måndag 18 oktober 2010

Well, I guess my head hurts

Okay, this is going to be a very self-centered and not very funny blogpost, and I as you all forgiveness for this.

One of the simultaneously glorious and pathetic things about being in a fandom – and there are a lot of things that fall under this description – is that you tend to fall helplessly in love with complete fringe-characters. You know, the kind of characters that have no real bearing on the story in itself, and possibly only turn up to be charming/annoying/out of their fucking mind at one point.

Take the Harry Potter fandom and the love for the young Marauders as an example. We only get to see them at one point – well, correction, we get to see young Sirius and James again in Deathly Hallows – and yet a whole huge section of the fandom orbits around these four boys – did I say four? I meant three-and-sometimes-Peter, of course – and their antics. True, their grownup selves have a somewhat more central role in the actual story, even James in his absence, but from what we can see, their grownup selves seem to be rather different people for a number of reasons – prison, betrayal, loneliness and… and, er...  And yet… the shipping, the slashing, the mary sue-ing… the fanfiction and rpgs… the heated discussions, the fandom stereotyping (if I read about one more Remus with golden eyes I might just SCREAM)… All of these are signs that at least three of these guys are loved and adored, despie appearing only briefly in the HP books, and then as bullies.

What is my point? My point is that in my current fandom, the Havemercy fandom, all of this is abundant, mostly because it is rife with interesting fringe-characters of the big, hunky, man-candy variety for fangirls to play with. That’s not to say that the main characters aren’t fascinating, because they are, but there’s something special about taking a fringe character and, by means of fanfiction or roleplaying, making him your own and giving him a bit more than just the brief breath of life that the author allowed him. I think this is probably one of the reasons why one of the most popular pairings in the fandom is Raphael/Ivory, despite them barely even having five lines each in the entire book.
That, and they turn into pure sex when written right

All this aside, even small hints of a personality can make you feel a deep and wonderful connection with a character, just like that. And that’s the case with me and my current favorite character, Evariste.

He’s really a no-character, even by the means of the more obscure airmen, having only a couple of stray lines and a hiss to him. But my heart still goes out to him somehow. And because I have nothing better to do at the moment, and because I have been working the night shift and I am therefore prone to rambling, I will tell you. In excruciating detail.

This is his first appearance in Havemercy:

“Mer­ritt, I swear by the bas­tion, if you don’t sit still I am go­ing to lynch you in the show­ers.”

At the op­po­site end of the line, a man en­tire­ly too freck­ly for his own good scowled in hurt dig­ni­ty. His com­pan­ion, the one who’d spo­ken, turned in his chair to face me.

“This train­ing, will it make Mer­ritt less ir­ri­tat­ing?”

Now, there is a lot of sniping among these men, but for some reason I always took this as an honest question; as in, he is actually interested in hearing whether or not this training will make Merritt less annoying. I don’t know why, but I really imagined him as sincerely considering this as an opportunity. And, sad as I am to say this, so would I.
I am not among the people who would ever dare to ask that question – a lot of trial and error has proved to me that saying things like that make people think that you’re rude and obnoxious, and I'm terrified of that – but I would think it. Oh how I would. Because people quite frankly annoy me, but I have a very limited understanding in how you all truly work, and so I wouldn’t disregard the alternative that some kind of training could be applied to make everyone less annoying. I’m quite sure that this makes me into a really unlikable person.

The one who’d com­plained—Evariste—chewed at his lip. His hair stood at ends, like he’d of­ten tugged at it in thought. “I fly Il­lar­ion. What about me, what about me . . . oh yes! Once I ate a pound of but­ter.”

I really wish that this wasn’t something that I totally couldn’t be goaded into if teased enough/ given enough alcohol. I really do. But alas, I am a moron.

Let’s move on to another scene. In this, the main character who does all the thinking in the above scene, Thom – or, as he is often referred to, ‘the professor’ – has handed the group of men he is supposed to be training in the art of being civilized people an assignment of sorts. They’re all given a slip of paper describing a role they’re supposed to play, hopefully managing to describe the sensitivities and motives of that individual. And how does Evariste fare here?

“Um,” said Evariste. “My card says, ‘That Kid Ghis­lain Hit on the Head When He Dropped Mer­ritt’s Boots out the Win­dow.’”

“It was re­al­ly an ac­ci­dent,” said Ghis­lain mild­ly.

“Yes,” said the pro­fes­sor.

“Well, I guess my head hurts,” fin­ished Evariste.

Ah, yes. And there we have it again, because that too would be my gut reaction to an assignment like this. Don’t get me wrong, I am rather good at constructing scenarios inside my head, and use it frequently for writing, but what meager skill I have has very little to do with any real ability to understand what someone else is feeling. No, it’s a learned skill, gleaned from reading and painstaking observation. It’s like mathematics for me. Fear + stress = anger. Lust + fascination = attraction. Unexpected boots + head = what the flying fuck?

I can feel sorry, in an abstract way, for that poor kid, and reflect, like Evariste somewhat later does, that, “All right, I get it now (...) I wish who­ev­er had been drop­ping heavy boots had been more con­sid­er­ate of . . . who might have been stand­ing there. Be­low. I wish they’d looked.” But when it comes to true understanding of what the kid is going through and thinking, it basically stops at “I guess my head hurts”.

And that’s basically all there is to that character. But just those few bewildered lines have made me take Evariste to heart, believing to have briefly glimpsed in a book someone who is just about as bewildered by humanity as I am.

PS. I will at some point stop making these cheap Twilight shots. I promise. DS.

PPS. And yes, there had to be at least one picture of a cat, why? DS.

måndag 4 oktober 2010

Thrilling insights in diarrhoea, or: One girl and a plastic fork

Okay, so today I am feeling like somebody rubbed my soul in Satan’s asshole, threw my heart into the microwave oven and fried it until it exploded, and filled my head with tar. Tar with nails and shards of broken glass in it. Oh, and piranhas too. In short, rock bottom just hit me with the same terminality as a concrete wall built straight over a highway would hit the first unsuspecting cruiser who happens to be far too busy checking her make-up in the mirror to notice the impending obstacle. I know I just drove that metaphor way too far, but my mind is not the most reliable thing right now, so bear with me.
When I am feeling like this, being on the downswing of that series of mental curves that I seem to be following, the best way of dealing is usually to try to make fun of myself mercilessly until I actually start believing that there is anything funny about the situation. So that is what I am going to do now. So, sorry, no rules post – those are going to be very finely spaced among the rest of the crap I am going to be spewing; you have been warned – but merely an insight into a somewhat unbalanced mind. Doesn’t that make you exited?
Of course it does.
I have something of a social anxiety problem. That is to say, some social situations are perfectly fine with me, while others send me into a fit of utter, helpless, frothing-at-the-mouth sort of panic. One of the situations which my feeble mind is apparently not able to cope with very well is ordering food at fast food joints. This is a bit of a problem, considering that my chronic laziness often lands me in such places in defiance of acting like a normal grownup and making my own food. McDonalds I have sort of, after many years of training, learnt to handle. I simply walk up to the cashier and say “OneMcFeastmenuwithcoketogo,” all in one breath. Then they of course have to ask me to repeat myself, but as soon as I’ve managed to say it once, it becomes easier to remember the second time.
But in other places, such as the Swedish version of McDonalds, Max, I have no such luck. There I will mumble what kind of menu I want, and then, without fail, I will get completely stuck on the first question the smiling girl with a silvery name-tag – that almost half the time spells either “Linda” or “Elin” – asks me. One would think that I would have managed to grasp that there WILL be questions, what with this being standard practice, and that I might even try to prepare for them. But I don’t, and I am uncertain if I ever will. Instead my brain goes into complete lockdown; I stare around in panic, fumbling for words and quenching the impulse to scream “HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW IF I WANT ONION RINGS INSTEAD OF FRENCH FRIES, OR ONION RINGS AND FRENCH FRIES? WHY DON’T YOU DECIDE? THIS IS WAY TOO COMPLICATED FOR ME!”
And then, like clockwork, only a lot more erratic, my tics start up. My hand starts twitching or doing complicated grasping movements in the air, or, if life really feels like fucking me over, my head starts thrashing rhythmically sideways, making me look like I just broke out of a very small room with very soft walls to grab myself a burger.
It’s like my body feels the panic rising and starts acting up in some strange attempt to signal to the world around you that, “Hey, guess what, I’m a bit special, okay? So that I’m not answering your perfectly normal question has nothing to do with me hating you and wanting your family to die in a fire. I’m just a perfectly ordinary nutter.”
Or that’s how it feels like, because the tics usually start up at the point when I start worrying about that Linda/Elin might think I was offended by the question, as if a French fry killed my mother or something. And that point I will usually blurt out the very first thing that comes to my mind, regardless if this is what I actually want or not, just to be able to get out of the horribly awkward situation I’ve landed myself in with some last little shred of my dignity intact. I will answer any other questions that Linda/Elin might have in a kind of stupor of relief of having managed that first question, not caring at all if I make any sense at this point as long as I am allowed to find myself a table where my spasmodic twitching won’t attract as much attention.
The last time this happened, I actually wasn’t spared of further humiliation even when I’d managed to collect my food and had found myself a table. Because while listening calmly to my friend talking about something, almost like a normal person would, I was suddenly overcome by a wave of utter panic and horror over how much of a pathologic fuckup I seem to be. This came completely out of left field, and gave a great big boost to my earlier anxiety, which hadn’t quite faded yet and was only happy to rear its ugly head for round two.
I started chewing on my straw. And then I continued doing that. And continued. And continued, up until the point where I was madly jamming the straw centimeter by centimeter into my mouth and chewing in a panic-stricken daze at the disgusting tangle of plastic which I had by then created. I kept on doing this for a whole agonizing minute until the taste of plastic and the sharp edges of the straw poking me in the throat almost made me hurl all over my the leftovers of my meal. By then I was in such a state of undirected terror that I had to leave the restaurant before my mind popped another gear and I started skewering innocent bystanders with my plastic salad fork. Things like that tend to look bad to people like polices and judges, even if it is really only a natural reaction, I feel. Natural to a complete headcase, true, but nevertheless.
This is probably going to be the first installment in a little feuilleton that I would like to call “Life with my brain”, and I am not sure it is going to be amusing as much as... well, madly depressing, to tell the truth, but you’ll just have to think about them as my attempts to stay somewhat sane until I am capable to write something with some actual substance once again.
Oh, the mental diarrhoea  of blogging

lördag 2 oktober 2010

If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is there to see it... it'll probably hit a facehugger

And since I’ve started up by torturing your unsuspecting minds with mushrooms, that is how I’ll continue, because I just can’t be arsed to be more brilliant than that. And this won’t even be a rule-post, but simply one of those filler post in which I am going to try my hardest to convince everyone that I should be heavily medicated. So have a random tale of what happened to me while I was picking mushrooms.

None of these mushrooms were actually picked, because they’re either inedible or poisonous (or in the case of the third one, edible, but very prone to picking up heavy metals out of the ground and delivering them to your liver). I just took photos of them, looking an absolute tit while I was lying on my stomach in the middle of the forest, muttering things like “Sexy, sexy, yes, give me some pouting – ooooh, I like it!” because I’m weird like that.
Anyway, there I am, peacefully picking mushrooms in between the photo sessions – and being slightly overwhelmed because there’s honestly a bit TOO MANY of them for my short attention-span to cope with all at once, and therefore mostly just staring at them and panicking because I don’t know which one to pick first – when all at once some small part of my consciousness screams “FACEHUGGER!”
I react immediately by stumbling skill- and gracefully away from where my brain is telling me that a small, evil monster is waiting to impregnate me with a bigger monster, emitting a sound like “HERUGH!”, which is probably the mating call of a female moose, as if I needed a horny moose to make my facehugger-problem worse. Only, once my brain starts registering what it is actually SEEING, I realize that no, it’s not a facehugger. It’s just a toad. The biggest motherfucking toad I’ve ever seen. I don’t know whether to be relieved and then revolted, or if I should just move straight to revolted.
Now, let me explain. I am usually not scared by the crawly, creeping and/or scaly part of the animal kingdom. Snakes don’t scare me much. I mean, if one would suddenly appear out of nowhere next to me, I would probably jump away from it, but that’s just healthy not-wanting-to-be-bitten behavior. But if one were to turn up in my garden – and they have, numerous times – I wouldn’t freak out. I wouldn’t go anywhere near it, because that’s dumb, but I wouldn’t freak out just because of it being there. No. I would calmly ask my father to kill the shit out of it.
The point is…. the point is not snakes, but rather that I am not usually the one who’ll jump and scream at the sight of small animals of different descriptions. Rats? Rats are cute. Spiders? I love spiders, although I draw a line at having them in my face while I sleep. Other big bugs? I’m perfectly fine with them, although a strange and unusual childhood has taught me that having grasshoppers under your shirt is an unpleasant experience (and that they won’t understand that you want to keep them as pets and that you’re only trying to hide them from your mother, who would step on them). Frogs? Cute. Lizards? Awesomely cool.
Having something as big as your father’s foot suddenly move in your recent vicinity when you are really not prepared for it? Not cool. REALLY not cool.
Once I had recovered from the shock of a toad too large and fat to even jump properly, I started to relax and feel pretty sorry for the poor animal, because it was obviously deadly afraid of me, trying to burrow through the moss. In fact, I even started to think that it was cute. I don’t know what kind of person you are if you start to think that things are cute only the moment that you find that they are cowering in fear in front of you, but I’ll chalk it up to the barbarian in me.
At that moment, someone behind me said, “Hello?” and I almost leapt into the air again, before realizing that my moose impersonation had probably alerted a fellow mushroom picker that I was there, and she was probably just trying to find out if I was some kind of mad person, running around and screaming wildly at the seemingly empty forest as I was.
So I said, “Uh, hi. Sorry for screaming, but I just thought I saw a mutant. Turns out it was just a toad.”
And then I broke down in hysterical giggles as I realized what I’d just said, and the middle-aged woman I was talking to gave me a really skeptical look. But I didn’t much care, because even if I was speaking Swedish, and the connection there isn’t really that obvious, if she was any fun at all, this is still what she ought to have imagined me seeing.

fredag 1 oktober 2010

...but the first rule is really "Don't smoke them"

Okay, the first actual post, and since I have been up to my ears in mushrooms of late...
I wasn't shitting you, okay? And this was only half of them.

...let us start off lightly with some basic survival tips concerning mushrooms. Picking them is great fun (at least I think so, but I enjoy wallpaper-watching, so my opinion is not much to go by), and eating them is very joyous. The part in between? Not so much fun and joy, no. And yet there it is, and you have to do it quick too, or what was just a short while ago your pride and joy will have turned into a festering mess of blackish slime that looks like it will either eat you or collapse upon itself and turn into a black hole. So the task looms in front of you, and the more urgent it becomes, the less you want to do it, and you start wondering if maybe you really want to eat these mushrooms so badly. Only, you do. But do you really have to mess about with them before just frying them, shoving them into tin foil and freezing the hell out of them?
And here’s where our first rule comes in: I don’t care how boring it is, or how much you hate it; always go through your mushrooms and clean them. Why?
First of all, because unless you are desperately craving extra protein with your mushrooms, you probably don’t want to be eating those beetles, spiders and ants that, without fail, you WILL have brought home along with your prize. Finding something crunchy in your mushroom soup that isn’t a piece of onion is probably not a nice experience.
Secondly, because mushrooms are fucking filthy. Dude, they come out of the ground, and pretty fast too. Do the math.
And thirdly, because no matter how savvy you think you are at mushrooms, once in a while some evil little thing will have snuck its way along with the rest of the good stuff, looking for all the world like something that won’t have you vomiting your liver through your nose until you take a closer look. Now, it won’t be every time, and even then, it’s not certain that the sneaky stowaway will be poisonous, but here’s the stickler: Are you willing to bet your life on it? No, you’re not. So clean your mushrooms and try to be happy about it.
I found this little bastard hiding among all of my yellow foots (feet?):

It looks so innocent, but it is in all probability poisonous. Not that I know, but here comes the second rule for today (and ever, as far as this blog’s concerned):
If you don’t know what it is, and it’s small and brownish, just assume that it is poisonous. And not really because there aren’t any mushrooms that look like this that are edible. The different kinds of yellow foots are absolutely delicious. But they are easy to recognize. With most small, brown mushrooms, you aren’t that lucky. If it’s not a yellow foot of some kind, it’s a lethal webcap as far as I’m concerned. Of course, if you have a good book on mushrooms you can try to look for the edible ones if you like to, but I prefer not to bother, since there are far more other edible mushrooms that I know that aren’t small, unidentifiable brown things that might stab you in the kidneys.

And that leads us to the final rule: Don’t be fucking stupid. Don’t take risks. If you aren’t a real expert – and when I say expert, I mean Doctor of Mycology or similar – don’t mess with species that basically look the same. Mushrooms taste good, but I think we can all agree that they don’t taste good enough to die for.

You’ve got a good book on mushrooms? Excellent! That will keep you from mixing up a field mushroom with destroying angel, because the two really aren’t that similar if you look closely. But if the mushrooms are as alike as the example given above, it’s probably best to not fuck about with them. Especially since pictures of in books can be misleading. You see on the pictures above that the edible ones are a lot more yellow, and you might think they’ll be easy to tell apart. Only the edible ones might be darker in real life, depending on what kind of ground they grow on, or the poisonous ones might be fairer, and how can you tell for sure unless you eat them? And die. So don’t trust your book too much. It won’t be any kind of comfort when you’re lying there shaking in your own vomit to know that you could probably get a refund for that book.

Anyway, that’s it for the mushrooms. I can imagine that you think that this wasn’t very impressive for being my first real post, but to this I simply say “Fuck you in the face, I’m too tired to be more creative than this”. I am positive that this is the perfect way of getting readers to stay. I’ve read “The Game”. Randomized rudeness makes people like you.

UPDATE: I have hereby proved the "brown mushroom" theory. I tried to find out what my unwanted find was, going through literally HUNDREDS upon HUNDREDS of mushrooms, and I still have no damn clue. I think it might be part of the Telamonia family, possibly a very deformed example of Cortinarius umbrinolens (poisonous, fyi), but I really have no damn clue. Basically, those little fuckers are evil.

onsdag 29 september 2010

Is this doomed to fail? Probably. But why should I let a small thing like that stop me?

Well, let me start by explaining the title for this blog. It is there because sometimes, just occasionally, I will attempt to write something here that vaguely will follow the same topic. This will be very difficult for me, since I have the unfortunate attention span of a very small kitten in an aviary, and will most likely trail off in the middle of such a post trying to explain how you write a graph on someone's sexuality and whether or not you can use the equation for such a graph and the equation for someone else's graph to see if the lines ever cross each other (in n-space, of course, n being short for "nupitals" in this case) to see if those two should/could/would marry, which would be really cool, and probably possible too, if I could only reduce the number of variables - "sex", "money", "romance" and "kids" have to stay, but it would be nice if I could get rid of such cumbersome terms as "toilet seat" and  "why are you always so rude to my mother?" but if I could just...

Where was I again? Oh, yes. The topic. When I feel mentally capable of handling staying on topic, I will write a post that will contain something that I think most of us have wished existed at some point: A rule-book on how to not act/look/be percieved as a total moron by fellow human beings. I mean, I sure wish that I had some rules to rely on once in a while, instead of awkwardly fumbling my way through life. And I know, I know, there are already a thousand blogs like these on the internet, but... uh... none of them are written by me? And that has to count for something, right?

Some of the rules will simply be the practical "Do this to stay alive" kind of rules. Others will be the more subtle "Do this to not be an utter jerk" or "This is really dumb, so don't do it" kind of rules. Of course, considering that I have no authority what so ever, and that you're all basically free to utterly disregard anything I say, it'll be more guidlines than rules as per se. But I'll say "rules" anyway, because that sort of indicates that if you don't follow them I'll turn up on your doorstep and visit THE WRATH OF GOD upon you, and maybe that'll make you pause before saying something utterly dipshitty. I do this for your own good, see?
You are very welcome.

Otherwise, I will waste the time of my potential readers with telling you all about my life, my personal insanities, and the million ways that life has of freaking me the fuck out. If this sounds even remotely funny, then stick around.... you evil bastards.

Peace out.