Sunday, 30 September 2007

Sense Memory And Nostalgia

Across the carpark from my house is a McDonald's. The industrial-strength fans from the kitchen, carefully hidden from street-view, have been perfectly positioned to blast the scent of warm grease into my bathroom.
From now until forever the smell of hash browns will convince me that it's time to brush my teeth.

Despite the convenience of its location I've only bought food there twice.
Once after I'd just moved in and hadn't even progressed to the stage where I could proudly heat myself a supermarket-bought pizza.
Once after a drunken night with a friend.
Either my tastebuds are growing more refined or the taste is actually getting worse.

"Research is in, boys. They're going to keep buying the swill regardless. Might as well relax the standards, ey?"

On the corner which the building has claimed, used to stand the 'Mayor's House', an historic monument, a piece of our raw and youthful history. Presumably it was heritage-listed, or close enough, like the second-hand bookstore across the road which is up for auction.
The sweet little brick building is carefully regulated, the fittings can only be painted certain approved colours. Any alterations, repairs or touch-ups need to be cleared, ratified and sanctioned before any steps are taken.
I hope the bookstore-lady can top the bids. I have laughed, browsed and splurged there, chatting until well after close whilst her daughter frowned and puzzled over a primary school assignment in the other room.

It is business district zoned so either way it must remain a shop. It, at least, is safe from the golden arches. On the wrong side of the street, away from the busy intersection and in no way as suitable a location for the 'drive-thru'.

With enough money you can buy enough time to make it too late. Once something is gone, it's gone. I knew there was a reason I was scared of clowns.

We can't rebuild the Mayor's House, the old wooden timbers have been disassembled, broken down and carted away. It will be much easier to rebuild the faceless/soulless McDonald's building, if they so choose, but it'll be a pain in their arse, a thorn in their side.

And as the waves of heat wash through my bathroom window, carrying the smell of melting plastic and boiling grease, I am overwhelmed by the feeling that it is time to brush my teeth.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

The Day That The Swears Died

For anyone who has ever had anyone laugh at them for using the word fruitcake or any other suitably genteel swear-ternative, prepare for more company.
I wish to join your people.

The swears have died.
Their power to shock has faded away to nothing.
People are using the F word in primary school.
The C word is dancing in the street and tipping its hat to old ladies.

What on earth is the point of swearing if it doesn't get a reaction or at least help express the rage/surprise/fear or any of the other feelings that may have inspired you to open your hatch?

I have discovered over the course of some years that whenever I attempt to rein in my potty mouth and start making nice in social situations by using fakey swears, it gets a lot more attention than it would have had I used a canon swear and I actually feel that it has achieved its purpose.

One of the random non-swears to wander into my vocabulary is 'fart-knuckle'.
I can't tell you what it means, do not even want to visualise what it could embody but it is an incredibly satisfying thing to threaten a person with or to yell at a computer which has crashed halfway through something I kept meaning to save but sort of didn't get around to.

Almost any noun coupled with a verb can be uttered with the spirit of swearing but some are more effective than others.
Almost anything can work if uttered in the right tone.
Here are a few random examples I have just thrown together : crab-sprinkles, fruit-monkey, hat-spanker, cack-spackle.
They don't need to be double barreled, I just likes them that way.

It just seems that if swearing can no longer convey the depths of your feelings, no matter how loudly you utter the curses, we need to take it back a step.
Using a fake swear gives the illusion of swearing, often suggests the word you might have used instead and gives back the gift of taboo.
Once it's naughty again, it will have regained its power and will be elevated back to its proper position of power.
Until then, stop fart-knuckling around and get on with it.

Update: We have one taker for cack-spackle! Any new bids? Going once...! Going twice...!

Monday, 17 September 2007

The Little People Who Live In My Brain Have Gone On Strike...

My brain is a jerk.
Or, more accurately, portions of my brain are jerky.
The part that regulates my organs seems to be doing a bang-up job, we get along fine.
It's my... imagination?
Not the bit that makes you imagine deeper shadows within the shadows or spiders in your hair, that's running at full capacity though I do think she's a bit enthusiastic about her job.
It's the bit that allows me to write, my... inspiration? My muse? She's an asshole.

I only ever get my material sentence by sentence, rarely allowed to glance even half a page ahead.
It's like reading a teleprompter! I keep expecting to be tricked into saying 'rubber ducky nipple pinchy lover'... dammit!

It's like working with a paranoid who thinks that if she gives you all the info at once you'll dump her, go it alone and then won't mention her in your acceptance speeches. She is also an egomaniac with an absurdly inflated opinion of these 'nuggets of gold' she's doling out piecemeal.

I get to be surprised at the same pace as my theoretical readers, the only difference being that they're surprised at how poorly structured it is seeing as I wasn't given the opportunity to plot the piece.
The paranoid muse also doesn't take kindly to editing. Takes it kind of personally if you know what I mean.

I've tried bribery, cajoling, wheeling, dealing and bluffing.
It's time for the threats...

Your Internet Horoscope #3

In a blatant show of favouritism, today's horoscope is calibrated specifically for those in the Southern hemisphere...

You will notice a mysterious increase in the number of hayfever ads.

In the course of spring cleaning you will find something that you lost long ago. Pray that it isn't a sandwich.

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
Fool me thrice, you should go into politics.

You will be unable to recall where you put something down despite having it 'just a moment ago'.

You will have trouble remembering precisely when daylight savings begins.

If you're feeling cross, imagine you're in a summer meadow full of daisies. If this doesn't help, imagine stamping on the daisies.

Change is inevitable, sometimes welcome, but too much of it stretches your wallet.

Other people's standards aren't always set in reality, neither are yours. Cut yourself some slack.

No matter how great our differences, we are all united by our frustrations with public transport.

It is foreseen that summer TV programming will include Reality TV! With bikinis, breast implants and an unnecessary amount of beach volleyball!

If you realign your furniture for maximum happiness, be prepared to stub your toe in the night when you forget you moved the d*mn couch!

There is a planet rising in your 'love' sector. But it's that new one and we're not quite sure what it does yet.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Late to the Party

My attempt at the Thor meme created by the talented Erin Palette over at Lurking Rhythmically

Broken Sky

On TV when someone is dead, the doctor or whoever needs only to pass a hand over the face of the dead person and their eyes close. Maybe they need to be newly dead for this to work. She was still warm when I got to her but maybe not warm enough

I think for a second about trying to draw her eyelids shut with my fingertips but can't bring myself to try. No more than I can bear her wide staring eyes or stiff unnatural pose.


"Are you sure you're OK? We could get a taxi, or stop the night here,"
"Nah, I'm fine. Don't worry about it. It's not that far anyway."
"You're sure?"
"Sure sure sure! Shut up and get in the car,"
"OK, Bossy-bum, shut up yourself!"


The red and blue lights spark a brief reflection in her eyes which quickly fades into darkness before being rekindled by another flash.

The dizzying interchange of light and dark changes but doesn't change her face. The light moves and it seems she moves with it, surrounded by a galaxy of glass stars in an asphalt sky that blaze in time, blue then red.

Did she blink when the lights blinked out?


I put my head down on the table in the vague hope that by closing my eyes I can divert that energy to my ears and maybe finally manage to grasp what's going on. That's the kind of logic you get on four hours of sleep. It probably doesn't help that I've put my head down on the scarf. The conversation seems to have become muffled, even though my ears are uncovered, my lecturer is drifting away. This, I discover after a moment, is because I had dozed off. I hadn't meant to. It isn't that I'm not interested, I am. Unfortunately my body has its own priorities. I shrug off my jacket, hoping that the reduced warmth will wake me up a little and pray that I haven't been snoring as I try to pick up the thread of conversation.


"Miss? Miss? Can you hear me? Are you alright?"

There are hands on my shoulders, someone is trying to look into my eyes, getting in the way, getting between me and Bron. I push them away.

They try to lift me up and behind them I see the car, nuzzling up to the telephone pole. It looks like it's winking. Passenger-side of the windscreen gone. Driver's side door hanging open. I don't want to see.


Bron is waiting when I get out of class and grins at me when I roll my eyes and let my tongue hang out.
"That interesting, huh?"
"I'm telling you, I never sleep so well anywhere else,"
"You're not going to fall asleep at the party are you? It's a twenty-first so my cousins probably started their preliminary drinking yesterday and it's too late to designate another driver..."
"No, I'm fine. I'm still good."
"Party party?"
"Party party!"


There's a blanket around my shoulders, I'm sitting in the back of a van and someone is shining a torch in my eyes. Beyond the light of the van two men are slipping Bron into a big bag.
"Sweetie, can you hear me?"
I look up at the woman holding the torch. Her hair is bound back tight, she's wearing a uniform. She smiles at me and gives my hand a squeeze.
"Well your eyes are responding OK. You're a little cut up but your seatbelt saved you from going through the window. Can you tell me what your name is?"
"My name?"
"Just to let us know you didn't bump your head too hard,"
"It's... Bron... Bronwyn,"
"OK Bronwyn, well you're going to be just fine..."
I close my eyes and draw the words tight around me, trying to use them to drown out the sound of a long zip being pulled closed.


Bronwyn you're going to be just fine you're going to be just fine Bronwyn
Bronwyn you're going to be fine just fine just fine fine fine fine Bronwyn?

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Good Intentions

Your Internet Horoscope #2

Cos if you can't prove I'm wrong you'll always wonder...

Today you, and 1/12th of the world's population, will meet a tall dark stranger.

Your mother once gave you some good advice that would have come in handy today. Unfortunately you weren't listening.

Take things one day at a time. It'll take people longer to notice that things are going missing.

Take care of the big things and the little things will accumulate.

Even if everything DOES happen for a reason you still have the right to get mad. The reason may suck.

Never imagine your audience naked during a presentation. You'll either lose your place or traumatise yourself.

Don't waste your time wishing on stars. Odds are they can't speak English.

Don't take any advice today.

Beware of people who offer proverbs as problem solvers. They're jerks.

Tomorrow may be another day but you still have to get through today first.

Have you checked behind the sofa?

They're up to something. Keep an eye on them.