A Great Big Spiffing Update

Yes, I haven’t updated in exactly one month, one day, and seventeen hours-ish. Bite me. At least I’ve updated the website. Doesn’t it look pretty and slightly less functional now? Less like a Dignitas brochure.

So I’m not going to update you on the dissertation as there’s not really any update to be had. University has been providing me with enough procrastination devices, reading, essays and general rubbish to keep me from making some progress on the one thing it needs me to do. But here’s some things that have been happening!

For one, I completed my dryathlon for charity so donate to me you tight gits. PINT84 £1 to 70070. Cancer Research UK will benefit greatly from it. I’m not exactly adonis yet in the body stakes but it’s slowly happening. Here’s hoping by May, I’ll look like the uglier version of (flavour of the month), the guy who (random celebrity status). The dawn is approaching where I need to seek some kind of gainful employment, working experience (I know I have seven years already), and the like. So if you know, can point in a direction or can help, tweet me! (@cleaverslips) I can write pretty things (flowers), gaming or nerdy things (kapowww! – 404 error), sporty things (FORE!), opinionated things (Uggh that bloke looks a bit rubbish on that news programme. Who does he think he is, the Prime Minister?) and funny things (makes fart noises). I can also use the steamy thingy on the coffee machine, which is probably more what you’re after in an employee anyway.

Writing wise, I’ve spent a lot of time rewriting a piece I did for a uni class. Normally, I’d post it once I’ve got my grade, but this I won’t. It’s autobiographical and to be honest, it became a bit of a labor of love for me. Literally, it’s about dating so, correct usage of the word literally there… Literally. Maybe you’ll see it when I have enough money to be happy and enough ego to warrant writing such a piece. However, my excursions into radio will bring something cool to your ears!

Hopefully starting in the next two months, me and a few friends are going to record a radio sketch show pilot. Just because we can really, and we only have the technology for another few months. The working titled “Hang The DJ” will be a pilot podcast, recorded in front of a live audience and performed by the friends and myself. So far, four pages out of a maximum 30 have been written as has some music for a comedy song. I’m quite excited about it (especially as my friends are funnier performers than me) and hope it will pave the way for a series available in podcast form. At least it’ll give me some writing confidence and a chance to hone my craft rather than the rejections from BBC’s Newsjack.

I have written a short story which I am letting stew for a while before editing. I can tell you it’s called The Taxers and is about a post-apocalyptic farming colony. Hopefully I can find a way to get it published. There’s also a few other ideas flying around, including a Valentines Day piece about a mystery Valentine who leaves random clues over their workplace to woo their prospective interest. I will publish it on here when I get around to it. PURELY OUT OF SPITE TO WRITING MAGAZINE! Yes, I ask you, as a magazine that offers short story competitions (which another friend got shortlisted for but a far inferior story got the nod), and also that offers internet/iPad subscriptions, in this 21st Century mobile world, how can they refuse a submission from me? I’ll tell you. I don’t count as a subscriber as I do so via my iPad, so they won’t let me submit anything. To do so, I have to subscribe by filling a form in the physical magazine and sending it off with a cheque with my story. I’m feeling myself rambling here but UP YOURS writing mag! Come see me when you decide to crawl into the future. Maybe I’ll fax you the directions on how to get there.

Also, Superbash, NFL, fun nights had, Dodge Brothers ticket sorted, lots of board games and geek T-Shirts purchased, lots of books, stuff, etc, yada yada. Just follow on twitter, instagram, all that kind of thing. I’m there.

Currently Reading: Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy, Tales From Development Hell: The Greatest Movies Never Made? – David Hughes.

The Five Point Guide For Being My Facebook Friend

I felt a bit reticent over creating a post about facebook. I thought it might seem, although I’ve been at it for a while now, that I’m joining the “facebook is dead” and “anti facebook” bandwagons. So I’ve changed my tack a bit on broaching this subject. For some background, I left this particular social network, by choice, for a month. I came back after I lost my phone and the need for any kind of social discourse forced me to reactivate it. It’s amazing in this time of email and ease of communication that you might as well be a hermit in a cave if you don’t have facebook, a mobile phone or both. I personally am a complete twitter convert. So the first thing I did was to attach my twitter account to my timeline, limiting the amount of time I’d need to be on it. But alas, I got drawn in and had to comment on things and like some stuff and I felt as dirty as Hugh Grant must have after getting caught.

But my hatred is still there and the constant feeding my hatred gets is on facebook every day, in fact, every few hours. The thing is even though we all discuss it in private and hate it; everyone still does the same thing. Which made me wonder if my generation skipped this annoying trait of social networking indulgence and just learnt what to do, as every other generation seems born with the ability to generally annoy me more than Jo Whiley does – which is a lot. So I thought it might be best, instead of ranting and just generally venting, to create a small five-point guide for beginners on facebook, especially those befriending me. Consider it if you will as an informal pamphlet on facebook etiquette.

1) Don’t like your own statuses.

This may sound incredibly silly. But, simply put, if you like your own status then you are either really stupid or a completely egocentric garish amoeba. You don’t talk to your friends and say “I’d like some pizza” followed by “Yeah I’m awesome, I like this.” So don’t say it on facebook.

2) Be careful what you get tagged in.

One of the most annoying things is when you get automatically tagged in a picture that shows how many people have visited your profile or what love heart you are. Or more recently what Game of Thrones House you belong to. If you have that much time to waste on these pathetic additions to the timeline then you really need to recheck your life, go to a library and get a book, or simply get out of bed and go for a walk. They aren’t entertaining and they certainly aren’t entertaining me.

3) If you have a problem with someone, keep it to yourself.

Ok so this is probably the hardest one out of all of them. I’m certainly guilty of it. But if something’s wrong with your relationship with friends, family, ex’s, whatever, then keep it to yourself. Firstly, I honestly don’t give a toss if you’re getting annoyed, unless it directly affects our friendship or me. Secondly, don’t follow it up with “I can’t say” or “text/call me” as then you are as big of a twat as the person who was annoying you. Don’t bring your shit into the public domain if you haven’t got the balls to actually mention it. If you’re trying to send a “message” to the dickhead that’s annoying you then try calling him/her and tell them yourself.

4) Speling and gramma

It may shock you to know that 100% of the people on facebook in the UK have either been in education or are in education. If you really have trouble spelling words correctly or using correct punctuation without a character limit, then you should really spend the time you are on facebook over at the BBC’s GCSE Bitesize website to give you a reminder. Unless that is you are intentionally mocking or trying to be funny. In which case stay on facebook and don’t come back into the real world. We did those jokes years ago and they aren’t funny anymore. Slang I will allow as long as it fits the character of the person saying it. For example, I can’t see my status being updated in a language only Snoop Dogg could create or understand. Speaking of which, don’t quote TV people’s catch phrases. People used to do that in public in pubs before and they really were the worst type of fool.

5) Pictures of you. Not your family album

I’ll be honest, when I get married or a have long term partner, I fully expect my parents to pull out the “long lost” baby pictures album to show me at my worst/most naked. I do not expect my parents to jump onto the nearest computer and log in to facebook to show them my baby pictures. The fact that baby pictures exist on facebook in abundance is already well mocked. But consider for a moment the effect this will have on your child. In a completely made up survey conducted by a completely made up agency, because you’ve put your baby and child’s pictures on facebook and haven’t checked your privacy settings, over 1 million completely made up paedophiles have found your child’s picture on a google search and bashed out some completely made up semen. What if your child grew up knowing these completely made up facts?

Ok so that’s a bit extreme and sometimes it’s fine for a family picture or to show that you’ve just had a child, or if they’ve done something really funny (like the youtube videos have). Otherwise, please don’t. I am willing to bet that you have somewhere a physical photograph of a family member (parent or grandparent). Imagine if your child doesn’t have this, doesn’t have the physical connection to that person with an actual photo that they can frame, show off, hold in times of need, talk to and look for inspiration or guidance. Imagine instead that you log on to facebook and can only mouse click backwards and forwards away from it. To me, I think that’s rather sad.

There are probably a lot more things that will eventually annoy me and that I will scorn facebooks’ millions of users for. But until I work them out or they become blatantly obvious, just stick to these points and we can be friends… Virtually, of course.