Could You Say That Again?

Before I explain the title of this blog post, here’s a very nice review of the ‘Tales of the Nun and Dragon’ anthology. Proving to be a popular little collection, this one!

So… could you say that again? What’s that about, then? Well, it’s about one of my favourite things. Misheard lyrics. It comes about because I was sitting in the car driving home last night and Not So Small Son was poking around the iPhone play list, providing a derogatory running commentary on my decidedly eclectic mix of music. He eventually settled on listening to this.

It hit the chorus. Not So Small Son was singing along.

I looked at him. Briefly, obviously. Bear in mind I’m driving here.

‘What did you just sing?’

He looked back.

‘Stand <mumblemumblemumble>.’ Remember, he’s thirteen. The power of speech has been temporarily taken from him to be replaced by this seemingly incoherent rambling.

‘Are you talking to me, or chewing a brick?’

He looked at me again.

‘Stand in the liver.’

Made my day, that did. I’m a huge fan of misheard lyrics. Many is the time that I’ve heard a new song, haven’t been able to make out the words and so I just sing along using random phonetics that seem to fit. There are some absolute classics though that always render me into fits of giggles. Examples of these delights include:-

From Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen: “Is this the real life, is this just Battersea?” Also, “Beelzebub has a devil for a sideboard.”

From Bat Out of Hell by Meatloaf: “I’m gonna hit the highway like a battering ram, I’m a Cilla Black fan on a bike…”

From Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana: “Here we are now, in containers…”

And so on. Steve Winwood’s Higher Love of course has it in spades: ‘Bring me an iron lung, bring me an iron lung woh oh, bring me an iron lung, with an iron lung I’ll keep breathing on…’

Throwing this one open to the world at large because a good laugh is always a pleasant thing. What’s your favourite misheard lyric, either one that you’ve believed for years was the right one until someone stared at you like you were a bit stupid?

To close, one I saw last night that had me weeping with laughter.

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Lament

With apologies to Doctor Seuss.

You were lovely, little hard drive, and you safely stored my stuff.
I’d type all night and save my files until I’d had enough.
You were tiny, compact, portable… a joy for me to use.
I never thought that you would bring to me the Writer’s Blues.
We’d seen two novels, you and I, and you had stored them well.
But then last week, my darling little hard drive… oh, it fell!
There was nothing to suspect that you would let me down that morning,
You upped and left and took my stuff with not even a warning!
I plugged you into something else and still you wouldn’t budge
I shook you gently, tapped you too and gave your case a nudge
But nothing that I did (or said; believe me, I did swear)
Would get you to show up on My Computer. You weren’t there!
I took you to a friend of mine whose knowledge far exceeded;
‘Don’t worry,’ he said confidently, ‘I’ll get those things you needed.’
But after he had tried all things that should have made you live,
It seemed that not a byte of all my data would you give.
So RIP, my Maxtor Drive, because you are no more
The only use you’ll ever have is to open up a door.

On Dentists

Been flicking through my Former Journal and contemplating things to copy over here. So for starters, here’s the woebegone tale of me having to have a wisdom tooth extracted.

In order to fully appreciate this story, there are a few things you probably need to understand.

1) I am petrified of dental procedures. Even going for a check up I sit in the waiting room and cry like a baby.

2) I have always had a complete phobia of the idea of having a wisdom tooth out.

3) The National Health Service in the UK, whilst it is a remarkable piece of political engineering with a good, solid set of standards at its heart, moves about as quickly as a really slow thing that’s moving really, really slowly.

So, picture the scene. There I am, going for my check up with my Very Nice Dentist who makes the noise I dread hearing at the dentist’s. It’s that sort of clicking of the tongue (which engineers make when they look at your broken appliances). “Oh dear,” he said. “That’s going to have to come out.”

After a few moments of panic, sense kicks in and ask what my options are. We get it down to basics, which is the application of light anaesthesia whilst in the dentist’s chair, he’ll pop the old dear out and Bob’s your aunty’s live-in lover. “Alright then,” I dubiously agree. An appointment is made for the following weekend…

…by which time I am a complete and utter wreck. I haven’t slept for the past four days so I turn up at the surgery with my (now ex) boyfriend and quite literally have to be dragged in. I sit there with my sleep-deprived eyes wide open like those of zombies and am reassured by the Very Nice Dentist (henceforth referred to as the VND) that it’ll all be OK, and will all be over soon.

I remember…

…the injection going into the back of my hand and the application of the anaesthesia.
…mumbled conversation.
…’coming round’ in the next room with a very concerned VND standing over me.

“Is it done?” I say, only I don’t, of course. It comes out more like “Ishbkjserkn aohne?”

“Unfortunately not,” he says, understanding me with that uncanny ability that dentists have to understand people whose mouths are filled with fingers, cotton wool and metal in varying proportions. “You didn’t react well to the anaesthetic, so we had to keep giving you oxygen to bring you round. I don’t want to risk it any more. So I’ll refer you to the hospital, get it done under general anaesthetic – we’ll get them all done at the same time that way.”

This is really what it was like. Really. For REALLY REALS.

“….,” I reply, effortlessly pronouncing a row of dots.

That’s when I notice the pain. The extreme pain. I mean, pain that makes me want to just curl up into the foetal position and swear to be a better person. Fortunately, VND prescribes me horse-felling painkillers and sends me on my way in the care of (now ex) boyfriend. Who for some reason feels the need to visit the supermarket on the way.

Bear in mind, please, that most of the time I’m a little … well, zany, really. Even though that makes me sound like a reject from a 1950’s sitcom. But when I’m high on a mixture of anaesthesia and painkillers, believe you me, laughing uncontrollably at a pyramid-stacked display of breakfast cereal seemed like the logical thing to do.

Cereal. Endlessly entertaining.

She totally looked like this, I suspect.

(Now ex) boyfriend whisked me away.

So a week passes, and I hear nothing.

Another week and there I am on my diet of co-codamol and fresh air (because a half-extracted wisdom tooth REALLY isn’t conducive to food) wondering what’s happening.

Because I’m British, I politely wait another few days, then ring up the hospital.

“Ah, yes, hello,” I say, in my most polite phone voice. “I’m wondering when I might get this frightful little chap ripped from my mandible?”

“Just a minute,” says the automaton at the end of the phone, putting me on hold so I can listen to the first six bars of ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ over and over and over. “Yeah,” she says, finally returning from what I suspect is her sunbed session. “It’s like this, innit? There’s a six munf waitin’ list jus’ to see the consultant. An’ then, dependin’ on ‘ow bad ‘ee finks it is, there’s an up-to-two year list for the operation.”

A pause.

“Innit.”

“Why, thank you, my good woman,” I reply, returning the telephone to its cradle and making a number of gestures at it that wouldn’t go amiss in an 18-rated film. I proceed to pick it up again and dial the VND.

“Ah, yes, good afternoon, Mr. Verynicedentist. Would you mind dreadfully injecting me to the high heavens and ripping this tooth out of my face? Only the pain is now so bad that I fear I may become so psychotic I might start watching soap operas.”

“Not at all,” he says, pleasantly and makes me an appointment for that very afternoon.

An appointment which, for the first time in LIVING HISTORY sees me arrive a full twenty minutes early. For a dentist appointment.

To cut a long story short, the VND extracted said wisdom tooth, laughing the whole while because I was lying in the chair making loud ‘la la la la la la la’ noises. He claimed he had never been serenaded before.

And out it came.

And of course, the first thing I did was say “Oooooh! Lemmee see!”

And that is my wee tale of toothy woe.

Out and About

I don’t get out much. So to actually look ahead to Things I Am Doing This Year is quite startling. As an aside, whilst Google-searching for appropriate images to use for ‘Out and About’, I found this one. It worries me enormously.

Bury People First? BEFORE you push them in front of the bus? WHAT? Oh, English language, you are funny.

 

In a week’s time, we’re taking a short trip Down South to see friends. It will be Smallish’s thirteenth birthday whilst we’re away and I have it on good authority that he wouldn’t dare to turn into Kevin the Teenager at midnight in someone else’s house.

Just a little over three weeks to this year’s Black Library Live event! Really looking forward to it. This will be our third year of going and we’ve had a blast both times previously. The difference this year is that I’ll actually be on the ‘other side’, sitting on seminar panels and what have you. I enjoy that kind of thing, I’ve invariably found it a lot of fun. Add to that the fact that I’ll be seeing many awesome people and meeting new ones and all in all, I can’t wait.

I’ve also signed up to this year’s alt.fiction event as well. I definitely enjoyed last year’s and found it to be incredibly interesting and useful. I picked up quite a lot of good hints ‘n’ tips on writing in general and met a bunch of very nice people. Looking forward to that as well.

A week after getting over alt.fiction, I’ll be heading down to London in April for the Salute wargaming event. I’ve never been to this one, but looking at some of the photographs from last year’s event, I’m VERY much looking forward to seeing some of the miniatures there. There’s a whole swathe of insanely talented people out there who can paint the most incredible models and I’m filled up with complete respect for them. My Silver Skulls army is largely being painted by Dearly Beloved, who has the patience and ability that I don’t have. I’ve been doing the ‘necessary evil’ element of basecoating and black washes for the most part, but I’m trying.

Later on in the year, depending on a few factors, we will be taking a trip to the US to see friends in Texas. Now that I’m looking forward to for the fact that it’s seeing friends and involves a trip to a part of the US I’ve never been anywhere near.

All these things make the nasty work element that fills in the time inbetween a little more bearable.

The day job continues without ever improving, but conversely doesn’t really get much worse. Mustn’t grumble and all that.  Project: Loophole is now more than half-done and I’m looking forward to that fun ‘bit just after the middle’ I experienced with both TGR and Valkia when the writing mojo gets a proper lick on. I had a couple of good writing days over the weekend (in terms of actual output volume), but then proceeded to delete a whole bunch of it after shouting a lot at the computer.

Oh well, back to it! Not long until the Out and About starts. Until then, I’m In and Here.

To wrap up, a picture about confidence.

When Senior Citizens Go Bad

I’m trying to clear up some space on my hard drive and I came across this, which was written for absolutely no discernible reason one afternoon. I wrote it whilst working at a former job where I had long periods of time to twiddle my thumbs and it was inspired by two of my older colleagues having a dead-straight-face serious conversation about Werther’s Originals.

Just thought I’d share it for the LOL value. Or not. Whatever. Also, it gets it off my hard drive. And gives me a reason to briefly procrastinate, although I’m more than half-done on Project: Loophole tonight anyway.

Continue reading

Car-tastrophes

See what I did there?

Anyway, whatever. You’re getting two blog posts in one night.

So, I started a Facebook discussion on Silly Things You Have Done. This has brought about some master strokes from the people on my flist, even if some of them are a little alarming. During the course of the discussion, I mentioned that I got my car precariously wedged on a hay bale. During the rush hour. This happened some years ago now (about nine years, in fact!), but I thought I would dredge up my original recording of the events on that day. It was originally called ‘Recipe for Disaster’, for reasons that are shortly going to become apparent, but for some reason, ‘car-tastrophe’ made me giggle. Probably too much.

So. Let me go dig it out. In the meantime, here is some hold music.

Back? Good. Right. This ridiculous event occurred on 26th March 2003…

Recipe for Disaster
(being an account of what happened to me on my way home tonight!)

Ingredients

  • Renault Megane
  • A dual carriageway
  • Screaming hoardes of rush-hour traffic
  • Small, 3 year old child
  • A rather tasty young policeman
  • A very nice, sweet, AA man
  • A hay bale fallen from a passing truck
  • Expletives (to taste)

Method

  1. Leave work.
  2. Pick up small, 3 year old child from nursery
  3. Join dual carriageway
  4. Notice, with some trepidation, that a hay bale appears to be lying in your route. Realise options, which are (according to season):-
    • swerve out into outside lane and cause major-style pile up;
    • slam brakes on and cause car behind who is tailgating to cause severe damage to car (and likely small, 3 year old child); or
    • slow down as much as humanly possible and drive over hay bale.
  5. Drive over hay bale. Laugh humourlessly to self as hay bale gets wedged under car
  6. Attempt to pull up onto side of dual carriageway (note: high kerb, hay bale…equates no fucking way, matey)
  7. 1800, almost exactly: Park car with rear end poking out onto rush hour traffic. Put on warning lights, phone AA and attempt to explain the above without sniggering at own stupidity.
  8. Sit, panicking inside whilst complete FUCKING morons hurtle towards back end of Renault Megane at supreme rate of knots DESPITE hazard lights flashing merrily away.
  9. Note that small, 3 year old child is asleep.
  10. 18:35 – note arrival of police car with some relief. Reverse so that hay bale no longer wedged under car, park up off the dual carriageway. Suppress desire to smother (rather handsome) young policeman with grateful kisses and wait for AA man.
  11. Arrival of AA man. Wait for him to confirm car is road worthy before driving home feeling extraordinarily stupid.
  12. Sprinkle expletives as desired to taste. A few fucking hells are particularly tasty at this time of year.

I kid you not.

Chop, Chop, Busy, Busy…

WARNING! STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS FOLLOWS.

For all you young people, the title of this post comes from an ancient BT TV commercial featuring the world’s most amazing penguins. Stay tuned at the end of it for some Women Taking Their Clothes Off.

Right, I hear you say. I can hear you shuffling slightly backwards as well. Don’t do that. Come back. Please? Aww, thanks!

So today was the first day back at work after two weeks off and I was indeed sounding just like those penguins. Chop, chop, busy, busy, work, work, bang, bang. One ten hour day later and I’m ALMOST caught up again. The nature of my job is that it doesn’t stop when you’re not there. Patients are still on the 62 day pathway whether you take 14 of those days off work or not. And believe me, 14 days is a long time in the NHS…

But something fundamental changed at work today, because I was able to take in my copy of The Gildar Rift that the Editor-beast gave me last week. ‘Look,’ I said, proudly. ‘I told you I’d written a book!’ And they were genuinely impressed. Chances are, none of them will ever buy or read a copy, not being sci-fi nerds like I am, but they were all ‘wow! How long did that take? What’s the process? Etc., etc., etc.’ And I felt massively bashful and thrilled about it all over again. I am now a properly published author with a novel of my own. I got a buzz when I saw Primary Instinct in Victories of the Space Marines, but this is something else. S’got my name on the front an’ EVERYTHIN’!

Exciting stuff.

I’m very busy with Valkia the Bloody at the moment, but that hasn’t stopped me breaking out to do a couple of additional projects (known as Project: Lonestar and Project: Hoodwink at the moment) and that’s been a welcome break from the WHF-verse. I do miss my Space Marines when I’m not writing about them. At the moment, I’m particularly missing Gileas, he’s not had a look-in for ages.

LOOK IN! See how I show my age? My brother used to get that magazine when I was about four years old. I remember the TV ad and jingle and everything. You may gather from this that the old-style TV jingles work well on me given that I remember them… what, *cough* years down the line?

LA LA LA LA LA LOOK IN!

Er… yes.

(Sorry for the delay, I immediately got distracted by watching old late 70’s/early 80’s TV commercials on YouTube).

So yes. Back to work and my poor head is all over the place. I had planned on doing some writing tonight, but am so tired from being back that I just can’t muster the enthusiasm. Tomorrow I don’t have to work ridiculous hours though, so I will get caught up. I WILL get caught up. I’m at the beginning of the month, so my progress chart (YES, I AM THAT NERDY) is looking distressing below the target line. I finished August about 2.5k up on target, which gave me a boost to be getting on with.

Have finished reading The Outcast Dead and the lovely Mr. McNeill will be signing copies of this at Warhammer World this coming Saturday. Rumour tells me that there will be someone else signing Something Else, too, but I might be wrong there. If he reads this and would like to confirm it, that would be splendid. If I misheard him, then JUST IGNORE ME. Anyway. The Outcast Dead was thoroughly enjoyable and I hope you lovely folk out there enjoy it.

I’ve forgotten what I even meant to actually blog about. My head is a scrambled mess.

I think I should go watch some more old TV commercials. So to finish, here’s one that was recently resurrected, because the advertising world FINALLY REALISED that adverts used to be a lot better…