Friday, 26 October 2007

Memory Lane

I thought I would share with you a memory I just described to an old friend Facebook has re-acquainted me with. It's given me the giggles, you see:

I tried that pub with my ex about six or seven years ago - he went to the bar, the woman came over to serve him, he held up a finger because he had a sneeze coming and turned away, but there was a pillar behind him and he smacked straight into it. So the message the barmaid received there was something like: "WAIT! I must headbutt a pillar first".

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Open Your Mind

What you are looking at here is a stack of magazines, nestled in their free-gift-with-Issue-1 collection binders and piled up next to the magazine rack in WHSmiths of Richmond.

Why is this exciting? Because it's the magazine I made! This is the exciting, top secret project I've been pouring my heart into. What's happening right now is only a limited test in a small area, but the months of toil have finally come to an end and there, on display and available to the public, is the result!

I came up with the idea for this psychology-based partwork a year ago, back when I worked at my old company. Our client - now New Boss - loved the idea and asked me to begin putting it together. A few brief stumbles later - firstly when it was handed over to somebody else, who had a very different concept (that turned out to be wrong), and then during the demise of Old Company - and after a little shuffle around so that I was working directly for New Boss, we finally had a clear road ahead of us and went about making a magazine.

I've had some fantastic help along the way. Wonderful writers who scribbled masterpieces for me in a matter of hours to help me meet the deadlines (Emma, Lisa, Nicola, Deborah and Sally), super-talented Bill, my all-time favourite artist, and a series of fabulous designers, from darling Jo who set the style to Graham (who I hardly think needs an introduction round here) to dear Richard, who took a great idea for a design and turned it into a kick-ass magazine. Not forgetting long-suffering Blanca, who had to interpret my photo requests, and marvellous David, my one-man support group. And all of them with never a complaint, no matter how unreasonable my demands.

So here we are at the town test. This is about the pinnacle of things at my little end of the publishing industry - getting to create a magazine that might one day (well, April) sit on the racks next to the ones I grew up reading. One that's entirely my own concept, which I got to hand pick the very best contributors for and nurture into an actual, printed, real magazine. Crazy!

Here's the original picture, from before they found a handy stand for it: I cantered down to the shop to see for myself the wondrousness, only for my phone to turn itself off - which meant I ended up batting my eyelashes at Richard until he agreed to go down there with New Boss's phone. He felt it might attract negative attention were he to be caught snapping pictures in the women's section, so I believe this shot was a fly-by.
If anyone needs me over the next couple of weeks, I will probably be in WHSmiths, lurking behind a pillar. I'm stopping now, before this post turns into a gushing acceptance speech. But I do want to thank the above-mentioned superstars, who all went beyond the call of duty to help make my dream come true.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Cut n' stick

I bought pasta in the shape of wheels today and I can't tell you how badly I want to glue it to something. Is this the result of being a child of the 80s, I wonder, or am I just, at heart, a creative genius?

Monday, 15 October 2007

Richy Rich

Now, anyone who knows me well knows that I love Eddie Izzard more than I love chocolate biscuits, possibly more than I love pizza and Buffy the Vampire Slayer combined, more than I would love to own every pair of shoes Manolo Blahnik ever made, and that I would follow Eddie Izzard into the very pits of hell if he so desired. Probably even if he didn't.

It will not surprise the miniscule proportion of humanity in the category of 'knows me well' to hear, therefore, that I am absolutely determined to like his new series, The Riches. It's a confusing little show, so far, but it's not turning out to be an unpleasant experience.

Eddie plays a drifter who, along with his family, takes over the lives of a super-rich family they accidentally run off the road into a swamp with their motorhome. Ethically iffy, I'll admit, but very amusing. He sounds a little odd with his American twang that, bless him, he periodically forgets he's meant to have, but he's still got the beautiful Eddie twinkle.

Minnie Driver's not half bad in this either - I went off her for a while when she turned all prima donna, but she's always had one of the most infectious laughs in Hollywood and she was born for this role, she's hilarious in it.

You can catch The Riches on the big old lie that is the new Virgin 1 channel - all that hype and such small trousers. They made it sound as if it was a sparkling new channel with all new programmes unavailable everywhere else, but thus far that's only true of The Riches and everything else is thieved from Living and Bravo. Pffftt. The second programme ever shown was called Penis Envy, that tells you all you could possibly wish to know.

But it's worth tuning in to catch the beautiful, wonderful, fabulous Eddie, who is my hero and long-term crush object. And if you've managed to live this long without hearing him do stand-up and laughing till you cry with him then, well, shame on you and all who sail in you.

The youth of today

I thought I might share with you, this chilly autumn evening, what might be my favourite email forward of all time, courtesy of Lovely Lisa. I made my dad read these while I was on the phone to him earlier and, as he's just recovering from a nasty cold, his appreciation was expressed in splutters.

They are apparently a selection of beautifully crafted metaphors taken from Year 12 essays. I don't care what they are really, they're bloody funny.
  • Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
  • He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without oneof those boxes with a pinhole in it.
  • She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature prime English beef.
  • She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
  • Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
  • He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.
  • The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at aformerly surcharge-free ATM.
  • The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.
  • McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
  • From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and "Sex in the City" comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
  • Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
  • The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot oil.
  • John and Mary had never met. They were like two humming birds who had also never met.
  • Even in his last years, Grandad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.
  • The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
  • The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
  • "Oh, Jason, take me!" she panted, her breasts heaving like a Uni student on $1-a-beer night.
  • He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
  • The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
  • He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
  • She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Catch the birdy

A newspaper article I came across today made me chuckle, but not because it was intended to be amusing and certainly not because the subject matter was cause for merriment.

It all began when, through simple curiosity, I took a look at a group that's apparently very popular in the London network, which has 50,000 members all calling for Ian Huntley's profile to be removed from the site. Even though he hasn't actually got one.

The group was apparently formed on the basis of informative and detailed articles from such publications as the Sun and Mirror. One of which I followed a link to, and discovered All That Is Bad About Tabloid Journalism.

It's not the political, social or moral implications of the whole episode that are concerning me here - those I will leave well alone and allow you to draw your own conclusions. Suffice to say I would be appalled if Huntley was actually on there and would happily join the protest. The part that I am finding morbidly funny is the unashamedly sensationalist writing that some people are clearly taking to be gospel.

Tabloid journalists ought to be ashamed of themselves for pandering to and actively fostering a mob mentality and, without mincing my words, making shit up. Why why why is this allowed? Why why why do people persist in believing it's truth?

Fortunately this article truly reveals what a farce it all is. Let's see if you can spot what made me burst out laughing:

See it?

Yes, that's correct: the incredible attempt to induce shock value by adding capitalisation and a heavy bold font to a BUDGIE.

Now try to imagine Sir Trevor McDonald saying it like that.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Spider Upsettingness

Having so confidently predicted that the Spider Behemoths would only be around for a fortnight at the beginning of September, it is with great shame that I admit to a sighting this week. It was perched jauntily atop the towel I keep tucked under the door into my flat, cheeky little fecker. I went at it with a bit of the banister (I didn't rip it from the stairs for the purpose, although I can't deny I would have done if necessary) and managed to chase it into my next door neighbour's flat. At which point I beat a hasty retreat, because he's almost as pathetic in spider circumstances as I am. Here beginneth the hastily compiled mission to Avoid Blame.

Spiders: why?

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Fishy tales

I am prepared to accept that this is probably the last time some of you will venture on here, because I am about to scare you away with some atrocious humour.

It all started, you see, when I found possibly the best ever typo on a friendship tribute website:

You know friendship is true when it continues even after one friend's sole has left this earth.

Typos: not just fun for editors.

The story continues with me feeling Not My Usual Cheery Self for the past few days, a problem compounded when I trotted off to the bathroom today to discover that the lovely new trousers I bought on Monday had a dirty great rip in them across the lower stomach (I don't mean that in a coy way, I do mean literally the lower stomach) and I'd managed to wear them for a full day AND put them back on this morning. Ye gods, what a numpty.

Best Mate decided to rise to the challenge of cheering me from this little mood slump by carrying the fishy amusingness to its farthest possible point. Nor was she flying sole-o (sorry), I decided to throw my lot in too. So please welcome the Best Of Fish (and do feel free to join in if you haven't already left in disgust):

If your pet fish is a fantastic confidante, does that make it the sole of discretion?
If it has a huge family to support, none of whom have jobs, does that make it the sole provider?
If the fish enjoys a spot of karaoke, does that make it a sole singer?
Would its favourite movie character be Han Sole-o?
If you were baptising your fish, would you have to say 'bless my sole'?
In its younger days, when it was the coolest kid on the block, was it a funk sole brother?
Financial difficulties plus incontinence? Poor wee sole.
If he set up a business selling something you couldn't buy elsewhere, would he be the sole trader?

It's all a bit sole-destroying really, isn't it?

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Amanda's song

This post is a tribute to my darling Amanda because it is our song. Why? Because (and you can't deny this is peculiar) although we live 5000 miles apart, we both saw it on the iPod Nano advert, fell in love with it, didn't know what it was, asked everyone in earshot to no avail, frantically googled the lyrics to work it out and immediately downloaded it - within an hour of each other.

So there you have it: great song for great minds. Ta da!