Saturday, 27 September 2008


There's nothing so satisfying as an evening with a bunch of fellow nutcases who share your penchant for the weird and hilarious. Things generally start out sensibly, in this case with a shopping spree to take our minds off the all-too-purty marionette avatars they're selling for an annoying 4k each over at The Abyss (and, of course, we wanted at least two).

But then they took a turn for the bizarre, and hence was born a fantabulous (sort of) new Second Life girl group, by the name HymenKnee (say it quickly and, extraneous body parts aside, all will become clear).

Starring my dear sister, Willowzee, as N'Elle Luv, who will be giving it 'tood with her own brand of gangsta mutterings (she's very convincing).

Arbel Vogel as MC Fresh, who will be bringing the kickin beats and somehow managing to look absolutely adorable in her ridiculous trousers.

Autumn Hykova as Limelight Soul, the soulful heart of the band and the one whose job it is to do those ooooooooooOOOOOOOOOoooooooooo bits.

Myself as LatoyaK, the grumpy one who strops a lot and goes WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH like in the Bodyform advert.

By the time I stumbled off to bed, we'd made plans to go on tour with a drunkenly recorded choon, complete with a prim tour bus, some burly roadies with large crotches and some uber-fans to sigh in wonder every time we draw breath.

I'm not convinced we'll top the charts, as our last attempt to sing in SL dissolved into helpless giggling fits while Willowzee valiantly tried to hold the tune. But surely nobody else could attack the virtual gigging circuit with quite this level of panache and style?

Thursday, 18 September 2008

The Great To Do List

I've been feeling agitated for a week or so, not quite sure what I want to be doing with myself or - more to the point - what I ought to be doing. I was pretty convinced there was plenty on that list, but I couldn't figure out exactly what or where to start.

This evening I've figured out that, because I've been out and about and generally enjoying the company of the best people I know over the past couple of months, wandering off on weekend jaunts and getting merry in as many situations as possible, I've been letting a fair few things slide.

Not long ago I was proud of my creative output and of being generally on top of things - but not any more, and I suspect much of that pride was based on an illusion. I currently have so many things in the process of being done, watched, read, written and learned that I've reached saturation point - and as for the 'doing' part, that's been sadly lacking.

I have so many box sets with two or three episodes left to watch, so many skills I've started to learn and never completed, so many games I've not made it to the end of - the list is endless. I'm behind on that evil place known as Facebook, my inbox is spilling over, I still haven't done the next assignment on my course - I haven't even managed to find a dentist yet, for shame. Ridiculous as it sounds, even the fact I've not made it to level 50 on LOTRO is bothering me.

Having such a terrifying list of things that need doing has been unconsciously pulling me back from taking on the new, though I only realise that now. I've not been able to find the time to comment, or even read, all the blog posts in my Reader, I've gone silent on Plurk and I haven't browsed Flickr in an absolute age. I even feel a pang of guilt responding to a new email, because I know I should already have replied to so many others.

So I think a little clear-up is called for, and from today on I've made a little personal pledge to work on at least one item on that list every day, thus freeing up my time to progress. Tonight, for example, I will do that damn assignment, and I will clear my pc desktop (hence the finally completed picture at the top, which has been waiting to be attended to for a month) and venture onto Facebook. I might even go and prod things with spears on LOTRO.

It's a rounding up, if you will, of everything swimming around in my head. If only these things could be solved with a dustpan and brush.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Sex and *Our* City

I don't wear dark lipstick, for one simple reason - it makes my lips look pursed and thin, which in turn makes me appear even more cranky than I usually do.
However, there was no harm, I felt, in checking this theory with the experts, so along with Best Mate, during our fashionable day of SATC-style city wanderings, I implored a hot and sexy makeover artist at the Mac counter in Selfridges to make me look just like her.

Which she did her utmost to achieve, as you can see, and I wore the results proudly - all the way back across London at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. And let me tell you, nobody messed. Although I did get a lovely compliment from a woman on the escalator, which is unusual in this coldhearted city.

The day started with a VIP trip to FacShion, which Best Mate was covering for and asked me along to as her +1. Terrified all week, we were, that whatever we chose to wear was going to look like a nan in an anorak compared to the trendy beauties stalking around. I shouldn't have worried though - whatever she puts on, she manages to make look achingly cool, so all I really had to do was stand as close to her as I could.

We chinwagged with designers, nodded sagely at the catwalk show and said an awful lot of "Oh my GOD I *need* that"s at the stalls - Best Mate's fabulous pictures and account are over: here.
We then strolled around Spitalfields and the amazing shops nearby, doing much the same thing at every shop window, before heading over to Oxford Street for some fashion-related errands involving style materials for Best Mate's latest project (while I prodded bits of sewing machine and looked generally blank).

And the day ended with this makeover in Selfridges, which saw me through a hectic night of trip planning and dancing with the wonderful Lorna and which I shall be attempting, any minute, to recreate for my evening out tonight... this may go horribly wrong...

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

One pissed off prince

Tim, Yaz and I almost didn't go to a creative writing class this evening, but thanks to everyone else's memories being better than mine, we got there in the end. I'm not sure what I was expecting from it, but it wasn't to be asked, within minutes of plonking down, to get on and write something. Anything, apparently.

We swapped worried looks and got on with it, and then all three of us were brave enough to read out what we'd written to the class. Tim's was a pretty darned fab description of a new ice age (he nearly decided to write his own obituary and set me off into a giggling fit when postulating the line, "He died as he lived: in a hovercraft") and Yaz retold the story of Goldilocks with much more personality - she was pleased to see the porridge, in this version, because of its slow-release carbs.

I was quite proud of my own nonsense - so I thought I would share the unpolished, ridiculous result. I think I might have been channelling IDV as I wrote it. Enjoy! I think...

Lilypads aren't what everyone would class as superior garden furniture, I know, but you learn to work with what you have. Actually it was cosier than you'd have thought, spreading my gnarled little toes across one lilypad each, froggy bottom dangling in the water. Like skiing, only with less of a slope.

And if you're going to get turned into a frog, there are worse places to sit and croak than the royal garden, with all its ridiculous fripperies - I'd recommend it if species swaperoo is your cup of pond murk. So there I sat, testing my balance and feeling a little smug, when SHE appeared, wafting along the garden path like a stick of candyfloss with purpose.

Which purpose, it seemed, was to be as dreamy and wafty and candyflossy as possible in the hope some half-brained noble would find the whole thing enchanting. I once had myself, when I was still strutting about in tights and codpiece, but when you're a frog you get plenty of time for reflection.

Mostly regarding the optimum lilypad position for successful fly-catching, but the simpler things do often bring a sense of perspective. I watched as the dozy bint rolled a golden ball in my direction and looked at me expectantly. It plopped in the pond, flicking a drop of water directly in my eye.

She smiled. I scowled. Though, being a frog, I don't think it conveyed awfully well.

"Well go on then," she said, a little testily. I wasn't done scowling.

This princess wasn't big on patience, for no sooner had I stretched out a leg to make a show of wriggling a defiant toe than she'd grabbed me in her rabid little hands and was digging her nails into my poor bulbous sides. Her lips loomed as she planted a kiss square on my froggy face and - poof! - I was a human again.

Moments passed, moments in which I found enough dignity to maintain my scowl, even knee deep in pond weed without a sock to my name.

"Minky," I said, punctuating my displeasure by coughing up a mosquito.

"Yes, sweetie?" she replied, her face lighting up.

"Must we go through this every time?"

She pouted as I picked up my poor lilypads, now a little squished, and placed one in front and one behind as I heaved a theatrical sigh. The lengths you have to go to these days, I thought wistfully, to hide from a girl once you've dumped her.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Shoes, pharaohs, tea and graves

Last Saturday marked the third of the Plurk meetups, and was probably the drunkest one yet - at least for Laura and I, who started tippling at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and were still going 12 hours later.

Which, of course, meant we were terribly late to meet Loaf, Roxette and Johan (it's just rude to leave a vodka half-done) and were of absolutely no help in putting together the picnic in Tesco, mostly because we were more interested in chasing Rox around the aisles and finding the Bacardi Breezers. How we didn't get thrown out for hooliganism I shall never know.

Which sentiment carried us right through the evening. We had a lovely picnic, thankfully rescued by Loaf's cunning provision of a blanket and the more sensible shopping habits of everyone else (I think we ended up with 80 miniature sausages, mind you), tried not to steal rainbow socks from a tramp, annoyed the pub whose loo we kept staggering into and screeched a lot.

At one point Laura asked me a perfectly sane question about, as I recall, which pub we were planning to go to, at which I turned round and repeated, very earnestly, the last three words I'd said to Loaf, which were something like "and the cat". Which made no sense, was of no help and made me laugh so hard I dribbled.

We then went to The Lot, now accompanied by Danni (hurrah!), a student pub where the toilets are at the top of the most viciously steep staircase I've ever seen - and yes, we fell up them repeatedly.

Much rose wine was flung around the place, I managed to break my glow-in-the-dark bracelet and infect myself with radioactive liquid and Laura began a series of bag checks that was to continue all night long. It went something like this: "Cardigan (which later for no apparent reason changed to 'tights' even though it wasn't), wallet, wipes and phone. OK I've checked I have everything, now what I would like to do is check that I've got everything."

The more sensible members of the group at this point headed off to catch their various public transports, amid much hugging and genuine sorrow (I believe I actually begged Rox and Loaf to stay at one point, for shame). Meanwhile, Laura and I decided it would be a fantastic plan to talk like toffs all the way to the club ("oh BLOODY hell yes, I don't half think SO").

Once at the club, having queued up by basically propping one another up and grinning like lunatics, Laura managed to bottle an innocent dancing woman, I attracted the attention of a weirdo in a loud shirt who wanted to tell me I was doing well (gee thanks) and we danced for hours, clutching Smirnoff Ices.

You know that one guy in every club who's such a fantastic, flamboyant dancer that everyone half-watches him and backs away to give him space? He's always gorgeous and he's always dripping with inner confidence and charm and really enjoying himself, not giving a monkeys what everyone else thinks. Well, the one in this club decided he wanted to dance with me, and proceeded to fling and spin me round what wasn't really part of the dancefloor.

Now, I can't say I minded this, because fortunately he had strong hands and was good at guiding my drunken self in rather more elegant ways than I was managing for myself. In fact, I was somewhat euphoric as he twirled and shimmied me around, until a salsa came on and I was almost sick on his shoes.

We lurched out of the club and had a little sit on the doorstep, where a bouncer told Laura off for talking too loudly about making a nice cup of tea, and I went into the shop to get some water and was asked to confirm for some bloke that his friend had a head like a bell-end.

Which is where the guys we'd met inside found us, and spent some considerable time trying to convince us to go back to theirs for piri piri chicken (at which I believe Laura's response was "piriwhatsit what? but we've got a CHEESECAKE") before giving in and escorting us home. Barefoot, in Laura's case, while checking her belongings every 25 seconds. Note: she had them all.

Once home, I made a cup of tea that Laura denied she knew about... while drinking it. And I brought her a slice of cheesecake, which she threw at the poor man's crotch and then shouted "I can't eat that now, it's COCK CAKE".

At around 5am the most classic drunken sentence of all time was uttered, one that sends me into fits of giggles every single time I think about it. Laura looked at me, perfectly serenely, and said:

"I will stay with you forever, but only if you will supply me with shoes, pharaohs, tea and graves."

A prize for the person who works out what the hell she meant, because we really don't know.

My god did we feel rough the next day, but we still managed to make it round the Tutenkhamun exhibition with Ollie without vomiting on any ancient artifacts, which would have been a bit rude. Which spawned another classic from Laura, upon spotting one of a reported 25 model boats found in the tomb:

"25? Who kept putting them in?? Surely it would have been better to have one boat, and a boat repair kit. Voila."

All in all, a weekend I won't be forgetting in a hurry! Thanks to Johan for the pics, but not to Laura for refusing to feature in any of them :P