January 2010

I have utterly failed in any blogging inspiration today. Don’t get me wrong, I have subjects aplenty that I want to blog about, some that have been spinning around my head for days, I just haven’t had the time to sit and compose anything blogworthy around those subjects.

So I’ll tell you a little something that made me laugh at work today. The stupidity of drunks rarely fails to amuse, and, other than the belly laugh that is someone falling over, the most reliably amusing drunk is the one that thinks he can hide.

Tonight, chase was given to a group of revellers who had thought fit to shove a broken glass into someone’s face in a bar. As they scattered, the CCTV controllers tried to keep track of their whereabouts as they were rounded up. We lost track of one of them who was the first to make off, but soon picked him up squatting down behind a car, with the police just metres away from him on the other side. He kindly remained there, congratulating himself on fooling the boys in blue while I directed officers right to him. Boy did he look surprised when the word’s ‘you’re nicked me old son’ resounded in his ears.

I’ve watched similar scenarios many times over the years and I do always wonder what goes through their head when they are nabbed from their seemingly perfect place of hiding. “Those police are sly boys, they always seem to know exactly where you are hiding, it’s like they have a sixth sense. ” You’d have thought the word would have gotten out by now.


Returning from my meal break and sitting at a new desk, I noticed my keyboard was broken. Nothing major, but the poor thing was legless. I just can’t work that way.

So I approached the supervisor for a new one, as I was making off with it he kindly suggested that I needn’t hesitate to ask if I had any problems connecting it. Now this would be condescending enough in normal circumstances, but as connecting the keyboard consists of plugging it into an extension cable which sits on the desk, the same extension cable from which I removed the other keyboard just moments ago, I did wonder just how incapable he thought I really was.

My job involves the interrogation and monitoring of up to 11 different systems at the same time across 4 screens, but I can’t simply plug one piece of cable into another? I mean surely I plug in the iron and my hairdryer every day, right?

Things really haven’t changed so much when it comes to men’s attitude towards women and technology have they? I remember being 21 (on reading the remainder of this entry you’ll realise just how remarkable that feat is on it’s own) and excitedly purchasing my very first separates stereo. It consisted of an amplifier, twin cassette player, compact disc player, record player, radio and surround sound speakers, all of which were magically linked together with wires to create one complete stereo.

Being an impatient sort of a girl I wanted to take my purchase home and set it up immediately for my (and my parents’ and neighbours’) listening pleasure. The nice retail manager looked at me aghast; take it home? Set it up yourself? No, no, no, no, no, you just run along now little girl and we’ll send a man along to do it for you. I was so insistent that I had bought and paid for my new stereo and wanted use of it right away, and the manager was so aghast at the thought of a young girl having such a lot of technology in her hands that he even agreed to have it delivered and set up that same day.

So I waited at home and sure enough along came the technician and set my stereo up for me. He carefully explained what a remote control was for and left me to my own devices, probably wondering what on earth a girl was doing with a Sega Megadrive in her bedroom.

Giddy with the thought of pristine surround sound, I popped in a CD and waited. Surround sound there was not, in fact there was no sound at all, because the technician had totally botched the job and there was no magical linking between all the different components.

With a sigh, I picked up the instruction books, pulled the wires from the back and started from scratch. This little girl had it up and running perfectly within 30 minutes having never had any experience of a separates system before, which is more than I can say for the technician who was supposedly around the technological marvels on a daily basis. I even went as far as connecting the video up to the amp so I could have movie magic in surround sound too.

My supervisor didn’t mean any harm by what he said, he’s a very nice man and just said it to be helpful. Which is kinda my point, men, in general, still have it ingrained into them that women, in general, can’t and really wouldn’t want to, deal with technology. Or maybe I just take it for granted that sticking two cables together is a simple task.

Disclaimer (male version): This blog is not aimed at YOU. The blogger is well aware that YOU would never underestimate the intellect of woman, you accept that women can fix more than just lunch and you follow Felicia Day on Twitter.

Disclaimer (female version): This blog is not aimed at YOU. The blogger accepts that brunch dates are important, that not all women want to play with computers and does not think you are stupid because you can’t wire a plug and have never heard of Felicia Day. Or Twitter.

Thursdays are, it seems, not a good day for blogging. I have once again had many blog inspirations but not had the time to put them into coherent form. So I apologise in advance for the nonsensical effort below.

Tomorrow will mark the end of a thing I longed for since May 2004. Tomorrow the final episode of Dollhouse will air. I remember vividly the phone message I received in February 2004 with the hilarious news that Angel had been cancelled. I remember the 5 long years of Whedon-free TV. I mainly remember those things because the day Angel was cancelled also happened to be the day I became ill and spent five long years in a small hell-dimension of my very own.

I also remember vividly touching down in Los Angeles, one sunny November afternoon in 2007, to the news that Fox had not only greenlit, but ordered seven episodes of a new Joss Whedon show. Sixteen months of highs and lows later, in February 2009, the very same week that my doctor gave me the all clear, Dollhouse premiered.

Dollhouse, much like my emotions, has been something of a 12 month rollercoaster ride. Despite tomorrow’s impending doom, and probable apocolypse-filled finale, I feel a kind of peace and calm, and an incredible amount of happy I have not felt for an alarmingly long time. Tomorrow, the Dollhouse story will be wrapped up, and so will a part of my life I never thought I would be truly rid of.

Somehow my health and Joss Whedon’s TV shows have become inexplicably entwined, so for my sake Joss, please go to cable next time.

I am going to have a lazy day and no good blogging subjects will come of this.

So here is one of my ‘back up blogs’.

Whilst in the gym the other day, a song I had not heard in a long, long time popped up on my iPod. It’s one that I used to listen to whilst ill, it’s one that covered pretty much all the emotions that I went through during my five years of illness; anger, frustration, disappointment and hope. Although I’m pretty sure the song isn’t about ME, it kinda sums it up perfectly. Now, if you don’t know me, you’re probably expecting some kind of mushy power ballad along the lines of ‘Our Tune’. This song is not a power ballad…..This song is Recover by The Automatic. (You can listen to it here)

Can’t fight! There’s no escaping the facts
I tried to help but I failed
To solve the problems so much
Of good intentions

I want my wasted hours back
And I want my head to clear
And I have this bad taste in my mouth
From late nights and bad films

Get up! Recover! Cause you’ll never dance again!
Get up! Recover! Cause you’ll never dance again!

I’m drip fed these pictures
And now my words abandon me
The fraction that’s still me
Said this life’s not all it could be

Now did you catch what I said?
Did you catch what I said?
One by one my ideas fade
And there’s nothing left to say

Get up! Recover! Cause you’ll never dance again!
Get up! Recover! Cause you’ll never dance again!
Get up! Recover! Cause you’ll never dance again!
Get up! Recover! Cause you’ll never dance again!

Can’t fight, decide a future
Let’s dance, you’re so robotic
Times up, refill the meter
This disappointment’s so electric

Get up! Recover! Cause you’ll never dance again!
Get up! Recover! Cause you’ll never dance again!
Get up! Recover! Cause you’ll never dance again!
Get up! Recover! Cause you’ll never dance again!

Now, quite blatantly, ME is not an illness from which you can just get up and recover, but anyone who has ever been unfortunate enough to experience any form of this illness will know, that is EXACTLY what you spend your hours in bed wishing you could do. So listening to this song, having recovered and pounding the treadmill was very, very therapeutic. I think I may actually have not only put my demons to bed, but tucked them in with a hot water bottle and a nice bed time story.

Thank you The Automatic. Although you made a HUGE mistake when you let Penny go.

Today I received a Facebook email from someone who, on investigation, I discovered shares only my ex-partner as a mutual friend. What? Yes, I am Facebook friends with my ex-partner. And when you know that I have been with my current partner for 16 years, you know that we have sought each other out on Facebook not just never gotten around to de-friending each other. In fact, when I first met my current partner we used to go out on double dates with said ex and his new partner. A quick Twitter survey revealed that I am pretty much alone here.

The fact is, for five years this person was the love of my life. We were never even close to being soul mates, or even perfect partners, and we pretty much had an on/off relationship for many of those years, but it was still love, on both sides. Our final split was fairly amicable, we both knew it was coming, it just took one of us to have the guts to say it out loud. Our ‘off’ periods had taught us one thing; we were much better at being friends than at being lovers.

Yes there was bitterness at first, and even a little heartbreak, the kind you have when you’ve finished a really good book, and even though you can go back and read it again, you know it will never be the same the second time around. A failed drunken attempt at a reunion made us both realise we needed to spend some time apart, before we could really be friends. It took us both meeting other people, before that could truly happen.

When you spend a large part of your life caring for someone as deeply as you do your partner, unless there is some kind of betrayal, that doesn’t just go away. Mistakes were made on both sides of the relationship, we were both young when we met and went on the journey of learning what it means to truly love another person side by side. Why should that be thrown away, just because we have moved on in our lives?

Despite having found my soul mate and having spent 16 years with said soul mate, I am still very fond of my ex, not in an undying love kind of a way, but in the way that you care for a friend, and I like to think that that feeling is mutual. We did, after all, seek each other out once social networks came into being.

(Blog title courtesy of @Rhiarti)

The punishment for having a lethargic, indecisive, unproductive day yesterday is that today I have been forced to go to the dreaded supermarket.

Having a general disdain for both shops and people, I avoid these places like the plague and do the majority of my shopping online. Today necessity forced me to this place of torture other people like to call ‘Morrisons’.

I prepared myself for this very special level of hell by plugging headphones into my ears and turning my iPod on loud. Of course, being an organised sort of girl, I had written a nice long list of items that required purchasing. But since many of the items related to recipes I would be cooking, they weren’t particularly in the supermarket’s idea of ‘order’, more the order that I came across the recipe in. When shopping online this matters not a jot, tap the item you require into the handy little shopping list box and up it will pop on the screen despite the fact you have already gone past the relevant aisle.

I found myself wandering around the aisles in an increasing state of bewilderment, frantically scanning the shelves for items on my list. Going backwards and forwards as I realised there was something I needed in the aisle I had just come from. Why, why oh why would canned fruit be in a completely different section to all the other canned goods. Just why? It makes no sense.

Somehow I managed to near the end of my list having most of the items safely stacked away in my trolley when I realised that aubergine was missing. I extricated myself from the cosmetics aisle and forced my way through the flow of oncoming trolley traffic and bemused faces looking at me with wonderment as to why I would possibly be going the wrong way. While we’re on the subject, people with trolleys, do you drive your car in that manner? I suspect not, because if that were the case you would happily be in hospital or your grave instead of leaping out of the bread aisle in front of unsuspecting shoppers with your five children running riot all around you.

With my scanty stores of shopper-patience run dry I arrived back at the fruit and veg aisle only to discover that, try as I might, I couldn’t find in which damp, dark corner they had thought fit to conceal the aubergines. Nor could I find any spotty oik on day release from MacDonald’s to ask, although even if I had I suspect he would just have stared blankly at me when I said the word aubergine.

Now aubergine was one of the main ingredients required in one of the meals I was going to cook, had I been online, this would have not been a problem. I would have just picked out another meal and bought the ingredients for that instead, or most likely just have been able to find aubergine by the ingenious method of searching mentioned above.

Surprisingly I found a relatively empty check out and proceeded to unload my trolley, having done so I stared at the contents displayed across the moving counter with dismay. Damn, blast and buggeration the cat food was no where to be seen. Mainly because I had failed to a) write it on my list, b) remember that I needed some and c) happen across that aisle in my aimless wanderings throughout the store.

Again, my beloved online shopping would have had a solution to the problem, hit ‘continue shopping’, add cat food to the basket and head back to the checkout. In fact, even if I had completed checkout I would have been able to go back and add the missing item providing I did so withing a reasonable time frame before they landed at my door.

Now back at home, having spent £20.00 more than usual because I couldn’t keep a check on my spending as I went along, I do have to wonder, why would anyone put themselves through this on a regular basis and why didn’t I buy any booze?

I’ve just sat through the two hour kick off to Jack Bauer’s eighth bad day, during each ad break of which Sky proudly teased us with Caprica and Lost ‘Coming Soon’. Can you vague that up for me? I don’t want ‘Coming Soon’. You’ve shown me the pretty, I’m interested, in fact, I’d very much like to watch it, now when can I have it?

For the last two months Sci Fi (yes, here in the UK we still call it Sci Fi not SyFy) have been teasing us with large pictures of Morena Baccarin’s head and text proclaiming ‘The Visitors Are Coming’. Yes please, the kettle is on and I have a nice plate of hamsters laid out, all I need now is a rough idea of their schedule. Anyone?

The problem is, with the pair of us working shifts, we’re not always able to watch these programmes as they air, and are sometimes even several weeks behind. We always catch the two to three months of ‘Coming Soon’s’ but inevitably don’t catch the one week they actually deign to give us a date until ‘Coming Soon’ has turned into ‘Started Last Week’. The start and continuation of many a good series, and thus the entire series, has been missed because of this very problem.

I’m reaching out to all promoter types, I really actually do want to watch your TV shows, but I can’t promise to do that if you can’t be a little more precise as to when they are going to be aired.

I thank you.

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