Monday, September 29, 2008

A dinner of herbs

The nicest thing about having dinner with people you used to work with is that you can while away hours talking about the vile people you have in common.

"Oh [World's Least Effective Manager] is still there. They re-hired him."
"What? But everything he works on gets shut down."
"I think that's why they rehired him."
"Does he still spend all day on the phone to his wife?"
"He's certainly never even read an email I sent him."
"Do you think that's why he's survived for so long? Perhaps the secret is never to read any email ever."


"... It's weird, it's like I'm in this silo. No one's mentioned firing me for at least six months."


Later still:
"I never understood why he got away with doing so little work."
"Well, he was dealing drugs to the entire management team."


And finally:
"But would you ever go back?"
We all pause. For just a little too long. "No," we all say.

Friday, September 26, 2008


We've survived our first trip to the vet. Florence is in a lot better shape than I am. The bloody animal has such good manners she even walked into the pet carrier by herself and only mewed with quiet embarrassment whenever the taxi driver fumbled a gear change.

Our vet is called called Emma, and uses a standard of address that I shall immediately apply to all future relationships. She addressed relentless cheeriness to Florence (who wandered happily around the surgery), laced with sugary barbed comments about me. The killing blow was when Florence was weighed. She's put on a kilo in three weeks.

"Well," gushed Emma, "Someone has daddy wrapped around her little finger!"

Daddy? There's a whole horror to that I don't want to go into. Shamed, I left without a murmur.

I'm not even going to bother telling Lee. I know his response: "It's like all your relationships. You pray they'll get too fat to run away."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Is it wrong...

To fancy the head of OFCOM?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Meanwhile, Amazon

Clearly, my online shopping has triggered something. They email me out of the blue to suggest great deals "Exclusive Le Creuset white casseroles". Which is fine, only the email accuses me of having used their kitchenware shop before. I haven't. They've simply gone "well, there's a dafty, let's see if he buys some fey cookware".

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Book update

New book smell is a nice smell. But my new book smells best of all.

Now it's finally listed on Amazon, it appears to be the #24th best-selling science fiction book. This is a transitory bit of lovely. I am being beaten by The Hobbit, Terry Pratchett, and various Doctor Who things. This I do not mind. But there at Number 8 is a Supernatural spin-off book.

I mean.. Supernatural? That's the show that's basically Brokeback Mountain, but without either horses or fucking.

In other news, my villains took me out for a drink this week. And I gave them a copy of the book. They laughed when they saw their names in print. And then they smirked. "Well, I think you've got us about right," said one. "And are we about to do to John Barrowman what I think we are?"

I nod. And they laugh some more. "You know us so well," they say.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Curious namesakes

One of my namesakes is a lawyer. Or a judge. Or wears a wig, at least. It turns out, he has a hate site dedicated to him. It's all in block capital letters. The entire site. Which makes me think he's innocent.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Disappointment from the Depths of Hell

Recently, I've got into me HP Lovecraft. I always thought he was a nutter read by nutters, and have never really recovered from my date with a Satanist. But I finally started reading some earlier this year, and he is hilarious - Stephen King crossed with Jane Austen. Nothing can top the genteel wit of Charles Dexter Ward, where an entire town politely ignores the raising of the dead.

Raced through it, and then discovered "Shadows Over Baker Street", an anthology of Sherlock Holmes meets Cthulhu. How brilliant - the mixture of drawing room deduction with the madness of the plains of Leng.

Of course, the book itself is rubbish. Yes, there's a story by Neil Gaiman that's worth the price alone (what if Cthulhu's forces ruled the Empire?), but the rest are jubble. Holmes and Watson wander uncomfortably past exploding priestesses and socially awkward tentacles before hurrying back to the safety of 221B.

I guess I shouldn't have expected more. But the great thing about Lovecraft is that he never says exactly what is going on, whereas Doyle deals in complete discovery. Perhaps I was hoping that at some point Holmes would just say "Well, my dear Watson, aeons ago the world was occupied by cunning squids and magic beetles..."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mild cat update

Well, none of the other names seem to fit, so she may well remain "Florence". We've got over our initial awe of each other. She now disapproves of my smoking and my going out every day to earn cat biscuits. I am relearning the horrific smell of freshly coiled cat turd.

Florence is, however, astonishingly well housetrained, has brilliant manners with guests, and has finally worked out how to share a double bed. She now lurks down the bottom of it, letting me get at least four hours of unbroken sleep before she crawls up to my face and stares into it, purring loudly until I wake up and yell with fear.

In the style of The London Paper, her favorite discovery has been how to get under the duvet. I'll frequently find a slow-moving Pyrennees purring its way across the bedroom.

We've also tried the exterior world. I let her onto the landing outside my flat last night. "So long sucker!" she cried, darting off round the corner. Five seconds later she came bolting back and hid under the bed. But we'll get there.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Weekends with Sexual Gays

I pop down to Brighton to see my twinkie ex Adam, and his new boyfriend/carer, Wouter. They have been in Brighton less than three months. And that is all the time they needed to shag it, bless 'em.

They sit in their flat, with two computers, harvesting boys off the internet in a way that's either thoroughly modern, or oddly chilling. Adam even keeps notes in Excel and has a set of standard replies.

"Ooh look, private pictures from the builder!" Wouter will coo.
Adam will nod, happily. "Great - ask him if he wants to double-fuck next Wednesday, will you, love?"

And then they'll laugh, and pour more gin.

I've always viewed Brighton as a quaintly genteel seaside resort with interesting clubbing and horrible gay bars. But, on the only sunny Saturday this summer, they plonk me on a terrace and explain, patiently, how wrong I am.

If it isn't an eyebrow-burning anecdote about their houseboy, it's the truly awful story about meeting their neighbours.

"Well, we were having a fight, and she knocked on the door, and she said 'Mark and I can hear everything - even when you have sex at 3am.' and we said oh, and she said 'But come down for a drink sometime' and so we did the next week, and got hammered, and she said 'I've always thought watching two guys would turn me on' and so we did, right there on the kitchen table, and then they did, which was odd, as he's really fit and i thought 'what a waste of a great cock', but they're really nice and we get on very well now, don't we?"

Then we walk into town, and there's a woman singing Carmen on a street corner. Wouter and Adam stand there, singing along for a bit, before going off to buy flowers and drugs.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Well, a kind of proof

You remember all those rumours that Blake Fielder-Civil was just a random gay Amy Winehouse married? Well, I think digitalspy have disproved it with one headline:

Fielder-Civil opts to stay in prison

Blake Fielder-Civil opts to stay in prison rather than accept early release and live with his mother.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cat litter

Why is it so heavy?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I can has mew

Well, this is "Florence" (name to be decided). I picked her up from the Cats Protection League last night. She was dignified in the cab until we ran out of road and I had to walk her the last half mile. By the time I got to the flat she was wailing like a crashed ambulance.

Five minutes later, though, and she was eating. And didn't really stop. The other thing I've discovered is that she's an explorer. She spent last night trying to solve the Da Vinci Code using my furniture, with occasional complaints that the Knights Templar had stolen her food.

She even waited for me to go to bed, and then curled up next to me. I coughed.
Florence: Are you going to do that all night?
Me: Yes, a little, but I love you.
Florence: Cool. I'll be in the living room. Byeeee.

There was a point when I thought she was happily asleep up at the bottom of the bed, but then realised it was just a jumper. I has a momentary panic of "where is she?" followed by the reassuring rattling of bookshelves and the sound of paperbacks tumbling to the floor.

She has the face of a weary musketeer, and thinks that Breakfast Time is six am. She also has only one mew, the sound of a heart breaking with unbearable misery. It's like being woken by Ingmar Bergman.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Something kinda mew

There is a cat carrier by my desk. It does not currently contain a cat. Just a book by HP Lovecraft and a copy of the Metro. But soon that will change.

She's called Florence (currently) and is so obviously an ersatz boyfriend. She doesn't much like me and flirts madly with my best friend. All she needs to do now is learn my pin number.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Coughing up

Went to the Big Brother wrap party last night. Was having a lovely time, but my ticklish cough was really annoying me so I left early. Glad I did as my cough suddenly got worse and I started throwing up. Which is rank at the best of times, but terrible in front of reality television stars.

Had to walk all the way home, trying not to attract too much tourist horror and tutting as I tried to vomit as discretely as possible every few paces. Ended up taking off my shirt and using that.

By the time I got home, shirt was filthy. At which point I bumped into Margaret the local dog-walking lady, who is always very chatty. So we stood there, having a lovely chat, while her dog sniffed excitedly around my dripping shirt.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Bad and Wrong Boys

I am currently cross that I keep fancying both the Cactus Kid and Adam Sandler. In the case of the latter, my defence is that he does look like Matthew Fox's slightly retarded brother. But I think that's a terrible defence.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

oi! mental

So, you're launching a major US cop show about a mildly psychic detective. It's written by David Nutter. And what do you call it?

The Mentalist

Monday, September 01, 2008

Five years of blogging

'ck me. When I started this, I was in my 20s and appeared to have an awful lot of... well, it seems it's true that you slow down in your thirties. Or maybe the boys have got quicker at running away...

Anyway, I was talking to a Novice Gay the other day (so new he's not experimented with hair dye yet). "I read your blog," he said, in the polished way that Modern Youth has. "Well, most of it. It made me feel that I'm in Life on Mars, and you're the gay Gene Hunt."

I laughed at the time, but suddenly went very quiet on the nightbus home.

Somers Town

After all, it's not every day you get a movie filmed outside your house. Stalkers note - My bedroom window is somewhere in this picture:

Is it any good? Well it's deeply charming, funny and warm-hearted. But also completely fantastical. The film depicts my area (which is actually quite lovely) as "Somers Town, the grim, gang-ridden area between Euston and St Pancras" (the FilmFour review).

The gang is especially hilarious. For a start, they're white. Somers Town doesn't really have gangs, and if we do, they're far more multicultural. There are the Indian kids who hang around playing Bollywood music on their phones and tidy up after themselves before going home at 11. There's also the really nasty Ghanain gang, but they're just visiting cos they've been ASBO'd out of Camden. I think the white kids just stay at home, sulking.

By pointing the camera in all the right directions the film manages to depict the grim urban squalor of Chalton Street - neatly leaving out the Sushi restaurant, the gastropub, the juice bar and organic bakery (we may be an inner city slum, but we're very North London at heart).

Finally, our local Turkish cafe with its buxom Latvuanian waitresses is suddenly run by an EastEnd wideboy and the impossibly Gallic Maria, who gaily patters away in French to the customers. Quoi?

On the other hand, the film is full of muscly Polish builders with haunted expressions, so I will forgive it anything.

If you do go and see it, *avoid* the preceding short, Dog Altogether, like dysentry. It's about a man kicking his dog to death, and is as vile as it sounds. The fact that it's twinned with something as optimistic as Somers Town shows how sneeringly silly distributors are. "Well - they're both about poor people in nasty houses, let's put them together."

For one thing, that's not just snobbish, it's stupid. By and large, the middle classes only go and see films about urban brutality if they're set somewhere interestingly foreign with challenging subtitles.