Posts Tagged ‘Interweb’
… of my favourite things on the Interweb at the moment.
* Google Wave. I don’t exactly see the point of it, yet. But it’s cool to be a Waver, even if I’m still waiting for more of my friends and contacts to join. Perhaps 2010 will reveal what the big deal is.
* @FakeAPStylebook, which brings a smile to the face of even the most strident Grammar Nazi. My favourite is their tweet on guerrillas vs gorillas: “Guerrilla soldiers use unorthodox tactics. Gorilla soldiers are awesome.”
* The Daily Maverick. Far and away South Africa’s best news and analysis website. It’s so good that words elude me. Click through and read it yourself because “being uninformed is so last season”.
P: Louis Theroux is Jewish, isn’t he?
S: No, he’s not.
P: Yes, he is.
S: He’s not.
P: He is.
Tea: Guys, why don’t we let google decide the matter?*
P: Well, I already googled it, and he is. And my dad says so too.
* Admittedly, later when I tried google, the reults were merely an interweb version of the conversation above.
1. The weather. The winter hardly compares to Liechtenstein, but it did snow the other day. Granted, not in Dubai itself, but Ras Al Khaimah, another one of the emirates. I could certainly have done with squeezing my midseasonal coat into my suitcase!
2. A racist doorman. When I had peeps over for lunch on Saturday all my caucasian friends simply waltzed upstairs, but Shennie Pie was obstructed by the security guy. Sad, but true.
3. To sit in the lounge with my housemate playing scrabble – on line. We decided it´s not geeky, as long as we don´t descend to Interweb chatting 😉
As we were all milling around in the foyer of the Bloomsbury Theatre, I spotted someone I knew – not a common phenomenon for me in London. By “knew”, I mean I thought this person might be the brother of an ex-housemate. I´d only met him once before, years ago – the brother, not the ex-housemate – but like, we are “friends” too, on the interweb. And the person across the room from me, did bear a striking resemblance to the profile pic of my “friend”, TX.
I was at a book reading by Douglas Coupland. Would TX go to a Douglas Coupland reading, I wondered idly? Based upon my limited knowledge of his personality, I reflected that he very well might. Would a Douglas Coupland reading be the kind of gathering where it was likely I would bump into someone I only knew vaguely through the interweb? For sure!
I ended up sitting a row in front of the person whom may or may not have been TX, and finally said hello and inquired as to his identity. It was indeed TX, and there was just enough time to check out some pictures of his cutie-pie progeny before Coupland took the stage.
He was reading from his latest novel, The Gum Thief. At first, I was disappointed. I mean, this guy looked older than my parents (for the record, he isn´t). And he read in a soothing monotone, with the emphasis on “monotone” rather than “soothing”. But gradually I began to realise this style suited the sterile and pre-packaged world his characters inhabit.
I read two-thirds of the book while I was sitting in the queue to have it signed (for the record, I read the rest in the tube on my way home). And what I do love about reading Coupland, is that almost every line is a fridge quote. But part of me can´t help feeling, at least in his latest offering, that´s all there is to it: an assortment of sentences and phrases that would make me laugh out loud each morning if I had bothered to copy them down and stick them on my fridge. But I didn´t, and now I can´t remember a single line, and I don´t really care.
Typically of Coupland, The Gum Thief contains characters who struggle to break free of their McJobs; sadly, this results in little more than fast-food literature. Don´t get me wrong – I loved reading the novel. But there weren´t any new flavours; only reprocessed ideas and characters that left me, if not exactly unsatisfied, then certainly unaffected. Perhaps this is the point?
Literary groupie that I am, it was still fun to have my book signed. And Douglas Coupland called me “glamorous”, even though I was only dressed in jeans and I had been unable to reapply my lipstick for fear of losing my place in the queue. But then he ruined any advantage gained through his flattery by drawing a sparkly heart in my book, which was a trifle disturbing.
I managed to get barely an hour´s sleep, only to be woken by Kate´s panicked voice: “Trinks, you´ve pressed snooze twice already. Your bus leaves in half an hour. You need to get up!”
I staggered out of bed. I really needed a shower. I also needed to finish packing. Admittedly, I had half-packed the day before, which, at the time, I thought was a supremely cunning plan. Alas, it turned out to be only 50 per cent of a cunning plan.
I stumbled round the room, randomly chucking items in my suitcase. One of these items was my new laptop. Somehow it didn´t occur to me that a) there are computers in the UK, and b) their plugs are different. As well as the laptop and attendant paraphenalia, I blithely packed my camera charger, my phone charger, and my iPod charger. Overall, I must have lugged at least 5kg of incompatible technological equipment across the sea for no good reason.
And this was before I even began on the clothes. I was at a loss without Moral Squeeze to restrain me, and packing, as you may have guessed, has never been my forte.
“Should I take the long black dress or the little black dress?” I asked Kate indecisively. She patiently advised the latter, while I stumbled around some more. “Where is my eyeliner? I simply cannot go to London without my eyeliner,” I declared. (Nevermind the fact I rarely use eyeliner, since I am unable to apply it without looking like some kind of racoon, despite having previously worked at a fashion and beauty magazine).
“Trinks, I think you are still drunk. And in the throws of an extended Bridget Jones moment!” said Kate, barely surpressing her laughter. “I don´t want to be Bridget!” I wailed, conveniently forgetting that some years ago I had attended a fancy-dress party (theme: the fictional character you most resemble) as none other than Ms Jones. Call it part of my mispent youth.
Back to the dilemma of the moment. “I don´t want to be Bridget!” I wailed. “I am a strong independent women. Without issues. And with sexy underwear. Not at all like Bridget!” I sounded pathetic, and strangely unconvincing, even to myself. But, despite histrionics, we were in fact (almost) ready to hit the road. I grabbed a bottle of chardonnay and my Silk Cuts and we made a dash the bus stop.
My day didn´t get better. Without Kate around to jolly me out of my hangover, I was stuck in travelling hell. In brief, my itinerary looked like this:
1. Bus from Vaduz to Sargans
2. Train from Sargans to Basel
3. Bus from Basel to EuroAirport*
4. Flight from EuroAirport to London Luton**
5. Bus from Luton to Victoria***
6. Train from Victoria to New Malden
7. Walk from New Malden station to Elm Road
8. Collapse into bed****
* The EuroAirport is cool. One airport, three countries. Believe it, because it´s true! I also ate some very expensive food there, which made me feel slightly more human (although still primarily alien).
** Note to self, and other travellers. It is a much more pleasant experience getting felt up by svelte Swiss security staff than their British counterparts.
*** There is a reason that flights to Luton are cheap. Because it isn´t even in the middle of nowhere. It´s like, far out on the edge of nowhere, when “somewhere” is on the opposing edge.
**** That would have been nice. But I had plans for the evening. Plans that had been booked and prepaid on the Interweb.