Janey's Blogs - July 2010
Sunday the 4th of July 2010
Tales of MacArthur Park and beyond
My latest trip in LA had me take the underground subway - or Metro as they call it - to downtown. I love the trains and buses as you already know!
So I headed down to Union Station. The sun was burning hard: remember this place is hot as Mexico (which technically it is all but for a border line!). Anyway, my misplaced geography aside, I was covered in factor 60 which is basically a Burka.
Union Station is awesome and old. I have been there years ago when husband, Ashley and I once took a train trip to San Diego. The great hall of the station is beautiful and very reminiscent of the 'olden days' as I like to call things when am not sure of their age nor can be bothered googling for your information.
Anyway it really does look stunning and of a day when train travel was afforded the name 'elegance' and not hundreds of people squeezed into carriages.
I walked from the station and onto the Mexican bit where the oldest street and museums sit. It's called Olvera Street and if you like Mexican wrestling gimp masks, fried things, Jesus beads, tacos and Hello Kitty things then you are in heaven! If, like me, you don't like any of that stuff, you start walking in the opposite direction and go find the museum which basically tells you that the house belonged to Mexican people then American people turned up and made Los Angeles their own and left the Mexican people to clean their houses or become bad drivers… or any other stereotype that American comics like to bang on about.
Further along the street there was a protest about Americans not letting Mexican people live in Los Angeles and also a big speech about stereotyping Mexican people, but they were drowned out by Mexican people selling chewing gum, Jesus beads and a group of Mexican people dressed as ancient Incas doing a tribal dance to drums. It was awesome.
I got bored with that and headed back on the train to Little Tokyo which was really cute and they had hundreds of Hello Kitty stuff and waving golden cats. There is only so much of that you can look at; it's a bit like walking down Princes Street in Edinburgh and thinking "Really? More tartan?"
I headed back on the train where a drunken man fell on his back and pissed himself. I am convinced the stain was in the shape of Hello Kitty or maybe it was just me.
Finally I decided to get off the train at MacArthur Park. I loved the song so I must love the park eh? I didn't know that outside the station were at least 80 Mexican people trying to sell food that looked incredibly odd and came out of a vast array of boxes, bags and wheelie bins. They thrust this stuff into your face as if smelling it would make you want it. I didn't like it but I come from a country that eats haggis and deep fried pizza so am not one to mock. Yet again the Jesus beads came thrown at me… Jesus? What is it with the beads?
Anyway MacArthur Park is a park in a town with squillions of old weather-beaten Mexican men who gamble at concrete tables. I tried to get near them to see what the game was but they shouted at me. I don't know what it was they shouted but in unison it was basically "Fuck off!" so I wandered off to get a seat in the shelter.
I didn't know sitting down meant "Please try to sell me beads, fried crispy wormy looking things and shaved ice with neon-coloured liquid". I managed to beat off the constant food vendors. (Who needs that much food in a park?)
I spotted a skinny tanned-looking boy with a ghetto blaster walking towards me; I thought "Maybe he has fried goods in that music box; I wouldn't be surprised."
He sat beside me smiling gently; he was followed by a tall thin Chinese/Asian guy and they both looked about 20 years old at a push.
The brown faced boy smiled and said, "Hello."
I said, "Hello."
He said, "I am Israel."
I said, "Really? This seat is occupied."
He never got the joke; he sat down; the tall Asian boy stayed standing; I noticed he was clutching a Bible.
Israel said, "How has your day been going?"
I said, "Fine. What do you guys want? If it's Jesus am not up for crazy, am all done on crazy today."
Israel smiled and said, "Have you read the Bible?"
I lit up a ciggie and said, "Yes, are you going to quiz me on it?"
The Asian boy and Israel started telling their good news. It wasn't really good news to me, but I didn't want to appear unfriendly so I sat nodding and smoking and watching the Mexican men gambling in the distance.
"Don't you like God?" asked the Asian boy (I think he was Chinese or Asian, am not sure… he could have been some other race… I wish I had paid more attention now am trying to tell you the story).
Anyway, I said, "I don't like that bad people might be in this heaven you speak of."
This gave them grist for the mill; they were now desperate to get into this.
"Don't you believe in forgiveness?" the standing boy said as he rubbed the cover of his Bible.
I took a breath and said, "Well, its like this. If Hitler at the last minutes of his death begged for forgiveness and gave his heart to God and was truly sorry then, according to your Bible, he will be in heaven and I don't want to go there in case I meet him, coz I will have an issue with that and might start a fight. Would you like to die and go to heaven and the first person you met was Hitler?"
"Then that would be God's will," Israel said.
"And you would be cool with that? Spending eternity with a really contrite sorry Hitler?" I asked him. He struggled for an answer.
They changed the subject: "Do you want to hear our good news?"
"If your good news is that Hitler is sorry and is waiting for me to be sorry so I can spend eternity with him, then no. That good news better be more interesting than that," I said. (I will decide when this subject is closed.)
The standing boy tried a different tack.
"Were you raised in Christianity?" he asked.
"No, poverty," I answered.
Then I said, "Do you believe that homosexuals are evil?"
Israel got excited at this. "I used to be gay…"
Before he finished his sentence I gasped, "Used to be? Come on don't tell me you were gay and found God and you are heterosexual now!"
Israel smiled beatifically and said "Yes"
"No way! You poor lamb, surely God didn't make you straight? You are gay and that's cool. God is forgiving, remember? He gave us Lady Ga Ga!" I shouted. It startled the Mexican gamblers.
"God made Adam and Eve," the boy who was standing butted in…
"OK, so God can forgive Hitler but not homosexuals?" I shouted again.
This wasn't going as planned.
The standing boy added, "Eighty five percent of gay men were raped by homosexuals as children."
Israel added, "I was raped as a boy. That made me gay." And then he nodded.
I hugged his arm and shouted at the standing guy, "That's bollocks!Ttotal bollocks! Gay men are the smallest percentage of child abusers. I was raped by a heterosexual man, so that means I was destined to be a lesbian and God had me raped so I would be heterosexual… GOD saved me from homosexuality? Is that what you are saying?"
He didn't know what to say to that.
I turned to the 'used to be gay' boy and touched his wee cute face and said, "Mate, you are gay. It's nothing to do with abuse. Accept it, stay away from brain-washing Christians, go out and there and embrace your life and… dress better again and give Kylie songs another go. For the love of GOD Lady Ga Ga is here; that's a sign surely."
He laughed a loud lovely chime of a giggle, hugged me and said, "I wasn't happy as a gay"
"That doesn't mean you're not gay. I know lots of gloomy gay men. They aren't supposed to be happy all the time, but they don't need to deny their true self and find God to please others. God made you according to your Bible. Stop being something you are not."
The boy standing said, "He doesn't want to be gay; he heard God's voice."
I switched my head round to Israel and said, "Maybe it was a chemical imbalance? Maybe the voices were schizophrenic and it wasn't God, just a mental illness. Buzzing poppers could have done that; you can still be gay." I just didn't want the team to lose one, is all am saying.
He smiled and hugged me. I genuinely warmed to him but then I do love most gay men in general.
They continued talking to me about their tolerant God and all I could think was - what God hates gays? That's not a forgiving man is it?
They then bowed their lovely shiny heads and prayed for my soul. I sat there staring at the grinding poverty of the wee Mexican women selling funnel cakes with four dirty toddlers at their feet and wondered if God was sitting there in MacArthur Park with us. Maybe he was sorting out the gays from the straights or maybe he was going to perform a miracle for the kids who would grow up in an unfair society or maybe tell the Pope to allow contraception… or maybe he would whisper into Israel's head that being gay was fine by him and let that young man live his life his way.
The boys got up and I said to Israel, "Maybe in years to come you will wake up and say 'That crazy Scottish women was right. I am gay and that's cool,' and you will be free to live your life as you want and God will still love you."
Israel said, "Maybe one day you will wake up and remember me and take God into your own heart and go out and spread the good news yourself."
I laughed and said, "I think you will find Kylie before I find God but thanks, lovely man. Go in peace."
Thursday the 8th of July 2010
The Power of the internet
I send photos to mates, I look at other people's lives on the web and I realise it's been ages since I actually held a photo in my hand and stared at it. That's the power of the internet!
Who knew when we were kids climbing trees and making cars out of old prams that one day we would all be sitting on buses, trains, at work, in bed and even in theatres looking at tiny hand-held metal boxes and telling the world in 140 characters what we are thinking?
People like me who grew up in the late 60s and 70s spent our summers playing on the pavements, hiding in tree houses and could only dream of having something that would let us watch The Banana Splits on demand. We ran home from school desperate not to miss our favourite TV shows and, back in those days, no one bothered to ask us each morning, "What are you thinking?"
Now every kid worth its salt has a Facebook account. No one does anything without taking a host of inane photos and showing all their mates what they were doing last weekend. I am guilty of it too.
We needn't imagine what Steve did when he met an angry bulldog, as we can all see it recorded on an iPhone and posted on YouTube.
Friends are everything on the internet: we gather them on Facebook, Twitter and that old woe-begotten wayward pal My Space… remember My Space?
Everyone will either 'Like' or 'Dislike' your recent comment; that's what friends do nowadays.
When I was a kid, friends came round to your house, shared their Toffos with you, sang along to Donny Osmond songs and decided which Bay City Roller they would snog first. You waited a full week for photos to be developed and then you would carry them to school to show your best pals an image of you, your mum and dad and big brothers and sister all lined up like a mismatched smiley group beside a tiny rounded caravan as the rain whipped your hair across your happy face.
No-one could imagine that a photo could be sent to a whole host of people in a matter of seconds. That's what the future gave us. But do we nurture those photos and experiences as much as we used to? I think we have become so numb to the vast array of content on the web that we no longer nurture a photo of a baby; we no longer stare at an image and wonder what happened next? Or try to envision what the people in the picture were doing as the photo was taken... like we used to.
This all sounds like I am disillusioned with the internet but I am not at all. It's awesome.
I love that there are so many people connecting across the world. I enjoy reading other people's blogs and content.
I just feel that something is lost along the way; people don't pull out a wallet to show a photograph (other than my husband who still carries a picture of Ashley at age 6 and age 20 side by side!). Everyone has a slide show of photos on their phone (like me).
In many years to come, there won't be boxes of photos on top of wardrobes or in closets; they will all be stuck in someone's hard drive or archived on various image hosting websites.
I don't see photographs proudly hanging on walls anymore; constant images of smiling kids staring from flowery papered walls - that will soon be all gone.
Yet we do get to see more photographs through the web; we get to see a baby's first steps and your kid's graduation live as it happens. That's all amazing stuff.
So, I am off to print off some photos and start putting them in boxes and the good news is maybe, in years to come, someone will find them and wonder who they are!
Tuesday the 13th of July 2010
Ashley has decided that I need more exercise, so much so, she makes me do sit ups on a machine thing that I found in a skip.
OK, you want to -down working class roots coming to the fore; anyway I saw an exercise machine FULLY BOXED and untouched and needing assembled so I took it. Ashley was mortified because she is middle class and can speak French and has been on a pony. I have walked in plastic sandals to school in winter so my attitude is different. I take stuff off the street and out of skips.
Once I saw a cracking standing lamp on the Great Western Road and started dragging it with me until a man chased me screaming, "What the hell are you doing lady?" I didn't know he was moving house and not throwing out stuff from a student flat did I?
I am known for my skip hunting technique. I once found a baby in skip - and how did you think I got Ashley? OK, that was a joke.
Anyway, the exercise machine is one of those sit-up curvy things and it's good and hurts like hell. I know this as Ashley MAKES me do it and then she does it, but she doesn't have giant breasts that threaten to muffle her mouth when she does sit-ups and I do!
My side and back ache like hell and I now wish I had left the machine in the skip.
Meanwhile I am getting ready for my Edinburgh shows. As you all know by now Ashley and I are doing a kids show at Pleasance Dome at 12.45pm and I am doing my one woman comedy show at Pleasance Dome at 7pm every night of the Fringe which starts on 4th of August.
I have a lovely sponsor for my posters and flyers; she is called Anna at http://www.picodeliq.com
I am very grateful for her help, so if you need an awesome graphic designer do get in touch with them!
Friday the 16th of July 2010
Me and this thing
This thing I have is basic impatience and worry; sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat worrying that I may have picked the wrong career. I don't have a pension scheme, so do I invent a Ponzi scheme instead? No… I don't do that, it's evil. I may never be famous and rich, but I get to do what I love and that's comedy and writing.
I worked for fifteen years in a skanky bar in the East End of Glasgow and thought it was the best I could do; now I get to travel all over the place being funny and getting paid for talking (something I was ridiculed for in the past - I do mean talking - not getting paid for it!) anyway I love doing what I do.
I just worry I am getting too old and have decided to make myself poor, lonely and sick and live in Paris and become a bohemian writer. I will write stories about a woman who takes a younger lover, smokes too much and stares out of windows thinking about art. Or maybe I won't do any of that; fuck Paris I am off to the festival in Edinburgh that will eat enough of my cash and possibly destroy my soul BUT I will be destroyed financially doing something I truly love. Like the man who was convinced he could invent a perpetual motion machine despite physics proving it can't be done and scientists mocking him, he made a thing with an elastic band and two lolly sticks – OK that never happened but imagine it did and the man made himself poor and exhausted just by proving people wrong THAT is my point people! Confused? Me too.
I think I am sleep-deprived and rambling what do you think?
Ashley and I did a podcast today. You would think after all the technology invented and the sheer amount of podcasts out there it was as easy as pissing on a priest, but it's not… the bloody thing took ages to edit. Either we need to be less offensive, stop naming people and their personal gossip or learn to deal with an editing suite and shut up moaning about it. Ashley says some outrageous stuff when a microphone is at her mouth, which is not really a worry but we are doing a kids show together at the Fringe! (Worry not parents I am JOKING).
The podcast was good fun, she makes me laugh and I believe that's important enough for me to expect other people to want to hear it and why not?
The link will be up on iTunes as soon as it generates it or whatever ITunes do to register your podcast. Keep an eye on my website janeygodley.com to check if it is up there soon.
Last night I dreamt I was a giraffe and was eating roof tiles from my dad's garden hut; two pigeons pecked at my eyes. I woke up with a sore neck, am not kidding! You may be slightly concerned by reading this I sound slightly mental, but I just haven't been sleeping well and my brain is a bit like a bag that's left outside a charity shop and smells funny just now; still, thought I would share my madness with you.
I may go to New York and be one of those old women who used to disco dance and hangs around old clubs talking about the 'old days of disco' whilst sprinkling crushed valium on my coffee and sniggering at happy couples. Or I may now go to bed as I have to get up and go to Leeds and be funny for people who paid to hear me talk funny… who knows what will happen on the train?
The podcast will be out soon… hope you like it people… good night.
Tuesday the 20th of July 2010
My brain goes mad!
Spent two nights in Leeds and did nothing more than sleep and get up for the comedy gigs.
If you know me you will know how much I despise Cliff Richard and the first thing I saw in the hotel room in Leeds was a photo of him next to my bed. I reckon that's why I slept for hours after my eyes took in the horror. It wasn't a magazine, someone just left a glossy photo of Cliff on the bedside table; the chambermaid hadn't removed it. Maybe she was in on the Cliff subliminal movement, I don't know.
I stared at it with my suitcase in my hand and I considered moving rooms in case Cliff had haunted it. Even though he is alive, he can still haunt us, don't let that small detail fool you. I put the photo in the bin - that was after I had shredded it with tiny miniscule movements, almost robotic behaviour. I wasn't happy till he was tiny shredded squares in the metal bin. I knew when I slept the little squares would pixelate, join together and Cliff once more would be whole and come and get me, drag me onto his big Red Bus and sing about Jesus or dolls into my face. Anyway I got shot of the photo.
The sleeping thing is bothering me; I seem to be out of whack with my normal pattern. I end up sleeping for 17 hours a day and staying awake all night then nodding off… what is wrong with me? And if you think that's bad, I am considering hiding in the woodlands with a crossbow and an owl in a shoebox.
Let me explain both. Firstly, despite trying all manner of ways to get some pre-Fringe press I am lacking some decent publicity so I reckon, if I go mad and hide in foliage with a deadly weapon and a small woodland creature, publicity will follow. People will buy tickets to my shows solely to find out why I keep an owl in a shoebox!
Ashley and did our first podcast, which was funny because some people complained we sounded posh, some people said they couldn't understand a word we were saying and others said we talked very formal and not relaxed. Trust me; we were so strung out from lack of sleep that the podcast was bordering on libellous, disturbing evil gossip that it took hours to edit. We will get better at it. Keep listening please?
We like it (Ashley and I) and, if you want to hear it, please go to
Friday the 23rd of July 2010
Think about it
There must be higher love; well, according to Steve Winwood that's true but to me I simply accept average height love and, after 30 years of marriage, am well versed in being average. I have tried being extraordinary but I end up being mediocre.
My past attempts at being sultry and sexy have landed in flat-liner heaven, with me either having stomach pains on a floor trying to shift wind but dressed in Agent Provocateur and red high heels or husband and I having a big fight when we get to the secluded romantic cottage. We can't seem to time or prepare our relationship for fun and love. It either happens or it doesn't; it can't be orchestrated at all.
Usually we end up deciding to get divorced as I sit on high count Egyptian cotton sheets, chomping on luxury chocolates and slugging chilled Champagne in a five star hotel beside a dramatic coastline. Then again, we have sat in a one berth cockroach-infested caravanette and been stuck to each other's flesh for a whole 48 hours as we profess our undying love for each other, then go eat a can of cold beans in utter happiness! What I am saying is, concocted settings don't always work!
So, on that thought, husband and I went to Fife for a night, just a romantic one night of spontaneous love. I was being grumpy and he suggested my favourite beach cove at Elie. I love it there.
The wind was down and the coast was warm and the sun was setting; we ate fish and chips then we checked into a wee B&B after walking along the beach and fell asleep on foamy single beds, especially after husband had drunk a few pints of Guinness.
The sun dipped and the pattering rain started, then we literally snored away happily as the coastal storm slashed the windows of our bedroom. We both woke up at 3am, the rain had halted - the silence scared us - then another storm battered the windows and we fell asleep again. We do love noise! We both woke again at 4am and, having no radio or any type of background music (we both need white noise constantly to sleep, like a radio or talking book), I decided to pretend I was the BBC World Service and spoke in funny accents, making up news stories till we both crashed out again.
We had to leave Elie at 9am the next morning, as there was a severe weather warning throughout Fife and we didn't want be caught up in it. That's summer holidays in East Neuk in Fife!
It was a lovely wee break and just what I needed to perk me up.
I have stopped smoking yet again; this must be my eighth time of stopping smoking. Who knows, maybe this time it will work?
I like to pick a stressful time to stop smoking, like the Edinburgh Fringe!
Meanwhile Ashley and I have done a second podcast and you can hear it here http://janeygodley.podomatic.com/
Monday the 26th of July 2010
Is this who I am?
I think and worry and think and fret - What will the Fringe bring? Will Ashley and I finally get a show together in time for the opening? We have a basic idea of what we are doing and I have done kids shows before; it will be fine, but should we do more and worry more?
My own show isn't ready BUT it never is. I always leave it to the opening night to decide what the show will be about and it works for me. I could have a well-honed, rehearsed and well-aired previewed show that is match fit ready for the Fringe… but that's not who I am.
Will the flat we have hired be nice? They usually always are nice and for three grand a month it should be awesome… people in Edinburgh can let their house out for one month and that pays for their mortgage for the whole year! The prices in general go up in Edinburgh and we comics alone bring so many people to the Fringe and now the Edinburgh council are charging us money to put up each poster on their streets. We cannot put up a poster without their permission or say-so.
Imagine if we just decided to piss off and take our festival elsewhere. We would take about 6 million pounds with us, yet the council still manage to screw us for cash and expect us to thank them for the anal fisting they gave us and charged us for.
I am being bitter, but the Fringe does cost a lot of cash, even if you do it yourself like I do. With some promoters you could sell every single seat on every single night and STILL owe them cash… That's why I go it alone and do it myself. I make cash every year at the Fringe: not GREAT cash, but enough to make me happy and grateful people still come to see me in a good venue.
The reason I go to the Edinburgh Fringe is that I LOVE IT… I love getting to go onstage every single night and enjoy meeting new people and I even enjoy the comedy critics who run about finding out who is the next big thing so they don't have to think about the reviews. They just need to like who everyone else is liking!
I love getting to see all my favourite comics in the one city, I love getting to see live drama and being part of a big fabulous festival. Just lying in that strange bedroom, on someone else's sheets, smelling strange aromas and having excited butterflies in my stomach…all anticipating the forthcoming shows.
All the info for my shows can be found on my website www.janeygodley.com if you are interested.
Come to Edinburgh and join me in the fun…
Thursday the 29th of July 2010
My blog my life
Three things happened recently, one was I was bitten by a small child, two was the local minister burnt me with hot coffee and thirdly I have recognised that I have sexual dreams about people I don't like.
OK, let's start with number one, the small feral child.
I was in Boots the Chemist and waiting on husband getting his eyes tested and a woman with a happy baby sat beside me. I love kids so I leaned in and chucked its wee fat chin and the baby quickly grabbed my finger and chomped down hard on the tip. It had teeth. God knows how the mother's nipples must feel and, anyway, I screamed a wee bit and the mother laughed. She was happy it wasn't her getting attacked by her toothy baby.
Number two was simply me walking out of the local coffee shop and a minister walking back in to get something he clearly forgot whilst holding a cup of steaming hot coffee. He banged into me and the burning milky liquid burnt my tits. "Fucksake! My tits are burning!" is what I screamed at the Holy Man of the Cloth (he didn't carry a cloth, which would have been good). He stared at me and didn't attempt to pat my ample boobs; he just apologised and walked off as I still shouted: "My tits are roasted here, for fucksake!"
Luckily I don't go to church, so I don't have to face him again.
The third thing is disturbing me.
I keep dreaming about having sex with folk I don't like. What is that about? I can't even begin to tell you who it was but suffice to say it wasn't anyone creepy like Hitler (he is sexy to some people) and it wasn't a child killer; it was people I know and don't really get on with or find attractive.
I recall when I was pregnant I had vivid sexual dreams about the man in the park who used to collect the leaves and slept under the bridge eating mouldy bread and had a three legged dog called Tripod.
Every other day when I saw him and he would try to piss on my legs (him not the dog). I would scream in horror and run away then scream again when I thought about the wild orgasms the man had induced in my pregnant sleep… It haunted me, he was special and wore a round plaster on one eye as it was lazy, like his brain… but, in my twilight head… oh he was SEXMAN.
I tried to bring that subject up with the ante natal nurse. I explained to her I was having wild sexual dreams and wondered if it was a pregnancy symptom. She just said to me: "Do you know the man you are dreaming about?"
"Yes, I do," I answered
"Have you fucked him in real life?" she asked as she took my blood pressure.
"No, he has special needs and is homeless," I explained.
"Is he good looking?" she continued without expression.
"No, he has a palsy of some sort and makes owl noises," I answered.
She stopped at this and stared at me and said: "You are sick. That's terrible and really offensive."
I never got to the bottom of that and the good news is Owl Palsy man died that winter (in the park sadly) and I stopped dreaming about him.
So that means the only way I will stop dreaming about the people I don't like as I fuck them in my sleep is for them to die.
Life is odd, eh?