Today I have been mostly...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Concerned about “Diagnosis Murder”…

… I have been watching as much as possible over the summer hols. Got into a nice gentle afternoon routine: Lunch, “Neighbours”, “Cash in the Attic”, “Diagnosis Murder”, followed by a short sleep. Have enjoyed watching the series with “Jack” (played by the gorgeous Scott Baio – who played Bugsy Malone some years back) – and was frankly, shocked when that series came to an end and launched straight into the series with “Jesse”. But I loved the re-cap at the beginning which, in no more than 30 seconds, explained where “Jack” had gone, who “Jesse” was, and, more to the point how come “Amanda” was suddenly married and pregnant! What it failed to mention was Barry Van Dyke’s close encounter with a bottle of bleach. We sat there, transfixed! We kept saying: “I don’t remember “Steve” being blond!” I have since found a photo of him with brown hair – thank goodness – and I can only assume it is some kind of mid-life crisis. That sort of thing messes with your head! We were beginning to doubt ourselves, wondering if “Mark” had a moustache the previous day!

Now I learn that Jack Klugman has been in a couple of episodes of Diagnosis Murder – (for those of you not into cheesy daytime crime drama, Jack Klugman was “Quincy ME”). This got me thinking – wouldn’t it be great if he played his Quincy character in Diagnosis Murder! Maybe Amanda could have a day off, or something, and Quincy could take her place! Quincy and Dr Sloan would be able to solve twice as many murders if they were working together! Wouldn’t that be brilliant!

I’ve always thought that this sort of thng would work brilliantly in UK soaps as well. If someone was ill in “Eastenders”, they could go to the hospital in “Casualty”; if they were robbed, they could see the ‘coppers’ from “The Bill”. If they needed a vet for Wellard, they could ask Rolf Harris… No, wait – that was real life – they would have to see James Herriot – which would be weird, because as well as a vet he was that boring doctor in “Doctors”. Perhaps they could see Robert Hardy instead. I have major problems with him – either he can’t act at all, and just plays himself – or he is an extremely accomplished actor who is forced to play every part in exactly the same way.

Now for a good actor, look no further than the gorgeous Christopher Plummer. The way he put on a pair of gloves to dance with Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music” was awesome – which, in a very roundabout way, brings me back to Dick Van Dyke.

Would it be a bad thing if I recorded Diagnosis Murder on the days I work?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

…pretending to revise.

Stupid, really. Exam is only 6 short weeks away – and I’m back to work next week, so less time to revise – OK – so I only work 2 days a week, but I am easily distracted.

I spent 2 hours this morning doing Sudoku puzzles. I have sort of convinced myself that they will somehow “warm up” my brain and make it more receptive to information – however, in reality, they just make me tired! But I am getting quite good at them. Pity they don’t feature in the exam! I did make a half-arsed attempt at typing up my notes on Homer. I really should practice trying to do some exam style questions – but they are always worded so weirdly, aren’t they? Who writes exam questions? If I wrote myself some questions about Homer, I have no doubt in my mind that I could answer them. But in exams they are written in such a cryptic way, so is there any point? Alternatively, I could prepare for the exam by spending the next six weeks writing out all the main points onto Polo Mints – then when I have finished each question, eat the evidence. Perhaps I will look into acquiring some non-toxic ink.

My memory is crap these days. Will I be able to remember anything about the Iliad or the Odyssey when I have to? I know more about Homer Simpson than I do the old ancient Greek guy. I’m thinking I will probably be able to quote Homer Simpson, as I sit there silently saying “Doh!” to myself as I read through the paper and wonder what I have been doing for the past nine months.

Last year, after the exam, I said “I NEVER want to do another course about the English Language again!” That’s why I did a classics course this year. I NEVER want to do another classics course again – even though it has been fascinating reading about Greeks and Romans.

Next year I am doing another course about the English language… But the good news is, there is no exam, so I should save a fortune not having to buy mints.

Considering hedgehogs and chickens…

According to a recent newspaper report, McDonalds are redesigning their McFlurry cartons, to make them more ‘hedgehog friendly’. Apparently, they get their heads stuck inside and, if not rescued, starve to death. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have seen more flat hedgehogs on the road, than I’ve seen hedgehogs wandering around the countryside with McFlurry cartons for hats. But, obviously it is a problem and they are apparently ‘making the cartons smaller’. Smaller than a hedgehog’s head? That is pretty small, isn’t it? Surely the problem would be solved if they just made them much, much wider than a hedgehog’s head, then they could eat their ice cream like the rest of us, and wander off down the road (probably to get flattened by a car because they can’t run very fast after eating all the ice-cream). You do have to wonder though, why they don’t use the spoon, or perhaps have the hot apple pie? Another thing I wondered, do they use the drive-thru?

In the same paper there was a wonderful story about the lady who had prepared a lovely meal of chicken wings for herself and her daughter, when suddenly she came across a chicken head! And she was complaining!! She was quite happy to eat the poor bird’s wings – but not its head. Why ever not? It was cooked. She could have left the beak. I don’t know why people are so surprised – it is a chicken part after all – it’s not like it was a frog, or a horseshoe. You also have to wonder as to how she had been just about to eat it before she noticed the unusual head shaped ‘wing’. Personally, when I’m cooking I look more closely at the food when arranging it on the baking tray or the plate, than when I have reached the eating stage. There was a picture in the paper. The expression on the chicken’s face was, I felt, more pissed off than that of the woman.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

…thinking about revision.

OK – so that is either going to sound incredibly diligent, like I have spent the majority of the day planning, working out timetables, and so on; or it is going to sound like delaying tactics again. Why am I thinking about it and not doing it? Well, in my defence, it is barely 7 am. So, although revision has been on my mind, I haven’t yet had the chance to get started. And why am I writing this? Well, the CD I needed was in this computer, so I had to turn it on to retrieve it so I can listen to it on my personal CD player, so as not to wake everyone up.

Mind you – I wonder what people would think if I did have it on loud? Would they wake up and realise I was listening to a “how to revise” CD – or would they think the most patronising sounding man in the world had broken into the house to deliver a lecture! You really would be hard pushed to find a more condescending tone of voice. I don’t really have a problem with that, although I do think his advice to “enjoy” the exam is bizarre and unrealistic, to say the least. Who the hell “enjoys” exams? Have you ever heard anyone come out of an exam saying, “Oooh – I did enjoy that.” People say, “That was crap. I think I failed.” Mainly, I think, because they don’t want to say it went OK in case it sounds like boasting, or in case they really have failed. They would then look a prize prat when the result came out, as no doubt everyone would remember that they had thought they’d done OK.

When I came out of my exam last year, I just wanted to cry - but I was too numb; it was that diabolical. It was so awful that I very nearly walked out in the first 5 minutes. The only thing stopping me from walking out was the thought that I would have to retake the whole course if I scored 0, but if I could somehow get myself 17% I would be able to retake the exam (for free). The thought of wasting £500 is quite an incentive! I was very surprised - shocked in fact - when I discovered I had passed – I just hope the next one is not as traumatic!

Friday, September 01, 2006

...bathing a rabbit.

…In fact, if I were still a Girl Guide I would probably have gained my ‘rabbit handling’ badge – assuming there was one, of course. There were badges for pretty much everything, so there probably was. I am presuming they still do badges. I will have to look into it as I am now interested! Of course, if I were still a Girl Guide, I’d have had to have had my uniform let out a little at the seams.

Actually, to back track a little – I don’t expect there really were badges for “everything” – that would be hideous. I now have an image of hoards of blue skirted, blue hatted little girls terrorising the community by practicing their arson, or their machine-gun handling. So I should say they had badges for most “nice” things. Cooking, sewing, saving people’s lives and, of course, tying boy scouts to trees with piano wire, smearing them with jam and leaving them to be eaten by ants.

Ah – I am showing my age now. No doubt the uniform is slightly more practical than the blue mini-skirt of the late 60s/early 70s, and they are no longer called Girl Guides and Boy Scouts. They will be Guides and Scouts – less sexist, more PC. I think Brownies is still going – though I was never a Brownie. I went once with my friend Tracy, but we were going to be 10 the next week, so we went straight to Guides, and never found out what they did with the secret toadstools that were kept in the cupboard, that we caught sight of when they were clearing away – they were quite big, and not real toadstools I should also add – I am not for one minute suggesting that Brown Owl was some sort of drug crazed maniac, high on magic mushrooms, but it cannot be ruled out entirely.

I think I would have liked to be a Brownie. The uniform was crap, but I would have been a Sprite. That sounds enormous fun, doesn’t it? Guides was OK (I was a daffodil). I got my emergency helper badge – but I think that one had to be renewed every two years, but I kept the badge because we moved away. The only other badges I’ve had were for swimming (400 metres – which isn’t far really, but I had only learnt to swim two weeks previously) and my Grade 1 ice-skating – both when I was about 11. For Grade One you had to “skate forward and stop”. I never managed grade two because we moved away, again, and to be honest had I gone every week from then till now I still would never have mastered the somewhat dubious art of skating backwards. I do like to see where I am going – especially when participating in potentially dangerous activities.

But anyway, I digress, the rabbit is now bathed and looking decidedly un-masculine, he is extremely fluffed up and resembles a dandelion clock. To say he enjoyed his bath would be a bit of an exaggeration; in fact to say he tolerated it would be as well. However, I think he realised quite early on that it would be futile to struggle – there was no escape.
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...writing an essay

…or rather, finding a variety of delaying tactics, mainly because I am stuck. I need 2,000 words in total. Now, because I have more or less done my conclusion (about 200-ish words) – it means that all I need to do is write just one word for every page of the new Argos catalogue. When I started this morning I was in the mirrors and lighting section. Now I have added enough words to be in washing machines. My aim is to be in power tools by the end of today. I’d like to point out that I am using plain paper – I am not actually writing the words in the Argos catalogue – it would make it a ridiculous price to post, although my tutor might find it slightly more interesting than the drivel I am writing.

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