Friday, July 31, 2009

Still token, still smokin', still a hottie in my book: Pete Doherty

I don’t want to like Pete Doherty. It’s not my fault.

I didn’t mind liking him five(ish?) ago. Back then, people had only just heard about a lovable new band called The Libertines and this singer/songwriter Pete Doherty who looked a bit like a friendly rag-doll. Back then Doherty’s cherubic face looked soft, sweet and deliciously edible; his obsession with Oscar Wilde and the works of Siegfriend Sassoon charming; his commitment to shameless displays of ho-yay with band-mate Carl Barat frankly delightful. Back then he hadn’t dated Kate Moss.

Obviously things changed. The Libertines got big, Doherty got bigger (though, actually, physically much smaller once the smack train well and truly left the station). Then he was tossed out of the band. Then they said they wanted him back if he gave up the drugs. Then he came back. Then he left again. Somewhere in there he burgled Carl’s flat. Finally he was out and formed his own band, which played songs and released albums with varying degrees of success. His wanking on about Wilde and Sassoon and bloody De Quincey started to seem, well, kinda wanky. Somewhere in there he shagged, and was subsequently dumped by, Kate Moss.

I’m not sure when it was exactly that I fell for Doherty all over again. It’s been sneaking up on me. Maybe it’s just that he’s been working with another indie favourite of mine, Graham “wouldn’t you love to see my Elvis Costello glasses on your bedroom floor” Coxon and that the result – Babyshambles’ Grace/Wastelands album – was actually good. Maybe it’s the fact that I never really stopped fancying him, even when he got kinda gross and covered in weird creepy sores that seemed like they might be thinking about giving you an STD if you looked at them sideways. Lindsay, no doubt, would suggest it’s because I’m a sucker for birds with broken wings.

Either way, just to let you know, Pete: I’d still go there.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Highlights and lowlights of wearing my delightful and newly acquired faux fur stole out on Friday night:

Highlight: I felt about 900 per cent more glamorous than usual.

Lowlight: I felt compelled to talk about its FAKE fur qualities very loudly, in case a PETA spokesperson popped out of the woodwork.

Highlight: It did, surprisingly, keep me really warm.

Lowlight: It kept me so warm I was forced to take it off from time to time to regulate my body temperature or risk collapsing on the floor on the Manor.

Highlight: When I eventually stumbled into a cab in the early hours the stole made me feel like more of a Dorothy Parker than a Tara Reid.

Lowlight: I don’t think the cabbie was fooled.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Token Smokin' Hottie: Alexander Skarsgard

It has been said of me, from time to time, that I certainly have a type. One of the first things I ever put on this blog, as part of my profile, was that I was into skinny boys. This is true. I could go on about how this started, and waffle on about the lovely sight of a jutting hip bone but a)I believe I have covered both of those matters on here quite extensively, and b)I want to talk to you about Alexander Skarsgard, who does not fit my type at all.

Alexander, or, as I like to call him “Oh, Alexander”. I don’t know what it is about him. Or, rather, I do know exactly what it is about him: he plays a fictional character on TV on whom I have a raging crush. What a sucker I am.

For those of you who aren’t fans of the truly brilliant soft-core porn vampire romp that is the wonderful series True Blood I will try not to get too carried away with hyperbole. Let it simply be said that it is the most delightful, improbably camp, over-the-top and generally enjoyable a piece of TV I’ve seen since Gossip Girl. And for my money it is a lot better than Gossip Girl.

Alexander gets a tick straight off the bat for playing what is generally an extremely cool character on True Blood: he gets the best lines, he steals a scene by raising an eyebrow, he’s a VIKING for crying out loud. A. Viking. And did I mention his scenes are about 80 per cent ho-yay? That much said, Alexander could be the star of a seven-hour documentary on taxation reform and I would stay glued to my screen.

It’s something about his bone structure… or his eyes… or… frick, I don’t know, maybe his height: somehow he takes up a lot of room in that really comforting way some people do. Almost certainly it’s got something to do with the way he is in motion because, although the photo above isn’t dreadful, it really doesn’t do him justice. I could politely shake the hand of the man above and offer him a kiss on the cheek. Face to face with the Alexander I see on screen I would be elbow-deep in Skarsgard before he could get out the first syllable of his “hello”.

Mmm, "elbow deep in Skarsgard". I should really keep these thoughts private.

Truly, it has stole-n my heart. (You see what I did there?)

There is something faintly embarrassing about taking joy in buying clothes. I feel guilty splashing out on a cute cardigan I don’t need or a beautiful pair of shoes I can only just walk in, perhaps at least partly because I am a real impulse shopper: I am not the person who buys classics and owns a capsule wardrobe. There are things in my closet I have worn only once or twice, having either grown tired of it immediately or, in one case, having realised that a dress that only just covers my arse is not, actually, what the public at large wants to see. The whole thing, the ritual of shopping, the trying on of new purchases in front of a mirror, seems frightfully superficial. Mostly because it is.

But there is something about the ability of clothes to transform that charms me, endlessly. I hated clothes shopping until I was about 16. I just wasn’t interested in the slightest, and would contentedly wear my favourite pair of geometric leggings (hey, it was the, um, nineties. Oh shit) until they literally fell apart while on my body. I was too slow on the uptake to realise, then, that when you are a very geeky looking teenager (glasses, braces AND orthotics? Yeah fuck you too, God) the right clothes have the ability to conceal a multitude of sins.

Clearly my attitude has changed entirely, hence my joy at one of my latest acquisitions, that most practical of all garments: a faux fur stole. I have been looking for just such a stole for ages but it took the incomparable Lindsay to track down this one for me. I love, love, love it. It feels like a dozen baby kittens were butchered and skinned for my pleasure. I half expect to have red paint flung at me as I step out the door. (It is not, I hasten to add, real. I may own a leather couch but even I draw the line somewhere.)

The only problem now is where to wear it. I am not exactly Marlene Dietrich or Veronica Lake. My weekend activities are not, generally speaking, stole worthy.

Then again, the thing I love best about my stole is its sheer useless luxuriousness. I mean, yes, it is warm, but so is a jumper. Yes it nuzzles my neck in an adorable fashion but so would a scarf. The stole is brilliant not despite its uselessness but because of it. Which means that there is absolutely nothing wrong with dolling myself up in the stole to curl up on the couch for a True Blood marathon of a Saturday night. Um, theoretically, of course.

Monday, July 20, 2009

What a sight this would be to wake up to...

... because it's James Franco I wouldn't even complain about the moustache.

UPDATE: Is this Franco's head photoshopped onto someone else's body? I don't know, I hope not. Do I care? Ummmm only a very little bit.

Friday, July 17, 2009

“Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off.” (raymond Chandler)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A beautiful friendship

I don't really go in for Old Blue Eyes' music in a big way but I always agreed with what Frank Sinatra had to say about alcohol:

"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."

Which is why it hurt so much to give up drinking this week.

Now, to clarify, and before you all have a collective heart attack, I mean I have given up drinking For This Week, as opposed to choosing this week to give it up altogether.

The idea seemed like a good one last weekend when I was hungover as all buggery, praying for death on the couch. It seemed stupid as hell seven hours later as I made small talk over a glass of diet coke at an engagement party and wondered what the frick one talked about at these things when one was drunk.

The reaction from friends, when I tell them about this one-week plan, has been polarised. The non-drinkers, the light drinkers and the binge drinkers look perplexed. "Just for the week?" is pretty much the normal response.

The heavy drinkers or the routine drinkers, like myself, look alternately impressed or sympathetic.

"Are you really bored?" one of them asked me. I didn't tell her the truth.

Now, six days in I'm surprised how easy it's been. I thought I would want to gnaw my own face off but, truthfully, I haven't missed that first glass of the night all that much. I have missed a warm red on the couch when it's raining outside, and I greatly resented sipping water at a friend's birthday dinner, but it's been much less painless than I would have expected.

"So maybe you could give it up for a month and do Dry July?" someone suggested to me, "given it's so painless."

Au Contraire. Because half of the reason I wanted to give up booze for a week was to prove that I could, both to myself and others, who worry occasionally about such things. Though I didn't say so at the time, I was scared I might find it too hard, might even be tempted to crack and scoff half a bottle in front of the Tour de France.

Seeing how easy it's been has, contrarily, made it that much easier to continue to imbibe. If it's so relatively painless to give up, how can it be so wrong to NOT give it up? The logic, dear friends, is flawless.

The drought ends tomorrow and I am, I must concede, looking forward to a reunion with my old friend.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm not really the marrying kind but STILL

This one comes to this page via a friend and it's a good one.

The Australian senate is looking at whether or not to overturn the ban on same sex marriage, and is looking for submissions from the community. You just know the God botherers are going to be up in arms (fuck knows what else they have to do with their time) so that's where you're needed: to counteract their bile and stop this country's laws from being determined by the kind of cretins who believe that certain people belong in hell because of who they fancy.

Luckily there is this incredibly quick online form to make your own submission HERE, so if you believe in equal rights please do.

This is really important and it takes all of 30 seconds.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pros and cons of getting hooked on Project Runway:

PROS: It is quality, guilty pleasure viewing in which genuinely skilled people make alternately brilliant and fucked up things.
CONS: All the cute boys are very, very gay.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hear thee, hear thee, I am a douche.

In the spirit of going in for really easy targets today, this piece over at BeliefNet is worth a read. Either a mind-boggling Wtf?! or a brilliant piece of satire, its hypothesis is one guaranteed to offend pretty much everyone: homosexuality shouldn't be legitimised because then all men will turn gay. Why? Because boys are better at sex than girls.

Don't believe me? It's backed up by history, fool! Read on:
"The social history behind this piece is clear: once they've experienced sex with other men, Catullus tells us, men are unsatisfied with what their new wives provide them."

Outrageous! Somehow he manages to infuriate me not only as a reasonably-non-douchy-person but as a woman. The only thing that saves this article from turning me into a white hot ball of rage is the slightly hilarious assumption behind it. The writer clearly thinks he could be having the time of his life if only he were allowed to fuck his best friend Frank, instead of just punching him on the shoulder every so often and occassionally put a wig on him while he sleeps. In his mind, once the barriers come down the whole world is going to turn into a sweaty, heaving mass where construction workers, businessmen and baptist ministers alike are more or less just heaving themselves at each other. But no! He must fight the impulse for the sake of the womenfolk.

The whole thing also has a delightfully prudish flavour, despite the subject matter:
"At the risk of getting too explicit, I leave it the reader's basic grasp of anatomy to figure out why in ancient Rome a man who found pleasure in a woman, could also find pleasure in a man, while the record shows that a heterosexual woman rarely found sexual satisfaction in the company of another woman."

Wait, I'm confused. Could you please act that bit out for me? I have a carrot here - why don't I let Frank hold the doughnut...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Everybody wants something.

Sure, sure examples of "hilarious" sign typos, usually taking the piss out of our Asian neighbours, are a dime a dozen. And, yes they are kind of the comedy equivalent of laughing at pratfalls. But at the same time they are capable of rare moment of great hilarity.

This one, for instance, cracks me up. I'm sure there's a sensible explantion, like a simple mistranslation. But in my mind, it involves a guy poring over the translation in a factory. It's a Friday night, all the other workers have finished and are heading down to their local for a drink. The saucy girl from the front desk, on whom our late-working-worker has a crush, is going to be there, and he doesn't want to be late. He looks at his watch, then at the sign, then at his impatient colleagues. Shrugging on his jacket with one hand, he scrawls a barely legible "something" with the other, chucks it on the pile and heads for the door.

The next day when the translation lobs up on the desk of the guys who are carving it onto the sign they look at the translation and then at each other.

"What do you reckon?"

"I don't speak English."

"I forgot."

"Well does it make sense?"

"Ummm, it's not UNtrue."

"Let's get lunch."

“I sat with the telephone receiver in my hand and I looked at hate like an ugly and foolish man whom one does not want to know. I dialled her number. I must have caught her before she had time to leave the telephone and said: ‘Sarah,tomorrow’s all right, I’d forgotten something. Same place. Same time.' And sitting there, my fingers on the quiet instrument, with something to look forward to, I thought to myself: I remember. This is what hope feels like.” (Graham Greene, The End of the Affair)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Things I learned about Australia…

...From looking at this dress, which is the outfit Miss Universe Australia Rachael Finch will be wearing at the international competition. (Incidentally, the dress, which is slightly hilariously called “Sunset Over the Opera House”, is apparently intended to be representative of Australia. Cough cough)

1. When a pigeon shits on an Australian’s head, we don’t shriek, run home and wash our hair. We kill the pigeon and glue it to our fucking head.
2. We not only enjoy fake boobs, we particularly like them when they perch atop a griddle-like torso. That’s what we in Oz call “natural beauty”.
3. We are deeply, DEEPLY colourblind