Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Miss Musing's Guide to Dealing with the Events of 2010...and Surviving the Events of 2011

Am sat in post-Christmas slump, having post-Christmas mulled-wine-fuelled rants with Lovemenot and listening to post-Christmas thrash-indie, namely The Backhanded Compliments and old-school Incubus (When I’m not loving Take That’s new one – brilliant)!  Am considering the events of the past year, my my what a whirlwind.  And whilst I am much looking forward to the trials and tribulations of 2011 (if 2010 is anything to go by, who knows what we’re in store for), I am also sat on the precipice being all poetic and thinking that something has to change.  So far I have a list of 32 New Year ‘challenges’ (I’m not sure they can all go under resolutions – actions such as ‘see a ghost’ are not really in my control). 

So, after much careful consideration, and a series of discussion points and general ‘whittling’ down of the 32 original resolutions outlined by myself and Lovemenot; I have compiled a list of both things to give up and things to take up…followed by a list of ten ‘com-muse-ments’ to see me through 2011.  Have a read, have a laugh…let me know how long you think I’ll last.

Miss Musing’s List of Things to Give Up

1)      Things bad for my temple of a body (a little vague…but there’s too much to go into here)
2)      Drinking (for one month)
3)      Bad boys (unless heavily convinced otherwise/it’s a good idea at the time…have talked myself in and out of that one in a matter of seconds-willpower, zero)
4)      Toms (with one or two exceptions…ok just one)
5)      Battery-swapping the remotes – just buy more batteries, for God’s sake, lazy.
6)      Whinging (unless for entertainment blogging purposes)

Miss Musing’s List of Things to Take Up

1)      Positivity (apparently it’s life altering)
2)      Running (I mean it this time)
3)      Study of paganism or witchcraft (just to add to the spiritual mystique of it all)
4)      More tattoos…more more more
5)      Actually being more upfront and open about potential feelings – towards those the feelings actually involve (have tried the 8-month-fawning-period-only-to-find-twas-massive-waste-of-time method – sooo 2010.  Sadface).
6)      Evening class to further potential creative career opportunity
7)      Singing in public, again.  This may be good therapy…hopefully for those listening as well.
8)      Saving money (am conscious of the need to save in this financial climate and also in hope of owning cottage with Cath Kidston kitchen in future.  Am also nowhere near Topshop at time of writing)

Miss Musing’s 10 Com-muse-ments for 2011 and all it may behold

1)      Thou shall not stress when forced to wait a) more than 3 minutes for a tube or b) for flat lift to descend more than one floor.  London hath made thou severely impatient, must find tranquillity in the small stuff.
2)      Thou shall not pick out children’s names before thou has even told prospective love interest how thou feels.  Thou does not want Dream Boy Mk 2 in 2011.  Heart remains numb, but this will change.  Hopefully.
3)      Thou shall not call upon the mystical powers of the Angel cards to give answers on a near daily basis.  Surrender all fear and trust in the promising hand of fate.  Even the Angels are now refusing to answer thou, this should be telling thou something.
4)      Thou shall lose lots of jubbly weight and regain some sort of work/life balance in order to pursue career as international best-selling novelist/make-up artist extraordinaire.
5)      Thou shall read one newspaper per week in order to keep on top of world current affairs.  Perhaps indulge in Guardian (Media – on a Monday) or Times (Style – on a Saturday)
6)      Thou shall resist all temptation from TO and other such inappropriate friends as thou knows this certainly is NOT the way to go and will consequently end up hurting/regretting much.
7)      Thou shall spend more time indulging in one of favourite past-times, knitting.  Starting with thoughtful present from Lovemenot (Knit Your Own Perfect Boyfriend) and culminating with Christmas Fairisle scarves for all.
8)      Thou shall become a tourist in London for day.  Thou shall ride the open-top buses and visit such wondrous sights as the Houses of Parliament, The London Eye and other buildings that simply pale into insignificance, as a citizen.  Thou MUST also take Mum to Lion King this year.
9)      Thou shall not give up hopes and dreams of fairytale romance, one that Emily Bronte would have been proud to have written.  However, must stop mooning around a la Audrey Tautou in Chanel advert, imagining Muse’s Exogenesis Symphony as soundtrack to life; or dreaming of wanderings on moonlit, rain-sodden moors in quest for true love.  Life is not a perfume advert/Disney-inspired concoction.  It is not good for the soul.  So thou has been told.
10)   Thou shall be inspired to save money for planned Interrailing/cycling European trip/festival visiting with Miss Lovemenot in the Summer…thou shall purchase cheap fold-up bike to prepare for such an adventure.

So there we have it…and before I set off to peruse the offerings of my wardrobe ready for a New Year’s Eve to remember at Proud…may I wish you all the Happiest of New Years and hope it may bring all sorts of fun and fabulous adventures to you all.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Woes of 'Lukin NYC'...and Other Reasons I Have Lost All Hope

Sat here, with Lovemenot, scaring ourselves with Crimewatch’s tales of premeditated gang robberies and other such attacks, I wonder what I am putting myself through. Most of it is going on approximately 80 miles away from us, but one can never be too sure. You see, as it has transpired, I have had quite enough scares for one week…namely my worst fears realised in the form of a social Internet-dating experiment.

I admit to having ‘bespoke’ and ‘interesting’ taste in menfolk. From the ginger-bearded and gnome-like, to the skinny-jeaned and hairy. There are the tattooed, the pierced, the paunched, the Garfield-photofits, the strangely alluring, the increasingly-strangely alluring, the grumpy and the downright shy. All of whom are beautiful. Most of whom could quite happily reside, convincingly, in The Shire. I have become quite accustomed to the looks of bewilderment and shock on the faces of my nearest and dearest when I am drooling over my latest crushes/enamourments, whilst they are trying to work out whether I’m joking or not. I never am. People expect it of me…after all back in the day when everyone was fawning over Dec, I was all about Ant. And his massive forehead.

Though the one trait in yummy menfolk I have always disliked and yet seem to attract , in the midst of usually trying to get the attention of the shy, cute friend, is arrogance. No matter how fluttery-eyelashed and Bambi-like I try to be, it’s always the arrogant or the chancers who approach little old me. Quelle Surprise!

So I decided to test this theory of arrogance. Considering this notion of arrogant chancers approaching me in a social setting, I wanted to investigate the idea that the same would happen in a far less intimate, cyber setting. So, for one week only, I put aside my personal feelings about online dating (in short - fairy tale princesses rarely sign on to the Internet to find their happy-ever-afters – see http://skinnymochamusings.blogspot.com/2010/07/serpents-of-serendipity-rear-their_27.html for more of my drivel), and set up a free profile. All in the name of research you see.

I put together a rather witty profile highlighting a few of my favourite things, tattoos, writing, shopping, a few lesser-known bands to really get the thinking caps ticking and posted a recent photo of myself in The Rose Print Dress (it works). And, amongst playing the new Adele song on Youtube far too much and trying to assemble some Christmas present ideas for friends and family, I waited with baited breath to see what sort of response my little social experiment would bring.

The Pantera-reject was first, with a ‘hilarious’ tale of a Cure concert he went to round about the time I was learning to join my letters together in Reception class. His timeless tale, where he pretended to be blind in order to get to the front, included a wonderful anecdote of him being escorted to the bathroom by a steward. Yup some poor gigging bastard could have been kicked to death, unseen by ill-informed security, during ‘Friday I’m in Love’ just so some long-haired idiot, could fulfil his dream of trying to lick Rob Smith. I would have had to be blind, deaf and dumb to reply to him.

Next up…someone I’ll simply call ‘Mr Illiterate’. The sad truth is he turned out to be one of many. His simple one-line ice-breaker of ‘Hi Lukin NYC’, somewhat baffled me. Was his name Luke? Did he live in New York? Oh no, wait, he’s just thick. Even the Google language translator couldn’t save me this time, so I engaged Lovemenot in some detection. And, much like a Whistles-clad Sherlock and Watson, Lovemenot and I concluded that he was simply trying to type ‘hi, looking nice’. Not the hardest three words in the dictionary is it? It’s even worse than text speak, it’s no speak. So I’m afraid Mr Illiterate, unlike Cheryl Cole, three words will not change your life, unless you learn (and may I add hastily) how to spell. Then and only then can you consider conversing with women, or members of the general public, over the age of three.

Speaking of which, I very much appreciated the compliment from a certain ‘Specialist UK’, more like ‘Special UK’, who simply said I was ‘Beartfuli’. I resisted, but very much felt the urge to reply ‘I’m sorry I don’t understand you, it must be something to do with BEING BORN IN THE 90s?’ For the record Mr ‘damn your cute (apostrophe followed by R and E you retard), fancy a chat hunni’ would also get no response on principle. Since when did it become ok to chat women up like you’re singing a Will Smith song?

There were gig-goers and all that. Men who, I am thankful, had actually bothered to look past the first line of my profile, or the cut of my dress, to try and find some common ground on which to start conversation. Some liked The Black Keys, others were keen to know what the best gig I had ever been to was (Michael Jackson, Wembley Stadium 1996 – Ha). Sadly though, there wasn’t a ginger beard in sight, so the social experiment continued, though full marks to the curly-haired one who spotted the Jimi Hendrix poster in my photo background.

This one interested me, so I thought I would give it a go and reply. The responses were quick and painless. He seemed fairly normal and quite keen to take me out on a date. I threw caution to the wind and gave him my digits. One photo, a few emails and some text messages later, he was suggesting how much he might like to ‘curl up on the sofa with me’. Yup sure, being that you don’t know what I look like in person or what my voice sounds like, I really didn’t feel this is appropriate behaviour. I gave him the benefit of the doubt for a few more days before deciding to cut it off as his texting and neediness, quite frankly, scared me. Am strong, independent woman seeking strong, indie-pendent man, not wet mop.

Some of the responses were shocking. Some of them want to use you. Some of them want to get used by you and some of them just want to get to ‘no you’. Um ‘Know way’ I say (I told you Mr Illiterate was not alone). They were blocked quicker than you can say ‘resign resign resign’. Plus there were a couple of mobile numbers thrown in email numero uno…desperate? A tad!

All in all I felt more and more disheartened by the whole process. By the end of the week I had received something in the region of forty emails, all of them charmers, most of them chancers and more than half wanted nothing more than to strut their ‘manliness’ in a ‘safe, Internet environment’. I believe I proved myself right. Obviously I feel it’s important to add, once again, if the world of Internet dating works for you, then do go forth and prosper. Date to your heart’s content, scroll through the profiles of exciting potentials and enjoy every single minute. But it still left me cold, and devoid of all hope of a Prince Charming on my interests and intellectual level. I concluded the experiment dying for a long, hard talk with someone ambitious, capable of more than one line sentences and who can preferably spell. But maybe that’s asking too much? I prefer to think not, and hope not.

Well in amongst all that harsh talk, I have great festive news fellow musings…after much deliberation between the powers that be at that magical land of ‘Head Office’, my store WILL indeed be closed on Boxing Day, much to the excitement of yours truly who can now OFFICIALLY go home for Christmas! Yes it’s going to be Mince Pies and Crackers all round this year once again as I sit at my rightful place around the dinner table with Christmas Top of the Pops blaring in the background. I can’t wait…though fear my bad side may get the better of me when negotiating the train journey home.

Although my momentary elation of Christmas cheer has been somewhat shattered with the news that Dream Boy, yes the one I have dreamed of and fawned over for the past God-knows-how-long, actually has a girlfriend. And discovered, quite by chance, on a recent fun, Jagerbomb-downing, bar-crawling night out with him and his mates; when one had every intention of making one’s feelings known. It was like taking a bullet, the kind that even a secret hand-squeezing from Lovemenot couldn’t quite retract. I’m surprised I didn’t fall off my chair, instead I gracefully died inside and wore an ear to ear smile whilst shamelessly flirting with The Banned One (TO). Nobody was any the wiser. But, alas, that is life, and if it’s not meant to be then there is nowt can be done. And if you like someone, then you want the best for them, so if he is happy then that really is all that matters. We are friends and that’s nice (trying to muster up some sort of positive mental attitude here), I can’t keep living with my head in the clouds. So long Dream Boy…the dream is over.

Alas, not one to want to ruin anyone else’s festivities I shall simply take the opportunity to wish you all an incredibly Merry Christmas. May we see this year out in truly fabulous fashion with friends, family and frolicking in the snow.

Mwah x

Friday, 3 December 2010

I'm So Wrapped Up In Your Gaze...Hoping This Is Just A Phase

Once again the blogging is lagging but the last few months, suffice to say, have been tough. I am still the one, solitary mug-of-a-keyholder at my store which continues to frustrate and annoy both me and my new Assistant Manager, who is stuck over in her store for various reasons until some magical date I fear has about as much chance of materialising as the dream I had about Serge Pizzorno last night. I came back refreshed from a week off at home to find that absolutely nothing had changed at work and that I was still expected to slave night and day grabbing whatever days off I could. Not only that, but they are now considering opening my tiny shop on Boxing Day, which means no Christmas time at home for me. Which makes me impossibly sad and a bit crazy.

Ever since year nought Christmas has always been about me and my tiny family, hobbiting around together, having a laugh at the TV, opening presents, getting dressed up in our finest for no particular reason and eating far too much. There will usually be a film on in the background that I will spend the evening explaining to Nanny Musing, my cat will rummage through the wrapping paper and emerge looking wide-eyed and cute and we’ll probably try our hand at a game of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Pretty standard really…and bloody perfect. And now, looking more and more unlikely thanks to the greedy, grubby Gods of fashion retail, who have managed to convert this once Christmas Sprite (who can still sometimes be found searching for Narnia in her wardrobe) to Miss Scroogess 2010.

So today, you find me somewhat absent in mind and body and somewhat devoid of Christmas Spirit, which is unknown territory for me. Usually I’m all tinsel and angels and full of Christmas cheer, fellow musers, I can assure you. But the thought that I may not be able to be at home with Mummy Musing and the rest of my family fills me with dread, to the point that I may be forced to cancel all my December plans in the lead up to the festivities and wallow in Scrooge-inspired self pity. With no tinsel. And no tree.

So in true Musing fashion, I have tried my absolute best to pull together events of the last few months to make my ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful’ in the vain hope of providing some entertainment and to remind myself that perhaps things really aren’t so bad after all.

Well the first thing I have done recently is shed the dog-hair and am now sporting a new Karen-O/Coco Chanel inspired bob. Much better, less straggle, more chic, better cheekbones. Winner!

Speaking of all things hairy, I have come to the conclusion that there is but one must-have accessory for this cold winter season. Push aside those hiking heels and shearling jackets, the camel coats and the knee length socks. The one thing I want to be snuggling up to by a cosy fireside is a beautiful boy…complete with extensive ginger beard.

Reason To Be Cheerful Numero Uno…Let’s review…and rewind back to the unspoken desires for Simon Pegg in Hot Fuzz, the unfathomable crush on Guy Garvey (rugged rugged rugged). Not to mention the distant memories of my first serious boyfriend, Joe, who was an elfin Ginger vision…though consequently a sad wannabe rock star with a hefty weed addiction and a toasty Nine Inch Nails hoody. In the end it seems there really was ‘no love in Rock and Roll’, yes a line he actually once used in one of our sixteen-year-old ridiculous ‘deep’ conversations.

So it seems 2010 has re-established my love of all things ginger (Gingerbread included), and I am beginning to see a pattern emerging in these men who appear so sadly infrequently in my life. Early January brought the lovely Bob to my attention. The man who took my tattoo-virginity and, therefore, became a whole lot sexier under the bobble hat and massive ginger beard whilst penetrating my skin with his magic needle. Throw into the mix his lovely soothing tones to calm my general fear of pain and the cute picture he had of his child on the wall; and he’s transformed from something you’d find fishing at the bottom of your garden into bonafide dream boat and all round hottie. Does anyone else suffer from this?

I’ll skim over the Tattooed One, whose ginger face is always unbearably lovely to nuzzle (much out of view of Dream Boy), the dalliance with Twat Rep, eye-flirting with the Ginger Prince and we are brought right up to the present day where my new crush, Mr Dan Aerbach of The Black Keys wowed me recently at one of their astounding gigs at Brixton. Sexy, bluesy rock, with a hint of Jimi Hendrix and Des Barres-inspired tales of 70’s excess, I’m all over The Black Keys at the moment, so much so that their album needs surgical aid in removal from my player. I’m also all over Dan’s hugely impressive beard, one bushy little number I felt could have taken my eye out right at the back of the stalls where I was stood at Brixton. And take my eye out he most certainly could with all that bristly gorgeousness… ‘his Next Girl, will be nothing like his Ex-Girl’…with any luck she’ll be a British rock and roll vision of Snow White with a penchant for white mochas and an extensive footwear collection. Ah one can dream…

So I guess Reason To Be Cheerful Number 2 should be the wild night out with Miss Lloyd (my ‘one too many’ friend) which culminated in us stripping to our undies and swimming in an indoor swimming pool, within the confines of the Aquarium club in Shoreditch. Miss Lloyd claims this was all my idea, I think I may have had enough G and Ts not to remember. Either way, I strongly recommend experiencing this if you haven’t already, not least because a nice warm Jacuzzi really sobers you up and drowns out the banter you just can’t be arsed to listen to. There is also the fact that you get to experience what it must be like to be one of those domestic, Nemo-style, tropical fishes with everyone staring at you through the tiny windows on either side of the pool (As if we’re mad or something?). I was waiting for them to drop fish flakes through the windows, the fish flakes never came and the walk home was bitterly cold. There was a boy, his name was Andy. He gave me a neon bracelet as a reminder of him, I think I threw it away. Note to self though; be careful not to get water in face or hair during midnight impromptu swim sessions. You may have chosen to go swimming on a night out yes, but that does not give one licence to spend the rest of the evening resembling Frightening Crawling Girl from ‘Ring’.

Reason To Be Cheerful Number 3 – I should mention the hilarious notion of a certain young waiter at a certain chain of Expressive Pizzas; that it generally is A-OK to hit on customers in front of their Mums! There I was, relaxing on a week off from London chaos, revelling in Due South repeats and Mum’s cooking and severe bouts of Cat-Cuddling. Out we went for dinner one evening with Goldie and Mummy Goldie, tucking into some lovely calamari and catching up on everything, it was lovely. I had noticed the waiter hovering around and barely recognised him as the chubby faced boy who I was once in a show with about ten years ago. He remembered me though (but sadly not Mummy Musing, who slaved in the costume department for about 6 years – some people), and conversation was struck up in a friendly manner, only to go downhill as he asked about my plans for the week and hinted at taking me out for a coffee. I was put on the spot, trying to find polite answers that weren’t, ‘but my Mum is sat right opposite me’. Nice guy bless him, and I got a free dessert but ultimately was not so keen. And the number casually slipped into my hands along with the ‘give me a text sometime’ shouted as I left the restaurant only prompted more ‘but my Mum is RIGHT HERE’. Guys…chatting a girl up in front of her Mum is not cool. Ever. One for the Grandchildren though!

Reason to be Cheerful Number 4 – I heart Proud, Proud hearts me. That’s why their New Year’s Eve extravaganza looks to be the best in town with DJs, Live Bands and Burlesque galore. This looks to be a monumental eve on the horizon… or just a mental one.

Reason To Be Cheerful Number 5 has got to be an amalgamation of Lovemenot and Kitty; two fabulous friends who have really picked my spirits up of late. Twas wonderful to see Kitty after a hideous 3 month separation, much falafel was eaten and we randomly browsed a lot of second hand book shops but it was lovely and I would like to thank her for the short amount of time that she brought me back down to earth (let’s face it, it’s never going to be a permanent state is it).

And a big thank you to Miss Lovemenot, who always sees the positive in the most negative of situations. She who takes control of my life when I am so not in the mood/mental state of mind to do so. She who does not write people/situations off as quickly as I do (mostly because she has a brain a bit like a man) and always tries to turn things around with either words of wisdom or harsh words such as, ‘please just try and focus on something else, for my sake if not yours’. Plus I have finally witnessed L going a big gooey-eyed and entering the ‘phone-staring’ phase of dating over a boy called Sam she recently met out. So I feel I have one up on her at the moment! What would I do without her? Answers on a post card please, a pretty one. For the record, the elusive Sam has dropped off the face of the earth (and landed on the Twat Pile I strongly suspect). Nevermind Lovemenot, there’s better out there…and he’ll be back in London soon enough!!

But in all seriousness, thank you L for it all. I’m so glad we have each other when the rest of the world (or just work and silly boys really) goes wrong.

So next time you hear from me, I sincerely hope I have pulled myself out of this pre-Christmas slump and will be, once again, back to the spritely bringer of good tidings and exquisite mince pies I know I can be. Until then, I am preparing to make like a hedgehog and hibernate against both the freezing weather and the continued stream of bad things happening. I am also planning to consume my weight in tea and satsumas Maybe, just maybe, I’ll write an extremely unrealistic list to Father Christmas and hope for the best….Until next time, don’t slip, don’t eat the yellow snow and please boycott any kind of Boxing Day shopping plans.