Thursday, August 25, 2005

Tabula Rasa

I got myself a new job.

What’s that you say? A little too understated? OK, I’ll take another run at it.


I’m not going to go into any more details at this point…Just think of this blog posting as an episode of Lost – just enough information to keep you interested, but not enough to answer any of the really big questions…

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty

Yesterday didn’t go anywhere near According to Plan. My adventures with the filthy bitch I call London went a little something like this:

I was all set for an interview in the early afternoon – one that, despite my financial travails, I was reluctant to attend, primarily because it would involve a daily round-trip commute of between 5 to 6 hours. But, I’m in no position to turn down the prospect of cold, hard green, so I got up early to get ready for the trek to Guildford.

After hours of travel, my journey stalled at Waterloo. Someone had decided to embark on a Train-Assisted Suicide, eviscerating themselves on the front of a speeding train. I waited for almost 90 minutes, but the departure boards weren’t working in my favour, so my journey abruptly terminated itself, and I had to cancel the interview.

Well, there’s no point in wasting a perfectly good day in the Big City, all gangster lean in my fly suit, so I ambled over to the South Bank. It was a beautiful day, and the big concrete monster on the Thames was heaving with action. The idiosyncratic and ill-considered architecture of the South Bank makes it one of the best places in the country for skateboarding, and the skatekids were out in full force, flying up and down the concrete, adding to their growing collections of grazes and bruises, in front of a beautiful wall of pretty sweet graffiti tags. The second-hand bookstalls were crowded with bargain hunters and tourists, riffling through the musty tomes looking for Words on the Cheap. I grabbed a spot outside the NFT bar (now known as the Film CafĂ©, but I don’t think I’ll ever call it that), and nursed an ice-cold beer while I plotted out the rest of the day. I broke up the day with a leisurely walk over to Charing Cross Road to snag myself some cheap books or CDs. But it was back to the South Bank for the evening.

I scoured the film listings to find something I wanted to watch, but the batch of new releases was painfully uninspiring, so I decided to kick it a little bit old-school, and went for His Kind of Woman at the NFT, a suitably twisted offering from the time when Howard Hughes had his hands on RKO, a Robert Mitchum – Jane Russell confection, from a time when men had glass jaws, women were dames, and Vincent Price was the comic relief. A perfect ending for a luxuriously lazy Summer day.

But now I have to get the hell of this computer and get ready to make moves to Alperton for another interview. This could be the one...

Monday, August 22, 2005

Makes You Wanna Hustle

At some point last week, something slotted into the right hole somehow and my perpetual efforts at securing a regular pay cheque started to bear strange fruit. I don’t know how, I don’t know when, I try not to question the fickle finger of fortune or the capricious cock of karma – I just take my lucky breaks where I can get ‘em. So, I've got to the interview stage of the game, and I have a feeling I'll be back in the Working World again by next week. We shall see.

Nevertheless, instead of burning up phone lines, I’m now running around to a selection of the most unusual places trying to dazzle prospective employers with my charm, wit, poise and a selection of my PG-rated party tricks. Just hook me up with a hypodermic needle, a handful of baby tomatoes and a bottle of cheap vodka. It slays ‘em every time. Sho nuff.

Anyway, I can’t get into all that now. Just wanted to point you in the direction of this - Definitive evidence that proofreading saves embarrassment.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Silver Scream

Mainstream Hollywood filmmaking is doomed. Doomed, I tells ya!

Look, this is from Dateline: Hollywood (by the way, all italics and highlighting are mine):

“A study analyzing the year’s box office data has revealed that a glut of original ideas is to blame for the year’s sharp downturn in box office revenue. Never-before-seen concepts like The Island, Stealth, and Cinderella Man have been some of the summer’s biggest disappointments, while remakes, sequels, and adaptations like Dukes of Hazzard, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Four are keeping the studios afloat. “This just goes to prove that the problem in Hollywood is too much originality,” said James D’arcy, president of Exhibition Analysis.”

By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth, both Hollywood studios AND filmgoers suck! Now, I’ll come clean and admit I liked both Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and even Fantastic Four, but, dammit, who the hell wants to see Dukes of Hazzard? A redneck carcrash of a movie based on a TV show that was absolutely terrible in its own right? Give me Smokey and the Bandit or the divine Cannonball Run over that anytime.

And Bewitched?? A film that can’t even stretch itself into actual remake territory, but nevertheless whips out its evil incancatations to unleash a volley of poisonous piss onto the grave of Elizabeth Montgomery. And don’t even get me started on the ridiculous prospect of Steve Martin “doing” Peter Sellers in The Pink Panther.

And whilst I’m on a role, here’s another question. I can’t be the only person bored of the endless Stiller, Wilson, Vaughan, Ferrell fratpack comedies, can I? Granted, there have been some good ‘uns, but the trailers for Wedding Crashers made my skin crawl, and I got a similar queasiness from the 40-Year Old Virgin trailers. Tired, tired ideas, repackaged seasonally, just so you don’t feel like we’re watching reruns, when only the surface has changed, but the guts of it all is identical.

Pre-movie trailers these days are just an unending litany of snapshots of remake, sequel, based on a TV show, comic book, novel, adolescent wetdream…

And Christmas so far seems to hold only opulent baubles like Narnia, Harry Potter and King Kong…I have nothing against big, shiny things, and for all I know, some of these movies may be good…but can’t we have some NEW big, shiny things to play with for a change?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Man With The Plan

He’s been The King of New York, now it's time to make him The President of the United States!

Vote Walken in 2008!

And people say politics is no fun…

Monday, August 15, 2005

Conflict of Disinterest

During times of job search drudgery, I have become accustomed to hearing a variety of brush-offs from recruitment consultants. The two top rejections that I hear, in almost equal measure, are:

“You don’t have enough relevant experience for the role. It’s far too senior for you.”


“You have too much experience for that particular role. It’s far too junior for you.”

It’s frustrating the shit out of me. I am now taking what I have dubbed “The Goldilocks Approach” to job hunting, looking for that Baby Bear Vacancy which fits me juuuuuuust right.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Twilight Zone

I’m pretty sure that it’s nowhere near as dull for you to read this as it is for me to live it, so I’m going to give yet another update on the as-yet barren search for work. So, you have to suffer through this shit one more time:

Number of jobs applied for: 121
Number of interviews so far: Still only 1

And I’m running out of ideas about what to do about it.

Tom Stoppard once said that: “Every exit is an entry to somewhere.” Well, I exited my last job on June 17. Since then, I don’t think I’ve entered anything at all, other than a bizarre existence that entails an endless round of begging, phoning, e-mailing, pleading, and losing little fragments of my sanity that slip away and rest on my pillow when I get up every morning. I’m just sitting in a Cosmic Waiting Room hoping someone calls my name soon.

This is how Sisyphus must have felt.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Scores on the Doors

As Week 7 of the interminable Job Hunt begins, and I hunt that elusive hulking great salary like an impoverished Captain Ahab desperate to sate my own personal financial demons, I thought it might be time for an action-packed round of “Fun with Stats” with me, your host. So, have at thee!

Number of jobs applied for: 97
Number of interviews so far: 1
Number of helpful recruitment consultants: None

There. Now you know. But in this case, knowledge isn’t power. Sucks, don’t it?

In another part of the virtual world, the terrifyingly prolific Bert has called me out, asking: “Dear Jim. Can you fix it for me to find out what you have been listening to whilst being holed up in your pit?”

Now then, now then, ‘ow’s about that? You ask, I answer:

United Future Organization – The Sixth Sense
Prince – Gotta Stop (Messin’ Around)
Ramsey Lewis – That’s the Way of the World
De La Soul – Pawn Star
Smokey Robinson – Cruisin’
Prince – Cream
Gil Scott-Heron – Fast Lane
The Blackbyrds – Rock Creek Park
Jabba – Superbad
Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Mellowship Slinky in B Major
Public Enemy – Mind Terrorist

Happy now? Now, getouttahere, kid, ya bother me!