Sunday, December 30, 2012

100

On the Year Just Gone

Or... Look at me, I've been ill (a lot)!

I'd like to say that 2012 has been another shit year and yet another example of a year I'll be pleased to see the back of, but it just hasn't felt as bad as previous years. Now this might be down to that old chestnut I often wheel out - there is no such thing as rock bottom, because things will always get worse - where in, we're so used to it being shit that an average shit year doesn't register as much any longer. But, in reality, 2012 wasn't that bad...

Yeah, it rained - a lot. Summer was 10 days in March and a week in August; the rest was monsoon weather.  My health took a turn in a different direction and has ended the way it began with a chest infection and I've had an up and down time at a job I liken to Marmite - because I love it and I hate it at the same time.

The year was brightened up by sporting achievements beyond belief - Wiggins, Murray, McIlroy, any and all of our Olympians - winners or losers - no one let the side down this year (apart from perhaps John Terry, and he caused untold havoc across the footballing world by being a cunt). I could bang on about how SPOTY12 should have been won by everybody or how the bar for New Year's Honours was lowered so far back in the early 2000s that people who deserve becoming Knights and Dames didn't because it would seem like overkill.

There were some great films; pretty sublime TV, interesting music (but not as much as there has been in recent years) and some changes to our usual social life structure. 2012 hasn't sat still long enough to become boring and hasn't it disappeared quickly? There has been so much going on that the months whizzed past and the ever changing weather ensured it seemed to go quicker than usual - even kids at school reckoned the year flew by.

And that's it. I'm not going to waste my time flicking through lists of films, books, music, etc., and give you my own definitive list, mainly because who gives a shit? I don't, so why should you?

On Writing

With hindsight, I should have used Dave Brzeski's edited version of My Monthly Curse. There isn't a lot of difference, but it would have stopped someone like Dez Skinn having orgasms over the elementary mistakes that were left in the book even after several edits. However, my impetuosity has always been something of a downfall for me and I'm not going to lose any sleep over it, especially as I didn't at the time. I did cringe a bit, but I still cringe about things I did when I was 13.

If one thing became clear in 2012 it was that while I can write quite well, I'm inconsistent, prone to repetition and probably need a good editor and therefore I'm never going to make any money from it. That hasn't stopped me from doing it and as I seem to have no luck writing anything fictional for more than a week before I get bored, I decided that the best thing to do in 2013 is write a sequel to MMC.

Under the working title of Geek Nation, I am going to examine what makes the fans tick (as a starting point) and look at the industry that has grown out of the dying comics one.

On Weather

In case many of you hadn't noticed. It's fucking raining again. Just a lot, and it's as dark as Naomi Campbell's arsehole too. The rain that was coming down a lot is now coming down like shit from a cow's arse. No wonder people get depressed this time of the year...

On Facebook

About a week ago, my Facebook alter-ego (Bill Wall) played Scrabble four minutes ago. Really, said I, who just happens to know that I didn't play Scrabble as Bill Wall four minutes ago. Bill doesn't play Scrabble.

I happened to notice that more and more ... things... are being added to my left-hand column; one of these things - pages feed - appears to feature anything I like but I'm not signed up to receive notifications from. Huh? It appears that if you want to know what something you like to follow is up to you have to instruct your news feed to accept it!?!?! This is why so many people are getting fed up that they're not being seen or heard.

Someone will come along with a kind of Facebook that offers all the things the current one has made difficult or obsolete. I hope it's a success.

On Nonsense and Stuff

  • Most of the above was written yesterday; today the sun is shining (for now).
  • That renowned spanner of wank, Fuckwit, is having his car valeted again. I hope when I eventually go on something like DLA that I will have enough disposable income to do things like this. Obviously, he gets too much money from the government, yet we hear about all those who don't get enough...
  • Meanwhile that renowned amphibious gossiper, Fishwife, was up at the crack of dawn (lovely girl), putting his rubbish out for our Sunday collection. The wife saw his wife last night, while she was putting our rubbish out and Fishwife's wife says, "Ooh, we need to put our bins out, I'll get ##### on it straight away". Straight away obviously means at some fucking ungodly time on a Sunday morning when most, normal, people are asleep. No surprises there from the man whose booming voice makes me sound positively demure.
  • The Sexually-Explicit family appear to have six cars at the moment - makes me wonder if there's any money to be made from dogging.

If there isn't another one of these before Tuesday, then can I wish every one a far better 2013. One where the sun shines and summer stays for more than a fleeting glimpse. One where the government stops butt-fucking us for a while and a year that has us all looking back fondly at our own successes rather than others. May you all have a death, illness and poverty free year and I'll be back with something (annually) different.

And remember, apart from two of you, I love you all!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The One With Two Chocolate Flakes (or Number 99)

Bluergh!

On the 17th December 2011, I went to the doctors and was diagnosed with a chest infection. It was a bad one and took out my entire Christmas holiday and I went back to school in the January not really fit for work. The subsequent 12 months have yielded a piss poor year of health, only made better by the fact that the thing I usually have problems with has been a good boy this year and has only briefly reminded me he is still there and prone to slippage; I just don't want to tempt fate any more than I already have...

Chest Infection #5, which as you know was Lou Bega's disastrous follow up single to Mambo #5, was diagnosed this morning. FIVE FUCKING CHEST INFECTIONS IN 375 DAYS!?!??!!! I am surely having some form of karma thrown at me by some pernicious cunt I used to know who decided on his/her own back a few years ago that because I had taken to shaving my head it was because I had cancer. As far as I know I haven't got it (and if I have it's probably one of those moles I have on my shoulder), but, you know, I might. However, at this moment in time, I don't really give a shit; at least it would explain why me and my chest have had a massive falling out this year.

I walks into the doctor's surgery, sits down and says, "I have had so many chest infections this year, I could go on Mastermind with it as my specialist subject." This made him laugh. It's always good to make a doctor laugh - they can be such earnest bastards at times. In fact, an aside, I haven't had one of them in ages...

Several years ago, a very good friend of ours met and fell in love with a doctor. We'll call him Doctor Martin because it sounds so cool (...) and our friend and DM got married. This was the early 1990s and I had been working on my Dead Girls book/story/proposal for a while and needed some professional input. DM knew my background - comics, drugs, fantasy - so it wasn't a huge stretch of the imagination to expect me as a curious person to ask odd questions. So when I finally popped the million dollar question - what would your reaction, as a doctor, be if the world suddenly had post modern zombies? (It was worded in a far more explanatory way at the time).

I didn't get an answer. He refused to give me one. He refused to even entertain the question. In fact, he got the right arse with me. The upshot was that the evening kind of died a death very quickly; there was no later explanation like his sister had once been a zombie or something; he was just that much of a hater of fantasy and the kind of thing that floated my boat that he refused to even get drawn into the subject. It was, actually, a gauntlet thrown down by him at our friend - I don't like your friends, don't invite them round my house again. Suffice it to say their marriage didn't last very long at all and I never got to find out what a doctor's reaction to zombies in real life would be; and the bastard never smiled.

Anyhow, my doc has put me on steroids (again), monster antibiotics (again) and told me to double up on my inhalers. I actually feel better already and with a bit of luck the second week of my holiday will be better than the first. He thinks my asthma is the main problem and the fact I've given up smoking (6 months on February 10th). He's not suggesting I start again, just that it's probably why I'm suffering and it'll all turn out fine in the end.

Fluff & Horse Sense

  • There will be a new entry over on http://alifeincomics.blogspot.co.uk/ later in the week; it's going to be a review of something I watched that ties in with the rest of that blog nicely.
  • I'm on G (but have had a break from it for a couple of days).
  • It isn't raining at the moment.
  • The nights are drawing out - huzzah!
  • I'll talk about Christmas when I can be arsed, but there's a couple of interesting (well, for me) things.
  • I also will do my usual slapdash half-arsed review of the year at some point.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Number 98

Like Warmed Over Shit...

On December 17 last year I got ill. It's well documented and it was the start of a year of being unwell in general. A crap year that was dominated by my lungs rather than my back.

My biggest fear this Christmas was having a repeat of last year and up to yesterday morning I thought I'd avoided it. Yesterday morning I woke up with what I believed was a hangover, but by mid-afternoon I knew that it was much, much more.

At 5.40am, I got up for a pee. I didn't need to get out of bed to know things weren't good. My t-shirt was sticking to me, my head was pounding and I was cold. It took me ten minutes to warm up when I got back into bed and by the time I did I needed the loo again. At 6.30 I was sitting on the loo feeling very sorry for myself.

This Christmas Eve hasn't been much fun. The wife has been waiting on me, taking the dogs out and getting any last minute shit. I have not got dressed today and I have burbled around the place feeling like poo. I have been eating and I'm pretty convinced that I just have a cold. It feels like I have a mixture of malaria and Green Monkey disease with IBS and ADHD thrown in for good measure and I really hope that I feel better tomorrow (or Wednesday)...

I burned my finger getting a loaf out of the oven.

I fucking hate Christmas...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Number 97

Apocalypse NOW!!!

As I write this there is only a few hours left before the earth dies screaming in a blaze of fire, brimstone and bodily fluids. I always find those who do this, you know, the end-of-the-world-is-nigh people who first came to prominence on Speakers' Corner, wandering round the streets of London with sandwich boards or living next door to me.

As I write this it'll be tomorrow in New Zealand in a little under 10 minutes...

I've been a bit chesty today; it's like a surreal battle for crab supremacy in my torso.

Will someone explain to that stupid blonde bint with the brain-tumoured son with the stupid name that radio and chemotherapy is dangerous to the development of a child; however, if they don't have it they'll die, so what would you rather have: a living child who can't do algorithms or a dead one?

No brainer really. Unless you're blonde and gurn at cameras and use your son's health issues to make yourself look like a stupid cunt. (Apologies for the really offensive language about a woman, but Jesus H Christ, this woman is as bintish as anything can possibly get... And the media wants slapping for pandering to it in any other way than derision).

It's nice out. However, I'd better put it away in case someone sees me. Ah, the old ones are... old. Today I am going to do more imbibing - as it's the end of the world - and see some old friends. I am currently listening to Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas - nice cool festive jazz - wondering what I can build out of 300 pipe cleaners and contemplating finishing the penultimate book in the Thongs of Wire and Rice story.

This update has been brought to you by the letter C (because we all know what that is).

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Number 96

Do You Ocelot?

We walked out of the Vic on Tuesday night even. We'd come second in the quiz (God knows how, but...) got our investment back and the beer was reasonably fresh. On current form there this was a result, especially as we're not quite sure where we got three of our points from... But, still, missus, never you mind that! The next day (last night) we went down the Lamp and were faced with a wall of people. The place was as packed as a wassname's doo-dah; I had to park the car in Hunstantin; and there wasn't what I'd call their usually fabulous beer selection. We couldn't find anywhere to sit; my back was hurting me and the girls had taken to going to the toilet every 10 minutes just so they could have a sit down.

On the quiz side, I was gobsmacked to discover that Bolivia was the largest producer of brazil nuts in the world, especially as I reasoned, with quite superb authoritativeness, why Bolivia could not possibly be the world's largest producer of brazil nuts (and is that Brazil or brazil?). Who can say? Probably someone who knows betterer than wot I do.

Still, we went into the final round one point in front and the music round wasn't bad... Except, the bonus question, the one worth 5 points and the thing that would clinch it for us if we got it right, was just out of our grasp. The bonus question was who had the original hit with Christmas Rapping? We sat there, all knowing the answer, but all unable to drag it kicking and screaming from the pits of our minds; plus my bladder was doing its own kind of singing at me. Now that I'm older, my bladder isn't quite a Jupiter sized as it once was and this proved to be a good thing as I trundled off to the toilets. Two chaps already ensconced there were discussing it - the bonus question - not the size of my bladder and one turns to the other and says, "Was it The Waitresses?" And I saw an illumination of halogen bulbs go off in my head. I rushed back downstairs (after finishing my wazz and giving it a needed shake) and told the rest of the team my fantastically deduced answer. There was cheering and much backslapping, and then Roger turned to me and said, "You heard someone say it in the bogs, didn't you?"

Rumbled. But none of us gave a shit. I'm usually as deaf as a post any how. Besides, we won £73. I think some Australians would say something like "Fucking Bonza" at that result.

Boiled Turkey Porridge

I am now on holiday, or 'oliday as I sometimes like to say, especially when I'm strutting my stuff down some East End street (which has never actually happened as far as I can remember). This time last year I was already suffering from the chest problems that have dogged me for a year. I have a cough at the moment, but, you know something, without tempting fate too much, it doesn't feel like it's going to fuck me up. It, I reckon, feels like the kind of cough someone who doesn't smoke might get.

Still, enough of that. I'm going to be imbibing over Christmas. I imbibed last night (and the night before) and I intend to imbibe later on; then tomorrow I will imbibe some more. Whether I will imbibe after that really depends on whether or not there's still a planet left; but as I'm pretty sure that the Mayans, had they still ruled the Americas, would have just nipped down the local calendar shop and bought a new one.

Just to clear one thing up; a Mayan year is not 144,000 and something days long; if that was the case no one would ever have a birthday; would they? How old are you? I'm 0. Bloody hell, so am I.

George Osborne Has Testicles

Apparently, we don't really like giving to charity. Makes you wonder how much money would be raised if we did. Also apparently, because you can never trust these Internet sources half the time, if the chancellor (a name they gave Hitler remember) was to actually stop tax dodging, the poor wouldn't have to be penalised. Instead he targets a percentage of the population who need all the help they can get while rubbing the bellies (and no doubt fiddling with their private parts) of big corporations who probably wouldn't notice a quid or two missing from their caves stuffed full of wonga.

What I can't understand is why the Libdems are such a bunch of craven wankers and how come so many people still think the Tories are looking after their best interests. THEY. ARE. NOT! They look after theirs and their own, you wouldn't get shit sprayed on you (unless they could make money from it).

Bilbo Tandoori

So I joined Twitter and did exactly what I kinda thought I would do. Nothing. I replied to some tweets, but generally viewed it with some suspicion and generally can't be arsed with it yet. I realise that it has similarities to Tumblr, which I do enjoy - but only because it acts as a kind of general library for me to showcase the photos that the wife (in general) takes. I've just about posted all of my good photos up there now; everything else tends to be her work.

I've taken an interest in photography (in my usual - don't read the handbook just rush in like a fool way) and like my problems with modern art, I sort of have a problem with some photography. This time it has nothing to do with minimalism or naivety or having no talent; I actually find photographs of stuff I'd baulk at if they were artwork quite good (even if that sentence probably could have done with being restructured). It's about people who earn a living taking photos who, I don't believe, are as good at it as the wife is (or, in some cases, me, even).

I've been looking at photo accounts on Tumblr, Flickr and anything else with an 'E' missing, and especially ones who have the audacity to call themselves professional photographers and I just thought, you know, if I was in the middle of Papua New Guinea with some kind of bird of paradise in front of me I think I'd take some good photos. Or if there was some Kate Moss like model with her tits out, I could take just as good a photo, even in black and white (in fact, probably more so in black and white). Naturally I'm generalising; people I know who are professional photographers will probably tell me I'm talking out of my arse. I have been on photo-shoots and there is a lot going on... But, you know, if I was in paradise or standing in front of beautiful people, with a camera...

Obscenery

I am firmly in F. Frankie has been fun; French Teen Idol strange; FSOL has been kind of nostalgic; Fleet Foxes has been quite apt and I've boogey-rocked to Faith No More. There's been Florence and her Machine; the bizarre Freur (all Doot-Doot and Underworld before they became Underworld) and some Funkadelic. All in all, F is a good the most concentrated fun so far (and I have to recommend Everything Last Winter by Fields - it was great in 2006 when I got it and it's still great now) and I've yet to dump anything; but...

There's the stuff that I'm circling around; the stuff that is there and probably hasn't been played since I did it or in some cases not at all. Ben Folds - I like him, but the two albums I have probably haven't been near my now-no-longer-even-remotely-new-MP3-playing-ghetto-blaster and then there's The Flaming Lips, which is causing me something of my first real dilemma.

The Soft Bulletin is one of the best 100 albums of all time. it is a work of genius and I will fight any one who disagrees with me (as long as I can beat them). Yoshimi versus the Pink Robots had its moments and a couple of other albums have been... okay. I have DVDs of this band I've never looked at; I saw them once (with Martin Shipp) and it was one of the best gigs I've ever seen, but I saw them a year or two later with Roger and it was pretty much a meh gig. I have 8 - EIGHT - CDs of their work in front of me; the newest one and a host of stuff going back in time to their earliest, quite punky, stuff. I'm not convinced I'm ever going to play any of these ever (or again) and I can only put it down to this collector's mentality; this anally-retentive male trait of thinking that having everything by something will some how make my life more fulfilling.

I expect it won't be the first real dichotomy I face during this AtoZ odyssey.

Jingoistic Custard

I don't know if people have been noticing how disgruntled I get, but I've had a lot of smoke blown up my arse since I got that bollicking for doing a good job. I don't think it's been strategically put there because the people doing it have been pretty disparate and I have been ... lifted ... by it. I am confident that I am actually pretty good at what I do, if I get the opportunity to do it and if there was something that borders on a regret in my life, then it's a two-parter (because I don't do things by halves). The first part is I wish I'd gone into youth work sooner and the second part is that I wish I'd got some kind of qualification to back up my ability. But, of course, one wouldn't happen because the other didn't happen until much later in my life than I could have expected (or something like that).

I got just three Christmas cards from work; one from the boss, one from our counsellor and one from a student who said in it that she holds me responsible for her still being in school (in a nice, non-threatening way) and she thanked me for being there for her when she didn't think anyone cared. This has happened a few times over the last ten years or so so I figure I must be quite good at this intervention business (hey, send out figures are down by 20% since I've been given the job of sweeping up the stragglers).

The thing is, the area where I think I'd be best placed doesn't exist in this county any longer and if there is any ghost of it left it offers paltry money and no security. I am, of course, talking about Youth Work. My boss at the YOT told me the day we parted company that I was one of the best youth workers he'd ever worked with and it was said with a tinge of sadness because the skills I had were not economically viable at the new Austere YOT and we both knew that Northants County Council abolished youth workers about 7 years ago, figuring kids could work it out for themselves.

One Nation Under a Pooh

  • I am an irrational football fan. I know this.
  • I wore a chilli tie to celebrate Christmas.
  • Every decade since the invention of good music has had its moments, some of them have been good.
  • It's raining. Apparently it's going to rain a lot in the next week. If Anglia Water Authority so much as mentions the D word in the next 25 years I am going to pay someone to kidnap their executives' children and keep them locked in damp cells until their feet web.
  • John Dies at the End is going to be a load of shit, isn't it?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Number 95

Shed Discovery

The shed is on its last legs, so to speak. More felt got ripped off by last night's storm and now it's just a matter of time before the electrics blow or the entire roof gets ripped off by some freak winter hurricane. Let's put it this way, we wouldn't need an October 1987 for there to be a garden catastrophe and what worries me more than anything is the fact the shed is on Fuckwit's side of the garden and is several feet higher than his garden. Look at this and see if you can work out that his garden is lower than mine.
It's difficult to tell but the garden on the right is about 18" lower than the foot of the shed on the left
The thing is, this picture was taken 5 years ago, possibly longer, and the roof was looking pretty trim. However, there is a tell-tale sign of impending doom in the form of the spreading passion flower and ivy plants at the front, while the furthest part away from the front is open to the elements (there is actually something like a 9 foot drop at the back of the shed to the floor and the back half of the shed is levelled out with railway sleepers.

If you can imagine that same roof but all the batons have rotted away, then you'll have a rough idea what my shed roof looks like now (I'd go and take a photo but the sun in shining directly into the back bedroom window and I really can't be arsed to set the camera up for one poxy picture). Fuckwit's garden has 50% less greenery in it now, most of it is covered by wood chip. The shed is about 18 to 20 foot long and I reckon the cost to replace it is going to be cheaper than repairing it; the problem comes when you have to get rid of the extant shed. It was brought round the back in sections, by a former owner who actually was a pal of Fuckwit (so...) and it's now no longer very solid in places, quite rotten and with no guarantee that it'll behave when it's dismantled. The wife seems to think that I'll be able to fix it. I explained that I don't have an O level in woodwork and she doesn't trust me with a saw.

Meanwhile in the Garden

I have to set fire to loads of wood and this weekend looks like a good bet to do it; however, unless I have some petrol in the cupboard under the stairs it's probably going to be a tough job as this is wood that has been stuck up against a fence since the spring and isn't probably that dry. However, it's one of those needs-to-be-done jobs that burning acts as a cure all for; it also puts nutrients and shit into the allotment section of the garden.

I have to admit that I think the above paragraph smacks of optimism because the rest of the garden looks like your fingers do when you've sat in the bath for a week longer than you usually do. Everything is just wet, soggy, wrinkled and nasty - the few days of frozen temperatures at least dried things up for a while, but today we're back with the quagmire that seems to have been there since the end of April.

The front and back have been over run with buttercup plants; it seems they're the only thing that has thrived anywhere; even the bindweed seems to have been restricted in growth, probably by a fear of drowning. There also won't be any January 1st raspberries this year, although as I said yesterday, I'm thinking that we might have seen the last of winter's teeth until March - just a gut feeling.

There's dog shit everywhere and I need to move the rhubarb (still).

That Rant

Obviously, when I decided to write a blog yesterday it was to call UEFA a bunch of worthless cunts, then the things in the USA happened and it kind of superseded everything else. What I really wanted to point out, which most areas of the press hasn't commented on (now this might be because it's bleedin' obvious or they might have just missed it) and that is the fact that the three English players given bans - Danny Rose (for kicking the ball away in disgust at the referee's reaction to the monkey chants he was receiving and verbal abuse from the Serbian players); Steve Caulker and Tom Ince - are all black or mixed race and were on the receiving end of pretty extreme racism. The fact that UEFA didn't even mention 'race' in its report suggests that they are now the laughing stock of world sport (them and FIFA) and I yearn for a situation where the FA and Football League can tell them to fuck off and stick their pathetic rules in a place where the sun doesn't shine.

Twit, Twat, Twoo???

For two years I have had people nagging me (yes, literally) about getting a Twitter account. "You'll love it", "It was made for you", "It's addictive", "You'll have lots of followers", "Karen Gillan will have sex with you" and other bon mottes, all designed to persuade me to relay my life in 140 characters or less, when my blog is just perfect for my illiterate verbosity. Today, I almost signed up, but held fast. I might do it, but equally I feel like the school kid who doesn't want to ask the pretty girl out in case she says no... Which, incidentally, reminds me of something funny I was told this week by one of my new friends.

There's these two women at work that he rather fancied and after a couple of weeks he was convinced he had a chance with either of them, especially judging by them both always seeming to be really pleased to see him and slightly flirty. One of the girl's was off work for a week, came back on Monday and announced she's got married. My mate, slightly stunned, turned his attention to the other girl, sidled over to her, asked her what she was doing for Christmas and she said meeting up with her boyfriend who's been in Africa for three months building schools and hospitals and they're going to the Maldives for Christmas. 

I suggested he try masturbation.

Anyhow; see, I couldn't tell you that story in 87 characters, could I? My cuz Dan reckons I could rule Twitter with my rants, but I'm not even warming up at the 140 character mark and I struggle to do text speak (unless Im txtng the hippy n thats ony bcoz he wudent understand proper english).

We'll see. I might practice for a while and then make a decision.

Snuff & Tonsils
  • I set up a Twatter account any how... Dunno what my thing is; @squonkster_uk I think; try it, see if I see anything.
  • There are too many cars on the road.
  • And so to F
  • meh

Friday, December 14, 2012

Number 94

The complete and utter righteous indignation I had earlier this week kinda got shat on with the news that 27 people were killed by a loony tunes gunman in Connecticut. You can be as pissed off with UEFA as much as you like, but their wilful ignorance of racism pales into insignificance to the massacre of a shedload of school kids...

I've got this mate, we'll call him Bill. Bill's says to me and Roger on Thursday night that he's going to pull a sickie on Friday. Friday comes around and Bill texts us to say that he's unwell. If you need an example of irony...

The week has been influenced by the letter E. From the 88 second capitulation by Spurs on Sunday to the current letter of the alphabet I'm at in the great CD play. It reminds me that once upon a time, in a different life, I thought E was the most superb thing ever created (that's E for ecstasy and incidentally one of my few spelling blind spots) and anyone who knows me well will know that I have always been completely and utterly anti chemicals. But E was different and in many ways it changed my life immensely.

It's 20 years since I first took it. It's 15 since I last took it. I really miss it, but it's just never going to happen again, but not for moral reasons or stuff like that. The reason why is something we'll end up at. The first time I took it, two hours after dropping my first pill I was looking at my mate Andy and shaking my head. This was bollocks, I didn't even feel different; we'd been sold a pup. And I was like this for about another hour until BAM something hit me that totally floored me. What followed was about 9 hours of gradual crescendos of a heady mixture of euphoria, love and wonder; hitting a peak before slowly de-intensifying. Coupled with this is a sensation of being in touch with the primordial part of oneself; it's as if the hippocampus has been supercharged and while it wasn't natural it was quite unique.

I stopped taking it because my body didn't like it. My brain could have married it, had children and wiped it's metaphoric bottom for the rest of my life, but my physiological self just went apeshit. It gave me horrendous cramps, dropped my body temperature sending me into shivers and shakes and it was marginally worse than the good effects, so it really wasn't worth the hassle. This mysterious change happened within two years and although I struggled through a few more attempts at reliving those moments of blissful perfection for longer than I enjoyed it initially and then it was gone.

A fleeting flirtation with something illicit and then it was over, like a life, snuffed out.

I'm not making any comparisons.

E has thrown up some interesting music - Engineers, Eyeless in Gaza, Elbow, Electric Soft Machine, the Eagles, Elecktrum, Eels and a almost forgotten Echo & The Bunnymen album called Reverberation - very psychedelic. Some more stuff went and I realised that I'd bought a lot of stuff beginning with E over the last few years.

I saw something pretty fucking awesome the other day, the teaser trailer for Pacific Rim, the new Guillermo Del Toro film about monsters and giant robots, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=w6Vv2z-QiAI and it made me realise that it was probably going to be a load of shit, but the trailer got me all fanboy and ting. The new Star Trek trailer had exactly the same effect.

Dexter's building to a finale that looks almost like they're boxing themselves into an even less manoeuvrable position than they did at the end of season 6. Homeland is barking and I can't see how they could possibly stretch to a third series (but how are they stretching The Hobbit into three films?) and Fringe just isn't the same any longer - it's a different TV show, one that has an invisible shark and some water skis hanging in the background.

The cold spell is over; I said to the wife tonight that I would find it almost ironic if we ended up having one of those typical British winters; mild and very wet between now and the end of February; two weeks of winter at the start of March and then repeat until everyone dies of vitamin D deficiency.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Number 93

Catharsis

If I'd been sensible enough I would have stood as the pantomime police commish for Northamptonshire. I mean, I don't know what the guy who got elected did in his previous life (apart from be a stand in/body double for the aliens in alien invader films), but he's ruffled more feathers than a chicken plucker and it appears that we have to trust him rather than him asking us to trust him and his radical ideas, which, to be unusually frank for me, are a bit PR based rather than common sense. I mean, he may well have done what I'm about to suggest in his first few days ion the big swivel chair, but I would have gone out of my way to be talking about it rather than inventing 17 new paid posts while the force is being cut back and the streets of many of the estates are awash with sex, drugs and violence (which I'm sure was the title of a Jane's Addiction song).

You know, new in a job, even if he knows what the Bill do inside out, the first thing you do is get to know your admin staff; then the other auxiliary staff; make them feel, justifiably so, as important as the coppers. Then I'd contact all the area chiefs and tell them we're having a meeting, asap, and tell them to bring their list of the 3 areas they feel need improvements in or help with in their part of the county. Then I'd sit down with the heads of the Probation Service, YOT and local Prison Service and ask their permission to talk to their staff and explain to them what I hope to do in terms of addressing the areas of exceptional need and find out what measures they can put into place to encourage offenders over the next few years to move away from crime, etc. I'd then talk to the people who actually do the policing - the bobbies on the beat, the YOT and probation workers, the PCSOs (or Plastic Policemen as they are affectionately known) and whatever areas I feel could offer programs or help with the delivery of a more community based holistic approach of deterrents and strategies rather than attempting to solve crimes, which very few policemen appear to be that good at, despite the proliferation of crime dramas (but perhaps we invent great detectives to counter balance the ineptitude of the police - and boy if I decide to go for this job this blog will try to come back and haunt me, but I shall laugh in its face and say, "if you don't like it how it is you can f

I can't quite understand how capping benefits (which, in reality, only really screws the 94% of people on benefits who aren't fiddling them some way) is going to cut the massive deficit this country has, while allowing massive corporations fucking ridiculous tax breaks that mean that they only pay half of the total estimated savings. There's this amusing photo of Dave Cameron and a message next to him suggesting that they're making such a mess of it to ensure that it's so broken it isn't worth trying to fix it because they thrive off of other people's misery. I can't help but think it's been a long time coming - this message - and that I think subconsciously I've known it forever.

I have had a Frank Zappa and the Mothers kind of week (I am listening to Deep Purple at the moment, so musos among you will understand the reference) and it ended with me being sort of bollocked for doing a good job... Yeah, if there's something to fuck you up even more than just getting a bollocking, it's getting one for doing too much. It seems that my instincts are not adjusting to the ludicrous bureaucracy of schools and I have to remember that even if I can help someone it isn't my job so don't.

I was going to start this blog off with that last bit and conclude that I need a new job. The thing is I don't really need a new job, I need to understand and accept that this isn't a simple thing; if a kid wants to talk to me I have to tell him or her to go and talk to someone else, even if they don't want to talk to anyone else... I suppose that really means I should at least make a real concerted effort see what's available come the New Year.

I've shed about 20 discs from my CD collection so far and I'm still just on D. I have been sensible and transferred a lot of stuff over to MP3 format and saved them all on one disc, somewhere else entirely, but I expect to see as many as 200+ CDs dumped in the coming months. I'm giving the first lot to my mate Colin; he'll either find something he likes... or not. While I'm still listening to Levitation in the car, the office has been filled with the mellifluous tones of Deep Purple, Delays, David & David, Dukes of Stratosphere, Dandy Warhols and Ian Dury for the last week.

It's going to snow next week. Somewhere.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Number 92

Bakurts

It's been a really eventful week. However, for legal reasons I can't talk about most of it. Trust me, if you knew why you'd understand why I can't talk about it. It has been a good week to be a spectator, that's all I'll say.

It's a shame I can't talk more about my week because, just to add salt to the wounds, it has been bizarre and weird; but it has also been a lot more than the two things I can't talk about. In truth, what I'm about to tell you is really TMI, but I'm being a bit of prick teaser, so I'll allow you into my bedchamber, so to speak...

Had a really excellent curry last night and at about 8.45 this morning it was knocking on the door of my bowels and asking to be let outside. So I went and did my business; had a shower and was done in the bathroom by 9.20. The wife was quietly snoring so I went and made myself a coffee, came back up, powered the PC up until I heard stirrings in the bedroom. I'd made up my mind that she was going to get a good seeing to, however what followed meant she wouldn't even get any kind of seeing to.

I walked into the bedroom, did something completely out of character for me - I picked up some dirty clothes - stood there exchanging pre-coitus pleasantries; I walked to the washing basket, lifted the lid and

TWANG!

My back went. Not in a disc-slipping way, but in an 'ouch ouch motherf*cker, ouch ouch OUCH!' kinda way. It's the most bizarre of sensations; it's like something just goes ... twang. Like unhooking a bed spring - that kind of twang.

Hence the title of this bit: a phonetic reference to my situation, not the capital of Azerbaijan. 

So I've been hobbling round since about 9.20 this morning; the wife has gone out to buy the Christmas tree that won't be put up in the house until at least the 16th and I've been on the heady cocktail of Ibuprofen and Celecoxib. Whoop whoop whoop.

Perfect Saturday

I can't remember the last time just about every single thing that could have gone right for my football team did. Yesterday through a strange series of results Spurs went from 7th to 4th (equal 3rd except for goal difference) and won a tricky London derby and secured 9pts from a possible 9pts in a 7 day period. It has tempered my loathing for the initialed man currently sitting in the manager's chair.

Not So Supermarkets

I told you about my trip to Sainsbury's and my intention to send a snotty letter to them. Well I did and I got given a £5 gift voucher for my disgruntlement and a very humble apology that put me in a good mood despite the fact that £5 seemed as token as they could possibly manage.

Then on Friday I got a follow up email from Customer Service with feedback from the Weedon Road manager who basically suggested that it was my own fault for not knowing they were shutting. In fact the tone of the email suggested they had not fully read the original complaint and were now being a touch arsey about this after agreeing to give me a voucher.

My reply to this reply which ended, "We appreciate you taking the time to contact..." was, "And I appreciate the £5 gift voucher you gave me which, if you'd bothered to read my initial complaint properly you would see barely covers the cost of the diesel." 

To add insult to injury the £5 gift voucher hadn't been authorised and would take 2 working days to be activated. To add even more insult to injury, the new Sainsbury store on the Weedon Road... Is now just a big generic fucking shopping centre. All that extra room and they appear to have less things we bought than they once did. All the character has gone; it is now just this soulless Tesco-like megalith that might just have lost a regular customer...

პერსონალის და სისულელეა
  • The Cees have slipped into the Dees. Comet, Comets on Fire and more Charlatans, Chemical Brothers and Sheryl Crow. A lot have been dumped - upwards of 15 CDs and there's a growing stack of 'dunno if I'll keep them but I really don't feel like playing them at the moment' records. D has started with dumping a couple of albums and questioning whether or not (recent) Doves are worth persevering with. I am now playing a Death in Vegas compilation CD that someone did for me. I think this is the first time I have had this on.
  • And probably the last.
  • Someone came to work at my place last week who was in the same class as me at school; she left a week later. It had nothing to do with me.
  • I thought I had so much more to say.