27 July 2005

The true meaning of "a pain in the arse..."

subliminal messages

This post was going to be about so many things.

This post was going to be about mansized bottles of unisex perfume. Yes, that is what the man manning the perfumery in Boots yesterday asked me if I wanted to buy.

Huh?

Mr Klein can advertise his largest bottle of unisex perfume as 'mansized' if he wants, but it's not going to change the fact that it smells so girly that not even the screamingest of queens ever wear it.

I never understood why "mansized" was synonymous with "largest". As a child, mansized tissues were a mystery to me. "But men's noses aren't *that* much bigger," I thought. Now I understand what they're really all about, I just think "yeah, right, cos women never do that, obviously."

subliminal messages

This post was also going to be about the horny and confused ant that I sat and watched for about 20 minutes yesterday evening as it attempted to hump a fleck of dirt on my bathroom floor (yes, I really don't have a life. And it was funny). The segway between the two threads was going to be about sprayable stuff (perfume to ant poison, see?).

At least, I think the ant was attempting to hump it. Because ants are so small, it's hard to see what they're doing. It might have thought that the fleck of dirt was it's mummy, who'd been poisoned by all the "Ant Stop!" I've put down in my bathroom (now I've found the hole the little fuckers are coming in through), so it was attempting CPR on it. Or maybe I need new glasses again already, and it wasn't a fleck of dirt, but really a dead ant, and it was quite rightly trying to perform CPR. Or, maybe, it was a dead ant, and the horny ant was in fact a necrophile. Who knows? And who cares? It's in ant heaven (or maybe hell, if it was an ant with necrophiliac tendencies) now after a run in with my size 4 Skecher.

subliminal messages

But, then, last night I had a gig. I sucked, big time. The PA system was remarkably hissy/noisy, and I allowed myself to become distracted by it. Well, I didn't really have a choice - I had to pay attention to the level of noise coming out of the speakers because if I pointed the microphone in certain positions, it just got even worse. I'm not good with background noise. I can only concentrate on one lot of sounds at once. If I'm engrossed in the telly, I will block out what you're saying to me, etc. So, trying to concentrate on the hissy noise, and the words coming out of my own mouth - it all went wrong. I managed to uneloquently just say "you know" for the better part of 10 minutes. No-one laughed.

Then, I returned to the little alcove where all the comics were sitting, and that was when I added injury to insult.

I sat on the seat I had been sitting on before I went on stage, and my bag had moved to the other side of the little hole we were in. So, I leaned across the person I was sitting next to (who already thinks I'm crazy. She has, after all, seen me very drunk) and reached for my bag.

My fingers were just in reach of my Bang on the Door rucksack that I wrote about in my last entry, when, suddenly I found myself yelping, clasping my right buttock, and being flung back into my seat by the pain. Fortunately, my teensy fingers had just managed to get a grip on my bag, so I didn't have to lean for it again. Though as I swiftly sat back down, I think I may have hit the girl I was sitting next to with it. Not doing anything to help convince her of my sanity.

It would appear that in leaning forward, I pulled a muscle. In my arse. Hooray for the pain! Not (as Wayne would say in his world).

Standing from sitting, sitting from standing and walking up steps are by far the most painful things to do with a damaged rear I have discovered. Fortunately, as I take my own seat on wheels with me wherever I go, I don't have to do those things in front of people much. Which is a good thing, as clutching at my bum while I pull strange facial expressions because I've moved wrongly is not going to leave people with a good first impression.

I took today off work due to bum pain (though I think on my sick leave sheet I may type "pulled muscle in leg") but I shall hopefully go in tomorrow. And I'll have the office to myself, so no-one will notice when I drop my trousers to apply Ibuleve Max Strength Gel to the affected area at regular intervals. I'm sure the neighbours will also be grateful that my basement office has no windows.

I hope you're all wishing my backside a speedy return to form.

subliminal messages

24 July 2005

I've been thinking today about the criminality of fashion.

Hoodies. Now, if my Nan was still alive, she'd be delighted if the teenage me had put on a jumper to go out of the house. Especially if it was one that kept your ears warm and prevented a chill from going down your neck. She'd have jumped for joy - despite the severity of her arthritis.

But, now, jumpers are "cool", and so kids are getting slapped with ASBO's to prevent them from wearing them, schools are banning them, etc. There must be millions of grannies out there fraught about their offspring's offspring going out in the cold without a jumper on. OK, I know it's July... but have you looked out the window at the weather today?

And then there's rucksack's. Which seemed to have been on their way out of fashion anyway. A couple of months ago I sought high and low (well, from one end of Camden to the other) looking for a decent rucksack to replace the dying, denim, Hello Kitty bag that I bought in San Francisco three years ago.

Rucksacks seemed to have fallen out of favour and been replaced by those silly bags that go diagonally across your person. Have you ever tried to hang one of those off the back of a wheelchair? Farcical, I tell you. Because it's asymmetrical it swings to the side, gets stuck in your wheel, you end up jarring to a holt and spinning 180 degrees with a combination of the forward momentum you had, and the fact that one of your wheels now has something jammed in it. Getting stuck in the wheel rips the bag, but only a tiny hole, big enough for all your tampons to fall out. Then the guy walking along behind you that was going to offer to help you pick up your stuff sees what's fallen out of your bag and runs off blushing. You've still got the old woman who tripped over you when you did your sudden about turn swearing at you for not looking where you were going. A nightmare I tell you.

OK, that hasn't actually happened to me. But I did once try to hang one of those silly bags on the back of my chair, and it just went straight for the wheels like a weirdo in a crowded place to will always gravitate towards me ("I think you're so brave and wonderful for going clubbing even though you're in a wheelchair."). The rest is a montage of various incidents from the course of my life (mostly from having broken wheels...). But, it could happen...

Holdalls are out as well. OK, they will actually hang properly on the back of a chair. But, they stick out too far. There's the nightmare that if you try and turn in a shop, you end up knocking several shelves worth of stuff flying because of the excess size at the rear (and excess size at the rear is something I know all about). Or, there's the risk that with all the space inside a holdall that you'll fill it too full (it's amazing how much crap you can cram into a bag. It's not like I ever wear make up, so why the hell would I need a little make up bag "just incase"??), and the second you hang it on your back, the weight flips your chair over and you're left there with your feet pointing skyward, feeling slightly stunned. The good thing though is that the holdall will act like a cushion and prevent you from whacking your head on the pavement and acquiring a concussion.

After having exhausted the possibilities of Camden, I turned to the only other place I could think of that sells funky stuff. eBay. Result! I found a plain purple rucksack which I persuaded my parents to buy me for my birthday. That'll do for when I have to look vaguely serious. And I bought a Bang on the Door rucksack for when I'm allowed to unleash the real me. It's suitable for age 4 - 8, which is about right. My drama of not being able to find something funky that would also hang on the back of a wheelchair was over.

But, now, rucksacks are the epitome of all evil! OK, I'm not concerned about plain clothes police officers blowing my head off because of my pretty purple and pink bag. I'm a wheelchair user; I can do no wrong! Oh, the joys of being under age and mobility impaired. Despite being 13/14/15, I never, ever got IDed buying alcohol. Ask anyone else disabled and 9 out of ten of them will tell you the same story.

Suddenly, rucksacks are the brunt of all jokes! There's pictures circulating the interwebnet (OK, granted, that one is mocking the police rather than rucksacks themselves, but it's still got a bit of a "rucksacks are a faux pas" theme). 'Careful with that rucksack!' is the new office joke. Apparently. I wouldn't know, there's only 1 day a week where I'm not the only employee in my office.

Maybe I should start a rucksack pride movement. Just today I was again browsing eBay trying to find a rucksack like laptop case in the hope that if I purchase one, then I'll be able to take my PC to Edinburgh with me. My current case I wouldn't be able to carry, with a bag of clothes as well. And besides, I don't like carrying my laptop case in public. It's too obviously a laptop case. I may as well stick a sticker on it saying "I contain a computer. Steal me." But, a nifty rucksacky one I'd be able to whack on the back of my chair, et, voila!

And, after all. If the people I meet are of the quality of the folks I met last year, it'll be well worth taking my PC with me to blog about them. Like the woman who felt compelled to cross the road just to tell me "I was going to ask if you wanted a push, but, from the fact that you don't have handles on your chair, I'm guessing you don't." She guessed right. I can only hope that her inner monologue wasn't working in an Austin Powers style manner. Some people should have their voice boxes removed at birth, and she'd be a prime candidate, right after the constantly screeching toddler in my building.

21 July 2005

Here they come again, mmmm-mm-mm
Catch us if you can, mmmm-mm-mm


The Dave Clark Five - "Catch Us If You Can"

Once again, London go boom, but again I'm safely tucked away in my underground lair... um... I mean office.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/attackonlondon/story/0,16132,1533382,00.html

1.45pm: Emergency services are scrambling to locations around London after reports of explosions at three tube stations and on a bus.


Cross out the time of the story and it could be a headline from 2 weeks ago.

Can we say... copycat?

Copycat attacks are never as effective as the original. I remember when someone set fire to my school's "special" minibus (sadly the ones they used to ship us there were contracted out, so it didn't affect my ability to get to school on Monday - dammit), and burned down the CDT block with it.

A week later, Portacabins had been dumped on the playing field as substitute CDT classrooms. Someone then pushed the PE minibus onto the field next to the Portacabins and tried to light that, but that minibus was diesel (the "special" bus was petrol) so it didn't take, or certainly not was well as the "special" bus. The PE bus got burnt out, but those who had it in for the "new" CDT classrooms failed - the Portacabins (which are essentially made out of cardboard) didn't go up with the bus. It was all rather anticlimactic. I don't think the second attempt even made it onto local TV news.

Of course, all us "special" kids were lined up to pose for photo's for the local paper.

"Look, poor little crippled kids have had their special bus burnt out. How cruel are these arsonists?"

Because picking on the crips makes an event so much more tragic. They didn't make over-enthusiastic PE students who wanted to play netball against another local school line up in the same humiliating manner to get them to beg for a new bus. An injustice, that's what it was.

As for my opening song lyrics, according to this entry from The Guardian's newsblog

There are reports as I write that the police have captured the bomber at Warren Street, or chased him into a nearby hospital. There also should be valuable evidence from CCTV cameras.

Maybe they can catch them, then.

This whole bombing thing is just to make crossing Euston Road impossible, isn't it? Kings Cross, Upper Woburn Place (Tavistock Square), Warren Street, UCH (my nearest hospital, about a 10 min walk from my flat). Pah, who needs to venure from North into Central London anyway?

18 July 2005

I wish I was Neo. And not just because I'd get to sleep with Trinity, but because I'd probably update my blog a whole lot more than I do.

See, I want that little plug socket thing in the back of my head, so I can connect up to a computer. Not because I want to do anything so grand as participate in "The Matrix", but because I keep thinking through these wonderfully eloquent blog entries when I'm drifting off to sleep, and the most I'll jot down on a piece of paper next to my bed is one reminder sentence to remind me of the theme, though the beautifully constructed sentences are lost.

Oh, who am I kidding, they were probably about as articulate as my friends 18 month old who spent yesterday afternoon waving "bye-bye!" to me, until I actually left when that became the one thing she refused to say (she's so cute!). Apparently in her mind the phrase "bye-bye" has become divorced from any meaning of departure. Which lets face it, is about as articulate as I am when I'm semi-conscious. This morning just before I woke up I had a dream that I had to go to Westminster for some parliamentary meeting, and everyone there was cuddling Care Bears. I wasn't though because I was afraid that if I took my Cheer Bear (or "Big Gay Bear" as the friend who gave it to me insists on calling it) with me, people would point and laugh at me because I was carrying a Care Bear in public. But then that's a whole other story.

Anyway, last night's just before sleep though was: Why is it that if things are going to go bump, they always wait until during the night to do it?

Let me elaborate with a list of things in my flat that have recently made sufficiently sudden and loud noises to make my pulse race:

* One of those Ikea carrier bag storers falling off my kitchen wall.
* My fairy lights falling from around my mirror (but not in one big bang, approximately 1 light at a time causing a clanging noise each time as the lights hit the mirror)
* A potential rodent raiding my kitchen bin.
* Workmen putting up a noticeboard just outside my front door.

None of the above during my waking hours. It was another fairy light clanging against the mirror last night that promted these thoughts. I sat up and looked at them and realised the only once had another bit of the masking tape (yes, I'm so classy) holding them up had lost it's stickyness whilst I was awake proper. I was very glad that it did happen once when I was awake, because the first time that noise disrupted my sleep, I was convinced it was someone trying to break in through my back door. But, then recognising the noise during my waking hours, I was able to place it as being the same noise that had distubed me in the early hours of that same morning. Phew. No attempted burglary for me then.

There are 24 hours in a day, I sleep (if I'm lucky) for about 9 of them. By law of averages surely some loud noises should happen during waking hours, right? But, no. It's like fate hates me and wants me to be permanently semi-conscious.

I think the idea of a residents association is quite fluffy. They've campaigned to the council for a brick wall to be built around my back garden, replacing the knackered fencing without me even asking, so, yay them. Until they decided they were going to put a notice board right outside my front door at ungodly o clock on a day when I wasn't working. Boo them, boo them indeed.

Maybe my flat is haunted by a ghost that doesn't want me to sleep, ever? If I have to have a spook flatmate, can't it be a nice, friendly one like Cordelia's Phantom Dennis in Angel? Actually, I wouldn't mind having Phantom Dennis living with me. He was a rather friendly chap. Oh god. I used the word "chap," and not even in the scary leather trousers sense. I think I'm turning into my Dad. Nooooooo!

Anyway, back to the subject of things going bang in the night... according to the BBC's Are you younger than you think? quiz thingemybobby, my "real age" is about one month older than my chronological age. And one of the things contributing to the fact that I'm technically ageing rapidly? The fact that of all the things that go bang in the night, I'm not one of them. Apparently my lack of love life is slowly killing me. If that's not an excuse to beg for a sympathy fuck, I don't know what is.

12 July 2005

Some days are just good. Like today:

Lisy Babe (left) and Sharleen Spiteri(right)

Lisy Babe (left) and Sharleen Spiteri (right)


Yes, that really is me and Sharleen from Texas. Yes, those photo's really were taken this evening. And, yes, I do always look that gormless.
Parental excitement never ceases to underwhelm me.

I'm currently soaking up the delights that that ever so pleasant of seaside resorts, Clacton On Sea, has to offer. Or, to be more specific, I'm soaking up the delights of my mothers cooking. They say a change is as good as a rest. My mother is a very traditionally English cook. Every meal is meat (or in my case vegetarian fake meat - because I'm every stereotype, it's all in me), potatoes and a veg, with gravy (in my case vegetarian gravy) poured over the top. Which is pretty much the only thing I never cook (oh, who am I kidding, any meal that takes longer than the 12 minutes pasta takes to cook is too much effort for me - so I certainly never roast potatoes).

My father's birthday is the cause of my leaving the cosy confines of the M25 and venturing to a seaside town where all there is to do is play with those sodding machines where you have to try and win a teddy bear with the claw thing. There's no point in me playing those. My double bed is already too full of teddies to fit anyone taller than my great height of 4'10" (and trying to find someone to share my bed who is shorter than me is no easy challenge), if I procure any more then I'll be sleeping with my feet in the bookcase. I enjoy a swim... there's no way I'm ever going to entertain the thought of a dip off Clacton's coastline, mainly because the sea is brown. I don't really fancy seeing if I can still do butterfly despite my extreme state of unfitness by trying to swim through a stranger's anal discharge, thank you very much.

It was during my father's birthday roast dinner that I piped up with "Oooo! I know what I was going to tell you..." in such a fashion as to indicate that I'd just remembered that there was some news I had to pass on. Mainly because I had forgotten that I should probably tell The Parents, if for no other reason than my Mother usually phones me on a Sunday afternoon, and I wouldn't want to send her into a panic when she tried to call me on a Sunday afternoon in the not too distant future, only for me to not answer.

"I got through to the semi-finals of So You Think You're Funny?!"

"Oh." Said mother. "Where'd you have to go for that?"

"Edinburgh."

"Uhhh..." was probably the only way to spell the noise she made. It's a cross between "Oh" and a gulpy noise. It's usually reserved for catastrophes of the variety that I meet on a regular basis... like my bizarre junkie ants, or if I'm retelling the story of an encounter with a particularly dense occupational therapist. And is always accompanied by a roll of the eyes. One of my friends once remarked that he could almost hear down the telephone when I rolled my eyes at him - it must be genetic.

Because, of course, being judged to be among the top 56 comedians who've been performing for less than 12 months is really an annoyance (actually, it sounds kinda lame when you look at it like that. But, I did beat off 250 failed competition entrants to be in that top 56 - so, I'm not that terrible). I'm infuriated, clearly. The cheek of them, asking me to travel all that way. It's appalling, it shouldn't be allowed.

Ahem, yes.

This was then followed by my father reeling off a list of inconveniences that the journey to Edinburgh, followed by the (slim) chance that I may get through to the final may bring me.

Perhaps it was retaliation for my choice of greetings card to commemorate my father being yet another year older. The card had an inference that he was somewhat apathetic; so maybe he was trying to get revenge by being too lazy to go "ooo, well done!"?

Or maybe I'm just too easily excited? I do have a propensity towards bouncing up and down with excitement at the sight of something shiny or brightly coloured. I think I may be part magpie. That would also go someway to explaing the lack of parental excitement if I wasn't really their's and was infact the illicit offspring of a shiny-things seeking bird.

I've found a cure for parental apathy though. Purple their bathroom.

This evening I borrowed my parents shower to dye my hair. It now looks like it could be from the set of Psycho (their shower that is, not my hair). That elicited a parental reaction, even if it wasn't one of excitement at my comic achievements, or excitement at my purple hair. In the world of Lisy Babe, more gulpy noises abound.

09 July 2005

Well, London's pretty much back to normal again.

My life returned to a slightly normal state of surreality just before I went to bed on Thursday night.

In the middle drawer of my bedside table I keep things vaguely medical - tablets and sticky plasters mainly. I opened the drawer to take my nightly fistful of vitamin supplements, when I noticed that the drawer was crawling with ants. Don't ants usually go for sugar? I confess to not being the worlds most efficient person when it comes to washing up - I wouldn't be overly surprised to find ants in my kitchen... but, a tablet drawer? Unless Somers Town is inhabited by a breed of diabetic, vegetarian ants who instead of questing for sugar find themselves attracted to stashes of Vitamin B12.

Yesterday was a day when the worst and some slightly nice aspects of humanity came out. When I was pushing to work, I passed a (possibly drunk) middle-aged man shouting at some Asian kids kicking a ball around in a park that "I wanna blow the shit outta you! Fucking Al'Qaeida" etc, etc.

Because, clearly, Thursday's bombs were planted by two 8 year olds. Some people make you ashamed to be of the same species.

Shortly after that I passed Kings Cross station. The area around the station was crawing with people in uniforms (including one guy from The Sally Army), but an even higher presence was the press. A friend and I have spoken in the past about how the pavement outside Kings Cross should be a "no stopping zone". There are narrow points on the pathway, and of course, this is where the majority of press decided to congregate. I knew the day was a reasonably normal one after I got trampled on by someone not looking down as they walked. Same old, same old and all that.

By the time I returned from work, the floral tributes to those who died had grown in number, and thankfully been moved to the widest bit of pavement, and were being guarded by the same man from The Sally Army. I passed a bit too close, and as a result had snot streaming out of my nose for the rest of my journey home. Oh how attractive, and hooray for being The Allergy Woman.

I did also on my way home pass a jam packed number 30 bus (with nasal liquids pouring out of my face). That made me smile at London's resilience (until I tasted my own snot and firmly pursed my lips).

But, then, last night I got a true sign that life is normal. Friday night, while your average person would be out having fun, I was in Tesco's. That's about as normal as life gets... right?

07 July 2005

A little amusement to round off a sad day:

Apparently I can now blog in German!

If anyone who actually understands German can tell me what I said, I'd be everso pleased.
Sorry - nothing interesting or witty to say. I just wanted to post to let everyone know that I'm safe, despite the close proximty of two of the blasts to both my home and workplace. Two of the blasts were within a ten minute walk from my flat - one (Kings Cross) directly between my home and my workplace.

This story has been updated since I originally found it. It did mention the chaos on the streets of Kings Cross, something to which I can testify - about 11am I went to get some breakfast from the café around the corner. The streets were lined with people looking lost. Anything that people could lean on (post boxes, litter bins, cable boxes, etc) was covered with people leaning and looking at maps trying to work out how they could get to their destination. Little residential side streets which are usually quiet are full of people trying to walk somewhere. Anywhere. The quiet little café that never has more than 2 people in it was rammed. Strangers sharing tables and lending each other their maps. All frantically trying to use their phones and not succeeding (I can't believe that my panicked mother managed to get through to me). I heard someone sitting behind me say that they were unable to walk to their appointment at the Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital because Grays Inn Road was completely closed to everyone, including pedestrians.

To give you an idea of how mad it was outside about an hour ago - there was a bus which had just been left outside my office. It was parked at a diagonal angle in the bus lane, and the driver nowhere to be seen. The street was lined with vehicles that weren't moving. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to get home, because Euston Road is closed, and that is the only pedestrian route between my work and my house since I believe they've dug up the other road that ran from Somers Town to York Way as part of the CTRL works.

According to this article the bus that "ripped open like a can of sardines and bodies everywhere" was just down the road from my house. Given the location of the explosion, it must've been either a 59, 68, 168 or 91 - all buses I use regularly because of their close proximity to my home (especially if it was a 168, I use that all the time) - I'm just glad that my annual staff appraisal at Other Job wasn't an hour later, or I'd have very possibly been on that bus. That thought is actually making me shake with nerves. And if it was a 168 and the bomb had gone off 2 minutes earlier (if it was going southbound) or later (if it was going northbound) those bodies and body parts sent flying could've feasibly landed outside my living room window.

The sounds of sirens are pretty constant still in Central London. I can't believe hospitals are closed to everything that isn't life threatening. It's a bit like a diasaster movie. I've seen one person walking along with blood coming out of her chin - but that wasn't neccesarily caused by a blast, the pavements are heaving with people so she may have just been knocked over in the crush, or even randomly just tripped on a paving slab or something.

Listening to Tony Blair on the radio and not being able to see his face - he sounds genuinely upset. I feel quite lost stuck at work without access to a TV.

I still can't believe that I managed to get from The Barbican to work in Kings Cross between 9:15am and 9:40am without even having a hint that anything was wrong until I saw this post from Flamingkitties (this has a still-being-updated timeline of events which shows how amazing it was that I was travelling through Central London oblivious to events). The first time I noticed anything was different was when I was pushing from Angel to Kings Cross and there seemed to be an incredibly high volume of pedestrians walking along Pentonville Road.

Now the scene outside my office is completely different to how it was an hour ago. It's kind of like a ghost town, there's no vehicular traffic, and all the buses have gone (presumably recalled to their depots as there are now no buses services in zones 1 & 2). There's still a very high volume of pedestrians, though they seem less confused now. There's a smell of burning in the air which I hope is unrelated and that some poor misguided fool has just decided to have a barbeque in the rain.

I'm thankful for such wonderful people. I cried a little while ago when I heard from not one but two internet friends, whom I've never met in real life who both said that I was the first thing they thought of when they heard the news.

I'm currently following The Guardian's Newsblog with interest as things unfold.

Update at 2:35pm - 1420 London Transport confirms the bus hit by one of today's bombs was a number 30, travelling from Hackney to Marble Arch.

To be where it was - Tavistock Square, it must've been on diversion to avoid road closures from the underground blasts or something - the 30 doesn't go down that road ordinarily. Still one of the bus routes I use quite a lot.

Update at 8pm - Well, I made it home, and apparently made it onto TV whilst doing so. A friend spotted me in the background on five news, when I asked a police officer the best way to get from Kings Cross to Euston with Euston Road closed at the top of the road I work on, which was where the area of Kings X which was closed only to vehicles, met the bit where the road was completely closed to everyone and everything. While the radio is claiming that London is slowly reopening and there are now buses in Zone 1, blah, blah, the area of cordoned-off-ness around Kings X was gradually spreading. By the time I left work at 6pm the road was closed up to about 50 yards south of my office.

There are police *everywhere*. There are ambulances *everywhere*.

Cars trying to get out of London are literally double file on single carriageway roads trying to get northbound out of the city.

This is the current view out of my living room window:

cars queuing double file on a small residential street, trying to file onto a main road in the distance on the photo


My road is not a one-way street. It's just a usually very quiet residential road running through a council estate. In the distance in the photo though, you can see a T-junction - there my road meets with a main road. The solid traffic on my road is double file with people trying to rat-run to get out of London, and failing. Because that main road is double file with traffic trying to get out too.

The scene outside Euston station is incredible. There are police cars, ambulances and TV crews... and that's really all you can see. You'd never believe that they're actually running services out of there now.

The sound of sirens is still constant... you can see an ambulance on my street in that picture, stuck in traffic with everything else.

Update at 9:57pm - Though it's very morbid, I found this page interesting to put todays events, specifically the death toll of 38 into perspective.

04 July 2005

I like that silly stage of drunkenness when you start thinking "Heh. I like my shoulders. My shoulders are cool. Look, if I lean my head to the right, I can rest it on my shoulder."

Shoulders are good.

02 July 2005

Something old, something new... and it's all gone blue too!

I'll begin with some updates:

* My porn-watching upstairs neighbour: Yes, after having lived here for three months and having never bumped into him in the hallway, it had to finally happen three days after I was subjected to the sounds of the cheesiest music I'd ever heard providing a backing track for lesbian orgy noises coming through my living room ceiling. My shoes suddenly became very interesting. So interesting that I couldn't break away from staring at them long enough to make eye contact with my neighbour who was asking me how I was settling in to the building.

* By Thursday mid-afternoon, I'd not yet had a direct conversation with a stupid person: Well, this is me, I couldn't go through a whole day without meeting someone that could prove Darwin wrong. I had a gig in Newbury on Thursday evening, and I was on in the second half. Sure enough, in the interval the most patronising person in the room singled me out for "Are you taking part in the show too? Oh, isn't that marvelous!" I simply turned to one of the other comedians and said, loud enough to be heard by most people in the bar area "Oh. I don't think my material about people saying stupid things is going to go down too well." Funnily enough - it didn't.

* What's going on?: Yes, the layout of this page has changed. Deal with it. The commenting pages have completely changed to, hopefully they'll be easier to use, less temperamental, and comments won't go missing once they're about two months old. It does mean that all old comments have been lost though. Feel free to replace them! And, can I point out to the people that comment on the LJ feed, that, if they do, the comments will be lost after whatever time period it is that makes the posts vanish from LJ forever. But, if they comment on the blogs main page, the comment will now be permanent!

And now for the shiny new things. Or something.

There's a child in my building that I want to kill. Two problems with this.

1) I'm incredibly passive.
2) I don't know which child it is.

Despite the fact that I live in the flat nearest to the entrance, so I don't spend much time in the hallway, I do occasionally pass people in the 8 feet I have to travel to get from my front door to the exit of the building. In these short journeys, I've gathered that two small children of about the same age live in my building. Neither appears to be owned by the same set of parents, so we're talking two (literally) unrelated children.

One of them I think spends 24 hours a day sitting on the incredibly echoey stairs with his fingers in his ears screaming "LALALALALALALALALALALALALA!!!!!!!!!!!!!" as loud as he can muster. I don't know how he can bear to spend that much time in the stairway - the stench of rotten everything and complete lack of cleanliness coming up from the waste disposal room in the basement makes me want to vomit. Literally. Every time I make that 8 foot journey from my door to the main door I can feel the bile rising. The fumes must've killed off his sense of smell already. Which is probably a bonus for him, growing up in Central London (or more specifically Somers Town, which I think should be renamed Dog Shit Central).

But, I don't know which one it is. Though, I do have my suspicions.

As for the me being passive thing, it's one of my traits that I'm most proud of - you know that this child really must be called Damien and have a birthmark in the shape of 666 somewhere about his person for me to be thinking evil thoughts. I'm so lazy that he must be a demon child for me to even be bothered to think evil. Being the devil incarnate myself (if you don't believe me, stalk me. Check out my National Insurance Number... the 666 is right there in the middle of it) you'd think I'd have some sympathy for the thing, but, being woken up first thing in the morning and kept awake half the night by his screeching, as I pull my pillow over my head trying to drown out the noise I can't help imagining that I'm actually using the pillow to smother him.

I mentioned being "proud" of being passive in that last paragraph. Well, it's been a day for pride - London Pride in fact.

I'm usually proud of every aspect of me, being gay included. But there's something about the big Pride event that I find so depressing. Everywhere I look there's happy couples showing off their happiness, diverse families showing off their, well, families. And I just find myself sitting in a corner of Trafalgar Square, on my own, hissing like a cat at the happy people.

I'm well aware that I'm a curmudgeon, but the only thing I could find to be proud of today was eating ice-cream so publicly despite being a fat munter. I think pride is a day for happy couples. It's like a wedding, or a high school reunion - everyone is keen to show off that they're better at living life than you are, and if you haven't got someone beautiful hanging off your every word, you're fucking up somehow.

As Sir Bob Geldof announced that today would be Live 8 day, after Pride had already been planned, it was interesting to note the global acceptance theme of the speeches at the Pride Rally. Everyone spoke of an end to homophobia (obviously!), racism, sexism, poverty, etc, etc. Except for disablism. I only heard one speaker on the main stage in Trafalgar Square mention anything about exclusion on the grounds of disability, and she was a wheelchair user herself. Funny that. Even the partner of one of my friends went through a list of how we should tolerate everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, race, etc, but didn't mention disability. You'd expect better from someone that had ever met me, wouldn't you?

The sense of community is OK, I guess. The moment that made me smile most today was when someone I only know vaguely grabbed me by the ponytail to stop me to say "hello." It made me smile because in what other environment could someone do that to me, without me at best giving them and evil glare, but more probably bitching about them on the internet?

I did also, of course, run into several friends of mine, whom it was lovely to see. Being a wheelchair user and at roughly the same eyeline as a baby in a buggy, I did spot the daughter of some friends and recognise her, before I looked up and saw all her parents (they're all lovely people, but sometimes I just think polyamory is just so unfair. How come some people have plural people fall in love with them when I can't even find one?). While 'community' can be a fuzzy, fluffy sentiment, I've been a bit cynical about the word ever since I saw a sign in my local hospital saying "community gynaecology this way..." What the fuck kind of community is that? If I'm ever invited to a community coffee morning in Hampstead, remind me to just say "no."