The Lazy Ramblings of A Lazy Guy (On Being Idle)

 

The Man Down My Local (1).pngI was recently introduced to the Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow by Jerome K Jerome. The book consists of 14 essays on 14 topics

  1. ON BEING IDLE.
  2. ON BEING IN LOVE.
  3. ON BEING IN THE BLUES.
  4. ON BEING HARD UP.
  5. ON VANITY AND VANITIES.
  6. ON GETTING ON IN THE WORLD.
  7. ON THE WEATHER.
  8. ON CATS AND DOGS.
  9. ON BEING SHY.
  10. ON BABIES.
  11. ON EATING AND DRINKING.
  12. ON FURNISHED APARTMENTS.
  13. ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT.
  14. ON MEMORY.

Jerome K Jerome is pretty much me down to a tee. He’s lazy and just writes whatever comes to mind. He doesn’t care who he offends, and I often felt that he may have been somewhat high when he picked up the pen. But Mr Jerome has inspired me, so I am going to be writing a series of posts on the topics that Mr Jerome turned his hand at. (I know I’m ripping the guy off, but quite frankly I don’t care)

On Being Idle

Laziness is both a blessing and a curse, there is nothing more satisfying than spending a day lazing about on the sofa, especially when you know that there are plenty of more important things that you could be doing, and therein lies the curse. Having to put aside that bliss, can prove difficult and indeed a real hardship and can even lead to outright resentment. Or at least this is how I feel. I’ve now reached the point where I actually hate to have to do things. When people interrupt my doing nothing I really do get a little bit angry about the whole thing.

Since the advent of the internet the whole staying in thing really has taken off, with the world of online streaming services and takeaway foods that you don’t even have to speak to people to get, the world of insular laziness has actually become more and more of a easy thing to achieve.

Laziness and indeed idleness itself is a state of mind, its where you sacrifice any sort of social life just to achieve the pleasure that comes from doing nothing. It’s hard to get into the head space required to want to do nothing but watch Game of Thrones in your pants while eating cereal straight from the box.

There are some people who couldn’t be lazy if their lives depended on it. They just lack that lack of drive. They have too much motivation, too much determination to just get things done. The world would stop without those people, without them we wouldn’t have anything. But thanks to those people the rest of us, those lazy fellows can enjoy the things those great enablers have given us. Thanks to them we can vegetate until we fuse to with our sofas, until bed sores set in and until we have to wash ourselves with rags on sticks.

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The world takes a dim view of laziness, but to those who say this is say to you…meh I’ll tell you later.

 

This is the first in series of posts ripping off the work of Mr Jerome K Jerome and his seminal piece The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Man. 

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Randomness Personified (Sam From Motor Lizzy)

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So today we’re giving Sam, the bassist and vocalist from Motor Lizzy and a long time friend of mine, the Randomness Personified Quiz. Lets see how he got on.

If you were to lose the ability to see 1 particular colour what would it be? It would be, brown.
If you had to live without cheese or bread which would you pick? cheese, I like bread, there’s too much stuff to do with bread.
Pick a card, any card– ace of spades (with motorhead inflection)
Which would you rather, spend a month with no internet, or a lifetime without television? a lifetime without television, the internet is my life.
Who would win in a fight a red squirrel or an otter?  an otter, they’re bigger
CD’s, vinyl or cassettes? vinyls
Who would win in a foot race, your most favourite cartoon character or your least favourite tv personality? In a race between Super Mario and Louis Walsh,  Super Mario would jump on his head and kill him.
Your least favourite type of neck wear?  necklaces, scarfs I like
Without using a calculator , 6 x 43= I havent got a fucking clue.
If you had to stage a military coup, in which country would you do it? Holland, no marching up hill.

Check out some of Sam’s musical genius over on the Motorlizzy  facebook page.

Breastfeeding Bestfeeding, A Man’s Point Of View

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Hands up at the beginning of this post. Yes I am a man. However as the primary caregiver of my little girl I do have many many opinions on the subject of breastfeeding.

Firstly I’m going to dispel the usual thing that pops up when it comes to men talking about breastfeeding. I really don’t give a rats backside about breastfeeding in public, anymore than I care about someone having an apple or a cup of coffee in a public place.

Now, on to the main issue of this piece, I’m sick to death of this whole idea that you are a terrible parent if you give your child anything but breast milk. This whole idea that because its natural it must be better. In the UK this view is so prevalent that its actually illegal to advertise stage one baby formula and has been illegal since 1995 as part of the Infant Formula and Follow-On Formula Regulations 1995.  There is even a watchdog dedicated to making sure that baby formula is not promoted above breast milk, the group Baby Milk Action is actually dedicated to the protection of breastfeeding over formula.

I find this to be a terrible situation. This law persecutes so many people. It persecutes against women that can’t breastfeed, because some kids won’t take to the breast, some women are unable to express milk, and sometimes circumstances conspire so that babies and their mothers are unable to be together in the early stages. When Marianna was born, it was a nightmare, I almost lost both her and her mother that morning, luckily when Marianna was safely delivered and washed (a story for another time). The various nurses, doctors and midwives, after much convincing that I had previously discussed this with her mother, finally, and with a great deal of reluctance consented to bottle feed Marianna with formula, while her mother was still undergoing surgery.

Due to the circumstances of her birth and a seizure soon after, Marianna spent three weeks in the neonatal unit at our local hospital, breastfeeding would have been an impossibility. So Marianna stayed on formula.

The second reason she stayed on formula is because her mother returned to work after three months of maternity leave. So staying home with the baby, it was a lot less challenging knowing I could knock up a bottle, as an when they were needed (I found that feeding every four hours is a mugs game, and leads to a hellish life of broken sleep and a sort of living death, zombie like existence). But I found that there is still a stigma about buying baby formula. I’ve actually had people say to me in the supermarket that “[you] shouldn’t be giving your child that stuff “. To which I replied that what I give my child is between me and my child and as long as she isn’t hungry, what’s the problem?

Lastly I feel that this sort of legislation is rather discriminatory to adoptive parents, and that they would be made to feel as though they are already starting at a disadvantage as parents, because they don’t have the natural equipment (especially gay couples) .

This is why I would like to see a change in the law, regarding the advertisement of stage one baby formula. I know that scientific studies show that breast milk may be more beneficial to a child’s development and the development of their immune system, and I’m not denying this, I’m a firm believer in the power of science, but that doesn’t change the fact that many people for whatever reason, are unable to breastfeed. These people should not be discriminated against, especially when it comes to the health and well being of their children.

Why I Don’t Want More Children

Why I Don't Want.pngI love my daughter, but I never actually wanted to have children. You know as an adult you aren’t actually to say that. Its right up there s one of the most offensive things you can say. It seems to get right up the nose of so many people. They take it really personally, even if it has absolutely nothing to do with them. Its as though, by not wanting to follow their life choices you are opposing them.

The reason I didn’t want children is fairly simple, I was selfish. I liked drinking with my friends, staying out late, and spending all my money on absolutely pointless crap. I was a hedonist, I would think nothing of staying out until 5 am on a school night and spending a weeks pay on beer and cigarettes.

Then boom and unplanned pregnancy hits and I step up as a man. My girlfriend and I move in together and then I’m a dad. And away goes the constant hedonism and out comes fatherhood mode. Fatherhood mode for me consisted of a sleep regime that was akin to the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay, sleep deprivation is actually a legitimate torture method after all. Then came the depression, I was actually really depressed, to the point where I was exhausted just washing the dishes, I ended up on anti depressants. I missed my friends and I missed having a life. I admit it was a pretty shallow and wasted life, but I think that’s what made it worse, the fact that I felt as though I wasted my life, and that really threw me towards despair.

Then it hit me I may have spent my late teens and early twenties in a drunken haze, surrounded by a cloud of smoke but what was stopping me doing something with the rest of my life. well as it turns out trying to balance being a full time dad with the career path that I wanted is a pretty hard thing to manage, and this is why I really don’t want more children. I’m willing to put my life on hold for my daughters sake, but not indefinitely, I have dreams that I really want to pursue and balancing that pursuit with a young child is something I’m not capable of. I owe it to my daughter to postpone it, but I owe it to myself to pursue them too.  Having more children would rob me of that I feel.

But you can’t say any of this to people, because they say things like: “it’s selfish” or “Marianna will be lonely” or “you’ll change your mind in a few years”. Because apparently I don’t know my own mind, and now that I’ve procreated once I’m going to want to put myself through the hell that it was more than once, with the added hell of an older child to resent the crap out of and torture the new one. But saying any of this seems to make you the devil.

Is it worng that I’m putting my life before that of a hypothetical child, probably, but guess what. Its my life, I can do what I want with it. As long as I try my hardest to do a good job with Marianna, child that I already have, surely that’s me meeting all obligations as a parent.

The Magic Kingdom Has Fallen (Why The Disney Castle Doesn’t Work)

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Over the last few days I’ve been watching numerous Disney films with Marianna and her mother. As I’m sure most of you know, that at the beginning of pretty much every Disney film you see the image of Cinderella Castle, the Disney Logo, and it just struck me, that as a castle, it really doesn’t work.

Castles were built for a number of purposes, such as displays of wealth or as an architectural legacy, and for these purposes the Disney castle does hit the mark. Architecturally it borrows heavily from inspirations such as  Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria and The Alcázar of Segovia which both exhibit a flamboyant gothic style that the Disney Castle is known for, but both have what the Disney castle lacks. Natural protection.

The main purpose of castles is protection and this is one thing that the Disney castle is sorely lacking. Whilst protected by a moat and 10 inch thick reinforced wall that encircles the castle, the approach is flat and over 200 miles from Florida’s famed swamp land, the everglades. The moat is crossed by a concrete bridge rather than a drawbridge so does not lend to protection, however it was designed to withstand the tumultuous Florida hurricane season. Its construction and placement lend little in the way of protection from advancing armies.

In its favour the round smooth design of the towers (27 in total) would lead some protection from cannonballs, more likely to glance off a rounded wall than a square, this became the architectural norm following the advent of the cannon for just such an eventuality. As well as this rounded towers are also more resistant to undermining, due to the way in which they are constructed.

Based on the design and relative accessibility however the Disney Castle could probably be taken over by a dozen men with climbing spikes, or a dozen kids with day passes, either way.

Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs.pngDesert Island Disc’s is a long running radio broadcast (currently broadcast on BBC Radio 4) where, in the BBC’s own words, “a guest is invited to choose the eight records they would take with them to a desert island”, guests are also permitted one book and one luxury item.

The One Book

This is probably more difficult than narrowing down all my favourite songs into a playlist of eight, but I would probably go for Boomsday by Christopher Buckley

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From The Blurb “Cassandra Devine, a charismatic 29-year-old blogger and member of Generation Whatever, is outraged over the excesses of the Baby Boomer generation and their negligent handling of the mounting Social Security debt. When she politely suggests that Baby Boomers be given government incentives to kill themselves by the age of seventy-five, it catches the imagination of millions of outraged citizens, including an ambitious senator who sees this as his ticket to becoming President. With the help of Washington’s greatest spin doctor, the blogger and the politician try to ride the issue of euthanasia for Boomers all the way to the White House, over the objections of the Religious Right and, of course, the Boomers themselves, who are deeply offended by demonstrations on the golf courses of their retirement resorts.”

The One Luxury Item 

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Coca-Cola, I can’t go a day without consuming at least 3 pints of Coca-Cola, I don’t like tea or coffee, and energy drinks are a one way ticket to the morgue. So Coca-Cola has become my source of caffeine to make the day tolerable.

The Eight Songs

Sammy Davis Jr- What Kind Fool Am I? 

This song reminds me of when I first moved out on my own (a shared house while at uni) and its when I first really began to feel like myself, I was a suit wearing, cigar chaining, wine guzzling man. And I loved every minuet of it.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience- All Along The Watchtower

Jimi Hendrix’s version of All along the watchtower is one that reminds of being about 16-17, I was developing my musical identity and this particular track reminds me of summer days spend with friends, doing the stupid things that teenagers do.

The Blues Brothers- Everybody Needs Somebody To Love 

I owe the Blues Brothers so much, as a film it introduced me to worlds of music that I had no idea existed, it opened the way for my love of blues and soul music, and introduced me to the likes of Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, James Brown and John Lee Hooker. Trying to narrow the soundtrack of this film down to just one song was difficult, but I think this song exemplifies exactly what the Blues Brothers was all about.

Bruce Dickinson- Abduction 

Bruce Dickinson is best known as the lead singer of Iron Maiden, as well as being a champion fencer, author, BBC radio DJ, film maker,  commercial airline pilot and owner/CEO of Cardiff Aviation training school, how he has time for a solo career I have no idea, but I’m glad he finds the time, Abduction was the first song of Bruce’s Solo Stuff that I had ever come across.

The Caesars- Jerk It Out 

I can’t remember where or when I first listened to this song , but it features as a mainstay in my get pumped playlist, it never fails to put me in a good mood, and I do often associate it with working as a bartender, but to be honest its more likely to be played when I’m getting ready to go out.

Emilie Autumn -Fight Like A Girl

Emilie Autumn is one of those artists I discovered in my goth phase, back in the good old days of myspace, combining gothic themes, with a little bit of industrial grime and wrapping it all up in a delightful victorian burlesque show.

Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough 

This is one of those feel good songs that always brings a smile to my face, it really is one of the best hits to ever come out of Mowtown.

Elvis Costello- I’ll Never Fall In Love Again 

This song is my break up song, listening to it does make me feel a little melancholy, but over the last few years I tend to just think more of the good times with past loves.

So I’m guessing that knowing what songs I would pick, not many people would want to get stuck on a desert island with me.

Randomness Personified

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In this post I interviewed Jessica from Babi a Fi, mainly due to the fact she’s sat in my living room, who today will be answering 10 questions of complete randomness.

  1. If you were to lose the ability to see 1 particular colour what would it be?  brown because its boring.
  2. If you had to live without cheese or bread which would you pick?  *audible sigh of a difficult decision* cheese
  3. Pick a card, any card– queen of hearts
  4. Which would you rather, spend a month with no internet, or a lifetime without television? lifetime without television, because I could watch stuff on the internet
  5. Who would win in a fight a red squirrel or an otter? An otter, because the red squirrel has never been known to put up a fight.
  6. CD’s, vinyl or cassettes? CD’s
  7. Who would win in a foot race, your most favourite cartoon character or your least favourite tv personality?  in a foot race between Billie Piper and Gohan (from Dragonball Z) Gohan would probably win.
  8. Your least favourite type of neck wear? I like most types of neck wear, except when I have to wear it, I hate having things wrapped around my neck, especially winter scarfs. I also really dislike pashmina’s.
  9. Without using a calculator , 6 x 43= 258 (this took far longer than the allotted 10 seconds)
  10. If you had to stage a military coup, in which country would you do it?  Obviously in Britain, I wouldn’t want to take over another country I wouldn’t know anything about it.

And there you have it, a big thank you to Jessica, for more of her randomness, head over to babiafi.co.uk.

Best of British

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With Britain talking tough about leaving the European Union, no matter where you stand there’s a lot of patriotism floating around the media sphere. So getting in the patriotic mood, here are the 10 best British Superheroes.

V

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The eponymous hero from Alan Moore’s dystopian masterpiece V for vendetta. V has gone from comic book antihero to the symbol of revolution and is the face of almost every anti government movement from anonymous to occupy.

Pixie

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Pixie (Megan Gwynn) is a mutant” from a Welsh mining town. Her mutation grants her pixie-like eyes, colourful wings, and “pixie dust” which causes hallucinations  as well as the ability to use magic and the use of a magical weapon called the “Souldagger.” Pixie is currently a serving member of the X-men after graduating with honours from the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.

Godiva

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Dorcas Leigh is a socialite from the United Kingdom with the power to control her hair’s movement. she has served with DC’s Global Guardians and in DC’s New 52 continuity was a founding member of the Justice League International and the Global Guardians, forming a close bond with Chinese team mate the August General in Iro

Captain Britain

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Brian Braddock was a physicist working at the Darkmoor Nuclear Research Centre when  the facility is attacked by the The Reaver Brian tries to find help by escaping on his motorbike. Although he crashes his bike in a nearly fatal accident, Merlyn and his daughter Roma appear and they give him the chance to be the superhero Captain Britain. He is offered a choice: the Amulet of Right or the Sword of Might. Considering himself to be no warrior, he rejects the Sword and chooses the Amulet. This choice transforms him into Captain Britain, the defender of the realm, Captain Britain has had a long career serving as founding member of the superhero team Excalibur, and serving with the Knights of Pendragon, The Avengers, the counter intelligence group MI13 and even as the leader of the ill fated Captain Britain Corps.

 

Union Jack

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Union Jack is the name of three fictional superheroes appearing in the Marvel Universe comic books published by Marvel Comics and Marvel UK. Created by Roy Thomas and Frank Robbins, the first Union Jack first appeared in Invaders #7 (July 1976), a second incarnation from the same creators appeared in The Invaders #21, and a third incarnation was created by Roger Stern and John Byrne for Captain America Vol. 1 #254 (February 1981). Following The Invaders, Union Jack has been featured as a regular character in ongoing series Knights of Pendragon, New Invaders and Invaders Now, as well two self-titled mini-series.

 

 

 

Hob-Nobing With Those Who Matter

When it comes to food I know what I like. I also know what I dislike, I am a fairly fussy eater. But most people wouldn’t think that about me. The main reason being, is that I will try anything once. I’ve tried some of the most bizarre foods on the planet, from deep fried locusts with with strawberry sauce to pickled baby octopus, I have tried many, many things.  Now food blogs often highlight the high points of haute cuisine and brilliance of intricate sugar craft.

I however am a little different, today I am going to be talking about that simple pleasure. The chocolate Hobnob. idshot_540x540

The chocolate Hobnob is king among biscuits, whether with tea or eaten alone, nothing compares to that raptures blend of chocolate and oat style heaven. From that first bite, through to the last crumb the Hobnob is the king of the biscuit world. What I love most is the contrast, the smoothness of the chocolate with the crumblyness of the biscuit itself, I can’t even begin to think how many of those bad boys I’ve consumed over the decades, but when they taste that good, why bother counting.

The Friendzone & How To Avoid It

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Does she wish all guys could be like you?  Do you like all her posts on social media? Does she love you, like a brother? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you sir are in the friendzone.

Let’s be honest, at one point or another we have all been in the friendzone. The person that we are interested in is not interested in us, except as a friend.

So here are a few tips to avoid the zone of terror.

  1. Be upfront about your intentions, don’t try and wheedle your way in as a friend, that’s a first class ticket to the friendzone.
  2. learn to recognise the signs, shopping is definitely a friend activity, going for cocktails to bitch about men is another one.
  3. Learn when to  cut your losses, if not for your sake then for everyone else’s. None of your friends want to hear about how “special” and “meaningful” your new friendship is, no one believes it, not even you do. If it isn’t going the way you want it to you owe it to yourself to get out. it isn’t worth the pain and heartache. Seriously let go.

I hope this little guide helps, but lets face it there is no reasoning with someone in the friendzone, because infatuation defies all reason. But if you do take the leap and are smacked back into the friendzone, do not under any circumstances become a bitch about it, do not think you are owed anything just because you were nice. Behaving the way in which you are meant to is not a guarantee of VIP access to someone’s genitalia, its a social convention, not a seduction technique. Don’t be a fuckboy.