Blog Links Just some of the great blogs I keep stumbling on. Go for an explore, and if you see any really good ones, let me know...
- the hottest blogger I know. - I hate knitting. However, I love this blog. Who'd have thought? - If you ask me, it's perpetual brilliance! - 'nuff said. Inspired - inspiring.
- ...into light. Xenouveau - Her from Sadisticland. All Geek To Me - Fun from Scout Finch.
Elven Sarah - Witty and weird, a bit like me (but witty). Sedgefield - A nice blog, which may have died from meme deficiency... - A great lady had a great blog. Hopefully it returns...
superphase - A stick hero for the masses...
Sadly, we have been given the cold Shoulder. - a great blog from the continent, nice and warm there. - Not indulgent any more.
She Speaks - The star-crossed lover is now silent.
Organic Feminism - A tremendous blog. Even though she calls me Scoots *shudder*
You can no longer get your soup fix from souplover.
I was thinking about some of the events of today, and it seems that it was neither good nor bad, but instead left a feeling of strangeness.
Yesterday my sister moved out. She's preparing to work abroad, and she's effectively made the transition from housemate to landlady. I need to get her to fix stuff, or I'm not paying the rent, you hear me?!?!?!
I started moving stuff in, and before I knew it, I had a duvet, my TV and a chair in here. Not bad for 4 hours. Well, not when you consider that I have a permanent internet connection, anyway!
The mattress is different.
I'm used to lying on the lumpy old beast which was originally a housewarming present, 9 years ago. This much newer one is disconcertingly comfortable. So I went to sleep last night with every intention of getting up at 5:30 to head for work.
Alas, it was not to be. I woke up at 6:30 instead, and proceeded to run round like a fool, getting ready so I could catch the bus at 6:40. Hobbling around the room in a state of semi-undress with one shoe on, I realised that I had just missed the bus, so I finished getting ready at a more leisurely pace. I made the later bus, and caught a quick tram. I met my lift half an hour late. He's very laid back about it, I suspect he had a bit of a lie in.
And then work, very odd indeed. I had to drive the other department's van up and down the countryside, collecting and dropping off, finding a fundamental flaw in the company's master plan along the way (All very hush hush, but something to do with USB).
My lift and I had a good chat to and from work. We lamented Judge Dredd, a poor movie version of a great comic, and discussed the upcoming and highly anticipated H2G2 movie.
I was on the bus, pretty quiet as we waited to set off. Plenty of room, and no-one needed to sit next to me at all. So, why did he? The huge person who sat hunched slightly forward, his elbow scant inches from my groin. Why? There was an empty double seat right in front! I spent 10 minutes empathising with battery hens, and watching the pretty blonde girl regard me closely as she walked up the bus to sit in front of me. Of course, it could have been my hangdog expression, slightly contorted to fit into the tiny space between galoot and window, but she seemed to keep glancing back at me. Of course, the galoot alighted in the end, but so did she at the following stop. Oh well. I don't think I'd do anything on the bus anyway.
My sister left me a note. "Eat What Eva." She had bought me some beef mince for chilli con carne, a quick and easy meal, but it had gone brown. I am not known for my fussy eating, but I was quite worried. I'm sure mince is colour-coded. Red is raw, dark brown is cooked, pale grey-brown is bad. I consulted someone in the know, who said, "I guess it'll probably be OK." That's good enough for me, and it tasted OK, so I'll let you know if I get food poisoning!
I don't know. Somehow the day seemed slightly ethereal, like there was a silk screen painted with crazy shapes that moves across my memory.
And to top it all, I've turned into an Eagles song. And no, I won't elaborate...
You think you've beaten me, IE?? Well, that shows what you know!
I lost the post. I keep meaning to write it in notepad first, but then it feels like cheating...
I need to write more, exercise my creative muscle before University starts.
The more I write, the easier it gets.
The more I don't write, the not easier it doesn't fail to become...
I know what you're thinking. "You make it look so easy, you can't be putting any effort into it." Well, you're actually more likely to be thinking, "yeah, you think you can second guess me, do ya? Well think again!"
It's hard for me to write a blog entry. Not so much deciding what to put, although this one is a bit of a leap, but the act of getting it written.
I have a bad memory, so when I experience something I have to share, I need to get it down quickly, or it oozes out of my brain like a slug, leaving a silver trail of wistfulness...
Unfortunately, I usually have my epiphanies quite some way from a keyboard. I tried scrawling them in a notebook, with a view to typing them up later, but it's so time consuming I think "I'll never get all that typed up" and promptly prove myself right. Furthermore, I had a washing-machine related data loss catastrophe with my notebook, so what was there is gone. Forever. I hate that, it's like my memory has been washed, soaked and rinsed...
Well, rant over, I must mention the cow.
I've been meaning to mention the cow for weeks, and something strange happened yesterday, so it's an opportune moment.
Cowparade is in Manchester. There's a particular cow outside Manchseter Piccadilly train station, called Dangermoo-se. It's painted to look like the action rodent himself, Dangermouse. It almost always brings a smile to my lips, seeing the white cow with huge round pink ears. I noticed something odd about this cow yesterday. It appears to be making a bid for freedom. I believe it to be moo-ving (sorry) under cover of darkness, for I haven't seen any movement during the day, but this belligerent bovine is now near the road. It's a beautiful tale of hope, and I have high hopes she will escape completely, never to be seen again, but talked about in hushed tones...
My lift has once again let me down, some implausible excuse about being ill! Some people are so selfish, it's just as well he's never charged me for fuel! Ummm....
I set my alarm for 5, and dragged myself through the house, to get ready by 5:30. Of course, the bus was late, so the advantages of losing an extra half hour of sleep were minimised. I bought a cheap monthly ticket. It'll only prove cost effective provided I don't need to make my own way to and from Manchester more than 14 times in the next month. It's doable, but it's the first day and already I'm looking at making the train trip a second time tomorrow. Oddly, I arrived at work 35 minutes earlier than usual, and then found I had depressingly few emails, and I didn't even have any spam!
I had a good weekend, despite my minor laceration, which incidentally now looks like makeup from a zombie film. I didn't actually get out of bed on Sunday, which counts as a victory for lethargics everywhere, or would do, if they could be bothered to celebrate.
A brief note on my brief illness
I hate colds. It's not the sniffling, my nose is usually blocked at the best of times, so I'm used to that symptom. When I catch a cold, however, it hides unnoticed in my sinuses like a master ninja, until it pounces on my chest, leaving me with a cough worthy of someone who smokes through the hole in their neck. So when I was caught in the rain last weekend, I caught a cold, and didn't realise until Monday morning. I hacked and coughed through Monday, and then Tuesday it was worse. I resolved to see the doctor on Wednesday, and return to work on Thursday, but the best laid plans of mice and men...
It was a locum, but this didn't matter, as I've not met my doctor yet. I went in, and he asked "What seems to be the trouble?", to which I replied, "I have a chest infection." He checked me over and agreed; when you've had as many chest infections as I have, they're pretty easy to spot. He gave me the drugs, which I left on the bedside table today (Damn!) and I decided to use my full 3 sick days (any more and I need a note) to convalesce. I watched some movies and generally slobbed around. It was great! In fact, it was so great, I'm planning to be ill again very soon...
Well, I've bought a camcorder. It's last year's model, a Canon MVX100, but it's cheaper for it, and every feature you can shake a stick at. It's lovely! I've already had a play and made a fool of myself in the kitchen...
While I was there I also bought a DVD writer. It was quite cheap for what it was, and I just had to! Now I can make my own movies and distribute them via DVD!!
Of course, I need to think of something to film first.
Coasting the wave of retail therapy, I decided to have a generous slice of honeydew melon. Unfortunately the knife slipped, and I ended up with a generous slice of bloody finger.
Ouch. I said.
Luckily it didn't go all the way through, and is just a nasty cut, rather than a mini amputation. I've put a tight plaster on to hold it closed, and there practically no blood on the plaster, although it is throbbing angrily at me. There is a fair bit of blood on the melon, but it adds to the flavour.
I'm going to the pub to nurse my wound and read the manual for my wonderful new friend.
I've had a chest infection, more on that in a later post (I've been working on it from my death-bed), but the outcome is that I've not got much blogging done. There are probably other reasons I haven't been as verbose of late, but they are of little consequence. The task foremost in my mind at the moment is that I have a list of things I need to do for university (yes! The establishment of my choice is now a university. who'd have thunk it?), and it seems to get longer every time I write it out:
Proof of separation. This is a letter from me, and possibly a council tax bill without her name on.
Proof of Results. Luckily, this is only my English A-Level I attained at night school. Unluckily, I have been unable to get hold of the certificate or the person responsible. this is trickier now that school has finished for the summer.
Resignation. I ought to let my work know officially, as running around the office shouting "hahaha! In your face!" does not usually count as informing your employer.
Read the student handbook. It's not too bad, I mean, I read Lord of the Rings, right? Although I may have skipped through the never-ending litany of songs.
I think that's it. Hmmm, it's shorter than I remember. Other tasks will no doubt present themselves at the most inconvenient moment. Of course, there are other things I need to do which aren't really related, but still necessary:
Return my book and DVD to the library. I'll be doing this straight after the post. No, I will. Really.
Buy a camcorder. I give in. I have to have a digital camcorder, it's hell not being able to just pick one up and make a film on the computer. I may do this later today. The trick is getting the right one...
Buy a palm pilot. This isn't necessarily going to happen. I really want one for writing whilst on the bus. I had a laundry catastrophe with my paper notebook which has made me think seriously about it, but I just don't know whether I'll use it enough to warrant shelling out.
Buy a bus/tram ticket. Seeing as I am getting a lift in the mornings, I can get a cheaper season ticket, as the expensive one expired yesterday.
Buy a bigger hard drive. I may just get an enormous storage device, with a capacity large enough to engulf the earth!!! Hahahahhaha! Or something. Seeing as I'm getting a camcorder, I need more movie space.
Buy a wireless network card. The one I had for my laptop was causing so many problems I returned it. However, I suspect the laptop was more likely at fault. I need a replacement, as my sister keeps nabbing this one for the main PC, which is frustrating, not least because I bought it for that one. She's quite right to filch it.
Get over it all. As cryptic as it sounds, and destined to remain that way...
Give this industrial moisturiser another try. I gave up last time, I didn't like the idea of a huge tub with a pump dispenser. Even less when it's not called moisturiser, but emollient (shudder). I still don't like it, but it's from the doctor, and a lot cheaper than the alternative. I'll have to see whether it's as effective as the sleeker and much prettier alternative.
I like Dave Gorman. He's a funny guy, which is probably why he's a comedian...
I watched his series, "Are YOU Dave Gorman?" about his travels around the world hunting for namesakes, and the one where he lived his whole life for a month following horoscopes to the letter.
I knew he'd written about his adventures, and that he had also written a book about googlewhack!ing.
I'd not heard of the idea before, and I couldn't really get my around it, so I left it at that.
However, this morning I needed to pick up a parcel from the post office. A Learning Spanish CD (so I can talk to my sister when she's lived in Mexico for a while), a PC headset (so I can feel like a fighter pilot or something), and Night of The Living Dead on DVD. And they only cost me PnP!
The post office is in a supermarket, so I picked up some grapes and milk, and thought to myself, "Why don't I pop in the library and hire a film?"
I joined the video shop (of course it's a video and DVD library, but you get used to certain terms) and it costs £3.50 to rent a DVD for two nights. then I joined the library, and they actually rent out DVDs too! Except it's £1.80 for a week!
I popped in the library and had a look at the movies, settling on The Hole, which I've heard is average, but it's an independent british film, and as I'm aiming to make those myself, I ought to see it really.
I headed over to draw it out, and then my eyes fell on "Dave Gorman's Googlewhack! Adventure". I grabbed that and made my way home through the torrential rain. I spent the next three hours reading about his fun with google. For those who don't know, if you type two words, without speechmarks, into the google search engine and it finds only one result, that result is a googlewhack.
So I abandoned the washing up, the laundry, and having a bath, and started a googlewhack search. I thought I had some pretty promising ideas, but even obscure attempts like Astral Psychiatric, Interplanetary Librarians, Sasquatch Ellipse and Taramasalata Hodgepodge all had many results, which now include this page, or course. So I carried on searching.
And then I found one. I wont put the words here, as it'll spoil it, but one word is to do with exhaust emissions, and the other is like grumpiness...
Of course, you can't stop with one. For a while longer I was just hunting for random googlewhacks. I never expected to find my own blog was one! I used a word from the title, and the other spelling of tranquilizer, and hey presto! There I am, a googlewhack! There are 3 billion entries in google, so I'm pretty happy that I am unique in a very small way.
Of course, most people will probably think I'm a little mad.
"The wheels on the bus go round and round,
round and round, round and round.
The wheels on the bus go round and round,
all day long."
I hate having to get the bus. Lots of people do. It's bumpy, it's hot, it takes a long time.
I accept this. Most people do.
Today I met someone who couldn't.
I walked to the bus stop from where my friend drops me off after work. I usually have to run, I think the drivers have started trying to race me to the next stop! I wasn't in the mood today, commuting is rapidly becoming more and more tedious.
The bus was filled to capacity. It was a "bendy bus"; two buses conjoined in the middle by a large concertina. I made my way through as it lurched, searching in vain for a seat. And then, right at the back, a seat facing backwards. I plopped down into it, resenting the unaccustomed sensation of reverse movement.
After about 6 stops of the 50, finally a seat became available facing forwards. A couple, in fact. I headed for the nearest one, a double seat. Unfortunately I had a challenger for the space, someone who had boarded the bus at the previous stop.
He was quicker, and sat in the double. Not wanting to wander around forlorn, hunting for another seat, and refusing to sit facing backwards again, I sat down next to him.
He didn't like that.
For the next two stops he muttered under his breath, glaring at me with such hatred I wondered whether I had just stabbed him without realising.
He demanded that I move over, and I moved my coat to see that one seat was evidently not enough for him. "Thankyou!" he spat. It was obvious that "Thank" was not the word he meant. I told him that I had been waiting for a seat facing forwards since the terminus. My words fell on deaf ears.
This animosity continued for another couple of stops, him glaring, me impassive. I thought of pithy comments I could make as I moved to another empty double: "I'm sorry, I didn't realise it was your bus!" and so on.
we were now about 10 stops from the terminus, 40 to go, and he bellowed "Excuse me!"
I moved out of his way and he pushed past me to the back row, where he didn't have any more room. I sat down in the double, and read my book.
To my astonishment, at the next stop he lumbered down the aisle to the front, like a grizzly bear peppered with tranquiliser darts. I seriously thought he was going to land a blow on the driver, but no, he alighted!
All of this trouble for a couple of stops! I shudder to think what would happen if he had farther to go.
The Human Condition - reasonable mileage, one careful owner
I was brought up as a christian, but my parents were very laid back about the whole religion thing, so they never really forced the issue.
I was baptised, and I attended the local C of E (Church of England) primary school (although that may have been because it was less than 600 yards away). Church assembly on a Wednesday morning, the occasional Sunday activity.
I was never Confirmed. I suppose I was never more than "tentative". I decided a long time ago that a lot of organised religion is little more than an excuse for bloodshed. When asked if I believe in God, I always say "I don't believe in religion." It makes me laugh, anyway.
I tend towards the idea that people should just be nice to each other, and not have to justify it to some Elder. Your conscience should be your guide; that is your own personal "God". Perhaps it's naive of me, but I always expect the best of people, and however many times I'm disappointed, I still look for that spark of decency, humanity, or genuine goodness that brings a smile to my face.
That happened today. To that person, thank you.
I have decided that there has also been some kind of catastrophe on a global scale today. Almost everyone I know (myself included) has had, or is having, some sort of crisis.
I think we all need to sit down as a species and have a nice cuppa while this craziness passes.
It has been a particularly trying week.
The train inconvenience, coupled with the lack of any news about my college application, has brought me closer to sanity's precipice than safety permits. My nails are bitten down to the quick, my sleep is fitful and sparse, and my lungs have long since abandoned hope of ever receiving a fresh supply of oxygen.
I called the Institute on Wednesday. "I'm just calling to see whether I've been accepted on the course," I said. I expected the mantra, "Have you filled in an application form?" and knew to reply with the requisite "yes." After couple of minutes there was news. And not the news I'd been hoping for. Not even the news I'd been dreading. No.
"Are you sure you've sent one through? You're not in our records."
Ye Gods! Where are you in my hour of darkest peril? Am I forsaken?
I kept the tenuous hold on my sanity with white knuckles, and spoke softly and calmly, through gritted teeth. "I attended an interview 11 days ago. I was expecting a decision by now."
"Oh." The woman at the other end shrugged audibly. "Hold on a minute, please."
I could hear the cogs turning in my watch as the time leached almost imperceptibly away.
Over the course of a decade, another two minutes passed. "Hello? I've been in touch with the building where you had the interview, and they're sending the decision to us tomorrow. We'll call you then."
I breathed again.
Thursday passed. They didn't call.
By lunchtime on Friday, they had still not called.
A small part of me reasoned that they'd want to tell my quickly if I'd been declined, but the rest of me thought that the part in question was a damned fool, and they'd be ganging up on it later. Julian (my inner librarian) paused and cleaned his glasses (spectacles, thank you!). He looked at me, shook his head sadly, and carried on categorizing my memory in accordance with Dewey.
That was it. For better, or (as I suspected) worse, I must know. My left hand has had the shakes since the interview, and it took all my concentration to dial the number without inadvertently ordering a taxi. I asked, as calmly as I could, whether I'd been accepted on the course.
No mantra. Perhaps my slightly desperate tone alerted the receptionist that here was a man over the edge of reason, hanging from a twig which had snagged his jacket.
"Hang on, please". There was a clammy silence.
I could feel tectonic plates shifting beneath me. I was expecting the ground to open up and reclaim me.
"The letter went out yesterday, but-"
I interrupted. I couldn't bear it any longer. My entire nervous system closed down to minimise the damage. My sanity put its coat on and turned out the light by the exit.
I was dead for a split second. I no longer existed; there was only the voice, matter-of-fact and all consuming.
"The acceptance letter. But-"
My ears are almost directly connected to my brain. It is only secondary to my heart. Slowly the muscle contracted, as it started pushing blood around my body again. Eventually, somewhere around "second class post," the brain caught up.
"I've been accepted?"
Never before has a single word filled me with such elation.
"The letter was sent yesterday, but it was only second class post, so you should receive it around the middle of next week."
I thanked her profusely, and hung up. I couldn't decide whether to divert an asteroid on collision course with the Earth, mediate for world peace, or find a cure for cancer. I settled for a deeply unsatisfying attempt at clicking my heels instead.