Monthly Archives: October 2010

Drinking at work: better than not drinking at work

Mad Men is a bad influence on me, as I find myself wanting to do most of the things they do on the show. Namely, being sexist/racist, smoking a hell of a lot and – most importantly – drinking at work. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we were able to drink ourselves into a (working) stupor at a steady pace through the day?

One time, many years ago when I worked somewhere that will remain nameless (it’s not hard to figure out where), I visited the pub with a colleague in our dinner hour. As we were only realistically left with 40 minutes at the pub including time to get from and back to work, we drank quickly. Then we realised we had drank too quickly, so we had another. And another. And a double order. And a couple for the road.

Basically, in about 40 minutes – probably a bit more – we managed to get a suitable buzz on. I had ended up drunk at work by accident. And it was the best afternoon ever. Not because I was the most productive drunk, that I was friendly, outspoken and all in all the life of the party, but because I spent the entire afternoon on MySpace, in plain view of everyone.

Being drunk at work would be awesome not because it would make me better at my job in any way. Being drunk at work would be awesome because it would stop me from caring as much. Which is clearly the best way to be, right? Less care, less fret. Also: more booze.

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The fine art of pulling an all-nighter

I was left shocked (and slightly appalled) (and a tiny bit embarrassed) yesterday when, sat around a table with no less than six games journalists, I discovered I was the only one there who had pulled an all-nighter. This has saddened and sickened me in equal measure, and I hope this transgression can be sorted before I have to take drastic measures. I do not know what I am threatening here, I just wanted to threaten.

If you don’t know what I’m on about, let me explain. I am a person who plays video games a lot. Shocking admission there, I know. If you think this is sad, fuck you. That’s one of only very few serious things I’ve ever written on this blog.

Anyway, to pull an all-nighter is to sit and play a game throughout the night, beyond bedtime, through the night, to be playing when loud housemates get home from their smelly clubs of grotty people and until the daylight hours come back around again.

I have done this numerous times in my life. As a child it was easy to do as I had no responsibilities, I had friends who liked games enough to play them for hours on end with me and I started drinking coffee at a young age. As I got into studenthood it continued being easy, as I still had no responsibilities and going to school was clearly well lame, like.

Morrowind, Oblivion, Football Manager, KOTOR, Tony Hawk’s 2, Power Stone 2, Ready 2 Rumble Boxing, PES Master League mode, the Smackdown games – just some of the titles that have kept my attention through the times when I should be sleeping. It may be overkill how many games I’ve done it with, but I’m just being thorough. The all-nighter is a rite of passage, and if you haven’t done one then I consider you well crap, like.

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MAN. Spice. Etc.

I’m not very good with chilli. I’ve just been reminded of this as I have just eaten some take away with chilli in it, and it’s burning the fuck out of my mouth.

I never did understand the lure of eating the spiciest thin on the menu just to prove you’re a man’s man from Mansfield. But then, that’s understandable when I can’t actually handle spice like a MAN should be able to. I once had a madras and it left me worse for wear the next day, but other than that I’ve never really bothered with the proper spicy stuff.

I often (“never”) wonder if, when those there aliens from another planet make contact with us, if they’ll pay attention to the whole tribalistic nonsense of “eating stuff that’s hotter than the stuff your mates are comfortable eating”. I wonder if they’ll pay attention to that and take it on board.

I wonder if they’ll take it on board and analyse the social implications of such a tribalistic mannerism. I wonder if they’ll disseminate what this whole thing is about and truly boil it down to its apeish instincts. I wonder if they’ll do that, and then I wonder if they’ll blow the fucking world up.

But then, I am suffering from a burny mouth so I might not be in the best of minds right now.

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Place That I Would Live #1: Alaska

Right, so the country’s fucked then. We’re all going to be living in bins (that we’ll have to pay massive mega-taxes on) within the next year or so. As such, I’m going to start scouting for new territories to occupy. You can join me, you can stay here and wait to be bummed that bit harder by our current Folks In Charge – it makes no difference. I’m out to save my own hide here.

The inaugural entry to what will probably become a new series (especially if, like today, I can’t think of anything to blog about), so let’s settle down and see if we can establish a structure. Today’s Place That I Would Live is: Alaska.

Pros: Snowy, chilly, not annoying and sunny.

Lots of lumberjacks and outdoorsy types, hence: beards.

Solitude from the influence sphere of twats.

No council tax.

Ability to hunt caribou.

Almost in Canada.

Anchorage reminds me of Fallout 3.

Cheap houses.

Cons: Unlikely to have Best One at the end of the street.

Lots of lumberjacks and outdoorsy types.

Ability to get mauled by a bear.

Plenty of seafood.

Risk of losing internet connection and not being able to get it sorted quickly.

Can’t afford cheap houses.

Verdict: I think Alaska would be a decent choice. Technically it’s America, but it may as well be Canada. So you get the benefits of being in Canada without having any of the trouble of, y’know – being in Canada.

Actually, Canada will probably be my next suggestion.

In summation: I think Alaska is a viable option. If only because it’s not Bognor Regis.

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A brief statement concerning the recent drop in temperature

When I were a lad I’d play in t’snow til three in t’morning in nothing but me bra and pants, then come inside and have to sit in t’fridge for a bit cos I were too warm outside. I’d eat snow to warm me cockles and strap blocks of ice t’me head when I got chilly. Which was never, as I never got cold. Same applies nah.

These pansy southerners though, wi’ their lah de dah “coats” and hoity toity “gloves” make me sick. I dint fight and die in t’World War II so these sods could prance around in oversized winter clothes. Some say I dint fight and die in any war, but who knows for sure? All I do t’know is: I’m well warm, me.

Seriously though, I love how the weather has taken a turn for the chillier. For some reason I’m naturally one of the warmest people in the world at all times. Seriously, feel my hands at some point and be amazed at how toasty they always are. And clammy. Anyway, a bit of a dip in the temperature means that while everyone else in The South puts their biggest coats, gloves and hats on, I can merely add one extra layer and be comfortable. Happy, in fact, as I’m no longer THE WARMEST PERSON EVER when I’m walking.

Hence, I like the cold. Or something. Also I’m northern and well ‘ard.

I will likely retract this statement in a month or so when it gets freezing.

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Do you believe in Jesus?

“Hey mate, do you believe in Jesus Christ?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“First, I’m a Pastafarian. Second, I don’t believe in an invisible sky magician who doesn’t actually do anything apart from allow the suffering of the people he apparently loves to continue. Also I don’t hate gay people. Well, not that much. I don’t believe you’re supposed to shun menstruating women, as mental as they are. I like to covet my neighbour’s ox. We don’t need religious doctrine to enforce morality, seeing as we’re not stupid and in medieval times anymore. I don’t believe, if there was a god, he would say “it’s either believe in me or burn in eternal fire forever”, as that’s just not very nice – which would be out of character at the very least. There are other things, but I don’t want to sound like Richard Dawkins as he’s a bit of a prick. Also I need some pasta.”

At least, that’s what I would have said if I’d actually stopped walking. Which I didn’t.

To be fair, you have to admire the balls of the chap – no matter what way look at it, it’s a bold opening gambit to just hit someone with in the middle of the street. In Bournemouth he’ll probably be fine, but I’d worry for the guy in somewhere like Manchester. He’d be dead within the hour.

Though at least then he’d be with Jesus, I suppose.

I don’t understand the mindset of people who will approach you with nonsense like this, and this includes chuggers. At first I would simply avoid these louts who pretend to do good work, but now I have no qualms walking right past with a dismissive “no”. Well done, people who get jobs standing in the street demanding money off me, you’ve ruined the idea of charity for me.

You’ll be the ones crying when I make my millions and none of it goes to Oxfam*.

*None of it was going to them anyway.

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The thrills and spills of (auction) sniping

In about two hours time I am going to indulge in one of the purest sensory experiences the internet has to offer. I am biding my time until I can unleash, and when I do – oh my, it will be wonderful. For you see, I have my eyes on an item on eBay, and I’m going to snipe the shit out of it with seconds to go.

Over the years I have come to regard the internet as utterly awful, though utterly necessary. There aren’t many things about it that really fill me with joy, and in fact most of my browsing is done on autopilot. So it is that when seeking something – anything – to pull me out of this inter-malaise, I can always rely on eBay sniping.

For those not familiar with the terminology, I mean when you place bids on an auction in the absolute last few seconds. It’s sheer risk and reward – if the current bidder has placed a higher bid than yours already, you won’t be able to re-bid and beat them. If they haven’t, you steal the item without enough time for them to bid again themselves.

I actually do enjoy doing this, much as it may make me a weirdo from space with nerd hands and a geek face. But the fact of the matter is this: I once sniped an auction – I forget what for – and the guy whose bid I beat messaged me later to call me a bastard (in a jovial, grudgingly congratulatory fashion, mind). Any simple act of biding one’s time that can result in such barely-hidden fury is alright by me.

And no, I’m not telling you what I’m bidding on lest you rush in to ruin it for me.

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