BY Job

01/01 Direct Link
Ooh! Writing. 100 words is a lot when you know not where to begin. The end is coming on fast too. How many is that? 25? I'm a quarter of the way through already and nothing has happened. God, what will people think on reading this? And, I've to do this every day or the next 30? Let's try, shall we? It's been a while since I've written and the practice might do me good. The discipline certainly will. 79. Why would people want to do this? Why not? Why do I? Weekends'll be tricky. One can but try. Trying...
01/02 Direct Link
We've just had news of upcoming redundancies at work. 75 to go of a 1400 workforce. This is has been a regularly occurring event over the last 5 years. It does wear one down so. The job itself doesn't actually matter that much. My position does not profit the rest of the globe in any way. But, the security that employment brings will be sorely missed. Home, holidays, children, food, drink. All good thinks that must be paid for. Still, it's not as if there is nothing ‘out there' that's less alluring, if not as lucrative. Change is progress. Progress.
01/03 Direct Link
Someone once told me about a habit of one of their friends. They kept a grateful list. Every day this person would write down 5 things that they were thankful for. These things could be that their children were alive and well, that the Sudan was seeing better times or that they had been served liver for lunch at the work canteen. It struck me as a singularly pleasant way of reminding oneself that life is full of little, as well as big, events that have a positive effect on us. Of course, it's something that I've never taken up.
01/04 Direct Link
Tribulation, troubles, misery, distress, trials, worries and hardship. Gosh, all these things but I figure if you can still use synonyms then times ain't so bad. There's still joy to be found in language no matter how low you go. Only a hypothesis. It'd be interesting to read the writings of suicides to judge if it stands. To see if language and vocabulary deteriorates as life gets more and more unbearable. Authors and artists would have to be excluded, as those trained in expression via the written word might well function as of habit. Or not. Love is the fuel.
01/05 Direct Link
-I think you'll find it stressful-, is what a friend of mine told me after I'd told him my girlfriend was moving in to my flat. He was right. At least, sometimes he's right. Most of the time it's great she is here. But, if you've been living on your own for a long time, here we're talking more than a decade, having someone FUCK UP your routines and systems is bound to cause a little internal agitation. Internal, because you can't go shouting at the woman you love just because she does things differently. That wouldn't be very adult.
01/06 Direct Link
Time waits for no man. Getting older is inevitable. Everyone knows this. - And yet, we fight time, tooth and nail, until the end. Time always wins. My annual ruminations on ageing have become more prolonged. No doubt, as I have more to ruminate upon. It's not even that growing older is so bad. I know that if I were 20 years younger, I'd have 20 years less life experience, which is vital to the learning process. I'm a much better person, (judged by my own standard) now than I was then. All the same, I've started buying Biotherm products.
01/07 Direct Link
Give me Convenience or Give me Death is my favourite album title. It's the name of The Dead Kennedys' greatest hits. The phrase pops up in my mind whenever I don't something I'd rather in place of something that is easier. Today, I'm eating salad for lunch again. Salads can be bought from the shop that is only 50 meters from my desk. In buying a salad from the shop, I evade having to eat lunch with my colleagues or finding some other lunch date. I also avoid the outside walk to a restaurant. I'm pretty sick of salad though.
01/08 Direct Link
Joe plays his final gig in this country tonight. Him and Kaz are getting married this weekend then moving to Scotland. His leave of absence has run out. If he wants to keep the job, then they have to go back. Kaz, who is big on plans, says that it's what they had planned. It's only fair that they try living in both of their home cities. Even if this isn't where she is from, it's home for her. Joe likes it here. He's disappointed that they have to leave when he's having such a good time. I'll miss them.
01/09 Direct Link
Holga didn't come last night. From his earlier enthusiasm, it seemed as if he really, really wanted to spend time with other people. Then he simply sent a message stating that he had too much to do and couldn't possibly neglect his studies. While I admire his dedication and self-discipline, I can't help wondering if he's not over-indulging on the Spartan lifestyle. All work and no play... He's fun, Holga, when a gap in his rigorous schedule allows him to be. Hopefully, the means will justify the end for him and he'll reach wherever it is he wants to be.
01/10 Direct Link
Today I'm going to meet a banker to see if he can improve my current loan situation. I'm none too fond of banks, as a rule. They turn every little thing a big secret and make simple administration as difficult as they possibly can. This is why I'm a great fan of internet-based banks. It's my money, and I'll do exactly as I please with it, thank you very much. Still, if this geezer wants me to pay my interest to him at a lesser rate than my current bank... He'd better realize that I'm never paying the money back.
01/11 Direct Link
A little cross showed up on the pregnancy test this morning. The plus sign is for positive. We were still unsure of its accuracy though. A more conclusive blood test is to be arranged. Major changes may be on their way. Drama. Although this, having a baby, is completely natural and fitting with our current loving, harmonious state, it's surprising, yet also completely natural, that one should feel a certain sense of apprehension. Life changing drama. There are accommodation, work and many more pressing issues to be addressed. Urgently. It's more than a little exciting. One tries to remain calm.
01/12 Direct Link
Will I regret not making a speech at the wedding? Even if my words had already been spoken by all the other speakers there, sometimes it is important to have what you feel said. The bride herself taught me this. And maybe me speaking would have made the memorable day just a little more emotional, for me anyway. Everyone else seemed to be more emotional than I would have thought possible. Tears of joy are good to see. It was truly a love filled day. Not just for the bride and groom, but even for a cold fish like me.
01/13 Direct Link
There are three big, beautiful churches near where I live. Each of them has its own style. Two of them are at the top of hills with their tall spires reaching up in to the sky. One of these two is built of red brick, the other in grey stone. Gravestones encircle the structures. The third, which is located on flat ground bordered on one side by a busy road, has a dome with a little bell tower at the top. On Sunday mornings the bells toll from all three call out to me, but I never respond to them.
01/14 Direct Link
Seeing the desolation on my tray when I'd finished eating lunch today, I looked around to see if anybody else had the same shattered wasteland before them. Certainly, more than one or two people had, which reassured me that it was not my own sloppy table habits that were responsible for the carnage in front of me. Dinner and side plate, glass, now empty mineral water bottle, four used and so now stained napkins, knife, fork and spoon, as well as all the little pieces of salad and minced meat that I'd missed picking up. Too late for them now.
01/15 Direct Link
Fat people can be scary. My mate Mark and me slag each other constantly about being fat bastards, but when you see someone who is truly obese, a feeling approximating revulsion creeps over you. It might be the way that their clothes crease into the folded flesh of their bodies, or the fact that I can't refrain from picturing them naked engaged in natural acts, but some of them really freak me out. Thankfully, I'm not so warped as to envisage huge bodies performing un-natural acts. I'm never moving to America or somewhere else there is an abundance of obesity.
01/16 Direct Link
Every day I see people that look like Roger. Balding, myopic men of 40+. Generally of average build and all of them have goatees. Once I thought of taking a whole roll of photographs of these men. The thought that of asking each individual for his permission has so far put me off. I once mentioned these copies to Roger. He stringently denied noticing these other men. I wonder if it's just me or if the clones have been programmed not to notice each other. There are just too many of them to be explained as a phenomenon of fashion.
01/17 Direct Link
Yesterday I found half a tooth under my desk. After running a swift check around the inside of my mouth with my tongue, I sighed relief at it not being one of mine. Dental work is so expensive. I wondered all the same from where it had sprung. The other members of my group weren't missing any more teeth than usual either. I went round and asked them all, showing them the tooth to aid recognition, but no. Where, then, does this tooth come from? Nobody has come a-searching for it. Does this mean that it is now my property?
01/18 Direct Link
Late night phone calls aren't what they used to be. The curbing of drinking habits may have had some influence. Alcohol does so fuel those passions. Maybe its just age. Passionate old people aren't so ridiculous, but perhaps they, or we, lack the energy for incandescent infatuations. Then there is reason. The older one gets, the more one experiences. You have more points of reference. It's easier to make sense of the things we feel in relation to what we have already been through and previously felt. Some things time doesn't really change, but people... I miss those phone calls.
01/19 Direct Link
It's not like before, she said. At the time I just laughed this comment into insignificance though she did actually have a point, and not an unsubstantial one either. It wasn't like before. Before we were simply friends. We had the trust and respect that friends have for each other. You become friends with people who you understand. They understand you. You like each other for how you are. If one friend then decides that they only like certain qualities in the other and will only like them when they are acting within the limits that friend has set, well...
01/20 Direct Link
Susanne's eyes are swollen today. I asked her if her boyfriend had been punching her. She said, no. I was, for the most part, joking. Funny that there always has to be a note of seriousness there. I have met Susie's boyfriend a number of times. He seems of decent upright character. Susanne and he have a loving, joyful relationship. And yet, just by speaking these foolish words, I raise a small doubt in my own mind concerning her apparent happiness. The ravages of televised family drama. I should mind my own business, or stop believing what television tells me.
01/21 Direct Link
On Christmas Eve last year we were sitting in T-shirts at a pavement cafÃÆ'© on the Place de la Comedie. 20 degrees at noon in late December. Not bad at all, for Europe. There were two guys sitting just to our left. Over one cup of coffee, miniscule espresso, they smoked 5 cigarettes each. That was before I stopped counting. They may well have smoked more than that. Camel 100's they were too. 100's are longer than normal cigarettes to give you even more of a smoke. My rabidly anti-smoking girlfriend didn't seem to notice them. Damn, it looked good.
01/22 Direct Link
It's much easier to write tales of death and destruction than to tell of the finer aspects of humanity. A description of someone being having his head blown off, Oh man! I shot Marvin in the face! (No disrespect intended there.) is simply that. Description. That it's a particularly gory and shocking picture is what makes us feel. But, those feelings are far more difficult to get a pen around. A little boy's joy at catching a butterfly in his hands is such a delicate subject that few could capture it in such a way that it could be understood.
01/23 Direct Link
Stress is killing me. It's killing all of us. Well, maybe not the Dalai Lama and other serene types, but if you live in Modern Society it's going to catch up with you sooner or later. Now, I'm a pretty relaxed cat. I have had periods when I've regularly practised meditation, which brought the realization that my natural state is relaxed and content. I am a happy soul. Buying a new apartment, however, is a bitch. I'll wager that it would force a ripple in the tranquillity of the Dalai himself if he had to find accommodation in downtown Stockholm.
01/24 Direct Link
A man, index finger of his left hand far into his left nostril, was waiting for the lights to change to green. He was thinking about a girl he knew about 20 years ago. She had a slight red tint to her hair, which she didn't like but wouldn't dye it out either. Girls who dyed their hair were silly, vain creatures, she thought. He had called her Scarlet. Just to irritate her, at first, then later with genuine intimate affection. A wild beauty, she had been then. They'd lost touch after university. The man didn't notice me watching him.
01/25 Direct Link
Waiting in a Cardiff car park. My father seeming edgy and nervous. A white pub, directly in front of the car windscreen, was what we were watching. I don't think that my ma much cared for being there at all. Pubs and my father saw enough of each other as it was. Al, my brother, and myself didn't have much idea of what was going on. We just liked being out driving at weekends. There we sat for hours. Why ever my father thought Tom Jones was going to turn up at this pub on this afternoon, I'll never know.
01/26 Direct Link
Some of the names I have for my friend Drobo: Cunt. Fat Cunt (Basically any adjective before the C word.). Rancid Pork Whore. Rance, for short. Dave, this counts as a nickname because it's not actually his name. Porky. Fat Boy. Mark the Monstrous Fat Fucker, is what he is listed as in my mobile phone. The words fat and cunt undoubtedly get a lot of use in our conversations. You may not think that this would lead to mutual respect in our friendship. I think that it is necessary to have a friend who understands your way of thinking.
01/27 Direct Link
Still ageing. My eyesight is failing. My girth is expanding. My energy level is dropping. It's been weeks since my last bout of exercise. I eat well, and sensibly enough, apart from the additional between meal garbage I too often indulge in. My! I seem to find myself in a downward spiral. That way lies damnation. Better start swimming upwards, boy. Neglect the temple of the body and the structure of the mind will surely crumble. The mind needs the body as the body needs the mind. The harmonious symbiosis is out of sych. I think I've been here before.
01/28 Direct Link
Today I'm going to be a girl. This evening, or tomorrow morning, when the anaesthetic wears off, I'll wake up and have a whole new sex. Not that I have ever been anything other than female, but to finally be a woman in a woman's body will be so fulfilling. The one piece of me that now remains male is the one thing that defines me as male. Just a few oblivious hours while my body is sliced up and sewn together followed by a few weeks of pain are all that's between my true self and me. Love me.
01/29 Direct Link
I look at my feet and think of banana fish. This would be a perfect day for them. I always felt that Seymour was Salinger's favourite. He was the oldest and definitely seemed smartest in his family of talented intellectuals. Was he too delicate to go on living in a world of warmongering superficiality after he'd seen the horrors of World War 2? He knew the natural goodness of people, but also how these same people would change with time into transparent reproductions of what others think they should be. Don't we all know this and try to remain true?
01/30 Direct Link
The days flow by with very little difference between them. Even love seems the same when it's given and received on a daily basis. All the events that are so looked forward to slip, quietly or noisily, by in the stream. Even if their passing causes a larger splash, and the spray plays a little more wildly, they too dissipate and drift by into the past. Up ahead, we can see neither what is coming towards us or for where we are destined. We can but plot the course and hope that it takes us where we want to go.
01/31 Direct Link
The Scots were the last nation to invade England. It wasn't an invasion that was carried out with the unified support of the nation, but an invasion it was. Bonnie Prince Charlie, who in my opinion was something of a fop, led the Jacobites as far into enemy territory as Derby. This was of some concern to the English, of course, and they would undoubtedly started negotiating with the rebel rabble had they not, for reasons that have been the cause of some deliberation for historians, turned round and headed home. They were later slaughtered by English grapeshot at Culloden.