Horoscopes #2 – The Disappointment

My daily experiment continues to prove or disprove the legitimacy of horoscopes – genuine predictions or sheer unadulterated nonsense?  Some may question my findings and any conclusions I may draw from this ongoing experiment.

Warning:  The following experiment should only be replicated in a controlled environment under strict adult supervision.  I will not be held accountable for horoscopes that go wrong.

Day Two

19 February 2011

 “Sun, Mercury and Mars move into your social sector, new faces appear. There will be new places of work or perhaps you get involved with some folks whose real job is to help you heal?” [Courtesy of Daily Mirror http://www.mirror.co.uk/life-style/horoscopes/taurus/]

Just how did this prediction measure up today?  Right here goes.

 Sun, Mercury and Mars move into your social sector…

Eh? What exactly does that mean?  Google help required me thinks.  After typing in obvious keywords I eventually come up with a number of sites which seem to be offering similar information.  Now, the Sun, Mercury and Mars ARE apparently moving out of my career sector and ARE moving on into my sector of friendship and networking.  Aha – a definite link here that I can work with.  Networking – social networking, friendship – Twitter perhaps?  I have recently signed up to this modern phenomenon, and building up my following slowly, yet steadily.  Today I have gained 12 new followers – the biggest daily total to date.  Great, so far so good.

 …new faces appear 

Now this one is definitely true.  I was struggling at first with this one to get a ‘fit’ to the horoscope.  Then it dawned on me as I looked out of my kitchen window at the three new faces which had appeared in my garden.   Today, only with the help of some unexpected (albeit forecast) flurry of overnight snow was this fulfilled.  My daughter made this come true, without me realising it at the time. Lovely proof below.

 

There will be new places of work…

If this is specific to today – then I’ve waited all day and nope, no new place of work has materialised.  Let me double check this to be absolutely sure.  (Job list in no particular order):

Washing – kitchen

Cooking – kitchen

General housework – my house

Writing – dining room

Ironing – dining room

Personal grooming and hygiene – bathroom

Definitely all carried out in the usual places of work.  If I had thought about it more, I could have influenced the outcome of this experiment by changing my usual ironing environment to the living room – but I didn’t.  This element fails.

…or perhaps you get involved with some folks whose real job is to help you heal?

Now then, yesterday I was involved with the dentist.  When I say involved, what I mean by that is I had an appointment to sort out my toothache which had been troubling me for almost a week.  He helped me heal, ah but that was yesterday and this is a prediction for today isn’t it?  Have I been involved with anyone else today?  Only the usual suspects, hubby and daughter.  Is it their job to help me heal?  Generally I would say no, however, applying just a little more thought to this – if it meant that they would not have any new laundered clothes to wear, no nutritional hot meals prepared for them, no clean house to live in, no food to make those nutritional meals, then it would be a resounding ‘Yes!’  They would do everything within their power to help me heal. 

I have to consider this further though, have they needed to heal me?  No, have they heck.  I am a woman and by default that means that I will be there no matter what to maintain the routine and equilibrium required to maintain a family and household.  I have had no involvement with any other ‘folks’ today – healers or otherwise.  This too fails.

I think the only conclusion I can draw from today’s experiment is that it does not make the grade.  In fact it fell so short it was positively microscopic.  On the surface it almost sounded prophetic, yet was so generic it essentially said nothing whatsoever.  So unfortunately, my newly restored faith in the authenticity of horoscopes has been very short lived. 

However, tomorrow is another day.

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Horoscopes #1 – The Realisation

My original rant subject matter was to be the ridiculousness (is there such a word?  There must be because that annoying red squiggly line hasn’t appeared underneath – I digress) of horoscopes.  Horoscopes are very strange aren’t they?  There are some people who absolutely live their lives by them, some read them each day for the amusement factor, some who like to believe they’re true but wouldn’t dare admit it to anyone, and those who think that they are utter nonsense. 

Me?  I originally thought I fell into the latter category, but when I applied a little more thought – I realised it has not always been this way and to be honest I do not have a firm and justifiable opinion either way any more.  Consequently, I have chosen to embark on some thorough research to prove or disprove the authenticity of horoscopes.  Some may question my findings and any conclusions I may draw from this ongoing experiment. 

Warning:  The following experiment should only be replicated in a controlled environment under strict adult supervision.  I will not be held accountable for horoscopes that go wrong.

Day One

18 February 2011

“Finally, a decision is made and you’re ready to let everyone know your plans. There will be those who don’t agree, some need to hear more, and others couldn’t care less. It’s irrelevant, as long as you’re happy, Taurus” [Courtesy of Daily Mirror http://www.mirror.co.uk/life-style/horoscopes/ ]

Now then to see how true this prediction for the day turned out.  I’ll break it down.

Finally a decision is made…

This could mean any number of things.  It obviously relates to a major decision, although it doesn’t state ‘major’, so I’ll just plump for one that I made today.  Which one to choose?  I made a decision to get up?  I made a decision to have a cup of tea instead of coffee for breakfast?  No, I know which I’ll go for – I made a decision to make cheese toasties for lunch for hubby and little one. Yep, that one works well.

…ready to let everyone know your plans

“Cheese toasties for lunch guys if that’s ok with everyone.  They’ll be ready in about 10 minutes” I announced to a starving family.

…There will be those who don’t agree

“I fancied a ham sandwich” hubby grumbled.

“Aw – I wanted a burger – I don’t want a cheese toasty” was the small yet argumentative voice of disagreement from the other room.

…some need to hear more

“Anyway, what is a cheese toasty?” asked my ever inquisitive little one.  These days she very quickly recognises the tone in my voice which basically suggests that she either has what she gets given or she has nothing at all.

…and others couldn’t care less

That’ll be the dog then.  Well that’s not strictly true, I suppose it’s only because she didn’t understand the conversation that was going on.  If she had understood or if I had put a cheese toasty in her dish, she would have gladly welcomed it.  Anyhow, for the purpose of this experiment, it fits.

…it’s irrelevant as long as you’re happy, Taurus

I am.  Well who wouldn’t be?  Cheese toasties are really quick and easy to make, they’re relatively healthy and they’re particularly scrumptious, especially if you put Bovril or another such meat extract spread in between the bread slices to accompany the cheese.  Also I am a Taurus, well I would be wouldn’t I?  If Sagittarius was my birth sign I would surely not be reading the horoscope for Taureans.  That’s just minor detail though isn’t it?

The accuracy of the prediction was uncanny though don’t you think?  This example proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that you have to take them seriously.  What’s that you say, utter garbage?  How could you – I am remaining open minded.  Anyway, it’s only day one and I feel a lot more challenges ahead.

 Until tomorrow…

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The tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth

I have at the moment got a raging toothache.  When I say toothache, I cannot be absolutely sure it is a tooth that is the origin and cause.  The only thing I can be certain of is the pain is emanating from inside my mouth and resembles that of toothache.  The left hand side of my face aches almost to the point of paralysis.  In fact now I think about it, I am sure I have overheard people discussing my wellbeing recently – I do recall whispers and murmurings of ‘face-ache’ whilst they were looking and gesturing in my direction.  Aren’t people kind and thoughtful?

Anyway, I don’t often visit the dentist, except for my annual check up and on very rare occasions when I need some minor repair work carrying out on them.  If and when I do experience any pain in the oral region, I just hope that it will pass swiftly and uneventfully, so that I don’t have to pester these very busy people and have them regard me as a time waster.  Past experience though has told me than when pain strikes in the mouth it is usually for a genuine reason, but still I don’t like to bother anyone.  In this instance though the pain is simply unbearable and I do not need to think twice about getting it resolved.

Trying to make an appointment at my local dentist for any kind of treatment is a feat in itself.  I rang them up to ask if they had any emergency appointments available.  This is a brief transcript of the call:

Me

Hi – can I make an emergency appointment please?

Receptionist

When would you like one for, both the dentists are booked for the next 4 or 5 weeks, are you ok to wait until then?

Me

Well no, not really.  I need to see someone really urgently.  I am in excruciating pain and have been for over 24 hours now.

Receptionist

What exactly is the problem?

Me

[Remaining polite and resisting the urge to ask when she had graduated from Dentistry College] I don’t know – that’s why I would like to see the dentist

Receptionist

Well if you could give me an indication of what you think may be the problem, I may be able to gauge the length of appointment I need to make for you

Me

I haven’t lost a filling, I don’t think it’s an abscess, but the whole of the left side of my face hurts and even strong pain killers are not easing the pain

Receptionist  

Well the earliest we have got is two weeks on Wednesday.  Would you like me to book that for you?

Me

You’ve got nothing earlier?

Receptionist

No I’m afraid we haven’t

Me

Well if that’s the earliest then I suppose it’ll have to do 

It wouldn’t have been any funnier if she had told me the appointment was at two-thirty!

I have since had a conversation with someone who is ‘in the know’.  I will not reveal my source for fear of any reprisals from the dental society that may come their way – probably a little melodramatic, but hey I’m thinking this needs spicing up with an element of danger!  Anyhow, to cut to the chase, I was told that ‘urgent’ is considered losing a filling, losing a crown, or a suspected abscess and they will miraculously find an appointment almost immediately.

Amazing.  If I had lied about what I thought the cause to be I would probably be sorted right now.  Instead here I am pumping myself with an excessive amount of non prescription painkilling drugs and still in constant agony awaiting the two weeks to drag by. 

Now I understand where the saying “truth hurts” comes from, because it is certainly hurting me.

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PS I Love You

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

Why does the world think I should pay an extortionate amount of money on cheap worthless tat

To say “I love you”?

 Ok so it doesn’t flow as well as the more traditional versions and doesn’t follow the poetic rhythm or beat, but I think you get the gist.

In the run up to Valentine’s Day, the shops and restaurants seem to forget that everyday life goes on and their main focus is to sell, sell, sell goods and/or services which are focussed around ‘love’.  The only love they have is the soulless love of money and profiteering.  Ordinary sensible people are drawn into the furore of spending money unnecessarily on over-priced rubbish that would not normally receive a second glance the rest of the year.

Quite surprisingly though as the world continues to spin on its axis, everyday life does have a habit of continuing irrespective of the senseless celebrations that are we are expected to subscribe to.  I say life continues, but that’s not strictly true though. 

Take this example.  It’s my dad’s birthday very soon.  I would like a decent selection of cards to choose from.  Can I find any? Can I heck.  I dropped by a very large and well known card emporium.  I am not kidding when I say that more than 50-60% of the store was dedicated to pink and red soppy mush related gifts and cards.  I found the male family card section and was left with a massive choice of a dozen or so! 

Now a gift – hmmm what to buy?  I am not talking about simply perusing the card store, but a vast selection of shops in the town.  Let’s see.  A soft toy holding a plush heart?  A bunch of flowers? Some sexy lingerie? Some lovers handcuffs or other such novelty sex toy? I know I love him and we are a close family, but that is possibly taking it too far?  Chocolates – now there’s a safe bet – now then which to choose?  Chocolate boobs or chocolate willies?!  Aaarrrggghhh!

I could though extend my options and stop being so churlish.  What about a cuddly duck or chick, or maybe a nicely decorated bonnet or chocolate egg seeing as the shops obviously can’t get rid of them I mean, they’ve been on the shelves since Boxing Day!  What’s that you say?  They’re for Easter, and just exactly when is that then?  Ah yes in about another 8 weeks time!

I really do pity people who have their birthdays on or around 14th February.   I suspect that it is akin to having a birthday on or around Christmas Day.  Aside from there being a distinct lack of choice of gifts, it is usually a good excuse for some less generous person to give one gift instead of two and pass it off as a joint present.  This is not good if you receive a bouquet of red roses for your birthday on the 14th.  Mind you after saying that it is an upgrade from the bunch of weeds I generally get on my birthday from hubby (only joking – he doesn’t buy me flowers).

Anyhow – ditched the present idea in favour of a family meal.  A nice restaurant with hubby, daughter and mum and dad.  Now then where should I book?  Oh that’s right – nowhere because everywhere is full and even where there is a table available it is only for two people.  Fancy wanting to book a table for more than two people – what a ridiculous concept.  I give in!  I don’t recall it being this tricky last year.  [Note to self: buy birthday card and present for dad in June for next year].

I love my hubby any time of the year.  Ok there are some exceptions to this – when there is an ‘m’ in the day of the week, oh and an ‘s’ and sometimes even when there is a ‘t’ in there.  If I need to tell him I love him, I don’t need to say it with tat on the one day of the year that everyone else feels obligated to say it.

 Oh and another thing – whilst writing this – I am being bombarded with valentine ads on the tv.   Give me a break!!!

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Diets and weight loss – how much more can I stand?

Diets funny things aren’t they?  I guess we will all know someone in our lives at this moment in time that are on one – or have been on one.  Some may be partaking of this lifestyle at this very moment.

I am not ranting about diets per se, but about those people who say they are on a diet but actually have no real concept of what that means. 

Definition: v. To eat and drink according to a regulated system, especially so as to lose weight or control a medical condition.

Since January (when a few people I know made their New Year resolution to lose weight), I have heard the following reasons for them either failing dismally in their quest and giving up completely, or for continuing with their regime to no avail:

  1. I can’t eat today because I am getting weighed tonight  [I’ve left it too late again and I’m grasping at straws];
  2. I lost ½ lb last night so I went out for a meal after slimming club to celebrate  [I’m hungry];
  3. I put 1lb on so I went out for a meal after slimming club to commiserate  [I’m hungry];
  4. I’ve not had an alcoholic drink all week so I am going out and getting bladdered at the weekend  [I’m not totally giving up drinking for this diet!];
  5. There are no calories in the end bit of chocolate bars  [Well the few that are left in there don’t really count];
  6. I’m cutting out on bread because that’s where all the calories are coming from  [I’ll replace it with 2 tortilla wraps – well they’re not as fattening or as filling so I will need 2];
  7. It’s just a minor slip I’ll start again the diet tomorrow  [It doesn’t matter that this is the 3rd consecutive day I have said this, I don’t think anyone’s listening];
  8. My husband won’t eat the things I eat and I am not making 2 different meals  [I am not taking it seriously enough to know that with imagination we can both have the same meals, and besides it would mean I’d have to have a smaller portion];
  9. I’m too stressed to think about the diet today  [I have no willpower and I will blame anything];
  10. Well it’s (name) birthday, it’d be rude not to share a piece of cake with them [I want a piece of cake and that’s a perfect excuse to get away with having one]
  11. I get a lot out of going to slimming club as I can share recipe and dieting ideas with other people  [I only go to the slimming club because there are people there worse than me at losing weight and it makes me feel better]
  12. I hadn’t time to make anything for lunch this morning, I’ll grab something healthy at lunchtime  [the stuff I prepare is unappetising and I can’t be bothered as I’ve managed to convince myself that the shop bought ‘healthy’ produce is better for my diet]

Dieting to lose weight works for many people and generally speaking it is those people who have a willingness to change eating and lifestyle habits although I do appreciate that there are some exceptions to the rule.  It takes commitment, a desire to succeed and knowledge of how to go about it sensibly.  If you have all of the above, seek advice from your doctor or health practitioner not your mate in the local bar who gives the advice that they “have tried dieting and it doesn’t work”, or “your body finds it’s own natural weight no matter what you do”. 

If you recognise in yourself any of the above, please think about it – there are good rewards to be had.  If you have no serious intention of losing weight, then please do not pretend you have.  I am not interested.

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Coronation Street – The office drama

Recently I moved office base to sit within a different team.  Now this provided me with a whole new set of experiences to adjust to: the environment; the people and personalities and a whole new genre of conversation.  With all the new challenges to face the one thing I really feared was leaving behind the comfort zone of my familiar surrounding and soon to be ex-colleagues. 

I have been in my new office for a few months now and I feel I have settled in quite nicely.  My good friend, co-worker and esteemed blogger (The World According to Dave, listed in my blogroll) moved with me and I believe I owe it to him that I retained a smidgen of sanity in my new work life.  I have come to realise though during this uncertain journey and period of settling in, just what I have not missed.  The the incessant ramblings of “what happened on Corrie last night!”  It was always a big event in the office the day following an episode.

Now I know that Coronation Street first graced the television screens back in December 1960.    I know it was created by Tony Warren and was only ever commissioned for 13 episodes and I know that it is testament to its popularity that it has continued to this day.  What I don’t know is – why?

I was never formally introduced to this soap or serial drama as I think they are now referred to, but somehow it was part of a cultural upbringing at home in the north of England.  It formed part of the early evening family entertainment back in the 70’s and early 80’s and that is how I think I first became addicted.  I was one of the lucky ones though, I saw the light before it was too late and sought treatment.

Having said that, even today it is always on in our house, as my hubby and daughter seem to like it.  So it is on, droning away in the background, which I can often mentally tune out of, but I do occasionally get drawn into the dire plots and storylines and the terrible acting that seems to be the norm these days.

If I were to be forced to join into an office conversation about the programme now, I would be able to offer the following observations:

  1. Nick Tilsley couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag;
  2. Peter Barlow – acting almost as bad as Nick, but storyline not helping – recovering alcoholic that seems to recover overnight not only from drinking but from horrendous life threatening injuries sustained in a tram crash;
  3. Tracy Barlow – Acting skills even less than Nick with even better self-healing powers and the ability to have a murder charge quashed in five minutes;
  4. Deidre Barlow – just as annoying as she’s always been – some things never change;
  5. Gail McIntyre – must learn her lines via audio equipment as she doesn’t stop blinking her eyes long enough for them to stay open to read anything;
  6. Sally Webster – I have to admire the actress who plays her for her cancer battle and for remaining professional throughout her scenes especially so with a bad script to follow;
  7. Kevin Webster – rubbish – nothing more to say about that;
  8. Rosie Webster – what is up with her mouth?  She over-exaggerates every mouth movement unnecessarily to the point of me wanting to slap her;
  9. Sophie Webster – such a whining voice;
  10. John Stape – hats off to him for being able to deliver what has to be the most ridiculous storyline in Coronation Street history with a little bit of professionalism and whilst keeping a straight face.

Of course there are some good actors/characters in the programme but to mention them would detract from the rant wouldn’t it?

I know that I may have alienated a few readers with this piece and I offer an apology for simply not understanding your beliefs.

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Mini Rants #1 – A selection

Have you ever considered during the course of a waking day just how much there is out there to irritate you? Maybe it hadn’t crossed your mind.  It hadn’t mine until today.  I thought I would provide you with just a selection of thought provoking instances that happened to me today.  I offer a suggestion that you will agree with at least one of them.

1.   Last piece of paper

The first annoyance of the day, less than five minutes after I got up and out of bed.  A trip to the bathroom and just at the point of no return, a realisation that there is only one sheet of toilet tissue left on the roll with the replacement rolls stored in the cupboard across the way.  Who in their right mind leaves one sheet of paper for the next person?  What purpose does it serve exactly?  I won’t go into further detail on this one.

2.   Bus Fares

At what point does it come as a shock to someone waiting at a bus stop that they will at some point have to pay for their fare? 

The bus was running at least five minutes late this morning, so anyone waiting will have had plenty of time to prepare themselves for its impending arrival, but no.  I didn’t just count one I counted three people who, once boarding the bus, then had to rifle around in their handbag to locate their purse.  Once found, they then had to seek to produce the money.  Fumbling around to gather their change, they seemed to think it appropriate to strike up a conversation with the driver.

“Ooh aren’t these coins so fiddly? If you wait a minute I’ll get the change exactly right for you.  I bet you get this all this time don’t you”, and other such inane drivel.  Do they not realise that the bus is running to a timed schedule and can they not hear the rest of the passengers grumbling their discontent?

3.   Cash machines

I know there are various elements of the ATMs, cash machines, holes in the wall whatever you choose to call them that irk some people.  The one thing that really gets me annoyed is waiting an incessantly long time for my turn even when there are only two people in front of me in the queue.  No matter how long I think about it and believe me I had more than long enough time standing in line today, I simply cannot fathom what on earth people find to do at them that takes so long. 

This may be going a bit far, but I did actually time myself today: insert card; wait for machine to register card; enter pin number; request balance; select another service i.e. cash; enter cash amount required; retrieve card; await cash; await receipt.  Job done and all with a total time of 48 seconds.

4.   Wrongly labelled shelves

At lunchtime I made a quick dash into the supermarket.  I only wanted a large bottle of lemonade, but got slightly distracted by one of their Buy One Get One Free (BOGOF) offers.  I fell for it and bought the product(s). 

Once I got to the self service checkout (mini rant on its way) I noticed that the special offer had not been deducted.  Luckily there was an assistant nearby who, eventually offered her help.  Upon her return she advised me that the label DIRECTLY BENEATH said item was for another brand situated further up the shelf!  I declined the product.  It was only because I only had one other item that I noticed.  If this had formed part of my regular weekly shop, they would have got away with charging me full price for 2 items that I didn’t actually want or need in the first place and I wouldn’t have noticed.

5.   Self service checkouts

Since when did these save time?  Save time for whom?  The way I see it is that they save time in recruiting new staff members.  They have never saved me time.

Take today for example.  I had 3 items.  I wanted to place them directly into my bag once I had scanned them.  The bag which is placed over my shoulder has to be removed and placed on the special bag platform on the checkout.  An additional unnecessary manoeuvre which added time to the process.  The items (as mentioned above) were not showing the price I expected.  I pressed the cancel button, re-scanned, found myself questioning the machine – I did, I actually said, “so what happens – do you deduct the offer price when I proceed to pay?”  It didn’t answer.  The lady behind the till would have done. 

There is a time and a place for these items.  My life is not the time – where I go is not the place!

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