Tuesday, April 30, 2002

I'll tell you more about my weekend in a moment - I love the outdoors but I did get withdrawl symptoms from my technology - but first... weird stuff. I read in the Virgin Trains magazine yesterday that LEGO - a toy stalwart of my childhood and doubtless partially responsible for my outrageous creativity - has some kinda corporate gig here; you can pay £2,000 for lego that does team building and management. Or something; it's all in MBA-speak so can't understand a word of it. Prefer Luke's reference.

Friday, April 26, 2002

I can't believe that it's been glorious whip-your-tshirt-off-in-the-street weather for a week (OK, more for guys) and suddenly, the day I'm off to enjoy the English countryside, it's dull, overcast, nay... RAINING.

Where are The Weather Prophets when you need them?

OFF WALKING (or possibly just looking round stately homes/potteries) - BACK MONDAY. If I find an internet cafe, I'll blog, but I heard my cell phone won't even work in the Peak District National Park, so I wouldn't hold out much hope.

Thursday, April 25, 2002

Still working on the Boston thing. Might be a long shot; had two interviews, waiting to hear if they want to see me again. Today I sent "strategic" email implying (with a suggestion of a company in their sector that may be open to a purchase bid) that I am the kind of hungry/strategic/go-getter they seek. Meantime, in a deeply un-business-like way, I am musing as to which of my crockery I would take to Boston and which I would leave here. Oh, and tidied my house for the first time in weeks, as I have an estate agent (aka realtor) coming round any moment to evaluate the rental price. Good to plan ahead, I say.
Everyone's talking about Shockheaded Peter . Have I, in some way, been left behind the wave of cultural memes. Or something.
[via Lukelog and kookymojo]
Went to the InfoSecurity Europe Show yesterday. I know, hardly the pinnacle of social excitement.

Prizes for strangeness go to Marshal Software whose whole booth was done up like the Wild West (it's dangerous out there, get our security), and made their sales guys wear WILD WEST COSTUMES. With guns. Yee hah. The other prize goes to Symantec who had four cool black dudes in bright yellow suits "securing" their stand. It was like going to a slightly uncool up-yer-own-arse club in Croydon. And I can imagine them ringing up the agency; "can we have, er, four BLACK guys, please?" "Why black?" "They gotta look good in a bright yellow suit."

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Just watched the Mark Thomas (Comedy) Product on Channel 4 on quangos. The FT wrote it up here. Hysterical. Seeing him ask Patricia Hewitt if she was going to "probe herself" for her non-disclosure of her non-exec directorship of Scottish Power was a truly memorable TV moment.
Must sure be a no-news week rather than a slo-news one. I mean Two Swedes Have Sex is hardly a story. Anyway, Ulrika says it's all over now. I mean, really. There was even a Swedish voiceover reading Sven's thoughts from his current album (which luckily google couldn't find). It's a mad, mad world, and Ulirkka says "Like everybody else, I wish Sven the very best for the World Cup." He doesn't even PLAY.
I'm not a Torygraph reader, honest, but read this on the tube this afternoon, about arranged marriages.

The judge says two pretty amazing things:
"Lord McEwan, at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, added that the failed marriage was a case of ancient Eastern cultural and religious ethics clashing "with the spirit of 21st-century children" and Western ideas."
"Lord McEwan added: "At the time of these events they were both very young, especially Miss Sohrab. I am certain that each was wholly dominated by his or her respective parents, especially the mothers."These mothers were of a different generation and were both themselves in arranged marriages. No doubt they thought they were doing the best for their children.""

David Blunkett had a view on this recently. I think there's a world of difference between an arranged marriage and a forced marriage.

Just talked to my friend X, who self-describes as "terminally single and gay" (as opposed to terminally gay and single) who said he would welcome a more formal structure for meeting people. Mmm

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

The best piece of journalism I've ever read (i'm prone to hyperbole, forgive me) was by Malcolm Gladwell: Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg. It later became the basis for his book The Tipping Point. You know the game; six degrees of Kevin Bacon where you prove the connectedness of various people. Connectedness often means widely-interested; it works for KB because he hasn't just been in cowboy westerns... he's genre-defying, and so widely connected.

People often say that to me, but I never believe them. But then stuff happens. Sunday night I went to the movies with O and J, and O's sister C was coming, with her husband R. R turned out to be from Manchester, and his grandmother (who is 96) lived in the same nursing home as my grandma. C&R brough their friends A&H; I grew up with H. On the way in, we bumped into H&M (not the shop) who I'd bizarrely ran into at a friends on Saturday, having not seen them for years.

Today, my back was hurting, and my friend T called and recommended his physio M. Turns out she is someone I was friendly with when I was 15.

Does this all mean anything? No fucking idea.

Monday, April 22, 2002

This is - as Meg says - kinda scary. Reminds me of the Surrendered Wife thing that got a lot of press about 18 months ago. Never sure if it's a huge leap for womankind or some kinda post-feminist joke; you decide. I also discovered that you can be Surrendered and Single (though it's not clear who you surrender to). In these feisty self-actualizing times, I have no idea who this is for. It's a little bit Your Grandmother Teaching You to Suck Cxxx (or not)... the Sunday Times reviewed another Rules-a-like yesterday. The world, it's confusing, isn't it?

Lisa Daily, the author, calls herself a Dating Coach. Through the wonder of google, I discovered that there are loads of dating coaches out there, in all shades (gay, christian, whatever). Check out the pics... do any of these (largely) guys looks happy and in love? I think not.

There's coaches for everything now. I'm going to start marketing myself as a Retail Therapy Coach (short lunch hour? shopping objectives to acheive but hard to prioritise? We have just the service you need). Or a Resume (CV) Coach (too lazy to write your own resume? Pay me to do it). A whole new service-culture career beckons.
[via meg]
Read this on Sunday:Why Weepy Films are Good for You. Like, I've known that forever, and even added Cinematherapy to my wishlist weeks ago. Not that anyone - apart from me - has every bought anything from it. Reel Therapy is not available at amazon.co.uk.

The article is a combination of what is probably a press release from Bernie Wooder (aka themovietherapist.com), and the seemingly obvious premise that "films provide a shortcut to getting in touch with inner feelings". Like, duh. Isn't that what makes a good movie? Identification with one of the key themes/personal struggles?

Anyway, they list the Top Ten Movies That Change Your Life here. Not sure I agree completely (5/10 isn't bad)... that's one of the joys of eclectic therapy, though... I would include:
1 Casablanca
2 The Wizard of Oz
3 When Harry Met Sally
4 Groundhog Day
5 Like Water for Chocolate
6 Sliding Doors (badly done, but good self-esteem-style moral)
7 The Prince of Tides
mmmm... still thinking. Any suggestions?
Good fluffy reads over at Salon.com. I'm writing one myself, you know.
[via born squishy]
Another Guardian story got to me. Apparently, in 1970, the FBI spread an untrue rumour that Jean Seberg was pregnant by a Black Panther activist, leading to her suicide. So the media has sucked (ie behaved innapropriately) for over thirty years. Mmmm
Read this article about the perils of online dating in this morning's Guardian. It's a fascinating story about a woman who's eyebrows need reshaping (you only see her pic in the print edition). No, seriously folks, it's a sad tale: Jenny met Simon on nerve.com, couldn't believe the soulmate-ness of their communication (he was email trawling, apparently, which she says means he was hacking into her email. Er, not sure that's what I think) and ditched her realtime boyfriend for a weekend in Spain with Simon. Then he turned out to be a weirdo. Just an everday tale of internet dating, then. First rule: check out everything they say before you get involved. There's lots of cool people, but some weirdos out there.

Interestingly, she starts the piece talking about a hoax email apparently doing the rounds in January about Coincidence Design (which I blogged a few weeks ago, and possibly naively thought was real). Got me to looking into a whole lot of privacy stuff and pretexting, as its apparently known. Led me to a scary article about Liam Youens who cyberstalked and killed a former classmate.

The moral of this story? Never give someone your NI/social security number. Don't talk to strangers, children. In fact, stay home. Oh, and get more meaninful endings for any article you write... more meaningful than "I complained to the website but wasn't taken seriously."

Sunday, April 21, 2002

What I did this weekend

What I did this weekend: saw About a Boy, which given that it starred Huge Grant (as Divine doubtless called him) was not bad. Funny, great script, almost-cry moments (which is good if you like girl movies), and boy moments like discussions of the relative merits of various boy-toys. It suffers from a surprising First Movie generic problem; interior monologue voice-over, which is odd given that the Weitz brothers, whilst not old-timers, are not newbies either. All in all a WORTH SEEING/NOT MINDBLOWING/SUNDAYNITE-KINDA movie.

Strange continuity moment: In a chinese restaurant Hugh/Will wittily comments on the strange chinese name of the wine, and then, over his bowl of noodles, munches a PIECE OF BREAD to signify the end of the gag. A whole new carbohydrate-heavy cuisine awaits you; can I have some bread with my rice and noodles?

Other stuff: Toni Collete plays a great veggie-hippie Mom, and looks suitably wan, so don't expect her to look too special. I can't believe she made Muriel's Wedding in 1994. Nicolas Hoult, who plays The Boy, has already been in Casualty and the Bill (whereas I have merely watched them). Talk about things people acheived when they were like eleven.

Friday, April 19, 2002


Just kidding. I wouldn't know the outdoors if it came up and said "fancy a Starbucks." But I am going away for the weekend. Back Sunday.
Conversation with bloke running newsagent/sweet shop at Blackfriars Station this morning:

Me: Do you have any white chocolate Kit-Kats? (the craving overtook me)

Him: Nah love, they were a limited edition. (I thought that only worked for works of art and stuff)

Me: Oh, I liked them.

Him: Yeah, that's marketing now. They give yer something, then they take it away.

Is that, indeed, what They do? And who, in fact, are They?
JOB INTERVIEW UPDATE: It's like one of those old gags; you want the good news or the bad news? The bad news is that I didn't get the job (but luckily bought myself the treat-hat anyhow). The good news is that they asked me to interview for a more senior job, so.... here's hoping. Oh, and it's in Boston. Cool, you're thinking. But I know that my Mum and Dad weren't happy when I left their five-digit postcode area Oop North ten years ago, and didn't like me working in Asia in 92/3, so they won't like this. So I've decided not to tell them unless I get the job. Luckily they're not, er, wired. So, sssssshhh, it's a secret. Don't tell.

In other news; my boiler is, miraculously, fixed. You never really value heat and hot water until they are randomly taken away from you. I do now.

Thursday, April 18, 2002

My friend A says he's known me for five years and we've never had a conversation about diets. Now he's reading my blog, and discovered a whole new dimension to me. Hayley said what I think, but better. (check out the Apr 18th entry... her permalinks are on holiday).
I don't really want to find out which Eighties Hair Band I am... but I though you might.
Gadzooks. British Gas have used the Escalation Procedure Manouver on me. That's my trick... I already called the MD's office yesterday. Did you know, most corporates serving the consumer market have a department variously called the CEO's Office/MD's Office. I know it's up-scaled customer service by any other name, but it makes me feel better.
BRITISH GAS UPDATE: I now have a small convention of engineers in my kitchen. It's like ER, but with boilers. Oh, and they're not quite so good looking.
HAT UPDATE: remember last the weekend before I said if I got this job I'm waiting to hear about, I would buy myself a rose-covered hat? The following Friday, I went to a designer sale, and there it was, less than half price. I had to buy it... and I kidded myself it was a message from the universe. The following sunday, the hat was featured on the Independent on Sunday fashion page. Does that make it a meme? Or perhaps, a co-incidence?
I love Mike's 40 in 40 Project. I love the honesty, humour, realism, and post event forensic/therapuetic piecing-together process he goes through. As I wait for my FIFTH British Gas (don't be fooled by the friendly tone of their website) Engineer in so many days, I wonder if, in the future, I will refer to this period in my life as The British Gas Years.
Was at some friends' a coupla weeks back, got there late, and people we're sitting about drinking and the like. There were a couple of small pinky-white mountains of powder on the cream carpet. No, it's not what you think. Salt on red wine stains. Apparently, it turns out it doesn't work. Do you think, perchance, it was a bad news day at the Guardian? And what other great old-wives-tales/household-hints are to be debugged?
In other news: Jeremy Hardy pointed out that The War Against Terror is abbreviated to TWAT. mmm. And, if I was in Yorkshire this weekend, I'd definitely be going to his gig in Hebden Bridge.
Hung out at M's house tonight (not the M who's in a twelve step programme, I hasten to add); a girlie get together of people I have mostly known since college. Apart from the inevitable war conversation (which I have resolved not to blog), we mostly talked about girly stuff and housey/nesting stuff. Not that I mind, I can discuss hand-crafted pottery objects from St Ives as well as the next person.

And I finally realised that my life has turned into a very long episode of Thirtysomething. Only without the music. At the time, Hope and MIchael were truly aspirational; grown up, real jobs, proper house, knew their place in the world. Melissa was the loser (we would say slacker, now, I guess). Now I look round and realise that my friends all do the adult things my parents did when I was a kid. How did I stay at (inner) age 17? No fucking idea.

This is starting to sound a little morose. Not sure I have specific regrets, just the end of a very long day. A few days ago I resolved not to get into the customer service thang (and it's not a dance, believe me), but I am compelled.


Sunday night, our heating and hot water randomly stopped working. In the old, low-tech days, I could relight the pilot light on my boiler, but now it's just a bunch of circuit boards probably made by people in Korea paid a dollar an hour, so I can't fix it. I call British Gas on my (utterly pointless) Three Star Service Contract. They say they'll come between 12 and 6 Monday. I pretend to have a job to go to, but they won't budge. Martin turns up and 2pm and fixes it by turning to on and off again. I ask him why that didn't work when I did it. He implies that he can do the special British Gas Laying On of Hands. He leaves. Thirty minutes later, no hot water. I call the Call Centre again, tell them my whole life history, and ask them to send Martin back. They get him on the other line, and he says it's clearly my circuit boards, and he'll order more and be back tomorrow. We book another 12 till 6 appointment. They concede an hour and say 1 till 6.

2pm Tuesday, Graham arrives. He's lovely, but doesn't have the part. He knows nothing about it. He says it needs a new circuit board and he doesn't have one. I imprison him in my house whilst I call the Call Centre again, and they say we never had the conversation yesterday, and there's no part on order, they'll order it and come back tomorrow. I'm angry. I ask to speak to a supervisor, and am told that they will call me back in 90 minutes. (Doesn't 90 minutes make it sound like a football game, or a first round finance period for a dot-com?). Graham tells me the engineers can only order the parts if the Call Centre sends the job back to them, so they can't have done. I ask him if he can do any kind of temporary fix, and he says no, impossible.

I'm so angry that I call the MD's office at British Gas and talk to Adrian. I ask him to get someone to my house, with the part, before 6pm. It's 2.30. He calls back 10 minutes later, and charmingly tells me my wish is his command, and they will be here by 6. Also, a cheque is in the post for £50. I am impressed and my faith in British Gas is restored. Penny, the supervisor, calls me back from the Call Centre and I tell here everything is under control. She tells me it's the engineer's responsibility to re-open the job and order the parts.

At ten to 5, I think I'll just call Adrian, and get a reference from him, as I'm sure he'll close his office at 5. He says he'll check and call me back in five minutes, although there' s no need:if they get instructions from the MD's office they do them. I say I'm just not feeling very trusting. At 5.30, I chase him up, and the number is unobtainable (department closed, but no message). I chase around the remaining employees still there, track him down, and he tells me there is a problem. The Call Centre has mysteriously cancelled my job. I am angrier than the angriest person I know, with high blood pressure thrown in. Adrian tells me he'll get someone there to do a temporary fix. I say they couldn't do that at 2pm, why should they do it now? He says he's not an engineer. I say their service is shit (only not in so many words.) He says the part will come between 8 and 10 tomorrow, and he'll call me to check it's OK. I ask him what time the engineer will come that evening (Tuesday) and he says he has no idea. I ask if I should cancel my evening's arrangements. He doesn't think it's funny.

Jim arrives at 7pm, turns my boiler on and off again and it works. He is the area's Chief Tech Person. "It's clearly an intermittent fault", he diagnoses. He confirms that the Call Centre needed to send the job back to Graham, and apologises, but refuses to give me his mobile number. I say he is the only person in British Gas I trust. He still refuses. I suspect he is a wise man.

Wednesday morning, Graham comes back, with part, changes it. It works. I'm happy. It's over. I'm so happy I don't notice that Adrian from the MD's office didn't call to check I was OK.

8ish, my flatmate J gets home, and and has a celebratory shower. Ten minutes later, I hear her squeal. The hot water just stopped. I turn the boiler on and off, just like the engineer. No change. I call the Call Centre, speak to Amar, who promises me a supervisor will call me back in 90 minutes. As I'm going round to M's house, I put my phone on vibrate, and stick it down my cleavage (an old hunting trick). But no one calls. When I get home at 11.30, I call and speak to Penny (different Penny) who says someone will call back in ten minutes.

It's an hour later, now. I'm beyond angry, just want a shower in my own house, and have met four British Gas engineers and have been waiting in since Monday.

There is one good thing about this story. I've gone to the gym every morning to get a shower, and then felt embarassed about going straight to the shower. So I've done an aerobics class every day this week. I actually did two on Tuesday. My lactic acid build-up has never been better. I suspect British Gas are subsidising a Get Britain Healthy Campaign.

OK, rant over. Boy, do I feel better :)
Very taken with Tom's take on the whole cluetrain thing. That's what I love about the web; there are people out there who have thought about all the things I'd like to think about, but smarter, faster, and more eloquently communicated.

[via plasticbag]

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Why do they do it? No sooner have they launched a chunky white Kit Kat that I am oh-so-addicted to, than supplies disappear all over North London. I know what you're thinking; I shouldn't be buying Nestle products anyway.
My friend M is in a Twelve Step Programme. I was once - ambivalently - in a twelve step programme. I am drawn to slightly cultish sub-groups with their own discreet language (viz blogging, judaism (just discovered a previously unknown combination of above two), art deco collecting, and, er, other stuff).

M always signs her emails "one day at a time" or "this too shall pass" or some other hug-enabled sop. Ooooh, stop me. Then I got to researching the Recovery Movement, as it's known, and discovered the Rational Recovery (aka anti-recovery) Movement. And also, that the original AA was based on the work of Frank Buchman and the Oxford Movement of the 1930s, later known as Moral Re-Armament.

Why did this pop into my head? Search me. Like I said, there's some kind of fatal attraction thing going on between me and any kind of cultish sub-group. What's next... selling Amway? Maybe I can get help for that too?
Apparently, a Kalamazoo employee has recommended a Grump Out day.

"She wants people to be fined for frowning and to wear special hats when they're caught being unhappy."

Like, yay. That's really gonna cheer me up. I'm already in a bad mood, and then they make me wear a HAT. This post-modern management shtick has gone too far. If you don't stop now, you'll go to bed with no supper.

[via Evhead]

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

This ticked me. It's the geek within, that likes it.

[via Dave Winer]
Saw Bend It Like Beckham last night, with B. For a film that promotes itself as son/daughter of Bridget Jones, it's disappointing. Cute(ish), funny(ish, but stereotypical) and ultimately lacking the depth of other cross-cultural movies like Monsoon Wedding or East is East. I came away from Monsoon Wedding moved and thinking about the multi-layered issues represented in the film. I came away from East is East thinking that they had exactly the same kitchen as my parents in 1973 (including seventies swirly mugs). And touched.

But, for me, Bend it Like Beckham had a first-draft quality. First, the phrase "bend it like Beckham" occurs twice in the movie, giving the dialogue an extrutiatingly laboured feel. Whilst there are great gags (dressmaker: "I can make those little mosquito bites look like ripe melons"), lots of the humour seems caricatured. I can't help feeling that if I was sikh/asian I'd be cringing as much as when I see Maureen Lipman as Beatie in the old BT ads. Cosmo Landesman said "the acting's bad, the football's worse", and I'm inclined to agree with him.

Know what I hate about the cinema nowadays? The trailers are often better produced than the movies, and they generally have all the best bits in them. So The Royal Tenenbaums was a huge disappointment to me, becuase the trailer was a fast paced comedy, but the actual film wasn't. But enough ranting. Final rating: MISSABLE. WAIT FOR VIDEO.

IMDB Ephemera: Didn't realise till I IMDB'd, that director Chadha's last (UK released) movie, What's Cooking was him. No comparison; fabulously drawn characters, great plot, excellent third act and story tension to die for. Apparently he directed Are You Experienced, based on the William Sutcliffe book in 2001, but no sign of it in the UK.
worried about dieting?

[via the geek diaries]

Monday, April 15, 2002

Remember Tony Hart in Vision On? I always wanted to send in my art but never got round to it. A round tuit. Remember Morph? I always think he got a promotion to being in the Lurpak adverts.Oh, nostalgia....

[orginal vision on reference via Andy]
My Mum says there are only two places to live in the world: Cheadle and Not-Cheadle (ie the rest of the world, or chutz l'a'aretz). Now the Sunday Times Home section says the same thing.

What's bizarre about this is that I personally KNOW the people who live in three of the four houses mentioned. The world's a village, right.
A little about me...

Age: young enough to still care, old enough to know better
Live: London
Lived: all over the place
Spiritual home: Cheadle, Cheshire

(random) facts about me
1. I’m a closet geek
2. actually, I come from a long line (on my father’s side) of proto-geeks. Sometimes, I think that if my grandpa was here (he built his own stereo system in 1970) he would love the web
3. I’m not a natural redhead but lots of people think I am
4. I’ve lived in fifteen countries. I think. You know what they say: it’s Monday it must be Malaysia. If they do, indeed say that kind of thing. Whoever they are. Mostly South East Asia and continental Europe
5. I’ve been on a diet for as long as I can remember
6. I’ve only been in love once
7. I grew up in Cheshire, and am still friendly with people I grew up with
8. I like The Colour Purple. As in colour and book.
9. I’m particularly well read when it comes to black literature. For some reason.
10. I’ve seen every Woody Allen and Spike Lee movie
11. I thought the brat pack were real people. Where are they now? I hear you cry
12. I’m a vegetarian, but I’m not ethical about it
13. I’m writing a novel. It’s entirely fictional, about a 32 year old woman who’s a headhunter, living in London, originally from the north, searching for love and meaning
14. I used to be a headhunter. Not for very long – corporate is not my middle name. But ideally placed to headhunt myself a new job: unfortunately the dot.com magazine I joined in 2000 folded spectacularly six months later
15. I ought to have learned from my mistakes by now
16. I love Art Deco stuff. Even if it’s out of fashion.
17. If my house was burning, I would save in this order: the CDR of my novel, all my books (boxes and boxes of them), my grandma’s nineteen twenties dresses
18. I wish I was more tidy
19. I used to do stand-up, but now I put all my gags in the novel
20. I’ve realised since I haven’t had A Real Job that it unnerves people: how do I answer the What Do You Do? Question
21. I have two nephews, a niece and one on the way
22. I love everything to do with words...

this is way cool.
[via paper and pens]
I love everything about words and writing.

[via interconnected]
My friend D cooked me supper tonight... and we ended up talking about girl-stuff. It's not the only thing I do, honest. Before I knew it, we were talking about Botox injections.

How this conversation got started: last weekend, I took my friend K to A&D's party... they always throw great parties, and when we arrived, I saw the back of someone who looked like he was wearing a baco-foil sari, with red lipstick patterns on his one uncovered arm. I said to A; I didn't know it was a fancy dress party. A said it wasn't. Philip Salon apparently always dresses like that (true: he was dressed similarly when I met him in '93, when he told me "I had a wonderful ashkenazi face" - whatever THAT means.) Anyway, Philip had a couple of girls in tow, you know the types; uber-skinny/boob jobs/Jagger-in-drag-lips.Now I'm not thin - how do I know? my Mother told me - but at least everything I've got is real. They looked... alien in some way. And permanently surprised.

Back to the botox. First thing is... how to pronounce it: is it bow-tox (as in bow-tie), which sounds cutesy, upmarket and probably enjoyable, or boh-tox (as in bottom) which has a more, er, earthy ring to it, and frankly sounds like someone sticking something up your bottom. Though some people like that.

Like I've said before, I'm a strong believer in living with what you've got - physically speaking - and more to the point, botox, BOTULINUM is a poison. It's a strange world when fashion dictates that women with money/time on their hands/fading looks/all three, should inject themselves with a substance that in other circumstances would kill them. And isn't it a little strange to live in a society where paralysis of your facial muscles is considered more attractive than your actual expression.

If only I could do comments, I could find out what you think.

Sunday, April 14, 2002

Just read a review about the work of artist Lucy Kimbell. Perhaps one day my life will be reduced to a simple set of indices. Until then, I'll ramble on....
Just nice playful stuff.
We've had policemen, teachers, barristers... all noble professions, I'm sure. Now we've got hairdressers, book club members and ...

Who knows what's next? The Dramatist - a six part TV drama about eight TV executives try to come up with a good dramatic idea? The write up for The Book Group opined: "A little education can be a dangerous thing." Seemingly so.

Saturday, April 13, 2002

I was at some friends for dinner last night, and a fellow guest told a truly fascinating story about roadworks on the M11 delaying him for three hours. I considered countering with my story of lousy/failed service from Telewest (my local cable operator) culminating in my meeting with Adam Singer, but didn't; I'm aware that sometimes these stories are more therapeutical for the teller than the listener. And then, I discovered that someone else could tell the story of lousy cable service so much better than I.

Wouldn't it be better if there was just one generic tale of failed customer service in our post millennial times? It would be replete with word-plays on SERVICE, a fair amount of being on hold, and the list of all the customer service operatives you talked to, together with their inside leg measurements.
Love the idea of a tapestry of blogness (no permalinks, check 8th April). Don't think I've written enough to get reviewed yet.
[via rocketwhores and a bunch of other people]
Apparently the internet should be fulled with heartwarming personal stories and universal anecdotes. Oh, and navel-gazing discussions about the nature of the blog.
[via booboolina]
From my buddy Douglas alittle flash from 98... best taken after, er, one or two er, you know. or at the very least, pissed.
I read a review in Management Today of a book called The 90 Minute Manager, by David Bolchover. I grew up with David, and now he has a book to his name and I don't. Humbling, in the way that Things Other People Accomplished When They Were Your Age [via Meg and a bunch of other people] is.

In my family folklore, David was famous for one thing; I apparently sat on his head when he was six months old. Doesn't seem to have done him any harm.

Friday, April 12, 2002

Been thinking a lot about diets. I've been on a diet since I was 11, and at every point on my way up, my Mother has pointed out a recent, past place when I was Thin Enough.

But enough of the psychobabble; here's what I'm thinking. The recommended diet says approximately 70g of fat daily. [btw, when you google on "healthy diet" you get loads of LOSE 12lb in HALF AN HOUR sites. mmmm]. So let's say you decide on 40g daily. I guess about 5g of that might be butter/margarine. Let's say I buy a 500g tub of margarine today - it's supposed to last 100 days. That means, i should still have it in my fridge at the end of July. Now, there's an experiment.
Coming back from my class in Highgate, I spied a number 247 bus, bearing the legend HARINGAY bus station. I knew, immediately, there was something wrong with it, but couldn't work out what. There's something appealingly correct about mispelled words in print. There is a street sign at White City saying Neasdon is 3 miles.

Whilst we're talking about buses: I never understand those buses that bear the legend SORRY NOT IN SERVICE on their route indicator. [When I googled on this phrase, surprisingly, there's very little out there apart from trainspotter-style stuff] This is what I don't understand - if the bus is going along the route you expect, why isn't it in service? Why can't it just collect passengers along the way? As if it was, in fact, in service? And what's with the comma? They can't be bothered to collect passengers, but they can punctuate?

Count 'em. They're out there. A nation of Londoners demand the right to get on a bus going to their destination. Ken should be quavering in his glass-plated office. [If only I could get comments to work I could find out what other people think. Mail me?]

Thursday, April 11, 2002

I think of being behind the times as my USP, so i was not surprised when that whole Wear Sunscreen thing that happened back in 97 inexplicably popped into my mind when I was out buying groceries tonight, after my writing class. I had a vague recollection of it being an urban myth , or urban legend, and later turning into a Baz Luhrmann song.

It's that whole internet-connectivity-informationsuperhighway-IMing with best friend in Palo Alto thing. And just think; my Mother still thinks the video will only record if the TV is switched on. During Monicagate she asked me to print out the internet as it apparently had some juicy details.

Like the man said, "the customer is not a moron - she's your wife"
Really getting off on my stats tracker. 26 unique people have visited me. But then, don't you think everyone's unique? Interesting insight into what IT people call webservers... noticed that the Wellcome Trust calls its server aegis; two vaguely tech-enabled friends had no idea what it meant, but both noted that lots of servers are called that; turns out it means shield (amongst other things).

I worked with one IT Director who called all his servers after an ocean. D mentioned that he had just seen a server called Constanza. I figure it was an IT bloke naming the servers after all the women he'd ever slept with.I can just imagine this guy clubbing like crazy when the company expands, trying to keep his sex life at the same speed as corporate expansion.
I asked my friend P if he was e-skiving. [I just googled on it and no-one's ever really used it the way i mean.]. We talked about a definition, and came up with "pissing about on the internet instead of working". What is it when you don't have a job? He asked? Just pissing about on the internet period.
Feel a tremendous sense of satisfaction that I have managed to make this blog work. it's one thing coding VB (which I never did well anyhow) and excel, and it's quite another making stuff work that real people can see. Thanks to Myles for the design... though I think i was supposed to retain its intergrity, and I added a couple of things. Quite badly, I suspect. And thanks to Luke for letting me steal some of his code and answer my multitude of stupid questions.

I think I might have been designed for blogging... my mind is a constant stream of random thoughts and ideas, and it's been my life's dream - OK, I exaggerate - to systemetise them in some way, or at least get them down on paper. This is some kinda start. Although my friend Dan said that my desire and commitment in doing this is a sign that I have too much time on my hands. Quite. And he felt that the links should be random, in some kind of post-modern way. Also, he reads very slowly, so doesn't have time to read my braindump on a regular basis; he tells me it correlates to high intelligence. And I think my hi-speed reading and inability to remember a single thing is a sign that I am a superior life-form.
Since I put up my blog yesterday, some of my unwired friends (yes, there are some left), have asked me what a blog is. And why bother. Here's the answer.
Just got back from the movies (again): 24 Hour Party People. Great film. A certain sense of gritty realism, as I grew up in MaDchester, and was at college during the Hacienda Years. The movie does a strange post-modern talking to camera as if other actors aren't there thing, and you walk away feeling much more like you've watched a documentary rather than particpated in a story. Do you care about Tony Wilson? Becuase if you don't, there are no other characters to grab you. I felt a little bad as I dragged E and C to see it, and they were not so taken by it, though E enjoyed it professionally, as she's In TV. The music - to be expected of course - is fab; and for me, a real rollercoster down memory lane (or something) of my childhood: Happy Mondays, New Order, Duritti Column, Vinni Reilly. Shame that other same-era bands like The Smiths and The Stone Roses don't feature. The Guardian liked it in a grauniadesque way.

Continuity ephemera: no-one drank bottled water in 1983. Believe me, I was there; no-one. Yates Bar on Corporation Street didn't exist. The entrance to Picadilly Station was radically altered in the late nineties. I know, I know, none of these things matter.

Cute ephemera: Watch out for the real Tony Wilson playing a TV director in the third act. Dave Gorman is John the postman. John Thomson (from Cold Feet) plays a fab TV producer cameo, and looks stunningly, beleivably eighties.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

There was a much better quiz like this out, there, somewhere, in the ether. Like I said, too much information...

Are you Addicted to the Internet?


Hardcore Junkie (61% - 80%)
While you do get a bit of sleep every night and sometimes leave the house, you spend as much time as you can online. You usually have a browser, chat clients, server consoles, and your email on auto check open at all times. Phone? What's that? You plan your social events by contacting your friends online. Just be careful you don't get a repetitive wrist injury...

The Are you Addicted to the Internet? Quiz at Stvlive.com!

is your fly undone?

via julie

Come take the Comprehensive DDR Personality Test!

Created by ptocheia

never done this before. hope it works. my entire blog has been put together by a blogskin and looking at other people's code and, er, borrowing it.

[via freezestyle]
a friend sent me this. I guess it's funny. Problem is, in the Too Much Information society, you get forwarded like forty jokes a day. I'm down on the average as I'm not working right now. But even so, who knows what's funny anymore? Who knows if their friends are left of centre/right of centre/mother-in-law-gag-enjoyers. Too much information/choice.

Yesterday I tried to buy new washing machine consumables, and was overcome with choice inertia. Couldn't make a fucking decision. Do I want biological or non-biological? Do i want whiter washes? Enzyme free? Organic? I had no fucking idea, so I did what I usually find helpful in these situations: nothing.
The blog is mightier than the pen. He said I should quote him. Always do what I'm told.
Ever noticed how language is a virus? Yesterday I noticed the phrase interwebnet . everywhere. interwebnet. See. So I did what any self-respecting under-employed girlie does nowadays... googled and there are an amazing 179 returns. the world is passing me by. the word has passed me by. What is this; some kind of post-generation X/Y/Z/you choose baby talk?
via grudnuk.. I love this Big Lebowski Random Quote Generator. Huge Coen brothers fan. In fact, my no 2 all time favourite collection of short stories is Gates of Eden by Ethan.
From time to time - like everyone - I think about sex. And then I find out that someone already did it. Way better than I ever could. Whilst I'm neither bisexual nor polyamourous (though I am something of a geek girl) I think Molly's said everything I might want to say. Just better.

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Just got back from the movies. went to see Sidewalks of New York. Great movie... was finished in 2001, but apparently distribution was delayed after 9/11 as NY is in the title and there are two images of the twin towers. It's very sub-Woody Allen... lots of rows along the lines of "is that what you're saying?", "that's what I'm saying.", "you're saying that?", which I guess gives a movie a certain sort of realism, but frankly I can get realism at home. Also it's edited in that fake hand-held way, that just makes me feel like I have bad eyesight. It's amazing that no one in the whole movie drinks coke, (everyone's heavily into Pepsi and Heineken), and some of the characterisations are flat... Ashley, the cute, unconfident college student/waitress (though we never see her study) is mostly "like, er, is that, like, OK?" but in two rows starts effing and blinding line an East End whore, and has a couple of witty one-liners that she would just never say; "am I just another notch in your belt, is that it?". Oh, and this movie gets an award for the most occurrences of the phrase "it was so weird/I felt so weird/was it weird."

Cute ephemera: Ed Burns, the writer/director, also stars as one of the cooler men, and is now engaged to Christy Turlington, after dating Heather Graham (who stars brilliantly as Annie Matthews).

And so to bed. I should open a shop, right?
And in the same fat/thin thread, I came across a blog that I love. also, as you can doubtless tell, I learned how to do links today. Yay.
Been thinking about the fat/thin thing again. Like, of course I never have before.

Obesity is correlated with poverty and associated with downward mobility. 'Being thin is a kind of inconspicuous consumption
that distinguishes the rich at a time when most poor people can more easily afford to be fat than thin,' observes Millman."
—Connie Cutter, "I'm O.K. -- You're Fat," Sojourner: The Women's Forum, April 30, 1980

That link, btw, is nothing to do with inconspicuous consumption, it's more about off-the-wall consumerisms... I was expecting to find more downshifting, going-plural voluntary simplicity stuff. oh well.
Got carried away with the whole word thing, and temporarily got into a whole load of full-deckisms. made me laugh more than a [field 1] in a [field 2]. Honest
I've not blogged in like forever. Been thinking about working - scary, I know - and waiting to hear about a job i *really* want. Should hear this week. Made a list of all the positive job-seeking things I'll do if this doesn't work out, just to keep myself upbeat. Know that feeling (new man/job/house)... always planning ahead.

And this is how I'll treat myself if I get the job:
1 a fab entirely rose-covered hat I saw Sunday in Columbia Road Market
2 a subscription to the economist
3 a subscription to Time Out

I know what this says about me - 60% fashionista/babe, 40% stay-at-home nerd time. For sure.

In the job hunting vein, you might want to check this out:

I think my mixed (read skills-transferable, honest) background as a headhunter and researcher makes me an ideal Coincidence Designer. Don't you?
Wonder if these guys sound slightly scary... private investigators with money/attitude who don't work for women.

Found a fab wordy-uppinghood place. (showing my age/Talking Heads obsession, i know)...
particularly taken with the following words today....
e-skiving (which, frankly, is what I do like, ALL DAY, right now)
depriviation cuisine

and the current word count? 76,000. tragic, I know. I keep pretending to myself it's longer/better/cooler.