Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Fear leads to the Dark Side

Are there proportionally more crimes, or has the crime rate simply kept up with the head count? Is the average wealth in any way a contributing factor to the amount of theft and burglary?

The way you put it, I'd say yes and yes.

But I think it's also a matter of journalism being a little bit to blame. If you're reporting about all negative stuff that happens, it feeds negativity in people, and that's kind of a bad circle, spiralling downwards:

News: Fear this!
People: We fear this!
Other People: Let's give you something to REALLY fear!
News: Fear this even more!

When I was going to and from Shropshire to attend a course over two weekends, I had the pleasure of carpooling with a lady from Leicestershire. The conversations we had started pretty much the moment she picked me up, and I think I learned more in those hours of sharing a car with her and having conversations about this that and the other than I've learned for years. Anyway. To make it relevant to this thread again: we were discussing the media and crimes. She mentioned how some relatives were saying how dreadful everything was today, you were likely to be murdered in your own bed and have every possession stolen and this that and the other, which they had read about in the news. Her view on this was to reply with "So what are you going to do about it?" They didn't quite get it. She herself isn't a slave to newsfeeds (unlike my dear parents, for instance), and her way of responding to things like that are "okay, if I'm not happy with this situation, what can I do to help change it?"

She mentioned years ago when there was in the news how horrible puppies were treated in animal testing, and some city chick in white jeans and high heels was wanting to get a balaklava and join the Animal Liberation Front, when she instead should've been ditching her expensive (definitely animal tested) makeup, and chosen brands that have a policy against animal testing. If you keep buying stuff that's been tested on animals, then they're gonna keep testing! Simple as that!

The thing is, if you read in the papers how bad the world is, you're going to start believing the world is a horrible place, and you will live in fear. "Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to the Dark Side", as you might recall Yoda saying, and he was absolutely right. Fear and hate give off very negative vibes, and if everyone lives in fear, paranoia ensues, and hey presto, crime rates go up, causing more fear, etc.
What use is it for the media to have us all too afraid to walk the streets and too afraid to sleep well in our own beds? Will that sell them more newspapers, or what?

The power of the mind is incredible, and I believe you create your own reality. If you believe the world is awful and everyone hates you, that's what you'll experience. If you believe the world isn't so bad after all, and that people are quite okay, that's what you'll experience. You get what you ask for, kind of thing. If you believe "that dog is going to bite me", chances are he will (after all, you kept sending him images of how he was biting you, and since you so obviously want to be bitten, who's he to refuse?). If you believe you're going to get killed in a traffic accident or by a terminal illness, chances are you will, because that's what your focus is on. If people were more aware of the fact that perhaps the world looks like a pretty shite place to live is because that's what is in the collective conscious of humanity... well, maybe then we could see some changes.

The one way to make stuff happen is to start with yourself. Start picturing a world where people get along and are nice to one another. If enough people go around visualising it - and at the same time, staying out trouble themselves, as it's not going to work very well if people don't actually change their own actions accordingly - chances are it will happen. The Universe kind of rocks in that way.

National Pride & Prejudice, part 2

Addition to yesterday's rant.

It wouldn't be fun if everyone were stereotypically British. Stiff-upper-lip, tweed jacket, "old chap"... Much more fun to mingle, isn't it? Integration isn't about making everyone into clones for their new country, it's about realising you're in a different country and that it's different. Like, to name a silly example, say you're from Faraway Island, where it's not just perfectly socially acceptable, but in fact social code demands it, that you greet people with "Hello! F***K YOU!" Then you come to England, and you're a friendly Farawayian and want to greet your new countrymen, so you say a cheerful "Hello! F***K YOU!" - and then you're left wondering why British people are so nasty and hostile toward you. You were only trying to be friendly, after all. Integration would be that Farawayians got to know that their homely greeting is fine between Farawayians, but that it's not British custom, and in fact, it's seen as rude and offensive. ;) So in my view, integration is more about learning.

Because there were so many people coming to Britain from Asia, there are now a lot of different places to get more or less authentic food, and for those of us who have never been to Asia, we can sample their style of cooking, and perhaps say "oh, this naan bread is way nicer than this loaf of Hovis". (Sorry guys, but I think British bread is a big disappointment.)

There was a guy at work, who was swearing a lot over Britain and he wasn't happy here. When he was having one of his regular moans, I said "so why are you still here if you hate it so much?" I don't remember his exact words, but I think it was along the lines of "I don't know". He did move back to Sweden, actually. After he got fired.

I've chosen to view the email not from a perspective of immigrants meaning people from some warm country where people are of a different skin colour and the customs + religion are very different and "they don't even use a proper alphabet". Some of those people don't have much of a choice. They CAN'T go back home, even if they'd like to, because going back home would mean torture and execution without them having committed any actual crimes. (Being gay or a rape victim or disagreeing with the current dictator are not "actual crimes" in my opinion. Raping, stealing and murdering - those are actual crimes.) Immigrants can just as well mean equally pale-faced folks from Europe, who believe in the same kind of religion, use the same alphabet (possibly with the addition of some), drive the same cars, watch the same soap operas, and have a culture quite similar to the British.

...And if the letter is seen from that perspective, then it's not racist, as racism is primarily being against people of a different skin colour. If you do see it as it being against immigrants of a different skin colour, like Asian, African or Caribbean, then you would see it as racist. But then maybe you should also ask yourself why you instantly assumed it was about dark-skinned people, as opposed to someone from Europe, Australia or North America. Maybe that says more about you than it does about the person who wrote the email in the first place...

Monday, November 13, 2006

National Pride & Prejudice

One of them circulating emails...

After many cities not wanting to offend other cultures by putting up Xmas lights. After hearing that the Birmingham Council changed its opinion and let a Muslim woman have her picture on her driver's license with her face covered. After hearing of a Primary School in Birmingham where boy was told that for PE they could wear Football League shirts (Aston Villa, Birmingham, West Brom etc) but NOT an England shirt as it could offend others! This prompted the editorial below written by a UK citizen & published in a British tabloid newspaper.


Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on London, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Brits.

However, the dust from the attacks has barely settled and the politically correct" crowd begin complaining about the possibility that our patriotism is offending others.

I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Britain. However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand. This idea of London being a multicultural centre for community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Britons, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over Centuries of wars, struggles, trials and victories fought by the untold masses of men and Women who laid down any one of the millions of men and women who have sought freedom. We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language! "In God We Trust" is our National Motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan.

We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture. If St. George's cross offends you, or you don't like "A Fair Go", then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet.

We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our National Motto, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great British freedom, "THE RIGHT TO LEAVE".

If you aren't happy here then f#@* off! We didn't force you to come here.

You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted. Pretty easy really, when you think about it.

Some very good points, there.

Like when everyone moves to Spain. Heard a bit of a radio program in Sweden once about all the people living in sunny Spain. They moved there and lived in ghettos, more or less. The kids went to Swedish school in the Swedish area, they shopped Swedish food in Swedish shops, listened to Swedish radio, and only hung out with fellow Swedes, and only spoke their own language. Tension between them and the locals? You betcha. A few, very few, families have moved and live among the locals. They learn Spanish and their kids go to local schools - they integrate with the native culture as opposed to just take a piece of their home and plop it down on foreign soil.

The whole point of moving abroad is to experience a different culture, in my opinion. Sure, I miss home, and whenever we go to IKEA I spend a healthy (?) amount of money in their food shop to get food I know and have grown up with, and it's the same for expats everywhere. Whenever I go home, I make sure to go to the shops so I can bring home some familiar food. But I don't exactly live in a Scandinavian ghetto over here, and if I didn't know English, what would be the point of living in an English-speaking country?

Yeah, okay, so I work in the Nordic department of a callcentre, where I speak my native tongue on the phones. That's a job, and it's not why I moved over here. Unlike my colleagues, who for the most part came over because of the job. They live with people from work, they only hang out with people from work (on occasion people from other departments)... I mean, if you have the chance of working in a foreign country, why not make the most of it?

Instead of bitching about British cuisine, or as some would have it - lack of, why not go to the nearest supermarket and buy stuff and make yourself? I can assure you that onions, mince, garlic, crushed tomatoes and pasta exist in abundance in both countries, so if you're not happy with how people make Spag Bol in this country, you can make it yourself, with the same ingredients, just as if you were home.

Speaking of food, as it's a bit of a subject close to heart (read: tummy *wobble wobble*), Britain has a lot of stuff to eat that is (or was) new to me. Instead of just going "eww" or "I don't recognise that, so I won't have it", instead I've tried a bunch of stuff, and some I really like, others I don't. (I'm even gradually learning to pronounce pasties 'past-is' instead of 'payst-ees'!)

Right, I think I've strayed off the subject, but I suppose I'd just like to say "what he said ^^" basically. And that is, speaking as an immigrant myself.

Everyone who moves from one country to another are free to take whatever they like with them, in terms of language and customs and traditions, but it's still moving to a different country, with a different culture. INTEGRATE. Doesn't matter where you come from or where you move to, the key to getting along is integration. Learn the primary language of the country, hang out with natives. If you never do anything to blend in, you're always going to be miserable and hate the natives who don't understand you, and they will in turn not be too keen on you either. Like the example of the Swedish ghetto in Spain.

Language can be a tremendous barrier for both sides - I know how difficult it is at work on the phones when someone phones up who speaks neither Swedish nor English. They might be able to say a few words and possibly communicate okay with a person in front of them, but on the phone, there's no body language to back you up, and instead, we're both just frustrated as neither of us can understand what the other person is saying. Slightly easier to solve on the phone (just get someone else who knows the language better to call next time) than as a problem with society, but still...

In a lot of cases, immigrants actually find it quite weird how the natives of their new country almost seem afraid to show their love/appreciation for the country. From what I've heard, it's like they live in this great new country, and they want to celebrate that on national days (in England's case, St. George's Day), by waving flags around and show how happy they are to be a part of it all. Instead, natives are all hush-hush and "if we wave flags about and sing the national anthem and it's not even the world cup we're terribly racist and we mustn't do that". In fact, NOT showing support for your own country can be seen as more of an insult than celebrating the fact of your heritage. Which gets kinda lost in any sort of debate.

YES, racists and neo-nazis like to walk around waving national flags about and shout the national anthem, but is it really just THEIR national anthem/flag? Don't those things belong to all of us? If we allow them to hijack the flag and anthem, the most clear symbols of our country, isn't that a bloody stupid thing to do? Reclaim the flag and the anthem, and use it with pride of our country, multicultural as it is, wouldn't that be better? If we just say "oh no we mustn't", that's actually empowering the racists, as we then acknowledge that they've succeeded in their goal of hatred. If we take away the stigma and the drama of being proud of one's country, and everyone used the national symbols equally, we wouldn't give the power away to the racists, because the symbols won't be as charged anymore. If we all waved flags about, singing the national anthem, that means the racists aren't special anymore, and by that, some of their power is taken away.

The thing of "love thy enemy" is actually true. If you want to defeat someone bad, send them love. If you send hate, you empower them. If you send love, the powers that be will make sure they pay their karmic debts one way or another, and realise the error of their ways, kinda thing. Well, that's one way of going about it. Another way to defeat the enemy is by ignoring them. I'm not saying racism should be ignored... as such. The thing is, if we focus on a person we don't like (GW Bush springs to mind), it doesn't matter if we love him or hate him, he still has all the collective energies of the way we feel about him to empower him. Ignoring someone is actually worse. Scientists have actually proven that we need touch in order to survive when we're babies! We need more than food to live, we need someone to touch and hold us, and be close to us.

I suppose it's like a balance thing. Sending hate (negativity) to the racists makes them grow. Sending love (positivity) to them makes for balance, and when there's balance, they have no power. Anyone seen "Merlin"? Remember how they defeat Queen Maab in the end? By fighting? No. By ignoring her! By simply not paying her any attention whatsoever...

"So, if I see a racist heckling someone of a different colour than them, I'm supposed to just ignore it?" No, call the police (as getting involved personally is more likely to end you up in hospital, and not necessarily with a pulse). Think of it in the terms of terrorism instead. Terrorists want to cause fear. So they do some stuff, and boy do they get publicity! Because they get the publicity, they've got the power to scare people. If everyone reads about terror threats, everyone goes around being afraid they'll be next, the terrorists are out to get them. And because of that, the terrorists have won.

I think Britain did rather well after the July bombings. Instead of causing widespread panic all over, the old Battle of Britain spirit was resurrected: "So, what, you're trying to scare us now are you? Well, guess again, old chap! Hitler tried taking over our country, and he failed, and look where he ended up, and he was WAY scarier than any of you fellas." The terrorist attack caused the sad loss of lives and not-quite-so-sad London Transport property, but they failed. They wanted panic and fear, Britain did not deliver.

Oh well.

...Then there's the thing of St. Patrick's Day being celebrated wildly all over the world, and no one seems to consider that particularly racist... And why should they? It's a celebration of a beautiful country.

P.S. Although, "In God We Trust" is a Christian slogan, and I think everyone should be free to subscribe to whichever religion they want, regardless of where they were born.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

It's a SAD place to be

At work, whenever we have been off sick, we have these little "back to work" meetings, where you sit down with a senior member of staff and fill in forms saying "I was ill but I'm better now" and that kind of thing. Had one the other day. Again, it was suggested I seek medical help for a cold I don't currently have. This time, the guy I was talking to, made a bit more sense than the last guy, who just sounded stupid. Firstly - a doctor won't see you about a cold. Secondly - why on earth would they see you about a cold... which you don't even have any more? Ridiculous. This guy suggested maybe they could check up on my immune system, which makes sense.

The thing is, no doctor is going to give a stuff about my immune system, unless I have CONSTANT diseases, and having a cold a few times a year, I don't see as constant. My immune system has been a bit dicey for years, my blood tests have always come back perfect no matter what it's been checked for, and that's about it.

If I'm more prone to illness during the winter months, there is very little I can do about it. Why? It's got nothing to do with putting on warmer clothes. My mother has been telling me for years I have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), but I've never believed her, as I've never felt more tired just because it's darker in winter. Except for last year, when it felt as if I had been hit over the head with a brick as soon as we switched to winter time. I don't like when it's frost outside, so if it's been winter, I've mainly been moaning over the fact that it's cold, not dark, as dark is nice - you can cuddle up in bed with lit candles and hot cocoa. So, last year, it hit home. Okay, so yes, I have SAD, I get it.

Went to see the doctor about it. Go to any doctor in Sweden, and they'd be able to diagnose you, or at least refer you to someone who can. In England? Hell no. The doctor, who first of all had a problem understanding me talking to begin with (probably because I spoke better English than him), secondly, he had NO idea what I was talking about. His words were along the lines of "what? What's that?" so I tried explaining what SAD is, and since he couldn't quite wrap his vocabulary around "Seasonal Affective Disorder", I said it's also known as "winter depression". His response? I couldn't possibly have a depression, I was smiling and looked happy! F***ing IDIOT!!!

I did the test here: http://www.outsidein.co.uk/sadsympt.htm last year. If you score over 20, you have SAD, it says. I don't remember my exact score, but it was over 40... If you want to find out more about SAD, see http://www.outsidein.co.uk/sadinfo.htm

Light therapy, artificial sunlight, which is the only medication for SAD sufferers, is considered "alternative" in the UK. In Sweden, you can get referred to a hospital for light therapy sessions. So the UK is a great place to be. You can't get a diagnosis for SAD and you can't get treatment for it either. You can get yourself a daylight lamp (incidentally, the links above are to a company who actually sell those in the UK) and treat yourself, but that's it.

Anyway. Having SAD makes you more prone to illness during the winter months, and there's nothing you can really do about it. You can eat vitamins all you like, it's not going to help. The only one who could get my immune system back up and running would be a homeopathist or some other kind of alternative therapy, as the doctor kind of medicine won't work. Been there, done that.

Even though this bloke managed to make more sense in checking out immune system, one thing that did piss me off royally was his attitue. Tried and tested before, I must admit (it involved calling someone fat). He was saying how he, when he went to uni, had so little money he was eating very poorly and he kept getting ill, because since he was kind of malnourished, his immune system wasn't working very well. That's what he was saying aloud. Between the lines, he was saying I was fat because I don't eat properly, because he was really gettin' his preach on about "if you need to cut down on stuff, don't cut down on nutrition". I might not be the sharpest tool in the box when it comes to read between the lines, but he was so far from subtle even I could see through him. He has no right to make assumptions like that!

Yes, anyone can see I weigh too much, but that doesn't mean you know the reasons WHY! It could be genetic, poor nutrition, illness/medication, psychological issues, lack of excercise, "chakra padding" like someone said so beautifully a few days ago, or just eating too much. As it happens, the reasons are the last four stated, but what if it had been genetic, or if I was taking a medication that made me swell up? Then it's even more offensive! I eat perfectly healthy, if perhaps a little too much.

But stop f***ing make assumptions about me!!!

And I haven't even mentioned the fact that we get paid to do our jobs, not being ill, and that we're all just a number in the big scheme of things and that I've once again been reminded why I hate working there. Like the interview also has if there's anything I'd like to discuss about my job, or if work can do something to make me less ill and attend more... I mean, what do you say to that? The only way it would improve is to remove the phones, the customers and their computers. And if you did that, then it wouldn't be a computer support callcentre, would it? You can't make it into something it's not. The only way to make my role as Techincal Adviser better is to not be a Technical Advisor. It's as simple as that.

P.S. Hey, Universe, listen up! I asked for signs and I'm still waiting...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Please Deposit Trash

Update 1
Okay, so that didn't happen. As such. Well, I did hand it in. Half an hour later, we went to a meeting with some of the higher-up people who were curious to know what we thought of their Shiny New Idea of what we could get up to in our department. And I suggested part-timers could be an idea, but that doesn't work, because you can't move to a new country only on a part-time wage... So I said "Well, I live here anyway and have just handed in my notice, but..." To cut a boring story short: I now work part time. Yay! I can get out and go home when everyone else goes to lunch, and I still have an income, and it's paid slightly better than all other part time jobs I've come across. It works. Keeps me sane.

Update 2
Yes, I am doing the ACT2 course, as a matter of fact. :) Totally worth it every minute and every penny! Second weekend is coming up next week, and I'm really looking forward to it. Still haven't even got a provisional drivers licence. There's always tomorrow...

Anyway, the reason why I'm writing today is because of something that pissed me off on the bus home. I get on the bus, no spaces downstairs, so go upstairs, sit down... and across the aisle is a bloke who looks a wee bit... well, like he's had a rough couple of days or so. I think to myself, someone's sure been smoking... in fact, the smell is so prominent I come to the conclusion that someone must actually be smoking right at that minute. Guess who? Shaggy, opening the window where he is and I see him trying to hide the smoking of what's left of his cigarette.

I think "What part of of NO SMOKING does he not understand?" but the answer is blatantly obvious, or else he wouldn't be smoking on a non-smoking bus. So that got me going a bit. He also had a mobile phone, so if he was a bum, he must've been a well classy one. I don't know, I didn't ask.

He also turned out to have a beer can, which he finished off and tucked behind the metal bar in front of him. Which gets me going again. Why is it so f***ing difficult to deposit trash?! There's a trashcan downstairs in the bus, you can bin it on the way out! But no. And it's very telling of today's society. No one gives a shit. "I'll smoke on a non-smoking bus, sure, and my trash? Why should I care?" Always someone to pick up after you, so you don't have to take any personal responsibility at all, so that we all, like house cats, can remain being kittens throughout adulthood.

I would elaborate on this subject, but I'm knackered and have to go to bed.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

It is done.

28 June 2006

Dear (name of Team Leader),

As required by my contract of employment, I hereby give you my four weeks' notice, effective as of June 30th 2006, of my intention to leave my position as Technical Adviser.

As much as I love my colleagues and taking home a nice paycheck, I feel it is now time for me to move on, for a number of reasons - all of which I would be happy to discuss with you in person, but that I feel there is no need to bring up here.

I would like to thank you for having me as part of your team, and wish you and all other Nordic personnel the best of luck in the future.

Yours sincerely,

Technical Adviser
(other bits, like Team, Team Leader & Technical Coach)

Except maybe I could stay on doing part-time work... like a keytimer (the way I started working there, but not 18-22, more like 8-12). It would mean I'd have a well-paid part-time job instead of a minimum wage one (or unemployment), at least until I can find something else that I would LIKE to do. If I only did half the hours, I'd be able to get out of there early and still do stuff during the day that would keep me sane. So that's an idea. But I don't know, and I can't discuss it with my team leader until he returns from his vacation.

I was thinking today, on the bus on my way home, that should I quit (original plan, which is, like above quotation prooves, is underway) or should I stay on as a keytimer, if that's possible? I was thinking "please give me a sign!" and five seconds later, I get a text message! Except it was unrelated to all of this, so it wasn't much of a sign. Oh well...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Newbie Wisdom

Ruddy allergy! My eye's itchy and so is my nose. Luckily, today was quite grey and rainy (with a little thunder while waiting for the bus), so I've kinda been OK. Bus was late. Or it didn't turn up at all. I don't really know, I wasn't looking at the time... for the simple reason that if I HAD, it would've got soaked and destroyed in the pouring rain.

We've just had a bunch of new Norwegians starting training at work. As I was waiting in the rain after work today, one of them came up to me, as he was taking the bus too. We introduced ourselves and got talking. OK, fair's fair, he did most of the talking, I was mainly listening... but that's what I normally do.

He has a positive view on life and thinks there's more to it than just material things, and that you should be yourself. All that sort of thing. According to "The Celestine Prophecy" by James Redfield, we meet and talk to people for a reason, whatever that reason may be.

I've decided to quit my job. I came back after having had a week off, and I wasn't exactly full of energy and refreshed and with recharged batteries on my first day back. Felt more like I was cattle being led to the slaughter. That's not good. I actually grew really sick of it last summer already, but it was OK, nice pay and nice colleages and some other things. Couldn't really complain too much about it. Then things started going downhill... I won't bore you with the details, but the list of "pros" for working there dwindled, giving way to an increase on the "cons". In the last few months, excrement has really started to hit the fan and it's now a place I detest.

There are so many things to consider, however. I could just hand in my notice and be done with it, but it requires careful consideration. I don't have another job up my sleeve. Can we make it on just one income? Well we could, as that's what we were doing for about 4 months when I moved over, before I got that job. What do I do in the mean time? I could finally get around to do one of those crash courses (no pun intended... honestly) in driving, where you have a month of intensive studying or so and then you get a licence. It would sure increase my chances of getting hired anywhere. That's one thing. I also wanted to go on ACT2 in September, but if I quit my job, I can't really support that financially. OK, I have saved up some money, so technically I suppose I COULD. But wouldn't a driving licence be more pressing? That's £500, and ACT2 is another £500. If I still had my job, it wouldn't be an issue. Also, I've started paying back my student loan now. That's another thing to consider.

So even though I hate my job and want to hand in my four week notice on the 30th, I don't know if I can afford it. As such. But at the same time, working where I am, I feel miserable, and it's threatening to throw me into a depression, and that's no good either. So right now, I'm a bit... I dunno... one thing tells me to get the hell away from there, another one is saying "yeah, but be reasonable, it's money after all!"

So how does this come together with talking to the Norwegian newbie? Think about it. I had decided, but am now having second thoughts. Suddenly my path is crossed by someone who is saying we should be ourselves and enjoy life and be happy. Is it a message from Beyond telling me to stick to my plan and things will work out? That it's time to move on? If we are to believe James Redfield, the answer is yes.

All the upstairs windows are open, as it's very warm. From the open bedroom window, I hear what sounds like an owl. I've heard it once before. It makes me happy. Owls are magnificent animals. Well, they all are (Daisy is kneading the bedsheet at the moment). I really want to go ACT2 you know. It's what I want to do. I have a fricken knack for it! I don't have a proper knack for anything else. Animals and communicating with them... well, it's... what I want to do.

Oh I dunno.

I think I'll sleep on it. Good night!

P.S. Speaking of the ingrown toenail btw - booked in for 9am on Thursday at the docs. Must remember to get him/her to give me a perscription of cetrizin pills as well, as the only stuff you can buy otherwise just contains 7 pills. I need more than that! High tide on the allergy coast here!

Saturday, June 10, 2006


It's warm and again my toe has started playing up. It's been doing that for a few months now. It'll start hurting, then it'll hurt for a few days, and then it's like a blister on the side of the nail with yellow goo in. It looks as if it's the beginning of an ingrown toenail. Buggrit. Now I'll have to go see a doctor.

Been absolutely knackered all week. Was down south last weekend, at the Biggin Hill International Air Fair. It was my father's 60th birthday present, but he was in hospital and couldn't come. :( We'll have to go there next year so he can see it, because I think he'd really love it. Lots of planes everywhere. Also went to Brighton for the day. First time since January that I've seen the sea!

I miss the sea. The sea, oh the sea, it's geal grá mo chroí...

Been asleep most of the day. Got up at 11, then later, as we were watching the second half of the England/Paraguay game, I was lying down dozing... then went up to bed and probably slept for 3 hours. Was woken up just before "Dr. Who". At least I planted those tomatoe plants. Daisy was lying sleeping in the shadow on the lawn a majority of the day, now she's purring in my lap. Very warm and sunny today.

Have actually got a lot to write about today but I don't feel up to it.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

I Aim To Misbehave

Soo. Ebdon vs Dott ended with Dott winning the match and the world champion title. Good on him! His first tournament title! Happy for him. Sad Alan McManus was beaten in the first round and thereby was kicked out of the top 16, but ho hum. I suppose now I know what it feels like to be a GAIS supporter. (Note to non-Swedes: GAIS is a football team from Gothenburg who very rarely win anything.)

Lots of things to do and lots of things to sort out, and in the week that commences in about 15 minutes, I have two things to look forward to. Tuesday, I have to be at work at 7:30 to attend training. So start half an hour earlier - but I finish 1½ hour earlier, so that's good. On Wednesday, I have a disciplinary hearing to attend, as the company I work for have a problem with people being ill from time to time. I've been having bad colds with fever in the past year (especially the past few months), and therefore been off one or two days on a few occasions, so now the procedure is to sit with people and defend myself for having been off sick when I've been ill. Does that strike anyone else as odd? Sure, I know they're just out to get those who take sick days all the friggin' time without being ill, but I mean, this is ridiculous. Then again, I don't feel very much like defending myself for it either.

Had a "back to work" meeting with one of our former Team Leaders in the week. He said "oh, but they're connected and yet you've never been to see a doctor. Why on earth not?" My response was an, "errr... because I don't class having a cold in April last year and then in November as being related, and why would I go to a doctor when I've only got a cold?" I mean, it's not exactly as if I've been off a whole week - that WOULD make me go to the doctor. It's been oh, I don't feel so good, but I'll go to work, and next day oh I feel a little too ill so I'll stay at home, and the next day (or day after), I go back to work. Why waste taxpayers money to go see a doctor who will say "go home and have some Lemsip and some rest"? Not like they give a damn. If you have a high fever for a week, yes, there might be an infection and you might need some medical treatment. If you have a common cold... I'm not going to waste their time or mine with that, because I think it's ridiculous. Our ex-TL kindly suggested maybe I should go and see the doctor before Wednesday, as that would "help my case" on Wednesday. Don't get me wrong, I do really really like that guy, he's a great bloke, but... why would I go to see a doctor when I'm not ill? And go to see a doctor for a common cold... that I don't even have at the moment? I don't get it.

OK, yes, it would "help" my case. Because if you've been ill a few times, oh then you're in trouble! At least if you work where I'm working! The thing is, I've stopped caring. So I'm in trouble for having been ill, well TOUGH. If they want to fire me, I'll do it the way Hollywood taught me, and say "you can't fire me, I QUIT!" anyway. It's not as if I'm planning an ongoing career at that place. Like that Ciao survey I answered the other day about work. On one of the questions, I remember having answered "I'm actively looking to leave". So there. They can say whatever they like, because quite frankly, I'm sick and tired of that place and can't wait to get out. So the old intimidation "cooperate and be a nice girl or there's the door" doesn't really work on me, as I don't want to be a nice girl and secondly, I've been giving that door longing glances ever since I started, more or less.

So whatever happens, happens.

Over and out.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Ebdon vs Dott

Very interesting game. As I'm not a sports commentator, I won't go into details, but in short, while writing this, am watching the World Snooker Championship final on telly. Peter Ebdon 13, Graeme Dott 15. If the rest of the frames continue like the 75 minute one, they'll still be playing by the time we get up in the morning!

It's 23:26, so first to 18 or first to collapse and fall asleep, I suppose.

Why haven't I written anything here since March? Weeeeell... there's that thing we call DDO... and that's time-consuming... and heaps of fun! :) OK, DDO = "Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach". Computer game, yeah? Good.

Our team on Lyrandar went through three quests we've never done before today - the last one was seriously psychedelic... with HUGE mushrooms. Next part is a "very long" (not just "long") level 4 quest, and since we're all just level 3, dunno if we're doing that next week or something else.

Might I say the rewards you get to choose from when completing all the Waterworks quests are AWESOME! Went with the Armour of the Unknown Soldier or summit like that, as it was a +1 Half Plate armour (which is what my Paladin's wearing normally) but with a +1 to Charisma, which is good, because the Lay On Hands thing goes off that, and also the Turn Undead doodad for Clerics. See, I think Briain de Bois Guilbert (the name "Brian" was taken) should become a Cleric at next level. We could so do with a Cleric to heal in the party. His single Lay On Hands is a bit too little, really.

Yes, I did name my Paladin after the Knight Templar in "Ivanhoe". Sam Neill played him in 1982. ;)

Still 13-15 and Ebdon's kids are sound asleep. And so should we be. Got work tomorrow after all. Hopefully the phones will be buggered from the building move. :)

P.S. And just as I posted, Ebdon potted the cueball, got a foul and Dott won the frame. 13-16 now!

Saturday, March 04, 2006


I think my to-do list is a virus, because it feels as if it's mutating out of control. It's not like I don't get things done, it's just that more things keep being added. Even if I split stuff up. I have a massive one for SH, for instance, and another one with more day-to-day matters, another for spiritual stuff... Not to mention everyone I should call. I'd love to say "more often" in the end, but for me to say that, I would have to actually phone people to begin with, which I don't - it's not that I don't want to speak to people, it's just that I work all day and when I get home, I don't feel like picking up a phone as I've been on it all the friggin' day! Well instead I could write them letters. Which happens. Maybe. I send cards? I'm at work, that doesn't give you time for things you want to pay attention to and not have to be interrupted ever so often.

To anyone who feels slighted by me not being in contact much... well, I'm sorry, and I have my guilty conscience and all that. Send me an email. I normally am able to reply to those.

Tomorrow we will have to clean the house up and make it nice and tidy - got a viewing Monday and one on Thursday. Two in one week! Hey, fingers crossed!

Anyhoo. Played D&D online today, which was fun. Finally put some use to Zoula. :)

Friday, March 03, 2006

Beta? No, REALLY?

Hm. Don't quite know what to write but felt like writing something anyway.

Just discovered what was "Windows AntiSpyware (Beta)" is now "Windows Defender (Beta 2)". So let's try it! Have had two errors so far... Then again, when you think about it, it's their program to begin with that paved the way for spyware! Why not just fix the security issues in IE and Win instead of creating an antispyware program? Honestly!

Discovered Yahoo!Movies today. You could rate stuff and create lists. The filmography wasn't complete, when it came to Sam Neill, and some years were faulty ("Robbery Under Arms" was released in the early 1980s, NOT in 1999!). When you rated stuff, eventually it told you whether or not you were likely to like a movie or not. That was funny.

Must write some reviews there when I'm bored.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

27, 28, 1 - not 28, 29, 30, 1

First of all, a great big Happy Birthday to Maria! I hope your day has been nice! :) I was going to send you a card in time for your birthday but I forgot 1 March came after 28 and not 30/31 of February. Silly me! I'm still waiting to receive your birthday present to arrive (which was going to be a Christmas present but it didn't get here in time - although it MIGHT actually arrive in time for Christmas THIS year... but I wouldn't bank on it), so hang in there.

No, I DON'T wish to renew my Norton subscription actually, go away. I'm waiting for my 3 free trial months to expire and then it's buh-bye NIS and hello to avast! and ZoneAlarm like on Eddie.

Speaking of free, unpirated s/w - I finally (somehow) managed to convince Linux to play MP3-files! Or, well, XMMS does. AmaroK still happily refuses to play them. I'm happy with only using XMMS though - hey, it looks like Winamp so it makes Win geeks like me feel at home. I think I might come to agree more and more with the penguin though, so yay me! (If anyone cares, I've installed SuSE 10, running KDE desktop because hey I'm a Win geek and need things made easy for me.)

Today at work I had two calls that were similar but oh so different. The first guy said he'd built PCs and stuff, yet he still thought AUX meant speakers... and thanked me when I suggested he should have a look in Device Manager for errors. I don't WANT to know what computers he built. I just wouldn't want to use them! Anyhoo, later on someone phoned up and explained the HDD had crashed... and he actually KNEW what he was talking about! I tell ya, those callers are few and far between but they are so wonderfully refreshing to get! :) Then again some people are just stupid. One customer was advised by one instance he had a virus, and another advised him to download Ad-Aware. His problem? "CPU fan error" on bootup and the core temperature was higher than it should be... yeah better get Norton right on that...

I should've done some dishes tonight as Tony was out but I ended up solving my Linux problem instead and am now in bed and I can feel my eyelids getting heavier and heavier.

I should ask people to read this blog and use it as like a multi-recipient letter or something, because at the moment I'm writing one letter, have another one to reply to and a third one I should write as well. Practical solution, if not very personal. Anyone who wants an update on things but can't be bothered to write - keep yourself tuned to this place then. Sounds like a well good plan to me.


P.S. Found a house that looks nice. I want to live there. John German, make someone buy our house so we can put in an offer for it and get it so that it doesn't slip away like the other one we put in an offer for? (Yeah we're looking into moving. More on that another time. I'll tell you all about magnolia paint.)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

If only I wanted to be something boring

OK, so I haven't written for a while now. Been busy with stuff.

Just felt like writing a note.

I've looked around a lot of different websites now trying to find a job I'd like to do. I've applied for a bunch, but nothing really stood out a lot and had my name all over it. It's quite depressing when you think about it. If I were a web developer or into accounting or telesales and stuff like that, I'd have people throwing jobs at me like there's no tomorrow.

But no.

I want something else.

And I can't find it.

I even went to have a look at available online courses, because hey, wouldn't that be a bit of a neat idea? Distance learning while working and all that. Yup. Like psychology, I'd enjoy that. Open University had degrees and stuff you could take, made up of loads of different little courses - each costing around £500. What, am I MADE of money?! Fuck off!

What I really want to be is a regression hypnotherapist, animal communicator and interior decorator/Feng Shui consultant. Is that too much to ask? I'm afraid so. :( Best go find me some educations into hypnotherapy and Feng Shui, because I already know where to get the animal communication from. I've already been on one of them! (Different story, one which I should've written about here actually.)

I've also, since yesterday, enjoyed the sheer bliss of being a CaféPress shopkeeper. Yay me! :D Ogle this:

http://www.cafepress.com/area53 and

I'm off to bed. Wish I knew where I put that notebook where I put printouts of those animals I am supposed to talk to. Oh well, I still have 'em saved on my computer.