Wednesday 23rd December 2009

the space between

okay, seriously. a lot of the time i complain that i have no idea what's going on, and most of the time it's hyperbole or for dramatic effect or whatever. usually.

lately though, i feel like there's this whole separate universe being played out around me and i'm utterly not a part of it. as though there's a club with a secret entrance code, a code which everyone knows except me, and i'm standing at the entrance struggling to understand why no one let me in on the secret.

tonight, as chelsey and i were discussing how to divvy up amongst my coworkers the cookies she had made, we discovered that there were not enough gift bags to hold all the groups of cookies we wanted to distribute. no big deal, right? we'll just put some of the cookies in nice simple plastic bags and hand them out that way, because it's christmas, and they're cookies, dig?

no. dear me, no. such a thing is not conscionably done.

you see, it's the small things that matter. the cookies need the gift bags. worthless without them. it's not the making of the cookies that matters, not the time it spent with mixing bowl or oven, it's the wrapping of the cookies that matters. it's not the words that you say, it's the tone of voice in which you say them. it's not the thing itself, it's the framing and the context and the gist of the thing. it's this parallel world of undercurrents and subterfuge and small all-important para-things that completely fails to resonate with me, to which i have absolutely no sensitivity.

this is why i fucking hate christmas. do you hear me? hate it hate it, with swear words for emphasis. it's not enough that i think well of you, or that i want nice things for you. it is expected that i spend time in thinking about something you secretly want, that i go out and get it for you, and that i wrap it up and put a bow on it, and turn what would be (at any other time of the year) a gesture of goodwill and potentially unexpected awesomeness into just another thing that is done for its own sake. we've turned what might have once been called the spirit of christmas into a fat lot of empty, expected gestures.

a bit unexpected, admittedly, coming from a guy who prides himself on being mindful of the little things.


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Thursday 19th November 2009

these are the things that are broken

ordered list, i choose you:

  1. the car thing that's supposed to save the world. you see, those awesome batteries occasionally die. and apparently they're awesomely expensive. but i have some good news! i just paid a bunch of money to someone to basically let me keep using what i had already paid for.
  2. the iphone. though at&t doesn't know it's an iphone, and that's kind of at the root of the problem. in order to avoid allowing them to ream you on the data plan you have to perform some digital magic, among other steps. but this magic has certain side effects, including people can't call you. ask your doctor if ultrasn0w is right for you—i should have.
  3. the roof. it has holes. in it.
  4. the stereo of my other vehicle. a long time ago i turned the ignition in my truck a certain number of clicks so i could listen to the radio or whatever, but went one click too far, and then back a click, all in rapid succession, and this let the magic smoke out of the shiny lights of the faceplate. and magic smoke, as any scientist will tell you, is hard to put back in a device after it has escaped.
  5. the nail of my left index finger. and now every time i use it it's like the terrorists won their war against the kittens.
  6. the dog. i've made clear my thoughts on the matter of sub-sentient life forms. they exude smelly substances and totally ignorant of this fact. they whine for attention. and not one of them has a job.
  7. the internet. conservapedia.com will eventually become skynet.
  8. my liver. and i have the other items in this list to blame.

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Sunday 25th October 2009

my ill-informed wheel of time predictions

[pre-script: predictions are not spoilers, unless they turn out to be right. so, quasi-spoiler maybe-warning?]

so i'm rereading the wheel of time series in rabid, salivating anticipation of the release of book the twelfth. some things are falling into place and my overactive imagination is reeling with the possibilities, the most interesting of which i shall detail for you:

  • verin, you perfect enigma—my explanation for her bizarre behavior is that she has visited the twisted door ter'angreal in tear (fitting for her being brown ajah), and gotten some clue for victory from the aelfinn, and she's working to bring it about; since she's the only one with the answer, her behavior appears to the reader to be secretive or self-serving or contradictory. she's good, just sneaky and duplicitous out of necessity. also, she is (as far as we know) the only one who knows where the horn of valere is (anyone remember the horn?), which may be the root cause of this. the saying it's time to roll the dice, which she got from her father and which mat uses extensively, is what got me thinking on this path.
  • elayne will be at the center of a big cease-fire between the seanchan, the borderlands, and the aiel (rand's answer from the aelfinn). this is the explanation of elaida's foretelling that the royal line of andor will be the key to victory in the last battle.
  • siuan will feel the distinctive tingling that signifies moiraine's channeling—that's how she will learn that mat and gang have freed her from the tower of ghenjei. this latter will happen very soon (the story line will begin in book 12, i'm certain), though how soon siuan and moiraine hook up, who knows.
  • also related to moiraine's return: she gives thom the names of the aes sedai who gentled his nephew owyn, and one of them will be elaida. thom has a rich history of offing leaders who affront him in some way (taringail and galldrian), so it isn't difficult to see where this one is going. the 'one small thing' moiraine knows about her future is that she and thom eventually marry—they will at the series' end, i think. they have a son and name him owyn.
  • slayer kills nynaeve in tel'aran'rhiod, and in an attempt to avenge her, lan fights and is also killed by slayer. either lan kills slayer also, or perrin does later.
  • rand dies (everyone sees it coming), but it won't be exactly death the way we all think of it. it'll happen at shayol ghul fighting padan fain, and they'll kill each other, and i like three scenarios for rand's not-quite-death:

    1. he hangs out a while in tel'aran'rhiod, either because he has become bound to the horn, or by some other egwene/elayne/nynaeve dreamwalking voodoo. he's called back later when mat sounds the horn.

    2. he actually dies, and in this option, it's true physical death. death as the aelfinn see it might be fundamentally different; living in the 'to live, you must die' sense might mean his thread in the pattern still exists, and will later be reborn (just as he is lews therin reborn); or he's healed by nynaeve and everyone is shocked because omg.

    3. there's an interesting theme of threes with rand's character—his actions fall into distinct 'categories' of rand al'thor, lews therin, and 'the dragon' persona—corresponding respectively to the naive shepherd, the formidable madman, and the balanced one rand needs to be. in this one, somehow just the rand al'thor and the lews therin partitions of rand's existence die, but the part called the dragon survives long enough to travel to tar valon (recall the funeral bier viewing) to be healed and sent back into the fray. also: if this is what happens, min and aviendha will also die (they correspond to the rand and lews therin slices respectively)

    i'm currently thinking #3 is closest to how it'll be, but i'm really shooting in the dark here.

  • fain is bad. also, i think some of the forsaken may be loose.

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Thursday 18th December 2008

quote of the

reproduced without permission.


am i happy? is that what you're asking me?

in my life i have seen faces i do not recognise. i have learned to swim. i have questioned the authority of my parents. i have screamed. i can quote shakespeare and blake and my mate simon from the pub.

i have had a shower on a train. i have stared into the sun and i eat salad and i have been where i wasn't supposed to go. i have said 'i love you' and honestly meant it. i have spilled my dinner.

i have fallen over in front of people; i have worn inappropriate clothing. i have had to be pulled away from hitting on a friend's mum. i have mourned the loss of someone i knew and admired the courage of.

i use words i don't understand. i have seen snow and sand and lived on a boat and been beaten up by someone i didn't know. i have acted in films; and i have been someone's favourite person in the whole world. i know why the sky is blue and i once deliberately set fire to the carpet of the room i was in at the time.

i have been beaten, i have drawn, and i have won. i have been moved to tears by music and i never wanted to let her go. i have let people down and i have pulled through; i have pushed someone in anger and i am a good backgammon player.

some say i have everything going for me. i am twenty-two years old; i am defined by everything i have ever experienced.

so if that's what you're asking me i don't know. but i'm never going to be anyone else, and that's fine. don't worry if things are different to how they used to be. today i made someone smile. that's my ambition for tomorrow, too.


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Thursday 11th December 2008

when i unzip a particular pair of my dress pants, the sound is that of the intro to 'feel good inc' by the gorillaz.

do you understand what i'm saying? do you really?

EVERY TIME I DROP MY PANTS, SOMEONE LAUGHS AT ME


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Wednesday 5th March 2008

bringCatHome.exe fails to compile. FURBALL where are you, it is cold out there and also on my lap.


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Tuesday 26th February 2008

NEIGHBORS our lawn is not an extension of your driveway, also thank you for your small gifts of dirt deposited on our lawn, and it is not at all creepy that you walk around on our side of the line for nothing obvious.

i can roll with the punches, you see, but not if they keep coming, and coming, and[..]



things not working thought working:
ignoring the problem. information. heart.

things working thought not working:
null joins. treadmill. taillight. mind.^W


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