder...Again

I stuffed some of the Christmassy/Welsh flag coloured confetti from the ‘Design for Life’ finale into my pockets as a keepsake seeing as my ticket wasn’t returned to me after presentation. Yeah, I’m a sentimental cow. This marks an end of an era both for them and for me. Post-gig comedown was immense. I doubt any gig of my life is going to top that one, ever.

(__________________________________________________)

Monday, 21 November 2011

Smashing Pumpkins at the Brixton Academy – 15.11.11

Well, billed as ‘The Smashing Pumpkins’ but only one original member – Billy Corgan, now bearing a bit of facial fuzz for what he lacks on his noggin – remains. (Maybe this is why their Twitter name is ’Smashing Pumpkin’. Support came from the spectacularly named shoegazers Ringo Deathstarr. Every eye in the audience, including both of mine, however, was transfixed by undulating part-time doe-eyed model and bassist Alex Gehring.

And the music? Oh yeah. Shimmering, catchy, scuzzy, My Bloody Valentine-y. Strange banter: “we may be from Texas, but we still go to work on horses". You what?

I initially experienced a bit of trepidation given the shoegaze tag – how do you avoid being lulled to sleep? Thankfully there were more up-tempo bouncy Sonic Youth-y numbers than the epic Mogwai-esque droning route that could have been taken. I was glad, as after a day of traipsing around London in New Rocks (why do I always do that before a gig) I was already thinking about pyjamas.

After not too long a wait, there came a 2 hour set from the Pumpkins. This Smashing Pumpkins review from the Guardian’s Ian Gittins pretty much nails it. Unassuming drummer Mike Byrne, another foxy bassist in the shape of Veruca Salt’s Nicole Fiorentino who borrowed from Gehring’s grey knee-high socked look, seemingly perpetually panic-stricken John Cusack lookalike Jeff Schroeder on rhythm guitar

"How the fuck did I get here?"

and Corgan.

My mate done took this wiv 'er mobile device.

Who was too important to indulge in banter with the crowd, obviously, although I appreciated his wry, puzzled smirk to the Mini-Moshers in front of me actually alternating between trying to create a pit/clap along to prog rock. Yes. Prog rock.

He occasionally lifted his arms like Jesus though to elicit a few whoops and cheers with varying degrees of success. More than what the other band members did, who seemed too terrified (being in the presence of our saviour and all) to move from their spots. There are probably clauses in their contracts warning against doing as much.

My gig buddy visibly cringed when the crowd failed to sing along when Corgan coaxed them to do so to the new material. And remarked “oh, they’ve brought their own applause!” when the weird thunderbolts and lightning (very very frightening) sound effects were aired between songs. Causing me to near collapse in paroxysms of laughter. This is when I wasn’t being blinded by the pyrotechnics. Perhaps they were tired of the spotlight being on them all the time, they have been in the business for 23 years after all.

(Wow. I suddenly feel old).

Personally, I though the new material sounded excellent, although I would’ve preferred to hear less of it. It was their second night at Brixton, so maybe those present the day before got to hear more of the Golden Oldies. I wasn't as disappointed as I'd been expecting, after hearing @aforaorta's warnings against seeing favourite bands live following her Sisters of Mercy ordeal, but I can't help but feel I would've appreciated it more if I'd been closer in age to the little tykes in front of me, one of whom I could've quite easily have picked up and stuffed into her backpack after having it knocked into my tits on one occasion too many. So it goes.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

From Caitlin Moran's 'How to be a Woman'

Caitlin goes to walk her dog on the Heath and has a revelation about the relationship she has been trying so hard to make work:

"The people around you are mirrors, I think to myself. The dog is paddling in the lake. I watch her lap at the water.

You see yourself reflected in their eyes. If the mirror is true, and smooth, you see your true self. That's how you learn who you are. And you might be a different person to different people, but it's all feedback that you need, in order to know yourself.

But if the mirror is broken, or cracked, or warped, I continue, taking another drag, the reflection is not true. And you start to believe you are this...bad reflection."

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Rihanna's 'Rude Boy' - Translated

In the spirit of Rob Delaney's beautiful take-down of Katy Perry's Last Friday Night...

Come on rude boy, boy

Can you get it up

Impolite gentleman, can you maintain an erection?

Come here rude boy, boy

Is you big enough

Discourteous young man, have you ever wondered about girth?

Take it, take it

Baby, baby

Take it, take it

Love me, love me

(An offering of affection to an infant).

Come here rude boy, boy

Can you get it up

Come here rude boy, boy

Is you big enough

Take it, take it

Baby, baby

Take it, take it

Love me, love me

Bad-mannered male adolescent, are you sure about that erection thing? Will it definitely be large enough for my vagina to actually feel anything? Ah, you can go ahead and fuck me anyway.

Tonight

I'mma let you be the captain

Tonight

I'mma let you do your thing, yeah

Tonight

I'mma let you be a rider

Giddy up

Giddy up

Giddy up, babe

I booked us on a cruise. We leave tonight. Although you don’t have to come. (But you do have to have to engage in horseplay).

Tonight

I'mma let it be fire

Tonight

I'mma let you take me higher

Tonight

Baby we can get it on, yeah

we can get it on, yeah

I haven’t tested the smoke detectors for a while. I will let you pump me full of rohypnol. Newborn, let’s have sex!

Do you like it boy

I wa-wa-want

What you wa-wa-want

Give it to me baby

Like boom, boom, boom

What I wa-wa-want

Is what you wa-wa-want

Na, na-aaaah

Are you satisfied, young chap? I am a submissive female. Present it to me like a bomb. It is what I desire. And it’s also what you would like too. Na, na-aaaah.

Come here rude boy, boy

Can you get it up

Come here rude boy, boy

You should Is you big enough

Take it, take it

Baby, baby

Take it, take it

Love me, love me

I am still unsure about the possibility of you obtaining tumescence. But I’m still willing to give it a go.

Come here rude boy, boy

Can you get it up

Come here rude boy, boy

Is you big enough

Take it, take it

Baby, baby

Take it, take it

Love me, love me

We’ve been at it for a while now and I am still uncertain about your manhood. Take this child.

Tonight

I'mma give it to you harder

Tonight

I'mma turn your body out

Relax

Let me do it how I wanna

If you got it

I need it

And I'mma put it down

I got so fed up with staring at your genitals, waiting for something to happen, that I went out and bought a strap-on. I intend to perform surgery on you with this device. I’m done with being submissive. If you got it. I must have bedroom toys. I like picking them up and putting them down again.

Buckle up

I'mma give it to you stronger

Hands up

We can go a little longer

Tonight

I'mma get a little crazy

Get a little crazy, baby

We’re back to horseplay. This time, with ketamine. Hive five! I gave you some Viagra! Possess a delusional toddler.

Do you like it boy

I wa-wa-want

What you wa-wa-want

Give it to me baby

Like boom, boom, boom

What I wa-wa-want

Is what you wa-wa-want

Na, na-aaaah

Do you approve lad? I’m happy to do whatever you want to do. Bestow the good sex upon me. I wish to reaffirm that I am completely submissive.

Come here rude boy, boy

Can you get it up

Come here rude boy, boy

Is you big enough

Take it, take it

Baby, baby

Take it, take it

Love me, love me

After all we’ve been through together, I still find you offensive and doubt the probability of your penis entering my vagina. I urge you to desire me.

I like the way you touch me there

I like the way you pull my hair

Babe, if I don't feel it I ain't faking

No, no

I like when you tell me kiss it there

I like when you tell me move it there

Oh! Progress! I enjoy the way you’re convinced I’m wearing a wig. I have never faked an orgasm. No, no. I enjoy being told to perform oral sex. I like being guided with the strap-on.

So giddy up

Time to giddy up

You say you're a rude boy

Show me what you got now

ARE YOU A MAN OR A HORSE?!

Come here right now

Can I borrow you for a moment?

Take it, take it

Baby, baby

Take it, take it

Love me, love me

I am bribing an infant to worship me.

Come on rude boy, boy

Can you get it up

Come here rude boy, boy

Is you big enough

Take it, take it

Baby, baby

Take it, take it

Love me, love me

I am experiencing déjà vu of a sexual nature.

Come here rude boy, boy

Can you get it up

Come here rude boy, boy

Is you big enough

Take it, take it

Baby, baby

Take it, take it

Love me, love me

Love me

Love me

Love me

Love me

Love me

Love me

Take it, take it

Baby, baby

Take it, take it

Love me, love me

Love me

Love me

Love me

Love me

Love me

Love me

yeh yeh yeh

Take it, take it

Baby, baby

Take it, take it

Love me, love me.

LOVE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Samsung Galaxy Ace

It’s been about a year and a half since I last did a review of a phone and that’s because I don’t get paid to test ‘em out, surprise surprise. I just wander into a phone shop when I’ve guessed my contract is up and see what fancy credit card sized piece of assured technological wonder they wish to bequeath upon the unsuspecting me, and write a load of bullshit about it on the internet when I can’t immediately figure out how to use it. So without further ado, I bring you my review of the Samsung Galaxy Ace. It probably has a bunch of numbers and letters following that astronomical (and presumptuous) title, but I can’t be arsed to search for which, so take what you get.



Available in politically correct colours.




I used to be able to walk down a busy high street, texting with one hand while watching where I was going. Thanks to the beauty and ‘ease’ of touch screen phones, I now have to pull up a chair, sit down, hold all calls for fifteen minutes, have a shot of something to steady my nerves and use both hands to send someone a text that’s usually full of typos from predictive texting anyway. I never, ever, mean to say ‘duck’.

The Samsung Galaxy Ace’s predictive texting even tries to predict what word you’ll be wanting to use next. The audacity! So if you’ve previously text a mate saying ‘I fancy Sam’ and then send another to another mate saying ‘fancy going for a drink?’ the phone will try to put ‘fancy Sam going for a drink’ before you intercept it. Fancy that. And fancy Sam doing that. An outrage.

I had that auto-rotation thingamy on for a while but I soon figured out how to switch that unearthly voodoo trickery off. I like to wake up gently by checking the internets in bed to see what latest drama has occurred and whether Justin Bieber has been killed yet. This involves me lying on my side. Poor phone did not understand. Phone insisted I rotated my head so much trying to keep up with its pirouetting that I spun myself out of bed a good ten minutes before my legs have had a chance to wake up.

What else. I suppose I should include some technical stuff. It’s got a 5mp camera. Which is nice. It uses the operating system Android. That means when texting (I do a lot of texting, ‘k) if you use a smiley, it’ll appear as a little green dudeblob gurning away at you. Cute.



This is the Android smiley for 'I did one too many tequila slammers last night, could you please bring me some bail money?'.




I tried signing into the achingly un-hip hotmail account I still have. All was well and good. Then I tried adding my other hotmail account. “Wrong Email Address/Password!” the Samsung from the Galaxy of Ace bleeped at me. And again. And again. I went onto my PC and typed out my details verrry slowwwly. Managed to log in. But on my PC. Not my phone. I want to check emails on my phone, dammit! Someone may be trying to sell me a loan or inform me about ‘insertion fees’ (*giggle*) on eBay! I’ve left it for now. Signed into the one hotmail account. Forever and ever, amen.

The maps thing is pretty awesome. Like the Marauder’s Map in Harry Potter, you can fucking see where you are in the world! Rock on. You can’t see where your friends are or the whereabouts of your stalkees but I’m sure that’s in the pipeline as soon as this fabulous write-up gets around SAMSUNG GALAXY ACE REVIEW SAMSUNG GALAXY ACE FEEDBACK PLEASE RT TONGUING GOOGLE’S BACKSIDE YEAH BABY YOU LIKE THAT SAMSUNG GALAXY ACE FEATURES SMART PHONE REVIEW. Ahem.

Where was I? Ah yes, moaning about something trivial. I still can’t send picture messages or text abroad but that’s to do with the deal I’m on with 3, rather than the phone’s fault. For once. I’m not changing the deal either, before you whinge at me to please text you pictures of me tonguing Google’s asshole. 100 minutes, 5,000 texts and 500MB internet for £15 per month is not to be sneezed at. Unless you’re allergic to numbers and pound signs and things. Bless you.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Things Alexis Petridis Has Described As ‘AMAZING’ This Month

  • @Ultrabaz’s list of records.
  • A Man Parrish record.
  • @tracey_thorn’s new single.
  • A comp of Roy Harper’s love songs.
  • A virgin train announcer.
  • David Gilmour’s house.
  • This man.
  • Morrissey live. (actually that one probably is)
  • ...I have NO idea.
  • He believes the 'amazing' music of Ibiza is a myth.
  • The fruits of birthday record shopping.
  • This video: http://youtu.be/7_d_fi8IDMo
  • Listening to this song at the same time as someone else.
  • 'Photograph' by Ringo Starr.
  • Katie Price’s magazine.
  • Forming a punk band in a totalitarian dictatorship, calling yourself Vim Cola and writing a song called ‘Public Bathrooms’.
Alexis Petridis does not think Ed Sheeran nor printers are amazing. He enjoys Grubbs burgers very much, as should you all.
Finally, his own mint martinis. AMAZING!
Cheers! =]

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Source Unknown

"The mirror is incapable of containing meaning, yet still manages to reflect the truth."

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Mirror Crack'd

Today I’ve gone from blubbing over the Lakeland Christmas catalogue to giggling hysterically as I mooched into the kitchen singing ‘Where Is My Cheese’ to the tune of the Pixie’s ‘Where is My Mind’. Is that what Bipolar Disorder is? Or, as I’m more inclined to believe, I’ve just spent too long studying depression in class, reading the casenotes of the depressed at work, socialising with depressed people, and what I’m experiencing is just actually a moodswing? I have the utmost admiration for all those therapists and social worker types who manage not to take their work home with them, turn their analytic techniques on themselves, resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Today also marks one year since I moved to Brighton. I left behind my University years (three of them), dead-end jobs in retail/admin (about seven of them), my collection of Canterbury Cathedral postcards (86 of them) and a horde of friends (two of them). I’m joking of course; I never collected the postcards.

My accomplishments so far have been finding work (lots of it, including stuff I’ve wanted to do my whole life, with brilliant people who care about my abilities rather than what I look like) and making many acquaintances (although it will take me a while to establish a friendship circle like the one I possessed in Canterbury and perhaps I never will). I’ve been to gigs, pubs, plays, stand-up comedy, a zombie march, plays, cinemas, markets, the Great Wall of Vagina, car and bike shows. I marched in the Pride Parade. I've travelled across the country and been on the telly. I’ve sat in green hazes of smoke in bedsits, I’ve sipped champagne in one of the finest hotels. I’ve done lots of silly dancing. Although there is no other kind with me really.

And now.

Now I have to move again. The pictures I’ve put up will have to come down, the flatpacks will be re-flattened, dainty knickknacks will be squashed indignantly into boxes ‘borrowed’ from work once more. Books that I still haven’t got around to reading will be sealed away again. I swear Paradise Lost has lived in about eight different homes now without even having had its spine broken. Ebay, Music Magpie and charity shops will all be revisited. My landlady has promised my room to her daughter, you see, now 13. Which is fair enough.

I am trying to look at this positively, to see it as a new chapter in the Brighton adventure. Trying. It’s difficult sometimes when I look at others of a similar age around me (although getting rid of Facebook has helped prevent this), moving in together, getting pets, getting married, having children, choosing nice pieces of furniture without having to make do with what was left over in the rooms by previous tenants, buying big loaves of bread instead of the halves (“SINGLE PEOPLES’ BREAD!” I’m tempted to shriek when I pluck it off the shelf).

I do realise I’m not exactly being thrown out of a caravan and being threatened with all my electricity and water being cut off before anyone points that out. And fortunately my current work involves reading through Housing Applications for Brighton and Hove City Council, so I have constant reminders of how lucky I really am. It’s about being grateful for what you have, not continually comparing your life to the Smug Marrieds.

Where am I going with all this? I need a (g?)room. I’m a good housemate. I’ll keep out of your way, do my share of cleaning and always pay my share of bills on time. Any future singing to dairy products or screaming at Hovis will take place in my head alongside all the other voices competing in there. Unless you want to join in, of course.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Put On My Best Sunday Dress

And I walk straight into this mess.



I was complimented on my attire today by a gentleman at work:-

“Nice dress.”


What goes through my mind:

“Oh god I knew I shouldn’t’ve worn this it’s too slutty wait maybe it was sarcasm it looks a little frumpy when I wear it with these thick tights and I’ve also had it for about a decade so surely it’s showing wear and tear just like the owner ha ha awh he was just being nice I’ve been wearing jeans to work for the last couple of weeks he probably said it out of shock more than anything

Omg what if he fancies me the others heard him say it they’ll be gossiping now and if I wear this dress again they’ll think I’m wearing it for him oh shut up Karen he said two words is all and it is a nice dress and you should wear it more often the red really brings out your

Eyes?

YOUR INSANITY MORE LIKE DANGER DANGER

Maybe I should’ve complimented him too even though I couldn’t think of anything nice to say off the top of my head oh no wait that’s what girls do with each other and anyway that’s fucking stupid just take the fucking compliment and be grateful for it now sharrup and gerron with your work.”

What went through his mind:

“Nice dress.”


Monday, 15 August 2011

Office Space

The results of my first bit of Urb-Exing for...quite a while. As always, CLICK TO EMBIGGEN.









Rule #1 of Urban Exploration documentation: Always draw attention to the lonely chair.











This chair has a friend. Chair fwend!





Very Metal.





Feets.














Rule #2: Everything looks more interesting in black & white.








Moar feets.








Brighton Town Hall.











Friday, 8 July 2011

The News of the World Factory

Recently I’ve noted a lot of links to blog posts claiming how Twitter use has helped the writer get through Hard TimesTM , and although I won’t go into as much detail as those heartfelt accounts, I must voice my agreement with the general sentiment. I apologise for being Miss Tweets-a-Lot, but I’ve really appreciated the escapism found in the banter, arguments, jokes, pictures and in having my attention drawn to matters outside my headbubble.

Right, that's out the way. Moving on.

Earlier this month I began training as a library assistant as I’m now on the casual list for Jubilee Library.



GEEK CHIC.



It’s an opportunity I’m really excited about; it may not be the heady heights some aspire to, but I have always fancied working in a library. Talking to like-minded colleagues and customers about books, films and music all day, helping people improve their skills, cute kids (and I NEVER use those two words in such close proximity) who've actually heard of Roald Dahl as well as Sophie Dahl. The downside: seeing so many books I want to read but being unable to read them as my job is to shelve them! Surrounded by water and not a drop to drink.

With that, the BHCC work, the copywriting work and the fact that my next eight or so weekends are booked up with visitors now that it's summer and I live in Brighton - cheers guys (I love you really) - I have my hands full. As my mood is on the up my scathing humour has taken a nosedive, however. Is it possible to be happy and creative? Or do the best concepts evolve from depression?


One thing guaranteed to raise my hackles still, giving me sparks of anger that sometimes give rise to creative bursts (creative swearing counts, right?) are the seagulls. The big ones have made little ones and because they don't know how to fly yet they walk up and down the roof. Being in the attic room, I hear EVERYTHING. You want to know the best seagull hangouts? Which seagull is rutting which? I've got the info you need. You can pay me in earplugs.



Hovering. Always hovering.



Add to that the screeching, cackling, squawking, car alarm noises emitting from their foul hooked beaks and gun shot splatters of shit that land on my window with such impudent accuracy and you have a very angry blogger. I even caught myself Googling 'how to kill seagulls' and sympathising greatly by the people desperate enough to ask the internet.

"What's the best poison to kill seagulls?" cries Scott from Wit's End.

"You should've asked what's the best poison to kill you!" replies Smug Pratt from Ivory Tower who clearly gets 12 hours uninterrupted sleep per night.


I had to take a Skype call (my first ever) from one of my copywriting bosses and had to overcome my fear of the webcam. Bought for me by a well-meaning friend who doesn't fully understand my technopohobia.



This is the face of fear.



Then I realised that with the right angles and lighting, webcams are brilliant at masking pesky blemishes and HAI THERE NEW PROFILE PIC. And that's why fat spotty 15 year olds love them so much.



Look! It even removed my braces and glasses!



Turns out after all the faffing image wasn't necessary in the end, just the sound. My amused boss commented on the seagulls he could hear and sighed, "I miss that sound". I said I'd tell them to fly his way like the Wicked Witch's monkeys as soon as I can figure out how to snare them.



And I hope you choke on it.



GIRLY PART - not to be confused with girly parts. (Meh, I warned you this new-found contentment had put a damper on my wisecracks). I went to the hairdressers and asked them to remove approximately 50% of my hair as I was fed up of waking up looking like Monica Gellar in the tropics.



They thinned it so much if you glanced at the floor afterwards you'd have been forgiven for thinking a wee terrier had fallen from my barnet.

They said it would feel stubbly and fuzzy at the back - it doesn't - but now I want to know what that feels like. I'm tempted to take another chunk off, this time at the side instead of the back, à la Ulorin Vex.



Yep, nothing at all could go wrong with that plan and I'll definitely end up looking just like her.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Mono Bobo

I was flipping back through my notebook, hoping to find something to inspire me to write again. I found I had transcribed the following contrasting quotes:


Douglas Coupland

“By the age of 20, you know you’re not going to be a rock star. By 25, you know you’re not going to be a dentist or any kind of professional. And by 30, darkness starts moving in – you wonder if you’re ever going to be fulfilled, let alone wealthy or successful. By 35, you know, basically, what you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life, and you become resigned to your fate.”


Alex McCandless

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.”


Compare and contrast. That old English GCSE opener.

Then I threw into the mix this nugget from Tom Hodgkinson’s How To Be Free:

“To realise that everything is meaningless is tremendously liberating, since it then leaves us completely free to create our own lives and ignore the plans that others have for us”.


Mmm, literary threeway.

Everything is meaningless.


I’ve been in a type of limbo at the moment, hence the lack of braindribbles on here and subsequent pimping. However, at the Concorde 2 which recently scooped an award for Best Live Music Venue, I discovered Mono provide the perfect soundtrack for limbo. First heard them mentioned by a friend while bumbling around Kemptown Carnival. Soaked them up on Spotify the next day, found out through Last FM a friend was seeing them on the Monday. Always good to have somebody to conduct the typical arms-folded, foot-tapping, head-nodding stance with.



I almost drowned in the richness of the epic compositions, sprawling gloomy melodies from undeniably cool musicians (an inevitable accompaniment to their Japanese heritage) and in my own sweat. (Second warmest gig I’ve been to – first prize goes to (appropriately named) Yuck, at The Hope in 2010). What made up for that (apart from the music with no vocalist to detract from the soundscapes) was the fact I could actually SEE for a change. I’m 5’ 3”. I struggle at gigs. And in cinemas. And when trying to turn off smoke detectors. And when trying to make a point and be taken seriously. Most of the crowd seemed to be even shorter than me! Some even sat cross-legged on the floor!! Everything contributed to make me feel momentarily uplifted, borne away from the truths Coupland speaks of.

Everything is meaningless.

Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Please RT

Can we all agree this 'RT' thing is immensely annoying and has to stop?

It seems more and more people are realising that if they copy and paste other people's tweets that they decree amusing or informative enough to share (along with an 'RT'), instead of merely clicking the 'retweet' button, should their followers also wish to retweet them, their name will also be credited.

Example:





Another benefit of the using the retweet function the way it was designed to be used is that it prevents the same tweet appearing twice in your timeline. If you followed both comedyfish and MooseAllain you would've seen that pun twice. If you followed both and comedyfish hit the retweet button instead of peskily typing 'RT' you would only have seen the original, and not have that nanosecond of your life wasted by reading the same information. Comedyfish knows that if people follow him and not MooseAllain they are more likely to retweet his 'RT' of MooseAllain and his name gets included in all the retweets. It's almost like taking credit for the joke.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Radio 2 Bingo

In my current workplace we are allowed to listen to the radio, unfortunately it is always tuned to either Radio 2 or cricket. Both still beat listening to the same 14 songs on a loop during my stints in retail. You have to wonder what the higher management are thinking when they enforce rules such as that. “How best can we motivate our workers Bill?” “Gosh Tim, what say we aurally drown them in the crooning of Will Young and Dido? For 7.5 hours a day?” “Amazing idea, I’ll ask Louis Walsh’s Mum to devise the playlist!”

By listening to the same radio station from 9am to 5pm, you’re bound to hear a few tracks repeated. But I’m pretty sure Radio 2’s DJ’s have decided the nation needs a dose of Eliza Doolittle’s Mr Medicine administered once daily. And it’s been ‘Hollywood Tonight’ for Michael Jackson every day (confusingly) since Christmas. A fact of which I’m pretty sure he’s oblivious, much like most Radio 2 listeners are about what ‘going Hollywood’ means these days.

I wondered how this growing resentfulness towards certain tracks, previously enjoyed by myself and my colleagues – an enjoyment worn thin through repetition – could be turned on its head. So much so that we even pray for the songs to be played. I suggested we all pick a few songs and the person who has all their tracks played first shouts “BINGO!”. The imaginatively entitled ‘Radio 2 Bingo’ was born and has evolved into a musical monster, the prize being the much sought-after ‘kudos’. In case anyone out there wants to play along (what with the Come Dine With Me Drinking Game not lending itself well to an office environment) I’ve taken the trouble to list the rules below.





Jeremy Vine aka ‘Jeremy Whine’: may he rest in peace.


Radio 2 Bingo: The Rules





  • Tracks are randomly distributed to players from the official Radio 2 Playlist. A separate pot will contain artists most favoured by Radio 2 DJs such as Phil Collins, ABBA and The Carpenters. We have three singles and three artists per player; other potential teams can bend this to their will.


  • The scoring of points can only be counted during work hours. Sucks to be you if one of your chosen tunes plays at 8.58am. Serves you right for being early, you brown-nosing tosspot.


  • 3 points scored for a single being played.


  • 5 points scored for any of the artist’s records being played.


  • Double points awarded if Steve Wright-in-the-Afternoon sings along during or after any of your songs.


  • Double points awarded if any two songs/artists are played in succession.





  • Doris was thrilled to hear Duran Duran and Jessie J being played back to back.



  • All points accumulated that day are deducted if Jeremy Vine verbally indicates that he either likes the song or artist that has been played.


  • On days specified as ‘cricket days’, play will be suspended until the next available day.
  • I personally do not agree with this rule. But then, rather that than listen to 50+ hours of Chris Moyles.

  • If all six of the player’s songs have been aired in one day a bonus of 10 points will be awarded.




So there you have it. The product of my most creative idea in the workplace since suggesting to the manager of the charity shop where I worked that customers might prefer to choose their clothes by size rather than by colour (“Oh but people are attracted to colours.” “When they’re looking at rainbows maybe. When they’re clothes shopping, they want something that fucking fits.”)