Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wrap Up Warm

I've just read the life changing advice that women should wrap up this winter when they party as they are more at risk from illness in skimpier clothes. Is today that slow a news day? This is not ground breaking news, now is it?

I've started to plan my New Year's Eve outfit of a mini skirt, strappy top and boots. I will be snuggly wrapped up in my beanie, mittens and Bradford City scarf because, while the winter is milder "dahn sarf", I'm still bloody cold.

Anyone who goes out without a coat is daft in my books. You don't tend to see it so much in London but up in Yorkshire it's rare to see people out on the lash wearing a coat. You see, we just don't like having to pay money for someone to watch our coat. Nor do we like lugging it round all night.

I used to work in the coat room of a nightclub in Bradford. I used to get through so many books and never took enough coats to cover my wage but it was an easy job nonetheless. Plus, my friend worked on the bar next to the cloakroom and he'd slip vodka in to my free soft drinks. In some ways I miss working there.

Then again, when I put my coat, stuffed in my bag, stuffed in my bloke's coat pocket, into coat rooms in London (some Northern habits die hard) I still add up how much of a pint I am wasting by spending that £1. I also add up the time I will waste at the end of the night waiting to get my coat back because I always lose my ticket, without fail.

It was suggested once, by a lovely coatroom man, that I slip it into my bra and that, should no shennanagins happen, I will not lose it or forget where I put it. It worked too. If only I could remember to do that all the time.

My Role as a PA

I started my week's temping work yesterday. So far I have not met the woman I PA for as she is away this week. This makes me pretty much a professional phone answerer. Well, I am when the other guy in the office doesn't get it first.

I am being paid to sit and do coursework so it is not that bad and I shouldn't really moan, but by heck I am bored. The office is quiet. My friends are four floors above my head. They pop by to say hello because I have to sit here in case the phone rings.

I might go for a wander later or maybe muse on the day's current affairs.

MSN is bust as well.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Mini Rant

I live with 5 other people which means there are 6 of us in a five bedroom house. Four of those people are men. As you can probably imagine the place gets a bit messy from time to time so we have a rota system on the go. Each Sunday everyone tidies their allocated area and the communal areas stay reasonably tidy the rest of the week because no one likes cleaning up everyone else's mess.

That's the theory anyway.

Recently, this has not happened. We have got two new house mates, one of which has not really taken to the idea of cleaning each week. Also, if one person doesn't do their job on a Sunday then other people tend not to. So, my house has deteriorated in to scum. Last week I had enough and cleaned the majority of a very large house by myself.

I politely asked everyone to do the last 2 rooms between them and could we please do the rota properly this Sunday. So, two days ago I was expecting everyone to have mops at the ready to clean, polish and tidy the not-so-messy house.

I went off to Camden to buy some hair dye and on my return I found one housemate sat hungover in the living room, surrounded by beer cans and remnants of the previous nights take away. I'm sure he was very relaxed while I cleaned up around him.

Off I went to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, but not before I cleaned up all the dirty pots and put them away. As you can guess not one single person did their cleaning and now, as they all depart for clean parental homes for Christmas, I shall spend my Christmas Eve tidying up the mess that they did not have the decency to clean themselves.

I move out in June so I may have gone completely loopy by then but at least in six months I will have a clean place of my own. Except for the boyfriend's mess.


Can someone answer me this question?

Why is it too expensive and time consuming to have an inquiry into bombings that happened in London, when the Government can have an inquiry into the atrocities in Egypt?

Surely the loss of life in the UK is just as deserving and inquiry as the loss of British life in terrorist attacks in Egypt, or anywhere?

Language Barriers

It is about time that someone spoke up against the language we use. This does not refer to the plethora of abusive and offensive words you'll hear on the drunken streets from fighting couples in the coming weeks, but to the choice of words we use, almost unthinkingly in every day life.

Language is man-made. Men wrote the alphabet that we see today and men created the words that are so naturally learned from birth. There are certain words which are so ingrained into our lexicon we think nothing of them until some loopy left-wing PC comes along and demands we call a dustbin man a refuse technician. Ok, that is a silly example and it is quite true that the work of the politically correct tends to work against the average thinker of this country who would like to see racist and sexist words discarded from our language.

Which is why I think that Morgan Freeman's attack on America's Black History Month is long over due in coming. The PCC Code states that reporters must not refer to a person's race unless it is integral to the story. For instance, if the story were to report a description of a murderer the police were hunting then it would be okay to mention the suspect's race as that is relevant to the story. Yet, it is a natural assumption that if the description said: "A man, aged between 25 and 35, medium build..." that the suspect is white because we are so used to seeing a reference to race when someone is non-white that it is logical in not mentioning a race, the person in question is white.

It is not just race that is problematic concerning our use of language, it abuses gender too. It barely needs mentioning that the word feminist is now a negative term which is used to insult women. How many times have you heard the argument, "I'm not feminist but..."? It actually makes me sad that so many women fought and died for what they believe in just for some women today to denounce those freedoms which are rightfully ours.

I don't want to go in to a social essay about the history of feminism and how the fight didn't end with the vote yet, patriarchy in inherent in our society because it is so inherent in our language that on the most part, we think nothing of it.

I was watching E4 yesterday to see an advert for a game show called "Bamboozle" or something along those lines. The premise is that anyone can be a Jodi Marsh and become famous simply for being famous, but where women are concerned it is usually involves getting their kit off. What shocked me most was the use of language in the advert, "fine young filles." I'm sorry, but did I somehow end up watching a Roy Chubbie Brown DVD by mistake?

Please feel free to argue with me and say it is all just a bit of fun. However, what goes in through the eyes and the ears, comes out through the mouth and the actions. When you refer to women as girls, objects or pieces of meat, you are supporting that inequality and making it more naturalised in our society. Is it right that future generations will think it is perfectly normal to call a 2o-something year old woman a girl? I officially stopped being a girl when I was 18, so don't call me one.

I am not a lady either, I have no airs or graces and I certainly don't act lady-like. Why should I? It is time for that well-worn example that if a woman goes out and gets sexual pleasure from a number of men then she is a slut; if a man does the same then he is just doing what normal men do.

When I was younger I was advised to stay a virgin until I was married because men prefer to marry virgins and not the woman they have already slept with. There are so many things wrong with this statement that I am not sure where I should even begin. However, I am quite sure that part of the problem is the language we use.

Morgan Freeman said the only way to end racism was to "stop talking about it." That needs a change in our attitudes, the way we think and the language we use. The latter being the most difficult to change.

I have spoken mostly about language being used to create inequalities between men and women because, as a woman, I am more confident on that subject. However, the theory is just the same for every inequality. Change the language and then change the thinking. It is a mammoth task that has gone wrong in recent years but it is our job to readdress it for future generations.

Don't let that grumpy old Yorkshire man be right for every generation:

This Be The Verse - Philip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

Cheers x

It was confirmed on Friday that I would not be ticking boxes next week, oh no, I would be someone's PA for a week. I have been told by a reliable source that this new boss has been through 5 PA's in the past year and makes them walk her dog. Also, as I thought I'd be ticking boxes all week, I've got tickets for The Red Chord on Sunday night. The singer from my blokes band owes me money for his ticket and I had already assigned that money for beer. It's at the Underworld so drinks won't be that much but I really shouldn't start my first day with a steaming hang over, even if it is for a week.

Plus, I have to meet some people I used to work with on Monday lunch time for a pub dinner. I can't afford that so I'll be ordering a coke and eating my butties back at the office.

I have stocked up on Super Noodles for next week. 39p a bag and you just stick them in the microwave.

Thursday night I went to see Arch Enemy and Strapping Young Lad at the Astoria. I bought my boyfriend the tickets for our sixth anniversary, which was in November. Strapping Young Lad are one of the most entertaining bands I have seen live. No masks, no make up, no costumes, just Devin Townsend and some great metal.

I was never a massive Arch Enemy fan before I saw them on Thursday but I am a convert. I love this woman.

Afterwards, me and the bloke went to the Crobar for a couple of beers and maybe a shot of Jagermeister. After an hour or so we got talking to some people who had been to the show. Then I got approached by a guy who was the drum technician for SYL, he came to tell me that the drummer liked me and would I go talk to him?

Well, me + drinks = charming and witty. So off I went to talk to this drummer, my boyfriend looking very embarrassed in the background, to tell Mr Drummer Man that if he wants to talk to me he should approach me himself and not send over his crew members. I continued that I was here with my boyfriend for our 6th anniversary and am not interested anyway. This, is as he was stood with a few groupies telling him how wonderful he was.

He then asked me where my accent was from, Yorkshire I replied. Please bear in mind I had been drinking for a few hours by this point and I doubt I could string a sentence together. He then told me he was from Bradford and I couldn't quite recall if I had answered his question with Yorkshire or Bradford so proceeded to point at him and lecture him about how it is not funny to take the piss out of someone because of where they come from and I am very proud of Bradford.

Turns out he did used to live in Bradford for a few years and was a regular from the one metal club there, where I worked, and thought he recognised me. Oops.

Tis the season to be jolly

Legal Implications: Please note that if you attend this carol service, it will classify as a spontaneous demonstration (of faith, hope, joy and/or religious tolerance) and there is a possibility that you will be cautioned or arrested under Section 132 of the Serious and Organised Crimes and Police Act 2005