Saturday, April 30, 2005

Thin and Vicious

Wow, what a great surprise.

In february, after a year of antidepressants and general shit, I weighed in at a really not unsubstantial 15st11lb.

I've just weighed myself - I'm down to 14st4lb.

I've lost a stone and a half in 2 months. Without trying.

I should write a book and make millions.

i break hearts for breakfast - one through seven

i break hearts for breakfast - one through seven

Mr Heathen - of the testosterone experiment fame - is playing some kind of question and answer game on her livejournal.

It's made all the more fascinating by only being able to see the answers. The writing is fine, as well, and the comment about fragility and unsustainability of projecting large is one of the loveliest things I've read in a while.

She should read AL Kennedy, if she hasn't already.

50 people see... - a photoset on Flickr

50 people see... - a photoset on Flickr

Pretty, and intellectually interesting, too.

Filthy Stop Out

Deja Vu.

I have walked from the junction of New Oxford Street and Shaftesbury Avenue down to Whitehall twice within a twenty four hour period.

Not that remarkable, really. But the first walk was at 5.30 am, and the second at 2.30 am the next morning. The mood on the two occasions couldn't have been more different.

Sadly, I think the photos I took of Trafalgar Sqare deserted at dawn will not come out - I was too tired to remember to manually wind on the film. But I might start a little ritual of always taking a self portrait at the same spot in seven dials whenever I go past. You'll have to wait for the first to be developed.

Analogue technology. I't so complicated.

Modern Manners

Two of my very dear friends announced they are breaking up last night.

This is very sad; they made a good couple, and all of us who know them will miss their solid, welcoming company and generous support in times of trouble.

The extraordinary thing about the breakup was the way we found out about it. A fair slice of the girly circle they move in had gathered at their flat to watch the latest episodes of The L Word - yes yes, there's a point in here about art imitating life, I know. The gathering itself brought together the crowd we hung out with three years ago - including an old crush of mine. Our paths haven't crossed since I made a complete arse of myself over her, so I went from drunk and boisterous to mortified and awkward in under ten seconds upon walking in the door.

So, there we all were, chatting, catching up, when L shushed us all and said that before we got down to watching telly, she had an important announcement. How exciting - maybe they were getting engaged? Expecting? Had set a date to emigrate?

And she calmly announced in the kind of voice you only really hear at weddings and christenings, that they were 'going their seperate ways'.

A stunned silence descended. Finally someone trotted out some pat cliche, wishing them well, saying how sorry we were.

But, really. I felt like I'd been coshed. It might have been the grown-up, enlightened way to do it, letting us all know at once; in all honesty, I wouldn't advise it as a good tactic in a room full of the less emotionally enlightened.

So this morning I find myself very sad indeed, and wistful about the way social groups change and flow, not to mention brattishly upset that the friends who gently mothered me through my rough time are breaking up.

Mummy still loves mummy, but they can't live together any more.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Well, strap on my six guns, and see what the boys in the back room will have.

It must be on my mind at the moment.

But anyway, via an old friend's livejournal, I find the rather fantastic Kate Bornstein's Gender Aptitude Test. It turns out I am a gender outlaw, not a bluestocking.

It's all a bit of fun, innit?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Rubber Johnny

Rubber Johnny

Chris Cunningham.

Short Film.


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

One Good Shot

Xed and Ann
Xed and Ann,
originally uploaded by MildlyDiverting.
...from 12, using my new Holga and 120 format film. I can't get my scanner to quite pick up the filmy-ness of it. But it is a start.

More Holga action. More. Must find new things to photograph.


GRAN FARO: --622 Music Video's - Various--, --From A Perfect Circle to Yeah, Yeah-

Via IdleType, a great link collection of musicvideos.

Must break out my bulk downloader when I get home.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Bluestocking Blue

Up and down. Lord.

I took a slightly longer tube journey than usual as I wanted to drop off some medium format film at a processing place in NoHo - Bayeux. It was three times more expensive than the online place reccomended by a colleague, but their customer service was fantastic. The lovely chap called Terry who gave me advice by email was enough to make me want to spend £30 on developing and contact prints, he was that pleasant.

The films are the first two runs with the Holga (oh, Nathan Barley, Me) and I'm fairly sure that none of the shots will come out. I haven't got the measure of the focus, I was deliberately messing about, and it's expired slide film I'm having cross processed; none of these go for 'quality' work. It's slightly embarrassing having them done at a pro place, particularly as I used to be quite good with a camera, and my digital cybershot has completely destoyed any talent I had.

Anyway, fucked-up miscoloured serendipitous shots would be appropriate for the subject matter - a woozy soft evening spent hanging out with Ms. M in a tattoo studio. So, doubly embarrassing as the lovely girl who was being worked on was excited to have someone taking pics, and may be expecting great things. Uh oh.

So, the longer journey - and this does all tie up somewhere - was spent chatting to Dr. McD (hello, Dr. McD!) who has been following my insignificant little melodrama here. He started straight in with the I'm-so-glad-you're-getting-over-things gambit, and we ended up talking about shyness; how my apparent confidence is a paper-thin veneer over a profound lack thereof*; how communication can be such a minefield; how the pride of having a 'good day' where you navigate social niceties with the illusion of Gene-Kelly-like grace is the finest fiero... a good chat.

The chat swung round to the complexities of dating (and, Mr. Betteridge, this may go some way towards fulfilling your request...) - and in particular the moment where you clam up, and the shyness catches up with you. Now, Dr. McD considers this perfectly acceptable behaviour in a girl, but would not consider it acceptable behaviour in himself. It was at that point that he asked the killer question (in, it should be said, his trademark all-angles-at-once style, so I'll paraphrase...)

How does the who-gets-to-be-girlier thing work when two women are dating?

Well, you can cite all the usual stuff about butch-femme roles, and how some folk just slip neatly into one or other 'gender role'. Yes, I'm going to refer to them as gender roles, because it *is* a useful shorthand for what is held to be stereotypically gendered behaviour, and I can't think of a better word right now. I've read my Joan Nestle, thankyou. I've been on the dates. I've even drawn the diagram.**

But - it's much more subtle and complicated than that. When you don't have a useful internalised social shorthand for date behaviour (he pays and holds doors open, she gracefully deigns to be in his company - isn't that it?) a slightly more interesting dynamic kicks in. It becomes more about the interplay between the two; the baton of chivalry gets tossed back and forth on a whim, the field is ceded and re-won, the lowered eyes and shy smile... err, well, you get the idea.

The whole thing becomes a very subtle exchange of power - a completely coded, hidden dialogue. And the upper hand gets traded back and forth often, dancelike - it's little wonder that it becomes compellingly addictive - it's good-cop-bad-cop, but you play both sides all the time. Stockholm syndrome tango mindfuck, lah.

This was contextualised with snippets from my experience - I prefer to be the holding doors open and paying for things chivalry girl, but otherwise I tend to default to the shy girl role. I explained this in relation to butch and femme roles - how I'm not particularly biased, possibly a little more mannish than filly, but that I tend to pick and choose aspects of both gender roles, flit about, blur them a bit...

And cue Dr. McD.

'Well, it's not that you have a conventional gender role - your gender role is Bluestocking'.

Fantastic. I can live with that. I am off to buy tweed skirts and a large bicycle immediately.

But, anyway, the up and down. It's wearing me out; up until late afternoon I was bouncy and squeaky and excited, and now I feel like I've been put through a hot wash with a black sock. Grey and shrunken. All that fizzy energy is beginning to take its toll, and I'm wondering if maybe stopping the drugs was a sensible idea after all...

* Confidence, no. Sheer bloody minded stubborness, lots. They are different.
** Of course, the real question is why on earth does this matter to me so much?

Burning Money

Pentax UK | Photographic | Digital SLRs | *ist DS Silver

Oh god, oh god. Please, take my credit cards away. I want this So.Very.Much.

It's a digital SLR (which I've been toying with getting for a while) but is also pentax, and looks like the cool futuristic older brother of my treasured ME Super, which I inherited from my Grandmother.

No other camera would be fitting, now.

Appart from a lomo, obviously. Or both. Want. Want. Want.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Sentimental Me

Ah fuck.

Of course, after spending two hours fiddling with the last post, I'm now sitting in bed with a cup of tea listening to a collection of Ella Fitzgerald's more maudlin numbers, and feeling like a sorry-for-myself brave little soldier.

Pas me the hanky and the fox stole! Quick! I need to do the full 1940s tragic romatic heroine thing...

No Diamonds

I think I might finally want to talk about the last six months.

The monster hangover on thursday left me tender and raw, and fluttery; poor Mark ended up with me wibbling at him by email for hours (he was a brick, as ever) - and last night I couldn't cope with being around all of the lovely happy drinking people from work. Booze - the uptight english girl's way of dealing with complex problems.

This friday last year - technically, today is the anniversary - was the day that I got engaged.

The hardest thing has been coming to terms with the fact that my future has now changed so radically. I was really caught off guard when Sarah proposed - if I'm honest, it felt rushed, but I went with it as underneath I was sure it was the right choice. So, whilst jumping in with both feet, enthusiastically, it took me a while to realise that this was a lovely permanent thing and that I could let go of my habitual fear of abandonment. Which I did. Yay me. Maybe that made me complacent?

Anyway, I've had to adjust from planning for a family, to planning how I'm going to go about dating without bringing along a small pantechnicon of baggage. Shit, here again. Ah well. Tried. Failed better.

In retrospect, the security and comfort of the relationship subtly twisted it from that of lovers to that of friends.

There's a Rogers and Hart song that always plays through my head at these times - and yes, imagine that in the classic 'old gramophone playing in dusty, abandoned house' trope. I am nothing if not melodramatic.

Sarah and I are now talking - and appear to be remaining close. I'm not sure if that's 'right' and it certainly feels strange; after the six months of barely being able to communicate, and casual emotional cruelty on both sides we haven't quite found the right register for conversations. We're exchanging recipes, and internet tips. There was a brief conversation that kicked off with 'I miss you' - from her, not me. Luckily, it's in the 'as a person who bumbles around the flat and is useful when you have questions' way, and not in the 'I am about to put you through a nauseating emotional wringer just when your life is moving on' way. Phew.

She's seeing a boy now. Apparently, he likes being zipped in to bodybags and pissed on.

I find this inexplicably cheering.

Friday, April 22, 2005



My old team have done a fantastic website for UNIT in support of the new Dr Who series.

The publications page is particularly funny.

Well done, boys.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Immodesty Blaize & Walter's Burlesque! - London Event and Ticket Guide

...and me with a birthday coming up, too. What a coincidence.

Some kind of crazy performance art drinking binge blog post

Well. Dearie Me.

It's mid afternoon, and christ, I'm still hungover. But then again, the hangover didn't actually kick in until about noon, so it's hardly surprising.

I've had a night out - or possibly, the night out had me. It had my wallet, too - lost somewhere between Balans at half past one in the morning, and lunchtime in the office. Could it be in the late night rrrock drinking den tucked down a side street in Soho? Did I leave it on someone else's bedroom floor? Did I have it in Starbucks at 9am as I staggerd workwards? I don't know - I was still drunk at the time.

So I'm a physical wreck, penniless, and exhausted. Worth it? God yes.

The priming for this spectacular display of licentiousness came from art. Blame Art, always. Art is big, Art can take it, Art quite enjoys being blamed, Art secretly enjoys the guilt trip, Art turns its filthy reputation to its advantage. Art snuck up on you, Art made you do it, Art caught you unawares. Art abandoned you a while ago, but turned up on your doorstep with tatty flowers and an endearing smile, and you couldn't bring yourself to turn Art away.

The art in question -
Tropicana in the vaults under London Bridge Station - was spectacular. The space and the way it has been used work so beautifully - even the smell of damp, dusty brickwork added to the totality. Figures appeared from the most total darkness I've been in for a long time: I was intensely aware of the audience around me, of being in a space with people. It's not an experience you get in regular theatre, when the regimented seats are designed to keep you focused on the stage, and not on what's going on around you. This isn't theatre in the round, mind - it's theatre in the walking through it, being lead, leading, shepherded and herded and having a beer half way through. Breaking the formality of the relationship between audience members, and also the performers, completley blurs the experience. you become paranoid - am I being part of someone else's performance? Should I be behaving the way I am?

The images of the whole thing were extraordinary too - lifts moving horizontally through the space, a hearse full of dancing girls, shafts of light, stained ceramic tiles. It felt like an extension of the world in La Jettee.

But, god, the dark. So dark that you start listening with your face and chest, just to get some kind of sense of the space you're in. I love that beautiful kind of dark, but find it completely unsettling.

Couple that with a beautiful yet unsettling lady on your arm, and it's little wonder you end up doing crazy all night.

Well, hello trouble; let's dance.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

When and where did the slang term "peeps" come from?

When and where did the slang term "peeps" come from?

Via Ask Yahoo.

Now, surely 'chhhEllo, hEverybody Peeps!' was being used by Harry Enfield's Stavros character sometime in the late eighties, hence predating this rapper fellah Nas by a good five years...

The internets are full of lies.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Long Tail: The Economics of Variety

The Long Tail: The Economics of Variety

Meh, I must stop posting snippets. There's definately a full post in a lot of the long tail media consumption stuff.

You know, all the doomladen statistics about the decline in publishing sales, cd sales... you name it. Maybe the markets have just reached maturity? After all, every minute of every day is now filled with entertainment. Even when I'm shut in a steel box for an hour fifty feet underground, I sill have a book, and hours and hours of music with me. I am never, ever, not able to be entertained - although I wonder if I am now not able to entertain myself, instead relying on media.

The problem is that all media compete with each other - mp3 with cd with newspaper with website with game with conversations. Hell, I have a job to do, I can't devote enough time to listening to the radio and working and still be good enough at Halo that I don't get my ass whooped by ten year olds on XBOX live.

It was always going to be an S curve. You can't have exponential growth forever.

The Long Tail: FAQ: Does the rise of the LT = the fall of mass culture?

The Long Tail: FAQ: Does the rise of the LT = the fall of mass culture?: "Likewise for music. By my count only ten of the top 100 best-selling albums were released in the last decade, and only four of those were in the last five years. Occam's razor says this is more likely due to the diminishing power of radio as a hit-making machine than it is to some Darwinian decline in music talent. "

Ummm - or maybe the fact that a lot of them have had an additional twenty years to rack up their sales figures?


Habitat Chronicles: Stretching the Lessons

Habitat Chronicles: Stretching the Lessons

An insightful piece about applying the public lessons of the past to the social media of today, by one of the great pioneers of YASNS.

Well worth a read.

Pssst! Alice!!

You've probably seen this, but check out the lipsynch in this Halflife based Machinima music video.

I'm impressed.

The Perfect T-Shirt

Johnny Cupcakes Online Store has the most fantastic Tshirt.

Cupcakes-and-Crossbones. Very appropriate for me.

Would go well with my 'Will Work For Gin' design.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Just stumbled across the most wonderful video via (and DAMN YOU SAFARI, you piece of shit all my shortcut keys are different and none of your javascript interfaces work properly browser. Shakes fist impotently in the direction of Steve Jobs).

Ahem. Anyway, it is a fantastic piece of black and white vintage film dandelion clocks cgi A Silver Mt. Zion rhythmic wonderful. Watch it immediately.

Will Work For Gin

Will Work For Gin
Will Work For Gin,
originally uploaded by MildlyDiverting.
Following a silly conversation about how easy it is to persuade me to do favours for people...

This should probably be a t-shirt.

The Person I Always Should Have Been Anyway

So, I've just looked down at the contents of my handbag. Well, handbag is a misnomer, really; it's a largeish black leather satchel that can take at least an eight inch thickness of A4 paper.

If I had my digital camera on me I'd take a shot and post it to flickr, but for now I'll have to do with a brief text description.

Besides the usual vital bits and pieces, like a pencilcase full of nice drawing pens but no actual sketchbook*, wallet, obligatory feminine hygiene products** and chewing gum, I am toting:
  • Two Books:
    • The Intimate Sex Lives of Famous People: picked up from the shelf above the loo in the new house because it looked entertaining. Readable on the tube as is a worthy looking hardback; not at all salacious***, and in fact pretty much the only way I'm ever going to read a biography of Napoleon or Pope Alexander VI. Favourite fact so far: every time Joan Crawford remarried, she changed all the toilet seats in her house.
    • Tales from the Clit; the Female Experience of Pornography: fresh from Amazon (sic), edited by interesting new acquaintance Cherie. Less likely to be read on the tube as has 'clit' written across it in big letters, hence leading to furtive embarrassment in public.
  • Three DVDs in 'The Directors Label' series: Spike Jonze, Chris Cunningham and Michel Gondry. Short films, music videos, unrestrained barleyism. Yay!
  • A Netgear WGE111 Wireless Game Adapter: for plugging in the Xbox in order to be humiliated by seven year old boys in online games of Halo, without having even more trailing cable across the sitting room.
  • Obligatory Ipod.
You see, that's all just... well, me. Again, I must remember not to get distracted and forget - for years at a time - that essentially I am a big geek who likes shiny toys, naked ladies and vapid pop culture, and makes herself feel smugly superior by reading academic books about shiny toys, naked ladies and vapid pop culture.

Why am I not working at Channel Five?

No matter how many times I go through subtle 'reinventions', I get pulled back to this point every time. I should remember that I'm happy, here.

* because the vain illusion that I might, at any moment, be struck with brilliant creative urges is good enough, without needing tofollow through.
**which are, of course, boobytrapped in such a way as to be catapulted across the widest area possible whenever said bag is dropped, requiring an ungainly half crouched scramble to corral the lil'buggers.
*** actually, it's like Heat magazine written by Lytton Strachey. Yawn.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Diversionary Tactics

I have found a way of dissipating all of this Springy energy, and alas have worn off my fingerprints in the process.

No. Not That.


The big discovery of the weekend is that my new kitchen floor isn't, in fact, white tiles with black grout. The grout is white, and just hasn't been cleaned for a very long time. Even after an hour and a half on all fours scrubbing away, it hasn't shifted.

So, besides a kitchen floor that now approaches hygienic, I have
  • finished redecorating the old flat (Is it me, or is it impossible to get a decent brushmark-free finish on white Satinwood paintwork? Gloss is *much* better),
  • deep cleaned everything to hand it back to the landlady,
  • patched a gougue in a wood floor with cunning application of shoe polish,
  • patched lifted paint with filler and paint-effect recreation,
  • got my favourite bed linen properly white for the first time in ages (Oxyclean powder seems to be the secret the women in my life have been keeping from me!),
  • trebled the ammount of cleaning products under our sink...

Projects. Give me Projects.

Will work for Gin.

I have just handwashed a pashmina...

...and part of me suspects that as I type, they are coming to take away my lesbian card.

Also, apropos of nothing, I seem to be the most politically confused person in the world;

Friday, April 15, 2005

Fucking Cunty Bollocks

Fucking bollocks cunty pissflaps arsewank buggery twat.

I am having a rotten day. That is all.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Preoccupations: 'when adults stop being infants, children can be children'

A rather amazing piece by Rowan Williams, the Archbish. I'm not mad on the man, but he is far superior to the Carey, a tambourine waving fool. (I'm rather attached to Archbishes, having grown up in Canterbury - no other religious reasons, you understand).

Via Ludens, who I was about to unsubscribe, but I may just keep on the list, now.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Cold Showers? Bromide?

Haven't been posting much. Feel strangely guilty, and also resigned to the fact that maybe the blog is another thing that will just fade out of my life as I move on to other things.

Strange, as there's lots going on; it's just most of it is interior and I'm feeling too tender to put it out there at the moment. I'm fine with the general no privacy stuff, but I suspect that writing about a lot of this blah will be tantamount to disgusting emotional exhibitionism, and only cause mortifying embarrassment at a later date.

But, this was meant to be a little post to make a small complaint to spring, and whatever vernal goat-legged satyr has capered across my grove, recently.

Now, look here, Pan, you hairy little bugger, I was quite happy in my gentle, asexual state. I had completely come to terms with a celibate existence, and was looking forward to several years of getting lots of things done with the diverted energy. Art of some kind. I really can't cope with all of this unfocused lustiness you've seen fit to bless me with, you sod. I'd like to be able to concentrate in meetings.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Pirate Objects

Want to make a dodgy knockoff of, say, a popular ladies deodorant to sell on on two-bit market stalls?

You'll need a logo. And this site will sort you out.

I'm constantly amazed that sites like this still exist. It feels like the days when I was using pizza-box macs to download infringing material.

I'm old.