Archive for August, 2007

The Erotic Awards & Party

Tomorrow is the highlight of the year for all sex maniacs and perverts. Formally called ‘The Sex Maniacs Ball,’ it has been replaced by ‘The Night of the Senses.’ I like to call it the ‘Glastonbury of Sex.’ I have been going for the past five years or so and it’s a very organic affair. There’s really no other night like it in the world. Nowhere else will you see such a fantastic diversity of sexual expression. There are people dressed in rubber and leather, naked people, painted people, burlesque chicks, retro folks, evening wear, feathers and other finery. I’m still desperately deciding what I’ll be wearing. Last year I went very Marilyn Monroe in a skin tight leopard print halter neck dress and the likelihood I may drag it out of the back of my wardrobe again. It’s comfy and goes on and off easily which is essential at an ‘anything goes’ event.
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Acting and Directing

film_production.jpgAnother short course over at the London Film School is about to commence. This one is kinda quirky. It’s called “The Other Side of the Fence” with director Richard Kwietniowski (Owning Mahowny). It actually tests the theory that the grass is always greener. Actors and directors swap places, and the whole process is played out in this mode. Directors are always telling their actors to get inside the heads of their characters. This course allows you to get inside the head of your actor…to experience what they do, and to find ways to effectively exploit that knowledge to the benefit of both the actor and the director.

Check out the details on the LFS website. As always, I will be there to check it out.

Shopping for a Loan (Act II)

war.jpgSo, had our first meeting with our first bank, which, for legal reasons, will be code named “NW.” I have been banking with “NW” for nearly 8 years. This meeting was actually not my idea but Jan’s*. She works for the bank, and she called me up in a panic last week saying that hundreds of pounds worth of charges were about to be slapped on to my account because I had exceeded my overdraft.

*Yes, of course, the name has been changed.
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Shopping for a Loan

pigeon.jpgAh, yes. It’s finally come to this. Months of no paid work, and the overdraft is about to crush us like a stray pigeon on the street. Not to mention the credit card. I blame immigration, really. With a fee of 600 quid to renew a visa in this country, how can we expect to pay the rent? Anyway, we’re now in the market for a consolidation loan.
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Welcome to Mandela’s new statue: scrap SOCPA

laun.jpgA statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled in Parliament Square today.

It’s wonderful to see this great man honoured, but it’s a bit ironic that the statue has been placed where the free-speech-crushing SOCPA (Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005) aims to prevent Brian Haw and other peaceful protesters from exercising their civil rights.

Comedian Mark Thomas, writer of the excellent As Used on the Famous Nelson Mandela book about the British arms trade, writes that Gordon Brown will scrap SOCPA.

The statue is beautiful, but scrapping SOCPA and closing loopholes in arms trade legislation would also be fitting tributes to this man’s lifetime of work.

Drunk on a Wednesday Night

coffee%20cake%20and%20kink.jpg
The Belarusian says I should do more art. And, she’s right. I live in the middle of Covent Garden, and I hardly ever go out to art. Last Saturday night, PJ and I dragged our visiting relatives to the Southbank and took in a late Tate Modern (it’s open til 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays). I ran around to the usual bits for an hour before discovering that the “Global Cities” exhibition on the ground floor was more than just the triptych at the front. This is a pretty amazing exhibition dedicated to our ant-like obsession with building cities. According to the stats, 50% of us now live in cities, and this is due to increase to 75% by 2050.

“Not enough,” cries the Belarusian. “More, more!” So, I meet her at Coffee Cake and Kink on Endell (pictured above, and please note that they are looking for part time staff). It’s a shame I’ve never been in this place as I pass by it so often. It does just what it says on the box with a wide variety of strong (yet expensive) coffee, yummy cake and kink of all variety. All of the patrons were men wearing stockbroker suits. This was the middle of the afternoon and struck me as a bit puzzling. But then I remembered Bret Easton Ellis’ “American Psycho,” and it all made sense. Getting down the pigeon stairs takes concentration, but the comfy red sofas, fetish ink drawings and the display of glass dildos made it worth the risk.

After, we walked over to the Photographer’s Gallery, which I shamfacedly admit never having visited despite the fact that it is free and just down the road from my local Tescos. My favorite was Keith Arnatt, although I could have done without the pictures of the doggie poo. The other stuff was amazing: his obsession with the banal, his juxtaposition of nature with garbage. And, his wife’s letters on envelopes were heartbreaking knowing now that she is dead and this is what he has left of her.

Later, got drunk in the historic Albert Pub on Victoria St. with Petty and PJ. Cried in my beer over missing my fellow American Cassie, who is trapped in L.A. and can’t get out.

Taro

Image002.jpgTaro is a typical boy’s name in Japanese. Sometimes they add it to another boy name like Ken-taro or, my favorite, Momo-taro (peach boy). But, the “taro” I want to talk about today is at 10 Old Compton Street in Soho.

Out again with the Belarussian and Bro-inlaw (see pic of him left holding up his recently acquired Wacken Beach Towel). Also in tow were other out-of-town family members looking for cheap but not ratty eats in Central. I found myself drunk and hungry after only 2 pints. I admit right now to being a light weight. The Belarussian comes to the rescue again with Taro. Japanese food with loads of rice and noodles to soak up already consumed alcohol. Patient staff…that is, patient with me as I try to impress family members with my broken Japanese. They never let on that I am speaking rubbish like a 5 year old. And, there is Asahi Black for the goth Belarussian: “I like the taste…and it’s black!”

All and all, it’s a great, cheap place to eat in Central with or without your family (praise be to them for being more successful than you) whom you always accidentally stick with the bill as you step outside for a cheeky fag.

Al Fresco in Covent Garden

I can be super grumpy when the market is filled with you lot. It’s difficult enough to move my lazy butt to Tescos from my flat side of the Piazza without having to say “pardon me” a million times to the likes of slow-moving Midwestern women in shorts. But, this next bit is good for you ’cause the food will be awesome, and good for me ’cause, well, I have bad feelings about Tescos in Central London (see previous rants) and will do anything to avoid it.

It’s the Night Market, and it is truly awesome. Live performances, alcohol and 35 different food stalls ranging from Ginger Pig (well, I never…) to The Sporeboys famous mushroom sarneys.

Hope to see you there. I’ll be the one stuffing my face with chutney.

August 16th, 23rd and 30th from 17:00 to 22:00 in the Covent Garden Piazza
Official Site Here

Travel and Childcare Grants

Remember those film workshops at the London Film School wot I wrote about last week? Now Skillset has gotten involved by providing travel and childcare grants for the Technical Drawing class (August 20th to 31st). A good deal as this course is an intensive 2 weeks. You can email my mate Saskia for more details at s.vanroomen@lfs.org.uk. And, you can see more info here. I’ll also be there taking photos, but that is probably not as big an incentive to be there as the free childcare.

Feeling better already

Now the Tour De France has finished and those who had taken drugs through blood doping have been caught I’ve felt my own love for cycling returning. Today was a case in point riding through the country lanes south of London it just made me appreciate all the more what we have on our door step to the south.

Whatever you may feel about cyclists stupid enough to take something extra don’t let it put you off cycling as its you that’ll benefit and noone else.

Get out there and now the Sun is back, go out and enjoy your bike.

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