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Plastic Electric 'Blog

As I'm reorganising a lot of my web stuff (not that there was ever that much anyway), things are in something of a state of disarray at the moment. No stylesheets, no home page, just this blog and its archives. Job seeking stuff is taking priority at the moment, so it might be like this for a little while. But I will get round to sorting this out, eventually.

Further Reading

'Blog Lists, Rings, Directories, Etc


Wednesday, July 30, 2003

10:38 PM

Thank You

Thank you for your messages of sympathy, etc. (I might have missed some, due to Enetation playing up, but I know there were at least two more than are currently showing up (because I saw them before they disappeared).)

I don't know if Tigger's ashes have arrived back from the vets', yet. The vets themselves don't do the cremation, but it's done via them. Tigger's ashes hadn't arrived yesterday, but they might have arrived today (I haven't checked, yet). I suspect the scattering will be done this weekend.

Ben's ashes are scattered near a bush that he used to like sleeping under. Lara's ashes (if I remember correctly) are scattered very near by, next to what used to be a fur tree. She liked the tree stump. Tigger's ashes will probably also go very nearby, as she liked sleeping in little nests of grass nearby.

The house, strangely enough, doesn't seem strangely empty. It's not an emptiness as such. It's different. It's as if it's smaller. There's less to this house now. It's as if a space that was occupied by Tigger, a space which existed for Tigger throughout this house, has closed up. This house feels smaller, and simpler, as a result. It's quieter. There's less life to it.

Still I glance in the bathroom in passing, and wander into other rooms, as if looking to see if Tigger is there. It's an old habit now, but now it just reminds me that Tigger's no longer here. Every evening meal I remember that there's no need to set aside bits of food anymore. When I wander into the back garden, it can't be to see what Tigger's doing.

Henri, our tortoise, is still around, though. She was our first pet, and, once again, is our only pet. She hasn't been our only pet since 1975. (She's been microchipped, so there's no point in stealing her. She also has a lot of distinctive scarring from before we had her, so there's even less point in stealing her. She's far too recognisable.)

Lara's death was sad. She was the first of our cats to go. But she went at a ripe old age - seventeen!

Ben's death was sadder, as we only had one cat left (Tigger).

Tigger's death has been the saddest, I think, because now all three of our cats are gone. And because Tigger was the cat who chose us.

I would like to have cats again, sometime in the future. But, as cats can be very long term things, I don't plan to have any until my life is sufficiently stable, and that sort of thing. But any such future cats would be no replacements for Ben, Lara or Tigger - they are irreplaceable.

Anyway, thanks again for your messages of sympathy.

Link. Email.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

6:21 PM


(How Blogger has changed since I was last here!)

Well, my blog's a mess, and much neglected, but I'm not here to do anything about that right now.

I'm mourning.

My cat Tigger, who was approximately 21, has just died.

I am, of course, upset by this.

She was not eating much at all yesterday, and wasn't eating again today. Except a very small amount of stuff. And she was quiet, and seemed to be not too well. She wasn't obviously suffering, and was doing her usual things, except she wasn't eating, and was visibly sluggish in her movements.

So, she was taken to the vets' this afternoon. (They made her Cat Of The Year recently, in her honour.)

Recently, in this hot/humid weather, Tigger's taken to sleeping in a little 'nest' of grass out in the back garden. She loves it there. She was sleeping there this afternoon.

Then it came time to take her to the vets'. I didn't take her; my mother always takes her. She was taken down there, and was to stay overnight, on a drip, as she was dehydrated.

Last night, while I was watching telly, Tigger did her usual thing of standing on me while I lay on the sofa. She turned and walked around on me, enjoying getting attention. It seemed she wasn't feeling too bad, despite being off her food.

The vets' phoned late this afternoon, and reported that Tigger's kidneys had finally, truly failed. There really wasn't anything to be done. She'd also had a severe fit while at the vets'. The recommendation was that she be put to sleep.

My mother went down there, so that Tigger would not feel abandoned. Tigger recognised her owner and carer, and was reassured. She went swiftly and peacefully.

She's been brought back here, just for tonight, and I have said a postumous fairwell and goodbye. She's curled up in her 'visiting the vets'' basket, in a way she curls up when she's really happy and content and comfortable.

I am, of course, crying.

No more nice bits of food thrown to her on the floor.

No more crawling over me, purring, late at night.

No more being taken for walks around the garden.

No more sleeping on my mother's pillow, with my mother having to share Tigger's bed.

No more being brushed, purring away, enjoying being groomed and taken care of.

No more nice treats to eat right after being given pills (which she didn't like), or after coming in from the garden.

No more curling up in her little bed in the bathroom.

No more listening to the radio or television, so that she doesn't feel completely alone when we're not about.

Now, it's just like she's sleeping.

She loves sleeping.

Link. Email.

Saturday, April 05, 2003

2:09 PM

I am Honoured

Many bloggers fear the time when someone they already know, someone from 'real life', will find their blogs. It can be an irrational fear, a manifestation of self-conciousness as a kind of paranoia, but a fear that still afflicts many bloggers. I have been one such blogger.

Today, I got an email from an old friend, Michael. He has found my blog! He stuck 'barsticus' into Google, the stalker's friend, and found me that way. To my relief (not that I had terribly great fear of what he'd think, for I have very much come to terms with being a blogger), he spoke well of it. Or wrote well of it, or typed well, as the case may indeed actually be.

To my honour (is that the right way of wording it?), he has even been inspired to start his own blog, Diary of a Supernaturalist. Although new, it is already a good read. (And I'm not just saying that because he wrote nice, complimentary things about my blog there.)

I have known Mr Michael since, oh, the mid eighties. Haven't had much contact with him for a while, though, but that's because we blokes really are crap at keeping in contact. But I shall leave you to read his blog if you want to know more about him.

Anyway, I now feel as if my own blog has 'graduated' to the next level - a blog that has inspired the beginnings of another blog! Now, finally, I feel as if my blogging really is somehow real in a way that it wasn't before.

That's all, for now.

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Friday, April 04, 2003

6:56 PM

Been Busy

This last week, I've not been too well. Sunday, which was Mothers' Day, was a day on which I felt unwell enough to declare to myself that I was unwell. The rest of the week has had me feeling generally naff, a bit down because of it, lethargic and generally naff.

I'm feeling better now. I've just had chicken'n'chips.

I'll spare you the details of earlier on in the week. Except to mention a spate of monster turds, and toothache that turned into some kind of gum ache, very much in the style of a molar seeking to erupt, but not managing to do so.

Other than being not so well, I've been getting rather bored with job seeking. It's already become a chore. And writing a splendiferous CV to put up on the web is something that's beginning to make me feel a bit miserable.

Other than that, I was quite enjoying preparing a bunch of XHTML documents and stylesheets to be my all-new, personal website. An official one, that is. One in which I give my full name, and stuff like that. One for the potential employers to see.

But, augh, CV writing is just something I never, ever enjoy.

Also, I've been following the war. Those Americans still seem to be shooting the wrong people (Brits, civilians, bus passengers in foreign lands...). Haven't heard of them bombing any Chinese embassies, yet.

It's scary. Americans are crap at urban warfare, and they're going to have to resort to something like that to take Baghdad. We Brits, on the other hand, have lots of experience of it, largely from Belfast. It'll be interesting to see how the American invasion of Baghdad compares to the British invasion of Basra. But scary. Those Americans are just too ready to shoot civilians rather than face the risks of war, it seems.

Ah, so much I could say about this war.

Link. Email.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

11:57 PM

I have no Style

As you may have noticed, I have no style! Due to the need to stick my CV somewhere on the web, I've decided to reorganise things a bit. Or even a lot. So, my BTinternet webspace has been cleared. I'll have to sort out some new webspace for my personal stuff. My personal personal stuff, that is. Stuff like this. Perhaps I'll get even more personal.

Link. Email.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

8:58 PM

Looking for a Pimp

After doing job searching until midnight last night, I overslept terribly. Got up after one in the afternoon, with a headache that's lasted all day.

So, this afternoon, I quickly sorted through nearly 50 jobs from yesterday to consider further. Only nine were really worth acting on, as most were duff jobs that really do amount to scraping the barrel. Many I now have to fax my now finished resumé to, but I've never faxed anything before. My modem's s'posed to be able to send faxes, but I doubt that that'll really be an option (for technical reasons). I think the local library's got faxing facilities, though. Anyway, at least I know I can phone up places without suddenly getting lost for words and tongue-tied. Oh, and I typed, printed and posted my first letter of application, too!

Tonight, I think I'll search around for job agencies to register with. I fancy being a rent boy.

Link. Email.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

4:27 PM

Nervous Patient

I've just come back from the dentists. Well, I only saw one of them, but they have several there.

I was nervous, but not terrified, when I got there. More sort of apprehensive. The nurses in the reception area got me to fill out a medial history form, as it had been so long since I was last there (or at any dentist's, for that matter). This, fortunately, gave me a good opportunity to say, in writing, that I'd taken several years to overcome my irrational phobia of dentists.

After not too much waiting, it was my turn to go up. But this just meant going up to wait in the smaller, upper waiting area. It was just a few chairs at the end of the landing (their dental surgery is in what otherwise would've been a domestic house). But the nurse was already there, and it was my turn to go in!

I went in, and the quiet dentist (potentially in a scary way) greeted me. Very gently. I took the opportunity to mention that I'd taken a number of years to overcome an irrational phobia of dentists, and he stretched out his hand to greet me more, um, thoroughly, I suppose.

Then he invited me to take the chair. This was not scary in and of itself. I find dentist's chairs really quite comfortable and relaxing. But it meant that he'd soon be looking into my mouth. Instead, he sat by the door, and asked me what I was looking for in the way of dental stuff. I said I was there for a general assessment, mentioning that my teeth were in a terrible state. He clarified his question by asking what sort of results I had in mind. I hadn't really thought about it much. I said I'd like to be able to use my teeth pretty much normally, but that I wasn't that interested in all that cosmetic stuff (though I wouldn't mind having fetching teeth - as long as they don't look falsely 'perfect'). He summed it up as basically a matter of reconstruction work, saying that the cosmetic stuff tended to pretty much come with it anyway.

Then he lowered the back of the chair, switched on the light (which, for some reason, I kept looking at, until it occurred to me that I wasn't in an optician's), and I opened my mouth. He turned away, putting a mask on his face. Was he so repulsed by the horror he saw within? No, he was just getting himself some hygiene gloves, that's all.

The bit when he did look at my teeth was the bit I'd been dreading over the years. It's 'cause that's the time when the dentist can devastatingly say, 'Oh,' as if disapproving of abysmally low morals. He didn't. There were no signs or expressions of any kind of disapproval at all. He just carried on with the same, quiet, gentle voice.

The next thing I feared was the bit with the pokey thing. I just knew it would hurt, and hurt a hell of a lot, when he stuck it in two or three particularly delapidated teeth. There was one tooth in particular, the molar which inspired this trip to the dentist's, which I was particularly fearful of having probed. The moment came when he stuck that metal spike in it - and there was no pain. There was no pain! Perhaps that tooth's really dead. Actually, I did very slightly feel it, but nothing much. I think he must've been being really careful.

Anyway, I've basically got to have lots of crowns, fillings, and plenty of root canal work (that stuff that Woody Allen's always having trouble with in his films). Phew! My third fear was that my teeth would be a gonna, and that it would be glasses of water for my teeth to sit in each night from now on. Perhaps that fear was somewhat exagerated, but still, there have been moments when I have wondered.

Basically, at least from this preliminary examination, it seems that all my damaged teeth can be saved. No extractions! That was quite a bonus. But, I have to remember, this was a preliminary examination. There will also need to be X-rays, and that sort of thing, too. But still, it's really put my mind at rest. Well, nearly.

There are one or two remaining things for me to consider. Firstly, there's the issue of sedation. It sounds quite attractive, but there are reasons to be fearful. Secondly, there's the cost of all this work (though it'll be done in stages). Even with getting a bulk discount of something like forty to fifty percent, the estimate is £4411.60!

I'll definitely have to see if I can get such work done on the NHS instead.

Anyway, one of the things that amused me during the course of the visit was the montage type picture of various bits of Monet paintings on the ceiling. It's conveniently and thoughtfully placed so that patients can admire some samples of his work while lying back in the chair. I suspect Monet was chosen for his relaxing qualities. Another was that they kept referring to patients like me as nervous patients.

After thanking them for their time, paying the fee for the check-up (£24.60, but I thought it was only going to be £20), and departing, I was happy. I was pleased with myself for triumphing over my irrational phobia, and particularly pleased that I hadn't really been that nervous after all. Most of all, though, I'm very relieved that my teeth can be saved. They have the technology; they can rebuild them.

Link. Email.

9:34 AM

Dentist, Dentist, Dentist, EEEEEEEEE!

Finally, today, I am going to see the dentist. I'm scared! My appointment is at 2:50 this afternoon, and I just know that I'll be terrified by then. But I've got to go through with it.

I've also managed to mismanage my finances, again, this month, and am now a bit strapped for cash. I have just enough to pay for the basic checkup. Investing in a new printer and good quality printer paper had done it. But one cannot skimp when one's applying for jobs, yeah? And I got two reams of paper for the price of one, which was particularly good, as they cost £9.99 each. (A ream, by the way, is 500 sheets, 'cause that way it's 1000 sides. So, I literallly bought reams of paper yesterday.) I hope my jobseekers' allowance comes through soon!

Damn, I'm really not going to be able to concentrate on much today. I've still got some of my resumé to finish. It's now that final editing stuff, of trying to get it to fit on just two sides (two millireams? or four? (single sided)), of trying to avoid needless repetition, of trying to get the bad bits from seeming so bad without resorting to dishonesty, and so on.

I'm really scared about seeing the dentist.

I really must do some real jobsearching today, too. I'm s'posed to keep a record of what I've been doing, but so far it's mostly stuff about buying a printer and trying to sort it out, and writing the dreaded CV, of course. (Actually, it's a resumé. 'CV' literally means something along the lines of 'the course of one's life'. A resumé is just a sort of short summary of skills and stuff, and that's what I've been writing, as that's the kind of thing that the advice stuff I've been reading is saying. If I was to write a full CV, it would be several times the length, be much more chronological, and would be much more difficult to keep from looking dismal.)

I'm really not looking forward to going to the dentist's. I'm scared! I don't wanna go! Please, can somebody hold my hand? Help!

Perhaps my next entry will be made with no teeth.

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