Saturday, December 31, 2011

Resolutely Myself

The next person to ask me my New Year's Resolutions is going to get more than they bargained for because it's starting to irritate me quite a lot. I find the whole concept of them really pesky and misguided. I've been thinking about it for around 2 weeks now as I try and decide whether I'm going to make any and, as is my usual pattern, I've now thought about them too much and decided I hate them.

Admitting you've made a New Year's Resolution is like holding up your hand to the fact that you're terribly poorly motivated and don't have the focus and dedication to live your life as you want to all the time. It's like saying you cram all your eggs into January's basket and then rest of the year just go, "Ooh, aren't I awful."


Why can't you just make the most of your life all the time?

I know I'm not perfect... I'm far from perfect. Not as far as Hitler and Jodie Marsh, but loitering somewhere near the Tess Dalys and the Patrick Kieltys of this world... they don't make you want to hurt them but you can't remember why you've heard of them and why they always seem to be annoying you.

However, having been home for just over a week I have found I am increasingly being called lazy by my dearest mother. If it happens again I'm going to go to great lengths to show her how unlazy I actually am by organising her the best funeral one can despite her obvious protestations about her own alive-ness. I don't mind being called annoying, loud, attention seeking, moody or difficult because they are all outstandingly true (I will also listen to compliments too should they be thrown my way) but I really take umbridge at lazy because I think it's an ugly accusation and it really doesn't suit me.

Anything I really set my heart on being or doing gets done to the best of my ability, sometimes a little bit too anally retentively. Hence my dislike of New Year's Resolutions... I can't think of anything I want to set my mind to that I haven't already done:

Comedy - working on it.
Writing - got a book and a blog on the go.
Becoming more domesticated - baking at a rate of knots and have almost solved the bed sheet conundrum.
Seeing Family & Friends - I am so sociable it almost seems as though I have a paranoia about being alone (also the fact that all my alone time is spent sending blogs out into the wild blue yonder supports that theory).

Those seem to have the basics of most people's plans to achieve their dreams in 2012 covered. Now, I'm not saying that I'm cross about people aspiring to do things - what I'm cross about is that we all seem to have this desire to be and achieve greatness but we let so much crap get in the way of it the whole year round. Then we plough into being who we dream of being for 2 weeks before giving up and sinking back into our slumps again.


Why is it so freaking difficult to be who you want to be? We must all feel the same or there wouldn't be this hideous tradition of ritual promises to ourselves?

I know I'm small minded about it, not everyone has the confidence or the support to be as gung ho about getting on with things as I am. But, surely, this means that comfort and their existing life is more precious to them than the chance of what they're dreaming of? So... shouldn't that make your New Year's Resolution to evaluate how and why you are where you are? Perhaps, you haven't changed these things about yourself because the chance of attaining what you think you want isn't as good as what you're preserving already?

It's all very well to want to read the works of Charles Dickens in a year but have you considered that you haven't done it because it's boring and you actually prefer Modern Family? Maybe the classics aren't for you or you'd have done it in April.

I don't know... I'm waffling and rambling. But it seems irritating to me when people talk about themselves as though they have diminished responsibility for their actions and life. As though things get in the way or they have these unchangeable traits that make it impossible to be this better person they have in their head. Maybe you're fine the way you are and we'd all be a lot happier if we admitted that we like our lives or we'd seriously want to change them at other times.

Happy New Year.

ps - I will add that some of you are absolute fuckwits and should definitely make as many Resolutions as possible because you're awful and need help.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Just Can't Get You Out of My Head (Woof)

I've spent the vast majority of my day thinking about The Dog's Trust. But, not the real Dog's Trust... a sort of weird Dog's Trust that's gotten progressively weirder as my day's continued... it all started with a stupid thought that popped into my head this morning when I went to work with my father. I duly Tweeted the stupid thought and thought that would be the end of it because Twitter has become my very own Pensieve. Here was my stupid Tweet:

The dog's trust never put a healthy dog down. They must have terribly tired arms.

Barely even worth copying and pasting here... it's the sort of joke that my Dad would come out with and I'd groan a bit and be cross with him for being so awful. But then it sort of started an avalanche of thoughts.

Really, you'd think it'd be the sick ones they'd carry wouldn't you?

I now have images of Dog's Trust employees wading through mountains of sick puppies with arms full of perfectly healthy Terriers yelping "Save the others!". Like some sort of scene from the Titanic lifeboats.  There are squashed dogs everywhere and the healthy ones are insisting they can be merrily independent but the big bosses are squawking about their "Creed". There's a small person in the corner pointing out that the poster boy for their campaign has the voice of a similarly homeless donkey and so it shouldn't be too upsetting to just pop a healthy Retriever onto the counter for a minute.

How do they get any paperwork done when they're always holding at least one dog? What sort of dog to volunteer ratio do they need? Do they need harnesses to keep the little nippers off the floor? Is it all some kind of canine Off Ground Touch conspiracy?

It makes the people of the Dog's Trust seem crueller than a Fascist regime where the sick and the dying are left scattered around the floor while the healthy ones are paraded around despite their obvious ability to walk unaided. Weird. The healthy dogs are only going to end up getting sick if they never exercise and are always supported in a way they shouldn't really be supported. Unless that's the plan? To carry the dogs until they get sick and then it's all right to hit them with a rock?

I don't think it promotes a good image for The Dog's Trust. They must have a lot of dogs... how on earth are they managing it? Unless they only have very small dogs and are adopting Paris Hilton's handbag technique? I hope they don't have Battery Dogs. I feel very sorry for the intern who ends up on Great Dane duty.

And it has continued in this vein all day... kill me.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hell Is Other People

It's done, it's over, it's finished for another year.

Christmas shopping.

There are not many things on the planet that I sincerely loathe but Christmas shopping is definitely among them. I hate it.

I hate shopping at the best of times and will very rarely do it. If I have to do it, I like to do it alone and with a simple list of things that need buying and where they're most likely to be bought from. If you choose to shop with other people you run the risk of falling into this problem:

"Oh, I'll just pop in to River Island on the way past and try that top on."

And they will throw that down as though it's not going to take any more time than boiling the kettle. Then you have to stand there in a shop that is too hot and pretend you care about whether the top looks any good while you wish you had the balls to suggest you go about your shopping and meet them back at the car.

The other thing you need to avoid is getting completely finished and then someone declares:

"Oh, I just need to pop to Clinton's for Selotape."

and you realise that Clinton's is right down the other end of the high street and you are going to have to venture through the whole slalom of prams, idiots, tourists, morons and slow people before you can pick up some selotape (which will have got itself lost before you get home anyway) and finally get in the car.

The chances are the person you're shopping with will be one of the following 3 types of people:

a) A Clinger. Someone who cannot shop independently and must stay with you while you make all your choices and then insists that you come with them to do all their choosing. It's no good suggesting you all raid WHSmiths separately and meet at the till: they shop communally. Arseholes.

b) A Loser. These people will disappear for anything up to 25 minutes without giving any indication of where they're going. You do as much as you can in the immediate vicinity but then stop to wait for them. They will then reappear and look at you like you're a clinger because they're visited the next 3 shops up the road while you've been standing like a lemon looking for them. Buttplugs.

c) The Creeping Doubt. This is someone who will talk incessantly while you are making all your choices and will make you so nervous that your gifts aren't going to be appropriate/expensive enough that you end up buying nothing while they zip around the stores making it all look super easy. They are usually loaded and full of anecdotes that end with them miraculously pulling Christmas out of their asses and giving it to orphans. Scrotbags.

Of course, the hell of other people being in town is not limited to simply the people you've (semi) chosen to go out with. There are all the other muppets blocking up the pavements. I've long believed that pavements ought to have a lane system similar to roads:

A stopping lane.
A dawdling lane.
A fast people lane.

Anyone caught using the wrong lane gets shot and then laughed at.

Prams get their own lane and those pushing the prams are to receive no special treatment just because they've sprogged up. I do not want to have to give you automatic right of way just because you're a cart horse and I've stayed nimble. You made your choice, you had a kid, you've brought it out in public now deal with the fact you can barely move and everyone else hates you. There are a lot of upsides to children so think really hard about those while it takes you 9 hours to accomplish a small task and I'll be about my merry way without your scowls. Thanks.

Everyone should have to pay by chip and pin card in the week leading up to Christmas. We have no time for cash or for counting out the right amount of change. Go and put your change in your account and then use your card. If you're unable to use chip and pin then please go home, you should have shopped earlier or done it on line. We'll tell your family you tried.

I'm sure there are many more things I can think of that I would like to change about the Christmas shopping experience but I'm beginning to feel like the Grinch and I truly love Christmas so I will leave it there and go back to trying to make my wrapped presents look less like they were decorated by Abu Hamza and an enthusiastic Chihuahua.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kim Yong The Witch Is Dead

Does anyone actually like jokes?

I'm asking this quite seriously, who actually enjoys jokes? Is it the person listening to them or is it all about the kick you get from telling them?

Is a joke the mental linguistic equivalent of putting the last piece in a jigsaw puzzle, where the satisfaction of seeing separate parts come together to form something gives you a burst of pleasure?

This morning I woke up to the news that Kim Yong Il is dead, and, being an avid Twaddict I found out via the medium of 140 tedious characters. Scrolling through the 4 hours worth of tweets in my timeline I came across close to 90billion different Kim Yong Il jokes... here is a selection:

@comedymattdwyer - At least his death has saved millions of unnecessary iPhone key strokes. 'll

@JonSnowC4Kim Jong, so ill, that he's actually dead...

@StephenCGrant So, Kim Jong-Il's 28-yr old son will automatically take over. I thought the job would go to a Jong-un.

These all seem to be perfectly adequate jokes. They've taken the subject matter and then thought of something to go with that subject and then it's turned into a joke. Delightful. None of them made me laugh though. The ones that made me at least smile were more along these lines:

@macleanbrendan - We did it Twitter. We made every Kim Jong-Il joke there was to make. I'm sure North Korea will appreciate it once they get the Internet.

@StephenCGrant - So, 28yr old Kim Jong-Un is diabetic, overweight, a fan of NBA and getting the job from his Dad. Surely Americans can relate to this..?

@LettersOfNote - I can't wait until America wakes up; then I can read all the Kim Jong-il puns again.

So, obviously it's the less wordplay based jokes that have amused me. My own personal taste and I'm really not slating the work of the jokers who created the puns. It got me thinking though, with jokes like that, they really are all about the housing and the delivery. Puns very rarely make me laugh, there's something not quite strong enough in their make up to flick the giggle switch. The times that they do make me laugh are when the joke is that the puns themselves are too poor to be told without being the butt of their own joke.

It occurs to me that, actually, the first set of jokes are also very much in the set up for the second set of jokes. Without the light entertainment of the puns there would be no background for the jokes with more gravity - the Twitter feed would seem sanctimonious and preachy with the comedians all seeming to trip over themselves to be sanctimonious and well informed for their jokes.

Do we need the ridiculous to enjoy the intelligent?

I've always thought that the world has to contain the things we disapprove of so that we know what we stand for. For example, I applaud people like Jordan being able to do what she's done and have the career she's had because it gives us a model upon which to base our opinions. Without her I wouldn't know I believe that:

a) I want to be, what I consider to be, better than her in my personal life choices and I would discourage my children from having her as a role model.

b) I admire people who have the business sense to produce a career out of no talent. PR is a business she's played well and I don't see why she shouldn't be who she is rather than another drone in a supermarket on the dole with a load of kids because we don't have the industries to support a mass uneducated workforce.

c) The media is filled with twatriddled fuckerbombs and I'd rather eat my own gangrenous toes than be the kind of writer/journalist who draws red circles around the insecurities of normal bodies and call them disgusting.

So... back to jokes... what do we think? Do you need the softly softly approach to enjoy the harder line? Do you have to have Michael McIntyre for George Carlin to make sense? 

Jokes can't exist in a vacuum of context, but is it fair to say they also have to have a specific jocular equilibrium to work? I think it just might be.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Soapy Parts Club

This time next week it'll be Christmas, that's right motherbloggers - it'll be present opening, turkey munching, nut cracking Christmas time. I am reasonably excited. Scrap that, I'm the happiest I've been all year and counting down the seconds until I can get on a train and get the ball rolling.

The only teensy weensy fly in the Christmas ointment is that I haven't done any Christmas shopping yet. I loathe shopping. I can't really understand how anyone finds it enjoyable. I hate clothes shopping the most but present shopping is also pretty dire... there's so much uncertainty and worrying that what you're buying is either not good enough, not expensive enough or not suitable for whoever you've bought it for. Then there's present buying etiquette where you're not sure whether you're even meant to be buying a gift for someone or not. You don't want to look cheap but at the same time it's just occurred to you that you're not that keen on them so why do you have to suffer the queues in HMV?

Yesterday I managed to buy 2 gifts. I considered doing more but then I realised it was a Saturday and everyone with a job was shopping, so why didn't I just wait until they're all at work? Smart people, the unemployed.

Also, I was unwell yesterday. I know! There had been no alcohol involved at all and yet I spent the entire day lying on the sofa with various rounds of tea hoping that no bright lights entered the room. I hate to be ill almost as much as I hate to shop so the two people I bought gifts for yesterday should be grateful that I did both at the same time for them.

Thankfully I have a super immune system so today I'm fighting fit... it might also help that I got some sleep last night. I should have known yesterday would be a washout after the activities of Thursday rolling into Friday...

Thursday night I kidnapped my younger yet bigger brother and took him to a gig with me in a tiny town made of Staples and Barns in the West Country. We had lots of laughs and then decided that, seeing as we were already out and it was already late, we would stay and watch the headliner. This was awesome in terms of comedy but a mistake in that I still had to drive to that Bright Town on the South Coast. However, Duncan Oakley (Mr Headliner) made us laugh an awful, awful lot, I particularly found most of the puerile stuff amusing which caused younger yet bigger brother to frown at me a little. I recommend you seek out Duncan and his jokes as they are particularly brilliant.

I dropped the sibling back off at my parents' house and, after stealing copious amounts of chocolate brownie and crisps to keep me going, set off for Brighton. To say the journey was dull would be unfair; I had a hire car with heated seats and steering wheel and a selection of my mother's CDs to keep me amused. It is truly shocking how much of Sam Brown's album I can still sing along with at the top of my voice.

I arrived in Brighton at about 3:30 and then had 2.5 hours sleep before getting up at 6 and continuing my journey along to Hastings. Why Hastings? Well, because my theatre company (Spun Glass Theatre) were doing a Christmas activity day for the pupils of a local primary school.

We were to perform a half hour session for each of the 7 classes... this was my sleep deprived Everest. The infants were a piece of cake (the ones that didn't cry with fear), they listened to a nice story, joined in with the songs and even took quite kindly to my terrible puppeteering of a wolf that is apparently the school mascot.

The juniors were a different kettle of fish... we decided that they probably wouldn't be that interested in a story about a dog weeing on a tree. So, we got hold of the list of children in each class and used it for a cameo performance between Santa and the wolf. Santa would read out the name of the child and the wolf (and the elf pretending to be the wolf) would make up something ridiculous that the child had apparently asked for for Christmas. If ever there was an argument for reducing class sizes, this was it. Have you ever tried to make up 35 crazy Christmas gifts that are neither too rude nor too boring for a class of 10 year olds? We had anything ranging from Weetabix to a date with Justin Bieber to a request for a red velvet dress to do karaoke in. On the arrival of the headmaster, the wolf declared that one child had requested a bite on the bottom for said Captain from the mischievous wolf. It briefly crossed my mind at that point that the chances of getting paid for this job were slowly slipping through my puppet filled fingers...

Finally we had completed all the classes and so we packed up the car and drove all the way back to Brighton. I had done 3 times more driving than I had sleeping in the last 18 hours and it was really starting to show...

Still, it got us firmly in the Christmas mood and the children were all happy so maybe a headache and an inability to do anything yesterday was a small price to pay for such a varied few days. Now, if only someone wanted to do my Christmas shopping for me I'd say it was time to kick off the festivities!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Somebody Threw A Tomato At Him

I have a problem: I have applied for a morning job as a sandwich delivery girl but my hair is not yet long enough  to wear in pigtails while I make my deliveries. Whilst this might not be the main problem in my life it is certainly something that's giving me some issues. If I'm going to get this job, I sincerely want to be the best at it and being the best at it is going to involve looking like a sandwich delivery girl. Complete with pigtails.

I'm also thinking that, my job as a sandwich delivery girl is far more likely to deliver uproarious Rom Com results if I can make myself as similar as possible to Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors. I don't want to waste a load of mornings delivery crappy sandwiches in the freezing cold if I'm not going get anything resembling John Hannah out of it.

Obviously I'll be looking into hair extensions if they make a formal offer but I'm wondering how to go about suggesting at pigtails for the interview. I think it would be awkward to have to say right out loud, "Hey guys, I'm willing to get pigtails." because sometimes you have to be a little more subtle about these things and sort of say in a roundabout way, "Hey guys, I'm willing to really make myself fit into this position."

I like the idea of delivering sandwiches, it'd be combining two things I'm very, very passionate about:

1. Pleasing people
2. Sandwiches

Also, I'd get a bike with a cart on the back and, if I'm honest, that sounds like an awful lot of fun. I'm not sure whether or not to mention in the interview that I'm a fairly competent baker myself. Sometimes you have to be pretty careful about these things in case you give the impression that you're aiming too high and you'll be shooting for the big jobs within a short space of time. The bakers would be all like, "Hey guys, I don't even care if she is subtly suggesting about pigtail hair extensions, if you hire her now she'll have all our jobs by August because she's so dedicated and great."

So you sort of have to be a little more careful... Maybe throw in a little, "Hey guys, I've had a quick go at baking and I loved it but still have so much to learn! I'd be pretty happy to stay behind and get some tips if that wouldn't be too much of an imposition?" That way, you're being quite humble and making sure they're aware you're not above your station.

Obviously if it was any normal job interview I would go in a suit of some kind, however, I feel like with this kind of role it's best to show off the assets you're going to need to be a success. Therefore I'll be wearing pedal pushers and a smile because those two will accentuate my glowing customer service and my calves. Without strong calves those sandwiches are going to be stale before I've even got my basket into the office. No good. Best to leave them in absolutely no doubt that I'll be the best employee they've ever had.

Finally, now that these people are totally convinced that I would be the most enthusiastic person they've ever had on their staff, I'm going to need to reassure them that I am no danger to their stock levels. At this point I will probably feign either an allergy to bread (a mouth allergy, not a hands allergy) or tell them a very sad story about how I used to be enormous but am now lithe and now danger to a bicycle frame and it's all because I dropped the carbs.

Perfect. Bish bash bosh. Job in the bag! If you need any more advice on this subject please feel free to get in touch.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm from Nepal - You're Italy?!

Sup blog folk. I'm on the weedy end of a super freak weekend of brilliantness. How the devil are you?

My weekend started on Thursday, technically. Well, I suppose in all honesty it sort of started back in June when I quit my job and became a professional loser but let's not haggle. Thursday night I went out for dinner with a friend of mine. Now, I've recently been trying to prove to this guy that he and I are very different people - he seems to firmly believe that I fit in fine with his crowd... I have been trying to prove to him that, when faced with a house party full of lawyers, I can produce more sweat from a single hand palm than an entire Indian monsoon season.

We were out for dinner and he accidentally challenged me to prove to him that I wouldn't fit in perfectly with a high tea with a Lord and Lady. When the results came in we were asked not to return to the restaurant again unless I was sedated.

Obviously, when someone lays down a challenge like that it's difficult to think creatively at first... so, you have to resort to learned behaviour. In my case my learned behaviour was the film When Harry Met Sally... the trick is, to not only recreate the scene perfectly, but to also hold eye contact with the nearest waiter throughout your rendition to add an extra element to your work. If you can pull it off just right you will be handed your trophy there and then. Unfortunately, I was paired with a worthy adversary.

It's very useful when you're in the middle of something like this, to have as many tools at your disposal as you can. I was lucky; we'd ordered Mezze. This meant I had an entire plate of tiny fish that were just perfectly aerodynamic and discreet. Obviously, it was a little boring to simply hide them places... what was much more fun was to explain to, a different, waiter that, despite your best efforts, the fish was just not savable and could you please have a live one and a new beer because this one now has a useless dead fish in it.

I believe we were brought water after that and the bar staff were told not to supply any more alcohol to table 18.

One of the downsides of Mezze is that there are lots of very spillable foods... this can be turned around to your advantage at this point. I won't take credit for the initial spilling of my Taboule onto my lap and napkin - that was just clumsiness - but, once it was there and I was already being frowned at I sort of thought, in for a penny... and decided the sensible option was to lick the napkin clean. It took a full 90 seconds and a very dry tongue to get the vast majority of that food off. I would have liked to have regained waiter eye contact by this point but he was not playing ball and I had to make do with rounding off this section by biting the offending messy part of the napkin clean off and then smoothing it out on the table by my glass.

The cracks were beginning to show and my dinner date asked for the third course to be put straight into boxes and we would skip straight to pudding. Yummy! Baklava! Who doesn't love baklava? Who doesn't love having their debit card neatly stored in some baklava? My ex-friend... that's who doesn't like having his debit card stored in the baklava. This was a pretty simple manoeuvre but it turned out to have a lovely echo effect on it as I was able to laugh all over again the next day when I received a text message telling the offending debit card was stuck firmly to the inside of his wallet. Brilliant.

However, I still hadn't quite sealed my fate as confined to the trash can of unsuitables. It was time to play hard ball... this required a few separate stages... firstly, the Turkish Delight had to be removed from the bill plate and put into a napkin. A lovely treat for the way home?


A wonderfully icing sugar coated delight that leaves a fantastic imprint when flung at the windows of a restaurant or passing cars?


I have to admit though that the final scene of the extravaganza was something not even I could have masterminded and was due entirely to that beautiful Mistress fate. Once outside and waiting for our taxi, the scene all of a sudden needed new characters, I was provided with an Extra and the scene went something like this...

Extra: Alright, would you like to buy a line of coke?

Me: No, thank you.


Me: Would you like to buy some Turkish Delight?

Extra: No, thank you. I don't like Turkish Delight.

Me: Oh, I don't really like coke.

Extra: Oh. Probably not even worth swapping then.

Me: No. Good luck selling your coke.

Extra: Thanks, love, good luck with your Turkish Delight.

My Friend: For fuck's sake woman stop talking to that drug dealer and get in the taxi.

And, end scene. Point Proven. Game, set, match.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Six Dinner Sid

It's almost as though my attention span was bought cheap on eBay, second hand from a goldfish who was getting pissed off with it's lack of reliability. I've spent this morning trying to put a new chapter into the writing I'm doing and I've so far been distracted by the following things:

1. The "It Gets Better" campaign on YouTube
2. Fashioning a Virgin Mary style head dress out of the pink and purple monkey blanket on my bed.
3. Facebook
4. Twitter
5. Twitter again because it's ridiculous.
6. All the Pixar shorts (inspiration from the "It Gets Better" campaign)
7. Trying to make my bed socks stick on my ears.
8. The music of The Baseballs.
9. Seeing how many slices of toast I can toast at one time using a grill and toaster combo
10. Clenching my bum cheeks in time to the music of The Baseballs and the sobbing to the "It Gets Better" campaign.
11. Twitter. Screw you Twitter.

Without deadlines and daily structure I find it literally impossible to make myself do anything without being continually called away by the nearest shiny thing. If Twitter was diamond themed I think I'd be comparable to a meth head, except people would have less sympathy for me and my penchant for hideous puns. Just how much pain can you cram into 140 characters? A fucktonne. That's how much.

Luckily, I've managed to fill my gap in gigs this week with various dinners so that I at least have a cap on the end of the day to make me get on with something before 5pm. Tonight I'm being taken to a Greek restaurant - if there is no plate smashing and rioting I am going to be literally furious. I've written to HMRC to find out if the cost of my meal tonight can be counted as a tax deductable charitable contribution. I'm confident on the outcome of that one.

Last night I disappeared into the depths of South West London for a lovely catch up meal with my best girls from University. Thankfully, I have the sort of group of best girl friends who abhor squealing and hugging as much as I do so we had a very civilised meal. It's very comforting to be in the company of people who already know all of your biggest mistakes, and they can remember the surnames of those mistakes more accurately than you can. There's a lot to be said for old friends. In two weeks I'll be sloping back to the Shire for a good knees up with all the folks I schooled with... I don't care what your religious beliefs are, there has to be a space in the human calendar for this kind of behaviour.

Tuesday night saw me at a Burlesque club with one of my newer friends. Now, anyone who's been bored enough to bother reading this blog with something resembling regularity over the last few years will know that Burlesque seems to be a reoccurring nightmare in my life. I somehow seem to end up in these establishments more than I feel I should, and I have to say it's growing on me. Not that I would ever want to try it out, I'm not sure potato knees and stretch marks are exactly top order when you're bending yourself round a microphone stand, but I have lost my inhibitions in going to watch and admiring it for what it is. I mean, essentially what it is is a lot of tassles and a bit more teasing. With some fire, sometimes there's fire.

The thing that stuck out for me that night was the way they worked the audience. There were only three tables in the audience and our table was the only all girl group. This meant that, when the acts were coming out to talk to the audience, not a single one of them bothered to speak to our group because there were no men to interact with. Despite the fact we were enjoying the show, we felt excluded from the performance because we were not invited in by the acts.

It got me thinking about whether I ever do this subconsciously during stand up comedy performances. There's an inner monologue that kicks off during a gig where you're constantly analysing the way the audience is reacting to you and judging tables for their reactions. It hadn't occurred to me, until Tuesday, that sometimes the audience are just as nervously wanting to be accepted as the act is. Especially in a small room, some audience members are just quiet laughers or introverted but it doesn't necessarily mean they dislike your act and should therefore have less attention. Obviously, if they're throwing things that's another matter.

Now, where was I? See, I try and sit down to write some meaningless babble about getting distracted and I end up on such a tangent that I've actually written an on topic blog. Typical.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dream Catch Me

I dreamt last night that my front tooth fell out. I was really upset and worried that no one would ever love me again because I was a toothless cretin and I looked like a hobo. In my dream I was properly devastated about the loss of my tooth because I am nigh on obsessed with teeth cleaning. I genuinely love to floss, I can't bear not brushing at least twice a day and I really enjoy a good mouthwash. Of course, that's not to say I'm not sitting in my bed right now eating chocolates out of my tuck box, but I will literally get up and brush my teeth straight away when I've finished this blog.

In the dream I had lost my tooth and I needed to go to the dentist but while I was on my way to the dentist the dream changed and we were suddenly in a forest but we had to get off the ground and up into the trees because the werewolves were coming and the bears (who were on our side) had to put the electric magic cables into the ground to kill them. Anything that wasn't in a tree was going to get frazzled and it's a well known fact that werewolves can't climb trees.

The obvious thing to do was to check out what on earth all this nonsense meant, so, here we go:

I've picked this up from and it discusses my toothy part of the dream:

One theory is that dreams about your teeth reflect your anxieties about your appearance and how others perceive you. Your teeth help to convey an image of attractiveness and play an important role in the game of flirtation, whether it is flashing those pearly white, kissing or necking. Thus, such dreams may stem from a fear of rejection, sexual impotence or the consequences of getting old. To support this notion, a dream research found that women in menopause report to have frequent dreams about teeth. This points to teeth dreams as being related to getting older and/or feeling unattractive and less feminine. Teeth are an important feature to your attractiveness and how you are presented to others. Caring about how you look is natural and healthy.

Well, I mean bloody hell! If I wasn't paranoid about my looks before I went to bed, I am now! I actually thought I looked all right yesterday but clearly my subconscious was just doing something else when we made that decision. It's not supremely accurate because I don't fear rejection sexually, I've learnt to deal with sexual rejection by just never approaching anyone with that in mind. I let them come to me, you know? Obviously this is working out so well that I now have nights of the week bed socks and a hot water bottle in the shape of Lord Bath (cuddly but not predatory).

I really like that tagged on "Caring about how you look is natural and healthy" to make people feel better about the fact they are so vain they are literally having night mares about people not wanting to screw them. If I have this dream again tomorrow night I'm just going to embrace menopause and let the hot flushes rule me until I have no more teeth left to induce such panic.

Alarmingly, the onset of menopause isn't the most terrifying thing I have on my horizon:

To see a werewolf in your dream indicates that something in your life is not what it seems. It is symbolic of fear, repressed anger, and uncontrollable violence.
To dream that you are a werewolf suggests that some aspects of your personality are hurtful and even dangerous to your own well-being. You are headed down an undesirable path. Alternatively, a werewolf refers to your repressed instincts.

Well, cushion the blow why don't you Mr Dream Website... I mean damn. Uncontrollable violence? So, there's a chance I knocked my own tooth out and I won't be drying up any time soon? No wonder I'm worried about people rejecting me sexually if I have aspects of my own personality that are even upsetting me let alone everyone else out there.

I'm heading down an undesirable path? Well, yes, I'm well on my way to becoming a stand up comedian where only depression and obesity looms. I knew that, but I promise you if I was still trying out that 9-5 stuff I'd probably be dreaming I was a rabid werewolf with cancerous lumps and bad fashion sense.

There was a little bit of good news when it came to the bear section:

To see a bear in your dream symbolizes independence, the cycle of life, death and renewal, and resurrection. You are undergoing a period of introspection and thinking. The dream may also be a pun on "bare". Perhaps you need to bare your soul and let everything out into the open.

I really, really enjoy that my unconscious brain might be trying to get in on the joke writing action with its own attempts at poor jokes. I'm totes independent, obvs so perhaps I need to be a little more frank and honest in my preaching. I feel very sorry for the next audience I encounter. Look out Basingstoke, you are going to find out exactly why I cry every time Del Boy gets upset.

Now, looking for "electric trees" didn't get me any results because apparently they are not common enough (thank you brain for having a go at something uniquely barmy). So, we had to break it down a bit, but it didn't seem to fit:

To see lush green trees in your dream symbolize new hopes, growth, desires, knowledge, and life.

But, unfortunately they weren't lush and green... they were massive and mass planted and built to carry electricity to keep me and the bears away from the werewolves. And we're back to the misery:

To see bare trees in your dream indicate used up energy. You have put your all into some relationship or project and now you are exhausted. Perhaps you are even feeling depressed.

Well, I'm not in a relationship and I sleep until at least midday most days. Also, it's 13:26 now and I'm very much still in bed. What's to be depressed about? I'm arguably one of the happiest people you'll ever meet (except for during certain episodes of Only Fools and Horses). I can only assume it's the energy I've been putting in to my baking lately... those sweet treats have been draining my life essence and making me dream all this crud. This makes a lot of sense, presumably with less cake around my teeth would be more inclined to stay in my head too.

To dream of electricity symbolizes vigor and life energy. You need to be revitalized. Alternatively, the dream suggests that you need to conserve your energy.

Well, fuck it, that's pretty conclusive isn't it? Is there nothing you can dream about that just means "lively mind and a penchant for seeking out shiny things" ? How am I going to get more energy into my system if I'm not allowed to bake cakes any more? They are my main source of sugar. This is frankly ridiculous.

To sum up, according to last night's dream I am depressed because I'm a hideous, menopausal wench that can't get laid and so I've become scared of my own personality. It's all going straight down the crapper unless I really start telling people about what's up and stop baking and telling jokes immediately. It's largely because I'm tired so sleeping more than my current 11 hours a night is advisable.

I think I was happier when we blamed this kind of crap on cheese.

Monday, December 5, 2011

As We Know It 2

This is an expansion of an ongoing project I've been mulling over... the original post is here: . Constructive feedback is ever appreciated.

By Day 6 of the Apocalypse we had pretty much all agreed that the biggest problem was our lack of death. People were starting to get fractious. Even the stalwart Christians were showing signs of noticeable anxiety about the length of time between the end of the world and the appearance of their Lord and Saviour to tell them what to to do and shepherd them to a chaise longue and a few grapes. Mrs Hemell had written a strongly worded letter to the BBC and had been very close to sending it before Mr Baxter pointed out that the BBC probably had little to do with the whereabouts of Christ. No one was really sure whether Points of View was still running as we'd all agreed not to use our televisions in case it turned out we needed the electricity in the future. Stockpiling always seems sensible at a time like this.

The missing Jesus was a cause of some concern at the first meeting of the Apocalypse Committee at the Village Hall. Iris Shoe caused violence to break out by suggesting that perhaps JC was just working his way down the country and that really 6 days was quite reasonable if you considered he was probably going to do the cities first. Mr Arthur (first name also Arthur) asked her if Jesus would be visiting all the towns in size order, Mrs Shoe said she had always assumed so, and Mr Arthur responded that he'd driven a lorry for 38 years and that was the most illogical assumption possible. He said any traveller worth their salt knew you should plan your route geographically. Beryl, who owns the corner shop, slapped him around the face for suggesting Jesus was a gypsy.

Iris pointed out that, if you didn't start with the biggest place, how would you know where to begin the tour? Everyone agreed that the country's extremities were no place to begin a mission of salvation - Scotland was not designed for such prestie. So Iris again asserted that she felt they would be reached in due course once the Good Lord had reached them on his list. Unfortunately, Beryl's hand got away with her again when she worked out that this meant Staplegrove would be visited first, despite the fact we had twice beaten them at the South West Floral Village Awards between 2006 and 2009. At this point Nigel decided he ought to take Beryl home as there were whisperings about Apocalypse Fever. Mr Baxter wrapped his dog's leash firmer around his hand.

With Beryl and Nigel gone it was felt that perhaps we should put the issue of what to do until Jesus got there to one side for a few minutes. Mr Young pointed out that some of us didn't really think he was coming anyway, and even when he did turn up, there was no guarantee we'd want to go with him.

"We'll have to wait and see what he's got to offer first. Might be worth our while to barter a little bit."

Once he and Mrs Dressing had stopped giggling over how much fun they'd had on the group holiday in Morocco with all those "funny stall owners", the vicar stood up and declared that there would be no bartering with Jesus Christ when he arrived and that all their bartering should really have been wrapped up in prayers in Church before the apocalypse had even happened.

"But we didn't know when to expect it." Came Mr Young's sullen reply, "I was still making my mind up."

The vicar said that the power of the Lord should be felt in your heart and soul and you shouldn't need persuading. Mr Young said that it wasn't his fault if Sky had more compelling programming than the pulpit. Suddenly I think we were all beginning to miss Beryl.

The idea was floated that, perhaps we should split the Apocalypse Committee into a further sub-committee entitled, The Welcoming Committee and they could take full responsibility for what we would do when Jesus got there. A buffet seemed like the most logical option and so the vicar agreed to work with Mrs Shoe and Mr Frinton on planning a menu and looking for a suitable venue. If we could give it a lick of paint then the Village Hall would do at a push, but there was a feeling in the room that perhaps Jesus was a little more outdoorsy.

It had taken us a full 90 minutes to agree on this and, as we had eaten that week's ration of Bourbons, we decided to call it a day and reconvene in 36 hours for the next meeting. Mr Baxter made a hasty exit with his dog as the Welcoming Committee's conversation turned to Jesus' morally surprising lack of vegetarian persuasion. No one wanted to be caught with just hummous if Staplegrove had sprung for pigs in blankets...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

End the Week For The Love of Mike

Today I have made bread, tidied my room, vacuumed, eaten the bread and watched Turner and Hooch... all whilst wearing a lovely woolly hat and a contented little smile. This is one of my most productive days in recent memory and it is due firmly to me not being hung over today. I think the world would be a lot more efficient if we rotated a system of alternating hang overs, because everyone knows that the first day after a hang over you feel so grateful to be better that you will achieve everything impossible in case you are mysteriously struck down the next day. Obviously, it's not a huge mystery because the empty wine bottles are still all over the place, but it's a mystery as to why you drank that much in the first place when you know you are the first to be dancing on a time to Carly Simon when the time comes.

Friday night was an interesting night... I was literally dreading going. Twas a birthday party which was only to be attended by people I didn't know. I knew the birthday celebrator obviously or it would have just been me crashing a party and the last time I did that I was banned from the Charlie Chalk play area for ball pooling with inappropriate footwear. But the night out was fun and bearable and all that stuff. I'm not sure letting someone do a shot of tequila (salt, lime, entire kit and kaboodle) off my chest was a classy highlight of my life but you cannot say I do not know how to make new friends. Fact.

So yesterday I had to eat the obligatory kilo of bacon to try and soak up the residual Sauvignon. I don't know why they don't just add alcohol straight to bacon, or at least glaze it, or at least get the pigs nice and drunk before they kill them... alcohol clearly makes the stuff taste much better than it usually would so why go to the hassle of consuming them separately? If I ruled the country then there would be a lot of caterers out of business because all buffets would be limited to bacon sandwiches in one hand and a glass of something evil in the other. Happy days. Vegetarians and tea total folks are probably going to have to stay in a lot. Or protest. But they're not going to have the energy or drunken creativity to protest in a way that will circumvent our pork induced devil party so we won't even notice.

My woolly hat and I are going to make burgers from scratch now... jealous much? Course you are. It's a great woolly hat.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fright Night

I'm literally minutes away from putting my impossibly high heeled shoes and walking out the front door for a jolly good knees up. I've dutifully painted a different face over my perfectly acceptable usual face. I've squeezed myself into a dress that leaves little room except under the arms for any flesh that you wouldn't find on a Barbie. I've altered the structure of my hair to the point that it's threatening to go and work for Helena Bonham Carter if I come near it with a comb again.


Why do we insist on doing this again?

Tune in tomorrow for my homage to Katy Perry and the inevitable retelling of exactly how wild my night got. Or watch my Twitter feed around midnight for sounds of pleasure being emitted as I get home, take shoes off, put pyjamas on and eat cake in front of the nearest Bill Pullman film I can find.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

The First of Happy

1st December eh?

Well, no, I don't have an Advent calendar still. I nearly bought one at a service station on the A1 at 1am this morning but I didn't want to look at it every day in the build up to Christmas and smell Ginsters and misery.

It pretty much has to go straight into Christmas on the 1st December because something has to happen to pick me up after the crushing loss of all those beautiful moustaches. I love a good moustache. Obviously it was a really unsettling day when mine went from being a faint insecurity to a visible intrusion but that's nothing a good dose of bleach, a bottle of wine and an evening of me time can't fix.

There has actually been a slight upset to my 1st December joy. This morning I found out I am being cheated on. It's quite the mood killer when you're trying to get into the Christmas spirit.

I know what you're thinking, "Laura, you're not even in a relationship - I think your hallucinations are getting out of control. Get some rest and come back when you're lucid." But that's where you'd be wrong.

Since October 2010 I've been living with someone and I thought we were really happy together and I thought it was going beautifully. This morning, in a completely unprovoked bubble puncture, I found evidence of playing away on the coffee table. ON THE FREAKING COFFEE TABLE? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Why rub it in my face? Fine. You're not totally satisfied with me. Tell me. I can change it up a bit or maybe we need to talk about some different "recipes" but does it really need to be this cruel when it happens? I don't really understand how the people who are supposed to love you the most can be the ones who always end up fucking you over. On my own bastard coffee table.

I literally feel sick. I haven't even been able to put it in the bin. I'm not sure if it's meant to provocation, whether I'm supposed to be the one to mention it...?

This is what I woke up to this morning:

A fucking muffin. A shitty, shop bought, chocolate chip muffin. In plastic packaging. Not even covered up over night. WOULD IT HAVE BEEN SO HARD TO PUT IT IN THE BREADBIN SO I DIDN'T HAVE TO SEE IT?

If my baking is not enough for you, dearest housemates, then tell me! I can make more! I can branch out with the recipes, I can cook requests, I can take more lessons. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME?

I'm so hurt. I can't believe they had to go for such cheap sugary delights when I have been bending over backwards to bring tiny sweet delights into this house. This must be exactly how Colleen Rooney felt. I don't know if I'm even going to be able to look people in the eye this evening. The worst feeling is the feeling of inadequacy... what was so wrong with my cakes that it had to come to this? Have I been neglecting? Were they not interesting enough? Was I not experimental enough?

I just don't know. Thank heavens for impending Christmas glory. Between this muffin based infidelity and the lack of tache in my surrounding area I just don't think I could go on without it.