Sunday, 24 June 2012

Our Prime Minister. What a guy.

I'm so proud to be British. And so grateful to David Cameron for shaping my moral conscience and leading the way in condemning those who should be brought to justice. War criminals, despots, thieving MPs and profligate, greedy, lying Lords, bankers and Gary Barlow. Are among those who have our PM's full and righteous support.

Davey C (as I like to call him, for he is down with the common man) is a man with his finger firmly on the pulse of the real Briton, clearly shown by the lack of the usual political flim flammery when it comes to making good on the promises of a manifesto we've all forgotten about anyway. His Big Society ideal makes me sad I didn't have children in time for them to witness this grasping of the real issues of the people and the intelligent and erudite man, nay, hero at the helm of the great ship Britain.

Oh, and I've forgotten all about that long list of criminals and warlords who are routinely supported, rewarded and rearmed by our PM. Because this week he has reminded me of the real issue of import. The real reason the economy is fucked up the arse and we're doomed to a future of eating gravel by candlelight.  The real reason we are three Big Macs away from anarchy at any given moment and will soon be administering snake oil to our sick in lieu of an actual health service.

Jimmy Carr.

JIMMY CARR.

It's all his fault.

Has he gone done something illegal? No, no he hasn't. Has he gone done something bad like murder, rape or the systematic dismantling of the NHS? No, no, not that. Much worse than that. Jimmy Carr has done something that casts a shadow on our great nation of morally upright bankers, economists, lawyers and politicians. Something that will make them shudder over the morning papers at breakfast with the wife, and brunch with the rent boy. Something that could even cause them to leave their tiny baby behind in the pub.

Yes. He has taken part in a totally legal, government-ignored (when it's for other people, like that lovely Gary Barlow. Didn't he do a fabby job with the Jubilee concert? Did you see him with that adorable Cheryl Cole. Wasn't she done for a racially aggravated assault once? Oh, must be my mistake. Such a lovely girl. And so natural), tax-avoidance scheme.

Davey C took the tellybox to inform the nation that Jimmy Carr - that's comedian Jimmy Carr - is morally unsound. Davey C must have forgotten that humungously rich Tory backers Lord Ashcroft and David Rowland avoided paying tax in Britain when he gave them their top jobs.

Perhaps he's also forgotten that his very own daddy built the family fortune using tax havens in Panama City and Geneva. And the lovely Scottish island he goes on holiday to - Jura - which is owned by his daddy-in-law, is owned by a company registered in the Bahamas.

Still, he's right. It's all that dastardly Jimmy Carr's fault. Jimmy's accountant asked him if he would like to pay the least amount of tax that is legally possible. Jimmy said yes. What a bastard. What a BASTARD.

And Gary Barlow? Tory supporter Gary Barlow? That Gary Barlow? The one who puts his cash into Icebreaker investment schemes which also cut tax? Davey C has been quiet on that score. He didn't think he should comment on personal tax arrangements, you see.

Apart from Jimmy Carr.

What. A. Guy.



Saturday, 23 June 2012

He looks like he smells of biscuits

It was about midnight and I was watching Vertigo in the dark.

I had no idea of the plot or what to expect but I didn't anticipate being quite so creeped out. It just got to a proper weirdy bit - where Jimmy Stewart 'sees' Carlotta in the court room - when I saw it out of the corner of my eye. A face at my window staring in. Big, nanic eyes fixed on me intently. A face pressed against the glass. One minute it wasn't there, and then suddenly it was all I could see.

I metaphorically shat myself.

In reality I did a sort of strangled intake of breath and, well, squeaked a bit. You know when you're shocked and it takes a few long seconds to reassemble what you think you're seeing into reality?

Reality was Johnson. My cross-eyed cat stalker who pops up at the most inopportune moments.

The little twat.

It took my a good ten minutes to calm down and finish the film, which was the third in last night's Hitchcock marathon. I read a summary of his films last week and realised that I had only actually seen Rear Window. Out of all of his films, I'd only ever properly watched one. So, having no boyfriend, few friends in the immediate vicinity and the definite wish to shut out the world, I acquired Rebecca, Suspicion and Vertigo and settled down.

Weirdly, Hitchcock and I seem to have a similar taste in reading material. I am a massive fan of Daphne Du Maurier and love the fact that he made three of her books into films. But more than that, it turns out Suspicion is based on a random book I found in a charity shop and absolutely loved. It's an obscure story http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Before_the_Fact written in the '20s about a complicated and depressed woman who marries quickly and repents at leisure. Except that she doesn't really. Even though it turns out her magical knight in shining armour is a liar, adulterer, embezeller, thief and, eventually, murderer, the heroine cannot face a reality without his 'love'. It's a disturbing story that leaves a lingering sense of unease and, sadness. She eventually becomes complicit in her own murder by his hand, by willingly drinking the poison he feeds her.

It's a shame Hitchcock changed the ending so radically. Turns out that he couldn't force making Cary Grant depict an actual psychopath so wraps up the film by showing it's all in Lina's silly, little, female head. The novel is multi-layered and fascinatingly intense as it unpeels the layers of self-deception and compromise that Lina endures for the sake of a man she 'loves'. The film doesn't explain why Lina would have become so obsessed with the idea that her husband is a murderer and just sort of ends. I found it unsatisfying and frustrating. Grant does a good Johnnie, if only he'd been allowed to really go for it. Joan Fontaine... I can't quite get my head around. I never fully enjoy watching her for some reason. She made a dopey Jane Eyre, for example.

As the unnamed heroine of Rebecca she fares better, however. Mrs Danvers is hilariously hammy and Maximilian de Winter played to his prickish capacity by an effete and unsexy Olivier. It's totally saved by 'Danny's' scene-stealing performance as the lesbian lover (Hitchcock makes it pretty clear he  thinks that happened) of the eponymous (and very tedious-sounding) Rebecca. Hitchcock wriggles out of the icky bit where Max shoots his wife. Instead, Rebecca rather unconvincingly bangs her head and dies, rather taking the psycho out of Max's personality. And he is a psycho. A thoroughly unpleasant, cruel, manipulative mysoginist with a disturbing predatory prediliction for virgins with daddy complexes. A fine romance, it is not. No one could love such a man, other than a naif with little choice and no protection. The film skips the deep unease that lingers long after the book is finished.

And so onto Vertigo. I had no idea what this would be about. It's a film I have heard of and seen referenced as a Hitchcock classic and I understand it's based on a novel, which, for once, I haven't actually read. First thing I thought - and I always think this while watching Jimmy Stewart - is how deeply unsexy he is. He's clearly too old for the part and when he kisses Kim Novack I feel sorry for her. The sexual chemistry is unconvincing - it feels like he should be offering the pneumatic and filthily sexy Kim a Werther's Original and taking her to the park to play on the swings. It feels wrong and the kisses are uncomfortable viewing. Which is a massive shame as the film hinges on the weird love story. I still loved it though, and didn't expect to be so thoroughly spooked by the whole ghost story bit, even though it turned out it was bollocks. The film's twists are many and genuine surprises came relatively regularly. I can't help feeling that Hitchcock's view of phobias is pretty flawed and the link between a fear of heights and total insanity is a leap too far. But it's a gripping film. I totally loved Kim Novack, despite her distracting eyebrows, and would have loved to have seen it with another actor in the lead role. Stewart is just too much of a granddad. And looks like he smells of biscuits.

Next up: Psycho, The Birds and North by North West.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Fifty shades of wank


Literally in some cases. And good luck to those who genuinely get turned on by this tripe.

Reading, as I do, the best seller book lists every Saturday I have grown used to seeing the latest zeitgeisty 'sensation'. I just never thought I'd find myself longing for the days of the Dan Brown assault on the charts. Unmitigated shite they were, written in a style that could only be described as adolescent. The characterisation was woeful, the plot embarrassing. I didn't think we would sink so low again.

This was before the days when children's books became the thing and suddenly everyone was reading Harry Potter on the bus to work. But with adult covers so they wouldn't be embarrassed. JK Rowling's books at least are well written, if rather drawn out.

We were all so happy that people were reading again. To listen to the media at the time would be to suppose that no one had bothered reading a book at all until Harry came along and showed us the way.

Then it was Twilight. Oh dear lord, Twilight. The embarrassing ramblings of a sexually repressed middle aged woman, the most irritatingly woeful heroine known to man (or vampire) and a love story so unconvincing and one-dimensional one was left longing for one of them just to rip Bella's face off and put everyone out of their misery. Oh, just me then?

I'm not sure where the shamefacedness went. Suddenly everyone was happy to be seen to be reading this bilge. This shite that we wouldn't have touched as 15 year olds in my day. We had Interview with a vampire, The Story of O, Lolita. We did it properly.

I detest the Twilight saga with every fibre of my being. From the vantage point of a reader, from the vantage point of a writer, from the vantage point of someone who bloody loves vampires. Once again came the refrain: "at least people are readdddding. At least Stephenie Meyers has got people readddding. It doesn't matter what people read as long as they're reaidnnnng." I paraphrase. Obviously.

A worthy sentiment. But actually total bullshit. Of course it matters. With a world full of Tolstoy, Austen, Bradbury, assorted Brontes, Pasternack, Zola, Blake, Eliot, Hardy and on and on and on, it does matter that people are choosing to waste their imaginations and intellects on this toss. It's crap. No literary value. No good storytelling, weak characters, hackneyed dialogue, awful, embarrassing, naive prose. Teenagers, adults and especially kids deserve better. I suppose that, at least it is categorised under teen fiction.

Unlike the behemoth it spawned. You'd have to be dead to not have noticed the explosion of the 'mummy-porn'franchise, Fifty Shades Of... It has stormed the bestseller charts and currently sits at numbers 1,2 and 3. Like a pestilential plague sore immovably wedged under the skin, oozing pus, blood and green stuff. Depending on your interest in such things, you may or may not know that this huge money-spinner started off as Twilight fan fiction. The author just added in some mild S&M, an 'adult' plot and self-published it on Amazon. Kindle sales rocketed, a publisher signed her up and the rest, as they say, is history.

So let's just look at that again. A poorly written and badly constructed teen-franchise is morphed into a poorly written and badly constructed adult-porn-lite-for-middle-aged-women. Have these avid readers not heard of the internet? I could happily point them towards badly written soft porn for free. Just give me Google and two seconds. I could equally find some old Mills & Boon from the 70s, which is what it reminds me of the most. I used to filch my ma's small collection when I was a teenager and they were full of masterful men, subservient virgins and ridiculous names.

And yet again I saw the phrase: "at least people are readddding again" Guess what? Some of us, a lot of us actually, never stopped. Some of us have ALWAYS read. Some of us delight in the variety and abundance of literature and popular fiction. Don't get me wrong, I like a bit of shite. I even read the first Twilight. That was rather a mistake though, it has to be said. But if this is what it took you to start reading then just stop. Stop now. It's your own time you're wasting.

And for goodness sake, find some proper porn.

Monday, 18 June 2012

"I don't read your blog anymore...

"... because it's not relevant to my life. Since you left Leamington, it's like you've disappeared."

This is what someone said to me at the weekend.

He was quite drunk and perhaps he was making a joke. Perhaps he wasn't. It doesn't really matter. And it certainly doesn't matter that he doesn't want to read my blog. I've had a lot of people comment on my blog to my face, some of it positive, some of it not. Some people think I'm inordinately harsh - I usually discover that they've based that opinion on one blog post.

And I get that. I get that reading spleen and bile isn't everyone's favourite thing. I do take exception to the implication that spleen and bile is all that is on offer. I like to balance it with some hate and ranting as well.

I would gently remind those people that there is a whole internet of delights for them to discover and read and they are under absolutely no obligation to read my blog, today or ever again. It's completely up to them.

As it is completely up to me to choose my subject. When I started writing this it was very much going to be no holds barred, write exactly as I feel at any given moment. And that has definitely caused problems. It's incredibly difficult to try and forget that there is an audience for it (albeit a very small one). It's also incredibly difficult not to take peoples' comments personally.

It can make you feel kind of small to know that some people take what you say very seriously and choose not to see the intended humour in some of the more biting posts. Or maybe they are just very lucky individuals who never have a negative thought and cruise through the day like some latter-day saint, smiling benevolently at anyone and everyone. Maybe they are better people than me. Nicer people. Happier people. I don't know.

It can also feel not so great when people assume that your blog is the entirety of your personality. But, I do put it out there and by doing so I invite comment. It's just interesting that something that so often makes me feel more connected to people can sometimes make me feel very remote.







Sunday, 17 June 2012

Do you want to see my puppies?

There was a knock on the door.

There is never a knock on the door. I don't know anyone up here who knows where I live. Literally.

I could see a shape through the frosted glass.

"Who is it?"

"Barry"

Oh, well if it's Barry then I'm right there. I have no idea who Barry is.

Turns out it's the manically giggling man from next door. The one I hear laughing like Norman Bates on ecstasy every day. The man whose guttural snortings, sneezings and throat clearings punctuate my day like birdsong.

I have never seen Barry in the flesh.

He looks, and I am incredulous while saying this, like an actual yokel. Like a Hollywood yokel. He has a ginger cloud of thinning hair, crazy, manic eyes and one tooth in the middle of his upper set of teeth. Huge gaps around it.

He looks, farnkly, insane.

Exactly like a man who would sit stock still for eight hours laughing like a drain at something only he can see.

He said: "I have a puppy."

"OK" sez I. "That's nice."

"It's noisy," he says. "I just wanted to warn you that you might hear it crying."

Why would it be crying? Dismissing images of our Bazza skinning poor pupster alive and wearing the furball as a novelty hat, I thank him for his concern and assure him it's fine and I'm sure the pup won't bother me at all. I am dying to say that he might want to consider his very loud and terrifying daily cackling sessions far more likely to disturb me than a puppy but dismiss this as unneighbourly.

There is an awkward silence. Barry is staring at me and, sort of, gurning slightly.

"Do you want to see my puppies?" he blurts.

I am a dog lover to the point of insanity. I would probably have approached Hitler and asked him if I could stroke Blondie. I made friends with a guy with a swallow tattooed on his face the other day because he had the most beautiful little staffie. So I was tempted.

For a second I weighed up the potential risks of meeting a new puppy against being cut up into tiny pieces and fed to said puppy.

I am being vastly unfair I know. Barry is probably an incredibly nice guy. But he did that thing of absent mindedly playing with his groin through his stained tracksuit bottoms while speaking to me. Just sort of rearranging it. That, combined with manic stare and strange way of speaking settled it.
This is one puppy I'll just have to watch from afar.

Still, it's nice to put a face to the crazy cackling.

Just another day

It's Father's Day. It's just another day. Another made-up Hallmark holiday designed to cash in on dad instead of mum.

I used to love it. I used to spend months choosing my dad's birthday/Christmas/Father's Day present. He was the only person who has ever been able to instinctively get presents totally perfect for me. Shopping for him was a dream. I just knew what he would like. Knew what would make him smile.

Since he died I've bought loads of things for him in my head. This year would have been an iPad 3 and a Kindle - the new one without the keyboard. He would've got such a kick out of the tech around today. He'd definitely have a tablet, a smartphone and a fast as fuck gaming PC.

I have got into the habit of blanking out the approach to Father's Day, his birthday and Christmas. Because for the first few years after his death, I would find myself compelled to continue to buy cards for him. When I moved I found a sad little pile of Father's Day cards and Happy Birthday Daddy cards. All in their sellophane. I kept them because at the time it helped somehow to pretend, just for a second. And I was also in that weird magical thinking loop that comes with grief. For years there was the feeling that maybe I'd turn a corner and he'd be there, or that if I continued as normal and bought him a Christmas present, somehow he'd come for them one day. I would also only buy the kind of diary that he bought me just before he died and

That doesn't happen anymore. Neither does seeing him in the street and following him. This used to happen a fair amount. I'd see him from behind and find myself speeding up to follow him. Eventually the guy would turn around and I'd see that it, of course, wasn't him. And I'd have to slow down and pretend to the poor man that I wasn't some crazed stalker. I don't think: "Sorry to be so obviously running after you, but you look a bit like my dead dad from behind, can I just hang out with you for a bit and pretend?" would go down particularly well.

Coming up to Father's Day the year he died was unbelievably painful. You just don't notice the amount of marketing and advertising until you really don't want to be reminded of something. I didn't know where to look to avoid seeing the words Dad, Daddy, Father. It felt like the entire world was screaming in my face: HE'S DEAD, DEB. DEB, HE IS DEAD. Like a sadistic Holly from Red Dwarf. DEAD HE IS, DEB.

Over the years these things have faded, but I think it's more a process of learning to live with it than ever 'getting over it'. Packing it away inside your head and only really looking at the edges of it when you feel strong enough. It's basically the equivalent of screaming LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU  in your head.

This year I've been pretty OK up to Father's Day. Until today, which is not too shabby. A few stabs of agony is manageable.

And it is, after all, just another day.

Happy Father's Day dad. x



Friday, 15 June 2012

What a beautiful way to spend a day

This is a precious day off. I have spent it in a Virgin train, which are my least favourite of the train companies, as it goes, mostly on account of the fact that their trains appear to have been designed by a deaf, dumb and blind moron.

Doors that close on you? No problem says Sir Branson from his platinum yacht. I can make that happen. How about air conditioning that never works? Easy. I'll throw in uncomfortable crammed in seats so you can really taste that fat man's halitosis every time he breathes out. I know you'd like that. How about unfeasibly massive toilets that we've thoughtfully taken up at least 10 seats to show we care about people in wheelchairs? But wheelchairs can't fit on on a train, you say? Won't stop us designing the toilet specifically for their use and throwing in the joy of a door that you can never quite be sure is locked and may well inexorably open one day, like a curtain revealing a prize winning performance to the commuters who are forced to huddle around its doors because there aren't enough seats.

We also guarantee no fresh air, shit coffee (if any at all because we often find we can't get to you down the far too narrow aisles filled with exhausted, grimy people with no seats wishing they were dead).

I should be in Spain. I'm not. So I've chosen to go see my lovely friends. Every step of the way has been fraught with irritations. Firstly the fucking York races meant that a taxi from my house to the station would have taken almost an hour. I walked the mile and half instead no realising that it was humid to the point that I was dripping in sweat by the time I lugged my bags there.

Train was delayed. Naturally. Why? Because it was struck by lightning. Yes. Struck by fucking lightning.

I am now over an hour and a half later than planned. I am covered in grime, I feel dirty, I'm desperate for the loo but can't get to it, I'm angry, hungry, thirsty and have the mother of all headaches. And the man who has just wedged his gut into the seat next to me, pinning me uncomfortably to the window, frankly, smells bad.

I keep getting surges of adrenaline and entertaining fantasies of standing up and streaking down the aisle screaming a primal scream of fucking rage.

But I can't get past smelly man. Luckily a baby has just started screaming behind me. So that'll take my mind off things, so.

So glad I'm not in Spain. Not being in Spain is awesome so far.

That's that then

I should be just landing in Spain. I should be being welcomed with open arms by someone who couldn't wait to see me. I should be having fun with someone I grew to really care about.

Instead, I'm sitting on my sofa under a blanket with Fatman, freezing my tits off because I refuse to turn the heating on in June.

Yeah, I know. It's tedious isn't it? This will be the very last blog post on this subject. I can promise that. I suppose it's just because I would literally just be landing right now. And the thought of my empty Ryanair seat just makes me want to scream.

If I could have got at least some of the money back I wouldn't feel as stupid I think. But, despite repeated assurances, it hasn't happened. I shouldn't be surprised, obviously. And yet, even though I have a cynical and harsh exterior I do tend to assume most people are intrinsically good and kind deep inside, and that in situations like this that they would come through in some way to make it less horrible.

I guess today was my internal deadline to see if somehow the humiliation and sad would be helped in any way by at least the assurance that he cares enough to help me out with the cash. I may as well have taken £300 and burned it.

I've sort of always wanted to do that actually. Next time I meet someone I like I'll just go ahead and do that. Cut out the middleman.

I keep trying to twist this situation in my head to see the amusing side so I can blog about it in that way. But I just can't. It feels like shit.

However, as this is the weekend I should have been there, once it's over I'm sure I'll be feeling better about it. Put it all behind me. Write off the cash. Ignore the whole thing. Onwards and upwards. Etc.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

I don't tolerate lateness

I mean, that right there: "I don't tolerate lateness", should have told me all I needed to know, shouldn't it? That's not a normal text from a guy who has asked you out on a date.

I have apparently lost all ability to tell what is normal and what is not. With the sheer amount of male fuckwittage kicking around recently I now assume that if one says something lovely, it's probably bollocks and if one says something really quite weird, I decide to give him the 'benefit of the doubt'. I don't want to tar them all with the same brush you see. Just because one guy ripped my heart out and booted it around for fun doesn't mean that they're all complete fuckwits, right?

So I got back on the horse. In the saddle. In the game. OUT THERE. I went on a date. Via the internet, naturally. Meeting men in the flesh and liking them and then going out with them is something that only happens on US sitcoms.

So we texted a few times. He seemed resistent to much chat. I asked him what he did for a living and he responded with: "Are you always this nosey?"

BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT, PEOPLE.

Plus he is in a band. And I figured that even if he was weird he might have some ace friends. I mean, it's not actually dating at the moment, it's more trawling for potential friends in a new city. Obviously if he was also hot and awesome and funny and intelligent and well hung then so much the better.

Yesterday evening some texts were exchanged about where to meet. That was odd too. He wanted me to meet him outside M&S. I mean, why? Why would anyone meet outside M&S? I suggested a pub. He said no. He suggested a pub. I said, OK, but I might be a bit late because I don't know where it is. He said, and I quote: "I don't tolerate lateness."

I thought, maybe this is some kind of hipster banter. Maybe this is a thing that people do. Maybe he's trying to sound cool and in control. Maybe he's a fricking psycho. But I have put so many dates off so many times that I decided to go. Just go. It must be banter. I mean, otherwise it would just be really weird to be so rude to someone that a) you've asked out and
b) presumably want to like you, at least a little bit.

So I get there. I was about two minutes late. He doesn't meet my eye. Or smile. I buy myself a drink (strike one) and we sit down. I make small talk. During which he tells me that he has a new job and now has to work with "a lot of women" who "talk too much". OKKKKKK. Not keen on women chatting, not a great start.

I mention his resistance to chatting on text.

He says: "Questions are tedious"

Right.

Ploughing on.

It gets a bit warmer, a bit more bantery. Oh, should have said, couldn't fancy him less. His photos LIED. They were in black and white and full on band mode and they LIED. Barely looked like the same person. Pfffft.

I brought up the whole "I don't tolerate lateness" thing, in a light hearted fashion. At this point I honestly thought that he was doing some kind of dry witty thing. THAT'S how much of a doubt I benefitted him.

He said: "Well, I don't tolerate lateness."

Me: "But don't you think it was a bit harsh to someone you hadn't even met yet?"

Him: "I'm not going to be fucked around by anyone."

Me: "Ah"

Him: "What? I tell it like it is. I'm not going to sit here waiting for someone."

Me: "All I said was I wasn't sure where the pub was and I might be a bit late."

I was desperately trying to maintain some kind of normality during this deeply weird exchange but it became apparent by his clenched fists that things were not going well.

Fuck it, I thought.

Me: "It made you sound like an arse"

Now, I didn't say twat, cunt, fuckhead or psycho. I said arse. Not the worst adjective. It could even, at a push, be affectionate.

He breathes deeply: "I'm going to go home"

Me: "I'm sorry, what?"

Him: "You've just called me an arse."

Me: "Woooooahhhh there. I said your text was rude and made you sound like an arse. I certainly didn't mean any offence as I'm sure you didn't when you sent it."

Him: "You should think before you open your mouth"

Me: ....

An actual stunned silence.

For a second.

Me: "Yeah, don't talk to me like that. Ever."

Him: Exits, pursued by a bear.

My immediate reaction is a flush of humiliation. That lasted approx two seconds as I relayed the encounter in my mind.

What an absolute waste of some damn good make-up. Oh, and it turned out he wasn't even in a band anymore. They broke up "a while ago".

Next.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

I hate you Nick Jojola

Firstly, can I just say that I am writing this on my new iPad using a Bluetooth keyboard. When I think of how excited we were in 1997 to know people who owned mobile phones but weren't even drug dealers, it kind of blows my tiny mind.

It IS the future. Now. This is it. And as long as all we want out of the future is new and faster ways to look at pictures of cats then we are all good. I jest, of course. The advances in technology are genuinely mindblowing. The speed with which we got from there to here is phenomenal. My childhood was filled with Game and Watch, Little Professor (basically a calculator that asked you to do sums - that's what passed for fun in 1988) and a clunky video player that dad 'borrowed' from work (for 20 years). It didn't even record but we did use it to pirate video tapes and it was all mine.

Now kids grow up learning to write on a fricking iPad. I dunno whether it's a good or bad thing. Good, I guess. And I am completely enamoured with Kindles and iPads and,well, all of it really. Although less so with my HTC Sensation. Barely a year old and it's chugging away like it's being powered by an asthmatic ant on a treadmill. It's buggy and unreliable and slow and really quite annoying.

I'm sort of glad I tried to leave Apple but I am definitely being sucked back into its fruity bosom now. Helped, it has to be said, by a reminder from someone on Facebook about this:




Yes. That's THE Nick Jojola urging you to jump out of a plane while taking a shit photo AND filming AND uploading ALL BEFORE YOU HIT THE GROUND. It seems to be the only clip I have ever seen on Youtube that has united the world's trolls, bloggers and commenters in their universal hatred of its utter wankess.

In years to come it will be shown as the defining moment of when hipsters and advertising ate itself. It's horrific. It's somehow so 80s in its conception and yet it is utilising all of this amazing technology. It insults and demeans photographers as well as its target audience. It implies that taking a quick snap, perhaps using Instagram, is somehow up to the standard of the front cover of Vogue. It's embarrassing in its attempt to appeal to, actually, what? To who? Who the fuck does this appeal to? WHO would watch this and think: "Ah, Nick Jojola recommends this. I shall buy one?" WHO?

It's bad enough having celebs endorsing every fucking thing we're supposed to buy. A while back I joked about Olympic athlete themed tampax adverts. It happened, people. Advertisers apparently think if they scrawl a suspect 'signature' on anything, it will be willingly snapped up by the retarded sea of amoebas out there with their credit cars primed and ready. And now we're getting stuff endorsed by someone no one has even heard of. He's apparently a fucking student according to the ad. Who gives a fuck what students think about ANYTHING?

I dunno what the hell HTC and whatever crap agency created this abortion of an advert were thinking. But I expect it was fuelled by the old Columbian marching powder. I sort of hope it was because otherwise my brain just does not compute how such a pile of execrable fuckwittery was ever greenlit by anyone ever.

I saw the title of another video which was BEHIND THE SCENES. I read up to: "Did we really do it? Meet the team who risked their lives..." Anyone willing to risk their life for this piece of shit deserves to hit the ground hard.

I hope they make a sequel where Nick Jojola falls on his smug, hipster face. And then someone takes a picture and uploads it to Facebook. ALL BEFORE SCRAPING HIS SHATTERED BODY FROM THE GROUND.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Deborah translates



"I really think I have feelings for you" means "I will shag you if you turn up and there's nothing better going on."

"You intrigue me" means "Which one are you again?"

"No one understands me like you do" means "You feed my fragile ego just enough for me to bother talking to you."

"I think about you all the time" means "Once when I was knocking one out your tits came into my head"

"I didn't mean to hurt you" means "I didn't even notice I was hurting you"

"I'm sorry, I'm such a bad person" means "Please just get off the phone so I don't have to deal with this"

"You mean so much to me" means "Will that do? Now will you get off the phone so I don't have to deal with this?"

"It just happened" means "I was keeping you on the backburner love, just in case this other bird didn't work out, but it did, so I have no use for you anymore"

"Darling" means "I can't remember your name"

"Babe" means "You're a girl that I probably would shag if you were in my immediate vicinity so I shall throw you this bone of pseudo-affection just to keep you hanging on on the offchance that I don't meet something better/more convenient/younger in the meantime"

"I'll pay for the flight you booked to come and see me" means "Of course I won't pay for your flight. What I will do is boot you off Facebook and pretend you don't exist"

Yeah I'm still upset. Yeah, I'm venting. No, this isn't a passive aggressive message to him as he dumped me off Facebook straight away so he won't be reading it. Which, by the way, really pissed me off. Funny how Facebook is like the last kick in the teeth in these situations. Sometimes I wish it was still 1992 when there was only two ways for a boy to make you feel like shit: face to face or on your parent's landline. There are just way too many forums to be insulted in 2012.

Right, I'm off to do something with my rage. I might go and kick a busker.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Turns out I was Plan B

No, I'm not the reincarnation of a shit pseudo-cockney rapper/director/corporate whore (who knew he was such a renaissance man? Have just been informed his genre is 'UK Grime'. I did not know that was even a thing.) It turns out I was a Plan B when I thought I was a Plan A.

In a nutshell: I opened up to someone who persuaded me he had feelings for me. I have more walls than a walled in wall and that was a pretty big deal for me. To even allow myself to start to trust someone. I made sure I was clear about how I didn't want to be played or treated like a fool, that I've probably had more than my fair share of being dicked around and I would far rather just not go there at all, if this was in any way not serious for him. Now, I know no-one has any guarantees and the situation was compounded by the fact that we live very far away from each other.

So I explained that I didn't want to book tickets to go and see him if this was not what he really wanted. He was lovely. Caring, patient, sweet. He made me feel like this was absolutely what he wanted, in fact he made me feel like this could be something real. Mostly because that's what he said. With words. That came out of his mouth.

I felt the moment that there was a change in his tone, in the way he was communicating with me. And I fought a (losing) battle to keep my shit together, not freak out, give him the benefit of the doubt and have a little faith in what he was telling me when we did speak, which was all good.

For a couple of weeks there I had some pretty dark moments and thought: right, fuck this. I'm not going. I don't need crumbs from any fucker. I am better than this.

Then I'd speak to him and explain my fears and he would be lovely. In my experience explaining one's fears to a boy merely renders one labelled as a psycho/mental/nut job. But he was great.

Then he just stopped talking to me. Just for a few days. My sixth sense was in overdrive and I dreamt that it had literally all been a load of bollocks and he laughed at me for thinking he'd meant anything he'd said.

Days later I get a text, while I'm at a party, that starts: hey darling.

Ooh, that must be good, right? After all, no one calls you darling unless... Oh, hang on...

It ends: I've met someone else.

So that's less than two weeks before I was due to fly to see him to see if we would make a go of it, he's met someone else, fallen for them and is now with them. I call him and am, well, let's just say I'm fucking upset.

It was kind of like that scene in Dangerous Liaisons where John Malkovich randomly goes off Michelle Pfeiffer and she is left utterly confused. She begs him for an explanation and he just keeps repeating: it's beyond my control. It's beyond my control. It's beyond my control.

Of course, it wasn't as poetic and I'm no Michelle, but the upshot of the explanation seemed to be: it just happened, I can't help it. Repeat ad nauseam. Apparently, it was somehow nothing to do with him, it just happened. Out of nowhere. All by itself. Turns out that he's known her for ages. Oh, what a shock. Funnily enough she was never mentioned to me. I literally didn't know she existed while I was busy constructing my little fantasy that a guy actually meant what he said when he said he wanted to be with me.

Well, guess what? NOTHING happens all by itself. Everything is a choice. And he chose someone else. I was his back up plan, not the main event. I just didn't know that.

So, I'm left with a £160 unrefundable plane ticket, a bikini I won't wear and a very, very disenchanted and hurt heart. Is this too much? Too pathetic? Should I just be all: oh yeah, well, I didn't give a shit anyway and he can fuck who he likes, I don't care? I know that's how one is meant to react in such circumstances.

But the truth is I'm gutted, humiliated, hurt, sad and lonely. I don't know if it could have been anything real but the least I expected was the chance to find out, after everything we said to each other. But the old adages are true, aren't they? Words are just words and actions are where it's at.

Michelle Pfeiffer turned her face to the wall and died of a broken heart. Now, naturally, I'm hardly going to go that far. Luckily I don't have much heart left to break, so I'm sure after a bit, I'll recover and be absolutely fine. But that day is not today.

He did once say that he wanted to be in my blog.

Mission accomplished.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

In stasis

This guy once said to me that he only ever felt relaxed when he was on a train. I asked him why, considering train travel seems to have evolved into a kind of torture. What could he possibly mean?

He meant that it was because when in the middle of a train journey he is free from expectations. He's not in the place he has just left, with all that entails. And he's not yet at his destination so doesn't have to deal with whatever is at the other end.

It's a sort of statis. A time when even the incessant mobile phone and internet connection is more than likely banjaxed so even if one wanted to deal with whatever heinous problem is making their life a misery they can't. Just for a bit.

Currently on a train journey and in the middle of quite an upsetting emotional problem, I know what he means.

Because right now I'd rather just stay on this train, listening to Florence and the Machine forever, rather than face up to stuff.

(Even though I'm wedged in to my seat by a very large man who is emitting an unfortunate odour. And the train is late. And I've witnessed four arguments so far over 'reserved' seats. Whatever that means for train operators. It appears to mean they send people random promises that of course they will have a seat in exchange for the enormous amount of money they've just paid. And then deny all knowledge, sit back and watch chaos ensue.)

Even though I have an almost overwhelming urge to sob uncontrollably. Even though I am exhausted, uncomfortable and heartsick, I would rather just stay on this train. Because then there is at least the fantasy that maybe everything will be ok when I reach the other end.