Friday, December 19, 2003

Coasting through life

It’s interesting when you get a glimpse of how other people subconsciously see you. My boss gave me coasters for Christmas: very pretty blue ones, with 50s pin-up girls on them. In the past year or so, I’ve received three sets of coasters. When I told Steve last night that Jean sent me coasters, he got all cross. Turns out he got me some this year, too. I can read many things into this coaster-buying: that I am the kind of person who does not tolerate rings on her 1960s coffee table or kidney-shaped dressing table, that I am a hip, urban, swingin’ chick who drinks a lot and entertains every night. The negative spin on these is that a) I am anal and b) I am a lush.

But who the hell cares, cuz I just got promoted! Aw yeah. A nice pay rise, too, which I will celebrate by taking my boy for baby back ribs and beer, and buying a new pair of shoes. (Probably black cons – it’s not that big a rise.) My friend Jon has a theory about pay rises, which is that it takes exactly two months to adjust your standard of living to your new income before you start to feel poor again. For the first two months you feel like Rockerfeller: there you are in the pub, buying your third round of the night. A glimpse of you through the window of Poste Mistress, paying for a pair of designer shoes you can’t afford and will wear twice. Then your ‘needs’ grow to meet your increased salary, and there’s no way you can survive on the money…

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I realised today that I’ve been lying to you all these months. The bit at the top of my blog says that it’s about “diary, books, recipes, crafting on the cheap”. Have I given you any recipes? (One. Back in June or something.) Have I provided a single useful piece of crafting advice? Have I fuck. Thing is, there are plenty of excellent crafting sites, and I could never compete with them for quantity and quality of information. So, like a true defeatist, I am not even going to try.

Winter is really here and my hibernation instincts are kicking in. Feel run-down and coldy and am convinced that the only cure is three days spent in bed reading and watching TV. Tried to do this over the weekend, but kept getting restless and going out. Plus have had hideous nightmares for the past two nights: last night I dreamed that I witnessed a giant lorry mounting the pavement and crashing through the wall of a church, interrupting a christening. The baby being christened was killed: I walked past the church and there was blood on the ground. The night before, I dreamed I was kissing a man I know, and it was really weird because I felt like I was cheating on Steve. Also, to convey that this man had a weird attitude to the ladies, my subconscious showed me a present his mum gave him on his 21st birthday: a beautifully cross-stitched sampler, spelling out “to my eunuch”. Huh?

Also, as if dreaming of babies being murdered were not bad enough, today I am a walking, talking fashion “don’t”. I should have a black bar over my eyes to protect my identity, like the real-life “don’t”s in fashion magazines each month. Wearing purple sort-of fishnet tights, winter coat with summer bag, hat that makes me look dead, and my mum’s 80s boots. I feel like I have taken fashion advice from Steve. (If I have a job interview and am stressing, I’ll ask Steve what I should wear. Invariably the reply I get is along the lines of “Antlers – your good ones – and a sou’wester. Also, galoshes and a thong.”)

Monday, December 08, 2003

What a weekend. I am fast learning that the world of publishing is not a very nice one, and underhand tactics haven’t been put to rest. In the bad old days, it was customary for editors to steal each others’ ideas and pass them off, and short of cursing and plotting revenge, there was nothing that could be done about it. On Friday night I was out drinking with the lovely Mr Saha, he of Finlay fame, when he happened to mention that a web diary we’re both hooked on is to be published as a book. When I heard this, my blood ran cold, as I’d proposed this idea to four editors at my company in January. None of them expressed an interest. Shortly after, one of the editors, head of the media list and 2002 Editor of the Year, left to take up a post with one of our Big Rivals. Now the book is being published by them in the new year. After speaking to several people at work, I’ve pieced together what happened. A woman who works here, who used to work at The Big Rival, remembers the (my?) book being brought up in acquisition meetings. Her friend is editing it, and she believes that the man I showed it to immediately passed it to The Big Rival. I didn’t think there was any legal recourse, but apparently a ‘no competition’ agreement was signed, and has now been broken. So that’s my news. I’m alternating between happy, sad and furious. Happy cos the author of the web diary is a wonderful, hilarious writer who ought to be read, and happy because my idea clearly wasn’t a bad one. Furious at Trevor Dolby (oops. slipped out) for stealing my idea and passing it off as his own. And sad because it would have been my dream book to work on, and I really believed it could be a success.

Ok, other than that, I drank a lot. Friday with the Open Democracy crew, Saturday with my sister and her boyfriend at his 30th birthday, then with Tim and Kyle, who is just ridiculously gorgeous and I don’t even want to be in the same room as her. This was at Mentasm, an irregular club help in someone’s flat in Stoke Newington. Going to Mentasm feels like entering an Austin Powers film, or, I imagine, Andy Warhol’s Factory. The kitchen is a bar (drinks tokens are bought from the coat check girl), the bathrooms are, um, the bathrooms, and the sleeping areas are cordoned off. Just a big, sparsely furnished space, then, with lots of drunk dancing folks. I had a beer, leered at Gruff from the Super Furry Animals (Jodie will be jealous… but he was there with his girlfriend), and laughed at skater boys wetting themselves cos Tony Alva was there… I wouldn’t know him if he bit me: I just saw a guy who looked like Craig Charles, and had an entourage.