Good evening, Internet, and a Happy New Year to you all.

I seem to have taken a break from blogging over the festive period. I didn’t mean to but it just worked out that way. I was brought up not to speak with my mouth full and as I have spent two weeks fattening myself up for Christmas (and New Year as it turns out), I simply haven’t had enough time between mouthfuls of roast potatoes and gin in which to put fingers to keyboard.

I did attempt a Christmas blog post, and I have included this after the jump. I could have posted it today instead of this missive but it’s the 2nd January and I couldn’t bring myself to do that for the sake of chronological integrity (I am nothing if not particular about chronology. Ask anyone).

Today is the 2nd of January (as previously stated (Clearly I am not particular about repetition (or parentheses))), and so as far as I am concerned it is the first day of 2012. I realise that this sounds contradictory given that I have just made a point of my own fastidious approach to the prevention of anachronism, but internally, this makes perfect sense. The 31st December/New Year’s Eve/Hogmanay (delete as applicable) is like walking to the end of a cliff and being tipped abruptly into the 1st January/New Year’s Day/Hangover Day (delete as applicable). This seems very bad planning. I like the idea of waking up at the bottom of that cliff bright, alert, ready to take stock of the new landscape with enthusiasm, planning my ascent up the next cliff face full of optimism. But to do this, you need a little time to brush yourself down, recuperate from the fall and blink the dust out of your eyes (or, to speak plainly, to down a few paracetamol and hide under the duvet until the vomiting abates – meh tomato tomato). My point is that you need a buffer day. So I suggest that the 2nd of January be considered the first day of the New Year from now on and we just write off January 1st for the wash out that it generally is.

So, time for a few resolutions:

  1. Start new year with a hacking cough – DONE (it’s always good for morale to tick off one resolution early.
  2. Finish PhD –pending
  3. Drink less (I am aiming to be a moderate drinker by this time next year).
  4. Go back to the psychiatrist and explain that the reason I never answered their letters was because of the ADHD they diagnosed and that this is proof of the pudding that is my need for my prescription to be resumed.
  5. Be less neurotic (take it from me, by the end of this year I’ll be updating my blog daily with, like, affirmations of my own positivity and going with the flow and just being generally so relaxed that I’ll maybe fall asleep on the keyboard thusly: nnnnnnnnnkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkllllllllll but hey, who cares, right? Zen.

Right I’m bored of making resolutions now. I will just resolve to try to have a nice day as many times as possible in the coming 365 (one day down but this year is a leap year so I think my sums are accurate). And not to die. I would quite like not to die too.

So continue reading after the jump if you want to see a back-up of my brain from  27th December, otherwise –

 

Many happy returns of the New Year!

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And in other news….

December 9, 2011

Clearly my attempt at brevity resulted in my forgetting to include some things I wanted to include.

Christmas came early to wonderland last night with minature tree decorating turning into a 22hr vegan sweet binge, courtesy of M and his powers of online shopping:

 

Tree:

 

ADHD + this much sugar = ADHDADHDADHDHDHDHAAAAHDHDHDHHDADHD – SQUARK!

December? Already?

December 4, 2011

According to Chaucer, April is a fine month for a pilgrimage. According to T.S Eliot, April is the cruelest month. According to my calendar, it is also the longest:

 

So I was rather startled to find myself in December. Not feeling the Christmas cheer right now, Internet. In fact, all I want for Christmas is a completed PhD thesis. Sadly, it’s not the kinda thing you can put on a wishlist. Or is it?

Does it count as plagiarism if Santa writes your thesis?

 

 

Warning: this post is so full of burning hatred and fury that it could spontaneously combust at any moment.

Internet, I am angry. Very, very angry.

Why? This advert.

What the fuckety-fuck is this? I get more irate about this every time I see or hear it. And it seems to be bliddy everywhere at the moment (as you know, I recently started a new job and my office-mate has the radio on all day (ADHD post on this very topic is currently under construction (in fact it was going to be today’s post until Littlewoods’ gangrenous little advert took over my brain and irritation started pumping round my body where my blood should be)))* so I have heard this advert in its radio form at ten minute intervals for two consecutive days. And because I’m new to that office and want to make a good impression I can neither ask her to turn it off or sit there with blu-tac in my ears in an attempt to block out the noise. Honestly though, I would rather listen to foxes fuck all night than sit through another 41 seconds of this shit.

I mean, surely you can see why I find it so odious? Well, let me count the ways (in reverse order of their offensiveness):

  • Obviously, it’s far too early for Christmas adverts etc etc etc blah blah blah. Even I’m bored about people complaining about this every year so I’m just going to mention it for the sake of comprehensive analysis of the situation and then leave it there.
  • The tune is annoying and therefore sticks in your head and you’re on the tube and it’s in your head, and you’re having a bath and it’s in your head, and you’re waiting at the bar and it’s still there —‘my lovely, lovely mother’ — in your head and GAH!!
  • The children are extremely annoying. It’s not their fault. Probably. But, nevertheless, whether they’re just acting or really are that annoying, their ‘cuteness’ annoys me. I have no time for cutsey kids. Ick.
  • It reinforces gender stereotypes in a multitude of ways, from the gender-specific presents and costumes, to the clear assumption that only mothers bother buying presents. Fuck off, Littlewoods.

Now that leaves us with a whole bundle of reasons that it’s annoying, all of which would probably fit nice and snugly under a generalised heading such as: Objection to the Commercialisation of Christmas. But it’s not even just that. It’s a more complex repulsion than that, and if it were only that then it would be just as predictable an objection as point number one and I probably wouldn’t mention this either.  Christmas is commercial, it just is. I’m not saying it should be but it just is. And we’re used to it. We’re used to the adverts selling us products by carefully gift-wrapping them in sentimentality and festive nostalgia.

BUT, and I think this is what really gets me about this. There’s no pretence! None! Littlewoods do not even have enough shame to PRETEND that they’re not trying to boost sales in the midst of financial crisis by preying on the Christmas spirit of families who are already financing their whole lives on credit and probably ‘spreading the cost, interest free’ for everything wherever possible; buy now, pay later for life, not just for Christmas. This lack of shame is evidenced by the way they break the golden rule of Christmas advertising (where children are featured, all gifts usually come from Santa. (You could argue that at least Littlewoods are finally giving parents the credit for those Xboxes and Fidgets (what the fuck is a fidget anyway?) rather than Santa being falsely attributed  for his generosity every year but I am not feeling kindly towards Littlewoods right now so no, I will not grant them any defence at all.)  Littlewoods are just cutting Santa out of the equation completely).** You see, Littlewoods have no need for Santa. Santa is for adverts that don’t have a very clear message. And the message for all the mums out there is this: YOUR CHILDREN WILL LOVE YOU MORE IF YOU BUY THEM EXPENSIVE PRESENTS. YOU CAN AND SHOULD BUY THEIR LOVE. IF YOU DON’T BUY AN XBOX FOR YOUR FIVE YEAR OLD, THEN YOU ARE A SHIT MOTHER AND YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE ANY TACKY LITTLEWOODS JEWELLERY IN PENANCE FOR YOUR SHITNESS. AND CHILDREN? IF YOU CELEBRATE AND MIMIC YOUR MOTHER’S MATERIALISTIC ATTITUDE SHE WILL LOOK UPON YOU WITH PRIDE. gaahhhhh!

Apart from anything else, I feel angered beyond belief that Littlewoods think the general public is so stupid that they will find this acceptable. NO. Glancing at the comments left under the YouTube video, I am pleased to see that apart from a few ‘Awww, how cute’ morons, most people share my view that this is an odious, offensive shitfest of fuckwittery.

But what am I going to do about it, apart from pour out my scorn and repulsion to you, dear Internet? Well, if this is Christmas then I want no part of it. I would just boycott Littlewoods but, honestly, who shops there anyway? Nope, my anger at this advert goes way beyond Littlewank.com. I am boycotting Christmas full stop unless a) my anger abates significantly (which will only happen if I can successfully eradicate any possibility of accidentally being subjected to this advert in the next seven weeks) or b) ….nope, can’t think of another way out. That’s it then. I am going to have to raid the stationary cupboard for a shed-load of blu-tac.

I am going to leave the final word to the bloody wonderful Tom Lehrer who, even after over fifty years, still captures the ‘true spirit’ of Christmas in a delightfully amusing song which I would like to propose as an antidote to anybody who, like me, is suffering from injuries inflicted by Littlewoods this year…

* I just had to close three sets of brackets there, Internet. Three! I really need to work on my brackets compulsion. Nobody should have this many parenthetical remarks. In fact, if remarks are so tangential that they warrant being embedded three brackets deep then they probably need culling at the draft stage.

** That there, Internet, was another three sets of brackets? What is wrong with me? It’s like the part of my brain responsible for punctuation is on speed.