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.