My Short Film ‘Sublet’
Please watch, because it’s funny, weird and I have a £6 hair cut in it
My Short Film ‘Sublet’
Please watch, because it’s funny, weird and I have a £6 hair cut in it
The Huffington Post recently published an article called '25 Things a Woman Should Have by Her 30's,' which was really insightful.
I have re- posted it below.
See how many you can tick.
1. A passport (the more stamps the better).
2. The ability to flirt, elegantly, yet convincingly.
3. A great aesthetician to turn to for brows, other waxing needs, a facial, a massage.
4. A fail-safe skin care and makeup routine for day, and one for evening.
5. A signature fragrance.
6. A form of physical exercise you are passionate about.
7. A friend who can count on you as her “get out of jail” card.
8. A set of champagne glasses and a champagne you know you love.
9. A handbag from an iconic French or Italian design house.
10. A set of pearl or diamond stud earrings that makes you feel elegant and put together no matter the tears in your jeans.
11. A pair of jeans you know you look great in (with or without tears).
12. A garter-belt, and the confidence to wear it.
13. The ability to write the perfect thank-you note (and the stationery that goes with it).
14. Eye cream that you use religiously twice a day.
15. Something on your wall that is neither a poster nor a family photograph.
16. The ability to forgive (others, but yourself first).
17. A family you love.
18. The confidence to ask for what pleases you in bed.
19. The confidence to say no. At work. In bed. And everywhere in between.
20. A savings account and a retirement fund.
21. A local bar that will always find you a seat (because you go there often and tip well).
22. A restaurant you can take clients out to lunch that will always give you excellent service and act like they know you (again, because you go there often and tip well).
23. A set of stilettos that will give you confidence no matter the day you have had (and that you can walk in).
24. A person whose happiness you put above your own.
25. A bucket list.
Whilst this article was well informed and universally applicable, it had overlooked a few things.Like, an irrational phobia or a favourite random sprouting hair on your body.
So I decided to fill in some of the blanks for those lazy bloggers at The Huffington Post,
I call it….
30 Things a Woman Should Have by Her 30’s or Else She Will be Eaten by Sharks.
1. A passport you don’t think about until you read the word passport, followed by several hours of, ‘now where the fuck did I put that.’ Yeah, it was in the bread bin.
2. The ability to flirt, drunkenly, yet convincingly.
3. The realisation that your moustache is not as visible as it looks in the mirror of a car or at a Boot’s makeup counter, so it’s probably fine.
4. 5 bowling balls.
5. A signature podcast.
6. A form of physical activity you love… when it is over.
7. A friend with a large boot in her car… who will help you move house.
8. An alcohol collection, which includes a bottle of limoncello.
9. A drawer full of old tights.
10. Earrings from Claires accessories that turn your ears green.
11. A really weird meal that makes you happy when everything has turned to shit, like mushy peas, cheese and tuna. That’s mine. You’re welcome.
12. Matching underwear you pretend you put on by accident, ‘oh my god, you’re so right, they do match.’
13. A dusty candle
14. A collection of incense
15. Three oyster cards.
16. A text message from a STD clinic telling you that you’re clean.
17. A family you love, with fractions you dislike.
18. The confidence to ask for what you want in bed, unless you’re sleepy.
19. The confidence to say no. At work. In bed. And everywhere in between. Unless you’re sleepy.
20. A savings account with a quid in.
21. The perfect retort for when someone calls you feisty, grabs your arse in a bar or offers to buy you a drink you don’t really want.
22. Somewhere you can go for brunch with friends on a Sunday, which is always over priced and disappointing, yet you keep going back.
(Alternatively – Accepting you will never go for brunch on a Sunday with your friends, because people have stuff to do on a Sunday, like go for long walks in the countryside or do big shops at Asda.)
23. A local coffee shop where they assume you have an expendable income rather than just being shit with money
24. A person whose happiness you put above your own, but only because they promised to do the same.
25. A Bucket or The Bucket List on DVD.
26. A favourite X Men.
27. A favourite repressed memory
28. A box of crap which includes train tickets, photos of friends you don’t speak to anymore and a greasy Now That’s What I Call Music CD.
29. A recurring burn or weird lump on your thumb from your hair straighteners.
30. The ability to ignore lists which tell you all the things you should own by a certain age, because you were too busy marching to the beat of your own drum, and you know what, your drum doesn’t beat in 4/4. It’s beats in 16/7.
I rented this from a library. Save our libraries. Etc.
Beard of bears
It’s a “mistaking the backs of people’s heads for people I know” kind of day.
What is the end game of a date? Please tell me, I am an urban legend, and have forgotten about sex. I keep getting invited in for coffee and when they open up cupboards devoid of caffeinated beverages and I ask why they lied, their expectant smiles turn upside down.
I see I might have inflicted permanent scars. Ruined all their future dates and stopped them from leaning in and kissing their future wife, and all the grandchildren cease to exist, popping from existence like bubbles. Pop pop pop. Maybe putting my wine glass closer to their wine glass was avoidance of a single strand of spaghetti stuck to the table, rather then an invitation for them to sleep with me.
Some of them do have coffee though; French Roast or instant, or if I am very lucky, a shiny machine. How I love to watch you microfoam but hate to see you leave. We will drink it side by side on their sofa making pleasant conversation. Awkward flirtation. On their part, not mine. I enjoy the small talk. I love the small talk. Tell me about your Christmas plans, who will you spend it with this year? Does your father’s diabetes affect his golf game, and will your brother be joining you for the family portrait? Is your sister still a vindictive bitch and does your mother let the dog in, or does it make the cutest little whiny sound and scratch at the door, and you harbour dark fantasies about pummelling its head in with a turkey bone.
You haven’t told anyone that before, and now you feel vulnerable. I am sorry.
Then they put down their coffee cup and place their hand on my thigh. I slap it away and place the cup back into their hand, but I have to shape their fingers to receive it first. Sometimes I feel like putting their thumbs straight into the boiling hot brown liquid and shouting “thumbs down.” Sometimes I feel like taking their thumb and sucking on it until they shrink back so far into the sofa, it looks like they have disappeared.
I use to think I was making friends. But if you won’t be the lover then there isn’t much left to discuss now is there? They yawn, mutter it’s late and I agree it is late, but if you knew you had to sleep then why did you drink coffee?
I had a friend; at least I think she was a friend. We sat next to each other at the hairdressers, both under heaters for an hour waiting for our dyed follicles to accept their new colours. She said she was having a tough year, and she couldn’t think about anything else but sex anymore, and who can’t think about anything but sex? She used to enjoy her permanent nymphomania, like a happy disease, but all she can see now is the negative. The very visceral smacking of flesh on flesh, sounds of suctions and folds of fat banging together. Slap slap slap. No soft lighting for her, candles and preludes with rich French roasts and threadbare rugs.
I told her I had a massage the other day and watched the man dance around me. I admired the bending and pointing of his toes through the hole in the chair, like a hole into another world.
I asked my friend if we could swap, because I never thought about sex. I told her about all the coffee.
I told her it was like a switch that had clicked off, and I had no interest in flicking it back on, or procreating, or seeking to procreate, and she said maybe I wasn’t meant to breed and natural selection had chosen to forsake me. Maybe there was something very wrong with me medically, and I shouldn’t pass it on. She asked if I had been tested for diseases or had my bone marrow inspected?
She hypothesized. She had been chosen to breed. That’s why she wanted to have sex constantly, even though she didn’t want to. Not really. It’s just her thoughts were drawn to it because she would make the healthiest babies.
“Look at my rosy cheeks, and calcium rich bones, and bright blue eyes. Look at my reflexes, and flexibility and symmetrical face. Never had a cold, never lost my eyesight, never gained or lost a pound more then my healthy weight.”
“Look at your glasses and braces, and short fingers. Look at the weight gain and how your arteries just love to soak up fat. Look at your speech impediments and asthma and hay fever and fear of the dark. Do you want to inflict that on a smaller being?”
I have issues with The Nerdist a.k.a ‘Chris Harwickes ongoing therapy session.’
I go from ‘shut up Chris’ to ‘it’s like listening in a mirror.’
(So the audible equivalent of looking in a mirror)
Sometimes it’s a troublingly relatable listen. I feel like I understand where Chris is coming from. Like, maybe we are the same person.
Except I was never on Singled Out.
And my girlfriend isn’t a hot cosplayer.
And I don’t have a podcast. Am not a man. Don’t live in LA, and I’m fairly sure we aren’t the same age.
But other then that, we are like, the same. Excitably whiny.
The sole aim of The Nerdist is to find the common neurotic thread in the celebrity, wheedle it out, and get them to wax lyrical about it with examples. It’s a way of making us mortal folk feel less ridiculous when we worry about stupid things, like phone calls from anonymous numbers (It’s the student loans company! Someones dead! My house is on fire!)
Or the look on peoples faces when we tell an anecdote which isn’t going anywhere. Or how affected we get when people point out we can’t spell. Or how we want to join an improv group but we might suck if they asked us to pretend to be from colonial times.
The Christina Ricci podcast was a lovely listen because everyone grew up with the Ricci, so it’s always nice to hear how she is doing, and because she has this interesting trick for dealing with stressful situations or people.
She pretends they don’t exist, except in her head.
The old schizophrenic switcheroo.
I think it’s novel and am now going to attempt it for the rest of my life.
Unfortunately I find everything stressful, so there are a lot of people who are going to be confused by my grown up version of peek a boo. But you know, maybe it’s the key to dealing with everything. I’ll let you know how it works out.
Enjoy your Burrito. etc.
It is only now that you hate the showboating. The couples who scream ‘look at us, look at how truly loveable we are,’ as if their lives are only complete with the weight of an arm on the back of their neck, and aren’t you lucky to be let into that world albeit briefly as they drop hints about their new possessions. The public bickering is worse though, tearing each other apart like no one else can. You could tell these two, Tony’s cousin and her new beau, don’t stand a chance. The the biggest sign of a failing relationship is treating the other with contempt, and the thread she just picked off his jacket before telling him that’s what you get for being cheap is a sign of abject failure. They would be separated this side of Christmas. You funnel your way through the room. Moving from one side of the even to the other. Picking apart everything as you go. You stop by a mound of glistening meat, and you pick at it. You pick at the white bits within the pink, like they are skin.
You wanted to have a good time tonight; you promised yourself you would have a good time, repeating it like a mantra as you brushed your hair. You visualised the room as you laced your shoes.
You promised him you would have a good time and you tried very hard, but when it came your turn to speak you found yourself unable to say anything which wasn’t vague. “I didn’t see that movie, no but I heard…’ ‘…the damp has really got out of control, we have the de humidifier on 24/7 now…’ ‘…and do you think she likes the university?’
There will be no puller quotes from you tonight.
You use to leave parties on a high, his hand raking your inner thigh as he congratulated you on how much funnier you were then anyone else, and you shook with laughter as you shared sharp criticisms of those who did not get it. Who were unfortunate in their understanding of the delicate sympathies of the world, or who thought the best pasta did come from the deli on Friar road.
‘Everyone knows that…’ Dressing them down with sweeping judgements, all designed to distract from your own failings. You walk past the table piled high with confusing delicacies, past the Brownings, holding court with the Marshalls and old lady Kinsey, her eagle eyes noting how thin you have gotten.
‘Have some bread for god sake Joanne, you look like you have consumption.’
You make a joke about a new dancing class, your never ending to do list zapping away your energies so that even attempting dinner is questionable.
‘And it’s not like Tony cooks,’ you say, laughing and gesturing in his direction. Although you truly have no idea where he may have gone as this point.
You want to hide behind dark velvet curtains, imaging yourself as a child at a parents dinner party when it made sense to pretend the adults where anything but. My mother and father were not themselves. They had been taken over by sentient beings, and were just poor imitations of my parents. You later learnt there was such a condition that caused you to think your family had become imposters, and didn’t you know your cousin Mark had it? He was sent to a special home when he was 16, and there he stays. You imagine it was a relief. He was always a sickly looking child, barely taken care of or noticed by his gambling addicted father who claimed it was to cope with her drinking, whilst she insisted she drank because he lost all their earnings at seedy card games. He probably felt happier and safer pretending they were imposters.
But Tony is across the room now, talking to Betty, or Bernice or whatever she called herself. She lightly touches his arm as he giggles over nothing in particular. Something ridiculous. You feel like you can predict the future. You can see how everything can turn out. He talks to her, who makes him laugh like you use to, and then it’s too close in the lift and fantasies about kissing in stationary cupboards and late night meetings and a work party you weren’t invited to. But if you push him into her arms, if you let him think he is leaving you, by being colder, by being everything a new shiny thing is not, rusty and immoveable then he will leave you for her. The outcome will be the same. But he will think it was his choice, and not yours. Be left, or control the leaving. These are your two options in life.
So you walk out the door.
Love this guy
The Best Photo at The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition. And in the world at this current moment.
We got the script in, and we celebrated like this.
Here is the script as a PDF, just about to be sent off to the fine folk at Western Edge Pictures.
It looks so unglamourous and sterile. I wanted to add clip art into the margins, but Tom said no.
So now we wait and see.
But no matter what happens next, it has been a great adventure.
Hopefully Sam Rockwell/Jon Hamm will want to be in the film and we will be able to buy diamonds and fur coats and get trains instead of mega buses down to London. But either way, I enjoyed the creative collaboration, research, late night spit balling, writing sessions via skype and letting Tom write the sex scene, because I was just too prudish.