Kashmir Mafia

January 14, 2009

“I’ve bought the DVD of Kashmir Mafia,” Steven told me. I nodded vaguely. A film about separatist fighters in the disputed Himalayan region, by the sounds of it. An unusual choice, for sure, but possibly interesting.

“It’s by Darren Star,” he explained. That seemed a little odd. A bit of a departure for the Starmeister after Sex & The City.

My eyes fell on the box. It was spelt slightly differently to how I’d imagined.

“Cashmere Mafia” to be precise. A TV show about four women in New York. Not such a departure after all.

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Remote control freak

January 13, 2009

I merely offered to help set the digibox to record something tomorrow. But I liked the moniker which Steven came up with for me.

I guess there’s one in every couple. And I guess in our couple it’s me. I’m not too keen on the channel selection responsibility. But I do like to be able to make tiny but vital adjustments to the volume.

Most smartest

January 9, 2009

The latest discovery in the Wordage & Gym Class household is TMF, MTV’s freebie channel. As well as established classics such as the Janice Dickinson Modelling Agency (9pm), we’ve been introduced to some other gems including I Know My Kid’s A Star in which pushy parents fight over whose children are more talented (7pm), and America’s Most Smartest Model (the Most is an inspired touch) in which the teacher from Ferris Bueller asks a bunch of models questions (8pm). In one hilarious episode, the models had to eat cake if they got a question wrong, which was like torture for the poor lambs. Tonight, the “fat” (i.e. he actually has some) guy got kicked out which is probably all for the best as he was starting to believe the fat hype. Naturally they broke the news to him with a quip about fat ladies singing.

As fabulous as all this is, I actually prefer my reality TV homegrown, and so have been switching back to Channel 4 for Celebrity Big Brother. With a wide-eyed Latoya Jackson, a potty-mouthed actress off Shameless and Coolio going out of his way to piss everybody off, it’s as brilliant as always.

So our routine is currently America’s Most Smartest Model at 8pm, followed by Celebrity Big Brother at 9pm.

Something for everyone. That’s the secret of a harmonious household, kids.

Booking fee

January 5, 2009

There are few phrases in the English Language guaranteed to induce such a feeling of downright queasiness as “booking fee”.

This unpleasant euphemism for “daylight robbery” heralds the sound of eager talons clawing hefty chunks out of your bank account. And unless you turn up at the box office window on Tuesday morning at 10am (by which point the event will probably be sold out) there’s no way to avoid it.

So big love to the Old Vic and its chief of staff Kevin Spacey. I was booking a couple of tickets on their website and after heading to the virtual ‘checkout’ I looked to see what the extra damage was. Nothing. Nowt. Nada. Bugger all. No booking fee. No transaction fee. Not even a modest charge for popping the tickets in an envelope and trotting down to one of Waterloo’s fine postboxes.

For the record, we’re off to see Ethan Hawke in The Cherry Orchard. I’m not familiar with the works of Chekov, but I suspect there’ll be rather less opportunity for Ethan to remove his clothes than there was for Josh Hartnett in Rain Man. Still, you can’t have everything. What you save on the booking fee, you lose on the disrobing.

Eating out

January 1, 2009

While the pages of Wordage have remained shamefully neglected in recent months, I did manage to cobble together a few words for some good old-fashioned paper pages. This was for issue 01 of Gym Class, “the zine for the guy chosen last”.

In an article titled ‘Eating out’, I describe some of the more memorable restaurant meals I’ve had in my life. 

In retrospect, I can see I ripped off / was inspired by Nigel Slater’s excellent book Toast, in which he examines his past (and developing sexuality) through describing the food he ate. He did it far more evocatively than I ever could, of course.

But how did I get the writing gig in the first place? Well, in time-honoured tradition, sleeping with the editor probably helped. Not to mention marrying him.

If you want to check out Gym Class, you can get hold of a copy here.

Happy New Year, y’allz.