Monthly Archives: January 2010

Crack Addict

I’ve been on the Crack for almost 2mths now. A reticent entrant into the Cult of Crackberry I am now a loyal and subservient follower. My life is controlled by that little red flashing light. I feel like those bugs in ‘A Bug’s Life’ that are drawn to the bug zapper, ‘I can’t help it. It’s just so beautiful…’ *BZZZZZT* Like a beacon on the darkest night it calls to me and wills me to check what urgent matter requires my attention now.

I fully knew what I was getting into. I’d witnessed each of my friends in turn become Crack Addicts. Their thumbs continually tapping away on the device that seldom left their hands and was always within reaching distance should the light beckon. Even those friends that weren’t particularly techy, and I have always been techy, were transformed by this world of *PING*s and apps. Those that haven’t been initiated into the Cult very much want to be.

Now I love my Sony X1. I have always loved Sony Ericsson phones and when I don’t get one in my upgrade I am always counting the days until I can. I will always advocate them over any other phone. Nokias are fine if you want a phone that’s easy to use, Motorolas are very pretty if you don’t mind going into menu upon menu to access the most basic of functions, Samsungs are fine – they’ve afforded my sister trips to South Africa and me a Wii in their promotions. I am brand loyal to Sony, however, I am now most definitely a Crack Addict.

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My City

Today she looked so beautiful; I couldn’t help but take her picture…

NB. May be best viewed in miniature. I may have seen my city but the camera on the Crackberry isn’t the best for catching it. Apologies for the graniness of the images.

If she needed words…

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Bleeding Heart

Going through the motions but lacking any kind of sensation. Everything tasteless. Disappointment acknowledged but not felt. The heart aches. Not wanting to play this out in view of open eyes you withdraw.

In these moments you come to realise who holds you.  Those whose arms wrap around you instinctively to hold you together before you fall apart. That one who tries to make you laugh. Wrong words chosen, but a slight twitch of your lips shows you that could you smile, you would. And them, the one you turned to, to take you out of your head. Seeming at first to care but then always their truer nature returns. This you knew. It is why you go to them.

The words unbelievable. Having to remind yourself that this is how you placed the pieces. Each one fulfilling the role assigned. You can’t be angry, only you are. Growing resentment that they would choose now to do this. Had the roles been reversed with a fraction of the relevance this behaviour would not be tolerated from you. Never able to see as you do. Oddly thankful that this you can feel. This gives you something other to think about. This was the reason why you made that choice again. Perfectly selfish, always guaranteed that in their presence nothing you feel matters. Your dysfunction showing. The tactic does not work.

Your thoughts undistracted. They always remembered your name. They always cared to ask how you were. Their voice familiar on the other end of the phone, you couldn’t help but smile when you answered. It feels heavy. The memory of that last time. You shared a meal in their home. They were supposed to be getting better. They wouldn’t let you hug them. Too much affection, you knowing your arms would embrace them too tightly. Them kindly insisting that it was only because they didn’t want you to become ill. Not even a kiss goodbye. Just wave.

The miles too many to travel I stay on my side of the ocean. Too affected by a sadness that should not be so overwhelming. Their loss, mine. I will miss their kindness. I will miss their laughter. I will miss their smile.

~ R.I.P. Auntie Norte ~

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Fix You

I have a friend, she calls me a Socialist. When she says it though it comes out like a dirty word. I suppose when I say Capitalist sometimes it comes out sounding like that too. I’m not a fan of labels, but if you have to then yes – I am a Liberal.

I think as an idea, Communism isn’t a bad thing. I don’t think it would work, and I know that when society has tried, it hasn’t. However, I believe that’s more down to human nature than the ideology though. At it’s simplest, a world where people give according to their means and take according to their needs – does it sounds so evil? I don’t think so.

Self-confessed Idealist. I know that there is enough food in the world that no one should writhe with hunger pains. I know that we have made the medical advances that certain diseases like malaria should not kill as many as it does. I know that we have the resources enough to provide a roof so that no one falls asleep on the street. All you need to do is listen to the words of ‘Imagine‘ in order to see what kind of world we could live in.

I know that some may try to tear my argument down with the statement, ‘We don’t live in an ideal world.’ Stick a ‘Why’ at the front of that sentence and a question mark at the end of it and you have my response to that.

You still can!

You still can!

My friend, who thinks I’m a dirty Socialist, and I are currently having a “heated discussion” about US healthcare reform. We’re discussing, not arguing. We have to make the distinction clear, despite the fact that she seems to have gone silent on me. She’s an American, a NYer at that so you know she has an opinion, who doesn’t believe that the health reform the President’s proposing should go through. I’m a Brit who’s never had to worry about the cost of getting fixed. I’ve always found it difficult to understand how healthcare isn’t universal, particularly in a country like the US. I’m sure there are reasons, I’m sure none of them are any good.

The US is not a third world country. It has the resources and the knowledge to provide its people – all of its people, with free healthcare. Yet it doesn’t. I admit that our healthcare system isn’t ideal. We have waiting lists. Some hospitals are better than others, as are some doctors. Sometimes things are missed. I don’t think that would change if we stopped having a national healthcare service. For all its faults, if you are broken – we will fix you. I have yet to hear an argument that convinces me we should do otherwise.

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29¾. That’s exactly how old I am today. Three-quarters into the final year of my 20s. One of my bestest told me she thought we were too old to fractionalise our ages. I told her I prefer it. I joked that it helps negate the years that come before. I like being twenty-nine though, I’m sure many people enjoy being twenty-nine – again and again. I like it despite what comes next.  I’m quite happy to be turning the “Big 3-0”.

I think partly that’s because I didn’t think I’d get there. It’s not because I harboured hopes for an early demise, far from it. I just always thought that if I did get there, I wouldn’t last for too much longer. I didn’t mind getting old, I know that it’s a privilege denied to many. I simply couldn’t see myself getting past that age. I’m still not sure that I do, but I certainly hope so.

Of my years I have one regret. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred if you offered me a trip in a Deloreon I would turn you down. I cannot guarantee that my life would be as it is had I not made the choices I have, and I believe that my life is currently what it needs to be. Still there is that one moment, that one time in a hundred, where –  if I could, I would like to see if it could have turned out differently. One moment I’d consider risking today for.

I have been a great many things to many different people. Not all of them fun, but perhaps necessary. Today I am me again. It’s only recently that I’ve started to feel that. Yesterday I said the words that confirmed I’m back. When others know of my choice I know that they’ll question it but I could never do sustained happiness, it’s not who I am. Even when the scales are pushed in my favour, I can’t. I have learnt that I require balance. I begin to see too darkly without it. When there’s a part missing, you need to replace it. I’m better this way.

The years have been unexpected, in the best possible way. I don’t think I could have predicted a single moment, I know given the choice I probably wouldn’t have chosen them. Sometimes it’s better that those decisions are out of your hands. The final stretch, almost certain to be as much of an adventure as the rest of it has been. Though I believe tomorrow is promised to no one, I still find myself smiling at the possibility.

Twenty-nine years…and three quarters. Wow. I made it.

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Mess of A Dreamer

Their face everywhere. Now I choose to see. Too long that part of me denied, never gone. The shadow cast not them, but me. I realise that now. In the darkness where I stood and smiled at the light I know that this is what I have chosen.

That happiness, that joy, so many smiles. It could never be sustained. I was never built that way. Though surrounded, that’s not how I know how to live. Blinded. The brilliance too much for me.

With new words still lost to me and the old too hard to say I let myself be found. Unable to reconcile those parts of me alone but knowing I need both. To value what it is I have, to know the consequence should I let it go, I need to be reminded how many times I have lost.

I returned to where I knew I would be asked the questions for which I did not have the answers they wanted to hear. I heard the apology given without the meaning needed behind it. Unknown that the word that always fell so easily from their lips contained a promise to do better. A promise that could never be kept without the knowledge behind it.

Decision made. My life so very full. Left off-balance when the scales were tipped too far. I can no longer exist in extremes. The newly reclaimed piece needing to find its place without being forced. The picture incomplete without it. Slowly. Tentative placement. I need it to be whole.

When no one else was looking I knew I would go back. When no one else was looking I found myself finally hearing the words. When no one else was looking, I couldn’t be anyone but me.

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“Crisis”…I don’t know when the next ep is!

Anyone But Me is turning me into a quasi-insomniac. Oh I sleep. I sleep particularly when I know that the tomorrow on the other side of it brings a new episode of ABM. However, it is not at all restful. I’m not sure how many times I woke up in the early hours of Tuesday to check whether it was morning yet. Well, not so much to see if it was morning. I reached out to the Crackberry and focussed enough to see whether the, ‘New episode of @AnyoneButMe up now!!!’ tweet had been posted. At 4.45am it hadn’t. I was beginning to worry.

By about 6.30am – significantly earlier than my usual wakeup call, I had woken myself up for perhaps the 8th time. This is not a restful night’s sleep by anyone’s definition. Still no tweet. So I thought let’s check the website. One thing I will say about the Crack, it’s proper speedy with the surfing of the internets. Somehow navigating to the S2 link I count, one episode, two episodes, three episodes…THREE episodes! That’s my cue to go bang into my door again. However, I’m getting better and I managed to avoid the door. I didn’t quite manage to avoid the rather large box that’s in my hallway though. D’oh.

I saw a tweet the other day from @RevRunWisdom, ‘You are who you are when nobody’s watching.’ That’s currently resonating with me a little too much for a multitude of reasons, but as I write this I’m thinking that in terms of ABM, when no one’s watching – I probably look like a maniac. If it wasn’t for the fact that I watch ABM at 7am I’m sure some of my friends would be quite amused by the sight.

I am by no means a morning person, the synapses in my brain must have to gear themselves up in the space between eps to prepare. A dozen thoughts are normally going through my head when I’m watching, especially on first viewing. Not least of all is my internal whatever telling me to keep the volume down so I don’t wake everyone up.

I text. I tweet. I post on Facebook. I now also BBM thanks to the Crack to let people know a new ep has been posted just so I have someone else to talk to about it. As much as I want to tweet through the episode as I watch it – normally on the second viewing, I am very aware of spoiler issues. I recently had the ending to a mini-series called ‘The Mist‘ spoiled by reading a ‘Best of’ list. I was not amused. So I avoid tweeting. However, if you want my twitter-tary then scroll to the bottom. If you want the long version…

I don’t think we’ve seen Vivian’s dad – Gabe (Dan Via), or Aunt Jodie (Barbara Pitts) since ep7 if I’m correct, I could check but I’m pretty certain that’s the last time we saw them. Gabe’s story has always been one of the one’s I’ve been more interested in. So much of who we are is defined, whether we like it or not, by the job that we do.  Perhaps less in some occupations I know, but Gabe was a firefighter. This man went into flaming buildings to save lives. He was there at 9/11 – it’s the very reason they had to move to Westchester.

Everyday heroes like Gabe are a different breed, mostly because they carry themselves with a humility that shames so many “heroes”. Being that person defines you. As much as we are preoccupied with how Vivian is trying to define herself in this new town, I think Gabe is having just as much trouble trying to figure out who he is now. That’s not something I’ve seen often on screen, and I think it’s a story that would be told very well and I would like to see more of Gabe. Also, I  think that in terms of the back story with Vivian’s mum as well as the fact that Aunt Jodie had a crush on him (and possibly still does) when she was younger, there is a lot that could be done.

I like the dynamic between the two adults in Vivian’s life, with each other and with Vivian. I really enjoyed the scene between Gabe and Aunt Jodie. Finding a job is difficult at any age, and the way Aunt Jodie encourages him because this is what he needs to do is so supportive and you see why he’s chosen this person to be an influence on Vivian’s life. May I also say that I think sliding down a fire pole is an excellent way to decide whether or not to hire someone. I remember once we were deciding on two applicants who had near identical resumes – down to the fact that they had the same name. They were also both dancers so of course the only fair way to decide who got the job was to have a dance off. Unfortunately one of them couldn’t make the interview so the other one kind of got it by default. Fire pole though, that’s gonna separate the wheat from the chaff.

I think it’s sweet how Aunt Jodie tried to get to know Vivian throughout S1 and I think the two of them have had to do a lot of adjusting. I’m guessing awkwardness is a family trait. We still have the whole issue of Vivian coming out to her aunt  to see as well so that’ll certainly be interesting. I love that Gabe trusts Vivian, I think that it allows her a certain freedom but she’s not reckless with it because she wouldn’t want to disappoint him. I think who she is has a lot to do with the person he has raised her to be. So yeah, I’d like to see more of them.

Gabe & Aunt Jodie

I am aware that I am asking a lot from a show that kills most of its viewers with the length of the eps, but I touched on that last time so people know what they have to do. I have faith that this show is going to be around for a while. The talent pool is ridiculous, the stories are relevant, and quite simply, it’s too important not to be. So we have time.

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