Monday, 30 August 2010

*grumble grumble*

Emails I received today (a day which is a bank holiday for most of the nation I’m told)

Email #1 from SP#2: Admonished me for the hours I have logged – she reminds me pointedly that such persistent long hours cause tiredness that is likely to lead to mistakes and may end up with the firm being liable. I need to be aware of the problems that could arise (because I totally didn’t realise, thank you) and she would advise that I check my caseload for the last week to see if I may have overlooked anything

SP #2, if I had the time to check my case load from a week in which I logged up to and possibly over 90 hours then I wouldn’t actually be working such hours.

Email #2 from SP#1: Reminding me of one of Randomness Colleague’s files that by his calendar hassome deadlines arising and I am needed to have a look at this case I’m not even remotely familiar with before things time out

I know about this file. It was one of her files that I did NOT take over and, at the time when I took on far too many of her files already,

Email #3 from Colleague: letting me know that she can’t actually work today as she had told me on Friday because her husband is taking her out to dinner (yeah, so was mine but I had to work), but she cleared it with SP #1. Could I please do X, Y and Z for her and she’ll see me Tuesday

Email #4 from Guardians: letting me know of 3 appointments today, 1 of which is a new cases they were told to refer to me, 1 from a colleague who has other plans today but told the Guardians that I’d handle it (didn’t think to mention it to me though, did you?!)

Email #5 from SP#3: scheduling has fallen off, he needs me to be on call tonight, thank you so much, knew he could rely on me. Oh and he’s away from his keyboard and phone all day so won’t receive any messages until tomorrow. Thanks! You’re a star.

Yeah, I’m going to go nova any minute.

My Email back to SP#2: Please find all the emails attached. Can you file them because I may one day need them in my defence, my insanity plea and/or to make people eat them. I would tell you this in person but I appear to be one of only 2 Associates+ in the office today – and he’s already left early.

Oh and no-one bothered to leave the keys to the vault but I “shouldn’t need it.” Yeah… guess what I needed today? And no, little Trainee, I can’t get in “some other way.” It’s called a vault for a reason. And while we’re on the subject – why did no-one tell Trainee she didn’t have to come in today?

ETA> Another email written but not sent to SP#2 since it's based on lots of pissed-offness: I am not going to check last week's work. And I'm probably going to run up another similar week this week as well. And I'll be more tired and more likely to make mistakes and I won't be checking that either. If you wanted it checked - you check it, I don't have the time. If I did have the time it wouldn't need checking in the first place. Rather than questioning my competence and common sense perhaps you could actually arrange matters so I don't have to work every waking hour. This is not my idea of fun, this is not my choice. You forced this situation on me - and you, from what I can see, are doing nothing to fix this. I have a life as well that I'd like to get back to.

Don't cast aspersions on my work when you KNOW how good my record is. Should I just leave it all? Should I limit my hours to something that is vaguely sensible and see if anyone else picks up the slack? See if anyone else in this EMPTY OFFICE will pick up the work load? I have a husband at home, right now, who wanted to go out to dinner tonight. I cancelled. He said he'd cook something, I've now had to ring him and tell him I'll be very late. I've also had to tell him I may be on call all night so we're probably going to spend another night without seeing much of each other. Enjoy your night out with your husband that I heard you planning on Friday, along with how many others who are taking advantage of the 3 day weekend?

Saturday, 28 August 2010

So I fell off the planet a little, playing catch up at work.

While I’ve been indisposed it seems that most of what should have been done… hasn’t been. I can’t say I’m best pleased with my colleagues who neither picked up any of the slack I left (even though, knowing this would be a problem I didn‘t actually use the sick note I have and instead used it to request a little more flexibility), nor any of the slack I was already picking up of previous colleague who had had a randomness happen to them and is still, apparently, being randomnessed. Nor am I particularly happy with the Senior Partners for not recognising the build up and getting in some help. (I’m also pretty sure he has insurance for sick peons so there’s no real excuse)

Nor, it seems, has anyone had the sense to realise taking on new cases at this time was a bad idea. I am particularly Not Amused by the number of cases where someone has taken the preliminary steps on a case that was apparently fully intended to be dumped into my already rather full lap. Especially when those “preliminary steps” have been done in an extremely slipshod manner, to my way of thinking.

It vexes me further that many of these cases require further travelling throughout half of damn Yorkshire (and one case is based in Lincolnshire, would you believe?! I’m sure they eat people south of the river. It is Known. Besides which it‘s flat and boring and nigh impossible to navigate) as well as frequent out of hours work required. And wouldn’t you know it that just about everyone has excuses why they couldn’t possibly do such – interesting how my desire to actually have a social and family life are valued less here, I am becoming increasingly Not Amused on that front.

So for rather too long now I have been getting up ridiculously early and working to ridiculously late and then taking work home with me and/or going out travelling/being on call. It’s annoying and frazzling, I’ve hardly seen Beloved and here I am, on Saturday, doing the same damn thing again.

I’m getting into a rhythm of it now, which is a problem. I feel like I’m being dragged by inertia. That could be lack of sleep, but I’m kid of just drifting from task to task to task. And I’m losing weight from skipping meals again… usually when I go without sleep or proper food my immune system goes on strike which is all I need

Worse thing is that I feel like I’m not making any headway – which means more work is being dumped on faster than I can clear it.

No, the utterly worst thing is that I’m the only one doing this and I’m getting sorely tired of this. I’m tired of being the reliable one, I’m tired of being the one who puts up with the shittiest jobs and I am beyond tired of being the one who is expected to cancel his social and family life constantly and for long periods.

And I’m tired of not only being expected to do this, but not even remotely having it acknowledged that I am doing it – and that no-one else is. Particularly I am beyond sick of it being treated not like I am going above and beyond the call of duty when I put in 14 hour days time and time again, or am on call all night then back in the office for 7:00am, or have agreed to travel to damn Manchester or Cambridge or London at a moment’s notice – but that it’s treated like I’m being unreasonably stubborn, awkward and lazy for protesting any of this.

Add in that the whole way firm is handling this and speaking to me is rapidly destroying my respect for Most Senior Partner and he’s rapidly getting on my last nerve, I’m beginning to avoid him more and more just to prevent him saying something to me that will further increase the growing rift.

Beloved thinks I need to sit down and have a nice clam confrontation. I’m inclined to think it sounds nice on paper but won’t work out well – my nerves are on edge and my temper is rumbling and I have a feeling that any such conversation has a good chance of reducing my respect for him to critically low levels, having my temper snap into a wonderfully creative but ultimately unproductive string of expletives or him saying something that I can neither forgive nor forget.

Screw it, I’m going home now, I’m turning my phone off and it’s staying off all day tomorrow too. I’m going to spend some time with Beloved because I don’t think we’ve spent 5 minutes together for days and I’m going to write some tetchy emails.

I may also eat a full cake. Because.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Oh look, another m/m discussion *sigh*

And lo we have had another discussion about m/m that has largely focused on people who are not gay men. And there’s a lot that’s wrong again, to say the least about how much yet again there is a complete brushing over of appropriation and exploitation issues and the dehumanising of gay men to objects that is rampant in the m/m genre.

Yet again these legitimate concerns are being dismissed by people who are not gay men and we’re again back to the same old posturing, the same old demands – and that same old line:


That’s it. No explanations. No justifications.”

No thinking, no respect. No analysis. Not giving a damn about the damage and harm they cause. Writers write whatever they feel like writing, no duty not to do harm, screw the rest of you. The same disrespect, the same callous indifference we find over and over again.

When writing the Other, it is not unreasonable or shocking to ask for some respect and consideration for that Other and the damage you may do. It is not unreasonable for that Other to expect some degree of acknowledgment. It is not unreasonable for that other to expect to be treated as more than poseable dolls for your enjoyment.

Which means, “As long as everyone is getting off, what’s the big deal?” It IS a big deal. And lines like this don’t do anything to reassure me for even a second that so many m/m writers have even an ounce of respect for gay men. Also, can you really flail angrily around at those nasty people who call your work ‘porn’ then turn round and decide that so long as people are getting off, it’s all good? That‘s your goal. Never mind any other shit – are people getting off? Yeah, then we‘re good. This is even less respectful and even more dripping in contempt than the “it’s only fiction” debacle

It IS a big deal because me and mine are not a fetish. Because we’re not objects. Because we’re not sex toys. It is a big deal because we are people in a world that so often refuses to acknowledge that. It is a big deal because our sex lives and sexualities are being appropriated and used and disrespected and fetishised in a world that ALREADY disrespects and fetishises our sexualities. It matters because decent, non-problematic portrayals of gay youth are nearly non-existent in the media and in literature. It matters that if a young gay man out there is trying to connect and find something like himself he’s far more likely these days to find a book by a non-gay man (though not necessarily making that clear, with careful use of pseudonyms and fake biographies), with “mandatory” sex scenes that is all bloody fine with anything so long as “everyone is getting off.”

And I am beyond tired of all these people who are not gay men telling me that it doesn’t bloody matter. Which is, of course, code for “shut the fuck up and go away” because gods’ forbid we ruin your moment of “getting off”. I am tired of all these non-gay men deciding this is a non-issue. Tired of them deciding this isn’t something even worth thinking of and generally tired of a genre that is more than happy to use us as objects but seems to have little time or respect for us as people.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Awww, he shouldn’t have. No, he really shouldn’t

Beloved got me a present to make me feel better with being all beat up and nasty – and to encourage me to lay down and relax instead of moving around (it didn’t work).

The rest of the books from a series I’d partially read. Ok, I didn’t especially love the first 3 books of the Sword of Truth series. They had some themes and subjects I wasn’t a big fan of, the infodumping is almost comical and they kept trying to make Richard/Zedd seem wise and insightful by basically making everyone ELSE have the same level of common sense and intelligence as a concussed chicken; but they had a certain cheesey charm (and vaguely amusing if you’ve read Robert Jordan and see the… similarities). So he got me the rest of the series to curl up with.



What the hell did I just read? I’m going to sue him for the hours of my life spent reading this AND to pay for the labotomy to try and cleanse the memories. AND to pay to repair the dents in my wall caused by repeatedly throwing these books across the room. Ye gods above, was Terry Goodkind kidnapped by a VERY bad propaganda ministry? And characterisation? Bah, this is beyond awful

Thursday, 19 August 2010

We have chillis

Among the many (surprising) successes from Beloved’s garden (which he has developed into a long term obsession. I am surprised and pleased. Less so that I now have to look after his fish. Damn ornaments that need feeding) is his little chilli plant.

And today he presented me with 8 little red chillis to go with our delusion salad vinaigrette (chillis, taragon vinegar, oil, little garlic, sugar, lime juice to try to and convince our taste boods that salad has a taste. And yes, we’re having dellusion salad. Why? Because his cucumbers have also been a success. Unfortunately. Really what exactly is anyone to do with 8 cucumbers as long as your forearm?)

So i cut one up, deseeded it and added it to the goop. He protested – only 1? He thought I was going to put chillis in the salad! He likes chillis in salad, so do I!

Which is true… except nice big salad chillis are much much much bigger than this. Methinks he planted the wrong variety. These little chillis are not salad chillis methinks.

He scoffs at my ignorance, clearly I just don’t realise that home grown isn’t the same as what you buy in the shops!They’re sweet and tasty and *chomp*

There follows a rather eventful few minutes. Beloved announced repeatedly and at great volume that he was dying (quite melodramatic. He clearly wasn’t. I mean, do dying people really have the strength to run around the house yelling?) and that his mouth was on fire (the smoke alarm didn’t go off, so clearly it wasn’t) and that the world was ending (really, I didn’t see one sign of the apocalypse. Not one sign!) before drinking 2 pints of milk (sigh, now we have to buy more).

He conceded that perhaps, just maybe, they weren’t the right variety for salads because they wouldn’t suit everyone’s taste.

I agreed and made awesome onion, ham and cheese bread rolls. And all was good again.

Also, enquiring minds want to know what variety of chilli I have - since I WANT a semi-spicy one for cooking curries and mexican and/or a large, mild sweet one for sandwiches, salads and to use as a vegetable. What I have are bright red chillis that are shorter and thinner than my little finger. And are, apparently, quite hot (one de-seeded added a surprising amount of heat to my vinaigrette)

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

On AIDS/HIV and disclosure

There has recently been a kafuffle in Germany (I think) where a HIV+ woman is facing criminal charges for knowingly sleeping with men without protection.

Now, the reaction has been something along the lines of “ZOMG throw the book at her! No, throw the whole damn library at her!” and I can understand that, I had the same reaction myself

Let us not forget that AIDS is a terminal, chronic disease. Despite the increasing ignorance around the subject, no it cannot be cured. Yes it will be there fore life and yes, it has a significant chance of killing or being a contributing cause to the death of the sufferer. Yes, with modern medication someone with HIV/AIDS can manage it for a considerable length of time and live much longer lives than was previously expected – but it is still not something that can be remotely underestimated or something that can be handled with too much caution.

So, in that light, yes. She (and, indeed, any other HIV+ person who knowingly has sex with someone without protection) has done something reprehensible in the extreme and severely damaged and jeopardised other people’s lives. In these circumstances, she should most certainly have used protection. And, some are arguing, she should have disclosed her HIV+ status.

And now that’s why the merry train of my thoughts hits a great big, thick concrete wall. Because it’s all well and good saying that a HIV+ person should disclose their status, but that’s rather blinkered from the realities of society.

Let’s be frank, despite desperate attempts at education, people with HIV/AIDS are often treated like modern day lepers*. We still have an inordinate amount of people who live in terror of HIV/AIDS and believe silly things like it can be caught off a toilet seat or by sharing cooking utensils etc etc etc. Very few people accept that HIV/AIDS is spread by bodily fluids and that it has a very short lifespan outside the human body.

Someone who publicly admits their HIV/AIDS status is often going to take shit for it. They may be shunned. They may be ostracised. Many friends may drop them. Family may be more hesitant. And sex partners are certainly going to be leery. And I’ll put my hands up on this one, it’s not fair and it’s not right but I know a part of me is going to flinch if I learn a lover is HIV+

Demanding disclosure ignores the shit that HIV+ people take. In our society with the current stigma that exists, I can’t 100% get behind the idea that a HIV+ person has to disclose under any situation, not until that stigma is reduced.

Which brings to the alternative – protection should be used. ye gods it should be used. And a HIV+ person who KNOWS they are HIV+ should most certainly be using protection (and that doesn’t just mean condoms. You can catch HIV+ from oral sex – especially if you swallow). Knowing your status and not using protection? Well, yeah I’m reaching for that library again. I can’t excuse what the original person or any other person in this situation does here. I can make an argument about disclosure, but not using protection is much weaker.

But it brings in a related point. A lot of people, shockingly but unsurprisingly, don’t insist on condoms despite not knowing their partner’s status (and again. their word isn’t enough. And no, that doesn’t make them a liar – a sizeable portion of the people out there living with STDS do not know they have them). This, again, can be awkward for a HIV+ person insisting on protection (though much much less so that disclosure) because it isn’t demanded every time. Worse, some sexual partners pressure, push and bully so they don’t have to use condoms – I know, I’ve been there. I even had one very ex-ex who put a condom on, waited until I wasn’t looking and took the damn thing off. Sometimes someone will, for whatever reasons, comply with what their lover wishes even if it’s against their better instincts (and I‘ve been there as well). It’s not always simple.

I think we need to change our assumptions. We need to approach our sexual partners with the assumption they DO have an STD unless we‘re extremely sure they do not (again, by testing – not because they said so.) If they cannot prove to you they are disease free, then assume they are not. That doesn’t mean run to the hills (nor does it mean run to the hills if you find they AREN’T disease free) it means take precautions. It also means that we should not tolerate those who resist wearing protection

If we’re willing, prepared and just plain SENSIBLE enough to approach our sex lives with this degree of intelligent caution then whether someone is HIV+ or not or whether they have disclosed or not becomes a moot point – and then maybe we can avoid the idea of criminal charges for GBH or manslaughter or murder for HIV+ people who had sex with someone else. But, with all this, I think we also have to see the shades of grey that are all over this, before we reach to our libraries and start throwing those books.

*Actually, treating lepers like lepers is several kinds of wrong. Not only does no-one deserve such condemnation and ostracism, but leprosy is hardly the most contagious of diseases, in fact, I think it’s primarily hereditary than communicable, but don’t quote me on that.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

A bad news round up of Violence

Unfortunately the violence is still very much present. Always depressing to read, but also important to remember.

In Sudan 19 men have been publically lashed for holding a wedding party (I say men, the people in question were dressed in women’s clothes – I do not know how they identified) after a sham of an event I won’t even dignify with the word “trial” it would have to try pretty damn hard to even be a kangaroo courts

In Zimbabwe either 15 or 20 high school students have been arrested – for “lesbian activities” And to make it even more disturbing, the round up seems little more than a witch hunt

Ebrahim Hamidi, an 18 year old man in Iran is facing execution for a very dubious charge of “sexually assaulting” another man. His lawyer has gone into hiding. Such laws are beyond barbarism.

Italy is having what is described as a “summer of homophobia” gay couples kissing in public have been frequently attacked both verbally and physically. People are being attacked, shunned, driven out and even fined (illegally) for kissing.

In Sydney there was a gay bashing spree – that injured 6 people and shattering one man’s eye socket. According to the victim the attacker has a history of homophobia

In Washington DC there have been a rash of anti-gay attacks – so far police have linked 4 attacks on men together

Also in DC, a gay man has been found murdered in his flat, stabbed to death it’s unknown if it’s a hate crime but police are comparing it to the spate of anti-gay attacks in DC to see if there’s a link

In New York, a man beat his girlfriend’s child to death – to make him “act like a boy rather than a little girl.” A 17 month old boy, ye gods I have not the words, I really don’t. Oh and he adds “”A one-time mistake, and I am going to do 20 years,”“ Beating a child to death because he’s not manly enough to your standards is not a damn MISTAKE

In Michigan a gay man was stabbed repeatedly – and then someone on Craiglist referenced the attack using anti-gay slurs. What, they’re advertising their hate on craiglist now?!

In Newark, New Jersey - CEO, Defarra Gaymon was shot and killed at a gay cruising spot by police the officer has since been named. As if the constant police prowling against the desperate fear of gay “cruising” weren’t homophobicly excessive enough!

In Dallas, off duty police officers have been accused of choking a gay man after a Lady Gaga Concert

In Melbourne, Australia, a gay staff member at a sauna was attacked by 3 men with baseball bats who used anti-gay slurs.

In Leeds a gay barman, Dane Holdsworth was knocked unconscious when attacked by 2 men who noticed his rainbow wristband

In Merseyside, a gay man has been treated for a broken jaw after being attacked by 7 men

A gay man outside of a nightclub in Albuquerque has been severely beaten, breaking several bones. Again, it is a gang that attacked

In Belgrade, a man has attacked 2 German tourists with a knife – “because they looked gay.”

In Jerusalem, after the Pride Parade, 2 gay men were attacked by teenagers calling on death for gays

In Chicago 2 men have been charged for attacking a woman while shouting anti-gay slurs at her

There’s little commentary to add. Just a litany of sadness and anger.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Media Minefield

The media has remained full of mines this week.

Being rendered rather sedentary at the moment with multiple injuries, I have burrowed through all my saved programmes for self-indulgent enjoyment. I love my crop of cheesey programmes – Lie to Me (Tim Roth? I totally would. Yes yes I would), Dalziel & Pascoe (and yes, Pascoe I would), Waking the Dead, Silent Witness (more nom nom), Inspector George Gently.

Yes I like my cheesey goodness

Cut for Spoilers for Inspector George Gently and True Blood

And this week George Gently had the inevitable gay episode – murdered gay teen, criminal father then comes and burns people’s faces with a blow torch to find out which of them turned his son into a “poof”.

*sigh* which makes it complete. Every single one of these programmes I love have had gay themed episodes that have made me hellaciously uncomfortable.

And then on to True Blood, which is also a cheesey guilty pleasure – and one I hoped we were going to see some fun gay relationships. And this episode looked promising

At last we have the ultra hot Eric having the sexing with the reasonably hot Talbot. Hmmmm sexeh! Naked and in each other’s arms, ok the kisses are a bit chaste, but still very yummy and…

GAY SEX DEATH. *sigh* Hot gay sexing, one of the participants dies. Killed by the other no less. Gay sex, violent death. *headdesk*

Look, we already had the extreme sanitisation of same-sex loving in a programme that has ZERO compulsion about the naked and humping straight sex at every turn.. We have the lesbians who have FULLY CLOTHED oral sex without even mussing their perfect make up. We have the gay vampire in bed with Jason as some kind of horror nightmare event (because he couldn’t imagine the vampire killing him, biting him or attacking him as a nightmare no – the gay man naked in bed with him!) We had the godsawful Bill/Sam scene with clear daylight between them at all times – and Sam waking as if from a nightmare (and thanking the phone for waking him) we have Russel and Talbot – a married couple yet they not only never touch there’s like 3 feet between them at all times. These guys having a romantic moment would involve them standing close enough together that iof they leaned forward and stretched out and arm they MAY be able to touch each other. Add in that Talbott is so ridiculously stereotyped to make him the clear “submissive partner” because gods forbid a gay relationship NOT have fake, exaggerated, insultingly sexist gender roles stapled to it. This is a 700 year old vampire that SQUEALS at violence and has epic temper tantrums when people muss the furnishings – and has constant emotional dramas because he feels neglected while his husband is working. Not that Jesus (nurse) and Lafayette (drug dealing prostitute) don’t have stereotyped issues, but at least they’re a little more than their stereotypes (Lafayette also gets to play GBF to all to traumatised and distressed women around him as well).

About the only thing I am clinging to is Lafayette and Jesus – and even then the kisses are so far very chaste and in the lowest light (a trick from Brokeback Mountain that), I have hope and I’m clinging to it.

This is a programme that has everything up to full frontal nudity sex scenes – we have seen bondage sex happily humping away when it’s opposite sex sexing – and it really throws a huge contrast between how straight scenes are managed compared to the gay loving.

It’s irritating because I like this programmes and I want to gleefully keep watching, but I’m sorely tired of the television throwing sporks at me.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

A thought on the Target Kafuffle and past records

I am casting my beady eye over the recent Target kafuffle. Now, most people have seen it now, while I’ve been dying horribly – but a brief summation. Target gave lots of money to a group that supported a particularly nasty homophobic candidate. In the face of boycotts, uproars and general Not Amusedness, Target apologised

This has largely been covered well, but I have my 2 cents to add on one aspect of this.

Part of the drama llama surrounding this has been that numerous GBLT people and allies announced a boycott of Target

And some in Target or speaking for Target quickly spoke up with “but look at Target’s record, they’re not homophobic!” And they’re right in that, as far as large corporations go, Target’s record on GBLT issues isn’t awful.

And my response to that is – and?

See, this is part of my point when I earlier spoke about Rainbow-washing. It is often easy to line up gestures without any true dedication – to give a few tokens to keep us onside and smiling without really caring or acting.

Is that what Target’s intentions were with their past record? I don’t know, I’m not going to speculate and, in truth, I don’t think it matters.

What I do think matters is this idea that past niceness justifies present day shitness. I reject the notion – you cannot store up brownie points and then play them as a Get Out of Bigotry free Card.

And part of the reason I reject the notion is because I feel it feeds into the annoyingly pervasive idea that we should be grateful when someone isn’t a homophobe. That we somehow owe someone for not being a homophobe. Not being a homophobe should not be a praiseworthy state, it should be a standard state. not being an arsehole isn’t something that should be hailed – it is something that should be expected (and I’ll probably explore this later in another post).

Having a general good record cannot be used as some kind of bank to excuse something inexcusable. They can’t give us cookies and expect us to ignore it when they then slap our faces. We cannot – or should not – be bought or brought to a point of unquestioning loyalty by simple gestures – nor do I feel we should be placated by any amount of gestures – or even substantive actions – that would

Target, in my mind, does not have an excuse good enough for what they did. They funded and supported a virulent homophobe who actively works against GBLT rights. They have no claim of ignorance or honest mistake – and saying that they supported the candidate’s business policies doesn’t excuse the support they end up giving to the homophobia – in fact, it shows an incredibly dismissive attitude towards it, since it’s something they can not only casually overlooked but did not even consider.

No, i cannot see any amount of gestures or even concrete actions that would make this ok, would make this acceptable or protect Target from criticism or boycott. To say it does is risky, methinks. Risky because it says we can be bought, because it says we can be distracted and because it says that homophobic can be justified, paid for or excused. It cannot.

A brief disclaimer: None of this is to say that I think we should completely ignore a good record. Far from it – if someone has shown themselves time and again to be friendly and an ally then, in my opinion, they are due some benefit of the doubt and is due some investment in time and energy and tolerance if and when they say or do something that causes accidental sporking.

Of course the key there is “accidental” – and further clarified by needing to be understandable as well – an understandable mistake, an honest ignorance in an ignorant, privileged world.

Please note the “due” here – that doesn’t mean I think that such tolerance of sporking is OWED (beyond the fact we owe our friends a degree of tolerance and understanding we do not accord to strangers – because I think everyone owes their friends that much regard) but because it is practical and sensible. I think a friend and/or genuine ally is worth the investment in time, energy and spork endurance to be gently corrected when they accidentally flail around with the lemon-soaked sporks of privilege near our unprotected eyes.

But such a regard, in my view, is usually going to take either an epicly well known record or PERSONAL interaction (which also means that while one person may endure the sporking and engage in gentle correction, other’s may not feel the need to do so and may be far more concerned with the damn spork in their eye). And, yes, this is another topic I’ll expand upon another time.

You know I said August was the worst ever?

I was TOTALLY right.

See, in addition to broken bones, bruises and general owieness that are making my life several kinds of annoying (how long is this supposed to last anyway? Heal already!) And work doing some crappy things that are really hacking me off (more on that later) there is mooooore.

My leg, hurting from the fall, has decided to swell up, turn bright red, covered in nasty spots and feel like the skin is as tight as a drum head. It is also veyr very very sore – even more sore than the rest of me. It feels like an excrutiatingly bad sunburn. If said sunburn were then covered in acid. That kind of sore. And it doesn’t like me moving, no no it does not. It is also hot – not warm – hot to the touch. Somewhat worrisome.

So I made a doctor’s appointment to see secy doctor and be all stubborn because I hate pills.

Sexy Doctor finds my leg interesting and odd and to be a bad infection, he’s amazed I don’t feel like crap (or crapper than my battered state would suggest) but seems to be relatively confident that I have that to look forward to if the antibiotics don’t kick in soon (he seemed positively gleeful at the prospect. I told him his bedside manner sucked, he pointed out I wasn’t in a bed. I said unfortunatey and Beloved told me not to flirt with the doc. I’m not allowed to have any fun)

So now I am taking 500mg of Flucloxacillin 4 times a day and looking out for more symptoms of nastiness. I bet they have nasty side effects, oh yes.

*sulks* This is not a good month

Monday, 9 August 2010

Yes I’m still whining.

Y’know, in theory being quasi-ambidextrous-ish would mean that breaking your left wrist wouldn’t be too much of a problem, right? But noooo, I’m too damn used to using my left hand for so much (brains OUT of the gutter. And yes, you were thinking it), even with it being my non-dominant hand, that everything is a nuisance.

Especially typing. Oh typing is getting very very frustrating. AND buggering up my right wrist as well. *grump grump grump*

And there’s a lot around the house I can’t do. Which is kinda fine because I don’t particularly want to do any of it. Because I am lazy and sensible. Right, now can someone tell my brain that?

Silly Brain: hmmm the coving around the edge of the room needs cleaning. We should stand on chair on one leg and clean it one handed

Sensible Brain: What?! NO! Do you want to land us in hospital again?

Silly Brain: but but but THE COVING!

Sensible Brain. No.

Silly Brain: Fine, we’ll take the bin out instead.

Sensible Brain: But but but we hate taking the bin out. We fight tooth and nail to make Beloved take the bin out every time. Now you want to take it out when you have a perfect excuse to make him do it?

Silly Brain: Those windows look dirty… where’s the ladder?

Sensible Brain: *sigh*

My brain is awkward for the sake of awkwardness sometimes. Of course it would help a lot more if Beloved didn’t make me want to test if I could strangle him with one hand. Like with the dishwasher. No the dishwasher hasn’t shrunk – but you can actually put more than the front row of dishes in if you’ll pull the trays OUT. stop filling the front row and declaring it full *grumble*

It may not be guessed, but when sick, injured or otherwise indisposed, I gets cranky I does. It does not help that beloved likes to poke and annoy the sick – and throw things and run away when I can’t chase him or throw things back properly. It is unfair, yes yes it is.

Of course I can take some glee watching him maraud around the garden in his war against the malicious and pernicious Cabbage White Butterfly.

We’ve been lucky enough that his veggies have largely been pest free all year – but now the butterflies are swooping in like slightly dazed bombers. I think I should be concerned by how paranoid he has become – while other people watch television he sits and monitors the garden for the dreaded fluttery white butterflies.

Also, it appears that the funeral customs of the Cabbage White Butterfly involve inviting every other butterfly in a 50 mile radius, much to Beloved’s distress *watches with amusement*.

He is also training the cat to hunt butterflies. She is training him not to bother trying to make a sleepy cat do anything but sleep. She has mastered the art of sleeping while being brandished at butterflies.

Friday, 6 August 2010

It’s like good advice, you just didn’t take

So where did Sparky go?

Well first of all Aunt-Who-Is-Nurse (and by “nurse” I mean sadistic monster who likes to poke bruises) thinks I have a cracked rib as well – because the Sexy Doctor has wrapped my chest in binding bandagey thingies and she says that only makes sense if the ribs were cracked. I was probably too busy whining/drooling to listen to Sexy Doctor – not so says I! I never listen to even ugly doctors! So there! Personally I don’t think I’ve cracked a rib and the stretchy bandagy thingy is for… luck. Or something. Or to keep away the leprechauns. You can’t trust ‘em.

So, in addition to that I was told that I must hobble around as little as possible because of the Bad!Ankle that does not appreciate weight put on it. Guess what I did?

Uh-huh, I was also told to take it easy because of my banged head and the happy pills. Guess what I didn’t do?

And I was told that typing as fast as I could with one hand was just going to strain my right wrist and cause more pain and annoyance. Guess what I did?

I was told to rest and let my body heal for it is much abused. Guess what I didn’t do?

I was also told to sleep and not try to plough through my backlog like a crazed legal machine. Guess what I did?

Um, yeah. Did I ever mention how bad I am at taking advice?

Somewhere out there there’s a doctor writing their own “clients give me grey hairs” post and I am featured most prominently, yes yes I am. Hells there’s a whole hospital writing these posts and I make up an entire chapter.

I am not a good patient, no no I am not

For I am Sparky and I know BETTER than what them fancy doctor types say, yes yes I do. So I shall ignore

So what happened? Well I worked like a demon all Wednesday then came Thursday and… couldn’t MOVE. There was EPIC whining and Beloved? Beloved has no sympathy people, NONE! How cruel and wrong is that? I’m sure you all agree that he is being totally unreasonable and disgraceful!

Regular scheduled Sparkiness will return shortly

Some beautiful legal victories

Proposition 8 – it has been overturned. And Judge Walker’s ruling, from what I’ve read of it, is a thing of beauty. Yes yes it is.

The singing, dancing and general leaping for joy in my RSS is a thing of joy to behold.

Naturally it will be appealed – but in that lies some hope itself. A beautiful step forwards – keep on hoping.

Let the partying commence!

ETA: The actual transcript. Damn, it's like legalese porn http://www.scribd.com/doc/35374462/Prop-8-Ruling-FINAL

And review again why the trial was almost comedic Such a wonderful summation

In fact, let’s have more of that :)

Hmmm sweet sweet schaudenfreude. Where’s that pie recipe? Nom nom schadenfreude pie.

In Mexico, Mexico City’s gay marriage law was also being challenged in court – and it reached all the way to Mexico’s Supreme Court.

Which upheld the law Oh I love the smell of justice in the morning.

Justicia has been smacking ‘em down lately :)

Monday, 2 August 2010

This August is not a good month

And, yes, I realise I may be jumping the gun saying this on the 2nd. But I have decided. For unless gorgeous men wearing nothing but body glitter descend from the heavens handing me several tons of exquisitely cut diamonds and ownership rights for every coffee plantation in the world there is little chance of this month redeeming itself.

*checks sky* No? Ok then.

So, work is still up to my eyeballs so I have been hurrying. hurry hurry hurry. But one place you don’t hurry is on stone/tile/whatever floors while wearing slick dress shoes (honestly – is there a reason why dress shoes can’t have a decent tread to them?). And even more importantly, do not do said hurrying on stone/tile/whatever floors wearing slick dress shoes at the top of a very tall flight of stairs.

There follows an, admittedly, extremely rapid descent of said staircase, however time spent on the descent was then lost by the laying on my back swearing loudly. That is not a productive use of my time.

It is even more a waste of my time when i try to get up and body declares “oh hell no, that’s not happening!” Ankle and wrist particularly wish it to be known that they are not happy with the situation and are making their not happiness clear in no uncertain terms.

Then the first aider swooped in. you know they’re a first aider because they get to poke you and ask “does this hurt” you say “Yes it bloody does!” and then they do it AGAIN! And you’re NOT ALLOWED to slap them! It hurt the previous 4 times you tried to move my wrist and ankle, why do you have to go in for a 5th attempt? Do you think I’m lying or something?

Then they drag me to a hospital that takes aeons of time, all the while I am swearing at body parts that don’t like me any more and muttering because all of me feels like I just fell down a… oh wait. Anyway the nice doctor comes around and he keeps poking me as well but I try not to slap him for he is CUTE and cute doctors are Allowed. He did keep making lawyer jokes about me suing people though, however in the waiting room I thought of 4 good innuendos and at least 8 porn plots involving me suing him so, hey, I suppose that worked out ok (this is your brain on endorphins kiddies).

Apparently I have broken my left wrist. This is… inconvenient and vexing. No amount of bullying would convince the doctor that my wrist was magically unbroken, nor would he believe that I was simply too busy to have a broken wrist and could we instead schedule it for some time next month. Doctors are unreasonable, yes yes they are. My ankle, however, is just sprained. Whatever that means. Exactly what is a sprain? Is sprain a medical term for “hurts like medieval torture?” because it hurts a damn site more than the wrist. Hobbling around on it is possible but apparently unadvised.

But it does mean I’ve lost most of the damn day. I couldn’t even do paperwork in the waiting room. which means the “up to my eyes in work” situation has now reached critical levels. I didn’t need sleep anyway.

I did get to see Senior Partner nearly explode when he realised another one of his peons would be unavailable – and his intense relief when I declared that i appeared to be still functional. Exploding Senior Partners are funny. Yes yes they are.

And no, I’m not suing anyone. I can’t sue my own feet for tripping over themselves, I can’t sue myself for wearing silly shoes, I can’t sue myself for hurrying at the top of a stair case with my hands full. It is galling in the extreme to find you have no-one to blame for your misfortune than your own fool self (give me a week, I’ll have it all blamed on Beloved). I own my own mistakes – though I will whine about them.

Lots of whining. Oh yes.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Work is becoming random

Well that was a busy night. I so hate being on call on the weekend – doubly so when half the calls are to turn up announce that a client is far too drunk to do anything but vomit on my shoes (oh do not dare, do not dare do that!) And I didn’t know I was on call until the first call came in… hmmm, damn lucky I wasn’t drunk. not that most of the clients would have noticed. I’m a very eloquent drunk. Well, a rambly one anyway.

And trebly so when it’s because one of my colleagues isn’t picking up their phones, it worries it does.

And it worries more that I’ve had… innocuous conversations with all 3 senior partners. All after midnight. Now SP1 is renowned for not needing sleep OR coffee. Or having any of the frailties of mortal man. He is a supreme legal machine that moves with inexorable. He is such a perfect lawyer that he can speak for HOURS and sound incredibly erudite and eloquent without you understanding a single word he says (yet still with the vague feeling he has answered any questions you had). But I’m sure the other 2 are at least partially mortal.

Oh and I’m taking over files, why am I taking over files? I already have more pending cases than I have hours for… and meeting people on a Sunday. And why did I agree to this again? Cursed Senior Partner and his mad skills.

Hmmm I feel something has gone pear shaped. This is worrisome.

It is also worrisome that I am vaguely interested intrigued and… excited by this? Logic Brain will now please to be stomping on the silly parts of my brain. Perhaps I have been stuck in a rut – it’s true that while my clients are infuriating as ever, they have failed to amuse rather. The Hounds must be quite saddened.

Yes I will watch with interest. And trepidation, yes, trepidation *pokes brain* be trepidated already.

This has not been a productive day

Dear Client.

Thank you. So many of my clients won’t tell me anything. So many of them you need to drag every damn word out of them. It can be more than a little exasperating when your client has a double handful of secrets – especially if he’s not good enough at hiding them to truly keep them secret o they get revealed, say, a day before going to court (which is annoying, it is). There is nothing worse than, hypothetically speaking, walking into a divorce hearing assuming your client is near poverty only to be informed of the Rolls Royce, Swiss Bank account and holiday homes on 3 sun drenched beaches as you start your arguments. Yes, very annoying indeed.

So thank you for being a refreshing change. Indeed I know every scrap of your home life, including your daily routine in painful detail. I know everything possible there is to know of your family life, including more information about your parents than I know about my own. I know about your finances, in fact I think I know how every little penny was earned. In fact, I think I know the history of every penny that has passed through your hands since the very first time you picked up a coin.

I have spent an age listening to childhood anecdotes, each one apparently telling me how impressive and awesome you are. I have heard in painful detail about your holiday in Egypt and how your actions there apparently make you impressive and awesome. I have heard about your awesome and impressive business trips to Dubai in which you did awesome and impressive things. In fact I have spent more time than I care to remember listening to your awesome and impressive stories of awesome impressiveness.

I fail to be either awed or impressed. By all that is holy never have I had such trouble trying to make someone stay on topic.

I begin to see why there is a series of notes on the file that seem to be random sketches, poorly written poetry and please to various deities begging for him to shut up. Oh and a memo offering first born children if they can pass this file on to someone else.

Hey, I am owed a first born child here!

Ugh I’ve now had the better part of the day eaten by this man, still have a backlog that is truly terrifying, it’s now nearly 11:00 and I’m still up to my eyeballs. I do so hate being reliable in a crisis.