This is a collection of notes to myself and (mostly) daily ruminations of my personal happenings to get me back into the habit of writing again.
No guarantees can be made for your interest in what lies beyond, in fact there's a very real danger of it actually sucking in interest from the surrounding area.
During a nine-hour shift at the petrol station I will serve around three hundred customers, and of those three hundred more or less none of them will refer to me as a dude. I mean it happens occasionally, sometimes in an obvious “I see what you’re trying to do and I’m not having it” way but, eh, what are you going to do? Those people are one dissenting voice in a thousand and, as such, are cunts. I win by default.
For the rest of my encounters, no-one is more surprised than me about how I’m addressed. All that time I spent during my twenties being absolutely convinced that I would never “pass” and instead fermented a potent brew of resentment for the whole concept of “passing”, I go through most interactions in my life now in a almost-constant state of amazement. And a little suspicion, as if it’s all a ruse.
Today, however, the phone rang and my colleague answered it, looked confused for a while saying “There’s no Julie working here, mate”, shrugging at me. Then he called out “Julie!” and gestured for me to come to the phone with his eyes saying “I have nothing for this, maybe they want you?”.
A strained exchange took place in which the person calling switched from asking for this mysterious Julie character to inexplicably wanting to speak to a female employee, asking if i was male or female. I said I was female, he asked if I was Julie, I said (again) that no Julie was in and I was Angela, maybe I could help.
The guy said that my voice sounded very masculine and asked if I was sure my name was Angela. I do okay with my voice, but it can be hit an miss on the telephone, but even so… By this point I was getting irate and, in a lightly salty tone, said that there as just me and Abdur in the entire building and he could take it or leave it. The reply came back in a mocking tone, “Oooh, you’re a bad bitch aren’t you!” and then hung up.
What the fuuuuuuuck? Right? I mean, it was obvious that they aiming to call me out a leave me a shattered mess that can no longer even, and it failed somewhat. Not for them, they’re striding about somewhere right now thinking it was a big win, oh they’ll tell the tale of this for aeons to come. Where on earth the Julie bit came from I have no idea though, I wear a name badge for Kara Zor-L’s sake.
Now I have no definite proof of this, but about ten minutes earlier I served a couple of boys (and they were boys, scrotey ones too) during which they said something to each other, indistinct to me, then walked out laughing and left a lingering smell of weed. I bet it was them, thinking they were the big man by calling out the transwoman they just saw in the petrol station.
Well, there you go. Prank call trans-based ass-hattery, that was a first. And you know what, whatever. You’re attempting to extinguish a forest fire with a water-pistol, boys. Number of hours sleep I’m going to lose over this: None.
Back on the night shift again, inadvisedly eating crisps with some sort of war film on the telly. It is far too late for people shouting while firing guns and I’d turn it over, or preferably off, but as is the universal law for work canteen communal tellies, the remote control was smashed to dust a long time ago and arranging a replacement is a bureaucratic nightmare that wouldn’t look of of place in the film Brazil. Anyway I’m not getting up until my break is over. So there.
Once again I’m ill-prepared for working overnight, having been woken up the wrong side of noon by a light birdsong notification sound to signify something that has happened on Twitter. I’d turn it off, but sometimes it’s something interesting, like today when my first thought upon waking up was “Huh. Why have 21 people I follow just followed Tim Schafer? He’s a highly respected game developer, it’s unlikely that he’s new to Twitter”.
And I was right, a brief investigation found a long-standing account of several thousand followers and tweets including this most recent one:
And a link to a video of The Antichrist Anita Sarkeesian once again incapacitating innocent parents with her acid spit before loudly devouring their infant children and laughing. Replies to this were suitably horrified as you would expect, with much wailing, gnashing of teeth and cries of “Et tu, Tim? ET TU?”. Oh, the bastard humanity! Another one has fallen! Another victim to the merest suggestion of fair representation! The cracks of light can no longer pierce the thick skin of night that engulfs us all! Colon. Open bracket.
It seems that a large demographic of the internet nowadays has the idea that if you don’t punctuate a response to an opinion with an explicit instruction to drink bleach or anally rape yourself with a bread knife you’re just not speaking with enough passion to be taken seriously, and nowhere is this idea more prevalent than amongst the precious fucking princes of the gaming community.
The trouble is, the tag “gamer” is one that I can apply to myself so these mewling black holes of rationality are effectively representing me, and I’m not having that. If you don’t like Anita’s perfectly valid opinions on your chosen specialist subject, you don’t have to listen to them. You weren’t forced to donate to the original Kickstarter campaign which, by the way, was the sum total of everything evil in human history apparently. Armed storm-troopers are not going to burst into your home and cut your hands off at the wrist as you write your fifth letter that week to Rockstar Games pleading for their next game to have more rape in it.
The only people destroying your beloved hobby are you, and if you don’t mind the rest of us would enjoy it a little bit more if it wasn’t constantly set against a backdrop of your enraged white noise. Gamers, you have lost the ability to rationalise correctly. Please turn in your right to an opinion because you’re clearly abusing it.
It certainly was a delight to get home from Guildford at the weekend to find letters from the Department of Social Security concerning my housing benefit.
It was never that much to start with, somewhere in the ball park of £16 per week, but nevertheless provided a much needed safety net in the monthly overheads of my continued existence. However, the stack of pages showed, in willfully confusing terms, the arcane calculations performed in order to decide that I have somehow been overpaid.
With adjustments to my weekly allowance made, and the obligatory repayment by instalments of my ill-gotten overpayment, I am now the proud benefactor of a bonus 50p each week to really make those ends meet, but on the bright side it does bring back wonderful memories of my weekly pocket money back in the 1980s which I shall spend of a bag of Blackjacks, a penny whistle and a pack of trading cards.
There’s also been some brouhaha occurring with my council tax resulting in a Notice of Enforcement, where “goods would be seized to the value of the amount owed, plus additional charges made for having to come out in the first place, and also your locks if we need to smash them off”. My washing machine is still broken and it’s not going to get fixed or replaced any time soon, needless to say the value of things you could seize from my flat would not cover the cost of replacing the locks. But what a delightful system that the process of recovering debts makes the problem much worse. Yay capitalism.
I had, naturally, called the tax office at the beginning of last week to arrange some kind of panicked settlement towards repayment but have still received no clue as to whether this was deemed sufficient. So that’ll be a day of waiting around, only 90% sure that I can keep my collection of homely trinkets.
How much could I live without, should I be forced to? My books and CDs aren’t absolutely indispensable, certainly not in the Buddhist sense, but together they trace a line through my history and tell a mild tale of how I became. They’d be welcome to take my television, it’s in a frankly shonky condition, rarely used and one of those now-antiquated CRT wide-screen models that took two people to carry into my flat. They’d be doing me a favour taking that.
They didn’t come in the end so I am still tragically stuck with my telly.