The Daily Mumble November 2003 Archive
November 2003 was FUN! There was romance going on - not that you'd know it by reading this because I didn't tell you! Friends, fame, demonstrations, great results at college and further questions regarding my sexuality... read all about it here in The Daily Mumble!
Essay avoidance again. That was this morning. I managed to convince myself that I really HAD to get the navigation bar you see at the top of this page working. I managed to do it for all other pages on TGW a while back, but for some reason it was allergic to The Daily Mumble. Anyhow, it was all very fiddly but I finally managed it. The only side effect is that The Daily Mumble is now no longer centred, but I'm so self-centred I guess that makes up for the leftism of this page.
I got very drunk last night at home. Yes, I had three pints, and the effect of those coupled with the caffeine rush that I was still experiencing having drunk my third coffee this year about 8 hours previously was enough to send me into the stratosphere. I think I talked a lot. We had a visitor, someone who used to live in my little pink den actually. We had a wild conversation about Aloe Vera and the good old days when I was a toothpaste salesman at the bottom of a pyramid with dreams of escaping a rat-race I'd volunteered to join...
Political anti-corporate anti-BADmin stuff
Yesterday when I got to college I discovered to my shock and horror that the two folks who I usually "hang out" with, Zoe and John, weren't in class. Having had a 3 nanosecond unconscious anxiety attack I remembered that I wasn't 15-years-old anymore, and that I probably would survive without my safety net.
Turned out that the reason that Zoe and John hadn't come in to college was so that in Cultural Studies and then Tutorial I was able to chat incessantly with some folks who I wouldn't otherwise have got to know, so that was utterly delightful and wonderful. Spent quiet a long time chatting to Jo about our shared interest in Adbusters, whose website I borrowed this off. Kind of says it all really.
It's very difficult to not get political if you're a student. When I was living in first Switzerland and then Japan I made a conscious decision to not get involved in world affairs or ethical issues, but since September I've done a complete 180° turn, buying newspapers on a regular basis and constantly writing to all sorts of folks to try to make a difference, not to mention filling the Mumble with political messages. It does work though - you remember me going on about GM food a couple of months back? Last month Bayer and Monsanto (the two largest GM companies) announced that they're pulling out of the UK due to the hostility towards them - a great victory for us, the people. What else have we achieved? Doorstep recycling for ALL UK households. By that I don't mean that all doorsteps will be recycled, cause that would result in a lot of people breaking their legs probably. We've also asserted the right of all earwigs to be rehoused before derelict buildings are destroyed.
One final thought, something I discovered yesterday, was that the Bush Administration's defence budget (something like $300 billion) is equivalent to the COMBINED military budgets of the next 30, yes THIRTY most prosperous nations including the likes of the UK, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, France etc. Crikey man, if I was American and reading this I'd have a fit - all that tax-payers money going towards killing other people and illegally invading other nations, all at the hands of a president with the brains of a 4-year-old toddler who's just been given his first toy army that have to be painted and all that. The only difference here is that Bush's toy army have blood in their veins.
Mind you, Bush is coming to the UK VERY soon - November 20th is the big demo. Oh boy oh boy what I wouldn't give to throw some really stinky gone off eggs in his face. It's a shame that I'm not insane because otherwise I could go a step or two further and save millions of lives. But, just for your information in case you do actually work for the CIA, I'm not insane and rotten eggs is as far as I would go, or maybe a rotten pumpkin hollowed out and filled with dog poo. Actually, a tanker of slop from this year's Glastonbury festival would be fun, dumped off the roof of a tall building right behind where he's standing harping on about how killing breeds peace in the world.
Bog roll under stress
This is something that has always disturbed me: witnessing stressed out toilet paper.
I'm sure you'd agree, it really doesn't feel nice does it when you can see evidence of the force with which the previous sheet was wrenched from the very body that up until that point had carried it through it's early stages of life. Production, packaging, retail, sitting on the bathroom floor with it's mates waiting to be used.
Finally the sheet achieves self-actualisation - it becomes its ideal-self, by being the most important thing in the bathroom, and some would argue, the entire house (especially those people who find themselves in that quandary when post-poo they realise there is none, except in the utility room which is the other side of the kitchen in which your mum and new girlfriend/boyfriend sit. You shuffle through the kitchen with a forced smile upon your face, and then on the way back die in mortified embarrassment as your mother opens her mouth and says, "Oh, did you run out of toilet paper dear?")
So now, imagine, you're a sheet of toilet paper, you've come on this incredible journey and you're ready and waiting to achieve the highest honour by sacrificing your life for the sake of the gods' clean bums (that's us by the way as far as toilet paper is concerned), then suddenly, the sheet next to you is ripped off with such horrendous force that you become stretched, creased, lines appear across your previously beautiful flat surface - in a split second you are cast into the pits of shame, a disgrace to the noble name of bog roll.
Pity the bog roll. If you should inadvertently disfigure the next sheet so grotesquely, do not leave it in the clutches of guilt. Use it, or even if you've finished wiping, tear it off and cast it into the waters below. At least that way its suffering will not be prolonged.
You have no compassion
Honestly. The number of emails I've had ridiculing me for my concern for the welfare of toilet rolls. You guys have no sense of compassion.
Milk and two matches
I've been inside for too long. I just made a mug of tea, but instead of adding a spoonful of sugar, I opened the box of matches lying next to the sugar pot and struck one over my cup. The resulting flame was quite a shock - but I suppose that's to be expected as I was under the impression that it was a spoonful of docile sugar that I held in my hand, and not a volatile match. Quite why I'd strike a spoonful of sugar against a match box I don't know, but like I say, I've probably been inside for too long.
I had TWELVE text messages this morning! From my mobile phone provider.
I'm on word 1461 of my sociology essay.
My practical joke of the day today has been to put an empty jam-jar in the fridge with a label on which reads "there is nothing in this jar". That hasn't stopped people from opening it though.
I'm celebrating a whole new era of a spamless email inbox having introduced a secret code to ward off Nigerian government officials with their penis enlargement patches. So far so good.
Ok, enough distraction for now. Must write word 1462.
Lost in the woods
We went for a wander in Westonbirt Arboretum this afternoon - beautiful. The Acers are just coming to an end, but thankfully there was a lovely bloke there to take pictures of. Shame the narcissistic photographer couldn't hold the camera still.
Are you "Miss" or "Mrs"?
I just called The Ecologist magazine to take out a subscription:
Cheeky woman. I didn't even have my secretarial voice on. Admittedly people do always mistake me for my landlady Melanie when I answer the phone, but then she'd be the first to admit that she sounds like a man when her voice is channeled down electronic wires.
Ok, let's do a little experiment.
What you have to do is listen to the following two (very small MP3) audio files, and tell me
Letter from the bank
You hear every day in the news how consumer borrowing is at an all-time high. With letters being sent out by banks like the one I received this morning it's hardly surprising.
"Your credit limit has been increased
We really value your custom and are pleased to inform you that your credit limit has been increased by £2000 to give you a new credit limit of £9000"
Hang on a sec, did I ask for that? No. How many hours a week do I work? 20. Am I a full-time student? Yes. Am I going to go out now and spend that two grand on beer, weed and pizza? Yes, of course I am, I'm a student.
It's no wonder people are borrowing so much. If I add up all the limits on my credit cards it comes to... er... just over £25,000 now. Twenty five thousand pounds - and I'm a student. Mad. These banks are mad.
Oh, mum, if you're reading, I'm not actually going to go out and spend it all on beer, weed and pizza. No, I'm going to do something I haven't done before, and phone the bank up to ask them to put my credit limit back to what it was before.
Oh crikey am I getting a bit Tame? Help! No, hang on, I'm not. Let's think about this.
Right.The bank increases your credit limit. You, as a conforming member of society say, "Hurrah! Now I can go and buy a conservatory/go on holiday/pay someone to be my girlfriend" because that's the conditioned response. So, in order for me NOT to conform I have to phone the bank and request a credit limit decrease. You see, I'm rebelling! Of course the downside is that a) I can't buy a conservatory, which actually probably isn't a bad thing as I live on the 1st floor (that's 2nd floor if you're Japanese), b) I can't go on holiday (who needs holidays when you have a vivid imagination) and c) I can't pay someone to be my girlfriend (who needs a girlfriend when, er, um, er. I do).
Moving swiftly on...
Can you hear me? It's me! I'm happy, nervous, excited. Life is an adventure. Sometimes it gets to be a bit like a guided tour with one of those headsets - which reminds me of the time I went on a brewery tour with my lovely friend Adam. It was Japan's most famous brewery in Sapporo. We were given walkmans with tapes containing English explanations of the tour... but the Japanese man who'd recorded them sounded like Herman Munster! The result of this was that Adam and I were in hysterics for the whole tour. I mean, it got so bad that we were curled up on the floor almost wetting ourselves. The rest of the folks on our tour (who were Japanese) must have thought we were completely nuts. Ah, hang on, I actually mumbled about it at the time: here's the relevant mumble with photos.
Anyway, I'm not on any guided tour at the moment. I'm on a road that isn't plotted on any map. It's quite scary, but the scenery's pretty spectacular upon the way. You can read what you will into that, but I'm not going to be any more specific.
One step closer to fame
My next flirtation with fame is only a couple of weeks away - BBC3 TV, 9pm... haven't seen the final cut there yet. I'm not telling you what day it is (see below for update).
I folded my futon up into a sofa thing yesterday and am staggered by the effect that it has had upon the dynamics of my room. It turns it into a real living room. Two rooms in one, how about that! I was so astonished by this transmorphification that I put my computer on a box in the middle of the floor and watched the DVD of Gangs of New York. What a pile of poo that was, most disappointing. Too much blood and violence for my liking, plus the fact that I'm not a great fan of Leo. I should have got a romantic comedy out.
I've achieved so much today, check me out: fixed my bike puncture, washed all my clothes, scrubbed the bathroom from top to bottom, wrote a short essay on discursive writing, typed up a letter of application for an environmental grant, made a birthday card for my brother-in-law, was brave and made a scary phonecall (which turned out to be lovely), made miso soup, tried to support a close friend who is having a really hard time at the moment, did the washing up, finished sewing patches onto my favourite ever jeans using embroidery threads, woke my sister up by phoning her mid-afternoon to ask if I could borrow her car, arranged to meet up with a Japanese friend of a friend who is feeling isolated, brought together two long lost relatives via Tame Goes Wild, passed on a bit of vital information to a friend so that she can do some teaching practice, paid two credit card bills, got over the intense stress and fear of yesterday, put my newspapers for recycling in the recycling bin, had a shave...
And you know why I did all of this?
To avoid the essay that I am now (at 11pm) going to try and tackle!
*** Company Magazine Article Update ***
Ok, so I've seen the article. *Cringe cringe*
It's titled "It's not you, it's me", and features the tales of about 15 blokes and why they ended it. Mine focuses upon my fear of commitment, but what have they done to my words? They've slashed and cut my piece so I now sound like a complete rambling fool. who hasn't a clue what the difference between a comma and a full stop is,
My hair really is falling out
My hair really is falling out. I really am on the way to baldness. This is no joke, it's scary. I'm only 25 for heaven's sake. This isn't right. I blame my brother. My hairs been really annoying me recently, it's in that in between stage when it's not short or long and looks really silly. Lucky I've got my anti-pull hat. That's the one that makes me look like biggles but I totally love anyway. Guess I should hang onto what hair I have until I really look bald - then go back to shaving it off every six weeks. (See below for an update to this story)
I had a REALLY good day today. It wasn't stress free, and admittedly I did spy a pair of trainers hanging from a telegraph wire on the way to college this morning, but overall it was really good.
Someone said to me the other day that sometimes it's difficult to tell from my Mumble whether I'm happy or not. Well, I am, everything in life is really going wonderfully, and I thank all those that are a part of it for making it so.
Now comes my favourite part of the day - bedtime! I LOVE bedtime. I get to be lazy and lie down and make movies in my head and be kept warm by my 20-year-old Paddington Bear duvet cover. It's all SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO exciting!
A real life love story
It's not just in the movies that true love ignites on public transport.
There's a guy in my sociology class at college, we'll call him "J", because J is a nice letter and "J" is a nice person (no, not me silly!) - oh and "J" is the first letter of his name!
Anyhow, J is a pretty quiet guy. He's got long brown hair tied back in a pony tail, wears a leather jacket and works in a school for children with special needs.
Every morning for the past six months he's taken the same bus to work. It's a crowded bus, but there's always a few familiar faces on it. You know, those strangers that you see every day whilst commuting and feel a seemingly unacknowledged companionship with. You’d never dream of talking to them, but it’s good to see them every day. Anyhow, one of J’s fellow passengers over the past few months has been a lovely dark-haired girl. They’ve exchanged the odd smile, but nothing more.
Until last week.
J got on the bus as usual, and headed for the last empty seat. Sitting next to the window was the lovely dark-haired girl. He asked her if he could sit down, to which she responded by silently nodding. Nothing more was said. The bus drove on, picked up more bleary-eyed commuters and hooted it’s horn at cars parked in its designated lane.
As they approached J’s stop, the dark-haired girl turned to him and said, “Can I have your number?”
They met for a drink on Saturday. Fireworks display on Sunday. On Monday she decided to move out of the flat that she shares with her (ex) boyfriend to be with J.
It’s love you see.
It’s not just in the movies.
I've had a few emails asking me if this is a true story or just something I made up. No, it IS a true story, it really is happening - despite it's unlikely nature. And yes, I know it is a bit harsh on the boyfriend, but for the sake of a romantic tale let's pretend that exactly the same thing happened to him yesterday on a train.
Maybe I should consider taking a bus to college, even though campus is within apple-caw throwing distance.
Eric the armless bee
I had a Bailey's-inspired accident
I had an accident. Sort of.
I'd had a feeling since yesterday afternoon that I was going to do something mildly radical.
The deed is done. 6 months of hair-growth is gone. What was I saying the other day?
Below: before and after (and some Baileys-inspired artistic interpretations).
The funny thing was though, I had a feeling that the procedure wasn't going to go smoothly, and guess what: it didn't! I'd just made the first deep stroke across my head, carving out a large rut of long hair, replacing it with 2mm stubble... when the shaver made a scary noise, emitted a whiff of electrical smoke and packed up!!!
Lol, I had to laugh. I looked really silly, with an off-centre anti-mohican! Hhmm, what to do? Well, there was the antipull hat option, but what if it fell off whilst I was cycling?
After a painful 15 minute wait for my housemate to get off the phone (spent watching Pop Idol and then Who Wants to be a Millionaire - both programs being so far removed from reality I can cope with them), my bacon was saved - Callum had a shaver I could borrow, and so off came the rest.
But that wasn't the end of the drama. It was only after I'd finished the procedure that I looked in the mirror, and realised to my shock and horror that the "grade 2" setting on Callum's shaver was completely different to the "grade 2" that my bought-in-Japan shaver had - it was much much shorter! I'd become a baldy!
Thinking a little more about the reasons behind my head-shaving I have come to the following conclusion:
It was in response to an emotional reaction to my singleton status. I think I was trying to make a "I don't need anybody" statement. Perhaps there was also an element of me attempting to look more camp, to gain comfort by completely removing myself from the market so to speak (crass though that sounds, I think it describes the situation very well). Personally I love being a baldy. It feels nice, being free of entanglements and hot-headedness. But, I am very aware that other people do not like it at all: therefore it's like a safety barrier. It has plenty of social implications that I enjoy.
Oh, there's another advantage to shaving your hair down to about 2mm - you can check to see if you're ACTUALLY going bald or not. Let's take a look shall we? Here's my crown as of a few minutes ago.
No, no signs of bald patches there. HURRAH!!!
STOP BU$H DEMO - BRISTOL
There was a great turn-out for the Stop Bush demo in Bristol, in which we made our feelings known about his horrific policy of fighting terror (read "controlling oil supplies" and "worldwide economic, social and cultural domination") with guns, bombs, and a complete disregard of the most basic human rights (such as life).
"Fighting for peace is like f****** for virginity"
About 200,000 of us Brits made it to the London demo. I'm not surprised Bush's limo had rocket proof body-armour and wheels that can be safely driven upon at speeds of up to 60mph without tyres, such is the level of hostility towards him and his puppeteers.
Right, what I want to know is how do they manage to hide his strings so well? Is it just special effects, or is it very strong but thin fishing wire? Also, what's used to pad the inside of his head out? There must be some form of filler to stop the peanut rattling around.
Falling through a rainbow
Yesterday was a dreamlike day.
I woke up feeling so happy. I think it was the haircut.
No, don't laugh, shaving all my hair off has had a really strong impact upon my sense of self, almost as strong as changing my name back to Joseph from Joe did three years ago. I feel so much more me without all those locks, despite the negative opinion of my adopted Bristolian family.
Once out of bed then, I sang in an operatic style as I had my shower, and then danced around the house (after getting dressed that is), with a sense of trepidation and joy having discovered that a video tape from the BBC had dropped through the letter box that morning. It was the result of the two days of filming they'd done with me back in August.
How would I come across? Would I sound like a complete twat? Would they show any horrendously embarrassing footage? Nervously, I pressed play on the VCR.
Five minutes later it was all over. Phew! Did I sound like a complete twat? No. Was there any horrendously embarrassing footage? No. Did I come across as a lovely human being who deserves to become a general all-round media celebrity? Yes. My landlady can testify to these statements being absolutely accurate & non-biased...
It's quite staggering how little airtime you get out of copious amounts of filming. They were with me for literally hours, and yet the final cut sees my face grace the screen for just a few minutes. Not that I'm complaining. After all, I went to a Steiner school; I don't do television!
So, as you can imagine, having watched that, I was on a real ego-high.
My mood was sent further into the stratosphere by the fact that it was Melanie's birthday, so there was a general celebratory atmosphere. I gave her a dried apricot containing an undisguised garlic clove, beautifully wrapped blowing-bubbles thingy, and a card featuring Barbie saying "Happy 4th Birthday". Mind you, this Barbie had uncannily realistic dark brown hair that appeared to have been stuck on with double-sided tape...
By now I would have been orbiting the moon, had it not been for my friends on four continents with whom I've had quite a bit of contact over the past few days - they propelled my mood way out to Pluto. Aren't friends wonderful? I don't know what I'd do without them. Thank you thank you thank you.
So you see, each of these events was like a coloured stripe of rainbow dust, which when combined made up the whole beautiful arc. I spent the day floating through these stripes (wearing ski goggles obviously to avoid getting the glitter in my eyes), and felt utterly and thoroughly blessed and mesmerised by the whole wonderfulness of everything.
Mind you, I suppose all of this could just be put down to the multi-vitamin pills I started taking on Saturday.
There's a company in England called Innocent Drinks. They make delicious fruit smoothies. On the back of the bottles, where it usually says something like "Consumer Help line", the label reads
I was bored. It was after all a Friday afternoon at the office. The clock was barely ticking. I couldn't face any data scrutiny.
I dialled nine for an outside line, followed by oh two oh eight six oh oh three nine three nine.
...and so the conversation went on. I told her about my job, and about the lack of Friday feeling in the office. After a nice chat, she told me that the remedy was to send a bright pink email to all my colleagues, to remind them that it was Friday and that the weekend was about to start.
I did that, and didn't feel half as bored afterwards.
Now that really is customer service.
The results are out!
Two weeks ago I launched a survey to find out whether I really sound like a woman or not. In case you missed the recordings of me that I asked you to listen to, here they are again.
The questions that I asked were: