Friday Musings with Sweet Pea the Dog

I hadn’t realised it’s been over a week since I published; I’ve been working on a long-ish post but I’ve been trying to take my time over anything longer than a couple of paragraphs so you can expect it around the same time as the Chilcot report. In the mean time, I think it’s very important that we take a moment to appreciate the t-shirt Frank Iero designed recently.

I cannot really afford to buy more t-shirts, partly because I have both an MOT  and a bill for new glasses approaching, and partly because I own 34564 t-shirts and wear about three of them on a regular basis. But.

But.

Maybe I wouldn’t have to wear it. Maybe I could just hang it up above my bedroom door so it’s the first thing I see every day. A benevolent Sweet Pea dream catcher. When I get my own place I could hang it in the entrance hall as a warning to all who enter.

The real question isn’t ‘should I get a Sweet Pea t-shirt’. It’s ‘where can I make one with my own dogs’ faces’.

This is going to keep me up all weekend.

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In Which I Learn to Spell Chrysanthemum

It’s tipping it down, the lamps are on, Donnie was recently rescued, drenched, from the patio and if life were perfect, I would be settling into a morning of writing prose, possibly about a haunted house or murder mystery. There’s that sort of light in the house, you know.

Instead I am thinking of settling into half an hour of writing then getting a snack and settling into a few hours of Instagram scheduling, blog drafting (the client kind, not the yelling about Donald Trump kind) and wishing I had a different desk chair. Still, if life were perfect then I would have nothing to talk about here and then where would you all be? Miserably clicking through my smug updates about meeting publishers to arrange a release date for my haunted house murder mystery. Boring.

I loathe grey weather, unless I’m snug inside writing or in a field and can pretend I’m in an action thriller with rolling clouds and dramatic music, so I thought I would share some spring photos. I got these flowers in Aldi at Easter and they aren’t dead yet – which feels like an accomplishment even though all I’ve done is add water to the vase occasionally, and I’m not even the only one in the house doing it – and they’re bright enough to cheer up even a grotty Friday in Southend, so thank you budget supermarket. As I finished this paragraph the rain stopped and the sun peaked through the clouds, so the garden actually looks quite bright and pleasant. It won’t last.

In the time it’s taken to upload these photos, the rain’s started again. I can hear thunder. Right, what should I call my murder mystery?

In Which My Dog Cleans His Teeth

Today I learnt that in the three-and-a-half years they’ve been open, my WordAds adverts have earned me a total of $14.74. I feel this is representative of my career as an artist.

As you may have noticed if you’re reading this onsite instead of in the email inbox (does anyone still do that?), I’ve made the banner slightly brighter. It’s now the same shade as roughly one-fifth of my hair on a good day. I’ve also added a little cookies info banner for visitors when you first arrive, because it’s an EU law thing and although my instinct is telling me to vote stay, it’s also telling me that we’ll go and I want to get my money’s worth of widgets before 23rd June. Stay tuned for a couple of other little changes; I have been thinking about my ideal blog and right now, the colour pink and more widgets are on my to-do list. I kind of want a blog personifying this:

Top 10 Gay Bars in Los Angeles/My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way Made Me a Better Person
laweekly.com

 

But that’s enough about me. On Sunday I went to clean my teeth and noticed a small daddy long legs nestled on the handle part of my toothbrush. Had it just wandered in from the bathroom window? Was it the first of a scouting party? Was there a nest of baby daddy long legs ready to move into the sink area? Could I remove it from the room before it got to the tooth-brushing part of the toothbrush?

No.

Out went the spider. Out came my travel toothbrush. Out came my grumblings that I only bough the old toothbrush a fortnight ago this is why I’m an atheist. Yesterday evening I bought a new one.

Yesterday evening Donnie got bored or hungry waiting for us to come home from the supermarket so he raided the bathroom bin. I found very chewed half of a toothbrush on the bathroom floor. Presumably he heard me bemoaning his disgusting teeth (he’s not allowed those teeth-cleaning bones because of his kidney problems, and he does not understand the point of chewing rubber tooth-cleaning dog toys. Ironically my toothbrush was made of the same material they use in those rubber toys) This morning Mum found bristle-filled dog vomit on the floor.

Donnie’s teeth are as grim as they were yesterday morning. Our carpet is a little grimmer. The only thing any of us have learnt is that it’s high time we bought a dog-proof bin.

I am prepared to bet the spider has snuck back in.

Shit I Have Learnt in 2015

So it’s that time of year when round ups are fashionable, so I decided to make a brief list of things I learnt this year. 2015 has been full of peril, danger and mayhem, if by peril you mean work, danger you mean public transport and mayhem you mean walking your dogs. Some of what I’ve learnt might be useful, so I wrote it down.

  • The Liverpool Street line is way, way less comfortable than the Fenchurch Street line, but passing the Olympic Park on your way into work gives one a sense that anything is possible. Namely building a fucking great red tower thing, calling it art and getting away with it.
  • Ignoring the YA section when you realised you disliked Twilight was a bad move. You should always read YA. YA is better than A. There is more magic, less awful sex scenes and way more interesting story lines.
  • It is completely okay to stop doing something you used to enjoy doing. Like blogging. It is also okay to start it again and do whatever you want with it. Even if you don’t know what that is.
  • Always have an emergency funds bank account.
  • No one who passed their driving test more than five years ago understands how to signal at a roundabout. There is a special place in hell for these people.
  • It is totally okay to reuse bubble bags.
  • That guy in that TV show is way better looking in the TV show than he was in that movie.
  • People who earn money from their blog and social media presence have either done a deal with the devil or have reserves of strength in their soul that I can only imagine. PR-friendly bloggers, you have my unwavering respect and my constant, begrudging, irritation. Usually my irritation. Keep it up you jammy fuckers.
  • Screenplays do not contain magic dust that turned a Word document into a script. You can get a computer to do that.
  • Also, screenplays still look like they did in 1920 because the font size and typeface (Courier, 12) equal a page per minute.
  • Never leave a job while your internship(s) is unpaid. Find a way to do both.
  • Your 2 ft dog can take up more room on your bed than you can. Also, he snores more than you.
  • When you think racist people can’t get any more racist, you should show them footage of Syrian refugees.
  • Louis from One Direction is not the guy in One Direction I thought he was. He is the other guy, who I ignored until I noticed I quite liked his face. I checked and I am still unsure about their music.
  • Mitt Romney was not the worst Republican candidate to ever run for president.
  • Never go to Westfield shopping centre on Black Friday.

I may add to this. What have you lot learnt?

Summer Buzzin’

This is one of those weeks where I’m glad I’m a freelancer. I go to work in short shorts, I have lunch in my garden and I start the day watching my dogs lollop around the field with the canine equivalent of beaming smiles before flopping down inside all day like sleepy cherubs.

pinterest.com/pin/6896205649449915
pinterest.com/pin/6896205649449915

It’s also one of those weeks where Instagram stops working, I realise that I’ve got a lot of birthday and holiday-related expenses coming up and I just splashed frappe all over myself and the kitchen.

Still, maybe by the time I get to Zante the euro will have been replaced by a skills-based economy in which my particular brand of cute sarcasm will be gold dust… and maybe Brussels will have cancelled the debt, handed out icecream to every Greek citizen and worked out a solution to the refugee crisis.

Actually, while I’m thinking about it: I shall be offline from 26th July- 6th August, mostly because I need to retrain my brain not to assume every second sound is an email. My Etsy will be on ‘vacation mode’ – it’s going to Tahiti with its girlfriend – and I might schedule some posts for here/Tumblr/wherever to remind you all I exists… hopefully on a beach or clifftop with some nice music and some decent Fanta.

Okay I have to stop typing now because I’m having this paradoxical experience of daydreaming about my holiday while quashing suffocating terror that I can’t really afford one. If this were a Tweet, #freelancelife would be apt.

Enjoy the weather while we have it and drink lots of water!

Dogs and ’90s Hairstyles

I was going to start this with ‘happy Wednesday’… happy Tuesday. I’m going to make a coffee after this.

Thank you to everyone for the love for the MCR post! I’ve been blasting May Death Never Stop You for three days and there’s a definite correlation between the amount I listen to good music and the depth of my desire to colour my hair again. I must say, though, because I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few blogs that garner a lot of attention from people who aren’t regular readers, that I’m always nervous about the post that comes after. What if those one-off readers decide to stick around and expect more mind-altering and wonderful prose? You ain’t gonna get it today, ’cause I have two pieces of freelance work to finish, vacuum cleaning to do and I’m seeing a friend tomorrow so I’ve got to do whatever I might have done tomorrow today instead.

I haven’t got as far as planning tomorrow. Let’s pretend I was planning to hash together a blog!

We took Donnie to the specialist vet yesterday (good news: he’s not going to die of leishmania yet) and while we were in the waiting room we made the acquaintance of an Afghan hound. Until yesterday I had neither met nor seen pictures of Afghan hounds, and the only association I had with them was from a childhood book called The Great Big Glorious Book for Girls. I now realise the inherent and unnecessary sexism of the title, as it was essentially a compendium of fun facts and activities: it taught me how to stop a nosebleed, for example, and contained excellent Halloween ideas. It also had a section on famous hairstyles, and described Jennifer Aniston’s ‘Rachel’ do as making the wearer ‘look not unlike an Afghan hound’.

from hairstylesidea.us
from hairstylesidea.us
from Art.com
from Art.com                                                     

Sexist as fuck maybe, but not entirely wrong.

Hogmanay Hangover (Sort Of)

Happy new year everyone!

I am quite tired today because I went to bed technically today on a bed that is technically a sofa.

But the tired-blues haven’t hit yet – we’re about to walk the dogs, ask me later – so I thought I’d say hey and happy new year, since the whole globe is now in 2015… And asleep.

Anyway, the dogs are woofing for a walk so I’d better go and get my wellies on before they explode with excitement and try to eat Christmas decorations.

New Years Blog Resolutions?

I am busy trying to think up new year’s resolutions for the blog, because I think it would be fun to see if I can keep them past 8th January. So far I have come up with:

  • Learn to cook and share the horror stories with you guys to dispel the cookbook-perpetrated myth that you need to skin a unicorn and boil fairy dust to feed yourself.
  • Advertise that I’m open to sponsored blog posts and paid reviews and see what happens.
  • Try to make indifferent ignorance more of a plot point; do regular posts where it has been spotted in the real world. You guys would have to help with this as I don’t get out all that much.
  • Annoy UKIP more by sending them lots of letters using the 1p stamps I purchased yesterday. You guys would also have to be involved because there is only so much a person can do by themselves before they get disillusioned. Especially where UKIP is concerned.

I haven’t got much further than that, although a brief list of short term goals is usually more realistic than lots of big ones, like “TAKE OVER UNIVERSE” or “MAKE DOG CUDDLING AN OLYMPIC SPORT”.

I’m not sure which to go with, if any. Thoughts?