Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Identity theft, apt songs, & other bits of nonesense

Identity theft & bad credit rating goes hand in hand, although we all
know that they are not mutually exclusive. As of 2nd June, check your credit rating
for free on: www.annualcreditreport.co.uk

As everyone knows, it's our right to have access to these files under Data Protection,
but how many of us do? (found in Saturday's Independent)

Random lyrics for the day:

"Why do cupids and angels

continually haunt her dreams

like memories of another life

is painted on her shirt in capital

out on the free free way

there's only she an the they

represented by the lights

we went to the store and bought something great

which samples this song from washington state

go

go little record go

it is named by

some guy named joe

and the words

are the letters of the words

said

electrically played

for outer space and those of they who paid

this song is twice ocurred

and now its time to go

away on holiday."
- Pixies: "Trompe le Monde"

The First of the So-Called Summer Colds

My heart is slowly breaking, and I can't even listen to Cat Stevens "Wild World" ever since some Czech bastard ruined it for me. I was having a blue moment when he decides to play footage of the WTC towers being slammed by planes with the song as a backdrop. "Isn't that genius?" he asked before looking at my face. "Oh, I'll turn it off," he said registering my utter shock and dismay. This past weekend I've lost my skirt to the sea, my boyfriend to the inevitable tide of events, and a fair chunk of money to my stupidity. However, I still have that warm glow of inner satisfaction at knowing I got a total of...wait for this...8 pieces into various writing competitions for the month of May. However, it's 6am, I can't fall back to sleep and the shitty cold weather has caused me to develop a cold/sore throat. Welcome to summer? Despite not having any plans for the bank holiday weekend, I ended up having fun, hitting both a Slackers nite and Adam Freeland at the Ocean Rooms. I swam in the sea. I finished my first rough edit of the homeless project. I received several humorous emails from my mom and various people that made me laugh out loud. Now that I have even more free time to focus on my own destiny, etc, I'm not really sure what to do with myself apart from chugging along with the novel and vague ideas of getting on with this film project using my Super 8 camera. Dunno about that. I'm sure something will come up. On an interesting and bizarre note, last night my housemates took photos for protoPLAY's marketing material for their show in June at the Fringe. Five of us, completely naked, pressing our bodies against a large glass window in the conservatory in various positions. There's one of just the guys that looks like they're having an orgy. The pictures are absolutely hilarious. I will def be putting a few up on the houseblog - link to follow. Needless to say, there was a lot of laughter involved. A/because it was cold despite a fan heater being on, but B/the pictures are surreal and people kept falling off, farting, etc. I'm a fairly modest person, but after performing completely naked with Non Grata last autumn and posing for a friend's painting also nude, I've discovered I have a strange capacity for stripping off in the name of art. Oh, and jumping into the sea on a drunken whim. Anyone find a lime green skirt with purple triangles, that's mine!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Moan

I'm not a happy bunny today. I've seemed to have ruined everything I've touched in the past 144 hours, not to mention a mindless photocopying task on Friday, which pissed off my co-worker. The Chinese volunteer who doesn't even speak English didn't manage to botch up the mailing the way I did. My ONLY consolation was that I didn't frank the envelopes for £4.44 like some of my colleagues did. Oops. To err is human, I guess. Essex-boy and I have had a stormy week, and most nights he spent on his colleague's sofa, which I guess meant I had the bed to myself. We've been doing each other's heads in and not managing to see eye to eye. It's a critical time and I'm not sure which way the wind will blow. For me, things feel as precarious as a house of cards. Relationships are never perfect, and ours has certainly been fraught due to a fundamental difference in temperaments (note the temper in that word) and personalities. You do drive the person you most love crazy, but how much craziness is acceptable and how much of it is the point where you say "I've had enough"? Besides that drama, I had a relatively good week. I set up a spreadsheet listing all of the writing competitions and publication deadlines per month. I also managed to send 6 stories for the 31st May deadline, which is an all-time first for me. Organised? It might become my middle name. So writing is up; money and love life are down. I need to stop chain-smoking or else my tobacco stock will also follow suit. Annoyingly, I had my passport application returned for a second time. Jesus christ. This is always the way when I have to deal with the Home Office. They didn't even return my passport photos. I guess the light at the end of the tunnel is the fact that I found out I can apply for dual nationality. The thought of it makes me happy, but the realisation that it's going to be another fun-filled bureaucratic nightmare makes me cringe. You've all received notification that I have a new piece on Brighton Fusion. Yes, after months of talking the talk, I've finally gotten off my lazy ass and wrote something. I've been busy - honestly! I hope the dust settles soon and I can return my ever-sharpened mind back to Novel #2. I need some sort of miracle, actually. If anyone finds one on e-bay, let me know. PS Hope you like the dog. My friend found it, and I've taken it in as my own.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Lunch at Roberts

(pics to follow) After being a reclusive workaholic on Friday & Saturday, I ventured a little uneasily towards Brighton on Saturday night. Stopped at the Permanent Gallery to see protoPLAY's performance. To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure how much of a mood I was in to sit down for 1.5 hours and take in ANYTHING. Protoplay is partly made up of 5 of my housemates; they're a performance art group, and I've been slightly involved, helping them to set up as an independent arts group. I like their work. But tonight, I was stressed. Essex boy kept calling to arrange to meet up at the show, then decided he didn't want to go. My friend Si, who I was meeting at 9, kept sending me obscure texts and I was running late as it was. Feeling out-of-body, out-of-place, I suddenly spot 3 of my housemates standing on the corner of Western Road (nr Kambis) wearing white body suits, masks & doing something strange. I hustle across the street and make my way up the stairs into Permanent Gallery, a shoe-box sized space. And there, standing at the entrance, I suddenly find myself faced with the entire room looking at me. They're all wearing Carol Smiley masks, the same white suits and I AM SO FREAKED OUT I HAVE NO IDEA WHO ANYONE IS. Tv screens, walkie talkies, loads of bodies and I've soon donned a white suit as well. We all look like we're at a site of a nuclear fall-out or about to remove asbestos. The group on the corner accost passer-byers - we're asked to vote whether to invite them in via the close-circuit tv. "Yay!" everyone shouts. Some people flee, too frightened at what they might find in the gallery (us?). Some decide to join us, already pissed from an afternoon of drinking and wondering what the hell is going on. The most frequent question of the evening was: "So, did you get pulled off the street too?" Stephen, one of my housemates, tricks me twice into thinking he's someone else and the third person to approach me I accost a hundred times thinking he's Steve when he's not. It was a weird but exhilaratingly fun evening. I met lots of new people. I jumped around and touched my left cheek with my right hand. And by the time "last orders" were called - the final instruction to take off our costumes, I was sorely disappointed that the fun was over. Check out some of the photos here. The rest of the night was a confused drunken mess. On the one hand, I carried a sign that read: "Sit down and talk about the weather" and commanded audiences wherever I went. On the other hand, I got into a fight and went home, crying and having the taxi driver consoling me that all men were scum. The next day, however, I woke up feeling...okay. Took the train up to Oxford, had lunch with Robert, Emily & Matt. Cava, fishcakes and aspargus, followed by spaghetti with mussels. Em's rhubarb crumble for desert, along with port, cheese and crackers. Happily woken up shortly before I arrive at Gatwick by a phone call from Maria in New York. It was a great catch up, even if there were security swarming the train platform, machine guns in tote. Scary.
Pic 1: Robert looking gorgeous on the left, me looking like a stuffed ardvark on the right. Pic 2: A rare photo opportunity. Em on the left, Matt on the right.
ps: I've just discovered preview. So dumb.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The real Bush family

The "other" George W. Bush - the 19th African pioneer http://www.historylink.org/essays/output.cfm?file_id=5646

Espanol

It's Saturday, and I woke up at the shockingly early time of 8am. Essex boy had to get ready for work, I lay in bed being grumpy and telling him to turn off the Cafe del Mar bullshit, probably if only to see if I could get my way. "It's my computer," I argued. "Amy, you're a 31 year old woman. You're not a child." Fair point. I received an email from my mom, which cheered me up. She wanted to know if we had Dillard's department store in the UK. I told her no. The past few days I've been chatting to my friend Kieran on Google's equivalent of msn and we've been conversing entirely in Spanish. It's great - it's like getting an online tutorial in Spanish. My Spanish gets rusty living in the UK, with fluency rapidly picking up speed if I'm in hot weather latin countries or if I'm drunk. A few words I've learned or knew but didn't really "know":
  • uey = dude
  • pinche = bloody
  • o chido = cool
  • estoy a punto de estar borracho = I'm about to get drunk
I feel caffinated and motivated to push on with the novel today, so that's what I aim to do. Last night's mission of AVOIDING CLUBS AT ALL COSTS because I ALWAYS SPEND TOO MUCH MONEY worked. Felt pretty lame, but at least I had the nice (but insane) people in my house who shared some booze with me. I can't believe I'm writing this, but thank god for housemates. We had a wobbly moment last night. KW and I were pretending we could afford to buy a plasma screen tv. In this imaginary world, we put the very large screen tv in the conservatory, got the super duper cable package from SKY and right in the middle of this daydream, Orion came in and said "look guys, I don't want to live in a house where people are watching tv all the time in the conservatory". So that was the end of that. KW showed me the SKY deal on his computer and said how affordable it would be if we split it five ways, but I told him I was too broke. And that was the end of that. Here are some funny pictures. They're from the trip in the States. Don't know what reminded me of them, but here they are. Picture 1: This is me and my crazy cousin Armand. He's a hiphop DJ who was born in Germany, but duh, he's obviously Mexican. He's a good rapper as well, but it seems he spends most of his time being on the scene and knowing *everyone*. It pays to have a well-connected cuz though. Cheap drinks all night, free entry and someone to watch my back when those evil Mexican bitches wanted to knife me. He needs to sort out his dealer though. Picture 2: Check this motherfucker out. Isn't he cool? As we made our speedy cruise down 6th Street, Essex boy insisted on getting his picture taken of all the strange American people we encountered. This guy was exemplary. Need I explain? His name was Dave and he was a taxidermist for a living. Bored of Blogger and my random broadband connection. Maybe more picture if I feel like it. I can recognise a stupid form of procrastination when I see one. Like this. Adios muchachos & cabrones.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Chewed up by the machine & smoking fag ends

I hate my computer. It's official. Not only did it eat up my last post, but it's slow, crap, and even when I speak to it lovingly, it still fucks me over. However, I did prop up my monitor on a biblically-thick handbook I got from an old job and it's stopped that constant flickering that was about to send me over the bend. I just finished reading In the Miso Soup, by the Japanese writer Ryu Murakami. The quote from the Guardian on the front cover read: "Reads like the script notes forAmerican Psycho - the Holiday Abroad", and I knew it's pushed my friend's literary taste into the horror genre, so I was expecting a big dollop of ultra-violence and non-stop grim ripping up. This it was not. What we have is a likeable narrator, Kenji, a 19-year-old sex tour guide in Tokyo, a man who sees the seedy side of life yet has a sense of ethics. We follow the tale as he takes on American client, Frank, a man with a near mask of a face and a dark taste for murder. Whereas American Psycho bombarded our sensibilities even when he was not torturing call girls and debutantes, In the Miso Soup is a detailed journey into the lingerie clubs, peep shows, and red-light districts in Tokyo. The goriest slasher scene only lasts a few pages and the rest is Kenji's philosophical and interesting insights into loneliness, character, darkness and the latent murderous tendencies in us all. I was a little disappointed - the back of the book cliamed that we, along with Kenji, would descend into an "inferno of evil". Where was it? Did I miss it? However, part of me was relieved. I couldn't stomach a lot of the descriptions of torture in American Psycho & it's not really possible to shut my eyes. But also, maybe I'm a different reader to when I was 19, and perhaps I've grown a little more accustomed to reading things that aren't that palatable. I think not, but if you want a good easy 1 day read, the book's put out by Bloomsbury. Shit - look at the time. Am now descending into the strange world of Toby Litt, who I saw speak on Saturday at Sussex University, where he was speaking on "Fiction vs Film". I bought one of his books Exhibitionism, so he could sign it. When it was my turn to speak where he was holding court, I told him I liked that he slammed the old writing credo "Show don't tell." It's the motto of every writing teacher, and as he put it in his lecture, "It's the guidelines for writers like Hemingway & Carver (Raymond), who were idiots." Ouch! "I'm glad you said it," I told him. "It's been a straightjacket for me recently." We were pushed for time. He'd just signed my book & we were being asked to sit down with the group. Before I fled, he smiled nervously and gave me a direct look. "Whatever you do, don't worry about writing crap." My thoughts exactly. Off to my writer's group. I WILL NOT GET DRUNK TONIGHT. The truth of it is I probably won't (lie). I'm broke til Thursday, which is why I've been smoking fag butts. Sick isn't it?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I've been tagged!

As a precursor for getting on with my writing for the evening, I thought I'd do something *really* stupid: this.
Comment on this entry and I will give you a letter. Write ten words beginning with that letter in your journal, including an explanation what the word means to you and why, and then pass out letters to those who want to play along. My friend, [info]darklyscarlett in New York, tagged me and I must complete the mission. I got an N. A thought has just hit me - oh fuck. What the hell do I like that starts with N????
  1. Noodles - dried, tubular, preferably dry
  2. Nike - just don't do it. People, come on. Really. I still don't understand how there are people in the world who still haven't cottoned on to the fact that these multinationals are pretty fucking evil. Yes, they do exist (the people, I mean).
  3. Nightshade - deadly. Obviously.
  4. Nabil - a person I worked with who was from Bangladesh. A deeply grumpy man with a dry wonderful sense of humour.
  5. New York - forever a love/hate relationship, probably one that will last a life-time. I love the fact that after years of knowing it in so many ways, I still found myself riding down the bus from the Upper East side down and felt as if I could be in Barcelona. Strange, isn't it?
  6. Nails - I chew them. A lot. It's a bad habit I've had since I was a kid and I periodically stop, mainly when I get into the nail salon habit. Last summer I had a beautiful set of nails. Long. Everyone, even beauticians, asked if they were real. Then one day I was playing frisbee on Hove Lawns and one broke. I've lapsed since then. Chewed, dirty, smudges of magenta nail polish and rough cuticles.
  7. Naive - who isn't at some point? Fuck old souls, learning through experience, getting old gracefully, etc. I doubt I will ever experience everything in my own lifetime - why pretend otherwise?
  8. Neon - love it. At night, in the rain, it's magic. One night in Pisa, a place the tour books rubbish, I found myself tripping out on too much grappa, walking over wet cobblestones, neon light reflected over everything.
  9. Nine - why do cats get nine lives? There's something not very many people know the answer to.
  10. Nigiri - is what I always order when I go for sushi. I guess it ain't a bad thing to have sushi on the brain. Nigiri or stamina set. I get really pissed off if the fish isn't fresh and firm enough. Lots of miso soup, plum wine and lots and lots of raw fish. No ginger, maybe not even soy sauce. I like sitting up at the bar, watching the chefs prepare the tuna and picking up plates when I'm feeling greedy. I feel most at home when I go for sushi by myself, even if I am alone. But I do go off it sometimes, so in moderation.
Sorry this wasn't especially profound - N is a hard letter to process. Also I must go! x

Monday, May 01, 2006

slack

It's been an eventful weekend. FC Kahuna at Audio, followed by watching the sunrise and debating all sorts of stupid shit with friends & Dan from FC Kahuna at his hotel room, then being physically impaired all of Saturday. At least I didn't puke when the curry arrived on Saturday night. Now my room smells of onions, it's raining, and I have all of today to do whatever I want. I was supposed to be going to a boot sale in Poynings with my classmates (we're raising money for our research trip to France), but when I took one look outside, I knew it probably wasn't going to happen. Which is a shame because between all of us, we managed to collect loads of stuff to sell. Its 1st of May. I think it means something. The first day of spring? Or just the first day of real rain? Perhaps the latter. Enjoy it. Someplace dry and warm, though.