[update: I started this post at around half past eleven. Nearly four hours this has taken, having to write this between serving and taking in deliveries... some dead shift this turned out to be, stupid sunny Easter holiday grumble grumble]
(Should I LJ-cut these longer things?)
I feel a bit stingy for only mentioning it now, but on Saturday I received nice and thoughtful presents from Asti and Trudi. I got a Labyrinth DVD and the Big Lebowski soundtrack, which was very sweet of those two lasses. Me and Asti proceeded to watch Labyrinth and the documentary regarding the making of the film. Little quirky things were said by the 80s-styled people, such as the desire for the very-largely bespectacled producers to find the right Goblin King - they wanted an iconic rock star such as Bowie, Sting or Michael Jackson. I reckon they're glad they didn't go after the last of those options.
I also received some things from Shaz this morning, her birthday present arriving a little late. However, I didn't have time to unwrap them before leaving for work today so I'm not sure what they are yet, besides book-shaped1. I've really put myself under stress from personal expectations and trying to do so much for others. I'm slowly learning this can't happen all the time. All the pressures and stresses nearly caused me to split with Shaz recently, and I know it's my fault for it and I need to work on that to consider feeling good enough to keep the relationship going. When I get stressed I speed up in how I do things. I don't rush, though - I do the job just as adequately (if not better) but I do it faster nonetheless. Meanwhile, my emotions are heightened. So while I'm rushing around doing things I'm feeling really annoyed by it all and really tired really quickly, ergo causing more grumbling. This wears you down when you're usually the type to sit back, relax and enjoy watching the world go by at its frantic pace. It's a disorientating experience and it's one where I lose control. Given how much I appear to plan things, it's a sensation I do not enjoy.
However, this does mean when good things are happening, I'm really happy and it accordingly quells the stress rapidly. On Tuesday I was set to mundanely go to see Nan and get money out of the post office for her, but instead I managed to meet Gareth, Sacha and her friend Rachel. It was a boost I needed. We had a very simple and nice trip around London, I stalked them in the Liverpool Street station until they noticed me in the Sonic Jacket2 calling them from above. It was silly, but precisely the way things needed to start (and continue) - silly and slightly evil but with the best intentions behind it all. We headed towards the old Forbidden Planet to find our bearings and the new Forbidden Planet. It was... well, clean in there, and expansive, and bright. This place was meant to be a haven to geeks, but it didn't smell funny and there was space to move around there. The moment geekery becomes too mainstream is the time it is doomed3, and this is the first horrible dizzying step upwards. The end is nigh.
We headed to Camden next, and I begun to understand that the group was pretty awful at making decisions4 because these guys didn't really want to lead and head off anywhere, which surprised me given I thought they seemed the type who'd fancy a wander. However, in a strange twist of fate, Sacha began to feel ill while I was in Cyberdog replacing t-shirts, and this helped us unanimously decide on something - getting back to my place, so she could rest and feel better.
It took a little bit of travelling to get home, and this time was spent with Gareth and Sacha attacking each other with bottles, though we all joined in a bit. We got home and sat down to have to jump up: Mum had bought lots of wood; she and Cliff are going to make a shelving unit and we all helped bring the lumber up. Gareth also had to suffer a bad pun. After that, we returned to sit back and enjoy games, watch BrassEye (I'll have to buy him Jam, he adored Brass Eye but never knew of Jam... just like a Neil I know) and Being John Malkovich whilst consuming the local delectable pizza. The kinky buggers wrecked my bed with their romping (well, for romping read attacking each other) while me and Rachel looked on and decided we didn't know them. Yes, they were in my bedroom; yes, they'd brought her along; we did not know them. Weirdos.
After a really nice day, we parted company at the dumplike train station known as Turkey Street. I'd taken the webcam with me to annoy them all and get a few pictures. However, it was mainly used as a defensive weapon against lunges from the aggressive sillies. Only one attempt at a credible picture came out... well, credible, and it was of Rachel, who'd decreed herself the most unphotogenic of the lot. Apt, that.
After that, I returned home knackered and had an early night, which usefully set me up to get up early for work today. On several levels I guess I needed that expedition, really. I shall have to pop to Hoddesdon and meet them lot, they are all very nice. And Gareth and Sacha are an amusingly great couple.5
1Well, Shaz told me I was to receive books. They were obviously cuboid-shaped.
2The Sonic Jacket (so good the j gets capitalised) is what I wear to allow a friend who's not met me before to find me in crowded places easier (the neon orange jacket has been demoted; people used to think I worked for the train companies too often).
3When was Bill Gates mocked more, before or after he became famous? Actually, maybe that's not a good example.
4Stupid indizzizziveness, eh Sacha?
5Though I don't know who to feel sorrier for, given the amount of pain they inflict on each other.