My tummy hurts all the time at the moment. No longer is it purely a response to dairy goods. My doctor said something about gall stones or something but I am now convinced I have bowel cancer. It's all the fault of the Cancer Research UK briefing I got sent on at work, where we got told this story about this twenty something guy who had a tummy ache and it turned out to be bowel cancer. I'm not usually a hypochondriac but since my entire family had bowel cancer (two of my aunts, and my granddad had part of his bowel removed and had a colostomy bag half his life) I am not convinced by my doctors mumblings of "probably just indigestion". That's what case study guy thought too! I try to laugh it off, but I'm definitely rotten on the inside.
I'm chilling out before bed with Neil Young, who I had forgotten that I loved until I went to the East End Thrift Store on Sunday and they were playing his greatest hits. I heart him.
In more music news, a guy started talking to me, quite unprovoked, about Bob Dylan. Dylan's okay. I'm not a fan. He's a bit like the Beatles in that you're supposed to think he's a genius, and that if you admit you find his voice a bit grating and his songs a little uninspiring you are automatically reviled as knowing nothing whatsoever about music. I like some Dylan songs. He's alright. I think Dylan never really got a fair shot with me, as so many of the Dylan fans I met at university are hugely pretentious wankers who use Dylan as an opportunity to show you how a)deep they are and b) how much more they know about music than you.
As a counter balance to how much I hate my job (muso guy in the office, you are not helping), I actually love living in Bethnal Green at the moment. It's not perfect, but my flat is lovely. It's cosy and, yes, the size of a shoebox, but it's very cute. And Bethan is easy to live with (I am only occasionally struck by a crippling fear that I am the worse housemate in the world ever and somehow this manifests in being even more annoying than ever as I try, with unfunny, potentially offensive jokes, to find out if she really hates me. But no one's perfect). And we have some nice little rituals. Like Sunday brunch at the greasy spoon, which is a relatively new tradition, but one that I thoroughly enjoy. Especially when hungover. And this is often followed up by some pottering about the east end. Like last Sunday's visit to the amazing East End Thrift Store in Whitechapel where Bethan, Jo and I stocked up on vintage winterwear (I got two jumpers for £20, which makes me a bit more confident about the suddenly freezing weather). I also went to the Vicky Park fireworks and had a pint after in the Misty Moon, which is nearly the closest pub to my flat (it was chosen over the trendier boozers on the merit of being nearly empty).
Maybe this is all just yet more proof that you can't have it all together. One part of your life is great, another is rubbish, and that's the way of the world. It's like the Chucklebrothers intro. You pick up one letter and another letter falls over. To me...
Heh, I just saw someone on a House notice board saying they saw a bit of Jeeves and Wooster and loved it, but that guy who played Jeeves was pretty good too, it's a shame he hasn't made it like Hugh Laurie has. He should get his own show! Bless. Poor Stephen Fry. Apparently getting your own show and becoming a household name in the UK doesn't count as "making it"...
I watched the second episode of No Heroics tonight (after I got in fromn work at half nine- YAWN) and nearly cried laughing. If you haven't seen it yet, I would really recommend it, especially to fans of Spaced who are missing a decent piece of geeky comedy on British TV. It's an ITV2 sitcom, but don't let that put you off. Based around four superheroes in a world where superheroes are the norm... Alex (The Hotness) is a pathetic excuse for a superhero who is constantly getting the piss ripped out of him by his ex-girlfriend Sarah (Electroclash) who uses her ability to control machines to mostly get free fags out of the pub vending machines. Sarah's best friend is the sweet and downtrodden Jenny (She-Force). The group is completed by Don (Timebomb) who can see sixty seconds into the future, and is hot, gay, Spanish and a bit psycho.*
The Spacedean aspect of the show is not just in the comedy, or the premise of four friends who are torn between wanting to succeed in life and wanting to get another round in, but in the sheer geekiness. Anyone with any love for comic books, EVER, will be astounded by the geeky references that are crammed into every episode. The central location is a pub for off-duty superheroes (who all wear suits, because what else do off-duty superheroes wear?) is called The Fortress after Superman's Fortress of Solitude. The bottles of spirits over the bar include Gin City, V for Vodka and Logan's Rum. If beer is more your thing, order a bottle of Shazamstell.
Seriously. It's geek pun-tastic. And piss-myself-laughing funny.
</i>*I mention this because this is a sitcom made for ITV2 that has a main character who is gay. And not in a reinforcing unhelpful gay stereotypes way. Hurrah!
I have had two spider situations in 24hours. Last night I can home to find a sizeable spider on the ceiling. Spider phobics will know that on the ceiling is the least manageable situation. I am solo in the flat. Spider is on the floor. I can trap it under a (big) glass and with much huffing and panting and crying and wailing and shaking, I can probably get rid of it, or at least move it out of my room. Wall, I may be able to hit it with a shoe and run (I hate killing them but sometimes it is, as a last resort, neccessary. It's them or me, people, and I like me better). Ceiling, and you have to tackle it from below. Which means potential for droppage. Which means, it could fall onto ME. Which is NOT GOOD.
Eventually, with much coaching and the fear that if I lost it in my room I would never be able to sleep in here again, I hit it with a sponge mop (decent firm, flat surface, plus long handle for drop avoidance) until it was dead and stuck to said mop. Then I left it in Bethan's room for her to deal with when she got back, long suffering flat mate that she is.
Then, of course, all last night I couldn't sleep. I felt like it was on me. Every over-tired black spot in my vision made me jump out of my skin. I actually sat bolt up right at 3am, scratching at myself all over, convinced a spider was on me.
Yes, I am a crazy person.
Then this evening I only find a dead one in the middle of my floor! The suspicion is that the cat brought it in (I'm STILL cat sitting) as why would a spider walk into the middle of my floor and die? In a ten minute window when I wasn't in there? Unlikely. So it probably didn't come from my room (it was a body dump. A secondary crime scene, if you will. I am a crazy person but I'm still a dork).
But now I'm all paranoid again! So this'll be another sweaty, wrestless night of many-legged nightmares and periodically waking up to switch on the light and check for spiders.
I really fucking HATE being an arachnophobic. The panic attacks are horrible (crying, hyperventilating, shaking uncontrollably) but they're followed by intense paranoia, and usually, humiliation. "Don't be silly, it's only a spider! It's so small it can't hurt you!" I KNOW. STOP PATRONISING ME. Clearly, if being obnoxious was going to help, I wouldn't be screaming and crying. Thankfully, Bethan is absolutely lovely about it, and always reassured me that it's an irrational fear, and that I don't need to be embarrassed... In fact a lot of people now are much nicer to me about it. It's probably down to the sheer levels of terror I go to.
I want hypnotherapy. Seriously. I'm going to save up.
I'm catsitting at the moment for a friend who has gone to Sicilly to get married. Anyway, the cat is adorable, a sort of ragdoll thing called Edith, with a chirrupy little meaow and a fondness for having her belly tickled.
Only problem is, she hasn't been spayed. And so, instead of ejoying a nice cuddle, she wiggles her rump, howls, and uh, drips. It's really, really gross. Bless her, it's not her fault her owners don't love her enough to get her done, but it's so icky! I have instilled the rule that "fruity time" happens on the floor, and not on any of my soft furnishings but still! ICK.
I other news, it looks likely that I will soon be returning to the world of the call centre. This time not cold calling for conservatories, but following up warm leads (telesales speak for "you once gave us your details, more fool you") for various charities. So hopefully I'll get sworn at less. It's flexible hours so I can maybe do some interning and stuff or just do it full time to earn as much money as I can until I can get a real job. They only make you commit to three months and fourteen hours a week, minimum. So even if I get something better in less than three months, I can fit fourteen hours in around that, during the evenings or the weekends, if I have to.
Whatever. It'll probably suck, but I can't sit about, appling for jobs and never hearing, without end. My overdraft can no longer take it. I need some money, stat.
The Bechdel-Wallace test
is a measure of how inclusive a film is to women. After a post in which wheeler
considers how many of the IMDB's top 25 films would pass the test, which requires the following:
1) That there are at least two named female characters,
2) Who talk to each other,
3) About something besides a man
I scanned my DVD collection for films that might pass. I have a lot of films that would definitely NOT pass, so I was only looking to really test the ones that I love, and figured might have a chance of fulfilling the criteria.
1) Shaun of the Dead- I think it fails. Liz and Diane talk about Shaun and David, Liz and Barbara talk about Shaun... nada. Only conversations about men, as far as I can remember.
2) Lost In Translation- One of my favourite films, and it fails. Charlotte does have a phone conversation with her sister, who we never see, but I'm not convinced this counts, if I'm being strict. Her sister isn't a character who appears in the film, after all.
3) Snakes on a Plane- The female flight attendants talk about lots of stuff that's not men. Like passengers, and the FBI, and snakes. I think this probably passes.
4) The Royal Tenenbaums- Passes. Margot and Ethel have at least one conversation, when Margot is in the bath and Ethel is telling her that she might electrocute herself. Oh, and when Ethel tells Margot to quit smoking. Hurrah!
5) Serenity- I cannot, definitively say, that the film has a conversation purely between female characters that isn't about men. I will have to re-watch it to be sure...
6) Stranger than Fiction- Passes! Karen Eiffel and Penny Escher (Emma Thompson and Queen Latifah) talk all the time about Karen's writing and general state of mind. Yay!
So out of these six films I thought WOULD pass, only three definitely do. Eeps. How do your favourite films fare?
Also, a quick look at the films I've seen recently. Hellyboy 2
fail. The Dark Knight
might scrape a pass on the strength of a phone conversation between Rachel and Detective Ramirez, and Baby Mama
passes because the two female leads talk a lot about babies and stuff. A fifty-fifty split there too!
I had a really ace weekend. On Saturday was Alice's birthday, and we saw The Dark Knight which I loved, despite it being LONG. Then Sunday I went sailing with my parents.
My dad co-owns a 27ft yacht with my cousin, and they recently moved it to a new, swanky mariner in Ipswich. In the five or so years they've had it, my mum has been out on it ONCE. I have been out a few times, maybe ten? Yeah, we're not big sailors. My mum doesn't take well to my dad yelling instructions at her (sailing appears to involve a lot of nothing and then ten minutes of intense action) and I get very seasick. Luckily Sunday was gloriously sunny, ridiculously hot, and devoid of anything but a light breeze. The heat was almost unbearable when we were just sitting in the mariner, but out on the river it was lovely, that soul-warming combination of intense heat and relieving breeze. That's my perfect weather right there.
Anyway, my dad's new mariner has a lock, so we sailing in to it with my dad on the helm, and me doing the jumping to the pontoon and mooring up parts, with my mum responsible only for throwing me the bow lines. Similarly, when we were catching a mooring buoy further down the river so we could stop for lunch, it was my job to use the big hook-on-a-stick thing to fish for the buoy and make it fast to the bow cleat thingy. Check my technical jargon.
It was super fun! I love scampering around on deck, hanging over the side from the stays and throwing myself at pontoons with a mooring rope in hand. I also do a mean Kate Winslet impression from the bow.
On the way back the wind got up a bit more, so we were able to abandon the motor and used the jib to sail back up river (there was no point getting out the mainsail as it's way too hard to use with my mum getting in the way all the time! Tacking is a nightmare with landlubbers getting in the way of the boom, so I'm told...) so I got to haul on some relevant ropes and feel very much like a salty sea-dog.
The lock was open on the way back, it being high tide and all, so mum and I just lounged on the deck while we sailed through... As we approached the lock keeper played "Here come the girls" (you know, the song currently being abused by Boots ads) ridiculously loud and saluted us from his little cabin. So we got a pretty warm welcome back into the mariner!
Dad and my cousin and some of their friends are going on a five day sail starting at the end of this week. They are planning on heading to Ramsgate but if there's a better wind there was talk of crossing the Channel... I would totally love to a be a sailor if I didn't get so seasick! My dad always talks about the freedom of owning a boat, and how having a busy job and a family who depend on you can get so stressful, that it's nice to feel like you've escaped. Which I totally get.
Dad's not convinced by his new mariner though. It's full of people who own swanky motor boats and like the yachty image a bit too much. He misses his old mariner, which was full of grizzled old sea-dogs with wooden yachts they clearly give far more attention than themselves, or divorced guys living on boats named things like The Starfish Enterprise who owned three-legged dogs and spent all day sanding and antifouling things and drinking. He aspires to being a grizzled old sea-dog.
My building is so lovely. I woke up this morning to the sound of the woman in the flat downstairs screaming "shut up! Shut up, or I'll ring your fucking neck!" to a crying child, over and over again. Strangely enough, everytime she screamed it, the kid sobbed louder. Eventually she must have just done it, because it went quiet, and I haven't heard a peep out of them since.
Which is nice.
Last week she was screaming "shut your fucking face you fucking whore!" to the same background of sobbing. I've seen her kids. The girl is about seven and the boy is maybe four.
Don't worry though. There mother is "disabled", as in "so fat her knees hurt when she tries to walk." So I imagine as long as they don't get backed into a corner, she's pretty easy to outrun.
Gargh. This week has been very unproductive, mostly because I spent last week cat-sitting in St A while my parents were on holiday (thus doing nothing) and now I'm in London again where I keep filling my evenings with stuff, but wasting my days languishing in the heat of my oven-like flat and watching Battlestar Gallactica
for the first time.
-to get a job
-to do some housework
-to finish watching season 2 of BSG and Dexter
-to get a job without having to get up and leave the house.
Instead I shall ignore my complete lack of motivation and tell you that I saw Murder By Death
at the Borderline Tuesday night and they were amazing... If I could earn a living getting horrible (and yet weirdly liberating-ly) sweaty while watching equally sweating men writhe about singing songs about whisky and drinking yourself to death and then back to life again... I would be happy.
Other things that make me happy are:
-Dr Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog
-my current read, Georgette Heyer's Arabella
. It's ace, in a snarky Regency way.
What's not amusing me is the fact that I am waiting to hear about this job I freelanced at... They're interviewing some people internally and I should find out this week but I haven't heard anything yet and now I'm terrified they wont hire me.
Also, I need to do some washing but I only ever remember this fact when Bethan has just put a load on. I suck real bad.
I am doing the Big Read book meme because I need to chill out before bed, and I can't stare blankly at the TV like usual because Bethan has a boy over (really!) and they are watching a film. So I'll do this, then read a bit. Then sleep. Ace.
I got to get up really early tomorrow for a day trip to Manchester for this freelancing gig... Anyways, here goes.
The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed. Well let's see.
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who've only read 6 and force books upon them ;-)( Read more...Collapse )
ETA: Fixed the broken coding. Hurrah! I haven't read and loved everything from like, halfway down...