Random thoughts about things not to do with faith. Like boys. And poo. And dancing when you’re drunk. My story is here.
Andy flew back to Munich early Sunday morning after a three day visit, leaving me with a week of packing up my life here in Spain before flying out to London Friday morning. A goodbye dinner with some friends is scheduled in for Thursday night but bar that, nothing. Malaga is one of those cities where most people come for just 6-12 months. As a local for nearly 10 now it means I’ve been through an entire cycle of making new friends and saying goodbye to them and with leaving soon I can’t be bothered to make any more. The remaining crew have actual jobs and I have a lot to do before I leave. I’ll use the time of being alone, in my house, with my work, until Thursday night to be super productive.
I head to my favourite cafe where I sit all day. They don’t mind, they know me. People buzzing around is nice but the house is cold and quiet when I get back. I grab my second pizza of the year because the fridge is empty and curl up on the couch. It’s been a long time since I watched an episode of Californication…
Californication is seriously such a good show. I watch it while ‘eating lunch’ and then again after making a big dinner. I’ve emailed a couple of people today, done some serious work on an event I’m managing and now, maybe, will head to bed to do some reading…
I say all this to myself. Out loud. In the kitchen as I dump saucepans and plates into the sink. Before looking around my empty apartment to see if anyone heard me.
I am so fucking sick of inspiration.
Here is a list of things that have had all the inspiration they once contained mined out of them:
– Thomas Edison and his 5 million attempts at the light bulb,
– Einstein’s theories on 1% knowledge, 99% perspiration. Or maybe Newton said this. Some scientist with a huge brain anyway, doesn’t really matter who right?
– Hellen Keller feeling things with her heart
– Audrey Hepburn’s advice on how to be beautiful inside and out (why couldn’t she just write, ‘Be flukily BORN that way bitch.’ and be done with it?)
– Michael Jordan forgetting how many basketball shots he’s missed in his lifetime
– George Eliot’s thought that it’s never too late to be what you might have been. Some ideas on things it’s too late to be already: Gold medallist triathlete. Ballerina. Youngest person to ever cross the atlantic on a yacht. Just off the top of my head.
– How to be innovative like Steve Jobs
– Robert Frost’s road less travelled. There are a HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE on the road less travelled right now and they’ve all started a blog / webinar / speaking tour to help more people travel the road less travelled with them. The road less travelled is now, officially, travelled.
– COMPLETELY UNHELPFUL LESS-THAN-10 WORD STATEMENTS ON PRETTY BACKGROUNDS:
When I was a Pastor in a pentacostal church
The time has come to admit to myself that after four gin and tonics and a couple of tequila shots I am not actually the next Beyonce gracing the dance floor. This reality was driven home to me recently when I was sent a video of myself dancing with some friends on a boat party. At first, I was all like, ‘Who’s that annoying girl flicking her hair around and thinking she’s an awesome dancer?’ Then I was all like, ‘I want to die and be reincarnated as a caterpillar.’
It cuts deep, really, but there it is.
Unfortunately, knowing this reality sober and acting on it after a *few* rounds of shots are two different things. What I need are clear boundaries that even vodka-addled brain synapses can process.
Therefore, here are four dance moves I have officially banned from my dance lexicon. This should wipe out at least 50% of the idiot things I do when the ‘you’re-not-as-awesome-as-you-think-you-are filter’ is clogged with Peach Schnapps. I think I’ll keep the other 50%. I have to have something to cut back on in my 30’s.
1. Cross-knee Legged Thingy
Was it Patrick Swayze who did this first? I feel like it was him or the guy who came up with the Staying Alive move. Either way, I’m not sure exactly why I practiced it for hours as a teenager in front of the bedroom mirror. It’s like it had some sort of magic trick property to it, the way the hands swapped from the knees almost without doing anything. It could have been cool, but its a decade too late.
2. Booty Shaking
I have actually had a friend of mine, a black friend of mine no less (it’s okay to be racist when you mean it as a compliment), marvel at the fact that I can shake my booty. Especially when I’m wearing this little white skirt I bought in Greece with the three layers of frill on it. It practically dances itself.
I think the problem is that no-one shakes their booty anymore. Or that I have white skin. Possibly a combination of both.
3.Backwards Bending Shimmies
I can bend backwards. In 6 inch pump heels. It’s something I think people might like to see combined with a shimmy. I don’t know why I think this.
4. Irish Jigs
Don’t act like you’re surprised this is in my dance lexicon.
As if you’ve never heard a song on a packed dance floor in a beach club along the Costa del Sol that sounds ever so slightly like something from Lord Of The Dance and been possessed by Michael Flatly and whatever that red head girls name was. Did you manage a scissor-kick finale in wedge heeeeeels???
Am very much hoping there’s someone else out there who also needs to join the Dance Move Detox…?Read More
I’m currently looking for a new flatmate.
This is not an advertisement for you to come live with me but as you can see here, I have clearly displayed the entire apartment in photos and said that I am looking for a long term girl to share with.
Yesterday, I received this message.
Three reasons straight away this person is infuriating:
1) No ESSENTIAL details. What date are you arriving? How long are you staying for? Do you want the double room or the single room?
2) SMSing. Why choose SMS to communicate? It’s not included in my phone plan, too small to say anything decent and beeps twice when I don’t attend to a new text within 2 minutes of arrival.
3) The response, ‘For a while‘… what do you want me to say this? “Okay then well come on in for as long as you want, random person who may be a male, female or adrogenous cyborg.”
But their second response really made me laugh, because, well the thing I need to know the most about a potential flatmate is whether they’re good looking or not.
No, no, I want you to send me an email, like a normal person. Why are you asking for pictures? They’re on the website you got my number from. And a photo of me!? A PHOTO OF ME!?
Now, I’m not sure if this person has created a fictional world just in their head or if they are actually a completely fictional character invented by a funny friend but here’s the email I sent in response.
– – – – –
It’s Clair from Calle Beatas. Nice to meet you! Sounds exciting coming to Malaga to start up a business.
Attached is a picture of the the second bedroom of the apartment because that was the only one not available on the advertisement. You might want to rearrange things… I’m not fussy, totally up to you.
YES there is a terrace! Unfortunately the only photo I have of it, the other two flatmates are in it but hopefully you can get a good idea even with their faces… you know how it is in Spain, everyone needs somewhere to crash!
Also I’m so glad to hear that you’re good looking. I really don’t like hanging around ugly people. As requested, here is a photo of me. I’m exercising 😉
Let me know if you’re keen.
Then I sent it and posted this blog. Which means they, whoever they are, are possibly reading this right now.
If so, here are three reasons why we will never be flatmates:
1) You don’t use smiley faces in your text messages. I can’t understand what anyone is trying to say unless there’s at least 3 emoticons in the sentence, one of them the smiling pile of poo. The other one the monkey with its hands over its mouth.
2) You live in a fictional world where people like you. I live in the real world where people like you don’t like me.
3) You sound like the kind of person who is going to show up on my doorstep with 5 bags of luggage and lots of stories about your latest capital raising venture, fully expecting me to be grateful for having you land within my vicinity. Refer to point 2.
If you’re offended by this, just a word of advice. Don’t comment on the bottom of the blog or facebook post like the last person I anonymously offended with a blog post. Right now no one knows who you are, including me. Feel free to keep it that way.
To friends and readers, I am aware of the irony of a rude blog post bemoaning rude people. Sometimes in life you have to make your own fun. But feel free to ‘give me a piece of your mind’ about it anyway.
Could you answer the question “Who Are You?” please. In three sentences, if you don’t mind!?Read More
It’s time I returned the favour and wrote a blog about my new flatmate Dave.Read More
“If you don’t write the book you have to write, everything breaks.” -A.M. Homes
I have to, I guess then.
If it’s written non-emotionally it won’t resonate with anyone. I can see, just glancing over the catastrophe of words and paragraphs cobbled together on my laptop that the most powerful sentences are those I’ve copied directly from the online diary I kept at the time.
So I need to go back there.
Relive the dusky evening reality shifted and the possibility I’d got it wrong wormed it’s way into my fundamentalist brain.
Access again the consuming wave of grief that morning in the car nearly two years later when God finally died.
Feel afresh the moment I realised that if you don’t make a choice between the man you love and the person you are, he will make it for you.
And so I begin the walk towards what I run from the most.
Think I’m going to need another glass of whisky.
‘How long have you been travelling?’ he asks.
‘Oh about 8 years all up now.’ replies Dave with his characteristic slight wave of the hand holding a beer.
There’s a pause. ‘Have you ever thought about living a decent life?’ Corporate yells over the din of the crowded bar.
‘Decent?’ checks Dave. ‘Decent?’ checks I. A nod and a blink.
A look passes between us both. It had been a 2-way conversation with me the awkward sort of glue, being responsible as I was for introducing two men I didn’t realize at the time are polar opposites of each other. It was a nice sort of discussion to this point.
But now it’s war. Dave and I against the Turtle.
‘A decent life?’ Dave begins… ‘With a house, and a car, possibly a wife. A job and a boss?’
‘Working 8 to 6.’ I offer. ‘Maybe a corner office in a decade.’
‘Incremental wage increases. 4 weeks of holiday a year.’
Enthusiastic nods from the bar.
‘Like the life 97% of the rest of the world live?’ concludes Dave. ‘Yeah… no.’
This is Dave’s world, the conversations about what is normal and what is not. 24 year-old Baldy has no chance, you can’t argue about convention until you’ve lived outside of it.
‘You make compromises either way,’ shrugs Dave, ‘I had your life in a way, the house, a job, a cat….’
‘I hate cats,’
‘Perhaps a dog then. Or a snake…’ Dave proposes how long – or short – the snake might be, with his hands. ‘And now I live without all that, which means I compromise on a solid base, a familiar social circle, I don’t know where money comes from next.
But I wouldn’t change it, because if I have the house and the job and the snake I compromise on freedom, on the time I need to make the most of life, on the ability to accept all opportunities when they come along. I choose the most important things for me, if I lived your life it wouldn’t be decent… What do you think?’
He opens his mouth but no sounds come out. We wait.
It comes eventually, as does wet concrete through a straw. Sparky explains how wonderfully free his job is because as long as he meets his sales targets They don’t care what he does.
“So…” I summarise, “As long you do what someone else tell you to do, they don’t give a shit about you?”
More enthusiastic nods.
And I’m only halfway through the white wine he bought me just a few minutes before. I was once told to be bought a drink is His opportunity for a conversation. The longer you take to drink it, the longer the conversation.
Better hop to it.
Now he’s tallying up his travels and wild adventures. In bars with women and a corporate credit card.
‘And have you ever tested yourself?’ nudges Dave, clearly referring to the act of pushing your personal limits.
‘Yes and I’m totally clean.’ This declaration is made pointedly at me. I snort on a mouthful of Sauvignon and then have to drop my head to my lap, hiding my face with my hair as he continues. ‘I tested myself just two months ago. I don’t have HIV or anything…’
Dave’s doing a much better job of controlling himself. I catch his eye through my tears of laughter as he agrees I’m probably very happy about that.
Just, honestly, can’t drink this glass of wine fast enough.Read More
Am currently filtering through my private online blog retrieving thoughts from the past four years and came across this… pretty sure I’m onto a new psychological phenomenon here.
Anyone else’s ideal person based on the first cartoon you ever watched?
– – – –
Saturday, December 24, 2011
There’s nothing like karaoke singing to “A Whole New World” with your 7 year old niece to bring some life clarity. The particular revelation this morning is that I am in love with Aladdin.
I’m stalking a Mac Store. In the rain.
The train to Zurich leaves at 2:30pm today and I’m hoping, practically praying, my early rising and piety will impress the gods. Anxiously, I stare up the wall of glass to the looming, illuminated white half-bitten apple logo as if it were the cross – a symbol of my salvation.
Surely, they can raise my Notes from the dead. If anyone can, the red shirted demi-gods contained within can help me. Their elixirs will sooth my iPhone’s refusal to rise after its third waterboarding in a toilet bowl, even just for a moment so I can synchronise and save my data from eternity in oblivion.
Apparently my last ‘automatic update’ to iCloud was in October and somehow only managed to capture about 50% of it. An impressive error for a software which, in my civilian ignorance I assume by its very nature only does what it’s told. In this case, ‘back up my most important data’. This apparently doesn’t include the past 3 months work on a book aka: irreplaceable inspiration.
The pre-day huddle of red shirted Smurfs inside breaks and I dash across the square. The gods are pleased! 7am alarm clock WORTH IT! A bearded elf escorts me to the Genius Bar where no less than 5 geniuses are customer-less. Inglorious riches! Like discovering $20 in the pocket of your winter jacket.
Mid-fantasy of all the things I could get 5 geniuses to do with my Mac products at once I’m introduced to “Oli”; the iPhone specialist. My ailing phone is laid at his feet and faith fills my eyes. I’m like the Commander Soldier before Jesus. Just say the word Oli and my phone will be healed. I believe in you. I get a wary look before it is whisked off behind the Curtain of Oz.
In his biography, Steve Jobs’ is quoted as saying “But you can’t call them Geniuses!” on the suggestion of using the term ‘Genius Bar’ for the repair area. “They’re geeks!” Watching the rotund belly of the other genius two metres away move up and down with his explanation of something i-phoney to the middle-aged lady on the other side of the counter, I’m suddenly overwhelmed with a gratefulness for geeks.
Call them geniuses, wizards, even priests, whatever you want, I don’t care. Geeks are surely more socially-useful than priests these days. Let them put a Mc before their name, like a Doctor, and wear a gold ring with apples on it. I’ll kiss it. Just get me my Notes back.
Third party repairers quoted a week, another one three days and finally one took just 2 hours to take a look at my phone and find out whether it was redeemable. Oli, in his wonderfully geeky Appley way, takes 5 minutes.
It’s dead. In the un-raisable sort of way.
Oli thinks it’ll be more than a 1000 euro to recover the data but first we’ll check if my Airbook just happened to back up to itself, rather than the iCloud. I’m given a new iPhone for 150 euro (wha-at? yes!) and spend a nervous 5 minutes watching an apparent synchronisation from the 12th December take place.
And there, there at the bottom of a notes titled ‘Book’ is my most recent burst of inspiration.
Apple, I am yours. I will never cheat on you. I will never have an affair on you with other platforms or hardware. I will never wait 3 days for an external Supplier to refer me to a specialist who has no record of the fact I bought the phone in Australia and attempts to charge me for his time. I am a devoted follower of you Mac. For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.
– – –
Although a niggling, worrying thought stays with me on the train ride home. Is the failure of iCloud to Actually Do What It Says the first crack in the demise of a company now Founderless? Does whats-his-name-who-took-over-from-Steve have the balls to ask “What’s it supposed to do?” and on receiving the answer respond “And why the fuck doesn’t it do that?” after which promptly firing the Team Leader like he did for MobileMe? Can he cut through the bullshit to continue to maintain 10 minute service times and 5 second load ups?? Is this ship’s Captain at the wheel or DRUNK IN CABIN!?!
Maybe he needs me to send him an email and let him know how close I nearly came to my old Microsoft experiences.