Stuff and that.

Stuff. And yeah. That

Month: March, 2015

Here be monsters…

In between procrastinating and writing reports and the like, I’ve done a bit of reading. I have given up on The Angel of Darkness. It’s not that I don’t like it – it’s interesting and well written and all that, but it’s so goddamn long and there’s a whole lot of other books I’m hanging out to read (Randomly, Caleb Carr’s dad was Lucien Carr – one of the Beat Generation, he hung out with Kerouac and William Burroughs. This may explain some things. Hrrm.) So, it’s gone back on the virtual shelf while I read some other stuff like “Trigger Warning” by Neil Gaiman and “Resistance” by John Birmingham which both had the advantage of being fast paced and action-y with explosions and the like, coupled with a decent degree of squicky disturbance.

Ok, Trigger Warning was light on with the explosions, and most of the stories weren’t exactly fast paced. But squicky? Yep. Bit squirmy? In places, definitely. The title comes from those earnest warnings at the beginning of stories and articles and letting people know there might be something they don’t like or find upsetting contained within the pages. To be honest, I personally find those warnings to be bit of a wank, like those “here be monsters” signs on old maps warning of who knows what lies beneath. (Apologies of sorts to those of you who appreciate those warnings. You can continue to be suitably warned and I shall continue to be mildly irritated by them. And yes, I have things that I don’t like to read about, and yes, I have *issues* but bloody hell, I do not want to be warned at the start of every bloody thing I read that the contents may disturb, if I come across something that presses my buttons, I move right along. Life is too short. But that’s just me and I am digressing. As usual)

Back to Trigger Warning. It’s short stories, which is good when one is accidentally reading a book in between another book. Some of the stories feel like snippets of longer stories, and some of them are completely satisfactory on their own. My favourite is the one about the uninventor, and the story in the world of American Gods. Roughly a month after I finished it, these two stories are the ones that have stuck with me the longest. I think I prefer Mr Gaiman’s longer fiction generally, but there’s nothing wrong with this collection at all. I’m looking forward to the next one. Whenever that may be…

(Ironically, the most viscerally unpleasant reaction I’ve ever had to reading something came from reading one of Mr Gaiman’s books. It was a kids book, and not something one would expect. I took something from the experience, and have continued to read and love Mr Gaiman’s books.)

And now, onto The Dave.

Complete with actual monsters.

Resistance is the second in the Dave Hooper trilogy. Dave is still a dick, however, in amongst the sexy times and the biffo with the monsters and Dave following his dick instead of listening to other people, Dave is starting to develop a hint of self awareness (and I don’t think he really likes what he sees.) This trilogy really feels like a bigger book in three parts, and I cannot wait for part three. There’s a character who’s name escapes me (Tinder? Trinder? because the book is in my room along with my own sleeping monster, I can’t go and check) anyway, what ever the hell his name is, Tommy Lee Jones should play him in the movie. The monsters are still monstrous, and they’re learning the ways of the food and how the food has evolved a tiny bit since they last walked on the earth. And they’re quite funny, these grumpy and outraged monsters.

I love these books. they are so totally and outrageously ridiculous, you can’t help but snigger like a grubby school boy the whole way through. It’s a beer and pizza kind of book and there’s absolutely nothing at all wrong with that! There’s explosions and fighting and neck beards. What’s not to love.

I think that means I’ve read nine and a half books in 12 weeks. That’s some kind of record since BC*, I reckon. Aside from the three months I spent commuting, that is – when I think I read three books a week for three months!

*BC = Before Children. I’m old. Not that old!


Down the rabbit hole…

I may or may not have been procrastinating at work the other day, and I definitely didn’t have a deadline or anything, when I got a wee bit side tracked by an article about left/right confusion. Now, saying I’m confused by left and right is – well. I am aware of the concept but my grip on the two directions is a little tenuous and subject to change without notice. That whole north south east west rubbish – well, that’s like the Easter Bunny. Alleged mythological directions that may or may not mean something to somebody else, but are best described as lalalalalalalaaaa to me.

I was visiting a friend in hospital and her mum was very helpfully giving me directions – go in the south door, turn right then go north for about 100m then take the west exit. Pfft. Give me the address. I’ll find it. After more than two directions, it all blurs into itself and stops making any kind of sense. One thing about my degree of directional challenge is that I am not afraid of asking someone to point on a map to where I am right now. Then I can work out where I need to go to be where I’m supposed to be which is usually nowhere near where I think I am. I got lost walking down Russell Street in Melbourne one day. I didn’t turn off anywhere and still ended up two streets away, travelling in the opposite direction. And seriously, I need to go somewhere half a dozen times before I can get there again without relying on the shouty lady in my phone. I had to take one of the kids mates home on the weekend, and I’ve been there at least a dozen times. I go one way, come home another. And I cannot reverse the trip!

Now, while I am definitely no good with directions on a horizontal plane, adding in the up and down axis is um, slightly fraught with danger. I have an issue with heights. Nope, not scared of them in the slightest – quite the opposite in fact. I’m the one pressing my face up against a twentieth story window, looking down on the wee ant people below. But if there’s not an edge or a barrier, I stand well back because I forget where I am. Painting the house, I went to step back to look at my handiwork and realised I was actually 20′ up a ladder painting a gable. Suffice to say, I’m not allowed up ladders without adult supervision.

Anyway, once I get down a rabbit hole, I like to see where I end up, and particularly if I have a deadline, that mysterious little bunny hopping in front of me is totally too tempting for words. I came across this article and ZOMG crikey, man. There’s big bits of that where I’m thinking hrrrm. Yes. Well. Ok. Maybe. No, I don’t do that. Yes, sometimes I still stop and say drum then drumstick (this is only a problem if I’m printing in lower case) and my handwriting is shithouse. I still have flashbacks to learning to tie shoelaces. IT TOOK ME HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS before I finally worked it out (ok, it wasn’t really that long, but I do remember dad yelling at me that we weren’t going anywhere until I tied my laces. By myself. Or else.)

But it was the last section that got my attention. I am not by nature an organised person. I mean, when I lived by myself, everything got paid, and if I didn’t have a clean shirt, I’d buy one, so I was never bare nekkid at work or anything. There were so many cafes near my house that I could go out for dinner if I’d forgotten to shop (or cereal. Cereal is good for dinner).

I am very organised because someone has to be. I have two children, a dog, a bloke and I work full time. People need to be places with stuff on a daily basis and if I don’t remind people, they wouldn’t. Nor would they have food or electricity or clean clothes and this organise-y business has fallen to moi. I’ve always been a fan of the pile, and moving the pile into a box, and moving the pile filled box to somewhere else (you can actually make a lovely pile of boxes, too). But the thing with having kiddies, is they have a detrimental effect on piles. And they move stuff. And put their stuff in your piles. That is very disturbing.

But the very last bit is what totally cracked me up. My darling mother in law has been doing my ironing for me reasonably regularly, and while I am eternally grateful and really appreciate it – she puts my shirts on hangers any which way and it does my head in! I spent half an hour on the weekend turning all the hangers around so all the shirts are facing the same way in my wardrobe. They’re also organised by sleeve length and colour/pattern. I look in my wardrobe and I sigh with pleasure. Chaos abounds everywhere else, but goddamnit, my wardrobe is a thing of beauty. This has been breaking other people’s brains since 1977.

I really should confess though, that since I’ve got a bit more organised, the order I demand of my wardrobe is spreading to other areas of my life and my house (not my desk at work… that degenerates til it reaches critical mess then I sort the piles out and start again). I like to regard order. It’s soothing, strangely enough. And I am finding as I get older and more mature and that, that order is becoming more important to me. I don’t like ‘missing’ stuff and letting it fall through the cracks. I’ve gone back to analogue – and have a paper calendar and diary. AND I nag other people incessantly about putting their stuff BACK WHERE IT BELONGS SO THEY DON’T HAVE TO ASK ME WHERE IT IS, OK?!?!?!

(Breathe in, breathe out…)

But yeah, might just be a teensy bit dyslexic my good self, maybe. And I met my deadline.