Friday, 30 December 2011

Why won't the voices go away...

Good evening kind reader, I hope this latest missive finds you in better spirits than I, for I am currently subject to the hellish screams of my 4 year old sister and her two similar aged compatriots. If my walls were any more bloody useless, I’d be able to see the little blighters as well as hear them.  My pains do not end there, oh no, if those were my only troubles I would have long since left the house in pursuit of calmer climes. Due to my ever burgeoning social presence, I have been embarking upon all sorts of ventures with little regard for my upcoming chemistry retakes. The day has been one long futile attempt to make headway in my studies in the face of an unrelenting racket from the out and my monstrous propensity to procrastinate, to which this particular piece belongs, from within. Pull up a chair as I bloviate about my past two weeks and aid in my avoidance of inorganic chemistry.

First and foremost, my holiday period has been devoted to two main items with most others being mere side orders in comparison; the new lady in my life and work. Suffice to say, she is a lovely girl and as such, I will not subject her to public grilling and will instead chat to you briefly about the latter. I have had the deep misfortune to be contracted for bank holidays. That may seem mildly annoying to have to work Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and the Tuesday following but it was far worse than that. I’d have settled for annoying, hell, I’d have settled for temporary blindness; what I faced was far worse. You see, my place of employ, Squiddlypib (dubbed so due to reasons explained many moons ago for those of you new here), is a retailer of cheap clothes. I work in the women’s wear department. I worked blouses on Boxing Day. Now, without sounding too misogynistic, women are batshit crazy in there at the best of times, the shear fervour that the sales had them riled into is indescribable by anyone with a sane mind and knowledge of vocabulary less than that of the entirety of the dictionary. If that wasn’t bad enough, 30 people called in sick across the store. I wouldn’t have wished that chaos upon my most hated of enemies.

My next venture of any noteworthiness came in the form of me lending a hand to a mate filming a zombie flick. Filled with dread at the fact it would mark the 5th 8am wake up in a row, I made my way to the designated location. A few uneventful hours later due to one bastard deciding to sleep in, the filming finally began. Tasked with the role of a hapless leader of a bunch of ragtag layabouts and unlucky jerks, I gave a hackneyed performance so wooden in places, I’d have put any amateur dramatics troupe to shame. The day itself was fun, if not lengthened by the director’s lack of sufficient pre-production and went off without major incident. One mention has to go to the nippletastic top I had to wear for a flashback. Our resident makeup artist ‘modified’ a spare top with various cuts before dousing me in fake blood and dirt for that authenticity but said cuts ended up exposing both of my nipples to a load of my friends and a few people I had just met. Oh the Joy. A hefty dose of glue and a plaster later and my dignity was (semi) restored.

A special mention to my new readership, welcome to the disorganised mess that is this blog. Expect very little and hope for even less. I shall post a link to the short film when it has been completed. See you when the year count has increased by 1.

A zombie joke befitting my exploits

Q. Do zombies eat popcorn with their fingers?
A. No, they eat the fingers separately

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

My existential chest infection

Blegh... I am currently the gracious host of a particularly nasty bacterial chest infection and as if I’ve run over my cosmic yearly talk minutes, I am currently unable to speak. I’d like to say that the raspy back ally drug dealer tones, interspersed with old man coughs every few seconds is a worthy replacement but to do so would be lying. At the very least, it gives me a decent reason to avoid every day dull conversation but at the same time, I can no longer piss people off. Pissing people off is all I have... So, instead of spreading my own-brand of crazy upon the unwitting recipients of my usual inane chatter, I’ll be injecting it directly to your frontal lobe via the written word. A man’s gotta annoy someone.

Recently, I’ve been thinking through a particular philosophical problem with infinite wisdom bestowed upon me by my single year of AS Philosophy. I had planned to write it as a self contained post but then I realised that most philosophers wouldn’t want to read my bollocks, however obtuse and misinformed it may be, so I won’t subject you to 500 words of it; the topic in question is whether ‘the truth’ is subjective or objective. The main reason I started to think about all this was due to an over abundance of time during work and the fact that conclusively deciding the truth to be one way or the other will drastically change many of my other philosophical beliefs. Welp, here goes my try at chronicling my internal monologue on it all:

The first thing that must be decided is the definition of ‘the truth’. Usually the truth in philosophy is split into two forms, analytic and synthetic truths, analytic truths are true due to the definition of words, i.e. a bachelor is an unmarried man or triangles have three sides; they are true in all possible worlds. Synthetic truths are true due to the world they are in, e.g. London buses are red or metals expand when heated; if the world were to be changed, synthetic truth would change. My example for this discourse will be synthetic due to the tautological (A phrase or expression in which the same thing is said twice in different words) nature of analytic truths rendering them pretty useless. My truth will be that at 2:30 pm on the 14/12/11, I ate a kitkat. This event occurred and was empirically verified (checked by my sense experience e.g. touch, taste, sound etc.) by me, thus it is knowledge held by me and is also part of ‘the truth’. Anybody of any denomination or inclination could have witnessed the event and thus is objectively true in the chronicles of history. Let’s deconstruct this further; our new truth is ‘the kitkat bar I ate was red’, simple enough you’d think and all of my original truth could be simplified as such, now watch this video: – How our words shape our perception of the world, it’ll change your world view.

If the words we use can change how we categorise and perceive colour, something so basic, how else does it shape our world view? Do we only see similar things due to our similar language use? I believe that what we think to be an objective ‘truth’ or ‘matter of fact’ is simply the misnamed summary of our general consensus of similar subjective perception. This happens due to the fact that we all use very similar language categories for the world and as such, we all draw similar conclusions, yet these conclusions do not mean that what is being perceived is the truth. Others such as these African tribe’s people may have a completely different truth that is no less true than our own.

My conclusion leads to far more problems than it solves that I, with my limited knowledge and ability to give a fuck, cannot solve. If my hypothesis were to be true, something could exist and not exist due to both being ‘true’, which is a logical impossibility. Maybe it is folly to think in terms of ‘true’ and ‘false’. Who knows? All I know is that I’ve rambled enough for today. Laters, fuckwits.

Joke from my mother, she has the best sense of humour

Q. Where do alligators keep their money?
A. In the riverbank

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Dear Mr Sandman, I miss you, sincerely, Mcgee

Hello dear reader, apologies once again for the extended absence, I will not patronise you with some half spun yarn of disastrous proportions (I think the previous post done that well enough), let’s just say that I am no longer away but am now very much here. The length of time I shall remain is about as long as my last string o’ sanity; dwindling and ever decreasing in magnitude. Hopefully my latest, well-strung tale will weave a string of ideas as effortlessly as this god-awful thread metaphor. Who am I kidding, this, like every other inane babble that I type down, will inevitably descend into the usual chaotic soup that I call a writing style. Whelp, here goes absolutely nothing.

To begin with, it would seem that at some point during these past few weeks, I have begun to adopt a semi-nocturnal sleep schedule, now this would be fine for a guy who could either handle a lack of sleep or had some sort of supernatural-ability granting infection (vampirism for those of you not in the loop), sadly I belong to neither. I have attempted to remedy this innumerable times, however it would appear that a combination of the universal laws of time and action packed days prevent this. Meh, I’m not fussed, I’ve adapted to a life stumbled through in a zombie like stupor. Besides, I’ve never been one to moan.

Expect this paragraph to start with a discursive marker congruent with the established form of the prior paragraph? You got another thing coming buddy. I’m sick and tired of all this coherent writing bollocks, words make far more sense when they free float in amongst the shifting soups  of the mind, feels odd to have to pin them down to paper, or in this case, electronic memory. Seem to lose a lot of their meaning on reflection. For example, squamous. The word is so fun to say that it makes me feel happy just reading it, however I doubt you feel the same. If only they could invent some form of mind-imprinty word-transfery meaning-combobulation device, then my life would be just peachy and you could all be privy to the depravities of my mind. Hey, I didn’t say it would be a good thing for you.

Finally sorted out my university application business a week or so back (from hence referred to as UCAS), it was a long old slog but now it is done, I can sit by impatiently as I wait for the decisions of my future to be decided by some far of hand of fate. I feel almost as powerless as Nick Clegg. Almost. Whilst I’m on the topic of official shit, my work at squiddlypib is going well, in fact it is going better than well, I have found my true calling in life; knitwear. The past few shifts I’ve had the oh so much pleasure of attending have seen me elbow deep in items so gaudy, it would have given the late Jimmy Savile a run for his money. By the end of the last four hour slog, I was convinced that a particular jumper was following me, that I was the crowned king of knitwear (complete with tragic back-story) and that a Bsc in Knitwear and knitwear dynamics wouldn’t be such a bad course to take. You don’t understand how much I like knitwear. Seriously.

Well, that’s enough chatter for now, I have chaos to spread and seeds of discontent to sow amongst those who trust me. Ciao <3

A joke more than befitting the mood

Q. What do you call a sheep on a trampoline?
A. A woolly jumper

Alright, I admit, that was bad even for me...

Monday, 21 November 2011

Dragon Slayer: Part 1

A thunderous howl bellows in the bowls of the distant mountains. Flashes of lightning scar the melancholic clouds as the trees for miles around quake and quiver, fearful of the torrential lashings that mother nature has seen fit to bestow  upon any and all who dwell upon this patch of verdant earth. One solitary figure rides swiftly, onwards through the rain, wind and storms. Unrelenting in his pace, his trusty steed keeping true, obediently, even through the most treacherous patches of churned up earth. Weathered and worn, a wistful gaze belying the keenness of sight and sense that the man upheld in his efforts to navigate the valley that he had found himself in.  Glimpses of far off towns and enticing hearths flashed by every now and then, whenever a break in the mountainside presented itself, calling out to the man and rousing within him a persuasive fervour, the likes of which can only be felt by those many weeks from their bed and the warm embrace of the fire. However, this did not shake the man, for he was tasked with a duty, one most grave and dire that he had forsaken any and all in the pursuit of its accomplishment. He had a dragon to slay.

It had since passed four or so hours from the time the warrior had reached the valley, his horse was tired, his eyes were weary but his will stood firm, resolute at the sight of the approaching goal. Upon reaching the foot of the mountain he had set out to find, a sigh of relief left the man’s lips, yet he knew that this was but the first step of a perilous task; the man had just stepped out of the figurative frying pan and into the all too literal fire. Dismounting, the mail clad warrior began to unfasten the various straps and buckles that had affixed the required tools to the horse. The man knew that the chances of him making it back were to slim to warrant the waiting of the creature. Once all of the equipment was rested upon a nearby stone, the man took a quick look at the entrance to the mountain face and the many stairs that lie within before turning back to his companion, “You have served me well old friend”, he whispered before giving her a few pats on her mane.

Ingesting a few healing poultices, the warrior was overwhelmed by its rejuvenating properties; he did not have the time to waste to rest up before encountering his foe.  Reinvigorated with a sudden uncompromising strength, his body now had the tenacity to match his resolve once again and for this he was glad, no room for error could be allowed , he would have one shot and one shot alone at felling this most evil of beasts. With sword and shield at hand and bow to his back, the man entered the gaping maw that marked the ascent to his destiny.

The climb was perilous, the only illumination being that of the faint glow of protruding fungi. His head was invariable filled with thoughts of those he had come to avenge; the woman who had cared for him since the death of his mother, the blacksmith who had versed him in the ways of the sword and the bending of steel, the ranger who had taught him the languages of the forest, the use of the bow and how to survive the harshest conditions and countless other townspeople he had grown to love, all slain by the beast that lounged mere moments away. A faint light lingered in the distance.

Emerging from the underground, the man was affronted by the mountains infamous name sake, its unrelenting heat. The Dragon’s Breath Mountain was well known for its scorching hot rocks and boiling lakes, it was once used as a proving ground to test the endurance of young warriors looking to prove themselves and had claimed more than its fair share of lives already. A furious sweat quickly drenched the warrior, forcing him to remove the mail cladding that had protected him from the harsh rain and winds, which now would have slowed his movements without causing much protection from the fierce breath or the sharp talons of the beast that lay, curled before him.

Having stripped down to little more than his leather undergarments and his weapons, the man moved cautiously towards the sleeping foe. The beast was coloured an onyx black that could not be compared to in all but the blackest of midnights. Its great talons digging furrows where it had decided to rest its gargantuan paws. The dragon was easily 5 times the man’s height from his perspective and to quantify the girth and overall length was beyond the capabilities of a simple man such as himself. Its curled up form was impressive enough to instil fear into the hearts of even the greatest of men but not him. Nothing could deter this man. He had lost it all. His home, his family, his village and his future, an empty void of all consuming hatred and a desire for revenge filling its place. He had no room for fear.

Becalming his heart and unsheathing his sword, the lone figure approached the large spot of land the dragon inhabited, it was completely desolate bar a number of rocks measuring the man’s height dotted about and innumerable small boiling pools encircling it . Hefting his sword high into the air, the man began to shout, all of the anger and pain within him spilling outwards with every word, “Fear me dragon, for this day shall be your last”, he proceeded to cut a large swathe out of the veined membranes that comprised the dragon’s nearby unfurled wing, causing the beast to jolt awake and recoil in pain at the sudden interruption, “You have killed my kin and for that, I shall end you where you lie!”,  he sprinted forwards into the oncoming flames, his shield held high and a throat filled with a roar the likes of which even the dragon could not outcompete.

So yeah, that’s essentially the story of why I’ve been gone these past few weeks. Skyrim is one hell of a game.

A length joke semi involving dragons to go with the mood

An 18th-century vagabond in England, exhausted and famished, came to a roadside Inn with a sign reading: "George and the Dragon." He knocked. The Innkeeper's wife stuck her head out a window. "Could ye spare some victuals?" He asked. The woman glanced at his shabby, dirty clothes. "No!" she shouted. "Could I have a pint of ale?" "No!" she shouted. "Could I at least sleep in your stable?" "No!" she shouted again. The vagabond said, "Might I please...?" "What now?" the woman screeched, not allowing him to finish. "D'ye suppose," he asked, "that I might have a word with George?"

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Damn, I don't half talk some bollocks, don't I?

Good evening dear reader, it would seem that although I am finally at liberty post without the nagging of a guilty conscience to abate my progress, I have been struck dumb by the deft blow of a sudden wave of tiredness and as such, am not really in the mood to post at all. When I say guilty conscience, I’m actually referring to the constant nagging of various teachers and tutors for not finishing work. If there’s one thing I hate more than work, it’s the insufferable whinging of fools. Therefore, I rushed a rough version of my university statement to a level that, I’m told, is worthy of a final draft last night. Proceeded to finish an entire half season of Torchwood in a few hours, in order to negate the spoilers of a friend’s future theories on Dr Who. Meanwhile, I learned a whole load of bollocks about David Hume for philosophy, benzene rings for chemistry and photosynthesis for biology, all in the last few days. There are group-of-30-somethings based sit-com plots less tired than I am.

Hence, instead of the usual half-hearted attempt at a semi-informative-but-ultimately-pointless piece with a hefty dose of sarcasm, I will be nailing down a few choice pieces of advice/clichés that I most often dish out. If half as many people listened to my advice as the amount of people I complain to about the fact that people rarely listen to my advice, I would have an incalculable number. Not because it would be particularly large or anything, I’m just rather shit at maths.

McGee’s words o’ wisdom

1)   If you are reading this, you have no reason to be bored. Only boring people and those at work are bored. You have the internet, learn to use it.

2)   You are not depressed; if you were you wouldn’t be whining about it in a desperate attempt for attention.

3)   Knowledge is power. One misplaced fact can lead to a person’s downfall. Only reveal to those you trust and even then, only what is absolutely necessary.

4)   Pain is temporary; emotions fade over time. Never act out of emotion as rarely goes well.

5)  Every cliché has a nugget of truth, otherwise they would never have been repeated so often as to be classed as clichés.

6)   A well placed joke can diffuse any tense situation.

7)   Stop worrying so much. Unless your actions can have a direct effect upon an outcome, its fate should be of no consequence to you until you know it in certainty.

8)   Always try to understand your enemies. To understand your foe is to understand with absolute certainty whether your disagreement is one of principle or misunderstanding.

9)   Life is absurd. Do not assume it owes you anything, or you, it.

10)   Morality and terms such as “good” or “bad” are ones that are banded about by imbeciles and used by the ignorant. They are completely subjective and have no actual use, other than dividing groups arbitrarily via social constructs.

11)   A person is smart, understanding and open to reason. People are stupid, prone to conclusions and have a tendency for tribe mentality.

12)   Learn a person’s habits and you will know the person.

13)   Many of society’s most upheld and orthodox laws/views are based on the mythos of a bygone age. Do not hold what is widely thought to be sacrosanct to be the absolute truth.

14)   The key to persuading another is to make them believe that your views are their own. Plant the seeds of doubt within their mind, watch them blossom as they realise your point of view was the correct one all along.

15)   The key to winning an argument is not to persuade the opponent that you hold a truer opinion but to persuade them that you are right; do not argue that strawberry is better than chocolate, argue instead that we should all be able to choose which flavour we please.

16)   Do not plan. Ever. Set goals and constantly work towards them by whichever means are the most successful at the moment. A plan is made to be foiled.

17)   There is no such thing as failure, only a lesson yet to be learnt. You learn much more from failing than you do through being successful.

18)   Read up on philosophy if you can. The world would be a much more understanding, albeit, confused place for it if more people did.

19)   You are no better than any other human on earth. No matter how good you may be at pissing into the wind, it does not make you a better person as a whole than anyone else. Someone will always be better than you at whatever it is you think you are good at.

20)   Choose your words wisely. Your words are the shades of your vocabulary that will allow you to paint either the most beautiful picture or the crudest scrawling upon the mind of another. 

Joke because I’ve been told it should be shared with the world. Received it off of my philosophy teacher:

You know Greece is having its economic troubles at the moment; the sales of taramasalata and humus are way down.

They are afraid of a double dip recession.

Monday, 19 September 2011

I will not make a sex related pun, I will not make a sex related pun, I will not make a sex related pun.

A lingering fog of self-inflicted tiredness (decided to watch a film into the early hours of the morn), coupled with the lethargy following an excessively unhealthy takeaway (when I say unhealthy, there are North Sea rig disasters that spewed less oil than some of that dubious meat), means I am not currently on top form. Then again, most of my posts as of late seem to be accompanied by excuses as imaginative as the average reality TV show executive, so I doubt it’ll bother you too much. The reason I’ve decided to undertake the mammoth task of regaling you with the tale of my recent endeavours as opposed to leaving them for a day unencumbered by maladies, is that I am in one of those rare procrastination fuelled moods that spurs me to disregard a week’s worth of missed work and instead, spout more inane bullshit on this sorry excuse for a blog.

To cut an excessively long story to a length that might almost be manageable, I shall abstain from filling you in on every goings on and shall focus on the points of importance. In other words, my abysmal memory prevents me from telling you the whole story. To think that me, Mr. Amazing Memory of all people, could forget the majority of the goings on of a week. My incompetence never ceases to amaze.

After a surprisingly uneventful journey, that is, one of the few in which I didn’t get hopelessly lost along the way, I arrived in the sleepy country town of Foxton, just outside of Cambridge. Wandering about the platform, I quickly found another guy who looked about as hopelessly lacking in bearings as I. We made our introductions and proceeded to follow, in a rather stalkerish fashion now that I think about it, a group of girls who looked to have some sort of heading. They eventually lead us close enough to the place, Villiers Park, that a quick phone call had us unpacked and ready to make awkward small talk in no time.

I must say, for a bunch of people looking to do a week’s course on cell biology and genetics, they weren’t half as bad as I thought they’d be. Admittedly, they could all be secret nerds such as me but it certainly didn’t come through in the following week’s worth of conversation. I don’t think you could ask for a more funny, balanced and jovial group. It’s just a shame that this fact did not make itself apparent until the final few days. Then again, I suppose with that curse upon us all that is Facebook; I’ll still be receiving their general inanities and indirect messages when my hair is grey and my face has all the smoothness of a deflated balloon.

The course content itself was top notch, albeit quite tiring. Early starts and late finishes with a lot to keep you busy in the precious few hours you did have to yourself meant that you barely had enough time to think about relaxing, let alone doing any.  The information that was dispensed to us was amazing; I’ve learnt more about the genetics and epigenetics of cancer and various other diseases, inherited and otherwise, than I could have ever hoped for. There were also a few outings which included a trip to the Sanger Institute, where they decode gene sequences , they also decoded 1/3 of the human genome, working in tandem with various other labs to complete the whole task which took a total of 13 years to complete. Amazing place filled with great minds. A similar thing could be said of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, which we visited a few days later. There I was privileged to undertake experiments in the full garb, look at Bacteriophages (bacteria infecting viruses) down an electron microscope and model proteins on a PC in 3D.

All in all it was a very valuable trip, one that reconfirmed my wish to pursue a career in science. One speaker at the Sanger Institute who is attempting to compile a database of proteins and their families spoke about how when he figures out things about a protein, such as their structure, he is the only man alive, ever, to know that information. I want that someday too. I am now resolute in my decision to make a career of science even with my mediocre aptitude for it, rather than to fritter my life away in any other number of, most likely more suited, ways. What’s life without a little challenge, eh?

A biology joke that is bad enough to enter my personal repertoire to go with the mood,

Q: What is the fastest way to determine the sex of a chromosome?
A: Pull down its genes.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Congatulations! You've made another trip around the sun.

I must apologise up front for this one, it will be a little muddled (read: A complete train wreck of different ideas), the reason for this being that I am short of time at the present moment. It all started nearly 18 years ago, 07/09/1993 to be precise... and that’s pretty much the story. For those of you who did not get my most perspicuous explanation, I shall spell it out for you in layman’s terms; at the time of writing this there are but 25 hours between me and full-fledged adulthood.

Aye, it would appear that through some fluke, divine intervention, stroke of luck etc, I have managed to survive to the age at which I am legally allowed to vote, buy shiny, new knives and be legally tried as an adult. Thinking back on it, I really should have got more hardcore criminality in while the getting was good. Oh well, I guess a life of petty illegality will have to suffice. Speaking of petty illegality, I’ve increased the frequency of the drinks to mark this supposedly joyous occasion. Specifically, I had a surprise gathering of sorts organised by a friend yesterday, next to the London eye, a rather muddy patch of grass to keep us nice and damp. It’s a shame I never employed the line “You are 100 years too early to trick me” because unbeknownst to them, I actually knew about the whole thing for a rather long time. There is nothing quite like watching your friends scurry around you in secrecy, rather poorly I might add. A choice line that I received in the form of a text, completely out of the blue might I add, was “Do you like jam?”. Now, I’m no expert on sweet tasting spreads... Wait, who am I kidding? I love the stuff! Particularly strawberry jam, oh and you can’t forget marmalade, lemon and lime is to die for... but I digress; this would have piqued the suspicions of even the most dim-witted of fellows. It was about as tactful as knocking me out with a rock, dumping me next to the eye and shouting SURPRISE!

Apart from drinking, I’ve also had to contend with the looming sword of Damocles that is the rapidly approaching college year, specifically concerning my complete lack of preparatory work. Anybody that has known me for more than a week knows I do as little work as possible for maximum effect, therefore, if there is a chance I can glide into the next year and bullshit my way through the first few weeks, I’m all for it. Let’s just hope my assumptions (unlike all the ones before it) are correct.

When the sun rises, I am forced to return to said place and commence my induction. I think it involves brainwashing and the taking of DNA samples, I can’t quite remember. Either way, it seems more trouble than it’s worth; a necessary evil in the loosest sense of the word.

Also, I thought it’d be prudent to inform you that my work at Squidlypib is slowly improving. Turns out that the environment has a fair bit of favouritism and I seem to be getting on well enough with those in charge to not be put on the dreaded reduced section at every available opportunity. Folded t-shirts for about 3 hours last Saturday, it was surprisingly relaxing; almost meditative. Should be receiving my first paycheque at the end of the week as it happens, wonder just how fast I can piss my hard earned scrapings up the wall. Me thinks that my liver will be on strike the end of next week.

Before I make another extended absence, I felt it proper to tell you that I have a residential course at some arse end of the country all of next week, therefore I will most likely not  post between now and then but never fear! I shall make the first post back so juicy with gossip and goings on that it will be indistinguishable from the convoluted plot of the average mind numbing soap opera. Stay tuned people.

A joke in celebration of the occasion

Q: Why couldn’t prehistoric man send birthday cards?
A: The stamps kept falling off the rocks!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Words, words, words

After giving myself a self indulgent pat on the back for working in a few rather hard to use words into every day conversation, albeit to the dismay of the recipient, I thought it about time to flex my logophillic side and write down a few of my favourite words at this current time. Thinking back on it, maybe using “excommunicate” at about 1 in the morning was a bit too much, even for me.

Little bit of narcissistic trivia before I jump into the main meat of the post; as the evening wears on and I grow increasingly weary, I seem to become more verbose. It really doesn’t help when you are in the midst of the early hours of the morn and you are trying to communicate with someone who is rather inebriated, I can tell you that much.

Without further ado, here are 10 of my choicest words:

1) Excommunicate –
 - To deprive of the right of church membership by ecclesiastical authority.
 - To exclude by or as if by decree from membership or participation in a group.

2) Zeitgeist –
- The spirit of the time; the taste and outlook characteristic of a period or generation.

3) Platitude –
- A trite or banal remark or statement, especially one expressed as if it were original or significant.
- Lack of originality; triteness.

4) Verbose (As if you hadn’t already noticed) –
- Using or containing a great and usually an excessive number of words; wordy.

5) Dendroid –
- Shaped like a tree.

6) Supercilious –
- Behaving or looking as though one thinks one is superior to others.

7) Perspicuous (Something I sorely lack in my writing)–
- Clearly expressed; easy to understand.

8) Squamous (Favourite word to say aloud; pronounced [skwey-muhs]) –
- Covered with or formed of squamae or scales.
- Scalelike

9) Schadenfreude –
- Satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else's misfortune.

10) Eloquent (An adjective I aspire to)–
- Having or exercising the power of fluent, forceful, and appropriate speech: an eloquent orator.

Read this on the back of a cereal box, it had to be shared

Q:  What do you call a polar bear caught in the rain?
A:  A drizzly bear.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

You just can't please some people

I’m either a glutton for punishment, the biggest moaner alive or just a massive malcontent. It seems that in my search for happiness, I’ve yet again, landed myself in another regrettable situation. You may recall that in an earlier post I was, as usual, bemoaning the lamentable situation that my work life was currently in. You’d think that if I were to somehow become lucky enough to change that annoying limbo I had landed in that I’d finally find a little joy. You’d think.

I’ve recently found myself in the employ of the company I previously mentioned, the oh so wonderful Squidlypib (name changed for "This could get me fired" reasons). I’ll take this chance to rescind my prior accusations as to the nature of said company’s labour record. This is because I have had a chance to read the various literatures they’ve stationed at key strategic locations (Toilet door, above the toilet, on every available counter surface) and totally not because it is stated in my employee hand book that it is against my contract to speak ill of them on the interwebs.

I do have one thing to be thankful for, the hours are pretty damn excellent. Four hour blocks in the middle of the day during the weekends. Sadly this also means that I am forced to work bank holidays which includes BLOODY CHRISTMAS FUCKING DAY but I’m not bitter. The work itself isn’t exactly tasking, that’s probably the problem I have with it. I mostly wander around for the first two hours returning the various ghastly dresses some women supposedly wear. Believe me when I say I have handled more women’s clothing than most women would likely wear throughout their lifetime.  Surprisingly, this can be quite enjoyable, compared to the other tasks I am often set, that is. There’s nothing quite like memorising the exact location of various blouses, dresses and knitwear to get the ol’ neurons a’ firing. The part that makes suicide look like a valid and all together, more appealing option is the dreaded pick up of the sales section.

Imagine, if you will, a 16’ by 16’ square. Now fill this square with the cheapest bits of tat you can think of. Throw in a few tables with denim bits and bobs and you have the basic layout.  You are tasked with picking up the clothes and putting them back onto whichever rail they fell off of. That is all. Now picture a continuous stream of the most idiotic and downright stupid dullards you can. They are thwarting your every effort to keep some semblance of order in a pretty damn chaotic store. Every time you go to the other side of the square, someone will knock off what you just done on the previous side, forcing you to return to it, only for the same thing to happen on the other side you just went to. Now do this for 3 hours. At least Sisyphus got to watch a cool boulder roll down the other side of the hill.

This repetition of shear mind crushing, soul sucking monotony is now my world every Saturday and Sunday from about 11 am to 3 pm. Forgive me for thinking the minimum wage doesn’t quite seem like an adequate recompense. There is only so many times you can play the same song through your mind before you just want to find the nearest implement and scoop each word out from your own brain.

On the bright side, I have a job now.

Applicant joke because I’m too tired to find anything different

Employer to applicant: "In this job we need someone who is responsible."

Applicant: "I'm the one you want. On my last job, every time anything went wrong, they said I was responsible."

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The life and trials of a rather inept man

Don’t look at me like that. You knew as well as I that it wouldn’t take me too long to find an excuse to skive off of work. I suppose I should explain myself shouldn’t I? Welp, it is a tale of chills, spills and dizzying thrills, one that I’m nearly 100% sure hasn’t been made up in order to abate the furious anger that my absence has surely roused within you, my dear reader.

First and foremost in this most recent foray into the bad joke that I like to call my life, has been a recent tendency to go to my friend James’ house for a drink. Just a small gathering or two with a lot of alcohol to while away the hours. The result of which has meant that the two Fridays prior to this day have been spent with a rather terrible hangover and as such, I haven’t  been in the mood to fulfil my dutiful role as the bringer of verbosity and inanity in equal measure. Worry not though, a lack of money combined with guilt for not writing for the loyal few who frequent the site, means that I should be resuming your regular dose of insanity inducing tl;dr content.

In continuation of this shameless attempt at seeking redemption from a bunch of people who don’t really care, is the fact that the most recent bout of drinking was, unlike the ridiculously many times before, meaningful in some small way. You see, I recently received the results from my AS levels, for those of you who are unaware, they are the 1st year of the 2 year A level courses we take here in merry old England before we go off to get drunk at university.  The results, like the rest of my blasted life, were bittersweet. That is, I done relatively well, achieving ABBD is a feat to be proud of. Unfortunately, the D was in chemistry, the one subject I needed to be strong the most. Funny thing about it all was the B I achieved in the dullest of dull subjects that is English Literature and Language. Now, I know that from my apparent grandiloquent manner, I should be the perfect candidate for some silly English degree but in a bout of floccinaucinihilipilification unseen before to most, I have deemed the pursuit of it all as a rather pointless effort.

It is at this point that I must give myself kudos for actually working floccinaucinihilipilification into the post, it was a challenge I set myself midway through. Not quite sure whether I used it right though. Oh well.

Back to what I was saying before I digressed, I’m currently pursuing a career in science, biology to be slightly more specific. Therein lies my problem; I’m terrible at chemistry; it’s the subject I got the D in. It has not deterred me though. I will continue an uphill battle to follow a route into an area I’m not particularly suited to be, rather than go to where my talents would most likely be suited. That’s just the kind of stubborn bastard that I am.

A joke about test results of a sort, the best I could do was not good enough

Doctor: I've got the results of your test; you have gonorrhoea, chlamydia and onomatopoeia.

Me: What's onomatopoeia?

Doctor: It's exactly what it sounds like.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

England Riots 2011 - A personal take on the situation

What started off as the suspicious death of Mark Duggan in Tottenham during an arrest operation by the police has snowballed into a bout of rioting, the likes of which haven’t been seen in England since long before my birth. It all started last Thursday when the Mark was shot dead by the police during an operation gone awry in the London borough of Tottenham. The police claim that he was armed and the shot to the head he sustained was an unfortunate injury. They say that his death was not intended in any way. However, due to my locality to the events and contacts, I have heard otherwise. According to those who were there at the time, Mark was shot in cold blood whilst prone; execution style. Now, you know as well as I that such eye witness accounts can be coloured by bias, especially in such circumstances where relations between the police and the local community are as strained as can be seen in Tottenham, however, it is awfully convenient that the only useful CCTV camera seemed to have malfunctioned on that day and that day only, functioning once again during the ensuing riots.

I won’t make claims against the police, I am in no privileged position to do so, I will, however, say that I have sympathy for the initial riots that were sparked after a peaceful protest of the friends and family of the dead man were ignored for many hours. The police didn’t act fast enough; they made the wrong decision, look at it however you will. What’s done is done and in my view, those initial riots for the justice of Mark Duggan have long since ended; what remains is shear anarchy and senseless violence.

For four days now an infectious wave of opportunism has struck the hearts of every mindless thug, idiotic youth and two-bit criminal that we, of this nation, have the misfortune of sharing this island with. When speaking to a friend on the matter, she said that these sorts had the IQ of a ham sandwich but I disagree. To class them so would be to do a disservice to ham sandwiches; to do so would be an insult to every bread-based meat product that has ever graced this green earth. It takes a certain sort of idiocy, a certain lack of forethought, a complete disregard for yourself and your community to ransack your own town’s centre and steal from those who pay your medical care for your own profit. I don’t think ham sandwiches are that stupid.

Starting in Tottenham, the violence quickly spread to various other boroughs across London, one of which was my home town and it didn’t stop here. With reports of violence in Liverpool, Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham, West Bromwich, Birkenhead, Salford and Gloucester, this excess of human filth has revealed itself as endemic to the entirety of this nation, an infection that we must put right. We cannot rely on the incompetent Tory government in times like these; they will produce a knee-jerk reaction in order to quell the violence and save face, they are still grumpy with the fact that their summer holidays were cut short it seems. We must stand together in the face of this adversity and rise above it, show the scum that their wrongdoings will not go unpunished. They will rue the day they decided to antagonise the good, honest and overwhelmingly decent folk of this great nation.

Getting into the spirit of the times, I’ve looted the a bumper pack of jokes from a decent citizen of the net for your entertainment

Police arrest 18 looters at Enfield Argos. All found waiting in foyer for their stuff from the warehouse.

"Would rioter number 562 please go to the checkout...".

If Greenwich is looted expect Black Market to be flooded with ships-in-bottles, lighthouse lamps and rope-framed clocks.

WARNING: Some items looted at weekend will release dyes that stain skin permanently. Tattoo needles mainly.

Only business untouched in Enfield is the Barbeque Supplies Shop. Despite the efforts of twenty men they just couldn't get it to light.

Charity stores looted. Police looking for man who owns VHS, likes puzzles, wearing wedding dress & cardigan, listening to Leo Sayer LP.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Omegle hurts my brain

It would appear that in my infinite wisdom, I have inadvertently taken part in another bloody time wasting exercise. This particular time sink goes by the name of Omegle and it has devoured the majority of my waking hours these past two days. Touting itself as a means through which a person can exchange their inane, idiotic and ultimately pointless ideas with someone else as equally sad on the opposite side of the globe, you would think it the most fitting place for me. To a certain extent you’d be right. Were it not for the fact that it is populated mainly by horny guys jacking of to what they think are girls in the chat, not realising that those girls are in fact, another group of even hornier guys, I would probably frequent it more often.  It does have its redeeming features however; it is occasionally frequented by some of the better examples of our blithering race, the sort who can hold a conversation for more than a few lines without it descending into a trite exchange of emoticons.

I thought I’d share with you some of the more choice conversations I have had, the ones that go some way to re-affirming the slithers of hope I have for our cancerous species. The first of these being a lovely man from America who seemed to be an almost carbon copy of myself in terms of beliefs and eloquence, we spoke philosophy into the early hours of the morning. A major difference between us arose from the fact he gender identified with the opposite one of which he was born with. We discussed the gender inequalities, prejudices and other such problems that faced members of the LGBT group such as himself. Another was a girl who seemed to have a long list of previous countries of residence; she had to move often due to her father’s work. She described to me the events she viewed in her current home country, Egypt, during the recent revolution and how she felt a stranger to all places. The final one was another guy similar in age to me, we spoke about the ever present thirst for knowledge in mankind and the reasons why some choose to remain ignorant, whilst others strive to learn more. It was a truly enlightening talk.

It is people like this that make life worth living. If any of you happen to be reading this, it is belated thanks for the conversation we had. May there be many more just like them.

If you feel like giving it a try yourself, be my guest.

This joke was so bad I just had to put it up
Q) What's the difference between bird flu and swine flu?
A) If you have bird flu, you need tweetment. If you have swine flu, you need oink-ment.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Die, v.: To stop sinning suddenly.

There are only two things in life are certain, death and taxes or so the saying goes. Hey, don’t look at me like that, I spent ages thinking up an almost cheery way to start up a post about death and as with so much of life, I have failed miserably. Can you really blame me though? Death is a topic that most seem to avoid like the plague. Dare to bring it up in a social situation and you will be given pariah status faster than the average teen drops their ability to write coherently before a facebook post. Now, I’m not saying that death should be the go to topic upon meeting the average blithering idiot, unless it is your wish to make that weirdness you are hiding so deep to become apparent to said idiot. All I’m looking for is a state in which we are comfortable discussing the inevitable fate of each and every one of us unlucky sacks of consciousness. Is that too much to ask for?

As with every post, I have had recent experiences with the topic at hand. Thankfully it has all been theoretical discussion rather than actual firsthand experience. I doubt a blog that gets fewer hits than a no-armed cricketer would be the best place to announce it in all honesty.  No, instead my curiosity was piqued by the often odd reactions I would have upon venturing a discourse with another concerning the subject. The reactions have ranged from people quickly changing the subject, to point-blank refusal to continue the discussion, all the way to a very interesting American stranger who discussed it with me in length into the early hours of the morn. It seems that the reactions are polarised to a great degree depending on the person in question, however there is one common theme that can be seen; they all seem to fear it, as some form of imminent spectre.

The great distinction between us and the animal kingdom is that we are afforded the knowledge of our own mortality; no other creature is blessed, or cursed depending on your view, with this time limit. All others are allowed to continue in a state of blissful ignorance, whereas we are forced to come to terms with our inevitable failure at the great game of life. Yet, unlike what many would have you believe, we aren’t more capable than a beaver or a whale at dealing with said information; it terrifies us. Therefore great deals of us are prone to wild theories, in the form of religions and life philosophies, which are supposed to help us cope. It is quite amazing just how imaginative the average shmoe can be in their attempts to rationalise such an immense concept.

I won’t sit here and claim to know what happens after death, I am not as simple minded as to try and baby you in a similar way to a religious leader. Instead I shall tell you my own personal view on the matter, one that is undoubtedly shared by a vast many of others; this is all there is, nothing more. The idea of ceasing to exist may scare some but it doesn’t fear me in the slightest. Why? You ask, it’s simple; even if there is an afterlife, by the time I reach death, I will either have bigger problems to deal with in said afterlife or I will no longer have the capacity to be fearful as I will cease to be. It’s as simple as that.

Without the ever presence of death, you could not contrast the life and beauty of the world around you, therefore it should be embraced. Be thankful that you and your loved ones will someday leave this godforsaken rock in search of pastures new or at the very least, they will be blissfully non-existent.

Death joke because nothing says funny like the death sentence

A murderer, sitting in the electric chair, was about to be executed.
"Have you any last requests? asked the chaplain.
"Yes," replied the murderer. "Will you hold my hand?"

Sunday, 31 July 2011

And on the first day...

As I gaze upon this hellish mess of a collection and find myself inexplicably drawn towards a conclusion very uncharacteristic of me; I need to impose some order upon the chaos. The first port of call will be to have some form of organised posting system; the system I suggest is as follows:

1)     A new post shall appear every Friday, it’s topic shall be clear and direct as to avoid too much digression
2)     I will intermittently write smaller posts about my daily life and/or smaller topics that take my fancy as time passes by
3)     ????
4)     Profit! You now have a reason and time to check back and read the nonsense my brain churns out on a daily basis

Any objections? No? Then by unanimous agreement, this will be the mode through which I post new content and am thus, forced to keep up a relatively steady work pace. Suck that procrastination and apathy.

It is at this point that I am left at a loose end, what exactly is it that I should talk about? I have a few topics written down but they will be exhausted before the month is out. It is a request that I leave to you dear reader, I need your inexhaustible creativity to give me a springboard to work from in order to mask the failings of my own.

Tell me what you want me to write about, whether it is by comments below or other means. Ciao.

Wait, you were expecting a joke? But the post was so short, barely even there in comparison to the many others. You don’t care? Well... Er... Don’t be expecting the grade A material.

Joke because it says so in the contract, not that there is any actual contract...

An inkjet cartridge walks into a bar. The bartender asks, "Are you sure you don't need a refill?”

Friendship is like peeing on yourself: everyone can see it, but only you get the warm feeling that it brings

Ah, friendship. A word loaded with a multitude of different meanings and connotations, so much so that were you to ask 60 different people as to what the word means to them, you would likely find yourself with 60 completely different answers. At this point you are probably already questioning whether this is just another one of my emotion-induced, sloppily written rants with no actual relation to the real world... and you are probably right to some degree but indulge me as you would a senile relative, beset by age but still eager to pass on the war stories. Could you actively explain to someone who had never heard the term just exactly what friendship is? More to the point, the time at which a person jumps the bridge from an acquaintance to that oh so elusive title, the one you have most likely given to a multitude of people throughout the short space of time in which we have to do so; when they become your friend?

There is some degree of method to the madness that is my choice of topic; I had made a promise to two of the lucky people who have been deemed worthy by my particular set of warped standards and thus, earned their place amongst my friends. Therefore, I think it prudent of me to dedicate this particular post to Erik and Niall, the two that without which, our three musketeers status would be in serious jeopardy.  

Without going into too much detail (for fear of irreparably damaging our reputations and future jobs prospects in any credible company), I will say that we have gone through a lot of crazy shit together, for lack of a better phrase. So much so that if any member of our odd trio were to be in a particularly vindictive mood, they could easily screw over the other two, yet that would never happen. I don’t know whether it is the history or the understanding or just plain ol’ trust, but there is an indescribable bond, one that seems unbreakable to these naive pair of eyes. At the end of the day, I suppose that is all you can really look for in your companions, that understanding where you know you could gladly give your all to someone who will not take it for granted. At least, that’s what I must be looking for; complete subjectivity in an idea makes it rather hard to generalise.

Now I’m not saying that is all I, or anyone else for that matter is looking for in a friend because as with notions as complex as this, an intricate series of much simpler ideas form the foundation of whatever twisted metaphorical yard stick it is that you, I or anybody else uses to make the all important decision on friend eligibility. It is here that you will find the greatest degree of variation, where the opinions and the bias really come into their own. As where I may be looking for someone who has a stock of jokes just as terrible as my own, you may want someone who is reliable in a crisis or just fun to be around. Just don’t get too bogged down in trying to figure out the qualities that you most desire, it can all get terribly confusing when you delve too deep into your own rationale. Keep doing as you have done so up until now, keep on following that gut instinct you get when you meet a person or that tried and tested method you have for picking the inner circle. Do whatever works for you and make sure you have fun whilst doing it.

Remember this though; life is a solo journey at the end of the day. People come and go, some stay for a mere moment, others will be there until the day you die. Make sure you hang onto the important ones, the ones that make you happy or sad or excited, whatever quality you believe is most important. Keep them close and enjoy the ride.

Joke that I have inherited from my dear mother (who you can also thank for my disastrous sense of humour)

Q. What do you call a three-legged donkey?
A. A Wonkey

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Will write poorly constructed blog posts for money

It’s a sad day when you aren’t quite good enough to work for McDonalds. The final nail in the coffin of the plucky young lad who had been so fervently looking for employment, slowly lowering his standards until finally, the day comes when the phrase “would you like fries with that?” seems like the optimal career move. Little did he know, this most disdained of jobs was less the broad side of a barn and more a rapidly disappearing target in a thunderstorm, much like every other job he had tried for up till that point. It is at this point that our average hero sadly gives up his search and returns to a life of poverty and free time. It'll take much more than that to deter me dear reader, I’ve sunk far lower.

Let me give you a little context to the situation before this post derails in the characteristic train wreck that is my writing style; for a good month and a bit, my friend Tom (whose blog I have linked for your pleasure below whilst also dedicating this post to) and I have been on a jobs hunt. It began with a casual browse through the odd jobs website and ended up with a series of long treks to far flung jobs centres, which more often than not, yielded no results other than another scratch upon my ego. Believe me when I tell you, my ego has now gained the appearance of a battle hardened veteran; there’s even a few of those cool scars on the cheeks.

Before I continue with my story, I must ask that you think not too badly of me for the blatant hypocrisy exhibited in the following; I abandoned my moral compass in my search for work long ago. The story begins similarly to the many other online applications I had completed over the previous weeks, the difference being that this particular store had deemed me worthy of a reply and an interview. Only, I didn’t quite realise this until 3 days prior to the interview and as such, was forced to scramble my resources in order to fill out all the required forms and gather all the other paraphernalia that I would need, but I digress. The interviews were held in a hotel attached to west ham football ground, conveniently easy to reach through the front entrance but being the adventure loving idiot that I am, I didn’t quite realise this and as such, ended up wandering to the rather less extravagant backside of the grounds in search of some mystical entrance. Things were off to a great start.

After I had wandered back to the front, I sauntered up to the front desk, mustering the small amounts of cool I had been saving for just such an occasion in order to make a good first impression but once again, my efforts were in vain as I was caught off guard by a team member who was hanging about to my side. I was promptly led upstairs to a seating area filled with a bunch of others and a screen with some form of indoctrinating video on loop, its lures were tempting but I managed to retain my mind for just long enough to escape to the interview. The interview itself was pretty uneventful; I charmed the pants off of the interviewer whilst answering a load of simple questions in an elegant fashion. As quickly as it had begun, the process was over and I was free of the dreaded confines of that top button on the shirt. Now here’s the kicker; the store in question is that moral bastion known as Squidlypib (retconned for SPOILERS "This could get me fired" reasons) and no, I didn’t get the job. I sold my morals in a bid to get a minimum wage job for a conglomerat, propping up the capitalist system whilst also potentially helping a known user of child labour all in one fell swoop. I didn’t even get the bloody job. I’ve outdone myself this time.

Good news for you though, I’m still available for work. If you need a writer of slightly depressing or overtly verbose, quasi-philosophical nonsense, I’m your man.

Rib-tickilingly bad joke to while away the seconds

Q. What happened to the boat that sank in the sea full of piranha fish?
A. It came back with a skeleton crew!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Opiates and opera

Howdy once again, I must begin by apologising for yet another unexplained absence of the quality  writing you have come to expect from this establishment, not that the explanation is of any real  interest anyway, let’s just say it was a drug addled few weeks in which I was continuously partying and having oodles of fun... You didn’t buy that? I wouldn’t either. Any period of time that someone attempts to explain in a sentence was either partly fictional or just an out and out lie. Life’s rich tapestry rarely affords a simple explanation.

In my case, the explanation above did have some base in truth; due to reasons that are both highly embarrassing and pretty painful, I’ve been on a happy mix of codeine and paracetamol, also known as co-codamol. Now, not only is this particular mix an effective painkiller, the codeine component is also of the opiate family (the likes of which include morphine and heroin) and as a result, I have been in a blissful stupor for near on 2 weeks. I won’t bore you with the particulars but one occasion stood out amongst them all, the night when I had rather vivid dreams about flying through caves filled with electrified cows whilst explaining the correct flight paths over some form of intercom. The worst part is that wasn’t even the strangest of the bunch.

Apart from flittering with an addiction, I’ve also experienced a menagerie of new, mainly unwanted experiences these past few weeks. The main contributor to this could be seen in a recent trip to an outdoor showing of an opera live on screen. The opera itself was so-so, it was the original story of Cinderella in French and as it was my first ever opera, I was quite intrigued to see how the whole thing would work; my inexperienced curiosity was short lived. Whilst the show continued onwards through its 4 hour long story, the cluster of acquaintances around me quickly finished their supplies of alcohol and unfortunately for me, I was unable to drink anything myself due to the medicine, leaving me surrounded by a bunch of rowdy drunks, in the throes of full on sobriety . New experiences 1 and 2 weren’t completely bad; I was pretty ambivalent to the whole situation, the problems aroused with problem 3; it seems I had piqued the interests of a rather over-friendly bi fellow. I can’t exactly remember how frequently I was asked amazingly awkward questions, all I know is it was about as many times as I politely declined his advances. Good thing I had a few tablets handy to keep me nice and indifferent to the situation. On the bright side, I think he gave up around the end of the 3 hour mark. Oh and I also found out I have comfortable knees. Never know when you’re going to need that kind of knowledge.

Philosophy joke because I have reached that special philosophical state of tiredness upon completion of this post

Rene Descartes walks into a bar and ordered a brandy, which he tossed down immediately. The barman asked him "Would you like another?" and Rene answered "I think not", and promptly disappeared

Saturday, 25 June 2011

When life gives you lemons...

A couple of weeks of relative hardship, combined with a lack of mental fortitude had driven me to close this particular bastion of self expression, but then I thought to myself, “who am I to deprave the net of my incoherent ramblings and general bemoaning of life?” so the blog is back. Back for how long, I cannot say; my fleeting temperament does not lend itself well to long term commitments to projects; however I will try my utmost to keep things going for the time being.

Without being too specific about my recent goings on, I will just say to you that if there are a set of fates on some cosmological scale that have chosen to play a part in my recent attempts at life, they have been decidedly against me in their actions. To this effect, I have decided to revert to my tried and tested method of introversion and self improvement; work my way from the ground up rather than aiming for the big goals in life.

That being said, there are just some instances in life when you really just curse your own luck, for example, last Wednesday I had a trip for my college English course in which we were to watch a play at the famous Globe theatre. Now I’m not really much of a theatre goer myself but I decided to persevere and partake in a free show. I could not fault the play one bit, it was a production of Dr. Faustus and it was performed expertly by a cast of amazing actors, had the right combination of drama and comedy as it followed the tale of Dr Faustus who sells his soul to the devil in order to gain his second, Mephistopheles, as what is akin to a manservant for 24 years, during which Faustus uses the magic of said devil to achieve knowledge, wealth and fame. To top it all off, Mephistopheles was played by Arthur Darvill, better known for his portrayal of Rory Williams in Doctor Who, so I had the opportunity to see the full breadth of this brilliant actor’s range. That’s where the good luck ends.

It would appear that the organisers of this particular trip had managed to pick the day on which the Gods had decided to empty every vessel of heavenly water at once, as it seemed to rain non-stop for about 3 hours. Now you may ask why this would be such a bad thing seeing as I was watching a play at the time, however the well versed in the theatrical arts and culturally aware (read: middleclass) among you should know that the Globe is an open air theatre, which may not have been so bad on its own but it was expertly coupled with the peasants standing position that I was told would “build character” that I had to hold for 3 and a half hours. If by, “build character” they meant, “Cripple your feet and ruin your suede shoes” then yeah, I had a whole heap of character building on that day. That’s not including the walk too and from the train station. Certainly a fun day, would highly recommend it.

Joke to get the blog going once again

A guy went to a psychiatrist. "Doc," he said, "I keep having these alternating recurring dreams. First I'm a teepee, then I'm a wigwam, then I'm a teepee, and then I'm a wigwam. It's driving me crazy. What's wrong with me?"

The doctor replied, "It's very simple. You're two tents."

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Story excerpt: The creature

Its dendroid frame reached out to me. The sanguine hues of its skin morphing before my eyes, leaping from one horrific shape to another, unbound by any and all laws of sense and reality as I knew them. I was captivated, in awe at the sight of this gruesome creature; its skeletal form seeming to speak to a subconscious part of my mind. My body was no longer mine to control, I had long since given into the dominating cacophony of shudders and creaks that emanated from the approaching spectre; it roused within me a primal fear that struck my very core, I was at the mercy of my baser instincts in its presence.

Before it had me within its grasp, I used the remnants of my slipping grip on reality to snap myself out of its mesmerising gaze. “Move. Goddamnit move!” I shouted, willing my legs to take my orders once again. When no such return of control arrived, a sudden panic hit me as I realised my fleeting existence was about to come to a rather juddering halt.

Scrambling along a nearby surface, I managed to find something of use. Turning for a split second to gaze upon my last life line, a sudden movement from the corner of my eye grabbed my attention. In the moment I had averted my gaze, this denizen of planes unknown had managed to close the already uncomfortably short gap to a point where I got a clear look into the empty void of its eyes.

Time stood still, or more accurately, it seemed to stop applying. In the single glance I managed to steal, the seconds felt like days, the days felt like aeons but at the same time, fully aware of the absurdity of that thought pattern, yet I had no way of snapping out of it. All the while, I could hear it talking to me. This was no beast. It was sentient, it knew what it was doing and it had done so before. I knew not of what foul language it spoke to me in, what ethereal means of communication it employed but like a rabbit faced with the gaze of a hawk, it spoke to me in the way only a predator could; fear. Primal, passionate, unabridged and most hauntingly, pure fear.

Flailing in the last throws of prey verging on death, I somehow managed to unnerve the creature. Maybe it wasn’t used to resistance, maybe I got lucky, maybe it was all part of the creatures plan but whatever the reason, I used the precious seconds gained to jab my leg, with what was now revealed in the dank gloom of the candle to be a broken piece of wood. The sudden jolt of pain kick started my synapses once again; I was free of its control.

Falling backwards with incredible force, I scrambled for the nearby exit. The bare, wooden floor boards groaned under my weight as I crawled but in spite of their aged discrepancy, they held with surprising strength. Daring not to face the creature again, I ripped the door open with my last reserves of strength, slamming it closed as I passed through.  Greeted by the dusty smog of the passageway beyond, the stifling air caught me off guard; it had obviously been undisturbed for many years and was not too accustomed to the frantic limping of a middle aged man.

With little choice as to my escape route, I shambled as fast as my self-inflicted wound would allow to the only visible exit, a single, un-adorned door at the end of the room. Upon reaching it, I quickly spun about to make sure my pursuer was not within reach and thankfully, it seemed like the figure had not yet made it through the door... the oddly familiar door I had just walked through. Turning to face the escape, I was stricken by an overwhelmingly ominous sense of foreboding; this door was exactly the same as the other, down to the frayed edges and worn, plain panelling.

Breaking out into a cold sweat, I slowly bent forwards towards the door. The sound of my heart beat was deafening, lub-dub......lub-dub.....lub-dub.... lub-dub. Upon reaching the door, I held my breath in anticipation of what I would hear...

Joke to lighten the mood

Q.What is brown, red and sticky?
A. That bloody stick again

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness (That's a bit much even for me)

Two posts in and my fears have already been realised; I’m incredibly verbose. I started this blog as another attempt at the whole social media shtick after the last disastrous attempt (the last time being on twitter, where I quickly reached levels of pseudo-intellectualism un-observable outside popular coffee chains), and therein lies my problem; how do I avoid a similarly embarrassing problem from occurring?

I must start by pointing out that my overuse of long words (almost said polysyllabic) stems from a love of language in general. It is rare that I get to use all the words at my disposal in every day conversation, as for one, there’s always an easier way of explaining yourself and two, I’d have to spend half the conversation explaining what all these seldom used words meant. For that reason and that reason alone, I intend to flex the metaphorical muscles of my mind at every opportunity, if only to find a use for all the strange words I’ve come across recently (e.g. squamous, dendroid, litany), that would have no place in everyday language.

Just thought I’d clear that up before my façade of frankly gratuitous and overtly pretentious language was misconstrued as some form of vacuous smokescreen for a lack of true substance...  yeah of course not...

Joke o’ the hour (You didn’t think I only had the one now, did you?)

Q. What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back when you throw it?
A. A Stick