Ramen & children first

After last week’s Rame-geddon I decided to have another shot at the title making Japanese noodle soup.

I managed to finally pull something together that looked the part, didn’t smell offensive and tasted much better than last week’s effort (a hybrid taste of wet-dog and racism); unfortunately, just after the ramen was ready, there was a baby-centric, shit-themed emergency that had to be dealt with immediately. By the time the crisis was averted (i.e. the baby was cleaned), the ramen was cold, the vegetables were soggy and the cook disappointed.

I’m glad I don’t believe in a god, because if I did, all the signs would be pointing towards him/her/it/they not wanting me to make ramen, and I’m not going down without a soba-filled fight.

In honour of that fighting spirit, here is another ramen-related graph, which, weirdly enough, was easier to make than the ramen iteself.


First Fables in Leicester

Kent Valentine: Fablemonger
My 2010 solo show, Fablemonger will be having it’s first non-preview outing this Saturday, 6th February  at the Leicester Comedy Festival.

The show kicks off at 8.30 in Bowies Bar (Belmont Hotel) in DeMontfort St and will be followed by some drinks in said bar to celebrate it’s maiden voyage.

Tickets are only £5 and are available (with all the other details) via theLeicester Comedy Festival website.

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Flying Solo

Last night, while sitting alone, eating a post-gig dinner, in a Bristol curry house I realised that there’s something wonderful about doing a normally-social activity on your own. Whether it’s going to the movies, eating at a restaurant or having sex, flying solo can be such a liberating experience. You’re suddenly in complete control of the event; free to watch that shitty sci-fi, order two desserts and dress up in a Batman suit while you give yourself a thorough seeing-to.

Despite being on my own for last night’s meal, when I first scanned the menu, the first thing I did was to find something that might reconcile my preference for spicy food with my fiancee Charly’s aversion to chilli. But then came the realisation that I was alone, and with it, a wave of emancipation as I was freed from the constraints of the social experience and could order whatever the hell I wanted. I went straight to the hot-as-buggery section, picked out a chicken jalfrezi that would never make it onto a social table – in the same way that Roxette is never allowed on the bedroom stereo – and sat down to enjoy my monstrously hot meal while I read the paper; a happy man with no friends.

Of course, there is a down-side to going it alone – when the wheels fall off, there is no one to help you out. I accidentally swallowed a whole chilli midway through an article about the Iliad; then had to flag down a waiter, use rudimentary semaphore to order a water and extinguish the fire that raged in my oesophagus, all without the assistance and sympathy that a companion might have afforded. Had Charly been there, the moment would have then become a joke, something shared, an intersection on the long, solitary paths that are our lives. But because I was alone, I just spluttered to myself and coughed spicy chicken onto my newspaper while the two waiters sniggered and pretended not to see.

I guess there’s a balance that must be struck between having the experience you want, and having someone to share it with. I got to eat what I wanted, but now the only way to share it is to bang away on the keyboard and float it out into the interwebs, in the vain hope that it finds another solo, curry eater. That’s almost as depressing as the realisation that this paragraph now sounds like the voiceover at the end of an episode of The Wonderyears.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-01-31

  • RT @DrJavaBeans: Don't be alarmed when the stars move about the sky tonight. That will be Dave G moving the lights to where they should be #
  • Thanks for everything Dave – We'll all miss you an awful lot, and we all owe you a lot more. #
  • This week's to-do list: Keep daughter alive, write jokes, keep daughter happy, tell jokes, watch Wallander, be excited about #MassEffect2 #
  • Never write jokes about paedos on a piece of paper & then accidentally drop that paper while you're in the post office w/- your daughter. #
  • And just when I wanted to see someone fall over: RT @JSCarroll: oops:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4F0QbHl2AQ&feature=player_embedded #
  • Climbing under a cold duvee is like getting immunised- It's for the best in the long run, but that doesn't make it any more pleasant now. #
  • Chivalrous Persons Next Mon 1/2 – Feat: Wayne Deakin, Jonathan Elston, Max & Ivan and Alison Bice. Only £5, tix here: http://bit.ly/9favKI #
  • Ahhhh Mr Snow, my old driving nemesis… You're back! http://tweetphoto.com/9969199 #

The Inevitability of Self Loathing

Sometimes, through no plan or decision or design, you end up – against your better judgement – sitting in a Starbucks. I should know, I’m in one now, surrounded by screaming children and prententious knobs sipping tall, skinny, gingerbread lattes.

I didn’t plan to be here and I certainly don’t want to stay, but sometimes circumstances conspire against you, and the best course of action is to roll with the punches.

Unfortunately, Starbucks is one of the few places where you can deal with a screaming, hungry child who may have also just shat herself. It’s a testament to what SB employees must have to put up with, but for some reason, the staff don’t bat an eyelid as a haggard-looking, new mother, with a breast hanging out and a smear of baby shit on her jumper, wipes vomit off the furniture while a 15 year-old employee (who someday hopes to rise from cleaner to barrista) gently rocks the baby that made this whole scene possible.

Of course, you know when you leave the house that there’s always a chance you’ll wind up elbow-deep in vanilla latte and breast milk, but you tell yourself “this won’t happen to me” because you want to maintain some illusion of being in control. Unfortunately hoping for the best means that you’re often not prepared for the worst, and it’s for precisely this reason that I’m currently standing in the line at a Starbucks about to ask for some paper towel to clean up the cocktail of body fluid that my daughter has expelled onto one of the armchairs.

That and a tall, skinny, gingerbread, latte… with extra self-loathing.