Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Band of the week - a day early but the surprise is good for you! - Primal Scream

Now I know I said less than a week ago that I wasn't really a fan of English bands, but to tell you the truth, Primal Scream don't have that Oasis/Blur sound that irritates me so much.

Primal Scream is made up of a number of characters who, live, amuse me, and when I listen to them at home just make me want to dance.  Or wobble.  Or nod my head along with the beat.

I didn't really get into Primal Scream until I saw them perform live at Roskilde 2006.  I had obviously heard their stuff, but didn't really get it.  But seeing Bobby Gillespie (vocals) and Mani (one of the most underrated but definitely insane bassists - was in The Stone Roses - look them up if you can be bothered!) doing their thing on stage to a crowd of insane Scandawegians (it's a word ... I made it up, Stephen Fry knicked it - I want royalties, kay?) whilst England got knocked out of the World Cup was amazing.

All of their albums are wicked, but if you are looking for a (not so) gentle introduction into the band, may I recommend Give Out But Don't Give Up, which has some cracking tunes on it, but if that turns out to be a bit too happy/dancy, then give Riot City Blues a chance. Remember folks, it's the four song rule.  You have to listen to four songs before you decide if you like em or not - and two that I heartily recommend are Jailbird and Rocks from Give Out But Don't Give Up and Riot City Blues from the same named album.

Happy listening, and I promise to move away from happy music!  Or not.

Decorating frenzy, MRI, and random thoughts of the week

This week is going to be a bit of a strange one in the Beefam house.  We started redecorating my bedroom (aka the lounge) two years ago, just before I went into hospital for the first time.  We stripped 100 years worth of wallpaper (where previous occupants had just wallpapered over - it was like going back in time each new layer we found!) removed the really horrid pink carpet, and burned the really dreadful pink curtains (which, I hasten to add, came with the house).

Then I was admitted to hospital, my health steadily deteriorated, and nothing (and I mean NOTHING) was done about the bare walls, and bare floor boards.  Fast forward two years, and finally we are getting round to doing something about it - hopefully it's so that Tigga can bring rich chicks home, so we can all retire, and live off her, but I digress.

Tigga has been in mega planning mode for the past week, deciding when we they are going to do what.  And today was the first day.  Which is insanity, as I have to work tonight, so sleeping for me was always going to be a problem, and Tigga got off nights this morning.  Still, the boys have managed to sugar soap and first coat paint one half of the room.  Second half tomorrow, and hopefully floors laid by Thursday!

I have my MRI tomorrow evening.  It's a 7pm appointment, which is odd, but I guess the prick consultant that I argued with after being admitted two weeks ago has realised that I may well be going insane due to pain, there may actually be something properly wrong with me.  Or not.  I shall keep y'all posted.  And no jokes about finding a brain, as I have already had an MRI, and it proved conclusively that I had a brain - or it may have been a growth.  Who can tell?

The Mentalist is going to see the GP tomorrow.  We went to see the bitch the day before we went up north, with me sitting in her office, clutching my head, and eventually getting up and walking out.  Now, I don't know about you, but to me, the fact that I felt the need to get up and walk out because I was in too much pain, should have caused alarm bells.  But do you know what this alleged Doctor does?  Nothing.  Not one single thing.  She doesn't try and look at me.  She doesn't call me later to find out if I am ok.  She doesn't do one single thing.  And I know y'all have said that I need to change doctors.  And I will.  But I am sending The Mentalist in for one last chance, to see if she does have a heart, or even an empathetic bone in her body.  And if she doesn't, we shall change, and we shall also report her to the GMC for a complete lack of care.  Again, I shall keep you posted.

The Mentalist may have a new job.  Or at least there is one that he will be applying for.  Which is a damn shame, as I had quite grown to love having a butler.  But the extra income for shoes would be good, so I guess I have to take the good with the bad.

And I am taking Thursday night off, as I really do need a break from this place.  I know I have just had one, but you probably won't have noticed I am getting a bit stressed!  So it's two one day weeks for me!  Woo hoo!  And if The Mentalist does his job properly, I might even get signed off for the rest of the week.  But we shall have to wait and see.

But I hope you all had a great weekend.  Not long til summer (and for me, it's only 18 days until Roskilde!  Woo freaken hoo!!!!!!)

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Band of the Week (a little late, I know, but stop bitching!) - Letters to Cleo

I first got into Letters to Cleo when I was at Boarding School.  I didn't fit in, so I went out of my way to really not fit in, so whilst everyone around me was listening to British Indie, I get very seriously into American grunge and indie music.  To this day, I can't really stand a lot of the 90's British bands, but that's just me being a choosy cow!

LTC were, for me, something of a change, as I have never been a huge fan of female vocalists (summat to do with being an Alto - can't actually sing along properly to women).  Still, I was introduced to them by someone I knew living in the US, and really got a kick out of them.

I find their music happy, and to be honest, isn't that really why we listen to music.  Even death metal can be happy, if it strikes the right chord in you.  And I will hold my hand up and say there is some music in my history that really should remain there.  But to this day, when I hear "Here & Now" I want to jump up and down (which is silly, as I would just fall over!).

So a short but sweet post on a band did disband, but have since reformed, and make me happy.  If you want to put a smile on your face, give these guys a listen.

Next week, I shall (work permitting) do a bit more on metal - which is the only reason y'all stop in, I know.  I might even do it this week, as work have pissed me off so much, I am going to take more me time, and do less work time! 

Complaining again!

But then again, why else do I have a blog? And for my faithful few, I apologise for being the moody bitch of note recently, but hey, when you just gotta vent, you gotta vent.

You know what is irritating me the most about all the shit that is going on is that I don't even have the time to catch up with blogs. It isn't that I don't love you, it's just that I don't particularly love myself at the moment. And work are being their usual arsey self, so I am not even having enough downtime to write, read, or just generally realise that the world aint that shit, it's just the situation I happen to find myself in at the minute.

The Mentalist and Tigga have been such angels. I (who NEVER cries) have broken down more times in the past month than I have in about 10 years. It isn't good. And I am not a pretty crier. I hate people who can get away with crying, and they just look cute, or sweet, or nice. Me, I sob, which makes my face go bright red, my nose compete with Rudolf, and I end up looking like I have done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson. Which is a look no-one can get away with. So to them, I apologise. I will sort myself out, I promise. Just continue being you, and continue loving me without restrictions. I put enough of them on myself, so thank you for just letting me get on with it.

To the faithful readers, and lurkers, I thank you for being you. For not knocking me when I am down, for quietly being a support network I so desperately crave, for just being the beautiful people that you are. When I find me again, I am coming to find each and everyone of you - especially you, Soccer Mom, and give you the hug back that you have been giving me. I love you! And the first bottle of vodka's on me! Not literally! But you know what I mean.

So to main whinge of today's post. Hopefully all you nice people will have given yourself a pat on the back, or a hug, or even a glass of wine, and will have buggered off, so I don't have to bore/upset/irritate you in to not coming back to visit.

I have already spoken about the hole that is the company I work for. Every day before I come into the office, I sit on my couch and dread what I will come into. The work itself is fine. I have no problems with the people that I work with. I just hate the company. I work for an outsource company, which means that their number one fcuking commodity is people. You wouldn't think that if you were to see the way they treat us.

They have this policy whereby there can only be two people off per shift. Which is fine, if they ensure that the two people are doing the same job. But no. Unless it is management, who can do whatever the fcuk they please, it is two people per shift full stop.

I came in last night to do a training exercise. Not on anything new, obviously, but shit that we do every day in our jobs. Now call me old fashioned, but surely if I were unable to do the job, it would have been picked up by now. But the training team feel they have to justify their jobs, so we get to do a stupid training exercise.

Every single day there is some new rule and regulation that we have to adhere to, and I was chatting about it with a colleague who said to me "well, at least we have a job". This is exactly what they want us to think. So we will carry on bending over further and further, whilst they continue taking the piss, and not rock the boat. I am fed up with being treated like a production line. I am a human being. I may have issues, but I do have feelings.

The time has come. It isn't just work, it's life in general. We are being shafted, people, and it is time to start the revolution. I don't know how, but I am the revolution, and I want my fucking life back.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Why the NHS hates me

I am so sorry I have been silent for so long. I had all great plans of ensuring I posted every day - or at least Monday to Thursday whilst I am pretending to work! However, my health and I haven't been the best of friends recently. Or should that be for a long time?

I have been suffering (on top of the usual crap) with double vision in one eye, total light sensitivity in that very same eye, a killer of a headache in that very same eye (the sort where you feel there is a drumming competition going on inside your skull, and you weren't given any kind of notice!) as well as a pain down that side of my neck.

This went on for about a week, when The Mentalist decided that I should go and see a doctor, as summat clearly wasn't right. So off we toddle, and I tell her my symptoms. She sends me straight to A&E (at the hospital where I had vowed never to set foot again - I should have listened!). We drive straight to the hospital where we manage to jump all the queues and get seen by the A&E doctor. Who decides that I need to be admitted. By this time it was about 8 pm in the evening (nothing ever goes quickly with the NHS).

The Mentalist and I were shipped off to a ward, where I was to have a private room (result), so had a quick chat with the nurse, and told her we would just have to go and get some food. As we hadn't anticipated either going to hospital or being admitted, we had no bags or anything, but I didn't worry, as the room had been allocated to me, right? Wrong. By the time we got back (15 minutes later) there was someone else in the room, and they had no idea which of us was to stay and which of us was to be moved to a different ward. Guess who picked the lucky straw?????

So I end up on one of the wards that I had been in the last time (when I vowed never to return, remember). Which was fine, only I was in a room of 6, the other 5 were 90 if they were a day, had incontinence problems (the smell of three different kinds of pooh really isn't all that appealing, let me tell you!) and to top of a really spectacular day, the woman in the bed next to me spent the entire fucking night asking Jesus Christ why he was picking on her. It's probably a good job I smoke, or that woman could have asked Jesus Christ face to face.

The next day I have to hang around waiting for my "consultant". I am lying on my bed, with a pillow over my head to block out the light, and my hands lying across my tummy (so the canular that I have spent all night nursing with great care is in full sight!). The consultant and his minions come to my bed, and draw the curtains round for "privacy". He shakes hands with me (squeezing said canular quite painfully), and asks me what is wrong. I knew the twat hadn't read my notes, so I explained the entire situation to him, ending with the statement "and I just can't cope with the extra pain". All the idiot hears is that I can't cope, so tells me that I need to see a psychiatrist. I hasten to add that I have seen two this year alone. It is not psychosomatic, and yes, I may sometimes be a bit down (ok, a lot) but to me that is not really a diagnosis. He then starts interrogating me on why I am on two crutches. We have a blazing row, he leaves, and I go outside for a smoke, a cry, and a call to the Mentalist.

The Mentalist then comes down to the hospital, and pages the idiot who calls himself a consultant. When he deigns to appear, The Mentalist and he have a very dignified discussion (read argument) which ends with The Mentalist saying that we would be leaving today. The consultant says that would be going against medical advice, to which we pointed out that he hadn't actually given me any medical advice, just been a complete prick.

We went home, and I spent the weekend feeling sorry for myself again. Do you sense a theme? For anyone who suffers any kind of ongoing illness, Pity Parties for One occur quite frequently.

Fast forward to Tuesday, and I receive a very polite letter from the hospital requesting that I go down and have an MRI. Now either the Consultant is just covering his back, or he has in fact now read my notes. Either which, at least we are taking a step forward. My pessimistic internal monologue keeps saying that it will lead to two steps back, but I ain't having any of it!

So I shall keep you posted.

Am going Oop North this weekend, to visit The Mentalist's brother. Which means chip butties, walks (or not) along very beautiful but freezing cold beaches, and getting the fuck out of London. Hopefully I will come back with a more positive outlook, or at least a not giving a fuck when it comes to work, so using my time here usefully to post!

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Another day, another pile of...

Monday's are always the pits.  Not just for me, for everyone I should imagine.  Unless you start work on Tuesday, in which case you suck, but I imagine you hate Tuesdays!

Had a doctor's appointment this morning.  Which is always 1 part entertaintaing, 12 gajillion parts frustrating as fuck.  The whole reason we went is because I appear to be getting worse.  I assure you, I am not making any of my pain up just to get meds (and if I were, surely after three years they would wake up and smell the fucking coffee - I could order meds from India that would be cheaper than the NHS, and I wouldn't have to have the same fucking conversation with my GP every 10 days!)

So we went in (I no longer go in and see the doctor without The Mentalist.  What's the point in having a doberman if you just don't use it?) to see the young doctor first thing this morning.  There is a supposed pain specialist at my surgery, but she has the compassion of a rock.  No, worse than that.  She has the compassion of a surgeon.  As a result, I won't see her.

We went in, armed with a list of what has been getting worse, and where, and as per usual, they just don't listen.  I told him that my headaches are getting worse along with my light sensitivity, my centre of gravity is non existant, my skin pain is almost unbearable, that I have been throwing up, and that I would like a sick note so I don't have to go into the office.  So I ended up with tablets that should not be used if you have the sort of headache I have, and the advice to check out alternative medicine.  So massage - which is grand if you have skin pain.  It's just what you crave when your skin is hurting so bad you are tempted to slice it off yourself.  Or the other great alternative for those in pain - accupuncture.  Again, see my reasons why this is such a fucked up idea earlier.

And as for the sick note.  In the UK we no longer get sick notes.  We get notes stating what we are able to do.  Which is just pathetic.  So here I am.  At work.  Getting more and more stressed.  Feeling more and more pain.  And working out the best way to get the hell out of dodge!

Anyone up for a commune in Argentina, drop me a line.  Don't worry, the only plan is to grow wine.  So then we can all get drunk and forget about the bollocks that is real life.

Am sorry for being negative.  Am sorry for being down.  Am just in the midst of a pity party for one.  And y'all are invited on the promise you bring booze.  Or drugs.  Or AK47s!

Tomorrow, my pretties, I will be happier.  And if not, you can custard pie me - although that offer does not apply to The Mentalist or Tiggi.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Back from the wild

And I am sure you are all extremely excited to hear how my past two and a half weeks of being a stroppy teenager have been, so I shall leave you in suspenders no longer!

Before I begin, I would just like to tell anyone that is planning on ever flying South African Airways not to bother, as they are possibly the worst airline I have ever flown with, and I shall never fly with them again!

So, to begin.  We finally managed to fly out a week later than anticipated.  The journey out was horrendous, but we did finally make it to sunny Africa!  Although it wasn't even slightly sunny.  We landed in Botswana in the middle of a torrential storm that ended up lasting for 5 days (and to hear the locals speak, they had never known weather like it this close to winter!).  The fun started when the plane landed, as there was no lift for me to use to get off the plane, so I had to climb down the stairs in the rain, clinging on for dear life!  Still, we had finally arrived, and once we had completed the comedy that is African immigration procedure and collected our bags, it was time to stagger through the only working door (being Africa, it was a shock there was at least one!) to the open arms of my ma.

Going back to Botswana is never really a holiday.  It isn't quite a chore, but there are times when it feels like it could/will be.  It is always great to go home to see the olds, but on the flip side, I do feel that I have regressed a number of years.

We spent most of the first week huddled up on the sofa, as it was the wettest week they have ever seen, as people were very keen to point out to The Mentalist.  We did, however, go on safari over night to a private game reserve just over the boarder in South Africa - I will put a few photos up later on, so you can see some of the wildlife we saw.

The last week and a half was spent sitting on the Veranda, drinking Lemon Twist, and just generally relaxing.  It was nice to spend time with some friends and their two little girls.  To most of you, it might seem that I am getting broody, expecially if you see some of the pictures.  I am not. Or at least I don't think I am.  It was just nice to be in the company of children that didn't scream, were perfectly content just to hang out and didn't need to be entertained, and were just generally very cute.  I guess you could say that I am broody only if I can be guaranteed to have children just like that!

Still, I am back from the wild.  It is brilliant to be in a place where there is fast internet, but not so great to be back in England (which is a hole), and work (which is worse!).  Which means that I shall now be able to much more frequent posting, which is good, as I have a whole lot of things to regale (read bore!) y'all with.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Am off to deepest, darkest Africa

So won't be posting for a while.  That's if the flight actually goes!

Am going "home" to see the olds.  It has been a while, and that while was made even longer by that stupid volcano!  Still, acts of God aside, The Mentalist and I are going.

Two and a half weeks of sitting on the Veranda doing sweet FA.  Life can't get better, except for winning the lottery whilst we are away!

If I get anywhere near a place that actually has internet access, I shall post on how wonderful it is, so y'all can get jealous!

On the flip side, it will be two and a half weeks with the olds, who still think I am 15.   And the pathetic thing is that I revert to behaving that age!  All sulks and temper tantrums - which will have less effect if it takes me 10 minutes just to get down on to the floor, in order to kick and scream.  The kicking thing really won't be a problem, tho, as my leg muscles spasm so badly, it will just look as though I am doing it on purpose!

So I hope you all have a fantastic two and a half weeks.  I shall miss checking up on you!  Don't do anything too exciting whilst I am gone, kay?


Thursday, 22 April 2010

Band of the week - part 2 - Killlswitch Engage

I have chosen Killswitch Engage for my band of the week this week (as opposed to James, who were my catch up for last week!) for a  number of reasons.  I really started listening to KSE in around 2002, just after they released their album Alive or Just Breathing, but I heard it with the original singer Jesse Leach, who quit the band before they got really big.  Howard Jones is now the singer, and I actually think he does a great deal more for the band than Leach.

KSE is metal, there is no two ways about it, but somehow I find their music quite uplifting.  It does, however, promote serious headbanging whilst driving if you happen to listen to it!

I have seen KSE live quite a few times.  Sometimes as part of a festival, and others where they have been touring.  Their stage presence is great, and they really do get the audience going.  They are very electric live, hence the reason I am promoting them.  Even if you don't like metal, I do think you should have a little listen, and see what you think.  Their music is quite diverse, so you do have to follow the four song rule ... you cannot decide you don't like them until you have listened to at least four songs!

If you are going to listen to them, please can I suggest you try out When Darkness Falls as your first track?

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

I have a new butler

The Mentalist has been sacked.  Or at least he thinks he has.  He went to work last week - admittedly not on Monday, as he had to take me to the doctors (I won't go alone, as they just don't take me seriously.  He is a great attack man!).  So on Thursday, which was supposed to be his last day before our holiday, his "manager" told him that he wasn't being for the week, and could he get the keys to the office back.  To which The Mentalist asked if he had been sacked!  His manager hadn't quite worked that one out, but  it comes as no surprise to me that the owner of the company would stoop so low.  And the arse still hasn't phoned The Mentalist to tell him anything, and we are now on day 6!  So we are assuming he has no job.

I am hoping so, as it means I currently have a new butler.

Having a butler is great.  I get a lift into work every evening, and a lift home every morning.  I must say that the lift home in the morning is wonderful, as I don't have to walk to the car, trying to bypass bankers that are far too important for their own good,  and drivers who think that a red light is not applicable to them.  Unfortunately, being on double crutches, I am unable to move very quickly, or turn  very well, so the walk generally ends up being more stressful than the night's work.

Speaking of which, the only reason I am able to write so much tonight is that I have managed to score myself a very easy powerpoint conversion job, which is supposed to take 12 hours, but will, in all honesty, only take about 6, so I thought I would do my spew and get it out of the way!

So, back to the butler.  At the moment, he will be sleeping, but very shortly I will give him a call, so he can get up to come and collect me.  Then, when I get home, I shall order breakfast, which will be served to me on a silver platter.  Whilst I do my ablutions, my bed (aka the couch) will be straightened, with pillows and duvet fluffed, so that when I am ready for sleep, I can just clamber in.

When I awake, I shall clap my hands, and the butler will bring me things.  I dream of coffee, but due to stomach pains, just can't take it at the moment.  Still, he can at least go out whilst I am pretending to sleep, and get me nice apple juice!

A little bit later, when I clap my hands again, the butler will then bring me dinner, with a nice drink and crushed ice.

Later still, upon my command, he will drive me to work.

And then I woke up!  I am only dreaming that these things will happen. 

Still, he does now have to go out and buy a suit (hahahahahahahahaha) so that he can be at least slightly presentable for interviews.

Hopefully someone will realise his worth, and I shall never have to work again!

And that is me done for the night.  May well do a band of the week tomorrow, just so that my faithfuls don't feel hard done by!

Nighty night.