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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

31 January 2004
friday five

You have just won one million dollars:

1. Who do you call first?

Whoever bought me the ticket, cos I don't enter the lottery, particularly not one in America, Australia, or any other countries from which the winnings would be dollars. I'd ring them to tell them they're not getting a red cent off of me, because it's mine all mine I tells ya hahahahahaha...

2. What is the first thing you buy for yourself?
I would buy myself some gold teeth, and about 16 dogs and a big house to live in with my 16 dogs and gold teeth. I'm not sure $1,000,000 would buy me that many gold teeth to go along with the house and the dogs. Although I could get 16 dogs for free from the pound, and then have some money left over for more gold teeth.

3. What is the first thing you buy for someone else?
I do not share. Sharon does not like to share.

4. Do you give any away? If yes, to whom?
If I actually did win the lottery, I wouldn't be just giving it away to people. Maybe I'd start receiving begging letters, and maybe I'd employ a lackey (or one of the 16 dogs) to open the post every morning and sort them in to piles of 'deserving', 'undeserving' and 'hilarious' and I would give some money (and maybe a gold tooth) to the best letter of the week every week until all my money and gold teeth ran out.

5. Do you invest any? If so, how?
I hear there's money to be made in gold teeth.

27 January 2004

Well, I said I wouldn't start panicking until Tuesday, 27th January, and now that happy day has rolled around I've officially started a proper fit of the heebie jeebies. I made the ridiculous mistake of trying to educate myself as to what to expect tomorrow and found this lovely animation of exactly the proceedure I'll be having tomorrow. That new knowledge resulted in a fit of weeping, stemmed only by a quick talk with a doctor at the hospital who assured me that the proceedure will only take "5 to 20 minutes", that I won't be able to feel "hardly anything but a little bit of pressure" and that it will all be overy "very quickly". One way or another. Side effects, another website told me, include a debilitating headache and in extreme cases damage to the spinal cord. I stopped reading things after that and had another minor freak out.

After phoning around, I've found someone willing to sit with me tomorrow night and measure the size of my bruise as it grows across my back. We will be eating popcorn and watching movies - probably Dirty Pretty Things now that it's got an oscar nomination and is available on sky movies.

23 January 2004
I finally went to see a comedy gig last night, the first one for me since October, which is a dreadful long time, considering last August I saw over 70 shows in 3 and a half weeks. I didn't realise quite to what extent I was suffering from under exposure to stand up comedy until I started playing Predict The Punchline with the acts, and I wasn't doing terribly well. Usually I can see a punchline coming a mile off, and if I had been on the top of my form, I would have been doing much better - no offence to the acts, none of which I intend to name, but no one was breaking new ground last night. However, I did manage to match set up for punchline for almost the entire 15 minute set of the first act of the night, and so I feel my 'special' talent remains for the most part unharmed by my extended absence. I fully intend to go back next Thursday.

Didn't get home until very late last night / early this morning after going on an entirely unintentional walking tour of the city of Dublin, moving from pub to pub asking bouncers to tell us what was still open and serving. After (I think) the fifth pub, we called it a night at 4am. Which is a shame - in Edinburgh, there is always pub serving drinks somewhere in the city 24 hours a day. This morning, I have woken up with a flea bite on my neck. Make of that what you will.

friday five

At this moment, what is your favorite...

1. ...song?

The entire Ben Folds Five album. And I can't get the cover of Sweet Dreams My LA Ex by Picturehouse on the Even Better Than The Real Thing album out of my head.

2. ...food?
At this moment, I'm still a bit hungover, I think. So all I want is coke and crisps.

3. ...tv show?
Buffy, cos I've been watching that all day, skipping between series with absolutely no regard for continuity.

4. ...scent?
Cigarette smoke in the night air. Honestly.

5. ...quote?
"Everyone that likes comedy is a horrible, hideous, mad, obsessive, ugly freak" - Stewart Graham Lee.

22 January 2004

Now that my envelope has arrived there safely, I will tell you about a free book scam from comedian Stewart Lee. The following is taken from his newsletter which you should have already gotten if you're in any way cool.

I have annexed 278 copies of the first edition of my first novel, The Perfect Fool, which were due to be pulped. They are currently stacked in my office like the grinning skulls of some long dead phantom race. If you send a sturdy self addressed envelope of at least 7 inches by 10, with £1.50 of stamps on it, to me c/o Stewart Lee, Envelope Collecting Game, Avalon, 2a Exmoor St, LONDON, W10 6BD, I will send you a signed one absolutely FREE. If and when the stock runs out, if I am still receieving SAE's, I will just keep them and their stamps and do whatever I want with them and you will have lost out, understand? Thus, I win.

I have had nearly 100 takers on the free book offer, below, which leaves about 180 to go. People on the aol system said their emails could not process the numbers contained in the amount of stamps you need to put on your s.a.e. The postage is, in words, One Pound Fifty. Thanks for all your kind letters. And s.a.e is an envelope which has your address on it, remember.

Do this. It's a very good book. I've got two copies already, and gave three other copies as Christmas presents when the book was first released. It contains a scene with bestial pornography, and some of Mr. Lee's old stand up routines repackaged in to book format. Go on. It's free, for pity's sake.

19 January 2004
It's astonishing how little you can get done when you have the entire day stretching out in front of you and absolutely no plans to do anything at all. Today, I got up and got dressed. That in itself took about three hours to complete. Then, skipping breakfast, I went straight to lunch for a bowl of hot and sour chinese soup from Superquinn which wasn't as nice as it promised to be. After that, I watched three episodes of Buffy (Season 2) in a row, during which both the cat and the dog crawled under the duvet with me. Due to this, I had absolutely no choice but to cuddle up with them and fall asleep.

And now it's 5.15pm and the working day is over. It's ridiculous. Thankfully, I counter this absolute waste of a day by spending most evenings wandering around aimlessly and arguing with my brother. He told me this morning that he watched about 2 hours of the first series of The Osbournes and has decided I am exactly like Kelly in every way, from behaviour to appearance, but only first series Kelly, before she becomes all drunken and sassy and believes her own press. I am taking that as a compliment.

However, to prove that I still at least have the potential to be a useful member of society, I got 9 out of 10 on this test. What do you get?

18 January 2004
Brilliantly, Emma sent me the full script of her IM conversation from last Monday, which happily ends with my favourite new phrase "I feel smarter now". I like Emma. She has gumption. For the record, she says that they are serious about following the diary.

Somewhere down the street there is a group of boys standing together and howling. I'm not sure why.

Desk update: I installed my computer a-top and be-low my desk, and it all seems to be working. The new keyboard I got to go with it doesn't work because my computer is 2,000 years old and doesn't have the right sockets. How embarrassing for both of us. So I had to use the keyboard I was all scrap happy about mere days ago when I was considering throwing it away because it was too dirty to use. I had to bite down and clean it myself instead. I really should have a manservant to do these things for me.

Now I have no excuse not to start up with study. So I'm going to wander around the house trying to find other things to do until ER starts at 9.30. Maybe those boys down the street need a hand with the howling.

I'm really starting to get worried about Jonathan. I've tried emailing him, but haven't got any response, and Kris and Dave have apparently been knocking on his door but get no answer. Jonathan, if you're out there, get in touch.

As with most things on the internet, I'm not sure whether to take these people seriously or not, but I'd like to think they're really trying. My diary has already been assigned a place on the computer table, which is now in situ in my bedroom, but without the computer installed a-top of it, because I have fear of things falling down a-top of me in my frail state and killing me dead.

Finally for now, you must read Emma's IM conversation from Monday, 5th January. Funniest thing I've read all week.

17 January 2004
VOTE BLACKADDER. Go and do it now.

16 January 2004
friday five

1. What does it say in the signature line of your emails?

I've only got my blog address at the bottom of my blog email account, my other two email accounts also shout about the glory of Comedy Lounge and I think may well still hold some quotes from GUD. This is such a boring question.

2. Did you have a senior quote in your high school yearbook? What was it? If you haven't graduated yet, what would you like your quote to be?
I don't know what that means, but in my yearbook at school (I went to a posh, private, protestant secondard school because I am posh and private (but not protestant), at least by the values of the greater Dublin area. But anyone who ever dares to say that to my face will get slapped good and hard) I was voted "Most Likely To Win The Eurovision Song Contest" by everyone else in my year. This is because they didn't know me very well, and perhaps thought I was quite like Dana. Which I'm not and anyone who says I am will get slapped good and hard.

3. If you had vanity plates on your car, what would they read? If you already have them, what do they say?
I don't have a car, so I don't have vanity plates. I don't know what vanity plates are, but I suspect that if I did have a car, and I did know what they were, I wouldn't have any. Are these like "I Do Not Have An Other Car" and "Rock Climbers Do It With Their Penis"? I don't know.

4. Have you received any gifts with messages engraved upon them? What did the inscription say?
No. That's quite sad, isn't it? Although all I ever ask for are puppies or DVDs, so if anyone tried to engrave anything on them they'd ruin their value and potentially be arrested. I once got a necklace with Ernie from Sesami Street on it that said "S is for Sharon". I still have that necklace and wear it proudly. Yesterday, I bought a "What Would Jesus Do?" bracelet.

5. What would you like your epitaph to be?
Something really heart wrenching, and associated with an everyday household object, so that every time anyone who has read my epitaph thereafter looks at this household object, they are reminded of me and my untimely but painless death (although I did live to a very old age, I seemed to still have so much to give to the world) that they break down and weep at the pity of it all.

I got my letter from the Unnamed Orthopaedic Hospital today telling me all about my Day Ward Admission (everything is capitalised in this letter, which is the standard style of hospital correspondence - it makes everything appear slightly more scary, sinister, and official). "Arrangements" have apparently been made for my Day Admission, and I am to attend their Day Ward on Wednesday, 28 Jan 2004 at 8:00am (their emphasis, not mine).

Eight O'Clock in the Morning really is quite early to be cruising up to any hospital, especially with the knowledge that at some unspecified point thereafter, some child dressed up like a doctor will be stabbing me in the spine with a very long needle. The letter clearly states in one of it's many bullet points that I'm not allowed take any "valuables, jewellery, dentures or mobile phones" with me as "the hospital is not responsible for their safety". Well, call me picky, but if they can't garauntee the safety of some dentures, how can I trust them with my spine?

Or am I being too fussy? The most horrifying point in the leter is the last bullet point of the first section, which tells me that I must "Arrange for a responsible adult to accompany you home and to have care provided for 24 hours following discharge". Thing is, I don't know any responsible adults, since my parents skipped the country to go sit in the sun for five weeks, abandoning me with my older brother who seems to be going through a second adolescence. I'll have to ask if my sister will do.

Officially, I'm frightened. But I'm not going to worry about it until Tuesday, 27 Jan 2004.

15 January 2004
I bought this book today, and it is terribly funny and also tempting to follow through. You should buy this book. I would think that quite soon it will be on sale price from amazon.

I want to change the name of my website, because the "drugs" search referrals makes me think that many people clicking on to here are quite disappointed when they arrive, and I don't want to disappoint anyone. So, these are my options for new blog titles:

1. Dreadful Nonsense
2. Interim Addictions
3. Pray Until Something Happens
4. Tedious Delinquency

That's all I could think of, although I only like two out of those four, and I think I've already decided which one I like best. Anyone, please contact me on my email shazzle@nospamcluas.com [taking away the 'nospam'] and let me know what you think.

13 January 2004
I bravely ventured out of the house yesterday, and took in an evening showing of Lost In Translation. Now, if I was a mean person, I'd tell you what happens at the end of the film, but since I'm not mean, I won't. But to be honest, I'd've enjoyed it maybe just a little bit more if I had known what was going to happen. I'm not one for tension, or the building up thereof. But you should go and see it, because it is good, and because Bill Murray must always be encouraged.

I got an email today which made me laugh more spectacularly than anything else this week, and so I will share with you the list of suggestions that Dave sent me of things to do when stuck in the house:

Look at some pictures of a grandmother (doesn't matter whose).

Tape things off the telly using only a cassette recorder left near the speaker. Then send the tapes back to the production company behind the programme with a note reading "thought these might be useful".

Avoid bending down to the washing machine by showering in your clothes.

Mix all the liquids you can find in the house in a bucket and see what happens.

Send a text reading "P.S. I'm gay" to everyone you've ever had any form of sexual congress with at all. This is even better if you are gay.

Assume something and then act accordingly whether this premise is actually true or not. E.G. Assume your mum is hiding a kinder egg in her sleeve and incessently demand that she reveal it.

Develop a rudimentry language of your very own and try to propigate it's usage among your family and pets.

Pretend to be lost.

Plans for tomorrow include bravely leaving the house again, and trying to move my old computer into my new bedroom, and set it up in a space too small to contain the desk it is supposed to be sitting on, and plug it into some already overcrowded wall sockets. I live on the edge, people.

11 January 2004
I really proper hate the layout and look of this bloody weblog. Since blogger have severely restricted their templates, I'm stuck with this unless someone gives me a quick masterclass on how to make it pretty. And I'm very jealous of H, who has given herself a complete new outfit in anticipation of her worldly journeys. Could someone do the same for me? Pretty Please?

Email shazzle@nospamcluas.com, removing the [nospam] and let me know. I'd be ever so grateful.

I've been surfing for the last half hour, to avoid doing anything of substance that will remind me that I've been abandoned by my parents for the next five weeks, and that Shattered finished last night on Channel 4 and I've nothing better to watch, and I found a site which has linked to me under my very very old name of "What Did You Say?" Although he has put me under 'blogs what I link to' rather than 'blogs what I read' which I found very odd and slightly rude.

Last week I signed up for my second OU course, starting at the end of this month, which will start me into proper learning about psychology, rather than just noncing about making up my own theories about people and blaming everything on father figures and not being breastfed. It's this one, which looks a little scary and involves a week-long residential course and a written exam along with the usual essays, which is a bit more hands on than my last one. I've registered with them as a special student, really only so that I can do my exam on a computer rather than on paper. I find it too difficult to organise my thoughts in a linear fashion any more, and doing exams on computers - like I did while in university - means that you can jump about all over the place and still appear to be coherent at the end. Also, I type a heck of a lot faster than I write these days, and you can sit in very awkward positions in front of the computer, which you can't do writing at a desk. Currently, I'm kneeling on the chair to try to stop the aching in my back. I'm going to go and take the dogs for a wander instead.

09 January 2004
Posting in spasms, that's what I'm good at. Here's a friday five to round things up for now.

What one thing are you most looking forward to . . .
1. ...today?

Going to sleep.

2. ...over the next week?
Possibly getting out of the house a little bit. I'm contemplating going to a pub, possibly meeting with friends, and perhaps chancing a comedy gig. But that will probably not happen, as I'm no longer as jolly as I used to be. Can you imagine that? I'm sure you can't.

3. ...this year?
I'm looking forward to (fingers crossed) starting college again in September, if I get in to the course I haven't applied for yet. I'm also looking forward to the Aqualung gig in Whelans in March.

4. ...over the next five years?
I'm looking forward to David Gray touring Europe again, because by the time he writes and records a new album to tour, I should be able to drive, and so me and Sue can drive around rather than train around, taking turns "behind the wheel" (as people that can drive say) and not have to stand about on train platforms quite so often.

5. ...for the rest of your life?
Getting that puppy I've always promised myself. And also a slow and unseemly emotional and physical breakdown.

And boringly, I have been rated a "totally normal person" by the good people that bring you Why I Fucking Hate Weblogs.

"Congratulations! You're a totally normal person.

If you had a weblog, it'd probably be a great one! Why are you even taking this survey? You're obviously completely normal. You probably look on weblogs with the same disdain shown by all people of your elite personal perfection, however, if you do like weblogs, I'm sure you have a damned good reason. Kudos to you for retaining some measure of sanity in this mixed-up, shook-up, fucked-up world. We thank you for taking time out of your busy normal life to look this survey over."

Heh. They said "fuck".

Oh, for god's sake. This staying concentrated solely on one thing and not wandering off in the middle of a sentence just because something louder has distracted you from the task thing is a difficult one to master after over a month of what has basically become house arrest. Also, see previous sentence for a good indication of my state of mind. Does that make any sense whatsoever? I'm really not sure.

To summarise: At the beginning of December, My Consultant said "Lie down! You have bad prolapse! Your back might fall off! Have a large handful of drugs!" And so I did. And it was good.

And then my job people said - "We don't want you with no badly back! You go away now! Here is some euro." And so I did. And that was quite nice too.

And now My Surgeon says "Don't lie down! Stand up! Walk! Swim! - but don't jump. No jumping or running, because your back might fall off. Have a large needle right in the spine!" And so I will. The Wednesday after next.

My Surgeon is a very very young man, who works in a private hospital in Dublin. My Surgeon is very very young - a little too young - and hip enough to be net savvy, so I will not be mentioning his name or the name of the hospital, cos that would lead to hilarious consequences when he has power over me with his local anesthetic. My Surgeon says that the prolapse is probably not the thing causing me the pain. My Surgeon says that the prolapse is not a problem at all really, so long as it does not prolapse any further, but stressed again that it may well do that at any time, which could cause all kinds of numbness and loss of bladder control, both of which you'll agree are things best kept only to the occasional lost weekend. My Surgeon says that what I have is Degenerative Disc Disease (which is a name I just made up because it has good alliteration) and that the cause is genetic (or 'genital' as me and my mother kept telling each other wrongly). It is caused by my very genes, and my parents will never hear the end of it.

The Wednesday after next I will be going to hospital, where My Surgeon will be giving me a local anaesthetic and then sticking a needle full of steroid straight in to my spinal fluids in order to take away some pain. Side effects of this proceedure include loss of use of the legs and intense screaming headaches and there is no garauntee that it will work at all. In order to help me through this, my parents are going away on holiday for five weeks starting tomorrow. I am left in the capable care of two labradors, two cats and my recently returned brother, who seems to hate me.

Today, I am feeling a funny variation of flippant and terrified. And also, My Surgeon says that I can't take any more valium because "after two weeks" it becomes habit forming. I have been taking it since the 10th of December.

06 January 2004
There are tons and tons of things I wanted to talk about, and a lot of things that I will probably not get round to, it having been about a month since I last posted. So even though I don't agree with back dating entries, I'm going to have to go ahead and do that just for the sake of neatness, because I am quite anal in that respect.

So underneath this date, I will be filling you - that's you - in on what I have and haven't been up to since 10th December 2003. But first I have to go to the doctor to collect the invalidity benefit form that I'm sending off to the government, who in turn are refusing to acknowledge the forms, and refusing to pay me any money. Damn their evil eyes. More later.