Monday, 25 November 2013

Sunday 24/11/13

I haven't written anything for a while on here and there are two reasons for that.

First of all, I have been extremely busy with work and I haven't really had the time. And I mean that I've been busy with actual work, the work that pays me money and we don't talk about on here. That's a good thing on one level, of course, because, well, I need to eat and pay my rent and go on these trips that I go on that make people think that I don't actually work. 

It's also not such a good thing on another level; because it really doesn't allow me time to do what I actually want to do, which is to write. Every day I get so many ideas of what I want to write about. Every day when I sit at my desk or drive in my car or lift some weights in the gym, I'll get a flash of an idea about something that I need to write. These can be ideas for blog stories, for chapters in my next book, for dialogue between characters, or generally observations that I have and want to wrap some words around. 

Unfortunately then I get home, having finished everything that I had to do on that day, and it's suddenly 2230 at night and either I can't even face sitting down to type these ideas out because I'm so tired and have to go to bed and get up early to do the same, or, even worse, these ideas have already left my head for good.

This last part really upsets me. It upsets me because I'm at a stage in my life where I feel like I can be really creative, but unfortunately circumstances don't allow me to take advantage of this.

I'm not somebody who considers themselves to be terribly ambitious. I kinda think that I'm too damaged to pursue whatever might be classified as success and recognition and what have you. But, perhaps in a delusional way, this is one area where I think that I could contribute something to the world - through my writing. Again, maybe I'm misguided, but I think that if anything's going to be left behind, if there's anything that people might think back on and think 'oh, he was quite good at that' after I'm gone, it will probably be things that I wrote. And I feel this slipping away from me, because I don't have the time to sit down and do it. 

Yes, I'm thinking of legacy. I'm thinking of legacy and of dying and not fulfilling my potential and I'm only 33. Why I'm feeling like that at this age, I don't know. Like my life has nearly expired and I'm lying there on my death wallowing about all the things that I didn't get to do. At 33. Too late for a quarter life crisis, too early for a mid life crisis, perhaps my condition is just critical at all times.

I think I was spoilt with writing this blog, not just back in 2007, but also this summer when I found it cathartic to start writing again about what I was going through (those posts are now deleted...for reasons I'll explain later) because I came to realise how people were connecting to what I was saying pretty much immediately. Because this is a blog, and because I put myself out there, and because the whole process is a little bit interactive - with people commenting and emailing me privately and generally getting in touch - I always felt the impact of what I was saying directly. I was being made aware that a lot of people out there exist that think the way I do, and relate to the things that I write. This is the main thing that I'm good at. This is the main thing that I want to leave behind.

That's why it pisses me off that I can't do it right now. That's why it pisses me off that I have to spend my fleeting life doing other stuff that only serves a purpose of funding my existence here, instead of doing the one thing that I like, am good at, and could be remembered by. Is this ironic? I've lost track of what the word irony means because people use it differently in Greece, England and America - the three countries I've lived in. Completely differently though.

Anyway, I guess this is my Sunday night 2300 existentialist crisis. Which I had better wrap up and go to bed. I hope I find the time soon to write the second reason why I haven't written on here in a long time (which also links to why the posts from the summer have been removed) and I promise, the second reason is less solipsistic and therefore more interesting and relatable to you. Sorry for starting with this one. I clearly like the thoughts of my own brain too much.

Oh, what triggered all this was an email I received from somebody who’s read the blog for a long time. And this person, whom I don’t know anything about, has cared and been nice enough to email me a couple of times (as far as I remember) but this time they wanted to cheer me up and they thought a way to do this would be to send a list of ‘highlights’ from the blog. Things that I’d written about over the past six, seven years. Isn’t that fucking sweet? Now, if you used to read the blog back in the day, maybe you’ll remember these. (I remember most of them and I wrote them). I hope the writer won’t mind me sharing part of their email here.

For this next part, excuse me for bringing things up from long ago--because I think you might possibly dislike that--but off the top of my head and because I feel like compliments based on facts are better, here are a few of my very favorite LP posts you wrote that for me captured some real art.  

I vaguely recall that you like lists but I didn't put numbers on these because that would indicate a rank.  I can't be expected to choose favorite stories when I have so many.

The one where LP texts with a friend across the Atlantic while drinking champagne out of the fridge.  It ends quietly. 
Paper towels in toilet at gym. Truly inspired.
Surf narrative from Newquay.
Critiques of reading material chosen by riders on the tube.
Description of young girl (on Eurostar?) with thin lipped hardness (this might actually be my favorite bit).
Doing an impressive number of pull ups and staying in your hotel room instead of skiing in France.  Extra points for your choice of ski jacket and ambitious eyewear. 
Physical descriptions of greek men at an airport and your palpable relief when back in England.
Quotes only heard in LA which only could have been chosen by you.
Squeezy hands posts with the pictures from Richmond Park.  I faintly remember swans or geese.  I had been in that park only a week earlier, was home in the states and read that post.  I had just seen those birds and then found myself 4,000 miles removed and it made me very sad.

Hope this helps if you are needing help.  If you are fine, then I hope this made you smile.”

(As a note, it did cheer me up, and it also sent me down a very narrow, dimly lit spiral of melancholy. So two thumbs up).

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Thursday 01/08/13

I was really confused when I started reading this craigslist ad. I didn't remember writing it, but perhaps I had been Ambien-posting again? Then I got to the "Ivy League-educated" bit.

 Come get this Plush-ass queen Simmons Beautyrest out of my life - $150 (castro / upper market)

The pain of my broken heart now means less back pain for you! This is basic law of transference type shit. I'm pretty sure the physics work out, but then again - I paid my college roommate who was a scholarship student to do all my take home exams so I can't be entirely sure. 

So here's the deal: $150 and it's yours. No catch. Get this fucking mattress out of my life. 

It's a plush queen-sized Simmons Beautyrest. It's three years old, and feels like you're sleeping on a fucking cloud - even when you're unknowingly sleeping next to a lying cheater. In a bad relationship and have to lie next to the constant reminder that you didn't go to grad school so that you could move and get engaged? Then this is the bed for you, it will get you to fucking REM and for 6-8 hours every night you'll forget that you're sleeping next to a sociopath. There are no stains, and this thing hasn't seen action in a while. 

I thought about giving it away for free, but then I figured, what the hell - sell the bed, and go buy a Fleshjack and a handle of whiskey. And that's how I settled on $150. This thing is priced to move. It's worth much more than the price, and I figure that even someone who is looking at Craigslist on a Tuesday morning could easily afford it. So don't email me with your lowball offers. And don't agree to $150 and get to my house and offer $100. Because that would make you a lying cheater, and I would rather set the mattress on fire and throw it out of the window rather than sell it to you. Seriously, I will lose it. 

Priority will go to those who can come get this literal bed of lies today, as I've got the entire Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette discographies to get through. 

And no, I won't help you get it out to your car. There are only eleven steps up to my apartment. You figure it out. I was going to sell the mattress for $200 but I figured it was worth the $50 to watch someone else have to struggle over this oppressive burden. Not a deal-breaker, but it would help immensely if you looked like my ex as I would love to see an entitled, Ivy-League educated asshole struggle with this thing. But totally not necessary.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Thursday 27/06/13

I've been thinking for days what to say on here about this, or actually whether to say anything at all. Even though the blog London Preppy has always read highly personal, it hasn't really been biographical in a strict sense. Plus a lot of it was simply made up.

I guess on this occasion it suffices to say that anyone who's been paying even a little bit of attention recently (LINK) would know that I've not been exactly thrilled with the lifestyle I found myself pulled into since I moved to LA. I kinda had my fill of that when I was get the idea.

And even though you may not have the courage to change things yourself, despite knowing what you want and what's best for you, sometimes the decision is made for you. Sometimes you realise the love isn't there for you, and you have to go. (And sometimes this is made very, very obvious to you).

This is my last week in LA. I'll be starting over somewhere else, not that I wanted that at 33.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Friday 17/05/13

On Thursday evening my friend Peter sends me the link to an interview with Ezra Koenig (which you should listen to here [LINK] and if you don't like this person, his manner of speaking and the things that he says, please never talk to me) and then I listen to the interview and write to Peter:


a) Do any of you have East Coast Pretension accents? 

b) Where on the East Coast should I move to? I'm clearly not made for LA.

Never in the UK quote
(Conversation with checkout person at Trader Joe's)
Checkout person: Hey, how are you!!!!!
Me: Good, thanks
Checkout person (ignoring the fact that I didn't ask him back): I'm great, thank you. It's always great around here!!
Me: Is it?
Checkout person: Yes! I never have any complaints. I love working here.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Friday 03/05/12

I want to write a big old gay blog post because I never write about being gay anymore, although I live and I think it all of the time, so we'll see. For the moment I can't sleep I'm and making notes on my phone that might turn into something, maybe tomorrow. I have a new website too right now, because my online presence has been really lacking over the last decade and the internet really needed this, you know? Kinda wish all the crushed sleeping pills would kick in quicker, if they kick in at all, feeling more awake with every Xanax I snort, good morning.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Monday 29/04/13

My main problem with LA, and I don’t necessarily know if it’s exactly a problem, but the main thing that I notice about LA that is incongruent to me, is how everything and everyone is linked to films and/or the entertainment industry. I mean, I know, what kind of a moron am I if this comes as a surprise, but the reality of it is much more intense than any expectation someone who hasn’t lived here before may have.

The signs were there a few hundred miles away from the city, in the wilderness of Southern California, where I was during ‘Oscar night’, staying with Scott’s family soon after I first arrived in the US. (NB: when I used to write London Preppy I referred to my boyfriend as Scott. I will continue to do this now, even though Scott is a different person. My boyfriend will continue to be Scott until the end of the internet. However many different people this name ends up representing. Let’s make things easy. Who are these people anyway, to deserve their own nickname, etc). So anyway, yes, little town, middle of nowhere, Oscar night. Well, Oscar night is a big thing, and the whole average Southern Californian family watches it and has seen all the films and makes informed comments and discusses the actors referring to them by their first name (“Scarlett has a great singing voice…I mean, Scarlett has many great things, but also a singing voice”). As in, everyone’s involved. This is their award show, for their people.

Then you get to LA, of course, and almost everyone around you has a job that’s got something to do with celebrities / entertainment. I haven’t been here long enough yet to decided which of these jobs in particular I value the least and, in all honesty, I really hope I’ll never pay enough attention to differentiate between your publicists, your producers, and your network executives, but all these people (so, most people in LA then) have two things in common: a) they’re very, very loud, much louder than you and me, and b) they incessantly share celebrity anecdotes, but in a contrived, pseudo-implicit way that tries to come across like, yes, they represent Oprah Winfrey / that hot guy from The Vampire Diaries / Blake Shelton, but it’s not a big deal, you know? The answer to that, of course, is that it really isn’t a big deal, but I’m not sure they know it.

Then again, people may just be making (loud, very loud, that’s a given) conversation about their every day lives and that involves talking about their celebrity encounters and I’m just reading too much into it.

The point about all the above is that, unfortunately, my own personal interests don’t overlap with the interests that are the norm here in LA. I’m not saying this in a snooty, I’m-better-than-you way, which would be really quite pathetic, but in a pure, factual way: I don’t watch films. I can’t watch films, I just can’t sit through them and I don’t know anything about them. I’ll sit there in a room on my own and happily listen to albums or read books for hours, but there’s something about films that doesn’t hold my interest and something about actors that really puts me off. I think it’s the extroversion.

So in a city full of extroverted people talking loudly about they things that they do, or the things that other extroverted people they work for do, well, my reaction is to completely disappear, keep my mouth shut and stay in my apartment. LA is the place where a functional, quiet introvert can turn into an agoraphobic sociopath in need of psychiatric help. I’m typing this home alone on a Saturday night.


If I do end up writing on here more often, I've decided to close all posts with a quote from somebody I overheard here in the US. These are quotes that might not be 'only in a America' (I haven't been to every country in the world) but they certainly are 'never in the UK'. So.

Never in the UK quote
Overheard in Whole Foods on a Sunday afternoon:
(Heavily tattooed female, late 30s, angrily, to friend) "I'm a stylist, not a designer [pause] well, I'm a DJ now, anyway"

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Tuesday 23/04/13

The main thing to say about America is that, whether I like it or not, I never want to love it. I don’t want to be American. I don’t really want to belong here. I don’t ever want to have lived here long enough and I don’t want to live here convincingly enough for people to think that I’m actually from here. Living here convincingly would be a ridiculous stretch of my character and my abilities anyway, so it’s probably for the best that I feel this way.

I don’t leave the house that often, nothing’s changed there, but when I do, I want people to think of me as an outsider, definitely a foreigner. This is the complete opposite to my intentions when I was in the UK. I lived in England for fifteen years out of my thirty-three in total. I’m going to write this down in numerical form as well, because it makes it seem higher than words, that’s how much it matters to me: 15 out of 33. It really kills me that it’s not half or more, I have to be honest, but it’s close enough.

Well in those fifteen years, from the very first day until the last, I believe that I took it very personally when somebody inferred that I wasn’t British – inadvertently or not. Particularly hazardous areas for that sort of thing were airports and such, where people have a higher awareness of other nationalities. But then, eventually I found a way to combat that. I would travel always with my British passport face up.

Every day situations were easier; I didn’t stand out physically that much as a foreigner in England…until I opened my mouth. Fifteen years later and I still sound foreign there. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shake the accent off, despite it getting softer, despite me knowing exactly how things should sound in the accent that I want. My mouth just can’t make these noises. So I’m stuck with this really mixed up indistinguishable hybrid accent of my own that might not say Greek, but it certainly doesn’t say North London either. In the UK, new people that met me used to guess ‘somewhere in central Europe’ but they couldn’t say exactly where. Nobody wanted to pick a country, like Germany for example, because they know what a German accent sounds like, and even though mine had elements of it, it wasn’t it.

Here in America, people are even more lost. Depending on how culturally aware they are, some people will actually go along with it when I say I’m ‘from London’. Other unprompted guesses so far indicate that to some American ears, I sound Australian. Three different people have said that to me just by hearing me talk in public – and I wasn’t even talking to them. (American people will talk to you in public a lot, but more of that later). I’ll take Australian, because it’s closer to having a British accent than you might think. Somebody guessed I was Danish the other day, which puts me back in this very vague central European territory.

Anyway, I think I got sidetracked. My point is: I moved to England when I was 18. I had wanted to be English, to belong to England, ever since I first visited there at 12. And I spent the next decade and a half trying to blend in. Now I’m here, I don’t know for how long to be honest, and although I really like the place and it’s nice to me, all I want to do is stand out. Kinda curious to see how this goes.

I might start writing on here again for the following reasons:

Because I just finished writing my second book so I can finally face a keyboard without the guilt of ‘oh I should be writing for my book right now’

Because the idea of London Preppy in the US amuses me.

Because I’ve missed this a bit.

Because I’m lonely.

Saturday, 30 March 2013