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Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Clock's Useless 3rd Hand

Ziggy continues to be a complete skitter. I joke that I'm going to get him into acting as I think he has the right temperament for a dog star. Cocky and self assured. He has also proved himself to be a technological whizz kid. He walks over my laptop keybaord like it is a stepping stone and one morning I realised he had done something which had reversed the Caps Lock. It also meant I couldn't type a full stop so I couldn't log into anything as all email addresses have a full stop. I knew I'd never be able to figure out how to change it back so I resigned myself to no facebook for the day. Five minutes later Ziggy had stood on some buttons again and undid what he had done the night before. He also climbed up onto the coffee table when I was out at the shops and managed to put The Doors on itunes by standing on the laptop. You would nearly think he knew what he was doing.

On Wednesday evening I took him for a walk by the river path. This is the walk he's most familiar with and he gets super excited when he knows we're going there. He has his wee routine. I let him off the lead and he races ahead of me but also stops to check I'm following. He loves to run through the grass by the side of the path and he loves to dip into the little nooks and crannies that lead down to the river. He knows when we do the circuit and get back to the top of the path he has to put his lead back on.

I bumped into my sister on the way back from the walk and she reminded me that it wasn't Thursday, it was only Wednesday. This didn't stop me from going home, dropping Ziggy off, and heading up town to do some late night shopping. When I realised all the shops were closed I was reminded, for the second time, that it was only Wednesday. Tonight I'm worried that I'll either go into work tomorrow an hour early or an hour late. The clocks change tonight and I remember being confused in the spring time. I shall go by the clock in the kitchen because I know it doesn't automatically update itself. Though it's hard to read at the best of times due to a useless third hand that lurks between the six and seven.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Quitting sugar did not go quite as well as expected. I got infected with some kind of Donkey flu and my body was to weak to fight the cravings. In all seriousness though, I have been sick all week and it has sucked. My dad had been here the weekend that I was coming down with it. I hope I didn't infect him too. So when my body wanted sugar I gave in to it. Oh well, tomorrow is the start of a new week.

Yesterday was the first day I felt back to my normal self and then I dropped a heavy tray on my big toe at work. I am not a pussy but this did bring a tear to my eye. I survived the rest of my shift and my toe was ok until I took a bath. The heat must have upset it and I spent the rest of the night holding an icepack on it. Fortunately, a good night's rest done the trick and I didn't have to hobble around all day.

So now I'm fighting fit and have energy aplenty. It's probably just the normal level of energy but in comparison to how I felt all last week I feel amazing. I recall the bout of swine flu I had a few years ago (I call it swine flu because I immediately felt sick after eating a Pear Pickin' Porky). There's nothing like being sick to make you appreciate your good health.

When my immune system's down everything goes down. I have noticed, over the years, that I can very easily slip into a depressed state of mind when I'm sick. I find it hard to accept that sickness leaves you exhausted and I feel guilty about not being able to do the things I normally can. I also feel guilty for smoking and feel that I am not justified in feeling sorry for myself as I have, in some way, brought it on myself. Poor Ziggy had a quiet week as well. I felt bad for having no energy to play with him but he humoured me by snoozing when I did. Which was a lot. We did take him for a walk round Portglenone Forest on Thursday evening. It was one of those crisp, cool Autumn evenings. We sat by the pier watching the stillness of the water meet the stillness of the sky. Ziggy decided to counteract the stillness of the evening by barking at and chasing the joggers who went by. On the drive home the moon was so full it looked like you could just pluck it from the sky. Friday it rained all day.

Today is a pisser of a day too but I have the task of defrosting the freezer which should keep me amused for an hour or two. One of these days I'll do something really exciting. I'm getting to the stage where I know I can drive and I wish all the formalities were behind me so I could take Ziggy on an adventure. That's what I'll daydream about when I'm deforsting the freezer.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Man, I Feel Like A Woman

Having studied my degree in Sociology I am aware of social constructs. If you strip it right down almost everything is socially constructed. But I have to say, one of my biggests bugbears, and the hardest of all to avoid, is the social construction of gender. Before you give up reading now, this is not a feminist rant.

We live in a world now where there is meant to be equality. There are laws in place to protect those people who are "different" to the norm. It doesn't matter what your race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, or, if you have a disability, you are protected by human rights. It's a bloody shame it took so long to achieve that but humans were always more concerned with furthering scientific knowledge than working on themselves being less savage-like (scientists were able to fool people that knowledge would eradicate barbarity).

Years after the overtly physical oppression was challenged it becamse evident that we were able to continue being oppressive in much more subtle ways. Language was a huge factor in this ongoing domination. So, for example, setting the slaves free did not release them from stigma or oppression. They were still bound by the shackles of language. I have been shocked in my adult life to know people who have used words like "paki" to describe someone of a different ethnic origin than themselves. It's funny how people can't realise their own values themselves and, instead, have to wait until the media tells them what is politically correct or incorrect.

But anyway, back to my point, which is about gender. This is the hardest one for us all to escape. I still witness, everyday of my life, how woman are meant to stick together and how men are meant to stick together. I have to say, I don't think woman give it too much thought. They just accept and deal with the knock on effect of men believing that men are meant to stick together to do 'manly' things. I walk into a room of both men and women. Then, all of a sudden the men decide that they have something very important to do outside (like find a tree stump to piss on). The men go, leaving the woman to their gossiping. I fit in with neither of these groups. I don't want to go with the men because their conversation is flat. They don't read in between the lines because there are no lines. I don't want to stay in with the women because they can create an abundance of energy with their conversation. This energy could be negative or positive depending on who and what they are talking about.

When it comes to entertainment; music, storytelling, dancing and acting the line of gender division is blurred. These are things the two sexes, and indeed anyone, can enjoy together. Why must we continously pursue activities that serve to divide us rather than unite us. I can't fathom the idea of boy's having separate activities to the girls. It serves no purpose. This was not how things were done when humans first roamed the earth. Yes, there were practicalities that meant the men, being physically bigger and stronger, were the ones to hunt for food. But language had not advanced enough to put a label on this as being a predominantly male pursuit. It was basic survival.

I really hope one day that people will just be people and when they realise this, rather than seeing themsleves as the best, or the most important, they will see that they are actually very insignificant in the grand scheme of things. A bit of mass humbling is what's needed. And balance. The world is made up of masculine and feminine but that doesn't mean it has to be one or the other. Some of the most amazing, beautiful people I have ever met are neither manly, nor womanly, they just are.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Quitting Time Again

Ok, maybe if I write this in my blog I'll stick to it. I'm giving up sugar again. I did it a few years ago for a few months and it was a piece of piss once I got the first week over me. I think I started to eat sweets again when I quit smoking. I fooled myself into thinking that I needed some kind of luxury in my life. I hope to get to a stage where I realise that water and fresh air are a luxury. The only sugar I will have will be in my coffee, which I cut back on ages ago so I only have about 2 cups a day. Other than that I won't be having any refined sugar at all. Sugar is horribly addicitive.

Next Sunday should be the final day of construction of the tree house. Young Master Banjo shall have to be there as he has been a massive help over the months. He couldn't make it every weekend but he was there for most of them. He still did a lot more work than I did. K was, without a doubt, the foreman of the whole gig. If it wasn't for him the project would never have happened. Whereas most girls dream of hearing the words "Will you marry me?" I longed to hear "Do you want to build a tree house?".

Did I mention I've been watching a bit of the X Factor? Well, there's a wee Scottish lad on it and I'm rooting for him. He probably will win it as he's got a heart of gold and every woman between the ages of 25-85 will want to mother him. Which pretty much makes up the whole percentage of people who watch the X Factor. I, for one, would have him so wrapped up in cotton blankets that only his wee cheeks could be seen. Also, I love it when you don't understand a word someone says but when they sing you can make out everything. I also couldn't help but notice that Matt Lucas has entered it in the guise of his "yer but, no but" character Vicky Pollard. hHe's posing as someone in the over 25's group but I know it's him.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Ziggy's 1st Medal

It has been a running joke in our family that a dog licence is actually a medal of awesomeness. This started with our first family dog Danny (The Champion Of The World). We put him up on a pedestal really but, sure, he was a mighty fine beast of a dog. Now Ziggy has his first medal. He got this one for barking.

I have to say, dog licences are not of the same quality they used to be. Ziggy's medal looks cheap and plastic, probably because it is. He hates it. He's not used to wearing a collar never mind having something dangling from his neck. He was also a little annoyed with me for putting his collar on and not taking him for a walk. He just doesn't realise that his mummy's awfully busy doing homework for class, facebooking his photo, and blogging. He will especially not like it when I leave him on his own for a few hours to go to class but he will get his chance later to show me his displeasure by demanding lots of play fighting. Well, off I go now to get ready for class.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Bad Taste

Ok, here's a thought, if someone was buying two bottles of vodka, bleach, a toothbrush and mouthwash, what exactly are they planning to do? Today a work colleague, and someone I knew aside from work, asked me how I felt about the fact that I could be sitting in a nice cosy office, tapping away at a keyboard instead of running around going senile because I can't find a twelve pack of coca cola. She was speaking about the other job I declined so I could do more hours at this job. I told her I hadn't thought about it until she mentioned it. Then I told her that it was worth it so that someone who really needed the job could be sitting in that office.

I have not watched any films in so long. Before K moved in I had no T.V. and no internet. I used to go up to Jakers just to download stuff so I could watch it at home. The kind soul never minded that I was only up to use the width of his band. I have to admit that I have a strange taste in films. For a while I became obsessed with watching epidemic movies. The realistic ones were the best, the ones where disease spreads like wildflower and people start beeding from their eyes and suchlike. I am always slightly disturbed by the scenes where they shun someone who is infected. Perhaps this is a deep seeded fear of mine. I am not so keen on the zombie epedemic movies but REC, a Spanish film, is up there with the best. It is a truly scary film.

I also have a penchant for cannibal movies. I don't know why I enjoy these. Maybe it was because when I was 6 years old I bounced into the living room at my mum's house at the very tail end of a film called The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover right at the scene where the lover's body is served up to man who is forced to eat him all up. But, I just can't get enough of the cannibal movies. The most disturbing film I have ever watched (and there's been a few) was a film called Long Pigs. This was a documentary style film with a couple of amateur film makers documenting the life of a cannibal. I do not reccommend anyone to watch this even though it is compelling viewing.

I also enjoy those quirky, feel good movies like Little Miss Sunshine and 500 Days of Summer. I'm not all doom and gloom. The last time my dad was over we watched Seven Pyschopaths which, despite having Colin Farrell's eyebrows playing the lead role, was actually very entertaining. So, watch the last three movies with gusto and watch all the other ones at your peril.