Friday, July 28, 2006

The ethics of packing

Usually, I love the week before going on holiday almost as much as the holiday itself, sometimes even more. There's the expectation, the excitement and the endless possibilities of outfit combinations that require much shopping, at least for female holiday-makers.

But then there is the packing. I am not a woman of a capsule wardrobe - I rotate my wardrobe according to seasonal wear to make enough space for all of my goodies. So imagine the dilemma when confronted with the idea of packing exactly what you will want for the entire next week and into one tiny suitcase that you've convinced everyone (but yourself) that you'll be able to cram it all into. I find the notion of planning your wardrobe that far in advance absolutely heinous. How do I know now what the weather will be like, where we'll go and what kind of shoes I need before I even get there? Whilst it would be very handy to see into the future, Minority Report is not quite a reality yet and I don't think the government would approve of me using such a tool for wardrobe selection.

Something that requires so much consideration, so much laying out on the bed, mixing, matching and accessorising cannot be crammed into one evening, as has been the case for me this time. Usually I give myself up to three evenings (depending on the length of the holiday) to decide but thanks to the long hours I now work, I have managed to squeeze the entire packing venture into about 2 hours. No doubt, I will arrive at my sunny destination at bum o'clock in the morning and suddenly realise that I've left behind my new shoes/favourite top/toothbrush at home.

And on that bombshell, I'm going to hunt out my toothbrush. Back in a week or so.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Why, Janet? WHY?!

Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear. Poor Janet Jackson. The woman works hard to shift the pounds, record a new album and orchestrate another comeback and what happens? She makes a really odd music video.

Whilst I cannot claim to be a JJ fan, I've never had anything against her, in fact, I have on several occasions found myself bopping along in the kitchen to her stuff on the radio whilst I've cooked dinner. But that is not the point.

This is your comeback woman, and it should've been good. For a start, fire whoever did your wardrobe, hair and makeup. I mean, what is with those outfits? Surely at some point, an artist of your calibre would perhaps have had the request to see oneself in a mirror granted?

And while we're on the subject, the stripey lips. Words fail me. I have not been gobsmacked in a while, so thank you for that, makeup people. That fish-like opening and closing in the first half does not add a surreal edge, just an even sillier one to an already bizarre image.

I suppose the element of surrealness would explain the fact that this video has no stylistic or thematic continuity. Costumes and sets seem to change constantly, one minute Janet's dancing on a sand dune, then she's in some crazy ancient building. Somehow I don't think there are THAT many crazy ancient buildings in the Sahara. I can't see any Land Rovers standing by to ferry her off to one of the aforementioned buildings, and she sure as hell can't walk in those bizarre long skirts.

However, I think my personal favourite bit was the Pirates of the Caribbean style sequences with Janet draped artfully over Nelly, apparently completely unaware of the rough seas that their vessel is navigating.

My final point, and then I promise to stop, get a better choreographer. Seriously.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Is Russell Brand really funny?

The weather man lied. I was promised thunderstorms and a possible end to the relentless heat but the rain failed to materialise, bar a rather pathetic attempt at rain at around 6.

It's been another long day, with endless rounds of photocopying in a sweltering cupboard, cutting and pasting fabrics and other menial tasks. It wouldn't be awful if the air con actually worked, which would hopefully lower the inevitablity of breaking a sweat from just picking up the pinking shears.

Still, another day, another dollar.

Following from yesterday's light bites, Nikki from BB has apparently got her own show coming to E4 entitled Princess Nikki, in which she'll win prizes for carrying out tasks and the such. I'm not entirely sure how good it will be -Chantelle's Dream Dates was in my opinion, a disaster - but you never know, she just might pull it out of the bag.

Whilst we're vaguely circling the topic of Big Brother, I have to ask something that has really bugged me for the last few weeks. That thing is Russell Brand. Does anyone really, truly find him funny? I saw his stand up comedy routine last year during the Paramount Comedy Festival (pre-poncy frilly shirts and and neckerchiefs) and I didn't find him amusing then, I sure as hell don't find him funny now as the presenter of Big Brother's Big Mouth. The little monologue that he performs at the beginning of each show seems to follow the same rigid pattern - say something semi-controversial, a flick of the backcombed-to-absurdity hair, a little twirl and then a gag about his bottom, which he sticks out illustriously and at any given opportunity. Cue rampant laughter and applause from the audience, God only knows why.

And I have to say that it's really not much different from his routine that I saw last year, where he appeared with slightly more tame hair and even tighter jeans than those he wears today. Perhaps I am being slightly biased, but there is only so much arse hair that one can look at and so many jokes to be told about it. Whilst the crowd tittered, there weren't really that many moments to make those titters into roars.

Whilst I commend him for pulling his boots up, getting off the smack and shagging Kate Moss, I draw the line at paying £14 for the privilege of watching the same man prance around on stage with his hairy bum hanging out because he thinks its funny.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Light bites

It's hot outside and I'm far to sweaty to even consider being vaguely coherent for long passages, so today's installment will be what I like to call light bites.

- Where's Wally Anti?

You may've noticed my absence, you may not have. I spent a very long weekend in Brighton for my graduation and the ball. It was all very exciting, I got to dress up in a giant black Darth Vader-style cape, complete with a hideous orange shoulder ribbon type thing and lets not forget the mortar board. My friends and I all shared the same blind terror at being pushed out onto the stage to shake hands with Richard Attenborough (Who is our University's chancellor) before collecting our degrees from a steward and being ushered back to our seats in a somewhat shell shocked manner. Oddly, none of us have a clear memory of the moment and it's a big blur. Must be the trauma of it all.

Dorky pictures to follow when I can be arsed to upload them.

- Speaking of Darth Vader...

My boss beat her all time record today for sniping comments. I was astonished (and slightly worried) the first week when there were none, but then last week they started to trickle through and I relaxed a little, there no body snatchers in the room. Of course, the momentum grew. And grew. Yesterday she held out til 11:43am, almost noon. But today, she has set a new record: 9:11am. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a new champion. And as tempting as it is to snipe back, I will resist all urges and rise above it with a smile and a 'Yes, boss.'

- BB's Nikki

Old news now I know but I am still reeling from Friday's eviction. When Nikki first went into the house, the manic tantrums and arm waving made me pray for an early eviction for the little blonde. But time, boring other housemates and sympathetic editing gradually won me over. I will miss her storming into the diary room to rant about the air conditioning/who stole her last beer/anything and all of her other eccentricities. If you're one of the guilty parties who voted for her, shame on you. You just spoilt BB for the rest of us.

Right, my coherency is running out. I shall stop before I stop making sense. If I ever was.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sweat it out

Today was better, but only marginally so. In many ways, it should probably be considered to suck more as I had to spend 5 hours in the midday traffic in the very centre of town, sweating profusely and breathing in the traffic fumes.

Then of course, I fucked up apparently and despite having missed lunch and driven like a lunatic in order to get the goods back on time, I couldn't pick up my phone to when someone rang to inform me of a further stop as I was driving at 70 mph at the time.

Bleugh. I'm just glad I have my car. The very idea of using public transport in this weather makes me break a sweat. I know that ladies are meant to glow rather than sweat, but on a day like today, with temperatures breaking the 34°C mark in town, there ain't nothing to do but sweat. Tomorrow is meant to be even hotter and I'm running out of ways to reduce the amount of clothing I wear to work without having to resort to a bikini or public indecency.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I hate Mondays

I hate Mondays. Today has been a day where the world has hated me and I in return, have equally despised the world. The list of reasons, people and things that have made my life difficult today is so long, I would probably be here til midnight and frankly, I'd rather use the time sleeping.

I am going to watch this because no matter how foul a mood I may be in, it always cheers me up.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Saucers over New York City

So, I was cruising youtube for some pre-sleep light entertainment when for some bizarre reason that I don't quite recall I came across the UFO section (you get strange results when you type in baby fishing* apparently) well, curiousity got the better of me and I ended up getting particularly sucked in, along with 500-odd others. Still, at least I didn't embarass myself by leaving indignant conspiracy suggestions/'we are not alone' rants, as some people did.

Watch video 1 first and then watch video 2. Don't be tempted to cheat and just go straight to video 2 unless you're one of those people who reads the last ten pages of a book first in which case you might as well spoil this for yourselves too. Anyway.

Video 1

...and Video 2:

*hell, you probably go on some kind of list for typing in baby and fishing but honestly officer, it was for entertainment value only, something I saw on cityrag!

Sunday night's alright for sulking

One week down, only twenty three to go. I'll admit, it wasn't as bad as I was imagining and the job certainly has its perks. On Wednesday, we had a test shoot for some actors and whilst it meant I had to be at work at the ghastly hour of 7am, I spent the day whizzing around at high speeds in a golf buggy for most of the day, feeling somewhat useful.

But the long days are definitely taking their toll; As a student, I would scorn those who chose a ready meal over something made from fresh ingredients but after only a week, I can totally see where they're coming from. After only a week of working, I trudge in every night dreaming of roast and end up settling for a packet of crisps and maybe an apple or two if I make it far enough into the kitchen. Whereas once the prospect of standing over the Aga for an hour was really rather enjoyable, even the sight of a vegetable peeler is enough to reduce me to exhausted tears. However, the weekend has somewhat revitalised me and today I've stuffed myself full of healthy vegetables and hopefully it'll sustain my need for vitamins until next weekend's well deserved rest.

As much as I enjoy weekends, there is no denying that Sunday evening is most depressing. I think I am yet to meet anyone who enjoys Sunday Evenings. Whilst I appreciate weekends on a whole new level now that I'm working during the week, the second 5pm rolls around on Sunday afternoon, there is a decided drop in the weekend atmosphere. And once it gets dark, that's it, weekend over and its back to work in a matter of hours.

If only the weekend were three days; I spend most of Saturday trying to sort out matters that were unsortable during the week and by the time Saturday night rolls round, I'm generally too exhausted from administratives to muster up the energy to go out. Given three days, I could use one to sort out my life and two on my back, reading the papers as I believe weekends should be spent.

And on the matter of what to do at weekends, I've been saddened to learn that the London Butterfly House in Gunnersbury Park is to close after beaurocracy and the apparent need for yet another hotel have reared their collective ugly heads. Whilst it is a rare occurence, I am for once in agreement with old Livingston that the Butterfly House should stay. I have fond memories of spending various Saturdays over my childhood marvelling at the butterflies swooping overhead and one slightly disturbing instance when a butterfly settled on my face and refused to move. So, in the words of Little Nicky do it for the Butterflies! Go to the website,, sign their petition and let your displeasure be known, I certainly have.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Hump day, stag dos and other nonsense.

Be happy, hump day is over. Only two days left til the weekend and Fridays don't really count. My hump day was one of the longest I've ever experienced - I had to be at work at 7:30am, coupled with a 20 mile drive each way. Yay for employment. A non sarcastic yay will be employed when I receive my first pay cheque. Then the twelve hour days may finally have some kind of reward, other than the prospect of getting home and zoning out in front of the TV.

It may have come to your attention that over the last three weeks or so, Channel 4 have been following up Big Brother with a documentary series called Sex in the 90s. This week is Stag and Hen Nights, which has, so far, featured a shaven headed man describing a typical stag night which included some handcuffs, binge drinking and sexual debauchery (stripper/hooker optional). So far, nothing new.

How many of us can honestly stand up and up and say that we have not been witness to at least one stag night or hen do? Staggering up the high street, under the additional weight of at least one member of the party who has already passed out drunk, the hens in fancy dress from claire's accessories and the men with specially printed t-shirts proclaiming Gav's Stag-Do! on the front and a number on the back, coupled with some witty name such as Sir Wanksalot.

When I lived in Brighton, the hordes of women staggering up West Street on a Friday or Saturday night dressed in hairband haloes or glittery stetsons reached critical proportions. We could no longer go to town without the cry 'Stace - I've lost my L plates. And my shoes.' echoing in our ears. We instead chose to stay in our local on weekends, avoiding the poking of miniature pitchforks and fairy wands.

However, you're never really safe. As the programme has moved on to point out, cheap flights mean you can now go and get drunk for a whole weekend and in a foreign country too so it doesn't even count and the chances of your partner finding out that you sneakily shagged someone else on the side is dramatically reduced. Unless of course your sneaky shag karma comes back to haunt you in the form of pubic crabs.

And then there's Amsterdam, a veritable mecca to the fun things in life such as getting stoned and paying strangers for sex. However, being legal there doesn't quite cut it when you have to explain your no-longer-sneaky shag. I would go on a bit of battering Prague but I fear it could take a little long and should probably left for a separate post on another day.

There is so much to rant about and so little energy left in my body that you'll have to forgive me if I go and collapse from exhaustion.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

What ever happened to my freedom?

So, the prodigal daughter returns home. After almost four years of living out in the big wide world, I have returned to the realm of my mother. Whilst I'm happy to finally be away from the filth of shared kitchens and mouldy bathrooms, I have - in the few short hours that I have been home - already begun to miss the freedom afforded by student accomodation almost 100 miles away from home.

However, needs (mainly my overdraft) be and I have a job to start on Monday. Steering away from this depressing topic, in the course of unpacking this evening I came across an old notebook that I used in my time at university. In amongst the lecture notes and the vast amount of doodles, I found a page of nonsense that I wrote during the summer between my first and second year. My gut feeling was that it was probably the night my flatmate at the time and I decided to indulge in a spot of shroomage to wile away the balmy night. Anyway, for your entertainment, something from the anti archives (7/10/04):

Water bottles sprung up in little huddles across my wooden floor like small colonies, each with its own leader and battle plan. Even the empty orange juice cartons - left festering over the hot summer had somehow congregated together in their own union under the shelter of the overhang from the laundry basket.

Planning their next attack, invasion. They could easily overpower the lone Ribena bottle that lolled against the side of the bed, within reach for a late night sugar fix.

Or instead, there was always the glass collectives. A rag-tag bunch of heathens - mainly mugs with two day old tea and cups with the dregs of mouldy juice in them. The bacteria in those alone could have rivalled the OJ, their stationery position hidden by the hamper had given them plenty of time to develop cultures of their own.

And any day now - perhaps even Tuesday - it is predicted, ney, FEARED that across the land, or at least on the floor, that the cartons will mobilise.

But until then, we wait.

Yes, its gibberish I know. But I have to keep myself amused somehow.