Saturday, 27 June 2009

Ricochet's Four Step Plan To Greater Happiness

Step One. Have a pair of pants with shitty, useless, shallow pockets.

Step Two.
Put a dollar coin* in one of your shitty, useless, shallow pockets.

Step Three. Sit down or change position so that the dollar falls out of your pocket.

Step Four. Relish the feeling of joy that floods through you as you spot it and think "Hey! A dollar!"

OK, so eventually you will probably lose the dollar but the inordinate amount of pleasure you take from 'finding' that dollar even once before then far outweighs the small disappointment that comes from losing it.
And hey, if you lose it in your house or workplace or car possibly you'll get to find it again!

As a matter of integrity I have been trialling this system for the last week in order to ensure that it offers you all the happiness promised.

The first time was an accident.
I put my dollar change in my pocket of my stupid workpants** purely because I couldn't be bothered putting it in my wallet and later that day next to my feet - "Hey! A dollar!"
I picked it up and put it back in my pocket.
A few hours later - "Hey! A dollar!"
I picked it up, I thought about it, I put it back in my pocket.
And it just doesn't get old!

There is something awesome about finding a dollar that doesn't diminish with age or fiscal inflation.
All the amazement and glee you felt at the age of seven when you found a gold coin are still with you today.
It doesn't even matter that it is already your dollar, the magic still works!

I lost the original dollar two days ago, didn't even notice, and then today on the seat of my armchair - "Hey! A dollar!"

Give it a try, I guarantee that it'll cheer you up or your money back***.

*Or a pound coin, a euro coin, a quarter, whatever is appropriate**** for you.
**Who the hell designs the pockets in womens' pants anyway? Why don't they think that ladies want to keep things in their pockets too? I've taken to buying mens' jeans so that I can fit my wallet in my pocket. Also they last forever. For. Ev. Er.
***As long as you dropped it somewhere close by
****I know a quarter isn't as exciting as a dollar in some ways but it has to be a coin and they are the absolute perfect size for flicking across the back of your knuckles and I'm sure they were pretty cool to find as a child too.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Eternal Curiosity In The Face Of Wisdom

Some years ago I got onto a train heading into the CBD and I found an abandoned book.
It was a cheap paperback with a pulp sci-fi cover and yellowing pages.
It looked lonely and wistful.
I had half an hour to kill so I started reading it.

I don't remember the title.
I don't remember the author.
I do remember that the hero of the piece was a brash, mouthy spaceman who was experiencing technical difficulties with his super awesome spaceship and who had to stop on the nearest planet.
Which had been colonised by Nazis.
Of course.

The Space Nazi dialogue had been compiled by watching a catalogue of the worst war movies ever made.
The mouthy spaceman's dialogue seemed to be a loving homage to Ash of the Evil Dead movies as written by a fourteen year old boy.

And it was terrible.
I know it was terrible.
It must have been because I put it back down when I left the train.
Partly for someone else to find and partly because it was so terrible I didn't really want to read the rest.

I'm certain that the plot was awful and that I could predict with almost 100% accuracy that mouthy spaceman would somehow manage to blow up or decimate Planet Nazi and abscond with one of their blondest women, probably one not overburdened with intelligence.
I'm SURE it was tripe.

And yet I've just spent the last two hours googling the damn book because all these years later I STILL want to know how it ended.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Taking Back The Grey Matter

Alright, that's it.
I've done it.
I've turned off the spellchecker and the autocorrect on my computer.
It is banished.
And maybe now I can remember how to spell all by myself.
And my brain will stop melting.

I used to be good at crosswords.
Really good.
Of course I was living with my grandmother at the time* and used to be called in whenever she was stumped.
Woe betide me if I dared to give her the answer for a non-requested clue that she 'was getting to in a minute' but oh the basking in the shared word nerd satisfaction when I identified a word that unlocked a whole section of the puzzle.

I hadn't tried one for a while and then a few months ago I had a crack at the quick crossword in The Age, got two of them fairly quickly and then just ground to a halt.
I couldn't remember any of the... word thingies...
I got stuck on one possible interpretation of multi-definition words and couldn't even think of appropriately sized synonyms for them.
I got cranky and gave up**.
I decided to write a friend a balanced and objective email about how stupid the crossword was and how back in my day they picked words that didn't suck so much.

I got halfway through composing the email and I realised the following:
  • I couldn't remember how to spell one of the words I wanted to use and had been retyping it in a few different ways, waiting for the little wiggly line of failure to disappear so I knew that I had it right.
  • That whilst my already quick typing had become quicker that was because I was getting lazy with my keystrokes and depending on the program to autocorrect my ham-fisted attempt at English.
  • My email was peppered with z's I hadn't put in there and lacking u's I had because despite my best efforts the damn program keeps resetting to US English.

So I've turned it off.
And saints be praised, yes I do remember how to spell and dear Lord has my typing really gotten that bad and check it out I've remembered another word for incessant*** all by myself without hitting Shift+F7 because I couldn't be bothered thinking about it.

I have bought myself a book of crosswords.
Let it begin.

*Another side effect was watching The Bill which was actually quite good until it turned into a soap opera.
**Yay for being an adult! Eff you perseverance!
***It's ceaseless!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

The Descent Into Madness (Now Available In Cinnamon Flavour)

Oh Lord save me, I have succumbed to food porn.
I don't mean some fetish corner of the adult entertainment industry where people pelt each other with blueberry muffins whilst flashing come-hither glances, I mean I just can't stop looking up recipes and making long and complex lists of ingredients.
And it's going to kill me.

I'm either going to end up the size of a house or chasing after people holding surplus dishes, screaming 'Eat it! Eat it!'*

So many recipes.
I don't eat enough meals a week to actually make all of them.
And they just keep accumulating.
And what if I find something I like?
If I make it again that pushes back making something new even further.
And some of these recipes are similar but not quite the same so they warrant their own run and...
Oh the logistics!

This has unfortunately expanded to include baking which has made me a little unpopular in the workplace.
Whilst I like cakes and biscuits, if I make them I'm not able to finish them all before they start going Extra CrunchyTM so I take them into work for people to have with their coffee and whatnot.
And everyone at work is on a diet.

One person went on a diet and then another person went on a diet and then all of a sudden everyone was bringing salad and celery sticks and sachets of brown rice into work and looking slightly disappointed with cups of herbal tea.
Meanwhile I'm sitting here with a plate of biscuits and a cup of coffee.
And my lunch-time portions of food porn.
Things have gotten a little frosty.

I don't know how it's going to happen - coronary, exotic spice overdose, being choked to death by a coworker with some organic low-fat wheat noodles the texture of Hessian because she just can't take it any more - but if it's inevitable I might as well enjoy the time remaining.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go remember how to use Excel so I can make a needlessly complicated spreadsheet.
It might even include a pie-chart.
Oh man, pie...

*And that should be a few years off at least. I'm pretty sure you have to actually reproduce before that gene is activated.