Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday Night: The Verdict

Pros: I went to sweaty yoga.

Cons: I was running late.

Pros: I made it on time.

Cons: I did have to get dressed in the car. While driving. To yoga.

Pros: I successfully got dressed in the car. While driving. To yoga.

Cons: I'm fairly certain someone at the traffic lights saw... things.

Pros: I was wearing nice underwear.

Verdict: Not a bad night, for one spent in short shorts.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Feeling low?

Perhaps you need... an Emergency Compliment.

Is this what they call Stockholm Syndrome?

Because when I woke up at 4.45am yet-a-goddamn-gain this morning I actually thought to myself "Ooh I'm going to get so much done today".

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The disappointment of seeing a photo of yourself at a wedding where you thought you looked cute but you were wrong... The follow up

Him: I think you look good in that photo.
Me: Ugh no.
Him: I mean, ok, your head is very very round.
Me: Um...
Him: Like it's twice as round as everyone else's head in the photo.
Me: I'm standing closer to the camera! It's distorted!
Him: Are you, though?

Monday, October 22, 2012

I have of late

"I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame the earth seems to me a sterile promontory  this most excellent canopy the air, look you, this mighty o'rehanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire; why, it appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, how like an angel in apprehension  how like a God! The beauty of the world, paragon of animals; and yet to me, what is this quintessence of dusk. Man delights not me, no, nor women neither, nor women neither."

(Withnail, bastardising Hamlet in hands-down the saddest scene in a very funny movie)

Overheard in the Office

"I'm 33 I shouldn't be doing this kind of thing."

- The incomparable Lindsay on the bold decision to cut her own hair. At 4am. After many drinks. 
(For the record: it looks perfectly cute).

Bad Feelings #32

Looking at a photo from a wedding where you thought you looked cute to learn that, no, you really didn't.

I'm not saying the baby bonus is a terrible useless waste of taxpayer money that could better be used in about 200 different ways...

... No, wait, that's pretty much exactly what I'm saying. Where's my financial reward for not overpopulating the planet?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Don't retreat, reload

I started this blog post literally oooh 10 seconds ago with a plan to write about this neat little phrase I'd stumbled onto and which I planned to use as a little bit of a mantra to get myself out of my funk and ready for the decade ahead.

That phrase was don't retreat, reload.

When I read it in some random novel last week something about this phrase struck me, the way things do from time to time, and I couldn't quite dislodge it from my head. In the moment it seemed to sum up everything I want to change about myself: to be less of a pussy, work harder for what I want, advance towards something instead of running away from everything.

Then I googled it.

Why? Why did I google it. Couldn't I just have been happy with my little phrase? It made me feel good, couldn't I just keep on feeling good about it? But no. No I could not. Because the way the phrase was presented in the book I read was along the lines of - "As they say 'don't retreat, reload'." As who says, I wondered, assuming in my ignorance the book was quoting some wise old sage or other. Then the dream died. Because once I turned to google to answer my question this is the first thing I read about this beautiful little phrase of mine:
Is there a more incendiary, compact, unapologetic cover for domestic vigilantes than “Don’t Retreat, Reload”? Though domestic terrorism occurred before and after Palin’s pandering war cry, her loaded gun imagery decoying as political rhetoric, gave itchy-fingered zealots free passes when “feeling endangered.” Overall, what the Bush Doctrine distilled into unilateral pre-emptive perfidy, executed by Rumsfeld’s dire “shock and awe,” then justified by Cheney’s One Per Cent Doctrine, was domesticated by this in-your-face mandate from a presumptive national leader.
So... apparently I'm quoting Sarah Palin these days. That... happened. I - and excuse me if I start sobbing while I say this - actually had a reaction to something Sarah Palin said that didn't include wild rage or projectile vomiting. 

No, don't mind me, I'm off to Plath myself in the oven. 'Tis electric so I may be some time.

Things I have been doing between the hours of 3am and 5am lately:

1. Listening to NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour podcasts. Two years worth. Now I'm all caught up. Still can't sleep.

2. Plotted an (increasingly dodgy) fantasy(ish) novel in my head, most of which I have subsequently forgotten, 15,000 words of which I have actually got around to writing.

3. Regretted various life choices and half-heartedly come up with plans to not fuck up the next decade. Forgot most of those too.

Overheard in my bedroom

"It's natural selection isn't it?"
- Andy on the (tragic) death of Fontine in Les Miserables.

Friday, October 19, 2012

All together: Awww

Sometimes I think I'm kind of an awful person with a heart of stone. Then I see photos like this and my supposedly stony heart turns to mush. (Obviously I may still be an awful person.)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Reasons to hate my kindle

It has run out of batteries just when I'm in the middle of the best goddamn bit of my can't-put-it-down book. Damn you, kindle, at least with my proper books the worst that ever happened was when I dropped them in the bath and had to dry them with a hairdryer but the pages dried all weird and wavy and yet I still *ahem* returned them to the library and... you know, looking back on that I feel kinda bad about it now. I was... a clumsy bather.

Super awful things I did today #1

Indulged in some mild ogling of a passing cutie on my street before noticing that under his jacket this cutie... was wearing... a... school uniform. Yeah that happened. And yes I did kind of feel like a pervert but, hey, I'm telling myself he is probably thick as shit and was held back two, oooh maybe even ten years... Because that would make it okay, right?

I also kinda want that weird-arse hat(?) but that's neither here nor there.

"One cannot lose what one has not possessed.
So much for that abrasive gem.
I can lose what I want. I want you."

(Geoffrey Hill)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bloody good work

I was prepared for this to be incredibly lame but actually I think it's kinda brilliant.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Reasons why I'm sort of a lame person #23

I'm pleased by the fact that a quote on the ceiling of my Bikram Yoga class contains a misspelt word. Every time I stare up at that super unfortunate "lite" (I mean: really?) I think to myself: "I may be completely shit at Bikram Yoga but at least I can spell"*.

* I'm actually a pretty bad speller but "lite"? You've got to be shitting me.

Question asked, question answered

Regular readers may recall that a few weeks ago I wondered aloud on this blog why my Bikram yoga instructor kept telling us we should try to look like a Japanese ham sandwich. Why Japanese and why ham, we wondered. Also: what the fuck does that mean?

Those of you left on the edge of your seat by this series of unanswered questions (...) will be relieved to hear that this week a stranger left a comment on my blog with this response:
"You are trying to "sandwich" yourself so there is no gap anywhere. When Bikram lived in Japan he ate ham sandwiches, thus the reference to "Japanese ham sandwich". Why object to such a phrase? Why not just smile instead? It certainly doesn't bother my Japanese Bikram teacher.
Leaving aside the unnecessary snarkiness (bitch, please) this response delights me, even if some googling doesn't entirely... support it (opinions, it appears, differ). I think my favourite part is the idea of Bikram kicking it around Japan eating ham sandwiches, of all things. It's kinda like going to India and eating meat pies: charming and weird.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Had he lived beyond what the human body can endure today would have been the wonderful PG Wodehouse's 131st birthday. To celebrate: some of his best lines.

  • Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove.
  • He got through the song somehow and limped off amidst roars of silence from the audience.
  • Few of them were to be trusted within reach of a trowel and a pile of bricks.
  • She had a penetrating sort of laugh. Rather like a train going into a tunnel.
  • I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.
  • He was a tubby little chap who looked as if he had been poured into his clothes and had forgotten to say "when"
  • He wore the unmistakable look of a man about to be present at a row between women, and only a wet cat in a strange backyard bears itself with less jauntiness than a man faced by such a prospect.
  • "Yes, sir," said Jeeves in a low, cold voice, as if he had been bitten in the leg by a personal friend.

Lesson for the day

When someone starts a conversation by saying "I'm not one to say something behind someone's back so I wanted to say this to you directly..." you are not going to want to hear what they have to say.

Also: fuck you, I would really rather you bitch about me behind my back than list my faults to my face actually, you smug shit. It would have saved me a good ten minutes of weeping-in-the-toilets time plus another five minutes trying to hide that fact using only a dodgy tube of concealer I found in the bottom of my satchel. And I look gross when I cry.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Things I realised today

That despite drinking a fair amount of wine and having, generally, a vague idea of the kind of varietals I like, when someone else asks me for advice on what wine to buy I am absolutely useless and have to resist the urge to say "oh the one with the cute frog on the bottle is good I think" or "I had an awful night drinking that one with the kid riding a bike on the label"...

Things I truly, madly, deeply love about The Vampire Diaries

1. It is (almost always) insanely well-plotted: more happens in 10 minutes of this show than in 10 episodes of half the other shows on TV.

2. Powerful lady characters who get to do fun things and are sort of awesome. Especially Caroline, God I love her so much I want to invite her over and braid all that gorgeous hair. Also I hate her because she gets to do that with Tyler Lockwood.

3. Insanely hot dudes. Like insanely hot hot. And I don't usually like muscles.

4. Sometimes they take off their clothes.

5. Actually they take off their clothes all the time.

6. And every time a hot male character dies two more appear in his place and take their shirts off. True story.

Things that don't feel amazing.

People - friends and acquaintances - telling you at a fancy dress party variations on the theme of "oh hey you look good with super long hair" while you a) are wearing a rat-arse long haired wig and b) have, in recent weeks, cut off basically all of your hair.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Riddle me this

How much do I love this song, recorded by Blur's cutest bandmate Graham Coxon while he was (for reasons I won't go into) under a table?

I love it so much I just went on a mini social media stalking session to track down the long-estranged chap who introduced me to it, despite the fact that he sent me a series of super weird letters after we broke up and once tried to convince me we should co-author a book... based on our long-running email exchanges. Riiiiight. Lucky for me, I think, that he has a name apparently shared by 2 to 3 other million Twitter and Facebook users of Chinese descent. Phew. And gosh this song is lovely.

That awkward moment

When you have a perfect Listen To This Fucked Day I've Had blog in your head, and before you can write it just about your favourite person in the world drags you out for a drink (yes "drags" I said) and your anger melts away like snow on warm concrete.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pre-birthday musings

15-year-old me would be so very stoked to have received a late night Happy Birthday text message from my brother's charming friend, on whom I had QUITE the crush back in the day. Of course 15-year-old me would also be confused because I didn't have a mobile phone until I was 17. No, I don't know how we coped back then either.

Also: wine

There is a lovely scene in the just-about-perfect film Manhattan, where Woody Allen is lying on a couch, old-fashioned dictaphone in hand, making a list of the things that make his life worth living. Somewhat hilariously he doesn't mention his child but instead the monologue goes like this:
"Well, all right, why is life worth living? That's a very good question. Well, there are certain things I guess that make it worthwhile. Uh, like what? Okay. Um, for me... oh, I would say... what, Groucho Marx, to name one thing... and Willie Mays, and... the second movement of the Jupiter Symphony, and... Louie Armstrong's recording of 'Potatohead Blues'... Swedish movies, naturally... 'Sentimental Education' by Flaubert... Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra... those incredible apples and pears by Cezanne... the crabs at Sam Wo's... Tracy's face..."
It's a great moment in the movie and I've always found it very comforting: at moments when I get down about the pointlessness of it all I do like to recall this scene and remind myself that it's fine, just fine, to pin my happiness on silly things like books and movies and cute clothes and something stupid on TV and so on... kind of(?). 

I mention this now because it occurred to me today, for various reasons, that consuming cider and chips on a Sunday afternoon in the sun, talking shit with one of my favourite people in the entire world would be right up there on my own hypothetical Things That Make Kate's Life Worth Living list.... albeit obviously well down below the music of Belle and Sebastian, the novels of Raymond Chandler, the films of Woody Allen, season five of The Bachelor - I could go on...

Stand by

Apologies reader(s?) for a lack of posts lately: I've been busy, distracted and generally uninspired. I've also been growing a year older. So happy (almost) birthday me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

No I'm not overreacting: my last pair of these Pamela Mann beauties has been torn and I'm gutted.

"It is terrible to desire and not possess, and terrible to possess and not desire." – Yeats

Pretty much

What makes a Booker Prize longlister? Hint: Death

No surprises on "death", "love" and "betrayal" but "horniness" and "totalitarian Bucharest" did kinda make me snigger. (Graphic comes from Delayed Gratification).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Overheard in my bedroom

"Just think: what would Audrey do?"

You know those ideas that you wish you'd had?

This is one of them.

An open letter to the straight women and gay men of the world,

It's time. It is TIME. Oh my lordy lord is it ever goddamn time to admit that Johnny Depp? No longer particularly hot. I know, I know it hurts. But not as much as it hurts me to look at lists like Glamour's list of 50 Sexiest Men for 2012  and see Johnny fucking Depp pipping in at number three AGAIN. That means, according to this highly scientific list, highlights from which looks like this -

1. Robert Pattinson (1)

2. Tom Hiddleston (new entry)

3. Johnny Depp (3)

4. Michael Fassbender (31)

5. Benedict Cumberbatch (33)

7. Taylor Lautner (2)

9. James McAvoy (14)

12. Ian Somerhalder (25)

13. Ed Westwick (21)

14. Alexander Skarsgard (7)

17. Ryan Gosling (46)

18. Christian Bale (re-entry)

19. Chris Hemsworth (37)

20. Tom Hardy (47)

... Johnny Depp is hotter than Michael Fassbender. And Ryan Gosling. And Ian Somerhalder. And Michael Fassbender. Yes, I know I said him twice but seriously.

Michael Fassbender.  Let's just think about that for a moment, shall we? In fact I'll give you time to go and watch X-Men: First Class, not even the whole thing just the scene with Fassbender in Argentina wearing that white shirt and, um... pants... and the bit where he speaks German and... Jesus. I can't go on. Michael Fassbender: Nazi Hunter. I die, I die. And don't even get me started on Shame.

Now go and have a look at something Johnny Depp's done lately, like say, um. THE TOURIST. Seriously. Watch the whole thing and if there is a moment where Depp makes your pulse beat one half-second faster I will call you a liar. When people Depp is super hot my suspicion is that they're fondly remembering the Depp of yesteryear, his fucked-up-awesome turn in Edward Scissorhands, his dreamy bone structure in 21 Jump Street.

Because the thing is Depp doesn't look like he used to once upon a time when he was seriously Grade A sexy. Now he looks like this - 

A moderately good-looking middle-aged man who is getting - I'm sorry but it's true - kinda doughy looking and who does not appear to believe in regular shampooing. I'M JUST SAYING.