Archive for August, 2009

Episode 111. In which I tell you all my Favourite Quotes as they appear on Facebook, and explain what they’re all about.

Posted in Internet, people, Uncategorized with tags on August 29, 2009 by diabetses

I do like quotes.  I’ll hear something that someone says and it makes me chuckle, so I try to remember it and put it in my facebook Favourite Quotes, so that I don’t forget them.  The ones that are there as of today are the following.

  • When in doubt, use jazz hands

This is just a very good motto to live by.  Of course, you have to make the choice between jazz hands and spirit fingers.  But once you’ve made your decision, stick with it, and it’ll all come good.  Please keep in mind that if you don’t do the accompanying showbiz face then your jazz hands and your spirit fingers will mean nothing at all.

  • You’re so ETHNIC

Everyone lets their heritage show sometimes, be it through vocabulary, actions or reactions.  The best thing to do when this happens is inform them of it, just so they’re aware.  Also, it promotes pride in ones roots.  Be ethnic.  Be proud.

  • Get your gay on

We all need to get our gay on from time to time.  If you need to click your fingers in a Z shape in mid-air whilst wiggling your head on your neck in a similar fashion, do it.  If you need to camp it up to accentuate your innuendo, go for it.  If you need to be with someone of the same gender as yourself to be happy, get your gay on.  All the way on.

  • A lovely dream, all about the Times Law Reports

We can’t control our dreams.  Sometimes we can nudge them in a particular direction, like if a gang of scary biker mutants is chasing you and your legs won’t move so you jump up and fly away instead (to chuck in a bit of personal information there).  Every so often you’ll dream something work-related, and that’s not cool, but just make the most of it.

  • Christ, he’s only Jesus, he’s not Paul Daniels

My little sister and I have this ongoing conversation whereby sometimes Jesus borrows my mobile to text my sister and let her know he still wants her for a sunbeam.  At one point I was explaining this to a friend, and she expressed surprise that Jesus needed to borrow a mobile, she thought he could probably just make a text message appear on my sister’s phone just like that.  Fancy thinking Jesus did magic.  Christ, I said, he’s only Jesus, he’s not Paul Daniels.

  • Rainbows and kittens and meat on a stick

I have very little recollection as to where this phrase came from.  I think it was from a friend, a list of her favourite things.  Way better than that “raindrops on windows and whiskers on kittens” or whatever that other crap was.

  • In your face, diabetic

Unfortunately for me, this is becoming more of a catchphrase than a quote.  Basically, every time something yummy is consumed that I am not allowed to eat, my good friend the expatter is all up in my grill with “in your face, diabetic”.

  • They make hot dogs out of parsnips

When the expatter came to visit me in Brighton, for the first time I think, we went to a vegetarian pub for lunch.  5olly and dotmund chose to go to a ‘normal’ pub instead, and this phrase was one of several texted to us in what was presumably a show of superiority.  The expatter’s answer was “yeah, well, in your place they make parsnips out of hot dogs”.  Which makes every bit as much sense as the first version.

  • Of course I don’t like him, he ate his wife!

This statement was made by me, it is totally not true, it is a horrible thing to say, but I said it, and the sentence makes me laugh.  The man in question did not, in fact, eat his wife, and he does not carry her fingers round in a little bag for snacks.  It’s all fictional.  The product of my diseased mind.

  • Does he stink?  Yes he does.  No he doesn’t.  Yes he does

This should be sung to the tune of the Spiderman theme tune.  From the cartoon, not the movies.  It’s a good tune to use when you’re making up songs, as I do fairly often.  This one was sung to our cat, Henry.  I said he stank.  Then I thought that was mean, so I took it back.  Then I realised that as mean as it was, it was true, so I restated the fact.  That is all.

  • It’s granola, it’s not a fucking souffle

I like homemade granola.  At one point I was making some and I wasn’t sure if it was done, so I went to check on it.  5olly told me to be careful, maybe I shouldn’t open the oven before it’s ready.  As I said, it’s granola, not a fucking souffle.

  • I always get Eels and Elbows mixed up

The bands, he meant.

  • Mr: “I like the Kings of Leon, I couldn’t say why though”
    Me: “I couldn’t either”

This is self-explanatory.  I wouldn’t know the Kings of Leon if I fell over them, but I couldn’t resist a little dig.  It’s my way.

  • Me: “Why are we watching this?”
    Mr: “It’s either this or Extreme Fishing with Robson Green”

Sometimes all your choices suck.

  • Monster Jam! It’s like strawberry jam! BUT BIGGER!!!

He likes Monster Jam.  Me?  Not so much.

  • 6. What did you have for breakfast?
    Drugs in a bowl with milk and sugar.

This was someone’s answer to one of those stupid facebook quizzes.  I like it, though.

Diabetic Moment of the Day

Not today, not a lot, I feel weird, I feel like I used to feel when I was about 20 and had a hangover, which is not pleasant but not the worst I’ve ever felt, and yet given that I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol since I had one bottle of San Miguel with dinner about two weeks ago, it’s Freaking Me Out.

Episode 110. In which I discuss journalism, and journalists.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on August 10, 2009 by diabetses

Firstly, I apologise for the delay on this, it gets a bit serious in the middle and I wasn’t able to write it in one sitting, I just couldn’t find the words.  Not that it ended up any good, but this is just my opinion anyway, so what does it matter?

On 12 March 1996 I had a PE class in which we played volleyball.  I enjoyed volleyball, for some reason I was very good at it, but in this class a girl called Sarah and I both went for the same ball and clashed, and I went down on a badly twisted ankle.  I refused the offer of a wheelchair, not particularly wanting to go through the other half of the gym hall, in which the boys in the year above me were playing football, on what was essentially a normal blue canvas chair with wheels screwed onto the legs, and because I was going through a phase of wearing hiking boots (in the absence of a job to buy myself a pair of Docs) my ankle was well supported and I lasted the rest of the day as normal.

13 March 1996 was a cold day and the ground was icy.  There may have been the remnants of some snow on the ground that had frozen solid into spiky yet slippery terrain, and so I managed to persuade my parents to let me stay home.  It was a long walk to school, all up and down steep hills without handrails, so I stayed home and wrapped my ankle in a bandage soaked in Witch Hazel, and kept it propped up on the coffee table.

Around lunchtime reports started popping up of something awful happening in a primary school in Dunblane.  On that day, Thomas Hamilton walked into a primary school and murdered 16 children and one adult, injuring several others.  He fired 109 bullets, presumably including the one he used to kill himself.

The “Dunblane Massacre” as Wikipedia calls it (in conversation it’s referred to as “Dunblane” or “at Dunblane”) hit me hard.  It was the first event of its kind I’d seen.  And it happened while I was sitting on my arse whining about my sore ankle less than 70 miles away.  That it happened in a primary school is doubly awful because not only were very young children the victims, but very young children were the survivors, left to deal with what had happened and the fact that they could have been closer to a violent death than many of us will ever be.

A few months ago some journalists befriended some of the survivors of the ‘massacre’ on facebook and very shortly thereafter articles appeared in the tabloids stories of how they were betraying the memories of their fallen classmates, by drinking and smoking and having sex, and talking about drinking and smoking and having sex.  And boasting about drinking and smoking and having sex.

I can hardly even bring myself to address this issue.  The journalists involved are the worst kind of scum. I believe they should be sacked and never allowed to make their own decisions for the rest of their lives.  That they think it is appropriate to give the children that lived through a gun massacre a hard time for being 17 years old and acting like they’re 17 years old, and that they think that’s news, would imply that they are completely lacking in any kind of soul, morals or talent in their chosen field.

When I was growing up, there was a girl in the year above me who I barely knew, but she lived near my best friend so we were acquaintances, through primary school and high school.  Friendly acquaintances, I mean, we didn’t hang around together or make plans to meet up but if we bumped into each other on the way home from school we’d walk together, have a chat, I distinctly remember helping her fix her Walkman once, she couldn’t get the battery backing bit open.

When I was seventeen, a few months before I turned 18, she committed suicide.  She’d left school at this point so I no longer saw her around, and we’d not stayed in touch, never having been friends as such.  I come from a very small town and that kind of thing didn’t happen a lot, hadn’t happened at all in my memory, it hit people hard and for the first time suicide became something less than an abstract concept for me.  I couldn’t get my head around what would lead someone to do that.  It’s not that I was unsympathetic, far from it, but I’d never had cause to wonder about a particular person, who I kind of knew, and it’s not like I was thinking “of all the people I know I thought she was the least suicidal one,” it’s that I had never thought of suicide in any context I had any experience of.

One day when I was walking home, two men approached me and asked me if I had a school yearbook for the previous year.  I didn’t, but I suggested they ask the teacher who was the yearbook editor type person.  At this point they looked at each other and one got out his press pass, and held it up, smug as you like.  I think I was supposed to be impressed.  Maybe I was supposed to offer to obtain the yearbook they wanted.  What actually happened was I wondered what they wanted, realised that they were trying to find out about the girl who had recently died.  This realisation, combined with the look of utter self-assurance on that wanker’s face, disgusted me beyond belief, and I walked on.

Shortly before my own sixth year finished, the journalists were back.  A feature appeared in the Daily Record about towns where the teenagers were out of control.  One of them was my hometown.  Apparently the teenagers in my hometown (i.e. me and my friends) were drunken louts. We hung around in the town square, and jumped onto passing cars in an attempt at bonnet-surfing, screaming obscenities the whole way.  One boy, who had a car, drove around slowly taking booze orders from the others, before driving to an off-licence and coming back laden down with alcoholic goodies.  There was a photo and everything, with part of the registration number pixelated out.

Everything kicked off shortly thereafter.  What started it all was the mother of the boy in the car, whose car was in the picture, taking offence at the article.  The boy had actually stopped to talk to his friends and, if memory serves, the other members of his football team, which had just finished playing in the school gym hall.  He took orders alright, and drove straight off to the nearest McDonalds to bring back their burgers and fries – unhealthy maybe, but nothing illegal or dangerous about it.  And as for the bonnet-surfing, a car had clipped a boy who was crossing the road, he landed on his hands on the bonnet and, fair enough, swore at the driver to be more careful.

That year, we produced an official yearbook and an unofficial yearbook. The official version had caricatures on the cover of that year’s 6th years.  The unofficial version had that very article on the back cover, and on the front cover was a collage of various controversial newspaper and magazine clippings.

But back to the journalists.

I’ve had one personal experience with journalists, in which they tried to get me to help them dig up dirt on a friend (because she certainly counted as a friend in that situation) who had gone through something (and to this day I don’t know what, it’s not my business just like it’s not yours) that she couldn’t bring herself to survive.

I’ve had one second-hand experience with journalists, in which they created a work of fiction, or possibly a “dramatisation based on real events,” that involved slandering my friends and classmates to make the point that me and mine were awful people, purely because of our age.

This Dunblane thing disgusted me beyond words. Teenagers will behave like teenagers, they have the right to do it, and say “I told you so” if you want, but don’t pretend you behaved any better at the same age. If you did, you were in the minority and probably spent most of your time wishing you weren’t.  If someone’s gone through something like those children went through, and still managed to grow up to behave like a normal teenager, then as far as I’m concerned they should get their very own park bench to drink on, they shouldn’t be held up as failures, in some sorry excuse for news with a filthy undertone of “did they deserve to survive, given how they turned out?”.

I’m sorry this has taken me a while to post, and I’m sorry that it’s utterly, utterly abysmally written.  I don’t really know how to express myself on this point.  It’s all a bit emotive, for several reasons that I hope I’ve vaguely shaded in, if not properly explained.

My point is this. If you’re going to be a journalist, try to maintain some kind of humanity while you do it. By all means, tell us what’s going on in the world. But don’t dig up dirt on the victim, that’s a very rapey thing to do. Don’t make up lies about the innocent, that’s a very corrupt and lazy thing to do.  And don’t act holier-than-thou, that shows a shocking lack of self-awareness and understanding of both your subject and your audience.

Diabetic moment of the day

Today I tried to make cookies with honey instead of sugar.  They’re not very nice, but they’ve got honey in so I’ll still be eating them.  And the flat smells of warm cinnamon now.  I also bought reduced sugar raspberry jam, so that’s breakfast sorted all week.