Friday, July 29, 2005

Nearly had a Mozartlike child genius revealing herself moment today...

Daisy reached out and picked up a Sudoku puzzle, then picked up a
pencil (the right way round) looked at the puzzle intently for a few
moments then dropped it and got interested in something else. She
didn't fill out the puzzle, roll it into a ball and shove it up her
nose or do anything cute at all which shows a disappointing lack of
mathematical genius and, more alarmingly, a total lack of comic timing.

Where did I go wrong!

I mean she's 13 months old for christ's sake!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I just love stripping wallpaper... (Hmm... I forget how well ironic understatement comes over when written down*.)

I just hate stripping wallpaper...

I spent the whole day today stripping the wallpaper off Dan's new house. As I arrived at his place I realised that, although I remembered to take a couple CDs, I had forgotten to pick up the radio/CD player I use to keep myself company on jobs like this.

Big mistake.

My main trouble with stripping wallpaper is the world's most annoying advertising jingle - ever! - which starts going round and round in my head as soon as I start. Alfred Bester once wrote an SF novel in which a murderer kept himself from having his mind read by the police telepaths by filling his head full of the most irritating, compulsive advertizing jingle - I think this is it.

If I tell you this fucking jingle has been lodged in my brain for over 20 years, and is even more annoying and hateful than the "Tasty - Tasty, they're very very tasty" Bran Flakes jingle which used to have me scream and leap across the room to turn it down - I used to get exercise before we had a TV with a remote - or even, God help us, "Do the Shake 'n' Vac and put the freshness back..." (ditto) I think you'll understand my state of mind after 6 hours without any music to keeping the thing at bay. Now it's out of its cage the sodding thing is going to be buzzing round my conciousness for weeks now.

To the tune of Blood Sweat and Tears' Spinning Wheel

'What goes up,
must come down,
Super Fresco is so easy,
It's by Graham & Brown...'

That's it.
That's all of it.
Over and over again.
Round and round my fucking head like a painted pony... Argggghhhhh!

It was an advert for wallpaper that was easy to remove. Why easy removal was a selling point I can't imagine. I mean wallpaper is not something you change that often is it? "It's Tuesday, it must be time to re-paper the living-room darling!" No, if I have stuck something to the wall with buckets full of glue I want it to bloody stay there not come off in vast swathes every time some horrible child picks at a corner.

The CD player is in the back of the car already. I'm not going through that again tomorrow.

Dan is being discharged from Hospital on Tuesday. About 2 weeks earlier than we were expecting and about 2 weeks before his house will be ready to live in. I'll just have to pull out all the stops and get it painted as fast as possible before the carpets are laid. Not that they have even been ordered yet. Damn. There goes my weekend.


To the arsehole in the metalic turquoise Merc who cut me up at the roundabout coming out of the Fort, then bombed it off at 40+ in a 30 mile zone (Reg Number R619 HRP, officer) - It's going to take more than a pissy Jesus Fish bumper sticker to save you if you try that in front of someone who can't stop as fast as I can, like an HGV for instance. 'I'm rich, I'm a tourist, and I believe in God' does not make you bombproof. Twat. But thank you for getting that damn jingle out of my head for a few interesting seconds.

- twice!


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I've cancelled everything in my diary - including Australia Day and the Jewish New Year

I've been reading a lot of blogs recently as you would imagine and I was today going to submit to the will of the masses and try and write a typical blog entry. This would have been a right justified, free verse poem without punctuation detailing a second by second account of my coming to terms with my hamster's herpes infection, a pevish rant by some lone Democrat upset that his bunch of white billionairs aren't running his Government, or something totally incomprehesible (to me at least) acompanied by pictures of 'cute' wide eyed animals that make the Care Bears look like the Four Oarsmen of the Apocalypse.

Luckily I decided against it.

Merriol's best friend ever, ever since they were that high, Julia, had her baby last night. Please put your hands together and welcome Emma Bethan Jones to the world stage.

7lb 02 ounces.

I have no idea what that is in metric. I suspect that long after everything else has gone metric babies will still come in pounds. Because the gap between generations is so long it's going to take centuries before the need to compare birthweights with the previous generation will make the switch to the metric system. 16+ years is a long lag between measurements.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Re: 'World War II Movies With Nudity?'

Zombied in front of the telly tonight and tried to find something to watch that didn't involve auctions, house improvements, or a bunch of arsewholes (sic) involved in some 'experiment' (ie stuffed together in a totaly artificial environment as supposedly invisible camera crews capture every tedious detail of every pointless little squabble). I failed.

Next week on Channel 4, "The Real Experiment" 15 highly paid TV execs are locked in the Big Brother house with 15 of Britain's most annoying non-celebs (draw your own list, but that Day-Glo orange twat who presents "Bargain Hunt" has to go in).

The first one to come up with an original idea gets to live.


The Glitter Chronicles.

Merriol's obsession with glitter is well known. Everything in this house has a thin scattering of teeny tiny, very shiny specks (and that goes for a 5Km radius around it too - like Chenobil but pretty).

Daisy was less than an hour old before I spotted the first speck of glitter on her, and we were in a hospital 80 miles away from home! Just now I started to run myself a bath and thought I would treat myself with some bubbles* - there's sodding glitter in the bubble bath!


What earthly reason ever could there be for putting glitter in bubble bath? All it's going to do is go down the plughole, and then eventualy into the sea where it is going to confuse fish who will eat it thinking they are getting a meal - very small fish I admit, but even very small fish fish have enough problems without great washes of tempting pseudo-food drifting around in front of their noses.

*no candles though - I'm not that much of a Mum yet.

Monday, July 25, 2005

All that glitters is not Merriol

Today's Gem of Childish Spookiness

Daisy (aged one) is sitting in her high chair eating her tea while I listen to the News on Radio 4.

There is an item on the programme about the funeral of Edward Heath (Britain's last socialist Prime Minister) in which a snatch of The Last Post is played...

Daisy looks up from her pasta as the lone trumpet sounds. She listens for a moment, then turns to the radio, and waves.

"Bye Bye"


Never a Dull Moment of Truth is a Two Edged Sword of Damocles

I have the script of the show! 36 pages long - single spaced (Grrrr! no room to write notes and directions to myself in between the lines. Scripts should be double spaced so we actors - pretentious? Moi?? - can write notes to ourself like 'sardonic', 'whistful glance', and 'wipe cat sick off trousers'.) I'm nearly on every page (oh God!) and though the dialogue is not up to the stunning standards of the Starlost writers (see under Kier Dullea's Big Gay Moustache down below) it is not good.

The 'moral' of the play, which I deliver on the last page, reads:"There is no point in worrying about what might have been. The thing is it's never too late. And anyone can visit a careers adviser nowadays; it's not just for young people."

At which point I am going to be hard pressed not to turn to the audience and say in my best Pat Boone voice "Yes kids, and just say no to drugs too."

The tour takes us to Tiree.

"Sept 15th AM Fly to Tiree PM Tiree, Sept 16th Fly back from Tiree".

My first thought was to look up Tiree and see if it had an airstrip. It does. A real one. So we won't be landing on a beach which is what I was scared of. I didn't think to look where we would be flying from, I guess Inverness, which means we will be practicaly flying over the house. Twice. In a small aeroplane over all these big jaggy mountains. I am going off the idea of this whole thing. I seem to remember the planes on this run are called "Otters" I can't see it; me flying over big pointy mountains in something called an Otter to deliver patronising messages to High School kids in the middle of the fucking Atlantic.

Oh Crap. What have I let myself in for?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

What do I want for Christmas? - A large extended family with money

Lying in bed this morning trying to read Horry Patter and the Telephone Directory From Hell over Merriol's shoulder without letting her know I was reading it, I suddenly realised that there weren't that many lines on the page (there are 35, I counted. I am a sad sad man) it looks like it's double spaced when compared to other hardbacks. Henry Porter and the Encyclopedea Brittanica isn't that big a book really and if Dumbledore had been called something shorter like Fred ("Grand Arch-wizard Fred"- I like it!) it would have been even shorter.

Bit of a party for Daisy this afternoon which, due to our usual careful planning - I mean who else would have their babies in the middle of the holiday season and expect anyone to be around to come to the birthday party? - ended up being a quiet affair with not a lot of people and lots of food. Nice hot sunny day. The kids had fun, Holly and Naomi ate gallons of jelly which, when all is said and done, is what being 3 is all about really.

Pooed off this evening to find a movie I just bought on DVD, Carnival of Souls, is on the Telly tomorrow night. Poo!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Are Those Your Lemons, Madam?

I failed. Failed Failed Failed. 83 Bejillion good movies I need to watch before I die and last night I addled what's left of my brain with The Starlost: Deception a stinkingly bad SF "movie" made by glueing two episodes of a 1973 TV series together and running away before anyone noticed.

Canada's second greatest contribution to crap SF TV (first place goes to William Shatner) the Starlost is one of those SF shows where the automatic sliding doors make more noise GBZZZZZZZZshup! - than the ray guns pew! The Starlost only ran for 16 episodes before it was taken outside and shot.

And with stunning dialogue like this, between silver hot panted Space Bimbo and Kier Dullea as "Devon" trying to hide behind his moustache, you can see why

from 2001:a Space Odyssey to this shit in 4 years... I need a new agent.
"I'll do the show but only if I can have a huge
Gay Moustache so no one knows it's me."

Space Bimbo:
You've never tasted food like this before...

I've never seen statues that change before or people
who appear and disappear before my eyes before either

Just try saying that out loud - it's bollocks! a few moment later:

Space Bimbo:
Is the Ark in any immediate danger?

It could be, we just don't know when!

Maybe Canadian dictionaries of the 70s defined "immediate" differently - I dunno - but after that line I switched off and went and did something else meaning to come back and watch the rest of it later. Luckily Holly somehow managed to tape CBeebies over the second half of the tape the next morning so I was spared! Hurrah!


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Two Ice Lollies and a Packet of Crisps

Tonight I watched The Killer Shews. Tomorrow I may ask myself: "Why, when I have 83 bejillion really GREAT movies I could be watching, am I rotting my brain with total drek like this?"

Bloody good question. It's the same reason that people slow down when they pass car wrecks and try not to peek at the carnage I guess. I like Car Crash Movies.

Finished my Playing with Kids for Money job today - 2 hours trying to engage a room full or 6 -11 year olds. All the boys wanted to do was hit each other and roll around on the floor together (I just DO not understand boys). One of the 6 year old girls stood and cried the whole time I was there, and some of the smaller boys had the attention spans of lower order invertibrates (I guess that's why they all had short names like 'Joe' and 'Jim'. If they didn't they would forget who they were).

I don't often get paid 20 pounds an hour but I felt I earned it today. Still, I now have a nice looking Advanced Disclosure certificate from the police which means I'm officialy not a pervert - which is nice to know. I look at it from time to time to reassure myself. "Yep, I'm still officially not a pervert."

Tomorrow I do my Tax and get all the paperwork sorted out for the Insanely Complex Working Families Tax Credit thing. I don't even claim to understand what the Insanely Complex Working Families Tax Credit thing about or how it works but I think we end up getting money from the Government for having reproduced recently.

Which is nice, but a bit scary.

Tomorrow I will watch a good movie. I promise. One without rubber monsters or large breasted women getting wet for no apparent reason, or even large rubber breasted women getting wet for very good reasons. Something with a bit of class (something with a plot!). I can do this...

Monday, July 18, 2005

What's the singular of spaghetti?

Daisy is one year old today! She is in single figures!

Spent a chunk of the day hanging the bedroom door that has been leaning leaning against a wall ever since I made it several weeks ago (the door that is - the wall has been there for about 140 years) suprisingly it went remarkably easily. I wasn't looking forward to it at all. I hate hanging doors. It is my least favourite job ever - apart from those involving large quantities of human shit, but luckily I haven't had one of those for a long time - It's just one of those jobs that ALWAYS takes far longer than I think it's going to and I can never remember how to do it until I have finished and will have forgotten by the next time. This time however it worked first time. I console myself with the fact that I will only have to go through this living hell 4 more times over the next few years to get this place finished.

This evening Daisy opened her pressies and had a cake and gave a virtuoso demonstration of nose picking. If rhinotillexomania was an Olympic event I think we would have a new Gold Medalist in the making here

Daisy Reaming Her Nostrils for Scotland

Tomorrow (and the day after) I do my last stint as a Temp Arts worker for the summer and get to put in my invoice. Yipee! Money! Then back to normal life being a Male Mum again!
Merriol, like most of the world has bought a copy of Harry Potter and the Whatsit of Whatever Telephone Directory sized tombe yesterday and so, I guess, will lost to the world for however long it takes...

I'm a Harry Potter Widower.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The VHS is dead - dammit.

Blockbuster in the UK - well my bit of it at least - no longer trade VHS tapes. This is a bit of a shit as it was a great way for me to:
  1. Find realy bad SF movies that no one would ever consider releasing on DVD (even if they were paid oodles of money) for only a quid per movie.
  2. Get rid of them again for 40p per tape.
Net result? I got indefinate rental of tape for 60 pence. Now the buggers have declared the VHS too much trouble and, as of tomorrow, will only be dealing with DVDs.

I wonder what they are going to do with all the copies of Robocop? Everytime I went in there seemed to be more and more copies of Robocops 1, 2, & 3. The thing was taking over. Everyone was selling it no-one was buying.

There were a lot of copies of Lost in Space too...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Woke up at 6 AM this morning to Daisy wailing the place down. I got out of bed to change her nappy, dropped it in the bin, put Daisy back in her cot, turned on the TV to the CBeeBies children's channel, waited till she was hypnotised enough for me to sneak away without noticing and then I snuck away without her noticing whilst supressing huge waves of EVIL PARENT GUILT for leaving my one year old glued to the telly just because I am so selfish as to need sleep. Then fell back into bed again.

Just before my head hit the pillow I heard my inner joke writer say:

"You think you got problems! I know an orphan with an Oedipus complex!"

Now where the hell do thoughts like that come from? I wish I knew and I could tap into it. I mean that's a funny line. Not a great all time belly-buster of a funny but it made me giggle. (It also made my mother laugh and my Dad want to kill me - but that's another story).

Monday, July 11, 2005

Finished Catch 22 the other day and was prompted by the coincidence of a reference to Raskolnikov's Dream in the last but one chapter to plough on and read Crime and Punishment. See Reading

Not as hard work as I thought it was going to be but (like most 19th Century books) about twice as long as it should be.

The Sby Who Came In With a Cold

Sat down to a great meal tonight. A HUGE risotto cooked by Sue, and a mixed pile of salads which I threw together in my usual last minute rush. The best of which was cold, cooked brocolli with vinegrette and black pepper. The brocolli was supposed to go into the Risotto but as there wasn't enough room in the pan, or Sue forgot (one or the other) it got left on the side and, just so it didn't turn into yet another pile of brocolli we watched rot, I made it into a salad. Merriol, Dan, and Sue had a glass of red wine. Holly finaly got over her fear of fizzy drinks ("They are for Grown ups!") and had a glass of Tonic Water with me which she said she liked, then did one of the loudest burps in the history of burping and giggled.

Fruit for pud, though after the gargantuan Risotto (Sue had an attack of the "It Won't be Enough!" fear and kept piling stuff in) we were stuffed and didn't actually felt like anything else.

A lovely family meal that fed right into my delusions of extended family and tribal living but I'm getting incredibly fed up with the way people just launch into their food around here. As soon as it is on the table people start shoveling it onto their own plate and eating. Sometimes as I'm usualy the one running around getting things from the kitchen I sit down to find the meal that I have been cooking half over before I get to join in. It must be nice to have a ritual at the start of a meal, like Christians say grace, to start it off. But not being Christians, Muslims or of any other religiosity I may just have to invent one. No one eats a mouthful until they have helped everyone else to something maybe, or even simpler! everyone has to raise their glass of water, wine, juice, or whatever and make a toast. "To Bifours!"

At least I got everything off the table this time. We weren't eating around a pile of all the other, non mealtime, stuff that usually just gets shoved to one side. Progress

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Been twiddling my thumbs waiting for this but I got offered the acting job! Hurrah! 10 weeks work! Merriol is spending the money already - mostly on child care (to cover the fact that I am not going to be here to look after the kids) and on the new bathroom. Co incidentaly Fraser who built most of the insides of our house came round tonight to borrow my scaffold tower and we talked him into doing it for us.

Finally got to flop on the sofa and watch a movie for the first time in weeks: Orson Welles' Confidential Report.

Someone I knew a few years ago and I haven't seen for a long time, got killed in a car crash last week and I found out today. He was a nice bloke. I remembered he used to be good friends with Jeannie W (girlfriend before Merriol) and tracked her down and gave her the news - well, I gave her husband the news and ran away without leaving my phone number. She later phoned back having tracked me down via the same website I used to find her

Monday, July 04, 2005

July 4? - why does that date ring a bell?

Oh, Happy Birthday America!

Sunday night

Spent most of the day re-arranging all the garbage around here and
discovered 3 dead computers that I had forgotten about under a pile
of boxes. This is pathetic! The pooters are
going to Ben who may salvage useful bits (leads etc.) from them -
There is a huge pile of books to crappy even to be
sold on ebay (I've tried) downstairs waiting for the Car Boot sale in
the Fort in a couple of weeks (25 pence each - 3 for a pound!) and we
are piling up another mountain of babystuff for Julia.
Slowly under this frenzied onslaught there seems to be some space
opening up. Phoebe and Tyler aren't coming for 9 months
and already I'm panicking about the state of the place!

Tomorrow I have to take Holly to nursery in the morning and see if I
can pick Merriol's pass so she can get into work. The Queen (God
bless her!) is opening the building next to where she works on
Tuesday (an event that has stirred up unparalleled amounts of apathy
around here - I knew I liked this place) and she needs a pass to get
to work. It will be interesting to see if they will let me pick it
up for here. I wonder if I can sell the story to one of the Tabloids
if I do. I can just see it now, "Shaven Headed Anarchist Breaches
Royal Security!"

Maybe not.

No work this week but I have to get things sorted for the Summer
Playscheme job thingie. I think I know what I am doing but I will
have to get my act together and do some preparation for this one. I
can't just walk in at the last minute and busk it like I normally do.
Dammit! (Is this what working for a living is like?) so between
sorting out last year's tax (arghhhh!) breaching royal security and
finding out if the floor is still there under all this garbage it
looks like I'm going to have a busy week.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Thick as Pigshit!

Because I can't tell the fucking difference between a space and an underscore. Dumb dumb dumb. Mind you I am the man who spent 2 hours not noticing the mailer I was trying to set up for a friend was pointing at and getting VERY frustrated and het up.

Sod this! After finaly managing to get in I'm too tired to remember what I was going to say... so I will go write some bad poetry instead which seems to be de rigeur for blogs though I will be hard-pressed to beat daughter No 1 Holly (3 yrs 2 months) who asked me today:
"When I'm dead will you play music on my bones?"

GRrrrr! or even GRRRRR!

How is it I'm able to post to this Blog by mail but can't log in? I
may have to take this machine out and shoot it to death... after I
got all the useful stuff off it first.


Tzar Nicholas II - for no other reason than it was the first (clean) picture I could find to test the picy uploading thingie

Down to the doc's this morning with my eye (and the rest of me) turns out I have conjuctivitis in the right eye and have to squirt evil gunge in it every day for a week.

"Don't be suprised if it gets into your left eye too." he said.
"I'll be careful not to rub the infected eye and then the other one." I said.
"No, it's not that. It might just go down your tears ducts, into your nasal cavity, and up the other side again."

I don't like this. I have illnesses wandering around my body looking for places to camp out!
"Hey guys, this is a nice place. Lets make some pus here!"

Called down at the Tourist Information Center this afternoon and bumped into Ilona and Andy who were supoosed to be away camping somewhere (weird people). Turns out they had heard a grinding noise from the front left wheel of their car and stopped to get it checked at the garage. The whole wheel bearing was fucked so they were sitting around waiting to get it fixed. I drove them to the garage after a while. The garage had got a new bearing but when they tried to fit it the whole assembly it's supposed to fit onto crumbled. Ilona only bought the car 6 weeks ago after her last one was turning into an expensive repair job on wheels.

Saturday tomorrow. A exciting day shopping with Merriol, both the kids, and the mother-in-law in tourist packed Oban. My life is so much FUN!

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