Sunday, December 9, 2012

Here's A Fairytale You Haven't Heard Before

A man was beset by a fever. So long ago now that we have lost the words and numbers to give the year a name, the man named Banausic was seized by an unrelenting fervour and drive to built a great wooden hall that would have the ring of the gods. He was not blessed with the why of it, but was simply instilled with the how, and over the years of his life he built a house so magnificent that few would ever enter without fear of spoiling its acoustic magic and specific cadences.
When the hall was finished, he was left at a loss as to its purpose: no one could deny the beauty and the majesty of the thing he had built, but there was no obvious answer as to what was meant to dwell there. A travelling salesman came to Banausic peddling trinkets and jewels: a man who has his own story told some other place, as important to the gods as Banausic was. He had brought with him the intended inhabitant of the Acta: a book.
It looked no more impressive than any other book Banausic had ever laid eyes on- but then, Banausic could not read, and so the astonishment of letters linked together on a page was lost on him even when they spelled out his own name. But he did not need the talent of script to know what he held in his hands, because a man chosen by fate is often imbued with odd instincts and the right urges so as to end up in the right place. In the very centre of the back stalls, he laid out a place for the book that seemed to radiate the sounds and melodies of the hall itself, and he knew he was right. This place was meant to be a library; a repository of words and stories and knowledge and fables. Because Banausic’s part in the shaping of the hall had reached its conclusion, he died then without much ado and with no fanfare at all. The hall, however, was not yet finished.
People came from every corner of the proto-Thulian island to bring written words to feed the Acta. Wise men wrote ideas and sketched plans for marvellous machines; old, lonely women scribbled in broken handwriting accounts of their dead husbands and passed-away sons, just wanting them to be remembered; children drew broad picture stories of talking animals and imaginary friends, and those were as important as the histories of the land itself. Men were commissioned to gather those histories and bind them on parchment, to create analogues for the world in flat sheaves of paper, and all of them were stored in the annals of the great hall for wondrous posterity.
Many gods and sprites take hold on the fabric of the world from the sheer power of belief in their existence: you cannot vest that much collective energy in one force without breathing some life into it. The people of the island believed in a great number of creator gods and hellish devils and lesser imps, and even with so many faces these gods and devils and imps clawed their way into being on the back of the tributes offered them- and they were quite right to do so. The creatures of the Acta, however, did not come to their lives through belief but uniquely among their kind found hold here by necessity.
The power of words written down and kept is so immense and so focused that there was created a deep and abiding need for a personification to be in charge of them. A hall so inlaid with the meaning people bestowed on it- one so directly guided by the hands of already-existing gods and fates- could little exist without its own sprites than a nor’easter wind be talked to sleep. Out of the first book (whose contents are as much a mystery now as the nature of these forces themselves) rose a satyr of a kind, the thing which both inhabited and was made of the Acta and channelled the forces of words and stories stored all in one place. He was the Omphalos of the Acta; the centre point of the little world it created.
He was a benevolent thing and slept in a small nest made around the book, lodged high in the back stalls where he could overlook the wooden hall and simply love all his words without missing a corner. For a hundred years he was happy and content like this, and the library thrived. Words were brought in and taken out when people came to read- they took with them in their heads such varied thoughts and tales that came from places they had never been and concerned places they would never go. In this way, the world became bigger.
But even for the demiurge of words, years become long and oversight becomes less pressing. The Omphalos spent more and more time asleep, and as the nature of the Acta changed its needs changed, giving rise to new sprites of necessity.
It came to be that the Acta carved the first Father Librarian out of need, an old man like a monk who roamed the stacks and stalls, dry and dusty as the pages themselves. He was closer to the new idea forming around the books here, the idea that they were immortal and invulnerable and needed little tending at all. It became somehow imbedded into the minds of people that words and stories kept themselves, and because they were there the job was already done, and the value to be gained from them inherent in their existence. As sacrosanct as the Acta was, it became a white elephant that held a symbolic worth, and if it was not completely forgotten it was certainly demoted to a dead hall where few ever visited.
Of course the Father Librarian was built specifically for his task, and cared a great deal about the sacred nature of words. He did not believe them to be playthings either- the idea that anyone could lay eyes on the scripts in the hall at any time seemed deeply wrong and he was invested in the protection of their inaccessibility over all else. He was joined- out of his own need- by a small thing that had no other purpose but to study the texts and keep them in its head. The Father Librarian would never have dared the outrage of rising above his station and studying them himself, so the little thing that followed him around the maze of the hall became the place where knowledge went, and was the place where it then stayed.
This is how it was for an awful long time. For every year that passed, the Father Librarian would climb the back stall and quietly hang a tributary trinket over the place where the Omphalos lay sleeping, and for the rest of the year he and his little thing would be left in peace to roam and read. Nailed over the small nest which was secreted behind panels and shadows, a collection of small toys collected and grew: bells, rings, whistles, coins and horns. There seemed no point to ever rise and disturb the peace of the hall, so the Omphalos simply left the care of the words to the Father Librarian and his little thing, curling up on his book and simply slumbering deeper every time he felt the urge to move.
The collection of gifts over the Omphalos’ sleeping place had grown immense by the time The Girl came to the Acta. She was as much a part of its story and its personified powers as the Omphalos and the little thing and the Father Librarian were, although she came from a separate need and so was not recognised by them. Like an alien, she was found wandering the aisles, taking down volumes and scrolls and perusing them before returning them to their resting places. Likely she was walking there a far longer time than even the sprites of the Acta knew, for when the Father Librarian spotted her she seemed to know the place well and felt comfortable breaking the hierarchy of knowledge. She had no regard for the rights of the books not to be looked on by common eyes, and consumed them lightly, almost trivially, as though for entertainment. The Father Librarian seized upon her and- as politely as he could, being so out of practice in speaking with an outside person and a woman to boot- demanded to know her purpose there. Admittedly, the words “seized” and “demanded” may be a little strong for the manner in which he confronted her, but he had surely meant those sentiments when he had neared her even if his nerved had failed and delivered softly spoken words instead.
With large eyes that looked at him so earnestly he was at a loss for himself, she told him she was there to read. She disarmed him so that he simply led her through the stacks when she asked for a tale of bravery or a book that could teach her of birds and even found himself blustering on about certain texts in long-winded accounts as he did so. The little thing watched sceptically and jealously, following behind at a pace. It was less charmed by her dark hair and tall frame, and so was not quite as quick to allow for innocent intent.
The Father Librarian was so indeeped in a recounting of the census book from the second stack on the third floor that he did not notice when she leaped off and soared into the rafters, gleefully climbing into the ceiling beams and jumping from the top of one stack to another. When he turned around to find her gone, he looked up and was revolted by the noise of joy and disruption she was emitting all through the hall. For the first time since a hundred years after its inception, the wooden walls and paper aisles rang with a beautiful diapason- the song of the Acta that had lead Banausic to give his life to the building of it in the first place.
She scrambled into the buttresses and scampered their length along the walls, the Father Librarian and the little thing chasing after her as best they could. They had not been outfitted with agility or flight by their necessity, and found it terribly hard to keep up. They found the ladders and climbed up the stacks to catch her, huffing and heaving all the while. She slowed down for a moment to allow them to catch up, and then stopped. The Father Librarian howled at her, for all his words at a loss to express to her exactly the damage she was inflicting here. He could not jump the space between where he stood and she was perched, so tried to reason in desperate sobs with her to come down and allow them to restore some balance. She smiled a slow smile that had no malice but was wicked beyond belief, and in one quick motion her hand shot up through the rotten wood of the ceiling. When she pulled it back it was smeared with a dark brown blood, and she held the liver of a bird that had been sat on the roof. Its life had instantly as her hand had expertly plunged into its belly and plucked out the liver as though she was picking a lazy fly from the air.
Perhaps the Father Librarian and the little thing felt a wave of acknowledgment at this. They could not know it, but this was the first Cantrip in an unspoken, unwritten prophecy to usher in the next part of the life of the Acta. It was the first of three defilements of this house, and whether they knew it or not, this outrage was a part of the mythology that lived there. If they did not feel the weight of its importance, it certainly held them in place. They found they could not follow her as she swung and catapulted ever deeper into the attics of the Acta, and could only stand impotently as she disappeared from their view.
 It’s hard to say exactly what The Girl was. If the Omphalos was a creator demi-god, spawned from the first words of that book, then the Father Librarian was surely a keeper spirit flanked by a sprite. She was something wholly unexpected and- by needs- broke the form entirely. She is now known sometimes as the Dancer or the Terpsichorean, dancing through the branches of the World Tree, but there’s no one alive to remember her nature precisely. She moved this way from beam to beam until she came upon the heart of the hall: the Omphalos’ nest. He awoke and was taken aback to see any creature at all here where he slept, but to see one so lovely and piercing was the most unlikely thing. She smiled again, and he could not help but be seduced.
In taking him, she had enacted the second defilement of the hall, and everywhere the music rang.
Afterwards, she took him by the hand and led him through the place that was his own. She showed him the tributary wall and he was delighted for a moment before its more dilapidated nature brought him back down. Going back to the beginning of the line of silver toys was like looking into a tapestry of history- the first gift was beautiful and untarnished, and had been placed there with much care. But as far as he travelled along the line, the further down history he could see, the gifts became more mottled and cheap and hastily chosen, and it was clear that the need for him was diminishing.
She asked him if he read.
He could not understand why he should have to do so. If he persists here solely as a token of that first book, is he not already made of words himself?
She fetched him volumes from high and far shelves and brought them to his nest. She watched him read for the first time all the anchors of lives and ideas he had presided over in sleeping and waking times, and it was clear that he had only understood them now. By taking in the notions and knowledge of others, he began to understand the need for the Acta, for himself, and- with a growing feeling of heavy sorrow- the need that had created the Father Librarian.
He knew that the world understood that words were safe here, and that they could not possibly need anything more from them if they were. If the work had been done to gather the words at all, there was no longer a need to spread it and make the world any bigger. They had made a Librarian who stood in for them in their contentment with the hoarding of stories and the safekeeping of them, and then promptly let them sleep there unhindered.
As all the people of Thule know, water is the fear of the dreaming, and fire is the fear of the waking.
The Girl took the Omphalos by the hand and they saw everything that the hall held. Long forgotten tributes to dead husbands and passed-away sons; minutes, hours, days; the histories and wisdom of so many tribes there were no numbers to count them. She took him high into the rafters and smiled. From her pocket, with a hand covered in dry brown blood, she took a match and lit it, and handed it to him.
The hall rang happily with deep wooden tones and dry words took light.

           Perhaps we need to lose the words again so we can care for them once more.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Can I Be Sexy Pie?

   I have gone to extreme measures to take my mind off the fact that we're meant to be moving (the d-day has moved from the 30th of November to the 7th of December and subsequently to the 10th) in 3 days time, and not only have I yet to pack up the Disney encyclopaedias, we are- after a brief, flickering moment of hope- once again staring down homelessness. There was a duplex townhouse that appeared ripe, but as a consequence of the unfathomable measures of dicking about perpetrated by the agent in charge of it, we found out it wouldn't be available for occupation in time exactly yesterday. This essentially gives the man a usefulness quotient of zero, and I wish pusturating arse-boils upon him for the duration of the holiday season. Scrabbingly we are now searching again for a place to store me, my uncle and the cats (not to mention my library and entire museum catalogue) once we're booted out of Casa Birkenstock, and my palms are not sweating nor have hives broken out anywhere near me, because I just spent the last four hours exploring the rather purple depths of Bid Or Buy.
   For those not of a South African persuasion- Bid Or Buy is essentially Ebay. When I have more money and time on my hands than sense, this is where my consciousness eventually ends up. There are some really nice vintage shops selling lovely bits and pieces, and I have given a fair chunk of my custom to them over the years. Today, I bring you goodies of a slightly different bent.

   I am fucking fascinated by the idea of "sexy" or "slutty" suchandsuch costumes. There just seem to be a set amount of visual archetypes that we are led to believe are tattooed upon the bit of the male brain that's in charge of allocating blood-flow. I think the male brain is lead to believe this too though, and I've not yet heard any vociferous objections raised or seen any bans levied against the Sexy Nurse livery, so I think belief here goes untested.
   Now I understand some of them. The aforementioned Nurse I get- it's already a uniform even before you start cutting out strategic bits of fabric, and uniforms are fairly traditionally perved upon by both sexes. Not my thing personally, but still, power to everyone on this front. The other dimension to this of course is that nurses take care of you, lavish over you, and stand at least a higher than average chance of coinciding with a spongebath at some point in the future, so Sexy Nurse = sense.

   In the Bid Or Buy selection, your options for Nurse vary wildly between the more or less logical example here, to the point where you start wanting to offer the poor girl a coat of some kind.
   With the assumption that those who take care of you would be a turn-on, it follows that someone serving you would make your arse explode from excitement.

   No, not serving you in that sense. (Actually, the above costume was labelled "Sexy Chainsaw Executioner." Looking at her current condition and the chainsaw in question I cannot help but conclude this lady is both spectacularly clumsy and in preparation to execute a small salami.) (And also, I'm sorry, but any apron that makes you look as though you're build like a troll doll isn't going on anyone's sexy list.)
   I meant that perennial favourite of all porn movies made before 1989: The maid uniform. This one also covers both the uniform and servitude angles, so it's always going to be a hit, and I'll concede a certain measure of sexiness inherent in the general design alone. Howfuckingever:

   This shit is no longer a fucking costume. This is now a woman with grossly mismatched tits and apparently microscopic areolae in a dust ruffle. One dust ruffle, singular. She does not even have so much as two pocket squares with which to retain the chastity of her chestal area, but for some reason it has been decided that she needs gloves. BUT, lest we endanger ourselves of covering up any superfluous flesh, they must by needs by fingerless gloves, of course.
   Not too long ago, a member of the male species did confirm for me that a cat outfit has real life, genuine fans, which came as something of a surprise to me. Perhaps I'm the only one, but I really thought that it was something of a lazy cliché without much basis in reason, but I was assured that as little as the cat ears and a tail facsimile of some kind was enough to oxygenate the nether-regions. I don't think this particular bias bears much psychological scrutiny though: the moment you try to find some kind of explanation for it, it gets progressively more creepy. I mean you could probably do something with the femininity of cats and their slinky movement, the the very second you scale it up to a woman in cheap cat-ears and a feather-boa tail, overthinking it really just turns it into a question of how realistic or animal you want your cat-lady, and for fuck's sake why. Some kind soul, however, has found a way to combine both the Sexy Cat and Sexy Maid genres, and this happened:

   So now you have a submissive feline in corsetry. I really don't feel all that comfortable right this second.
   Still on uniforms, I'll say that the whole nautical theme definitely has staying power. In fact, out of all of the general looks that were covered in every fashion, the Sexy Sailor was one of the few that I just genuinely liked the look of almost all the time. Damn it, but the sailor thing is just cute no matter which way you cut it.

   I would so wear that swimming. I realise my intended use probably misses the point of the sexy costume thing rather spectacularly, but still, that's adorable as all get out.
   I think the next one merits a deep and resounding sigh, because we have veered off from the sensible once again, and are now knee-deep in You Stupid Fuck territory. This one was called "Army Camouflage Costume."

   Upon viewing the illustration, I seized upon a vague suspicion, and via the magic of Photoshop have confirmed...

   That this outfit's capacity for camouflage vaguely equals that of a flamingo in a Mexican restaurant.

   Of course you'd have your Catholic School Girls...

   ...Who appear to be flying in the face of every single dress code restriction I remember being bound by since the first grade. And to match, here's the nun I'd like to imagine is in charge of Catechism class:

   I'm sure part of the appeal of the nun thing must be the idea of being disciplined by a woman in a position of power, and the whole ravaging of the vows of celibacy thing. Fair enough, I would very much take every advantage of getting on a time lord, which I'm sure is equally depraved and strange so I'll not begrudge some poor man in nun in fishnet stocking and bell-sleeved bikini top. That'd just be cruel. But my sticking point (hey now, nun of that. Fuck, sorry.) would have to be with the stupendous, fabulous idiot savant who wrote the item description. Firstly, in big fat bold letters I managed to misread the heading as

"Spunk Me!" Nun Costume

   I'm sure I need not explain in which ways that betrays my marvellously Freudian nature, but I don't think "Spank Me!" is that much of a step up really, filth-wise. The genius though was nestled in amongst the measurements and shipping specifics. The writer here is a man much like the beautiful mind that spent all that time crafting penis-spam emails especially for my pleasure. He has considered his audience and his subject matter, and as a tantalising little taster of the joys you could experience on the business end of this costume, he has chosen to entice you thusly:

"Papa dont preach to me
I've made up my mind 
to be a nun."

    I mean, come on. That's like porn haiku. I'll admit my first thought upon seeing those latex sleeves was something along the lines of  "No. Nononononono," but after such a great blurb I cannot but be wholly on board. Or holy on board. Or indeed, holey on board. 
   Again, I am really just so fucking sorry.

   Considering the time of year, it's not unusual that I came across every variant of the Sexy Santa Claus outfit, from the fairly tame...

    ...To the aesthetic first cousin of that maid's uniform I made happen at you earlier.


   Really, there's truly something for everyone. 

   There's Cleopatra as done by a David-Bowie-Man-From-Space-Porn Star...

   ...And Pam from True Blood as the world's most under-dressed pirate.

   I cannot understate the WTF value of the Sexy Sunflower idea, although I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere about pollinating.

   I found Sexy Grim Reaper, which consisted of an LED light skeleton printed on a leotard, and a Sexy Wolverine, to which I say: really? Haven't we done that already?

   Of course, my secret shame is that I would have every single one of the pirate costumes available shipped directly to my door and wear that shit like actual clothing. I've never met a flared sleeve (vampire-nun's pleather nightmare excepting) I didn't like, and I'm a medieval faire junkie, so no matter where they rank on the scale of slutty to shoe-lace-crammed-between-your-arse-cheeks, I want. Enough so that this isn't the first time I've trolled the adult costume section of Bid Or Buy in hopes of finding some plus-sized flowery thing horribly misappropriated as "pirate wear". They usually come with some gorgeous brocade military-look jacket or something with corset lacing, and I would wear all of it out into the world with jeans and my croc flats. 

   Look at that glory. It's all fucking fabulous, and while I'd be willing to get past the fact that most of them cost more than the amount of money I think a member of my family should be worth, they are also all "one size fits most," the utter wanking bastards. The only ones that come in baby whale sizes look like this:

  And I don't care what your bent is, but that right there is essentially what would happen if the gayest Barbie that ever there was got Hadron-Colliden with an all-female production of Pirates of the Chlamydian: On Stranger Rides. Again, I think the whole Pirate thing really just functions on Rule Of Cool over some deeper psychological drive, and maybe the fact that you get to wear boots so high they're in danger of invading your arsehole. Still, I don't really see the situation in which some guy is absolutely panting for a bubblegum flavoured first mate, no matter how many shiny fake cows died to clad it in tampon-blue.

   I can't for the life of me understand why you'd want to approach the whole Sexy Bride thing. Surely the whole idea of a bride really suggests having to wait for the sexuals? Is the appeal the idea of having been denied special privileges that you now finally get to cash in on like the end of Lent or something? If it's your wedding night (and you're not snot-faced on champagne) I'd be quite comfortable laying odds on you getting to, you know, lay odds, but wouldn't the promise of damn-near guaranteed sex rather be cancelled out by the knowledge that this is the very last place you'll get to lay those odds ever again? And just as a technical point: isn't there a bit of hooplah usually surrounding the wedding lingerie? I'd imagine this costume would either render that somewhat redundant or suggest that the bride is in the honeymoon suite, ripping off her Vera Wang princess gown to reveal underneath an essentially sluttier, skimpier version of exactly what she just had on. 
   There's a small chance I might be over-thinking it here. 
   Zombie Bride manages in one outfit to both call into question every issue Regular Slutty Bride does while also asking some damn awkward questions about necrophilic leanings, how and why this particular bride not only chose to wear black to her wedding but also came to be buried in the dress, and why the dress itself appears to consist of a black tutu that's been attacked by a roll of toiler paper. Out of all the odd tastes represented by Sexy Costumes Of Things, this might be the one where I defer to the "to each his own" school of thought. Best to let that dragon lie, really.
   I cannot possibly argue with Sexy Ninja. There's just no bone of contention that withstands that particular crotch of doom.

   Lastly, out of all the costumes I looked at, endured and then inflicted on you, I think that the following is the most likely to cause embolism and/or extended periods of weeping. Behold if you dare Sexy Pimp.

  Did not every boner in the whole wide world just melt? Hath not this outfit the kind of spasm-inducing, orgasm-killing power of a whole fleet of naked Steve Buscemis mid pole-dance? Is there a penis in the known universe that could will itself not to simply melt down its owner's butt-crack at the very sight of a woman clad in head-to-toe zebra print with pink fur trimming? I say nay, and I apologise for the last time today for any damage I may have wrought on your sex life or mental health with this post. I can only imagine the extent to be vast. 

   It would be reckless of me to leave you in this state, so as I bid you au revoir for now, I shall cheer you all the way back up with the following- 

   Good night and good luck.

Friday, November 23, 2012

My Late Early Twenties Thus Far.

   Helllllooooooo, my bunch of delightfully anonymous readers from progressively more unlikely corners of our lovely world. Boy howdy, do I have some stuff for you today. Let us start with the obvious- BIRTHDAY.

   There was a party, and even as I am writing this, there is actual, legitimate turning-23-ing going on. Some years ago, my ex Maartin and I threw a Tuxedo Karaoke party which was... less than karaoketastic. We decided to use the midi backtracks my mom makes for her singing students, but if you're not an Eisteddfod kid, it can be very hard not to hear mono-tonal generic bell-like sounds and stand in bafflement as to where the song starts or indeed which song it even is. We also went with the stellar option of trying to display the lyrics to each song on the computer monitor with "Tell me when to scroll down. Now? How 'bout now?" as regulation, and the end result was rather as much chaos as you'd expect. 
   This time I was going to do it right, and I was going to do it comfortable, goddamnit. Pyjama freedom for all. Of course when the invites went out, that meant more threats of nudity than I dare relay, and I wasn't even that hesitant to turn them all down. 
   Since the dreadful Tuxedo Karaoke, I had started scouting out karaoke tracks to keep just in case we were ever to attempt it again. Years of this hoarding means I have hundreds of tracks now, and the above picture is the front cover of the meticulously handcrafted karaoke catalogue I set up for my guests to use. It took some (ah ha ha ha. Some. I'm a bald-faced liar, "some" is wildly incorrect here) cajoling to get people to join in, but I had incentive. I had gold-foil covered chocolate Kruger Rands for willing participants, and they may well have mystical powers not unlike leprechaun gold.
   WARNING, ACHTUNG, Tangential Anecdote To Follow, DANGER DANGER:
When I was a kid, (all of the "kid" years, really, no need to narrow down) I was a fucking weirdo. (I'm a creeeeep....) PE and sport days were absolute obligatory, but the teachers knew me. They knew me well enough that when only a doctor's note could excuse you, I was the one sitting on the bleachers next to the kid with the broken leg, reading Thief Of Time. I didn't like sports, didn't like watching them, and didn't like participating- but to at least some degree, that was because I outright sucked ass at all of it. I tried out for the netball team, putting in many hours over weeks of hard work and training with the rest of the hopefuls, and didn't even make the M-team. Sometimes we'd play softball in PE class, and I LOVED being at bat, even hitting the ball sometimes, but then after that there was some form of running involved and rather a lot of angry people seemingly arbitrarily shouting at me to either keep running or for god's sake's stop on one of the, fuck, I dunno? Corners? Those things. Mostly, I didn't hit it, and it became clear that in this hellish sport, I was never going to be allowed to keep holding the bat, so that went pffffft too. In the sort of mini-around-the-neighbourhood marathon the school orchestrated for presumably Faustian reasons, the teacher simply handed me a water bottled and gestured to take a seat next to her at the first check-in point. Athletics like long-jump, and high-jump and what nots and doo dabs were never anything less than marrow suckingly embarrassing, and once everyone had realised I had a greater chance of actually, medically breaking my neck on the hurdles, I got to sit all that shit out. 
   But I'll tell you what: when accolades day came, and everyone who had achieved some kind of recognition for the semester got called up to the auditorium stage to receive their medals and hurrahs, I wished so hard for javelin throwing prowess I think I burned a bald-spot into Mrs. Potgieter's hair. I was always handed a little piece of paper with a gold sticker and some ribbon on it for Eisteddfod or the play, but all the people who had dared to hurdle their hurdles and jump their jumps (and rugby their rugby) always got solid, shiny, gorgeous medals. I cannot possibly express the extent of my longing for a medal. They seemed so tangible and irrefutable, and the weight of it around your neck must feel like the very measurement of real praise. In comparison, my little certificates were essentially no better than participation stickers to me. 
   I complained loudly and continuously enough that my awesome dad (of whom you have heard not a little) did his darndest one day (maybe not his utter darndest, though. I feel there's at least a small component of "take this and shut the fuck up, kid" to it, he could have put his back into it a little) and covered a milk jug's lid in foil to make me a make-shift medal. 
   Yeah, it didn't work. But now, years later in my age and wisdom, I can look back at that as one of my favourite gestures ever. 
   My point is that holding one of these damn chocolate Kruger Rands feels like the medal I wanted, and I find it as hard to eat as a cake with a face. Excellent prizes for humiliating yourself to The Lion Sleeps Tonight, I think.

   Baby Sam came along and fairly terrorised the cats. This is a generation of felines who have never had to deal with terror more or less at their standing height, and so his gentle "coo"s- and, you know, inoffensive jumping up and down and squealing at pitches hitherto thought outside the human hearing spectrum- shot Tesla through the house like a little lilac-pointed white ball of four-legged piss-streak. Much like when Sam sneezes or coughs (or does anything that a grown-up does, but in miniature), it was fucking adorable.

   This is the moment I have been hoarding Karaoke tracks for. It's Brenda and Sam singing Sexy Back with all of the aplomb that goes with Brenda and Sam singing Sexy Back. I put out all of my hats, scarves, sunglasses and props (of which there are many) so people could pimp out their pyjamas to suit the song they choose.
   Here's Dirk doing two different songs (as evidenced by him wearing two different hats), but doing what looks to me like the equivalent of two moves from the same dance. To whit:



    Then there's Duane...
    In Duane-like splendour.
    We have Juan to the far right, hiding his face from the camera. Since the instant film costs like R16 a shot, I think the man owes me a drink for this shit.
   This was Verdale's solution to instrumental breaks. Air piano, which is obviously awesome.

   And since I was behind the instant camera, you may wonder if there's any photographic evidence that I attended my own party. Behold:

   Yes, that's me doing Wicked. Somehow I realise I end up spending a great deal of my life dressed as a wizard, and I'm kind of OK with that.
   But of course, you don't want to know about the stunning solos that included such classics as My Baby Just Cares For Me, I Got You Babe and Baby Got Back. You want to know what kind of awesome presents I got, largely because that's all I've been talking about for weeks.

   My own personal death-timer from Duane. BEAUTIFUL. And now I can cosplay Mort if the urge should strike.
   I also got a shopping spree from my dad, which netted- among other lovelies- sparkly shoes. His reaction was of course "Where the fuck are you going to wear those?" to which Duane responded most pleasingly on my behalf "Everywhere!" in a tone that suggested it was exactly as silly a question as it sounds. I got a Sheldon doll from Dirk, who knows me on levels I apparently don't even know myself because holy fuck how awesome is that? I'd never have thought of that, and I was drooling over these dolls not a month ago. I obviously am not as Sheldon-y as I thought, because didn't even give half a thought to ripping the packaging open and clutching my little Jim Parsons to my chest.

   Brenda, who is inscribed upon my soul in many ways, got me more books. That's a little like buying a drunk a drink, which is why I love her. You know someone cares about you if they're willing to feed your all-consuming mania.
   So as mentioned, my dad sent me on a spree, which is possibly the wisest way to satiate a female on a birthday. I decided to go to Menlyn which is one of the bigger and more confusing malls in the area. This is place is huge and Escher-like in its lay-out to the extent that a few years back, a kid (who was actually a friend of Cousin Carla's, in this small world) stabbed two other boys in the video arcade and one died while the paramedics were trying to find their way out of the mall. My rationale in this choice was that at that size, Menlyn ought to have everything. Spoiler: they didn't have everything. But more importantly, when we arrived there at about 10 AM, as soon as we parked the car a screeching alarm went off and people started barrelling out in their multitudes. My personal favourite was the small army of ladies in hair foils mid-colouring running out in their hairdressing capes, although I do feel rather bad for the state of their follicular health after that. There was no clear instruction on what was happening or what to do, although the bomb squad and fire department seemed to be there, and a shop owner locking up told me she reckoned it was probably just a drill. Weeks later and I still have no idea what it was, although on the phone a security personage with the mall said it had been an actual fire.

   (Just as an aside: one of my favourite gifts I got was a tin of Hello Kitty sweets and a lollipop wrapped up in a foil plate. Seriously, that made my week.)

    There was also some pub-quiz doings a little while before my birthday which begs a repeat. Dad, I and Duane got our thinking hats on and won second place down at a golf-flavoured pub not far from here. I took home our prize of the world's most useless bottle of wine seeing as how none of us really drink and if we did it certainly wouldn't be dry red. But dammit, I had my trophy and I'd be a fool not to use its innate magnitude and sheer itself-ness to lord over the poor fools trailing in third and fourth and so on.
   There was also a very pretty boy there who looked like Daniel Radcliffe, and I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn that my spastic attempts at smiling at him and my efforts to glance in his direction without seeming Tina-Fey drunk went absolutely no-where. Progress though, at least I hazarded the chance to look Tina-Fey drunk instead of staring at my shoes.

   I'm willing to call this one a win. The party ended up at the exact intersection of Drunk and Too Drunk that yields inside jokes and cringe-laughter, and I got practically a week and half of festivity out of it.
   Now, however, my attention turns to that greatest of domestic evils: moving. At the end of the month I need to be elsewhere than the home in which I currently reside, lest the new owners take umbrage to my bibliomanic squatting. Also, you know: packing. Finding a place to move into and putting things into boxes for the express purpose of moving them hither to thither are two things I have not yet done. I have turned off the panic button for now, instead quelling it with lashings of West Wing episodes and too much sugar. I'm sure it'll be fine. Me, four cats and about four square acres of books-'n-bits on Brenda's couch will probably be a healthy life experience. Should that cease to be an option, I can always earn my way in pub-trivia winnings.
   At least I have a fall-back plan.


Friday, November 9, 2012

My Legacy

   This last week, the top 4 search engine hits this blog has gotten (bear in mind that means there was more than one instance of each of these a search term that brought someone here) were as follows:

Is it good to live like Charlie Sheen?
Thumnailserver Sex Party
Farts Dynamite
(and my personal favourite)
Pretoria Finest Vaginas 

   I think that my stats are a recommendation of this site in and of themselves. Seriously, if not one but four different people could find this site in search of "farts dynamite", then I must be doing something right.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

We Need To Talk About Trevor.

   I don't think it's any surprise or secret that I like me a pretty piece of flesh. I like me some boys. Like Dawn French in Let Them Eat Cake, I should like to support the troops and have ample cause to confuse Julian Desiere for Didier with the lovely bulgy thighs. I am a true harlot at heart if not in practice, which if anything makes me unforgivably inconsistent. I shall have to remedy that shit at once.
   When I was dating Marnu I once asked him who would be on his "List." You know The List: it's the 5 celebrities you would theoretically be given a free pass to consensually molest whilst in a relationship. Now, this is not literal, and as Ross and Rachel (their wisdom is neverending and truly unlimited in scope) have proven unto us, when the idea is put to practice it tends to fall flat in several different ways. Not least is which that if you've bumped Isabella Rossellini from your laminated list and then run into her at a coffee shop, bitch is not going to be pleased by your insubordination.
   Marnu took the idea very seriously indeed, and utterly balked at the idea that there ought even hypothetically be such a thing as a free pass for the sake of a thought experiment. He gets very worked up about the animal welfare issues involved with Schrodinger's Cat, too. I pointed out how utterly on the far side of "just and idea" it was, citing that if Benedict Cumberbatch himself swaggered into the room right then and there, my response would not be to call List and jump him but to scream uncontrollably because how in god's name did he get in the house, where the fuck did he come from and what is he doing in the computer room. It was moot, Marnu couldn't really pare down to a specific 5 anyway, but boy howdy did I have contenders.
   Now we all know how much I love a bit of this:

   And lord knows there isn't a woman alive who ought to be able to withstand a little of this:

    I could fill up your screen and sap your bandwidth with a post of wall-to-wall List. I mean Bradleys both Whitford and James, Colin Morgan, Michael C Hall, Paul Rudd, Jensen Ackles, John Hannah... I actually made a real list after that discussion with Marnu. It filled up my entire whiteboard, and I kept having to bump people off of it because I was running out of writing space. Look, can I help it if I appreciate a good design?
   But let me say this- of all the traits that puts a name on my list (besides eyes, because even if the rest of you is deformed beyond recognition as a human specimen, you flash those Benedict Blues at me and I'm yours exclusively), I recognise a pattern that leans towards comedy. Sure enough, I love good actors all the more for being good at what they do, but as Christopher Titus so aptly puts it, I'm a total Chuckle Slut. Jason Segel for instance is specifically encouraged to skip right past the hand shake and going for the boob grab the moment we chance to meet.
   Recently, I've been getting indeeped in some stand-up comedy. I have come to realise this as my Achilles' heel. I am going to be a very busy woman indeed if I should ever make good on my threats of petty sexual assault when you factor in the actual comedians alongside comic actors. To whit:

   Angry Irish madman with floppy hair. You tempt me, sir.

   Manic Australian atheist in skinny jeans. I shall have you spread on a cracker.

   Christopher Titus whose family is maybe the only one fucking crazier than mine, and whom I am convinced would understand me like no one else. You and I are soulmates, Christopher. Come to your senses and come to me.

   Now you'll note that I seldom ever really talk about South African actors that get my lusty vote. Well you've noted incorrectly, because the actual amount of times I've talked about South African actors that get my lusty vote is none. None times. Largely this will be because most of our movies are shot with either soap actors, or Leon Schuster who is one of the more frequent catalysts to my suicidal thoughts. We have not yet really learned how to make movies, and when we cast and direct, we end up with Days Of Our Afrikaans Angst up on a big screen trying to look grown-up. Tsotsi and District 9 went some way towards lending our cinema canon credence, but even then they were both massive commercial entities geared for overseas consumption and in D9's case, more or less crewed by professional foreigners.
   I am obviously grossly prejudiced against my own media culture by way of being a raging prick really, and when a bunch of ads for Cell-C (a cellphone coverage provider) came out featuring someone called Trevor Noah, I got seven kinds of righteously pissy and decided that Lord Loraine decreed against him. To my credit those ads really were crap, but even when people I know- people previously unburdened by mental illness or a fondness for braindeath- kept telling me how funny his stand up was I would not budge.
   Then Brenda tells me he's funny, and I sigh my weary sigh and give in. Seriously woman, it is not healthy the kind of power you hold over my resolve.
   And guess what: he's funny. Not only funny, but actually funny. Astute as fuck and articulate beyond the particular areas he covers. And pretty.

   In truth, he's kind of like the Tolkien of stand-up: you can clearly see the fact that stand-up comedy was never his original gig in his segues and diffusion noises ("It's madness, madness...") which come less naturally than the stuff he means in earnest and understands inside out. (All of this being like Tolkien in that Tolkien built a whole damn world, and then went about writing a book to showcase it. Trevor has all this shit to say about South Africa and has the accents and imitations down to such an art, he has to write comedy around it to get it out in a formatted medium. I think if stand-up comedy didn't exist, this guy would have to be a professional dinner guest.)
   This may well be threatening my honorary ex-pat status and I'm in trouble of having my dual imaginary American/British citizenship revoked, but this guy is going on the laminated version of the list; I'm not risking an Isabella Rossellini situation.

   Then there's this thing about actors I want to talk about. When I was little, I grouped them into tiers in my head, and I did it backwards. Tier 1 was the basic, entry level acting class, tier 2 was someone who could carry some depth and create a slightly fuller character, and tier 3 was basically Meryl Streep. Backwards. But forgive me, I was 12 and I had only recently been introduced to the word "tier." I then met Marnu earlier this year, and in the strangest case of quantum entanglement I've ever been a part of it turns out he had- independently of me- developed the same bass-ackwards system for actors when he was that age, even using the word "tier."

    In the above graphic, I've re-ordered the tiers to reflect, you know, logic, and I've added the addendum Marnu came up with: the Pornstar Tier. I think that one speaks more or less for itself. Now I like to think of the tiers kind of like that quote about the three personalities every person has: the one you think you have, the one the world sees, and the one you really have. You could say that with each tier an actor moves up, he becomes cognisant of another one of those personalities for his character. When you can understand the thing that drives your character even when your character doesn't, you are tier one. When you are aware of the fact that this character exists differently in his peer's eyes than he sees himself, you are tier 2. When you are reading out a line that contains words and syntax you wouldn't necessarily know how to apply ad-libbed in real life, you're probably tier 1. And if the words you need to read out have never met Mr. Syntax and Lady Thesaurus and you still don't can't just say them like a human being, you're a pornstar.
   This is obviously a greatly simplified idea, but I've found it applies so universally that it got me thinking. (Yes, a dangerous passtime, I know.) Writers for most mainstream and decent indie movies and TV do not write their characters on the first tier. Even something like Transformers which may be brainless requires the characters to at least respond to a certain level of functional logic and reason, and act accordingly. These are characters that, when given a piece of information, are given it for a reason that is likely pertinent to moving the story along and as such they tend to consider and process it fairly well, even if they are a recognised douche within that particular world.
   People do not work that way. I grew up watching movies more than I actually, you know, talked to people, so I somehow managed to grow up believing immutably that people actually think. That if someone says the sky is red and you can point up and prove the contrary, they would have to take it under advisement at the very least, and if they still wanted to stick to their crimson sky belief it probably had something to do with character motivation. Not so. This is how that exchange broadly goes about 70% of the time in the real world.

   "The sky is red."
   "What, like right now? Like a sunset? It's 2 in the afternoon."
   "No, you know. It's red."
   "What made you think that? Did you read it somewhere?"
   "OK, well it's easy enough to verify. Let's just look out the window."

   "Looks blue to me."
   "FUCK YOU. REDREDREDREDRED. And your mother is a whore and your father died a virgin, RED."

   That's people. Often, circular logic is even a bit of a high ask- when faced with the challenge to justify a belief or an action, most people just opt for the LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU, RED option. I am now going to actually go to a very un-PC place and say that people can be placed on the tier graph too. I'd say the more you understand the mechanics of the world around you, and the more genuine insight you have into the workings of your own mind, the higher up you go. This has fuck-all correlation with plain intelligence, the same way the acting graph has little to do with how smart an actor is. I mean, Norman Reedus is a very good actor capable of commendable nuance, but that guy is his own audience. I mean he is every 15-year-old proto-goth boy who was convinced Boondock Saints ought to be a religion and asked everyone to call him Draven. Thusly you can be a brain surgeon, but if you still refuse to admit that you've inherited a fat chunk of your mother's bad attributes and rationalise away your bad habits, you are not tier 1. Basically, the better you are at either lying to yourself or if you have never had enough information about yourself to even have had the chance to lie, the further down the ladder you fall.
   Again, very simplified. But it works. Broadly I think people on the lower end of the tier tend to need less from life and relationships. There's angst, but most of it is either fairly innocuous or easily soothed. I think that even if you're an utter brick intellectually, the higher your ranking, the more corners of the world you see and it follows that you'd need more clarity and satisfaction from those corners. If you don't know that your partner only really likes Terry Pratchett for the broad comedy and pretty fantasy (likely because you do too), there's no way for you to be dissatisfied with their capacity for its cultural and satirical depth. If your views on the universe and any belief you hold is unshakable not because of the evidence behind it and the strength of its merit but because it's yours, you're not going to feel unfulfilled never fully understanding the nature of your beliefs and the reasons why they captivate you. All in all: probably happier people.
   You'd think that this is the kind of thing where most people would go "Nuh-uh!" because no one wants to think they're on a lower tier, but I've run this theory past some people. I've come across scepticism and outright support, but my favourite reaction was from someone who simply nodded a slow acceptance and then told me they think they're probably tier 1 or 2, and that's cool, yo. I think there's something to be said for measuring people not by IQ or knowledge, but by awareness and intellectual functionality. Sharp over clever. I say let's promote the village idiot, because that guy obviously knows himself well enough to put on his hat and gown of office, and let's instead pin the "kick me" sign on the town elder's back, because that dude hasn't had a thought he wasn't given by someone else for years. I say hope constantly to be proven wrong about the world and about yourself, because if you are, you are just that much closer to eternal misery suffered in exquisite depth of understanding.
   Huzzah for the worry-warts.

   And as a hypothetical American, can I just say a quick prayer to the American gods of politics and mythological deities of cultural identity (yes, I'm reading Neil Gaiman right now, what makes you ask?) for Obama? The American political character is American folklore, and for that I love it. I hope I can continue to love it once this week is over, because if Romney gets voted in, I'm moving to Mars.
   He's a pornstar tier person.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

On The Subject Of Birthdays

   It has come to my attention that I am being forced into my late early-twenties in little over a week's time. Yes, I am entering my 24th year on this lovely little world we've cultivated (well, others have cultivated, I'll admit to rather a lot of sitting back and handwaving "looks like you guys have it all under control, I'll just be over here with me iced-tea"ing.) and there are crock-shits of things happening all around my head. Goddamn, it's full enough in here already without all this external noise to add to my general state of confusion, did I not say I had an iced-tea to tend to?

   I'm moving out of this house at the end of the month. The house I've had the longest tenure in of any of the houses I've lived in. We've been here about seven years, whereas previously we tended to jump from house to house every two to three years on average. We have yet to find a place to actually move in to, but we'll have to get on that shit soon because I foresee a modicum of discomfort should I have to share a bed with one of the new occupants.
   I am currently persona non grata with at least Cousin Carla and her associates, plus I've kind of provisionally told my mother to keep to herself (looooong story), and my ex Marnu who I've been endeavouring to stay friends with as per our many, many discussions on the topic is acting like a bit of a bizarre prick, so I have no idea where that stands. Sister Estelle and her husband have also had something of a tantrum recently which led to them taking back their dogs who had been living in my yard keeping all the burglars (both imaginary and real) at bay. That means at least that many less people that will be coming to my birthday party, and that's a big issue for me. Last year (as you may remember, oh lone loyal reader on a Mac reading from Switzerland) no one came besides my mother and Carla, and it was truly fucking sad. There had also been some drama with other friends right before my birthday that year and the over-all mood was just bleak.
   But I'm turning 23. Fuuuuuuuuck. That's OLD. Not in the "I'm barely out of my teens and people in their 30's are old to me" kind of a way, but in a "Oh dear god everyone my age has already studied something somewhere and is at least more or less on their way to their 2.5 kids and OK-ish jobs" kind of a way. I have so much stuff I want to do. In this world, I have mountains and mountains of stuff I want to do. It's not indecisiveness, I know all of those things by name and each one is as important as the thing standing next to it, and anytime I've ever wanted to turn my focus to one thing the others scream out in protest, causing me to sit back down and neglect them all equally. I mean really, I've worked, but a combination of shitty circumstances, limited means and a general disposition towards self-destructive laziness has just gradually driven me into a cul-de-sac, and I'm starting to panic.
   It's like dieting or quitting smoking. You always think you'll start on Monday, then Monday comes and suddenly you have a cigarette in your hand or a deep-fried slice of black forest cake in your mouth (yes, the whole slice, don't skimp on the visual here) and then you feel all right excusing further "cheating" until it's not longer cheating but full on habit again. It's always been "this will be the year I buckle down and make a short film" or "2012 will be the year I go overseas." But either my bottomless ability to cut and run or the universe itself will always come down with a slightly greasy thumb and squish that shit right the fuck out leaving nothing but an uneasy apathy and dark chocolate cake crumbs in its wake. It's always been sort of OK because I'm young and I obviously- like all the other invincible, immortal twenty-somethings- have all the time in the world. After all, isn't 50 the new 40? And 60 the new 70? Hell, by the time I'm in my thirties 100 will be the new 90 and they'll have figured out how to live forever anyway, so really all I'm doing here is taking a gap decade.
   I can't do that any more, I just can't. I know my health is by and large in as robust a condition as the underside of an '82 VW Beetle that's been parked on the beach since its inception, and as such I think I can at least comfortably say I'm not as invincible as the next 23-year-old. I'm struggling with so many symptoms that manifest themselves cosmetically that I cannot bear to look at myself in the mirror without worrying it might break the universe. In summation: my head is full. It's wall-to-wall angst and I have no spoon with which in to dig. (Avoiding ending sentences on a preposition like a BOSS, yo.) (Please don't point out the inevitable numerous examples of me doing just that even within this post itself, just let me have the Boss-Win this once, OK?)
   Let me tell you a secret about growing up poor: it creates this casual kind of a greed that ends up trying so hard to fight itself, it goes negative. Money was always tight for us, but there was a certain point after which things took a proper swing for actually poor, and I was always ultra-conscious of the fact that we couldn't afford things. It made for a distinct and unerring separation between need and want. I learned very early on to recognise that I wanted the toy other kids were getting, but that I didn't need it. And if I didn't need it, it was imperative to not only not ask for it, but to make it look like the very knowledge of its existence hadn't even entered into my sphere of consciousness. If I let on even vaguely that I might want this toy, then my parents would be burdened with that fact and with having to deny me it, or worse still would buy it for me at the expense of something we probably needed. This kind of refusal to acknowledge wanting extended much further for me than it ever should have- I didn't have the kind of social interaction that teaches kids what the rules of exchange are in human interaction; what is understood to be acceptable and expected in order to navigate basic conversation. I ended up extrapolating everything I knew from the books and TV shows and movies I spent way too much time immersed in, and let me tell you something: people in real life are no where near as smart or tidy in their thinking as writers give them credit for. It's made for a pretty crappy understanding of, you know, talking to other human beings and the trajectory of any relationship, and it's installed at the level where my brain decides when to blink and breathe.
   Not letting on that I was disappointed that I couldn't get a particular toy eventually turned into a very elaborate apologetic round-about in situations that had barely even the slightest connection the idea of sparing my parents my greed. If I'm in a room with three other adults and the host asks if anyone wants coffee, I cannot possibly say yes before someone else has. In fact, I can't answer even if they're talking directly to me, because if I say yes to an unsolicited offer that was made to me ouright, obviously I am going to be seen as brazenly presumptive and entitled and that I cannot abide. If there's a buffet line at someone's house, I can't be the first to "help myself", even after a painful amount of encouragement. I can't even be the second, I have to be the last. Men sometimes motion for me to enter a doorway ahead of them or open a car door for me, but I end up "no, after you"ing to such a tenacious extent that it actually creates the most awkward vibe that makes the guy feel a little emasculated and makes them think of me less like a lady (as it were) and more like that weird chick who goes into spasm when entering a room. (This, by the way, comes directly from an old friend of mine. He told me once that my continual insistence on walking into a room last and carrying my own bags made him almost subconsciously write me off as a "girl" and regard me as a very awkward dude, and I've started smelling a pattern as to why guys always switch right into friend mode the moment they meet me. Well, I say friend mode. Restraining order mode just doesn't have the same ring to it.)
   It's ridiculous. The scale this takes on can sometimes be overwhelming, and I end up turning down so many kind offers and free things just because I'm deathly scared I've got it wrong and I'll look like an entitled jackass or that I'll end up coercing someone into doing something they didn't want to do. How much of a prick would I look if I just said yes after someone asked if I want the old laptop speakers they're not using any more? Fuck, what if I've misunderstood and they really just want to loan or show them to me? And if I accept, later when I leave I'll have to call attention to it when I have to remember to take them, and that'll look even worse. If I say thank you for the meal someone treated me to that I'm genuinely really grateful for, all I'm going to end up doing is remind them that they've somehow been tricked into spending money and/or effort on me, and then I would obviously burst into flames and die. Or more likely, I'd burst into flames and everyone else would die, because that's just the kind of a-hole I am.
   Behind all of that though, is this ever-growing sense of that want. I love giving gifts, I really do; it's one of my favourite things to be able to pick out something perfect for someone they weren't expecting to get or wouldn't have thought buying for themselves. I'll admit that there's at least a small part of me that enjoys giving random and perfectly picked gifts because I wish the world worked like that more. I knew I wasn't getting the expensive Barbie with all the flash for Christmas, and in keeping it quiet it went on a mental list in a way. You become so aware of all the things you know you can't have that they become symbols of not-having beyond the respective value itself. So I take any chance to give little presents or do things that I know someone would have had to pay for because I know how much I'd like to be the recipient of those kinds of things. I do the same with the adventure game parties I sometimes throw (or used to throw)- I know I'd be over the moon to be a participant in one of those, so I put them together for other people in case someone feels the same and has never had the chance to take part in one. That makes me sound more benevolent than I am, I assure you this is all just a bratty selfish kid who WANTS WANTS WANTS.
   What I'm saying is, when my birthday rolls around, I get ridiculously materialistic. It's one of the few times a year when you've got some booty coming to you (as Calvin might say), and the only day that's yours entirely. No matter how crap the rest of your year has been, or how busy people have been or what-the-fuck-ever-have-you, it's the day when you get calls and messages and cards and candy from even the most tangential acquaintances and co-workers. And as a barometer for the shitty job I've done of growing up and out of old habits, I'm quite happy to say that when it comes to birthday gifts, it's quantity over quality. (Interestingly, the same phenomenon occurs when I have money to spend and I go shopping. Even if two things from different stores can be put into one bag, I want two. When I get home and put my shopping bags on my bed, I want to be able to tell at a glance that I brought home STUFF.) I like physical embodiments of having, and I'd rather have a box of beads and five second hand books and some DVDs than I'd want a car. It's the most abhorrent mind-set, but it's utterly part of me and I don't see it budging any time soon.
   Part of the reason I'm writing this at all- as I can quite easily see this being of zero interest even to the Swiss Mac Lover who so obligingly put me on his RSS Feed- is because it's a part of me writing or talking a certain set of things out so I know the shape of them better. In writing this, I've given exact wording to a thing I've always known about myself but had no definition for, and I can work on changing it now. Not the wanting of stuff (by the way, Mac person, feel free to send many, many gifts should you find yourself with an over abundance of cash and early-onset Christmas spirit), but more the crippling inability to exist in society without swallowing myself like Oroboros in an attempt to be polite. Along with the fear of an obviously imminent death (either due to the aforementioned bursting into flames or alternately dying of the hiccups) and creeping age, there's the fear that I can't just live like a normal human being. I've touched on this briefly in a previous post (the one that dictates Carla's absence from my birthday party- you know the one.) but it's something I desperately need to fix. All of my major romantic relationships have happened almost by accident, and especially contrived and unlikely accidents at that. Any time I've been called upon to manually bring about some kind of a connection with someone new, my fucking bizarre misunderstanding of the mechanics of interaction have inadvertently steam rolled me into unintended faux pas and out right we-can-never-speak-of-this-agains, so I'm going to have to go about learning all this stuff you bastards just seem to know like left from right.
   I don't know that either by the way: in the same way that I'm convinced I'm flirting with someone when I say hello back, I also cannot manually tell time at a glance, have absolutely no feel for the times table, and often have to pause to tell my left from my right. I can't tell you what a metre looks like even after you've shown me, and I could not even begin to venture a guess as to how long it has taken me to write this post. I couldn't even estimate to the nearest hour for you, I just don't have a measure for these things. Piano lessons for years (or possibly year, my guess here cannot be trusted) and I can't play you three blind mice. Can you imagine what an awesome driver I'm going to make?

   So listen, if any of my friends are still bothering to read this, take this away from today's pie: when I ask you to help me learn how to just behave like a normal person, I'm fucking serious. You know that time I asked you to set me up with someone because unless I'm meeting them under the explicit pretense of a potential romantic engagement I literally cannot impart the idea of it naturally? I meant it. I need your help, super-buds. I need lessons in personhood 101, and I need as many wingmen as I can possibly garner. I would very much like to avoid dying alone in a small flat at the age of 43 surrounded by my 29 cats if at all possible, but I'm afraid the basic training I have does not qualify me for much more. In fact, I think the two cats I already have might be fostering rebellion in their hearts even now, I might actually be losing ground here.
   And also, if you haven't read between the lines (or even the lines themselves, I do realise that my signature walls of text defend themselves from the threat of being read by their sheer volume and incidents of gratuitous "fuck" usages): presents.*

*It might have been a joke, but I am now going to have to punish myself Dobby-style for my wanton gift solicitation. If you need me I'll be over here ironing my hand.