Monday, 30 November 2009

November- The Review......

My predictions for this being a pretty spectacular month kind of fizzled out in the end, a bit like fireworks night during a monsoon.

I’m still technically classed as unemployed. I do have some Christmas temp work set up that starts this week, so that should be fun. I got turned down for the dream BBC job, but got through to the formal interview stage with another job that I am not going to write about just yet, for fear of jinxing it. But I should find out in a week or so when that is, fingers, toes and nipples crossed.

So the job front is slowly moving, but I am rapidly running out of money fast. In order to keep this blog running, I am probably going to have to resort to having a little gerbil run round in a wheel to keep my internet powered up. That's OK though, I like gerbils. 

As we are heading into the Christmas period, this is normally the time I take stock of the year and think about past events in my life. Christmas is a bit of a strange time for me. I absolutely love it with all my heart, and yet I also find the holidays pretty hard to stomach as well, mainly for the fact that I don’t have a family to spend it with. I am lucky that Kates family accepted me right from the moment that we started going out, so I always get included in their celebrations. But I always find it difficult not to feel like an intruder, an interloper that is gatecrashing somebody else's party. Totally stupid I know, as I couldn’t be made to feel more welcome, but it is still something I find hard to shake off.

I do throw myself into the whole idea of Christmas with gusto though. I just love everything about it (which is a massive contradiction I know, as it is also the most painful time of year as well. What can I say? I’m weird?). All those people that moan that it is coming too early, hate the endless procession of Christmas music that seems to be playing everywhere, dislike the decorations going up early. You know what I say?


Deal with it.

This year I am finally going the whole hog. I used to spend Christmas Eve with Kates family, and then go home and spend Christmas Day by myself. It never used to really bother me to be honest; my Christmas was the time I spent with them on Christmas Eve. I love it. We do the whole dinner thing, and then open the presents before I went home the next day. But this year I feel as if it is time to start letting go of the past and actually start living in the now. So instead of going home to an empty apartment on Christmas Day, I will hopefully be spending it with Kates. The only problem with this is that she will be cooking the Christmas dinner, and it will take an almost herculean effort from my part to not be kitchen Nazi and go in there, trying to take everything over, otherwise I am more than likely going to get a jar of horseradish jammed up my arse. Which wouldn’t make for a very Merry Christmas. Especially if you want to use it afterwards.

Breakdown of the month.

Things I Have Enjoyed:

This just made my day when I saw it. I especially like Pepe at 1.51. I almost fell off my chair laughing at him. Pepe does indeed rule. I see a little silhouette of a clam…….


My favourite ever Christmas song. The moment I hear this, I know the holidays have begun. Words cannot express how much I love this track. Every year I stick the music channels on, hoping to catch it for the first time. And that moment happened last night. So Christmas has truly begun. Yay!


Left 4 Dead 2. The zombie PC game. Kates bought me this as a thank you for looking after Peggy. She truly knows me well. This is what I have playing in my head all the time. It isn’t a PC game, this is more like a training exercise for me. And I am naturally bloody good at it. Seriously, the moment the dead start rising, come find me. I will get you out of it. Preferably with a shotgun and a frying pan.

Things I Haven't Enjoyed.

1) Job rejection emails.

Dear Dan,

You are shit.

Much love,

UK Employers. X


2) Rain. We have had it nonstop for about two weeks now. Rain. Rain. Rain. When is the snow coming? Snow rocks. It looks pretty. Makes Christmas look like Christmas. And you can make rude snowmen. You can’t do that with rain. All that does is make you wet and your hair look stupid. Rain sucks.

3) West Ham. My football team. The bringers of doom and gloom. They are not totally shit all of the time. Just shit enough to really piss you off for most of the season, and then they produce little moments of joy to make you think that it’s probably not worth killing yourself just yet, and then the moment your hopes are raised a little, and you think that things are finally getting better, they then go back to being shit again .Double bastards, with a side order of chips and a smokey BBQ dip.

TV Shows I have Enjoyed This Month.

1) The Thick Of It.


I know I included this on last month’s review, but this is simply the best thing created in any format, ever. If I could dress this show up in woman's clothing, I would happily marry it and spend the rest of my life listening to its sharp writing and biting wit with a happy smile on my face. If anyone can hunt this down on the net, or catch it on BBC America, I urge you to do so. Sublime genius.

2) Have I Got News For You. The best comedy panel show out there, and probably the granddaddy of them all in this country. The format hasn’t changed in its 20 odd year history. Paul Merton and Ian Hislop, with a guest presenter and two guest panellists, spend half an hour looking at the weeks news. And it’s always funny. Always. 

Some Books I Have Enjoyed This Month.

1) Under The Dome- Stephen King. 22 years in the making, King finally got round to writing this long gestating novel, and it is an excellent return to form from the writer whose fans have longed for him to make a return to the kind of fiction he does best. An odd sounding premise, a giant dome suddenly cuts off a small town in Maine from the rest of the world, sees him revel in the largest book he has written since The Stand. I really, really enjoyed it.

2) Last Light- Alex Scarrow. An apocalyptic (what else were you expecting?) novel set in the UK, where terrorists have bombed all of the oil refineries around the world, stopping the world’s oil supply. With no transport able to provide food, the nation quickly descends into anarchy. Very scary, yet plausible, set up.

3)  Dickens- Peter Ackroyd. Probably our best known London historian, Ackroyd also wrote the amazing London- An Autobiography. In this book however, he charts the life of Charles Dickens in his always informative, but yet accessible, style of writing. Plus it also goes into quite great depth about Victorian London, which is my favourite era of history. Well worth picking up if you can.

So that was November. More of the same as October with a few little surprises thrown in, along with some possible job prospects. Is December going to be the month that some good stuff happens? Or is it going to be the chance to usher out a fairly shit year and welcome in a new one with renewed hope and optimism? Either way, I plan on getting fat, eating lots of turkey, and worry about all those credit card bills at a later date.

I mean, what's the worst that could happen?

And to play us out, the very best version of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture I have ever heard. Imagine having this as your wake up alarm?

Take it easy chickens.


JenJen said...

The other thing about November is that I learned a new word.


I can't believe that didn't make the list!!

Allegria said...

Oh my goodness! When someone posted the Muppets Bohemia Rhapsody on Facebook I almost needed to go the the ER for oxygen. Sooo funny. Now whenever my kids say "Mama?" I have to gasp for air.

Eva Gallant said...

Loved the Muppets!!!!! Thanks so much for making my Monday!

Kate said...

Love that video!

Kate xx

UberGrumpy said...

Blimey, Dan, maybe you didn't get the job yet but you sure had a full month otherwise.

Loved the 'horseradish enema'

scarlethue said...

I am not a fan of Christmas. Bah, humbug.

I think it's because my family has all either passed away or moved away, because I used to enjoy it as a child. And it doesn't help that retailers seem to want to start the season earlier and earlier each year. That frustrates me. Christmas has become too much work!

Anonymous said...

I struggle with Christmas. I'm used to the cold and alpine imagery and here I am trying to celebrate it in shorts and a heatwave.

It's about the only thing I struggle with.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Transfer Window to you.

plainolebob said...

Dan, that was great for a wake up call, merry merry and happy happy

Bamberio said...

Don't worry Dan, I'm sure things will get better for the Hammers soon - just maybe not this weekend eh?

Kate said...

Well, good luck for the new job. And Happy Christmas Anticipating. I love it too and will appreciate it more this year for various reasons.

hope said...

How can you not smile at Muppets? And Beaker cracked me up! Thank you!

Hey, you ever need more "adoptive" family, just give me a wave. I promise to be interested in what you have to say, will not interrupt to offer unsolicited advice and will keep my childlike Christmas enthusiasm way past the time I was suppose to let it go. I cannot, sadly, lend you money. Sure, it builds character to earn your own...I just don't earn enough for the both of us. ;)

alex scarrow said...

Hi, thanks for the review of LAST LIGHT. I hope it porvided food for thought as well as a few hours of entertainment.

Best (and seasons greetings)

Alex Scarrow :-)

Dan said...

JenJen- How many times can I reply "Bite me" to any of your comments?

Allegria- It does raise a smile. And it’s all about the Pepe.

Eva- Glad I could help matey.

Kate- Which one? (Muppets I guess?)

UG- A full month filled with nothing. The best kind probably?

Scarlthue- I do understand where you are coming from, Christmas can be hard work sometimes. I hope yours is stress free this year matey.

Matt- Couldn't do it mate. Need me winter. And the transfer season is going to be horrendous. Fire sale springs to mind.

Bob- I can just see you going to invade something now after listening to that.

Bamberio- No, we are more than likely going to resemble a scared new in inmate having to share a cell with Bubba. God help us. Thanks for stopping by.

Kate- Thanks for the sentiments matey, and the same to you with Christmas bells on!

Squiggle- As I keep telling folk, it’s all about the Pepe. Happy December to you as well matey!

Hope- That’s all I was angling for, financial help. Dan Aid. Bob Geldoff and Bono are actually thinking of setting up some benefit concerts for me.

Alex- Wow wasn't expecting that. No need to thank me, I really enjoyed your book. Was nice to see an apocalyptic setting that didn't involve zombies or a virus. Will definitely be getting your next novel.

Now I wonder if getting public figures to comment on my blog will work in any other media.




*Sits back and waits for the comments to arrive*

ladytruth said...

Your blog has been touched by a celebrity, therefore you MUST be a celebrity now (cordially bowing ensues).

So you're a West Ham supporter? Well ... at least they're kit colours are nice :) We're Chelsea supporters around here. Ok, ok, let the verbal sparring begin, I suppose :)