Thoughts On A Nondescript Wednesday

Today I cut myself on the edge of a plastic takeaway food container – Lebanese chickpea and Persian rice salad, since you ask – and it bloody hurt. It was like a paper cut, on my index finger, only a bit surprising, as it wasn’t a sheet of paper, and something about the rigidity of the container told me that this was a far more dangerous object, with potential for genuine harm than I had ever considered, and that an eating career lasting many years had been in peril and I simply didn’t know.

My hair is quite a lot like Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s hair. Or it was. He’s recently appeared on Swedish TV with a shorter cut and it’s a kind of brownish colour, with only a streak of white. Now I’m the only person I can think of who has “spectral white hair”, as described in Mr. Assange’s New Yorker profile, and it feels a bit like I went from being a freak to being a bit cool – you know, part of a trend – however briefly, and now I’m back to freak status. The story goes that his hair changed after or during a stressful custody battle with an ex-wife. On the other hand, I have no such excuse. Yeah: freak.

There are so many books I want to own and this makes me jealous, almost, of libraries, with their space and budgets. To own these would unfortunately mean outlaying money for them – money I don’t really have at my disposal – but I do constantly think about additions to my mental list. Unfortunately if such a thing as my mental list could really be said to exist it would pretty much start again every day: I’m not so much adding to it as reminding myself of things I’ve forgotten, sometimes only from the night before and at other times from years ago. I remembered a cricket book I tell myself I’ve always wanted earlier today, but in fact I forgot about it for 15 or 20 years and it popped back into my head. I would like to own The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton. It sounds almost impossible to read in some parts and in some ways, but I have wanted it for such a long time it’s almost a psychological need. Perhaps this is an instructive comment: I didn’t say I wanted to read it … but I do want to read bits of it. Ownership is the bibliophile’s goal though (if I don’t sound like too much of a wanker, tentatively calling myself one of those). And that’s where money and shelf space come in, and hence the envy about libraries, stacks, storage spaces, compactuses, and other attendant considerations. I want them all.

Mr. Mu took committed coffee milk theft twice this afternoon. He committed the second offence when Laetitia was out walking the dogs. Coffee milk is her drink. It was also the second glass he had dirtied up. First time was just lapping with his tongue; second time he reached into a taller glass and scooped the milky goodness to his mouth with his paw; the reason for the second glass was that he had made the first unfit for human potation, he thus rendered two glasses. Now a third sits on the coffee table. He was a naughty cat. Then he was a naughty cat again.

Has there ever been any experience more frustrating than waiting for a computer to make up its bloody mind? Yes, we all have short attention spans now and patience is almost a lost art (or should that be a discipline?) and the thought we can’t read or watch or listen to something from the other side of the world, which may relate to an event that just happened, is almost painful to contemplate. (A colleague and I saw a BBC news report at work featuring a former Arsenal football player being interviewed about an act of terrorism which had recently occurred and tragically affected the national team he was captaining in a continental tournament. He wore an Arsenal polo shirt in the interview. We both said something like: “What the …” in unison, and the we Googled “Adebayor Arsenal shirt”, and we got instant reaction from around the world – photos, opinion, both reasoned and vitriolic, and links to the video we had just seen. This is the way things are now.) But delays, technical computery problems, perhaps problems that have an IT solution but have not yet been solved, are infuriating. For much of my day I need to download things from Australian state capitals outside of Sydney, where I am, and to call it tiresome would be to put the kindest possible construction on the situation. You want to throw things. Working with these files is so slow you think your computer has broken down. Now Australia is a big country, covering vast territory, and we have a woefully inadequate internet system, but my situation isn’t all down to shit coverage and geography. The future is not quite here, it seems. Or maybe it is. Maybe things will never quite be as good as they should be, but we’ll know how good they can be as we’ve seen the ads and seen documentaries about countries where they care enough to make it as good as it can be. Is that depressing or realistic?

Published in: on August 25, 2010 at 8:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

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