Thursday, 26 March 2009

Acceptable In The 80's

What a feeling, being's believing, I can have it all now I'm dancing for my liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiife......
Yes, I really am singing one of the 80's most definitive songs - under my breath obviously, as I don't want to drive my colleagues to raiding the team drinks cupboard. If I was at home in my room I would be flinging myself around in a dangerous imitation of Jennifer Beals as she wows the judges with her kind of cheesy, disturbingly aerobics-like dancing, after heroically picking herself up from that fall that was the lamest excuse for a stumble I have ever seen. I mean, they could have at least had her trip convincingly to make up for the, ahem, acting. Before you go all "yes but she's an icon" on me, I'm not hating on Flashdance - in fact, I adore Flashdance, and pretty much every other dancing flick ever made. Yes, even Make It Happen, and good lord that was a bad one. Never heard of it? There's a reason for that - don't look it up.

Flashdance is merely a teaser, just the tip of the iceberg of this mini 80's revival I am having at my desk. The 80's are officially back people! Now, I know the 80's have technically been back for a while, as evidenced by the reformation of Depeche Mode and NKOTB, and the startling recent trend amongst celebs to overdo the blue eyeshadow and pouffy back combs (Olsen twins anyone?). Thundercats has been re-released on dvd to a storming reception, and Jason Donovan is suddenly in great demand again. But there has been one thing missing that didn't just represent the 80's, it WAS the 80's in all it's glorious kitschness: NEON.

I was at River Island the other day exchanging a pair of jeans, and one half of the store consisted entirely of neon clothing. Among the trademark racks of "distressed" denim (insert said denim's feeble cry for help I the only one who imagines this?) was row upon row of lumo pink leggings, safety-marshall yellow jackets and dresses in greens so bright I was temporarily blinded, and had to peer at my surroundings as if through those nifty night vision goggles they use in spy movies. In a frenzy, I grabbed an armload of pretty much every luminous item in my size and rushed to the changing rooms, head spinning with the palette of colours I hadn't seen since we used to wear 4 rolly socks at once so our feet would look like they wore neon anklets. Imagine the thrill I felt shrugging into a neon orange t-shirt WITH A PRINT OF A LADY IN A HAT on the front (all the greatest 80's prints had ladies in hats).

My joy was slightly tempered when I realised that orange, having never been my colour, is still not my colour and is possibly even less so when it comes in an incandescent hue. Similarly, the yellow made me look like I was about to vomit on the changing room floor, and the pink, while not as awful, was a slightly salmony neon, and so gave me the appearance of a rather pallid fish with scales in all the wrong places (read: it accentuates curves that shouldn't be accentuated). To my relief, I found the lumo green dress looked pretty good, until I heard a commotion outside my cubicle and poked my head out to find a mother wrestling with a little girl of about 5, who was wearing a dress in exactly the same shade.

It left me with a nostalgic feeling for the days of my early childhood, when listening to Paula Abdul was cool and all the girls wore tommie takkies with their zebra print skirts. More about that tomorrow. It also left me with the distinct impression, though, that this summer we are going to see a great many jaundiced looking women walking the streets of London in their lumo gear, cracking gum with their mouths open and tossing their hair metal band coiffes in a tribute to good old days. I myself have learnt my lesson from those 5 minutes spent in River Island's changing room, and will leave the past safely in the past. I swear on my rolly socks.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Cry Another Day

I haven't written a party-related post for a while now. I used to cover our drunken exploits far more often on this blog, until my mother sent me an e-mail asking me in that polite but unmistakeably disapproving tone that mothers use if I was not at all concerned for my liver, because she certainly was, and perhaps I should pay more attention to my health and my AGE, thank you very much. Ok, maybe she didn't mention my age, perhaps that is my guilt talking. I then had to fling myself into furious back pedalling to convince her that I am in fact in very good health, and contrary to how it sounds, I don't actually spend every weekend pissed out of my head. Only every second weekend. Ha ha, sorry mom, just kidding - and I love that you care, really.

In all seriousness though, I am a lot better than I used to be - we all are. Nights would often end with one or more of my happy party in floods of tears (clearly not so happy anymore), falling off of or over inconveniently placed obstacles such as bar tables or bartenders, picking fights and causing an almighty scene (usually the girls), throwing up in the doorway of the club (the girls again), dancing like strippers on podiums (we still do that) or any number of other issues that befall the truly drink sodden. Did we have a good time? Hell yeah! But we are all getting on a bit now, and we've developed a sense of dignity. At least, we thoroughly enjoy watching our younger compatriots behave in a similar fashion when we're out, and smugly discussing how we've grown up since then (we choose not to notice that we were right in there as recently as 18 months ago). So we manage for the most part to party up a storm without behaving like chavs or taking a battering ram to our livers - just a solid mallett does the trick, we find. There are, however, always exceptions to any rule.

Saturday was one such exception. As I've mentioned before, there is a large group of us all born in March. Much discussion over beers (of course) has led us to believe that June, the month in which we were all conceived, is obviously a generally cold and boring month. Because our parents could not control their libidos during the early ides of winter, we now have to deal with what is a very expensive and physically exhausting 31 days each year, as we try to celebrate with each of the March babies. This year, we faced an expensive and physically exhausting March after having already faced an expensive and physically exhausting previous 6 months, due to the recession and our constant worrying about how to survive it (never mind those of who have actually been laid off as result). One thing was certain - the only way to deal with March in a credit crunch was to have one massive birthday celebration for everyone.

Saturday night was that celebration and it lived up to the extensive hype we've been feeding into it the past few weeks. We took over a pub in Wandsworth, having convinced the owner to let us have it for free in return for ramping up his weekend attendance, and we set up a sound rig in there that could have easily powered a small club. Since so many of our friends are up and coming DJs in the trance and electro scenes in London, they all volunteered to play, and the pub's owner kindly offered to lock the place down from 11pm - 2am just for us. For those not familiar with a lockdown, its when an establishment closes its doors to the public and allows the punters inside to continue partying. You can go out, but if you do, you can't come back in, as was discovered by my sweet but dopey friend P, who wandered outside for a smoke after 11 and never made it back (there was an alternative smoking area out the back, but there you go).

Everything was going splendidly. People were pissed and having the time of their lives. But as with anything, things are not always what they seem.....the drama started half way through the evening when Penguin ran into some trouble with the guy she's been seeing. To cut a long story short, there is also an ex-girlfriend in the picture, and one thing led to another and before we knew it, Pen was miserable and pissed off. I pulled her outside to do my friendly duty in telling her what an idiot he was, and my concern was met with a flood of tears. After a quick pep talk and make-up check - because we are all very experienced in How To Deal with Drunken Dramatics - we had her back on the dancefloor and in high spirits again. Later on there was a pretty much a blow by blow repeat performance, which ended with Penguin leaving and not telling anyone. I'd give that a measly 5 out of 10 in the drama stakes, although for Pen it actually deserves a 6, as it is quite out of character for her.

at 2am we left the pub and there was some confusion as to who was going where with whom. Miss M and Shoes had a little altercation outside the pub, with Shoes saying some things he shouldn't have in a very insensitive guy kind of way, leaving Miss M a little upset. In the meantime, Mandz was practically rolling herself down the road in the general direction of home. When I questioned G-Days and OJ about it, they said she had fought them off when they tried to call her a cab, and had insisted on walking home. As the poor girl was too drunk to coherently spell out her address, I made the boys chase her down and hail a cab for her, which they forcibly put her in. On my way to a friend's house to continue the party, I had first Mandz and then Miss M call me, both of them in tears for very different reasons. Miss M was unsure as to why she was crying, and was very upset that she was being "that drunk girl who cries about nothing". Mandz on the other hand was very sure of why she was crying - she didn't want to get in the cab and was forced into it, and then life, love and everything in general were all just too much and what was she supposed to do, and how could she go inside her house in this state (she was standing on her front lawn probably waking up the neighbours with braying sobs).

At one point, I had my phone in one ear with Mandz sobbing her heart out, and G-Days' phone in the other ear with Miss M bawling, and I very nearly started crying myself because I couldn't think of anything else to do! It took some doing, but I managed to soothe them both by talking about shopping (Mandz) and how everyone else was actually far more dramatic that she was (Miss M).

The best thing was the shameful texts the next morning, when no-one could quite face anyone else, or in Mandz' case, even remember what had happened at all! All in all it was a brilliant night, so good in fact, that the pub owner has agreed to let us have regular parties there over the summer. Next time I'll be the crazy one, and someone else can do the counselling!

Monday, 9 March 2009

I Touch Myself

I was going through my e-mails in my gmail inbox today, deleting old threads, sorting others into categories and labelling those I want to keep (yes, I am anal to the point of needing therapy), when I came across something that I just have to share with you. We all get bizarre spam messages, right? You know the kind: enhance your sexual performance / increase the size of your penis / introducing a new cure for some unspeakable condition, etc etc. Sometimes we get them delivered straight to our inboxes, with our names in the subject line.

Then there is the e-mail that is not spam, but you dearly wish it was. The kind that comes when you sign up to an online dating site, because you're tired of never meeting women as you're always going out with the same bunch of friends. You say in your profile that you're straight - of course you do. But you also put up a few pics that are a little, um, sensual that are meant to lure the ladies in by means of your six pack and well defined chest/arms.

Of course, this is risky, because there is always one person who will see past the chick-bait and assume your photos are evidence of unexpressed desires:

Hi X
Hope this doesn't offend you....

I'm Colin.Currently seeking fit uninhibited guys who want to earn spare time cash in hand (£160) for 1.5 hours modelling nude for photos & solo wank videos in London.

I give free photos to all models of themselves. References can be provided on request.

It's posing solo with erection & cum shots while watching hardcore porno. It's for an upcoming adult solo male nudes website I want to put together.

Take a look at my profile for sample photos of models.

If you'd be interested to know more, see recent samples of my work etc you can contact me on msn messenger.

Needless to say, my friend declined Colin's kind offer. If you're a pervy narcissist, however, this might be your dream job. If this sounds like you, IM me and I'll track down the lusty Colin for you.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Lopz Likes Jake's Lollipop

Right, I need to get something off my chest. For those of you who don't use facebook, you should probably stop reading now. However, if you are like me, and you know how lame it is to stalk your friends but you just can't help yourself, I would appreciate your input on this.

I have taken issue with facebook's new range of "actions". Recently the content providers, in their ever expanding quest for world domination and consequent willing contribution to the current economic downfall, have added a potential action for pretty much everything that your friends do. For a few months now, we've had the ability to "comment" on things. For example, I edit the music field in my profile, and my friends sees it and comments: "For the love of all that is holy, do you seriously listen to Def Leppard? You loser!" Or something like that. Kind of pointless, but not actually offensive, unless you have befriended offensive people (yes you, the one with the 650 friends. That is what happens when you befriend random strangers in an attempt to look popular).

Then there are the less inflammatory but more useful actions, such as being able to add an event to your calendar when you see it on a friend's mini-feed (a list of one's online activities, for those of you who don't speak Facebook).

From there, we turn a corner and begin an unstoppable slide down the slippery slopes of insanity, beginning with the "like" action. In my book, this one scored top marks for Most Imbecilic Idea Ever Had By A Facebook Employee. You can "like" anything from a friend's taste in music or a photo they put up, to their status update. So Jimmy writes "I'm tired" and you can like it (you literally click on a link that says like, and you are listed underneath the status / photo as "Lopz likes this". With a little thumbs up sign. No, really.) Am I the only one who is befuddled by the absurdity of this action? So you like that Jimmy is tired, or that he just ate an egg sandwich (while I may be a regular facebook user, I pride myself on not boring people to the point of artery severing with inane updates). So the fuck what? Does anybody out there REALLY give a crap that you like someone else's egg sandwich? And while I'm on it, I would like to beg mercy from those who insist on telling us they are eating egg sandwiches, or that they are are cleaning their rooms, or that their brains are about to explode from the effort of thinking of an original status update. Please people. No-one cares. If you must do it, go on twitter, where grinches like myself don't dare to venture.

So, in case I wasn't clear, the "like" action has been my facebook nemesis. Until today.

This is what I found on my friend's mini-feed:

Jake just got a fresh new lollipop. It looks like it could use some breaking into!
02:54 - Comment - - - Suck Jake's Lollipop

Suck Jake's lollipop????

The potential for taking the piss is so vast, I don't know where to start. Suffice it to say that I believe facebook is slowly but surely targeting a younger and younger audience, and at nearly 30, I think I might have to look at putting an expiry date on my account. After all, can you really consider sucking Jake's lollipop at 40 with a straight face?