Life

Living with a Vegan Warrior

I am quite outspoken on these here pages. At times I can be quite outspoken at football (Sorry Dave) and down the pub on the odd occasion I have had a few jars. That is basically it however. I don’t want or need for people to agree with me, like I am the messiah (not a naughty boy). Usually as long as people listen and provide a good reason as to why they don’t agree in conversation, it’s all gravy. Beefy tasting gravy.

I have been a meat eater, with vegetables for garnish for 35 years. My significant other has been a vegan for 4-5 months. I can’t be more specific as these days I seem to blink and lose weeks. She is a passionate person a huge plus in any relationship. So as she climbed aboard the good ship vegan I knew this was going to be no different. Strap yourself in Sudo I said. (Cos of course I refer to myself in third person by my blog name).

I fully support her dietary choice. I always will.

If she has a change of heart and wants to eat roasted penguin because of the health benefit I will be first to see if Amazon Prime covers shipping from Antarctica. I probably wouldn’t partake as I liked Pingu as a kid and there would be significant trauma.

My SO however is now “ethically vegan” which means she tries to live for the good of the planet, causing the least possible harm as she goes. Being passionate, she campaigns for others to live the same and even has her own fledgling YouTube channel, which is extremely well produced and researched, albeit from a vegan angle.

As a meat eater, there are some meats I won’t eat. Dog, Rabbit and (if it’s ok with Findus)Horse. They are pet animals in the UK and I have close personal connections with them. That said with the exception of Dogs I would be happy for others to eat Rabbit and Horse. Just like I’m happy vegans eat vegetables and beans.

This is speciesism. (She tells me)

Yes and I have no problem with that. Dogs mean more to me than most people. They should not be eaten. Cows are bred by humans to be eaten. So I do and they taste damn good. I value both dogs and cows for hugely different reasons. Reasons that are personal to me. I am told the vegan population of the earth is on the rise. I am delighted those people have made their own personal choice. All those people can even think I am wrong to live my life how I do. Do I care? No.

Living with a vegan has very few problems. We share much love and eat different stuff, we did that anyway. Finding somewhere to eat out is somewhat problematic.

Living with a vegan warrior, causing the least possible harm? For the most part I wish she’d just live and let live.

Randy Savage vs Ultimate Warrior

Randy and the Warrior.. She might look like this.. check out YouTube to be sure.

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Poem: Performance

This poem is designed to be performed,
It’s author is shy,
So imagine the pyrotechnics.. now.. and Now,
As I build to vitriolic climaxes,
Word rhythm all over the place,
Occasional rhyme and over effected accent, saves face,
Watch and marvel how I move around “the space”
Moving with as much air and grace, as an elehippo.
A made up thing, my own invention,
Another effort to hide my pretention,
Here I am now, holding the mic like a rapper,
Tryna look fly, tryna look dapper,
Rhymes and rhythm getting, crapper.
I make pseudo political protests,
With sharp,
Rhythmic,
Changes.

To make my point, seem so profound and sincerer,
Fact is my opinion is just a headline from yesterdays Mirror,
Or Sun, The Times or even the Metro,
A point from the 80’s if I’m feeling retro,
I start a revolution that’s already been resolved,
Solve a puzzle, long since solved,
My revolution will be televised,
It’s already gone viral,
It’s only purpose is make my ego spiral,
Out of control, my rhyme rumbles on,
Then suddenly, without provocation,
I scream out,
This is art on the edge,
Nearly 200 words in and I have said nothing,
Building up to nothing at all,
Dry ice fills the stage like I’m wired for sound,
Desperately still searching for the profound,
Now to make up for the content I lack,
A fake middle finger, and cut to black.

Spotlight

Comment: The Ugly Face of Disability Hate Crime

Following the documentary on BBC Three last night about disability “Hate Crime” I feel I must add my comments. Sorry this is a little long.

I hate the term “Hate Crime” Gene Hunt expresses this best.

How are we ever going to move on, live together and integrate as a society if crimes against any group of people are labelled in such an insane way. It’s justifying why someone committed a grievous act against someone else, reporting a “hate crime” produces two groups of people. Those who support the victim, and those who support the perpetrator as they agree with his or her politics. If a murder is reported as a “murder” one person killed another, we can all pull together and agree that that is a bad thing regardless of our backgrounds.

This approach removes the often incorrect assumption that “he only killed him because he was disabled/white/black/green/gay” No he got killed because he was sleeping with his wife/husband/girlfriend/mother/tortoise/guitar.

Last nights show was presented by Adam Pearson who has neurofibromatosis which causes excess growth of the skin. Which gives him a striking and unusual appearance like many disabled people. Now I like to think that when I’m sat down or propping up a bar I look pretty “normal” I don’t of course, the way I hold myself up, my movement that is both ponderous and jagged are both clear giveaways that I am “different”.

As kids we stare at “difference” it’s a survival technique present in most inhabitants of the earth. Don’t believe me? Walk slowly into a field of cows. They will all look at you, “Who are you? Will you feed us? Will you kill us? Where are your trousers?” If no-one batted an eyelid at things out of the ordinary we and the cows would get killed.

Of course we like to think we have evolved, it makes us feel superior and for the most part it helps us fit in and not be different as the environments we inhabit are largely about inclusion and acceptance, on the surface anyway.

A place where our true feelings are often is expressed is here on the internet. This very page has a comments section. Upon which you are free, with varying degrees of anonymity to call me whatever you like. The comments section can bring out the very worst in people and statements or poor attempts at humour can be misinterpreted.

One of Mr Pearsons TV interviews was posted on YouTube and seemed to be a significant part of the programme. One comment was nasty suggesting that he should have been burnt to death at birth. Harsh you have to say, but the comment was sent to YouTube who didn’t do anything about it. Mr Pearson mentioned “genocide” and I turned off.

It’s a comment on YouTube! The person who made it is probably 12 and as he accompanied his comment with “lol” he was hardly suggesting people hunt you down and burn you. So to suggest genocide is giving this comment much more credence than it deserves. Much better to laugh at it or reply back taking it further “Yeah hideous burns might improve my looks” Thus disarming any malice and perhaps leaving the commenter with a “See him there, he looks a bit weird but he’s alright” feeling winning him over and maybe stopping such comments in the future.

There are times in everyones life where we need to pack our thickest skin (no pun intended) regardless of which groups we align ourselves with. There will always be people who prey on easy targets or promote hatred but we should never underestimate the power of our response.

If you are in the UK or use a VPN (shh!) you can watch the program here.

Overly Social Media

I’m a old curmudgeon. My mother says I was born an old man. I hate people until they prove worthy of my time, once you are in the circle you pretty much stay there until you choose to leave. In the circle you have benefits like unlimited lifts in the car at pretty much whatever time you like, beer money on the rare occasion I have it, IT/AV assistance, access to slow roasted Lamb and most importantly you can have my last Rolo.

Outside of my group you can pretty much, keel over and die without me batting an eyelid.

Selfish, yes.
Self preservation also.

Social media flies in the face of my survival strategy. Twitter and Facebook (moreso) forces you to form relationships with people you knew 20 years ago, or people you met once on a drunken night out in Rhyll. These people in the cold hard light of day mean less to you than your clan members in Clash of Clans or the members of your faction on Last of Us but because you have seen Barry’s daughter Stacy (whom you never met) take her first steps you feel somehow compelled to write some vapid response to Barry’s status. Which Barry will maybe read, smile and then ignore.

Using Facebook to plan a social gathering is like trying to find a TV presenter from the 1970’s that isn’t in prison. Possible, but hardly worth the effort. The people most likely to attend are your best friends, who whilst on your facebook, are also in your phonebook and textable. Those same people probably ignore Facebook event requests because they are as regular as someone on a fibre rich diet.

Those friends who see the event will also assume that because the Facebook event is visible to all of your 800 “friends” that at least 70 bods will show up. Now friending Dominos in is a great way to get 10% off Pizza but I doubt their CEO cares you are having a “Summer Shindig” so won’t turn up.

I left Facebook long ago, not missed it. All the people near and dear to me, write or talk to me. Not a wall or a time line. Facebook and any online platform, this included, is all too often used to foster a persona, a façade of the frothy. Don’t get me wrong, not everything has to have deep meaning, but it has to be real otherwise we may as well all pretend to be Astronauts.

No-facebook-me

A Quest for Normality

What is normal?

That is a question that has no right or wrong answer. It varies not only from person to person but from day to day. For some of you reading right now it may be completely normal and positively hum drum to wear frilly lacy panties because you like the way they feel against your skin. Some of you might even be male. Ugh a man in frilly pants, how is that normal? Normal for him, so it’s all good.

Of course we all have to conform to a certain degree to what society has laid out for us as normal. In the workplace for example it would probably be considered abnormal to fart loudly and shout “I’m a stinky monkey” whereas at home you can do this no worries, trust me you can, go on give it a whirl.

For the young at school the quest for the non-existent “normal” is strong. Your friends, even the ones “sticking it to the man” want you to conform to their perception of normal. Your parents want you to conform the family version of normal and then there is your teachers who demand a adherence to their classroom norm.

The classroom normal is the most dangerous and the most influential. As is proved now in the classrooms of North Korea and in history with the schoolrooms of Nazi Germany. A normal taught in a classroom with an agenda can influence a persons actions throughout their life, be it that your leader is indeed glorious and infallible or that Jacob sat next to you is sub-human.

Teachers outside of obvious oppressive regimes need students to be normal. It makes their life easier. If you as a student have a impairment that makes it impossible to conform then the school has three choices.
1.Belittle that impairment “Be normal!” (Pleading helps!) “We are not here to babysit”
2.Provide no support and deny the impairment exists. “Normalising”
3.Provide a quality education (Difficult, but not impossible)

In case you haven’t guessed 1 and 2 happened! The pleading came from the Head of of local academy. A man blinded by the quest for “normal” that he’d forgotten that the reason for schools to provide an education for all. But this is not just a dig at him, arsehole of the highest order as he is.

The normal ideal, conditions us to believe in a society where difference is something to be avoided for ourselves and feared within others. At best it promotes a boring closed life, at worse it provides an environment where it is ok to exclude, discriminate against or even exterminate others because their normality is different from our own.

Mexican curious monkey

Mexican Monkey… not stinky, but perhaps curious to learn.

Work? Optional!

So todays prompt from the lovely folks at WordPress asks the question would you work if money was out of equation.

Well regular readers will know I love my current job and all of my colleagues are an absolute delight to be around for 6 hours every day. If had no monetary reward I’d still want to be with them every second that was available to me. My work is the reason I live. It’s as important to me as my solid grasp of sarcasm.

If money was out of the equation I would still work, for less time and for a vastly different company in a vastly different field. You see I do have quite high standards for myself, I want to do a good job, be the go-to guy. Be trusted to do a excellent job and leave the customer feeling more satisfied than someone who has had a 48hr free pass to a high end brothel. But where I currently work I am not trusted to order so much as tea and biscuits without managerial approval.

It is like being at school. We are treated like kids, some respond in such a way. Some like me dream rather sadistically (and this is the piece that will be quoted on the news when I finally snap) of disembowelling the vast majority of my co-workers with only a paperclip. (It can be done I have blueprints)

Weapon of Choice

Weapon of Choice

In any given year there are approximately 253 working days for me. 1518 hours a year if I work until I’m 65 (I’ll be dead by then) 45 years working that’s 68310 hours in total.

68310 hours surrounded by people who I have nothing in common with other than a shared work place.
68310 hours surrounded by people who know nothing of what I like (nor me of them)
68310 of dancing to someone elses tune.

I’m tempted to leave right now. But it’s the money that keeps me here or rather the need to have a roof over my fair bonce. I would love to throw this away and do something that helps people, makes me feel good too. Use my 68310 hours for good instead of evil. So wordpress if you want to take money out of the equation and pay my bills I’ll gladly accept your offer of work.. I await your confirmation.

Independence Day to Day

That is what is all comes down to, from a very early age everything was geared to being or becoming more independent. To your average Joe or Jane this means, getting a job, getting enough cash to move out from your parents house. To a disabled person however this independence can mean something most of the able bodied world takes for granted, like dressing yourself for example.

I am lucky I suppose my disability is by the standards of many quite mild, so I am able to function and live a “normal” life. I have a job, a handful of good friends, family and I live alone in my house where I pay full rent and have no assistance at all.

So as independent as one gets.

This year I have found I have become less mobile. Things are starting to hurt, or even worse just not work in the way of which I have become accustomed. (I’m not talking about issues that Viagra can fix here either) So where do I turn? Again the average Joe or Jane in the street seems to be under the impression that the disabled are either paralympians capable of bounding over buildings like the bionic man or so disabled that they cannot possibly function and have all the help and money to enable them to live out their days in comfort.

So in the view of the outsider, disabled people either, A don’t need more help or B have all the help they need.

Let me add my C to that list of options.

From a early age I was taught and pushed to be as independent as possible, to do things myself. This has brought me opportunities and allowed me to meet many wonderful people but it’s made me very single minded and set in my ways at at times a bastard to live with or be around. I haven’t needed help, so I have been off the radar. No huge social services file, no massive cash hand out that means I don’t have to work, no case worker I can ring up and get someone to help me.

In order for me to get assistance for anything, I have to be referred by a GP. The GP probably knows less than me about my disability and I have to wait along with everyone else to receive treatment from a guy who specialises in sporting injury. My sporting days are long gone!

Independence has for the most part been a very good thing for me. I just wish someone would have told me to ramp it back a little so that it would be easy to get support I need now. It seems the more you do, the less is offered, which when you think about it is very wrong. Only option to keep on going until you drop.

Still Happy 4th of July America from the old foe across the pond.

Lincoln Memorial July 4th 1.jpg
Lincoln Memorial July 4th 1” by J.W.Photography from AnnapolisFlickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Poem: Different Mirrors

I need to get away,
Need to run and hide,
To take a rest,
Breathe deep.
Close my eyes..
The darkness does not save me,
Eyes closed real tight,
Everything is just the same, but without the light,

Wherever I go,
However far,
I hear the same voice,
See the same words written,
Etched in time, too late to erase,
Incessant rambling.
The same fool, same face,
Just different mirrors.

Vector

 

Enjoy

Enjoying the now. You wouldn’t think it’s difficult would you? To enjoy what you are doing, live in the moment. Before I started writing this I was thinking it was just me, but all of us to some degree fail to grasp fully the wonderful things that are occurring. Right now.

Modern life doesn’t help full of distractions and noise. Long time readers of this blog (thank you and that ambulance outside is probably for you) will know that I love my tech. My iPhone much to my bosses displeasure hardly leaves my sweaty palm. But does it let me enjoy my life knowing that a footballer I follow on twitter is talking to another footballer about “Take Me Out” yet I consume.

I have been to many a gig. The focus for many now is not to let go, be absorbed in the music but to video it in full HD, so they can enjoy it later. The later that never comes, or the later that you only enjoy when one of your fellow gig goers dies. Then you’ll sit and look at it and go, “remember when you filmed this.”

Contentment goes against human nature. We will always want more, faster, higher. It’s what has moved us on, moved us out of our caves. But the human race has pretty much gone as far as we can now, and the reality is that most of us aren’t gonna make that much of a difference in the grand scheme of things.

Recently I have had good cause to try and live in the now. I find my myself making plans, plans that would be amazing, but plans that I know I actually have very little control over. These plans then take my focus away from what is happening now, robbing me of not only an unlikely future but an exciting and inspiring present.

Enjoy the now, after all you probably planned this moment ages ago..

Thats how to enjoy the moment.

World View, to Dream a Dream.

Different folks have different ways of looking at things. Obvious statement of the year, well probably but I haven’t done anything on this blog for a while and I thought it best to tackle something obvious!

Some folks live a day at a time, others plan everything to the finest degree. Whilst I am certainly towards the planning end, i have no real master plan. No five year goal, no yearning for yachts by the time I’m 35. Bit of luck really as thats only two years away and I currently would be very surprised if I had more than £2.50 in my bank account. Toy yacht maybe!

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” Sang Mr Lennon. How true, there are lots of people who dare to dream. Often from a young age, people wanna win Wimbledon (yeah like thats gonna happen to anyone British.. what? He didn’t..) or they might wanna marry a footballer or a supermodel or even less superficially find a cure for cancer. These dreamers, focus on that dream. Live it 24/7. Won’t let up until it rests in their metaphorical sweaty palm. Good for them.

But is this dream chasing, long term goal setting really such a good way to live? Focus is one thing, but by it’s very nature it leads us not to value where we are in life or value the things we have currently over the things we might gain in the future. I’m not just talking about possessions or opportunities here either. People too can be picked up or shunned to fit in with a persons master plan, friendships. partnerships, marriages. All changed to chase those stars.

So, because of the dream. Just the dream, no concrete facts. You’ve turned down that great offer of work in Dubai because that dream is to work in San Francisco. Or you divorced your wife because she won’t have that third child you dreamt of. Who is to say that opportunity in Dubai wouldn’t have made you happier than San Fran. Who’s to say the new girlfriend you find yourself with is going to be able to have kids.

Live life.
Dream, if you want. Make sure that dream doesn’t close you off from what you have. That dream may be nowhere near as good as you thought and it may lead to you missing out on something better than that dream could ever be.