Well, it looks orange in this picture, but yeah. I was on my way to bed, looked out the window and whazz, it’s been snowing. Just a little, but the ground’s all white. And now let us have a moment of silence for spell check.
I was reading a thing about blogging there, and it says that bloggers will rarely read more than 400 words of an entry. Anyone writing longer entries that this will bore their readers. Fucking hell, you lot must be well bored of me then.
Anyway, it’s the shortest day of the year today, so I’d better make this quick. Boom-boom, thank you, I’m here all week.
Actually I’m not; this might be my last post for a bit. I’ve been working hard this week on my pre-Christmas plumpening (hounding into as many chocolates as possible from the vast amounts circulating at work), and I plan to be a good stone or so heavier by the time January rolls around. This will allow me to feel the self-loathing necessary to force me back to the gym to lose my well-earned December gut. And thanks, I know that’s self-destructive behaviour. I plan to stop living like this any year now.
I’m looking forward to the Christmas break. My heart hasn’t been in the blog for a while, and it’s come across in the posts, I think. I hate the idea of writing shite just for the sake of it; I’d rather wait until I had something worth saying.
But if you waited for that, you’d never get anything written! you say. Yeah, good one. It’s not to say I won’t be posting over Christmas, just that it’s likely I’ll be fairly sporadic. I still have a couple of the top five scary moments to write about, so that’s something, at least. And my family’s coming over tomorrow (for one night only, a mini pre-Christmas Christmas) and my best mate and his lady are coming over for new year’s eve, so I’m sure there’ll be one or two incidents worth documenting.
For the most part, I’ll be reacquainting myself with the PS2, playing with the kids, having sex, and eating enough to kill a horse. It’s going to be fucking brilliant.
Anyway, have a good Christmas, fellow bloggers. Do everything to excess.
A hasty post-script: I’m loathe to do this, but it’s too good not to share. If you’ve never tried that voluptuous filthbag Nigella Lawson’s recipe for ham cooked in Coca-cola, I urge you to do so. Had this for the first time last year and it is absolutely delicious.
Dang, there goes my “no memes or recipes on this blog” rule. Okay, definitely no memes.
Just had a Christmas card through the letterbox. It was a small one, only about three inches by three, more of a gift tag than a card. Inside it said
Hope you have a
Merry rubbish Christmas.
Aw ay us*.
What sort of horrible vindictive cunt goes to the bother of doing something like that? The bastards have me in bad form and Linzi close to tears.
Fucking pathetic cunts. I wish I’d caught them.
*Scots dialect, “all of us”.
If you work, you’ll probably know how seriously modern businesses have to take Health and Safety regulations. Of course, this means that we, the employees, must take every opportunity possible to rip the piss out of the ridiculously elaborate and bureaucratic health and safety measures they have in place.
For example, we’re walking across the office and someone’s chair is pushed slightly out from their desk. This represents no danger to anyone except the truly inept and irrevocably clumsy, and they deserve to die in agony anyway. Well, except you Steph. I love you and would never wish you harm, heh. Anyway, seeing such a dangerous accident waiting to happen, chances are I or one of my colleagues will rush over to push the chair in (thus rendering it safe, and ensuring the health of our colleagues), and have no choice but to report the situation as a “near-miss” to our nearest H&S Officer, the thorough, dependable, and always good-humoured Liam.
“Reason for the near-miss?” poor, bored Liam, who only wants to eat his sandwich and surf YouTube for beheading videos, asks, as he raises pen to clipboard.
“Well, if I hadn’t pushed the chair in, someone could have tripped over it, burst into flames, and fallen down the stairs” my reply might be. Liam would then advise, with a straight face, that this was unlikely to become an incident, and not reporting it would pose no risk to the organisation. Well, better safe than sorry, some of the more vigilant among us have been known to say.
A couple of weeks ago, during my “swearing off blogging and staying committed to studying” stage (a period in which almost everything in my life seemed to take on a blogworthy hue, but only because the grass of Blogland seemed much greener than the dank mossy marsh of Studyville…okay, I will stop making stupid placenames out of words right now), a couple of the lads and I were walking down the corridor, and someone had placed a box on the edge of a door to keep it open; obviously they were delivering a large quantity of office supplies, and it was easier for them to work with the door propped open.
Anyway, I did an exaggerated trip and fall exercise which involved me “accidentally” tripping over the box as I walked past it, throwing myself to the floor, and rolling around on the ground, screaming in faux-agony. The lads, bless them, took pity on me and laughed at my foolish jigacting.
Then some guy I’d never seen before came through the next set of double doors. Mid-forties, middle-to-senior management type. Fuck.
“Looks like a bit of a health and safety incident there, I think!” he said with a chuckle.
Nice one, the guy was sound about it. Praise the lord. If it had been one of the other more proactive max-the-envelope cunts, I’d have probably been facing a disciplinary.
“Heheheheh” we said, in what we felt was a decent approximation of laughter. We went on our merry way, delighted with ourselves.
It’s become an ongoing joke with this guy, and it’s starting to wear a little thin now. For reasons unknown, each time I’ve met him since our initial interlude, I pretend to trip, or bash my head, or something equally juvenile. It’s our thing. It never fails to crack him up, but I’m getting a bit bored of it. Physical comedy’s alright, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Plus, this morning when I met him, I “pretended” to trip on the stairs, only I actually did trip, and nearly broke my fucking ankle. That’s karma for you.
On Sunday, we took the kids to see Santa. Forget that it was a four-hour round trip for a five-minute visit, the important thing is that the kids enjoyed the magic of Christmas while they’re still young enough to not be embittered, cynical materialists. What got to me was the new policy Santa’s got.
The kids aren’t allowed to sit on his lap. That’s right, as a reaction to the high levels of pedophilia in the shopping-centre-Santa-Claus field of employment*, kiddies must now sit next to Santa rather than on his knee. As for infants, Santa can hold them, but only at arms length, in the awkward manner adopted by foppish British actors when handed a baby in delightful romantic comedies.
Here in the UK, they carry out disclosure checking on potential employees for all jobs involving children. My initial reaction when seeing this new restriction was to think for fuck’s sake, that’s going a bit far, is it not? Then the dad side of me kicked in and thought, I would tear the motherfucker limb from limb if I ever found he had been getting a horn from having my little girl on his lap.
Right now, I am confused. Is this a necessary step in helping to minimise the risk of sick fucks who (always will) exist in our society from getting their thrills? Or is it just another feckin band-aid on the festering wound of the real problem, the root of which is not being tackled in any meaningful way? The reasonable side of me is saying of course it’s the latter, but the emotional side of me is saying hell, anything to keep my wee girl protected.
*this is a completely made-up “fact”, but I imagine this is how the conclusion was drawn.
And I’m stuck in cunting work.
Fuck this for a lark.
In evil sympathy with the horrendous weather of the past few weeks (worst November in 40,000 years, the papers say, the lying cunts), my shoes have chosen to start leaking. Feet farting and squelching as I walk, the minutes are passing like hours in these sock-sodden days. Work is also a complete pisser right now, as I thought I’d be able to wind down over the next week or so. Instead I have to come in next week on three of my four days off.
Plodding through the rain yesterday evening, the seeping soakage creeping up my sock from toe to insole brought back vivid memories of my Frank McCourt-like childhood, when leaky shoes were simply called shoes, because I knew no shoe but the holey, leaky kind.
I grew up relatively poor you see. Relatively poor with poor relatives, I was fucked from the start. My concepts of style and fashion were drawn not from the pages of glossy magazines, nor from the dubious off-the-rack chic of Penney’s or Dunnes. My wardrobe was a peculiar assortment of hand-me-downs from several generations of my extended family. Observe a typical childhood outfit:
What’s that? You want more of the style king? How about this pose, taken on the shores of the lovely Corrib? Note the trousers/socks/sandals combo. The trousers were tracksuit bottoms for a 7-year old, hence the visible ankles.
The only thing we’d get bought new for us was coats and school uniforms. You need a coat you see, to keep warum. My Granny would regularly skin me alive for not wearing my jacket: “Tis cool mind you, and haven’t you a grand warum jacket there? Ara sure the kids today don’t wear jackets, but you need to cover up the hollow in your neck and it’s pouring down, that oul misht I hate it, I’d rather it rained properly or not at all, tis a curse and you out in it with no jacket on ya!”
And so forth. When I look back on my stylistic debacle of a childhood, as well as finding it horrible and hilarious, I’m also very glad I experienced it. It allowed me to grow up humble. Almost every day, I look at what I’ve got, all the material shite I have amassed (amassed, I am convinced, precisely because I could not have any of this stuff when I was younger) and, although it’s nothing more than a bog-standard life by anyone’s measure, I’m still amazed by the comparative luxury I now live in.
The house I grew up in had no central heating, and no shower. My sisters and I used to hammer the shite out of each other with kettles, swords, chairs and the like just for something to do to keep warm. Hot water was at the flick of a switch, a switch you’d get a bollicking and a boot in the hole for flicking. Heating up water was fierce dear, you see.
We never had a car. (My dad bought his first car – the first car he EVER owned – last year. I kid you not.) We did not have a phone until I was ten (this was 1989, not 1969). No video recorder until I was 13. Our tv was older than me, and my dad only replaced it in 2003. We held a small ceremony for it: RIP Sony Trinitron, 1978 – 2003.
It toughens you up though, no doubt about it. Our central heating broke down for three days last month. After those three days, Linzi and the kids had the snuffles and went on to develop full-blown colds. Me? The brief cold snap just brought back fond memories of a shivering childhood as I washed myself with some ice-water and used iron filings and nettles for soap, and strolled around the house in my boxers balancing eggs on my knees.
The kids though. Them getting sick like that got me thinking. They’ve never gone without anything (essential) and they never will as long as I’m around to provide for them. But isn’t that, in a way, depriving them of something? To have and show humility is something a lot of people in society seem to lack. To be humble, to appreciate being better off than others, you need to have something to compare to, and you can’t beat personal experience. I don’t want my kids turning out like some of the spoiled fuckers I know.
They have it all, or close to it, and I won’t ever apologise for that. But we’re going to have to work really hard to make sure they fucking well appreciate it.
The question is: How do I get them to appreciate their lot without turning into a carbon copy of the dithering old folks you hear rambling on about how the kids today have it easy, and in their day they used to walk 30 miles to school in their bare feet with only a handful of rocks and a flask of liver for their lunch?
This horrible weather has provided me with a great joke:
Why does Snoop Dogg always carry an umbrella?
Okay, so it’s not great, but it made me laugh. I love that izzle talk.
Part of my job is warning employees of the dangers of social engineering, phishing and the like. I’m fairly clued up on all the things to watch out for when using the internet. About a month ago, a fellow blogger, someone who’s been reading me since I started blogging, mailed me and asked me for my home address. He said he wanted to send me a Christmas card. Ahhh, isn’t that nice? I obliged, in spite of my instincts and training (not to mention basic cop-on) telling me to be careful. I had some semblance of trust in the guy, after all, even if it was only because we commented on each other’s blags.
I logged on the weekend before last to find his blog had been deleted. Curious, but not unusual. What’s more unusual is his entire Flikr membership had also been deleted. And what’s downright disturbing is that his website, his main means of advertising his business, had also disappeared.
I told Linzi that night. She flipped. Went mental (with good reason, though I was trying my best to convince her otherwise) and starting getting genuinely worried that someone had stolen my identity. That’s probably the least the guy’s done! she shrieks. She’s so beautiful when she shrieks, I tell her. Jesus, Kav, shut up! He’s probably planning a bizarre ritual murder of you, me and the kids culminating in his own razor-assisted suicide! You can’t trust anyone these days, you know!
Ah, wise words indeed.
Cut to last week. Devin very kindly told me she’d send me over a Red Hot Chili Peppers album that I haven’t got. All the way from Amerikay, no less. I was in a quandary. Jaysis, I said to myself, I really want that CD, but Linzi went mad altogether the last time I gave my address out. What should I do?
After considering my options for one to three minutes, I responded to Devin’s email with my address and a thankee kindly. Whistling with delight at this whole making blogging friends madness, and touched by the generosity of a virtual stranger, I swaggered down the stairs into the living room, looking awful pleased with myself.
“What are you looking so pleased with yourself about?” Linzi asks.
“Tell me. You’re up to something.”
“Okay. Now, don’t roll your eyes and gasp with horror and frustration at my apparent foolishness, but one of the people I know through t’blog is sending me the new Chili Peppers album! Yay!”
She rolls her eyes and gasps with horror and frustration at my apparent foolishness. I wait for the “fool me once, shame on you, blah blah fuck off you bastard” cliché, but it doesn’t happen.
“Who is it that’s sending it?”
“Yeah, Devin. She’s sound, like. Spot on.”
“Right. And that’s all you know about her, that she’s sound?”
“Nah, I also know that she’s a transsexual Irish-American, in the process of transitioning from lad to lassie. I’ve got to know her over the last few months, like.”
Linzi’s mouth hangs agape.
“Are you serious?”
“Do you not remember what happened the last time you gave your address out?!”
“Oh that! Ah, did I forget to tell you? I emailed yer man, and it turns out he’s setting up a new blog and archive as part of his main website – hence the deleted blog and Flikr account!”
“I thought you said his site was taken down as well?”
“Nah, see, the site just happened to be down for maintenance when I logged on. I checked it again after I mailed him and it was grand. Relief, eh?”
“Why didn’t you tell me this already?”
“Dunno, forgot. Fuck, you weren’t still worrying about it, were you?”
The rest of this post had to be censored due to the extreme graphic nature of the violence unleashed on me.
Moral of the story is: trust everyone you meet on the internet. They’re all sound.
I could tell you all about how my exam went. How I’ve realised that I am never going to be arsed going for a MBA since I just about managed ten weeks studying for a relatively minor qualification, never mind three years of slog for a Master’s. How I have absolutely no idea, in spite of the effort I put in, whether I have passed or failed the exam. How I now have a fucking cunting bastard of a cold choking me up, despite resisting my family’s best attempts to give it to me over the past month. Christ, as soon as I relax, my immune system lets me down.
Yes, I could tell you about these things. And just did.
Last night we were watching Grey’s Anatomy, and yer wan (the main bird in it who Linzi thinks is beautiful but who I think’s nothing special – give me the wee blondie any day) and yer man (the dorky stocky lad who never gets the girl and always gets left in the corridor holding a clipboard with a slightly incredulous look on his face) were about to shag:
Me: Go on ya bye ya. Give it to her.
Linzi: Noooooo! No no no no no!
Me: What’s wrong with ya? He’s about to slip it in to her, that’s a good thing, is it not?
Linzi: She doesn’t want him, she’s only doing this because she’s feeling lonely and insecure! Jesus, have we been watching the same programme?
Linzi: She’s still in love with McDreamy! She doesn’t love George, even though he loves her. She’s only going to end up breaking his heart!
Me: He’s only getting his hole, for fuck’s sake! Maybe he just wants a ride. Men don’t always give a shite about all that love jazz, sometimes we just need to blow our muck all over a girl’s face, wipe our lad on the curtains, and fuck off home.
Cue a look of disgust that would silence a talking horse, followed by a vicious thump.
Linzi: Shut up and watch the tv, you imbecile.
Feckin women, always overcomplicating situations.
In other news, check out these losers. Hahahahahahaha.
Seriously though, that’s a shame.
I’ll be back with loads of news and views once I get this exam over with tomorrow, but right now, I’m looking for some recommendations from you. Having been immersed in horrible shit such as asymmetric cryptography and screened subnet firewalls for the past while, my brain has been starved of entertainment. It has been the best part of three months since I read a proper book. Recommend something to me. Anything at all, as long as you think it’s good.
Thanks for all your comments by the way, I appreciate the support. Normal service will resume shortly. I’m not looking forward to it. I have a ton of you bastards to visit and having to think of something clever and witty to say on each blog is a right pain in the hole.
Ah, fuck that, I’ll just leave shit comments like I usually do.