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.

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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.

If Only I Had a Brain

So, it turns out that staring at a blank computer screen for one hundred and thirty-seven consecutive hours is not the best way to get ideas. Why did nobody tell me? 

I figured this out for myself eventually. Only five and a half days wasted.

Jusmeh recently asked me “Where do you find the inspiration for your blogs?” H’mm, let me see…

LIFE IS THE ANSWER

An unfortunate home hair dying incident when I was seventeen resulted in me adorning hats for the entire summer of 1999. This seemed a fitting tale to include in my post I Really Should Have Thought This Through, which, much to my delight embarrassment was Freshly Pressed in February.

Just to reiterate: I still don’t know whether blondes have more fun, but I can verify that oranges certainly do not. 

A few months ago, I noticed a sweet little girl on the bus, with big brown eyes, short curly auburn hair and a cheeky grin. She turned to her mother and said “When I grow up mummy, I want to be a tomato”. Quite clearly a god ‘dam genius – she inspired my post Think Different.

I have been unable to eat a tomato ever since. 

My brother Oli recently invited me for Sunday lunch. A prospect that would have filled me with joy, if it wasn’t for the fact his latest pancake attempt looked like scrambled eggs and he referred to his colander as coriander. I survived though and had lots of new material for my post “I Just Found a Chicken Bone in My Cheesecake. Is That Bad?

Thank you brother. Your thrice microwaved chicken was delicious. 

A couple of weeks ago, I decided it would be a brilliant idea to walk three miles home in four inch heels. Turns out – it wasn’t.

I ended up in agony, with several blisters and one less toe. My post This Season I Shall Mostly Be Wearing Slippers was born. 

If only I had a brain.

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!

When Did This Happen and Why Didn’t I Get the Memo?

Overlooking the glaringly obvious – like the fact I am a twenty-nine year old married graduate, with a mortgage and interest in current affairs, it hadn’t dawned on me until recently that I’m actually now a grown-up. When on earth did this happen and why didn’t anyone tell me? 

In my defence – I still know all the words to Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and the dance moves to ‘Backstreet’s Back’.

I was hoping this would be sufficient to keep me young, hip, happening and generally down with the kids, forever. Apparently not. It seems the following truths go against me:

I have no desire whatsoever to throw my knickers at Justin Bieber. A rock, perhaps…(Kidding, obviously).

I almost hyperventilated with delight when my brother gave me a toaster last Christmas.

My husband and I have an emergency fund, just in case: 

  • The boiler breaks down.
  • I flood the bathroom for a second time.
  • I accidentally leave a fork in the microwave again.

I have more fruit, salad and vegetables in my fridge than wine or beer.

I can no longer go out three nights in a row and function normally. (Or at all, in fact).

The deciding factor for all shoe purchases is whether or not I will be able to walk in them for more than three minutes without being crippled or maimed. I’m sure this was never an issue in my teens. 

I hugged, rather than swore at the cashier in the Poundshop who asked to see ID for my recent tin-opener purchase. Who knew you needed to be eighteen to gain access to chopped tomatoes?

I have an outfit in my wardrobe for every occasion – yet nothing to wear.

I own three houseplants, countless ornaments, roughly thirty-two spare light bulbs and a dozen scatter cushions. 

The latter, incidentally serve no purpose whatsoever and should be outlawed. I’m starting a petition. Who’s with me?