Thursday, 24 April 2008

Ignorance is bliss.

Ignorance is bliss. It really is.

Before I launch into what I have to say, first I'm gonna tell you about the massive hangover I have right now. OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!! My brain hurts and feels like it is trying to grow itself out of my skull! Also all this typing and staring at the computer screen is probably gonna make me feel sick so I might have to leave for a little while and vommit.

SO back to my opening statement.

I went out yesterday and got plenty pissed - hence the hangover.

A friend of my mine made a big confession to me yesterday. They told me they had some big secret but then tried to withdraw what they say. I guess I caught them at a moment of weakness and they were feeling like they needed to tell someone but then kind of regretted saying it. Like what usually happens when someone tells you they have a secret but then say that they don't wanna say it you start pestering them don't you? That's what I did. I badgered them until they tell me, after all it's their fault for telling me they have a secret in the first place isn't it?

So after hammering in to them for five minutes they finally tell me thier big secret.... And I really really wish that I hadn't heard it. I never expected it to be what it was and imediately I felt betrayed. Also, quite oddley, I felt really jealous too. I felt like I had been left out of something. Plus that massive inferiority complex that I have kicked in big time as I began to feel that I should have been chosen over this other person. Why them and not me? I always felt that if there had to be a reason not me it was down to my own choice, but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm just not good enough - but at the same time I don't I want that. Things were really good as they were. But now it is kind of ruined. I don't know how it's gonna effect my friendship with these people. I feel so resentful right now - and yes bitter... I'm generally a bitter person and shit like this can only make me more so.

I told this friend their secret was safe with me and in a way it is. Though the other party involved will not exactly what I'm talking about but right now I feel they have to know what I know.

Most of all though, I wish that I never heard what I heard. Why did this person have to tell me this? Why me of all people?

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Money money money

My loan came through!!!!!

It was a really amazing feeling to look at my bank account on Sunday and see that there was money in there when I had almost totally convinced myself that I wouldn't receive any money because of my deferral so I won't be worrying about my rent anytime soon. You might also be thinking that I won't need that full time job at blockbusters (or better still find a better job), but I think I will be taking more hours - It would be the sensible thing to do really. More hours means more money so I can start clearing some of my debts now and buy a few more luxury items.

Guess that's what I've been doing today and yesterday. In an earlier post I talked about finding a new "look" for myself, so I set about doing something about that. I asked my housemate Sophie to come with me and we kind of made a day of it. I spent loads of money quite recklessley without feeling at all guilty about it and ended up with a few nice items of clothing. It's funny how I get like that when I have a bit of money - I feel I have to spend it, quite often with no idea of what it is that I want. Fair enough I felt I needed the clothes but there's still that need there to buy things even if there is nothing I need or want to buy. Today for example I ended up in Borders with an impulse to buy myself a book or a DVD, though there's still a ton of books I've bought from there that I've not read yet and there's no DVD's that I want right now that I haven't got already. I almost had to slap some sense into myself to get out of there without buying something.

I reckon I could easily go into a rant about how the society we live in creates dilemmas like this; where we're often wanting things almost for the sake of it let alone it being something that we don't need but I've just eaten a load of chips and fried chicken and I'm not feeling particularly articulate right now so I'm gonna leave it.

Until next time.

Friday, 18 April 2008

OK BABY (title provided by Sophie because I couldn't think of one)

Sophie's in my room with her laptop and she is telling me she is feeling blue. I ask her if it's blue as in porno, or blue as in unhappy... She says both. I ask her why (let's assume she's joking about the porno bit), and she says she doesn't know.

Well she does know why and I know why but it's not gonna be written down here.

I have to say that not much has been going on today, I haven't been anywhere, not really spoken to anyone aside from Sophie who is sat in my room... oh wait a sec Sophie's giggling. She's just shown me something on her facebook profile. It's a message on her wall from one of our lectures saying "OK baby". She assures me that it's out of context and not a sleazy response to something. I believe her. This time.

I've been kind of half busy with a couple of things today. Finished reading and writing notes on my housemates major script, I hope he is pleased with them and they help. I've read 3 of my housemates scripts so far and his was the hardest to critique - that's usually a good sign.

I've also updated my CV to send off to a friend who knows a place that is hiring. The only thing left to get on it is my manager's address for a reference and I should have that by tomorrow afternoon.

....Hmmmmm, what else has been going on?

Nope can't think of anything. Today has been a bit of a non-event I suppose, or I might be just in one of those moods where everything bores me. I know what I'll do, I got a DVD out from Blockbusters last night that I have a feeling will get me fired up and angry, it's called Why We Fight and it's all about American Imperialism. I doubt that it's gonna enlighten me in any big way and will probably confirm most opinions that I have about this subject already but at least it will provide me with a new bunch of facts that I haven't heard before.

I was actually thinking something along those lines last night when I picked the film up. Left wing documentaries like this are really good for picking up new facts and information about many of the worlds injustices, but they don't really challenge what I'm thinking. I often wonder how many people with a more right wing perspective watch documentaries like this one, or Corporation, or Fahrenheit 911 and all the rest of them. Not that many I should imagine. And how many have had their views changed after watching this kind of film - probably even fewer still. It's a shame, but in a way I can't really blame them. I mean, I never pick up a Daily Mail newspaper because I don't agree with their politics, and on the few occasions that I have happened to read an article in there that makes an attack on asylum seekers or single mothers I will refuse to accept any arguments they might make as it doesn't conform to my particular world perspective.

So what am I trying to say here? I dunno, I'm just rambling my thoughts out onto the page. I might read this back through in a minute and delete all that, in which case you probably won't be reading this. Of course, if you are you are reading this then you're probably wondering why I bothered to leave in this little paragraph about the possibility of deleting what I've just written when I haven't actually deleted it?

To answer that honestly then I would probably say that I left it in to sound "random" *shudder*.

I hate randomness... But for some reason it doesn't stop me from trying to sound "random".

Fuck off.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Charity shop day

My housemates and I invented a new game today. Well it's not so much of a game though I'm not sure what you might call it.

Because it's been such great weather Sophie and Geoff have been relaxing in the summer house. Although it might not be particularly warm outside on account of the strong winds, the summer house gets lovely and warm as it sits in direct light of the sun. You can sit in there with the patio doors wide open letting a cool breeze in whilst basking in the warmth of the sun's rays. I went out to join them to get their advice on a current dilemma of mine regarding getting a new look for myself.

Basically every so often I go through these phases where I decide I need a "look" because I'm one of those people that clothes shops casually and I dress kind of middle of the road, y'know smart casual. I've never really fit the mold of a particular style or trend since I was in my teens and I was in to punk and grunge and I'm not looking to follow any current trends now. I want my own 'thing'.

I began throwing out ideas to them and they threw some back but of course we started moving into silly territory and suggestions started like adopting the style of a 15th century bard, or going Scottish highlander and wearing a kilt. The suggestion of wearing a cape came out as well reminding me of something myself and a friend of mine, Swpnil, talked about last year where we had this plan to start a brand new fashion craze by wearing a cape. We thought if you could convince enough of your friends to start wearing capes and not make an issue out of it like it was something normal - the same way a person would go out wearing a hat -it would catch on. Perhaps rope a celeb or two into it and it could become popular and why not? Capes were the fashion once many years ago why can't we bring em back in a new way now?

At the end of this little talk I had nothing and I probably won't even do anything about it as by the time I have the money to buy some new clothes this phase would've passed anyway. So somewhere near the end of the discussion I decided to go to the shops and asked if the others wanted anything. Geoff jokingly asked me to buy him a turban from the charity shop as I think one of the last things suggested was that I start wearing turbans. I said no but if he gave me a pound I would buy something for him and it would be a suprise. He was up for that and so was Sophie, thus was born our new game (Yeah I know it's not really a "game" but I don't know what else to call it - an activity perhaps?).

I took a pound from each of them and went into the Help the aged shop and brought back Sophie a video: Learn line dancing: A step by step tuition by Maoliosa Bond, and I bought Geoff a book called The world's most amazing freaks by Mike Parker. I think they were impressed with their suprise gifts and we're thinking of making a regular thing of it, say probably once a week. We haven't come up with a decent name for it yet except "charity shop day", which is lame, but if you have any ideas please send your answers on a postcard to... well actually just leave a comment here I guess.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Bog roll thief

Hello again... oop, back in a minute.

I'm back. Just had to pop to the toilet, but I'm sure you wanted to know that. Why did I bother writing it in at all I may hear you ask? It's not as if there is some sort of indication on here of whether I'm in the room or not (besides any I decide to put in myself), or if I suddenly stop typing in order to leave the computer for five minutes. Um, can you wait just a sec?...

Back again... Not really, I never went anywhere that time, I was having a joke with you and I bet you fell for it didn't you? Oh, you don't care? Fine, be that way.

Right that's a couple of paragraphs wasted, what's next?

Ah! Yes! We have a bog roll thief in our house! It's come to light over these past few weeks that at least one of us in the house is consuming an obscene amount of toilet paper. It's going so fast they might actually literally be eating the stuff. Only yesterday there were two full rolls in the one working toilet with have left in the house, and come this afternoon Yoli has bought a new pack for the loo.

I suppose if someone is eating the toilet paper I could perhaps understand why they are doing it as everyone is a bit tight for cash at the moment. It's still only have a week or so left before the next loan installment comes through (that may not be including me though, remember?), and I'm sure there is a lot of fibre in toilet paper if you're without food and need something to get you by but this person needs to learn to save some for the rest of us. Perhaps if they supplement their diet intake of loo roll by eating the paper in the recycling bin? That way they could keep themselves fed while simultanesouly providing a service to the environment as well. I know at least one of our more enviromentally concious housemates would be happy with such an arrangement.

That is all for now. You may stop reading at the conclusion of this sentenc

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Cleaning house

We had a nice big house clean today. It's been a while since the last one, so not suprisingly it's been looking and smelling minging in places - particularly the downstairs toilet...

I would like to say we did it because we felt it needed in but for me that isn't nessecarily true. I KNOW the house has been needing it for a while and we have even talked about doing it a few times. I think that almost at least once every other day one of us has said "we should clean the house on (X) day", and everyone else will half mutter in agreement. No, the real reason that we got off our arses and cleaned the house today is because our housemate Yoli is coming back tomorrow afternoon. Being the housemate who is the most concerned about ensuring the house is clean and tidy we decided to have the big tidy up for when she got back. None of us has actually admitted to each other that was the reason why we cleaned the place today, stuff like that generally goes without saying here.

We've got Jonathan Ross playing on Dave, i think it's probably about a 3 year old episode. He just introduced a female guest, but I wasn't really paying attention and looked up to see the back of her and got a little excited by what I saw until I realised it was Amy Winehouse and now I feel kind of wrong. The same way I think a friend of mine (yes a friend, not me), thought the keyboard player in Hanson was fit only to find out it was actually a boy and not a girl (you know who you are - Steve).

I'm gonna cut this one a little short because I'm writing it on Sophie's laptop and I said I would only be 15 minutes. I thought I would've been able to write a little more than I have but my brain has gone a little blank so I'll stop forcing it.

Until next time...

Monday, 14 April 2008

darkhorsedan vs sophieblog

Sophie is telling me to write what I want. We're trying out a little blogging activity that she played out with another friend of mine, Swpnil, last year. I'm not sure if it's gonna work or not because it was probably something that happened naturally last time and now we're kind of forcing it.

It is pretty funny though. She is sat on my bed with her laptop typing away while I'm typing this, all that can be heard is the clicking of the keyboards. Now she is telling me to ask a question, or throw a question out there to answer.

I'm still not sure what I'm supposed to be doing. Apparently I'm probably doing it correctly as it's not supposed to make sense to anyone reading it. Sophie has just gone to check the cakes she's making.

What cake is it? - Lemon Drizzle cake, she answers. It's got another 12 minutes before it's done Yum!

I just got her to answer a question that often bugs me "does my room smell?" However all she can smell is the cake from the next room, it probably means my room always smells.

The religeon of one age, is the literary entertainment of the next - DISCUSS! (a crap attempt at generating discussion between us)

I attempt to express how stressed out I am to Sophie about my dealings with the scripting of a game i'm playing. She mishears me and thinks I'm stressed out about a game of Mario Kart we had half an hour ago, where Yoshi kept overtaking me and causing me grief. I tell her the games of Mario Kart are feeble distractions from my current obscession with learning the scripting language of a computer game so I can attempt to make my own games.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Trivial pursuits (haven't I already given a blog this title before?)

The house has become a little busier and louder these past couple of days with the return of Sophie, who was joined by her boyfriend Scott, and the arrival of Paddy about 30 mins ago. The house had been quiet this past week with only 2 of us here. Sophie had brought the game Trivial Pursuit back with her from home, so today, myself, Sophie, and Geoff all had a game.

It's been a while since I'd last played, but this version is different to the one I'm used to. It comes with a DVD that provides you with special questions every time you land on a square to play for a piece of cheese (or pie, or wedge - whatever your preferred terminology is for those little bits of coloured plastic). The categories are different as well, gone are the history, arts and literature, and general knowledge questions, this particular version of Trivial Pursuit is based around popular culture, covering categories such as film, TV, music, sports & games, gossip, and trends. Consequently this makes the game far easier to play so you can feel a lot smarter when you're getting loads of questions right, but at the same time it also makes you aware of how much of your precious gray matter is taken up by useless and trivial bit's of information such as "who gave the best man speech at David Guest's and Liza Minnelli's wedding", or "which actor was in an off again, on again engagement with singer and actress Jenifer Lopez?"

What does knowing that do for anyone? You might try and argue that knowing the ins and outs of an historical event such as the Battle of Thermopylae does nothing for you other than making you look like a smart arse, or geek, but history can teach you many things, such as how we got where we are today, and how we can use events in our past to understand how to deal with events in the present and our future . But what things of importance has the lives of people like Jenifer Lopez and Ben Afflek taught us (except for the importance of signing a prenuptial agreement)?

Anyway, those were two of the questions I had while playing today, and I answered them pretty easily. In fact pretty early on in the game I managed to collect all the pieces of cheese (or pie etc) and was heading towards the centre for my final question while Sophie and Geoff had only collected two pieces. Foolishly I believed victory was now assured and gloated quite openly about this to Sophie and Geoff, to which Sophie declared that I "hadn't won yet, it was a 'tortoise and the hare' situation". How right she turned out to be.

It seemed no matter how many rolls of the dice I got I could not land on the centre square and kept missing it to answer other questions, most of which I got right. For almost an hour I was trying to land on this square, and achieved it only 3 times, and all 3 times I couldn't answer the question. Then as Sods law would have it (or perhaps Karma, though I think a game of trivial pursuit is too 'trivial' an affair to have karma get involved) Sophie completed her collection of cheese (plastic pies etc), landed on the centre square and got her question right first time and won the game.

I'll be sure to swot up on heat magazine and the gossip columns from tabloids in time for the next game, then victory will be mine!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Taking more hours

In my last post I talked about my need for a new job and my strong desire to leave Blockbusters. It so happened that I had my shift that same day and I told my manager that I wanted to hand my notice in to look for a job that had more hours. She knew it was coming, but she also mentioned that there would be 40 hours left open now that Emma is leaving. I thought someone else had already laid claim to those 40 hours, plus I didn't think I would want them, but when she made the offer I must admit I was tempted.

I know I already expressed strong feelings against staying there any longer, let alone doing more hours, but when offered the hours my mind started weighing up the pros and cons of whether I should take her up on the offer. The main bonus to staying would be that I wouldn't have to look for another job and it's been a while since I've had to do any job hunting and I remember I never liked it (but who does?).

I started trying to decieve myself, thinking that doing more hours there wouldn't be that bad, it would actually allow me to get used to the job if I was there more often. Plus I would be up to date about what was going on in store and not have to play catch up to the constant changes that it's always going through. So, only ten minutes into the shift I told my manager that it was likely I would take the hours, I would let her know within the week provided I haven't found anything else (though already in the back of my mind a little voice was telling me that I'm never gonna find anything else because I'm too lazy and would rather suffer long term pain and annoyance rather than disrupt things in the short term).

After agreeing to the possibility of staying on my manager finished her shift and it was me and Hayley to run the shop until close.... and it was one of the worse shifts I've ever had. It was a Tuesday, the shop should have been quiet. We were left a few jobs to do and should have easily got most of them done but we could barely finish one of them. It seemed like almost every customer we served would somehow lead to a complication. Films were misfiled or missing, films weren't checked in properly, or they weren't checked out properly, it was like we were suffering the consequences of all the mistakes people had made on previous shifts and having to sort them out... There were a few moments in the shift where I came very close to just walking out of the shop and never come back. Basically the shift was bad enough to make me seriously rethink wanting to stay on, and get to work finding another job.

Of course Wednesday and Thursday went by and I have done nothing about finding another job. I had work this evening and had decided that Tuesday was just one of those days - they can happen in any job right? But then I when I worked tonight, it was almost like an exact repeat of what happened on Tuesday - except I was afforded a slightly different perspective. On Tuesday's shift I was pretty much in charge so it feels like a lot of the responsibilty falls on me. Not only that but it means you get asked all kinds of questions by whom ever you're working with if they haven't been there as long as you or are not a senior staff member, whenever there is some ambiguity on how to deal with a certain problem. The truth is, at Blockbusters when you run into a complication of problem there isn't always a definate right answer or way to go about things, you just have to go with what you think is right and hope you don't get in trouble for it later. So when you encounter a gray area or an ambiguity you instantly look to someone in a higher authority for the answer, although the answer they'll give you is the same answer you have come up with yourself. Quite often, in the shifts that I work, that person someone would go to is me and it really stresses me out because I know they can come up with an answer themselves. Sometimes I encourage people to sort it out themselves (if you can call it 'encouragement', to be honest it's either apathy, so I'll say something like "yeah do whatever", or it's more like an ostrich burying it's head in the sand and I'll say "I dunno, do whatever you want I'm not involved".)

Until today, I never really understood why some of them come to me when they have a problem. Like if it's something I think they genuinely don't have an answer to I'll help out, but when they know it already I'm just thinking "why are you laying this burden on me?" However, today I was working with Spencer, the assistant manager, and it occured to me during that shift that I was doing that exact same thing to him. I had to deal with numerous problems that I know I would have just dealt with if he wasn't there but today I kept double checking with him, or asking him what I should do. So I realised why people do it, because they're not in a position where they don't have an alternative but to deal with it themselves. It's like when I work with staff members as experienced as myself. We've got more or less the same knowledge and the same know how but we just don't like taking the responsibilty for something directly onto our own shoulders - if you can shift it on someone else, or at least gain a second opinion so that the responsibility is shared it makes the job that bit easier to deal with, coz all any of us wants is an easy time.

You're probably thinking "but it's just Blockbusters, how hard can it be being a till jockey", and I used to think the same thing. But something has gone wrong there, I find myself becoming far too stressed out. And today with Spencer in charge having to go through a shift that mirrored my shift on Tuesday I got to see from an outside perspective what I could've looked like and it didn't look very nice at all. Do I really wanna have a job that could do that to me for 40 hours a week for the next few months only getting paid 5.50 an hour?

Admitedly these were two very bad shifts, but almost every shift now seems to have its moments. I think if I'm clever I should take those two shifts as a sign. They're a sign that I should get the fuck out of there a.s.a.p, and I'm gonna have to get serious if I really wanna do that... Like maybe I should actually give in my notice, rather than perhaps look for a job and using this one to fall back on. Maybe if I leave myself nothing to fall back on I'll get out there and find something.

Apologies for typos and spellings - I haven't even bothered to skim through this to see if it reads okay, as long as you get the general jist who cares?

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

'Ain't Nothin' Goin' On But The Rent'

I should be worried. I tend to worry easy but my tried and tested tactic over the years is to shift anything worrying, problematic, or soon to be an urgent matter, out of my mind and fill it with meaningless distractions instead. It's only when things become really bad that I suddenly scream and panic and try to sort it all out, all the while cursing myself for not doing anything about it sooner. My problem at the moment is that I need money. I used up everything I had on last months rent and now have to wait two weeks before my next pay day.

Despite my current lack of funds I wasn't that worried about my situation until yesterday. My Dad is putting 30 quid in my bank account for my birthday (yeah I know that was a while ago, but he sent me a cheque through the post, only it was from an old cheque book and bounced) and I know I can easily buy enough food with that to last me until pay day. I've recently found a nice and cheap alternative to endless weeks of pasta as well so I'll have slightly more variation than I usually do when I'm on a budget. What I do now is make up loads of rice and then mix it with soup because you can buy loads of rice and soup on the cheap. I've found the best combination so far has been chicken soup and rice and I'll usually make a huge pot of it up and get up to four big servings out it.

It's not uncommon for me to find myself in this situation at the end of term. Those few weeks before the next loan payment comes forces me to turn into a student cliche', spending my last few pennies on huge bags of pasta, eating nothing but carbohydrates for a month. At least with this new recipe I get a bit of variety so I can now make a choice between either pasta or rice each day. Then by the time the loan comes I'll vow never to eat pasta or rice again (at least until the next time I have no money).

However, the BIG problem is, the loan might not be coming now. I got an email the other day asking to hand my student card in because of my deferral and it has left me wondering if that means they will be keeping back my next loan installment. The thought had never occured to me that this might happen up until now. I thought as I'm defferring it means I'm still a student, and will be for much longer, but as they have asked me for my student card it must mean that from now until October I am exempt from having student status, and consequently lose all the benefits that come with that.

After seeing the email yesterday I sent a message asking if my next loan payment would be withdrawn but I have recieved no reply thus far. The scary part is, if they are not gonna give me the next installment then that means I've got to start looking for a full time job, like NOW, because I know they won't give me more hours at blockbusters, and the way I feel about that job, I work far more hours there than I would like to already. If it wasn't for the fact that I'm contracted to pay rent here until June I would just run home, but that's not really an option so I'm in a right pickle because even if I do find a job in the next week or so I'll have to wait another month before I get paid, in which time the rent will be overdue. On top of that Blockbusters won't let me go so easily, because I've been there 4 years and i'll have a load of notice to work, which means it could put a halt on starting a new job anyway.

Thing is, the part about getting a job doesn't really bother me as I was thinking of doing some temping work and quitting the hell that is Blockbusters anyway, it's just there's potentially greater urgency about it now than there was before.

I better get off my arse and get to work finding work.