Wednesday, August 16, 2006

2005-08-24 020OH FUCK OFF!

Sorry, but that's my response to typing, typing my blogger username and password only to be refused access on the grounds that I'm already logged in under my Google account, and to use Blogger I must first shut down anything related to Google. Which is really fucking annoying. I'm sure I can't be the only person to have a Blogger account in a pseudonym, but a Gmail (and Google Calendar) account in my real name. And now after - what? - years of dual use, suddenly I'm told I can't have both open at once.

And because the password's saved in Firefox, it took me a bloody age to remember it, all the while fervently hoping Mountain View is struck by an earthquake, wildfire, plague of plastic surgeons or whatever other disasters typically befall bits of California no-one can quite place. It is in California, right?

It's as bad as Amazon wishlists promising to only put your town and country on public display, yet also managing to display the delivery name. So to those who suggested I might like to do that for my birthday this is why no list has been forthcoming. And of course I'm grossly indecisive, so could never decide what I want, and having been raised on decades (bugger, that's a plural) of disappointing presents*, the idea of actually asking for something you want and getting it seems rampantly materialistic, and not a little unlikely.

*Oh my, a wind up torch with built in radio (and which unfailingly lasts for less than 3 minutes); how resourceful. My mother just threatened to buy me a 3/4 length auto-inflating camping mattress (I imagine you have to throw it overboard to inflate it), while then listing how she could never bear to sleep with her legs lower than her body and various other reasons why she would never want one herself. As futilely pointless goes, that has to be up there with those pass-the-parcelled New Zealand luridly-Eighties-patterned scarf-hat things (my brother at least put effort into losing his, although like the cat, it always came back the very next day. I simply let mine languish in the parental home ever since, never quite disliking anyone I'm obliged to give presents to enough to pass it on, and never quite daring to ship it off to a jumble sale, where it'd probably be classed as a tea cosy or an assault course for hamsters). However I think the slightly acidic comment about 3/4 length sons probably suggested it wouldn't be entirely welcome.

This one-account-to-rule-them-all is precisely the sort of utter shit that alienated me from the great MSN behemoth (and thus I use it purely for a spam-laden registration account, which predates MSN, and as a low-traffic blogging account). It's this idea that one can have the same identity for home, work and porn, and that one should only ever have one identity, thus account. How thick are they, or how thick do they think we are?

Sorry, getting a wee bit wrathful, as I was happily enjoying watching a DVD of Brideshead Revisited (recommended by a very CU friend, and I know wonder what she was trying to suggest), and was quarter of an hour into the final episode, at 11 o'clock, when my mother rang, for the second time this evening. My mother has never been one for checking if it is alright to talk. She'd also rung me the evening before, when I explained I was in the middle of a group and couldn't really talk, upon which news she ranted for at least quarter of an hour, luckily most of which was completely unintelligible against the background noise. But still I didn't like it, as I could feel my face contracting into hateful expressions, which remind me so much of my mother and my aunt (betwixt whom is a merry war of words, only with out the merry or the happy ending. I can never decide if they wear glasses of jade or brimstone. Decades of mistrust warping life into evil deeds) and which are all thoroughly unflattering faces to pull in public.

Not content with boiling up feelings of depression and rage while encircled by friends, she rung twice this morning as well, although coward that I am I remembered I had more pressing commitments, and thus ignored the ringing phone. She always bloody rings and it's never positive. She is one the most destructive people I know. My brother commented in passing today, after apologising to me for not making contact since a meal weeks ago, which he described by my mother's comment to his girlfriend during it (my mother still has not forgiven my brother for letting our aunt meet his girlfriend before our mother), in which she said [but I was stuck at the other end of the table, so could not hear] "I gather you met my sister on a good day", which fortunately potential in-law didn't have a chance to reply to.

So my mother is a little bundle of happiness and well being. And thus I was delighted to interrupt my sojourn in an erudite if ill-fated world to hear her bemoan the failings of her computer. It didn't help that within five minutes of the start of the call, the gin and tonic I'd been nursing (it had been a long day, and besides, it's quite unfair to watch people drinking continuously with nothing for oneself. One could probably make a jolly good drinking game out of Brideshead; Withnail rules, but with better pacing) was all quite gone, and I was readily become aware that should this call continue, I may well need another, which I poured somewhat sloppily single-handed. Well, it is gin and tonic, which sort of suggests the former is greater than the latter.

And that took about as long to drink as it did to pour. I'm not sure it made me cope with her problems any they better, but it did lower the compunction I felt at cutting her off mid-rant simply to see if she'd notice or care, and rather hoping she might take it that fate gave her a hint.

No such luck. 3 minutes and 47 seconds it took for her to call back, and for me to make reference to earlier [invented] 'network busy' messages. So it took her nearly four minutes to notice I wasn't there.

Of highlights included going to brush my teeth while leaving the phone on the table, dropping it on the floor about three times as I dozed off, trying the age old trick of moving stuff round in the kitchen and managing to put it down atop the radiator with slightly to much of a clang. Oh, to live in flat with poor mobile reception. If ever my brother wants to avoid speaking to someone, he just has to start cooking, or even just get some water. I know people who only have a cocked hat a few inches long providing the only reception their flat gets. But here, with its views of the city, the signal is far too dependable, so I have to feign absent mindedness for not turning my phone on or not answering it (Oh, the battery must have gone flat without me hearing it again/oh, I put on silent for something earlier, and must have forgotten to take it off again).

It's so pointless though. She doesn't actually want to talk to me, only to have someone confirm whatever it is she's saying, which when it's computers isn't a given. Actually when it's anything it isn't a given, but it's a brave man who dares correct my mother.

But todays latest call wasn't helped by her tendency to use words like "overwrite" when she means 'refresh'. When she refused to stop being so silly and started whining that Windows Help doesn't, I gave up. It's like dealing with a toddler. Either ignore them, tell them to stop it (and mean it) or turn round and slap them. None of which one really can do with a fifty something woman who won't actually listen and who won't go away. If only I could send her into the hall (our house's equivalent of the naughty step, only with about three glass dominated walls; my mother obviously relied on my innate I'm-not-that-naughty sense to stop me shattering them. I did once blow out the bathroom window by slamming the door, but it was already cracked. Seeing the night get a lot blacker with a crash is a good way of ending a row between siblings. And why is it that there are certain sounds and smells, like crockery or glass breaking, metak grinding or the smoke of a burnt building, which invariably make one wince. There's a raw pain to them, almost as if one can sense the expense).

So after I gave up on less direct hints, I suggested doing a couple of things and going to bed, she agreed and then berated me for over ten minutes not having a land line, when that isn't a choice in this building (there are, but the building owners did some dodgy deal with some company, so they cost a bomb to ring in or out on, and no one here knows their phone number, as the ones written by the phone ring somewhere completely random) before reverting back to the computer, at which point I just decided to treat it as if it were the end of the conversation, running half the winding down talk and the goodbyes, and then hanging up.

Now all I need to do is find out which muppet of a housemate has decided that nicking lightbulbs from the kitchen is a good idea (I suppose it stops us cooking too late). The building manager doles them out with gay abandon if you ask nicely, so I really don't see why they did. And I am a bit annoyed as it was one of the energy saving ones I bought (after the standard incandescent things kept burning out within a week; I'm sure there's some underlying electrical fault, but I simply cannot be bothered to worry). Oh yes, forgot to mention, yet another new flatmate, which shocked me rather, as they previous guy had left his stuff all round the flat so I thought he was on holiday (I took long enough to notice even that, as he was worryingly quiet and rodently shy).

I had prayed for someone not quite so inept as the previous guys. My prayers were answered, rather more than I might have wished. Newbie #893's first words to me were asking about the cleaning rota for the flat, the budgeting system for acquiring shared products (er, in which column do I enter liberated loo paper?) and so on. Henceforth I am breeding a select strain of Salmonella to smear on his door handle and wipe the smug idiot out.

It's not like I haven't been trying, but there's only so much drudgery I'll take before I leave it for the others to do and therefore end up waiting to see how long it takes them to notice. Apparently forever, but then I have only just got one toilet trained (I think he must squat on the loo seat, as that's the only way that set of trajectories is physically possible, even accounting for it being malicious). This is the same flatmate who will soon die of heart disease, judging by his fry-heavy meals, although he does usually chuck most of the fat down the drain (after about a week of mouldering), even if the drain is blocked and backing up into the bath.

You'd never think an engineer could be quite that thick. If there's one thing that living in London has taught me, it's that there's so much one cannot hope to expect. I can expect the Spanish inquisition, and probably cope with that too; I did not however expect, and cannot apparently overcome, the result of Spanish colonialism (read 'bloody people who expect to have maids to do everything and have yet to notice I am not their personal servant').

Hmm, I haven't had a proper incoherent rant in ages. Blame Brideshead. Ok don't, but I have to shoehorn in the warning that watching Brideshead Revisited may seriously damage your social life. Not only are the endless debates over whether to catch up with real people or fictional characters, and the time taken to do the latter, but also it the damage it cane do due to being roundly mocked by one's friend. You know that clip of Line of Beauty they used in which Catherine complains she simply cannot stand that "aw" sound... I might slightly have fallen pray in similar sentiments in others.

Merely because I happened to manage to make 'forgot' rhyme with 'ought' is no reason to mock me. Perhaps it wasn't helped by saying one sentence before "I thought you abhorred things of that sort", with all three o's slightly aw'd.

It's quite odd how voices can pick up traces of accents so easily, although in my case it's probably that most speech heard in recent weeks has come from Jeremy Irons and co. At least I'm not currently suffering an OC habit, unlike one friend who has been getting more West Coast over the past month.

Anyway, very late, and I want to check email, so I'll have to log out of this.


PS. Good Luck Az.

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