Good thing I got paid less than a week ago.
Good thing I got paid less than a week ago.
Even though it's 11pm and I'm tired, I want to ramble a little bit.
Brownies went ok. I hadn't factored in the speed at which we'd get through the songs or the disruptive nature of 7-10 year old girls. One in particular wanted slapping. I warmed up with Boom-chicka-boom, which is call and response. Unfortunately, this obnoxious little cow decided to take the piss and repeated everything I said for the next five minutes. Those songs we did manage to sing went ok, although I've never heard anyone make such a dirge out of On Top of Spaghetti. I must apologise for casting aspersions on Mandy's singing - yes, she's sort of not very good at all at it but on the other hand, I have seventeen tone-deaf Brownies. Not a single one is capable of producing a recognisable tune. Not one. I have to admit I spent more time shouting at them to be quiet than I did teaching them songs. And the little horrors did immediately decide they wanted to do My Little Baby Bumblebee - a song I'd deliberately left out of the songbook because I hate it. I don't like "squishing up my baby bumblebee" but I'm a severe emetophobe and I particularly hate the "sicking up my baby bumblebee" bit. (Had to giggle at Red Men. I've been singing it since I was seven - I am immune to the ickiness of that song. I no longer notice the "stir their innards in our cake" and "down among the dead men" etc but the Brownies have clearly never come across anything quite so graphic in their little lives. There were disgusted noises made. They did enjoy the chorus and the actions though.)
I think my hands are doing a little better for the hydrocortisone cream. They're still covered in bumps but I think the bumps are a little less prominent than they were. They're certainly tolerating the E45 better now - figured moisturising in between applications of steroids can't hurt - and it's not burning anymore. I have never been allergic to anything in my life and I regard this as a complete betrayal.
( In which I find it ridiculously stressful trying to take another person to a comedy show with me )
I've just done the "What is your love language?" test. My result is Quality Time. See here:
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
Yeah. I believe at several points I've whined/got upset (often properly upset) about everything in that last line. I have been the shy, quiet, invisible girl for most of my life - if I feel I know you well enough that I want you to notice me, then please notice me! It means I trust you lots and I value you lots and I want to be around you and it's not nice when someone you feel like that about seems to regard you as being about as important and interesting as a plant pot. (This is why I don't tend to cope well with big gatherings.The few people I'm comfortable with, understandably, want to see other people and not hang around babysitting me. This causes spirals resulting in me being hugely glad to leave. I'd much rather just go to your house when there's no one else in, or go for a walk on the hills or go to the pub. All things I can cope with. I sometimes try to deny it but I do rather like people.)
( Phantym on Physical Touch )
Now I'm headachey with tiredness. Not enough sleep Saturday night between late night, early morning and the clock change. And my teeth hurt because I ate fridge-cold jelly and bit it with my broken tooth. Figured it's jelly, it's the softest food in the world, it won't hurt to bite. It does. Most things don't hurt at the time but it was cold and that hurt. Most things hurt later and it does that too! (Guess who's still never made it to the dentist?!) And you can tell how tired I am: it just took me five attempts to spell "softest" correctly. Spelling is one of the few things I'm actually good at. (My grammar leaves something to be desired. I abuse commas and semi-colons, I know, among my myriad other crimes. But I can spell. Except those things you have to learn as part of your driving test - three point turns, etc. Manoeuvres. My bete noir of spelling.)
( The philosophy of going places on my own )
In other news... well, there's not much. Going to Lithuania and "I need to find some quiz questions for Brownies by bedtime tonight" are the only things in my brain at the moment. This morning I acquired a sudden crush on Brian Cox. I watched him on Something for the Weekend and giggled and melted and generally went a bit soppy at him. I don't think this will last long, judging by the fact that as soon as he's out of sight, I've forgotten him.
I ate on my broken tooth the other day. It felt fine at the time, I started thinking that it just needed a bit of time to heal up or something. Nope. By bedtime, agonising toothache. At just before two in the morning, I was drinking liquid painkiller out of the bottle. No spoon and the dosing syringe still had a small amount of gunge in it from the last time I used it. Liquid painkiller tickles but I can't get up in the middle of the night and go downstairs for a drink. I'd be shot. And besides, if I did go downstairs, I could just take some adult medicine.
I have a small ulcer caused by the rubbing of a sharp bottom tooth. It has become the only thing in the world I can think about. Poking it, prodding it, biting it, trying to get rid of it (yes, I know all those things will just make it worse). I should be packing and thinking of some quiz questions. I can't. I have an ulcer and it needs to be prodded. Even noises in another room is doing my head in right now. I have a tiny tiny pain in my mouth and it's become my world. Stop rustling those fucking bags! I can't stand the noise! Oh, but I can't actually go and yell that because I will be accused of being totally unreasonable and incredibly bad-tempered.
Snowboarding again tonight. I was delighted to be greeted by my favourite instructor, who I haven't seen in a while, with the words "Hello stranger! How are you?!" (This is partly because I didn't go for a few months and partly because he wasn't working on the days when I did go.) It went well. Really well. I had the slope to myself, the only two staff there not watching me - although my latest Snowboy was outside painting the woodwork with his back to me and I daresay did catch a glimpse of me from time to time (I get nervous if I think the pros are watching me too closely). Eighteen months ago I must have had my first turning lesson and it was only last week that it really clicked. Today I just enjoyed the fact that I could do the turn that's been my nemesis for so long. I won't say it was neatly done or even with a great deal of control but having the confidence there made a world of difference. I can tidy it up later. Happy happy happy.
However, within ten minutes, I suddenly felt a really strong dose of drowsiness. The mixture of adrenaline, exhileration and drowsiness is unnatural. It shouldn't be physically possible. I was giggly and excited and adrenalined-up and yet feeling drowsiness so acute it felt like it had to be chemically-induced. Made me wonder what was in my apple juice today. At one point I was standing at the bottom of the slope, staring at my feet and sort of hoping that if I stared long and hard enough, the bindings would come undone all by themselves because I couldn't muster the energy to bend down and unclip them myself. At another point, I got to the bottom, felt delight and tiredness and decided to crash forwards and just lie on the snowflex for a few moments. To be fair, I'd just walked up to the first exit twice, up quite a steep slope, before sliding back down on a plank. I was entitled, I think, to be a little out of breath and a little tired.
Despite the weird sleepiness and occasional concentration blackspot, I enjoyed myself immensely, I think I made some big steps forward, the iron is hot and I will be going back tomorrow. I suspect I'm still not entirely over the sports-and-camp-induced exhaustion I inflicted on myself last weekend and need to shut up and go to bed. (This last bit written quite a while after all the stuff below was actually written)
Regarding the banana bullshit - my mother told this story at work today and was told in reply, in utter seriousness "Well, it's true that eating soft foods uses up more calories than hard foods. That's why you should puree things into soups." I am glad to report that my mother's mind boggles every bit as much as mine does that anyone can believe that crap. And the woman responsible yesterday for the banana has today been telling us all about how her husband went to the doctor and how she disagrees with his prescription. She thinks the doctor's "lost it". I should also note that this woman is more inclined to believe the chiropractor who treated her stiff neck with herbal remedies than the doctor who treated the inflammation and pain with medicine. (I should also add that I stand very firmly on the side of science and drugs and not the side of homeopathy/nature/alternative therapies etc and may be more scathing than is polite.)
I realised, watching a repeat of Mock the Week, that I've never written up my trips to see Andy Parsons, Micky Flanagan and Mark Watson. That was a while back. I am disorganised.
( Andy Parsons, Micky Flanagan and Mark Watson )
In other news, the DVD recorder is set for Let's Dance tonight. Thanks, Ed. You have a gift for being on TV on those rare nights when I'm out. Actually, not so rare. Tomorrow will be the first night in a week that I've been at home. But it's half term this week so no Brownies or Rangers, so I'll be at home every night unless I decide to go snowboarding. Difficult decision. I went snowboarding last February half term. The slope is at a holiday camp and in February, there's nothing to do except sit in the caravan with Mum and Dad or learn to snowboard. I have never seen a queue at the lift like it. I got about three goes and they were ever so kind to me and let me have the wasted half-hour for free. So do I risk it? Will it be chaos?
And in more other news, socks straight off the radiator are glorious.
Today I have stayed in bed so late into the day that I started to feel lightheaded from lack of food and drink and decided I really had to get up now.
I have sat on the floor in front of the fire and finally put together my 20 chapters for The Sequel while Sister watches about twenty episodes of How I Met Your Mother back to back. I am not keen on Barney, I like Robyn and I have been in love with Alyson Hannigan's hair ever since I first laid eyes on her in the first Buffy episode I ever watched, quite a while back.
Mum has demonstrated that lack of way with words is genetic by describing the method by which we all spoke to my grandmother over the phone as "talkerphone".
I am watching Three Men in a Boat, which has reminded Mum that "whatshisname... you know.. him... Ed Byrne!" was on the One Show on Thursday. I know. I iPlayered it. She doesn't know that so she described the bit about him naming the baby. I casually said "I hear he's doing the dancing thing". "Yes," she said. "With his hairband." It took me a few watches to notice the hairband but she apparently spotted it immediately. My mother is a little too much like me at times.
I want to straighten my hair. Don't know why; I have a lot of hair and it's quite curly and I'm not physically capable of doing it all by myself. Might be because I saw some pictures of Avril Lavigne who also has a lot of hair, poker-straight and full of bright colours. I liked the scruffy boots thing she had going on as well.
I intended to have a bath tonight but it seems I'm being distracted by Harry Hill. And in a few weeks, I'm going to see Shaun the Sheep on stage. I have no idea how that will manifest itself but it's likely to be populated by smallish children.
And I am rambling
Lee Mack is brilliant, I am in love with Not Going Out.
I like Jimmy Carr a little bit more every time I watch 10 O'Clock Live. This is irritating when I thoroughly disliked him a few years ago. And oh, the pain when I believed Charlie Brooker was actually falling apart on live TV.
Listened to my beloved Ed Byrne on 6Music this morning. He and Dara have (probably drunkenly) tried to master the lift from Dirty Dancing - Dara doing the lifting, obviously. That is the the most amazingly comic image ever and I wish I could draw so I could do a picture of it. (Time to admit that despite being a 25-year-old female, I've never seen Dirty Dancing and have only the vaguest idea of how this lift manifests itself. Isn't that the one where he holds the girl up above his head and she's all horizontal?)
Eyes hardly staying open now.
Am I not shutting up today? I have rinsed my mouth with vodka and there are no words for the stinging of holding vodka in your mouth. It hasn't done a lot for the toothache. However, either the pain is letting up a little or the distraction of The Bubble is an ok painkiller. Dr Comedy's at it again. I promise I will be phoning a dentist on Monday. And when the hurt tooth gets dealt with, I will probably tell you about it in detail. Sorry about that. Writing stuff down here is sort of therapeutic.
While I was writing about Primeval earlier there was something I wanted to add on the end, something non-Primeval related, but I have no idea what it was.
After loving Knight & Day earlier, I'm delighted to find that Chris Addison happened to watch it today as well and even more that he liked it as much as I did.
And I've just been contacted by an old friend. I say "old friend". We met for one evening only, although admittedly, she came back to my hotel room for the night and we went out for breakfast in the morning. We haven't seen each other since and although we're Facebook friends, only a couple of messages have passed between us in over a year. She's made a suggestion that my head says I should resist. My heart wants to get my credit card out right now. And in situations like this, my heart usually wins.
Watching The Bubble, as I mentioned. Jon, Germaine and Ed are funny. I think they genuinely bonded in the house. When I went to the Lake District in October, I flew to Manchester and then took the train, and on the train I was sitting opposite someone who sounded exactly like Jon Richardson. I was about to fall slightly in love with him (didn't hurt that he was pretty) when it dawned on me that he's probably only seventeen or eighteen and it's ill-advised for someone my age to gaze at someone that age. I wish, wish, there was more footage of the Scrabble games. I know there's footage floating around somewhere but it's never been made public. (I feel like Hazel from Anne of Windy Willows. I am abusing italics.)
While I'm rambling, I shall tell you how I earned Brownie points (and therefore food) by doing lots of washing up. I'm firmly on the side of washing under running water rather than dunking everything in a big bowl of filthy water but I'm aware that some people disapprove of that. Housewife Colleague once made some remarks in her sickly sweet voice about "Oh, you obviously don't do this very often, do you?" and it took a great deal of self-control to not point out that washing up isn't my job, I'm being nice and if you think I'm doing it wrong, then you can damn well do it yourself, woman! Anyway, stuff got washed, floors got drenched and I became the good guy and therefore didn't have to do any more tidying for the rest of the afternoon, which is the best result of them all.
( Have a couple of Bubble caps. I've meant to picspam this properly for nearly a year, so maybe I'll get round to it sometime )
Oh! I've very suddenly remembered what the thing was that I wanted to say during Primeval. Anyone find Brian from the Beechams 3-in-1 advert quite pretty? This isn't the current advert but it's the same person and the same footage of Brian, so it'll do very nicely. Obviously I'm not obsessive over him, otherwise I would have remembered him a lot sooner.
I decided (and have completely forgotten why) that my little black glasses are bad for my eyes so at the moment I'm wearing my massive black comedian ones. I call them my comedian ones however, the reality is that the comedian I most resemble in them is probably Ronnie Barker. They're ludicrously big and the arms are far too long and they're constantly slipping off the end of my nose so on the whole, they're fairly useless (more time spent hauling them back onto my face than actually seeing through them) and they don't even look good. I wore them to Brownies once and was told fairly comprehensively by one of the girls just how ridiculous they look. I haven't dared wear them to work. I can hear Boss's Feisty Mother's opinion on them already.
I should go to bed. I seem to be sleeping pretty well at the moment and sleep certainly seems to help my teeth but I'm in the mood for staring at a computer screen for a few hours while rambling about things no one wants to know.
Comedy upcoming between now and May, alphabetically. It sort of feels like a waste to have not seen any at all in January. But the only ones who were around were Punt & Dennis and by the time I'd decided I actually did quite fancy seeing them, they'd sold out.
Andy Parsons - he's been a gap in my comedy list for so long.
Ed Byrne - well, obviously!
Greg Davies - he's not one I've been going "I really want to see him, when is he coming here?" but I can see that if I didn't go, I'd be thinking that in a year's time. Along with "damn, why didn't I go when I had the chance?"
Mark Watson - Booked last August, yet still managed to get front row ticket, which I only realised yesterday. Tickets first appeared last January but buying one over a year in advance seemed a little silly. Besides, being prone to sudden changes in obsessions, I wasn't guaranteeing still being into comedy a year later. But here I am!
Micky Flanagan - Saw him at Altitude, fell in love. Resent sharing him with other people. How dare he go on Mock the Week and suddenly become popular!
Milton Jones - Love at first sight. Another "I want to see him, why won't he come near me?!" one.
List may grow. Depends who else is on.
And now shut up, Phantym. Go to bed. You're tired enough that you're having difficulty keeping the screen in focus.
My Dearly Beloved Boss decided out of the blue that he'd like to celebrate last year's record sales today. Started with "Where shall we go?", then decided to have a look at our local airport to see if we could fly somewhere for the day. That's celebrating. But unfortunately, he could sidetracked by the local pictures on the website. "You know... [airport town] is very pretty. Why don't we just go there?" So instead of flying to Pisa for the day, we're going to go and eat some fish beside the bit of sea where I grew up. Do we want to go 2pm or 6pm? The day he's chosen happens to be the day I'm going to see Mark Watson. The theatre is about 50 yards from the restaurant but he starts at 7.30 and if we go at 6, I'll only be there for an hour. I don't entirely object. Fish is my least favourite of all the foods I don't eat - I really don't like the smell of fish - but you have to at least pretend to be enthusiastic about these things. Luckily, the 2pm late lunch is the favourite in general so far. I actually quite like this plan.
Leave work 1pm - the entire office closes.
2pm - everyone eats fish. I drink something
5/6pm - everyone leaves. It's not worth me driving 50 mins each direction to be right back where I started only two hours later, so maybe I go to the Wetherspoons just up the road and have a cheese panini (God bless Wetherspoons - a rare place where I can get food I like)
7.30 - Mark Watson appears on stage.
Sounds like an excellent day.
My favourite bit - Dearly Beloved Boss's Feisty Mother emailed him back and said "... so are you going to tell your daughter you're missing her first birthday?"
Why has no one ever told me how ridiculously expensive theatre tickets are?! The most I've ever spent on a comedy ticket was £40 and that was full length Rich Hall + full length Ed Byrne + a double-act encore, which is £20 each which is more or less exactly right. Nearly £70 for one ticket? That's ludicrous! My seeing of those two shows will remain on hold indefinitely, I think.
( My thoughts on Top Gear in the Middle East, Three Men Go to Scotland (and sailing), tonight's TV and last night's insomnia )
I had a lovely Christmas Day. I have a ghost speaker for my iPod, a guidebook to New Zealand - time to start planning my trip - DVDs of Dara O Briain (particularly enjoyed the extras!) and Andrew Maxwell (who's a bit of a poppet) and my grandad gave us a remote-control helicopter and randomly numbered envelopes. Number 1 gets to put the thing together and get it working and give it a test flight, then Number 2 gets to play, then Number 3 etc. Took 18 hours to figure out how to charge it - a lot of Christmas evening was spent believing it was faulty.
Boxing Day morning consisted of a lot of helicopter flying. It has attacked the tree, it has shredded some poinsetta, it has scratched the TV and it has given my grandmother a fit of something between hysterical laughter and terror as I buzzed it around her head. Obviously we don't have a great deal of control over the thing. I accidentally but beautifully crash-landed it nose-first in a glass vase this morning. I recommend toy helicopters, they're great fun.
( Then a sleepy afternoon not feeling so good )
Time to write it up. First and most importantly, I stayed in a hotel in central London, went back to it after a big exciting "comedy" show and actually slept! Admittedly, I woke up at 3.15 and then again at 7.15 but for most of the night, I slept! (Recovering insomniac here has never been able to sleep in a city centre before and certainly never after seeing Ed Byrne live.)
Secondly, I suspect I'm not really the target audience for this. To be fair, they did try to keep it secular rather than anti-religious but I'm like all of the atheist brigade in that I bristle at being told what to believe - only, unfortunately, what particularly makes me bristle is being advised that I should be an atheist. No, on the whole they weren't smug or elitest about it, and the majority of them didn't actually mention religion but... I'm not a believer but neither do I ally myself with the atheists.
Despite the title, it was less a "godless" show and more a "rational revelry" all about the love of science. It was a geek night out and I felt like the dumbest person in the room for a lot of it. Most of the audience quite obviously had PhDs - massive black glasses, long hair and earnest expressions were the hallmark of the audience which, incidentally, included Andy Hamilton from QI.
I'm not going to get these quite in the right order, but I'll do my best.
( 17 acts in nearly three and a half hours. Lovely mix of comedians, scientists and musicians )
Old Rope Monday - http://www.wegottickets.com/event/98550 @andrewismaxwell Milton Jones @RobinInce @NickDoody etc
Nick Doody and Milton Jones are in my Top Four comedians and Andrew Maxwell is easily in my Top Ten and I want to go so much and I can't! It starts at 7.30 and I know from experience that it's not possible to get to central London by 7.30 if I leave work at 5.00pm and I have no more holiday time. Some bastard has gone "Who are Phantym's favourite comedians? Let's sprinkle them all over a show she can't go to!! Mwahahaha!!"
So that's what upsets me today. Bastards!
Oh well. Sometimes Lady Luck shines down with her golden light of fortune - sometimes Fate needs a helping hand. As it happens, Nick Doody will be at Godless Christmas on Wednesday. I must just shrug and say I saw Andrew Maxwell four times at Altitude and once more at his own tour a week later so don't go getting upset that you'll miss him on Monday and that I'll see Milton Jones one day when the time is right. Serene... (Nothing against Robin Ince, I'll see him on Wednesday but he isn't in my Top Ten.)
Shall I do my Top Ten? I muse on my Top Four occasionally because I genuinely don't know what order to put them all in but I don't tend to think beyond that.
( My Top Ten Comedians. Or Top Seven plus eight Honourable Mentions )
( Snowchains for feet. I have made a second one so I don't have to hop )
( Going out dressed oddly and jewellery )
I should go to bed. I'm a little tired. Quite tired, actually. Slept really well the last two nights. Further evidence that my cold is a nice ordinary one - after one day, I was pretty much better, my nose is behaving itself reasonably well already and by Monday I should have forgotten I ever had it. Hello wonderful immune system, I've missed you! *hugs immune system*
( Ardal O'Hanlon )
( Brendon Burns )
( Chris Addison )
( Dara O Briain )
( Rich Hall )
( Ross Noble )
( Stewart Francis )
And it's a difficult one! Great! I don't know what my definition of love is. No one does, do they? I know it's supposed to be a big deal, that people occasionally freak out if someone tells them they love them. I guess it involves feeling a great deal of affection for someone and a lot of trust and a lot of being completely comfortable with them. I don't think love really involves roses or chocolates or diamonds - I mean, sometimes it does but they're not a necessary part. I would probably go so far as to say that my odd little heart loves Silver. I suppose there should be a certain amount of being able to imagine being around them for a very long time as well, shared interests and passions but also not being completely dependent on each other.
(Can you tell I'm not hugely comfortable with the concept of romantic relationships)
As promised on whatever day it was (was it really only yesterday? Or was it as long ago as Thursday?), here is a non-whining post. Consider it a celebration of my personal New Year. These are pictures of trips I've done this year. Altitude, my family summer holiday, Guide camp, the Lake District and the Ealing Comedy Festival. I'm not really one for doing real-life picspams so here goes.