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Where Was I?

So no posts since March eh….hmm, that wasn’t part of the plan! I was meant to be ushering in a new age where the posts would come thick and fast and I would offload all the crazy thoughts of my mind onto the blank canvas of a blog.

 

Instead my mind has remained clogged with ideas, both stupid and relevant, and this blog has continued unwritten. I can make no promises but I will certainly aim to bring a bit of life back to the Embassy. I just need to figure out what I’m gonna say……..

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Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Love is in the air…or is that just petrol fumes?

I was talking to my roommate earlier about a key memory from my youth about V-Day, I was in my early teens and I was helping my mum do the Weekly shopping on a Friday that happened to be February 14th. The tradition always was that I would help do the shopping in Sainsbury’s (mainly so I could spot and add things to the trolley that I liked that she would otherwise not buy) and I would take the trolley of paid for items back to the car and sit and listen to the radio until she returned from getting her final few purchases in Marks & Spencer (where I never liked the food as much growing up, so never bothered trying to get items into the basket). On this particular night, I remember sitting in the car and listening to Belfast Citybeat, Cool FM and even BBC Radio 1 launch into saccharine overdrive.

I had the pleasure of hearing Tricia tell Dan how he is her everything and that he completes her, followed by the bellowing of Bryan Adams ‘Everything I Do (I Do It For You)’, then Mark writing about how Valerie means the world to him and that he’s glad they got back together, of course followed by Starship ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’, and of course who could forget Gerard and Tina announce their engagement live on air to their friends and how he took her to their favourite restaurant and he proposed, with the radio presenter gushing over how original an idea it was, despite it being the most predictable location possible. Of course this had to be followed by some…any…ALL of Whitney Houston’s back catalogue. The radio presenter would then joke about the silliness involved with Valentine’s Day…and then proceed to carry on gushing about the love stories that have been sent in……those minutes spent listening to all that drivel had two effects, the first was it hit a sore spot initially so felt quite lonely as a singleton (though I don’t know why I even cared at that age) and secondly, it pretty much guaranteed that I would despise the idea of Valentine’s Day for the rest of my days.

While I am all for couples being happy and in love and all that jazz, I almost feel sorry for them, because they are being forced by Hallmark and Society to spend vast sums of money for an occasion not of their own choosing, in order to either sustain a social convention at best, or at worst they must one up a friend or colleague who has gone the extra mile for fear that they’d be seen as uncaring or ungenerous. I think there is nothing more unromantic than an expensive Valentine’s present, for what is deemed to be a grandiose demonstration of the high level of love that you have for someone, ends up appearing rather clinical as it can at times appear that love is a quantifiable thing that can be matched with a certain level of financial investment.

As previously mentioned in posts, I am an eternal singleton and so I’ve only had the pleasure of being in a serious relationship on one Valentine’s Day. On that day in particular I had a lovely day with my then boyfriend, not because it was V-Day, but because we were spending time together and having fun, things that mattered each and every 365 days of the year. Rather than gifts we resolved to write a note to each other and that was it. The words that leapt from the page in the handwritten note from my boyfriend were real currency, and were more valuable than the most expensive of potential clothes or technology that I could’ve received…because those words took real heart to send. I am not in any way saying that large gestures are in themselves unwelcome or a sign that you only know how to throw money about…all I am saying is that, in my case…a pen and some paper were all it took to make a typical day extra special, it can be as simple as that!

As per usual this post lacks a central plot and is more just a place for my thoughts on something to find fertile soil. I don’t believe that when I have a bf that I should tell him that I like/love him on 14th February, if I’ve not been telling him all the previous days of our relationship, then it’s not a relationship worth being in! I do hope that my fellow singletons have survived today knowing that we are in a much better state than the radio stations and media and society would like to present to us…Yes it’s amazing to be with someone, but it’s better to be with the right someone…and so we’d prefer to wait for that! In the meantime…that money that we saved on not sending cards/flowers/chocolates or whatever…well that’ll do nicely for a few rounds of drinks this weekend, so it’s not all bad!

‘A Sporting Chance’ – Super Bowl Fever!!

January 31, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s Friday 31st January 2014 and I have a confession to make….I have become….a sports fan!

Broncos

Seahawks

I didn’t see it coming, I didn’t think that someone at the age of 29 could suddenly go from passive indifference to the sight of sports on tv…to roaring at the tv at teams that I have no previous loyalty to yet love how they’re performing in the game.

At the age that many boys were learning to play at sports through kicking a football outside in the street with the other children from the street, I was busy…helping as a cleaner and general nuisance in the shopping mall that my Dad then managed. My sister and I were the only children in my street from the time of my birth until I was into my 20s so we never really had the chance to learn sports with other children so I never developed much of an interest. This was combined with the fact that I grew up in an ABU household…’Anybody But United’, which threw up two particularly challenging issues. The first was that Manchester United were HYPER dominant during the late 90s when I entered Grammar school so they were basically adored by everyone in school…aside from me, so I stuck out a mile AND secondly, opposing a team didn’t mean that I had a particular team to root for, so the passion never developed.

Despite my general ‘meh’ attitude to sports, I HAVE flirted once or twice before with sports, both as a fan and competitor. I was on the school basketball team for two years. Before you all burst into fits of laughter, I was at least giving it a shot. At 6’1 I had the potential to be a decent enough player, but given that the coach was more interested in playing games against other schools than actually arranging times to train new players, it was hard to get good at it. Instead I had the pleasure of being overshadowed by a 5’8 player who could jump higher and score more often than I could dream….another sport….another dream shattered….or not!

When I was at University I DID finally find a sport that was good for me. I spent 4 years training in the Japanese martial art of Ju-Jitsu and I moved up to Orange belt during that time, I even bought a ‘gi’. As with most things at university, once you leave uni, you don’t bother carrying on, but for those few years I was a killer ninja. I can still remember how to break peoples’ necks from those days so at least that made it worthwhile I guess…quite handy for a guy who gives the appearance that he could be knocked down with a feather.

My move to New York has seen me embrace a person renaissance, broadening my mind to interests that previously never fascinated me. I am doing this because I think that building a life in New York from scratch shows me that you can teach an (not so) old dog new tricks. In 2011 I chatted with friends in work about settling on a football team to support and decided that Arsenal would be the right team for me. As we enter 2014…they are top of the league (well were until Wed, but we’ll fix that soon), and Utd….well let’s just say that they are having a memorable season, for all the wrong reasons so I am watching more games than ever!

I have also watched more NFL games in the past few months than in the entirety of my life. I am a Chicago Bears fan due to living in the city many years ago, but I’m still debating whether the Giants or Jets get my love in New York. Back when I lived in Chicago I also attended a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field and it was one of the most fun days ever…and we won!

Wrigley Field 2007

Spot The Blondie...And Sports Fan!

So what is the point of this post? Oh wait, you want a POINT…to one of MY posts? Good luck with that! There’s no real point, other than to say that I am quite pumped for the Super Bowl. It is all the more fun to watch given that the Broncos colour of choice is Orange and the Seahawks colour is Green, so it’s like the Irish have invaded the city with all the Green and Orange all over the place. As they have never won it and are considered the underdogs, I am cheering for the Seattle Seahawks! The first ever Super Bowl held in New York/New Jersey and I’m here for it, whoop whoop…Bring it on!

Super Bowl State Of Mind!

Super Bowl Boulevard

Countdown To A Bloggy New Year

December 30, 2013 Leave a comment

 

So in 2011 I was clearly in an ‘expressive’ phase….I thought the way forward was blogging, I would become one of those people who throws open their life to ridicule by typing words onto a website and exposing it for all the world to see.

Or rather….that was the theory! In practice life has a habit of changing your plans before you realized that it had done so. 2011 initially started as a rather quiet year for me in comparative terms, well for the most part. I did not climb Everest and to my knowledge, I did not break any world records (I have yet to verify this, I may STILL be crowned ‘biggest Doctor Who fan’ though I’ve seen some über fans and they are CRAYYYY-ZAY) and so the blog became a forgotten gem, and so 2011, 2012 and indeed 2013 slipped by, with the untold stories remaining trapped in the prison of my brain with only me for company.

It’s strange, I stopped blogging because of a few reasons, the quiet spell in life, but mainly due to laziness, a more insidious disease than many mentioned in a Medical Encyclopedia. Bouts of laziness are the ‘Weeping Angels’ of my life. For those unfamiliar with this New Doctor Who villainous race, the Weeping Angels can do away with you by touching you and zapping you into the past and living off the energy you would’ve used in the future. They ‘Kill you nicely’!! That’s a rather flamboyant way of saying that my own laziness felt great at the time, because I wasn’t doing anything and that often feels great, but in reality it used up another day that I could have spent productively.

These ‘Laziness Angels’ were a pretty powerful force on me in 2011 and led me to not only stop blogging, but stop with the gym, stop with a lot of things….I worked as few shifts in work as possible and only nominally searched for new jobs. I allowed myself to be gripped by this laziness for a good 8 months…..and yet surprisingly, In September 2011, I embarked upon the longest sustained period of activity in my life that continues to this very day, it finally clicked, my active mentality finally won out over my laziness. It is odd, in jobs I work incredibly hard, my managers will tell you so, perhaps I was just not quite as attentive at ensuring my own mental well-being than I was at contributing in work.

Sadly once you get out of the habit of doing something, the harder it is to get back into it, and so 2012 and 2013 went by without blog entries, despite them being the most exciting years that I have experienced in a long long time. I will try to go a bit ‘Night of the Doctor’ along the way and revisit key events from the past few years to inform all 4 of you that will read this about what I have been up to. I am offering up this blog as a bit of entertainment and perhaps it will offer you the chance to know me better. At times it will be moany, at times it will be heavy, at times it will be comical, and all throughout it will be completely self-absorbed, but that’s basically the point of a blog, so don’t whinge if you expected something else.

Hopefully I will be able to sustain the blog this time, perhaps it will give me a chance to prove to myself that I have grown and matured since 2011 and that I am now ready to not only talk more about my thoughts, but also that I have the ability to sustain my posting. What started as a post announcing my return to blogging quickly turned into a post about the state of my mental health in 2011, so if that’s how things go on day 1, lord knows what I’ll be rambling about in months to come.

Have a great week and I hope that 2014 will be a great year for you all!

New-2014-happy-newyear-3D-image-BY-Amazing-Team-1-780x780

Best wishes,

James

Day 2 and already I’ve run out of catchy titles

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment

So It’s almost midnight and nearly Day 3 but I couldn’t let the day pass without offering a second helping of the thoughts that go on in my head, albeit in slight abbreviated form as my priority at the min is to make the blog look decent, something i’m struggling with.

Today was a day like any other though extremely boring I have to say, I worked all day but happen to be born of a breed that I presumed was plentiful, till I actually entered the realm of employment over 10 years ago, that breed being ‘the worker who cares about their job’. Before I got my first job I always believed somewhat stupidly that everyone who had a job worked hard…clearly i’d never encountered retail before.

It is safe to say that I am blessed with some tremendous people to work with and talk to and some who are just lovely as people, not necessarily as workers, and then those who are neither good workers nor particularly pleasant people.

The reason I’m saying this is to the set the scene for what I imagine will be a blog that will soon be full of random posts bitching about person X/Y/Z and the utter insanity that seems to grip the retail industry and everyone within it, from the new start to the highest power, you think Eastenders or Corrie are soap operas…you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Night all!

James

Categories: Random Ramblings

Welcome To The Embassy

January 11, 2011 1 comment
11/1/11 Perfect Date To Start

Welcome to my new blog, quite why I’m actually making a blog I don’t really know, however I’m going to give it a go and see if my ramblings on here amuse either myself or anyone else for that matter. First things first I may as well talk a little about myself so that people know where I’m coming from.

I’m 26 years old, born in October 1984, thus a cool Libran (Libra being THE coolest star sign to be apparently) and live in Belfast, Northern Ireland. For those who may read this from lands other than the UK/Ireland, I’m of the ‘Belfast, Ireland’ persuasion, but to be honest I’ve bigger things in my life to worry about than the disaster zone that is Northern Irish politics….and yet lo and behold what is my greatest love in the world….politics!

Yes….spot the geek, I do love politics, in almost every country but my own, which is not to say that there’s nothing to be learnt from Northern Irish politics, but rather you could fall asleep in the 1970s and wake up in 2011 and many of the same faces would still be around….talking about the same things, alas thankfully dramatic progress has been made in that time, but I’m pretty sure there are glaciars that have formed, moved 100 miles and then melted in less time.

I do have a tendency to just go off on random tangents…it’s my mother’s fault, she does it all the time, so apparently tangentitis is hereditary, damn genes. Speaking of genes, not only did they inflict the dreaded tangentitis but they decided to have a field day by…making me attracted to the male form, ie…be a homosexual (pronounced Hom…not Home according to my Dad because of some latin where Homo means ‘man’ and thus should be pronounced hom like then…or is it the other way around). So yeah in conclusion…I’m gay, but not in the ‘OMG gurl you are fierce’ way more along the lines of ‘gay people annoy me’ kinda way….a blanket statement true…they’re not ALL abominations…just the ones I choose to dislike hehe.

I recently qualified as a New York Attorney and Counselor-At-Law *audience gasps in awe* but alas as it turns out, I still work in retail for apparently many different companies have yet to recognise my awesomeness…either that or the Cybermen have been controlling events from the other side of the universe, keeping me from achieving my goals for fear of the influence and power I would someday have…which brings me to Dr Who, big fan of the show, though less so now that Matt Smith is in charge, I don’t know what it is, but he’s just not clicking with me yet, not sure what the problem is…perhaps my own jealousy that he’s my age but has the coolest job ever and I um…don’t.

I’m sure there are plenty more things I could say in my first blog, but let’s be honest, you’ve probably all nodded off already before even getting to this line, if you haven’t then you will be rewarded with…..um…..a hug from me if you ever meet me, and damn my hugs are awesome if I do say so myself.

Oh right yes, one final issue before I depart is the basis of the name for this blog. I could’ve gone with another name that has been linked to me since I created a hotmail account with it in 2000 but felt this more accurately suited me. I studied in Chicago in the academic year 2005-06 at Dominican University. I have never experienced a more fulfilling, happier or exciting year in my life both before and since and so thought a nickname from that time would be a good starting point for this blog.

As the foreigner in the land of Uncle Sam, I was considered an ambassador for my country, in fact the organisation that gave me the scholarship and sent me over said to me and my group that we would all be ambassadors while abroad. Thus when at DU, my room was called ‘The Embassy’ and I was ‘The Irish Ambassador’. Corny and cheesy…hell yeah but damnit I loved it so screw it, it’s my name now and will remain so until I can achieve my dream of moving to the US and becoming a success there.

OK now I will go this time…it’s been a pleasure talking to myself here and I would like to thank myself for taking the time to write this blog…go you James (I nod back to my screen in acknowledgement) have a great evening everyone on this the most unique of numeric events.

James

Categories: Random Ramblings
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