Yearly Archives: 2010
Quote Unquote (AKA Travolta)
Happy New Year!
The Black Silk Teddy from La Lilouche I was so taken with – Half price off their entire collection in the Winter sale and so money splashed out for something only I will see :D
Fingers crossed it makes it way from Tel Aviv safely- Hello Import VAT.
Knickers – A Look Back To New Designers In 2010
Needing dessert post-steak I was thrilled to find that yes indeed, I have all the ingredients I need to make the Everyday Chocolate Cake from Smitten Kitchen. I’ve made it before and it is super delicious and fills the kitchen – or room in my case – with the most wonderful chocolatey aroma.
Directions in the post on SK which I would also suggest reading because of the section about different types of cocoa and the alterations to the recipe that need to be made; here are the metric equivalents, rounded up to make things a bit easier:
115g unsalted butter, softened
195g light brown sugar
115g granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
240ml buttermilk (as an equivalent use half milk, half yoghurt)
1 tsp vanilla extract
190g plain flour
75g Cocoa powder (Dutch cocoa AKA cocoa with an acidity regulator added (check the tin))
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Bake at 160C.
So, now I have my New Year’s entertainment all lined up. Cake making and eating. Hurrah.
Tonight I am passing the evening alone with the company of Nintendo, DVDs, rib-eye with salad and a few glasses of booze. Warmth and fuzziness will probably embrace me at some point; I hope that the fuckers in the rest of the building don’t keep me up too late. Yes, I know, it’s the time of year that *everyone* is supposed to be getting shitfaced and being noisy, but pleease, could you not party ’til 5am?
Today I said goodbye to Leia Ewok Village who is moving away to live back at the parental abode due to a continued lack of employment and ever dwindling savings. She is one of my closest friends and with the loss of her I am officially without nearby intimates for the first time in over ten years. I have two other friends in town so it’s not like i’m totally without, it’s just that we’d shared a lot together and so her leaving is extra sad.
Ten years ago I was in my first year of university and so had more opportunity perhaps to make new friends. Although I am happy by myself the majority of the time sometimes I wonder whether I am on my own too much- I am not socially isolated but the lack of socialisation outside of work does give me pause. Where to make new acquaintances though? I feel different from the staff a similar age to me at work, my colleagues are all older/have families/live some distance from me, I have no hobbies nor do I attend places where lots of adults meet (gyms, bars etc.).
An additional factor is the lack of speed and length of time it takes for me to open up and feel comfortable around new people; I also feel too old for (insert anything of your choosing here) and can’t be arsed with flaky people or effort quite frankly. I think much of this mindset could happily be extended to dating. Joy.
On that note there’s still no action. Doesn’t bother me terribly- being happier and more content by myself is enough at the moment, and it’s only occasionally that I feel the lack of An Other. And whilst my selection of toys can’t hold me, rub my back nor make me laugh, they’re something rather than nothing at least.
I feel optimistic and resigned with regards the New Year. Should be an interesting one at any rate.
Tomorrow I am going to attempt to get away from one county and move via train into another to spend Christmas with the family. I am rather concerned that my journey might consist of three hours of standing up squashed against a teetering pile of suitcases with a little time sat on my arse on the carpet of the carriage just to mix things up; I hope this does not turn out to be the case. I also really hope that my train isn’t too delayed or cancelled – fresh snowfall predicted for the morning is giving me a bit of The Fear.
Anyway, not packed yet so will have to be up at a “reasonable time” as my Dad so annoyingly puts it; there will be absolutely zero posts whilst i’m away – this blog is important to me and it is important to me that my parents do not read it; thusly I am paranoid about doing so on the family hardware – I may Tweet annoyed utterances instead.
Have a safe, warm and comfortable festive period. Be well…
From Let’s Dance
Get the fuck on down to this extended 12″ mix. Worship at the altar of Nile Rodgers and appreciate a modern masterpiece.
Ooooh… it makes me feel all… frisky :D
I appreciate this a little less now, though the video is still rather great.
Licorne by Pierre J. [cc]
1. This morning at work it was announced that our school is going to move towards becoming an academy.
2. As a “less academic” subject and thus less worthy, Art has been left off the English Baccalaureate in the government’s latest white paper. Strangely, Ancient Greek, Latin and Biblical Hebrew are all on there, but no Art, Drama or Design & Technology. So all the private or faith school educated pupils will be fine and dandy but there’ll be no-one about to design the chairs they sit on or the buildings they work in. WTF?
3. I am not able to go on the activity week to Wales next year because the department cannot afford to lose me as coursework marking will be taking place. This was not a problem last year because the Head of Department marked KS5 Art whilst the Photography course leader marked only KS5 Photography.
The new Head of Department is having to mark KS5 Art and Photography because she is responsible for both. Now, if they’d kept on the course leader position for Photography… Oh yes, that’s right. That would be the position that magically disappeared when I was in the position to get it. Hmmmmmmmmmm.
Fuck You Management. You really do bite the big one.
The pupil who gave me a bollocking for asking her to behave like I would expect everyone else to behave is back in school this week after two weeks of “working” on her behaviour at the local Pupil Referral Unit (in between episodes of being picked up by the police), though thank fuck not in my form. Here is a taster of what she is being asked to agree to:
“I agree to accept the following guidelines to help me control my behaviour and to take responsibility for my actions.From these guidelines you can work out that this pupil:
- I understand that I must comply with the School’s Code of Conduct, outlined in my school planner. I understand that if I fail to behave as set out in these expectations, this will be drawn to my attention. In particular I will abide by the rules regarding behaviour in lessons.
- I will arrive at school fit to learn i.e. I will not turn up to school under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- I understand that I must wear the correct uniform.
- I understand that I must be polite to all staff and do as they ask straight away without arguing.
- I will not smoke during the school day or outside the school gates after school.
- I understand that I must not distract others or be distracted by others during lessons.
- I understand that I must not touch property belonging to other people and I will not leave lessons unaccompanied.
- I understand that I must not use physical force on any student or member of the school community even if they touch me”.
- Persistently disrupts the education of others.
- Has a drink and drug problem and turns up at school pissed and/or high.
- Chooses to ignore school uniform policy.
- Is verbally abusive to her peers and staff.
- Has a nicotine addiction which she feeds in school.
- Makes excuses for her behaviour by saying “But it wasn’t just me!”
- Steals from her peers.
- Assaults people.
These pupils cause trouble for their peers and staff for years on-and-off; most of them do not want to be there so set about making the lives very difficult for everyone around them. Verry occasionally one of them will break guidelines one-too-many times and they’ll be excluded.
She’s 14 btw.
SUCK MA GASH
As noticed upon the hand of one of the kids in my school; noticed and then photographed by me for posterity.
I’ve been *SUPER* lame at writing over the last wee – ahem, large – while. Hopefully my motivation will improve as I move towards a break from the kiddies.
Motivation in general has been pretty low of late- laundry and pots and pans piling up waiting to be washed, recycling waiting to be taken out, shower lacking a working light or fan as I haven’t been bothered to ask to get it fixed… General lame-o across the board. I can say however that I have managed to set foot so-to-speak in an honest to goodness swimming pool. Le shock.
The end of the week and thus the end of term simply cannot arrive quick enough; this week I am going to do Christmas stuff whenever and wherever possible- festive “sun” catchers (AKA pale and dim short day light-catchers), Chinese paper art snowflakes, fingerprint wrapping paper, winter-themed worksheets- Something different from the usual grind.
I am looking forward to many days of sleeping in and DS-ing; I am going to visit the family for a week over the festive period so I am also looking forward to unlimited food and Sky on tap. And seeing my family too, if not getting along with quite all of them.
No dates to speak of but a few online conversations; I was supposed to meet up with one of my pen pals in Lahndahn tahn – Codename: Blue Note – but all fell through at the last minute. Bit of a shame as it would have been nice to meet up face-to-face and also to go out somewhere but nonetheless I was happy to be able to go run errands and buy junk food for dinner instead. Hee.
Started conversing with someone younger than I would usually go for mainly because he had the most amazingly deep blue eyes (!) – unfortunately I should have paid closer attention to his answers to some of the OKCupid questions. So that’s a no-goer. I keep on keeping on.
Every now-and-then I find myself thinking about MW#1, wondering how he is, what he’s up to; I know I must not have anything to do with him- not check his Twitter etc. – as I know that he is still more than capable of upsetting me.
I value the equilibrium I now have, the relative contentment with how I pass my time, but I also know that it is a fragile thing and that I would be very foolish to upset that balance, literally. I miss sex and intimacy and I miss the company of men, the excitement of something new, but I don’t miss being manipulated at another’s whim or feeling deeply unhappy. A little progress, gently taken.
Photogram madness in aid of keeping my sanity at work and for the front of the Christmas cards I am sending out this year:
Ingredients include glass rounded into pebbles by the sea, orange bag netting, scrunched up tracing paper, tissue paper, sequins, board marker and my leopard spot scarf. The last image has been solarised.
I am *super* pleased with the results, and above all, it was FUN.
I’ve gotten a bit lazy of late; this man certainly hasn’t:
JUST LOOK AT HIM
(and his lawn carpet)
I love this track and was browsing for it on YouTube when I couldn’t find it on Spotify and lo and BEHOLD.
takeSomeCrime is a legend.
29, Yes! by OliBac [cc]
Last day spent in my twenties tomorrow; I am apprehensive yet positive about the coming decade- It’s the decade that’s more serious both personally and professionally.
I’m “celebrating” my “big day” by getting my hair cut; i’m visiting my family over the weekend so I can look forward to eating lots of food I don’t have to pay for. Hurrah.
The following weekend is The Night of DESTRUCTION i.e. Friends, fancy dinner, Eighties Night, dancing and booze booze booze.
So, total fail on the motivation front. Here’s what i’ve been up to over the last few weeks…
Bobby Convey’s Thirtieth – Walberswick and Southwold:
Barton Trip 2010:
Nitram and Hospitable Siberia’s Wedding:
Today I spent several hours watching Hawaii Five-0.
Scott Caan might be shorter than me but goshdarn it he’s awful cute, in a burly furball sort of way. Which is so terribly appealing…
He appears to be able to take a decent photo too and started out on a Nikon. Perfect-o.
It’s wrong but I am *loving* the remake of Hawaii Five-0.
I am loving the beach shots, beautiful scenery, bright colours and fast cars and the two leads (Hello Double Delicious); I am also enjoying the diverse cast but i’m sure that’s the the old exoticism card welling up in me from somewhere.
Grace Park is still as awesome as ever and it is pleasing that they get Alex O’Loughlin to get his top off about as much as she dons a bikini. Diversity and equality? Tasty TV viewing.
And I find myself actually laughing at the lines, but that could be because Scott Caan is saying them. Heh.
Mindhacks – Erotic asphyxia and the limits of the brain
“A guy who enjoyed whacking off while trying to strangle himself has provided important evidence that an outward sign considered to indicate severe irreversible brain damage can be present without any lasting effects.”led me to
“Abnormal posturing is an involuntary flexion or extension of the arms and legs, indicating severe brain injury.”led me to
“The fencing response is an unnatural position of the arms following a concussion. Immediately after moderate forces have been applied to the brainstem, the forearms are held flexed or extended (typically into the air) for a period lasting up to several seconds after the impact.”led me to Little Albert Experiment
YouTube: Fencing Response
“John B. Watson, after observing children in the field, was interested in finding support for his notion that the reaction of children, whenever they heard loud noises, was prompted by fear. Furthermore, he reasoned that this fear was innate or due to an unconditioned response. He felt that following the principles of classical conditioning, he could condition a child to fear another distinctive stimulus which normally would not be feared by a child…”
“..The experiment showed that Little Albert seemed to generalise his response to furry objects so that when Watson sent a non-white rabbit into the room seventeen days after the original experiment, Albert also became distressed. He showed similar reactions when presented with a furry dog, a seal-skin coat, and even when Watson appeared in front of him wearing a Santa Claus mask with white cotton balls as his beard, although Albert did not fear everything with hair”
A man decides that the best defence is offense and quite rightly gives a bollocking to two anti-choice protesters picketing the clinic where his wife was having an abortion; I am *SO THANKFUL* that we don’t have people protesting like this in the UK. It shouldn’t matter why you are choosing to terminate a pregnancy – the rights of a ball of cells/embryo/foetus do NOT come before those of my fully cognisant self – but the two women’s reaction shows how little they think through their thoughts and actions.
The Good Men project – Confronting Life
“Aaron Gouveia and his wife were already having the worst day of their lives. Then came the abortion protesters.”
“‘You’re killing your unborn baby!’Jezebel – Husband Stands Up To Anti-Choice Protesters
That’s what they yelled at me and my wife on the worst day of our lives. As we entered the women’s health center on an otherwise perfect summer morning in Brookline, two women we had never met decided to pile onto the nightmare we had been living for three weeks. These “Christians” verbally accosted us—judged us—as we steeled ourselves for the horror of making the unimaginable, but necessary, decision to end our pregnancy at 16 weeks.
After extensive testing at a renowned Boston hospital three weeks earlier, we were told our baby had Sirenomelia. Otherwise known as Mermaid Syndrome, it’s a rare (one in every 100,000 pregnancies) congenital deformity in which the legs are fused together. Worse than that, our baby had no bladder or kidneys. Our doctors told us there was zero chance for survival.”
Licence To Kill
On the subject of Gladys Knight, I fucking LOVE this Bond theme she did.
Back in ’89 I remember queuing at the local multiplex and seeing this come on a nearby TV screen as me, my brother and Dad bought tickets and popcorn. At the time I remember being struck by how much of a badass Knight looks in her tuxedo suit, how she was strong and didn’t look like you’d want to mess with her; the CGI irises were well flash to my eight year-old brain. I didn’t see the film on the big screen as I was too young at the time.
Watching the video now I am amazed at the terrible late Eighties models writhing around in the background and how very cheesy it all looks, but still Knight looks and sounds *awesome*. Oh look, a very young Benicio Del Toro. Heh. I’d forgotten about him. Licence To Kill is still a Bond I remember fondly- the stunts in it are brilliant – Rémy Julienne ahoy – and I have a soft spot for Dalton in the role- It wasn’t his fault!
Licence To Kill title sequence
The last time I did karaoke I sang View To A Kill- I think if i’m ever let loose again near a mic i’d love to monotone my way through this baby. Woo.
Mystery track as heard on Jones & X.Ray…
[Flash 9 is required to listen to audio.]
I’ve been unable to find it by Googling the lyrics (in a variety of combinations) and for the life of me I can’t put my finger on the vocalist. She’s familiar, and i’m sure she’s been sampled, but I can’t seem to remember who it is. Suggestions very welcome. Like Gladys Knight and Marlena Shaw with grit? ANNOYING.
A week away from my child-related personal responsibilities. HOORAY.
Lunch with Nitram tomorrow in Lahndahn tahn – why is it that holidays always seem to be at the end of the month so spending has to be minimal – who I have not seen in a very long time. Should be good.
The rest of the week I am going to break up the lie-ins with the usual unexotic tasks of living – washing, cleaning, Nintendo. Saving money by doing not terribly much. At the end of the week I am going away for the weekend to East Angular for Bobby Convey’s (second) Thirtieth Birthday; a weekend of friends, food and booze in a cottage with a treehouse. Bit of a drive but should be good – I do hope the weather isn’t too bad. Then it’s back to the grind ’til Christmas… SIGH
It’s a huge fail that i’ve not come across this brilliant line until today:
“Why don’t you get out of those wet clothes and into a dry martini?”NYT – Into A Dry Martini
This online dating malarky- There is such a gulf between who you hope you’d attract and who you actually attract. It’s that word of doom again – hope. I have good conversations with people but it’s rare that I find anyone terribly appealing. I know that I shouldn’t rush to judge by people’s appearance but I dunno, I think I scrub up well and so part of me aims a little higher? Too high it seems… UGH
Guardian – Spending review: government expects 490,000 public sector job cuts
“So begins the individual, human, stories of the effects of these vicious and excessive cuts. The propaganda war is well and truly underway. The usual right-wing rags would have us believe that a bloated welfare state caused the enormous, and costly, deficit. This is not true.”
“Yes, there is need for reform. Yes, there is room for cuts. Yes, it is necessary to reduce the huge interest payments we are making.”
“But, let’s have an honest debate. 500 billion plus went to the banks, they are still paying themselves enormous bonuses, they will be untouched by these cuts.”
“Why should autistic children, elderly library users, trafficked women and the poor pay the bill?”
I fucking loathe Osborne and his ilk – seeing his arrogant, sneering face reminds me what this about. Not fiscal responsibility, or ‘sharing the pain’, it’s about dismantling the welfare state and punishing the weakest whilst protecting the wealthy elite.
“Remember, this is the same man, heir to a fortune of approximately £4m, who has set up a trust to avoid paying any inheritance tax.”
“All in this together? Sharing the pain?”
“Fuck off you greedy bastard.”
This morning in a corner of my sleeping brain I found myself on the terrace of a grand hotel where it was, apparently, the day before my wedding. I was feeling confused and upset it seemed because amongst the cream teas I had just been told off by my sister (actually Caversham Princesses’) because I had upset my Mum (actually someone i’d never seen before) by writing the wrong thing in a pre-nuptial Thank You card.
My Other Mother stormed off furious and my Fake Sister harangued me for my lack of understanding. I began to cry and ran through the trellises and into the main building. Then I was walking along corridors trying to find something. I found a room of teenage girls playing dress up and makeover who all recognised me as I coldly muttered “Out” at them as I stood in the doorway. They asked if I was okay and whether perhaps I’d got the wrong room? This rang a bell and so off I wandered.
The corridors were decorated in shades of grey and every so often there was a more open area with white walls. Then I was walking into a suite towards the sound of someone’s voice and I felt relief wash over me. There he was (apparently), My Man and husband-to-be, sprawled in a black leather chair as he made a phone call.
Man was dressed in dark grey shorts, a grey ribbed t-shirt and a navy dressing gown and for some reason a slouchy beanie. Which was dark grey. He had blue-grey eyes, a strong jawline, stubble and strong shoulders but not such a broad chest; his skin was tan in a weather beaten sort-of-way and the hair on his good forearms was a mix of salt-and-pepper. He looked up at me as I came in and gave me a wave as he twisted back and forth on the chair; he smiled and gestured as he talked. He sounded North American of some flavour.
I crawled under the curly phone cord and into his lap where I curled up and played with a fraying edge of his gown as I waited for him to get off the phone. I put my head against his chest and listened to his heartbeat and the sound of his speech moving through his body; in between gestures he ran his fingers through my hair and I felt myself relax a little.
I was not crying and had entered into the “grump” stage of upset. He put the phone down.
“Hey Sweetheart, what’s up?” I twisted around in his lap to look at him and he planted a kiss on the end of my nose. He smelled manly man.
“Oh, Mum is upset cos of this fucking card I wrote and I don’t know what to do!” We continued to gently swivel left and right. “And _________ had a go at me for being ‘so fucking inconsiderate’… Arrrgh!” I balled my fists up and bounced them up and down in anger.
“Listen, you are getting married tomorrow. They can’t be pissed at you for long, can they?”
“No… I guess not…” I sighed. I still felt rather small and upset about everything.
“Right-” he moved to get up and I had to extricate myself – “I think you could do with some skin time. Come on…” He grinned as he took me by the hand and led me into the bedroom. Lots of white linen ahoy. It is a hotel after all.
He slid his beanie off to reveal close-cropped black hair that had a little grey in it here and there; he stripped off and slid under the sheets, holding them open when I had finished undressing. We squished together and as we held each other I noticed how pale my skin was in comparison to his. He stroked my hair and we lay silently for a while; I felt calmer and rather warm and fuzzy and was on the verge of drifting off when he rolled me a little closer and planted a kiss on my forehead.
“Feeling better now worrier?”
“Yesh…” I slurred.
“Good…. You know you don’t need to worry so much.”
“I’m your backup. Radio for help at any time.”
“I know… I know you’re here for me, but I can’t help but worry about stuff. It’s just how I am.” He slid a hand down onto my stomach.
“You worry about things like this supposedly “generous” stomach – I see a stomach that’s perfectly designed to rest my hand on, that feels good, that I love, just like the rest of you” I inwardly squee’d with delight. “Well, maybe not the snot monster you can be…” I poked him in mock anger and he grinned as he flinched.”Tomorrow i’m going to marry you. I want to spend my life with you. You don’t need to worry.”
I felt a burst of happiness flood my chest. He leant in to kiss me
and then I woke up. Hello Patrick.