He turns on the television, flicks through some options, a way to feel useful while too tired to do anything more. On screen, a pornographic backdrop behind the menu, a naked woman sitting on wrought iron fleur-di-lis, shot from below, the metal pressing into her soft, photoshop-perfect skin. She is anonymous, mostly a silhouette of legs and shaved genitals, though it can be seen that she has a ring piercing in a sensitive place. I mentally wince, thinking of how easy it would be to get caught on things, but grin, looking at him, silently expecting an explanation, as that’s what such situations generally require. “It’s not mine, if you’ll believe it,” he replies to my amused face, “I would have fixed the aspect ratio.”
It’s amazing the moments that feel like home. Because yes, I would have too.
My asymmetrical purple fedora has vanished, lost somehow in the earliest hours of Boxing Day, most probably to the Metrotown parking lot. It was a fine hat, resilient, much loved, and my utter favourite, the best I’ve ever had. Already I miss it, along with the lovely feather fascinator attached to it that Sugar made me for my birthday. A moment of silence, please.
Also mysteriously gone this year: The Scarf of True Love.
A pen running the length of the Hamburger Bahnhof, now the city’s contemparary art museum, contains 12 reindeer, 24 canaries, eight mice and two flies. Giant toadstool sculptures are planted on a mushroom clock that the reindeer can turn with their antlers, and at the centre is a mushroom-shaped “floating hotel” – a bed on a platform complete with minibar, yours for €1,000 a night. (There’s also a raffle giving away free places.) […]
The urine is collected by handlers and stored in fridges by the walls, which also hold both dried and fresh fly agaric mushrooms. By day they’re locked, but at night the fridges are opened, allowing people staying over to sample the contents. However, because only half the reindeer are fed the mushrooms, it’s impossible to know which bottles, if any, contain hallucinogenic urine. […]
One side of the hall is the “test”, the other the “control”. Reindeer on the test side are fed the mushrooms. (“At least in principle,” says Höller, helpfully.) On each side, the reindeer urine is spread on the food of the other animals. From observation posts, visitors watch the behaviour of the canaries, mice and houseflies for signs of intoxication and form their own conclusions. […]
Dorothée Brill, the museum’s lead curator, says: “As far as we can tell, nobody’s done anything they shouldn’t have.” Staff at the restaurant, however, report that some guests “drink the minibar dry”.
p.s. I’m hosting a Boxing Day Sunday Tea at my place this week.
RECOMMENDED READING: Gratuitous: How Sexism Threatens to Undermine the Internet.
[…] Checking my Tumblr feed is like checking in with my friends, even if these “friends” are people I know very little about and will possibly never meet in real life. I met most of these people through friends of friends or via the social discovery that re-blogging affords. I somehow stumbled into their worlds, and they were interesting enough to make me want to come back. I interact with enough of them that I can pretty clearly say that when they post something, it is intended for me. I’m part of their small group, and I have no qualms about that.
Lisa, on the other hand, is a different matter. Lisa is a college student at a large university in the Midwest (and Lisa is not her name; I don’t know whether she would want a bunch of book nerds suddenly reading her posts or not, so I’m not going to link to her blog here, either). She seems pretty smart, and she blogs about her love life, her schoolwork, her friends, and all of the other things that matter to her. I find Lisa’s life very interesting, and her blog is great. But I haven’t completely settled the “is she talking to me” question. While Lisa follows me back, we don’t interact with each other. She uses Tumblr in a very social way, she isn’t really part of the crowd of people whom I otherwise follow. And I find this somewhat troubling. […]
The pane of glass, and the contrast between the brightly lit casting room and the dim audience space, was enough distance to effectively dehumanize these girls. There were other factors at work, such as the blonde California girl’s status as marketing conceit and sexual totem, but I think a big reason we all felt free to dissect and dismiss these girls is because they couldn’t really see us. We were, more or less, anonymous. It was especially unsettling to turn around after watching for a few minutes and see one of the girls who had been in the call standing just behind us. How long had she been there, the girl in the leopard print shorts? And how did she suddenly become so real? […]
Why are women treated differently than men online? I suppose the greater question is why they are still treated differently everywhere — online or otherwise — but since this post is about the web, I will focus on that. Surely there’s the garden variety sexism that permeates most of our culture, where women’s opinions are discounted or denigrated, and where the female form is used to sell everything from liquor to football. But I think there is something else at work online, and in many ways, it’s related to the strange feeling of watching all of those girls wait to have their pictures taken, as well as my conflicted feelings about enjoying college girl Lisa’s blog so much.
Tonight consists of unpacking similarly to how yesterday was shaped around fitting things into suitcases, all things fractal, unfolding to limitless depths on the edge of a very great height, hands outstretched, my girlish heart aflutter, all wind, gravity, and power. A small break-down, page turned, chapter ended, an entire new book about to be written. I left much behind, small pieces of furniture, antiques, black and red, a crafted library of films, the gentle framework of an entire life, another city, an origami of possibilities, the word home engraved in stones. We rested briefly in the midst of scouring the apartment for my things, a dove outside, pure in the middle of a flock of pigeons, white like bone against a blue sky.
Today I cried for my city and fell in love a little bit and felt a weight on my heart as thick and suffocating as any poem. I was held, I was rejected, I cried for my city and in that moment was everything. This is the new, this place of surprise comfort and reliability, this strange mix of invisibility suddenly reversed, of truth and beauty bombs, no secrets, no delay. The new, but inevitable, even as I claimed it is not, as I tripped and fell, yet was caught. “Everything else is just filling in details.” I am afraid, but inside my concern seems to be freedom, seems to be a map of what I remember being, the word thrive, crackling, the electric incredible. Deep in the center of things, essential, past the pain, there is still strength.
My Favourite haka: the financial demon.
edit: I have since been told that “credit card” translates to “small plastic demon”, which is so fantastic I have no words to add to it.
I leave for Seattle today to close down a significant part of my life, sift the remnants gently into a suitcase and some boxes, and bring it back to Vancouver. As concepts go, it remains sad, but I am significantly less unsettled about the entire idea. One time-line failed, so another will spring forth from the shift. Possibilities and probabilities. It’s what happens. To combat my residual nervousness, I tell myself that on a larger scale, it denotes almost nothing, only a narrative switch.
Went to a party Saturday night, Duncan’s house-warming, crammed full of people I adore but never seem to see, perhaps my first house party of the year. Another change in the works, there, my desire to rebuild being social in Vancouver, attempt to drag my carcass out on the town, pick up the phone, wash off my hermit-stone skin and swim through conversation again. I had forgotten how refreshing it is to be surrounded by friends. Too much isolation. Too much concentration on only one topic at a time.
Pay what you want. If you bought these five games separately, it would cost around $85 but we’re letting you set the price!
All of the games work great on Mac, Windows, and Linux.
We don’t use DRM. When you buy these games, they are yours. Feel free to play them without an internet connection, back them up, and install them on all of your Macs and PCs freely. There is no time-limit on your downloads.
You can support charity. Choose exactly how your purchase money is divided: Between the game developers, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or the Child’s Play Charity. Also, if you like this deal, a tip to the Humble Bundle itself would be much appreciated!
This Bundle’s games are Braid, Cortex Command, Machinarium, Osmos, and Revenge of the Titans.