I wuz gonna post something long…

… but I got distracted by a lovely afternoon spent as one would if one were 15 with nothing better to do. At the “mall”.

Anyway, by all accounts, I am off to Sydney tomorrow morning and I will stagnate there for a couple of days (read: watch movies, read books, eat popcorn, do all the things my parents tell me not to do and do them all day.) before work starts on Monday. I hope to have access all set, but due to the extreme lag Australian ADSL seems to take from application to activation it’ll be dialup and I don’t quite know how I’ll cope. Slowly, I suppose.

Until such time my friends… au revoir!

Clothing Conspiracy

We have managed to uncover a huge clothing conspiracy which may explain why you no longer fit into that nice size M shirt, and are now guiltily standing at the counter buying a size L even though you really aren’t all that large.

Yessiree, there’s a bourgeois conspiracy to make the untailored clothes buying public feel guilted, fat and generally uninterested in doing anything to upset the supressed place of the proletarait. It is not the simple fact that fashion has deemed a “skinny fit” to be the standard; the very size has been downsized!

Evidence, you ask for? Dad picked up a shirt at the shops recently, and his established size standard – M – didn’t fit well enough, so he had to step up to a L. Now my Dad has maintained his body shape well enough that for him to change sizes could only mean that the sizes have changed, but Dad bought it anyway, blaming a small drop in physical activity along with the trend for “slim fit”. However! Today he got me to try a shirt from 1998 which is sized M – and it fit!

These days, a standard L size will not fit me any longer, but given that I know that I’ve hardly maintained anything that passes for a figure I reasonably assumed that, yes, I had gone up a size to an XL. And yet, this shirt from 8 years ago sized M, somehow manages to fit near enough to an XL’s sizing of today. An L size shirt strains against my shoulders and biceps, but this shirt fits comfortably! Allowing for 8 years of slight loosening, counterweighed by the fact that Dad observed the shirt has always been pretty loose on him, so it has been worn less often than others might have been, and also allowing for the fact that it may well have been a loose M in the first place, it still is irrefutable evidence that the size of shirts has decreased, not that we as a society and me as a person has grown more obese.

I suspect the blame for this can squarely lie either in two factors. Either clothing manufacturers want to flatter the bourgeois elite – possibly their very sons & daughters – with the oh-so-ideal shape that lets the now-smaller shirts cling tightly to pointless muscles – the aforementioned “slim fit” – and they’ve taken it to extremes by dropping whole sizes. Or – and this is possibly the controversial part of my theory – the sizing has changed from being measured on your average person to – now don’t sue me here – the average Chinese clothing factory worker, where definitions of small, medium, large and extra large are a whole category smaller – and who would deny that a improvished Chinese factory worker is going to be smaller & skinnier than your stock standard westerner?

Skinny fit indeed.

By any other name

In my more idle moments, such as those occupying the many hours spent on public transport, I often daydream and speculate – some of which ends up here on this very blog when it happens to be something I deem intriguing – and one of my occasional random thoughts is: what am I going to call my kids?

I have, over the years, decided on my daughter’s name roughly 17 times, in my more idle moments, taking names from friends, celebrities, chance-met strangers, or even making them up in a hope of getting them to fit into whatever dreams of future partners i may have. But it was with some surprise that I noted myself thinking along these lines merely minutes in to a decently violent movie, in the middle of some decently violent opening scenes, that “Amelia”, a name shouted moments before, would be an altogether sweet and beautiful name by which to address my daughter. In front of me, a man turning from human to werewolf was loudly and rather messily decapitated.

Now, many people would think this a futile line of thought to walk. Not withstanding lack of imminent children to name, let alone life partner with whom to contemplate such a prospect, it would appear to be a most fruitless pursuit. One would, as society deems it, wait until said child is born, and then taking into account many factors, one would, with consultation, pluck a name from the veritable assortment available from the world over, and thus impart such name upon the child, thereby changing it from “the child” to something far more intimate. I think, however, many people fail to appreciate the value of a name, and underestimate the necessity to think ahead. I know through personal experience that a name that is by and large easy to say is vital; having to constantly explain that, no, my name is in no way related to a major religion’s central text, and that indeed, it should be pronounced roughly “Ka’rn”, but with a nuance of a supressed ‘a’, or maybe ‘u’, sound between the r and n, something that some people get right on first occasion and others fail to pick up for years on end; all in all, having a name which doesn’t need to be explained on first contact generally smooths social occasions and avoids potential embarrasment. It is not unknown for people to grow into names, which somehow defines them for life. You’d never catch a Randalph down at the footy on a Saturday night, for instance.

Clearly, I have digressed. This is, I must note, perhaps the 18 time – that I can recall – that I have settled on a name for my daughter. We shall see indeed if my mind changes in the future, as Amelia may join such names as Natasha, Rebecca, Honey, Radhika, or Aiko on the rejected list. It is such a pretty name though, allowing shorter forms like Amy or Lia, or even with my last name the decidedly tomboyish AJ. Versatile, I tell you.

I’ve only thought of my son’s name 3 times, however. My wife can name him.

Give & Take

With some people, you give and give, and it never really shows. The return on investment, as it were, just isn’t there, and you end up feeling just a little abused.

With other people, though, you give a little, and you get it back and whole lot more in return, unasked for. Those people make it worth the effort, and you hope that the concept of karma works for them, because if it doesn’t work for them, then who else will it work for?

Oh, and Memoirs of a Geisha is a decent movie all up. 3½ stars or so, as these things go.

Yes this is another one of those reflective posts. I’m going to be doing them all week, so get used to it.

Just occasionally…

… something on the net catches your eye; something someone out there has written. Someone you may know, or someone you may not. You stop, and you read it over again, just to check that your eyes didn’t just make it up. You return to it the next day to make sure it wasn’t just a day dream. You see a comment link, but even if you do put some text in that box, you don’t hit send, you don’t “post comment”. You want to savour it and cherish it and want to reach out to that person and say “I know what you are thinking; I know what you mean; it’s like you read my mind.” but you can’t put it in words sufficient to express the depth of that poignant emotion, and you sit back, and the day is changed, maybe even the week.

but you hope that somehow, somewhere out there, someone else knows how you feel, in a never ending chain of human emotion and metaphysical connections.

Birthday/Birthday/Pool BBQ

It’s a funny thing sometimes – when something you want to happen doesn’t happen, you get disappointed. But then, serrendipitously, it happens without preamble, and you have two paths to choose. You can choose to enjoy it, to revel in the fact that it’s finally happening, or you can choose to turn the bitter side up and regret that it didn’t happen when you wanted it to happen before.

Ever since we moved into this house, I’ve thought of “Come summer, I’ll have friends over and we’ll have a BBQ and jump in the pool and chit chat and just enjoy,” but never once did it happen until today. Despite all my efforts in three and a half years, I couldn’t get the motivation rolling among my friends, many and varied. And only now, a week and a half out from my leaving this house, I get what I wanted, however petty or strange it may sound.

In my darker moments, I would turn to the bitter path, regretting and resenting those who disappointed me before – in a way, I might say I realise who my friends really were, that those I once called friends at the end of school by and large proved to be different, that I was forcing myself into a social circle that showed itself to be not my natural level. In my darker moments, I contemplate these things overmuch.

But today (and last night, which was a similar wish of mine), and thus probably in perpetuity, it was a good day. And on good days, you smile and you laugh and you enjoy the company of those around you, and you remember it as a good day, or a good night if that be the case, and you are thankful for the fact that what you wanted came about, however roundabout the impetuous, and you leave it at that. Because it was a good day.

Thank you.