Sunday, 30 November 2008

Saturday, 29 November 2008

I don't know if you can see, changes that have come over me

Ah, I'm having a patriotic moment. The homesick Scot song, Caledonia on an advert to "try" and persuade Scots to come home in 2009. Because, like, it's so much better here... What do you want with a good job? Beautiful scenery to the left of you, don't look right.

Possible cynicism at the timing, just before Hogmanay and all...

You can view the ad here, if it gets to work, if it doesn't, it features actors Sir Sean Connery and Brian Cox, cycling star Chris Hoy and golfer Sam Torrance, musicians Lulu, Sandi Thom, Eddi Reader and Amy Macdonald, plus Kelly Brown and Thom Evans from the Scotland rugby team.

It's cheesetastic, but it made me proud for a moment. I want Sean Connery to read me bedtime stories. I know, I know, but he's damned lovely. I keep replaying that and swooning at his bit.

This song was featured on one of my favourite ever adverts, a Tennents one from 1990:

Sigh. Grand. I wish it was 1990.

So the guy gets sick of London, he heads home to Scotland, takes in the beauty of Edinburgh... and goes to a pub for a pint of Tennents? Like he wouldn't head to the chippy for a white pudding supper and a tin of Irn Bru?

Irn Bru ought to be the one thing that represents Scotland. It's special. It's magical for curing hangovers. We're the only country in the world (I think) that doesn't have Coke as the best selling soft drink. We have Irn Bru fridges. We have Irn Bru taxis. We love Irn Bru.

Come home, we drink Irn Bru here. That's enough to get anyone home.

Also from about 1990, the best Irn Bru advert ever, a parody of Coke adverts, and erm, it was about 1990, it's not its fault:

More here

I apologise to the eardrums of anyone that clicked all of those, it's all terrible, I know this. It makes me proud to be a Scot though, cheese and all.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Snippets of airy nothing

3am, 750 words of 2000-3000. Decision taken to invoke the "5pm Friday is the same as 9am Monday" rule.
9am, approximately 700 of those words discovered to be irrelevant.

I am so disorganised. I should have just watched Buzzcocks last night. Mark Watson was on it! I love him, even if he is but a child.

I *need* to sleep. Not write. Not amuse hyper people.

Is it wrong to have pistachio ice cream for breakfast? I have some and it's divine. Pistachio. The elusivest and tastiest of ice creams. With bings of pistachios in. If you want chocolate ice cream, you just go to a shop and buy chocolate ice cream. Not true with pistachio, and there it was just sitting in Tesco's freezer looking all pistachio-y.

It's just a nut thing. I may continue with the daily nut related supermarket news. I may not.

No. I'll have a muffin. Not healthy, but at least it's sort of breakfast fayre.

Genius is in fact genius.
It's marvellous.
Get it now. You just turn on Genius in iTunes, wait several years for it to check all your dodgy downloads and sometime in another lifetime it will be done and you simply click on a song, click the genius button and tada! A playlist of joy. You have to go back to iTunes to delete the ones that it gets a bit wrong, but so far out of 50 songs, I've had to delete 3.

I did another playlist, this time from Human by The Killers, which I still love, and the playlist is spectacular (mostly). For one, it includes Intervention by Arcade Fire which is exactly spot on, and again, it's included stuff I thought I didn't like (Beck? White Stripes?) and yet I do. Except for two hideous errors, Celine Dion and the Spice Girls, but that's my own fault for not deleting their albums when we accidentally got the entire Top 40 a few months ago. Genius probably thinks I like all that cack, Connie Talbot and other people I had to Google to find out who they were. Anyway, Genius is fab. I am very lazy when it comes to listening to music, especially with the ease of playlists, I tend to listen to the songs I like and rarely "discover" new ones. The radio is my only salvation usually. I went through and copied the songs I like off the server onto my beloved the other day, and now Genius is picking the Other Songs for me. It's a revelation in toons.

I'm liking this cheapness thing. Every time I open my email there's a pile of messages telling me things are reduced, free delivery, 20% off, free stuff, more free stuff, please please buy stuff. I've dispatched a spy to go and see if Woolworths are giving away their stock yet. I'm noticing a lot of "2 for the price of less than 1!" offers. It's good, even if we have to ignore the fiscal implications. We all HAVE to buy stuff, our economy depends on you buying some stuff. Yes you, go buy that thing you reckon you shouldn't. It's not extravagance, it's survival.

Tomorrow: a blog entry where one paragraph has anything remotely to do with the following one.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Things you probably wouldn't want to do #825,321.75

People that like to have a rant: the Scots
Subject they like to rant about: the Union, whatever their stance on it

So would anyone in their right mind have an open comments site for Scots (or indeed anyone else that cared, ie noone) to comment on a proposed referendum for independence?


The National Conversation.

We are only 3 months behind here, which is quite good as yesterday we were in 2006.

I've read something like 6 comments and I'm itching to say something. Itching. Itching. I shall refrain, because "oh my god get me away from these cretins, I quite like England and I LOVE Wales" probably wouldn't be all that helpful. I don't believe that's representative of what I actually think about independence anyway. I want to be (properly) part of Europe. Or we could form an alliance with Norway and Switzerland and go completely in the other direction. Hmm. I don't know what I think. I need someone to understand politics for me and explain it s-l-o-w-l-y. Or I might become a politician.

Scarily, this looks like they want the people of Scotland to think up their own constitution. 24 hour compulsory drinking, free fags and regular stoning of the English does not a constitution make.

Fla fla fla. Roads and stuff.


Hello? Anyone? Is anything happening when I type things?


Once in a blue moon I think I manage to say something intelligent and relevant in a discussion and then... no. Sorry. You can't join in. Go back and play with your barbies. What? You wanted to say something? You already did? Ha ha ha ha.

Or maybe I'm just an idiot. I don't know. Maybe it's not intelligent comment, maybe it's uneducated gibbering. I don't know. Not talking might help.

Waaaaaaaah. Strop. Tantrum.

I don't like people. I'm going to go and talk to my phone.

How to Procrastinate

it's exactly midnight. oooh.

So, I've had some smashing news tonight. Apparently in order to be flat tummed one needs to not have had twins. No. That's not what it said. In order to be flat tummed one should eat olives, olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds and dark chocolate. They're all supposed to be bad, but they're good. Virtuous. Marvellous.
(procrastination by means of reading a magazine)

More smashing news: I've lost 3lb. Hurrah. It's nice when that happens by accident. And my Wii Fit age today is 27.
(procrastination by "exercise")

iTunes is now processing 2365 of 2754 album artworks. Almost done.
(pure procrastination)

Traffic Policy and Road Pricing: motorists paid £32bn in road related taxes in 2006, of which £8bn was used on the roads, almost exclusively for repairs and anti traffic measures.

“The United Kingdom ranks poorly in
international comparison both on survey
based measures regarding the quality of
transport infrastructure and on measures
of congestion.”


Sainsburys have cashew nuts in their basics range! I have no idea how much they are, I may have paid £17.50 for some cashew nuts, but still. Cheap nuts!
(procrastination by shopping)

EDIT: They're £1.45 for 200g. A saving of 54p over the non basic ones. I feel cheated.

The staff of Sainsburys all say hello to me. I can't decide if this is mortifyingly embarrassing at my frequency of visits (most days) or if it's a compliment to my sunny disposition and general willingness to chat to anyone that stands still long enough.
(procrastination by pondering)

Traffic Policy.

There's no motorway direct link between Manchester and Sheffield? How appalling. Really I think I want to move to Germany.

Can it take 2000-3000 words to say: "Traffic Policy in this country sucks, we should all move to Germany"?


Is ok. Have found report that says pretty much what I want to. So creative stealing required of references and general ideas, which is quite definitely not plagiarism, it's research, that's all.

I might sleep. It'll write itself in the morning. A very wise person said quite recently "that's what the night before handing in day is for, right".
And that's not tonight.
(procrastination by denial)


Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Note to self

Shut up.


Oh fla.
I've woken up in one of those moods. This happened some time ago and I've been stagnating since. Should really be cheerful but swamped with inadequacy today.

I've got so many things to do, and most of 101 things I mostly don't need to do, and I'm in a sort of defeatist mood. Can't write owt on account of being uninteresting. Traffic policy isn't interesting. Can't write owt on account of being stupid. Not actually stupid. Can't paint ceilings on account of the fact that the essay's more important. Can't make phonecalls on account of being snivelly.
Need to do stuff. Need kick up backside.

Fester fester, I have no idea why I'm blogging this.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008


A friend of mine was telling me yesterday how great the iTunes Genius playlist thing is. And so I spent half my day yesterday activating it and I have my first Genius playlist on my beloved.

What it does: takes a song and suggests similar songs from your library and compiles a playlist, this one has 20 songs which may or may not be standard.

The song I started from was 'Annie Let's not Wait' by Guillemots, which I think is a great song. Now, iTunes has the pick of a large and eclectic library, partly because of my tendency in the past to buy dodgy compilations, greatest hits and pop shite just because I liked one track, and partly due to the ease with which things can be downloaded. So this is what it produced:

Annie Let's not Wait - Guillemots
Had Enough - The Enemy
You Can't Have it All - Ash
Nature's Law - Embrace
Slight Return - The Bluetones
Another Girl, Another Planet - The Only Ones
Tranquillize - The Killers feat Lou Reed
This is How it Feels - Inspiral Carpets
Motorcycle Emptiness - Manic Street Preachers
Wondering - Dirty Pretty Things
You're not Alone - The Enemy
House Party at Boothy's - Little Man Tate
One Day Like This - Elbow
You're Gorgeous - Babybird
You're Gonna Lose us - Cribs
A Design for Life - Manic Street Preachers
Rose - The Feeling
Going Missing - Maximo Park
Pass it On - The Coral

Now, some of those are songs I know I like - the ones by Elbow and The Only Ones being the best, but some of them are songs by bands I actively dislike - Maximo Park, Cribs and The Enemy being the worst. And The Feeling and The Coral are repetitively almost offensive mostly. But, with the exception of the Cribs, I actually have enjoyed listening to all these songs. Ones like The Feeling one are like, yeah, I KNEW I liked something they did, so woop woop, all hail Apple.

I'll worry about the information Apple now have, tomorrow.


I had something I wanted to blog about but I got distracted on the way here and so forgot completely what it was.

Never mind, there is always later.

Clearly I need to share the distractions.

First, this is from Andrew Collins' blog, so if you've been there already, this is repetition . I think this is brilliantly done, it's really impressive. Much kudos to Nathan Jay.

In my esteemed estimation, a gentleman of a certain age with a desire for a pink digital watch is most definitely gay. Or, fauxmosexual in an attempt to impress the ladies. Deeply suspicious anyway.

It occurred to me sometime earlier that Christmas is one month today. I have done nothing towards Christmas except buy the kids' presents, and I'm a bit skint. Problemo. So I'm off to buy some stuff to bake some Christmas presents. I may have lost my last remaining friends by New Year.

cheese: the thinking man's toothpaste

Monday, 24 November 2008


Why do we...

shout the most at the person that least deserves it?

expect the most from those who have the least to give?

try hardest at the things that matter least?

wish most for the things least attainable?

worry most about the least likely eventuality?

It's all very silly.


I love my phone. True love, soulmate style. Really, it has all the things I look for* in a soulmate: pedantry, good books and music, fondness of being and ability to be online at all times, shiny good looks and the ability to be in my pocket at all times. If it was a better photographer I think I'd leave my husband for it, but hey, noone's perfect.

Anyway, I'm beside myself (right there, look) with joy today because I got a software upgrade yesterday which has solved some of my (minor) gripes and made it even more wonderful. I now have a Google button on the browser and I can download podcasts direct from iTunes. Wowee. The 2Gb of 38 podcasts are downloading themselves as I type, with no need for a PC at all! Wowee!
AND my Sony Fontopia headphones have been returned to their rightful owner, me, and all sounds perfect again. No more hiss from enforced use of the lesser Creative ones. Ear buds are amazing. I have storymakers on repeat and Cars on, and I can hear Mssrs C and H.

The iPhone is the greatest thing I have ever owned. I love it more than I loved my Volvo (RIP) and I have no idea how I functioned without it. Oh, the fickleness of looking at Other Phones. This is the phone I was born to own. Oh yes.

*possibly hyperbole and indeed, a complete lie.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

stillness and sadeness

Sunday morning, deep and crisp and even.

There's not much nicer than a proper winter's day. Wrapped up snug and warm, playing in the snow, taking pictures of the stillness...

Wondering where the ducks and geese have gone, as the seagulls screech and bicker for some bread.

Just pretty.

That last one, taken by iPhone in an attempt to share a moment. Doesn't compare very well in terms of clarity, but oh! how it captures the light.

And no, not a sad day. A nice one spent with family and friends, on a tedious trip to the Falkirk Wheel, interesting to look at, not interesting to journey on. Photos for that were captured only by phone due to the camera having a moment and not all that worth sharing. Brilliant guide, very funny guy, also very pleasant to be on a canal boat but it goes so very s-l-o-w-l-y and takes an hour, nearly.

More friends, more family, no stopping today. Severe lack of sleep made this arduous: not a good family member, not a supportive friend, just a sleepy, slightly dreamy, lump.

Sadeness (the e is from enigma: cum angelis et pueris, fideles inveniamur) only appeared late on in a residential care home. A wish tree stands in the entrance hall, star stickers with wishes written on them are stuck to its leaves. Two that caught my eye said "to have tea with my family" and "to go to a football match". My heart cracked in two, so much we take for granted. I would have liked to wish for all the wishes to come true, but there were no stickers.
I wished it to the angels instead.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Pix pix pix

It's too cold to do anything. A trip to the park was frosty and chilling, made worthwhile by the starvingness of the ducks, geese and seagulls we fed bread to.

But still, homeward and snuggled indoors, and a bit bored. So I got out the camera and took some pictures. Of cupboards. Well, it was sort of a meme...

The fridge:
and yes, it is the biggest fridge I could find. It's got a freezer below and back in the days when I spoke to people, I had everyone at their correct height pictured on the front.

cupboard 1: pasta and the likes, drinks, tins, misc:

Cupboard 2: spices and oils and what not:

Cupboard 3: jams and sauces and drinks and sweets:

And then we have the sum total of all the books that aren't piled up, earmarked for charity or the four large bookcases worth that are in storage (since last Jan! Sob!):

Then the bathroom...

Hypochondria cabinet:

And girlie hideaway:

And that's the lot. Everything else is in storage, apart from clothes which are a Big Problem.

I did a mood board. Well, I started. I had this great idea that I could use images on the PC instead of scissors, but I only have paint on this surrogate laptop and so everything is square. Not so perfect.

This is as far as I got before I got bored...

and there. the products of a bored mind on a cold day.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Honestly random

Bright eyes, always cheering.

We can work it out, which is always a reassurance because everybody hurts, sometimes. It may be all or nothing but that's the way in a mad world. To fix you would be atomic and then you'd surely run. Nothing tender for an innocent man. Always Victoria, baby, you're a rich man.

Look at all these things I've done, can't you read my mind? It may be an epidemic, yet when all you need is love, where is my love? Somebody told me the one I love, Denis, became a taxman.

I'm only sleeping because I just can't get enough. I guess I'm dreaming, still we must stand as absolute beginners in a perfect circle. Why worry about chasing cars, the village green preservation society don't get good vibrations from wires.

All I need, to be the apologist; my gift of silence.

See you in the next one (have a good time)

No B

"There's no b in television"

That's what I was woken up to be told. This is true. Given that the person telling me this has but the vaguest grasp of letters and spelling I should perhaps assume that the phrase was in fact "there's no bee in television", also correct, if grammatically less well formed, but I think the first option is more profound. Should I ever form a company, that will be our motto, but only if the company has nothing to do with televisions. Or spelling.

Erasure of lunacy required this morning. Oops, oops, shut up more.

A message to Google:

Dear Google

I apologise profusely for purchasing an iPhone. I also apologise for referring to the G1 Google Phone Android T Mobile thing that noone can agree a name on, as "the gay phone", but it is white and pretty gay looking. But phone issues aside, I'm a good little Googler. My life is enGoogled. I think I use everything you want me to and really I couldn't do more. Other than buy a oogle phone, but hey, I use Google, I didn't get a w****** mobile one.

So, please explain why you persist in Not Working? And randomly being a bit odd with gmail? And why has my inbox gone all pastel?


Grumpy McCatfish

Other things I have run out of energy to type properly about:

Santa does exist. Evidence for this: none.

Do I need 5 Lloyd Grossman Sauces, 3 of which are Primavera and 5 tins of baked beans? Given that tins have very long lives, should I be ashamed that there was a tin of apricots lurking at the back of the cupboard that went off in 2005?

Why am I 33? I actually did a calculation this morning to double check I've not made a mistake. Luckily I am still 33, the worst thing in the world would be to discover that I'm 32 and that this year of perpetual self questioning would be ahead of me. But how lovely if I'd remembered that I'd actually been born in 1974 and I'm 34 after all. No. Still 1975. Still 33 years ago. Long winded explanations would lead to the conclusion that ages ending in 3 are those of great things, leading to huge upheavals and changes for the better in the age ending with 4. So something in this stagnatory plodding must be happening for the better, something (subtle) is happening now that will lead to great things next year.
Whatever, 7 weeks tomorrow I'll be 34 and all will be well with the world.

I have now to go and look for square balls.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


I've had a few moments today, little snatches of niceness amid the mundanity of day to day drudgery.

Steve Wright's Golden Oldies sometimes are marvellous (for those of us who like old stuff better). Today in the car I heard the following:

"Waterloo Sunset" by the Kinks. I love the Kinks, Ray Davies is a god and this is one of their best.

"Tin Soldier" by the Small Faces. I love the Small Faces, Steve Marriott was a god and this isn't one of their best but it's still them, it's still better than most songs.

"Baba O Reilly" by the Who. Jeremy Clarkson and I, and presumably some other people but noone I've met, like the Who and this is probably their best song. That or "Behind Blue Eyes", but Limp Bizkit actually did that better.

"With a Little Help from My Friends" by Joe Cocker. This isn't great, but it has a superb intro.

"Ride a White Swan" by Marc Bolan and T Rex. Or that's what Shazam told me. I like this, I had no idea of its title.

and then

"Man of the World" by Fleetwood Mac which is one of the greatest songs on earth.

Liam whoever you are from wherever you're from, I love you.

Followed by watching the sun almost set on the beach. I'm having a hippy moment, the stuff that's really, really nice is just there.

Gratuitous picture as I'm appreciating the aesthetic and feel like being giggly again:

The Good, the Bad and the Chutney

The Good: Things what made me smile today

  • My phone wants to auto correct "darth vader" to "earth cadet";
  • Conversations about absolutely nothing: always nice;
  • Overheard conversation with my son: "It's a screwdriver". "No, it's a truck driver";
  • Other son on being questioned what had happened upon collision with his brother, "Ollie happened".
  • The word "sanctimonious". It's a great word, and is always followed by some insulting term: bastard, git, swine etc. In fact, "sanctimonious swine" could in fact be the greatest combination of words ever.
  • David Tennant is to be in a programme about Einstein. David Tennant! Einstein!

The Bad: Things what did not make me smile today

  • The book I am reading has left the building. Nowhere to be seen;
  • I am incapable of writing an email in the time it takes for dinner to cook without burning;
  • Everyone's written a blimming book. Except me. Statistically, I am illiterate;
  • Small fonts. I don't like specs, ok, and until my eyes are bad enough for contacts, I'd like nice proper sized fonts.
  • I have no God any more. I don't like Strictly. I have no mind, I need guidance!

The Chutney: Things what were chutney related today

  • Possibly misleading, there was no chutney today.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


I blame Friends.
For everything.
I want to live in that world, I think I'd like to be Monica. Rachel has to end up with Ross, which is a fate worse than cheese, and Phoebe's too ditzy.

Anyway, having loved Friends obsessively for 8 years or so (took a while to catch on), life has been a crashing disappointment that it didn't turn out like that. See, they were older than me, and they were on when I was a student and had that sort of life, I even had a friend like Rachel, a friend like Monica and a friend like Phoebe (and people who were nothing like any of them, I think I was probably Janice), and we hung out for coffee and shared every waking thought together. Marvellous.

In Friends however, they were past being students. They were adults. They still lived in each others pockets and were there for each other. Sex and the City is the same thing I believe. Girls together having endless fun and being there for each other.

But in real life, people have children, jobs, commitments and time constraints, and no matter what the best intention is or how much you love someone to bits, there simply isn't space to have interwoven lives like you had when you were younger. You seem to float through and you have the same circle of friends that you always have, feeling mutually neglected, meeting up and promising not to leave it so long, and returning to email and facebook again.

Not all bad, I can post "Morag wants a hug" on facebook and almost instanteously have 15 lovely virtual hugs from friends all over the world, or as I did the other week in a less needy manner, put "Morag is turning vegetarian" and get debates and comments on the pros and cons of marinated tofu - just like that. But it's not the same really. It's all about the nice stuff, and beyond demanding hugs, you don't "talk".

"How are you?" automatically produces the response "fine", or "same as ever" even if the trueanswer is "I have spent the last week in tears, I think I'm having a nervous breakdown". Because everyone else is being shiny and happy and only presenting the happy stuff, you don't like to upset the apple cart by being miserable. Especially if the reason you're miserable is something pathetic and sounds really silly if you put it in words. So you keep it to yourself and go bonkers. Then somewhere down the line you drink way too much wine and confess that actually you're not all that fine, discover that your best friend has also been crying herself to sleep, that you are both appalled that you didn't know, that you couldn't help, that you really really really REALLY love each other and in future you will pick up the phone immediately as soon as there's something wrong. And you don't feel miserable any more because you talked about it and laughed about how silly you were being. Except you sober up, decide not to bother people and when they ask how you're doing, you say "fine"...

New friends come along, mostly when you're lonely in the same place at the same time; some of them become lifelong friends, most of them drift off again when the circumstances change, or when you lump all your annoyances at your other friends onto the new friend and they run away. I remember my hippy thought that it's nice to appreciate being even an insignificant part of someone's life for a while instead of bemoaning all the things they don't turn out to be. I forget that too often.

People are stupid. I do love all my friends and I'm pretty sure very few of them know that as I stagnate and mentally chastise them for ignoring me back. We all sit about feeling lonely, with the undialled phone by our side.

I just did a quiz in Psychologies magazine as to what I need from friendship. Apparently I need reassurance, which was hardly revelatory. Apparently it's not cool to ask for it though. Bugger.

Brum brum

oh my goodness. The real Brum is at the Cotswold Motor Museum and Toy Collection.

I must go immediately. Why didn't I know this when I lived near there? Why did noone tell me?

Love Brum. Detest the programme, but Brum really is a supercruisin' superhero.

Monday, 17 November 2008

why why why?

Sigh. Lust. Sigh. Lust.

Marcus Brigstocke was on the radio and so I nearly crashed the car due to gazing longingly at the radio. While it is marginally more normal to be in love (for "love" read "superficial lust") with someone human rather than with an inanimate object, I do have to question my judgement. Marcus Brigstocke is to other men what BMWs are to other cars and what Top Gear is to other television programmes. That, of course, refers to specific words that people use when talking about them.

And I missed it. Evil forces put Argumental on at the same time as Spooks and I don't pay enough attention to things that aren't BBC or heavily endorsed by Andrew Collins - who would at least be worthy to lust after, but of course I don't lust after him, he's too nice.

I need to straighten my hair. When my hair is straight I will think like other girls and be normal.

Dear Gateway

I would like to extend thanks to Gateway for manufacturing a laptop that has a life of approximately 14 months and for their wonderful helpline that is closed at the weekend and once open unwilling to assist in any way with the repair of their products, going as far as to say "that's the rules" and hanging up. The motherboard has died, nothing can be done and the laptop is effectively for the bin, once I've retrieved the stuff off the hard drive. Yes, cheap, but it is unacceptable to sell a product that a) comes with insufficient memory to run the operating system that is installed on the stupid thing, b) that completely dies just out of warranty (trading standards would expect the lifetime of a computer to exceed 14 months) and c) having technical support that is not open over the weekend despite saying so on the label on the stupid product and that are sufficiently rude to say "too bad" and hang up. I HATE being hung up on. I know that it's the motherboard, how does the guy on the end of the phone know that I'm not an idiot making wild guesses and that I have everything connected correctly? Should he not have asked some questions? Should he not have apologised? Should he not have said goodbye?

Just to be a little churlish I would like to say that Gateway laptops are extremely rubbish, that I am very unhappy with Gateway laptops, that I will never again buy a Gateway laptop or indeed any other computer product by Gateway that may or may not include laptops, and that anyone thinking about buying a Gateway laptop should think very carefully and probably find that a different laptop that isn't a Gateway laptop would be a better choice than getting a laptop from Gateway.

Oh, and for the record, there's little operator error can do to break a motherboard. Especially when the operator's me. Huh, huh, strop, huff, etc.

Further irritation today: even godlike people can annoy. I may be a child (although I'm sure 33 makes me a grown up) but that doesn't mean I'm oblivious to things that happened before I was old enough. Struggle. Huh. I'm only going to communicate with people under 25 today.

Someday I may unleash the stuff that's in my head about Led Zeppelin tributes (called The Levee Breakers incidentally), the need to move 255 miles south, and scuzzy hotels, but for now pensiveness beats cursiveness and I shall daydream my day away.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Thank you

Well, I don't really know what to say, other than to thank those of you that were kind enough to vote in the most important poll of the year (official Best of 2008(c) statistic). It looked as if a left turn was inevitable but at the last minute a dramatic swing saw the closing result being that I am in fact normal. I didn't expect this at all and as such haven't prepared fully. A tear has formed in the corner of my eye at the sheer votingness of it all.

I can't begin to thank everyone for their involvement in it all but I feel I have to extend thanks to myself for compiling the poll, to me for existing in the first place and especially to the inimitable me for having the sense to buy such a marvellous phone in the first place.

You are all cordially invited to the virtual post poll party. As a virtual party, it can be wherever you like with whoever you like, at any time you like, and you can pretty much do what you want there as long as you have a cracking good time. My own version will have a vague superhero theme so all the men have to dress as Batman and/or wear a tux; we shall drink copious amounts of appelwein and champagne, then make complete tits out of ourselves while dancing voraciously to 80s hits.

For the record: reality has a cold and has the day off.

Stoopid just stoopid

Stupid PVR: DID NOT RECORD Buzzcocks. The cheek of it! And as if to taunt me I get an email TALKING ABOUT IT, well, mentioning it. Go away Except... come back!

Stupid gmail: is being retarded and making me look stupid. How can my sender address be wrong? Why does it send half finished emails?

Stupid computer: is threatening to die, it doesn't like being woken up and sometimes just doesn't. It had a windows update earlier, oh thanks for that, it's broken it.

Stupid cold: has made husband like bear with sore head all week, has given me snot projecting tearful children to look after and judging by the sore throat and running nose that started 8 seconds ago, has arrived with me nicely in time for the weekend. I am actually doing something this weekend, stupid horrid virus that it is. I need to do work, I need a functioning head. I don't have time or energy reserves to be ill.

Stupid modem: keeps needing a technical tap. Guess we got a new IP address then.

Stupid day: Thursday the 13th, not even Friday. It is my uneducated opinion that Thursday the 13th is in fact the unlucky day, this is not the first time it's happened. I can't quite remember what the happenings were before, but there was at least one happening and that's probably quite enough to form a superstition round.

Stupid people: it's all someone's fault. You'll do. Apologise immediately.

Thursday, 13 November 2008


So the chiddlers are stuffed with the cold and sorrowfully sniffing at the television, all Tixylixed and ready to nap. Hurrah thinks I, time to do some of my work.

Think. Think. Empty cavern of head. 9 hours till my brain wakes up.

So I thought I'd do some questions - I like answering questions due to being entirely self obsessed. The slightly interesting meme I have already done, if deleted, so I'm left with bog standard ones. Here goes:

Stolen from here:
1. What's for breakfast?
Toast usually.
2. Do you read a newspaper daily?
I get the Scotsman email. I sometimes read it.
3. What do you do when you can't sleep?
Annoy people, rant, fret, type, fret some more, annoy people further by fretting at them.
4. Say a word that sums up your mood.
5. Do you remember your dreams?
I remember the ones that freak me out.
6. Name something from your dream last night.
I don't remember no dream last night.
7. Name a food that describes you.
Umm. I have no idea. I don't feel very foodlike. I think I would like to be a jalapeno pepper.
8. Today you are wearing:
Clothes. And a pair of unmatched socks.
9. What's in your pockets?
My precious. Nothing else in case it hurts my precious.
10. Did you sing in the shower today?
I don't sing in the shower. I sing when I'm cooking.
11. What's the last song you heard?
Imagine by John Lennon. That's good if you haven't heard it for ages and forget just how many times you've heard it.
12. Looking forward to the holidays?
13. Where do you want to be this instant?
Right now I would like to be seated on a train (a Virgin Pendolino, specifically, in seat A37 with noone next to me), watching the raindrops running down the window as the countryside whizzes past and listening to toons. I don't really mind where I'm headed on this train, I might just get there and come home again.
14. What's for lunch?
It was a Brie and cranberry baguette.
15. What's something you would like to do soon?
16. Reading anything now? What is it?
I am reading everything now, I can't even remember what the last one was. Ask Andrew Collins what he's reading.
17. What's for dinner?
An attempt to recreate a thing with lentils. I've never cooked lentils before other than in soup.
18. A favourite part of the day is:
First thing in the morning: despite my reluctance to be awake, being woken by two gorgeous little boys always makes me smile.
19. Are you happy?
I love what I have but I wish I knew what I wanted.
20. Will your friends do this meme?
No. I can't think of an effective bribe to make them.

The penny drops

I just realised where the vegetarianism came from. Why is this happening to me? I'm not normally influenced by other people. I don't change things because of other people. I used to like meat.

I am a sad, sad groupie git.

I need my own mind back. Give it to me now.

More words

Try this, it's hard and it shouldn't be. I got 43 and the ones I missed are so damned obvious. Obviously.

I like words, I like finding the right one, discovering new ones, and I like words that just fit, or that sound good. I like breaking words down into components and trying to work out why that word means what it does. Reading something where the author doesn't just use the same old boring words and uses unusual words, or mixes up words cleverly, always impresses me. I mix my prefixes and suffixes wildly, which probably makes me look like an illiterate fool, but I do protest that I know the right words, I just sometimes prefer the wrong one.

"I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way" Mark Twain

Favourite words:

Scamp/scamper. A scamp is exactly that, a scamp. There isn't any better way to describe it, it suggests you are naughty but in a very nice and slightly indulgent way. And to scamper exactly describes what is being done; if you are scampering, you are not running or crawling or skipping or sliding or anything else, you are scampering.

Kursk. If you are Scottish and you say this, it sounds exactly Russian. English newsreaders that say "Kehsk" should be hung, drawn and quartered.

Catholic. Just because the Catholic church couldn't be less catholic if it tried. Perfect irony.

Pfeffernusse. All German and pfeffernussey.

Champignon. This just sounds nice, but using it as my name has dwindled its appeal a little.

Actually, most of the French language is pretty, "Pour bonne sante, ne fumer pas" is infinitely nicer than "Smoking kills". We should call potatoes "apples of the earth" as well, it's sort of poetic.

Oh apples of the earth, I enboil you.

Procrastination: this is me (not) writing about Transport Policy. Tomorrow I shall mostly be writing about Transport Policy.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008



synaptic snaps

Richard Herring is on Buzzcocks tomorrow. Richard Herring. Buzzcocks. Marvellous.

People are cruel. It is a source of constant amazement how far people are prepared to go in order to get a laugh or shift blame from themselves. Emotional blackmail is contemptible, it's manipulative and also carries the underlying sentiment that the recipient doesn't care, while trying to force them to. Parody needs to stop short of actual nastiness. People would do well just to appreciate each other once in a while.

Go be nice to someone just for the sake of it. And remember Buzzcocks tomorrow.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Iron Man

This evening I watched Iron Man.

I am assured that it wasn't very good, but the person saying this was upset by the similarities to Robocop.

I loved it. For mostly extremely shallow reasons (swoosh, swoosh) and the whole superhero thing, and he was pretty much Batman. Superheroes are always marvellous (excuse any unintentional pun there) but Iron Man, like Batman, is just a man. No mutations, just a clever mind and a good suit.

That's Lego Ironman, by the way. Lego rules, when other people make massive models out of it. I like it a lot less when I stand on it.

Robert Downey Jr was good as Ironman. I tend to like him in things and I'm sure it's not just because he is very aesthetic, or because he was Larry in Ally McBeal. I liked his banter with his computer and robots and he did swoosh very swooshily*.

Gwyneth wasn't great nor terrible, she is usually in girlie things that I like but have to watch on my own. I don't think I've seen a film that she's been in that I didn't really like, even though I wouldn't say she's ever astounding herself. Nicole Kidman is the opposite, I have hated every film she's been in (I nearly did die for To Die For, from sheer boredom) apart from The Others, which was good. Eyes Wide Shut. Plink plink plink plink plink plink shut up. Ugh.

(I haven't seen a lot of films, all three mentioned have done plenty I've slept through or generally missed)

*for purposes of explanation, swooshiness refers to a combination of mean moodiness, manliness and either flight, cloak wearing or general stealth. Lack of flying or cloak can be made up for by being extra mean and moody. Swooshy men are always fit.
Best examples: Batman, Darth Vader, Wolverine

Kittens, cupcakes and Grazia; I am just a girl.

I do like to be beside the seaside

West Wemyss, Fife

An expedition to the park ended up being a walk along the beach a little up the coast due to the fact that a good song on the radio meant driving right past the park.

Approaching sunset meant a turn down to the prettiest place to view the sun.

Unfortunately, the iPhone's woeful camera didn't capture the moment.

Easily amused.

Driving home, another diversion to another harbour to photograph the sunset was spoiled when the sunset was revealed to be less than spectacular with the removal of sunglasses.

From Dysart Harbour

There are two ways to live your life - one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.

Albert Einstein

Monday, 10 November 2008

Better than the rest

Due to popular demand, the need for a somewhat premature, and decidedly inexpert, "best of 2008" has arrived.

A number of things may be ancient, but I just found them so therefore they qualify as new in my world. They're not in order either, ordering requires way too much pressure and editing. Chances of there being 10 are slim also so random numbers of top stuff.

TV stuff:

1) The Wire
It's great, really well done and addictive. 5 series, all finished. All available from that nice "shop".

2) Top Gear.
See below.

3) Mock the Week
Always funny even if contrived and some secret badness for guests that everyone hints about and noone ever actually reveals.

4) Never Mind the Buzzcocks.
I'm getting boring now.

5) 24
Always watchable even if 2 years behind. Disclaimer: if the last two series have been cack, I haven't seen them.

6) Maestro
Very surprising, only watched because recommended by guru, and really very good.

7) Spooks
Going decidedly off, but still watchable.

8) Britain from Above
Really interesting, but way too few episodes.

9) Ugly Betty
Shouldn't be good, but is.

Books that managed to keep my attention all the way to the end:

1) The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde.
The sequel to "The Big Over Easy", these are from the Nursery Crime Division which I like better of his two series. Most people prefer the Thursday Next books, of which "The Eyre Affair" is the first, but that could be because they're a bit distinctive and came first. I read "The Big Over Easy" before any Thursday Next so developed a fondness for THAT style. All the books are marvellous, the preference could also be because of small brains knowing nursery rhymes and fairy stories better than great literature.

2) The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid
This is great, as previously detailed, as are the subsequent Tony Hill/Carol Jordan books. Gory, but gripping.

3) Corned Beef Sandwich by Mark Sullivan
Without meaning to be sycophantic, this is really, really good, if indescribable. Read it. Even if you wrote it.

4) Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella
Mindless, feel good chick lit stuff that completely used the novel I used to think I had inside of me, and did it ever so much better than I ever would have.

5) Public Transport by Peter White
Erm, this one's probably just me.

Uh. That's it for books. I've started a lot of cack and read a lot of brainless things I wouldn't recommend.

Best new foods discovered since going off everything:

1) Get Real Organic Ambletown Roast - best microwaved which makes me love it a little bit more

2) Cauliflower Korma (made by me)

3) Quorn Mousakka (made by me)

4) Cauldron Falafel (not a new discovery but required re-celebrating)

5) Quorn bacon style pieces - previously dismissed as plasticine, now discovered to be tasty

6) Asda chilli spiced seeds with almonds.

All round generally great people:

1) Andrew Collins. Gotta keep the surprise element in

2) Mark Watson

3) Jamie Oliver

4) Alex Salmond, the best thing ever to happen to Scotland

Best things to completely waste time on:

1) Nintendo DS.
Mario. Mariokart. Brain Training. Lego Batman. Trauma Center. Other games. More Mario.

2) Nintendo Wii
Mariokart. Wii sports. Mariokart. Wii Fit. Mariokart. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games. Mariokart. Wii Play. Mariokart.

3) Apple iPhone. Splendid way to waste time researching, buying, playing with, playing with some more, and playing a bit more. Also useful for phonecalls.

4) Blogs. Reading, writing, stalking.

5) Email, instant messaging, text messaging, social networking and various other antisocial ways to socialise.

And there you have the most repetitive blog entry I have ever written. I think there may be one or two things I've not banged on about to death, but hey, lists are good.

Top Gear

Top Gear shouldn't be good. It's all about cars; bad bad evil cars, polluting the environment, encouraging laziness etc etc, and it's presented by Jeremy Clarkson, who is also bad, evil, environment polluting and encouraging of laziness.

But it is one of the most watchable programmes on TV.

Cars are exciting, there's no denying that. No, there isn't.

Environmental issues aside, cars go fast, they have lots of gadgets, they are fun to drive and people will continue to drive them and lust after bigger, better, faster. It's not to deny that the car causes immense problems, but it does acknowledge that they are loved. And as long as there are people who want to drive their cars, so there will be people who try to make it possible without destroying the planet.

Clarkson is incredibly funny, incredibly good at presenting, with something witty to say about most things and if you see beneath the parody, he's an intelligent bloke that does care about things. And in case of sounding heightist (6'5!!), Richard Hammond is also rather wonderful (and isn't actually all that short, just short compared to Jeremy). James May is also ace, the banter between the three of them is cheering to watch, especially having seen the emotions immediately after Hammond's jet crash.

Sunday evenings can always bring a smile, if only for the dream of cruising in a seriously good car, but more often than not there's genuine belly laughs.

No illusion shattering please, the warm glow of enjoying watching something good remains and any removal with facts will result in extreme displeasure.

Website here.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

The Hat Thing

I like hats. For two reasons: I hate that weirdy feeling when the top of your head gets cold, which is a new thing that I've only had the last couple of years, and because even grumpypants agrees on the increased cuteness of me + hat. Except the previously much loved one that I was put off when it was pointed out to me that I looked like Slash.

Anyway, I had a most lovely hat that I got a couple of years ago and it was done, so I done buyed a new one. It looks pretty much like this:
which isn't nearly as lovely as the old one, but needs and budgets must.

So, looks fine, keeps head warm, feel relatively cute, dressed like all the folk in the shops and magazines so not particularly bag lady like, all very good... but why are people giving me funny looks? Could it be because I am the only person in the whole of Fife wearing a hat that isn't bald and in a beanie? Did the shops lie? Have they only got them in stock to laugh at stupid people? It's not exactly outlandish, you think they'd have been more constructive and duped clueless housewives into wearing cerise tartan cullottes or something.

I'm still going to wear it though.



Why does it always rain on fireworks?
Is it because they lied when they were 17?

Why would the ratings of Buzzcocks be going down? It's fantastic even without the magnificence of St Bill. I love Simon Amstell, he's both adorable and incredibly good at inoffensively taking the complete piss out of people. He nearly made Danny Dyer cry, which is something I would pay good money to see. As is the sight of Jack Dee doing a very David Brent-esque dance thing for the intros round. I forget which episode was on when, I think I'm up to date, live TV eludes me, but sometime recently they also had the very lovely Chris Addison on. I'm guessing by the fact that it's on in the Thursday 9pm slot that it's not for the axe but I have palpitations at the thought of no more Buzzcocks.

Why does my hair look like it sparkles when my 41 year old brother and 68 year old mother aren't going grey? Why do people think it's ok to say it looks like highlights? Why would I get white highlights on almost black hair? Why do I care? Why do I spend vast amounts of time and effort (and a small amount of money as I'm too tight to get the hairdresser to do it properly - it costs me enough for a cut never mind anything posh) making it look not quite like it did when I was 17? Does that make it rain on fireworks?

Why am I awake?

Why do birds suddenly appear, every time you are near? You too can have the hits of the Carpenters on repeat in your head. I'm on the top of the world looking down on creation and I guess I've always known I'd say goodbye to love. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. God, even my subconscious has terrible taste in music, I've got Magic fm on the brain. There must be a treatment for that?

Why are all the first lines of Shakespeare the well known ones? What's wrong with the second and subsequent lines?

"If music be the food of love play on"

"In sooth, I know not why I am so sad"

Other ones, including the vastly overquoted: "Who's there", that I remembered earlier but don't now, possibly because of the time.

I hated Shakespeare at school, and I've recently discovered that he was a genius rather than a bore. I love the fact that if he didn't have a word that fitted, he made one up. His knowledge was pretty astounding for the time; even if inaccurate, to know of the existence of all the things he wrote about was damned impressive.

Why the over analysis though? People do it to lyrics too. Any time I've written a song/poem, which has only ever been done as parody but are *obviously* of equal standard, the words chosen are the ones that fit the rhythm and that have the right sound. I remember Fran from Travis saying that the line "pillars into butter" started off as "caterpillars into butterflies" but it didn't fit, so they chopped it. Yet there's been loads of speculation as to the meaning behind pillars and butter. There is none. Michael Stipe said something similar about taking random words out to make them fit. And Brandon Flowers said on the dancer thing that it was about Hunter S Thompson's comment about a nation of dancers, which he liked and used, but he didn't really think about what it meant, he just liked it. It fitted the song. That's what lyrics do. Yeah, there's usually a meaning to the song, but the stuff that doesn't make sense isn't usually deep and meaningful, it just fits.

Oh, that was going to be a moan about Saturday nights and being old and stuff, but I remembered I'm actually going out next Saturday. As I've failed to make it to Manchester in far too long, the residents of Manchester (not all of them) are obligingly coming up to go out in Glasgow which is positively marvellous.

I have 14 minutes remaining. I think I'd better stop writing.


Saturday, 8 November 2008

Notes from a small neuron

It's a kitten. Love me.

After much delay, caused by inefficient websites, not being in America and general mistrust by me, I managed to get ereader on my phone, and free ebooks to read. Limited selection till I find a new version of drop-a-book and nab some text files from Project Guttenberg, but I do now have Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde, Little Women, Oliver Twist and most importantly The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which I haven't read in, ouch, too many years (25?) and feel I want to read now given the sheer greatness of the author. Also, my brain is much smaller than it used to be and I think children's books are probably just about perfect for gentle reading. A nice little collection of childhood memories there, I'm on a big trip down memory lane today for some reason.

Huge tangent: why a trip down memory lane?

The wonder that is Facebook is causing me to undo the years of damage that my appalling skills of keeping in touch have ravaged upon my friendships. Facebook is strange, it's not like the other social networking sites. I had a mini-cull a few weeks ago and deleted all the "unreal" people that I don't actually know (probably after some hissy fit) and I'm completely unsearchable, so it's relatively "safe". Anyway, I have as my friends on there, my family, my closest friends, my internet only friends, my more distant relatives and increasingly, the friends I had lost altogether. Pretty much everyone I know apart from the ones that don't "do" Facebook. You see who's friends with who, and spot a familiar name and then off you go. Today I was accepted by a girl who was my closest friend when we were about 13. I haven't seen her since we were about 15 and she moved to Australia, and we haven't spoken in just about as long, just because we haven't. It got me to thinking how very strange it is how you can see someone every day and know everything about them, and then end up leading entirely different lives just like that. That can be poised on a precipice of depressing thoughts about how much more interesting everyone else's lives ended up, and I'm still here stagnating in the same stupid town, but I'm not going there. Still on Facebook, I did a couple of the inane quizzes about 70s/80s things. These are infuriating as they are compiled by the sort of person that compiles a quiz on Facebook, I think anyone can, so you get questions wrong that you know are right, just because the compiler was a moron.

He-man, Marathons, Top Deck... Do I remember who this was? Uh, yeah.

My first crush. I have about twenty minutes worth of memories of being at nursery and most of those are about the day the Green Cross Code Man came in to give us a talk on safety. I think it may have even been David Prowse himself which makes me feel quite giddy thinking about it. This may have been where my heightism came from: he's 6'7. Uh oh, giddy again. If only one of my nieces was here to say "my giddy aunt", it would be ever so apt.

(I believe he was also in some film or other that was quite well known but he's the Green Cross Code Man to me. Ok?)

Back on track: on the first page of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain says "Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot".

I actually love him. In a way. For a person that's been dead for nearly 100 years and entirely based on what he wrote. But still love.

I'm taking him/my phone to bed now. My cup overfloweth.

Friday, 7 November 2008

News headlines

Shocking result: Fifers in Glenrothes vote Labour in by-election.
This is the first time that anyone in Fife has voted Labour since the last time they voted.
Local voter Chavlene McTavish commented "Aye, ah've ayeways voted Labour, ma dad voted Labour an' ma man votes Labour. Wha' wiz this wan fir anyway?"

Proof that mocking the weather does not pay
Revealing the intention of the Cayman Islands weather to retire soon has resulted in a backlash from neighbouring weathers.

Children do not need bringing up
Recent evidence suggests that it is sufficient just to watch and they'll bring themselves up. Test twins are today potty training themselves. They were asked to comment and noted that the block was blue.

Official site of influential new organisation
The DDD are to establish themselves with online headquarters sometime. The location of this will be exclusively revealed on this blog shortly after that time, anticipated to be in the future, near or far, one or the other.

Bacon style quorn is nicer than bacon
Extensive testing at the Breakfast Institute resulted in this amazing discovery in the late hours of this morning. Other members of the Insitute are mutinizing at what they consider blasphemy.

Typing sloppiness now undetectable
The iPhone continues to be the greatest thing since sliced cauliflower: it allows you type wild typos and miss out all apostrophes, and it autocorrects unless you (easily) tell it not to. After years of frustration, finally something that realises if someone types "tonorrow" they probably meant "tomorrow", and if they type "didnt" they obviously want the apostrophe in. The pedant often referred to as the Grammar Nazi (not affiliated in any way with any other Nazis) is immensely pleased by this.

Thursday, 6 November 2008


This picture was taken with the phone. Terrible quality, as expected, but the light is perfect. I also took the same photo with a "proper" camera and it corrected way too much and the light didn't look like that. Specifically, it lost the green glow that was the purpose of taking the picture.


Demolishing disrespect

The newly formed DDD (Damsels Distressed by Disrespection) undertake to correct the wrongs of the world by punishing those who disrespect that what is considered to be important, known hereafter as disrespection.

The initial mission to be accomplished is as follows:

Restoration of the correct treatment of the weather. This is in response to a statement issued earlier today by the British Weather:

"It is a very rare day indeed when I am not present and in recent times I have been trying to be more interesting in order to garner respect back from the British public. Not content with moaning about me regardless of what I do, no longer are weather forecasts sombre affairs with my intended behaviour being mapped out in all seriousness. I do not have the capability to provide constant heat and sunshine, nor can I snow on command just because it's Christmas.

If I am not to be treated with the respect I am surely entitled to, I will be forced to relocate to the Cayman Islands, resulting in no weather in Britain whatsoever and a British climate in the Cayman Islands, where the weather there is due to retire sooner than expected as a result of having additional hurricanes sent from overzealous weathers elsewhere."

DDD have the go ahead to introduce the following initial measures to ensure disrespection is stamped out:

1) Jolly and maverick weather forecasters will be struck by artificial lightning on set and their charred corpses lifted aside to make room for one of our many Fishbots to read the weather in a suitably serious manner.

2) Complaints about the weather are no longer tolerated unless there is adequate grounds for complaint. Adequate grounds are only when plans are irrevocably damaged by unpredictable changes in the weather, or if hospitalisation results directly because of the weather.

3) Umbrellas will be outlawed, people must learn that getting wet is not a disaster and umbrellas should all be handed in to the nearest police station or DDD office by the deadline of tomorrow.

4) Puddle jumping will be compulsory and will be an event at the 2012 Olympics.

Failure to comply will result in the following penalties:
  • Umbrella usage carries a maximum fine of £23,852.43.
  • Failure to jump in available puddles will result in an on the spot fine of one arm and one leg.
  • Unfounded complaints about the weather will now be considered treason and offenders will always be hanged.
DDD hope to shortly form an allegiance with DDDDD (Dashing Dudes Discombobulated by Distressed Damsels) and to count on their full support.

Once the Weather Disrespection Revolution is successfully underway, the second mission will be to counter disrespection by mobile phone users.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Sensory overload!

Exciting things! Hyperbole, hyperbole!

>NB Still in a funk. A fizzy funk. Sort of like Cava.<

Exciting thing uno:

Fireworks. They're always exciting. Except, as always, the first half was seen from the car as no parking space or progression towards site of fireworks was forthcoming. But lights! Bangs! Whees! Damp squibs still working! Squibs may well not actually have been used!

Exciting thing zwei:

The phone. It's lufferly. It's great. I can work it now. It has a thing that "listens" to music and tells you what it is. This is probably the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me. I squealed at it. I'm really not a squealy sort of person. It was that exciting. It works anywhere, I have tested it extensively. The phone does other stuff too, like receive phonecalls, of which I got two dodgy ones today and which I have to raise (stroppily) with Carphone Warehouse tomorrow. One was asking for various bits of information including my bank details, which I wasn't happy about, and I got hung up on when I asked them to tell me what information they had and I'd confirm it, got told that it was against Data Protection, and said that it was ok, they'd established I was me and I authorised them to give me any information I wanted.

I have little tolerance for people that phone me up. I have "Idiot", "New idiot" and Idiot 3" programmed into my landline phone, these are persistent wrong number callers and it's useful to see on Caller Display. I have not yet had the cheek to answer the phone with "you have called the wrong number" but one day I might. They're all of the "who's THAT?" type of callers, the ones that get irritated at you for not being the person they meant to call.

Who's that?
It's me.
Where's Gemma?
I'm sorry, you've called the wrong number.
*hangs up*

space of about 3 seconds

Is that you Gemma?
No, you've got the wrong number again.
*hangs up*

another 3 seconds

*hangs up*

I have a variety of responses for cold callers, depending on the mood I'm in. They amuse me.

But I digress, as often happens when over excited; back to the lufferly phone. It's ever so nice. It does everything I would ever want it to do. Except bluetooth: my old phone and new phone simply won't see each other. I even pointlessly put them face to face and waved them at each other and still, they can't find one another. Silly phones. I may try a formal introduction tomorrow, but no matter how I dress it up, the Samsung knows it's being cast aside for one more aesthetic/generally useful and I suspect this lies at the bottom of its reluctance to bond.

I can access the internet anywhere. I will never get anything done ever again. Woop.

Reviewing: not my strong point.

Exciting thing trois:

Whoever knew how interesting the stock market could be! I suddenly follow what they're on about and find it fascinating. I think this officially makes me grown up even if I do still like making monster leavey feet by scuffing through piles of leaves.

Exciting thing tessera:

Cauliflower! It is exciting! Cauliflower is generally great. And today I received a cookery book that has lots and lots of things to do with cauliflower, and other foods-that-probably-should-be-knighted such as chick peas, mushrooms and courgettes. My mother is resigned to the fact that I'm off meat, she is being as weird as if I've announced I'm leaving my family and going to live in a commune in Tibet. But still, the cookbook was a nice gesture.

There have been two reactions from (most) people to my sudden abandonment of carnivorism. The carnivores take it personally, think it's a phase, and generally shudder at the thought that it might be catching. The vegetarians are victorious and rejoice at my sense prevailing, they have won me over to their cause.

Actually, I'm just off meat. I may go on meat (once I've stopped rejoicing over recipes with cauliflower, mushrooms and chick peas) again, I have no idea. The only thing that's changed is that I finally understand what people are on about, apart from the pescetarians. I will never understand them...

I have sat in a restaurant and watched people eat my pets. Not actually my pets, but you know what I mean. That's not cruel? You eat their EYES.

Why this is exciting: I haven't enjoyed cooking this much in ages. Why am I mentioning fish? Because I am operating at 16x normal speed. These things fall out of my consciousness. No undying love for anyone, I'm doing well.

I should probably sleep now. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I may bounce instead.

A long way to go

Yes, the fact that the American electorate were unprejudiced enough to ensure the best candidate won is marvellous, it is an enormous step in the direction of eradicating prejudice and it should be heralded.


Obama has not played the race card and he continues to make intelligent comment about race. Yet everyone who is celebrating his victory is celebrating his colour, the fact that an African American [sic] is to be the next President. He did not win because of his colour. He won because he is intelligent and a sublime orator, and because his policies are sound . That is what is important.

It is impossible to keep count of the number of times it has been said today: "when is Britain going to follow suit and have a black PM?" or words to that effect. (Jeremy Vine said it again and again until I threw my radio into the Forth in disgust).

What? Excuse me? Does that not COMPLETELY miss the point?

In order to be without prejudice, the colour of someone's skin, along with their gender, sexual orientation, age, disability and religious (or other) beliefs should not be relevant. People should be judged solely on their suitability for whatever in question and none of those things affect suitability unless an individual is genuinely unable to meet the requirements because of it.

Seeking to appoint someone for a position purely because of something that is entirely irrelevant to whether they are appropriate is still prejudiced. It is wrong to make it an issue, positive discrimination is still discrimination. There are many racists still about and it would be wrong to deny that, or to deny the appalling attitudes that still exist or the terrifying treatment of some people, but the way the media are carrying on today is simply continuing to make a song and dance and provide fodder for the bigots. Continuing to make an issue, continuing to highlight an imaginary difference. We have to learn that there is no difference. We all have to learn that and if we can't, we will never be without racism.


A personal note: I am aware that I am incredibly bad at expressing myself and I am also aware that all of what I just wrote is likely to be taken as naive or worse.

I am writing this here so as not to embarrass myself on someone else's space, and because I can't see that look people get in their eyes whenever I try to talk about something that matters.

Tales of a day

Yesterday a decision was made, a phone was bought. The phone was promptly taken to see Quantum of Solace as there was No Way it was being left in the car. Nuh uh. It quite enjoyed the film, I think, but it did have to be reassured that Sony Ericsson phones don't actually do all that, nor that they are quite as universally used as indicated.

The film: I thought Daniel Craig was magnificent, I thought Judi Dench delivered some cracking lines, but overall... I fell asleep (with bag firmly clamped between ankles). Which is usually an indicator that a film is brilliant, I have slept through some of the best films there are (but not usually at the cinema, the last one was LOTR so it doesn't always mean good). Being permanently overtired and unable to sleep at the designated time means having days where sleep is uneludable and anything involving sitting down for prolonged periods should probably be avoided. Especially mid afternoon. I think it was a good film, but I missed a vital part in the middle so the rest didn't make sense and was a bit mingled in with half dreams so was all mightily confusing.

How's that for a review? There's probably been a few others written, there probably isn't a huge reliance on this one.

Yesterday was nice, having an anniversary meant playing hookie to being parents all afternoon and being allowed for lunch out, shopping for phones and a trip to the cinema. Most exciting.

Today, the Western world is a better place and the fireworks are imminent.
Today, a phone is outwitting its new owner. Excessive spankage will undoubtedly follow, it's still immensely great, but I don't think it likes its owner much.

Today, a funk. I seem to be very good at making people unhappy and that's not what I mean to do at all. Sorry if I made you unhappy, whoever you may be, it's always possible.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


Today I am 8 years married and £100 poorer. Can't vote, not American.

This blog is just because I can :-)

Stories tomorrow...

Monday, 3 November 2008


Confused part 3: Spirituality

In the light of incurable confusion and the inability to decide or decipher, the time has come to travel backwards to 1996 and to the wonder that is JiM.

“Suffer the little children to wear party hats and eat jelly.”
On their birthdays anyway.

You must separate your head from your heart. JiM loves all your heart. He likes a bit of head too.

If you gotta go, go now. JiM says:
“There's no point in bottling it all up.”

When you enter JiM's house, leave your preconceptions at the door. But don't buy a new CD and then leave it down the pub. That's just stupid.

JiM says:
“There is nothing on the telly.”

If you choose to be a spectator at the match of life, it'll probably end up being a nil-all draw. If you choose to stay at home instead, you'll probably miss a blinder of a game.

If we follow JiM, we are going on a long journey. Does anyone want to go to the toilet before we set off?

JiM says:
“All we need is love. But if you've got royalties to a song like “All you need is love” to fall back on, that's pretty handy too.”

As concerns honouring thy mother and thy father, JiM says:
“That's ok in theory. But it depends on what type of folks you have.”

“Try and act nice, because maybe they'll lend you money. Never forget that parents charge less interest than most high street banks”

Watch the commercials. Some of them are better than the programmes.

Walk on the sunny side of the street. It doesn't do any harm to top up your tan.

JiM says: be at peace with yourself. And be lucky, my son.

JiM says:
“You must listen to the loony on the bus. Remember everything that the loony says. Then tell your friends and you'll have a good laugh about it later.”

JiM says:
“What is it about leisure centres anyway?”
People playing badminton in tracksuits tend to depress him.

Know where you are coming from. Then you've got a fair chance of finding your way back there. (Always remember that late-night taxi drivers are the sons of the anti-JiM)

If you are refused admission to any place, just remember there is always a place for you on the left hand side of JiM. Form an orderly queue though.

Remember that the sun is still shining on even the cloudiest days. But if it's really nasty out, why not stay in and watch a film. 'Groundhog Day' is one of JiM's favourites.

JiM stands for Jim in Me. And the second JiM stands for that as well, ad infinitum.

Some people are looking through the keyhole of life. Some people are inside the bedroom. Which person would you rather be?

JiM commands us all: “Let us spray”

When JiM sat down at the piano, everybody laughed. They're still laughing now.

Copyright The Limonian Trust 1996.

JiM, I salute you. You, on the other hand, are confusing the hell out of me.


Confused part 2: email

Disclaimer: this does not refer to anyone specific or any emails received or sent, I'm having a ponder.

Email has the most extraordinary capacity to confuse. (As does postal mail, but who gets that any more? Not I , said she, lyingly) Amazon just recommended a DVD that is now unavailable. How incredibly useful. Plough through the tedious "buy your Christmas presents from us! It's so great!" and then see what's left. Not a lot usually, but it's terribly nicely organised with filters and labels and all.

The ignored are still ignoring back (better go to facebook and send some plants), the unignored strangely feeling ignored and the lost remain lost.

I don't understand the etiquette of email. For one, when you do a semi-formal email, it looks really silly if you use "Dear Sir" and "yours faithfully" but if you don't, then is that not rude? Is it rude to do formal things by email at all? But things like job applications are often asked for by email, so it is necessary. Most people seem to do "Hi NAME" and sign off with "regards", but you can guarantee if you choose "regards" you'll get a reply that says "kind regards" and you immediately feel bad for not being kind.

And what about the reply bit, it gets a bit silly when you are thanking someone for thanking you for thanking them for thanking you for thanking them for doing something good/nice/useful, but at what point is it ok to not say "thank you for replying to my email"? I'm sure we didn't used to do that with letters, I definitely don't remember doing "thank you for your thank you card" cards.

Noone seems to feel happy with the number of emails they receive from someone. The person I email most seems to feel neglected half the time, yet all the people I don't speak to much feel much more rightly neglected, while I feel if they wanted to, they could get in touch too. And the poor people I neglect to neglect are probably sick of seeing my name in their inbox. There should be some sort of mechanism for knowing who wants to hear from you, but then again, that would probably be EXTREMELY embarrassing.

Oh, if only we all wrote letters like we used to. Once a year, same people, same words. Easy.