Archive for December, 2008

Episode 20. In which it’s Hogmanay.

Posted in Hogmanay/New Year with tags , , , , on December 31, 2008 by diabetses

Happy Hogmanay!  I hope this evening you’re all going to be thoroughly enjoying yourself and rocking out for the bells.

I heard something interesting this morning on the TV in the laundrette.  Apparently today will be 24 hours and 1 second long.  At 23:59:59 an extra second will be added to the day.  Something to do with keeping up with the atomic clock or something, I’m not entirely certain what the deal is, but I find it terribly exciting.  I mean, like, disproportionately exciting.

Also, does this mean we’ll be counting down from 11?

As I write this I honestly don’t know what my plans are for midnight.  I’m really not that big on Hogmanay, I mean it’s a wonderful day of course and the new year is nearly here and that’s great, but do I have to get all dressed up and go out when I’m still recovering from Christmas?

I can’t say I had a massive blow-out at Christmas, I ate far too much, of course, but the main problem is a couple of bad nights sleep caused by something in my head, nothing at all to do with excesses or booze or anything.  The most alcohol I’ve had over the festive season was last night when I had two cans of Kronenbourg with dinner (chilli con carne made with braising steak, my god it’s good).  What can I say?  I just felt overindulgent.  But as I said I had a couple of nights where I didn’t sleep well, and that’ll knock me out every time.

When I was young, I used to do New Year.  When I was very young we would have parties at the neighbours’ houses, and then when I was a bit older (from about the age of 14, I confess) I’d go to the pub.  Back home Hogmanay is a big thing, everyone’s out, the pubs shut at about quarter to twelve to let the staff come out into the square for the bells (i.e. the clock striking midnight).  Then everyone finds a place to go next, it may or may not have been planned in advance, but the square stays crammed full of people til about 1am then they start to filter away.  I’m pretty sure the last time I did that I was in my early 20s.

Actually, when I 20 it was the 1999-2000 Hogmamay and I spent that in a small town in Lancashire staying with a friend, who threw up on my shoes and then gave me the flu.

I was in Paris for New Year’s Eve 2000-2001.  I got stood up, sexually assaulted on the Metro and lost, and ended up in an English bar in the red light district hiding behind the friendly bouncers. Actually they celebrated midnight twice, being an English pub in Paris, so that was an interesting one all round.

I’m pretty sure 2001-2002 I stayed in, and almost every year since then.  We went out last year, I’d just moved to Brighton and I was interested to see how it went down here.  It was a lovely evening, like the old days back home in the pub only more laid back, and you don’t get thrown out before midnight.  I remember party poppers and leaving pretty soon after midnight.

As of now my only plan for the day is to go for a walk with a friend, in the hope of taking some pictures with my new camera.  It’s not a proper plan yet, we don’t have a time or a place, but it’s something we’ve done a couple of times before and I’m looking forward to it.  I’ll get all wrapped up extra-warm and we’ll shoot from the hip.  And I’ll think about midnight later.

Diabetic moment of the day

When my sugar levels drop I get shaky and I talk a lot.  I get quite hyperactive, in fact.  My Man has, in the past, diagnosed a hypo by text message from 500 miles away, because my texts were jibbering nonsense.  Even worse than usual.  This is my favourite story about Us.


Episode 19. In which we discuss ancient alien civilisations.

Posted in Internet, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , on December 30, 2008 by diabetses

I was just flicking through the Fortean Times and a thought came to me.  I spent five minutes trying to explain it to My Man then remembered my “I’d only be talking over Top Gear” tagline (although right now it’s a Firefly marathon) and I thought I’d make it my blog post for today.

You know how, in sci-fi, there’s quite often an ancient alien civilisation involved?  Like, we suddenly find out that the whole time humanity has been evolving from primordial goo, we’ve been under surveillance by some terribly evolved, intelligent, civilised race of aliens, just waiting for us to be ready for First Contact.

Well what struck me is this.

We’re off out in the universe looking for planets with ice on them, or oxygen in the atmosphere, anything at all that might concievably support life in any form.  And we’re finding things out there that indicate we might one day find something.  Maybe not something that’s there, but something that’s possible.

What if we find some primordial goo?

What if we sit and watch that primordial goo, and over millenia, and ages, it evolves into something that one day, millions of years in the future, might be considered intelligent life?  Surely we’ll be evolving too, only with tens and hundreds and thousands of thousands of years of a head-start.  When we make contact, eventually, when they’re ready, by that time, won’t we be the ancient alien civilisation?

I kind of have to believe that if anyone was out there waiting to make contact with us they’d have done it by now.  I mean, we’re not perfect, but then perfection isn’t a point on the evolutionary scale, and it’s not something that humanity should be convinced is going to happen.  There are plenty of creatures that evolved and evolved and developed and evolved and then went extinct.  We can’t be certain that it won’t happen to us one day, and even if we manage to stay alive there’s no reason to believe we’ll reach some perfect state. So for this reason, I think if an ancient alien civilisation was watching us, and if they wanted to say hi, they’d have done it by now.  Probably in the fifties when the planet was trying to stay peaceful and was pretty well prepared for an alien invasion.  Or else around Roswell time.  A nice ancient civilisation would’ve been gratefully received, I’m sure.

Anyway, so what if the only ancient alien civilisation is us?  And I’m not talking Stargate: Atlantis ancients, I don’t mean humans that split off from the rest of us millenia ago and went off to start colonies, or humans that we split off from millenia ago and created Earth as a colony.  I mean aliens.  Someone who is not the same as us, who we are not the same as.

Let’s say there was someone out there watching us.  Right now, according to the movies, they’re pretty advanced, technologically, morally and probably physically.  But where were they, and what were they doing, all those millions of years ago when they first found the primordial goo that eventually became me?

Were they standing in the kitchen making tea and toast in their pyjamas?

Diabetic moment of the day

Not today, Josephine.  Random factoid.  Apparently my life expectancy, as a diabetic, is 4 to 8 years less than that of a non-diabetic.  There’s a bloody depressing thought.  Well, my great-granny lived to be 103.  I might be able to handle that.  My grandad was a diabetic, he lived to 93.  So there.  However, since that random factoid was found in an article that is otherwise utter bullshit, from a scientific point of view (ooh, if I cook my food too hot then it’ll poison me cos I’m diabetic), then let’s just ignore the whole concept.  So really, today’s diabetic moment is finding the kind of scaremongering bollocks that people can put on the internet and claim as fact.

Remember, folks, the internet is full of shit.

Episode 18. In which the cat is over-affectionate.

Posted in Henry with tags , , , , , on December 29, 2008 by diabetses

Henry the cat has been in a funny mood lately.  Last week at one point we were a bit worried because he was very withdrawn and, although he wasn’t off his food, he wasn’t being as sociable as usual.  Apart from anything else, he’d stopped jumping on me in the morning when my alarm went, and without him miaowing in my face at 6am I slept in three times and had to rush to get ready for work.

He was alright on Christmas and Boxing Day when we had people in, but still not as sociable as usual.  He was walking around a lot, and nuzzling people for a couple of seconds, but then he kept leaving the room, presumably to find somewhere quiet to sleep.

Today he’s back to normal.  He’s jumped up on my lap at least ten times already and it’s not even half past two.  Last night he was a lot more miaowy and he jumped on the bed a couple of times in the night to wake me up.  He normally knows when I’m awake and won’t leave me alone until I acknowledge him, but last night I managed to trick him and he miaowed at me once then went to bother My Man instead.  Henry usually snuggles up to me in bed because My Man has a tendency to chuck him off (he does hog the bed, takes up a lot of space for a little mammal) but last night he left me alone.

Right now he’s snuggled up by my side, still a bit jealous of the laptop on my lap, but snuggly and friendly nonetheless.  I like it when he’s like this.  As well as the fact that everyone likes a friendly pet, it means he’s happy and healthy and loves me back.


Diabetic moment of the day

None so far, so I’ll have to hit the internet for some random factoid again.

Apparently one of the Jonas Brothers is diabetic.

Apparently the Jonas Brothers are the new Hanson.

Episode 17. In which we go flathunting

Posted in home with tags , , , , , , , on December 28, 2008 by diabetses

My Man and I are moving house in a couple of months, which I may have mentioned before, but what it means is that we have to start flathunting right about now for a place to move into.  We started looking around a couple of weeks ago but didn’t see much, and nothing perfect.  We were trying to find a private let for several reasons, not least Henry the cat, because I don’t think agencies like pets at all.  Too much like hard work or something,  Despite the fact that Henry’s the perfect cat.  He’s just lazy enough not to cause any damage, and just friendly enough not to want to destroy stuff to spite us.  He has his own armchair he sits on and he likes it.  He has a fluffy cushion to do that funny little dance on (which someone told me was him trying to induce lactation although that’s a bit weird) and he loves his litter tray.

As well as that, we’ve had some pretty rubbish experiences with letting agencies, and it is my personal opinion that they are all a terrible waste of time and money.  I have gone without heating for a week in mid-January in the north of England while the agency failed to get the heater stuck back on the wall, and when My Man was flathunting before my move down south he turned up at a viewing appointment only to be stood up.  Actually not quite stood up, someone from the agency turned up, but they had another potential tenant in tow, ignored My Man, took this other tenant in with them and by the time he got through to the office to find out what the hell was going on, the place had been given away.

I have spent some time working in service industries myself, and bad customer service is just not something I understand, and it’s not something I can forgive.  If you’re not a people person, that’s your business, but if you can’t even pretend to give a shit, then get another job.  I will never understand why these peoples’ bosses don’t have the same opinion, and why they are allowed to remain in their service industry jobs, failing to provide any form of service, as long as they feel like it.  I once saw an episode of one of those airport programmes where an Easyjet employee was on a service desk being completely useless, and when a customer got frustrated and said something along the lines of “would you just tell me what the fuck is going on?” she got all uppity and refused to help him any more.  Her line was “I don’t get paid to be spoken to like that”.  Well, yes, actually, you do.  It’s your job to be helpful, and if you’re not helpful, then you’re not doing your job, and at that point all bets are off.  It’s like your boss saying “you’re fired” and you refusing to acknowledge it because it’s not your job to be spoken to like that.

Sometimes you do get paid to be spoken to like that.  If you’re in the wrong, then quite frankly you deserve to be spoken to like that.  And if you’re not in the wrong, then you’re in the same boat as every other service industry employee, and if you can’t just put up with it, nod, smile then bitch about it in the breakroom when there’s two warehouse floors and a lift with an entry code on it between you and the customers, then Get Another Job.

The thing is, I reckon they can’t get another job.  I’m not saying that it’s easy to work in the service industries, but it is easy to get a job there, and although good customer service employees are excellent and make everyone’s lives run a lot smoother than they would otherwise, there are enough jobs out there to keep bad customer service employees in Burberry too.

Estate agents have a bad reputation, and I can’t speak for them because I’ve never bought a house.  But I can tell you that my experience of letting agents is just as bad.  I don’t want to find a flat through an agency because, for all their talk of how much easier it makes things, I’ve no intention of renting from a slumlord either and at least a private landlord won’t be adding 10% onto the rent for their own pockets and forgetting to let me know when someone else is coming round to view the flat before I move out.  That happened up north too, I got home from work about three days before I was moving out (I was halfway through packing up my clothes and had underwear strewn across the bed in an effort to decide what to keep and what to chuck) to find the door unlocked and all the lights on.  Not only had someone from the agency been in my flat, but there had been potential tenants in there.  So at least two complete random strangers saw what was still, at that point, my flat, in a complete mess, and my underwear all over the place.  And then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, they had failed to leave the place as they’d found it.  I have rarely been more angry or had my privacy violated more grotesquely.  They swore they had told me, which was clearly a lie, and swore that nobody in their agency would have left the lights on and the door unlocked.  As if I’d done it myself.  The implication being that I was either mental or a liar.  And making a fuss for the hell of it.  Anyway, that’s a fuck-up I am not willing to have repeated.  In any way.  If I do find a flat through a letting agency, and if anything remotely similar happens again, there will be legal action involved.

Anyway, yesterday I found a website that I have quite high hopes for.  I didn’t see anything about pets, which may well be because it’s assumed that pets are a no-no, but until I hear that outright, I’m not taking it to mean much of anything at all.

It is, however, a renter’s market right now, so I’m quietly confident that we’ll find a place that won’t bankrupt us in a nice enough area with a little patio garden for Kitty McCattins.  Wish me luck.

Diabetic moment of the day

I tried to eat some chocolate fingers today.  As a treat.  Turns out I don’t really like them any more.  Boo.

Episode 16. In which we celebrate House Day.

Posted in TV with tags , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2008 by diabetses

Today is House Day.  By this I mean that today My Man and I are sitting on the sofa dressed for comfort, watching episode after episode of House.  We both love House.  The first present he ever got me after we met was the Season 2 boxset, and it was perfect.

After two days of hosting Christmas festivities, we are studiously not being social this weekend.  And I’m telling you now, if anyone turns up at my door this weekend, I will make them my bitch.  I’ve fed enough people, I’ve refilled enough glasses and done enough washing up, if anyone turns up here in the next 48 hours they will be making me tea and sandwiches and quite possibly running me a bubble bath.  Just so you know.  I mean, you’re very welcome and all that.  As long as you’re comfortable making yourself at home, feel free to drop by.

In the meantime, we are watching House.

I know some people who don’t like House at all, they think it’s boring and formulaic and they just don’t get it.  However, it makes me laugh and I find it interesting and I learn stuff from it and also, once in a while, I’ve made a good guess at something that the team haven’t thought of yet.  I realise that this is because they (in their fictional world) are working through (fictional) reality to save real (fictional) lives.  I, on the other hand, am sitting on my sofa trying to find the randomest illness I can, and the weirder the better.

I don’t really understand a couple of things, though.  I don’t understand why Cameron is the only doctor in the ER, and she’s always got time to talk.  I don’t understand why Chase is the only surgeon in the OR, and he always does the surgeries despite knowing full well House has arranged them on false pretences.

The new team I have mixed feelings about.  I don’t really like the plastic surgeon guy, I don’t find him interesting.  The chick’s alright, but very moopy. I noticed just now she’s wearing braces, like over-the-shoulder braces to hold up her trousers.  I remember her doing this in the past and I really don’t think it’s an interesting enough feature for them to have latched onto.  “Oh, she’s the kind of girl who’d wear braces.”  No, not really, she’s the kind of girl who wears perfectly tailored trousers and why is she wasting what is blatantly an affectation like braces when she has to wear a lab coat over them all day?

I do, however, really like the guy that was, at one stage, described as “token ethnic minority”.  The guy from Harold and Kumar.  He’s great, he doesn’t say much at all and he was set up at the start as an idiot, the type who missed glaringly obvious clues and electrocuted himself.  But now he really doesn’t say much and when he does it’s all  fantastic House-esque insights.  He comes out with random crap that everyone laughs at then he goes and explains why it is a perfectly reasonable idea.  And even House is impressed.  Nobody seems to have noticed that he is TOTALLY the next generation Greg House, with less of a bad attitude, but I have, and if they get rid of him without acknowledging that fact then I may never quite forgive them.  By them I mean the people that make House, of course.

And now, I will leave you, in favour of crackers and cheese, A History Of Violence on TV and a cat on my lap.  Bonne journée.

Diabetic moment of the day

Last night I was asked what my Gladiator name would be.  I couldn’t think of one, but someone else came up with something along the lines of Insulon.  Insulatron.  The Insulinator.  Who knows.  It’d be good, though.


Episode 15. In which we have leftovers.

Posted in Christmas, people, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2008 by diabetses

It’s Boxing Day!  Yay!  I hope you had a lovely Christmas Day, and I hope you had a lovely Boxing Day too, since I forgo all about this blog until now, and to be honest if we didn’t have guests I’d be thinking about bed.  But we do have guests in, and I am being very rude by writing a blog post in their presence, but it won’t be a long one, and I’m sure they understand.

I don’t really have a subject to talk about today, we had a lovely day yesterday with some friends and today more people have come round for leftovers, although it was only part leftovers, and part slow-cooked gammon, which was lovely.  And now we’re sitting around watching QI and learning about Veuve Cliquot.

Today more people came round in the afternoon and we had a proper laugh in the pub (including some random little girl pointing at our table and saying “look, they’ve got two daddies!”) and then came home in time for a nice dinner of beef, turkey, gammon, boiled potatoes and bubble and squeak.  Then tiramisu and pavlova, and now we’re trying to pick a movie.

Oh, we’re not picking a movie. 😦


Diabetic moment of the day

Since it’s Christmas I’ve got a few.

  1. We watched Con Air the other night, which has the most confusing diabetic I’ve ever seen.  One character needs his ‘shot’ of insulin, or else he is going to be dead in 2 hours.  He’s apparently had regular injections every day except they missed it last night.  As far as I can make out, this means his blood sugar’s got to be too high, but from what I know of diabetes (and although that’s not inconsiderable I’m not claiming to know everything) he’s not going to die of it in 2 hours.  Given that I just went without insulin for six months and didn’t even get any ketones, I mean.  His symptoms seem to me to match low blood sugar.  He seems to be having a hypo, but if he doesn’t get insulin (which will lower his blood sugar), he’ll die in 2 hours.  Nonsense.  However, Steve Buscemi rocks.
  2. There was something else, in the pub, but I don’t remember what it was.
  3. Yesterday I ate a pile of tiramisu and a pile of pavlova, I took a total of 8 units of Novorapid over the course of the day and my blood sugar this morning was perfect.
  4. Tonight I ate a pile of tiramisu after dinner, took 6 units, and right now I’m shaky.  Bring on the pavlova.

Episode 14. In which we celebrate Christmas Day.

Posted in Christmas with tags , , , , , , on December 25, 2008 by diabetses

Merry Christmas!

I’m not going to ramble today, not here at least, because I have real live people in my living room to ramble at in real life.  They’re a captive audience, held captive by food and booze, and a shared love of Henry the cat.

I spent all of yesterday cleaning (between episodes of My So-Called Life and Crooked House, and the latest editions of Love It! and National Enquirer), and now the only things clogging up my lovely Ikea coffee table are the presents waiting for their recipients to arrive and my new camera, waiting to catch their little faces as they open them.

I wish you all as lovely a day as I intend to have myself.

Incidentally, here are the search terms that people used to find Episode 13 via Google.  This gave me a hell of a chuckle.  I wish someone had left a comment so I’d know whether or not they agreed with me.

  • The ending of survivors
  • Survivors
  • Survivors rubbish ending BBC

Diabetic moment of the day

Today I am cheating like there is no tomorrow.  Specifically, I intend to eat as much of a raspberry pavlova as I physically can.  And going by recent events, it’ll only take a few extra units of Novorapid to kick the sugar back out again.