Tuesday, November 29, 2005

UAE to London

You know when you have so many things to do that you end up doing nothing. I've been very lazy lately, especially with blogging, but i'm hoping to get back on track starting as of now! So i did go to Dubai and my conference talk went extremely well. I was a bit nervous beforehand about speaking to such a large audience, but i have to admit the minute i was up there i enjoyed it so much (i think i may secretly love the limelight) and it felt good to be sharing my work with everyone. People were very much intrigued by the research and the blogging phenomenon in these 3 countries that it went to two newspapers and a local TV (this better not be my only 15 minutes of fame, i swear!). Anyway, the conference in general was interesting, some views were a little extreme and a little disappointing, but there was definitely a general sense of enthusiasm and interest in new on-line movements and journalism, and their projection on our societies. It was a very short trip but also my first time in the Gulf and a relief to be away from freezing London for a while.

Monday, November 28, 2005


I like being Self-Employed. It means that I can never be Unemployed again. It's technically impossible. If I have no projects to work on, it is because "business is slow".
I still have office hours, but I set them myself: 11.00am to 8.30pm, with a 2 and a half hour lunch break. I can work in my pyjamas and lick my plate with one hand while I type with the other. I can put Brel's Amsterdam on repeat and no one can object. I can scream curses out loud. I can give myself a pedicure while on the phone with a client. I can -and will- claim tax-back on any book or magazine I buy, and that includes OK!, Marie Claire or Harry Potter, because they are my "source material, my inspiration" as a publication designer... Hey, I can even claim tax back on bike mileage: 20p for each mile!
Including unpaid projects (and that accounts to 60% of my workload, but that's OK because they're great projects), I have never had as much work as when I stopped being employed with that demon... I am now working for a clothing label, three magazines, an insurance company (OK, curtesy of my father...) and a jewellery designer (SCHRmm, for that matter).
God damn, I loooooove paying my own taxes! Because they're mine! ALL MINE!!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Yes, This is how I feel today.
Multiple full-frontal stab wounds from a Hegellian British boy idiocy, but still looking really sleek and design-y...
It would make a wonderful Xmas present from me to me, especially that there aren't actually any sharp knives in my house, which leaves me to slice up my bread loaf with a spoon.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


I was lead impromptu to a little private function at a traditional English pub, where it turns out, the theme of the night was the 1920s. Not being in the least twentified, I convinced myself and others that I was a chambermaid of the time, wearing the ragged old clothes passed on by my rich mistress, a tatty skirt, a grey ageing jumper (which I bought second-hand anyway), and a friend's red lipstick applied in haste to bring on the pout. Oh, and my name was "Gazelle of the Desert"; much more Kamasutra than Surrealist, but I've started to get bored of "Like the country?" at the sound of my name...
In any case, it was all pretty fun, seeing the length to which people fit the glove of the theme. I could imagine a dusty part of their Millenium closets from which they whisk out the feathered head bands, the sequined dresses, lace gloves, bowties, tweed vests and bowler hats. Everyone looked very authentic, and played the part perfectly as they tweaked their accents to match the clothes. Apart from a couple of stray futurists, everyone was very Moulin Rouge. The Three-Piece-White-Suited Count who flew the glass of white wine out of my hand even gracefully replaced it with a shiny white smile and bow of the head. Perfect 1920s manners...
The only fault to the seeming perfection was the anachronistic breakdown of class segregation: the paperboy flirted with the Madam, the mine worker conversed with the Courtisane, the chambermaid (me) with a Baron named Marcus...
Oh, a perfect world...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Hello Unemployment!

I haven't blogged in ages, and an hour after having quit/been fired/being made redundant/driven my boss to insanity/been driven to insanity by my boss/decided I hate design studios/mutually agreed on personality clash - or whatever you want to call returning to unemployment, I had the most uplifting revelation of the year... WORK DRIVES US TO INSANITY.
My mind was sucked into the FullTimeDesigner9to6MonToFriThenWatchAMovieBeforeBed sleep mode and nothing else in the world ticked me, thus the lack of blogging activity. Very simple math, really. When you hate your job/boss/chair/studio music, it becomes your only obsession, and everything else is void. A very sad thing indeed.
Actually, some author -whom I will shortly try to recall- wrote a whole book about the subject of Stupidity, of which a chapter highlights the dictatorship by which earthlings are forced to comply to a life of automated routine into the full-throttle mode of Highest Productivity. "I Produce, Therefore I Am (Worthy)". Anything else, seen as laziness, is abnormality in the Capitalist state of things and beings (the text does run along those lines, but I have allowed myself a little freedom of interpretation, bless me)...
Yes, unemployment now feels bliss.
Actually, my boss was a psycho-tette. Heavily threatened by my presence, and resorting to agressivity and abuse of "boss" power, she loved a smirky comment (and a nervous twitch of the neck). And that little guttural giggle of the mid-life crisis pitch! I tried to play dumb employee, I swear I did! But I realized along the way that I am not dumb. So after being confronted with yet another display of Boss's sentimental bicker and over-zealous anxiety yesterday, I did the undo-able and snapped back. Sha-BAM! I reached the point of no-return, and unemployment was scheduled for 6.30pm. Which felt great... and not... but still great.
Horrible how money and the allure of a paycheck makes us settle into bitterness. Because, even though I was miserable and driven to madness by that Mary-Poppins laugh, I was Productive. I was Employed.

Actually, I wasn't technically employed, and it turns out she is unethically bending the law and liable to a big fat fine, and I to a little compensation, which might be a nice thing to investigate now that I have free time on my hands again.... HA HA HA (my rendition of evil laugh).

And Hello Again blogosphere. It's good to be back!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Blogging in one word/sentence

As you all know im preparing for the conference which is in about 10 days and converting an academic thesis into a lively presentation is definately not, as ive tediously gathered today, the easiest job on the world. So to liven it all up, maybe not the best of ideas but hey i will give it a shot (anything to keep me away from actual preparation), I would like your feedback: If you had to describe blogging in this region in one word or a very short inetersting sentence, what would it be? Im expecting the award might go to Schrmm given her wild imagination but i have faith that all you bloggers are quite the intellectuals and creatives that came about in the results ( a little hint: 42.9% of all of you are educated to a degree of masters or higher and 38.5% are in design, art, journalism and multimedia). So lets start rolling them in....