Fourth Quarter, 2013

It’s hard to believe the year is nearly over. This year has disappeared without trace, in a blaze of constant work.

I can honestly say that since the last time I wrote, on the 1st of September, I haven’t stopped working. Except for maybe snatching a couple of hours here and there to watch X Factor. Or eat. Sometimes I forget to do that.

I write today in relative tranquillity. There is nothing pressing, work-wise, to do. This makes me feel less guilty about having a “quiet” Sunday. Sunday, my favourite day of the week. But I have had to call into the new office first thing, just to get some minor tasks accomplished. This has been tolerable, but I don’t like to do it often.

The whole point of getting the office – of going there to work, and not do any work at home – has been breached a number of times. But, on the whole, it does work. It does make sense. Best of all, it stops people coming to my house. My house is now not a shop front… no more do I have to worry about inviting people into my home. No more do I have to worry about what items are on display, or what state I’ve left the living room. Or whether people can infer things about me from my total lack of liveability in the so-called living room.

It’s worth it alone to stop listening to people saying things like “this is definitely a bachelor pad!”. It’s not that I necessarily care what they think (it does rankle a bit…) but it does make the next 10 seconds of the conversation totally awkward. What is one supposed to reply with, when smashed in the face by a visitor with a “witty” barb like that?

The flip side of that is that, with the constant work, it has meant that I’ve neglected my house a bit. Now it’s easy to go out and lock the door on the crap held inside. It doesn’t tend to bother me. I have always been a bit “messy” – which is bizarre for someone who enjoys with organising and analysing things.

Such apparent contradictions, though, are easily explained by the bachelor nature of my life.

What comes next before the end of the year? Who knows. Every week brings a new challenge. Maybe if I remember, I will write up a bit about the latest one, involving our new employee.. deep joy.

Will I Ever Watch Them?

Life these days is so busy (with work) that I often complain about the fact that I never get a chance to watch TV any more.

In my youth I loved a bit of telly, but once computers arrived they sort of took over, and then they completely became my life. But in recent times, the quality of TV, especially US drama, has hit impressive highs. As a result, I wish I could spend more time watching TV. But usually I miss things on TV, so instead I ask for DVDs, since they make good birthday presents.

That is the theory. Instead, there are DVDs here in my room that haven’t even made it out of the shrink wrap, despite being on birthday and Christmas request lists for the last several years.

The fact that it took me three years to watch The West Wing from start to finish doesn’t bode well. I have a rule: never watch episodes of anything back-to-back. That way you get to stretch it out for longer. I did break that rule with Prison Break series 1, but that was worth it!

But, sadly, my life will not actually include time to watch all of these things I want to watch if I can only squeeze in a DVD episode once every three or four days. Being realistic, I need to be watching something every day, or I will never watch:

  • the rest of Prison Break (currently reached episode 7, series 4, and have been there for about two months)
  • Seinfeld, complete
  • recent Star Trek films
  • The Thick of It
  • Breaking Bad
  • Arrested Development
  • Curb Your Enthusiam
  • The Office (US)
  • Extras
  • House
  • 24
  • Homeland
  • Boston Legal
  • Red Dwarf (in its entirety)
  • Weeds
  • anything by Derren Brown
  • Family Guy
  • last three Harry Potter Films
  • Malcolm in the Middle
  • The Wire

I could go on, but I think that’s more than enough.

You will note that I am quite keen on US drama. I don’t know why that is, but no one does drama like the US. Yes there are many misses, but there is so much stuff being made over there that there are bound to be many classics too. UK drama is sometimes very hard-hitting, sometimes gritty, but usually only made in mini-series, therefore it doesn’t seem to have much time to really get you hooked on great characters and fantastic series narrative arcs.

The only things we seem to do well here in the UK are police dramas, which I don’t particularly find interesting, and period drama, ditto. Sitcoms, we are absolute rubbish at (it’s all been done before).

I used to love sitcoms, but I think as my life has got less joyous, my requirement to keep smiling has disappeared. Malcolm in the Middle might just be my favourite sitcom of all time. Well, at least the first few seasons were. I didn’t see much of the rest, but maybe I will by 2040 (at current watching rates), since they are finally coming out on DVD!

And, of course, new stuff is coming out all the time, so my list is added to at a quicker rate than I can watch them.

Bizarrely, I make more time in my life for shows like X Factor. I still don’t really know why. I should hate everything about corporate supremo X Factor. But something about the show, and my love of all things music, and seeing complete unknowns being given a chance, keeps me interested.

Talking of which, another several hours of my life is about to disappear tonight. Great.