Monday, 22 June 2009

Quote Of The Day

You know your relationship is going badly when.....

Said by one friend of mine to another about his girlfriend:

“Sometimes I just want to hold her head underwater and watch the life drain from her eyes.”

Put down the axe, Mr Torrance!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Grease Is The Word

My retinas are stinging and my brain is boggling. I have just picked up yesterday's copy of The Metro, a free London newspaper, and I have come across an article that both intrigues and disturbs me.

For those of you who know Piers Morgan, observe (I would insert the pic, but restrictions on my work pc don't let me post pics):

For those who don't, he is a judge on X Factor and America's Got Talent, and former editor of The Daily Mirror (trashy tabloid) until he was fired for publishing fake photographs of Iraqi prisoners being abused. As you do.

Overall a rather leery character, like your second uncle twice removed who stares at you in an inappropriate fashion at your annual family gathering.

Anyway, it's not even the David Beckham style strip-off that Monssieur Morgan has copied that really has me baffled (although his nudity is definitely baffling enough for a pint's worth debate down at the pub). It's the product he's advertising. Take another look. This picture is supposed to represent the sensual appeal of Burger King's brand new fragrance, Flame, which is being touted as "the scent of seduction, with a hint of flame-broiled meat".

But, of course. Because what do ladies go for in a man if not the seductive aroma of a greasy processed burger? I myself have always wished for a hunk of meaty-smelling love to waft past me, ready for me to sink my incisors into his medium-rare flesh. I see two possible outcomes:

a) The obvious one, which is that BK only sells enough fragrances to supply college kids with olfactory jokes to play on their drunken, passed-out mates

b) We all give in to the raging cannibals inside us and start tearing chunks off each other in Superdrug queues

I'd be quite happy with b) if it was Beckham selling the sex. After all, what's a bit of roast beef sweat when you have abs like a hopscotch court? Observe:

Suddenly the fragrance becomes inconsequential, doesn't it?

Monday, 15 June 2009

Dissed and Dismissed!

I got picked up, chewed up and spat straight back out again at a party on Saturday, and it was such a great dis I thought I'd share it with you.
The scene: Beer garden at a Wandsworth pub
The players: Me and Random English Dude
The set-up: I'm talking to a group of friends when Random English Dude comes sauntering along, stops, gives me the once over and proceeds to deliver the following gem.
RED: Hey! How you doing? So, are you Brazlian or Puerto Rican?
Me: *thoroughly flattered* No actually, I'm South African.
RED: *the predatory glint in his eye turning to one of mild distaste, such as when you step in dog shit* Oh. Oh well, that's too bad. I mean, don't get me wrong, you're beautiful, but I don't like South Africans. They just don't do it for me. It's just their personalities, you know? But no offense, hey. Enjoy the party.
And off he walked. It was far too funny to be annoying, but wow! I have never been dissed on the basis of my passport before.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

The Chavs vs The Chav-Nots

Shoes just got a call from the cops: they found his old bike! I use the exclamation mark to indicate amazement rather than joy or excitement, because as expected, it is completely fucked. Apparently it has been dropped several times, which means the fairing is almost certainly cracked - a write-offable offense in insurance terms. My first response was to wish a messy death by shredding (tearing all your skin off when you come off a bike) upon the chavs who stole it, but my team at work are far more creative. They said death, however messy, would be too easy, and I should be wishing uncomfortable and humiliating afflications on the delinquent thieves. My favourite offering so far is genital warts and piles - at the same time. And paralysed arms, so he can't scratch.

The bike was found at a nearby council estate called Phipps Bridge Estate - exactly where we told the cops it would be. After it got stolen, we traced some CCTV footage that showed the backs of the 2 kids wheeling it away, and which direction they were going. A local security guard near our complex told us about Phipps Bridge and how the path they were using led straight to the heart of the estate. We got Neutrino to drive us around the place to see if we could spot it, but of course, there are many places to hide a bike where we couldn't venture. I know there's not much the cops could have done, but it is quite frustrating to know that we knew where it was all along, gave them the info they'd need to track it and yet still nothing was done. Oh well.

The new bike is awesome; bigger, better and faster than the first edition, so Shoes and I are both thrilled despite the extra money we had to fork out for the incident. On Sunday we tested out our favourite new pastime, which goes something like this:

*Open Googlemaps
*Pick random place on map anywhere along the Thames
*Put postcode of nearby pub into GPS
*Get on bike and ride there as fast as possible!

It's so satisfying to get out of London for a bit, travel along country roads and most of all, spend a bit of one on one time together. Our house is like a cross between a train station and a refugee camp, and alone time is as rare as Manto Tshabalala-Msimang making sense (for my foreign readers: this is our particularly inept former Minister of Health, quite a feat amongst a gaggle of extremely inept Ministers; google her if you fancy a horrified chuckle).

I love my friends, but sometimes I forget how satisfying a weekend alone can be. This past weekend not a single person came over - not to pick up/drop off something, not to pop in for coffee or to say hi, not to watch a movie or share a few beers on a Friday night - NOTHING! It wasn't planned, it just happened that way. And do you know what I did? I spent the weekend cleaning my room, scrubbing down the bathroom, emptying all my cupboards and throwing away the massive collection of utter crap that we've collected over the years, arranging my shoes in neat rows and decorating my scrapbook. Oh yes, and riding on Sunday. That's it. And it was one of the best weekends I've had this year!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

It's Britney, Bitch

Last night I saw Britney Spears in concert for the first time. Scarf and I got tickets from her boss, who gave them to her even though he knew she was going tonight as well. When she e-mailed me yesterday saying, what would you do if I told you I could get box tickets for Britney tonight, my first thought was that she was winding me up. My second was absolute disbelief. I have made no secret of my love for Britney, so when we first found out she was coming to London, it seemed like someone had just dropped a diamond in my lap. Now I was about to get two diamonds? Surely that can't be right!!

But it was. Scarf got the tickets, and we met up with two of her colleagues at a pub in Greenwich for drinks beforehand, all 4 of us scarcely able to believe our luck. One of them even bought a bottle of Moet to celebrate! Nothing's too much for our girl Brit, he said adoringly. Yes, he's gay.

We'd been told by Scarf's boss that you get free booze all night in the boxes at the O2, so we were buzzing almost to the point of vibration by the time we arrived at the arena. Even when we were told by security that the free booze rule didn't apply for Britney's shows - possibly because of the vast contingent of underage girls in attendence - it couldn't dampen our spirits.

So we settled down with our £20 bottle of wine and watched as Ciara opened the night.

After a 15 minute circus show with some truly amazing acts (hula hoop girl anyone?), it was time for Britney to appear. The noise from the crowd was deafening as the world's most famous pop star was lowered from the ceiling in a giant sparkly ring. She kicked off her three ring circus extravaganza with - of course - Circus, and segued straight into Piece of Me, a definite highlight of the night. Other awesome tracks were a sick remix of Slave For You, a bass-heavy dance version of Baby One More Time and a thunderous production of Toxic which had the whole crowd on their feet.

The show ticked all the right boxes. Massive yet perfectly slick production with insane special effects? Check. Superb dancers with exciting choreography? Check. Circus performers wowing the crowd with death-defying stunts? Check. Charismatic pop icon holding the audience in the palm of her hand? wait. Scratch that. Pop icon. Check. Charisma and complete audience captivation? Negative.

Everything was in place for the show of her life except, perhaps, her spirit. Britney is no longer the world's sweetheart. She's been chewed up and spit out by the relentless machine that is modern celebrity, and it shows. Yes, she knows her steps. She doesn't forget her lyrics, even though they're all mimed. She smiles in the right places. She greets the crowd, just once, with "Hello London, I'm so happy to be here tonight!" But the x factor that put her on top of the world is missing. The light in her eyes that made you unable to take your own eyes off her is gone.

This is the first time I've seen Britney live (ok ok, "live"), but I've watched all of her other concerts on DVD or TV specials. If you watch her 2002 Dream Within a Dream Tour, you will see what I mean about not being able to take your eyes off her. At the pinnacle of her fame, she could captivate an audience like no other. Now? There is no connection with the audience at all. The spectacle is well worth the watch. I would happily pay twice what I did for my ticket, because seeing her onstage was the fulfilment of one of my dreams. I just wonder if being Britney Spears is still one of hers.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Give Me a Sign

In my last post I mentioned that something was bugging me, and after saying I'd write about it, I then practiced passive avoidance by not reading anyone else's blogs so I wouldn't feel guilty for not writing that post! It's amazing how we bloggers start feeling beholden to the promises we make to our readers, no matter that their daily lives are not at all affected by our decisions. Therein lies the truth that ego is essential if you are going to put your life online.

In fact, it's not that big a deal, but I decided I wanted some perspective on it before I told you. Just over a month ago, Shoes bought a motorbike. We'd spent some time planning for this. He did his £800 bike license at the beginning of the year; we spent tons of money on gear and accessories, not to mention the bike itself, and overall it was a huge decision for us and a massive financial undertaking. So 2 weeks ago when he went downstairs to our secure parking garage, ready to ride to work, and found the bike missing....well, it was a bigger blow than it might have been had it not been such a challenge for us to get in the first place. Add to that the fact that we have not been able to go longer than 6 months in London without some catastrophe befalling us, and the result was two very miserable people who had just about lost all hope for anything good to ever happen in their lives.

As I said, I needed perspective, because any time a tragedy occurs, no matter how big or small, you need time to realise that it's not the end of the world even when it feels like it is. To cut a long story short, insurance has paid out, and Mark is off to fetch his new bike tonight. He is over the moon of course, and delighted that this bike is even better than the last one. It also comes with a security system to rival that of Alcatraz, so we need never again worry about being easy pickings for the chav kids who hang out around our flats (we have CCTV footage of them wheeling the bike away).

But the whole experience has reiterated a few truths for me, which were further confirmed by my good friend Bear. London has proved very tough on us as a couple. By comparison, our life in CT really was quite charmed. Some of our experiences have been down to bad planning, others to sheer bad luck, and some to what I like to call Fate's Fuck You Special. It involves a curve ball, thrown really hard by a particularly bad tempered spirit, which bears the words "Oh really? You think you're tough? Catch this and we'll see if you're still standing afterwards!" Those are the disasters that go beyond just bad luck; the ones that make you believe that if Karma is real, you must be one deviant person, because no-one actually deserves to get shot down like that over and over again - at least, not if you're a nice, normal type.

But in the midst of all the trials, we have managed to maintain what I think is a pretty damn positive outlook on life. Sometimes we get exhausted from the efforts of overcoming the obstacles, or of anticipating when the next disaster will hit and planning on how to minimise its impact. But we've managed to count our blessings anyway, and we've remembered to take a moment to look for the flowers beneath our feet, even when we think we've stepped into a desert wasteland. We've learnt to laugh when things are at their absolute worst and we can't see a way out. We've learnt to work together as a team to overcome the challenges, rather than take out the stress on each other. We've learnt that as long as we face everything together and never take each other for granted, it doesn't matter what gets thrown at us - we'll get through it, or we'll make a huge noise and put up a big fight trying to!

And so it gets me thinking....has all this happened because this is something we needed to learn? If the most important thing in my life is the strength of my relationship with Shoes, it follows that I would be willing to do anything to protect and nurture that. Is this God's weird way of giving me what I want the most? If so, I will certainly have words with Him when I see Him one day! But as much as I don't always like it, it does make perfect sense.

Ok, enough philosophising for the day. The two most awesome things in my life right now, in random order:

1) The joy on Shoes face when he gets home tonight with his new bike

2) The fact that I am going to see Britney Spears in concert not once, but TWICE in the next two days!!!! Will explain tomorrow...for now, I'm off to see my girl lip synch her way through her greatest hits and I am UBER excited!