Thursday, November 18, 2010

Get down with no sickness

I do not get sick very often. Every year I see people around me get sick; every year I see people around me enjoy their sick leave while I get stuck with just four weeks annual leave. In the three and a half years I have worked for my current employer, I have only taken 12 hours sick leave; eight of those 12 was maybe a “sickie”, but if anyone asks it was a “mental health day”. The other four was a headache from the stress of not giving a crap.

These might be dangerous words for a blog, but being only limited to annual leave, and in reference to a previous post “I work better when away”, my company is better for it (I hope they remember that in my next performance review). I still have my wisdom teeth; maybe I can take a week or two off so I can get them out... I wonder if I can push it out to two...

I saw on a documentary once – actually it was one of those American documentaries where they show the same thing over and over after every ad break, so technically I saw it several times – that having a high immune system makes me more attractive at a genetic level. But tell that to the bald spot forming! It is not exactly something you can use as your opening line at a pub, “Hey baby, I never have to buy tissues.”

There was a time back in my uni when I really was sick. It was a Saturday after a really big Friday night, and I thought I just had a hangover, a really bad hangover. Naturally I did not move from the flat.

My flat in uni had two bedrooms, probably still does, with a combined laundry/bathroom. As soon as you walked into the laundry/bathroom there was a laundry sink on your left, a washing machine, and then coming out perpendicular to the wall was a privacy wall with the toilet behind it facing the bathtub and shower at the end of the room. Across from the toilet on the opposite wall there was a sink and a medicine cupboard. It was not fancy, but I digress.

I was feeling the night all day, and I only had a few things to eat as I could not get myself to the supermarket. For dinner I had a tin of pea and ham soup, I tried to eat it, but it felt like knives on the way down. I then started to feel a turning in my stomach.

I stood up. I was dizzy and I could feel a creeping sensation getting higher and higher, my lips started to press and my saliva started to build; I was going to spew.

I made my way as quickly as I could into the bathroom. I pushed open the door, I jumped the dirty clothes, but I could feel it rise faster, my cheeks started to fill and I started to burst at the seams.

I would not make it; the closest thing will have to do...

It was a mess.

Those who have vomited pea and ham soup would know that the first choice receptacle is not the bathroom sink – in hind sight I should have chewed more – so naturally the sink blocked up as I tried to wash it away. So I started moving vomit from the sink into a bucket, and moving the vomit in the bucket, and the vomit still inside of me, into the toilet. It took a long time.

I was pale on Sunday, had another couple of spews. By Monday I was fine and I went to Uni. Would I have taken Monday off if I was working? I would like to think so, but I probably would have gone; I do have my reputation to think about after all.

But you do not, so stay home. Enjoy your sick leave, embrace it, embrace other people with it (they will thank you later), just do not waste it on Opera.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Investing in my time

I bought Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock two weeks ago and I have been showcasing my fret techniques since. I am by no means a fretxpert, but I do think occasionally that the amount of time that I have invested in Guitar Hero over the years; I could have learnt how to play a real instrument.

During school I learnt to play the clarinet. At first glance, it was an obscure choice for a 10 year old boy to pick, particularly since he never heard of one before. It did pay off in the long run; I was the only male woodwind student in my home town. It was me and the chicks for six years.

In fact I landed my first high school girlfriend after a music camp. Somehow I managed to convince a gorgeous year 10 flute player (I was in year 9 at the time... giggady) to put up with my awkwardness for a month. For the time I was batting well above my average, which was the general consensus at school, so it was never going to work out; a good result for Team Nerd.

Music and chicks do go hand in hand; ask anybody who is in a band. However nobody is going to date the dude that can play expert level in Guitar Hero. I know that Dragon Force song from Guitar Hero 2 was hard, but nobody cares.

The two gaming “instruments” that are even remotely close to real instruments are drums and vocals. For example, when playing the drums the neighbours will still tell you to shut up when you get into the grove and the vocalist will think that they are the most import person on Earth; just like real life! For there to be any real life benefit however, all difficulty must be set to “hard” or above.

The guitars, although not being anything close to the real thing, do have real life similarities. The bass, for example, is still so boring it is amazing that anyone picks it and people who choose the guitar think they are awesome no matter how shit they play. No restriction on difficulty level for either.

Even though I have practised more songs with fake instruments than I ever did playing clarinet, Guitar Hero will still be a staple part of my gaming life. Sometimes it is more important to have fun than to focus on what is more beneficial for real life. Real life will be there when you get back.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sweet dress up parties

November is here. The best thing about November is the coming moustache. The second best thing is the end of Halloween.

I guess people would have noticed by now that Halloween is forcing its way into Australian culture. Australia will soon be the 52nd United State; right after England. Why is that? Is it TV doing this to us? Is it globalisation? Is it the long period of time between Father’s Day and justifying Christmas merchandise that has shop keepers with empty display shelves? The later is probably more to the point; consumerism after all is what made the USA the shining example it is today... cough.

But I am no sociologist, or a scientist. I can only pretend to prove my opinions; just like the millions of internet users who only sample entirely within their own demographic. There are enough blogs like that.

Halloween does have a good point – it is a good excuse to go to a costume party. Costume parties are awesome, and even the lame common themes can be fun (Pimps and Ho’s = sigh). For some reason we need an excuse for costume parties. Even though they are among the most fun types of parties – even more fun than ones with bouncing castles (less spew to clean) and LAN parties (less spew and nerds to clean). If they are so fun, why do we need an excuse? Ten pin bowling is not fun, but yet we still do that without an excuse.

Costume parties all give us something in common, and an easy first line for people who struggle in social situations/picking up. Plus they make that knob in the $300 designer jeans look ridiculous because he is not wearing face paint. That is handy for people like me who look ridiculous in a $300 pair of designer jeans.

I am never any good at getting a costume together; I generally leave it too late and mostly because I am lazy. My contribution to the party is below par, but I know a couple of people who go all out with outfits. Their costumes are always amazing and just blow people away – I am cool by association and I get away with leaching off their success. Are they coat tails? I will have me some of them.

More costume parties and less Halloween I say, you do not need an excuse, just trow one. And start growing your moustache people!