02 November 2007

They will see us waving

Slowly I am filling this gigantic and unruly skin of work, pushing my puppeteer poles around in the appendages, making it amble a bit.

You haven’t seen the guts of a corporation until you’ve sat in the top-floor boardroom with a notebook, a pen and a 180 degree view of the city. These are the moments in which I’m certain I’ve been astral projected into the body of someone else. Someone who knows something about payment portals and annual targets and Pareto’s law.

But then I realise that I actually do know quite a bit. The litmus test is whether or not you can muddle through something you’ve never seen/done/thought about before, referencing only things you’ve done in the past.

I’m pretty good at my job now, and I’m even venturing into new territory, bringing others along for the ride. My crowning achievement so far has been talking the editor into writing a weblog for the online component of the magazine and then having him ask me if I’d write one too, from a foreigner’s perspective.

And a door I recognise opens.

We’ll see where it leads. At the very least, the premise automatically overcomes that difficult first breach of a stiff peel; with a practical reason to investigate the murky nature of the industry, I’ll be finally and truly stepping into this role for the first time.

That Scottish dude has to go, however. He’s not only touchy feely – he’s downright pompous, for no real reason except that IT people always think they’re shit hot.


No, it’s only sex. And French film.

Our last screening at the London Film Festival was Francois Ozon’s Angel, which never resolved into something I could fully appreciate. It seemed a half-assed attempt at ironic reflexivity, one that poorly masked the tired old tradition of fetishizing the female lead.

It made me uncomfortable in the same was as Cold Comfort Farm; given the bland nature of its setting and unlovable cast, all you could really focus on was the ethereal beauty of Kate Beckinsale and her stupid hair pin. Nice for all you virile young men, but what about me?

Here, I’ll save you the trouble

In this instance, the characters were so absurd and ugly (except for Angel, who was absurd and beautiful) and the dialogue so histrionic that you couldn’t possibly take it seriously. I kept waiting for a punchline that never came. Which lead me to believe (correctly, gathering from what Francois Ozon said during the Q&A) that I was meant to take it a bit seriously after all and possibly end up in the thrall of Angel Deverell. Which, nu uh.

One day I will make a film wherein Cillian Murphy does nothing for two hours but purse his lips and bat his eyes dewily at the camera whilst puffy schoolmarms powder his butt cleavage and sometimes discuss seventeenth century politics.


is the name of a song I recently learned on the banjo and a good description of what my makeshift trolley did to my hand as I pulled the damn thing over cobblestones and pockmarked tarmac and stippled surfaces that made the whole operation wobble and crash far too many times for practicality’s sake.

Ed says there’s a soft cover with straps that you can purchase to fit over your hard-bodied case if you want to carry it on your back. I’m trying hard not to be cynical here but you can see the dilemma.

This week I learned the awkward art of frailing, which basically means knocking the strings with the tip of your finger rather than picking them. It adds to the difficulty of avoiding strings you don’t want to pick, and I’m having enough trouble keeping things straight in the first place.

I have to sacrifice a lot of technique in order to play the songs in the manner in which they’re supposed to sound. Already Ed has coined my inexpert fingering ‘Friday Style’ and will sometimes imitate the uneconomical way in which I reach the frets, saying, “Actually, that feels quite interesting.” It’s going to get me nowhere in the long run though.


I’m going for phase 2 of my root canal today. Crap.

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