Saturday, 28 June 2008

Fetid dingo’s kidneys

And so time creeps slowly by.

My day-to-day existence is captured almost perfectly in this picture.

By day, I paint toy soldiers; and by night, I drink until I slip into blissful unconsciousness on the sofa. There are many reasons for this; but mainly, I just don’t have anything better to do on the five days each week that I’m not working in the Big Gay Department Store. It also serves as a useful aid to procrastination… there’s still a lot of unpacking and organising to be done (even though we’ve been moved in for over a month now), and frankly the whole place could use a damn good clean up; but I just can’t see why I should bother. My two fattest and hairiest housemates are either unfussed about the general state of the place, or else completely oblivious to it. At least if Charlie Cat was here there’d be a chance of keeping it all tidy, and the offer of some help… but she’s still away having fun, somewhere, somewhere in a field in Hampshire, bossing kids about and making them cry. I’m unwilling to stand alone against the tide of filth that follows in the wake of the other two (I’m pretty sure it would just be an exercise in futility anyway), and so I am having to grow accustomed to the ever increasing levels of squalor that surround me.

This is where the drinking comes in.

On the plus side, I got the preliminary results from my exams at the beginning of the week, and they were pretty good. Even the heinous Stress Analysis Exam Of DoomTM, which I thought that I might have to re-sit, yielded a relatively healthy 67%; and that was the worst of the results.

I also seem to have scored myself a placement, working for a company that makes turbine blades. It’s based some 75 miles away in Exeter, which is a bit of a pain; but it’s kind of relieving to know exactly what I will be doing next year.

So apart from wanting to murder most of my housemates, things aren’t going too badly for now.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Super Bad-Ass Sweet Daddy Jones

I went back to visit my parents for a few days last week. My rubbish new car exceeded all my expectations by getting me there and back without exploding or falling to bits, which was nice.

Before heading back, I had to find my dad a birthday present. It wasn’t his birthday – that was almost two months ago – but since I’d failed to get him anything then, I figured I probably ought to try to find something. The trouble is, my dad (like most other dads) doesn’t really like anything, so whatever I purchased was almost certainly destined to spend a few years gathering dust on some secluded shelf, before eventually disappearing mysteriously just after one of mum’s ruthless (but infrequent) cleaning sprees. So, it would have to be something that wouldn’t take up too much space on whatever shelf it got banished to, something inexpensive enough to be regarded as disposable, and preferably something with a practical use of some sort.

I eventually settled on an Easycook Non-Stain Microwave Egg Poacher.

Let this be a lesson to us all; never go gift shopping with Dozer at lunchtime. Because now we have one too. With the Easycook Microwave Egg Poacher, eggs can be prepared in mere minutes in one of two ways; rubber, or snot. Yummy.

Fortunately, my dad has known me for long enough (my entire life in fact) that he no longer expects to receive anything worthwhile for his birthday, and so he did not have to disown me.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Oh yeah, the blog thing...

May sucked balls. Really big ones. I had all my exams, interspersed with placement application/interview/rejection, car insurance company wrangling, and being slightly evicted from the pub.

I’ll begin by moaning about my car shenanigans. Shortly after posting my last rant on this topic, I decided to phone my insurance company to see if they could explain to me why a breakers yard in the west midlands had posted my tax disc to me. They had to go away and think about it for a while, but eventually they phoned me back and told me that my car was in fact a “total loss”, and that one of their engineers would be in touch soon to discuss the value of my car. Quite how they decided that repair would be uneconomical without a) knowing the value of my car and b) even looking at it (I learned from the breakers that it went straight to them from the recovery garage without going anywhere near the mythical “approved garage” of which my insurers spoke) remains something of a mystery to me.

Equally mysterious is why they chose to use the phrase “discuss the value of your car”. Because when the engineer phoned me, he told me that he had established the market value of my car by looking online at used Rover 216 GTI’s, finding the cheapest one possible, and deciding that that was probably what mine was worth; no discussion or negotiation would be entered into.

Needless to say, the market value of my car turned out to be less than what I had paid to insure it in the first place. My glasses which were in the car weren’t covered by the insurance policy, and after buying a new pair and paying the excess on my policy I had a whole £50 to play with. Except I didn’t, because my premiums apparently increased when I moved house and/or bought a new car, meaning I am now £100 down - not including the cost of the insurance in the first place, or the cost of the new car.

Of course, when I say I have a new car, I mean that it is new to me. I am now the owner of a very used 1995 Mk3 Volkswagon Golf. It is red. When it was new, it would have looked like this.

Mine looks more like this.

I’m not a fan; but it should be good to get me around and about whilst I look for a proper car.

Meanwhile, exams happened. Some were okay, some were a bit disastrous. Things might have gone a bit better if I’d not taken time out from revision to attend various interviews for placements which were never offered to me anyway. There was also the added distraction of finding out, two hours before my second-to-last exam, that we had five days to find somewhere else to live.

If Dozer knows exactly what happened, he’s not telling anyone. I suspect that I’m happier not knowing. Essentially, the brewery told him that they’d found someone else to run the pub, and under the terms of his contract they only had to give him one week’s notice.

Somehow, Dozer and Charlie (who had officially moved into the pub with us just two weeks previously) managed to find somewhere that we could move into almost immediately, and that wasn’t completely rubbish. In fact, it’s quite nice here… Of course, not living in the pub means that I will have to get used to a few things; like peace and quiet, having hot water whenever I want it, and turning up to work sober on Saturday mornings.

Anyway, with all the relocating and change of personnel, it’s probably a good time for a quick roll call.

Dozer: It probably tells you all that you need to know about Dozer to know that he got the cable TV set up in the new house before he got his bed set up. In fact, it was almost a full week before he was able to physically set foot in his room, as it was so full of his crap. In unrelated news, he was recently asked by his (now ex-) girlfriend, “Hypothetically, what would you do if I was pregnant?” he responded with “Hypothetically, how do you feel about being pushed down the stairs?

Sam: Sam is the only person I know who gets out of breath eating toast. He is also the only person I know who watches M.A.S.H. and actually finds it funny. Last weekend he got up late and went to the shops just before they closed; in his rush to make his purchases, he completely forgot what it was that we actually needed (bread, milk, the usual stuff) and so came home with tonic water and fresh limes. I still cannot decide if this is to his credit or not.

Charlie Cat: Only technically lives here, since she disappeared a few days after we all moved in to go and spend her summer working for some outdoor activities company, making kids cry. She seems to be enjoying herself. In her absence, there is something of a sexiness deficit in the household, which us grunting Neanderthals are entirely failing to make up for.

That’s enough for now, I think. With all the horror of exams and house-moving behind me, hopefully I shall get back to posting with sort of regularity…

But I wouldn’t count on it.