Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Birds are Singing and the Trees are Swaying

I'm not exactly sure what I got up to last night, but I know that I was very very drunk. If anyone finds either my liver or my self-respect could you please forward them to me.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Payday with the Lovebugs

Pay day, the singlemost appealing couplet in the Western world.


Work is interesting at the moment; I've been recommending some friends for jobs and have been sent out on errands across London. Although this DID lead to a situation yesterday where I had had a four hour round-trip to Romford in Essex and after walking three miles showed up soaked to the skin at the client's headquarters. That

As I've been recently promoted (yahoo!) I have to work a bit more, but I've discovered that the earlier rise is actually pretty cool. The Tube is much less busy, for one. I can walk from my door to the Tube and get a seat within 5 minutes, and withing 40 I'm at my desk; all accompanied by my awesome iPod shuffle playlist, which was totally worth a beating to protect. I sat today, slightly dazed after a great sleep (with weird dreams) listening to a bizarre mixture of Patsy Cline, Rachmaninov, Kate Bush, The Rolling Stones and And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead.

I've been reading a bit more recently too. I finished 'Cat's Cradle' by Kurt Vonnegut yesterday, and found it one of the best books I've read in years. It's a terrifying, hilarious, heart-breaking, poignant and most importantly, incredibly intelligent; dealing with the Arms Race, the misapplication of science, religion, lies and writing. Vonnegut has quickly become one of my all time Bad-Ass favourites and I can't wait to read the rest of his stuff. He's my sort of writer; ballsy, interesting and with an imagination that could light a sun. Excellent stuff, and with such a cool life.

So I felt really good about pay day today. Money isn't everything, I'll be quite adamant about that, but holy fucking mackerel it's nice to be able to buy stuff.

After work today there was a pool-pah of a commute home, and I had to meet Spark, my flatmate (and a recently engaged young groom-to-be) to get a suit fitted. I think it looks okay, it's a charcoal-grey three-piece and it's really comfortable.

What do you think? Yay or Nay?

Then, afterwards, Spark (Jude, the fiancée) and I decided to eat in town, and went and had a lovely meal. It was one of those great unplanned evenings that happen now and then where we were all much too tired (and happy to have an impromptu night out) to want to go home and cook, and instead had a great cheap meal, a bottle of good wine, and some kick-ass potent coffee. It's maybe the best espresso in London that I've had yet. It's short, extremely intense, and although bitter, has a nice aftertaste. It was a great meal, and a steal at £20 a head for a two-course with wine.

Spark and Jude. Awwwww

Then walking back to Bond Street to get the Jubilee Line, it was cool to see London at night. I see it all the time, but every so often you realise just how alive and interesting the place was. I think we're going to have more of these sorts of nights (even if I'm a MASSIVE bell-end third wheel for the Lovebugs) and hang out a bit more. The two of them make a perfect couple, and I kinda like being their rough-edge inappropriate friend, and it's cool to hang out with them, even if only to dispel my never-ending cynicism at the world. They're remarkably refreshing.

So, if you're a bit jaded, make friends with an engaged couple. And go for a walk in the City at night. And maybe go out to dinner once in a while. Oh, and try the espresso!


Monday, February 15, 2010

In Dreams

Sometimes when I close me eyes at night and I can't sleep and my mind goes on a little expedition. I get either one of two really mental trains of thought, both of which fascinate and terrify me in equal measure.

One is a weird ethereal sense of having a great deal of pent-up energy, like an atom bomb or a geyser, but being unable to vent it, because everything is in slow motion. I'll lie there, with music pounding in my head and this inner video footage of me trying to run or act as fast as my mind is whirring but being constrained by the slow motion. Then I'll open my eyes and realise I've been clenching my jaw. It's like the seratonin storm that jolted through me when I used to take antidepressants.

The other is another inner piece of video footage. I'll be in a room and, as if with a camera, my focus will zoom into a small part on it, onto something unobtrusive like the leg of a chair or a square of the wall. Very slowly, like Chinese water torture, like my eyes are attached to one of those massive crawler tracked-platforms that NASA use to move the Space Shuttle into position. Then, when I get really freaked out by this, and my mind's eye jerks away from this image, and I relax again, the whole fucking process starts again.

Sometimes the two combine.
They're not exactly dreams, but I think there's probably some lovely Freudian subtext about fear of dying or something.


It's kinda like this, but less chirpy:

Sleep Tight.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Papier Maché F-Buddy, the Cat Orchestra and some 'Za

Aloha romanticists!!!

I've spent the day working off a hangover and singing the Saving Private Ryan theme in my weird 'Cat Orchestra' Meow Mix voice.

In case you missed it, it's apparently the Feast of Saint Valentine today, so if you missed church, you might want to go to Mass to celebrate, or maybe you're making pilgrimage to Via Flaminia near Rome to celebrate. I'm not too au fait with the mechanics of the day, but that's what it's about, right? Being Christian.

No no, I jest, I'm not going to be cynical and buzzicidal today, you people are young and in love, happy in your cocoons of loving happiness and happy lovingness and about as cute as a kitten with a haberdashery kit sewing a button onto an 'I haz wuv u' cushion to give to an ailing baby badger. Valentine's is no time for cynicisms, big or small.

Actually fuck it, let's be cynical.

Who know's the only reason we even celebrate Valentine's on the 14th February?

The Church, when they were arbitrarily creating holidays to paste over older pagan festivals after the Council of Nicea, decided to attempt to create a day of celebration to supersede the pagan holiday of Lupercalia. They did the same thing with Christmas, seeing as Christ was born sometime in June, and definitely not December, wanting to copy and paste some religious (Christian) zeal over the previously Pagan Season Festival of Sol Invictus, Saturnalia, and Yule. Geoffrey Chaucer, in his attempt to perpetuate the completely bullshit idea of Courtly Love and the completely made-up Chivalric Code, developed the idea of a martyr who had died for love, which has stuck.

Awwww, he died for love, just like Kevin Costner said he would to Mary-Elizabeth Mastrantonio in an oddly Californian sounding 'Nottingham' accent in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.


So as we can see, children, the holiday of love is based on absolute bullshit. Then again, seeing as most relationships begin that way anyway, in an intricate Cat's Cradle of lies ("Yeah sure, I love that band/movie/dress/political party/food/friend of yours" "Hi, I'm a kickboxing astronaut who spends his inherited millions on fixing blind children somewhere poor, fancy some sex?" etc etc) maybe we should make like HSM and stick to the status quo.

Traditionally, Valentine's wasn't a big deal at home. I would occasionally get a card (sent by my Granny, Mamo I think, because she's extremely cute like that) but to be honest, I've never actually been in a relationship around the 14th of February, so I've never been stung by it. Call it a subconscious frugality, or a sad romantic history, but I really am no worse off for it.

So, this year, I've really tried to avoid talking about V-day (An abbreviation which reminds me of the excellent 1980's scifi franchise) at the office, and to everyone else because the conversation has fallen into one of three slots. Guys comlaining about how much effort they have to put in, and the girls bitching about how their guys either never put any effort in, or their efforts aren't the right kind.

"What? A meal? I wanted lingerie, don't you know I'm on a diet!"

"What? Lingerie? Don't you think of me as anything other than a sexual plaything?"

"What? You've broken all known laws of physics and logic to rearrange the stars to spell out your love for me? Don't you know I'm not into guys who do that?!"

There is a third slot. The 'I couldn't be bothered' slot. Most people I talked to are just fucking sick of the entire sorry facade.

Yeah, we're all broke and overdrawn and struggling to make rent, but I'd better take her to see Chicago or she'll dump me.

Wow, I better not raise issue as to what it's costing or he'll think I'm not grateful.

I think I fit into this slot. I mean, the fact I'm single has nothing to do with it.

(*Waves face in front of eyes as mascara threatens to run at any point*)

I'm not saying this to be edgy or anything, I just hate how much time it takes up. I'd love to be dancing on the wind in love with some girl right now, but as I'm not, I really don't want to give a fuck about Valentine's day.

Here's something worthwhile:

My good ole buddy Sara over at SpankyLuvsIt switched me on to TWLOHA: To Write Love On Her Arms. It's an movement that aims to present hope for people struggling with self injury, suicide, depression, and addiction that has flourished from a short story. I'm a person who suffers from clinical depression, and I've lost friends to suicide, addiction and self-harm. So when Spanks told me about the project this weekend for people to write 'LOVE' on their arms in solidarity of this movement, I was more than happy to pitch in. Unfortch I'm balls at penmanship but here ya go:

Back to Valentines day, my crazy plans are to have a bath, order a pizza the size of a cartwheel, crack open a bottle of Coke, and watch War Films. Who needs a partner eh?

What my bedroom looks like on Pizza Night. Like 'Date Night' but with less sex and more Pizza.

INCIDENTALLY, while I was in bed this morning I had a crazy thought, What if I made a papier maché mock up of a woman's head and started calling her my wife. It came to me when I was considering going into West Hampstead for a coffee, but then realising that the pitying en masse looks of all the brunching couples would make me want to set fire to stuff. I thought that if I had my PM wife, I could introduce her as 'The Ole Ball n' Chain" and feed her biscotti (by smearing coffee-soaked crumbs across her crafted lips) over lappucinotinis.

Then I realised that would be fucking mental, and I should just go out and meet a real life girl, and stop taking literal ideas from Pinocchio.
If you are in a relationship, Happy Valentines Day folks, and best of luck, sincerely. If like me, the romantic side of life is about as reassuringly precarious as your bank balance, don't worry, you're just as normal as a load of us out here. You lonios are welcome to join me in having a happy Pizza and Movies Day.

If that doesn't appeal to you, you could always try singing your favourite songs while pretending to be a cat. I promise you it's a lot of fun!


ps, MASSIVE news last night. I've found out that one of my heroes, a person who I have loved since I was like 14, a person described here as a 'National Treasure' and a 'Genius' has a house on my street. He lives here half the time. Can't say his name, but please try to guess :)

pps, apparently someone from Galveston, Texas reads my blog. PLEASE make yourself known to me, it'd be good to hear from someone who lives in a place immortalised by one of my favourite songs.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Voice Work and the pleasure of one's own company.

The weekend! Huzzah!

End-of-days tiredness aside, this week has been pretty good.

I got promoted at work, which was cool. I'm now a Technical Delivery Consultant for the office stud (read: highest earner), Mack Daddy. MD's actually a really cool bloke, and is the old man (at 40) of the office, so he's a really laid-back guy and is helping me out. My new job is basically resourcing, and I spend most of my time either surfing the web on jobs boards (like Monster or Total Jobs) for candidates in the public sector. MD deals with social housing and social renovation, so the projects are sort of interesting, and vaguely in the 'I don't feel bad about my job cos people are getting jobs and building homes for people with no jobs' job spectrum of jobs. Jobs. Jobs. Steve Jobs.

Also there's a wee bit more money, which will help me buy heroin, and keep the struggling Drug-counsellor-and-methadone-manufacturer Sector afloat.

That's right, I'm saving the economy. Steve Jobs.

I also did some weekend work! Some videogame company had me in doing a bit of voicework (for v/activated software, not an acting role unfortch) so it was nice to be doing some of that without it being in the fuggy realm of soft-core audio erotica. Had breakfast at Borough Market in Southwark (near work) and then went home to spend the rest of the day writing.

So two wee anecdote-ettes about yesterday.
1) I met a friend of mine in the Market, she's from back home and is training to be an opera singer. She's extremely pretty. Anyway, I was walking along, eating little free samples of everything from ostrich meat to passion fruit muesli, when I passed her in the queue.

Me: "Hi _____"

She: "Hi, Con, what are you doing here?

She: (looking around behind me) "Are you here on your own"

Me: 'Yup, I just came down for a spot of breakfast"

She: (unsure) ""

And soon after went on my way.

My question, is it weird that I like to spend a lot of time on my own? I mean, I go to the pub on my own occasionally, and like to eat at restaurants on my own with a book when I can, but is that one step away from complete loner-dom, or is it natural. What do you guys think?

2) I went in one of my favourite coffee shops, Best Italian, beside the market, because I'm secretly in love with the waitress there. She's French, and of course when I found that out, I spoke French, and made an idiot of myself. I went there with the Polish girl from my office (the Tank Commander one who taken on a big-sister role) and she almost frog-marched me up to the counter to ask the girl out when she saw me looking at her. I didn't go up, and somehow managed to stop her going up too, but when I went back in yesterday and saw her again, I wasn't sure at all, for some reason the entire vibe or athmosphere or whatever of the place and seeing her didn't lend itself to the pervy droolery of the day before. How variable is the old visual attraction these days? Wow. Obviously she's a stone-cold fox and out of my league anyway, so it just became a scientific observation, but it's interesting how a tiny set of variables can affect something like attraction.


My lil broheim is over a-visiting with his pixie girlf Beccy, so I've been showing them some of the sites (pubs) in WHamp and Kilburn. It's really good to see him, even if he is the annoyingly good-looking one and much much cooler than his older dearthair (he's studying to become a music producer and sound technician) it's nice to catch up. The three of us got absolutely shitfaced last night, then had a vid-chat convo with my girl Lopez. Good times.

I'm going to write a separate post about Valentines Day now, because I feel like ranting a bit.

Stay classy.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Little Things

So after my last little, er...wobble on the board, I decided to try and chill and enjoy my time a bit more. This means getting a bit more sleep and to another, listening to the Jurassic Park overture before I get up in the morning to get all szhuzhed up...

...and ease back on the jittifyingly large intake of caffeine to which I've grown accustomed. I mean, much as I like my Starbucks wake-up juice (a venti white-choc mocha with two extra espresso shots) and enjoy the sensation of needing to pee every three minutes, I think it makes one rather tense. Work now doesn't seem all that bed and stuff. Plus, I've decided to just lean back and go with it, even if that does mean sticking the old head in the sand a bit regarding money and the looming threat of German invasion eviction or Council-tax flogging.

Anyway, I was coming home from work on Thursday night and decided to run and get my hair cut (because that's a mental night out for me) at a wee barbers were Spark and I got our scalps mowed before graduation. I went in, sat down and the (gorgeous...seriously gorgeous, but married to a scary-looking guy) tiny Romanian woman who had cut my hair before started chopping away, occasionally making small talk about the weather. Presently, she asked me whether I wanted my sideburns cut in and when I told her i didn't, she looked at me and asked me 'why'.

I didn't have an answer, I suggested that I might possibly grow out the beard again.

She shrugged, looking doubtful.

I asked her if she didn't agree. She shrugged again, and was silent for a moment before declaring 'your face is too long for a beard, you look strange.'

So the rest of the session was rather marred by the fact that we both dissolved into tears of laughter.

THEN when I was walking home, newly-barbered when I was stopped dead in my tracks. Breathless I stood there, like a fat emo looking at a new shop called 'Sensitive Cheeseburgers' as my eyes took in something that I have searched for in my time here in London but not had the luck to find. Now, as I was walking, a minute's stroll from my bed, I had been touched by the hand of good fortune and stumbled across a shop which dealt specifically in tobaccos, whiskeys and chocolates. Yes, an independent tobacconists, right here in my little niche of the world, West Hampstead, London, England, UK, Europe, World, Space.

Robert Graham (Est 1874) is a Scot outfit that deals in the good stuff in life and when I bolted into the shop and demanded 'How long have you been here?' the poor bemused woman behind the counter was rather nonplussed. We shook hands and chatted for a while, and I left with her card, having offered my services if she wanted any weekend staff.

God that would be sweet, surrounded by cigars and boutique cigarettes and pipes and whiskey and rare chocolates and.....well, I'm getting distracted here. I left, and went to the coffee shop at the end of my street where I had a 'diet' espresso (just the one) and ruminated and scribble in my little notebook. I went home, read and went to bed, all happy and smiley. It's the little things I suppose.

Now, it's Saturday, and I'm sitting in my bed listening to Classic FM and considering a bacon sandwich. I fucking love lazy weekends. I'm about to go and meet a blog-friend for his birthday drinks too. I'm rather excited tbh, as this fella's a top-notch bloke, and a great writer to boot. Should be fun!

Also, at this point, I realise that I have inadvertently completed another of my 101 things to do. Wow, I'm totting them up this week:

55) Find a nice tobacconists in London, with a nice blended pipe-tobacco to rival my favourite – Peterson’s Connoisseur’s Choice.

Not only were there many many different types of beautiful carcinogenic tobaccos to fawn over, but they had favourite, the Connoisseurs Choice.


Now I just have to find a racist to punch.

Completed 8/101

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Happy-go-fucking-lucky McPositive and the Work/Life Skullfuck


So I've been a bit of a phantom-man around the old blogosphere, popping my head up to bitch and moan about work, or put some innane and useless video up. In short, my posts have gone seriously downhill in terms of quality this past while. There are a few reasons:

1) I have SERIOUS writer's block at the moment. There are a few things that I really want to start working on, drama and comedy, and I can't for the life of me get my thinking hat to stay on my head. I can't even string a sentence together that is not something that I am reading from a page, or as in this case, reporting back.

2) I am tired. I know, I know, I complain about insomnia all the time, but this is fucking ridicularse. It's like I've got a mild concussion or a case of fume-induced delirium. I kinda feel a bit stoned, but in a way that's not cool, or relaxed or appetite-exaggerating in the slightest. It's like a warm cosy feeling mixed with a little scratchy squirrel trying to burrow his way from behind my eyes. Grrr

3) I'm a depressive person. If you spend enough time with me you get to know that, even in spite of the buffoonery. I honestly can't really give a larger-than-small shit about the old cyber world when my own head is so firmly ensconsed up my own arse. I'm also pissed-off more easily these days, like when I want to momentarily shove a barbed-wire dildo up the arse of the smug Corporate type passively aggressively whacking his suitcase into me on the Tube for more space. It's like a little madness.

BUT, most of all...


Work. I used to roll my eyes when people talked about a 'work/life balance' as being something elusive and vaguely whitewhalish. "Who the fuck do you think you are, Ahab?"

Well, keeping with the Moby Dick theme, the only recurring character who I'm honestly representing at the moment is Mr Starbucks. I'm a caffeine-fuelled automaton, obsessed with the next source of a Joey boost at my job.

(NB: As it turns out, I was massively wrong about the people I work with. Again, I've jumped before looking and my first impression (and an uncharacteristic judgmental mood) was completely out of whack. It turns out I just hate working, the people i do it with are actually lovely, it's not their fault I'm a lazy cunt.)

What I'm finding at the moment is a bit of a cliché. I'm like the female protagonist who can't balance her trendy media job, her angst-ridden (less pretty) friends and the relationship with her oh-so-hunky-but-in-revelation-a-bit-of-a-dick boyfriend in a shite RomCom. I need some serious balance. At the moment, I come in from work, eat, drink tea, eat some more and go to bed. Occasionally I might read for 20 mins or halfheartedly chat online to some buddies, or even play some useless flash game. When I do finally get to bed, the atheistic panic streak before I turn the light off of 'Wow, life is seriously short. I need more time!' that would gnaw at me during my more-stress-but-less-miserable unemployed Chest Shaving/Escalator Tumbling days seems to be absent. Crikey bejikey, maybe I've conformed.

("Like, oh no man, what a drag.")

ANYWAY, I had this plan about work. I was thinking I'd go on some really strong dose of anti-depressant (oooh, like, say a 60mg daily dose of Citalopram or something) and just coast through the next while in a bit of a coma. It seems that that might not work (I haven't implemented it anyway) because I have to talk to people a lot at work....but we'll see. And by 'we'll see' I mean, 'Of course I won't do that'.
A part of me has been wondering about the whole blog idea. When I began, about 10 months ago, I was intending it to be a forum to write about the law and politics, and definitely not use words like 'skullfuck' or 'barbed-wire dildo' to express my thoughts. It's like everything in life, you start with good intentions but before you know it, out come the dildoes.

So, and not in a 'girlfriend test' way, I'm going to think for a while about why I actually have this blog, and whether I want to keep it. I'll keep blogging, and actually try a wee bit more, but I may soon come to the conclusion to shut down the treehouse for a while. We'll see.

HAHA, how ranty and self-obsessed. There have been good developments in my life too, for example...

Dah dah dah daaaaaaaaaaaah!

I've done more of my 101 things to do...
1) Quit smoking cigarettes (that was fucking HARD!)

35) Get tickets to be in the audience for the radio recordings of what will be a TV comedy show (I'm claiming this as done because of the Twitter-based Sarah Millican tickets, that was an awesome night!)

Completed 7/101

So there, it's all relative I guess.