Friday, 9 January 2009

Feedback Friday :: Working From Home

bulk :: 15st 8 (damn you, Christmas chocolate!)
exercise :: 0 (joining new gym next week though, I swear)
glasses of wine :: 6
cases of wine :: 0
cohabitation disputes :: 3
kittens :: 0
senses working overtime :: one, two, three, four…. Four.
Twitter updates :: 111

So here we are, one week down, hopefully at least a couple of thousand to go. And I’m happy to report that it’s gone tremendously well, especially once I’d moved down from the icebox of the study-cum-second bedroom to the relative hospitality of the kitchen. As well as being at least 10 degrees warmer than the spare room, the kitchen has the concomitant allure of a fridge full of fish, a kettle full of water and the inexorable poignancy of a poor poinsettia, for whom it seems, it is forever Autumn. It does feel a little odd masturbating at the kitchen table of course, but that’s something I’ll get used to, I’m sure.

I mention masturbation not merely to shock you, gentle reader, but rather to neatly segue, like a fractured infinitive, into the subject of Distraction. In my previous incarnation as a website editorialist and junk-puking killer of trees, deadlines tended to impend. I’d generally have just a few days or a week or two at most to get something done. This meant I was usually up against it and if I wanted to get paid, I couldn’t afford to piddle around on Facebook or Twitter or – eek! – YouPorn. With this book thing however, I’ve got till some time in March to complete, and although there are countless mini-deadlines along the way, I don’t think I’m going to get dropped if I miss them, so you know… ooh, look, a penguin!

It has to be said however, my main distraction this week hasn’t been pornography, and it hasn’t been abused penguins. My main distraction this week has been Twitter.

I must admit, until the beginning of this week, rather like the ghastly Bryony Gordon, I didn’t really get Twitter. I just thought it was a place where a bunch of people – the vast majority of whom you didn’t know and would never want to – mouthed off about the wholly insignificant minutiae of their often very mundane lives. And I was absolutely spot on. That’s exactly what it is. What I didn’t realise however, was that although that sounds like the height of tedium, it can in fact be excellent fun and a source of constantly sporadic fascination.

Two things make it particularly enjoyable. One is the arrival in the Twitterverse (shudder) of Jonathan Ross.

Wossy, to give him his Twitter name, is a fantastic fellow to follow. And if you’re a fan, Twitter is a great place to get close to him. Obviously he gets a lot of people yammering on to him all day and night (a Twitter search for to:Wossy gives you some idea), but that doesn’t mean he won’t get back to you. Most of his Tweets now are responses to some of the hundreds of messages he receives daily. Indeed, for a man who occasionally abuses one-time national treasures, Jonathan Ross is extremely personable. He’s also perfectly wiling to speak his mind. For example, in one Tweet he describes Piers Morgan as ‘a grotesque talent-vacuum’, which made me feel all warm inside. And in another he writes: ‘Just broke wind with such force that my wife is on the verge of tears’, which I must admit made me laugh out loud.

Of course it’s not just would-be starfucking that’s endeared me to Twitter – it’s more that I just happen to have started following the likes of Jonathan Ross, Stephen Fry, John Cleese, Graham Linehan, Henry Rollins and Darth Vader in the same week that it finally clicked for me. The other thing which made it all make sense is TweetDeck, which, thanks to Patroclus, I downloaded yesterday.

TweetDeck is an application which sits behind your browser and aggregates all of your Twitter twaddle. What this means is that I can have the document I’m working on here in front of me, and then, just to the side I can have TweetDeck feeding me Tweets as and when they are twittered. So I don’t even have to stop typing! I can just glance to the right and see that Stephen Fry is cuddling a narwhal or whatever and the delightful Veronica Belmont is going on and on and on and on about tech stuff. Please stop, Veronica. Tell me more about your cats!

In short, Twitter, via TweetDeck, takes all the lonesomeness out of working from home, but without the annoyingness of actually having to share a room with real people.

Do you see now?

Come on. Let’s live together!


In other news, I got virtual chatting to one Alex B, who was diagnosed with Clinical Depression in 1996, has now given himself 45 days ‘to defeat a lifetime’s worth of negative thinking’ and is chronicling his efforts here. Good luck, Alex. Look! Sunshine!

And speaking of depression, I’m finally owning up to the fact that my eyes are not what they once were. I’m going blind. Or – exaggeration aside – I think I might need glasses. I’m going to seek out an optician this afternoon. Oh, and because of a piece of tooth that broke off while I was in Scotland, I’ve also made an appointment with a dentist.

Oh, God.


More wine!

See you next week. If I’m still here.

Oh, and have a nice weekend. Are you up to anything nice by the way? Let me know in the comments. (Twitter will never take the place of comments by the way. Comments are for real friends. Mwah.)

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Kirses said...

I completely agree - except that I do sit in a room full of people but prefer the company of twitter. Tweetdeck or such like is the only way to go. Even sadder - I also have something called Twittelator on my iphone - aint a day out if i can't tweet about it in real time...

By the way - is it compulsory to have wine with lunch if you work from home?

La Bête said...


Alex B said...

Thanks for the mention! My weekend is going to consist of working tomorrow and then sleeping on Sunday. Not the thrill ride I once believed life should be....

PurestGreen said...

I still don't get the allure of Twitter. But I do love this blog. And this is a (mostly) real comment.

nina h.pixie said...

I loved reading this.

Carnalis said...

prepare yourself, tweetdeck, here i come ...

Anonymous said...

Ahh, Twitter, I've gone through the motions of creating an account- but have never actually gone through with it...this post makes me want to go through all the motions again- and this time, this time I might even complete it.

Hooray for your free time and internet cruising. Don't feel bad- I've recently noticed a that far away things have become sorta soft and fuzzy around the edges- not quite blurry, but I no longer see them in High Definition- that's for sure.

It happens- we all fall apart overtime.

This weekend- watching a "scary movie", squiring out of town friends around my town, hopefully watching my team win their playoff game, a baby shower (which I am told is not a shower of babies- so I'm ok with going to it now.) So, yeah it's a jampacked weekend!

Good luck at the dentist!

MaxGirl said...

And when your book gets published, maybe Wossy will have you as a guest on the show,hey?

Shimacat said...

I like twhirl for Twiter, but that's so I can run my army of twitter sockpuppets alongside my main account. That makes me sound far geekier that I actually am. Honest.

This weekend is for film! We're finally catching up with Waltz with Bashir, and I am off to source falafel and lovely hoummous, to keep the Middle-Eastern theme going, and tomorrow is Slumdog. Not sure of it's description of the 'feelgood film of the decade (we avoid 'feelgood' like the proverbial), but I think it sounds like a good film.

Don't you love a weekend in the cinema?

The security code today is 'harrh', which kind of sums up my satisfied sigh at fims in the afternoon.

La Bête said...

Enjoy it anyway, Alex. Keep positive!

Thanks, everyone else, and/or enjoy! Lot of films being watched this weekend. Me too. Saw Waltz With Bashir last night. Hope to catch Slumdog Millionaire tomorrow (snap! Shima). I want to start keeping up with the films I watch, like I used to when I was proper anal. Some kind of online list maybe. Hmmm.

(Hey, MaxGirl, don’t tell anyone, but it’s something I fantasise about quite frequently. Ssssshhhh.)

Anonymous said...

Ooh, never tried TweetDeck before. Thanks, will give it a shot.

And *wail* at your comment about Twitter people being mostly people you wouldn't want to know. I've been following you for ages. And I'm lovely.

I don't comment here often enough though. Loved your script post. And nothing wrong with masturbation at the kitchen table, just don't get any on the table cloth.

La Bête said...

Table what now?