Blog Links Just some of the great blogs I keep stumbling on. Go for an explore, and if you see any really good ones, let me know...
- the hottest blogger I know. - I hate knitting. However, I love this blog. Who'd have thought? - If you ask me, it's perpetual brilliance! - 'nuff said. Inspired - inspiring.
- ...into light. Xenouveau - Her from Sadisticland. All Geek To Me - Fun from Scout Finch.
Elven Sarah - Witty and weird, a bit like me (but witty). Sedgefield - A nice blog, which may have died from meme deficiency... - A great lady had a great blog. Hopefully it returns...
superphase - A stick hero for the masses...
Sadly, we have been given the cold Shoulder. - a great blog from the continent, nice and warm there. - Not indulgent any more.
She Speaks - The star-crossed lover is now silent.
Organic Feminism - A tremendous blog. Even though she calls me Scoots *shudder*
You can no longer get your soup fix from souplover.
Well, I nearly fell off the site bus trying to navigate the door with a trolley. Through stifled laughter, one of my colleagues reminded me of a similar incident.
I was working in London, commuting by train on Mondays and Fridays. I needed to get the tube between Euston and Liverpool Street, with my luggage, before returning to Tottenham Court Road (for some reason, I was told I couldn't take my bags straight to the hotel). One Friday, I was heading back to Euston, first on the Central Line. It was extremely busy, so I was stuck by the door with my enormous wheeled case. The train arrived at Banks, and I had to step off to let other travellers out, lugging this beast of a case with me. There was a larger gap than normal, and when I lifted the case back onto the train, my foot slipped, and I plunged between the train and the platform.
Luckily I was wearing a rucksack, which stopped me reaching the live rail and becoming a barbeque. Everyone in the train leapt forward to my aid, which surprised me, it being London and all, and in moments I was back on my feet and on the train. Just in time, because the door closed right behind me, and the iron behemoth began to rumble forwards. I was none the worse for my adventures, except for a couple of nasty bruises on my legs.
I thought you'd want me to share this event. I don't know, the number of times I've had exciting stuff like this happen, you'd be forgiven for thinking that I'm doomed to gamble on the craps table of death until I lose...
Today I have taken my first step back towards the mainstream of society.
I'm still an outsider, a freak, only now I'm one of "those bike freaks". The ostracised community who wear tight lycra shorts and waterproof jackets, and spend a whole train journey in the guards van, talking about gears and stuff.
Of course, I don't have lycra shorts. Yet. I'm using an old pair of nylon trousers, and changing when I arrive at work. Unfortunately, I've lost quite a bit of weight since I last wore these trousers (more on that in the FANTASTIC blog), and they hang off me in an odd way. I suspect they'll drop off altogether whilst I'm maneuvring the bike up one of the many flights of stairs, leaving my undergarments (or lack thereof, depending on my mood) on display for the whole commuting world.
Photos of this event will no doubt grace the cover of every newspaper in the civilized world, so keep a look out.
So, I went for a test ride yesterday, down to the station and back. Just to make sure I could actually do it. There wouldn't be much point pushing the bike the whole way. The chain only came off necessitating five minutes of jiggling, swearing and lifting to get it back on. By and large though, all went well. I might even get a lie in tomorrow, if 6am can be counted as such.
Of course the train was delayed this morning. I spent the first half of the journey talking to a "bike freak", a friendly chap, who was telling me about his cycling adventures. I'll no doubt see him tomorrow, although he only gets the same train when it's raining. The second half was spent worrying about someone stealing the rusty contraption, when I left it in the guards van to sit down.
The legacy of the scooter lives on. Someone at work said to me: "such and such saw you on your scooter on friday." FREE ME FROM THIS HELL!!!
WARNING! THIS BLOG CONTAINS DUBIOUS IMAGERY! IF YOU ARE OF A SENSITIVE DISPOSITON, PLEASE LOOK AWAY NOW!
Still here? Thought so...
A couple of things in this one. Firstly, I went with my dad to get a bike yesterday. I thought a folding bike would be the best option, so it's easier to get on and off trains, so we visited the nearest bike chain (lol). They told us "We can get folding bikes in, but we have none in stock, sorry." Of course, this was quite a problem, as I need it for tomorrow. I asked where I might get one, and it was like asking how much a plumbing job would cost. Lots of inverted whistling, followed by "There's a place 30 miles away, but don't hold your breath"... We returned to the house, and I decided to look through the yellow pages. Lo and behold, a local bike shop just around the corner. I called them, and it was a J.R.Hartley moment;"Yes we've got some folding bikes in." So we walked down there, tried them out, and decided they were too expensive, and no good for what I need. So, the fall-back plan was initiated - A half hour drive to my sisters to get her bike. On the way, sat in the passenger seat of my Dad's saloon, as we drove under the treecover, I was inexplicably gripped by an intense feeling of melancholy. I haven't had the feeling in a while, and it surprised me. It relented after a while, but I can feel it in the background, teasing at the loose thread of my mind, threatening to unravel the whole thing. It's effectively stopped me from doing anything I was supposed to this weekend. Unfortunately, I can't put my finger on what's causing it. There are plenty to choose from, some of which I'll go into in my FANTASTIC blog, so I suppose it could be a combination of things.
Which brings me to thongs, and if you followed that link, you should probably seek counselling, because there wasn't one!
I was toying with the idea of a thong entry, but xaos' blog tipped me over the edge, and here it is...
Women in Thongs I've heard different opinions on this, that women feel sexier in them, that men find women sexier in them, only sluts wear them, and so on. I must admit I do get a certain buzz seeing a thong peep over a woman's legwear, although I do tend to get excited at the drop of a hat! It's more the awareness of what's going on beneath the fabric that enthralls me. Having said that, I've seen a couple of women in thongs recently who really should have avoided them, not to mention the thin white leggings stretched over their gargantuan backsides...
Men in Thongs Now this is a different matter. A lot of people I've spoken to regard men wearing thongs as a big mistake. Women particularly seem to find the whole idea quite humourous. Now I don't understand what the difference is, except for the man's posterior being slightly larger. It smacks to me of sexism, like the wearing of dresses, and getting cheap car insurance. I personally quite like thongs. I tried my first one a couple of months ago, and I really liked it. It kept things under control, if you catch my meaning. They can be uncomfortable if you're sat for long periods, particularly when driving, but that doesn't really refer to me any more! I wonder if it's a subconscious reason for my car smash?
So, in the interests of science, I'm after some opinions on this. Can women wear thongs? Can men wear thongs? What are they like if they do?
I need to lie down now, all this talk of underwear has left me woozy...
There. That feels better. Of course, that's not my real name (only a select few will ever find that out), and "blogaholic" isn't a real word (keep checking the dictionaries), but it's a fair point nonetheless.
I've been spending a lot of time on the tagboard since I arrived at Blog Drive, to the extent that I've had conversations with myself, and noone thinks I sleep.
I do sleep. No, really, I do. I snooze on the train to and from work (6:45 to 7:55 and 17:00 to 18:30), and I lie in bed from 12:30am to 5:40am, during which time I'm fairly sure some snoring goes on (yes, sadly I snore, a gentle purr, like a big cat who's just settled down for a nap after guzzling antelope burgers. I know I do this because I was awake once when it happened).
I do spend too much time online. I now say "lol" in conversation, and most of my keyboard keys have gone shiny from overuse. It's easy to explain. I have some baggage, which I'll go into in my FANTASTIC blog, but the upshot is that I don't live near any of my friends, so I don't really go out, except with my Dad when I go to stay. The internet is pretty much my only social contact at the moment, and I can see how easy it is to get hooked. I speak to people online who use it even more than me, and that worries me dreadfully...
btw, if you want me to keep my baggage to myself, best let me know, cause the FANTASTIC blog is nearing completion...
I don't just blog when I'm online;
There's a cracking chat program called Worlds, where you have an articulated avatar in a 3D environment.
I'm in a gaming clan, and although I pretty much never play the game in question any more, I've got lots of MSN contacts who like to be silly in my general direction.
I play other games online, like Yahoo Pool.
And of course I'm a loyal fan of Strong Bad, the tiny, pot-bellied, shirtless, boxing-gloved, mexican wrestling mask wearer!
I actually met a good friend online. We met in a pub halfway between our homes, each with escape plans worked out, in case the other was a psycho murderer. Now we get along like a house on fire. No murders or anything.
The thing is, I do know I use it too much. Self-awareness is the first step to cure...
I should really wean myself off it. When certain baggage items are resolved, I may have limited access anyway. In the mean time, I'll carry on as I am, until my eyes shrivel up and drop out.
That's both of my eyes. Just one doesn't count. (that way I can soak it and pop it back in before the other one falls out too.)
And you get to watch my brain liquefy from the comfort of your own home!
My ankles hurt./ All the time.
Forget the near misses with lorries.
Forget the people re-living their youth vicariously through me with their playground taunts (I was going to put "tauntery" here, but it's not strictly a word lol).
Forget that a kerb edge of half an inch, or a gap between flagstones will send me hurtling over the handlebar.
Forget that the Ticket inspector on the train thought it was discarded tat.
It's my ankles.
For that reason alone, I am determined that today will be my last on the scooter.
I won't deny it's had its advantages. For a start, it's a lot quicker than walking. I'm getting as much exercise as a run of half the distance. There's a huge rush when you roll downhill at immense speed, wind howling around your face, wondering if the teeny brake will stop you before you reach the road below.
Although I hate it, I have become rather attached to it (especially when I'm wearing loose clothing lol), and it seems fitting that I mark the end of our love-hate-drop-fall relationship.
I've been considering the options:
I could hurl it from a bridge into the murky depths of the river below. Obviously very symbolic.
I could place it on a cermonial viking longboat, set it on fire, and push it out to sea.
I could cut it into tiny pieces and eat it, like that crazy french guy from the 80s who ate a plane. Probably with some fava beans and a nice chianti fuhfuhfuhfuhfuhfuhf
I could sell it or give it away to someone who really wants a scooter.
I could return it to my parents' shed, muddied and battleweary, ready to be called upon again if I crash my bike.
Hmmm. I quite like the idea of 2, but I can't decide. Any suggestions?
EARLIER: Another handwritten blog Lets face it, not much else to do.
I don't have an image to reflect my mood. I'd probably only end up using one anyway - "Sullen"! To be honest with you, I'm sick to the eye teeth. Why do some people find it necessary to ridicule pretty much every aspect of my personality, on a regular bassis? In the space of two hours today, I've had to withstand jibes and practical jokes revolving around my car crash, my us of a scooter (I'll let that one go), and my short films. I tried to laugh it off, as usual, and they seemed to believe it, as usual, but when you'rewounded with enough barbs and cutting comments, your sould starts to bleed. My stomach is twisted in knots right now, and it'll take longer than last time to recover. Eventually, I fear, I won't recover at all, having to live with the pain until my heart chokes on the bile. I haven't felt this bad in a while, and I pray to the god of lucky stuff that they don't find out about this blog or my poetry site, or I might just die where I stand.
The intellectual part of my brain is telling me not to be so soft, it's not personal, these work "mates" are simply lashing out at something they 'll never understand.
Shut up, intellect! You know nothing! That's like saying when the fox kills the chicken it's not personal! It's pretty personal for the chicken! I suppose it's just one of those things I need to endure as an artist, the miserable stretches of gloom, that suck the life out of me, chill my soul, and make me creative.
A BIT LATER: You ever get that spark?When you're in a publid place, usually on a train, you glance around, and for a brief moment, your eyes meet someone else's. Fair enough, but sometimes you've been gazing at them already, or you hold the contact for a fraction too long, and you get that surge. Part guilty pleasure, part nervous excitement, and you feel your blood must be boiling in your veins. That's the spark. It's a good feeling, but nothing ever seems to come of it. Now, if I had the "gumption", maybe I could talk to the girl. I never do. Lack of confidence, lack of experience, who knows? I thought this was the 21st century, when women could chat up men! Now I'm depressed, that makes me think women spurn my grotesque visage. It's funny, I can stare down an oncoming lorry, hold a snake, even drive a car again, but when it comes to women, I lose my nerve, I have no guts. A spark is no substitute for physical contact, and hardly happens often enough, but it'll have to do for now, until it happens in a quiet bar, and I've had some dutch courage. I don't know. I used to be great at meeting women, but you get into a long term relationship and you lose your edge. I miss my edge, it took me about ten years to get one, and then I lost it within a month. Ahhhh, but what a month!
NOW: Do not adjust the blog. There have been some technical difficulties. Normal service will be restored as soon as possible. Thankyou for your patience. The FANTASTIC blog is coming next to make up for it...
Couldnt be bothered finding a photo of Scooter, I had one before but it was low quality, and looked too much like me!
Oh. By the way. FANTASTIC blog coming soon...
I'm an angry young man. At least I will be until I realise I'm old, and I fervently hope that never happens. I wouldn't mind calming down a bit though. I think it's my stressful lifestyle or something, but little things really annoy me.
Like today, I went for my lunch, got right to the site exit, and realised I didn't have my access keycard. The walk back really annoyed me.
As if you couldnt tell before, the scooter annoys me. I'm sure it's really a pothole detector, cause I seem to unerringly steer into them, which knocks me off. I think it hates me for using it in public. I'm sat at my desk, and It's glaring at me balefully. Even though it hasn't got any eyes...
I had a great idea for a title on this entry. Then I had another one, and another, but I was still reluctant to discard any of them. So, in the interests of fair play, here they are. All three titles in full:
Tales on Rails
Live Feed: Inner Workings of My Mind (Transcript)
Take your pick, and enjoy...
You know what it's like. You sit down with every intention of writing a blog entry, big cup of coffee, shoes off, toes scrunching the carpet for inspiration, and so on. You really get into it, marvelling at the way the words dance together in a balletic whirl of poetic imagery.
And then someone interrupts. "Do this!" "I need that!" "Pleeease help me with the other!"
And of course, you do. Not because of your deeply altruistic nature, but because you're at work, and the person invading your personal space is your boss.
Now, you log out of the PC while you're away, mainly to avoid the practical jokes involving the for sale board, and so you write your entry in a document. A quick save and you haven't lost a thing. Then when it's ready, you simply cut and paste. None of this "typing the whole blog online, at the mercy of network failures" for you! No sir!
But. There's always a but, I know. But (there's another one) you're never truly prepared for the but when it happens along.
Your "errand" takes so long that when you return to the office, it is shrouded in darkness, as the sun slowly dips below the horizon. You have now joined the hellish Lost Legion of Unpaid Overtime. Obviously you're not going to sit down, log back in, and navigate through the tedium of Outlook. Of course not! You're going to grab your..um...scooter, and get the heck out of there, whilst trying to come to terms with the 2 or 3 hour journey ahead, caused by your late departure.
Then you get on the train, and you remember your FANTASTIC blog.
You won't remember what it was about, merely that it was FANTASTIC! This will drive you mad. At first you decide to recreate it from scraps of memory and bits of fluff from your pocket, but this is an abject failure. Instead you pay homage to your FANTASTIC blog, by writing another one, a META-BLOG, if you will. So, you get out your notebook, reach for your pen and...can't reach it, because it's on your desk at work!
(Actually, that last bit wasn't true. I did have a pen. Thank goodness!)
So I'm writing this on the train. Of course, my creative juices are gushing now, so I've remembered what the other blog was about. I won't spoil it, save to tell you the title: "Whoops! I did it again!" make of that what you will...
The station is now so near I can smell the diesel. however, it won't be near enough to disembark for a good five minutes. Actually, a not so good five minutes... Provided I don't have to wait an eternity at the station, I'll continue once I'm on the train.
I'm waiting at the station, but hopefully for no more than 15 minutes.
Anyway, I know what you're thinking. "Notebook? You don't need a pen for that! Just boot up and start typing!" Well, the contraption I'm using incorporates almost 100% accurate handwriting recognition, is impervious to power cuts, and is near permanent. It has high encryption, called "Spidery handwriting", and uses a technology called "paper".
Ah, the old ones are the best. Well, they're the ones you've heard the most, anyway.
The downside to scrawling my blog entries in the pad is that I have to type it up later (which, in case you haven't realised, is exactly what I'm doing now. Oh, boy, he goes on a bit!)
The Train Announcement Board, or as I like to call it, the Optimist Board, assures me that the train is on its way. I must trust it. Trust the Optimist Board...
"On Time". Oh, the air of mystery those two words convey. The phrase has so many meanings: "Up to 5 minutes early"; "Up to 5 minutes late". Odd how it oh so rarely means "at the correct time".
Never mind. It's warmer in here that on the platform.
I wonder if I need to start a new blog: "Optimism and Disappointment - The Train Blog"?
I wouldn't do anything else. Besides, the rail network has enough critics to be getting on with!
What to write...
I suppose I should talk up the forthcoming FANTASTIC blog, but I'm rubbish as a self-publicist.
Now. There's a puzzler.
I'm sitting across from a blind lady on the train. She's just had a conversation on her mobile (listening for the right numbers when she dials) saying she'll be getting off at the next station. Now I feel like an eavesdropper, but I can see from where I sit that the train door she needs is out of order. Do I tell her anyway?
Answers on a postcard to... No wait. By the time I've typed up the blog, received some postcards, and judged the right course of action, we'll have passed the stop. I'm going to tell her.
Well, I've never done that before. I never instigate a conversation on the train! Ever! She thanked me, declined my offer of guidance to the next door along, and disappeared off down the train. In my experience, people with impairments can be tenaciously independent. I just hope I don't read in the news about a blind lady falling off a train...
The ticket inspector passes.
He would have helped her out if she'd needed it. Still, a selfless act is its own reward. Job done!
See? I'm a nice guy. And there I was feeling cynical about myself. I'll be holding doors open for people next. Damn! I already do that!
Forget everything! I'm a doormat! It's my deeply altruistic nature!
SOME TIME LATER
Why do they call it a scooter? I've been totally unable to achieve anything resembling a scoot, having to settle for a running roll. I think I'll call it a Runner-Roller from now on. The wind changed during the day, so this morning AND this evening I was "scooting" into it; like running on a treadmill, a tremendous amount of energy was expended to travel precisely...not very far at all.
Before the car smash (sounds much more exciting than "accident", and it was) I would wait in endless traffic jams, not very patiently, I might add. Since my average speed has been drastically reduced, I'm now endlessly waiting for my train to arrive, although slightly less impatiently.
I got a lift from one of my colleagues today, and arrived at the station at 5:48, pegged it, and made the platform at 5:51 precisely. The train, due at 5:51, was nowhere to be found. So I'm looking up at the board, impatient, but resigned.
Most of my wages are going to Costa Coffee these days, I expect I'll soon be eligible for a "RESERVED" sign at my usual table! ("usual table", that's bad)
The staff are kindly letting me sit here, even though I finished my Ciocolatta about 15 minutes ago - there's only so long the marshmallows can retain structural integrity. I think my hard-luck story plucked some heartstrings or something!
It's now 18:25. I pray to the god of rail travel that the 18:32 is going to buck the trend, and turn up on time. I have learnt an important lesson about the train schedules, though. Apparently the rail operators have deadlines to adhere to, but these only apply to certain stations. And it's not the station at which I'm currently waiting. Which means they are quite happy to leave a station early, and then hang around at the "deadline" station for 10 minutes so they can leave at the exact time. Good for the operators, good for OFRAIL (or whoever), utterly not good for me.
(There was an announcement, saying that the train would now be leaving from a different platform, so I headed there. When the train arrived, it was at the original platform. I just made it, after a 45 minute wait.)