All 8 entries tagged Guides

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July 07, 2005

My first blog entry: Enhanced and including Author's commentary

Follow-up to Guide to the Laundrette from Bloggle

I was feeling particularly sarcastic when I wrote this entry. I wrote it between going back and forth to the launderette near Rootes, even thoguh I lived in Hurst and the Hurst/Refern launderette was much closer. the trouble was I could never find it.

Guide to Using the Launderette

My main aim was to stick it to "the man". Doing laundry pisses me off because it's quite costly. Those capitalist pigs!

Sunday mornings mean only one thing for me. Rather than going to church to cleanse my soul I go to the launderette and clean my clothes. It's a slightly tedious but necessary job, I find its best to get there early before it gets busy. For anyone who's not sure how to use the launderette this is what you should do:

1. Get everything ready the night before, but make sure you forget at least one item otherwise its no fun.

This was perhaps a mistake to write because it reveals how utterly neurotic I am. I made a similar styled comment in a later entry about tieing ties the night before I wear them.

2. Forget to set your alarm and lie in well past when you intended, grumble something about the alarm turning itself off again.
3. Go to the kitchen and have breakfast whilst wondering why no one else seems to be up, its Sunday morning where can they be? Wash up but leave your tea towel behind so that it never gets cleaned and ends up all crusty.

Of course, this never actually happens to me because I'm perfect. I was merely using my artistic license

4. Shower, brush your teeth, shave, put on make-up or whatever else you need to do in the morning to make yourself look pretty, I find a paper bag helps best on Sundays.

This is true, I often wear paper bags on Sunday mornings.

5. Set off for the launderette, get halfway there and remember you left your money behind.
6. Go back home and pick up wallet, discover you have no twenty pence pieces for the drier. Moan to yourself about the stupid university trying to con us.

It was even worse two years ago. The washing machines used to cost £1.80, so to get the exact amount you need four twenty pence pieces. Though you could pay with two one pound coins and be no worse off than this year. It almost makes you glad pints of Carling cost £1.80 as you can virtually guarantee getting a 20p in your change.

7. Head off to the launderette again, get halfway there and remember you forgot to bring your pyjamas, think: "screw it".
8. Get to the launderette and find an empty machine, put your clothes in, discover that the bit where you put the detergent is all scummy.

I'd really like to know how they get so scummy. There's every reason to believe that it's a deliberate ploy.

9. Take clothes out of machine and put in a different one, after checking the detergent hole.
10. Try to put money into machine – discover it won't take it. Swear and curse under your breath. Aggressively throw your clothes back into your bag and make sure you slam the door to the machine so everyone knows how annoyed you are.
11. Find another machine, check the detergent hole, put your money in first, if everything works put clothes in and select cycle.

These points could probably have been summarised by saying "The machines in the launderette are crap and seldom take your change. This makes them the only things on campus to ever refuse money."

12. Leave to launderette to wait at home and forget to check your watch so you don't know what time to go back for.
13. Go back to the launderette find your machine and discover it still has 11 minutes left. Stand around looking like a moron.
14. Wait for the requisite 11 minutes and then remember you left your bag at home, run home looking rather silly, pick up bag and run back to the launderette.
15. Separate clothes that can de dried and put in machine, follow a similar procedure to that which meant you had to try three washing machines.
16. Remember the lack of twenty pence pieces, ask someone if they have change, they don't and look at you like pond life for asking, the fact that you're sweating after the run supports this view.

This is a slight at rude students. In a recent survey 90% of Warwick students were found to be "mildly snooty or worse".

17. Accept defeat and put a pound in the drier, get overexcited with the buttons and set your machine to dry for 70 minutes, make a note to yourself to be back after 45 so your clothes don't get cooked.
18. Go home and hang up the washing that won't go in the drier, get distracted and only make it back to the drier after an hour.
19. Take clothes out and put into the bag – if you remembered it this time, good for you. Burn yourself on any metal buttons on your jeans.

Getting burnt by buttons pisses me off. If there's no one looking I'll shake my fist at them.

20. Go home for the last time with good intentions of folding your clothes immediately so they'll iron easier. Put bag on bed and can't be bothered.
21. Go into the kitchen for lunch, afterwards wash up and find that the only use your tea towel is to unclean your plate, sigh and promise yourself you'll remember it next week.

I think I got my "University=Evil" point across quite well. The foul swine!

June 25, 2005

Guide to being a good–for–nothing–lay–about–student

  1. Turn the difficulty of your subject into a bidding war:
    "I have 16 hours of lectures a week."
    "Well I have 16 hours and four of those are nine o clocks!"
    "I'm a lazy arts student who doesn't have to do anything but I'm going whinge about reading even though we get a whole week to catch up anyway."
    "I have to go to all my lectures standing on my head because the lecturer is a bat."

  2. Be crazy possessive of the food you have in the fridge:
    "Hey you f&%£ing w$!^er, get off my cubic centimetre sized piece of f&"%ing ch&$se! F%&$ing pikey!"

  3. Pretend to be an alcoholic:
    "Hey I was sooo wasted last night. I'm such an alcoholic!"
    "Why? Are you completely dependent upon alcohol to function? Would you find going anywhere impossible without a drink. Is your name Larry? Do you sleep on a park bench every night?"

  4. Turn having bad taste in music into a competition:
    "I love cheesy music me."
    "Yeah well I love Living on a Prayer so much I can accurately make the waa-waa noises in my sleep."
    "I like Girls Aloud… for their music!"
    "I'm stalking the Proclaimers."
    "I am one of the Proclaimers."

  5. If something really interesting is on television stare out of the window. In there's nothing interesting on television watch it.
    "Hey there's a programme on about how someone in Colombia has found conclusive evidence of alien life… Oh wow look at that squirrel!"
    "Hey there's a reality TV show on about people feeding squirrels. Let's watch it."

  6. Brag about how useless you are with the opposite sex:
    "I've only pulled twice since getting to uni."
    "I've never pulled."
    "I'm so useless I've now pulled less in my entire life since coming to uni than when I started."

  7. Whinge about everything:
    "£1.80 for a pint? What a rip off!"
    "Our cooker takes a whole minute longer to heat up than the one we have at home."
    "I have to get up at 10am tomorrow."
    "I have four hours of lectures today. No one in the world has it worse than me!

June 09, 2005

Guide to reading

I recently started reading The Odyssey. Apart from the obvious differences to books I normally read (it's not aimed at people half my age), in the beginning of the book there were instructions on how to read the story. Having read books (note the plural. Impressive, huh?) before I decided to skip this and dive straight in. But I appreciate that some people are not as literary blessed, so for those people here's how you read:

As with all my "Guide To thing" the first step is a highly unhumerous and patronising suggestion to find an appropriate object about which the guide is being written. In this case you need to buy a book. It's worth remembering that you can't read a chapter of a book to see if it's any good like you would listen to a track on a CD. So read the blurbs (for the scientists who can't read, this is the bit on the back of the book telling you what it's about) to figure out which to buy.

Once you've done this it's relatively plain sailing, but here are some tips to make the process easier:

  • If the book's really boring then check how many pages there are. This way you can work out how far you've managed to get through (Yay! Only 24% to go!) and makes the whole process more fun.
  • If you're reading a humerous book just assume any big words you don't know the meaning of mean something funny and let out a snort when you read them.
  • Glance over any names you can't quite get into your head. This Odyssey is full of such names, which are too difficult for my poor little brain to understand so I just sort of leave a blank in my mind when I see them – I know who it means, so I don't lose track of the story.
  • If the book contains verse, such as in the Lord of the Rings, just skip them to save time. I happen to know that this is a trick favoured by at least one classicist. So if it's good enough for one of them, then it's good enough for the rest of us. However don't do this if you're reading poetry, you'll get to the end far too quickly.

June 01, 2005

Guide to listening to a new CD

Some of you may not know this but in the good ol' days music was available on little discs called "CDs", which I believe stood for Casual Defractors. These were primitive objects invented by neolithic man. They have all but been replaced by wizardry which allows people to "download" music via the magical t'interweb. However unlike mp3s, CDs relied on old fashioned technology and no such dark arts were required.

Buying a new CD and taking it home is invariably a wonderful experience. This is because evil corporate record companies place mind altering airborne drugs in the sleeves of the packaging in order to shift more bulk from the shelves. Once you have got it home you'll want to listen to it. I recently went through this process with the new Oasis album, here's how you go about it:

Step 1: Make sure you have the appropriate equipment. This is to say you have a CD player and other necessary appendages to get sound from the CD into the air, for example, speakers. I've come across confused people trying to listen to CDs in toasted sandwich makers. Doing this will not only ruin your CD but make your lunch taste decidedly plasticky. As a veteran of buying CDs this step was second nature to me. However the CD case was a booklet affair so it took me half an hour to actually find the CD itself, but I'm a fool so you shouldn't expect to have such difficulties.

Step 2: Should you have the correct equipment place the CD into the player and press play. Once you've done this you're all set. There are a few fundamental ways to proceed, either immediately put on a track that you know – if you don't know at least one already may I ask why the hell you bought the CD in the first place? Or listen to the whole album all the way through. Or listen to the start of each song to get a flavour of the album. Or if you're really paranoid set the music playing backwards to find hidden messages from satan.

Step 3: Once you've listened to an album you'll probably want to form an opinion. To do this you'll need to figure out the titles of the songs you like, otherwise you'll end up sounding like you're ordering Chinese food (I like 2, 4, 7 and 11). It's also important you think of someone else the songs remind you of, this is all music critics ever do and they get paid for it. For instance I think Mucky Fingers sounds vaguely Dylanesque (Bob Dylan, not the one from the magic roundabout. The key difference here is that Bob Dylan's work was inspired by drugs, whereas the magic roundabout was… was… er?). If all this opinion forming sounds like hard work don't despair. Just buy a copy of NME and they'll kindly tell you what to think. No one really has an opinion about anything anyway, they just stole it from someone else. Personally I'd rather be listening to Girls Aloud or Westlife but that's not cool so I go along to crash and listen to "good" music (Oasis? hmmm) in order to fit in.


April 27, 2005

Guide to love (2) – Heartbreak

Follow-up to Guide to love (1) – Cupid from Bloggle

As previously discussed Cupid is a terrible shot. So when aiming for a person's heart with an arrow he frequently misses. This is okay, unfortunately he sometimes hits the target but the arrow does not pierce the heart in the correct manner, the result is heartbreak.

A little biology. Many people assume hearts to be red through and through. This is not true. Hearts all appear red on the outside, however this is due to the outer layer consisting of the rubbery stuff they wrap babybels with.

When a heart gets damaged a tough coal like layer forms under the red outer layer, this is the black part of the diagram. However as time passes without damage the edges soften and a soft pink goo fills in between the black and red layers. This happens every time the heart is damaged, so similarly to with trees you can tell how many times someone has been heartbroken by counting rings. At the centre of all hearts is a fire, however if too many layers form around the heart the warmth of the fire ceases to be able to reach the outside – how sad.

There are seven main types of heartbreak:

1. The arrow sails right through: The result is falling madly in love, albeit briefly, with the first person you see. This can be quite embarrassing in the short term as running up to someone on the street, shouting "I love you!" and grabbing a boob or a crotch is generally frowned upon. However this causes no long term damage to the heart.

2. The arrow glances the heart and cuts it: This is initially very painful. The heart becomes very tender and leads to drunken whining along the lines of "Why don't you love me?" *Sob*. Fortunately the affect usually wears off by morning.

3. The arrow hits the heart but bounces off, leaving a bruise: This is a simple Do-you-want-to-go-out-sometime?-No-thanks situation, rather than a Do-you-want-to-go-out-sometime?-Ewww-you-make-me-want-to-shove-my-fingers-down-my-throat-I-have-to-go-take-several-showers-to-get-rid-of-the-grossness-of-being-asked-out-by-you! type scenario. Again there is no long term damage, but you should take care with the heart for a while, because it will be a bit sore.

4. The arrow digs in, but snaps off leaving a fragment in the heart: This can be quite nasty. This happens when you ask someone out and they say yes, but rapidly lose interest. Ultimately it doesn't cause too much damage, buy it's a bit annoying.

5. The arrow tears a chunk off the heart: The hole means that you are susceptable to developing huge crushes based on physical infatuation. If dealt with correctly this isn't a problem, it only becomes so if you leave the wound open to the elements. Most cases of stalking are a result of carelessness in this area.

6. The heart gets mangled: This happens during messy break ups. In this case Cupid got the shot right, unfortunately your chosen love decides to pull the arrow out with the delicacy of an elephant doing decoupage. This causes mass tissue damage and the heart struggles to survive. It's all kinds of painful.

7. Critical Fault: This is the worst. Cupid again is right on target, but unfortunately the arrow snags on something and is yanked out through the top causing a crack. It's circumstances beyong Cupid's your or anyone else control – it's just a bitch. If not treated carefully the heart can break in two and become completely useless. The common response to this eventuality is to go "ow! ow! ow-ee! ow-ee! ow!


April 26, 2005

Guide to love (1) – Cupid

We all fall for someone from time to time. This isn't our fault, it happens because we get hit by one of Cupid's arrows. Cupid was born in 1573 in Paris, the son a French painter and his beleagured wife.


An artist's impression of Cupid

Cupid never actually graduated from Love School; he failed his archery exam because he was such a terrible shot. In spite of this he has gone on to become the most successful person to have attended the school.

In his own estimation his proudest moment was making Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun fall in love. Cupid was himself a Nazi and wanted to do something for his good friend "Addy", indeed Cupid stayed in Hitler's bunker until the very end.

For true love to occur, one of Cupid's arrows needs to pierce our heart directly (see diagram). The closer to the centre the better.

Cupids arrows are dipped in love juice, this disperses into the heart making the person all sappy. The love juice is made from:

  • Melted down romantic films. The quality of the film affects the love's chance off success. Should it be something fun and funky such as the Wedding Singer the relationship has every chance. However if the film was some god awful tripe featuring Julia Stiles then it is doomed from the very beginning.
  • Awww juice. This is created every time someone saws "awww" because of Cutesy Wutesy Kittens, Fluffy Wuffy Bunny Wabbits or Sweet and Cute and Ickle (sic) Ducklings.
  • Mushed up Flower Petals. Cupid uses sweatshop workers to stomp on them and give them the correct texture.

However as already mentioned, Cupid isn't the best shot. This means things frequently go wrong, which we will cover in "Heartbreaks".


February 05, 2005

Guide to sending a Valentine's Day Card

Its getting close to that time of year again – Valentine's Day. So you think its a time for couples to be extra-sickly and for the single people of the world to hide in their rooms and cry then? Well yeah, you're probably right, but that doesn't mean that everyone shouldn't get in on the act, I mean how would Clinton's get by after Christmas without Valentine's Day? And besides couples stole Valentine's Day from the single people. Damn them! Not that I'm bitter you understand. Anyway for anyone whose not sure how to send a card, here's what you do:

Step 1: Find someone you'd like to send a card to. This is important, as without it you won't get very far. Send one to anyone who springs to mind even if its just the boy/girl you see on the bus and think's kinda cute. Though ideally it will be someone you are attracted to, do not send cards to people you don't like as this can be misleading.

Step 2: Selecting a card. Unfortunately most cards in the shops have lots of stuff about love in them. If you're sending a card to someone you don't know too well its probably best to avoid these as they might think you're a bit forward. The other theme that's quite popular is along the lines of "I'm crazy about you", generally these are sociallly acceptable, but be careful. To you it may seem like its saying "You're pretty cool and stuff", but to the recipient it could sound like "I'm completely out of my tree and will steal your favourite teddy bear and tear its head off if you don't go out with me". Under no circumstances send cards which give this impression.

Step 3: Writing the card. Address the card to the person you want to send it to. Other than that the choice of words is practically endless, though try and stay relevant, you won't win them over by writing an essay on the American civil war. Poetry can be fun. If you get carried away and end up writing your name, do not use Tip-Ex as this ruins the effect, get a new card and stop being a muppet. Perhaps give a subtle clue as to who you are, but try to avoid using the enigma code. Note to Computer Scientists: writing your name in binary might seem hilarious but it won't impress anyone.

Step4: Sending the card. If you know the person's address then you won't have any trouble, though be careful of being spotted. Failing this departmental pigeon holes can serve this purpose – they sure as hell don't have any other particular use. If neither of these options are viable then you could try getting a friend to give them the card, or alternatively put on a balaclava, run up to them, throw the card in their face and run away.

Step 5: What happens next. Assuming you avoid the potential pitfalls (sending a card to someone you don't like, giving the impression you're certifiably insane, binary, balaclavas) then the person will probably be happy to have received the card. Try to avoid the temptation of running up to them and asking if they liked the card. If they ask you about it, just be cool and do NOT say "Yes it was me, I love you, I love you, I love you!"

On gifts: People like gifts, In this situation teddy bears are a good thing, though do not decapitate them first. Roses are also popular, but don't steal them from someones garden as they'll probably have thorns on and make their recipient bleed. Do not give money; this causes offense.


January 16, 2005

Guide to the Laundrette

Sunday morning's mean only one thing for me. Rather than going to church to cleanse my soul I go to the laundrette and clean my clothes. It's a slightly tedious but necessary job, I find its best to get there early before it gets busy. For anyone who's not sure how to use the laundrette this is what you should do:

1)Get everything ready the night before, but make sure you forget at least one item otherwise its no fun.

2)Forget to set your alarm and lie in well past when you intended, grumble something about the alarm turning itself off again.

3)Go to the kitchen and have breakfast whilst wondering why no one else seems to be up, its Sunday morning where can they be? Wash up but leave your tea towel behind so that it never gets cleaned and ends up all crusty.

4)Shower, brush your teeth, shave, put on make-up or whatever else you need to do in the morning to make yourself look pretty, I find a paper bag helps best on Sundays.

5)Set off for the laundrette, get halfway there and remember you left your money behind.

6) Go back home and pick up wallet, discover you have no twenty pence pieces for the drier. Moan to yourself about the stupid university trying to con us.

7)Head off to the laundrette again, get halfway there and remember you forgot to bring your pyjamas, think "screw it".

8)Get to the laundrette and find an empty machine, put your clothes in, discover that the bit where you put the detergent is all scummy.

9)Take clothes out of machine and put in a different one, after checking the detergent hole.

10)Try to put money into machine – discover it won't take it. Swear and curse under your breath. Aggresively throw your clothes back into your bag and make sure you slam the door to the machine so everyone knows how annoyed you are.

11)Find another machine, check the detergent hole, put your money in first, if everything works put clothes in and select cycle.

12)Leave to laundrette to wait at home, forget to check your watch so you don't know what time to go back for.

13)Go back to the laundrette find your machine and discover it still has 11 mins left. Stand around looking like a pleb.

14)Wait for the requisite 11 mins and then remember you left your bag at home, run home looking rather silly, pick up bag and run back to the laundrette.

15)Separate clothes that can de dried and put in machine, follow a similar procedure to that which meant you had to try three washing machines.

16)Remember the lack of twenty p's, ask sommeone if they have change, they don't and look at you like pondlife for asking, the fact that you're sweating after the run supports this view.

17)Accept defeat and put a pound in the drier, get overexcited with the buttons and set your machine to dry for 70 mins, make a note to yourself to be back after 45 so your clothes don't get cooked.

18)Go home and hang up the washing that won't go in the drier, get distracted and only make it back to the drier after an hour.

19)Take clothes out and put into the bag – if you remembered it this time, good for you. Burn yourself on any metal buttons on your jeans.

20)Go home for the last time with good intentions of folding your clothes immediately so they'll iron easier. Put bag on bed and can't be bothered.

21)Go into the kitchen for lunch, afterwards wash up and find that the only use your tea towel is to unclean your plate, sigh and promise yourself you'll remember it next week.


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