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|Thursday, March 8th, 2007|
It's spring! Not officially, of course, but you can always tell. I never quite realise how thoughroughly fed up the winter has made me until I step outside one morning and am not instantly coated in a film of miserable grey drizzle, and I see that the flowers are out and am suddenly gripped by an urge to hurl myself at the spring grass and claw at the turf like a maniac.
In honour of this, I have decided that we should take the now-traditional springtime trip to West Midlands Safari Park to marvel at nature and beasts and the like. Dan is slightly less enthusiastic, after having been nibbled by an Eland last year, but I'm sure he will enjoy it really. Besides, the White Lions have had baaaabies!
In other news, I bought a three-hour-long arty French film off Amazon a couple of weeks ago when I was a drunk and forgot all about it until it arrived in the post on Saturday. I think this makes me awesome.
I should point out that I wasn't so drunk I didn't remember buying stuff from my wishlist, in case you think I am some kind of degenerate wastrel. I just couldn't quite recall which things. This is the sort of thing I might forget when sober, to be fair.
The film is called Celine and Julie Go Boating
and I caught the last couple of hours of it on Film Four at about three in the morning over the Christmas Holidays and fell in love with it. I watched the whole film on Saturday evening, while I was making some earrings and there is still another disk full of special things for me to watch later on.
Briefly, the film is about two girls, who meet in an Alice-in-Wonderland-esque chase through Paris. They discover a strange old house and take it in turns to explore, emerging at the end of the day with no memory of what they have done and with a fruit bonbon in their mouths. Sucking on the bonbon enables them to 'see' what has happened in the house in out of sequence snippets. By making more visits and collecting more bonbons, they gradually piece together a period melodrama (which seems to be very loosely based on Henry James's :The Other House
), in which the girls take it in turns to play the part of the child's nursemaid.
Those are just the bits that made sense. I can't claim to have understood it entirely, although I think there is something in there about childhood and mother figures and feminism and reality vs film, and, erm sitting about in your dressing gown and making magic potions from clover and giving some to your fish.
Hang on, someone has just crashed their car into the house.
ANYWAY, as I was TRYING to say before someone reversed into our hallway (they are all ok, by the way), the film is funny and surreal and charming and makes me want to go and live in 1970s Paris.
There is a large strip of metal with 'Peugeot' written on it propped up by the front door. God damn.
|Tuesday, February 27th, 2007|
I've decided to do the '50 Books A Year' Meme (Citing ultra_lilac
(2007) as my sources). I'm going to write a bit about each book, too, partly because I haven't had much to say here lately and it will pad out the old journal a bit and partly because I still rather enjoy talking bollocks about books, even though I know I will probably never be given a job talking bollocks about books, thankyouverymuch People With Useful Degrees. ( In which I am a bit mean about Bram StokerCollapse )
|Tuesday, February 6th, 2007|
All of my buttons have arrived within a day of each other: The ones from the U.S.A, the ones from Hong Kong and the ones from China. They will make awesome
jewellery. I realise I have become a bit of a Button Bore of late, but I don't care. I am so excited I could vomit. Nice.
|Monday, February 5th, 2007|
I seem to have inadvertantly drunk a litre of Coke in one sitting and now I can't get to sleep.
|Sunday, February 4th, 2007|
|Just one more thing...
I have granted a rare interview to Boy Reporter keithlard
, which can be read below, should you be interested in my views on TV detectives, blue things, and the like.
If you want to be interviewed by me, comment below and I will reply with five questions which you should post to your journal and the offer to interview other people!1. Which TV cop would you most like to be, and why aren't you?
Well, this is quite difficult, because although it would be nice to have super-sleuth powers, the people who write these things seem to think that a proper detective should have wrist-slittingly miserable private life. My favourite TV detective is the Jeremy Brett version of Sherlock Holmes, but then being addicted to smack would probably be quite tedious.
American detectives tend to have a jollier time of it, I suppose - Quincy inexplicably lives a playboy life on a yacht full of ladies and Magnum P.I. can usually be found bodging about in a Ferrari and looking cool. On the flipside though, Quincy spends most of his working life elbow deep in somebody's corpse and his boss is a git. As for Magnum P.I., it would be quite difficult to reconcile myself to suddenly transforming from a twenty-something English girl into a mustachioed 1970s love god (apparently).
So I would choose to be Columbo. Hero to all who regularly wear mismatched socks to work and write important information on the backs of bus tickets.
The second part of your question presupposes that I am not, in fact, Lieutenant Columbo, which has not necesarily been proven to be the case. While you may have a point that I am neither male, a policeman, middle-aged, Italian-American or a cult icon of the late twentieth century, I am quite similar to Columbo in other ways. I am incredibly disorganised and usually a bit crumpled-looking, which often leads some of the business-types I come into contact with to look on me as a bit of an idiot. But I would have been helping them all with their algebra homework fifteen years ago, so they can bollocks. Also, I like cigars and dogs. So, you know, I might
be Columbo.2. Left or right?
Left. I am officially the only person in Britain who has never said "I don't care if Ben Elton has sold out, I thought he was a wanker anyway!"
I mean, I've said it now
, but quoting other people doesn't count.3. What are your three favourite blue things?
The sea, blues music, unfashionably pale jeans (although I think they are having an 80s revival at the moment, so perhaps I am in style again).4. Do lies make Baby Jesus cry?
Probably I have said this before, but I think the Baby Jesus ought
to cry, really. Otherwise how will Mary know when he wants his bottle? It would surely be more of a deterent to tell someone they made Grown-Up Jesus cry, because babies will cry at anything. Or maybe if you wanted to go for the guilt factor of having upset a little child, you could tell someone they made the ten-year-old Jesus cry. It is a flawed concept, I say.5. How do you solve a problem like Maria?
The traditional way of dealing with problematic women is to pack them off to a convent, but that probably wouldn't be all that helpful in this case. Another way of dealing with her would be to engineer it so she falls in love with a Jewish guy and then tip off the Nazis. Those sneaky nuns.
|Monday, January 29th, 2007|
|Pirate Apple and Emo Skull!
I have made a new logo for my ebay shop, incorporating two little mascot dudes I made up just for the hell of it. Meet Pirate Apple and Emo Skull! I have dreamt up a little story in my head whereby they actually run the shop and design the jewellery. Pirate Apple is the loud one, who comes up with all the snazzy marketing ideas and Emo Skull is the shy one who does the accounts and calms Pirate Apple down when he wants to tell awkward customers to piss off.
For some reason, I also have a theme tune going through my head, which basically involves singing 'Pirate Apple and Emo Skull' to the tune of 'Me and You and a Dog Named Boo', like this:Pirate Apple and Emo Skull,
Travellin' and a-livin' off the land.
Pirate Apple and Emo Skull,
How I love bein' a free man!
I am not going to include any of this in my item descriptions, however, as I suspect potential customers might think me odd and head for the hills.( Logo under the cutCollapse )
|Friday, January 26th, 2007|
I have just booked myself and Dan in on an hour-long Owl Falconry lesson. When I called to give my details, the woman on the phone said "Hang on a minute, I've just got to put this bird down", which was rather thrilling. Also, I have bought an accordian off the internets and there is a small doggy sitting under my desk. All in all, not a bad day's work.
|Thursday, January 25th, 2007|
I just spent over a hundred pounds
on buttons! I ought to make it back fairly quickly, but still! A hundred pounds, on buttons!
God damn. Hong Kong Ebay is my cut-price plasticy friend.
In other news, this: Titter.
|Wednesday, January 24th, 2007|
I was sitting at my desk yesterday when it suddenly stuck me that the office smelt exactly like Conway. Specifically, it smelt like the guest house we stayed in when I was eleven and my class went on a field trip to Conway. If you'd asked me beforehand what that place smelt like, I wouldn't have been able to tell you, but as soon as I smelt it, I knew it was exactly the same.
It's a very strange thing, smell.
|Monday, January 22nd, 2007|
Have just called someone with THE loudest answerphone beep in the history of telecommunications. 'Beep' doesn't cover it at all, actually. It was more like a guinea pig being raped by a foghorn. The ear on the other side of my head
In other news, today has seen me crawling arcoss the office on all fours going "I'm coming to get
you!" and growling. But I was talking to my bosses' brother's dog, so that's
|Saturday, January 20th, 2007|
Who are getting married today and so will probably not be on Livejournal, but still:
You make an awesome couple and I wish you every imaginable happiness in the future. Even the really obscure types of happiness.
Huggles! And all that sort of thing.
Funny weather, eh? It was howling an almighty gale yesterday. Seemingly out of nowhere, because the day before had been fairly calm. The town centre was actually corndoned off by the police, because bits of shops kept flying off and threatening to clonk people on the head.
There is an enormous sculpture of a spiky metal man bolted onto the side of the local shopping centre, about thirty feet in the air above the pavement. Which, to be honest, is probably asking for trouble. His name is 'The Man of Fire', but everyone calls him Jack Frost, so you probably get the picture. Anyway, apparently his leg has fallen off, or something, which I would love
to have seen. I told everyone who came into the office that the whole sculpture had fallen off, because it is fun to start harmless rumours.
This morning, on the other hand, was as calm as you like. I imagine people will blame the gale on Global Warming, but I prefer to think that some narrative tension was reaching a climax somewhere nearby and it was just a freak case of Pathetic Fallacy. I spent the morning idly wondering how that went for them. I am not really sure whether cold but sunny weather the morning after the storm would denote a crisis resolved or numbly contemplating one's failure and loss.
In other news, Dan has been cleaning out his wardrobe and getting rid of old stuff, which he apparently hasn't done since at least the early nineties. I don't think he knew he still owned a lot of the stuff. There was a baggy black-and-white check lumberjack shirt that caused especial mirth, particularly when I asked if he'd worn it with Joe Bloggs jeans with red patches on the arse, and he was able to produce a pair of those as well!
I have to admit to having rescued his big old denim jacket with the 'Metallica' patch on the back and kept it for myself. I do not know if this is considered a fashion crime or not, but I like it. Plus, he sewed the patch on himself when he was about fifteen. For some reason, I find that completely adorable. The thought of little fifteen-year-old Dan with his Heavy Metal patch and his mum's sewing machine! Awwww!
|Tuesday, January 16th, 2007|
Where the bloody hell are my keys?!Much later...
|Thursday, January 4th, 2007|
Imagine the following scenario:
You are writing the final episode of the first series of a sci-fi/thriller type thing. This is THE episode. The one that needs to make your viewers remember how bloody brilliant your show is for however many months there are until your second series.
You have gone for a not-entirely-original armageddon scenario, but you are handling it rather well so far. There is a nice contrast between everyday life and the sinister portents that are insinuating their way into that everyday life and threatening to destroy it. Something is messing with our heroes' minds and turning them against each other. They are helpless and angry as things get gradually more creepy and foreboding. And you don't reveal what is behind it all or why. It could be anywhere or do anything.
And when you have stretched the tension tight as a drum, you have something horrible happen (the effect of which is aided by the fact that at least one of your actors is actually quite good). One of your viewers who is definately not me will have a bit of a cry about it. And the viewers know It has won. It has got them where It wants them. But they still don't know what It is.
Now is the time for your Big Reveal. Time to make us quake in our boots at what they are up against. Time to make us remember the bits of your series that were awesome and forgive the bits that were, frankly, a bit poo.
Bearing all of this in mind, what is the one thing you would avoid doing at all costs? The single most overused, most clichéd, least
imaginative sci-fi bogeyman you could possibly imagine? The sort of thing that will make your viewers go "What?!?" and throw things at the TV?
Seriously, humour me.
|Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007|
|Then we had sausage and chips.
Although I am not very good at 'My News'- style entries, I have noticed that my last post is one that slates Christmas, which I cannot let lie. Christmas has been lovely and restful ("You know, quiet". Although I'm sure people would say that even if they'd spent Christmas abseiling down a mountain of midgets in Catmandu). Lots of buffets and boardgames and even, at one point, a jigsaw puzzle. I am quite enjoying becoming old and curmudgeonly. It is a change from being young and curmudgeonly, anyhow.
Santa bought me a Playstation 2 and some nifty games (actually, Dan bought me a Playstation 2 and some nifty games, but Santa always gets the credit), one of which is Lego Star Wars, in which you play the first three Star Wars movies, except that everything is inexplicably made of Lego and the game is intersected with famous scenes from the films being mimed by little Lego dudes. This is a bit random, but also completely awesome
. On one of the first levels, you can blow up this secret wall and behind it is a little Lego Darth Vader, doing the "You have failed me for the last time, Admiral" mid-air strangley thing*. Awesome!
I also got an Eye Toy, which is a bit like a Nintendo Wii, except instead of a wand, there is a little camera that sits on top of your telly and just detects your hand movements. It has the advantage that there is no danger of throwing the wand through your TV screen, but on the downside there is less opportunity for saying thigs like "I had a Wii for Christmas" and then laughing like an idiot. It also takes sneaky photos of you while you are busy bitchslapping ghosts or whatever and then shows them to you after the game is finished. In some you will look rather impressively kung-fu. In others you will look like a drunken seal being bothered by a fly. It is all down to chance.
I have made a plethora of New Year's Resolutions, all of which fit under the broad umbrella of 'Ceasing to be Such a Lazy Bastard'. I began yesterday by getting out the bin bags and starting to tidy up the flat. This is not an easy task, as I am not really ruthless enough and there was probably too much finding impressive junk and not enough throwing stuff away. Nevertheless, I had indulged my inner Embarrassing Dad by downloading some ridiculous 80s hair metal off t'internet to psyche myself up (Spring Cleaning is so much more fun if you can pretend you are in a sports movie montage) and have made good headway with the study and the living room.
I was about two minutes late for work this morning, but everyone else was even later, so I am going to count that as a backhanded success and Try Harder tommorrow.
*Mid-Air Strangley Thing Kung Fu.
|Wednesday, December 20th, 2006|
So we go from the best thing about ebay to the worst thing about ebay, which is this: Christmas.
More specifically, it is people buying your stuff as Christmas presents only a couple of days before they need them and then developing a case of Consumer Indignance when the stuff doesn't immediately drop out of the sky and into their laps.
Yet more specifically, it is some spoilt brat, who you have gone out of your way to accomodate with discounts you weren't obliged to give her, who gets her Dad to send you a stern Points-of-View-style email threatening to leave you negative feedback because his little darling wrote on the bottom of her invoice that she wanted the earrings posting the next day and you couldn't possibly get them sent that quickly.
The more canny among you might have guessed that this is not a purely hypothetical situation. The most annoying thing about it is that she bought six pairs from me, so she can leave six lots of negative feedback in a row. It will only count as one negative overall of course, but people who don't look at my profile too closely might think I was left negatives by six buyers in a row. Still, if she thinks she's getting a refund she can whistle. I'm buggered if I'm going to reward her with free stuff for acting like an overindulged petulant little toff-larvae.
The second most annoying thing is that she actually delayed me herself by deciding to buy more earrings on the day I was due to send her original order off.
most annoying thing is that I am much better than her daddy at writing condescending emails, but I know it probably wouldn't be wise to send one.
There are probably fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh most annoying things about this, but I haven't got round to putting them in rank order just yet. I suppose if you are selling present-y type stuff on ebay, you need to take a bit of negative feedback on the chin at Christmas time. There are bound to be some people who leave everything until the last minute and then automatically assume it is up to you to rectify their lack of organisation by making their stuff instantly materialise on their doorstep, right at the time when you are up against a large volume of orders and the Christmas post.
I suppose I will have to write a big disclaimer for idiots in all my item descriptions now. That is the sixth most annoying thing about this, right after "her STUPID FACE".
Oh goody! I just got an email from another customer to let me know that I missed one of the pairs of earrings he bought off his order. I have never done this before in all the time I have been selling, but I couldn't have timed the fuck-up worse. Seven lots of negatives from two different sellers would look very bad indeed. And the fact that I would fairly obviously deserve negative feedback for this one would probably make people more inclined to think I deserved negative from this other girl, too.
I'm paying to have the other pair sent next-day delivery and refunding the postage he paid, though, so hopefully he won't be too pissed off.
I feel like one of Santa's elves. And not in a good way.
|Monday, December 18th, 2006|
One of the best things about ebay is the utterly bizarre combinations of things that people sell in their shops. My most recent find is a Haberdashery and Sex Toys Shop, which I imagine you would be hard pressed to find on the high street. I didn't actually know it sold the sex stuff until I bought a job lot of heart-shaped buttons for making into earrings from them and found a little business card in the jiffy bag assuring the utmost of discretion and unmarked packaging. Which I was a bit confused about until I went back and had another look at the shop, because it had never occured to me that people might be coy about needlework.
So yeah, the first lot I bought was super discreet, as advertised and no-one would have guessed my secret button-buying shame. However, Dan got off work early this Friday and when he came to pick me up he informed me that a package had come for me with a big sticker on it that said 'Strictly Pleasure'. I wonder if the packaging gets gradually less discreet the more stuff you buy? Perhaps the next time I buy buttons from them they will come in a parcel shaped like a great big cock.
Luckily I do not get embarrased about such things, because all of the post for our flat is left on a big ledge at the front of the market, so everyone who came in* on Friday would have been walking past what was basically a sign saying "THE GIRL IN THE UPSTAIRS FLAT HAS JUST BOUGHT SEX TOYS!!" I suppose in a way it would be churlish not
to buy sex toys off the internet, now that all the neighbours think I do anyway. Although if they didn't look close enough, they would probably just think we were getting the Swingers' Club's mail by mistake again.
Of course, in my head, they all got a bit nosy and gave the package a good prod to see what was in it. And then they were haunted by a sense of sexual inadequacy for the rest of the day, because they couldn't think of a way one might pleasure a woman using a bag of small plastic hearts.
*'Everyone who comes into the market' actually only consists of friends of the stallholders, who come in to drink cups of tea and talk about exes that done them wrong.
|Friday, December 15th, 2006|
|In which I enthuse about ice cream like a wild eyed fanatic.
Today has been a day filled with minor annoyances. Nothing particularly noteworthy, but I had chalked it down as being one of those days that the shipping forecast would call 'moderate or poor'. Until I decided to try a bowl of the new ice cream I bought on a whim because it was cheap and realised that I had unknowingly purchased the Best. Ice. Cream. EVER!
I am now entirely cheered up. I didn't even realise I needed
cheering up until I had a spoonful and my whole body went "Mmmm yummy! All cheered up now!" I am not even going to tell you what flavour ice cream it is. You can't have any. All of this flavour of ice cream is mine!
I am going to sneak into the ice cream factory by night and leap into a giant vat of it and cavort about like a lunatic.
|Tuesday, December 12th, 2006|
I went to see The Philharmonia Orchestra (well, the string section, at least) in a sort of mini-concert in Leicester yesterday. I have never really been to anything like this before, but my folks suggested going as a family outing, so I thought why not? All I really know about classical music is that some of it sounds quite nice, but that at least meant that all early indicators were positive.
I did have a very limited experience of orchestras beforehand, but that only extended to having been a rather reluctant member of a (bad) school orchestra, a dictatorship run by a music teacher with a hunger for applause from 'the mums and dads' that bordered on the fanatical. We didn't really play any classical pieces, though. We just used to put on Christmas Concerts and play things like Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree (badly).
The venue was a sort of community arts centre thing which reminded me a bit of a sixth form college and was rather cringe-makingly named 'The Peepul Centre' ("It's like people
, but but spelt wrong, so it's cool!" Shut up, Arts Centre Naming Commitee.) To get to our seats, we walked through narrow corridor painted a deep claustrophobic shade of red. My sister said it felt like walking through a giant intestine. "That door is, like, an anus!
", I said. Beavis and Butthead moment.( More under the cutCollapse )
|Friday, December 8th, 2006|
|On cruelty to clouds, pretending to be an Azerbaijani pensioner and singing to cows.
I was tagged to do this approximately fifteen yonks ago by ultra_lilac
and now seems like a good time to fill it in, seeing as I don't appear to have much to write about apart from work grumblings, which is not much fun to read unless you happen to be particularly fascinated by the property business or grumbling.
"Once tagged by this entry, the assignment is to write a blog entry of some kind with six random facts about yourself. Then, pick six of your friends and tag them; no tag backs. This explanation should be included."1.
When I was a kid, I 'invented' a game called 'Rat the Seabull', which as far as I recall involved kneeling on a chair and batting a balloon about. Why it was called 'Rat the Seabull' and not 'Bat the Balloon' is likely to forever remain a mystery. I also once bought a balloon from Bellton Park near my Gran's house and called it 'Silly Blue Balloon Patchit Bellton Park'. I suppose what we can infer from this is that I had a childhood fondness for balloons and for giving things inexplicable names.2.
I have a large collection of plastic dinosaurs that I have been amassing since childhood. Occassionally I get them out and make them go "Rar!" at each other. Ever since I got my camera-that-also-does-very-short-videos,
I have had a strange urge to record a version of the 'Upper Class, Middle Class, Working Class' sketch from The Two Ronnies (with John Cleese) using different sized plastic dinosaurs.3.
I am probably the only person ever to have been made distraught by a story in a 'Twinkle' Annual. It was about this village where they were having a drought and the King calls in some smartarse troubleshooting guy to help them out. Then it shows you this jolly chubby little cloud floating through the sky with a beaming smile on its face. But in the next panel, this troubleshooter guy gets out a bow and arrow and shoots the cloud in the side! So now the cloud is all hurt and crying and of course the village has rain. And that's the happy ending!
But - but - the cloud! It was all smiley and friendly looking and then some git came along and stabbed it! I remember licking my finger and rubbing it over the picture of the cloud with the arrow in it to try and make it hurt less.
Actually, I'm still cross about that story. If I find it again, I will draw an extra panel on the end where the cloud bravely pulls the arrow out of its side and throws it with deadly accuracy into the troubleshooter's eye. That entirely-fictional BASTARD!4.
I had my growth spurt freakishly early. On several occassions I went shopping with just my Dad, when I was still young enough to be holding his hand and the salesladies thought I was his wife. I also went to the school where my mum taught once on a day when my school was closed and was mistaken for a trainee teacher by a member of staff.
Sometimes it was amusing, but it could be pretty annoying, too. If you look like an adult (albeit a rather skinny flat-chested one), but act like an excitable nine year old, it tends to get you some funny looks. I think a lot of people mistook me for a simpleton! 5.
During my GSCE years, I would often miss the school bus accidentally-on-purpose to avoid having to go in. Not because I struggled with the work, but because the other kids had all long since decided that I was a massive dork and would only speak to me in order to say something witheringly scornful.
Sometimes I would walk to school, because I figured that walking four miles to get there would make my parents and teachers think that I was actually super-commited to getting to school and missing the bus was an honest mistake. I walked re-heeeally slowly though, so as to cut out as much time as possible.
The road I walked along went pretty much through the middle of nowhere. There was the road, lots of farmers' fields and not much else. The cows seemed friendly, even if my classmates weren't.
I remember one day I decided to climb over the fence into one of the fields and walk right into the middle, until I was far away from the road and from people in general. Then I sat under a tree and sang a song to the cows.
I suppose it was rather an odd thing to do, and if anyone had seen me they would have thought I was stark staring mad. I wasn't though. I just liked fields and cows and singing and wanted to do something to cheer myself up before spending another day being disliked by everyone.6.
I once briefly posed as an 83 year old man from Azerbaijan on The Internets. I was playing an online poker game which unfortunately had a very irritating chat feature that was being used for awkward online flirting by American teenagers. After having ignored about twenty 'A/S/L?' messages, I finally decided to have a bit of fun with it, and the ensuing conversation went something like this:
Girl: Wow! Are you really 83?
Me: Zi! (That means 'yes' in my language).
Girl: I am only 14!
Me: I wish I was 14! My grandson is 14. He is showing me how to use the computer.
I didn't talk to her for very long though, because she seemed like a nice kid and I felt a bit mean about playing a trick on her. Still, my Azerbaijani Alter Ego was a kindly old gentleman, so I was perhaps of some benefit to U.S.-Azerbaijani relations.
I tag: emilytheslayer