Monday, 29 December 2008

Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.

If i was one for making new years resolutions, i guess that would be it. I'm bored of regretting things. I've only been 20 for 2 weeks and there are already things i regret not doing, so i say that this is the year i say "fuck it" and give things a go.
If this backfires horribly, at least i'll have tried. In the (hopefully) unlikely event of my death as a result of this decision, i want my remains put in fireworks and shot over the south bank.

Here are some quotes i found which i hope are more inspirational than cheesy.
If i don't write before new years then i hope you have a good one. Start as you mean to go on.

André Gide:
The most decisive actions of our life ... are most often unconsidered actions.

Mark Twain:
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain:
Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.

Isaac Asimov:
If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.

I thought that one was particularly appropriate for the blog, although, if i did only have 6 minutes to live, i'd probably spend part of it on the phone, because there are some things which should be said rather than written, and i'd hopefully be near someone i could kiss, so i could go out with a bang!
Have a good one.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Happy Christmas Eve

Hello there boys and girls.
This was on the top of the A Softer World page today, and it made me laugh, like most of their stuff does. Think of it as an early Christmas present from me to you.

(remember to click on it to see the full sized image.)
I'll try and post something awesome tomorrow, if i can find anything super cool.
Have a lovely break.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Oh i do love my best friend!

Just a little gloating message to say that my best friend is better than your best friend, whoever that best friend might be!
Miss Kelsea-Jane Gates is my very best friend. She is cool and pretty and smells good even though she works behind the deli counter at Waitrose! Also, she gives the best presents in the world.

For my birthday last week she gave me not only "A Lifetime of Secrets," and not only "M" by Jon Muth, but also...


Oh yes my friends, i now have that sexy little pixie in a cardboard box in my room. I promise i'll post a picture soon (for which i should give credit to my parents, they bought me a beautiful and very high tech little digital camera to replace my brick which no longer takes photographs, something of a flaw in any piece of photographic equipment!)

You are now free to go about your day, jealous in the knowledge that my friend is better than yours.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

The Great Debate

Yesterday at Write Club everyone got into a bit of an argument about books, which is always an entertaining thing to do. The book that started this discussion? The Great Gatsby. (and i wasn't the one to bring it up, before you ask!)
I know it's a divisive book, one people love or hate, and i know that i'm one of the people who absolutely love it, and find it hard to see how anyone could possibly hate it. I get that people see Gatsby as naive and obsessive, and in a way he is, but that's part of his attraction.
I'm not going to write an essay about why i love Gatsby, but i do want to point some things out, direct quotes from the text, which illustrate his lack of creepiness, his naivety, his almost childish optimism in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. I hope that these will interest you if you've read the book, or inspire you to read it if you haven't. At the very least, i hope that they'll allow you to see Gatsby as I see him, as quite possibly the most romantic, tragic, compelling character ever written. Strap in, here we go.

"There was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as i have never found in any other person and which it is not likely i shall ever find again."

"He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as i was from him, i could have sworn he was trembling."

"He smiled understandingly - much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced - or seemed to face - the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favour. It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey."

Probably my favourite moment of the whole book, which won't make sense until you read it, but is painfully adorable. "Gatsby, pale as death, with his hands plunged like weights in his coat pockets, was standing in a puddle of water glaring tragically into my eyes."

"But there was a change in Gatsby that was simply confounding. He literally glowed: without a word or a gesture of exultation a new well-being radiated from him and filled the little room...there were twinkle-bells of sunshine in the room, he smiled like a weather man, like an ecstatic patron of recurrent light."

"His heart was in a constant, turbulent riot ... Each night he added to the pattern of his fancies until drowsiness closed down upon some vivid scene with an oblivious embrace. For a while these reveries provided an outlet ... They were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy's wing."

“I wouldn’t ask to much of her,” I ventured. “You can’t repeat the past.”
“Can’t repeat the past?” he cried incredulously. “Why of course you can!”
He looked around him wildly, as if the past were lurking here in the shadows of his house, just out of reach of his hand."

"Jay Gatsby" had broken up like glass against Tom's hard malice"

This bit never fails to make me cry, it's so hopeful and hopeless at the same time. "Of course she might have loved him just for a minute, when they were first married - and loved me more even then, do you see?"
Suddenly he came out with a curious remark.
"in any case," he said, "it was just personal." yeah, Gatsby is tragic and beautiful and lovely, and i think sorely misunderstood in today's overly cynical society. In my opinion there is nothing sinister about his love. Possibly he is naive, but this just adds to his innocence and charm.
Basically, i love him. That's all there is to it.

Edgar and the Earth

I'm thinking of making a collection of modern fairy tales, taking everyday situations and twisting them into something vaguely absurd. The Man Who Fell in Love with a Paper Doll and this one are the first 2 in that series. I wrote another today, so i'll type that up soon and post it. Anyway, enjoy this one.

Edger used to own the world. He won it in a game of cards, either poker or gin rummy, he can no longer recall which. He put in his best comb and came out with the world. Life is, as they say, a game of chance. Edgar carried the world back from the pub in a jam jar in his pocket and put it on his bedside table so he could watch over it. He took his responsibility very seriously, not wanting harm to come to come to his planet through his own thoughtlessness, but sometimes this could not be helped. Back in ’87 he bumped into the table getting out of bed and in San Francisco 100 people died in an earthquake. In 2006 he was enjoying his new cocktail shaker, a Christmas present from his grandson when he slipped and a tsunami ravaged Asia.
Eventually he could no longer live with the guilt of the suffering he had caused. Every time he looked at the news, in the papers or on the tv, he wondered if it was his fault. Had his yelling at the cat influenced someone in the world to an act of anger or hate? Did his weeping at a film cause the depression of thousands? He decided he had to get rid of the world, had to put it out of harms way, where no human action could influence the fate of the whole planet. But where? Should he lock it in a storage container like the lost ark? What if it didn’t get enough light, would Edgar then be responsible for eternal planetary darkness? The same problem came from burying it or throwing it in the river, but with the added risk of a global shortage of air. An alternative must be found. Eventually, Edgar decided on a course of action. He donated his jam jar world to the British Museum, where it would get light and air and be viewed by its own clueless inhabitants.
The curators of the museum were very polite, took the jar with smiles and open hands, and when the old man had left they put the old jam jar with its contents of green and blue, it’s continents and oceans, families, friends, pets and cars, into a basement cupboard, to wait for years to be classified, valued as worthless and thrown out.
Edgar went to the museum occasionally, hoping to see his little world on display, but when he did not see it he was almost relieved. He told himself that, realizing the worth of his jam jar’s contents, they must be keeping it somewhere where no harm would ever come to it, away from the shouting and tapping fingers of schoolchildren and the calculated indifference of adults. Edgar found hope in the thought that his little world would survive, safe and unharmed, long after his old self had left it.