Monday, April 14, 2014

Hunting For Bargains On Planet Cheapo/Weirdo

Queueing for DIY bargains at Wreck The Shite Outta Yer Abode R Us last week, I encountered a bearded guru prostrating himself in mid-chant before the cashier.  As tolerators of bearded gurus go, I position myself towards the liberal end of the chance kick at a bogus holy man spectrum, and moved to step over the guy.

“Wanton chocolate!  Temporal versimilitude!” he cried.

Presuming this to be a discount coupon offer code, I shamelessly repeated his words to the checkout girl while waving a top-of-the-range blister pack of rawlplugs at her.  That’s how it goes with bearded gurus: one minute you’re tactfully avoiding them for fear of witnessing an embarrassing divine non-intervention, the next, you’re in cahoots regarding the quest for the bargain Inevitable.

There’s a moral to this story somewhere, but it’s Monday morning.

Perhaps I’d better pass on this one and do something practical and useful, like eating a nutritious biscuit or catching up on old episodes of Cash In The Attic... 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Game Of Throats

Technical woes continue to throttle my time.

It all started back in the 1990s when my Yamaha natural sound amplifier went tits up.  I never realised that electrical equipment even had tits until that moment, let alone potentially irritating bra hook-up problems further down the line.

Truly, I am to gadgetry failure what Uri Geller is to spoons, only without the charlatan chicanery and Spock fanfiction eyebrows.

Cutting to the present (with an ordinary knife, not one of those vibrating Heston Blumethal efforts — for obvious reasons), my legs currently straddle a techno woe mule whose backpacks contain the following:

* My #1 computer, on which resideth all my data.

* My phone, without which I cannot end globe-spanning conversations with a cheery see ya later...

* The whizzer thing I use to blend stuff before serving it up to the fam in a blaze of cheers.

* My wig groomer.  I don’t wear a wig as yet, but when the big day comes I want to be ready to cope with the fallout.  Right now I’m getting random partings and no joy with the Sporty Fringe settings.

* Next door’s dog.  Yes, I know — a flesh and blood mammal.  But I swear it’s some kind of cyborg, and since the weekend it’s been eyeing me up suspiciously, so go ahead, google ‘cyborg dog retina failure’ and tell me I’m wrong.

* The fridge.  Don’t get me bloody started.

Taken together, this ragbag collection of Singularity-busting trash has me cornereder than a hamster in a room full of stare-out contest lizards, so I’m taking a rain check on doing anything  productive today.

And the Game of Throats?


Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Game Of SPOON

Sometimes we get stuck for ideas.

We badly need a fix for our fiction, business or life, but our brains keep on throwing out the same stuck stuff.

So here’s a useful game anyone can play.

It’s nothing new, and umpteen variations of it exist OUT THERE, but my version is the simple one.

My version is SPOON.

If you can imagine you possess a SPOON then you can play this game.

So, let’s spoon up some stuff — new stuff, habit-busting unstuck stuff — and dispense it over the horns of our dilemma like soup from a ladle.

Look around you right now, with half an eye on your conundrum.  Pick the first two objects you see.

(Right now, I have a blue wine bottle and a door, and a cowardy custard Stucky Not slapped over a short piece of fiction.)

These two objects on your spoon — in how any ways can you make them interact?

That’s the game of SPOON; those are the rules.

Your brain is hungry for a solution to your Thorny P Horny D Thang, but because it can only reproduce what it has already learned, if the problem is perceived to be a STICKLER then it will TRY HARDER at what it already knows rather than SEEKING OUT A NEW METHOD, thus STICKLERATING ITSELF into a husk.

The two objects you spoon (and the interactions you generate between them) constitute your new information, delivered via the mechanism of EVIDENT WHIMSY.

The beauty of this game lies in the fact that it doesn’t matter what objects are spooned.  Very often, when we seek out new information to help us solve a puzzle, the nature of the puzzle determines the nature of the information we hunt down.

So, here I go with my wine bottle and my door.

drunken party
family of wine bottles (kids’ story — so maybe POP bottles...)
message in a bottle is cabin door from captain’s missing miniature ship
pour doors as wine
door Oddjob hat’s its way through bottle at circus
thug hits door with bottle
positional — door balanced on bottle, bottle balanced on door
bottle pouring doors (like this idea) — wizard’s portal, metaphor for de-inhibitory effects of alcohol, 200' bottle full of doors for environmental re-peating of Ireland

That’s a minute’s worth.  If I hadn’t been required by bloggerly example provision necessity (B.E.P.N.) to type all that out then I would have generated more links and ideas.

Try it now, with UR thang.

When your game ends, you ought to find yourself holding two things:

1) An adrenaline rush from engaging in combinatorial fancy.  Beats donning a jogging suit and embarrassing your neighbours.

2) An idea (or ideas), however small: MOVEMENT.

My choice, from my game of SPOON, is the bottle full of doors.

Now I have a corrupt wizard and a theme of false promises.  Is a scoundrel loose in Fairyland, offering pirated portals to Narnia?  Or is my wizard an unscrupulous business tycoon who plies unsuspecting victims with cocktails of mind-bending smart drugs at product launches?

Only one thing is certain.

Until I played the game of SPOON just now, I had NONE OF THIS.

Until I scooped up a blue wine bottle and a door with my SPOON and unleashed my brain on the gulf between them, no wizards were forthcoming and I’d forgotten I’d even forgotten about Irish peat bogs.

The game of SPOON works especially well with fiction, including that awkward subset of fancy we like to call FACT (and I’ll catch up with that rascal, “the Future” in a future post...).

So away with your 10-Step creative plans, your flowcharts and your cerebelluar gazetteers!

Lead with a SPOON, 2 objects — and your hungry brain.

It’s like the I Ching for goobers.  Prom.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Me Is Has Was 6

    When I began this blog, I never believed I’d run it for six years.

    But then again, when I was in my 30s, I never believed my eyes would return to my sockets after a particularly disturbing photo booth de-retinal nerving teleport stunt.

    But life is kind of weird that way...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Why Hanging Out In Bars = #1 Fun

    Unusual as it is for me to blog from a bar, I nonetheless find myself slung between cheapo speaker squeals of James Brown at his ferocious best, wondering what it is with this supping ale and writing degrees of crap kinda nonsense.

    Maybe I'm a Bohemian, genetically pre-gravitated to embrace a funk & quill lifestyle as Buddhist monks favour shaving and waving.  Or maybe the beer and the writing are incidental and I’m merely a hapless slave to the whole James Brown SEX MACHINE Arghhh! Arghhhh! Arghhhhhhh! groove.

    One thing is for certain-as-yer-Nooveau-Iron-Curtain* — this Brown palaver rocks way more like a Ken Hom wok than the musical rumpus generated by the other famous musical Brown, namely Errol from Hot Chocolate.

* Crimea: Harass, Arras, Impasse.

    Let's examine the evidence.

    Here's Brown (James, Machine of Sex), testosterone bursting from his soul in vanderGraaf hairdo fractals:

    And here's Brown II (Errol, Thing of Sex), feigning an orgasm while choking on a cucumber of unknown origin:

    This is why I hang out in bars.

    As fusions of entertainment and speculation go, hanging out in bars bulges from an otherwise flat landscape — hell, I dunno...

Is that a gun in your pocket — or are you from the 70s?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy 'Hold Up A Potato For Exactly A Minute' Day


Alternatively, at 3 mins to 5 tonight (GMT, not Waspe Heure or DraggunKloKK) you could Spring Equinox on down with the glee of the make-up woman responsible for shaving Fiona Bruce's underarms prior to an Antiques Roadshow shoot...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hey, St Anthony! Help Me Find My Shit!

    I’m no religious zealot — hell, the chickens I’ve slaughtered and offered up to Satan can be measured in neck miles — but right now I’m heavily reliant for my day-to-day survival on the services of St Anthony.

    If you know anything at all about saints then you’ll probably already be aware of two key facts about these hypermortals of legend and song:

    1) Most of them have utterly ridiculous names that only the most devout would wrest from the Wholly Bib as part of any Name That Screaming Infant Challenge.  Like St Augustine of Hippo.  Gotta love that guy.

    2) Despite rumours to the contrary, neither Elvis, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Hitler nor Dale Winton is a saint.

    What you may not realise is that St Anthony — by far the most practically useful saint since St Bottle Opener and St Spare Pair Of Trousers Just In Case It Rains — began life as a practising buddhist monk.

    If you think about it, this kind of makes sense.

    Why do we ask St Anthony for help?  Like I say, right now, for me, it’s a matter of survival.  I’ve lost so many things this week that I may have inadvertently opened up a partial vacuum in the cosmos capable of sucking another Star Trek film starring William Shatner from the vortex.  Without my prayers to St Anthony, mankind is doomed.

    That’s where the whole buddhist trip came in so handy for dear old Ant.  He spent so much time soaking up the Here & Now into every fibre of his being that he got to know more about where stuff was than any of these socially inept spectacle savants who can memorize the contents of a telephone directory before BT has even allocated the numbers.

    “Oh, yeah, that Carling Black Label ring pull from Rod Stewart’s fourth can the night he played the Manchester Apollo in 1971with Jeff Beck and the peculiar looking one from Sweet.  It’s rusted and gone now, but if you have a millennium or two I can let you know where all the atoms of tin and aluminium and nickel are, along with every last molecule of Stewart’s  subsequent showy urine fountain for the benefit of the groupies.”

    Having friends like this in the afterlife is very useful indeed.  Only problem is, St Anthony clearly has something of a backlog. While my lime green underpants and my matching canoe and chivalric trumpet fanfares CD might be very dear to me, they’re both a long way down the goodly saint’s hit list if my current wait is anything to go by.  We know from Kit’s Law that there are always more missing cats then people who can be bothered to find them, and after the knees-up festive season we had last year, everyone knows someone who’s still missing a light-up bauble, so I’m on a loser here right from the outset.

    All I can do is wait, quite literally for something to turn up.  If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll get lucky — a chance meeting of happenstance and serendipity that sparks a revelation about my underpants.  If not, then maybe I’ll forget that I even forgot where I put stuff, forever to wander about the house in a confused daze.  Reminds me of that thing Lon Chaney said about the things we don’t know we don’t know.

    Or was it that other guy from Sweet...?