No longer as truthful as should be deserved, some names, places and events deliberately vague to protect identities that aren't mine

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Just to see you sets me off

Evelyn, Evelyn 
why do we bother to stay? 
why are you running away? 
don't you feel like severing? 
everything's just come together at last... 
it's broken, I don't want to play! 

we grew up, 
closer than most... 
closer than anything... 
closer than anything... 
shared our bed, 
and wore the same clothes 
talked about everything 
spoke about so many things 

what shall we wear tonight? 
what shall we eat today? 
can we go ice skating? 
but we just did that yesterday... 
should we be fireman? 
can we be astronauts? 
what if they find us? 
they're not looking anyway... 

Evelyn, Evelyn 
why do we bother to stay? 
why are you running away? 
don't you feel like severing? 
everything's just come together at last... 
it's broken, I don't want to play! 

fill my glass! 
let's drink a toast! 
this is our birthday... 
so, why are we weeping? 
at your side, I feel like a ghost... 
I wake up first and I stare at you sleeping... 

what shall we wear tonight? 
what shall we eat today? 
do you think I should marry him? 
but we just met him yesterday... 
should we be movie stars? 
will we be millionaires? 
I want to be famous! 
they're watching us anyway... 

Evelyn, Evelyn 
why do we bother to stay? 
why are you running away? 
don't you feel like severing? 
everything's just come together at last... 
it's broken, I don't want to play! 

we grew up, 
so very close... 
a parasite little host... 

I'm only trying to do what is best for us! 

well, I never asked for this! I never wanted this! 
all that I want is some time to myself! 

looking in your eyes, I'm coming home... 

just get away from me! 
please just stop touching me! 
you're always trying to be somebody else! 

now I realize I'm not alone... 

well, you're only scared of me! 
but you never cared for me! 
why don't you let me breathe? 
cause you never dare to be! 

cause you never listen, and you're always insisting on just reminiscing I feel something missing! 

I just want my privacy... why can't you leave me alone?
Evelyn Evelyn - Evelyn Evelyn

A Horse and Carriage is f*cking expensive

I dont really know how Chris puts up with this.  I know I wouldn't.  Which doesn't really help a lot of matters really cause that makes me feel shitty in a million and one ways.  But as I say, I don't know why he puts up with this.  Yes, it's cause he loves me, and this is the kind of thing that shows just how much he loves me.  And I'm probably a lot more glad that he puts up with it than if he didn't.  But I still don't understand it, and I still don't get why I would ever deserve it.

Despite all the badness being in a relationship can make you feel, and despite being in love with 2 guys, I do at least know one thing, which is that I want to marry Chris.  Given the opportunity, a part of me might like to marry Jack or Chris, but that's not an option and so I don't really ever think about it.  But what I mean is that when I think about getting married to Chris, everyone asks when the date is, and I go over in my head about how many people we can afford to invite and what kind of venue would be nice and how on earth we'll ever pay for this and such.  And whilst I'd love the big wedding in the beautiful venue, and my mother, having not been able to go to her other son's wedding for reasons of family complexity, would kill me if I ever did anything but, the entierty of me would very happily walk down to the registry office tomorrow, pay my £75 or whatever it is, and be married to him, just like that, with no-one else there, just me and him, and no expensive honeymoon or tuxedo or presents or speeches.  I'd do it just to be his boy.  in jeans and a tshirt.  with my scruffy falling apart shoes and hair that refuses to style and frayed denim on my jeans and av-oil stains down my tshirt.  And that's something that to me says, that with all the shit that goes through my head, and that I put him through, and all the times I wish my life were different, I do love him, and I do want to get married to him.


I feel better.  Yesterday I spent all afternoon in bed watching eating out and pokemon.  Terence seemed muchly amused when he came home to found me in the same place he left me.  But I was in that exhausted ill state, so who cares.  I did get up and have 2 baths though, and they helped immensely.  Then we went to get spicy food, cause bizzarely, when my digestive system is fucked, stupendously hot spicy food is somewhat helpful.  My stomach felt a lot better.  I think the stupid amounts of redbull I'm drinking whenever we go out might be setting me off somewhat.  Will test this theory at some point.

Terence managed to pull the trick off yesterday of saying something with such confidence and cockiness that it came off sexy instead of arrogant.  I  love guys who know they can do that.  And he knew exactly why he was doing it too.   It made me smile stupidly, and then he kissed me :)

It was when we went out that night that things kinda went to hell.  I'm a staunch believer that the bad parts of your life are as much a part of who you are as the good, that you have to live with them to be the person you are today, that they shape you just as strongly as anything good that might happen to you, that all the pain, hurt, trauma, suffering, angst, anxiety, is all worth it because that's what makes the person I admire..  But yet when I see something bad happening to someone I really care about, I would give anything for them to avoid that pain.  Terence ended up getting screwed over massively last night, and it's an awkward situation where we love each other, and so I want to take care of him and pull him into me and hold him until all the demons go away again, but at the end of the day we're not boyfriends, I don't know how he works off by heart, and there are some things that no matter who you are, you can't help with.

At least, with my stomach vaguely settled, and in spite of his emotional vulnerability, he opted to go for the 'fuck the hell out of the boy you care about' method to distract him from his thoughts for a good half an hour.  At least it means I got to sleep with the boy I love once whilst I was with him.  I really hope I get to again, though I doubt I will due to circumstances surrounded last night and our future plans for this weekend.   Terence knows exactly how to balance that mix of rough aggressive dominant top, with I love you and want you to be mine though, and at the end of the day, I'm a bottom boy, I love getting fucked, and I love getting fucked by the boys I love.

One day, probably next year, things are gonna get reeeeaaaaally awkward.  Because to see Terence again, either I'll have to go the US without Chris again, spending money which I should be spending on the both of us, and haave to continue to do that anytime I wanna see Terence, which would happily be everyday if they ever invented teleporting.  Or, Terence will come to the UK, in which case "Chris can the other boy I'm in love with that you're not totally keen on come stay with us in our house" isn't going to go down too well I suspect.  Either that, or I'll just randomly disappear without warning for few days.  Whatever path I choose, I'm screwed, in trouble, and deservedly so.

Sometimes I wish I didn't love anyone.  I don't think I could choose between them, and it's not even as if combining the aspects of each of Chris, Jack and Terence that I love into a single being would love, cause for many parts of them, I love the same things about them, even though they're completely different to each other.  And putting the same aspect of a body & personality into one thing 3 times is just asking for some sort of genetic-zombie schizophrenia to develop.  Some days I honestly think my life would be easier if I'd never met or fallen for any of them.

Its a bitch living in a world of what if's, where each what if retroactively sends an infinite other number of what if's backwards and forwards along the course of my life.  Talk about your chaos theory.  What if I ever properly tried to pursue things with Terence, or Jack, instead of Chris?  But then what if I wasn't with Chris.  What if I was with Chris.  What if I'm with Chris and it falls apart one day.  What if wanting Jack and Terence so badly damages the best part of my life?  Whatever I do with my life, I'm always going to wonder what-if.  And I don't care about that for normal things, what if i took this job over another etc.  But where love is concerned, everyone knows all logic goes out the window.

And yes, you can probably tell, being  with Terence, just for a few days, makes me wish I could be with him more.  Just like I wish I could be with Jack.  Just like I  wish I could be with Chris and not have 2 other boys to miss and hurt over because of it.  Seeing Jack or Terence always makes me both worse with dealing with the entire situation, as well as better.  And I really don't like the thought of how I'm going to have to approach the situation in another few months.  Moving in with Chris is generally great, but changes my life in so many ways that I'm not ready for, and that I'm not entirely sure I can be selfless enough to give up. I don't think I'd ever be selfless enough for anyone.  Which just leads my mind back to the thought that part of me wishes I didn't love anyone.

I'm gonna be a wreck by the time I get back to the UK

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Did someone put an intestinator in me as a child?

If you get the reference, seriously, that would explain so much.  Maybe there's just yellow and red lines all around the world that I can't see and keep accidentally crossing as a result.

I'm in a lot of pain currently.  My digestive system has fucked up, as it is want to do, and seemingly with a sense of irony as it tends to do it at the most inopportune moments.  Moderate screw ups happen every 3 weeks or so (minor screw ups being just the daily norm); Major ones happen every 6-9 weeks.  This is a major one.  It means I get stomach cramps.  Which gives completely the wrong idea about what they feel like.  Any woman who argues to me that men can't understand the pain of childbirth; I beg to differ.  At least when you're giving birth, chances are you're stoked full of an epidural, or  in a water bath or whatever.  Chances are you haven't doubled over in the middle of crossing the road without warning, because your muscles decided to spasm.

Chris, having known me for a good 6 years, and known me when I was a lot worse too, can vouch for the fact that when I get bad cramping, I might as well be having labour contractions, yet trying to live a daily life.  I double over, I collapse, in the brief moments between spasms I walk with the speed of an octogenarian wearing plaster casts on both feet.  It's not pleasant.  And it generally lasts 3 days.  For a gastric system that is otherwise devoid of nerve endings, stomach cramps seem to be something it feels rather acutely.  There's a small plus side to this, it means I have obscenely developed stomach muscles; I honestly think i could bend a steel bar with the strength of these crampings.  But mostly, it's just fucking painful, leaves me exhausted, and usually covered in a lot of sweat.  I am, for all intents and purposes, chronically ill when going through them.

Yes yes, I know, fibre, water, pepto-bismal, all that.  My body doesn't process them properly, which is where the whole medical problem with my gastric system comes about, so piling more on top when I'm already in middle of some severe debilitation is not going to help matters.  Unfortunately the only thing I can really do is let it run its course, and after a few days of being horrifically ill, things will settle down for a little while again.  I just wish it didn't have such a sense of timing.

As I say, it generally chooses the most inopportune moment to give me the major episodes.  I'm currently having one whilst seeing the boy I love in America who I haven't seen for 4 months, and have no clue when I'll ever see again.  Knowing my body, it'll decide I'm due another one in about 5 weeks, just when I get back from the US and see Chris for the first time in a month and a half. -_-  Thing is, this wouldn't be so bad, if it negated my sex drive at the same time, but no, I'm usually on heat, for lack of a better term, whilst feeling like the equivalent of having just come down with TB.  With a similar level of attractiveness too.  Great.  Just great.

Whilst Chris by virtue of knowing me and seeing the effects of it for several years, and Joel, by virtue of having his own childhood medical nightmares that continue to haunt him, both give me lots of sympathy and understanding during these periods, which is just as well what with being one of my best friends and my fiance.  But at the same time, it's quite nice being with Terence at the moment with it.  For all I'd much, much rather not have it around him, he is someone who not just sympathizes, but knows exactly what I'm going through, because the boy has a similar, in fact, more fucked digestive system than I do.  He has also collapsed  in the middle of the street; he knows why I say its like giving birth, and he knows that there's bugger all that can be done about it, and that I'll get over it eventually, and then have to go through it all over again in 2 months or so.  And that's kinda nice in a way.  Sympathy and someone who can relate through issues of their own is amazing, and great, but having someone who has the same issues as you is like going that extra mile, its a little thing that shouldn't really matter, but it does, a lot.

I'm on day 2 of this, I'm really hoping there isn't a day 3.  Though of course, the universe being what it is, Just as I'm in the middle of it about to start coming back up out the other side, Terence has started to go down.  I am going to be so fucking pissed if by the time I can actually fuck that boy's brains out like I've wanted to since he picked me up in his car, he's then too ill to do anything.  Karma owes me.  I'm going after that bitch's ass.  Something owes me at least.  And if I can't take down Karma, I'll re-crucify Jesus along the way.  If the universe implodes or there's a big flash of light in the sky that screws everything up, at least know I'll be having some fucking awesome sex to make up for it.

Otherwise, plans for the day are to generally curl in in the foetal position trying not to cry or cause myself internal bleeding from the strength of the muscle tension, and possibly watch V in the fleeting moments I get where I can concentrate on the world that isn't my intestinal system.

Monday, 28 June 2010

When you're smiling, your body apparently decides to fuck up to compensate

Well recent times have been surreal...

After my last day in NYC I headed up north to New England. I caught the train to New Haven, which meant I got to go from Grand Central, so yey, and was picked up by Terence who had driven 2 hours to come get me. The plan was go up and see Terence for a few days and get time with him, before he drove us both over to my friend Patrick's on Cape Cod for 4th July weekend. Terence was trying so fucking hard bless him. When we were talking about what day I was coming up he was saying how he wanted to take me out in Boston for the night, he wanted to take me out with his friends and have me meet them. Like I say, he's trying so damned hard. And it's really sweet.

So after he picked me up we went out to Boston, and he bought me lunch, and took me to see Toy Story 3, and paid for drinks and entrance to House of Blues' gay night. And I got hyped up on Vodbulls and danced like crazy. The scene of the night then developed as follows:

Having been taken out by the american boy I'm in love with, spent a good hour on the dancefloor with my fingers up some boy's ass whilst he had my dick out of my pants jerking me off, whilst terence danced/flirted/pulled the boy he's currently interested, me terence and his boytoy ended up back at the boytoy's house, where I watched the two of them fall in love with each other over shisha and some late night half drunken hazed deep and meaningful conversations about life the universe etc. And I had a big grin on my face about it the entire time. And when I went to sleep on the couch whilst Terence and boytoy went to bed together, I knew I was doing exactly what the universe had planned for me at that moment, and I was smiling about it.

To the British sentiment, Terence is loud, obnoxious, coarse, abrasive, the fairly typical bad example of an American. By American standards he's actually fairly reasonable, but Brits won't get on with his personality a lot, I get that, he's your standard jock boy with all that that entails, and I understand why other people won't necessarily get on with him. It's been 4 months since I saw him last, not a huge time to be fair, and yes, we've spoken most days inbetween, but Terence, and Jack, because of the circumstances surrounding them, always leave me with a slight nagging doubt that maybe I don't love them as much as I thought I did, maybe I got in over my head, maybe absence makes the heart grow fonder, it forgets the bad and embellishes the good. So its always an amazing feeling, when I do see either of them, that I find myself seeing all of the reasons I love them all over again, and my mind hasn't made anything up, it hasn't inflated things, this person really is that amazing as far as I'm concerned.

Terence is dark, and twisted, and broken, and fucked up, and horny, and a bad boy that you have to accept will screw around, and hurt you, and generally be an asshole, or its going to be doomed. He also has such a big heart; he's so compassionate and caring. He spends 20 hours a week looking after disabled kids. He'll make one hell of a kick-ass nurse, the kind that will make you laugh when you're gonna die of cancer in the next 2 days. He's sweet and does little, simple things that show just how much he cares. He went to the store and came back with giant bottle of moutain dew which i hadn't asked for, cause he remembers me saying I love the stuff the other day. He bought chocolate or flowers home for his ex when they were together, just to let the boy know he'd thought about him in the day. He'd rather pull 3 sickies and spend 3 days in bed, than book time off work and go on some romantic trip somewhere. For all my cynicism and realism and practicalities, there's a little drama queen in me. early 20th century style. hollywood style. When I storm out the building and go running off down the street all I really want is for you to run after me, turn me around, pull me into you and kiss me. And thhe music would start playing in my head and I'd forget and forgive whatever the hell it was I'd stormed off about in the first place. I know its stupid and fucked up and ridiculous, and I might see this boy once a year if I'm lucky. But being here just reinforces the point. I really fucking love him. Just to see him interact with people shows me why. And the way he interacts with me; I don't even have to ask myself how he feels about me.

That said, the universe isn't without a sense of irony, even when I spend a night catering to its whims. Having run off from my home country, my fiance, my best friends, all of it, for 6 weeks to jolly off round the US, and met up with the boy I'm in love with, the universe decided now would be a fucking brilliant 3 days for medical issues to flare up, and my ddigestive system to stop functioning. Which stops me from actually having sex with the randy-assed dirty as hell boy I'm with. Fuck you Karma. You made your point. Now piss off or I WILL find a way to destroy you somehow.  Frustration, annoyance, anger, do not begin to cover it.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Empire state of Mind

I can't believe I just quoted Jay-Z as a post title.

Last day in NY today, a mere 3. I'm missing all the pride fun, boo, but I get to head up to the glorious cape cod, so things could be worse. I haven't made it out to lady liberty yet, cause that takes time, but I might do it on my way back in August.

Today was museum day pretty much, I did the Guggenheim, Metropolitan, and Modern Art Museums. The Guggenhiem is the famouss round spiral like one. There were quite a few things I liked in there, mostly the media projects actually. At the top of the spiral its actually qutie a long way down to jump, and the 3ft wall and sporadic guards aren't gonna do a lot if you're determined; it's a fall that'd definitely hurt, maybe if you land in the right/wrong place you'd get a death out of it.

The Museum of Modern Art was rather disappointing. Maybe it's just my taste in modern art that it doesn't appeal to, but I did the whole thing in 45 minutes. SFMoMa is way better. NY seemed to be very focused on finding what was modern that could be called art; they had dysons and televisions from the 50s and telephones and vacform plastic chairs and such,; as opposed to what's art that happens to be modern. Also, having just seen Red the night before again, reiterating the reasons why Rothko paintings are designed for dimly lit spaces, it was rather pointless to find the 3 they had in a fully bright gallery streaming with natural light. Maybe gallery curators should go see plays about the artists they exhibit...

The Metropolitan Museum however, was a pleasant surprise, much more so than I expected to be. Think the British museum, but American super-sized. This thing stretches across about 3 blocks. Inside, was a full size italian church, complete with vaulted ceilings. And that was ONE gallery. I got completely lost in there, I have no idea if I covered everything or not. They had many period rooms of american history (cause american like to pretend 200 years gives them extensive history), many stately home sytle period rooms, exhibiting renaissance european style, mostly things like rococo and french louis XVIth, and even I enjoyed wandering round those, wishing I lived in somewhere with a bookcase 12ft high made of mahogany and a marble bookstand taller than me. There was nothing exceptional I noted in the greek/roman period rooms, though the native american and south american native art gallerys had some amazing pieces in. HIGHLY worth a look if you find yourself in the New York area. Just head to the right area, you can't miss it once you're in the vicinity.

I also saw some of the good old New York shops. Barneys men's store has an entire level devoted to Armani and Prada. Aside from that, there was nothing of great interest at the moment.

Finally, I did th e Brooklyn Bridge walk today. Despite Lawrence's arguments, and whilst I acknowledge with respect the achievements of the Brooklyn Bridge, to me, it still has nothing on the Golden Gate. From the lesser weight, to the rusting paintwork, to the paltry size of the cables, it just can't compare. The Golden Gate deals with things the Brooklyn bridge doesnt. A national monument in the way,; ludicrously strong currents, a much great span distance, the golden gate is a much bigger symbol in my head. Yes, I've admitted I'm a bridge geek before. One thing I will say for the Brooklyn Bridge, it's a lot harder to commit suicide off it, still easily doable, but relatively much harder.

I think I only walked 50 city blocks and one bridge today, which is an improvement, but not by much, oh dear. Still, there will be cars with people to drive me around in them for the next little while.

Happy Birthday Joel. And sorry for the headache you're about to receive.

Song of the moment: Jacob Diefenbach - Last One Running

Friday, 25 June 2010

Something borrowed something blue something old something new york

Cash in wallet: $80
City blocks walked: Approx 150
Equivalent Mileage: 7-8
Money spent on rehydration: $30

New York is big. Much bigger than London. Being crammed into a tiny island, I kinda figured it'd be of a roughly comparable size, at least in terms of the tourist spots, but no, it's big. And of course I can't be arsed with metro trains, and buses and such. I walk everywwhere. As such, in the last 2 days I've walked about 150 city blocks. That's madness for anyone who knows america. No-one walks 10 blocks, let alone 150. This is why everyone in America has a car. To give you an idea, that's about 8 miles, and sure, 4 miles a day isn't that much, but add into that the heat, oh my god the heat, and the humidity; hydration is not possible here, its more a case of wetting your mouth with liquid and waiting the 10 seconds for it to evaporate. Isotones and Electrolytes do not begin to cover it. On the plus side, it means I'm drinking lots of good stuff, coconut water, fruit juices etc. Downside, it costs me a lot.

The neighbourhoods are a lot less distinct here, thoug I'll grant you I havent got to chinatown or little italy yet. But, certainly as a foreigner, it's hard to tell the difference walking between the different areas of the island, its not like the difference between camden, bond street, covent garden, and shoreditch, which is pretty damned obvious. and the area its spread out over is roughly comparable. Sure, as you go up by the side of central park, it gets more obvious that the people living in the Upper East Side on 5th Avenue clearly have money, but still...

Americans do know how to do their breakfasts, and no-one more so that New Yorkers, that's one of the few things I did have time to properly notice on my fleeting visit years ago. The hostel does breakfast. It does cereal and pancakes and waffles and fruit and toast and juice and.... There are 20 loaves of bread out at breakfast. Not to mention the wonderful deli's all over the city that offer one hell of a breakfast for $5-10. Breakfast is something I really love about America, and I really love it about New York. They go all out on them. Shockingly, despite being here for 3 days now, I have yet to eat any bacon. This will be rectified next week.

I went to the WTC site; it's interesting. You can't really see that much of it anymore, as its surrounded by construction fences and there's a big detour that sends you quite wide of the site, but its still obvious; a giant wound in the skyline of an area otherwise filled with towering skyscrapers. Only in Central Park do you get a similar amount of wide open sky above you. Nearly 10 years later, traffic marshalls still tightly control the flow of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic around the site; detours are still in place, and preset siren signals give warning of any demolitions work taking place. And it currently shows no signs of being finished anytime soon. That's a lot of devastation, and a lot of effort to keep business ongoing as usual around it. Interestingly, the buildings around the site, have all been seamlessly renewed, their marble, granite and glass fronts gleaming like any other skyscraper in the city.

I went to see Red last night. I'd seen it in London, at the Donmar warehouse. I've blogged about it before, it's about the life/work of Mark Rothko. I saw it in a 250 thrust theatre, and it transferred over to Broadway in a 800 pros arch setting. I went as a techie geek, to see difference in staging. The sense of a 'studio' is much greater, by virtue of having 3 walls to play with; the actors can move around a bit more; but the intensity of the play was reduced. Maybe this was just because I was all the way up in the gallery for the cheap seat, but in the Donmar production, you were so close you felt you were part of the studio, you were there as the arguments over life and art happened, and the ferocity of the play's signature scene, the priming of a canvas, was so raw and powerful it swept over you like a tidal wave, dragging anything attempting to resist it along its path by the sheer brute force of the emotion portrayed. And that disappeared in this. Don't get me wrong, it was still a great scene, and an outstanding play, it's won 6 tony's: best play, supporting actor, director, sound, lighting, and set design. One of the audience as I was leaving said "the best play i've seen in new york in years". But it was definitely lacking compared to what I saw in London. And yet still worth every cent.

The girls here are amazing. Lots of them are wearing this brilliant fashion, hats and long flowy dresses and shoes not designed for walking in. This must be the only place in the world where the fashion women are wearing actually looks like what was on the catwalk 9 months ago. It's stunning, both as a gay and a straight man. It's hard to understand why everyone else isn't turning their head and watching them walk past, but then they must be so used to it. Sex and the City has clearly left its mark here, and for the better.

Speaking of sex and the city, I went to the NY Public Library the other day. I saw, and stood, exactly where Carrie Bradshaw was dressed with a bird in her head in Vivienne Westwood couture. This wasn't hard to do, having watched it on the plane on the way over, so I remembered pretty good. Unfortunately the front of the library is all covered in scaffolding; it appears to be public works restoration year, it was the same all over Amsterdam when I went there. The inside of the library however is spectacular. I don't think the UK has anything that comes close, or certainly London doesn't. SUre there's the British Library, but thats all specialist pay-for-entry exhibitions, or you have to apply for reader access and then can only take a pad and a pencil in and nothing else and its fairly restrictive as an actual 'library'. Here, I walked in, as a foreigner, and a tourist, and I could go into the reading rooms, and call up any book to read; I could use the computers for internet; I could get wireless access for my laptop. All without a readers card, having just walked in off the street from anywhere in the world, and I could do it all in an absolutely beautiful setting. We need more libraries like this. Open access, inspiring, the sort of place that actively encourages you to learn just by being there.

I'm travelling alone, which has both its up and its downsides. I can do anything I want, I can go anywhere I please, I can um and aah and change my mind and get there however I want when I want. But I don't have someone to share things with, I don't have someone to enjoy the experiences with, I don't have someone to take pictures where I wouldnt. I'm quite a hard person to travel with, because I'm so damned relaxed about it. I'm here for 6 weeks and until yesterday I had no idea what I was doing beyond tomorrow. Other people like to at least know they have somewhere to stay before going to a city, they like to know how long they have, they like to not have $20 a week to live off, they like to not spend money they don't have, they like to rest, and take coffee breaks, not walk around in the pouring rain and the sweltering heat for hours on end like I do. And someone who wasn't like me on a trip like this would drive me insane. It's too much stress to allay their worries and concerns all the time, to deal with their stress over where we're going to sleep the next night. I like travelling alone, and all the freedoms that entails, but sometimes it would be nice if there was someone equally as crazy as me to come with me.

New Orleans and Boston plans have largely been axed, due to a lack of money, which at least means I'm not visiting EVERYWHERE chris wants to go without him. Heading up north tomorrow; hopefully at House Of Blues in Boston tomorrow night if I'm lucky. Then the cape for 4th July. Down to DC to stay with my friend Sean, then I think I'm gonna head over to west coast for a few weeks in California, my home away from home. As for today, I gotta cram all my tourism into today as I thought I'd have tomorrow as well but no longer due to needing to head up North. This probably means I can't go to the anamanaguchi gig tonight :( But instead I shall go to the museums today. I haven't been to the statue of liberty as yet; I shall do that on my return trip in august.

Love and kisses, sorry for the long rather disjointed selection of things to write about, but at least it's keeping you up to date with that's going on with me

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The flight path less travelled by

I'm here.  New York.  The City.  The Big Apple.  The Big Smoke Across The Pond.  When I landed I got that familiar feeling in my stomach that I always get when I travel - oh crap, I've done it, I'm a world away from all the people in my life and won't be returning for a while.  Doesn't matter how much and where I travel to, I still get this.  At least I don't have to overcome any language barriers here, good cause it makes me less nervous; bad because i dont practice, and it makes me less self reliant.

Give it a week or two and I'll be a different person.  I'll probably write differently.too.  Once I re-get over the British culture shock again, I'll start conversations with shop staff and talk to people who sit next to me on the tube.  Speaking of which, either I've come to new york during some yoga charity drive, or EVERY WOMAN and HALF THE MEN in the city do yoga in the evenings.  Wierdly, all at the same place/chain, which suggests its some form of brainwashing/eugenics/cult control mechanism.

I'd forgotten how run down america can look.  The effect of urban sprawl caused by 1 story buildings makes it worse; sure the US build their skyscrapers, but in the suburbs they have all the space, so they don't need to build things up, they just build them out, and the block system means everything is square and rectangluar, no buidlings are crammed in to fill the spaces like in the UK; business parks are made of the dame drab looking 1 story sized office buildings.   Imagine if housing estates did business parks.  The colour patterning of dull grey steel and faded beige ceramic tiles that pervades the rail system makes everything look dirty.  Then I remembered everything IS dirty when I looked at my hand.  Also, having only been to NYC once, in February, I had failed to appreciate before how hot the NY subway is.  Anyone who's stepped off the plane in Florida, or South Asia in the middle of the hot season; it's that as a base  level.  before anyone starts to crowd the platforms and add their own BTUs.  It's actually worse than London.

That said though, america still has its plus points.  When they say air conditioned, they mean air conditioned, as opposed to a light breeze of warm air.  Penn Station felt like New York, and began to ease the nervous self imposed abandonment feeling.  And my hostel, whilst on some dodgy backstreet you'd never show your parents, is quite nice on the inside.

For now hhowever I am tired, and need sleep, or at the very least, tea (i brought 2 bags of flowering green tea with me as a survival aid).  Will have a US cell phone tomrrow.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

New Job (ish)! No Money (definitely)!

Saturday involved a 4.5 hour round trip, to see a half hour band set.  Why, you ask?  Because when one of the band, who you've been trying to get a job with, texts you to ask if you're coming so they can talk 'business' you run down from Oxford as fast as you can.  (for those wondering, the 4.5 hours was due to trains being fucked/needing to stop off at my house quickly/rail replacement buses)

The band were, as always, awesome.  Though they really need new performance clothes, the ones they have are falling apart so badly.  Any seamstresses/cobblers reading?  I got to see Joel and Seany too, which is always good, and Joel was having a weekend of arrrgh cabin fever must get out, so had made the effort and looked even hotter than his normal self.  ALso got to talk to Jon, which is nice, as I don't think I've had a proper conversation with him before, besides saying "hi" at Crimson, and a quick "you're Jon aren't you?" recognition moment whilst manning the band merch stall a few weeks ago.

Anyway, eventually the band grabbed me and dragged me outside to talk; Georgia's first words were "So... what are your plans for the next few years?"

I'd been hoping to get one, maybe two tours out of this.  Years sounded infinitely promising.  I liked the sound of this (and told them such).  As it was left, and announced on facebook, I am officially their new tour manager.  Time and finances permitting (I don't get paid for this, so have to save up rent payments etc in advance), I will be doing their next UK tour, likely their European tour in October, and quite possibly their US tour in Sept/Oct of this year.  So bye bye degree, at least for a year.  I'm trying to get on the US tour, and have even offered to pay my flight over there, as it would hopefully introduce me to Amanda Fucking Palmer and Jason Webley, and potentially even Neil Fucking Gaiman.  Geek win.  It would get me some pretty good contacts elsewhere in the world, and introduce me to US bands that I could hopefully get future work with, so it's really in my interest to get there.  We shall see.

As it stands, tour dates have been provisionally annouced (search Bitter Ruin on Facebook), and I'll be contacting them upon my return from the US in August to see how their finances and planning is going to see where they reckon they can take me.  I'll be phenomanlly busy and doing 3 jobs at once, but it'll be hella awesome.

Stock racing time

Bonus point for the reference in the title, you'll need a little of the main post to piece it together.

I have a friend called Laura.  She's sweet bless her.  She is also oblivious, refuses to listen to advice, bitches constantly, and generally wonders why her life is a mess when everything seems out to get her.  Many an hour was spent in first year talking about the finer points of kitchen utensils in the classics common room with her.   In second year, I lived with her.  It did not go greatly.  She had a habit of knocking and entering my room, instead of knocking and waiting, which is an issue when you tend to sit around either naked or in boxers a lot in your room.  She also could not take a hint.  An entire 45 minute conversation was had with her sitting on the edge of my bed, me and chris lying with a duvet covering us and a very obvious trail of clothes from the door to the bed, and she at no point during the conversation realised perhaps she should come back later.  It is firmly accepted by all, that she was the cause of the 'break up' of the flat.  We were all pretty lazy, and it was a shitty place with endless problems, but it was cheap and in a great location just by St Pancras rail station, Laura made it worse; she rubbed people up the wrong way, failed to socialize with anyone in it other than me (thereby further straining both the absent relationships with the others, and the increasingly tiring relationship with me), never washed up, left hairs all over the bathroom etc...  Don't get me wrong there were good times; many a time was spent both staring at the fridge at 'the magic food hour'*, we were both insomniacs so kept each other company, loved out cheese music and once whiled away a good 4 hours on youtube listening to Lolly, Whigfield, O-Town, Spice Girls, etc...

Anyway, Laura text me the other day, asking if I wanted to meet.  I knew she'd recently got a job working in London so figured she must be finishing around the time she'd said to meet.  When I did meet her, it turns out she quit that job.  Now, granted, it was charity fundraising, which is not a job she's suited for at all, is damned hard work even for people it is suited too, and her boss was seriously hitting on her inappropriately, but she gave it up after a week, which seems typically Laura.  If it doesn't live up to expectations, not a dull office job, not a bar job, not being perved over, relatively decently paid, flexible time, decent holidays (please forward all such jobs to me), etc, she tends to give up straight away.  It was the same for essays in Uni.  We both took the same archaeology courses.  We knew nothing about archaeology, and the archaeology department refused to teach us anything about it, despite the fact our degree was supposed to include it.  She whined and bitched for 3 years about how she had no clue what to do.  I, whined and bitched for a bit, then went to the library, and read about 70 books on archaeology for my first essay.  I now understand archaeology, and even get 1's in my essays, so I clearly took the wrong subject.

This girl needs to learn to stick with things.  I've given up giving advice to her.  She's of the type of person where no matter what you proffer, she'll find some completely unrelated and hitherto unspoken exception to take to it, no matter how many times you adjust and refine your advice.  It's a waste of time and energy.  Now I just tend to nod and make an approving sympathetic noise every so often.  I'm good at that skill; I developed it young.  Truthful bitching over, she's still a friend, albeit one that I'm probably not likely to end up staying in close contact with for the rest of my life; there are a bare handful of people like that I've taken from university.  Another 2 handfuls worth that I'll talk to every once in a while; Laura probably falls into this category.  The total number probably doesn't exceed 20, possibly even 15.  My social circles have decreased massively in the past year...

The Five:  Chris, Lisa, Terence, Joel, Ryan

*The magic food hour, for those who don't know, is usually about 2am in the morning, but may strike at any time, and is a period where you are hungry, don't know what for, open the fridge, cupboards, freezer, etc, stand staring for 5 minutes, decide whatever you want, you don't have it, proceed to pace around idly for another 5 minutes, before returning back to the food stores, magically hoping something will have changed and suddenly your desires will be sated.  Rinse and repeat for a long period of time.  This tends to strike at 2am simply because most shops are shut then, and any that are open you usually can't be arsed to go to.  Magic is clearly aware of Murphy's law.


I studied Classics.  Classics is a pretty faggy subject, let's be honest.  So I was muchly disappointed to only have one other boy in each of my latin and classical civilization classes at A-level., all straight.  And this was in my sixth form where ~60% of the boys were gay, bi, or willing to be bi if they were drunk and you just blew them, it was a pretty open place; like San Francisco, except in a school.  And then I went to Uni to study it for 3 years, and between my year, and the year below me, despite a 50-50 split of guys/girls there were only 2 other gays, both were obscenely unattractive.

So I was quite happy in my third year, when attending the new freshers' drinks, 'cause I was special and got to go to these things even though I was a finalist, to find a happy clappy, rather camp, loud, kinda obnoxious, but very hot (he had red dyed hair for one, i was a sucker) boy, who was a) clearly gay, b) confirmed gay by other freshers who had got to know him, c) clearly filthy minded, d) confirmed filthy minded by conversations had & overheard over the first 2 weeks.  Hurrah, a cute gay boy to perve over, and possibly drunkenly end up with at the department christmas party etc etc.

Most other people, certainly in my year and the year below, hated him.  Each new fresher year has some common trait, the year above was characterized by being absolutely massive due to an over-intake, and thus the year suffered from large class sizes, delays to marking, poor quality of service etc; my year was whiney, very whiney; the year below were litterbugs, you know that sentiment your mum always used to say, that your room looked like a tornado had hit it? That was the common room after the year below had been in it.  The new freshers were loud.  Stupendously loud.  And hot gay fresher, as he became known in my head, and his new female bestie, were the loudest of the lot, you could hear them speaking from outside.  But he was cute so I forgave him; I always got on with him, and my obnoxion tolerance is quite high for cute guys.  Case in point: Terence.

HGF then went and got himself a boyfriend, a law student, who looked very well suited to him and seemed as crazy as he was and off they went into their budding fresher romance.  Said romance ended, according to the associated news sources of facebook, a few weeks ago.  Cut to tonight when HGF starts a facebook chat with me.  We only ever talk on facebook when we're the only people up doing essays and BORED OUT OF OUR MINDS.  It's the holidays, so whilst bored, essay deadlines were not encroaching, and so boredom naturally, went hand-in-hand with horniness.  After some vague conversation, something I said prompted to go "I assume you're [i.e. me & Chris] are fairly... open then".  The conversation went downhill from there, with me saying some other stuff eventually which made him flirtatiously ask if "that was an offer".  Jackpot.  I have patience where cute boys are concerned, or just a pathetic hope they'll notice me one day, it depends on your perspective.  Either way it can often pay off when horny.  Various talks then ensued, of our mutual perverted natures, liberal-even-for-the-gays attitude to sex, and general desire to fuck the hell out of each other.

It seems I may have found myself a potential new fuckbuddy for the Autumn term.  Well, he'll need to release finalist stress somehow... Score.

At the very least, I got a decent hour long cam show this evening ;)

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Death becomes her

An update on the family funeral dead nan situation.

So we went to the funeral last thursday; it was kinda bizzare and wierd.  everyone was sort of there out of some wierd obligation, but not the obligation that she was a mother, or sister, or family or anything, i'm not sure what it was, but we were all there nonetheless.

The theiving aunt, her husband, and her sons completely blanked us, and refused to talk to us, even when they had to walk right up to us to say hi to other relatives who were there and we were talking to.  The only person they did talk to was my dad, who went up to them as the executor of the will and a big argument which my dad refuses to elaborate on ensued.  Sandra's daughter, Marie, was good enough to say hi and give me a hug though, which was nice, as I'm quite fond of her.  Her son callum sort of said hi, but he's 13, so the antisocial grunt was probably more a feature of his age, than him trying to avoid social contact with me cause of some family dispute.

During the service, we learnt what a wonderful, giving person my nan was, how she brought so much love and compassion in to the lives of everyone she touched...  My mum and I were sitting in the third row and trying very hard to stifle a fit of the giggles.  Everyone else, whilst nowhere near crying, at least had the courtesy to maintian a completely impassive neutral expression throughout the surface.  My mum left halfway through to take care of my crying nephew Will (he's only 1, so it's allowed to disrupt services with crying),  and to deal with her giggling fit.

Sandra and Pete had completely cut everyone else out of the service, the vicar barely even acknolwedged the fact that my nan had 2 other daughters, and the programme said Sandra and family would like to thank everyone....  It was entertaining.

Immediately after the service we left.  No waiting around to thank the vicar or say hello to people, straight to the car, straight to a different pub to the one everyone else was planning on going to.

Good things, were I got to see my auntie rosie again, who I think is my great nan's sister.  Like my great nan, she's a fucking amazing woman, of the sort women around the age of 100 tend to be, crazy as fuck of course, but so wonderful to talk to.

I also got to see my cousins Spencer and Jim.  These are Susan and Brian's children.  I can never get over how much Spence (yes, my family is that classy, he's called Spence) looks like my brother Tom.  Of course this makes perfect sense.  Spence's mother is the sister of Tom's mother.  Spence's father is the brother of Tom's father.  It's a very very similar mix of genes, but still, it throws me.

My mum's always convinced I don't know the extended side of her family.  I always have to point out I do, and no, not cause I saw them at the last funeral; I met them all when I was about 6 at my auntie rosie's 80th birthday, even the ones that otherwise avoid us, such as Spence and Jim.  I would always recognise Spence if I bumped into him in the street, despite the fact I've probably met him for a total of 6 hours in my entire life.

Finally, the big entertainment of the day, was some old photos.  Shirley, who probably everything representing god's failed first attempt at creating a human, had a wedding album amongst the photos.  She looked semi attractive, for the day at least, and the guy she was wedding looked alright.  Of course everyone's instinctual reaction was "Who on earth did Shirley manage to trick into marrying her, the poor guy".  At this point, the oft forgotten fact was brought up, that Shirley moved in the same circles as the Kray twins.  Her husband, was in fact, a Kray gangster.  Ah, that explains it.  We also then posited the theory that the real reason behind the downfall of the Kray empire, was in fact due to Shirley gradual and unrelenting assault on the very essence of their souls.

Also, the mystery of Shirley's provenance was reinforced.  Due to Shirley's age, she was either my great nan's daughter, and thus my nan's sister, but had about 15 years after my nan and my aunt rosie were born.  Or she was my nan's daughter, and had about 15 years before my mum and her 2 sisters were born, likely out of wedlock.  Both my nan and great nan refused to ever talk about this subject, and the Shirley's birth certificate has never been found.  The wedding album, which had been bought by my nan, was in my great nan's set of photos, and was inscribed with the title 'Our daughter's wedding'.  The great family secret continues...

Friday, 11 June 2010

But I thought the old lady dropped it into the ocean in the end?

I was supposed to be at a talk in 2 weeks, with the great Phil Hine, #2 in the list of important people in the Chaos Magic movement, but due to my travel dates, I had to rearrange that, and instead attended a similar event tonight, with Dave Lee, who is #3 #4  #5 depending on where you place Ray Sherwin and Ian Reed.  I would rather unfortuantely put him at #5 therefore, but still , big important person, involved from the beginnings of the CM movement and pivotal to its development.

Christina, the lovely sweet little bit innocent and naiive woman who runs Treadwells, arranged an informal discussion evening with Mr Lee.  The premise is, instead of them coming to present some form of new theory on the working practice of animal bones in tantric ouija or whatever, its far more interesting to actually talk about these people's lives; how did they get into what they do, how does it affect their daily lives, do they see dead people, do they talk to trees etc...

For those who don't know, which is most, likely all, of you, Dave Lee is a scientist by training, biochemistry, graduated University of Leeds in the 70s, and thus rather sceptical where religion is concerned.  He actively describes himself as an atheist.  But, as he points out, that does not mean he is not open to the ideas of higher consciousness, which is something entirely different.

One of the most interesting points he made during the evening was along the lines of the following.  Atheists tend to say, they rely on science etc, science explains everything.  And the scientific method is very good, and works.  But it *doesn't* explain everything.  'Scientifically' observed and proven phenomena in psychology for example, does not reduce to the scientific language of maths, and molecular interactions.  But just because you can try to describe 'the mind' in terms of science (grey, squidgy mass, electrical pulses, chemicals, etc...) does not negate, or conveniently render redundant the effects of physchology on that mind.  It's all about languages.  Quantum mechanics is great and explains a lot, but the problem comes that people are trying to explain quantum maths, with imaginary numbers in it, in english, and trying to see it, through the lenses of a relativistic universe, which if you're lucky works, but mostly doesn't.  But doesn't mean either the relativisitic or quantum explanations are inherently wrong.

Anyway, back to the point...  Listening to Dave Lee talk about his life, and his workings, was like having a conversation with a university professor.  They mentioned things, and you went 'oooh i know what that is' and you could follow the dialogue perfectly well, and all the random internal references, and part of you goes, okay, i do actually know a reasonable amount about this subject.  But at the same time, with every word they say, they demonstrate just how much more they know.  Sure, you've read about that battle, you even wrote an essay on it, but they wrote the fucking commentary on it; they were part of the archaeological survey team; they presented their inaugron on it; you can follow what they're saying, but you're small fry comparatively.

It was nice really, by virtue of my magical and religious background, I know a fair bit, I can educate most people on tantra, kabbalistic ritual and meaning, christian doctrine, etc..., but i couldn't argue kabbalah with a hari krishna.  i couldn't argue silver ravenwolf with a wiccan.  I know enough to hold my own respectfully, but against a devout, they're probably going to know more about it than I am.  But Dave Lee was dropping references left right and centre - the IOT, the pact, edred thorssen, pete carroll, ian reed, chaos international, the book of laws, liber mmm, liber nox, liber null, liber 777, aeonics, austin osman spare, the sorcereror's apprentice in Leeds, etc... and I knew it, all, I had a good working knowledge, and could happily argue my way with anybody on it and comfortably hold my ground.  It was nice to get a bizzare confirmation that yes, I had read the 'right' things, insomuch as anything is right for chaos magic, i did understand the development of it, where it had come from, how the framework had been constructed, its influences, etc.  And yet, at the same time, I was acutely aware I needed to go and study everything in much further depth.  I might understand the development and evolution of these practicies, but Dave Lee was there, developing and evolving them back in the 70s and 80s, sure there's new developments to come, and to a large extent they're personal, especially in chaos magic, but even still

We did also get an entertaining story of Dave Lee and 2 others invoking Baphomet, in broad daylight, on a traffic island in a busy junction, complete with robes on back in the 90s though.  And once again, everyone in the room who *wasn't* in Leeds in the 70s and 80s (i.e. all of us, as pretty much anyone who was is a well known pagan practioner and author nowadays) really wished they were.  So much shit happened in that city around that time, so much development, so many important shifts and experiments and paths.  It's the modern version of the Golden Dawn development, fucking pivotal, even to wiccans.

I would walk 500 miles.

So I'm off to the US on 22nd June for 6 weeks.  I'm visiting NYC, Cape Cod, Boston, California, and if I can afford them, New Orleans, Harry Potter World, Alabama, Chicago, and Seattle.  I didn't go to the US last summer and it hurt, more than i expected.  California has basically become my summer home on a level I hadn't appreciated, and so I'll be really glad to go back.  I get to go to Up Your Alley in San Francisco for the first time ever which will be awesome as I've always missed that and Folsom due to timing before, and NYC pride is the weekend I get there.  Being miserable and broke in the UK last summer, I figured I might as well be miserable and broke on Huntingdon Beach instead.

Chris isn't coming.  There are several reasons for this.  He can't afford it, and I'm much happier to spend money I don't have and worry about paying for it later than he is.  I'm planning on scrounging sofas, and paying some of my way by working whilst over there, and that's hard to do with someone else in tow.  I can't afford to take myself even though I'm going, let alone paying his way too.  But primarily, its because at the time I booked it, things were crazy.  Things were bad.  We'd skirted around the break up conversation several times.  I was depressed.  For a long time.  He didn't know how to deal with it.  It was taking its toll, on both of us.  A serious one.  And I cope less well with relationship issues than Chris.  I needed time apart.  More than just a 2 week jaunt round Europe.  So Chris agreed to let me go, cause he's an awesome boyfriend like that.

And then, 6 weeks or so ago, the switch flipped.  I stopped being depressed.  Just like that.   I still get upset, I still get pissed off, but my outlook on life is generally better.  It's generally positive.  You get this from the tone of my blog posts, at least I hope you do.  They stopped being self involved, and started being about my general musings on the world.  And yes, a holiday is nice, and yes, on some level, I probably do need time apart from Chris, so I don't panic too much when we move in together when I return.  But I don't need it so much anymore, I don't need it for so long anymore.  If I didn't have this trip, I'd still go places, but it'd be different.  I'd probably have disapppeared to Adelaide for 2 weeks on   25th May for example.  There were spare seats on Ryan's flight, my passport's always in my bag, it would have been so easy to pick up the standby.  I would go to Bristol, cause a friend needs someone.  I would go to Glastonbury, cause I need someone.  And maybe, just maybe, I'd even take Chris to Rome for a week.  But oh well, I can't cancel or change my flights without cost, so I might as well go, and have my time apart, and get my head sorted, and let it do the good that, whilst less needed now, is still helpful.

Oh I'm also broke.  As in flat broke.  As in I have £400 in my bank account and £600 worth of bills to pay, and haven't even found a place to stay in New York yet.  Oh fuck.  Still that always makes for the most interesting travel in my opinion.  It's gonna be a phone call to the Amex people tomorrow or monday i think...  PLEASE DON'T STOP MY CARD, I'LL PAY IT SOON I PROMISE!

I've never seen green before, maybe it's a good sign...

Yesterday I went to the doctor's.  Actually, I went to the Working Men's Project Sexual Health Clinic, which is for men who work in the sex industy.  That's whores in the vernacular.  I hate STD tests usually, actually, mostly i just hate the urethral swabs.  the large one makes me light headed, the small one makes me faint on a 5 minute delay, not good.  But the nurses at the WMP are so lovely.  GUM clinic nurses have sure enough seen and heard everything, but the nurses that run the men's and women's whore clinics have truly seen and heard it all.  And what's great about that, is there's none of the preachy, or disapproving, or judgemental attitude that whilst they're not supposed to do, is always prevelant at the standard GUM clinics.  They in fact provide a really good service; they give the 15 minute HIV test, they will give you any and every jab they can if you want it.  they know who their patients are, they know there's no point in saying no sex for two weeks, no really, make sure, not even oral, you promise, really, etc... there's no use a condom next time, there's no get you in and out as quickly as possible, they take their time, explain everything even when you know it off by heart yourself, and whilst they don't preach, they will gladly explain any risks or problems to you, but once they've done it once that's it, they don't argue with you, they don't judge you when you can't get hold of every last sexual partner, they just protect you as best they can. 

It's also even more privacy protected that most normal hospital files.  You don't need a fixed address, or any address to register, you don't even need a real name, or a surname, you can go by a fake first name (as I do), and you get assigned a number which they use to call you when it's your turn, so no-one sitting in the waiting area knows who you are or anything, it doesn't matter if you're there illegally, they honestly just try to protect your sexual health as best they can.  It's quite refreshing, sure that's what medical professionals should do in most opinions, but it's rarely that straight forward in practice.

I was doing quite well on their 'risk' questionnaire that they go through actually.  List of last 3 sexual partners, what kind of sex, was oral and/or anal protected, was i active or passive, how many people in the last 3 months had i not used condoms with, did i smoke, did i drink, did i know what pep was, etc... i was being a (relatively speaking) good boy.  and then he asked if i took any drugs.  oh shit.  erm mdma, mephadrone, ket, coke....  i regained a few plus points when he asked if i ever injected, which i dont, but then lost em when i realised i'd only taken drugs just the last weekend.  ah well, it was nice whilst it lasted... the good news is i don't have HIV.  Rest of the results to come next week...

Less good was today's earlier visit to the real doctors.  As I'm going to the US on 22nd June for 6 weeks, I wanted a new set of meds from here, instead of needing them in the US and paying shitloads and claiming insurance.  And yes, my insurance does cover my pre-existing conditions.  It's one of the reasons my insurance costs so much.  I hadn't been registered at a surgery here for the last year since my UCL registration at UCH ran out after graduation, so i had to sign up to a new one.  It was going so well, turns out when you ring for a GP appointment, they arrange a callback, and you talk to the doctor on the phone, saving you time off work, travel, and pointless waiting unless you really need to be seen in person.  Unfortuantely it went downhill when 5 minutes after trying to explain what drugs I was on for my hayfever, the doctor asked "is that an anti-histamine?"  /fml  Given it's a hayfever treatment it's probably quite likely to act on histamine levels, yes DOCTOR. 

Also had to go for some new patient registration with the nurse, despite the fact i'll be moving soon anyway.  The nurse spent 15 whole minutes arguing with me that the drug i quoted for my asthma, was in fact a 'preventer' drug, not a 'reliever' and i actually meant this other drug that i was on for my reliever.  To which my counterargument was, no, i've quoted right, it's a reliever, i haven't been on a preventer 13 odd years.  i've been on the drug i've quoted you for 15 years, and the drug you're quoting me, i haven't been on since i was 4.  she refused to believe me, argued like hell for the full 15 minutes, before finally checking her drug directory to find out i was right.  She also refused to believe I knew my own height.  FFS woman, I paid £400 for a useless medical last year, I know my stats pretty damned well.  She also said I was skinny, errr duh, though I have put on weight, I'm no longer officially underweight, I am now in the 10th percentile for my BMI, whoop

This is all why medical professionals are completely undeserving of my patience, and in the majority of cases, my respect.

It's actually a trait amongst people who spent most of their childhoods in hospitals I reckon.  We all appreciate the NHS; we've had to use it so much that if we were on a US system we would have bankrupted our parents several times over by age 4.  So the NHS, free healthcare, good concept.  Doctors, ESPECIALLY paediatricians, not so much.  When you've spent 4 months in hospital, 3 months of those on an gastrointestinal tube down your nose, you start to lose your compassion somewhat.  In my entire childhood and teenagehood in and out of hospitals, referred to every specialist imaginable, and shuttled between 5 different research hospitals, only one doctor ever asked me "its your body, what do you think?"  Now i get, they can only legally deal with the parents and such, but as said doctor pointed out, there's no point in trying to treat me if I'm not behind it.  Unfortunately, most medical professionals, so it seems according to mine and others' experiences, when faced with mysterious undiagnosable and/or untreateable patients, treat them a bit like a science project and become to determined to solve the problem, which is great, except they tend to lose perspective of the fact its a person they're subjecting to these things.  Also, traits of those spending their childhoods in hospitals, is we tend to know our medicene.  We don't need a GP, we need our own prescription pads, sure we might have mental problems, but we're sensible enough to know how medications work, we're only gonna prescribe what we truly need.  And we know what we need better than any doctor; we've tried every drug going for our conditions, we know how we respond, we know what works, what doesn't, what makes us projectile vomit 30ft, we know the exact drug names and dosages of our medication, and having to argue it every time you have a checkup with the nurse or doctor, even when they've known you for years, gets tiresome, and does nothing to restore your confidence in them.  Luckily, Adam says I can bug him for all my medical ailments when he graduates from his medical degree in 6 years, and I'll be doing so before then anyway.

For the record, my medical issues, briefly, are asthma since a severe case of bronchialitis aged 2 which scarred my lung tissue permanently; severe hayfever every year, but in no other country but the UK (one of the reasons for my aim to live abroad eventually); an unspecified digestive system disorder since birth, despite endless biopsies, diet variations, drug cocktails etc, this last one has since declined to a managable level without medication since I was 18.  I don't like to talk about my medical history, so posting even this on a random public blog is kinda a big step for me

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Oops I did it again...

So sure enough, mere days after my last post, the universe decides to prove just how right it always is about everything, and just how much simpler everything would work out if I'd just stop fighting against it so much.

I might have stumbled upon another job.  Can't say more at the moment, and it'll probably come to nothing, just a posited idea at the moment, there is research to be done, people to talk to, things to arrange etc.  But sure enough, I say, okay universe, once again I sumbit myself to your whims, and 2 jobs jump up at me.

In completely different news, I have started paying for Spotify finally.  A lot of people seem to be mocking me for this, and I really don't understand why.  Firstly, this allows me to take my music abroad.  I'm currently on the £9.99 plan, which means i can sync it offline too, so by paying for something I use for hours a day, I can also eliminate the need to determine which music I want to take to the US with me, and can instead take all of it, and change it on the fly whilst I'm abroad for what I want to listen to when I don't have a net connection.  After I get back, and am just using it at home again, I will probably switch down to the £4.99 plan, which effectively just removed the ads.  I don't really begrudge this money.  I'm very willing to pay for entire albums when I listen to them, and I like having a physical copy, in the same way some people collect vinyl.  I currently need to buy The Baseballs new album.  Buying singles however, for the random bits of music I listen to, or songs that get stuck in my head, or club mixes for houseparties, can be cumbersome and expensive.  Even buying the mp3 download, the amount of random singles I listen to on spotify that I have no desire to own the full album for, probably amounts to beyond £1000 worth of 79p singles.  I pay a whole £4.99 a month, the cost of a drink in London, and I get all the music I want, more or less.  J-music they're not so hot on with their catalogue, but I can cope with that.  Especially now spotify includes your local files, so I can listen to all my music, plus all the music of the internet.  Win as far as I'm concerned.  Paying for music isn't bad, just paying stupidly large amounts is.  But the artists still deserve some recompense for their work that I enjoy.

It's for this reason that most small or indie bands, I will gladly throw money at, as I know that's what keeps them afloat and touring.  The band I'm trying to get touring with, they offered me a load of free merch, but I paid for it, cause I'd rather give them £50 and make sure they keep on the road, partly so I hopefully have a job, and partly so they continue to make music.

Also, on the subject of indie artists, please see  The BBC are a bit late on picking up on this, but it highlights the problem many independant artists suffer.  Touring, producing and distributing records, paying your rent in the process, is not a well paid business as an independant artist.  Most of them constantly just break even.  CD printing, posters, tshirts, etc, it all costs a fortune, not to mention venue fees, and as the article points out, ticketing partners take a large majority of the ticket costs, but there's little other way to reliably sell your tickets.  A lot of indie artists are trying different things, putting records online for pay what you like costs, though that's risky - so far only 6 people have payed 1c above the asking price for Amanda Palmer's latest record.  Amanda Palmer herself makes use of her zealous fanbase to provide accomodation and food to reduce touring costs in return for getting to have your idol stay in your house for the night.  Bitter Ruin are taking up this tactic, and have produced amazing hand drawn lyric books for their records to sell - it's something different, it takes a long time, but its appreciated by the fans, and paid for; good paper, hand written, signed on the back, hand bound, calligraphy on the front and wax stamped.  Again, the BBC article points out independant artists are going down routes such as selling off backstage passes or unique merchandise for their tours.  Websites are cropping up that allow artists to sell their music for a basic price, that then gives the fans the download in whatever format and bitrate they might like, not just a 192kbps mp3, and of course, DRM free, which might perpetuate the problem of piracy, but most fans who are willing to go down this route aren't likely to be mass pirates in my opinion.

Post ranting about biphobia to come at some point