Saturday, September 29, 2007


So I live in England now, with a girl. As my grandmother would say “in sin”. What can you do? Living with your girlfriend is quite like living with a flatmate, except that they are generally cleaner, much fussier, and require more to make them comfortable. Bath mats, for instance.

Living with a girl is not like living with a pal, because you can’t say things like “Dude! Look at this video I found on Youtube of a dog having sex with a cat!” If you do, it’s more likely that they will ask you why you are wasting your time looking at videos of interspecies sex on Youtube rather than working on that novel you’ve supposedly been writing for the last two years? Which is, of course, a good point.

You also have to watch what you eat around them. If they knew the full extent of the foul takeaway foods that students and other idle young males indulge in on a daily basis, the chances are she’d run a mile. Your best bet is just to eat what they eat and sneak out for a kebab when they’re not looking. Also it’s important not to drink too much in their presence, especially not in your boxer shorts in front of the TV or videogames console, lest you risk being called a “scrub”. This is a girl word for bon vivant.

Toilet etiquette: girls get funny about toilet seats for some reason. They have invented some kind of weird equation which states that since all women-doings are done sitting down, while one of a man’s doings is done standing, the duty of putting the toilet seat down is the man’s responsibility. Why the seat needs to be put down at all is a mystery to me. The solution? Leave the seat down and do your business anyway, pretty soon she’ll be the one putting the seat up after she’s used the crapper. Slambango!

Girl bidie-ins do have their benefits though. You are far more likely eat at least one good, hot meal a day and will often find that when you come home your underwear has been de-loused and smells of flowers. Nothing a man ever washes, no matter how many expensive powders he uses, will ever smell of flowers. Your general health and physical appearance will improve. You will find yourself becoming respectable pretty fast. Possibly, you now also think the bath mats were a good idea.

To top it off, girls are soft and smell pretty good, and every day you get to pet and cajole one another in the way that if you tried with your old flatmate, you’d probably have to have a quite serious talk about personal boundaries. As much as I have fond memories of my old flatmates, the idea of having tickle fights with them does not really have much appeal.

So, my conclusions: girls = good; cohabiting = not evil like the bible says. It’s a pretty sweet deal all round I think. Women are something of a civilizing influence on us dudes. I know many people will call me “domesticated” and “house-dude”, but it is true. Living with a girl gives us reasons to do things like clean our bodies and wash dishes. In the olden days, dirty dishes would pile up and pile up until we were eating beans with a pencil out of an old boot. For want of kitchen roll, I would wipe up all spillages with a slice of bread so I could save it for later. That sort of shit won’t wash with a woman in the house. No sir. Thank you, womankind, for saving us from ourselves and implementing domestic equilibrium.

I am on my own in the flat now. My sweetheart has gone down the street to buy some kind of kitchen implement that I have no knowledge of, or perhaps a vegetable that I would be unable to identify. That leaves nothing for me to do except watch that video of a monkey flagellating itself on Youtube. I am, after all, still a dude.

Death Parp

(pictured: Death Proof may look like a tough guy, but in reality he is a big wuss)
I went to see Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof the other night. I found it to be something of a mixed bag. It was very much a game of two halves, the first half being Death Proof stalking, perving on and then murdering a group of chicks by driving his stunt car into their automobile, and the second him stalking, perving on, and then being murdered by a similar group of chicks. The first half is definitely the best, as QT gives full time to character development, and although you don’t really ever get to like the lassies particularly, you at least get a good sense of their characters before the lot of them are slaughtered. Also, Kurt Russell as Death Proof plays a far more prominent role, actual interacting with his prey and generally creeping the shit out of them. By contrast the second half seems a bit rushed, the characters less definitively drawn, the lovely Rosario Dawson is a bit of a princess, the Kiwi girl is an adrenaline junkie, the black girl drops N bombs a lot but in terms of character development you get left feeling a little short changed.
The dialogue is Quentintino’s usual fare of snappy back-forth hipper-than-thou repartee, although it must be said a great deal less quotable than the likes of Pulp Fiction, for instance, or even Kill Bill. Q-Tip has been praised for being able to write convincingly from a female perspective in this movie. About 50% of women I know who have seen the film agree with this, but the other 50% have said “bullshit! We don’t talk like that!” Since I have no idea how girls talk when they’re alone I can’t possibly comment, except to say that it sounds OK to me. More or less. They talk about boys a lot, which at least sounds about right.
My final real complaint about the movie is that after being tough and scary in the first half of the movie, in the second half Death Proof turns into a massive pussy. He is woefully ineffective at killing those girls. You sort of expect him to come back for one more scare, but pretty much after he gets wounded in the arm by the black girl (who is, of course, packing heat) he turns into a big wuss and tries to get away. It’s sad to see, that Death Proof’s weakness is in fact bullets. After that he gets beaten savagely by the girls and the credits roll. That’s pretty much it, apart from Rosie Dawson landing an impressive stiletto kick into Death Proof’s surprised looking face.
Death Proof is a good film, and pretty entertaining, but it isn’t a great film. And that’s what the Quentinator is supposed to be famed for. Hopefully, whatever he comes up with next, be it Inglorious Bastards or the Vega Brothers movie, fits that bill.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Personal Life Update

Just to let you know: got back from Englandshire a week ago, after spending a further two weeks plying yon trade. Saw some more whacked out things - the crown court gets way scarier felons than the Magistrate's court, a couple of paedos and rapists, was happy to see them go down - and also wrote some more stories. I tend to get a lot of kids-who-have-terminal-diseases-and-do-sports-with-cuddly-animals stories, which is fine. When I was up north they had me running around looking for 'attractive females' to photograph 'standing side on' for a piece on plastic surgery.
"Attractive females? In this town?" quoth I. So I went up to every vaguely attractive girl I saw and tried to entice them with my charms to be in my photo. Surprisingly, there were actually a few attractive girls out, but they were nearly all either English or some other kind of foreigner. The majority of them just thought I was a wandering pervert anyway. Eventually I got a few who fit the bill and was able to go home.

Tomorrow Kaki comes over from Canada. I will pick her up first thing in the morning and bring her home. I'm going to spend the next week playing the tour guide and then we'll move down to Nottingham next Saturday. I will keep you posted on events as they occur.

Shot to the Heart

(pictured: Shoot 'Em Up does what he does best) Went to see Clive Owen Is Shoot 'Em Up last night. Shoot 'Em Up lives up to his name by shooting everything in sight. I don't think he even lets up for 30 seconds in the whole film. He shoots while standing still, running, jumping, having sex with Monica Bellucci, parachuting and delivering a baby. It has a hilariously mixed message on gun control too, it seems to advocate stronger gun control measures while glorying in an almost unparalleled level of bloody violence and almost pornographic gun fetishism. It's hard to work out if the movie was even meant to be serious in the first place. It's almost like they tried and then halfway through got ripped and decided it would be funny to let Shoot 'Em Up kill someone with a carrot. He does - he kills about 8 people with this unobtrusive orange vegetable, the highest amount of carrot-based fatalities in any movie in history. Stupid as it may be, it's still a hugely entertaining film, with Clive Owen's Shoot 'Em Up proving an eminently watchable character. He is essentially a heartless misanthrope who several times commits random acts of violence for reasons which are largely gratuitous - he runs people's cars off the road for not signalling and mercilessly beats a woman who he deems to be a poor parent. If you don't take yourself too seriously, and you like your action fast, silly and with a very low BDQ then take yourself off to see the filmed version of Shoot 'Em Up's autobiography, stat.