And so it continues
Sunday, November 30, 2008 ~ 4 comments so far
Last week at work was quietly manic and next week shows no sign of anything changing on that front. There is a big project on the go and, whilst it’s great to be involved in it from the very start, it does mean I am now juggling 4 or 5 different responsibilities. I know everyone else does this too, I’m really REALLY not complaining, in fact I revel in the additional pressure of it all. Turns out I’m quite happy when I’m busy.
Maybe that’s why I say YES to so many things.
It’s that need to be busy (I’m pretty sure it’s just that, not a need to be liked, or any form of acceptance seeking) which found me trawling, torch in hand, through various boxes in our loft this evening. It’s always a little memory trip, uncovering boxes of mementos and whatnot; 21st birthday cards, items we are storing for family even though we all know they’ll never ask for them back, my old (pre-internet) porn stash, some LPs and… what? Ohhh shit. No no, no porn stash at all.
My Mum reads this you know.. dammit.
So I’m brushing away cobwebs, blowing dust from boxes, certain that somewhere in the depths of the attic is the item I’m looking for. Took me about 15 minutes, three bumps on the head and one hearty thump across my back when I stood up beneath one of the roof beams, but I finally found.
My old cassette tape Walkman. Just hope it still works.
I’ve been asked to convert a tape to CD and, these days, the only means I have of performing such a feat is to hook up the Walkman to my PC, record it and then burn a CD of the result. Fingers crossed.
That aside, I’m taking a break from website design stuff for the month of December. I’m just polishing off the latest one, and have a questionnaire out to a potential client with a note saying that it’ll be January before I can start.
So, what on earth am I going to do with my spare time in December?
Ohh I’m sure I’ll find something to fill the time. Be it Pro Evo Soccer, getting through a backlog of books (more on that soon), or possibly finally tidying out my iTunes library (21,762 tracks = MUST STOP BUYING MUSIC!!). Mind you, the porch needs varnished, the living room could do with painting and the garden.. oh god, the garden needs some attention too… always fun in December.
All that and more will keep me busy and with a big grin on my face. So if I sound like I’m moaning please rest assured, I’m not. Not in the slightest.
Thursday, November 27, 2008 ~ 13 comments so far
Contrary to popular belief, where “popular” refers to all my tens of readers and “belief” refers to the scant notion that any of you buggers have anything even approaching morals let alone a belief system, I am not completely brainwashed by our friends across the pond.
You know, them Merkin folk. The ones with the new president.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no hater of the United States of America but there is something about this thanksgiving holiday they have that irks me in a way not dissimilar to that feeling you get when you have a stone in your shoe but it’s raining so you can’t stop to remove it and have to plod on and on through puddles with a HUGE JAGGED ROCK slashing into your foot with every step.
Actually that’s not strictly true.
I mean the stone in your shoe thing is, despite the fact we all know that that stone is little more than a teeny tiny ickle pebble the damn thing feels huge and horrid when it’s creeping about in your shoe. That’s another thing that’s annoying about getting a stone in your shoe the way the stones will shuffle and move whilst you walk, making each step a little adventure. Well not an adventure so much as it gives you a slightly odd looking shuffling gait.
I think I’m getting sidetracked.
Ohh yes, Merkin Thanksgiving.
I realise it’s a big deal over there, really I do, but the entire world does not actually give a stuff(ing) about your holiday. I’m sure you are all over the pilgrims and indians and are thankful that you have the bestest celebrities in the world (evah!) but can you please keep the noise down? Whilst I am very thankful you have elected a new President, and doubly thankful that you chose Barack Obama, the rest of that nonsense you can keep to yourself.
This blog post is courtesy of having received three separate and unrelated emails from various Merkin companies, all wishing me a GREAT THANKSGIVING!!
Seriously. Fuck off.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 ~ 9 comments so far
I always feel ridiculous when I put on the balaclava, but I know I must. I check my appearance in the mirror and a man in black from head to toe stares back at me. Hey, I think, at least I look the part. I yank the balaclava off and stuff it in my pocket for later.
I walk over to the table at the other side of the room, not a huge journey in such a cheap hotel, and check that I have everything I need, ticking each item off against my mental itinerary just as I’ve been trained. I remember all the drills clearly and trust that instinct will guide me should the need arise. Taking a deep breath to calm my nerves I slowly fill the pockets of my jacket.
As I leave the room I pause before the mirror for one final check, one final deep breath and I know that I am ready, know that all that training will come to the fore, know that my first mission will be a success. Confidently I throw open the door and head for the rendezvous area.
I’ve surveyed the area for the past week and know the best entry and exit points. I know which cameras are where and what time the guards do their rounds. I’ve done my planning, nothing can go wrong. The adrenalin begins to course through my veins.
Twenty minutes later I gently swing myself down from a high window, landing softly on the balls of my feet, hidden behind stacks of empty boxes. I’m in the grand hall, a huge space with high ceilings that feels empty and bereft of life.
Checking my watch I wait for the guard to pass, still amazed at how lax the security detail is for such an important occasion. Then I remind myself that the security guards don’t care, not enough anyway. If it were my company we’d use our own people not hire in some part-timers, but then we know what is at stake and the price that will be paid for failure.
Crouched there I think back to my first encounter with the company, the quiet man at the celebration party who waited until I was alone to approach me, a congratulatory handshake was offered (it was my first world record) and accepted before he outlined the big picture, outlined just how much is resting on these events and why his company, my company, had to come out on top, had to be the ones with the upper hand. He stressed the seriousness of it all and I was soon converted.
There had always been a nagging doubt in my mind and I was quick to realise what a pawn I’d been. So keen had I been on placing the bones, stacking the stones, playing the game, that I hadn’t considered the implications. All the while I’d been concentrating on the details, steadying my hand, meticulous in my preparation. Ohhh how blind I’d been!
Footsteps pull me from my thoughts and I ready myself. I have precious seconds in which to make my move, but it is time enough unless something goes wrong. The guard walks past, whistling a nothing tune, and as he pulls the door closed behind him I slowly move out from the shadows.
Standing now I survey the scene before me, the floor is almost full, patterns ripple here and there, climbing stairs and bridging gaps. It take it all in and a tinge of sadness colours my view. I know what all of this took, I know the pain and sweat that has already passed, I know too the tears that will come but I cannot be deterred.
Carefully I step through the patterns, each foot placed slowly and carefully in the gaps. The pattern is etched in my mind and soon I’m in there, at the place where it all starts and ends. I’m still surprised that such a flaw exists for I know how painstaking the preparation will have been, diverts and errors are usually accounted for, and it seems a glaring omission for them to have left such an opportunity. A ripple of panic brings sweat to my brow. Surely it can’t be this easy? Is it a trap?
I know it’s not, I know the analysis of the design was thorough and I oversaw the simulations myself, I know that here, at this very point, this very piece holds the key to the entire pattern. The fulcrum on which power will tilt.
Slowly I bend and gently, ohhh so gently, I reach down and grasp the piece between forefinger and thumbfingers, easing it slowly out of place until it is free. I rests in the palm of my hand, such a small and fragile thing to hold such power. I stare down at it, amazed that after all this time it has come down to this. I feel like a god, ultimate power in my hand, the power to end it all. A flicker of doubt is passed off as guilt.
With my other hand I pull a small tube from my jacket pocket, unscrew the lid with my mouth and after a short pause to savour the moment, I gently squeeze out a thin line of superglue across the short flat side of the piece in my hand. I seal the tube, place it back in my pocket and check the line of glue. Perfect.
Slowly I bend and gently, ohhh so gently, replace the domino at the centre of the display.
There, I think, that’ll stop them.