Ripped or Ript?

Friday, July 10th, 2009 | Posted in design

Ript is the male equivalent of control pants; an undershirt that sculpts a flabby male torso into a more appealing shape.


Their website is quite slick, dynamic and sexy, but it’s missing the most obvious thing: before and after photos. That’s a flickr group I’d love to check out.



Sunday, June 22nd, 2008 | Posted in my life

I haven’t been very active on here in the last couple of weeks. I just didn’t feel like blogging, and whatever I wrote felt forced. The lack of comments also bothered me, as I started to feel like I wasn’t connecting with anyone, or that the people who used to come here had lost interest.

At the same time, I’ve had a load of new visitors to the old post that was stumbled, and strangely I felt very uncomfortable with the extra attention. I was also sensitive to the criticism that the post provoked and the feeling that I had to defend myself to people who didn’t give a damn about me. I guess it made me feel vulnerable, and wary of revealing my feelings while all of that was still going on. I guess it wasn’t totally a bad situation, as I’ve picked up a couple of new readers. I’m such a contrary creature, lots of bloggers would kill to have thousands of visitors like that, but perhaps I’m not ready for the masses right now.

So what’s been happening for me? Here’s a quick catchup of the last week or so.

Fri 13 June: Not long after I’d left work at 6pm I saw a guy in his 50s walking down the road. He was shouting obscenities as he walked along, and as he passed me (without actually looking directly at me) he shouted out the N-word. It was the first time that I’ve ever been called that, and though it was a shock I didn’t take it personally as the guy was obviously mental.

Sat 14 June: The house next door to my parent’s home is up for sale, and after seeing the for sale sign I called up the estate agents and got an appointment to view. It was more for curiousity than anything else, as I wouldn’t really want to live next to my parents, wouldn’t want a 3 bedroom house to myself and wouldn’t be able to get a mortgage anyway. The guy who’d lived there died a few months ago of Emphysema, I think he was in his late 50s and seemed like a nice guy. The estate agents had given a price of about £230,000, and said that it needed modernisation, so I wasn’t expecting a palace, but the house was quite dilapidated and looked like nothing had changed in the last 30 years. Though structurally the house was a mirror image of ours, it looked smaller somehow. It would take a lot of work for someone to fix up that house, but it could have a lot of potential for a property developer or a family who didn’t need to move in straight away.

Wednesday 18 June: Had my last session with the counsellor. It was a strange session, and I felt quite ambivalent about the whole thing. One thing I said was that I felt that the eight sessions weren’t really enough, it was like using a plaster to cover a gunshot wound. It wasn’t a total waste of time, and we did discuss some issues that have been affecting me for a long time. One of the things I can keep in mind from the sessions is that sometimes I assume that I know what other people think of me, and sometimes I use those assumptions to push people away.

I also have trust issues, but I feel entitled to them since I always get hurt when I trust people. During one session when I discussed a guy who had betrayed my trust quite recently, she asked me why I was blaming myself when he was the one who’d lied and misled me, and I told her that I was upset with myself for not trusting my instincts, for giving someone the benefit of the doubt when I should have listened to my intuition.

Unless I pay for private therapy I don’t really have many other options. I’ve still got a spare pack of Prozac which I could possibly return to, but I’m not sure that it’s the best option for me. I prefer to feel the way I feel, even if I feel like crap.

Friday 20 June: I went out to get a very late work lunch at 4pm. In the chicken and chips shop this Eastern European man starts talking to me. I looked at him briefly and realised from his reddened face that he was probably drunk. When he whispered something about my breasts I felt sick and ignored him.

After work I took the tube to Oxford Circus and visited Chappells, a music shop, for a particular jazz and blues sax song book. Though the shop has moved from its previous home in New Bond Street to Waldour St, it still felt like visiting a old friend. I was reminded of the old me, the girl who was so taken with her musical dreams.

Later on, a few streets from home, a old geezer tried to sweet-talk me, but I ignored him. Then to top it all off, when I got home and checked my email I saw a bizarre message sent via my contact form: “u are so sexy u no dat. can u send me some of ur pictures naked to my email.” My only response to that lovely message was the delete button.

And in other news: The other day at work I was asked to fax our payroll request to the bank because my colleague had called in sick so that we would all get paid on time. When I saw the sheet I realised that my colleague, Kay, was getting paid nearly £500 more than me after tax, and she only works half a day more than me. Seeing that information has really changed my attitude towards her and my job in general. She often asks me for advice, especially with computing and technical stuff, but since there’s so much difference between our pay (and she’s not my boss) I’m going to concentrate on my work and leave her to get on with hers. It’s becoming more obvious how much this job is just a dead-end for me, though I still haven’t sorted out what to do next.

My boss asked me to help her with a short-term project for the next few weeks in addition to my normal hours. Though the work itself is very tedious and boring, I decided to go ahead with it for the money. The only good thing about it is that I’m working from home. I’ve been finding it really hard to give up my days-off, but I console myself that this arrangement is not forever.

Adventures in Camden Town

Saturday, April 5th, 2008 | Posted in my life

I can’t believe that it’s taken me nearly a week to write about my meeting with the saxy sailor. My only excuse is that I’m mentally exhausted right now. I can’t focus on anything for long.

Pop eyeAnyway I met G at Euston Station, and we went into a nearby cafe for a cup of tea. I don’t know what I was expecting, honestly, but he was just like he’d described himself. I hate these blind date kind of meetings, where you’re waiting at the designated meeting place, looking at any guy who could possibly be that person and wondering if it’s going to be the guy with the walking stick who’s limping and looks about 70…

Luckily it wasn’t the septuagenarian who greeted me. I was very nervous at first, almost as skittish as when that male stripper said hello to me after the show… But after a cup of tea I felt a bit more like myself.

From Euston we walked to Camden Town, and walked around the market and the assorted shops in that area. I love going to Camden Town as it’s just such a cool area. G fitted in perfectly there; a little boy even stopped him and told him that his North Face cap was “sick” and asked him where he’d got it from. (He said that he’d picked it up in Norway.)

I didn’t buy anything in Camden – I’d wanted to visit the African drum shop where I’d bought my djembe a few years ago, but it wasn’t there anymore. I’m not sure if it’s been relocated due to the fire that raged in that area several months ago. G bought himself a gangster-style Capello hat after haggling with the shop guy.

After a few hours, I was starving so we stopped at a Chinese buffet restaurant for dinner. He’s a vegetarian, and unfortunately there wasn’t much that he liked from their selection, so I felt a little bit guilty for having 2 plates of food, even if it was lousy food.

After that we walked back to Euston (it was starting to rain a little) and went back to the cafe in the station for a chat before setting off home. It was a nice day, and he was great company.

Overall, I’m still kind of confused about things with G. He’s a lovely guy, and I like him a lot, but I’m not sure whether I could have a relationship with him. The main issue is the age gap – he’s 26 years older than me. It doesn’t seem to bother him at all, and he still thinks that he’s in love with me. In an ideal world it might not matter, but in spite of myself I was thinking about what my family and my friends would say about me being with a guy so much older than me.

Pop eyeG is a guy who does what he wants to do. He’s done a lot and has seen a lot, and he doesn’t have any close ties to anyone who might want to talk him out of what he wants to do. I feel like I’m in the opposite situation, as long as I’m living here I’m not free to do what I want, when I want.

I’ve told G that I think that he’ll teach me a lot about life, but now I’m just wondering where those life lessons may lead me.

The Sax Man

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008 | Posted in my life

Sax Man Due to my recent money troubles I reluctantly decided to sell some of my gear, including my saxophone. I put an ad in Loot, plus another one in the Sound on Sound readers’ ads.

One dark evening, on my way home from work, I received a call from a guy who was interested in my sax. He said that he’d been playing the saxophone for many years, and was working on a merchant ship. He said that he wouldn’t be able to buy the sax straight away, but he’d call me in a few weeks to see if it was still available. He sounded like a nice bloke, but after the other potential buyer turned out to be a timewaster I lost hope in selling the sax.

A couple of weeks ago I had another call from the Sax Man, who was checking whether the sax was still available. I confirmed that it was, and he said that he’d have some money for it at the end of this month. I told him that I hadn’t advertised it since the last time, so I was quite confident that it would still be up for grabs at that stage. I wasn’t totally sure that I still wanted to sell it, but I still needed the money.

Last Monday the Sax Man called again, to check whether the sax was still with me. I confirmed that it was. We had a nice chat about jazz, comparing our tastes (I’m more commercial, while he’s more into the esoteric experimental stuff).

I started to realise that he was chatting me up. And I didn’t really mind. Though it was clear that he’d been playing sax since before I was born, I liked the idea of being friends with a merchant sailor / saxophonist.

We’ve chatted everyday since then, and he seems to be infatuated with me, though he thinks he’s in love. We’re going to meet up on Saturday and see if we get on in person. I don’t really know what to think at this point. Plus I still don’t know if I want to give up my sax.

A Friend Indeed

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007 | Posted in my life

I found out that my friend Miguel was battling the flu, and on Monday decided to play the mother hen by picking up some chicken soup from a nearby chinese restaurant during my work lunchhour and visiting him (he lives near to my workplace).

When I got there, a woman answered his intercom. For a second I thought I’d pressed the wrong button but she buzzed me in anyway. As I walked up the stairs I saw that it was Miguel’s formerly sex mad friend Charlene, but instead of her normal tight clothes she was wearing a conservative dark dress and a headscarf. She had decided to embrace Islam.
Although Miguel had mentioned it to me before, it was still a shock to see her looking so different.

In addition, she has decided to get married in February to a man that she’s only known for a few weeks. He works in the mosque that she has started to attend recently… Good luck to them, but I fear that this is just one of her frequent phases and she’ll break out of it within a few months. I’m just sorry for her 4 year old son, who is probably going to end up being a victim of her instability.

Anyway, the next day (yesterday) I got a text direct from Miguel’s sick bed:

Hey Penny I don’t feel strong to go out today, can u come to mine please. Could you get me the same soup please, also 3 other things – box tissues, 2 packs of jelly, strawberry and other pineapple. White seedless Grapes fresh and a banana. Thank you, I have money at my house to pay u. M

text message

When I called him to take the mickey out of him he also asked me to buy him some top-up vouchers for his mobile phone.

When I got there I discovered that his housemate Ricky was there. He’d woken up late and decided to take the day off work. He was walking around bare-chested for some reason. He asked me for some advice about his computer, and I had to try to avoid looking at his chest, though the image seems to have been tattooed on my retina for all eternity. Though he’s skinny, and reminds me of at least two of my exes, he’s not too bad to look at. Luckily, Miguel has informed me that Ricky is incapable of washing dishes (and has shown me the evidence), and regularly fails to wash his hands when he uses the toilet. Plus he loves the sound of his own voice…