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More relaxed… 26, February 2008

Posted by babychaos in General Wittering, Humour, Life and living, Light Fluff, Pregnancy Issues.
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4 comments

In honour of yesterday’s post I have added a new warning category.  “Complete freak out”.  Yes for my loonier dump the crap moments I will now turn that category on as well as the “Adult Content” ie swearing and “Not while you’re eating” ie grim personal details about bodily functions coming soon, categories.

So.  After a long conversation with my Mum about how she hated being pregnant because it was frustrating annoying and painful, about how she administers stupid fingertip cuts that you can’t get wet with the annoying flappy bit of skin with her vegetable peeler on a semi-professional basis and how bloody annoying the organised people who ruin everything for the rest of us are (more on that story in a moment) I feel much better.

She also told me that in her day, the midwife came to see you every two weeks and your slot would be say… Tuesdays at 9.00 and would always be the same. Oh for such a simplistic approach these days.

As for the organised people… well I mean those people who even though they are pregnant still manage to hoist in that e-mailing the NCT woman, asking to go on the waiting list for antenatal classes and giving her your phone number, name, town of residence and e-mail address isn’t enough!

Sigh.

Looking at it, she did ask for my address so she could put me on the waiting list… but somehow I didn’t quite hoist in that I’d not go on without it and then Christmas loomed on the horizon and I got into my usual scrooge hissy fit/total panic and forgot about it until February. By that time, the organised women had got in and booked all the places.

Oh well.

Ballsed that one up then.

Not that I can do much about it.  And don’t give me any shit about complaining.  I do know I’m a complete pussy.

The other thing is that it would be nice if I could just ring up and book all the appointments I need right through from the point when I knew the pregnancy was viable. But you can only book a month in advance which, again, means that if you don’t get in on the first couple of days bookings open, you miss your slot.

Then there’s the scans, two and a half hours on hold waiting to book after they’d been closed for 9 days over Christmas and New Year only to be cut off.

Oh how I long for the days when they did the organising, slotted you in at a time convenient for them and you complied. The NHS is the worst of both, you are still given a slot at their convenience and have little scope to negotiate but you also have to remember to ring and book. Because it’s time critical I do get a little stressed I guess but yesterday was the first time I’ve had a full-on barking loop.

Then there’s guilt/socialising. You see, all my friends are older then me and they’re all being 40 and having huge parties in the months before the baby pops. We’ve even got two weddings to go to for god’s sake! We’ve not had a wedding in years and now, this year, when they’re going to be sodding tricky to get to, two! I’ve been invited on a hen weekend for the first time ever and the odds are I won’t be able to go.

The long and the short of it is, we are due on 1st June and we have the last three weekends in May left free (in case it comes early).

Every other weekend between now and then is already booked up. Even for us, that’s busy. Indeed we have one shot at buying the prams, cot, baby bath, changing station and general gubbins we need and it’s this coming weekend. After that, if we both want to go together and try the stuff out Mr BC will have to take a day off. At weekends there’s nothing. Nada, zilch.

Shit! Not the restful pregnancy we’d planned then. No wonder I lost my marbles yesterday!

We had planned to take a storage pod and get rid of some of the glass around the house and the things there won’t be room for if 1) Mr BC moves into my studio and 2) Mr BC’s office/our sitting room becomes Muffin’s bedroom/my studio.

We’ve packed everything up into boxes but so far, not had time to go down and open the pod. As we don’t have a weekend free I have no idea when we’re going to do this now… a little paternity leave a couple of days before the event I guess. Our hall is full of boxes. My office is full of boxes. There’s no room for any more and I can only lift about three of them.

Oops.

Still on the up side, we’ve solved the spare room problem so the rellies wanting to stay crisis is over. We’ll still try to persuade as many as possible to stay in the B&B opposite but at least we don’t get the whole minefield about whether they can afford to, whether they’ll be prepared to let us pay etc etc. So our sitting room/Mr BC’s office will become a bedroom/studio – small one’s bedroom, my studio – and Mr BC will move his office down to the building in the garden where my studio is now. Then this time next year, we’ll move.

Are other people this crap, I wonder?

Today’s action packed agenda includes rearranging the kitchen cupboards which is exactly as boring as it sounds – but needs done and will make Mr BC happy – and sketching out the first stages of a George. Which will be great because it’s only six letters but because his sister is Millie-Lucy I get to do him on a large piece of paper – lots of room for manoeuvre!

Perhaps I should also pencil in time for a brief fantasy about eating the contents of the fiat in this here photo. I took the picture in Bruges on our wee stress break a week or two ago and it’s actually meant to be a Valentine’s day heart, not the huge chocolate arse you might mistake it for at first glance! Although obviously, to me, flirting with the idea it’s an arse is much funnier – even if that makes the idea of eating it rather less alluring.

Enjoy…

Huge Arse in Car

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The law of cats and other time wasting things… 30, January 2008

Posted by babychaos in Art, careers, General Wittering, handy hints, Life and living, Play, writing.
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4 comments

Mmm, red letter day today, time for our huge hairy cat, Chewbacca, to have his shots. I book him in for 10am so he can go out have a quick patrol of the parameters and then when he comes back to sit on my lap and purr from about 9 onwards I can lock the cat flap and stuff him into his box before he knows what’s hit him.

Good plan huh?

Yes.

Except as usual, the wheels fall off.

He goes out at the usual time and that is when we realise that our neighbours, either side, have clubbed together to have new TV ariels fitted at the same time. Their gardens – and ours – are full of strange men, friendly but strange nonetheless. There are power tools, noises and smells which do not compute and Chewie does a bunk.

Bollocks.

I wait until he is too late for me to make the appointment before ringing the vet to cancel. Within seconds he is at my side, chirruping merrily.

Git.

I ring the vet and explain he has just turned up. They agree I can be late.

Phew.

Once in the surgery, I open the box. He is sitting with his back to me, sulking. I up end the box and without changing position he slowly slides to the bottom. Finally he is weighed, checked and (hoorah) the vet administers a worming tablet. He is now asleep, upside down, where he shouldn’t be but I will allow him to spend the morning there, to make up for the trauma!

On a completely different note, I have found an interesting website. It’s one of these write stuff and earn rewards sites.

If any of you are up on this kind of thing you’ll know what I’m about, if not it’s places like epinions, ciao or dooyoo where you write product reviews in return for points.

The points add up and if you’re lucky after about… ooooh… ten years or so? You earn enough to redeem them for a £5 Amazon voucher. However for all the sweat blood for bugger all aspect (actually you can earn a good living off them but only if you treat it like a job, submit something every day and read practically everything else which appears so people find out who you are and begin to read your stuff) they have their uses.

Many years go I went to a book signing. I told the writer, Terry Pratchett, that I wanted to write a novel but that it wasn’t going very well because what was in my head was very detailed and somehow I just couldn’t do it justice, on paper.

I asked if he could give me some advice. He said I should just write stuff. Write something every day, write letters, e-mails or write about how I can’t think of anything to write. He said that if I did that long enough, I’d learn to drop the details in, in passing, by instinct and it would all come together. He’s dead right. It hasn’t come together quite yet but it’s improved enough to prove that yes, practice helps.

Anyway, as a writer, before I started writing this blog, I used to write reviews for review sites on the grounds that for those days where I couldn’t think of anything to write, I could pick something to review from their ready made categories and earn a very small amount of money for following Terry’s advice.

I still do this when I’m short of inspiration and then I submit the results to as many article and review sites as I can. In my view, since I’ve written the stuff anyway, I may as well get as many pennies for it as I can, they all add up eventually and/or give me another link to ingratiate me with those nice people at Google.

So, recently, I’ve found this site called Quassia which does pretty much this but it also follows the trend of article sites – you publish lots of articles with links to more information on your own site and it counts as an incoming link andGoogle loves you and yada, yada, yada.

Well, because it’s new, Quassia pays you more points than many other sites. Interestingly, it’s entirely geared to website promotion so you sign up add a website you want people to visit and then go about the process of earning points. The more points you earn the more your site is promoted – a bit like paid listings on Google, only sliding scale, the more you “earn” the higher your link is placed. You can also affiliate an adsense account with your area on the site – which seemed quite a good idea to me.

So… You get credits (they call them Quasia dollars but since they’re points and are not a financial thing, I prefer to call them credits) if…

  • you tell someone else about it and they join.
  • you write an article, yourself, points vary depending on whether the work is original to you, published for the first time on Quasia or elsewhere and how well it gets rated by other users.
  • you look at new articles or “screeng intels” as they, rather pretentiously, call it, written by others and rating them on a quality level A – Outstanding, B – Good job, C – Decent enough, D – Below average, E – Awful or even F – Fail [Reject] although you can fail articles which are not in English, incomprehensible, about Quassia itself or pornographic.
  • further units if your rating is the same as the majority
  • further units if you are the first person to read and rate an article.
  • Any article you submit has to be rated by 10 other people before it goes live.

When you’re rating other people’s work, you get extra credits for being the first to read it and if your rating agrees with the majority you also get bonus credits. I’ve managed double credits for most of the articles I’ve “screened” ie read and rated.

What’s on there? So far I’ve read some interesting recipes, some pretty good SEO and web editing hints and some absolutely AWFUL lyrics and poetry! I got 100 credits for submitting a bread recipe… which was nice, especially when I guess the nearest comparable site would be, DooYoo which gives you a mere 50 points for submitting an article – 50 points which have usually expired before I have earned the minimum redeemable points allowance.
In summary, it seemed like a good place to put soundbites, like yesterday’s thing about cats and static, it seemed like a good place for me to dump writing and earn something useful – optimisation (however little of it) for my business website in the form of links – I doubt I’ll do it enough to get actual promotional value – but if, like me, you have more than one blog or website to promote, it has a handy extra of allowing you to add as many sites as you like, so long as they belong to you.

I’ve no idea if it will work but it will be another useful thing to keep me writing a times like now, when inspiration is thin on the ground and it seems I can earn about 100 credits with absolutely no hassle from rating new articles as they appear. I just stuck the site up in a background window, go there sporadically, refresh the page and then read and rate the two or three new intels which have appeared.

I’ll let you know more when I’ve managed to link it up to my adsense account – which I stupidly linked with this site before I realised adsense on WordPress is verboten.

Still, I know some of you are quite active promoting your blogs (or at least, it looks like it to me although that might just be because I’m comparing your efforts with mine and I do, frankly, bugger all to promote this blog) so I thought the odd one of my readers might be interested. If you are and you want to join then if you go in via my page here I get some credits which would be very nice.

Oh yeh and a word of warning… they don’t respond to my kind of humour very well!  I don’t think I’ll be earning huge amounts of points for any of my material.  After explaining that kneading bread with nail varnish or false nails was a no-no I got, and I quote “Very interesting but lost my attention with the false nails part…yuck!

Another candidate for Room 101. Advertising… 27, January 2008

Posted by babychaos in Adult Content, General Wittering, Grumpy Old Bag, Life and living, Light Fluff, whinging, winging.
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21 comments

I’m going to have a good old rant today and there’s some swearing and a lot of views many of you may find offensive. That’s why this is an anonymous (well… ish) blog because that way I get to be honest.

I always laugh at the euphemisms used in adverts for things which prissy people consider “not quite nice” or conversely insignificant things which they consider us too emotionally retarded to be able to face hearing mentioned out loud.

In fact a lot of the time, I watch advertising or soaps or the like and wonder if anyone anywhere actually believes any of this bollocks. I guess I’m feeling it a lot at the moment because I can’t help noticing that as a mum-to-be I am under the advertising cosh…

I find myself giggling helplessly when I am induced to try product x, y or z to combat “that bloated feeling”

Why don’t they call it what it fucking is?

Here’s how the ad usually goes. Two women in a cafe and one’s telling the other how uncomfortable she feels…

“Ooo, that bloated feeling?” Asks her friend.

“Yes.” Deep sigh.

“Here try one of these…” Hands over blister pack of pepto-bismol or some other burp-inducing remedy and we spool forwards a couple of minutes to the pair of them skipping lightly into the street like spring lambs with the bloated one saying how much better she feels.

What happened in there? Here’s a translation.

Woman A, rubs stomach.

Woman B. “You look terrible, what’s wrong.”

Woman A. “I’ve got terrible fucking wind!”

Woman B. Handing over Rennie. “Here! Take one of these, you’ll soon feel better.”

Woman A Gingerly pops pill in mouth and after several seconds lets out a belch like the MGM Lion. “Wow! That’s better!” Waving bubble sheet of wind medicine. “Can I keep these?”

Woman B. “Sure.”

Cut to them joyfully gambolling out onto the street… Woman B farts loudly as she skips down the steps… That’s my version.

Or alternatively, I’d stick with the first one but tell it like it is. When they come out, we know woman A could only be feeling that much better if she’d sat in that cafe and farted out more swamp gas then Shrek in the shower. So I’d cut to an interior shot of the other customers over come by gas and the waiter, struggling to drag himself across the floor to the window to open it… Or maybe someone lights up… BOOM!

Then there’s a completely hilarious one which all the pro-biotic yogurty drink people have jumped onto. It’s called.

“Uncomfortably slow digestion.”

Hmm… people. What do you think this one could be? Here’s a clue. Bran helps.

“Drink Danone Bio,” (pronounced Bee Oh like the smell, of course rather than correctly, like the first part of the word “biological”) “and you will fill your digestive tract with good bacteria which will aid digestion!” Says the voice of the announcer, talking down in a manner most people would be embarrassed to adopt with an educationally sub-normal 3 year old. Then he tells us that it is also proven to help reduce the effects of “uncomfortably slow digestion”.

Can you tell what it is yet?

Yes, that’s right, he’s talking about constipation. Drink probiotic yogurt drinks! They make you pooh regularly.

What the fuck is wrong with the word “constipation”?

It’s like when people die. They die! And what? We squirm and roll our eyes and tell each other they “passed away”?

Why? Because heaven forfend we should mention the word “death”. And yet “passed away” is marketing puff, spin, a euphemism to make the situation a little more palatable by being indirect and obfuscating the truth.

It’s just something else the person on the other end of the conversation has to mentally translate into meaningful English! And we’re doing it because we hope that will distract them from the pain and stop them from doing anything that might embarrass us or worse cause us to have to step out of our comfort zone, like expressing a genuine emotion to which we will have to make a genuine response. Crying, for example. Jeez. We need to lighten up.

Perhaps I’m being harsh, perhaps it’s just me but I’ve always sought the truth and confronted the facts head on. It’s bruising at first but in the long run it makes reality easier to accept and more importantly, if required, to change… We are uncomfortable with death but it’s a reality so surely it’s better to accept its presence rather than pussyfoot uncomfortably round it as if it’s a fart in a lift.

It’s there, it ain’t going to go away, it is real and present and a proper appreciation of its existence makes for a proper appreciation of our own existence, every day we are alive. I’d have thought that would be a good thing. Then again, I am a freak.

I am also suffering a double dose of the hard sell because as well as being a pregnant woman, I am ageing…

Ageing is clearly a particularly rich area for advertising shite. To me, wrinkles – oh I’m sorry, I beg your pardon, “fine dryness lines” are quite interesting. They give you a lot of information about a person.

If someone habitually smiles the lines on their face and crow’s feet round their eyes will reflect that. As I understand it, my great aunt was a bit of a society beauty in her heyday. She died aged about 90 and even then, she was beautiful because the older she got the more obvious it became that she was as beautiful on the inside as she had been on the outside.

I think about people like my Great Aunt and I wonder why anyone would want to have plastic surgery to try and look younger. I find the whole thing perplexing. It smacks of desperation. Like death (yeh, and taxes) ageing is a fact of life. Which bit of that do people not get? Bits of life are hard to take. Surely one of the most important parts of living and developing as a human being is learning to face them.

Yep, we are all going to get older and one day we will die. Are people really so vacuous they can’t face that? Get over it already Canute people!

Aside from being moronic, ignoring reality is a kind of social cowardice. It’s like suddenly trying to pretend that some basic obvious commodity like… air doesn’t exist. One day we may suss cell regeneration and live for ever… fair enough… but randomly stretching, pulling, stuffing and cutting bits off… nah, that looks like bollocks to me.

Then there’s the teeth thing. Yeh, if you have billy bob teeth it ain’t good for you and yes, they do look vile although whether or not, as mature human beings, we ought to be able to see beyond that is open to debate.

With all those nooks and crannies billy bob teeth are more likely to get holes and decay, they may cause their owner to chew wrong, which could lead to problems later on and so yeh, getting them straightened and properly spaced out is sensible and laudable. But teeth are naturally ivory coloured, they’re off white. A smile in bright sunlight is not supposed to give people retinal burns, not unless you are one of the Autons.

Why the fuck? What is the problem? Worse, if your teeth are white, they’re fucked. My teeth have been straightened out, I had braces as a kid but yep, they’re the colour of teeth. That is not white, or yellow actually, just… ivory. I’d never cut it on TV in the States or, most probably, here… but then, I don’t care because I’m a bit out there, I don’t want to have teeth which are so white and plasticy that when I smile people think I’m an android!

So how do sensible, grown up, well adjusted humans come to be bothered by all this completely irrelevant, vacuous, meaningless stuff..?

Well, I have a theory… (hem hem). It’s this.

They’re educated to care by advertisers. They’re taught that it’s unhygienic and antisocial not to. As if there’s something wrong with them for being unfazed by the transitory realities of existence. It’s not like we’re hunter gatherers any more, living hand to mouth and with important things to worry about like predators with big teeth and starving to death but a lot of that wariness must be programmed into our genes.

Maybe that’s how we are so easily persuaded to grow our little worries so they fill the gaps where the big ones used to be. It’s like there has to be a challenge and if existence on its own isn’t big enough we will warp it until it is.

I think the reason I’m so on the outside here might be because I was never beautiful in the conventional sense. I have always had a strong personality which, when you are young, is something that guarantees that people will only fall in love with you against their will.

When you’re a kid, you want to be different but not in a way that doesn’t conform to your peers’ interpretation of coolness. If you’re really, truly out there, especially if you compound the felony by being female, few young lads will have the balls to ask you out, or to bed, or if they do, to admit it to their mates!

It means you’ll probably end up with a much older or younger man because an outsider from an era less familiar and understood than your own means coolness is less of an issue. You don’t know for sure whether or not they’re cool… Or you do what I did and stumble jammily into the arms of somebody who is as much of an outsider as you are. Bless you, Mr BC!

So… gradually drifting back to the point. If you’re not physically beautiful you have to learn to use all sorts of other things to get by, humour, personality etc. That probably makes you about as sure as anyone can be who you are. You don’t self actualise through any particular thing, you’re not a mother or a marketing manager or a sports woman, or an x brand of car driver etc, you’re a person who just happens to do those things.

So I guess a lot of “beautiful people” have two problems. First they never have to make any effort because people always come to them so they don’t know how to use anything but their looks to get on. Secondly, that makes them less likely to explore who they are and more likely to self actualise through the highly transitory medium of how they look.

If they see themselves as “person x the society beauty” then when that beauty begins to fade, maybe they don’t know who they are any more. Perhaps that’s why they fear growing older so much, why they have to try and hold back the years, because the way they see it they ARE their looks and nothing else.

Blimey! That’s bleak…

…And if it’s true, how evil and wrong is it to prey on them?

Disorganised Chaos… 18, January 2008

Posted by babychaos in Adult Content, General Wittering, Grumpy Old Bag, Light Fluff, Miscarriage, Pregnancy Issues, Small Scale Disasters, whinging, winging.
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10 comments

Yesterday:

Bad things… I had to walk up to town to the shops and it was raining and cold so my nose was dripping within about 10 yards of leaving the house and my handkerchief sodden – with no signs of the dripping abating – by about 40.

My hair got wet and I looked like a brillo-head.

My sinuses ached breathing the cold air.

The crapest journey on earth to my 20 week scan. The one I really didn’t want to have to re-book, bearing in mind that I had spent 2 and a half hours on hold waiting to get through to somebody to book it (only to be canned at the “you are next in the queue” stage but luckily I managed to book on a different number because the kind woman there took pity on me).

Here’s the break down:

I got stuck behind a lorry and 20 cars going at 35 miles an hour and took 10 minutes longer to get to the motorway on the way to my scan.

I had to get petrol and got stuck behind some dithering moron who took ages to pay for his petrol by switch and then proceeded to buy a sandwich and a bottle of water, again by switch… The whole thing took just under 10 minutes (not counting the putting the petrol in bit, which I had accounted for). As he dithered over buying a second bottle of water, also on switch I readied myself to step forwards and either punch him to the floor or explain that I’d been waiting 10 minutes and that I’d buy the fricking water with my petrol because I now had 25 minutes to make a 30 minute journey. Luckily, I didn’t have to do either because the next counter became free.

Having arrived 100 yards away from the car park at the actual time of my scan and begun to rejoice that I was only going to be a few minutes late, I encountered a set of temporary traffic lights. When they went green we had to wait while the feckin’ builders manoeuvred a digger pointlessly backwards and forwards until they went red again, then another 5 minutes before they went green again and we could go.

I was stuck behind some dithering bastard in the car park, too, who managed to take 10 minutes to drive 800 odd yards to where the spaces were – ie the opposite end from the part of the hospital where I was supposed to have been 5 minutes ago. Having parked, got a ticket and started walking back I spotted him still dribbling along at 0.000001 of a mph, holding up some other poor fucker.

So, having allowed 50 minutes for a 35 minute journey I ended up being 15 minutes late. Thank you to the bastard in the Lorry for not pulling over despite having infinity cars stuck behind him, the phaffing twat in the petrol station, the git builders at the traffic lights and the fuckwit dithering around in the hospital car park. Thank you guys. Not to mention the 10 minute walk to the ultrasound place instead of the usual 5. 33 sodding minutes of bastard dithering…

I defy anybody to account for that lot! No wonder I was sodding late!

I have dome something evil to the muscles in my groin and walking is agony.

Good things…

Luckily the woman after me was late, too so they were still able to scan me. Hoorah! No two and a half hours on the phone waiting to re-book.

The “20” week scan (21 really because I was too crap and disorganised to manage to get one booked for 20 weeks like I should have done) was a-ok and as suspected, Muffin is a boy.

Today.

Bad things…

This morning I dropped Mr BC off at the station because it was still pissing with rain and was unable to park anywhere near my house when I came home.

I haven’t finished painting the kitchen.

Good things….

I found and nabbed a space shortly after getting home so my car is parked near my home in a non-ticketable place (phew) even if I did have to go out and get soaked again!

I have nearly finished the painting, even if there’s more to do.

I hurt less than yesterday.

A lady is coming to give me reflexology this afternoon after which I will be unlikely to hurt at all.

Not a bad week so far then… Disorganised chaos… hmm, that would have been a good name for my blog!