Unloading The Brain Box: Skating and Secret Reading

Okay, this morning after my run and getting dressed I wandered into town to take care of some stuff and realized I’d left my phone in the house so instead of cluttering up my Twitter feed with the following thoughts I saved them all up and thought I’d do a mixed bag post, which I used to do fairly regularly. So here goes:

One Word

In the queue for the bus today I ended up behind this Chinese woman and her kids. She was on her mobile having an angry conversation with someone, well it sounded angry, but Chinese like German is one of those languages where people always seem to be worked up. Is it racist to say that?

My (possibly racist) first impression was proved right when she finished her conversation by doing sarcastic laughing and hanging up.

Anyway, when she got on the bus she just barked “Return!” at the driver. It was unspeakably rude, I mean, sure its a second language for her, but if you’re going to go to the effort of learning the word for “return” is it that much more work to learn “please” as well? I know its a minor thing, but it really bugged me the way she just snapped at him like he was a slave or something.

Pun

Kudos to the Metro for their “Nuts for Bolt” headline about Usain Bolt’s Olympic win last night.

Teenage Dream

As I wandered around town I listened to Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream album, which I love. I’ve got the Complete Confection re-release and I usually just stick my iPod on shuffle, but I wanted something poppy and summery to listen to so I stuck this on, I gotta say, its a solid album.

Perry released 6 singles from the original version and two from the re-release and all of them are pretty good pop songs. That’s quite an impressive hall as some albums fail to even have 3 quality tracks on. The singles are the standouts but I’m also impressed by the angry break up song “Circle the Drain” and the tongue in cheek sauciness of “Peacock”.

I think Perry is, along with Lady Gaga and Rihanna one of the best pop stars working today, she has a knack for producing catchy, anthemic pop songs and if you’re a fan of pop I wholeheartedly recommend this album.

Chris Moyles’ Only Decent Contribution To Mankind

I’m not a big fan of Chris Moyles, I used to like when he presented the evening show on Radio 1 but when he switched to doing the breakfast show I got a little tired of him, he seemed to buy into his own hype and wasn’t my idea of a good way to start the day, and when I was in uni I switched to Radio 2. Occasional listens in the intervening period didn’t change my opinion and his shows always struck me as being a bit repetitive and juvenile and I didn’t find him likable.

However, I can’t fully condemn him because he did come up with “sunshine Sheilas” to describe the phenomenon that happens during British summertime where attractive women seem to multiply when the sun shines.

Sunshine Sheilas

Its probably just the fact that more women are scantily clad so you notice it more, but I personally like the idea of hot girls being like Kryptonians and powered by Earth’s yellow sun.

Supergirl recharging. God bless cosplay girls

Today proved the theory and Swansea seemed packed with pretty girls in summer dresses.

Sk8r Boi?

Found myself looking through the window of a shop today looking at those longer skateboards and I just thought, “I wouldn’t mind getting one of those”.

A view I held for about 3 seconds before I realized that:

  1. I’m 27!
  2. The only skateboard I’ve ever owned was when I was about 8 and I couldn’t even stand up on it.
  3. I have awful balance and would fall off it. A lot.

Its these fleeting, daft ideas that make me glad I don’t have tons of money to play around with, because if I did my room would be filled with expensive things that I’d never need or have use for. Although I must admit, there’s a little part of me that still thinks their quite cool and wouldn’t mind learning to use them.

What you reading?

I’m currently reading The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest on my Kindle, which I’m now completely in love with. It took me a little time to get used to reading on it, but now I’m completely happy with it.

A dude reading a Kindle

But as I was reading today I glanced over at the person reading at the next table, an attractive student-type girl and she too was reading a Kindle. This is for me one of the problems with Kindles, you can’t see what people are reading. This is annoying for a nosy git like me but also means you can’t just strike up conversation with someone about what they’re reading. I’ve never done that, as I’ve been too shy but I have had people ask me about what I’ve been reading at the time, which is nice.

I suppose this is kind of a good thing though, as it means you don’t have to feel embarrassed if you’re reading something which isn’t seen as respectable. This anonymity is part of what made the Fifty Shades books successful to start off with, because women could read the erotica in public without embarrassment, of course, now its a phenomenon the embarrassment aspect has been removed and people can read the paper version of it in public.

I totally get that, as I always worry that when I pull out a wrestling autobiography or goofy sci-fi book people may judge me, and with the Kindle for all I know I could be reading Tolstoy or something but is this right? Shouldn’t we own up to what we like reading and not give a damn what other people think? And also, just because people can’t see what I’m reading doesn’t mean they won’t judge me or see me in certain ways, I can’t really complain as I’m guilty of the same thing. We do it all the time over the tiniest of observations.

So the Kindle anonymity thing is kind of a mixed thing, in a way I can see its a good thing but at the same time, its also a bit of a shame you can no longer see what people are reading, which can sometimes help you get a better sense of a person.

Sorry for the scattershot nature of this post, but I just couldn’t pick one main focus today and had been thinking of these things earlier.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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Parents

I can appreciate that being a parent is a tough thing to do, in fact, the idea of being that responsible for another person terrifies me. If you mess up as a parent you can mess up someone’s entire life.

But I’d like to think if I did become a parent I’d keep my individuality, perspective and consideration for others, beacuas I’ve noticed a lot of parents don’t. Today I saw one example of parental selfishness and one incident of terrible parenting.

First of all was the selfishness, there’s this attitude some parents have where they seem to feel that the entire world should make way for them and their spawn, and that this entitles them to more.

I see this a lot, whether its Katie Hill whinging about there not being enough “mother and child” spaces or the people who say all the lads mags should be covered up to stop their little kiddiewinks being exposed to the female form. Let me tell you something (brother), there are considerably worse things you should worry about your kids seeing than Jodie Marsh’s hot body, and way to teach your kids to see the human body and sexuality in general as something disgusting and shameful.

I see it in work as well, where some of my coworkers seem to think allowances and shifts should be sorted to cater to them and the needs of their offspring. Sure, things sometimes have to be moved around but I don’t think its fair that I should have to lose out or be inconvenienced because I haven’t knocked anyone up yet.

And then take for example what I saw in a local shop today. The shop I go to is not far from a primary school and I wound up going there just after the end of the day. And about 20 mothers all decided to stop off for some bits and bobs.

I get that going on the way back from the school run is more convenient (whatever happened to school buses? Surely its more environmentally sound than all these people going in their cars) but think about it. You’re messing it up for everyone else and also, this is a small shop, filling it with tired, grumpy or hyperactive kids is not helping anyone, why not go on the way to picking them up? That way you don’t have to try and herd the brats around the shop.

Which brings me to the awful parenting I saw today. I was in the queue when this frazzled mother joined behind me, and started yelling for her daughter to come to her. Bad enough she’d apparently named her child after bland country singer Shania Twain, but she was yelling in a crowded shop, which is just rude.

Shania’s little brother was with his mum, and asked if they could do something, I’m not sure what I don’t understand childish jabbers and she responded if Shania hurried. At which point she resumed yelling for her wayward daughter before saying, to the boy:

“If your sister doesn’t hurry up and get over her I’m going to beat her like a ginger stepchild”

Now, while I was happy that I’d heard one of my favourite expressions being used, I couldn’t believe she’d said it to a kid who was at most 4. Seriously, not cool.

Sadly, this is only number 2 on the list of bad things I’ve heard parents say as I once heard a guy say to a toddler “Don’t be a twat all your life” although I think the kid probably wasn’t able to understand it, but still, its a little kid you’re talking to.

There should be a pre-parenting test or something.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO


Human Zoo

I regularly walk to and from work, and did so last night. As I’d finished at 11pm it was dark and this meant I saw something that quite a lot of people do, which I don’t understand at all- people with the lights on and the curtains fully open.
This means that people can see right into your front room and what you’re doing. I just don’t see why people don’t just shut the curtains!
Its like they’re putting themselves on display, like an art installation about everyday life or a human zoo.
One of my favourite films of all time is Rear Window, where James Stewart is laid up with a broken leg and diverts himself by spying on his neighbours.

image

Anyway, thats how I kind of feel about these people who’s lit up homes I pass, that I’m spying on them.
But its hard not to have a little glance, its just fascinating to get an insight into people’s lives-
The bloke bedding down on the sofa, making me wonder what he’s done to annoy his missus.
A couple cwtched up watching the telly.
A girl dancing to unheard music, unaware she has a momentary audience.
The thing is, I try not to look in, it feels invasive but its hard not to. Something moves in the corner of your vision and instinct makes you look.
Also, there’s a little part of me that clings to the teenage fantasy of glimpsing a curvy girl in lingerie who invites me in.

image

But mostly its the same thing that makes me watch people in public, I’m just fascinated by how people act and what they do.
As well as Rear Window the lit up windows remind me of one of my favourite paintings, Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks.

image

That glimpse into everyday life and the feeling of spying a little.
I’m also hoping including a bit of art and culture will add some class and cancel out the whole pervy fantasy part.
Did it work?
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO


Overheard in a cafe

Woman, thirties, not unattractive but given the catty remarks she spouts about other, younger women in the vicinity and the judgemental looks, clearly not as attractive as she thinks she is.

To a friend about Facebook:

And I’m like “f**k off!” Asking me what I’m doing and how things are going when they didn’t give me a time of day at school. We’re facebook friends, don’t be all pally when you didn’t give a s**t then.

At least she’s let go of it.

Seriously, in the 15 minutes I sat a table from her she came across as an odious little twerp.

Her former schoolmates make general, vague enquiries  about her life and she rants about how too faced they are.

Or it could be that after (at least) 15 years they’ve gotten past all that schoolyard bollocks.

Oh, and as for her comments about a passing girl’s “fat arse”, well, I’m with Sir Mix-A-Lot on this one.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO