Friday, July 29, 2005

I Drink, Therefore I 'Sham.

Shamelessly ripped from someone else's blog, here is one of those daft wee surveys. It's here partly because it deals with two of my favourite subjects (myself and drinking) and also because I've been so busy having to be creative at work (more later on that front) that I've been neglecting the ol' Blog. So here we go, then:

Name: Spike Nesmith. Ess Pee Eye Key Eee. Enn Eee Ess Emm Eye Tea Aitch.

Location: Charleston, wubbleyouvee.

Height: 5 10

First time you ever drank: Hmm... lemme think. No idea when, but it was probably something like Babycham at new year. Do you think they really make it out of babies? First time I *bought* alcohol was on my 19th birthday.

More of a beer or liquor person: Beer for social drinking, liquor for serious drinking. Both for *really* serious drinking.

Type of drunk you are: It depends on the mood I'm in. I can be happy, singy, dance-on-the-table drunk, or I can be miserable, depressing, maudlin drunk - hey, there's nothing like a depressant to chase the blues away, right? Mostly I'm a fun drunk though.

Ever been in an actual fight: Sure!

Favorite drink/shot: Shots? Drambuie. It's a drink that can be savoured, or it can be slammed back at the bar whilst they're pouring your guinness. DB was what I called my "travelling drink". I'd order the round at the bar and drink the DB before I left to see me back to the table. You've got to love a drink you can feel burning as it winds its way down.

Favorite beer (if applicable): Newcastle Brown probably doesn't count since it's technically an ale, but I'll say Tennants, despite the fact that it's what most of the neds, na'erdowells and general buffoons drink in Scotland.

Favorite liquor: Drambuie.

More of a Bar or Club person: Again, I'm split. Pubs for converation and company, clubs for jumpin' fun. Although that's not to say one can't have fun in a bar, like the time my best friend in the world and I experimented to see how many straws we could stick together and still be able to drink through them. I can't remember how many it was, but he needed to stand on a chair as I lay on the floor, so probably a fair few.

Alcohol you absolutely despise: Black rum. Blah!

Ever bought a stranger a drink: probably, but no specifics come to mind.

Been thrown out of a bar/club: no, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn express last night.

Ever make out with someone in front of a cheering crowd: um... yes. But don't ask for details.

Most amount of money spent in one bar/club: it's got to be in the hundreds of pounds. The tab at TGI Fridays for cocktails one Christmas eve came to 120+ pounds, and that was in the space of an hour. I had just ordered a cocktail and my friend asked to pay the tab. When the barman said "125 quid, mate", I thought that was the price of the 'summa this and summa that' cocktail I just had him make and almost crapped my pants.

Ever buy a round for random people: yeah!

Ever had to play the wingman: not that I know of, but then I have no idea what the hell a wingman is. i played "Spoonman" on the radio once, does that count?

Best song/band to hear while drinking: Anything singalongable. American Pie and Barenaked Ladies "The Wrong Man Was Convicted" go a long way, and I once had the entire upper floor of The Goose (see below) drumming and singing along with the hook from "Footloose".

Ever danced on the bar/stage: natch!

Best town/area to drink in: The Goose on Union Street, Glasgow. If you run out of conversation, you can flip through their display books for rude bits or swearing.

Do you forget a lot of what happens during a night of hard drinking: depends on how hard and what i've been drinking. I have some holes in some evenings that I can't remember, suffice it to say I now have a tattoo that says "Lotte" and I get letters asking for child support. Why is it always the fun ones that go missing?

Ever been drunk around your parents: Hell yeah. My dad watched me chug three beers in a row before he took me home from a barbecue one sunny day in 1997. We all got food poisoning. Lesson: never grill chicken drunk.

Come on you boozy buggers, cut and paste it and lemme know YOUR answers, too.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Sweet Death, Embrace Me... (Or "How I Learned To Start Worrying And Fear Anthropomorphism")

I've had it. I've absolutely had it. Two of the most important components of life have decided that they hate me, so what chance do I stand?

One day I'll go into more detail over why all computers from my Commodore Vic 20 to any PC I put my grubby mitts on has a vendetta against The Spikester, suffice it to say that my death will probably be caused by one of two things; either I'll die as a result of a massive heart attack caused by the stress of dealing with my home computer or a piece of flying motherboard will impale me as I smash the living crap out of it for giving me one last defiant bluescreen. But as I say, that's a story for another day. So what else hates me, I hear you politely enquire? Cars. Bloody cars hate me.

Not *all* cars - that would be silly. Just the ones I own. So here is a brief automobillic ownership history and the problems I had with them. I never learned to drive in Scotland. Quite frankly, I never needed to. If the whim struck, I could get to work, friends' houses or the shops via a perfectly adequate public transportation system. However, when I came here and saw the sort of people who use Charleston's perfectly inadequate public transportation system, I figured I had better learn how to corrall a set of wheels pretty quick-bloody-smart, lest I be forced share my highly saught-after personal space with, literally, the great unwashed of the capitol city. So Mrs Spike taught me the basics and after just one failed test (oops, I pulled on to the wrong side of the road... how could THAT be unsafe?) I gots me my license and took over Mrs Spike's 1989 dog-poop brown Ford Taurus while she drove our new blue Ford Focus. Right from the get-go, I knew that the AC didn't work on the car I had inherited - which would soon be dubbed "The Arkansas Chugabug" (if you have to ask, you probably don't want to know) - but the cool spring air that came through the open windows was refreshing, so I figured I would deal with any AC problems come summer, totally unaware as a pasty-white Scotsman whose idea of a hot temperature was somewhere in the upper 70s that West Virginia summers are hot, hazy and humid and opening windows in a car just lets more *hot* air in, even at interstate speeds.

So already this vehicle was old enough to be out on its own but it was still alive and moving, albeit barely and without any AC. Then, things started to happen. I was reliably informed that the AC couldn't be simply recharged as the age of the car put it before any CFC restrictions were in place, so the stuff it needed to blow cold also blew a sizeable hole in the ozone layer. A new AC system would have to be put in, roughly costing an amount comparable to the national debt of Brazil. Not long after this devastating news, the powered steering started complaining and gave out not too long afterwards. Several fluid top-ups indicated in a very short amount of time that there was a leak - that got fixed. Then the radiator started overheating. That got fixed, broke again, got fixed again, broke again and then got fixed again. Then something else happened that made it not start. Twice. On two different occasions. Apparently it was battery corrosion both times.

So one day, about a year or so ago, Mrs Spike and I got an apparently unbeatable offer on a Dodge Caravan. It was an ex-rental vehicle, several thousand dollars below blue book price and in tip-top condition. Did it sound like I knew what the hell I was talking about there? I'm nothing but a parrot, this is what's been told to me. I know nothing about cars. Nuth-thing. Anyhoo, the AC on the van seemed awfully warm on the test drive, so we asked them to look at it before we bought it. They agreed, recharged the AC and sold it to us with another apparently unbeatable offer of a several year, several thousand mile warranty. Huzzah for us, you may think. Car problems are over, you may think. Talking like Yoda, you may think. Correct, you may be.

So long story short, The End.

Long story slightly less short, here's what's gone wrong with the van since we bought it, less than 2 years ago: another AC recharge, AC condenser replacement (not covered under the warranty, quelle sur-bloody-prise), AC recharge again, break pads and shoes, AC condenser and condenser clutch replacement (didn't even bother checking the warranty this time) and now, this weekend, AC AGAIN and some unidentified grinding noise which gets louder and louder the more I drive it. Grrreat. If it gets to the garage without grinding to a hault and stranding me in the middle of nowhere, it will be a bloody miracle. It sounds that bad.

So there you go. Cars hate me. It's that or someone's trying to tell me that I need to lose weight and sitting in a hot car for a third of my life is the way to sweat it off - either way I'm thinking that I'm doomed to spend the rest of my natural life with windows open and sweat in my arse-crack. But hey, when I *do* die, my flesh will probably be eatable having been slow-cooked for the past 6 years.

Friday, July 01, 2005

How Cool Is This...?

I irratated someone on the internet enough to get them to photoshop me! Happy day!

eeee! I've always considered myself a medium-sized Troll. No, wait. Scratch that. Not even medium. I'm a troll of little to no consequence. But in a thread on Fark about some girl who got splashed by a shark I made a comment about how unattractive she was amidst some easily-pleased "I'd hit it" comments and unleashed some sort of war.

Fraker illadelfian either loves me or has too much time on his hands. I'll go for a 50/50 mix. Anything but apathy, folks! ;)