Thursday, November 30, 2006

Stuff that's going on

The problem with being so reliant on American gossip blogs for my material, is that by the time I get up those guys have all gone to bed. So I'm afraid I don't really have much that is new to report this am. OK Ok, what I mean to say is, no new Britney crotch shots - sorry folks.

Men's magazine Arena has conducted a survey asking readers to vote for the most undeserving icon of the year. I think we were all shocked and amazed to hear that Pete Doherty was the man they chose. These people clearly don't recognize talent when they see it, I mean, how many guys do you know that can get arrested on drugs charges and possession that many times and still not be in jail?

In other news, Elton John is in Australia, and when asked what he has to say to their PM John Howard re. his government ban on gay marriage, Elton replied, "Up yours!" I think he really struck a blow for the team with that well-thought out articulate reply.

Oh, and despite that appalling Chanel commercial, Nicole Kidman is now Hollywood's highest-paid actress.

On a final note I found this link, which shows what Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson's kid would look like, if they had one. Funny and yet strangely believable.

The image of Daniel Craig at the top is not just an incidental bit of eye candy. No siree, if like me you are reticent, thanks to all the bad press about him, to go and see it, don't! I went and watched Casino Royale with Roberto last night, and it rocked! It's a non-stop action-filled roller coaster of a movie, and Daniel Craig is brilliant. In fact, as far as acting goes, the guy really takes the role and makes it his own - giving us a Bond that is dark and far more complex than we have seen before. The one-liners are delivered with genuine wit, and we are spared the cheesiness and cliches. If you are Bond fan, this is a must see.

Picture c/o love-actually.269g.net

Stuff that's going on

  • Yep, it's knickerless Britney groundhog day - even more crotchless shots. You ask yourself why she keeps doing it? Well most of the sites I read daily crashed this week due to people looking for these pictures, and I myself had in excess of 80 hits today alone thanks to people searching for them. And so your question is answered. We live in a demand and supply world people - sad but true.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Seperate yourself from other men

This afternoon I got an email with the enigmatic subject header telling me I needed to 'separate myself from other men.' I wondered which men these might be, before realising it was sent under the assumption that I myself was a man. Was there something my mother failed to tell me?

Inside, there was one of those brilliant one-time special deal offers for new 'Penis enlargement patches.'

Did you know that with these you can:
Elevate your sex drive to new levels?
Maintain erections for longer periods?
Help realise a new degree of sexual confidence and control?
Raise your ejaculation volume?
And last but not least - get deeper penetration?
The patches, which come in either steel, silver, gold, or platinum packages (steel contains10 patches - platinum 65), also come with an exercise manual. Yes guys, because you can't expect to just slap on some ol patch and have things happen for you - you have to exercise things down there too you know. No pain no gain and all that. God only knows if the exercise manual is illustrated or not - we can only hope they didn't use photos.

I'm not sure I get the whole raised ejaculation volume thing. Is that for people who want it for the purpose of having kids, or is it just a macho man sort of show-off thing? The whole thing is weird and disturbing in a way I cannot even contemplate.

Deep breath and streeeeetch

I went along to an Iyengar yoga class today at the gym. I arrived a bit late and slightly out of breath, wondering where the instructor was, until I realised that the small pot-bellied middle-aged Scotsman who was wondering around was the instructor. Oh well, I thought, and got my mat and settled into the class.

Brian, as he is called, was amazingly limber for someone who looks as though they enjoy their food and or pints as much as he does, and the class was in fact very good. For some reason, I always go along thinking I'm going to have an easy ride at a yoga class, and half-way through I'm swearing at myself for my stupidity.

I've heard good things about Yoga from friends; it's supposedly beneficial to toning, posture, and stress reduction. Probably not so hot re. cardio and fat burning, but I reckon if I keep running late for my classes like I did today, and have to run all the way to the gym to make it on time, then I'll be killing two birds with one stone.

Still, I haven't really been exercising since I married Robert, and though my weight has pretty much stayed the same, I'm getting soft again, and certainly tired and sluggish. I don't want to become weight obsessed like I was before, because that's just sad and a waste of time - but there's nothing wrong with being healthy, and if it gives you a nice booty at the same time, then why not?

On what would tyler durden do, there's a flame war brewing between the Americans and the English (again) thanks to an article some British twit wrote suggesting that Lindsay Lohan's stupidity may be a symbol of the poor American education system, based on a letter she wrote following Robert Altman's death.

Whatever your thoughts on this, I think it's stupid and wrong to generalise in the first place, especially when the person you are referring to as the so-called symbol, was probably off her head on some or other substance when she wrote the incomprehensible misspelled letter. Ever tried writing something when you are completely and utterly stoned and or drunk? I want to see how articulate you will be - American, British, Indian, Turkish - whatever. Jesus. Next those fools will start on about the war again, and who saved who's asses in it. It's getting old people - old.

Katie and Pete - a whole new (outta tune) world

I think I was one of the few people who had a strangely open mind about the possibility of Katie Price having singing talent - I mean, with those big lungs ... Anyway, I digress.

Thanks to Hollywood Tuna, I've been shown the error of my ways. If you watch her and Peter Andre's 'Whole new world' music video (which redefines the meaning of cheesy, I warn you), they sound OK - and for people who like that sort of music, probably quite good actually. However, watching their live performance is like witnessing an audition for the X Factor, the kind in which Simon Cowell Stops them mid-way and says - 'Don't give up your day job folks, that was rubbish.'

Pete's at least in tune - I mean the guy can sing sort-of. But without studio equipment to fix and tweak things, Jordan is way out. Oh my, it sounded like a cat's mating call, or a bunch of girls coming out of the pub at 11pm. Sorry guys, not impressed.

Picture c/o Hollywood Tuna

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Allen Carr dies of lung cancer

Allen Carr, the man who helped millions of people quit smoking with his self-help books, has died of lung cancer, aged 72.

According to Yahoo,

Mr Carr was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer in the summer. He was a heavy smoker with a 100-a-day habit before giving up over 20 years ago and making a name for himself helping others do the same. But friends say that the years he spent curing smokers in smoke-filled sessions at his clinics must have contributed to the illness.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Weeds


There's a certain irony, I guess, in that the day all those nasty Britney crotch shots surface, I had to go and expose my own self for an internal exam with the nurse. Fortunately there was no pain this time, just the usual abject humiliation. Still, I guess it could be worse, I mean guys get a finger up the bottom - eeew.

Right, onto less revulsive topics

It's still oddly warm for this time of year in London. This makes me think there may be something more to this global warming business that Tony Blair keeps banging on about, than just a handy diversion tactic for the fact that our soldiers should not be in Iraq or Afghanistan.

I had a massive clear-out of my bathroom cupboards today, getting rid of all the half-used Dr. Hauschka, Espa, Shiseido, Estee Lauder, and Liz Earle products I no longer use. I really have to stop this cosmetic hoarding business I have going - it's an expensive and clutter-inducing habit.

I bought this week's issue of Hello! magazine, and they really do have official (not all previously seen before) photos of TomKat's wedding. So if you're keen to see them, pick up a copy.

On a final note, did anyone get into the US TV series Weeds? Robert and I were a bit late to discover it, and recently watched season I, and are now firmly into season II. We are totally and utterly hooked. It is the funniest and sharpest dialogue I've heard on TV in a long time. The casting and acting is brilliant, and the episodes fly by. If you are keen on a smart, outlandish, sometimes shocking, hilarious, and entertaining bit of television that is incredibly well written - this is a must see.

Pete Burns Unspun

Pete Burns as most of us remember him in his heyday

For those of you who, like me, were around when the wheel was invented and remember the song, 'You spin me right round baby, right round, like a record baby, right round, right round ...", well you'll recall that the leading vocalist was Pete Burns.

Well Pete sort of disappeared off the radar, and then resurfaced on the UK version of Celebrity Big Brother recently, causing gasps of disbelief due to his outlandish appearance and the freakish amount of cosmetic surgery he had undergone.

Well, for all of you who were fans of Pete and his er, train-wreck appeal, good news: he's back in a documentary on Living TV on
November 30th at 9PM, entitled 'Pete Burns Unspun'.

According to worldofwonder.net:

After his appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, his career was re-launched and primed for success. But within months of finishing the show, Burns would see his world unravel, finding him fighting bankruptcy, his boyfriend and the legal system. After several arrests for threatening and violent behaviour involving incidents with his then estranged boyfriend, he was jailed for two months for breaking bail conditions. This documentary follows Burns from his first day of release, when he is ordered by the courts to reside with an unknown obsessive fan responsible for bailing him out, to the gradual process of picking up the pieces of his shattered life.
And here's a little taster, thanks to Perez.

Can't wait.

Pete as he looks nowadays


Pictures c/o: foreverill.com and tiscali.co.uk

Oops she does it again


Apologies for the cheesy and predictable subject header, but then again, we are dealing with a cheesy and predictable person, so I thought it was fitting. Britney flashes her la-la again. Nasty.

I know I shouldn't keep posting this stuff, but I guess like so many other people, I'm just really gob-smacked as to why these girls keep doing it. Tell me, honestly, is it a turn on to anyone out there? OK, I can think of one person... .

Picture c/o what would tyler durden do?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Stuff that's going on

When I saw these recent pictures of Nicole Kidman, I thought she looked weird. Weird as in she'd just won a year's supply of botox and decided to use it all in one go. And now it turns out she looks like this because she's apparently pregnant. Don't you know that getting pregnant these days means you actually look skinnier than you were before and 10 years younger? Remarkable.

In other news, looks like Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock are getting a divorce. Yes, after a record of less than four months of marriage - now that's what I call a good example of old school values. As Dlisted sagely commented, at least they'll always have this photoshoot to remember each other by.

Did anyone else notice that Britney and Paris were both only wearing one stocking each in this picture? It's right up their with that half glove thing that she did in terms of forward thinking fashion. Brilliant - truly brilliant.

Picture c/o wwtdd.com

Britney Spears shows us what's important

Now that we've all seen her la-la, Britney's showing us her butt. Good god woman, this is what happens to you when you hang out with Paris. From trailer-trash to prostitute in a nano-second.

And on the subject of the new BFF's, Perez Hilton is covering the unfolding events of the the latest who gives a shit? feud between Britney & Paris vs. Lindsay Lohan. Forget starving kids in Sudan, and global warming folks - this is what we should all be focusing on right now.

Picture c/o Perez Hilton

J-Lo and Posh discuss fashion label

Oh god have mercy, like the world doesn't have enough unpleasantness in it, now rumour has it that fur-loving J-Lo and Victoria Beckham aka The Toothpick, appeared to find common ground at TomKat's wedding, and even discussed designing a fashion line together. I can just imagine how the conversation went:

J-Lo (lying through her teeth): I love your hat.
Posh: Oh thank you darling - I was channeling the Scientology theme - you know, the flying saucer look.
J-Lo (cringing): Yes, um, well you look er fabulous.
Posh: Thank you darling - you look fabulous too. Have you read my book?
J-Lo: The crappy, I mean, fashion tips one? Er, no, but I'll have my PA order it right now (makes to go for her blackberry).
Posh: No need sweetie - it just so happens I have some here (snaps her fingers for her lackey sister Louise to get one out of a large bag).
J-Lo: Ooh er, thank you. Listen, it was lovely catching up but I really need to go and mingle.
Posh: Ok ta love - let's get together some time and discuss clothes, throwing up, you know - life.
J-Lo (running with the greasy-looking Marc Anthony in her wake - what does that man put in his hair?!?): Yes, er, that sounds great. Byeee!

Jo-Lo then files a restraining order against Posh.

The investment coat

When I voiced my need for a good winter coat, everyone and their uncle stood up and screamed 'Max Mara!' So off I went with the delectable Roberto to Max Mara on Bond Street - or is it New Bond Street? Anyhoo - as with most of the shops on this strip - the interior and staff are designed to intimidate. Clearly whatever sweat shops are used to manufacture Max Mara stuff are far superior to say, sweat shops that manufacture stuff for M&S. But I digress.

Their coats are gorgeous, don't get me wrong. But although I wanted an investment coat, it didn't mean I wanted to invest the equivalent of a small African country's GNP to get one. Call me crazy, but spending in the area of £600 for a coat felt a little on the excessive side. Yes yes, trust me to like one of the more expensive ones - and it wasn't even made from the fur of some poor dead animal either.

Despite a hangover being somewhat tired, Louise and I headed towards Fenwicks in Newcastle on Sunday, and after much deliberation, the likes of which included the magic words, "That one makes you look taller and thinner", I was sold on a Max & Co black coat, for a much more reasonable price.

Some of the designer ones I looked at were made of the exact same material as mine, and were double the price - and they didn't even make me look taller and thinner - so there.

On a separate but related to shopping note, Robert and I have started our online Christmas shopping in earnest. We are off to the in-laws this weekend for an early celebration, as none of us are going to be together on the 25th. I've had requests for my wish list, and have to say I'm totally stumped. I've come up (repeatedly) with the uninspired response of 'Gift vouchers please.' so that I can use them to get a few things for our trip to Australia, or better still, in the January sales.

When I was a kid, we only ever got stuff on birthday's and Christmas, so we chose very very wisely, knowing that if we blew it, we'd have to wait a long time for something like a doll or a record to come our way again. That's of course until we got our various weekend jobs and could afford to buy stuff our ourselves. But my parents were strictly against giving us gifts outside of these occasions, being of the belief that this sort of practice spoilt a child. Hmm, my mother doesn't seem to follow that practise with her grandchildren - hypocrite!

It's probably for this reason therefore, that I'm very pragmatic when it comes to Christmas presents. I always ask someone to give me a list so I can get them something they actually want and or need, and so they don't land up with things like soaps on the rope, or singing toasters, or some other novelty crap. These things just seem tacky and wasteful to me, but year in and year out, you always see them on sale in the shops, and what's worse - people buying them.

I think the ultimate Christmas present would be a teleport machine, so I could nip between, Australia, South Africa and England on Christmas day, or better-still, shove both Robert and my family into it so we could all enjoy Christmas together. Now that would be cool.

Sophie's Hen weekend in Newcastle

The entourage
L to R back row: Katie, Lisa, Me, Veronica, Nazia, Lea
Front: Louise, Belinda

Stag meets Hen


Sophie and I discover 'the cage'


This weekend in Newcastle (the 'a' pronounced the same as the 'a' in 'at') was a blast, not least of all because the people up there are so damn friendly. OK, no jokes about people everywhere being friendlier than Londoners. I'm not sure what it is, but from the staff in our hotel, to people in restaurants, and even the blokes who bought our hen group shots, despite knowing they weren't going to get any - there was just a certain openness to the people that you don't really experience in London.

There were a gazillion other hen weekends happening at the same time - and probably stag do's too, though we only saw one poor chap that was forced to dress like an eejit (a sweet one mind you) by his mates. Amongst the girls, there were police women outfits, lingerie and red feather boa's (I kid you not - and it was bloody freezing), and cowgirls. Naturally we rocked the cowgirl look the best - or rather, we thought we did, because let's face it, who wouldn't feel fabulous wearing a pink and sequence cowgirl hat when you are absolutely trollied?

We did the mandatory bar hop thing, and eventually landed up in a place called Buffalo Joes - which is a mecca of hen and stag do's, and treated as a meat market by some. Bandied together we fought off the likes of the occasional weirdo (some guy out there has mobile phone footage of me repeatedly punching his mate), and still managed to have a great time.

I don't know what it is about some men. How many times do you have to say: Please don't do that. Don't do that. Leave us alone. Fuck off. Fuck off or I will beat you with this high-heel shoe, etc. I reckon some of these eejits just like the attention - even if it is of a negative nature. Do they honestly think that women are seduced by having their hats constantly tipped off their heads, or being tapped on the back, or having their arses pinched? I think the point at which Louise kindly offered to call security and have him thrown out, is when he decided to call it a day.

In general though the chaps up there were all mostly pleasant and some of them were very nice actually. I was a little more wary of the ladies, after getting a vicious look from two of them who had ingeniously decided it was a good idea to dance barefoot in a crowded club. I stood on one of their feet during a particularly tricky dance maneuver, and then fearing a bloody lip, hastily found a new spot to make a fool of myself.

Sophie was a superb sport, and at the end of the evening it was just her and I left standing. I suggested going home, but Sophie had other ideas. I can now say with confidence, ' Cage dancing: Been there, done that. Yeeha!'

Britney Spears is so original


Forget performing arts school, hard word, and talent. These days, it appears that you only have to get papped getting out of a car wearing no knickers to endear yourself to the public. Looks like Britney Spears is the latest to follow the knickerless trend, first made famous by Lindsay Lohan. The Hollywood wax business must be booming.

Picture c/o Perez Hilton

Friday, November 24, 2006

Hen Weekend

It's nearly midnight, and I'm knackered, and I should be packing for my trip to Newcastle for a friend's hen weekend tomorrow morning. I don't know why I'm procrastinating, but it probably has something to do with the fact that I have no idea what to pack for this sort of thing. Body armour? Mace? A neck brace?

My mother-in-law Jacky, who is from Newcastle, was horrified that my introduction to her lovely birthplace was going to be for a weekend of debauchery. I promised that I would at least try and appreciate the sights, even if it is through a drunken haze at 2 in the morning while being arrested.

Of the two hen nights I've attended, one being my own, both were pretty civilised as far as these things go; we had dinner, got drunk, danced around our handbags - the usual stuff. But my friend wanted something a bit more traditional - and I imagine we are in for an interesting experience. Though I'm afraid to say that what happens on tour has to stay on tour - so don't expect any juicy details.

Picture c/o stadhalle-germering.de

Britney and Paris - New BFF's


If you were worried that Britney Spears was sitting at home with a scrunchy in her hair, mascara stains under her eyes, and eating large amounts of chocolate and cereal out of the box pining for KFed, you needn't have worried.

Amid loud strains of 'I will survive', the mom of two has joined forces with the moral compass that is Paris Hilton, and the two have been spotted out and about painting the town red. It's like Paris can smell the next tabloid sensation (and photo op) a mile off, not unlike a skinny vulture, and makes damn sure to start hanging out with the person in question to share in the limelight.

Britney's also gone and ruined her previously hot new haircut by getting long blond extensions. Oh, and she also seems to be working the no pants in public look. You go girl.

On a final note, a picture of Prince Harry - for um, no good reason at all.

Picture c/o thesuperficial.com

The Kramer Rap has landed


Oh man, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Someone has gone and done a rap-style music edit of Michael Richards (aka Kramer's) insane racist outburst, and the follow-up apology he issued on David Letterman, and come up with this.

PS: If you get a weird little Adobe Flash Player settings window, simply click on 'Allow' - it's on perezhilton.com, which is a reputable site.

Picture c/o yahoo.com

Stuff that's going on


Photo of Heidi Klum and Seal c/o Perez Hilton

From home to home

Swifty doing his daily laps in the pool

Whenever I get back from a holiday in South Africa, I go grocery shopping. I don't really have a clue what specifically I need to get, but I do know I need to get a lot of it - the cupboards and fridge need to be fully stocked.

This is because despite both being on thin side of slim, my sister and mother's kitchens are filled to the brim with food. The fridge is stacked with cheeses, cold meats, tasty leftovers, juices, carbonated drinks, chocolates, yogurts, puddings, juicy olives, sausages etc. The cupboards are similarly stocked with cookies, crisps, bread rolls, a wide variety of canned things, pastas, the list goes on. I cannot imagine an instance whereby they can stand with a hand on a hip staring inside their cupboards or fridge and say, "There's nothing to eat in the house." Both are equipped for a nuclear war - with enough stash to last them a year.

Chantell tells me that when you have a little person in the house, you need to have food on tap, as children graze. On my mother's end, I think she likes to be prepared should a small army drop round - just in case.

Either way, I like it - there's something rather comforting about food in the house. Like having cookies to go along with a hot cup of tea at the end of a working day, or a piece of cake should you like one. Yes, yes I know - not exactly conducive to the waistline.

Getting back to the house this week, it made me feel nervous to see the fridge so empty (both Robert and I have been away), so I promptly popped out to the shops, and I've already re-stocked the sweet bowl and the cookie jar, and did a shop on Ocado this morning. Phew.

I also love dogs, cats - animals generally, and that's another fix I get when I go home, because all my family members have pets. Chantell has three dogs: Bishop (ageing, mouse-hunting, likes a good all-over scratch, house dog), Bella (Dalmatian, lady, lipstick-lover, lizard-hunter), Swifty (keen swimmer, smart, boisterous, slightly bonkers). I loved waking up in the morning and going outside to be greeted by these strange lovely creatures who want nothing more from you than affection or a snack, if you have one. You don't have to be smart, or groomed, or thin - they just get a kick out of something inside of you that you wish other people saw, instead of all the other superficial bullshit.

I also enjoyed hanging out with Chantell's son Kyle. The kid is living proof that old-school parenting with a good deal of emphasis on manners results in a child that is a pleasure to be around. Sure, he's still a kid and behaves like one, but there's just a niceness about him and the way he conducts himself around people. It was tough saying goodbye to him.

Photos from South Africa here
At last: Zoe and Greg's wedding photos - finally uploaded

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I'm in love


This, my dear friends, is the super duper delicious cosmetic filled fantabulous delight on offer from Estee Lauder at the moment. It's no longer available on their website, and before I left for South Africa, they were offering it for £45 with the purchase of an Estee Lauder fragrance - 50ml I think, from the House of Frasier.

I first saw it in their brochure (the one they send to me around this time of year in the hopes that I'll spend large amounts of money), and it was love at first site. I don't know what it is about makeup collections, but I adore them - my hands start sweating, my mouth goes all dry, and I feel compelled to hunt them down and secure them for myself at any cost. I imagine it's not unlike the sensation a poker player gets at the mention of a high-stakes game. I'm a danger to myself in Duty Free shops because they specialise in travel kits of this kind, though admittedly on a smaller scale.

The best thing about this particular collection though, is not only value - and when I tell you exactly what you get you'll agree with me that it is indeed super good value, but that I actually like and wear all the colours in it. There are no dodgy bronze-brown lipsticks - the kind Clinique were fond of fobbing you off with in the past in their free gift packs, nor are their any purple-yellow eyeshadow combo's - ditto another Clinique faux passe. Nope - this collection is 100% filled with gorgeous lovelies which will come in very handy for any time of the year, and pretty much any complexion - though darker skinned girls won't be able to use the compact foundation (pressed powder) as it's quite light. But as for the rest of the stuff - the colours are modern and luxurious. It's no surprise then that these lovely kits are going like hotcakes - which is why I had trouble locating one in London.

The set includes:

*10 x EYESHADOW COLOURS

*3 x BLUSHES
*1 x PRESSED POWDER
*2 x PURE COLOUR LONG LASTING LIPSTICKS
*2 x PURE COLOUR CRYSTAL LIPSTICKS
*2 x PURE COLOUR LIP GLOSSES
*1 x ARTIST'S LIP PENCIL
*1 x ARTIST'S EYE PENCIL
*1 x PURE COLOUR NAIL LACQUER
*1 x MAGNASCOPIC MAXIMUM VOLUME MASCARA
*4 x MAKEUP BRUSHES (Nice soft hair - pretty good quality)
*1 x COSMETIC VALISE
*1 x COSMETIC BAG

The estimated value of all this bounty is £270, which make sense when you consider that just one Estee Lauder lipstick is usually around £15 alone. So for £45 it's brilliant value. To give you an idea, someone is selling one on eBay at the moment, and the last time I checked the bid was £62 - and that was excluding the £15 postage.

Anyway, I was in South Africa shopping with my mom, and I came across the set - right there in front of me, and not only the one - but a few of them. I couldn't believe it - what is wrong with those South African women? Originally I had planned to get it for my mother for Christmas, because like me, she has an abiding passion for makeup, and it felt simply too sinful getting something this indulgent for myself. When I showed it to her, she told me that thanks to all my previous Christmas presents, she now had enough eyeshadow and lipstick to last her a lifetime, and declined my offer. With the one person who would appreciate it as much as me having no interest, what choice did I have but to get it for myself? It was a sign, surely - even if I had to travel to South Africa to get it.

Photos c/o ibizabobo on eBay

Catherine Zeta Jones looks different

OK, so maybe it's the meat talking again, but isn't Catherine Zeta Jones looking just a little bit odd? I hear the girl has gone and lost a ton of weight by exercising (an inspiration to one and all), but her face looks different too. I first noticed it when I saw this photo, and didn't even recognise her until I read the tag. All speculation as to the cause of this transformation welcome.

Photo c/o Dlisted

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes wedding photos

I know I ate a lot of meat in South Africa, and it may be causing me to see things in a strange way, but really, tell me, is it just me or does any one else think that Katie Holmes's little midget fringe is odd? What exactly is its function? Don't get me wrong, the girl is looking beautiful, but I still don't get that little fringe.
As for the wedding hairstyle, well, I can't say I'm that impressed. Especially after all the fuss was made about having Jessica Simpson's celebrity stylist, Ken Paves, flown in to do Katie's hair for her big day. Her hair for the pre-wedding dinner (top photo) at which J-Lo apparently tried to upstage everyone at (including the bride-to-be), looks a lot more coiffed. In the wedding photos however, it looks as though she just put it up herself at the last minute. Weird.

And on the subject of their wedding photos, if you want to see them, DON'T waste your money buying this week's copy of OK! magazine (UK edition). The crappy mags's cover boasts that inside it contains 'THE ONLY OFFICIAL OK! WEDDING ALBUM,' when even the cover pic of the couple is just the main pres-released image (that everyone got -and which you see here) blown up - so much so that it's pixelated. Inside there's only one wedding photo of the couple (surprise surprise - the same one which appears on the cover!) and the rest of the so-called 'album' contains the same paparazzi shots of people like the emaciated VB arriving with her wannabe sister, that we've all seen. Save money and check out the photos for free on people.aol.com.

PMS Survival Tips

Finally, something for all those men out there that need help dealing with their better half's time of the month. A very funny 1940/50's-style spoof educational film on youtube - check it out here. And remember guys - those compliments and back massages really do work! Oh and the chocolates are pretty good too.

Back in London

I arrived back from South Africa at 5am today. I checked in online on Tuesday night, and chose a seat by the window which had the middle seat empty and the aisle one taken. That middle seat will usually only get taken if the flight is absolutely chocka.

Well so much for that plan. Last night as I approached my seat, I saw two of the largest men on the plane fiddling with their hand luggage, and said a quick prayer under my breath that they were not in my row. Alas, they were - and when I say big, I mean they were big - the kind of guys who can lift a van out of a ditch and wrestle a bull without breaking a sweat. I squeezed past and sat down in my window seat, being thankful for the small mercy that I was not in the middle of those two. They promptly introduced themselves in a hearty manner: The man to my right, Pik, spoke only Afrikaans, and his mate Daan, was bilingual - both of them were in their 50's.

Being old school chaps they took it upon themselves to find out what I was drinking, and then did the ordering with the air hostess. When we all had our drinks they proposed a toast, and that's pretty much all I heard from them until I had to wake them (from their post 3-beer nap) to go to the loo. Despite their rugby-playing size, they didn't infringe on my space, and were actually two of the most pleasant people I've shared such a confined space with.

As for the food, not for the first time (it happened on the flight over) BA ran out of their second meal option, and you had to take what you were given. So it was over-cooked tough beef with tasteless rubbery noodles or over-cooked tough beef with tasteless rubbery noodles. This is another reason why, aside from when I need to use air miles to fly, I choose Virgin.

There was a lot of turbulence on our flight, and the sound on the entertainment system was dodgy. My earphones didn't work, but fortunately I had my Ipod ones to plug in. Regardless, every now and then, mid-movie, an ear-splitting burst of static noise would cause everyone to rip their earphones off fearing inner-ear damage.

Upon my return home, I noticed a letter from my surgery, and as it turns out the second smear test I had done nearly two months ago, also came back unsatisfactory - which means yet another painful test in the next week or so. I'm going to ask that the head practice nurse does it this time, because I've never had to have a repeat one done when she does it. This pisses me off no end, because it is the most painful unpleasant thing to go through (yes I realise there are worse things - like crack withdrawal etc), but I just hate it and wish they'd get it right the first time.

Another thing that really pissed me off (aside from presently being severely sleep deprived -so pretty much everything is pissing me off), is while perusing wwtdd this morning, I discovered that one of my favourite TV actors Michael Richards, aka Kramer from Seinfeld, is a bloody racist. How can I ever watch another Seinfeld rerun without thinking of his outrageously offensive attack on a black audience member during a recent comedy sketch?

And before you jump to his defence and think we're all being too politically correct, watch the clip and then decide. I think there were innumerable ways he could have handled it without resorting to the N word. I mean isn't a big part of being a comedian knowing how to (amusingly and cleverly) handle rowdy audience members or hecklers? Shame on you Kramer.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes get married

So Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, also known as TomKat - finally tied the knot in Rome on the weekend. People has the photos (not many of the couple - but you can be sure some or other magazine like OK! or Hello will have those in the next week). Also, a photo of Victoria Beckham looking decidedly unattractive in a weird getup. I think she tried a bit too hard with that outfit and landed up looking like an eejit. Perhaps she was going with the whole sci-fi Scientology thing which is why she chose a flying saucer-inspired hat.

Photo c/o people.aol.com


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ugly

I know I've been slack on the posting front - but the truth is I'm just too relaxed to be bothered. I've caught up with my childhood friends, who all seem to have children, but are still refreshingly juvenile themselves. I was a bit worried that I'd visit with them and they'd come across all serious and adult-like, but fortunately they still enjoy a drink or six and behave the same way they did in high school. Which is nice.

I haven't done my usual shopping spree thing, despite the exchange rate being in my favour. Mostly I've been reading, hanging with my family and friends, and eating a lot of meat - which is what one does when in South Africa. It's no coincidence that their pharmacies have large colon-medication sections.

Having spoken to a few people, it seems that things over here are not as wonderful as the tourist commercials make out. Things like building houses for people who live in shacks goes undone because contracts are given to government members 'friends', and then work is only partially done, despite the contractor taking the full fee. Getting things like ID books and passports it's near to impossible because of large amounts of red tape, with the catch-22 situation being that South Africans cannot get work without an ID book - which acts as the British National Insurance number. For people living here (black and white), getting things done takes an age and they seem worried about a government that is inept and not particularly representative. There is mention of things 'going the same way as Zimbabwe' followed by worried expressions.

On the way over I read a book called 'Ugly' by Constance Briscoe, which I highly recommend everyone read. It is the real-life tale of a woman who was brutally abused by her mother - physically and emotionally, and despite what can only be described as a horrific childhood, went on to make a great success of her life - she is a Barrister and the first black woman to sit as a judge in the UK.

I was really moved by how she never paints herself as a victim, and it made me feel ashamed for bitching about the things that I do. Reading her story, it made me realise that there are people out there who have it a lot worse, and despite unimaginable odds, get on with things and even have a good attitude despite it all. It should be made a setwork read for teenage kids who bitch and moan about not having the latest trainers or Ipods. Try not being fed most nights, and then left alone to fend for yourself in a house without electricity when you are 14 and told to pay rent - and failing that, having the shit beaten out of you.

It's not easy to read - because it's so shockinly brutal, but it is ultimately an inspiring read.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Letters from South Africa

I arrived in South Africa yesterday morning and it's hot - mid 20's. On the flight over I had the window seat, and a middle-aged business-looking chap had the aisle seat, with the seat between us free - thank god. He looked at me, and then pointed to the seat between us and (quite seriously) said, 'This half is mine - that half is yours.' I thought he was kidding but he wasn't, but the arrangement suited me fine. Despite it being a gloriously turbulence-free flight, I still didn't get much sleep, but it was nice having that extra bit of room.

My sister's home reminds me of an African game lodge. My room is at the top of the house - which is in the Cape Dutch style with a thatched roof, and I have a beautiful view of farmland and bird-filled trees. In the roof by my room there is a nest of birds, and this morning I woke up with the babies making a huge racket. Outside there are hundreds of multi-coloured birds, frogs in the pond, and the ever-present dogs who shadow you wherever you go. One of her dogs, Swifty, swims in the swimming pool every day - completely of his own accord. We were sitting outside chatting, and the next thing we here a splash, and there he was swimming around the periphery of the pool. He does one, maybe two laps, and then comes out looking pleased with himself. Last week Gary, my sister's partner, had to remove a hedgehog from his jaws and set it free in the wilder part of their property. Since I've arrived he hardly leaves my side, and as I write this he is lying at my feet.

Last night we traveled to Pretoria to go and see a show with a popular musician/comedian here called Nataniel. Nataniel is gay and very camp - a sort of Afrikaans Graham Norton, and was popular back in the day when you weren't allowed to be gay or black in South Africa. He's still going - and looks like something between Nosferatu and Tim Curry from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

When we arrived the place was filled with what looked like a tough crowd - specifically a tough homophobic crowd. The kind who heckle comedians and are prone to throwing beer bottles at them. I thought - oh my god, this guy is going to get booed and have the crap beaten out of him in the parking lot. How wrong I was. He got up and did his spiel - a mixture of songs - some cabarat(ish) and funny anecdotes, and the crowd cheered and laughed, and sat with their heads nostalgically cocked to one side as he sang. Despite his lacy getup, heavy makeup, and overtly homosexual references - the guy was a hit.

Kyle, my sister's son is delighted that I'm here, and I've already been dragged into his world of swords and guns, and always have to play the bad buy because the bad guy always loses and dies. I haven't had the heart to tell him that in the real world the bad guy often goes on to become a successful MD of a company or an account director in an ad agency, and it's often the good guys (specifically underpaid PA's) who suffer at his hands. He has plenty of time to discover these things for himself.

Right, and now I imagine he's had his bath and it's story-time before bed, and I don't want to miss out on the next Harry Potter installment ... .

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Adios Amigos

If you want an experience, I highly recommend you shop at Hamleys while high on cold and flu medicine - very interesting.

I'm actually flying to South Africa tonight to see my family for a week. My mom doesn't know about it, so if you read this and have any contact with her - don't ruin the surprise OK?!?

I've got flu or a cold - I can never tell the difference, and am going to be one of those irritating arseholes that flies when they're sick. On the plus side I'm not coughing, and I think I'm also way past the contagious phase which is good news for my fellow passengers. The down side for me is that I'm experiencing mild deafness from being so congested. I've packed ear planes for the pressure and am going to dose myself with decongestants for the landing so I don't experience too much pain - please god.

I'll be posting from South Africa - so remember to check back again tomorrow.

And as a final bit of goss - is it possible Nicole Richie had gastric bypass surgery?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Time to draw the line


I haven't written about Kerry Katona for a while, although recently the girl has gone through a lot of shit. Firstly she got grilled by Heat Magazine and had to admit that in an interview she did with them previously she'd lied about being a coke addict. Most recently her horrendous biological mother has been selling stories about her to the papers. Poor Kerry - she gets on my nerves, but even I have to admit with a life like she's had, a lot of her behaviour suddenly becomes a bit more understandable.

The girl was placed into foster care as a kid because her mother was a drug addict. They have been in and out of each other's lives ever since - though the relationship seems to be more of a matey one rather than a mother and daughter one. Kerry claims her mother introduced her to drugs when she was a kid - offering her speed and saying it was sherbet, and it's been downhill ever since with the two of them regularly doing drugs together. You'd think that having lost her daughter in the first place this woman would have learnt a thing or two about how to be a mother. But sadly, it doesn't seem to be the case.

Most recently she sold her story to a newspaper branding her daughter (who is having a difficult pregnancy) a coke addict (even though she herself is one), and saying she doesn't think she is fit to be a mother to her two daughters. She also states that Kerry's fiancee is a drug dealer, and claims that when Kerry was a teenager, she slept with her then boyfriend to show her daughter that he was a no-good cheating so and so. Oh, and she taught her daughter how to give a blow job. Nice lessons in life there mom.

Even if all of the above were true - how can someone who is supposed to love, care for, and be concerned for you (hello - your own mother?!?) display such blatant disloyalty? Good god - and then I read somewhere that she was hurt and shocked that Kerry now wants nothing more to do with her. There's that saying about how people need a license to own a dog, and drive a car, but any arsehole can have a child, and in this case I can see the truth in it.

I'm all for good relationships with one's parents. But at the end of the day, they are your parents and not your friends. Specifically I think it's important to have the distinction when it comes to your personal life. I've learnt from experience that treating your mom as your best friend and telling her everything can often backfire horribly.

This is especially true if you bitch to your parents about your boyfriend or husband - chances are that when you patch things up, they won't forget it and will hold a grudge against the guy until he enters his grave. Telling your mother or father about your relationship problems is the same as inviting them into that relationship - and every action or decision you make is suddenly not just between the two of you, but the three of you. So many relationships have serious problems because one or both parties are surgically connected to their parents via the phone. If you want to give your relationship a chance - leave mom and dad out of it.

Telling your mother about your sex life is another no-no in my opinion. In fact it's way off the scale of wrongness. Naturally when you're a kid and you have some questions, it's different, and probably a good thing to be able to have a parent you can approach about these things. But as an adult I'd never call up my mother and give her a detailed breakdown of my sex life. I don't even do that with my girlfriends, let alone the woman who gave birth to me. As far as I'm concerned the only person you should discuss your sex life with is your partner. It's one thing getting a perspective from other people, but utlimately if there's a problem it's between the two of you to adress and fix, not your mother or friends.

If I were Kerry I'd cut my mother out of my life for good. I'd move to a new town, get a drug sponsor, and work on sorting out my life. If this guy she's going to marry is a drug dealer and bad for her, hopefully she will see the light and dump him. I can appreciate how any parent would be concerned about something like this, but I just don't see how her supposedly really concerned mother is helping her daugher by selling her story to the papers. And on the subject of papers and interviews, my final bit of advise is this - Kerry, stop doing bloody inteviews. It's your life and your business and it should stay that way.

The Seven of Swords

Last night Robert and I went to a Home House party with a 'From Russia with Love' theme. It was unclear if this meant one had to dress as (a) A character from this specific Bond film (b) A character from any Bond film (C) In Russian dress.

I left things to the last minute (no surprises there), and out of the existing weird shit I have in my closet, pulled together a flamboyant 70's evening dress with head-scarf and went as Solitaire, from the 'Live and let die' film with Jane Seymour playing the Tarot-reading Solitaire. Robert went in a tux as a, in his words, "Ginga Bond."

After cutting my hair into a short-bob I didn't have enough of it to tease into a large back-combed bouffant the likes of which Seymour sported in the film, but I thought that with enough dramatic makeup (she wore a lot of silver eyeshadow) and the head scarf thingy I could just about pull it off. It would probably be better if I took a pack of my old Tarot cards with - but could I be bothered with carrying them around all evening? Probably not. Actually, no, I wasn't going to take them.

As we left the house and were waking along the street outside our building, I noticed a card lying face down on the pavement. It was a bit longish to be a regular playing card, and when I stopped to turn it over, what did I find but a Tarot card. What are the chances of going to a party as a tarot reader and then finding a tarot card on a central London street? Weird. Robert was just as amazed at me, but likes to play Scully to my Mulder and was determined to act cool - but I knew he was as impressed at the coincidence as I was.

Well, it turns out, that the theme was actually more along the lines of Russian, than Bond - and I felt like a bit of an eejit. I guess I could have passed for a well-dressed Russian peasant/gypsy with a penchant for heavy eyeliner, but even that was pushing it. Fortunately there were quite a few women in evening dresses a la Bond femme fatals, and even some dressed as Russian prostitutes, though Ronnie warned me that some of these ladies were probably not in any sort of fancy dress, and I shouldn't be in any rush to congratulate them on their cleverness.

A good party - thanks to Derya and Patrick for the invite. Unfortunately we had to leave a bit earlier than I would have liked as I'm still not 100% in the health stakes.

As a matter of interest, I looked up the meaning of the card I found on the street, and put it this way - it's not exactly fun fun fun. There are two ways of reading a Tarot card - if you turn it over and it is facing you - it is dignified, if it is turned away from you it is Ill-Dignified. I can't honestly remember what position it was in because I wasn't exactly in a formal reading here - I just turned the thing over on the street, so here are both meanings:

Dignified: The general feeling of the Seven of Swords is that of being overburdened. The Seven represents someone who has taken on more then they can handle and eventually something will have to give. Being overburdened can bring feelings of worry, exhaustion, and unnecessary stress. The Seven of Swords can also signify feelings of being frenzied and strong feelings of having to get things done in a limited amount of time. Essentially the Seven of Swords represents someone who has taken on more then they can chew and if they don't slow down and start to take things one step at a time, they run the risk of becoming burned out. Many times the Seven of Swords indicates someone who takes on other people's responsibilities without need. It can be a warning to a mother not to baby her children or it can simply suggest one to allow friends and family to take care of their own problems. Overall the Seven of Swords suggests a need to slow down or else physical and mental problems will start to occur.

Ill-Dignified: In a reversed position the Seven of Swords represents over-reliance on other people to get things done. It represents irresponsibility, laziness, and a total lack of motivation. It can also represent feelings of physical exhaustion. Source

101 uses for your black plastic sack

Picture c/o perezhilton.com

Should we silence the lambs already?

'The Silence of the lambs' is one of those books I read more times than I'd like to count. It interested me from a forensic psychology perspective, back in the days when I thought forensic psychology, or profiling, was actually something I might have a stomach for.

It was a gripping read, and the film version by the same name with Anthony Hopkins wasn't half bad either - actually I thought it was pretty good as far as film versions go. Similarly, the film Manhunter based on the first book in the series by Thomas Harris entitled Red Dragon, was a good one too. I didn't mind the remake with Ralph Fiennes 'Red Dragon' - but I thought Manhunter was better.

Hannibal
was a lot less impressive, despite the genius that is Anthony Hopkins. I thought it suffered as a result of Jodie Foster not playing Clarice Starling, and was too grim. And now I hear on Dlisted that they are coming up with yet another film in the series - Hannibal Rising.

According to IMDB:
This is the story of the monster Hannibal Lecter's formative years. These experiences as a child and young adult led to his remarkable contribution to the fields of medicine, music, painting and forensics. We begin in World War II at the medieval castle in Lithuania built by Dr. Lecter's forebear, Hannibal the Grim. The child Hannibal survives the horrors of the Eastern Front and escapes the grim Soviet aftermath to find refuge in France with the widow of his uncle, mysterious and beautiful Japanese descended from Lady Murasaki Shikibu, author of the Tale of Genji. Her kind and wise attentions help him understand his unbearable recollections of the war. Remembering, he finds the means to visit the outlaw predators that changed him forever as they battened on helpless during the collapse of the Eastern Front. Hannibal helps these war criminals toward self-knowledge even as we see his own nature become clear to him.
I don't know - do we really need another Hannibal Lecter film? And this time it's one without Anthony Hopkins. Just look at what a lot of sequels and prequels did to The Matrix and Highlander movies. Why, oh why would did they mess with the sheer perfection that was the original Highlander film?

Hannibal Rising is due out next year. I think I'll wait for it to come on DVD. Sorry.

Farewell Curly

Jack Palance died today, aged 87, of natural causes. My sister Chantell and I were big fans. I was especially fond of his 'Believe it or not' episodes, and of course his character 'Curly' in the City Slickers movies. A sad day.

Photo c/o cbs.com

Friday, November 10, 2006

Telling it like it is

I have to say, I wasn't happy when Slate Magazine got a new Prudence (agony aunt). I liked the old one - she was a savvy New Yorker who looked as though she'd been there and done that, albeit in only the best style. So when a new younger woman came on the scene, I stopped reading it for a while, until one day, out of boredom I went to see what sort of advise this upstart was handing out.

And to my surprise (and delight) - I love it when someone proves me wrong and turns out to be a good egg - she's fantastic. She's a lot less diplomatic, and feels completely at ease to tell someone off when she thinks they're in the wrong. None of this fence-sitting business for her. You may not always agree with what she has to say, but at least she has an opinion, which in this oh so politically correct world we live in, you've got to respect for it's sheer ballsiness.

This week was no different, one woman sent in the following:

Dear Prudence,
I've been married for a little over a year. I met my husband several years ago when we were neighbors; he was married at the time and had a young son. He moved away, got divorced, and I didn't see him for several years. Then we reconnected, dated, and got married very quickly. His son is now 10 and I'm having a really hard time getting to like the boy. This might sound mean, but I can't stand him sometimes. I know he's a child, and that he gets his bad manners from his psycho mother, but everything about him just grosses me out: the way he eats; the way his mother dresses him (like a little rapper); that he's too lazy to even clean his room. I try so hard to hide my feelings, but my husband senses it sometimes. I take his son to buy school clothes or toys, but he can't behave and it's driving me insane. I really don't know what to do, especially now that we have him every weekend. I asked my husband if he can give me "me" time at least once a month, but his excuse is that he hates leaving his son with his ex-wife. I really can't take sharing my husband with his son. What should I do?

—Can't Stand Him!

Prudence responded with:

Dear Can't,

What a heartbreaking situation this boy is in—he has a psycho mother and a spiteful stepmother. I have no doubt this little boy is difficult; given his circumstances, that's almost a guarantee. But one of his problems is you. You can't even refer to him as your stepson, but only as "his son." You are asking for advice on how to dump this child. But since you knew getting into this marriage that your husband had a child, maybe the thing for you to do is dump the marriage. You express no love or understanding of either your husband or your stepson. You sound hostile and resentful. And if you get out now, you will have been only a blip in both of their lives.

—Prudie

I can't help but like her.

For more ethical dilemma's check out Your Dilemma. Please feel free to send in your own dilemma, or even to leave a comment (anonymous if you so wish) to generate discussion.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Prepare to laugh

I've started to feel better - still shitty, but not quite unable to blog shitty anymore, which means I'm not close to death.

Actually I was feeling a whole lot better, until I came across the above image of Pete Doherty on Dlisted. My god, I appreciate the guy is a musician and may need those long fingernails to play the guitar or something, but do they have to be so filthy? I don't even want to imagine what his feet look like - oh shit, I just did. *Bleurghghhh* How Kate, how do you...? oh never mind.

And according to The Superficial Kevin Spenderline has shown what a modern man he is after "he counter-filed court papers yesterday seeking sole custody of their two children as well as - wait for it - spousal support."

Sole custody - hahahahahhaahahahhahahahaha. I'm crying here. And spousal support? Isn't like the whole point of applying for full custody, proving to a judge that he should award you the children as opposed to their mother because you are in a better position to support them, and provide a stable home? What's the point if you have to ask their mother for money to do it in the first place? Good grief - street cred (if he had any) out the window.

If Spenderline was in fact a caring, fatherly sort that liked to stay home and be with his kids and stuff, and Britney was a crap mom, then I could understand him wanting to have custody and expecting her (being the bigger earner) to contribute. But who are we kidding here - the guy left his pregnant girlfriend for Britney in the first place, and is more pictured partying in Vegas with his homies than with his children. I mean, when last did you see Feders driving with Shaun Preston sitting precariously on his lap? You didn't did you? Not exactly the fatherly type.

And fancy some Dolce and Gabbana, Stella McCartney or Chanel at charity shop prices? The Oxfam shop in Nottinghill just got a designer makeover thanks to a visit from Posh. And no, Posh didn't donate stuff to them - she's too tight for that, and let's face it, how many malnourished 7-year-old boys would want to wear Versace evening dresses anyways? She just popped in for a shop, and since then the place has been inundated with cool designer donations from rich people having a clear out. Nice.

Trapped nerve

Apologies for the lack of posts in the last two days. I went to the doctor this morning and found out the incapacitating shooting pains in the left side of my head, and soreness on the left side of my neck that I've had for a day and a half now, are due to a trapped nerve most likely having coincided with a migraine. It is not, as I feared, a brain tumour. I think everything is a brain tumour - so this is good news.

The bad news is that I'm in a lot of pain, and sitting up at a computer for longer than 5 minute stretches is, well, painful. So I'm going back to the sofa to lie very still and watch Melrose Place reruns, that I have actually taped. Sad I know - but when I'm sick I like to regress to the creature comforts of the 1990's for reassurance.

More letters from London soon (I hope).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Would you like a toke with your fries?

According to CNN.com:
Two policemen sued Burger King Corp., claiming they were served hamburgers that had been sprinkled with marijuana.

The lawsuit says Mark Landavazo and Henry Gabaldon, officers for the Isleta Pueblo tribal police, were in uniform and riding in a marked patrol car when they bought meals at the drive-through lane October 8 of a Burger King restaurant in Los Lunas, New Mexico.

The officers ate about half of their burgers before discovering marijuana on the meat, the lawsuit said. They used a field test kit to confirm the substance was pot, then went to a hospital for medical evaluations.

Three Burger King employees got nicked and charged with possession of marijuana and aggravated battery on an officer. Source

Thanks (again) to Robert for the tip.