are the stars out tonight?

life and stuff

hair like monkey teeth like dog

so, i'm a rubbish blogger, this is not just because i don't post often enough (especially at the moment), but also because i don't really blog enough to allow my posts to have any continuity, even when i've had a good idea for a post.

imagine that a couple of weeks ago, i'd been to visit a surprisingly attractive dentist (young, tall, dark, irish), and that i had posted about going for a check up. there would have been some dentist cliche in there - i mean really, have you ever actually met a good looking dentist (i don't include dental nurses in this)? and it would have ended with the revelation that i was seeing the surprisingly attractive dentist in a couple of days' time for a replacement filling.

i would have followed this post up with something about the weird local anaesthetic used when you have a fairly large filling put in. i'd not had local anaesthetic in my mouth for ages (since i was about 14), so i was fairly unprepared for the strange feeling of numbness in half my face. there would probably have been something about how i went into the toilets at peter jones to make faces at myself in the mirror, just to make sure i could still do it. there might also have been a quick reference to how the dentist is the last person you should find remotely attractive, since no one probably ever sees you look worse than the dentist, and it tends to make you feel a little self-conscious.

then last week, i might have mentioned (in a brief aside at the end of another post), that my filling didn't seem to be settling in too well and i was going to have to go back to the surprisingly attractive dentist to get it fixed some more.

and then finally you would have had a rather boring post today about how i'd been given a 'temporary dressing', and a previously undiscovered horror of dentists.

i've never really had a problem with dentists (which i put down to having a brace at an impressional age), my ex dentist was a rather expensive private practice (but it was free for under 18s), and when you had a filling you wore a pair of goggles which screened an episode of friends for you while he worked on your teeth. at the new place the only thing to watch is the suprisingly attractive dentist and the similarly good-looking dental assistant as they peer in a sinister fashion into your gob. add the fact that they listen to capital fm (rubbishy pop all the time, except for the rubbishy ad breaks), and it's enough to put anyone on edge.

at least i managed to avoid biting the surprisingly attractive dentist. i might not be so well behaved next time.

on triangular squirrels etc.

as the weather warms up, i'm feeling feverish. it starts with a cold, badly contained with pills on thursday and friday, then strangely asymptomatic on saturday and sunday. characterised only by a strange floatiness somewhere in the top of my head and a tendency to babble and feel too warm.

the first two nights i sleep for twelve hours, and it would be longer if i didn't have to go out and, y'know, work. on friday i come home from work and go straight to bed, but am forced to stagger out when the cat points out somewhat forcefully that he doesn't have any food. i step out of the house without my glasses and am strangely disorientated in the local shop.

saturday night i have long periods of being awake and feeling uncertain. i attempt to find excuses for it: caffeine or alcohol being the two main culprits. a third - the poisonwood bible - with its malarial tendencies and apocalyptic imagery may also be fueling my hypochondria.

i remember snatches of other dreams - dreamed months or even years ago in similar situations: the one where we were at my aunt's house, but with a pond and small tribes of children roaming around; the one about the vegetable patch; the one with the triangular squirrels... no really.

glamorous indie rock & roll

i realised at the book group on tuesday, my life now is a strange reversal of my life two years ago.

then, my idea of work was having to read a couple of books a week, and going along to a seminar to talk about them. in my spare time (and let's face it, there was a lot of that), i was heavily involved with music - there was indie soc (where i did box office from time to time, and did things like take down tables and then put them back again later) and bandsoc. and i did a lot of stewarding for goodricke events.

so now, i spend my work time at a music venue, a job which i initially got because of my indie soc experience (famous people who have been through my box office this week: gideon coe & paul morley)... on friday, i was duty manager for the first time (which is equivalent to "responsible personing" at an indie soc event)... 190 people in (including a large plan b contingent) and i was in charge! while sunday was flashback-tastic as i found myself setting up and then taking down a series of tables for a children's birthday party.

and in my spare time, i like to read books and then meet up and discuss them with my friends. if i was also playing scrabble professionally, my life would be truly reversed. but i can't see that one happening. unfortunately.

we! are! a bit skint, actually

so here's a thing, you may not realise it, but i live very close to one of london's most tragic teams, the mighty queen's park rangers. and they, having - in the space of ten years - gone from top london club to near bankruptcy, are in desperate need of some help.

the fact that my brother and i have seen the chairman eating at a local caff (as opposed to, say, the ivy) prolly suggests how desperate they are.

coca cola are running a promotion here, whereby if enough people vote for them, the rs (as they're affectionately known in our household, where my brother and my dad are season ticket holders) get 1/4 of a million pounds towards a new player. and you can win some money too.

at the moment, qpr are winning this vote thingy, but as the competition runs till may, they need all the support they can get. i mean, if we could get b&s to win a brit, then qpr should be a doddle.

i know some of you have teams that could use some cash, but for those of you who don't, rangers are a lovely side, and really deserve your help. so please visit the coke page and vote queen's park rangers.

pete doherty will thank you. though prolly not in person.

a sorry tale?

52 book challenge #8 - the apologist by jay rayner

i remember when this novel was first released, there was something of a furore, because it came so close to the death of chef bernard loiseau, who killed himself, at least partially, because his michelin star rating had been reduced. you can read rayner's interesting response to the death of loiseau here.

let me explain, in the opening chapters of the apologist (called 'eating crow' in america apparently), marc basset, a restaurant critic known for being particularly harsh, drives a chef to suicide. being a fairly decent chap, the first thing he wants to do is to apologise to the widow and the daughter left behind. when they take his apology well, he goes on a remorse-spree, apologising to everyone he's ever hurt.

this leads him to being offered the post of chief apologist by the united nations, creating a cult of apology, and eventually - inevitably - to his own downfall.

there are some very amusing moments in this novel - basset appears on stage with u2, saying only "i'm so sorry" into the mic and getting a raptuous response. the food descriptions - rayner is the observer's food critic in real life - are excellent (and a lot of the dishes mentioned are real).

towards the end, however, where the pacing should be tighter, it feels too loose, like a badly knitted sweater (something on my mind at the moment). slightly as though rayner was just desperate to finish the damn thing after a certain point. still, it's definitely worth a read. if you don't like it, i apologise.

i'm a comedy genius.

hello kitty

52 book challenge #7 - the final confession of mabel stark by robert hough

if you've read carter beats the devil - or in fact, if you're at all familiar with the conceit of 'carter', which is that it's a ficitionalised biography of a true-life character - you should be fairly at home reading 'mabel stark'.

like carter, this novel's star is a star in the pre-television, pre-world war II era. mabel stark was a tiger trainer in various circuses including the famous ringling brothers circus, where she was at one time one of the headline acts.

she ended her days, however, looking after the tigers at a two-bit zoo called jungleland. the novel imagines mabel stark narrating her career in the final days of her life. beginning with her first marriage, which led to her being hospitalised as hysterical and going on to describe how she ran away with the circus and became a tiger tamer.

the novel deals with her various marriages and romantic liasons, the most important of which is with her tiger rajah (no really), whom she raises from, er, kittenhood.

hough manages to capture the tone of a seventy(?)-year-old tiger tamer, hardened and bitter, pretty well. although there's a slightly odd thing going on where she omits 'it' at the beginning of sentences, so "was a fine animal, rajah" might be a typical line.

but by comparison with carter or (recently re-read) kavalier and clay, both of which deal with similar time periods and include historical figures as characters, mabel stark's tiger wrestling act just doesn't seem that impressive.

are you experienced?

we've had a workie in this week. she's 15, and wants to work in performing arts, so i'm not entirely sure why she's with us. strange to think that this time last year, i was that work experience girl, so i did my best to think of interesting tasks for her. there weren't many. a lot of the envelope-stuffing i used to do for free, i now get paid for. which is a bonus at least.

my life is pretty dull. excitement of the day was talking to a nice man from the tax office to sort out my self-employedness.

although on monday i had a somewhat drunken night with an old school friend who'd got in touch via the blog. we ended up at trash. hadn't been there for ages. the kills played, but i don't remember if they were any good or not. that bodes badly for my liver.

and i did go and see the life aquatic with stu on wednesday. i have a tendency to think wes anderson is a genius, and sat there with a huge grin on my face for most of the film. it had elements of seventies marine biology films, and also a good dollop of that scene in bedknobs and broomsticks when jessica fletcher and the children land their beds in the sea and meet all the fish. huzzah.