*insert seasonally appropriate song title here*

at 18:54

Monday, 31 December 2007

Tonight marks the end of another year: A chance to make resolutions you won't keep. And some you will.

An opportunity to kiss someone on the stroke of midnight (or if you're like me, thank your lucky stars for the bullet you've dodged this year).

I've truly had a superb year: I started it off in a hotel room with the love of my life. Twenty four hours later we both realised it was over. In January we admitted it. In February I re learnt how to have fun. March came and I'd realised that being single was nothing to be ashamed of. April brought the realisation that my family made me safe. By May I'd doubled the number of people I'd slept with. By the end of June I'd fallen in love, and realised it was hopeless. July passed and I'd started to understand issues I didn't even know I had. August arrived and with it came my love of blogging and the start of a shiny new tattoo. By September I'd rekindled old friendships and realised how much I could of lost if I hadn't. Before the end of October I'd realised exactly what I didn't need. November saw me starting to sort out my future... and December? During December I was just happy. Deeply so.

And so this year ends: I have nobody to kiss at the chimes, for the first time in six years, and I find myself not caring. I have more friends now than ever, my future is bright and I really honestly believe that I'm blessed. Downstairs are friends: some new, some old. There are some boys I've made mistakes with and maybe even one that I could have fallen for had things been different. There are new couples: some who are only together because of the rebound, one are so in love with each other that it makes my heart skip. There are established pairs and people who will be missing their loved ones come midnight. There are people who love me.

So I sign off, to pick up my beer and head downstairs, to continue the party and usher in the next calendar cycle with laughter and love.

Happy New Year to all, I hope 2008 is as good to all of you as the last year was to me.

passive aggressive?

at 09:32

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Well, it's 9:30am. I have a tattoo appointment in less than two hours and the fuckers next door decided to have a very loud all night party complete with drumming so loud that I couldn't get to sleep until 5am, even with my headphones in. I speak from experience: tattoo on no sleep = no fun.

So what is my response to this?

Well, the best of Korn has been in my stereo with the baseline turned up since 8am and will remain that way until I return home at 3pm. The speakers? Right up against the wall.

What? I think it was a perfectly rational response.

ink and skin

at 23:22

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

What's this?

More of my flesh on display?

Surely not!

It's a super special double feature today as I was so lazy after my last session. I'm submitting myself to more needleful torture in a week's time so there'll be even more photo love then. I felt bad for not having a photo of me laughing deliriously so instead I took one of me wearing my post tattoo t-shirt:

Yes, that is a free promo shirt from my days in retail. Also: I am incapable of actually looking at the camera.

drinking on the job

at 10:19

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

For those of you who are slow on the uptake (or have the entirely rational response of tuning out most of what I say): I have the world's most boring job. My post shouldn't really, how shall I put it, exist and as such there are large periods of time where I don't really have that much to do with myself. (Seriously, a few weeks ago I got highly excited by the prospect of cleaning sinks as it was the most interesting thing I'd been given in months. I'm so very glad that my biochemistry degree from, woah, the third ranked university in Europe (how did that happen?) is going to good use)... As such I have to amuse myself by blogging, reading webcomics, inventing drinking games and learning about whatever random topic takes my fancy. The internet is a marvellous timewasting tool. But it hasn't always been that way. Oh no, every job I've ever had has been dull as hell (I'm a slacker, it's just the way I roll) but I haven't always had the glory of the interwebs to fall back on, I've had to find other ways to entertain myself.

Now, I hated working retail, I sold video games on pretty much the most expensive high street of London This meant spoilt kids with entitlement complexes and women who care so little about their husbands' credit cards that they don't even notice being overcharged by the price of one PSP (that happened to me not once but twice, and yes both times were accidental - what on earth do you people think of me?). But still my particular sector had its advantages, these mainly appeared in the form of demonstration models and DVDs. Our store TVs were supposed to play a DVD of upcoming video game trailers on some kind of endless demonic loop. You know what works really well? Replacing the DVD player with a gamecube. Fun fact: wavebirds work even if the console is on a separate floor. Good times.

But that's not the point of this post. Oh no. It's entitled "drinking on the job" and, because I am planning on doing just that this afternoon, that's what I'm here to talk about.

During my first year of Uni I worked at a cocktail bar alongside the ex Mr. TheOdd, it started off slowly, I covered his shifts while he was off shooting at things (oh yeah: he was a pretend soldier, don't think I've mentioned that before), but pretty soon (after getting someone fired - my, I am revealing my inner bitch today aren't I? Don't worry, it was justified) I was a fully fledged member of staff. Now, this particular bar was a weekend kind of a place, we'd be literally empty during the week (a typical night would see one, maybe two customers) but during the weekend we'd be packed solid on both floors (especially with one particular DJ playing) and rushed off our feet.

On the empty nights it was a pretty cool place to work, none of the "well I don't care if there's nobody in the bar you can go and check if any of the empty tables have magically spawned dirty glasses or ashtrays in the three minutes since you last checked" mentality that is rampant in a lot of places. No, on the slow days the ex Mr. TheOdd and I could sit at the end of the bar and do coursework if we had any, there was scrabble to play, food from the Greek restaurant next door (the lovely people delivered) and the TVs were hooked up to Sky so if we got really bored we could always watch extreme sports.

The most fun I ever had on that job was one random Tuesday evening when a group of bankers wandered in with some clients and decided to take us up on our "special offers". Our "special offers" consisted of £1 shots of Jager, butterscotch schnapps, sambuca and tequila that was probably meant to be used as an industrial solvent but somehow just got mislabelled. As they were the only customers in the bar they, of course, got my full attention. As I was the only female in the bar they, of course, bought me drinks.

Bar policy was that if a customer bought you a drink you damned well drank it.

Who am I to fly in the face of policy I ask you?

(I must state now that one of my most over used phrases in this kind of situation is "Well, it'd be rude not to.." it applies to everything I over consume: food, alcohol, boys, shoes...)

And so I drank with them, they insisted on buying me a shot and a drink for every round they had. Although I'm a teeny tiny little thing I am very capable of holding my own drinks wise so it didn't seem like that bad of a plan... Let's just say that I didn't manage to finish my shift. I have no idea how I got back to halls or why I had a bottle wine in my bag when I woke up the next morning on the floor of the ex Mr. TheOdd's room. He would have been mad at me for waking him up at some ungodly hour had he not stumbled in from one of his shifts the week before at 4am bursting through my door with the immortal words:

"Alex (dramatic pause) I ate (further dramatic pause with triumphant finger wagging) th' Scorpion (satisfied grin)."

And, as it turns out, indeed he had.

That being said, it's 12:30. I'm off to the pub.

bandwagon jumping

at 10:05

Friday, 7 December 2007

Well, I was feeling guilty for my lack of postage of late (seriously, my life is so frakking boring right now it's unreal and, other than the fact that I've actually started using made up swear words in my every day speech which is freaking people out, nothing has actually happened to me in the last couple of months) and then I stumble upon a superb idea posted on both TK and Manny's blogs which I will now completely rip off because if there's one thing I love more than talking about myself it's writing open letters:

Dear My Thirteen Year Old Self,

Hi, Alex. Yes, one day people will call you that. And it won't sound weird, and it won't be forced. You're going to have to wait a while for that one though - but here's a tip: When you get to University just decide to be Alex, introduce yourself that way. Don't wait for someone else to name you because if you do it's going to be the start of something toxic.

Don't worry about that now though, I'm getting ahead of ourselves.

First up: start eating meat. Like, now. I know you hate food and I know that eating something weird or with an unexpected texture makes you gag. But you're painfully thin and once you start eating meat you'll have so many more options. You can't stay as skinny as you are, if you do then it'll stick in your mind that this is how you should look which is really going to screw with your head in college. I also know that you threw up breakfast every morning last March just because you couldn't stomach it. Just tell Mum, she's not going to think you're bulimic. Trust me, and trust her.

And listen, one day you're going to eat everything. You think now that you'll be scared of food forever, that you'll stay phobic, but you won't. You're going to be able to sit in a restaurant and dig into something without knowing what's in it - only that it tastes good. Boys will make you meals and you'll be able to eat every scrap without worrying about what ingredients are in there. You're going to end up being a brilliant cook.

You're going to love food and you're going to wish you'd been braver earlier.

Secondly: School is going to suck, and I'll tell you this now: you're going to ask to leave every single year and you're still going to be there until the end. You need to stay until Sixthform. Some good things happen then, and you get to meet some good people - stick it out.

The girl that makes you go home crying, the one your mother wants to suffocate? You're going out with her this evening. Do me a favour and don't lose touch with her during university, you're going to have some hard times and you're going to be confused about who you are and she is the one person who will never judge you. Admit everything to her and keep nothing back. She's not even going to mind when you sleep with her brother (I know, right? And he gets even cuter. We rock, young lady) she is however, never going to let you forget it.

Oh, and the whiny American girl she was friends with - the one you fucking hate right now? Ten years from now she'll be one of the few good things that came out of that place. Don't start being nice to her though, it'll spoil all the fun.

Don't go to Bolivia. I know that sounds kind of random now but in a couple of years you'll know what I mean. It's going to be torture. It's going to teach you fuck all. It won't make you stronger, or wiser or more tolerant. It's just going to make you pissed off, homicidal and three grand poorer. The only reason you should ever consider going is that it's going to be the event that turns you into a carnivore but if you listened to me earlier that shouldn't matter. If you do go and you hear Lizzie say those things about you and your family, don't stay quiet. Please go right ahead and punch her. Trust me, she deserves it.

Oh and while we're on the subject: wear flats every once in a while. Try in PE lessons. Carry on dancing. Your Achilles tendons are going to thank me for it.

Some bad stuff is coming up in the next six months. I'm not going to lie. It's going to be the worst thing you've ever gone through. Keep your chin up because when you come out the other side things are going to be so much easier. But for now, spend as much time as you can with your Dad and Carolyn and the kids. Especially Thomas, he's a good guy and the closest to an older brother you're going to have until Gareth comes along. You're going to miss him. Keep your eyes open during Christmas and remember it all, you're going to need the ammo.

Don't fret about it though, there's nothing you can do and believe it or not that's a good thing.

As far as boys are concerned (seriously, I know you just skipped down to this paragraph go back to the beginning and read this through) here are a few pointers:

When you get there, take a chance on the cute boy who walks you home from panto rehearsals: I know he's not going anywhere: who cares? You're only going to be sixteen once and cute boys don't remain that way for long.

Stalking your friend's crush over text message under her instruction in a couple of years time may seem like a good idea to her at the time but it's going to end in (her) tears. She'll be stronger after though, so don't feel too guilty if you can't help yourself.

I wish I could tell you what to do about guys when you get to University but I really can't. I still don't know I'm afraid sweetie. All I know is this: You're going to chose the wrong boy because of some misguided notion that you can't be with nice guys because you're a bitch. You're wrong but this is a mistake you need to make.

Just make sure you socialise, make some friends that are your own, stay away from cute American boys unless you're actually going to have the guts to leave him. Don't take his crap, it's better to be on your own that miserable and insecure. You're not going to listen because you're me, and I didn't listen either but try reaching out - they're not going to say "I told you so".

Don't hide the fact you play video games, listen to crap music and still love cartoons. You're going to be the exact same way in ten years time and believe it or not it's going to make you interesting.

Be nice to J, he's going to be a good friend one day.

Don't give up on Maria, she's going to really need you. More than once.

And don't worry about school - you know how smart you are, you're going to do great. You might want to learn to revise though, and occasionally do homework. You're right in thinking that you don't need to but trust me: you'll thank me for it when you hit college.

Take care, kid. Life just keeps on getting better.

Lots of love,

You, at 22.

ps. Don't worry about leaving Mum on her own when you leave for Uni. She's going to meet someone and she's going to be happy enough to make up for the last twenty years. He'll love her more than you ever thought possible. And one day you're going to call him Dad.