Sunday, February 26, 2006

CF8 600 - People - 32 TemptationMouse permitting (see the comment on the last post), I'll try posting.

Recent stuff in my life:
- Work. I've still got a stupid amount to do, and it's only the "by when" which varies. Yep, I'm displacement-activity-ing.
- Party. Last night. Basically a group of us hired (or found ourselves volunteered to help hire) the upstairs of a pub/club thing, paid the deposit, and then hoped fervently that we had enough friends that the bar would meet the minimum take and so we'd get the deposit back. We paid £400 up front. We needed the bar to take more than £800 to get the deposit back. The bar took £1,200. We might have slightly overshot.

And henceforth I will be known as Ye [of little faith], due to being a bit worried when I arrived late (thanks to travelling with someone who wanted to take the bus, which ensured we stood at a bus stop for 40-minutes before getting bored and walking several bus stops down the road before the bus finally caught up with us.

I know logically that it's the same bus, so we might as well stayed at the first bus stop, but inactivity rankles, even if it raises the risk of being between bus-stops as the bus passes. But on the other hand, we get closer to where we need to be regardless of whether a bus comes or not, and we move to a different point on the web of bus routes, so might have the option of taking a different bus.

Spot who has what someone recently termed "control issues". But I have two states with regard to the control of any situation: I am, and I will shortly be.

But getting back to the party, and it was a bit of an odd mix, as I only knew people from the department, who made up the core of the gathered. But that was partly from having discovered that every single person I know in London wasn't in London last night.

And by mix, I should stress that remarkably little mixing occurred, so it was a bit like the dance attended by Montagus and Capulets, only with added Cavendishes, Grosvenors and Throgmortens.

I also wish to officially renounce (well, for a couple days maybe) any attempt at figuring out what the hell is going on relationship-wise between various people I know. Having accidentally gained information (what? She left he log-on details as the default on a computer. But unfortunately they're no longer there. Not that I checked or anything) which illustrated a whole swathe of interlinkages, I tried to build on that knowledge last night. It got a bit muddled by one guy, who is damn near impossible to figure out. I think it's a combination of ADHD and thriving on attention, hence doing anything he can to gain and keep someone's attention (someone did very cruelly wonder aloud what sex would him would be like, but I can't really go into here, as hand gestures were involved, although the crux of it was a wee burst of freneticism followed by him wandering off because he's bored and distracted).

Anyway, it was a bit bemusing, as there were too many other interactions going to decide just what is significant (plus the thorough internationalism of the group does mean everyone has different mannerisms, interpretations and thresholds). But I was having a had enough job of trying to dance to the latest Slavic rock, which could just have been static with added feedback, all played painfully loudly (don't ya just love friends djing while not paying attention to anything beyond their knobs, so not noticing that the entire dancefloor is standing round, as they have been for the past three songs, waiting for the tune to start

Another problem with international groups is that it means I'm the only person who knows [all] the words to Rhythm is a Dancer or other Scout Disco classics. I mean, they didn't even know the words to Common People. How can I be expected to work with these people? And we won't go into the irony of designer clad Greeks dancing to the track.

It's a bit odd. I'm not sure whether any relationship changed as a result of the party. People turned up because they either had a vested interest or because they felt obliged to. And once they got there, they stayed rigidly in their self-affirming groups, so there's half a dozen unchanging clusters and far too many couples, so of whom are even married.

But then watching the assumption people made was intriguing. There are those who change completely. There are those who don't at all. There are those who have come prepared for something completely different, and those apparently unprepared.

Anyway, last night was a party. It wasn't dire, but wasn't as good as it might have been, or even should have been.

So odd then. But it did remind me how much I like dancing. I can't dance but if everyone else is, then I want to and I don't want to stop (and heaven help you if suggest leaving early). Although it can't have been a proper night of dancing, because I wasn't doused in sweat, nothing hurt and still was my bouncy self while walking to the bus-stop (much to the chagrin of someone I was with, even though when I'm really knackered I still find excess energy from somewhere).

Oh, and never try to teach someone to skip when travelling along Pentonville Road at somewhere after 3 am. Especially not if they're short sighted and without their glasses. It was a long legs, short legs, moving between bus-stops (having just had a full one roar past) thing, and I walk fast, so I was trying to find ways to even things out again. Basically, it wasn't entirely successful.

Which probably sums up the entire night, but I did need it, as it's probably the first time I've drunk alcohol since New Year's...

- Indecent amounts of Christmas Cake. Oh, and I've found a way round annoying women on the checkout in Sainsbury's, and hence have just eaten some very cheap hot cross buns: Unexpected item in the bagging area.

- Unexpected swearing in the street area. Thanks Shelter. I know it's the mark of a newbie to complain about chuggers [charity muggers, or people employed by charities to generate direct debit contributions. They loiter on street corners and take money off unsuspecting people], but when they start swearing at anyone who ignores them it does sort of verge on the cusp of tolerable behaviour. Which as in a normal day I pass that street corner about four times a day, and each time get accosted by people after my money, does being to get wearing. And it's hardly as if I try walking through them. I give them a wide berth and everything about my body language says "not now". Look, I even apologise to Big Issue sellers for not buying one (this tactic did of course backfire in Exeter when one thought I saw swearing at him. But Exeter always had particularly savage beggars; all of whom seemed to be Glaswegian), so it's not that I'm refusing to admit knowledge of your existence or denigrate your human status. It's simply that I have the same thing every day, I don't have enough money to give to everyone who asked, and I don't have enough time to explain this.

If it was where I grew up, after a while I'd start to say "Good morning" to them. But as this is London and the only time people speak to each other is if one is trying to sell something, be it drugs or simply a social panacea (I did once try greeting someone I recognised. I'd been stuck in a lift with her the night before. Two words made her rear back like a horse that's met a snake, and then suddenly decide she needed the northbound platform). So what choice have I got? To stop and speak, and be late evermore, or to walk on by and risk slightly nonsensical insults (firstly, does it look like I am? And secondly, my parents were married. Or just the ever popular standard anatomically incorrect). Or should I just start stabbing them? I reckon their branded clipboards could eviscerate fairly well.

It's as bad as that mad woman from the Christian Scientists who stands blocking the exit from a tube station at rush hour trying to stop people so that they can talk about their stressed lives and find ways to avoid the stress. So far I've avoided the most obvious stress-buster of punching her back into three lanes of foul tempered traffic. Someone really ought to tell her not to try it when the Northern Line's been having it's latest glitch (usually signalling failure, passenger action at Bank (what is it about Bank station that makes people what to kill themselves?), a faulty train at Euston or a missing train somewhere on the Charing Cross branch), because most of the people coming out will have spent the past hour trying not to get pushed off a crowded platform while also trying to get more than 5 metres down the platform [surely all the people in the knot can't be tourists?] then being crammed into a tin which is too short for some of them (I know this is heightist madam, but would you terribly mind moving your 4-foot frame, and attendant luggage closer to the edge of the train, so taller passengers don't have to risk being decapitated by the doors when they get on. And if you should choose to do that, then you will also avoid having give vertical glares to the people leaning over the top of you. If ever there was proof that previous generations were shorter, it's Victorian underground railways), and which moves only haltingly before announcing that it's going to terminate at the next stop, and there is another, equally crowded, train about 12 minutes behind it.

And this is all far too long, way too muddled, and substantially lacking in akomeogis, but I'm tired (yep, it still takes a hour to get anywhere in London, even at 4 am) and have stupid amounts of work to do tonight.


PS. How should one set about explaining that a lampshade is made out of a Weetabix box and a teatowel to someone who asks where they can get one? I'd bought a cheap lamp, which came with a shade which provided about 40 degree protection. 40 degrees being not very much, so I had to extend it, and the Weetabix box was in lieu of garden canes until I found some.

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