Quantity Over Quality
|Tertia See It / Know It / Find It / As It||
This weekend I decide to grow the fvck up and move back in with my parents.
One of the continuing themes of my adult life (which began on the very day I opened my student account) is being overdrawn and in debt. I don't think I've been in the black financially at any time since 2004- even if you ignore student loans. It's an impressive series of balance transfers, debt shuffling, flexible loans and hefty overdrafts I've been cycling through since my late teens. Actually going back through accounts its clear that had I applied myself more vigorously I could have been an effective con woman/financial trader/contender.
I wrote this all on Monday. Then I sat the fvck down and did a proper budget based on my earnings and outgoings, rather than a weird amount it turned out I had plucked out of the air. And it turns out everything is basically fine, as one might expect, and as one of the kids in IT points out early on (though I now realise based on the full plot of the novel was probably King taking a stab at literary irony). So yes, I will have to live to a budget for a while, and yes my parents now know just how rubbish I have continued to be with dosh as does Boyface (who didn't look as surprised as I had imagined he would). But maybe THAT'S the lesson I should have learned about growing up: it's owning up to your terrible mistakes, not necessarily trying to correct them by going to hide and cry in your teenage bedroom. I say SHOULD have learnt because I'm not actually 30 yet (12 glorious days to go), so I can chalk it up to my irresponsible 20s and forget by this time next year.
It's been such a very long time since I done blogged, but here's a quaint thing, I've been finding myself more and more drawn to long form text lately. I quite like the implication that my universe has started dying and this is the result of everything expanding outwards from the big bang moment.
Not going to bother to update this entry with everything that's happened in between since the last one. A series of victories and failures too numerous and largely dumb to mention, same as between any two blog posts. However, the next paragraph does give away some spoilers, so if you're trying to read my life story in order, you may want to skip back a few pages, or wait for the inevitable ghost written autobiography, "How I Defeated Those Space Aliens That Time".
So in the next 7 days, I intend to go on a Peter Ackroyd pub crawl with @strictlytrue, enter the Crossrail tunnels for My Job At the BBC, attend a night time exhibition about light with Stupid American Boy's wife, and tidy my room. Tidying my room is the most eternal of to-do list items. I'm never not technically about to tidy my room. Well maybe for about 30 minutes after I've been tidying my room when I'm having my post tidying my room snooze. In that static moment I'm literally not tidying my room or needing to tidy my room, but once I leave that room, or touch any item in the room other than my bed, then I am once again tidying my room. Or rather, not tidying my room.
Oh ok, so one update since my last blog you DO need to know: I now own a robot vacuum cleaner. Because future now.
Tags: tidying my room
This is a sekret blog. Sorry bout that.
I wrote a thing and then the BBC put it on their site.
[1.] What did you do in 2010 that you have never done before?
Lived in the year 2010.
[2.] Did you keep all of last years resolutions?
By not making any, yes.
[3.] Have you any resolutions for next year?
To try and think of some for 2012.
[4.] What countries did you visit?
Japan. Have I mentioned that?
[5.] What would you like to have in 2011 that you didn't have in 2010?
[6.] What date in 2010 will remain etched in your memory?
My birthday/the day I got hired/the day I helped a girl who fell of her bike in the road. (All the same day this year).
[7.] What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Brushed my hair. Just the once, but it made ALL the difference.
[8.] What was your biggest failure?
Probably that 250 mile round trip to Birmingham to see a boy who "changed his mind" about an hour after I got there. But bear in mind we're selecting from quite a large collection of FAILS.
[9.] Did you suffer any illness or injury?
Yes. But it was super-skanky and best forgotten.
[10.] What was the best thing you bought?
That app on my iPhone which tells you which is the best tube carriage to get on at for where you want to get off when you change lines.
[11.] Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
[12.] Where did most of your money go?
[13.] What did you get really really, really excited about?
[14.] What songs will always remind you of 2010?
Get Better- Scroobius Pip
[15.] Compared to this time last year are you:
[A] Fatter or thinner? Thinner (but HEAVIER).
[B] Happier or sadder? Happier (but HEAVIER).
[C] Richer or poorer? Richer (NOT AFTER TAX THOUGH)
[16.] What do you wish you'd done more of?
[17.] What do you wish you'd done less of?
[18.] How will you be spending Christmas?
Wearing strange combinations of prom dresses and PJs, dancing around my house, quoting Jim Henson films, drinking. It's good to have TRADITIONS.
[19.] Which LJ users did you meet for the first time?
The Ward family. Who don't even USE LJ anymore.
[20.] Did you fall in love in 2010?
Dragged down, more like.
[21.] How many one night stands?
A number that some people would think was too many, and others would think was too few.
 What was your favourite TV show?
Star Trek: Voyager
[23.] Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Not hate. More a broiling, churning resentment which haunts my waking hours and turns my dreams into nightmares.
[24.] What was/were the best books you read?
The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey for like the 8th time.
[25.] What was your greatest musical discovery?
That Cathy Dennis writes a lot of Katy Perry's songs.
[26.] What did you want and get?
[27.] What did you want and not get?
[28.] What was your favourite film this year?
[29.] What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I got a job, helped a girl who fell off her bike in the road and I turned 25. We've been through this.
[30.] What one thing would have made your year more satisfying?
[31.] How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
Epic Japanese Schoolgirl Fail
[32.] What kept you sane?
My delusions that everything was fine.
[33.] Which celebrity did you fancy the most?
I think the question you should be asking is which celebrity fancied ME most.
[34.] Which political issue stirred you the most?
Healthcare in the US. Seriously: just HAVE healthcare already.
[35.] Who did you miss?
Take That on X Factor. Was out drinking.
[36.] Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year?
You can literally give yourself RSI from playing Angry Birds.
[37.] Quote a song lyric that sums up your year...
TURNING JAPANESE I THINK I'M TURNING
[38.] Where were you when 2010 began?
In my old student union.
[39.] Who were you with?
People from secondary school (they aren't literally still at school).
[40.] Where will you be when 2010 ends?
[41.] Who will you be with when 2010 ends?
People from secondary school.
[42.] What was your favourite month of 2010?
[43.] Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2010?
Not that I REMEMBER.
[44.] Did you do a lot of drugs in 2010?
I took a codeine once.
[45.] How many people did you sleep with in 2010?
A number that some people would think was too many, and others would think was too few.
[46.] Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?
[47.] What was the worst lie someone told you in 2010?
That they loved me. IMAGINE. At least make it a believable lie.
[48.] Did you treat somebody badly in 2010?
[49.] Did somebody treat you badly in 2010?
Yep. So we're all even now.
[50.] How many concerts did you see in 2010?
Not many but they were all EPIC.
[51.] Did you have a favorite concert in 2010?
Scroobius Pip at Shepherd's Bush Empire.
[52.] How much money did you spend in 2010?
Based on my current bank balance: my entire salary.
[53.] If you could go back in time to any moment of 2010 and change what?
I'd go back to when I had that panic attack outside the tube station and I would BREATHE.
[54.] What are your plans for 2011?
To fill in more memes.
I have filled my head with the lyrics from a thousand songs that all tell me the way I feel is a) justified, b) correct, and c) romantic. This is a clear case of confirmation bias.
When you take the music away and actually think about it... Well, don't do that. Avoid that at all costs.
I've lost a lot of friends this year.
Some I jettisoned knowingly, realising there was no room for compromise and less for feeling undermined at every juncture, others I've let drift, realising we've grown apart, and some, well, some I just can't tie down.
The old adage (or possibly song lyric or truism or fridge magnet, they all amount to the same thing, surely: words that through repetition undo every chance of original thought you've got), if you love them, let them go, is supposed to be a one time thing. You're not supposed to have to do that twice. You're not supposed to even have the chance.
So I'm sat here. Feeling guilty. Knowing that all the growing I spent five years doing: all the grief and petulance (God knows you've all been exposed to that) and the fvcking (metaphysical included [and I don't mean cybersex]) and the anger and the Goddamn relationships were a waste of time: I'm still as juvenile as ever. What was it someone called me on The Forum once? Puerile? (That phrasing was a bit Romanesque, apologies: Semper Bufo).
So I'm a child. And the worst of crimes in my head (let's take the legal ones out of the equation) is to declare your faults aloud and then say, "But that's just me." But. But what if this is just me? What if I'm a fool for life? And not one of those witty, erudite fools with their own sketch show and a gym membership they don't use, but one of those actual fools who shouldn't have survived this long and it's only the modern fad for extensive carpeting which has saved her.
The only thing that makes me think I have at least some OK brain smarts is I have such lovely friends (they were worth whittling down after all I guess) who in their presence in my life reassure me I'm not getting it entirely wrong. This blog is all about my selfish head and my selfish life, but it's dedicated to all those who have told me when my skirt is tucked into my pants, the people who fetch paper towels from the bar when I spill my pint, the people who laugh at my stupid jokes (as well as my clever, well-thought out ones) and the people who even when I've neglected their company for months greet me in the pub with a warm smile and an ancedote they've saved up for me about zombies.
And those people should be the ones I write about. Not the ones who abandon me at my darkest hour. Not the ones who somehow lead me into that darkest hour. Not the ones who make my life like some gut-wrenching, missed chance in some mawkish Ian McEwan novel (they ARE mawkish: they just have covers that make men feel it's alright to be seen reading them on the bus).
So here I am, feeling like I'm on a bike going downhill with the chain just come off, wondering which poor friend is going to pick up the pieces when I hit the curb at the bottom, while distraught that once again, no one saw which friend gave* me the bike in the first place.
*Simile-cum-metaphor falls apart at this precise point. Which is bizarrely at exactly the same point as I do.
How do you know you're not insane? There are the obvious ways to check: have you been sectioned, do you know what year it is, is your desire for Cthulhu to turn out to be real still just an amusing affectation you've adopted to impress geek boys? But sometimes it's harder to know. Think of all the feelings you experience on a weekly basis that if you didn't have an immediate explanation for you'd be considering yourself properly Jack Torrance at the end of The Shining (or at the start, or in the middle. I'm just saying Nicholson never played sane well, if at all, ever).
I'm talking about the intense rage you feel when someone steals a seat on the tube you've been eyeing up and hovering over for a full 3 stops; the soul-burning desire for pizza/sex/instantaneous death that takes you over in the first hour of a hangover; the terrifying desire to fall into a coma and never wake that you feel in the first few bleary seconds of Monday morning. These are extreme emotions that you feel on a regular basis, and they are thankfully fleeting. If they sustained themselves and didn't have clear and traceable causes you'd be worried: believe me.
The way this has been effecting me is jet lag. At least I'm hoping it's jet lag. I feel so out of sync with the world that everything feels like reverse deja vu. I feel like, as events are happening around me, I'm watching them back from a few moments forward in the future. My responses to simple questions, (What's your name?, Who do you think you are?, Are you seriously wearing that outfit to the pub?), make no sense and are simply falling out of my mouth like teeth in an anxiety dream. Having said that, my dreams have become more lucid also due to the jet lag, so much so that I had the famous teeth-falling-out-anxiety dream in all its raw, goopy, chunky goodness only to awake to find I am indeed incredibly anxious about losing my teeth, and all my other anxieties seem very small in comparison to this horrific possibility.
At any rate, I feel entirely out of sync with not only time and space, but with people. It's making me wonder if I've gone slightly insane. All my emotions are amplified: I feel rage on the tube pre-emptively, and for hours after a transport-based slight. I've not had a hangover because I can't sleep long enough to wake up to one, though this has helpfully reinforced my internalised secret theory that hangover's aren't alcohol-induced, it's just that alcohol allows you to enter a deep enough state that you allow your body to manifest the exact emotion of feeling sorry for oneself as a series of physical symptoms. These may or may not be termed Wallow's Syndrome.
However, while jet lag has it's downsides, (lack of sleep, energy, happiness, and a deepening, creeping concern over possible insanity), it also has it's plus points too. For a start, I was worried these problems were indicative of the onset of depression, but jet lag has at least DELAYED my need to examine these overwhelming moments of sadness as anything other than a bit tired. It has given me a reason to fall even deeper into the aching crevasse that is my caffeine addiction. There's no need to justify my 5th cup of tea of the day, not even in the context of it following my 4th can of coke. Jet lag also allows for me to become glassy eyed in the most boring conversations: it's not you, it's the jet lag. I'm almost disappointed I'm not in a bad relationship so I could break it off with that line.
That bastion of accurate and never corruptible knowledge, Wikipedia, defines insanity as "...a spectrum of behaviors characterized by certain abnormal mental or behavioral patterns." This is unhelpfully vague and doesn't allow me to make a solid and tidy comparison between the experiences I have posited here as being similar or the same as insanity. This leads me to believe my attempt to draw any correlation between madness and jet lag has been fallacious, or perhaps deluded, and, in itself, indicative of an abnormal mental state.
The year, at present, is 2010.
Cross posted from http://maidoffail.blogspot.com/
I have a new coat. It is massively lovely. I hope to emulate it in every way. There is however, a small problem with the Massively Lovely Coat. It has no real pockets.
It has fake ones, don't worry. No coat would be replete these days without extraneous buttons and elaborately stitched but ultimately futile pocket flaps. However, it has no real pockets within or without. This provides both positive bonuses and negative flaws.
On the plus side: I no longer ever have to worry about picking up my coat, usually from the pub floor where I have been carefully storing it in a puddle of Staropramen, and flinging vast quantities of coins, shrapnel, food stuffs and things I have purloined, every which way. This is a great pleasure for me, as this was my usual experience with every other coat I have owned.
On the down side: I no longer have a coat with pockets. All my important belongings (see above) now have to be contained within a bag. No problem, I hear you cry, buy a bag. Thanks; like I would have never figured that out on my own; you're invaluable. And patronising.
The big question comes with where to store my phone. My bag is not secure enough, not even with all my important belongings to weigh down the more useful items that might lurk within it. Also, my phone plays music (this IS what the future is for) so I need it to be readily accessible should it play music I don't like (this is the future, but there's no technology yet that will stop me flooding my devices with mp3s of songs I don't like). The obvious solution is to keep my phone in my bra.
I have a long history of storing stuff in my bra: money, mp3 players, lipbalms, memos to remind me to wash once in a while, my breasts. But storing a phone this cumbersome in there has become tiresome. Especially having to rummage around in my brassiere while on public transport. Some people look overly offended, while others, overly interested. What's a modern girl to do?
It's tempting to throw the towel in to that new puddle of Staropramen and admit fate: the Massively Lovely Coat doesn't perform adequately. It should be got rid of. But that just causes more problems. If I don't have a coat, my phone-bra interactions will be all the more obvious to the public. So, you see, I'm rather much caught between a rock and a hard place here.
NONE of this would be a problem if society were just a bit more tolerant.
I spent today at my parents' house, alternating between sofas, researching, and trying to be creative. Edinburgh Fringe Festival has drained me dry of any desire to be human. It has also partially sapped my energy for TV and comedy and any combination thereof. I will get my mojo back I'm sure, but I just feel if Edinburgh represents even 10% of the people involved then perhaps I am not one of them and I should turn to a more suitable career: Librarian or key stage 2 science teacher?
This misanthropy and self hate may of course be derived simply from staying up until 5am every night for 2 weeks.
Tonight's Eastenders was an incredibly accurate depiction of a typical British Bank Holiday. Dull, dull and sex in a caravan.
Today's fail: staying up very late last night because I kept thinking the hatstand in the guest room was an intruder. Sorted this around 4am by removing the hat from the the uppermost branches and poking the coats with a convenient umbrella. Slept peacefully, dreaming of cults.