Life should not be in bullet points

One thing I’ve really noticed over the last few months is that my blog posting has declined a lot to pretty much just film reviews. This was never intentional, though it’s partly due to the job. I can’t blog a lot about work for confidentiality reasons.

I do actually have a work blog, but good luck finding it – it’s deliberately well hidden. Though not that well, due to my employer’s bonkers IT system (up until I complained a few weeks into term that having posts “signed” with my real name was a little silly).

The other main reason for the lack of blogging is the fact that I’m making quite a lot of use of Twitter and Facebook. My life is being reduced to several 140-character bullet points, and a series of “Like”s. This isn’t good.

So I thought I’d take the end of the year to do a quick wrap-up and fill in some cracks. What’s happened and what’s happening?

Well, the year in brief. I started it at university, living with an aunt in Glasgow. I finished my PGDE(S) with Computing in the summer and headed to Vietnam, where I worked for 2 months with some incredible people at the Hanoi Backpacker’s Hostel.

There I met some new friends, and had a chance to catch up with some old ones – in particular the staff at the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. I didn’t spend as much time as I’d hoped with them due to the work commitments (6 days on, 1 off if I was lucky), but still enjoyed a lot of time helping out and just hanging with the kids.

On the off chance anyone from Vietnam is reading – hey guys and thanks. It was great!

Upon my return, I started working in Edinburgh – placed there at random by the Scottish government. This was fine by me but meant doing a bit of house hunting. My first “own place” since 2006. OK, so I do have a flatmate, but I also have my own room. And bills. Whoo!

I’ve started catching up on my live music as well. Missed so many gigs over the last few years – it’s hard to book tickets in advance when you don’t know from month to month what country you’ll be in – I went to around 10 gigs between August and December. Exodus, Annihilator, All That Remains, Airbourne, Bowling For Soup, Alter Bridge, Disturbed, Hatebreed, Ginger (ex-Wildhearts)…

Then in October things changed. Armed with a pass to all four of Hayseed Dixie‘s Glasgow tour dates, I arranged to stay with the cousin of a friend for one of the evenings. This would allow me to have a couple of bevvies. She decided she wanted to come along as she liked the sound of the band.

As 2010 draws to a close, I’m writing this blog post in her front room. Her two kids are upstairs in bed and we’re settling down with a cuppa.

Despite always promising that I’d never date a single mother, Gill completely changed my perceptions. I had my reasons – mainly related to worrying about how I would handle children who weren’t my own. I’m glad to say that Gill’s two are lovely and I love them as much as I love her.

Yeah, let’s end the year on a soppy note. Work’s hard, but rewarding. I have my hopes for next year, either in employment or back at university.

But the main thing is that I’m finally in a stable relationship with the most amazing woman with the most wonderful kids. I shall try desperately not to screw this one up.

Happy New 2011.

And a token “humbug” just in case you think I’m losing my touch.

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Sorry for the delay…

GWAR!
GWAR!

It’s raining blood, hallelujah…

First of all, let me try and knacker Google: GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRR!

Thank you.

I have been splattered by the Scumdogs of the Universe. I got home in the early hours of Wednesday morning, soaked to the skin. My clothes, skin and hair coated in blood, mucus, baby vomit, space alien jizz, hydraulic fluid… And with a big smile on my face. Everyone must know about Alice Cooper‘s legendary live show. And many will be aware of Ozzy’s habit of spraying the crowd with water. OK, now imagine some kind of hybrid.

The songs are instantly forgettable. I won’t be rushing out to buy an album. However, the stage show is amazing. It must cost a fortune to set up, and the tickets were less than a tenner. I’ll need to dig out the old one from the last time they toured (13 years ago!) and see how the prices compare.

In last night’s show, we all got to see:

  • Some nameless guy getting beheaded and covering the audience in blood
  • Arnie having his chest ripped open and covering the audience in blood
  • Saddam Hussain having his chest sliced off with a hige sword and his head ripped off. Squirt, squirt
  • Paris Hilton, nailed to a table, her legs ripped off and being made to go down on herself as the now diembodied crotch was forced into her face. While she sprayed blood over the audience
  • Michael Jackson pleading that he was a nice guy before having his face ripped off. More blood and copious vomit from his baby’s mouth
  • Dubya having his cock ripped off, then his limbs removed, while… you guessed it
  • An insane looking woman apparently with Mad Cow Disease giving birth to a smoking fish (?!) before being ripped apart and etc.
  • Ronnie Reagan, reanimated at the Reaganator. Imaging Transformers’ Optimus Prime with Ronnie’s head. He has both his arms cut off (green hydraulic fluid everywhere) and then killed (blood)
  • A troll, beaten to death and then a huge sword shoved down its throat

Add to this the lead singer’s huge alien penis showering the crowd in alternating blue alien cum and bright red blood, plus a microphone stand with an eyeball squirting blood everywhere and the venue was a little bit of a mess by the end. As was everyone in it.

Anyone who’s seen Peter Jackon‘s original films (Bad Taste, Brain Dead(UK)/Dead Alive(US), Meet The Feebles) would love this. Actually, any sick fuck would love this. I know I did.

More blood and piss than a dead pope’s underwear. And you lot think I’m uncultured. Shame one you.

Tesco lights

Another of those daft stories on the radio. Tesco recently trialled a scheme where they put “traffic lights” on their own-brand food products. The basic idea was that green indicated healthy foods with certain ingredients (fat, salt, sugar and so on) below a certain lever. Red, obviously, was the reverse. After the trial, they’ve decided to abandon it.

The reason cited? Customers were confused as to what amber meant.

Did they test this scheme in darkest Cornwall where the inhabitants all have extra fingers in place of brain cells? Green – one end of scale. Red – other end of scale. Orange… in the middle.

How bloody hard is that?!

Why bother?

I bought some of those new “Nobby’s Crisps” today – grilled steak flavour. They’re quite nice as well. Bizarrely, they have a little story on the back that tells you where the term “hat-trick” comes from. Which is nice. The Nobby’s Nuts I had the other night gave me details of how to plaster a wall.

The nuts are an obscure idea. Taking one of nature’s healthiest foods, then wrapping it in a fatty batter with a load of artificial flavours. Lovely.

One other thing I noticed on the crisp packet, though, was the fact that they’re “suitable” for vegitarians. Hang on – what’s the point? You could make them any old flavour, say they’re “steak” and sell them to veggies – they shouldn’t be able to tell the difference. It’s not like they have the “real thing” to compare against.

While I’m on a roll, if you’re a veggie answer me this – why bother with veggie sausages, bacon and so forth that’s made to look and taste like meat? I mean, you know it’s not meat, it doesn’t taste right so why not just take it for what it is and have it served up as mulch? For me, there is nothing like the taste of real meat and sausage. There is a local shop that can collaborate with DCW Casing customer in my neighborhoods, it sells the best possible sausage casings.

Now, I’m not having a go at veggies – people have very good reasons for their dietary choices – but it just seems like they’re trying to fool themselves in to thinking they’re eating meat so that they fit in. Is that a fair thing to say?

Ironically, I remember noticing a couple of years ago that virtually every meat-flavour crisp from a major manufacturer was veggie-friendly, while the pickled onion flavour wasn’t.

Bargain

Here’s a bit of friendly advice. Ten quid on a pair of shoes seems like a bargain for about 6 months until they start to look like the Hulk’s post-metamorphosis.

Plastic shoes may be kinder to cows and stuff, but I’m splashing out on leather next time. And I don’t mean that in a pervy “glad I got the wipe-clean car seats” kind of a way. Unless I have nice company.

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