Multitasking

You know, I would probably shower more frequently if I could go on the internet in there.

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

I’ve been thinking about the oft-pandered advice, “be yourself”. At the surface of things, it seems quite simple: how else can you exist except as yourself? For the purposes of this argument I’ll assign a specific meaning to the concept of “yourself”; instead of using it as an all-encompassing term to describe every aspect of your personality, appearance, lifestyle and history, use it to describe only your very basic and essential awareness and existence, what some would describe as your soul. It’s then fairly easy to see that the majority of the characteristics you would use to describe yourself (red-headed, loud-mouthed, hilarious) are ideas borrowed from the world around us and tried on for size.

Anyway as you strip your way down to this basic concept of who “yourself” is, you see that quite a bit of what makes up you from the inside is your behaviours. Ideally, in order to be yourself as a whole, you would have to ensure that your behaviours properly reflect “yourself”. This would require consideration of what causes these behaviours. Some things exist only due to your exposure to the world you live in, and could be imagined as the impression something heavy leaves on the surface of something more pliable. Take away or change your environment and those parts of yourself may never have developed. Other attributes are largely genetic or inherent and, odds are, would have developed regardless of the surrounding environment.

I’m reaching the idea which got me thinking about this subject: change. Unlike Gregory House, I believe that people can change. If one were to follow the thought that “being yourself” is the best thing, then there logically follows that there would be people who would not appreciate or be appreciated by others. When it gets to a point where one of the qualities integral to “yourself” is viewed as undesirable, then being “yourself” is no longer for the best. In fact, if a person were to relish and allow this trait to dominate their life, they would be called a great number of things by the majority, none particularly pleasant.

I guess the conclusion I’ve come to is that in some cases, behaviours, if not traits, that a person has come to identify within themselves as wrong, bad or unpleasant do require change. And sometimes maybe it’s not for the best to be “yourself”, but as you grow and evolve as a person you need to make sure that the changes you make in your life need to be both agreeable to you and to the world at large.

Man, my head hurts after thinking about this.

This is a wonderful ultra-modern faerie tale set just south of The Most Isolated Capital In The World.

Three weeks ago, my housemate gave his Xbox 360 to a fella he knew who was going to mod it on tick because my housemate had sent so much business his way during a stint at a well-known video games retailer.

A few days after he was told it would be ready, my housemate called this fella and asked if he could come pick up his Xbox. The good man replied that he had forgotten to bring it in and would tomorrow. This continued for a couple of days.

It was at this time I started predicting that the man was a conman, and made sure to tell as many people as possible, ending my story with “and he’ll never see his Xbox again”. Another few days and the news comes through: the nice man accidentally dropped my housemate’s Xbox and is ordering in a replacement. Housemate waits another few days until he starts calling this business, to no reply.

He went past the store today and saw that it was closed. He talked to the agent managing the store, and it appears there have been numerous people coming looking for their own consoles. A quick display of Google-fu on my behalf yields clues.

The very most recent update: the housemate has just called Con the Conman. Keep in mind I could only hear half of this conversation:
Housemate: Hi, can I speak to John?

Housemate: Oh hi it’s Housemate, I gave you my Xbox.

Housemate: Yeah I heard you’d gotten shut down.

Housemate: I went by the store and saw it was closed down.

Housemate: Mod city?

Housemate: Oh.

Housemate: Okay then, sorry.
-End call-

BUT, the plot continues to thicken, as expert voice experts have matched that of Man on the Phone to Con the Conman. Boycotting plans to go over to Con’s house in person, the housemate is now calling the Gestapo so they can display their professional ineptitude while instead focusing on the omnipresent threat of stoned teenagers.

The better you look, the more you see

I finished reading Glamorama the day before yesterday and have been thinking about it since then. Talking about it to some people, I’m surprised when they haven’t even heard of Bret Easton Ellis. Some people hadn’t even read/seen/heard of American Psycho! This book should be on everyone’s shelf, if only because its sale has been banned or restricted in some countries (like many classics before it).

Glamorama is a bit of a trip, like American Psycho, due to the fact that the majority of narration is first-person through the eyes of someone less than completely reliable. This is Victor Ward, a male model of astoundingly dim wits, who details his experiences in the centre of the celebrity crowd. In the course of things, he gets caught up with a group of celebrities who have turned to terrorism, out of what seems like apathy and boredom with life, despite their enviable lifestyle.

This book contains detailed recounts of sex and violence, so is probably ill-advised for the squeamish or prudish. Examples include a threesome (m/m/f) and someone being torture and castrated before being killed.

Overall I liked the book, despite it being confusing at some points. I definitely prefer American Pyscho from this author, though, probably because I’m sure a lot of the absurdity in Glamorama was lost on me.

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I borrowed a bevy of books from one of my best ladies and read two yesterday! Only one was on my list, but they were both rather good.

Radical Sanity by Elizabeth Wurtzel is basically a little manual on life, but I really like it because the basic message is the same truth I’ve recently come to accept: be positive and make the best of life. There are a few things in it which would bother people, mainly the chapter on God and the fact that the reasoning for a lot of her suggestions is men. However, I think that if you read the chapter on God with a looser definition of God, that is not the typical Judeo-Christian vision of God but rather as an all-encompassing power holding existence together. Anthropomorphising God is stupid anyway, since he already did that in Jesus.

The stuff about the men I think can be partly explained by her personality and the fact that for the target audience (women in general), this is something which holds a great sway for many of them. Personally, I disagreed with the chapter on not staying friends with exes, although Wurtzel does make a brilliant point on this topic with the statement “…trying to be freinds with ex-boyfriends causes nothing but irritation at best and serious damage at worst”.

I think the best way to sum up the book is that the constant thread running through each mini-chapter is to love yourself unconditionally, love life, and think positive (which sounds like a bunch of New Age crock but is totally true).

The second book was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon which is also a rather epic book. The narrator is a special needs kid who decides to investigate why someone killed the neighbour’s dog. This means that the writing style is a little simplistic, moreso because it’s a book for younger readers, but that doesn’t detract from the brilliance of it.

I really felt like I identified with Christopher, the narrator, especially when he’s doing things like trying to catch a train on his own and the intrusion of the outside world is just too much. Sums up social anxiety perfectly, except instead of sitting silently with his panic, Christopher starts screaming or groaning. Although I can’t say I have never felt like that, haha.

I still have a stack of books that should last me, oh, a week, so many more reviews to come.

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A book is a gift you can open again and again

Okay, so I have this quest to read these 1001 books before I die. I’m clearly a nerd in that I took a meme and have made it into a life goal, but whatever, as a simple Sim I am unable to change the desires popping into my head, only fulfil them.

Anyway, the most recent book I’ve read from it is The Count of Monte Cristo which is just brilliant.

The novel’s main theme is revenge which is really awesome because I am often spending time imagining certain people I would like to get revenge on. The main character, Edmond Dantes, is the one getting all this revenge because he got fucked over when his girlfriend’s cousin got a boner over her and got Edmond arrested. Because at this time (this book has actual historical relevance!) it was so tumultuous politically, he got stuck in prison forever.

But then he contacts another prisoner who has been digging a secret tunnel for years and they become friends and plan an escape, but the other prisoner dies from ~the humours~ and Edmond manages to escape alone. Oh and the other prisoner basically had a treasure map which he’d shared with Edmond and bequeathed to him with his dying breath. So Edmond goes and gets this treasure, which is worth hundreds of millions of currency. Then he reinvents himself from simple sailor into The Count of Monte Cristo and makes a mysterious appearance on the social scene of the day so he can fuck things up for the people who done wronged him.

As The Count he’s hugely rich and famous, kind of like the Paris Hilton of 1830s Paris. He’s super smart and witty and utterly polite and so rich he can afford to buy anything at a whim, and he manipulates this entire Parisian social scene (which needs a chart to explain it) until at the end of the movie, all the douchebags were dead and all the good, honest people were rich and happy. Then The Count rides off into the sunset with his woman and the curtains drop.

I think the thing I’m most impressed with by this novel is the character’s intelligence and inherent talent at manipulating people. He’s my hero now. I keep having bitchin’ dreams based around this book, which is cool as well.

The funny thing was that my only previous knowledge of this book came from V for Vendetta and that one Simpsons episode so I kept expecting for things to turn to shit at the end, but I was pleasantly surprised when the ending of the book is good to The Count since it reinforced my previously held belief that if life fucks you over, you have every right to fuck it back until the karmic balance has been reached.

Now to decide which book to read next…

What a wonderful life

I’m really coming to love living in Shoalwater (about an hour south of Perth).  Despite the fact that it’s basically south of the middle of nowhere, it’s starting to grow on me.  Something about the seabreeze each day and the peek of the beach at the end of my street makes me feel like “holiday”, like “relax”.

The traffic here is more funny than scary, as it is closer to the city.  Your random driver is most likely going to be a young person going 10km+ over the speed limit or an old person going 10km under the speed limit.  Something about cruising around with the window open, the wind pouring in, my iPod pumped, it makes me happy.

Even the big shopping centre, which would normally be a major source of anxiety, is fairly pleasing to me. I can’t get too worried about people watching and talking about me; they’re all such bogans down here, the Centrelink is packed, and the feeling is once again very relaxed.

I went down to the beach today and stood in the waves and concentrated very hard on the fact that I was balancing carefully between two worlds. And while too much of being landlocked or at sea is a terrifying thought, knowing i could easily pass back and forth between the two environments made it better.

I’ve had good times and bad times in my life, especially, oh, over the last six years. Today I fully grasped the idea that it was not always my life which was “good” or “bad” but rather my mood. I will admit that being able to hold this thought and use it to garner my strength during the worse moods is going to be difficult. The simple difference between life being good and life being bad is how good or bad I feel about life, and sometimes there is just the chemically imbalanced badness in my mind which won’t accept any more positive thoughts. I always used to scoff at the idea of positive thinking and affirmations and stuff. It all sounds so new-agey touchy-feely-healy bullshit, but it doesn’t need to be. Like my dad said, some days you’re going to wake up and you are just on the wrong side of the bed and it’s ok to skip out on life for a day and just chillax. But the other days, they all at least show promise for improvement and you’ve got to damn well tough it out.