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

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Knocking Through To The Back Parlour

So currently, I’m all about the painkillers and the Dame Shirley Bassey remix album. I didn't want to be a gay cliche, it just sort of happened. I got some white pills that fizz on my tongue, and some pink ones that go well with my pyjamas, and some turquoise ones that make me drowsy and when I take them I they’re a bit like a K-hole, and I come round discovering I’d been looking at clips of ‘Suddenly Susan’ on YouTube for two hours.

There is a reason, other than reading ‘Valley of the Dolls’ and thinking ‘Hey, I could totally rock that rustic-look Lawrenceville mansion of Anne’s’ - I’ve just had my wisdom teeth out. To be honest they’ve been annoying me for years, but I’ve only just had the time to get them sorted. And this isn’t the first time I’ve had a doctor poking around down the back of my throat (stop leaping ahead to your own punchlines) as I’ve already had my tonsils out too. It’s almost as if I’m making room for something back there, though I can’t think what. Of course, having friends who are as gay as tinsel, every time I mentioned I was going to be in intense pain for a week, every single one of them said “Still! No eating for a week! Oh, I envy you doing that just before Christmas...” and they would trail off before looking wistfully at a mince pie. And it is true - I’ve lost about half a stone simply by having a mouth the size and shape of the slot Princess Leah uses to put the stolen rebel plans into R2-D2.

Oh how I miss food! I would happily murder someone for a bag of crisps. And I can't WAIT to get better to see Burlesque. And by 'better' I mean 'off the drugs so I can turn it into a drinking game in the cinema’.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


So far I haven’t been seduced by the smartphone revolution because I’m a luddite who barely understood teletext when that was on. And yet, here I stand on the cusp of a contract upgrade, willfully holding back on whatever must-have gadget that is currently doing the rounds. I am naturally reticent to get an iTelephone because I’ve made my feelings on any and all of Apple’s smug Talking Tupperware products clear within these garishly pink pages; although I will now add to my distrust the bizarre phenomenon of, as soon as you mention an iTelephone, any and all users in the vicinity removing them from their pockets and bags and stroking the screens. Do please try it, if you can bear the strange sight of man petting machine so lasciviously. Just the name of the device, and this will cause the owner to subconsciously reach for it, as if to affirm that such wonderful technology does truly exist and they didn’t just dream up this life-changing cultural zeitgeist in the night. Most bizarre.

What I cannot get my head around is it clearly is terribly bad at a good percentage of the functions it proclaims, yet all of these owners still dote on them with the forgiveness of a backward child. As I’ve been edging towards getting one, I’ll ask these bewitched owners about the terrible camera and the fact that it drops calls and they’ll just stare at me with glassy eyes and say “But it’s changed my life...” before going back to pecking away at their Apps like hens with A.D.D. So it doesn’t function as a phone? “Oh, but its so much more than that...” they’ll say. One can only assume that the spinning little wheel that appears whenever its processing is a tiny little hypno-disc that calms and soothes the user as it fails to work on every other level.

The only reason I’m still thinking about getting one is the Apps - most of which sound like a delight to use. I tell you, if I were single I’ll be all over the Grindr application - the mobile version of gaydar. The idea is that you activate it, and it shows you how many Gentlemen Who Moisturise are in your vicinity who are up for a bit of bum fun. Although clearly as it was designed by gays, it can’t do measurements for toffee: one of my friends activated it in his lounge and was most startled to discover there was a gay apparently one meter away. Cue a horror film slow-motion turn to have a look behind him, only to discover no-one’s there. Apparently some bars now hold Grindr Parties, the thought of which fills me with a unearthly horror as I picture crowds of zombie screen-jabbers talking through the medium of their tedious device, lined up the walls like Borg in their alcoves.

Of course, the other option is Google’s Android phones, which seems far more efficient... and deathly dull as a result. Yes, its got lots of worthy apps to help you shop and recognise buildings via pictures you take, but can you throw Angry Birds across the screen? Can you bogroll. To cement this, one of my other friends decided to get the Android version of Grindr - and all that popped up was a man called Barry who worked in IT who was 42km away. I do not want to be these people. I want to be fun, and interesting... and yet you’d think that would point towards the iTelephone, but from everything I’ve seen of it, it is anything but. It removes part of your brain and only enables you to communicate via displaying YouTube clips and pictures of other friends sitting in other bars. Can’t I just stick to my old phone? Please?

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Set The Outrageometer to Moir

Oh yes, the Daily Express. Well done. I thought you’d take the positive view on this one.

Bit of back story for you Johnny Foreigners: the Daily Express is read by six people, all of them hate anyone who doesn’t like Antiques Roadshow and wears ‘a funny hat’. They normally spend their headlines saying either saying that an everyday object can give you cancer, or that Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in a horrible conspiracy and not enough of us own plates with the Queen’s face on them. Not that you should ever use these plates, you proles - how dare you sully Her Majesty’s face with your Sommerfield arctic roll. That’s treason, that is.

And the headline story is the victory of two gay men at the high court, both of whom were facing deportation back to their own countries where homosexuality was illegal. This was the appeal to a previous judgement that was going to return them with the note saying ‘Basically, keep your trap shut, don’t mention the manicure, and you’ll be fine’. What quality of life this must be. Finally, the High Court saw sense and let the two defendants stay in the country - with the hilarious summing up from Lord Rodgers ” male homosexuals are to be free to enjoy themselves going to Kylie concerts, drinking exotically-coloured cocktails and talking about boys with their straight female mates.” Oh La Rodgers, when did you sneak in to see ‘Sex And The City 2’, you sly old dog! You got us pegged exactly right! That’s all we do!

Wait, that was a knee-jerk reaction: I would like to say I do more than drink multi-coloured cocktails, listen to Kylie and bang on about nice cocks, but I'd be lying. Absolutely bare-faced falsehood. For Cher’s sake, there’s been over a thousand posts on this dastardly pink site, and all of them are to do with the above trio Points of Interest. I think I’m delighting more in the bigger issues here: all of a sudden, gay people can ask for asylum here, opening the floodgates for feather boa-wearing queens in hot-pants. This a bad thing, I have to ask? Ever since the cheap-yet-diligent workforce of Poles have buggered off to where the money is (apparently Sweden) we’ve a yawning gap in our capacity for manual labour, mostly because we British are too happy at home watching Jeremy Kyle to clean McDonalds toilets. Personally, I wouldn’t mind any hole filled by a delightfully swarthy Gentleman Who Can’t Catch, but that’s a whole other story.

Slight sideline: as there’s a test for British Citizenship (try it if you’re a UK national - the pass rate is apparently 75% - and I got 40%. I’ll get my Louis Vuitton luggage and get out...) does this mean that there’s going to be a Gay Test for asylum seekers? And can I watch? Although one would assume it would be a government official holding up pictures of female soap stars of the 1960s and being told to indicate which ones were fabulous or not (here’s a clue - if they’re wearing curlers, it doesn’t instantly mean that they’re dowdy).

The problem is, as this media swirl ramps up from when it started, the idea of drinking exotically-coloured cocktails and popping along to see Minogue K do a set (hopefully Old Sexy Kylie. New Hyperventilating Kylie can float off) is more and more appealing as the morning wears on. It’s a hard life, I know. Personally I’ve found it tough to include multi-coloured cocktails in every part of my life, but have just gotten used to my All-Bran Daquiri of a morning. But that’s me: drunk and regular.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


I have a sudden urge to hang up my Ruby Slippers. I’m no longer feeling like the gayest gay in the neighbourhood.

This weekend was Pride, for one. I’ve never been proud in the slightest, and can’t abide crowds. Gay crowds even more. Where crowds of straight men tend to bellow (cf football matches), a mince (a clutch? a squeal?) of gay men tend to bleat. Whenever Hazel Dean is inevitably wheeled onto the main stage, there’s going to be a thin, penetrating squawking, as if someone had squeezed 2,000 vuvuzelas into nasty TopMan t-shirts and run loose with the glitter make-up. I do not want any part of this.

One friend tried to strong-arm me into going, saying it was ‘important’ and ‘political’, but I really can’t see the solidarity in fellow man by wandering from a pasteboard table covered in butt plugs to the bear tent and back again in the sun. Instead I elected to pop into town early and get all my shopping needs out of the way before city filled up with provincial gays completely beguiled with the idea of a two-storey H&M. Turns out I was too late, and lo, got trapped on Oxford Street as the Pride March tottered past. And all the parade seemed to be was open top buses from nasty nightclubs from Milton Keynes, whippet-thin creatures of indefinable sex leering over the side at the passing crowd and blowing whistles like it was the only way they knew how to breathe. Does anyone else find it apt that whistles are the weapon of choice for shrill gays across the world?

And while we’re on the subject, I notice that Minogue K has a new album out (a cunning segue there, I think you’ll find). Here’s a simple review: ‘Aphrodite’ is perfect music to hoover to. Minogue K is once again diminutive proof of the law of diminished returns after her career peaked with a song that is basically ‘La-la-la’ for three minutes, and ever since then has been trying to recapture that nursery-rhyme high point by throwing as many big name producers at an album as will stick. This latest album does bounce along with the best of intention, but the more I listen to Minogue K’s voice, the more I’m reminded of an angry wasp in a biscuit tin. Like the gays on Pride Saturday, you’re best to avoid.

I do hope I’m not leaving the gay community entirely. There’s always been a slight instinct to fade away over time, like a slightly-fruitier Cheshire Cat, and with two touchstones kicked away, you do have to wonder. I shall let you know the moment the posters of Cher come down out the bedroom, darling viewer.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Quick Thoughts On The Lost Finale. With Spoilers

You know, I haven't seen an episode of this quagmired sci-fi sitcom since giving up at the end of Season Two when someone was pressing buttons and the island exploded. It had been two years and firstly,there'd been no answers of any kind, and secondly, there'd been absolutely no toothpaste dropped on the island, leading me to shudder whenever Sawyer played kissy-kissy with that one with the hair. I mean, he'd probably smell like one of the 2 girls 1 cup ladies by then. Just no.

Apparently my friends who 'stuck with it' claimed I was missing a treat, but I'm lazy like that so just went straight to the last episode. I don't think I lost (ha!) anything from the look of it, bar Emily De Raven pulling her own ripcord - I mean seriously, she's huge now. To the point I was mixing her up with Hurley in long shots. I was also content to make up the intervening seasons where, in my head, Season Three they found a pet store on the island. Locke chose a gerbil. He called it Jessica. Season Four had an arc about some washed up boxes of jeans, and they put on hilarious fashion shows. The Others wore things made out of hemp. And Season Five: Sawyer actually got some shoulders, rather than his neck sloping down to his arms at 45-degrees like they do. I think my favourite thing about hisDavidoff advert is they've made him look rugged and masculine coming out of the sea, rather than his neck and shoulders were based on the same angle and proportions as a wirecoathanger.

So, anyway. This finale. To me it felt like a school reunion that won't take no for an answer. I could see it trying to scrabble around for answers, but I think the more important question was when did Jack decide to try a kicky side-parting? I don't know, but it would probably involve a lot of angst. Ultimately, the whole affair came across as a very 'male' thing. For example, the solution to all the island's problems was to take the plug out and put it back in again. That's such a 'boy' thing - girls would have sensibly read the manual and called IT by now.

Oh yes, and then it all turned out to be Heaven, of course, which I clearly Took Against. At least 'Ashes to Ashes' had done it with a little more style - though in that show it was more simply a limbo specifically for police officers. One has to wonder whether there's a specific Hell for all professions. For example, I'd personally be in a Hell of graphic designers, which would be very temperamental yet very lovely to look at. Though I doubt very muchthere'd be a Hell for Starbucks baristas as they're probably there already...

Sunday, June 06, 2010


Well, will you look at that..! There's a dastardly pink counter on this Blogger desktop that tells me that This Very Post is my one thousandth entry into the blogosphere. How fancy! I think we should celebrate, don't you? Strike up the piano, let's have a bit of a champagne and a sing-song before the usual happens: I get a bit too drunk and end up waking in an alleyway, wiping some stranger's glop the back of my legs with a McDonald's napkin. And as we've reached the millennial posting, here's some other numbers that have made up the last 999 posts...

I won two awards! That was a shock, because I do just do this to amuse myself; anyone else getting a laugh out of it is a bonus. But yes, proper awards! I didn't even prepare a speech. They were quite prestigious too.

One Christian website tried to buy us. No, no its true. We once had a very strange phone call from an American gentleman who offered to 'sponsor' us, as long as we started covering one or two topics they decided upon, and "toned down the gay stuff". Oh honey, if we toned down the 'gay stuff', you'd get three lines about Girls Aloud, and that would be mostly about how band member Nicola has all the dancing grace of a dog in high heels.
With a bit of digging, we discovered our mysterious benefactor was part of a Christian web ring, leading to the conclusion that The Illuminati were trying to shut us down! A fanciful leap, if you will, but then I think you'll find that 'The Da Vinci Code' was all the rage at the time.

I've had a grand total of two stalkers. Clear proof that the cult of celebrity can affect anyone (though we've had fewer offers of free facials and goodie bags from, say, Grazia Magazine I'm looking at you) turns out that my silver tongue and tiny profile pic in the corner is enough to get anyone fizzing at the bunghole and decide to wait outside the office I was working in to, well in one case give me flowers and profess their undying love; while the other one threatened to kill me. The police were swiftly called and he was dealt with in a unusually expedient manner.

I've had three boyfriends since I started. Bless two of them. Of course in the gaps were several also-rans, and innumerable Gentlemen Callers who incidentally taught me "I'm cumming..." in lots and lots of languages. There was that joyous summer where my front porch saw more foreign footfall than the UN building in New York. Understandably, those numbers I'm a bit hazy on.

I've spent a grand total of one morning working on a film set, met Doctor Who while he battled Daleks in Manhattan, had a piece of artwork I'd done appear on the BBC News site and in several newspapers, been threatened with legal action once, bought Kate Mulgrew a schooner of wine (and watched her glug it in one as I walked away), got one cat (who's currently on my lap and going to town on herself like no-ones business. I mean really. She's lapping away at her twinkle with all the vim and vigour as a secretary at a Muller Lite yogurt), been interviewed by people for their dissertations on blogging and had strangers shake my hands in bars because I'd made them laugh so much at work that they'd snotted tea. That's a pretty cool list, if you ask me.

And its taken seven whole years to get this far. I know other people pump these things out, their fingers dance across the keys like Jennifer Beals in her audition try-out, but I'm a sedentary creature. I take time to write, mostly because I have the attention span of a oooh look, someone's sent me an email with a link to some free porn and possibly an off-shore African bank account. I must assist!
You see? It's a slow process for me. But I love it so. You can't do all those things listed and not believe you're doing OK, can you. So thank you for sticking with me through all these. A thousand more? Oh go on then..!

Now, where's my champagne? Mummy needs her medicine...

Never Grow Up

'Peter Pan' seems pretty gay-friendly, right? A boy who refuses to stop having fun and turning every girl into his 'mother', thus instantly eliminating any sexual tension between them. And the only other women mentioned are mermaids - who want to keep hold of you in their fishy domain for the rest of your life (their words, not mine). Oh and Tigerlily, who is so clearly on the Girl Bus, with all her fighting, and sudden friendship of Wendy. I've never given it much of my time; I'm more into 'Alice in Wonderland' myself. And I can't stick fricking 'Wizard of Oz' - Dorothy is such a bore; she lands in a brand-new fabulous place and spends her time trying to get back to flat, grey Kansas. The present Mrs Binding agrees, equating Dorothy one of those dramatic, tiresome girls at a party who makes a big show about having a horrid time, and getting all her friends to take her home.
Anyway, I digress. I was at the Barbican on recently to see a performance of 'Peter Pan' that tries so hard to stretch the source material, yet despite all efforts, was still a glorified pantomime. I shan't bore you with my review of the play; there's a far better one that the present Mrs Binding has written over here. But I will tell you that the audience you get at the Barbican are a little more... well, lets just say I didn't hear the few opening lines of the play because of all the children around me eating healthy probiotic musli bars, their alice band-sporting mummies shushing them while rummaging about in their giant Lana Marks handbags for a tissue. And swear to Cher, when one child was asked by his father whether he'd read 'Peter Pan' he responded with 'I think I do, yes. But mummy may have brought it me in Norwegen..." Also overheard was a ten-year-old in front of me saying "Well, what do you expect from the Lib Dems?" to his eight-year-old sister, and the child to their left getting told off for playing with his Blackberry during the first half. Very odd for a play that is about people refusing to grow up.
Thankfully the audience interaction for the moment Tinkerbell dies was dropped from this version of the play; I could imagine the harried mother in front leaning across her brood to say "Don't clap, children. Navvys 'clap'. We applaud". Here, Tink was played by a ball of fire bobbing about the stage that went out as she died. This left Peter gamely trying to get her going again with a serrupticious flick of his flint lighter (quite visible from our seat) and it took a quite a few goes to get going again. Clearly this Peter didn't quite believe enough. Yet when the lights went up at the end, dotted throughout the Blackberry-carrying children were scores of the aforementioned Gentlemen Who Can't Catch. You didn't need to clap your hands to believe in fairies, you clearly just had to stay around the Gents loos long enough.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mighty Aphrodite

Hello, what's this? A new Kylie album? How lovely! Who isn't going to be drawn in by its gorgeous cover depicting Dame Minogue calling all the Gentlemen Who've Locomotioned to prayer?

And - bonus - the first single 'All the Lovers' is about on the interweb too. It's fabulous, and has Kylie once again doing that seductive, breathy singing she's taken to of late (perhaps vocal chords botoxed as well?) to ask us why we're not dancing. Sweet of you to ask, love, but I've had a really long day. Popped my knee out in yoga this morning and been walking in circles ever since.

She then goes on to state that 'All the lovers that have gone before don't compare to you.' Aww sweet! Which is basically saying to me 'Look, I've been around the block a bit. So much so that my minky now looks like a bulldog eating porridge. But you know what? It's all good because you, my lovely, can actually touch the sides.'

And that's proper romance if you ask me. Its out in June. I'm going to buy it. You should too.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Cheese And Ham

The 80s were the first decade I can properly recall, you know. So this sudden lust for power ballads and tight perms fills me with the same detached concern my mother had when I started idolising her decade of the 70s, when I was listening toChakka Khan on repeat and wanting hair as straight as Cher's. I think that's why she was concerned, although the impromptu performances of 'I'm Every Woman' with the shower curtain about my shoulders may have tipped her off to the greater problem that she wasn't ever going to getgrandkids. Poor love.

Anyway, last night I thought I'd crack open my '80's Films For Working Girls' box set (currently available from HMV at a very reasonable £8) and brave me some corporate shenanigans with 'Working Girl', and wonder why almost every film in the 1980s was set in an office or a cocktail bar. This one has Melanie Griffiths breathing her way through a corporateaquisiton with all the personality and presence as a hair on the lens. However she managed to get lead roles is a mystery to me now as it was back then. I was hoping to glean some insight into her appeal by reading her self-penned instructional tome 'How I Act Good' but I got to halfway through 'Chapter 1: Vacuuming in High Heels' before I gave up. Not just reading - the will to live.

It doesn't help that La Griffiths is sandwiched between Sigourney Weaver (seemingly constantly checking to see if the scenery has a calorific value so she can eat it) and Harrison Ford, who's just started to sleepwalk through his roles. I saw him in 'Firewall' recently and I'm surprised there wasn't more footage of the director holding a mirror under his nose made it into the final cut. But even him on autopilot has more life in him than La Griffiths. They try and make her interesting by wearing very nasty lingerie several times; the only effect is making her look like uncooked string-tied gammon.

Eventually La Griffiths makes her takeover bid and bags sleepy Ol' Man Ford as well, proving that the moral of every 80s film is either greed is good and will get you laid, or if you can flick a cocktail shaker over your elbow you will also get laid. The other thing I discovered is JoanCusack place in this decade's pecking order: her hair is backcombed so high, she blocks the sun on The Statue of Liberty every time she takes the Staten Island Ferry. Her eyeshadow is so thick and green it looks like she's been getting make-up tips from The Wicked Witch of the West. Oh Joan. I look at you. I think you may have won the 80s. All of it.

Friday, April 02, 2010

"She, Presumably, No Longer Bangs..."

Well there we have it, darling reader. Another flamboyantly camp pop star finally sticks their head out from under the hot rollers and tells us something we'd already guessed. No no, not Ricky Martin, this time I'm pointing at ovoid-faced chanteuse Lady Gaga, who's here to tell us that she's now a bona-fide superstar by starring in her own epic video, 'Telephone'. So lets not talk about the amount of cock La Martin has, but about how much La Gaga is meant to have.

La Gaga has been bothering us for just over a year (yes, a year. Her first single came out January 2009, and yet she feels as established as anal warts in one of my friends - who shall remain nameless until he gets me that signed photograph of Karen Gillen he promised) and yet I'm already fatigued by her. Initially it was the "Who? Little me?" interviews she gave that were completely at odds with her light fetish apparel (its as if some employee of RoB decided to use his staff discount to put on his vision of 'Cats') which was then followed up by her trip to the UK where she wouldn't go anywhere without a special teacup. Which was more annoying: a grown woman carting around part of tea service like the All-Spark, or trying so desperately to fit in by trying to sum up the whole of our British culture in a piece if crockery?

Now we reach the inevitable part where her record company is throwing enough cash at her to do her 10-minute movie-style video that she's probably hoping will catapult her into film roles. From the look of this, we have no fear of seeing life-size standees of La Gaga in the multiplex anytime soon; this very coffee table from which I wax lyrical to you is less wooden. Still, this style of video's usual format is doggedly adhered to, even roping in a waining movie actor to bolster where the star's limited 'walking-and-talking' go amiss - so say hello to Beyonce, star of 'The Pink Panther' movie remakes, to do the hard bits for La Gaga without banging into the scenery. To me, Beyonce is gradually becoming the Madonna of her generation with her numerous collaborations, content to let younger talent dance around her as if she was a maypole and riff off the results. After one of her previous singing marriages-of-convenience, I'd become convinced she'd changed her name to 'Beyonce-Beyonce-Shakira-Shakira' as dictated by the chorus of 'Beautiful Liar', completely subsuming her bendy Columbian costar in her oft-tangled weave. During the whole lung-deflatingly lengthy video, her greatest achievement is while she meets up with La Gaga post prison and chewing away at the fast food, the camera cuts away from her before she has to swallow any of it. Oh no, Mz Beyonce-Beyonce-Shakira-Shakira does not do carbs.

Oh alright, speaking of swallowing, I will talk about the pink elephant in the room: Ricky Martin finally came out this week, joining our not-so-exclusive club. If it was a suprise to any of you, I wish to say that the sky is indeed blue and water is wet. I was going to then follow with a list of other stars apparently on Gentlemen Who Can't Catch, but frankly it's not really any of my business. So many of my friends fell over themselves with delight (one's status update was 'he's done A Good Thing' like he'd personally solved world hunger) but it was more a bolster their egos, like he's now going to lead us all to the gay promised land like some glittering mesiah, where spray-tan is free and all thick-fingered Polish builders put out without a second thought. This will not happen. We will not have a new figurehead for our cause, someone to take on equality or the ironic bigotry of the Church who profess to love everyone (with a list of caveats on 'everyone' a foot long); we've just inherited some poor lad who's going to be a footnote in End of the Year punditry. I do wish the stigma of coming out did not exist, else I wouldn't even have to pass comment on La Martin being gayer than Little House on the Prarie. I do wish it was just easy for people to come out without people sucking in their breath and weighing up the implications.

Saying that, I do reckon La Martin only came out because Tom Cruise needed the closet space, presumably for those built-up sneakers he favours...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Where I Lay My Hat

The first thing I do when I get into a hotel room is hide the Bible. You want to create a space you're comfortable in, and the chances are I'm going to be doing something considered ungodly, and you don't want the proximity of 'the good book' near your head. Or your ankles - it all depends.
(As a sidebar, I also Take Against the name 'the good book' as the seeming movie subtitle for the Bible purely because I'd like to be the judge of how good it is. My idea of a good book has fabulous women characters, a shopping montage and lots of flying about, and I gather they took all the stuff about Jesus being able to zip up to the Heaven in the manner of Neo at the end of 'The Matrix' because it was written in the Book of Acts, which was known to go a little off the rails towards the end. But then, saying that, the Gideon's Bible currently has a four-star rating on Amazon, so perhaps it is the 'good' book, and not quite a five-star 'excellent' book.)
I know some people who's first action is to case the joint for things to come with them when they check out. You can tell the quality of a hotel by the type of coffee in the little sachets and whether the hairdryer is attached to a little plastic holder on the wall. The one currently next to my laptop has a plug - an honest-to-Cher plug - that instills the idea that the charming functionary who checked me in thinks 'We trust you. We like you enough to give the opportunity to take the hairdryer, but we know you won't at all'. Even the coathangers aren't the strange beheaded type that cannot be used without the special attachment - not that I'd take them as my wardrobe at home somehow has twice the number of coat hangers in ratio to clothes, as if hopeful I'll go mad in Zara and come back with innumerable glittering outfits, so when you throw open the door it is reminiscent of when super-Rose steps from the glowing TARDIS in 'Parting of the Ways'. Good times.
It's Friday today, and going down to breakfast meant slotting in around tables of businessmen all trying to evoke a bit more personality in their grey suits with their Friday tie. I'm on my own here, so unintentionally eavesdrop their conversations as I finish up my coffee. They all seem to exist in two states: excited bon homme at being out of the office with a colleague, drinking hotel coffee on the company's expense; and a strange urgency to justify their existence there. One sat down, exchanged pleasantries and launched into an impassioned speech about how he 'simply must have the figures by eleven. Simply must' while the poor functionary behind was waiting to ask whether he wanted tea or coffee. Were the figures that important, do you think? Was he operating an underground railroad, transporting refugees out of the war zone? Or was it how many bottles of Hellman's Mayonnaise they're going to sell on the Easter weekend?
I wonder how many people have had sex in my bed. I mean, I always do - when I was last away with The Boy, we did it. And I clearly slipped into my old mindset and started looking for the £50 on the dresser while he was in the shower. Old habits die hard.
Or how many people have died in my room. It's a fairly new building so chances are slim. Or I wonder how many people have had sex and died? I've stayed in so many hotels in my time that I could probably qualify as a honorary WAG, so chances are I've stayed in a dead person's bed. There was one hotel in Hollywood that had a hot-tub right next to the bed; if you turned over under the covers with any vigor you'd find yourself falling two foot into a bright pink bath. How many wannabe actresses had been in that Jacuzzi, doing things with balding executives to get a literal leg-up in the industry? And ended up under the water when she threatened to tell his wife unless she get a walk-on for 'Days of Our Lives'?
We're a territorial species, so the idea of someone sleeping in our bed naturally rankles.
How is it that we can block this out with a hotel room? Are we just willingly distracted by the idea that a bored immigrant can remove everything about the previous owner in 30 minutes with a Jay-Cloth? Perhaps we're just bedazzled by the cornucopia of tiny cleaning products available in the bathroom, mentally making space for them in our luggage for the return trip. Or perhaps we just do everything we can to make the space our own as soon as we set through the door by any means possible.
Like I say: the first thing I do when I get into a hotel room is hide the Bible.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"You've Redecorated! I Don't Like It..."

Well, it was about time this place got a lick of pixel-paint, wasn't it? Anyway, in switching over to the new streamlined template, I've finally gotten rid of Blogroll's (*hack**spit*) diabolical listing of blogs. Which, ah, means if you want a link to your own effort, leave me a comment in the box below and I'll take a look. And I will judge you. Oh yes, I will judge you. And if you make me laugh, or experience any other of those 'emotion' things, I will add you to the list.

Just think of it as a missing episode of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' without the excessive soft-focus. I mean really, for those final numbers I thought I'd suddenly developed catteracts...

Honey, What's This..?

Megan Mullally was in town all last week performing her one-woman show, meaning that Soho was pretty much a ghost town for much of it. Of course I got tickets, darling: you get a special discount for being a fairy. Simply present three tokens from the back of any Nivea variants with an extravagant hand gesture and you were swifty shown to your seats. Although I must not have sashayed correctly as the Boy and I were placed in the very back row in the very back of the theatre. So when Megan came on stage, if you squinted she looked like Tina Fey. Clearly it was a two-for-one deal on gay icons this week.

Mullally appeared nervous when she took to the stage, not even acknowledging the audience until she'd sung two songs, possibly in case she was worried there'd be a mass bellowing of "Do Karen..!" from the Stalls. I'd had her first album for years, purloined in a divorce from a more tuneful ex, so I think I was more prepared than some in the audience. I don't think it was really fair to refer to this as the 'one-woman show' some reviewers were calling it, more 'Megan Mullally In Concert'.It would have been nice to have got more chat from her - the few thumbnail sketches of stories she threw in while she was lining up her lyrics were wonderfully blase' about including Mick Jagger and living downstairs from the woman who played the villain in 'Superman II' - but clearly she's more comfortable with a coterie of Hollywood writers around her. As would we all. These few insights were completely charming, but the juxtaposition between this quiet, almost nervy lady and the outlandish character she is more well known for was a little too much in the audience; two rows in front, some shrill queen whispered sotto voce "Is she going to sing all the way through?" I didn't hear his friend's reply, but the first responded back with a rather minty "Well I can tell you this now, we're not staying for the second act."

Meanwhile I was preoccupied with the Gentleman Who Can't Catch sitting to my right, the one that my dear Boy referred to as being the kind of person who wears loud shirts in lieu of a personality. Oh dear reader, I knew him. He was the ex-boyfriend of a very good friend of mine who, due to a misunderstanding between myself and his ex where we were discussing decorating plans for his bathroom and his desire for one of those enormous metal Victorian baths at the same time as discussing his then-boyfriend, the descriptions of both got muddled. Hence this ginger ex of his being referred to as the 'roll-topped, free-standing, clawfooted ex-boyfriend' from then on in.

As you can imagine, we didn't embrace each other with long-lost friendship gone, just made sure that we didn't nudge each other on the armrest thus invoking any kind of acknowledgement. Perhaps I should find this behaviour odd in retrospect: we had enjoyed a dalliance on the sofa once. Well, I say 'enjoyed' - he'd found me in his front room on the pull-out sofa bed, woozy from sleep and the steaming hangover that you can only get from a night on the tiles with my friend, and decided to stick his hand down my boxers and have a fiddle about. By the time I'm opening my eyes, he's opening his bath robe; my thought process was pretty much 'Ah, well. It'll get rid of the morning horn before I get to work...' and the next thing I know, he's mopping up using the sleeve of his robe, the premature and classy cow. I wonder at this point - are heterosexuals like this in general? In regards to the stigma of sex, I mean: here's someone who I'd had what some would consider passion (what other would consider 'a fiddle and a diddle') and we're not even acting like friends. Or even passing friends. I know girls who can count their partners on one hand, yet most the wendy men I know have had more pricks than Helen Keller during her stint in an inoculations clinic. Are we all just whores through circumstance?

I've just read that back and it all sounded very Carrie Bradshaw. Perhaps I should take to writing these things in a sequined turban on an Apple Mac with a post-it over the Apple logo on the lid.

Anyway, as we left the theatre, there was a pointed non-look at each other as we exited the row of seats from opposite ends - before fate brought us together once again at the exit. We didn't make eye contact, but then we didn't make eye-contact way back then, either. Ce la vie.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Up The Back of the Wardrobe

And so, my ongoing - and frankly ridiculous - brush with fame.

Now you may know from infrequent visits to this dastardly pink site is I do like a nice, beared man in the same manner of some gentlemen like a finely turned ankle, or how a serial killer likes a power tool sale at Home Depot. So when I was approached by the lovely Tara in that burger place to be an extra in a film because she liked my beard, it never occurred to me that I'd then be surrounded by handsome young things with glorious facial topiary. And when I called in for my costume fitting, I would, at one point, be shown to a room with a plethora of semi-undressed gentlemen of a movie-star level of beauty, all in their pants. I was like Kubla Khan tipping up over the rim and seeing the crystal pleasure dome Xanadu. Or, darling reader, I was like the lion in the pit of Daniels.

I was introduced to the costume department, all glorious, who then proceeded to strip me down to my underwear and spend two hours having clothes thrown over me like a student bedroom floor. Now, if you've never been dressed by anyone, it is a strangely intimate yet sexless moment, hands smoothing here and lifting there, followed by a stepped back appraisal before removing an item of clothing and handing you another. And yet after an hour of this, you seem to forget that this is going on about you, like you've left your body. I remember reading an interview with Alice Krige, who played Star Trek's Borg Queen, saying that in between takes at least five people came over and started touching up her make-up, fixing the suit and whatnot, and you just rise above it. I didn't believe her, but it's true. You do forget that people are pawing over you, all these hands everywhere. Although I was more moved by the following quote that said she wasn't able to be taken out of the suit to go to the bathroom whilst filming. She initially dehydrated herself, but this didn't work out - so the costume team cut a slit in the base of costume's foot for her to use as an 'outlet'. Yes, a multi-million dollar movie, and here's one of the stars having to piss herself while standing over a drain.

After two hours, we'd settled on a look: dark tweed trousers, braces, waistcoat, Gladstone collar, grey/yellow cravat, and top hat. It is, frankly awesome. A very beautiful costume. I think I would like to go shopping in it. And I was told that I would be attending the gavotte scene. Well fancy! And as I'm feeling educational (it was the Gladstone collar), I'll tell you a gavotte is a mid-tempo French folk dance - which I hope I'll just be watching as my coat is very tight. Worryingly so. I think I'm going to be ram-rod straight in my chair. Otherwise I'm going to be fluttering my fan on the sideline, standing up, my button will pop off and hit Robert Pattinson in the ear, and my trousers will fall down just as the French vicar walks in. All very 'Carry On', not really Period Drama.

Something else: on each room I went into, I kept hearing a low whisper on my entrance that went something like "...something-something-something Richard." Clearly my vain head was thinking 'my word! I have a character name!' At this point, I'm plotting my motivations for being at the gavotte; I'm thinking I'm a gentile excommunicated from my family, who's taken an interest in seedier parties - and needlepoint. Weeeelll, I'll need a subject that I can at least blag a conversation in, won't I? But despite all my fanciful thinking, I was later overheard in make-up (Make-up! How hilarious!) that I was actually taking over the position of an extra called Richard who'd traitorously buggered off to do some background stuff on the new Harry Potter - hence the dark tone whenever his name was mentioned. So out went my preprepared character and in came my title of Gavotte Attendee #111. Ah.

With costume sorted, it was bagged and tagged with my number, stored on the rack ready to be transported to the location - which I still don't know, and don't even know when we're filming. I just have to wait for a text message to summon me. And with that, I was tossed back into real life.

As I walked out the door, the charming assistant functionary grabbed my arm and steered me towards his desk. "You get £35 for the fitting," he said, handing me a form to sign.

£35 to dress up in front of strange men? Well, if I'm being honest, back in my heyday, I was used to far less money for doing exactly the opposite...

Friday, February 05, 2010

Mind the Gap

In the seeming ongoing quest for my boyfriend to play 'Enry 'Iggins to my Eliza Doolittle, we went to the opera on Monday. So far his attempts to educate me have been subtle twists in established routines: swapping my viewing of Star Wars with some French arthouse film (I only noticed when the subtitles were not about Han owing money to Jabba the Hutt, but how without you, today's emotions would be the scurf of yesterday's). To the side goes my Garfield books, in comes copies of 'Vile Bodies'. Which, to be perfectly honest, I didn't take to: I understand a book has a point about reality intruding on the lives of the fabulous, but when your main drama is a side character not being able to take a hotel room because she's wearing trousers, your interest does waiver slightly. Waugh, huh? What's he good for - absolutely nothing. Say it again.

So this opera. I didn't catch the title, but it was something called 'Rick's Prolapse' and I willingly misheard it as that for the whole night. I've had limited sucess with the opera in the past; being plonked in front of 'La Boheme' during my teenage years and not being able to understand why this enormously fat diva in the gorgeous dress is dying of not being able to afford the medicine for her catch-all consumption. For one, if she'd hired the dress out to the Boy Scouts they could have held their jamorees in it and she'd be quids in for some Beecham's.

Anyway, 'Rick's Prolapse'. Gorgeous staging, terrible music. Nasty nasty tunes that veered far too close to being a few notes away from Andrew Lloyd-Webber's seminal work 'The Phantom of the Opera' (I use the word seminal because, yes, it was a load of old wank). I did mostly enjoy it, although much more hanging around the bar at lunch time to hear campy old women drinking gin complaining about "her aria sounding like she was shouting it out from the scullery" and all the young men there thinking it was cool to now be dressing like the Eleventh Doctor.

One thought did cross my mind while I was watching it, though: 'You know, I could be watching Glee right now'. I think I know my level.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Casting Couch

So I was having a burger in what equates to an upmarket McDonalds (very well, you may serve beer, but you still have to go to the tills to order your bacon & avocado burger like some rat-haired commoner spending her benefits on Chicken McNuggets) when I noticed some woman looking at me. Now this happens rarely, but it does happen. Here's your for instance: I was at a house-party the other week and accidentally fell into conversation with a nice lady (chucky knitwear, discrete jewelry; perfectly acceptable) and we were chatting about books and films and all sorts of things, and she was going on about her favourite feminist author and I was wondering when exactly I'd got to the age where I'd stopped talking about tv shows at parties and started talking about books I'd read. And she started leaning in conspiratorially to tell me something she considered risque, and I listened and inwardly thought I was doing stuff like that before my teens but I cackled like a hag anyway, and we seemed to be getting on like a house on fire until my boyfriend came over and put his arm around me. At which point she smartly turned on the spot and walked off, just like that. I thought 'what a cheeky bitch!' before said boyfriend explained that she may have been interested in me to do whatever messy, squelchy stuff that happens between a man and a lady. He felt very sorry for her, whereas I just didn't fancy finishing my salmon vol-au-vent.

Anyway, back to the restaurant. This woman was definitely staring, and at me. It was putting me right off my cocktail so I got up to leave, shirking on my coat and heading for the door. At which point, she got up and dashed forward, brandishing a piece of paper.

Inwardly I was already groaning, poised to have that very difficult conversation where I had to say I was flattered and all, and it was very sweet of her to come over and hand me her number, but I'm actually so far up the front of The Other Bus that I'm in charge of the tape player for the whole journey. At the very point I'm opening my mouth to say this, she completely blind-sides me by saying she really liked my beard, following this up with the fact that she's a casting agent, looking for people who 'look a bit French' to be background extras in a new film called 'Bel Ami'.

Now clearly my brain was a bit addled and the words I heard were 'French', 'film' and 'Bel Ami' and I went away a bit confused as to why I was being asked until I read the flyer, and it turns out it's a proper film, starring perennial favourite glittering vampire, Robert Pattinson, as well as Uma Thurman and Christina Ricci. Interesting enough, but the final line of the flyer she gave me was 'lots of beautiful costumes'.


I'll keep you informed as to what happens...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Hands That Do Dishes..."

Here's a list of adverts getting on my goat. Because I need to share the pain.

1) Evian Roller Babies

Apparently this travesty is in the top ten things watched on YouTube last year (the top of which being Susan Boyle showing us all you can't judge a book by its floral print, badly-plucked cover). I can't abide it. I don't care if it looks realistic and cute, the idea of babies on rollerblades coming at me - I see this akin to an Egyptian plague of frogs and locusts. And it does look realistic. Creepily so. If I didn't know better I'd think it was the most flagrant breaking of child labour laws this side of China. Still, you have to love how those tiny hands can do stitching - you can barely see the seam on this Vera Wang, can you?

2) Josh's T-Mobile

The basis for this campaign is someone apparently went out and interviewed The Great Unwashed - though in all reality they were clearly graduates from the Sylvia Young School and just waiting for their free episode of 'Doctors' or 'Casualty' that comes free with an Equity card and slumming it in phone commercials. Among these was the 'break-out star' named Josh, who claimed he'd use his free texts to set up a super-band. Now Josh has the looks, cheer and downright punch-the-screen irritability of Peregrin Took from 'Lord of the Rings', so you can picture how cheered I was when he span off into his own set of commercials, stating that you could pop on his MySpace page (MySpace? Is that still going?! I think I popped on there a few years back and all that rolled by were two tumbleweeds and some goth with glittery text on her header telling me to go to her gig. I closed the window and crossed myself) and join his 'super band'. We are then presented with clips showing Josh jumping around with all the excitement of Tom Cruise in a sofa shop, singing a song that tries to inspire more 'coming together' than a download from Fuck right off, Josh.Your songs is as irritating as crotch crabs, and you're right up with them. I hope your fucking mobile phone explodes in your ear while you're talking to your mates about how you've managed to get someone with bagpipes to sign up for your corporate-sponsored band, slowly killing you over a matter of weeks.

3) Google Chrome (alas, I couldn't find a link to this one, so you'll just have to take my word for it)

All hail our overlords! Now I like a bit of Google - and yes, it's scary that they're going to have a complete monopoly on information in a few years, but isn't their new browser pretty?! And yet, the advert sets my teeth on edge: it's a list of things that one user had done on the browser that afternoon, primarily finding a cheap holiday to Barbados. All well and good. But what this user then goes on and does is use it to have a conference call with 15 or so friends, and then writing 30 tweets about it. Thirty-fucking-tweets about a holiday you just booked. Can you imagine reading that banality? I reckon it'd include words like 'squee!' and 'ZOMG!' and frankly if they were using a lap-top, I'd hope that someone had installed razor-wire on the lid so it could be remotely slammed shut and chop their uncontrolled tippy-tapping fingers off at the knuckle to save us from this vapid ooze.

Speaking of Google controlling all, I decided to read the GoogleBooks version of '1984' for irony's sake. Bless, there are pages missing, with a rather sorry note saying such things as 'Pages 4-18 unscanned'. Well, scan them, you lazy fuckers! And yes, I know you're reading this. Although in all truth I'd just finished reading end-of-the-world miseryfest 'The Road', so took these gaps in the narrative to make up my own - much cheerier - parts of the story where Winston Smith gets a haircut, facial, and finally sees to that varicus ulcer on his leg with a bit of cheap laser surgery on the Miniluv.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Nothing

Well, bang goes my new year's resolution of writing this more regularly.

Well, happy new year, darling readers. Welcome to the hopefully scandalous Twenty-Tens! I'm here due to slight insomnia and sudden reappearance of snow, I decided to trek into work early and get a bit of work done. Well, read that as 'a couple of rounds of Treasure Madness on Facebook, a nasty Starbucks coffee, and a long-overdue chat to you, my darling'. Hello!

I do love the snow in London, purely as it normally has the grace to fuck off after a day, leaving much less picturesque grey slush to tramp through. And it gives us, the uptight weather-fetishists that the English are, something to tut and fuss about and proclaim how long it took us to get into work in our Facebook updates, seemingly treating it like some sort of endurance competion you find on primetime ITV. "I spent 3 hours outside Worksop in a crowded carriage!" people are already telling me. Equally, transport companies seem to use this slight dusting of frozen water to demonstrate how the whole network is held together with rubber bands and luck, adding an extra fifteen minutes to any estimated tube arrival, slowly pushing crammed conveyances into each station, where people angrily shuffle forward, secretly delighting in that their otherwise dull journey with a Maeve Binchy has some sort of newly-prized goal to it.

The only delay to my journey was due to human error - in London, you stand to the right of the escalator, and walk down the left side, and the Lord God Cher help you if you don't. Some moron (see? I'm also delighting in my usually tiresome journey having a bit of spice in it!) didn't walk down, causing me to miss the train I would have clearly gotten if he'd Obeyed The Rules. I thus had a seven minute delay instead of the usual three. I decided it was a 'Sliding Doors' moment, fantasising what could or would have happened if I'd made that train, but then realised that my life not that interesting to have dramatic change thrust upon me by a whole seven minutes differeence, and that was it. And yet I was still cursing said moron as I arrived into work quite safely quite before time; I hate people who don't know how to use London. My attitude to them is wholly "put it down, you'll only break it."

Still, there's the return journey to look forward to - already I can hear Twitter streams warming up for the combined wrath. My dear boyfriend hopes I don't get trapped, although I misheard his parting cry as "I hope you don't get raped!"

I thought, I know London is apparently two meals away from being feral, but really. All that'd happen if I was set about on the tube is the person behind would tut and tell you to move down the carriage more, mentally composing their blog entry about how rubbish London is in the snow.

And yes, I'm aware of the irony.