Saturday, May 17, 2008

Meme time

I got tagged by Lynn Jones on this one:

The requirements are as follows:
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Locate the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences on your blog and in so doing…
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

Setting up a narrow range of choices, then, should always be a part of your deceptions. The following are among the most common forms of “controlling the options: Colour the choices. This was a favourite technique of Henry Kissinger

-The Concise 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

I'm going to tag:
and Rachel

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hen night fun

On Saturday I went out on a hen night with some friends. We had a blast.

We met up at a rather nice pub with a beer garden and had a few drinks waiting for the hen to arrive. I thought it was the wedding she was supposed to be late for!

When she got there we went to town on her outfit: flashing tiara, veil, sash with flashing LEDs, L-plates, a big badge saying “Warning – Hen night in the area.” I also had a chuckle when some guys sat down at the next table and said “Uh-oh, hen night. Are we safe over here?” Apart from a couple of double takes, nobody gave me any hassle either. Even the staff seemed unfazed.

After a pitcher of something blue containing vodka, and getting to grips with our rude straws, we each had to pick a dare card. If we hadn’t performed the dare by the end of the evening, and well enough for the others to guess it, there would be a forfeit to pay! One of the girls asked what the forfeit was (smart girl – weighing up which was worse, her dare or the forfeit), but Chrissie had anticipated this. She said that the forfeit was a secret, but would be messy!

Sadly no-one ended up having to do a forfeit, so I don’t know what it would have been. Although my gut instinct is that it was just a way of getting everyone to join in, rather than an actual threat. I must ask her later what she had in mind…

When we finished our drinks we decided to move on. This took at least ten minutes as lots of bars have changed their names, or closed, and no-one had a strong opinion. I didn’t have a clue, I don’t often go drinking in the city, and I often stick to one or two places which are miles from where we were.

Walking through the city I regretted wearing heels, as despite Norfolk having a reputation for flatness, there are a lot of hills in Norwich and some are cobbled!

Aside: I’m not sure if any tranny-friendly shoe companies do flats. They seem to think all trannies want ridiculous stilettos!

After changing our mind several times we ended up in the Prince of Wales (that’s at the safer end of the descent into hell that is Prince of Wales Road). Still a bit quiet, but the Hen’s sister and friend were getting over their initial shock at my presence, and were nearly through all the silly remarks they had. More drinks again, then next door to Chicago’s. I’ve only been there once before, but I remembered it as pretty cool. Two levels with a balcony overlooking the dance floor.

Sadly health and safety has filled in the void over the original dance-floor to make a new one, but there was a beer garden – which pleased the smokers no end.

Unfortunately there was a bunch of scummy slappers who insisted on making snide remarks – not just about me, but the whole group (as we are all larger ladies). These trollops may have had slimmer bodies, but they looked like they were guests on the Jeremy Kyle show, and had personalities to match. There was an uncomfortable few minutes as the bruisers in each group sized each other up, but common sense prevailed and they moved elsewhere in the club and left us to enjoy our free champagne (another bonus of the hen night!)

Then came the next dilemma of the evening –which toilet to use? In the Prince I used the gents. It was still pretty light outside, and the place had more staff than patrons, so I played it safe, and prepared to explain my outfit as “fancy dress” if there were any problems, but it went without a hitch. In Chicago’s I was more nervous, but with an escort I braved the ladies and had no problems all night with “powdering my nose”.

Apart from the dance-floor and garden, Chicago’s also had some nice long booths with a big table and U-shaped leather benches, and we drank our drinks watching all the other hen parties come and go. There were at least four other groups and I was incredibly jealous of the hen in the ruffled white satin mini-dress.

Music was a bit naff though – far too much R n’B – although we got just enough classic pop for the hen to do her dare: down a shot every time the word “love” got sung.

By this time we were anxious to boogie, and had another debate on where to go. Eventually Liquid won, as one of the girls knew a doorman who could get us in free. We had some worries as one of the other girls was under 21 and had no ID, but it wasn’t a problem in the end. We got our drinks – and I did my dare to down my Malibu and coke in one – and headed for the dance floor.

For more grotty R n’B.

Another aside: I can’t understand the popularity of R n’B (“Urban” artists like 50 Cent and Nelly not classic Rhythm and Blues) in night clubs. It’s not easy to dance too, its not very sexy, and its tricky to sing along, especially if it’s a remix. I personally think the majority of people at the meat-market clubs would dance to anything if it gave them a chance to pull. Personally I prefer some good quality cheese if I want to dance (disco, 80s pop, 90s dance, current girly stuff like Girls Aloud etc).

But we had fun anyway. We got flirted with by a stag party; I got groped by a piss-head who got the message when I peeled his fingers off my hip; and the last girl to do her dare completed it by pinching a man’s bum.

The grown-ups in the group (me and Chrissie) were getting a bit tired now, and a lot hungry, so we called it a night and left the young-uns to dance. We stopped at the kebab shop, and then waited at the SOS bus for a taxi.

One last aside: The SOS bus is a fantastic idea. It’s a bendy-bus that parks a short distance from the clubs that is staffed by first-aiders to provide facilities for clubbers who are the worse for wear, but don’t need an ambulance. Somewhere to sit down and regain your composure, have a glass of water, get some relative peace and quiet, and just see a friendly face can do wonders. If you ever see them fundraising for it, dig deep!

As well as laughing at the antics of the drunks at the cash-point trying to act sober I also got to have my picture taken in the hen’s regalia (picture here). It’s not quite the same as the tranny-classic of the blushing bride, but a bride-to-be was good enough for me!

In the morning I had breakfast with the organiser who had quite an exasperated rant about the amount of stupid/ignorant/needlessly-rude people she witnessed making comments about me behind my back. She is very much of the opinion that people are allowed to be surprised, shocked or even amused by a bloke-in-a-dress, but there’s no call for snarky remarks (and that’s why I love you babe, mwah! xxx). A lot of people are already polite enough to keep their uninformed opinions to themselves, we just need the rest to follow suit now!

Friday, May 09, 2008

106 Books

Yeah, everyone's doing it.

Bold = I’ve read
Italic = Gave up on

* Anna Karenina
* Crime and Punishment
* Catch-22
* One Hundred Years of Solitude
* Wuthering Heights
* The Silmarillion
* Life of Pi : a novel
* The Name of the Rose
* Don Quixote
* Moby Dick
* Ulysses
* Madame Bovary
* The Odyssey
* Pride and Prejudice
* Jane Eyre
* The Tale of Two Cities
* The Brothers Karamazov
* Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
* War and Peace
* Vanity Fair
* The Time Traveler’s Wife
* The Iliad
* Emma
* The Blind Assassin
* The Kite Runner
* Mrs. Dalloway
* Great Expectations
* American Gods
* A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
* Atlas Shrugged
* Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
* Memoirs of a Geisha
* Middlesex
* Quicksilver
* Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
* The Canterbury tales
* The Historian : a novel
* A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
* Love in the Time of Cholera
* Brave New world
* The Fountainhead
* Foucault’s Pendulum
* Middlemarch
* Frankenstein
* The Count of Monte Cristo
* Dracula
* A Clockwork Orange
* Anansi Boys
* The Once and Future King
* The Grapes of Wrath
* The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
* 1984
* Angels & Demons
* The Inferno
* The Satanic Verses
* Sense and Sensibility
* The Picture of Dorian Gray
* Mansfield Park
* One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
* To the Lighthouse
* Tess of the D’Urbervilles
* Oliver Twist
* Gulliver’s Travels
* Les Misérables
* The Corrections
* The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
* The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
* Dune
* The Prince
* The Sound and the Fury
* Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
* The God of Small Things
* A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
* Cryptonomicon
* Neverwhere
* A Confederacy of Dunces
* A Short History of Nearly Everything
* Dubliners
* The Unbearable Lightness of Being
* Beloved
* Slaughterhouse-five
* The Scarlet Letter
* Eats, Shoots & Leaves
* The Mists of Avalon
* Oryx and Crake : a novel
* Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
* The Confusion
* Lolita
* Persuasion
* Northanger Abbey
* The Catcher in the Rye
* On the Road
* The Hunchback of Notre Dame
* Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
* Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
* The Aeneid
* Watership Down
* Gravity’s Rainbow
* The Hobbit
* In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
* White Teeth
* Treasure Island
* David Copperfield
* The Three Musketeers