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(1) Oh for Pete's sake #1 We had that Bono in our office yesterday. The entire floor was completely starstruck, and 'casually' walked past the meeting room and pretended to 'accidentally' stare in at the window in a fashion which completely blew any appearance of cool we might have thought we had. The top nobs who were actually invited to the meeting swooned at the man's erudition. I swear to God, I expected one of them to croon "but he's so DREAMY" any second. Bono heard that someone in Top Boss's office was from Tipperary and gave her a smooch and was generally utterly charming and enthusiastic. H, who is actually from the same part of Dublin and had mutual acquaintances with the blessed pintpot didn't utter a word because she had met him once before and wasn't that impressed. Honestly. She could at least have pretended to be impressed so he would come over to our desk. But H has many friends and acquaintances from the artistic firmament and is resolutely unmoved by that sort of thing, where as I am always happy to be gobsmacked and starstruck. Bono was sans sunglasses and wore a suit that probably cost my monthly wage.

Oh for Pete's sake #2 Existence of giant sea-going scorpion fossil suggests that in the past there may also have been giant, GIANT spiders. That's it. I am *definitely* never travelling in time, no matter how many nattily dressed, converse-wearing, ADHD-prone young men invite me to come see their "sonic screwdrivers" in their "blue box". Also, a huge attack by killer jellyfish has wiped out Northern Ireland's only salmon farm. So I'm not going swimming there either

Oh for Pete's sake #3 The Times was holding a competition to find a motto for Britain, to match "as American as apple pie" or "liberté, égalité, fraternité". Personally, I loved "Dipso. Fatso. Bingo. Asbo. Tesco" and "Mathematically we could still qualify" as a summation of this great country's achievements (see #4). Though "We apologise for the inconvenience" has a certain Adams-esque ring to it. The winner was "No motto please, we're British". Bloody typical but better than the rah-rah-rah ones winning. I once read a story that Canada held a competition to find the Canadian equivalent of "As American as apple pie" and the slogan that won was "As Canadian as possible under the circumstances". I really want that not to be aprocryphal.

Oh for Pete's sake #4: England, my England. Why are you SO WOEFUL AND SHITE? I wonder why I love football so much some times, particularly on nights like this. Scotland played brilliantly and went out on a high. England played like overpaid prima donnas and threw away chance after chance. With yet another clueless, skill-free, supine performance against Croatia, England crash out of the European Championships and still Second Choice Steve won't do the right thing and quit. What we need now is for the FA to sack him and throw buckets of cash to Jose Mourinho. At least if England lose then, they'll have a good-looking, witty manager.

Oh for Pete's sake #5 Spooks was completely ridiculous this week, though not anti-American for a change. The set-up was completely preposterous and annoying and the scriptwriter wants a good smacking, and I am disturbed by the insertion of the Ben Kaplan character for reasons I cannot fully articulate but which have to do with the replacement of Danny by Zaf and Zaf by Ben Kaplan. Next week looks like there's more movement on the uber-arc though, thank heavens.

Oh for Pete's sake #6
The government has lost the data of 25 million people in the bloody POST, but it's okay because it's only their names, birth dates, bank account details and the names of their children. So nothing that would be useful to fraudsters or specialists in identity theft, then.

(2) Work Crap day altogether. Found out by happenstance that I do not work for the department I had been assuming I worked for, even though my wage comes out of their budget, and thus am not entitled to the one-off payment they have negotiated to work two extra hours a week, even though I work at least an hour a day longer than they do every single day and have been doing so for two years. Also, our wage claim from April 2007 still isn't settled and we have yet another mandatory fucking meeting to attend next week. I almost lost the will to live during the meeting today. Much discord and unhappiness.

(3) At last, a meme I can relate to, instead of the endless "what did you wear to your prom" type questions (Answer: NOTHING, because I didn't go to one except in the JOHN HUGHES FILM OF MY IMAGINATION)

1. When was the last time you ate a pasty?
Last year some time. I gave up pastry as part of the vaguely devilish pact I struck in October 2006. I have never pastied since though there have been several sausage roll incidents.
2. Did the Moomins freak you out as a kid?
Nope. Didn't watch 'em. Ludwig freaked me out. I much preferred the days when it was Ivor the Engine. Shhhhhrrrr-ty-kufff, Shhhhhrrrr-ty-kufff!
3. Got any A-Levels?
Yes: English, History, Economics, French and General Studies.
4. What's your favourite pub?
In London: The Three Kings in Clerkenwell. Tiny backstreet boozer, all stained glass, wooden bar, open fire, Thai food of a lunchtime, dartboard, good ale and the occasional celebrity sighting (well, Anna Friel and David Thewlis and the staff of the NME who turn up to win the pop quiz)
Outside London: I have extremely fond memories of the Coach in Stalybridge, where I did a LOT of drinking back when that seemed like a good idea.
5. What's your favourite pub grub?
I don't eat much in pubs but there's a pub on Clerkenwell Green that does a mean fishfinger sandwich with thick-cut chips
6. How about curry, do you like it and what's your fave?
What a stupid question. It's curry, I grew up in England, of course I like it. Tandoori King Prawn starter, chicken passanda, mushroom pilau, naan, at least two poppadoms, thank you kindly. The Star of India in Leytonstone sends me a seasonal calendar each year. They know me that well. And what would I do without scenic pictures of Kolkata and Simla?
7. Which national saints days do you celebrate?
None. Though 90% of the country seems to discover Irish antedecents every St Patrick's Day and I am the only person I know who doesn't have one somewhere in their lineage. It's depressing really.
8. It's Christmas day. Morecambe and Wise or the Queen's Speech?
Morecambe and Wise, of course. Even though I think I know them all off by heart by now.
9. You are having a dinner guest over. You find out it's a SUN journalist, what do you do?
Talk about the stories they couldn't publish because they didn't have enough for it to be lawyer-proof, because that's some quality dirt right there.
10. What did you get up to last Guy Fawkes night?
Stayed in, as the best stuff wasn't on the day this year

(4) Birthday I missed lots of birthdays while I was away up north last week but to misquote the West Wing, it would be a kindness if we could set aside how late I am and embrace the fact that I showed up at all. A very happy belated birthday to barkley, hesychasm, sharinlilbit and thefourthvine.

(5) Karaoke soul On Saturday, as a belated birthday celebration, we're going out to get sloshed and sing songs at a karaoke bar. I don't actually want to do it, I discover, I just want to have *done* it. It is on the list of 30 things I want to have done by the next big birthday, which I must post to this LJ some time so that I have a record of them.

(6) Holiday cards. Only I can see the results. All answers welcome. (ETA Most of my stuff is packed down in one of about 30 boxes so please don't assume I have your address if I've sent you one before)

Do you want a holiday card of some kind?


If yes, my address is...

(7) A million points to anyone who can tell me where the subject line is from. Honestly, a million, because I don't know.

(8) Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating it.


( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
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Nov. 22nd, 2007 02:18 am (UTC)
Hi, I haven't friended you for long, but I filled out the poll in case you were wondering who I was.

-Mel L.
Nov. 22nd, 2007 02:23 am (UTC)
Pleased to meet you.
Nov. 22nd, 2007 02:24 am (UTC)
Google knows all
Apparently the vertigo quote is from Douglas Adam's Last Chance To See, which I haven't read. Here is the relevant passage.

"As Canadian as possible under the circumstances"


I'm sorry to hear this week's Spooks was disappointing. I'm several eps behind. At this rate, I'll be lucky if I caught up by Christmas. *sigh*
Nov. 23rd, 2007 12:22 am (UTC)
Re: Google knows all
Thank you; now I look at it it does seem Adams-ish. I have Last Chance To See somewhere. I shall have to dig it out.

I think they're finally going somewhere with the arc next week. I hope so. The trouble with the way this season has played is that they have to stretch it out to fill the time and use the plots that they were storing up within it. Sometimes that works. This week it felt like they had had a plot on the backburner that had nothing to do with the arc and shoehorned the arc plot into it and it made no sense. I've gone completely tinhat over Spooks again this season and I am irrationally annoyed every time it isn't as good as I think it should be. I had forgotten what that kind of fannish engagement felt like.
Nov. 22nd, 2007 02:33 am (UTC)
I do so love your infrequent posts.

Nov. 23rd, 2007 12:23 am (UTC)
Thank you ::blushes:: I try to post more frequently but I don't have enough to say. I'm not really watching anything but Spooks and my life? She is not exciting.
Nov. 22nd, 2007 02:37 am (UTC)
"As Canadian as possible under the circumstances"

I love that SO MUCH.
Nov. 23rd, 2007 12:24 am (UTC)
So did I. And now I am told it is even true! Huzzah etc
(no subject) - musesfool - Nov. 24th, 2007 11:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 22nd, 2007 02:47 am (UTC)
"Mathematically we could still qualify"

Oh, that made me laugh so hard. :D

Always good to read one of your posts!
Nov. 23rd, 2007 12:26 am (UTC)
Alas, it is the last straw to grasp before insanity sets in. It is the football fan's equivalent of sending sekrit messages by the colour of clothing
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 23rd, 2007 12:30 am (UTC)
Bless you for finding that out
Nov. 22nd, 2007 04:00 am (UTC)
I don't know that phrase either, but I want to know as well.

The winner was "No motto please, we're British".

I thought the motto was "Still, mustn't grumble." Or possibly "leaves on the tracks," which phrase always makes me crack up.

I wish they sold pasties in the US, because, at least with them you can pretend it's a meal, unlike say a bag of M&Ms. I found something very pasty-like in the gourmet frozen section of the grocery store, but that seems very... unpastylike. To be frozen, and called gourmet.
Nov. 23rd, 2007 12:33 am (UTC)
I like "the wrong kind of snow", which was an excuse for the late running of trains a few years ago. When I lived up north, one very hot day the trains were late and some bright spark wrote on the noticeboard: "Reason for delay: wrong kind of sun"

Pasties cannot be gourmet. It removes their essential pastyness if they don't have otter giblets, slices of donkey bollock and other random unadvertised things in them.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 23rd, 2007 12:37 am (UTC)
It's the sort of all-singing, all-dancing cock-up that made Britain great, oh yes it is. I read today that it also had all their national insurance numbers in and the reason they sent it all out was because Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs were too cheap to pay a specialist computer firm to strip out all the sensitive data and send the National Audit Office just the information they needed. Now TPTB at HMRC are going "but the discs are still in our buildings! We've just.. mislaid it. Yes, that's the word! Mislaid! We don't know what you're all so worked up about!"

Someone advertised "two discs, appear to have 25 million names on them" on eBay.co.uk yesterday. It was very funny but eBay removed the listing. Spoilsports.
Nov. 22nd, 2007 05:20 am (UTC)
What? "Mind the Gap" didn't make it?


Nov. 22nd, 2007 10:30 am (UTC)
I was about to suggest this too! It works on so many levels!
(no subject) - infinitemonkeys - Nov. 23rd, 2007 12:38 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 22nd, 2007 05:44 am (UTC)
Nice to hear from you!
The winner was "No motto please, we're British".

I love that. Hundreds of years of a culture should not be condensed into an allegedly pithy one liner.

Take Care
Nov. 23rd, 2007 12:39 am (UTC)
Re: Nice to hear from you!
I agree but I still liked the idea of trying *g*
Nov. 22nd, 2007 08:04 am (UTC)
you know, I'd love to send you a card also, but am not positive I have your address. (I think I *might*, but just in case, can I get your address?)

please send to: dinerd at earthlink dot net
Nov. 23rd, 2007 12:59 am (UTC)
Done. And thanks.
Nov. 22nd, 2007 10:35 am (UTC)
I will fill out your Britishy poll, because I'm amused.

1. When was the last time you ate a pasty?
Ages ago. I had a Scotch pie about 3 years ago, I think, but it was in North Hollywood, so it was no good.
2. Did the Moomins freak you out as a kid?
Never heard of 'em.
3. Got any A-Levels?
We have no such thing here.
4. What's your favourite pub?
The King Harry in St. Albans isn't bad, though The Goat has good pizza and live music. Here in L.A., probably the Cat & Fiddle.
5. What's your favourite pub grub?
Cheese & Onion crisps; sausage rolls; fish & chips; soup; Ploughman's lunch; I could go on and on.
6. How about curry, do you like it and what's your fave?
<- Anti-curry.
7. Which national saints days do you celebrate?
We don't have any, unless you count St. Nicholas.
8. It's Christmas day. Morecambe and Wise or the Queen's Speech?
If I actually had that choice, probably Morecambe & Wise.
9. You are having a dinner guest over. You find out it's a SUN journalist, what do you do?
Ask how to get a photo published and make millions.
10. What did you get up to last Guy Fawkes night?
Is that the day after Xmas? No, that's Boxing Day. I do know that whatever the date, I didn't have a bonfire.
Nov. 23rd, 2007 12:41 am (UTC)
It's sad that you don't like curry but I see how it might violate the rules of food. (November 5th, btw, for the fireworks)

Sorry to miss you the other day but I am having trouble getting up in the morning at the moment
Nov. 22nd, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC)
Waves! Didn't fill in the poll because you have lots of proper friends to send cards to without me muscling in!

I must go and fill in your real, proper, British meme - I too get fed up with questions to which the answer is 'I know not this X of which you speak'!

As for a motto - as well as all the excellent suggestions already I rather like 'With drizzle and occasional showers'.
Nov. 23rd, 2007 12:43 am (UTC)
Hello! Muscle in if you would like, the card offer is there.

And yes, do fill in the meme, it was so nice to talk about Ivor the Engine and A-levels for a change so I am sure you would enjoy it.
(no subject) - curiouswombat - Nov. 25th, 2007 12:15 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 22nd, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC)
I am so with you on Item #2. That is just ... disgusting. In so many ways, evolution has worked in our favor, you know?

Also, maybe the motto should have been "No Whinging (FFS)".

:: blows you kisses ::
Nov. 23rd, 2007 12:45 am (UTC)
Yes. Giant spiders, millipedes, jellyfish (which actually we do have because the longest creature in the world today is a jellyfish)? Do Not Want!

You could have the motto "No Whinging (FFS)" but that would mean that half our national discourse would be gone off the bat. If we didn't whinge, how would we know we were alive? And watching football?

Hope you are enjoying pie day!
Nov. 22nd, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
SQUEE! Bono! In the office! But, sadly, the most squee-able part of that commentary was the fact that he was sans sunglasses. Maybe that will be more of a trend in the coming years. We can only hope.
Nov. 23rd, 2007 12:46 am (UTC)
I did hear he is loth to take them off because he hates his wrinkly eyes but he didn't seem so bad from about 15ft away. The people who heard him speak said he was absolutely terrific.
(no subject) - corianderstem - Nov. 23rd, 2007 02:05 am (UTC) - Expand
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