30 April 2009

Worship me, for I happen to have been born on this day

Today is my birthday, and I am officially now 28 and Very Close To Being Thirty.

I can't believe that I'm 28 already and I'm not particularly happy about it. When I was young I thought 28 seemed like an eternity away and just sounded so OLD. I also didn't used to start sentences with "when I was young". Saying that though, I kind of have two opinions on it. I don't like my age when written down any more, but I feel perfectly happy with where I am and wouldn't want to change it. I just looked back on my post from my last birthday and found I wrote almost exactly the same thing last year too, so I shouldn't complain really.

I have received lots of nice birthday wishes by text and on Facebook and Twitter (and even in person, shock horror). It's funny how you get special treatment and presents simply for having survived another year. I could be a horrible person (I'm not, I'm lovely) and I'd still get birthday cards. What is it that we celebrate exactly? "I like you, and am therefore pleased you were born, so will mark this day with gifts"? It's nice anyway, and means everyone gets a special day during the year apart from the Queen who gets two and the people who were born too close to Christmas for it to really warrant two presents and who has enough money to buy two presents at Christmastime anyway, their parents should have thought about that when they were busily getting knocked up in March.

I probably won't be doing too much for my birthday today, what with it being a school night, but I've got birthday cake and doughnuts to eat at work (paid for by me, tsk) and we'll probably have a nice meal tonight. I'll save the proper celebrations for the weekend when we've got friends coming down and we'll be going to cowboy-themed Wild Fruit (insert Rawhide-music whip cracking noise here).

I'm off to contemplate my third doughnut of the morning now.

29 April 2009

Public masturbation

Why do boys these days walk around wearing jogging bottoms with one or both hands shoved right down the front? What are they doing down there? And more importantly, why does no-one say "excuse me, can you stop tugging yourself off in front of Ladbrokes please"?

I see it all the time now, it's like it's trendy or something. I just saw a boy walking with a group of four girls, just casually chatting, and clearly clasping his cock while doing it. I just don't get it! Why doesn't it trouble the girls? Why don't they squeal "uurrrrrrrrr he's touching himself Lind", and run off to find a grown up (they were fairly young). I don't know, maybe they've all got love eggs shoved up themselves or something, so they think the boys deserve an equivalent.

It's wrong anyway. In my day if you wanted to have a wank you did it in private. Or at least under a coat.

28 April 2009

Letter to a Christian Nation

I was just reading these quotes from Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris that someone sent me the link to on Twitter (thanks @Sheamus!), and the last bit really made me laugh so I thought I'd share it with you.

"The president of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive."

I hope he was writing about George W Bush rather than Barack Obama. I can easily imagine George Bush talking to his hairdryer, and the hairdryer being his intellectual superior.

27 April 2009

Such a nice neighbourhood

I'm a bit disturbed by this article in the Argus saying there was an attempted armed robbery on my road on Saturday. What a lovely area I must live in!

I was out at the time so I missed all the excitement, and fortunately it was a robbery in a shop rather than an individual being held up in the street at gun point, but it's still a bit scary. I actually hate the shop in question, it's an eyesore, so I don't mind if it gets robbed particularly, but obviously I'm quite keen not to get shot by fleeing gunmen.

It's never been the nicest road to live on, I have to say. It's close to town and lots of people walk along it on their way home after nights out, so that brings with it a fair bit of noise and the occasional bit of trouble. I've seen several fights in the time I've lived here, including one person who had their ear cut off ("my ear's gone! my fucking ear's gone!" cried the young man in question), and a gay couple who had a rather savage fight that featured belt-whipping, repeated in-the-face kicking, and then an attempt to bite a finger off. A charming couple with a bright future ahead of them, I'm sure you'll agree.

I'd never called 999 in my life before moving here, and in the last five and a half years I must have called it about six times.

So anyway, it's obviously not that nice an area really. Maybe it's just as well we're planning on moving this year. We had a meeting with a mortgage man at HSBC on Saturday, which was quite exciting in a boring financial sort of way, so now all we have to do is start looking for flats!

24 April 2009

It's words that hurt the most

My clothing was slagged off by a pikey yesterday. That's right, MY clothing was critiqued by a fat, toothless, street-drinking pikey woman in a dirty grey jumper and joggers. What the hell??

We had just left the house and had unfortunately to walk past one of the groups of drunks that are always sitting near our house on the way to the car.

"The one on the left needs skinny jeans!", crowed the fat boiler, to the delight of her equally disease-ridden companion who promptly laughed at said boiler's witty remark.

I had perfectly nice trousers on! And they went with my outfit and everything! They were from Primark I admit, but she didn't know that.

Of course I couldn't think of anything clever to say in return, so just kept walking and suffered the ignominy of them chortling behind my back.

I should have pointed out that she needs to get some front teeth and lose about 300 pounds before she comments on anyone else's appearance, fat cow. The audacity of it!

21 April 2009

Guy Pearce is really rather hot

I watched Memento yesterday and it reminded me of what a cutey Guy Pearce is. Look! Look how cute!

He's actually a bit hotter in Priscilla Queen of the Desert I think, probably just because he's quite a bit younger, but he's still got that lean muscly thing going on even now he's 40.

I hope I look that good when I'm 40.

Anyway, Memento was really good, although you have to concentrate if you don't want to get lost as the story is more or less told backwards. Guy Pearce plays a man on a mission to find his wife's killer, which sounds straightforward enough except that he has a form of amnesia that prevents him from storing any new memories. It's well written and very original, and it leaves you talking about it for a while afterwards as you try to piece everything back together in chronological order in your head. I highly recommend it.

One last picture, this one was too good to pass up.

16 April 2009

Aren't weddings supposed to be fun?

Sigh, OK so here is the latest on my brother's wedding, that I couldn't be bothered to write about yesterday because it was too depressing.

Mum now has a borrowed dress and a hat to wear, which is good because she was freaking out about finding an outfit. So is she feeling any happier and maybe looking forward to her son getting married? No. She's now able to turn her attention instead to freaking out about how she's going to manage the day, and how long she'll be able to stay for, and how she'll get home afterwards. I think the root cause is most probably that she went to a dress shop at the weekend for an hour and then it took her two days to recover, so she's obviously now thinking how is she going to manage a whole wedding.

Dave isn't being particularly helpful, but I do understand why. He's feeling a bit pissed off I think that not only is Mum not doing anything to help for the wedding (because, admittedly, she can't), she is actually being a hindrance and creating more stress for him, by asking for constant reassurance and checking of things like where she can go for a rest during the day, where she can eat her meal, etc etc. She is quite good at making things about her, even when you think it is something that most certainly is not about her.

She's like that though. Take when she found out I was gay - one of the earliest things she said to me was "I don't think you've thought about how this affects me", and then she bought this stupid book called Stranger In The Family - How to cope when your son is gay. It was all about grief, and the mourning that a parent feels for the life they thought their child was going to have and now won't.

Fuck. Off. Mourning?? I wasn't bloody dead! Just because she chose to make lots of assumptions about my life, it's not my fault. I never promised to marry a nice girl and have lots of babies. And a parent's assumptions actually make their gay child's life rather more difficult, as you then feel like you're doing something wrong by not conforming to them.

Anyway, I'm getting off the point. Mum is getting stressy and demanding attention, and Dave is getting pissy and refusing to give it, so I end up getting my ear bent by both of them. I don't recall signing up to be family conciliator and I'm getting a bit fucked off with it lately. I want to go to my brother's wedding and enjoy it! But I won't really, I won't be able to relax until the evening probably, once Mum and Dad leave, which sounds AWFUL but it's true.

So there you are. And we've got about five and a half weeks to go. I'm sure someone will go into meltdown at some point before that. I'm slightly concerned that Dave will be short with Mum on the phone, she'll take offence (partly on purpose, as part of her attention-seeking tactics), and then Mum will say she won't go at all then if she's such a trouble and we'll have a whole family drama.

But whatever, fuck it, I can't fix everything for them. I'm getting exasperated, can you tell?

15 April 2009

Six-day weekend

I had a lovely six-day weekend for Easter. Although it seemed like I did a lot of stuff and saw a lot of people, as always now that I'm back at work it feels like it went past too quickly.

We went up to London on Thursday to visit our families, which was nice enough. It was a bit boring at my parents' house as usual, but I was only there for one night. Mum is getting increasingly stressed about Dave's wedding now, but I think I'll have to save that for a separate blog post (and for when I can be bothered to think about it all. It's rather draining).

Then Friday I had a nice meal with Chris' family, and then another meal with his Dad on Saturday, before we scooted on up to Cambridge for a friend's 30th birthday party. It was for our friend who moved to Sweden about 18 months ago, he was over with his wife and kiddy to see all his friends for his birthday.

It was lovely to see them actually, as obviously we don't see them very often now. I think the last time was their wedding in August. It got me thinking about how we've pretty much lost a whole circle of friends since they moved away and since our other friend (from the same group) moved to Cambodia. They were our friends we used to go to the pub with, quite often actually, but now Chris and I hardly ever go to straight pubs because the circle of friends broke up a bit after they went. It's funny how that happens, but I'm not particularly surprised: they were the people who knew everyone in the group, so it was them that held it together. Once those people leave it's hard to maintain a relationship with the others you don't have a direct link with.

We do have some other new friends now of course, but I used to enjoy those nights in the pub playing silly drinking games.

So anyway, the 30th birthday party was spent drinking rather too much vodka and dancing by candlelight in his parents' garage. I felt a bit like a teenager again. It was good fun though.

And then the last couple of days of my long weekend I spent in Brighton, just loafing about really, and having a long walk up and down Devil's Dyke (see my rather nice photo in the previous post). I wish I could have been off for a bit longer, as Chris is off all week, but such is life when you are the wife of a teacher.

Right, I better get on with some work I suppose. Although it would be much more fun to start making the scoresheets for our annual Eurovision party, so maybe I'll do that instead. Only a month to go now! "It's myyyyy time, it's my time...."

13 April 2009

Devil's Dyke

08 April 2009

New phone

I got a new phone on Monday, I'm quite pleased with it so far. I'd been thinking about getting a BlackBerry because I liked the idea of having wi-fi on it, but in the end I decided it was just too expensive.

So I've got a Sony Ericsson CyberShot C510 instead. It's 3G, and I've never had a 3G phone before, so I've been dead impressed with all the internetty things it can do and how fast it does them.

It's also got quite a good camera, as it is a CyberShot and that's what they're geared towards. This is the first picture I took on it:

Quite good isn't it? Good enough for me to use for random snapshots anyway. Apparently it has some sort of special integration with Blogger that I've not worked out yet, so who knows, this might open up a whole new world of photo blogging to me.

Until I figure out how that works though, I shall content myself with the Google Maps thing that triangulates my position and shows me where I am on a map. Which is useful I suppose if you ever don't know where you are, such as during a kidnapping.

07 April 2009

Parky gets his claws out

I quite enjoyed reading this article about Michael Parkinson lashing out at the media for their response to the death of Jade Goody. It articulates some of the things that I've been shouting at the television screen for quite some time.

I did initially think he was a little harsh to describe her as "barely educated, ignorant and puerile", but actually when I thought about it further I realised none of those adjectives is inappropriate. She was all those things, it's just people don't tend to say so once someone has died.

I've never had a particular problem with Jade Goody. Yes she was self-confessedly dim, but in general she wasn't malicious, and she never proclaimed herself to be particularly talented or newsworthy. She just milked the media for money, in quite a shrewd way, in order to achieve a better life for herself and her children.

BUT, I have objected to the reaction to her death. Of course it is sad for someone to die at 27, particularly when they have young children. But as Parkinson said, "it's not the passing of a martyr or a saint or, God help us, Princess Di". So why have we had this ridiculous reaction? People lining the streets throwing flowers at her hearse, for fuck's sake!

It is entirely typical of British society now though: people being famous simply for being famous; a stupid celebrity culture where you can bypass talent and hard work just by getting yourself on the right TV show or in the right magazine; and a highly volatile relationship with the public, who'll switch easily from loving you to hating you and then right back to loving you again.

Jade's just lucky her death didn't come immediately after the whole Celebrity Big Brother debacle. What would we have had then? People spitting at her coffin? How readily people forget.

So anyway, good on Michael Parkinson for being so caustic and yet so apposite.

03 April 2009

Kinder Bueno sex pests

The Kinder Bueno sponsorship clip things they have during Desperate Housewives are SO sexist and have such double standards!

Let me illustrate. Their slogan is "Kinder Bueno - a little bit of what you fancy".

Clip 1
Some women are out for lunch at a restaurant and are being served by an attractive male waiter. They wait for him to come near their table, and deliberately throw something on the floor. He bends over to get it, and they all scope out his tightly denimed ass together.

But switch the sexes and you get a group of men out for a meal, eyeing up the hot waitress. They chuck something on the floor and proceed to leer at her as she innocently picks it up for them, possibly nudging each other and licking their lips. 100,000 complaints to the Advertising Standards Agency for exploitation.

Clip 2
A woman goes into her gym, and sees a muscly man walk past her and go through the door to the male changing rooms. She sneaks up and sticks her head through the door, then comes out all smiley and wide-eyed and goes off into her own changing room.

But if a man saw a hot female walk past him, followed her to the changing rooms and peeked in at her, he'd be labelled a sex pest, be put on some sort of offenders register, and there'd be a full-page spread in the News Of The World about greasey-raincoated perverts hanging around LA Fitness and heavy breathing!

Now don't get me wrong, I would quite happily chuck my fork on the floor in order to get a good look at a cute waiter's behind. I may even take a photo on my mobile while he was down there. And I don't have any trouble following men into the changing rooms to watch them strip off, it's one of the key advantages of homosexuality.

But it does seems a little unfair and one-sided!

"Kinder Bueno - as much fun as sexual harrassment"

A lot of fuss about nothing

Well my anxieties about travelling to London during apocalyptic civil unrest proved to be completely unfounded, as I sailed quite happily up to London and back without seeing a single protester. I don't think there were as many people around yesterday as there had been on Wednesday, and the only evidence I saw that there may have been some protests somewhere was the occasional policeman in a yellow bib.

My training was hmmm alright. It was run fairly satisfactorily, but was quite different to what I thought it was going to be on paper and actually wasn't relevant to what I needed at all. So I learnt some things, but will probably never use them. Still, it was a day out of the office, and I actually got home slightly earlier than I do normally, so I'm not really complaining.

Friday again today, I don't know where the weeks are going at the moment. Time is really flying by without a lot actually happening. Might try to make it to Popstarz tonight, or if not then to Revenge tomorrow (or maybe both! But let's not get overexcited).

01 April 2009

If I'm not back in 24 hours

I have to go to London tomorrow for some IT training that I'm not particularly interested in. Where am I going? London Bridge. And where was one of the gathering points for G20 protesters today? London Bridge. Typical!

So I don't know what's going to happen now, I'm just going to head up there and see. I think I might be alright because the protests tomorrow are more likely to be over in the Docklands near the ExCel thingy they're having the actual summit at. I suppose the train could be crowded with protesters or something, or I might have trouble getting home, but I just won't know until I'm there.

It's a bit annoying though. Of course the G20 summit wasn't at the forefront of my mind when I booked the stupid training, why would it have been??

I've been following the protests today both on the BBC live webcast and on Twitter. It's been mostly quite controlled, with just the windows at a branch of Royal Bank of Scotland smashed and some isolated violence with the police. From what I could see on the webcast it was a few trouble makers trying to incite the police to fight them, while the rest of the protesters looked on a bit uneasily and wondered if they were going to get baton-charged. One of the main problems seemed to be that even once some of the protesters wanted to leave, the police wouldn't let them. I wasn't quite sure about that, I suppose if people were moving and regrouping all over the place the police would get easily overrun, but it seemed a bit stupid when some people actually wanted to go home and were being forced to keep protesting.

So we shall see what happens tomorrow. Hopefully if it's bad at London Bridge I will find out early and can just turn around and come back. I'll be more annoyed to get stuck in central London and not be able to get a train back home.

The Stupid Sex Education Show (its new official title)

I watched the first two episodes of the Sex Education Show vs Pornography last night, and it was really bloody annoying! I thought some of it was good, but some was really poorly done and really narrow-minded given the aim of the show and the way it was marketed.

I thought it was good in that I think it's helpful for teenagers to get a much more honest and detailed description of sex and human bodies; sex education in schools is based far too much on diagrams and vague descriptions. I also thought it was useful for them to see why porn and real sex and real bodies are different, so they don't get unnecessarily worried about their own bodies or have stupid ideas about what you need to be doing during sex.

BUT, beyond that I was really disappointed. That stupid Anna Richardson who presents it makes out that she is very open-minded and interested in showing what things are really like, but in actual fact she's not at all. She'd obviously made up her mind about a lot of things before she even started talking, you could tell by her tone and the way she lead the discussion. And even worse than that, she deliberately asked the children loaded and leading questions in order to extract the answers she wanted.

Case in point for her so-called open mindedness: she goes into a sex shop, and one of the first things she says is "I don't know where that goes, and I don't want to know!". Then she picks something up:

"What's this supposed to do?"
"It stimulates your g-spot."
"How???", with incredulous and mildly disgusted look on her face.

Then she gleefully prances around some supermarkets and comes scuttling out triumphantly branding a bottle of lubricant she bought in order to demonstrate the ‘sexualisation of our society' and proceeds to excoriate the fact that these things are available in Sainsbury's. So bloody what? It's only a fucking bottle of lubricant that was probably on sale next to the condoms in the pharmacy bit. What would she prefer, that you can't buy lubricant without going in secret to some sex shop? So that instead people end up using non-water-based household items instead because they are too embarrassed to go to a sex shop, which in fact will just rot the condom and make it break? Is that better?? No! Should they not sell condoms in supermarkets either??

I am surprised at Channel 4. Particularly as I remember a while ago they showed a good programme comparing our sex education to the Netherlands, where information is freely available to teenagers and everyone is very relaxed about sex being a natural part of life, and where they have a much lower teenage pregnancy rate than we do. How does that then tally with her waving a cockring around outside Waitrose like a giggly fucking schoolgirl?

And then there was the bit about porn and her entirely unrealistic attitude to it. Again, I found her prudish and ignorant. Yes there is a lot of porn on the internet. Yes it is freely available, and an unsupervised minor can access pretty much any kind of porn they want to. But I don't agree that porn is a bad thing, and I don't know why she was surprised that teenagers would want to be looking at it. And she's started a stupid little crusade now about protecting children from porn which in my view is entirely misdirected. She thinks ‘the IT industry should take responsibility for protecting our children', and had members of the public making stupid comments like it should be controlled at distribution level. Take some fucking responsibility! The man from BT was entirely correct in my opinion: he said they provide some different tools for parents to control access on their computers, but it's up to them to enforce them (which Anna derisively dismissed with "so they've put the ball squarely back in the court of parents"). Yes you fools. If you don't want your children looking at porn, then put the damn computer in the living room, put parental control software on it, and discuss with them the boundaries for things they aren't allowed to do on there. Just because you're more ignorant than your 13 year-old child about computers is no excuse! And as for saying "we need to control it at source", that's like saying we need to control printing presses to stop people making dirty books.

People like sex and they like nudity. Porn is just a natural expression of human nature. Yes it's not for children, and that's fine, but as long as no-one is being forced to do anything, and no-one is being harmed, and the people who make the porn want to make it and the people watching it want to watch it, I have no problem with it at all. Children will end up seeing some of it; they're naturally curious and they're cunning, but if it weren't on the internet they'd still get it somewhere else. I saw dirty magazines when I was about 12!

And one stupid parent who she showed porn to said "well I think that's bordering on evil". Idiot. Are horror films bordering on evil because you see someone getting their head cut off or their arms minced up in a blender? No! They're not for children, but they're not evil either.

Anyway, this has gone on for ages now so I should shut up. Oo, final point though: the bit where the children picked out the artificial tits as being the best ones. Well DUR. Of course they're the fucking best ones! That's what the surgery is FOR. That's why people do it! You have surgery in order to bring your body closer to our accepted notion of what's beautiful, so what does she fucking expect them to say?? It's fine to explain to the children that most people don't look like this, and they should be able to appreciate normal bodies as beautiful and arousing too. But it's about learning the distinction between what you see in the media and what real life is like. To try to induce them to say a pair of breast-feeding-ravaged tits is more beautiful than the pert round ones is ridiculous.

So anyway, I didn't like that programme much. I might watch the rest of the series just so I can pick holes in it.

My OCD dreams have come true

Lots of things to blog today, but I shall do them as separate posts. I like to keep things tidy, as you shall see.

Which leads me on (almost as if I had planned this post) to say I'm terribly excited! In a rather geeky and pointless way, but excited nonetheless.

Basically, when I'm at work, I have a particular order that I open my applications in and they MUST stay in that order otherwise I get annoyed. It goes:
  • Outlook
  • Internet Explorer
  • Flock
  • Dreamweaver
  • Windows Explorer
  • TweetDeck (which runs in the background anyway)
These I keep open all day. However, it doesn't take much for my order to be upset - accidentally closing a window, something crashing, or installing something that insists an application be closed (usually IE). And although I've tried to tolerate them in a different order, I usually end up closing everything and starting again just to keep it neat.

But now I no longer need to because I've found a cute little programme called Taskbar Shuffle! It runs in the background and means I can drag my windows around on the taskbar and put them wherever I want. I can't believe I haven't found it before!

So you see, very geeky, very pointless, and yet I'm rather more pleased than I should be because suddenly something in life got easier.

I'm a man of simple pleasures. And compulsive neatness.