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…isn't it…?

Bus Rage: Part 1 April 1, 2012

Filed under: Being unfit — leatierney @ 10:43 am

There is an excellent reason for people choking up the roads and the atmosphere with their cars and their respective world destroying fumes: Bus Rage Syndrome. Now, this illness, and I shall call it an illness – because the triggers for such instances are such that they cause such an intense level of distress to one’s psychological well being that one temporarily (not so temporarily if you bear grudges) becomes slightly unbalanced (read: homicidal). What I am referring to is likely to be a situation you are familiar with being placed into – against your will – and I suspect you will recognise some of the symptoms.

Triggers:

Bus Timetables – the layout of the timetable itself and its incomprehensible symbols and logic, the inability of bus company to inform of changes to said time table, the inability of bus drivers to stick to said time table which leads us to;

Bus drivers –  their demeanour is either a, far too overtly cheery for the pre work bus ride or b, they are cantankerous and, in some cases, plain old rude, as mentioned previously they appear to be unable to maintain any sort of regimented time table, they have a fictional time table of their own which they anticipate you will figure out and adhere to, the inability to wait for anyone to sit down before they use an excessive amount of accelerator and then stamp on the brakes so that you weave and lurch like a drunkard (note to self: do not attempt a bus journey hung over) hoping not to land in the lap of the pervy over middle aged man that tries to make conversation with you at the bus stop instead grabbing the boob of an older lady that shrugs you off as “the youth of today” and eventually headbutting the hand rail and collapsing in a heap on the floor where you shall remain for the rest of the journey (what IS that smell?)

Bus stops – the illogical placement of these fixtures so that you still need to walk a considerable distance in the pouring rain in non waterproof shoes with no umbrella because the wind turned it inside out as soon as you stepped off of the bus, the fact that most bus stops now are literally just a post with no information on it: no details of which buses stop here and what the bus times are (because they are made up), there no longer appears to be any need for the great British public to have somewhere to sit out of the rain/wind/Siberian temperatures/snow and wait for an eternity for the next bus. Which leads us into the so called “Park and Ride”;

Park and Ride facilities – drive for miles to get a bus because the town wasn’t made big enough for anyone to actually park in it oh and I hope you brought your ice skates because we made sure the surface was multi use: any sign of frost and you’ll be sliding all over the place. And if there’s snow, well you can forget walking and just crawl to the bus from your car. Oh and feel free to guess where the spaces are because we haven’t factored in your need to see the lines to bay park.

Buses as vehicles – they make screechy noises when you are trying to have a little pre work nap (because you had to get up so very early to ensure you actually caught one of these miracle buses in time to attend work), they smell like urine and faeces which always brings good cheer to the pre work journey and the heating is never sufficient for having been stood out in the rain/wind/Siberian temperatures/snow for an indeterminable amount of time.

Symptoms:

Symptoms can vary from case to case and vary in intensity and expression but can include any number of the following:

Homicidal thoughts, steam coming out of ears, the silent “death stare”, stamping of feet, rocking backwards and forwards (although this can also just be an attempt at not turning into a living ice sculpture), muttering under one’s breath, screaming a stream of incomprehensible obscenities (which the other passengers politely overlook and refuse to make eye contact with you ever again, and they’re definitely not sitting next to you on the next journey), snarling, snapping, maniacal laughing

[the above list is not limited to just these behaviours alone, there are many more]

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Driving Round The Bend March 14, 2012

Filed under: Being unfit,Driving,Imagining I Can Drive — leatierney @ 9:16 am
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I must confess that my driving skills leave somewhat to the imagination: you imagine what it must be like for me to be able to control a car that is. I’ve been asked a few times how I managed to get a driving licence actually and the answer: I wouldn’t stop showing up for tests so they just caved eventually under the pressure of my menacing stare.

It did, in fact, take me until my third test before I actually managed to pass and as the second test went considerably worse than the third I wasn’t exactly hopeful. My fail on the second test was in the manoeuvres section: reversing round a corner. I still have a distinct problem with turning my head and NOT turning the steering wheel at the same time. So my fail was reversing round the corner and mounting the curb. Once…Twice… THREE TIMES! Yes that’s right, I mounted the same curb three times even after pulling forward each time and straightening up, I just ended up right back where I started. On the third test I think they just gave up and realised that was the best I was ever going to give and there I had it: my licence to kill.

Actually if I’m honest I’ve not killed anything yet. That’s not to say I haven’t hit a considerable amount of inanimate objects and squashed lots of plants though. And poor Kitty (yes I named my dear little bumper car) does have quite the collection of scratches and bumps but I would like to reiterate (for the BF’s benefit really) that I have not caused any real (significant or life threatening) damage.

The biggest bump I’ve given Kitty is right on her behind and she received it shortly after I managed to harass the examiners into giving me a licence (swearing never to darken their door again). One morning I drove into work to find that one of my colleagues had managed to get herself into work on the train from London having had a fall that morning and could barely walk, so, very altruistically, I offered to drive her down to minor injuries to have it looked at. I think she may later have considered herself safer with a busted foot than in my car but nevertheless. So there I am, windows down merrily singing along to my stereo in the sunshine and, right there, in front of me is the perfect space. Except, well, really I kind of need to do a reverse park and I haven’t done one of those since my last (third) test and as I mentioned before reverse isn’t one of my strongest points. But I tackle it anyway, with gusto, and find I actually can get myself into a space backwards. Dead Chuffed. BANG! Oh, erm, oops. Bollard. Didn’t see that in my mirrors. The spectators walking past did though and my passenger forgot all about her dodgy foot (until I accidentally stamped on it) while she was laughing at my parking. Ah joy, I love driving.

 

Life in the “hood” aka life in the Village/Ghetto. Innit. Bruv March 4, 2012

Filed under: Being unfit — leatierney @ 6:21 pm
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That’s correct, I live in Ghetto Ville. Apparently. This is according to the 17 year old boy in our household who discourses with his friends in the “hood” style. Because they is well ‘ard innit yeah, you get me? No, it’s alright, I don’t expect you to “get me” because “you don’t even know me bruv”, oh how I wish this were so. If you haven’t heard any of this ghetto speak and wish me to decode it for you I am afraid I cannot: I am no more able to speak “ghetto” (aka R.I.D.I.C.U.L.O.U.S) than you are.

Perhaps I should paint a picture for you of the Ghetto in which the “Village Massive” live. Our Village and the surrounding villages are much like any other countryside village really, everyone says good morning and good afternoon, walks their dogs on a Sunday morning, they all trade their garden produce and there is a “healing” retreat up the road. The closest high street is three miles up the road and holds a tiny police station that’s only open limited hours for lost cats and such. There are a handful of shops including an antiques shop, several hairdressers, a handful of country gentleman type pubs, a clock shop, a florist and a jeweller. Of course there is also the Ghetto Ville Mecca: Tesco. “I’m a bad man, you get me?” Indeed, bad at spelling, bad at grammar and BAAAAD  attitude but don’t worry you all get to spend Mummy and Daddy’s hard earned cash on Tesco sandwiches, kebabs and taxis to the high street because walking there is just “long man, innit”.  And no, I don’t get you, because, unlike you of course, I haven’t been raised in the “hood”.

The Ghetto kids were mostly raised in a suburban bubble surrounded by rolling countryside and farm land. They went to the little village schools and spent Sundays at Farmers markets with their parents. Now they have identical matching missing eyebrows, pants on display (that’s not just the boys) and somehow manage to have shiny new trainers every few weeks, despite having had a “deprived” childhood that we don’t understand and have got issues, yeah?

Our Christmas entertainment this year was the board game “CHAV” as a tongue in cheek poke at the attempt to “Ghetto – up” our village. We figured it would be interesting to see who would actually come out as king or queen of the chavs in our house: surely it would be the actual “gangsta” in our midst?  There was considerable mirth around the table as we battled to keep hold of Ayia Napa, Alco pops, a belly bar and a box of Super kings.  Much to his own irritation Ghetto Boy was the first to be eliminated and he stomped out of the house to go and “hang” with his “homeboys” in the bus shelter up the high street (no, I have no idea what this actually entails either).

So, who eventually won the chav crown? Well, if you hadn’t already guessed, me of course.

 

An “Experimental Cook”…Bit like Heston…. February 22, 2012

Filed under: Being unfit — leatierney @ 9:19 pm
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In school I was forced to partake in Food Technology which was a course that was aimed at helping us to survive in the big bad world. Unfortunately I failed miserably to grasp most basic cooking principles and everything I made was inedible. Ah, that was if I remembered to bring in the ingredients needed, of course. There was a sigh of relief from the staff teaching this discipline when I was no longer required to make my brave attempts at culinary creation and a general vague hope that I might grow out of my ineptitude in the kitchen. No such luck. In fact; everything that I attempt to make is suffixed with “experiment”. This isn’t helped by the fact that I am now attempting to create edible delights using Gluten Free products which don’t behave in the same way (although somehow when I’m cooking the they do produce the same results…?).

Therefore we have the “Lasagne Experiment”, the “Ratatouille Experiment” and the “Truffle Experiment” to name but a few. The lasagne sheets were still rock solid after the required cooking time provided on the box and not even a chainsaw could cut through the top most layers: my version of “Al Dente” requires the risk of losing/breaking teeth. The “Ratatouille” quite literally looked like something the rat dragged in. And the truffles? Ah, the truffles were a masterpiece. A testament to my destiny to NEVER be a housewife. The truffle recipe I found sounded really straightforward and simple (ideal for me) with few ingredients. White Chocolate and Raspberry Liqueur Truffles. Yum. I figured they would make a lovely “Merry Christmas” for the rest of the team at work without costing me too much money. I followed the recipe to the letter except for doubling all the quantities and unlike my previous experiments I didn’t even make any little substitutions with the ingredients. To. The. Letter. What did I end up with after 48 hours of leaving the mixture to set? Melted White Chocolate with a splash of Raspberry Liqueur. Grand. So my Christmas present to my team ended up costing quite a bit: I surrendered my dignity in the name of comedy and took pictures of what it should have looked like and my inedible creation, posted them on the notice board with a message reading:

“Here’s what you COULD have had for Christmas if I wasn’t such a moron when it comes to domestic duties…Here’s how it came out…Merry Christmas”

Fortunately I was able to seek solace in the remnants (whole bottle) of the Raspberry Liqueur. *Hiccup*. If you ever want someone to help out in the kitchen I would recommend not calling me!

 

February 15, 2012

Filed under: Being unfit — leatierney @ 1:26 pm

This person’s blog is too true

Reasonably Ludicrous

This morning, I woke up to a horrible realization. Actually, that happens pretty much every morning, the realization being that I’m awake and no longer in the blissful world of dreams.

But on this fateful day, I came to recognize a much more devastating truth: I had spent four years of my life studying English.

You’d think kids who get into Stanford would be smart enough not to pursue their dreams, but I’ve always been quixotic (and as an English major, I can tell you that word’s based on a character…from a book!), so I studied what I loved, future be damned! My parents, idealistic saps that they are, actually encouraged me towards this! They said, “Russ, you can do anything if you put your mind to it!” Can you believe that?

So I kept at it. I enjoyed my major, and I’ve never been one to deny…

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Filed under: Being unfit — leatierney @ 11:04 am
 

February 13, 2012

Filed under: Being unfit — leatierney @ 8:10 pm