Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Goodbye Two Minutes Happiness, Momo Freaks Out returns

I'm afraid that this blog has always felt like a pair of jeans that never quite fit and, huff and puff as I might, always needed the zipper to be done up with a coat hanger.

This blog is now officially closed, and, I'm doing a particularly peculiar thing of resurrecting my old blog, now dead for one year. Partially because I can't be bothered with the effort required in starting a new one. And also just because I wanna. Which is as good a reason as any.

Momo is back in the building.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A night in with Moz

So, I went and saw Morrissey on Sunday night at the London Palladium.

Incidentally, I had forgotten that my friend Suzie had bought me a ticket. Fortunately, I was saved by a phone call a mere hour beforehand that went a little something like:


And so I did.

Supported by the rather fab Kristeenyoung, the gig was jumping right till the very end, until the Moz, thinking the sound was bad (as was indicated by him constantly poking his fingers in his ears and wincing "How can you bear this?") hurled off his pink shirt knotted at the waist, made some typically Morrissey-esque statement, viz, "You’re all older than you think you are!" and stalked off stage in a big huff.

Expectantly, we all waited for an encore.

And waited.

And waited.

It was only after the roadies had collected the last rogue plectrum from the stage, clearing the way for, oh, The Boy from Oz or something, that we realised it was all over red rover.

Astonishingly, people even booed. And hissed!

A man in front of me quipped rather philosophically:

“Well, none of us would be here if he wasn’t such a moody old miserable bastard, now would we?”

"By jove, he's right!" exclaimed the maddening hordes (in unison).

And we all went home content in knowing that we'd gotten exactly what we wanted.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A sad night in with the computer and a screen full of memories

Earlier tonight, I got yet another reminder in my inbox. Apparently, someone I probably had absolutely no interaction with other than possibly laughing at them being stuffed in a rubbish bin by bullies in the schoolground (as oft happened to a particularly unpopular younger cousin of mine, and, dang it, it was funny) had decided to update their details on the website. Just for ca-razy kicks, and the fact I was unprecedentedly bored, I decided to mosey on over and trawl through the Class of '93 roll call of names. Just to see who was there and get the past a-blastin'.

So, I clicked around my former classmates' names, observed who was now married to a property developer, the proud parent of two dogs, and living the dream up on the Gold Coast, did a few other random searches, updated my profile in an attempt to make it seem mildly less twit-like than the one that had sat there for four years for other unprecedentedly bored former classmates to scoff at, and promptly got b-o-r-e-d (e-r).

Since the last time I bothered looking at this site (when I signed up in 2002), it has had added functions, where, for $19.95, the nostalgia-lorn can email a former school friend, completely out of the blue, after an absence of years or a decade or few, with a personal message, viz:

I have always loved you.

Or, for the coy, unimaginative, or clinically brain dead, there's the multiple choice option, dubbed "the easy ice-breaker". The ice-breaker provides a ready-made choice of simple messages tailored by

The benign:
* I'd love to hear what you're up to now
* I hope life is treating you well

The shamelessly forthright and (potentially) sexually potent:
* It'd be great to meet up again ...

Or, the rather dead-end observation:
* I can't believe how the time has flown!

What's more, beside my name, there was the option to place a banner, should any disinterested party make the grave mistake of not wanting to click and read my profile full of rivetting news of the past 13 years. With this banner, I could gloatingly advise any (or all) of the following tidbits:
* I'm engaged!
* I'm married!
* I just had a baby girl!
* I just had a baby boy!

Or, the decidedly defeated (or hopeful, depending on why you'd choose to broadcast it):
* Just got divorced!
* Single again!

Or, a revelation:
* I'm gay!

After finding there was, alas, no banner for:
* I'm in prison!

* I'm out of prison!

* I'm certifiably insane!

* Die! Motherfuckers! Die!

I did choose one banner to show that, yes, I am thirty and doing just fine:
* I'm a grandparent!

Just for ca-razy controversial kicks. But then I changed my mind, and left the damn thing alone.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Indie kids can't dance

So, on the night before Good Friday, I found myself in some uber club-slash-rave thing my friend Sambo took me to with a gaggle of her mates. The last time I went to anything vaguely resembling this was in 1997. And my dancing style hasn't evolved much since the "two stomps forward and two stomps back" meets "hands chopping wildly akimbo above my head, to the side, down low, and culminating in great whirling looping loop-to-loops" moves studiously cultivated in my living room before Happy Mondays' music videos when I was 14. So whether it's harking back to 1997 or 1989, I was totally retroid on all six dancefloors, cemented more so by the white and fluorescent green print Excellent! Party Time! tee I bought especially for the occasion.

After a good seven or so hours of this, at 6.30 am, some guy, looking rather dubiously like a Guru Josh "Infinity" flashback in his floppy fisherman's hat and sunglasses, sidled up to me, hurled a bottle of water into one of my chop-chopping loop-to-loop hands, and exclaimed gleefully into my ear:

"Oi! You remind me of Ibiza!!!"

Which, from what I know about the dodgy Spanish clubbing resort, is rather like being told:

"Oi! You remind me of Schoolies' Week!!!"

Still, I kept on stomping and flailing until we were all kicked out into the morning sun an hour later.

At least I wasn't packing a whistle. Or a chupa chup.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

On Kingsland Road

Scampering past the yellow Metropolitan Police sign shouting "MURDER: WE ARE APPEALING FOR WITNESSES*" out the back of my flat, I boarded a bus for a slightly more savory part of town. Coincidentally, on the hunt for a new abode.

As I wasn't sure which stop to get off, I stayed on the lower deck. Usually, I'm on the top deck, with one hand hoisting a Jolly Roger flag and the other feeding Polly a cracker as I pretend to be the captain of a big red pirate ship sailing the seven seas of east London. AHOY!

Anyway, a guy hopped on to the bus, aged anywhere between 17 and 40. I only noticed him when the bus driver boomed:


Bandying about a concession card of some sort, the guy thoughtfully caressed his 5 o'clock shadow and contested:

"Nah, man. I am so twelve."

"Show me your ID," demanded the bus driver.

"What ID? I'm only twelve!" he replied, throwing his non-twelve-year-old manhands in the air.

"Well, what year were you born?"

Quick as a flash, he retorted:

"I dunno, man. 1992 or some shit."

And then the bus driver waved him on.


*Yes, both frighteningly and sadly, a 23-year-old guy was recently stabbed and killed on my council estate, barely even 50 metres from my flat. It happened around 7.20 pm a couple of Fridays ago, still in daylight, with plenty of people around, including me upstairs drinking wine with my housemate. Supposedly it was drugs and gang related, which makes me feel marginally better about my personal safety than if it was a random attack, admittedly. Doing their rounds, the police knocked on my door the other night to ask if I saw or heard anything or recognised his photograph, which I didn't, but putting a face to the horrible yellow signs that are everywhere made me feel sad. Anyway, enough blog fodder about that.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Behold! The greatness to come

Yesterday I began my detox diet in preparation for being the New Me. In my mind’s eye, the success of which will help me transcend my present unremarkable status to be not only able to fit into size 27 jeans, but will result in unfathomable coolness, allure, and an added 5 cm of height. Slenderizing my thighs and downsizing my arse will undoubtedly lead to an A-type personality expert in many areas from beat-boxing, quantum physics, Italian neo-realist cinema, banjo playing, and kickflipping. In all, I’ll be the greatest 30-year-old child prodigy that ever was.

Day one of the detox consisted of hot water and lemon; carrot juice; a surprisingly tasty health smoothie (apple juice, raspberries, blueberries, soy milk, cottage cheese, flaxseed oil, lecithin granules, and powdered concoction that I must remember isn’t called Soylent Green, but ‘Beyond Greens’, featuring all the green vegetable extracts one could possibly hanker for and more); a handful of almonds; some miso soup; and a salad consisting largely of alfalfa sprouts. This honest to goodness day of frugally righteous eating in the name of detox was peppered with 10 cigarettes … after quitting for a whole entire week. The irony of which hasn’t escape me.

Aside from that little quirk, I feel positively salubrious. If I keep this up for six weeks, with progressively fewer cigarettes, and a lotta exercise, this She’s All That makeover of mine …


Black cab metres will stop ticking, red buses will stop between stops, the Houses of Parliament will empty, hooded youths will cease their antisocial shenanigans, Greenwich Mean Time will come to a grinding halt, and all 25 zillion CCTV cameras in London town will swivel in my direction. Together, the whole of London, nay Britain, will be gawping and exclaiming to one another in a particularly non-British way:


In awe of the wonder that stands before them, a few befuddled souls will wonder aloud how exactly it is that I came to be so fine. Me, I’ll simply whip my Pantene hair from side to side, flash a blinding white smile, wave a manicured hand (holding a celebratory Bacon Double Cheeseburger Deluxe) and shrug:

“Good genes.”


Saturday, March 25, 2006

At the Vietnamese restaurant

Last night, after wandering around the greengrocer's purchasing assorted vegetables I rarely ever eat (such as radishes) for my pending detox, I had a mad hankering for a tofu stir-fry as I passed Saigon Palace on Hoxton Street and decided to pop in. The restaurant was cavernous, peppered only with three staff - an older woman and two guys in their early 20s watching Coronation Street on a flat-screen TV - and a noisy family of two parents and two girls of about seven and five.

One of the guys leaps up from the television, waves at me and shows me my table.

The woman I assume to be his mother takes my order. I sit and watch as the guy who showed me the table translates Coronation Street in Vietnamese for his friend who eagerly nods, eyes glued to the screen.

At the table next to me, the kids are precocious, in a partially annoying and partially entertaining way. The father is mostly silent, while, in a broad Scottish brogue, the mother engages her daughters in adult-like conversations, mostly concerning foods of the world. Then the conversation turns to theme parks.

"What's Disneyland like, Mum?" says the older girl.

"Oh! It's a horrid plasticky place full of horrid rides and horrid creatures smiling and waving at you. You never want to go there!" she declares.

In my childhood, Disneyland was promised as the no. 1 place we'd visit if we ever won Tattslotto. In spite of myself, I'm astonished and turn to gape at them.

"Yes, it sounds very horrid!" sighs her daughter while even her younger sister nods.

Before the seven-year-old I once was rises and has me running from the building screaming "FREAKS! FREAKS!", she adds:

"Although, I would rather like to go to Hello Kittyland some day ..."

Trailing off, she slyly looks at her mother for some sort of positive reaction. Hitting a brick wall where her mother doesn't show a flicker of interest, she looks out the window and sulks, just briefly.

Continuing the international theme, the younger girl starts talking about a soft kiwi toy her friend at kindergarten has, which makes a noise when you squeeze it.

"And what sort of noise does a kiwi fruit make?" asks the father, perplexed.

The mother, who has endless patience for her daughters' questions, scornfully snaps at her husband: "She means a kiwi bird, YOU TWIT!"

After I've finished my meal, the man that showed me my seat comes over to start chatting to me. He asks me how long I've been in London and what I do. I tell him I'm an editor and mention the publisher I work for.

His face lights up.

"Oh wow! You work with penguins? I LOVE penguins!"

Obviously he's misheard me. But before I can correct him, he's shouting over to his friend in Vietnamese. His friend shouts out "Aaaah!" and claps and waves at me.

The guy looks back at me. "Looking after penguins. That's really great, innit? There's so many problems with the environment ... "

The anti-Disney family on the table next to me are looking on with interest. I smile and nod and ask for the bill, too stuffed with food and drained from listening in to my neighbouring conversations to be bothered explaining. As I walk out all three staff are waving to me and speaking in Vietnamese. Possibly about me and my penguin crusade.