Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Demographic Shift - 88

I get this all the time so I thought that I should actually deal with it rather than, you know, not deal with it.

I got it again the other week from Alison. I was explaining to her a conversation that I'd had with Adam. We had been sitting talking about 'The One', and then about 'The Other One', you know the girl you are suppose to find having screwed it all up with the one. I know. To be honest I have trouble keeping up as well.

"You have to ask the other one out," Adam went.
"I do? How can I? I have no idea who she is, which presents me with something of a problem."
"Oh come on, you know who the other one is already."

Know who the other one is? What was he talking about? If I knew who the other one was would I be sitting there with him? Suddenly my heart was beating a little faster. It was crazy I know, but maybe Adam knows something that I didn't.

"You're insane, of course I don't know who the other one is."
"Oh come on, why don't you just get it done with an ask out Susan."

I coughed and spluttered into my glass of beer. That's where crazy thinking will get you. Adam doesn't know anything that I don't. He is insane. I can't go out with Susan. No one can. That's the rule as Susan is our friend and if we started dating her and…well, she wouldn't be a friend anymore, she would be…I don't know? A girlfriend…or something and really that's bound to get complicated.

"You're insane. I can't go out with Susan."
"I maybe insane, but you're an idiot."

Hmmm.

Anyway, I was explaining Adam's Susan connected insanity to Alison and it turns out she was full of the same variety of craziness. Alison is meant to be super smart and really not full of the same insanity, but I think sense giving birth she might have lost some of that dependable sanity smarts that she once had.

"I don't think that's insane at all. Why won't you go out with Susan?"
"Oh come on not you as well."
"Okay, let me ask you this, do you think she's attractive?"

It's a trick question, but I know, but knowing it's a trick question I still feel sort of inclined to tell the truth.

"Of course she is attractive, but I've known her for years and, well, there you go?"
"There you go? That's not much of an answer."
"I know, but it's all I've got."
"You must have thought about it, come on tell me you have never thought about it."

Really at this point, I should have said that I had never thought about it, but I knew what would happen I would just burst out laughing. I always do that after I have consumed something like a bottle of Chablis.

"Okay, so I might have thought about it, but in my defence only idly, in the same way you think 'mmm, I wonder how the plot of Lost will work out'."
"Ha!"
"Ha? What does that mean?"
"It means just that, I knew you must have given it some thought."
"Yeah, but only in passing, a casual thought. Nothing more."
"I don't believe you? Have you ever made one of those discreet, sneaky hardly even noticeable, footsie type passes? Come on and I can tell when you're lying."
"You can? How?"
"I don't know, it's the big grin or something. I think it gives it all away."
"I can, cross my heart, et cetera, I have never made a sneaky pass. Honest. Now tell me, what my face says?"

Alison looked at me for ages. She leant across the kitchen table, looked left and right, and sat back looking a little disappointed.

"Okay, so no sneaky pass, but Gordie, really you really should think about a sneaky pass."
"Earth to Alison, no sneaky pass, besides the only time I ever tried that it, to be honest it didn't workout so well."
"You made a sneaky pass? I don't think I remember this one? Details."
"It was Karen, remember, who I used to work with?"
"Oh didn't you two sort of hang out a lot?"

It's true we did, we used to go to lots of gigs together. She was perfect in that we both had the same taste in music and she was sort of cool, but there was had never been any chemistry. I had no intention of even doing it.

We were mates and it was kind of embarrassing as I was sober, so I can't really explain it.

We had been at this gig in Kentish Town and were sitting in some pub afterwards when her foot started playing footsie – at least I thought it did – so I did it back, I don't know why, I just did.

"Hey, what do you think you're doing?" she goes.
"Me nothing, it was you and your footsie foot."
"I was not footsing."
"Really?"
"I promise you. I was moving my leg."

Hey, how was I supposed to know? Some people, I tell you.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Demographic Shift - 87

I said I wasn't really going to write about dating anymore (Mark just don’t read it), but I just had a really weird visit to Dollywood, so really I couldn’t help myself.

I was sort of on a bit of a mission to stop dating people who work in the media someway or other. It was always sort of easy; I just meet more of them in day-to-day life. It's kind of lazy and really it must be possible to have something in common with people other than those who do similar kinds of things to you.

Internet dating if you're going to do it, and really I think increasingly (despite the miss and miss approach) I am, it does make it easier to date other people. I thought crazy as it is this is, it may actually be a good idea, you know, to go out with people who you normally don’t meet and never date.

Besides I did say towards the end of last year that I would really do anything to ensure that I didn't date any more Stoner Media Girls. What with not being a stoner and not drinking all that much red wine.

I digress...so I went on this date with of all people a social worker. I don't think I ever met one before and she was really quite good looking in that brunette kind of way, which I sort of have a weakness for.

On top of that she was kind of into film and read a lot. It was one of those on paper that looked like a sure thing. Well, okay, if not a sure thing, then at least a thing. Wait is that good?

Anyway, we meet up and go for a drink and really after the first half hour or so I don't want to run and so I did my early stage date review, which I was telling Susan about.

"You do an early stage date review?"
"Yes, of course, I thought everyone did an early stage review?"
"I've never heard of one and already I'm not liking it. What exactly do you do?"
"Well I guess I just work out if I should immediately bale or stay a bit longer, before I get wrapped up in a whole second and third drink thing."
"You go before a second drink? I can't believe you. We should never date, you would be thinking about leaving before I'd even made an impression on my glass of wine."

This is not true, I've seen the way Susan drinks white wine, she drinks it like I do: it barely touches the sides on the way down, although for once in my life I manage to keep my foot out of my mouth and not broadcast what is running through my head.

"Suze, I would definitely wait until you'd at least finished."
"Really? Still I'm not sure I believe you. So what happened with this one?"
"Well this one lulled me into a false sense of security. She only showed herself to be slightly crazy after we had finished our first drink."

It had taken an hour more or less to drink a glass of wine each. See? We were talking lots. It was going kind of smoothly and then I made some crack about Dolly Parton. I know where did Dolly come from? Well this girl and lets call her SWG (social worker girl) had sung 9' to 5' at some work related bash.


That'll be Dolly then Posted by Picasa

I thought this was hilarious and made several derogatory comments. It was all mild stuff, I swear, but SWG went off of the deep end.

"Don't take the piss out of Dolly."

I thought she was joking for a second, but then the stony face and a systems critical nuclear sense of humour failure sort of gave it all away, but it was too late, anyway, I couldn't help myself and fired off some other comment.

"Seriously, don't I respect Dolly a lot and '9' to 5' is my favourite movie."

This was from the woman who said she was something of a film buff. Okay, I know it's wrong to denigrate other people's taste in film, but '9' to 5'? I mean come on, she couldn't possibly be serious, it must all be an elaborate gag that was being stretched to the limit.

"You're joking, '9' to 5'? Whose favourite movie could that possibly be?"
"Mine. I love Dolly, when I go to the states I want to go to Dollywood."

Dollywood? Was she still joking? Could there possibly be a place called Dollywood? Despite all the evidence to the contrary, I thought it had to be a joke.


Welcome to Dollywood Posted by Picasa

"There can't possibly be a place called Dollywood. Even if there was why would you go there?"
"Because of Dolly."
"Right..."

In case you are wondering Dollywood is real. It's a Dolly Parton related theme park and it's huge. It's like Disney World...but just with Dolly instead. It's 35 miles southeast of Knoxville Tennessee and has 23 huge water rides and...yes I couldn't believe it either. It's sort of Western world with rides called Little Creek Falls and Bear Mountain Fire Tower.

There was a little uneasy silence at this point. Personally I was lost for words. I'm hardly ever lost for words. Honestly I can always find some. Not always my own, sometimes just a quote or a song lyric and it might sound like gibberish, but really it takes a lot to leave my mouth agape without much clue how to respond.

I thought at this stage she would suggest we call it quits. It was definitely going down hill. We were tobogganists, definitely picking up speed, but no. Instead something else entirely happened. The waitress was suddenly by the table asking SWG if she wanted another drink. Of course she did.

"Large glass of red, please."

She didn't even hesitate. Then SWG looked at me and the waitress looked at me. I think they were waiting for me to say something.

"Errr, a gin 'n'tonic? I guess."

To be honest after that I was feeling a little weird out and just zoned out and she started talking rapidly. This girl despite being attractive and brunette was also kind of odd with the Dollyness. Maybe that was the whole social worker thing. Maybe all the sectioning people had tipped her over the edge and she had landed in Dollywood Tennessee. It certainly sounded reasonable.

"So how long did you actually give her?" Susan asks.
"I was there for almost two hours. It felt like a marathon. I hardly said anything for the last hour. After the whole Dollywood thing she just talked at a manic rate of knots and would not stop. I swear I finished my drink in like 15 minutes and sat there sort of slack jawed as she talked and talked. Mostly about patients. Crazy patients."
"Gord, you always sit there slack jawed, I thought it was your look."
"Oh you’re sweet."
"I know, but never slack right?"

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Demographic Shift - 86

Susan calls me on the phone to tell me that she is going to a party and that it is going to be full of skinny gorgeous models. I think I might be dribbling, hey give me a break I'm only a guy. I can't help it. It must be like a design flaw.

Of course, I get really excited at the prospect as I think she is about to invite me to said party where I can satisfy one of my life long ambitions of… well, you know, meeting more models. What can I say? I want to a) climb Kilimanjaro and b) help save the third world also, but realistically speaking these are lower down my list, but really only on the basis that a) I hate heights and really don't want to touch any void; and b) Sir Bob and Bono are already on the case and apparently making little progress.


 Posted by PicasaNot big on the void

"Sounds like it's going to be cool party," I say making it clear that I would like an invite.
"Not only will there be models, there will be much champagne as well."
Champagne and models? Surely that's everyone's idea of heaven.
"Perfect, I have to tell you that is exactly what my idea of heaven is like. What are the chances?"
"Oh slim, I would say."
"I'll say."


Smoking Posted by Picasa

I should say that Susan gets invited to these kinds of things all the time. It comes with the territory working on top women's magazines. I knew I had erred with this whole media/internet. Whilst I spend all day frantically typing all Susan seems to do is her nails and squeeze in sometime for typing.

"Oh I think it will be a very good party. Did I mention it is going to be chocker full of models?"
"You sure did," I say."
"I've been practicing my mwah mwah kissing on anyone passing in the office. I'm starting to think that they might be getting the wrong idea."
"Okay, I think I missed something here, why are you practicing mwah mwah kissing?"
"Oh, Gord surely you know, mwah mwah kissing is terribly important to models. It makes up at least half of their vocabulary. I just want to ensure that I have plenty to say."


a model thing Posted by Picasa: mwah

Susan has me in stitches, but still after like five minutes on the phone she has not proffered an invite in my direction.

"Do I have to beg? Suze, I think you might want to take me with you. I’m fluent in mwah and have always wanted to, you know, meet more models."

There is a substantial pause on the line, where I believe that Susan is filing her nails as she makes her considered response.

"Sorry, Gord, you can’t come."

I'm stunned, it's like someone just turned the light at the end of the tunnel off. It was so shiny and bright. Who would do that? That's so wrong. Turn it back on now.

"You're kidding right, like in a 'Gord you can't come' but really I can kind or way? Right."
"No I'm serious. Simply in a 'Gord you can't come at all' kind of way."
"I think I've lost feeling in my legs. I could be suffering from some kind of shock."
"Gord, you know why you can't come, you’ll get a little and then a lot drunk and convince yourself that for some bizarre reason you will be able to successfully chat one up. And whilst they are generally guaranteed to be blond and not awfully clever, they still won’t sleep with you."
"Really? Are you sure? I mean shouldn’t we put that theory to the test. I mean I like champagne, so we’ll have something in common."
"I’m quite positive."
"It would be like a challenge."


So no champagne then Posted by Picasa

"A challenge, more like Mission Impossible."
"Oh cheers."
"Oh besides you’re too poor, you don’t take lots of drugs, don’t have a large house, nice car and you don’t belong to any private members clubs."

Susan's right, damn what can I say, I knew that one day I would suffer in later life for failing to take large quantities of drugs, but who would ever guess the punishment would be so cruel.

"Held back again by my overly sensible and clean living approach to life."
"Gord you don’t have a clean living approach."
"Damn you’re right again. I never knew I failed on so many levels. Did I ever tell you how lucky I am to have you?"
"Never, but Gord that’s okay I’ve always seen myself as the vastly under appreciated but indispensable type. Look I have to go. I need to hit to the gym, starve myself, pick up my little black dress from the dry cleaners and have a facial all in the vague hope that I will look thin enough by this evening to not stand out too much. How do you rate my chances?"
"As always Suze, highly. And remember if you think you might suddenly change your mind and decide what your good friend Gordon actually needs to kick 2006 off to a great start is to meet some models…"

I imagine at this point Susan places her index finger on her lips as if to give the indication that she is actually giving my suggestion serious consideration. And really I would be full of hope if I hadn't experienced her do this a million times before.

"Oh let me think long and hard about that one. Thinking over. Dream on Gord. Speak later."

At which point Susan hangs up on me. Some people would be deeply offended by this and really if it were anyone else I would be deeply offended, but Susan hangs up on me all the time. Literally, it's like her thing. Her hanging up thing.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Demographic Shift - 85

I failed to make any New Year resolutions. I remembered this at around 3am in a basement jazz bar in Ostend in Belgium, where the cigarette smoke felt like it was slicing my eyeballs.

Somehow having escaped any injury a day earlier, as the car I was riding in spun 180 degrees in the treacherous snowy weather, it all just slipped my mind.


 Posted by PicasaSnow

The car thing happened kind of slowly, and I don't think that's because we really weren't going very fast, it was just slow, a trick possibly, but there was, so it seemed, plenty of time to think about what was happening and I distinctly remember thinking several things.

I remember thinking that no one was talking and no one said anything. There were three of us in the car and no one seemed to say a word. They might have, but I just didn't hear it or at least I don’t remember hearing it.

Nothing flashed before my eyes. Nothing at all, like no great rift of life, which seemed sort of odd, and I remember thinking wasn't something meant to be happening just then? Like an autonomic response? Doesn't everyone get a blurry flashy slice of scrambled thoughts and images? Apparently not.

I also remember thinking we are going to hit the central reservation as the car did not seem to be stopping, although that is exactly what did happen after the car arced out across the road sliding like a brick of black ice.

And then we stopped and people did say stuff, but I don't remember what. Although at a guess it was something to do with the Volvo truck that was behind us and that had managed not to plough on over the quite overshadowed little sports coupe.

Just a little later, maybe only 20 minutes, and really not much more, my head started spinning, and I was suddenly very woozy and a for a few seconds somewhat nauseous, like I was tripping out, or maybe momentarily stoned. It passed almost as quickly as it came and I’m sure it was all unconnected, but I remember being rather glad that I wasn’t driving as I was positive I would have lost control and careered off the slip road we had since joined.

Anyway, I'm digressing, so no resolutions, but that might have been down to the strong cocktails served up the bar, above the casino, which overlooking Ostend's long and wide beach where the fire works played out after midnight, as we sat on these large leather white couches watching the locals and the light display.


 Posted by Picasacocktails

What made us laugh most was the number of old men and young women.

"Must be father and daughter," someone went.
"You think? He's stroking her arm in a suggestive fashion."
"Okay maybe not."

There was the German scientist complete with bowl cut blonde hair and small gold rimmed spectacles with his tall blonde, and also bespectacled, partner who had fraulein written all over her. They left kind of early. Possibly we thought to get back to work on some devilish plot or evil scientific experiments. Of course, they might just have been tired. You can kind of see what I mean about the drinks.

Although, I think the kind of thing, he meant was, the younger women thing, rather than anything else.

Ostend, as it turns out, is kind of charming, but not really somewhere you would end up unless someone, somehow, made a conscious decision to be there.

Like Marvin Gaye, for instance, who was there for two years in the early 80s just before he died, and our friend who had bought an apartment there and suggested a European New Year.


 Posted by PicasaMarvin

Marvin Gaye is everywhere. Writ large in black and white posters looking cool. He is possibly the coolest thing that ever happened to Ostend, but the beer is pretty good as well, which is good as obviously being a New Year there was a generous amount consumed.

Anyway, I did later think about resolutions some more, and really, to be honest, could not come up with any. A total lack of resolution, which really can't be all bad.