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JacquesTheLad (3569)
JacquesTheLad
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http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/handinglove

I'm not the man you think I am...I am a poor freezingly cold soul...I have just discovered that prudence never pays. Now, we must wait for the right time

Sunday July 18, 10
07:10 PM - O Canada!
[ 0 Comments ]
So, goal number one has been accomplished! Three weeks and one day into the Canadian dream, and following a couple of beers and watching some baseball, I post my first entry of 2010.

It's been a bizarre start to the year. January and February were horrendously bad work-wise - crazy hours, and a fair bit of the blame would probably have to sit at my door. By February, I knew that I was coming to Canada, and the most difficult thing left to do was to inform the family. They recognise what an opportunity it was, and also how long it had been an ambition of mine to do so, but it didn't make the goodbyes any easier. It was only really on leaving day that I realised how much of a home boy I was - never really having grown up, being sheltered from a lot of life's difficulties.

Yet the first few weeks haven't been too bad. Sure, I've struggled to make friends very easily, but I'm in the place I always wanted to be. The friends will follow, I'm sure. And even if they didn't, I'm living a decent lifestyle that's enjoyable to me - isn't that all that matters?

By moving on, I've also been able to grow a little as well and have started to wash, iron, dry, clean...All grown up things! Or things you would probably have picked up in your teens. Either way, I'm now doing it, and doing it in a reasonable manner.

So, what now? I recently entered into a lease for a new apartment, and spent a fun/dreadful weekend at Ikea kitting the place out as much as possible. I reckon within six weeks, it'll begin to feel like home. Who knows, maybe with a few friends to share it with also...
Wednesday December 30, 09
06:30 AM - Wish lists
[ 1 Comment ]
I'm having trouble sleeping these days. I'm unsure if it's the ability to stay up late due to being on holiday, the Rocky marathon that Bravo have been running the past few days, or some niggling thoughts in the back of my mind that's doing it.

The holidays are great times. I've managed to totally forget about work and work people since Christmas Eve, which is a triumph of sorts in and of itself. No doubt the six months that are to come will soon make me cherish this time off even more, so I'm enjoying it while it lasts. Not by doing much, mind - I've managed to address some of the points raised in the last entry, by swapping the laptop for the Wii (Pro Ev 2010 is pretty good) and by tidying my pit of a room (I do love such a large scale project as this one). But sometimes you just need to take advantage of these holidays to do things like that, I guess.

Having some spare time on my hands has provided me with additional time to assess other things I'd like that were left off for Christmas. As it stands, the list is as follows:

Socks - both for work and for leisure, as for some reason mine seem to always go missing. I'm blaming the sock thief from South Park - those bloody gnomes.
A "Make Your Own Bonsai Tree" kit. I simply want a bonsai tree to cultivate in my own image, but I guess that growing one from scratch may actually be kinda fun also.
New Super Mario Bros Wii. I've always been a bit of a sucker for most classic things Mario (not quite got into the Mario at the Olympics, Mario Golf, Wario-based products etc, but a big freak for the Super Mario Bros series and Super Mario Kart, of course), so I think this is a must-have to ensure my Wii playing continues long after this holiday is over.
New tennis trainers/sportswear. From last summer, I'd gotten back into tennis. My tennis shoes are, however, on their last legs (har har!). Christmas 2008 had brought me a matching Adidas t-shirt and short combo that looked eerily reminiscent of the Novak Djokovic range. I reckon I'll need to procure some of that clobber for this year - Novak's a cool dude, and his gear is pretty slick.
Subscription to ESPN - I think this is now falling off the list, as I was planning on mainly using it during my holiday to watch the various North American sports it has to offer as well as the other football games they have. I reckon I can probably live without it now.
New suit/shoes for work - not my own choice, you understand, but it'll have to be what I spend the money my grandmother gave me for Christmas on or else my life won't be worth living. It's the same every Christmas or birthday - despite the fact she lives off a state pension, she attempts to be so frugal in order to give me money for these occasions. I guess it's one of the few joys left in life at that age.

Not an exhaustive list, by any means, but I guess it's something to actually do with my money. I don't think I've truly made the most of not being involved with anyone for the past however many years - such excess money that could've been spent on them should've been spent on things that could have made my life better. No point crying over spilled milk now, I s'pose.

Tonight brings a curry, some beers and some watching of football with an old school friend. It's been a funny old year after all - while I hadn't fallen out with him at any point, we'd both grown gradually apart following our high school graduation of 2002, just due to attending different universities, studying for different degrees, and entering different lines of work. Yet 2009 has brought us full circle, providing me with a great many laughs in line with my juvenile sense of humour whenever he's around. I guess that while the year hasn't brought me a loved one, it has reacquainted me with some friendship, which is something I shouldn't take for granted.

Any road, I've bored you enough for one year (or a lifetime!). I wish you all a happy new year for when it comes - stay safe, and keep happy.
Sunday December 27, 09
07:13 PM - So this is Christmas...
[ 2 Comments ]
A merry Christmas to one and all - I hope you all had a very peaceful day. Mine was largely non-eventful - truth be told, I was just pleased to have some time off work, and what better way to use some time off than to help celebrate the birth of our Lord.

It seems to be that I only ever post an entry on here these days around Christmas time, which seems to frequently coincide with an appropriate time for reflection (ignore the nonsense drunken text entry of earlier). The main time to look towards another year in hope and nervous anticipation. So, my hopes (nay, predictions) for 2010 can probably be summarised as follows:

1) Moving across the pond. 2009 has brought me perhaps the closest I've been to upping sticks so far, to fulfil a lifelong ambition. Besides family (and what few there are of them!), there's very little keeping me here these days. No more exams; I'm losing all of my friends to relationships (how dare they!) or their own global movements; no prospects of a meaningful relationship (or otherwise) of my own here. The world has become smaller, and that's something to be exploited and embraced. Sure, I'm afraid, but it's a good afraid. The move should happen towards summer/autumn 2010.

2) Become a better person. I'm a bit sick of myself these past six months, and I'm unsure why. I can just feel my moral compass being gradually eroded, with alcohol and other influences dragging me away from where I should be at. Time to readjust to the required central focus. Look at what a nice fella that Rocky was - despite people making fun of him and ripping into him, he was always selfless. I'd like to get there one day (and no, I don't pity the fool).

3) Become more motivated at work. Probably interlinked with point 2, the past few weeks have seen my desire at work becoming even more separated from what it once was. And I'm unsure why - through university and the early work days, I had a bit of hunger about me. Maybe that was driven by fear (God knows how stressed I'd become, no question), but something's missing these days. I have no desire to earn any more money, no interest in promotions or anything else. But it's no excuse to be so disinterested to the point of boredom and kidding yourself and others on. Time to readjust and make the most of life.

4) Become less lazy. Whenever I get home from work, I sit on a laptop, pretending to work or cruising that bloody Facebook for hours on end. God knows why. I've made it a vow to avoid the laptop as much as possible in 2010 (except for posting on here a bit more regularly). Read books (maybe not fiction ones, but at least learn something new), or watch some things I enjoy. None of this wasting time. Oh, and help out more around the house. Those living on their own have to - why shouldn't I? Especially if the move mentioned in 1 is to come to fruition - this is a must.

So, four steps to success in 2010. 2009 has seen me get a new car, become a homeowner, finally become qualified, and take the first steps towards shaping the rest of my life. I'm now 25 years old (I can't believe I was 16 when I first posted on here, some eight short years ago), and no longer a youngster. As Jeff Jarrett used to say, enough is enough, and it's time for a change.

Until next time, I wish everyone a pleasant and peaceful new year celebration - see you in 2010.
Monday August 31, 09
02:44 PM - Tales from a mobile phone
[ 0 Comments ]
Lanzarote, July 2008

We need to talk to girls. But how? And when? I mean, there are plenty of girls in this club. None of them speaking to men. Yet I feel like if I went up to any of them I'd get lynched. Not the best position to be in. How will it change?

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These girls look at us across the bar while Alice Deejay's "Better Off Alone" plays. I can't agree with the sentiment. I don't know any other way than alone.

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I'm beginning to come round to Rent's way of thinking. Maybe some junk would get me out of this funk. No think about girls, no worries. Choose life. Choose a fuckin anonymous living. Welcome to my world.

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I look at this girl on the dance floor. She's good looking, but probably not in the top dozen of this holiday. I'm probably not in her top thousand of tonight. But she's my favourite for tonight. My penguin. It's destined not to be.

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Some birds are fuckin delusional. Like the ones that go on the sodium (sic). Sure, she's nice enough, but only stunners should be up there, those that are unattainable. While she's unattainable to me, she's no Hazel Irvine.

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Fuck, the Irish girls are here. I found them stunning on the bus, they still look fit here. But what to say? Will they think me and Dr Finlay are stalkers? There's a mass of guys between us. No guts no glory eh?

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Man, what a fucking game. I'm sure they've clocked us, but waiting on us making a move. Cunts. In fact they're right next to us now. What to do?

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Now the crowd of fuckin lackeys is between us. They moved away. It's either a game of chase or they're no interested. Either way, I'm no interested. I would've bought them a drunk as well, crazy prices or no. That's the type of cunt I am. Generous but shy. It'll never work. I'm fucking useless.

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The Irish birds disappeared. Like completely, just as Radiohead sang. There's a few birds still about but none attainable, especially with the amount I've drunk. Back to normality soon.

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What a fuckin doss cunt Dr Finlay is. First he ruins any chance with the Irish birds on the bus, next I'm on to a possible with some bird and he dingies my request to fuck off. Destined no to be. What's the point?

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Why blame Dr Finlay? The real blame should be laid at me. Ultimately I had the chance to make the move. He's a simple fellow, simple as that. I knew that when I came. I'm not good enough anyway. The bi-polar bear.

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BE MY PENGUIN

Another bloody morning
Waking up all alone
Maybe today will be different
I really should've known

God, will this ever end?
Is there a special friend?
It's nearly a quarter to ten
Please answer my prayers, amen.

I sidle up to the bar
And think of everyone I know
Even with a fancy car
They'd tell me where to go

Thinking of what to say
Comes easy for all the sheep
It's always something simple
Never anything too deep

So, if I had the chance
Here's what I'd say
Would you be my penguin?
It'd really make my day

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Glasgow, August 2009 (day after the wedding)

So here's the story. I'm basically the second leg of a stool, the spout of a chocolate teapot, the mosquito in a window. In other words, ultimately useless or simply undesirable. I'm lost in a myriad of pish. I hate life. Bring on death, it can't be much worse than life. And that's from me, not anyone else. Ah well, always my second life to start. Whether a metaphorical second life or a symbolic one. The flight (of either) can't happen soon enough.

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All of the above represents a somewhat darker side to my personality. Instead of living life at the time, I muse on it and find solace in jotting thoughts down in a phone (granted, it's over a year apart, but I'm certain there have been times in between that period where I've been sorely tempted).

Alcohol sees a bit of a change in me. Most of the time it's a decent chance - a bit more relaxed, a bit more happy. There seems to come a point, however, that I occasionally hit that almost brings out this depressed side, rearing its ugly head and taking over. It's managed the majority of the time by ignoring some of the deeper issues in my life.

Luckily, I think I've started to at least try to exorcise some of those demons. I managed to even ask someone out the other week (of course, it was met with a swift rejection, but progress is progress), and came out the other side intact. Maybe there's hope yet, even before the commencement of the second life.

(PS - Apologies for some of the dreadful language above - drink brings that out also).
Saturday July 25, 09
03:52 PM - T'is the season for some folly
[ 0 Comments ]
Six months since the last "blog", and I don't really know what's happened to 2009. In the absence of any real pressure, it just seems like I'm in a bit of limbo - not really sure what to do with life.

The past few weeks I've tried to fill the evenings with sports. While this sounds like an opportunity to broaden my social horizons, it really hasn't - more a case of making sure that I avoid going home, and yet for no real reason. I suppose I have a little bit of the Peter Pan about me - not really wanting to grow up and face the harsh concerns that adult life brings. Work isn't one such concern, as it's work to live, not live to work. But the other facets of life are, and yet I don't think I'll ever master them. I'm not even sure I want to master them.

I have a couple of weddings coming up in August, just before I go on holiday. I even have managed to snare someone to go with to one of them. Unfortunately, and true to one of The Smiths' finest efforts, I'm unsure where I exactly sit with this. Are her intentions that this is a purely platonic, friendly thing to do? Or would she like (as I would) for this to be something a bit more?

The option has probably been there for me to propose something before attending the wedding, but I've decided discretion is the better part of valour, and as such ensuring I have someone to attend the wedding with is more important than any short-term gain that could arise. I've decided to try and enjoy the wedding in isolation, and not to be too disappointed in the (probably highly likely) event that the company is a one-off event. I haven't been let down in quite a while now, so a knock back shouldn't be that demoralising.

In terms of other emotional growth, the desire to move away still burns strong. Unfortunately, the "crunch" has led to a significant contraction in the job market, making the mobility a bit more difficult. The timeframe is probably a year away, but the groundwork really needs to begin just now I believe. The aforementioned laziness has precluded me from completing a CV, and the lack of motivation has ground me down. I need a kick up the arse.

In other news, I may soon become a property owner of sorts. Maybe this will be a turning point to maturity, only a few years too late. It remains to be seen.

Until the next update (whenever this is), I hope you're all well and living life that way it should be.
Wednesday January 07, 09
02:09 PM - Warm, summer days
[ 0 Comments ]
NB - This entry was written a week ago, and sadly a bug has prevented it from being released to the world...until now. This is the full transcript in its entirety.

A merry Christmas and "happy" new year to one and all - I hope you had a peaceful and enjoyable time. Mine was fairly quiet as usual, only without the arguing this year, which made it a bit more bearable and relaxing.

One of my main personality traits, for better or worse, is my analytical nature. Whenever a problem is encountered, I seem to enjoy mulling over it for some time, rather than accepting the problem exists in the here and now and moving on. Last week, this took the form of researching a condition (although not recognised as such by scientists) known as "love-shyness" - basically, the form of shyness as it pertains to desired relationships with the other half - and seeing if I could diagnose myself with it.

Many of the characteristics could be associated with me - no sister in my family, feelings of loneliness (although surely that's a characteristic of love-shyness rather than that of people you'd categorise as love-shy?), cynical about the world. But a lot of the findings didn't really apply - I don't care much for the arts, I like competitive sports, and I sure as hell haven't tried anything funny with Barbie dolls or pets.

It's difficult to conclude on the matter definitively, especially when it's not even a recognised condition. I'd say it's probably fair to say that I have an element of it, certainly. But it's something that can hopefully be addressed. Stop analysing, start addressing the age-old problem. No exams to hide behind. Ties in quite well with the aforementioned resolutions.

So the problem shall be addressed. In time.
Wednesday December 17, 08
06:17 AM - Just a thought
[ 0 Comments ]
The hardest instrument to play is second fiddle.
Saturday December 13, 08
08:18 AM - What if you never come down?
[ 2 Comments ]
The last few days have represented something of a milestone. I've passed my last ever exam (in the recognised version of the term "exam" - no doubt there are still many more tests of mettle lying in store), and I've tried to re-assess where my life's at (yet again). Still single, timid, awkward...and now there's no longer a hiding place for me to blame other events for my demise.

In times of reflection, it's always about looking for self-improvement. I've looked back at my journal entry some four years ago, detailing new year's resolutions made then. Different times back then of course - those were lucid university days, and life seemed a lot more important than it is now. There's nothing left to do, only forty, fifty, sixty more years fo work. And ultimately, we're all the same in the end.

Some of those resolutions still ring true in this year's list, however. I never used to be the type of person to come up with such a list, even in an ironic sense. I guess that it can't do any harm however, and provides a starting basis from which to draw on. Resolutions, to be implemented from 1 January 2009 or before, as follows:

1) Exercise frequently. While this takes the form of midweek sports currently, more can still be done. This is essential to ensure a more chiseled appearance (in danger of becoming seriously eroded as the years tick by on me) and also to last the pace a bit longer in sporting activities.

2) Learn how to cook. This is one of my personal disasters, as I have never really learned how to cook beyond toasted cheese. By achieving this, I should also help the first objective by being able to pick and choose my foods and eat more healthily.

3) Become more domesticated. Basically, at the moment, I live in a mess. I need to address this if I've to have any chance of living a normal life in the future.

4) Take more chances. It's all very well moping around and not getting anywhere, but it shouldn't be like that. Idlewild sing about "fortune favouring the brave". Another saying is that of nothing ventured, nothing gained. Ultimately, I guess it's a case of regretting doing something being better than regretting doing nothing. Take Jeff Hardy as an example. High risk, high reward - might not win every battle, but will win enough to get by. The only boat that doesn't rock is one that isn't going anywhere - might as well try and weather a storm while getting to a happier place.

5) Decide where I want to be - my happy place. The long-term goal is clear, it's only the means of achieving it that is to be determined. A lot of thought to be put into this. It would also help to nurture the positive side to my split personality.

There may be others before the year is out, but if these five fundamentals are met then life will be improved. I'll revisit this at a later date.

In other news, I didn't get tickets for Barrowlands. I'm not overly concerned - if I feel like it nearer the time, I'll try and find some tickets. Until next time...

PS - BWTT, if you ever amble on just give me a shout. Will let you know if I'm in the Burgh any time soon for a drink.
Saturday August 23, 08
04:27 PM - The bi-polar bear
[ 5 Comments ]
It's been a while, but I reckoned since it was prime time in my writing capacity (late at Saturday night, when most normal people are either in bed or out enjoying themselves) I should write an entry.

Not a lot has happened since I last wrote; I wrote a new song (first one in three years), I haven't had any romances worth talking of, and my life has generally stagnated both in terms of work, socially and in terms of ambition. The Canadian dreams are still there and in earnest - one of few things driving me on at the moment, actually. But the realisation is nowhere near yet. Yet it's required in order for my life to progress. A hiatus of a few years beckons.

One of the main things that I have developed has been a desire to read. I'm partway through Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole series, which keeps me sane from time to time. When on holiday, I also read Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh (and found it fascinating to compare it to the cinematic version) and Touching From A Distance, by Debbie Curtis. Difficult to believe that Ian had achieved so much (and had so much to fulfil) when he was my age. Makes my own shortcomings all the more evident.

Combined with the Mole books, I'm also trying to watch some light comedy on TV to keep my mood as enhanced as possible. Frasier normally takes up most of the time; it takes me back to my school days, when I would watch it on a Friday night while all my "friends" hung out at someone's house, not inviting me along. Happier times. It's a similar situation these days; everyone else is out with partners, or other friends, and I'm consigned to footnote status - the parts that nobody reads, or indeed cares about.

Despite the shortcomings, I still have highs to mix in with the lows. At times, I find the ability to have a smile and a laugh, and it even seems real at the time. The shyness, awkwardness, and even ugliness still persist, however, and this is illustrated no clearer than during times of solitude. The Canadian affair could be an answer, but it could be too late by that time.

The question remains: how bad must life be for death to look a more attractive alternative? I don't believe that time will ever come, but there's certainly an understanding (potentially even a sympathy) for the other perspective. Things can only progress - it's a question of when.
Saturday February 02, 08
10:01 AM - Balls
[ 0 Comments ]
So, the annual work ball's coming up, with the dreaded invite requests: Name, Dietary Requirements...Partner's Name. The first two I normally have no problem with, but the third finds me wanting. I went to the last ball partner-less, which was fine - I was new to the firm, nobody really knew me, and it was a decent way to make new friends. I just get the feeling it may be a bit peculiar and difficult to explain second time round. Escort agencies are on speed dial.

Work's been pretty busy as of late; so much so, I haven't even heard Morrissey's latest offering(s?) yet. By rights, I should be going to the Edinburgh gig tonight, but unfortunately prior commitments curtail that possibility. I'm sure I'll catch him again, whenever he comes back around.

I've also began to appreciate the merits of having a late night walk by yourself following a few drinks to clear your head. Some may say it's dangerous, but I see it as an opportunity to walk in the silent night, consider the events of the evening and the reality of life as a whole, and attempting to resolve the many demons manifesting themselves inter alia. Maybe tonight will offer another such occasion. I hope you're all having a good weekend.
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