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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

30 June 2003
I went to see a peice of community theatre last week, which I had trouble reviewing, because I thought it was a little bit... well... rubbish, really. But I bit my tongue and picked out all the nice things I could think of to say, and said them. Because, and I don't know if you know this, I'm quite a nice person really.

So, I'm quite surprised today that there is a letter of complaint in the paper about my review, defending, among other things, the strong language used in a play I presumed - from the press release, from the advertising, from the show content, from the audience - was aimed at children. And, for the record, I think I said that there was "occasionally" strong language, not "improperly" as I'm sure RA Jamieson Archibald Place, Edinburgh is perfectly aware. I'd link to the original review, but you have to be a member and I can't remember my password.

Oh well. My editor seems pleased. Apparently it's a sign that someone's paying attention. At least they didn't attack my "Victorian moral values".

I think I've got to the point in the Harry Potter book where we're finding out which character dies. I say think, because I only got to that point 2 minutes before my lunch hour ended, and now I'm desperately waiting for the girl I work opposite to go home at 2pm so that I can get the book back out and double check. If it is that point, and it's the character I think it is, I'm blinking upset. If not, then I'm blinking relieved.

In the meantime, here's a Harry Potter time line that takes you up to the end of the 4th book, and therefore gives nothing away. Fabulous.

27 June 2003
Someone just walked in to my corner-of-a-corridor-sectioned-off-by-screens and asked to borrow a hole punch. He then muttered the words "a great big punch" and grunted loudly every time he punched a hole, in the same style I'm now imagining he would do in the privacy of his own sitting room while watching late night Channel 5... I'll leave it there, shall I?

No, don't laugh. This is my life.

What? I'm bored.

Brilliant new search results for this site - including the memorable royal bank of scotland are a bunch of money grabbing bastards (where this site comes first on the google search) and how to say i want drugs in french, where sadly the site is listed much further down.

This is brilliant. I’ve stopped playing for a while now, because I was beginning to be driven suicidal by the fact that I couldn’t find a 33 for love, money, and mainly because I kept forgetting to look for one. But the unofficial CNPS site is up, and dammit, there’s a leaderboard. So I’m really going to have to start making an effort. How brilliant – somewhere to engage my competitive streak.

Friday Five

1. How are you planning to spend the summer?
How sweet of you to ask. Well, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it often enough for it to have been noticed before now, but you may have seen me talking about the Edinburgh Festival. Now, because I’m a grown up, I have a job – well, I almost always have a job. And jobs mean that your summer, once you become an adult, lasts approximately 2 weeks. However, because I’m not really a grown up (I’m just pretending – shh, don’t tell anyone), I’m running away and hiding from any gainful employment and will instead be spending three weeks at the Edinburgh Festival. So that’s how I’m planning to spend the summer. I’m planning to spend September hiding from the bailiffs.

2. What was your first summer job?
Working in a rehabilitation hospital in Dublin. Funny story – there is one intensive care ward in the hospital, where three of the most critical patients stay while getting intensive rehab treatment. For a few hours every day, they’re taken out of their beds and propped up on chairs. Most of the patients in the hospital are spinal injuries, and a good percentage of them are paralysed from the neck down. One patient, if you walked in to his eyeline while he was sitting out in his chair would start to say “kill me, kill me, kill me” over and over again, and cry.

3. If you could go anywhere this summer, where would you go?
I’d go to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. And then cheat and have a second summer at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. And I’d like to go to Galway for two weeks too.

4. What was your worst vacation ever?
No, dear, we don’t say ‘vacation’, we say ‘holiday’. Thanks. I’ve never really had a truly disastrous holiday, every one of them holds their own special horror, and of course treasured memories. I suppose the last really crappy time I had was January 2002 when I went home and then couldn’t walk for a week, thereby wasting all the time I had when I could have been seeing my friends, and instead got to lie on the floor in the front room watching pay per view films.

5. What was your best vacation ever?
‘Holiday’, dear, ‘holiday’. Dunno. Potentially the 1999 Edinburgh Festival, cos it was the first time I stayed up for the duration, I stayed in a hostel for most of it, and met loads of really weird but really great people and had a brilliant time for not particularly too much money. I also really loved the last time we went on a family holiday to Galway, I think that was Easter 2002. I’ve still got photos from that up on my wall at home. Me and my Mum found a dead dolphin on the beach.

26 June 2003
God almighty. The combination of boredom and heat is making today the actual longest day in the history of time, space and matter. We've been working on the Festival issue of Comedy Lounge all day, both of us ignoring the fact that we're actually being paid, by the hour, to do something else entirely. On my part, that's an easy thing to forget, seeing as how the entirity of my work load today so far has comprised of correcting three minor typos in three letters. Oh yeah. I've got it hard, me.

My Mommy is coming to Edinburgh on Friday, and she will be staying with me on Saturday night, which I'm quite excited about. I'm going to have to go in to extreme Monica Gellar mode today and tomorrow to try and get the flat looking even mildly hygenic, but, strangely, I'm looking forward to that. We're also renting a car, and I'm supposed to be finding somewhere interesting in and around the Edinburgh area to drive to. I'd suggest Glasgow, but that might seem slightly sarcastic.

You know, I could make pithy comments about the loss of Dennis Thatcher, or the loss of Chris Evan's millions, or the loss of lovely Gae from the BB house, but it's too hot and stuffy to bother trying. Some bright spark saw fit last winter to paint the window in this oven office closed, so I'm falling in to a heat-induced coma here. Thank God for Television Without Pity. I'm halfway through the recaps of the first series of Six Foot Under now, having read up on every other television show I've ever seen.

25 June 2003
Now I've got a whole new reason to blog. I've got the word count for the review, and after sitting staring at the computer screen and starting seven different sentences that I can't really find any way of ending, I've decided that just blinding nattering on for a moment about something other than community bloody theatre might be exactly what I need to help kick start the old creative processes. That, or a good strong pint of whisky.

Today, in the job it was so important for them to keep open that they've hired me, the temp, at what I would consider to be an unreasonably high price from my agency, I've photocopied something, and printed off something else, ending this arduous task by punching holes in them, and then putting them in brown folders. Oh yes. It's important that I'm here. The running of the company depends on my presence. After all, who would photocopy approximately 12 pages if I wasn't here? Who, pray tell, would take these twelve pages and put them in a folder and then - then! - print up a label to stick to the front of the folder? Hm? In the almost 5 hours I've been here today, that would have gone undone, and although probably someone else could have done it and not really been kept back from performing other duties, I'd say there are a lot of people thankful that they didn't have to, and that I was here to perform that task instead.

I'd be complaining a lot more, mind you, if they were actually making me work.

Week 5 of temping (I just had to count them out on my fingers, you know) and I'm back somewhere that has the internet. ‘How wonderful’, you're probably thinking. ‘She's finally getting somewhere’, you're almost definitely not thinking, ‘and now she's going to risk it by being sacked for being on the net, just like that time at the Council’. (Did I tell you about that time at the Council? When I was sacked? Oh, that's a great story). ‘Will she never learn?’

No, ladies and gentlemen, it’s become quite apparent that I will never learn.

Although, to be fair to me, I have been told here on more than one occasion (that’s on two occasions, then) that, because I’ve got nothing to do, I might as well go on the internet and read stuff. So that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve become highly familiar with the Guardian’s website, I’ve perused the edfringe site more times than is strictly healthy, I’ve been on the home page for every comedy venue in Edinburgh (purely for research purposes, dahling, there’s a new issue of Comedy Lounge coming out on Sunday) and now I’ve finally cracked, am bored, and need to find something of more interest. They’ve blocked off yahoo email from me, even though I had it on Monday – do you think someone’s spying on the sites that I’m looking at? I’ve tried surfing through weblogs, but seriously, there’s nothing interesting out there any more.

I went to see a community theatre play last night, at the beheast of the Evening News. Words can’t come close to describing the true nature of that event, but unfortunately words are exactly what I have to use to describe it. I’ve not had a word count just yet, but I’m quaking with fear at the thought of having to use over 500 of them to let the world (or at least Edinburgh and the surrounding areas) know what I thought of it.

So instead I’m making an uninspired blog entry, in a month where my blog entries have been few and far between. Maybe the work environment in my old job, though oppressive, was somehow creatively inspiring. Or maybe I just haven’t reached the right level of boredom yet. Give me time.

"Speaking from that barely suppressed homoeroticism that has for so long fuelled the Anglican and Catholic churches, the Mail and the Telegraph reflect on the fact that - reaching where they could not go - a dirty man from the suburbs came within inches of manhandling the nation's golden young Willy."

You can't argue with the Guardian's fresh take on that idiot that broke in to the Palace, in a desperate attempt to gain publicity for his Fringe show. Sadly, it looks like it's working.

I've a horrible feeling I might have to go and review this nonce during the Festival. Not that I'm making judgements before I've seen the show.

17 June 2003
Junior is still alive, in case anyone was concerned. I've also got some temping work, which is good, although I don't know where I'm going week to week. This has advantages, in that when it comes to Friday I can leave it all behind, and I'm not getting too involved with the case load or the stresses and strains at work. But not knowing if there's another job around the corner - or more importantly another pay cheque - is getting quite difficult, especially when I'm supposed to be saving up for the impending Festival. All I'm actually doing is living week to week right now, in to the heart of my overdraft and trying to play two credit cards off each other.

But fuck it, people. We've just heard the good news that young David Gray will be gracing us with his presence on the 15th of August. So we've spent the day being far too excited.

06 June 2003

This should be a clear indication of the levels I am now stooping to in order to continue breathing unaided while suffering from sheer boredom and desperation while temping… not only am I answering a Friday Five, I’m doing one about love. I’d rather do one about Dawson’s Creek.

1. How many times have you truly been in love?
Oh god, I don’t even want to answer these questions at all. Not even a tiny little bit. Never mind the fact that I’ve had a really crappy morning, with someone calling me three times just so that she could throw unnecessary and uncalled for abuse at me and generally destroy any good mood left over from having been asleep at some point last night. Faffing questions about love are so not my forte. But to answer the question, I think the only time in my life that I’ve ever been truly in love was when I was seven years old, and the object of my affection was Nik Kershaw.

2. What was/is so great about the person you love(d) the most?
I think it might have been the way that he wore his faded denim, and also the highlighted blonde mullet. I honestly don’t know what it was, really, but I still can’t hear ‘Wouldn’t It Be Good’ without getting a little tingly all over. And that’s true.

3. What qualities should a significant other have?
A blonde mullet, and the ability to go very bald very quickly, judging from the example above. And many credit cards for me to play with. And the ability to bugger off when I want them to.

4. Have you ever broken someone's heart?
No, but I think I’ve broken someone’s spirit. What a weekend that was.

5. If there was one thing you could teach people about love, what would it be?
What the hell kind of stupid question is that? There’s absolutely no way of answering that without sounding like Queenie from Blackadder.

There. That’s wasted another 5 minutes.

01 June 2003

I finished watching Season 2 of Angel last night, by the way. That's 24 episodes in five days. I had a nightmare about vampires on Thursday night. I didn't learn my lesson.

Today I had a very important job, and I paid lots of attention and was very careful and I did very well with my job. My job today was looking after my cousin's goldfish, Junior, while she was moving house. One of my jobs was to take Junior out of his fish tank and put him in to a plastic bag, and another one of my jobs was to wash out his fish tank while he was swimming in the plastic bag, and then another one of my jobs was finding a different bowl to put him and the plastic bag in when the plastic bag started to leak, and then another one of my jobs was to carry Junior in the bowl and the plastic bag down four flights of stairs without spilling a drop of water or a fish, and another one of my jobs was to hold on to Junior in the van while we drove from my cousin's old flat to the new flat, but my cousin said that I might not be very good at that job so she did that job instead and then another one of my jobs was to carry the bowl and Junior and all the water up the stairs to my cousin's new flat, and then another one of my jobs was to put together his tank in his new house and to make sure that the water wasn't too cold and another one of my jobs was to add drops in to the water so that they wouldn't poison Junior and then my last job was to put Junior back in to the tank when he was still in the plastic bag and then I did and I did all my jobs very well, and Junior didn't die, and I didn't kill him.