Tag: <span>NEED</span>

I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for fads, for shiny new things that will help me in my never ending quest for betterment.

Is that a word? I hope so, because I can’t think of another word that encompasses the pervading view that we should all be trying harder to do more, be more, and want more. Whether you are hacking your life to be more efficient, ramping up your productivity with all manner of techniques, methodologies and must-have apps, finding new shiny things to improve your day to day life (hello new DE razor shaving fetish!) or are honing and perfecting to get the body you should, it’s all pushing us to be better versions of ourselves.

But what is better?

Health Personal Musings

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Yes, it’s definitely that time of year. The music has started to be played on the radio (where are all the NEW Christmas songs??), the first dusting of slush has plopped itself all over everything, and I’ve got a cupboard bursting with presents ready to be wrapped, not to mention cards to be written and posted.

Oh yeah, and this year I will have a Christmas tree.

It’s also that time of year when you look at your calendar and think… ‘right, when shall I fit in some sleep?’ because all of a sudden there are only a few weekends to go and you’ve got one or two nights out in a row and you start to feel old and wonder if you can manage but then you go out and it’s fab and you think ‘hey, I don’t really NEED sleep’ and then suddenly one day you sleep for 14 hours and are quite happy to do the same the next day, just as you are happy to eat trifle for breakfast, demolish a chocolate orange for lunch, and takeaway is a chore because it means getting up off the sofa to answer the door. Meanwhile your living room is strewn with wrapping paper, half-empty coffee mugs and wine glasses huddle together (you did start to tidy up but it was just too much effort) and you start to wonder if you are getting a cold.

Then the next night out comes along, you struggle out the door and whoooosh, alcohol happens and it’s fab and you think ‘hey, I don’t really NEED sleep’ …

Repeat until January.

I fuckin love Christmas.

Life

I wish people would stop asking me, I really don’t know and whilst I can always give suggestions I really honestly don’t need anything. Can we just not do the whole present thing?

I am, of course, talking about my upcoming birthday.

Now I’m fairly well off, I can afford most of what I want and that’s even before I consider things I really NEED (errr… nothing, really), so the whole idea of getting birthday presents seems a bit daft.

Is it just me?

Regular readers will know I that I flip-flop between fighting off the hordes of consumerism and succumbing to charms of the latest gadget. So this whole birthday present thing depends on the current state of the battle.

If I’ve recently had my ramparts overrun (ooer, missus!) then it’s easy to jot down a list of “things wot I’d like”, if my ramparts have yet to be breached (I should stop with this, right?) then my response to “what would you like for your birthday?” becomes a shrug and a few items that I could just as easily pick up myself.

But then it’s not about the item you get, it’s about the fact that someone has taken the time to think about me and get me something they think I’ll like. I get that part of it fine and dandy, honest I do and, you know… thanks.

The whole present buying/receiving thing is a tricky area of course, with oodles of etiquette and unwritten rules which make it far harder than it should be. For example:

  1. Are you allowed to admit that you throw away presents?
  2. Is there an acceptable timescale for re-using presents? Ohhh come on, we’ve all done it!
  3. Is providing a list of things you’d like the “done thing”?
  4. What is wrong with just cancelling the entire birthday shenanigans??

IS it just me? I doubt it.

Of course, regardless of all of the above, I reserve the right to change my mind completely when my birthday rolls around.

Life

In a desperate effort to gain some weird form of validation, I stole an idea for a blog post and begged my readers to ask me a question. And they did. The buggers. Now I have to answer them.

Question 3: Lyle cheated and asked two questions (sort of). The second, “The Joy of Clients” I’ll ignore as I’m just too nice a guy to tell the truth about some of the fuckin’ idiots I’ve had to deal with in the past year or so. Ach, who am I kidding, there was only really one client who may have provided enough material for this post but the ‘relationship’ didn’t develop much further than me saying.. “WTF? Er.. no, too busy at the moment, sorry”. So I’ll tackle his other suggestion instead, “Redesigns I have hated, and why.”

Redesigns I have hated, and why
Those of you who have been visiting for a while will be used to me re-designing this site (also known as ‘de-branding’). In fact I think the current design (current pinkness aside) has been one of the most enduring, probably because, to my eye at least, it hits the mark between minimalism and functionality, without being overly fussy or particularly “in yer face”. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever re-designed this site and hated it… after all, I’m my own best client, right??

So, and I’m guessing this is what he was really asking, I got to thinking about other sites that have been badly re-designed (note: that’s not “badly NEED a re-design” an entirely different topic which would produce a very, VERY long list). There have been a few high profile website re-designs recently, the new look New York Times being one of the more major undertakings. Trouble is, to find a website re-design I hate, I’d have to spend some time browsing sites that I don’t like the look of and, well, what kind of masochist do you take me for?

Broadening the field to look at design in general, one candidate for “redesigns I have hated” leaps out and shakes it’s big ugly ass in my face. The Renault Megane.

Having owned the previous, sleeker, model which, whilst not exactly at the cutting edge of fashion at least retained a modicum of style, the re-designed Renault Megane was a bit of a shock to the system and, essentially, was the car that switched me away from Renault (we’ve had three previous Renaults all served us very well). I have no idea what they were thinking, and whilst the Clio hinted at what was to come, the new Megane’s “booty” and tiny rear windscreen just seemed wrong. It doesn’t matter what angle I look at it from, it is NOT sexy. I do not get images of J-Lo’s curves, nor do I want to ‘shake that ass’ when I see one, on the contrary, I want to take a sledgehammer and pound that big ugly bump into submission.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for unique design and I’m more than happy for car designers to take different approaches to make their car look unique but, and the question has to be asked, who the hell sold this design to the senior management at Renault? There is a hint of twisted evil genius at hand here, either that or s/he got them all completely blotto and managed to get them to sign off after only seeing the re-designed steering wheel or something. I mean come on, if you saw a car THAT ugly would YOU want your company to make it?

I just don’t understand it, most car designers (and, yes, I’m projecting here) must surely spend their day doodling sleek powerful beasts, with bonnet mounted missile launchers and custom painted flames ripping up the side. How do you get from THAT to the fat arsed lardy looking Megane? It beggars belief.

I wish I could give a better reason, but, basically, I hate the design because *I* think it looks ugly, and that’s all that matters to me.

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What is it about this time of year that causes so much stress? Is it the incessant commercialism? The shops crowded with ignorant and stupid people, all bustling around with nary a mind for anyone else, laden with bags full of lead that careen off my kneecaps at regular intervals.

Or maybe it’s more to do with the calendar, the advent of another year looming into view, for who doesn’t already have plans in January. We do. As you tick off the days of December you suddenly realise you’ve not seen this person or that couple, and that appointment you re-scheduled a couple of months back is in danger of getting in the road of your ‘quick’ catchup with some old school friends. But you’ve got too many things to do, it’s not like you are sitting around doing nothing.

So you make plans. You cram in, lunches, drinks, nights out, shopping trips or whatever it takes to ensure that we can end the year, or at least get to Christmas, safe in the knowledge that we’ve seen everyone we need to see.

Question: Why the NEED? Will they disown you if you don’t see them? Will they find out that you saw everyone else but them? Are they having the exact same thoughts?

Then you spend the next few weeks in a blur. You rush around in a state of befuddlement never quite sure which pub you are in, which shop you simply must visit before Saturday, and what time you said you’d meet your Dad so you could help him with Mum’s gift (no Mum, not you… I’m generalising…). Your calendar is suddenly full and when you do stop to rest you feel guilty because, surely, you should be doing SOMETHING!

At a time when friends and family should be the priority we find ourselves scheduling them in…

“no no we can’t see you then, but there’s a slot free on Tuesday, how does that sound?”

At least that’s what it feels like.

Two of my best mates work in the same city as me, less than a 15 minute walk away. Yet I never seem to have the time or inclination to meet them. Why is that? Despite my feelings about them, and how much they mean to me, I seem to treat them as an inconvenience or just something that needs to be dealt with. How horrible is that?!

For the record then: Stuart, Bill, fancy a drink sometime? I’m free the Thursday after Christmas….

After a year dominated by awful events I already know what one of my resolutions will be for 2006. I just hope I can fit it into my schedule.

Life

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What a cracking day, I’m nicely pink after spending all day in the garden (which now actually looks like a garden rather than a collection of plants and weeds), nicely full after a nice dinner out with my parents, and nicely prepared to go away on holiday at the end of the week…

Actually, scrap that last one.

You see there is one crucial thing that I’m having trouble with, it’s not the “what to pack” issue (it’s two weeks in a caravan, I’ll be taking shorts, t-shirts and my speedos*), nor the timing, tickets and travel arrangements, no no, it’s much more important than that.

It’s the music.

Let me explain – I’m driving my sister-in-laws estate (car, not 6 acres and stables) down to Torquay while she and Louise and two nieces and a nephew take the train. Obviously I’m going to be in the car on my own for a considerable length of time (10 hours?) and need a good mix of music. I’ve got an iTrip for my iPod and I’ve been pulling together a playlist. Trouble is that the tracks are of varying volume and it’s driving me nuts. What I NEED is a way to equalise the volume on a LARGE playlist somehow.

Any suggestions?

Music wise it’s a mix of upbeat rock tracks, dance tracks, and good old sing along classics, basically anything that will keep me awake – ohh didn’t I mention? I’m driving down overnight so I’ll have my iPod, and several cans of Red Bull to get me from Dumbarton to Torquay.

So, iPod volume suggestions and any suggested “keep me awake” tracks are welcomed. And yes, this week I’ll mostly be yakking on about my holiday.

* I’m kidding of course, I don’t have speedos. I do have a leopard print thong…

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To borrow a phrase from a recent post of Tom’s (a very interesting post it is as well) I guess that the tagline for this site should really ALWAYS be “it’s like thinking in public”.

I’ve been blogging for years, had a “homepage” before that and could bore you silly whilst trying to score silly points because I’ve been “on the web” longer than you. The early posts to my site were usually longer pieces, similar to the kind of thing I post these days, along came Blogger and this de-generated into a two line diary of a very boring man. To the 24 people who used to visit me each week, thanks for doing so (although I’m pretty sure most of them will have disappeared to greener pastures).

Since then I’ve improved, as do most things with practise, but I don’t really see myself as a “popular” blogger. Whether you use stats, incoming links or general awareness, I think it’s fair to say I’m a pretty well kept secret. I quite enjoy that, but part of me would like a little more attention, fame if you will, a hint of the shadow of limelight to fall on this site now and then. And it has, now and then.

But this is a hobby and it should be painfully obvious that I’m making this up as I go along. I don’t have a plan, I rarely know what I’m going to post about the next time I sit down at the computer, let alone in a day or a week from now. I’m shoddy at keeping archives, I don’t email people when they comment here and, on the whole, it still surprises me that I can garner 39 comments on a simple post about leaving home.

Blogging

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Today’s challenge, to see how productive I can be having had three hours sleep. Well, otherwise it’d just be another boring Monday, right? Why couldn’t I sleep? It’s all zed’s fault (well her and a splitting headache that developed about 10 mins after I’d gone to bed).

I feel sorry for Monday sometimes. Gets an awful lot of bad press.

Anyway, this week starts slow and doesn’t really kick in until Wednesday evening and the Faithless gig in the Big Red Shed (SECC). I wasn’t massively impressed by their last album but I’m assured that they are an excellent live band, and considering the support is Mylo well, it’s like two bands for the price of one. A new favourite, and possibly my album of the year, coupled with an old pro. Should be good, right?

Thursday night and I’ll be tuning in for Peel Night on Radio 1. If I can get BlogMatrix to work I’ll be recording it as well, especially as it runs from 7pm-1am. Not exactly a one listen show methinks.

Friday night and the annual “drag me along and then have to drag me home” night – otherwise known as our company Christmas party – rolls around. This year we are in the Hilton in Glasgow. Hope it’s up to scratch, as the last two years at the Radisson have been excellent. Right now, sitting here at my desk, trying to stay awake (and wondering why no bugger thought to buy coffee, honestly, what’s the point of having a nice coffee machine if THERE ISN’T ANY COFFEE AND OH MY GOD I NEED CAFFEINE!!!!! Ahem… sorry… where was I? Ohh yes, the Xmas party…) I can see the night far enough, especially as it’s a different venue and I’ve already been forewarned about the price of drinks there. Still, I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Anyway, how rude of me, how was YOUR weekend?

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