There's a reason I'm not a poet

Posts tagged ‘how do i turn this thing on’

Is this thing still on?

Now that it’s 2018, I’ve found myself and my friends realising that “it was ten years ago that we..”

I’m nearly a decade out of school, and it’s almost been ten years since I started university. A few of my friends have been saying that they can’t believe this, that time’s flying by etc. But for me it really does feel like ten years ago. When I look back to the person I was in school that genuinely feels like a lot of time between then and now.

People had always warned me about time going quickly, and I remember hearing that time speeds up as you get older: when you’re 4, a year is a quarter of your entire life. At twenty, proportionally a year is a fifth of that size. So years ago I started trying to keep an eye on time passing, to ensure I wasn’t letting life pass me by. One of the tools I used for this was blogging. Back in the days of LiveJournal, my friend Poor Little Rich Boy referred to using a blog as an “Anchor in Time”. And I think it helped: I charted some major events in my life, I was able to spend a moment and in writing things down, take stock. A month felt like a month, and a year a year. Now, a decade feels like a decade.

Scrolling down on this page, there are significant gaps in between blog entries in recent times. Partly as a result of not blogging, to me it feels as if life is speeding up a bit. So I’m hoping to try and blog a bit more regularly. To help keep stock, and because it was always something I enjoyed doing, and something I liked being able to look back on (although looking back at blogs from being 18 admittedly is a little bit painful).

Other objectives include dealing with my friends being in multiple places. Thankfully I don’t have too many friends in other countries, but it’s even difficult trying to semi-regularly see friends who are based within the UK. I was over in London last weekend and while I got to see a fair number of people, I didn’t get to spend as much time with individual people as I would have liked. There were a couple of ones I properly did get to hang out with, and I really really enjoyed that. I miss being able to lounge about in the same living room as some of those lovely people, and so any opportunity I can get to emulate it is much appreciated.

On a similar vein I had a uni friend over visiting for a weekend a fortnight ago. She’d been over before, so the emphasis wasn’t really on touristy things, and was more on enjoying what Belfast has to offer. And filling our stomachs until they perforated. This included a belated Chinese New Year party and around 300 dumplings (the remnants of which are gloriously still in my freezer.. I can’t wait). She was one of the first really good friends I made at uni so I relished the opportunity to catch up in what was embarrassingly the first time in about 18 months..

Speaking of positives, I continue to be obsessed with my nephew. The wee man is just over a year old now, and is bossing the entire family around. His excitable, cheery self is a real joy to be around, and with the blizzards in Ireland and a few other things he’s actually spent a good amount of time in Belfast recently, allowing me to hang out with him more than normal. The quest to becoming his favourite is in progress.

The other new baby in my life is something I’d been working towards for a while: a new car! By new I of course mean used, but it’s a 2015 Corsa with only 12,000 miles on the clock so I figured it wasn’t far off from being new. My original plan was to go find a nice boring sturdy car, but this souped-up Corsa with its whistles and bells changed my mind pretty instantaneously. Yes I’m aware it’s a Vauxhall and not a Ferrari, but it’s a significant improvement on my 15 year old Fiesta and I’m kind of in love. There is a bluetooth and a touchscreen and because it’s me there are colour-coded floor mats. With its JAO registration plate I’ve affectionately called him Chairman Jao.

Onwards and upwards through the gear box.

M

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Michaelday XXVI

My birthday was last week. I think. I was on nights this weekend so I’ve no concept of which way is up never mind what day it is. But the birthday was fun! As is my way, I had three birthdays: first was in work with pizza and cookies (I do actually do work I promise), the second was Eurovision party on the Saturday, and then the actual birthday itself on the Monday. Went out for drinks and lunch with the family and in the evening saw Derren Brown!

The man made us promise not to put spoilers on social media but needless to say the guy got up in front of everyone and performed blatant witchcraft. People of a delicate or religious constitution need not apply. I spent my time trying to work out exactly how he manipulates people. After communication skills training at uni, my knowledge of non-verbal communication and cues etc. has made me more aware of how these things work , but this was a complete other level. Like Super Slytherin times seventeen. It was interesting when he looked at people and assessed (or at least pretended to) how easy or hard it would be to manipulate them, but he was pulling off ridiculously complicated stunts that it can’t be anything remotely simple. So eventually I decided it was actual shamanic ju-ju.

Eurovision was also brilliant craic! I went out shopping beforehand to try and get a bunting of different flags but couldn’t find anything. This being Northern Ireland, the closest thing J could get was a bunch of red white and blue flags. Which is fine, I passed them off as France. My housemate had the national flag of the gays though so we had a nice relevant rainbow sitting above our fireplace in honour of Eurovision.

We’d crafted a bunch of drinking rules to make the event go by smoothly (or not smoothly) and they ended up being bloody well brutal. By the end of the night I’d lost my voice from shouting DRINK every time lasers or a granny came on screen. I’d dressed up in my Lederhosen so it probably didn’t make a very imposing sight. But the night wdnt on until about four in the morning so it was a success anyway. And more importantly I had fun.

As a birthday present, I got some money together from the fam and myself and bought a DSLR camera! It arrived the other day amd I’ve been playing about with it today. The aim is to be able to take semi-decent photos by the time I get to China so I can come back and not only be annoying talking about what a wonderful time I had and how much of a voyage of self discovery it was, but also be annoying and upload 732 photos in sepia onto facebook and make people sit down and watch my PowerPoint show.

Don’t go thinking you’re safe.

M

Charge it, point it, zoom it, press it

So hopefully you got my text with my new number, and so know I have a new phone! While Kevin and his Snake-playing-capabilities have certainly served me well, when Plato offered me his old iPhone once his contract ran out I kinda jumped at the opportunity.

I’ve always been a bit of a mixture between a techie and a Luddite: one minute I’m behind the TV playing with the leads and a big grin on my face, and the next I’m whacking the computer screen with the nearest oil lamp calling down the wroth of God onto iTunes. My odd relationship with technology is probably demonstrated quite well with my habit of naming my computerised things- I’ve gone through Roy, Dinky, Yoshimi, Kevin, Carl, Rambo, Rambo2 and now I’m welcoming Mycroft to the family.

Instead of working yesterday, I spent about two hours trying to get the thing unlocked and set up (the end of a six-week long journey) and then about five hours texting and snapchatting people, absolutely decimating my battery. I’m generally getting the hang of it, and hope to tread the middle ground between knowing how things actually work and not being the person who sits on their phone on the internet rather than interacting with the people in front of them.

But nowadays social norms have changed with these smart phones: what would have been seen as rude is now quite socially acceptable. I kind of got around the competing interests of texts and talking by developing the ability to text without looking, so I could maintain eye contact and have a conversation while sending anything I needed to say. Although with (a) a touch screen, (b) my apparently chubby thumbs and (c) apple autocorrect all stacked up against me, I don’t think this is really a possibility. So we’ll see how many people I offend by not replying to them, whether it’s in person or in virtual communication.

It’s wonderful how technology has advanced so much that there are more ways to not talk to people than ever before

M