There used to be Themes to this Chronicle of Nonsense, back in the day, but that was when I was on top of things. And, let’s face it… younger.
So after wasting the crappy part of the year with my head down, writing what will probably be errant nonsense, it was high-time to get a wiggle on with everything else. And how!
In which life screws with Beshemoth, just because
First off, I had a job interview, out of the blue, and due to Connections, for a massively awesome job, a stone’s throw from the Bossman’s place, and for which all his friends who gave me the heads-up said I would be Perfect. It seemed too good to be true – apart from being Fun, and Challenging, and Progressive, the pay hike was ferocious. We are talking actually being eligible to repay my student loans!
So obviously I was going to screw this up. Opportunity one: I had to go and Network for this thing and everything! The guy I networked with (so badly that over a working lunch I failed to actually order any lunch) was all, wow, we were looking for a PA who is also a biologist, an engineer and an IT bod, but I never thought we would actually find one! You have it in the bag!
I did not leave this to chance, however. I had very kind people give me crash space and CV pointers and do my hair and nails, and I stalked into the interview looking like Axl Rose circa 1989, if he had become a corporate hitman rather than a rockstar; matching nails and handbag and shoes and lipstick, monochrome and pinstripe and haematite jewellery for the rest. Truly, I did not recognise myself in the mirror.
I did not trip in the massive stilettos; I did my best to make friends with the staff while waiting and bond over stories of cats, while not making the mistake of assuming anyone was going to be my junior or being shitty to anyone; in the interview itself I did my best to impress with my tales of previous triumphs in the work environment. And I had done my homework on the company and was genuinely excited about the prospect of making my own job description for an R&D department which, if there was any justice in the world, or at least, an cinematic truth, would be deep underground and guarded by a sentient computer, and we would all die of a zombie outbreak. It would be awesome.
The interviewer also said I was perfect.
Then he said I’d probably get bored because I was too perfect, and gave the job to someone else. Bah.
In which nature also screws with beshemoth, just because
Fortunately, I have somehow not managed to miss the growing season, because there hasn’t been one yet – it is now May, the bluebells are only just out, we still have daffodils waving merrily, and the hawthorn, which ironically is usually past blossoming by this time, has yet to put in any appearance at all. This is going past ‘ooh check me out, I have a Feel for the Seasons’ right into ‘oh shit, looks like we fucked the ecosystem already’. And indeed, this week brought the news that we just hit 400 ppm CO2, which target I was blithely praying was about a decade off (you know, so the worst effects occur about five minutes after I personally snuff it, cos I am great that way). I read the comments in the Guardian article on it, since it loads faster than other online papers and my lunch connection at work is lazy. Dishearteningly, there was practically nothing, on either side of the fray that was going on, that could be considerd to be considering the problem. Taking that as a sample, I guess that’s that then, good job humanity.
(The Bossman informs me that there is nothing whatsoever I can do personally, even if I were to renounce everything and live in a barrel, and then persuade everyone in Britain to do the same, which would change matters. I am unsure if he just gave me all his hand-me-down gadgets to implicate me further in the collective responsibility-failure, or just to save them from being crushed up somewhere. Certainly, I have recently developed netflix, a Wii, the tablet, an e-reader, a wire that allows me to play laptop music on enormous speakers and a Korean knock-off of a smartphone, thus raising the number of gadgets in my flat by around 400 percent. My carbon footprint is now the size of a small moon, and I am going to the special hell.)
(A numpty rants: why in the name of everything holy is my country not going hell for leather developing energy-independence? Apparently there is enough tidal power to provie for an entire quarter of our total needs; only below the line, people are all, 25,000 turbines is a lot of turbines. Yeah. We have thirty million cars. But apparently, if any country tries to wean itself off oil, it will become a global loser and its economy will be in the toilet. Where ours is now. However! See once this completely non-renewable resource gets even scarcer, who is going to be laughing then? A country which has switched to something else ahead of the rush, surely.
Obviously, I am a complete moron, however, because what seems logical to me is anathema to everyone else.)
In crappy survivalist this-will-totally-not-save-my-arse-even-if-it-works news, therefore, the tatties I planted out in early March when there was a sudden burst of hot weather and people were speculating that we were going to have a wonderful spring (possibly based on nothing but the series of crappy springs recently) had all been killed by the frost, so I raked over the beds and planted a bee garden and a ton of mustard instead. Fortunately, I had kept some tatties back, in case that happened, so I planted them out in mid-April, far too lat for earlies – in a normal year. [This is a normal year, now. Ed]
Naturally, neither set has so far showed any signs of being alive, and nor has the bee garden nor the mustard, and if anything can become a jungle in time only rivalled by nettles, it is mustard.
So this year’s plan involves emphasis on harvesting nettles, dandelions, burdocks, and if I can find a recipe requiring goosegrass, that bastard’s getting harvested and all. Indeed, my Colleague of Skull Scarves’ Hubby of Kit Cars tells me that every single species of slug on this green and waterlogged isle is edible, and there are even recipes for them on the internet now. So if they eat everything like they did last year, I will STILL have a harvest, by god. A horrible, disgusting one; I can only hope the sweet taste of Revenge! will somehow counteract the Awful.
In which beshemoth’s own immune system screws with beshemoth and – yes, this motif is wearing thin now
Anyway, having made all these plans, I became violently ill with every one of the bugs my new young Minions have brought into the hospital (or alternately, been struck down with on arrival) and had to take an unprecedented three days off because I had sinusitis like unto the compression of a submarine when it plunges haplessly past its maximum safe depth (as occurs in every movie, book or TV programme I have ever seen which features a submarine). It was so bad I did not sleep at all during this time.
Well, that is something of hyperbole – I did get an hour’s sleep the first night, but was woken in the small hours by the sound of a mouse gnawing through something, so I heaved myself out of bed and dilligently went in search of the little git. Alas, it eventually turned out the noise was coming from inside my skull, which put me at somewhat of a loss for what to do about it, except cowering and waiting for my head to implode under the pressure.
By the third day, I could barely tell up from down and my boss was getting increasingly antsy about me coming back to work already. I refused, feeling that I would rather be disciplined for not showing up than for showing up and doing something so completely beyond the pale that it became a sacking offence, on account of no longer being able to tell at all whether one had to wear clothes in public, and if so, how many and in what order.
Fortunately the Bossman came round to look after me that weekend. He was not pleased to discover that in extremis, being unable sleep, exercise, or do anything as useful as to read more than a couple of hundred words without zoning out and wishing I was dead, I had started on the second installment of this Erotica! in! Space! trilogy. I myself was not pleased to find he was down with the sickness also, and ran around looking after him while he blamed me for his woes, from my sickbed. This turned out to be something of a tactical error, because I became exhausted and it was very hard to drag myself into work on Monday morning, which I did largely because he was still in my sickbed and I was about to run out of those teabags he likes.
Turned out he had like half the symptoms I had. Grr.
In which being sick and being at work helping the sick kinda blur together, and then blur into my ‘social’ life as well and, erm, I kinda pulled? Well, on a professional level. Maybe.
My boss made shoutings down the phone about disciplinaries for being sick and insisted I go to my GP, who said there was nothing that could be done, but very good show on only being off for three days, most people were being knocked out for a fortnight, especially seeing as I had the stomach virus thing at the same time. Needless to say, it is nearly June and I am still not finished dragging my sorry arse around being all post-viral, but ho hum.
Anyway, in other news, my job, in which the admin review meant I got a technical demotion, has now given me a technical promotion, so I’m in the giddy situation of being paid as a band 4 administrator, while working as a band 2 administrator, while also working as a band 5 administrator, which has caused much consternation among my colleagues because nobody’s sure if I’m now a skiving bastard who should be hated for being overpaid, or a thieving bastard who should be hated for shinning up the greasy pole (despite being underpaid for it). The upshot, or cause, even, is that I have Minions! Several of them, even. And I am responsible for their training and wellbeing and reporting on their progress and so forth. Nobody can decide whether to pity me for a chump or curse me for an overachiever on this one, so naturally, they do both, sometimes within the space of the same sentence. I am gracious in response, make self-deprecating jokes and dream of getting the hell out of here.
However, despite being myself at her, I have somehow managed to make friends with the Original Minion, who is starting out as a photographer and really, really, just Luverly. To the point where she very nicely took me out to an artist Thing, where we got free champagne; and on the back of this proceeded to get horribly drunk on very expensive wine thereafter. (I love paying by debit card. You can see exactly how much each round set you back the next day, plus how many times you went to the bar, so you can be horrified by exactly what you decided was a reasonable deal. In the old days, you just had to guess where your money had gone. I … miss the quantum uncertainty, where you could just pretend it somehow didn’t happen like that).
During the course of this, she introduced me to the promotors as ‘an Artist’, and when I depreciatingly explained that I’m currently doing oil pastels of local wrestlers, to Deflect Attention back to more deserving peeps) they became highly excited. Sadly, by this time I had ordered two bottles of wine and incautiously told the promotors all about my hiatus’ed project of a series of massive BDSM circus-themed nudes, in which they also seemed highly excited. I figured this was mainly to keep me happy while they fled, but the next day I was contacted about taking this forward, which means I have to actually do something about it, oh wail. I am not even sure I have the skill to achieve what I’m aiming for, and had originally dropped the project because a) it’s a sarcastic way of expressing how the fall-out from A Very Bad Event made me feel, and I’m not sure of the… tastefulness… of it, and b) I discovered I had accidentally let the spare room to some extremely religious Christians, and the wife told me in no uncertain terms that her husband Did Not Approve Of Such Things, and he was already acting like my presence in my home was a massive inconvenience and I just wanted a quiet life, dammit.
I suppose I shall dust them all off again- just as soon as we’ve been to York, and I’ve got the allotment under control, and I’ve organised a very tame birthday pub outing for myself and finished this illuminated Thing celebrating my cousin’s wedding, and done the cover art for the first Erotica! In! Space! novel and finally finished dealing with the admin for my brand new name, and evaded the bi-annual influx of Relatives. (I was asked to spend the Easter Long Weekend tidying my wee bro’s house for him, but sadly had to decline. My spider senses tell me that this is Not Over.) And after all that’s over, I can continue the second novel! Hahaha.
I have actually sent the first installment off to a publisher, for which I feel well chuffed with myself. They will not, obviously, accept it, because nobody in the history of the world ever got the very first novel they sent to their very first publisher accepted, but I can then punt it out as a crappy 99p e-book, safe in the knowledge that I will never admit to the damn thing ever.
Screw it. I had a sodding good time writing it, and that is what counts, right? Oh no, it’s reader enjoyment, rats.
And so, we enter the busy part of the year…