venerdì, marzo 13, 2009
I'm a Mac, and you can still use me even if you're a complete fucking idiot, and I'm an Esprit, and I won't give you crotchrot.
While I'm plugging brands, I'll also plug the clothing store Esprit. Not only have I recently noticed almost every new item of clothing I've acquired in the past two years is from there - and that counts used clothing I've picked up from consignment shops - it's also the only place on two continents I've been able to find flattering women's jeans that don't have spandex or other artificial fibres in them. What a revolting, physically disgusting fashion tsunami stretchy women's jeans is. It makes perfectly serviceable asses look like German sausages and it's unhygienic.
Finding proper, 100% cotton jeans was a priority for me because I have a horror of yeast infections. Mind you, I haven't had a yeast infection in a decade or more, but I'm sure that's to do with my no lack of trying to avoid one, to the point where I refuse, point-blank, to put any artificial fibers in the vicinity of my Holy Delta, Batman! So I was willing to pay almost any money for proper cotton jeans. I checked everywhere, I checked wildly overpriced designer brands I would never even consider, ordinarily. I was willing to go up to 2 C's in euros, I was fucking ready for some 100% cotton jeans. But no dice for two fucking years.
Finally all my old jeans fell apart and I was swanning around like Lawrence of Arabia in cotton billowy things for half a year before I went into an Esprit and found a pair of fucking gorgeous 100% cotton jeans for 25, count them, 25 eency-weency vaginitis-free euros. I love you, Esprit.
mercoledì, marzo 11, 2009
Aside from the issue of currency fluctuations. I've took some measures to hedge those, which intermittently reassure me and spook me the fuck out. But there was no choice; I was worrying too much about what would happen to the euro when it was all in euros to not do something. I thought about gold. Bluebird's rich father kept most of his riches in gold. I bet he's feeling pretty fucking clever right now, because he started doing that when gold was only worth its weight. That's not my game, though; I don't have the confidence in continuing human idiocy to get into gold now while it's so expensive relative to what it was, and in general I'm just not a commodities sort of girl. And it's something that makes me feel ashamed of my species, really - that we're still basing our riches on shiny things, like magpies. Not that there's anything wrong with magpies - they just pick up their shiny things off the ground - but we destroy mountains in Romania and throw fuel on the fire of genocidal conflicts for ours.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the most ethical way to invest. The 'ethical' funds don't cut it for me - okay, sure it's not going to weapon development, but it's still propping up a financial system that treats its workers like enemies and values profit over quality or even quantity of output - totally wrong-headed. So the stock market is just out. Betting on commodities is just out. I don't want some poor asshole in Mexico overpaying for their tortillas because people like me have somehow driven up the price of corn. Currency speculation could be fun but I think the standard for ethical investment has to be that it would still be okay if everybody was doing it, and while moving my pathetic little nest egg around wouldn't have an impact on anything currency-wise everybody moving their pathetic little nest eggs around would - we're seeing the impact of everybody maximizing their pathetic little nest eggs on the stock market with massive closures, disgusting CEO bonuses, and all the other pukability people are puking over - currency speculation would be as unfair.
I think it will be rental real estate, when we decide where to settle down. I can't think of anything less objectionable. Of course this could all be a moot point because I have a lot of time to think about it, and my currency hedging could blow up in my face, or money could stop being worth anything or any number of cataclysmic things could happen. But someday I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and not think 'what the fuck are you doing?' - and still be rich enough to not have to work.
I guess all this anti-imperialist literature is much more appealing to me when, instead of some whiny little Yankee Chomksyish 'Democracy Now!' east coast yaaaaaaaawn through the nose voice reading it in my head, there’s the sort of Spanish accent that doesn’t lisp (as they do tend to, here) and that does say things like ‘amorrrrrrrrr’ and 'it makes sex look like church.' I'm starting Spanish lessons after getting my driver's license and I cannot wait to talk like that. I will be so fucking sexy to myself.
The difficulty here, of course, is that I'll almost certainly have a Spanish Spanish teacher, and he or she may be a lispy fucker, and judgemental about my desire to speak like someone from the 'colonies,' as they do tend to think of the new world here, I'm told. No big deal that they think that way. The French and British haven't psychologically relinquished their past 'glories' either - can't expect too much of these European cultures that've peaked and crested - the only thing more shit-headedly ignorant than an invasive power past its prime is an invasive power in its prime. I'll just have to be true to my self and my sense of the sexiness of not lisping and trilling my 'r's, no matter what anachronistic colonialist claptrap is taught to me. 'Amorrrrrrr.' Hot.
My life is turning me into a Communist, I fear. My life, and the sexiness of new-world Hispanic accents. The marketing worked.The Open Veins of Latin America is very engagingly written, though. It would have to be, to get me to keep reading the historiographical equivalent of a snuff film. Poor Latin America. I'd be pissed off and nationalizing everything too.
martedì, marzo 10, 2009
No, really. I'm sick of it. This weekend was a tipping point. Or rather tipping points, as springtime has came to the penises of the men again, so when I need to calm down and get some fresh air and solitude, which this poor little northern Ontario girl needs to do a couple of times a week, I can't go to the Dudenpark and have a nice sit on my favourite tree trunk and a nice think about things while the birds sing, or at least not without some poor horny bastards coming over and trying to fuck me. I get rather angry - I mean, I'm sitting in the middle of a forest by myself dressed like a lumberjack, obviously I want to be left alone, why can't you losers just fucking leave me alone - but at the same time, I don't blame them. Not because I'm aware of my remarkable irresistibility, of course, but because I understand that male sexuality is based on Eternal Hope, and they can't help it. It's a symptom of where we live - Brussels, Belgium, Europe in general. It's too crowded here. You can't be alone; there are always men when the weather isn't positively foul, and men will always try to fuck you, except, apparently, after you hit menopause when you become invisible, or at least that's what they tell me, and you know what, right at the moment being invisible to strangers doesn't sound half bad. Maybe I'll feel differently about it at the time.
In a general sense, the crowdedness of the continent is something we discuss when we have a think about where we'll settle down. We both come from empty countries with cultural atmospheres that are not, by most measures, as rich as those of Europe, or at least as full, or at least as old. (Argument contra: what I miss about Canada are the multicultures; even Brussels, one of the most cosmopolitan cities on mainland Europe, can't hold a candle to the multicultures of Vancouver, Toronto, or Montreal.) Heard the one about the difference between yoghurt and Australia? Yogurt has its own culture! Hah . . . hah? So we live in a crowded continent, and the benefit of that is a rich cultural life; if there's nothing attractive in Brussels culturally one weekend, we can breeze off to Paris, or Amsterdam, or Bonn, or anywhere we like, really, which wouldn't be a possibility if we were based in an Australian or Canadian city. That's the good thing about living in a crowded continent. The bad thing is . . . everything else. I have to say I'm coming to the end of my patience with the crowding.
*He fixed it himself, of course, in about three minutes. Remind me to say anything about anything I want, forever.
domenica, marzo 08, 2009
Having worked in television for a couple of years, and now working in a job which amounts to corporate communication (although generally of things the corporations don’t want communicated), I’ve half-convinced myself that I’m a woman upon whom marketing and advertising budgets are wasted; that I’m above the fray, that I know the score, that . . . you know, wanky wanky wank. But now I’ve bought my first Macintosh, and it’s not even here yet, and I’m already looking at websites about how great it is and how I can take care of it, like it’s a fucking puppy. So I’m not so sure. Rational(izing) Spliffe tells me I bought it because:
- The F-word and I both bought laptops in early 2003. His, a Macintosh, is still working perfectly, outside of a sticky disc drive. Mine, a Dell, is dead. DEAD. Really, really dead. His had the same problem that’s made mine dead, around the same time. And he fixed it himself. He’s an artist who can barely add. And professionals shrug their shoulders at my dead, dead Dell. Fine.
- I looked into a lot of other PC brands, and once I get the programmes I want with the features I want (even though I don’t think I want that much) it costs about the same as the MacBook I’ve bought, though that’s because I bought a refurbished one, and in Canadian dollars. My mum’s bringing it later this week.
Both good reasons, right? But Critical Spliffe says no, no, you bought it because it’s fucking pretty. With the aluminum and the glass and the brand notoriety and everything. You bought it because the aggressive, insipid, lifestyle/status marketing worked. You’re weak! Weak! You're like all those assholes who you deal with at work who talk about their boats and Audis! And maybe Critical Spliffe is right. I will try to use this experience as a lesson to be less judgemental about all the other stupid fucks who pay too much for lifestyle-branded goods. Or possibly to be more judgemental about myself. A bit of both, perhaps.
In any case, Critical Spliffe is excited about the new Mac too. It gets her goat that the F-word is still pottering along happily with his computer and ours is dead in the corner; she’d never give me any peace if I bought another PC and it crapped out prematurely too. And yes, 6 years is fucking premature. I paid something like Euro 1500 for that piece of shit in 2003 – I was stupid enough to buy it from the French retailer. That means it cost me, just for possession, 250 a year, which I could have spent on marijuana or trips to the west coast. Or, if I’m right about what my portfolio was making over those years, it would have got me about CAD800 in ill-gotten stock market returns. Not to mention how it did my fucking back in every time I budged the fat fucker off the desktop. I’m not saying it wasn’t worth it, just that – okay – maybe it wasn’t worth it. We'll see if the new one is.