Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mentally Prepared for Nudity

My worst nightmare has been realised... I am going on a corporate team building event to play golf tomorrow.

This is the biggest indicator to me so far that I am totally right in my desire to be a self-employed, lonely comedian who never has to team build, is entirely selfish and certainly has no reason to want to play golf. Unless of course I was doing an Alex Horne tribute show and it was necessary but that it tangetial, a little obscure and too ridiculous a reference for us to take seriously.

Why in the name of heaven has golf managed to crop up for the second time in two weeks after 24 gloriously golf-free years?? I DO NOT LIKE GOLF - why is the great God of golf attemtpting to ply me into his bunkerous world of bollocks?

It's not just that I don't like golf, I also don't like caps, I don't like jerseys, I'm not a huge fan of flags, and manicured grass makes me very annoyed. Golf is just an excuse to ruin perfectly good stretches of wild land with the sporting equivalent of an ornamental pond.

And yet, here I am, going on a compulsory day trip to South West London to go and putt and wedge and wood stupid little balls into stupid little holes.

All in the name of team building. Team building?

What is team building about golf? Surely a sport that has more obvious teams would be far more appropriate? Can't we all just watch Tin Cup and team build over mutual disrespect for Kevin Costner's career path? Can't we all just accept that we're office workers, we have no interest in socialising unless it's over drinks and the only reason we've congregated is that there's always one person drunk enough to buy most of the rounds?

Eugh... I've also been advised to wear a polo shirt. I've not worn a polo shirt since I was about 13 and my school switched over to shirts and blazers. I'm not even sure I own a polo shirt. Is it acceptable to just selotape lots of polos to a normal shirt and turn up on a horse?

Not happy. Not happy at all. They are obviously trying to build a team with a profile that I just don't fit into. Perhaps it's time to leave.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Stupid Girl

Everyone's laughing at the stupid girl,
Because she fell in love with the sea.
She said the oceans waved to her,
"Each tide is meant for me."

Everyone's feeling for the stupid girl,
Because she put her toes on the sand.
And she dreamt of rings and of winds and horizons,
And an ocean to just hold her hand.

Nobody cried with the stupid girl,
When she learnt the water was cold.
She learnt all its lies and its tricks and goodbyes,
"I didn't know the sea was so old."

We all despaired with the stupid girl,
When she moved to live near the sea.
She sat on the docks and scribbled and wrote,
Until she perfected her plea -

"It's me or the moon, you can't have us both
But you can have me and the solemnest oath.
I promise to love you, well beyond the shore,
From mountain to city, to hilltop to moor.
I'll worship your tides and your ebb and your flow,
On a raft of devotion, I'll go where you go."

Everyone's laughing at the stupid girl,
Because she got turned down by the sea.
He lingers too far from the shore to be hers,
But too close to the light to be free.

Everyone's laughing at the stupid girl,
Because she fell in love with sea.
She said the oceans waved to her,
"Each tide is meant for me".

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Impatience is a Birch Tree

Well, who'd have thought it - I've just discovered I'm actually too small for train seats. I'm sitting on a Virgin Train (going to Lancashire since you ask) and if I put my laptop on the table I can't reach it to type whilst sitting back against the chair... when in the hell did this happen?

I've now got the laptop on my lap, meaning that I'm typing a bit like a Tyrannosaurus Rex with my elbows in my armpits. Obviously I could shuffle forward so that I can reach the laptop but then I'm not really getting the full feel of my seat comfort and I paid good money for this chair.

Surely no one is big enough that this chair is the proper size for them? What the hell's going to happen on the way back where I've booked First Class? Is it possible to get lost in a train seat? I don't want to spend the rest of my life mopping up the crumbs from commuters' cucumber sandwiches as I wander in a desert of leather seating, eternally condemned to a life en route to Penrith. Do they have leather seating in First Class? Because I really don't want to get stuck on velour, or that weird 'it would be carpet if it were on the floor but it's masquerading as chair fabric' stuff.

I'm sure I haven't always been this small, in fact, I never really feel very small compared to other people when I'm around them but then every now and again something like this happens and it freaks me out. It's like finding out one day that all this time you've been using a circus mirror and that actually you're a Borrower but no one wanted to tell you in case you cried.

Is everyone else getting bigger? Maybe this is a clear example of POLITICALLY CORRECTNESS GONE MAD where we're trying to cater for massive people on trains to the extent where smaller folk like myself are havign to ask for booster seats to see out the window. If it is that people are getting bigger would it be possible for them to stop? It's just that the only way I can sit comfortably in my chair and get some work done would be to sit cross legged in the chair - which I can comfortably do (I just checked) - and I'm sure that's -

a) Not normal for a fully grown adult
b) Going to get me a penalty for putting my feet on the chair.

If I were to get a penalty it would inevitably lead to an argument with the guard over the practicality of the seating arrangement. How do you explain to someone that you were forced to defile their mode of transport because they'd put the cushions on steroids and you were having trouble staying afloat?

I'm not sure what to do now... I'm a bit worried I'm too small. None of the other people on the train seem to be having any trouble. I don't want to have to ask them for their vital statistics in order to assess the situation but if I come across anything else today that poses a problem I'm going to kick off. I will be phoning whoever ran the census and checking exactly where I stand in terms of National average size. Then I'll be writing to Branson and telling him to sort his seats out as I'm now feeling gruimpy and insecure over my diminshed stature. Stupid train.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Bah... first day back at my desk in a week and my concentration levels are dangerously low... it's almost a struggle to keep my eyes looking in the same direction for more that 15 consecutive seconds. I feel a bit like a character in a video game that visibly switches off if you don't interact with it for more than a minute. I wish my body had a screensaver programme so that when I got ultra bored and wanted to disappear into a daydream I could do that and just leave a facade of activity on the front... bliss.

The most exciting thing that's happened to the office while I've been away is that we now have mugs. No more paper cups and worrying about the environment - I can drink a proper cup of tea in a proper mug with a handle - what more could a girl ask for? Not a freaking lot. Well, maybe a job that was intellectually stimulating and didn't involve daily investigations into Google's latest strategy. Can we just all agree that Google have a great sense of humour and not much of a strategy and it's hilarious that such a huge industry has evolved around it? If we don't mind doing that then I can go home now. Thanks.

I think my ideal job will involve some kind of wildlife aspect to it...perhaps as Kate Humble's assistant or some kind of zookeeper with a stand up slot in between feeding the goats and otters? If I was on animal park I'd like to work with Keeper Brian Kent who loves the wolves, I would be Head of Section Laura Lexx and I would be in charge of all small animals and llamas and goats. People would come from miles around to marvel at my Dr Doolittle type skills as I fixed the sick critters and taught blind children to ride them. Everyone would love me. Think Mary Poppins but with pigs.

I'm not even allowed to have a pretend animal section at my current job - we have a Tidy Desk Policy. The Tidy Desk Policy is an attempt to keep all elements of personality out of the workplace just in case you enjoy yourself and show that you are not a money seeking machine. I think this is probably for the best though because before the Tidy Desk Policy I used to play with my neighbour's stuffed toys to the extent that when I bumped into an unknown co-worker in a bar one night he introduced himself by asking "Are you the girl that sits down the other end of the office...were you playing with a bell yesterday?"

I had to explain that, "Yes, I was playing with a bell - because the cow had been run over by the rubber car and so the bull was in an ambulance going to rescue him."

I've not spoken to that guy since and, actually, he now sits with his back to me. When I'm self-employed as a comedian I won't have a Tidy Desk Policy, I will have a Creative Desk Policy which will mean I have to add something cool to my desk everyday until it becomes unusual and then I need to buy a new desk. By the time I'm brilliant and have my own comedy club and TV sitcom I will have a room dedicated to desks of all shapes and sizes and cluttered to the ceiling with brilliant artefacts.

But, for now...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Programmed for Entry

I am trying to do all the online things that I haven't had time to do all week... it is proving to be difficult. To make matters worse, I also have an hour less to do these things in thanks to the summer coming and all that jazz... if I don't get round to finishing my census thingy then I blame it entirely on the Government for putting the deadline in a 23 hour day. Ridiculous. I hope there's a box to tick so I can say I am one of those people who struggles with the clock changing.

I'm also trying to do my Fringe Program entry... bugger me it's tough! I've got 39 words to describe the play I wrote and make it as appetising as possible to folks who I want to come and see it. This is a really difficult task for someone who writes reams and reams daily.

39 words?

In 39 words I have to somehow explain that the play is about the media, 7/7, grief on a national and personal scale and a small family... but that it's not really miserable, it's quite funny in places, it's a new piece of writing and that it's the best thing in the program that goes by the name Ink.

Easy peasy?

Not easy peasy... I'm so precious about the damn play it's unreal! I'm petrified of using the terms 'darkly funny' or 'tragic' or 'moving' because they are exactly the words that would put me off going to see it. So, I need to try and describe a play about the media impact on the victims of 7/7 without it sounding like it's quite a heavy piece of ass... excellent.

It's quite interesting trying to sum up myself for the census and my play for the program on the same day. I'm much more fussed about the play coming across properly - there's every chance I'll rush the census through a bit quick and wind up declaring myself a one-legged male with some dodgy religion. Either that or my fringe program entry will list "Ink - 24 year old female, no previous criminal convictions, University Degree, dodgy singing voice."

I mean, the logical thing to do would be to stop writing my blog and put some attention to either but it's damn difficult so I think I'll carry on writing here. I'm a bit in love with my tiny blog world - it's like my baby... except that with babies people aren't allowed to write their own opinions on the bottom. That would be weird and you'd have a messy baby. Potentially you wouldn't be allowed to keep your baby for long if you let people do that to it. Interesting.

I also think it should be totally illegal to have deadlines on sunny days. There should be some system for pushing everything back a couple of days when the sun is out so that we can go and make the most of it. There's just nothing worse than being between walls when you've got blue sky pouring in the windows and actual heat in the air outside for the first time that year. Perhaps I'll attach a list of opinions and suggestions with my census, just so they get a really clear picture of what I'm like - opinionated and terrible at both concentration and entertaining myself!

I'm almost certain that long walks in the fresh air are very good for concentration and creativity though so I think it's probably a good thing that I've already put my shoes on...yup, I think this can only be a good thing...

Saturday, March 26, 2011


So... there's already been a few things on the news this morning that have made me stop and think.

1. 20 people have died in Syria as they protested on the streets.
2. There will be protests across the UK today against the cuts.
3. Strikes on Libya are continuing and Gaddafi is preparing to arm civilians in the fight.

One of those three items from the news really sticks out like a sore thumb doesn't it?

This is another one of those blogs where I'm not sure I have a point and I suppose we'll find out whether I do or not as we go on! I think of myself as fairly ill informed when it comes to Government policy and the details of current events - I am in that dangerous bracket of people who have a little information but not nearly as much as I should have. For that reason I'm not suggesting here that the British public should not be exercising their right to protest against changes to their country that they think are damaging.

What I do think, is that it flares up some seriously interesting points for consideration -

1. Despite the fact that everybody in this country with a brain cell is fully aware of the atrocities and murder and brutal tyranny that exists in Libya at the moment, there are still anti-Tory protesters who will happily call David Cameron a cunt. Now, I hesitated over whether to type the word properly there, such is the strength of the word for the vast majority of people - it's a pretty strong condemnation. And we're willing to go there for David Cameron.
Does this mean we simply don't have a vast enough array of words for proper accuracy on the level of accusation? I don't think so... does it mean we might be a little OTT on our dislike of political figures? Perhaps...
Again, I reiterate my point that I don't object to the protests against the budget cuts in any way... but, I do find it a difficult contrast that in this country we are moved to the streets to protect a library so that a child has the right to not use it. In Libya, the public are moved to the streets so that a child has the right to democracy. Have we any words left for David Cameron should he decide to become dictator?

I feel there'll be some people wishing they hadn't used their C*bomb so early.

2. 20 people have died in Syria during protesting. In the last strikes, there was a huge uproar when police footage showed a young protester being dragged from their wheel chair by police. And it was shocking, and unacceptable, and not something that should ever happen again. If anyone dies today in the protests, there will be an absolute media storm - and so there should be. It would be a disgrace. But 20 people have died in Syria doing absolutely the same thing people from the UK are going to do today... and it's just become a standard news item.
Is it distance that makes it acceptable? They're far away, we can deal with death from a distance...?
Is it that they're Syrian? Do we still have that subconscious racist layer that demotes a death if it's from a country we know is less prosperous than ours?
Is it because they were protesting something a little more intense than budget cuts? Is death acceptable for some protests, but not for ours?

For all that the world is an international entity thanks to worldwide media, we're very good at pulling our collective consciousness back within our borders when it suits us.

3. Perhaps Britain is just uppity? Is that why we insist on voting the Tories in every decade or so? Gaddafi has been a dictator for 40+ years, and his people have finally had enough now. People born into his regime, knowing nothing else, are now rising up and fighting to get out of it. We've had David Cameron for a year or so now... we're pretty annoyed with him. Did we like Blair better? When's the next election? When can we get rid of him? Which colour shall we vote for next?

It just strikes me as being a totally different standard of life where we're moved to the streets and using the strongest language possible, and literally furious over what would be a pebble in the ocean to people in other lives. And we can't claim ignorance, we can't say we don't know about it so we must only focus on our own lives. We know about it. We can't claim there's nothing we can do - if we believed that we wouldn't be protesting over budget cuts and University fees (please don't get me started on the idiocy of saying people shouldn't have to pay for their own education).

So, there we go - perhaps that's my point. Whether or not you like the Government and believe it's doing the right thing with the deficit. Please, bear in mind our Government are unlikely to kill you, or starve you, or use rape as a weapon to stay in power. You're unlikely to starve.

Even with our country as "inhospitable" as we seem to be finding it right now, it's still heaven to the scores of immigrants who would die to live here. Protest away, protest at the top of your voice - but can you say thank you at the same time?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hey, Book!

I would really like a time machine... with my time machine I would use it to go back to the time period of every book I've ever read. Then, I would sit and read my book in that time period and see how much things matched, how the smells come alive in the reality of it. Books are incredible and I think they're a bit like Pringles for me, in that, once I've started one I pretty much have to read it as quickly as possible if I like it. Some books are obviously like Cheese & Chive Pringles and you sort of put up with the first 10% to see if you were right about not liking them before you give up... but most are very catchy.

I think, with a book, you're allowed to put so much more of yourself into it than you can with a film - you read it in your own style and put your own voices in and imagine things in a completely unique way. I have a tendency to skip large chunks of description because I'm a bit narrative fixated - it means I get an action packed book but often have to go back and re-read sections because I have no real idea what's going on.

I suppose no book can really be exactly the same to two different people - no matter how meticulously read or written it was. It's a little bit like the (put on Kitson voice) "How do you even know you see the same red as I do...?" argument, except that it's less irritating and more an interesting study into how different people perceive different things.

I find books very absorbing and they leave their print quite firmly on the places that I've read them - I get infused in them and they in my memories of their time frame. For example, the DLR line between South Quay and Greenwich is peppered with memories of Conquistadors because that's where I did most of the reading of an excellent historical novel about those fellows. The duvet cover I bought myself as a present with my first pay cheque is also the same duvet cover that Lady Jane Grey had because they both came into my world at the same time and apparently my imagination is flaky at best... I've already outlived the good lady by about 7 years so I'm not unduly worried.

At the moment I'm reading a really excellent book set in Nero's reign... it's honestly amazing and one of the first books I've ever read and nigh on hoped they'd make a film of it - a really good film. I don't often feel like that, I usually like to keep books as close to my heart as possible and get very annoyed when they make a film. With The Time Traveller's Wife, I just can't bring myself to see the film in case it spoils the memory of the book. But with this book (Rome - The Emperor's Spy by M.C. Scott) I want to see it play out, and I want to see the men in the story properly... and without my time machine, I sort of need it to be a film.

That's really all I have to say, but I feel like (in true High Fidelity fashion) I should end on the best 5 books I can remember reading right now. This list would probably change daily as you asked me, but we'll go with it for right now -

5. Captain Correlli's Mandolin
4. Each Peach Pear Plum
3. The Time Traveller's Wife
2. River God (Wilbur Smith - actually the whole series is amazing...but we'll list this one for now...)
1. The Lies of Locke Lamora (Scott Lynch - there's an impending series which can't come quick enough...)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Flaming Lack Of It

Writing these blogs in the evening is going to have to stop... by this end of the night I have said everything that's occurred to me within the day and now I just quite simply have nothing left... It's things like this that make it genuinely baffling to me that I don't have a boyfriend - who doesn't want a girl who becomes incredibly vacant and prone to good naturedly nodding along to anything after 11pm?

The reason for the late night blogging this week is that I've been filming. I'm currently "starring" in a small student film being made over in Twickenham. I've discovered Twickenham is near an airport. Planes are loud. This results in every shot having to be done 4-5 times to make sure the sound recording is right for it. Frustrating to say the least.

I'm not sure I'm that enamoured with being on camera if I'm honest... it's obviously still better than the day job - everything is, but, it's not theatre... there's less of the magic involved in the acting on camera. To be quite honest, most of the time you feel like the actors literally could be anyone and that the shot angle and the lighting are doing most of the work for you. Perhaps I'm actually awful and they simply blame the planes and lighting and angles on the reason we have to film everything repeatedly - if so they're terribly tactful about it.

The crew we're working with at the moment are very friendly - there's lots of laughing on set and certainly less ego than I've encountered in my experiences in theatre. I suppose there's potentially less pressure on a film when you're shooting digitally and you have plenty of time. The crew frequently ask if I'm alright and if I need anything as though they're confused as to why I haven't thrown a strop yet. I could tell them I'm biding my time for when I think it'll really surprise them but so far the supply of biscuits hasn't run out so I'm keeping quiet.

Every 5 minutes I'm asked if I would like a drink and then I get a puzzled expression back if I say I'm fine. I could explain that were I to take up every drink I'm offered we'd be struggling with continuity on the level of bloating I'm experiencing but I don't want to frighten them into thinking I'm insane. They already think I'm a queer specimen being a comedian. Everything vaguely amusing that's happened on set so far has been offered up to me as 'something you can use on stage' should I want to. The concept of an in-joke hasn't really settled in our motley team yet so I've just accepted all the titbits and I'll attempt to weave them into a bin somewhere along the line. Maybe tomorrow I'll start outlining narratives for films and ask if they'd like help getting the storyboard ready.

I must away to bed now, another day in front of the lens tomorrow in a pair of joke spectacles that make me look like the live child of Eric Morecambe and a cheap Harry Potter. Glamour-ous.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The World Is My Travelcard

Oh dear... it's 23:17 and I'm very aware that my ability to write interestingly/coherently is severely diminished by the time I get to this end of the day. I'm sorry about that. This is what happens when I'm forced to do proper things during the day which take up time and don't allow me to wonder about anything trivial.

Right now I'm wondering why I have to have a digestive system that barely functions. If you were a fly on the wall in my room, not only would you be very unwelcome, but you'd also probably think I was playing dead right now. I'm trying very hard not to move so my stomach doesn't notice I'm still awake and start trying to emigrate to my anywhere and everywhere else. I had a salad earlier and, despite all the worlds' assurances that fresh salad and fruit and vegetables are good for you, salad makes me feel very ill.

In some ways I'm quite proud of my body because it's successfully recognised that salad is crap and just flavourless water in food form. It's noticed this, taken on board the information and then gone out of its way to make clear to me that it doesn't appreciate having the stuff piled in on a daily basis.

On the other hand, it's quite difficult to explain to people at barbecues why you've assumed the foetal position while everyone else is still playing boule.

The fact that lettuce makes me want to die might be a sign that I should give up on life now - I've clearly driven blindly down some evolutionary cul de sac that not even a Nissan Micra driven by The Stig could get out of cleanly. But then again, perhaps this just means I'll be a superhuman bread based being who conquers all by running on carbohydrates alone.

What else have I pondered today? Er, not a lot in all honesty... I've been out filming in Twickenham, missed all of the beautiful weather and then raced as fast as I could to Soho to present the London Fringe Radio show... which was cracking. Particularly enjoyed the yodeller and the music by Brondi Bros.

Let's hope tomorrow is just as action packed but with far less whining from me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

You Could Be The Best Thing About Me

I went to Rugby today. Rugby is the town in which the sport cricket was invented and is now famed for its magnificent golf courses. Amazing. Interestingly, it also holds the world record for most number of snooker games held in one month (July 1987).

In Rugby I dealt with orphans who were very much in need of a nurturing influence. Unfortunately I was the only person available and so they were dealt a pretty bum deal but they coped with it well. If nothing else, the under-privileged really are resilient.

Give a man a fish and he can eat for a day, but teach him to play backgammon and he'll be confused and angry enough to never bother you again. That's my motto.

I have very few mottos except -

1. If you have to debate whether or not you need to wash your hair, you need to wash your hair.
2. If you've had two large glasses of wine on an empty stomach and are considering whether blogging is wise - go for it. Furore is funny.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Urban Golf

So... tomorrow night I have been invited out to play Urban Golf... I said yes before fully considering two things -

1. I don't know what Urban Golf is...
2. I can't play regular golf let alone a more complicated version...

So, all in all, tomorrow evening tomorrow is looking interesting at best. How does one dress for Urban Golf? Is it OK to combine your golf trousers with a hoodie and a backwards baseball cap? Or, am I supposed to attempt some kind of Urban chic ensemble where I totter about Kensington playing golf and declaring that I'm so cosmopolitan I never use my oven and I think it's fine to talk about bikini waxing over breakfast? I don't think I am particularly urban... the highlights of my weekend were baking cookies and going to see an animated film about a lizard.

Is it acceptable to shout Fore Sho' every time you hit the ball particularly hard?

I'm not particularly adept at golf, however, I have a sneaky plan... I will blame my poor performance on the differences between Urban and Country Golf... of which I have decided the main differences are -

1. Being in the rough means something completely different in the city.

2. Concrete greens are much harder than grass.
3. In Country Golf if you hit feral creatures it's not the end of the world, in Urban Golf people get mad you've hurt their kids.

Having examined the website for urban golf, it turns out it's some kind of golfing simulator for people who can't be bothered to leave London and go and experience fresh air. This strikes me as the perfect opportunity to cause a little well-placed mayhem...? Maybe just enter the simulator and start freaking out about the wide open spaces?


I might not get invited back to play Urban Golf again in the near future, but it would be worth it...

I think the whole idea of Urban Golf is flawed... it goes against basic evolution. There are sports designed for Urban living - bowling, conkers... pogs... golf is not one of them. Golf is an incredibly tedious, mind numbing tool of a sport and then only thing that makes it vaguely worthwhile is the ramble in the open air with a golf club in one hand and a bottle of Saint-Emillion in the other. I have a feeling I won't be allowed to drink in the simulator.

Having said all that, I'm game for a laugh... let the chaos ensue...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Procrastination is the Highest form of Battery

It turns out when I have a deadline for something there is actually no end to the levels of procrastination I will go to... so far today I've cleaned my room from top to bottom (I find if you do it bottom to top, the dust from the top falls down and it's a catch 22), I've done two loads of washing and now I've agreed to go for a jog with my housemate...

That is a true sign that I really don't want to fill in my Fringe Programme form.

Running alone is one thing, and one thing I'm not very good at... but running in a pair?? I tried to say no but he made it sound like a nice social event -

"We can have a chat, we'll call it a jog."

That seemed like a nice idea at the time. Now, I'm contemplating getting myself into shorts and wheezing round a park trying to run and talk at the same time while my whippet like housemate breezes past like Billy Whizz on a good day.

Oh holy crap. What the hell made me think this might be a good idea?

It's going to be quite difficult to fake an injury and get out of it given that we live in the same house and I'd probably have to throw myself down the stairs to prove I'd really done something. Even I think that's excessive...

I suppose this is going to be a good time to find out if the Cod Liver Oil pellets (they look like solid leaches) I've been taking for the last month have had any effect on the lubrication of my rubbish hip joints. Maybe, when I've got my shoes on, I'll be an absolute power house? Maybe my house mate will be lying in my dust crying about how beautiful the moment was.

There'll be kids and ducks steaming to get out of my way as the pond in Burgess Park twinkles in the sun light...

...or I'll return to my room in an hour or so, still a little flabby and bright red and still with an entire form to fill out.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

You Cad, You Bounder, YouTube

What better way is there to start a Saturday than by indulging in the infantile debates on a YouTube video?

I haven't joined in yet... I've just sat back and watched the genius arguments punching back and forward across the unassuming video. For all that YouTube is supposedly about watching videos, lets face it, it's actually about watching homophobic morons trying to engage in serious Caps Lock based arguments with people who should know better.

I don't spend nearly enough time on YouTube... I've been naive in the past and tried to convince myself that it was for other people. It's definitely for me.

I think YouTube is where the missionaries of our generation go. They sit there, hour after hour clicking the refresh button and waiting for iH8Fagg0t5-99 to say something else that they can put down with a stunningly open minded argument.

If only there was a class we could give these people at college that would teach them it's futile. In the eyes of a large swathe of the world's internet users, everything bad in the world was caused by some man's desire to love another man.

The apocalypse will probably be the result of a pretty intense love making bout between two amorous men.

It'll have to be the end of the world, and there'll be nothing we can do about it because we'll all be looking the other way. The liberated among us will be looking the other way out of decency and the right wing will be furiously trying not to let their suppressed arousal get the better of them.

Then the YouTubers will have been right... then we'll know. And we'll curse ourselves! Why didn't we listen??

Justin Bieber has the offer of significantly more sex than the average angry web user? Of course he is gay!!
Ashley Cole has married one of the sexist women on the planet? Of course he's gay!
Wayne Rooney had sex with a granny? Cunning ruse to cover... HIS GAYNESS!
Elton John married a bloke? What a hetero. Too far. No way he's gay.

The internet makes it very easy for people to lash out quickly and without much thinking - it has to make you wonder whether the YouTube reaction to great past events would have been something we'd be particularly proud of...


OMG I <3 him soooo much!!!! Sooooo sweet when he talks about his kids!!! Anyone else think he's kinda hot too??? LMAO!!


 He dreams? Gay.


 - This content has been removed


Yeah m8! Your so rite! Dreams are for gays. I never dream. I don't even sleep.


You guys are so harsh! Rofl! I think he's cute! You should loosen up! So, is this guy William and Harry's Dad?


That's what he wants you to do. Loosen up -  SO HE CAN BUM YOU. @SlipknotMadeMeWhoIAm - Don't talk to me, only dragons are my friends.


WTF? All I said was... This content has been removed


Well fuck you @DragonsAreMyFriends Go and have gay sex with your gay dragons then.


Stop it guys... why cant we all just <3 each other? This guy had a beautiful message ad you're ruining it. I'm crying on the inside.


Let's face it man, only dragons really get me. You couldn't handle this.


I could handle you. I could handle you better than you've ever been handled.


Guys! Please calm down, it was just a dream... it's not even real.


Oh yeah? @SlipknotMadeMeWhoIAm - When are you going to handle me then?


Tomorrow night you weak piece of ass. I am going to deal with you so hard.


Done. You are going down...


Er, are you guys gay?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Little Legs and Lima Beans

Right, I came down this morning to find people I didn't know in my living room.

That was fine.

I came down a little later to find the people I didn't know had left.

That was fine, I might even say better.

I went into the lounge to find they had used my Tim Minchin mug and left a cup of cold tea in it.

That was not fine.


Whoever you were in my living room this morning... we need to talk. It was OK that you slept on my sofa, I'm sure you must know one of my housemates. It's OK that you wanted tea, it's OK that you borrowed a mug to do it.

It's not OK that you used my Tim Minchin mug. Do any of the other mugs in the kitchen have a shrine and their own shelf? No. Just that one. Do any of the other mugs in the kitchen have a small bed made of MDF that I constructed and tuck it into every night? No. Just that one.

What made you think you were special enough to use my Tim Minchin mug? Huh? Get your head out of your ass and notice that it is special. PLEASE!

It's the only totally black mug in the kitchen - I know that makes it stand out. And also makes us look like mug racists. But, it was not made for you. Did you wash your hands before you used it? Where is my note to praise my excellent taste in comedy, music, mugs and mug beds? Huh? No one is that busy that the details of such things don't occur to them.

The other thing we need to discuss is that you've not even drunk the offending tea you've 'brewed' in my haven of praise. My Tim Minchin mug is not to be snubbed. Is that clear? If you use it, if you touch it, IF YOU EVEN LOOK AT IT, it is important that you finish the tea you've made.

Have I offended you in some way and you feel the need to piss me off by ruining my children? I wouldn't come round to your house and take a poop that I didn't flush. I wouldn't come round to your house and start to adopt your favourite child and then stop. I DAMN SURE WOULDN'T COME ROUND TO YOUR HOUSE AND MAKE SOME PISS POOR TEA IN YOUR FAVOURITE MUG AND THEN LEAVE IT PLAIN SIGHT.

My Tim Minchin mug remains in the kitchen or in my room. It never, I repeat NEVER sits on the coffee table where it could be knocked off and broken, or seen through the window and stolen. May I remind you, my mug and I live on the Old Kent Road... it's a rough area. Do you think I'm going to survive long if people find out I have excellent mugs and clearly a taste for cerebral comedy?

Are you trying to get me killed?

I think it's best you don't come round here again. I'm going to wash and re-laminate my mug since you defiled it. But it's important I never find out who you were. Because I will shred you, so small I can then keep you in your own mug. Next to my Tim Minchin mug... and we will both mock you.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Shall We Get Together?

I'm sitting in a cafe near Highbury and Islington station thinking to myself that I should probably put my glasses on to avoid a tremendous headache. I appear to be in a terrific family run cafe and am cursing my efficiency in bringing a packed lunch as it's making me feel wrong about ordering some spaghetti. I'm craving more spaghetti today after eating an enormous plate of it at 11pm last night after my housemate left me a mouthwatering pan of it.

But these are all domestic details, enough about me - how are you? What have you been up to lately? It's so long since I've seen you... in fact, have we even met?

It's difficult to know what to blog about today... let's face it, the world is a mess. I sat on the tube last night and looked at a very clearly illustrated diagram of the incredibly dangerous situation at Fukushima... I looked at the Fukushima 50 who are risking their lives to keep the plant stable, I looked at the people digging their dead relatives out of the rubble. Then, I turned the page and looked at the burning tents in Pearl Square... I read a brief note to a soldier killed recently in Afghanistan, and I heard about Prince William's trip to Christchurch.

Then I got home and ate spag bol and checked my Facebook, applied for a few gigs and went to bed. The immediacy of my life and the mind-numbingly trivial things I do in a day just couldn't override the atrocities and disasters going on all over the world.

Is this what the end of the world will be like? I always thought, when the disasters starting building and everything seemed to be gravitating towards a chaos that spelled doom, the world would know... and we'd all do something to get ready for it. But, there's some really, really dangerous stuff going on and nobody's given up their jobs and said - perhaps it's time to change for good.

What's it going to take to make us wake up, if it isn't earthquakes, tsunamis and threat nuclear of nuclear radiation and explosions - on top of escalating wars and massacres... what will it take?

The best the UK can do is Comic Relief? A night of having to provide people with top notch comedy to make them donate...? Isn't that odd? Do we really need something in return to make us give? What on earth has caused this programming?

Because, in a few minutes I'll close my laptop, head up to Barnet and go into a meeting. I'll work hard in the meeting and become a part of the mass hypocrisy I'm talking about here. I won't even watch Comic Relief tomorrow - not because I look down on it (I think it's an admirable cause) but because I have a gig of my own. Which is more important to me.

How quickly everything you thought you knew about yourself or about man kind, fails to be true when examined or put in to practise.

Laura, would you ever put work above family?
No, never.
So you still live near enough to your family to stay close and you prioritise social events with them above your career...?
Well, no.

Laura, what's more important - world peace or eating chocolate?
World peace.
How much have you spent on chocolate in the last month compared to how much you've contributed to aid for overseas conflict?
Right... I'm sensing a pattern.

Is this what makes the human race great? The fact that we can be so single minded... the fact that continuation of your own lifestyle seems to come above all else for most people? Is this what's kept us going? It's a curiously shameful self-preservation tactic, if not a successful one.

I suppose I don't really have anywhere to go with this... it's just a general musing on people and the way we are and the way we deal with disaster and problems. It's probably an entirely necessary state of affairs, without which we would be permanently alarmed at the sky falling on our heads.

But, when it does dawn on me that the world is about to end and I'm still dressed in a suit, in London, holding a laptop... I think I'm going to be fleetingly sad.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Comfort Eating

I sorely miss my brother today... he keeps cropping into things I'm thinking about and making me wonder what he'd think or what he's up to. I'm very close to my brother, he's nine years my junior in age, ten years my senior in IQ and roughly the same as me in terms of giggling like an infant at juvenile jokes.

We've lived apart for about 6 years now and I've missed an awful lot of him growing up - obviously, I've spoken to him in the intervening years but it's not the same. My brother suffers from that interminable problem of being utter crap on a phone call. He literally cannot hold a conversation, despite being a skilled wordsmith in real life. It's like, without a face to look at, his whole process of formatting sentences falls apart. Perhaps he's a robot.

In recent months when we've spoken, I've noticed he seems to prepare a few questions as 'small talk' for the beginning of our conversations. But once those are used up he's a little stuck. I like these questions, they make me feel important and make me want to mess with him by giving the weirdest answer he'll be able to cope with.

I've got big plans with my little brother. I hesitate to use little there as he's nearly a foot taller than me already and has shoulders the width of my car. Not that you'd know it, as he makes full use of his teenage slouch to completely blend in to any social situation. We intend to move to America together when he's old enough to feed himself and hold his head up... possibly to San Francisco (because his favourite film is Princess Diaries - unless you're one of his friends reading this, in which case it's my favourite film. Ahem.) There, we can have a huge open topped car and be terribly exciting because we're pale and interesting.

I'm not sure why I miss him so much today. I'm working on a mathematical equation for happiness which roughly balances that number of brilliant people you need around you in order to stay sane against the masses of morons.

At the moment, it goes something like this -

Below 5 morons = 1 Brilliant to keep you on track

5 - 10 morons = 2-3 Brilliant people so you can pick and choose the style of brilliance that'll keep you going.

10 - 20 morons = 5 Brilliant people (so they can each be a member of the Friends cast and you can pick who you want to be).

20+ morons = you clearly have a sub-level day job and no amount of Brilliant people is going to make you feel perfect. Best to just gather as many people as you can.

My brother is not only a Brilliant person, but he's also very similar to me in a lot of ways, meaning that my perceived level of his brilliance shoots up due to inherent egotism.

His aim for future career is to be an oncologist so that he can do something about fixing cancer. For a 15 year old, I think it's impressive that he knows what an oncologist is, let alone that he wants to cure cancer instead of playing football.

I need to make the most of the years when he still thinks of me as cool... he'll be off to uni in a few years, and as a rugby, hockey and saxophone playing guy with blue eyes, dark hair and 3 older sisters who've beaten him into being a total ball of decency, he's going to be a catch. Let's just hope she's got banter...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Maria Would Be Proud

Today I experienced one of my favourite things ever... a taxi driver who is not racist but still willing to talk to you!

Getting in a taxi like this is like opening up the centre of a Kinder Egg to find you've got the kind of toy that needs putting together and having intricate sticker added.

Not only was this taxi driver not racist - he was also hands down hilarious. I think you're beginning to understand why I would need to dedicate a whole blog to him. He was brilliant.

For starters, even if he had been a xenophobic tool, I would probably have sat and listened to him chatter all the way round Rotherham just because he had that excellent mixture of Pakistani and Yorkshire accents which is a true joy to the ear. He couldn't finish a sentence without calling me 'love' and delighted in telling me all the ways in which people try and rip you off on a daily basis. Despite teaching me how to haggle for the vast majority of the journey, he refused to accept anything less than the £10 he asked for... and I feel I'd almost have happily paid twice. Just for the amusement of getting to travel with someone genuinely interesting.

Weirdly, it was when he started telling me about his wife that I truly, truly felt my soft spot for him developing into an entire duvet. He explained that they were truly good friends, and that was what made it work. They had been married for 22 years (plus 2 years of 'hanky panky' before - genius!!!) and they still worked perfectly as a couple.

They had five children together, which together made up his firm proof that he must love her because he hadn't married her for a pass port. I think any married person would tell you that spending 22 years with anyone is not worth getting a pass port for. But he and his wife are blissful.

He has truly made what would otherwise have been an exhausting day, really shiny. I'm very grateful for him for doing his job with a little bit of extra personality and spicing up my taxi journey immensely. What a hero.

In other news... my room's a tip, I've only eaten apricots and toblerone today, my hair looks like a precarious birds nest having been just released from its bun... and I have to go out in about 10 minutes for a gig in Tooting. Rather than solve any of these problems, I'm blogging about a genius taxi driving man that I'm not sure I'll ever get over. Huzzah for the world.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunshine and Hair

I have just discovered something groundbreaking about myself... and it is this -

So long as either my hair or the weather are great, anything can happen in a day and I won't mind.

Now, I'm not sure if this makes me easy to please or very shallow, but it is a fantastic thing to know about oneself so early into your life. From this point onwards, I can deal with anything as long as I've got the right shampoo for my hair style or I'm living somewhere with a good weather system. And, the brilliant thing is, that the two factors in a good day can compliment each other brilliantly.

For example, today, both my hair and the weather are super groovy. I'm not blowing my own trumpet very hard, but, were I to swish like Eva right now, people would be asking questions about penta-peptides and whether I'm worth it. I'd scowl in response with a look that said, "Of course I'm worth it, now stop looking at my hair, you're using up the shine."

When I step outside, the sun is blazing down onto a chilly day - REFLECTING OFF MY HAIR!!! Incredible, it's like the two things have come together to achieve a feat of natural beauty rarely seen off the back of a wet otter. Passers by can marvel to themselves at the onset of Spring and of the brilliance of the human head warmer. And all for the price of a quick shower and some upside down blowdrying.

Next time I'm not looking forward to a day, I know all I need to do is find out whether there'll be an extreme of weather that day to enjoy, or get up early and do something to fix my barnet. Humans seem to be quite simple creatures.

I think, even if Prince Harry announced his engagement to Chelsea Davey, I wouldn't get sad today. Mostly because I've gone off him a bit lately, but also due to the hair and the weather thing.

I've got a gig and an audition tonight, I'm sure the promoters of each will be so blown away by my follicle beauty that I'll be famous by tomorrow. Then you guys cna feel smug about having been a friend/reader before I hit the big time. Then, like a true buttefly effect, happiness will spread across the world like a rainbow... all eminating from my gloriously radiant bonce.

I wouldn't like to say that I've solved 90% of the world's problems via some good genes, regular brushing and not using straighteners... but I have. And that's a fact. So, well done me! Yay! Now, about your sunny days folks... we should all be feeling good today because spring is on its way and we can all have a picnic. Ta dah!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sentimental Like Seal

I think the over riding theme of my weekend has been cooking... it's not something I do either frequently or well, but it was the only thing I really wanted to do all weekend. In the course of Saturday and Sunday I have made two batches of cookies and one sea bass and sweet potato salad.

The two batches of cookies were as different as they were disappointing - neither set seemed to really achieve the nirvana of melted softness and chewy satisfaction that I was aiming for. The first batch could easily have been mistaken for overcooked sugar-turtles as they lurked unassumingly on the plate in their arcs of brown icing. The second batch looked more like cookies, and hid beneath them a melted Toblerone centre which I was particularly proud of. I don't think Mary Berry needs to watch her back though.

The sea bass and sweet potato salad was an intense success - utterly delicious and a combination I'd recommend to anyone bored enough to want to try it. The only sad part of this meal was that none of my house mates were around to witness by experiment and subsequent success. I contemplated making a plaque that made it clear I'd eaten something other than toast, but thought this might be pushing it even for me.

Cooking is something that has always been somewhat of a mystery to me - I like the look of it when it's on Blue Peter and all the ingredients are measured out into cute glass bowls, and I like the fact that they never have to wash up.

But, in reality, when faced with large packets of random ingredients and asked to not only choose the ones that go together, but also how much of them to use, I panic. Some people say they can cook using instinct... I think that's like asking someone to write down pi by means of ESP.

If cooking was more like George's Marvelous Medicine I'd be all over it - running round the house making purple smoke and poisoning old people into being nicer... genius. Sadly, the second you put tooth paste into a meal it kills it. Also, putting the pills meant for horses in it makes you a fairly high grade criminal too. Probably best avoided.

Tomorrow I return to my diet of apricots and rice cakes - all of which requires not even a smidgen of heating and are therefore a far more satisfactory kind of meal altogether.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Surreys

I'm not really sure what I witnessed last night... if you wanted a supremely interesting example of the delicate status between comedian and audience, you got it. If, like the kind (if not slightly chaotic) people of Camberley, you wanted straight up jokes... you were sorely disappointed.

The night began with large, white round tables in the side studio space of The Camberley Theatre, in the foyer were hundreds of people eagerly awaiting The Pirates of Penzance in the main theatre... and we got the people who didn't want to see that.

The compere was a fairly rough and ready act... lovely persona, strong northern accent and heavy gags that took themselves to the audience and impressed upon them the unexpected elements of a gig. The audience responded well, convinced that whatever he was, he was it well.

Then, the first act came on... he had a delicate style... intelligent delivery, slow pace and jokes all pivoting around his Asian ethnicity. It wasn't the sort of material I fully enjoy, in my opinion it trod the fine line between clever creation, and exploiting racial stereotypes to a largely white audience who thought it was incredibly cutting edge. I find, the further you edge away from London, the more impressive an ethnic joke will be.

The audience loved this guy and he thoroughly deserved it... truly - he played with their expectations, he gave them a structure they understood and wanted. He guided them into what he was doing and they laughed on cue every time. Brilliantly played.

Then there were the middle acts... sigh. The first one went out and told meandering fart jokes with all the finesse of a chicken's flight. He ploughed straight into ill advised banter with a front row table who had been the centre of attention all night, and failed to raise his material's aim to the audience of mainly 40+ adults who probably don't find fart jokes or bad sex stories particularly amusing. Obviously, it would be wrong to make any judgements on this comedian or his act based on one performance in a less than typical comedy club. But, I think it is fair to say that his performance last night was not great.

Then I was on. The earth shook. I won't attempt any public dissection of my own performance as my levels of neuroticism so far contained in this blog mean I've now got PanicAttacksNow and AnxietyHelp avidly following me on Twitter. Joy of joys.

What I will say, however, is that you could palpably feel the different levels of energy coming back at you from the audience.

From the stage, to your right there was a table of overly drunk friends who were laughing at almost anything and contributing as much as you would let them... and then some more. To your left and towards the front there was a well measured balance of laughter that seemed friendly and wanting to be involved where your gags were strong enough to convince them. And at the back,there was a huge dead space of detached audience who were devilishly difficult to make laugh. They had joined in, carefully with a measured response, to the first act... they'd ignored the second act... were lukewarm to the compere... and I think responded 2 or 3 times to my sharper gags. Chat they did not like, straight up structure they enjoyed. Comedy made easy. Like them blokes off the telly.

So... now to the headliner. The headliner was Trevor Lock. A genius. Very clever comedy, very clever word play and an interesting take on genre and style. An understated comedian I would argue?

Being a headliner, he had not seen the rest of the evening... and he hit the stage.

What ensued was complete audience disarray and carnage. He attempted at first to banter with different areas of the audience... he played with the noisy front table and had much laughter coming back to him... until, a so far silent, table at the back shouted out loudly to complain that the front table had had all of the attention.

Lock addressed this table, gave them the attention they craved and had the audience rolling as he put the man down and played with him. The front table crowed loudly and tried to get back in the game. Sensing that it was all getting a little Lord of the Flies, he went round the room asking if people were celebrating anything special... wishing people happy birthdays and inciting much laughter. All to the annoyance of the front table, who were no longer special.

Lock then noted that he hadn't done any jokes yet... and a large portion of the audience (visible from my vantage point at the side) nodded in agreement, murmured or shouted their agreement. It was time to provide material.

Lock started out along a slowly building piece about his sister's vagina... at first the audience weren't sure - was this crude or clever? But he got them onside as he went further down and he won with this piece. But, it just couldn't be held.

Certain areas of the audience's desire to be involved had surpassed their normal social conventions in a comedy gig. While one third were baying for material which they wouldn't be quiet long enough to hear, the other third were sitting patiently waiting to go home and the other third were still merrily offering contributions as though they were the beloved mascot, and not the irritating child at the front of the schoolroom who won't keep their hand down.

Sadly, it all ended in defeat... with the audience desperately wanting to hear comedy, but not being confident enough in a joke that's not traditionally structured, to let the comedy build in Lock's natural style. It was incredible to hear them all shout together at the front table to be quiet and to blame them for the ruination of the gig, but to be muttering quietly all the time about the poor quality of the comedy and the comedians.

Whose fault was it? Should the comedy have bent better to the gig? After all, the audience have paid... but does the comedian have a right to only be booked for comedy he can do well? You wouldn't send a carpenter to do plumbing and then demand he knows how to do it because you've already paid. The right tools for a job.

Should the audience have been more open minded? They certainly couldn't comprehend that laughter bought through audience interaction was just as worthwhile as the material laughter. They felt short changed at laughing at something intangible.

Should the venue have evicted the front table when it became apparent that they had gone beyond sense? For this table, their own involvement was prioritised over the greater good of the evening.

I've never seen anything like it. It wasn't audience vs comedian, it was audience vs audience vs comedian vs audience. Absolutely stunning.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cruller Munch oghurtY

I just ate the hands down most delicious yoghurt I've ever eaten. I'm not sure whether is sadder that,

a) I feel the need to tell you this
b) You're reading this
c) I am so familiar with the brilliance of my past yoghurts that I know this.

I feel that none of us really care - the fact that we've all come together in this pink, rambly corner of the world means that we're bored companions in a Friday afternoon. Nearly there though gang! Nearly at that elusive beast we call a weekend.

I actually have no real plans this weekend... only make believe ones! I will be massaging fairy hippos and doing the can can with a pygmy shrew whilst painting the nails of a nympth and licking the SouthWest corner of a rainbow.

The reason I have no plans (neither real nor make-believe) is that I've been snubbed by my parents. Which is an awful feeling no one should ever have to deal with.

They are travelling to Twickenham on Sunday to watch the Scotland vs England game. This is always interesting because my father is a Scot, raised in South Africa and living in England which makes him 50% sure of a victory suring the 6 nations. Lucky bugger. I'm fairly sure his allegiance will lie with the Celts on Sunday... could be an interesting car journey home for my wedded folks.

Given that they'll be in London this weekend, and that I sorted them out the tickets, I thought it fairly straightforward that we'd be hanging out... but, erm, they said no. Well, actually they didn't say no. They said, "Er, well... we'll see shall we?" Then there was a week of nailbiting silence, and then they said they'd made other plans.

Other plans??? With other equally brilliant daughters who broke their hearts when they flew the nest??? Other comedian daughters who dote...well, not exactly dote but text occasionally... other plans?

Where do you turn to when you've become so frightfully uncool that even your own parents don't really want to spend the weekend with you if they can help it? It's a tragedy the like of which the Greeks would have been proud. It would have been called The Lexxalot Complex and would mean that you were such a pesky child that, not only do your parents not mind that you've moved 4 hours away, they don't even want to see you once they've driven the 4 hours for an event you organised. Certainly no incestuous feelings and potential murderings brewing in my pod.

Unfortunately, their snubbing of the runt of their litter means my competitive streak has awoken and I now feel the need to plan the busiest, best weekend that was ever seen. Something that the Coen brothers might direct and would star a Wilson brother...

I'll let you know how it's going.

Which means my weekend will likely consist of me in jogging bottoms blogging to you.

Parents - 1 ___ Laura - 0

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Most Fun a Twirl Can Have Buying Frowns

Well, my second wind died down approximately four hours ago and I'm now not even vaguely enthusiastic about still being awake. I've already been up for 12 hours which isn't something I like to be able to say at 5:30pm in the evening. It's more the sort of phrase I'd like to able to use at 3am whilst I'm watching Lord of the Rings and eating ice cream.

I have been down to the seaside town of Bournemouth today. One of the longest meetings I've ever had the intense pleasure of sitting through trying to keep my eyes from glazing over.

I'm now on my bed trying to do everything I couldn't do on my way back to London because my battery died. However, I have Flight of the Conchords on in the background so it's not really the end of the world is it? Usually, you'll find things aren't the end of the world. On a bar charting "Things That Are The End of the World" and "Things That Aren't The End of the World" you would expect the first bar to be a lot smaller. Possibly invisible. Unless you've already inventoried "Armageddon" or "Apocalypse". Then you could possibly expect it to have gone up two increments.

I think today's got quite a sense of adventure feel to it. This might be just because I've been awake for hours and I watched Chocolat last night so all day long I've been thinking about the clever north wind which is slightly annoying. Spring is lurking round the corner like an embarassed school kid with a semi and it can only be a matter of days before he races around and slaps it in our faces. Woohoo for sun/penis analogies and the promise of lazy summer days ahead.

I've been trying to get my head round all this census crap today... apparently we're not all getting donkeys and going on a road trip - it's just filling out a form on the internet? I'm incredibly curious as to how worth it this whole thing is. I'm fairly sure if I stopped paying my tax, the government would know exactly where to find me even if I didn't tell them on the census. The ads I see on Facebook and Gmail make it blatantly obvious that most of my personal details are spread so far round the planet that Google could fill out my census form for me. If nothing else, I will expect my bot followers on Twitter to be marginally better informed and more suitable once I've informed the Government that I have no religion and don't consider it witty to list myself as a Jedi either.

I think I may refuse to fill it in unless I get a free donkey. Or the son of god. I'll happily be a surrogate mother to a wonder child. I say happily, I mean... I probably wouldn't be that happy. But I might get to be on the cover of a terrible magazine. I'd settle for that while I work on my lifeling ambition to be a cover girl for Horse and Hound one day. So many aspirations, so little time...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Land of Our Own Before Time

I've been finding it difficult to concentrate for the last two days... I'm shambolically busy to the point where I've had to start keeping a food diary so I can double check what's been eaten in the last 72 hours and balance up my horrendously poor diet by binging on protein and carrots ever 3rd day.

Today I went to Milton Keynes and played producer for 7 corporate interview videos being created... I left Milton Keynes exhausted and with a little less love for the world at 4pm and dashed home to shower before my weekly radio spot on London Festival Fringe Radio. That finished at 9pm and I've raced home ready to start an audition over skype (yes, that's right you heard me...) at 10pm.

To top it all off, tomorrow I have to be up at 5am to go to Bournemouth for a meeting... will the merry go round ever stop? It's crazy but, I suppose, a craze entirely of my own making. I wouldn't have it any other way.

But the reason I haven't been able to concentrate is that a script I've been mulling over for some time, is finally starting to take shape and come to life in my head. For almost a year now I've been trying to work out how to turn my experiences as an elf in Lapland into a 6 part sitcom for the televisual box. I think I might have finally cracked it.

What this means though, is that the characters are now jabbering away at me in a fairly schizophrenic manner and demanding to be heard now that I've worked out who they are. They keep coming up with witty one liners and silly situations to put themselves in. This necessarily leaves me diving for a pen and paper with which to record their antics before they're gone. I reckon this must be how proud parents feel when their child does something incredible and they want to catch it on video...

There's something really incredible about feeling a piece of writing taking shape. I don't know how other people do it, but in my experience the idea for what I want to do has to stay very vague and firmly off paper for a very long time. I have to carry the idea around with me and just see what happens that could fit within the canopy of my idea.

Then the characters turn up, they have to stew. I have to leave all the character ideas in my mind and let them grow and evolve into people alongside all the influences I have in my life. Then, finally, when my brain is bursting at the seams with their ranting... I just write and write and write. This writing has no shape and is just masses of dialogue pouring all over the place. It can be edited later, but this is where the chemistry appears and where I start to work out how the balance of the piece is going to run.

It's exhilarating and terrifying... and very difficult to explain to people why a script won't necessarily 'do as it's told' even though you are the author.

I hope this piece that I've got brewing now will be at explosive writing point within the month... the characters are getting louder and the structure has finally found something to hang itself round. Watch this space.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Boolshatometer Red

When you work in an office you have to learn to multi-task. I don't mean in that you need to learn how to write emails whilst doing a lot of other admin work... you need to be able to block out the reams of bullshit being spouted by other people and concentrate on what you're doing.

It's entirely necessary to block out all chatter and boasting about how much pussy your co-worker would have got at the weekend if it wasn't for that blasted missus, and it's equally vital that you learn to see through the vast acres of crap being blasted straight at you.

When you ask the question, "Why hasn't this been done as it should be?" it would be refreshing, just once in a while, to get the answer - "Ah, because I'm an employee of average intelligence who works for minimum wage with no company perks. This results in a feeling of almost total apathy towards my tasks and my superiors, so, although I've not done it properly and I'm aware of it - I simply can't muster the energy to care."

But instead you get some monologue about human resourcing allocations, time pressures before deadlines and the complicated procedures in place that make it difficult to achieve everything on a tick list.

If I worked at NASA I might understand... I might be able to appreciate that a rocket requires more than a bit of gaffer tape and a screwdriver and so it's tricky to estimate properly what time things will be finished.

I don't work at NASA. I don't even work near NASA. Nothing about my job is comparable to NASA. Except that I stare into space a lot.

Business is a curious beast... it's almost as though the idea of 'professionalism' has become a monster that's impossible to put back in the box. I don't fully understand the concept of going to work in a suit, knowing I won't see any clients, just my co-workers, who don't care either... who have I worn a suit for?

For my own motivation? I feel like a dumb ass. If I'd had half an hour longer in bed because I didn't have to get up an iron a shirt I'd be a lot more motivated.

For my co-workers motivation? They've already indicated that I look like a child going to school. The resulting half hour trip down memory lane on YouTube to see whether I looked more like Just William or Penny Crayon was not a good use of company hours.

For professionalism? Clearly hasn't worked. I'm publicly blogging my disdain for the whole affair. Massive fail on your part corporate world!

Wouldn't the world be a better place if we did business like real people instead of trying to condone this weird role-playing game of suited and booted morons?

The clients I have the healthiest accounts and working relationships with are the ones that I can talk a little more candidly with. Anyone in sales will tell you that personality wins the day and that a meeting in a pub over lunch will win you more brownie points than a powerpoint... it's common knowledge. And yet, we persist in pretending that this is maverick behaviour...

So, what I'm saying is let's sack off the 9-5, tear down the sky scrapers, plant an allotment each and take trading back to the beginning. Bartering for goats and children from now on and let's see if we can't evolve this beast in a more satisfactory direction.

I mean, sure - it's a pretty dramatic step to take just so I can wear comfy trousers and welly boots instead of skirts and heels. But it's a sacrifice I'm willing to try out. Who's with me?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Burning Holes In My Pockets Dear Liza, Dear Liza

Argh... there is something about pay day that just makes the most mind numbing crap on the planet suddenly intensely desirable... all my careful planning for how much I would save this month, and how I wouldn't be treating myself to any extravagant things after the weekend visit from the blonde sibling, is in danger of falling straight out the double glazed bay window someone could easily persuade me to buy right now.

Since the money hit my account I have just about managed to talk myself out of buying the following list of crap -

Fake nails
This, I managed when already in the queue at Boots with the offending items in my hand. What the hell was I thinking? I am one of the clumsiest, least manicured people you're ever likely to meet. The best that could happen if I wore fake nails would be that they'd fall off in half and hour. The worst involves a small child and partial sighting.

A hoody from David & Goliath involving a humorous exchange between a rock and a ruler Although this wouldn't have been the most ill advised purchase in the world, I did have to remind myself that it was £40 for a hoody that I would not be able to wear to 9/10 things I go to, and it's approaching summer. Learn something from nature, Lexx, dress for the seasons. I have no desire to start shedding through innappropriate fashion sense.

A rocking horse In all honesty, I didn't talk myself out of this purchase. I was outbid. Sodding eBay. I really wanted that rocking horse. I like horses, I like rocking... how is that a waste of money?

Purple hair dye I had to remind myself I've only just had new headshots done that are already confusing as I'm holding a harmonica but not a musical comedian. If I had purple hair they would also expect me to be zany. I am whimsical, not zany. Zany is a whole new kettle of potted black haddock.

John Denver's Greatest Hits Um...

It's a constant battle to not spend money and the internet does not help... how are you supposed to save any money when you can literally spend 24/7 without once having to check your back balance? Le sigh.

I'll keep you posted on how the month of frugality goes... let's just safely assume the last week of the month will be just as hunger filled as it usually is, only I'll be hungry on a rocking horse...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

That Comedy Thing

I knew today wasn't going to be easy... with the impending gloom of the little sister leaving I awoke to a cold morning. Even the thin veil of warmth from her high praise of my cooking couldn't shift the raincloud of gloom that was hovering over my pillow. (She said, 'I could eat that all over again', about my prawn, pesto and lemon tagliatelle incidentally. This may be the closest I've ever come to one of those out of body experiences people talk about when they achieved feats of great strength.)

The little sister woke with a dirty cold, this scuppered our plans for a day of bustle somewhat and so we settled for a quick dash into Covent Garden to pick up some gifts for upcoming birthdays. Unfortunately, I chose to check my Facebook profile before I left... I can't say I've entirely recovered.

Recently, I wrote a blog entitled 'No Hint of a String' about my total lack of desire for a man at the moment despite a couple of decent offers. In my Facebook inbox today I found one man's angry response to my scrawlings... it wasn't a pleasant read. I don't want to go into details, I'm only really bringing it up because it got me thinking (very Carrie Bradshaw style) about where the line ends between professional performance time, and me time. This guy had sent a message via the medium of internet to request my presence at a casual coffee with he and me. I'd declined to respond.

I've made a point recently (since an extremely unpleasant encounter with a passionate ex-audience member) of not responding to Facebook messages from people I don't know unless they're about gigs or promotions. I feel justified in doing that - how many people do you know who regularly become penpals with strangers? It helps me keep it clear in my own head about what I owe people who've enjoyed me when I'm on stage.

But, is this wrong in terms of the person who's become a fan of the on-stage persona...?

How far does the comedian need to play the role when they're off stage in order to maintain the illusion? How much is it the comedian's responsibility to stop the audience feeling cheated by the discrepancy between them and their 'character of comedian'?

With actors and singers it's a lot simpler, I think - when the actor is no longer the character the change is obvious. If you saw Natalie Portman walking around you're unlikely to be looking for her duck costume, when you see Charlie Sheen you're not expecting him to be hung over walking home from a one night stand... hang on... bad example.

When the singer is no longer singing they are no longer providing the art. You're there in the audience for the sound coming out of their mouth and the talent they have. But where is the line there with the comedian? Is it OK to switch off with the jokes, or is part of the comedian's appeal the fact that you want to be their friend and you want them to be real for you?

Perhaps it depend on the nature of their comedy...

I don't mind if Jimmy Carr comes off the stage and is a nice man who gives to charities rather than mocking disabled children. But, would I be disappointed if Bill Hicks had left to an ovation and then started his night-shift working for an advertising agency... yes, I would. Is this double standards? How do you regulate an art that hasn't even confirmed its definition as an artform yet.

Is it OK to be miserable off stage and to not hide it, or does this mean that people watching you from the safety of the audience will be let down? Did you find it harder to take Jason Manford kindly after his Twitter incident? How have readers of Billy Connolly's biography integrated the abuse he suffered as a child into the man they see being frivolous and insightful on stage? Does knowing the personal details of a comedian change the mental processing of a joke? The words of the joke remain the same, the one liner still works on the same semantic or linguistic level... but does the clown's situation affect how you want to respond to it? Should the comedian address off stage factors to ease the tension on the stage, or should the audience be willing to enter a gig with the idea of the 'performance' in mind and be willing to forget external factors? Not all comedy would work in a vacuum - so is there a tangible agreement we need to come to?

The famously married comedian doesn't do stories about his single life. That, quite obviously wouldn't work - the audience wouldn't laugh because it's only funny if it's true apparently. But does he exaggerate the tiny row he and his wife had over the ironing for comic effect? Has anyone ever clarified where the comic's allegiances to truth and humour lie? You can't tell an entirely unfunny monologue because it's true, but can you tell a wholly fabricated piece because it's funny? Is it less funny if people find out? Or is it just disappointing? Is the comedian allowed to disappoint?

"I really liked Black Swan originally, but I've become disappointed since, as Natalie Portman is still alive and actually didn't turn into a duck. It was all a lie."

Say you're depressed off stage and you step on to the stage and have a breakdown in front of your eagerly assembled £15 per ticket Saturday night crowd. Unprofessional? Not cool? Totally.

So, if you're off stage what are the rules? Can you sit in the corner rocking backwards and forwards to the tune of your own tears so long as no one who might be disappointed sees?

How much truth do you have to tell? My mother asked me why on earth I wanted the whole world to know everything about me by writing a blog... she couldn't fathom why I would do it. But, I carefully moderate what I write about here. I keep anything I'm not OK about firmly locked away if it's not for throwing out into the Googlesphere willy nilly. (Any excuse to use willy nilly and I will. You could say I use it willy nilly.)

When I first starting doing material about my ex-boyfriend, my friends said it took a long time before I looked comfortable with the material, before I'd got it into a patter that felt like material - was it unprofessional of me to use it? Possibly... but the outcome has been a solid 10 minute set that rarely fails.

So were a few rough and ready performances of it alright if the outcome has been some therapy for me and a good set for audiences? I'd say yes...

...but what about the ex? If he ever found out that I performed the material, do I owe him an apology? For getting laughs out of our misery during the break up? Do I owe him more than if I'd written the debacle into a measured screenplay that was both emotional and illuminating? Have I cheapened us by using it for laughs?

Or is making laughter out of pain the greatest thing you could ever hope to do? Does comedy ever really hurt anyone who wasn't looking for an an excuse to be hurt?

What happens when the audience's desire for more outstrips what the comedian is willing to give on the stage?

Do novice comedians owe a little bit more - should the jokes be more honest, a little bit more giving? Proof that there's no team of writers behind you yet? Can you invent a fictional mother in law for the sake of a good punchline?

People often ask me if I really have IBS after a gig and I used to wonder why on earth they think I would make that up if I didn't! Surely as a 24 yr old girl I would choose a more glamorous subject to create a persona around...?! But actually, it's entirely flattering and intelligent of them to recognise that stand-up comedy isn't necessarily a monologue of soul baring from the comedian. It is jokes.

And yet, having been sought out today, and made to feel cheap and scared for not living up to my on-stage persona, I don't really know how any of the things I think about where the line is stand up in real life.

The internet's made the world a very easy place to intimidate people without meaning to, I think. This is the first day I've ever not wanted to write a blog - not that I didn't know what to write about (that happens with alarming frequency!) - but actually didn't want to write, I didn't know how to write something glib when all of this was on my mind. And didn't know whether to write this in case it exacerbated the situation... perhaps it will. But, I think I know I'd rather deal with the consequences of that, than stop being both the people that I am.

Me will always be me, and on stage I will always be a different me. But both me. And the audience can only have access to one unless I change my mind. I suppose that's all I know for right now.

Before I go though, I would like to address one point from the rant in my inbox that set off this meander into essay territory... He accused me of being a 7/10 woman aiming too high for a 9/10 man.

Well, fuck you ass hole, I'm a 10/10 woman and I will aim for whoever the fuck I want.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Next Day Delivery

So... I took the little sister out last night. I won't go into many details as I'm not entirely sure she had a good time. It was a little like trying to get Bambi to do the macarena in the moments immediately following his mother's death.

If we thought Camden during the day had scared her, Leicester Square at night was infinitely worse... despite her managing to catch the eye of a bunch of army lads out on the night. Perhaps 'despite' is the wrong word there...

Right now we're chilling out with Saturday Kitchen and feeling a lot more human about the whole situation. But we haven't quite gotten over the intense terror of having to have our dinner next to a table of people who were Awful. With a capital A. They were the kind of people who like to be brash and controversial just for the sake of it - but don't have the decency to do it at a normal volume.

Contained on this table was a woman we labelled 'Scrotty NZ'. Scrotty NZ moved over here 9 years ago...

9 Years I've been here... 9 years! I don't know any different... I just don't know any different. 9 years since I left New Zealand to come here.

She's been here for 9 years. Apparently.

She was Most Awful. The sort of woman who struggles to structure a sentence without the c*bomb in case it doesn't catch enough attention. Every word that came out of her mouth was loud, shrill and awful...

Undoubtedly the worst part of their conversation arrived just as the wee sister and I were eating our mains. It turns out it's quite difficult to chow down on paella while the person next to you is discussing, re-renacting their last trip to the gynaecologist.

The table consisted of two men and two women and at this point they ended up in a debate about whose intimate examinations were the worst. The men said that having an enema was an awful experience, Scrotty NZ couldn't agree with this... Scrotty NZ gave us the following monologue -

When you're a woman, they literally fist you... (with actions)

Do they?

When you're a woman, they just keep fisting away. Poking around in there... man, it's awful. It's... I mean you just lie there having your c*bomb pummelled. They stretch you so far apart that you can actually feel a breeze in your stomach.

At this point I choked a little on my Iced Tea... feel a breeze in your stomach?

Er, no... Scrotty NZ - that does not happen. Not unless you are either visiting a hobo in a white jacket who's pretending to be a gyno, you're having your examination in a field and all the other medical students are blowing up your c*bomb or (and this is most likely) you are so awful that your gynaecologist is taking out the rest of his month's aggro on you. Because you're vulgar and have no idea how to behave in a restaurant.

I'm furious with Scrotty NZ. How are you supposed to impress you younger sibling and try and make it seem like you've not made some really awful decisions somewhere along the line, if all you've got to show them when they come and see you, are heinous people and overpriced drinks? It's incredible how you can be as thick skinned as you like in front of 300 heckling punters, but failing to achieve the approval of just one family member is soul destroying.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Zoo-m Zoo-m Zoo-m

So... today I have been at the zoo. All day... and it's been magical. It's been amazing.

Even the weather has been utterly cool. Taking my sister to Camden has also really opened my eyes to how much I've grown used to London and begun to fit in properly. She was terrified. If you've ever poked a snail with a stick and watch in recoil into its shell you'll understand what she looked like when we strolled down the high street to the Locks.

Taking her to the market and watching her try in vain to explain to the stall holder that she didn't really want to buyt he dress he'd insisted she tried on was nigh on hilarious. A more polite, yet petrified blonde you've never met. She's a bit of a stunner my sister, you often see her walking down the street and passers by aren't sure whether to take a photo now for posterity or just start humping her leg in the vain attempt she'll notice them. If you know her, you know that behind that airy aloof stare she's replaying episodes of Friends and giggling at Chandler in her mind.

But anywho, back to the zoo. The blissfully people free zoo - save for one school of children that we successfully managed to avoid for most of the way round.

I have seen more animals today than I could hope to have. The higlight was absolutely definitely the squirrel monkeys in the enclosure where you and they wandered freely together in an inter-species utopia. I got quite confused at one point in this journey though due to the following interaction between a staff member and a visitor -

Visitor - Do they bite?
Staff - Yes.
Visitor - Does it hurt?
Staff - Put it this way, I've seen one of these bite through the leg of a frog...

And she said this as though this completely cleared up everything... as though we all measure the sharpness of teeth and the pain factor by how quickly something can saw through a frog's leg. Well, maybe in France (hello cheap joke based on a stereotype!)

I have no idea how any part of my body stands up against a frog's like? I think I would be worried if a squirrel money got hold of my tongue... but I'm pretty sure the bone in my finger would be harder to get through than a frog's leg? And my thigh is significantly thicker than any of the frogs I saw in the Reptile house.

I also had an ice cream.

We were not keen on the porcupines as they made very little effort. But we did admire their integrity at not racing for our attention. If you think of Meercats as the Lady Gagas of the animal kingdom, then the porcupines were playing Banksy today.

My least favourite section was the inflatable butterfly house. It was like being in a massive armpit with the added bonus of potentially getting a bug stuck in your hair. Why on earth would anyone find that lovely? Bleugh.

I also didn't linger long next to the vulture enclosure.

Other highlights of my day included Okapis (can lick their own ears with their tongues), aardvarks (one of them had a snotty nose and didn't look well) and naturally the llamas and goats.

I love llamas and goats. Goats for the sense of mischieviousness and their ability to eat anything. Llamas for their genius gentility and funny faces.

So that has been my day. What did you do? Sorry, but unless it was a trip to the zoo it's probably not going to win in our little competition about how good our days were. Now, off for cocktails on the Southbank. Smashing.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Apple Mactor

I am going to be properly sick by this evening but it's so worth it. I've eaten some apple today. This is a bad state of affairs for a woefully equipped temple like my body. I have to be quite careful with apple munching as they tend to really kill my digestive system in a less than pleasant manner.

I bloody love apples though - I love their crispy skin and juicy flesh and I love the way they make you feel a little bit cleaner when you've finished them... I love their shape, I love saying the word apple, I love rubbing the cool exterior against my cheek before I eat it.

So as soon as I see an apple, a civil war breaks out in my body.

My eyes are the treacherous part. They see the apple and then will do everything they can not to look directly at the apple. My brain is therefore duped into thinking that the squinty blue devils have seen the apple and chosen to be good. Brain almost writes Eyes a poem about what excellent self-restraint they have.

However, eyes are sneaky...and they have an evil assistant - Hand. Eyes have been looking the other way as a distraction technique while Hand does the dirty work and pops out to fetch the apple. Hand sneaks out under the cover of darkness and fetches the forbidden fruit, winding it back in to my proximity with dangerous, ninja like skills. The apple is now firmly within eating distance. Dangerous territory.

It's barely even worth talking to the muscles in my arm about leaving the apple a safe distance from my mouth. My mouth is already hanging open and so it's easier to put the apple in and deal with those consequences than to sit there like a slack jawed yokel for the rest of the day trying to explain to passers by why you look like a stroke victim re-enacting the juicier scenes from Genesis.

My gums try and act as the final defence to the insurgency of the green devil. They complain bitterly and try and signal to the controlling factions of my body that, perhaps, we should at least try and stop halfway through the apple - and we certainly shouldn't eat the pips. Absolutely no pips. It might even be worth me buying a kitsch sign that says 'No Pips', in the style of housewives who buy wooden plaques for their kitchens to passive aggresively bully their husbands.

But before I know it, apple has hit tummyville. And there is peace.

For about an hour. Then there is pain, pain that feels as though each of my ribs is cossack dancing through to my feet while my stomach acts as a bagpipe to my tone deaf intestines.

For the casual observer, it's an impressive... I get a 500 yard stare of numb shock as I try and stay very still. Staying still when I'm in pain is my tactic - I don't know why, perhaps it's a misguided attempt to fool the pain into thinking I've gone out without leaving a note to indicate my whereabouts. I tend to curl up a bit like a rotting hedgehog faced with a predator... and occasionally I whimper until the pain passes.

I've got about 38 minutes left before this pain comes and takes over my body. Meaning I've got about 38 minutes to prepare my work mates for not calling ambulances and or giving me mouth to mouth.

The only problem with today's ensuing pain is that I haven't eaten an apple. I've eaten 3 apples.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No Hint of a String

So, I'm supposed to be out on a 'date' tonight. I say 'date' loosely - I'm not entirely sure of the intentions behind this evening but, I was supposed to be dining out with a lovely gentleman who is perfectly charming and the sort of man people write into the middle third of romance novels, just when you thought the heroine was a lost cause.

I'm not there. I'm writing this blog, wearing jogging bottoms and an old hoodie, eating boiled egg on toast. How's that commitment phobia working out for you Lexx?

Pretty freaking well. My own inability to conquer my fear and get out there is relegating me to a life of eggy breath and bad fashion sense.

Of course, I won't spend the whole evening like this - I have a gig later. I'll head up to Camden shortly and entertain (hopefully) feel great about myself and come home and get some sleep. Alone. Which is really what I want. I am quite happy being an entirely self entity at the moment.

But I almost feel bad about it.

In the past few weeks I have a slight spike in the graph charting male attention towards me... it's been very flattering. Almost enjoyable - it's a bit like the two weeks in May when England sees a hint of what summer is like for other countries. You take a quick look at it, notice how much more you're spending on underarm products, enjoy it while it lasts and then you sink back into your comfortable damp rut.

The problem is, when I've been asked out, I haven't really known what to say. When someone asks you if you fancy grabbing a coffee, it's such an innocent question that you can't really say -

"Sorry, I'm not really dating at the moment."

Because they might say, Jeez ,lady, I didn't ask if you wanted to date - I just asked if you fancied coffee.

And saying you're busy for the next few days just leaves the window open for them to ask again. And so what I really want to say is -

"I could go, but I don't want to. I want all my time to myself and for gigging and for doing stuff. I'm sure you're a lovely person but I'm just not interested in getting to know you. I'm having enough trouble keeping in touch with people I've known for years, let alone trying to squash you into the equation. Sorry. I suppose I'm just a selfish cow."

But this isn't really socially acceptable. So you end up feigning illness, diary clashes and or death so you can sit eating eggy delights on the edge of your bed trying to muster the energy to go out.

I think I'm grumpy, dear reader - have you picked up on that yet? Gosh, this might be one of my more open blogs.

I think I'm grumpy because I'm annoyed at myself. I cancelled the 'date'/meet n greet/cult induction through absolute panic. I hate the whole process, I hate worrying if you'll like them, worrying that they'll like you, worrying about etiquette, worrying about how to handle stuff after... and I worry that I might meet someone that really means something. I'm petrified of that.

It either means you have to make space in a carefully crafted life for someone unexpected... or it means unrequited love. Neither of which I think I can cope with for a while. At least not until I've upped my stocks of Veet and chewing gum.

I hope it's OK to be a coward for while. I mean, really it's going to have to be because I don't plan to change... and it's not going to make a massive difference to the world. If anything it'll improve it because I buy free range eggs so my bulk buying will go some way to improving standards for hens. Huzzah.

I could be the next Jamie or Hugh... or whoever. Except that I think they're both married. Bugger.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Leopard Skin Pill

I am a fairly disgusting sight right now... I’m doing my best impression of a dirty old man as I sit in the corner of a pub drinking having a quiet drink and eating my dinner. This may not seem at first sight like a particularly mangy idea but let me just come clean that I’m fair gulping a cider and black, and my dinner is a bag of pork scratching. Yes, I know pork scratching are technically not food and I’ll be very ashamed of them when I’ve finished but they were what I wanted and damn it I am going to enjoy them without your scrutiny.
Just to ensure I get to the end of the greasy, hairy bag without your furious stares and judgemental silence, I am writing this blog in a Word document which I will publish later when I get home. Which is now, or a few hours before you’re reading this, but a few hours after I have written it. Ah, the magic of time travel. This blog will be created 3 times in theory... once at the point of writing, once at the point of publication and again at the point of reading.
I think the above paragraph was a desperate attempt to not feel like a dirty old man in the corner of a pub (with impending cholesterol and heart disease problems) by talking about clever stuff. It’s not really worked out that way so I might as well admit that I’m only publishing it later (now, before) because I’ve mislaid my dongle and so can’t access the internet right now. I’ve also just wiped my piggy fingers clean on my thighs so let’s just assume I’m disgusting and move on with the blog shall we.
The feeling of failure as a human being is not helped by the table of foreign students next to me who all chose delicious smelling food from the Chinese menu for their dinner. Curses to my love of pig skin. Not that I shall feel about it – some women like leather handbags, I like pig skin dinners. Horses for courses...
Why am I behaving like the parish pant wetter? I shall tell you... I am gigging at this pub tonight but I did not really have time to go home between my exhibition at Earl’s Court today and getting here to the gig. Regular readers will know that they do not exist, so I will explain again that I’m at an exhibition this week and have to do a 30 minute presentation tomorrow entitled ‘A Short Guide To Video SEO’. In this 30 minute presentation there are lots of facts, some statistics, several power point slides and no jokes. No jokes. For 30 minutes I have to stand before a fuck load of people and try and talk. Not allowed to reference the front row, not supposed to try to make people laugh... only allowed to enlighten and explain.
Oh. Holy. Cow.
I’m genuinely worried I can’t do it. I’m not sure I’ve ever achieved such a feat – is it physical possibly? How does one recovering from forgetting their words in a non-comedy presentation? How do you render yourself the people’s focus for 30 whole minutes and resign yourself to the idea of them leaving without telling you you’re so brave? What will they discuss on the way out if they’re not adoring your timing, wit and innocent charm? They’re going to be an ‘audience’ that isn’t there to see me? They just want information? I don’t understand!
Potentially this is a very good thing to happen to me. It will burst the bubble of egocentrism that has formed like a Johnson’s emissary around my inflated brain. But I don’t want it to happen. Perhaps I shall just not go home between now and the presentation and then they will be wondering why the greasy girl who smells like a dog chew is cackling over her Google search result slides. If you can’t be funny, I reckon the next best thing is performance art right? And a mental breakdown certainly constitutes performance art right? Right?