Monday, 28 November 2016

Light It Up

This is one of those rare occasions where I have a few things I could talk about. In the interest of keeping things timely though I believe I shall talk about what I did over the weekend. By which I mean what I did last Saturday.

It was the big Christmas lights switch on and so my sister brought her kids down to watch it. There was one near her but for some reason they wouldn't allow small children. Which is utterly pointless. The town made a big day of it all complete with a fair and things like that but the nieces were only down for the main event. Santa was here too but he only stayed from 1-3 which was, again, pretty pointless.

It was cold but thankfully not wet. The weather decided to play nicely and not ruin everything. It was fun to see the nieces too. They all adore me and I'm not used to affection. So that's always nice. They got to go on one ride each and play the Hook a Duck. There was some live music and the lights were switched on by Sleeping Beauty who was there to promote the upcoming performance of Sleeping Beauty. So there were some people from the pantomime walking around too. It was great when the nieces saw Sleeping Beauty because they just ran up to her and it was pretty darn cute.

Eventually the lights were actually switched on and as always they looked great. We always put on a brilliant light display across the entire town and it makes walking through town in the dark awesome. Unfortunately I could only get pictures of the not-so-great lights.

It was a little cold, but overall I did have a pretty good time. If I could do anything differently it would have been to take more money but I'm still poor following the recent purchase of my laptop.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Every Title I Could Think Of Was Inappropriate

Well Thanksgiving is over and people are slowly waking up from their food comas to begin the sanctioned killing spree that is Black Friday. Not me though. I do all that shit online and I got everything done yesterday anyway. Greetings from my new laptop. It's pretty cool but the right side shift button is too small and it's next to the up/page up button so it's annoying when I miss it. This is going to reduce my typing speed for a little while until I get used to it.
Yeah, you ingrates!
I actually did something like this once. I went to a store on a midnight release for something and then bought something else. It blows their minds.
The message "pls don't die" goes out to everyone shopping today
This just increases the chances of dying
Spare a thought for retail workers today. Don't be a cunt
I sell white power and white power accessories
On the plus side they'd probably get more presents. 
It's not a problem if they're dead
Stay safe out there folks. Have a fun weekend and I'll see you all next week.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Hi Fang, Captain, Christine and Angry Lurker

Hey guys. I think it's just the five of us today. You guys are pretty much the only non-American readers I have left unless Debra decides to show up. All the Americans are, of course, eating turkey, pretending they love their families and watching some sportsball game or something. Isn't there some big game on at Thanksgiving or something? Anyway, yeah, they're all away doing better things.

Actually I hear that despite the fact the UK doesn't have a Thanksgiving it is becoming more popular here due to American immigration. This is one of the reasons that supermarkets sell turkeys so early. Corporate greed being another at least. Speaking of corporate greed I will be getting my new laptop today. I considered also getting a FitBit but I have something like that already. I'd only be getting it to have it. At least I actually could do with a new laptop. It just feels weird to use my old laptop to buy my new one. I get so emotionally attached to inanimate objects that it actually feels like getting an ex to choose her replacement.

I wanted to wait until tomorrow but I've got a doctor's appointment and I don't want to be going all the way to the computer shop to have to go all the way back to the doctor's office. Well that's all for now really. I'll have more cool stuff on Monday wherein I talk about my latest driving lesson and how it was the closest I've ever come to crashing. I'm alive, obviously, so you don't need to worry too much.

Have a happy Thanksgiving folks. If you aren't celebrating then there's nothing wrong with being thankful for things. We non-Americans are thankful for things all year long. For example I'm thankful this post will now be ending given that I appear to have hurt my left middle finger and my right ring finger; my typing fingers.


Monday, 21 November 2016

God I'm Tired

As I sit here, as uncomfortable as the day God made me, I reflect on how I found myself in this position. I think I got about eight hours sleep in all over the weekend. I had trouble sleeping on Saturday night due to being woken up in the middle of the night, and then woken up again by my brother-in-law and his son. It didn't help that all of the scattered dreams I had that night were bad. So I entered Sunday feeling worse than I usually do. That's when things really went south.
I don't know about the American south but the south of my life certainly enjoys rising again
See I do a lot of work on Sundays. I volunteer, I co-host a 2-hour long podcast and I still have my regular freelancing work. Sunday really is my busiest day and it can see me working for up to 10 hours. So I need to be energised. So what do I do? I drink too much caffeine and sugar. I also make the crucial mistake of drinking an energising smoothie after 5PM. If there is one thing you should take away from this post it's this; don't do that.

Never drink anything that contains the words "caffeine", "energy", or "over half of your RDA of sugar" after 5PM. Heck regular people shouldn't do that after 3PM. I went to bed around 3AM, as I usually do, and I was still awake at around 5AM. I don't know when I actually fell asleep. I just know I woke up around an hour ago.

In terms of good news PC World is already running their sales. I found a pretty cool laptop at less than I thought but I'm still going to wait until Friday actually rolls around to pick it up. That way I can take the weekend of work and get everything set up, take a break, and maybe catch up on some sleep.

I need to sleep well tonight. I got a driving lesson tomorrow.

Friday, 18 November 2016

I Thought Yesterday was Friday

I'm not kidding. I had to remind myself numerous times that it was only Thursday. I guess it's because I didn't go out with Paul or anything so it set my mental clock askew. That happens sometimes.

They know what they did. And now so does everyone else. 

I actually don't spend all that long creating characters
I'd eat them. I'm a monster. 

Thanks sign. 

I loved Scrubs. 

That's pretty far. 
This happens to me a lot. 

My cats don't even use their cat beds. We use them for storage. 

I had some Subway earlier. Not bad. 

Excellent interview technique

Enjoy your weekends folks. For today is actually Friday.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Turning The Road

My last driving lesson this past Tuesday was a little more interesting than usual. For a start it was a little later than I thought. For some reason I was under the impression it was at one but it was at half one. Then it turned out Martin, my instructor, parked the car facing the wrong way. So I would have to pull out in to traffic and past an ambulance to boot. It actually wasn't that bad, and it wouldn't even be the first time that I drove across the road that lesson.

We headed out to our usual place, but we did something new this time. Martin decided it was time that I learn my first maneuver. He rescheduled my lesson because he didn't want me driving in the dark but yeah, let's do maneuvers. The maneuver in question was the three-point turn. Martin said that it's now been re-christened turning the road. At least I think that's what he said. It was either that or "turn in the road". Both of which would kinda make sense. If you don't know a three-point turn is basically when you turn right across the middle of the road, reverse to the left,  and then turn to the right again to drive down the opposite side of the road that you were on before.
We only had time to try it twice because the road in question was too close to a bus stop. So after attempting the turn I would need to drive around the block rather than attempt another turn and end up where I originally started. The turns themselves were not actually all that awful. I was able to make the turn in three turns both times, but I hit the kerb when reversing both times, and I didn't turn the wheel fast enough. Hitting the kerb would be a pretty big demerit during a test, so I need to work on that one. It's kind of tough because you have to turn the wheel as fast as possible, but you have to move the car ridiculously slowly. So part of you is trying to move quickly while another part is trying to take it easy. 

For my next lesson we'll be doing a little more work on clutch control and making the car move at walking speed, which should help a lot with maneuvers.That's scheduled for Tuesday. Wednesday is when the new Pokemon game comes out, and Friday is when I get a new laptop and I have a doctors appointment.

Man I'm gonna have a busy week.

Monday, 14 November 2016

It's a Good Feeling

I'm tired of being so damn negative all the time. I got reasons to be down, sure, but I got reasons to feel good too. I would say one of those reasons really hit me over the week. See, I've been so overworked that I've been working 8-12 hour days in order to get everything done. It's slowly driving me insane and I've undoubtedly put some weight on (again) but I also had one of those eye opening moments that keep you going.

I found myself thinking about how awesome it feels, if not a little weird, to be so good at something that people are willing to pay me to do it. That's what I do. That's the essence of being a freelancer. I'm so good at this that, out of the millions (okay probably hundreds or thousands) of people who do what I do, the client chose me.

They are happy with my work. They come back for more.

They pay me for doing it, and it feels pretty good. Even though I've been doing what I do for a few years now I've never really had that feeling. I've had people tell me that they're the best writer they've worked with, and I've had people who are sad that I have to stop working for them. I have people who genuinely like what I do. They place a real monetary value on it.

It really sucks that I'm killing myself with these long days, but the reason for it? That feels pretty good. I wouldn't be working so much if I wasn't good at my job. They say that freelancers set their own hours, but this is only true to a point. Our skills determine our hours, because our skills determine our workload.

When you've got so much work that you're still typing away at two in the morning, then, well, you must be pretty skilled.

Alright I'll stop gushing over myself now.

Friday, 11 November 2016

The Distractions Continue

In more ways than one given that I've had real trouble focusing on my work lately. It's probably not such a bad thing that work has slowed down a little given that I'm not able to concentrate as much as I used to. I need to stop being so distracted.
This seriously works

No one knows how, but the Vikings were always there first. Learn the truth!

I think this could get me cursed.

It's not even Thanksgiving! We agreed that Christmas begins after Thanksgiving!

Ba dum tsh.

That's why I'll buy a cheap ring.

My Skyrim on PC didn't have all of that, but it did have some fun and weird shit.

Ever save something and wonder why you did it? That's me with this.

If I pulled out I wouldn't be in the maternity ward!

I am God. It's been confirmed.
Have a good weekend folks!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

A Welcome Distraction

While it's true there's one topic that just about everyone is talking about at the moment, I decided that I should provide a welcome distraction. It would hardly be the first time that I ignored a major news event. I know that as a reader I get tired of reading about the same thing time and time again. So I offer something a little different. Or at least I would if I didn't stop to write a paragraph about how I wasn't going to write several paragraphs about something.
I accidentally made the gif too long
In completely unrelated to anything news my gay boss, got his boyfriend, who is also my gay boss (technically he's not the deputy manager anymore though, so he's not really my boss) a Jug. This is a breed of dog that's a cross between a Jack Russel and a Pug. To be honest I don't like pugs that much. I find them kind of ugly and I don't agree with generations of inbreeding to create something like that. But the Jug is pretty cute and it absolutely loves me. I'm told that really it likes anyone though. 

What he doesn't like by any stretch of the imagination is cars. Me and my boss always try to get him to go on walks with us but he never gets very far before we have to turn around. He doesn't mind walks so much. He loves going out to the park and he'll stop and sniff just about everything we pass by, but he really hates the noise of the cars around him. Sometimes we're lucky to get him to the end of the road. It's a shame too. I always feel so bad leaving him at the house when he's always so excitable. I hope he grows out of it because it would be nice to be able to take him out. He is only three months old after all. 
He only just got tall enough to jump up onto the sofa
Here's to cute dogs and other animals. May they always present a welcome distraction. 
Of course a cat is fine too. These are my boss's sisters' cats. We fed them over the summer holidays. They is cute as fuck. 

Monday, 7 November 2016

Still No Fatalities While Driving

I mentioned last Friday that I was going to talk about my driving lesson today so screw it we're going with that. My instructor decided to try something new this week. As well as just driving around he thought it was time I tackled zebra crossings. I don't know if they have a different name in America but basically it's the crossing from the Abbey Road Beatles cover.
There are so many conspiracy theories about this one image
Basically the law states that when you drive up to one of these crossings you need to slow down in case someone crosses. You don't need to stop unless someone actually does cross though. The second someone puts one toe on the crossing you have to stop. So now that we've had a quick lesson about zebra crossings let's get back to the lesson.

My instructor knew a section of road that had about five of these in succession. It was a busy shopping area too so there was a lot of going slow and clutch control. It was actually a great place to practice some key driving skills. There was even another uphill start at a traffic light. Let me tell you that taking deep breaths didn't calm me down that time. I did well though. I did the best I could and got off to the right start.

As I was driving along the road I had to stop at almost all of the crossings. People are idiots. I'm sure some of these people wanted to be run over. But I kept my cool, drove slowly, and stopped when I needed to. Except for one time where I noticed a woman but, for some reason, failed to stop for her. My instructor has pedals on his side of the car so he took care of it. So that was nice of him. Actually during our first lesson he told me that his job was not to instruct me, but to keep me safe. So no one died!

He actually told me he had one girl who lost her license before she could get it. The way it works is that if you get six points on your provisional license before passing your practical exam you lose your license. This girl sped the car and then crashed it (two separate incidents) and lost her provisional license. So I'm not the worst student he's ever had.

Last week was the first time I was pipped by another driver though. I can't remember the exact situation but I was pipped. Oh and there was some moron who overtook me into oncoming traffic. My instructor told me to slow down a little and let him pass and it's a good job I did or he'd have been hit for being an impatient git. Ah well.

My next lesson is on Thursday again. Let's continue this "Don't bloody kill anyone" streak I've got going on.

Friday, 4 November 2016

I Survived

I survived my driving lesson of course. As did everyone else around me. I ain't losing my license before I get it. More details on that on Monday.
Vegans ruin everything! 

Now THIS is a classic British reference

Srsly where the fuck is my Thanksgiving? Even Canada has one

Yes I would like a box of spare cats

That's savage. Dominos pizza is pretty nice though. 

It's a valid question.

I miss my NES :(

I find it funny one of my cats can open doors but the other can't. So one pushes open doors while the other just sits there.

To follow up from the wonderful parenting advice from last week. 

And we finish with a great pun
After having a few days where I haven't been able to work much I'm hoping to get lots of work done over the weekend. Assuming people hire me. I think I don't even have all that much work left to do. Hey, people, hire me!

P.S My fellow Americans (no I'm not really an American) don't forget that Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday! Put your clocks back an hour!

P.P.S My fellow Brits; have a great Guy Fawkes' Night tomorrow. Blow something up and eat some damn fine barbecue. I won't be doing anything myself so eat something for me.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Twenty Questions

To be honest I'm not in a great place at the minute. Things aren't so good for me right now. So I'm going to be lazy (er than usual) and borrow an idea from Debra of She Who Seeks. It's a shame she'll miss this post as she's away right now.

Anyway a while back on her blog she posted 20 questions and her answers to them, suggesting other people should do the same. I've had that tab open in my browser for far too long, so let's take a look at those twenty questions.

1. Are you named after anyone?
Not really no. My name is actually a completely random name. I think I've told the story before but my parents were told I would be a girl so they had no idea what to call me when I was born and they noticed I had a penis. "Mark" was just something my parents decided on for no particular reason that I'm aware of.

2. When was the last time you cried?
I'm going to have to borrow Debra's answer and say chopping onions. I don't cry very often. I've come close to crying the past few days but no actual tears have been shed.

3. Do you like your handwriting?
I do like my handwriting. It's messy but I remember being told that messy handwriting is a sign of intelligence. Apparently intelligent people care more about the message they are writing than how it looks. This explains the handwriting of doctors.

4. What is your favourite lunch meat?
If chicken doesn't count then corned beef.

5. Do you have any kids?
Nope. Me, my brother, and my youngest sister are the only people in my family (of legal age) to not have kids.

6. If you were another person, would you be friends?
I don't think I'd be friends with me.

7. Do you use sarcasm?
Me? Use sarcasm? Never. (ps that was sarcasm)

8. Do you still have your tonsils?
Nope. I lost them last year. That was another time I cried actually. I told myself I wouldn't cry then, as soon as they went to put the anaesthesia on, the fear I wouldn't wake up kicked in and I bawled like a little girl. Of course I woke up and actually turned down the offer to stay in the hospital overnight and went home in the middle of the night. Thanks dad for being willing to do that.

9. Would you bungee jump?
I'd like to borrow Debra's answer again, and add to it a little. Hell fucking no.

10. What is your favourite cereal?
Krave. They're little pillows of cereal with chocolate inside them. Turns out they make them in gluten free and they're still pretty nice.

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Nope. Fun fact; I didn't learn to tie my own shoes until I was about 13. Now I'm just too lazy to do them up each time so I just slip them on and off.

12. Do you think you're strong?
Not really. I could do with going to the gym more.

13. What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
Mint choc chip.

14. What is the first thing you notice about people?
I tend to look people in the face first but I don't take in any particular details. Just the whole face. So I guess their expression?

15. Red or pink?
Real men wear pink.

16. What is the least favourite thing you like about yourself?
I wouldn't even know where to begin with that.

17. What colour pants and shoes are you wearing right now?
Depends. I'm wearing light green trousers right now and no shoes, but I'm not wearing pants in the British sense because it's almost two in the morning and I'm in my pyjamas.

18. What was the last thing you ate?
A chocolate coin.

19. What are you listening to right now?
A song called Soldiers of the Night by a guy called SylphStorm. It's pretty rad.

20. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?
I'm not good with crayon colours. Is cyan still a crayon colour? If so then cyan.

I've got a driving lesson today. Boy I hope I can hold it together mentally enough for that.


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