Thursday, 29 August 2013

Apparently I don't understand my own sexuality

Today I had a message on OK fuckwits. Nothing new there. But this was from a girl.

This actually happens every now and again, a gay lady will send me a message and say something nice, I will say thanks but I'm straight and they say something along the lines of yes I know just wanted to say you're pretty or something and then it's done.

Not this time.

I wanted to be polite. She's a 23 year old from Leeds who said something nice and I said thanks. And then this happened. She is clearly on a mission to turn straight women gay.

She was pushy, insistent, entitled and creepy. All of which I have come to be very familiar with from men on OK Cupid, but apparently this attitude has nothing to do with the fact they're men.

It's just people being dicks.

Ah well.

Maybe she's right though. If you follow her impeccable student logic in the last part, clearly I AM ACTUALLY GAY and JUST DIDN'T KNOW IT. If only I was as intelligent and self aware as she is.

Anyway it doesn't matter because no one will want to be with me anyway with my attitude. According to the girl who tells complete strangers that they don't understand their own sexuality.

If I had the energy I would bang my head against my desk. Also if I had a desk.


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

How naked do you need to go?

The other night the VMAs happened. And such is the objectification of women and the collusion of female artists to get their tats out in order to get noticed there was an enormous amount of flesh on show.

From the sheer dresses on the red carpet to the fact that Lady Gaga turned up in a thong. How low does your self esteem need to be to turn up to an awards show wearing a fucking thong? I know she's out to 'shock' and I know that her shtick is to 'provocatively' draw attention to herself because her image is crafted on a pseudo performance arty thing, but it's clear she's running out of ideas. Fast. Her performance rolled through her usual imagery of nuns and death and sex and masturbation and all of that malarkey. But we've seen it all before. Over and over again.

Everyone gets naked now.

Do you remember the days when Britney wearing a very obviously non see through body stocking that sort of could have looked like she was naked-ish from a great distance was a thing? Or when American went collectively mental at the sight of Janet Jackson's purposeful nip slip at the Super Bowl? Or Madonna singing a song about, gasp, virgins?

Somewhere during the last few years it seems desensitisation to tits and ass have become ubiqutous. I'm not going to turn this post into (much of) a feminist rant because it's important to distinguish that, yes, people have the right to wear what they want. And is performing in your underwear any worse than watching swimmers or gymnasts at the Oympics, for example? Small clothes and the female body provokes reaction. Athletes dress like that in order to not impede their movements and, this is definitely also true, to look good.

But what's with female artists feeling like they need to go out in a just a thong? Empowered or desperate? Striking a blow for the female right to wear tiny bits of fabric in public or giving in to the age old patriarchal truism that 'sex sells'? The question would be, I guess, is Lady Gaga wearing a thong and flashing her ass at the camera 'accidentally' for herself or for others?

Hard to say, of course, I'm not in her head. Maybe she is empowering women to be brave with their choices.

Here she is terrifying the 1D man children.



During the same show Katy Perry appeared almost nunlike in her crop top and shorts, but no one can actually remember her performance because of something else. What was it? Well, it was Billy Ray Cyrus's birthday. Maybe it was that? Or maybe it was that his barely legal daughter catastrophically embarrassed herself, her family and the world with a 'raunchy' performance that was honestly too cringey to actually be offensive.

She flailed. She danced (badly) with some depressed teddy bears. She wore a skimpy costumer, presumably designed to appeal to the furries out there, only to rip it off and show some latex underwear that, oh lord, just looked painful. I mean, it was a size too small and was WEDGED right up there.




Her tongue was hanging out like a particularly thirsty dog. Every time she forgot to have her tongue lolling she remembered and quickly stuck it out again. Someone must have once told her that ladies who do things with their tongue are sexy. She did this, like, ALL the time.



She did things like pretended to masturbate with a foam hand and then she did that grinding thing against the groin of a man who resembled a giant humbug. And it was possibly the least sexy thing I have ever seen. So it didn't even work from that point of view.

And the internet went wild. I am a bit sketchy about Miley, I know she was in Hannah Montana and I know that she was a child star and I think she's now around 16? I'm assuming she's legal anyway. She seems to be some kind of Disney iconic princess type person that we just don't have in England, but it's fun to watch America become disgusted and 'shocked' and go on a morality crusade every time one of these damaged, fucked up little girls displays signs of an emotionally poor upbringing.

I mean, maybe, JUST MAYBE, if a child grows up in the glare of the media spotlight in a zeleb world which literally judges people on their thigh gap and white teeth, they're going to grow up not entirely at one with their own sense of self? Not a massive leap is it? Not hugely shocking that Miley has gone a bit mental. In a way, it's logical. People have seen everything about her, I mean, what's left? May as well show them all your ass cheeks and gyrate on a stage in front of men and women old enough to be your parents.

And it was interesting to see older women like Rihanna et al shifting uncomfortably in their seats. I mean, they perpetuate this over sexualisation of youngsters with every video they release and every time they step out of the door with their ass hanging out. It's bullshit to say they don't. They are emulated by armies of young girls. And guess what Ri-Ri? This is what happens. This is the outcome.

In a way, it's like Miley is showing us all what our revoltingly looks obsessed, money obsessed, shallow, pointless and vacuous worship of celebrity is doing to people. LOOK AT HER. Every music producer and video producer and person who creates the images of these hugely influential (whether you like it or not) female pop stars did this. They're all responsible. Maybe that's what Miley is saying.

Or maybe Miley feels that without pretty much flashing her foof she has nothing to offer.

Or maybe Miley is just a bit gosh darn thick.

Kind of feel sorry for Gaga though, all that thong action and no one even noticed. I mean, if you've been away for a year or so and are about to make your big comeback and you stick your almost naked ass in front of a camera at a judicious moment I'm guessing you'd want someone to talk about it? Nada. Zip. No one cared. Not even when this happened.



Wonder what next year's VMAs has in store? I'm betting a full scale naked orgy featuring Miley (she doesn't want to now seem like she's no longer relevant you see), Selena Gomez and Rihanna, while occasionally miming to a track in the background to keep up the pretense that any of this is anything to do with music, followed by Lady Gaga debuting her new album while having a full scale pap smear on stage, interspersed with footage of her latest colonic irrigation. Giant screens will show all the detail of her inner bits as well as her outer bits so you don't miss a damn thing.

Fresh. Relevant. Gross. Sad.


Sunday, 25 August 2013

Short but sweet

This made me laugh.


I loved the stiltedness of the initial conversation. I purposely replied in a similar way to him, because it amused me. And I wanted to see where it would go. 

That's where it went. 

'Busy as a bastard' is not a phrase ladies should be uttering. 

Good job I didn't say cunt, fuck and bollocks innit?


I just didn't fit in

Round about this time 12 months ago I got fired. Unceremoniously booted by the people who had persuaded me to move across the country for the dubious honour of working at their agency.

While I was being courted by this company, there were many red flags. I had an inkling that it was a place run on fear, loathing and mutual distrust but they offered me mucho money and I really wanted to get the fuck out of dodge. I was stuck in Leamington, stuck because of a fear of the unknown, fear of moving out of my comfort zone, fear of leaving friends.

And this was a way out.

So I took it.

What a mistake to make. Within weeks it was clear that I didn't fit in. Mostly because a culture of shaming, bullying and pressure don't really light my fire. I did my work and I did it well. But I hated it.

For no reason other than I 'didn't fit in' I was suddenly dragged into the office and issued with my marching orders. I was not in a great place mentally as I was dealing with an illness, dealing with being in a city where I knew no one and was working ridiculous hours under ridiculous pressure. There is nothing more soul destroying than dancing on eggshells trying to please people who run on ruling by fear and nastiness. People that have already decided that you will never please them.

Twelve months on and, if I was ever lucky enough to see these delightful people, I would firstly tell them they are detritus. And then I would thank them.

Whatever happens in my future, wherever I end up and however I make a living, they made me resolve once and for all to never waste a second of my life working for assholes. Ever again.

I know some people can sell their soul for the corporate dream and will work year in, year out in a place where they are neither valued nor thanked. I know that some people seem to actively enjoy being part of the inevitable bitchy divide and conquer atmosphere that appears to prevail in small companies run by power hungry, personality stunted megalomaniacs. And still other people seem to naturally have the skill that allows them to kiss the right asses, in the right order and play the game.

I'm none of these people.

I believe that a working environment should be free of bullying, or drama and of nastiness. I believe that people should be allowed to express their personalities as long as they get their work done. I believe that retaining your personality is more important than kissing the ass of assholes. And I believe that I am extremely glad I didn't fit in.

I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to manage without the salary. But guess what? I can.

And I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to deal with being fired. But guess what? I did.

I did, however, have the feeling that I would be extremely glad never to see their faces again. And guess what? I am.

All's well that ends well, no matter how shit it seems at the time. And sometimes it's good to burn that bridge down to the fucking ground.


Thursday, 22 August 2013

Supermarket panic attacks

I really really enjoy them.

I love the fact that an innocuous and very tedious chore turns into such a dramatic adrenalin-fest. It makes my life so exciting.

Not for me the thrills and spills of, say, a rollercoaster. I don't need that. Bungee jumping? Nah. I can have a full blown, I'm going to die, I can't breathe, help me panic attack in the middle of fucking Waitrose.

The sudden palpitations and then your vision goes cockeyed and the light seems too bright and suddenly you know without a shadow of a doubt that you're going to puke. Right here. Right now.

But you have a trolley full of shit and there's no way you're going to leg it out of a supermarket of all places. Plus then you'd have to go to all the faff of bothering your ass to go to the supermarket all over again. Which is tedious in the extreme. I hate supermarkets even when I don't have a panic attack (about 8/10 times). They're dull and boring and expensive and full of twats and the lighting is horrible and, no matter my intentions, I always come out with pretty much the same thing and how much of my life am I going to waste standing in a queue?

Anyway, back to searing panic attack. I don't know about you (if you ever have them, of course, I'm aware that some people don't. I wonder what that's like). I start to sweat and can't quite see properly, I'm swallowing convulsively while simultaneously trying to slow my heart rate down by instigating all the CBT things I've learned over the years. I immediately calculate the time it will take to get to the toilets without looking like a total spaz and make my way there. Dump trolley, in cubicle, self medicate, drink water.

As usual though, I never feel like I can take up valuable toilet space to calm down from a panic attack because probably someone will need it any second now, so after the briefest of respites I scrape together courage and stagger vertiginously to the queue. Always a bloody queue and always a cashier that seems to go so slowly. I fight the urge to grab the shit out of her hand and do it myself and force myself to smile at inane conversation. This is the bit I hate the most. I feel like it's so obvious but then if it was wouldn't they hurry the FUCK UP to help me, because I am going to pass out any second and it's going to be embarrassing for EVERYBODY.

It feels so obvious. My breathing goes jagged and I must be sweating quite obviously by now, I'm probably flushed and possibly look like I'm going to cry any second. So basically look mental.

Finally she gives me the stuff and I can go.

As usual, almost as soon as I'm out of the situation, I immediately start to calm down. No fainting. No puking. Shaking subsides. Breathing normalises and I'm just left with an extremely familiar sense of shame mixed with anger (at myself, at panic attacks, that they're even a thing, that I can't control my own adrenalin, that I still have them after 20 years of having them) and a general sense of abnormality.

And I forgot the coffee.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

There's a second life

There's a second life I live
Alongside this one
It's a secret life
A necessary schism
Because what else could I do?

Relativity.
That means that somewhere like this
Somewhere almost exactly like this
You're still alive
And you breathe
And you talk
And you walk beside me on every path I take

So I still talk to you like I would have done then
Because in my second life you are here
You were always here.



Walking home tonight

I smelled fresh laundry mixed with heat from neon and kebabs and curry and perfume of that girl I passed and grease and salt from the pizza place. And people walked past me in a slow wave. And I felt remote from the things around me and the people near me. And I saw the moon and it is always beautiful and always the same. I start to think about how breathing in and out is all there is to it all really. As long as you can breathe in and out, in and out. Come the second you can't well then it's game over and the jig is up and it's curtains for you mate and you won't get to breathe in cut grass or taste an August night that's cooling into autumn fresh or see a bat or feel how it feels to wonder what if.

And I don't want that.

I want to breathe in and out.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

As sure as night follows day...

I have had such a surge of positive energy and creativity over the last few days and as a seemingly inevitable response to this, I appear to be crashing. Rather hard.

Today is filled with anxiety and worry, something that wasn't even on my radar yesterday. It's a weird world and weird thing to be a weird human brain in a weird world. Suddenly I am full of self doubt. What if I can't be a freelancer? What if I can't make enough cash to get by? What if, what if, what if?

I'm more and more convinced that the measure of happiness can only be found in the moment. Expecting to generate happiness every hour of every day is a futile impossibility that leads to more stress and worry. At least for me it does. I find I'm best when I just take a minute to minute approach and have lots of naps. Naps are an integral part of my stress management, I've found.

I become overwhelmed sometimes. I seem to get a tightness in my chest and all the dark and badness comes crashing through my body, as if black ink is surging through my veins. It's sort of like a sick feeling of adrenalin. Not in an exciting and happy way but in a dreadful, oppressive way. A quick nap and a squeeze of the Fat One usually sorts it pretty quick. That or some furious cleaning or exercise.

Self doubt is not as exciting as positive energy and surety that what I'm doing is finally the right thing. I know this. But it is the yin and yang of life, after all.

There are times when I wish I could just live in someone else's head for half an hour. Just a quick 30 minute snap shot to find out whether other people have such furious highs and lows. I'm guessing it's a universal thing but is yet another aspect of human nature that is repressed out of visible existence because of the constant fear of being seen as weak or momentarily lacking in confidence. Because there is nothing our society howls at more than someone who just says: "I actually don't know what I'm doing right now and I feel like everything's a wobbling mess."

Particularly when it comes to business and the corporate world. The drive to seem in control and successful at all times is a very 80s concept that I don't think needs to exist anymore. How much nicer would it be for everyone to interact on a much more human level and admit that they're not sure whether things will work out or not, but they'll give it their best shot. The lack of gung ho bullshit is, of course, partly the reason I went freelance. I am free to admit to myself that sometimes I'm unsure and sometimes I'm worried and sometimes it's stressful. And that's actually OK. Because probably it'll all turn out alright in the end.

It usually does.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Jack of all trades...

... master of approximately 1.5.

Over the last four days I have been a make up artist on a magazine shoot, a writer, a website designer, worked at a local punk festival and today finished it off by working in the museum as a steward.

Soon I will be adding assistant at a doggy daycare to my current roles.

Basically, this really pleases me. I struggle sometimes to write positively on this blog because I worry that it'll sound like I'm bigging myself up, or that I think I'm amazing. I hate that. I hate bragging and I hate it when people brag about what they do. That's not why I'm writing this post. I just want to convey that, well, this last week I've been happier than I have been in ages.

It genuinely feels awkward to write something that isn't snarky or analysing something. To just write something because it's true and it's simple. Life is better than it's been for a while. I have focus. I have goals. I have something that I'm happy to work on 15 hours a day. Because I want to.

I'm still sick, but I've started the new treatment. I'm still skint but I'm doing something about it, and I'm doing it my way. I'm still single, but actually I've worked out that I just don't care that much right now. Unless I bump into someone fantastic who changes my life, I can't see it changing for the time being. Plus, I have no time. At all. The thought of trying to fit someone in makes me panic a bit.

All I've been doing is working and sleeping. But the different kinds of things I've been doing and the different people I'm meeting and the lack of a routine is changing my life for the better. I feel more motivated and more driven than I have in a long, long time.

I may or may not be able to make a success out of my new venture but the fact that I'm actually putting my energies into something I want to do, in the way I want to do it is so ridiculously satisfying.

Who knew that life is this simple?

Saturday, 17 August 2013

With such a breath of a harsh rose

This one has been emailing me and emailing me. I never answered. Until he emailed me at a time when I was rather not in the mood for any more illiterate, entitled fuckwits.

And yeah, I was pretty rude and to the point with my response.

Made absolutely no difference though.



Incredible isn't it? You can say: "fuck off" as your only response, which is very rude in itself. You'd think that the person on the receiving end would either say something about how rude and horrible I am or they would just, er, fuck off. Not this guy though. 



I think he thought me asking him to leave me alone was flirting.

Maybe he has a valid point about me not finding true love because of a rose with harsh breath. Or something like that anyway. The guy is deep.


At this point I was not sure I was getting my point across. Although: "Leave me alone you stalking creepy  little weirdo." should be clear enough?

Apparently not. 


Finally he goes.

I like the way the conversation had a rounded symmetry. It began with a 'fuck off' and it ended with a 'fuck off.'

Over the next few days I saw him repeatedly look at my profile. I find this really quite creepy. They know you can see when they do it, so when someone looks and looks and looks, it genuinely starts to feel rather violating. Particularly when you've told them to leave you alone.

I don't like blocking people, because it seems to perpetuate this attitude that these guys can just go at it with any kind of weird messages and as long as they're not blocked, it's ok.

But sometimes you just have to.




Friday, 16 August 2013

Welcome to Black Cat Writing



Here is my new company website. I made it myself.

www.blackcatwriting.co.uk

If you could have a look, click on the Facebook and/or Twitter link that I painstakingly added in and share/like/love/whatever my site I would be grateful.

I know it's terribly passe and embarrassing to ask people to like your Facebook page etc etc, but I'm afraid, as a jobbing writer, I need as many people to see it as possible, so will probably ask a couple more times before I give up.

So, if you have ever liked even one, single blog post, or I have ever written anything for your company/magazine/anything else, I would really appreciate it if you could help me get this shared around in order that I can pay for my rent and my food and my Fatman's food.

Also, if you need any of my services (and do remember that I will write ANYthing for cold hard cash) or know someone who might then you know what to do. Just in case you don't know what to do, I'm going to tell you. Email me at blackcatwritinghelp@gmail.com or drop me a line on Facebook, Twitter or here.

I've basically made it as easy as possible to whore out my writing. Help pimp me out, people.

Thanks loads. You're all special snowflakes.

Monday, 12 August 2013

IT LOOKS LIKE A DILDO

."Just start off by holding it... feel its energy pulsate," she said.

And so I found myself flat on my back, nearly naked and protected only by a flimsy blanket as I clutched the Rungu in my hands.

"Erm... just, er, hold it?"

"Yes..."

She has a weird sort of dopey voice. I think it denotes how calm and zen she is. I've already clocked the healing crystals and Tarot cards in her treatment rooms. Ahaaaaaaaaaa, I thought to myself. One of those beauty therapists.

I'm at a Groupon massage. I don't know if you've ever tried the lottery that is Groupon beauty treatments but they're hit and miss at best. My friend and I once had the most humiliatingly bizarre experience down a dingy alley in darkest bumtown of Leamington Spa. It was a terrifyingly bad luxury head to toe treatment, complete with dirty towels, cold rooms, being stripped almost naked with ruthless efficiency, scrubbed down like a defective newborn and a massage best described as the feeling of soft monkey paws tapping lightly on my skin for an hour in a tediously repetitive fashion.

Ever the optimist, sorry, ever the cheapskate, I decided to try again.

A 75 minute full body massage for £15 - how bad can it be? I didn't really look at the small print but I was vaguely aware it wouldn't be a hands only massage. I've had loads of different massages - hot stones, hot shells, bits of lavendery things, fingers, elbows etc etc, so wasn't worried.

As I walk in, she shows me what looks for all the world like an enormous wooden dildo. I mean, it just does.

Hang on, I'll find a picture. Here's one in action, being used on this lady's hand




Now you tell me what that look like. Yes, it looks like a massive wooden dildo.

I started to snigger. But internally. You know? When you have it bubbling up inside but you manage to keep it in. Because I am way too old to be sniggering at something just because it is phallus shaped.Yes, I am. Even if I find myself naked in a room with a strange woman who believes in fairies and crystals and who is just about to rub it all over my body.

I lie down and close my eyes.

I'm holding the Rungu as instructed, feeling its (snigger) energy when she starts giving me a head massage. It's not a great one. You know when you have them and your whole body melts into the rickety old table you're lying on and you forget where you are? It wasn't one of those. It was like having someone lightly pat your head for ages.

Then she moved on to my legs. From then on, what I can only describe as 60 minutes of having a rolling pin lightly - very, very lightly - rubbed up and down my limbs happened. Occasionally she would sort of jab me with it, like Mary Poppins jabbing a pigeon with her umbrella. Jab, jab, jab. Then back to tickly rolling.

Uncharacteristically I didn't say anything. Like: "Is this it?" or "I can barely feel it - get stuck IN woman," as I would with my normal massage lady. Because it just doesn't seem appropriate when one's masseur is wielding a 12 inch wooden phallus.

Every now and again I get the urge to squeal: "It looks LIKE A DILDO," to her but I restrain myself. I keep thinking it's going to suddenly feel amazing when it just... doesn't. And then it's over.

This is somewhat familiar.

"You'll feel the benefits of that." she sang/whispered. "It's all good."

This, I have learned, is her catchphrase.

Yeah, thanks very much bye and thank you bye it was lovely thanks bye. I said. And ran away feeling ever so slightly violated and very glad I didn't pay full price.


Sunday, 11 August 2013

Chronic bitchface

Today was one of those days. My resting bitchface was pretty permanent. I just couldn't shake it off. It doesn't mean that I don't want to be doing my job or that I'll do it badly, it just means that today, for whatever reason, smiles are not being handed out like unicorn dreams and fairy wings.

Sometimes I just don't want to smile inanely at complete strangers. Sometimes I just want to do my job quickly, efficiently and well - and, don't get me wrong, having a small chat and a reciprocal grin with a like minded stranger is absolutely fine and will even cheer me up - but being told to smile over and over again just isn't going to make it happen.

"Cheer up darlin', it might never happen."

"You're chirpy today, hwaw, hwaw, hwaw,"

"Takes less muscles to smile than it does to frown you know. Did you know that?"

"You're not a glass is half full person are you?"

Oh do fuck off. Really. How is it that if you have natural bitchface people seem to take it as a personal affront? Like you've just ruined their entire day because you can't even SMILE INANELY THE WHOLE TIME FOR NO FUCKING REASON. There are definitely not the same expectations of men. I've seen male bartenders, shop assistants, customer service types carry on their work with no one heckling them repeatedly to smilllllllllllllllllllllllle.

See, I do smile. I smile when something makes me smile. When someone is nice, charming or funny. Or something interesting happens. Or something piques my interest. Or I see a dog. Or a cat. In short, when the situation warrants it, I am perfectly able to smile. But I don't do it on demand and I don't do it for no reason.

And that thing about it taking fewer (not less, idiot, FEWER) muscles to smile than frown is bullshit. I should know. My face in its natural repose looks angry. It's a frowny kind of face. And I suffer no ill effects from over using frowning muscles. It's perfectly comfortable. The very act of cranking out a fake smile in response to a shit joke from a stranger physically hurts though.

So yeah. I don't always smile. So fucking what? It doesn't give blokes (and yes, it is always, ALWAYS blokes) the right to yell at me in the street to 'cheer up' or 'smile darlin' and then when I don't comply to call me a bitch.

It's possible that tomorrow I will wake up and be in the mood to bestow smiles upon everyone I meet, like an erstwhile Disney princess. But I highly doubt it. Either way, it'll be my choice.




Friday, 9 August 2013

Pricks I Have Met

In among wrestling with my new website, scrounging any freelance I can muster, volunteering for an eclectic mix of York-based activities and working the odd shift at what is rapidly becoming my favourite ever pub (excellent staff, a boss grumpier than even I, two gorgeous lurchers that I get to schnarfle and gigs that have so far included the son of crazy conspiracist and ex sports reporter David Icke) I am attempting to continue my book.

As I have chosen to write a rather intricately plotted novel which necessitates rather a lot of research, it has been slow going up till now. Although I am approximately 5,000 times more productive and motivated than I was in my misspent youth, this is still not very.

And then I had a blinding flash of inspiration the other night.

I met someone who patronised me so thoroughly and with such a misplaced and gratuitous arrogance that he inspired me to write another book, alongside my Victorian opus (working title: Memento Mori). This could be something I just dash off as and when the mood strikes.

It's called 'Pricks I Have Met' and will feature a range of arsebandits and fucktards who have annoyed the hell out of me over the years. Some will inevitably be boys what I have dallied with, but most seem to come from the working environment. I have a story of one particular boss who even now I struggle to believe is an actual real person, such is his caricature-like arrogance, bullying, entitlement and generally knobbishness. He was like David Brent, if David Brent had been a) a real life person, b) a really nastyarse piece of work and c) not funny ever.

I'm hoping it will also help to vanquish the memory of some of these douche canoes from my brain. I am not a Zen type person, you see. I know that the best way to deal with people like this is to take the high road. I know this. I also know that rarely do there exist people with absolutely no redeeming characteristics and that every interaction is tainted by my own perception of the situation. I understand that there are many and varied occasions in which I was not blameless in either reacting to someone I dislike or even making a situation much worse due to my inability to shut my mouth when it is probably wisest, but I still maintain that some people are just arseholes.

If someone stands out for their particularly knobbish qualities within the sea of people I have met in my life, and they perpetuate their place on my hitlist of people I vehemently dislike by talking to me in a particular way then I tend to move them up onto the Prick List. This so far includes two ex boyfriends, one ex something (definitely not boyfriend but also definitely something), two ex bosses (really, really special people. REALLY special in the way that poison is special) and one or two ex friends. It's not very long, but it is a list that I tend to ruminate over. Not in an obsessive way, mind, just every now and again I get a rush of utter hate/scorn/contempt for one of them and then I tend to ruminate.

But back to the man who is contending for a place on this list, and most definitely makes it into my new book. While working a shift at the pub I was asked whether I was a student by said man. I laughed as I still find this rather hilarious as a question. I last studied in 1997 and there is no way I could afford to study again. On learning I'm a freelance writer, through the medium of flapping his massive ears while I was talking to someone else, he asked me how much I earn.

Funnily enough I didn't feel inclined to share this with a total stranger. He then informed me that he is also a writer. Oh, what a motherfucking SHOCKER. Everyone is a fecking writer. Or they're in a band. Or they make films. Does no one do anything uncreative around here? I gave my standard grimace that's almost an expression of interest and carried on stroking the dog. Because I don't give a shit what he does, see? It doesn't stop there though. Oh dear lord no. He then discovers that I sometimes write stuff for free and holy hell, then he decides to unleash a diatribe upon me, along the lines of me not knowing my worth and that I will always make nothing from my writing because I do stuff for free.

Er, what now?

It seems as if a complete stranger is making a lot of assumptions about me based on very little information. Can this be what is happening? Yes, yes it can.

He goes on: "I don't write a feature for less than £500. You will always be the person who writes for nothing because you don't value your skills."

While wondering why in fuck I am still in the same room as this twat I explained that I choose to write some things for free, whether for exposure or (as is more usual) as a favour to a friend. It's no big deal to me to help someone out with an email, CV, feature or whatever for nothing. What goes around, comes around. Well, sometimes. And even if it doesn't, that's OK.

And then he said this. "And that's why I earn £500 an article and YOU DON'T and NEVER WILL. Know your worth."

Oh, I know my worth you prick. I know my worth very well. And I definitely have the measure of yours.

He's going to feature in Chapter 3 - drunk pricks I have met while working in bars.

It's going to be good.

Monday, 5 August 2013

How am I racist?

Well, because of the racist things you do, say and think. That's how.

Of whom do I speak? Of this twatburger, that's who.


Standard dufus messaged me just now. I was on my way to bed having hammered through some work but I have also hammered through a shit tonne of coffee thanks to my lovely new AeroPress and now I am wired. Tired but wired. You know? Like when you close your eyes but they just ping open regardless of how much you command them not to. Wired tired. Tired wired. It's likely this post will be lacking in coherence, by the way.

BUT the important thing is, not only is this dude 15 years younger than me, he's also a little bit racist. Well, quite a lot actually. And for good measure he doesn't think gay people should be able to have children.

Once you hear his rationale though, you can see how he could persuade you to change your mind. I mean he says he's not racist, he just has racist beliefs. So that doesn't make him actually racist. You know, it's just what he thinks and stuff about people.

And gay people are gay and if they wanted children they wouldn't be gay. DUHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

It's all so simple now.




Saturday, 3 August 2013

Dreaming of mist and mellow fruitfulness

I tried. I really tried to like this weather but I just fucking hate it. I wish someone would explain to me what they enjoy about the thick, sticky air quality that makes everything oppressive and sweaty.

What is it you like about sweating every time you move? What is it exactly that you enjoy about the smell of people? The ones who don't seem to like to shower very often. You know the ones I mean. You're in a shop, say, and you're queuing behind someone. And it's so sticky and hot and sweaty. And all you want to do is buy your shit and get out of there to try and find some fresh air and you're stuck behind that guy. The one who smells off. Just off. Like off milk and body odour. The one who, on closer inspection, has dry, crusty patches under his arms.

Or how about if you have to take a bus. And you're stuck on a vehicle for a set amount of time. All the while sweat dripping off you and everyone around you. And then someone wedges themselves right up next to you and they're suddenly all you can smell.

Or maybe you're running by the river and you come across the barbecue spot. You can tell it's where everyone has their barbecues because of all the detritus they shed. Empty beer cans, fag ends, crisp wrappers, shit everywhere. That's a nice side effect of summer.

As is the smell from the drains. You can tell you live in an ancient town and that some areas are still functioning on ancient sewer systems. You can tell because it smells worse than the Arno in mid summer. Clouds of pestilential malodorous microbes all up in your face.

Or you get up at 5.30 am to go for a run before it gets too hot and it's already too fucking hot.

Or you buy an ice cream and you don't even have time to eat it, god dammit.

But it's mostly due to smells that I can't stand this weather. Dry heat is one thing, a humid English summer is quite another. And I am yearning for the first fresh winds of Autumn. For a time when I can walk somewhere and feel comfortable, or even cold. I feel like I can't remember what it's like to be cold. I know, I have zero tolerance for this kind of shit. I want to see the leaves fall, and the wind freshen, and the rain to rain cold and the mulchy, comforting smell of fallen leaves to drift on the air. I want the air to feel fresh and the dew to feel cold. And I want it now.

Fuck off summer. You suck.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Buckle up, this one's a doozy...

In my last OKC blogpost, this dude was featured:


He was the one who apparently thought by telling me he hasn't actually read any of the stuff I'm interested in, he will so that we can talk about it and then (excuse me, just puking) go at it like a 'couple of wild animals'. He also noted that I have a 'good sense of my value to the male species'. Such high praise. He kindly mentions I have a 'kinky side' (don't be alarmed mother, OKC asks everyone a vast range of inane questions and then extrapolates nonsensical crap from them. Suitors can look through your answers if they so wish. Apparently this one wished) and assures me that he understands that all I need is 'someone to work on me' before I will spread my legs. 

Lovely. Such insight. Such charm. This guy, I thought to myself, this guy knows women. 

He kept visiting and visiting, so I thought I would honour his post with a reply:


I love his use of the word 'indomitable'. He is stronger than me. He has not yet 'given up, accepted defeat' and has 'been through a lot.' Such bravery. And then he orders me to explain. So I do. I thought I best not risk being ambiguous:


He didn't like this. One little bit. I can tell because he wrote a gazillion word email about it:


Apparently I think he's a 'club wielding, sex crazed neanderthal'. And there was I just thinking he's a knobjockey. He read ALL of my profile, so clearly I should have fallen at his feet. He also used the word 'undercrackers' and the phrase 'cool your jets'. It's possible he has travelled here from the 1950s. But wait, he's not 'your average horny male'. No siree. 

He seemed to have forgotten his original email, so I thought I'd remind him of all the inappropriate and icky sex stuff:


And then this happened. I'm warning you now, he goes on. A lot. Because I have now 'made him angry'. 


I'd particularly like to draw your attention to the sixth paragraph above. That's the one where he says: 'Now you've annoyed me and pulled me away from the important work I was doing tonight...'. 

This guy is 37.

But wait while he rips my arguments to shreds:

I got a bit bored here and my eyes glazed over. I've split this behemoth of a reply into a few chunks so you can have a breather in between. So far we've gleaned that although he mentions sex pretty much every second word, he's not actually interested in the sex. I mean, he enjoys it, that's only natural. And he is very very non judgemental. Which is good to know when you're being harangued by a stranger, that said stranger just doesn't judge.

Phew. Ready? Let's go on:


So here he says that I am 'batshit loco' and have accused him of being a 'sexual predator'. Um. I don't remember that bit. But OK. He then explains that he is 'cheeky' and then It suggests we have a 'proper conversation'. 

But he forgot something:


I don't know why but it really tickled me that he had spent hours (when he should have been preparing for a job interview, no less) replying to me because I had angered him, without even considering whether I would want to 'make the beast with two backs' with him even if he did eventually get round to reading Tolstoy. 

It didn't tickle him. But it's OK because he'd already decided (while writing that opus) that he wasn't interested anyway. Actually. Yeah? Not even a bit. I mean, it's all about the interpretation of his email and I did that wrong. Even though I read the words he wrote, it was clearly my way of interpreting it. Natch. And then he actually said: 'takes one to know one'. I was gleeful. 



Thursday, 1 August 2013

Don't mind me. Just free bleeding...

It has occurred to me over the last couple of years that I could be accused of oversharing. Particularly since I started suffering so much with a womb disease. Let's face it, talking about period blood and clots and ovaries just isn't accepted that well by most people. It's sort of akin to discussing bowel problems or the quality and quantity of one's defecation.

It's just not done.

I have definitely omitted the gory details out of an in built reverence for my reader's delicate dispositions. And then sometimes I have gone a bit strident in my head. Why is it so awful to talk about periods when half of the population can directly relate?

Why is it that a completely normal and natural phenomenon is treated as if it's so icky and gross? I recall reading about tribes and times where it was necessary for women to physically lock themselves away for the time they are bleeding as they are considered unclean.

The reason I am musing on my monthly menarche is because somehow, some way while arsing about on the internet earlier today I found a blog called 'All about my vagina', where a lady talks about, well, she talks about her vagina. A lot. All aspects of it and the bleeding and the cramps and the way she has recently embraced 'free bleeding'.

If you're unfamiliar with the concept of  'free bleeding' it refers to the apparently popular practice of not using any products (you know boys, tampons and whatnot) at that time of the month. To be clear, that's the time of the month where girls start shedding the lining of their womb in what is often a heavy and relentless flow.

Here is a sample of her blog: "... to discover two quite lovely smears of shiny, ruby-red blood on my thighs...It was a nice colour and a nice shape and it was mine." She later refers to her 'special boy' who is apparently totes fine with the whole bleeding over the sheets thing because they have patterned sheets so you can't really see it anyway.

Imagine staying over at their house. "You can sleep in our bed tonight and we'll take the futon." Boke.

I'm not totally clear on why this lass loves to gush forth so much with her menstrual blood but she says that it means she is 'comfortable with menstruation'. Her blog is on a domain aptly named myvag.net (catchy) so if you want to read more about how she just loves waking up covered in the shed lining of her womb then do hop on over.

Then I started wondering whether this is how, as a woman, I should feel and talk about that time of the month. After all, I am woman and this is my strength. I am here to procreate and this golden chance is offered to me every four (ish) weeks from when I was 11 to probably around 50.

So that's approximately 468 periods in my life time. As mine tend to last around 7 days, that's 3,276 days of my precious life spent in thrall to losing the lining of my womb while expected to just go about my daily life. That's just over 8.9 years of my life spent bleeding. How blessed I am.

Except that I fucking loathe everything about it. The mental distress it causes me is bad enough. Add on the agonising pain, the mess - the horrible, horrible mess - the cost of products (for those of us that don't want to 'free flow'. Every woman ever, basically), the headaches, the sickness, the hormonal changes, the depression, the tension, the bloating. Fucking great. I am so BLESSED to be a woman. Especially as I am a woman who is unlikely to breed thanks partly to my atrocious taste in men and partly due to the fact that my ovaries are broken. So I get to bleed for over 8.5 YEARS for NOTHING. And this lass wants women to celebrate this?

I am glad I'm a woman. I'm all for celebrating the ace things about women. I'm not going to pretend that the crappiest thing we have to endure is a Good Thing. Same goes for women who urge others to use 'washable rags' as an 'environmentally friendly' alternative to evil tampons. Yeah. That's right. I'm really going to choose to have to wash my reusable pad so I can feel at one with mother nature, rather than use the hygienic, convenient and discreet items laid on as a lady in the 21st century. I mean why stop at washable pads? Why not just stuff leaves up there like they used to have to do in the old days. Or oily rags. Or empty crisp packets. You know, for recycling purposes. Hell, you could just cup your hand between your legs and waddle around for the duration of your period. That'd be far more ecologically friendly.

Fact is, nature's cruel. And we are but mammals. We have to suffer in order to be able to procreate. Doesn't mean our evolution is logical. It would make much more logical sense, for example, to have a period once a year. This would give women plenty of time to have a really good think about whether they actually do want to breed with Kevin or whether they were only considering it through misplaced peer pressure and lack of an alternative life plan. Chances are they'll have taken up crochet or baking by the time ovulation comes round and Kevin will be a mere memory.

This would have the added advantage of cutting down on unwanted pregnancies with all the morally suspect behaviours they drag out of us human beings. The population would be more easily controlled plus everyone could boink with enthusiasm for 11 months of the year without giving it a second thought. You'd know exactly when it's due so you can work out your ovulation timing with super scary accuracy, allowing you to abstain at said time or go at it like a bucking bronco, depending on the desired outcome.

One can but dream.

As for the writer of 'myvag.net', I do hope she continues to enjoy bleeding painfully and profusely all over herself every month and that she doesn't drown 'special boy' in a river of her hippy menses. Presumably the need to buy new sheets, underwear, clothes, couch cushions, tights and lord alone knows what else actually wipes out any fiscal benefit she was getting from eschewing tampons. But logic has no place with someone who admires her own menstrual blood.

I promise never to write about periods again.

I don't.