Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Unsolicited Rambling in Late 19th Century Form

I have lately taken up reading novels, which is unfortunate.

I used to think that my preference towards op-eds, journalism, and other nonfictional works was due to my minuscule attention span. This is apparently not the case.

It is because I am the world's slowest reader and am only able to read ten pages or so at a time, because it takes me an entire afternoon to do so. It is my lifespan that is minuscule - at this rate I will finish three whole books before I die, and Moby Dick hasn't got a chance.

Other thoughts:

Everything is fiction, and everything is memoir. There is no writing the least bit stylized which does not have the mark of a writer’s fictitious touch, and everything with a monochrome of emotional validity has within it a historicized memoir. Ivy Donegal is herself a fictionalized character - she does not exist - and thus everything she says or does or thinks is therefore a work of elaborate fiction. However, her words, actions, and thoughts often bear a striking resemblance to those of her flesh and blood creator, who does not ride a unicorn to tea with the Queen, or anything else mildly interesting enough to call her life a work of fiction.

And thus the conundrum of the pseudonymed blog is born.

I, myself, have been reading far too much written by the indomitable Virginia Woolf. Must stop talking this way, post haste.

Also: My therapist (well…one of my therapists…oh dear.) advises me that I read too many depressing things, which end only when the author drowns herself, or shoves her head in an oven, that sort of thing. Any and all recommendations of slightly happier tales are welcome.

Economics of Garbage

Every day, people get rid of crap they no longer want or need. Some of that crap makes it way towards me. (My life, in a way, is a black hole of crap.)

As the occasional sorter of occasional donations for a women’s shelter, I find myself sifting through various assorted crap that someone deemed worthy of dismissal. And while certainly this is no objective measure of the things that people are throwing away, it’s probably worth noting - some items are showing up a lot more than others.

We can learn via such items - especially in these tough economic days of underemployment, sleeping till noon, and spending afternoons lazily laying on the beaches of Vancouver. Such are the markers of very hard times. And as I have formulated some vague opinions and regularly write on my opinionated blog, I am presenting these findings, somewhat incoherently, to you, the entirely imaginary reader.

Please, enjoy.

1. Stop buying new clothes.

Trust me, you have enough clothes. You really, really do.

And a lot of barely worn clothes are being thrown away, every day.

If you DO need to get rid of clothes, give them to some sort of charity, of course. And if you’re giving your clothes to a charity, it may even be worth it to make sure they’re going directly to the needy instead of generating income via a thrift stores and hipsters, if you feel so inclined.

But, before you do any of those things, stop buying new clothes. Especially shirts. There are far too many unloved shirts in the world. And if you can’t stop buying new clothes, then please at least stop buying new, ugly clothes. You do not need them. You do not want them. They do not look good on you, or homeless people, or anyone else. Stop. Just, please, for the love of god, stop.

2. Stop buying TVs

No one donates old TVs to drop in shelters…but that is because they are heavy, and people are lazy, and back alleyways generally seem to be the most convenient dumping site. Nonetheless…

There are a lot of TVs in the world. No less than two years ago, the number of television sets in the United States surpassed the country's population…and this was before the advent of affordable flat screens (though, arguably, a few of those sets were lost in the transition to digitized methingemajiger…but given purchasing trends, such sets were likely replaced by a new, affordable flat screen. Or two.)

If you do not have a tv, then you likely have a friend, neighbour, or Craigslist compatriot who is getting rid of their own set, which you can have for free. And if you must have a new flatscreen, bear in mind that the prices will likely continue to decline, and that if you wait six months, you could likely pick up on of those for free, too. Or you could just watch tv on your computer, if you want.

Such are the options in these complicated times.

3. You do not need a hairdryer, a hair curler, a hair straightener, and you definitely do not need an intricate combination of all three.

Or, maybe, you do. But the number of hair dryers currently occupying our shelves suggests that our city has a trend of buying hair appliances which they do not use. And I’ll admit, I am guilty of this treason, too, because the idea of curling my hair is much nicer than the actual act of curling my hair...or drying my hair...or doing anything accept complaining about my ridiculous hair.

4. Stop buying scarves.

There seems to be some confusion here...Scarves are not disposal. They can be reused.

Also, seasons tend to repeat themselves - even though it is hot today, it will likely be cold, and rainy, in approximately two months. And then you will go out and buy a scarf exactly like the scarf you gave away in July when you couldn’t fathom a use for this bizarre elongated piece of cloth….just…

Society, you fail. Fail.

5. Stop accepting pennies.

Despite my protests, they persist in society. Try harder, people! Their scourge of the copper must end.

6. Nobody ever uses foot cream.

No one wants your unused foot cream. No one wants foot cream as a stocking stuffer or random gift. No one ever uses foot cream. It is a useless product. Whoever you are, please, stop buying it.

That is all.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Alphabetically Sad

Ivy is…

Authoring a novel which has yet to procure a plot of any kind.
Banging her head against her keyboard, wishing she knew what her novel was about, and wondering why she is trying to write a novel in the first place when no one will read it and it will inevitably become a symbol for all of her failures in life, in book-bound form.
Creating alphabetical blog postings to avoid working on her annoying novel.
Drowning in a pit of sorrow that is slowly filling with her own sweat, blood, and miserable tears of despair.
Eventually distracting herself by consuming half a tub of delicious Mediterranean yogurt.
Feeling slightly nauseous after discovering her yogurt contains no less than twelve times the daily recommended maximum for cholesterol and saturated fat.
Gazing sadly at her growing belly with deep concern.
Hoping that she will not enter a diabetic coma in the very near future, as this would likely impede the progress of her plotless novel.
Inevitably comforting herself by eating the remainder of the delicious, Mediterranean yogurt.
Justifying this action in the name of mental health, which apparently requires that one consume their own body weight in cholesterol and fat in order to make it through the day.
Keeping the empty yogurt container on her desk, within her line of site, partially to encourage better nutrition via guilt, but mostly because she is far too lazy to walk outside to the recycling bin, approximately fifty feet away.
Lamenting her failure at life.
Making her small puppy lick her nose in order to feel slightly better about the current state of the world.
Noting that her puppies’ water dish is empty.
Oscillating between feelings of failure, guilt, and laziness in debating whether or not to get out of her seat and go get the puppies' fresh water.
Procuring water, and then food, for her pets, but not without lecturing them over the inconvenience their existence is causing.
Quietly apologizing to the puppies, thanking them for their existence, and noting that their mustaches are looking especially lovely today.
Resolving to be more loving to the puppies in the future.
Shortly thereafter, stepping in a large puddle of urine left by the adorable puppies as a thank-you for the ongoing love, concern, and gifts of fresh water.
Trying not to yell at the puppies, taking off the wet sock, and realizing that her failure to do laundry all week has left her entirely sockless and, thus, very sad.
Understanding, sadly, that it is not the puppies, or the laundry, or the wet sock that she is angry at, but at God himself, and his omnipotent powers of making life ever-so-slightly more inconvenient for sad individuals who only want to eat their yogurt and write their novels in peace.
Vehemently hating God, organized religion, and Pope Benedict XVI, and protesting these figureheads of oppression via thinking very unkind, nasty thoughts about them in her head.
Wishing that she had thinking-based powers which might actually make a difference, like telekinesis, or possibly the ability to fly, as that would be cool.
Yielding, eventually, to societal pressure to brush her teeth, put on clothes, and exit the warm cocoon of her room and home.
Zombie-like exiting her house to face a cruel, uncaring city amidst a desolate, isolating world...of doom.

The end.