Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Reasons to be thankful

It's Thanksgiving eve and outside Columbus is having its first real snowfall of the winter. What happened to Autumn? That's a good question, apparently it only lasts about a week and half. I fear that winter cold is going to be the order of the day from here on out. And you know what that means, it's time to think about buying a hat once more. At the moment I'm in my typical start of winter holding pattern. My ears tell me that I need a hat, but I just can't find one that suits me. Generally speaking I'm not too picky about the clothes I wear — a saying about silk purses and sow's ears springs to mind. But with hats it's different. With hats it needs to be just the right hat. Of course, I never find just the right hat and at some point it just gets too cold and I panic buy a hat I don't like, in order to stop my ears falling off. Maybe this year will be different. But I doubt it.

This year will mark the first time in four Thanksgivings that I'll be doing the whole turkey and family thing. Although, obviously, not with my family, I'll be borrowing (well, more sharing actually) a friend's family for the occasion. Come to think about I don't know for sure that there will be turkey and all that, I'm just assuming there will be. Either way, I'm sure it will be an interesting trip down to Cincinnati. (And I'll be in a much more festive mood tomorrow if the Falcons can pull their fingers out and beat Detroit — suffice to say I have one or two pennies riding on the game.)

On a related note, we had a very good weekend on the gambling front with wins in college football, proper football and only a one pound loss on the Falcons. Hopefully this weekend will continue my new found winning tradition.

Friday, November 18, 2005

National Fear Mongering Week

This week was National Mouth Cancer Awareness Week back home in Blighty. In celebration of this fact scientists and the powers that be have decided to take on two of my favourite activities: drinking and oral sex. Admittedly, I practice the former with rather more regularity than the latter, but that doesn't change the fact that both are clearly essential parts of any 21st century civilisation.

I was particularly pleased with the quote from Kerstin Rosenquist, "You should avoid having oral sex". Then I discovered (and by discovered I mean actually read the words that followed the quote) that Kerstin was a dentist and thought, well that explains it then. Probably some previous life experience involving pubic hairs and a patient who needs to floss more.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Two buses, a police car and a short fat Italian plumber... and a little bit about genocide

Yesterday it rained. And I don't just mean there was a little moisture falling from the sky. I mean that God was angry and he sent a Noah-esque storm to wash Columbus off the map. Well okay, that might be a wee bit of an exaggeration, but you get the picture.

Now I don't mind getting a little wet. I don't even mind getting a lot wet. I do however get somewhat angry (and by somewhat angry I mean screaming four-letter words that rhyme with punt) when not one, but two buses feel the need to zoom pass splashing me with dirty water from the puddles. I get even more angry when seconds after this has happens a police car goes by and does the same. Ugggh! It's probably quite fortunate that the police car was going far too fast for me to have caught up with it, as if it had stopped I would probably have given Mr Policeman a piece of my mind — and we know how little of that there is to go around. I mean a policeman, there supposed to be public servants not public splashers. Bastards, the lot of them.

My latest addiction is to a short, fat Italian plumber. I think that you probably know who I mean. Likes mushrooms, has a brother, answers to the name Mario? And I'd always been a Sonic kind of a guy. Oh well...

The question on everybody's lips this weekend was, "Do you turn blue when you have a quadruple heart bypass?". So far the statistics are: Blue 0 — Not Blue 1. Stay tuned for updates.

Oh, by the way, we are up to two in a row on the not-mashing-up-my-foot-on-a-weekend index, I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear.

What else? Um, spread-betting can be a little bit dangerous. But that's okay because I've been studying the How to Identify a Betting Problem on the Sporting Index website. Here are their questions:
  1. Do you stay away from work, college or school to bet?
  2. Do you bet to escape from a boring or unhappy life?
  3. When betting and you run out of money, do you feel lost and in despair, and need to gamble again as soon as possible?
  4. Do you bet until your last penny is gone, even the bus fare home or the cost of a cup of tea?
  5. Have you ever lied to cover up the amount of money or time you have spent betting?
  6. Have others ever criticised your levels of betting?
  7. Have you lied, stolen or borrowed just to get money to bet or to pay betting debts?
  8. Are you reluctant to spend 'betting money' on anything else?
  9. Have you lost interest in your family, friends or interests?
  10. After losing, do you feel you must try and win back your losses as soon as possible?
  11. Do arguments, frustrations or disappointments make you want to bet?
  12. Do you feel depressed or even suicidal because of your betting?

Here are my responses:
  1. No. But then again I do most of my betting from work (probably shouldn't mention that as betting is somewhat frowned upon over here in Yankland).
  2. Not really. That's what drinking is for. (Okay I'm kidding — more or less)
  3. Nope, I just top up the account and hope for better luck next time.
  4. Do I gamble away the price of a cup of tea? What are these people smoking? You can't win anything much for the price of a cup of tea.
  5. All the time. But then again I'm a habitual liar. It takes all my willpower not to answer yes to this question on the US visa application form: Have you ever participated in persecutions directed by the Nazi government of Germany; or have you ever participated in genocide?
  6. Of course. People criticise everything I do.
  7. Nope.
  8. What the hell is 'betting money'?
  9. Did you really just ask me if I lost interest in my interests? A crazy person wrote these questions.
  10. No, I want to continue losing as quickly as possible. This isn't a questionnaire about whether or not you have a betting problem, it's a questionnaire about whether or not you're retarded.
  11. No. They make me frustrated and disappointed. I want to bet, cause it's fun.
  12. Well I can't say I fell happy as Larry when I lose. But I haven't started staring longingly at the medicine cabinet yet. (Point of order. We don't actually have a medicine cabinet, if we did though I'm pretty confident I would keep the staring longingly to those times when I'm too hungover to get out of bed.)

So that's that cleared up then. Isn't it?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Vulvote: A Love Affair

Do you ever have one of those moments when you fall completely in love with something at the drop of a hat? I do, and today I fell in love with (well okay, I fell further in love with) The Friday Thing.

The reason? They created the perfect word for describing voting females (and male politicians attempts to chase after them). The word, as those who read titles may have guessed, is vulvote. The article is here.

Vulvote it just rolls off the tongue... or something.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Quick one before the lesbian bar

In a change to my usual posting routine (or whatever it is that's like a routine only missing the regularity) this is quick post before I head off down to the bar (normally I write these quickies before going to the gym).

My one word review of the American justice system: Shambolic.

At least that's how it was up on the 12th floor of Franklin County court house. Shambolic, but very entertaining.

How often do you get to hear a police officer say the following to a prosecutor, "I was watching Law and Order last night and I have a question."? Well, if you're me the answer is once. (The question was about whether judges could overrule plea bargains — they can.)

Last Wednesday also marked the first time that I'd ever heard a judge telling a man, who was wearing handcuffs and an orange F.C.C.C prisoner suit at the time, that in the future he should not to turn up at the courthouse drunk. The man in question had spent the night in jail for contempt of court for showing up drunk the previous day — needless to say, the reason he was at the court was for a DUI hearing.

I haven't got time to mention all the slimy lawyers who were squirming around the place. "I haven't forgot that you owe me $50 Mohammad.", said one lawyer with his up-turned palm reaching towards his client.

At the end of the day all that happened in Brit's case, was that there was a continuance for another month. How much money do they need to waste on trying to prosecute a guy riding home on his bike? Quite a lot it would seem.

In other news, I attended my first Ohio State football game this weekend. It wasn't really much of contest, finishing 40-2, but it was a fun day out with the crazy folk. And this weekend was the first time in three weeks that I didn't injure my left foot (and no I didn't injure the right one instead). I feel ever so proud of myself.

Okay, I'm off down to Blazer's Pub for a beer or two.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The toe incident

This weekend I hurt my toe, well actually I hurt two of the toes on my left foot. Today I am still hobbling and the toes are still somewhat purple and swollen. This is definitively not a good state affairs.

As you may have guessed the incident involved the consumption of a small amount of alcohol. It started out tamely enough with a gin and tonic (well lemon and lime juice as they were out of tonic) at Columbus's scariest bar (the barmaid was flat out insane, at first refusing to serve me and then talking crazy talk about this and that and how she used to speed) and a couple of beers before watching The Weather Man — which I really liked, it's just one of those quirky slice of life films but very well done and quite amusing. After the film the journey home descended into a bar crawl during the course of which I got to watch my 2-0 start to Saturday's gambling descend into a 2-4 disaster. I was not a happy camper, a fact I announced repeatedly during the evening. I even managed to get home and situate myself safely on the sofa before the incident.

It was a simple enough task. Go to the kitchen and get a glass of water to take upstairs to Brit. You'd have thought that even under the worst of all possible worlds the task would not end up with two possible broken toes and toe wet beds. You'd be wrong. For some reason I jogged across to the kitchen, then slipped, smacked into the door frame with my left foot (at which point the toe injury occurred), twisted through the air, fell into the rubbish bin and ended up lying against the wall clutching my foot and nursing a bruised arm. I then proceeded to go upstairs and throw a glass of water over Brit's bed — what can I say it made sense at the time — which led to my bed having a glass of water thrown over it by the time I retired (hurt) for the night.

Today I'm off to the courthouse. It's very exciting. Will I get to see the wheels of American justice turning? Or will Miss Justice lose the baby in a miscarriage? Stay tuned for more exciting updates. (Or don't.)