Tuesday, 27 April 2010

"Mum, I Swear, The Haribo Fell Out!... Into Even Piles..."

Today is my birthday. Well, it's past midnight, so technically yesterday was my birthday. Looking around at my presents, I'm wondering if I'll actually ever grow up (presents include a tube of bubbles, glow-in-the-dark stars, and a TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles t-shirt). I sincerely hope not - nothing would pain me more than going to bed at 10 o'clock with a hot water bottle and a rented DVD of Songs of Praise... (I'm not sure you can get them, but if I was old and boring, I'd find a way). I was talking to my sister the other day about stories from when we were little, most of which revolved around stealing food of some sort; edging the biscuit drawer of the fridge open at 5cm an hour in the hopes of carefully taking out a TimeOut biscuit without my mum noticing... We were successful thieves most of the time, but there was the odd slip-up - for example, the time when we opened a giant bag of Haribo and were in the process of sorting it out into even piles (everyone has to have the same amount of fried eggs and gummy bears, obviously) when my mum sneaked into the kitchen after having padded down the stairs with the swift moves of a jungle cat. I'm not sure she bought the whole 'they fell out of the cupboard and into even piles' lie... Getting myself out of trouble has never really been my forte, unfortunately. We also made the mistake of persuading my dad to buy a cookie jar in the shape of a dinosaur that, when opened, shouted to the entire house: 'Mm-mm! Those sure is some tasty cookies!' - not the best thing to happen in the event of a robbery. I recently noticed how bad the dinosaur's English was as well and I think it's somewhat of a miracle that both me and Kezia turned out to be the well spoken, eloquent young women we are today... Thankfully, now we are both in our twenties, creeping around the house with a Twix and two TimeOuts shoved up our sleeves is a thing of the past. Still, other than that, I'm not really sure I want to grow up anymore. And even if I did want to, it's pretty difficult when you have friends like these...

Overall, I've had a pretty ace birthday weekend, and there have been few awkward 'happy birthday' moments... Kezia and I were discussing how socially awkward birthdays can be. I mean, what is the accepted norm when being sung to by a group of people, all surrounding you and staring at you? Do you look at people? Do you sing along? What do you do with your hands?! Thankfully this year I didn't make the mistake of accidentally answering a 'happy birthday' with, 'oh thanks, you too'... It's happened before. More than once.
On Friday night, me, the twins and Paul had one of our infamous nights in and got drunk, complete with birthday cake and a luminous pink wig. I'm not entirely sure how the wig made its way into our lives, but it was definitely welcome. On Saturday I went to see ASH with Peter and they were pretty amazing and I had an ace night, despite spending about 40 minutes before the gig trying to find Leeds Met student union and seeing near enough the entirety of Leeds city centre in the process, and then not wanting to leave in the middle of 'Burn, Baby, Burn' and consequently missing the last train home... Still, I got to hang out with Peter loads over the weekend and it made me a bit happier after Thursday's traumatic events, i.e. Jayne flying off to tit around in Spain for three months. I cried more then than I did at The Lion King and Homeward Bound combined, and that's really an achievement in itself. I reckon she could give Watership Down a run for it's money as well...

Not much has happened since my last blog, which is quite upsetting as I am apparently in my prime and have not updated for three weeks.... Although, my exams are all finished now, which I suppose is a pretty big event after weeks (days) of stressing. My three hour Literature exam last Thursday was one I was especially glad to see the back of. I ended up only writing about five pages and then leaving after an hour and a half - the invigilator thought I was having a toilet break and tried to accompany me out of the door until I politely informed them that I was actually going home to down a 2 litre bottle of Strongbow... I got the bus back to Bradford shortly afterwards in an attempt to avoid any people coming out of the exam and describing their infuriation when they had to wait a few minutes for their third answer booklet. I was hoping when I was on the bus something amusing would happen at someone else's expense to make me feel better, for example a person standing up from one of the flip seats and then sitting back down, only to find the seat had retracted and as a consequence end up on the floor. It's never happened to me... it happened to a friend of mine... ages ago... she live's in Canada and you don't know her.... *ahem*

Next week I'm starting my WorkBasedLearning placement, which, judging from the meeting I had today, actually seems pretty good. However, the taught element of it is extremely tedious, as I discovered earlier when I was made to fill out a stupid "swot" table. For those of you that are lucky enough not to have experienced the "swot" table, it's basically a grid with four boxes labelled 'StrengthsWeaknessesObjectivesThreats' (S.W.O.T., get it?) that you have to fill out in regards to your performance within school/uni/a workplace. Unfortunately, I can never seem to think of any weaknesses and end up having to sell myself short and put some clich├ęd sentence like, 'I find it difficult to manage my time...', which is untrue. In fact, I'm rather excellent at time keeping... It's hard being this humble, really.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

I Sometimes Wonder Why Work Pay Me. Oh, Apparently, They Don't.

So the other week, as I stood in Starbucks scrounging money off Paul because my card had been declined, I wondered why it was I had so little money and absolutely nothing to show for it. Well, almost nothing - I was sporting a pretty awesome new "iBlog" t-shirt at the time, but other than that - nada. Turns out, since my work have decided to up their image and cease paying us in dodgy envelopes full of cash and instead pay us into our bank accounts, somewhere down the line I have missed out on £262 worth of wages. £262! That's at least 1,541 Chomps (it would have been 1,746 if it wasn't for a certain raise in price that we won't mention...), so I'm not really sure how I only just noticed seeing as I was meant to be paid in December... Still, it's going into my bank account tomorrow and it nicely coincides with my grant, which should also be going in tomorrow. Exciting times - I might even treat myself to a Chomp...

Now I'm back in Chester, things on the work side of life are definitely in full swing and I seem to be on some kind of academic roll - and today has been no exception. Over the weekend, I've produced an amazing 1,500 words (yes, amazing, it is the most productive I have been all year) so I'm pretty proud of myself at the moment, even though I did spend a lot of the day obsessively saving and e-mailing myself my essay every time I added 100 words... But other than that, very productive. I am, of course, not including a slight blip the other day when I somehow managed to spell 'bread' B-R-E-D... I know people make mistakes, but I don't know how forgivable that one really is. I was also on the verge of giving up when I was so close to reaching my word count and trivial things such as 'and/or' only being counted as one word kept slowing me down. I rose above it though and triumphed by going back and inserting the forename of every theorist I had written about, alongside a short biography of their life. 

Not much else has happened alongside making mix CDs and seeing Lisa from Steps in RBs. (Yes, actual Lisa Scott-Lee, and yes, it was the best moment of my life). Now I've just got to wait until the 22nd of April when all exam and essay stress will be gone for at least five months, even though it will be tainted with the fact that Jayne is flying off to another country for three... I'm going to see Ash with Peter on the 24th though, so that might just ease my wounds a little. Especially if Chomps are involved. 

Friday, 2 April 2010

"50 Things To Do In Bradford." "What Was Number 50, Kill Yourself?"

There are times when I am in Chester when the thought 'I really miss Bradford' actually crosses my mind now and again (usually when next door are playing JLS at earsplitting volumes on a Sunday morning). After being here for nearly two weeks, I cannot for the life of me think why. This morning I was on the bus home, particularly annoyed already because I'd had to pay yet another £4 for a DayRider ticket, when a man of questionable sobriety stumbled on (suspiciously using crutches, despite the fact that he appeared to be walking fine) and plonked himself across from me. After shouting for a few minutes that this bus better go to John St. Market (it didn't), he started glaring at a group of boys at the back of the bus playing music off their phones. When he decided (after about three seconds) that he'd had enough, he decided to take it upon himself to stand (without the crutches) and shout, 'Why do you keep playing Asian music? Don't you know that's just a waste of credit? Fucking knobhead pricks!' Thankfully, and quite surprisingly, it didn't end in a fight and he got off a few stops later muttering swear words under his breath. It's good to be home! On a brighter note, I stopped at Lauren and Kelly's last night and we had a mega oldschool film marathon and watched The Goonies, Fly Away Home, Harriet the Spy, and Hook. I've never wanted to be so many different things in the space of one night. My day was also brightened when their parents gave me a massive Easter egg - hellooooo calories!

I'm back at work now, which is pretty fun on the whole, if you exclude our deli radio being taken away. All workers are now forced to listen to possibly the worst radio station known to mankind as it is played through a tanoy system linked up to the office. What makes it even worse is that the volume on it is so low that you can only hear little bits of the song every few seconds - particularly annoying when it is "Irish Jig Hour". The other day there was a song playing that repeated the lyrics 'bless you child' for about three hours, shortly followed by a jazz version of 'Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush', a personal favourite but not something I want to listen to as I stand there and get splattered in chicken fat because some incompetent member of staff cannot hold the bucket properly. (Ok, so the incompetent member of staff was me, but that's really neither here nor there...)

At the moment I am taking a break for my ever continuing essay writing period as I seem to have hit some kind of a block halfway through. I'm meant to be writing about how the recession is affecting consumerism... Unfortunately, all I know about the economy is that Chomps have gone up to 17p and I am not happy about it. And apparently TK-Maxx have started charging 4p for carrier bags - what is that all about?! I would rather carry my hideous crocodile-skin shoes (seriously, that's what they sell) in my hands than pay 4p for a bag only to watch it later be sabotaged when some stupid pigeon gets its head stuck in the handle. I don't mean to be rude to pigeons, but seriously, all (and I stress all) the pigeons in Bradford seem to have inherited some kind of stupid gene. On average, I see about three a day almost get run over by a bus on Sunbridge Road and yet, when they see it coming at them, instead of flying off they proceed to run down the road in front of it... I don't know if they think they can outrun it or what, but I honestly do not know what they're thinking - YOU'VE GOT WINGS, USE THEM! I'd have thought the Bradford pigeons especially would be more prone to using their wings as about 1 in 3 of them seem to have one, if not two, deformed feet. Maybe they're like, thalidomide pigeons or something.

Still, there are some good things about Bradford. None that I can think of right now, but there must be something. One of my friends was telling us the other day about an article they'd been reading entitled '50 Things To Do In Bradford', to which Sally responded, 'what was number 50? Kill yourself?' There is seriously nothing good about this city, if you stood and turned in a circle, all you'd see is knocked down buildings, junkies and deformed pigeons. The other night me and Taaryn had the pleasure of being subject to a man ranting to us outside Wetherspoons about how cool we were and how he was now 'off the drugs'. He didn't hesitate to tell us he'd been in prison twice, after which we made a sharp exit back inside to make sure Sally hadn't been hit on again by the old man who had earlier sat next to her and attempted some kind of snuggling before he left. After two nights in one week, going out in Bradford isn't really something I particularly want to participate in again anytime soon. Or ever, come to think about it.