Journey through space to the Planet Fabulous, where the Ruler of the Universe will see you shortly.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Truth

It's eight thirty on a Friday night. I'm all alone, I'm about to watch a 'Dexter' double bill, and I'm laying in bed with a mug of hot chocolate, spiced up with a tot of whiskey.

And, you know what?

I couldn't be happier.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Temptation

Shakes fist at sky.

Why, Lord? Why do you tempt me like this?!

First canteen functionary, now there's a new gym functionary started. And, by the One True God Cher, he is beautiful. Kind of like Jean-Claude Van Damme, but done properly. You know. Not wearing those paedoscope glasses he's taken to now. And actually fills out a pair of underwear, rather than bothering the inside of his jeans crotch with something the look, feel and shape of a button mushroom, bless.

Not that I've been looking, mind. He just happened to stroll by to the showers with his towel hanging halfway down while my eyes were on stalks. Good Cher, you could break coconuts on those abs. And his forearms? Like bloody lift cables!

Troublingly, he has that easy sexuality where he's comfortable with both men and women looking at his body. Encourages it, in fact. He even stopped me the other day and offered to train me with that knowing 'Oh look, I know you're gay. You'll like me doing squat thrusts in front of you. Want to pay me money for the privilege?' smile.

My own personal trainer is clearly nervous about this attention that I'm giving the new guy out the corner of my eye. He actually came in and presented me with a bottle of port this morning. What should one do when one's gym instructor now becomes your food enabler? I mean, this is a dilemma for a gay man along the lines of Schrodiner's Cat! It's like asking 'Who's your favorite, Maggie Smith or Judy Dench?' and watching a Gentleman Who Moisturises spin out of control into a glittering heap.

I'm looking forward to my fella getting back from Ireland. It'll take all this temptation off the table once and for all! It's not like I'm heading off to Sitges in a couple of weeks on my own, is it...?

Laughs nervously. Looks shifty.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Are You Being Served..?

I think there's a man at work who's flirting with me.

I know! How delicious. The thing is, I can't be sure. As I've probably said before I'm absolutely hopeless at flirting, being flirted with, and anything of that general fan-fluttering oeuvre. Well, apart from actual fan-fluttering, naturally, and I can coquettishly bop a fly on the nose at forty paces. It's all in the breeding.. and the wrist, of course. Oh my wrist action has brought many a man to his knees in my time - and brought a man to conclusion in many an alley at the back of Burger King, for that matter. I like it there - the free napkins are convenient, if you get my drift.

I'm going waaaay off the point, aren't I? This man. He works in the BBC canteen, that hotbed of plastic cutlery and limp lettuce, and was that general kind of chatty with me that I engage with most functionaries I see on a daily basis (minimum dialog, no eye contact, wondering if their kidney is for sale and a match for my own) when he had the impertinence to ask me what I was doing on the weekend. I brazenly said I was going on a date. With a nice gentleman.

I have to say, ever since then he's been very attentive, and I hate to say the words 'extra portions', but I sense he may be trying to slip me some meat between my floury baps on a few occasions. I think. Like I say, I am terrible at recognizing the signs - oh, he's definitely more talkative since he's found out I 'Can't Catch', and yet he says he's just come out of a seven-year relationship with a girl. Maybe this means he's craving the delights of the Other Bus, maybe I'm just reading the whole thing wrong. I really have no idea. Which clearly adds to the fun!

And do you know, I wasn't even sure I even fancied him anyway! Him and his thick fingers, his flinty eyes, and his deep voice. He's the kind of man I can imagining sidling up to tipsy girls in nightclubs and offering to buy them a drink in that thick, Eastern European accent of his, and maybe you've got a fifty-fifty chance of there being date-rape in there. And yet, as I chat to him as he's forking my Lean Cuisine onto my waterspotted plate with a wonky smile on his face, I realised I wanted to be that girl.

Thank heavens I'm in a relationship. One of the best things about them is it takes decisions like this out of your hands. But while it goes on, I'm not going to be turning down the attention. Even if he does try and pronounce 'Spotted Dick' in a sexy way, bless him.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Innocence

We here at Glitter for Brains can often be found pondering mysteries of this wondrous world (are the headlines in ‘American Dad’ ever funny? Is there anything Eva Longoria won’t advertise?) which is why we get a little confused when one of our firmly held beliefs gets questioned.

In this case, it was the rock-solid notion that Children Should Not Talk To Strange Men.

Now, I’ve had this drummed into me – ironically – more times than I’ve had strange men drummed into me. You do not go and talk to people you don’t know, unless its an emergency and its a police man. This goes some way to explain my incapacity to chatting to people I don’t know in clubs; yet if they’re in a policeman’s uniform, I won’t come quietly. But I digress; it was while my Fella and I were in the park, enjoying the sunshine and reading the paper on a lovely Sunday afternoon that we looked up and saw a charming blue-eyed girl looking down at us.

“Er, hello,” said Ryan. I, whereas, was burying my head in the Arts section and slyly looking around for her father in the hope he was going to come and collect her without due haste, and hopefully, any dirty looks for chatting to his very young daughter.

“And what are your names?” she asked quite brazenly. “Mine’s Iona. I think its very pretty.”

Ryan agreed that it was, and introduced us both. I still wasn’t enthusiastic about having an interloper. Kids don’t normally warm to me. It’s the beard, I think. Or the squinty eyes. Or because I know more about ‘In The Night Garden’ than they do.

I leaned in to Ryan’s ear. “She doesn’t seem that fussed about the fact that we’re holding hands.”

“Perhaps she’s from one of those progressive families. Where they tell you about the birds and the bees, the bees and the bees, and the birds and the birds, so they do.”

Iona continued to dance in front of us, and was wearing her sun dress with the straps down. She was, in essence, topless. And had this worrying habit of sticking her hand down the front of said dress whenever she was asked a question. From a distance, we really looked like we were part of some paedo sting operation. And so we were in a dilemma: do we act as non-threatening and gay as possible so wherever the father was, he thought ‘she is with those marvelous well-dressed homosexuals, they pose no threat’. Or do we sit some distance apart as some people still think ‘Gays run off with kids, get her away now!’

I located her father, under a tree, holding Iona’s brother and sister. He didn’t seem the slightest bit fussed that she was over with us. In fact, if anything, he seemed glad of the break.

I swung my legs around so I could face our new friend. “Iona, would you like to be a princess?”

She nodded slowly, fingers in her mouth.

“Well then, lets make you a crown.” And I started folding up parts of the newspaper into a lavish hat.

“Don’t you want this bit?” she said, pointing at the sheets I was creasing.

“Oh no,” I said. “Let me tell you a secret. Because I am a princess too, Iona. And princesses never read the Sports section.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Heatwave

So last night, as I was heading through Soho, I happened upon four tramps fighting over a can of Stella. 'Well no need to go to Leicester Square and see the UK "Sex and the City" premiere then,' I thought. Honestly, I think I should get a badge; I was probably the only Gentleman Who Owns Tweezers who wasn't there leaning over the barriers to watch Sarah Jessica Parker canter around the red carpet. Old Compton Street was a ghost town. I'd like to say the staff of the Ku Bar were offering blow jobs to get punters in, but frankly there's no change there.

Anyway, completely off the point, here's a New Fact for you: in stock exchanges, when things get a little heated and excited between the stock brokers, there is apparently a noticeable elevation in testosterone in the air. Interesting enough, I think you'll find. But I then went on to discover that in certain Singapore stock offices, they apparently pump testosterone into the air to whip all the functionaries into a buying-and-selling frenzy from the get go, rather like a blue-tag sale in Debenhams on pension day.

It turns out there are two women that work in this office.

Well, they may not be women any more... they may be having to shave three times a day or something. I remember when I accidentally took some estrogen after mistaking it for soluble aspirin some time ago; my nipples were delightfully tender for a week and I had this uncontrollable urge to watch a 'Brothers & Sisters' marathon while crying into my blouson. Perhaps these girls go the other way and start wearing turned-up jeans, no bra and favour ginseng teas. Start ordering chunky collars for their cats, if you get my drift.

Or perhaps they spend the day foaming at the gash like a faulty fire extinguisher, and dragging their asses across the office floor, yowling like a cat in heat. I have to say this is exactly how I feel at the moment. Its the heat, I tell you. We're having a heatwave over here at the minute and I'm horny as hell. I feel like I'm in a film noir - meaning that I'm either a toothy drifter in a leather jacket or a sexually frustrated waitress, and we're about to have some great sex next to some knackered blinds while a ceiling fan lazily whirs overhead. Usually after killing someone's husband. It's a very vivid but distracting fantasy; I don't think I'd like to be here permanently, though - the fridge in my vision may be a glorious white monolith of 50s Americana, but it looks like a right death trap to me. Reach in the back for some humus, and the next thing you know the slab of a door has swung shut and you're going to suffocate to death betwixt two cottage pies and a Star Bar.

Still, at least I'd have more dignity than Sarah Jessica Parker, if you ask me.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Meanwhile, in the Head Mistress' Study...

Now come in and sit down, Madonna. Please don't look so surly as this is for your own good, my dear girl.

Now, I'd like to talk to you about copying. Ah-ah-ah, please don't interrupt - I know you have been doing it for many years and we've often turned a blind eye, but this latest report you've handed in is just ridiculous. Did you do anything in this at all?

Now don't go all silent on me, missy. Answer the question.

No, I don't think writing your name on the front is work enough, frankly. And I know some of the younger children are very easily led, but that doesn't mean that you can keep getting them to do all your work for you. Take that nice William in the year below... I'm sorry, that nice 'Will.i.am'. (I tell you, Mrs Callorat from the English department regrets the day she did her 'Fun With Punctuation!' class with the fourth year...) He's very good at what he does, but doesn't mean that you can just come in and waltz off with the credit. It's just not the done thing, dear.

Please stop doing yoga when I'm speaking to you. There's a name for girls who can get their ankles above their heads, and let me tell you it's not a pleasant one.

Now I have to say that I was a little dubious when you announced you were going to do some hipperty-hoppity music for your next project. Some people even laughed in the staff room, but I thought 'No. Let her have a go.' Because we hope to be forward viewing here at this school - heavens, if we let Avril Lavine get away with it, you should at least have a go at being one of those human beat boxes. Our one fear would be that you'd try and drag the music into a more commercial area, thus rendering it without message, and using slightly-dated accompaniments to mainstream the package. Well, actually, my one fear would be you used a terrible font on the cover, but it seems that looking at this that both of were totally justified.

Are you chewing gum? No, yes you are. I saw you put it in your mouth while I was talking. Spit it out, child. Honestly, I'm trying to make you into a lady! As such, lets not forget that summer project you did called... well, I don't wish to say that word, thank you. The 'Ess-Eee-Exx' word. I saw some of those pictures that were in it. Do you not own any nice blouses, dear?

Yes I'm aware that by not embracing the inner goddess I'm leaving myself open to be penetrated by a phallicentric world. But some of us like a high neckline, thank you very much.

Don't tut. Ladies don't tut.

Some of the staff are saying that you haven't done any proper work since you stopped hanging around with that nice Sandra Bernhart girl - you know, the one who was very good at hockey. And shop class. Whatever happened there? You two used to be as thick as thieves back in the day! Maybe she was your muse! You know, from your Greek classes? No? Honestly, does anything get through that hair-do? I despair sometimes, I really do!

Don't slouch, dear. And don't mumble.

Well, I'm sorry, I'm going to have to fail you for this latest effort. I was hoping that you'd talk me around, but I can see your heart really isn't in it, is it? Is it? No, its not. The one good thing I can say about you is that you are prolific in your work, so there'll be another one along in a minute. Just one more thing, dear: please stop getting the A/V boys to touch up your year-book picture. We've now spent the whole Art Department budget.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Coming Back

Every now and again, my favorite ex and I get together so he can try and wean me off my dependence of Hollywood-style blockbusters (and their accompanying sugar highs) by slowly introducing me to art house films where nothing blows up. Or if it does, it is usually off screen and means the whole town is going to die of malaria now. Yesterday, we watched the award-winning 'Volver' starring Penelope Cruz, which some people class as art house, while others class it merely as 'Spanish'. Personally, I class any film as art house where you see:

* the protagonist's useless spouse drinking on a tartan sofa after getting fired
* anyone actually using the bathroom
* far too many cleaning products on display near the kitchen window
* any film where Kate Winslett coughs pointedly into a hankie, and then tries to hide the blood specks.

You can also tell this is an arty film as there's lots of overhead shots of soup and washing up bowls. And my usual fear of it having no plot was unfounded; rather it had too much... it's like Almodóvar is a toddler with ADD when mood-boarding the movie, what with a kooky murder, a restaurant trying to be successful, a few family secrets, neighbour with cancer, people sniffing exercise bikes and an awful lot of wafers. Its just unfortunate that somebody seemingly gave him Liz Taylor's supply of downers for actually writing the script as all this happens at a glacial pace. In the US, they tend to concentrate on only one of those at a time; restaurant needs to be turned around and made successful? Call Catherine Zita-Jones! Kooky murder? Ice Cube's your man to man-handle a comedy corpse into your chest freezer!

I think 'Volver' also suffers from Prodigal Son Syndrome, where a local star returns to their people with the bounty of Hollywood kudos, and enables them to do one or two cross-cultural films which will be a slice of urban, rural life to show their country that they haven't forgotten their cultural roots and how to dye their own hair in the bathroom sink, while still trying to sell it overseas with a cut of the profits. The problem with Cruz is that she hasn't left the right amount of Hollywood when she popped back, and looks far too milky-skinned and flawless. Like you're watching the prom queen starring in the school play, where you know after this she's going to be hanging out in the mall and trying to date inside her faith. Or in the case of Cruz, skip off to some flatteringly-lit L'Oriel advert that hides her nose and doesn't make her look like she'll be begging for carrots at The Grand National.

The one true mark of this is her look in 'Volver' where, yes it may be man-made fibers and chunky heels, but they never look less than flattering, if not couture. Even her 'effortless' back-combed barnet is what thirsty singer Miss Amy Winehouse has been trying to ape for the last few years - well, before a possum seems to move into it each night and nest. Come on, Penny love - even Jane Fonda wore a baggy grey cardie when she's trying to be art house.

On the whole, I was left unmoved by 'Volver' but was glad I had seen it. I now know all about small-town Spanish mourning and how to kiss on cheeks in the noisiest way possible. I still do admire Cruz as an actress - after all she let her monobrow grow out as only the truly famous can get away with (hello, Lordes) and the not-so-famous try (hello, Kerry Katona). In my opinion, any woman who has a convincing crying scene without seeing a depilatator in the last six months deserves a Golden Globe. And that's art house.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Bedlam

Today, I have caused chaos at my place of work and it has been brilliant. And simply by switching the labels on the full cream and the skimmed milk jugs.

Oh you should see it! Legions of alice-band wearing women running around like spooked deer in there, spluttering earl grey tea through their fingers in abject horror. The cries of "My thighs! My thighs!" and hurried dialed calls to personal trainers drowned out the girls on their hands and knees, hacking and coughing their guts up and moaning that they're going to be on the stairmaster for the next five years. Such things make me proud.

Idle thumbs are the devil's playground, and mine are pretty damn bored at the minute. I should be enjoying what I'm doing... but I'm not. And while I'm far away from the drudgery of spreadsheets and being called into Finance to explain my extravagant business lunches and trying to write off trips to Pleasuredrome as "essential health incidents", the magic just isn't with me. Perhaps its merely familiarity breeding contempt - this is the longest I've been at any one place in about 5 years. To give you a context, I change my men as often as I change my underwear. And I don't wear underwear.

And yet if you'd told me thirty years ago I'd be working in one of the hallowed halls of this British institution, I'd have gurgled and looked glassy eyed at you. Mostly because I was only three years old and had some learning difficulties after my mother let me lick a lot of garage doors while she was flicking through her Bella. But if you'd told me ten years ago I'd be working in one of the hallowed halls of this British institution... I'd have gurgled and looked glassy eyed at you because I spent the majority of my twenties drunk under a bridge in Bethnal Green with my old friend Mr Turps.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that while it should be an honour to work here, the magic seems to have been momentarily taken from me - rather like every-other Madonna album. I don't want you to feel sorry for me (I'm doing enough of that myself) and I'm sure its a momentary lapse, but as I look around me at the moment, I'm stuck in a office when I really fancy sitting about with an iced tea and a Maeve Binchy.

I have no idea what a Maeve Binchy is, but all the girls like them in the office so its either ice cream, chocolate, chocolate ice cream or a sex toy.