gibbon-arsed ramblings of a hopeless underachiever

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

On towels, and the stinking thereof  

I should very much like to know what it is that men do to towels.

I'm sorry to break it to you, boys, but Man Towels SMELL. They smell damp and musty, but not just damp and musty. They stink, but not of any ordinary or recognisable kind of body odour or bathroom smell. The smell can not be likened to anything else. It is a cocktail of ming, that can only be described as "man-towel smell". And one man's towel does not smell the same as the next.

When I split up with my long-term ex, I had to abandon a towel that had been much-loved until he'd started using it. He'd had it six months, before which I'd kept it perfectly sweet-smelling for years. When he was using it, it was hung up in the same place as mine, washed at the same time as mine, with the same washing powder as mine and yet it stank so badly that when we were doing the division of spoils stuff and he said "Oh, this towel is yours", I had to hold myself back from writing him a sizeable cheque to just, please, for the love of God, keep the thing.

It's not that he didn't wash, and used the thing to wipe himself down, dry and dirty, either. I know he was clean. And he smelled good, most of the time. They do, y'see. The men. It's not them. It's the towels. Or it's what they do to the towels. What do you do to the towels?

Picture the scene: you're out with a bloke, you go back to his. He smells great, looks great, kisses great and just is great. You go to the loo. You wash your hands. You dry your hands on the towel hanging up on the door. It is the towel he uses in the shower. Error. You will now spend the rest of your time there trying not to retch every time you catch a whiff of your own hands.

In the past eight years, I've lived with ten different men (only one of whom I've got any sex out of - more blogging on that topic at a later date...) and it's been the same every time. And I know it's not just me, because I've talked to other lady friends about it. Lovely boys with stinky towels. And I cannot understand it. And I don't know what it means.

Other than that I feel like some dreadful, anal old witch, because I always insist on having clean, separate, too-small-to-use-as-a-bath-one-so-they-can't-be-tempted hand towels available.

And that when I find myself at the house of a "gentleman friend", I invariably have to avoid his advances for the five minutes or so it takes the arse of my jeans to dry off after I've wiped my freshly-washed hands on them.

And that perhaps if I ever find a man whose towels don't smell of Man Towel, I will have to marry him to bits.

Though how that will happen when I avoid having to smell men's towels, I do not know.

You can see how tricky it is.

posted by bandhag | 9/28/2004 05:18:00 PM

The washing machine came  

Even though they said this morning that it would not be coming. Because they are shit.

They did not install it, even though they charged me for this. Because they are shit.

They knocked a lump off the control dial while it was in transit. Because they are shit.

I had to do my washing at R&A's house.

I hate Currys.

posted by bandhag | 9/28/2004 03:50:00 PM

Go straight to the top of the class. And throw yourself off.  

Yes, of course I meant "eking" out my wardrobe, as in making it last for a long time. As opposed to "eeking" out my wardrobe, as in shrieking at the top of my voice until all the clothes inside ran away in fear.

Cram it, you odious pedant.

Who am I talking to?


This is what it sounds like
When multiple personalities fight.

As Prince would no doubt have sung, had he been mentally ill as opposed to being a sexy MF/squiggle/SLAVE/etc.

posted by bandhag | 9/28/2004 03:46:00 PM

Public notice  

I am ill and I am tired and I suspect I may be just a tad hormonal (evidence - I nearly burst into tears because M was chewing his dinner so loudly this evening).

And I have run out of clean clothes. And, if tomorrow I do not take delivery of the washing machine that I paid for almost four weeks ago and have been being fucked around over ever since, there is going to be a row the heat of which will rival the best thermonuclear device, at my local branch of [electrical store whose name is the plural of a popular indian dish].

A girl can only last so long with a perpetually tiny "eeking it out until laundry day" wardrobe before she totally loses it and right now I'm a hair's breadth away from (as I'm told the Australians call it) going totally fucking troppo.

Electrical retail salesman: do not make me strike down upon upon yo' sorry ass with great vengeance and furious anger.

That is all. Good day to you.

WLTM tomorrow - I'm too tired now, innit.

posted by bandhag | 9/28/2004 01:49:00 AM

Monday, September 27, 2004


I was just thinking about the dream with the "I must blog that" and then the forgetting what it was that I must blog and I remembered something that in real (non-dream) life I said "I must blog that" about so am writing it down before I forget so I can write it later:


posted by bandhag | 9/27/2004 11:37:00 AM


Full of cough and ache and a head that feels like it's been injected with that expanding foam stuff. Comfort can only be achieved through spending the entire day in pyjamas. Am investigating the possibilities of selling any superfluous major organs to fund hire of escort for various and sundry services including, but not limited to: food preparation (esp. chicken soup), hair stroking, blanket baths, lying on bed chatting to me until I fall asleep.

Ordinarily, this illness gubbins wouldn't stop me blogging but since I also can't seem to sit down and write anything at the moment without it turning into whiny, depressive, navel-gazing drivel, I'm officially throwing a sicky. Until this evening, anyway. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to crawl pathetically to my bed so that the cat can jump up and down on my head in a healing manner.

posted by bandhag | 9/27/2004 10:56:00 AM

Friday, September 24, 2004

I had a dream  

which ended with me thinking "I'm going to have to write a blog about this!"

Or possibly I said "I'm so todalleeee gonna hafta write a blog about this?", because in my dreams I, like, sometimes totally talk like a teenager? Like, for no reason? And I'm like "Oh my God", and it's like "Whatever" and like, maybe I'm trying to totally drive myself nuts?

Talking of which, we went out to a freshers' "do" at R's uni on Monday, and as well as hearing the worst cases of that "making everything sound like a question" speak, I was also extremely alarmed to note that not a single one of the under-20's filling the room was able to dance. At all. I'm not exaggerating - we're talking people utterly devoid of a sense of rhythm and who just flailed around uncertainly like a bunch of very young geography teachers. I strongly suspect that we were bearing witness to the first generation of people who have no clue what to do on a dancefloor unless there are flashing arrows telling them where to stamp their feet and a little cartoon character throwing the real shapes... In a few years, I expect dancefloors at clubs will be sectioned off into a grid of individual dancemats, the directions projected up onto a wall, the clubbers stamping around in unison, smiling only when the instructions tell them that doing so will gain them extra points.

No, I don't really think that. I'm over-egging some kind of metaphorical pudding. I supsect the lack of rhythmn had more to do with the fact that many of those present have probably yet to discover a) booze b) drugs and c) sex. In a couple of weeks, they'll no doubt be strutting their stuff like... Fuck, I dunno. Make up your own simile, I'm tired.

Er, yeah. So. The dream. Turns out that, try as I might to recall the rest, the sole thing I can remember is thinking that I needed to blog about what had just happened.

I'm just like "Oh my God, I can't remember my dream?" and you're all like "So you wrote this post about nothing and wasted our time?" and I'm like "Pfff" and you're like "Whatever!" and I'm like "Is it." and you're like "Serious?" and I'm like "Kill me now?".

Let's dance.

posted by bandhag | 9/24/2004 01:00:00 PM

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I have Internet access.  

I also have what your grandma would call a Dicky Tummy, thanks to the "One Last Takeaway" I let M persuade me into having (or was it the other way round...?) before I start the next push in my healthy eatin' regime.

Stupid poetic justice...

posted by bandhag | 9/22/2004 11:56:00 PM

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


No, R and A, I'm not using precious Internet time at your house to update my blog. Good gracious me, no.


So. Since I wrote here last, I have:

- met the lovely Neil Oeillade again.

- fallen off a chair while fixing some lights at the club. The chair ripped a gash about 2-3 inches long into my left buttock. It hurt like a motherfucker. It bled like a thing that doesn't bleed terribly much, but enough to alarm you. I was wearing brand new jeans, and they got torn too. Having already mooned people in the toilet ("OH MY GOD! It's huge! You're going to need stitches!") I then stood in the DJ box with my arse hanging out while Superstar-DJ-Trainee-Doctor-All-Round-Bionic-Woman R fixed me up with plasters. God damn, I'm one classy bitch.

- danced and boozed until 3 am of the morning I moved house.

- moved house and felt surprisingly alert and fine all day.

- unpacked. A bit.

- been to the gym several times.

- built a satisfying amount of flat-packed furniture.

- been out for a night in Camden (oooo, new places - daring).

- got pissed off with my useless ISP more times than I care to remember.

- celebrated R's birthday with Thai food and beery goodness.

- probably done many many other things so exciting I can't remember them now.

I want my home Internet access back. I can't check all your blogs at the moment or even the comments on this one, as I don't have time - I need to spend all the time I'm online doing my work.

Except for this ten minutes, obviously...

So, um. Yeah. Be good. I'll be back soon.

posted by bandhag | 9/15/2004 03:20:00 PM

Friday, September 03, 2004


I have to back-up my computer.

I've never backed up my computer when I've moved house before. I've only ever backed the fucking thing up twice in two years - once when it was about to expire and once when I was formatting the hard disk. But a few days ago, I thought "Perhaps I should back up my computer, just in case".


Because even though I've never backed it up any of the other times I've moved and it's always been fine, my superstitious little brain is now telling me that there is no way I can not back it up now. Now that I've thought of it, I've got to do it, otherwise it's guaran-fucking-teed that this will be the time the computer gets dropped/loses all data/gets sucked through a tear in the space time continuum and ends up in the Delta quadrant.*

So, I shall be wasting precious packing time in trying to back the computer up. And then I will be gone. Not sure how long for - I've got three weeks without broadband, but may try to brave the horror of dialup for a while.

Be good, take care and don't forget to turn all the lights off when you leave.

b xxx

*Yes, that is a Star Trek reference. I'm under pressure here, people.

posted by bandhag | 9/03/2004 08:42:00 AM

Feeling pensive  

So, the 50 Cent thing has got me thinking a lot. Thinking about stuff that shouldn't be in my head while I'm trying to juggle the complexities of removal vans, getting the electricity supply switched on at my new house and which box to pack my bubble-blowing Hello Kitty in.

Mostly I've been thinking about music, and about why I'm not making any. What seems like centuries ago now, I was a singer in a couple of bands. Not very good bands, not bands that played many gigs or anything, but I was singing regularly and creating stuff with a group of people. And it felt great. But I was never really sure of myself. I wasn't happy with the way my voice sounded on tape - nasal and much higher than it sounds in my head. Probably sorted that out between now and then, though, with the number of fags and joints I consumed over the years... I was just never really sure whether or not I was any good. I would agonise over it and found it hard to believe people when they said I was. I figured that since they were my friends, they probably wouldn't say if I was truly awful.

Ever since the last band I was in split up, I've kept saying I wanted to be in a band again. I started playing the bass. I want to get a guitar. I'd like to learn how to use whizzy music-making software things. I've done a tiny weeny bit of DJ'ing. It was one of the things I said to myself when I was going to move down here - "I'll find a band when I'm in London". I've recently started thinking that, if I learned to play the guitar to a kind-of-reasonable standard, I could do stuff on my own instead of waiting for a band to come to me.

But I realised the other day, the truth is that I'm scared. I've been waiting all this time for someone else to ask me to be in a band, because I'm not convinced enough of my own abilities to start something myself. I don't want to be bad at it. I don't want to be average at it. I want to be good - really good, and I honestly don't know whether I am or can be.

And I'm actually a bit scared of the indie music scene. On the one hand, you could say that people are discerning - that they know what they like and what they don't, that they can tell good musicianship from bad and are into their music enough to either passionately love or passionately loathe things. But if it was me, if I was making music, knowing the things people say and think about bands, knowing the way people laugh at a missed note or even a stupid haircut or ill-advised choice of clothing, I just know that I would be paranoid a huge amount of the time. Paranoid that people were slagging me off or hating me, judging me and ridiculing me.

I often read interviews with famous musicians (particularly in indie/alternative music) who talk about how they were always the outcast geek at school, that they were bullied by "jocks" and were shy and lacked self-confidence and that music was their only outlet and release. So how do people like that ever get the courage and confidence to go "Wow, this stuff I've made is really good. I want other people to hear it. I want to stand up on stage and let other people judge me"? It seems to me that being in music is like being at school, with the popular kids, the unpopular ones, the ones who hang around on the outskirts, not really involved. If you're into sports, you're judged solely on your skills. If you want to be in music, you're judged on everything from your skills to the clothes you wear, the company you keep, your weight, your attractiveness (especially if you're a girl), the genre you play - you name it. You need to be really, really, really fucking good if they're to overlook all your other faults, and baby I have plenty.

So I'm scared to do it. I'm scared to stand up in front of people and say "Ok, I think I'm good at this", in case they turn round and say "No, you're really not". Or worse still, pretend I am and then turn to each other and whisper "No, she's really not!". And the idea of being just "ok" fills me with horror. What's the point? You need to either be great or at least believe you're great - I hope to God nobody ever goes into music thinking "Well, I'll just do my best. Doesn't matter if it's no good".

It's the same thing with writing, the other "thing I really want to do". As well as not being sure exactly what I want to write (much as I'm not entirely sure exactly what kind of music I'd like to make) I'm too scared to really go for it, in case it turns out that I'm actually rather shit. I almost as though I feel it would be the most terrible affront to others if I held myself up and said "I think I'm good enough at this to show it off to you". And I'm really not fishing for compliments here, trust me. I can see the irony in writing about this on a public weblog, but this really is just me getting my head scramble out and into text form. I only ever intended this blog to be for me - the fact people read it and seem to enjoy it is a happy bonus.

But these fucking fears. They gum up my ideas factory. I sit down and try to write - lyrics, a story, you name it - and nothing comes. And yet, when I'm trying to work or walking to the gym, stuff will pop into my head every now and again that I actually quite like and try to remember. I've started jotting them down now. But they don't come enough for me to make any kind of living (or set list) out of them.

I suppose that right now, the root of all this agonising (which I do quite regularly, though this is the first time I've written about it here, I think) is the impending Significant Birthday, which is filling me with all these "It's a bit late to start this now" thoughts. Music, in particular, is a young person's game. Yeah, of course I know there are great musicians who are 30 and over, and it's not like I'm looking to get famous anyway, but these musicians started young. They didn't start playing/gigging at my age. And the writing thing - since getting jacked from that one freelance job, I've been toying with the idea of doing some kind of post-grad course - possibly getting NUJ accredited or doing a creative writing thing so that I could look for work writing stuff that I'd actually enjoy. But I'm put off by the fact that I already have a degree and a Computer Science masters - I don't want to look like a perennial student type who can't settle to anything. How do I make my CV say "Look, this job is the stuff I've always wanted to do, but I had to do this other shit to pay the bills"?

Meh. Sorry. I'm thinking myself in circles and it's time for bed now. I'm just floundering a bit. I'll snap out of it soon enough, I always do. I'd just kind of like it if this time I snapped out of it and was suddenly convinced I could make it happen, and knew how to do so, rather than just pushing it into the "deal with it later" drawer at the back of my brain.

posted by bandhag | 9/03/2004 01:24:00 AM

Thursday, September 02, 2004

I had an incident  

in my new flat the other night. I went round to measure up my new quarters (yes, yes, I know - I'm a dreadful geek. But planning is the doodah of wotsit. And so on) and pushed my bedroom door shut behind me. When I went to leave, I noticed a curious thing. My bedroom door has no handle on the inside. None. Just smooth, flat door-ness. "That's ok," I thought "It's still open a bit, I can just kind of pull it by the edge".

The door was not open a bit. The door was stuck fast, as it obviously needs a bit planing off the top (yeah, I can speak in DIY - are you in awe yet?). I could not just kind of pull it by the edge. After ten minutes of trying, I remembered I'd just dropped the keys round to R&A's for M. Imagine, won't you, my joy and pride at having to call my friends and ask them to let themselves into my new flat and break me out of my bedroom...

It is just generally the comedy bedroom of ha ha, this one. We also noticed the other day that (presumably because my room was once a front room) my light switch is out in the hall. Meaning that M, or any visitor who stumbles in and needs a light in the hall, will no doubt accidentally plunge me into darkness or switch my light on in the middle of the night with hi-hi-hi-larious frequency. Given that I a) am terrified of the dark and b) fucking HATE being woken up in any kind of shock fashion, I'll probably end up smashing the switch and living by candlelight after a week. Or something.

In other news, while my present flatmates are lying on the sofa in front of QVC, being ill (sickness and headache - some strange bug that in no way has anything to do with a night spent in the pub last night, oh no sirree) and my new one is spending a day visiting museums and dining with friends, I have been up since 7 working, will break for "lunch" to phone round various places and spend ages being told how my call "is important" and "someone will be with you as soon as possible" and then spend the late afternoon and evening in a packing frenzy.

*dramatic sigh*

You can call me Joan of Arc, baby.

posted by bandhag | 9/02/2004 10:58:00 AM

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Oh my god, I almost forgot... of my other best bits: I insisted on spending a couple of minutes at the main stage drooling over Brody Dalle before we went off to some better band somewhere else. During the exact three minutes I happened to pick, the cameraman was choosing to focus on her mouth, a close-up of which was being shown huge style on the stage-side screen for me to gaze at in wonder.

Cameraman, I owe you a pint.

And Brody, sorry I forgot. Call me. We'll do lunch. And stuff.

posted by bandhag | 9/01/2004 09:15:00 PM

So, the good stuff  

I'm guessing you don't particularly want to hear about how I worked my A-rab mojo at Currys getting M and I a cracking deal on white goods, or the details of the ridiculous set-up for gas and electric at my new place, and how we're going to be without hot water or heating for the first four days in there, so I shall forge straight on with a very quick round-up of the best bits of Reading.

1. Morrissey. Fucking amazing. I'd been looking forward to him the most, but even so, I was blown away by how great he was live. He did Smiths songs! And was just generally fantastic, a great showman and had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. Why he wasn't headlining instead of The White Stripes who, from the sound of it, phoned in their piss-poor performance from the comfort of the inside of their own arses, I'll never know. He ruled, he rules, end of.

2. Jurassic 5, The Bronx, Radio 4, Mondo Generator (who we kind of stumbled across half-by-accident, and were great), Pretty Girls Make Graves and Supergrass were all especially fab too. It's odd - Supergrass have played almost every festival/outdoor gig I've been to, and though it wouldn't necessarily occur to me to go to a gig where they were headlining, their sets are always really great. I heart Supergrass.

3. Spotting celebrities in the backstage bit. Alex Zane, Miquita off Popworld (that's a set now - do I win some kind of prize?), James Redmond (Finn of Hollyoaks, Abs off Casualty) and his ridiculously pretty girlfriend, Peaches, Har Mar Superstar, possibly a couple of Libertines, though we don't know them well enough to be certain, wild-haired man from Hundred Reasons, singer from Bloc Party, Steve Lamacq, etc etc. Schmart. I only made the mistake of pointing once. It was at Peaches. She was looking the other way, so I think it was alright.

4. The stir-fry noodle place nearest the main stage. Om nom nom nom nom.

5. The mud, come Saturday, which had turned to soft spongey plasticiney loveliness that was actually quite pleasant to walk on.

6. R&A's mahoosive tentzilla and my new airbed, both of which ensured I slept like a baby. Particularly apt simile, as babies only sleep about four hours a night. Also, R&A's pickanick table, which enabled us to slurp morning coffee without fetching a case of piles off the floor. Nice. Who says ATP has spoilt us?...

7. Baby goths - a kid of about 11 with a full-on mohican particularly springs to mind. Makes me almost tempted to put my lady bits to use for the sole purpose of producing something I can dress in DMs and stripy tights.

Almost. But not quite.

8. Not personally coming across any toilets that were heaped up with human faeces. Always a bonus.

9. The "Oo, I'm actually quite surprised - they're really good live" pick of the weekend - The Streets. I managed not to cry during "Dry Your Eyes", but it was a struggle.

10. The my-age-ish men who, in a drunken attempt to chat me up, seemed to be suggesting I only looked 16. Arf and HAR - you made me chuckle, fellas.

posted by bandhag | 9/01/2004 08:14:00 PM
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