Monday, 23 February 2009

The Sartorialist Was Out But All I Got Was Scam Scouted

So ordinarily I would've just said no, but I was balancing bag, paper and peanut butter sarnie when this guy stopped me and took my picture and gave me a card. I am desperate. Yes you can have my number, no there's no commission?, and yes I would like to be an extra please as I am just on my way to maybe quit my job. I felt flattered for a second but looked well greasy, and was distracted by his fancy camera. Surely a fake would use a disposable Max Spielman? Anyway, I gave him my number and that was a mistake. At least the Sartorialist DIDN'T see me, I looked pretty bad.

I enjoyed my camera yesterday, though the 140mm zoom proved obscenely embarrassing. It's bloody huge! And it winds out really slowly, precariously, and noisily. I hope the prawn pictures turn out, I can taste them now. I went to the flower market and got prawns, 50p each. It felt proper cockney, though I doubt cockney folk have anything to do with prawns mostly, maybe I'm thinking of welks. Actually, I'm thinking of those little polystyrene tubs, not the actual contents of wet warm vinegary seafood. I want to go to Brighton. In fact I want to go anywhere, I did start to zone out in central today, like town was just a blur of distraction from my thoughts. I felt quite satisfied, like I'm on my way to Conquering London. Maybe it was the libraries and bookshops.

I almost quit my job. I didn't actually but almost. It felt quite powerful, but also a bit foolish now. Maybe I will email Shona soon. I don't want to work in Pizza Express. They are well going to call my bluff, I know it, and I feel like a bit of an idiot for 'quitting' my job over one day. But it's important to me, I don't want to miss it. If they can't give me that day, well. I feel a bit gross though, like I've laid out my bluff, but I'm ACTUALLY double-bluffing, becuase I know they know I know they don't want to have to fire me. I'm giving them the OPTION of firing me, or the option of my resignation, but I've actually done nothing to get fired for, and I don't actually want to quit. It's quite knotted. I feel like a manipulative piece. I do. And I know they know I do.

I am getting some little ideas now, bit by bit. Only tiny sparks, from things I see, ('Time You Got A Watch?', anyone?), but it proves my brain is still there. If I ever meet my favourite neuroscientist, I'm going to ask him to explain the different halves of the brain, and feel really warm and comforted by his answers. He should really come into the shop. I don't want to stop working there, I like the knowing cross section. Hmmm. I wonder if they will call my bluff. They probably fucking will. And they know I know they will.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

(Someone) Laid A Trap For Me (Perhaps)

So I woke up this morning upset, as though Phone Alarm Lady had interrupted a bad dream before it got resolved. I just felt angry, I did the wrong thing, I should have gone for the show. Everyone will be talking about it on Monday, and I will not be part of things (again). I hate that school feeling, I have to go or I'll miss out, but more than missing out for me, I'll miss out on the cachet. When we chatted the other day, I decided I didn't need to do it, it wouldn't feel good, I'd be there not as a professional but as a dresser. But then actually I'd have been there as a fan, as Peter Jensen is one of my favourites. Who goes to these things, industry, consumers, and student slaves. Linked to get a ticket, laboured to get in the backdoor. What terms do I want to be there on? I felt ok about it today, and decided it was like 'How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read'. Maybe.

I felt weird at the opening last night, still, after all this time, like a 'look what you could have won'. Gross of me to think this. Maybe it was the gin. I've just started thinking how my working class background is ingrained in me, like in my skin stamped in, that I'm kind of pulled towards a work ethic and Having A Job, even if my mind is more intelligent, academically inclined, and middle class. I don' think that's the real reason. I liked what Mark Wallinger noted about the races, how there's a missing middle class. I think that I would like it at the races, poor people betting on rich people's horses. I don't know why I should have such issue with my class background.

I don't know why I'm going to look at a studio. I just suddenly felt like I could have ideas again, and that could be worth something. When people ask 'what do you actually want to', I find it difficult, because what I want to do is make things, write things, see amazing things, and talk about ideas with people I am excited by. These things don't pay. I want to be able to exchange a skill for money in the world, and not feel compromised between what I can do, and what makes me tick. So watching all of them at the party, cavorting with lightness, paid to have thoughts, was really painful. They were as glowing as celebrities, you could almost see the freedom. I was jealous. It seemed so apart from the fashion world. I even had to go to the Approach after class the other day to see something real. I want to make art again, maybe it'll happen once I realise I am capable of ideas.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Fractured Information

I'm having a day researching, looking at things, thinking about things, stepping back from them and shuffling round them and then jumping back in for another tussle. It's hard, because not only is the writing having to splinter into new ways, the reading is also. Before, I would read for intellectual expansion, for current cultural happenings, for well-written pop stories, for trashy fashion snippets, for interviews with new or old heroes, for clever and lite comment on serious news. I would read things that I aspire to be or know more about. I would consume printed media in an ambitions way, a way of expanding my ideas on things that make me tick. Now, as well as doing that, I find myself trying to be less passive, less personal. Things I see or listen to are squinted at with a critical ear, what can I get from this, how can I USE this, how can I do something new. It's hard. As well as this, I still have my writing/art split, so whilst reading I am also finding pictures of things that make me thirsty for the visual.

I'm reading the papers (well on the internet but it's a double-sided noun) and there's this difficulty with reading for interest or ideas. Am I reading this thing for a full stop at the end, or a comma. Am I to respond or just ingest? When I read the story about the government cutting back on fats in the public sector, what does it mean or matter that I know a better pie doesn't need a full pastry case, but just a loose blanket of dough, and I know exactly how to make that dough? Why now, because people always want pies; who cares, doesn't everyone like a pie? And when I read about the peanut allergy cure, I have personal experience, not expert insight. It seems to be about developing a personal commentary, using one's own expertise. But it's not enough to explain the virtues of a velvety chicken stock in the student paper.

Anyway I don't think this stuff belongs here again, so I'm going to break my own unwritten rule and only write 2 paragraphs.

You're Only As Good As Your Last Post

I agreed when he said that once you start TRYING to think of ideas, it's a surefire way to make them retreat, but then I kind of went back on it and said I was just going to dedicate time to luring them out. Like being constipated, just eat some fruit and veg and drink some water and it'll happen. And everyone should be buying 64p Sainsbury's Basics Fruit & Fibre 'more flakes than fruit, still as tasty', their words not mine, because it is actually a really good breakfast cereal and perfectly crunchy (had to be said, they love it they do). So yes I need to feed the ideas machine, relax it, and listen basically. It is understandable to feel this difficult about ideas and intelligence, when this very evening I was taught How To Mop.

This is the first post since my first week at college/school/uni/class whatever you might call it. As such it is rather stunted and jumpy, the words are not pouring out my fingers like liquid through spouts, my head it not connected to them. It's thinking too much about the words, about what I'm saying, about what I intend, and what I must sound like. It was the same when I was recording the diaries, and I caught myself up, recording things I said yesterday , knowing whatever I wrote now would be recorded tonight. The reality catches up and you don't know what to say. The evidence and proof of your greatness is right HERE, a step ahead of each word, laying out a red carpet for the talent to walk out on...

This post isn't saying anything. I am tired. I will write tomorrow with more to say. I should perhaps make it a bit more regular. Maybe regularity isn't right, as once a year is still regular. I just didn't want the blog to be a catharsis, to be similar to the diaries, introverted and letting pessimistic thoughts stopping optimistic things happening. I wanted it to be about commenting on things, musing on things that I think and see. A way of words. But closes are difficult, work stops my head, stops new thought, makes everything chronic. Latte today latte tomorrow, still just a fucking latte. No invention. Not one interesting thing happened at work today except my lunch. The chicken stock just made it glisten. That dinner was multi-generational, pretty cool. But it's a sad day when the best thing about it was your lunch.

I need to stay cool, and remember what makes me me, why I am unique, why I am not a cliche. It's been difficult as I've always been outside a group, then all of a sudden I am amongst haircuts and glasses on bikes and I'm living the trend. I guess you just have to make sure you're on the wave rather than trailing it. Difficult. To be individual, but also be stimulated by things that are ever-so-close to you, a degree away. You can't have any fun in a vacuum, but in a room full of people like yourself where would the excitement be? You wouldn't speak, just communicate my winks and osmosis. (I think I'm tired). So I'm worrying now that until I do a bad post (take this one for instance) I'll forever be thinking, 'oh this one is gonna let me down). So now I've done a crap one I can prove it's ok and doesn't mean anything. It reminds me of a sign I saw in a barbers in Soho that said

"You're only as good as your last haircut."

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Thorntons Chocolates

I just Googled Thorntons, to see if is it's a company or a man called Mr Thornton, if the chocolates belong to the man. I just bought myself a massive 400g box from Morrisons (Morrison's?), for 5 quid. I felt really pleased with myself for spotting them, and then decided I needed to have a conversation with someone about why it was 'limited to 2 per customer'. So I went to check out the chocolate aisle, and sure enough there was a woman scoping out the gift boxes. I told her about the cheap ones, by the entrance next to the veg, how you can't have more than two valentines, ha!, and sent her scurrying off. I felt a bit gross about it, maybe she didn't even want them, maybe she was after Black Magic or Milk Tray. I decided I'm not going to eat Cadbury's boxes which have a Brazil nut in them after the school incident, it's not worth the gamble and they're not even that nice.

Valentines is always a big deal if your single. But most sane people abdicate from the whole thing, it's only those idiots who ring up Steve Wright's Sunday Love Songs who would want or give something pink and heart-shaped. Though we did discuss flowers last night. Flowers are not cheesy, they are beautiful, and everyone should receive them. Everyone should have a favourite, like a favourite crisp flavour. I mean not even I want crisps all the time, but there is a time. It was funny when I went into the flower shop the other week to ask about Peony Month and the guy with all his flowing hair was like 'what do you need them for?', and I had to say, 'oh, just for me', and it didn't even feel that bad. 'For me' would be enough. So I bought the chocolates as I really enjoy having them actually, gin and chocolates. Two or three, every now and again. They are like little self contained gifts, even if you do buy them yourself. So I took the five pounds off the twenty I found in the toilet, and there's still enough to buy a nice lipstick.

I just went through that last paragraph and de-comma-ed it. I'm feeling a bit over-compensatory with them, I don't want to feel like I'm pouring them in for English's sake. I am nervous about writing all of a sudden, I am watching myself do it, rather than letting itself pour. I am really nervous about writing. It needs to change and evolve, and it's meanings will change. I thought yesterday how it is like a non-political Golden Notebook. And the books aren't identical. The red leather is a private diary, the blog is articulation of thoughts and language, the orange pad is an ideas book for positive thoughts. The shoe box is my store for visual excitement, the A3 blue leather is a somewhat destitute sketchbook, the folder is an example of exciting words. And now I have to make a new way with words. These ones won't be sole, they will have something to say, people to explain, ideas to shake about. It will be new but it won't mean the other ways have to die, only evolve.

For anyone who is interested, Nigel came into the shop the other day, and I was very very nervous and my knees were burning, and I didn't know if I was allowed to declare myself. After a pause I said hello, explained I was the marmalade girl, and he was glad I said hello. It was a kind of non-event, to meet a kind of hero, kind of celebrity, ambassador for something I really think is good for the soul. But he was just a normal person of course, so not a let down as such but a myth breaker. It made us similar. We both make marmalade and drink Monmouth espresso. Boring really.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

If it was on Facebook, Nigel and me would now be Friends

I'm ridiculously excited about getting another reply from Nigel. I will be excited about going to work everyday, because he might come in, or equally anyone might come in who is cool or weird or interesting or chatty. Like the Velib man, or the man that told me about Vinoteca being a good value alternative to Moro, and made me think it'd actually be alright to eat tapas at a bar myself as a Girl. It is hard to keep so goddamn jolly ALL the time, but hopefully I will have my jolly hat on when the time comes and it really counts. I mean I served Thom Yorke the other day and I wasn't bothered, but then I just listened to Radiohead a few times over this morning and reflected on how quite cool it was really. But when Nigel comes in I will be really excited and will probably make some work-mistake and get told off about it later (and again the next day, grrr). I don't think I'm starstruck, there's a difference between celebrity and someone who you think is actually quite cool. Like having Rose and Shona and Nigel in my inbox is the MOST exciting. They are actually quite niche people, and I really admire what they do and it enforces what I do, and that's what it's all about.

This illustrates that thing I was saying last year about London being this amazing linked up place where all the lines are laid out and everything links up and you can serve a celebrity in your cafe and it doesn't matter because in London they are just people. And then I can email Nigel a thankyou and say 'I think you came into the shop', I can go climbing and my fellow spare is a really cool girl from Paris, and that reminds me of how grand the world is, and how exciting things are. And this would never have happened if I lived on Planet Liverpool. I'm not saying capitals are the only way, but if you're interested in the world and all it's wonderful spidery links, then why the hell not live in the collective place where people are and things happen. It's not being against the outposts, but saying look, this place has concentrated opportunity, and if you like people and action, you should be here. Relax when your energy has naturally lowered, and live in the country. Match the pace to your age and ambitions.

I've realised recently how my punctuation is slipping. I think it's trying to bridge a gap between spoken word and written convention. When I say punctuation, I mean commas most specifically. I don't put them in writing(,) as I want it to read like I'm speaking. I wondered if it came from text speak, which it probably does, but I think maybe commas are over used. Are they for separating two clauses? I probably use commas when I should use semi colons, but I'd never speak a semi-colon. The distinction is interesting, between speech and writing. French seems to have a lot of confusion and tradition when it comes to the written-spoken word. Stupid amounts of tenses and intentions in what you're saying. I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed speaking French in France(,) and then I got into class and was immeasurable BORED. It's so fucking boring. Which I deduced as him just being a crap teacher, really. That must be it. So then I made 2 Parisian semi-friends this month(,) and got excited by the fact that we have something in common. Nothing really, apart from the ability to communicate in a second way. Languages are a web, like maps. I think I like Guillermo Kuitca. He seems quite interesting.

I don't name people in the blog. But I seem to have name dropped Celebrities quite freely this time. Celebrated people, famous ones. If I don't name people, my stories become quite abstract and it's only me who knows what I mean. I wonder who is reading the blog, 84 watchers so far. I was rereading an old entry, and I quite like the abstractness, the stories become mini morals rather than tales. (Quite nicely leading onto the fact that I just watched Maurice eating breadcrumbs off the surface, before poking near him with the end of a bread knife. That must make Maurice a celebrity.)