Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Pierre Cardin - You Are A Git!

I've been suffering paranoia about my waist size recently.

The time spent at the gym has been partly to blame; I've bulked up a fair bit and I was only ever just a 34" waist, so now I've had to bump up a bit to 36" and wear belts for reasons rather more functional than just liking them.

It's okay - I'm a bit on the tall side so I don't look too lardy even with this change (even if my waist is now officially longer than my inside leg) and can just about get away with it.

But there are two problems with this combo: first is that 36 x 34 jeans are like gold dust. Second is that everybody seems to use a different definition of the unit "inch" to everybody else.

It's true: I still have a pair of 32" jeans I can fit into comfortably. Now even allowing for stretch through wear that's a good four inches - which as we all know can make a world of difference (in my experience it's the difference between "hmm, yeah" and "ooh, a challenge"). And I still find 34" jeans that fit absolutely fine with room for a couple of fingers..

But today I saw the ultimate in oddness. I found a pair of Pierre Cardin jeans that I really did like and were within the bounds of reasonable price and so I decided to try them on. I grabbed a 34" and a 36" to compare and hurried off to the fitting room.

The 34" wouldn't even close.

The 36" pinched.

Realising that I'd have to go to the 38" just for something that flattered my arse I decided that Pierre Cardin could, frankly, just go and royally fuck himself with an electric carving knife. Nothing is worth that kind of humiliation.

Mister Cardin clearly has the same relationship between real and imagined lengths that I see on most gaydar profiles.

Post-Christmas Blues

What really gets me down about Christmas is going round the sales afterwards and seeing everything you've bought as presents reduced in price.

So far I've discovered I paid £100 more before Christmas than I would have done afterwards.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Lawks a Mussy!

Well, last night's Windypops! was a tad different. It was, I think, an interesting learning curve for all concerned and also broke through the triple figure attendance barrier for the first time!

The Band Aid 20 destructathon changed very quickly. Not enough copies of "That Record" were provided to make it worthwhile, so the organisers thought, "sod it" and decided to put the cloakroom money to charity instead and then in a true democratic fashion allow *all* the attendees to destroy what we did have on the dancefloor.

Now, put this down to watching too many loony tunes if you will, but within seconds of the announcement being made and Band Aid 2 starting up with Kylie's dulcet tones, I recall a comedy "whoosh" noise and Smess being left staring at an empty hand.

The evening is thus remembered mainly for the sight of a reasonably full dancefloor with people jumping gleefully up and down on charity records and the typical linndrum arrangement being liberally sprinkled with smashing and tinkling noises and the occasional cheer.

Worryingly, people were also dancing to it with gay abandon which led me to try a little experiment... I'd shied away from being too cheesy (the crowd of trendy hipsters, transvestites and indiekids had scared me off trying that) but cued up Sophie Ellis Bextor's "Get Over You" for the next track. Dance floor still showed much sign of movement so I went for the ultimate in unjustifiable pap.

Sonia.

The fact that the dancefloor only increased its load during the second chorus of "Can't Forget You" led me to bury my head in my hands and turn to Smess with a weary "oh well, we've found the level then!"

I then dug out all that was naff and crap in my collection and went with it. (Well, okay... I didn't go with *all* that was naff and crap since time was limited, but hey.)

And "Light Years" is such a cool track to end on, I think.

God I was shattered.

But thankfully I did remain to the very end, helping out on the coat desk where I was at least privy to my personal highlight of the evening: one pissy queen came up and collected his coat and asked to speak to the organisers. Jon was with me so he took a step forward to listen to what the chap had to say.

As he left, Jon turned to me with a big grin and announced that we'd got a complaint! The poove had, in that way typical of mincey people out to miss the point entirely had said: "I don't want to be a party pooper, but I don't think destroying the band aid records was really necessary" and then flounced out.

Violence, dancing and offence! Result!

Strangely

I didn't get totally wasted over Christmas. I spent most of it in a pleasantly tipsy haze, I'll grant you, but no hangovers were in evidence and I still retained full use of my faculties.

My aunt, as ever, tried to feed me up to being the size of a house, but I resisted and indeed only hit sixteen stone as a result. I'm now desperately trying to burn it off. Breakfasts with bucks fizz and smoked salmon, meaty lunches, and the regular sound of corks being removed from bottles punctuated the deluge of television and popping round to feed friends cats (who, naturally, took to me the minute they realised I was there to feed them).

Best present? Probably the plasma ball Chris-the-Flatmate got me. I'm sure several readers of this journal will understand totally the overwhelming urge I had to set it up, put my fingers to the glass and start intoning "Time Controller Activated" as the light played around my fingertips.

Oh yes... I'm so lost.

Then add to that the "spankometer" to determine how many calories I burn off during a wank (opening that in front of my aunt was surprisingly painless since she fell off her chair laughing), the "Willie Bath Bomb" (which was actually from my aunt, bless her), the grow your own voodoo doll kit, chocolates and stuff and I think I had a rather successful haul.

But mainly, I must admit, it was the three 11-hour sleeps that I cherished most of all.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Yule-Hole

I love my Forgotten English calendar, it's filled with strange words and customs.

Today's is "yule-hole" which, rather charmingly, is the last hole to which a man could stretch his belt at a Christmas feast.

Anyway, I shall be offline until Monday so I just thought I'd wish all my readers a Happy Christmas (or whatever it is you feel like celebrating, if indeed you are).

I'm off now.

Have fun!

Fie!

Oh dear. I got totally ratted last night.

Ben popped over with wine and presents, so we exchanged gifts for him and Mikey, Chris went to Sheffield and so Ben and I settled down to watch some telly and drink for the evening.

A few episodes of Rex the Runt later (Ben needed educating) we settled down for some Doctor Who.

We finished off "the Seeds of Dooooooooom" and then moved onto the 25th Anniversary story "Silver Nemesis" which was a case of going from the sublime to the ridiculous, but did afford us the treat of going from one camp old lunatic villain to another. Both Lady Peinforte and Harrison Chase are just an eye twitch away from being in the Shining and give wonderful performances as a result.

I then finished my wrapping, my packing and threw myself into my slumbers only to rouse myself this morning with the sort of reluctance that Sophie Aldred showed when offered acting classes.

Still, it's Christmas. You should expect hangovers.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Eeep! Too Much To Do!

I still have a couple of pressies to find, CDs to burn for Monday, raffle tickets to buy (again, for Monday), packing to do for Tomorrow and the actual "how are we going to do this anyway" (yes, for Monday) to do.

Something's gotta give.

However, at least one thing has been resolved: I know now when I'm on. My set starts at 11:00 on Monday night, continuing until the wee small hours (i.e. those small hours when I'm desperately going to need a wee, or 12:30 to you).

Oh and Val Kilmer was on telly last night in some kind of dodgy film with American Indians in it and some kind of "maverick cop trying to stymie a land deal" kind of story. The film was pretty appalling, but at least Val's still pretty.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I Feel Dirty

I just bought three copies of Band Aid 20 for the destructathon on Monday.

Naturally the girl on the till gave me a look.

"Don't ask" I said. She nodded: "you're doing it to take them out of circulation aren't you?"

Poor girl. Apparently she'd sold 125 copies this morning. I can only assume that now they're not responsible for getting it to be the Christmas number one, people are buying it determined to bankrupt that tycoon who says he'll match the money it raises.

Trashy Tuesdays

Last night my flatmate, Chris, and I headed (as promised) towards Retro Bar for their Christmas Pop Quiz. There was a lingering fear that the place would in fact be packed, which turned out to be totally justified: it was standing room only.

We stood with our drinks for a while, finding ourselves in the way of absolutely everybody wherever we stood and finally decided that since there were no surfaces to lean on for writing answers, and no chance of doing anything other than be made to move from one place to the next we'd give up and go upstairs.

Which actually faced the same problem.

So we gave up.

It was then that Chris suggested trying Trash Palace, a new bar that's opened up close to Leicester Square. Having not been there I thought "well, why not" and Chris apparently knew someone on the bar staff who'd been badgering him to go and say "hi" so he could also succeed in that obligation too.

Of course, said member of bar staff wasn't on last night, but we got drinks and sat down anyway.

It's an odd place. It apparently had a fortune spent on it, but somehow despite large glowing screens and flashy lights and lots of exciting accoutrements there's still something desperately unfinished about it. And there's not enough seating; Chris and I thus spent several happy minutes mentally adding bar stools and plush benches in appropriate places.

The downstairs bar (which is actually on the first floor of the building) was where we settled since the upstairs had opted for a low-level lighting and bad lounge music kind of feel. Downstairs had actual real lighting and pounding electro so I instantly felt at home.

It was kind of inspiring actually. There were only two tracks the DJ played that I didn't much care for (Lips Inc's "Funky Town" for example starts well, but is a horribly jarring construction when played in full) and many of the other tracks were ones I actually had, but had forgotten about. Natalie Imbruglia's "I'm Impressed" for example worked exceptionally well pumped up loud and the DJ even came over to us as we were singing along to comment that we were probably the only people there who had the faintest idea of who it was.

The set list for Monday will be adjusted accordingly.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Naughty or Nice?

Hmm. I seem to be somewhat addicted to those internet quiz things.

I just did Were You Naughty or Nice This Year?

I scored "a little bit naughty":

While you're not likely to greet Santa with sucker punch, he's still not too jolly about coming to your house. You might get a small token from Mr. Claus - like some detox pills for your liver.
Memo to self: must be much naughtier in 2005.

Twenty-First Century Tools

One of the great things about the way computers have increased in power and availability, but decreased in price is that it puts some fantastic tools within the reach of people of only minor talent like myself.

Being vaguely unimpressed by what I've heard of the new Erasure album, Nightbird (it's not bad by any means - quite pleasant in fact, just not a staggering return to former glories), I wasn't expecting much of the mixes of their new single "Breathe".

The LMC mix certainly is a pile of dum-tish tosh designed for vacuous danceclubs with no real class, but I was pleasantly surprised by something purporting to be the "When Andy Bell Met Manhattan Clique Extended Remix". It's actually left the original pretty much intact but made a nice few electroey tweaks and given a bit of kick to the drums that actually makes it perfect for my set on Monday.

Only problem: in common with many remixes these days it's ridiculously long. Why these people feel compelled to have sixteen bars of the same beats instead of four I have no idea.

So I dug out some audio software and sat down last night to trim it back into a version I'd be happy to play without wasting three minutes trying to get to a point I can mix something else in.

An hour later, I ended up with a nice under-five-minute version which doesn't ramble and will, I think, blend quite nicely at the end with the Droyds 2004 Mix of "You're History" (if indeed I play it, I'm still undecided).

I'm most impressed. It's the quickest I've ever performed such an operation and I've listened to it a few times now and I can't hear the join at all.

I might tackle another this evening.

Hmm.

According to What Planet Are You From? I am from Venus.

It goes on:

"You love all forms of beauty. You love dressing up and anything luxurious. A social butterfly, you're incredibly popular and a great host. You're known for your fairness and affection. And as a friend to all. Careful though! You're desire to please may make you too willing to conform. Be yourself. Focus on what matters to you. You'll be all the more popular for it."
What it doesn't say, of course, is that men are supposedly from Mars.

This probably explains a lot.

You Ever Have Those Moments...

... when you find yourself thinking "oh my God, what have I done?"

This morning I found our Band Aid 20 Destruction night on the 27th December on the front page of http://www.bandaiddilemma.net/

This whole Windypops! thing is getting out of control!

Monday, December 20, 2004

What is it about Retro Bar?

I didn't have much to drink last night, I didn't stay out late, I'd eaten heartily before I went and indeed the focus of the evening was playing board games anyway but somehow I woke up this morning with a mouth that felt like the inside of a badger and a head that was resolutely refusing to engage.

This happens every time I go there, mind. There must be something in the air.

It was a good evening, mind. I was even enjoying myself so much that I went and agreed to turn up to the pop quiz on Tuesday. This is despite proving conclusively at the music edition of Trivial Pursuit that I know nothing worth knowing whatsoever.

Ho hum.

The weekend as a whole, however, was spent in isolation. I had a few invites all of which I graciously turned down, and spent it in front of the telly or sleeping in. Add to that a spot of wrapping presents, a few friends popping over for a short yet pleasant visit on Saturday, ordering a shitload of stuff from Tesco.com, doing admin and (as noted below) panelbeating and I do feel that my time was well spent.

Actually, on Saturday night I saw "Stage Beauty" on BBC2, and I must say I was really rather impressed by it (even if the promised scene of buggery by Ben Chaplin was sadly lacking). It's out on DVD next week so I must get a copy.

Who's the Batty Boy?

I sat there on Sunday afternoon (having facepacked, clipped my nails, dealt with a few stray eyebrow hairs and ingrowing bits of stubble) and whilst listening to the new Erasure album gave myself a manicure.

Halfway through which I suddenly realised just how fucking gay I've become.

I blame the lack of sex. If there was more of that I wouldn't have time for these fripperies.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Stop My Brain

This press release went out this week from the organiser of the club I'm DJing at after Christmas:

Raising money through wanton destruction of Band Aid 20 singles.

Windypops! at the White Swan raising money for Oxfam

London, 11th December 2004: Windypops, the alternative gay and lesbian night held at the White Swan every Monday, announces a charitable event to be held at its midst-Christmas party on Monday the 27th December 2004.

Aware that many of the indie and pop-loving community are aghast at the latest version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas”, customers are invited to bring copies of Band Aid 20 on CD along to the night and give them to the organizers. As many as possible of these CDs will then be destroyed through whatever means possible on-stage during a ritualistic playing of 1989’s “Band Aid II”.

The person destroying the CDs will be chosen by a raffle held on the door, with proceeds from this raffle donated to charity. The organizers will then also donate a sum to the collection for each copy destroyed.

All proceeds and collections will be donated to Oxfam who are working to aid the crisis in Darfur and Chad in the Sudan region.

Fran Healy, lead vocalist of the atrocious band Travis, has denounced criticism of the Band Aid 20 single as “disgraceful”. This is therefore an opportunity for all attendees to be utterly disgraceful on a Bank Holiday whilst raising money for a very worthy cause.

Additional donations during the night would of course be welcomed.

About Windypops!:

Windypops is the alternative gay (but straight-friendly) club night at The White Swan in Limehouse.

Held every Monday it plays fun and funky, indie and pop from PJ Harvey to PJ and Duncan and everything in between.

Frequent featured artists include the Human League, Pulp, Soft Cell, Scissor Sisters, Deuce, Tina Turner, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Bodies Without Organs, Shampoo, Radiohead, Voice Of The Beehive, Kylie, Shakespear’s Sister, Chicks On Speed, Daphne and Celeste and lots, lots more. Regular DJs include Telco (AKA RockJohn; Marvellous, Rocktronica), IanH (Retro Bar) and JunkLady.

Windypops is open from 8pm - 2am. Admission costs £2 (£1 with a flyer). Free entry can be obtained before 10pm or with an NUS card at any time. Free entry for anyone bringing a copy of Band Aid 20 to destroy.

Windypops is hosted at the White Swan, 556, Commercial Rd, London, E14 7JD, the nearest station for which is Limehouse on the Docklands Light Railway. Further information is available here :

http://www.windypops.com

About Band Aid II:

Band Aid II released as a single in 1989, essentially as an updated version of Bob Geldof and Midge Ure’s 1984 original. Produced by Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman, its line-up included Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Cathy Dennis, Chris Rea, Sonia, Big Fun and Bananarama.

Band Aid II is the often forgotten – not to mention often derided – Band Aid release, despite its relevance to a generation of current pop music fans. It is also the obvious antithesis of the version currently on release.

So... three guesses whose idea this was...

It's the Little Things...

I arrived home yesterday to find that I had a small package awaiting me. Eagerly I shredded the wrapping, casting fragments of bubblewrap aside in my mission to get to the goodness inside.

And there it was: a pack of flashcards.

But not just any flashcards, oh no. The official promotional Girls Aloud "What Will the Neighbours Say?" flashcards. I now no longer need to speak when I go out, I can just flash a little white card with the text "I'm just a love machine" at any man who takes my fancy or "I think you're off your head" at one who doesn't.

How did I get hold of this little slice of fabulousness? Ah... it's all due to those wonderful people at popjustice.com who said that they'd send them to the first 100 people to donate to keeping the site alive.

Naturally I pounced at the opportunity.

I'm a giver, me.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Sex Factor

I discovered on my return home last night that some idiot has rather inexplicably nominated me for Gaydar's Sex Factor awards.

I went and followed the link they provided and promptly fell at the first hurdle: I have to choose my own category out of a specific list. "And what are the categories?" I hear you ask... Well, it's all stuff like muscle, bears, guy next door, alternative, leather, sports gear and so on.

I.e. categories for which I don't actually qualify by any stretch of the imagination.

This, combined with the fact I have to find an enticing picture of myself (that isn't two years out of date) and add it to the Sex Factor gallery, means I may be opting out of this one.

Flattered though I am, I see no desire to put any effort into something I can't possibly win.

The Furnace

Last night I imbibed a fair amount of alcohol whilst at a leaving drinks do for one of my colleagues (young Richard, whose enthusiastic and affable insanity I am truly going to miss) before joining Mark, 'Stina , Helen and Mark's boyfriend John for a meal at the Furnace.

Now I can't even begin to tell you the Italian names of what I ate, but suffice it to say this is a restaurant I can't recommend highly enough. The food was lovely, the staff were lovely and two bottles of wine and a large two course meal came in at just £23 a head. Bargain.

Mind you, after a day's training I was flagging a bit. I made it home at half ten stone cold sober but feeling oddly out of it due to tiredness.

I still feel a bit like it today.

Golf Umbrellas

What is the point of these things?

Some of us manage to get by quite nicely with quite small brollies, thank you very much, but there seems to be a definite trend of late towards carrying around an umbrella which is roughly the same size and shape as the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral.

Now surely, unless you are actually playing golf (and arguably even then), it's patently obvious how ridiculous and antisocial these bloody things are when used on crowded pavements? They take up far more space than one person can justify having, force people into the road to get past, and stop passers by from seeing anything ahead so they've no idea what's coming.

I wish a blistering pox on anyone who takes it upon themselves to wield one.

Fucktards.

Festive Spirit...

...is somewhat lacking at present. I keep looking at the pile of presents I have yet to wrap and experiencing a sinking feeling. I'm sure as a gay I should be excited by glitter and tinsel and yet there's just something about the whole experience that leaves me somewhat cold. I mean, it's all just so much work.

Wednesday night I spent a reasonably demoralising couple of hours on Oxford Street trying to buy presents. It was a reasonably productive session (I now only have two minor ones to get) but as you would imagine of Oxford Street of an evening in the run up to Christmas it was a little slice of hell on earth.

This was compounded by the fact that my father has asked for an item of clothing for his Christmas present - something I regard as the ultimate in parental cruelty.

It is, I'm sure, genetically impossible for men to buy clothing for other people. Where women see an opportunity to be creative and influence someone's sense of style, men (even the poofiest) see only a minefield of wrong choices to be made. I personally refuse to let other people buy me clothes because of this (a smack in the face often offends) and would have hoped that my father would do the same - especially after a stressful visit I accompanied him on recently to buy my stepmother a coat. Did this visit teach him nothing? No, apparently not...

The item of clothing incidentally is... well... actually not a big deal. He wanted a pair of gloves. Medium. Hardly, one would have thought, the basis of a major crisis. But the killer thing is that they had to be driving gloves.

Now I don't know what driving gloves are. What makes them so different from ordinary gloves that makes them so suitable for driving? I'm assuming they can't be chunky but does insulated lining matter? Maybe it does: what if he's driving in sub-zero temperatures?

So I realise that I need to get it from somewhere where he can take it back if I get the wrong size. "Try Halfords" he suggested, not registering that, being a shop for driving accessories, such stores are usually located on industrial estates that can only be reached by driving to them.

As a non-driver this means that I was restricted to M&S.

I think I got away with it. Time, of course, will tell.

But boy did I need a drink afterwards.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Breaking the Habit of Lifetime

So I finally staggered in at 1:00 this morning having been out to watch the Human League do a gig at Shepherd's Bush last night.

As ever they put on an excellent set, with thumping tunes and some extremely sharp suits and glamorous dresses (and that was just Phil). Susan did an excellent version of "Just Be Good To Me" and they all seemed to be enjoying themselves enormously.

They're one of those bands you don't expect to be good live, considering how studio based they are, but over the last few years they've really grown into doing live sets. (This in stark contrast to Phil's insistence in the late 90s that it was a bit of trial because he was getting on a bit, his memory was going and he couldn't remember the words any more.)

And it's gotta be said there aren't many acts who could fill two hours non-stop with almost every track a hit single.

Prior to that Trademark did the support slot. I first saw them support the league at Hackney Ocean for a one-off gig in 2002, and since then have run into them several times at The Fan Club, Electrogogo - where I accidentally assaulted one of them (much to my horror) - and so on. It's been interesting watching them develop over time; they're much more focused now, less of the art-school posturing (the lecture on waveform synthesis in between songs always made me cringe) and now more in the way of confident solid pop tunes. They so deserve to make it big, they really do - must remember to play "Hold That Thought" at my next DJ set in a couple of weeks.

So all in all an excellent gig - muchos enjoyance.

Today, however, I've had to break the habit of a lifetime and go for a Starbucks. The gingerbread latte was very nice but I felt so guilty I ended up buying a fruit salad too!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Sixteen Tons of Hardware

Current favourite thing is the new track by Bodies Without Organs, intriguingly entitled "Sixteen Tons of Hardware". A mysterious benefactor has made the MP3 available to me (spent most of my non-sleep-time this weekend looking for it without success) and I must say I'm loving it.

In fact so far I've loved each of their singles, but then that isn't surprising seeing as how it's the new band from Army of Lovers stalwart Alexander Bard who never seems to write a duff track. Frankly its criminal they haven't done any releases over here.

Have a peek at http://www.electronordica.com/ for their videos - certainly the "Sixteen Tons of Hardware" video is brilliant in a daft and camp way.

Plus the lead singer's rather boffable.

Of course, the lyrics are bizarre. In fact I'd go so far as to say they make no sense whatsoever - but this is pop music after all. Therefore it's allowed.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I spent a lot of the weekend hibernating.

I arrived back from Toronto at 6:15 on Friday morning and staggered in through my front door at about 8:00. Now most normal sensible people who have failed to sleep on the plane would probably choose that as a cue to go and sleep, but I decided to unpack, have a long hot bath, a couple of cups of coffee and then go Christmas shopping instead.

This was actually a surprisingly successful mission - although I will confess to almost dozing off on the tube on the way home and missing my stop. Thankfully some inner voice yelled "get out now!" just as we pulled into Archway station and I pretty much got home on autopilot.

Eventually at 9:30 in the evening, having been awake for thirty-five consecutive hours, I stumbled into my bedroom and didn't emerge again until mid-day Saturday, and even then I still needed an early night!

Sunday was spent pottering about and then heading to Chiswick for dinner with friends. Naturally all the good brought to me by the sleep was wiped out in a blur of alcohol which has somewhat laid waste to me this morning.

Ho hum.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Infertility

According to "The Globe and Mail" ("Canada's National Newspaper - Founded 1844") the journal Human Reproduction has announced that young men (hey I still qualify) should not put their laptops on their laps.

Doing so can apparently raise the temperature inside the testicles by all of three degrees Celsius due to the posture needed to balance them, the need to press the thighs together and, of course, the pressure of the laptop itself.

But what, I gasped would be the result of all this? Cancer? Impotence? Scrotal Rot?

No, apparently it could lead to infertility.

Oh well: guess where my laptop is as I write this, then. (Anyone who says Toronto will have points docked for being a smartarse.)

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Room Service

There's something vaguely disconcerting about the room service here.

I just rang them to get some breakfast and somehow their system automatically tells them who I am. This means that after a quick "hi, I wondered if I could get some breakfast" you get a "yes of course, Mr Morris, what would you like?" which faintly freaks me out. I don't know who this person is - they have me at a disadvantage already!

But when they arrive I then get something I'm not used to in the UK or Europe: deferential service. And it makes me feel uneasy. I'm used to a brisk, efficient delivery, signoff and withdrawal of room service staff, see. Slightly impersonal I'll admit, but to be fair it's a lousy job and why should they have to be nice to me as well?

But here it's all vaguely obsequious. There's a lot of bowing and scraping and general "how are you sir, are you enjoying your stay, would you mind terribly if I gave you your food and do be careful of that sir, it's hot" going on. The thing is it may be regarded as courteous to do that, but again I know full well that I'm NOT actually deserving of such treatment just because I happen to occupy the room. It's really quite upsetting.

The crowning glory, mind you, is the fact that they ask if they can come in. Now forgive me if I've watched a little too much Buffy, but I'm not happy with the idea that someone can't come into my room unless I invite them across the threshold.

And to make matters worse, the staff aren't anywhere near James Marsters or Pre-Pie Boreanaz standards.

I am currently awaiting the knock with a due sense of trepidation and dread...

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Christmas Tat

I think several of my family are going to be the grateful recipients of stuffed mooses from the Renaissance hotel shop this Christmas.

I'm not sure what's provoked me towards this display of familial hostility, but I'm almost certain they'll have done something to deserve it and I simply have to inflict these items on someone!

Still loving the room, by the way. The bed is huaowge: I can actually spread eagle myself across it (not so much fun solo admittedly but never mind) and not reach the edges.

I need a house big enough for my own one now. I've decided.

Je suis dans Toronto

Well, here I are in Toronto, sitting at a crappy laptop typing out a blog entry in the middle of a blizzard.

Yes, they have snow here. Real stuff. It's like visiting my childhood, only with more sexual bravado and less naviety.

The flight was bearable. The woman on the check in desk looked me up and down and got on the phone to see if she could arrange some extra legroom, at which she succeeded. I thus was able to trip people en route as they were en route to the toilet.

I saw two films. Yes films. Anyone who knows me knows I am TV-centric, not film centric - usually I simply can't be fagged. But I watched two films: first "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" which was actually very good in its way; and "First Daughter" which was pretty awful really but got me all teary eyed and allowed me to gaze on Marc Blucas for extended periods.

Well, I say periods... the emphasis is actually on the extended.

I then arrived and finally checked into a hotel which is actually lovely. Big rooms, well appointed, room service and a bath you could drown a dolphin in.

Clearly everything in Canada is much bigger than I'm used to.

Hmmmmmmm.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Ladies Night

Last night my flatmate and I attended a Christmas Dinner in honour of a group of people affectionately known as the Ladies of the Borough, oddly enough on Borough High Street. The ladies basically comprise Daniel, Orlando and the Lady Miss Roberta (Bobby) and they decided that they'd have a meal for various friends at the Slug and Lettice.

Actually the choice of venue alone did rather put me in the mood to graciously decline the invite (it's a chain pub with delusions of grandeur in my past experience), but I thought I'd make the effort.

Now I must admit that many of the trappings of Christmas I regard as tacky in the extreme. I loathe your standard type Christmas decorations, crackers, party hats (which are never big enough for my head anyway), and anything you blow to make a noise and try to show you're having some mad loon's idea of fun. I thus avoid them like the plague.

Sadly there was a fair bit of that sort of thing floating around last night.

Thankfully, the things I do regard as being central to a good evening - good food and drink (in fact surprisingly excellent food), good company, sparkling conversation and so on were also much in abundance which more than made up for the tawdry paraphernalia.

The additional bonus was forcibly removing the blowy bits from the cardboard tubes and then having Daniel destroy them. He's a man of similar tastes to myself I'm glad to say and also objected to being loudly trumpted at. The wanton destruction of tat was thus much appreciated at our end of the table (and doubtless by everyone else in the pub as it happens).

We then headed back to their flat for what turned out to be a deeply entertaining set of random conversations, booze and... well... other stuff and so on.

Yes, it was a truly marvelous evening.

Now I just need to get back down to planet earth.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Christmas Burp

Well, apparently my DJ set on Monday was (and I quote) "Ace!" (Hopefully this doesn't mean it was prone to blowing up prize-winning pottery pig collections and talking in anachronisms.)

We are therefore in the planning stages of doing a club night at the White Swan (or Mucky Vulture whichever you prefer) on the 27th to cater for all those (like what I are) who are staying in London over Christmas rather than heading out to the provinces due to familial guilt beaing laid on with a trowel.

I am already in planning stages. Suggestions for good solid pop tracks which are upbeat (but maybe not too cheesy - I have enough of that) would be appreciated.

I think I will be giving Shakespear's Sister a repeat airing. Quite whether it'll be the voodoo mix of "You're History" or my personal favourite "You Made Me Come To This" is still up for debate.

Obviously as my favourite YMMCTT would be my first choice, but I played it at my last set and don't want to get too bogged down in repeats.

Off to Find a Mountie

Well, on Monday I am off to Canada for a few days. Our head office is based in Toronto and I've been selected to attend the next round of meetings to do with the development of our software.

Last few trips I've been on have all been client based and I have to say whilst I've been to some lovely cities, they're not really much fun when you're on your own and you don't speak the language. This time it doesn't apply thankfully. I get on well with Canadians anyway, and of course I do speak the language (although I must be careful about the terms "fag" and "cottaging").

Mainly, though, it's a chance to do something a bit different to the usual and exercise my love of sticking my oar into things.

I'm glad, however, that my fear of flying has been reduced over the last couple of years. At eight hours, though, it's still going to be a bit unbearable.

A couple of books will be in order I think.

Hangover Cures

I think I've nailed the cure that works for me:

A vitamin C capsule in water taken before retiring and again on waking.

Then, for more devastatingly unpleasant bouts a sugar rush is hugely necessary. How you get this is up to you: I had two full fat cokes and a coffee which may be regarded as overkill, but needs must when the devil vomits into your kettle.

So, despite the ravages of Christmas party, by ten o'clock yesterday morning I was bouncy and raring to go - yay me!

Of course I still looked a right state, but at least I was able to function.

I think my trainees were quite impressed.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

A Whiter Shade of Pale

The Christmas Bash was very good.

I danced like a raving madam to "Some Girls".

I am currently very unwell and dreading the training I'm doing today.

That is all.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Nooooooooo!

I've just discovered Molly Weir, who starred in Rentaghost and One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing, has died aged 94.

Interestingly that would have made her 74 when Rentaghost finished - what a trooper.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/4052617.stm

Tonight Tonight

Won't be just any night... because I'm off to prison - by which I mean the company Christmas bash.

Last year's was dire, but this years I have better hopes for because it's being held in a rather unusual venue: The Clink.

I still have reservations (largely due to the provision of a DJ, and who wants to see their colleagues dance?) but I can always scuttle away after the meal.

Lets just hope the drink keeps flowing.

The Replenishment Begins

Yesterday I bought two new shirts to begin the restocking of my wardrobe after the cull on Saturday.

I don't think I've ever spent twenty-five quid on a shirt before - let alone when buying more than one.

Boy it felt good. I may be becoming a shop-aholic!