Friday, 3 September 2010

Hattie gives up smoking

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, I decided to stop smoking.

Now let me assure you, giving up smoking is no mean feat. Not only does one lose their best friend (any seasoned smoker will attest to the fact that if faced with a year without their best human friend or without cigarettes, they'd spend a lonely 365 days with their fags), but also their street cred. Smoking is undeniably cool, and instantly makes one who partakes cool by proxy. I remember at school, sneaking up for smokes at my favourite spot 'Tree' (which was imaginatively named thus due to the space being by a tree), and someone I may have previously dismissed as a dweeb rocks up and instantly we were then friends and at one with our coolness. It mattered not that I was also a giant dweeb; a fellow smoker is a cherished buddy.

On top of that, there's the boredom. Smoking is something awesome to do when you're bored! Be you waiting at a bus stop, taking 5 minutes at work or sitting at home on the sofa, smoking a fag makes even the most mundane and listless activity bearable. And ultimately, smoking is delicious. Its great, just... great. I was faced with letting go of a lot of advantages that come with smoking, which were only marginally outweighed by the idea of saving money and not dying horribly.

It has been quite a journey thus far, nae, a noble quest. Man had been thinking of quitting as well, and we thought "Hey! Let's quit together! What a great idea, we'll be so healthy and we'll be able to support each other gently with our cravings".

This was the dumbest idea we've ever had as a duo. Two long-term nicotine addicts detoxing simultaneously under the same roof? Over a bank holiday weekend which involved a funeral and family gathering? Fucking stupid. Not even the Dalai fucking Lama could have provided 'gentle support' were he in the same situation.

We soon realised that unless one of us started again, we would most likely kill each other. 17 games of Rock, Paper, Scissor later, I lost out and Man got to return to the sweet clutches of those glorious, wondrous magic wands.

Furthermore, one of the first things I noticed was the remarkable coincidence that as soon as I quit, everyone around me, including (nae, ESPECIALLY) those who had never really bothered me before, cherished friends and loved ones, became intensely irritating and insufferable jerks. The problem was most DEFINITELY with the rest of the world, and not at all with me.

If any of you have ever tried giving up smoking, you will know that you become unreasonable, rageful, and capable of murder. People you adore will instantaneously become the source of all the anger and blame you have ever experienced in your life because they dared to give you a hug when you weren't particularly wanting one. Anything that has ever bugged you in the past will suddenly be RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE and it won't matter how totally irrationally you behave, when you are giving up smoking all irrationality becomes totally normal, (its totally normal to consider leaving one's job because someone gave you Earl Gray tea instead of Morning Breakfast), the anger you feel is how you have felt FOREVER and there is no way that there is any goodness in the world and everything you have ever feared is suddenly undoubtedly real, and you might as well alienate everyone you have ever known and start over in your life because THEY are the reason you are so angry and uncomfortable.

Or, from a more objective view, a reformed smoker cannot and should not be taken seriously when they are ranting and raving (or seething silently in a corner), because none of it will actually mean anything when they're over the hump. So special was this time that I have decided to both immortalise and commemorate it through the medium of drawing.

It started out not so bad,

but quickly deteriorated,

until the madness held me in it's vice like grip for longer than I care to remember.

As in any relationship, my ever darling wonderful man was in the enviable position of baring the brunt of my bad mood.

What was once a loving and trusting beacon of solidity and safety had been worn down to the point where man was in a near constant state of alertness, expecting quite reasonably for me to become a raging banshee at any second.

Other advantages I have noticed are I can smell things better (ooh! Flowers! Food! The dew of an Irish meadow!), my skin is no longer pallid and I am saving money to buy sweets and shit. Disadvantages are that I can smell things better (eww! Stinky feet! Poohey loo smell! Other people's body odour!), I am no longer as cool and I get bored even more easily. Its still a close call in my opinion.

I've had a few slips but I've been smoke free for 123 of the last 130 days. Not bad going I say! I hope you enjoyed my drawings.

Happy weekend everyone.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

I love Peeteer Smith

My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have once again been neglectful of you, my loyal followers of 14, and for this I am truly sorry. I have clearly been of a saner and more adult disposition than what is normally expected, thus diminishing the day to day madness and far flung capers which usually act as blog fodder.

But I am under strict orders to write from a certain Mr Peeteer Smith, and write I shall.

'What shall I blog about?' I whinged, half hoping he'd validate my existence with a choice compliment such as, 'Hats, you are a terrific writer. Not only are you beautiful, you are also fiercely intelligent and possessed of a wit and panache that quite frankly I haven't seen since, well, ever. You are the reason the sky is blue, why babies laugh and why everyone everywhere has hope that they can one day have a worthwhile life, because YOU EXIST. Whatever you write will be a gift to us like manna falling from the heavens' or something.

But in real life, his response was 'ME!' Which was shortly followed by 'I just sneezed. It felt so good'. Here's some pretty choice material, so why the hell not?

PEETEER SMITH. Where do I start?

Well, for one, he along with his best friend Esther won my prestigious fort contest back in June. Not only did his photo entries display his unrivalled prowess at fort building, but also his unique and astonishing ability to act. Here he is displaying his acting skill #4, 'pretending to watch TV'. Kids, I am not joking, HE IS NOT WATCHING TV IN THE PICTURE. I know, I can't believe it either!

It beggars belief, doesn't it? This dashing young man will no doubt be winning Oscars before long.

Young Peeteer is also a very talented musician, and you can hear him here playing the lead in the Horn section.

Never have I heard such clarity and hawk like precision in any brass instrument performance.

One of the things I love most about Peeteer is the rich, baritone quality he has to his voice, which makes all conversation with him rather distinguised and high-brow, regardless of whether we are discussing Kant's Categorical Imperativism, sexy parties or funny smells. His deep, throaty laugh is also very becoming. Have a listen for yourself!

But perhaps what I love most about Peeteer are his stalwart attempts at keeping other women at arms length because of his mad love for me by pretending he is gay. His 'love' for all things Tom Daley is but a ploy to keep the female population at bay. This is another of his great acting skills, and SO in character is he that he also pretends that he never fancies any women (including me) and actually pursues men!

Here he is pretending to look gay, when he's actually straight FOR ME

He knows that our time is not yet nigh, but resists all advances from the throngs of fawning females regardless; our love is so pure and true that he is happy to live a chaste life until we can celebrate our love with the world. So committed is he, that he cares not a turd that I am co-habiting with another man who I choose to call 'Man', until I am ready to forsake all others and just be loyal to Peeteer. And in the meantime, he is just SO in love that he will no doubt be dating and sleeping with other men. I am a lucky, lucky girl.

Peeteer Smith: Man of awesome, musician, hilarious, and not at all gay.


*Disclaimer: that wasn't actually him playing the lead in the Horn section, even he isn't THAT good.

UPDATE: Peeteer Smith himself has done a narration AudioBoo! So if you want to listen to him reading this marvellous blog entry, click here. Also vote in the comments section if you want this to be a regular feature here at Hattie's Weird and Wonderful World!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Hattie's Midnight Madness

It is late at night when the most insane nuggets of my psyche wake up and start to torment those around me.

And the vast majority of the time, it is Man who is privy to these certifiably insane outbursts. We will have done our normal bedtime routine, turned the lights off and then perhaps begun discussing things we are doing the next day, or gently remind each other about some chore which needs attention. We'll kiss each other good night and assume our own favoured positions for a speedy entry into Sleepsville.

However, occasionally, I am still hyperactive and cannot stand the silence, so I decide I need to introduce a riveting topic which will ensure he stays awake to keep me company just a little bit longer.

'Honey, you know trees?'

'I'm vaguely familiar with them'.

'Cool, well, what would it be like if there weren't any trees?'

'What'. (Let me be clear, this is always a statement, not an actual question).

'What would it be li-'

'No, I heard you, I just can't quite believe you're asking me that question'.

'But why? It's an interesting topic'.

'Look up the word interesting'.


'You're 26. Now go to sleep.'

'Your face is 26. YOU go to sleep.'

He rolls onto his back and exhales. 'That makes no sense whatsoever'.

'So's your face'.

'What? That makes even less sense. You were making no sense at all and now by making even less sense, the sense you are making has negative properties'.

'You know what else has negative properties? Electrons. They buzz around the nucleus that is full of protons and Chemistry is so awesome I wish I was a scientist so I could do science all the time. Also I love pipettes and Bunsen Burners so it'd be like having fun all day with dangerous chemicals! I could melt stuff and make things explode and shit. I could win a Nobel Prize and spend all the money on sweets and toys! You know once I got sent to the headmistress's office for writing 'pooh' on the back of a girl's lab coat in chemistry class with distilled water'.


'It really was. You know what else was great?'

'Try not talking'.

My insatiable desire to win and glee at the prospect of acheiving something, no matter how small, will see me not talking with so much energy and excitement that my stiffly inert yet buzzing mass in the bed becomes more annoying than my actual voice.

He gives in. 'I can hear you trying to win'.

Silence. Then a little voice, 'See, I did not talking. I win.'

'Oh God, WHAT have I DONE?!' His anguished voice pierces the still night, and I know with unshakeable certainty that this is one of the unfortunately not rare moments when he begins to seriously question his major life choices, namely sharing his house and his future with a real life infant woman.

I rebut with a whiney 'Whhhaaaaaaaaat?'. It starts at a tone slightly higher than my normal speaking voice, descends slightly then plummets to a much lower resonance, a good octave and a bit below, then begins to slowly climb again. I can draw it out for a good 8 seconds and sounds not unlike a vuvuzela.


I go on. 'Do you still like me?'

He then begins to plea, as if for his very life. 'For the love of everything holy, I am begging you, PLEASE just SHUT the FUCK UP!' The words fall on deaf ears, however, as one of the many weapons in my ever irritating arsenal is my ability to fall asleep in a matter of seconds. I have the last laugh, as he is wide awake and will stay that way long after the echoes of our infuriating conversation have ebbed away, due to a combination of unbridled exasperation and my unconscious habit of chewing ferociously in my sleep.


Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Hattie moves house

Hello everyone!

I have been absent of late because I've been moving house. Well, I've been living with my Man for months now, and have been subletting my flat, but the time has come for me to permanently vacate. I have been drip feeding my new digs with Hattie paraphernalia over the last several weeks and am now fully at home at our house :)

BUT, and this is a big but. So big in fact that Sir Mix-a-Lot would get a bonk on for it; I am a hoarder of the highest degree, which has single-handedly provoked a series of low fat nervous breakdowns.

Let me start from the beginning: Man asks me to move in in January. A couple of months later I have spent enough time alone in my flat smoking cigarettes, playing Nintendo and watching old episodes of Jonathan Creek whilst doing face masks and trying on ludicrous outfits that I am ready to bid a fond farewell to those days of shameless virtual singledom in favour of co-habiting with my man. A few months go by and we decide to make it permanent and cease my tenancy at my old place.

"Sure," I say, "it'll take no time at all. I've just got a couple of boxes of old school reports that I can store at my Dad's place".

This is how I thought things would be:

And this is how things actually were:

I had gravely underestimeated the amount of shit I needed to pack, and I'd been foolhardy enough to grandly presume that I could handle this monumental feat all by myself. Roughly 37 hours of packing and 19 large boxes later, I was still not totally finished and have had 2 or 3 fairly worrying psychological meltdowns. You simply would not believe the crap I have accumulated over the years - it has become patently obvious that I have a pathological inability to throw ANYTHING away. Old cracked pencil without a rubber? Yeah, I might need it one day, even though I haven't used a pencil since I was 7! Dog eared yellowed note pad with only 3 or 4 sheets left? Keep it, it's not good to waste stuff! A bit of frayed packaging string? Do NOT throw that away, you'll need it in a string emergency! And so on with a plethora of other useless dregs that have amassed into a metric fuck ton of a scrap heap that's so intrinsically overwhelming that I found myself in the foetal position, rocking gently and humming to myself on more than one occasion.

How the fuck did I manage to get through 26, almost 27 years of my life without seemingly ever throwing a single thing into the bin? Do I have a secret hatred of bins? Actually I kind of do - when I was 6, I was jumping on the bed having a great time and next thing I know I am plummeting head first into a wooden bin which left me bloodied and permanently scarred after a hasty visit to the emergency room and 3 stitches.

So I have spent a vast majority of the past few weeks throwing my life time of trash into endless heavy duty refuse sacks.

This needs some math! I would say I spend an average of 5 minutes and 23 seconds throwing things away every day.

Putting on man's coffee and emptying old filter into bin - 7 seconds.
Scraping cereal dregs into bin - 11 seconds.
Cleansing face and binning cotton pads/buds - 5 seconds
Sorting through junk amassed in bag from previous day and putting in bin - 2 minutes
Sorting recycling and putting in recycling bin - 2 minutes
General daytime rubbish to be put in bin - approx 1 minute.

This is pretty much how long I spend each day throwing things away (not including emptying Dex's litter once a week - 5 minutes - and act of emptying rubbish and taking out to garbage cans - about 10 minutes per week).

So that's 5 mins 23 seconds x 7 = 37 mins 41 secs, plus 15 mins = 52 mins 41 secs per week throwing out garbage.

52 mins 41 secs x 52 = 2740 mins per year = 46 hours per year

46x27 = 1,242 HOURS IN MY LIFE SO FAR SPENT THROWING OUT GARBAGE. That's 51 days and 18 hours. 7.4 weeks. Almost two months. All spent throwing out garbage - but of course I haven't been doing that until I moved house. So I have essentially spent the last two solid months throwing out garbage, and not doing anything else.

Of course I haven't actually done that, but I can assure you, that is exactly how it has felt. And that is why I have been so absent of late, and also why I have had a few fairly serious mental breakdowns.

The moral of the story is to always throw things away if you don't use them. Also, never, ever move house without hiring someone to do it for you! May this be a lesson to you all, children.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Hattie and the fort: part 3 - The Results

I must apologise for my lateness in publishing these very important results. I have been moving house and, even though I can hear you quite rightly cry 'Forts are more important than having a roof over your head you lazy bitch!', unfortunately the move has taken up a lot of my time and energy. I do apologise, and normal service will resume when I have recovered from this most traumatising ordeal (I smell a different blog post!)

So here are the results as judged by the official board of Fort Architecture and Recreational Tent Structures.

In 3rd place we have Elly King with her superb entry which cleverly uses a strategically positioned crack in the cushions, allowing the fort to be lit with natural light from a nearby window. Inspired.

In 2nd place we have... Joe Chamberlin with his quite frankly astonishing effort which utilises a fan as a climate control device to ensure his fort is always at a balmy 72 degrees. Joe works in interior design, which is evident through his colour coordinated fort drape. His flare for structural engineering is also gestured to with his use of a digeridoo to support the fort's asymmetric roof.

He also deserves a special mention for his Fort attire - note the American Football helmet, chef's trousers and baseball bat. Suitable weaponry is a must have in a Fort, and the selection of a baseball bat alongside full American Football body armour and shoulder pads trumps my spatula hands down.

However, there can only be one winner, and this was a very hard decision. But (drum roll please)....

The winners are Team Mega-Alan: Esther Barratt and Peter Smith with their expertly designed multiple functioning Fort! Not only did their photographs comply with all official contest rules, but they clearly demonstrated the many different activities one can indulge in in a Fort.

Note the clean lines, solid structure and extra warm blanket as they play Wii.

Watching television is easy, comfortable and most importantly awesome in this spacious viewing den. Depth is also a very important variable concerning the enjoyment of a Fort - and their depth is just right.

Eating and drinking is no problem in this solid structure, with a secure roof and expertly positioned cushions for added safety. These action shots show but a few of the myriad ways a Fort can be the source of all fun and righteousness!

So there we have it. Peter and Esther, I salute you. Prize, I hear you say? Well, winning alone should be prize enough, you greedy fucks.

However I might buy you coffee and cake when I next see you :) all hail Team Mega-Alan, Fort builders Extraordinaires!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Sea falling on us!

When I was little, me and my brothers played a variety of amazing games, the most memorable if them being 'Sea Falling On Us'. The apparatus used was a large (in our young minds) blue exercise mat which we would prop up vertically against the wall, release, and run away from as fast as our little legs would carry us! The aim of the game was to not get twatted in the back of the head by the falling mat and, since it was blue, the game became known as Sea Falling On Us. Hours and hours we'd spend, saving ourselves from the mortal peril that faced us were we to be submerged under the great mat.

It was the most high octane fun I remember having as a child.

Other childhood games included 'Lost Children', when we'd fend for ourselves by foraging in the well stocked larder and return to our Wendy House with feasts of twiglets and other savoury snacks.

I think I was one of those children who's imagination, sense of humour and general manner prompted adults to look at me (and one of my brothers) as either some kind of precocious, misunderstood, avant-garde child genius, or as a genuine ruh-tard. The line between these two states is very fine indeed, and my entire life has been spent treading clumsily between the two. To this day I have no idea if I'm a super genius who is far too intelligent for her own good and for your average human being to understand, or so profoundly retarded that it confuses people and fools them into thinking that I might just be some kind of Einstein. Who knows? But most conversations with my man lead me to the same conclusion that I'm just a vintage fucktard.

How I long for the days when life was so simple that a whole day could disappear, spent in blissful merriment with a blue exercise mat.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 11 June 2010

Negative Stealth Assassin

At some point in our lives, for some more than others, we are all visited by the ever silent and deadly Negative Stealth Assassin. It is not, as it's name suggests, some kind of covert MI6 super agent who operates mainly out of the Southern Baltics. Oh no, it is far, far worse.

The Negative Stealth Assassin is a veritable sneakster. It's the bile within you that feeds off hatred and things like sick puppies or a sad bee and will not stop until it has DESTROYED SOMETHING! And unfortunately, we all have one. It has a face that is the spawn of yourself and the devil's ball sack, and a body that is made of PURE EVIL!

A Negative Stealth Assassin is determined to rule the world and turn a happy sunshine rainbow existence into a quagmire of dross and misery. It will tell you lies! It will make you hate yourself! It will make you insufferable to all those around you, thus affirming your self hatred and it's validity! At the drop of a hat, the world is suddenly full of shitty weirdos, you will never be happy again and everything you thought was good and true is just a trick. You and those around you are suddenly at the mercy of this silent killer.

You can go from this:

To this:

for no rational reason! Once the beast is awake, all bets are off and all reality is squished. And then - RAGE! You will most likely become an irrational gibbering douche canoe until you realize that the things you are saying and feeling are fucking boring and, more importantly, insane.

But once the Negative Stealth Assassin has you in its claw like grip, it becomes stronger because the sad nonsense you were thinking about is its food. No one nowhere will ever understand the hurt going on your heart, no matter how hard you try to explain. That's the thing about Negative Stealth Assassins, they are tailored to your own individual shortcomings and insecurities, so not even people who love you will truly understand. No Negative Stealth Assassin is the same! They are a deadly breed!

I had a visit last night, but luckily the only thing it destroyed was my calm evening.

So today I feel like I've been bulldozed and know it'll take some time for my Negative Stealth Assassin to become comatose again. I want to kill it with fire! But the only way to kill a Negative Stealth Assassin is to hug kittens and play Wii and sing nice songs. So that's what I'll be doing this weekend. Maybe in a fort.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad