Monthly Archives: January 2008

ms.bean jan update

Bonjourno, it’s been a while. Things have been good on the whole, just muddling along y’know – work, boyfriend, life. Same shit. Except, in the last week there have been a few developments.

Work

Grand Theft Auto, the game we’ve all been working on for what seems like eons now, has a proper, official, set-in-stone not-gonna-change-this-time-honest release date. This is a very exciting prospect and a good motivator for the demoralised in the studio. What is more exciting is that it serendipitously coincides with an impromptu visit to NYC to see air. Beautiful. And very weird to think that one day soon, the game will be public property. Launch party. You’re invited..

Boyfriend

Is coming back from Saudi Arabia. To Scotland. To stay. In our house. For the forseeable. This Saturday. Excitement, joy, disbelief, trepidation. This should be the easier bit, hey? i’m 99% of the first three and 1% of the fourth. He’s a picky, antagonising shite, and i’m a louche, careless batchelorette. Should be a smooth transition, eh?

Life

Is interesting. Various opportunities opening up career-wise for both of us. Al has decided to go to uni part time as he wants to become one of those Air Accident Investigator geezers. Me, i’m waiting to see if my company step up to the plate and start taking me more seriously, financially. If not, having this stuff on my CV is career gold, and someone else will. Al has decided that he wants to study at Kings, London. So I think we might be seeing rather more of the place. Something that makes me very happy indeed.

On the whole, things are lookin up!

the menagerie

Had a film marathon day on Saturday, courtesy of Netflix streaming movies.

  1. Welcome to the Dollhouse – a very poor way to cheer yourself up with a hangover
  2. Little Dieter Needs to Fly – just astonishing, you couldn’t make it up
  3. Air Gear – meh. Good anime recommendations needed
  4. My Best FiendStu wrote this up a while back. Fascinating
  5. Reno 911 – amusing

Unfortunately I had undesired company in my apartment.

helmetSomewhere during film #2 I notice movement in my peripherals and there to my left is a fat cockroach, dragging its carapace casually across the kitchen floor. This has never happened before. With a faint growling noise I get up and grab some kitchen roll to get the fucker without having to touch it. When I get within a couple of inches though the beastie hits the Turbo Boost and rockets under a door into the cupboard.

I open the door, find the big Kafka bastard on its back and go for the scoop. Unfortunately in a bid for freedom the beast decides my arm is a viable escape route and goes for it. An appalling sensation of too-many bristly legs clinging and working up the side of my hand.

I’m not particularly squeamish but at this unexpected turn of events my arm starts flailing and I hear myself make a noise of pure mammal horror, the reactions coming from somewhere in my brain completely outwith my control. Cockroach left the flat pretty soon after that.

I read in Unweaving the Rainbow about how your brain has a visual circuit dedicated to picking out small, dark, moving objects. For the next three hours this function was turned up to 11 – I was seeing little beasties in every dark shape in my lower field of vision.

So just as this reaction begins to fade and I’m trying to concentrate on Kinski’s insane goggle-dish, I sense movement and lo! a mouse’s filthy puss peeks out from under the fridge. Fucking hell, not again. I shout at it – “Oi, you wee bastard” – and it scampers into the same cupboard. Cue 25 minutes of carefully removing items from cupboard and chasing it around.

Just when I’d got the apartment looking pretty cool. Verrrry hard to relax barefooted around the flat after two invasions in one day…

the stamp of progress

Deceased, long-coffined genius Douglas Adams pointed out the three broad stages of civilisation:

  1. Survival
  2. Inquiry
  3. Sophistication

Or in his canonical example:

  1. How can we eat..?
  2. Why do we eat?
  3. Where shall we have lunch?

Let that message sink in for a moment. It’s the last leap – sophistication – that comes to my mind most often in NYC.

We have collectively scrabbled from the tar pit of base survival. We have lit the world evenly with neat beacons of science. And now, having avoided the grey lands of functional homogeny, we wander in an odd, disjointed land of inconsistent capitalist freedoms. Like Iain Banks’s Culture, with random patches of repression.

Two examples of sophistication that happened to me today. One is good, one is bad. Neither may be entertaining.

sock1. Sock pairing

This is just flat-out the best thing in the fucking world. Forget your anal bleaching (now available in my neighbourhood). This is the gasping stratosphere of human achievement, and it’s in your local laundry.

Forget the grim-faced, impatient hunt; the fabric match, the is-it-black-or-dark-blue, the scratchy wool on dry fingers, the turning-inside-out; all these dark seconds of hell are whisked away, to be deftly performed in secret by a stout professional for the sum of a few dollars. I would give these sweet cloth-loving people my children.

stamp2. Stamps

Stamps. Your actual, post-a-letter, postage stamps, and the incomprehensible torrent of choice available to you. A baffling bible of design after design, where every christ-fisting token functions identically.

The US Post Office on Lexington Avenue is a granite bunker. Inside, bright billboards proclaim release dates of upcoming stamp designs. Banks of stamp machines whirr, sensuous in gluey anticipation. Mittened mothers ogle and dither, glassy-eyed over glass-top rows of coy, scalloped paper. See them furrowing brows, chewing fingers and earnestly weighing up the options with the intensity of someone hitting ‘Reroll’ on an AD&D character for 45 straight minutes, waiting for the lucky 18s.