28.2.08

MA-by

Have any of our lack of readers ever had a new baby and done a part-time M.A. at the same time? Assuming adequate childcare, is it possible? Enquiring minds need to know.

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27.2.08

BLOCKED

Memoir writer (and long-time Bust contributor) Janice Erlbaum had a great post on her blog last week about being 'blocked' as a writer. Course, if you've read any "get-off-yr-ass-and-write,-bitch" books at all then it'll be familiar territory to you, but it's still kind of inspiring to read a paragraph like this:

Because the worst writer is the one who never writes at all, and you’re never going to get better without practice. So stop judging yourself and start writing, and don’t reread a word of it until you’re got fifty pages finished. If you fear disappointment, then recognize your ambition – “I want to be published, damn it,” or, “I want to win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay” – then recognize that your worst fear is already realized, because you’re not getting published or winning an Oscar right now, and you’ve got no shot at it until you write something.

Right, I'm off to get that tattooed backwards on my forehead. Bye now!

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26.2.08

LADIES ALL THE LADIES


ladies_final_poster_300_, originally uploaded by lady_lucy.

Erstwhile - nay, continuing - AMPnet and Plan B collaborator Lady Lucy is hosting a Ladies All the Ladies Night at the Cube Cinema in Bristol on the 1st April. it's part of her new Ladies project, which is all about performers who prefix their monikers with the term Lady, as, er, Lady has done. Rushes from the film she's working on will be shown on the night, and people will be performing, and you should go. Isn't this a nice poster? I love her work.

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SAVAGE MESSIAH - NOW ONLINE

savage-messia

My black bitter little heart doesn't like fanzines any more. I no longer find what I once sought. Nuggets of underground culture? People speaking honest and true, unmediated by advertising? That, thankfully, is what the internet is for. And it's wonderful. I'm committed to paper not pixels, and buy more books and comics than ever, but zines? Nah. Not any more. Too many of them are regurgitated, slightly shoddier versions of what you can get in 'proper' magazines in the shops (which I don't read either, unless someone sends me a freebie because I wrote something for them.) I feel like a vile traitor even saying such a thing, but it's the truth. What did I seek in fanzines? An authentic voice? A maverick vision? I sought - and found - Lisa Crystal Carver, Dame Darcy, Baby Sue, Ben is Dead… but now, with the advent of the internet, there's no need for people such as this to pour ink onto paper when there's Blogger, Livejournal, Typepad, Wordpress. But Savage Messiah has kind of restored my hope. It's full of drawings, which legitimizes its paper status, but the writing is also a pleasure to read; these smudgy, impressionistic little vignettes about life on the outskirts of London and fringes of society. I recommend you buy a copy, or join Laura and co on one of their 'Night Drifts' through London - not that my trapped-in-Stockholm ass has ever done such a thing - and, in the meantime, you can visit the new and lovely website for a taste of what's on offer in one of the best fanzines available today.

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25.2.08

<3


, originally uploaded by ampster.

I love the little jars of Marmite in their neatly lined-up rows. I love the envelopes with the bubble-wrap inside. The cheap imitation pads of expensive air mail paper. The glittery sellotape. I love the Wham bars and the Vimto bars and the Haribo. I love the needles and the cat litter and the stretchy things that go through the top of net curtains. I want to plant kisses on the Hellman’s, right on their squeezy jar tummies. I want to roll cans of cream soda from cheek to nose to cheek and fellate to melting every Cadbury’s Snowflake. I daren’t even smile hello to the man who might be retarded, the one who works and lurks and unpacks the papers, because something inside me might squeeze out my eyes and prickle like tears. When I see Jay, the man who owns the shop, I make like it’s no big deal, and I put ten pounds on my Oyster like I still live there. I love Jay too though I know he went off me a bit because one time I got mixed up with Hindu and Muslim and Ramadam and Diwali and whatever when we were talking when I was buying the paper. He didn’t have a proper conversation with me for like two months after that. But I think we’re through that now. I haven’t told him I’m pregnant, haven’t let my coat swing wide to show the Jimmy-bump that’s proudly sprouting. It’s partly because the boy I’m fucking - the dad-to-be - looks a little bit like his teenaged tracksuit-topped and ear-pierced son, and I don’t think Jay would approve of me fucking his son, so I keep mum, I play dumb, with the bump on the downlow. I wrap my coat round so nobody knows the globe I’ve swallowed. I press the collar to my chest and push down so my heart won’t explode all over the shop yelling YES LONDON YES LONDON YES LONDON YES.

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22.2.08

NON-AWFUL VIBRATOR AD SHOCKER

yoba-3

Look, it's a non-embarrassing advert for a sex toy! Whatever next?

[via copyranter]


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FREE WiFi HOTSPOTS

free-wifi-att
Despite its American look, feel and name (it's called WiFi411 And All The Text Titles Feature Initial Caps For Every Word, Which Is So Yank-Y It Makes Me Want To Die), WiFi 411 is a great little directory listing free wifi hotspots worldwide, including wonderful LONDON. And you can specify that you only want free, not commercial hotspots, and you can see whether the place you're going to do your surfing (do people still say 'surfing', lol) is a shopping mall, a pub, a bowling alley or on a bin just outside a block of flats (my personal favourite).

[via Webgrrls International]


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21.2.08

O GODD I NEARLY DID SOMETHING REALLY BAD

jimmy's gettting massive, which is kind of ace, because the whole looking a wierd shape thing that's been going on for the last few months isn't really all that. but now he's really pushing out and forwards and I LIKE IT because finally i look like the cute preg instead of just someone who's a bit wrong.

tell you what, though i'm worried about LOSING MY EDGE like you wouldn't believe. like, a horrible thing happened the other day. i'm about to start this new mp3 blog for venus magazine, right, and they asked for a biography so i wrote them one, but at the end i put this thing about... i'm blushing... i can't believe this... about how my new 'project' was JIMMY and stuff...

...and then i emailed frances and i was like um dude, is this ok and she was like NO, HOLY SHIT DUDE, IMAGINE IF SOME OTHER WOMAN WROTE THAT ABOUT HER KID, YOU WOULD TOTALLY DO A SICK!!!. and she was 100,0000% RIGHT, and yet, i nearly did it! i nearly did something henious and uncool! because i am pregnant! because the pregnancy and the mother love made me do it! and i am only six months pregnant! it is not even born yet! anything could happen in the next three months, any kind of hideous momism type naffness could be performed by ME against mine own better non-pregnant judgement! holy fuck, man!

and, like, i am not even talking about things like wearing mega comfy e.g. unsexy bras or whatever, because it is not my job to be sexy or attractive all the time, i am not some kind of model or whatever. but it kind of IS my job *not* to be completely lame and embarrassing. what if i lost my skills at not being lame and embarrassing! i'd have to seek some new kind of employment instead, like, uhm, get a proper copywriting job or something. now that WOULD be emb-- oh shit... wait.....

ANYWAY. EDIT TO ADD! Just so's that this post isn't too me me me, even though you fucking LOVE IT YOU SLAGS, here is a fun pop video from the past that Mr Dickon Edwards reminded me about through the magical power of his blog. Look at young Roddy Frame! How lovely he is! I am glad to see that my taste for coy, pretty, young-looking feyboys was set in stone so early.

*pats former self on back*

Aztec Camera - Oblivious:

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TAMPIRES

"I'LL SUCK YOUR PERIOD DRY!"
Tampons made from cursed Transylvanian cotton.
Genius.

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20.2.08

THE SKINNY PREGNANCY

Oh wow, check this shit out: "the skinny pregnancy"". Now I'm supposed to be skinny when for the first time in my life I can not worry about being fat? Now people are supposed to compliment me on my 'slimmer bump'? No chance, m8. *shakes head, pushes belly out, eats jar of beetroot.*

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NEWS SHOPPER LADYFEST SHOCKER



The News Shopper. Suburbia's free local news weekly. It would pop through the letterbox every Wednesday, and hungry, bored, desperate-to-escape little teen me would peruse it, mark down the best jumble sales, and then my friends and I would spend Saturdays scouring the suburban trash for 1960s minidresses, astrakhan coats and fabulous 50s crockery sets. It was fun! Anyway, today, in one of those look-how-far-we've-come moments, I note that the News Shopper has a feature on Ladyfest. I find that kind of heartwarming. Here's hoping this little snippet can kickstart the kind of suburban revolution girlstylenow that kind of wasn't really happening on Bromley High St in the late 1980s. Come on, a girl can dream...


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19.2.08

COMMENT IS(N'T) FREE

Sob. How I miss the old days, when you could wander cyberspace with little thought for your online 'brand', scattering comments and kudos like discarded sweetwrappers, with nary a thought for where they would land, and what folks might think of you when they discovered them. Er, not that I discard sweet-wrappers, obviously. I'm just sayin'. Anyway, those days are gone now, and here's a handy blog post to remind you that nowadays what you say is out there FOREVER. Repeat after me:

"You’re a blogger now, so when you’re leaving a comment, realize that your comments will be seen as an extension of your blog and your brand..."

... because in cyberspace, everyone can hear you scream. HI BOSS!


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LINKS FOR 19-02-08

Mexico City: Are single-sex buses the solution to public transport sexual harrassment problems?
http://tinyurl.com/2cl3d8

Robyn Morgan updates her 1970 essay 'Goodbye to all that': http://www.womensmediacenter.com/ex/020108.html

RCA student makes work that raises the question 'To what extent as a society are we willing to pursue the sustainable ideals of the 21st century? Are we willing to cross ethical boundaries and venture into taboo markets for these purposes?' Jordan Hodgson explores ways to repurpose the byproducts created by the need to destroy animals at Battersea Dogs' Home, such as pet food, YouTubed dogfights and taxidermy:
http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/2008/02/-dog-eat-dog-nicolas.php

What UK women can learn from Spanish womens' attitudes towards their bodies and the progressive attitudes of the Spanish government (which has 8 women in a cabinet of 16, banned size zero models in 2006 and is working with Zara, Mango etc to phase out size zero mannequins):
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/17/nrsenoritas117.xml

Is it time to reclaim the term 'spinster'? Zandria at Blogher.com examines the amount of women using 'spinster' not just in blog posts, but as a blog title and celebratory descriptor of a renegade state:
http://www.blogher.com/reclaiming-spinster

A new book suggests women should apply animal training techniques to husbands to ensure a happy marriage:
http://www.newsweek.com/id/109614?g=1


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18.2.08

LADYFEST GOLDSMITHS BENEFIT, FRIDAY



Look at this pretty flyer for a Ladyfest benefit event at my old college, Goldsmiths, this Friday. How could you not want to attend? :)

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15.2.08

TIGER STRIPES / MAMA LINES


i wrote this, but that is not a picture of me. not yet...

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12.2.08

VALENTINE'S GAY

alternative_vd

It's a little gay but whatevs: Here's my round-up of top alternative valentines day things to make / buy / do, for the Lipster. I so want a massive molar necklace!

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11.2.08

STUFF VALUES, GET HITCHED

First news piece up for The Lipster - check it out!

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JIMMY'S SHOES


JIMMY'S SHOES, originally uploaded by uber trick.

from my sister on flickr:

"OMG CUTE ALERT! Jimmy isn't even born yet and he's already got two pairs of shoes. I didn't make these maddorable booties, they are the work of this wonderful woman on Etsy:

www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5051382"

oh also - NON DISGUSTING MATERNITY/ NURSING WEAR SHOCKA:

http://www.boob.se/

I was worried that 'nursing' would mean I would no longer be able to wear frocks... but these have an opening in the front so you can whip the tit out and stick it in without flashing the whole universe.

i'm pretty sure that nursing and whatever won't actually be the fun fetish fest that i am assuming it will be, but don't disillusion me... i've only got four months left, and a girl can dream...

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10.2.08

IT'S NESTING, JIM, BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT


So preggos are supposed to be all about the ‘nesting’, right?

"Nesting instinct refers to a biological urge in pregnant animals to prepare a home for the upcoming newborn. In human females, the nesting instinct occurs around the fifth month of pregnancy. It is commonly characterized by a strong urge to clean and organize one's home."

[From Wikipedia]

Well, guess what, dudes. I’m in the fifth month… or the sixth month… (24 weeks - it’s so confusing) and this will be no big shocker to anyone who knows me, but, nesting instinct? Cleaning and organising one’s home? Er... no. In fact, quite the opposite.

I was really keeping a lid on my normally, um, ‘freeform’ home stylings until about two weeks ago. I was determined to demonstrate that, despite all expectations to the contrary, AMP could totally keep her shit together when living on her own with nobody to tut and chide and wash and clean. (Admittedly, this was helped by long visits from the babyfather who is cleanliness-obsessed in the extreme and well-versed in tutting and chiding and washing and cleaning, but let’s gloss over that.) But sadly, over the last two weeks things have gone somewhat to shit, and now it looks as though my apartment has basically thrown up on itself after a night on the tiles.

My elegant black patent suitcase is disgorging maternity tights, leopardskin nursing bras (omg have you seen a nursing bra? It’s totally like a hot fetish item) and over-the-knee socks onto the unhoovered bedroom floor. Every day I blink in surprise as I wander to the kitchen and see that the washing-up is, incredibly, still there. And I don’t know why it’s easier to step over the bicycle pump that inexplicably lies in the centre of the living-room floor than to pick it up, but it is. It’s out of control.

So I was just chiding myself for being a chaotic slattern from hell (while secretly feeling proud that I, I of all people, have managed to conquer essentialism and laugh in the face of biological determinism) when it struck me. Sure, the external realm looks like a sack of shit but online - you know, where it counts - things have never been neater.

Much of last week was spent organising my Netvibes: I now have 12 tabs, each organised on a three column basis, displaying four items on each and showing ‘more details’ for all. The first tab is for personal stuff, where I can check my Gmail, view and update Twitter, see my Facebook messages and my friends’ Facebook status updates, and see all recent comments on my Flickr. Then the rest are blogs organised by theme (Feminism, Randoms, Friends, Cooking, Craft, Arts, Music, Tech, Copywriting, Baby - in no particular order, honest guv) plus a tab for Meebo so I can use whichever chat service I want without having to sign in to MSN or Google Chat. How organised is that? It gives me a boner just to look at it.

And then, of course, there’s AMPnet. A friend lured me back to Livejournal, which seemed to open up some kind of posting floodgate, and now the AMP Blog has flared into glorious, gleaming life once more, which, if you’re reading this, you can probably tell. (Of course, the intense Swedish isolation has done a lot to help - it’s amazing how much more time you have when you leave your entire social life, all your friends, and everyone you love behind and fuck off to a different country). I sorted out the labels for all my posts, deleting the ones that contained two words, and I’m trying to shape the rest around similar themes to the rest of the site (feminism, music, vintage clothes, sex - you know, the important things in life.)

I fixed the broken image links that were making the individual post pages display poorly. I organised my RSS feed, set up an email subscription link (do it! You know you want this verbose bullshit in your inbox every day) and started inserting links to both at the end of every post. I finished my Technorati claims (it’s so good to know that this blog has a whopping TWO authority rating - shit like that really makes a girl proud. [Feel free to ramp it up by linking to www.ampnet.co.uk/weblog - I’ll love you forever]). I also updated my Feedburner stats so now I can see who’s surfing on on searches like ‘pale Indian tits’, (hi perverts!).

Looks-wise, I’m going to get the designer at work to help me redesign AMPnet so this blog can reside on the homepage, with the other features reachable from sidebars. I’m also going to optimise the site for screens bigger than 800 x 600 pixels - which means no more huddling in the left-hand side of your monitor.

Finally, I’m about to start an MP3 blog for Venus Magazine, and from next week I’ll be blogging for The Lipster, where I’ll also be doing a pregnancy column so you can read more baby-related crap like this - aren’t you excited?

In short, my internet home has never looked neater, spanglier, or more productive. I am so proud of myself I want to puke. Or maybe that’s just morning sickness. Avoiding the nesting instinct? Maybe not so much. But fuck it. At least I’m doing it in a 21st-century way.


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WHEELCHAIR BACKFLIP



Check out this kid called Aaron doing skateboarding tricks in his wheelchair. He's the first person ever to do a backflip in a wheelchair as well. I have to admit I did a small cry when the wheelchair backflip was landed, but that probably doesn't mean that much as just 'bout everything makes me do a small cry these days. In fact I'll give a reward to the first person who manages to steer me through a whole day of cultural consumption without showing me something that incites teardrops. What's the word for pregnant + emo? Pregmo? Yeah, that's me.

[via Strollerderby]

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9.2.08

NEW VIBRATOR?





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V-DAY NAGGING

valentines_nag

Being selfish and vile, we are not usually the types to subscribe to charity / conciousness-raising type websites. But when The Nag does things so cutely, how can you resist?

Its Valentines' Nag gently nudges you to send a posy of snowdrops to your lover this V-Day, rather than roses. Snowdrops are grown wild in UK woodlands, without pesticides, then wrapped in moss and sent to your sweetheart, who can replant them and watch them flower year after year.

Meanwhile, roses are grown by underpaid Kenyan workers in foreign-owned companies, using water from a country that hardly has any, then sprayed with chemicals, wrapped in plastic, and flown overseas (mega carbon footprint alert) to land up sitting in a bucket outside the BP service station on the motorway on the way home. Nice.

Sign up for The Nag and it'll send you a nag such as this once a month. (Even we can handle that.) And oh, the site's adorable! Cute design, a gentle but not cloying copytone, its information served in easily digestible little snippets. No wonder it won a Yahoo Search Finds of the Year award thingy. Check it out now!


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8.2.08

BUTT / AA MODEL SEARCH

BUTT / AA

AMP's love of Butt Magazine is well documented here and here (scroll down) and of course here, and oh, how delighted were we when we finally received a reference in its pink pages thanks to the gorgeous, pouting Mr Owen Pallett? Yup, super very. Which is why we're pleased to see that Butt is aiding American Apparel in its male model search. Perhaps we'll finally get to see AA address the hideous sexist imbalance of their ads by showing half-naked underage-looking boys alongside the usual array of half-naked underage-looking girls? We can but pray!

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7.2.08

WHY WE LOVE JEZEBEL

Aw, like we really needed more reasons to love Jezebel:

Period sex: A 'Do' Or A 'Don't'?

Great Sexpectations: Dr Ruth Personally Advises Us On Period Sex

I fucking love the internet! No more waiting around for a decent women's magazine to come along, no more wondering 'what women want' from a magazine - just cobble together all the best bits of fashion, feminism, sex and politics, shove them in yr Netvibes, and bob's your bad uncle.

Speaking of which, have my FEMINISM Netvibes tab. It's got Feministing, The F-Word, DollyMix, Jezebel, Militant Female Artist, The Lipster and One D at a Time. What more d'you need?

Add to Netvibes

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SHAKE YR BOOTEES


SHAKE YR BOOTEES, originally uploaded by ampster.

MADDORABLE cowboy boot(ees) for babies. OMG.

Repeat to self:

THE CHILD IS NOT A TOY
THE CHILD IS NOT A TOY
THE CHILD IS NOT A TOY

/fade

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LAST NIGHT AT KOKIE'S...



If you've ever partied at all hard (obviously our Stockholm readers can tune out at this point) you might enjoy this piece from Vice magazine, reminiscing about a New York Bar called Kokies. The only time I ever heard about this place was when I (lame music journalist moment coming up, pls excuse) was interviewing Cat Power and she started going on about a New York coke bar called Kokie's. I remember thinking 'shyeah right Cat Power, because there's really going to be a coke bar called Kokie's, you crazy kook you". But there was!

Please Snort Me Part 1 [Vice]

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6.2.08

THE GREAT BRITISH SANDWICH


Italy has paninis, France freshly filled baguettes, reports Gregg Wallace for BBC Good Food, bemoaning the state of 'Cold sandwiches' in Britain today...

...and what does Sweden have? DINNER. DINNER for LUNCH. It's fucked up.

Gregg Wallace, m8, you don't know you're BORN. I do understand that English people love to moan. It's one of the cute things about them (I'm not sure exactly why it's cute, it just... is. Fuck, you have no idea how much I miss moaning. I was wandering around my super-deluxe Swedish office today, taking a rest from writing some incredibly taxing blog posts, looking out at the sea, eating a free cream bun that work bought us because it's Semmeldag, thinking about how it was nearly time to pay my £200 monthly rent on my massive one-bedroom apartment that would take me 30 minutes to commute back to when the day was over, and all I could think of was 'God, I want someone to moan to SO MUCH.'

And there's no one. They take moaning really fucking seriously here. They furrow their brows and then advise you to speak to whoever it is that you're bitching about, try to sort things out. Like, no way dudes! That's not the way to do things. You just huddle in a corner, slag someone or something off for 10 minutes, then exit, feeling closely bonded to whoever you bitched to, and hugely empowered despite having done precisely fuck all to change the situation that was pissing you off. THAT's how we do things in fucking Britain thank you very much, so why can't they do that here?)

Anyway. Swedes may not know how to moan, but Gregg certainly does, for he is daring to slag off... SANDWICHES.

Oh, sure. Sandwiches. Boring old bread with some boring slimy stuff in the middle. Ooh, Mother's Pride, curling up at the corners. Ooh, British Rail sandwiches ha ha ha. Ooh, rubbish. SHUT THE FUCK UP. You think sandwiches suck? Imagine A WORLD WITHOUT SANDWICHES.

That world, ladies and gents, is Sweden. They have dinner for lunch. And then they have dinner for dinner. Somehow, miraculously, they all remain thin, fit, and healthy looking. I don't know how. I think it's because they like 'training' so much. There's a Stadium (sportswear store) on every single block. They all go 'train' together at lunchtimes, and play tennis and squash in the evenings for kicks. That definitely must have something to do with it. I've heard rumours that there's a correlation between physical activity and slenderness, though I'm loath to believe it myself.

Nonetheless. At 12.00 every day they go out to lunch and they pay approx 90SEK (about £8.00) for a massive lunchtime dinner. We're talking 'pitt y panna' (oily fried potato and ham) with beetroot and a fried egg. We're talking thick yellow pea soup (with oil pooling on the surface) and ham with pancakes on Thursdays. We're talking platefuls of wild mushroom ravioli in a creamy sauce. We're talking tagliatelle with chicken, and shrimps, and creme fraiche, and LOBSTER. For lunch. Every day.

And this is no leisurely, decadent kind of lunch - the kind of olde-skoole publishing or journalism lunch that would start at 1 and meander on towards 4pm, lubricated with red wine, port and a G&T. Nonono. This shit is rushed down at 12.00pm, and they're back at their desks by, hm, 12.43, smiling and thinking about the awesome 'training' they're going to do when they chip off at 5. THIS IS NOT NORMAL. THIS CANNOT BE HEALTHY (apart from the fact that, judging by the lardy English and the svelte Swedes, it blatantly is).

But, Swedes - No. THIS IS NORMAL:

Skip breakfast due to hangover and lateness (nobody here drinks, so nobody is ever hungover. And the transport system is perfect, so nobody is ever late)
Nip to Pret at 11am for breakfast sandwich of sausage, ketchup, bacon, salad - or to greasy spoon for FRIED EGG SANDWICH mmmmmm
Nearly vomit at lunchtime
Feel miraculous by 2pm due to combination of Coke, sandwich and Paramol (they don't do proper painkillers here btw... because that might be FUN. Swedes HATE fun.)
Nip out to Pret or Eat or deli for another sandwich
Finish work, go to pub. DO NOT 'TRAIN'. DO NOT EAT DINNER. GO STRAIGHT TO PUB.

Fucking hell I miss England.

I miss England. I miss sandwiches. I miss moaning. I miss hangovers. (I almost miss fat unattractive men, but not quite. And if I ever do I can always look at those pictures of YOUR DAD that he keeps sending me hahaha just kidding). The sandwich, you see, facilitates the British lifestyle of drunkenness, sobbing, and debauchery. You can't eat DINNER for LUNCH when you feel the way most British people do most of the time. Without this slender snackette (just thin enough to ease down the oesophageus without inciting gagging... just dry enough to soak up the remnants of last night's booze before it can reappear too hurriedly from either orifice) where would the British be? The sandwich is the very substance that makes Britain great. Without it we'd be... we'd be just like the Swedes. NORMAL. HAPPY. HEALTHY. AND INCREDIBLY, AMAZINGLY, ASTOUNDINGLY, COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY FUCKING SHIT-ASS YAWNY-YAWNO BORING.

And, believe me - you don't want that.

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5.2.08

NETVIBES

I've just switched from Google Reader to the lovely, elegant Netvibes. If you're an RSS addict (hello Ana Milgram!) like me then you should really try this. And now I am going to test 'sharing' a module:

Add to Netvibes

(Click that and you'll get my 'Craft' module added to your Netvibes... so you can read the same shit as me, see? It's how we can carve up the web and peek into each other's minds, etc....)

You can't share stuff properly with the current release ('coriander') but I've signed up for an invite for their next release ('ginger') so I'm hoping I'll be able to do so soon... watch this space, lack of readers!

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PACMAN CUPCAKES


pacman cupcakes, originally uploaded by hello naomi.

these are so cool. uhm. idea: some kind of... magazine... a bit like 1-UPzine but by and for women... something about gaming and... crafts and... girls and... THE SIMS and... ANIMAL CROSSING and... CAKES... and NERD CHIC.... atari embroidered tea-towels and space invader jumper patterns and... interviews with HOT GEEK BOYS and pictures of them in their PANTS... pictures that you can, like, CROSS-STITCH onto cushions... and... game walkthroughs and FAQS.... come on, this is the BEST MAGAZINE IDEA you've heard in the last five minutes, isn't it? isn't it? you FUCKING KNOW IT.

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BLACK HEART


BLACK HEART, originally uploaded by ampster.

i want! it's on etsy, but it's sold out!

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HAVE A HAPPY PERIOD

If this is real, then this is genius.

________________________________________________

Supposedly, this is an actual letter from an Austin woman sent to American company Procter & Gamble regarding their feminine products. She really gets rolling after the first paragraph. It's PC Magazine's 2007 Editors' Choice for best webmail-award-winning letter.

Dear Mr. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your 'Always' maxi pads for over 20 years and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuard Core or Dri-Weave absorbency, I'd probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can't tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there's a little F-16 in my pants.

Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? Ever suffered from the curse'? I'm guessing you haven't. Well, my time of the month is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call 'an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.' Isn't the human body amazing?

As Brand Manager in the Feminine-Hygiene Division, you've no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customers monthly visits from 'Aunt Flo'. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying, jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it's a tough time for most women. In fact, only last week, my friend Jennifer fought the violent urge to shove her boyfriend's testicles into a George Foreman Grill just because he told her he thought Grey's Anatomy was written by drunken chimps. Crazy!

The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in Capri pants... Which brings me to the reason for my letter. Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi-pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: 'Have a Happy Period.'

Are you ****ing kidding me? What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness - actual smiling, laughing happiness is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you're some kind of sick S&M freak girl, there will never be anything 'happy' about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlua and lock yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local Walgreen's armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory. (Boy, does THAT sound familiar!)

For the love of God, pull your head out, man! If you just have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that's actually pertinent, like 'Put down the Hammer' or 'Vehicular Manslaughter is Wrong', or are you just picking on us?

Sir, please inform your Accounting Department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flex-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending bull sh*t. And that's a promise I will keep. Always.

Best,
Wendi Aarons
Austin , TX

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4.2.08

LADYFEST LONDON


Repost from Ladyfest London's Myspace. If I wasn't going to be enormously pregnant between 9-11th May, and thus stuck in Stockholm, I would totally go help, because I have decided that, for all its tweeness, Ladyfest is a Good Thing. Frances has been having all these cool interns at Plan B whose lives have been hugely changed by Ladyfest and by retrospectively discovering Riot Grrrl - girls who were into emo or whatever as consumers and then discovered riot grrrl and are now running nights, putting on gigs and being in bands - exactly what we envisaged way back when. So. Ladyfest London. 9-11th May. Get in!

Ladyfest London is on its way!!!

We are a non-profit, volunteer-run feminist music, arts and activism festival that will be held in North London 9th- 11th of May 2008, at The Camden Underworld, the Resource Centre on Holloway Road and the Islington Arts Factory.

Ladyfest celebrates the wealth and diversity of women's talents within the London independent art scenes and beyond, as well as to promote the do-it-yourself ethic and participation in feminist discussion and activism. We aim to provide creative, accessible and friendly spaces where people of all ages and backgrounds feel welcome to take part. It is a predominantly woman-organised festival, but all are welcome to participate.

Ladyfest have been happening in urban centres all over the world since it was first held in Olympia in 2000. The first Ladyfest London was held in London in 2002 at the Garage in North London.

We need you!
Currently there are around 20 core members involved in organising the festival and and we really need your help! We come from a variety of different backgrounds and all have different skills and interests. Ladyfests, like other activism, is very much about learning new skills and trying things you wouldn't normally get to do in everyday life.

There is lots to do in the run up to the festival and lots of different ways you can get involved. No experience is necessary!

We currently need creative and organising types to join our publicity, fundrasing, merchandising groups, as well as people to get involved in organising performances, comedy and music.

If you are interested in helping out in any capacity please get in touch.

During the festival
Even if you don't have time to get involved in the run-up to the festival, we are also going to need lots of people to help out during the actual weekend. If you can commit to at least one 4-hour shift between 9-11 May (plus ideally one afternoon or evening a couple weeks before the festival for a welcome/rota meeting) to staff information desks, steward, help with equipment etc, we can offer you a free day-pass to the festival for the rest of that day, plus a free lunch and travel expenses costs if required (within London only). If you can commit to helping out 4 hours a day for each of the three days you will have free entry to the whole festival.

Email info@ladyfestlondon.co.uk or send us a message on Myspace to get in touch. Or just show up at our next general meeting on Wed 13 Feb at LARC (London Action Resource Centre), 62 Fieldgate Street, E1 at 7pm.

Looking foward to meeting you!

The Ladyfest London team

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3.2.08

COMPLETELY GRATUITOUS


...very enjoyable. In fact this whole youtube channel seems to be devoted to interviews and montages of male models backstage at fashion shows. A pleasant way to pass a snowbound afternoon, don't you think?

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SNOW!

It's snowing here so I have created a snow playlist for your (and my) listening pleasure. I've tried to avoid too many obvious tracks (so no 'Soft as snow but warm inside' by My Bloody Valentine: no 'How to bring a blush to the snow' by Cocteau Twins). Then again, I couldn't resist Frosti / Aurora by Bjork so I guess I wasn't trying *that* hard to be unconventional. You'll also find sparkly classics by The Halo Benders, I am Robot and Proud and They Came From The Stars I Saw Them. Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD IT! The mix is tagged as a compilation, album title 'AMP's SNOW PLAYLIST'.

ZIP: http://tinyurl.com/25nsop (47mb, 11mp3s)

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