What do you do to ensure you get a good night's sleep?
Submitted by Jacob's Ladder.
Oh, and frantic, inventive and prolific masturbation. Next question?
I was in a (to be honest) fucking bad mood when I took these, so my grumpy face was fundamental to the process. I have no idea what prompted me to take pictures of myself in the bathroom mirror, but I did. I was just dicking about trying to move in and out of the shadows a bit, seeing what came out. I think I took 50 pictures in about 5 or 6 minutes, most of which are now in the bin.
I was also, it must be confessed, drunk.
This is also the world premiere of the KIRF shirt that went horrifically pink in Atlanta (hence this) since it's rather failed attempt at a revival after my Mum and I tried to dye it an acceptable colour over Christmas.
She kept giggling, because I was making Swedish Chef noises - from the muppets - as I was stirring it in the dye. Shame. I really like my KIRF shirt, I didn't want it to be an ex-kirf shirt...
How do you pass the time during a flight? What do you bring in your carry-on?
I usually just listen to my Ipod. I also carry my MacBook, my camera, the download leads required, my passport, my sunglasses, some mints, a pair of spare contact lenses and a notebook.
Which is clearly not enough to survive on when things like this happen. I think I will be carrying more practical things in future.
Like my fucking door keys, for a start.
I have been double tagged by Britt and Sarah, so I guess I have to do something to give 5 things that people don't know about me. I won't tag anyone else, as that 'ain't my thang', and practically everyone I know has done it anyway. Here they are:
1: (prompted by an IM conversation today). Me and a mate of mine at sixth form became so hooked on Derek and Clive that we could quote, perfectly, vast passages at a time with passable impressions. We used this, at one point, to sucker the whole class into thinking that we had made the tapes ourselves... They fell for it for quite a while, actually.
2: I've had sex on a railway line. No train, just a railway line.
3: I've never broken a bone (properly) in my life. The worst injuries I have sustained are a: cracking my ribs by trying that bit too hard to undo a rusty fitting on the race team's truck and b: getting kicked unconscious by two older kids and spending the night in hospital when I was about 14. I had a bruise imprint on the side of my head of a Doc Martens boot tread mark...
4: I can't count to...
As some of you already know, I was stuck in Georgia the other day, while I waited for my work permit paperwork to show up so that I could re-enter Canada and present the thing in the proper manner. It all started off well, as I spent my extra day (after the rest of the team had gone back) wandering around on my own and taking pictures, had myself a nice meal, flirted with the waitress (she had a fine arse, I can tell you), had a couple of beers while watching TV and went to bed. In the morning, I got up, double checked I had all the various bits of paperwork in my carry on luggage and left to return the hire car and go to the airport. My plane left Savannah on time, and I got to Atlanta at a reasonable hour. A bit too reasonable, as it turns out.
Due to the last minute nature of my ticket booking (we found out that I needed to go on a Sunday morning flight
on Friday night at about 5 o'clock), my return journey was not ideal. It meant that I was stuck at Atlanta airport for a considerable time, but I figured that was fine. It was something like 6 hours in the terminal (8 hours between flight times), but I just slapped the iPod on and went to sleep on a bench seat for most of it, messing around on my 'puter for the rest of it while steadfastly refusing to pay for wireless to surf. I have no idea, in hindsight, why I bothered, but it is a principle thing. The time for my 9 o'clock pm or so flight arrives and I start to wander about to get some food and splash some water on my face. Then the gate moves, so I have to go all the way back a different part for the change, noting the large queue of aircraft waiting to take off that I can see out of the window...
So my flight is delayed. It is supposed to get in at midnight, but at ten minutes to flight time, there is no plane at the gate. Hmmm, again. We eventually start to board an hour late, and I get stuck next to some fucking annoying businessman who was muttering to himself almost constantly, fidgeting like he was wired to the mains and making sudden jerking motions as he suddenly decided he needed to remove his jacket. Or move his arm. Or get his laptop out. Or turn off his phone. Or check he'd turned off his phone. Or check it again. Or just twitch like fuck for fun. Or check his phone.
Holy fuck, but I was close to twatting him. I had to sit next to him for two hours.
So I arrive at Toronto at 1am very tired, bored and needing to go and present my paperwork to get my work permit approved. I wait while the (very nice) lady behind the counter goes through the great stack of dead tree that is required to get anything done when it comes to immigration, and try not to yawn too much at her. All goes well, if not exactly rapidly, and I wander out to the baggage claim long after everyone has gone. The next flight is starting to come through and so finding my case should prove relatively simple, what with the carousel being largely empty. I watch the carousel go around until the same bag comes around again, and then wander around it to see if anyone has pulled my case off.
Nope. No suitcase.
Ah. Bollocks. I wander over to the Delta representative and ask if that is all the cases from the flight (it is) and if so, do I report my missing one here (I do). I fill in a form, he does some checking and finds out that my case is still in Atlanta. Genius. They only had eight fucking hours to get the case on the plane, but clearly that was too much of a rush job. Never mind that I have had 20 minute transfers before (Literally. I was in the terminal for 6 minutes - all running and the plane was pushed away from the gate as I sat down) and my bag made it. 8 hours at Atlanta is clearly a panic job, or outside their attention span. Eventually I finish all the forms, with accompanying assurance that my case will be with me by 11am the next day, and head out to the taxi rank.
Must have been the post midnight rush from the airport, I guess. I ponder the empty rank for all of a micro second before turning heel and walking the other way. Fuck it. I'm not paying, and it's 0200, snowing, cold and there is a limo sat there with the engine running. So I take the limo. I have a great chat with the driver about British music in the 1980's, with many names being bandied about that clearly delighted him to find someone who actually knew the people he loved listening to. Good fun. So I get back to my flat and watch the guy drive off as I step over the snow to my front door.
I rummage through my bag for my keys.
I rummage some more.
I think for a bit.
I sigh deeply and say "CUNT", with no small amount of vehemence, as I remember when, on Sunday, I had decided to throw my keys in my case, as I wouldn't need them until I got back. I'd forgotten to get them back out when I packed. I can't get in my flat. At this stage, I realise that, due to the fucking stupid airline restrictions on liquids and the like, that I have got out of the habit of carrying a spare t-shirt, boxers, pair of socks and (most importantly) my wash bag in my carry on like I always used to for years. So I have, standing in -4 degrees outside my flat, precisely fuck all with me, save a camera, a laptop, an iPod, a load of paper, a pen and some cables. Great. Just...fucking...peachy.
So I get my mobile out. I call Tristan - straight to answer machine. I call Rico, and it won't go through. I have run out of credit. As I laugh just SO fucking much about this and get my credit card out, I am only nearly as highly fucking amused as I would be 30 seconds later as the automated credit adding system for my mobile provider crashes in my ear, mid function.
Oh. How. I. Fucking. Laughed.
Fortunately, I live (when I can get in the damn place) in the middle of downtown Toronto, so at least I only had to wait about 2 minutes before leaping out in front of a cab and saying (with gritted teeth) "Take me to the nearest cheap hotel, please". He takes me to the Best Western, which is actually not too bad for a downtown hotel room rate, and I dodge all the hookers on the pavement (I now know where the red light district is in Toronto, should anyone need to know) and go inside. I fail to shift the fat twat behind the counter from the standard rate with my 3am negotiation skills - "Oh, go on. Give me a discount, I'll only be in there for 6 hours!" - as he knew damn well I had nowhere else to go, and booked in. I eventually get to sleep at 0330, and am up again at 0800 to get ready to be picked up for work (I called from the hotel phone and left a message). When I say 'get ready', I actually mean just have a shower and put the same clothes back on that I'd had on for 19 hours already.
Where I ended up:
Although the view was ok:
I spent the rest of the day, in the same smelly clothes, at work calling the baggage people and trying to get an answer about when the case could be delivered. After numerous calls, and facing another night in a hotel (that I have to pay for) without any clothes to change into and, more importantly, without any more contact lenses, I was getting a little tense and pissed off, especially as I sat there on hold for about 45 minutes at one stage as the guy failed completely to know where my case was. It eventually turned up at 1800 and I couldn't have been happier to see it. I just wanted to get home and relax. And shower. I've just eaten a pizza and had a few Guinness to celebrate, and am going to bed.
I am, it has to be said, a bit knackered. I wouldn't have been too upset if yesterday had gone a lot smoother.
My feelings on the wastefulness of american society have been touched on before, but being here again has reminded me, and it is particularly when I go through airports that it all slaps you in the face. Bathrooms/Toilets in particular, oddly. There is some sort of total paranoia about 'touching things in toilets/restrooms'. You have auto-sensing flushing urinals, auto soap dispensers, auto taps, no-touch powered paper towel dispensers (but usually no air hand driers). Why does every damn thing need to be powered or be somehow 'clever'? Did the rest of the world not decide that hand driers used less resources than massive quantities of bright, bleached white paper towels? Is there really a significant health risk from people touching a stainless steel tap? Surely cold metal is one of the least hospitable surfaces for germs, after all that's what surgical instruments are made of. If not, why on earth is there so much money spent to pander to the paranoia of the few who panic about 'touching germs'?
But if so, why is the rest of the world not dying on their feet?
Everything is so astonishingly wasteful in the US, without even mentioning the ridiculous food wasting culture of the restaurants here. Everything is so over-done, over lit, over-packaged and convenience (drifting heavily into utter laziness) is not just the presiding factor, it is All Powerful. Power is wasted as if it is air; massive 24 hour neon signs for the slightest thing; large, huge floodlit advertising hoardings on 50 foot poles along the freeways that burn all night, despite the relative lack of potential customers to see them in the small hours. The momentum in this attitude is immense, and the need to stem this to some sort of realistic level is pressing. However it will be very difficult to make any significant headway, in my opinion, due to not only the collective american attitude that they are free to do whatever they please (everything else being apparently being considered a violation of human rights) but also that to reduce these conveniences will obviously make their lives harder. The chances of the buying public going for that? Laughably small.
My friends and I were discussing why (picking an example that came up from some consultancy work that one of them did - and I reserve the right to paraphrase) the US postal service still insist on using ridiculous 5 litre engines in specially modified and downsized - enormously heavy - trucks to trundle around housing estates delivering a few letters, when a small van with a 2 litre diesel engine (or smaller) would be perfectly adequate. Also, why did they feel that they needed to leave the engine running the whole time they were doing their round? Were they worried it wouldn't restart? Apparently, the consulting company (British) did an assessment and its conclusions were (surprisingly enough) that they should buy a proper sized van with a proper engine that was more efficient if they wanted to save money, and turn it off when they weren't driving it. But of course, because no member of the american public would be seen dead in a car with less than 4 litres under the bonnet, thus there is no market for a small engine, so no american manufacturer makes or offers one. And the idea of buying foreign vehicles produce much spluttering and coughing and suggestions of it being 'preposterous'.
You want to save money? Either buy foreign vehicles (where efficiency is rightly regarded as important) or change the entire demographic of the buying public. Hmmm. I suspect it will be a long, long time before all these wasteful, 'convenient' items, vehicles and consumer products are phased out and america has some sort of responsibility for its power usage.
Drives me loopy, though. So damned irresponsible (like litter throwing kids/adults) with no sense or care for consequences, that I find it really quite distasteful.
I have moved this old clonky blog to somewhere else that is more shiny, and has special buttons that pleases the child in me, and so makes me more enthused to post.
It is here:
Feel free to come on over, should there be any stragglers here, after I forgot to update here for nigh on three months.....
So, when I went to get my kitchen stuff from IKEA the other day, one of the guys from work joined me (he gives me a lift to and from work, bless him).
As we were walking around, I found myself hideously amused by the 'Gorm' range of furniture. I spent about 5 minutes asking my (gullible) colleague who accompanied me there
"Do you have this piece of Gorm?"
"Do you have this piece of Gorm?"
Eventually he said "Why the hell do you keep asking me that?"
To which I (drum roll please) replied.
"I just needed to confirm my suspicion that you are indeed, 100 percent, completely Gorm-less'.
To which I cracked up, and he walked off, shaking his head at me. I chuckled all the way to the stairs.