Saturday, 31 January 2009

M.I.A.

I've not been around the blogosphere for a bit (well, two days but it seems like forever) but real life just got in the way. Don't you just hate when that happens? But everything should be back to normal soon. I am hungover from last night and needing to get ready for the Australian-themed party at my friends right now - it's starting mid-afternoon so I don't have all day to prepare like usual - but I'm having trouble dragging myself away from the book I'm reading and/or episodes of 90210 I'm trying to catch up with online.

I don't have a CLUE what I'm wearing and I HATE not being prepared. I made some pizza virtually in the middle of the night to take along to the party and although it tastes nice, it doesn't LOOK all that well presented (making pizza + lots of alcohol consumed = not-necessarily pretty-looking pizza. Just an FYI.)

Anyway time to go start THINKING about getting ready I guess. I'll just leave you with a song I quite like right now. It's in an advert for . . . something. I couldn't tell you what. Obviously it didn't have the desired effect of making me remember the product, just the song, lol. Clever marketing there, right??? :)



Oh, and I just wanted to say thanks for all the nice comments on my previous post. I've spoke to my mum since (told her that email wasn't the best way to deliver the news, which she acknowledged was true!) and she says my Granda is doing well and is determined to keep going on as normal. I do think he's been overdoing things a bit though in his effort to prove he is okay so I hope he stops that!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

WHY EMAILING CAN SUCK AS A FORM OF GIVING BAD NEWS . . .

The other night I'd emailed my mum the link to the funny complaint letter and last thing before I went to sleep yesterday I had logged onto my email just to check and see if she had replied yet.

She didn't like the letter apparently, didn't find it all that funny. But it was what she said next that shook me up more than I would have thought possible.

My granda was fixing something in the bath on Monday night and fell when he was getting out of it, doing something to his arm or shoulder in the process. It took him ages to manage to get himself up due to the fact one of his arms was useless but he managed eventually to get to the phone and dial 999.

Obviously he is okay, although he has his arm in a sling and they had to pop it back into place or something like that. My mum says he is more worried that he won't really be able to wash for the next few days than the actual pain - because he doesn't have anyone to tell him if he smells or not. I think it was that thought, on top of the image of my granda (who always seemed like the strong, infallible one of all my grandparents) helpless on the floor of his bathroom with no one to help him, that drove me over the edge.

I couldn't stop crying. I actually put my laptop off and cried myself to sleep. I haven't cried this much in ages. Probably since nearly a year ago now when everything went wrong at once.

I still feel like anything could set me off even this morning. I'm getting ready for work and I just wish I didn't have to go. If I get any of the usual crap, or even any UNusual crap, then I'm liable to snap.

I really hope he is going to be alright.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

LET'S REWIND TO MONDAY NIGHT . . .

After Monday night, I think I'm getting better at the old hospital radio show thing.

Remember how I'd went just before Christmas and had, quite frankly, SUCKED at it???

I think I know why the idea of speaking into a microphone and of a potential (unseen) audience terrified me so much before. Mainly because of the fact I don't really think before I speak.

I think this struck me when one of my friends was this* close to swearing on air. She said something was "shiiii" and stopped before she reached the "t". I thought how in everyday conversation I would so easily be chatting and just automatically swear. Having to think about what I say before I say it . . . it doesn't come naturally.

Like at a work lunch yesterday when people were speculating what kind of activities might be interesting at our department away-day in March, and without thinking about it first I blurted out "Mud-wrestling". (Yes, I got some funny looks. I'm sure there's worse things I could have said though. "Watching porn" springs to mind, for example . . .)

If I was REALLY a DJ, and got past the whole "Hi, I'm speaking into a microphone and people are listening to me, oh FUCK!" barrier, I think I would be the DJ who got into trouble in a major way. Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross would have NOTHING on me. I would be the one who would accidentally say something so utterly controversial that I wouldn't just be banned from the station, I'd be banned from the PLANET!

(This is why blogging is easier because - occasionally! - I THINK about what I'm typing before I type it. Actually TALKING? Not so easy for me . . .)

Anyway, it was an absolutely awesome show, and such a great laugh, although it was definitely one of those "you had to be there" sort of nights. We did an Aussie themed show in honour of National Australia Day (which was okay since there was an Aussie there) so there was songs by Australian artists and a (very hard!) Australia-themed quiz that we all had to participate in.

We followed the hour-long show with a trip to a nearby pub quiz and continued the Aussie Day tradition by calling our team "The Bogans". Apparently, a bogan is not a particularly good thing to be. The non-Australians of us (all but one) didn't quite realise this until after the quiz team name was officially out there. Still it could have been worse. At least we weren't called "Jizz on my Pants". Now, THAT is a bad name. (Although it did make me giggle everytime their score was called out. Not as much as "I Hate Coldplay, They Are Tossers" though!)

A couple of us left before the end once we established we weren't winning. Not because we are sore losers (honestly!); we were just tired and wanting food.

In fact, I wanted food so much, I virtually inhaled a pizza when I got home.

Yeah, THAT was a buzz . . .

Oooh, and on a random sidenote, can I say how much I LOVE this commercial???



*Imagine I'm holding two fingers really close together. (Isn't that a handy hint?)

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

AND I PUMPED AND PUMPED UNTIL MY ARM WAS SORE . . .*

* "Hahaha, that's what SHE said . . ."


I was over seeing my mum in Hamilton at the weekend and she gave me a gymball that she'd apparently bought at a school car-boot sale (I didn't think schools did these kind of things but there you go!). "It's meant to be a great workout" we agreed.

Of course, I've read a lot about gymballs and how they're great for doing stomach exercises and all that crap.

What I DIDN'T realise was that trying to pump air into the ball was the hardest workout of them all!

After about fifteen minutes of pushing air into the ball, my arm was killing me, the pump itself was making a strange wheezing noise not dissimilar to my own unfit-as-fuck breathing, and . . . the gym ball was still mainly flat. But I persevered, including using my weaker hand. Still not much happening.

Eventually I had to give up.

And suddenly I realise that this post could be referring to something OTHER than a gymball.

Okay, I knew that already. (I was doing it on purpose). But I really AM talking about a gymball.

Which is, I might add, still largely deflated.

Onto other things. I am posting retrospectively at the moment due to being out last night, so my post on last night will probably pop up at some point tomorrow. In the meantime, in honour of "Cheer Me Up Tuesday", check out this article which boasts what people are calling the funniest complaint ever. I am inclined to agree . . .

Sunday, 25 January 2009

THINGS I MUST STOP DOING . . .

  • Calling people "bitch" and "cow" to their faces. Even though I mean it affectionately, they might not necessarily take it the right way.
  • Deciding it's a good idea to take scissors to my own hair when bored and/or drunk.
  • Thinking that the second bottle of rose is a good idea
  • Going in a mood with anyone who suggests it isn't.
  • Hitting the snooze button at least ten times every weekday morning.
  • Leaving the decision of what to wear until the last minute when I KNOW this always end in a panic and me spending all day feeling uncomfortable in whatever the resulting thrown-together outfit is.
  • Checking my stats obsessively.
  • Spending so much money on books when I have at least 20 unread ones sitting on my windowsill.
  • Throwing all my crap onto the sofa - it might be nice to be able to SIT on it once in a while. Just a thought . . .
  • Waste so much time worrying about what certain people think of me.
  • Caring what the fuck they think. It's not even WORTH it!
  • Neglecting my friends and social life purely because I am trying to be healthy. Can't a social life and being healthy co-exist for a change?
  • Fucking up every romantic relationship I've ever had.
  • Comparing myself to other people. Who says THEY'RE all happy either???
  • Wishing my life away.
  • Worrying about dying. (Which seems like a contradiction on the previous statement but hey.)

Think that's about enough for now. Is there anything you feel you need to stop doing?

And, for the Aussies in honour of tomorrow's National Australia Day, here's a little treat for you all. Hope you have a great day!!!


Saturday, 24 January 2009

UPS AND DOWNS . . .

The stuff I like/am looking forward to right now and the stuff I'm NOT liking so much.

Let's begin with the positives, shall we???
  • the whole weekend is spread out in front of me. And I have some fab plans lined up as well as hopefully getting some work done on my latest "project".
  • since I now have completed my eighteen month contract on my phone, I figure I can now get an upgrade on my phone. I'll miss my LG Prada but it's always nice to have a new handset to play with, right???
  • I'm already looking forward to going to Rhodes, even though it's not until May.
  • I'll HOPEFULLY be getting away somewhere in late July soon. Benidorm? Ibiza? Costa del Sol? Details provided as and when available. ;)
  • My old flatmate A and her boyfriend are coming over from Northern Ireland the weekend after next.
  • It will also be my flatmate's 26th birthday celebrations that same weekend. Woohoo!
  • A (belated) Australia Day party next weekend (I know I'M not Australian but the girl hosting it is, so it's okay!)
  • My knee appears to have rapidly recovered from its little inury on Tuesday so I've been able to do my exercises! Just have to be a bit more careful now. Those lunges can be bloody killers!

And as for the things that are annoying me?

  • Having to wait to make decisions through no fault of my own (or the other person, for that matter!) I feel very impatient recently for some reason.
  • Winter. I don't have motivation to do ANYTHING when it's consistently cold and/or icy and/or wet. It's just a total BUGGER.
  • Jennifer Aniston. I realise I don't know her personally. And I used to feel so sorry for her. Man, having to see your ex walking about with another woman and having it plastered all over the paper?? I dread the idea of running into MY ex with whoever he is seeing now in the street, but at least I don't need to "read all about it" and then possibly run into them at a premiere with all eyes of the world upon the encounter. But the whole thing with John Mayer is now starting to piss me off. The guy is a LOSER, Jen. Even if you ARE stupid enough to get married to him, it's not going to last. He is a serial womaniser. And a selfish fuck. And I don't see you changing him. Sorry!
  • The fact I'm not losing weight as quickly as I wish I could. (Mind you, it might help if I stopped EATING for a change!)
  • Work. Still. I realised the other day when someone said to me I seemed to not mind my job that I actually DON'T. It's the way I'm treated that pisses me off. I just wish people would appreciate that I am a good worker and try so hard but instead I'm always treated as second best - and even THAT'S if I'm lucky. Sometimes I do wonder if I'm being goaded into quitting. Possibly. Nothing would surprise me anymore.
  • Wondering how I can afford to get away on holiday on a few occasions this year. My money situation isn't particularly brilliant at the moment, so I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Anything you are looking forward to, or are pissed off about right now? Feel free to share . . .

Friday, 23 January 2009

"IT TAKES ALL KINDS . . ."

I suppose one of the perks of my job is that I am encouraged to go on any training courses I might find relevant to my career development.

The main flaw in this perk? I'm not really a "course" kind of person.

But today I was on one of the most interesting courses I have ever been on*. Of course, since the only other work-related course I ever went on was a Moving & Handling Course (which assessed how much we'd learned about lifting and moving heavy objects by making us pick up the world's smallest and lightest basket???), this wouldn't be hard. But I'd probably go as far as to say that it was more interesting than any of the subjects I covered on my course at university too.

I mean, I made notes!!!

I even - gasp! - answered the course-leader's questions out loud! I didn't always get them right, mind you, but I tried.

This is very unlike me.

Anyways, it was called "Working Internationally" and was basically about how to work around (and with) cultural differences when dealing with people from other countries, whether they spoke English as a second language or were simply from another English-speaking culture. And it was absolutely fascinating. Sorry, I sound like a total geek, don't I? The guy leading the course had tons of experience in the field of working internationally and dealing with different cultures and was full of examples and anecdotes showing the differences and the possible faux-pas that could be made when working in a foreign environment.

I discovered that, since I (and many other Scottish and/or British people for that matter) tend to use humour and compromise a lot, I probably would be a nightmare for a person from another country to deal with. Apparently, the only humour that is universally understood is visual humour, like slapstick - and, like the dude told us, it's kind of hard to bring THAT into a meeting.

I'm sure I could give it a decent go though . . .

However, it's made me realise I'm a lot more keen to learn than I thought.

One of my friends recently started a university course and she has so much enthusiasm for it, I'm utterly jealous. My marketing degree was okay, I suppose, but I wouldn't say I'd had any MASSIVE interest in most of it. And, let's face it, it actually hasn't really done me much good career-wise plus I can barely remember anything from it.**

But you know, I would LOVE to do some sort of course, just for the sake of it. (I'm aware I still haven't started my writing course, but I will soon, I promise! Plus that hopefully will ultimately have a POINT to it, so it doesn't strictly speaking count.) I just don't know WHAT I want to do.

But I'll hopefully find something soon!

Watch this space . . .

And I didn't even know there WAS a video for this song until today, so I can't resist posting it since I love the track so much. Hopefully now that "I Get Around" is being used in a Rimmel advert with Kate Moss, Dragonette might get a bit bigger over here . . .



Time to get drunk methinks!!!


*Plus we got TONS of free food. Pastries for breakfast. Muffins for morning break. Sandwiches, veggie samosas and chicken legs for lunch. And some other sort of cake for afternoon break. AND we got to leave at half past three cos the guy needed to catch a flight down South. I still feel full even now . . .

**At the course today, the guy mentioned a SWOT analysis. I knew I'd done these tons of time during uni, but couldn't even remember what the acronym stood for. I mean, I know I've been out of uni for nearly eight years now, but still . . .

Thursday, 22 January 2009

BUS GIRL FOR THE DAY . . .

I went on a bus today.

This is a rare occasion for me. Because I HATE buses.

And being on a bus again reminded me just WHY I hate them . . .

1) 11 times out of 10, they REEK!
2) The ride is waaayyyy too bumpy (and not in a good way)
3) You always have the risk of some random smelly stranger coming and sitting next to you. Unless you . . .
4) . . . Are one of those really annoying people who sit on the outside of the seat so no one else can sit next to you without clambering over you. (Assholes)
5) If you're on the top deck of the bus, there is a chance you may fall down the stairs (either when trying to get OFF the bus, or just in general) . . .
6) . . . and people will laugh and point and not help you (I haven't fallen yet, but I imagine that's what they would do).
7) You need the exact change, or you lose money.
8) Drivers have a tendency to be assholes and drive away while you're running for the bus (leaving people to laugh and point at you)
9) And when people get ON the bus, they don't say a destination, they just say an amount of money. And after you go a certain distance, it's essentially a fixed amount. But every so often this just INCREASES without warning. So for someone like ME, who only goes on a bus once in a blue moon . . . this is a bit of a nightmare because I NEVER have a clue what price I'm meant to be paying.
10) If you don't know the journey you are going on very well/have had a drink and aren't on-the-ball/or if the windows are steamed up due to rain, you might not get up in time to get off at your stop. And you can guarantee the next stop will be a good bit away . . . you know, just to piss you off!

It's no wonder I avoid public transport as much as I can, isn't it???

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

THE WORST THIEF EVER???

My mum always yells at me for leaving my bag open. I have to admit I'm really bad for that. (I'm also very bad for buying bags that just don't have the ability to shut properly but aren't we all?) Anyway, that's probably the reason why I've lost purses, passports, phones, even my work security pass. But I would never admit that to her.

Anyway, yesterday after lunch, I was standing in a queue to fob out of the downstairs door. And my bag was open . . .

Male colleague in queue behind me: Hey, your bag is open.
Me: (inwardly) Yes, thanks for pointing that out. I didn't SHUT it when I left the kitchen five seconds ago so unless someone ELSE has shut it for me on my way to the door, it was unlikely to have closed in that short period of time.
Me: (out loud, fairly nicely) Yes, I know.
Male colleague: I could steal your purse, you know!
Me: (not without a touch of sarcasm) I'm sure you could.
Male colleague: Yeah I could. (peers inside my bag). Where is it?

First of all, good look in finding my purse inside my bag. Half the time, I can't find ANYTHING inside that black hole.

Secondly, did you actually think I was going to HELP you steal from me? (My mum would probably say me leaving my bag open was help enough, but you know what mums are like!) Point you to the exact location of my purse inside there? Give you coordinates and a compass? Er - no, I don't think so!

I imagine the next logical step would be . . . oh, I don't know, helping someone to MURDER me??? (Okay, that's not entirely logical, I'll admit.) This clip springs to mind . . .

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

MY OWN PERSONAL MURPHY'S LAW . . .

Murphy's Law states "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong."

When it comes to exercise and fitness, it seems to fit my purposes extremely well.

You see, I'm not particularly fit and healthy. You may know this already. I also like to eat junk a lot. Despite this, I'm lucky enough to be fairly in shape (I use the word "fairly" in the broadest sense of the word, mind you). But I do go through phases where I WANT to lose some weight and tone up.

But anytime I manage to force myself to exercise regularly for a week or two and finally start to get into a routine, something is always destined to go wrong.

Like back when I used to go to the gym (yes, I think I've FINALLY officially quit now - well, I've stopped giving my sister money for my half of the joint membership anyway!) I would always end up pulling some random muscle around about my stomach on the treadmill. I could never understand why but it meant I couldn't run on the treadmill for weeks at a time because it bloody HURT! And that was one of the few machines in the gym I could be bothered to use.

Or the time where I had REALLY got into a routine and had been going three or four times a week for at least three or four weeks (this is a big deal for me, believe me!), I then came down with a really bad cold that fucked up my throat and came with a built-in great stomach workout due to all the coughing. I was going to keep going through the pain and illness but was warned against it - quite rightly, I suppose. Once again, I fell back out of the habit of going and couldn't get motivated again for ages!

Or when me and my flatmate started running last year. We'd just got to the stage of quite WANTING to do it on a regular basis when, of course, the ice made an appearance. Yeah, running on ice? Not fun.

Which leads us onto tonight . . . I had found a great exercise dvd a couple of weeks ago that I was really enjoying using, with two different workouts - one aerobic and one involving weights. I had bought dumbbells and everything, I had done it perhaps eleven days out of the past fourteen so for me, this was me really getting somewhere. I even woke up this morning and actually already felt a bit more toned - whether that was just sheer rose-coloured optimism or not, I don't know but I always think if you FEEL a difference, no matter how small, it can help to motivate you. I even did SIT UPS after I got out of bed, and rushed home tonight, planning to do BOTH workouts on the dvd. THAT'S how motivated I felt . . .

. . . Then proceeded to fuck up my knee during a lunge in the aerobics section about ten minutes into the workout.

I can walk on it fine, but squatting and lunging and jumping on it? Out of the question. I'm really hoping it's just a temporary thing and if I ice it and stuff it's going to feel better tomorrow but I'm not particularly hopeful. I'm disappointed. But not really surprised. Because when it comes to exercise and me, anything that can go wrong, truly will go wrong.

Next time i manage to get into a regular routine, I wonder what will throw me off. A broken arm perhaps???

If that happens, I really will be fucking RAGING!!!

Monday, 19 January 2009

TURNING THE NOISE DOWN . . .

My annoying flatmate was being very loud last night, as was her equally annoying boyfriend (Mr Toilet Seat). They were in the other kitchen, which is at the other end of our flat, but no matter where I was, I could hear them. She apparently has guests staying with her, because I heard her saying to them they could come and go as they pleased!!! (Seriously, the girl clearly thinks she lives in a flat herself and therefore doesn't HAVE to have consideration for others!)

When I mentioned to my GOOD flatmates how loud she had been, one of them said "It's probably her getting revenge for Saturday night. You and M WERE very loud."

I suppose we were, in retrospect. Dancing around the room to Lady Gaga on freeview. Singing loudly along with every music video we knew. AND playing Guitar Hero . . . without the game OR the guitar!

You think it isn't possible? Oh it is. You know how people put their own performances of Guitar Hero on youtube? I'm not talking about my own performance, I mean more like this kind of thing below . . .




. . . So I'm standing there, playing an imaginary guitar along with this sort of music, pretending to make my fingers move along with the colours on the screen . . . and M is applauding me telling me how well I'm doing. And everytime the person playing the game cocked it up, I would scornfully say something like "Man, I would NEVER do that, I've got a million note streak!" and continue to play my invisible guitar and pretend to be a rock star.

Isn't it strange the things you find funny when you're drunk?

Anyway, yes, probably we DID piss annoying flatmate off. But then is that any more annoying than me trying to sleep on friday night and having her and her man chat really loudly through the wall and keep me awake? Or the fact she never seems to switch her alarm clock off, even when she's not in the flat? Or her man's toilet seat foibles? Like I said to my nicer flatmates, I don't think it was so much payback as simply the fact she's seemingly incapable of turning her volume button down.

If only I could find a remote control that worked.

An invisible one perhaps???

Sunday, 18 January 2009

WHAT A FUN GAME . . .

Here's something that got me and M scratching our heads a bit last night (and, no, it wasn't headlice!) . . .

You may remember one of the Christmas presents I bought for one of my friends was a drinking game called Keel Over. I think it's essentially a twist on Jenga, with forfeits on the bricks or something like that. We didn't get a chance to play it - apparently, we can get pretty damn drunk on our own WITHOUT help from a drinking game, as we proved after four bottles of wine between us last night. (Yes, I think dry January is well and truly kaput now!)

Anyway, I gave M the present along with the surprise I'd been working on, and she started studying the outside of the box. Which is when we made a surprising discovery.

The box instructed that not only could we play the drinking game with soft drinks, it was advisable that if we MUST play using alcohol, it should be low-alcohol beer or shandy.

Instantly we were both like "What the fuck???" Doesn't it rather negate the very point of a drinking game if you play with products with either low-alcohol or NO alcohol? Isn't the primary intention of a drinking game to get you good and fucked???

I appreciate it's not like they can say on the box "Hey, get WASTED with this game. Use wine, or vodka, or tequila!" and I suppose they always have to have some sort of disclaimer so people all over the world aren't blaming the company manufacturing the game for coming down with alcohol poisoning or . . . I don't know, falling out a window. But the irony couldn't help but make me laugh. The drinking game where they advise you not to drink??? It's a bit of an oxymoron really . . .

On to the project I was working on for M on Friday night. Now she has it, I can share it, because it's not a secret anymore. It was just a scrapbook/photo album about our Belfast trip last July, featuring pictures, a couple of souvenirs from the trip and a selection of our favourite quotes from our time over there. I had soooo much fun making it - and it was worth it because she seemed to love it. I've got another one planned for someone else next month who I think will really appreciate it too. I think I might finally have a hobby, lol!
Anyway, I took a couple of pics of my favourite pages . . .

Friday, 16 January 2009

ABOUT LAST NIGHT . . .

Although it takes varying amounts of alcohol to get me drunk depending on the night - it could be anything from one glass of vino, to a bottle, to a bottle and a half, to just fresh AIR occasionally - one frequent side effect of drink seems to be the memory loss. I quite often lose huge chunks of the night.

Which is what happened to me last night . . .

It wasn't a particularly LATE night. But it did pretty much commence at 4pm so as you can imagine I was a little inebriated fairly early on in the evening. I have no idea how much alcohol I had, at the time I didn't think it was much, but it must have been really now I look back. Like the time later on in the night where someone asked me if I wanted a drink and I remember saying (possibly slurring?) "Oh I couldn't have another glass of wine, I'll have a shot of Baileys instead". (I realise that didn't make much sense.) Then when I discovered they were out of Baileys (WTF???) I didn't do the sensible thing, realise I was too drunk and ask for water. Oh no!!! I ASKED FOR ANOTHER BLOODY GLASS OF WINE.

Apparently I got a taxi home with one of my colleagues. I don't remember the taxi journey. I wasn't actually sure HOW I'd got home cos I didn't remember. She also informs me she had to show me where the toilet was in the pub - although I'd been there earlier that night already and should have known the way - and then I didn't come out for ages, and she thought she was going to have to come looking for me. I sincerely hope I didn't fall asleep in the toilet again! One time doing that was enough, thanks very much!

I felt like shit today. I guess the side effect of not drinking for a while (even a week) means your body forgets how to cope with alcohol the day after. I was meant to be going to another leaving night tonight but frankly, the very idea of it exhausted me. I decided to just go home instead and have an alcohol free night. (Very unlike me, I know). I have tons of stuff to do anyway, not least work on a surprise for my former flatmate M, who I'm seeing tomorrow. (I can't tell you what, in case she happens to read my blog before she comes over!) So I need to get on with that now.

Anyways, in other news, the lovely Angela from Angelaboration presented me with an award, which I was very excited about - I always like awards and I always forget to mention them when I receive them, which is very unlike me!
ONCE YOU'VE BEEN AWARDED, THE RULES ARE:
1. Thank the person who was so thoughtful for giving you this award by linking their blog to this post. (Thanks Angela!!!)
2. Put the logo on your blog or post. (Done)
3. Nominate 10 blogs which show great attitude/gratitude. (I'm going for attitude all the way, baby!)
4. Link your nominees to your post. (yes, it's coming)
5. Comment them to tell them about the award they've won. (I'm not doing this one - you can find out all by yourself!!! Ha, cos I'm mean like that.)
Sooooo . . . here we go!
Hope it puts a smile on your face - just like it put a smile on mine!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

TODAY'S ISSUE : UP OR DOWN???


Above is the sign I put up in the bathroom a couple of months ago.
Below is the story behind it. Although it's probably fairly self-explanatory.

We live in an all-girl flat. Obviously, males do come and go fairly often since as far as I'm aware I'm the only single one and even I have male friends who pop by on occasion. We have two bathrooms - me and my two favourite flatmates share one, and the other three use the other.

But, for some unknown reason, the annoying boyfriend of one of our flatmates (she who spreads her shit out all over the flat's communal areas, from the dirty bike in the hall to the random shelf just sitting outside the bathroom where she keeps her shoes for some unknown reason - I'm being a little unfair because she seems friendly enough, just doesn't seem to care that she lives with other people!) seems to have appropriated our bathroom as his own on the regular occasions he is over.

Even more annoyingly, he seems to think he has every right to just leave the toilet seat up after he's done a pee.

Now, I know there is mixed opinions on the toilet seat issue. Girls always say it should be left down but lots of guys leave it up after they've used it. Personally, I think if you are living with a guy, you have to be prepared for them to do this. Let's face it, it's their home as much as yours. If they want to leave the toilet seat up once in a while, I suppose they have every right to. Just as long as they don't miss the bowl or splash everywhere, I don't really see the issue.

But I DO take exception to someone who is effectively a guest in an all-girl flat constantly leaving the toilet seat up. Especially given the fact that that sign, as clear as day, is RIGHT NEXT TO THE EFFIN' TOILET!!! And that every time I find that toilet seat up after he's been on the premises, I try to highlight the sign that little bit more. Yet it keeps happening.

Frankly, I just think it's rude. The other guys who come in here obey the sign. I'm sure they would obey the rule whether it was right in front of their eyes or not. What makes this guy so different? Why is he special???
Answer: He's NOT. He's just an inconsiderate prick, that's all.
Okay, deep breaths. Rant over. I'll open the floor to you guys instead while I try to stop fuming (it's not happened tonight - yet! - but the whole issue gets me riled up!) - what's your opinion on the toilet seat issue? Up or down? Do you even HAVE an opinion on it? Or does the whole thing just "piss" you off??? (Geddit???? Piss? Pee? Oh, whatever!!!)


Tuesday, 13 January 2009

SPAMMING OUT . . .

I've blogged about spam before, but I feel like another post is due on the subject - as my spam mail has been getting beyond a joke recently.

Not only is it more frequent than ever, but the titles seem to be getting weirder and weirder. And, on top of that, the spam mail is somehow coming from myself now! So it has my email address as the sender . . . and once when I was out of office, I got an out-of-office reply to myself in response to a spam mail. I felt like saying "but I never sent it!" . . . but what would be the point, cos that's my own email address so I'd be saying it to myself!!!

I know, that was quite confusing, right???

Anyway, here's some of the more choice spam email titles I have received recently . . .

Your big proud friend in the pants will overshadow the Empire State Building (one word - OUCH!)

Too bad you can't wear a watch on your legs (er - why would we WANT to???)

You feel like you are tied when you have a little pride (I'm assuming this is also something to do with the size of your cock - or possibly your watch? - but I really don't have a clue!)

You can have a romantic evening with candles, but even the candles will be bigger than your tool (perhaps they're extra big candles?)

Women hate men with small equipment (now that's fairly blunt, I have to say. Maybe you should think of a slightly less harsh way of marketing this one?)

Forget the V when you have this (what is "this" exactly? A naked woman perhaps???)

She'll eat you all day (em - no thanks, I'm not that way inclined . . . )

Specially delivered naked (this makes me think I'm going to receive a nudist in the post. Which scares me somewhat)

We are in charge of making him large (the person who came up with this one may have a future in greetings cards. No????)

I saw Angelina endorse this (What? Brad's sperm? Well, it certainly seems to be effective . . .)

You don't need to own a castle to feel like a King (well - duh! all you need is a CROWN!)

Turn the worm in your pants into a python (to be perfectly honest, if there's a worm in your pants, maybe you should be taking some sort of antibiotics. Just a thought . . .)


Anyway, that's all I have for now, and I'm due out for dinner shortly so this counts as a post AND a Cheer-me-Up-Tuesday. Oh, and to warn you? I will more than likely be breaking my drinking pact tonight. I think a week and a day is pretty damn good for me anyway!

Monday, 12 January 2009

THE TRUTH ABOUT COOKIES . . .

Last Thursday, we were in Tesco at lunchtime and decided to bring back some cookies for the rest of our team. No particular reason, it wasn't one of our birthdays or anything like that, it just seemed like a nice thing to do. They were on offer so we picked up some Milky Bar cookies and some Toffee Crisp cookies. When we got back to the office, we dumped the bags of cookies on top of one of our team-mates in-trays and helped ourselves. They tasted good but there was loads.

Anyway, when I got to work today, I clocked that the bags of cookies were still sitting there. Momentarily I thought perhaps it was time we chucked them out, given they had been sitting there for four days now. But it totally slipped my mind until one of my colleagues picked up the bag of Toffee Crisp cookies, took one out, examined it meditatively, and then popped it in his mouth.

"Still tastes good," was his diagnosis.

I grimaced. "But they've been sitting there for days."

He glanced at the bag and nodded in confirmation. "Use by date is the 9th January."

"Okay, so if you collapse, we'll know why," I concluded.

He looked at me in confusion for a minute and I wondered what I had said that was so wrong. Then he started laughing. "Oh, I misheard you there," he said.

Apparently, he'd thought I said "If you get crabs, we'll know why."

So, just to make something clear . . . it's unlikely that cookies will give you a sexually transmitted disease. Even ones that are past their use-by date.

It's perhaps also worth noting that cookies WON'T make you pregnant.

They MAY cause weight gain though.

Unless you eat them standing up, of course . . .


IN OTHER NEWS . . .

I've heard that's it's National Delurking Day. So feel free to leave a comment, even if you normally wouldn't!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

"WERE MY BOOBS *THAT* BORING???"

Now to sort of take up another suggestion from last Sunday's post when I looked for inspiration from you guys. This time a mixture of what Princess Pointful and Chapati suggested. I already kind of used my first kiss story up in this post, and I can't actually remember when I realised Santa Claus was only a myth, but something I CAN remember fairly acutely? The story of my boring breasticles . . .

I've mentioned my friend K before - the one who may or may not be living off a boyfriend's inheritance. ANYWAY, back about six years ago now, we'd got to know one another when we'd started together in the same training group at our job back then. Fairly early on, me and him and a couple of others from work had went for a drink one night, and when we left, we ran into K's flatmate . . . who, in the space of the short encounter, and under the haze of alcohol, seemed more than a little cute.

K told me later that his flatmate had liked me too, and the guy ended up joining us the next time a bunch of people from work were out. But somehow it just didn't happen between us. I'm not sure why exactly. I wasn't long out of a very short relationship that had ended pretty badly (which is a whole other story) and was a bit fucked up about the idea of getting remotely involved with anyone else, K's flatmate was a couple of years younger than me (although that bugged me less then than it does now) and I guess I just came over a bit shy and cold, the way I occasionally do if I like someone and know they like me.

Within a couple of weeks, K had moved on to setting the dude (we'll call him "A") up with our mutual new friend C, and they were going out. So I'd missed my chance obviously.

Of course, in typical fashion, that was around about the time when I started to like him again. You know the old adage about wanting what you can't have? Well, I am extremely bad for that. I rarely act on it but it IS an unfortunate quirk of mine.

A and C didn't stay together long. I can't remember how it ended, but it was over in a month or two and C was got together with another dude (who was far hotter, I might add!). At this point, I didn't know C very well (although she later became my first flatmate and is now one of my good friends) so I guess I still felt like A was fair game, rather than that dangerous untreadable ex territory. Although at the time of the break-up I wasn't thinking this - I'd moved on to fancying someone else by then. This was a couple of months later. When I'd snogged the other guy I fancied and . . . well, been let down by him too (Yet another story for another day, I guess!).

Which would have been the December of that year. K had said he and A were going to watch one of the Lord of the Rings films that had just came out (I think it was the second one) and I really wanted to see it too (yes, I'm a bit of a LOTR geek I'm afraid) so when he asked if I wanted to come along that night, I said yes. Unfortunately, it was booked up for that night, so K said did I want to come along to his flat instead and get drunk. He lived not far from where I live now, while I still lived at home with my parents, so I decided to go along, with the provisio that I could stay on his couch and go home the next day.

So we were all just sitting around, getting more drunk and chatting, when I decided to go to the toilet, which was downstairs in the flat. On my way back up, I ran into A, we had a little chat halfway up the stairs and then for some (drunken) reason I ended up showing him one of my boobs. No idea why but there you go - I do have a tendency to do stupid things while under the influence. He just looked a bit stunned and then turned around and went downstairs.

Not long after this, we ran out of alcohol, so somehow it fell to me and A to go to the shop before it closed to acquire more. We were just wandering along, arm in arm, randomly chatting on the way TO the shop. On the way back, we were still randomly chatting yet . . . we somehow ended up holding hands.

At this point, something seemed to shift between us. When we sat back down next to each other, on the same couch we'd been sitting together on all night, without any tension whatsoever . . . there was suddenly something there. As the four of us sat and chatted, he surreptitiously slid his arm around me. Low down, just above my hip, so none of the others could see. (Or so I thought, anyway!) I suddenly felt really excited, and nervous and attracted to him, all at once. From the way his hand was lightly tracing my back and sliding up and down the contours of my body, I knew that SOMETHING was going to happen between us. I just wasn't sure WHAT yet!

Eventually the others made their excuses and headed to bed and we were alone together. By this point, I felt completely on edge, I was so overcome by nerves. Practically the second K left the room, A pounced on me. He was a great kisser. This didn't surprise me, as C had told us this. In fact, so had K (apparently they had snogged each other once when they were both drunk. Really, this should have set alarm bells off a long time ago!)

I realise this post was a bit of a long build-up for what is essentially about to be an anti-climax. But that's kind of the point. Don't worry - it's hopefully worth it . . .

We weren't long into the kissing when A decided to head a bit further south . . . Breastland, to be precise. I was sitting on the couch, enjoying the attention he was paying to them when . . . suddenly, nothing. There was no activity going on at all anymore. Within a matter of seconds, I established the truth . . .

He had fallen asleep!!!

I was infuriated, but didn't want to wake him up as I didn't want to admit that apparently my boobs had put him to sleep!!! He had basically fallen asleep on top of them, so I had to try and fall asleep in a sitting position with a guy lying on top of my chest. Niiiicccceee.

I suppose, when I re-tell the story, I see the funny side to the whole thing, but I haven't got the most humiliating part yet.

Because that would be the night, approximately a month later, when all my insecurities came rushing out in one drunken rant, and I chased A around and around the statue in Royal Exchange Square - while my friends laughed their heads off - yelling "Were my boobs THAT boring????"

After that night, we didn't really speak much.

Weird, eh?

Saturday, 10 January 2009

"DAY SIX IN PAULA'S HEAD . . ."

. . . and sobriety is still successfully co-habiting.

Can you believe it? I haven't actually had a drink since last Sunday. This is officially a record for me!

The weird thing is, I'd actually decided to give myself a lifeline. Yesterday I'd been invited out for today so I'd decided that I would allow myself to drink at the weekend. After all, me not drinking during the week is pretty impressive by my standards anyway! My plans fell through, so I considered going down to the shop and buying a bottle of wine.

But I didn't.

I have alcohol in my flat anyway. I have Creme Caramel flavoured Baileys. Some Toffee Fabulus (that's toffee flavoured vodka liqueur, although thinking about it, that's probably past it's use-by date as I have had it for a little while). A little bit of Malibu and some cranberryraz flavoured vodka.

But I haven't touched any of them.

It's a weird feeling. But I just keep thinking how many calories I am cutting down by not drinking approximately five bottles of wine a week. And since I'm needing to lose weight fairly urgently, this can only be a good thing.

I may drink at some point this week, if I end up going out. But I figure, since I haven't had alcohol at the weekend, maybe it's okay for me to have a drink or two during the week. As long as I'm not drinking alone at home!

It's nice not to wake up with a hangover. On the negative side though, I've not been sleeping well. Alcohol can help me to pass out generally. I'm sure you already know this. It's a good cure for my semi-insomnia. Without it, I'm at a bit of a loss.

But I'm enjoying the lack of a headache in the morning, the random pains inside that tend to wake up with you on the morning after. Knowing I'm not going to do anything stupid or out of my control, or send a stupid text to someone I shouldn't. It's kind of nice. Predictable. But nice.

That being said, it's not as much fun dancing about your bedroom with your hairbrush, pretending to be a pop singer, while sober . . .

Friday, 9 January 2009

A GUIDE TO SCOTTISH-NESS . . . PART FOUR

If you are new to this guide, please see the previous parts if you wish to catch up.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

So we're at the fourth and final - for now - part of our guide. It's annoying me because I had thought of a few additional things I wanted to talk about but now I can't remember for the life of me what they were. Don't you hate when that happens? Anyway, let's wrap up with the last couple of points I want to bring to your attention . . .


"EVERYWHERE YOU GO, ALWAYS TAKE THE WEATHER WITH YOU . . ."

As a general rule of thumb, if you are in Scotland and go elsewhere, do NOT take the weather with you under any circumstances. It sucks. Why?

1) It rains. A lot.
2) It's windy. A lot.
3) There's a lot of ice in winter . . .
4) . . . But hardly any snow (at least not where I live)
5) The one time I remember having a white christmas resulted in one of the most horrific January and Februarys weather-wise EVER. There was crappy ice, yucky slush, burst pipes and flooding EVERYWHERE.
6) Our average summer temperature is something like 14 degrees celcius.
7) We do have the odd heatwave which may give us up to 30 degrees (on a very good day) but these are a) very rare and b) usually during the week when I HAVE TO WORK!!!

If you take that kind of weather anywhere, someone might kill you. Just a friendly warning . . .


SCOTTISH MUSIC
I actually did a post about my favourite Scottish musical peeps a couple of weeks before Christmas so really you're probably best just going there if you want to learn about some of the great Scottish songs and singers/bands around. Here's something that's important though . . . if you happen to be out in a pub or club and a cult Scottish song begins to play - say "Dignity" by Deacon Blue or "I Would Walk Five Hundred Miles" by the Proclaimers . . . it is a requirement that you get all enthusiastic, proclaim to love it (whether you do or not), sing along with it and (an optional extra in certain cases) dance and/or jump up and down with your arms around all your friends.

Got it?

Okay, let's have a practice run . . .



Well done!!! You were the one right in the middle of the crowd, right??? I didn't realise you knew the words already, that's fantastic!!! ;)

(Hope you didn't throw any beer in the air. I don't like that.)

And while we're on the subject of Scottish music, one final note. Bagpipes??? Should be eliminated from the face of the earth. They LOOK stupid and they SOUND even worse. I mean, think how much breath a bagpiper (bagpipist? bagpippet? bagpiperist?) must waste trying to make that AWFUL sound??? I think the episode of "Friends" when Ross was learning to play the bagpipes summed it up pretty damn well . . .


ON THE BOX
Yes, I know it must sound like a tall tale, but in Scotland we have TVs too! Sometimes we even have big ones. (I don't.) And, even more unbelievably, there are a couple of Scottish tv programmes that are virtually institutions here. For various different reasons . . .
  • "High Road" - formerly known as "Take The High Road", this soap opera no longer exists. It was set in a village near to Loch Lomond (I think!), my mum used to watch it and . . . watching it was about as much fun as watching paint dry. Only slightly LESS fun than that. No wonder it is dead and buried now!
  • "Taggart" - a show which has been going for years. And years. And years. Since I was at primary school at least. The character Taggart himself hasn't actually been in it for nearly as long. The guy who played him (who came from Hamilton, just like me. People even used to say he lived at the bottom of my street, but I don't think that was true.) actually died in 1994 - while filming an episode! Anyway, it's like one of those police drama/crime drama thingys. It's quite crap too, but lots of people seem to like it. I remember the first call centre I worked in, the guy who was sitting next to me during training was an actor and he told us he was going to be on "Taggart". I think we only half-believed him, but I watched the show anyway and sure enough there he was - as a schoolboy who was murdered. He was about 22 in real life so that was quite funny. I wanted to slag him off about that, but he never came back after the show aired. I don't know if it was because he was embarrassed or had got his big break as a result of it. But next thing I knew he had ended up on the next show for a while which is . . .
  • "River City" - this is Scotland's most recent attempt at a soap opera. My ex used to call it "River Shitty" (okay, that was pretty funny!) but I actually quite like it myself. The acting isn't particularly good and the storylines are ridiculous but that's what I like about it, in much the same way I used to worship "Sunset Beach" - except the "River City" actors don't quite have that same level of glamour. See for yourself here. My favourite part was back near the beginning when Paul Robinson from "Neighbours" (sorry, Stefan Dennis!) was in it. He was a complete arsehole (typecasting much?) and got murdered. Hehehe.
  • "Chewin' The Fat" - a bit of a silly comedy sketch show which everyone seemed to worship for some reason - at time time anyway. Personally, I wasn't a massive fan of it but it did have its funny moments, admittedly.




  • Then there's "Still Game" - another comedy, another show that the dude I used to work with showed up on (as a ned, funnily enough!). This is a programme about a couple of OAPs (well it's middle aged dudes dressed up as OAPs) but it's actually funnier than it sounds . . .

    (If you want to watch this clip, I feel I should point out that "Boaby" is another word for a penis in Scotland. Just a heads-up!)

Hopefully you used your knowledge of scottish lingo gleaned from part 2 of the guide to be able to understand the clips. But I'm guessing it was probably STILL pretty damn difficult. Don't worry. Sometimes even I have trouble understanding the Scottish language, so don't be too hard on yersel'!!! I mean, YOURSELF! Sorry, I don't know where that came from, it just slipped out . . . Fuck, I've been immersed in Scottishness way too long noo. I mean, NOW. Shite.

Anyway, so concludes my Guide to Scottishness. For now anyway. If I think of anything else, one day perhaps there will be a part five. Like I said, if there's anything else you want to know about being Scottish feel free to ask! I hope you had fun reading it . . . I certainly enjoyed writing it! Cheerio!!!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

MISSING IN ACTION . . .

I'm sorry.

I completely intended to finish my Guide to Scottishness tonight, but I just haven't gotten around to it. I have been moving about like mad all night and I really don't have the energy.

I'd love to say I'd done lots of really interesting stuff tonight that has kept me away.

Shagging, for example. That might be nice.

Unfortunately, nothing that interesting. I was just doing a food shop. And, oh my god, it was one mother-fucker of a food shop! Not only has it mentally drained me, and physically exhausted me, it cost me sixty two quid! That food better bloody last me for the next few months because I have waaaayyyy too much stuff I need to pay for to have to worry about buying food again.

Unless I just stop eating?

Anyway, I was going to try to finish the "guide" all the same, but I think it will just have to wait until tomorrow. Apologies and all that.

In my defence, I have cramp, I'm exhausted (I got a slightly-above-average-for-the-week six hours snooze last night but it's not really helped matters), I feel underappreciated, unloved, underpaid, like I've been punched in the gut emotionally . . . AND on top of all that, my thighs are fucking killing me. (Bloody Davina McCall and your new fitness dvd - you've got a lot to answer for. That being said, if I end up losing weight, I may consider forgiving you!)

So you'll excuse me for not having any inspiration, I hope!

Until tomorrow . . . :)

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

A GUIDE TO SCOTTISH-NESS . . . PART THREE

And so we come to lesson three. (If you haven't already, check out parts one and two . . . )

By now you're hopefully familiar with a few of our traditions, Glaswegian football, and how we speak. In other words, you might be able to work out what we are saying once in a while. I hope. So what else do you need to know? Well, there's some more stuff. Some of it is important. Some of it not so much. Some of it, you might not THINK is important, but you could make a major social faux pas if you DON'T know it. My first lesson of the day proves my point . . .


"DINNER" AND "TEA"

The third Irn Bru advert I featured in part one referred to this. When I was a kid, I believed that my lunch was called just that - "lunch". And my evening meal was my "dinner". Also, because my family were good like that, we had additional meals. On the days we were off school, we got "morning coffee" at about eleven in the morning. It wasn't usually coffee, just a biscuit and juice. When we got home from school in the afternoon - we had "afternoon tea". This was basically the same as "morning coffee".

Until I was about nine, I didn't realise most of my contemporaries didn't actually name their meals the same as I did. Until I invited my best friend "at the time" (best friends only lasted a couple of weeks when we were kids - it operated on a sort of rota system. Is that just a Scottish thing too?) for "tea". I obviously meant "come over after school for a biscuit. Or possibly cake if my mum remembers you are coming." I didn't realise that in MY world, lunch was actually called "dinner". And "dinner" was called "tea". Therefore my friend thought she was invited for an actual proper MEAL! Of course, we didn't realise that until the day itself when she ate her cake and then asked us "So what's for tea?"

Oops.

We had to go along with it because otherwise it would have been pretty embarrassing. At least she didn't end up with my favourite meal at the time - spaghetti hoops with coconut on it. (Which is NOT a traditional Scottish delicacy, by the way. Although it leads us neatly onto the next point . . . )


SCOTTISH "DELICACIES"

Here are some of the things Scots have been known to eat. Other than haggis.
  • Square sausage. (Who needs a traditional sausage-shape when you can have a square one, right? Hmmm. Give me a links sausage anyday, square sausages are EXTREMELY over-rated and if you ask for a roll and sausage without specifying around here, you usually end up with the square one. Boo . . . )
  • Potato scones. (Amazing. I absolutely LOVE totty scones. Especially fried and sandwiched up nearly in a roll and butter.)
  • Pretty much anything from the "chippy". (Chips and cheese. A blaggis - a mix of black pudding and haggis - supper. Deep fried pizza. And . . . the piece de resistance . . . Deep Fried Mars Bar. Don't ask me what it tastes like - I can only imagine!)
  • Tablet (I guess this is a Scottish twist on fudge. Oh, it is DELICIOUS! All that sugar and condensed milk would probably make a non-Scot's teeth hurt. We're okay though, cos we have no teeth left. Mainly thanks to tablet . . .)
  • Shortbread (a national treasure. Apparently. Weirdly, me and my flatmate were talking about this earlier. "It's popular here, right?" she said. "I guess so," I replied slowly, as something dawned on me. "I just don't see anyone EATING it very often." That being said, I do LOVE shortbread. I just always somehow forget it exists. Mental note to self : eat more shortbread.)
  • A "Greggs" (Yum yum yum. I'm not referring to a guy called Gregg, in case you were worrying that we are cannibals. Greggs is a bakers over here and it does all these amazing pastry things for ridiculously low prices. Cheese and onion pasties. Steak bakes. Chicken bakes. Sausage rolls. Scotch pies. If you ate lunch from there everyday - and lots of Scots do, there's a branch of it on practically every street in Glasgow city centre- it probably wouldn't be long before you stopped being able to fit through your front door. Seriously!)
  • Tunnock's Teacakes. Not to mention the snowballs and caramel wafers. (By the way, Elle, did you happen to be a member of the Caramel Wafer Appreciation Society at St. Andrews? According to Wikipedia, there WAS one!)

SCOTTISH TERRIERS
Andy seems pretty determined to get me to talk about Scottish Terriers for some reason. Why, you ask? I'm not sure. The trouble is, I know less about dogs than I know about Scotland. Which may explain why I really didn't have much to say about them. But I like to oblige my audience.
Some random facts about Scottish terriers. Mostly nicked from wikipedia.
1) The only type of dog that has occupied the White House on three occasions is a Scottish terrier
2) The dog thingummy in Monopoly is also a Scottie dog
3) Apparently, although they are sporty, they don't require a lot of exercise.
Is that enough, Andy? :) (Here is a link to a very cute picture, especially for you!)
NEDS
Now, I'm sure I have mentioned Neds before, but probably not in much detail. They are a strange breed of people who scare and amuse me in equal measures.
NED is apparently an acronym for "Non-Educated Delinquent". I wouldn't say this necessarily applies to all neds, but it seems accurate in a lot of cases. There is a stereotyped image, which is also fairly accurate. Basically, if you DON'T want to be seen as a ned, avoid Burberry (it's been adopted as their national dress), don't tuck your trackie bottoms into your socks, and try to speak in a relatively normal voice. The thing that I find oddest about some neds is the way they speak - they combine many of the words I mentioned in the previous post (and many much worse words) with this really weird nasal voice. I mean, the voice? It really CAN'T be natural. They must just keep talking and talking like that, forcing themselves, until it eventually becomes second nature!
Back between my parent's house and my current flatshare, I spent six months living in a village called Halfway - ironically this was halfway between my hometown and Glasgow. I thought it was a really pretty village - but in actuality, beneath the prettiness, it was apparently a breeding ground for neds. The kids were HORRIBLE. I nearly came to blows with a mixed group of neds one night while walking home from my bus-stop because one of the girls just decided I must love myself. I also felt forced to buy a group of underage ned girls alcohol one day - I was worried they would beat me up if they didn't. (In FACT, they actually didn't give me enough money and I had to pay a quid of it out of my own pocket - and was too scared to ask for it back!) One Saturday morning, as I struggled to get out of bed for work at seven in the morning, all I could hear out in the street was screaming - apparently every kid in the village had been up all night and were rioting! I have no idea what they were rioting about, but apparently all the parents must have had ear-plugs in that night!
You've probably guessed from my previous paragraph that I'm more intimidated by girl neds than guy ones. I find guy ones easier to handle. Girl ones seem a bit more determined to prove themselves "mental" for some reason. Plus, since the baby neds come out of them ultimately, they are obviously evil!
A guy I once knew told me he thought the only way to rid the world of neds was to kill them all, otherwise they'd keep breeding and take over. In fact, a FEW people have expounded this theory to me. It's a bit mean actually as some neds are in reality quite nice. I just haven't came across a massive number of them . . .
There's still a little bit more to come. Unbelievably. This was actually meant to be all one post. It's not quite worked out that way, it's practically a week-long post now! Oh well. Tomorrow . . . we will discuss Scottish music, tv . . . and anything else you want me to discuss? This really will be your last chance . . .



{And on an unrelated note . . . here is my quote of the day. "Have you seen a lot of trampolining lesbians?" I'm not explaining it, because it's more fun without the explanation. That's all.}

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

A GUIDE TO SCOTTISH-NESS . . . PART TWO

If you missed part one of your lesson, please go here.

Okay! Hopefully you're all caught up and ready and raring to go? (Rhetorical question. You made it here, you're obviously eager to learn.) So what now? What else do you need to know if you want to fit in with us Scots? I have more important teachings to impart, don't you worry . . .


SOME OF THE "LINGO"

First of all, it's probably essential for you to know a bit about the language. Like I said in my previous post, we DO speak English up here (well, some people speak Gaelic too, but I know bugger all about that, so let's stick to English, shall we?) But it may not entirely be an English you understand . . .

1) Right, so why don't we start with that old classic - "Och aye the noo!"

I can honestly say I have never heard a Scottish person say this with a straight face. There seems to be this perception we're walking about all over the place spouting that shit.

We're not.

It is, however, acceptable to say "aye" instead of "yes".

Not always considered POLITE though . . .

2) Occasionally, words will be pronounced in a COMPLETELY different way from what you would have expected. For example the verb "standing" all of a sudden becomes "stawnin'", much as the noun "hands" transforms itself into "hawns". "Now" is "noo". "Cow" is "coo".

Because

a)my parents were teachers
b)I had five years of elocution lessons as a teenager and
c) frankly, I feel a bit stupid talking like that because it's not really natural to me . . .

. . . I personally don't actually talk like this. But I can just about UNDERSTAND it when other people do.

Hopefully, EVENTUALLY, you might too . . .

3) The word "bawbag" appears to be fairly popular. I've never been entirely sure what it actually MEANS though. Because I've heard it used in several different contexts and calling someone a "scrotum" seems to me pretty offensive in terms of insults . . .

4) Something I've noticed in both myself and several of my friends, is a tendency to use the word "pure" a lot in places it really doesn't fit. For example - "it was pure amazing." There is absolutely no need for the word there - it is completely redundant (much like the second half of this sentence). Yet we use it anyway. Don't judge.

5) A few insults you may like to fling at people? (apart from the aforementioned "bawbag", of course!) "Numpty". "Muppet". "Nugget". None of them are particularly offensive (in theory). But you'll get your point across. Oh, and my own personal favourite with sums up a particular breed of irritating (but harmless) person? "Fanny".

6) And since you'll probably be drinking a lot, what with all the whisky, how about some words to describe your drunken state? "Blootered." "Steamin'". "Moroculous." "Smashed". "Pissed". (Or, my own personal favourite - "passed out on the bedroom floor". Hold on, that's not Scottish, that's just me . . . )


THE OLD FIRM

Football (not the american kind, I'm talking soccer) is big in Scotland. But Glasgow has its own little - er - SITUATION you should be aware of . . . The Old Firm. More often than not in my living memory, Celtic and Rangers have battled it out for the top spot in the Premier League. Unfortunately, it's so much more than that. Due to all this history shit that I can't be arsed to go into (mainly because I really don't care enough to go and look it up) a big deal of the rivalry isn't so much to do with the skill of the footballers but instead a bit of a religious war between the Catholics and Protestants. So when someone asks which team you support, beware of your answer. Because it's not always a good idea to proclaim you're a Celtic supporter in the middle of a pub full of Rangers fans. ESPECIALLY if your team won that day. (Now THAT'S just suicide!)

There's loads of sectarian crap that goes on, and various people have told me how some Celtic fans refuse to wear blue and some Rangers fans hate green purely because they are the other team's colours (which apparently means the colour itself must be biased to the other religion as well, of course!). My mum works in a Catholic school and says that some of the kids refuse to use blue stationery. I mean, COME ON!!! It's going a bit far there, right?

You might notice the subheadings in this post are green. That's because yesterday the subheadings in my post were blue. So I don't want to be biased.

(Go Celtic! Ooops, pretend I didn't say that . . . )


SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCING

As a schoolkid who didn't particularly like Physical Education, this was the bane of my life. In the run-up to Christmas every year, our P.E. classes would be devoted to Scottish Country Dancing. Which meant - ew! - dancing with BOYS! Which meant - even worse! - lining up against the wall waiting to be PICKED by a boy. And occasionally - nightmare of all nightmares! - having to go and pick a boy ourselves, which usually resulted in rumours that you fancied them. It was truly horrifying. And there was no way to escape!!!

I'm not very good at dancing as a twosome, in any sort of style. And I'm REALLY not a fan of ORGANISED dancing. So Scottish Country Dancing is NEVER something that has appealed to me. Some of the dance NAMES are kinda funny - "The Gay Gordon", for example? But the actual dancing itself??? No thank you!

For some unknown reason, ceilidhs (a grown up version of PE class) seem to be very popular here. I always avoid them like the plague. Why would anyone put themselves through this as a grown-up . . . WHEN THEY DON'T HAVE TO??? It truly mystifies me.

Although maybe it's more fun when alcohol is involved? I'm not really planning to find out.


That's me for now. But there's still more to come, for sure. The strange breed of Scot that is the NED, for example. Why our meal's names may confuse you. And, speaking of food, how about some of the strange things we eat . . . apart from haggis???

And if there's anything you've always wanted to know about Scotland . . . feel free to ask. I can't promise to know the answer (I've already proved I'm probably not REALLY an authority on my own country) but I'll certainly try my best to answer you!

Monday, 5 January 2009

A GUIDE TO SCOTTISH-NESS . . . PART ONE

As you may already know, yesterday, when I was struggling for inspiration, Chele suggested that I post about Scotland since it is after all where I live. Several people agreed and, yes, it seemed like a good idea . . . except considering I've lived here for twenty nine years, I don't actually know all that much about it!!! I've mentioned before I've never even been further north than Dundee! Which is bad of me.

HOWEVER, I realised I'm sure there was SOME stuff I could enlighten you on about my homeland. So here is my very own guide to being Scottish. In case you ever want to come over here and pretend to be a native (for your own special reasons, obviously, I can't really hazard a guess as to why you would try!) Hopefully you'll learn something. Probably not though . . .


NATIONAL PRIDE
The first important point? The passport may state the nationality as British, and Scotland may be part of Britain. But we are "Scottish", okay? We even have our own parliament. And a "first minister." Which I think is kind of like a prime minister, but possibly not as important. I may be wrong there. Politics is something that has always confused me (or BORED me?) ANYHOO, there it is. There are some people who have been known to think that Scotland is not in fact a country, but just an area in England. Robin Williams as Mrs Doubtfire had a Scottish accent but got asked what part of England he/she was from. (One of MANY things that was wrong with that film). I have nothing against England, I just don't want my country's identity swallowed up by a country separate to me.

DONALD, WHERE'S YOUR TROUSERS???
Next up? Our national dress. The kilt. Otherwise known as? You got it - THE MAN SKIRT!!! If you are a Scottish male, you may be required to wear one at some point. Or at SEVERAL points. Weddings. Christenings. Christmas nights out. I always find it funny that when David Beckham wore a sarong, he was mocked the world over. But when a guy walks down the street wearing a kilt, people for some reason think "wow". Is it because they know that there's no underwear underneath (the mark of a true Scotsman, of course, is that they go au naturale beneath their tartan)? Do they REALLY find a guy in a skirt attractive? Apparently! I, on the other hand, can't help but think "What was wrong with your jeans???"

"FAIR FA' YOUR HONEST, SONSIE FACE"
National dish? The haggis. Er . . . I have never actually tasted this. I'm not even entirely sure what it is. What do you mean, am I really Scottish? Of course I am. I'll prove it. Er . . . two secs while I head for wikipedia world. Here is an explanation, straight from there . . .
"Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish.
There are many recipes, most of which have in common the following ingredients:
sheep's 'pluck' (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally boiled in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours."
Now, I HAVE been told, by many people, that haggis is gorgeous. (Hell, it even inspired a poem by the late great poet Rabbie Burns!) But let's face it, the above description??? It's not really selling it to me, I'm afraid. The haggis can stay away from me for the moment. But feel free to try it yourself and tell me how gorgeous it is!
How about THIS part?
"An oft told myth is that a "Haggis" is a small Scottish animal with one set of legs longer than the other so that it can stand on the steep Scottish Highlands without falling over. This myth has become so popular that, according to one study, 33% of American visitors to Scotland believe it."
You want the truth? I believed this myself. For years . . .

MADE IN SCOTLAND, FROM GIRDERS!
Scotland has two national drinks.
There's whisky, of course.
That has alcohol in it.
Then there's Irn Bru.
It DOESN'T have alcohol in it. Yet it is still awesome!
I've always found it impossible to describe Irn Bru to the uninitiated It's obviously full of chemicals and E numbers - which is probably WHY it's so delicious! It also has some of the most memorable advertising campaigns I've ever witnessed. I'll give you some examples, just to prove my point . . .








I'm not even sure you need my guide after all - if you want to be a Scot, the third advert does sum it up fairly succinctly.

But I know you want to read more anyway. Right? RIGHT???

There are many areas still to cover if you want to fit in with the Scots. I've yet to introduce you to the language we use (it's English, Jim, but not as you know it), the football politics (it's very important you don't put your foot in it, particularly in Glasgow), some of the strange "traditions" . . . oh, Part One was only the tip of the iceberg!

Stay tuned!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

IT'S MORE FUN THIS WAY . . .

I had a whole post planned there, an expose, if you will. I've changed my mind now. If I put it out there, the fun is over. So it's going to remain on the shelf. For now, anyway. I'm enjoying myself with it way too much right now.

The only problem is, now I don't really have anything to talk about instead. I normally have plenty of ideas but right now, I'm not really full of the joys of blogging. So I was wondering if anyone could help me out? Any suggestions of stuff I can blog about? Any more questions that might provide me with some inspiration? Anything you have written about before yourself that you might like to see someone else's take on?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! (And I will TOTALLY give you credit for it, I promise!)

Saturday, 3 January 2009

I HAVE A CONFESSION . . .

Remember this post?

Well, I've sort of already fallen off the wagon. I know, it's bad and all that.

The thing is, I was meeting up with a friend today that I was exchanging presents with. For one reason and another, we hadn't actually celebrated Christmas yet. And while I know I don't have to drink alcohol in order to celebrate, it just seemed like a fun idea.

On top of that, the OFFICIAL diet isn't commencing until Monday since my "holiday" isn't officially over until then. So I figured in theory I shouldn't have to stop drinking until then either.

In the meantime, I didn't drink on Thursday or Friday of this week. Which can only be a good thing.

Oooh, and on my way home, after a couple of bottles or so of wine . . . I was RECOGNISED! I never thought it would happen to me before. To be honest, the fact I hadn't expected it, plus the fact I was about to get out of the subway train, plus the fact I was more than a little tipsy . . . meant I didn't really know how to deal with it. Still, always nice to meet a fellow blogger face-to-face . . . even if it IS only for five seconds!!!

MY THOUGHTS ON "CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER" - THE LINE-UP

I didn't actually intend to watch Celebrity Big Brother this year. First of all, I knew they probably wouldn't be able to top the "racism row" (which was not so much racism to me as just bitchy bullying) from two years ago (which resulted in the show not happening last year). And secondly, the celebrities tend to be . . . well, in the z-list. In fact, three years ago, in a twist on the whole concept, they threw a non-celebrity in to the mix. And she ended up winning. Which really made a mockery of the whole thing.

Anyway, i decided to watch the opening show just to see who was in it. And now I kind of want to watch it this year . . . Here are my thoughts on the line-up. So far . . .

LATOYA JACKSON
They had Jermaine on it a couple of years back - now it's Latoya's turn. She seems like a nice enough woman so far, who claims to not enjoy confrontation. It should be interesting to see if she lives up to this or ends up right in the middle of conflict. When everyone walked in, I wasn't sure if most of the British "celebrity" contingent recognised her. Although I WAS kinda expecting people to perhaps mistake her for Michael. (They DO look very similar, after all...)

MUTYA BUENA
Former singer with the Sugababes with a bit of a reputation for having an attitude, I'll be interested to see if she proves us wrong and turns out to be quite nice. In my head, she'll always be "Munter" though.

VERNE TROYER
Yes, Mini-Me is on the show! So far is coming across as very polite and actually quite quiet, which I didn't expect him to be at all. I think he also captured the nations hearts when he could barely manage the walk into the house, having to pause to take a rest and barely able to carry his own bag. Has already done some drunk driving - zooming around on his scooter while clasping a glass of champers . . .

TOMMY SHERIDAN
A fellow countryman of mine and probably the one person most of the other celebrities didn't recognise, Tommy is a bit of a left wing politician who I do have a bit of respect for because he actually takes a stand unlike a lot of other politicians, and has spent time in jail as a result. That being said, he has also been charged with perjury in an ongoing case so I can't have THAT much respect for him. Anyway, I'm hoping he doesn't do the typical Big Brother thing of making the Scots look bad. And doesn't make the fool of himself that fellow politican George Galloway did when HE was in Big Brother.

LUCY PINDER
I only recognise this girl because I quite like reading lad's mags like Nuts and Zoo. (One of the main reasons I miss having a boyfriend). She's a glamour model. Although apparently she's quite intelligent too - if she says so herself! She also claimed to be a bit of a Tory and that the last thing she wanted was to be in the house with a liberal. I'm wondering if she and Tommy might clash . . .

TINA MALONE
Actress in "Shameless". Larger than life. Looks like she could be a bit of a handful. If I was in the house, I'd be a bit afraid of her. Not least because I think she might sit on me and squash me. That being said, she looks like she might be softer underneath than her hard exterior implies.

BEN ADAMS
Formerly of British boyband A1, who I'm slightly ashamed to admit I kinda liked for a while (especially this song). Although he did have a very short solo career. I actually really liked the solo song he brought out, but perhaps I'm a bit biased by his utter cuteness. He seems like a nice guy. Once again, I may be biased by the cuteness. I do have a tendency to be a sucker for a pretty face.

MICHELLE HEATON
Lost out on a place in Popstars band Hear'Say but ended up in the far more successful band formed from the rejects Liberty X. I've never liked her much. Mainly because she's a bit tango-ed looking and always seems to be in magazines for the wrong reasons. She didn't really look like she'd bothered to wash her hair for the show tonight. But I'm prepared to give her a chance. (I know, it's very big of me...)

COOLIO
He believes he can win. Losing? Not an option for him. Oh, and his favourite song ever? Apparently it's "Gangsta's Paradise." Yes, his own song. I'm guessing "modest" isn't a word in his vocabulary either. That being said, I think he may provide some humour in the house. Although perhaps not on purpose.

TERRY CHRISTIAN
Former presenter of "The Word". I seem to recall I quite fancied him back then. Not anymore, I hasten to add. Seems quite opinionated, but likeable at the same time.

ULRIKA JONSSON
TV presenter and former weather girl. Although she summed up various other reasons why she was famous in her own words in her introductory video. Had a well-publicised affair with former England football manager Sven Goran Ericsson. Has four children by four different fathers. Need I go on? I'm thinking she could be the one to have a breakdown this time around. Not that I am HOPING for that, of course. Although it would make good telly . . .

So at the moment, it looks like Mini-Me - I mean, VERNE - is the favourite to win, but obviously it's early days. I'll definitely be watching for at least the first few days of it anyway. It's not like I have anything better to do with my time after all!!!

Friday, 2 January 2009

CAN'T KISS, WON'T KISS . . .

I meant to post about this article a while back but it completely slipped my mind until now.

I can't decide if it's sweet. Or stupid.

So, in case you can't be bothered going to the link, the article was about a couple in the States who hadn't even KISSED before they got married.

I mean, I know some people don't believe in SEX before marriage . . . but to not have even KISSED? I don't understand it at all.

To me, the kissing is actually pretty important in a relationship. Even more important, dare I say, than the sex! There's been times when I have quite fancied a guy until we've kissed . . . and then I've totally went off him! Or perhaps I've not been SURE how I felt about a guy and then the kissing convinced me I DID actually fancy him.

For me, the kissing kind of . . . I guess cements the attraction. Shows me for definite whether or not I DO like the guy. Which I guess is also why the "snogging zone" I've mentioned before can also kick in at this stage. Because it occasionally shows me I've bet on the wrong horse.

What if I got married to a guy I never kissed and it turned out he was like a human vaccuum cleaner? Or a face licker? Would that qualify as a good reason to have the marriage annulled? Probably not, because it would probably be considered my own fault for not having testdriven the bloke first. Well, that's what I think anyway!

I do hope the first kiss was all they dreamed of though. Especially after they resisted temptation for so long - even ensuring that they "snuggled" sitting up!

The thing that made me laugh most about the article though was this paragraph . . .

He found other ways to show LaLuz his passion—like by cleaning her car. And washing the dishes.

Yep, there's passion for you.

Mind you, perhaps if I could find a guy who liked to wash the dishes, I could overlook the no-kissing-until-marriage rule.

Or perhaps not . . .

Thursday, 1 January 2009

A "DRY" MONTH . . .

It is probably worth pointing out, the "dryness" I'm referring to has nothing to do with the weather. After all, I live in Scotland. NO month is a dry month.

But January, I have decided, will be dry in terms of me trying my best to stay off the booze.

As Chele pointed out on my previous post, my past year seems to have involved rather a lot of wine. It's true.

I've been drinking a bit too much of late. It used to be that I could go for a few weeks without having any alcohol. I didn't even particularly like the taste, which always helps. I would drink when I went out, but that was it. Sometimes I would go out and NOT drink, amazing though it sounds.

I can almost pinpoint the moment when alcohol, namely wine, became a virtual daily thing in my life. It was right around that three weeks at the end of February/beginning of March when everything went wrong at once.

I believe I had alcohol 21 days in a row. Not necessarily to the stage of getting drunk. But I always had at least a glass of vino or two. It was sort of the only way I felt I could get through everything. I knew things weren't quite right, tried to make a joke out of it, but I knew eventually I would have to have a dry day.

And, you know, I HAVE had my dry days. There's been times where I've managed five days without alcohol. But then, I have a particularly bad day and the first thing I think is "oh, I need a glass of wine. Or two. Or six."

I never used to feel that way about booze.

Plus, I can actually drink a whole bottle of wine these days and not feel much of an effect. That worries me. Because I was always a total lightweight who could get drunk on AIR at times. The fact that sometimes I have to break open a second bottle of white zin in order to get a buzz is something that scares me slightly.

So I made a decision a couple of days ago that I would do my best not to drink in January. I need to give my liver a break, and break the cycle I seem to be in where alcohol seems to have weirdly become the solution to all my problems. I also think it will help in my quest to lose weight, but that's neither here nor there at that point. I just want to see if I CAN do it. Because it's been a LONG time that I've went a month without some sort of alcohol.

I guess I'm trying to prove something to myself.

I don't think it's going to be easy though . . . Especially since I'm not even a full day IN to January yet and am already thinking how much I would love a glass of rose. Damned lack-of-willpower!!!

Wish me luck!!!