Sorry for not writing something sooner, but I’m still waiting around for my IT agency to find me something (or even to acknowledge that they’re supposed to be finding me something). It’s annoying, since they told me I had to be unemployed so I could take on this unpaid short-term placement they say I “need” to have under my belt, so I couldn’t have a month’s notice or anything and had to see my old job through to the bitter end just to get my redundancy money.
(And, in a separate matter, my old employer is taking its sweet time paying the discretionary bonus on top of this — it’s been 35 days since my last day, what’s the deal?! They’d better pay me, or I’ll, I’ll, I’ll NAME them here!!)
As a result, I’ve just spent the whole of August unemployed, playing games and watching Frasier and The Big Bang Theory every weekday morning. Even during the drought of 2005 I had a few bits of work, such as audio typing at St. Anne’s hospital (for the kind of pedantic doctors who consider commas in dates, or the absence thereof, to be worth sending an appointment letter back for “amendments”). In fact, I think 2002 was the last year that I didn’t work for the whole of August, but I was at least living at home with my folks, and thought I’d be going to university in September (in the event I deferred entry for another year due to lack of housing, and the rest is history, e.g. me ultimately sharing a flat with “female best friend”). Even though I’ve never used my MSc, it enabled me to come to London and begin a new life, so I don’t regret anything… well, except inasmuch as I regret everything since 1998, when I wish I’d made things work with the one woman in my past.
Which brings me to the subject of my ten aims for 2014. It’s time for a status report — but I don’t seem to be doing very well…
- I’m still no closer to getting a girlfriend — of either the long-term or harem variety — and although I still occasionally get dates, it seems I need more advice from my dating coach, so that instead of waiting to be asked out (admittedly I came third at the website in the men’s category for this!), I can take the initiative and start something myself. Trouble is, she’s expensive…
- As above, I’m still waiting for my IT career to begin — though again, I’ve decided to start applying directly (and my agency would still support me through the difficult early stages, as that’s part of their service).
- Short of pulping (or worse, donating to a charity shop where they’ll just sit on the shelf for all eternity), I have no way of disposing of all my paperbacks, though I only buy new novels in e-book format nowadays. Thus, my old novels sit in a stack of cardboard boxes. In more general terms, however, I’ve been decluttering as much as possible, including selling old games that aren’t registered online (and which I can rebuy in electronic form during the next big Steam sale), and I’m wondering whether I should destroy the boxes of my existing games and just keep the discs, in order to save space.
- Although my personal trainer believes I’m (literally) going from strength to strength, I still have this unshiftable spare tyre — and this in spite of my current diet, which involves muesli/yoghurt/fruit for breakfast, a few nuts and a piece of fruit during the day, and then a “proper dinner” in the evening. Fortunately, linseed oil capsules are giving me some Omega-3, and thus my weight finally seems to be decreasing slowly.
- In climbing I’m just about improving: I can climb a 6a now, huzzah! Maybe we could consider this one to be 80% complete.
- I’ve got two more Gwar albums to get, and I’m asking my mother to buy them for my birthday. However, Beyond Hell remains my favourite of the ones I’ve listened to for the first time this year, perhaps because it’s a continuous story (more or less). Again, this one’s almost complete — but since it requires simply buying stuff, it’s hardly an achievement!
- I still have my guitar, and I know how to tune it, and how to do a D-chord and an A-chord, and sort of switch between them, but I really need lessons if I’m ever going to jam with Gwar!
- There’s no way I’ll have time to study for driving lessons before the end of this year, and no way I’ll be able to afford a car anyway, so this one’s null and void!
- I don’t even know where to begin searching for my father, and I’ve not discussed the matter with my mother, so I wonder how I should begin. Maybe I should save this for when I’ve learned to drive, so I don’t need “best mate” to drive me to wherever…
- I’m not so eager to move out of this place nowadays: my drummer housemate is a better bloke, and really the only reason to go somewhere else would be to save money and be closer to work — and since I don’t know where “work” is yet, it’s on hold. However, if I haven’t got a new job by Christmas, I’ll be going back to Worthing, barring a miracle (and indeed, getting an IT job that I could live on without having to move to a slum would itself be a miracle). My landlady’s also very nice (she’s willing to sort out blocking the chimney in my room so I don’t get so cold in winter), and we’ve finally replaced Schrödinger’s Fridge (we didn’t even need to pay for it to be taken away, thanks to leaving it outside for locals to nick), so for now at least, I don’t want to have to leave a place that’s been good to me.
Still, I’m sure we can write August off as a “holiday”, and consider September to be the month where things finally begin moving. After all, people will have been away last month, but be back and ready to recruit now that autumn’s beginning. It was, after all, in September 2005 that I got a two-week job at a certain London borough council, which ended up being permanent…