Sunday, June 29, 2014

Things I wanted to say but did not say to the person who made the comments below"

1. If you don't want to be photographed (doing a thing) maybe you should consider not (doing a thing).

2. The fact that you're shouting "You have an attitude! You're horrible!" at me makes me think you might be the one who is both horrible and has an attitude. Call me crazy.

3. You saying that you're good friends with (someone sort of important) doesn't make me more likely to do what you want me to do. It's actually kinda the opposite.

Things I was told today in the course of doing my job by just another satisfied customer:

1. "You've got a real attitude".

2. "You don't feel bad".

3. "You're horrible".

Simon Snow and Baz on the other hand...

Call me naive but until I read Rainbow Rowell's wonderful novel, Fangirl, it never occurred to me anyone would consider Draco Malfoy hooking up with Harry Potter. It still strikes me as deeply wrong on a number of levels but that's not to say this piece of fan art, via, doesn't charm. For starters, where can I buy a pair of Harry's awesomely high pants? Inquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

On Maintenance

There's nothing I can say about Nora Ephron that hasn't already been said. Either you've read her and you love her or you... haven't and/or don't. To my shame I didn't start reading her essays until quite recently - drawn in by the irresistible title I Feel Bad About My Neck, so I can't claim she's been a huge influence or that I know every word she's written intimately. She hasn't and I don't... which is sort of good news since it means there's still plenty out there for me to read for the first time.

All I do know is that she's clever and funny and very, very readable. Since this week marks the two year anniversary of her death I thought I'd post a link to just one of her very nice essays on, well, Maintenance. It starts like this:
You know what maintenance is, I'm sure. Maintenance is what they mean when they say, "After a certain point, it's just patch, patch, patch." Maintenance is what you have to do just so you can walk out the door knowing that if you go to the market and bump into a guy who once rejected you, you won't have to hide behind a stack of canned food. I don't mean to be too literal about this. There are a couple of old boyfriends whom I always worry about bumping into, but there's no chance—if I ever did—that I would recognize either of them. On top of which they live in other cities. But the point is that I still think about them every time I'm tempted to leave the house without eyeliner. 
There are two types of maintenance, of course. There's Status Quo Maintenance—the things you have to do daily or weekly, just to stay more or less even. And then there's the maintenance you have to do monthly or yearly or every couple of years or so—maintenance I think of as Pathetic Attempts to Turn Back the Clock. Into this category fall such things as facelifts, liposuction, Botox, major dental work, and the general area of Removal of Unsightly Things—of varicose veins, for instance, and skin tags, and those irritating little red spots that crop up on your torso after a certain age for no real reason. I'm not going to discuss such issues here—for now, I'm concentrating only on the routine, everyday things required just to keep you from looking like someone who no longer cares.
(You can and you should read the rest here)

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again

I love considering opening lines in novels - why they work, which ones don't work, the point at which a cute attempt to suck the reader in becomes irritating. A good opening line stays with me even if the novel turns out to be a little bit of the meh variety. So I very much enjoyed Glen Weldon's blog post on the subject, not least because he included two of my favourites. I mean no surprises there - these lines are kind of everyone's favourites, that's why they're famous. But still:
“It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.” – Anthony Burgess, Earthly Powers
"The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.” – Samuel Beckett, Murphy

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Via Into The Gloss

I don't often read interviews with people and wish we were friends so I could pop around, drink cocktails and just Let Them Speak but, yeah, Debi Mazar you got me. You got me.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Scenes from a Gorman store or How to Be a Horrible Person and Force Your Husband to Overshare With Cute Sales Assistants

Perky shop assistant: So have you guys been out for lunch?

Me: Um, no.


Him: We've been having lunch with my grandmother.

PSA: Oh. That's nice.

Him: And watching a movie.

PSA: What movie?

Him: Well it's kind of a short film. It was actually made by a relative of ours and...


Her1: We all go off the rails sometimes and do things that are... not good and self-destructive. I mean me for one...

Her2: Yes!

Her1: Hah!

Her2: No, I wasn't meaning you. I was talking about me.

Her1: Oh yeah, you too.

Her2: We both...

Her1: I know.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday reading

I don't know but the last line of this paragraph made me laugh a lot today and I wanted to share the love. The full thing (it's not long) is worth a read if you're interested in identify and, you know, that kind of thing.
"I come out of the closet twice more between the ages of 12 and 16. About twelve times more if you count the number of times I write, “Please, God, don’t let me be gay,” in my prayer journal or post anxious questions about the heavenly fate of homosexuals on Christian message boards in the early days of internet anonymity. Thirteen more, if you count the time I named my cat “Rock Hudson.”"
(You can read the full post here)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mood music

I'm not saying I'm angry at the world tonight but if I was doing an impression of a moody teen in her room with the stereo on I might be listening to some of these and I would highly recommend you do the same next time you feel the need, ideally as loud as propriety will allow.

Nick Cave, Thirsty Dog
I should have posted one of Cave's live performances but all the ones I could find were a bit rubbish and since this is the perfect angry song I didn't want to muck it up. This song asks more questions than it answers (um, what happened at the hospital, for starters?) and is basically perfect. Love's always having to say you're sorry? True that.

The Buzzcocks, Everybody's Every Happy Nowadays
This one - and the record it comes from - got a serious workout from me in the late 1990s and early noughties. There aren't that many bands from that era I can go back to again and again but The Buzzcocks are one of them.

The Men, Candy
I don't know what it is about this song that makes me think of flicking cigarettes the faces of those that have wronged me. I wish, obviously.

The Ramones, Judy is a Punk
I used to have this song ready on my iPod in London when I had to run up a lot of steps to get from one tube to another or generally wanted to be closeted in my own little world for a very short period of time. If you listen to it I think you can see why.

PJ Harvey, This Is Love
This is a very good song, is what it is.

The Smiths, Half a Person
Obviously. I could have chosen a good half a dozen other tracks but this one is a keeper.

Robyn, Don't Fucking Tell Me What To Do
The clue is in the title.

“I wrote at the start that this was a record of hate, and walking there beside Henry towards the evening glass of beer, I found the one prayer that seemed to serve the winter mood: O God, You've done enough, You've robbed me of enough, I'm too tired and old to learn to love, leave me alone forever.” (Graham Greene, The End of the Affair)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Reasons why my oldest friend is probably still my oldest friend, or Things We Said At Dinner Last Night

1. "Oh you eat at the same pace as I do."

2. "I love the lack of interaction with the waiters."

3. "Are you full full or do you want to get ice-cream?"

The dinner party

I don't read a lot of short stories but I read this Joshua Ferris short story, "The Dinner Party", years ago and for some reason it returns to my mind again and again, year after year. I also blame it, in part, for my mild-to-moderate dinner party-induced anxiety.

Signs it is probably a good thing I am not responsible for a small child #23

When Mr Whiskerley brought a tiny (dead) mouse inside for approval I shouted "murderer! j'accuse!" at him while he stared at me with his big round eyes, wondering why I wasn't proposing a feast in honour of his hunting prowess.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Poor me

Poverty is not something I've ever had much personal experience of. I've been broke, sure, had periods in my life where I've earned very little and if you looked at my bank statements right now you could see that my credit card is one big bill away from being maxed out, I owe money to my parents and my parents-in-law and usually run out of money about two days before pay day. But this is middle class poverty and if I go on to mention that the reason my financial circumstances are so shit just now is that I'm covering one mortgage on my own and a lot of bills so my husband can cover the mortgage on the new place we just bought, I can't imagine I'd get - or deserve - much sympathy. I have to watch my money but I can still afford to have dinners out, buy the odd pair of gorgeous (and gorgeously costly) Alannah Hill stockings and pick up a glossy magazine on my way home after a bad day in the office. 

Moreover, I have well-off parents who I know will be there for me in a pinch and a husband who - although also up to his eyeballs in debt - can come up with money in a crisis. I am by no stretch of the imagination poor.

Even so, I have experienced how depressing it can be not to be able to buy what you want because you want it or to put off paying a bill by a few days when you're waiting for your pay to come in. All of which can only hint at what it's like to be properly poor and not have enough money to pay the bills - an experience journalist Amy Gray has articulated rather nicely here. You should read it: it's free.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Token Smokin' Hottie: Mark Ruffalo

This one hurts, I can't lie. Last night, while watching the (completely excellent - go and watch it now) film, You Can Count On MeAndy made a throwaway comment about Mark Ruffalo slightly resembling my brother. Which... no. I don't see it. I will never see it and I don't think it's just because I really don't want to see it. Even so I nearly avoided posting this one because, you know, weird. Then I took a long hard look at myself and realised I shouldn't, nay, couldn't deprive the world - by which I mean my modest blog readership - of the gift of Mark Ruffalo with that little hint of a smile, that jaw and a body just begging to let it run to fat. However, in the interest of non-awkward sibling relations I will refrain from telling you what I'd like to do to him. For now.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Programming note

I draw to your attention two new additions to the list of links on the right side of this blog: Man Repeller and Advanced Style. I am not what anyone would call fashion forward but I love these blogs for the way they make me feel about clothes and style and the excitement they inspire - just every so often - about getting dressed in the morning.

I know I post this once every few years but it never fails to calm me if I think I'm having a bad day.

If You Have an Enemy

If you have an enemy, picture him asleep.
Notice his shoes at the foot of the bed,
how helplessly they gape there.
Some mornings he needs three cups of coffee

to wake up for work,
and there are evenings when he drinks alone,
reading the paper down to the want ads,
the arrival times of ships at the docks.

Think of him choosing a tie,
dialling wrong numbers,
finding holes in his socks. Chances are
his emptiness equals yours

When you thoughtlessly hurry a cashier
for change, or frown to yourself
in rush hour traffic and the drivers behind you

begin to remind you
the light has turned green.

(John Skoyles)

I'm super subtly implying I'd shag Quicksilver. Repeatedly.

I disagree with many of the choices made in this game of Shoot, Shag, Marry but words can't describe how happy I am it exists.

(For the record, the correct answer is Beast, Wolverine and Professor X, unless we're throwing young Quicksilver into the mix in which case... well. I mean, welly well well well...)