An Unremarkable Narrative of the Present

Jan 04

AND WE’RE OFF TO A DRYING START…

Day four into the Dryathalon and let me tell you, there has been ample opportunities that a glass of vino would have sat nicely with. At this rate I’ll be gagging for a hearty Malbec before we’re halfway through the month.

I’ve noticed a lot of the company I’ve been keeping has also been abstaining in my presence, but I’m just sort of thinking “Have a bevvy whilst you can! Have one for me.” I think it is important for me to tell you that I was NOT planning on ‘cutting back’ for January at all, I simply wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for Cancer Research UK. So it sort of perplexes me that anyone would prohibit themselves the joy of a cool white just to stay trim. I’d sooner jog round me living room for an extended amount of time to earn it.

Perhaps it’s the back-to-work early starts but I’ve been feeling rougher than ever in the mornings; cruel irony! I’ve felt better than this after a night heavy-hitting the vespers, it’s beyond all rhyme and reason!

And I’m ignoring the fact that today is a Friday. Because what is a Friday if not an excuse to go out after work and have a couple of social drinks with your mates?

Back to the fundraising though: Nearly halfway, which is lovely. Go on, put your name up there :-) 

Thanks to all who have donated so far. I’d buy you a drink but….

xxx

Dec 11

Dry as a bone.

Thanks for reading. And now, thanks for reading more than the first sentence. This is my little write up of being a dryathlete *fanfare* I’m not a dryathlete yet, I have 20 more days to go first, or as I like to think of it, 25 more opportunities to get pissed (sometimes you nap it off and start again).

Throughout the course of January (boring month, what even is it?) I’m going to be completely teetotal in the hope that people see my pain and donate money to Cancer Research via my JustGiving page.

I see you with your pursed lips and post-Olympic comedown and I know what you’re thinking; Why a Dryathalon? Why not a triathalon or a real feat of physical endurance? Well I say ON YER BLOODY BIKE I HAVE A HEART CONDITION, I’D DIE! And when I’m not using that as my go to excuse, I think a dryathalon is much more torturous and agonising then a little jog round some stupid park or something. Especially for someone like me, a social butterfly whose best jokes and dance moves are found at the bottom of a wine glass. Jokes, dance moves, hair – they’re my three things.

Hopefully, along with raising money for a kick arse cause, this little experiment will prove that I am still bare hilare and a reasonably zealous arse shaker without needing Dutch courage! That’s why I’m keeping this blog. Then if I am going round like the black hole of boredom, you’ll all pay me to start drinking again and Cancer Research will get EVEN MORE money. That’d be sweet.

Well, let me start you off with a little anecdote of what happened the day I signed up to the Dryathalon, this Sunday just gone. In my excitement, and the euphoria of Manchester United, Kings of Manchester, winning the derby I decided to go on an impromptu bar crawl with my housemate and great mate Amy (she’s sponsored me, probably felt responsible). After a few bottle of Clapham’s finest pinot and then running round the park pretending to be squirrels I decided to meet an old friend in Soho and take advantage of a three-hour-long happy ‘hour’. Happy indeed.

To cut a long story short, I fell asleep on the Tube (bad) but managed to step off at the right platform (better) then did a graceful fountain of vomit on the platform (worse - totes soz TfL) then panicked and pegged it out of the Tube with all the grace and confidence of Quasimodo that disastrous time he stepped out into public for the first time (worse again).

Thoughtfully, the part of my brain that wasn’t losing brain cells at a rapid speed felt that experiencing this fond moment was not enough for just me and I was compelled to share it with Twitter and Facebook, offering my insightful philosophies, such as “help. Im drunbk. Im bomited.”

I can’t remember much about being home but apparently I told my flatmates a story about a girl I’d just seen being sick on the platform then sensationally ended it with “AND IT WAS ME!” Which I actually now think is very reassuring that no matter how near unconsciousness I get I’m a true raconteur to the very end.   

My ‘recently dialled’ read like a list of America’s Most Wanted, which was an absolute pleasure to clear up the next day. I thought about ringing Max Clifford to put all that in order for me, but he’s got his hands tied up at the minute with other things.

But anyway, this is perhaps the opposite direction my online compendium of thoughts should be taking. Sober. Sober, sober, sober. That’s the January me!

Thanks a big bunch for supporting me friends. Both financially and, when the time comes, please keep me away from doing crafty things like smelling drunken tramps to get a little hit etc.

Oh and just to be really clear, during the month I am allowed to drink non-alcoholic drinks, like water or orange juice with pulp in. This isn’t some kind of David Blaine stunt I’m pulling of nil by mouth for 31 days. Please don’t let that affect your donation.

Yours,

Jamo xxx

Mar 19

Rock and Troll.

I love the smell of bacon in the morning. Tonight I realised I love the sight of Bacon in the evening, fighting internet super villains using psychology experts and fake Bacon-bashing accounts too! As you may infer, I have just watched Richard Bacon’s show about trolling. It was an interesting programme but I found it quite disturbing. I didn’t know internet bullies or trolls would go so far, though I don’t usually consider myself naive about these things; I did theatre studies and read plays about people who do the most physically disturbing things any twisted imagination could conceive. As with most things, upsetting stuff is more stomach-able when approached with intellect or academia (note: two different things). That’s why I’m glad the show was made; make the whole thing less shocking and ultimately less effective.

But trolls, though traditionally ugly and big in myths, aren’t generally causing physical harm online. They are causing emotional harm and that’s very different from the plays I read about people jabbing knives up each others’ bums. I don’t think I’m very good at verbalising my feelings when I’m not quite sure what they are and I’m not a fan of extemporaneously sitting at a computer and bashing out crap in the immediate aftermath of an event but I’ll try and summarise my opinions anyway because today at work I learnt that people with blogs are taken notice of, and who doesn’t want to be noticeable?

 I think there is some sort of link between the summer riots of 2011 and the online troll forums where people meet to discuss where and how to post disrespectful messages about the dead, especially children or vulnerable people. I think we are witnessing a generation of people who are damaged and seek self-gratification by trying to maxi-shock or stick their faces into whatever they think would be the most taboo thing ever but in an anonymous way that they can switch off from. Yeah it’s ok to stick ‘maxi-’ in front of a word to make it a superlative. I’m just chilling with my homeboi grammar right now, we make the rules here.

I don’t know if my views are particularly patronising, I hope not, as I think these things just incense increasing numbers of people from each side until it is unclear whom is bullying whom. It’s all a nuisance too. Why doesn’t everyone just get a blog, stick their face and name on it and talk about the most interesting things they can think of saying rather than anonymously abusing people? They don’t even have to be riveting just LOOK AT ME, I’m doing it and I’m barely even proof reading my own material, let alone any other poor soul who is kind enough to consider my humble opinions. Just keeping out of harm aren’t I?! Also, come on guysies, they can use the word ‘maxi-’ as a superlative wherever they like and no-one will bat and eyelid.  

Going back to the show though, I really liked that radical trollhunter guy who dobs them in to the police and pretends to be one of them to steal secrets. Double agents and moles are cool and sexy but in this case it just saddens me that they have to exist as a remedy to the trolls. It also saddens me that no vigilante groups have deemed themselves ‘The Billy Goats Gruff’ either.

Fairytale PJs aside (private jokes), I want to say to the peacekeepers of the world to keep trying, be relentless. You are my heroes. And for those less heroic, like myself, just keep writing blogs.

Mar 18

Mother lover

Lots of happy and sad news on my Facebook feed at the moment.  It is very sweet to see how many people love their Mothers and think that their Mother is the best (I can certainly tell you that it is mine who is World’s Best Mum, sorry everyone).

 

I prefer Mothering Sunday to Valentine’s Day by a mile because whilst both days may be accused of being ploys to sell cards and flowers and both may be guilty of alienating people, childless/motherless and single people respectively, I think Mother’s Day promotes the idea of true uncompromising love. Valentine’s seems to be an excuse for people who have found a significant other to get smug and worship cartoon drawings which look nothing like the biological organ they bizarrely claim to represent. In fact, I’d sooner devote time and energy to a holiday which celebrates the heart as an organ which amazingly pumps blood around the whole body rather than as a false symbol of adoration and sexy feelings. I know which organ I keep those motivations in and it is a bit further south than my aortic region.

 

And Valentine’s Day has the initials VD, like venereal disease, which I think is telling enough.

 

I think telling your Mother you love her is unspeakably important as many who have lost their Mum’s will tell you. By telling your Mum you love her you not only acknowledge your appreciation of her endless hard work, you remind her how loved and special she is to everyone she knows and most of all to you, the person she probably cares most about.

 

You affirm a choice that she never doubts anyway- that disfiguring her body to bestow life unto you and let you live in a warm cushiony palace rent free for nine months of very critical incubation and growth was not a wasted and painful act but a completely selfless and beautiful thing to do.

 

When you are able to tell your Mother you love her, you know it is safe because the love was already reciprocated before you were even born. You learnt how to love because your Mum loved you then. You can progress through life loving new people and creating new people to love because you have been instinctually taught how to love from birth. Every day you love anyone or anything it is because your Mum loved you and so every day is Mother’s Day.

 

I just wish I had not forgotten to speak with mine today.

 

Love you Mum xx

Mar 22

The Social Services of the bloggersphere should confiscate this page for complete neglect. The best thing about blogs is that they’re not as demanding as a Tamagotchi though and you can revisit them whenever and hope it still has a bit of life in it, unlike my poor Tamagotchi, Dino (RIP, 3 days old). However, if your blog gets TOO much attention, you could just be filling it with shit, which actually is a bit like what happened with Dino, who had the worst case of dinosaur diarrhoea I have ever seen.

 

 Still on the application train. Not sure why I’ve used a train as the metaphor of choice there, because normal trains are uncomfortable for a bit but ultimately have a destination where you get off and my process of applying for full-time snazzy jobs will never come to an end it seems. Maybe I should go with a kennel theme - I’m the rabid, flea-ridden dog of the employment world, no-one’s picking me up from the pound, even though I would never bite my owner and can do good tricks (do an excellent job basically, if you’ve lost the metaphor by now).

 

 I did have a job interview in London a few weeks ago, which was cool but I didn’t get the job. The short, wondrous, indeterminate time between my invitation to interview and rejection allowed me ten days of living in London fantasy. I was pretending I was progressing through the ranks in a swanky urban scenario, meeting people for disgustingly expensive cocktails, buying amazing things from the world’s greatest flagship clothes stores etc. But even though it was just a fantasy and I could have dreamed anything I liked, I imagined I had problems with rats, which I think says a lot about London.

 

Visiting the capital was a good experience; I like to refer to it as my slice of London pie.  I tasted it, and now I want a bigger portion. The assessment day was alright too, had to prepare a five minute presentation about marketing in the 21st Century and do a finance/current affairs/business test which was so hard I considered re-enrolling in primary school. I think I knew some of the answers but as time ran out I thought I’d try my hand at pissing in the wind. E.g. Test: ‘Name two successful Canadian businesses?’ I wrote ‘Justin Bieber’. Good one Jamo, 10/10 for on teenybopper knowledge, wanna job?!

 

Apart from that tricky situation, I think I did alright; I was engaging, delivered the presentation well and swished my hair around a lot (it works for Cat Deeley). But, I really believe the standard of my competition was too good. I was the only candidate out of 14 from outside of London and they already had full-time jobs, most in the publishing industry, which stood them in a sweet position for the job with publishing/marketing agency Raconteur Media. When we were all being introductory and friendly and asking “where have you travelled from today?” I told them Manchester and someone actually went “I’m originally from Yorkshire but I’d never admit that, moved here a few years ago”. To which someone else replied “Yah, me too, from Doncaster, but it’s my biggest secret.” I’m not even joking but one person even boasted their rent is bigger than their Daddy’s mortgage. When I suggested they try for jobs at MediaCityUK one said ”I’d rather be unemployed or dead than live in the north”. I wanted to just look at my handbag, pretend it was a YORKSHIRE terrier, and say “Oh Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore!” Of course the London pie is delicious, but it’s nothing without some Northern gravy.

 

Was a bit upset I didn’t get the job, though it hurt less than being rejected from a job I didn’t want, like one a few months ago. I didn’t like to tell people that my London dream was over before it had begun though, because delivering bad news and disappointing people by not living up to their expectations is just unpleasant. I snotted over Tom Brown’s sofa about it for 5 minutes but then I bounced back, because like my face, there’s a lot of elasticity in me yet.

 

I’ve recently noticed the amount of people that have blogs is immense. Everyone’s at it, putting themselves out there. I’ve been thinking I should just take a back seat with mine because any words I type here I could be putting to good use, filling in applications. However, because I’ve given up gossip for Lent I could use the time I spend reading online gossip (there’s my dirty secret) just blogging. Though if I find myself in another situation where a Justin Bieber answer might cut the mustard, I’m putting myself in a disadvantaged position by boycotting trashy goss ‘news’. With so much interesting and stimulating world and UK news going on at the moment, I honestly must say I have been kept more than busy with my internet browsing. Nowadays the image of mass natural destruction has kept me much more engaged, concerned and terrified than the image of botched D-list celeb surgery. And whilst I appreciate the demand for celeb news and media obsession, I hope to continue to associate myself with high quality journalism, even after Jesus Christ has risen in 2011.

 

So that’s a little update, just felt compelled to write here as it’s very sunny today and I think there is something about sun which motivates people and brings happiness. I hope it’s working for you, and if not here’s a little treat to move things along.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6tV11acSRk

 

Katie.

Feb 08

Watership Down Workout

This is only a little one, but I thought I better tell someone the numerous connections between bunny rabbits and the gym. For example, like those Playboy (Gym) Bunnies you find in every gym, who don’t break a sweat and wear the tiniest little shorts. And the Duracell Battery Bunnies who absolutely hammer it on the treadmill. I’m so dead after today’s gym sesh, that I think I went above and beyond the the qualifying criteria of Duracell Bunny, straight into the Rampant Rabbit category!

Oh well, if I keep this up, I’ll be as cute as a bunny when (the) March (hare) comes around. Even if I feel like myxomatosis!

Katie.

Jan 24

I’m ever so sorry for not blogging. I wish I could stick to the commitments of a book challenge but I’ve been trying to spend my time in ways which will positively contribute to my ‘future’. I think that’s ironic ‘cos in order to have a future, you must have some sort of present and I certainly have nothing of importance to note on here.

 

Currently, I’m feeling quite negative about the state of jobs out there. I haven’t spoken to anyone in a long time who remotely enjoys their job. Most people feel underpaid, worried about redundancies and in a career that they think is useless and unfulfilling. Who’s got all the good jobs? Is it Phillip Schofield? He seems happy, but I bet he gets tired and standing near ice has got to be chilly. Luckily, I have the foresight to know that starting and maintaining a career won’t always be this difficult and the job market will continually be changing in years to come. However, it’s easier than blowing my nose to forget to arm myself with this and similar facts in order to destroy my rising cynicism.

 

When I’m not tearing my hair out at the computer, I have been spending copious amount of time at the gym. Apparently, the endorphins I have been seeking from chocolate all this time can be found after a 20 minute stint on the treadmill, or on my personal favourite machine, the cross trainer – the only machine on which you can feel like a velociraptor having a casual jog.

 

It’s not just heavy machinery I’ve been using to tone up my ‘heavy machinery’ either! One word: Zumba. Because I’m in the 5% of the class that is under 60, I always try and put 100% into the class from the very beginning, which usually means after 10 minutes, I’m ready to collapse, but I’ve developed a technique that is stamina-inspiring….pretend to be on Strictly. If you want to throw your arms up in the air with true gusto just imagine Craig Revel Horwood’s raised eyebrow and you will do it.

 

The other day after Zumba, I thought I would attempt breast-stroking half a mile in the pool, so I could enjoy some guilt-free time in the steam room afterwards. And yeah, that’s swimming, not just caressing mammaries, like I bet mermaids do. The swimming went very well, only uncomfortably brushed against two people mid-length and decided that I think it’s pervy for anyone over ten years old and not on holiday to wear goggles (ew!). But, and you must believe this, when I stepped out of the pool and headed for the showers, my towel which I had hung up had been nicked!  And don’t say what the rest of the world has said “maybe someone picked up the wrong one” because there weren’t any other towels, so someone KNEW they were nicking mine. Maybe it’s my own fault for taking such a lush deep purple giant towel and following the stupid pool policy of hanging it up before entering the changing rooms, but I was one soggy, pissed off gym-goer! I told the woman who worked there who was BBMing in the changing rooms, and her reaction was a helpful, “ya jokiiiiin’?! I’ll go and get someone else”. In the end, the only resolution was to borrow a damp, just been used towel that was on the reception desk somehow. It was pretty gross and I just showered as soon as I got home anyway, to wash away the musk. Honestly though, who steals a towel? It’s the only time in my life that I wished I had crabs. That’d teach weird towel stealers to think twice before they dry their arse on my lush towel.

 

 

With all that fitness activity, you may think some kind of blonde Nicole Scherzinger is here typing this, and I would honestly love to post a picture of my banging bod, show the results of my hard physical labour, but the new hobbie in my life, cooking, has meant there’s not been much of a change. So I’ll post a picture of Natalie Cassidy instead.

  

My cooking ability is at an all time high, I keep creating recipes myself and making delicious feasts for my family. I’d never cooked a curry in my life but my parents came home to find Beef Jalfrezi, Chicken Tandoori Masala and a sort of Saag Aloo I had just made for them from scratch. My Mum bought my Dad Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals for Christmas and my new favourite thing to do is sit reading it in front of the TV whilst it’s on Channel 4. Like a 2 year old may do with a dvd/book combo. That may seem a bit sad, but not as sad as the fact that I’ve mentally written the first page for my own imaginary cook book. It’s going to have big glossy pictures of such tasty food, and me in a wonderbra (gotta compete with Nigella and Gizzi haven’t i?!) and it’s going to say something really (un)funny like “If you’re a novice like I was before I wrote this book then please stick with the recipes and have some fun cooking. The last thing I want is for you to give up on the first go and just lick the pages boasting my delicious food.” Seriously though, I’m pretty proud of my culinary ambition at the moment and that’s all I can say for that. No jokes.

 

Before I go, I gotta say thank you to people who have asked me to keep blogging, it makes writing the blog worth it. I know I watched both The British Comedy Awards and The Golden Globes yesterday, and since then I’ve forgotten how to speak in a way that isn’t some sort of acceptance speech, but honestly thanks, and I hope you have time to read this! After all, I’ve definitely spent valuable job searching time on it.

Katie.

Nov 29

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby.
Oh Gatsby, I’d love you! I’d definitely marry you and come and live with you. What’s that?! Oh that’s your house is it? Ok then, we can live there if we absolutely must….!

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby.

Oh Gatsby, I’d love you! I’d definitely marry you and come and live with you. What’s that?! Oh that’s your house is it? Ok then, we can live there if we absolutely must….!

I’m so bloody naughty. Blind and illiterate people should be invited to come and bash me on the head with heavy books because I don’t deserve the ability to read. Even though I managed to polish off Gatsby in a day I’ve been somewhat slacking with David Copperfield. In my defence, it’s so big that I give it a couple hours of my attention and I’ve still only cleared about 1% more of it. Maybe it’s the book I ought to be bashed with?

It’s not David’s fault though. I can hardly blame that good-natured little orphan for my lack of progress. I feel bad, because even though a lot of people in his colourful fictional life seem to be treating him badly, it is I who is hurting him the most by not letting him tell me his story.

However, I’ll do my bit for the needy and focus my energies on him after posting this blog. I hope to be finished with the book before I return it to its owner in Eastbourne in a few days time. It’s such a lovely version of the book as well, bought from Camilla’s Bookshop in Eastbourne, which has approximately one billion books on its shelves, waiting to be discovered. I felt like Belle from Beauty and the Beast when I was in there. God help me if they’d have had a neglected shelf ladder out I’d have been swinging on it, belting out some beautiful ditty about how I’m too much of a book geek to notice everyone in my little village fancies me (Disney reference – soz hardcore book fans).

To anybody who is toying with the idea of The Great Gatsby, I’d say go for it. It’s quite short and an easy read so appealing to quite a wide audience I imagine. Characters are full of glamour and gloss, but mainly devoid of moral substance which reminds me of the celeb culture today. Your conscience may cause you to love Gatsby because he deserves it so much, but it doesn’t matter how much you love him, he’s chasing a dream that ain’t gonna happen!

But that’s just my sloppy opinion. Here’s some solid fact - I’ve finished my first book, book number 43: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald! Yaaay! Let’s bootleg some gin in and absolutely have a swell time!

Katie.

Nov 22

Read about half of The Great Gatsby between the last post and 8pm. I’m already bored of the challenge. Except now, if I stop, it makes the rest of my life seem insignificant. Great.

Going to plough through and hopefully have Gatsby finished by tomorrow then I will move onto David Copperfield (loaned to me by Alex, one of his favourite novels). If any of you want to lend me these novels by the way then please feel free to do so as the library had quite a threadbare collection of classics when I had a quick shimmy round before.

I’ve obviously been thinking about how to structure the whole affair too. E.g. I’ll read A Christmas Carol, around Christmas time and hopefully nail the Harry Potters before I go and see the final film. Hopefully I’ll find them on audio tape too. And think I’ll read a little Jacqueline Wilson one soon after I’ve nailed the dreaded War and Peace which is going to be massive. I should maybe change the challenge to reading War and Peace in a year, I’m dreading it.

Only the beauty of Gatsby and his unrequited devotion is spurring me on. If I was Daisy he’d probably just hire Owl Eyes to sit in his library and read them all to me. Groannn.

Katie.