Archive for the ‘world gone mad’ category

When beverages attack

Thursday, 15 April 2010

The good people at IGA appear to have Dr Jekyll as head of marketing, at least in the beverage department.

Are you a calm person? Have people told you you're just too mellow, man? Then you need 'Frenzy', the drink for today's modern lifestyle. 'Frenzy'; have one today.

I appreciate there must be an ever-diminishing pool of names available for softdrinks these days, but calling a bottle of carbonated water ‘Frenzy’ seems pretty odd to me. Sure, ‘frenzy’ shares some of the letters found in ‘fizzy’, ‘friendly’ and ‘why?; doesn’t mean I don’t get an instant mental image of the activities this drink might inspire. ‘Frenzy’ is the go-to word when describing the manner in which sharks, piranha, zombies and small children descend on food (usually human flesh, and I’m not excluding the kiddies here). It’s the word you see in headlines when someone does something unspeakable to someone else with a knife. We have shopping frenzies and drug-fuelled frenzies and greed-inspired frenzies.

‘Frenzy’ is not a friendly word.

I’m thinking now of other inappropriate names for foodstuffs. How about ‘Savage’ for the really sharp biscuit that bites back, or ‘Fury’ for the decaffeinated morning brew that fails to soothe?

Separation Anxiety

Sunday, 21 February 2010

I haven’t written a word since my WYOAD weekend a fortnight ago. I haven’t had a conversation with my characters or come up with an idea that had to be jotted down. I haven’t read anything from the manuscript.

The polite way to describe how this makes me feel is to say it sucks like the last, biggest, badass black hole that will consume the universe a bit. This enforced lay off from my manuscript isn’t because I’m being lazy or pathetic, just the wretched intrusion of my day job’s busiest time of year. I’m at the computer reading and writing and working, but not on my book. It makes me anxious. I worry.

The busy time doesn’t last forever. By the end of next month, I’ll have my weekends and my evenings back. I’ll run back to my book in one of those slow motion scenes across a green field of spring flowers with surging, momentous music in the air, we’ll fall into each other’s arms and promise never to leave each other ever again.

Until next year.

Got Sarcasm?

Thursday, 14 January 2010

So; someone has invented punctuation for sarcasm now. And here I was thinking the winking smiley face  said it all. ; )

Success as a side order

Monday, 14 December 2009

Sometimes, small setbacks turn into opportunities for success. I could, at this point, use a profound and moving anecdote to make my point, but will instead relate a trivial incident that I think has more immediate meaning for us all.

What's wrong with this breakfast?

We went into town on Saturday to do our Christmas shopping. To get a decent park in town at this time of year, you need to arrive before the shops open, so we went to a favoured cafe for breakfast. TB ordered bacon and eggs with a side order of chipolata sausages. To his enormous disappointment, his breakfast arrived complete with eggs and sausages, but no bacon.  

Disaster.

The waiter dashed away once the mistake was made plain and returned in the flip of a pancake with a side order of bacon. What had been a terrible setback was now a glorious abundance, for a side order of sausages would have given TB only two of the porky delights, whereas his breakfast arrived with three. Even better, the side plate of bacon was perhaps more generous than is usual. TB launched into a day of Christmas shopping full of meaty goodness and cheer.

When life steals your bacon, don’t despair; a better, bigger serve of bacon may be on the way.

Biscuit Time

Thursday, 31 January 2008

It’s been a while, yes, but not because I’m a slacker. There’s an inverse relationship between my blog entries and my progress toward completely revising my 160,000 draft. In fact, I’m more than half-way along with more than half the time I have left to complete it. This means I can sit here and type up a blog entry while the description ‘slacker’ rolls off my shoulder like beer sliding off a salted biscuit.

See how I avoided a cliché trap there? No, I haven’t actually tested whether droplets of beer roll off the salt-encrusted surface of a biscuit, but I’m guessing they might.

I recently submitted the first 50 pages of the manuscript to another competition. As part of preparing the submission, I had to do something that still leaves me feeling a little…well, dirty is too strong a word. Let’s say it felt wrong. About a year ago, we bought a little laser printer so I could produce nice, clean, smudge-proof submissions of manuscripts, letters, application forms, etc. A few months ago, it started putting a tiny mark on every page. This mark appears four or five times in a vertical line about one third of the way across from the left-hand side.  

It’s shaped very like a comma, or an apostrophe.  

It often coincides with the text in a way that makes me look a little overenthusiastic with my punctuation. Yes; a git. 

I followed the brief maintenance instructions that came with the printer; the spot remained. The printer’s oh-so-helpful manual suggested I needed to buy either a new toner cartridge, or possibly a new drum. With the competition deadline closing in, I went off to our local office supplies superstore and found the replacement parts I needed. 

When we bought the printer, we paid about one hundred and fifty dollars (Australian, that is). 

A new toner cartridge was priced at ninety-nine dollars. I weighed it in my hand. A little voice (and by that, I mean The Beholder) spoke in my ear; “What if that doesn’t make the blob go away? What then?” 

I put the toner cartridge back on the shelf and considered the drum unit. I looked at the price – two hundred and twenty dollars! – and, reeling, hoped TB would catch me before I hit the lino. Luckily I recovered because he wasn’t there. 

He was in the next aisle pointing at a brand new laser printer. Price: eighty-eight dollars. 

Eighty-eight dollars! Eleven dollars cheaper than a new toner cartridge! Faster and smaller than the printer we already had and so much cheaper!

Well, I moaned and I railed and I said “This isn’t right!” and “Has the world gone mad!” and a few other indignant clichés. Meanwhile, TB marched me to the counter, bought the new printer, put us both in the car and drove us home. The slightly dysfunctional printer was set to one side; the new, sleeker (cheaper!) one was installed in its place. With barely a whisper, it produced nice, clean, smudge-proof and blot-free pages of my manuscript, which I packaged up and sent away. 

I still don’t feel right about it.

The scientist in me insists I now go and test the hydrophobic properties of savoury biscuits. Do excuse me…