Monday, March 31, 2008

It's 10pm And I Want To Go To Bed

So very, very tired. My life is now revolving around trying to funny-up an unfunny and lacklustre story. I am five chapters into the second draft, a draft that to all intents and purposes is slowly resembling nothing of the 30-chapter original.

I still have only a vague idea of where it's all going, but it's getting sharper by the day (the story, not the wit or any noticeable signs of talent.)

And as such, I am going slightly mental. I am barely sleeping. I am texting friends to apologise for not hanging out with them any more. I am going to work in a vice-like fug of tiredness and confusion. My diet consists of Pringles and cigarettes. I am desperate for sleep. I am even ignoring women who are contacting me on a dating website I recently joined because - oh how this makes me laugh - it is becoming apparent that in trying to resolve my major issues (such as writing), I am automatically scuppering any number of my other woes (such as not getting any se trying to meet a nice ladyperson.)

Because I can't do everything at once.

So I'm still:
a) Smoking
b) Eating shit
c) Gaining weight
d) Not cycling
e) Not visiting the gym(s)
f) Not sleeping
g) Not having sex - as if that needed pointing out.

and in a weird example of history repeating itself, I am going on another stag in a few days, Hippy Dave's, obliterating a precious 48-hour weekend that would otherwise be spent kidding myself that I could get a book published writing.

Great. Just postponing the time until I start touting my finished manuscript and getting several billion rejections.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It's 1am And I Want To Go To Bed

except I can't because the Easter holidays are officially over and I refuse to accept that I've got work tomorrow (which is actually today, because it's 01:12 in the a.m.)

My four-day weekend started with a sign of things to come. I decided to treat myself to a Good Friday omelette and chips at my local cafeteria whilst scouring the Guardian jobs pages, when a strange thing happened.

Actually, it's not that strange.

I read the damn paper from cover to cover, and shat myself.

Not literally.

My metaphorical shitting happened as soon as I realised I AM WOEFULLY UNQUALIFIED FOR EVERY ADVERTISED POSITION, I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT 60% OF THE JOBS ENTAIL ANYWAY, I'M NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER, AND I'M DOOMED TO A LIFETIME'S PINING FOR A DECENT WAGE I WILL NEVER GET.

So, in shock, I went home and all this weekend found myself frantically reading my entire self-penned first draft of the shittest novel ever written. It had been languishing by my bed, unread and in shame, for three months.

It is now undergoing a major second draft rewrite, mainly because I reasoned that if I'm not going to get a better job, I'd could always finish my crap novel.

Of course, the likelihood of this crap novel
a) getting finished to a level acceptable enough to attach my real name to it and
b) finding a mental agent/ publisher willing to face bankruptcy in order to publish the fucker, is slim.

However, the odds are vastly better than my only other life-improvement strategy on this spinning bastard orb we all live in: Winning the fucking lottery.

Because I quite simply can't continue in my current life, the one where dinner tonight consisted of an extra large Papa Johns pizza (the damn thing was £7.99 regardless of size - what would you do?), and where my one-time French techno-playing-at-3am-bastard-neighbour has been replaced by - I'm not kidding here - a psychopathic Polish drunk who is right this moment yelling abuse at his partner and smashing tables.

It is now 25 to 2am.

Superb.

Friday, March 21, 2008

No Change

I'm bored, I'm drunk, I've urinated into a wine glass. Nothing's changed.

Apart from urinating into a wine glass. That's probably a first.

Friday, March 14, 2008

How To Get Fired

I've got no patience, that's my problem.

That, and a woeful propensity for miserable introspection.

For the last few days at work, my computer has been ridiculously sluggish. Although four seconds is absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things, it's an age when that's how long you have to wait to view a folder you've just double clicked on.

And 8 seconds waiting for Excel to insert a new line in your spreadsheet is just not on.

So I decided to back up all my work, wipe Windows off my machine and reinstall it. My boss didn't seem to mind either.

'Do you know what you're doing?' he asked.
'Of course!' I spat indignantly.

So at lunchtime today, I inserted the startup disk that came with the computer and wiped the fucker clean.

If I were being honest, I'll admit that a small part of me had reservations. Belgian sized reservations, but they were amid Worldwide confidence in what I had to do.

But Belgium won. I fucked it.

For the remaining four hours of the day, I did no work other than swear, and attempt to connect to our network and the Internet whilst being called a 'fucking idiot'.

I have no idea how networks work. I don't care, either. Nor do I know what our passwords are, and neither does my boss who initially set the whole thing up with his computer boffin mate.

To make matters worse, at one point this afternoon, I forgot that I left the CD tray open when I stood up and heard a crack. When I looked down, I noticed the tray jutting out at an unnaturally unhealthy angle.

Panicking, I forced it back in against its will. Now the fucker won't come out again.

My boss's computer boffin mate is now coming to visit us on Monday night, at the unpleasant time of 7pm.

My ego is deflated. My soul has been sapped. And when things couldn't get any worse and I left to go home with my tail between my legs tonight, my boss chose that moment as I stood by the door to ask for my answer to his question of two weeks ago: Do I intend to leave the company for another job?

"Erm, yes. Sorry."

Now the clock is ticking and I have to find a brilliant job immediately. And stop smoking. And cut down on drinking. And lose a lot of weight. And prepare for a hideously embarrassing Best Man's speech in front of 200 people.

I think a heart attack is looming.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Back To The Past

I have Internet in my flat again, hence this update duller than Gordon Brown whacked out on Nytol.

I went to Brighton - where the women are orange and the men are gay - to drink my hangover away at 11am, for my second taster of their annual Beer Festival. Unlike last year, which I loved, this year was less exciting due to my knowing exactly what it would be like. In addition, I didn't really get to catch up with Monkey Dave as his Dad was there too. And his Mum. And his girlfriend, their daughter, and about seven assorted mates who I didn't know. Plus on top of this was the gnawing thought that I was supposed to be living healthily and cutting down on all my bad habits like drinking and smoking.

Reluctantly downing about seven strong pints over a long afternoon and finishing it off with an MDMA bomb handed surreptitiously to me under a pub table didn't really help.

I had hoped this week to START THE REST OF MY LIFE by dusting off my bicycle, (currently unused), but Britain is being somewhat lashed by wind and rain from christknowswhere. So that's my excuse. I could cycle in that, but I'm not going to.

But trust me on this, I'm almost 46% sure I might be hitting the health groove very very soon. I just have to get tomorrow's boozy night out under my belt. My tight belt. Oh, and an impending 'pre-Stag' night out some time this month too.

But in happier news, I did meet up last night with Marianne of the very racy blog, who just so happened to be wandering around London looking bored. So we went to a pub where I drank more beer. She is charming company, and deceptively normal for someone with a sex drive bigger than Bill Clinton's fused onto Michael Douglas' with a dildo-welder. Whatever that is. Regrettably. Monday evenings have never been my forte what with ten minutes sleep earlier that day and I only lasted two drinks and passed out when I got home.

Oh, and I found a bag of skunk in my boss's drawer today. So I stole it, fearing it would get into the wrong hands (mine), then put it back when I discovered it was for his arthritic girlfriend.

So now I've become a drugs thief. Jesus.

I swear to god, I am so gonna turn my life around, any... day... now...

Friday, March 07, 2008

Lost Connections

I feel like I’ve lost a body part; the Internet has been down at my house for nearly a week. And it’s still not back. Consequently, without any access to the vast information superhighway, it’s fair to say that this hypothetical body part is located somewhere between my thighs and never did anything much anyway.

I am now in an Internet cafe feeling awkward.

Cold Turkey

I’m vaguely disgusted at how addicted I must be to being online. Without the net at home I’m watching more TV. Large Northern Flatmate and I are actually having conversations. I potter around aimlessly.
And I’ve just woken up and switched on my computer, but all I could think of doing was playing Freecell, like it was 1988 again.

This lack of Internet is particularly irritating considering I’ve bitten the desperate bullet and joined a popular online dating service. It seemed like a good idea at the time, particularly when a girl I’d ‘favourited’, a preposterously stunning and woefully out of my league Thai girl, returned the favour and favourited me right back. In a pique of excitement, I immediately fumbled for my credit card and officially signed up, firing off a further four messages at a slew of lovelorn and equally attractive women now that I had been afforded the power of communication.

Then I realised the Thai girl hadn’t favourited me at all - I had been looking at my own favourites the whole time. In fact, this girl hadn’t even been on the site since November. She did reappear to read my message though and didn't bother replying, although this merely reintroduced me to that curious 21st Century phenomena; rejection from the comfort of your own home.

I am in touch with someone else quite cute though, someone who probably thinks I’m ignoring her thanks to my zero web connection, and who handily lives about 200 miles away. I’ve also had another response from someone equally cute, although in three days I’ve yet to read her email. I blame work – I’m based in a tiny, all-male office with my back to the rest of the room and my monitor in full view of anyone who cares to look at it – which is everyone, including cuntstomers.

So I haven’t replied yet.

Fat Bastard

I’m reaching crunch time with everything else. I haven’t cycled to work in two weeks, and my new second gym is currently going unused. All of which is making me feel really great. Not cycling in is also introducing me to the perils of a quick beer in the evening, which is particularly annoying as I tend to cram in what I can in those pitiful last hours of the working day, chainsmoking and talking crap.

On Wednesday night, I found myself in a pub confronted by a guy I used to work with who I hadn’t seen in years. We fell out and hadn’t spoken since, and there was something faintly disturbing about saying hello; two people who greeted each other politely whilst holding back from calling each other a wanker. It was particularly galling as, despite this guy and, erm, this guy too, I don’t fall out with anyone.
Honestly.

My problem with Gerald* (not his real name, obviously), was his propensity to laugh at my misfortunes. Now this isn’t ordinarily a problem. After all, I like making people laugh and I tend to make myself the butt of all jokes, so I'm used to a fair amount of abuse. But Gerald laughed a bit too hard, every day, for months on end, calling me an idiot in between guffaws.
And a twat.
And a fucking moron.
And more and more frequently, he would do so among a large crowd of our peers.

Then, like a pair of fiercely competitive teenage girls, our weight became an issue. Gerald was no stranger to pies, but would offload some of those negative feelings about himself by reminding me that I was looking like an elephant. When I’d returned from a backpacking stint in India several stones lighter and found myself back in London playing ‘throw the yellow plastic disc’ with my shirt off, I noticed him staring at my newfound manly physique with a very visible look of dismay and regret. When he noticed a few months later that I’d Pringled myself back into a fat suit, it was like all his birthdays and several childhood Christmases had all come at once.

I know because he gleefully told me that I’d become a fat cunt again.

So I stopped talking to him altogether. I’d tired of Gerald’s insistence to be regaled by another of my hard-luck stories just so he could feel a little better about himself. I no longer had to tell him every detail of my non-existent love life so he could laugh himself a new head, and I was informed much later that while he used to probe me about my private life constantly, the little tinker had been keeping his own one very private indeed, effectively bullying one of our female friends into a shag which I’m pretty sure his then-girlfriend and now-wife doesn’t know a thing about.

But seeing him again gave me pause for thought. Behind his half-hearted hello lay a crooked smile, the knowledge – I thought as he looked me up and down – that Thank God I wasn’t rippling and muscular. Subtlety was never Gerald’s strong point.

All of which made me remember that when bumping in to old acquaintances, it’s sooo much better if you’ve actually made a roaring success of your life.

All Change. Again.

So that’s that. Once again, I’m going to attempt this fucking life reversal – cycle every day, swim, go back to the gym, eat sensibly, and knock alcohol on the head for as long as I can. There’s nothing dignified about hiding behind a wall to surreptitiously urinate on a high street when you’re thirty-three.

I just have to go to Brighton right now to see Monkey Dave and dive into a beer festival first.

Sorry.