Sunday, November 02, 2008

Please Check Your Suspension of Disbelief At The Door

I very much enjoy playing video games, but as I was waiting at the bus stop the other day and mentally noting strategically important sniper positions. I couldn't help but wonder if the number of first person shooter games I play has any sort impact on me and my everyday life.
There must be others out there like me who recognise the following behaviours and don't think them unusual?
  • In movies when the character attempts to fire their gun but has an empty clip, you can't help but mutter 'dumbarse' under your breath at them, for not counting rounds.

  • Despite having never seen or even touched a real gun you can't help but correct friends and family on any inaccurate miming of weapon use.

  • In spy type movies it takes all your will power to not criticise characters if they do something you consider amateurish.

  • You no longer walk sideways - you strafe.

  • You no longer head someone off - you flank them.

  • You look left, right and up when entering a room.
  • You think in an emergency you could probably navigate your way in or out of the building you work in, via the air conditioning vents.

  • You can't help but see the resemblance between a whole uncooked chicken and a headcrab.
  • Little girls singing nursery rhymes is closer to bone chilling than cute on the nice/horror continuum.

  • When you sit at your keyboard your fingers naturally sit on WSAD and the Shift key, not JKL and FDS.

  • Entering a toilet where there is a flickering fluorescent light gives you the uber wiggins and you'll need to push the door of any empty stalls completely open before you can do anything.

  • Head shot or head home - you know it's the only way to be sure.

  • You can't shake the feeling that turning the likes of these will result in great and favourable things for you:

Sunday, April 20, 2008

If It Walks Like A Duck...

Part of the reason I've been out of the blogging sphere for such a long time is that I had been suffering pretty badly with migraines. The regular brain melting pain sorta killed off my motivation to write. Funny that.

So over the past 6 or so months I've been trying various things to try and conquer these ubergrains...

The Chiropractor
I went to a holistic chiropractor which means rather than launching straight into the adjustments, they first ask you a bunch of questions about your life (Likert scale questions so obviously deeply probing stuff). Then they take a heap of x-rays, poke your vertebrae with a magical wand thingy which prints off a colour coded picture of which sections of your spine are bung and make you watch a 10 minute video of the founder of the practice talking to you about the three types of stress (accompanied by panpipes and waterfalls).

The follow up session they tell you have a crooked back and neck, and proceed to crack them in the same way every week and in the same way as some else you know who goes there for lower back pain. It felt good to start with but I realised several hundred dollars later than I was getting a headache a couple of days after every adjustment. I figured there was no need for both my wallet and head to hurt, so stopped going.

The Acupuncturist
I next tried an acupuncturist. After an initial consult where he asked me a lot of very specific and personal questions (those Likerts were looking pretty good), taking my pulse and looking intently at my tongue, he began to describe the cause of my problems. I am apparently a crappy breather and I have a weak liver (I figure it does pretty well considering). When Mr Needles said that I also had weakness in my stomach and advised me “You eat!” I thought it was the start of a beautiful friendship. I was soon to be proven wrong.

To be fair, when he described the feeling of the needles going in as ‘just a bit of pressure’, he was right. However, once the skin is broken he would push, twirl and flick the needles and it felt less like ‘pressure’ and more like pins being stuck into my nerve clusters.
The neck rubs and the weird pressurised leg bags somewhat overshadowed the pain so when he prescribed me a mixture of granulated herbs to mix with warm water and drink, I forked over the cash. To describe to you what this mixture tasted like would be to describe horror itself however, I took them religiously.

After a month of this highly expensive torture and continued migraines, I asked him if he thought I would be seeing some results soon. “Yes”, he said, “very soon”. At the end of following session as I was paying up/emptying the contents of my bank account, he tells me there was no need for me to come back. As he passed me the last of my herb mixture he adds “I give you more than usual because you bigger than usual.” Dude. Not cool.

So, after the pain the prick caused me (see what I did there?), he called me fat and charged me for the pleasure. I decided to try the GP again.

The Doctor
The reason I was resisting going to the GP was that I knew what he was going to say. The allopathic treatment for migraines is either anti-depressants (urgh*) or beta blockers. I’d taken beta blockers several years back and not only did they cause me to personality flatline, they also made me plump up and cough like an emphysemic sailor. However, given the alternative seemed to be more migraines, I went back on them short term over the Christmas break. Turns out last time the personality dysfunction wasn’t about the beta blockers, it was about being morbidly unhappy in my arse ex-relationship. I did get chunky and my cough made me quote Doc Holiday more than once however.

A Happy Ending
Turns out that if I avoid my food triggers of wine, cheese and chocolate** and exercise every day I only get one or two brain cramps a month. So I’m now chemical free. Heh. Sorta.

* I’m a dirty booze hag remember?
** I know, I know....yes, it totally sucks, but there are adequate substitutes and we’re not talking about Satan’s inner sole/carob.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Meredith?

So yeah. I'm back and stuff.

On Thursday I had to attend a launch party thingie for a website I've been project managing for many months. It's been a 'challenging' project so it was lemon juice on paper cuts when I found out it was at The Lanes bowling alley.

Ever since I was a kid I've disliked bowling...partly because of the shoes and associated grossness that goes along with greasy food, bad music and throwing heavy balls at 10 pieces of white plastic, but mostly because I suck horribly at it. So I was pretty dark on the fact that I had to attend this 'party'. Knowing I couldn't show up and associate with clients in the mood I was in, I tried to cheer myself up as I was walking down to The Lanes. For some odd reason the song "My Favourite Things" from The Sound of Music popped into my angry little brain. As I tied to recall the lyrics I realised that my favourite things are actually quite different from ole Maria's.

Here's my version:

Raindrops on roses and all the earth kittens,
bright coloured Muppets and possum fur mittens,
brown d.vice packages tied up with strings,
these are a few of my favorite things.

My Little Ponies and strong coke and bourbon,
door bells and door slams on Jehovah's suburban.
Plunging neck lines and the way Eddie Vedder sings.
these are a few of my favorite things.

Girls in a cheap dresses caught right up their asses,
makeup that stays on my nose and eyelashes,
loud belly laughs that show QI brings,
these are a few of my favorite things.

When the bills bites, when the head stings,
when I'm feeling mad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
and then I don't feel so bad.

Cheered me right up and I bowled a 91 and 93 including 5 strikes.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Although previously filed as a cold case, political pressure resulting from the upcoming election year, poor polling results and a spirited game of rock, paper, scissors, has seen department heads order this missing persons case reopened.

With a fresh team assigned to the case, it was found upon review of the previous case notes that the original investigative team had not pursued enquiries at Meredith's current place of employment. An internal investigation of that issue will be undertaken in due course.

Streamlined inter-departmental cooperation initiatives with the Inland Revenue Department mean that the assigned team member was only on hold for 40 minutes before learning the victim has been employed a a Project Manager at a leading open source software development company in central Wellington.

During interview, colleagues of Meredith report repeated and prolonged sightings of her at work. The investigative team is pleased to report a stakeout of her desk found Meredith safe and sound although suffering from extreme Stockholm syndrome.

Now reunited with her blog, Meredith is making a swift recovery and has started the slow rehabilitation process.

--------------------CASE CLOSED--------------------

Monday, August 27, 2007

Halfway Down The Stairs Is A Stair Where I Lay In Agony

Case Notes Part 2

Upon interviewing the subject’s neighbours the only out of the ordinary occurrence noted was number of localised power fluctuations occurring during the third week of July culminating in repeated outages on the Friday evening. Bank statements belonging to the subject show the purchase of a new midi stereo system, new computer speakers and two new surge protector multiboards the following week.

A customary check of immigration records show that the subject left the country for an overnight business trip to Sydney in the last week of July. Credit card receipts suggest that while the visit was brief Meredith managed to find the time to take advantage of the duty free offerings at Sydney airport.

With no clear reason why the subject has disappeared from the blogging world, standard procedure dictated a check be made on local hospital records. Wellington hospital documents show that Meredith was admitted to the emergency room with a suspected broken ankle. Following x-rays the medical notes record that the injury was in fact an ‘impressive sprain’ and it appears Meredith was discharged a couple of hours later with crutches. Along with the following photos, ACC forms claim that the subject was in fact sober when she fell down the stairs and note that if she had been drinking it would be far less embarrassing.

The Departed

Missing Person’s Investigation Report
Case #68534
Subject/Alleged Victim: Meredith
Known Alias: No-one of Consequence
Date Last Seen: 26th June 2007
Case Status: Open

Investigation into the disappearance of the subject ‘Meredith’ began with a visit to her last known place of employment at MU. Her desk and office had been cleared out and examination of a nearby paper recycling bin found a letter from the HR department reminding Meredith that her fixed term employment was due to expire on the 30th June. On the back of this letter were two columns of hand written text.
On one side:
  • Creepy burnt we with a hot spoon guy down the hall
  • Cellphone reception = poo
  • 80% skinny jeans and slouch boots
  • Bad coffee
  • Arse traffic


  • Vending machine alley
  • Flexi hours/working in PJs

As this appeared a dead end lead, the investigation team began following other routes of enquiry. A quick Google search on the subjects name shows her attendance and presentation at a local conference in the last week of June. One attendee interviewed recalls overhearing two distinct discussions between a couple of gentlemen regarding the employment of the subject. The first on Monday 25th June where one of the men told the other that he didn’t think he had enough work for Meredith after all and would he like to employ her (to which the other party responded positively). The second conversations on Tuesday 26th June where the same gentleman told the other that some unexpected funding had come through and could he have the employ of Meredith back again (to which the other gentleman did not respond positively)

While probing into the location of the subject’s next place of employment, investigators interviewed cafe staff who remembered overhearing a discussion between Meredith and a nearby company director. Although informal it appears this was in fact a job interview. After some standard discussion around capability, expectations and salary, cafe staff recall Meredith asking for a week off before starting her new position which was agreed provided she come in to work on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Ordered From The Menu Therefore Am I

On Thursday night S and I went out to dinner with her friends J and D. When I first met them 18 months ago it was made fairly clear that D didn't really like me based on something about my appearance and during their time in New Zealand we never socialised as a group again. However since they are now returning to the UK, a farewell dinner was arranged and I decided a meal at Restaurant 88 made it worth a trip out.

When we arrived J greeted S and I with fond hellos and D said hello to S.....just to S. After a brief and awkward moment where I thought perhaps she hadn't recognised me I said pointedly "Uh, hi Des." and was rewarded with a quiet grunt of hello.

And that was the most engaged D would be with me for the rest of the night.

I am not exaggerating even a little bit when I say D pretended I wasn't there at the table the entire night. I have to give her some credit for achieving this given she was ignoring 25% of the dinner party. Even more so since I was sitting opposite her which meant she had to follow any conversation between S and J like a tennis match as to prevent any chance of looking in my direction. She also managed to stop and stifle laughing at any of my jokes by pursing her lips till they turned sorta blueish.

This game became quite tiresome about half an hour into the event so I stopped engaging in the conversation and let my mind wonder. I started to have an existential moment and wondered if I was really sitting there at the table. Perhaps D was ignoring me because I simply wasn't there, perhaps I existed only because S believed I was there. My mind raced back to my first year Philosophy credit filler course and then to the movie The Sixth Sense.

And then I realised she was just an emotionally retarded uber bitch.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mother Would Be Happy

For anyone who saw the documentary on 20/20 last Thursday night, you will know exactly what I mean when I summarise the programme in a single word: yeeeheheheeeuuuugh. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, it was a documentary on life sized silicon dolls. According to one of the happy punters these 'love dolls' are apparently much better than 'organics'.

The teaser ads during the week had me hooked and hanging out for the full show when I noticed details such as the fact that the eyebrows of one of the guy's dolls were nearly worn off. This begs the inevitable question - what action would cause such wear?? I repeat: yeeeheheheeeuuuugh.

During the show one of the owners had to send his doll in for some repairs. The camera followed the repair guy as he began running through the work required on the doll then abruptly cuts to him throwing a piece of mangled pink silicon on the bench and exclaiming "Agh. I've run out vaginas" in the same tone you'd expect from an electrician who had just run out of fuses in the middle of a job. You know...a little annoyed but quite matter of fact. In the last week I've been trying to see whether this statement has universal application and appeal outside of this guys's life but I am just getting odd looks, rather than the nods of 'been there honey' I was hoping for.

Fascinated with a side of horrified by the documentary, I went online to do some research on these silicon dolls. The site was alarming as a whole but answered the burning question of whether they make male dolls as well. Indeed they do but I take it from the position of the male dolls in the advertising pictures they are not made in the majority for women. It also became clear that the featured male doll has more than a passing resemblance to Gary Sinese and that it would be a long while before I could watch any of his movies again. Thinking nothing would top the drop down options for customising dudedoll's appendages (XS, S, M, L, XL and Limp) (!!) I visited the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Now, for a question to make it to the FAQ page, I think it would be fair to assume that question had been asked more than say, 5 or 6 times? Questions such as can you get hermaphrodite dolls, how hard can I pull the nipples, can the dolls fingers close and can you make a custom doll from a photo, were disturbing enough but the highlight would have to be can I buy a full body silicone female skin suit?

Join me in saying.....yeeeheheheeeuuuugh.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Word Association for Movie Critics

My friend Michael came over last night for pizza and bourbon to celebrate his recent lawyer stuff success. We've know each other for a long time and our conversations tend to be more of a stream of consciousness than anything else.

As we were munching away on our food we had the Inside New Zealand Sex Wars documentary playing in the background. In one section of the show a very camp guy in a black and white stripy top wearing a dog collar and with spiky black hair was part of a group of men trying to look after a bunch of babies.

Michael observes: "He's kinda gay huh?"
Me - "Yep, and an emo. A gay emo."
Mi - "Oh! have you seen Spiderman 3?"

I think this sums up the movie nicely.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Sci Fi Fantasy Plot 102

Step 7: Select the appropriate pronoun and enter 'must defeat the'

Step 8: Choose one of evil, dark or powerful and one of wizard, witch or sorcerer

Step 9: Create a name for the antagonist. Here names beginning with M are strongly recommended and names that start with a word associated with evilness or death are excellent choices, for example Mortack or Murdana.

Step 10: Think of a world ending outcome if the antagonist created in Step 9 is not usurped by the hero such as [name of civilisation/species]'s fourteen moons collide or pretty much any outcome that includes the words chaos, oblivion or extinction

Now just put it all together with three dramatic dots at the end of the paragraph (' ... ') and you've got yourself a winner of a sci-fi/fantasy writing award that is named after some guy you've never heard of but always has an initial in his name' e.g. J.Edgar Johnston or William V. Hardy.

Let me demonstrate....

[Name] is the [last/only/remaining] [name of civilisation/species] aided only by [his/her] [corny ability] and [weapon or creature or scantily clad love interest] [he/she] must defeat the [evil, dark or powerful] [wizard, witch or sorcerer] [antagonist name] before [dramatic result] ...


Kalex-dor-tan is the last Katandorian. Aided only by his ability to communicate with the earth itself and the beautiful Kendia, he must defeat the dark sorcerer Murdana before Katandor falls to oblivion...