19 March 2010

Eurovision Revamp

My friend and I have been discussing by email our appalling entry for Eurovision this year (see previous blog post) and what could possibly be done to turn it from Euro Loser into Epic Euro Mind Blowing Winner.

We have decided that it is possible, but with no small amount of work. The song and singer have been decided, so we can't change those, but that is only a small part of any Eurovision performance.

So, here is my friend's Eurovision Business Plan:
I have concluded that they need to totally pimp him out, he is going to have to work on his upper body (I think he could have nice shoulders) and wear tighter than tight clothing, basically the dancing girls are going to have to carry him and are going to have to totally work it. An outfit change will be needed. I have listened to the song some more and whilst it is very weak it's OK. Sort of. But the performance/dancers/staging is going to have to blow it out the water. We need some sort of theme, just to have him will leave NO mark whatsoever, he needs a gimmick to hide his TOTAL blandness....basically ne needs to NOT BE HIM.

Based on this, I have created the following artist's impression:

I think you'll agree, it's an absolute DEAD FUCKING CERT. Your Country Needs You organisers, take note: this is the new format for our performance. Get working on it. You have two months and ten days to produce the above.

Suck on that, FYR Macedonia, you don't stand a chance. And FYI, FYR is a stupid prefix for a country's name and we've secretly all been laughing at you behind your back.

No I'm not a fucking dormouse

I haven't had much time for blogging this week, due to a combination of going out on staff jollies and actually being really busy at work. I know, me, busy, who'd have thought?

But anyway, I had a fun time last weekend on an Alice In Wonderland night out. It was our friend Alice's birthday, and so she had decreed that the night out would have a dressing up theme in her honour. This was fine, except that as with all these things you have to say 'dressing up optional' so people aren't put off. We like dressing up though, so we thought we'd make the effort, and here was the result of our labours:

In case you can't tell, I am the Cheshire Cat and Chris is the Mad Hatter. Pretty obvious, no? But apparently not to the people who said "Are you the dormouse?" to me on more than one occasion. Of COURSE I wasn't the fucking dormouse, look at my smile! So I glared at them, but this was rather undermined by the perma-happy expression painted onto me.

Here's another picture, complete with inflatable flamingo:

The other girl in it isn't dressed up, but that didn't stop someone saying "I like your wig" (it's her actual hair) which amused me immensely.

Anyway, I mentioned that it was 'dressing up optional'.

"There will be other people dressed up won't there?" we said.

"Oh yes, don't worry," said Alice. "I'm doing face paint and everything."

So we get to the pub and, er, NO ONE is dressed up. And we're stood in a normal pub, full of bemused looking staff and clientele, me in a pink and purple stripey H&M fucking cat print hoodie, and all our friends saying "Oo your costumes are great". Where the fuck are their costumes???

Alice is the one holding the flamingo. Can you see her face paint? It's there, look again. She had painted a SPADE on her face. A spade from a deck of cards, not a shovel. And that was it! That's not fucking face paint!

So I was mortified anyway, and sat in the furthest corner of the pub where people couldn't see me.

A few other people turned up in costume later, and they'd made quite a bit of effort actually, but bizarrely they'd "only come out for a couple" and weren't coming clubbing. Would you really get all dressed up in fancy dress just to come to the pub? So that was a bit odd anyway.

I had a good night once I got going, and we moved on to the Hanbury Club for We Love Pop after a while. I have to say though, £8 to get into the Hanbury Club is ABSURD. It's only a little out-of-the-way kooky club. So I'm not going there again if they're going to charge that for We Love Pop. It's never that expensive for Pop Kraft, I don't know how they can justify it.

Since the weekend I've had a fairly good week at work, but have been a bit rushed off my feet. This is good though because it makes a change from being bored.

We went on a nice staff social/jolly on Wednesday, in the form of a lunch out at Pinocchios and then a trawl around Brighton Museum. Everyone was horrified I'd never been to the museum considering you can nearly see it from my house, and actually I'm really glad we went because it was really, really good. I heartily recommend it to anyone looking for something to do for an hour that's free (well, voluntary donation, i.e. free).

And now it's Friday again and I don't know where the week went. I might allow myself a little drinkie tonight (as you know, I hardly ever drink) as a reward for being so busy and important this week. I deserve it after all.

16 March 2010

Your Country Doesn't Need You

OK, so I'm quite a big Eurovision fan.

I never used to be, but in the last 10 years or so I have fully embraced it to the point of someone needing to shoot me in the face I get so excited about it. Every year we have a big Eurovision party at our house, and there are home-made little flags and scoresheets and a sweepstake, and all guests are compelled to show excessive enthusiasm, or feign enthusiasm, or get out.

So, pretty much I don't think anyone could be more pro-Eurovision than me.

But what. The. Fuck. What the fuck was that they gave us on Your Country Needs you last Friday?? It was APPALLING.

First of all, we had half an hour of 'oo let's all spunk over Pete Waterman', which in itself isn't a particularly attractive image anyway. Admittedly, he has co-written some excellent songs in the 80s and 90s. But take note of that last bit, THE 80s AND 90s . His music has a very particular sound to it, which I enjoy and grew up with, but which is quite dated now.

And in any case, he hasn't actually written a new song for us anyway. He's just smooshed Kids In America and Better The Devil You Know into a single song, which does give it a familiar feel, but also makes you think 'er, this is a total rip off of something else'. Maybe he's hoping the foolish Europeans won't notice.

But that brings us on to our choice of act. They trotted out six unknowns (well, one of them I knew), who then proceeded to sing Pete Waterman songs out of key and of a quality that would get you three quick Xs on Britain's Got Talent.

I really REALLY wanted Miss Fitz to do well, as I remembered them from this year's X Factor where they'd had an AMAZING first audition. But alas, blame it on the microphones or the acoustics or whatever, they weren't in key and it sounded terrible.

So his highness Queen Pete eliminated three acts, although sadly not 'eliminated' in the Terminator sense, but in the thank you now get out sense.

This left us with one boy with a girl's name (Alexis - WTF? Would you not shorten it to Alex?), one boy with a big face, and girl with a good voice. The girl's going to win then, we thought.

But no. Even with only two songs to learn and perform, she somehow managed to forget the lyrics half way though (she could have just made them up, they were quite generic anyway) and the public quite rightly binned her.

And so now we're left with Josh from Basildon (Basildon for fuck's sake) as our Eurovision entry for 2010. He's got a fucking cravat on on the BBC Eurovision website! What the hell??

He'll be singing the instant not-classic That Sounds Good To Me, but I'm afraid it does not sound good to me, or to Europe, or to anyone else.

It was a disaster, a DISASTER I say. Bring back Michelle Gayle, she kicked ass with the song she wrote for Eurovision and would piss all over "Josh". I'm picking some other country to support, maybe Switzerland with their entry 'Il pleut de l'or', or 'Golden shower' in English (my own translation).

Fuck you, Pete Waterman.

11 March 2010

Can you fix stupidity with regulation?

No, you can't.

I don't know why, but people think that you can. Or probably more accurately, they are afraid that they'll get sued if they don't mitigate every possible act of stupidity that the public's infinite diswisdom can think of.

Someone was killed last year in Brighton after getting into a wheelie bin drunk and then falling asleep. A refuse lorry came along, emptied the bin, and he was promptly crushed to death, his body later found at a waste transfer site.

While this is tragic for the individual and his family, the 'revised guidelines' that have been issued for waste collectors are just absurd. Commercial wheelie bins will now have to have locks on them, and where possible they will have to be kept away from public areas. This won't stop people climbing into public (i.e. not commercial) wheelie bins of course, or the large and very comfy looking communal bins that feature on hundreds of streets in Brighton.

Why must we do this in response to every random act of stupidity? Yes, the guy made a mistake, he was drunk and it was raining, and it probably seemed like a good idea at the time. It's tragic that the bin happened to get emptied the following morning before he woke up. But it was a one off, stupid mistake.

If people are stupid enough to sleep in wheelie bins, then the responsibility for what happens to them lies with them. You can't devise regulations to cover every possible eventuality, and nor should you have to. Just the reporting in the media of what happened to this particular man should be enough for people to think twice before setting up home in a bin.

What will be next? You can't put broken glass in your bin, someone might climb in it and cut themselves. You can't throw rotten chicken in the bin, someone might come along and eat it; you must write "Warning, this chicken is not for eating" on it in biro, and THEN you can throw it away*.

Honestly, the complete lack of personal responsibility that we have today frightens me. Someone wrote on Twitter yesterday "Had an accident that wasn't your fault? Well suck it up and put it down to experience". I couldn't agree more.


* UPDATE Following publication of this post, I have been informed by someone who works at a well-known chain of shops that they are indeed told to pour blue dye over any waste meat before they throw it away. We're doomed, we are ALL DOOMED.

08 March 2010

Pop Kraft it Up

I had a fun night out on Saturday at this month's Pop Kraft. It's always good there, and seems to be the highlight of my blogging month at the moment. I just haven't felt like I've been doing an awful lot worth writing about. So instead, here are a few photos:

They always have activities at Pop Kraft, but normally we arrive too late to do them. This month however, we were in time for the cake decorating, and I was lucky enough to be assisted by Miss Dolly Rocket.

We made a very pretty cake, with icing and little silver ball things that I hope were edible because I ate them.

Dolly also assisted me with the eating of my cake. She doesn't go in for any of this 'small bites' malarkey, it's all or nothing with Dolly.

Boogaloo Stu entertained us with his unique style of performing. The glove/sleeve things this month were a triumph.

And Dolly and Chris had a nice cuddle. He enjoyed it more than she did.

The only other thing I did this weekend really was watch Up, the Disney Pixar film that everyone has been raving about. It was really good! Not like the best BEST film in the world, but very entertaining, and some of it was really funny.

The first bit is really sad, as they cram the lives of two childhood sweethearts from the age of about 8, through marriage and then retirement, into about 5 minutes of film. It's sad because, well, what do you think happens at the end of a long happy marriage, and look there's only one of them left in the movie poster -->

But after that it's quite a heart-warming tale of an old man's adventure with a young companion and a talking dog, and a house with lots of balloons attached to it.

As with any of these Pixar films, one of the best bits is the extra cartoon short you get with it. With Up it was a film called Partly Cloudy, that actually makes you laugh as much in its six short minutes as Up does in the whole film. Not that Up isn't funny of course, it really is, but Partly Cloudy is brilliant. I really like those short films they do; I still love For The Birds, the short that came with Monsters Inc, that has no human dialogue, but is hugely expressive and lovely to watch.

So anyway, that was my weekend. I've got a quiet week (again) this week, as I've pretty much done everything on my to do list, and I'm running out of ways to fill my day. I've been learning jQuery for the last little while though (a computer thing for geeks; it's fun, if you like that sort of thing) so that at least has been a distraction for me.

Next weekend is Mothers Day - a perfect excuse for my Mum to demand more attention than she does usually. I'm going to my brother's for a meal for it, which should be alright, and which means I'll only be out of Brighton for part of Saturday, instead of losing my whole weekend on a trip to London.

Oo yes, and it's also Your Country Needs You on Friday night, where we'll decide on our Eurovision entry for this year, so I'm really looking forward to that. And we're going out dressed up in Alice In Wonderland outfits next Saturday for a friend's birthday. I'm going as the Cheshire Cat, in an odd pink and purple stripey outfit, face paint and false ears. I'm not sure where we're going, hopefully not somewhere where'll I'll feel too ridiculous in fancy dress. I hope no one pulls my tail off too. Pictures to follow, if you're good.