27 June 2007

Badger me this...

The true embodiment and quintessence of versatility itself is the gloriously useful and fascinatingly malleable word 'badger'.

And not just in the animalistic sense, as in 'Is that fashionably monotone, snufflingly teddybear-esque creature, ridden with tuberculosis and perhaps liable to speak like they so disconcertingly do in Prince Caspian, possibly what is commonly known to the countryside dwellers as a BADGER?', but in the haranging and annoying sense also. Which is always a far better thing. Nature is so-so, but the potential for irritating and nagging? That's what I'm talkin' about.

To badger (verb): to harrass or urge persistently; nag; pester
I badger, I badgered, I will badger
You badger, He badgers, They badger, We all jolly well badger together

No doubt you are now all beginning to share my joy for the word. That's what sheer repetition does to the English language, rendering whatever word is being repeated nonsensical and somehow rude sounding.

It can be used perfectly adequately, nay favorably and proficiently, out of context as well. Such as exchanging the word 'riddle' for badger, 'Badger me this, why don't you?'. Or swapping 'ticket' for badger, 'That's the badger!'. Or, indeed, any swearword at all, 'Oh badgeration! I stubbed my badgering toe! How the badger did that happen?!'

It's just a word that keeps on giving.

Incidentally, can you tell that I first started musing on the subject of this post when in that dreamlike state between deep sleep and conciousness as I was waking up this morning? Nah, thought not.

23 June 2007

Groundhog Day, Every Day

Just like there are re-runs of programmes like The Simpsons and Friends shown endlessly on TV at exactly the same time each day, that you can set your watch by and can be safe in the knowledge that you've seen them all before, my mind plays re-runs.

Admittedly there are a few original thoughts that flash through the old cranium. But aside from these rare and exotic things, there is pretty much a loop of the same thoughts that occur to me at round about the same time each day that I never think about except at that moment, day in, day out. I have endeavoured to remember them out of context.

When I push down the cafetiere most mornings I always think how much it sounds like a sound effect from Star Wars, the Death Star atmospherically ploughing through a galaxy far, far away perhaps, or Dr Who when the Tardis is embarking on travelling through the space time continuum.

When I use the remote control, usually about Neighbours time, that statistic about how many germs and bodily fluids are present in the peanut bowls at bars always occurs to me as I muse over how many grubby little fingers have poked at the volume and channel buttons.

When I am making use of a towel, after a shower or the like, I am always reminded of that riddle: what gets wetter the more it dries? A towel. This is rather clever and I wish I didn't know the answer so that I could think on it and be delighted by the solution to the riddle.

When I am alone in the house and venturing into the pantry I always imagine what it would be like if I accidentally shut the door and was trapped inside. I suppose there are worse places to be trapped as at least there are plenty of provisions in a pantry. But I always see myself as a decomposing corpse in rigor mortis, look of horror on my bloodless face, when discovered by returning family.

When returning from the pantry I always contemplate life itself and the transient nature of it and all I have achieved in my own short existence as I see it flash before my eyes when tripping over all the shoes strewn across the floor, narrowly avoiding a broken neck.

All these thoughts and more are touched on, however fleetingly, each day as they are provoked or inspired by whatever external activity I am involved with. Often to the point of annoyance as I feel like saying 'Yes, I know that, I have thought that before, many a time, get out of my head and leave me to be otherwise cerebrally disposed'. I am trapped in a loop of my own thoughts.

17 June 2007

They can do something right

Say what you will of the Americans, but they sure do have some great surnames.

Take, for instance, Horowitz, Zimmerman, Kowalski, Liebowitz, Kellog, Roosevelt, Brudwig, Rodriguez, Delfino, Abramowitz, Katzoff, Stefani, Duff, Gyllanhaal. It sounds as though a couple of young tykes, so enamoured with the experimental potential of language, spent many a happy hour just playing around with noises with delightful consequences. An auditory landscape of gems and idiosyncracies that just get better with repetition.

Before you say anything, I realise that these surnames are evident all over the world and have many different origins etc etc. But I doubt that they would all be together, say in a highschool classroom, in any other country but the US. Not the banality and blandness of multiple Browns, Joneses and Smiths for them. They shake it up a bit, have some variation, keep on adding syllables and obscurities in order to construct more unique marvels. Registration must be an event, a source of fascination each day.

In fact, I would even go so far to say that I would ditch all my ingrained feminist sensibilities in a certain case and actually agree to take a partner's name. Now hold your horses and let me explain. If I were to meet and fall for a guy going by the name of Kowalsky (and lets face it, that would probably be the reason I fell for such a guy. His first name would be something like Duane, Bud, Chip or Biff knowing those crazy kids across the pond) I would consider adding such a suffix to my own simple title.
Anna Kirk-Kowalsky has a certain ring to it I'd say. You know you would.

14 June 2007

'Is it wrong to taste the milk and honey? Oh Moses, Mo-o-oses, Moses'

It's been a while but I have had a packed schedule of glancing distactedly and worriedly at my 'filing system' of revision notes behind my sofa, making cups of coffee and watching 'Loose Women'. It's been a tough old week.

However, there have been some highlights. And I am unfortunately not referring to those jaunty fluorescent pens that everybody insists are fantastic revision aids but actually are of no use whatsoever apart from giving the effect that New Rave slugs have been partying on your notes.

One such highlight involved a very surreal evening in Byker.
I mingled with the members of the education profession that fall under the hippy-dippy category at a pub that has a regular ukulele club.
I was bought a drink by an ex-supply teacher's second husband (her first husband used to be a vicar before converting to Islam, a decision which apparently 'had something to do with the bird he was shagging').
I was enlightened by my Philosophy teacher's band that consists of one dreadlocked hippy (said Philosophy teacher) on vocals/guitar/mouth organ/saxophone, one crazy-eyed hobbit in a Pete Doherty hat on vocals/guitar/violin, one skinny, spruced up trendy on keyboards and a bass player who seemed to have a dislocated, deformed hand when playing though admirably looked quite chipper about it. Plus there was the trumpet player (another Philosophy teacher incidentally) and the large female cello player who came on for the odd song. An eclectic mix of styles issued forth from the set, the most memorable song of the evening being one about Moses called 'The Promised Land'. An anthem for the modern age, it is a heartfelt power ballad that includes a reference to taking succour from milk and honey and is surprisingly catchy. Other notable songs were one about the stories of C.S Lewis and one in the blues style that calls on our 'supreme Lord'.
I was coerced into a peck on the cheek by hippy teacherwhen going to congratulate him, from which I though I would never emerge alive from within the mass of dreadlocks. Shudder. Still having the nightmares.
I danced to such classics as 'Cotton-eyed Joe' and 'I am the Music Man' as the bands cleared up.
I went on a trip round the whole of Byker (multiple times) and eventually made it to Kingston Park at 1 0'clock in the morning for provisions after getting horribly lost and confused due to the person giving directions being absolutely wasted after tallying up 13 drinks. Do not fear though, as we had 'The Promised Land' playing to get us through (we bought the CD at the gig). It's the kind of song that you have to close your eyes to when singing as it has so much meaning and passion to convey, and clenched fists have to accompany it as well as walking through some landscape involving a smoke machine.
I ended up in a hovel of a bachelor pad where Chinese alcohol was shot, a viser was worn at a hip angle, and chocolate ice cream was passed round the circle in a refreshingly communal fashion. God love the hippy scene.
Good times were had.

Little else of note has been going down this side of the hood.

4 June 2007

Anecdotal Antidotes

In rare moments of clarity, when life, the universe and everything in it etc is seen in straightforward, black and white simplicity, it seems as though everything can be divided into poisons and antidotes.

Even when it looks like all hope is lost once a poison has been taken, such as in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in the opening sequence when Indie is looking all Bond-like and has taken a fatal substance which can only be cured by drinking the green contents of the infuriatingly small phial which gets lost in all the crystal and glass amongst some Chinese people and the restaurant singer decked out in red jewels, there is always an antidote and sometimes half the excitement is in the chasing of it. In fact it can often lead to a whole adventure in India, involving a wisecracking kid named Shorty, weird sacred stones, eating monkey brains and generally being the lesser film of an ingenius trilogy as evidenced by the Harrison Ford analogy.

Anyways, I shall illustrate my point further.

Poison: Boredom
Antidote: A swift episode of Sex and the City
(I'll start off nice and simple)

Poison: Lack of revision
Antidote: A swift episode of Sex and the City
(See, sometimes antidotes can cure multiple ills caused by poisons)

Poison: Feeling a bit meh* about turning nineteen
Antidote: Lunching at an art gallery with a mother followed by an afternoon at a fabulous vintage store where ball dresses are purchased and fashion dreams are realised. It does not matter what age one is when in this timeless cave of treasures, where everything is swathed in beads and scarves, glamorous mirrors abound, mannequin heads sport intricate and over the top head wear, shoes from all eras litter the floor and all is splendidly dazzling.

Poison: Nuts and infuriating people, putting one into nuts and infuriating situations
Antidote: All material for the comic novel

Poison: The awkwardness of a long term guest, and the efforts needed to seem halfway normal to said intruder
Antidote: Presents, especially french perfume
(Also the fact that the guest is an unassuming sweetie)

Poison: An exam
Antidote: Browsing in a book shop when plied with book tokens

Poison: Stingray dying in Neighbours
Antidote: ..................

Okay, for some things there is no antidote.

But my theory is otherwise infallible. And an uncharacteristically optimistic one.

*'meh' is a new and lovely word used to convey any feelings of blahness, shrugdom, or hmph-ing. Use it in a sentence today.