Archive for September, 2009

Fresher’s Week, again.

Today’s fun fact: I’ve now owned my little battery-powered FM/LW/MW/SW radio for six years. Bought it in Dixons, back when we had one of those in Aber. Well I find it interesting, anyway.

Induction gubbins carries on apace. Yesterday, out to Llanbadarn for what turned out to be a slightly strange seven-strand induction lecture, the highlight of which was the woman the Careers service sent along who tried very hard, but failed to make the leap from “This is a lecture theatre packed to the gills with naught but postgraduate students about to start their Masters courses” to “therefore I should address them as such.”

Thus, after we’d been sitting and listening to people address us for a little under 40 minutes, she began her skit by getting us all to stand up, and stretch and yawn theatrically (Heaven forfend that PG students should be able to sit for under an hour and listen to people!) and then followed that up with the suggestion we were all liars.

We would all like to think we’re there to bolster our skills, she reasoned, but actually we’re just doing it to keep ourselves off the jobs market until the recession is over. Isn’t that right, she asked, as a multitude of hands – three in number – rose in bemused agreement. “How nice,” she said, “that there are three honest people here.” Yeah, thanks for that. You do realise that we’re paying out for this, right? We’re not just sitting here for to while away the next twelve months of an already finite lifetime.

Sigh. She’d’ve gone down a treat with undergraduates, I’m sure, but like I say she didn’t make the link. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her before; she gave us an incredibly annoying handout on the importance of getting jobs done, which I’ll blog about as soon as I’ve dug it up, because it was such appaling nonsense it damn well deserves to be on the Internet. Probably is somewhere, actually, it’s the sort of bollocks they like to save up for when someone wants to make a website out of clever managerial witticisms…

Anyway, today I went and registered, and am thus officially re-enrolled. Registration by paper always puts me in mind of the Copy Protection Scene in Spellcasting 101 where you have to queue up and then one of the professors says “Ah, yes, Mr. Eaglebeak. Tell me, what was your Oral Aptitude score?” and if you don’t look sharp and say “590” like what it says on the paper you fish out of the box they push you off to the Restore : Undo : Quit screen fast as you please.

Anyway, they didn’t ask me anything like that or even what my Health Score was (Ernie’s is 91), but I did have to queue twice over, because they forgot to sign the first of my three forms in addition to the second, at least on the first attempt. Hey ho.

I’ve landed myself a 50:70 split, because neither of my two option modules run in Semester 1, but they reckon that won’t be too much of a problem, and if I’m honest it’s the 60-credit diss that’s worrying me, if anything.

Still, I’m all registered up. I returned home to find, in Inbox A, a email from the University in the form of a confirmation to let me know that they have updated my records and I am officially a student and, in Inbox B, an email from the University in the form of an Alumni Newsletter to let me know about all this new students they’ve got sloshing about the place and signing up for all manner of silly modules.

All rather strange, and it’s only Tuesday. Still, see how we go, shall we?


I’m too much of a barometer, is my trouble, and everyone else seems to be having it unremittingly grim just at the moment.


It’s not as though I actually like writing people off; I do try not to. Still if people will go around being… Ah, damnation I do wish you scunners wouldn’t pull tricks like that, y’know? It ain’t helpful for any of your people, and it’s sure as Hell not a good idea for any of mine. (On the plus side, y’bastard, I only met you once so you’ve spared yourself the bit where I figure you know me well enough that pulling this kind of stunt counts as a personal insult to myself. On the downside, I only met you once so I ain’t in a position to execute a proper stick-rip-twist on you. Yeah, it’s that bad; I’ve not done one of them for years, thank Christ. Never reflect very well on anyone those do and you can never be certain that they’ll float back into their conciousness at 0200h as intended or if they’ll just drift out the other side. Or be certain which to hope for, really…)

Hey, I said I’d honed being loyal to a fault into a form of art. I never said I was nice.

Meanwhile, I’m going to go slump over, polish off the last of the whisky and have a bit of a read before I turn in. An’ that ain’t going to make anything better, either. But, then, it’s late, my knees have been playing Hob all day, even before the standing up, and the rest of the background stress isn’t helping with the more immediate backstabbery. You’re all permitted to ignore me, y’know; I’m due a busy week, I’ll be right, betimes; I just needed to be incoherently stroppy with the world.

Reasons Why It’s Bad To Sleep With The Radio On

#1 in a series of at least #1:

Only realising at midday that there was actually a plausible explanation for half-waking in the middle of the night before sinking into a dream about Puff the Magic Dragon.

And there was me thinking it was reading LXG getting tangled up with the comedown from opiates. I should be so lucky. (Note for chemists: Stop mucking about with flu vaccine and make some Codine that actually works, you lazy sods.)

…incidentally, does anyone else see the crowd of 20-somethings singing along in the audience in that Youtube clip? What kind of way is that to run a decade?

Next Episode: 101 Reasons Why It Isn’t Fun To Wake Up To James Naughtie On Your Pillow.

Ah, Red Alert 3: Soviet March, I grow fonder of you as a ringtone day by day.

In this case, look you, because you’ve contrived to be the ringtone heralding an offer for part-time work. More than that, for convenient take-it-or-leave-it-and-be-paid-accordingly part-time work, which is liable to be dead handy for me with my collection of other commitments and overdrafts to satisfy all at once. Huzzah!

Therefore, presently, and assuming a clear health check and a green light from the CRB people, I return to work as a cleaner-type person (Undertakers, prostitutes and cleaners: always in demand, that’s us. And, considering the alternatives, cleaning’s not a bad job to be engaged in, all fun aside)

(Alarmingly, by my reckoning this brings my all-time interview:job offer ratio to, er… 9:8 (that’s what not having a driving license will do to you, that is). The reason I say alarmingly is because I assume my luck’ll have to turn eventually, and if it’s going to I’d much rather it dropped out now rather than when it super-really counts, but there you go – I don’t propose to complain too much, I just worry that it’s one of those things that only works when you don’t bank on it, and I’m not sure how to look like I’m not banking on it!)

Betimes, I’ve netted myself perhaps the most cool voluntary work I could have contrived, as a sort of giving-advice-and-opinions bod for a fictioneer. Can’t say I’ve got much experience of that sort of thing per se, but it’s giving me a chance to brush up on some very rusty skills I’ve not pressed for some time, so that’s nice.

O, and a heads up to the guy who just came up the drive and stuffed a ‘Do you want your drive to be pressure-washed?’ flyer through the door: talking loudly on a mobile below an open window kinda diminished the secrecy of the sentence “Mate, can you keep a secret, yeah? I’ve actually got another girlfriend she doesn’t know about.” (Bonus tip: if you must go about keeping secrets, you’ll find they work better if you don’t tell people regardless of how close you are to other bodies)

(A heavy blonde day even for someone as fair-headed as you, huh? You square-set late-teens six footer, you…)