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Useful November 13, 2007

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
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Darlings, I haven’t done a single useful thing all day. Nothing productive. Worthy. Deserving of a gold star, a big tick or a slap on the back. Haven’t done a scrap of the work I should be doing, unless purists will count the perhaps even as much as fifteen seconds I did after midnight last night. Haven’t massaged the Russian’s bunions or bought him a big diamond ring. Haven’t done anything bureaucratic. (Not that I can remember there’s anything bureaucratic I specifically and urgently need to attend do, but there probably is, this being Germany.) Haven’t rung my mum. Paid any bills. Self-flagellated.

So I hope blogging counts.

Darlings, as I don’t have any convictions (I mean ideas, though I don’t think I have a criminal record either, though no doubt German computers flash up all sorts of asterisks and exclamation marks by my name due to paperly infractions I have committed) and, in a way, life isn’t especially ghastly at the moment, I have nothing at all to say. At all. Apart from hello.

I reminded myself somewhere and sometime or other, seeing as blogging is the only thing in life I like (as well as jam roly-poly) and the only thing I am prepared to take seriously – paying bills? Pah! Making my way in the world? Sod it! Blogging? Hell yeah – and, potentially, even make an effort with, that I had decided I should buy a notebook to note down things I wanted to shock, scintillate and scandalise anyone who happens to drop in here with. I can’t afford a notebook, of course, even with all the money I have saved from not smoking (still livid with myself for stopping. It’s so English of me to have stopped, isn’t it? So Protestant. I’m probably going to have to start preaching about the nation’s morals soon. Once I learn German), but, as luck would have it, I had one lying about. “Yes, that’ll come in handy,” I said to myself, though I mischose my moment, and accidentally said it out loud when I happened to be leering at some Pangasius – is that really catfish? – in the supermarket and the sales assistant of unclear gender – I think she’s a woman but she has a pencil moustache and a not ungenerous beard – frowned disapprovingly. So now I’ve taken to jotting down things, and then the scribbles stare back at me and make me feel guilty and have ruined the whole experience altogether.




All the things I’ve got written down are pants.

But it’s too late for usefulness today. You can’t start the working day when it’s dark. As much as I detest winter, it’s quite cosy, in a way, it being pitch at four. I can soon look forward to hibernation and my body-clock switching to its anti-nocturnal setting. Going to bed at about 7, like in children’s books, and getting up at about 4. Though I can’t blame the darkness today. Not entirely. (Darlings, can ordinary folk use this as an excuse for not working? Can you say, “Sorry I didn’t come into work today. It was too dark”?) No, it was another moment of ill-timed low-grade spontaneity. I happened to be over near our home-discotheque, probably putting something away as the Russian (probably) came into my bijou home-officette and (probably) quook with anger that a dictionary was on my table rather than on its shelf. I lingered a while, to put off activity a precious few useless seconds longer. Pressed play on my tape-deck willing to let my ears be buffeted by whatever it was happened to be lying around compactly in there. And I knew there was no hope once I’d been got into disco-bunny mode by everyone’s favourite Turkish pop song.

If I can just be bothered to get dressed, it’ll probably be a long night…


1. Geoff - November 13, 2007

If it’s any consolation, I’ve not achieved anything useful today either. And I’ve been in the office at my desk for most of it too, I’ve just managed to procrastinate away for hours. It’s the only thing in life I’m any good at (although I must say I am very good at it indeed). I was just thinking of finally getting something done when I noticed you’d blogged and now having been distracted by your Turkish pop I’ve given up and I’m going to go home.

I blame giving up smoking. I used to be able to punctuate my day with cigarettes, breaking it up into chunks, some of which involved work and some not work.

Oh – and remembering to pay bills? Do they not have direct debit in Germany? Since I switched every bill in the world to that and never ever ever have to remember to pay a bill ever again, my life is approximately 400% happier.

2. MountPenguin - November 14, 2007

Your blogging is interrupting my procrastination.

3. pleite - November 14, 2007

Penguin, excellent. What are you procrastinating from/about/over? Do tell. Happy to be of assistance.

Geoff, there is direct debit, though I can’t remember its German name, but it doesn’t cover every single bill. I probably could make it do that, though I’m always terrified there won’t be money in the account. I don’t know why I’m not in prison, really. But would I really get that many times happier? I might have to look into it… Smoking was the thing I was best at in life. Now all I do is eat. 4kg to the good. And another 17 months of winter…

4. MountPenguin - November 14, 2007

Putting off going to the dentist.


5. pleite - November 14, 2007

Is THAT what that means? I’m living in cloud cuckoo land. I would have been perfectly happy to believe you if you’d told me that that word meant wallpaper, or that direct debit in German was Kürbis. (I was wondering whether I should attend Russian lessons the other day.)

Now sorry to be avuncular, but don’t delay the dentist. One, because the size of the bollocking is directly proportional to how long you put it off, and two, because it never hurts any more. And hopefully your Krankenkasse will cover the charge.

6. MountPenguin - November 14, 2007

Yes Aunty BiB, I shall toddle along forthwith. Now that I have persuaded my Krankenkasse that I did send them an Einzugsermächtigung and won’t get the debtor’s treatment (emergency care only) I can go in with my head held high.

7. Geoff - November 14, 2007

Do dentists in Germany offer Valium injections? They do these days in London and it’s a great excuse to go more often.

& yes – it has made me significantly happier. Or at least much less unhappy. I used to spend a huge amount of time first procrastinating over bills and then getting anxious over red bills and occasionally terrified over county court summons. (I’m exceptionally good at sticking my head in the sand when problems arise). Never worrying about them ever is brilliant (although inevitably it took me 18 months from having theis great idea to actually implementing it).

8. MountPenguin - November 14, 2007

Valium? Are they moonlighting as psychiartrists or something?

Recently I made a sort of procrastination community website but never got round to putting it online.

9. helena - November 14, 2007

I haven’t done anything useful today either. And I’m pretty sure I didn’t do anything useful yesterday unless you count making something to eat as being useful. But I did change out of my pyjama’s. Admittedly I changed out of my pyjamas into another pair of pyjamas but I suppose it counts for something.

10. Ed Ward - November 14, 2007

I think this is going around like the flu. I’ve spent the past couple of days waiting to hear from people, and can’t really do much more until one of them decides to communicate. I’d go for a walk, but ecccchh, the weather. But now I’m out of coffee, so hello Galleries Lafayette!

11. Geoff - November 14, 2007

It’s to stop people from being too panicked to be able to cope with drills – once you’ve had a valium injection you’re so relaxed they could remove all your teeth for all you’d care. Even if you don’t have dental fear, like me, it still makes the whole thing much more fun.

12. MountPenguin - November 14, 2007

Nope, didn’t have that a couple of years ago, when they had to cut up a wisdom tooth on site.

13. narrowback - November 15, 2007

here in the states it depends on the individual dentist…you have either frontier style…”anesthesia? what do you want that for, it’s only for old ladies” or pain free “Mr. N, would you like some morphia before we clean your teeth?”

several years ago I had the valium injection for the pulling of a wisdom tooth…exactly as geoff suggested i stated to the nurse “go ahead, you can do anything you want now”

14. pleite - November 18, 2007

Narrowback, I am far too inexpert in these matters. I do have jabs when the dentist wants to get nasty, but I’ve never thought to ask if what she’s injecting is something with cred. I’d always thought I was a heroine/valium virgin, but perhaps not. But I’m a nervous wreck, so it can’t have been valium.

Penguin, cut one up? Not out? But why? Only to serve it up to you as dust for posterity later? But, anyway, yes, go and make the most of your insurance. I’ve just had another letter – I seem to get one about once a day – telling me my insurance is about to go up for some very good reason yet again.

Geoff, I think I must be addicted to the worry and having to fuck everything up. It is my ambition to, at one point in my life, even if just for a single day, have no debts and all bills paid. Perhaps unrealistic.

Ed, walks must now be put off till May. Although wrapping up in multiple layers can be vaguely fun. I quite enjoy the procrastination itself, but then the worry, the worry… I hope your procrastination-causers have come out of the woodwork.

Helena, hello! And welcome. Make yourself comfortable. Cooking is fantastically useful. I think you deserve 18 gold stars for that and hundreds of slaps on the back. (Did you cook any of those delicious-sounding things you described on your own blog?) And changing from one set of pyjamas to another sounds useful too. You outusefulled me by far.

15. narrowback - November 19, 2007

BiB…you’d KNOW and remember if the injection was anything more fun than novacaine/local anesthesia

16. Geoff - November 19, 2007

BiB – I paid all my debts off earlier this year. And I still have more than enough things to worry about and fuck up, in fact I’m sure I’m fucking more things up to compensate these days.

17. MountPenguin - November 19, 2007

Penguin, cut one up? Not out? But why? Only to serve it up to you as dust for posterity later?

It was growing at about a 90° angle to the other teeth, and pulling – at least in the initial phases – was not an option. No valium, but I was able to lie back with my eyes closed and think of England, or at least try and ignore the high-pitched wining sound.

I shall have to ask for a copy of the X-Ray, it was most impressive.

18. pleite - November 20, 2007

Well, Penguin, I hope it’s all behind you now and that your teeth are as right as rain. Or as right as drizzle, at least.

Geoff, thank you for your solidarity. Although I discourage fucking up, it’s comforting to know I’m not alone. DON’T GET ALL THE SAME DEBTS BACK. That’s what I did, when I once almost managed to almost pay almost all my debts off. Got ’em all back, the same ones, with knobs on. And don’t fuck up your new romance.

Narrowback, in that case I can confirm she didn’t give me anything cool at all. Unless my senses are dulled even to drug-induced ecstasy.

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