A Post About Friends , Which In Retrospect Probably Contains The Word “Asshole” A Bit Too Much For The Subject Matter.

I don’t blog much these days, a fact that absolutely none of you will have noticed. It’s not that you don’t care. Or, well, you might not. You probably subscribed 3 years ago and then promptly forgot about my irregularly spurty waffle ( which sounds like something you should never ever Google. Just don’t. ) It’s all cool though, it happens. No judgement here.

But for those still subscribed I feel the need to thank you for your loyalty. And your inability to clear up your inactive blogger subscription. I also find it vital to take this opportunity to tell you that YOU are important to me. We’re best buds. Chums. I feel close enough to you to try to tap you for a fiver. Or ask you to buy me doughnuts and tampons whilst you’re down the shops anyway. It’s a beautiful friendship. Which is why it’s such a wonderful example of synchronicity that after randomly deciding to do my first post in yonks I scroll back through this morning’s emails and find today’s daily prompt is the word “Friends“.

Well bugger me sideways, what are the chances?

It’s been a busy [ insert actual time absent here, I’m too lazy to look it up. A year and a half maybe? ]. Work was frantic, sporadic, and largely semi-satisfying. I took time to eliminate the toxic aspects of my life and gained a certain level of peace. I started posting on Instagram. I challenged myself. I put myself on a diet and lost a crapload of weight. I took myself back off a diet because despite what I’d been absolutely certain of the last 4 decades, being skinny didn’t make me happier. Or younger. Or drop dead gorgeous. I feel particularly pissed about the last one, btw.

I’m still a bit mental. Not much but it’s there. My favourite quote of all time is “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.” And once I started an asshole eradication program I found my life went a lot more smoothly. I highly recommend it.

So now all I have is my family and my friends and it’s good. No, it’s really, *really* good. I thought for the longest time that to be happy I needed more. More money, more stuff, more achievements, a bigger better more me Me. More doughnuts, definitely. But turns out that what I really needed was less. Less pressure. Less assholes. And the friends? They’re just right. I feel I can finally tick them off my to-do list.

So, anyway, if you’re off down the shops………

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I’m not here, ignore me.

I haven’t been around for quite a while. In fact, I haven’t been around since my single annual post that usually consists of the phrase “I haven’t been around for quite a while”. This has been occurring with enough regularity to have the phrase engraved on my tombstone ( which is moderately amusing when I think about it ). There are reasons. Madness. Facebook. Plushie brains. The usual. But none of which are interesting enough to share, let alone write about.

A month ago I decided to wipe this blog. You probably didn’t notice, but don’t beat yourself up about it… you were busy. The reasons for this were twofold.
1) People told me I was a good writer and should write a book or something. This, naturally, terrified me. Suddenly I became incapable of stringing sentences together in any coherent fashion whatsoever. Success..? What the heck was I supposed to do with that?? I instantly sought other avenues where failure was a sure thing. And you know what?? There’s LOADS of them. I was potentially guaranteed to be bloody useless at a new something for a very long time indeed. Ahhh… there was my comfort zone. Rather annoyingly I became moderately successful at a few of those things too, but I nipped those in the bud before anyone else noticed. *phew*
2) I got an email from my ex where, amongst other things, he mentioned one of my blog entries. Which coincidentally was about something he did that was rather silly that made him look like a bit of a lemon. Suddenly it dawned on me. This blog isn’t under my name, it’s under my professional online name.
What sort of moron has a private blog under the same name that they earn a living under?
(I’ll leave you to imagine me sheepishly raising my right hand at this point.)
Yup.
It’s through sheer good luck rather than any semblance of intelligence that I’ve never bitched about the industry I work in or the folk that inhabit the same particular swamp. But I could have. And if my ex can find me, anyone else can.
So I toyed with starting up a new blog, but my muse was nowhere to be found. He’s probably in Switzerland or something, living an entirely new identity under the witness protection program… so I just settled for deleting all my content.
“Hold on one sec, you loon,” I hear you say “But I can see what you’ve written. It’s right there…look.”
Well yes, I changed my mind this morning and re-imported the whole damn thing.
Why?
Rarasaur, that’s why. Or more accurately *this post*. Rara seems to be struggling a bit with the same issue. However, she’s more “get up and go” than me, and I usually have to resort to some serious industrial grade self-bribery to get anything done. For instance, for writing this I am rewarding myself with a KitKat Chunky. I introduced this reward system as a feeble attempt at self-encouragement, which has worked up to a point. The point being that my chocolate consumption has shot up 600%, which equates to a 20% increase of bodily mass. To put it bluntly, in return for being a good and focussed girl I rewarded myself with a 15% bigger arse. Considering the fact there’s already plenty of junk in this trunk this side effect hasn’t turned out to be terribly motivating. Yesterday I bought myself a huge bunch of fresh carrots with the intention of rewarding myself with crunchy carrot sticks and healthy dip. Last night I moved them to the end of the kitchen and ate the entire dip with half a family-size bag of Doritos.
Nevertheless, here I am, and I’m hoping to get back into the Daily Prompt.
I will, however, continue to ignore their handy tips on better blogging and building a healthy following because that’s a little too much like achieving something for my liking… and success? That’s something I shall be avoiding like carrots.

Weekly Photo Challenge : Shadow

Tap tap tap....

I’m still here. Or at least I think I am, it’s hard to tell. I tend to fib to myself quite a bit. Not massive great whoppers, just little white lies to save my feelings cos’ I’m a bit delicate y’see…

I’ve been slacking on the posting again, I know. I could say I’ve been neck-deep in work ( which would be true ), or I could say I’ve been kicked sideways by withdrawal AND side-effects caused by my medication ( which would also be entirely factual ), but neither would have really stopped me posting had I not been wallowing in “Meh.” for the last couple of weeks. Meh is the nemesis of all creativity and no friend of mine.

So, as I wait patiently for the Meh to wander away in search of fresh prey here’s a photograph of my left thumbnail. Imagine the fingers tapping away on the desk in slow simmering, yet entirely passive aggressive, frustration and you’ll have a pretty accurate picture of me over the last week or so.

Hold on a second…. what, no lesbian action at all ???

I’m not a career gal, I never have been. It’s not like I can’t see the lure of the concept, because I can, it’s just not “me”. I’ve tried in the past to commit to a long term career path, but each time I’ve come to my senses before it was too late.
As a result I’ve had a lot of jobs, and by “a lot” I mean more than I can actually remember. That said, I have an appalling memory and “more than I can actually remember” could be a number as low as 6 or 7. A byproduct of this is that my CV is a constantly evolving fantastical work of fiction, so much so that I can’t recall exactly what I have done and what I’ve just plucked out of the air on a whim.

What has this taught me?
1) It doesn’t matter what qualifications you get at school or college, nobody ever checks. It’s possible it’s a different matter if you disclose university qualifications, but I skipped further education. I dearly wanted to attend art school and when I was told it wasn’t an option by my parents I walked out of school and got my first job ( the one where attempting to saw through your fingers was an available, and as it turns out just too irresistible, perk ).
2)Employers *might* check your last job for a reference, but they practically never check any further back through your work history. Taking a quick glance at my CV will confirm that I started off with a fabulous track record of job commitment… *ahem*
3) Learn to control your body language and use it to your advantage. They’ll be looking for it, so show them what they want. It’s devious, yes, but there’s money involved here folks.

I’ve been offered every single job I’ve ever applied for, with one exception. The interviewer at that one asked me as part of the selection process whether attending an all-girls school had meant I had lots of tales of lesbian going-ons to share. To say I just sat there in stunned silence with my mouth agape with incredulity is a complete understatement. He must have had some balls to come out with a question like that, and I had a sinking feeling he would show me them at some point if I took the position. So I just rushed the rest of the way through and made a mental note to add “self-defense” and “martial arts” to my list of interests on my CV once I got home.

All-Girls School. Less this....

...and more this.

“This is all truly engrossing,” I hear you say ( a lie, I’m not actually hearing anything, but talk of employment has obviously shifted me to “Barefaced Liar” mode ), “…but where is this thrilling tale leading me?” ( as you can see “Barefaced Liar” mode often comes with an extra module of “Over-Inflated Self Confidence”.)

Last night I watched a Brit film entitled “Exam”. Now, I think I should point out up front that I’m not a film buff ( not even on my CV ), and my knowledge of cinema probably isn’t any better than yours or any of us other Joe Regulars. Therefore, the likelihood of my comparing, for example, a stop-motion animation of a bowl of decomposing fruit with a 4 hour documentary by an existentialist Ukrainian director about the underside of a pebble on a beach is pretty slim. Good news if you just want to read about a few films you might have missed, not so great if you’re a pebble enthusiast.
I’ll spare you the synopsis ( you can read it *here* ) but I will pose the question, “What would you do to get the perfect job?”

Would you lie & cheat? Bit of a no-brainer for me, that one. Telling a massive bundle of whoppers is part of the interview process. I realise for those on a higher moral ground that this is pretty much unacceptable territory. Sorry ’bout that.
OK, then how about this one : Would you be willing to trick the other candidates out of the running? What if this was, hypothetically, the best job in the whole freakin’ world, what about then?
Watching the film was akin to a long, slightly tense, ride where you have to decide at exactly which stage of the journey down Morality Way you’re gonna bail.
Me, not being a career gal, would be happy to skip the last gruelling few disembarkation points and hop off at whatever stop was closest to the doughnut shop. I’m nothing if not fond of my pastries.

 

Desert Island Disc ( Clue : Probably not “I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts” )

When today’s writing prompt popped up it was like a little cartoon lightbulb suddenly blinked into being above my head, I was *that* certain of the album I would pick. Ordinarily I’m a bit of an indecisive sorta gal with a tendency to over-analyse. In fact, I’m still trying to compile a list of my top 5 films from when someone asked me back in 1989 ( which, now I’ve brought it up I’ll be adding to the top of the already precariously teetering pile of things I obsess about ). Books are the same… out of the thousands I’ve read how can I single just a handful out for their excellence? That would be like having to choose between my children ( though it’s 9.30pm and right now whichever one goes to sleep first would get my coveted “Most Adored Offspring” award ).
But one single album? Easy.

Let me give you a bit of background…
I’m 22 and after a few years of jumping between jobs ( not all have been abandoned because I attempted to saw off a digit I hasten to add ), I settle down in lovely new job as a veterinary nurse in a busy London vet hospital. And it’s brilliant! Sure, some of the people suck, but you can pretty much take that as read in any job that someone’s going to get your goat at some point. I’m training, I’m learning, I’m performing minor surgery, I’m analysing x-rays ( I’m also occasionally snogging one of the ambulance drivers in the x-ray room when no-one else is around, but that’s just between us, yeah? 😉 ) but mostly I’m making sick animals better for people who can’t afford the extortionate private vet fees… so I’m like a little chubby saint in a tight green uniform and an over-starched apron. I’m loving it.

Then, to add icing and a cherry to the Cake Of Fabulous Situations, they offer me a room at the nursing home next door to the hospital! So to recap : a) Great Job… and now b) I get to move out of my parent’s house! c) No more travelling! d) I only have to get up 10 minutes before my shift starts and I’m home 10 minutes after it ends !! and e) Lots and lots of overtime when the nurses next door are asked to come in at the last minute to cover illness… Win win win all round.

Ok, lovely… but where does the album come in…?
It’s my first weekend after I’ve moved in and the horrific price of groceries has hit me. I’ve been living off pasta for 5 days, and the noise from the dogs barking next door is like some sort of bizarre canine-influenced metronome that marks the passing of every minute. I’ve been allocated the smallest room at the end of a narrow corridor next to the downstairs loo, and one of the other nurses has a dog that free roams the place and piddles on the communal sofa.
I’m totally adoring every second.

That Saturday evening I’m lying on my little bed. It’s Summer, but there’s a slight breeze and a light cooling drizzle.. so I have the window open so I can hear the raindrops fall upon the leaves directly outside. I’m propped up on pillows, eating my pasta by the last light of the day, and this is playing :

For me, Seal sounds like freedom, and every single time I listen to that first album I can feel the breeze upon my face. It’s potential, possibilities, free-falling into the future with total reassurance that everything will be ok.

Short and sweet. Like an Oopah Loompah, had they not scared the crap out of me as a kid. Orange? I mean, really !

One of the *perks * of being self employed is that there are occasionally long bill-avoiding gaps between work where there’s not much to do except practice your thumb-twirling, then out of the blue a job comes in and you’re suddenly running around with your hair on fire and sleeping 23 minutes a day and dribbling your dinner into your keyboard.

I guess you can tell where this is leading… yes, I’m going to be a bit scarce for a few days. I’ll still be posting, if only to remind you of the fact I’m not posting, and if you’re really lucky I might even post a pic or two of the work I do. But don’t get too excited, working in the 3D art industry really isn’t as thrilling as you’d think. Unless you work for Pixar. Everything looks nicer over there. *wistful sigh*

I can’t help it, I’m just a saw loser.

Today I sliced the end of my left thumb off with a cheese slicer.

I’d love to be able to say that this is a freak occurrence, but that would be a massive whopper of a lie. Not only have I done it before ( more times than I care to remember ) but it’s even the second time I’ve done it this week. And it’s only Tuesday.

This time I took a fair chunk out though. Usually it’s big enough to pick the missing slice off the cheese slicer so that nobody ends up with it in their lunchtime sandwich, but small enough to only bleed for a few minutes. Today, however, I cut it pretty badly and 7 hours later it’s still bleeding. Not gushing tourniquet-needing, attach-me-to-an-IV-STAT! pouring, but enough to act as a plausible excuse for it not to be my turn to empty the cat tray. See ? Silver lining and all that jazz.

I’m not good with tools as a general rule and come out in a cold sweat at the mere though of an electric drill, and with good reason I feel. In my first full-time job I was training as a dental technician, way way back in the days when everything was still black and white, making dental crowns for dinosaurs. Melting gold, no problem. Sculpting metal, easy peasy. Cutting the cast crowns off the base? OH SWEET JESUS CHRIST ON A BIKE !!! I’VE SAWN THROUGH MY BLOODY THUMB !!!!!!!!!!  I was using one of those hand held ( hold on… don’t you hold all tools with your hands? Never trust a guy who picks up his nail gun with his toes ) diamond-blade circular saw thingies. I did pretty well for months, but all good things come to an end. One moment listening to the radio, beavering away like a good little underpaid apprentice… the next a buzzing noise, then a sickening zzzzthunk! Looking down I see that not only have I sawed half way through my thumb, but the blade has snapped in half and is jutting out, wedged in my bone.

I did what I thought was most appropriate in this situation… I giggled.

Me : Erm… Andy? Can you give me a hand a sec?
Co-Worker who’s supposed to be supervising me : What ??? I’ve got to get this done by tonight and it’s already 6 o’BLOODY HELL!!!!!! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE ???
Me ( blood everywhere, dripping down my elevated hand ): I couldn’t help it, I’m an over-enthusiastic nailbiter.

Cue nervous employer checking their insurance policy while I spend 5 hours sitting in the local A&E with very pale co-worker who, as it turns out, is a bit squeamish about blood. The fact I’d take the pad off and wiggle the jutting blade at him now and then to relieve the boredom probably didn’t help matters. Stitches, yadda yadda, followed by a night of contemplation followed by a resignation the next day. I’ve got a fairly reasonable pain threshhold, but I just couldn’t risk doing it again. I think to fill in I then worked in a fast food place afterwards, where… to my credit… I complete failed to fall into the deep fat fryers.

In other news today : I fried some glass marbles to see what they’d look like. For some reason this made Hubby very very nervous.