Saturday, 20 November 2010

Re: 22/10/10

I take it back. Listening to 38 different cover versions of 'Last Christmas' in a row is a MUCH more pointless waste of time.

I don't even like the song. I just reached 7 and thought I was too far gone to quit now.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Reality Bites

When I started writing this blog, things came a lot more naturally to me than they do now. I don't know if its just the winter closing in or if I've had some sort of profound mental shift, but expressing things just feels a bit harder than it used to. In the beginning, I was keen to document all the little things that had made up the scenery along what I had dubbed the 'scenic route' that my life had taken – now, things in my life and my mind have taken up a much broader outlook, with real tangible rewards and consequences. I have no doubt its a much better place for me to be, but things overall do seem to have taken on a much duller pallet without the time to stop and admire the scenery. Maybe, to torture my metaphor further to the point where Amnesty International will have to step in, I've exited the beautiful if random forest of my scenic route and am now heading through the industrial estate portion of my journey?

I've always felt over the years that within my mind, I was stuck at the stage where I dropped out of school, and by extension, life. That the world had passed me by, and that my destiny and path were out of my own control, that I was merely sitting and waiting to react to whatever life had to throw at me next. Dreams of escaping my situation were always just that – far off dreams that relied on ifs, buts and a myriad clauses and conditions, 3 steps away that just needed a bit of luck to push me in the right direction before I could start to work towards them. Earlier in the year, I even managed to find one that would solve everything, transplant myself from all I am now virtually back in time with a simple change of scenery, and let me start over at 17 again while the real world waited on hold for me to take all the time I needed to find my feet.

I'm not 17 though. And regardless of what I've missed, and however extensive I might think the list is, the fact is that I've grown and learned lessons along the way from whatever other sources were available. They've not been conventional, and I'm aware that I'm in no way a typical 23 year old, but the fact remains that I've lived enough to see the world differently than I did then. And as nice as it would be to put my current, low-value 'wasted' life on hold while I venture off to reclaim everything that I've missed, the fact remains that while I was putting reality on hold, it would still change behind me.

So now, a different option has come up. One that I honestly never thought I'd see, but having presented itself I feel for the first time in my life has put the power of my own path back into my own hands. Instead of going back and trying to salvage anything... I can go forward. This isn't a dream or a fantasy, happening to some alternate version of me who can just manage to go out or who is untroubled by pain and fatigue, this is a genuine chance for me to find a place in the world, just the way that I am. It hurts to give up on that dream, but in exchange for something real and tangible, I'm sure that it will be worth it.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Heavens, an update?

2010 was a hell of a year to start documenting my life.

On the one hand, I don't think I've had a single year of my life up til now where things have changed as fundamentally as they have for me over the course of this year. On the other hand, with the sort of things dominating my thoughts that I don't feel like discussing in public, it's made maintaining this blog with musings on random giraffes and pineapples a lot harder.

After almost a full decade of watching life crawl by out my window, with things finally happening to me I've been caught off guard by the sheer pace of the changes. Whenever my future and my circumstances have been discussed before there's always been clauses attached – when you're better, maybe next year, if, but, maybe. This time around, everything has piled up so quickly in the here and now – after 'swimming' the channel as I alluded to before, I've suddenly caught sight of land and washed up ashore before I can even brush up on my conversational French in my head. I'm definitely not complaining about finally getting things done, it's just very different to what I've been used to.

It used to be, even up to a few weeks ago, that I had all these grand dreams of huge gestures that were going to shake the whole foundation of my world and change everything. After all, the slow evolution of life surely couldn't apply to me and my situation, in this dead end where I was drifting along towards nothingness, right? As it turns out, maybe its a testament to my own strength that I've finally forced through some sort of method of continuing down this scenic route without the need for all the upheaval my dreams and fantasies had always required. This time there's no conditions attached, no ifs, buts or maybes – my world is changing regardless, and all that I have to do is make my stand on where my place is going to be in it.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Out of literally ALL the ways in the universe I could have spent the last hour, I'm fairly sure that winding up my ex-girlfriend and biting my toenails was the single least productive I could have possibly chosen.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

When I Grow Up

Is there anything more depressing than logging on to MSN and seeing 0/67 contacts online? Stop having a real life, people, get on the internet and entertain me! So in the absence of either human contact or anything resembling adventures to share, I'll just have a moan about something instead. Today's topic poses the question... is the Pussycat Dolls' When I Grow Up the single worst song in the history of recorded music?

Now I've got a confession / When I was young I wanted attention”

That's perfectly natural – its called the Terrible Twos. Most toddlers grow out of it. Its most certainly not endearing to persist through childhood, let alone into adulthood.

I promised myself that I'd do anything / Anything at all for them to notice me”

Yes, you became strippers. Oh, sorry... burlesque dancers. You take your clothes off for money. This is not an achievement or something to be proud of.

Now I ain’t complaining, we all wanna be famous / So go ahead and say what you wanna say”

Well since you gave me free reign, OK. You're talentless whores who can't sing whose entire careers are based around almost – but not quite – getting naked. And that's just for starters.

You don't know what its like to be nameless / -”

Actually I'll just stop you there before we go through the entire song lyric by lyric. Are you seriously suggesting that the majority of your audience doesn't know what it's like to be not-famous? Are you trying to paint some sort of picture of a bleak, horrible world where everyone is famous except you and are asking for sympathy for that fact? I admit we seem to be well on our way with your X Factors and Big Brothers, but until everyone in the western hemisphere has had their 15 minutes (which should be around, ooh... 2016 or so) you seem to be using some sort of backwards moon logic here. Or maybe they're just 'before their time'. But if you were going to travel back in time to a simpler world, before the Oil Wars and before every man, woman and child had been on reality TV, would the song you submit for recording as your own really only be THIS piece of drivel? Surely there will be some pieces of artwork in the future worthy of bringing back with you and claiming as your own genius beyond “When I Grow Up”, or Simon Cowell's got a LOT more to answer for for his assault on our culture than previously thought. And don't even get me started on the finer points of my time travelling 'songwriter' theories – I have my suspicions about Freddie Mercury, for one, but that's another topic for an equally boring day.

"But be careful what you wish for cos you just might get it"

Yes, this is a popular trope throughout our recorded history, but how is it relevant to this scenario that you've laid out for us? You've failed to put forward any sort of downside to receiving the fame and attention that you've apparently craved since birth, so what's the moral of the story? If you want something badly enough to take your clothes off for money, then... you might just get attention after all? While as a straight male I am honour-bound to applaud this example, as a staunch feminist (stop snickering at the back, you!) I can see more than a few minor holes to pick in it. Which I just have.

So yes, in conclusion, a group of strippers attempting to become popstars have failed to add significantly to our musical culture, and have annoyed me in the process. Who could have foreseen that?

Mayday Parade did a pretty cool cover of it though, from one of the 'Punk Goes Pop' albums. It's worth checking out, I suppose.

But still. Grr!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Swimming the Channel

In a stunning piece of foresight, it seems that my prediction that time would pass regardless has come to fruition. Who could have seen that coming? While I might not be any closer to understanding the world, my efforts in surviving it have at least taken another step forward.

If I wanted an easy out to explain away my lack of updates, I could try to claim that for the first time, I've been actually living in the world instead of sitting back and describing it, but as neat as that might sound its not quite true. Things have been charging forward at a relentless pace, and while I seem to be doing a great job of at least keeping my head above water while the current sweeps me along, things are still proving hard to analyse and appreciate the scope of what they mean when I sit back to rest and reflect on them.

I might have mentioned it in an early post, but before I started this blog I was racing along at a rapid pace with my going out progress, chipping away minutes at a time before finally hitting a wall and getting slapped back down to reality when I over-stretched myself getting to the local garden centre. Up until then everything had seemed so easy and simple, but that just... knocked my confidence, reaffirmed what I'd tried to forget about how difficult getting to where I want to be would be. It was as far as I'd ever gone, the limits of what I could manage if I pushed myself and really suffered for it.

So on Tuesday, in a half-asleep daze, I wandered back to the milestone, sat around on it, and went for a little sightseeing walk of the surrounding countryside. The barrier's been shattered, and I just... don't quite know how to analyse it. There should be trumpets, flower petals falling from the sky, instead its just another thing that I was supposed to do, so I let myself get swept along by the current towards it. I haven't swum the channel, I've just washed up on the beach at Calais after falling off the dock at Dover. I survived without drowning, but next? The Atlantic Ocean awaits?

I'm no closer to understanding what it, or anything else outwith my control around me means, but for just now I've placed my trust in others that doing what I'm 'supposed to do' is what will help me in the end. I can't really see where this road leads or how it eventually connects to my final destination, but I'm trusting my guides for now. By the rest of the world's scale of progress, its been a monumental week.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Just Dance: part 2

So let me get this straight. You've got a woman who's dazed and confused to the point where she admittedly "(I love this record baby but I) can't see straight any more", is disoriented ("whats the name of this club?"), her shirt is inside out and she seems to be missing her keys and phone?

She's been mugged! Telling her to 'just dance' is the worst advice you could possibly give, get her to a police station or at least an A&E!

Saturday, 2 October 2010


I've been meaning to update for the past week, but I've found it a bit hard to. I've said before that I didn't want to turn this into a diary and share every last detail of my life, but over the last week my thoughts have been a bit dominated by something personal that I didn't really think was appropriate to broadcast on here. I'm alright and there's nothing that anyone needs to worry about, I've just had an awful lot to get my head around and think about that's making it a bit hard to idly chat about anything else.

It's still been a 'positive' progressive week regardless though, another OT session, another outing, all went well and I continue to move forwards, whether I can fully comprehend it or not. Next week I start my new magic wonder pills, so if they work then I might just be able to measure my progress by more normal standards than my current skewed scale.

And I remain very thankful for my background noise, I don't know how I would have got through this week if I didn't have something I could sink my hours into while I try to process things.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Time passes

It's often given as a measure of 'how far I've come' whenever something goes wrong and I manage to get through it. Back at the start of the year, one of the real turning points for me was after so much else had gone wrong, we got snowed in with no power for a few days, and it even surprised myself just how much I rose to the challenge. I always say whenever things are hard to get through that time just goes by regardless – whether you're happy and looking forward to it or dreading every last second, the time will just tick by and the world will keep turning around you, so long as you just keep breathing in and out all things will eventually pass.

It was the release of Civilization V on Friday, one of the games that I mentioned in my pre-order post a while back; it was the one that I had the free map for via Game. The disc came on Thursday, but since this is the digital age of bonus exclusive, digital and encrypted content, the game wouldn't even let me install it until midnight on launch day. Midnight GMT, that is. Why they felt the need to display that when we're not actually in GMT for British Summer Time, I don't know, but either way, it was only an extra hour to wait.

An hour later and we had stage 2 of the problem, with the game refusing to run. Eventually after several reinstalls and driver updates, I gave up at 3am, and got up just 5 hours later when my mind refused to switch off of the problem solving mode it had drifted into in my semi-sleep. Fortunately though I had managed to stumble across the solution, so at long last I've got the background noise back that I've been bemoaning the lack of over the past few weeks. Really, its been a lifesaver.

The problems rapidly shifted to the foreground though, since an outing was needed to get a parcel posted, only already a week late. In a nice bit of synchronicity, I was only actually able to get it posted at last because I could use the padded envelope the game came in, so one thing rolled nicely into another on that count.

Things were... bad, though. Hopefully for the last time, since this week I should be starting some new pills to help eliminate that, but still. The outing itself went perfectly and I got my achievement, will hopefully make a friend's day tomorrow with post and I've made another one of the baby steps towards normality that everyone seems to think is so valuable. What's stuck with me though, instead of the 'good' parts, is the way that I felt before it, the sense of impending doom that took so much to conquer that was attached to something so utterly mundane as driving for 2 minutes to post a letter.

I've laid all the foundations so that hopefully, just by getting by and breathing in and out, the wheels have been set in motion to drag me along forward to the place I want to eventually go. It's all I can do to just keep at it, knowing that the time will be there regardless of whether I am. Sometimes, when it comes to posting parcels or solving computer errors, things work out. And sometimes, for reasons that we can't influence as time marches on regardless, they don't.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Onwards and upwards

I received a very... helpful email this morning. It was from, responding to my third complaint (submitted 6 days ago) and finally passing on my code for my free horse. If you had been paying attention, you may have noticed that my last entry said a similar thing. It would appear that that one was in fact the ORIGINAL email, promised to be sent within 72 hours, finally arriving after 23 days, and this one was just them finally getting back to me after complaining about it repeatedly. Needless to say, I'm not exactly impressed by my first time shopping experience with them, and I don't think I'll be going back. But then... Gran Turismo 5... they DO have a nice pair of very shiny black cars...

I got another package in the mail today, one of my games arriving a day early! And unlike my experience with other retailers, I've got a nice email sitting in my inbox already promising my lovely map of the Americas, all ready to install the second I've got the game set up. But then, that leads me to my next problem, and my next reason for grumping – the bloody game won't even install itself until midnight and the official launch date. I'd accepted that I wouldn't get to play it until then due to the fancy high-tech copy protection, but not even able to INSTALL it? Meaning that at midnight, I can finally put the disc in the drive... and spend the next 2 hours getting it configured and patched, and faced with the choice of leaving it til morning or pulling an all nighter. Considering that the last couple of nights my mind's seen fit to keep me awake til after 5 anyway, the latter option might just be more appealing...

I've still been technically 'continuing my progress' towards my grand dreams and schemes, and even today I could say that I've made another big step towards making it all real. But I don't know, maybe its just the winter drawing in and depression taking a bit more of a hold on me, but it all feels just that extra bit further away. In the early stages its all about the purity of the dream and focus on the changes that achieving it would bring, but the longer I have to dwell on it the more holes get picked in the practicalities and the further away it all seems to be. I'm pretty sure I've done everything right in setting it all in motion, now just like everything else I have to wait for that little seed to take hold and grow before I can get to the eating the metaphorical fruit. When you're dreaming of home-grown apple pie though, you don't tend to consider how much dirt you need to get under your fingernails to get there.

Monday, 20 September 2010

The horse(man) cometh

And lo, on the 23rd day the heavens did part, and David did receive unto himself his long-missing steed. And he did nameth him Steve, and there was much rejoicing.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

P is for...

It would seem that my limit is 20 days to wait for an email about a missing free horse. Today makes 3 full weeks and two emailed complaints, so yesterday I had finally had enough of waiting for it to 'sort itself out' and decided to take matters into my own hands, and actually call the customer services number instead of waiting for them to get back to me.

I had been pre-warned about their call centre being based in the Philippines, and while the lovely girl on the end of the phone spoke excellent English, it was apparent that she was having a few minor problems understanding my Scottish accent. The problems arose when she was trying to confirm my address, and we got to the postcode...

After listing the first letter as F, she promptly read S for sierra back to me. I had to think quickly on my feet, and in fairness did a decent enough job fishing out “Freddie” to confirm it. The problem now was that I had many more letters to go, and my lack of confidence at dealing with phone calls was being shaken further by being put on the spot and being tested on my knowledge of police callsigns from The Bill. Sensing my floundering, this was the moment that my mum decided to 'helpfully' step in, to help fill out the rest of the code with... sierra for S. Thanks for that! Clearly my wild arm and eyebrow flailing successfully communicated that she was not helping, so she quietened down, leaving me alone to desperately plough the darkest recesses of my mind to find a K for Kilo, and a P for...


I don't think I'm going to be allowed to live that one down. In my defence, it's not easy to be put on the spot like that, especially with an audience! Were I looking to glean any minute positives from it I could claim that being able to both make the phone call and deal with the scenario taking a turn for the unexpected is further proof of my progress, but for some reason I suspect any attempts to bring that up might be shouted down in a fit of giggles in favour of the very minor faux pas.

And by this point its barely even worth mentioning that my third submitted complaint altered nothing and I remain without my lovely imaginary horse. Sigh sigh.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Backwards birthdays

Don't you hate it when you wake up in the morning feeling like... wait, wait, stop, I've done the Ke$ha joke before. Start over!

It's been a full 7 years now since I dropped out of school (and, by extension, society), and yet in my half-asleep dazed state this morning I still managed to whimper “but mummy, I don't WANT to go to school, I'm tiiiired!”. I'm just never going to be free of it, am I? I'll be 83, dreaming about that damn school bus. Assuming science doesn't find a cure for dreams by then, that is.

The framework and background time fillers have, as predicted, been slightly lacking this week, so I'm very fortunate that I've been able to be amused by some of the apparently backwards happenings around me, starting with a lovely parcel I got on Tuesday! See, I always thought that you were supposed to RECEIVE presents on your birthday, instead I've been sent a lovely bonus one from Alex before I've even sent hers! My parents seem to have got the whole birthday concept a bit wrong too, considering that they got a nice watch for the wrong brother. He might well need it now he's a big senior at school, but isn't a watch meant to be a 21st sort of present? Maybe they thought if there were watches all round I'd feel left out, so just decided to prioritise the littlest son. Ha, now he knows how it feels!

You know, I'm not entirely sure I've got the right message out of watching House. I'm sure the writers thought they were getting across a responsible message about the dangers of painkiller abuse, instead I seem to have taken the view that it took him 5 years to have any adverse effects from them, therefore a month or so of scoffing them like smarties isn't going to do any damage. Actually come to think of it, the “being mean to a girl for an extended period of time until she finally admits she wants you” moral of the Cuddy arc has worked out pretty well for me too.

Oh, and for all who laughed under your breath about my hatching Bulbasaur eggs last entry? Calm nature with perfect HP, Defence and Special Attack IVs, making it one of the best in the world on the day that its revealed grass drain moves have received a power boost for the next gen. HA.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Life In A Northern Town

It's the medium brother's birthday on Wednesday, so he's home for some bonus chaos! The bar has been set with his first story about his feuding room-mates – I'm not sure how you're supposed to react when you walk into the kitchen to catch the tail end of an anecdote that ends with “so she bought a paddling pool, but it got filled with beans so she threw a pineapple at her but it missed and broke a window”. Student life in Glasgow, apparently! Next item on the agenda: surviving the grandparents visit for his 'special day'.

So, the pope is about to make his first visit to Britain in almost 30 years, amid a storm of controversy. Meanwhile, Susan Boyle is preparing to perform for him. This is the country that produced Shakespeare and The Beatles, and apparently now the high point of our cultural achievements in 2010 is... some woman that sang on Britain's Got Talent. If only he'd arrived a week early we could have gone the whole hog and stuck him in Ultimate Big Brother. "Day 35, 9:15pm. Chantelle and Brian are in the garden, boasting to Benedict XVI about the footballers they've blown in the toilets at China White."

I had a thought. I have quite a lot of them during the days, but this was a particularly profound one. Imagine there's a girlband. Lets call them.. the Wednesdays. Now, 4 of them are really keen to do a sexy photoshoot in their underwear for FHM, but the 5th one is shy and doesn't really want to. But the offer was only for the whole band to do it... that's a lot of peer pressure, and something pretty major to end up getting forced into! I'm sure there's some sort of moral to this story, but as usual I'm not entirely sure what it is.

And while we're on the subject! Imagine a pair of identical twins. One is shy, one confident and outgoing. The confident one does a Playboy shoot. Does the shy one get embarrassed that now everyone knows what she looks like naked?

I do realise that this makes me look like some sort of deviant sitting about all day thinking about embarrassed nudey girl scenarios, but its probably still better than what I've actually been doing. Hatching hundreds of Bulbasaur eggs relaxes me, ok?! And I'll be laughing when I see the benefit of my master race of superior genetic plant monsters. In 9 months. When the game I'm doing it in preparation for actually comes out.

Oh and the fact that my horse has failed to materialise on day 16 goes without saying, of course.

Sunday, 12 September 2010


When I woke up this morning, (as well as feeling distinctly un-like P. Diddy, because that's not even a thing), I was struck by a thought, something incredibly profound and meaningful that I thought would make an excellent blog entry. Unfortunately for me and the world... by the time I was awake enough to organise my tangled web of thoughts into something resembling words, I'd forgotten it. I'm sure it was nothing earth-shatteringly important, just... actually wait, this is my blog and its completely unverifiable, so no, it WAS earth-shatteringly important, on a scale of solving the energy crisis or bringing peace to all faiths. Which only serves to make my later ponderings about clouds all the more mundane in comparison.

Have you ever really thought about clouds though? Like... really thought? If you took the concept of an ever-changing sky in abstract, it would sound like something out of a sci-fi novel. The ground beneath their feet on this mighty new planet was uniform and constant as far as the eye could see, but when they turned their pressure-helmets towards the heavens the canvas above danced with colours and shapes, transforming seemingly at random through epic phases of clear and dark streaks and patterns, infinite in their variable majesty! We just never really stop to question something that is and always will be.

And of course it goes without saying that even after a fortnight, I'm still without my horse.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Spare some change?

Day 13. Big Brother is no more. And David still DOES NOT HAVE HIS HORSE.

Sigh, all in all this has been 'one of those weeks'. I'm pretty sure I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I was expecting the next fortnight or so to be tough, and if I didn't, well... I was certainly thinking it quite loudly. And yet, as I definitely did say, every single time it still manages to catch me by surprise when things turn out a bit rubbish. There's only so many times I can say that I should have learned before I just have to shut up and ACTUALLY learn it. So expect another moaning entry next week complaining how I wasn't expecting to be this tired after doing something embarrassingly trivial!

I suppose by the standards that I'm supposed to be working to, I've made yet more progress this week with more outings, but when the rest of the web is filled with joy and excitement about the steps into the world with new college terms and adventures to be had, making it for 7 instead of 6 minutes in the car to buy some crisps just feels all the more hollow by comparison. It's been a decade now in this rut, and to be honest the chipping away at it isn't good enough. Things HAVE to change. I can try building things up on this twisted scale of 'progress' towards 'normalcy' for the rest of my life, but I will ALWAYS be behind because of where I've started from and the limits to my progression.

Since I've started this blog, I've tried to move past the differences in my life to the norm, to accept and embrace the fact that I've had circumstances forced on me that have shunted my outlook sideways and make the most of it. I think it might be time to take that a step further. I'm not getting any younger.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Feelin' Fine.


Monday, 6 September 2010

Girl Frightened By Boogeyman #3

Day 9 in the big brother house/since the order was placed. David has gone on a murderous rampage, because he STILL HASN'T RECEIVED HIS FREE HORSEY!

I was surprised to receive especially positive feedback for my last post – apparently lyrics, music trivia and nudity is a good direction for things to go in. I'll keep that in mind for occasions when I've got very little to say. Like today!

I've been pondering – has there EVER been an actor or actress who left a soap because they felt they were getting 'too big for it' who went on to do something remotely credible? I was (pleasantly) surprised to find that one of the cute girls who used to be on Emmerdale has successfully managed to crack Hollywood with a breakout role as “topless totty who gets eaten by crocodile” in Lake Placid 3. For further viewing, see Candice off Corrie's stunning performance in Boogeyman 3 – I was particularly moved by the harrowing scene where she was frightened by the boogeyman while showing her bum. I'm surprised she didn't receive any Oscar attention for it.

Trivia fact for the day: Craig David's 7 Days video was reshot for American release, almost frame for frame, but with a black actress in the love interest role. Apparently they were 'uncomfortable' with the original British version where a black man was dating a white girl.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Untouched... unhinged.

Don't you just hate it when you wake up feeling like P. Diddy? Oh wait... no. Because that's not even a thing!

For the last couple of days I've been using up all my writingness and creativity on real-life, pen and paper stuff instead of this. If I had a few more followers it might be a bad trade off, but seeing as a third of my audience will see the benefit, its probably worth it!

This is such a boring lull just now, with all my last wave of projects taken care of but their replacements to work towards still a couple of weeks away. I had hoped that one of my game deliveries might help fill some of the gaps, but most annoyingly I've had to use some of my writing allocation to send them angry emails for not sending me my free in-game horsey! It may be minor, but I bought from that shop solely on the basis that they'd give me free stuff, so I want it fulfilled damn it!

Did you know?: That Tatu's All About Us was in fact written by The Veronicas, before the record company reassigned it to the Russian pair? Isn't there something a bit off about that that it was originally written by and about sisters, and then co-opted to be about lesbianism?

Talking of the Veronicas (neither of whom is called Veronica, but still), one of them had a nudey picture scandal. Oh heavens! In this puritanical day and age, no less. Someone must inform the elders! However, it was made somewhat worse by one of their fan forums organising a “post your own nude pics in support of Jess” thread, requiring the poptart herself to intervene begging them to call it off. I think that might possibly be the most misguided show of support I've ever seen. But still, full marks for the execution.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Three's a crowd

It's been a big few weeks for me. My third set of social adventures. I can't really be relied on to get the specifics right, but it's pretty widely accepted that it had been three years since I had any sort of socialising with friends, and now I've had my third lot in a row! Also, I umm... bought three games at the weekend? OK no, I've stretched it too far.

I'm absolutely knackered now, but definitely worth it. It's so hard to express just how much things like today mean to me, for something that would normally be the absolute highlight of an entire year to just take up a single blog entry just doesn't seem to do it justice. I'm just very grateful that I have friends able and prepared to help me escape into some semblance of what the real world might be like, even just for a day.

So for today's adventures, it had been decided long in advance that today's OT session would be an outing out to a (very) local tea room for some drinks and shortbread, I just decided in my infinite wisdom that it might be nice to bring my lovely friend along to share in and make the most of what would be a pretty historic outing for me. Of course, it wasn't until the last minute that it dawned on me that the bigger the scale I'd made it, the bigger the potential fall, but it all worked out more or less for the best. The snacks and company were all good, and when I inevitably get grumpy and tired over the next few weeks I can have another wonderful achievement and step forward waved in my general direction as an example of the good kind of progress I'm making.

Plus, the outing wasn't all there was to today! Seeing as its become something of a meme unto itself that I always watch Eurotrip with friends, it seemed fitting to break it out, even if there were minor concerns over whether we'd be able to find a suitable scene to pause on should parents, OT or brothers walk in. Mieke is still ludicrously hot, Michelle Trachtenberg still can't act, and Scotty still doesn't know. It really is surprisingly good considering the entire premise for the movie (and, admittedly, the only reason I bought it in the first place) is apparently “holy crap Dawn from Buffy's got hot!”.

And we had one of my home-grown leeks from the garden in our tea. I'm struggling somewhat to weave it nicely into the narrative following the previous revelation (and since for some reason my mind's lingering on the image) so I'll just chuck it out there. Leeks are tasty.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Two's Company

I've said it before, that when things go well and are nice (and normal!) for me, it's a lot harder to write a blog entry about it. It feels a bit like I'm degenerating into a “wot I did on my summur holidayz” style entry to just list a bunch of nice things and to say that all of them made me feel nice and happy. But the fact of the matter is... it did. I had a lovely week where I could just be myself and have some very basic fun and company with the things I do, complete with lots of laughs and hugs and pokes.

I'm always overly focused on being able to cross things that I feel I've missed off of some imaginary life list, so I'm happy to be able to have a couple of them as well as my nice memories. In my ongoing task to actually see all the films whose cultural impact I'm aware of, I can put a tick beside Alien, and it was a lot of fun to put on I Know What You Did Last Summer after midnight, with all the lights out in the dark. And I'm probably a little late on this bandwagon, but man... back in the day, Jennifer Love Hewitt was HOT.

Its always hard though afterwards to get back into the regular boring old pattern of resting and boredom, so I've been amusing myself by combing the depths of the internet (alright, I've clicked links off of maybe 5 sites, but still) to try and find bonus digital deals and pre-order in-game content for my current and upcoming games. It makes for quite an eclectic list, across 4 games of varying genres:

  • three sets of armour

  • two stealth black cars

  • a 10mm pistol

  • a water flask

  • an ipod dock

  • a psychic fire-mouse

  • 10 doses of poison

  • a horse (neigh)

  • a decorative rock

  • an XL broad machete

  • a set of golden guns

  • and a map of Central and South America.

I've not even played The Sims 3 for about 3 months, but it at least keeps me amused surfing around trying to find free stuff for it. I'll no doubt go back to it in a couple of months when the next expansion comes out, so I'll appreciate all the more then that I used 10 minutes of my boredom in July to get that limited time offer in-game Ford Fiesta. Plus, one of the games (that I got most of the militaristic bonuses for) was rated today – Fallout: New Vegas. As per usual, I've preordered my brother and my copies from different sites so that we could collect all the different bonuses between us, it just worked out quite well that I was into shooting and he was keener on stabbing. Next we just have to work on making sure that he doesn't play it in front of my parents, considering the aforementioned classification granted it an 18 rating, for strong violence, gore, drug use, language, and the best of the lot... implied sexual conduct between the human player character and robots.

Hopefully being the best big brother ever grants more perks than will be taken away, (along with the right to judge suitability) by angry parents.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

On this day in 2010

So, David Cameron has just had a new baby.

In a few years, no doubt she'll grow up and ask, Daddy, what was going on in the world when I was born?

To which he'll say, well, Daddy was running the country, and we were trying to co-ordinate international aid for a massive humanitarian crisis in Pakistan.

(after which he will no doubt clarify "Pakistan is what we used to call the glowing radioactive dead zone before the war with India".)

Then imagine her surprise when, later in life, she decides to look up one of those websites online that lets you see what the headlines were on the day that you were born, only to find "Woman Puts Cat In Wheelie Bin".

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The night before the morning after

Apparently I'm 5 years old. I couldn't sleep last night because I was excited about santa my friend coming, so at 3:30am instead of lying in bed staring at the ceiling I decided I was going to do something productive. Thus, I wrote my to do list:

TO DO LIST: 3.30am note: (that's a clock. Its even pointing to the right time! I don't know where I'm going to be able to find something to represent a bee later on though.)
  1. Jet (will solve self)

  2. Paypal! Tshirts.



  5. Seek filter for letter idea. See if crazy.

  6. Comes after 5.

  7. Solve World Hunger. (potential avenue of investigation: crops that grow horizontally. Plant up side of buildings to save space.)

Then I got hundreds of post it notes and wrote NOT THE BEES, ARGH MY EYES, AAAARGH on them, along with pictures of angry bees, and stuck them all over my flat for my mum to find in the morning. Then I went back to bed.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Now That's What I Call Pondering!; vol 76

I hate when I've got all these ideas, thoughts and concepts swirling around in my head, but its so difficult to try and link them into any sort of coherent thread. It doesn't really make for the best of blog entries to just list a couple of random things that I've been thinking about...

First off, to give you an idea of the sort of boredom I must have been suffering with to realise this, but within my lifetime we're going to see the 2000th anniversary of the death of one of the most influential people in literally the history of the entire earth. I wonder if there's anything planned for it?

It's been a busy week it seems for everyone around me, just... not me myself. I suppose I went out, and that should be a good thing, but its mainly just been very dull that so much of my time is spent resting and recovering instead of actually doing anything.

Another little piece of beautiful chaos that amused me – the other day, my brother and mum went down to visit my gran, where they returned with 3 packs of “spicy mexican chilli” flavour crisps. Because (of course), one of my gran's friends had bought the multipack, but didn't like that flavour, so it makes perfect sense to give them to her to pass onto her grandchildren “who like that sort of thing”. I love the sort of logic behind that for something so trivial, that something so utterly meaningless as the packet of crisps I'll have for/with my lunch tomorrow has a nice little origin story behind it, it's own little tale to tell of how it came to gain its place in the world.

Unfortunately the car exploded on the way home, so oh dear I won't be able to go out in it this week! What a shame that is. Somehow, I'll cope.

A-level results were this week, and more people have got As and A*s than ever before! This of course is an indication of the exams being dumbed down, therefore providing conclusive proof that because they scored higher than ever, today's teenagers are even stupider than ever before. Flawless logic.

Do you think if I keep a tab for the web page of a computer part that I want open long enough, one of the admins of the site will take pity on me and decide to send me it? “If he's this keen on it, he really deserves it for being such a generally top bloke. I'll just fetch his shipping address...”

Apparently we're now up to Now That's What I Call Music volume 76. Way to make me feel old – back in my day, I had Now 35, on TAPE. Not only am I 41 volumes out, I'm also two generations of playback medium. Three if you include minidisc, but... really, who would?

The other day I was channel surfing, and, after I'd spent an hour on the Military History Channel (watching The Atomic Ghost Fleet of Bikini Atoll, which was both entertaining and educational), I ended up catching the video to a Ke$ha song that I'd never heard before, called Take it Off. I was about to say 'her new song', but to be honest, it could be a year and a half old and this was just the first time I'd heard of it, I'm not really in a position to know either way. I was temporarily surprised to find that it had a catchy beat but wasn't annoying, and that in the video she was dressed in a very classy outfit with understated, attractive hair and makeup. Ah, maybe she's branching out?... Or not. Since by the end of the song she had, naturally, devolved into screechy ear-splitting nonsensical lyrics, had torn most of her clothes, and was now 'artistically' covered in powder paint and glitter as she mimed cutting herself. I'm sure there's a moral of this story somewhere about expectations, but seeing as its after 1am and I was struggling to make myself coherent anyway I think I'll just call it a night.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Popstars, photographers and fashion designers

There's a game that you can play in some corners of the internet, where you take this selection of scenes from The Wicker Man, and are challenged to come up with a unifying plot that could believably link all of the absurdity. I had a similar sort of moment tonight – is there any context I could provide to “Don't make me jump, I had a sharp thing up my nose!” that would make it make any sense at all? At least I amused my mum with that line out of context, she didn't appreciate that I was trying to see how the air could come out both ways when you used a football pump.

I've just had a typical regular week for me really; chatting away nicely to popstars, photographers and fashion designers. Its just a pity I haven't seen my model friend around this week or that could round off the set nicely!

I had another OT appointment Wednesday – a different one, but the goal was still the same, to evilly force me to actually leave the house and venture into the scary wild world out there. Things actually went pretty well, we've discovered a little tea room type place that I can manage to get to, so we ventured over there and checked the opening times. Next session is properly booked in that we're going to go there for some coffee and shortbread, so... quite a big step, I've been out the house but not really managed to actually DO anything while I'm out there since we moved, 5 years ago now (ish).

It might prove something extra to do next week, I've got some more lovely socialising! As per usual we've left the details a bit vague up to the last minute, but I should be able to have a lovely visitor staying for most of the week, who I'm sure I'll play lots of tennis with and go on 10 mile hikes and other reasonable, accomplishable activities. Its not at all like we've made plans to sit on our arses and watch I Know What You Did Last Summer or anything. Nope.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Truth in Advertising

Firstly, the Pepsi Max “Asteroid” advert. Apparently, getting several of your mates to trick a girl into thinking that she's going to die in order to have sex with her is a perfectly normal, morally acceptable lark of a good time, and in no way creepy, profoundly wrong or bordering on rapey.

Pah, I'm just in a sulky mood because I'm so tired today. It's 'good tired' again though, that mystical state where apparently the pain doesn't hurt quite so much just because I've properly earned it through 25 seconds of activity, instead of the standard type where its unfairness makes it less worthy and hurt more. I had a fairly nice evening yesterday – we dug up our potatoes, which among other benefits meant for a tasty tea! Unfortunately, potatoes are heavy. Therefore, wrists, back, legs and shoulders are all utterly killing today, and contributing greatly to my picking holes and reading hidden meanings into innocuous things. It was nice at the time though, since my voice outside managed to attract my regular kitten friend after his daily cuddles, and his interaction with fierce, protective (lol) Lucy the dog was quite adorable, as was Lucy's attempt at playing fetch with the remnants of a shattered frisbee. Still, complain, grump, moan!

Normally it'd be better for me to phrase the following as a question, to deflect some of the potential insanity of it off of myself and see if I could see if I'm the only one who thinks this, but seeing as my audience is... rather reduced from what I'm used to, I suppose I'll have to risk seeming mental for the sake of my art. The clue is in the title – adverts.

I really don't know if its just me or if this is something that people in similar situations to me will feel too, but when I'm in the sort of mood where I'm predisposed to grump, certain 'out there', irreverent adverts seem to really get me down. I've surmised that its probably because they are deliberately attempting to catch attention by being out of the ordinary, from being an intentional tonal shift from the banality of everyday life, but with my own issues with being disconnected from 'everyday life', they just make me feel like they're an extra degree of separation away from me, that I'm missing out even more. Things like travelling home from work on a water slide/roller coaster and swapping shirts after a meeting are supposed to draw a laugh because they're taking an easily identifiable, mundane situation and adding a semi-believable or wishful twist to it, but to me, I'm not even catching the initial hook to recognise how that's NOT what happens in reality.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm assuming that probably if the greater London area got taken over with personalised water slides, I'd end up reading about this bizarre new trend in a BBC News article or see it humorously referenced elsewhere, see the arty, bleached out photos on other blogs highlighting how it represents society's need to embrace the inner child within. But to me, all it is is just another layer of fantasy to add to how amazing the outside world is with all its sights to see and experiences to take for granted, so mundane in and of themselves that we need to add the unbelievable to them to sell our shiny products and services.

When I was much younger and (almost) worry free (curse you, fire alarm!), day to day school life was boring, but the exciting, once a term adventures of a school trip out into the big wide world was an incredible, exciting monument to look forward to. Many of my readers though never even managed that baseline though, so might only identify with my next bit, later in my life, when even making it to school was a hardship in itself, when the school trips stopped being so wonderful and ended up just being an extra slog through something supposed to be special, that felt all the more poisoned for how draining it ended up being. Both the best and the worst times of my life were events that should have been glowing, nostalgic memories to look back on and miss, and it feels all the more isolating that things intended to be so special could become so poisoned by this invisible construct of an illness around me, to leave me separated from the rest of the world by that extra degree.

Some of the things that I've found hardest of all to deal with have been my desires to 'reclaim' what I've lost, and had to try to come to terms with the fact that the time limit on them has expired and passed me by, for practical, physical or even societal reasons, that the rest of the world expects to be firmly shut away behind me in my past. Things that have no value in and of themselves, but represent steps into the world that frankly, at my age, are no longer appropriate or possible to take any more. The memory of sneaking your first beer to many people will be a fond moment to reminisce on, the mistakes made trying to step out into the world along with it, that at 23 with a valid ID just will never apply to me. On that count, I can honestly say that I don't particularly miss it, but the fact that it's passed me by is something that I can never get back, and some of the hardest hidden things to deal with hold an equal lack of genuine, real-world weight. Despite what Zac Efron and Matthew Perry might have to say about it, I'll never be 17 again and there are certain things that I'll never get to do period, let alone do over.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

The Sky at Night

Things are awfully quiet around the house this week. The brother is off camping with dad before he has to go back to school next week, so I guess this is a trial run of how quiet the house will be without him once the holidays are over. But then, considering I sleep through most of the school day, it probably won't bother me too much, just have a lot of barking at someone arriving home around the time I get up and have my 'breakfast'.

I had an OT session today (yesterday actually, its past midnight), and I think it went pretty well. Making it out is always held up as wonderful progress, and I did that fine – we had a very pleasant outing to the local village shop. I counted 5 squished hedgehogs along the road there though, le sigh, and its not exactly a long stretch of road – it couldn't be if I managed to make it out along it, could it? I was determined that since it was my outing, I would be the gentleman and I'd pay for the purchases: a Milky Way for the lady, and some Skittles for myself. Unfortunately things cost a lot more than they used to in the good old days, and somehow that managed to come to more than the 70p I had in change, so I had to borrow a pound coin instead of breaking a £10 note. It just couldn't be one of my adventures if something didn't go wrong, I'm just glad it was that instead of any of the more serious pitfalls my mind is convinced lie out there in the big scary world.

There are a lot of things that I've never had the chance to do in my life – go out drinking, go clubbing, go to a concert, but last night I finally managed to cross one fairly minor one off the list – saw a shooting star. It could have turned into a legendary “seemed liked a good idea at the time” adventure for me to venture off into the night in search of space rocks, but after a long wait and a strained neck looking up at the 10% of the sky that wasn't clouded over, I finally got a jolt when something bright streaked into my field of vision for a millisecond and faded away into the night sky. I wasn't counting on it giving me such a fright, but still, its something I've always wanted to see that, despite my interests in space and the cosmos all my life, I'd never managed to. What shall be crossed off the list next?

Its generally been a good week for me from a social aspect, from multiple angles! I've been chatty enough with my mum's friend while she's been here, and apparently I'm a perfectly charming young man – quiet down with that snickering at the back! Thanks to some gentle prodding (and padding at my ego) I've been brave enough to send some emails to some people who sound lovely and interesting, so hopefully with some gentle persuasion and bribery I'll finally be able to push my (public) followers into double figures, mwaha! Plus you know, all the regular benefits that friendship brings. And stuff.

I was going to say its just a pity that animals can't sign up as followers, in a flawless segue into talking about my other new friend, but I just remembered that there are actually quite a few on Twitter, most of whom have more followers than me. Quite sobering actually, when you think about it. Anyway, I've been spending more time with the adorable little neighbours kitten that everyone's telling me to stop encouraging, but he's far too adorable to stop! I went outside and sat on the stone bench at the bottom of the garden, and an adorable little bundle of black and white fluff bolted from out the trees and came to sit beside me, curl up and give me lots of cuddles and purring. I can't turn that down!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

King of Flipping Everything

- Look here she comes I'd better bring out the big guns / Hello Lnsy you're looking a little thin hun (Eminem, Same Song and Dance)

I've come around to the 15 year old 'quoting lyrics out of context' deal, in an ironic way of course. Stylistically, cutting and pasting chunks of feeling out of songs devoid of their original context appeals to me in the sort of sense of a ransom note, cut and pasted out of magazine and newspaper headlines and all the more threatening for it. Picking a single line from a song charges it with all that intent, all the weight of the emotional investment that its original context provided it with, but leaving the littlest remnants of doubt over the reasons and motivations of what parts exactly were snipped out with the line itself, and what parts were intended to hang unsaid in the air along with it.”


Ah, creating some beautiful chaos out of nothing never fails to brighten my day. As I mentioned before, my mum's got a lovely friendly visitor arriving later today, so before she left this morning she left strict instructions that we've to clean up after ourselves, and not undo all the hard work she spent scrubbing down the kitchen. However, there was a minor flaw with this plan! A metaphorical... flea in the ointment, perhaps? You see, she had carelessly left out a novelty gift she appears particularly attached to, which, shockingly, contains a naughty swear word in its caption! Now perhaps she felt, rather immaturely I think, that this may be a humorous conversation starter, but she did ask us to clean up the kitchen, so I think she'll just be extra pleased with me for going above and beyond, and perhaps even buy me things.

You see, this little novelty tin for storing buttons and suchlike, was emblazoned with an 'ironic' picture of an old-tymey housewife with the caption “Queen of Fucking Everything”, obscene I'm sure you'll agree! So I used my initiative, and cut out an appropriate shape of a post-it note to censor it, with the far more suitable F-”lipping” written on top. I'm sure she'll be very pleasantly surprised and reward my thoroughness upon her return. With cake.

This is how a post-it note and playing with scissors has made my day. In fairness, playing with scissors would make most days, but I'm pleased with my creative application of them today.

Calm before the storm?

Ah, football, how I've missed you. It could have gone a little better, to be fair, but still blissful to spend a night sprawled out on the couch struggling to keep my eyes open and missing most of the goals in regular time. That's what replays are for!

Drama of the week is that, for the first time in almost 15 years of owning dogs, we found a single, solitary flea on one of them, therefore the house has gone into full lockdown crisis management mode. To top it off, the blame has utterly unfairly been placed on me! Just because I jokingly suggested a few weeks back that it would be karma to get fleas from cuddling cute kittens, this has (totally unjustly) been accepted as the official explanation, and I am to suffer the consequences for bringing this plague upon the household. It also doesn't help my mum's stress levels that this has appeared right on the eve of her visitor arriving. I've paid as much attention as I usually do to the arrangements so all I really know is that for somewhere between the next 1 and 30 days there may occasionally be an extra person in the house for me to either avoid or fight for the remote over.

There are, surprisingly, dangers to taking phone calls while half asleep. At some point last week, I'm relatively sure I didn't just dream my OT calling to set up a special joint session... at 11am. I thought she said the 14th, but that's a Saturday, so that makes no sense at all. It's entirely likely really from about now on that one morning I'm just going to be woken from a deep sleep to be dragged out of the house to some sort of special meeting that's been talked about for months now. Maybe that will end up better for me, so long as I can find the motor function to throw some clothes on then I can cut most of the journey stress by staying almost completely asleep through it. Plus, what a great first impression I'll make on this new person when I show up with my absolutely EPIC bed hair.

Monday, 9 August 2010

In the beginning

[Pripyat, Soviet Union. 26th April 1986]

Open on an INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX INTERIOR, as the workers are going about their daily business, when a harsh ALARM sounds. Instead of causing panic, the workers continue their conversations and slowly file outside, lining up casually while young management figures earnestly write things down on a CLIPBOARD, clearly eager to impress. It's a FIRE DRILL.

Close in on one worker in the courtyard, lagging behind. As his co-workers stream back inside, he hangs back, getting one last puff on his cigarette before heading back into the imposing building to work. The camera follows him as he nods acknowledgement to his colleagues, and he sits wearily back down at his workstation.

Glancing down at his vintage monochrome green-tinged monitor, a look of surprise comes across his face at what the readout says. He turns his head and opens his mouth to confer with a colleague, but before he can get a word out his surprised face is lit up with a blinding white FLASH OF LIGHT as we cut to-

Interior, Soviet-era tenement block. A harried looking woman sits in her chair as two SMALL CHILDREN noisily run around the cramped flat, prompting ire from their harassed mother. A photo on the threadbare dresser indicates that this is the wife and family of the previously shown worker.

The same flash of light illuminates the apartment from the small window, followed by a low, echoing boom as the porcelain figurines on the dresser shake and topple over. The children stop their game and turn fearfully to their mother, who hurries to rush OUTSIDE to get a view of what's happening.

Outside, the whole neighbourhood is bunched up outside the building, with looks of shock and disbelief on their faces. The mother raises her hands to her mouth in shock, then holds her children close to her, as the camera pulls out and swings around, across a city skyline complete with newly-constructed FERRIS WHEEL, to what they're all looking at – the enormous power plant dominating the horizon, with one whole corner of the outline missing and black smoke pouring from where reactor 4 used to be, with dazzling rainbow-coloured flashes of light seen streaking between the gaps in the clouds. The camera pulls up through the clouds, showing off some of those rainbow-coloured light flashes as we pass through, and continues to pull up above the plume, eventually pulling out to a global level where we see the entirety of the European continent, with the ominous radioactive cloud gradually completely enveloping it.



We've reached post number 23 now, and if this were a TV show this would be around the time when we'd get an origin story episode. Of course, if this were a TV show then the critics would be raging about the episode that only lasted long enough to ask the single question about the Lady Gaga lyric, but still. While the above was happening thousands of miles away, a young couple in Scotland were expecting their first born child, no doubt fearing what kind of world they were bringing him into while the news warned of nuclear death-rain born of an accident half the world away. It would all be much easier and neater if I could point to a huge, world-shaping international incident that set my path in life before I had even so much as drawn my first breath, but beyond a punchline of “that explains a lot” for making jokes about the worst industrial accident known to mankind, it doesn't provide any answers for me.

I was a healthy, normal kid growing up in the western cultural golden age of the post-Reagan era 90s – well, as normal as you would expect anyone to be who carried the seeds of what I'd eventually become. I was scared of the fire drill at school, had a pet goldfish (called Tricoloure) and liked to build roads out of pencils for driving my toy cars around, perfectly happy and healthy – until one fateful school trip to the science museum. While I was separated from my group, I felt a soft tap from something dropping on my shoulder, before a small pinch and I was blinded with pain, from the bite of a RADIOACTIVE GENETICALLY MUTATED SPIDER! Unfortunately since this is real-life and not Hollywood or comic books, instead of developing superpowers it just made me critically ill and destroyed my immune system for life, leading to my physically weakened state while my mind grows ever stronger, fuelled to new and terrifying power levels by my hatred of the unfairness of humanity, waiting to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. Mwahahahahaaa!

Sadly, the truth is a lot less interesting, and a lot less suitable for adapting into the screenplay of a summer blockbuster. Up until I was 13, everything came so easily to me, problems always had a clear answer and my memory was as clear as a photo album, until... it just wasn't any more. Everything clouded over. To me, I was just worried about how hard school had suddenly become, but according to my parents it concerned them just how tired I was all the time. It could have come from a vaccination, a medication that I was on, or just a failure to shake a common cold, but while everyone else around me powered through these minuscule hurdles, I tripped, and have never caught up. I've learned to adapt and find ways to live my life outside of the regular path, along my “Scenic Route”, but I'm not sure that I'll ever have an answer as to why for some reason all of my early promise just faded away.

I feel like I should end on some sort of high, some sort of pearl of wisdom about how it's all made me stronger or that I'm a better person for having known suffering, but it wouldn't be true. I had a lot taken from me, and I still don't think that it was fair. But there's no-one to fight, nothing that I can blame for it all. There might have been mistakes and in the heat of the moment there can always be something to pour all the anger into for leading me here, but it doesn't change that it happened, and it happened to me. And no, that's not fair, and it's not ok. And it never will be.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

A Love Poem

Oh Ke$ha,
You are quite pretty
And you have wavy hair.
But I don't like your personality
Because you're quite slutty,
Even in an ironic way.
So it probably would never work out
Between us.
Also you can't sing,
But that's not exactly a dealbreaker
Because neither can I.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Teardrop on the fire

I think I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that my latest timesink has been working my way through the complete run of House on DVD. If I didn't, then... my latest timesink has been working my way through the complete run of House on DVD. I had been most confused by the theme tune though – from about series 4 onwards, the theme actually alternated every couple of episodes, usually it would have the same generic little instrumental theme that plays out over the credits at the end, but every so often it would revert back to the proper, official licensed one (Massive Attack's Teardrop). In fact... it was every 4 episodes or so. One per disc.

I can only surmise that somehow, in some sort of screw up of epic proportions, somehow the team behind the DVD compilations managed to accidentally lease the wrong amount of licences for using the official theme. “How many discs is this series on? 6? Yes Mr record company licensing department man, we need to use your sample 6 times.” Not only that though, instead of it just being on the first episode of every disc, or every 4 episodes, the real theme is on the episode on every disc that is most key to the series arc progression – the episodes where the main characters die, hook up, get fired and so on. So not only did they manage to mess up the theme licensing to start with, but to try and somehow minimize their mistake, they'll have assigned some temp to watch through the series and decide which episode per disc would benefit the most from the gravitas the haunting, first-choice title music would provide it. Another example of beautiful chaos... or maybe just my overactive imagination filling in some unnecessary blanks.

It's really not been helping my mood over the past week or so that I've finally found a downside to how irresistible I am to all known lifeforms, in that certain members of the insect world find it appropriate to express their feelings via biting me. While I appreciate the sentiment, the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Next time, stick to buying me chocolates please, it'd itch a lot less.

I did have my week/month made though by some lovely cuddles from our neighbours kittens. Any other time and snuggling some baby animals would probably have made the whole year, but socialising has bumped you down to second, kitties! They're normally so timid and skittish that they just run away, but just when I needed it most and was at my most miserable they decided to come cheer me up, just to help me get through another day. Of course the irony now will probably be that they've given me fleas, but still, worth it until the next round of itching begins.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The more things change

I've had a bit of a miserable week, to be honest.

Amazingly, its nothing to do with having an extra (spare?) brother around the house, although he's off again for a while tomorrow. Only Glasgow, not as far away as Vienna, but still, to me, anywhere that's “not here” is more or less equal. Anywhere beyond the end of the drive more or less blurs into some sort of fog of war for me, I've got my own little level map of my life loaded and the cutscene to trigger the next level freezes up. Wonder if there's a patch I can download to fix that.

I was so convinced at the start of the year that by now, everything would be so different. 8 months felt so far away, there was so much progress I could make if I just worked at it. I even got an extra wiimote for my birthday in January – it was silly, but it was a commitment, investing in something that signified the change, that I was going to be more social this year. To some extent I suppose even at that I've succeeded, my socialising is up infinite percent from the last 2 years, but however nice a single afternoon a friend was kind enough to bestow on me was isn't enough to change the fact that as per usual, the months have blurred together into an endless stream of browser refreshes and periodic disc changes.

I've always known that I'd continue to need the background tasks, the games and DVDs that I can zone out in front of while I rebuild my strength for the next activity to come to the foreground, but compared to the dreams I had of how things were going to turn around it only just stings that little bit more. I hate that a 5-minute trip in the car requires a week's recovery, I hate that trying to power through it now just leaves a longer gap needed until the next attempt, and I hate that after this long, the extent of the pain it causes still surprises me. I know exactly where I'm headed, to another cold, dark winter where I rely on the background games to keep me going, and I hate that the effort of trying to put up a fight against it only pushes me closer to it.

Hopefully I'll be back to posting about random swans and cabbages once this black cloud shifts soon. In the mean time, if I start posting poetry about the bleakness of my soul and the tears I cry inside, you can consider this written permission to give me a slap.

You'd have to come visit to deliver it anyway. So win/win.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Beautiful chaos, logical pokémaths

David's Latias deals x amount of damage, using a move with 70 power. When it's finished its training, it will possess a move of 90 power, and have 50% higher base attack. How much more damage will an attack from this creature do?

Also, it's 2 o'clock in the morning, you're too tired to remember how to do percentages and you're on IM to your ex girlfriend, who doesn't realise that the maths problem you've just bewildered her with is Pokémon related and may attempt to stab you when she figures this fact out.

(The answer is “almost twice as much”, by the way. I finally figured it out at 3am after lying asleep for a while going over it in my head. I also remembered how to divide by fractions. She was not impressed to be informed of any of these points.)

We've got an extra brother around the house now, so 50% added chaos to be spread! In between the catch up on all the quality TV he missed in his 8 months away (that won't take long) and the Ally McBeal boxset marathon, that is. Apparently when he was at work in Vienna, he expressed a keen interest in the branded toasters that the hotel used, that burned the hotel logo onto the bread while they cooked them. In a wonderfully thoughtful gesture, as a leaving present, his co-workers managed to hook him up with one! Unfortunately, he had already packed his bags, so he had to attempt to take his brand new toaster with him on his hand luggage instead. It's interesting to note that the airport security at Vienna International had never seen a toaster show up on the scanner before, and by all accounts amused both him and them as they attempted to work out if any part of it was capable of being used as a weapon before allowing it onto the plane. And of course, since this was a European electrical appliance, it has a continental-style plug, meaning he had to grab an adaptor specifically for use on this one, sole toaster, that brands the corporate logo of his ex-employer onto his toast. It's nice to know that my capacity for creating beautiful chaos out of everyday life runs in the family!

In other news that will no doubt draw sarcastic comments as to my mentioning her AGAIN, apparently the infinitely wise and talented miss Ke$ha has been on record to say that the reason her songs are so shockingly slutty is because she's making a feminist point. You see, if a man said those things then they'd be seen as perfectly acceptable, so by drawing attention to the double standards imposed on men and women she's really just holding a mirror up to society.

I like this argument, a lot. If I ever say or do anything that annoys or upsets anyone, then I'm doing it to prove a point about how bad it is! Don't blame me, blame society for the unfair values that it attributes to doing that, whatever it might be. Flawless logic.

Friday, 30 July 2010

One Week

It's been a week now since I had the company of another human being – the first week of another 3 year wait? Hopefully not, but I'm still reliant on people coming to me instead of trying to get out there into the world to lasso up some friends for myself. I suppose then it's a good job that I'm so magnetic and charismatic that I can attract anyone here at all! Just need to focus on either making sure they come back, or never leave. And since that XL cage I ordered for last time never showed up, I guess I'll just need to work on being a fun and exciting host. I'm leaving negative feedback on that cage though.

I've already done a post here looking back over the years and reflecting on how far I've come, but its just hugely frustrating that the final roadblock, the last thing for me to get over and get back to some sort of normalcy is proving so difficult to get around. I've actually been out 3 times in the past week; not going anywhere in particular, but just trying to make some sort of symbolic stand against an imaginary construct of my limitations. Suffice to say, it's not gone so well.

I've been battling with M.E. for a full decade now, and I would say I've got a reasonable handle on my symptoms and how to manage them, so its all the more astounding really that I managed to misjudge this one so badly. Going out takes energy. Just because you insist that you're “trying harder” or putting up some sort of fight about it does not in any way negate the amount of energy that going out expends, leading to a rather major flaw in the plan of “I'll just do it lots and lots until it gets easier”.

My other brother returns from his travels in continental Europe tonight. He's my younger brother by age, but he passed by me socially many years ago. It doesn't help with the mid-life crisis when you're still pining over things and experiences that someone you're meant to be more advanced than has burned through them all and got sick of them! Next he'll be finished Uni and off into the world of employment, while my nights are filled with dreams of the school bus and sleepovers.

Still, I've got the chance to dazzle him with my culinary prowess that I've been working on while he's been away. Buttered pasta with grated cheese, and yes – I did grate that cheese myself.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Today I'm going to talk about something that's been a pet peeve of mine for quite some time now: pandas.

First off, I feel a special connection with bears. They're a lot like us really, you can imagine that at some point we were at the same path along the evolutionary tree. I know we WEREN'T, in a quite literal sense, but still, this is my blog and my analogy so I'll say and do what I want thank you. Anyway, we were at a similar sort of impasse, in that the tasty things we liked eating just didn't want to be eaten themselves. What to do? For humans, we developed our brains, our cunning, we outsmarted our meals and gained intricacy and dexterity, learned to use tools to do our bidding and tamed fire to cook and soften our prey. Bears on the other hand, went all out for power, massive strength and no sophistication with using it. 8 feet tall, 800 pounds, arms that could rip you apart and a jaw that could chew through bone, the brute force, sledgehammer approach to catching their dinner. And really, you've got to respect that as a lifestyle choice, it's working out well for them.

But then we come to the panda. For some reason, its decided to take all those tools that evolution has handed it, and uses it... on bamboo. And not only that, they're on the verge of extinction because they can't be bothered to carry out their most base of urges and reproduce!

First off, although they might look cute and fluffy, a panda is still a goddamn BEAR, a half-ton wrecking ball of unholy monstrous fury. So what's with the vegetarianism? The natural order of the food chain is meant to go from plants, to herbivores, to carnivores. Pandas are perfectly happy to take all the genes and the evolutionary benefits of their bear ancestry to avoid the drawbacks of being hunted, but want to have their bamboo cake and eat it by avoiding the hardships of having to do some old fashioned hard work for their meals. Giving up on the salmon to sit around on their rapidly expanding black and white arses, subsiding on shoots and leaves that aren't exactly putting up a fight is just laziness. How about you get a haircut, put on a suit and tie and go out there and earn an honest day's living at the river instead of whining about how human expansion into your habitat is totally harshing your buzz, man?

And another thing, how can you have any sympathy for any creature that's critically endangered because it can't even be bothered to have sex? Taking away the 5% who are convinced that abstinence is the key to godliness, most of the world's population that aren't getting any would quite happily wrestle in a life or death tussle with that salmon themselves for the shot at getting their end away. Are you trying to claim you're better than us, pandas? Is it religious reasons? Does the great god of the bears want you to wear a purity ring and save yourself for panda-marriage? Or is this just like the bamboo thing and you're too lazy to? Because frankly, when there are witty, attractive people out there like umm... this friend I have... who are trying their hardest and not getting anywhere with the opposite sex, it's just insulting that we can put things on a plate for you and you can't even be bothered rousing yourselves to secure the continued existence of your very species.

You can just imagine, Christmas dinner round at the bear family household, where Ma Grizzly and Pa Polar have slaved away over a hot, umm... stream, catching a nice juicy salmon for the whole family to enjoy, and effeminate cousin panda pipes up saying “actually, if you don't mind I'd rather have the bamboo”.

No, panda. No. We weren't offering you a vegetarian option, and we're all very disappointed in you.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Me against the music

I've always had a different sort of approach to music from those around me. Over the years, people close to me have found it helpful to share their favourite pieces of music with me, hoping to share an intimate, personal connection, and it's been something I've almost always completely taken wrongly. One reader in particular I know will utterly cringe at the memory of me pompously telling her off for trying to use 'borrowed words', written by someone else to express what she felt inside instead of putting it in her own way. It's just something that I've never quite got invested in in the same way as 'normal people' seem to, and it still persists to this day.

My top most played song on iTunes is a Ukrainian-language one that was available in English, but I preferred in its native tongue. I've been unbearably smug at being ahead of the curve on some of the very few European pop songs that have escaped into the wild of the UK charts – I was aware of Tatu before they hit it big with All the Things She Said, for example, and I still prefer the original Russian; I'd heard of the Turkish Eurovision band before this year's contest, and I know that a different reader than the one I mentioned before (because I have MORE THAN ONE FRIEND, ha, don't I rule) will always say that the song she associates me most with is a Moldovan one that more than just escaped into the wild of the UK pop scene, but went global via a fat guy dancing on webcam to it on the internet. In fact, maybe I should be slightly concerned or insulted that she associates that with me? Talking of song association, I've mentioned before about the bridges that I was helping rebuild with this blog, but I'm a bit concerned that the revelation that there is one poor soul who shall forever be linked with the Lonely Island song “Jizz in my Pants” might pour another barrel full of gasoline on the newly built foundations. Let's just hope none of the construction crew are smokers!

Were I somehow capable of being even MORE pretentious than I already am, I might suggest that I have a similar approach to music as Kurt Cobain, that I appreciate his approach of using the voice as just another instrument instead of insisting that music has to be its own form of art, conveying messages through lyrics and emotional investment. It's entirely possible that that wasn't remotely his views at all, but I think I read it once somewhere and it stuck with me. If any of my readers want to correct and educate me on what a misunderstood modern genius REALLY intended to get across with his art – I really, really don't care, sorry.

It's for those reasons though that my favourite genres of music are classical, dance and rap – slightly eclectic to say the least, but in a very superficial way I like to be proud of that and how 'quirky' it makes me. Like most aspects of my life, the only issue tempering just how far I take my pretentiousness is effort, in that truly caring deeply about it in any sort of way would just not add anything more to what I get out of it. Plus trying too hard would betray my radiating ennui that just makes me too, too cool. Irony. Malaise.

I know I'm being unbearably smug, but so long as I draw attention to the fact that I'm aware of that it makes it ok. It's roughly the equivalent to answering every question in a debate with another question, that way when you get called out on your bullshit you can claim hey, I'm not invested in this in any way, I'm just playing devil's advocate here! Either way, I'm too cool for it to affect me. Beautiful unique snowflake, etc.

Anyway, reappearing from my spelunking expedition up my own arse, I've come around to the 15 year old 'quoting lyrics out of context' deal, in an ironic way of course. Stylistically, cutting and pasting chunks of feeling out of songs devoid of their original context appeals to me in the sort of sense of a ransom note, cut and pasted out of magazine and newspaper headlines and all the more threatening for it. Picking a single line from a song charges it with all that intent, all the weight of the emotional investment that its original context provided it with, but leaving the littlest remnants of doubt over the reasons and motivations of what parts exactly were snipped out with the line itself, and what parts were intended to hang unsaid in the air along with it. It really is quite sinister, I just can't bear to risk that the intricate subtleties put into it would be missed, I demand recognition of how great I am for noticing and pointing it out!

No, I don't have a corgi / I had a hamster but it died cos I ignored it.