All 22 entries tagged Random Things

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May 18, 2006

Much Ado About Fruit

I have a problem. There is a banana festering somewhere in my room, and I'm not sure where. I picked it out of the fruit bowl this morning because it was getting to the stage where the browny black bits were starting to outweigh the yellow, meaning to eat it for breakfast. However, after a few choice diversions including Facebook, frozen milk, spiders in the hallway and fixing my umbrella, breakfast and the banana were both forgotten. Until now, and now I can't find said banana. I have no recollection of where I might have put it down. All I know is that it is lurking somewhere, probably in my room, and probably slowly rotting as I speak.

I would quite like to eat this banana. But if I don't find it within the next few hours or so, it will have gone beyond the point where it would be decent to eat it, and much as I loathe throwing food away, I think the only place for the banana will be the bin. And even worse, if I don't find it soon, I may wake up tomorrow morning with a funny smell in the room, and find the mangled corpse of my formerly yellow friend stuffed in a desk drawer or concealed under the bed.

The fact that I don't know where it's gone is starting to bother me more than a little bit. Not least because I seem to be losing my memory, which I thought only happened once you'd had children. It won't be long before I start forgetting conversations that happened yesterday, and trailing off in the middle of sentences, and sounding even more like my mother than I do already.

On the upside, any day that contains Sigur Ros, thunderstorms, red wine and rainbows can't be bad. And even if my memory gets worse, I do have a digital camera to remind me of things like this:

Right. Now all I have to do is find that bloody banana…


April 22, 2006

The Hard Life of My Hard Drive

So, I finally downloaded Winamp. This was after Windows Media Player took a full total of three minutes to find a song on shuffle, and by the time it had found the song I could have already heard it and be pretty much on to the next one, whereupon I decided that I'd really rather like a music player that didn't make my hard drive curl up and die quite so much with every shuffle. So Winamp was welcomed with open arms on to my desktop, and now sits in pride of place somewhere on the crest of a wave on the Pacific Ocean, with my mother floating gaily about in the foreground.

Which is, of course, all well and good. However, with the introduction of Winamp and the novelty of a program that can handle all of my accumulated music, my hard drive has been forced to reveal some of its dark and distressing secrets.

Apparently, for most of the three years of its careworn life, my laptop has been struggling with a music folder containing the one and only (and alas now deceased) Busted. I'm not quite sure how long it thought to hide this from me, but it did pretty well to conceal an entire album so completely for so long. The thing is, I really don't know how it got there in the first place. I have no memory of ever going 'oooh, I fancy a bit of Busted.' (In fact, I have no memory of ever saying 'oooh I fancy a bit of' anything, but if I had, I doubt it would have been to do with Busted.) Therefore, my hard drive must be the culprit… unless it was forced into submission by Busted themselves in order to increase their pop longevity by ensuring their music lives on in the depths of unsuspecting laptops. Ah yes, that'll be it.

It's still a little traumatised. I can tell this by the fact the shuffle keeps coming up with Placebo. I have this feeling it may need some time to recover from this one.

I'll know it's cured when it starts voluntarily selecting The Divine Comedy.


March 07, 2006

I'm Great, Employ Me…

… is something that is very hard to convey after you have been walking around in London in the pouring rain for three hours, getting lost in Soho, smiling back at dodgy men in fedoras and sunglasses, avoiding Scientologists who want to drag you into a back room for 'a little chat,' spending far too much time in close proximity to the Middle-Aged Potential-Adulterer Business Man type (ugh), spending far too much time in knee high boots that are retaining more rain-water than the London streets, and with scary mile high frizz hair.

Nevertheless, I feel I may have made my mark, if only in soggy wet patches on their lovely thick pile carpets.

And as reward, I am not going to attempt any Shakespeare whatsoever tonight. I am not even going to open the optimistically-named word document wherein it doth not lie. He is going to stay in the corner until tomorrow. Instead, I am going to ponder three of the world's great mysteries, prompted by today's adventures:

  1. Why, at the only point in your day when you actually do want a Starbucks, one is nowhere to be found. Yet as soon as you've given up and have settled for a dodgy paper cup of something brown coloured in the corner of a tube station, an outlet miraculously appears, warm and dry and cosy looking and smelling of actual coffee, whilst you stand outside in the rain, pressing your nose wistfully to the window like orphans do with toyshops in Dickens television adaptations.

  2. Why I only ever get chatted up by drunk guys and middle-aged married men. I mean, really. Do I have some sort of sign on my chest saying Get Your Adultery Here? Which, for the record, I categorically don't. And yes, talking about your wife is a great turn-on, as is the business card. I'll stick to my original game plan with the cats, thanks.

  3. Why on every train, it is prerequisite that there must always be one elderly lady with a suitcase that is larger than her, and also one bolshy man in a business suit and horrible pink tie, probably called something like 'Stu' or 'Phil,' who insists on talking very loudly and agitatedly into his mobile about something very very dull like the price of paperclips per 100g as if it's a war council, and then persists in sounding annoyed and surprised when the signal cuts out as if it's some unexpected crisis, and carries on barking 'Hello! Hello!' down the receiver til everybody around him wants to ram his stupid shiny black all-singing all-dancing phone-organiser-and-sex-toy-in-one gadget down his ugly pink tie throttled throat. Come on Stu/Phil, you must have got used to this whole flickery signal on a train sort of malarkey by now. Surely at least you saw Trigger Happy TV at some point in your paperclip filled existence?

Ah, that feels a lot better.

I knew Shakespeare wasn't a good idea tonight.


January 31, 2006

Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch, who watches over you?

Hmm. It appears it has taken me all of January to find a cure for the Januaryness of the month. I could have merely waited for it to come to the end of its annual life, which you would think would be the simple solution, but being me, I had to make it difficult.

However, after 30 days of searching, I am proud to report that I have managed to reclaim a day of my life from January. Without these hallowed 24 hours, I would not be the person I am now. Well, at least I probably wouldn't be singing the songs I am now. This may be a good thing or a bad thing. I haven't quite figured out the full moral and ethical implications of January, but it gives me something to work towards in 2007, at any rate.

So yes. I have, as you may have gathered, beaten January by the power of music. And not any old music. Well, that's sort of a lie. Semi -old music (if old is defined as circa 1970, but don't tell my mother I said that). January was banished from my room and my life by the songs of my long-lost youth. The Smashing Pumpkins, No Doubt, Republica, Garbage, Dodgy, All Saints, Smashmouth and the Fun Lovin' Criminals all played their part, and the final kick was administered by none other than the fantastic and neglected They Might Be Giants. I did, truly, build a birdhouse in my soul, and somehow in the middle of this January realised it wasn't getting any attention, sulked for a bit, and then waddled off for good.

As a footnote, I also made soup, flapjack, steamed chocolate pudding and a casserole, which may or may not be connected, but they were all tasty, so I don't really care either way.


January 18, 2006

Down and Out in South Leam

I love the fact that on any post-pub walk back to my house, every possible take-out delight is available en-route. Fish and chips, curry, chinese, and pizza (twice). What more could anyone need? It's also helpful as a Virtuous-ometer – I know my willpower's feeling good about itself if I manage to make it all the way home without cracking, especially if I make it past the '10% DISCOUNT ON ALL FOODS' sign in the Royal. I always succumb to the Royal mainly because most of the menu is spelt right, and this pleases me more than I should probably admit.

And the guy behind the counter is friendly, unlike a certain lady in another place not a million miles away, which we shall merely allude to as Sonacsut. She always gives me this glance of 'I'm far too cool and attractive and my hair is just too damn flicky to take your order' and then glares balefully from behind the desk until my azzip is ready. If it wasn't buy-one-get-one-free from the shop, I swear I'd have it delivered just so I didn't have to face her. Maybe that's why they do that offer. It's bad enough just walking past the shop window, especially times like tonight when my hair's a bit crazy and I was sure I still had wax on my face (which I discovered later that I still did).

Yes, wax on my face. I somehow managed to splatter a candle completely over myself in the grand tradition of things, which meant I spent half an hour on the floor with a hot iron and old newspapers, trying to get the stuff out of my clothes, and another half hour picking wax out of my hair/teeth/cleavage, at which point I decided this was not the way I wanted to spend my evening. So I ended up in the Jug instead, where I got disturbed for the first time by the fact that they have the same chairs and clock as my mother has in the kitchen, and had to keep running to the toilet to check that I didn't look like I'd got some weird waxy form of leprosy.

In other news: I won back my parking spot on the street, Costcutters appear to have stopped stocking plain noodles, and my Shakespeare essay appears to have become all about hats, which will be interesting, I'm sure.


November 18, 2005

What I wouldn't give for a Nose Cosy

I don't get cold easily. And even if I do, I have at my disposal an exciting range of gloves, scarves, woolly jumpers and hats in which to bedeck myself. I even have a poncho, for times when a jumper just isn't pretentious enough.

Therefore, normally, I am a happy warm bunny, even in the depths of November in our lovely airy student abode. Apart from one teeny tiny problem. There is one area of me that continues to feel the cold – my poor beleagured nose. There is no item of clothing (apart from a scary burglar balaclava) that is suitable for warming and cherishing it in the course of a normal winter day. And thus it goes unwarmed and uncherished, and gets very very cold.

Of course the truth is that I do cherish it, and would be very upset were it to shrivel and drop off from this seeming neglect. I would love to give it its very own little warming winter woolly to make it feel special. But seeing as no such garment exists, the problem seems insoluble. Unless I take to wearing a balaclava around the house, which would pose significant problems during mealtimes, mess up my hair, and probably cause my housemates to ring the police, my nose must go unloved.

So what can one do in the absence of an affordable, fashionable Nose CosyTM? One of my friends, when we were discussing this phenomenom last year, thought it was a good idea to share her cost-conscious solution: she gets her boyfriend to suck on her nose in chilly climes. Romance is alive and well, obviously. Just be glad you didn't witness the live demonstration later that evening.

Maybe I could knit my own. Start up a small business. Become one of those high-flying student entrepreneurs that turn up on the front pages of the business section looking smug in their designer jeans. Sue all the producers of the cheap tacky imitations that would appear on the market, and then retire to a mansion in the country with the profit, light my roaring log fires and crank up the central heating, and never need a Nose Cosy again.


November 16, 2005

My Evil Twin

Or possibly my good twin, depending on what you think of me and how much chocolate I've had in a particular day. Squinting at you funnily probably doesn't count as pure evilness, as I seem to do that a lot, even to those I adore. It usually means I'm away with the fairies thinking about something wonderful like my dinner, and haven't recognised you until there's no time to do anything else than grimace in a wicked stepmother kind of way. Hmm, I wonder if there's some sort of facial exercises I can do for a pleasanter disposition to the world at large? Or maybe some sort of smile/forehead brace arrangement?

Anyway… getting back to the actual title of this, if this was Ricki Lake, or Sally Jessy, or even Ms Trisha 'ooh I'm so successful and self-righteous they gave me a surname' Goddard, this title would be in bright yellow italics with some sort of exclamation running along the bottom of the screen, and I would be squirming round on one of those red conference centre chairs, crossing and recrossing my legs, with ridiculously bad hair and pancake make-up courtesy of the studio make-up team, and telling my story by nodding meekly at Sally/Trisha/Ricki whilst they went through the most salient points, and the studio audience thought of some extremely helpful advice for me. They would then announce a A SURPRISE GUEST! and I would of course be completely amazed at the arrival of my very own evil twin. Fancy that. And then it would all degenerate into a slanging match, and there would be tears, and stormings out, and then the eminent pop psychologist would swoop in to save the day, as positive proof that it was actually possible to get good hair and make up from the studio team. And there would be applause. Lots of applause.

But seeing as my hair is behaving itself tonight, I have no make up on, my chair is a rather fetching green swivel with the stuffing popping out, and there is no bossy woman shoving a mic in my face, I shall leave my title unadorned. Also, perhaps more importantly, the problem is that I don't know the identity of my evil twin so there would, alas, be no surprise guest.

All I know is she exists on campus, and on several occasions now has been mistaken for me. This is even more worrying in that today my housemate, who has seen me from all profiles in all weathers (including the almost unrecognisable early morning hair-stuck-to-face look), believed my mysterious doppelganger to be me, in the broad neon of the library.

Apparently, she even dresses like me. Which may even be an insult in itself. I'm not sure about that one yet. Anyway, she is definitely about, prowling campus, seeking to exploit my... erm... obvious... campus-based privileges, like, erm... my spot in the Arts Centre. Obviously.

So yes, if you know her, or you think you know me but you're a tad suspicious, then confront her. She needs to be told that this sort of thing is simply not on. After all, I'm an individual, don'tcha know?

(I know I've pretty much proved that this isn't a crappy talk show, but could I have some applause anyway? Just a teeny tiny whoop? It is Christmas soon, after all…)


November 11, 2005

A smidgen of an entry

I must be the only person whose housemates actually dance to the QI theme tune.

It all becomes clear. This is why I live with them.


October 20, 2005

Cloudy, turning to fine later

I have a confession. I am in love with the Shipping Forecast.

No, not The Shipping News the book, as would make sense for a literature student, but the real shipping forecast, the actual full fifteen minutes of it at quarter to one every night on BBC Radio 4. My day is not complete without hearing the soft tones of one or other of the nice men tell me about the weather at all the offshore stations of which I don't even know the locations and will probably never visit, and then to wish me a good night's rest, and play me the national anthem as the station signs off for the night.

Sometimes, if Mr Shipping Forecast has pronounced 'patchy drizzle' with just the right burr and I'm feeling particularly affectionate towards him, I will even wish him a good night back. He deserves the respect. After all, he does a sterling job, does Mr SF, upholding one of the last bastions of Englishiosity. I picture him, sitting close to his microphone in the deserted Radio 4 studio, calmly reciting the forecast for the grizzled seafarers in their sou'westers, ensconced in their lighthouses in howling gales, and also the girl lying in her bedroom in the most landlocked town in the country.

Then he turns off his mic, removes his headphones, and strides from the studio into the dark night as the national anthem booms out behind him. He may even, if the evening's weather so demands, have a black handled umbrella and a caped raincoat. He's a mysterious one. Nobody knows where he goes, or what he does when he's not reaching out to the hearts of the millions of people who sit awake after midnight. Yet he is always there in time to do his duty by the lonely contingent of the British populace.

Come, let us raise our glasses and toast to the marvel that is the Shipping Forecast Man.


August 09, 2005

The Neighbours Way

So life is not treating you well. You have lost your way. You are miserable and ill and just can't see the point of it all. But here, my friend, there is hope. Here, you too can find a meaning in life, to bring you hope and joy and flowers and things and skippyedeee skipping through sunshine. Or something.

Yes, all this can be yours if you vow to live the Neighbours Way and follow these simple rules.

  1. Move. It is imperative you begin your new way of life living on the same street as all your close friends, your lover(s), your colleagues, your doctor, your lawyer, your teacher, your friendly neighbourhood bobby, most of your family and in short pretty much anyone you will exchange more than three words with in any given day. If you do happen to interact with anyone from outside this group, they must be a close friend or rebellious family member of somebody else in the street.

  2. Get a new wardrobe. Only wear bright colours that will give a crude representation of the keynote of your character, so that you can be easily identified within this idyllic world. Are you a whore? Red and low cut will do the job. Honest and earnest? Try a buttercup yellow blouse. Solid as a rock? Nice earthy greens will achieve the look you want. And if you're feeling a bit rebellious, but at the same time with a soft feminine heart buried deep inside, bright pink streaks in your hair are always a winner.

  3. Geography transcends age. You love socialising with your mum's friends, and your cousin, and your baby sister's crew. Girly night needed? Cool, let's invite the gang - your mum, your mum's friends, your old teacher, and the ten year old from down the road. Why do you need your own friends when you can have all this? You love them all.

  4. Amnesia is always an excuse. For anything. Even death. Except perhaps a sudden and disturbing interest in perving at women. Oh no… wait… it is.

  5. Don't go to the Nightclub unless you are planning to go Off The Rails. There are people there who Do Not Live On The Street, and are therefore a danger to the Way. (Anyway, they'd have to be complete losers to want to dance to eighties box-beats in a near empty room, whilst the Ramsey Street Rebel Of The Week… er… rebels.)

  6. Mourning etiquette requires two episodes of wearing black and looking mournful, followed by a bit of paid leave during which other residents will make a few sorrowful comments, and then mercifully, the matter will be dropped and life continues as normal. Warning, nobody is ever really dead until you see the body (see 4.).

  7. Don't be a 'cake-taker.' Don't even use the word unless you think you are cool/young enough to merit it. Clue: if you find yourself trying to analyse the origins of it you're probably too old to use it. Also applies to 'hufter.'

  8. Do, however, try and apply cheesy puns where and when possible. Hearing the familiar 'here comes the comedy storyline' music in the background is always a good sign. It means that today your trauma is not on display, and you get to merely ogle/interfere with everyone else's. However, you may end up wearing underpants on your head. I don't know why this happens with such frequency in Neighbours, but it does.

  9. Don't go to the forest. Or the abandoned shack in the woods. It's just asking for trouble. If you really have to get away just go to America. America is a big glossy place where you can be a STAR, or have a really cool successful job in New York. You never hear about Flick's drug problem, or how Michelle failed to make rent and got asthma from the city pollution. Because when you set foot in America, as a student of the Way, you are blessed. You will find your happy ending. And nobody will think the less of you because you never visit, or call, or write, even when your parents are going through a divorce or your sister's being tried for murder. Aren't families wonderful?

  10. You must worship Harold, and strive to be like him in every way (apart from the dodgy women's underwear episode, but we don't like to talk about that). He is your paragon of Neighboursdom. Emulate his wit and his chuckle (chins not necessary) and all round living in the Way of Neighbours. You cannot go wrong when following in his weighty footsteps.

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