Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Good weekend

I had a really lovely weekend in Essex. It was very quiet without my sister being there, she was singing her heart out at the Reading Festival.

We went out for dinner on Sat night to the Outback Steak House in Basiland (Basildon) which was ok but very dark and noisy so won't be going there again.

On Sunday Anthony helped my dad put up new curtain rails in the living room and dining room. The curtains that had been up were the ones my mum bought when me moved in, so new ones are very very welcome.

We also watched the Grand Prix in Essex which was cool to watch it with my dad again.

In the end we came back here on Sunday instead of Monday as we decided to go out with Alf on Monday. Anthony did love my directing in Essex. We came down the M11 so I managed to direct him through the edge of Brentwood on the way there (passing all the signs for the Secret Nuclear Bunker) and Chelmsford on the way back.

Monday we were going to go to the market at Halfpenny Green (I think that's it), but it turned out not to be on so we met Alf at a car boot sale somewhere else and then went to Bridgnorth in the afternoon.

Today I had a day off too and we did some washing and made plans for our week off next week.

Anthony has written a list which includes things like putting up curtains in the living room, dining room and upstairs bedrooms (since the only room with curtains is my bedroom) and moving the library downstairs into the dining room so that I can sort out a proper spare bedroom and so the library will have chairs in and get used more.

One of the things on the list is "Get the Yeti to take his festering shit away" as I've finally snapped and decided I wanted it gone. Five months ago he asked to leave some of it here and pay me £5 a month for doing so. It's now four months since I've last seen him, I've had no money (and have no hope of getting any) and I've had enough. I don't want to keep his stuff here until he decides he wants to take it away, I've already had to throw out so much rubbish that he left behind.

So hopefully he'll come and get that nice and early in the week, in fact I'll tell him he can come Mon, Tues or Wed and that's it. Otherwise it's all going to the tip. Gas cooker, bike, hideous fake wood unit, and all the other junk.

I'm working this weekend and then I have a nice 7 day break including a party at Pami's on the 9th (staying at my folks again) to top off the week.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Attention to detail and sweating the small stuff

I am a stickler for the small things in life.

Misplaced apostrophes make me cringe (except for the bit in Going Postal where the greengrocer's speech is deliberately peppered with misplaced ones - which I notice every time), I won't order things from companies that misspell words in their terms and conditions (Bulldog, this means you) and I loathe and detest people who don't bother to say please or thank you.

I try to curb my pedantic tendencies at work as I worry that they make me seem really pessimistic. Fingers will ask what I think of his window display and the first thing I point out is the fact two of the books are backwards.

Fingers said yesterday that this was a good thing (and I'm trying to believe him).

We had a visit from our new area manager Paul, who went round the front of store with Bod and Fingers, commenting on all the displays and sections with them while I stayed on the till. When they came back to me, Bod introduced me and said that I was just as creative as Fingers (thanks boss!) but that I was quieter about it and my projects were smaller.

Fingers then compared it to the fact that he might decide to paint the front of store so he'd start splashing paint about, then I'm come along and point out the bits he'd missed.

This did make me feel pedantic and fault finding until Fingers said that it was a really good thing. That it meant that he could paint front of store bright yellow (for example, I don't think he will be) and rely on me to point out to him that he'd missed a section of shelving out, or that when he shows me one of his fabulous headers he is happy that I pick up on his spelling.

I am trying to see this as a good thing. I try to do small tasks, or at least break down the big ones so that I know that I've done them fully. On changeover days I'll happily wander off with a list to check that the right books have got the right stickers on while Fingers concocts fabulously beautiful window displays involving kits and deckchairs (part of the current summer theme).

I just have to balance this against being too picky, against getting stressed because no-one seems to be noticing what I'm doing cos they're all looking at the windows. I talked about this with Bod a few months ago and she reassured me that they do notice, but that I don't shout about it so don't get the same reactions. (Not saying that Fingers does shout about his window displays, he just shouts when he gets stuck and needs a hand out or another book or bit of sticky tape).
I just look about and spot the jobs that need doing and do them - just wish I could do that at home!

I have had a slightly stressy day today (which is where this came from). Woke up on time but have just felt like I've been running slightly late all day. Even my 12" Italian BMT at lunchtime didn't help!

Stressing the small stuff is also why I haven't posted since that 100 things post, although I have intended too. I just want my posts to be meaningful and more than just "been busy, sorry". I haven't had anything I've felt worthy of being the follow-up until today.

I'm going to try and chill this evening. Anthony bought me/us the sweetest little DVD player from Tesco yesterday and I have a couple of films I wanna watch and some sewing I want to do so the plan for this evening is relax I think.


Oh, BTW.

I now have short, very blonde hair.

But I haven't been able to take a picture of it that I really like yet which is why I haven't put one up although I have had it for nearly two weeks now.

I shall try and get my mum to take one this weekend, since I'm going back to Essex to celebrate my dad's 60th (which was last Sat, but I was working).

Anthony is coming too...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

100 things (how long before Emily pinches this one)

1. My favourite font is Comic Sans MS.
2. I hate the Arial font with a passion since it's the "standard" font.
3. That's pretty much the reason I hate writing in blue ink too.
4. At school I had three fountain pens filled with black, turquoise and purple ink.
5. My English teacher marked me down for writing in purple because it clashed with her red pen.
6. I liked English at school (despite that teacher).
7. But I hate writing essays so I didn't do it for A Level.
8. I did Maths, Biology and Chemistry instead.
9. Then I went to uni and did a science foundation year since my A level marks were pants.
10. Then I did the first year of a Molecular and Cellular Biology degree...
11. ...before dropping out after realising that although I liked it, it couldn't be my career.
12. (oh, and partly cos I failed the first year and would have had to resit it again).
13. Working in a library or bookshop has always been something I wanted to do.
14. I started my own library at 8 lending out my pony books to friends.
15. I still have some of those books...
16. ...and they still have the little number strips on the front that I made.
17. I feel that I don't have enough space at home...
18. ...even though it's just me and the cats in a three-bedroomed terraced house.
19. This is partly because the littlest bedroom is just used for drying washing...
20. ...and has two mattresses in that I wanna throw out.
21. The other spare bedroom is my library.
22. I'm thinking about moving it downstairs into the dining room
23. Anthony wants to create me a nice cosy reading space in there.
24. But we have to get the Yeti to shift his stupid hideous cabinet first.
25. Then I can have a proper spare room for when people come to visit, instead of making them sleep with the washing like Emily had to.
26. I want to get this done before November when my dad comes to stay.
27. Because we're going to see The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band at the Wolves Civic.
28. You may not recognise that band name but you'll know their most famous song, "The Urban Spaceman".
29. My eclectic taste in music is all my parents fault.
30. My mother got me liking Billy Joel, Elton John, Queen, Chicago and Bread.
31. My father is responsible for The Bonzos, Flanders & Swann, and CSN&Y.
32. They are probably about equally responsible for Joni Mitchell, and The Mama's and the Papa's.
33. My father is also responsible for me liking The Goon's and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue.
34. We used to listen to them when driving long distances on holiday.
35. We also used to listen to I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, which starred John Cleese and Bill Oddie among others.
36. This means that just saying "Lady Constance" or "Shut up Spot" makes me giggle.
37. Not to mention "He's fallen in the water!"
38. I say gnome as g-nom and legend as leg-end.
39. I can't spell out loud, I always have to write the word down.
40. I don't type properly, I only use two fingers on each hand.
41. This is because I learnt to type faster when I used to hang out in chat rooms a lot.
42. Despite the fact I only use four fingers I still type pretty fast.
43. But my spelling can be terrible as my head is usually two words ahead of my fingers.
44. When I read I read two sentences at a time.
45. This is why I read so fast...
46. ...but also why I'm not very good at reading out loud...
47. ...or reading non-fiction books.
48. I do try and slow down my reading sometimes by imagining I'm reading out loud.
49. But as soon as I stop concentrating on doing it, I speed right back up again.
50. I learnt to read very young.
51. I can remember mum teaching me with flashcards before I went to playgroup.
52. This is why they tease me for saying ball-et instead of ballet and mart-ron instead of matron when I was little.
53. Because I never heard them said, just read them.
54. That's also why I didn't know you said Sean like Shawn until I was 11.
55. My mother had an argument with my teacher when I was 7 cos I was reading The Hobbit in class reading time and the teacher didn't like it.
56. She said I should be reading Hammy the Hamster as it has "some very adult concepts in it".
57. Needless to say I carried on reading the Hobbit in class reading time.
58. When I read Lord of The Rings I still hear the voices from the BBC Radio Four production in my head.
59. So Ian McKellen isn't Gandalf, Michael Hordern is. (although I love the films too)
60. I don't actually own my own copy of LOTR, or the Hobbit.
61. But I do own all the DiscWorld books...
62. ...and have the first 15 in leather bound editions too.
63. They aren't for reading though, and I don't think most of them have even been opened.
64. I still have the first Terry Pratchett book I ever read.
65. It was Strata (not a DiscWorld book) and I bought it from the Barnardos in Billericay High Street when I was 10/11.
66. I used to buy most of my books from that Barnardos or from the Oxfam shop in the High Street.
67. Both shops are still there, and still in the same places.
68. Which is more than I can say for most of the shops I remember being there as a child.
69. I moved to Billericay in October 1984 when I was 5 (nearly 6)
70. We moved there from Istead Rise in Kent, where we moved after living in Stroud in Gloucestershire.
71. Before that we lived in Bahrain which is where I was born.
72. I do think of myself as an Essex girl at heart.
73. Even though I've never lived in East London I'm very drawn to that bit of London as that's when my parents are from.
74. That's why I support Leyton Orient (Come on Ronnie!) like my dad does.
75. Like Michelle I have an addictive personality.
76. I don't know if I come from a long line of alcoholics (I know I come from one) but I think that is a factor in the addictive personality thing.
77. This is why I try to avoid going on eBay or I just buy buy buy.
78. It's also why I try not to keep vodka or spirits in the house...
79. when I get blue I like to drink...
80. ...which is one of the reasons I failed my A Levels as I pretty much spent the second year drunk.
81. But I'm proud of myself for not going down that route this year...
82. ...instead I got hooked on posting in this blog...
83. ...and now I feel guilty that I don't post so much.
84. But life is so busy now, and I have someone I can talk to so my random thoughts don't need to get posted for me to feel peaceful.
85. I hate when the phone rings with a random sales call and interrupts my train of thought. (as it just did).
86. I love my two cats, they make me smile all the time.
87. Well, not when Foley chewed through the modem cable.
88. It's crazy to think that only four months ago I hadn't met Anthony in person...
89. ...and now I can't imagine not knowing him.
90. I love the little glass pots that Raspberry Gu Puds come in, even though Foley just broke three all over the clean kitchen floor.
91. I decided to do this 100 thing post because I wanted a break from cleaning on my day off...
92. ...even though I'm proud of the way the bathroom looks after I scrubbed the floor.
93. Now that I'm getting near the end I'm finding it really hard to pick the last few things to put.
94. My sister bought me a My Little Pony Baby Blossom Set as a present when she was born.
95. Even though all the stuff in my living room is mine it still doesn't feel quite like my room...
96. ...but I am resisting rearranging the whole thing as I will get fed up halfway through and then it will just be a mess.
97. But I am going to throw out my pentacle picture and paint a new one for my wall.
98. Although I might do some work on my new cross stitch project, the sixth one I am working on at the moment.
99. I really love those three little dots ...
100. I nearly didn't do this because I didn't think I could think of 100 things and in fact there are lots of things I had to leave out.

(101. I hate American spell checkers that want me to write cozy instead of cosy and think that Hordern should be replaced with hardwired, Gandalf with candelabra and playgroup with pleasurable). (and where the learn function seems to be switched off so it always queries the same things).

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I know...

...but life has either been boring or hectic. I had a stress headache for the whole of last week and so my evenings were spent sleeping or playing WoW. This week Anthony is here so I am understandably distracted.

So to keep you all entertained I stole borrowed this from Michelle.

150 Questions
The Bold Ones Are The Ones I Have Done.

01. Dyed your hair
02. Been a DJ
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Been arrested
05. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (only an air rifle at a summer camp, I prefer archery)
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said "I love you" and meant it
09. Taught yourself an art from scratch
10. Done a striptease
11. Bungee jumped
12. Had a booth at a street fair
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long, and watched the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Touched an iceberg
20. Slept under the stars
21. Changed a baby's diaper
22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
23. Watched a meteor shower
24. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
25. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
26. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph
27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
28. Had a food fight
29. Built your own PC from parts
30. Taken a sick day when you're not ill (but not recently...honest boss!)
31. Asked out a stranger
32. Had a snowball fight
33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier
34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
35. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over (Well, it was moving back home from Canterbury, but I think it counts)
36. Enacted a favorite fantasy
37. Taken a midnight skinny dip
38. Taken an ice cold bath
39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar (yup, he sells the Big Issue and is a total dude)
40. Seen a total eclipse (France, summer of 1999)
41. Rode on a roller coaster
42. Hit a home run
43. Rode on a motorcycle
44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
45. Adopted an accent for an entire day (On my 17th birthday I spoke in an Irish accent all day until my dad threatened to report me to the RSPCA)
46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (Leyton counts right?)
47. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild (Probably, I've eaten them on holiday in France in little cafes in little villages so I would think so)
48. Rode a horse (I love horseriding, one day I shall have my own horse)
49. Had major surgery
50. Loved your job for all accounts
51. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
53. Had amazing friends (Have got them now)
54. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
55. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
56. Stolen a sign
57. Backpacked in Europe
58. Taken a road-trip
59. Rock climbing
60. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read (I should probably do this...)
61. Midnight walk on the beach
62. Sky diving
63. Changed your name
64. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
66. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language (My French partners grandma. She spoke no English and my French was crap but I remember having a great day out with her)
67. Benchpressed your own weight
68. Milked a cow (years ago...)
69. Alphabetized your records (my DVDs certainly, otherwise I group my CD's and books by how much I like the artist/author)
70. Pretended to be a superhero (when I was two I "flew" off a top bunk onto a stone floor...I was a terrible child)
71. Sung karaoke
72. Lounged around in bed all day
73. Posed nude in front of strangers
74. Scuba diving
75. Got it on to Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye
76. Kissed in the rain
77. Played in the mud
78. Played in the rain
79. Gone to a drive-in theater
80. Done something you should regret, but don't regret it.
81. Parasailed
82. Discovered that someone who's not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog (Well I found out that someone reads it to find out what I'm doing, although I knew that they knew about it)
83. Skipped all your school reunions
84. Started a business
85. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them (I was at uni and it was the uni pizzeria)
86. ...and gotten 86'ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you
87. Taken a martial arts class
88. Swordfought for the honor of a woman
89. Written your own computer language
90. Gotten married (yup...see no. 95)
91. Been in a movie
92. Crashed a party
93. Loved someone you shouldn't have
94. Kissed someone so passionately it made you dizzy
95. Gotten divorced WORKING ON IT!!!
96. Had sex at the office (back in Canterbury at H&B...)
97. Gone without food for 5 days (does soup count? this should say solid food)
98. Made cookies from scratch
99. Won first prize in a costume contest
100. Rode a gondola
101. Gotten a tattoo (I love my hummingbird)
102. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on (and I love the smell of leather too)
103. Rafted the Snake River
104. Found out someone was going to dump you via Blogger
105. Got flowers for no reason
106. Masturbated in a public place
107. Got so drunk you don't remember anything (yup...a few times...)
108. Gone back to school
109. Performed on stage (I went to see Jack and the Beanstalk with Jonny Ball in it and got called up. I sang Chick, Chick, Chicken and got an autographed book...I was very young)
110. Been to Las Vegas
111. Recorded music
112. Eaten shark
113. Had a one-night stand (had a few)
114. Gotten someone fired for their actions
115. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
116. Bought a house
117. Been in a combat zone
118. Buried one/both of your parents
119. Shaved or waxed your pubic hair off
120. Been on a cruise ship
121. Spoken more than one language fluently
122. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
123. Bounced a check
124. Had your picture in the newspaper (I won some treasure hunt thing at a local country park and won a book about old crafts)
125. Read - and understood - your credit report (This is a recent thing, and I'm proud of myself)
126. Raised children
127. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy (I did just buy "The Tiger Who Came To Tea", and one of those tappy pin board things at xmas)
128. Eaten kangaroo meat
129. Been a sperm or egg donor
130. Eaten sushi
131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did (My great-great grandmother (I think that's right) was a cigar maker in Leyton and her father was a Master Mariner based in Liverpool. That's significant enough for me.)
132. Called or written your Congress person
133. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
134. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
136. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
137. Had plastic surgery
138. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
139. Wrote articles for a large publication
140. Lost over 100 pounds at one time
141. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
142. Piloted an airplane
143. Petted a stingray
144. Broken someone's heart
145. Helped an animal give birth
146. Been fired or laid off from a job (H&B, the manageress was a biatch)
147. Won money on a T.V. game show
148. Broken a bone (I've broken my left wrist twice, my left collarbone once, and my left arm once)
149. Had sex on a moving train (a Tube train no less, but a good few years ago now)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Best flip-flops in the world

While browsing the CSNY site I discovered these flip-flops in their store.

I think I need to shop...


I know there are a lot of people who can't stand Jeremy Clarkson (Mark and Keris being two), but I think he's funny. He's like a caricature of himself sometimes. So it was nice to see that the BBC have issued this statement about Top Gear.

Other complaints come from my cats. (and Esme is showing her objection to me typing this by lying her head on my left arm so I can only type with my right hand).

I'm chilling tonight (after stickering approx 1000 kids books with 3 for 2 stickers)by having some nice beer and sticking my Crosby, Stills and Nash (and a little Neil Young) onto media player and singing along.

I was warbling along to Ohio (not a lyric link, but the story of the song) when Foley jumped on the desk and smacked me in the mouth with one of her front paws. Understandably I stopped singing for a second, but as soon as I started again, she did it again.

Humph. No-one appreciates my musical "talent".

(Aside: I love the fact that David Crosby looks pretty much the same now as he does in that picture from 69/70. His hair's got whiter but he's got the same smile. Neil Young's the same, he's just lost the sideburns. The other two look so different, except round the eyes.)

Their songs are the songs that have shaped my life. Thanks for that dad.

Teach Your Children

Our House

Carry On/Questions