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One Direction by hmv_getcloser
One Direction, a photo by hmv_getcloser on Flickr.
In honour of the approaching NaNoWriMo, I'm going to start writing one hour a day. I don't mean necessarily write for one hour, but have that time and space dedicated to it. I may just stare at a screen or a paper journal for 60mins.

What I want is routine. I already have one with exercise, and even with my little cafe excursions on Monday mornings before work, so why can't I have an hour a day for writing? And for days when I absolutely can't get an hour to myself, I could add it to the weekend so - say - on a Sunday when I'm at home, I can write for three hours and catch up on the hours I owe (though that sounds like a cop out already, doesn't it?)

So I'm here, sitting in the living room listening to Jarvis Cocker's show on BBC Radio 6 (<3), the wind rattling the windows (bring it on Super Storm of the Decade About to Hit Britain), only a few minutes gone by in my allocated hour.

Can I write on LJ during my allocated hour? Yes I can. Can I write on Twitter or Facebook? No, I can't - those networks don't count.

I wish we had a cat. It would nestle against me when I was focused, then sprint away when I tried to pet it.

My mouth tastes faintly of chai tea. And a little bit of the cheese and onion Ruffle crisps I had for lunch with a salmon and cream cheese bagel, on a bench in Victoria Park.

I went to the gym first thing this morning - it's always empty on Sundays, which I love. I took a bath in the afternoon, with a candle for company (a scented one that one of the Sissies gave me for my birthday.) I listened to songs from my iPhone while I soaked - 100 randomly selected songs from my iTunes.

I have a brasilian friend in town who I met for drinks and a play at Soho Theatre last night. (A very good feminist play that was a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe - highly recommend you see it you have a chance: Bryony Kimmings: Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model.) We were meant to go to Columbia Road's flower market today... I'm still waiting for their phone call.

Last Tuesday my boyfriend and I marked 15 years together. Fifteen years ago we went on a date in Montreal, to see Bride of Chucky. I gave him David Sedaris' latest book, which I bought at Gay's the Word (one of London's best bookshops). He gave me a collection of short stories written by bloggers, edited by Dennis Cooper.

He's now in his cupboard office, going through his bills. We just watched the final episode of The Killing III. I'd been under the impression that it was the last series ever, but the ending has left a door open and a return more than likely. This makes me happy even though the Scandinavia portrayed in the series is as bleak as fuck.

A few weeks ago I toyed with the idea of doing a fanfiction NaNoWriMo - a thriller based on One Direction. Here's my pitch: girls from all over the world adore the boys and want to meet them at all costs. But little do they know that... One Direction have a bloodlust for their fans! They enjoy hunting and killing them for sport. (There's some subplot about One Directioners disappearing and a cop who wears ugly knitted sweaters investigating these cases.) The opening scene is a One Direction bus pulling out of the stadium, with blacked windows - girls screaming their heads off around it and begging the boys to come out. Little do they know that inside its soundproof walls, Harry Styles is wielding a chainsaw and advancing on a terrified Directioner... and so on. My heroine in this fanfiction comes from Nottingham and survives a night in One Direction's hotel after her friend is killed. She turns into prey as the band hunt for her, even going so far to track down her family's home (they announce to the world that they are bringing their arena tour to - surprise surprise - Nottingham!)

I may have Moussaka for dinner tonight. I bought some at M&S during the week and put it in the freezer. Oh, I forgot to mention: we didn't have Pancake Saturday yesterday! I don't know if the boyfriend has been reading my journal but it suddenly became French Toast Saturday and I was in charge. (I make some mean french toasts I'll have you know.) I'm determined to have Pancake Saturday return next weekend.
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The Drowned Man
The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable, production shot


Gradiva is the story of a young archeologist who buries his desires, but of course what is repressed always returns and one night he dreams of Pompeii; it is the time of the eruption of Vesuvius, and he sees his Gradiva there, the dream image of a woman depicted in a plaster-cast bas-relief, with a particular gait that fascinates him, for which he searches in the streets. He is possessed by her ‘lente festinans’. The woman in his dream lies down as if to sleep, stretched along a broad step. She dies (it is a moment for which Jacques Derrida says all historians wish: to witness the coincidence of the event with the archiving of that event). She is like a beautiful statue and a veil of ashes covers her face and soon buries her. In 1907, Freud published his essay on Gradiva and delusions and dreams. It is also a ghost story, unstable and distorted, its happy ending uncertain even when resolved. [1]

In that same year, Freud wrote a postcard from Rome to his wife, Martha. "He invited her to think of his joy in encountering––or re-encountering––after a long solitude, a beloved face. It was, however, as he remarked, a rather one-sided recognition, for the face to which he was referring was that of the bas-relief of the Gradiva, a figure stepping lightly, high up on a wall in the Vatican".[2]

106 years later, to the date, I step into a building near Paddington Station, London, for Punchdrunk's latest production, The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable.

Contains spoilers... )

[1] & [2] A London Fantasy, by Sharon Kivland
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Arnold Newman/Getty Images
Paris Review
What are some of your writing habits? Do you use a desk? Do you write on a machine?


Truman Capote
I am a completely horizontal author. I can't think unless I'm lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy. I've got to be puffing and sipping. As the afternoon wears on, I shift from coffee to mint tea to sherry to martinis. No, I don't use a typewriter. Not in the beginning. I write my first version in longhand (pencil). Then I do a complete revision, also in longhand. Essentially I think of myself as a stylist, and stylists can become notoriously obsessed with the placing of a comma, the weight of a semicolon. Obsessions of this sort, and the time I take over them, irritate me beyond endurance.

The Art of Fiction No.17: Truman Capote
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Lovebox Festival by J_Ymmit
Lovebox Festival, a photo by J_Ymmit on Flickr.
Went running around Victoria Park this morning with my boyfriend and heard Goldfrapp doing the soundcheck for her gig tonight at Lovebox.

Ran past a gentleman who wished me a good morning. Ran past other gentlemen who ran their eyes between us with a certain curiosity.

Read on Twitter that Lil Kim was late for her performance so Lovebox decided not to let her on stage (fair enough.)

Almost regretted not having a ticket this year but the memories of being arrested and strip searched last year are still very much fresh in my memory.

Didn't win the lottery last night.  Didn't even get a single number right.
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Last weekend we had a friend from Canada visiting us - one of my boyfriend's oldest friends. He'd left behind his wife and three kids in Canada to spend a week with us (a surprise gift from his wife for his 40th birthday.) He'd never been to Europe before.

The weather was grim throughout his visit. On Saturday, I walked with him down Regent's Canal to Broadway Market and we perused the books in a new barge/bookshop that popped up in the area. The market itself was unusually empty - we had no trouble finding seats inside L'eau à la Bouche. [1]

Later, I spotted Michael Fassbender with a friend walking through the market. They were both wearing hoodies and battered jeans - very dressed down and non-descript. Then they walked past us again holding hot dogs.

We wandered down to Brick Lane and just near Rough Trade East I spotted Marianne Elliot with a friend. I turned to him and said "that's the director of the original War Horse! One of the best british stage directors!" He gave me a blank look that stopped any further conversation.

My boyfriend was sick throughout his visit, with a fever that soaked his clothes at night and a weakness that left him tired throughout the day.

I've run twice this week in Victoria Park, breaking a personal record by achieving over 5K in both runs. I love what my iTunes coughs up during these runs - one morning it was the Cocteau Twins and I swear the trees looked like they could speak.

Life is mostly work and home, work and home. Reading books in between, watching the occasional film, listening to a lot of music.

I heard the new David Bowie yesterday - twice - and I really like it. It's beautifully produced and reminiscent of different epochs in his career. I also like that Yoko Ono turned 80 and feels like she hasn't done enough. It's a weird inspiration for myself, especially as I see older people in my family falling apart due to illness and depression. And so I run more and more, chasing the endorphins that will keep me afloat...

[1] He found the experience cool but strange: in Canada (at least in suburban Ottawa), he says that this sort of market is attended mostly by the elderly. Sitting inside delis and drinking coffees is apparently not for the young in that part of Canada.
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"For it turns out tha Eyes Wide Shu has almost nothing to say about its ostensible topic—marital fidelity—but it has a great deal to say about Tom Cruise. It might even be that the key t Eyes Wide Shu is not lurking in a coded image appearing only for a split second, but rather in the entire world-famous corpus of Tom Cruise’s acting work. But this would ruin our idea o Eyes Wide Shu as a claustrophobic world unto itself."
Cruise Control, Ben Parker for the Paris Review

"One of the more outlandish conspiracy theories holds that Stanley Kubrick was killed by the Illuminati for revealing too much about the secret society in his final fil Eyes Wide Shut. While the official cause of death was listed as cardiac arrest (certainly not shocking for a 70 year-old man), some conspiracists point to the preponderance of Illuminati symbolism in his films, his clean bill of health prior to dying, and the strange editorial takeover of the film before its release as evidence there was more going on here than meets the eye."
Was Stanley Kubrick Killed by the Illuminati? The Ghost Diaries



I need to see the film again. My boyfriend and I always maintained that it was about Cruise and Kidman, and that maybe Kubrick precipitated the end of their marriage.
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Lana Wachowski - one half of the siblings that made The Matrix trilogy and the upcoming Cloud Atlas film - receives a Human Rights award for being a visible and positive LGBT role model. Her speech is funny, smart and moving - really worth watching the whole thing:

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I was having a drink last night with my brasilian friends Lila and Bia at the Haggerston when I noticed a guy dancing by the front door. I couldn't see his face (the pub was dark) but I got the hunch he was cute. The DJ was blasting soul & funk and the guy was animatedly dancing to it with his friends and having a good time. He danced quite well too.

Later, when he walked past our table after visiting the gents I realised it was Michael Fassbender. Cue five minutes of me trying to explain to Bia and Lila who he was, complete with descriptions of X Men and Shame, and the obligatory iPhone Google search.

A woman in the table next to ours leaned over and asked: "is that the certain Hollywood gent I think he is?"

Yup.

She rubbed her face in surprise and shrunk back into her boyfriend. "He is THE number one... my number one star!"



Just then, Fassbender picked up his jacket and left with his friends. A search through Twitter informed me he'd been all afternoon in London Fields, causing a commotion with his naked torso. He joined some random BBQ with his friends and talked about chicken hearts (he likes them) with a brasilian girl who only clued in who he was once he'd left.

Other celebrities I've spotted since I've gone on annual leave: Boy George (as mentioned before) and Ulrika Jonsson window shopping for specs in Covent Garden (the shop where Johnny Depp usually buys his.)

This gorgeous sunny weekend also involved an unsuccessful trip to Old School Indie, a club night at the venue usually used for Feeling Gloomy (but still run by the same people.) The idea was apparently to do F.G. but with "happier" songs. It was complete rubbish. The DJ played Rolling Stones after The Cure, amongst other barbarities. Bob Dylan is apparently indie too. RUBBISH. And there was nobody there.

While everyone in London was celebrating the athletes parade this afternoon, my boyfriend and I were at the Tate Modern, enjoying the Edvard Munch exhibition.



It's a beautifully put together show on his life work, arranged thematically. I recommend you use the multi-media guide if you visit: it gives you really good commentary on key work as well as an overview of his life and the key historical events of the time.

Sadly, The Scream is not part of the show (maybe they were scared of another attempted theft?) And my only tiny criticism would be that Munch's photos and experiments with film are almost presented as worthy artistic pieces, whereas they are more like studies of themes he was interested in (self-portraits, ghostly bodies, and other things the moving camera made possible for artists at the turn of the 19th century.)

Edit
I forgot to mention another "celebrity" I spotted this weekend... Maeve from Dalston Superstars! She was working behind the counter at the Haggerston and she looked well tired. (Or was there a camera secretly following her around for Season 2?!)
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Leigh Bowery by James Birkbeck
Leigh Bowery, a photo by James Birkbeck on Flickr.
I wrote this huge post this morning about Leigh Bowery, Romo music in the 90s, the band Minty, going to see Boy George's musical "Taboo" last night with [livejournal.com profile] naturalbornkaos, getting inside a party with him for the launch of Grand Marnier's brand experience The Bubble and much more... then bloody Flickr ate my post! I lost everything.

Don't know if I can be bothered to write it again. Here's a photo of Grand Marnier's Bubble on the roof of the Brixton Clubhouse (which also houses "Taboo".) The sun is about to set and [livejournal.com profile] naturalbornkaos and I are inside it with bloggers and party hostesses, being filmed and getting tipsy on free cocktail drinks:



I don't like musicals and "Taboo" didn't really change my mind. It was nice to see Boy George so close (he introduced it and explained that it was just a dress rehearsal and things might go wrong) and spot the 80s references on stage (no wonder the musical bombed in the US - it's so English-centric.)

The guy who played Leigh Bowery stole the show. Was surprised to learn later that it's a contestant from The Voice UK!

Plans to visit Hampstead's Ponds today have been scuppered. Might do it Monday or Tuesday if weather allows. Latest plan is to visit Edvard Munch's exhibition at the Tate and do the whole shebang: full price entry, electronic guided tour, cappuccino in the bar.


Sob Story

Jan. 29th, 2012 04:06 pm
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Oliver TwistOliver Twist by Charles Dickens

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I heard a critic once compare Stephen King and Jackie Collins to Charles Dickens. This critic wondered which of today's current popular authors would survive the centuries and still be read in the future. I didn't understand the comparison at the time because in my mind Jackie and Stephen appeal to people who want a quick thrill without the danger of having to think too hard. I thought Dickens' novels were classic because there was more to them than their soap opera plot lines. But this was before I read my first Charles Dickens novel - this one.

The sentimentality in this novel is so sickly sweet that it's very hard for a modern reader to sympathise with Oliver or any of the other heroes. All the children in the story, including Oliver, are little men in thoughts, words and looks - even down to the original illustrations by George Cruikshank. This is more believable in the Artful Dodger and his gang because they live very adult lives as thieves on London's streets, but with Oliver it comes across as a pleading, whiny, goody goody personality that grates.

My boyfriend pointed out how all productions of Oliver Twist throughout the years have tried to invest some humanity into Fagin, some light. There's none of that in the original creation - he's a repellent villain with no redeeming features. But does that mean that Dickens was antisemitic? Some of the Christian characters are evil too (especially the ones entrusted with orphan children) but at least they are counterbalanced by the goodhearted ones that save Oliver. The Jews that work with Fagin though are just as evil as him, which is a problem in the novel I think.

Dickens used Oliver Twist to raise public awareness of exploited children in his time and even went on to defend the creation of asylums for prostitutes (thus the reason for Nancy's existence in the novel.) I've also heard that Dickens loved walking around London and it was through these walks that he conjured his stories. This comes through beautifully in the novel and is its saving grace - the city's riches and poverty are perfectly captured by his prose.

View all my reviews
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I was by the photocopier this morning when one of the directors came up to me and asked how I was doing.  Fine and you? I replied. "So I hear you are the best temp we have ever had," she said. That made me stumble. Really? I mumbled something about this being a quiet time and my luck at not having many tasks to deal with.  It made me feel so good about myself the rest of the day.

Then this night I thought, maybe she says this to all temps?  Not that she doesn't mean it, but, as a very cunning woman (as most women are) she noticed I was a little too quiet, a little too set in keeping one foot out of the door, and this was her way of lifting me up and making me feel more part of the team (as all temps before me?)  Women are smart creatures...

I went to Boddington Café for lunch with colleagues.  It apparently used to be a squat ages ago before being turned into a very affordable vegetarian/vegan restaurant.  It was delicious, with a great atmosphere. Highly recommended if you are in the Vauxhall area.

On Sunday, I met old colleagues from King's College for brunch at Soho Townhouse. A bit too expensive for my taste but the breakfast was good.  Rupert Everett was sitting in one corner with a pair of good looking (gay) men.  One of my friends thought she spotted Billy Zane with his parents, but I had a look and I'm not convinced it was him.

On Saturday, I hung out with [livejournal.com profile] loveinsuburbia, [livejournal.com profile] neenaw and [livejournal.com profile] king_prawn at the Pig Ear's Beer and Cider Festival, in Hackney. It was interesting. Our sport was to sit in the second floor circle and try to spot gay people in the crowd.  Later, I went back to Flapping Central and drank some more, ate some dodgy pizza (I swear I'm never eating spicy chicken takeaway EVER AGAIN), and talked back at the X Factor.  Flapping Central's wi-fi is called Scrotum.

My Bubus

Nov. 22nd, 2011 08:40 pm
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beauty after rembrant by Aquini
beauty after rembrant, a photo by Aquini on Flickr.
A few days ago Kelly Rowland told me she'd like to visit my mom's guesthouse in Brasil with her boyfriend.

'Are you sure Kelly?' I asked.

'I'm sure bubu,' she said with a slight smile. I explained to her how my mom would arrange for a driver to pick her up at her hotel in São Paulo then drive them for two hours until they reached the guesthouse. The room at the guesthouse would be smaller to what she was used to, but the views were fantastic.

When I told my mom Kelly Rowland was flying down, she asked 'Who?' 'Kelly Rowland!' I said. 'And get the camera ready to take loads of photos so we can then promote her visit afterwards and get more guests.'

Later, I was hanging out with Madonna and two friends of mine when the subject of music reared its head. 'What's your favourite music at the moment?' I asked Madonna, who kept flitting back and forth in the TV room, unable to sit still. 'Treme,' she replied.

'Treme? That's Sinead O'Connor's favourite too!' I said but Madonna was not impressed. She'd heard some negative things about Sinead.

'Sinead is lovely,' I promised to Madonna, and my friends agreed. 'Honestly, you should get to know her a little better.'

When Madonna turned her back, I asked my friends if I should log onto Facebook and check in "with" Madonna. They laughed and I realised I didn't know their names.
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i said i love the smiths by 266aline
i said i love the smiths, a photo by 266aline on Flickr.
Morrissey is for life, not just for Christmas. I liken being a Moz fan to finding yourself in an intense relationship with someone you totally fancy and adore, but who is just a teeny bit embarrassing when you take them down the pub to meet your mates. You don't stop loving them, but every time you go out together you say a silent prayer hoping they won't do or say anything too weird.


Amy Lamé: Morrissey - Our Collective Moral Barometer
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Valley of the DollsValley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The original bonkbuster. The novel guilty of Jackie Collins, Danielle Steel and Sydney Sheldon's existence. Perhaps, even, the original beach holiday read. Valley of the Dolls has it all, including a lot of kitschy one-liners and bitch fights that make Dynasty look positively Shakespearean.

Three beautiful women climb the Mount Everest of fame and success, aided along the way by dolls, colourful little pills that help you sleep or get through the day when your career as the world's greatest singer/model/actress gets too much. Starting at the end of World War II and spanning that period to the end of the sixties (when the novel was written), it has a tone of authority as to the goings on in the show business world, glazed with that veneer now seen on the TV series Mad Men. The characters' barbiturate addiction made me think of Judy Garland and Elvis Presley, and their deaths; the philandering studs, of Warren Beatty; and the closeted gay actor, Rock Hudson. This sort of story would later become Jackie Collins' main selling schtick as she told interviewers that her novels were based on Hollywood's secret underbelly.

What makes this a cult classic that rises above its imitators - aside from the unintentional comedy - is the sour taste it leaves behind after the last page is turned over.

View all my reviews
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Morrissey by etchasketchist
Morrissey, a photo by etchasketchist on Flickr.
There's some mild debate going on as to whether this website and this Twitter account are run by Morrissey.

He released an official statement saying that it wasn't him... however, there's some good evidence that it's actually him, as someone mentioned, hiding behind this meta-persona that sends himself up.

If it's not him, the person has access to as-yet-unpublished chapters from his autobiography coming out in 2012 and is a very good imitator. If IT IS him, he's got a lot of spare time on his hands. Plus, I'll be mad chuffed knowing that I got a retweet from him to his 2,000+ followers!

Apparently, it's popular to film your children singing or dancing to the Smiths/Morrissey.


Big Mouth

Aug. 4th, 2011 02:00 pm
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This is a little late but I feel like I want to put down my two pence regarding what Morrissey said about the recent massacre in Norway:

"We all live in a murderous world, as the events in Norway have shown, with 97 dead. Though that is nothing compared to what happens in McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Shit every day."

Coming so soon after what happened, it was a grossly insensitive thing to say, even for Morrissey's standards (if anyone remembers his recent comments about the Chinese being a "subspecies" because of the way they treat animals.)

It was reported that Morrissey chose to stick to his guns and had no further comments, but the general disgust made him issue this statement a few days later:

"The recent killings in Norway were horrific. As usual in such cases, the media give the killer exactly what he wants: worldwide fame. We aren't told the names of the people who were killed - almost as if they are not considered to be important enough, yet the media frenzy to turn the killer into a Jack The Ripper star is .... repulsive. He should be un-named, not photographed, and quietly led away.
The comment I made onstage at Warsaw could be further explained this way: Millions of beings are routinely murdered every single day in order to fund profits for McDonalds and KFCruelty, but because these murders are protected by laws, we are asked to feel indifferent about the killings, and to not even dare question them.
If you quite rightly feel horrified at the Norway killings, then it surely naturally follows that you feel horror at the murder of ANY innocent being. You cannot ignore animal suffering simply because animals "are not us."

Most of you know that I'm a fan of Morrissey's and he's mentioned here a lot (and his song titles used as tags.) I don't want to defend him, but I feel like I need to understand. The person he is now is so different from who he was before - crass words, lack of sympathy, lack of wit. What happened?

Morrissey's personality was shaped by the punk movement and its uncompromising attitude to the media and the world. He was in the audience when the Sex Pistols played their first gig and he worshipped Patti Smith and the New York Dolls. His aesthetic has always been un-PC, though ambiguous and playful. It fit well in the 80s and made his fortune. Nowadays though he's too direct with his words, lacking in humour. We know who he hates, we have no clue if he loves.

Context is everything. The whole story about him being anti-immigration, racist: he championed Echobelly in the 90s (Britpop band fronted by a British Asian singer with lyrics about racism in the UK); he allowed a band made up of illegal immigrants to do a cover of "The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get" (but don't try to Google for information on this band because it's strangely not available anywhere); and he's issued statements against racism and helped fund a concert against the BNP/EDL. But those are not the stories we hear in the media or stick in the mind of those that don't like him.  To most people he's a dickhead with some racist tendencies.

Did Morrissey say some shit that he regrets and doesn't stand by anymore? Very likely! But why has he lost his way with words and seems to put his foot in it so often these days? (I didn't even listen to his recent interview with Dermot O'Leary because it was apparently cringeworthy.)

In his last album he sang about using anti-depressants and this made me think of family members I have who are on Prozac and the way they have become insensitive to the world. Dealing with them is so difficult because they can't understand why their words would be hurtful - they are chemically numbed to the pain of others (but perhaps not to whatever ideology they stand by, like Morrissey's "vegetarianism".) For someone like Morrissey, already a misanthrope searching for a little hope, it must mean that all the barriers have been erased. The poetry is lost, the songs all sound alike and we get nothing but a has-been making a spectacle of himself.

I think it's time for him to stop. Perhaps concentrate on writing books (he has an autobiography coming out soon, apparently). Stop now before all that was built before is completely destroyed.
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————— Forwarded message —————
From: [redacted]
Date: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 11:24 PM
Subject: I meet Quentin Tarantino, hilarity ensues
To: [redcated]
Attachments: 1 [Ed: See above image]

Friendsicles,

You are either getting this e-mail because I’ve promised I would tellyou this story and haven’t yet, you’re besties with someone I used to hook up with, or because my need for attention and adulation has reached such an all time high that I decided to pick 15 of you at random to listen to this story (most likely explanation), but all the same, below is the (in)famous but true story of how I met Quentin Tarantino… [redacted] and [redacted], I’ll be expecting your short film script of this in my inbox in the next couple of weeks…

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011:

Get a BBM at 8 in the morning from my friend [redacted] telling me we’re going to a party in “the Hills” that night because the Yankees were in town. But this party now presents a conundrum as a) I didn’t know people partied on Wednesdays because I’m uncool and b) I had just run out of clean underwear and hadn’t shaved my legs in three days, so I wasn’t really in a “party” sort of place. (what’s that you say? You’re surprised I’m single?) However, after being told to grow a pair, I decided to join the girls after work for this fiesta.

Read more... )

Buddy

Jun. 14th, 2011 10:02 pm
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What a happy discovery! Wink shared with me that Scott Thompson has a new site and podcast! I'm listening to it right now and it's pretty funny: http://newscottland.com/

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Foxy Jones

May. 31st, 2011 08:18 am
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Do foxes eat cats? On Saturday night, on the way home from a pub north of Victoria Park, we spotted a ragged fox in a front garden. It stood right behind a fluffy black cat that didn't seem aware of it. Both looked at us with glassy eyes before the fox leapt into the bushes and disappeared. The cat never moved its eyes from us. Was it about to be killed?

Sunday night, our friend T shared with us his memories of living in New York in the late 70s. He remembered seeing Grace Jones play her first gig, before she was known or had her first record out ("Portfolio"). T saw a picture of her in the Village Voice advertising her gig, dressed in a vintage look that reminded him of Billie Holiday. Off he went with a friend to the gig, a train ride to the middle of nowhere followed by a walk across a busy highway before they reached the disco she was performing in.

Her voice was flat but it was undeniable she had star quality. She changed costumes after every song (she still does it today), had two Muscle Mary's accompanying her on stage and performed the final song in a bridal dress with S&M gear underneath.


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