Unreliable and possibly off-topic


Friday, November 16, 2007


I think I took a sickie today. I woke up feeling wretched, convinced myself I had a headache, runny nose and achy limbs, then felt instantly better after phoning in.

So today I did a big supermarket shop for the first time in ages, visited the Chinese veg shop and the local butcher for a ham hough, planned out some home-cooked family meals and am baking my special macaroni cheese for the kiddos. This incorporates gruyere in the cheese sauce, leftover tomato sugo stirred in and fresh tomatoes on the top. The black beans for my magnificent Mexican black bean stew are soaking, and my specially bought-in freezer bags will ensure that the leftovers from a cooking frenzy can become further meals.

John Cale: Hallelujah


Saturday, November 10, 2007


Today I worked a 10 hr weekend shift, which earned me £51 and a day off; almost exactly the same as I spent on replacing the little bedroom telly which went kaput. You can pick between a hundred plasma or LCD flat-screen tellies from £300-£3000, but a small 14" old-style model is now difficult to find, especially if you don't need or want a DVD player inbuilt. Less is more, sometimes.

The boss asked today about my dad's health- answer: not good- and then drew from this a long story about the veterinary care of his aged labradors' cancers that turned out to be fungal overgrowths. There's some kind of blundering positive message to be gained from this, but it's opaque and precipitately verging on the comical. I like non-human organisms as much as the next bloke, but a Dad and a labrador do not yet have equivalent value, psychodynamically.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

Catshit and MBPI

The simplest expedient, as suggested by the Big Wan, was to excise the offending pieces of carpet using a Stanley knife. Here She is studiously ignoring the outcome of Her dirty protest, and flicking Her tail. Now I know that it will cost £200 for the cheap fix and £700 for the nice one, I can ignore it too.

Recently, both R. and I have taken a Myers Briggs Personality Inventory. It took me about five seconds to object to the methodology which allocates responders to types based on a 1% preference for one side of an axis- totally in keeping with my type. I'm keeping my polarised 'type' secret for now, but was fascinated to learn that my best friend R. opposes me on all but the weakest axis. I gather that the original thinking on the Myers-Briggs oppositions derived from Jung, and possibly from astrology before that, which is of course is twaddle. The mainly interesting outcomes from such activities are the imposition of a human nature which seeks for order and pattern out of chaos.

Just for fun, please take the free test, and report your 4-letter type. You tell me yours, and I'll tell you mine.

From Songs for Drella:
Trouble with Classicists


Friday, November 02, 2007

This Week's Miscellany

I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski, is a book that will shortly be winging its way to me. I'm sorry now I didn't attend the Edinburgh launch in August at MegaBowl, Dumpdee St, Edinburgh in August.

Her Imperial Majesty Noushka was forced into a dirty protest this week, due to operator failure. Last night I made unmistakeable contact with cat excrement on my kitchen floor in the dark, when this is totally out of character for Herself. Realising that She was making a point, I found that H. Etc. had emptied but not refilled Her tray with litter on Tuesday. Poor Anoushka, but She knows how to get get relevant attention.

Interview Technique Tips- if you're a young male being interviewed by two mature women, do not use body language, even unconsciously, to try to display your innate qualities of mastery and dominance. Specifically, do not tip the administrator a wink and a salute when you leave the building. She's a key team member whose impressions will be sought and who is old enough, like us, to be your mother.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

The wee wan uses the term ‘random’ as a form of compliment for anything left-field. After two cans of wifebeater ( Hotboy) for breakfast I’m heading in that direction, but it is my day off work. Like HB I’m now nearly teetotal, except more so than he.

Now it’s my day off I can concentrate better on my Dad’s illness, but it’s not good. He’s at home, but the management of his multiple problems are so bad as to make me weep. They discharged him home immediately after an inhuman 5 min ‘chat’ in a public place informing him he also has a lung tumour and pulmonary emboli (PEs), with no contacts for questions, no management plan or info on treatment or prognosis, to stew this over the weekend. Not surprisingly, he’s imagined and responded to the worst.

He had an diabetic hypo last night, because no one has talked to him properly about the fact he might need tapering insulin doses now he’s no longer on on dexamethasone. The letter from the neurosurgeons concerning his enoxaparin injections for his PEs has gone astray, so no one knows how long these are to be kept up for. This is just the short term stuff- never mind the radio- or chemotherapy plans which are anyone’s guess. When I have time to think about, anger, disgust and despair well up, that this is ‘optimal’ care provided at a teaching hospital in a first-world setting. Meanwhile, there’s no answer when I try to call the oncology nurse, but she’s probably rushed off her feet.

Meanwhile, my other Dad has sent me his Big Lebowski pic, posing in his shorts, Crocs and dressing gown with a White Russian. Those who’ve met me may see the family resemblance. I hope he doesn’t mind me posting it here. I found this life-affirming- thanks Dad! For my regulars, it’s probably relevant to know I have two Dads, both wonderful, whom I love very much.

I shall have a nice nap later, read some more of my current book “The Family that Couldn’t Sleep” (on prion diseases) and listen to more of my new PJ Harvey and Devendra Banhart (reminiscent of early Marc Bolan/ Steve Took as well as the Doors) CDs, as well as the more muscular “Songs for Drella” by Cale and Reed.