Friday, 6 June 2008

Friday 06/06/08

And on Thursday afternoon at work I help out a colleague who went on holiday to Greece and was overcharged by his hotel, and the way I help him out is by calling the hotel in Greece and trying to sort it out using my amazing skill of being able to speak Greek. But what actually happens is that I’m unable to put a sentence together and explain myself properly, because the hotel guy doesn’t ask me what I had for dinner last night or what the weather is like in London, which are the only things my parents ask me on the phone, and therefore the only topics I’ve practiced over the last ten years. So the situation now with speaking on the phone, is:

- When I have to make a phonecall to anyone in English (i.e. every day) I don’t have any confidence at all because it’s my second language, so I end up mumbling and making mistakes

- When I have to make a phonecall to anyone in Greek (i.e. once a year) I have great confidence because I think I can do this, I’m Greek you know, but the reality is that I’ve lost it and I end up mumbling and making mistakes

After work I go to the gym and after the gym I meet up with Scott and we go to Urban Outfitters where he buys a pair of white plimsolls too and then we go to his friend Simon’s house. At his friend Simon’s house: I bring my own dinner (chicken and broccoli) / people watch TV / I go to the bathroom and change the toilet roll because it’s hanging the wrong way around / people eat pizza / I leave at 2130 because I need to go home and spend some time on my own.

On Friday I discuss with ___ our complementary Suede tattoos, and I know that I said we had decided on…

and we can feel a little closer
as we tumble through the sky

…but this plan is now off, because we both want the second line of this (tumble + sky) and nobody wants the first one (feel + closer). Which I suppose is fair enough because the first line sucks.

So this Friday I come up with another shortlist of Suede lyrics that we could have, and even though at the moment I’m still waiting to hear ___’s views on these, I thought I’d share them on here as well. And my new shortlist of lyrics to have tattooed on our bodies as a gesture of eternal companionship / being a little bit odd / doing more things we’ll regret when we’re older / I don’t know what, are as follows:

(Again these are all split in two lines, for each of us to have one. I’ve put in bold the line I’d rather have if we go for that choice – where I have a preference)

Top 5:

steal me a savage, subservient son, get him
shacked-up, bloodied-up and sucking on a gun

but he and I, we soon discovered
we'd take the pills to find each other

and like all the boys in all the cities
I take the poison, take the pity

we can be together in the nuclear sky
and we will dance in the poison rain

on you my tattoo will be bleeding
and the name will stain

The rest:

and I'm losing myself
losing myself to you

and so we drown, sir we
drown, stop taking me over

we got a love from nowhere towns
we got a love like electric sounds

you wake up with a gun in your mouth
let the nuclear wind blow away my sins

when you're there in his arms and there
in his legs, well I'll be in his head

so in your broken home
he broke all of your bones

And that’s all for now.


fleetmonkey said...

I think you should go beyond Suede lyrics - and onto McAlmont and Butler lyrics - Yes lyrics are a classic - Probably relates more to your illness as opposed to anything you can have on multiple bodies.

Apologies if you find the whole concept of McAlmont and Butler horrendous and post Britpop.

Anonymous said...

What about these two lines from Incubus:

we all have someone that digs at us
at least we dig eachother

Tim in Italy said...

I'd only just started to wonder about loosing my mother tongue. As my Italian increases and I speak less and less English, I started wondering about it. And now I'm also learning French. I think it would be so strange to have to stop and think about how to speak English!

"but he and I, we soon discovered
we'd take the pills to find each other"

exactly the way I felt about Pete... still do.

Jeff said...

I like any of the middle three of the top five. The first one is the best when it's whole, but when it's split up the second line is kind of lame. I'm not such a big fan of referencing a tattoo in a tattoo, so the fifth would be out for me too.

I think mutual tattoos are definite go. If you don't care for a person enough to permanently mar your body with the evidence that they once existed, then you don't really care, not really. Not that you have to have a tattoo, but you should be willing.

aurix said...

you brought your own dinner? no love for pizzas?

Eddie said...

I still don't know what plimsolls are and I only speak English. Well some Spanish. How should toliet paper properly be rolled?

Cockbag LLC said...

I love that you changed the toilet paper. Hopefully you changed it from a bottom feeder to the top.

London Preppy said...

fleetmonkey: No I really do like McAlmont and Butler. Yes, You Do (amazing)

anon: But, but I can't just get a tattoo of a random band I've never heard. Even though I'll concede that'sa smart quip. But there's not enough violence/tragedy in it

tim: I never thought I could have lost the Greek fluency, but as mentioned when it actually came to a real life test...well it was gone

jeff: Well put. And I don't see a tattoo as a guarantee for eternal commitment, but as acknowledgement that this person once existed a you say. Very good

aurix: Lots of love for pizzas. Too much love

eddie: Toilet roll...see cockbag's comment above

cockbag: Correct!

blueyedboy said...

It's comforting to know that I'm not the only one with an OCD toilet roll problem...

Oldyeller said...

And I'm wondering where these tattoos will appear. To avoid daddy's disapproval, perhaps the hip, buttock, nether regions would be good, but then only ___ and shower stalkers would see it.
While you're obsessing about ___, don't forget about your plans to link up with Anthony when he returns.

MrM said...

My dad told me over the phone that we shouldn´t communicate in my (his) mother tongue, because I don´t speak it well enough anymore and he doesn´t understand what I try to convey. That sorta hurt. Especially considering that my other mother tongue is still very fluent and that my English is well, ok, and I use it on a daily basis. So yes, realising your mother tongue is going down the drain is sort of painful. My solution: denial - I keep on speaking it (when I have to) as if there were no tomorrow...
And, sorry to be so diplomatic, what about "as we tumble" and "through the sky", so one gets the tumble, the other one the sky, each fragment goes well by itself... even though, now that I reread them, they do sound a little daft, especially the second one. Hm.

London Preppy said...

blueyed: It's just wrong, isn't it!

oldy: I've got a spot but I'll show that when the tattoos are done. But it's not in your face of course, I like my tattoos kinda hidden

mrm: Yep, through the sky on it own is a bit daft. Damn that phrase it's too perfect, I wish I could have it

dickophile said...

poor thing. torn between two languages. do you have this same problem speaking in person or just on the phone?

george said...

i do the toile roll thing too. do you like it under or over? you didn't say?.....have to say that i am a bit over the whole tattoo lyrics. but each to their own.nit everyone is into my back

Anonymous said...

Would you be secretly pleased if you had a stalker? Or openly so?

London Preppy said...

dickophile: Mainly phone. But yeah any verbal communication is troublesome. Any human interaction at all really

george: It has to unroll from over innit

anon: No

luke said...

there was a point in time where i spoke french and spanish quite well (i'm from usa), but when i moved to thailand and learned thai i pretty much forgot the french and spanish. now i'm studying a bachelor's in thai and a minor in japanese, and just decided to take some extra classes in spanish. this time i am doing it using textbooks written in thai, studying with a thai teacher who did her studies in spain and studying with thai students. it makes for an interesting combination, and helps me to reinforce the thai, something that is important as i have only been learning it for three years.

the one thing that i am losing is my ability to write english at a level above the average email. actually most of my emails have small grammatical errors these days ("would of done something", "i read five book") ... all together rather embarrassing. i've been thinking about taking some 4th year english classes that are designed for thai students majoring in english. would be interesting to see how i do.

Brian said...

If I lived in the UK and was getting half of a paired tattoo, I'd totally go with "let the nuclear wind blow away my sins", though I wouldn't mind "and we will dance in the poison rain" either. First time commentor, and absolutely love the blog - thanks for writing it, I really enjoy your style.

Rico said...

"nuclear sky" gets my vote for what it's worth! "poison rain" isn't too bad either, I'm sure you can convince ___ to go along. ;) cheers!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the tattoo should say "Buy your plimsolls at Urban Outfitters!"

Joe in L.A.

Bobby Cox said...

Not that you asked but I have suggestions please.


First is the obvious one. "Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone. I hear you call my name and it feels like home." Maybe not that one.


"You're a creature of the night, you're the victim of
the fight, you need love." Hello, Sandra. Very good. Actually I might steal these lyrics come to think of it.

And finally you could go retro 90s and have "ski bi di bi di do bap do, do bam do". Remember the Scatman? What a winner he was. (And what a name too!?)

Anyway so about the phonecall, do you realise how silly (i was going to use the word ironic. *spit*) it would be if one-day you were to look at something like this: "την εθελοντική σας συνεισφορά για να αναπτυχθεί" and say, "I dunno about you, but it all looks Greek to me...!"
I dunno what it says because I copied it off what I think is the Greek Wikipedia.

Or as Snoop Dogg likes to say "yo, my bitches, wave your motherfuckin hands in the air". Okay, enough.

Anonymous said...

i think whatever the tattoo says it just screams i want to be thought of as really cool/crazy/ more interesting than most

Stephen said...

How about you each get the alternate words from the lyrics? eg He gets the first word, you get the second, he gets the third and so on. That way you can share the good and the bad lyric, and separately you have a crappy phrase tattooed on your body, but together it's beautiful.

deikse moy to hroma toy deksioy herioy sas said...

I'm almost inspired to get that "TESCO" tattoo on my lower back that I've always wanted.

London Preppy said...

brian: Sounds like we have a deal, maybe we should have this done together cause I'm not getting anywhere with ___

rico: As above!

joe: That will be a short-lived one!

bobby: "your voluntary contribution so as to develop". I'm quite proud I managed to translate this Greek phrase. Maybe I should consider this as a job

anon: Good. Cause I am. (not cool or crazy but certainly interesting. oh and boring at the same time)

stephen: Trust me there's a lot of negotiation going on at the moment

deikse: I'll get ASDA on my knuckles then

Anonymous said...

i think its kinda sad when people use tattoo's to try and convince people that they are interesting

george said...

over!!! yes!!! people who do it under should have their hands chopped

London Preppy said...

anon: Yes, yes that's exactly what I said: I want to get this tattoo for you, anon, to think I'm interesting. Well done, your comprehension skills are amazing. You've obviously understood everything I've written over the last few days. The tattoo has nothing to do with: loving a band / liking tattoos in general (sorry, I meant "tattoo's" / marking the significance of a person in my life. No, it's all to impress you.

So here's the series of events: I write something. You make the wrong assumption. You pass judgment on me based on your wrong assumption. Great.

When I stop writing this blog (or anything really), it will be because of people like you. People who read a sentence such as "I went to the shop today" and understand "I'm a murdering pedophile on a killing spree"

Anonymous said...

All I can say is...Right On!!!

A different Anon.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering, LP, do you get equally excited/patriotic now that Greece are playing the European football thingy (they are, aren't they?) as was the case with the Eurovision song thingy? Or are you just gay? Footballers are straight, you should like that.

London Preppy said...

different anon: Why thank you!

anon: I most certainly do. I can't wait for Tuesday (Greece's first game). I don't even care if they're hot (they rarely are), I'm watching for the game

Red Exile / Красная Ссылка said...

Love the lyrics. But do worry you'll worry out of suitable body parts for the additional tats.

Of that selection I must confess to rather admiring IMHO: "I take the poison, take the pity"

(Yours, from Astana - without doubt the world's most tedious capital city - your first comment submitted from Kazakhstan?)

AlwaysReadySF said...

I think it's the curse of every first generation immigrant... we want to fit in, we most certainly try, but we don't QUITE get there 100%.

At some point, with me, English (or American, some people would say...) became my first language and it is increasingly more difficult to have full conversations in Italian to the point that my mom said I sound like an American who can speak decent Italian.

Being an Italian mother, she's clearly saying that to work the guilt angle but there is some truth in it.

Funny thing is: the one thing that I can't do in English is count numbers. When I am counting numbers - especially if I do it quickly - it is always in Italian. How weird is that?

I would have to go with "we can be together in the nuclear sky" but those are a lot of words for a tattoo...

Anonymous said...

LP, been on hols for a few weeks getting my tan pre Sydney, where I am also moving come August (i'll be in Manly if you want to say hello)so i've missed a few posts. Are you still with Scott? Can't see anything in the history which suggests not...but the way you're talking I'm not sure. Don't want to be out the loop.

Nix said...

I envy anyone with the commitment to get a tattoo, let alone three.

My favourite of the Suede couplets is "and like all the boys in all the cities; I take the poison, take the pity". And here are my reasons:
(1) the internal rhyme of both the lines ;-)
(2) it's fair as both lines are meaningful on their own;
(3) neither tattooee/signatory is stuck with a dumb line;
(4) there's something stunningly powerful and despairing about "and like all the boys in all the cities", vis-a-vis how as gay men, pre-coming out we are "flawed" yet beautifully different, yet post-coming out we struggle/primp/pump to obscure that difference/fit an ideal/essentially look the same/blend-in/disappear; and
(5) name me one gay boy who hasn't taken the poison, hasn't taken the pity.

On a more important note, I'm very happy that you adjusted that misaligned toilet roll - I compulsively do the same - and I'm (quite seriously) comforted that there is one less misaligned roll in this world.

On a side note, my first bf preferred the roll positioned "under". I forget his stupid reasoning. We don't care/it doesn't matter/it's too painful to consider. I now consider his belief to be an early red-light warning that I foolishly chose to ignore. I should have known in an instant, when I first spotted that sad, misaligned toilet roll, that our love could never truly last.

dan said...

Please don't ever stop writing the blog because some people fail at comprehension! I really like the nuclear sky lyric as well so hopefully it works out with ____!

London Preppy said...

red: Yep, I think that would certainly be the first hit from Kazakhstan!

garry: Hmm...that question confuses me as much as the next person

nix: I love your comments, I really do. I could pick out several things you've written here and I smiled with / wish I had written myself but I won't right now, in any case very good

dan: Stupid ___. He's ruining it all :-(

michael01 said...

When I came back here, after my years of arguing, screaming, and carrying on in Italian (I had a Roman boyfriend then), I did sometimes have to search for an English word or two--usually a noun. But I never heard of losing fluency, as an adult, in your "mother tongue." It sounds psychological. (And so does "mother tongue" for that matter!)

Anonymous said...

michael01: Two things: First, language is psychological. Second, psychological is real.

London Preppy said...

michael: I haven't lost fluency of course. I've lost the natural flow of my language. I do know all the words still, but the way I speak has changed

michael01 said...

anon: Yes, I'm well aware of that. I was using the word "psycological" in a sort of popular Freudian sense--in this case implying an emotional resistance. The cause is not cognitive, the knowledge is still with him--but ambivalence about Greece and one's Greek family set up a barrier to accessing what one knows. Of course, LP could just be rusty. And a banana could just be a banana.

Nix said...

and I Just remembered why I like the phrase "all the boys".

It reminds me of a part (early, I think) in Glamorama when Vincent quotes Kim Carnes' Bette Davis Eyes "all the boys think she's a spy". At the time, I loved BEE's intertextual reference, yet only now (as in, *right now*, while writing this comment) do I see the irony of that line.

Connecticut Yankee said...

Ok, so which way does the loo roll go LP?

For me it must go over the top.

Cannot stand it when it comes out the bottom. Tottally classless.

I often reconsider the dinner party I am attending when I find the loo roll is backwards. I mean, if you can't get the loo roll right is there any hope for that pasta putanesca your trying to cook?