CO-SHANG AND WELCOME TO GEEK PIE!
My name is Caroline, this is my blog and it's a pleasure to meet you.
I live with my sister on the outskirts of swinging London town, in a flat we're constantly one late rent payment away from losing.
At the moment I'm a journalist in name only (check out my sexy business cards) and I'm desperately searching for my first job in journalism.
That's pretty much what this shebang is all about. Shall we see what I've been up to today then?
Feel free to sign up and talk about anything either on the tag board below. It's usually occupied by weirdos, headfucks and best avoided around midnight
I think I've seriously damaged myself thanks to yesterday's little festivities. At the end of it my feet were black with dirt (that's what you get for running around with open sided shoes on) and red raw (I don't think I'll bother wearing high shoes for a very long time yet).
My head is pounding too. We've been trying to upload all the videos and picture clips we took yesterday, but the computer has decided he doesn't want to do that and keeps crashing. I admire our computer's style though. If he doesn't want to do something, he won't and if you give him too much to think about at once he has freezes. I see this as the computer equivalent of having a bit of a sit down and composing your thoughts.
Breezy is less sympathetic and has a lot less romantic view of how he operates. She started hitting him and to protect the safety of everyone involved I've had to seperate them both all day.
That's giving me a bit of a headache and it's not been helped by the fact that I spent most of last night drinking white and red wine because that's what Bree would do. Yes that was the only reason I did it, because Bree does. I wouldn't personally. I'm a slave to my art.
I've been trying to write stuff for the website to try and tie it all together. I've given up for now. It's alot easier writing about how hard the process is, then actually writing for the project itself.
I could do with a sleep actually. I had an e-mail from the dentist magazine people yesterday and ,with all the running around that went on, I only had a chance to consider what they said when I went to bed. They said that they were definitely calling me back for a second interview, but also they 'd like me to work there for three days next week. They're going to pay me, but I don't really know where the interview fits in with all this.
Part of me thinks that it'll be like a three-day interview and so --Apprentice style-- if they like me, I'm hired. If they don't, I'm not really fired because I wasn't really working for them in the first place. Also, yesterday I had a call of a mate of mine who works for the publishing company that makes Good Housekeeping, Cosmo and lots of different ladies mags.
She wanted to know if I would like to do some work experience there, because the person who was supposed to be going had dropped out. Part of me really wanted to do it. Ultimately, that is the type of magazine writing I want to get into. But so far, all the jobs I've applied for on those types of magazines I've been turned down for on the basis that I lack experience.
If I went on work experience, there is a chance that I could meet someone who might help me make my big break in consumer publishing, but I might not too. I took the dentist up on their offer and I start my stint on Monday. I think I made the right choice. I'll get money and experience, exactly what I need if I'm ever going to bagsy a by-line in a magazine for ladies.
Posted at 01:40 pm by Carrot
I'm a speccy speccy four eyes to the end!
I have to go to the opticians today. I haven't had an eye test for about two years and I'm very excited. Sitting in a small room while a stranger shines lights in your eyes might not sound like everybody's idea of a good time, but it certainly is mine. I go there, he does his thing and confirms that I still have worse eyesight than a one-eyed person with cateracts. It's music to my ears.
Why? Because I love wearing glasses. I've been a speccy speccy four eyes since I was six-years-old. I can barely remember what it was like not to have to wear them, although I do remember two instances that made my Mum think that there might be something not quite right with me.
I'd been telling her for ages that I couldn't see the blackboard properly at school, but as my oldest brother had used this as an excuse for his pathetic GCSE results, she didn't believe me. Every afternoon she used to come in the front room and tell me off for sitting nose to screen with the TV. When I used to tell her that I had to because I couldn't make anybody out on screen, she used to send me to my room.
She was definitely in denial and you can kind of see why. Whenever any of us at home got a new toy, the other four kids used to demand the same. I think my Mum thought that if she got me glasses everybody would want them.
Also, I wrote an article about my first pair of glasses for the university newspaper and I asked my mum why it took her so long to get her arse in gear and sort out my eyesight. Her answer was that with my droopy fringe and crazy hair she thought I looked cute when I was sat there squinting, straining my eyes and getting headaches.
The last time I wrote about this it made the press. The university press
Eventually, an accident involving me being bounced off the bonnet of a police car at a zebra crossing made her take notice. The policemen got out the car and told me off. He asked me why I wasn't watching where I was going. I said I was, but I just didn't see him. With the prospect of her six-year-old daughter receiving either a criminal record for talking back to a policemen or becoming road kill, my Mum finally took me to the optician.
And now I have to take myself.
Posted at 01:49 am by Carrot
Since my course ended I've spent my days sending off CVs, filling out applications and waiting for the phone to ring. So far I've only been invited to three interviews. Considering I've answered about a million job adverts over the past few weeks it got me thinking about what might be the problem with my applications.
I think my CV is stellar--apart from having the wrong address on it-- It's all gold and it's certainly got something for everyone. If you need cheering up, why not have a laugh at my non-existent job history? If you want to get a bit teary eyed, why not have a gander at my desperate sounding personal statement? If you want to be bewildered, check out what I did my degree in. No, my CV is not the problem.
It could be my cover letter. It's always difficult treading the fine line between sounding eager and totally pathetic. Also you want to sell yourself without sounding arrogant. Bothered, but not bothered. Sometimes I send them off and impress myself with how good I make myself sound. I then read them back a few days later and can't believe what a load of old wank I've written.
I'm not really sure how good my interview skills are. I've been on three so far and heard nothing back from any of them. I think I must have shocked them into silence with my stupidity.
I had another one today, which seemed to go alright, but then I thought that about the other ones I went to as well. Clearly my interpretation of events must be somewhat different to my interviewers. Actually, it went very well. They invited me for a second interview next Monday so fingers crossed.
In the meantime, me and Breezy have been making plans about what we can do to waste, potentially, my last week of freedom and her Easter holidays. I’ll just say this: keep your peepers peeled. Geek Pie is getting mobile.
Posted at 08:14 am by Carrot
One key thing they hammer into you at journalism school (AKA clown college) is to check, check and double check your facts. Unfortuantely, despite the fact this was bought up every day and they even gave us extra lessons about it on Saturday, I obviosuly didn't quite take it on board.
I went round my Mum's yesterday and was presented with my post. I had three letters related to jobs I'd applied for. Two of the letters were asking me to attend interviews and the other was basically asking why I'd even bothered applying in the first place. Still, this flumoxed me slightly. Why were these letters being sent to my Mum's and not directly to Geek Pie HQ?
Being a journalist, I got on the case straight after I'd had a cup of tea, a bit of a sit down and walked home. I had a ganderat my CV and almost immediately (I had a hangover so my thought processes weren't quite as sharp as usual) I managed to solve the mystery. It turns out that the one thing I'd not bothered to check while I've been updating my CV was where I said I lived. What a twat, eh?
I rang my Mum and asked her to check if there was anymore post anywhere for me. There was. Another letter asking me to go for an interview for Sub-editor position at a printing magazine. It was dated 4 weeks ago and I know for a fact it's been filled. One of my mates off my course got the job there.
Hey, if you're a friend of mine and you wear this, come and stand next to me because you'll be right!
So my own stupidity means that I've lost out on a job. Ironicallly, one of the key responsibilities of a sub-editor is to check facts so the job probably wouldn't have been for me anyway.
I'm so pissed off with myself. Yesterday I was moaning that my lack of confidence might hold me back in my job, but it seems that my lack of common sense might hold me back even more.
I'm getting angry even writing this. I'm going to go and hit something with a blunt object. Back soon.
Posted at 05:35 am by Carrot
I hate open plan offices. They're just a minefield of potential social mistakes aren't they? Every place I've been to, either on work experience or for paid employment, has always had an open plan office and I've never been able to get used to it.
The biggest problem for me is when I arrive in the morning and trying to work out the imaginary boundaries . You see, when you're in an open plan office, the shear size of them means that it's impossible to say hello to everybody. Therefore, the people who work there only greet the people who site within a certain distance of them.
In September, I did some work experience at the BBC. Every person who walked in there seemed to say "howdy" to everybody based on that floor when they walked in. When I was working at Avis Customer Care (worst nine days of my sorry little life) you only had to say "hi" to the person who sat next to you. It's so strange.
The pressure with work experience is making sure you say "hello" to the right people every morning. You want to make the person who could give you lots to do knows that you're around. Also you need to make sure that anyone who might have a part in the recruitment process has your face firmly etched on their memory should any jobs come up.
This is something I'm finding very hard and have done this week. I'm not very good at selling myself to people and I don't think I'm particularly memorable either. I do the work they give me (and ask for more when I'm done), I'm nice to everybody and I'm very good at controlling my murderous thoughts around them. But, I don't think it's enough.
In a industry where making contacts is key if you want to get ahead, I'm not sure I'm shameless or cut throat enough to do it very well. This is only going to hold me back I'm sure and it's so frustrating. It's just not in my nature (yet) to just start shaking hands and whoring my skills to people. It makes me feel very uncomfortable and awkward.
I know it's something I'm going to have to work on if I'm going to get a job but I just don't know how to loosen up.
Posted at 05:05 am by Carrot
Today I was given the not terribly interesting task of phoning up a lot of PR people and requesting photos from them of gadgets. That was pretty much my whole day's task.
Rather than resent this (or at least too loudly) I sat there and got on with it. Sometimes it's nice to be invited to the party, even if none of the people having all the fun let you play with them.
I decided to go for a walk at lunchtime along by Teddington Lock. Unfortunately, it started pissing it down and my hair went like Sideshow Bob's once he's doused it in extra volumising spray and had a big fright. In two words, not good.
My jeans were waterlogged up to above the knee, my trusty parka had choosen that particular lunchtime to relieve itself of its water proofing responsibilites. My Dunlop Green Flashes also got covered in 20 types of shit during my little excursion. In three words, I wasn't impressed.
When I got back I had to start on my next round of phonecalls. Then there was all the thank you e-mails I had to send out to people who had sent me thriiling pictures of USB drives their company hawks or of earphones that work by being inserted up your nose.
To be honest, when it was time to go home, I was glad to leave.
Posted at 12:44 pm by Carrot
This morning, my trainers were banished to the back of my cupboard, my black trousers were hastily ironed in an ill fated attempt to look professional and I even straightened my hair. Why? Because I was going to work!
Three weeks after graduating from my course, I finally got the chance today to flex my journalistic muscle. I'm doing work experience at a magazine called Stuff. It's about gadgets, it has lots of scantily clad ladies in it and -- if I wear clothes with big enough pockets-- there is a chance I'll be able to nick some stuff. One way of making a lasting impression I suppose. Have the magazine you're working for prosecute you.
I was a bit concerned before I got there that the office might be a bit like Trashbat HQ or the offices of SugarApe. Lots of people twatting about, not doing much work and finding themselves hilarious. Thankfully, everyone was very nice and the only person really twatting about was me. Everytime something remotely cool got passed round the room everyone looked quite nonplussed. Meanwhile, I sat there and quietly soaking myself in excitement.
There were robots, about a hundred different types of MP3 player (bit boring to be honest) and a DAB radio that someone has made to look like a toaster. Not really sure what the point of the last one was. All I can assume is that it will help all those people who have ever got into a bit of a bind after being found trying to shove slices of Kingsmill into their stereos. Least now they can pretend it was an honest mistake.
It can toast four slices at a time and pick up Radio 3. Excellent.
There were a few quirkier items I was quite taken with as well. A self stirring tea cup that makes the humble teaspoon obsolete and a set of vinyl free decks that work using MP3 files but still allow you to make authentic scratching noises. I'm sure you can also mix and do other things with them too but scratching was quite enough for me.
It was really good first day. I got to write lots and it felt really good. There is a certain amount of tech savviness involved, but thankfully they like it to be dressed up with a droll and dry sense of humour. Although a joke I made about some headphones that block out background noise when you listen to music on your iPod and road traffic accidents sadly never made it even as far as the subs bench.
Posted at 12:13 pm by Carrot
It's Mother's Day tomorrow. I've not bought mine a card or a present yet which means that I've no choice but to go shopping in town. Unlike other "special calendar days" I can't really get away with not participating in this one. Even if you get your Mum a crap card and a bar of chocolate she'll know you love her, but you're rubbish at expressing it. Buy her nothing at all and she'll assumer you hate her. Your family will dissolve around you and you will find yourself cast out, stigmatised forever as a Mummy hater. Now no one wants that.
But after surveying the stuff the record companies, card shops and supermarkets are hawking as gift suggestions for Mum's, I think I'd rather run the risk of stigmatisation.
First up, there are all the shoddily put together compilation albums full of tunes that Mum's will love and with titles like "Hummers for your Mummas". Then there's the release of albums by all the X-Factor also rans to look forward to. It's frightening how much of this shit is sold in the run up to Mother's Day.
For the years of hard work that your Mum has put into raising you, trying her best to make sure you don't turn out to be an ASBO magnet and instil into you a comprehension of what is right and wrong, you repay her with a Shayne Ward album.
If I was a Mum, that would be where our relationship ended. You'd be out on your ear faster than you can say, "Check out his cover of Wind Beneath My Wing, Mum." It's such a lazy buy and I don't care if you say that's what your Mum wants, your Mum is wrong.
Yesterday, while I was marauding round the aisles of Tesco's, I spotted a joint of beef with a sticker saying "The Perfect Gift for Mother's Day!" plastered to it. I was gob smacked. Why would you even consider that as present? "Here Mum. I love you so much I bought you a piece of animal carcass, just to show you how much I care!" I know it probably meant in a context of like a Sunday lunch or something but surely they should have been qualified that on the packaging. I'm a literal being with a tiny mind. I need things spelled out to me!
This is just a rant about consumer laziness. I'm going to have to deal with these feelings and move on. Otherwise when I hit town today I'm probably going to end up hitting a few people as well.
You are the wind beneath my wings!
I still don't know what to get my Mum. If you check back here tomorrow and you read that I've been handed a police caution for assaulting a shopper with a copy of the G4 Mother's Day EP in their hands. Or that my typing is repeatedly interrupted as I try to rush wrap a copy of "Magical Musical Moments for Mum's!" you'll know something has gone a bit wrong.
P.S- Remember, Mum's are heroes and they demand our respect!
Posted at 01:08 am by Carrot
Weekly shops and Toilet Rolls
There's one thing I've still yet to get the hang off since we moved into the flat and that's the weekly shop. Everything else I seem to have taken to quite easily—although there have been one or two notable exceptions—and with minimal amounts of drama.
We have a stringent weekly budget and with me being a journalist and Breezy an aspiring thespian (it's a lifestyle choice) a fair whack of it's spent on alcohol. Of course, we do buy responsibly. We'd never forgo food in the name of a good time, or at least we try not to.
My biggest bugbear at the moment is toilet roll. No matter how much of the stuff I buy every Wednesday evening one of us will have to run to the 24-hour garage to buy more. This is to save the other from having the starring role in an anecdote that would probably end up being told at Christmas dinner and putting the family off their food.
Since we've been here I don't think we've ever made it through a week with out having to buy more. One week, I bought 24 in a BOGOF deal. "That'll be ample!" I thought smugly. But no, that weekend we ended up having a bit of an impromptu house party. Anyone would have thought we'd invited the Andrex puppy the amount of the stuff we went through. Consequently, the following Wednesday I found myself hot footing it across the forecourt to pick up a four pack of double quilted goodness in order to save Breezy from a fate worse than death. Skid marks.
I've written my list but I don't want to go. I hate supermarkets on a Friday. People stock up like it's the end of the world. Old people, kids, parents and the insane are everywhere. Now I know what you're thinking, "Why not go on another day?" Well the answer to that is quite simple. Because everyone buys all the stuff I might want, it's not there when I want it. Therefore, I can concentrate on buying the stuff I actually need. It's a bit of an odd system but it must work because we're never go over budget.
The strip lighting. The shiny floors. Things piled above head level. I'm having palpatations already
The shear volume of people jockeying for space in the aisles means that everybody adopts a walking style that I've christened "The Supermarket Shuffle". No one ever reaches walking speed and you seem to walk in a line the front of your trolley following the arse of the person in front. You have to subscribe to this or you'll end up jamming your trolley into the ankles of the person in front, a massive supermarket social faux pais.
I've wasted enough time writing this, I should just face the masses and go. We need toilet rolls.
Posted at 07:29 am by Carrot
Kids today, eh? They're all: "Fuck you!" and "I'll smash your stupid brain's in!" aren't they? Thoughtful beings and so articulate with it as well. A credit to their parents and no mistake.
Sharing their company on the bus in the morning, I feel grateful to be able to share time with such enlightened and witty people. Never once have I sat and wished death and injury to any of them. Neither have I sat and preyed that the double door they were huddled around would open up and suck them out into the path of the oncoming traffic. No, no, no. Oh, who am I kidding? Looking at them and they way they behave, is the best contraception for the eyes since they stopped showing Supernanny on Channel 4.
I know I'm being hypocritical, because most of the time I swear like a sailor with Tourette's. When I was younger, I used to devise and employ quite some ingenious methods to ensure that I could turn the air blue whenever I liked.
My favourite was when I spread the rumour round my family that you couldn't be told off for swearing by Mum or Dad, provided that you sang the swear words. For instance, saying fuck, shit or bugger was permissible, provided that it had a jaunty accompaniment. Even more so if you could think of a way of shoehorning in a dance routine.
Of course, I still got my arse tanned by my Dad on numerous occasions for being rude. But, like lots of things, if you repeat them enough they become fact and everyone believes it. Eventually over time, if you could prove you sang when you insulted someone, you were exempt from punishment.
Subtlety is a word, along with many others, missing from the Chav vocabulary.
Posted at 02:45 am by Carrot