Episode 114. In which First Capital Connect are rubbish.

Posted in rant, trains with tags , , , , , , on November 14, 2009 by diabetses

Firstly, let me clarify that First Capital Connect, or FCC, or Effin’CC as I now call them, are rubbish at all times.  Almost constantly, fairly consistently, possibly to the death, you can rely on FCC to be rubbish.

Recently, though, they’ve outdone themselves.  I live in Brighton and work in the City of London, I rely heavily on FCC.  I don’t feel that’s unreasonable, I am only relying on them to do what it is they are paid to do, what they have a contract to do, what they, as an organisation, exist to do.

About three weeks ago they started mysteriously cancelling trains due to staff shortages.  Maybe it’s swine flu, I thought, or just bad management, too many people off on holiday.

Over the course of weeks and weeks of unreliable and overcrowded services, it finally became clear what was going on, and I was astounded at the stupidity.  It wasn’t a strike per se, but a lot of drivers were refusing to work overtime and days off.

Surely that shouldn’t be a big deal.  Oh, but it is.  Because FCC do not have enough drivers on the payroll to run its trains, unless they all volunteer to work overtime and days off.

Now that’s just ridiciulous.  It’s anyone’s right not to work more than their contracted hours, building your entire company on everyone always working extra time is idiotic.  Also, do I like the idea that my train is being driven by a guy on his fourth overtime shift of the week?  Not so much!

On Thursday 12th and Friday 13th November it all kicked off.  As I understand it, on Thursday basically everyone refused to do extra shifts, and by Friday it was an official strike action.  I saw notices about this on Wednesday night, so like the smart cookie I am, I prepared for it.  I checked what was going on online, made sure I knew what was and wasn’t running.  On Wednesday night I was asleep by 9pm, and awake by 5am on Thursday morning.  I made the sandwiches, got all dolled up, suited and booted, because I had a job interview.  I checked online what the latest situation was and decided that as my usual train was cancelled I’d go for the one before it, which was definitely running.

In the time between me checking one last time as I left the flat, and reaching the station, that train was cancelled.

And the info desk was crowded, whilst the info man explained that he knows how frustrating it is, but you see, management aren’t offering a pay deal!

I may or may not have mentioned this, but I am being made redundant.  I have my job for the time it will take to complete the planned restructure, and then I will be surplus to requirements.  I love my job, and I am very good at it, and therefore I get up every day and spend an hour and a half on a train, knowing I’ll spend another hour and a half on another train to get home after a day’s work.  Five days a week, I give up twelve hours of the day, even though it is no longer an investment in anything at all.

So it is hard for me not to tell info guy exactly why I do not care for his troubles, and expect to be conducted to my workplace as was agreed when I bought my season ticket.

First Capital Connect, as far as I am aware, do not care what their customers think of them.  They are generally unreliable, unless you rely on random cancellations, delays and rolling stock that is quite frankly just nasty.  So this strike, which is putting thousands of customers to massive inconvenience every day – in what way is it a punishment for FCC management, or incentive for them to do better?  If FCC were going to listen to the customers, and therefore do whatever it takes to ge the trains running, then they would probably also be inclined to keep the customer happy by just being better on a day to day basis.

It’s the commuters who are suffering, whilst FCC continue to sell tickets and season tickets despite not running most of their trains, and therefore not incurring the associated costs.  When trains don’t do extra shifts, FCC doesn’t have to *pay* for extra shifts.

Maybe that’s the plan.  Maybe they’re saving up until they have enough put aside to afford a better pay deal.  Maybe they’re saving up until they can afford to hire enough drivers to do what they’re paid for.

Frankly, I don’t care.  I can’t trust FCC, I can’t rely on them, and there is a very real possibility that my future travel needs will be met by Southern trains in conjunction with London Buses.  Yes, that will be inconvenient and a general pain in the arse, but I do have a tendency towards grudges where abysmal customer service is concerned.

Diabetic moment of the day

I had my swine flu jab today, what with being all delicate and all.  I am very impressed by the fact that I hardly felt the injection at all.  I mean I felt it, I’m not made of stone, but it hurt less than the seasonal flu jab, and an awful lot less than the pneumonia jab, which was closer to what I was expecting.  However, I do have the sore arm that I had expected from reports in the news and from friends.

But I’d rather have a sore arm than swine flu, that’s for damned sure.

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Episode 113. In which we have an unexpected visitor.

Posted in home, people with tags , , , on November 7, 2009 by diabetses

Imagine you’re fast asleep, wrapped up cosy in bed, with your other half wrapped up fast asleep beside you.  The cat’s on the end of the bed purring like a lawnmower.

You hear a noise at the door.  You’re half-asleep, you think maybe it’s the postman.  Yeah, it’s early, not light yet, and the postman doesn’t come til lunchtime if he comes at all, but maybe he’s making an early start to get through the backlog after the strike action.

Then you hear a key in the door.  You jerk fully awake and think the landlord’s coming in.  You’ve had no warning.  The landlord’s cool, you can’t think why he might try to come into your flat at who-knows-what o’clock in the morning, without notice, but who else has a key?

It becomes clear that whoever is trying to get in is using the wrong key.  You get out of bed, chuck on your dressing gown and peek round the bedroom door and see whoever it is through the front door window.  The front porch light’s come on and you can see it’s nobody you know.

You go to the door and the following conversation ensues.

You: Mate, you’re at the wrong door.

Man moans in a questioning tone.

You: Your key doesn’t fit, man, cos this isn’t your door.

Man: Let me in.

You look down and see the man has stepped up onto the doorframe, feet in the door.  Bare feet in the door.  And he’s wearing shorts.  You see a pile of clothes behind him and realise he’s taken his shoes, socks and trousers off.  You become very aware that you are, essentially, semi-naked, and although there’s a big strong man you trust with your life ten feet away, the man in front of you has taken his trousers off and is pushing the door to get in.

You: You’re not coming in.  What house are you looking for?

Man: *shrugs* Twenty-three, twenty-four?

You: This is thirteen. It’s not your house. You’re not coming in.

Man: Come on, let me in, it’s my house.

You: It’s not. That’s why your key doesn’t work. You’re not coming in.

Man steps off the doorframe and you shut the door.

Man spends a few minutes trying to get his key out of the door, cos it’s well jammed in there, him having been so convinced it was his house.

You stand the other side of the door waiting for him to go away, as he drunkenly struggles into his trousers, socks and shoes, and staggers away.

You go back to bed to find your other half in the process of getting dressed to come and back you up.

Other half: What time is it?

You: Half five.

Other half: Jesus, how pissed was he?!

You: You know, although that could’ve potentially turned really nasty, it’s actually very funny.

Other half: *snore*

Diabetic moment of the day

Nothing.  It’s all good.  And also, I just got up.

Episode 112. In which I talk about X-Factor.

Posted in TV with tags on November 2, 2009 by diabetses

I freely admit I watch the X-Factor.  Start to finish, audition to golden confetti exploding out of the sky.  It’s either a really lame congratulatory shower for the winner of God thanking himself for having created Dermot O’Leary.

*sigh*

Anyway.

This year’s gone a bit wrong.  John and Edward.  I do not understand why they continue to appear on my TV.  Louis Walsh seems to adore them, wittering on constantly about “The Likeability Factor,” which to my mind proves the sparkly little leprechaun needs to lay off the rainbows.  John and Edward have the likeability factor, he says.  Danyl doesn’t, he says.  What Louis has forgotten is that this concept of The Likeability Factor is supposed to refer to how the general public might react, not Louis himself.  He’s fooled himself into believing that this is the same thing as what he likes.

Just for the record, Louis Walsh does not speak for me, he does not understand me, in fact his brain must be wired in a mirror image to mine.

John and Edward are lovely boys, they say, they’re sweet and warm and cheerful in the house shared by contestants.

I don’t really care.  They can’t sing.  They can’t dance.  I’ll stop short of saying they look awful for fear that a KitKat advert will kick in and they’ll go a long way.  But they’re not pop stars, and they never will be.

When they perform it feels like watching a really bad school talent show, the kind where everyone deserves a turn.  One of them’s always getting right in amongst it while the other flails around looking for a cue to where he’s meant to be, doing what move and singing what song.  I don’t even know which one’s which.  Or whether it’s always the same one flailing or whether they take turns.

I won’t deny they look like they’re having fun, it’s clearly a dream come true for them.  But not in an undiscovered genius way.  More in a Jim’ll Fix It way.

And what gets me the most about the whole thing, while fully grown men and women egg them on and vote for them to remain in the competition because they think it’s funny, is that people who are genuinely talented are being sent home into obscurity while John and Edward dance around like they ate all the blue Smarties.  I actually find it quite offensive.

The other week Miss Frank and Danyl were in the bottom two, and had to sing for survival.  Both of them had performed brilliantly throughout the competition and especially so on the night, and neither deserved to leave.

I like the X-Factor because I get to see talented people singing and dancing, people who can entertain.  But now it’s a popularity contest with no regard paid to what got the contestants onto the stage, it’s a farce, and a waste of everyone’s time.

That said, I could not bear Rachel and was glad to see her go.

Again, she was, apparently, a total sweetheart, kind and all-round lovely.

I wouldn’t know, I never met the girl, all I know is every week she got up on that stage and pissed me off.

She would squint her eyes in a way that I think was meant to look relaxed and sleepy, but it just looked like she was squinting.

She would sing a bit then look at the camera, wrinkly her nose and smile, like a diva in concert sharing a moment with the audience because they all know what’s coming next, and it’s her trademarked key change, or dance move, or 8-octave arpeggio in five seconds down.  But listen, Rachel, I don’t know you, you don’t know me, we’re not sharing a moment, and although I’ve no idea what’s coming next, judging by past performance it’s going to be more of the same.

I’m aware that all the guest judges loved her, and that’s great.  But maybe she wasn’t performing for them, but just singing for them.  Maybe her singing voice is spectacular.  I couldn’t get that far, I just wanted her to stop trying to nudge and wink me, she was like an intrusive old lady at the bus stop.  The kind that makes you start working out how long it would take just to walk home instead.

One week, Rachel wasn’t in the bottom two.  She got all excited and started talking like Stacey.

I love Stacey, I really do, I think she’s too ditzy to have a bad bone in her body, I think she sings beautifully and looks amazing.

But Rachel doing  a Stacey impression, it gave me the rage.  Maybe that was a genuinely excited version of Rachel.  But we’ve seen her through every stage of the competition, from audition to eviction, and I never saw her do that before.

Here’s what it all comes down to.  So is just so very, very contrived.

All her little trademark moves are moves she picked up off someone else,and quite frankly that’s both annoying and violation of copyright. Metaphorically speaking.

I wouldn’t care if she had no trademark moves.  I have no trademark , I’m dull as dishwater.  But everyone has one thing they cannot abide, something that just gives them the rage, right away, no build-up, no progression from mild irritation through consternation to frustrated ire.  What I cannot bear is people whose every move is contrived.

I don’t doubt Rachel is a sweetheart, I’m sure she did the dishes every day and ironed John and Edward’s hair for them and read Joe and Lloyd a bedtime story every single night.

But Little Voice has been done.

Next.

Diabetic moment of the day

Today’s diabetic moment is more of a temptation.  I wanted a doughnut So Badly this morning.  I didn’t eat one, of course.  But I wanted to.  Really, really wanted to.

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.

Episode 109. In which I discuss current affairs.

Posted in people, Uncategorized on June 27, 2009 by diabetses

The fact is I haven’t blogged in a long time.  I don’t even know how long.  But a long time.  The other day something happened that I had an opinion of that I thought was blogworthy, and I thought I’d fire this monster up and get it going again.  Then more things happened, so this is a combination post.  Two deaths and an assault.

It has not been a nice news week.

So here it is.  Chronologically.

Perez Hilton.

Perez Hilton has made his career out of being nasty about people, making snide, petty comments about people, about their looks or their careers or their talents or their social lives, being judgmental and generally horrible about people.  This week, after quite some time spent being horrible about the Black Eyed Peas, he was at an event they were at, some things were said, and some guy with the BEP crowd punched Perez.

Perez called the police, they didn’t come quickly enough so Perez tweeted that he’d been assaulted, posted pictures online, and now he’s suing for assault and, I believe, humiliation.

I have a problem with this.

Assault is not OK.  Nobody should get hit.  I’m a firm believer in people having done unto them what they’ve done unto others, particularly where the victim was innocent and/or defenceless and/or smaller and/or had reason to expect better of the attacker, but in an ideal world nobody would get hit in the first place and therefore nobody would need to get hit back.

However, humiliation?  Really?  You’re going to sue someone for humiliating you, when the reason the whole world is aware of what happened is because you told them?  When you posted pictures on the internet so everyone could look at you?  When everything that you have achieved in the last however many years was done on the back of humiliating other people?  I don’t think so.  You can take that and shove it, Perez, you’re a publicity hound.

Apparently he actually said he didn’t tweet for the publicity.  Who on earth is fooled by that?  If you text your friends, that’s one thing.  If you tweet your X thousand followers (I do not care enough to check how many he actually has, I’m not one of them) knowing full well that amongst those followers are (at least) several journalists, then it is your fault when people find out about the fact that you got twatted as a direct result of your bullying.

In conclusion, if Perez Hilton gets any damages out of the humiliation side of this law suit, then the law’s an ass.

Hilton’s a hypocrite regardless of the outcome.

Farrah Fawcett.

Farrah Fawcett passed away on Thursday, after a long battle with anal cancer.  I don’t know anything about this woman at all, I know of a couple of roles she played as an actress and that her hairstyle was iconic.  However, knowing so little about her makes it all the more tragic to me, somehow.  Any death is awful, of course, and the sooner someone finds a way to stop people dying of cancer, which is a vicious disease, the better.  But in Farrah Fawcett, I’m not mourning an actress, because I wasn’t a fan of her work.  I’m not mourning a fashion icon, because I never actually liked her hairstyle.  I’m mourning a woman who, despite being massively famous, I never heard anything about other than the two things I just mentioned.  Famous people who are famous these days without being scandalous, or publicity whores, who are just well-known without coming across as desperate for attention, are rare.  And it makes me respect all the more those who maintain a life in the real world, or at least not in the tabloids.

Don’t get me wrong, not being a massive fan I’m not in actual mourning.  But I can respect her as a human being who went through something awful and she is in my thoughts.

Michael Jackson.

On Thursday, Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest, seemingly without warning, at the age of 50.  And now half the world’s gone all weird.

I was never a Michael Jackson fan.  I did not like his music, and I thought he danced like a twat.  If, right now, you’re thinking anything that starts with the word ‘but’ then I would ask you to just stop right there.  Whatever you’re about to finish with, whatever achievement or memory or innovation you’re about to spit out, that’s what he was to YOU, not to ME, and this being the internet, I’ve just as much right to an opinion as anyone else.  You may think I’m wrong but then I think you chose a role model based on weirdness.

I have no idea whether Michael Jackson was guilty or innocent of the things he was accused of.  I do know, however, that he was seemingly incapable of living in the real world.  He was lucky, privileged, talented if you were a fan, he had everything he could have wanted, and instead of making himself a life anyone would be envious of, he insisted on constructing a fantasy world to live in.  Not content with being too good to spend his life in an office or on a building site or in a call centre, he decided he was too good to breathe our air.

He had his troubles recently and he leaves behind him three small children, who will now have to learn what the real world is in the absence of the father who prevented them from having to live in it while he was around.  I am not happy he died, I do not laugh at his death, I do not take this opportunity to accuse him of the most horrific of crimes, because I genuinely do not know whether he was accused justly or whether his own lack of ability to handle reality was turned against an innocent man by opportunists.

Neither am I wearing sack cloth and ashes, wailing in the street, crying on NBC or holding a vigil in his honour.

I did not know the man.  Let’s be honest, nobody knew the man.  To put a definition on ‘knowing Michael Jackson’, if you never met him and he never called you by name, or remembered your existence when you were out of earshot without being reminded of it, then you didn’t know him either.  He was utterly unique and he constructed a world around himself that few can comprehend in itself, never mind translate what was on the other side of it into the terminology of the life that the vast majority of us know.

I read an interview this week with a man who claimed to have known Michael Jackson, and he said they’d sneaked him out of his hotel to wander around shops and suchlike, because he was so eager to know how it felt to be normal.  He had every opportunity to feel normal.  Britney Spears is huge, she used to be massive for her music, then her scandalous lifestyle, now her efforts to get back on the straight and narrow, but she still goes to Starbucks.  The Queen still goes to Ascot and holds hands with her husband to sing Auld Lang Syne and breathes the same air as her subjects.  Michael Jackson wore a surgical mask, and allegedly slept in an oxygen tank, and called all three of his children after himself.

I do not mourn Michael Jackson for the things he did which people have interpreted as the miracles required for his sanctification.  His children are in my thoughts, and I am not happy he died, but I am not capable of putting either his life or his death into a context that relates even vaguely to my own sphere of reference, and so the outpourings of grief strike me as ridiculous.

That’s just my opinion.
And that’s the kind of week it takes to get me to blog again.

Diabetic moment of the day

Today I had a caramel frappucino from Starbucks.  It was sugary, but it was icy and it was lovely.  Today was a hot day and I am sunburned.  But I am not sunstroked, because I had my caramel frappucino.  And I’d do it again.

Episode 108. In which I get jetlagged without going anywhere.

Posted in general health with tags , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by diabetses

The clocks changed on Saturday night/Sunday morning.  Society is now trying to convince me that it’s half past eight, when in fact it’s half past seven.  We sprung forward, that’s what we did.

For some reason, I have not taken to this well At All.  I have a splitting headache, and my brain is just mashed, I am out of my gourd right now, not thinking straight, or even wobbly, not even zigzag, my thought patterns are just everywhere.

A few years ago I went to New York on holiday.  The jetlag hit me very hard, I did not take to it well, I was wrecked for about 20 hours of every day I was away.  I think I’m a bit vulnerable to time changes.  It’s never hit me this hard before, but My Man’s had a horrible cold and felt rough all week, so I think I might have a wee touch of that, not enough to actually make me ill, just enough to bitchslap me upside the head so I lose my place in the space-time continuum.

I hope you all sprang forward with a little more grace than I did.

Diabetic moment of the day

I don’t have time for diabetes today.  I need to go to bed.