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

Saturday, October 23, 2004

First driving lesson

Had my first driving lesson today. First thing my instructor said to me as he got in the driver's seat, just before shutting the door, was "You know how to shut the door, right?" Kind of set the tone for the session. He was fairly patronising, and I spent the first half of the lesson learning how to operate the indicator lights. Also a bit arrogant. "There are 40,000 BSM instructors in the country. At the Golders Green centre alone there are 40. Only 35 of these 40,000 have an average pass rate of above 80%. Only 35. I am one of them." Yeah... I really don't care. His impression of a Chinese woman driving suggests that he's slightly racist as well. And he made a lot of lame jokes and laughed at them. Didn't seem to like my high risk driving either, going past parked cars with only an inch or so to spare. I wasn't going to hit them! So overall, a bit of a twat, but as long as I pass my test, I'm not too bothered. It may even spur me on to learn quickly so I can spend as little time with him as possible.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

My mum = retard

I today noticed that my Windows reinstallation CD wasn't on my PC desk next to my monitor, where I had left in preparation for my reformatting. About half an hour ago I therefore asked my mum if she had any idea where it might be. At first she just kind of snarled at me because she was watching something on TV (a polite "Sorry, I'm watching something; could you ask me afterwards?" does not suffice anymore). She then said that she hadn't touched anything in my room. I went back into my room and starting searching through my stuff to see if I could find it. Upon embarking upon my adventures, I found my guitar capo in a small plastic pot on my writing desk, something else that I had left next to my monitor, albeit on the other side to my reinstallation CD, and something else that I've spent the last few weeks looking for. Put small things in small plastic pots is incidentally something very typical of my mother. So I went back to confront my mum, only for her to change her story from "I haven't touched anything in your room" to "Well if you weren't so disorganised, I wouldn't have to touch your stuff!" I therefore put it to her that the point of being organised was to be able to find your stuff, and if I couldn't find my stuff then things were in fact less organised rather than more so. Apparently distraught by this revelation, she stormed off into my room and started going through my stuff. And thus we have our next irony. Although my things were not more organised as she had said, they had been tidier, which is what she probably meant in the first place, however, after we'd sifted through it all, it was in fact in a worse state then it had been in the first place. So not only was my stuff less organised than it was when it was in the state I wanted it, it was also messier, so in the long run she'd actually taken it further away from what she wanted. The moral of this story is that my mum should not touch my stuff, but she will not heed this and will probably 'tidy up' again in the near future, has she has repeatedly done in the past. She did find the CD in the end, though.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

My guitar teacher is someone famous

I found out today that my guitar teacher is Alan Warner, founder of and original guitarist in 60s sensation The Foundations, playing on such classics as 'Baby, Now That I've Found You' and 'Build Me Up Buttercup'. Don't think from this that I've only just started seeing him - he's been my teacher for about 6 months. I'm just crap. Also found out that he likes WD40 almost as much as my dad, after he sprayed it all over my guitar.

Stole my painting from my school gallery yesterday. I feel so liberated. Looking forward to seeing the reaction when they find out there's a big gap on the wall. Went down to Leicester Square last night. Some guy stopped me and asked if I had any pills, so I considered asking him if he had a headached, but thought better of it. Down by Piccadilly Circus, another guy stopped me to ask if I believed in Jesus. Then went on to try to convert me, so I responded by trying to shatter his faith, but my 'friends' dragged me away before I could get very far. Otherwise, a pretty shitty evening.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Food, food, food

Spent the end of last week celebrating my birthday. On Friday, went to the Hard Rock Cafe with my friends. On my dad's advice, I didn't book a table. He said that it wasn't as popular as it used to be and people didn't queue up outside, so it wouldn't be necessary. And he was right that no one was queuing outside. Sadly it is no less popular - we were told that we would have to wait an hour and a half for a table, or... sit outside! Asked them if it would make any difference if it was my birthday, the hostess said no. I think she had a thing for me though. Anyway, we decided to take the table outside, which I was too bothered with, but Viral looked freezing which made me feel really bad. Tried to order some alcohol, they asked for ID (which we didn't have), but, thinking on my feet, I pointed out that it was my 18th birthday, and then that I was clearly the baby of the group, and so everyone else must have been 18 as well. Slightly sceptical, the waitress gave us the benefit of the doubt, although in the end we only ordered a beer for me and a martini for Mikey. Slightly worried now that if we go back next year and I say it's my 18th birthday, they'll remember that I said it was my 18th this year, realise we lied and refuse to serve us! That's possibly unlikely though.

Onto the food, we started off with a big plate of nachos with salsa and guacamole and sour cream and beans and cheese and jalapenos, which we all shared. Intentionally didn't order any beef or chicken on them so Viral could eat them, who I ended up having a very interesting discussion with about the pronounciation of 'jalapeno'. For my main course I had a 'Pig Sandwich', which was bloody gorgeous. From the Hard Rock website: 'Select pork, hickory smoked then hand-pulled so it’s tender and juicy.“An old Southern delicacy” with our famous vinegar-based Bar-B-Que sauce. Includes French fries, cole slaw & BBQ beans.' Didn't eat the cole slaw though. I don't like cole slaw. For dessert I shared a hot fudge sundae with Tom and Depul, tucking into the ice cream of which, Depul delivered the classic line: "It's not hot". Then all the staff came out and sang me 'Happy Birthday', handing me a complimentary bowl of ice cream with a candle in it, which was a lovely treat in the freezing cold. Then this big party of people came out of the cafe, made a circle on the pavement and a woman stepped into the middle, who then went on to strip. Which was nice. Not as nice as all the Muslim townies going "Oh my God, man! This is against religion!!!" though. All in all, a good evening, although I did feel bad about making my friends spend it in the cold, but I went home and took that out on my family. Oh, and Mehul didn't turn up. He said that he was ill. I think I believe him.

Saturday afternoon, I went to the orthodontist and got rubber bands rammed into my mouth. Pretty uncomfortable, made eating that night difficult, to say the least. Slightly unfortunate considering that I was eating out with my parents that night in the continuing birthday celebrations. Started with squid and chorizo, followed by seared scallops and finished off with the chocolate tart, which was way too rich. The chocolate tart is always too rich in these place, but I never learn. Than they brought me a petit four with a candle in (slightly less impressive than Hard Rock's gesture), which despite my chocolate tart torture, my mum convinced me to eat. Suffice to say, ended the evening feeling pretty sick. Not that that was the only thing the Hard Rock Cafe did better - this place was nice enough but also massively overpriced. £50 a head?! I think not. So I guess you could say that I ate the best of the worst food and the most average of the best that weekend. Thankfully, it seemed to put an end to the depression (and the really bad spelling :o) I'd been suffering with over the previous two or three weeks, as well as the nightmares which had me pulling a calf at one point, from thrashing about in my sleep.

Had a few brilliant ideas lately. Firstly, tomorrow I'm going to steal a painting from my school art gallery. Admittedly I painted it, but they won't know that when they see it missing. Really hope they don't have any CCTV in there. Also, I want to people to hold up signs in the headmaster's assembly like the crowds do in wrestling. When he's walking out on stage, the signs could go up with stuff like 'I'm your bitch, headmaster!' and 'The chaplin: better than Jesus' on them. Would be classic. Could be difficult convincing enough people to put their necks on the line to do it though. Finally, I want to get a gospel preacher to speak at Jewish assembly. Sticking with school, I've been getting some great jokes into my Physics homeworks and tests lately. I won't bother repeating most of them, because they're pretty technical, but I had some time left at the end of my last test, so I marked it. Hope it didn't go unappreciated. Economics as been a whole other story. Funny, but more through lack of effort than creative flair. Had to give a presentation today; just broke down in laughter towards the end, it was that poor. I think all this goes to show that I'm taking myself a lot less seriously than I used to. I wish others would do the same. Not sure what it means. Probably just the calm before another massive low point.

Also at school - walked into a desk in IT today. Have myself a dead leg. Spent the last two days swallowing the rubber bands that I'm now wearing in my mouth. Should probably take them out before I eat. And the careers department have assured me that my UCAS form has been sent off, despite the fact, a week on, I have yet to receive written confirmation from UCAS. With the Oxbridge deadline tomorrow, I'm slightly paranoid, but if my school cocks things up for me, I'll probably just sue them.

Now for a token comment on current affairs. I kind of feel sorry for David Beckham. I mean come on, if you were perceived as being as thick as him and you came up with an idea as ingenius as he did, wouldn't you want to tell the whole world about it as well? It's just unfortunate that telling the whole world about it made him come across as being thicker than ever.

In conclusion, the worst thing that can ever happen to you is being spat in the face by someone with really bad breath when they're talking to you. A bit lands on your lips, and all you can concentrate on is not licking your lips so as not to get their stinky spit in your mouth, but the more you think about it, the more conscious you become of how dry your lips are, and the more you need to lick them. You just want to wash your face, but you can't! There's no sink available! I just hope that none of you ever have to go through this.

PS - I don't think I swore (properly) once in this entry. I really am changing...

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

My birthday

It's my birthday today. Kind of depressing. Didn't want to come home from school for the fear of disappointing my family by not being happy and excited. In fact I couldn't even sleep last night with the same worry. Fears proved justified. They didn't seem to be too happy that the first thing I wanted to do when I got home was go to the toilet rather than open my presents. When I did though, the atmosphere really changed for the better. Because the presents were so shit. I just took the piss out of how badly my family knows me, and we all had a good laugh about it. Taking the presents back this weekend.

Actually, I've generally been sleeping very badly of late. Had a dream the other night that I was Ernie from Sesame Street, locked in a room with all these demons popping up in friendly disguises before attacking me, so I had to zap them with some laser gun thing. Then, as I'd seemed to have cleared the room, Bert from Sesame Street popped up (Ernie's friend) and said "Ernie, it's me! Don't you remember, we had a homosexual relationship!" After a moment's thought, I shouted out "No we didn't!" and zapped him. Not that sure I was Ernie for the whole dream actually, but definitely for the Bert zapping bit. A lot scarier than it sounds and provides an interesting insight into how I viewed Bert and Ernie all those years ago.

Also been burping a lot of late. Don't know why. And my school's fucked up my UCAS form. After unlocking it for editing but also deleting it from the network, they have now got it back on the network but not granted user access to my file. Which is irritating. Means I have to re-write my whole form just because my personal statement was a line too long, with only 10 days before the Oxbridge deadline...

Saturday, October 02, 2004


Okay, so I haven't posted every day. I'm sorry. In my defence, I've had valid reasons not to. On Tuesday I played football after school, Wednesday was rugby so I was knackered when I got home, Thursday I went to McDonalds after school and Friday I was lazy. In fact I spent the whole of Friday at home, so really lazy. Thought I'd get quite a bit done that day. I didn't.

Last Sunday I went out for lunch in Hampstead with my parents. Naturally, it was not a flawless outing. We'd been waiting about 45 minutes for our food, so my dad decided to complain. Food came pretty quickly after that, although my burger wasn't too good. I think it had spit in it. Then went for a walk, stopped by at an art gallery for some bizarre, bizarre reason. Actually, it wasn't that bizarre, it was because there was this replica of a statue in Bond Street with Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt sitting on a bench called 'Allies', and my mum and dad were both arguing over whether the actual statue was in New Bond Street or Old Bond Street, respectively. Turned out that we were related to the owner of the gallery. Well, I say we, but my dad wasn't. He just flirted with the manageress, who also happened to be related to us, which does mean that she was also related to the owner. She seemed a bit dozy so probably only got the job because of the aforementioned relation. I hate it when that happens. Anyway, she got out this pamphlet about the statue, and it said that it was in New Bond Street, but then my dad asked if he could look at the computer and managed to prove that both the pamphlet and my mum were wrong, so that really made his day. Then as my mum and the manageress caught up on family matters, my dad asked me what I thought one of the paintings was of. He said that he thought it was of Ellis Island, I said it was Grand Central Station in New York. He then asked the manageress if it was of Grand Central, and she said yes and was very impressed with his knowledge of American landmarks. He of course failed to point out that I'd in fact told him that it was Grand Central, and when I mentioned it no one of course believed me. My family's like that; a bit old fashioned, doesn't think that you're worth listening to until you're 21. Shame we don't speak to them much. Doesn't matter though, I know that I proved him wrong and damaged his pride, and that's what counts.

On the way home we drove down this road with some massive houses, and every now and then my dad would look up and say "Relative 1 lives there" or "Guess which relative lives in that house". So, from this brief outing, I learnt that I have lots of rich relatives with either huge houses or their own art galleries. My family is not rich. I therefore came out of the experience feeling that life really hasn't been very fair to me, which was compounded by the discovery that my full name doesn't fit on my birth certificate. Was lying around the house because it had just arrived back from the DVLA after being sent off to get my provisional driving license, and my surname's actually been written above the rest of it because they couldn't get it on the line! Did my parents not think that maybe my middle names were a bit over the top?! They never gave me a chance.

Football on Tuesday wasn't as fun as it could have been. Played with two of Ben's mates, and they were pretty good. Both had mean shots and showed me up pretty comprehensively when we were just shooting from distance, although to be fair to myself, it was pretty dark and near impossible to even see which part of the ball I was hitting without my glasses on. That's right Adam, it wasn't your fault. Probably suffered a bit from trying too hard as well. Beat both of them playing World Cup though. I'd like to think it's because I was just too skillful for them, although it's more likely that they just couldn't tackle and I can. Suffice to say, I left them for dead on a number of occasions and they struggled to get past me, so redeemed myself slightly. Went home around 7:30 to let Wayne Rooney show me how it's done. To use Racist Ron's favourite word, he was phenomenal, but it did piss me off the way the ITV commentators kept praising everything he did. Makes simple pass - "Brilliant pass from Rooney!"; blazes shot over crossbar - "He might have missed the target, but look how close it was!" (not very); runs around in circles - "Excellent movement from Rooney!" Just CALM DOWN, before you make me hate him just to bring some balance into the world.

Continuing on a sports related theme, I think that rugby on Wednesday may have been the final straw. I've always been short and slight, but I thought that I'd grow and eventually get to having a similar build to most of the other rugby players. I've definitely grown upwards, but I've weighed 8 and a half stone for the last three years, so I'm just getting thinner and thinner and less suited to the game. My current tackling ability paid testament to this. I made around 2 in 10, with guys from the year below just running straight through me. I've always based my whole game on tackling! If I ain't got that, then I ain't got much, and I ain't got nothing, nothing (to semi-quote Brit rockers A). Felt like I was falling apart afterwards as well. Physically, not mentally, for a change. Couldn't really practice the guitar after that, so my teacher told me that guitar players shouldn't be playing rugby. Hopefully my coach will see that as a valid reason not to play anymore. How likely that is after he didn't see my weight issue as being a valid reason though, I don't know. Let's just say... not very likely.

Thursday proved that my school is retarded. Apparently my personal statement is too long (it wasn't too long whilst it was being checked over the course of two weeks, just now that I've submitted it electronically). Since I've submitted it electronically, I had to go and see the school careers secretary to get her to 'unlock' it. Which she did. Sadly, she also managed to delete it from the school network, so it wasn't really of much use to me. I now have to wait until Monday for it to get sorted, which means my application will go through later, which means that my already poor chances of getting some decent university offers have now taken a further dent. Thank you school.

Seeing as I didn't have any school on Friday, decided to go to McDonalds with Mehul and Saj/Sanj at the end of the day. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but I have to get off the coach before my stop, then it's kind of hell getting home. After I said I was going, Yin and Tuna also decided to go (I'm such a trailblazer). Had a McChicken Premier for the first time. Bit of an anti-climax really. The chicken was very dry and I got some of the relish/mayonnaise mix on my suit. Also, Mehul stole some of my chips :(. Disappointing. Tried to climb over a wall afterwards. Couldn't. Even Mehul could. This is what rugby is doing to me. Soon after, we all went our separate ways and me and Mehul got the train. Timed it nicely so we got on at the same time that the late coach from my school arrived, so we ended up on the train with one of my teacher's, Mr Bass, and some old Habs boy he was with. In fact we ended up on the same carriage, so just walked straight through, got off and got on the next one. As we walked by, I heard Bass say "There's two current Habs boys," to which the former student replied "They just ignored you." That had me in hysterics, so I told Mehul, who was walking through quicker and therefore hadn't heard, and we laughed most of the train journey away.

Got off at Kingsbury, walked home. A 183 bus stopped by me near the beginning of my journey, which also stops right outside my house, but I couldn't find any money at the first delving into my pocket, so allowed it. Soon regretted the decision as I realised that the journey had actually gotten longer since the last time I'd done it. Or maybe I'd just forgotten how long it was. It did give me a chance though to realise how much closer to my house Queensbury Station is than Kingsbury Station, so I probably should have gotten off there. In fact Kingsbury Station probably isn't that much closer to my house than Stanmore Station (after taking into account the time spent on the train from Stanmore to Kingsbury, if that makes any sense whatsoever), so I might as well have walked the whole way home from McDonalds. Oh well, it's not as if I can't afford to waste a couple of quid on a train ticket. It's my parents' money, after all. Plus, I felt like the walk. Sometimes it's nice just to have some time to myself to listen to some music. Long train journeys are great for that. So anyway, to sum up, I learnt from going to McDonalds both that the McChicken Premier isn't that nice and that Queensbury Station is closer to my house than Kingsbury Station. Quite enlightening.

My birthday's on Tuesday (yay, I think), but my dad already seems to be doing his best to try to ruin it. My last few have been pretty depressing, so I wanted to make sure that I really enjoyed this one. Was going to go out with just a few of my closest friends on Saturday night, but my dad's gone and booked a table for the family at the same time. I asked him about moving the reservation to Friday night, but he was very unreasonable about it, so I kicked a chair. He's never really had any friends, so he probably can't appreciate what celebrating my birthday with them means to me, but he could at least try to be sympathetic. I really feel like I need this at the moment, just something good to get me through the rest of the year. Feels like I've got a blister on the outside of my big toe on my left foot as well, although whether this was there before I kicked the chair, I can't remember. Not even sure that I kicked the chair with my left foot. Could be an ingrowing toenail, but since I've never had one before, I don't know what that feels like, so wouldn't put money on it.

Was watching some music chart show on Channel 4 last night and they'd actually blanked out the bleep over the 'fuck' in Green Day's 'American Idiot'. Why? Does a bleep suggest a word that much more than a complete cut in the music does? It wasn't like this was for family viewing either, it was on at 2 o'clock in the morning. Truly censorship gone mad. Also, got another letter from Brent Mental Health Services today, just to confirm that I'm not going to have any more appointments with them. Interesting that they can remember to confirm that I'm not going to have an appointment, but forget to send one to confirm that I do have one. It wasn't even written in Comic Sans. I feel so unloved :(. Oh, and Spurs were shit. I know they won but they sounded bloody awful in doing so and extremely lucky to get all three points. Becoming quickly disenchanted with the Santini regime. Hope he can pull something special out the bag soon. Finally, I felt like cutting myself today, but that would have just been stupid, so instead I decided to cut my hair. However, I couldn't find any left-handed scissors, so I didn't get very far with it. I therefore suggest that kids are encouraged to cut their hair whenever they feel like self-harming. And all given wrong-handed scissors.