Sunday, 26 December 2010

Resolution Dissolution

Ah, once again my friends we find ourselves here.

New arbitrary chopping of time into bite-size-chunks assessment of things done or undone time.

And once again I've managed 2 out of 3 of my resolutions.

I watched a swag of lovely new movies and I donated some blood.

Unfortunately it wasn't as much blood as I was intending to donate - as my body is somewhat possessive of the red stuff and threatened to take my consciousness away if we continued - but I tried.

I didn't get around to crochet because, oddly enough, I got distracted by knitting. I found a sad, abandoned unfinished scarf I had begun somewhere in my early teens and began adding rows to it*.

So here we sit at the start of a new year and I'm racking my brain for some new resolutions and I am coming up with bubkis.

There are plenty of things I want to do** but none that I want to resolve to do.

Nothing seems big enough or focused enough or specific enough.

So I figure... stuff it!

I'll probably set myself little challenges and goals throughout the year but if I can't come up with any big projects, I'm not going to force myself to manufacture some now because that would just feel artificial and would get annoying pretty quickly.

This year I'm just going to do... things.

I'm kinda looking forward to it.

*I also aggravatingly began adding stitches because I was holding the yarn wrong at the end of the needle but I think I've stopped myself from doing that now...

**Draw more often, keep up with the knitting, continue with my Italian, cooks some new things

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Knot What You're Used To

When it was first explained to me that I wasn't going to be growing a big old beard when I grew up I was incredibly put out.

Beards looked cool.

If you got sick of them you could slim them down into all sorts of moustache configurations.

If you stuck with it you could end up with face fuzz long enough to braid.

None of the female landscaping I found out about later seemed anywhere near as versatile or interesting.

And God help you if you suggested to young Ricochet that shoes, clothes or accessories were on the same level as something you could grow yourself for free and use to disguise yourself when you were on the run from the law.

I've never had peener envy or any of the other associated psychological complexes but I did feel ripped off about beards.

Also ties.

I remember being in primary school and having a friend explain to me with all the confidence of an eight year old that girls get to wear ties as part of their uniform until they finish high school but then after that they don't get to wear ties any more.

That also seemed stupid and unfair.

Ties can look business-like and impressive or you can loosen them at the end of the day to indicate 'THAT'S IT! I'M DONE!'

You can knot them around your forehead if you're going into battle, use them to choke people in exciting urban combat situations, use them to tie things when a length of cord-like material is needed for survival, wear them to work I guess...

And I took my friend's word for it.

You didn't see many ladies on TV wearing ties in office dramas or cop shows; it was all open necked shirts and discreet blouses or tough, no-nonsense, ballsy long-sleeve numbers.

After a while I forgot about it.

Then when I was in university and going through my pretentious stage*, I went into a particularly mismatched kitschy looking cafe and the girl who brought me my giant latte was wearing a tie.

She wasn't just wearing the tie, she was rocking the tie.

Short sleeve button up shirt with ragged sleeves, knee length black skirt, distressed stockings, lovely scuffed berry coloured boots and a tie.

A tie!

Just hangin' there, as natural as can be.

I had a jealous.

And then I had a revelation!

If she could do it, then I could damn well do it!

When I went home I dug out my old school tie, stared at it blankly for a bit and tried to remember how it worked**, flopped it over my neck and then after a few false starts made it look not like a turkey barfing up its own head.

And I never looked back.

I may never grow a truly awesome beard but I will enjoy every minute I'm flaunting a tie.

Because some things are just fun for no particular reason and those are the ones you should make a point to enjoy for themselves in all their unexplained glory.

Even if there was an explanation how could it be better than plain old 'I just feel damn fancy'?

*Well, entering my pretentious stage, I've never really left.

**My memory is very efficient at clearing out anything it deems no longer necessary. If I changed my phone number today I can almost guarantee you that it would be gone in less than a month from the meat storage slot it currently occupies in my long-term memory.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Empty Space

I can get kind of obsessed by little things.

Something will occur to me once and if the wind is blowing in the right direction, the stars are aligned just right or I've consumed exactly the right amount of sugar it'll stay with me.

Not as a constant presence but as a recurring association.

The most enduring example of which was born when I first watched Inspector Gadget.

Sure I enjoyed the show, but at the back of my mind was one persistent and ever-present question.


Why was she living with her uncle at all? Were they out of the country? Did they die in a car crash? Were they locked in an insane asylum? Did he find her in a box somewhere and forget to turn her in? Were they mad scientists? Was that where the computer book came from?

Even at a young age I could understand that having a niece meant that Inspector could have a young relative following him around with his best interests at heart without having him look like a bad parent.

Later on I also realised it meant the viewer wasn't confronted with the idea of him having Go-Go-Gadget-Sex.

No matter my age, I couldn't shake the question. Where did these missing relatives go and why weren't we told?

That particular focus then transferred itself to the next obvious target: Disney movies.

What happened to Ariel's mother? Did she get caught in a tuna net? Did she get eaten by a shark? Did she squirt out one cloud of eggs too many and fade away?

Did Belle's mother get caught in an invention explosion? Leave her no good, dreamer husband to strike out on her own? Die in childbirth trying to deliver Belle's somewhat less aesthetically pleasing and ultimately doomed sibling?

How did Snow White's mother die? When did her father cark it? Where was the Grand Vizier when you needed someone to point out to the king that maybe this woman was a bit off in the brain-pan and that the king should instead look at this hypnotically glinting jewel?

The only two Disney films I can think of off the top of my head where the protagonist had both parents are The Lion King* and Mulan.

I know there are others, Sleeping Beauty for instance, where the parents exist but are removed to let the kids run around doing their own thing in a watered down sugar-coated bildungsroman.

Because apparently Disney didn't think that having your parents save you is as awesome as having some random dude do it.

To which I have a one word rebuttal: Taken**.

I know these characters are left out or side-lined to make the story simpler and make it somewhat more believable that the protagonist would end up running around by themselves but unfortunately for me, it hasn't worked.

I will spend my entire life watching the characters who don't appear in movies.

Which is OK.

Some of the missing pieces have an interest all of there own.

*Well, at least for a while. Depressing...

**Oh, also The Mummy Returns***

***Shut up, you loved it****.

****And by you, I mean me******.

******So shut up!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Body As A Tyrant

This is ridiculous.

Did you know that if you start feeding your body breakfast first thing after a lifetime of getting around to food in the mid-morning it starts DEMANDING food all the time?

It wants morning tea.

It wants lunch super early.

It wants AFTERNOON tea!

It wants dinner before 8pm.

It wakes you up in the morning demanding MORE breakfast.

And if you start drinking the recommended amount of water and stick it out until it stops feeling like you're trying to drown yourself and then you forget to keep your intake up for just ONE DAY, you wake up the next morning feeling like you're heavily hung over.

I'm talking several litres of beer hung over.

So the lesson here is that you can muddle along for years treating your body kind of decent and it'll accept that but if you start treating it right the dang thing will get used to it and refuse to go back to your previous ways without a fight.

Uppity corporeal form.