24 December 2012

it be cryin'; yeah, you thought it was rain

so here we are at christmas. not surprisingly, i've been drunk almost constantly since last week. chicago is a heavy eating and drinking town, and i indulged to the best of my abilities. that was followed by two leaving dos back in london and saturday i was pretty over being hungover. i also found evidence of a late night trip to burger king that reminded me i'd got on the tube, off at waterloo (where i procured said burger king) and then got into a cab from waterloo. so there is definitely the most idiotic voyage home of my life. except the time my flight to atlanta got diverted to maine. but that's for another day.

or is it? it was last christmas (just after i'd given you my heart, but before the very next day when you gave it away). we got onboard and the lady was like 'welcome to this delta airlines flight to atlanta, via bangor, maine'. i'm like 'oh funny joke! i bought a direct flight you mo'fos'. anyway, the whole thing was we have to land cause half the crew were off sick and you can't fly for more than eight hours without a new pilot or some shit so we had to pick up a new pack of yo yos to get us the whole way there.

i mean i would have just been like 'yo, ill take a long shift dudes, let's just get the fuck home', and the flight attendants really shouldnt have cared cause there were about 14 people on my flight. anyway, we stopped, we refueled, we got some new peeps onboard and then we taxied out to the run way.

it is at THIS POINT. not some EARLIER POINT ON THE FLIGHT that they say 'we have some paperwork to handle and have to go back to the gate'. you hardly have to be a frequent flier to know that paperwork never means anything but 'mechanical issues we dont want to talk about' or 'there may or may not me a terrorist on board'. in this case it must have been the latter because the guys who had been looking suspiciously like sky marshalls throughout the flight unveiled their shields (ooh la, la) and escorted this dude off the plane. then some puppies came on board and sniffed around everywhere. in case you're wondering if this feels massively unnerving, it does.

anyway we took off again and then all the women (inc yours truly) piled on one side of the plane to gossip about what may or may not have happened. we decided it was drugs, since otherwise i suspect we might not have made it all the way to maine.

today we aim for a less traumatic journey as we head up to razberet's parents' for more food and drink than i want to think about. merry christmas, all y'all!

And the embers never fade in your city by the lake

Please note: this post is about a week old. deal.

welcome to this special report of bor, broadcasting from chicago. yesterday we spent most of the day on a plane. we sat next to a very nice young man who'd just been studying in milan for three months. he was on a hellish journey from milan to sfo, via london and chicago. we enjoyed some delightful chat, he flattered me to the moon when he asked me if i was also studying in europe. i realised it's been 13 years since i was in college.

but i know what you're all focussed on is what i've eaten so far. well, last night we went to ing (not to be confused with that big bank), and had the 'nightmare before christmas' tasting menu. steve8 had oraganised the whole shebang and met me at the hotel after i got in. anyway, here are some pictures along with what, after about fifteen different drinks and jet lag, i can remember. 

 first up was this ball of something with mushrooms in it painted to look like the guy from the movie. neither steve8 nor i have seen the movie so we had no idea what the connections were, but it did look familiar. what was less familiar was the octopus underneath it. it wasnt quite my scene but it was good to taste. the broth and the weird ball were amazing.

i also had a pumpkin sour, which was, shall we say, not that great. they served it with this miracle berry stuff, which changes the way everything tastes. steve8 advised me i might not want to have that before a 10-course tasting dinner. some of the courses also came with booze, and we had a bottle of wine. you can imagine what sort of shape i was in after eating and drinking all that when i'd been up for untold hours.

 accompanied by low-lit pictures, and in no particular order, here's what else we had. pork belly with like six different kinds of foams and purees, accompanied by a luscious shot of rum and apple cider and pumpkin something. this was top notch. it also came in a massive silver skeleton hand, which was unnerving.

there was a deep fried frog's leg (meh), some little sweet potato things filled with sage, green cardamom and caraway pastes. delightful! oh, those came with truffle shavings. holy. fucking. shit. those are great.

then there was a whole fucking plate of duck. a devilled duck's egg, potatoes with a duck-fat gavy, sweet potato sticks fried in duck's fat, confit duck leg with stuffing foam and some berry thing.

then we ate the berry stuff and ate a lemon and it tasted amazing. the chestnut ice cream was also amazing. all in all, it was one of the most epic dining experiences ive ever had.

we had a chilean wine.

today i went to the gym and then went a little apeshit on the mag mile. i had to go to the apple store to get something and on the way back i basically stopped at every store i could find and bought at least one thing. after all this, i was pretty freaking hungry so i went to the corner bakery. here i was able to get a half a rueben and something called fully loaded potato soup. 

15 December 2012

they deftly manouver and muscle for rank

despite royal mail having told us all that things were gonna be amazingly simple when it came to receiving packages this year, i still ended up queuing (twice) at the southwark post office distribution plant or whatever they call it these days. you can see here, in this picture i so lamely took, that this was a pretty hefty line. i mean we were out the door and around the corner. anyway, this is what i did last saturday. it took up a substantial part of the day.
what a black & white will look like

monday, beep visited from new york and brought me a black & white. for those of you who have been deprived of the experience of black & whites, they are large, very cakey cookies that are iced with half chocolate icing and half utter pointlessness. The chocolate icing, you'll notice, will cling to whatever style of wrapper your black & white comes encased in. cling film, a plastic packet, whatever it is, the chocolate, in all its chocolate glory, announces its gooey nature by drawing the plastic to it like a moth to a flame. meanwhile, the white icing has the reverse effect. plastic can't be paid to stick to this hardened version of tasteless toothpaste. this is all by way of saying, when you buy someone a black & white, that person will always eat it exactly this way:
  1. break off tiny piece of white side - this is to make sure that yes, it does taste like nothing useful at all
  2. eat most of the chocolate side, relishing every bite
  3. eat another bite of white side. still sucks
  4. eat the remainder of chocolate side, bar one bite
  5. break off a chunk of the white side. peel the icing off and eat the cake
  6. eat your last piece of chocolate
  7. look at the remaining disappointment
  8. 20 minute later, peel off the rest of the white icing, eat cake
  9. wonder why they even bother with the white side

11 December 2012

it's all a mystery

this is a technomolociaglly themed post. i know you guys are mega geeks like me so it's all good. first up, we have this yesterday morning's commute. my iPod's battery died and blah blah lazy blah blah didn't listen to music on my way in today. that didn't matter, cause someone on the bus was fucking blazing his ears off with some shite techno shite. so i was in like the fifth row of the bus. i had to narrow it down. this is where i discover i am a racist.  i looked around. it was clearly not a chick. we dont listen to cock music. and this was like gay cock music. but cock music, nonetheless.

so my options are: guy with shaved head and from what i can see not impressive facial hair who has a blackberry and some clear headphones that like come up around the back of your ears and look more like a hearing aid than a hearing destroyer. chap 2: beats by dre headpones and his collar up (twat). these were who it was, in order. the first guy i was like 'wow dude that is really loud cause you're in the first row and i am way back here in the fourth row so holy jesus, you are not going to be able to hear much longer'. he totally ruined my theory when he departed the bus (looking much older than i thought he was from the front) and the noise remained. then it was little mini twat. he was young, and as we know, the young are prone to stupid behaviour like keeping their noises too loud and being anywhere i am. then he got up and left the bus. 

so now there was just one bottle of beer on the wall. the guy right in front of me. here's the racist part. i pegged the facial hair guy and the young guy even though their distance from me was not in any way indicative that they might be the culprit. so this guy, sat in front of me, was spilling his shitty techno all over my airwaves. he was, in no particular order, asleep (who can sleep with that shit on??), large (like very rotund), asian, possibly chinese, with a longish pony tail (vaguely pink from previous dye job), old and sporting fu man chu facial hair. 

dont be racist, kids.
hello from 1994

next up we have something that's been causing me endless joy ever since i saw it. someone hacked a website .here is what they did.

i mean if this isn't the lamest hack since johnny lee miller and angelina jolie in that movie (which i have of course not seen like 20 times), i don't know what is. but it's also fucking brilliant. yeah evil hacker. it gives me a weird sense of joy to know that these kinds or people are still kicking around, doing this rather than making hats out of people.

and finally, last thursday i was cajoled into going out for a few pints and the liverpool match. of course, i got home at 9 or so and was thinking 'why stop now?'. so i called up xx via face time on my phone and cracked open a pumpkin ale. cut to two hours later. she has found a bottle of whisky she claims is mine (i have never bought jamesons ever) (she also hates whisky) and i have started to eye up a 2-year-old bottle of polish gin.

this is the part where you're all 'holes in the story, wcs! your battery wouldnt last that long!' and, my smart readers, you are right. it was also around this time that we were grappling with my dying battery on my phone, which we still had to use to communincate properly to figure out what was going on with the SIMULTANEOUS usage on my macbook of: facetime, iChat video, Gchat video and a Google+ hangout. for those of you keeping count, that means we were on five different versions of the same kind of programma and couldnt get any of them to work. it was not cause we were drunk!

ps after the last guy got off the bus, you could hear something else. the guy two rows behind me snoring. ahh, commuting.

10 December 2012

not a chill to the winter but a nip to the air

amongst my many cultural endeavours of late are nsfw at the royal court in sloan square, followed by a long period of time wandering around whole foods in kensington acting like going to a grocery store is an actual activity for a saturday night rather than just something you do when you need milk.

nsfw was pretty good. we all found ourselves vaguely shocked to discover that julian barratt is quite hot in real life. i won't get into the plot but it was a pretty weak swipe at sexism and gender equality and 'are women doing it to themselves'-ness. it was good but it was almost so superficial there wasn't much point in bringing it up. like saying, 'those poor people, eh?' then going for ice cream.

speaking of cream! we bought some of whole foods' very, very good pumpkin pie and a cup full of fresh cream. it was, as you might expect, lush. i bought a whole bunch of other random shit, including gefilte fish, which never ceases to make whoever i am shopping with (unless it's a select few people) relatively uncomfortable.

artsy fartsy king's cross picture
anyway i also went to see talvin singh and some lady who seriously kicks ass at percussion play a live score to a movie at Kings Place. i've done this sort of thing before, so i know it's a bit of a crap shoot. it was pretty cool, though. not least because the film itself was shot in new york in like the god-knows-whenties. they went to coney island when luna park and the steeplechase were still around. those of you who care will know what that means.

then we went to the grosvenor and had a lovely roast and a relaxing evening and it was lovely and i was happy. i am in love with a pub. like truly in love. with a pub. although i don't know if i'd get the lamb again.

05 December 2012

if. i. would. would. you?

some of you remember the good old days when i was just a drunk with a keyboard. now i'm a sort of older-than-i-feel actual adult person who defo drinks more pints of water at the gym that fozzies at the pub. so boring as i may have become, here's a bit of old school wcs.

Friday i decided to attend after-work drinks. we started out at the old crown, where i promptly re-claimed my mayorship. after a few drinks, we decided to rock up to camden to see a band called Steak at the Black Heart. Steak are made of up, among others, the boyfriend of a lovely little lady called lindseed oil, who i work with. I recommend you go see Steak, if you are into loud music that might be in the direction of metal. I would not recommend you see them if you are me. I gave it a shot, but that is severely not my thing. they are nice guys, though.

after that, we went to the world's end, which is seriously where i cut my teeth as a drinker. i spent almost all of 2000/2001 in this bar. and it was oddly just like i remember it. it's also massive. they also still play the exact same mid-90s grunge in there. but the girls are all different. it's all young (like i used to be), really dressed (tarted?) up (like i never really managed to get the hang of), apparently indian ladies (which i am not). i found it a bit weird really. i wouldn't have guessed these kinds of girls were particularly into like alice in chains and nirvana. but you know, more power to them!

so i ended up trashed. i remeber telling damson jam and her bf that alaska punches you in the face when you get off the plane in juneau, so that's useful. we got the tube home and i went to switch back north at kennington but doh! last nbound train was gone. so i went up and tried to get a bus. i was cold and tired and no cabs were anywhere so i got on the first bus that came. which only went to Elephant & Castle. what happens next is just the kind of thing you tell you young daughters never to do. i walked from E&C, mainly focussing if anywhere that sold curry was still open, at 130am.

but! i made ti to chicken cottage. there is a £5 minimum to use a card there. so i bought two meals and had one for breakfast.

04 December 2012

eating barbequed iguana

i made 554 dollars last year.
i spent £44 on stamps today.
i am down to two bottles of salad dressing.
my bagels are always extra cream-cheesed these days.
will bailey is in a new show, and it's good. i'd venture to say it's sort of a sexed-up version of the killing. with will bailey!!!!
kate is knocked up and the media in at least the UK has lost its damned mind over it.
if loving tesco's finest mexican cole slaw is wrong, i don't wanna be right.

30 November 2012

lovely as a [winter]'s day

nothing says love like extra creamcheese
who wants a bagel update? i know, i know. so there are now two guys FIGHTING over me at pod. one guy  is my favourite of blogs past. this other one is just very tall and polish. that's about all i know. course the first one is rather short and west-asian, and that's all i know about him. anyway little pod went back to overdoing it with the cream cheese, but big pod WINKED at me today. oh my god. they are right, girls, when it rains, it pours the men of pod on you.

it's gotten a bit cold round good old london town, but the other day it was a reasonable temperature so damson jam and i went for a walk at lunch. coming up one of the seven dials (the one with the two brewers on it), seemingly out of nowhere, the first few seconds of 'my cherie amour' floated out from a window, or through a doorway or -- where the hell was it coming from? and why is the doppler effect not in effect? oh i'll tell you why, cause like a scene from a movie about a hot new york city day in the '70s, some guy was walking down the street, and i mean walkin' down the street, playing it.

but wait, what was he playing it on? the days of ghetto blasters and boomboxes are over, sara! you know this!

i will tell you. he was carrying a Bose iPod dock.

welcome to the future, kids. it's weird, and apparently rich.

Greece is the word

This is all very outdated, like when you watch an episode of 'friends' and think, 'wow, those jeans look horrible, how did we not see that at the time?', but it's still funny, so here it is.

razberet and i have booked a trip to crete. whilst in the decision-making process, i consulted a colleague. the rest, as they say, is little-known history.
colleague 10:22
You can upgrade to all inc and get it for £399
wildcherrysaral 10:25
i like HB
cause then you still get out and eat locally 
and keep greece alive for one more hour
colleague 10:27
True. True. I like the unlimited drink element of AI
wildcherrysaral 10:27
fair point
colleague 10:27
If you're confident you can drink £99+, then you can still go out for lunch

21 November 2012

oooh, it's a mess alright

it's truly embarrassing that this story is caused by neither hangover nor still-drunk-the-next-day-itis:
not the same as tottenham court road
Scene: a cold, rainy Wednesday morning. a woman in her mid-30s crosses the street to the Tube station, runs downs the stairs, and jumps on a northbound northern line train.
Cut to: 5 minutes later. woman exits train and files like an ant in an ant farm (i so want an ant farm. christmas pressie anyone???) through the corridors and spiral staircases at bank and plops right into the train that arrived, as though choreographed to, just as she enters the platform.
Scene: a woman in her mid-30s sits on the Central Line doing some work. she is already a bit late and slightly annoyed at the whole Tube situation in general. suddenly, with a jolt, she looks up, shocked, as the lady on the train announces 'the next station is Bethnal Green'.
Fade to black.

yes, that's right, boys and girls. today, sober and well-rested, i got on a tube going the wrong direction and failed to notice for four stops. what really started to make me wonder was how it wasn't very crowded. anyway, i discovered this at bethnal green, but it was too late. so at mile end, i sheepishly exited train one, walked up the stairs (and this is the worst part, cause the people behind you all know, they know, what you've done) and turn back down the Westbound platform. I needn't confirm that i was indeed late to work, but the worst, WORST part is.

my bagel-making soulmate is mad at me. we are in a fight.

today my bagel, for no reason i can imagine, was covered with a paper-thin layer of cream cheese. there was no (actually kind of annoying) glob of extra poking out of the hole in the centre that i and my OCD-ish self had to scoop out and redistribute evenly with my index finger. there was no exciting little treat stuck to the bag that i could eat as an amuse-bouche to my actual bagel. i tried to smile at him but he was hard to see through that little window today. what have i done!?

i honestly can't think of a song for this post so here is your very plain headline

before i forget to tell you the gripping story of how i ended my weekend, here it is: o'shea and i went to the calf for a roast and saw Argo. i was down with the plot the second i heard CIA/sci-fi movie ploy... i mean, this is shit perfect! and it's true! and rory cochrane is in it! LUUUUCAAAAAASS!

so here is the roast picture, as you are all anticipating. we both had chicken, extra gravy (natch), creamed leeks and cauliflower cheese. it seems the calf has been taken over by the same group that owns the sun in clapham, the erstwhile sundog and soon-to-be sun of camberwell, the phoenix and razberet's old local way up north. they keep it pretty low key on the site, ie, are trying to fool you into not noticing these pubs are all run by the same evil corporation or whoever is behind the curtain. but i can tell because i am sara, like sarah lund, and i noticed that they all have the same basic setup, menus and images. and the book now for christmas thingy. all this notwithstanding, it was a pretty good roast. although despite asking clearly for two lots of extra gravy, we got one. poor show.

Argo was fantastic. i highly recommend you see it. affleck's not even annoying in it. and who doesnt love a bit of alan arkin? 

the other intense bit of info i forgot to share with all you good people is that on the way home from friday night's movie disco, razberet and i were lucky enough to see a real-life head injury in the Tube. Someone had cracked his old noggin open right at the entrance to the platform at oxford circus. there was blood on the floor. he didn't look too jazzed, i must say. i think he was going to make it, though.

Factoid: you have to sign a non-disclosure agreement when you go to facebook's offices. they also have many snacks. i think im allowed to share that.

well if all this hasn't got you in a right old state, we topped off sunday evening by watching, i dont know, three or four more eps of the Killing. we are down to our last two for tonight. it's gonna be a mental night. 

20 November 2012


i did it! the man at pod central st giles loves me!

every day of my mundane life, i go to pod for a cream cheese bagel. it took these guys far too long to recognise that not only do i come in every day nearly without fail, i always order the same thing, and i never want a bag. the first person to pick up on this was the guy who makes my bagels. one fine morning i walked in and he caught my eye and mouthed 'cream cheese bagel?' and i, overjoyed that someone finally picked up on it, nodded and mouthed 'yes, thanks!' i was so thrilled. he started cooking my bagel before it was even ordered. i'd reached the height of breakfast take-away efficiency!

then he was gone. for a week, or two, i was bereft. beside myself. having to explain over and over that no, i did not want salmon on it, or a drink, or a FUCKING BAG! slowly, some of the ladies at the counter started to figure me out, and now most of the people who work there totally know what i order. i switched it up for a couple days and asked for tomato. they remembered that right away.

this morning, my favourite bagel toaster was back. he smiled, he said 'bagel?' I smiled and nodded. when he called out my order he said 'bagel with extra cream cheese' and gave me a giant grin. we are in love.

i am always having these almost romantic comedy run ins. the story always starts off hilariously ephron-scripted. on my way to ice-skating with a friend, i find a wallet on the tube. while looking through it for some sort of contact info, i find he's a banker (rich) with a gym (fit) and nando's (likes chicken) card. we make a plan to meet in front of canary wharf station on a cold winter's day. my friend is telling me how we'll get married someday and laugh about the stupid way we met. he shows up and is pretty much a mega twat who says  in a posho voice 'i really must stop leaving my wallet places. ciao'.

then there was the time at the airport. christmas day. we'd had a massive snow here in the UK, and people were all backed up trying to get out of town. i took a bump because who in their right mind says no to US$1000 delta dollars? this meant i had to get on a bus to LHR and get on another plane four hours later. matt was behind me in line. we started to chat as you do. he also took the bump. we sat next to each other on the coach. he's also from the atl and living here. we like the same books and music and have a few beers and some food and a delightful time. we see each other several times once back in london. i might have left this bit out. matt is a gay man.

i've got the randy-newman-themed quirky meeting down pat. just nothing else. although it is always funny. i start telling people these stories and i just watch their heads start casting colin firth and mark ruffalo or whoever. till i get to the punchline and it changes to james spader c Pretty in Pink or ethan embry in Sweet Home Alabama.

the moral of the story here, is i still get extra cream cheese for free (heads out of the gutter, people!), and that's nothing to scoff at.

19 November 2012

your sky all hung with jewels

the first noteworthy thing that happened saturday was, when i was on my way to the gym, i passed razberet on her way back from the gym. we high-fived. we are a special kind of cool.

later that day, we met one of razberet's friends at joes. the poached eggs with bubble and squeak, roast veg and hollindaise  sauce is one of my all-time favourite breakfasts. here is a picture of it. 

nextly, we walked over to maltby street. this place is like the darling of the market scene. short version, some traders got sick of the rules of borough market so set up shop in some railway arches vaguely near tower bridge. then time out went there and now it's a hipster haven of overpriced (and i mean terrifically overpriced) bread, london-distilled gin, pastrami sandwiches, german cheese dumplings, pulled pork sandwiches, people in flatcaps and trilbies and, of course, radiators.

the shard through bunting
we'd obviously just eaten so we did not have any snacks. but we very much were tempted. it's a delightful place to go on a saturday before 2pm (when it shuts), but considering how crowded it was on a very overcast and chilly day, i'd steer well clear if it's sunny and warm (ha, joke's on you, it's never sunny here).
hipsters in their natural habitat
cause we are equal-opportunity market visitors, we followed up maltby street with good old borough market. i do love this place but it's everyone's 'secret london place' to take their out-of-town friends so i tend not to go very much despite it being essentially just up the street. it was packed. but they had little balls of mozarella on cones with a dollop of some mega-garlicky pesto on top. we partook:
mozarella in a cone, bitches

then i went looking for pumpkin ale cause this is the only place i know of to buy it. now that i think of it, whole foods would probably be a good shout. might try the one in clapham this arvo.

digression aside, we wandered around the market and i spent about £3 on mushrooms. my normal spend on one of those plastic punnets of mushrooms is £1, so £3 for like, i dunno, 10 shitake mushrooms and some other ones i dont know the name of is maybe a little on the high-falutin' side. but then we got like 6 avocados for a quid, so you see it all evens out in the end.
generic borough market picture

continuing on our 'all markets are created equal' rampage, we hit Elephant & Castle, a place i love so much, i capitalise it. i sincerely doubt there is anything in the world you can not get in this roundabout. there is a bowling alley, a 99p store, an iceland, a gregg's, a tesco, the grimeyest greasy spoon in south london, a wh smith that always looks like it's just been ransacked, a polish restaurant, an indian restaurant, a south american restaurant, a generic asian restaurant, a bingo parlour and a market that sells like all the tat you could ever want. i dont remember buying anything there.

we mainly went to see this house that had been on grand designs.  it looks totally cool, you should go see it.

after we got home, exhausted, we had to deal with the fact that the sky is out, so we started watching the killing. seven hours later, we figured if we didn't cut ourselves off for the night, we'd be like crack-addled wastes of life with dried-out eyes by morning.

we also made pho with all those expensive mushrooms. here are some umbrellas:

no, i have not missed the hypocrisy of posting pics of 'hipster locales' using instagrammed shots. suck it.

18 November 2012

gimme two tickets to paradise

i can now count myself amongst what is (hopefully) a select few people who have seen the two worst musicals in the history of time. the first, an also select few will remember, was this bob dylan atrocity.

the second is Loserville. my disappointment in all things related to this show lead me to NOT EVEN LINK TO IT. this is like the blogging equivalent of a boycott or sit in or some other non-violent and rarely effective form of protest. once again i am forced to ask how this ever got further than something the playwright handed to a mate and said 'hey what do you think of this?', which the mate then, for the benefit of mankind, just threw away.

the redeeming factor of the night was eating at gabys. go there. eat everything. it's right near leicester square tube. don't go see loserville afterwards.

the rest of the week was rather less eventful till friday, when o'shea and i went out for some korean yummies and then met razberet to see ruby sparks. this was OK. nick urata of devotchka -- we all know how much i love devotchka so i'll spare you the, 'omg devotchka are SO GOOD and they are also SO GOOD LIVE I MEAN IT.' speech -- did the music, which you may also remember was the case for related-by-directors movie, little miss sunshine. i'd say LMS was a better movie, but this was pretty interesting. of course, ruby was a little too zooey deschanel my-only-personality-trait-at-all-is-quirky so i grew weary of that early on, still i enjoyed it and in comparison to the similarly plotted stranger than fiction, i thought they were pretty creative with the concept.

and now, pictures of korean food and regent street christmas lights.

show me the fever, into the fiiiiire, takin' it higher and higher

with all the excitement of lambchop and andrew bird and other bands with names that make me sound even more pretentious than i actually am, the weekend was looking to be nicely calm and collected. in fact, without some serious mind-rooting, i couldnt remember what i did.

well, what i did was meet a very jolly damson jam in tooting for some very cheap shopping. how one person can spend £200 at three poundshops and a wilko is beyond me, which is interesting because i am said one person. first, we had some indian snacks. i'd probably have to admit this was a major theme of the day, as tooting really is pretty much the bees knees when it comes to indian snacks.

for those of you who were just getting comfortable with the idea that i might not veer off randomly with this post, buckle up. my seemingly endless search for bagels has become substantially more pleasant with the discovery of the happening bagel bakery. aside from a groovy '60s name that makes me wonder if that's pot or rye seeds, this place has a tremendous selection of not just bagels, but savoury indian snacks and like every cake you could think of in giganto pieces. no pics. just go there.

so after the shopping spree we wearily went back to the studio and had some chinese take away and damson jam finally managed to see Wet Hot American Summer. a lot of people have never heard of this movie and much as the writers of it intended, i always have to explain that it's not a porn when i tell new people about it.

Sunday was a trip with bankside to jam circus in brockley. i walked. cause im weird. it took about 1h45m. every time i walk this far down the old kent road or whatever it turns into past the carpet right, i wish i did it more. every side street looks so intriguing. i should have taken pictures.

mostly what you need to know here is they charge £2.55 for a fucking pepsi with ice and the roast was delicious and we had a table by the fire. also, hipsters:

12 November 2012

just a boss thing that is pure

ok, this is gonna be annoying and so i'm asking you to just like stick with it for a little while. a lot of people arent familiar with lambchop, the band. first i send them here.they normally ignore that and to punish them, i then say this:
so it's like a very warm day. not quite baking hot but verrrrry warm. you're somewhere real nice, with a view or something. lying down on the grass. the grass is a little itchy. your inner thermostat is about to kick on the a/c and is gearing up to start you off sweating. it's that kind of warm. you're feeling pretty warm. the sweat, it's kind of gross but there it is. one giant bead gathers strength and rolls down your back. it is at that very moment that the subtlest, gentlest breeze makes its way to you. it moves the grass a bit so the itch goes away. it sweeps over all your little new sweatletts and cools you right off. this situation is lambchop's music. 
no zoom necessary

the lyrics are generally fairly bizarre, leaning towards unnerving, but the music itself is so goddamned beautiful it's hard to even care how depressing the lyrics may be. they've wrapped up cynicism in the cuddliest blanket ever. then they sewed a pocket on it for your remote control. so yeah i am a poncey arse, but their music is good.

what else is good is having totally forgotten that you booked second-row seats so when you arrive and she says 'all the way up front' you look at razberet and think 'score!' then you get there and are fairly spellbound when you discover there are about ten feet betwixt you and kurt wagner. they have this guy. he is pretty new. he plays (amongst many other things) three different kind of shaky things, several bell options, a bassoon, an oboe, a clarinet, a flute, a saxomophone, a random guitar that he never played like a guitar and one of those things that has like a keyboard on it but you blow it. i have no idea what to call it.

they were rounded out by a lovely group of pianist, bassist, drummer, keyboard/guitarist and of course, jerky kurt, replete with his co op hat. that's him in the light suit up there in the blurry picture.

quick notes: we saw it at cadogan hall, i had a tartlet (see above), we went for a pint afterwards at the clyde and this guy, who definitely seemed at least a little bit drunk, asked where tom delaney was like 10 times. they were supposed to meet at 'a pub'. we asked if it was this pub. he said no. we really didnt know what to say after that. i  hope he found what he was looking for.

there'll even be a band

andrew bird had a lot to live up to, obvs. and since razberet was busy carrying, not drinking (see text below and tell me it does not sound like she had one helluva time on the eurostar) five bottles of wine, it was simply your favourite soft-drink-titled blogger and obi-wan.

we met up at the french house for a couple halves (they don't serve full pints; god only knows why). dont get the wrong idea here -- it's not like i go to french places once a week on purpose. it's just happening more lately. it was also not because i felt bereft without my wino flatmate (pictured, right).

it shouldn't be overlooked that i did manage to get to the gym quickly before this, however the shitty machine at my shitty gym was all sorts of facacta and never went down from level 25 even though i had theoretically reached the top of the mountain and should have been around level 3. i just gave up after like 25 minutes.

regardless, we hopped up to the roundhouse where we missed all of micah p. hinson. andrew bird came out, and he still had his double barreled phonograph thingy, which was surprisingly effective in such a large space.  it's not really a complaint, but i am generally not an appreciator of the 'im gonna play a totally different version of this song than the one that's on the album' theory of gigging. i like, essentially, a louder, louder, louder version of albums, in a different order.

Blurry bird, credit: WCS
Blurry bird (2), credit: obi-wan
as good as bird is, and he is -- i mean he whistles and it sounds like a theramin -- even the songs i loved weren't that fun; they sounded so different i didnt quite get to boogie down the way i'd planned. however. howEVER. it was still pretty spectacular, and obi-wan seemed duly impressed and we took these blurry pictures.

06 November 2012

i'd probably dress up in you

Most people will find this unsettling at best, and downright get-your-xanax-on depressing at worst.

i hate pizza express. the fact that people go there never ceases to surprise or amuse me. best of all is when i imagine some dopey bloke taking a girl there for a first or second date. pizza express's main place in the world is for people who are about to get their first under-the-shirt, over-the-bra feel to go to on dates (and yes, i mean only teenagers should go there).

should we have the conversation about the fucking pizza with a fucking hole in it that's filled up with salad (probs full of disgusting rocket, no less), that's like the 'healthy' option? here's the thing, if you're gonna go get pizza, go get some motherfucking pizza. go quattro formaggi with extra cheese. put some bone marrow on that son of a bitch. when you choose to eat some food you love, even if you're watching your weight, eat it. don't get some pansy-ass half-witted version. that's dumb, and then, by association, you're dumb. dummy.

so much of the time, in order to enable pasta lunches and cheese parades and meats of all shapes and sizes (that sounded a bit wrong, didn't it?), i eat a boring salad for lunch. it's got all the healthy bits in it: spinach, mushrooms, cucumber, avocado, tomatoes, some grilled turkey. and it's important to me as a health-concious eater and as an american that i have an extremely wide range of salad dressing choices. and these choices should ALL have low-fat options. well, here in the weird, soggy, dark UK, we have full fat and like extra fat. you wouldn't believe how many of these things have a little red pie piece on the fat bit of the nutritional value. red! alarm! put this on your salad and you might as well have had a freaking burger!

yeah, i took a picture of the till at sainsbo's. what of it?
and it is for this reason that today i bought five bottles of, bizarrely, pizza express Light House Dressing. yes, while their pizzas are worthless, it turns out their salad dressing has the sort of hold over me that means i will go to like seven different sainsbury's/tesco outlets on a quest for it. and, since i didn't find it the first six times, i figured i'd better get while the gettin's good.

i have to apologise for the poor quality of the video with today's title link. normally i can find a more official one. the song is still fine, though.

05 November 2012

I'm living in a kind of daydream

whether or not we are aware of it, every person in Britain is on a quest for the best sunday pub every single time we leave the house. what do we secretly eye up in every public house we visit? a brief curriculum, in order of importance to me:  fireplace, cozy atmosphere, the ability to rock up at any time and not have to wait/find they are out of lamb or cauliflower cheese, decent if not excellent tunes, comfiness (see also cozy atmosphere), decent prices. 

it was with no fanfare and mostly shock actually that we found such a place yesterday. at the risk of ruining it by telling my thousands of loyal fans, it's called the grosvenor

as you can see from the excessive amount of pictures i took, it was damned near perfect. fireplace (which we were able to sit near cause it wasn't that crowded), charming line of books by the window, bitchin bloody marys, <£10 roasts of all varieties, all of which were of a very satisfying standard, banoffee pie and chocolate pudding with cream and custard (warm, natch), respectively, talking heads and sam cooke on the rotation, and the occasional patron tickling the in-house ivories, treating us to 'the very thought of you', 'danny boy', 'smile' and various other pleasant-sounding sunday afternoon songs.

All this came after getting home completely shattered on friday at around 11pm after a seemingly endless train ride from manchester. i finally completed reading this book. it was OK. i worry about anyone who takes it too seriously although the upbeat tone of most of it sort of warns you not to. but then again, as we here at bor are so fond of saying, 'people are stupid'.

Do you watch 'homeland'? up until recently i felt like one of four people in the tv- or computer-owning world who did not. well, see ya, suckers one, two and three, i finally started on season one. here are my very not-at-all-superficial thoughts. claire danes is thin and looks really good in all her outfits. she also has pretty hair. mandy patankin is rad, but not as rad as he was back in the day. i enjoy staying in bed watching consecutive episodes till roughly 2pm.

after doing some serious self-directed reverse psychology to get myself out of bed, i went to the gym and came home to make my annual parkin. i used a delia smith recipe, and it turned out ok. you can see here on exhibit A that the bake wasnt quite right, but it tastes good and while paul hollywood would probs find all sorts of issues with it, i think mary berry would gladly sit down and have a slice with a cup of tea. i might actually have a chance at 'delightful flavour'.

then i ran off to a party - a bonfire party!!! - to have a few beers and a lot of sausages. the bonfire was sort closer to a smoke machine, and most of what i wore that night still smells pleasantly of fire. so when i got home, i smelled of fire and the house smelled of gingerbread. score!

NB: formatting is not my intention. im sure you'll get over it.
NNB: i turned on this thing where you can put your email address in and you'll totally get updates when i post new stuff that's not very interesting. sign up now!

03 November 2012

I'll be thinking about them as I'm lying in bed

if it's such a dazzling display of common sense, why did it take you guys five years to measure a thumb? i can't say i'm that impressed.

while we're on adverts, this one is just killing me (i see it all the time when i go to my lunchtime gym -- and yes, i am a special kind of lame and have two gym memberships, dont bother hiding your envy). i need not even mention how annoying these two protagonists are (oops! looks like i just did), but look at them. they are skeletons with wigs and rouge. i'd bet my bottom dollar they were both spitting out every minstrel they gigglingly popped into their mouths throughout this pile of minstrel vom.

look at their cheekbones: hollow as a junky, and when you see their hands, it's all bone. the piece de resistance has to be the lady in navy's arms. they are like three inches in diameter. it's totes fine if you want to be thin and all, but it's more than a little irresponsible for a chocolate company to have two skinny minnies touting wolfing down sweets. i mean there's no way these to girls eat more that three minstrels' worth of calories a day...

focus on the mozzarella
speaking of calories, manchester did not offer a health retreat-style diet. we had a four-course meal consisting of antipasti, bruschetta of three kinds, pasta also of three kinds and a trio of desserts at stock.

that night i found myself returning to simple. this place sends me into a tailspin every time. the whole menu is ribs, mac 'n' cheese, meatloaf, burgers, etc, and so on. i can now confirm the mac 'n' cheese is ace.

and while we're talking mac 'n' cheese, it looks like i'll get to revisit my favourite ever m'n'c at kingston mines in chicago, as i'll be going for work in december. balmy.

final food-related thoughts of today: rules made it on to downton abbey. need to return there post haste. why does cutting toast into squares make it so much more fun to eat?

01 November 2012

we'll spend the day together eating a sandwich

The following is a true story regarding my current (recently upgraded) haircolour:

O'shea 17:50
it's very autumnal 
wcs 17:50
pierre and i 
we love to change with the seasons
he was like 'i see like a darker warmer' i was like 'you read my mind you lebanese genius'
and then we just had champagne and laughed

So yeah, i go to a totally overpriced hairdresser. but the thing is, it's in Marylebone, which is a lovely area and really, i never have much other reason to go there, so aside from generally fabulous haircolour/cutting experiences with pierre and adam and our champagne, it's also a nice excuse to hang around there.

but the real, main, issue here, is that afterwards, we went to the place in marylebone where you get steak and frites.


So yeah back to this whole Monday night business. I’ve clearly fallen behind already and im only like three days into this sad project. Anyway, c’est place is sort of a chain but there are totally branches in new York (well maybe it’s not open right this second), london, Manchester and obvs, paris. You wait for, I dunno, about an hour on a Monday night at 730, which means any other time will be twice as long – unless you go after 9. Seems to die down around then, although I have no idea how late they stay open. Anyway, this is hardly that relevant to you right now as we all know the question on your burning lips is ‘how the shit was the steak, bitch??’

It was good. It was actually very good. even if it had been mediocre or at the top level of poor, I would have been satisfied because what happens is this: You wait. You sit. They bring you a salad with walnuts (a fact you cannot ignore or escape because they make what I think is an inordinately big deal over – certain dinner companions, I think, found my befuddlement at this somewhat irritating), then they bring you your steak, which you have ordered blue, red, medium or well, along with a solid heap of chips. If you are me you mistake the mustard for salt and therefore inadvertently bypass it.

You get about five slices or so of meat, doused in a fairly unusual sauce that’s a distant cousin to pesto but I managed to get over that fact. Once you’ve cleared your plate, and only then, the lady comes back and asks you, ‘would you like more?’. What’s interesting about this detail, and rest assured, it is an interesting detail, is that she doesn’t give a shit what you say. Before the word ‘you’ is out of her mouth, three more slices of meat have settled on your plate. They should just come up and say ‘I am giving you more food now’. So another helping of fries and meat allowed me a second chance at the mustard, which should not be missed, and was just about enough for me and razberet, and we passed on dessert even though there were some tempting options.

a twee picture
Just down the road from the place where you get meat is Purl, one of these speakeasy throwback places that conveniently DOES have a sign (no need to take it too far, now, right?). I moronically rang the bell thinking you had to get let in but razberet being young and hip and there before, just walked in. for me, I say visit yourself. It’s a decent little place. Bit of jazz, some nice alcoves and couches, pricey but unusual (and mostly flammable) cocktails. They also did us the kindness of a palate cleanser. How many bars are that considerate?

I had a jewish champagne (how could I say no?) and razberet had something else that came in a bell jar full of smoke and was accompanied by dried up smoked chocolate. Mine was also served enfuego. 

you'll be waiting...

The bor newsroom is going on assignment to in Manchester. Most of why we are there here is work-related, but some of it, like seeing beach house at the ritz tonight last night, having dinner (northern for lunch) at stock tomorrow today, going to an undisclosed location for drinks/actual dinner tomorrow tonight and of course lunch and drinks on Friday, along with this part, where I write a blog on a train like a truly huge loser (I think the only step down from here is to actually walk up and down the carriages taking down each one’s number for my list), is not.

Mad updates from the gig, meals, drinks, people calling me ‘pet’, and probably a sausage roll here and there, on tap for the coming days. Stay tuned. Or go read something worthwhile

Please note: I have not sold out to the man. Due to lack of connection on this train, I have composed this post for you on a virgin train to Glasgow (which I will be disembarking at warrington quay). So ms word has done all the capping for me.

UPDATE: in ultimate combination of work/pleasure, i actually had a 40-minute phone call with the developers in california last night after the gig
he: hi sara, how are you? where are you now? (we'd had several calls that got cut off on the train ride up)
i (sheepishly): ummmm, outside a bar in manchester

It took me a long time to get back on the train

moon over manchester
So here I am, overlooking Manchester, yes, slightly drunk, and wondering after noticing the cctv in th the lift whether the very nice lady in reception just watched me not be able to figure out how to exit a lift on the right floor, recapping the show. (it’s highly likely that semicolons should have been involved there, but you’re lucky to get anything right now.)

In a word, beach house was (ok there are several) the only thing that could have lifted me from the state of anger and pain with which I arrived in Manchester. Not to be discounted, though, is how nice, like, everyone is in this town. It borders on creepy. Speaking of which, I am on the 13th floor.
the beach house at the ritz

I did at one point actually text damson jam and suggest that we come back up to manchester to see calexico at the ritz. if the ritz were in london, i'd never leave it. it's made me seriously consider moving up here.

Anyway, long story not that much shorter, I did not have a direct train up here. And the first leg was late, forcing me to miss the second leg. I had to wait about an hour for the next train to piccadillly and missed the first half of the show after running in to the hotel, dumping my stuff, and running out again. The staff were more than congenial about it and I even got a ‘have a great time, love’, from reception.

The main point here is that they played Irene and I am currently in possession of a borrowed lighter from the take away guy who frequently delivers food to this hotel. We also visited the venerable thirsty scholar, which is highly commended  by me as a place to visit should you ever find yourself in this part of the world.

I also spent  time speaking outside warrington station to a woman formerly of ‘several airlines’ and currently with the London underground who told me I could claim against virgin for making me miss my train and that I could borrow her lighter. She is the reason I spent too long chain smoking outside the station.

30 October 2012

i am, it would appear (for now), back

yes, after a hiatus so long the cast now comes on screen and you think 'wow, he/she/it looks OLD', we've got the old blogging bug again. like that wretch-inducing three-feet-long mess of hair that you have to pull out from the shower every now and again, bag of rocks arrives, kinda gross, covered in a thin film of grime, lacklustre and a bit smelly. it's almost entirely useless, but it's unavoidable. for those of you who ever read this blog, ever had an RSS feed for it or at all still read any blogs or use an antiquated RSS feed, a few things have changed.

we are not drunk so much. it still happens but after reading some of these old posts, jesus, what a disaster. we have a teeny tiny british accent sometimes when we say certain words. we try to avoid it. we refer to ourselves in the third person plural more often than we, or anyone who doesn't actually own a crown & sceptre, should. we spell things -re and -our most of the time and it's not just cause we're pretentious.

we also totally let our wordpress account lapse, as well as giving up our url, which is now worth almost $3000 (bugger!) so a few posts from the early days of pond-hopping are gone forever in the black hole of 404 redirects and whatnot. for those of you who stuck with me through those lean years (and are unlikely to be reading this now anyway), i do thank you for your support and hope someday you and google find your way back here so i can continue to be self-aggrandising.

sometimes when we do get drunk, we sing a very happy little ditty about the owlde kente roaawd. we have a very good english accent when this happens. and sometimes do a bit of a little dance.

i just actually said, with no sense of irony (of which there are several active strands in this) 'ugh! blasted sunshine'.

it seems that rather than do a book report of what i did over the last four or so years we'll start with the now and maybe some of the better stories will come out in the wash anyway. so let's jump right in, shall we?

making a lake of the east river and hudson

I've been seeing some insanely freaky pictures from the news and various facebook updates. this whole sandy thing might just be getting out of hand. I'm sure no one is thrilled about seeing what really lies in the depths of the Gowanus Canal, let alone having it float by their front door. Anyway, after seeing the ConEd explosion via Gawker this morning, I am now officially freaked out and it's more than a little bit odd that it's bright and blue and sunny (for once) here in London. Of course, it still gets dark at like 2.15pm.

in related news, gawker is knocked out, which is having a profound impact on how i receive information about celebrities i can't stand. anyhoo. big love to all those in the five boroughs and around. stay dry, stay safe, stay away from that oil-and-toxic-waste-soaked body that has been dislodged from its cement block in the Gowanus and is floating by you.