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All posts for the month February, 2012

The Library Problem and Me

Published 17/02/2012 by Saint

Have I mentioned the business involving me and libraries before?  There are several oddities that take place when I go into libraries.

You see, I love libraries and I love getting books but somehow I can’t seem to bring myself to get said books back to the library.  It’s not because I want to hang on to them; rather it’s a combination of not having the time when I have the inclination and not having the inclination when I have got the time.

This leads to a kind of impasse that can only result in one thing: the books becoming overdue, and then more and more overdue. Then I wait around and scrutinise the local papers to see when the next Amnesty is, but I always miss it, so the books fall into what an accounts clerk would call ‘past due’; not to say ‘urgently overdue, please pay now’.  Then there’ll be the problem of me not having the funds to pay the fine. Then I’ll inspect the papers again looking for an Amnesty (by this time six months can have passed).

Once Mike and his pals were all sitting around in our flat, drinking, playing rock music loudly and … errr….chewing the fat when there came a knock at the door that can only emanate from one source: The Law.   They gave a universally guilty start – all those men in the flat – opened windows and cleared bottles away while Mike nervously made for the door (some people are pre-disposed to run-ins [should that be runs-in?] with The Law and he, having been one of these people, knew the milk of human kindness did not spring from the breasts of said representatives of The Law).

Peering around the partly opened door which now contained a Foot Belonging to The Law, Mike apprehensively asked whether he could be of any service.  He asked for me,  The Law did. He wanted me for … you guessed it…. not returning my library books.  I think Mike and the guys in the flat were so relieved they all became excessively jolly, they may even have dragged The Law into the flat and offered him a sherry and thumped him on the back once they realised I was the Fugitive From Justice and not them.

I never hear the end of this story at home.  It gets hauled out of the cupboard and dusted off for every visitor, too, so it does.  And it was YEARS ago. After that all my library cards were cut up and I was made to burn them (oh the shame) and I’ve never been allowed another one.  LOL!

 

Why Stupid People Can Sometimes Be Amusing

Published 16/02/2012 by Saint

Have you ever found yourself embroiled in one of those conversations that goes on and on and achieves nothing yet you can’t seem to extricate yourself from it?  I had one of them a while back when I was asking one of the people on the classified site Gumtree why she said adverts about pitbulls were not allowed.  She said she’d come back to me.

Days later and after a couple of nags via email from me she came back with the very helpful answer:  “We don’t allow them because it’s against the rules”.  I said, “Oh yes, why is it against the rules?”  Again she had to potter off for a number of days, presumably to scratch her head and mutter at my obtuseness and when I heard from her again she said “It’s against the rules because it’s not allowed”. 

I was beginning to  become testy and when I get testy I usually channel my fearsome intellectual alter ego I call Norma.  Norma pointed out to the woman (think her name was Tanya)  that her line of argument had no logical sequence to it and in fact, was circular in character.

Tanya did not understand this so Norma had to break it down for her (testiness grew incrementally). Norma explained that Tanya was using the first statement to explain the second and that essentially the two statements were the same.  It’s not allowed because it’s against the rules because it’s not allowed….. *rolleyes*.  This all went over Tanya’s head and like many daft folk of her ilk she became surly when she suspected she may not be as brainy as she had heretofore given herself credit for being.

Sulkily she said (and I’m sure she was pouting on the other end of the line): “Well I don’t know what else you want from me…!”  I gently explained I’d like to know why it was against the rules and that set her off again.   “Because”, she said irritably, “it’s not ALLOWED!!”  Emphasising the last word to illustrate that of the two of us, I was clearly the more intellectually challenged for not being able to grasp so simple a concept.

I could have driven her mad with cold logic and brutal intellectual assassination but I had mercy and left her as she was, to her presumably perpetual stupidity…

Moby and his Eccentricities

Published 16/02/2012 by Saint

Dan, the Curmudgeon’s blog about his dogs has inspired me to post about Moby …

The American Pitbull is a rather eccentric breed of dog in many ways.  Some oddities of Moby’s are:

  • Sometimes when he licks himself he makes a kind of snuffling/moaning/squeaking kind of sound.  Hell knows why.  His mother does it too.  If he catches himself at it, he looks at me somewhat reproachfully, with his head down as if he’s peering over his spectacles, as if the noise is emanating from me.
  • He very rarely barks and when he does he seems to take himself by surprise cos he gives a little jump and looks round at me, tail wagging madly as if looking for an explanation for the loud noise (his bark is VERY loud).
  • He’s a useless guard dog.  Entirely useless.  Can’t see in the dark, blind as a bat, and if he barks he’ll be barking at one of the kids who lives there, like Adam, whom he knows very well; mistaking him for someone else.  If someone he doesn’t know comes into our room he bounds off the bed to greet the stranger, tail wagging and grinning from ear to ear as if the bloke has come to see him specifically.  He will then situate himself so that he can gaze upon the newcomer in slavish adoration and if he can wangle it to get his head on the person’s knee then so much the better.
  • He loves ALL men.  If he gets a chance to lick their elbows he works himself into a state of high arousal that ends with him trying to jump whatever man is on the other end of the elbow.  He could be gay cos he did have a pink blanky when he was a pup… LOL!
  • He loves his blanky.  Likes to curl into a tiny ball –  amazing how tiny! – once night falls and have us cover him up whereupon he issues a HUGE snuffling sigh that we call his sleeping sigh and goes to sleep.
  • Terrified of lightning, cows, vacuum cleaners, motorbikes, hosepipes, brooms and mops, ha-de-das. There was a life-sized fibreglass cow outside a diary shop in Primrose. When we drove past it he would bark hysterically at it. One day Jess and I were walking him and we passed the cow. Somehow in a fit of daring that was probably spurred on by terror, Moby jumped up and went for the critter’s throat.  Don’t know how he felt about nearly breaking his teeth on the hard material. He looked a bit embarrassed about it all.  We didn’t laugh in front of him.
  • Here’s a pic of him meeting a tortoise for the first time in his life.  Not the tense posture; the hackles up at his shoulders and near his tail (pits do not put hackles up all along their backs and he rarely puts his hackles up at all).  He looks for all the world as though he is doing everything he can to get away whilst nervously leaning forward but primed to run if necessary.  What a wuss… he was just over a year old here…..

 

 

Mr Malaprop, Other Tales & Wordsmith’s Workshop

Published 15/02/2012 by Saint

I’m busy reading a book called Brothers by Bernice Ruben (highly recommended for anyone who like historical novels, for anyone who likes novels involving the Jewish diaspora [always wanted to use that rather pompous word] and for anyone who likes a book that makes him think and feel.  I’m only a quarter of the way in and I’ve found myself inexpressibly moved by quite a few scenes already.

Not to generalise but I do think the Jews are a people who can deeply and truly appreciate the dichotomy of the happy/sad/good/bad/evil/holy thing that is life.  They are also very good storytellers with a whimsical sense of the bittersweet ironies of life.

Speaking of words, I once had a boss who fancied himself quite the linguist (not a cunning one) and he would use words he thought were important and intellectual-sounding except he should have acquainted himself with Mrs Malaprop before he got started.

He mainly tried to use large words when he was attempting to make scathing remarks or embarrass people but landed up invariably embarrassing himself. He’s say things like “I’ve had enough of your idiocracy” (meaning idiocy) or, “I’ve had enough of this buffoonerism”, (buffoonery and spoonerism, perhaps?).

The more he foamed at the mouth the worse it got (usually I was taking handwritten dictation from him at the time whilst he was aiming these attacks, via me, so to speak, at someone who was sitting in the same room and who would shortly receive the memo I’d be typing up).

He was also well known for mixing metaphors to disastrous but hilarious effect….

He’d scream, “Your lack of unprofessionalism is egg on the face of this company’s eyes!”  (my lips would twitch and I’d bend my head closer to the shorthand notepad).

He’d get so carried away with his superior language skills he’d get up and start pacing about the room, to give himself, one supposes, more room and inspiration.  One would get some crackers from him at times like these.

“And if you cannot reprehend what I am saying then your mental abilities are comprehensible!!”

“The investigatorial skills you have are seriously unlacking”

Ah ja.  Too funny.  I really should have written every one of them down.

Speaking of words.  The word of the day is LACHRYMOSE. The Lachrymal glands are the tear ducts, or the glands that produce tears, as far as I know. Do you think the word Lachrymose came from Lachrymal or the other way around? Also, someone raised a good point the other day – we’ve all done a fair bit of weeping in our lives, s0metimes even to the point of utter exhaustion; so where do all the new tears come from?   And how does the Lachrymal gland know when to produce them?

lachrymose  (ˈlækrɪˌməʊs, -ˌməʊz)
adj
1. given to weeping; tearful
2. mournful; sad
[C17: from Latin lacrimōsus,  from lacrima  a tear]
‘lachrymosely
adv
lachrymosity
n

Making Our Marks….

Published 15/02/2012 by Saint

“Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love”

My son Richard recently had a tattoo featuring a quote from the world of dance [as he is a dance instructor] and I suggested this one to him cos I am a devoted Cohen fan.  He has not really been introduced to Cohen as such so he did not go for this one.

He had this done instead which I think is really beautifully done and I like the quote too……  It says for those of us who may not be able to read it:

“if the perfection of movement is the purpose of our lives,

then I must be close to death,

for I cannot imagine a

movement more perfect than this”…

The letters are actually all straight and the ‘writing’ is beautifully done.

have you got any tattoos?  Share them with us if you please?  I’ve been thinking of having one done for ages.  The only reason I haven’t had one done so far is I am not sure (a) what design I would go for (not wanting to go down the road of dolphins, fairies and such although I do like those creatures and I do believe in fairies… I like unicorns, fantasy art, some gothic and dark art, some quotes, horses, pit bulls, Moby, my children, the internet, my nickname Saint which is really an extension of me; my alter ego as it were, so surely that should be featured somewhere…  and (b) where I would put it.

If you have got a tattoo, what was your motivation?  Where did you have it put on your body?  How old were you when you did it?  Will you have any more?  Do you admire skin art or not?  Is there an age limit for tattoos and if so what is it?

 

Suggestions and discussion would be enjoyable.

 

Devastation reigns

Published 14/02/2012 by Saint

I think one of the most shocking, personally and deeply shocking, things to me involving this whole business with Mike is the actual indifference of people we know. People I thought loved us. People I thought we had developed relationships with. Oh yes, they’ll ask after him, oh yes they’ll be interested in all the gory details, oh yes, they’ll even take me to hospital to see him but when he comes out they’ll pat me on the back (despite my very real concerns, not to say terror of that the future holds), and tell me it’ll all be alright.

Well, it isn’t all alright.

Since last week Wednesday when Mike came home our household has been in an emotional uproar the likes of which we have never seen.   This was all foreseen by me.

We have had untold numbers of clashes with each other, both my daughter and I, and Mike and I and Mike and my daughter.   She has run away, threatened suicide, we’ve been on the edge of violence, and it’s just getting worse and worse.

Where are all these people who said it would all be alright? It’s as far from alright as I have ever  been in my entire life and sliding downwards faster and faster every single moment of every single day.  I wish I lived in a tree house; I’d do anything to avoid going ‘home’ today. Really do not think I can take anymore..

I feel I’ve been nothing but the best – separately – to the two of them operating as I was under extremely trying times, and feel abused now by both of them (for separate reasons) as they relentlessly pursue their resentment of one another, to my own personal cost, without stopping or trying to control themselves one little bit.

Add to that the notion that we have in our cramped, confined and dusty midst a person who is recovering from a very serious operation and not looking after the wound as well as he might (can’t let it air because of all the dog hair in our quarters, and you have a picture that looks unrelentingly bleak and feels like the end of the world to me.

If I never woke up tomorrow I’d be happy.

 

Music, Music Award, Odd Things, Fickleness

Published 14/02/2012 by Saint

I’ve got Whitney Houston’s Where do Broken Hearts Go song playing on the soundtrack of my mind today.  When I woke up it was Stevie Wonder’s I Just Called to Say I Love you, which, if one considers the happenings of the past – oh, nearly a  week, can be called nothing but irony since romance is the furthest thing from my mind.  Avoidance of complete descent into insanity being uppermost I cannot imagine why I would wake up singing a Stevie Wonder song I don’t even like.

The Whitney Houston ear worm can comfortably be explained away by the fact that we are currently inundated by visions, quotes, pictures and songs of the late Ms H. I won’t even go into the appalling hypocrisy of the majority who are tearing their hair out and gnashing their teeth at her untimely demise.

I happened to catch a clip from the Grammys which, as you all know by now, were turned into a mini-obituary for the late singer, and I felt nauseated at the over the top, oleaginous, excessively hypocritically maudlin outpourings of a musical community that actually never gave a stuff for the drug ridden alcoholic she was.

I admired her voice but I resented the resultant spawning of tons of ‘singers’ who could do nothing but attempt to imitate her although they lacked the fundamental brilliant talent she had and only managed to churn out songs that made them sound like tortured cats.  But the music world  (and the public) are fickle and people clearly forgot the brilliance of The Voice (as Whitney Houston was known) and never realised she could not be emulated with any accuracy at all.

Having said all this, I was never a fan of her music, did not really like her, considered her vain, arrogant, high-handed and insecure, and I never bought one of her tracks, never downloaded, copied or ever thought of any of her work at all.  Having said all THAT,  I do feel compassion for her demise and death as I would when hearing of anyone who had destroyed himself, but I do not consider the event a tragedy as the world would have me see it.

The Bodyguard was nothing more than a flagrant attempt (and a quite successful one in some ways) to buck up her failing career and restore her in the eyes of the (fickle) public I mentioned before.

Speaking of The Grammys, I must say – not having heard Adele speak before – I was most surprised to hear she has a rather annoying quite high-pitched speaking voice as opposed to her beautiful mellow singing tones….. I find this unusual as most people I have met have singing voices that are similar to their speaking voices.

I can usually tell by listening to someone speak whether they’d have a good singing voice but if that were the criterion I had applied to Adele I would never have given her an audition.  Funny thing, impressions, hey?  Felt a bit sorry for her because the Whitney affair stole her thunder altogether…. wonder how she felt about that. I did see a clip of her weepingly accepting one of her many awards but that also got on my nerves as I am not terribly keen on overly emotional displays at awards ceremonies or maybe I’m just anti any kind of emotional over-indulgence at this time….?

not sure what the point of this blog is – although I am denigrating the outpourings for Whitney Houston I have in effect written quite a complimentary little tribute of my own; although I like Adele I am criticising her tears and voice….

and don’t think you can get me to say anything about VD.  Unless you want a discourse on the Sexually Transmitted Disease…