Monday, 30 September 2013

Clocking off for OKC September 2013

It's the last day of September and I couldn't let that milestone go by without one more OK Cupid post.

This one is beautiful.

It features a man who says he is 44. I think, judging by his picture, we're looking at more like 64. But you know, whatevs.

He messaged me and I told him to piss off. He messaged again so I told him to piss off again. It was one of them.

And then 24 hours later, he'd obviously gone away to think about his pick up technique. He thought he'd try a different tack.

I know. I haven't even scribbled over his face. That's how much I wanted to share him with you.

You can feast upon his face and think about him shoving his clock right in your Mouth.

He has 12 inches off his clock. Amazing. He also didn't appreciate my 'ticking over' joke.

In fact he seemed to like it a bit too much. He appeared to think I was reciprocating.

So I thought I best be very, very, very clear.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

This isn't everything you are

A blog post inspired by Snow Patrol. Yeah, you read that right. SNOW PATROL.

Truth is, I've had a secret love for Snow Patrol since 2004. I like their lyrics, I like his voice, I just like it. I am far from cool with my music choices and the very fact that I'm even offering a defence for this annoys me. I've been affected far too much by young hipsters and their baffling music knowledge, clearly.

And one song I like in particular is called This Isn't Everything You Are.

Because it talks about that moment of clarity in the middle of the worst of times. That moment where you get a glimpse of how you will deal with this. The moment where you realise that you are more than this suffocating horror that your life has become.

And everyone has these times, no matter how 'fine' you portray yourself to be. Everyone, without exception (apart from sociopaths and a couple of my ex bosses, oh, and that ex boyfriend) has times where overwhelmed with the dark, it becomes impossible to see the light.

The second verse is this:

When you took the call
How could yo know
That he'd slipped away last night
When you wish you'd went
Home days ago
To say goodbye, or just hello

Cheesy? Trite? Yeah, probably. But also bang on for the phone call I had to take saying he'd died in the night. And also bang on is that months, minutes, decades, whatever, later, I did have a moment where I realised that this could no longer define me. That it is only a part of me. And it isn't everything I am.

But it's not just death. That tricksy beast. Relationships can rip your guts out sure as eggs is eggs. Impossible situations where you feel trapped can twist the knife. Being trapped in a place you wish you could leave but can't. Illness that just won't go away. Standing up for what you know is right in the face of incompetence (at best) and willful ignorance (at worst). All of the above can make you feel like you're going to keel over.

What am I trying to say? I dunno. Just that I know that some of my friends are in real pain right now for reasons beyond their control. And I just wish I could help. But I can't. All I can say that is when right in the middle of a nightmare situation, it's so hard to see and feel that it won't always be this way.

But it won't. No matter how horrific the situation. There will come a time when it just becomes a part of you, rather than all of you. And after that, after more time, it becomes something that happened to you.

Anyway, yeah. This is what I'm on about. Suck it up music snobs.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Here it is. The bottom of the internet dating barrel.

So it happened.

OK Cupid has reached a depth I didn't know existed.

The algorithms (I don't even know what they are, but I like the word and it sounds right in this context) match up your crappy profile questions and answers with potential 'matches' and then send you three of them every single day.

Today this one happened.

Yeah. I'll just leave this here.

I'm not being cheeky, I just don't like you

Cheeky. It's a word that many, many men have used to describe me. And I take issue with it. 

I had a near miss with a knobhead on the dating site - someone that I was actually going to meet. And then he described himself as an 'Alpha' male, repeatedly called me cheeky and said things like: "I'll let you win that one."

This is not a one off occurrence. Recently I've had quite a few real life men also refer to me as 'cheeky' and then said things like "We have such a connection," and "You're so challenging."

The reason I have specifically said men here is that, on the last occasion I was called cheeky by a man (about three days ago) I had a little think about whether any woman ever had said anything like this. And no, they haven't. 

Every time a guy says this to me, I cringe and sick up a bit in my mouth. It's a very weird power word to use to a woman who is pushing 40. If I argue with you, then I don't have a valid point, I'm just being 'cheeky'. If I stand up to you, then I'm not to be taken seriously, for I am just being 'cheeky'. 

When have you ever heard of a grown man being called cheeky for arguing, debating or even indulging in the scourge of our times, 'banter'?

The last time a man called me cheeky and it was OK, it was because I was 19 and the man was David Baddiel and I was being cheeky. Because when I meet celebrities I get all weird and sarcastic and decide to ask them point blank about the break up of their iconic comedy partnership and whether Rob Newman is a knob. So, being called cheeky in those circumstances was OK. 

But it makes my stomach turn to be called cheeky by a man who obviously is trying to get me into bed. It's weird and control freaky and really patriarchal. It turns me and my personality into a cariacture of a 'cheeky little girl' trying to get one up on the big man. Just look at the synonyms in the definition: saucy, impertinent, insolent. 

All things you'd expect a rosy cheeked teenage maid of all work to be called by the 19th century master of the house. It doesn't work with a 37 year old woman who can certainly be rude, argumentative, contrary and irritating, but is never 'cheeky'. 

And that, mate? That isn't a connection, that is not be flirting, it's me consistently showing you vocally that I think you're a bit of a knob. It's a fine line between flirty banter and using actual words to tell someone what you think of them, but so many times recently it's been dismissed by the guy as 'ooooh, you're a cheeky one' and 'I can tell by the way you question me and answer me back that we have such a connection.'

Answer you back? You're not my fucking teacher or my boss, you twat. I'm not being cheeky. I just don't like you. 

Friday, 20 September 2013

Healthy body, healthy mind. Or not. As the case may be.

I forgot to set my alarm this morning. Since I went freelance one of the joys of life is that it's OK to do that. It doesn't actually matter. As long as I do the work I've promised people then I don't have to get up at 7 every day. The weird thing is my sleeping patterns are absolutely shagged.

Sometimes I wake up at 5am and find myself rushing with adrenaline and unable to relax in any way shape or form. How do you wake up stressed? I mean, how is it possible to wake up having a panic attack? I've just been asleep for fuck's sake. That's where things have to relax in order to be able to sleep. So how is it possible to wake up aching because you've been clenching your muscles? My psyche is obviously dedicated to its need to be stressed at ALL TIMES.

Today I woke up at 11.30, the latest I have slept for a long, long time. Often, the time not spent trying to regulate my breathing and getting rid of the nervous knot in my stomach is spent trying to stay awake. It's possible that the over abundance of adrenaline in my system leads me to be completely exhausted for the rest of the time. I don't know. It could be my endo, it could be depression, it could be boredom, it could be the fact that I only have two settings: stressed to fuck or asleep like I'm in a coma.

The amount of times shrinks, docs, books and friends have gone through the 'flight or fight' adrenal response in my lifetime is comical. I understand it. I get it. I know what's happening chemically. I know that my reactions are 'off' and my brain is no longer able to recognise the threat of real danger as opposed to 'having to walk around outside in a busy city for a bit'. I get it. I just don't seem to be able to stop it.

It's bollocks that understanding is most of what it takes to kill off panic disorder. You can understand it inside out, backwards and upside down. Doesn't stop it happening. Doesn't make the panic attacks go away. Doesn't regulate your adrenalin. Doesn't make any difference at all in fact. All it means is you know that you're being completely irrational and mental and can't even control your own responses to something as simple as crossing the road.

I wake up with a stomach churning nervousness, even if I have absolutely nothing to do that day. I go to sleep trying to regulate my breathing and calm the fuck down. My heart races most of the time. These are all normal reactions to stressful, difficult and dangerous situations. They are manifestly not normal reactions to sitting down on your sofa and watching Junior Masterchef.

A lot of times I wonder what it's like to not feel like this. I actually don't remember a time when I wasn't stressed, nervous and semi panicked most of the time. It goes back to when I was about nine, so that doesn't leave much to measure normality by. It's obviously my lot in life. And of course it could be worse. But isn't it sad that even when you have a relatively healthy body, your mind can work to destroy your health all by itself?

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Look what happened to Paul Bettany next...

Do you remember Paul Bettany?

He messaged me on a dating site.

He declined to answer my probing questions about why he's on OK Cupid and what happened to Jennifer Connelly.

And then I noticed he was back. With a different picture.

Ooooh look. He's now Johnny Harrington.

Johnny Harrington is a model. Now I didn't recognise him but I could tell from a hundred paces that this was another stealthy attempt at subterfuge.

I asked him about his modelling career.

He didn't answer me. But the next day, this happened.

He's morphed into Josh Homme!

It's truly amazing. He's a real Renaissance man. Is he a famous actor? A ginger model? A musician? Maybe this is his attempt at showing all of the different sides of his personality. I mean, who's going to notice?

Next day he was back.

I don't know. But I'm pretty sure it's not him.

He does say MESSAGE ME N ASK ME ANYTHING xxx but everytime I did he got really angry.

It also says: The first thing people notice about me is 'I'm sensitive'.

NO. The FIRST thing people notice is you don't resemble Paul Bettany, ginger model guy, Josh Homme or black and white model guy. The SECOND thing people notice is how fast they're running away from you.

I've become a monster

It was pure schadenfreude for me. I watched her coast through the first round with her smug smile and her head girl perfection. Going into the second round, she said she had baked Tuiles just the other day so she was confident.

I ground my teeth. She's just so annoying. She has none of gorgeous Ruby's down to earth charm, or Howard's all round adorableness. She's just there. Always winning.

And then. "Too thick," said Paul. "Overdone," said Mary.

And her grin faded.

AHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH, I crowed. No star baker for YOU this week, Kimberley.

The third round saw all my favourites (which, rather meanly, is pretty much everyone else) do really well but her biscuits weren't even baked properly. AHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. "If you touch them, they're still paste," incredulously from Paul.

Christine was star baker and in the end Kimberly nearly went home. Rob did because he came up with someone a nine year old would be proud of. It was crap. Really crap. I could have done that. But Kimberley nearly did. And that's good enough for me.

When did The Great British Bake Off turn me into this? What have I become? How can I dislike someone so much when all they're guilty of is making some nice biscuits?

What is it?



(Ruby to win).

Friday, 13 September 2013

Terribly famous actor Paul Bettany

Imagine my surprise when I looked into my OK Cupid inbox of delight and saw a message from this guy.

Look a bit closer at the picture.

It's PAUL BETTANY. The terribly famous actor Paul Bettany. Who is married to the terribly famous actress Jennifer Connelly.

And he's messaged me on OK Cupid.

I couldn't believe that he's also 'sensitive', 'tall', 'well built' and 'has a passion for life and love'.

Our interchange was brief but oh so meaningful.

That was it, sadly. Perhaps, being a terribly famous actor he had to go and read some scripts or something. Or maybe Jennifer was coming so he had to close down his laptop quickly. 

I bet that was it. 

Thursday, 12 September 2013

RIP Blitz Games Studios

This is a weird one for me. But I haven't been able to concentrate properly all day and I HAVE to get my head into writing as I need to bash off about 10,000 words before midnight. So, I thought I would write a little eulogy.

Blitz was my first job in the video games industry. I'd never worked in it before, I'd never played that many games, I'd never really even thought about how they're made. And then I landed an role in PR there in, erm, 2007 I think.

I'd had a bad break up (oh what a shock) and needed something new and different. And then I started work there with 200+ people and could not believe what I found. The talent - the sheer gobsmacking talent - that goes into making games. For me, it's the artists and animators that are the most interesting, but that's only because programming and even game design is like looking a page of Russian literature. In Russian. I just don't get it. I don't understand how they make things happen and it hurts my brain.

But the artists - I could see them doing it. They'd just sit there and paint (on screen, obviously) these gorgeous, stunning, beautiful representations of the gameworlds and characters. I got so excited that I commissioned one of them to paint my cat. And he did a stunning job.

But more than being gobsmacked by the talent around me, I met SO many lovely people. A brand new, quite extensive circle of friends and for a long time it was my favourite job I'd had for a long while.

I learned a lot and met even more great people in the industry itself. It's genuinely one of the most creative and fun industries I've ever worked in. I got to go on a few trips and met up with some proper industry PR types, who were always welcoming, friendly and amusing. I'm even friends with a few of them today, after leaving the industry at the beginning of 2009.

Circumstances beyond my control led to me leaving Blitz and, although there were definitely some stressful times, it was somewhere that I admired for its (for the most part) genuinely supportive environment. People loved working there. How many private companies do you know who had more than a few people who had clocked up 15 years and more? That's unheard of these days.

It wasn't the perfect place to work and they definitely didn't have everything right but there was an underlying core of goodwill at the heart of the company that kept people there.

So when Blitz announced they have ceased trading today after 23 years I was (and am) legitimately sad. For many reasons. Nostalgia. And for the town - Leam needs all the successful businesses possible at the moment. But mostly for the people. I have friends there who are so good at what they do, and such genuinely lovely people, it's a small tragedy that they've lost the job they loved in a place they were comfortable.

People with kids and mortgages and families and years worth of time, effort, blood, sweat and tears put into projects.

Anyway, from tragedy comes triumph and, trite as it probably sounds, I have no doubt that all those who want to find something else will, and will probably be just as happy, if not happier somewhere else. The industry may have changed HUGELY over the last couple of years but it's far from dead.

Loads of studios have been all over social media expressing interest in signing up ex Blitzers and I know their talent will shine through. I just wanted to write something about it. Mostly so I can put my sad to one side and get on with some work.

Ends of eras are tricky to deal with.

Onwards all you lovely people. Better times are ahead.

Fuck off, loser

He hasn't got a picture of himself. He hasn't read my profile. But he just knows I'm gonna want to sex him right up. 

I have no idea what he is saying.

It's possible he was banging the keyboard with his dick rather than typing words with his fingers.

He's got a lot going for him though. So that's good.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Jesus Christ

It's been one of those days. Full of fuckwittery and charmless knobjockeys. 

And I haven't even been on OK Cupid. So I thought I would, you know, to just see what's in the goodybag today. 

And then this happened. 

So that's nice. 

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Didn't you die, Di?

What is this fuckery? We finally start to get the media interested in another aspect of the parasitic royals what with new sprog and all and then some idiot goes and makes a film about Di herself. Called Diana. Featuring Diana. And Diana's affair with some guy who totally isn't Dodi.

I'd completely forgotten that she had been with other people, mostly because I didn't give a shit at the time. I only remember Dodi's name because it sounds a bit like dodo and his dad was a nutter who put a big golden statue of him in Harrods. Class.

The film stars, quite improbably, Naomi Watts, who can be a truly incredible actress and is possessed of a gamine beauty big nosed Di never managed to attain. Diana was the quintessential sloane ranger and had the whole blue eyeliner and terrible, awful 80s swept hair do down pat. I bet you if she was still alive she'd still be rocking it today. You know like Princess Anne always has the same hair style. And queenie actually. Maybe the royal hairdresser can only do the one.

But she wasn't actually very pretty so it's a bit weird to have someone who is extremely pretty to play her. Watts apparently wears a prosthetic schnozz to di-ify her features. But still.

I've now read three previews of this film, from the Guardian (one star), the Times (one star) and, perhaps more surprisingly, even the Daily Heil itself (one star). I only read the Guardian's actual words, and yes of course they're predisposed to dislike a biopic of this nature but I also think that if it was a worthy film they would say so.

It's a big old steaming pile of shite apparently. It sounds like the kind of movie that you find on those made for TV channels. I bloody love those. I actually watched a completely hilarious one about Wills and Kate at university. It was brilliant and actually ended up with them looking into a distant sunset. Oh, and they were American. But you know. Details.

It's about Di and her 'last love'. Who was apparently not Dodi at all. I bet Dodi would be pissed to hear that. It was some surgeon dude. Can't remember his name. Don't care. Directed by the guy who did Downfall ( a really excellent adaptation of the diaries of one of Hitler's young secretaries during the final days of the war), it's a turkey. A big old rotten stinker. An embarrassing smorgasbord of terrible impressions, clunky storyline and dialogue that apparently features Di saying: "I've been a bad bitch." Although, frankly, based on that one sentence alone I'm definitely going to see it. It sounds hilarious.

It also apparently glosses over everything else, like her kids, her relationship with Charles, her mental illness, her skewed perception of reality in favour of a sort of Barbara Cartland-esque love story. It starts with her death and by the end of it, there's a death knell sounding for the career of all involved.

Let the bloody woman die, people. Just let it go. Move on. Shuffle forward. If it wasn't for shite like this everyone would have forgotten her by now, in the same way you always forget dead celebs. What even happened to those millions of books of condolences that people couldn't wait to sign back in 1997? When the nation was convinced it would never forget its princess of hearts.

A few short years later Cheryl Cole took that title according to the media. Brilliant.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

I keep thinking

I should get out more.

You know, to pubs and clubs and places where other people are. That I should wander around town and get coffee in coffee shops and talk about bands that I'm going to see or that I have seen and buy things and then I think about how it's all just the same, no matter the year, no matter the town, no matter the people. No matter what you say it's all been said before, and the thing is, I get bored in pubs and I know what we're going to do and say and I can't get into buying things anymore and the only thing that makes me feel better is in my head when I write. And I am Sisyphus's pissed off sister because every time I think I've killed it and it's gone and I'm whole, it's back bam and I have to start again. I explained Sisyphus there to you in case you didn't know. What a pretentious one.

It's like fun has changed and it used to be booze and fags and gin and that and now it isn't because I've seen a million bands in a million bars and I've been to stand in fields where people play guitars and I've been to stand in massive great halls where  people play guitars and it's all just guitars isn't it? Since I was 16 I have done all that and I'm bored now but I need something else. Now I write at home for hours at a time with no person or face to see other than mine in the bathroom mirror and I don't half not like mine. I want to hang drapes over the two mirrors because I am so sick of that face. How do we exist seeing the same face in the mirror every day of our lives, watching the flesh get looser and fall slightly off the bone more and more every year until we can only see ourselves when we look into our own eyes because we all think of ourselves as young as the sack of meat on us withers and loosens and slackens and dies.

Bit by bit.

Year by year.

I don't know how people today take so many self posed photographs for their Facebook pages. I see people take pictures every day like they are hoping their face will be different. But they all have the same expression. Constipated, pursed lips, weird angle to make anime eyes. If I take enough pictures then one day it will look different and I will get all the likes and my life will be complete.


Anyway, I should definitely get out more.