12 Things You Really Don’t Want to Hear at a Dinner Party

1. “I could have sworn I had 10 fingers this morning. ‘Sausage Surprise’ anyone?” 

Oh drat. I’m all full-up from the Bloody Mary soup.

2. “You need to bite off the wichetty grub’s head first. Then you just suck out its insides”.

When you say “need” – is participation mandatory? 

3. “I might have mistaken washing powder for sugar. You may wish to give the trifle a miss”.

I think I’ll brave it. I’ve been looking for brilliant cleaning and long-lasting freshness for some time.

4. “Of course it’s vegetarian. Chicken is vegetarian, right?”

Don’t be an idiot. Fish however is fine.

5. “I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I appear to have misplaced my pet caterpillar Dilbert. Who’s for side-salad?”

That’s terrible. What kind of name is Dilbert? 

6. “You’ll be fine, so long as you eat around the highly poisonous parts of your long-spine porcupinefish”. I’m experiencing shooting pains down both sides and have just gone blind in one eye. Is that a bad sign?

7. “Is this how they cook food where you’re from?”

I spat in your starter.

8. “I’m a fruitarian. I only eat what naturally falls from the tree. Steak and marshmallows grow on trees, right? ”

Do me a favour – pass me your steak and let me beat you with it.

9. “I hope you don’t mind, but I couldn’t find a babysitter – so I brought along Candice, Chardonnay, Tia-Maria, Rocky and Tyson”.

Curious names. Are you familiar with the term ‘child abuse’?

10. “Is this triple chocolate caramel fudge cheesecake non-dairy and non-fat?”

Oh absolutely. Haven’t you heard? All food eaten on a Thursday is fat and dairy-free.

11. “Party games? I know LOTS of party games! Let’s start by throwing our keys into a bowl…”

Let’s start by showing you the door.

12. “Just updating Facebook. Does nauseating have one ‘S’ or two?”

Allow me to demonstrate by a show of fingers.

The 10 Commandments of Facebook

1. Thou Shalt Not Document Thy Every Move.

“Just got out of bed. Dreamt about being a pufferfish”. [0 Comments].

“Breakfast”. *Includes photo*. [0 Comments].

“On bus”. [0 Comments].

“At work. Photocopier broken”. [0 Comments].

“Lunch”. *Includes photo*. [0 Comments].

“Work update: Photocopier fixed”. [0 Comments].

“On bus again. Old man sitting next to me smells of socks”. *Includes photo*. [0 Comments].

“Walking from bus to my house”. [0 Comments].

“I wonder what I should have for tea”. [1 Comment: “Cyanide” (32 Likes)].

“Chicken nuggets, chips and peas. Yum yum”. *Includes photo*. [0 Comments].

“Jam roly-poly for dessert”. *Includes photo*. [0 Comments].

“Off to bed. Night night homies”. [0 Comments].

2. Thou Shalt Not Use Stupid Apps and then Invite Others to Use Said Apps.

I will throw an actual sheep at the next person who invites me to join FarmVille

Don’t think I’m joking.

3. Thou Shalt Not ‘Friend’ Thy Mother or Thy Boss.

Pictures of you dressed as Hitler will not impress them.

Status updates like “Dude, last night was so funked* up. Did anyone return the llama?” are also unlikely to put you in line for promotion. 

Also, if you really don’t want your mother to see the dodgy tattoo on your left buttock, then it is probably wise not to moon your best friend when he’s armed with a camera.

4. Thou Shalt Not Create a Group, Then Send Thirty-Two Thousand Frickin’ Messages.

“Hi guys,

I thought I’d message you again, just to say – there’s still no update. Once I have an update, I’ll let you know, but if I don’t hear anything then I’ll get back to you within 30 minutes”.

5. Thou Shalt Not ‘Friend’ People Thou Dost Not Know.

Nobody has 36,792 friends. Not even the cast of Friends.

6. Thou Shalt Not Air Thy Dirty Laundry in Public.

“You think you know someone, give them everything, then they funk* you over. Trust no one”.

There’s a time and a place for this sort of thing. You have 2 choices:

  1. In a quiet bar, with close friends.
  2. On national television with Jeremy Kyle.

*Censored for the women and children.

7. Thou Shalt Not Tag Friends in Incriminating Photos. Unless Thou Wanteth No Friends.

Your real concern however should be the ammunition your friends have against you.

Hot-pink leotards don’t look good on anyone – particularly 12 year old boys. Dancing to Madonna. With 7 girls. On stage. At Brownies.

8. Thou Shalt Not Divulge Too Much Information.

I am delighted that your baby made it here safely. Name, birth weight and “mother and baby doing well” will suffice. Details of the labour, how many centimetres dilated and reports that “it got a bit messy” are superfluous to requirements. I’m quite happy to maintain my belief that you found him or her in a cabbage patch. Thank you.

9. Thou Shalt Not Rant Chronically.

“I can’t believe the price of stamps have gone up by 10%! 10%!”

“God it’s hot. I hate this”.

“Freezing cold. Come back sun”.

In the words of Chandler BingMy wallet’s too small for my fifties and my diamond shoes are too tight”.

10. Thou Shalt Not Contact Anyone Whilst Intoxicated. 

Never EVER declare your undying love or burning hatred to someone whilst inebriated.

Your spelling and grammar will be atrocious.

Salt Lowers Blood Sugar and Other Utterly Preposterous Things to Say

I have a confession. I secretly love it when other people say really dumb things. Does that make me a bad person?  Quite possibly, but I can live with that.

Here are a few of my favourites. All genuine:

“I don’t believe in God. I’m an amethyst”.

“You’re going on holiday? Anywhere nice?” No, self catering in Afghanistan. In a cave. Alone. Or I might circumnavigate the Falkland Islands in a submarine.

“It’s raining. That horrible rain that gets you really wet”.  As opposed to…?

“What’s the number for 999?” We’re in an emergency situation. I don’t have time for your stupidity.

“I really fancy the black guy from JLS”. You’re going to have to narrow it down a bit more.

“You are driving erotically. Pull over!” I shall take that as a compliment.

[To a diabetic friend whose blood glucose was a little high] “Do you want me to get you some Ready Salted crisps? Salt lowers blood sugar”. They’re not acid and alkaline – salt doesn’t cancel out sugar. Who taught you Chemistry?

“Can you see out of your glass eye?” Who said that?

“The exception proves the rule”. Does it? Does it?

“How many sides does a triangle have?” I no longer wish to be associated with you.

“I could care less”. You could? Excellent.

[Having purchased one item at the supermarket, the checkout assistant asks] “Would you like help with your packing?” No, I think I can just about manage a loaf of bread singlehandedly, thank you.

“I recognise your voice from your email”.

“Tell me everything. Be pacific”. I’m not great at this role-play thing, so you’re going to have to help me. How exactly do I become an ocean? 

“My eyesight has been playing up, and I keep getting headaches, so I’m having a rectal scan tomorrow”. You need to change your doctor.

[Upon hearing Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ for the first time] “Has someone covered Hearsay?” 

“Well, me, myself, personally…” How many of you are there?

“Absolutely. 110%”. So Maths – not your strong point? 

[In the boardroom] “We don’t have to boil the ocean”. Always reassuring to know. Now back to work…

“I may not know a lot about politics, but I do know that James Cameron is not the right Prime Minister to lead us out of recession”. Very true. Despite a strong Directing career, his political credentials are somewhat lacking. Shall we see how David Cameron fares instead?

“Silence when you’re talking to me”.

Sometimes there are no words.

12 Things I Learnt from My (Less than Brilliant) Vlogging Debut

For those not yet in the know (where have you been?) I recently announced my intentions to take over the world. Well, the blogging world at least.

So in addition to perfecting my evil dictator laugh, I have begun working on ideas to expand my readership. With this in mind, I foolishly decided to make a video log (or “vlog”).

I hope my debut vlogging experience can be used as a cautionary tale, for anyone else crazy enough to even think about trying.

Here are the top twelve things I learnt:

1. Invest in a tripod. I’m pretty sure professionals have no need to attach their camera to a cardboard box with masking tape. Or place said box on top of another box, precariously balanced on their bed, alongside a broken lamp.

2. Good lighting hides a multitude of sins. Bad lighting makes you look like a big fat spotty toad. Sadly, I fall into the latter category. That is my defence – and I’m sticking with it.

3. Have a plan of action. For reasons of continuity, you will not want to rerecord anything afterwards in your pyjamas.

4. Adlib. Whilst planning is extremely helpful and saves time – my best bits by far were totally impromptu. Yes, I am aware that I have just totally contradicted myself.

5. Record multiple takes of everything. You’d be surprised how many times you can fluff up in only a matter of minutes. Or maybe that’s just me?

6. Employ a glamorous assistant. As an extrovert, I gain most of my energy from other people. As such, I found my true personality didn’t really come out when talking to a camera lense.

Your glamorous assistant can also take ownership of button-pushing, face-fanning and tea/coffee/biscuit duties. So long as you pay them enough.

7. Keep it brief. I managed to cut down about an hour’s footage into five minutes and fourteen seconds. I wish it was shorter.

I can only apologise.

8. Enunciate. Otherwise you’ll sound like a rugged commoner. When I say “write” in the video, you can’t hear the “t”.

I’m now in grave danger of being disowned by my mother.

9. Stick with whatever word you originally planned to say. If you start saying “blogs”, then mid-word change to “posts”, the resulting word will be “blosts”. (I managed this fourteen seconds into my video. Impressive I know).

10. Know your weaknesses. Maths is not my strong point. Check out the percentages’ breakdown roughly three and a half minutes in. I’d love to say this was intentional. It wasn’t. I just can’t add up.

My father’s going to disown me too.

11. Avoid “Um” and “Err”. They are not your friends.

12. Don’t be afraid to fail. It will probably take you a whole day to film and edit your complete pile of excrement. But don’t worry if it’s not a cinematic masterpiece, so long as you learnt something – or maybe twelve things.

I’d like to dedicate my video to all the lovely bloggers who responded to my recent post ‘Friends, Romans, Readers, Lend Me Your Ears’ with such fabulous questions. I’m blaming you.

Cue evil dictator laugh: “M’wah ha ha ha haaaaaaaa!”

Time to Take Over the World: Day One

It turns out this jobless malarkey is highly overrated. There are only so many conversations a girl can have about the state of the economy with her dehydrated house plant. So having given the matter much thought, I have decided not to become a worthless vagabond, but to take over the world instead. It was that, or learn Latin.

Never let it be said that I lack ambition. Like many bloggers, my dream is to become a wildly successful full-time writer, working from home – in the comfort of my favourite SpongeBob SquarePants pyjamas.

In three short months, jessseeker has inexplicably amassed 33,500 hits. Being Freshly Pressed during week seven certainly helped and featuring in WordPress’ Recommended Blogs for humor hasn’t done any harm either. Thank you WordPress Gremlins. I love you!

All I need to do now is work out how to replicate this twenty-nine fold to achieve what I would consider blogging success, namely one million hits. Then I can turn professional.

I’m reliably informed by people in the know that this is nigh on impossible to do. Having spent twenty-nine years ignoring figures of authority though, I have opted to do just that. Why break the habit of a lifetime?

It would seem like an insurmountable task, if it wasn’t for the support, intelligence and techie insight of my big brother Oli, who has promised to help me make jessseeker so successful that I “can retire on a bed of gold-plated chocolate money”. Dark chocolate, naturally.

So having observed some of the greats at work (Julie Powell, Dooce and James Altucher, to name but a few) I have tried to encapsulate their secret. Here goes:

  • Write well.
  • Write often.
  • Be different.
  • Make your blog look pretty.
  • Somehow establish universal appeal.
  • Get the world smiling, one blog at a time.

Do not under any circumstances:

  • Lose integrity.
  • Sell your soul to the devil.
  • Write anything nice whatsoever about Justin Bieber.

Okay, so I might have added the Justin Bieber thing. But it can’t do any harm.

I plan to measure my success by hits, followers, revenue and whether or not Stephen Fry is willing to write the foreword to my first book. Failure is not an option. That bed of gold-plated chocolate money will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.

I am fully aware that flying over Buckingham Palace, dressed as Wonder Woman, with an old bath towel for my cape and teddy bear for company would be a more realistic ambition. So please wish me luck and I shall keep you posted on my complete and utter failure resounding success!

This Season, I Shall Mostly Be Wearing Slippers

In a moment of genius yesterday, I decided to walk three miles home in four inch heels. My feet are now adorned with blisters and I think I lost a toe. So this season, I shall mostly be wearing slippers – an unexpected staple for my spring wardrobe.

Thank goodness animal prints are currently on trend, otherwise my faux giraffe skin, fleece-lined slipper boots might look out of place at my job interview next week.

Regrettably, this is not the first time I have suffered in the name of fashion:

Some boots aren’t made for walkin’.  If high heels weren’t pretty and painful in equal measure, then I wouldn’t have thirty-seven pairs in my wardrobe I never wear.

Step away from the cabbage. As a University student, my desperate bid to squeeze into a particularly stunning dress, two sizes smaller than me, involved living solely on cabbage soup for two weeks. If only I had been pre-warned about the side effects…

Breathe in. Now hold it there – for eighteen hours. My corseted wedding dress may have taken four inches off my waist, but I couldn’t eat, drink or breathe in it. I still maintain it was totally worth the damage to my internal organs – and I didn’t need those bottom ribs anyway. 

You can stand under my umbrella (ella ella ay ay ay) but only if it complements my dress. Having left my trusty umbrella at home last month because it didn’t go with my outfit, I got caught in a torrential downpour thirty minutes later. I soon discovered that my purple satin clutch bag made a very poor umbrella substitute and my waterproof mascara had definitely been sold to me under false pretences.

I found myself singing Rihanna at the bus-stop at ten of clock at night – at which point my husband quite rightly disowned me.

One of these days I shall learn from my mistakes, but until then, I anticipate a great many more blisters, fad diets, funny looks from total strangers and photos on Facebook of me looking like a drowned rat.

Sorry about that.

Oh Dear Diaries…

I have spoken before about the trauma I suffered aged six, when my brother Chris decapitated my beloved Tiny Tears doll. It is fair to say that none of us were ever the same again:

- Chris realised he should never mess with his little sister – due to her nifty right hook.

- I learnt to hide stuff from my brothers that I didn’t want damaged / maimed / beheaded.

- Tiny Tears developed a new-found appreciation for polo neck tops.

I became exceptionally good at concealing my possessions after Tiny Tearsgate, 1989. Anything of value or sentiment was stowed away in a safe place, until I left home at the age of eighteen. This included, though was not exclusive to:

- A second-hand paperback copy of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, purchased for fifteen pence.

- My extensive Pog collection.

- One hundred high quality fibre-tipped colouring pens.

- Three mixed tapes of Boyzone, Peter Andre, the Spice Girls, and Backstreet Boys.

- My top secret, highly confidential, tell-all diaries, that I began writing in 1995, at the             tempestuous age of twelve.

With impressive foresight at just fourteen, I acknowledged that I’d probably look back on my diaries in years to come and laugh. I may have underestimated just how much.

Here are some highlights from the last seventeen years in the life of me.

Names have been changed to protect the innocent:

11/05/1997 SECONDARY SCHOOL: Everything in this diary seemed to have a point to it when I wrote it. That’s why I refuse to look back and cross stuff out. Even the really embarrassing stuff about fancying Dave from my Maths class and cutting my own fringe. Again.

27/12/1997 SECONDARY SCHOOL: New Year’s Resolutions for 1998

  1. I will slap the next person who says I fancy Dave, because I don’t.
  2. I will tidy my room at some point this year.
  3. I will keep my room tidy for at least a week.
  4. I will stop worrying so much about how I look.
  5. I will marry Ronan Keating.

30/12/1998 SECONDARY SCHOOL: New Year’s Resolutions for 1999

  1. I will cut down on chips and chocolate, eat my greens and drink more milk.
  2. I will either slap or kiss Smith for being such a git.
  3. I will snog any (well, just about any) boy who offers.
  4. I will not take my mobile to school for the sole purpose of showing off. Well, maybe.

11/05/2000 COLLEGE: Oh fudge. I tried to pluck my eyebrows to make them look better, but now it’s a case of “Eyebrows? What eyebrows?” Will have to draw them on with pencil until further notice. Note to self: step away from the tweezers.

11/03/2001 COLLEGE: 

21/06/2001 COLLEGE: Have opted to come down with food poisoning on Friday. Not actual food poisoning, but this is my brilliant plan to get out of work. I am brilliant.

30/11/2001 UNIVERSITY: Nothing to report apart from my slow spiralling descent into madness.

“I didn’t lose my mind; it was mine to give away.” Robbie Williams.

11/02/2002 UNIVERSITY: This afternoon was highly productive. I finally mastered the art of reading half a book and blagging the fact I read the whole thing. It’s a talent. One I am proud of and grateful for.

19/04/2002 UNIVERSITY: My plans to go into Uni today were scuppered by an overwhelming desire to sit at home on my bed and highlight stuff. Very important stuff; naturally.

22/04/2003 UNIVERSITY: 

13/08/2003 UNIVERSITY: Mental note: Everything happens for a reason and anything pants that seems to crush you at the time, just makes you stronger in the end. H’mm, that’s very phylosophical of me for a Thursday afternoon. Must learn to spell phylosophycal philospohycal philosophical.

19/10/2003 UNIVERSITY: Am so proud of me! Have spent the entire day doing boring Postmodernism coursework. All something to do with hyperreality. Very confusing. Despite having written 2,503 words, I still don’t understand it. This does not bode well for the ‘A’ grade I was hoping for.

29/11/2004 UNIVERSITY: Momentous occasion: Handed in my dissertation. *Takes a bow*.

03/10/2005 POST-UNIVERSITY: An ode to Tony: “When I fall in love, it will be forever”. Thank you Nat King Cole. 

Note to self: Must put prophetic talents to good use. A winning lottery ticket would be a great start.

“Wax on, Wax off” and Other Words of Wisdom from the Silver Screen

Along with my house keys, odd socks and random bits of fluff – I often find wisdom in the most unlikely of places:

“WAX ON, WAX OFF”. Karate Kid  

Mister Miyagi coupled housework with martial arts training. He also caught flies with chopsticks.  Someone give him a medal. 

“IF YOU CAN’T SAY SOMETHING NICE, DON’T SAY NOTHIN’ AT ALL”. Bambi

As an English graduate, it pains me to see such poor grammar, but I’ll let Thumper off, on account of him being a rabbit.   

“I RECOMMEND ROLLING AROUND IN POND SCUM”. An interview with Kermit the Frog (star of the Silver Screen) 

“IT AIN’T ABOUT HOW HARD YOU HIT, IT’S ABOUT HOW HARD YOU CAN GET HIT AND KEEP MOVING FORWARD”. Rocky Balboa

Alternatively, you could just find a nice quiet office job.

“DO, OR DO NOT. THERE IS NO TRY”. The Empire Strikes Back 

For a creature that looks like a frog who ingested toxic waste as a tadpole, Yoda is surprisingly insightful. 

“DON’T EVER LET SOMEBODY TELL YOU, YOU CAN’T DO SOMETHING*…YOU GOT A DREAM, YOU GOTTA PROTECT IT…YOU WANT SOMETHING, YOU GO GET IT”. The Pursuit of Happyness

*Exceptions to this rule include:

  • Having Pikachu tattooed on your inner thigh.
  • Wearing orange.
  • Dying your hair green and then getting it cut into a mullet.
  • Anything whatsoever to do with Justin Bieber.

“BE WHOEVER YOU WANT TO BE”. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

This statement also excludes Justin Bieber. 

“DREAMS DO COME TRUE, IF ONLY WE WISH HARD ENOUGH”. Peter Pan

I always dreamt of finding love – and look what I found!

It has become apparent however that I have so far neglected to dream hard enough for Adele’s voice or Pippa Middleton’s bottom.  Note to self: Must try harder.

Pearls of Wisdom Just for You (You’re Welcome)

Someone really ought to learn from my mistakes, so please consider the following life lessons my gift to you:

No matter how much your brother tries to convince you – it is never cool to staple your own thumb.

Swimsuits don’t respond well to being ironed.

Fish Fingers only take approximately 12 minutes to cook. Not 4½ hours.

Cut your own fringe at your peril.

As an A-level student, resist the temptation to change your answer-phone message to something seemingly witty and hilarious, like “Hi this is the tumble dryer. The answering machine can’t get to the phone right now, so please leave a message after the beep”. University officials prefer not to liaise with kitchen appliances to congratulate you on your A-level results.

You will not make friends and influence people in University Halls of Residence by singing along to Destiny’s Child “Independent Woman” at 140 decibels at 4:00 am, regardless of the fact you split up with your boyfriend 20 minutes earlier. Nobody cares that you bought the shoes on your feet, the clothes you are wearing or the rock you are rockin’.

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck’. This methodology is particularly useful when applied to picking a mate: If he looks like a Neanderthal, walks like a Neanderthal and barks like a Neanderthal, I assure you he is a Neanderthal. No need to waste time testing this theory; I’ve done the ground-work for you.

If it looks like it might rain – this is because it is going to rain. Unless you want to model the ‘drowned rat’ look for the third time in a fortnight, I strongly recommend you bring your blasted umbrella.

Always check yourself in the mirror before leaving the house for work. You can just about get away with odd socks, but wearing your top inside out in the boardroom will start rumours.

Never be afraid to try new things - apart from cottage cheese with pineapple. Big mistake. Huge.