Tuesday, 1 January 2008

The Obligatory New Year Entry

Long time see. I'm crap and I know it.

Anyway, Christmas and NYE were suitably drunken and I had fun and was remarkably well behaved. Guilable aren't you.

So new year, new me? Probably not but some action must be taken in many areas. I'm sure to report/whine/bitch about it here in the future.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

Much love from the ninja.

Friday, 25 May 2007

"You are the music while the music lasts."

After reading Coleen's music post I thought I'd do my own.
Basically I'm just a thieving gypsy.

Five Songs That Describe Moments in My Life:
1. Manic Street Preachers - A Design For Life
Before I left Scotland my friends and I had tickets to see the Manics. Of course because of my luck I had to leave the country before the concert. So this song marks the end of my life in Scotland and basically the end of my youth.

2. Fame - I Sing The Body Electric
It was while I was watching Fame (shut up) that I realised I would never be a dancer. I knew ballet was out of my reach but deep down I thought there was still a chance for me in another type of dance. Alas not; I love this song nonetheless.

3. Tupac – California Love
Oddly enough this song signifies my time in Texas. It was there that my exposure to music exploded. Not that I was close minded about it before but the experiences I had in uni opened my eyes to so many things, good and bad. I've taken that love of music and carried it with me round the world.

4. T Rex - Children of the Revolution
"You won't fool the children of the revolution" was spray painted on a derelict building in North West London and every time I passed it on the bus it made me appreciate my own personal revolution and how far I'd come from the girl who missed out on "A Design For Life".

5. Dobie Gray – Drift Away
My brother got me into this song. He and I had been very close most of our lives and now this is a bittersweet reminder that things change.

Five Songs That I'm Not Afraid to Sing Along With:
1. Europe - Final Countdown
Self explanatory really.

2. The Streets - Fit But you Know It
Ollie made me love singing to this song, whenever it's on I picture him dancing in his combat flares.

3. Nickelback - How You Remind Me
This is a sitting on the balcony with Sim song, with a cigarette and a bucket of pink wine, and annoying the neighbours by belting this out at the top of our lungs.

4. Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars
Also known as the Smoker's Song - to me anyway. The lyrics of this one get me time and time again.

5. Queen – Hammer to Fall
Queen is my favourite band ever and this one has such a wonderful rocking out quality to it that I frequently jump about whilst "singing" it.

Five Songs That Get My Groove Going:
1. Faithless – Insomnia
The ultimate dance song. No really. I saw them at V music festival one year and to have 2500 people dancing along with you was amazing.

2. Linkin Park - Somewhere I Belong/Crawling
Yes, I know there are two songs here but they fulfill my "Angry White Girl" dancing quotient.

3. Fatboy Slim - Right here right now
My first love on the dance floor. I became a club kid because of this song.

4. Baywatch Theme
This is a totally ridiculous song that the girls and I have embarrassed ourselves to over and over again. And you know what? I don't care, it's awesome.

5. Little Less Conversation - Elvis Presley (Basement Jaxx mix)
The original is a good song the remix is a booty shaker extraordinaire. I defy anyone not to dance when this is on.

Five Songs That I Just Love :
1. Levellers – Another Man’s Cause
My first concert and the first time someone vocalised my political feelings about war.

2. Powderfinger - My Happiness
Fundamentally this is a sad one but I love how hopeful it makes me feel.

3. Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb
This song just makes me feel every time I hear it. I don't have the words to explain why. Maybe that's the point of great music.

4. Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time
If I ever find someone to love, I want to love them like this.

5. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama
It's a classic, what's not to love?

Part II to come later.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Do, Re, Me, Me, Me, Me

Again, I've stolen an idea from Doppelganger.

Eight Things You Didn't Know About Me

1) I bruise incredibly easily, sometimes I can just lean on something and come away with a bruise.

2) My ability to consume pizza has shocked and disgusted people on both sides of the Atlantic.

3) I don't really look like anyone in my family. Actually until I was 25 I kept expecting my parents to sit me down and tell me I wasn't theirs.

4) I hate my accent and my voice.

5) I've lived on six continents and while I plan to visit Antarctica I won't be there long enough to complete the set.

6) I have utterly no ability to deal with children. Anyone under 12 is a complete mystery to me and I can never find anything to say to them.

7) My brother used to be one of my best friends and now we have very little in common; it's sad.

8) Contrary to having this blog and answering this meme, I don't really like talking about myself that much. Unless I'm drunk and then I never shut up.

So there you go, I'm sure you're fascinated.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Words, Words, Words

Sometimes there is a weird synchronicity* in reading. In every third book or magazine I've read in the last six months, Herodotus has been mentioned; I finally took the cosmic hint and put it on my wish list.

Along the same lines, Sars has redone Tomato Nation and I was rereading some of my favourite essays. This one in particular resonated with me as I'd had a conversation in the last week about how I couldn't get into the Flashman books because of derogatory references to anyone who wasn't white. Yesterday I read Agatha Christie's "Dumb Witness" which has a chapter titled N***** in the Woodpile (I can't even type the word). So all this is rolling around in my mind and I began to wonder if I'm being oversensitive and a bit hippy woo woo about the whole thing. In the Christie example, it was a common phrase of the time and I suppose allowances must be made for changes in thinking. And after all they're just words.

But the problem is that there is no "just" about it. Words are thoughts.

I guarantee this word and all the other pejoratives like it are used every single day. In harsh, whispered smiles; as a punch line to a joke; yelled by true believers. It makes me so angry because there is utterly no need for any of it. I'm not naive enough to think we should just hug and sing Kumbaya and get along. It would be impossible, and no doubt boring, to like everyone but dislike them for valid reasons. Be pissed at your boss because of her patronising manner not because of the colour of her skin. Roll your eyes at the drama queen's selfish antics and not at his sexuality. Be mystified at your professors' discourteous address and not their accent.

I'm not sure I even know what my point was in all this, however, if Descartes is right and cogito ergo sum I don't want these thoughts, these words to define who I am. And neither should you.

*You have no idea how long it took me to find a word to describe this feeling. The thought process went thus (the dashes represent me buggering about on Wiki or getting distracted by the dictionary): amalgam - symbiosis - syzygy. Notice I skipped over the actual word and went straight to the pretentious one.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

A Scary Place to Visit

If a colleague is reading the Book Thief and I steal it off his desk, is that life imitating art?

Wouldn't it be better when leaving a comment on a Blogger site you could choose the identity option to be "secret" rather than "anonymous".

Listening to the Best of Pixies at work makes me efficient but unpleasant.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Thinking Outside the Box

Statements made in the office this week.

"Why are you eating your lunch at 10am?"
"I find sandwiches comforting."

"How are we going to ensure that it doesn't collapse?"
"Magic pixie dust."

"I still think it would be cheaper just to hire sherpas."

"What do you mean by bespoke engineering?"
"We're making it up as we go along."

"If we're worried about wheels getting stuck down the side, why don't we stuff it with wheels to start with; sort of a pre-emptive strike."

"We'll be cutting the groove under a tent. Do we need anything else?"
"A disco ball?"

"None of those will cut through the tile."
"Why don't we get one of those knives of last night TV? They can cut through all sorts of things."

"Have you read the e-mail I sent you?"
"The one you sent 4.26 seconds ago?"
"Not yet."

"It's going to cost how much?"
"Dude, tell him about the sherpas."

Why yes the project is going well, what made you think otherwise?

Wednesday, 7 March 2007


As a first stab at writing, I've critiqued other people's work. Brave, I know.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaimen

I find it difficult to write about this book without gushing frenetically. I love this novel even though in all honesty “American Gods” is probably a more concise, thoughtful story. But sometimes a book with just sticks with you and this is one such narrative.

Gaimen has an ability to make the commonplace seem extraordinary and yet more guarded for its triteness. It’s a fantasy novel that isn’t fantastical (Ok, the climax is a bit Holy Plot Coupon Batman!). Nevertheless, turning your world 30 degrees and to a 1:18 gradient makes for some interesting contrasts and comparisons.

The plot zips along with murders and chases and fights. The good guys are conflicted and confused and the assassins are creepy without being cartoonish. There’s betrayal and suspicion and redemption. Lessons are learned, sanity is questioned, and the true path is found. And for all that sounds pedestrian and dull: it’s outstanding. The imagery is vivid and breathtaking; the Night’s Bridge is truly scary, the Floating Market is effervescent, The Earl’s Court is all pomp and circumstance.

The journey the characters take is atypical and compelling but the true joy of the book is the characterisations. You believe in these people and their motivations. The minutia of their lives is transfixing because you feel for them. And secretly wish you were them.