Wednesday, 31 March 2010
"I like flowers, and cameras. I follow the tracks of snails to find them in their armchairs. I like to sit and let off cannon balls in to the sky to fight off evil rain clouds!"
I don't know why. He's gay too. Can you tell?
Monday, 29 March 2010
"There's no hyphon in be-little..."
"You can't even spel 'hyphen'."
"You can't even spell 'spell'."
"Yeah... Well... So's your face"
When logic declines into nonsensical farce you just can't argue with it.
Saturday, 27 March 2010
"Ar, yaright lads. Sorreh I'm just like doing your tiles and shit aren't ah"
"Okay." we say going past him upstairs. I peer into the bathroom as i pass it, and find he is telling the truth, and has taken all of the tiles off the wall. Making a mess of the bathroom only cleaned that morning. He goes back to work and we sit uncomfortably watching TV in the front room. Another man comes in and they start talking to one another really loudly.
"Can't be doing with these fucking tiles."
"I know. Fuck sake. If people didn't spend s'long in't shower this wunt happen."
"Look. They've got little baff ducks n' everyfin. They must spend all day in't bath playing with their ducks."
"Yeah. Faggots. They need to grow up propper. Like real men. Some good women'll sort 'em out."
"Yeah. A good woman. It'll help 'em grow up."
I'm extremely offended as they are refering to the bath ducks, 1, I recieved from my Grandma, as a leaving present, and 2, that Lee bought me for Christmas. Interior designers use bath ducks these days i'll have you know! I felt like saying to them... but didn't.
Besides I thought. How the hell do they know we're gay? While i'm thinking this my friend sends me a link over facebook. "Watch this!" I click it. It's a Sophie Ellis Bextor song, I quickly close it.
"Sorry, I can't listen to that now. We've got some really manly homophobic tilers in."
"Oh sorry." [A few moments later] "How about this one?" He sends me a link to a gangster rap video. I close that quickly as well, only to hear the tilers singing it a few minutes later.
"Orite lads, finished naa, you got a bag for ma roller?"
"I look in the cupboard. There are a few Tesco bags, and a H&M bag at the back. I give him that, hoping to in some way it'd diminish his manlyness. "Nice one. In a bit lads." He leaves and his friend follows him. Once they've left I go downstairs to lock the door and as I pass our bedroom, I notice the door wide open, clearly exposing the two framed pictures we have on the wall, with our gay pride flag hanging between them.
The first: A male Pacco Rabanne model.
The second: A male D&G model.
Lee comes up behind me. "And you wonder why he knew we were gay?"
"They're your pictures."
"Yeah... you bought them me."
In hindsight I think we were equally to blame.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
The film has some sad parts too, watching the mother struggling with her son being gay, and watching her try to uphold the families survival with no money are both heartbreaking twists. Watching her sat up in the middle of the night cutting up her wedding dress, to make her son wings for the school play, really shows her affection and dedication to him, even though she is having trouble dealing with his homosexuality. The story briefly touches upon religious beliefs over Christianity, but it moves away from that very quickly to get back to the comedy. Two women driving down the street, seeing same sex couples ‘getting it on’ everywhere they look is pleasing to watch, however when they start getting chased by women it has a ‘zombie film’ feel to it and it’s all very strange.
I died inside at the end when the bully puts his hand on the gay couples’ shoulders and says “I want to see you two lovebirds at my party tonight”. I was sat thinking. “That would never happen”. It ruined the whole thing, which is why I previously deemed it terrible.
There’s some weird basketball meets ballet moments too. Topless men floating around playing basketball and doing ballet. It sounds too good to be true. Well it is. To be quite honest with you, it’s somewhat scary, and incredibly weird.
Oh, and like I probably should have mentioned at the start of this review; it’s actually a musical. Not that you would know. It features a limited number of songs, which are awful and confusing and all sound the same. This film is really for lovers of films like ‘The Notebook’ (Which I haven’t seen but I know the jist of it) and ‘A Walk to Remember’. It’s all very American, cheesy and full of bad romantic gestures, but it makes you feel slightly fuzzy inside none the less.
Saturday, 20 March 2010
Lee's 18th Birthday was approaching fast and I had gone to a lot of effort setting up a big surprise party for him. Nearly everyone was invited and I thought it appropriate to invite our new friend.
"We're throwing a huge surprise party for Lee next week, I'm sure he would love it if you could be there."
"What do you mean by surprise party?"
"Oh. It's just a party but he doesn't know about it till it actually happens. We all jump out and shout surprise."
"Oh. Like a secret party?"
"Yeah. So don't tell Lee okay?"
"Okay. I don't know if I can come though. I will let you know."
"Okay. Remember, it's a secret so don't tell Lee."
"I won't!" She puts her finger on her lips.
The day before his party, Lee, our bear-look-alike-friend, and me are walking down the street, we see our Saudi Arabian friend on the other side of the road. She waves. We wave back. She shouts across the street at the top of her voice.
"Lee! Lee! I'm coming to your surprise party!" Luckily the passing traffic is quite loud and Lee doesn't hear what she says. "What?" he shouts back. My bear-look-alike-friend begins singing 'Oh Fortuna' really loud to try and stop him hearing.
"I'm coming to your surprise party!"
"I'm coming to your surprise party!"
"LA LA LA LA LA LA" I say in Lee's ear trying to distract him, my friend changes song to 'Ride on time'.
"Shut up. Stop singing. I can't hear what she is trying to say."
"I'm coming to your surprise party!"
"What?! What is she saying?"
"I think she is just speaking Malayalam again. Come on."
"No, I think she is saying something about a party."
"Lee!" she shouts again. I look at her and put my finger on my lips. "Oh yeah! It's a secret! Nevermind."
"She's very perculiar that one isn't she." Lee says as we manage to get him around the corner.
"So, any plans for tomorrow? What are we going to do for my Birthday?"
Friday, 19 March 2010
I've got to stop writing these...
I really have to stop writing these...
This is the last one...
Standing at the self check-out at 9pm, the shop nearly empty, a woman comes up to the check-out next to me and starts scanning on her shopping. The security guard walking up and down between the check-outs turns to her, kisses his teeth and says over her shoulder.
"Arl-riy-eet big tits."
She smiles awkwardly but doesn't say anything back.
"I like a woman with junk in the trunk."
How inappropriate I think. A middle aged woman opposite has the exact same sentiment. The only difference is that I keep my mouth firmly shut and she decides to voice it.
"Excuse me. I don't think it's appropriate for a staff member to talk to a customer like that."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Chill out Grandma... She's ma sister."
"He's ma brother."
"And that makes it better? If anything that's worse. It is worse. You really talk to your sister like that?"
"Yeah. We close. We reeeel close."
He stands behind her whispering something into her ear. They lean their heads back and cackle in unison, revealing their countless gold fillings. The woman opposite takes her shopping and leaves.
"Next time i'll go to 'M&S'. If I wanted to assosiate with your sort i'd have gone to 'Netto'."
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
We reach our destination. An extremely steep car park. Our friends get out of their car. They look at us puzzled still sat in our car, daring not to move. They wave us over. We stay in our seats. They look confused so I ring them. "We can't get out..."
"The handbrake doesn't work and we'll roll down the hill. Watch." My friend takes her foot off the brake and we slowly roll backwards. They laugh. They don't help.
We play hide and seek amongst waterfalls and watermill ruins, drinking ribena and eating black jacks.
"Ruined water? What does that mean?"
"Ruined water mill. Did you get bored halfway through the sentence?" She doesn't answer.
"Shall we have a pine cone fight?" She proffers.
"I think you're conveniently forgetting the pine cones..."
"Then a rock fight?"
"That would hurt."
"We're not having a fight!" She looks upset.
On the way home my friend turns to me and says. "Do you feel grown up?"
"Like an adult? Not really. Why?"
"Well it's just. We've had a really grown up day. We're like adults now."
"Are you serious?" I ask with utter disbelief.
[The lovely photos featured above are from the work of the splendiferous Hannah Millard. http://www.flickr.com/photos/hannahmillard/ Pay her a visit, you won't be sorry!]
- A grotesque face moulded onto the front of a terrifying jar marked in scrawled black letters. "Pickled Onions."
- A magnificant tea pot of a lady in a ball gown, that seemed highly impractical for daily use.
- Countless 'canvases' that were actually just A3 pictures of Michael Owen and Tiger Woods folded over a box.
- A TV guide from the 1980's.
- A video entitled "Des Lynam on Boxing"
- And my absoloute favourite: A copy of hello magazine, dated November 2009.
"Are you sure this is an antique shop?" I ask. Sadly i'm answered with a nod. I begin browsing through the shop and stumble upon a glass case filled with jewelery. It isn't the jewelery that interests me though, it is Fern Britton's autobiography sat amongst it. "I'm really confused." I say to my friend, who is staring at a taxidermied fox. "Is anything in here an antique?"
"No, no I don't think so..." I pick up a gollywog from the side marked at £45.
"There's a gollywog here." I say, thinking my friend might be interested. She turns to me, and says wide eyed and slowly as if the words she is saying terrify her. "There's a gollywog in every room..."
"Really?" She nods. I go off to investigate and find that she is in fact correct. Several gollywogs lie amongst the 'antiques' in every room, all marked at ridiculous prices. I go back to find my friend who is looking at some yellowed wedding dresses. "I found Narnia." she says smiling.
"You know, the lion the witch and the wardrobe."
"Yeah I know what Narnia is, what do you mean you found it?"
"Look!" she exclaims pulling back the wedding dresses and revealing a room full of real fur clothing. "It's the Narnia of animal murder."
"Indeed." we enter into Narnia and start looking through the furs. I stumble upon yet another gollywog. I hold it up with disbelief. I hear my vegetarian friend approaching. "Don't let her in here! She can't come into Narnia, it will traumatise her." We go back out and distract her away from the furs. We leave the shop via the flight of stairs, that has a helpful sign reading "Please don't jump down the stairs" and walk along the high street passing a pub named 'The black's head'. I look up at the sign swinging above the door and notice an incredibly racist illustration. "That's terrible" I say pointing out the sign.
"I know. And what's even worse is, they changed the sign a few years ago, and the locals petitoned to have it changed back..."
Matlock, an incredibly pretty, but incredibly racist town. Who'd have thought it?
Friday, 12 March 2010
For those of you who don't know, the back page is, shall we say, the adult page. A picture of an enormous penis, partially starred out is now staring me, and the rest of Irongate, in the face.
Oh God... Why did they have to make that back page? The entire street now thinks I have been buying gay porn. I have two options, leave the magazine that everybody saw fall from my bag or pick it up. I chose the latter. I grab it, snap it closed to the front cover, A suitable unattractive interview and picture of David Cameron. I put it under my arm making sure everyone around sees that it is not in fact gay porn. Phew...
As if things can't get worst a young pretty looking girl approaches me holding my Ben&Jerrys Fairly Nuts ice cream. She hands it to me. "Thanks"
"I think your bag split" she says giggling to herself.
"Yeah" i say awkwardly, not looking her in the eye.
"Can I give you a hand cutie?" She says smiling. Oh god. Not now. I can't be dealing with flirtatious women now. "No, I'm fine, thanks."
"I'll run back in and get you another bag if you want. You look like you're struggling."
"No, no, it's okay. Really."
- It really isn't okay, i'm trying to juggle various herbs and spices, cooking oil, ice cream, a magazine and three bags of shopping. "Okay." she says looking slightly disheartened.
"Thanks" I say again and walk away. It's only a five minute walk I think to myself, trying to stop any of my shopping slipping out of my hands. I'm only half way home when I notice the ice cream has split and is now running all over my hands and getting everywhere; making everything even more slippery.
I manage to get home, my shopping intact. I drop my bags on the floor. I'd like to tell you I washed the ice cream off my hands, I really would like to tell you that, but that would be a lie. I licked the ice cream off my fingers and started eating most of the tub. (Which by the way was the most delicious ice cream i have ever eaten. Give it a try, £1.99 introductory offer at Tesco - and it's fair trade!) I put the remaining ice cream in the freezer and then went onto devour most of the shopping, and anything I could find in the cupboard.
Some people binge when they're sad.
Some people binge when they're bored.
I binge when i'm embarrased.
Sunday, 7 March 2010
After thinking for a semi-short space of time I minimise my somewhat empty word document and decide to write a blog post. What should I write about though? Nothing of interest has happened in the past 48 hours. Okay. I know. I'll tell you about the crazy KFC lady...
I was standing in a queue, that was far too long a queue to wait in for chicken, yet I was there. Waiting. At the front of the queue two middle aged women are ordering their mega-bucket.
"Would you like any drinks with that?"
"Oh. Yeah. Coke please."
"You get free refils with that"
The lady behind the counter fills up two plastic cups of coke and hands them to her. She pays and they wander off with their chicken. My friend and I get to the front of the queue and start ordering our repulsive order of chicken when the middle aged woman returns, yelling across the room to her friend sat at the table.
"What did you want? Coke? Yeah? Coke? What? Okay!"
I look at the refill dispenser conveniently close to their table, it must have been in their eyeline, surely. But no. She approaches the counter and opens the little pannel door they have. Do you know what I mean? I hope so because i'm not explaining it. She opens the little pannel door and goes behind the counter with the KFC staff. They look at her entirely unamused yet somewhat gobsmacked at her ignorance as she pushes past them to refill her plastic cups. They don't say anything.
"Oh 'scuse me love" she says scooching past the staff and starts refilling her bucket with chicken. I kid you not. Then she leans over the counter and starts shouting to her friend again. The staff still said nothing. I looked on with disbelief.
"You want anything else? What? Anything else? Ice cream? No? Ohh. Okay!"
She turns around and gets a small pot of Ben&Jerrys out of the freezer, scooches back past the staff, opens the pannel door and heads back towards her table.
"Did she pay for that?" One of the KFC staff says to another.
"No. I told her she got free refills. I think she misunderstood."
I look back to the insane middle aged women sat at their table, telling jokes, cackling at one another, enjoying their chicken and ice cream.
Ignorance truly is bliss.
Saturday, 6 March 2010
Alice in Wonderland; a wonderful adaptation of Lewis Carol's classic escapism novel, riddled with well-casted big names, was an absolute delight to watch. Keeping in tone with the book, the attention to detail is incredibly precise; if I didn't know better I’d assume Carol had been resurrected to survey the whole thing. The film keeps all of the most prominent original characters, landscapes and nonsensical words, along with a few new ones added in too.
The story progresses as a sequel to the original, showing us Alice's (played by newcomer Mia Wasikowska) banal late teen existence in the late 19th century. Showing us her arranged marriage, her ghastly relatives, and her pure contempt for it all. The first book throughout is referred to as 'the dream' and when Alice returns to Wonderland she believes she is dreaming then too. The previously belittled but widely adored Jabberwocky poem from "Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There" takes centre stage as part of the main plot. The Jabberwocky, Bandersnatch and Jub Jub Bird all make their first appearances as terrifyingly brilliant abstract creatures.
New dimensions are added to some of the characters and they become secondary protagonists in their own right. The Mad Hatter, played by Johnny Depp, (Edward Scissorhands); The Cheshire Cat, played by Stephen Fry, (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy); and the Blue Caterpillar, played by Alan Rickman (Dogma) all become lovable new adaptations of the originals, yet still keep to their roots. Not forgetting Helena Bonham Carter's (Fight Club) and Anne Hathaway's (The Devil Wears Prada) brilliant portrayals of The Red and White Queen. The film takes on a much darker atmosphere than that of the previous attempts at creating it. For the first time it seems intuitively accurate to the book, the darker side of the tale really captivate the audience. The Red Queen's reign is somewhat horrifying, the way she treats her people, and cries out "Off with their head" remains true to the book, keeping the comedy essence but adding in a macabre element.
The comical twins Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee, played by Matt Lucas (Little Britain); and the incompetent, twisted, promiscuous Knave of hearts, played by Crispin Glover (Beowulf) return alongside the new character Bayard played by Timothy Spall (Sweeney Todd), a blood hound, unwillingly an accomplice to the Red Queen. The only character that didn't appear to remain true to the book was that of The Dormouse, played by Barbara Windsor (Carry On). However a new character emerged from the somewhat previously undeveloped Dormouse, and she took her place alongside the other brilliantly achieved characters in the film. The collaboration of the old and new lovable characters to create the underground alliance against the Red Queen's reign is a brilliant concept, giving the film that extra something it needed to project itself into the adult audience, making it enjoyable for everyone.
Lewis Carol fans will be delighted to find several 'in-jokes' that refer directly to the book; however the film is very much accessible to anyone. It is a family targeted film that can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of whether or not they have read the book. A brief flash-back montage is shown half-way through the film, filling in the audience of what previously happened.
If I were to really dig deep and try to find faults with the film, I would struggle. My only insignificant disappointment lied in the fact that the infamous scene of the Mad-Hatter shouting "Change Places!" did not make an appearance. However the insanity of the characters was very well presented, The March Hair, played by Paul Whitehouse (Corpse Bride) tossing pots of tea and sugar at everyone at random intervals, most certainly was the perfect bit of humour to break up the scenes. The only confusing addition was that of naming ‘Wonderland’, ‘Underland’. It seemed unnecessary though added a quirky twist when the Blue Caterpillar mocks Alice’s past self for calling the place ‘Wonderland’.
The relation of the characters in Wonderland to those in Alice's reality, are very closely similar and leave us making comparisons, and thinking about the film long after it's over. The film is neatly tied into a bow at the end, but for lovers of ambiguity a few questions remain unanswered including the Mad Hatter's unanswered riddle. So whoever you are, old or young, student or workaholic, find a few hours spare, do yourself a favour and go and watch this film.
Friday, 5 March 2010
Lee and I go to the ticket window at the train station. Before we say anything the woman behind the window begins mashing keys on her keyboard and says happily.
"£3.45 then please."
"A ticket to Stoke."
"But I don't want to go to Stoke."
"Oh, sorry. I guessed"
"What made you think I wanted to go to Stoke?"
"Well your friends are going to Stoke..."
"Those friends..." She points to a middle aged couple on the other side of the train station.
"Those aren't my friends. I've never seen them before in my entire life..."
"But you were standing behind them in the queue... weren't you?"
"Well, yeah, probably. But that's generally what you do in a queue, stand behind people."
"Oh, well, I'm very sorry. I'm going to have to cancel this ticket to Stoke now." She starts hitting keys on her keyboard again. "So, where to?"
"Leicester please, return."
"Okay... that'll be £11.50 then please. It would have been cheaper if you went to Stoke."
"Yeah, but I don't want to go to Stoke..."
"Well why not? It's a very nice place"
"I'm sure it is... wait, no it's not, besdies I want to go to Leicester."
"Suit yourself." She takes the money and smiles like a mad woman.
I guess the National Rail will employ anybody...
I was at a book swap with a group of friends, when my lovely cellist friend announced she had run out of film for her camera. She was taking pictures, for reasons i cannot remember, however I think it was important.
"The shop downstairs might sell some. I'll go with you." I turn to my other friends. "We'll be back in two minutes, wait here". We scurry off to the shop downstairs and search for film for her camera. They don't sell any. As we leave the shop we notice an open set of doors leading into a passageway we had never, in our two years of university, noticed before.
"Where does that go?"
"I've no idea. I think it leads up stairs. I'll show you where it comes out".
Why we didn't just go through the tunnel I have no idea. Instead we went off on a search to find out where it came out.
"Through here I think!" We wander off down another passage we have never really explored. "You know, we don't explore this campus enough.. Men's changing rooms!" She reads a sign in front of us with a large arrow pointing to the left. Without thought, regardless of the fact that it is probably socially unaccaptable for a gay man, unless he in fact intends to get changed, and a girl to go into the men's changing rooms, we turn left. We follow the passage, following the signs. We follow them precisely but somehow end up outside.
"This is definately not the men's changing rooms."
"No. I think we've been tricked. Where does this path go?"
"I don't know. Shall we?"
We follow the path, and go up a flight of stairs that appear to lead no where. "This is really confusing. It's like the university had a huge stair budget, but no budget for doors". We go back down the stairs and after wandering around confused for a large space of time we end up drinking in the SU bar. After that we end up in a pub in the middle of nowhere, where an old man shouts at us for 'doing countdown wrong'.
"So how is your son, erm, I forgot his name. I can't believe i've forgotten his name. That's terrible. That's like you not being able to remember the name of... my.. pet or something"
"Yeah, if that pet was made of parts of your body."
"Like a tarantula made of fingers?"
"Exactly. Like a tarantula made of fingers.... Wait, aren't we meant to be somewhere?"
Suddenly we both remember that our friends have been waiting for us at a book swap for over an hour. We finish our drinks and quickly return back to the room, to find our very patient friends.
"Did you get the film?"
"Film? Ohh... No. They didn't have any."
Monday, 1 March 2010
What punishment does the mass rapist/murderer receive then? Somehow he gets away with it, but meets his end in some sort of attempt at an ironic twist. I won’t give anything away, but a magic CGI icicle is involved. Yes, you heard right, a magic CGI icicle. So what happens to the innocents of the story? The grieving father gets his face pummelled and the murdered girl goes down a sink hole with disused toilets and dishwashers. How is this justice? Or is that the point? If so, why are we being showed, shocking attempted tear-jerkers, that come off offensive nonsensical rape victim heavens!? And the ending? It doesn't really have one… Oh, there is a possession too. Susie possesses a girl, at which point we assume she is going to use this opportunity to show somebody where her bones are being hidden, but no, instead she decides to use this opportunity to kiss the girl’s boyfriend… What the hell? He's cheating on his girlfriend with a ghost... Perhaps I am not understanding the film; it has definitely gone over my head.
On the positive the acting in the film is superb; the devastation of the murder really ages the characters terribly. The character of the rapist, played by friendly Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada) is exceptionally played. Just the right amount of ‘creepiness’ to make you feel on edge whenever he is in shot. The Grandma played by Susan Sarandon (Thelma & Louise) delivers a fantastic comedy role, holding the family together, with her adolescent alcoholism ways. So, to the point, would I recommend this? Despite everything I have said I actually would. Don't part with your cash to see it, wait till it comes on TV, and give it a watch. The best way to watch this film would be to watch the lives of the grieving families, and the down-to-earth Grandma, enjoy them, and every time you see a shimmer of CGI on the horizon, pop out for about five minutes.