Friday, March 28, 2008

Modern romance

Him: "Would you like to go out with me?"
Me: "As in be your boyfriend?"
Him: "Yes."
Me: "How seriously?"
Him: (sighing) "Yes, you can change your Facebook status."
Me: "Brilliant! Okay then."

Curiously, since changing my Facebook status I've been deluged with offers of... well, sex, really. And when I say deluged, I mean about five. Which is a lot if you're me.

I point this out to new bloke (who we'll call the Lawyer). "It's fine if you want to dump me," I say, "Cos I've already got five shags lined up."

This turns out not to be the right thing to say.

Meanwhile, since changing my status, Facebook has stopped deluging me with dating adverts. Instead it's now asking me if I want to lose weight or get treatment for baldness. In a single click I've gone from young buck to fat old man.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Less than 7 years ago

Apple unveils digital music device. And we've only had the Internet for a decade. Wow.

PS: Gasp at the old fashioned BBC News page. And the quaint phrasing: "Digital jukeboxes, which let you store up to 150 CDs on one hard disk, are already becoming available. They allow people to transfer their CD collection or download songs from the internet, store them in one place and carry them anywhere."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Am I doomed?

I'm worried. My job is great, my flat is lovely, I appear to have been in a functioning relationship for several weeks now.

As if that wasn't enough, Argos has a wicked Lego sale (new castle! AT-AT! Joy!), and (gasp!) Alcazar have reformed.

This is mildly worrying. Am I going to look back on this in a fortnight and go "oh, if only you knew..."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I has an us

Oddly, new boyfriend. He's tall, dark and handsome, plus Scottish. He's a top young lawyer and I managed not to get him via online shopping, which makes it feel classy. He is a very good thing (although so bloody lovely I'm fighting the insane urge to run a mile).

There is only one thing about him that puzzles me: "What's Radio Four?"

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fags for Archers

This is the plan. My friend Joe has never listened to The Archers. His favourite soap is Hollyoaks. But we're bribing him with a packet of cigarettes for every omnibus he gets through. Here's his report on last week's:

Okay, I have listened to the Archers omnibus, darlings.

Darlings, I love Lillian. She's great fun with her "Why do I keep so much stuff in this handbag?" I am also intrigued by how big her diary is. "I forgot my diary" "Oh, you can leave it here if you like" "Oh no, let me get it out of your way" Is it the size of a fridge??

Don't like Comedy Sid and Comedy Jolene. They can fuck off, frankly, darling.

I'm intrigued by what Rory has done! Is he the same as Roy? Cos I thought Rory was a 5 year old or something?

Then, darling, David and Ruth waved goodbye to Heather (Ruth's mum who is getting the train back to Newcastle). Ruth's "byeeeeeee" to the taxi made me laugh.

Eventually worked out that Matt and Lillian had split up and stuff. Loved Jolene's fake list of things that Lillian wanted Matt to send over to the pub "Books, jewellery, fur..."

Brenda and Roy: Brenda's being very unreasonable about the house. I'm on Roy's side on that one!

Some blokes talking, I don't know who. But one is married to Freda who has a new hairstyle and an exercise video!!!!! Who is she trying to impress?!?!

Then two women in a shop. One called Nic (who returns later and isn't the world's greatest actress) seems to be there with some kids called George, Susan, Helen, Mia, Jake and Jordan. I think though that I got something wrong and she's only there with one kid and she's talking to her mate Helen. Or something. The other woman is very excited because Nic is... going to have driving lessons!!! Luckily, Will's been showing one of them where the pedals are. Then one of the blokes comes in and has a go at her for telling off a kid. Or something.

Then there are some people talking about lambing but I don't know who they are.

Jennifer, darling and Lillian, darling are driving and following a learner driver and I'm ahead of them! It's Nic!!! Also has, brilliantly, a very standard text message beep-beep to which the other woman says "Is that your phone?"

Then two blokes talking about an "indie chick" who is in a band which advertises on "myspace". Goodness!

Helen and Nic having the "bottle of wine being poured sound effect" and chatting about how Nic is a donkey because she wasn't very good at the driving.

Jenny and Brian arguing. Having problems because Jenny has been shopping. I don't really know who they are or what the connection is. But they seem to have the kid Roy/Rory who I think is only Brian's son not Jenny's. Earlier I had thought that they were the people living in the house that is going to be split up but I now realise they're not.

Roy has Hayley and Phoebe and the new baby and he's going to leave the casserole dish into soak.

And then Hayley has stomach pains!!!!! Only, I thought she was Brenda so did get confused when her brother Roy/Rory helped her out of the bath. These country folk...

Ruth and David are at some kind of concert. I'm not sure who they are but they seem to be married and have a kid called Pip. Who isn't a very good actress. Ruth and David then have a hilarious conversation about kids wearing low-hanging jeans!

Hayley and Mike are waiting.... then sound effect "VRRRRROOOOOOOMMM" to which someone says "Is that the car?" And Mike's "Oh dear" as Hayley rushed to hospital not so great.

Hospital stuff. Hahaha! Brenda is blaming herself because Hayley has had a "tiny... so tiny... tiny... tiny..." baby. Yeah! You and your moaning brought it on, Brenda you bitch!

And I've just realised that Mike is Davros!!!!

Jenny wants a divorce because their house is being split in two as well?!?!?! Are they splitting up two houses in Ambridge?!

Awh! The baby is opening her eyes. I don't care because Lillian, darling, isn't in the scene. Again, getting confused between Brenda and Hayley. They calling the kid Abby. Which is making me think of the Howard's Way character and... "we've got so much love to give you, please stay with us, won't you?" That's the cliffhanger?!?!?!! Are we to tune in to see if the baby answers??! I hope it's an alien or something.

And since when has James Earl Jones been the continuity announcer on Radio 4?!?

Will I be tuning in again?! Hmm... maybe.... I am intrigued by Nic and whether she is a childkiller or something. And Lillian and Matt are fun. Can't stand the comedy yokel pub couple. And a bit confused by all the random blokes, some of whom know indie chicks and some of whom are married to Freda. Quite into the Brenda/Hayley/Mike/Rory or Roy story but don't really get who Jennifer and David are - she has two very middle-class sounding kids and he has Roy or Rory and there's something about a will but they're not part of the Brenda/Hayley/Mike story. It confuses me.

So yeah, I'll be tuning in on Sunday.

You owe me cigarettes.


Saturday, March 15, 2008


It's been a bit quiet on here. Sorry. Not for bad reasons - lots of very good, very exciting things have been happening. Well, at least two. One I can't talk about yet - but is both exciting and scary. The other, I nearly can. I'm just waiting to see what kind of ending it has.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Weird Advert

What the hell is with the picture in this online poker advert?

I thought the women in online poker ads were supposed to be in bikinis with a pout that suggests that flushing your minimum wage down an online money toilet will somehow make you more attractive. Whereas this appears to be going for a rain-drenched stalker vibe.

Why Facebook is scary

Cory Doctorow: "Imagine how creepy it would be to wander into a co-worker's cubicle and discover the wall covered with tiny photos of everyone in the office, ranked by "friend" and "foe," with the top eight friends elevated to a small shrine decorated with Post-It roses and hearts" More...

Friday, March 07, 2008

On finally owning porn

I now own some pornography on DVD. The sole reason I own it is because it is a Doctor Who spin off. Does this say more about me, the people who made it, or the intended audience?

You'll be pleased to hear that it is very bad indeed. Not, sadly, as funny as I'd hoped, but it has its moments. We'll start with the plot.

A Female Doctor dates a patient who dreams he is a shape-changing alien. In a shock twist, he turns out to be a shape-changing alien. She then gets abducted by another shape-changing alien called Bob who kills her gay flatmate but teaches her how to change her shape. Then they go shopping.

Seriously. Shopping montage:

After shopping, Female Doctor (now in the body of a Mostly-Pretty Man), goes home to Mostly-Pretty Man's girlfriend and has sex with her, and then wakes up back in her own body. If this was proper porn, I believe she would then have sex with Mostly-Pretty Man's girlfriend again. But it isn't, so instead she leaves behind the receipts for her shopping, in case the girlfriend wants to take any of it back.

It turns out that Bob the alien is a killer. As is the patient she was originally dating. They've got a plan to um, ozone layer, um, global carbon warming thing. Everyone swaps bodies for a bit.

There's then a scene in a Travelodge where female doctor stands staring at her tits in the mirror, musing on the enigma of being a shape-changer. Actually, it looks more like a tired actress staring sadly at her tits in the mirror, avoiding eye contact with the crew and thinking "Why am I doing this shit?".

Anyway, there's then some more stuff to do with driving around in a rental van, a tiny bit more nudity, a really odd bodyswap/serial killer subplot, everyone's eyes glow spooky-red and then the end.

It's neither particularly dramatic, nor pornographic. It feels slightly ashamed to be either. You see some not very exciting breasts, several flaccid penises, and Mostly-Pretty Man's pounding buttocks. They are very disappointing buttocks, and, like most of the flesh on display, insufficiently shaved.

Marvellously, the DVD includes a Making Of feature in which Female Doctor talks about her shame at the gratuitous nudity. We cut several times to the Director, who is interviewed draped around his cast. He is clinging to them, like he's afraid they'll run away. He has a strange look in his eyes. It is the look I've seen in an old lady's eyes when she realises that Tesco have reduced all their baked goods, but there just isn't enough room in her freezer.

Also, startlingly, there is a Music Commentary. This is a music-only version of the film, only with the composer talking over it occasionally. If this were a proper porn movie, this would be The Most Hilarious Thing Ever ("You'll notice how I've timed the drumbeat to his climatic thrusts. I was inspired by the great Bernie Hermann's score for Psycho..."). Instead, this isn't a proper porn film, so the music commentary track simply turns out to be very dull indeed.

There's also some special effects footage. Normally, actors standing in front of a green screen is boring - but this is a close up of naked shape-changing male alien's flaccid member. As we watch, one of his testicles drops a remarkably long way, instantly becoming the most memorable ball in cinema since Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The whole thing's drab and miserable, and makes you suspect the director (a Bill Baggs) has never seen porn. It did, however, arrive in a brown envelope, with a little sticker telling me it had been sent by Mrs M Baggs. I can only assume that the director's mother has posted me his porn. Which is worth the money alone.

Finally, a second screengrab. Female Doctor works in Paper Hospital. Every sign in the hospital is made of paper and blu-tacked to the walls. But the best piece of paper in the Paper Hospital is the one Female Doctor is given when she's fired:

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Hmmn. I've just spent half an hour watching two people I've had sex with on TV. Yeah, I know how odd that reads, but you know what I mean. Somehow, I don't think we've heard the last of The Perfectons.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Masque of the Red Death

Clearly, the best theatre ever. But also the worst. Yes, they've completely turned Battersea Arts Centre into a vast promenade performance space of unbelievable gothic imagination and fantasy.

But... well, it's not even in Battersea. This is the last time I go to South London for my art, unless in a taxi. In my book, standing for half an hour in the middle of nowhere, lashed by rain waiting for a bus does not count as part of the mis-en-scene. It's just grim.

It did guarantee that I turned up at the theatre panicked and bewildered - which was just the mood for Masque of the Red Death. The show was amazing - it was like being let loose on a museum where you could touch things.

Occasionally, some lithe people would run past and do some theatre, but it was mostly physical theatre of the kind involving shrieking, handstands, and eating apples loudly while saying "Fie!". You know the drill... If you're a girl - Drape yourself around something, pretend to hump it, smile and show all your teeth. If you're a boy, and can manage to look lascivious while crawling across the floor, then great. Otherwise, throw liquid around. Or carry a knife. Whatever.

Happily, most of the time you were left alone to potter around, open drawers, nose about, or stroke the cat.

The whole thing was quite, quite beautiful, and endless. Like another world perfectly evoked. You could climb endless stairs to emerge in a nursery where all you could hear was distant crying, or turn a corner and find yourself about to wander on stage at the Palais Royale. My favourite was finding a room full of drying laundry. I pulled down a sheet, sat still in a chair, and waited for people to come in. Just as they were leaving, I'd move. They'd scream and run out. This passed half an hour.

It really was an amazing dream world, and proves that while history isn't how actors think it was, it's certainly more fun. It did help that the male cast were v pretty dancers and knew it, which kind of made it like watching Emo Kids at a Jake Shears convention.

I think I only stumbled across three of the stories - but I did find a door that said "Knock if you're lucky". I knocked. The door opened. A figure in a peacock mask opened it and shook her head at me. I turned a corner, and found myself in a giant ballroom made out of trees, where an undead couple were getting married to the "Batman Returns" theme.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Bless the internet

Not just for topless pictures of nekkid men, but also for... well, the crushingly specific venality of the comments.


While leaving a club last night:

MINTY YOUNG GAY: Sorry I didn't reply to your text. What was it - something like "shall we go out for a drink"?

OLD GAY: No. Actually it was "I wish I was inside you now."


Gmail's context sensitive ads have played another blinder. Today I got:

"Dangerous Kissing Tips - - Powerful Kissing Tips To Make Her Melt In Your Mouth & In Your Hands!"

What? What did I do?

Saturday, March 01, 2008


A film so bad that Jamie Bell has to deliver the following line with a straight face:
"I can jump anything that moves."

The Lotion Song

Like most YouTube stuff, brilliant for the first 90 seconds.