Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sky One Trailers

Dear Sky One, it's not that your trailers are bad. They're just wrong.

First, we have sixteen trails an hour for Rescue Me. You make it look like Scrubs, but about firemen. Male, topless firemen, who spend all their time wisecracking homoerotically.

Of course I tuned in. But no. Instead it's a heartbreaking drama about alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder, angst, disfigurement and despair, which ends with Dennis Leary soaking himself in vodka and flicking his lighter. Brilliant, but not the show you advertised.

And then, worst of all, are your sponsorship spots for 24. In which a hideous Sloane Ranger in an environment-mashing SUV travels through the "24th Parallel" having heart-warming encounters with ethnic types. Typically:

SLOANE: Gosh! I've run out of petrol! How silly! Can you give me some?
HAPLESS NATIVE smiles awkwardly, then gives her all his petrol.
SLOANE: Wow! That's so great! I really think we connected!
SLOANE roars away in her SUV, leaving HAPLESS NATIVE to walk the 12 miles home.

I'm eagerly awaiting the installment where she gets gang-raped by hi-jackers and left groaning in the dust while her film crew just laugh and laugh.

Er, I mean, um... kittens.

Tomorrow's tasks

It's Wednesday, traditionally the worst day of the week. I shall instead enjoy Wednesday. Here's how

  1. Not moan about my job. At all. All day.
  2. Go to my luxury gym.
  3. Buy more diet Cherry Coke.
  4. Go see Sandra at the Golden Cross. Those old jokes are like old friends.
  5. Amend my gaydar profile to say "Please don't get in touch if your profile picture is of Gavin Henson with a caption underneath saying 'This is what i like'." Unless you are Gavin Henson. In which case, welcome to the gun show.
  6. Buy that Kaiser Chiefs album.
  7. Build a Lego house for my Lego firemen to conduct manly rescues in.
  8. Scrap 7. The only other Lego figure I have is Ron Weasely. It's bad enough that I have two roguishly handsome Lego firemen. But I'm not having them engage in hi-jinks with Ron. Even if he does have a wand.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Why aren't you reading The Historian?

The Historian is the best book you’ll read this year because:

1) Literary Quest! (Dan Brown, but with nice writing)
2) Conspiracy Theories!
3) Secret Societies!
4) Epistolary layers (Sometimes 5 simulataneous stories within stories!)
5) Sexy librarians in peril!
6) It’s written by an American, so….
7) European travel with nice hotel rooms!
8) Comedy foreigners trying to speak English!
9) Frequent Death!
10) Literary Sex Scenes! (featuring the words “alabaster” and “crescent”)
11) 700 pages (therefore a Serious Work of Fiction)
12) Hilarious plot-point about death stalking people who borrow a Penguin Classic (imagine The Ring, but about Mansfield Park! I *know*!)
13) Ooh, and Vampires!

Walk, don’t run to the shops!

Julia Peculiar and the Singing Vampires

Julia Phillips was a Hollywood producer, single mother, and coke addict. She was only really good at the latter.

I picked up her You’ll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again seduced by back-cover promises of tinsel town scandal, and a serious look at how movies are really made.

The closest we get is a lengthy tirade about producing Close Encounters, despite being late for every meeting, and frequently high. This is not charming. Like most ex-addicts, Phillips writes about her drugs like she’s writing pornography – it’s repetitive, set mostly in hotel rooms, and with one eye on the cheap bed linen.
There’s celeb gossip (well, she mocks Steven Spielberg’s stutter and shares a joint with Streisand), celeb betrayal (well, friends Robert Redford and Golide Hawn drop her when she gets really screwed up), and bizarre celeb claims (she thinks Madonna will be the new Barbra Steisand. Discuss).

But we don’t really learn that much about making movies – Julia is frequently too busy shagging crew or getting stoned to turn up to set, leaving poor Spielberg to film yet more mashed potato footage. It feels tired and lazy, like the 70s all happened one dusty, hot afternoon.

Of course, it’s impossible to stop reading – what will Julia do next? Will she cook up freebase in front of her daughter? yes! frequently! Will she get fired from Close Encounters? yes! But she blames her divorce and the CE3K board-game, rather than her erratic drugged-up behaviour. Will she ultimately find redemption? Um. Well, she gets clean and writes the last 50 pages in a free-associating whirl of feel-good girl power (Hint: You can overuse the phrase “Boom-shaka-laka” in autobiography).

There is one great moment – the agent obsessed over sequel rights to The Last Tempation Of Christ.

And there’s one jaw-dropping druggy project, where she spends years trying to make a musical of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. It’s unbelievable, but thankfully the project falls apart when Elton John comes onboard.

As a tribute to Peculiar Julia (who died 10 years ago), I sat down to watch Close Encounters. Like, really watch it, all the way through. Something I’ve never done. And still haven’t. This time I made it through the first six hours, which is still an achievement.

Flicking through the papers, I discover that Elton John is hard at work on a new project. A musical called Lestat.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Scary Mary

A looong train journey to Plymouth, spent with a wisdom tooth, a god-have-I-fainted-again cold, and a hideous third-eye of a spot. Sat on the floor of the guard’s carriage, with two foreign professors spilling coffee over me and laughing.
The train steward turns out to be a Screaming Mary of the old school. One with flair and personality. “Cooo-eee! This is your steward John! I’m stuck at the back of the train. Aren’t we crowded today! I would tell you about the on-board shop, but lord knows you’ll have to fight your way there to sample our delicious range of sandwiches.”

Later: “And we bring you now on wheels of friendship to historic Exeter St David’s, historic gateway to the historic West Country.”

PS: Have just realised. There’s a strict ratio. For every cute squaddie in a carriage you get one badly behaved child. If there’s a cute squaddie and a cute student, then you get badly behaved child with loud parent of the coaxing school (“Shall we sing the apple-eating song? Shall we?”)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

In teeth, wisdom

My wisdom tooth wouldn't have been so bad if my designer wasn't an insomniac and a psychic.

So far, all my wisdom teeth have emerged naturally and painlessly, like a scientologist miracle birthing.

But this last one is heavy going, leaving my gum as inflamed as a Danish Imam with a copy of Asterix meets Mohammed.

The pain is so bad it's weaned me off my sleeping pills. You see, the problem with my sleeping pills is that they'd wake me up at 4am for a quarter of an hour. Exactly.
At the moment it's just dead time, but I'm sure in a future release they'll fill it with adverts.

Sadly, 4am turns out to be the exact time when my bedtime ibuprofen wears off, leaving my wisdom tooth at its sharpest.

So, between 3 and 5 (when the new painkillers start to take effect), my dreams are predictably tortured.

The reason I'm telling you this is to explain the plight of my psychic designer, trying to sleep in the next room.

"Your fear woke me up," he scowled the next morning. "Waves of panic and pain coming through the walls. Couldn't get a wink of sleep. I tried sending thoughts of spiders back, but it didn't shut you up."


Monday, February 20, 2006

Friday, February 17, 2006

Ever noticed how...

You never see Gareth Gates and Pete Doherty together?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Passion killer

What is the most disturbing thing you can hear mid shag? I think I got close when last night's tup suddenly said, "You won't leave any marks will you? My mum'll kill me."


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

That kind of week

Well, after three weeks of menace, it's finally raining in Cardiff. Lots.

I got through Valentine's Day though - texting greetings to The Affair, and to The Nurse (who's gone back to his other boyfriend, sadly).

Everyone but me got lucky last night - Lee got followed round the gym, and another friend went home with a man twice his height. Meanwhile, I caught the first episode of Friends on E4 and thought, "ooh, don't they look young?"

I turned it off when I caught myself fancying Joey.

Heard the news about smoking being banned. Hurray! I thought, I'm no longer a smoker. Then smoked a cigarette to celebrate.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

An Apology

Dear Armpit

I'd like to apologise unreservedly for the agony and distress i caused you when i accidentally stuck a nicotine patch on you. I can only hope that the hair grows back.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Good week/bad week

Good things: I'm still having The Affair. He is marvellous. There's something unbeatably thrilling about forbidden love in the lunch hour. Meanwhile, my designer is down working with me. Cardiff is suddenly a fabulous place.

Bad things: a combination of nicotine patches, office politics, whisky and sleeping tablets sees me staggering around the flat at 4 every morning, reading Dominic Dunne's account of the OJ Simpson trial and craving proper sleep.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Why I'll be spending less time on Gaydar

While a friend logs on to Cardiff gaydar and is immediately on a date with an Italian model, I just received the following message:

"Hello Mate,
I saw your profile and it was suit me and lovely.... I wish to meet you honey.
Am a business man from Spain . i want to come to U.K for a pleasure by next week.
And i will like you to meet me in my Hotel for 1 on 1 sex OR if you can serve me as an Escort in my Hotel in U.K.
Kindly let me know your charges per Hour.
Love youxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Cheersxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"


"Calm down dear, it's only a religion!"

If ever a religion was in need of really good PR, it's Islam right now.

We get that under the tenets of your culture you cannot depict the prophet. And you definitely shouldn't mock him. Fine.

But all those street protests about the cartoons, reacting like extras in a Monty Python movie... um... The Life of Brian, ironically.

Mind you, that's just how Christianity's grown-up recently. The most embarrassing thing we had to put up with in the CofE was someone with a mullet speaking in tongues.

Whereas now we get people protesting as fancy dress suicide bombers. Yeah. Great way not to seem to be over-reacting tastelessly.

(Oh, and the cartoon? It's an anti-semitic cartoon from the official Palestinian Authority newspaper, last May. The least offensive I could find. more...)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The omen

This morning started out perfectly, snuggled up in bed with the cat.

Then I remembered: I don't have a cat.

I spent five more happy seconds with the cat, then decided to get it over with. Where was I? And, more importantly, what was he like?

Actually, it turned out he was rather handsome, and an interior decorator who'd made his bedroom into a shrine to Kylie (if one is going to try bondage, one may as wall use Kylie sweatbands, I suppose).

And of course, his name would be Damian.

It turned out he lived waaaay beyond Cardiff Bay. That's the worst thing about the morning after a one night stand. It's not the awkward small talk, the hungover sex, or the nescafe.... It's the horror of finding you're in the middle of nowhere.

I remember I once woke up in Swindon.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Fudgepack Mountain


(A mountain scene. Endlessly)

COWBOY 1: mumble mumble mumble.

COWBOY 2: Get in here, Ennis.

(Ennis gets in there. And continues to do so, occasionally, for 20 years)

TOKEN WIFE 1: Ennis, I wish we woz rich and could afford new formica.

(She gives birth, miserably)

TOKEN WIFE 2: As I gets older, mah blonde wig just gets bigger.

(You blinked. Oh dear, you missed a gay sex scene)

COWBOY 1: mumble mumble mumble.

COWBOY 2: Until we're together, I'm gonna grow my moustache.

Jake Gyllenhal's moustache

COWBOY 1: mumble mumble mumble.



(Note: After watching Brokeback Mountain, I had a dream in which it was remade with Dick and Dom. It was much better).