Thursday, November 29, 2007

Going Nowhere

Quite literally, Lynne. I'm on the ring road!

And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, congratulations. You are not the geek I am.

Seeing as I am being pestered to update my blog, I will do so, at 11:36pm on a Thursday night despite being riven with extreme tiredness, and with a post tuna-fucking-pasta dinner apathy.

1 ~ My evil bastard French neighbours have moved back to France. It is official. The nice Indian owners of the newsagents below my flat have confirmed this both verbally and physically. Verbally, by telling me, and physically, by moving in to his crack den.

2 ~ I was then woken up the following night by the new neighbours above us who consistently walked around their flat til 2am causing me to smack my ceiling with a baseball bat. The night after that, Large Northern Flatmate battered their front door because they put their washing machine on at midnight, the reverberations of which woke him up. (I was sound asleep, wearing shit wax earplugs).
They then left him a bottle of wine by way of apology (which I subsequently had to myself.)

3 ~ I have recently downloaded Windows Movie Maker, a very basic editing program, and have been staying up all night bolting my old Internet porn clips together and cutting out those offputting shots of men's grimacing faces prior to them ejaculating onto a pair of fake tits or a tongue.

I wish I could say I was joking about that one, but I can't.

4 ~ With no 'novel' 2nd draft to even contemplate about starting until 2008, I have found myself penning ideas for a ghost story script. It's been swilling about in my head for a few years, but only now am I starting to conjure up the relevant details. Suffice to say I have scared myself sufficiently that I can't get to sleep with the lights off.

I am 33.

5 ~ I am looking into the going halves on buying a house with either Nothing Man ("He's angrier than the average cunt") or Large Northern Flatmate. With no gorgeous partner with whom to settle into cohabiting bliss forever, I may as well admit defeat, stop paying rent and start paying an extortionate interest-only mortgage with one of two moody blokes.

And as that is all that has happened to me, here are some things I have never mentioned:

6 ~ I am too scared to go to my local Tescos because of their overfriendly security guard. It is now physically impossible for me to walk in without having to shake hands with him. He likes to do a strange clicking thing with my outstretched palm which intimidates me slightly and makes me feel very unhip and middle-class, plus he then refuses to release my hand. Lately, I have had to physically peel his hand from mine. I am now buying multipacks of tuna and enormous bags of pasta to avoid going back there regularly.
I think I have scurvy.

7 ~ I have not had sex in 2007. Although I have technically mentioned it (by virtue of the lack of posts containing the words: 'I', 'GOT', or 'LAID'), it has just dawned on me now.

8 ~ I have been Christmas Internet shopping. So far, I have bought myself Munich, Casino Royale, City of God (which I used to own but it fucking vanished), and Election on DVD, and a beard trimmer to replace the one I accidentally smashed two days ago. The only actual present I bought was a book about how to correctly use apostrophes for one of my two nieces, which I'm sure she'll love. Having to learn rudimentary English skills at Christmas. Brilliant.

9 ~ I have just discovered that I have been wearing my underpants back to front all day. I HAVE NEVER DONE THAT IN MY LIFE. I'm losing it.

I am now going to bed. I have done my usual trick of forcing myself through the sheer unmitigated hell of tiredness despite desperately needing sleep. You'd think I'd've learnt not to by now.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Moving?

I'm not happy. I had 5 hours sleep on Saturday, eventually going to bed at 8am. It had been a fun night traipsing through London and ultimately walking 2 miles home because Steve was about to throw up all over the nightbus. Back at the flat, I carried on drinking while Steve began to lose consciousness on the sofa.

Then a mouse ran past us and into the kitchen.

Perhaps that's why my landlord is upping the rent for the first time - three of us live here now.

I got up early on Sunday to see Steve off, and on Sunday evening I attempted an early night except my new neighbours upstairs, the two elephants, stomped about til 2am, meaning I got no sleep. I went to work on Monday, forced the searing pain of tiredness out of my mind as much as possible as the phones rang endlessly while a continual procession of customers walked in to interrupt my intense concentration.
I left to go home as soon as I could.

I was in bed by 10pm again last night. I assured myself a modicum of peace by speaking to my new neighbours to inform them, in my dressing gown and slippers, that they're 'stompers', although I made it clear with a sleepy smile that I felt awful for ticking them off simply for walking.

At 10:02pm, I bedded down for the night.
Then the bass started. That fucking selfish cuntbarge of a French neighbour in the block next to me just had to whack his music up.
'Til half past one.

Large Northern Flatmate and I gathered in the lounge and talked. We discussed moving. We considered buying a house together. Neither of us are in a position to buy with anyone else (i.e. future wives), so this may be the best option. I called my neighbour's landlord and left a screaming answerphone message along the lines of him doing fuck all in two years as his tenant continued making his neighbour's lives hell. I then phoned the local council's noise abatement line and gave them my details. Then, cringingly, I dialled 999 and asked for the police. As much as I didn't want to waste their time, I bit the bullet and called. My plan was that if it took more than three rings to answer, I'd hang up.
But they answered so quickly the phone didn't even have time to ring.

'Police Emergency?'
'Hello. This isn't really an emergency, but my neighbour is playing music again and...'
'Let me stop you there. That's nothing to do with us. Phone your local council.'
'But he's a habitual drug user and dealer*'
'That's irrelevant. Phone your council.'

(*I am more than aware of the hypocrisy of telling the police that my neighbour uses drugs. The difference between him and me is that a) I'm not habitual, b) I don't deal - not for a living, anyway, and c) I sometimes take drugs at weekends, realise that my life isn't really benefiting from it, then go to bed. I don't whack my music up to 11 in a crowded block of flats, thinking 'Fuck you all.')

So I went to bed as I listened to the dull throb of bass emitting from the other side of my bedroom wall.

When my alarm woke me up at 7am, I called my boss. He's a decent guy. He'd give me the morning off to recuperate. But it went to answerphone. I didn't have the balls to say I was staying in bed. Instead, I just whinged, and left it at that. Now I'm going to be late for work.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Evaluation

... of my life, for the five billionth time.

And what better time than when your long-lost childhood friend appears from nowhere so you head for the bright lights of London where you don't just drink him under the table, you manage to knock back a small distillery's worth of booze without flinching while he spends the dying hours of the evening with his fist down his throat in a vain attempt to vomit it all out.

My Evening's Substance Abuse Tally

Lagers: 5
Whiskey chasers (neat): 4
Whiskey and cokes: 3
Mojitos: 2
Strawberry beer: 1
Snakebite & Black: 1
Sambucas: 1
Unidentified shots: 1
Cigarettes: 30 (approx)
Cocaine: 6

Now don't get me wrong. I am not proud of this. My tally is not meant to be an idle boast, but a worrying indication - as I shocked myself recalling this list - that I should probably buy a puppy and spend all my money on dog food instead. Not only do I find this record vaguely disturbing, I'm also concerned by the fact that after I chucked it down my neck or up my nostrils, all I suffered from was a mild slurring of speech. I am also pretty sure that I was undoubtedly a devilishly witty raconteur and bon vivant to all who encountered me last night.

This morning, Steve and I went to a cafe for breakfast. While I threw an omelette down my gullet, Steve held his head in his hands and apologised profusely for his state. I simply pointed at his untouched toast and asked him if he wanted it.
He didn't.

Result.

He then ran out of the cafe and threw up behind the Qantas building.

Steve did say he enjoyed himself, once he regained his equilibrium. Apparently, he barely drinks now that he's married with two kids, and wants to do this again immediately. I tried to remind him that I'm not living in a fantastic bachelor's paradise and that I actually want to change my ways.
A lot.
One day.

But that's really not going to happen, let's be honest. Basically, I need a meet a woman to retrain me. I am quite happy to submit to whatever she wants, churn out a small family of whinging bastards, then die.

Life. Tschh.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Role Reversal

Maybe it's the Christmas season bearing down on me like a plane with no engines which is causing my natural bitter apathy to dry up like a blonde in my bed. Perhaps it's the fact that I've 'written' a 'book' (albeit a shit one) that has me walking about with a disturbing sense of well-being. Perchance it's the book I'm reading, the brilliant How To Be Idle, with its assertions that one should enjoy lying in bed thinking of nothing in particular, that work really is a pile of overrated, guilt inducing wank, and that it's laudable to be lazy, that has settled my otherwise jittery mind.

But I'm vaguely content.

I'm not sure how. I could eat better, for a start, and stop smoking so much. I could cycle more, and not give in to lethargy first thing in the morning and opt for the tube instead (where I have, inevitably, found myself yelling 'Can't you people WAIT?' at a dozen or so commuters who force themselves onto a train as a dozen more fight to get off). I could also go to bed earlier.
Oh, and I should get back into dating full-time, if only for my Large Northern Flatmate's sake (He's frequently stated that he "can't wait to meet the poor cow" who ends up with me.)

But tonight, as I waited for a tube train after a gruelling day's work, I spied a young girl aged about 17 who, as such, was not really my type. She was rosy of face and slender of body, but what really interested me, what really intrigued me and had me smiling, actually smiling and unable to turn away, was the little jet-black puppy she held in her arms. I couldn't take my eyes off him (for I'm sure it was a he), with his huge eyes and nervous little dogface. For some reason, his front legs were dangling over the girl's protective arm and he paddled them rhythmically as if he was trying to swim away.

Internally I clapped, like an enthusiastic child or a very excitable gay man. I jumped up and down. I thought, 'Hee hee hee hee heeee!' in a high pitched voice. I wanted to run over to the girl, say hello, and then stroke her puppy all day. And then I recalled my childhood; it was a menagerie. I would look forward to coming home from school where I'd grab Tiffany, or Gemma, or Mishka, or Crystal (Dynasty was big when we adopted her) and squeeze and tickle them til they ran off with significantly less fur.

On the train, I found myself stealing sly glances at the puppy, to make sure he was alright. When hordes of people marched onto the tube in sullen indifference, I checked to make sure he wasn't too scared. When I got up to leave the train, I had one last look, one final furtive glance at the little treasure with a cute wet nose and tiny little tail.

And then it occurred to me - aren't stubbly dodgy looking thirty-something men supposed to be enticing young girls with puppies, and not the other way round?

Then I remembered, I'm in the grip of a terrifying manic episode and all this is just the eye of the storm.

Next week: Trying to kill myself with Pringles and Scotch.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

NaNover

...for now, at least. I have finished my insane NaNoWriMo project, finally coming in at 50,615 words. And it is utter shit.

I one day (next year?) hope to re-write it into something resembling a fun, half-decent and vaguelly compelling story (Ha!) but in the meantime, I can finally get some proper sleep now that this literary albatross has been removed from around my neck.

But Shit, it is. The main character is a miserable charm-free zone (I refuse to divulge my inspiration for him other than saying 'It's me'.) Far more interesting characters simply appear from nowhere then vanish, never to be heard of again. The final chapter is slightly ambiguous and resolves nothing, and there is a historical sub-plot which seems to serve no real purpose, and is by-and-large hugely inaccurate (did people send each other texts in 19th century Tsarist Russia?)
It's not particularly funny either, which is a bit of a black mark for a lighthearted romp.

So I'm not too sure what to do. It's extremely dialogue heavy and feels like a script with occasional rambling prose at times. The thought of fleshing out all these characters I know very little about, of adding and removing chapters, of trying to tell a story I'm not too sure has any real point, other than me being able to say to women in trendy wine bars that I'm a published author (See 'Ha!', above), fills me with utter abject fear.

Other than that, it's fucking great.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

One Wedding And A Penis

I have but 4,000 words until I complete my NaNoWriMo. It is a painful, self-induced crawl to the end. What started off as a thrilling race in September careening through the month trying to complete a 50,000 word novel has now become a thoroughly arduous slog to the finishing line when my computer exploded and I went on to lose my creative endeavour mojo.

But by Saturday, I am hoping the hell will all be over, and available in all good bookshops soon.

Ha!

Last week was Chopper's wedding. In my ignorance, it didn't dawn on me that he was actually married to the abundantly lovely Clare (I understand that she too reads this blog) until he spoke to the assembled throng in a parting speech. Possibly because Chopper hates speaking in public, and possibly because my speech was finally out of the way, I was able to fully appreciate their union when he made his heartfelt statement that he was the 'luckiest man in the world'.

And I was suddenly gobsmacked and overjoyed for them both in their Adultness.

The Best Man speech went well, shared as it was between myself and the other Best Men, Jimmy and Phil. My original speech was discarded after it became apparent that I would have offended everyone including the barstaff, so we all gleaned what generic lines we could off the Internet to read in sections instead.

Guess who got the crap gags?

And guess who has discovered a rather unpleasant dislike for speaking in public. So there goes my semi-dream of being a stand-up comedian.

When another mate gets married next year, an event where I am the sole Best Man, I fully expect to publicly shit myself and end up on You've Been Framed.

I did have the briefest of romantic dalliances with one of the wedding guests though, which was gratifying. Except she was really smashed, which wasn't.
Although I was pretty drunk myself, which was excusable.
Although not as drunk as her, so it wasn't.

Sadly, we had snogged via the medium of her taking a picture of us with her outstretched arm. This meant that when she woke up the following day with a pounding headache and no memory, she'd be able to scan through her pictures of the wedding to find one of her getting off with the Elephant Man.

I really wouldn't want to be a fly on the wall when she found that photo and decided to renounce alcohol forever.

And then, this morning, I looked at a penis.
I couldn't help it. It was in front of me.
I was in the gym showers, having had my pre-work swim, quickly soaping myself as I resolutely faced the wall in the traditional English manner. As I walked self-consciously off to the locker room, an old chap who swims there every morning bade me a cheery farewell.

'Whassat?' I replied.
He turned to face me and repeated himself.
As he did so, I inadvertently looked down at his aged wang. After all, the damn thing suddenly appeared from nowhere. I didn't mean to specifically and openly look at his todger - I didn't even mean to look at it surreptitiously - but look, I did.

And he saw me look.

And I saw him see me look.

So he frowned while I grimaced and ran off.

Men don't look at other men's penises. It tends to make for awkward social moments.

I fucking hate public showers.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Date II: This Time It's Serious

Rocking Horse Shit. A £12 note. Decent politicians. Religious extremists who are quite content to do their own thing whilst letting everyone else get on with theirs. Jim Davidson being funny.

And me going on a second date.

One date was miracle enough in itself yet, in the two months since I'd last seen Janice*, we eventually hooked up to rekindle the passion.
The largely indifferent passion.
Twinged with frissons of 'What was the point of this again?'

(* Obviously, Janice isn't her real name. I mean, Janice. How many people do you know called Janice? I don't know any. Please don't write in to say that you know at least two because try as I might, I really don't care.
Oh, and no 'Friends' references, please.)

Now don't get me wrong. We had a nice time. At least I did. It was fun. After our meals, we stayed put for coffee. We even lingered for a fair while until the staff asked us to leave so they could prepare the table for the people waiting by the door.

So that's a good sign, isn't it?

But that good old chemistry, it just wasn't there. And I get really narked when that chemistry ain't there, because I'm pretty sure I would've got on well with Hitler.
And then shot him.

Janice was quite chatty all evening, and my initial nerves from Date 1 weren't there tonight, so I began contemplating if I would like to have sex with her.

Basically, yes.

She is very pretty and seemed quite keen, provided you overlook her occasional lapses staring into the middle distance, seeming vaguely bored now and again. She was also a face-puller, grimacing frequently during emotive moments in her storytelling, leaving an indelible image of her pulsating neckveins scolded into my retinas a good half an hour after she'd stopped gurning.

Yet pushing that image into the furthest recesses of my Ignorevault, I noted her delicate, fine hair, her glistening lips, her smooth porcelain skin and, moreover, her tiny, tiny hands. I had never before been so excited by a lady's hands before, mainly because at that diminutive scale, my cock would look positively gargantuan if she were ever to - in her abject desperation - grasp it. In fact, I'm fairly certain that she could hold Fweng Jr with both hands and his little hat would still be visible.

Being with Janice also made me realise to my shame that I have lost my roots. Not religiously, of course; I had a ham sandwich for lunch. (Plus I don't believe in God.) I am merely referring to the fact that I am as far removed from the Jewish stereotype as can possibly be envisaged.
I am red-headed.
The clipped accent of my public school youth has been obliterated by the Cor-blimey ravages of those teenage years spent in a comprehensive shithole in Barnet. Unless you count my parents and my wider family, I know no other Jews. I am the token Heeb among my circle of friends. I don't even own a car any more. I have the spending power of a mosquito. I have no gold jewellery. I don't meet co-religionists and automatically know their cousin's friend's hairdresser. I live in West London. I am muted into silence if I am thrown back into that world, like a stunned deer that has been slammed into a tree by a Honda Civic.
I am not living 'comfortably', I am in my Thirties without a pot, or my own house in Hendon, to piss in, and I probably shouldn't have said all of the above to Janice tonight as advanced personal resentment tends to alienate the opposite sex.

To nobody's surprise, this date was not meant to be. I don't think we 'got' each other. At one point, I could even swear she was trying to ruffle my feathers by being contrary, discussing controversial subjects and taking an unshakably Genghis Khan stance to my liberal, devil-may-care attitude, to such an extent that I had to ask her if she was deliberately trying to wind me up.
'Yes', she replied without explanation.
'Fine by me', was my retort, comfortable in the knowledge that that would probably wind her up.

Janice drove me to the tube. I kissed her on the cheek and found myself saying, 'I'll call you', or 'I'll be in touch', before realising that I probably wouldn't. But in saying that, her unenthusiastic response told me all I needed to know. I shut the door and, after a suitable pause, she took off in her car at speed.

If sexual rejection has a sound, it is frantically screeching tyres.