Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Not me, Toby Young, at the Soho Theatre last night. Opening night, sold out. Fantastic adaptation of the book, made slightly surreal by Toby sitting behind me and laughing - albeit justifiedly - at his own jokes. I wasn't quite in the mood (as you know), but highly recommended. And Jack Davenport bears an uncanny resemblance to Toby: it's the hair/height thang.
So I'm at a client site this afternoon, and I get a call from F on his mobile phone.
- Hey, Sasha, how are you?
- Hey, F, you in London? (I'm guessing he is, because it's a UK cellphone number. He lives in NY)
- Yeah, I'm like here, with W, and wanted to know if you wanted to hang out?
- F, why do you talk like that? You're from Manchester.
I can't help thinking that hanging out sounds so... male, frankly.
This bit's true: got home from work, had the last two of my junk-shop-find chairs delivered, did an aerobics class (which may have been a mistake, as my back has been really hurting), and went to hang out with F, W, their cute little J, and S, another Cheadleonion. That's someone originally from Cheadle, as oposed to an onion from Cheadle. Fun, although we realised that we are the grown-ups our parents were when we were kids. And - personally - I'm only seventeen.
And we worked out that it's cheaper to dial-up AOL in NY on a telco account for 2p a minute, than it is to have a regular UK dial-up account at say 3 or 4p for an 0345 number. It's a crazy, miced-up telco world, I tell you.
Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Feeling purposeless? Thinking of downsizing? Aren't we all.
Read this piece by Milly Jenkins (who I'm sure must be Milly Molly Mandy's second cousin) in last night's Evening Standard about Common Purpose, a not-for-profit dedicated to inspiring people to do things for their communities. Their website is called JustDoSomething.net. Cool, huh?
In the same vein, there's the Public Appointments Unit, who run this appointments website. And there's a new Office of the Commissioner of Public Appointments, although I'm not sure what the difference is. And, here's the Cabinet Office's agencies and public bodies site. You are verily awash with information.
When I was a kid, a friend of my parents who was Chair of the local NHS Trust, or whatever it was called before regime change, was described by the local paper as having "an outmoded sense of public duty." I may have that, too.
Monday, April 28, 2003
When I was a headhunter a couple of years ago, I was something of a fish out of water. I made two good friends in that place; S, with whom I'm in regular touch, and Claire, who I would ocassionally email with and meet up for Lebanese food at the bottom of the Edgware Road.
I heard a few weeks ago that Claire had pneumonia and was in hospital. I sent her a get well soon card - pneumonia's not serious, right? This morning, I got a call from S to say that she died on Easter Monday. So - as I'm no longer really in touch with people who knew her, I want to remember her here.
Claire was a someone who helped keep me sane during a tough time in my career. She had a wonderful, down-to-earth sense of humour, and was amazing at her job. There was truly nothing she couldn't find out. She was dedicated to the company, and worked incredibly hard - she really was someone who took pride in a job well done. She shone competence. There are some people you meet who you know, straight away, you're on the same wavelength, and from the moment we met, we had an easy, relaxed working relationship, as well as a fair few evenings putting the world to rights over a bottle of wine. I know Claire had had a tough start in life, and she really made the most of everything she had. She was only 31, and leaves her husband and nine-month old baby.
I hope that she finds peace.
Sunday, April 27, 2003
Saturday, April 26, 2003
Friday, April 25, 2003
One friend, P, kept teasing me. "Sipped your water yet?" The bottles and other stuff are stored behind my bathroom door. I figured in the event of war, my bedroom/ensuite would be my combined sealed room.
Of course now, it looks like I might have been premature in all this planning.
But I figure, what I could do, is when I start a film production company, in recognition of the hard time I went through, I could call it Thirty Litres and a Wind-up Radio. What d'you reckon?
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Remember I went to a meeting in Sutton Coldfield a few weeks back? Here's the deco evidence. Sutton has (had) one of the finest Odeon deco cinemas, so I stopped on the way out of town, bought a disposable camera, and preserved it for digital posterity. When I went inside, I had a rather bizarre conversation with a lovely, older, woman working there, who told me they'd just "ripped out all that old-fashioned stuff. Got to move with the times, love." That's what she said. I, of course, disagree. But then I used to frequent the Tuschinksi Cinema when I lived in Amsterdam.
I didn't buy these, honest, because I'm fairly sure the worthy M&S no longer make them, but when I unpacked my regular tights, they were wrapped around a piece of cardboard that proclaimed:
Slim & Shape
You know what I'm thinking? My bullshit detector has gone off the scale. I mean, there's even a 6 pair treatment pack". Why go on a diet and exercise regime when you can just wear tights? Day 10 apparently offers you "slimmer and firmer skin with grainy appearance reduced." You can't help asking what happens if you don't have a grainy appearance to start off with. Or, alternatively, if you don't give a shit.
It's the "tights and beauty treatment all in one". Yeah, right, because I'm always getting a beauty treatment for my legs. Reminds me when Boots used to market their tights as "makeup for legs", which makes it sound like some kind of disability aid. I'm guessing that M&S have stopped peddling this quite ridiculous product because the only reference I can find to it is a September 2002 press release, and even then it's a generic phrase, rather than a product name.
Monday, April 21, 2003
So I'm helping my Dad set up his new PC, and obviously we've got the internet connection working. But there are a couple of problems:
Still in Manchester. Saw Blue Crush last night with my sister - it's kinda Pretty Woman meets a sports (surf) movie, with a comedy overweight black character thrown in. Cool soundtrack.
A little like Adaptation, Blue Crush is also based on an article by Susan Orlean - this article, in fact. (Isn't the internet wondrous? In 1987 I would have had to go to the library for about three weeks to find that out.) Side stuff: apparently, Jason Kottke designed her website, and kept a little weblog for her about Adaptation the movie. Funny how famous people find each other. Maybe they were like in High School together, or something?
The photography is incredible: I've never seen inside a wave. And here's something I didn't know: Saturday Night Fever was based on a piece of journalism by Nik Cohn about how working class kids blow everything on a saturday night out. You live and learn. Except that it later turned out to be a fake - the piece of writing, that is.
The script sucks in a high-school girlie style: Way? No way? Oh, that's cool. You know the kind of thing. And some of the characterisations are completely two dimensional. And no-one wears socks, even with proper shoes. It's not like that in Cheadle, I tell ya. But I'm being negative here: it's a fun chick-flick, and I have to admit I had a tear in my eye at the end. But you could wait for video.
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
That's the (frum - orthodox) greeting for Passover, meaning literally "have a happy and kosher festival". I won't bore you with the details now, but basically it's a bit like the wheat-free diet a did a couple of months back: no bread or leavened food for eight days. So it's matzah (flat bread, tasteless and gives you constipation and bad skin, frankly), and cakes made from potatoe flour. It's crazy the amount of effort people go to for eight days: you have to change your pots and pans for another set that have never had any chametz (leavened food) on them. And frankly, there are no nice cakes without flour, so everything you eat is a bit poor-man's-relative-stylee.
My sister has made coconut pyramids with her specialist Coconut Pyramid Maker she bought from the Lakeland catalogue. It's a short season for Coconut Pyramid Makers, as they are seriously paschal sweetmeats, and I'm going to try and not eat four squillion of them (I have already heard on the Cheadle grapevine that they are a superlative batch).
So, it's a late night tonight remembering the exile from Egypt (yeah, that's what it's all about), and I'll be trying to keep of the matzah and crap cakes and stick to fruit and vegetables. Not that you need to know my eating plan.
Chag same'ach, and in this, the festival of freedom, may all the peoples of the world experience peace and freedom in the coming year. God, I'm turning into a hippy.
Quill (sorry, not at home, don't have your link to hand) sent me this piece from The Washington Post about Mimouna, a sefardi (Jews of eastern/african orgin, rather than my ashkenazi, eastern european origins), which is a fascinating post-paschal feast, that, sadly, I've never participated in. When I get home I might post my new-improved recipe for Moroccan couscous. But until then, you'll have to wait.
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
... was fun. Friday night dinner at L&S's, where we were all pretty zonked. But their eight year old son kept saying my conversation (with his mother - house prices, the underground, friends' weddings) was boring. And it might be: not often the truth is told to me by one so young. Saturday it was a toss up between shul and the gym, so I walked to the gym and did a pilates class (on the ball - my abs still ache), and then went to lunch at F&M's in their new, shiny house.
Saturday night, went out for noodles at Wagamama with S and then onto a party in Camden. Wagamama was especially fun: the waiting staff are sexually ambiguous, and we got chatting to the people next to us, who were rather "Camden": one guy had a spiky black mohican with bleached ends, which matched his black jeans with yellow edging. One of the other guys, when he got up, was wearing fabulous red velvet court shoes with his regular male-style clothes (portobello market, if you're interested, large sizes), and we had a long chat about cross dressing. Then onto the party, where people were not so avante-garde, but was upstairs in a very cool bar, with little nibletty-type food (our hostess is a very serious party-giver) and we danced till dawn. OK, 1230.
Sunday, I got up early, because - surreally, see previous post - on Saturday at lunch, some friends had said "we've got our whole family coming to stay, we've got a mattress, does anyone have a 4'6" bed base?" And I said, "yes, I've had my old one under my bed for about four years." So he came round to collect it. What are the chances of that happening? Then I ran around like a headless chicken, packing and running errands, and went to J's birthday in the Landsdowne in Primrose Hill, where I bumped into all my flatmate's friends.
He told me that he had a dream, and Joan Bakewell was in it (he's about 25, so I doubt if it was one of those dreams), and said to him "he leaned so far back he banged his head on the twentieth century."
Monday, April 14, 2003
Sunday, April 13, 2003
Friday, April 11, 2003
I think it's connected to the looting in Baghdad, but I can't be sure.
Friday, April 04, 2003
I realise that I haven't posted much of interest recently - life seems to have taken over. I'm really busy with work, which is good, but doesn't leave me time for other stuff. Like next week, I had planned a week with me and my laptop somewhere (cheap, probably), and to finish the book, but then a client wanted something in a hurry and I didn't like to let them down. So I'm here. But I'm promising myself (you) that I'll write 1,000 words a day, minimum next week. 5k words by next Friday, do-able, right?
What've I been doing?
- Working out can you believe? I've been running twice a week, and doing two aerobics classes (Friday morning and Tuesday night). I've become such a regular that I'm no longer the worse person in the class by a long shot, and I try and keep my heart rate above 150.
- Crossing Jerusalem, not in person, mind. At the Tricycle, last night. Got there a little early to meet S, S, and J, and as I walked in, saw a familiar looking face, so I smiled. Then, I realised it was Lenny Henry. The play's miserable: badly written (four people say "stop f***king with my head" in two hours - that never happens in real life), badly characterised, and can only skim over a bunch of complex issues in the time. Best bit was the betting who was going to end up in the hospital in the last act.
- failed Lao rolls
- Rules of Attraction
- New dining room table
- Day to trip to Sutton Coldfield - for a meeting, but managed to visit the best example of Deco Odeon architecture en route
- Having a deco-oriented life in general
- Interviewing for a job I had five years ago - really just because I was curious