The Zap - the site the Chinese government is currently using as its home page

Sunday, September 26, 2004

The Adventures of Zapsta

This is my semi-regular comic strip which I create partly for the amusement of others but mainly for the amusement of myself. From now on I'll be putting any new ones up here before they go anywhere else. This latest one is called 'Zapsta Hijacks a Plane'.

Saturday, September 25, 2004


I got my hair cut today. It's pretty much the same as before, just shorter. My fringe now falls short of my eyebrows and the back isn't long enough to warm my neck anymore. It also isn't heavy enough to weigh itself down, so it keeps curling up at the back and sides. In favour of the new, shorter style, it at least means that my hair no longer gets in my ears and eyes, but the fact that it looks crap outweighs this. So overall, new haircut is a bad thing. I should have just gotten it all shaved off...

Friday, September 24, 2004

Here we go...

I haven't made an entry on here in a long time, so this one is going to be a round-up of the last month's events, and therefore quite long. I'll be posting more regularly from now on, to prevent this happening again.

Firstly, I'd like to make a mention of the Beslan school siege. It was just so totally fucked up. Holding over a thousand people, mainly children, captive in as easy a target as a school is bad enough. The fact that the terrorists never even made their cause clear, therefore rendering the whole thing pretty pointless, irrespective of the outcome, and the completely inhumane torture through water deprivation (one story suggested that the terrorists soaked the hostages clothes in water then made them drink it from their, giving them just enough to keep them alive, but you've got to take that with as big a pinch of salt as any other of the reported 'facts'), which just made it beyond impossible for anyone to feel any sympathy for the cause that they didn't want to reveal, took it all to a level that made it incredibly difficult to fully accept. It hit me harder than any other news event in my lifetime, but the thing that really got to me was the ITV cameraman, after managing to get into the gym, commenting (via the reporter) that he saw in the region of a hundred dead bodies on the floor. It gave me the most distressing mental image, and I really felt like breaking down. I don't cry, so I didn't, but for me to feel that level of emotion because of an event with absolutely no relevance to me either says a lot about how I've been feeling lately or a lot about how terrible this atrocity was. In all likelihood, it was a combination of the two. So to conclude, I'd like to make the incredibly hollow and self-righteous gesture of dedicating this entry to the victims, both alive and passed, and their families.

I guess the best place to start properly would be with an update of my whole depression/general mental illness situation. Last time I mentioned it, I'd just revealed all (so to speak) to my dad. That was on a Monday. He phoned the doctor, because I felt uncomfortable doing it, and at 9:30 on the Friday morning I was sitting in my GP's waiting room. It was a bit difficult because my GP's almost a family friend, but I tried to speak quickly so as to get it over with. Sadly, I couldn't have put my situation across very well, because he got quite worried fairly quickly, offering me pills to get me through until I saw a psychiatrist and referring me to a psychiatric clinic as "urgent". He then said that I should get a letter from said clinic within the week, and that if I didn't I should contact him. Fortunately I forgot this, because I got it after eight days. The thing that stood out was that the letter was written in Comic Sans. I'm guessing that something as harsh as Times New Roman or Arial would just be too much to take for someone in as fragile a mental state as myself. So if you take one lesson from this story, it should be that you know you've got problems when you get a letter from the hospital written in Comic Sans. A few days later (the Tuesday) I went down to the mental health clinic.

Despite having been referred to see a psychiatrist, I saw a social worker. This was possibly the biggest waste of time I've ever had to endure, second only to all my Economics lessons. She basically just paraphrased everything I said to her, putting it in question form. For example, at one stage I said "I feel like all my thoughts are just a blur and that I find it really difficult to focus," to which she responded, "So would you say that you find it hard to concentrate?" In a way it was helpful, as it made me realise that she was probably the one that needed help. In other ways, it wasn't helpful. After I'd told her that I didn't want to go to any fucking community youth groups, she finally said that she was going to refer me to a psychiatrist. So I basically found myself at the same stage I'd been in a week and a half earlier. I waited and waited for news of an appointment, but alas, none was forthcoming. Then, a few days ago, I got a letter from them, once again written in Comic Sans, moanng that I'd missed my psychiatrist appointment. You know, the one that they never told me about. My dad got a bit pissed off, so phoned the clinic to make them aware of their incompetence, then on Wednesday another social worker phoned to ask me if I wanted to arrange another appointment. I told her that they'd already mucked me about enough for it to be stressful and therefore to make me more depressed than I was when I started, i.e. that I didn't want another appointment. She apologised, before I had to once again say that I didn't want to go to any fucking community youth groups. These people really can't take a hint. So anyway, that's the end of that. Or at least I thought it was.

Today I had a really bad day, and little things that people did and said were really getting to me. Then as I was going into the changing rooms to get ready for cadets, this little year 11 prick, not for the first time, undid the strap on my bag so that it fell off my back. I just completely snapped, elbowed him into a corner and started pounding him until someone pulled me away (I think it was Zain). Naturally I didn't feel that going down to the rifle range for cadets was a very good idea after that, so I just went down to the early coach instead. Luckily Tuna managed to convince me to play football until 4:00 instead, otherwise I probably would have just got home and done something stupid. So I'm probably not okay, and I probably should have made another doctor's appointment, but oh well.

On to lighter things and my light fitting (ba-dum tsh!). In my last entry I hailed my dad as some sort of DIY god. I have now revised this opinion. He is a DIY retard. Only a few days after making the entry, my light was flickering through both the sockets that my dad has sprayed his magical WD40 down. Actually, remember in 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' (which is incidentally a bloody awful film) how the dad saw 'Windex' or something as being the solution for everything? Well my dad's like that with WD40. "Light not working properly? Spray some WD40 in the sockets. Hot water not working? Time to get the WD40 out! Got a sore throat? Get some WD40 down you..." I should have known it was never going to work :(.

Back to sadder events, and they've split the 4:15pm Kingsbury/Kenton school coach due to lack of passengers. Kingsbury has now joined up with Wembley, and Kenton (my stop) has joined up with Stanmore. At least it was sad. Initially I was just pissed off that I couldn't have my end-of-day conversations with Mehul anymore, despite the fact that I have loads more mates on the Stanmore coach. Now, however, Mehul has for some reason abandoned the Kingsbury coach to go to Stanmore, which means I get to catch up with him and talk to my other mates, so it's all good.

Less good is the vendetta my school seems to have developed against my hair. First my form tutor and then my head of sixth form confronted me about it. I tend to respect the school rules, but this is unfair. I'll wear their dark suits, I'll abstain from my dark shirts and I'll keep my top button done up, because I know that as soon as I get home it can all come off and I can change into something I want to be wearing. At school, I don't care. However, if I cut my hair, I can't just grow it back every evening and at weekends. It will be short all the time because they wanted it short. Not only will it prevent me from expressing myself, but whenever I look in the mirror it'll remind me of school, that section of my life that I hate so much. Their won't be any escape from it. I was therefore considering shaving all my hair off and waxing my head, something that is similarly 'illegal'. I haven't been warned about that though, only about having long hair, so I could hardly be blamed for forgetting that I'd again gone and got a forbidden hairstyle, albeit one at the other end of the spectrum. But this idea had lost its novelty somewhat, partly because it hit me how long its taken to grow my hair, and it would just be such a waste to cut it all off, partly because I decided that I actually need a haircut, as it's all started to get in the way, especially when playing football (wind blows it in my eyes), and I was going to get a nice, medium-length haircut tomorrow. That was until I was confronted by both my form tutor and my head of sixth form this morning, in some horrible, joint attack. They asked me when I was planning to get a haircut, in a very leading manner which suggested that I was going to get one over the weekend, whether I liked it or not, so I said "Tomorrow", which of course was already true, but the mere fact that they felt the need to remind me that I needed a haircut really pissed me off and reignited the whole 'shaved head' fire. Cutting off a ridiculously small amount as opposed to cutting off a ridiculously large amount is another option that has presented itself, which will frustrate my teachers without actually disobeying their instruction, but I'll decide tomorrow. Get a trim, if she cuts too much off, I'll just ask her to take the rest off as well. Not sure if this is related to the whole hair episode, me trying to hit out at the system, but I have subconsciously been trying to antagonise my teachers even more often than usual of late, for example, by responding to my Physics teacher's witty remarks with my own wittier ones, and by talking to my Scottish stats teacher in a completely over the top Scottish accent. I don't do any of it on purpose, it all just slips out, I swear! Not doing my homework, that seems to irritate them as well.

Oh yeah, and I miss my guitar. My teacher's spent the last week 'setting it up', to make it easier to play apparently, and I have missed it enormously, but I get it back tomorrow. Yay.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Let there be light!

Despite my insistence that my light fitting was broken (see earlier entry 'From light fittings to deodorant'), I bought some new light bulbs yesterday under my dad's instruction. Put them in, same problems as before, so I got annoyed with my dad, saying that I'd told him it wasn't the bulbs but there was a problem with the fitting. He asked to have a look, fiddled about with them, then took them out and sprayed some WD40 in the sockets. And it was as good as new. So I can see again. Yay. My dad's good at stuff like that :)