Quick Update

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Wotcha's.
Last night was...eventful, at the Hogshead, Chicago Rock and Temptation (the latter being a bit shite in my opinion).

Things were slightly tainted by recieving a large number of abusive and rather rude text messages and phone calls from withheld numbers and various unidentified mobile numbers. I have no idea who those people were, why they didn't like me very much, but they didn't know my name or anything about me, other than that I really, really wasn't in their good books. I had a good old shout back, letting them know what I thought of random insulting people in the middle of the night (and the dubious nature of their parentage), but this didn't appear to help matters...hmm. Wonder what all that was about?

I got enormously, earth-shakingly, gut-wrenchingly, epic-style drunk last night...not because of the phone calls and stuff...just, well...because.
Massively.
In a big way.
This morning, I was fine...for about thirty seconds.
I'm ok now though, and looking forward mightily to seeing Alice tomorrow.

Stuff
I'm reading: Evelyn Waugh: The Loved One (very funny satire on Californian funeral runners)
I'm writing: Drafts, and re-writing edited drafts.
I'm playing: Half-life: Blue Shift

Onscreenmind Today

VIP Areas In Nightclubs

Please Put A Penny In The Old Man's Hat

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It(wa)s Chriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiistmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas!

Sorry about the lapse in blogging, but I got caught up in the family/social aspects of the season, and forgot.

The Gift List
Here we are then:
Books
-The entire Booker Prize Nominations list, six books in total - great present!
-Barry Trotter and the Shameless Parody
-Pole to Pole with Michael Palin
Food
-Some chocolate biscuits
Stuff
-A concave glass picture frame
-Half-life Generation (all 4 half-life games in one pack - Cheers Dave!)
Clothing
-A Guinness fleece
-A blue v-necked long sleeved top
-A blue fleecey dressing gown

There we go!
I am now the only person I know, indeed, possibly in the UK, with four dressing gowns.
Wonderful.

'Tis The Season...
I'm off out tonight, where to is not yet clear, the mists of time are shrouded in...yes, yes! Beer froth.
The Lord of The Rings was pretty awesome, if a bit cheesy in places, but hey - this is where all that cheese came from, so it's excusable. I was particularly happy that there were lots of shots of massed armies etc etc, because when I went to see the first one, the picture was just enough out of focus to make all the charging armies in the historical flashbacks seem like grey smears sliding downhill, which after hearing tell of magnificent special effects, was annoying.

A plan has been hatched for a certain group of people (remaining nameless) to hmm, shall we say, move something or someone, or group of people, somewhere else. More than that I cannot say. But it might be linked to my determination to head for foreign climes, moderated down slightly...ie not foreign, or indeed, very far away at all.

Enough Bloody Enigmatism..if that's a word, which I doubt
Anyway, to clear stuff up, the 'publi-' crap from earlier this month is because....(small drum roll)...I have sold one of my stories.
100 for 2500 words, experimental stuff in the end, to a chap wanting to accumulate a portfolio of stuff to take to investors with whom he wants to start a magazine. This is obviously v.v.v.cool, but means that any chance of seeing the damn thing in print hinges on him getting the magazine off the ground!
Anyway, I have begun to develop things financially, if not actually getting anything in print yet! I know that, somewhere, somebody will want what I can produce, and that, as far as I'm concerned, is some of the best news I've had all year, and a huge boost to my confidence!
We'll see what I can do next.

The Standard Bit
Have a great night on Tuesday, and if I haven't blogged by then, that's because I'm drunk.
Okay?
Happy New Year people, and if you have one of those episodes where you drink so much that you end up on a bleak, gorsey, wind-slapped island somewhere in the middle of nowhere, then mine's free, and you'll be welcome.
That's:
The 'Isle of Wight', South Of Where You Are, UK.

Ok?

I'm going to stop being so bloody long-winded.
I'll avoid bullet-points, but you get the idea.

UCL/EBS Job update
I didn't get it, but it was probably the closest yet. They wittled us down to just two. I lost.

Christmas Plans
Dave's back on the Island now, and he, myself and James are doing 'Lord of The Rings: The Two Towels' on Monday.
Allie is coming over to the Island on the 29th, and sticking around for a truly rural New Year's experience.

My aim is to get through the festive period without absconding to foreign climes with a backpack and a determined expression, never to return.
It's looking like that might be an option. It's not that people are trying to be annoying (although they couldn't get any better at it) but they're trying to make things perfect, and get annoyed/annoying in the process.
...and breathe...

Merry Christmas Everyone!
Go and get pissed.
NOW!

What a surprise! Have a banana; why not?

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EBS/UCL have yet to get back to me on the subject of the job. Why am I not entirely surprised at this? Why did my heart not leap like a salmon when they uttered the much-desired words "We'll be able to let you know by the end of the day," and "We're moving fast on this one"?

Because, even at the tender age of 23, I am not a complete sucker.

Beer! Christmas Beer!
There was much.

Hangover! Christmas Hangover!
It is still, as it were, hanging there.

Comment
Christmas on the Isle of Wight is a jolly affair for the most part. The Island is (apart from bits of it that are excessively rural or just plain crap) a nice place to live. Sometimes annoyingly nice. It's awfully difficult to get your hands on the latest copy of The Big Issue around here, for example. *

I've done a bit of shopping, and sat reading in the library (where I am now) for a while until my temples stopped throbbing noticeably out from the sides of my head and scaring old ladies. I am now at a complete loss as to what to buy the rest of my family. I have been giving this thought, and I don't think there's a whole lot that I can usefully get them.
This would be worrying to some people, especially my family if they ever bothered to read this, but seeing as my usual party trick is to do most of my shopping on Christmas Eve, I'm not too worried just yet.

* - Something that I mean in complete jest, so nobody leave any nasty comments, please!

Another Day, Another Interview...

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My interview for the TCS project with Environmental Building Solutions Ltd was on Monday. I think the interview went very well, and the job sounds great. Travelling all over the country (and possibly the world) evaluating the environmental quality, causes and solutions to problems...how to keep up a palace roof, how to stop a castle keep falling down, how best to stop moisture coming through the masonry and destroying valuable paintings...they're working on Cardiff Castle, Farnleigh House in Phoenix Park, Dublin, and on the Royal Estate in London at the moment, and they're lining up more contracts all the time.
University College London (UCL) would be my actual employers, and I'd have all the perks of being a member of staff there.
The money's not bad either.

I'll know the outcome either today or tomorrow.

Probably. You never know.

Shocking behaviour
I'm going out tonight

Stuff
I'm reading: James Joyce: Dubliners, F.Scott Fitzgerald: The Diamond As Big As The Ritz...
I'm writing: Plot synopses. Having lots of ideas at the moment, so getting them all down in a hurry before the inspiration dries up. I can always write them later...
I'm playing: Thief II: The Metal Age, Gangsters, GTA 1. It was 3 for 10 in Game, what can I say? Thief II is cool. Gangsters is a bit pants in that it is complex, and then when you think you've got the processes down ok, it gets more complex. Gave up after an evening's play ended at 3am. May try again...
I'm hoping: That Allie comes out of all her corporate French tests today still sane. (Joke)
I'm looking forward to: Christmas and New Year!Dave comes home this weekend. Beer! Christmas Beer! Hurrah!

Onscreenmind Today

Sunny Winter Days

So Much For Friday the 13th

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I bought a scratchcard for the first time in ages today, and won 52.
I also had some other luck...which I'll pipe down about until it's more public, maybe you could say 'publicised'.
What other words that stem from the root 'publi', children?

:-D

Overall day rating: Not definable by normal numbers

P.S.: Woo.

Local College Job

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I'm on the shortlist for interview, and they'll be in touch via the aforementioned terrible post.

Responses to this have been varied, from 'When are you going to learn to drive?' from my Dad to 'What did your Dad say?' from my Mum.

Well, I'm pleased, anyway...

BNFL Bad Boy Update

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I had to chase them for two weeks, but in the end I got a straight, no-nonsense, no-beating-about-the-bush 'no'.
Eventually.

Local College Job
I thought this had had long enough to die a death, but the college, when I called them, said they'd extended the application deadline 'because the post is so dreadful'.
...I think she meant the mail, but she could have meant 'We have extended the deadline because the job is so terrible'...you never know.

With a little bit of Isle-o-Wightian reading between the lines, this means that they haven't had that many applications, and so hopefully, what with having huge swathes of experience for this job, I'll make the shortlist, which comes out later today.
The job title is 'Student Liaison Officer' for the staff/students at the local tech college. It's 12,500-13,100, so not too bad if you're living at home, and the job boils down to doing a similar job to all the Sabbs at Warwick, rolled into one, combined with SSLC, which I did at Warwick for three years.
There's also a bit of event organising in there, and managing the elections for the Student Association, which, despite not being in Elections Group, I figure I've enough experience of, from attempting to bend the rules into a circle for two weeks last February.

Stuff
I'm reading: This fortnight's 'Professional Engineer' with a sort of horrified amusement... (see today's Onscreenmind)
I'm writing: Lots
I'm playing: Not a lot, still...(see I'm writing)
I'm debating: Whether to go to the Warwick Christmas Reunion, or to save the money and be able to go out over Christmas.

Onscreenmind Today

Engineers

Have fun.

Picture This

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I've had an enjoyable day, huge lie-in, messed around on my PC for a bit, playing with the screen-saver I made last night, and printing off pointlessly high quality photos. If I ever get photos, you'll see them here.

I dragged my less-than-keen nose back to the literary grindstone today, and as soon as I'd started I kicked myself for not doing it sooner. I enjoy it, and for some reason I'd stopped. I have now finished writing about Paris the first time, and the rest of the trip awaits. The format is kind of developing itself as I go along. I have the journal interposed between bits of writing now, and famous quotes to begin each chapter. There's bits of script and dialogue in there too.
It's a bit organic, but I like it.

No news from BNFL.
Asked about a bar job advertised for here in town, but they were after someone permanent.

Anyone noticed that there are more fly-on-the-wall TV programmes on at the moment? I thought they'd died. At the moment my Mum is downstairs watching a man have penile injections. This isn't a commentary on my Mum, but rather TV, of which we only have 4 channels, so I don't blame her. I didn't stick around long enough to find out, but as far as I could gather it was something along the lines of 'The STD Clinic'.
What's that about then?

Sunday Evening 5:19

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*WARNING - LONG BLOG*

Hi...
To get the news out of the way, I've been recieving pat responses that whiff vaguely of the farmyard from the recruiting agency that deals with BNFL, along the lines of 'We've no idea where it is, or why we haven't got it', 'I can't tell you when you'll know', and the cracker; 'Well, you probably won't miss the assessment centres, I mean, there is one in January.'

Something that was amusing was the fact that they had assessments for the people that didn't actually turn up, even if the forms just had 'ABSENT' scrawled across them.

I have another interview, this time for a collaborative research project between an environmental building services company and the advanced instrumentation people at UCL. It's good money, and only a 2 year placement in London. The interview's on the 16th, in Dunstable, but I'm not entirely sure why.

There you go.

Stuff

I'm listening to: The Charts, although again, I'm not sure why. Emma B has pulled down the wrong faders once or twice, and her opening pun made an appearance on one of our R1 jingles, I'm sure. I've been called a flagrant conspiracy theorist before, so feel free, I won't mind.

I'm reading: William Burroughs: The Naked Lunch. If you need any encouragement to stay away from drugs for the rest of your life, then read this book. Or, to save time, next time you see me, ask me about it and then take a good look at my face.

I'm writing: A brief mathematical treatise on the likelihood of falling down a manhole in any given area, say, the size of Morocco.

I'm thinking: Of ways in which to avoid Christmas more or less altogether without offending anyone. Top idea in this quarter is; 'Number 463: Self-Induced Coma', but seeing as some days I'm not too far off anyway, I'll leave it. Needless to say I'm not feeling too Christmassy right at this moment!

I'm realising: Time flies. Open the window and duck.

Er, other than these and other things, I'm ok. This new interview has perked me up a bit, and I'm not minding the cold. Life is a little empty at the moment, but it feels like a vacancy that will soon be filled. I'm reading a lot, if only to get to the end of this bloody bizarre book.
Hee hee.

Not sure if I'm going to make the Warwick Reunion thing...I'm not sure I can afford it!

Alice didn't make it here this weekend, because she isn't too well. I'm not sure that commuting to The City from Winchester every day suits her, what with three hours travel every day meaning that she spends the equivalent of two full working days getting there and home again each week. Poor lass. She might have a flat in the pipeline, so that's good.

I'm debating upgrading my blog so I can host pictures and stuff. I might do it as a Christmas present to myself. We'll see!

Onscreenmind Today

Memory

Bureaucracy For All The Family

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BNFL, or rather the company that carries out the recruitment for BNFL, have lost my assessment feedback from my interview.
This means I won't find out if I've got to the second round of interviews until, to use the rather low-tech phrase the guy used, they've 'unearthed' my assessment.

Douglas Adams, if my sources be true, spent some time outlining the basis for a computer game called 'Bureaucracy'. The character (you) would venture across jungles, deserts and distant moons, fighting, persuading and solving puzzles to reach the game's conclusion and attain the goal of the whole thing, which was to get your bank to recognise a 'Change of Address' form.

...in other news
I'm feeling good, have helped my Mum around the house by variously hoovering, polishing, washing and bathing areas and pets of the household.

Listening to: Fatboy Slim: Halfway Between the Gutter and The Stars
Reading: F.Scott Fitzgerald: The Beautiful and Damned, Terry Pratchett: Lords and Ladies, BBC Books: The Guide To Small Business...and so on.
Playing: Nothing. I have uninstalled all the games on my computer so I can get some work done.
Reminiscing over: Being in Monaco.
Looking forward to: Seeing Alice this weekend (possibly), getting a job.

Onscreenmind Today
-Unemployment

BNFL Behaving Badly

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Seeing as this lot haven't got in touch with me when they said they would (does anyone?), it has reminded me of something I meant to blog from the interview day.

The interview went quite well, being a 'behavioural competency' interview done by someone I think was a psychologist, so I threw just enough knee-trembling dysfunctionalism into the mire to be interesting, and then levelled him with the full force of my well-rounded personality.
This may or may not have something to do with why I haven't heard from them yet. I refuse to comment.

On the way out of the interview, Alice called, and I was on the phone to her, walking to Euston tube station, when a Ford Escort (the old, traditional, angular type) rolled up to me. The windows were open, and Phil Mitchell's real-life equivalent was cloned and sitting in all four seats. I was a bit panicky for a second, wondering what the hell to do if these guys wanted directions and/or my wallet, but Passenger Seat Phil Mitchell held up a laptop.

"Here mate, do you want this?" Passenger Seat Phil Mitchell looks nervously up and down the road, as do Driving Phil Mitchell and the two Along For The Ride Phil Mitchells.

"No thanks mate, sorry, no cheers, er, thanks," - Me, nervously,accidentally hanging up on Alice in the process...

The Escort rolls off, followed twenty seconds later by a none-too-subtle patrol car.

The London interview before that; for Tribal DDB, I was randomly wandering around near Marble Arch, searching for a bin (is this what the IRA have achieved - turning London into a shithole with no bins?) only to be warned off the first one I'd spotted in fifteen minutes by a cheerfully grinning bloke who informed me that the police were on their way, and look, next to that bit of newspaper - you can see the fingers.

Ah yes, London.

This weekend just gone has done a lot to change my rather diminished opinion of London (and where you could stick it), and I feel a lot more...casually disposed...to the great city. I spent almost 36 hours there this weekend, and nothing criminal/horrific/supernatural happened to me.

I could grow to like the place.

London Calling...Hoarsely, With A Cough

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I got back from Alice's and the London weekend a few hours ago.

We stayed in the Grange Holborn, a five star hotel near high Holborn, just across the road from the 'St. Martins College' immortalised in the Pulp song 'Common People', which added an extra cultural dimension to the weekend.

We checked in, dumped the bag (this is how organised we were - we only had one bag) and wandered off into the largest city in Europe in search of something to do...
The thing that set the weekend up perfectly was the continued lucky discoveries of cheap, cool and quality eateries/drinkeries.

Lunch, Friday: 'Onion', Sicilian Avenue, off Queensway ( I think) near British Museum.
Sandwiches of your very dreams. I had a chicken and bacon sandwich. 70% Chicken, 30% Bacon. Roughly described, it was a cannonball of chicken and bacon, garnished with two slices of bread. I think if they ever get sandwich bars to the level of choice and sophistication of actual bars, then 'A cannonball of chicken and bacon, garnished with bread' may become my own version of 'Vodka Martini, shaken, not stirred'.
Ahem.
Dinner, Friday: 'Le Savoir Faire', um, it's between New Regents Street, Shaftesbury Ave and one other, and at the moment its covered in scaffold. We walked past, liked the smell, and...oh my god the food was amazing. I had a whole Sea Bass, in the spirit of 'having what you wouldn't normally have'...I've never tucked into an entire fish before. Wicked place. Try it out if my directions be true...

On Friday we went to the National Gallery, and saw some genuine Rolf Harris pictures, had coffee in Henry's near Covent Garden, a pint in Ha! Ha! near, um, the Thames, and after returning to the hotel for a swim, sauna and steam, we had dinner, and then walked to Leicester Square where we went on the Merry-Go-Round, had a hot chocolate in a cafe, and ambled home...sorry. Back to the hotel.

Saturday we woke up, had brekkie in bed, checked out and ventured out again, this time doing Harrods (packed enough to almost bring me to shouting-at-strangers levels of annoyance. Relly not spotted) and the Victoria and Albert museum (photography exhibition great, bored Alice stiff with description and amusing-to-passers-by demonstration of the tedious yet immensely successful method of making a samurai sword through multiple steel folding and beating - sorry Allie).
We spoke to a man who described his trade as 'being a football man' on the train on the way home. After he'd left, we had the naggin suspicion he was famous, but couldn't recognise him directly or remember his name. Ah well.

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