Curiosity killed the cat, I just injured it

The last few days I have been racked with guilt. And utterly unable to ignore or forget it because I am confronted with the consequences of my actions on a regular basis.
What awful thing have I done? What is my own telltale heart reminding me of my evil deed?
The guilt is brought back every time I see Midnight, the kitten MWG and I have recently got.

image

As shown above, Midnight is an adorable bundle of black fur, and, like most kittens, a dervish of action and inquisitiveness. She scampers everywhere, climbing all the furniture and snooping about before curling up on one of us and sleeping, having knackered herself out.
However, since the other evening, her energy has been diminished and she goes about the place limping, avoiding putting weight on her left front paw.
I am the cause of this limp.
On Sunday night, I walked into the kitchen just as a small black blur rushed the other way. As my clumping size eleven came down there was an anguished squeal and the black blur shot off under the table.
For the rest of the evening she limped. I felt bad, apologised and hoped she would bounce back soon enough.
But Monday saw her still limping. There was no crying and she still showed affection and played, but her paw still caused her problems. I felt terrible, and this got worse as the day went on.
MWG decided that if she was still limping by Wednesday (today) that we’d have to take her to the vets.
This morning she was still limping.
The vet told us that she’s probably broken bones in her paw (tomorrow an X-ray will probably confirm this). So, dosed on pain killers midnight came home with us and dozed off.
I broke her paw. Of course, I feel a complete heel and every time she limps by it just gets worse. And her squeaks at the vets were even worse.
I know it was an accident, and I know that in a few weeks she’ll bounce back, cats are quite tough, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling utterly terrible about it all.
I guess in future I just have to look where I’m putting my foot more carefully.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Advertisements

The only necessary thing for evil to triumph…

One of my resolutions this year was to be a nicer person, and I think so far in 2015 I’m doing pretty good, I’m trying to be more patient and polite, and I’ve done a few minor acts of kindness. Yesterday, however, I dropped the ball.

I was on a bus, and it had pulled in at a stop. I was sitting towards the back of the bus listening to the Answer Me This podcast through the giant headphones MWG kindly bought me for Christmas.

Helen and Olly, the hosts of Answer Me This, which is well worth checking out

Helen and Olly, the hosts of Answer Me This, which is well worth checking out

I noticed a woman running along side the bus towards the front, squeezing between the bus and the bus stop, which I thought was a bit dangerous. The driver had started the engine, but we were still stationary.

The woman banged on one of the windows to get the driver’s attention so he didn’t drive off.

I said nothing. As I said, the bus wasn’t moving and I figured she was close enough to get to the door in time.

But then the bus pulled out and the woman threw her hands up in the traditional “Oh, come on!” gesture. I clearly saw her face as the bus went by her, she looked annoyed and kinda upset. Running for a bus and missing it is the kind of thing that can ruin your whole day.

Not just because you end up late but you’re annoyed at the bus driver, and you know that folks saw you run for the bus, which is kinda embarrassing.

I felt like a total heel for the entire rest of my journey. It didn’t matter that I was actually on the bus to go and do something good, I still felt bad for not just yelling out to the driver “Hang on a minute, drive!”

That’s no guarantee he would have waited, bus drivers can, in my experience, be proper douches, but I should have tried.

I still feel a little guilty, I should have just done it, but I sat there and as a result she missed her bus. I had a chance to step up and do the right thing, even in a minor way, and I blew it, and that’s not a nice feeling to have to deal with.

I hope the lady got where she needed to be, and it didn’t jam up her whole day. I guess I still have a way to go in my quest to be a better person.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Mood killer or The saddest picture I’ve seen in a while

Yeah, so today I’m going to be writing about porn so if the subject offends you, or you’re my Mum, I’d advise you to not read any further.

I’m a single guy, so I look at porn. Not excessively, but fairly regularly.

I particularly like amateur porn, because its less staged and fake, and also as a fan of curvier women the stars are more my type. Also, they’re more similar to the kind of women I might actually have a slight shot with, whereas a Gianna Michaels, Sara Jay or Sophie Dee is an entirely unrealistic fantasy figure.

There’s also a slightly weird obsession I have with the fact that I might one day stumble across pictures of someone I know, which might actually be immensely awkward and unpleasant in reality, but is still something of a fantasy of mine.

There’s also less guilt involved. I’ve heard about some of the damaged souls attracted to the porn industry and it feels rather exploitative at times, whereas the homemade stuff is usually more cheap and cheerful. I appreciate that sometimes the personal photos have been uploaded by embittered exes or the like, possibly without the permission of those involved, and that is a bit of a downer, and one of my frequent post-wank guilt trips. Thanks Catholic genes.

Yet, I like to think that for some of these amateur pornstars it is something they’ve chosen, something they get a kick out of. Whereas, despite all their statements in interviews, I never fully buy that pornstars enjoy themselves, I mean, physically they must do, but I’m not sure they’re as happy as they make out.

Anyway, the other day I was flicking through some stuff the other day and I stumbled across this picture of a girl which was an instant libido killer, as it was just kind of sad.

The photo featured a girl of I’d guess around 19, maybe a little older. She was nude in the photo, but the picture was rather unsexy. She had her legs raised and a permanent marker sticking out of her arse, which I can’t really see the point of. I mean, sure for dudes anal stimulation can get results, but does it have the same effect on women, and is it ever going to be as pleasurable as going in the front door (yes, despite what I’m writing about and some of the stuff I’ve already written I’m still feeling a  tad uncomfortable with discussing this). I don’t know, I’m not a woman and its not something I can really ask my female friends, without causing awkwardness. Or getting slapped.

The thing was, despite the girl being pretty and the overtly sexual nature of the picture, it wouldn’t have done anything for me, but what made it go beyond merely not appealing to being actually sad was the sign she held up.

She was holding a piece of paper up and written on it (possibly with the aforementioned pen) was: “Don’t ever say I don’t love you”.

That made me feel bad.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but to me that seems to give the impression that the picture was intended for a boyfriend, and not meant for a wider audience.

Worst of all though is the wording of the sign, which suggests that this douche bag boyfriend had played the “If you love me you’d do it for me” card, which is always a total fink move to pull.

I felt a range of emotions, none of them good. I felt bad for the girl, intense loathing for the boyfriend and more than a little guilty. In truth it kind of soured my whole view of porn and I shut down all the windows there and then and didn’t look at anymore porn.

For about two days until I got horny again.

Sometimes I hate myself.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


London 2012 Part 1: The Guiltiest Sport

So, finally the Olympics have got going and today I finally managed to get round to watching some of the action, having missed everything so far due to working. I didn’t even see the opening ceremony, well anything more than a few countries marching into the stadium, which is always oddly entertaining as you get to see the smaller countries who rock up with a squad of about 8 people, and kudos to Russia for picking Maria Sharapova to carry their flag in and automatically bagging the hottest flag bearer prize.

The gorgeous Maria Sharapova

Anyway, today I settled in to watch some of the events and managed to cover a fair few- cycling, canoeing, judo and women’s gymnastics.

Gymnastics is one of my favourite sports to watch at the games.

I quite like the simpler, purer sports- where its not about equipment or even team work and is purely about individual physical prowess. I know the team members scores are added up to give rankings for the country, but while they’re out there its all about the individual.

The athletes have to master several different events- floor, vault, uneven bars and the beam. Each one has different demands and requires a vast array of skills. Its utterly mesmerising to watch as they do these amazing things, the skill involves commands respect

And its a tough event, taking physical strength, grace and agility, as well as courage. I always marvel when they do flips and jumps on the beam, its a ridiculous event, a tiny line of wood that they have to jump around on with abandon.

Madness

The thing that bothers me about the event is the fact that the event involves girls walking around in tight, skimpy outfits, which adds to the appeal in a way although does often provoke panicy Googling to check ages of competitors to calm my conscience.

Although I found out today that you have to be at least 16 to take part in the Olympics  now, and apparently has been the case for years, which is good, as I thought you could be even younger, knowing that back in the 70s some 14 year old scored a perfect 10 at the games, which I think is what made me always feel slightly bad about watching the event.

Even though I can relax a little knowing that all the girls taking part are legal (for foreign readers the age of consent in the UK is 16) I still feel a little bad about it because there’s more than a 10 year age gap and that just makes me feel like a bit of a dirty old man.

The guilt-provoking Gabrielle Douglas (16).

Personally, I kind of take the approach expressed by Calvin Harris in his song “Acceptable in the 80s”. I can appreciate that girls born after that decade are attractive but for me December 31st 1989 is the cut off point for girls I’d date. Any younger and its more than a 5 year age gap and also, they’d be the same age, or younger than my little sister, and that’d just be weird.

Under this policy I’d have to turn down Miley Cyrus (23/11/92) but could still date Taylor Swift (13/12/89), which I’m sure must be the source of great joy to Miss Swift.

I’m sorry if that breaks the hearts of any 90s born girls reading this.

Sorry that this first Olympics post has been a little pervy, but I’m rather sleep deprived and promise that following installments will be more sport-focused.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO


Alexandra Burke, Jermain Defoe and Petty Cruelty

Another week, another footballer caught cheating on his missus.

Seriously, as the season heads for a pretty dramatic showdown (Man City are champs and QPR are down if they stay as they are as I start writing this) it emerges that another Premier League star has been playing away. Is there any job in the world with a higher incidence of infidelity? Do you reckon I could get funded to do research into this?

Anyway, the latest man to be dubbed a “love rat” by the tabloids is Spurs player Jermain Defoe who has been dumped by his popstar girlfriend Alexandra Burke.

I suppose its easier and less painful to get rid of than a tattoo

I used to work with a girl who would turn up once a week with a whole stack of tacky celebrity magazines and leave them there, and every week I’d find myself reading them. Partly due to boredom, partly due to the fact that on a night shift anything more complicated becomes a struggle and largely because deep down I’m a bit of a gossip whore. Seriously, celebrity culture is ugly, but there’s something about it that once you glance at means you struggle to look away.

However, this coworker no longer works with me and so my access to tabloid tat has stopped and I’ve fallen a little out of touch, I had no idea that Defoe and Burke were even dating. Hell, I’d almost forgotten about Burke’s existence.

So, why am I writing about what is a trivial story?

Well, I stumbled across it because Alexandra Burke was trending on Twitter today and I was curious as to why. I read the article and it was just the usual stuff, but the thing that caught my eye was the hatred and bile spilling out on Twitter directed at the lady in question.

The woman he cheated on Burke with was a nurse called Kirsty Crummey, who was pictured in the paper:

Kirsty Crummey, the lady in pink.

People went nuts on Twitter insulting Miss Crummey and mocking her appearance, liking her to a female version of Peter Kay or “Pat Butcher’s tribute act”. I think this is horrible.

Miss Crummey will probably see some of these tweets, or be made aware of them somehow, and it just feels needlessly cruel and mean to insult her in such a way. Her looks are nothing to do with the story, Defoe has cheated on his girlfriend and while Crummey isn’t entirely innocent (though less guilty than Defoe, I’ll explain my sliding scale of cheating morality at a later date). Does it matter if people don’t find his choice in partner attractive?

Does it make the damnedest difference to anything? If he had cheated on her with some Amazonian goddess would Alexandra Burke feel better about it? I doubt it. Was Angelina Jolie’s beauty a comfort to Jennifer Aniston when Brad Pitt shacked up with her?

Would it be a balm to anyone to know that their partner’s secret lover was gorgeous?

The name calling and ridicule is part of Twitter’s dark side, when the usually entertaining, communal site reveals the seams of bullying and childishness that exist in people. Crummey is not a character or construct, she’s a real person, with feelings and yes, she’s not some glamorous hottie, but neither is she this “ogre” people are labelling her.

Crummey is a regular woman, there are thousands, if not millions like her out there, its where most people live their lives on the spectrum between gorgeous and hideous, somewhere in the gap between the two.

All these people making jokes about her or calling her names should consider how they would come across if they were in the paper? Would they hold a candle to a popstar with a team of stylists? Or would they be the kind of person that cruel jokes could be levelled at?

And for the men out there, look at your partners, sisters and mothers- how would you feel if they were being picked on and ridiculed by dozens of obnoxious strangers?

We all make mean jokes, I caught myself thinking one the other day about a cashier in a shop in Swansea, and instantly felt like an utter heel for doing so, it was a cruel, petty little thought and I felt guilty and horrible for doing it. I never would have said it outloud, and try my utmost not to even do it in my head, and would certainly never dream of writing it down and leaving it somewhere with a good chance that the poor, innocent girl might see it.

Yes, Crummey did something wrong, and perhaps she should not have talked about it in the papers, although we don’t know the story behind the scenes. But still, she doesn’t deserve the vitriol and nastiness that has been sent her way.

(Incidentally, in an incredibly dramatic last day, Manchester City clinched the title, dooming QPR to relegation, and Swansea beat Liverpool, which is a great way to round off the season)

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO


Evil Bed

Popping bubblewrap, air guitaring, Kinder eggs, making rude words while watching Countdown– life is full of little pleasures.

None is as sweet as when you wake up before the alarm, slowly drifting awake is infinitely more pleasurable than being jolted awake by that weird buzzing beep. It is one of the most horrible noises in the world, a TV ad uses it and every time it comes on I find myself flinching.

As well as being a less harsh way of waking up it also gifts you a few minutes to yourself, just lying there.

I cracked my eyes and the first thing I saw was my Justice League poster. Yeah, I have a Justice League poster on my wall, I’m a geek and proud. Wonder Woman glowered at me, as she does every morning. I think its meant to be a look of steely determination as she charges off with the rest of the league to take on some unseen foe, but to me she just looks pissed off. Like she knows what kind of thoughts I have about her.

The pre-alarm grace period, a precious few minutes of snug warmness of doing nothing is great, and one of my favourite times. I rolled over, staring at the ceiling and the light playing across it as I scrunched down even snugger into the duvet. I smiled to myself and started daydreaming.

Wonder Woman did know what I’d been thinking, and now I was restrained by the Lasso of Truth, as the Amazon approached-WAIT A MINUTE! Light?!

There shouldn’t be any daylight at 5:30am.

In a mad panic I threw off the blankets, snatched up my iPod and turned it on revealing the clock.

8:02am

My shift at work had started at 7.

Leaping out of birds swearing like Hugh Grant at the start of Four Weddings… I pulled on a t-shirt, grabbed my glasses and phone, running to the front door, where signal is strongest.

I stepped out, turning on my phone. One missed call. No prizes for guessing who it was. I dialled work, at the last second remembering to stop the door closing behind me. Being over an hour late for work would be bad, being stuck on my doorstep in shorts and a t-shirt that says “Big Boned” would be a farcical nightmare.

I called work, speaking to a very tired and pissed off sounding co-worker, and offered many completely sincere apologies. I felt like an utter douchebag, the lowest of the low.

Especially as but a fortnight before I’d actually complained about another coworker who’s regularly late, calling in 5 minutes after their shift’s started to apologise and then casually swanning in about an hour later, once even 2 hours.

I apologised again and promised I’d be in within half an hour. I ran back inside, dived into a luke warm shower, brushed my teeth and called a taxi. I dived into the cab and got to work, where I found my coworker all bunged up with cold and their partner waiting outside to pick them up, making me feel even more of an utter worm of a man.

This feeling of douchery and guilt is still there, somewhat less than the all consuming self loathing I experienced this morning, but still pretty severe. I’m so glad I inherited my Dad’s Catholic predisposition to guilt. The Catholic’s are masters it, its why its called “Catholic guilt” and despite only having attended a handful of Catholic services, and being raised Protestant, I seem to have inherited it, almost as though its burned into the Page family’s genes.

Anyway, the entire reason I probably overslept is a smorgasbord of personal failings. Awkwardness, insecurity, greed and lack of self control.

I’d fully intended to get an early night, 5:30am starts are rough enough anyway, the best you can do is try and get as much sleep in as possible, so after spending time lusting over Zooey Deschanel in New Girl, I decided I’d watch Bear Grylls’ show with Jonathan Ross and hit the sack.

Zooey Deschanel, be still my beating heart

However, midway through watching the nicest ex-professional killer ever show Ross the ropes in the jungle I decided to see how much his book cost on Amazon. I then remembered that I had an Amazon voucher left over from Christmas and spent ages shopping about for books to buy.

Then I realised that CSI: New York was starting, and this is (since Grissom left Vegas) my favourite CSIso instead of hitting the sack I stayed up watching an episode I’ve seen before.

Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise)- Bad ass.

I almost let myself get sucked in by an episode of Bones (again one I’d seen before) but my housemate arrived back and this distraction prompted me to shut off the laptop and get ready for bed.

As I crawled into bed at about 11:3o I felt pretty good, I was ready for bed but not completely shattered and I hoped for an easy shift so I could finish James Corden’s book (I didn’t) before wandering back home for a cider and some Take Me Out fun (I didn’t have a cider or watch the show either).

Then my housemate and her friend (boyfriend? I’m not entirely sure) started a loud karaoke session upstairs in her room upstairs. I chuckled to myself, it was kind of sweet, and unlike most karaoke they were singing along to some fairly choice tunes- T-Rex, Led Zep, Fleetwood Mac.

I lay there, but soon realised they were probably going to be at it for a while and I wasn’t going to be able to fall asleep with the noise.

At midnight I decided to leave them be for another half an hour, then maybe go up for a quiet word.

But mainly I wanted to wait in the hope they’d stop of their own accord.

Despite being completely justified in going up I really didn’t want to. Sure, I needed as much sleep as possible and in our earlier conversation I’d mentioned my early wake up time, but despite all this I felt that going upstairs would be rude.

How weird is that? That I’d rather go without sleep and be knackered for an entire day as opposed to appear ill mannered? Or cause minor offence? Maybe they didn’t know that their voices were carrying that much and they’d be embarrassed that there private singalong had been overheard by an audience. Then I’d feel bad for making them feel bad.

I suppose as well there was part of me that didn’t want my quite cool housemate to think I was some kind of dull, buzz kill. But it was mainly the manners thing.

There’s a part in Girl With The Dragon Tattoo where Daniel Craig accepts an invitation from the person he’s worked out is the killer, and the killer laughs, pointing out that Craig’s desire not to cause offence outweighed his survival instincts, and that he should have just walked away.

Sure, it wasn’t going into a killer’s lair but still, I was sacrificing my own well being so that I wouldn’t put someone else out, and in the end it wound up inconveniencing someone else a lot  more. Stupid manners.

In future I’ll just go up and ask them to keep it down. Or buy ear plugs.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. TTFN

Listened to Today: Bed of Roses- Bon Jovi, Going Mobile- The Who, When Love Takes Over- David Guetta feat. Kelly Rowland, It Doesn’t Matter- Wyclef Jean feat. The Rock, Baba O’Riley- The Who, Footloose- Kenny Loggins, World in Motion- England New Order, Canned Heat- Jamiroqai, American Woman- Lenny Kravitz, Jump (For my love)- Pointer Sisters, Rock of Ages- Def Leppard, Let it Rock- Bon Jovi, Once Bitten Twice Shy- Great White, Feels Like The First Time- Foreigner, Any Way You Want It- Journey, Hey Joe- The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Too Hot To Handle- UFO.