31 October 2006

Free Association #194

Courtesy of LunaNina

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Costume :: Party
  2. Beg :: Scrounge
  3. Hottie :: Wottie Bottie (WhataboutawaterbottleWibble? - Thats a fart in the bath)
  4. Celebrity :: Squares
  5. Saturday :: Night at the Movies
  6. Buckle :: up
  7. Doorbell :: Ding dong Avon calling
  8. Rude :: conceited, self involved, discourteous
  9. Absence :: yeah, um a state of not being there. Like me all the time, except I think its meant to be occasional, to count.
  10. Hyper :: hic durr blurble boing-boing, what's next?

OK. Well;... while I'm not looking I'm just going to creep off and get myself a couple of nice tablets to get us ready for a lovely long sit-down. Yes. Shhh........

25 October 2006

Not Really Here

My screen decided to die of old age, so for the last few days I have been unable to post and have only managed this by miraculously recalling my password and signing in on Husband's computer.

Third time lucky - if Blogger was an ATM I'd have lost my card.

Anyway Husband, God bless him, has recently had a little bit of spare cash, enough to make me feel increasingly uncomfortable with his unnatural efforts to treat me like a princess. It seems its burning a hole in his pocket and I have the honour of being top excuse.

He is trying so hard and I love him so much for it, but somehow I seem to be coming out of all this not as the pampered lady love but as the evil baddy.

For example:

First there was a desire to buy me some new clothes - very commendable - as was the decision to get them from a cheap chain store. I want things to feel good in, but stuff I can diet out of, or have cooking/painting/cleaning accidents in without it being the end of the world. Not exactly combat gear, but any mums will get my point.

The thing is we did this once, with me bringing home all the tops he had sworn looked gorgeous on me, only to find that the mirror there looked out on a different universe to the one in the shop; that the woman who looked like a knowing Venus draped in silks, in Asda, looked more like a King Edward spud in used tissues, when she tried the same items on indoors.

Sod Trinny and Susannah - I find that if you feel shapeless, then buying items with an inbuilt shape only serves to highlight how you and they go in and out in different directions from each other.

Its been a long time. Bloody years, in fact, so I'd forgotten. Anyhow I am gratefully wearing the wool and jersey and denim to death, but all the little cotton tops are hidden away as costly disasters, dusters-in-waiting at £15 a pop.

So we went back, for this second jaunt. Partly my fault - Husband being unaware that half his gifts were become guilty secrets. Anyhow this time I stuck to admiring jersey and autumnal pieces; baggy, saggy, comfy and loose. There were some lovely colours.

Then we got to the changing rooms, kids in tow;.... and went straight past to the cash till, Husband saying it was too packed to hang around and queue. He then lovingly bought me the pinkest, most pungent and expensive perfume at the till, to make up for hurrying me out.

Mercifully I got my wrist blasted with a tester while the assistant was bagging up, so by the time we got all the way home to confirm that I also needed plastic surgery, three tits or a navvy's biceps to begin to fill the clothes, we also knew enough to avoid undoing the cellophane on the pong-fume. I felt like such a cow.

He was actually very, very good about that and two weeks later, once he insisted I think of an anniversary gift, I asked for the lateral thigh stepper. They look like so much fun on the TV, and I figured if I am going to religiously do my 10,000 steps a day with the weather closing in, then doing them on a thigh stepper with some music on would be more enjoyable than marching up and down the living room across cats' tails and kids' feet.

It turned up. I'd found the wrong thing. It made lots of mention of being a lateral thigh trainer (wrong last word) and is apparently called a Twist And Shape Stepper. And it is total crap.

Maybe its just the one I got, like a faulty item, but even though I am miles within the weight limits, even though the piston is stiff and you have to put all your weight on one stupid foot pedal to begin a lazy trip down that takes forever; even though I can't imagine it loosening up to ever allow something like an aerobic workout, still, as you reach the end of the ride down on either peddle, it goes 'clunk'. And so do you. Ankle, knee, hip and even shoulder, all sense the bump as you reach the end of the 'step'. Jarring isnt the word.

So why is it still here? Well; guilt. Its only been two days, during which time I have tried hard to see if there was a knack involved.



When it arrived, it turned up prior to our anniversary, in nothing grander than a super-sturdy cardboard box. Husband signed for it and then proceeded to open it in front of me. Okay, we both knew what it was, but still. He opened the box, removed the item, perused the spare bits, passed me the DVD of exercises, stood on the machine, pronounced it sturdy and fit, and then left it there in the middle of the living room. It had gone from being my special present to our latest 'thing'; delivered, unwrapped, tested and deserted with as much ceremony (or lack thereof) as a replacement electric kettle.

I am ashamed to say it but I sulked. Not noticeably because that would involve vulnerability; no my pout was sneaky and defensive, just enough to appear to be abrupt and disapproving. I announced that this was the wrong make, not the item I had wanted, and would have to go back. I walked away and left it, leaving him looking thoroughly disarmed and apologetic.

All that did was make me look picky and feel like dirt. Pretty soon it lead to me confessing that I was, indeed 'only' being picky. Finally, in a fit of compensatory sweetness that would have made Pollyanna gag, I declared it perfect and a wonderful gift and volunteered that I would love it for ever and ever. Whilst giving him a great big hug.


Sweeeeee, clunk.
Swooooo, bump.

Dear God.

I'm going to have to be brave and own up. I cocked up, not him.

Why write all this?

Well, now; its probably best to do the rest as bullet points or we'll be here all week.
  • Husband has tomorrow off work. Its our anniversary. Our 15th. We can't go out or even crack a bottle indoors because I am on antibiotics after having two teeth out on Monday.
  • I was scheduled to have them out in January but they hurt so I begged a cancellation slot and got this one, so the timing is all my own fault.
  • If I may blow my own trumpet here, I am not allowed to blow my own nose (which is misery) as the dodgy roots were long enough to have punctured the sinus. Hence the half-head-throbbing, eyeball-exploding routine whenever it infected. Now I can't blow my hot, complaining nostril or I will reopen the hole where the roots were removed and end up needing awful but unspecified things done to sort it out. And dear God I wish they'd used real stitches instead of these dissolving thingies because; well because they keep dissolving, into nasty, thready, gloopy little reasons to spit. Yuck.
  • So anyway dearest Husband thought of taking the whole family to London, instead. He was ready to spend our anniversary following kids up and down stairs in the Science and Natural History museums. Except Son tripped over his own toe the day before yesterday and now its huge and blue and won't go in a shoe. Bye bye that idea, hello a million indoor games of Uno or the like; by the look of the rain. I am dreading the thought that the day will be filled with the unspoken idea that he'd be better off at work, the sort of potentially explosive truth that neither dare solidify with words and that therefore sits heavy, at the centre of everything, all bloody day; wrapped round with a blanket of unnatural silence and nervous yet helpful smiles.
  • Wulfie does have Friday off as well, except now a good friend at his work has had an incredibly sad occasion, so naturally he'll be off with others from the job, to show support at the funeral.
With me so far? If it could go wrong, its done just that; agreed?

By these standards, my computer screen going wrong was small potatoes. Its half term and theres always this other machine if I can recall passwords and it was just an annoyance. Enter Wulfie the Hero (I would say Fairy Godfather, but theres nothing Fairy about it).

He swoops onto the internet.
He whizzes through the stock on Morgans
He flashes the card, pushes a few buttons, and turns tome and announces I shall have a replacement, next day delivery.
He smiles like a little boy at Christmas.

He's such a darling.
Its the next day, now.
Its here.

Isn't it amazing how the essential two little words 'wall mountable' can turn out not to mean that there are two holes in the back for wedging onto screws in the wall (like the last one); rather that once it has arrived you can, if you wish, shop for a separate VESA wall bracket at a further cost, from another unspecified supplier.

Its not wall mountable then, is it? The bracket is (or would be) wall mountable - the bloody screen is bracket mountable, which brings it away from the wall and further into your face and means you can no longer get away with the 12" deep shelf you've been using as a keyboard rest because that would involve sucking on the fucking monitor and squinting past your own nose to see half the screen per sodding eyeball. Matey.

Oh fuck.

And I have to wait until the man who lives and breathes to get it right comes home, so I can tell him he got it wrong. Again.

Bollocks, I feel like shit. Where's me pointy hat gone.

18 October 2006

Stargate Series Ten

Stargate has been around for years now and the characters have developed, and aged, along with the show. At the end of the last series Teal'c was looking relatively hunky in a battleweary way (link).

Now it seems he is meant to look younger and glossier. Some idiot (presumably) decided this can be achieved with the use of contouring highlighter and by overplucking his manly eyebrows into an incredibly thin black line.

Poor sod looks a bit of a ducky.

At least they only make him wear the lipgloss for photos.

17 October 2006

Poetry Challenge revamped,.

To all who played yesterday.

It took me an hour.

Its not that good. (Sorry, I guess that means more practice required:)

Jaffa Jeff, The Hero Of The West

Once there was a cowboy and the world declared him blessed
Said an angel watched him even while he pissed.
He could dodge a flying tomahawk, withstand the highest test
But couldn’t see for shit, if there was mist.

His lucid dissertations and his coruscating wit
Contri-buted to his comfort and his fame
Every strumpet was his crumpet, he was never short of tit
And where’ere he went, he often also came.

One chilly autumn morning when the dew fell large as pearls,
Like a wino, lurched our hero, out of town.
Then tipped over the ravine, to the dismay of all the girls
Just because a vicious morning mist came down.

Bring me the wine of Lebanon or failing that, a shot,
Throw flowers on his ashes and give thanks.
Dab your eyes with dainty tissues and bewail his sorry lot
And thank God his weapon only carried blanks.

Kim: flowers, cramps, wino
Steg: Pearls, ashes, mist
Atyllah: world, tissues, angel
Zilla: cowboy, crumpet, coruscating
Le Laquet: tomahawk, Lebanon, lucid

Thanks, guys :-)

16 October 2006

Poetry Challenge Again

Its been too long since I played the poetry challenge, and I have to wonder if anyone is still around who either recalls it or cares.

The deal is simple - you, in the comments, quote me three disparate words and then I get all the fun - trying to weave them into some sort of poem in as short a time as possible.

That's it.

I need this. So far I today I have already wept for Rilke*. The beauty of empathy; the silver lining on the cloud of heartbreak for someone else, is that, guilt free and without ugliness, we accidentally weep for and heal ourselves.

And I've done that; and now I need to play.


(*That poem.)

15 October 2006

Free Association 193

Courtesy of LunaNina

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Weeks :: can fly by or creep.
  2. Cough :: it up, it might be a gold watch". That was a fairly common saying when I was a child. It seems odd now to realise that, as a child, I always thought it was both reassuring and humorous. Strange.
  3. Jail :: House Rock. We have Prisons; Our Police Stations have cells - jails are an American thing. Guantanamo. Elvis. Both gross, for different reasons. (Personal opinion of course, I just happen to think 'The King' was overrated and I resent any form of tacky, sycophantic hero worship. He was also ugly in an oily sort of a way. Sorry folks.)
  4. Produced :: I know I ought to think of products and vegetable produce and good honest labour but it makes me think of media personalities - politicians, newsreaders, film stars - all individually 'produced' from how they wear their hair (if its really theirs) to how they stand, dress, smile, react. Plastic plastic. So sad and so male.
  5. ? :: Eh? You do what?
  6. Stapler :: Don't tempt me.
  7. Next :: Next!
  8. Perky :: breasts. Perky girls - clean but dumb; gosh golly gee. Daphne Blake goes to Connecticut.
  9. Oxygen :: Love is like... tra la la. The trouble is that asphyxiation and hyperventilation can have such indistinguishable symptoms.
  10. Musical :: Chairs. Thats that one where you skip along having fun until you land on your arse on the floor because the chair just isnt there any more, yes?

10 October 2006

Blast From The Past

Thanks (or, if you care, no thanks) to Nick the 'Welsh Born Icon' , I was reminded of THIS lament. (Please please you just have to click that link.)

Eeeh, fair plucks the heartstrings so it does, the signature tune of a quintessentially English childhood (if you happen to be that sort of age).


Oh, and by the way, I know what it is, but do you?


They phoned.

Female caller: Cen I spik to meessis Shair-ul merd baggage plis?

Me: Speaking

Female caller: Hullo. I am collink from ze HSBC. Bee-vore cen spik about yor accunt I neet you to gif me (blah blah blah) ent yor date off birt. Plis?

Me: No, thankyou, goodbye.

I know it looks like she had a German accent, but to be frank I don't know what it was. I know the HSBC have very frustratingly given a lot of work over to Indian call centres, but this woman sounded more like a squeaky, disinterested version of Avid Merrion.

So now if your bank wants to talk to you they do it via someone in another country;
  • Who has a painful accent which is hard to follow
  • And who has no idea what its like to live here and what the sums he/she refers to mean in real terms
  • And who probably doesnt even work for the company or give a shit about hitting the wrong button
  • Nor about UK standards of data protection
however, all that is depressingly usual, these days.

But when by all thats holy did the tossers give up on even the courtesy of asking if its a good time to talk?

09 October 2006

Wrong wrong scary wrong.

Human-rabbit hybrids planned

"The aim is to find a ready source of "human" embryonic stem cells without the ethical problems of tampering with human life. ...... The resulting embryos would be mostly human, but would also contain small numbers of animal genes."

I Was Supposed To Be Doing Something

  • Well now there's timelining the SEN statementing history
  • There's finding the paperwork - picking out the salient sheets for duplication - a pig of a job because its all in two or three big brown boxes and a couple of loose piles from recent use. Darn.
  • There's filling out the secondary appeal form
  • There's getting it copied and posted for Friday - Evil deadline - has to take priority
  • There's liaising nicely with the LEA and letting them know this is just about establishing interpretation of the rules and not about confrontation

  • Then there's trying to get Son's school transport tweaked so he can try an after school club
  • There's emailing the SENCO now to ask first about close home-school communication, what they think it is, who they think should be doing it and who they think should be initiating it (ie would it suit their systems for it to be responsive or pre-emptive)
  • There's working out from the answer how to phrase the small collection of growing concerns
  • Like pointing out that he is already alienating people and his class keep asking him why he talks so much, or why he talks to thin air; when having the breaktime INA he's statemented for would help him not just to avoid confrontation but to change his behaviours...
  • ...unless the support is in place so discretely that it (he/she) has seen all and never intervened, in which case who are they, what are they, what is their training and how can I speak to them. When you have a child with a skewed view of the world telling you how it is, you get to be a good tactician / chess player and you learn to anticipate all possible reasons for a move by the 'opponent', however blatant you suspect one to be, with the end result that you teach yourself to think like an Aspie never making any assumptions or at least considering a trillion possibilities. This means teachers end up needing to speak to YOU in watertight terms, as well as to your child. Hey ho.

  • Then I have to ring the maxiofascial clinic because this tooth still wakes me at night, and plays up in the day and if I don't make noise, I will slip down the list of people hoping to take the space of a cancelled appointment.
  • Then I have to find daughter's leg appointment letter and transfer the info to my diary and calendar (calendar by preference but people keep taking it off the wall and forgetting to put it back) before the letter gets lost completely.
  • Then we have a new fridge and freezer coming at the end of the week, so having taken it easy at home (which others took as their cue to slob out completely and spread trash as the spirit moved), I would like to be pulling out the old ones and scrubbing behind them
  • Which involves a major spring clean in front of them until there's room to pull them out; no piles of appointment letters etc balancing precariously on their tops, etc etc.
  • The Guinea pigs (4 caveys, 2 cages) need scrubbing out - so do the rats. Rat shit stinks.

  • Then I need to make contact with this brilliant man, Richard Robinson, who is arranging next year's Brighton Science Festival; because I promised him a couple of contacts. I went to meet him with a view to doing his admin, but we established fairly immediately that he needs someone ready to do office hours plus (and I am, just not all the way over in Brighton) so instead we spent the hour brainstorming. That's one I want to do sooner and I feel beholden to him simply because he's nice and doing a great job with a fantastic concept and I really really wanted to be part of it.
  • Then there's directing you all to go see Maggie Clarke's photography and to mention that I am feeling decidedly trapped and suburban having met Ms Clarke on the bus going from Brighton to Eastbourne this Sunday. Never look at your own life in comparison if you should happen to meet someone who lives its antithesis. Or no, do, if it'll challenge you to tweak a few behaviours, but I'm heading off at a tangent. Talking about photography and the Moody Blues was fun (fancy having the time, freedom and money to wander all over Europe following a music tour - wow). Even better was the politics, talking to this University Lecturer who defended the weak by arguing that NY air WAS polluted by 9/11, when Government was telling people they had the all clear! Outrageous! How did she put it? Oh yes I think she said the whole place was like there'd been explosions in an incinerator, a crematorium, a plastics factory, an asbestos factory and a metal refinery; all at once. That much is obvious if you stop to think, yes? I imagine this honest outspokenness may be why she felt the sudden urge to stretch her legs from academia and take a tour behind the Moody Blues. Must be quite a balancing act to hold down a lecturing post at a prestigious Uni and publicly defend the weak, all at once. The opponents of the ordinary people seem to be the guys that play golf and bestow bursaries. I'm simply way too impressed, and only guessing.
  • Then I want to duplicate the links because damn, I wish I'd had time to broach the whole Brighton Science Festival thing as I think Maggie would have a ball running a fun lecture or an experiment, for that, if only she were going to happen to be in the UK next February.

But none of these little tasks is the one I am searching for. OK I just cheated and did two of them during this blatant example of masterful procrastination otherwise known as a blog post, but sod it. I have three hours left if the missing 'must-do' has to take office hours into account.

See, I remember Husband ticking and tutting over something I forgot to do on his behalf last Friday, and he said it would HAVE to be done on Monday; and it will and he's right. I think I need to phone him up.

No, before you accuse me of setting feminism back a century or so, this isn't willing servitude - its just that when he started on about his 'oh so important' task, I remember thinking he was bloody well going to have to wait because I had something far more urgent to see to first.

So really I'm only phoning him up to see if a reminder about his task will be enough to jog my memory about the genuinely important one.

Told you those tablets were making me stupid. Graaa.

08 October 2006

Free Association 192

Courtesy of LunaNina

  1. Opinion :: Everybody's got one
  2. Tardy :: bloody annoying, like time isnt pressed for everybody. Go on and steal time from others why dont you just because you can't get your arse in gear.
  3. Peer pressure :: conformity tectonics
  4. Grownup :: liable
  5. ! :: Need I say more?
  6. Beer :: Bishop's Finger
  7. Sit :: Wuff
  8. Shower :: Torrential rain that lasts less that ten minutes, apparently
  9. Consumate :: Fanfuckingtastic (as in consumate fool, perfect idiot etc)
  10. Wasting :: moments.

06 October 2006

Thith Ith Dire

Kim wrote a wonderful piece about David Sedaris.

Never having heard of him I googled, of course, and found an excerpt from one of his books. It was all about the perils of lisping, thorry, lithping, in thcool, erm school, and having to face the language therapist. He is hysterically funny and I want all his books now. Here's that excerpt.

Anyway all of this has got me on the lookout for lisps, thorry, lithpth. I can't help it, they muthy be preying on my mind becauthe I jutht keep notithing them, everywhere.

Bless her.
Reminds me of that episode of Only Fools and Horses when an otherwise decent singer who couldn't say his Rs performed Don Maclean's 'Kwying Over You' . He kwyed a lot.

Anyway, all together now:

Oh Baby Baby, How wath I thupothed to know
That thomething wathnt right here
Oh baby baby, I shouldnt have let you go
And now you're out of thight, yeah
Show me how you want it to be
Tell me baby cuth I need to know now, oh becauthe

My lonelineth ith killin me (and I)
I mutht confeth I thtill believe (thtill believe)
When Im not with you I lothe my mind
Give me a thign, hit me baby one more time!

05 October 2006

Just for Stegbeetle, who needs a laugh

So not for anyone else, right?

Under no circumstances are you to click

unless you are Stegbeetle.

Thanks to ShrinkMamma for the link.

N.B. If you MUST be rash and foolish and follow the link, I have to repeat S-M's warning - you do so at your own risk, and if you have any sense you'll avoid eating or drinking until you navigate away.

03 October 2006

Sounds Like A Case For Piggy Malone?

This news article (a short one) speaks for itself.

I'm just so relieved to hear that Interpol have caught wind of this. I'd like to say it all smells very fishy but I really don't know what he had for tea, so I can't.

P.S. Piggy Malone and Charlie Farley, a brief explanation.

02 October 2006

Officially Stupid For A Reason

I think I'm supposed to say I feel so much better, now.

Went to the GP this morning.

Its taken almost three weeks to get a non emergency appointment that fits around the kids going to school.

Bloods are back.

My cholesterol levels are great.
My oestrogen levels weren't checked - this GP being of the mind that HRT is unsuitable if you've upset your ticker.
My homocysteine levels aren't back from Guys in London yet, because, hey, they have to take the bloods at the local hospital just to begin processing inside two hours, but once they've done that, there is no local set-up for the rest of the test so you simply have to wait three weeks to a month. Who cares. If you DO have super high homocysteine then for the first 12 months you have to actively avoid the folic acid that would sort this out, in any case. This is because a sudden influx of B9 could solve the problem so enthusiastically that instead of no mend at all on your arterial tears, you get a super great big blobby mend right on the stent and, um, block the bloody artery all over again. Except this time that would involve killing yourself.
My thyroid levels are, disappointingly, 'within parameters'. An underactive thyroid can cause, amongst other things, tough, scraggly, wiry hair and wrinkles. Thyroid meds can sort them out. No jackpot rejuvenation for me, then.

Most annoyingly this all means that the total brain fog, the lethargy, the bloody annoying lack of oomph may be safely and completely ascribed to taking the beta blockers.

It just seems so unfair that other people can go for the same op and be back at work by now, whereas if I even had a job I doubt they'd tolerate the amount of sleep I seem to need and the way my thought processes keep giving in to their own little version of the blue screen of death.

You know those days when you make yourself a coffee, rediscover it stone cold, have to actively and methodically recall making it at all in the first place, and then realise you can't even imagine what you were thinking or doing since that point?

Yes? No?

Well, take the phrase "I must have made that coffee for a reason, but....." and exchange the words 'made that coffee' with 'got up this morning', or 'put the first sock on', or 'decided to put up with this'; you get the idea.

So. This is my darling doctor for you. This is how he tells me.

He tells me that, for the first six months after a heart attack you are at constant risk of ending up dead. He explains that a bruised/damaged bit of heart can decide, at any point in that six months, that its not going to play any more, that its going to go do-lally wobbly and run its own little tap dance instead of playing along with the rest, causing a total standstill otherwise known as sudden death.

What lovely news, Doctor, considering its only been three months and a little bit since my 'event'.

Anyway, he then goes on to explain how the Atenolol (beta blockers) are prescribed to counter that.

His grand finale, piece de resistance, punchline?

"So, you see, if its a choice between being completely stupid or dropping dead, I think you're just going to have to put up with it, don't you?"

Right, gosh, yes thank you so much.

To his credit he did decide to take my blood pressure straight after.

So, where were we; oh yes.

Today I went to the doctor's. I was going to wander round town afterward and pick up a few bits and bobs, but instead came home almost on auto pilot - I even forked out for a taxi. And then I slept.

In the middle of the day I went and slept for two and a half hours, waking with just enough time to pour coffee down my throat and remember right from left before having to go get youngest daughter from school.

Right now? Well, I guess I have found yet another sense of total frustration that would previously have had me reaching for the tobacco. In short I am gagging for a cigarette, maybe three; all unofficially labelled: "stupid-f*king-doc,-how-the-f*k-did-he-even-pass-his-exams-the-f*ker".
Or similar.

And yes, I know it was probably the smokes that got me into this mess, irrespective that I was 'good' and only smoked super thin rollies with menthol filters instead of 'real' ciggies with all the extra heavy metals etc.

Still, just to really make my day I have managed to underline that I am still not a non-smoker nor even an ex-smoker, but back at square one being simply "a confirmed smoker who doesn't".

As to the idea that I could at any moment cease to exist, that I could shuffle off this mortal coil and that nailing by feet to the perch wouldn't help at all - well that's just going to sit there filling my horizon like a giant WTF-come-general obstruction for the next three months. I expect it to fox me on a very regular basis.

Roll on Christmas, then (or is it the New Year, I'll have to consult my calendar).

Bloody men.