Ok, I have several things about tattoos. A well-designed, abstract, are we allowed to say tribal, solid black or outline tattoo can look damn sexy on the right guy, and make an average-looking guy look do-able.
There's a catch though - it's permanent. Personally I find it hard to decide what to wear on a daily basis, so the thought of having something on your body which you can't change is anethema to me. I've thought about getting a tattoo, but I would never be able to have something I would be sure I'd be happy with in a year, or twenty year's time.
The other thing about tattoos is that people seem to want to cover themselves with the most ludicrous things. Elves, cheetahs, badly drawn pictures of Marilyn Monroe or Mike Read. Do people not think about how these things are going to look when their skin starts to strip itself from their aging bones?
And then there's tattoo addicts - having to cover every square inch of their bodies, because "each one tells a story". How fucking idiotic can you get? Why stop at commemorating 'big' events in your life with ink? Why not pop down to the local tattooist every time you take a dump? Why not get your shopping list tattooed on your forearm?
Speaking of shopping list tattoos - chinese characters, hindu or arabic script tattoos - deep and meaningful insights into one's soul and character, or "20 benson's and a Sun please" written by your local cornershop owner who thinks you're a dumb tosser and pissed himself laughing providing this translation of "courageous and strong geezer"?
The Brazilian was a small menagerie of mythology. A slightly cartoony bull on his hip (Taurus), a smudgy rendition of a horse on his calf which I think was supposed to be Pegasus, and his latest work, which he'd bizarrely decided to get done on the day we were to consumate our affair - an rather cherubic looking angel with wings outstretched around his left bicep.
There's a great scene in Spaced where Marsha the landlady confronts Brian, the wierd artist who lives in the basement flat about his lack of creativity. Brian has started shagging Twist, and his resulting romantic bliss has rendered him artistically impotent.
Marsha reminds him of the time when they were shagging - a situation that came about because Brian couldn't pay his rent using traditional currency, and because Marsha was only to happy to receive payment in kind. When they had their little arrangement, she says, he was prolific, inspired, driven to create the most sublime art.
Marsha's motivations are both selfish and altruistic. She cares about Brian, and although she has made him realise he can't have his cake and eat it, she knows he won't come running back into her bed. It's enough for her to know that she is responsible for him rediscovering his creative juices - even though she is his terrible muse.
It's an interesting and profound theme, and one that many a blogger discovers. When things are going well, posts become dull and lacklustre - but when difficult times hit, we write the most beautiful and poignant things.
Such a shame that doesn't seem to apply to the latest blog-celebrity, whose misfortune at having been suspended without pay for posting a picture of herself in her work uniform doesn't seem to have affected her inane prose.
And such a shame that thousands of people will now be linking over wondering what this blogging thing is all about, only to find a dullard of a trolley dolly wittering on about *giggle* foot fetishes, *giggle* fighting her employers, *giggle* *giggle* *giggle*.
I'd fire her purely for her use of inane bouncing-smiley animated gifs, and complete inability to apply eyeshadow or the most basic of cosmetics without a trowel.
Oh, wait, yeah - she's a trolley dolly - of course. *giggle*
I'm seeing him at lunchtime. He texted me this morning. I'm not fooled one bit - this is reciprocated lust, this is hormonal, this is silly, this is dangerous. He texted me and I replied, "I don't think this is a good idea. I want more than you have to offer, and I should stop this before anything starts."
I wanted to write that, I really did. I folded. I replied, "I'm at lunch at 2pm, meet me."
He feels so good. He smells so good. He has a crooked smile for god's sake - how can I resist a crooked smile on a bearded latino cub? He has a cute lumpy nose, thick black hair, a gorgeously trimmed but natural looking beard and a crooked smile.
I rode the tube home, drunk. You must understand that for me this is a rare occurance. You must understand that this is not somethng I do all the time anymore, and so this post may contain spelling mistakes, and errors dure to the fact that the interface bewtween my brain and my keyboard is ridden with vodka-sodden bugs and an 'o' key which needs to be hit in just the right way.
Oh, and it was all going so well.
Except, of course, it wasn't.
Does anything ever around here? I called off sick from work. The second time in two months. Not good, must try harder, must find one that isn't a total and utter unreliable flake. I called in sick from work, sick, feeling rough as shit, full of the cold I'd kept at bay all weekend with class A drugs.
Salary in the bank on Friday, cocaine to be bought, money owed to my dealer, Friday night, Saturday day, Saturday night in the pub, crusing with this little hispanic looking bearded guy, so cute, so sexy. Stolen kisses under 40W bulb in the toilet. Warm embraces.
Deciding I need a month off drugs, I wrote a post to you, I couldn't bring myself to tell you about it, I wrote a story about a friend who was addicted to coke, except that was me, except I'm the one struggling with the feelings of a life spent alone, bored, spending all my energy on my work, on keeping myself going.
A life disconnected.
Eduardo. It could be anyone. He is anyone, and he has a boyfriend. Stolen kisses suddenly paid for. Call the police, call Miss Marple, 9-11. He Has A Boyfriend.
They all have boyfriends. If you get to 30 and you're single, forget about it, you're one of life's singles. I didn't need John to tell me that. He was just a sad fucking social retard who just happened to be on the same line as me for a few years.
Well, I'm off to bed now. Half of this won't make any sense in the morning, but that's the fun part isn't it? Maybe I'll explain it all in the morning, or maybe I won't.
Maybe it's much more worthwhile to leave my audience guessing.
Bedtimes, that is. I was in bed at 10pm last night, all snuggled up comfy in my new 14.5 tog Marks & Spencer duvet. My new 14.5 tog Marks & Spencer duvet that is free from nasty ex-boyfriend sweat and secretions.
The wind was howling outside, and I was blissfully, snugly coccooned in a polyester fibre nest.
Lately I've been going to bed earlier and earlier. Used to be that I would rarely be in bed before 12am - but these days I'm so worn out after a days work, commute, cooking, cleaning - that I'm usually in bed well before midnight now.
I was a bit overdrawn on the sleep bank last night though, after having a little substance abuse on Wednesday night and not being able to get a decent sleep. Remind me why it is I do this stuff again?
On top of that, I've got a bit of a cold coming on (which, incidentally seems to be sapping my ability to write entertaining stuff) - so I turned in nice and early, and got a full 9 hours sleep.
There's probably a word in German for "an enjoyable date without much electricity".
I didn't build the evening up, and I wasn't exactly disappointed - we got to know each other a little, and the conversation flowed easily between us. We exchanged numbers after a few drinks, promising to get together again soon - and this morning I had a message from him asking if I was going to be at XXL on Saturday.
He's sweet and interesting - it wasn't lust at first sight - but I definitely fancy him (I made the first contact on gaydar).
I think I should definitely try to see if there's any possibility of zweitensdaterumpenpumpen.
Was going to witter on some more about biking and teeth, you know - the usual nonsense. Was going to go on about how life seems to be speeding by, again.
But then I decided I should try to write about something else. Hmm - but what? The new GameCube console game I desperately want to buy, but know I will play once and then it will sit there cluttering my living-room? The date I have tomorrow with a German foreign exchange student? The fact that I'm infintely more cheerful and hopeful that I was six months ago?
I feel so much better lately - I've got a much more positive outlook, which is only slightly wrecked by my enjoyment of certain recreational substances. I feel much more in control of my life though, and I feel on track to sort that little problem out now.
It's funny how getting over an ex actually takes shape. None of my feelings towards John have changed one bit - if anything I actually despise him more now than I did six months ago. But I've come to terms with those feelings to the extent that they are tolerable. I don't think about him every day now. I've accepted the fact that we will never be friends, and I will never have much contact with him.
Once I've got the mortgage sorted out, there will be little left to remind me of him and I'll be totally free to get on with my own life.
Investment in road safety is ludicrous - a cinema campaign showing a motorcyclist getting knocked off his bike? What utter crap. The campaign was backed up with - of all things - lenticular postcards showing the accident. Flip - motorbike doing perfectly legal manoeuvre - flip - motorbike under the wheels of a car - flip - how much did these things cost, and how many lives did they save?
Motorcyclists can jump on 125cc's or less on L plates after a day's training. This lack of education shows with the overwhelming majority of scooter riders, who think nothing of manoeuvring alongside other motorcyclists and squeezing into dangerous spaces without the slightest idea of what is on the road ahead of them.
Cyclists hurtle around the roads - riding dangerously close to motorised vehicles, then scream bloody murder when they end up under their wheels. Cycle lanes are perpetually empty, and red lights are ignored by most.
Bendy buses are totally inadequate for London roads - far too long to negotiate many of London's narrow streets safely. Often you see them running an amber light over pelican crossings, blocking the crossing for pedestrians.
This morning on the way into work, I was overtaken by two young lads on a motorised bicycle, swerving dangerously in and out of traffic at about 30mph. The roads are awash with road users who don't have the slightest idea of the dangers around them, and accidents such as this one happen every single day.
Steve vs Muesli. Round 1 to the apple and cranberry multigrain crunch, won by a large chunk of amalgam. Bollocks. Back to see Alan the grinning gay glaswegian dentist this evening.
Steve vs entropy. Round 1 to entropy. The boiler's knackered, the flat is a shithole, and I have no time, energy or money to sort any of it. I'm thinking of moving rather than having to clean up after myself. Just leave a note for the lodger and relocate, relocate, relocate.
"Let me tell you a story" said Alan, the gay Glaswegian dentist.
"If you put your nerve endings under your pillow tonight, the nerve ending fairy will come and take them away. And she'll leave you hundred dollar bills! Then you can buy new teeth!"
He gave a mighty pull and - look there - wiggling on the end of his tweezers was my beautiful nerve ending.
"I smell something stinky!"
The nerve ending fairy fluttered gracefully in through my open window. She lifted my pillow, and rooted around in the pocket of her dress.
"Well, time to pay up. Hmmm, out of bills - wait, there we go - a ball of lint. That's good enough for him."
In case you're confused - my life is turning into an episode of Ren & Stimpy. I'm pissed off that the nerve-ending fairy didn't leave any cash (HP was annoyed too - he slept all night on my pillow waiting for her) - I've got a bill for £372 for all the work that needs doing. Not too distressed by that though considering the amount of work that needs to be done. I'm getting four crowns at the front, so finally I won't be ashamed to open my mouth.
I wish I could feel proud of myself a little more often than I do.
I wish I wasn't so good at feeling like such a mess day-to-day, and yet still manage to hold things together.
More Alanis - this so-called chaos. My life feels chaotic, but when I look back over things, I see a shape that I didn't realise was there at the time. But then, that's all hindsight and psychology, isn't it?
I have these moments, these moments of pleasure, of feeling content and proud of myself. These moments where all the crap seems like it can be overcome, and I can give myself a pat on the back for getting where I have done by myself.
I miss having someone who is proud of me. I think that's what I miss the most having lost Mum and John. No-one to look at my struggle and say "well done".
So, once in a while I say it to myself.
Well done, Steve. Well done for keeping things together when everything fell apart. Well done for making it in a city which can be tough and harsh sometimes. Well done for finding a new job, providing for yourself, looking after yourself, trimming your nails, going to the dentist, cleaning the kitchen, getting up in the morning, fixing the shower, getting a loan, learning new stuff.
"Ah, it's cleared up, no need for full leathers this morning then! Hoorah!"
Yeah, another one of my fucking bright ideas. At Hackney it starts to drizzle. By Hoxton, it's chucking it down. Clerkenwell, a downpour. The heavens have opened, and I'm wearing bike jacket and jeans.
My jeans by this point are completely soaked through, so I stopped to take my wallet out of my pocket and stow in my waterproof-ish rucksack. I finished the journey into work feeling very cold and wet, resolving to go buy some waterproofs at lunchtime.
As far as I can see they try to push you off the map
When once your wand has withered and your wings refuse to flap
When you can't cast a spell without it spilling
And a fairy tale for years you haven't told
You stand there shouting What O.. but they all pass by your Grotto
Nobody loves a fairy when she's old.
Yes, Sean Connery was suave, debonaire, and had a deadly aim with both his gun and his wit, but, but, but - he's just too believable as a spy. Roger Moore, now there's a man you could never believe was a spy - a camp creaking buffoon of a double-oh-seven.
You're Blofeld, you have two guys in front of you, one you can kill, one goes free... you're gonna go for Sean Connery every time. He'd be strapped up in the laser-emasculator before you could say Pussy Galore. Meanwhile, old Roger'd be skydiving to freedom in one of Grace Jones' batwing catsuits.
Tenuous link approaching...
Roger Moore, Moonraker, Jaws (the 7'2" tall baddie with metal teeth), fillings, me.
Yep, I've got another huge chunk of amalgam in my mouth, another step closer to being a Bond baddie capable of gnawing through steel cables, plummetting James to an Alpine doom - making sure of course I'd sabotaged his batwing catsuit. At least that's the theory.
The procedure itself wasn't that traumatic, plenty of anasthetic all round and staring up into my mate Alan the ebullient dentist's nose. Two down, several more to go.
Why is there not a search option on Gaydar for 'that bloke you've been seeing every week or so every morning in various Pret-a-Manger for the last four or five months and you gave one of your smiles to this morning'?
Just in case:
Eats breakfast in Pret-a-Manger
It's obviously broken.
Annoyingly in any case, Gaydar doesn't have a search field for 'facial hair', which is a bitch of a bitch, as I rarely go for guys without the stuff (INTJ-wife, take note) - it would certainly thin the results looking for my Pret bf, with his sexy manicured li'l beard.
Herein lies one of the fun things about Gaydar however. I do occassionally try to find someone I've seen out and about based on physical characteristics (I know, I'm a total freak) - it almost invariably fails, but does return a load of guys that look just like the one you were trying to find, so it's a win-win situation.
Wake up, coffee+fag, shower, dress, bike to work [riding very fast, swearing, alternately trying not to kill/trying to kill pedestrians+cyclists], another coffee+fag, work, work [with coffee+fag breaks interspersed], lunch, work, work, back to bike, ride home, eat, housework, surf net, watch a little tv, bed, sleep >>> repeat.
I'm tired all the time. I want to start going to the gym, but I'm too bloody knackered to get it together. Yes, I know that it's quite possible that working out will give me more energy - I'm just trapped in this cycle of waking-working-wanking-sleeping, and I don't know how to break out of it.
This all ties in (I think) with a psychology test a couple of days ago, based on Myers-Briggs personality types, which suggests I'm an ESFP - or Performer.
ESFPs live in the world of people possibilties. They love people and new experiences. They are lively and fun, and enjoy being the center of attention. They live in the here-and-now, and relish excitement and drama in their lives.
ESFPs are likely to be very practical, although they hate structure and routine.
So far everything I've read does seem to ring very true - so what I need to try and work out is hw does this little ESFP break out of his bad habits, or at least replace his bad habits with good ones that play to his strengths?
Rule #8: Shove your rules, you hear me? Shove 'em right up your bony ass The interwebnet isn't very old. Anyone who says they're an expert is fibbing. It's another of the reasons why it all went tits up a few years ago. Break all the 'rules' and make up your own - as long as you're not incontravention of Rule #1, or you have been awarded a I made mr.mal laugh at my pitiful web-design award of course. Whether it's me or Jacob Nielsen (if you don't know who that is, look him up, he spouts a lot of hot air about web usability, some of which is quite interesting and useful, some of which is spoilsport tosh) - feel free to stick two fingers up and say "bollocks". Or challenge whoever to a jelly-wrestling match.
And regarding what I said about oddverse - even with a couple of minor bugs on a minor browser/platform combination, his site is still better than yours.
I'm just hurt, upset and sad that he dropped the picture of himself off his homepage.
Rule #7: The longer it takes for people to find what they want, the less likely they are to stay Don't try to steer users around your site, and strike a balance between content and navigation. Devise a consistent navigation that minimises clicking and having to scroll around the page to get where you want to be. I would say that for each click required to find any piece of information you will lose 50% of your visitors, but you can improve on this figure with simple, clear navigation.
I'll be controversial here - because a site I previously held as a paragon of good design has recently broken this rule, and I think oddverse is worse for doing so. Visitors to blogs want posts. They want frequent, multiple posts laid out in a format which makes them easy to read and follow from day to day, post to post, not one-page-to-a-day click, click, click. Oh, and while I'm being nasty and critical, your css doesn't work on mac ie [5.2.3 on OSX 10.3] either, but then again, css nearly always screws up cross-browser.
Rule #1: No No to everything you're thinking. No, no, no. It's wrong and people will laugh at you. Correction, I will laugh at you. No to every animated gif, flash intro and fancy script that you've seen elsewhere. "But surely..." No. "But what about..." No. "Not even..." No, no, no.
Rule #2: Keep it simple Don't use the fancy stuff just because it's there - remember that less is always more. Your design is going to look a lot nicer if you stick to simple clean layouts with a cohesive palette and identity than using an animated gif or flash animation just because you think it looks impressive.
Rule #3: Do It Yourself Don't use other people's stuff, not just because it's bad practice, but because generally speaking it will take you longer to fix it if and when it goes wrong. And it will go wrong. You'll learn a lot more, and it'll be much more satisfying if you do it yourself.
Rule #4: Learn from others Disregard rule #3 and steal other people's code. Then improve on it.
Rule #5: css is the devil's own scripting language When used correctly, it's fantastic. But it can go so very wrong. One slip of a property inheritance heirarchy and half a dozen browsers will render your finely-crafted site like a pile of dog shit. If you can't test your style sheets on multiple platforms and browsers, use css sparingly.
Rule #6: Like lycra, Flash is a privilege, not a right Flash pretty much was single-handedly responsible for the dot-crash. Believe me, I was there. Usage of flash these days is greatly reduced in terms of integration into websites. Use it sparingly or not at all - an inline animation or graphic, perhaps a navigation device.
Failure to adhere to these rules may force me to start a 'I made mr.mal laugh' award - handed out to budding 'web designers' who haven't been doing it for seven years, like what I have. And I'm sure I'll think of more rules, just give me time - I am a full-time web developer after all, and I've got a stack of work to do, which will be better than anything any of you could ever do.
Now I suppose I'm going to have to crush every 'creative' ambition in his little malformed body and stamp on the bits until he realises that web design is something best left to the professionals.
First it was shoddy css rollovers that fucked up on mac browsers, audio clips that you couldn't turn off, and now this. Flapping birds, fireworks and a checklist of Flash components sicked up with a load of tired tweens and a truly hideous colour palettes.
Yes, I'm vile, and I can hardly talk myself - tch, look at this tired old template - but sweetie, stick to what you do best.
Blogs and music, or to be more precise, blogging and the art of the compilation tape. The two (tongue-in-cheek here) only novel art-forms of the early twenty-first century. Finding things is the new making things. X is the new Y. XY is the new XX. Stop me if you've heard this before.
Synathesic linkage of song and memory. Where were you when you heard 'Culture Club' for the first time. Record collections provide the new strata for class, culture, society.
Personally, I missed the eighties, and by the time I got to the nineties, musical taste in my peers was already formed. Luckily the Next Big Thing meant that you could buy taste, buy a history, a set of signifiers and join the club of your choice.
I think I missed out on a key stage of development - the sulky teen rebelling against their parents listening to The Smiths. Where I should have been wearing eyeliner and flouncing around the playground to the beat of the androgyne heroes of the decade of the decadent me, I was sitting at home listening to the pleep-pleep-plinka-dink of 8-bit computer games. Or masturbating.
Strains of Morrissey, Lloyd Cole, PWEI, XTC wafted in from my sister's bedroom, evolving into The Stone Roses and Manchester's finest homegrown. I can recite 'Cemetary Gates' and 'Sally Cinammon' word for word, just don't ask me to tell you where I was when I heard them.
My teenage years were spent living vacariously the life of my sister, listening to her tales of drug-fuelled hi-jinx. I was there with her when she discovered weed, e, 'shrooms, acid.
Let's do a little sampler shall we - iTunes, random play:
Charlotte Nilsson - Take Me To Your Heaven Belle & Sebastian - You Don't Send me Dido - See You When You're 40 DJ Shadow - Organ Donor Christina Aguilera - Dirrrty Human League - The Lebanon Jamelia - See It In A Boy's Eyes Marty Robbins - Devil Woman Bardo - One Step Further Blind Melon - No Rain
All I can say is that my life is pretty plain, I like watching the puddles gather rain.
There, that wasn't so bad. It never is (apart from the fact that you have to pay) - it never is quite as bad as you're dreading. Except this time I've really gone and buggered myself with my incessant worrying-to-the-point-of-total-fucking-inactivity, and now I need an absolute ton of work doing. In the meantime, Alan, my new dentist has put a temporary dressing on the cavity, and I'll be going back to see him next Thursday. It's all fairly odd as I had a bit of a fling with Alan's boyfriend (before he was Alan's boyfriend), and there's always been the possibility of playing with the two of them.
By my standards and considering how fucking loopy my life usually is, this is all fairly ordinary. Who doesn't shag their dentist anyway?
It's getting increasingly clear to me (you've all probably worked this out ages ago) that I'm just not very good at looking after myself. OK, I'm being a bit hard on myself there - in many ways I've pulled through the last year admirably - I've kept myself in work, kept the house, and just about kept my sanity (anyone pointing out that making camp recordings of Public Information Films is not exactly sane behaviour go to the back of the class).
The thing is, I'm really just a little Mummy's boy at heart, and although I do have people that care about me, it's always difficult for me to open up and say "actually I'm a lost, hurt little boy who once in a while needs a little hug". Going on experiences of my last relationship, I'm just opening myself up for dismissal.
So, I have to start looking after myself, properly. Maybe I'll find something of myself to give to other people along the way.
Had a media screening (it's not even out in the US yet) of Sideways to go to in Soho Square yesterday. Film was absolutely fantastic, and left the screening room feeling all ennervated and wanting to move to North California.
Go back to the office and started probing the growing cavity in my tooth. As you do, well, as I've been doing for the last few weeks as it's steadily been getting bigger.
Sudden onset of excrutiating pain. The slightest wash of saliva causing agony, almost bringing tears to my eyes.
Left work early and got myself round to The Royal London emergency dental hospital where I waited for two hours with asylum seekers and whingeing children before a woman in a white smock (not actually entirely sure she was a dentist) tapped on the tooth several times and declared it was cracked and infected and I had to go to a dentist. ARGH, dozy fucking cow, why do you think I came here? What are you going to tell me next, I'm Virgo and can't stick cabbage?
So, another restless novocaine-free night, and I called in sick. My first sick day in I-can't-remember-how-long. I then called my mate Nesh, whose boyfriend is a dentist, and I'm booked in for some oral torture at 3:30. For which I will have to pay for.
I'm sure luring birds into my mouth has to be a simpler and more economical solution. Crocolligators don't know how fucking lucky they are.
So - you're here looking for smut are you? If it's Cristian Solimeno you're after, he's here, in all his lardy glory. If it's girl-on-girl stuff with Lowri Turner, I suggest you seek professional help.