Jah Jah Dub

Friday, October 31, 2003

What might have been...

Just as television seemed to be dragging itself out of the lifestyle and reality doldrums with genius ideas suited perfectly to the medium - I’m a Celebrity, The Games et al, the lily-livered executives at ITV pull Man Versus Beast from the airwaves. All because some po-faced actors (and I’m pointing my finger squarely at you, Dame Judy Dench. They’re not going to recommission As Time Goes By, so let the rest of us enjoy ourselves.) and earnest pressure groups kick up a bit of fuss. And what’s it being replaced with? World’s Greatest Magic Tricks. Excellent, just what we need. I’ll tell you what’s magic mate, forty four dwarves and an elephant having a tug of war, that’s what.

Autumn days, when the grass is jewelled
And the silk in a chestnut shell
Jet planes meeting in the air to be refuelled
All these things I love so well
So I mustn't forget
No, I mustn't forget
To say a great big thank you
No, I mustn't forget.

Clouds that look like familiar faces
And winter's moon with frosted rings
Smell of bacon as I fasten up my laces
And the milkman sings.

Whipped-up spray that is rainbow-scattered
And a swallow curving in the sky
Shoes go comfy though they're worn out and they're battered
And the taste of apple pie.

Scent of gardens when the rain's been falling
And a minnow darting down a stream
Picked-up engine that's been stuttering and stalling
And a win for my home team.

Things that have terrified me, in approximately chronological order:

1) The rats in Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh.
2) Krull.
3) A radio play we listened to in the car about a couple who resurrect their dead baby through a pact with Satan.
4) An episode of Doctor Who where someone’s face melted.
5) Jaws 3D.
6) Freddie Kueger (This lasted until I actually saw A Nightmare on Elm Street).
7) Admitting to myself that despite having no talent, I was now too old to get on course to be a professional athlete.
8) Looking at family photos and remembering that at seven years old I’d come within a whisker of asking for a “Mr Spock cut.”
9) Realising how low my standards actually were.
10) Looking in the mirror and seeing my Dad.

Over/Underrated – London Special


1) Tate Modern
2) North of the river
3) The City
4) Zadie Smith
5) National Theatre
6) British museum
7) Arsenal
8) Brick Lane
9) Chris Tarrant
10) London


1) National Portrait Gallery
2) South of the river
3) Canary Wharf
4) National Maritime Museum
5) National Film Theatre
6) Imperial War Museum
7) Charlton Athletic
8) Petticoat Lane
9) Danny Baker
10) London


Thursday, October 30, 2003

Check out James's poll.


Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Films which have somehow passed me by:

1) Police Academy. (And all six sequels)
2) Rocky
3) Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
4) Jackie Brown
5) Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
6) Porky’s
7) Coming to America
8) Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
9) The Elephant Man
10) Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Of course this is the last time I start a sentence with, "Of course".

Listening to a CD when the other temp came in. Of course "Dirty Old Egg-Suckin' Dog" from Johnny Cash live at Folsom Prison was playing. Of course he likes 50 cent. Of course I felt slightly uncomfortable and slooooowly edged the volume down to nothing.


Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Tedious self examination:

Growing up with an incessant barrage of films, television and advertising images, I have more experience of stories than reality. This is the same for most everyone, and must have an impact on people's relationships and reactions to joyful or terrible events. "Surely I should be feeling like this..." And maybe even, "I will feel like this." I suspect that expectations are partly based on three act story arcs, ending in triumph or tragedy, and therefore we are always disappointed, unsatisfied or guilty about what we do achieve. Even humdrum, everyday lives are granted an extra dignity by appearing on screen, and however accurate these representations are, they seem more noble or significant than their real life equivalents. Perhaps even David Beckham compares his life with his ambitions and finds it wanting - "It's all very well scoring on my league debut for Real Madrid, but it *should* have been a hat trick..." If we each feel that we are starring in the film of our own life, then each decision made, especially regarding careers or personal relationships, assumes a vital importance. Will this path lead to "my story"? Is she The One? By taking this job, am I in fact moving away from my true narrative? But along with chaos, each writes his/her own tale, epic or novella. There is no second act about to start if we wait long enough, and it is foolish to expect one.

But despite myself I still do...

I'd like it if someone left an infant on my doorstep, "Three Men and a Baby" style. Then I could raise it.

Actually, that'd be a nightmare.

Wife Swap is on in the background. Is everyone really so loathsome?

Order in which I would sleep with the Smack the Pony cast:

1) Fiona Allen
2) Doon Mackichan
3) Sally Phillips

Sarah Alexander would obviously be first, but is more of a bit part player.

Christ I'm bored.

For the first, and hopefully only, time I find a Radiohead lyric resonating in my mind:

"I wish it was the '60s, I wish (earnest), I wish, I wish, I wish that something would happen..."

Me and you both, Thom. I'm ripe for a seduction at the moment, just to change the pace. And you can interpret that any way you like, incidentally: sexual; bank robbery; whatever.


"Don't follow leaders and watch your parking meters," is good advice.


"Turn 'em off and come to me
Tonight, I'm in a sexy mood, baby
And light a candle
Girl, there's something that I-I wanna do to you, I wanna do, I wanna do to you, baby

Would you mind if I asked you to
Would you rub me down
Would you rub me down in some, in some burnin' hot oils, baby, yeah
I swear I can do the same thing, the same thing to you, baby"

is a better credo to live by.

I just had to speak for the first time today. My voice came out all croaky. Peach.

Is Tuesday too early to buy a bottle of wine (or "blog juice" as I like to call it) on the way home? No. No, it is not.

Following a conversation with James, and to try and bring this ship back into shallow waters...

Top 5 older women...

1) Helen Mirren
2) Susan Kennedy
3) Janet Ellis
4) Julie Christie
5) Germaine Greer

Lights have gone out again. I'm trying to see how long I can keep them off. Moving... very... slowly. My question: if you didn't know me already, would you be able to deduce that I were male from this information?

Well, it doesn't look like the temp who works upstairs has bothered to come in today. Just me then. I am reminded of:

1) The abandoned colony in Aliens. I am Newt.
2) Home Alone. I may have to set up some traps.
3) Those Japanese soldiers who stayed in their bunker for years not realising the war was over.

Think the coffee might be even more horrible than yesterday. It's completely lukewarm now. Forgot my phone today, if you need to get hold of me you'll have to use diplomatic back channels.


Monday, October 27, 2003

To save electricity in this office, lights come on when you enter a room and go out by magic when there hasn't been any movement for a while.

I am sitting in the dark as I write this.

I think I have discovered a new way out of workaday drudgery so that I won't have to join the French Foreign Legion after all. Two words: online gambling. Surprised I haven't gone in for it before. I can see absolutely no way that I won't win enough money to live on, it seems as foolproof a scheme any I've previously considered. Soon I shall be hanging around my house all day listening to music and placing bets on Norwegian football fixtures. Unfortunately Roma failed to beat Inter yesterday, so I'm a pound down. Things can only get better though, and I can always put some more money in my account...

Tomorrow I may bring in a bicycle and a CD player. Then I can contruct my own musical montage sequence, riding around the corridors to "Don't You Forget About Me." It'd end with me rounding a corner and pulling up sharp in front of a group of people having a tour of the building. They will probably be Japanese.

This is enormously mysterious. Everyone in the office has moved to a new building at London Bridge. I'm sitting in a six story building which is completely empty apart from one other temp and some removal men. The drinks machine still works but the coffee tastes a bit odd, don't think they'll bother refilling/cleaning it. Hiiii botchulism. Sure will be on the computer a lot today. May have to find a music shop near here so I can listen to a CD. Otherwise I'll have to sing to myself. And I've been stung from that before.


Saturday, October 25, 2003

My hair's getting on for this long again. Go... to... bed...


Am pissed. Thought I'd treat you, no other reason. Really should go to bed.


Friday, October 24, 2003

Susanna seems to realise now that me and her just ain’t goin’ to fly, and has instead become playful. And I’m starting to quite enjoy it.

I was in the kitchen getting some water when she came in. (There were other people there too.)

S: Hey! Look who’s here! Aleestar!
A: Hi there.
S: And you get water, I am thirsty too... We both want water at the same time! Some people would call this... love.

Much as I love The Trials of Life, I am getting a bit bored of naked mole rats and bats. I know the former live in highly specialised communities, and I know that the latter locate their young with sound, even though they live in huge groups running to the millions. However, as yet, I know little about tigers. Hopefully the remaining three and a half hours will rectify this oversight.

Post-Mogwai, walking down Charing Cross Road I see a face I recognise. My mind whirs, he passes...

"Of course Nigel Havers!" I exclaim, pointing. Martin turns, as does Nigel.

"Of cooooouuuurse Nigel Havers!" Martin says. We continue on our way.


Thursday, October 23, 2003

I've worked out how to put pictures up. Nothing will ever be the same again.

We had a meeting today to discuss the imminent office move. Most of the computers have already gone (think mine will flee tonight. No internets for me then.) so my manager asked everyone to write down their passwords in case there are any problems in the new building. A piece of paper was passed around. Susanna's? Guapa1. Should have seen it coming. If I hadn't been so hung over it may have raised a smile.

I saw a Sikh man today who looked like Timmy Mallett.

Hmmm. 12:40... I sure am pissed. Sure do have my fried chicken... Of course James got off at Brixton to have sex with some man or other. We went to kareoke at the Retro Bar. Obviously I sang Rebel Rebel. A stormer. 3 congratulations, thank you very much. Of course James sang "Video killed the radio star". Least said, soonest mended. Of course a 45 year old lesbian said that I was well fit and that she could be converted. (See you later...) Of course I was compared (by "straight" women) to:

1) The youngest chap in Queer as Folk.
2) Steve Tyler.


Of course I sleep alone tonight, beneath my enormous Dido poster...


Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Dear Client A,

Gloom descends upon me. As I write I can hardly keep my tears at bay. I shall not see you tonight, my love. Alas, something has come up, namely the £12.50 admission charge. If I am honest, and I owe you that much, is seems a little steep to see a by-the-numbers electo-group, even one which strolls the plains of mediocrity as efficiently as you. I care little for the artist you are supporting and still less for your music; and so, this once, I must deny my heart. Be strong sweet lady, I hate to think of even one crease of sadness soiling your expression of studied indifference. It will not be long now (November 11, Death Disco at Notting Hill Arts Centre) before we will be together again.

So tonight think of me, as I piss the money up the wall in your honour.

Now and always,


Dear Client A,

And so, my darling, the day has come. I have been in the wilderness for forty days and nights, I have been tempted by the devil but I have remained true. Soon I shall gaze upon your beautiful visage once more. With each second that ticks by my heart grows and glows ever brighter – like ET as his spaceship approaches. The time since I last saw you has been a torturous eternity, but at last my misery will be abated, if only for a short while. But let us not think of future unhappiness. We have today, oh marvellous day! My heart sings like so many larks as I feel you edging ever closer. Soon this exquisite pain will be over, at least for now.

Forever yours,


Idea for Sky Interactive:

Problem: There are many people who watch television alone but prefer having company.

Solution: A camera is set up above the television of someone else. For the sake of argument, let’s say it’s in my house. This then films one of my smartarse friends and I cracking wise over whatever’s on. If the lonely viewer is watching the same thing as us, they can press the red button on their Sky remotes and we will appear in the top left hand corner of their screen. Instant friends. Problem solved.

Idea for a television programme:

This is actually Kelvin/Vinnie’s idea, but as he has given up his soapbox I’ll give it the airing it deserves. I may have tweaked it a little, but any props should go to him.

Hugh Laurie Gets Drunk.

Six half hour episodes filmed in one three hour take.

An empty studio. A leather chair. A small table. On the table, a bottle of whisky and a tumbler. Hugh Laurie enters, sits on the chair. One un-manned camera is on him. He starts to drink. Three hours later the bottle is finished. During this time he talks to the camera. Starts off cheery, introduces himself et cetera. As the drink and solitude kick in he becomes, in turn, aggressive, maudlin and bitter.

That’s it.

Possibly there needs to be mood-triggers/monologue starters. There may be a box full of career mementos for instance. Maybe music could be played. My preference would be for Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto to swell up after an hour or so.

If Hugh Laurie is not available then Ainsley Harriott could do it.


Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Everyone and their dog seem to be referencing David Niven today. I'll throw my hat in the arena. Just finished The Moon's a Balloon, his autobiography. Awesome. Full of anecodes of the

- and that young man was Ian Fleming...
- so JFK pointed to the red phone...
- Noel Coward, my son's godfather...
- and Churchill turned to me and said...
- where Cole Porter often used to play for us...
- Frank Sinatra drew up in his yacht and with Jimmy Van Heusen, played and sang until the sun rose...

variety. I've heard that many are exaggerated/happened to someone else, but who cares? The enjoyment comes from putting oneself in the situations he describes, it makes no difference if anyone actually experienced them all or not.

S: Aleestar, I bring some new music in to listen to today.
A: Oh yeah?

(Susanna plays CDs quietly on her computer sometimes.)

S: I think of you when I choose this one.
A: Let's see...

Shows CD to me.

A: Of course Kylie Minogue's Fever.

S: Aleestar, I did my eyebrows yesterday.
A: Oh yeah?
S: Can you tell?
A: Ummm... yeah.
S: It looks more beautiful, yes?
A: ...
S: Aleestar, every day I ask you to say something like this.
A: ...

Saw these bums on my way to work. I'd imagine if that was your father, mounting a protest dressed as Robin, you'd want him to have as limited access to you as possible.

I may go and cheer them during my lunch break.


Monday, October 20, 2003

Susanna now only refers to me as "guapo".

My problem:

In no way do I wish to encourage her...

... but I *would* like to be known as "El Guapo"...

Client on Wednesday. See you there.

I'm so bored. I'm actually considering flirting with the other Spanish woman I work with...

"Mar, were you once a dancer?"
"No, why?"
"You sit up so straight, with real elegance."

For fuck's sake.

Blogger's related searches for this site are "reggae lyrics; lazy". Next time I'm asked in an interview which three words best describe me...

Top 5 Cameo Appearances:

1) David Bowie – Zoolander
2) Boy George – The A Team
3) Johnny Depp – Vicar of Dibley
4) Meatloaf – Wayne’s World
5) Marshall McLuhan – Annie Hall

After I came back from lunch.

S: I am glad you are back.
A: Why?
S: I like to look at a good looking boy while I work.
A: Heh heh.
S: I joke. I need your help with a file. I like to look at good looking boys too though.
A: Ah Ok. I’m still on my lunch though. Can you wait fifteen minutes?
S: Oh yeah, sorry. Aleestar, one day I hope you say that I am beautiful.
A: … It started raining so I came back early.
S: You hear what I say? I hope you say I am beautiful one time.
A: Brrr, getting cold outside nowadays.
S: … Did this conversation actually happen?
A: Yes exactly as written. What you’re about to say is made up though.
S: Right, ok. Why is this post-modern all of a sudden?
A: Just keeping myself interested. I’ve got a couple of other things I’m going to try soon too.
S: I’ll look forward to seeing them fall flat on their faces. Anyway, it occurs to me, this device of yours, using me to illustrate your internal monologue/duologue, could take you into some dangerous territory.
A: You mean I could use it to resolve thoughts presently half-formed but in areas of my psyche which are largely unexplored?
S: Exactly. I mean, someone could visit your site expecting to see the “Top 5 Cameo Appearances” or something and end up reading a load of crazy stuff from the dark spaces of your mind.
A: I know. I thought that. It would make for uncomfortable reading. Could be interesting though.
S: I don’t think you have the guts.
A: When I’m sober I don’t…

S: How come you no have a girlfriend?
A: Ummmm. Because I don’t meet many girls.
S: You go out to clubs though, no?
A: Yeah, but I can never be bothered talking to girls there.
S: You are shy, no?
A: It’s more that I can’t be bothered with it. I mean, I go out for a good time, not to score. I’m quite happy being single, I don’t think I’d have the time for a girlfriend anyway. Plus, although I wouldn’t mind “seeing” someone I suppose, I don’t want the obligation of having to see someone x times a week, regardless of what we each wanted to do.
S: If I understand you correctly, you’re also saying that in our culture there is enormous pressure to be part of a couple, making people scared of being single.
A: Yes, that’s right. I’m not afraid of it, and feel that I’m happier without the obligation of going out with someone, or whatever other label you prefer to put on a sexual relationship.
S: That’s interesting. I always feel like I should be seeing someone or else I am incomplete.
A: But that’s crazy. You should make yourself feel complete and see people if and when you want to see them. Relying on someone else for your self worth is very unhealthy.
S: Hang on… this conversation didn’t actually take place did it?
A: No…
S: So you’re just putting words in my mouth to illustrate some broader point.
A: … yes.
S: Is that ethical do you think?
A: Well, no one who reads this will ever meet you, so I think it’s sound. At least, I *hope* that no one will meet you.
S: That’s all very well, but isn’t this idea copied from A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers?
A: It’s inspired by it… I don’t think that many people would have noticed.
S: But by telling them you’re having your cake and eating it?
A: Yes, exactly. And I’m breaking through the fourth wall at the same time.
S: I suppose you think this makes you look clever?
A: Ummm. Don’t know. I don’t think it makes me look stupid…
S: You’re insufferable. In fact, was this whole posting designed simply to get this conversation with yourself up? All that relationship stuff was an excuse, wasn't it?
A: Yes.
S: What a loser. So are we going to have more of this to look forward to?
A: I’m not sure yet, just experimenting.
S: I think this could be as annoying as those postings you did in the form of seventeen syllable haikus.
A: You may well be right.

On today’s Northern Line closure:

S: I have to get up very early tomorrow for the bus. I offer the bus driver sex today to get on.
A: I wondered why you were late.

Two things I didn’t expect to see this weekend.

1) 50 cent on Jonathan Ross.
2) Germaine Greer interviewing Westlife on The South Bank Show.

Phrase I'm hoping to use soon:

I'm so bored of sexual imagery everywhere. I think sex is overrated anyway... at least it is the way I do it.

New wave of blogging: Laura and Jack. Check that fly shit out.


Saturday, October 18, 2003

I was weak. Bumped into James at the bus stop. Missed All About Me, ended up in Shinky Shonky's last Friday night. Ace, even if they didn't play Queen. Of course there were a lot of girls there. Of course I was the only heterosexual man. Don't fret, nothing happened. Obviously.


Friday, October 17, 2003

S: I move tomorrow Aleestar. Then we can meet up in Balham whenever we want.
A: We sure can.

Woman comes up to my desk.

W: Hi, can I leave this filing with you?
A: You can.
S: Hey! You always give to him. You prefer him to me!
W: ... I’ve just seen him do filing before.
S: No, I can see why. He is very nice. Look at his face. I prefer him to you.
W: Haha.
A: (pretending not to hear – something very interesting on my screen all of a sudden.)
S: Yes, you like him I think. He is very nice.
W: Bye.
S: You see Aleestar, I help you to find a girlfriend.
A: ... cheers.
S: Sorry, I embarrass you?

It's hot in here and I'm moving files and shit. I decide to roll up my sleeves. Quickly I stop, make it look as if I was only scratching and pull them down again. I'd forgotten the Spiderman temporary tattoo on my forearm. (Free with a packet of candy-cigarettes.)


-It's getting hot in herre, so roll up both your sleeves...
-Thanks. I would, but you can still see my Spiderman transfer.

S: I go out with friends tonight. You want to come?
A: Ah. No. I’m staying in tonight. Going out tomorrow. Ummm... where do you usually go out?
S: Tonight – Brick Lane. Usually around Old Street.
A: Old Street? Right. Got you.
S: Where you go?
A: Nowhere in particular.

Not Old Street.

S: One place I go, I talk to this man, he say a film star there the week before.
A: Who was it?
S: Patrick? Something like this.
A: Film star called Patrick? Tell me Swayze.
S: In Romeo and Juliet.
A: Hmmmm.
S: Gwyneth Paltrow.
A: Right. Of course.

Remember: All About Me, BBC 1, 20:30. If you have a "life" and are going out to a "pub" or "club" or whatever it is you young people do nowadays, record it. Really.

Of course.

Quite fancy being in a mediocre style over substance band. Anyone else?

Torso Boy: New evidence.

Does the Evening Standard have to make him sound like the world's most ineffectual superhero sidekick?


Thursday, October 16, 2003

2) Big Brother. Clearly, the last people one would want to watch for ten weeks are those who would apply to be on Big Brother. Easiest way around this? Random selection from the electoral roll. Obviously people can refuse to participate, but you would still get a better spread of contestants. Who wants to see more yapping know-nothing twenty-somethings (especially if I’m not allowed on TV) when you could have a middle aged Indian woman, an old man etc. Less scope for romance? Au contraire mon ami. There would only be one or two potential mates for each person, so shenanigans become more likely.

Alternatively, let’s stick with the original but fuck with them in interesting ways. Off the top of my head:

i) One day, while the laziest is still in bed, all the other housemates are changed for new people who act like they’ve been there all along.

ii) One day, around Week 5, a child is in the diary room. Not a baby, just a little boy or girl between 8 and 12.

iii) Same as above but it’s an old lady.

iv) The walls are moved inwards slightly every day.

v) One day Big Brother keeps completely quiet.

And for the contestants:

i) Refuse to leave if evicted. They’d have to remove you forcibly.

ii) Barricade the doors – make them have a court order of eviction.

iii) Break some of the cameras.

iv) Kill the chickens and eat them.

v) Spend the entire budget on alcohol. They’ll never let everyone starve to death.

Again, as before, Channel 4 - I am available.

A: Susanna, do you have any staples?
S: Yes. For a kiss...
A: I don't need them that badly.

Couple of ideas I’ve been spouting off about for a while which, if I write them here, I can shut the fuck up about.

1) Star Wars. Now George, I know you’re a regular reader, so this one’s for you, free of charge. I’ll admit from the start, I’m no Star Wars fan. The first/fourth is fun, the other two original ones are OK, apart from those ridiculous Ewoks. I’m not being snobbish about them, they’re fine, but I was never into them much, even as a child. However, I can see why they work, and why your prequels don’t. Briefly, you need humour and sex to keep them interesting. This is where I come in. (Humour and sex being my middle names. And Brendan.) To be honest, I think your livestock has already bolted, but we’ll see if we can get some of them back. To rub salt in your wounds I’ll tell you where you went wrong. Casting Ewan McGregor was a shrewd move, he’s a charismatic young actor. You then give him nothing to do other than act like Alec Guinness. I may be crazy, but having a character forty years younger gives you some scope for development. Right. So he should have been hot headed, sarcastic, a lover and a fighter. Then the films could have charted his maturing. In the first film – tearaway, the second – shit hot, the third – overtaken by Anikin, his student. Now, you should have introduced a sexual charge between Ewan and Natalie Portman. They have an affair – starting at end of first film. Second film, Ewan gets more into the Force, dumps her. On rebound she ends up with Anakin. Third film: Anakin being a twat, Natalie finds solace with Ewan. As I remember, Anakin was a virgin birth or some such nonsense – either way, because of a thing, he is sterile. We find this out in some way. Upshot? Luke and Leia are Obi Wan’s children. Bingo! You see George? The love triangle adds some interest to your trying po-faced tripe, while at the same time introduces a twist that changes the way you look at the original films. You see? Sometimes directors can have too much power.

If you need me to work on your script, contact me at the usual address. Or maybe you like your work to look like the loading screen for Wing Commander. For two hours.

S: Aleestar, sometime you have to tell me that I am muy guapa!
A: Hahaha… Yeah.

S: Aleestar!
A: ... yeah?
S: You are still beautiful.
A: Thanks.
S: I think someone need to tell you!

Me too, Susanna. Shame it’s you.

Big shout out to Saul Bellow for The Adventures of Augie March which I’ve just finished reading. I don’t recommend things too often, it seems a bit earnest, but it is dazzling. The protagonist and I share a lot of personality traits too, although I’m possibly less of a sympathetic character. I suspect that it’s an excellent choice for a favourite novel too - kind-of famous, credible, genuinely enjoyable but not obvious...

In the last eighteen months we have seen Ray Stubbs dropped from a crane onto a pile of boxes; Ricky Gervais boxing Grant Bovey; Wayne Sleep, strapped with waffles, in a tunnel squirming with rats; John Fashanu wearing a glass helmet full of eels; James Hewitt and Harvey from So Solid Crew forming an unlikely yet firm bond; Bobby Davro weightlifting and Derren Brown playing Russian Roulette. Only yesterday, Michael Portillo took over the management of a single-parent family in Liverpool and two eighteen year olds had sex while the camera stayed unflinchingly on them for our titillation. Only five years ago this would all have been unthinkable. Where is television going? How much further can this be taken? Who knows? But it’s going to be fun finding out.

We live in a golden age of televison, ladies and gentlemen, a golden age.

Top 5 women as of this moment

1) That one from the Vengaboys
2) Client A
3) Carol Smilie
4) Caroline from Teen Big Brother
5) Germaine Greer

Bubbling under: Susanna Hoffs; Ava Gardner; Mel B.


Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Panic-stricken I feared I'd missed Client's October London gig. But it's ok... it's ok...

S: Aleestar, when we go for a drink?
A: Ummm. Don't know.
S: Am I harass you? How you say?
A: Sexual harassment?
S: Yes, am I sexually harassing you?
A: Hahaha... Yes.

Update: I misunderstood. Susanna *is* moving to Balham. Peach.

S: Aleestar, what you do for lunch today?
A: Ummm... I have to go to the bank to pay some money in...
S: Oh, I was going to ask you if you wanted to go to the pub.
A: Ahh. Yeah, bit busy today.
S: Another day, we go Friday?

(Phone rings)

She's still talking on it as I type.

(Oh yeah, and the 'M' for 'Me' is now 'A' for Alistair. No particular reason.)

Of course Susanna's looking for a place to live. Of course she's seeing a place in Balham later. "Hey, I will be your neighbour! We can meet up!"


There’s a white van outside with a plaque on the back door saying, “Van of the Year 2001”. I’d like to think that it was this particular van which won the award, not the model of van (Ford Transit). That is, this van is somehow superior to all other vans.



Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Susanna on phone to friend.

S: So I see you later, half past six. OK. Oh, I have to introduce you to one of my work fr... colleagues. He is so nice! So sexy! (She smiles at me. I laugh uncomfortably.) No! 25... yes... definitely... Ok. Ciao.
M: Who was that?
S: The Chinese girl.

Of course the Chinese Girl. *

M: Ahhh.
S: She is older than you. Not much though, 26. All my friends are 25, 26. One night when we are out you should come. You and your friends should come out with us.
M: Yes. Yes, that would be a good idea.

* Forgot that I hadn’t written about this woman. Susanna was showing me the pictures of her holiday, and the girl she was with was pretty hiiiiiii. So I was all like, "Stop the press! Who’s that chick? She’s niiiiiiice." Harsh but fair I think.

I see the same people on the bus everyday. Hey! It’s the woman with a face like a Bo Selecta mask! Hey! It’s the tiny Indian man with the hunched back! Hey! It’s that girl that I may or may not have gone to college with and keep looking at to see if I can work out if she’s familiar but who always catches me and thinks I’m checking her out! (I am) Hey! It’s that guy who looks like a cross between Peter Davidson and a serial killer!

These are my people.


Monday, October 13, 2003

Just noticed that the toilets here have electric shaver sockets. What with the showers too, if there were pull down camp beds I’d never have to leave the building!

S: Ahh, sheet. I have to go to the other building to work.
M: OK.
S: If anyone calls for me tell them to call my mobile.
M: OK.
S: I'll give you the number. (Writes number.) Now you can call me whenever you want to go to the cinema or anything.
M: ...

Susanna: Good afternoon, Beautiful!
Me: … hi.
S: Did you hear what I said?
M: Yeah.
S: I call you beautiful.
M. Um... yeah.
S: You are the most beautiful man I ever work with I think.
M: ... thanks.

Carries on in a similar vein.

S: No, you are! I’m not saying you are the most beautiful boy in the world, but you have a nice face, good English, you are “cool”.
M: ... thanks.

I felt bad, but I thought saying, "and you’re great too," would be transparently dishonest and such deliberate ignoring of the evidence would be like flat-earthism or Beckham-hating.

The sun is out and the fair weather bench-lunchers come out from out of their rocks. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re not there every day, shivering, eating a banana and peanut butter sandwich and reading a po-faced book, then you don’t have the right take up space when it’s more clement.


Saturday, October 11, 2003

Why, with a few extraordinary exceptions (tautology), is all music shit since Cole Porter?

Item A: (I'm) Always True To You in My Fashion

If a custom tailored vet
Asks me out for something wet
When the vet begins to pet--I cry Hooray.

But I'm always true to you, darlin', in my fashion
Yes, I'm always true to you, darlin', in my way.

I've been asked to have a meal
By a big tycoon in steel,
If the meal includes a deal, accept I may.

But I'm always true to you, darlin', in my fashion
Yes, I'm always true to you, darlin', in my way.

There's an oil man known as Tex
Who is keen to give me checks.
And his checks, I fear, means that Tex is here to stay.

But I'm always true to you, darlin', in my fashion
Yes, I'm always true to you, darlin', in my way.

From Ohio Mister Thorn
Calls me up from night till morn
Mister Thorn once cornered corn and that ain't hay

But I'm always true to you, darlin', in my fashion
Yes, I'm always true to you, darlin', in my way.

From Milwaukee Mister Fritz
Often dines me at the Ritz
Mister Fritz invented schlitz and schlitz must pay

But I'm always true to you, darlin', in my fashion
Yes, I'm always true to you, darlin', in my way.

Mister Harris, plutocrat, wants to give my cheek a pat
If the Harris pat means a Paris hat, pay, pay!

But I'm always true to you, darlin', in my fashion
Yes, I'm always true to you, darlin', in my way.


Friday, October 10, 2003

And they've changed the wife... one of the women from Goodness Gracious Me for the other!

All those with eyes in your heads, I plead, beg and urge you in the strongest possible terms to watch All About Me next Friday on BBC1, 20:30. I have to record every episode for posterity. I am genuinely astonished it has been recommissioned.

It truly has to be seen to be believed.

Geoffrey Palmer just said "fuck" on tv. I'm in shock. It was the voiceover to Grumpy Old Men.

And I thought QI was smug.

I feel liberated. I’ve made the decision to definitely not go out this weekend leaving me two days to enjoy wine and westerns. Obviously I won’t meet my soul mate this way (if I was insane enough to believe such an outcome possible, or indeed desirable) but I will have The Wild Bunch.


Thursday, October 09, 2003

"Y'alright mate? Got any Iron Maiden?"
"I'll just check with the others..." Yeah right.

First DJ experience last night. Bringing some tunes to the kids. Unfortunately the kids know dick. It's a regular indie/alternative night so our hands were tied, but may have our own shindig soon.


- Managing to sneak in, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised", "Mama Said Knock You Out", some old school ska and "Welcome to the Jungle".

- The girls sure do love a DJ. Unfortunately, they also love Rancid.

- A kid came up asking advice on where to get dub music. He was referred to me. I was kindly and avuncular. Felt like John Peel.

- Martin queuing up Jump Around then accidently playing Fiesta by the Pogues. Dan having an aneurism trying to find the face-saving Darkness.

- When the tired old war horse, Jump Around, finally was trotted out, the kids absolutely loved it. Guess they've probably only heard it played half a dozen times in clubs. Also, they sure did "jump around".

- Segueing into EMF's Unbelievable made us very happy indeed. The kids looked at each other with baffled ignorance. Feel... very... old...

- Leaving the bar and hearing a group of pissed-ups still singing along to "God Gave Rock and Roll to You", the last song of the night. Obviously.


Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Today -

Judith: You know who you look like?
Me: (weary) ... no.
Judith: That Virgin guy.
Me: ... excuse me?
Judith: Richard...
Me: Richard Branson!
Judith: Yeah, that's him!
Me: It must be the beard.

As a reminder, I look like this.

But people think I look like:

Gianfranco Zola
Richard Bacon
Alex Sibley
Jon Bon Jovi
Donny Osmond
Richard Branson
A Monkey

The last one is the most flattering.


Tuesday, October 07, 2003

On the wall in front of me, a poster:

Steve Redgrave has, so why can’t you... awarded for your achievements.

Shout! Creating advantage awards.

I was going to leave it at that but I can’t let it lie. Not only has someone selected that gem from their no-brainstorming, but a superior has had to approve it. Meetings would have been taken to finalise it, then it would have been sent to a designer and finally printed, all without anyone vomiting over this insult to the intelligence and taste of all. But now it is here, the terrible jollity of the post-Shout exclamation mark motivating my every action.

Just getting a coffee. One stranger says to another, “well, I’ll let you go through your bundles.” I laugh all the way to the kitchen at the idea of saying, “as the actress said to the bishop.”

This has been the highlight of my day so far.

Nice to see that I didn’t get paid for my sick days the other week. Cheers Select. I suppose I can’t expect much from you, what with you charging me out at only double the rate I actually receive. I suppose you need to cover the administrative costs of sending out a weekly timesheet, so it is fair.


Monday, October 06, 2003

So I'm working by this new temp.

Him: Where do you live?
Me: Streatham. Moved recently from Clapham...
Him: Were you a member of the Blockbuster at Clapham North?
Me: Yeeeeaaaahhh...
Him: I used to work there! I thought I recognised you.

Films I have got out from said branch:

The New Guy
Slap Her... She's French
Get Over It

The shame.

I'm in a different department for a couple of days, filling in. I'm the Phil Neville of this team.


Sunday, October 05, 2003

I've got to stop doing this in clubs. My legs sure hurt today.


Saturday, October 04, 2003

Ronnie O'Sullivan has denied his conversion. Gutted.


Friday, October 03, 2003

Susanna and I have had a little tiff.

A few weeks ago I had to archive some files. I forgot to write a number on one of them and she needs it now. It's no big deal, I'd sort it out for her if she asked but instead she's decided to moan all morning.

S: Aleester, I don't want you to help me with arc-kiving anymore.

Me: Yeah, cool.

"Susanna, I don't want you to talk to me ever again," I didn't add.

Does anyone not have an idea who these footballers are? Sure is obvious who they're talking about.

This sums up my feelings on the new Chelsea. Football team as concept.

I find Dido far more attractive than I care to admit.


Thursday, October 02, 2003

And Susanna and I continue our dance. (Actually, it's more like capoeira, no physical contact.)

S: So when are we going to the cinema?
Me: Hahaha.

S: We should go for lunch one day.
Me: Yeeeeah. Not today though.

S: Before you leave we should go out drinking.
Me: Hahaha.

S: Why are you still working here?
Me: I've just been lazy about applying for jobs. I've done a few recently though. How come you're here? You have a degree, don't you?
S: Yes. But you went to a better university and you can speak English fluent... and you are handsome...
Me: ...
S: So you should get a job easy.
Me: Well, I don't know about that...

Calling it like it is, I am prettier than her. Honestly. Now, Dan and Martin, do you understand?

Man I feel old...

There's this girl, right, and I've spotted her around since I first started working here. (Fuck... just worked out how long I've been doing this for... surely it can't be October already?) Anyway, straight away I thought, "hello, what have we here?" (Answer: a fit) Main point though, she seemed to be checking me out too. I hadn't spoken to her, as we work in different departments, but eye contact in the corridors, you know the drill. So, I have this file to deliver today, get the desk location of the client, take it to her and, no surprises, it's this girl. And she's married. Married! And I was half-considering-maybe-but-let's-face-it-no-way-on-Earth talking to her and trying to get some kind of flirtation going. I can't believe I'm reaching the point where I have to check ring-fingers. This is crazy... I'm a grown up.


Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Ok, so there're going to be occaisonal postings while I try and work out what I'm going to do with this mofo.


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