Monthly Archives: September 2012

The grand hangover guide

There are types of hangover we all go through, each associated in the main part with the alcoholic beverage we have consumed in the most part the night before. Or the day before. Or the entire week before. Depends on your level of commitment, really.

The wine hangover brings with it a dull, irritating headache – ever-present and not the sort of thing that lends itself to any air of flightiness or the ability to move much. At least in the morning. But it’s tinged with hope – and with the air of class that comes from getting rat arsed on something a step or two up from meths.

There’s the beer hangover, which brings with it the intense feeling you are about to die from a headache. It is a dirty, filthy, horrible hangover that seems to know exactly what to do to you to make it a bad follow up day to the drinking. Mainly: make your head hurt and, as a result of your head hurting, make you not be able to sleep.

And, in my experience, there’s the vodka hangover. This, if managed well enough the previous day – water consumption before bed and a chicken product to aid with its magical curative properties – can be the best of the hangovers. It can allow you to be sprightly and active the next day, barely even recognising the fact you drank enough to kill twelve children. But it teeters on the brink, and one drink too many plunges you into the absolute worst of the hangovers: nausea, sleeplessness, headache, loss of appetite, need to eat everything anyway, more nausea and a profound melancholy.

Well, I thought it was the worst of the hangovers. Then I tried to combine all of the above elements last night and discovered a new plane of hangovertitude. And I still feel like I’m suffering now. I couldn’t even focus on Match Of The Day because it was making me feel sick by moving too much. My reactions are so dulled I’m fucking bollocks at pinball. I should not have drank all of those things.

It’s a hangover so bad I’m considering dropping the whole drinking thing. And that’s something I’ve never considered before. Siiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

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Pork? How dare you!

Today I would like to put a vat of meat and tomato and stuff in a pan and have it cook for hours before feasting on it. I would like this because I saw it on Saturday Kitchen and it made me want it and I was eating toast and I like toast but toast is boring and is not slow-cooked meat.

Unfortunately I have hot plates and not a proper cooking setup, so the ability to blast foodstuffs with what would be considered ‘controlled’ heat is limited at best. As such I tend to stick to simpler, boring..er things that I don’t mind so much if I mess up.

Yes, that’s my new excuse for not cooking anything interesting or proper ever. Beyond rice and vegetables. So much rice and vegetables. Brown rice, mushrooms, lentils, cook a while, throw in some broccoli, kidney and butter beans, cook a while longer, drain, throw in some tinned tomato, salt, pepper, chilli flakes, keep on the heat a bit longer, serve, eat, be annoyed because it’s actually quite nice but you are bored of eating it almost every day but hey it’s not exactly bad for you, it is easy to make and it’s damn cheap to live off, maybe you should treat yourself to a steak today, why should you treat yourself it’s not like you’ve earned it, don’t you remember you sat in all night on a Friday doing loads of work to get it out of the way last night and you tidied your flat to the best of your ability (not very well) so you probably do deserve something maybe just a tin of beans though, but beans aren’t a treat they’re a necessity, what are you talking about, I don’t know, stop this now, okay, are you glad there’s only six blogs left to do after this one, yes I am because they’re turning into exercises in space filling in a far more obvious way than they’ve ever been before, what about pork ribs, huh, I said what about pork ribs, you mean spare ribs, yeah whatever, I like them why, because you should go and get some and play about with them see if you can make anything delicious, but I can’t be bothered, oh go on they’re cheap you like them and it’s meat just stop being a little bitch and go to Waitrose and try to blend in with the middle class old women like you usually do, oh alright then.

SEE YA.

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Lost at (mind)sea

A double whammy of feeling out of touch has left me a bit discombobulated today, for two very different reasons. One the more direct meaning of just being out of touch with someone I want to be in touch with, the other through sitting myself down and forcing my way through a piece of work for something I genuinely have little understanding of.

Both these things will pass, both will have little-to-no effect on my life, but both – however minor – have managed to veer my mind off course somewhat, into uncharted waters where I am uncomfortable and annoyed.

I have just sat staring at a batch of captions I wrote, shouting at the screen “THESE ARE SHIT WHY ARE THESE SHIT I DON’T GET IT”. That’s what it’s done to my head.

Thanks, head!

But it’s not always like this. A bit more understanding comes from a bit more explanation, a bit more planning, a bit more learning. That’s comforting. Fun, even. That’s how things should be.

But right now I feel a bit lost at sea, helpless and alone, facing off against a vast, unyielding wall of nothingness.

Which means I should probably play FTL or Borderlands 2 for a bit to centre myself.

Christ, I’m not even drunk.

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Life: you are a difficult one

I don’t like running my laptop through my TV, it’s dumb. It’s either too small a resolution, meaning things don’t fit on the screen, or it’s too big a resolution and the text is too small, needing constant adjustment, squinting and liberal use of the zoom function.

Bastard world, why do you have to be so difficult?

But I’m sure somehow I will find a way to struggle on through – to use my 42” LCD television hooked up through HDMI technology to my £400 Blu-ray-playing laptop to buy a new PC costing around £850. It will be difficult. There will be tears, for it is so bloody hard. But I will persevered and get through this.

Maybe I can use my balsam-coated tissues to wipe away the tears – of which I can spare many because at any point I can go and drink from a near-limitless supply of cold, clean water. But this kind of hardship isn’t something everyone can live through.

There are weaker minds – weaker people around. But not me. I keep my strength up. I have faith in a higher power. Namely: the one that allows me to form entire episodes of TV shows and movies out of thin air using ‘wiffy’ technology, or something.

It eases the pain, though only slightly.

But you know what? I’m still not sure if it’s going to be alright. This life is hard.

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Mooooon rivvvver

I just read the front page of the Grauniad website and it depressed me somewhat so I thought I’d listen to some music then I found out Andy Williams had died and he did Moon River and I really like that song shut up don’t judge me we once sang it in music class in comp and it was good and everyone was impressed with our barbershop quartet style also I sang it for an ex once but she didn’t like it I should have known it would never last.

I AM A GOOD SINGER.

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Operation NewRig is go go go

I claimed, I promised, I begged, I tried to save, I did save a bit, I planned, I read, I re-read, I didn’t understand, I tried to understand, I still didn’t understand, I told it as a stupid story as if anyone would care: yes, I’m finally doing the new PC.

A combination of savings, if you can call them that, and some extra cash this month as a result of just sitting indoors doing work all the fucking time means I can afford the computer. The parts. The bits and bobs. The everything.

So it will come to pass that my confidence in my ability to put computers together – I know what I’m doing, I was trained by the best (ish) – will be my downfall and, rather than just frying a few resistors with static shocks or whatever, I’ll actually burn three quarters of this house down.

You know what? As long as the room next door burns down – with or without Captain Slammington McTalkloud in there – I’ll be happy. Ecstatic, even.

Which reminds me: I must download Ecstatica at some point.

Yes, I’m spending £850 on a PC to play a 20-year-old game on it.

Here’s an example of my Yorkshire logic: I started the savings thing to save to buy things, like a new PC or a holiday (that’s an important point). On withdrawing these savings in order to fund something, like a new PC (see the link to the original point?), I suddenly got The Fear and decided I did not want to spend this money because ‘what if I need it for something I’m actually saving for?’

Like a new PC.

Fuck you, brain.

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Why do I play?

Hi I’m Ian and I play videogames a lot. I’ve done so for a long time, since before I was six years old and we got an Amiga (Christmas 1989, BOOM). It came with Night Breed and that gave me nightmares, and I remember a demo of Champion of the Raj that my mum played a lot even though I’m pretty sure it was just one level on repeat.

Anyway: I like games. But they’re my job and, naturally, when something becomes a job you lose some of the spark that made you love them in the first place.

But in the last month or so this spark has been rekindled. In fact, it’s got a bit out of control and is now a decades-old family-run furniture store type of inferno.

Too soon?

Because all of a sudden they’ve gone and brought out some fucking brilliant games, and it’s reminded me what I love about them. It’s something that’s summed up so excellently in the book This Gaming Life, by someone far better at the games writing thing than I am Jim Rossignol.

Basically the point is put thusly: games are made purely to kill boredom. That is their purpose and their function. Boredom is a horrible thing that every single conscious living creature has to contend with. Boredom can seriously damage your brain – or at least lead to things that damage it. Games keep it active – stop it from, well, being bored.

Note I’m not saying they’re intellectually stimulating, because in the (mainstream) most part, they’re not. But boredom is a disease that needs to be eliminated. Why do we do anything? There’s the basics: eating, surviving, crapping, that sort of thing. But everything else we do? It’s to stave off boredom until we die.

Games fill that gap. And right now games are filling that gap so well I’m going to have to stop doing other boredom-killing activities just to fit them all in. I might stop eating too, just to free up a bit more time. I can play while crapping though, so that’s fine.

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