30 August 2007

NetExperiment - Please Pass It On!

Got this from a friend today:

As you might (or probably don't) know, I have multiple sclerosis and one of the main reasons I am participating in the 30DC is to learn how to make a living from the net so that I can give up my day job that frankly is exhausting and not good for my health.

At the beginning of the year I kicked off the Great NetXperiment to see how long it would take the internet to raise $1 Million for research into the cause, care and cure for multiple sclerosis (care is really important as many teens with MS end up in geriatric nursing homes and that is just UNACCEPTABLE).

But what is in it for you?

The NetXperiment allows you to donate as little as a dollar and get a link from a PR3 web site. Great deal really, very white hat, and is a win-win for you and for Foundation 5 Million (People with MS raising money for MS, and what my charity site donates too)

Thing is, after launching it I three months off work flat on a back with a brain fluid leak and am WAY behind in my goal of getting that $1 Million by December 31st 2007.

But it is still achievable!

Anyway the more money you donate the bigger the link is to your site, so if you want clicks as well as a link then the sky is the limit. You can dominate the site with a fairly modest investment.

Great for if you have other businesses too you want to promote.

Any (non-spam) promotion of the site is REALLY welcome. So blog posts, social bookmarking, web2.0 promo are appreciated :)




If you could please either blog this or email it to ten friends then we could reach a million people inside a week (whether or not they are too broke or stingy to cough a dollar); so how embarrassing if we didn't.


22 August 2007

Oh Huge Oops

I got given one of these, didn't I!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Dinky little thing, isn't it - I think it might have shrunk from neglect over the past six or seven weeks. Oh dear.

I got it from darling Miss Cellania who is normally mindbogglingly smart, but seems to have had a momentary glitch and found me thoughtful.

And I was supposed to do something with it, too, like pass it on.


More to follow, then.

16 August 2007

Limbo but dancing

Two kinds of limbo - the one I put this blog (and a lot of my blog friendships) into - sorry; and the one I find myself still in.

The second limbo is important because its a numbness - a divine, protective hand on my soul, or clinical disassociation, you choose. Maybe its just that so much shit has hit the fan that there are no clean bits left to stress about.

What I mean is that I am in a cool state - I am recording facts here and do not want pity. I think I would even resent pity. You may, by all means, say things like "Fucking Hell!" but the first person to say 'aww poor you' completely loses my respect. Deal?

My mum has been in hospital. She is mostly back out again, by which I mean minus a few substantial elements and still seen by nurses twice a day. Lets just say she mentioned a "damn annoying tummy upset I've had ever since Christmas" for around three months, until she was rushed into hospital where it turned out to be burst diverticulitis and ' a litre and a half of pus' as my more sensationalist, 'Roger Ramjet' little brother put it, over the phone, in his best 'deep and earnest' voice.

I think, actually, that a lot of the vocal emphasis was unspoken triumph (or disgust) of the 'our elderly mum is in intensive care and you're not even here' kind. But that could just be my personal angst-of-the-time speaking, so ignore that.

Have I mentioned all this already? Can't tell. Numb. Anyway, by the looks, everyone in our regular little blog circle has a parent who is sick or worse, so mine is just another one. It just means I haven't had the words for them so have kept very quiet when people are in need, and ended up looking either uncaring or disinterested.

So, what else? Lots of boring stuff. Lots. Issues with Son's special needs statement. Issues with Bigson having the screaming ab-dabs and throwing packets of cheese at me through the kitchen door catflap before clearing off - not a call for 6 months. Its OK, his sister is in touch. He lives.

Bigdaughter is planning to move, to where my mum is, so all three generations will be out of my reach except for special trips- mum, daughter, granddaughter.

Lets not even TOUCH the 'how come its not me going' thing. I can't. I've got one kid being educated under a statement of special needs and a husband whose career doesn't move like that. So I am stuck. I know I am stuck because my mother told me I was, before she then decided not to even ask me. Do not push the button marked 'sidelined and overlooked again' - that one has issues attached and they are little buggers. It starts to quiver painfully if you even look at it. I need to drown the wee beasties, I know - root them out and exorcise and mourn them one by one, but that will take time I don't have yet. For now I have to be happy that she is seemingly convinced I have a life and responsibilities, and possibly even importance. Hey ho.

Ok I am figuring you are all safely gone or asleep now, so here comes the brunt.

Seven months of council workmen doing a 'three week job'. Three sink units. Four complete kitchen surfaces. Gutters replaced when they didn't need replacing by badly fitted replacements that leaked and had to be replaced.

Bath replaced by wobbly plastic thing that buckles and is waiting....... to be replaced. Why the one item that could make me feel half human has to wait until everything else is finished, for months and months and months, is so far beyond me I lost the strength to ask. Its funny what you can get used to. I am clean, and probably a lot more flexible than I might have been. I shall go on stage, as the only 'contortionist with large leotard and small pink flannel'. I can see Simon Cowell's face right now. Oh yes, I feel all cheered up.

Back to the list : 'Complete redecoration' which amounted to stripping all my wallpaper off the walls room by room and replacing it with cheap, retail quality paint, involving us breathing polyfilla for weeks because the painters were too tight to splash for plaster, watching three five-week-old kittens dye a slow death due to paint fumes, watching their mother cry and cry for them and eventually dig up the corpses, drag them back indoors and try to lick them back to life. Twice. Finding my best (only) full length wool coat shut in the hinge of the cupboard with a permanent stripe of gloss paint down the sleeve.

Where do you want to go with this - lets go to me shutting up. See, If I'd diarised it here I would have been such a WHINING BORE (case in point,) but for 27 weeks. The truth is, its all okay, which I know sounds weird, but its true. Sure its happening, and I get the occasional frog in the throat, but over all there's something whispering in the background that none of this matters, that its a rollercoaster ride, but one where you get off safely at the end. If someone would have cursed me into this, I'd be praying for them, because, hey; what a lot of energy to exert just to give me a year for the diary. Poor soul - makes me think of that poor squirrel in Ice Age the movie. Bless! Honestly!


To prove I have been blogging of sorts (well emailing from very close to the edge, but shit, same difference), here is my latest offering to the Council contractors who hired the subcontractors who hired the sub-subby "I'm jus' doin' what I was told and I don't know nuffink about that miss" workers who have messed up my home for the fun of it for the last seven months.

Holiday? I need a holiday? I'd settle for a weekend. Indoors, With no boxes and everything working. Yeah, right.

This isn't self pity, girls, honest, but it is empowering. Its like shuffling off the shackles of the 'oh-my-god-you-cant-tell-them-that monster. Hah! Die monster die! Yah, booh, sucks.


Dear Mr W

I don't know what it is about you that lets me feel heard, and feel free to express myself in less than formal terms. That's quite a therapeutic release, you know. Have you done counselling training or something? Do they pay you extra danger money for being their bomb-disposal expert/ lightning rod?

Once again, I wish I could do this by dialling out instead of committing to paper, and, in all seriousness, I imagine you wish I could address someone else - someone who is at least officially involved in this mess! Could I please have email addresses for your new boss and for young Mr D?

The point of this email:

I just had to put the phone down on young Mr D, because I began to not feel very well at all. Actually dealing with you helps a lot, because I really don't need to go all Mrs Bucket and start explaining my medical history to new strangers; that makes me feel so pompous and embarrassed.

I did apologise to him at the time, ("oops ever so sorry, have to put the phone down on you now" - bam - kind of apologise) but it all happened quite fast, so if you could repeat that for me, I'd be grateful.

He rang me to say the bath was in stock.

He rang me to say he hears the other workers are all finished here now and everything is lovely. I corrected him.

He rang me to say the bath will be fitted in the first week of September (just when my kids go back to school - didn't I just say I wouldn't get a proper wash until the youngest had started seniors....).

He said it couldn't happen sooner because his fitter was on holiday and he was off on holiday too and well, isn't it just that time of year, everybody's going, we've all got to have a break. He was being very chipper and cheerful, I think he was waiting for me to ask where.

I pointed out that neither I nor my children had had a day away from home since February, not even one in the half terms or end of terms or Bank Holidays or any of it; not even really on a weekend either, because we'd always had builders in, or mess to clear because they'd been in, or workers demanding a room be prepped so they could be in later, or saying they were going to be in and JUST NOT TURNING UP.

I was about to say how many job applications I had on the go that got ruined or lost or buried under 'they'll only be in there five minutes' carrier bags back in February and how pointless it had been to start more with the work still going on ( and on - always going to finish 'in the next few days'), and how we were now SO incredibly broke that the phone is nearly cut off because its a choice between paying that or buying youngest's new school uniform, and that listening to the people who had made my life a smelly, messy, humiliating flaming shambles for SEVEN MONTHS go on about popping off on holiday while I'm stuck in this disaster area with no privacy... well I was about to. But then I guess the beta blockers kicked in and I felt dizzy instead.

Any chance you could get people over 30 to phone me up? That'd be nice; just a teensy bit of dignity. Rhetorical.

So. Big oops. I fluffed, and now I don't know what date he said, and he doesn't know whether I agreed or not.

Can you PLEASE give me the address of the relevant complaints department, or details of the proper complaints procedure, so I know I've done everything possible when the unresolved items end up going further?

Still smiling (only because it beats making oneself feel ill) but in a glazed, odd sort of way...


14 August 2007

Let's Do It!

God Bless Victoria Wood!

Freda and Barry sat one night,
The sky was clear, the stars were bright,
The wind was soft, the moon was up,
Freda drained her cocoa cup.

She licked her lips, she felt sublime,
She switched off Gardeners' Question Time.
Barry cringed in fear and dread
As Freda grabbed his tie and said….

Let's do it,Let's do it,
Do it while the mood is right
I'm feeling, appealing,
I've really got an appetite.
I'm on fire, with desire,
I could handle half the tenors in a male voice choir.
Let's do it, let's do it, tonight.

But he said:
I can't do it,I can't do it,
I don't believe in too much sex
This fashion, for passion,
Turns us into nervous wrecks
No derision, my decision,
I'd rather watch the Spinners on the television.
I can't do it, I can't do it, tonight.

So she said:
Let's do it, Let's do it,
Do it till our hearts go boom
Go native, creative,
Living in the living room
This folly, is jolly,
Bend me over backwards on me hostess trolley.
Let's do it, let's do it, tonight.

But he said:
I can't do it, I can't do it,
Me ‘eavy breathing days’ve gone
I'm older, feel colder,
It's other things that turn me on,
I'm imploring, i'm boring,
Let me read this catalogue on vinyl flooring.
I can't do it, I can't do it, tonight.

So she said:
Let's do it, Let's do it,
Have a crazy night of love.
I'll strip bare, I'll just wear,
Stilettos and an oven glove.
Don't starve a, girl of a palava,
Dangle from the wardrobe in yer balaclava.
Let's do it, let's do it, tonight.

But he said:
I can't do it, I can't do it,
I know I'd only get it wrong.
Don't angle, for me to dangle,
Me arms have never been that strong.
Stop pouting, stop shouting,
You know I pulled a muscle when I did that grouting.
I can't do it, I can't do it, tonight.

Let's do it, let's do it,
Share a night of wild romance,
Frenetic, poetic,
This could be your last big chance,
To quote Milton, to eat stilton,
To roll in gay abandon on the tufted Wilton.
Let's do it, let's do it, tonight.

I can't do it, I can't do it,
I've got other little jobs on hand,
Don't grouse, around the house,
I've got a busy evening planned.
Stop nagging, I'm flagging,
You know as well as I do that the pipes want lagging.
Can't do it, can't do it, tonight.

Let's do it, let's do it,
While I'm really in the mood
Three cheers, it's years,
Since I caught you even semi-nude
Get drastic, gymnastic,
Wear your baggy Y-fronts with the loose elastic,
but let's do it, let's do it, tonight.

I can't do it, I can't do it,
I must refuse to get undressed.
I feel silly, it's too chilly,
To go without me thermal vest
Don't choose me, don't use me,
Me mother sent a note to say you must excuse me
I can't do it,I can't do it, tonight.

Let's do it, let's do it,
I feel I absolutely must,
I won't exempt you, want to tempt you,
Want to drive you mad with lust
No cautions, just contortions,
Smear an avocado on my lower portions
Let's do it, let's do it tonight.

I can't do it, I can't do it,
Its really not my cup of tea,
I'm harassed, embarrassed,
I wish you hadn't picked on me.
No dramas, give me me pyjamas,
The only girl I'm mad about is Judith Chalmers
I can't do it, I can't do it, tonight.

Let's do it, let's do it,
I really want to run amok
Let's wiggle, lets jiggle,
Let's really make the rafters rock
Be mighty, be flighty,
Come and melt the buttons on me flameproof nightie
Let's do it, let's do it, tonight.

Let's do it, let's do it,
I really want to rant and rave.
Let's go, 'cos I know,
Just how I want you to behave
Not bleakly, not meekly,
Beat me on the bottom with a Woman's Weekly
Let's do it, let's do it, tonight!

10 August 2007

Number One Son Goes Mud Wrestling

Number One Son, Bigson the fisherman-come-Casanova, has not been in touch too much recently. For several years I have found that his life tends to 'get in the way' for seven or eight months at a time, so I have long conquered the urge to behave like the joke version of a Jewish mother.

"What, you lost your memory?"
"You broke all your fingers already?"

I'd like to say its always nice to have news of him. I AM immensely proud of him (or at least immensely driven to be proud of him), but somehow when smiling, kindly people mention they have seen or heard of our boy, my instant reaction is a tiny, unseen flinch; exactly the same one I used to get if I even heard the school secretary's voice on the phone.

He's not a bad lad, honestly, its just that his un-mentored entrepreneurial spirit was never rewarded at school. Somehow they never saw the funny side of him setting up shop at the back of the playing fields and selling my dried oregano as 'herb', for example.

I didn't even know he'd been to the Glade Festival this year. I didn't know the ticket had been his pride and joy, nor that the trip went wrong and he and a mate arrived late and drenched from the rain, without any money.

I certainly didn't know that he'd proceeded to have an impromptu mud-wrestling match instead, for eight minutes, against a taller, seemingly bigger-built guy, in nothing but his trousers (whilst the crowed hugged themselves in warm jackets), WON, and got himself posted on youtube.

I do now.

Here's the last minute:

There is a longer video with better sound, that shows the other guy calling for a match. It also shows that this was organised, with referees and rules. There's another eighteen second close-up that shows half of Son's moves are dancing to the music, to wind the other guy up.

Here he is, the numpty.

OK yes, it was all in good fun, he toppled a taller bloke with no grip underfoot and I am BLOODY PROUD - just nobody tell him I know, right? I'd never live it down....

07 August 2007

Flipping Typical

According to a survey in Men's Fitness magazine (out tomorrow):
  • 64 per cent of British men are unhappy with their bodies.
  • Just two per cent think their bodies are perfect.
  • 71 per cent of men believe their partners are unhappy with their bodies.
  • 63 per cent of men wish they could eat less.
  • One per cent of men think having a good body doesn’t matter.
  • 49 per cent of British men most want a physique like Daniel Craig’s.
  • 33 per cent of British men most want a physique like David Beckham’s.

  • Right.
    It is noticeable that, at least according to those questioned by Wilkinson Sword (who sponsored the survey):
    • 7% of men are pretty certain their partners are unhappy with how they look, but don't agree or care.
    • Nearly all the men unhappy with their bodies think they are not skinny, plain, or suffering ducks fever, but simply fat.
    • 35% of men believe that having a good body DOES matter, yet don't feel unhappy with their own physique. In other words, even though only two percent own up to it, seven men out of every twenty think that they are personally hot.
    I was going to moan that I had never managed to be involved with a single one of that sort, but I think I am probably pleased. Gah, ye gods, Himbos. Who needs?

    Faffing about with Facebook

    Facebook doesn't love me, at all.

    For two or three days it was letting me in on either of two passwords, but forcing me to sign in all over again to access stuff like my own settings. Just for a giggle, it would then decide both passwords were incorrect, leaving me signed in enough to edit my profile or send emails, but locked out of everything else.

    Eventually a very nice, very helpful woman got to my request for help and decided to reset my password. Obviously, it goes without saying, that the Facebook app had JUST settled down and started to behave itself, a day before help arrived. Equally obviously, the new password is a short mix of letters and numbers that mean nothing to me. I don't like writing passwords down any more than I like relying on my Firefox password manager.

    But that's OK, right? Because now I have a new password and Facebook is behaving itself, all I have to do is go into my account settings and pick a new one. And she is very nice and helpful and now that I have her attention she answers emails really fast.


    Except now if I click on account settings it boots me back out to the sign-in page. It LETS me sign in (that's an improvement) but only back to my profile page, from whence I must click a link to the account settings page, at which point it boots me out again. And so on and so forth.

    Does anyone have any better ideas? I have cleared the cache and cookies every five seconds, it seems, to no avail. I have rebooted the machine. I have even done a little dance of supplication, forced a smile and begged it, please, please, with sugar and a cherry on top, to pull its chubby finger out of its sweaty butt and just fucking function be nice and work for me.

    Oh, and just to make everything lovely in the garden, an Aussie newspaper has pointed out that the popularity of facebook and the race to supply add-ons has opened the door for malicious code, and identity theft.

    You download an add-on, and you effectively swap outside software for all your personal details, which are then subject to that third party's privacy policy, so you could, technically, buy a computer virus, by handing over the rights to use your details for any purpose. I've been adding on things like the graffiti wall and the Vampire app; all the fun stuff, and I've never even noticed a link to terms & cons or a privacy policy. Oh trollocks.

    I am so frickin depressed with it now.


    (I only signed up because of these guys)

    06 August 2007

    Oh Buggritt!

    Yea verily thou mayest mock and abhor me, for I am dust.
    I am the worm that turned to come crawling back home.
    A wimp.


    And that's all the whimpering and voluntary submissive do-wotsits that you'll see here. Join the opt-in list at the bottom of this page to see more. Joke.

    Yes, after all those demeaning efforts to quit blogging, I appear to be back, like the sanctimonious ex fag smoker who flashed her patches at all and sundry, only to be caught hovering in the darkest corner of the nicotine shed come coffee break. If people shuffle nervously and say nothing for not knowing WHAT to say, then I completely understand. My page rank bottomed out while I was gone anyhow - not enough rude words to keep even misdirected perverts from accidentally landing here, so if all you good guys have also gone elsewhere and I am talking to the wind, I understand that too.

    Its you lot - all your fault I'm back(ish). All those compliments, you are so MEAN.

    The little school job, you might have guessed, went up the swanny. I sat and watched it float away into the hands, let's be honest, of someone far more suited to the 9 to 5 than I will ever be.

    Still, for some bizarre reason the other half has taken a break from growing ulcers on his ulcers (and then sharing them) every time a bank statement comes in. I think that has something to do with accepting that no job search can really be attempted with the kids home for the six week summer break, so I have taken the opportunity to:

    a) throw caution and reputation* to the wind and return to blogging, and
    b) join the Thirty Day Challenge, during this quiet truce, to see if even I can make an honest buck or two (I could only sleep nights if they were honest) during this delicate hiatus.

    (The people at Thirty Day Challenge actually want me to have a blog. I don't think this is what they mean.)

    * Re reputation - purlease! I've spent a couple of years slating GPs, builders and County staff, not to mention the number of times I've talked dirty. Sex, slander, swearing and self admonishment = not an employer's dream. Fuck 'em.(**)

    ** Bloody hell, I knew I only aired the expletives on this blog but I didn't realise what a couple of months abstinence would do to the guilt factor. I feel all brave and liberated and naughty, now. Gosh. *blush*: "Fuck!" Hee-hee.