Monday, 10 March 2008

Rage. And Gym.

God, I am in such a foul mood! I've just had a mini rant to myself, such as you see drunken tramps indulge in and causes you to immediately cross to the other side of the street. And what was my rant about?

Getting people to respond to things so you can enter into a planning frenzy when you want and need to, rather than when they decide it's convenient for them to let you know. If I'm charitable, I tell myself its because nobody else plans things on the sort of scale I do, with the number of people. When I'm uncharitable, I tell myself it's because other people are selfish fuck heads who have no desire to contemplate another person's situation. A certain person would call this 'being a bloke.' I know plenty of considerate blokes. It's not about being a bloke - it's about being a selfish fuck head who never contemplates another person's situation.

Not, you understand, that I'm necessarily referring to that certain person right now. I just remembered him saying the 'bloke' thing and being furious at what an inept attempt at justifying your own flaws it was. Yeah, blame your sex. Good one.


That's it. From now on, I refuse to chase people up. If I send out an email asking people if they want to do something, I'll only prepare for the people who actually have the courtesy to respond. I will not accept boyfriends accepting on behalf of girlfriends, or vice versa. I will also not accept people saying they will come, then not, leaving me with half a ton of wasted food.

You know, it makes me realise why societies had such rigid rules of etiquette. It used to be that you'd send out a formal - or informal - invitation, and people would respond. They would then come. They would know what clothes to wear, because the occasion would have its own innate dress-code, so nobody would turn up in jeans and t-shirt for a big occasion, thus making a mockery of several days' worth of loving preparation as they basically say "yeah, can't be fucked to make an effort." (Ok, it's not about the jeans - it's about the scruff-bag aspect). People would also know how to behave upon arriving. They would make pleasant small-talk with people they didn't know, rather than sitting in a corner talking solely to Phidippida because strangers scare them (that one's me - believe me, I'm not blind to some of the hypocrisy here). They know whether it was appropriate for them to stay beyond the courtesy-hour of 11pm, and would not keep the hostess up until 3 am because they refuse to leave. They would know whether the hostess was going to feed them or not, and not take it for granted that they would be able to fill their face at the Holly Cottage trough. They would not decide to watch Amercia's Next Top Slapper rather than have a conversation. They would make vocal offers of help, rather than look blank at my disapproving frown and say: "Well, the offer was there!"

The offer was not there. If the offer were there, I would not be frowning with hands on hips, feeling faintly disgusted at how like Miss Havisham I am becoming in old age. I tell you, I'm one step away from parking myself in a big old rocking chair, donning a yellowing wedding dress and corrupting some hapless young girl into a world of cynicism and disappointment. Tell me - was I the only peson in the world cheering The Havisham to the very rafters?

Yes, I thought so.

And, after the evening of bonhomie and good cheer, they would all write charming notes of thanks, expressing their delight and appreciation of the hard work clearly evident (even if the hard work consisted of opening several packets of M&S flapjacks and complaining that there are no good card games for 3). There would then come a flood of reciprocating invitations, which I would then complain about in a world-weary way to Fisher, fluttering myself with a fan and saying "la!" a lot.

I tell you, if it weren't for emancipation, modern medicine, civil rights, democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of information, the free market, central heating, the microchip, the internet, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, modern music, film and television, The Barenaked Ladies and barenaked ladies, I'd SO be born out of my time. (Ok, barenaked ladies were available in all times. Not quite so readily, though - which was a GOOD thing).

Now, reading this, I can just imagine several of my friends silently thinking to themselves: is she talking about me?

Well, I'm not, really. This is a much more general rant, inspired by - well, basically just being in a bad mood. I've actually written myself out of it almost completely, aided by Chopper phoning all thrilled about her upcoming birthday weekend, and some good tunes playing in the background. (Arcade Fire rock. So does Paul Simon.) I hope all my friends recognise that very few of them indulge in any of the behaviour I've outlined, and if they do it's usually forgiveable for whatever reasons caused the aberrant behaviour in the first place.

Put it this way: organising a non-wedding can have its irritations.

So - having written myself into a much better mood, it remains only to outline the events of the last few days.

Had a very lovely weekend visit to Hotel du Vin with Janus and Badger, which was a delightful break from teeming rain and general meteorological misery. We then returned to have a hangover day of eating deeply unsuitable things ("I want cake!" I demanded, just after we'd arrived home. I could, of course, have demanded cake at any time during our journey and we could have stopped to procure some - but no. "I have some biscuits," a generous Arrow offered. "Are biscuits CAKE??" I spluttered. "No, they are not! I want CAKE!" And so, much to my astonishment, Fisher actually went out and got me, not only cake, but Scotch pancakes and some deeply vile Tunnock's mallow teacakes, which bear no resemblance whatsoever to a teacake and are so sweet they make my teeth itch. On her return, I clapped my hands in glee at the Scotch pancakes and said, lovingly: "Did you remember butter?" She had not, so I beat her soundly) and watching the FA Cup quarter final between Middlesborough and Cardiff. And, with flair and panache, Championship Cardiff succeeded in knocking the Premiership side out of the cup. Marvellous. I then watched Tottenham spank West Ham 4-1, while eating Fish and Chips and chatting to Champaign Charlie, who phoned from Stateside - which put the icing on a terrific weekend.

Today my only major goal was not to eat any more crap, and to exercise - a goal I achieved, thank the Lard. The gym was very busy, but I managed to swipe the last running machine from under Fisher's nose and put in my fastest ever 5k at 31.05. True, at some stages I was hanging on to the rails for dear life and threatening to take to the air like a wind-sock, but I don't care. I followed this up with these weights:

3 x 12 reps on lat pulley, 35kg
3 x 12 reps on bicep curl, on 7
3 x 12 reps on horizontal leg lift, 100kg
1 x 6 reps on ... er ... leg curling type weights, 0n 10.
1 x 12 reps on above, on 9
1 x 12 reps on above, on 8. Yes. I did rather overestimate my strength on this one!

Then we went home, had prawn ciabatta, salad, oven chips (booooo! didn't need them) and a pudding of a kitkat, club and 4 little rice krispie treats. Not exactly a crap-free day, but not bad considering the only other thing I'd eaten was a bowl of cereal.

We won't talk about which one.

Now, I am no longer filled with rage, and a particularly whiny Dixie Chicks's song has just come on iTunes. Time to go.