24 September 2004

Janis and memories

Am listening a lot to Janis Ian again lately. Yes, you guys think she was dead after scoring a massive hit with "At 17" in 1975!! But she is very much alive. Anyway.....I used to listen to Janis A LOT a few years ago. In fact, it was almost the only thing I listened to. But now.....I am ashamed to say I simply FORGOT to get tickets for her UK tour! How bad is that. I just forgot. And now that I remembered her tour, I pulled the CDs out again and am listening to them again.
And memories come flooding back. It is mostly the melodies of Janis' songs that touches me. Hence there is no sense in my posting lyrics to some of the most 'meaningful' sings. The lyrics are not meaningful to me most of the time. But U remember what I was doing when I was listening to those songs, who I was with, what dreams I had back then and so on.
Needless to say that most of those dreams never came true. I never managed to move to Australia for example. However, it is odd that most of the time people seem to relate music from their past with unhappy times. Eventhough I would not call Janis Ian sings happy tunes, they still remind me of happy times. And sad times of course. But mainly they just remind me of 'a time of my life', rather than a single event. So when I listen to Janis Ian, I go back to 4/5 years ago. With all its good times and its bad times.

Mind you, this does not take anything away from the fact that some of janis' songs can make rocks cry, so beautiful. I will just never be able to listen to the 3 albums I listened to around that time ( Revenge, Hunger & God & The FBI)without connecting it to events that happened back then. I guess I am lucky that those events are very important to me, that I don't look back in anger but with a kind of fondness and that the experiences I had back then have shaped a large part of my future in a vey positive way.

So to round it off, lyrics to a very hopeful song Janis wrote when she was down on her luck.

(Janis Ian)






(You can get free MP3s on her website by the way)

Twenty Straight Questions

1. When did you discover you were heterosexual?

2. How did you know?

3. Have you tried same-sex relationships to prove to yourself you were straight?

4. Have you ever wished your sexual orientation was more flexible?

5. How did your parents react to your decision of living as a straight person?

6. Are you happy about being heterosexual?

7. Are there any benefits about being heterosexual?

8. Do you know any other people who are heterosexual? If yes, do you know for a fact that these people are really straight?

9. Some non-straights think their lifestyle has greater value for mankind than yours. The argument is that straights are carelessly overpopulating the earth. How do you feel about this?

10. Statistics show that most child molestations are performed by an opposite-sex adult. Do you believe this says anything about heterosexuality or is sexual orientation different from deviant sexual behaviour?

11. Statistically speaking the most dangerous place to be for women and children is the home. If this is true, is it morally defendable to uphold the heterosexual nuclear family as the ideal?

12. With 10 and 11 in mind, do you think it is appropriate for heterosexuals to have children?

13. Do you believe there a relation between heterosexuality and inequality between the partners in an opposite-sex relationship?

14. Heterosexuality is closely connected to shame (sexually aggressive women are called “whores”, etc.). How do you feel this impacts your life?

15. Given 10, 11, and 14, how would you react if your child would turn out to be heterosexual too?

16. Do you believe it appropriate to assume anything about a young person’s sexual orientation, eg is it appropriate to assume that a two-year-old boy “likes girls”? Is it typical for heterosexuals to make these assumptions?

17. Do you feel that society gives positive affirmation to the straight lifestyle? If so, how?

18. Do you feel that straight people and the straight lifestyle are correctly portrayed in mainstream cinema?

19. How would you describe the straight lifestyle to someone who is unfamiliar with it?

20. Do you believe science will one day find out why people become heterosexual?

Shameless ripped from Butch This

Au Au Au Au Au

And so it happens...my first proper rugby injury. Got stamped on by a team mate in training on Wednesday night. Not nice to have someone land on your foot with their full weight when they are wearing football boots with nice studs on them. Au Au Au!! It wasn't too bad until I was in bed later that evening. my feet (yes, both of them!!) were throbbing badly and of course there was no Ibuprofen in the house. Or any other painkiller for that matter. And with Jane gone, the pain was worse because there was nobody to help me in my moment of pain. Nobody to aknowledge I was in excruciating pain......
Tossing, turning, light on, light off, read a book, try to fall asleep, turn light back on, pain in foot, throb throb throb, 3am, 4am, 5am...oh those poor people with insomnia...how horrible.
So in the mornign I went to the doctor who told me it was bruised badly. Duh. I stayed home for a day with my foot covered in ice. I was bored stiff. So today I am back at work. Just walk a little more careful today and I will be fine. I feel like I have survived the Rite of Passage: the Rugby injury!!

And I did not really mind staying home yesterday. Wednesday I landed (AGAIN!!) in the middle of an office row. The situation:
I was doing a job, someone else was doing the same job. I suggested to the MD that maybe this was a waste of time and we should work together.. He suggested I don't tell her as she would just get upset. So on Wednesday I had to tell her I had finished designing this thing because she had finished designing hers. Of course she blew up at me for doing her work behind her back (after all, SHE is the Marketing Manager and she should be in charge of designing things etc...fair enough). I was so sick of being dropped in the middle again by the MD. I had sent him a number of emails asking him to solve the situation because I feared it would all explode once she found out I was doing the exact same job but not telling her.... he never responded. So I decided I owed him no loyalty. I explained to the lady that I had been told to keep my work a secret because it would just upset her. I had to spend some time convincing her that I was not just covering my own ass. But in the end, she is a manager, I am an asistant. If the MD tells me to do something, I have to do it, no matter how much I think it is wrong.

So I told her if she was angry about it, I was angry too and we should talk to the MD because he handled it badly. Or rather: he did not handle it at all. Seems the MD thinks it is a problem between me and this lady, that we can not work together. but in fact, the problem is not that at all. I mean, if I was that lady, I would be majorly pissed off too for people working behind my back.

I am sick of it. And that is probably why I was not concentrating at the rugby training and it got me injured after all.

On Monday, the MD is back and my direct boss has said that he wants to sort it out once and for all on Monday because he is pissed off that one of his people got more or less stitched up like this.
Yes, I love my job.

21 September 2004

Lesbians: Pay attention

Are you any good at:

- tipping over a 110kg ram
- fitting a set of snow chains
- digging in a fence post
- backing a trailer with a load of hay
- blowing a dog whistle
- opening a bottle of Speight's® without a bottle opener
- jetboat sprinting on Lake Wanaka

Then you may very well be The Perfect Woman. Now to me, all of that reeks of Lesbians, but surprisingly, the winners of past competitions all seem young feminine girls. I guess in New Zealand these thigns are essential for every woman and have nothing to do with being masculine. After all, the women who have won before are all daughters of sheep farmers etc. They work on farms so to them these things are nothign special. I wish I lived in New Zealand. Then I could do all these things....

20 September 2004

Gone again...and some rugby

I was going to blog about how I played my first rugby match yesterday. But then Jane phoned to say she will leave tomorrow morning at 6am and return on Friday evening as she has to go to Lancaster for something work-related. That means 3 whole nights on my own. Last week was only 1 and that was bad enough (Did I tell you I am actually a little scared to be home alone?). Ugh. I suppose I will learn to be alone so it is sort of OK but I just don't like it. On the other hand, I can drink, smoke and booze as much as I like now for the rest of the week.......will have to cycle to rugby training on Wednesday. And won't be able to go swimming for lunch as I have no transport to the pool. Just as well that Jane says she is getting paid handsomely for doing this.

Anyway, back to the rugby.

I played my first rugby match yesterday!! Yay!! Three cheers for me.

Well, I played part of it. Christ on crutches, these women are BITCHES. And I am SURE some of them were actually MEN and not women at all. Although they had tits, they were HUGE. There was no way I was ever going to tackle them. I just stepped aside when she stormed towards me. I like my face and I did not need her fingers clawing at my eyes, trying to poke them out! So instead the bitch pulled my ear!!! Being vile and vicious does not make you any friends on the pitch but hey, it wins you matches which is all you really want I guess. I can not even remember the score but I know we did not score a single point and conceded at least 5 tries. Humbug.

I only played the last 20 minutes when one of our players went out injured (read: it was already a lost cause by the time I came on...) One of our MANY players I should say. If I ever needed a reason why I don't like Jane playing rugby, I found it yesterday. There is no way I would be able to concentrate on the game if Jane was lying on the floor after a knock on the head. But when I came home, Jane said the same thing: that she is a bit scared that she will get a phone call telling her I am injured when playing. I guess that makes sense.

I was very scared to go on. I did not really want to play but the other girls were all nice and trying to help me. I still fucked up big time though. I was in the way most of the time.

See, I don't mind going on to the pitch knowing what to do and doing that wrong. After all, I still have a lot to learn. But I felt really horrible when I went onto the pitch not knowing what to do so I could never do it right. I did not know where to walk, who to tackle, when to take the ball, when to leave it alone, when to stay on the floor, when to get up, when to run, when to wait, when I was off-side, when I was on-side..... I knew nothing. This means other players had to coach me as well as play their own game.

I felt horrible and useless. And exhausted. And I consider myself to be quite fit with all the swimming and going to the gym.....I was totally exhausted.

But it is fulfilling its goal though: I am having fun off the pitch at leat and it is nice to have something for myself, something without Jane. After all, I don't do anything social without Jane. She is all the social contact I have. Or used to have. And that feels nice. Even though I am very stiff today, joining the rugby team is well worth all that.
And of course, no sport is complete without getting drunk in the bar afterwards. I am still not used to England's drinking culture. And I actually think that is a good thing so I have decided not to get used it. Ever. At all.

16 September 2004

Job at the BBC

As a reporter by trade, I hope to work in the media in England at some point. Obviously that makes the BBC my first choice. Together with half the population here. I have not been in England for very long so I am more than willing to start low and try to work my way up the BBC ladder. But today I got a rejection for a job I applied for. It seems my skills are not even matched to those they are looking for in a runner.

What does a runner do? Well, nothing special really: run tapes between editors and reporters, make sure the paperwork going with those tapes is correct and what have you. Basically, it is a general dog's body. Ideal for people without media experience to get started. But apparently my experience as a reporter for both radio and television and a researcher for both radio and television does NOT qualify me for a job as Runner at the BBC. And this makes me sad. If my skills are not enough to get even an interview for a 'low' job like a runner, then how am I ever going to
get a job at the BBC? I might need to go tonight and drink away my sorrows......at least my girl is back home again. Now I need to get back to my exciting job of putting numbers in an Excel sheet.

15 September 2004

She's gone

I'll miss her. Take care sweetie. If you feel you need to go, go. If you want to come back to me, please don't ask, just walk in the door. I will wait for you. I will have restless nights but if you return, I will be wide awake.

09 September 2004


My latest lunchtime-craze: Swimming. The office where I work has a tiny kitchen and nothing else. On top of that, it is a 20 minute wlk from town. So I used to just sit behind my computer and get serious Repetitive Strain Injury.....not good I felt. Then I discovered the local pool has lane swimming at lunch time. I thought I would try that once or twice. And now I try to go every day.I am not a very fast swimmer but it is just SO lovely to be out of the office for an hour. And swimming is proving really good for my fitness. Let's see how long this latest hobby will last.

Did my first proper rugby training last night. My God, let's hope I do not have to do scrums EVER again. My shoulders are full of scratches and I am stiff!! Pushing 80 kilos on the squad machine in the gym is NOTHING compared to a full-on scrum. My thighs HURT. I wasn't very good and the scrum kept collapsing because of me. Did not make me feel very good. However, when we started doing line-out (where they throw the ball onto the pitch and you lift a player above your head to help her catch it), I was GREAT:) They said I was a joy to lift and I was great at catching the ball (I did not drop the ball once...in fact, I haven't dropped the ball once since I first showed up at training. Quite pleased with that actually......)

So far, so sporty. But I fear the gym will have to go. Swimming, rugby and gym seems a little too much. If not too expensive......

07 September 2004

"I want to buy some art..."

I will never forget the episode of Absolutely Fabulous where Eddie walks in to a gallery and says "I want to buy some art" and then wanders around without knowing anything, buying random bits of junk they tell her is art. When the gallery sales woman gives her a patronising look, Eddie bites back "You can drop the attitude. You only work in a shop you know!!"

I felt a bit like Eddie last night. J. asked me to come to a vernissage: the opening of an exhibition by Irish painter John Nolan. The place where she does a summer internship sponsors this guy and it is his first exhibition in the UK. JJ. Asked me to look fashionably cool. The Art-interested lesbian who goes to plenty of these things. Right....what kind of look is that?

We got there and there were about 30 people there in a tiny space. All grasping a glass of champagne (Error number One: we had dinner before we left because Barbarians we are, we did not realise there would be loads of nibbles for the aristocracy), chatting and looking at a mere 15 paintings on display. I liked The Art.

I did not appreciate the pricelist though. The cheapest piece was £195 and about 20x20 centimetres. Very colourful and bright stuff but not quite in our reach.

J. and I knew nobody except 2 people from her work so we spent some time looking interested in The Art and trying to look like Two Cool Lesbians (J. was dressed in her French existentialist black turtleneck jumper so at least she looked the part). Then The Artist's wife came to talk to us. Rather......was told to talk to us by J.s boss. Meaningless chitchat followed for a while with J. talking about running a business and me trying to nod and approve at the right moments.

Time for more champagne. These things never seem to be about The Art. They are one big freebie and a chance for everyone to get pissed on free Champagne. There was nobody there who did not have a drink in his/her hand. See, The Establishment always looks down on people who don't know their Art. But The Establishment loves a freebie just as much as the next person (After all, that is how they made their money). Just their freebies are Champagne and mine are beer and crisps at a birthday party.

We left in time to catch the last episode of Silent Witness with Sam Ryan in it. I guess no matter how much you love The Art or how much you hate it, in the end we all die.

(The point of that remark is lost on me as much as on you I think.....)

06 September 2004

Row row row your boat....

Oohh...it was a very hot weekend here in the West Midlands. In a cruel twist of fate, this summer has been wet, wet and more wet. But since the schools have started again, the weather has been great. So this weekend J. and I decided we were going to be active. An active weekend always starts are ASDA. Nothing like the weekly grocery shop. Hmmm...does it show that I can not remember what we did during the day on Saturday? All I remember is the KAYAKING!! Yes indeed. In Leamington there is a river. River Leam. And J. and I decided to go for a nice hour of Kayaking. Actually, I was thinking of a gentle rowing session but J. wanted Kayaking. Fine I said. I have never done that before but hey, it must be just like rowing or being in a canoe.

It isn't.

And I knew it would be hell as son as I got in the Kayak and the guy pushed me in to the water. THEY ARE SO SMALL. And narrow!! I felt I was going to roll over as soon as I hit the water. All my muscles tensed and J. was laughing at me. I was in a bad mood INSTANTLY. Grumpy as I was, I tried a few peddle strokes and wobbled some more and got more grumpy. J. felt guilty for suggesting kayaking and I made her feel crap by being grumpy. I hated it. I hate feeling like an idiot. I wanted a relaxing hour on the water and now this crap kayaking is going to ruin my day and I will look like a fool and all will laugh at me and...and...and...

Hang on.....if I sit back and relax, it does not feel so wobbly....hey...look...look at me people...I am moving...look!!! Hah!! This is piss easy. Anyone can do this kayaking stuff. I will race J. to the bend in the river.

J. was more than relieved when my smile broke for the first time after about 10 minutes. After that, all I remember is having a great time. Splashing each other as much as we could with our pedals. So even though I did not turn the boat upside down, I could as well have because we were both soaking wet. Great fun. Felt like a little child again, splashing, laughing...it was almost idyllic..our laugher echoing across the river, sun shining as hard as it could........

And that was just the Saturday. Can't remember what we did on Sunday. Oh yes.....I watched the rugby of my team. Carried the water on to the steaming hot pitch. And J. wantd to play rugby as well. But I don't like that...

03 September 2004

On scrums, rucks and fly-halfs

So how was rugby?
Well it was actually really good fun. I have come to the team a little late as the season starts in earnest next week. My participation was therefore limited to looking at the training and occasionally participating in running, catching and passing the ball. I was not hindered by ANY knowledge of the rules of rugby. Never held a rugby ball, don't know how many players in a team, what positions there are and who plays where and so on. Admittedly this made understanding the complicated strategies a little difficult. I am sure it will make more sense come this Sunday where I will be watching them play their first match: they will wear the team outfit so I will be able to see who is playing with us and who is not and who moves where etc.

Mind you, I am suspect of any sport where the people who actually score the points are called "The Backs" and the defenders are called "The Forwards". That just made no sense to me. I want to be a back: run in a line, toss the ball around and score lots of points. I might get myself a little book with the rules of rugby. I guess that will make my life a lot easier. Scrum-half, fly-half, hookers, wingers.....what the fuck are you talking about? Ruck? Line-out? Scrum? Huh?
But I am not complaining. Rugby will be great. After all, where else do you get about 29 women jump on top of you when you lie on the floor with a ball? No wonder there are so many lesbians playing it.

On being praised...

I hate appraisals. I always think I will be cornered and told of
something that has been annoying my boss immensely and I really need to
clean up my act or I am out. I had mine yesterday. And it was great. He
likes me, they like me. He likes my work and thinks I could go far,
either in this company or elsewhere. Cool. Had a discussion on me ending
up managing people. I am not sure I want that responsibility but it is
nice that he feels I could be going that way.
We discussed the way I work (not good enough I feel, brilliant he
feels), the way I organise my work (not good enough I feel, great he
feels), the way I initiate new things for myself to do (Not good enough
I feel, great he feels). So all in all, it was good, they like me, I
like them (Well, most of them) and I am staying for a little longer.

But it makes me wonder. I am not used to working in a business
environment where the idea is to grow as high as you can. So I need to
be nice to the right people and be wary of others. But I am not like
that. I don't discriminate like that and I can not be bothered to spend
time finding out who to be nice to. I have respect for authority but I
am as nice to the MD as I am to the secretary downstairs. I will not be
nicer to someone just because being nice might get me a better position
in the company. I guess I am too naive to realise that other people
might not always be like that. That they might only be nice to me
because they need things from me to get them in a better position. So I
wonder if I am ever going to go far in business. Should I change and
become a little more cynical? Or should I stay like I am and possibly
never climb far up the ladder........

01 September 2004


Well, there you are: a picture of my new flat. Hopefully it will display here nicely.
So...what have I been up to lately?

I have moved house. And since then, I have become a boring house-lesbian really. Life together is fabulous. have not had a fight yet and it seems we manage to talk about things if they bug us. Obviously I am the man in the relationship because J. is much better at bringing these things up than I am.

Last weekend we decided to go to London for a day and then I decided it was nicer to go for a weekend so I booked a room in a hotel in Bayswater. We left early in the morning on Saturday on the train. London is only 90 minutes away so maybe I should start thinking about getting a job with the BBC in London after all. Will ponder in the next few days...

Anyway, our weekend was nice and romantic. And expensive mind you. Hmm....this is supposed to be a post with humour but it is not really happening. maybe that is because it is 5:38pm and I really want to go home and play rugby. Yes. rugby.

I have joined a rugby team. And I don't even know the bloody rules of the game!! Will probably get trampled to death tonight..... wish me luck.