Sunday, February 24, 2008


On Friday night I went out with friends from Sanctus1. We started off in the new Tampopo at the Triangle in Manchester. It's Asian fusion food - I had Mee Goreng Chicken, getting in practice for my trip to Indonesia in the summer, followed by chocolate icecream. I really liked the style - long benches, so you could end up sitting next to a random stranger - good for a night out with friends but possibly not for a romantic dinner... The staff were very friendly and helpful and the food was delicious, though reasonably spicy - so not ideal if you don't like spicy food at all. The only small problem we had was that one person's main course was burnt so she sent it back and it was replaced with something undercooked, followed by the wrong pudding - although again this was speedily replaced. Definitely worth another visit.

After this we saw Juno - a fantastic film about a pregnant teenager. It was unmoralistic - no goodies or baddies, just flawed people dealing with problems as they arise - unsentimental and very funny – it reminded me of Napoleon Dynamite in its style. The acting was fantastic – so much shown without any words. I was concerned about the portrayal of the potential adoptive couple - a neurotic woman desperate for a baby with a husband who just wasn't sure: a bit of a cliched gender stereotype - but because of the strengths of the characters each person was an individual rather than representative of a group. Equally, there's been some debate about whether Juno is pro-life but I think the decision is portrayed as an individual one, set in the context of being 16 and pregnant, rather than a comment on all abortions everywhere, ever. One thing I loved was Juno's immaturity -she was funny and clever but the state of pregnancy didn't make her suddenly wiser, more virtuous or more mature - there was no suggestion that being pregnant makes you an adult, or a woman, or that pregnancy is the ultimate state for all women. And it managed all this with hardly any showing of sex or babies...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Here comes the sun...

I have been reasonably successful in having more fun - I was out every night last week and did not cook once.  This did result in me feeling quite ill and thinking I might faint/fit on Saturday.  I will refine my goal somewhat - have more fun without making myself ill.

I got a hospital appointment letter for 19th Feb and was quite impressed.  Then realised I'd been mis-referred - it said ECG* rather than EEG**.  Turns out I'm having an ECG as well as an EEG and brain scan - Matt claims the doctor said he was sending me for one.  I was quite alarmed.  I'd come to terms with maybe having a weird brain but I appear not to be prepared for having a heart problem.

I'm applying for a job (regen stuff in Salford) and struggling to (a) convey just how amazing I am and (b) work out how to fill in bits of the form.  For example, do I count as being disqualified from driving or does that just count for people who got caught drink-driving?  Can I put that I've got a license and then explain that I can't use it or is it better just to say no?  Do I say I have a disability, when the job doesn't actually ask for driving and that's the only bit I really have difficulties with?  Do I even count as disabled?  I've only had one fit.  But my day-to-day functioning is impaired in that I can't drive.  But then lots of people's day to day functioning is equally impaired by not managing to pass their driving test.  I don't have epilepsy, just a good excuse to see pictures of the inside of my brain.  Does not knowing how to answer questions on a job application count as an impairment?  Fortunately there is a very helpful equality and diversity person at Salford Council who will hopefully ring me up and help me work out what to put.  

But now that it's getting light again, I'm feeling happy.  Life is worth living when it's sunny outside...

** brain thingy

Friday, February 01, 2008


I had a revelation last weekend.

I went to visit some friends of mine and they asked about things like my mother-in-law's wedding (in November) - I realised I hadn't seen them since October*.

I saw this** and laughed a lot, and it felt rather nice to be laughing and feeling endorphin-y, and it was a bit sobering to realise that I clearly don't laugh enough.

I realised: my life is shit.

Again, this isn't technically true. But I eat, sleep, work and study. This isn't a life. So I've decided. If I'm not good enough at studying to do well enough and see my friends and have fun, I'll just have to not be good enough. It's not the end of a career, just the curtailage of a particular career path.

So, I have a plan:
  1. When I'm working, work hard. My time is valuable.
  2. See my friends. Accept invitations. Arrange to see people. Have fun.
  3. Find a new job. My ideal would be to get a Neighbourhood Management Officer job and do that for a few years and then move into strategy, research or policy. But, if no NMO jobs come up soon, I'll look for something else, somewhere else. I'm not feeling challenged enough and I need more responsibility. I like it where I work and I'd like to keep working there. But not doing this.

So. I went to Sanctus on Wednesday and saw people, and it was interesting. I met up with a friend for coffee and we talked about SPEAK stuff. And I'm starting planning the stewarding for a speak event in May. It involves a comedy night on the Sunday. Subject to not getting knackered organising stewarding, I'm going to restart my comedy by putting a short routine together. I'm excited because I love doing it.

I have decided. My life will be better.

I was going to blog about evolution and where the world comes from. Maybe next time...

*This turns out to be untrue. I saw them at a Christmas dinner.

**Too lazy to do my own linking, but Merlin's blog is very thought-provoking, so it's worth a visit. I'll be like the internet tourist board for a minute.