Friday, December 31, 2010

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I haven't blogged in a while because I've been at home, cut off by blizzards of snow, and a three day walk from an internet connection. Well, that's a lie, but there's been some snow, and my computer is in London, so I've had to use my brother's old laptop.

So this is Christmas
Here's a quick lowdown* of what I've done during the Christmas holidays.

1. My lovely girlfriend came for Christmas.

2. My brother, aforementioned girlfriend and I went to Midnight Communion in Minstead (where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is buried**). It was a bit boring. The vicar, who was a Pope look-a-like, had a rather boring voice and talked nonsense: 'You look into the manger and you see Jesus' face saying, "I want to be your friend."' But he did drink the left-over port rather energetically after Communion.

3. I opened Christmas presents. Said presents included a lot of toiletries. I don't know whether there is a reason for this.

A dramatic reenactment of what happens when I put on aftershave.

4. I ate lots and lots of turkey.

5. I played a lot of bubbleshooter.

6. I went to a birthday party involving scalectrix racing. The person whose birthday it was turned 32 that day, but that didn't mean we didn't have fun eating cake and racing cars. I came last.

7. I ate lots of chocolate, cakes and other food.

...and a happy New Year
Today is New Year's Eve. Every year, according to tradition, our family goes to a party at another family's house. Unfortunately, this year, this family have come down with the flu. So this year I'm not doing any thing for New Year's Eve this year. So instead, I'm going to go to have a hot chocolate and go to bed early.

I am also writing a list of New Year's Resolutions. So far it includes:
  1. Write my dissertation and finish my masters.
  2. Stop procrastinating.
  3. Write a novel, have it published, and win the Man Booker Prize.
  4. Learn to speak Arabic fluently.
  5. Read the entire Bible. In its original languages.
  6. Find a job.
  7. Maybe volunteer abroad. Or get an internship. Win the Nobel Peace Prize for the work I do.
  8. Get my own Wikipedia article.

Do you have any other suggestions of what resolutions I should make? Anyway, I shall be off, so Happy New Year to you all!

*Just because it rhymes with 'lowdown'.
** Although he's been dead for more than two hours.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Adult Authority Figure

I haven't posted anything much in a while, but I was just thinking of a conversation children often have with their parents or teachers. It has to be one of the most annoying things an adult can say to a child.

Child: How do you spell catharsis?*
Adult Authority Figure: Look it up in the dictionary.

What is that all about? It's a) completely illogical, b) lazy and c) just an attempt by Adult Authority Figure to hide their ignorance. Another example of parental stupidity is, 'If you fall over and break both your legs, don't come running to me for sympathy.' Actually, from a medical perspective, that could be considered sound advice.

Can you think of any other stupid things parents say to children?

*I was a precocious child.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Grammar Nazi: Or why I don't have friends

I'm a Nazi. A grammar Nazi. When I see a missing apostrophe, a they're/their/there identity crisis or too many dots in an ellipsis (it has three, is that too hard people?), I have a minor heart attack. Unfortunately Facebook is the worst place for grammatical accuracy known to mankind. And also, unfortunately for me, I have the ability to write an obnoxious comment back.

Alas, this unhealthy compulsion isn't restricted to the internet. When I overheard someone say, 'Is brutalness a word?' to a friend, I had to bite my tongue not to turn around and say, 'No, it's brutality you're looking for.' I believe this one of the plethora of reasons that I don't have any friends.

Who'd have known this picture would have come in so handy?

And by the way, the plural of status is statuses, not stati. The same goes for virus.

Quick Questions
  1. Which misuse of the English language annoys you the most?
  2. Do you have any other pet peeves?
  3. Can you be my friend?

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Essay Woes

Today I've been trying to write an essay. It's about the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. It all started well. I went to the library and took out four giant books which seemed relevant to the topic. Three of them have 1948 in the title and two of them have the word 'war'. I thought that was a big hint. I took them home, nearly breaking my back in the process, and started to read them. This is where my problems started. I believe I have a concentration span equalling 8.4 seconds. After that, this happens:

And then I try to write the thing. It usually ends up something like this:

If you click it to make it bigger, you'll notice on the taskbar that I googled the lyrics to Rosie and Jim. Don't ask me why.

And then I go and play on bubbleshooter for a bit, so I can 'have creative thoughts'. In fact, I have it saved in my favourites, because I'm cool like that.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Four reasons why people think I'm crazy

Sometimes I get the impression that people think I'm crazy. It took me a while to work out why. But I eventually came up with four reasons why people might assume I've got a screw loose. So here they are.

#1 I talk to myself
And sometimes sing to myself. In public. Which for some people is a sign of insanity. Sometimes I'm not alone, but that means I look like I'm singing at someone, which is worse. And if I happen to be with friends who are also singing, well, that's just insane. I've had people walk away.

This habit is probably the sole reason I want children. Compare:


And you get the idea why.

#2 I have no spatial awareness
This means that I'm constantly tripping over, walking into things and falling into the road. Once I was walking along a street with knee high bollards along the side of the path. I walked into the first one. And then the second. And the third. And I wasn't even drunk. In fact, I've never been drunk. And this is probably why. This, combined with reason one also means that I publicly announce my stupidity.

To make it worse, I've also worked out that often it's just easier to let yourself fall instead of trying to stop it and causing more pain and/or embarrassment. But sometimes this means I crumple to the ground for no reason whatsoever. I once left a building and didn't realise there was a small step between the door and the pavement. I thought I was falling. So I fell to the ground into the foetal position. Embarrassing.

#3 Insects cause me to freak out
If I see an insect, I try to kill it. I wave my arms around as if I'm having some bizarre seizure, whilst screaming 'DIE, YOU CREATURE OF SATAN!' while I'm trying to kill it. But, because of my lack of hand-eye coordination, I always fail to do so. I then realise that the insect may be more successful at hurting me than I am at hurting it. So I beg it for forgiveness.

#4 I stalk people
Only joking! I'm not that crazy.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

British Weather

British weather has a bad reputation. In fact, some people say that Britain has the worst weather in the world. There's a really good reason for this. And no, it's not the weather. It's the British. You see, the British love to moan.

Whatever the weather, there's something wrong with it. Even if it's good weather, if it lasts for more than a day, then people start talking of drought and hosepipe bans and ecological distasters of which we have never seen the like of before.

We also like to complain how the country goes into complete chaos whenever it snows. Trains stop running, schools close, people can't get work. It's a disaster. Of course, the reason for this is that the amount of money it would cost to prepare our country for snow, which occurs at most a few weeks of the year if at all, is much better spent on things like hospitals and sewers and things we actually use. When I lived in Spain, they had exactly the same problem, except it was the other way round. Where I lived, it was really really hot and dry most of the time. So when it rained, the streets instantly turned into rivers. Spanish cities have very poor drainage. And why? Because the amount of money it would cost to invest in a good drainage network is more than the benefit it would provide.

And I don't live in a country where drought, hurricanes, blizzards or tornadoes are likely to affect me any time soon.

Anyway, sorry for that rant, and also that I've mentioned the weather three posts in a row.