A is for A Brand New Year

Somehow we’ve managed to get to that time of year again, it feels like we’ve been here for quite a while what with all the recaps and gubbins that have been on tap for the last month or so. Or maybe I just spend too much time on Buzzfeed (then again, I thought the onslaught of Christmas adverts were pointless and excessive. However, they’re small fry compared to the infinite schmaltz that is the Google 2013 roundup).

It’s safe to say that there have definitely been occurrences that transpired during the previous twelve months. Babies were expelled from wombs all over the place, people got together, news and history were made (possibly even at the same time) and I finally learned how to spell the word foreign without having to look it up. Looking back, I have to admit that 2013 is most surely the year that was most recent.

The thing is, when you condense any time period as lengthy as fifty two weeks, of course you’re going to unearth a moment or two of significance. They’re not as uncommon as you might think. There’s also plenty to ignore, to discard as a relatively dull thing of no importance. There were plenty of boring afternoons where there was nothing more compelling to do than sit and stare at the walls (or possibly Netflix). It was the same way in 2012 and I can’t see how 2014 is going to be particularly different.

Then again, 2014 is a scary year as far as I’m concerned. Graduation. The world of employment and adulthood beckoning. If I close my eyes and stick my fingers in my ears, none of it will happen will it? Well, it probably won’t actually since I’d fail all of my exams and wouldn’t even be able to hear when people started shouting at me. Besides, I wouldn’t be able to write this blog if I started behaving like that and we can’t have that. Happy New Year everyone.

Z is for Zafty

It’s the holiday period. Well, there’s been some confusion over what to call it, how to greet people and distracting silliness like that. Happy season, happy boxing, merry new year and so on. So we’re in that lull between Christmas and New Year where things are certainly supposed to be going on but very clearly aren’t. It’s a week where we recover from overindulgences (generally lovingly cooked deliciously incredible food – thanks Mum) on the big day, gearing up for fresh extravagances (that’s a nice way of saying getting completely shit faced) and do really very little indeed.

This is where the zaftiness comes in (or at least I have decided it does for the purposes of this blog). Zafty means a person who is very easily imposed upon. Now I might just happen to have someone staying with me sitting next to me on the sofa eating all my bourbons (which were admittedly bought for her consumption no matter how many times she tries to tempt me with them) and I might have come back here just so that she has somewhere to stay but neither of those facts means that I am remotely zafty.

It’s just so scarily easy for people to invite themselves into your life around this time of year. They come to hand over presents and stay for hours on end, drinking hot beverages you’ve kindly supplied them with and talking complete boring nonsense while all you want to do is curl up in front of the telly with a packet of biscuits (provided that certain house guests haven’t eaten them all. Don’t worry, there’s a reserve pack of decidedly fancier cookies). But you aren’t zafty either are you? You wouldn’t tolerate the presence of various persons just to be hospitable now would you? The very moment they started to fray your nerves, you’d turn them out without a second thought. Good for you. Forgive me if I decide not to come round for tea though. I would hate to outstay my welcome.

Y is for Yawyawdom

It’s hard to tell if this is a genuine actual factual word based on the thirty second google search I’ve done. This might well be an uncredited liff but at this point I don’t particularly care (I’ve trawled through the entire available twitter feed again because I can’t be bothered to leave the sofa to find my notebook to see if I’ve got a y candidate written down – I’m far too snuggly right now). So, yawyawdom. I really should have something to say at this point. I’m very nearly at the end of this cycle of impressive and interesting words (let’s not fear the future too much ladies and gentlemen, in just a couple of days time I’ll have to start thinking for myself again, consider that now why don’t you?).

It seems fitting really that yawyawdom means a word or expression used simply to impress people. I totally haven’t been doing that, I’ve been completely upfront about the fact that I’m stealing these from people far more intelligent than I (oh hush now you people calling out and saying that they refuse to believe that there’s anyone out there who are clever than me. You’re very kind but I do have just enough humility to admit that there might possibly be people with a smidge or two more IQ points than me. Maybe).

So I’m really not trying to impress you with how many big words I know (just managing it effortlessly I know but I can’t really help it can I?). Having made that point I’m not entirely sure where we should go on to from here given that I’ve still got about thirty or so words to go. Maybe we should consider the opportunities I’m giving you, now that I’ve ever so kindly brought these fancy words to your attention, you can indulge in a little yawyawdom. Go on, you’ve earned it, you’re very impressive after all, it’s time people were made to feel it.

X is for X is the Angle of the Lever

Alright, I had to rather scrape the bottom of the barrel for today’s entry. The QI elves were surprisingly unforthcoming with interesting x prefixtulated (I’ve decided it is a word) words. So here we go, I’ve had to plump for x as a representative of a component of a terribly fancy equation. Then again, isn’t that prospect so much more exciting than something so pedestrian as a grotty old word? Probably. I’m not really sure, I’m definitely not trying to pad things out if that’s what you were thinking, how could I do such a thing to you my valiant band of loyal readers (oh please do let me have my little fantasy that you exist, it’s still the holiday season. Maybe I’ll think about possibly having a go at facing reality in the new year. Or I might take up crochet. I haven’t decided yet)?

As it happens, the x in this equation has gone some of the way to helping enterprising scientists prove that cow tipping is in fact a myth because it’s physically impossible. Can we really trust their maths? After all, it’s a well known tidbit of potentially true information that according to the laws of aerodynamics, bumblebees shouldn’t be able to fly.

What do I know? Maybe they are right. In which case, where on earth did this particular myth spring from? Did some particularly meatily headed specimen of burgeoning manhood make the whole thing up to compensate for the paltry size of his trouser snake? Almost certainly. But how did such a ridiculous tale manage to perpetuate and take hold in public consciousness? Because we all know what cow tipping is now don’t we? Maybe you don’t. As it happens I’m suddenly not entirely sure that I really know what it is actually. It sounds fairly straightforward doesn’t it? But if it can’t be done then why did we think it could? One of the great mysteries of life I suppose. I’m off to have some tea.

W is for Waste of Money

Well thanks QI for bringing this particular nugget of information to my attention but I really could and readily would have told you this before. Vitamin pills are a complete waste of money. Duh. It really shouldn’t have taken a study of nearly half a million people for this to come to light. As dear Dr Ben says (just go and read Bad Science, if you’re in a particularly academically rigorous frame of mind, go and read Bad Pharma – you’ll be utterly terrified and disgusted by the state of play in this industry), vitamin supplements are nothing but ingredients for stupidly expensive wee (I might have paraphrased just a little bit).

It makes sense really, we need a balanced diet (I am trying to figure out how to make this mildly entertaining rather than just a bit of a sciencey rant, honest but the whole thing does make me rather angry and such emotions are rarely comical. Well, you can be the judge) to be healthy. Actual food rather than just whatever the hell you feel like washed down with a few pills. It’s not that it’s too easy but it’s a bit of a fantasy. Do you have any idea how much of whatever vitamin is stuffed into that little pill? Lots. Do you know how much your body will actually absorb? Hardly any.

The exception to this rule, particularly if you’re pasty and white (maybe I should have just left that as white), is Vitamin D. We’re pretty much all deficient in that because we don’t get enough sunlight. Even if the sun did shine enough, we’d be far too chicken to go out enough in it to get our vitamin dosage because the sun is evil and nasty and will give us all lobster skin and cancer. Maybe I just burn a little bit too easily. So… I should probably round this off in some deep and meaningful way. Go and sunbathe while eating some fruit? You might have to wait for it to stop raining.

V is for Vibrissae

This was the only v to be had, we must simply make do with what we’ve got now mustn’t we? Well, I have to do so anyway and if you’ve got a problem with it then just go away until I’m finished (for today, I’m never going to finish this blog in its entirety, I’ve been through this before sadly). As it happens, vibrissae is a word that might sound just a little bit overly frivolously fancy for the sake of it but it is rather fitting. Or at least I’ve managed to dredge up something loosely connected with the meaning of the day’s word that I might be able to spin out for three hundred words or so. So vibrissae happens to be the technical word (though why a technical word is needed in the first place is frankly beyond me) for the whiskers of a cat.

I’m not exactly a big cat person. And by that I mean that I’m hardly the most dedicated fan of cats in general, I’m not just biased against lions and their ilk. I’ve got nothing against them generally of course, apart from their apparent indifference to me, it’s just that I’m allergic. It’s entirely beyond my control but we rarely get a chance to bond, the cat populace and I.

There is, however, one particularly notable exception to this. We never did learn her name but she lived just a couple of doors down from us. You might have gathered from the way I’m referring to her that she’s dead now sadly. It’s a blessing really, she’s been yowly and old lady crotchety with slightly messed up legs and noticeable gammy eyes for quite a while now. But we’ve been friends for a while and it’s only fitting that she have some sort of tribute on here. She loved having her belly rubbed and she only ever bit me the once. She was a good cat. Rest in peace.

For Puss.

U is for Unbepissed

I don’t want a lot for Christmas. There is just one thing I need. Well, probably not just the one thing. I’m really pretty needy. Not all that needy in the grand scheme of things. But just needing the one thing is rather spectacular in terms of wish fulfilment. For example, if I use up my one slot on oxygen I won’t exactly last all that long without water and blah blah pedantic point et cetera.

The thing is, it’s very difficult indeed to figure out what you should really ask for Christmas present wise. I’m sure Father Christmas could give us a few pointers but while he remains sadly fictional, we’ll have to improvise just a touch along the way. Or reconcile ourselves with the fact that people will simply keep asking for socks, a practical necessity to be sure but hardly an inspired choice.

So in this season of ever increasing nauseating commercialism (it’s the sort of thing you have to say at some point) we should have a think about some ever so lovely presents we could give that don’t cost anything whatsoever.

After a lot of deeply thoughtful consideration (maybe a whole two minutes, possibly even three. It is a very busy time), I think it’s safe to say that not being urinated on is a gift we can all enjoy (well, there are one or two notable exceptions that I’d really rather not think about right now). Let’s all agree to keep things modest, being as not greedy as we can manage. Forget about the socks, put the small box of crystallised fruit as far out of your mind as you really can and well, world peace was always a long shot now wasn’t it? So let’s everyone give the greatest gift of all, controlling our collective flow. (just in case it wasn’t clear, unbepissed means not getting wee on you)

Merry Christmas to all and to all a dry night!