The Rambles of Neil Monnery

Another pointless voice in the vast ocean that is the interweb

Archive for the ‘Random Stuff’ Category

On the ending of The Newsroom…

without comments

Oh man. A show with so much promise, some first rate actors, some interesting characters and a star writer, how on Earth could it end so limply? I loved the first season, I enjoyed the second season in the main and even season three started off well but the final three episodes just sucked.

Let me start at the killing of Charlie Skinner at the end of episode five of this season, why Sorkin, why? I know you’ve explained why but once more I ask, why Sorkin, why? The Newsroom revolved around Skinner and the acting masterclass that Sam Waterston put on. I loved him in Law & Order and loved him just as much as the bourbon drinking head honcho at ACN. He didn’t need to die and the way he killed him was just so mundane and didn’t give him the gravitas that he deserved if he was to meet his demise.

So the final episode explored some of the back stories that put the cast together, we’ve seen this before from Sorkin. At the start of season two of The West Wing we saw a wonderful two-parter (In the Shadow of Two Gunmen) that showed how everyone came together. This time though it didn’t set up a season, it ended a shows run and it didn’t actually add too much to the storyline. We knew Sloane was into Don before (‘You never asked me’) and we knew Mac was dealing with issues from Afghanistan. We find out that Jim has had a bad long-distance (45 mins away by car) relationship before (thus setting up the Jim/Maggie ending) and we find out that Charlie is a true gent who wants to do the news right (er…we knew this already) and that Will cares about ratings and what people thought about him (again we knew that already) so is all seriousness for all the flashbacks we learnt that Jim has had a bad history in semi long-distance relationships. So worth it.

This brings me on to the most disgraceful part of the episode, the return of Neal (seriously dude, spell your name right, like all good Neil’s). Neal missed most of the season hiding out in Venezuela after refusing to give up a source ad what does he get after his near two months on the run? It gets announced at Charlie’s wake that his plane has landed and he gets a cool shot at the ACN Digital guys but he gets zero interaction with the rest of the crew. No pats on the back, no-one asking him how he was, nothing. Now I’m guessing this has to do with actor Dev Patel working on other projects so they just tried to shoehorn him into the episode but come on, film at least one scene where people welcome him back for fucks sake. As much as the fact he spells his name with an a instead of an i pisses me off, I loved Neal nearly as much as I loved Charlie. He reminded me of me, if only I was better looking, had better morals, was smarter…well he doesn’t remind me of me as such but his name is similar and I liked him, ok?

Mac is pregnant. Who cares? Mac gets promoted to be President of ACN without even being asked, like, for reals? Any scene with Leona is great as Jane Fonda is great. Seriously someone create a spin-off show that is just Leona and Charlie (assuming he can be resurrected from the dead) drink bourbon and bitch about the world and I’d be all over that. As would everyone who watched The Newsroom.

So we get to the finale of the most painful romance in TV history, Jim and Maggie. Jim (with whom I actually do identify in many ways despite not even being remotely close to my name) realised that he was in love with Maggie still, despite going out with Hallie (who was wonderful, if you were to possibly draw up my ‘ideal’ woman in terms of the type of person with whom I think I’d fall for then it would be Hallie, ambitious, smart, beautiful, quick-witted, sorry I’m just imagining the make-up sex with her after a fight, I’m sensing it would be amazing but I digress). So Jim and Hallie end after he is a dick (see, I told you I could relate to him) but in part it is because deep down he’s remembered his feelings for Maggie. She is seeing someone else too but he’s super smart and realises very quickly that she is hung up on Jim.

This tawdry love affair reaches a climax on a plane where they share an albeit beautiful kiss, the head stroke and smile on Maggie’s face seemed genuine and lovely. At times I can at least see romance even if I’m seemingly incapable of portraying it in real life. She finally had the one she wanted. Fast forward three days and after three nights of sex, Jim recommends her for a field producers position in DC, meaning they would have to be in a LDR (see the flashbacks did have a very small point after all) but having overcome the lazy blonde stereotype that she was in season one and after the abomination of what they did to her character in season two, she had blossomed into what we saw, a confident, smart, young woman. Hurrah. Yet here we are with her all nervous about Jim trying to ship her out of town. They end this mini-fight with her asking why he was so sure that this LDR would work when the others hadn’t and he walks away saying, ‘because I wasn’t in love with them’ – nice. A good line finally. Sadly we all know that in reality Jim would be too much of a prick for it to last and Maggie would find someone better suited in DC but we can all pretend, right? This wasn’t Josh and Donna from TWW, that love story needed no coercion, it was natural and the audience could see it and yearned for it, this was just meh.

To round this all off we of course get to Will and Mac. Mac is Will’s one. Will doesn’t care about ratings and doesn’t care about being liked deep down, that is all a mask, all he cares about is Mac and how she sees him. Mac and Will were together before but she cheated on him and he couldn’t forgive her at that point and went into years of depression that his one could do that to him. She is brought back by Charlie because he knows that the only way to turn both the show and Will around is to make him care once more and the only way to do that is to bring her in. Fair enough. It works as a storyline and we saw Will’s evolution into the character we all loved. Mac however never truly developed and her happiness came from being with Will and making him into the best person he could be. Sweet yes, but again shows how Sorkin struggles with writing female characters.

Look, don’t get me wrong, overall I enjoyed the show and Charlie and Leona were insanely good characters. Will was developed well and all three actors (Waterston, Fonda, Daniels) were first rate. Sadly though for an ensemble cast, the rest of the characters were never truly developed and this held back the show from becoming what it could have been, the acting was great but the writing concentrated too much on the holier-than-thou attitude of Sorkin towards the media (which may or may not be unfair depending on your take of the current media output that we are subjected to) but that air of arrogance held back the development of the other characters and forced relationships that didn’t sit well with the audience. It could’ve been special and when they were given six more episodes to end things then everything was set up for an epic climax, instead we got an average episode then summed up the missed chance once more that this show was.

The Newsroom 2012-2014. Loved, then liked, then watched. Sadly it won’t be terribly missed.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

December 15th, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Posted in Random Stuff

Tagged with

Anglia Engineering Solutions Ltd Spam Trojan Virus Warning

with 10 comments

This morning I received the e-mail below. Straight away I knew it was a virus of some sort but some googling has shown that by opening the file attached to the e-mail, it will attempt to download a binary trojan horse on to your computer. So if you get the following e-mail please delete straight away and do not open the attached file.

Dear ,

We are making a payment to you.

Please find attached a copy of our remittance advice, which will reach your bank account on 11/12/2014.

If you have any questions regarding the remittance please contact us using the details below.

Kind regards
Imelda Myers
Anglia Engineering Solutions Ltd
Tel: 01469 936919

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

December 10th, 2014 at 11:21 am

Posted in Random Stuff

Tagged with

A less serious blog – a word or two about my bed

without comments

Last night I was sitting in this very seat and I commented in an IM that I was really looking forward to stretching out in bed when Peyton Manning was finished doing his thing. Sometimes I really do look forward to bed, maybe much more so than I really should. This feeling is more prevalent in the autumn and the winter and last night was the first time that I was genuinely anticipating stretching out and lounging around in the warmth of my bed.

So I laid there and thought that I’d write a blog post on it but there was this nagging thought that I had already done so. A bit of research later and I found that I had a blog post about my bed drafted but never published. Sometimes my brain does work in weird ways, so I’ll use some of that post along with fresh material to flesh out my thoughts. What is in italics are what I wrote months ago in a draft of a similar blog post.

I wanted to pen something a little less serious. For a while I have laid in bed and thought about just how much I like my bed. It might be one of my favourite places. I often talk about how amazing my 15-tog duvet is (it is so seriously awesome, trust me) and how it is one of my favourite ever purchases (£19.99 from Bookers Cash & Carry in Aldershot).

I had no plans to buy it but I was idly wandering about whilst one of my housemates was looking for something and I came across it. The moment I put it on my bed I was far warmer. Good times. I didn’t get the full effect until I had moved out of that place and bought my own bed. My mattress is extremely comfortable. Couple that with the 15-tog beaut and I’m a happy chappie.

Ah yes, my winter duvet. This is still the best thing that I have ever purchased. I’m sure if I was to really think about it then I could say I had bought better and more important things but in terms of simple things that make me happy, this duvet really does stand alone. At the moment I still have my summer duvet on but we are getting close to the crossover point.

So anyway when that warmth envelopes me, I feel at ease. In the winter months I tend to spend a lot more time in bed. I will watch more TV from there and surf the internet from there. My sleep pattern is pretty haywire as well but I really get a great nights sleep from this bed.

I really do. I’m very lucky that I have employment where I can be more flexible than most in terms of times I work. For example this weekend I was working both on Friday and Sunday nights but that meant I was very much up to speed and therefore when I went to bed on Sunday night, I knew I didn’t have to get up early on Monday morning to do any work. I knew I could wake up and instead of rolling over and checking e-mails and work, I could just lay there and let myself drift in and out of sleep for a while. There are few things better than just doing that.

Just laying there drifting in and out of sleep. I did this the other day and had a lucid dream, my first for ages, I was in the dream and promptly stated, ‘what on Earth are you doing in my dream?’ and knew it was a dream but was in a place where I could just lay back and enjoy the show. It was so much fun but was a very strange one.

Now I know a lot of people when in bed enjoy the company of another, I have never slept well when sharing a bed. I like to spread out and use the whole bed, moving from one side to the other as I love the coldness of the sheet but the warmth of the duvet. I often wonder if I’m crazy but I’m writing a blog post about how I love my bed but don’t like to share it, I think that answers the question of whether I am crazy or not pretty well.

Ah yes. When planning this in my head last night I was trying to work out just how many nights I had not slept alone and I had a number in mind. Cue some thought later and I think I was pretty much bang on. I think this should indicate just how infrequent this situation has been that I could guesstimate the number and be pretty much spot on. How do people share beds and still get good nights sleep? Do you get used to it? It is a bit like how I just can’t sleep in a single bed any more, whenever I have to I just sleep terribly. I am used to spreading out and rolling over instead of turning over.

So there we have it. A totally pointless blog post. Well aren’t most of them in all honesty? I just thought it was time to appreciate my bed. I spend around a third of my life in it. Sometimes I think too much in it. Sometimes I’m too restless in it. I don’t do half the things that most people do in their own beds depressingly but I still love my bed. Sometimes just stretching out in it with the sound of the rain beating down outside knowing that I have nothing urgent to get up for so I can totally relax is just flat out awesome.

Thank you bed. I don’t appreciate you half as much as I should.

neil bed

My sanctuary

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

October 6th, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Posted in Random Stuff

Tagged with

Fan is short for fanatic – we should remember that

without comments

fan (noun) — an enthusiastic devotee, follower, or admirer of a sport, pastime, celebrity, etc. (origin: 1885-90, Americanism; short for fanatic or, some say, fancy)

fanatic (noun) — a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics. (origin: 1515-25, “insane person” from L. fanaticus, “mad, enthusiastic, inspired by god”, originally pertaining to a temple, from L. fanum.

Some say that the term fan may have devolved from the word ‘fancy’ but the general wisdom seems to suggest that it comes from the word fanatic. Why am I writing about this today? Well as most people who have known me in real life will know, sports has been a rather large part of my life for an awfully long time. I will call off social events and activities if I want to see a sporting event on the tellybox. I was once a Sports Editor. I have commentated, no wait, summerised only, on live football games for radio and I may or may not have yelled an insane amount of swear words when following various sporting events and seen my mood adjust to quite concerning degrees based on what is going on.

I would argue that over the years I have mellowed. I can sit and watch a game and not get so emotionally invested. Pompey were on the tellybox the other day and I sat and watched it in a rather monotone way. We weren’t very good and I just shrugged and moved on with my day. Maybe I had actually got past the point where sport could get to me. Maybe I had grown up. Maybe it was time for me to emerge from the sporting cocoon that I have enveloped myself in and maybe just into things that were more high brow, take in some culture, get interested in the arts.

Then Saturday night happened.

When you are up until nigh on 5AM watching a College Football game with your blood pumping, engaged swearing, too much sweat that is good for a single man in the early hours of the morning when fully clothed, then maybe the link between fan and fanatic isn’t too far-fetched.

So yes. On Saturday my day was pretty much built around watching Arsenal v Manchester City and then Rutgers v Penn State. One kicked off at 12:45PM and the other 01:12 AM. So they bookended my day. I watched the football match and enjoyed it. I did have another game I was meant to be seeing but as they say, things change, I will have plenty to say on that matter in due course (and I know you are reading this waiting for what I have to say – I can see you). By 11ish I was pretty tired but I persevered, I had a shall we call it, rather tepid shower to revitalise me and I put on the Big Ten Network to settle down to watch the game.

Now it was in the early hours and I wasn’t alone in watching this game. Whilst physically alone I had twitter open, I had Black Shoe Diaries game threads open and I had a skype conversation open with someone who was also watching the game (although not a fan of PSU – he still watched as I was and he stuck with it as it was the most compelling game of the night) and I’d like to show off my witty repartee and the type of language that was flowing out of my fingers as the game unfolded. I am not proud.

Quotes are me if no initials, NM is also me, NH is the person on the other end of the skype conversation window.

It started off with general game conversation. Our O-Line may have slightly false started…

NH: how many would you estimate moved early there…
NM: more than the amount of women who’ve turned me down…

then I got annoyed with the WildLion formation…

fuck that WildLion

Then I saw a safety blitz that the QB didn’t see…

OH COME ON
I CAN SEE THEY ARE COMING

Then I revealed a shocking truth…

NM: oh fuck this
NH: just awful
NM: you know I turned down a date tonight for this?
NH: good grief
NH: i hope you thought up a better reason than i want to watch penn st…
NM: I just said I was busy.

Then a Rutgers player got a first down when he really should’ve been tackled short of the line to gain on a big 3rd and long. Not sure I took it too well…

NO
NO
NO
NO
NO
DONT LET HIM GET THE FUCKING 1ST DOWN

Then it was half time and we discussed Lily Adams from the AT&T commercials and how she was an actress and not a real AT&T employee. I fancy her. Anyway on to the second half…

if this flag is against us…
good
throw him out for being a prick
yep – no doubt I’ll sleep maybe 45-60 mins after this game ends
I’ll be wound up
FOR
FUCKS
SAKE

Then we did something good. An interception…

NM: HURRAY
NH: we were saying…
NM: FUCK YOU BUTTGERS

Either I was writing in prose an orgasm or Penn State did something good here…

YES
YES
YES

Then we didn’t do so good…

oh come on
busted play again
too many of them today
holding
didn’t need to hold either
what the hell was that?
x2

Then we scored a TD to win it but it was called back because of a penalty but we would score another TD and it would hold up. This is the conversation. I was rational for brief moments…

NM:TD
NM: TD
NH: wow oh wow…
NM: TD
NM: TD
NM: TD
NH: too quick!
NM: FUCK YOU UMPS
NM: FUCK YOU
NM: its a hold
NH: pretty clear
NH: sadly
NM: COME ON
NM: ITS CAPS ALL THE WAY
NH: lol
NM: TD
NM: TD
NM: TD
NM: NO FLAGS
NH: go for 2?
NM: LOL BUTTGERS
NM: No.
NM: get the 1 so a FG only ties, if they miss the 2 a FG would win it

Then we stopped Rutgers and won the game…

NM:THAT
NM: WILL
NM: FUCKING
NH: who says it wasnt worth staying up for?
NM: DO
NM: NICELY
NH: that will make getting to sleep a touch easier!
NM: I’m too pumped

So maybe on occasions I can still see the link between the words fan and fanatic.

One of the biggest issues for personally is many of the events I get so pumped for are on US time and therefore are in the early hours. When a game finishes like that, that I am so emotionally invested in then I can’t just go to bed and go to sleep. So I have to unwind and that takes time and I can easily see the sun rise in the morning before falling asleep. I am so lucky I have employment that grants me some flexibility and I can work late at night and don’t have to work office hours every day.

I don’t know the reason for this blog post but I thought it was interesting that despite my education, my journalism background, my thoughts that I am smart and linguistic, at times just shouting and swearing is all that can come out of my mouth/fingers. Sport still has that effect…at times.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

September 15th, 2014 at 5:13 pm

The Rambles of Neil Monnery hits One Million Page Views.

without comments

This is a purely vanity blog post but this morning this blog ticked over the one million page view mark and that number is completely insane, so just wanted to say thank you to those of you who’ve actually read my rubbish over the years.

The number is actually far higher than a million page views as I moved from a WordPress hosted to a self-hosted blog about nine months in to this blogs existence and therefore my stats started from zero again.

When I started this blog I did in mainly because I wanted to own the neilmonnery.co.uk domain and didn’t really know what I wanted it for. I just wanted to ensure that I owned it so no-one else could. I decided to blog because I had in the past worked in writing and obviously have that degree in Journalism lying around somewhere. So it would be a place where I could vent or air my thoughts on anything that tickled my fancy.

I know this blog has at times been controversial. I know at times this blog has cost me dates (true story) and I know at times I have opened up to such a degree that it seems less of a blog but more of an online diary. At times I have wrestled with the idea of not being so open on here but have decided that I want to be true to myself and anything I write, I know there is a chance people will read it. I do have my secrets that don’t get aired on here (although often you’ll find subtle hints woven into blog posts) but I know the line between my privacy and those of others.

In the first couple of years I had a pretty decent readership amongst Lib Dems and was a well-read writer but in the past couple of years those readers have drifted away to other blogs. These days more people read about my life – certainly my dating exploits (or lack of them) and of course whenever Take Me Out gets going I may get one or two views for those pieces but all in all to get a million page views is far and away in excess to what I ever thought would happen.

So for those who agree or disagree, think I’m great, think I’m dumb, whatever, I hope that I’ve made you smile or made you think. If I’ve done one or the other then I’ve done something right. Whether I’ll ever make two million views, who knows but for now, I’m pretty darn impressed that this blog has been clicked on more than a million times – and that is quite something.

One million page views on some nobodies personal blog…madness.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

August 14th, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Posted in Random Stuff

Tagged with

Are my Care Bears hurting my potential love life?

without comments

(That is arguably, well not arguably as a matter of fact, this is clearly my favourite headline that I have ever written).

So anyway a bit of background on why I own all the ten original care bears. You see I have had Tenderheart since I was knee high to a grasshopper (I actually had a large Bedtime Care Bear too but he has got lost somewhere along the way) but Tenderheart bear (not the full 13″ version, but the half size one) has been with me for a long, long time. He became my unofficial mascot. First things first he does not and has not slept in my bed ever as far as I’m aware but has lived on my headboard, on my desk, on my wardrobe, on a shelf over my bed, he’s lived around me. He came to university with me and has moved with me everywhere I’ve gone.

Now it probably isn’t unfair to say that he is more than a stupid soft toy to me, he has legitimate sentimental value. In fact I can’t think of anything else I own that has as much sentimental value to me. I know to many people this shows a lack of masculinity but if a burglar came into my property then I would prefer him or her to steal my iPad than I would my Tenderheart bear. True story.

I have for a long time said that I would give my Tenderheart bear to my first true love. Now of course whether a woman these days would appreciate the sentiment behind doing that is very much up for debate. However as we all can clearly see, I’m 31 and I still own it. That either means I’ve yet to be in love or it means that I’ve changed my mind and can’t bare to part with my bear. The answer is maybe both but as I have never been in love, I have yet to face that internal dilemma. I can tell you the reader this for nowt, if I ever gave him away to someone that it would certainly be a sign I was well and truly in love. He’s going nowhere without me being head over heels.

A few years back I did a quiz on the radio show I used to be part of. The quiz was name the ten original care bears. Sadly I looked at several blank faces and it made me sad. One of the studio had nightmares about the care bears. The next day I went on eBay to see if I could source all the ten originals (the half size ones like my Tenderheart bear) and it turned out that I could – and rather cheaply. So I bought them all and they now all live together on my headboard watching over my world and enjoying life, well apart from Grumpy bear but that is to be expected.

Why am I writing about this today? Well I have a couple of tales to tell from the recent past.

About what, a month or so ago now, someone sent me a message on OkCupid. I’m not going to tell you the full story but the short version is many messages were exchanged but then suddenly she deleted her profile. A couple of days later she Googled me and found this very blog and my e-mail address and sent me an e-mail saying she still wanted to speak to me, a couple of e-mails exchanged and silence again but we had added each other to Facebook. We didn’t really speak much but her last message to me was, ‘So what’s with the Care Bears?‘ and I told her the story that I am telling you (although a very abbreviated version) and her response wasn’t to just ignore it, or to unfriend me but to block me on Facebook. All class. She becomes the third person ever to block me on there as far as I’m aware.

Now it would possibly to harsh to say she is a Care Bearist, who decided that she couldn’t stand to know anyone who owned Care Bears and there was probably another reason for doing it (I’d hypothesise that she obviously now has no interest in knowing me, either because she’s found out more about me or what is more likely is she’s found another guy and therefore I’m not wanted nor needed in her life anymore) I have seen that a lot with regards to online dating, once a person decides that you aren’t a potential love interest then they have no desire to know you anymore. I find this sad, I have made actual friends via this route even if there wasn’t anything more but I suppose some people look at it differently.

So whilst I don’t think the Care Bear issue was the defining matter here, it was the last communication I had before I was summarily dismissed from her life.

Going back a few weeks and this topic came up in the studio of my last radio show. The women in the studio all said they would look at a guy who owned Care Bears in a non-favourable light. They would find it strange and unmanly. Once I told them the back story, they thawed somewhat and certainly thought it was sweet how Tenderheart and I had lived together and that I had earmarked him as a gift to my first love but the instinct was very negative.

As far as I can recall only two women have ever seen the full gang together and both were unnerved to some degree. One was rather weirded out and the other just rolled with it. Apparently both didn’t like the fact that they thought the Care Bears were watching them. I was told a while back on Facebook when this discussion came up that if I ever wanted to get a girlfriend then I’d have to give up the Care Bears as no woman would ever consider a relationship with a guy who owned any. You don’t need to know me well to know my reaction to that. Hint: It wasn’t favourable.

Sometimes I do genuinely wonder just how much influence my furry friends have on how another person sees me. I don’t bang on about them. To ever even see them then you’ll have to be in my bedroom and lets be honest here, if you’ve got past my awkward personality, my less than stellar looks and my inept amount of experience with the opposite sex, then I wouldn’t think the Care Bears would be the straw that broke the camels back as it were regarding what a potential beau would think about me. Maybe that is naive and I should do everything I can to make myself less weird because I need all the help I can get but I’m also stubborn to some degree.

I don’t want to consign them to a life in my spare room or to the back of the wardrobe. They deserve a happy life too and living on my headboard is I like to think a good place for them to live. They are all together. They can see the TV. I’m around to keep them company a lot. Heck even reading this back I wouldn’t touch me with a barge pole either.

So to conclude, I certainly don’t think owning Care Bears helps my potential love life chances that is for sure. No woman is reading this and thinking, ‘oh my, that guy sounds really sweet and lovely, just what I’m looking for,’ instead they are either thinking that is matters not or, ‘what a fucking weirdo’ – there is no positivity, only potential negativity from this revelation.

However having said this, am I going to change my viewpoint towards my gang of furry pals? You the reader know me well enough to know that I will not be. If owning Care Bears is such an important issue then I’m probably not the right guy for them anyway. It probably does to some small degree hinder my chances but I have so many things against me anyway that this is a minor issue. The Care Bears are going to stay and if someone thinks that is such an important issue in how they perceive me then I frankly don’t give two hoots and wish them well.

I’ll end with this.

Care Bears & Neil

My furry pals and I…

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

August 8th, 2014 at 11:36 am

Posted in Random Stuff

Tagged with ,

Crazy magical sex? Yes please and some rather personal thoughts…

without comments

Well the title is a bit weird but it will make sense. This blog is about three things, thirdly the headline crazy magical sex and how awesome I think it would be, secondly the lyrics to a song and how they speak to me but first it is about how a music video can at times influence what you think about a song.

Yesterday morning I was up at some stupid hour and before clubland.tv went off the air for two hours of teleshopping at 6AM, the last song played was one I hadn’t heard yet. It was by an American House DJ known as 3LAU and the song was called ‘How you love me’ and it was certainly catchy. However the video was one of the most intriguing I’ve seen for a long, long time. You can watch it below:

It is about a young lady telling her boyfriend that she is ready for sex, then the young lady in question has some rather crazy (and seemingly awesome) magical powers and they have a good time. He then sneaks off to go with another girl but before he escapes he makes the epic fail of a) leaving his phone behind and b) not getting out of there without waking up super hot magical powers sex girl.

Just a quick note here – the woman he’s going to meet is nowhere near as attractive as the girl he’s trying to sneak away from.

So anyway using her magical powers she knows what he is up to, then she magically tries to choke him (kinky) and then uses her rather large teddy bear collection to attack him before giving her big teddy evil life and then the evil teddy does something rather bad to our male lead who thought he was just going to have his cake and eat it with two women. The ending is left rather ambiguous, has he been turned into a teddy? Is that why she has a large teddy collection? Is this why my friend Emma has a large teddy collection, are they there to attack any men who try to play her for a fool? Many unanswered questions but the video is basically just flat out cool and whilst the song itself is very catchy and certainly worthy of a spot on my YouTube dance mix and my iPod the next time I go to update it, the video adds to the song.

Now on to the lyrics:

Nobody’s perfect I’ll never try,
But I promise I’m worth it if you just open up your eyes,
I don’t need a second chance,
I need a friend,
Someone who’s gon’ stand by me right there till the end,
If you want the best of my heart, you’ve just gotta see the good in me.

Cause I could be the rain in your desert sky,
I could be the fire in your darkest night,
I could be your curse or your angel,
It’s all in how you love me.

I could be your sun when it’s cold outside,
I could be your rock when there’s nowhere to hide,
I could be your curse or your angel,
It’s all in how you love me.

It’s How You Love Me.

You get what you give, that’s the simple truth.
So, just lend me your hand and I’ll give you someone to hold onto.

I don’t need a second chance,
I need a friend,
Someone who’s gon’ stand by me right there till the end,
If you want the best of my heart, you’ve just gotta see the good in me.

Cause I could be the rain in your desert sky,
I could be the fire in your darkest night,
I could be your curse or your angel,
It’s all in how you love me.

I could be your sun when it’s cold outside,
I could be your rock when there’s nowhere to hide,
I could be your curse or your angel,
It’s all in how you love me.

It’s How You Love Me.

Yes. Nobody is perfect and that is something I have long come to terms with. There is no Sabrina/Harvey stone in two halves that create a perfect whole. Not to delve too deeply into my private life but sometimes I sit here (or somewhere else – I think in many places – I also think laying down and walking) about what I want in a partner. On one hand you want the fireworks, the insane chemistry and pure lust but then you also want the person that you can see being a life partner, who could be the friend who’ll stand by me right until the very end and who can be the yin to my yang who I can share my life with. I suspect what it comes down to is finding the person who is the best mix of the two. Movies make it seem like the former is the all important whereas maybe the latter is the key. Who knows. I suppose that is all part of the individual journey of life that we all undertake.

I have in essence been single for all of my 31 years and you get to a point where letting someone into your life is actually a big deal. I can’t speak for other long-term singletons but I can speak for myself when I say you just get used to the lifestyle. I suspect it is the same the other way round, those who have spent most (if not all) of their teenage and adult life in relationships are scared to a degree about single life. Potentially jumping into a relationship would for me be to some degree scary because it is out of my comfort zone. Being single is what I’m used to but then on the other hand the rewards far outweigh the risks and what if there is potential for something awesome and magical out there?

I am starting to find my, I won’t say MoJo but I will say maybe my desire to actually test those potential waters. I am still shy and awkward (more awkward than shy these days though) and I am positively naive in so many things on this front. Everyone learns it when young and I never did. My knowledge on romance, how to deal with potential romance, dating etc. is so miliscule that you could fit it on the back of a postage stamp, but for the first time in a long while I think I’m ready to allow myself to get hurt if that is what has to happen. Maybe it is time to try to not only hit the Home Run but to actually step up to the plate to be in a position to hit the Home Run even though the chances of striking out are abundant.

What this all means I’ll leave to the reader to decide but there have been changes in my life recently away from personal stuff that has freed me somewhat and to some degree focused my mind on what I want and what I see me getting from this whole journey of life. Whilst just bumbling along content with life has been fine and dandy, maybe I actually yearn for more and maybe despite my protestations, maybe I actually want to find someone with whom to share my life. I’ve always said I’m comfortable with the single life (and I am) but does comfortable equate to actual happiness? Seeing my sister so happy at her wedding was such an eye opener. It truly was.

Wow. I did not see me typing this when I woke up this morning. I certainly did think to myself how much I wished I still kept my LiveJournal where I could be more open and frank but this is a very public blog so I have to tippy-toe around certain issues.

To end with though lets circle back to the music video and the first few words of the headline. If anyone has magical powers and wants crazy magical sex then I could probably have my interest piqued by that proposal. I’m pretty open minded but bringing a teddy bear to life with an evil conscious is something that I’d at least take a double take over and I don’t want any woman (no matter how crazy hot and magical she may be) ever bring my Care Bears to life. They know too much and have the dirt on me.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

August 5th, 2014 at 8:48 am

Posted in Random Stuff

Tagged with , ,

In praise of First Hull Trains and their Customer Service…

without comments

Last week seems so long ago now, there is one less Monnery in the world, I have discovered how amazing Air Conditioning is, Alastair Cook has scored a few runs, all of these are important but I want to tell you a tale about how First Hull Trains dealt with my travel issues on Friday afternoon. Hat-tip folks, they dealt with it amazingly well.

So my sister got married on Saturday, this meant of course that the family had to come from far and wide to get to the wedding in Hull. I had my train tickets for the Kings Cross to Hull section of the journey, but also had the tickets for my other sister and husband as I bought them all at the same time so that we’d have reserved seating together. All well and good. I go to the railway station here in plenty of time and get my ticket into London. I notice that going towards Shoeburyness there were severe delays but they said on the London route all was well.

So I get on the choo choo, we get to Westcliff and we wait and we wait and we wait, we go up to Chalkwell and the same thing happens. My Hull train was at 13:48 and my train into West Ham was due in at 12:35, giving me ample time to get through London. At this point I’m starting to get annoyed and we get to Leigh-on-Sea and after another long delay, boom the train was cancelled. Apparently overhead wires had gone down between Pitsea and Benfleet and trains were having to share one line. The issue was what really happened is they kept the Shoeburyness bound trains going and just cancelled the London bound trains. Shit.

Now I won’t rag too hard on c2c for this because after living here for many years, the service has pretty much always been exemplary but on the one day I needed it to be actually working then it let me down. Sod’s law and all that. It was annoying mostly as I had other people’s tickets so I wasn’t just screwing me, I was screwing others. Those members of my family spoke to Hull Trains at Kings Cross and they advised that my sister and brother-in-law wait for me and they would sort things when I got there. I was ok about this but annoyed that their travel plans were disrupted by me.

So anyway eventually c2c put on another train that went around the Tilbury Loop and I would finally get to West Ham. I got to West Ham after my train to Hull had left from Kings Cross. So I was relatively relaxed as I couldn’t do much but then my sister text me to say that I needed to get my ticket stamped that it had been delayed. You freaking what? I of course did not have this and at this point had pretty much resigned myself to having to fork out for three new tickets as I couldn’t ask them to pay knowing it wasn’t at all their fault.

Upon finally arriving at Kings Cross my sister said she had spoken to someone who had basically said we’d need new tickets, apparently he was also rude and a jerk. Go figure. So anyway as the guy who had ordered the tickets I went up to the help desk and spoke to a young lady called Emma and I’ll tell you anyone who may read this from First Hull Trains – this young lady was absolutely brilliant. I told her the story, she saw on her computer that c2c had been having significant delays and basically told us that she would speak to the inspector/guard on the train and would get us on the next train and to come back 15 mins before the train was due to leave and she would take us there and inform the inspector/guard that our tickets were valid (despite being for a specific earlier train).

We came back and she took our tickets, wrote all over them that these tickets were now valid for the 15:48 because of delays on c2c and that the guard Paul knew about them. We got on the train and when Paul came round he asked if we were the three who Emma had told him about, we said yes, he clipped our tickets and got on his way.

I just wanted to note how good the service was and how much difference having someone sensible doing your customer service is. I didn’t speak to the guy my sister did (she doesn’t know his name – so whoever was on the Hull Trains customer service desk at around 13:30 on Friday 25th July) and she was quite upset but when I got there and spoke to Emma, I couldn’t praise her enough. It had been an extremely stressful morning and I was ticking but she listened, understood it wasn’t my fault and in turn did everything possible to make my ongoing journey as stress free as possible.

It says something when you get such good customer service that I feel compelled to blog about it but yet there was a tonne of stress going through not only myself but the other people who were travelling with me and within a few minutes she defused it totally.

So good job Emma and good job First Hull Trains.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

July 29th, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Posted in Random Stuff

I deleted my birthday from Facebook to see who actually knew my birthday…

with one comment

So yesterday I turned 31. A case for much joy and celebration (I had a microwave meal for dinner and fell asleep in the afternoon for the second day running whilst watching the closing minutes of that days stage of the Tour de France – damnit) so as you can see, I really lived it up.

Anyway about ten days ago I decided to remove my birthday from Facebook as an experiment. Every year 40-50 people, many of whom who don’t speak to me at any other point in the calendar year, will wish me a happy birthday, prompted by Facebook. So I wondered who would know without that prompt.

Usually I’ll wake up to a few messages but only my mum had posted on my Timeline. This continued throughout the working day although one of my best friends from school had sent me a text along with messages from both my sisters. I thought this would be it but then just after five o’clock I got a happy birthday message from someone whom I solely know via the internet. This means in all likelihood that this fabulous young lady actually had my birthday written down somewhere (bizarrely enough she is one of the handful of people’s whose birthday I actually know off hand. I think she is the only person whose I know who I’ve never met). This followed by another of my best friends from school leaving a message on my Facebook wall meant it started coming up in people’s feeds and they had a prompt and ten or so more happy birthday messages came.

I did this essentially to write a blog post to see how much we all rely on Facebook for something like knowing whose birthday is when. I’m as guilty of it as most. I know most of my school friends birthdays from memory (and the important landline numbers still) but go beyond my school friends then there are very few I know. Facebook has become essential to most people for knowing when there is a birthday.

Also I used to find it strange (still do) that people whom I’ve not conversed with since school will wish me a happy birthday if prompted to by Facebook. I only say happy birthday to those with whom I actually speak with from time to time yet some people feel compelled to say it to everyone if prompted to by Facebook, I’ve got to admit I just don’t get this. I know many of us are Facebook friends with many people we haven’t seen since school but I’ve found many of these people who have wished me happy birthday in the past on Facebook wouldn’t have done so at school when I saw them everyday!

Facebook at times is a bizarre service. I got a couple of messages last night asking if it was my birthday as I had posts on my wall saying happy birthday but Facebook didn’t say it was my birthday and they didn’t know who to believe. That is where we’ve got to boys and girls. I think that says a lot.

So anyway, I’m now 31, things are the same as when I was 30. My sister still thinks I look like a young Novak Djokovic (despite being older than he is) and the only person with whom I spoke face to face yesterday was one of my neighbours to tell her that the paint job on my balcony was fine and she could sign off mine as completed. That sums up my world pretty well. This is the fifth birthday I’ve ‘celebrated’ in this apartment and it is probably the last. Where I’ll resurface next in still very much up in the air but this 32nd year might not be exciting but it might very well be extremely significant in shaping the rest of my life as I look to move from a tenant to an owner. Scary times indeed.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

July 11th, 2014 at 8:35 am

Posted in Random Stuff

16 long hours without the internet – I somehow didn’t cry

without comments

In the early minutes of Sunday morning I was laying in bed and doing what I often do, I leaned over and picked up the iPad to look something up and my internet wasn’t working. So I got out of bed and rebooted the modem. I got back into bed and the internet still wasn’t working. Cue panic. Mass panic.

The next four hours (remember I had already gone to bed before this has all started) were spent trying to work out what was stopping my internet from working. You see I’m kinda, ever so slightly, you know, possibly, at a push…addicted to the internet. Not only that I work in websites and I work from home. No internet access means no ability to work. The ability to work is pretty important when it comes to my bank balance. Seriously I was not amused.

At around half two in the morning I picked up my phone and there was no dial tone. Cue even more epic panic. If there was a fault with the line then I knew I could be out of commission for a while. I eventually gave up and fell asleep. I woke up at around eight and heard my neighbour was already awake so went and asked her if her phone line was working. She checked and there was no dial tone. Cue relief on one hand knowing whatever fault was not just on my line but also a small bit of panic as my backup plan of using her wireless internet was also up the swanny.

So I used my 3G on my phone and searched twitter for ‘sky broadband’ and I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I saw lots of people complaining that their internet was down in my local area. I checked Sky’s Help Team’s twitter account and it confirmed an outage that spread all across Essex and East Anglia. I knew it a large number of people were without internet and phone services that they first of all knew all about it and secondly that they would be attempting to fix it.

I went out and came down around midday and still no internet, I watched some TV, still no internet, went on the exercise bike and still no blinking internet and then after I finished my second 45 minutes on the bike (I watched the footy and took a break a Half Time for a drink) I was walking to my shower and saw the fourth light on my modem lit up, the internet, it lived, it lived again!

All in all I was without the internet for 16 hours. This should not cause the deep-rooted panic within me that it did. I think the mitigating circumstances of I work from home and in websites was a large part of the panic (I know it was a Sunday but I do plenty of work on Sunday’s) and if it was a problem with my phone line individually (or the line coming into this block) then I know from experience that these things can take a significant time to be fixed. Still after saying all of that, I should not be completely freaking out about not being able to go online.

The thing is, I suspect I’m not alone. I have been using the internet daily for pretty much 15 years. These days I have so many devices connected to the internet that whilst I can’t go online from the shower, I can pretty much be online doing anything else. Even when I’m cooking I take the iPad into the kitchen and stick on YouTube or Sky Go to watch/listen to something whilst I cook. The first thing I do in the morning is reach for the iPad to check my e-mails, then check the news, twitter et al.

I survived 16 hours without the internet but it reinforced just how reliant I am on it just to function. It is deeply concerning. With that I shall commit this blog post to the internet and go and watch an episode of The Apprentice from YouTube on my iPad that I have connected to Apple TV so I can watch it on the big screen. Technology folks. When I eventually join the world of being a home owner I wonder just what I’ll do but I can assure you of this – I suspect I’ll have one or two gadgets and I certainly want to be able to turn the heating on from my smartphone.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

May 8th, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Posted in Random Stuff

Tagged with