Posts Tagged ‘ love ’

A open letter to my employer.

To whom it may concern,

Just to let you know, I’m going to be booking a week off in Easter.

Now, this isn’t;

“I’m requesting a week off in Easter so I can see my parents. Approve or deny them according to your availability.”,

but more;

“Here is my notice to you that I will not be coming into work between (and including) these dates. I will be in Germany visiting my parents. I don’t care if you don’t have the availability, I worked through Christmas. You can find someone who had their Christmas off and deny their holidays so I can have mine during the Easter week.”

In the coming week or so I shall find out the dates of the Easter break and submit my holiday “request”. I shall book my flights the same day. I shall also book a taxi to and from the airport and my excitement levels will continue to rise no-matter what your decision. I will purchase books and music to read and listen to while flying / waiting in airports and I will tell my mobile phone provider to enable European roaming and apply an International Call Saver package to my contract.

The evening before my flight, I shall pack clothes into my suitcase and will be unable to sleep with excitement. On the day of my flight I shall get up, get ready to go to the airport. A taxi will arrive and I will be driven to the airport. I shall pay the man the £20 fare and check in at the check in desk. I shall put my suitcase on the conveyor belt and show the kind lady my passport. She will look confused as to who the long-haired, bearded, bespectacled (and notably heavier) man is who stands before her when the man in the passport photograph is so thin, square-jawed, short-haired, clean-shaven and altogether sexier. I will attempt to assure her that he is me – removing my spectacles and pushing my hair back ought to do the trick.

I will then walk to the boarding lounge where I will show my British Airways lounge card to the smiling lady (I think her name is June, or at least, it was the last time I was there) and flop myself down in the deepest, comfiest looking sofa I can find. A waiter will ask me if I’d like a drink and “maybe something to eat, sir?”. I’ll have a club sandwich and a glass of sparkling water. It will be delicious. I’ll sit and read the paper, glancing up at the 42-inch plasma television on the wall every other minute or so, and wait for my flight status to change to ‘Boarding’.

I’ll fold my paper in half, get up from my sofa and throw my hand-luggage over my shoulder. I’ll nip to the loo before the flight (I hate peeing in the air) and saunter along to the boarding desk, all the while taking in my surroundings and generally not giving a fuck about anything. I’ll have plenty of time to board the flight. I shan’t worry about that. I’ll probably buy 250g of tobacco and maybe some whisky from Duty Free. The woman will ask me if I need any watches or sunglasses. I’ll smile, consider her offer but will probably decline. I already have my beloved Casio Databank 150 (a calculator watch) and Germany isn’t exactly Belize.

I’ll get up to the boarding desk, show the woman my boarding pass and she’ll smile, say “Welcome aboard, Mr…” and pronounce my surname incorrectly. I’ll beam at her and let the mispronunciation slide. I’ll walk along the gangway leading to my plane, be welcomed aboard yet again and told to turn to the right upon entering the craft. I’ll shuffle up the plane, careful not to hit anyone with my hang luggage and find my seat. Hopefully it will be just behind the wing so I can see the engines in front of me. I’ll probably open my laptop and write something, maybe I’ll pop my earphones in and drown out the murmur of the cabin and just look out of the window. I’ll wait for the doors to close and the people to settle down in their seats. I’ll watch the flight attendants perform their little “the exits are here, here and here” routine and look back out of the window.

A little while later I’ll feel the engines firing up, roaring as they go. I’ll feel how the cabin vibrates as the engine revs harder and harder. I’ll try to guess which frequencies are making the cabin vibrate and I’d wish that I’d remembered to bring my spectrum analyser aboard, but then I’d remember how ignorant some people are and the fact that my harmless piece of acoustic analysis equipment might be mistaken by some idiot for an explosive device. The idiot would then panic and start screaming in, and about, terror. I’ll feel the plane start to move, the cabin rocking left and right and the wings bouncing up and down in accordance with the bumps on the runway. We’ll approach the runway and stop moving. Thirty seconds later the engines will roar into life and the plane will jolt forward! Faster and faster she goes, my head pressed against the headrest until…

The ground becomes distant. The houses turn into Monopoly pieces. Cars turn into multicoloured ants and I start trying to spot my house. The feeling of taking off, leaving the ground, defying human limitations and the thought of where I’m bound fills me with complete and utter joy.

My homeland becomes smaller and smaller. Towns are barely an inch long. The country is hidden beneath cloud and the bright yellow sun floods into the cabin. The texture of the clouds is that of meringue. The peaks of white fluff cast shadows and add colour and texture to the scene. The sky is an endless blue. I’ll take a picture. I’ll remember how much I love flying. I’ll remind myself for the thousandth time that I’m going to see my parents. It’s definitely going to happen. I’ve left Glasgow and all that city entails. I’m going to see my parents.

I’ll see my brother, my sister. I’ll hug them and tell them how much I’ve missed them, a smile on my face so large it hurts. I’ll shake my Dad’s hand, but we both know it’ll turn into a hug. I’ll tell him how much I love him. I’ll kneel down and hold the muzzle of Dennis, my Springer Spaniel, in both hands. He’ll lick my face and probably knock me onto my back in excitement. And then I’ll see my mum. I’ll be in tears at this point. I’ll probably drop my bags and leave my suitcase on the driveway and run to hug her. I probably won’t say anything until a minute or so later, at which point she’ll offer me a cup of tea.

What I won’t be doing, however, is talking to idiots about cross-network minutes, data allowances, 14-day returns policies and PAC numbers. You can bet this month’s wage that I won’t be telling the same person over and over again that “it’s the best deal we can do, madam” or “no, we can’t match your renewal price, sir” and I definitely won’t be getting an earful from Mr. Jones in Dagenham about how his iPhone hasn’t arrived and how utterly furious he is and how we’re “an absolute shambles of a network” or some such tripe.

No. I shan’t be dealing with any of that.

I will be found in my parent’s kitchen, laughing with my family, a mug of tea in hand and a Spaniel at my feet.
Just so you know.

Yours truly,

DV.

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I’m not anymore.

This makes me happy to be alive.

Five.

Neurotron is Paisley.
Lucky Strikes are 50 inch televisions.
Monolake is hating my boss.
Prince of Persia is the West End.
Serge Gainsbourg is growing my hair long.
Blue shirts are an attempt at business dress.
Manitoba is summer & handwriting.
Earl Grey tea is a very dark memory.
Lusine is the RT60 equation.
Black Vans slip-ons are car insurance.
DJ Krush is the smell of the the subway.
Cider is a wooden table & many, many cigarettes.
Burial is the affair.
A barbecue is a summer spent outdoors & birdsong.
Flying Lotus is living alone.
The MMO is a means of continued confessions.
Wisp is the soundtrack to discovery.
Ice cream is holding out ’til the next visit.
Boards of Canada is the soundtrack to realisation.
Gallo white grenache is despairing.
Burial is the end of the affair.
Facial hair is waiting for an answer.
Beyonce is working things out.
Films at six in the morning are remembering why.
Richie Hawtin is a new flat.
Coffee is writing music.
Tycho is remembering.
A letter brings good news.
Autechre is now.

Selected Trueisms.

A single event can have infinitely many interpretations.
Being sure of yourself means you’re a fool.
Crime against property is relatively unimportant.
Dependence can be a meal ticket.
Emotional responses are as valuable as intellectual responses.
Fake or real indifference is a powerful personal weapon.
Going with the flow is soothing but risky.
Humanism is obsolete.
It’s better to be lonely than to be with inferior people.
Just believing something can’t make it happen.
Knowledge should be advanced at all costs.
Low expectations are good protection.
Mostly you should mind your own business.
Noise can be hostile.
Offer very little information about yourself.
Planning for the future is escapism.
Raise boys and girls the same way.
Stupid people shouldn’t breed.
The most profound things are inexpressible.
Unquestioning love demonstrates largesse of spirit.
Violence is permissible even desirable occasionally.
Wishing things away is not effective.
You must have one grand passion.
Zeal alone will get you nowhere.

The death of Mugen.

In search of new lands, I build a new house.
I thatch the house with reed stalks gathered neatly in bundles,
I thatch the house with reed stalks gathered neatly in bundles.
At the stone wall, let us celebrate the golden house that was built by a hundred black kites,
At the stone wall, let us celebrate the golden house that was built by a hundred black kites,
Let us celebrate the golden house, that was built by a hundred black kites.

The eighth month is fast approaching and yet I have nothing to wear,
I want to dress gaily, so brother, will you lend me just one sleeve?
I wish to dress my children and loved ones in the one kimono that I own,
As for me, I will wear vines that I plucked deep in the mountains.

The light of the full moon shines down,
illuminating the world with its divine light.
When my lover sneaks in to visit me,
I wish that the clouds would hide that light just a little.

Success

I found myself looking through the profiles and friends lists of some people I used to go to school with on Facebook. At first it was curiosity that lead me to scroll through hundreds of people in various friends lists, hunting for people I recognised or used to be friends with before I left school. I found out a couple of things. First, that I didn’t really know any girls in my school. I remember lots of names and a few faces, but I don’t really remember knowing any of them. I didn’t really talk to any of them, mingle with them or really make friends with any of them. I don’t know precisely why this is, but I think it was because I was aware at even a very young age of how very little I had in common with any of them. I liked rugby, cricket, hockey and shooting. As far as I was concerned, girls liked netball and that was it (ignorance as opposed to sexism).

Second, I realised that I was quite reserved throughout school, especially in the early years of secondary school. I don’t think I started to fit in until much later on, maybe fourth or fifth form and even then I only had a few close friends. I often found myself confused or scared of other people in school; I was never very tough or imposing, cool or exciting and as such I never really had many friends. I was clever, though. I often scored highly in tests, participated in class with knowledgeable answers and explained things to other people sat about me in class. However, I did disrupt classes quite often. I’d been diagnosed as having ADHD the year before starting secondary school and my parents and teachers put my disruptive, erratic and (as Mr. Phipps, my IT master put it) eccentric behaviour down to my disability and recommended my dose of Ritalin be increased. Thankfully my school masters weren’t my doctors.

But as I looked at more and more profiles I started to realise something else. I kept seeing the words ‘Oxford’, ‘Cambridge’, ‘Kings’ and ‘Goldsmiths’ over and over again. I also started seeing ‘Postgraduate’ every so often and on two occasions I saw the acronym ‘PhD’. I saw people with wives and children and photographs of people I haven’t seen since age 13 in places I can only dream of visiting.

I started to feel quite rubbish. The more I looked the more I realised how little I’ve accomplished. I started to go through all the choices I’ve made in the past seven or so years, trying to find out which decision was the one where everything changed, that pivotal moment in my life. I started thinking about what I could have done and how it could have been different. I started thinking about the things I could be doing and all the things I would have done by now. The more I looked the worse it got. Name after name after name popped up on my screen and each one seemed to bury its way into my skull, pulling and tugging on the part of my brain that makes me think I’m quite shit.

So I closed the browser window and stared at the screen of my laptop for a bit, thinking about what I’d just put myself through when my smallest cat jumped up onto the sofa next to me and started nuzzling into the side of my right leg. It was at that point that I instantly dismissed what just happened as one of those ridiculous episodes we all go through every once in a while. I don’t have time to waste thinking about what could have been; about universities I could have gone to or places I could have seen. I started thinking about all the great times I’ve actually had, and while they may not be particularly exotic or prestigious, they have still been great. I started thinking about all the wonderful people I’ve met and the things I have done as opposed to the things I haven’t. I realised that I don’t regret the majority of choices I’ve made over the last seven years. Sure there are some things I’d do differently if I could go back, but those are the things I’ve learned from and we all have those at some point. I’m certain of that.

Maybe she knew I was having an episode and she wanted to make me feel better. She put this whole scenario into perspective. She made me feel good about myself.

I don’t know how she did it, but Miko sure is clever.

A rambling post about Valentine’s day.

I took a walk down to my local Co-Operative several days ago for milk and sugar. I got what I went out for, but I also came out with a feeling of annoyance and disappointment, reminded yet again that consumerism exists after successfully shunning it for the most part after the Christmas rush.

I walked past the bread and toward the cakes, picking up some apple pies on the way because they are tasty business. I turned the corner and walked down the confectionery aisle, picking up a bag of Tyrrell’s salted kettle chips and a six-pack of Cadbury’s Creme eggs. Out the aisle, turn right and up the toward tea and biscuits, picking up a pack of chocolate digestives and finally remembered why I’d stepped outside in the first place.

I walked up the aisle and turned round to the left on my way to the sugar when I was almost blown from my feet by an astonishing pink glow. I was completely distracted by it and, for a second, couldn’t draw my eyes from the display of chocolates, sweets, teddy bears and heart shaped things. It was then I remembered that Valentines day was approaching.

In a little under two weeks from now, couples across the world will exchange presents in an effort to show how much they love each other. They might even go to a moderately priced restaurant but because it’s ‘romantic’. The lucky ones may even be treated to a romantic city break to Paris.

Ooh-la-fucking-la.

The entire concept of Valentine’s day is something I generally can’t abide. I’m not particularly one for romantic gestures, but I’m even worse when I’m pressured into them by everyone around me. One of the things I loathed about working in a call centre was when everyone told everyone else what they were planning on doing for their other halves on Valentine’s day. It quickly turned into a pissing contest as the men started weighing up how much their gifts cost and the women compared how grand their ideas were in comparison to everyone else’s. This would continue for several weeks prior to Valentine’s day.

There was then the issue of Valentine’s day itself. Women would walk around wearing the badges that came with A2 sized cards. Massive teddy bears would be littered around the place, on desks, chairs and in locker rooms. Over-sized helium balloons could be seen bobbing about the call centre, tied to the backs of their recipient’s chairs and boxes of chocolates would be opened and scoffed throughout the day, their contents shared with all and sundry. And the worst part of Valentine’s day? Bouquets.

Fuck, they were annoying. When working for a certain car insurance firm on Valentine’s day, I counted no less than 9 different bouquets of flowers on my floor alone (one of six floors). Each one carried in by a different man wearing an Interflora uniform, each one received with a gasp and that stupid thing ‘women’ do where they squeal and shake their hands about in front of their face like a fan while going “ohmygodohmygodohmygod” for about five minutes.

Now, the problem I have isn’t with the ideology behind Valentine’s day. I certainly don’t mind people showing their partners how much they love them. I do have a problem with the way Valentine’s day is expected of me. I have a problem with how it’s sold and I have a problem with how other people react to valentine’s day.

I have a problem with people who feel the need to compare the gifts they got with other people. I have a problem with men feeling they need to one-up their friends by spending more and more money each and every year. I have a problem with how people moan about being single on Valentine’s day while everyone else is basking in the warm glow of their own materialism.

I don’t think that people should be given a specific day to show their partner how much they love them and I certainly don’t think that the way to show this love is with a token gesture, a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates. I think that while it’s lovely that couples go on weekend breaks to Paris, why do you need to do it during the second weekend in February? If it were me I’d rather just wait ’til the summer and go when it’s warm. You can still have all the sex you would have had in February, but with the added benefits of outdoor warmth and statistically less rain.

Surely if you’re in the right relationship, you’ll want to express your love for your better half all year round. Waiting for a specific day is a nonsense. You shouldn’t have to wait until the 14th to take her to that frightfully expensive but ultimately delicious restaurant. You shouldn’t have to wait until the 14th to break out the French Maid’s outfit and do all the things he sees in porn. I certainly wouldn’t like to think that a large number of couples only really engage in romantic gestures on Valentine’s day.

I do get pretty pissed off at how people feel the need to tell everyone within a 50 mile radius about what they did with their partner or what they got from their partner on Valentine’s day. I dislike picking up newspapers and seeing ad after ad for personals sites, depressingly juxtaposed by Valentine’s day messages from idiots to their loved ones, or even that person they get on the bus with every day at 8:23. I dislike seeing online shops being dressed up for Valentine’s day, selling the same things they usually sell but in red or pink versions and the option to send a personalised message (see Apple and their iPods).

I’m a believer in the notion that the little things are often the most romantic. While extravagant and expensive gestures once a year may be fine, I think I’d be just as happier with my partner remembering the little things I like throughout the year.

There was a time when I’d been telling my partner about how much I wanted a Monome and while I was at work she took the time to make one from me out of a cardboard box and a couple of pairs of rubber gloves stuffed with various scraps of fabric to make the buttons all 3D. It wasn’t Valentine’s day, nor was it my Birthday or any other special occasion, but it was infinitely better than a bottle of aftershave and a card on Valentine’s day. Other items I’ve been given by partners for no reason include a book about maths, chilli rice crackers, chocolate, exotic tea and a hoodie. These are all way more awesome than aftershave.

So don’t wait till the 14th to do all the things you’re planning on doing, just do them anyway. Don’t wait for it to be socially acceptable to send your girlfriend a bunch of flowers at work. Just do it because you want to. If you’re out and about and you see something your partner would appreciate, just buy it. It doesn’t need to be small, just something that means something to them from someone they love.

You don’t need Valentine’s day to express your feelings, you should be doing it anyway.

P.S – I haven’t gone over this or edited it so it’s probably going to be all over the place, badly structured, poorly worded and whatnot but I’m not too fussed.