Wednesday, April 30, 2008

An interesting discovery

Rewind exactly one month. On the 30th March 2008 I was recovering from a mammoth eating and drinking session with some old friends in London the night before. We'd eaten until we couldn't eat any more and we'd got to the stage where we were having to burp and physically squash our stomachs (in a vein attempt to aid digestion) to free up space, space which was then filled with beer and tequila. The first thing I did when I woke up was to trek to a pub and consume a gorgeous Sunday lunch with Deanne, we also had beer. The afternoon ticked by slowly and the sunshine was of course conducive to more beer - this was London living at its finest! Despite my enjoyment of the afternoon, my body felt as though it was about to burst at the seams and I only just about held it together. As the evening, and the bus back to Wales, approached, I met with Léonie on the banks of the Thames. Léonie and I share a similar trait in that no matter how run down, over-worked or out-partied we are, we'll always be happy to consume alcohol. We were both shattered but our luck was in, we found a pub getting rid of their Hoegaarden stock - and at £2.70 a pint it was a bargain. Finally I hopped aboard the bus home and slept for the entire journey, London had taken its toll on me and it'd been the final straw in deciding that I had to take a break.

For a whole four weeks after that I went about my everyday life without drinking any alcohol (Although I did lick an ice-cube with vodka on it, that doesn't count does it?). I hadn't gone for that period without boozing since 2004, when I only managed 3 weeks. I vividly remember the barman in my local, Ed, handing me two free pints on the final day with a giant grin on his face - he was glad to see me back. Out of the four weeks I have identified 16 days on which I was offered alcohol, 13 of those I was heavily encouraged to drink and 7 of those were sure-fire mammoth drinking sessions.

The first week was perhaps the hardest, I still sat in the pub with my friends on the weekend and was subject to a ridiculous amount of peer pressure. Initially I was joining in with the conversations and laughing along to all the jokes, but with sambuca glasses rapidly filling up the table I began to lose track of what was going on and I sat reasonably quietly, laughing only occasionally at people staggering about and talking shit.

The second week I still wanted to join in and I found it increasingly difficult to resist just having one refreshing, cold pint. I was permanently tired, the reason for which I'm yet to discover. It could have been the sudden change in diet - I was eating out less as I had the energy to spend more evenings cooking at home.

The third week I started to avoid the pub and friends houses altogether, I felt a little left out but at the same time I was sick of the only discussions I was involved in being me defending my decision to drink soft drinks while everyone around caused chaos. One low point was at a party I went to in order to stay awake for the Calzaghe fight at 3am, I was asked by a friend "So, what have you been up to recently?" I replied with a simple, "Nothing mate, absolutely nothing". It's not that nothing had been achieved but I had nothing to talk about that my friend could relate to.

In the fourth week, something strange happened. I was feeling down after the realisation that I was communicating with my friends less and less as the month progressed - My body had completely shut down and the weekend was spent sleeping rather than bouncing around and socialising. This was to be the strangest of observations over the course of my experiment; I had talked to almost zero girls and my sex drive had evaporated. It seemed to be the opposite of a post I've written before. I came home one evening and slumped down in a seat next to my housemate and her boyfriend... "How's it going?" I was asked. I paused for a little before replying "I think I'm gay". There was lots of laughing.

My argument was that I had absolutely no interest in any girls, other than making friends. The counter argument from my housemate's boyfriend was compelling - "Do you fancy men?" he asked ... "No, of course not". This continued to trouble me for a few days as I turned things over in my head. I realised that my new found gay-ness was getting a rise out of people so I milked it and started camping it up a little and making overly-gay innuendos. A couple of friends were less concerned for me, they saw it as a business opportunity : I would make friends with girls and act as an undercover agent to report back to the straight guys so they could make the appropriate moves to get laid.

Last night at a Scroobius Pip gig I had my first beer in a month, initially it was refreshing but my body didn't agree with it and couldn't have any more than the one pint. This morning I felt different.. I walked to work behind a couple of student girls - one of which had a mesmerising arse perched on top of a couple of killer legs, it made me smile. Shortly before arriving in work I crossed the road at the same time as a ravishing blonde about my height crossed in the opposite direction and I'll be damned if I didn't feel a little like ravaging her there and then in front of all the queuing cars. Apart from surprising myself with a sudden urge for starring in roadside porn, I was mightily relieved that my attraction towards girls had returned.... "it must have been the beer" I mused.

The moral of the story: Order a beer or be queer. It's scientific fact that avoiding alcohol turns you gay.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Full Circle

Almost four years ago I was reaching the end of my tether with Cardiff life, I'd lived there for one and a half years and for almost that entire period I'd been partying, hard. Life was getting repetitive, friends were moving on and the huge house in which we'd spent so many good times was being vacated. It was a very definite end to a golden era of Cardiff life for those of us that'd been involved. Unwilling to hang around for the final parties, or the inevitable task of looking for new places to live - I decided to take a break from the city. Without a real clue to what I wanted to do, I quit my job and started looking for other cities to move to. Completely stuck for inspiration, by chance I came across a long-forgotten wedding invitation from my uncle - he was to be married in Halifax, Canada. Perfect, I thought - I'd take a couple of weeks out to visit Canada and then come back to resume the search for a place to live. My plans didn't quite work out the way I thought they would...

Nova Scotia

I spent the best part of a week in a wooden cabin right by the sea in Nova Scotia with a few members of my family. The fresh air and the excellent weather kept us outside and it was the perfect antidote to over-exuberance and the cramped living of city life. The wedding went smoothly and we were treated to some fine Nova Scotian traditions, which mainly revolved around eating and drinking heavily - perfect! The day after the wedding I flew over to the other side of the country, to Vancouver, to catch up with a friend. The remaining week of my holiday was of course spent in a big-city, partying. The penultimate day of my break was July 1st, which turned out to be Canada Day, and the biggest party of the year. I had such a great time on that day - I'd made a few friends and I really loved the Canadian approach to life. The next day I made a decision - I wasn't going to catch my flight home. I caught the bus to Calgary and turned up on another friends doorstep, asking if I could stay for "a little while"... Four months (and a lot of fun) later I decided it was time to go home.

On Thursday I'll be returning to Canada, to hit up Toronto this time. I'm going on holiday for two weeks, I've lived in Cardiff for a year and a half and life is repetitive..... but I'm sure I'll be back this time, I've got a good feeling about the approaching summer.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Caffeine Overload

I wake up in the morning and have ten minutes to spare
Showered and cleansed, gel in my hair
There's only one way to fill this gap you see
So I head to the kitchen and make a big cup of tea
The initial rush is pleasing as the tea touches my lips
I can feel the buzz from my head to my... err...
Halfway through it becomes to much
and I make the decision to put down the cup

I arrive in work and without any time to think
I take off my jacket and I'm offered a drink
Unable to think of anything else to say
My reply, with a smile, is a chirpy "Okay"
Because the only word that rhymes is toffee
I recline in my chair and sip at my steaming hot coffee
The effect can be felt far more than before
and not long after my foot's tapping on the floor

Half an hour later and the effects have stopped
and against my will, for more caffeine I opt
Up I get and like a magnet to metal
I head for the kitchen and fill up the kettle
This cup of tea is made a little too strong
And unsurprisingly my body reacts before too long
My stomach reacts with the force of a kick
I feel light-headed and I'm on the verge of being sick

My head starts spinning, my eyes seem on fire
I knew this would happen, less caffeine I require
I sit down again and try to concentrate
But nothing's getting done at this or any rate
An hour later and I'm feeling better again
But outside the sun's turned into rain
Work's tedious and I'm getting bored
Before I know it, I'm back in the kitchen - caressing the kettle's chord.

More shit poetry can be seen here and here.

If you're thinking "Wow, he reacts too easily to caffeine", you should see me on drugs - Holy Moly.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Things to say to girls

Dear all the people coming to my bl*g with the above (or similar) as a search term,

While it's heart-warming to know that you're taking the time and effort to look for things to say to girls, I think that the best advice I can give is the many-times-repeated 'Be yourself'. Yes, I know it's not exactly the answer you were after and it's certainly somewhat lacking in detail or instruction but it's exactly what you should do. If you like a girl, if you think she's hot or if she makes you laugh - then tell her. You'll only get one of two reactions, positive or negative. (If you get neither then she's either having a fit or on drugs*). Believe it or not, some lovely ladies read this bl*g - I'm sure they wouldn't mind offering up a few ideas of things to say to them - just be wary of anything that Crystal comes up with, the phrase "Jumping in at the deep end" might be applicable.

But then again, that could all be bullshit as it very rarely works for me. Here's my method of picking up girls:- I'll spend hours choosing what to wear, practising Jimmy Carr one-liners, lifting weights, altering my accent completely and dousing myself in Lynx. Then, I'll go and sit in the corner of a bar and stare at my feet all night - As a result, I attract more women than Will Smith and Brad Pitt put together.

All the best,


* Still, either positive or negative I suppose....

ps. I'm single and haven't so much as kissed a girl in weeks, therefore not entirely qualified to give any advice whatsoever.

Monday, April 07, 2008

On Nelly

In approximately a months time, I'll be celebrating the 4th anniversary of the creation of this bl*g. I say approximately because I can't actually pin-point the exact date in May 2004 that I created it, and even if I could it would probably be considered irrelevant as I didn't actually post anything until August. My first post was a picture of Nelly Furtado, 50% testing out this new bl*gging thing and 50% the first thought that came into my head. I used to talk about Nelly a LOT and my brain often operated like a flow-chart, dropping her name into any conversation.

I cringed a little when in London a week ago with some old friends. We were all laughing about the good times when my good friend, Donkey, said to me "Hey, remember that you used to be completely obsessed with Nelly Furtado? We bought you her CD for your 20th birthday, but you already had a copy. You were really embarrassed because you fancied her more than the girl you were smitten with, who was sat next to you" I had to admit that still had a thing for her six years later, but had managed to stop short of buying a poster of her to adorn my wall like a teenage girl might. My friends found this highly amusing and there were a few "Oh Curly" sighs, as if they were wondering if I'd ever grow up.

Another long-time friend named Sud also takes great delight in my Furtado conversations, for as much as I tell people about how her latest video looks great or latest song is at number one in the charts, he trumps everything I've said by telling everyone about the fun he used to have with Nelly in class in his middle school in Victoria, Canada. He only does this around me, just to see me seethe with jealousy.

Yet for all of this talk (and the mission-statement in my bl*g header) I've not lifted a finger or even so much as bought some lucky heather from the crazy woman walking the streets of Cardiff in an effort to meet her. The closest I've ever got was a few blocks away as she played a FREE concert at the 2004 Calgary Stampede - I was washing dishes in a downtown restaurant, my tears proved very useful for removing tough food stains.

I'm hoping that this year I'll be a little more industrious, otherwise there's not really much point in me carrying on writing here. Obviously I'll be stopping well short of stalking... that's for another bl*g perhaps.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Something Good

You may have seen this before, but it's one of my favourite music videos in recent memory - it makes me smile all the way through with the dances, the smiles, the locals being interviewed... right until the end where it proves that the Welsh will lay claim to bloody anything. Plus I thought the Utah Saints had disappeared, I'm glad that they hadn't - Ah.. the early 90's..... if only was a little bit older back then.