Monday, September 28, 2009

Snot funny! (get it?)

I know, I'm over a week late on the whole "dust storm" excitement, but I've been busy scraping down the back deck with a toothbrush to remove the final traces of Mars Dirt that has covered everything in existence. I've got to admit, waking up last Thursday morning to an eerie orange glow over everything DID inspire thoughts of an apocalypse, which, annoyingly, I had slept through (which isn't that strange. I've slept through all of Newcastles earthquakes as well, so I shouldn't really be surprised)
I discovered something odd about myself- the idea of an apocalypse kind of excites me! To the point where, discovering it had been a simple dust storm, and not the catastrophic annihilation of humanity, left me mildly disappointed. Should I be worried about myself? I mean, sure. It would be harder to organise a mixed netball team, given the extinction of the human race, but look on the positive side- no more traffic on the roads to worry about! No more queues at the supermarket! NO MORE WINONA RYDER!!!!
Once I realised, though, that the world wasn't facing imminent destruction, I turned my attention towards more pressing matters. No, not matters of cleanliness, or fear about the atmospheric or environmental impact the dust was having. Oh no. My biggest concern for the day (And one that I wasted FAR too much time and energy on?)

How much dust would one have to breathe in before it turned your snot orange?? The answer, it would seem, is far more than I managed. Which was disappointing. Oh well. I've always got the next natural disaster to look forward to. Failing that, I can snort some food colouring...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Anyone want to buy a dog?

There comes a stage in every parents life where they look upon their children, and in a moment of unprecedented clarity, realise that the feeling they're experiencing, is complete and utter disappointment.We all know it's true. No one talks about it, but it's there. I had one such moment on Sunday.

Picture it. Glorious day. Didn't have to go to work. Aware of a Dog Fair Day at the park near my house. What a fabulously coincidental combination of events that lead to the brilliant idea of taking Yosh for a delightful stroll, so he can see and play with the other dogs, and we can be doing something more exciting than sitting around the house by ourselves, being bored. Brilliant plan. Apart from the tiny, forgettable fact that my dog is ridiculous, and my life tends to favour the absurd. (Honestly, I don't understand why! I'm sure most normal people could pull off a plan like that without anything going wrong. How do you become one of those people? What did I do wrong?)

Things were going ok once we arrived (despite the fact that NOBODY stopped my boy to tell him how pretty he was, despite ALL the other dogs getting complimented- honestly, shouldn't they at least lie? That shit will give him a complex!) right up until the sweet old lady came up and fucked everything. Now, with this lady, we're talking SWEET. Sugary sweet. A combination of Sophia Petrelli from the Golden Girls, and everybody's Grandmother in the whole world. Nicest old thing I've ever seen. And she walks up and starts patting Yosh, and telling him how fabulous he looks, and how great he is, and what a lovely boy he must be, and, like father like son, we're both whores for a couple of well placed compliments. By this stage, the lady could have asked either of us to blow up a truck load of pandas and we would have agreed. So when she suggested entering in the small dog race, it seemed like a DAMN good idea. Despite the fact that, you know, I KNOW Yosh is a retard.

So we entered. Apparently, he was a good candidate for the "Pointy Dog Race" (jesus, why not just call him ugly and be done with it? A little sensitivity, people- he has issues with being so damn angular!) Our first issue arose when I had to coax him into the starting box, which was little more than a tiny cage. Once we overcame THAT obstacle, the bastard ESCAPED from said starting box, and ran the length of the field looking for me, distressed at the idea of being abandoned in a cage (memories from his time in lockup must still be fresh). Whilst looking for me, he ran straight past me. This should have been my biggest sign this wasn't going to end well. So I got him BACK in the box, and managed to keep him there, as I took my place at the end of the field. Race started, dogs took off... except for mine. Who was still looking for me. Instead of following the horde of running dogs, he decided his chances of finding me would be better in the big crowd of human spectators. So he went to them. Then saw me and sat down. So not only did he fail at the race, I THEN HAD TO WALK TO HIM! All with a cheering crowd, laughing at what a retard he was, and what an ineffectual parent I turned out to be.

And to add insult to injury, he was beaten by the three legged entrant. How the HELL does that happen? I at least assumed we'd be guaranteed SECOND LAST! Stupid dog. So I think I'm going to sell him. Who wants to make the starting bid??

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Indiana Jones 5? Bring it on!

Indiana Jones is awesome. FUCKING AWESOME. I don't care who you are or what your opinions towards Kingdom of the Crystal Skull- Indy as a character is more awesome than you OR your dad. And I don't care if I'm the only person on the face of the planet excited about these talks about a fifth Indiana Jones movie. You know what? I'll be excited enough for all of us. Harrison Ford, wearing a fedora, punching bad guys (be they Russian or Nazis) is guaranteed to put a smile on my face every time. And don't give me that anti-KotCS bullshit. It was fun, dammit. Yes, he survived a nuclear blast by hiding in a fridge. Yes, Shia LaBouf pretended to be Tarzan. And yes. We saw aliens. But you know what? Go to hell. It was pure Indy-tainment. And it had Marion. And waterfalls. And that warehouse bit at the start was fabulous!
Now I'll admit, on the scale of Indy films, his latest outing wasn't his greatest. But did it have to be? Have we become so jaded as a culture that we demand EVERYTHING to be the BEST THING EVER? Indiana Jones doesn't owe you shit.
If Harrison Ford wants to wear his hat and play with his whip again, I'm totally, one hundred percent on board with that! And not only on board, I'm thrilled. Remember how excited we all were when the first images for Crystal Skull started coming out? And the trailer? I almost wet myself! I can't wait to recapture that level of pure unadulterated fun.
So while the internet implodes on itself with people who can't wait to make their snide comments about how much they're sure the latest outing will suck balls, I'll keep my little corner of the net brimming with optimism. And I might be the only person in the world doing it, but I'm crossing my fingers and hoping to hell this bastard gets made!
And for those needing further proof that Indy is still freaking fabulous:

Get that up ya.

Sigh. Will I never learn?

In my last post, I mentioned that I was reading The Lost Symbol, mostly for research purposes. I mean, you can't work in a bookshop and not read what is essentially the most heavily anticipated book since the last Harry Potter, in my humble opinion, despite the anticipated lack of quality. And honestly, I'm not a book snob. Entertain me with a ripping yarn, and I don't care HOW badly you write. Lets face it. The last two Robert Langdon books were fun. They weren't fabulous, but they were fun. And who didn't love seeing the Catholic Church getting it's panties in a bunch over it?
So I wasn't TOO hesitant to give the latest one a try. Until page 8, where we have THIS little exchange.

"I thought so!" she said, beaming. "My book group read your book about the sacred feminine and the church! What a delicious scandal that one caused! You do enjoy putting the fox in the henhouse!"
Langdon smiled. "Scandal wasn't really my intention."

Excuse me? Did you just pull me OUT of your story for the sake of a hamfisted meta-justification for your last book? Am I reading too much into this? Or did Dan Brown just break the fourth wall in an attempt to "cleverly" address the criticisms leveled at The DaVinci Code? That's how it reads to me. Fuck you, Dan Brown! And what book club, on the face of the PLANET, is going to read some fucking cryptologists text on symbolism and the sacred feminine? Book clubs read Pride and Prejudice, or The Slap, or Life of Pi. Not a freaking textbook. It's ridiculous. Would never happen. And it has managed to turn me OFF your stupid book in EIGHT GODDAMN PAGES! That has to be some kind of record- even Matthew Reilley couldn't do that.

Very shoddy, Mr Brown. I expected more from you. I'm not sure why, but I did.

All good things...

You know, I think I can honestly say, I'm on the BEST reading streak of my entire life. It's fantastic. It started when I picked up "Let the Right One In" on a whim, despite my almost deathly aversion to things I expect to scare the crap out of me, and it's lasted all the way up till now. Actually, it may have even started before that, I just can't for the life of me remember what I was reading then...

Let the Right One In

Brilliant. Vampire story with REAL vampires, not this sparkly, romantascised, Stephenie Meyer claptrap. Actually, as basic stories go, this one almost reminded me a little of Twilight, if Twilight were done properly. What we have here is a story that so subtly plays its vampire/ human romance that the whole thing comes off as slightly believable, and completely beautiful, as opposed to vaguely peadophilic and entirely creepy. And the best part is, it didn't scare the hell out of me like I expected it to!

Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

I think everything that can be said, has been said about this one. One of the simplest, yet most powerful holocaust-related books I've ever read. The sense of childish innocence gives this such a unique tone, it's hard to put it down. And that ending- I think almost everyone knows the twist ending by now, and god I wish I didn't know it beforehand, but it's utterly fabulous.

King Solomons Mines

I'm not sure what inspired me to pick this one up. I do love a good adventure story though, and figured this was one of the first, so why not give it a go. You know that feeling you get when you read a "classic", where you just can't get into it, because it's so far removed stylistically from anything you usually read (or is that just me?) This manages to completely bypass that awkwardness, and just manages to be a kick ass, fun story. And Allan Quatermain is NOTHING like the pussy Sean Connery made him look like in that fuckawful League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie. He's a no nonsense, elephant killing, treasure finding BASTARD. I love it.

The Road

Another one of those books that you want to finish in one sitting, it's a bleak, post-apocalyptic tale about a man and his son attempting to survive. That's it. They're not surviving with any point or purpose- survival is the entirety of their plan, and it's fantastic. It doesn't give in to the cliche of most end of the world stories and become Mad Max at any stage, it's just the story of these two people, and how they are one anothers entire world. It was gorgeous. And when I say bleak, trust me. Thats not me talking crap.

Me Talk Pretty One Day

I finally decided to give David Sedaris a try after hearing so many good things about him. Turns out they were justified. He was hilarious. I'm starting to develop an affinity for these types of books, as well, humerous memoirs about people I can imagine hanging out with.

Sadly though, all good things must come to an end, and now I'm reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I've mentioned before how sometimes I read things I know I'm not going to love, because I feel to be good at my job I occasionally have to read what the masses are reading, but when it breaks a streak like this, jesus it's hard to do. Who knows. Dan Brown may manage to surprise me this time...

Monday, September 14, 2009

This one's for Simon

What the cock is this shit? Is it any wonder Alan Moore worships at the alter of a snake god?? (Or should I say, THE snake god? I don't think there's a huge amount of them...)

Having said that, I'd totally watch this...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Holy Liza, Batman!

Watch this, and try to tell me she's not one of the greatest performers of all time. I dare you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Funerals are lame!

I know saying you dislike funerals is on par with mentioning that you hates The Phantom Menace, or that you think Nazis were bastards, or that Tom Cruise is a douche, in that it's one of those things that you generally don't need to waste your breath on, it's kind of a given in polite society, but after my funeral experiences last week, I feel the need to just point out: I REALLY HATE FUNERALS. Not that they're SUPPOSED to be pleasant, I suppose, but still. I hate the spectacle being made of the grieving process- it just seems so crass. As though the whole thing is being touted as some sort of stadium event for everyone to look at everyone else and rate how many sads we're all bringing to the party in some ridiculous sense of morbid one-upmanship. It's nonsense.
Because, as I believe I may have mentioned on here before, I'm an incredibly vain, self centered individual, being at somebody else's funeral invariably made me start thinking about my own, and I've come up with a few guidelines. Readers, take note. You never know when I'm going to drop dead, and it might be up to YOU to make sure these get adhered to.

Firstly: NO AMAZING GRACE. Jesus Christ. If there was ever a song that made me wish I could rip my own ears off instead of listening to the end, it was this one. I've never understood why it's such a staple when someon shuffles off this mortal coil- Do people think they wont get let into heaven unless they've bored everyone in attendance at their funeral with this crusty piece of waffle? So that's a definite. Whoever suggests playing this gets a haunting.

Secondly: NO BLACK. Honestly. The only thing I dislike more than Black is Grey. Don't wear either. Bloody hell, I wear mismatched colourful shoes, for goodness sake, do people REALLY think they'll be honouring me by rocking up clad like a ninja? Actually, if you genuinely ARE dressed like a ninja, come on in. Because that would be cool. Fancy dress funeral? The idea has merit...

Thirdly: NO RELIGION! I cannot stress this enough! Do not clog up my funeral with nonsense gibberish about everlasting life, unless you're making a Zombie metaphor!

This is a good starting point, I think. I also think I'll write a few eulogies to have on standby, just so I can make sure everyone is saying something nice about me that has been approved in advance. You know, something heartfelt and sincere. From me to me.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cynicism is easier for atheists

You know, one of my major regrets as an atheist is the fact that I take absolutely no solace in the notion of an afterlife whatsoever. Because really, sometimes it would be nice to fall into a comforting idea of a cliche-ridden, cloud-filled heaven with angels playing harps and invisible choirs singing and a bearded elderly God sitting somewhere on a throne watching the whole thing benignly. Or, alternatively, my personal idea of heaven, which is basically, me, a beach, and an army of Aussiebum models for all of forever.
But you see, because I reject the fairy tale answers religion presents to these things, to me, death is nothing but an ending. Oblivion. You cease to exist. Which some people find kind of depressing, but personally, I find oddly comforting at times. Honestly, the idea of “eternity”, in ANY capacity, pretty much freaks me out, so the thought of just... not being, anymore, brings with it a sense of completion that I tend to embrace.
This is fine ninety eight percent of the time. Which of course, brings us to the other two percent. Last week, my family lost another member. My Aunt, Judith. Just fifty years old. Wife. Mother to three. Friend. Aunt. All round loved person (Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing I hate more than canonising the dead. She COULD be a right pain in the ass, and you’ve NEVER met anyone as anal retentive as this woman) And when you think of someone in such human terms, it becomes progressively more difficult to accept that this person who EXISTED, whom you knew, and shared life with, just... isn’t, anymore. It’s death, and it’s impersonal, and it sucks.
I consider myself a rational, sensible person (most of the time) but looking at my cousin this afternoon, I hated not only myself, but the world in general, because there was NOTHING I could say to comfort him. He’s lost his mother. At the age of thirteen. How on earth do you even begin to understand what that kid has to go through? And what platitudes are there, when the nicest thing you can think to say is that at least his mum isn’t in pain anymore?
Sometimes the reality of life makes me sick.