Thursday, January 31, 2002

Hey you! Big softie! I know you secretly cry at RSPCA ads and Cilla's Surprise Surprise. So check these out. They are brilliant - bit slow to load, but worth the wait. Meow!

LA Fitness, bums legs + tums class, last night.

Everyone knows each other, so there's friendly banter between Wayne the instructor and his group of out of shape ladies and one incredibly buff young man.

"Oi Lucy, weren't you meant to be on that crap show Footballers' Wives?"

She looks embarrassed and asserts that yes, she was nearly cast as Chardonnay. Everyone gives her pitying glances - good thing she didn't get it!

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Ack! I've just had my picture taken as part of our company's new decorating scheme. My face will be blown up to 20 x 30 and plastered around the office. Somehow I don't agree with their view that this will make our environment seem "friendly" and "real", and therefore persuade clients to chuck money at us - especially as all my make-up had worn-off by 3 PM. My only consolation is that everyone had to do it, so hopefully someone will look worse than me.

Monday, January 28, 2002

Kudos to for pointing this out - it's an old but good joke! Click here to see what my blog looks like after it's been translated into German and then back into English. You can do it yourself via Babelfish, but this guy's site is even faster. (I particularly like how "tinned pumpkin" became "preserved Kuerbis")

It's official - I'm shaving years off my life! I've spent the last 5 days trying to crack my template using Dreamweaver and it's seriously wiping me out. I can hardly see straight this morning... But hopefully it won't all be in vain, and I can get this blog looking decent.

Hey, how sour did Simon Cowell look on P'idol this weekend? What a primadonna!

***EX-PAT MOAN ALERT*** I was determined to find out why Bisquick is no longer readily available in the UK. This happens to me all the time - I'll be able to buy American products at Sainsbury's or Costco, and then all of sudden they'll disappear from the shelves. First it was tinned pumpkin, now my beloved pancake mix. I refuse to pay £6 for one box at Jerry's Home Store! Sigh. Such is the life of someone who depends on the importation of certain foodstuffs to keep homesickness at bay.

However all is not lost because after a little research, I found a few places in the UK that specialise in this sort of thing - and don't charge nearly what Jerry's or Selfridge's do. Lupe Pintos sell that rarity of rarities - real Mexican food! I lived in San Francisco for a while and became a total addict - but it has to be the real thing. If you're craving mole (chocolate tinged sauce for your burrito/enchilada fillings) or tomatillo salsa, this is the place for you. They also stock Bisquick, Kraft Dinner and Aunt Jemima pancake mix.

For an even more extensive range of dreamy American products like Shake 'N Bake, Rice-A-Roni and *real* chocolate chips, contact Made in America for a catalogue.

I'm in heaven! ***END EX-PAT MOAN***

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

In the spirit of John Waters, some things that I hate at the moment:

Singers/groups who sneak in a snippet of their previous single playing "on the radio" or "on the TV" at the beginning of their new video. Do they think the general public is so moronic that they won't be able to cast their minds six weeks back? (well...maybe.) CULPRITS: Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Backstreet Boys, countless others.

Those ads for a series of new collectables magazines peddling Victorian figurines, a model of the Titanic and army figurines. Not only are they badly dubbed from Italian or something like that, but the small print states that future issues will cost £7.99. So you'll end up with an expensive pile of rubbish. (NB: A close second - that (Spanish, I think) ad for tampons where her idiot boyfriend says "Can I have one of these sweets?" Close third would have to be that retarded car ad with the Brummie/Human League interpretation)

People who don't step aside to let you off a crowded tram/bus/tube, forcing you to make much more body contact than is desirable. Hi -- yes you! Hear me now: NO ONE IS GOING TO STEAL YOUR SPOT! What is it with paranoid UK'ers? I never had this problem in Toronto.

And lastly, Louise Wener from Sleeper is now writing for the Guardian, while I am stuck in this poxy job. Note how her style closely resembles a certain Saturday morning columnist whom I also loathe. Is there no vengeful god who will strike her down for crimes against humanity?? For christ's sake, "Inbetweener" was bad enough!

So what's getting *your* goat at the moment?

Monday, January 21, 2002

Just found out that for some reason someone came to my blog via here - a goth directory! Now how that came about, I'd love to know. Peruse such articles as "Is black hair dye getting worse?"

I'm consoling myself with homemade minestrone because I'd found a dream job - only to find out it's in London. This is something that really annoys actually - the number of adverts in the Guardian, etc. that don't specify where the job will be are almost always London-based once you ask. Why? Are companies so London-centric that they assume you should know?

We went to see the Beta Band on Saturday at the Manchester Academy. I like going there - it makes me feel 19 again. Signing into the union, rude bouncers, a sea of Adidas zip-up jumpers and Acupuncture trainers, drinking tins of Red Stripe, queuing for chips at Abdul's afterwards... Anyhow, the show was fine but not mind blowing, and it won't make my top 10 shows of the year, but it was a nice way to pass the evening with friends and forget your 9-5 responsibilities.

If you haven't seen Monsoon Wedding yet, it's fabulous. I like films that make me feel sentimental without resorting to cloying Hollywood techniques, and MW does this with style, throwing in a few barbed wires here and there to keep things in check. Not to mention half the cast are gorgeous and there's loads of cool Indian pop music. It also managed to convince me that:

a) I shouldn't assume that arranged marriages are a bad thing

b) I might want to go to India some day (quite a feat, seeing as my interest was nil before hand)

I know point a) is a bit contentious, but if two families are genuinely trying to make a suitable match, the son or daughter is willing and the families account for personal tastes, etc. I could see how it could work. Mind you there are thousands of factors that can turn it into a complete nightmare, but it was interesting to see a realistic example of how it can be a positive thing. And that's quite enough of me waxing on!

Friday, January 18, 2002

It's Friday afternoon - time to mindlessly surf people! I can't say enough about seethru, a kind of portal to all things bizarre as well as coming up with their own brilliant stuff. Check out the checklists such as "Are You In Muji?" or "Are you in An 80's Action Movie?". Or go here to play the daft Girlie Night Out Game. Kind of like the Onion, but they're not trying to flog you a subscription and there's more to keep you amused!

I have a new addiction! Thanks to swishcottage, I am now obsessed with the Rockstar Game! My protegee Tammy Popsicle has just released her first single "A shy boy is a fly boy" which she's plugging across the UK. At the moment she's eating beans on toast in her bedsit but I'm confident it won't be long before she'll let you see her Box Talk. Go Tammy!

I'm in the mooooood for burning things - cds that is! I've just posted Kevin his J-pop and electro mix and now I'm going to make one with all my favourite Hi-NRG cheese (E-rotic, the Tamperer, Paradisio) as well as 80's gems from Dollar, Vicious Pink and more. Not sure who's going to get it yet...

Do you like going to the dentist? You'd better, because you're going to need a visit after reading Melanie Griffith's website.

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Intrigued by troubled diva's photo search on Google, I ran a check on my name. Click here to see what I looked like nearly 7 years ago! Look for the pics that list Elisa and laugh at my twee past and dodgy sunglasses from a trip to a convention in NYC. Oh, and Sheila's Slowdive t-shirt too.

Bizarrely the only other link it retrieved was some music plugger's CV in LA.

Tuesday, January 15, 2002

My cat blew up a ceiling light last night!

Yep, it's true. By the power of cat wee, McCarthy (and *not* kitten Minna 2, as you might expect) managed to short circuit all the lights in the downstairs hall and kitchen as well as the boiler. So no hot water or heat since last night, oh joy! How did she manage that you ask? Basically it dripped through the floorboards. Sorry for the unpleasant image...

It's all sorted now, but I've found out that the our fuse box is full of mysterious and dodgy circuits put in by the previous owner. We like to call him Mr. Fucking Crap DIY because we keep finding mini disasters two years on!

Hey, here's a picture of Minna 2 for you!

What else? Oh yeah, I wanted to mention the new Nelly Frittata video. Not because I like the song (yelp! yelp!) but because the video makes me a little bit homesick. Noticed the graffiti-covered wall where she's being all crap phat and stuff? That's something you would see if you're ever taking the subway to Keele Station in Toronto. And the scenes in the park were shot in High Park, near the entrance. Both are near my old house...

Sunday, January 13, 2002

Sorry about Friday's post only turning up today - major publishing problems. Needless to say I'm not feeling so sour today, but then again I'm not at the office.

Latte much needed and the kitten is hungry - more later!

Friday, January 11, 2002

All I can say is thank *god* it's Friday! I'm in such a mood. Just been dealt another blow - my company has nabbed a huge commission, which will involve the likes of Britney, Sir Elton, Nsync and J-Lo. I've been told I get to do all the boring paperwork for the "behind the scenes" documentary, but only the London team will get to go out on location and have all the fun. Carrot, dangling anyone?

Still looking into the proof-reading course...the best one, which is from the Book House Training Centre, costs 375 quid so now I've got to decide if I'm serious. Sigh. In the meantime I've been scouring freelance sites, trying to pick up a few writing jobs just for the heck of it.

Thursday, January 10, 2002

Finally, I can publish again! And comments are working!

Last night we went to see Mulholland Drive. Appeased by The Straight Story and the promise from Ruth that it wasn't as nasty as Blue Velvet, I thought I could handle David Lynch. Two and a half hours later, the first thing I said was "I need a cigarette" while I wiped the tears from my face and wobbled out of the cinema.

Don't get me wrong - it did my head in, but I loved it. I had a great conversation with the bf in the car afterwards, waxing lyrical on my theories of What It All Meant. I'd read snippets of a couple of reviews, which I suggest you do as well before you see it - it enhances more than detracts to know a bit about the plot.

My other two thoughts: Naomi Watts is an incredible actress and hey, move over Louis - Justin Theroux is *so* dishy!

It got me thinking though. I'm easily affected by films, so I have to be careful what I watch. Like, I know I can never watch Dancer in the Dark or The Blair Witch Project because either I won't be able to sleep or I'll be a wreck for 3 days, crying every time an RSPCA ad comes on. Does this make me a total emotional lightweight?

Tuesday, January 08, 2002

Since my post last week, I've been thinking long and hard about My Job and what I can do to shake things up and make myself a happier bunny. I had two ideas.

One, start my own business. I've wanted to start my own north-american style diner/cafe for ages. But that is long-term, so no go at the mo.

Two - work from home. Don't laugh! At first I had visions of stuffing envelopes and getting a cheque for 25 p months later...but then I did some research on becoming a freelance proof-reader for publishing companies. I am seriously thinking about taking the correspondence course and taking on work bit by bit...and when and if it seems to be working out, I could work from home permanently. It looks like I could equal what I earn already per year, if not more, with the bonus of flexible hours. I could work on setting up my own business on the side. I won't be chained to a desk, so I could do things like see the bank manager and scout locations - all those things you can never do when you're stuck in the 9-6 rut. Hey, I could even do lunchtime yoga!

Yeah yeah, it'll be a risk, but a gradual one - and in the interests of my sanity, that sounds like a pretty good trade-off to me.

Umm, did anyone watch Blind Date on Saturday? I just so happened to tune in, and for the first time *ever*, it made me laugh. One of the male contestants said he was there to "see how the common people entertain themselves" and continued to spout upper class snobbery. For a show that is scripted to death, I had to admit I couldn't tell if it was off the cuff or not. He wasn't picked of course, but after the girl gave him a kiss on his way out he said something about having to go wash himself. We were in hysterics!

Sunday, January 06, 2002

Hooray, pictures are back up! Here's a nice one from last night:

That's me on the left, and Suzanne on the right - we're at Tribeca, one of my favourite bars in Manchester. I'm not normally pro putting photos of moi up, but it's a special occasion - she's off to Singapore for three months! I'll miss you lots, chica.

Archives were still blitzed up until precisely now, but it seemed it was a Blogger-wide problem.

Can I tell you something freaky? I was watching an old Family Fortunes the other night and one of the contestants was this woman who appeared on that Phobias show a couple of months ago. If you saw it, you'll know that even the sight of a feather reduced her into a complete state of hysteria. Anyhow, she had to name "something that flies" and when she said "birds", she looked like she was going to pass out. Les Dennis asked her what was wrong and she said she hated birds. Hmm. Now that I've typed that out, it seems a bit incoherent. Oh well, if you know what I'm talking about, you'll know what I'm talking about!

Still trying to sort out my archives, and it looks like my image hosting service is down - but I think I have a new comments system that might actually work! More later...

Friday, January 04, 2002

Gosh, wasn't I maudlin yesterday? Last night the bf in was in London for a film preview, so I had the house to myself and pampered galore. Had a fantastic bath with Muji rose bath crystals and wrote a long e-mail to Pam, my kitchenalia collector/partner in crime, who understands that you *must* have that enamel breadbin despite your already suffering overdraft!

I managed to refuse to turn on the telly, reading the TV Go Home book instead, which is very rude and funny. My giggling fascinated Minna 2, who sat watching me and was probably thinking "what a retard!"

My gym finally re-opened this week, so yoga tonight it is. Anyone got a video camera? I'm sure You've Been Framed would pay for clips of our sorry carcasses getting all Ashtangled.

Sorry about my archives, btw. They seem a bit knackered and I don't know how to fix them!

Thursday, January 03, 2002

I think I'm suffering from an inferiority complex today...everyone else's blog seems amazing compared to mine. I know, I just have to knuckle down and learn html 'til I'm blue in the face. Unfortunately I'm impatient when I want something!

I'm also feeling pretty down about work these days. The bf says it's just that post-new year's "why the fuck am I working here?" blues but I've been feeling this way for a while.

Background: I jumped into this job to escape from an evil bitch boss who works on a soap I won't name. The stress comes from the fact that I didn't have a break in between jobs and I've also found that the work tends to be more admin than I'm happy with. Some of the other people in the office are too corporate for me too. Luckily the development producer is a woman and is 100% supportive of me...with her help, one of my programme ideas has been developped into a full proposal and is in the running for a commission with Channel 4.

But my direct boss, who is a nice guy but a huge workaholic and stress monster, can't seem to totally acknowledge that I am capable of all the research etc. as well as looking after his admin needs. I have to fight to be allowed to go into studio because he'd rather I was at my desk in case someone phones - that kind of thing. We've talked about it, but I don't really believe him when he says he's happy for me to progress, based on some of his actions. Occasionally he acts like the big boss on campus in front of visitors. Such as insisting on stupid things like that I collect his print jobs from a printer that is 10 feet away because he's too important to do it himself.

So it's 50% my fault for jumping into a job too quickly, and 50% feeling like I don't think this is headed where I want to be creatively. Unfortunately, you can't be too picky in Manchester. Every week, I see a dream job advertised in the Guardian - but it's always in London!

I'm working out of contract right now, so technically I could walk away tomorrow. In fact I doubt they'd get any paperwork sorted out before February. I can't say I'm not sorely tempted, but I wouldn't put myself or the bf through the financial uncertainty. It's just that sometimes I can't *deal*, y'know? I just wish I could find something cool to apply for. Argh!

Sorry for the rant, it's just I'd rather get it off my chest so I can actually do some work today!

In happier news, I'm still loving sitemeter...someone came here after searching Google for legally+blonde+necklace. :-)

Wednesday, January 02, 2002

HTML update:
Well, I've managed to put in a little table - see below. My head hurts! It's pretty flawed though, so I'm going to ask the lovely Brian to help me out...grovel grovel...

Freaky. Someone had a look at my blog when they were searching for Uni+Glo+London...can you tell I am obsessed with Sitemeter?

By the way, I forgot to say yesterday that Kevin, one of my old pals who now lives in Barcelona, is the winner of the Birdie competition. His thorough and hilarious background on the expression "dutch courage" is too long to post here, but needless to say he's a right clever clogs. Felicitaciones Kevin!

Now for a plea. Help! Help! I desperately want to add a simple table under my "powered by Blogger" icon so I can list links to other blogs and stuff. I've been doing some searching and can't find anything - anyone got a nice basic script that my poor little brain can understand? I can't download a trial version of Dreamweaver or CoffeeCup just yet, so I was hoping it would be a simple matter of just adding some script somewhere...or am I being too optimistic?

Tuesday, January 01, 2002

Wahey, happy new year's! I just had a fantastic time in North Yorkshire, thank you very much. Can I just say that self-catering cottages rock so much better than b&b's?

The kitten saga has ended - our new girl puzzah Minna 2 is sleeping the guest room as I type. She comes from a groovy village in the hills above Todmorden. I've been reading a cat psychology book for ideas on how to make sure all three cats will get on, but it says we should ignore the kitten for 10 days and lavish the other two with affection. I don't know if I can do that - I'm such a big softie when it comes to these puzzahs.

We just watched The Weakest Link - the drag queen edition. Bless 'em, they weren't too bright and only racked up £1400 (and who was the dopey diva who didn't know that Mariah Carey was married to Tommy Mottola??) but it was still fabulous and 100% more interesting than the usual motley of housewives from Wales.

Speaking of drag, that reminds me - I went to see a panto, I mean Steps - on the 24th. I didn't mention it at the time because I was a little bit ashamed. Who knew it was one of their last concerts? (well, probably everyone but me...) Anyhow, I can't say I'm heart-broken to see them go. I'd say about 50% of the show was fun enough, but the corporate whoring was just too much for me. Our 2 pm matinee was being filmed for the Sky Box Office feature that night. Apparently it wasn't enough that an arena of children had coughed up £24 each already, because Lee came out midway and asked them all to order the show that night, adding "Doesn't that sound like fun?" unenthusiatically. Yuck. We also had to endure each of them singing a solo song, the worst being Lee's ersatz Ricky Martin number. If you can tell, I really hate Lee. Oh yeah, and during one of the costume changes they had dancers come out with Steps Spitting Image-esque heads on to dance to "5,6,7,8" - and for the other one, they just showed one of their videos. Cheap, anyone? Oh well, at least the Moulin Rouge-themed routine for "Stomp" was amusing.

Well, I'm off to watch Si Graham Norton - Graham *and* tequila, two of my favourite things!