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New email address!

Ok, the time has come to abandon Addyboy as an online ID completely, so I've got a new email address. Please add this to MSN if you use it, over the next few weeks I'll hopefully start to phase out my current email (though of course I'll still be using it for the forseeable)

New Email: caissas_deathangel(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

Many thanks,

Adam/Addy

Flat/flatmate wanted!

I suppose I should ask here. Basically my flat's lease expires 20th August, and I'm in need of new accomodation. So if anyone reading this is in need of a flat/flatmate or knows someone who does, please get in touch as I'd be most grateful.

My only requirements are non-smoker and non-druggie, beyond that I'm easy.

Despite my current state of employment btw, I've got savings so I won't have trouble paying rent, just in case that had crossed anyone's mind.

Thanks.

Ladies and Gentlemen....

This was going to be an entry about my brother's gig and my graduation ball last night, both of which were awesome, the latter deliberately happening before the exam results are announced so that we have something to talk about other than bragging about/being depressed about the results.

Instead this is a public entry to announce the following:

I, Adam Edward Lewis, today received notification that I have qualified for the award of a Batchelor of Arts Degree with Honours in Financial Services and Risk Management of the Second Class, Upper Division.

That's right, I got a 2:1 in my degree! Despite screwing up my last exam royally, I still got 46% in it and thanks to the 66% for my dissertation and 65% for Insurance Theory and Practice the 56% I got in January for International Financial Services is still valid (the 4% off 60 being balanced by the more than that over 60 of the other results) so I got the 2:1 all the same!

There are no words for how fucking ecstatic I am right now!

Friends Only

Laugh all you will, make what you will of the timing, Addy's LiveJournal has now become Friends Only.

If you wish to be added, drop me a note via AltNation, this entry, Bebo, MySpace, yadda yadda yadda. If I think you're worth my time, and in particular if your first question on reading this is "What's AltNation?" I'll add you. Otherwise, I won't. </obvious>

Here endeth my public LJ, you will not be missed.

Bud-Nipping

This is Rumour Control, here are the facts:

People have once again been spreading rumours about me, and while this post may be seen as rising to it, it's actually an attempt to put a stop to it. Contrary to what a number of people are saying, I have not lost my virginity. I am not ashamed to say that. Obviously it is something I rather were not the case, but as it is I have no qualms about saying so.

The reason I am being uptight about this is the same historical precedent which is evidence that the rumours are false - the girl in question, whom I am not naming (most of you have presumably heard the rumours so know who it is anyway) does NOT deserve to be constantly questioned and indeed victimised because of something that (a) she hasn't done and (b) there would be nothing wrong with doing if she had. I refer to you to Rach, Ali, and even Fiona, all of whom were subject to many rumours and much speculation that something has/had/was or should have happened between us. The reality is this would never have happened, we are good friends and nothing more. The same is true here. For two years people were saying things about the above named, for the love of God people - take a fucking hint!

I am many things, not all of them positive. I am not, however, a liar and I DO NOT appreciate the suggestion that I am lying about this.

Believe whatever the hell you want, that's your choice. Make of this post whatever the hell you want, again that's your choice. But I'm getting increasingly pissed off at people constantly assuming that whenever I become friends with a girl, something has/will/should happen, and consequently everyone and their brother, whenever they see us together, making suggestive comments, asking when she's gonna shag me, etc. All my family do it, all my friends do it, randoms on the forum do it - its fucking annoying and its fucking uncalled for, so give it a rest, right now. It ends here. Most of my friends are female, that will probably continue to be the case. It means fuck all, deal with it.

Also, although you might consider me fair game, I know many do, think about the girl for God's sake! It has in the past become genuine bullying of her, and that's just not on. You wanna target me, that's one thing, But don't bring other people into it for fuck's sake.

So

The plumbers did NOT turn up today. Meaning we are no closer to getting our hot water restored.

The boilers in the building have been a problem for a while, you see, and with our flat things are particularly complicated as there are at least 5 parties involved - us (obviously) who appear to have done nothing wrong. There's Persimmon, who built the place and who appear to own it. Ultimate responsibility for the boilers may lie with them. There's Speirs Gumley, who maintain and manage the building. There's First Lets, our utterly incompetent letting agent, who let the flat on behalf of a private individual, who is known to the chairman of the Resident's Association and with whom we may need to get in touch (having only learned of his existence on Sunday). Finally, there's the plumbers with whom we have been dealing. They appear to work for Redcap, who made the boiler, presumably at the behest of Speirs Gumley. The owner himself could be a 6th party, if you like.

For those who aren't aware, in December our boiler developed a problem, as did several others in the building. Ours was more severe than most however and caused a bit of water to flood into our flat and a lot of water to utterly ruin the flat downstairs. This was due in part to parts of the boiler circuit board failing, causing the safety valve to redirect water out of the flat, and in part due to the pipes in the building being plastic and glued together (ie, not using copper) meaning they melted when faced with the overheated boiler's contents. The main waste pipe was among the victims, with the contents of that entering downstairs. Not good.

Basically, we can only have our boiler, which controls hot water, the heating and the shower, switched on for a couple of hours a day. Any more than that risks overheat so we lose all the hot water. Thankfully, it does not enter our flat or that downstairs, but we still lose it. This means we can't have heating, as we need the hot water for bathing/showering and doing dishes. This in the dead of winter. And it's not been a warm one.

The latest chapter in this glorious farce is that the plumbers are supposed to have ordered in the parts we need. About 7 weeks ago they told us they would be here in 3 weeks, with First Lets saying about 10 days. Of course, they have yet to arrive. One or both of the pair is lying to us, but we don't know who. First Lets told us that the plumbers told them we had been "in communication" and arranged to come around today, 12th March, to sort it. Of course, we have had no such communication. They have my flatmate's number, she does not have theirs, and neither I nor they have each others. Not knowing what to expect, I waited today all day and no one turned up. I. Am. Raging.

We believe its First Lets who are lying, although we have no proof of this. Aside from refusing to even look at the boiler until we told them the problem (which we, as non-experts in the field, are supposed to know HOW exactly?) several visits they did make accomplished nothing, and indeed their idea of sufficient notice for a visit is, after we give a vague indication on Wednesday someone will be there on Saturday, to call at 12.50 on the Saturday and ask if someone can be in the flat between 1 and 2pm that day. I managed to miss a visit this way, having ended the Friday night at a friend's house because I wasn't aware that anyone was coming over. I'd said to them I could be there, but as I'd heard nothing from them I assumed it wasn't happening. For them to then get annoyed at us for that was outrageous. Clearly, they don't give  a shit about this flat or its occupants and I don't think I'm being overdramatic in saying so.

However, as I say, we don't know if they are lying now. A few emails and phone conversations hardly give us any idea, let alone constitute firm evidence against a particular party. We've emailed them again - they're horrendous over the phone - and await their reply. APPARENTLY the plumbers have been talking about charging us for call outs First Lets say they believe happened, when in reality nothing has happened and I will sue before I pay them a wooden penny.

Yes, legal action will be forth coming. I'm not accepting this by any stretch of the imagination. Determining culpability given all the relevant parties may be tough, but someone has failed us as tenants and I expect, no demand, compensation. We've had no heating, limited hot water and a great deal of inconvenience in the dead of winter, and that's just not on. The Resident's Association are sympathetic, and the chairman knows the flat owner, so once we get the next reply from First Let's I'm taking it up with him. This has to stop. Now.

Not a lot else has changed in the last day or so otherwise, although I think I may have another reason to worry for a friend. Not a lot I can do about that one, and I can see why she's doing what she's doing, but I'm definitely justified in being bothered by it. Maybe it's a bigger risk than she's seeing, maybe my natural bias is clouding my judgement and she's more clued up than I'm giving her credit for, who knows? But try as I might to avoid it, I can see pain in the future, and the words "I told you so" are so often utterly devastating, especially when you hear them and know the person saying it is right. I just hope this time I'm wrong.

Anonymous comments

Just so everyone knows, I allow anonymous comments so that the majority of my friends - who don't use LJ - can comment on it.

I do however expect to be told, via whatever medium, who it is who is posting. I think it's only courteous to do so, and will actually stand on record and say anyone who refuses without giving me a reason is a complete coward. Fair enough, there may be a reason, but give me some indication as to what it is, eh?

Yes, I'm referring to the recent comments, which have annoyed me. Even if you mean well with your comment, it's still discourteous not to tell me who you are. Can be by Bebo, MySpace, email the forum or a text, no shortage of ways to tell me. And in a post when I'm trying to sort myself out to simply say "get over yourself" without saying who you are or explaining the comment - because I genuinely don't understand that - is pure gutless cowardice, and I'm not impressed in the slightest.

I'm not removing the capacity to make anonymous comments, so I suppose it's a risk I take. But I request now that those who have made comments already reveal who they are, or at least why they've remained anonymous, and that in future people do tell me who they are.

Well...

This post may look very similar to one I posted in January. That's not surprising as a lot of my entries this year have been very similar. No, it's not been the best of starts to 2008. There's no reason why it has to end this way however. Ugh. I managed to improve my mood earlier on, but now its fallen again. Talking to friends has helped, definitely. There's basically no way of me fixing my biggest problem, which is what depresses me. Christ I wish I'd made this post earlier, when I was in a better mood. Still, I do need to do it tonight.

Basically although I can't solve the main problem I can solve certain other problems. The way I intend to do this is exactly the same way I tried last time. Yes, tried last time and failed in all areas bar one. But this time I'm likely to have assistance. Self help drives don't work as well without support. I've got big plans in the area, and not just for myself. A friend and I have been talking and want to help each other and others. It has to be mutual, as a lot of the issues we want to solve can only be done with help. Still, I need to start taking action myself anyway.

The list is just as it was, I feel the need to repost it. One of the "big 3" has been solved - caffeine has been cut out of my life and I'm definitely the better for it. I suppose I should go and properly rephrase things, but I really can't be arsed doing that. So here's the list:

The Big Two: 1. Improve my diet. If I am going to make myself happier, I have to look at the basics, and you don’t get much more basic than eating. I eat nothing but crap. I’ve always been hopeless at cooking, ever since the days of 1st and 2nd Year Home Economics. Oh, some of the disasters I concocted. Suffice to say, I never took much of an interest in it after that, and now I find myself living away from home but still without a clue.

I hardly need to say that there are obvious health implications. Yes, I’m skinny as hell, but still, my heart absolutely hates me, and it’s no good for my mind either. If I start eating better, then I’ll naturally start feeling better anyway. I’ll have more energy, be less lethargic, etc. There really is no downside whatsoever, unless having to put a bit more effort into my food counts (it doesn’t) and what’s more laziness is the only non-excuse I have for things being as disastrous as they are. Getting up early enough to have breakfast would also be a good thing, but see point 3 for that one. Watching out for food poisoning may be a worry, but with due care and attention paid hopefully not a big one.

2. Sort sleeping habits. Of course, the big ones all go hand in hand. If I can improve my diet and remove caffeine largely from it, then I should find myself sleeping a lot better. It is however an area I need to look at in its own right anyway. I have an incredible inertia when it comes to sleeping. I love it, but whenever I’m awake I tend not to want to go to bed, and when I’m in bed I tend not to want to get up. In each case I regularly push the boundaries of common sense, meaning I frequently either have only a few hours to enjoy the day or a few hours sleep.

This is something I need to stop. Going out a whole load doesn’t help this, but I’m not prepared to limit my socialising, not no way, not no how. Nor should I need to, if I apply even a modicum of common sense/realism to my sleeping. The problem is that if I get up at 3pm because I’ve only gone to bed at 5am due to a night out, I’m hardly going to be inclined to go to bed 8 hours later at 11 even if I’m not out. This is a serious problem if, as with my current placement, I need to get up very early. I either find myself going to bed earlier than my body is ready for, or suffering the next day because I’ve slept when it was ready but it’s not had the chance to get enough sleep.

Basically, I need to start being strict with myself here – when I’m not going out, unless there’s a specific reason to stay up – a late film, for example – I need to force myself to go to bed at a sensible hour. Regardless. It may be hard to adjust to, but I’ll definitely see the benefit, especially in combination with the other life changes. I need 8 hours sleep a night really, and getting 4-6 5 nights a week then 12 the other two just isn’t good enough. Soon I won’t be a student anymore, I’ve got to stop making pointless excuses for myself.

Other things: 3. Sort my self discipline. Singularly my biggest flaw as a human being is my utter lack of self discipline. Why? Because if I wasn’t so damn lazy I’d have fixed most of the other problems by now. So why isn’t this in the top 3? It is a bit bizarre, but actually I think that if I can force myself into action with the three biggest specific issues, then I’ll be in a much better place to handle everything else anyway, including general self discipline. It’s a self perpetuating problem (I need it to change my ways, but the ways I’m changing include a lack of it) but if I get over the hurdle it’s a self perpetuating solution as well (getting the motivation should hopefully make it easier not to lapse).

If I can sort this once and for all, then everything else could well just start falling into place. Of course, it’s an ongoing thing – it’s not just something I can switch on and magically it’s there. But if I start doing the other things on this list I’ll know I’ve got somewhere. And I need to, badly. Attempting the other three without being self disciplined is going to be insanely difficult – but then with a self perpetuating problem like this that was always going to be the case somewhere along the line.

Oh, and it’s worth noting the irony of this – I’ve written this entry when I’ve been in work and emailed it to myself. It’s ironic for two reasons. 1. I’m procrastinating over my actual work. 2. I know that if I go home with the intention of writing this – I won’t. I’ve been alternating using this to procrastinate over work with using work to procrastinate over this since about 11am.

4. Stop being so escapist Marie’s AltNation user title at the moment (as of writing this) is Step 1: Wake up to reality. That is a damn good first step it has to be said. I’ve always had a very escapist mind. I was socially pretty much non-existant until I was 19, and consequently spent far too much of my formative years inside my own head. It’s time I stopped that for good. Of course, I’m nowhere near as bad for it now as I was in my childhood, but still.

I was thinking about this last night actually. I spend pretty much the whole afternoon and evening playing Unreal Tournament 3, and I was truly engrossed in a way that I haven’t been for ages. You know that way, where you stop and then feel like you’ve only just returned to reality from stasis, that things have moved on and you haven’t? Must have been 7/8 hours or so, punctuated with a few spells online that hardly served to restore me to the real world. It was a feeling I thought I missed, until I felt it again. I really don’t miss that at all. It felt awful, truly awful, and made the knowledge that I should have been in bed a couple of hours before I went because of that far worse to handle.

Biased though I obviously am, my spending so much time in my head was at least understandable back then, even if not sensible. But now, time to stop. Changing an ingrained mindset is never easy, but this time I think I do have the determination not to fail. I did actually succeed with this last time for a while, but I fell back into it again. It's become my lowest priority, since I'm so sick of myself I need to escape every now and again.

5. Stop wasting so much time on the computer. This is of course related to escapism and self discipline. Computers have always been a very good way of escaping reality, and I’m always far too lazy to stop. Clicking new posts endlessly, idling randomly going through the same dozen tabs waiting for something to happen on the internet, etc, that has to stop. Doing useful things, like helping out at Chess Corner? More of that please. But less non-productive shite.

6. Actually do those interesting things it occurs to me to do sometimes. Again, linked to the above. Really, I don’t actually do a huge amount with my time. When I come to think about it, the huge majority of it seems to find itself spent doing things like going on the internet, watching films, and going to the Cathouse. There’s disturbingly little beyond that, and that has to change. By sorting my energy levels and general state of being I should hopefully be more motivated than I have been to actually get off my arse and do things. I’ve always said I could be making so much more of my life than I am in career terms, but in interest terms that’s true as well! Time to stop talking and actually make it happen. Life’s too short to delay any longer.

7. Improve my confidence. This is another one which is likely to become a lot easier once the benefits of an improved diet and better sleep show through. I’m definitely far more confident now than I once was, helped enormously by having a fantastic – and large – social life. But there is still a long way to go, especially around women. Even if I could fake it it would be better than not having it, but obviously I’d much rather it be real. Being healthier and more positive should automatically bring benefits in this area, and provide the platform I need to take things further.

8. Improve self image. Related, of course. I need to think seriously about how I portray myself, and how I want to be portrayed. It does my confidence no good to be too afraid to acknowledge my good qualities for fear of being accused of boasting. I mean I do have good qualities! I’m honest, loyal, friendly (sometimes) and a good listener for a start. I shouldn’t be afraid of showing those things. I don’t like coming across as an immature little boy with a mental age about half his physical age, but in all honesty not everybody sees me that way and I have to stop assuming that they do.

Because some do I have to change it. Not for other people, but for myself. It’s no confidence booster to feel that way! This of course means getting out of my head and seriously thinking about who I am and how I want to be seen.

Fashion is a major one there. I’ve never had much of an interest in fashion. And that’s fine, really, but I should at least give basic consideration to this, even if it does mean going beyond my usual boundaries. In fact – if I stay within my standard parameters then there’s a problem. It’s all about the trying new things, unleashing what I have the capacity to be instead of sticking with what I am when sheer inertia is the only reason – and it’s an unspeakably bad one – for being so stuck in my ways.

10. Socialise more outside the pub/Cathouse This is hardly a unique goal to me. Me and my friends keep saying “Yeah, we really need to hang out more outside the Cathouse etc” and yet it seldom ever happens. Me and Ali did make the effort to do that, and wound up living together, but what about everyone else? Rach, fair enough I see her quite a bit, even though not nearly as much as I’d like to. Fiona Goth Pixie, again, sometimes though not enough. Beyond that it’s really nothing regular or frequent and that’s such a shame!

If I need to be the one who does the prodding, then so be it. I can make things happen, I have to. The other advantage of that is that by socialising more, and outwith usual internet meet up thingies, it helps me get off the Net. AltNation is still my main social hub, and getting away from that (even though it’s nowhere near as bad as it used to be in that regard) is a priority. No question.

11. Learn not to be so negative! For people who are naturally positive, it’s impossible to work out how the mind of someone like me works (ok, let’s ignore the simple fact that I’m impossible to work out). Ultimately, in order to get out of old habits and become more positive – and, as a result, happier – I need to do things like those above. Getting rid of negativity is a long term goal, it’s an ultimate. But that’s not to say I won’t start seeing it almost immediately! I definitely will. I mean, just a week of good sleep, after a lifetime without, can make a hell of a lot of difference, it really can.

Right there's the list, so much for number 2 being fixed as I've instead written this entry. Oh the irony. If I was capable of laughter right now it would be coming forth heartily from me.

Somehow

No matter how bad a situation is, there's always a way to make it worse. This is especially true when I'm involved in any way whatsoever, and even more so if emotions are involved. This one was completely my fault, I don't seek to shirk blame or anything. There are, unfortunately, two prejudices that no matter how hard I try to shake I just can't. No surprises, smoking and drugs. I've really tried, so so hard. I know I don't have any rational reasons to oppose, especially the latter - hell with smoking the health aspect just about holds water - I can't help being made ill very quickly by smoke (to the point where pre-ban I couldn't spend more than a few minutes at a time in the Cathouse upstairs because of it). But even so its still weak.

I really do have nowhere to turn with regard my biggest problem, lonliness. Hell even if I tried starting new social activities or something, and even if I had the time to do that, my overwhelming shyness, lack of confidence and difficulty trusting people, combined with my quirky/bizarre nature would make that a non-starter. Talking to a good friend on MSN has helped - I'm not naming names btw - but then the subject turned to a recent night out, and he/she was telling me how they had only just recovered because of the "Lethal cocktail of pure speed, coke, weed, booze and E". I'm not going to make any excuses for my reaction  that it was "seriously fucking stupid" and that "I need to find new friends who aren't going to be that fucking stupid" (given the risk of death with such a combination).

Naturally the person on the receiving end was offended, as anyone would be. Bad timing, meet your new master, his name is Addy. :| As I said, I'm not going to make excuses. Apologies, yes, and I've at least calmed the friend down by making clear that it's not the person commiting the act I consider stupid, merely the act itself (there is of course, a huge difference which wasn't realised at the time or made clear by my phrasing)

And yet at the same time perhaps there was some hint of truth in what I said. Try as I might, and however ridiculous it might be to say, I honestly struggle to live with the fact that basically all my friends do smoke and take drugs. I know there's no logic to it. I don't need to be told it isn't my choice, my place to choose what they do or how they live their lives, or any of that. I even know that if I had the power to change their attitudes I wouldn't, unless it was the power to convince them that they wanted to change it. But then the latter could be said to be desired by most of us about pretty much anything with which others disagree. Politics, social issues such as abortion, or philosophy. I really would never begrudge anyone the right to have a different opinion, and even if I could change it I wouldn't.

But beneath it all I wish so desperately that their views would change. I can't explain it. Maybe its the fear of something happening, I don't know. But part of me definitely does wish I had at least a few friends who also didn't smoke or take drugs. Ugh. I just don't know anymore. An hour or so before its time to get ready for tonight. Wish it were longer. This is my only chance to be around people before Thursday night so I want to make the most of it, but having pissed off one of the closest friends who will be out tonight, and having made myself feel infinitely worse when I wasn't exactly on top of the word anyway in the process, the signs are not good for tonight.

The single good thing I can report is that the residents assocation appear sympathetic to our boiler dilemma. Maybe the meeting tomorrow will see progress in that area, and assistance if we need it. If Wednesday results in a no show, I'm going to raise Hell. I feel like I'm already there, so that shouldn't be too hard...

Inevitable

I should have seen this coming. A night like tonight, when it all came together in one fucked up mess. I spent about 15 minutes being emotional locked in the Bamboo toilets, before another 5 sitting in the open, before being unable to take it anymore and leaving. There's just so much on my mind right now I don't even know where to begin, and I know that if I can't even understand this all myself then there's neitehr rhyme nor reason in my telling anyone else.

If I knew where to turn for guidance I would go there, but I think there's a lot of questions here with a lot of tough, confusing, contradictory and most importantly different answers, so there is no such place. I do need the answers however. And fast.