Month: November 2011

Scotty the Cat, episode 3

Just a quick one this time, but it’s pretty significant. We finally know about Scotty’s actual owners.

He was lifted from his regular hour-or-seven morning nap on my bed and taken to the vet this morning by my parents, on account of a swollen foot. We’d not seen how it had happened so we had no idea where the injury had come from, but it didn’t look too good.

At the vet it was unveiled that he had a microchip that could be used to contact his owners. They were phoned up by the vet and probably very much relieved to hear that their cat was safe and in good hands – apparently they’d booked an appointment with the vet the same day and had been frantically looking for him.

They’ve politely asked us to stop feeding him, which is understandable. He’s gotten pretty demanding since we started and is probably a tad overweight. He’ll probably keep coming just for attention and the off-chance that he’ll be fed a scrap of roast beef or something. Apparently the other cat that comes to visit us (Smoky) will continue to be fed, and Scotty usually lets him feed in peace anyway – Smoky’s pretty dominant.

Anyway, we have a house party tonight, so back to the preparations. 😛

Facepalm.

How I feel 90% of the time after I open my mouth.

Don’t you just hate it when you talk to someone and say something which you think sounds fairly inoffensive but gets either misinterpreted or misheard and they react in a very unpleasant manner that just seems to come out of nowhere and you can’t justify it because you haven’t the faintest idea how they interpreted your comment and both parties are left feeling completely burnt out and sour at the end of it all?

…Yeah, that just happened.

It’s happened to me before, more times than I care to count, to be honest. So many times have I opened my mouth and caused untold grief and misery to other people in ways I can’t even begin to comprehend, let alone refute, that I wonder why I’m not labelled Arsehole of the Decade as a result.

This is, perhaps, one of the most major reasons I find it difficult talking to girls, or come to think of it, all people. When something I say that sounded completely innocent in my head is taken as an insult, or just isn’t received as well as I’d have liked, it fucking stays with me. Hell, even if you look at me in a funny way, or your tone of voice changes in a way that even suggests you were offended or perhaps confused by what I said, it will stay in my mind and not leave. I reflect on the situation and how catastrophically badly it went for years afterwards – it sticks in my subconscious like a leech, and paralyzes me with fear whenever I try to muster up something to stay. The number of times I’ve offended people without intending to has consistently swollen my conversational nervousness until I hardly dare to even open my mouth around my closest friends. My subconscious tells me that it’s hardly worth bothering to try and make conversation with anyone anymore – you’ll just get someone wound up into a horrible state and not even know how or why.

And, chances are, if I try to reconcile, it’ll just make things a lot, lot worse.

Come on guys, what the hell happened to the “benefit of the doubt”?

Just had to say all that to get it out of my mental system. This is what goes on in my head on such a frequent basis. I apologise if this post has offended anyone. It probably has.

Countdown to Australia: 3 weeks.

We’re moving to Australia on November 28, precisely three weeks from now. Every week leading up to that day (and on the day itself… providing the time allows for it) I’m gonna be releasing a short update video to my Vlog Channel. Here is the first.

(Yes, it’s Tuesday now, I know. This post should’ve been on time, but the video took about three hours to upload and I’ve no idea why – the file was only 82MB. LOL INTERNET.)

Scotty the Cat, episode 2

Currently Scotty is crouched on my bed, frightened out of his tiny mind.

It is of course Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night, and everyone who’s anyone (else) in the neighbourhood is currently setting off fireworks to celebrate the arrest of a man who 406 years ago today didn’t blow up the Houses of Parliament.

I never really understood this premise. The today equivalent would probably be something along the lines of the failed terrorist attack on Glasgow Airport a few years ago, when a burning truck was driven into a wall, igniting the explosives planted within it and the driver, who ran screaming from the wrecked vehicle, burning to death, before being punched in the face by an irate Scottish baggage handler. It’s a story in equal parts hilarious and epic. Now, clearly, it would’ve ended in disaster if it weren’t for heroic John Smeaton, a man who was not disinclined to punch a man in the face even while he’s on fire. Even so, it happened, John is hailed as a kind of national hero, and it’s not really spoken of anymore. It’s over with. The day is definitely not celebrated on a yearly basis by purchasing high-explosive rockets and firing them into the sky, producing bright flashes and loud bangs that frighten children (and cats).

Oh wait, yeah. That’s what I was talking about.

Scotty is in one of his “weird phases” at the moment. That is, any phase in which he behaves a bit strangely. I’m not sure why we feel the need to attach a label to the periods in which he acts a bit peculiar because, come on, he’s Scotty. He pretty much has no concept of normal. Let’s just say he’s acting weird compared to how he usually is.

It can be hard to pinpoint just what sets these spells of weirdness off, but of course this time around, we’re pretty certain he’s thoroughly terrified of the bombs going off outside. But all the classic signs are there: his pupils have gotten massive, he’s on maximum sound alert and he’s avoiding as much human contact as he can.

My parents had just gone out and he was not in a good mood – he came in and crouched under a table. I moved the table and he went into the darkest possible corner under the stairs and there he stayed. He didn’t seem eager to play with any of the bric-a-brac we had lying about the place (and he usually plays with anything – including a telephone cord connected to a receiver positioned high above his head – you can imagine how that went down), and he didn’t seem to be comforted by me stroking his head.

He was, however, hungry. Which I could easily infer, just because he’s always hungry.

I decided to exploit his aural alertness – I went to the kitchen and tapped his food bowl on the floor a couple of times.

Out he came.

I gave him about a quarter of a sachet’s worth of pukeworthy cat gourmet (not much) – he tries to get as much of it as possible by finding each family member in turn and then leading them to the food bowl (do you know, it works). After he finished eating, I took him upstairs. He struggled a bit as I was carrying him up to my room so he could rest a little easy on my bed (though that may be due in part to my inability to hold him in a way that doesn’t suggest I’m about to garrotte him). I set him down on my bed, and closed the curtains in case the visuals of the numerous firework displays, on top of the sounds, traumatised him further.

With only a few weeks left until we leave the country, we’re having to come to terms with leaving him behind. He’s not our cat, and even if he was, getting him into Australia would require having him kept in quarantine for a matter of months (more than it would take to put all of our earthly possessions into a container and have it brought to Aus). That’s how seriously they take the transit of animals from overseas. Sorry, Australia, but I think if someone wanted to exterminate the entire population of your continent, they’d use a means more potent than the diseases of a household cat.

Something that could actually kill a person. Like a big bunch of fireworks, say.

Our house finally sold

This should’ve gone up yesterday, but someone apparently stole the internet for the whole area. Literally stole some wires from the switching station and we were without internet access for almost the entire day. Awesome.

Anyway, we went up to the local auction house yesterday to see our house sell. It was a bit crowded so we didn’t see the whole proceedings from where we were stood, but luckily my dad managed to get the whole thing on camera from further up. It was over in two minutes – two bidders got into a brief bidding war with one another and managed to push the price up from £350,000 (the guide price) to a satisfying £412,000. The winners were the family who underwrote a while ago, so yeah, they were pretty much guaranteed to get the house anyway.

Which means we are now effectively homeless. We have until 28th November to get out. Soooo… we’d better start getting our shit together. 😮

We’ll be having a house party to celebrate, which should be fun. 😛

New JamesPaddockMusic video graphic!

Just spent about 20 minutes working on a new graphic for my YouTube channel. This will be what you see when 2012 arrives – my current graphic (for my 2011 videos) actually uses as its background an abstract wallpaper design by someone else (so it’s somewhat unoriginal), whereas this one uses a photo of an Australian sunset taken while my family were holidaying out there in Perth. The shine at the bottom was generated by a 10-second job in Paint Shop Pro X.

Hope you like it!

(It’s not done by any means. I’ll probably be making a huge number of adjustments to it until 2012 hits. :P)