Worst. Day. Ever.

You know those days where you just want to stay at home and eat corn chips…

5:55am – Alarm goes off. Half wake up, almost dead after a night of extreme humidity and very little sleep.

5:55am to 7:00am – Lie in bed groaning.

7:00am – Stumble out of bed and into bathroom. Realise shoulder is in agony from lying on it wrong.

7:02am – Take antihistamines for alergies and ibuprofen for shoulder.

7:05am – Cut self badly while shaving.

7:07am – Plans for long, hot shower disrupted by large spider.

7:15am – Stumble out of shower and take antihistamines for alergies and ibuprofen for shoulder. Again.

7:16am – Wake up sufficiently to realise have just taken twice the recommended dose of antihistamines and ibuprofen.

7:18am – Consider taking the day off. Decide have too much work to do.

7:23am – Leave home for train station. Late.

7:24am – Realise there’s a stone in right boot. Can’t spare the time to take it off and remove it.

7:37am – Arrive at train station soaked through with sweat from continuing insane humidity, and limping from stone.

7:38am – Discover trains are running late.

7:45am – Consider ringing work to warn of lateness – realise left phone at home.

8:35am – Arrive at work. Realise left keys at home.

8:40am – Discover air conditioning at work is broken, hence inside is as warm and humid as outside.

9:00am – Discover (courtesy of Slashdot) that Wyrmword’s domain name registrar has gone into corporate meltdown thanks to the CEO’s (alleged) embezzlment of funds on call girls, liposuction and chihuahuas, hence site may vanish at any moment without warning.

12:30pm to 1:30pm – Spend an hour fixing a client’s awful HTML code.

1:30pm to 2:30pm – Spend an hour fixing a client’s awful HTML code again after they re-upload it over the fixed code immediately after being told it’s fixed.

2:30pm – Informed that will have to take a meeting between graphic designer and client after boss is called away. A meeting know nothing about.

3:00pm to 3:40pm – Meeting from hell.

4:00pm – Flee work.

4:22pm – Board train. Get shoved in back by fellow rail patron causing collision with attractive young female rail patron in front. Given skull-eye by attractive young female patron for rest of journey.

5:02pm – Arrive home. Lock door and hide from world.

8:30pm – Double epsiode of NCIS. Pauley Perrette makes everything alright πŸ™‚

What Sean Did Next


So, you’re a world famous actor playing a world famous character in a series of successful films, but you’re getting bored. So what do you do? Obviously the logical thing to do is quit, then star in a movie where you get to run around in a red nappy (with suspenders) shooting things, while a giant, floating, stone head yells about how a certain part of the male anatomy is evil…


That’s footage from the 1974 masterpiece of insanity Zardoz, staring Sean Double-O-Seven Connory in his first major role after leaving the James Bond franchise. And giant stone heads vomiting guns isn’t even the half of it – you should see the theatrical trailer. It’s like three minutes of the worst drug trip you’ll ever have. How such a bizzare monstrosity ever made it onto the screen I’ll never know – unless it had something to do with the “star power” of Mr Connory combined with the incredible amounts of acid everyone was doing back then.

It’s too hot today.

Endorphins and Loreleis

In which I surrender what tiny shreds of masculinity I may have left.

Well, the depression’s been hitting particularly badly this week, but I’m fighting back baby! Mostly in the form of exercise. For the last few nights I’ve been doing sit ups until my gut hurts (sad to say I hit the pain barrier at about 30, but I take a rest and then do another 30, and so on πŸ™‚ and it’s amazing the effect that it’s having on my general mood. I don’t know if it’s endorphins, or just the distraction of aching muscles, but I’m feeling… well not better, but better, so I’m going to keep up at it. By next weekend I aim to be doing 75 sit ups a night, which is rather pathetic I know, but it’s a lot better than none at all πŸ™‚

I was planning to get more exercise by riding my bike over to Morley yesterday, but it was rather grey day with the threat of rain, so I decided to get the bus over and walk back (which may sound counter-intuitive, but you can hold an umbrella while walking, which you can’t do on a bike :). My main purpose in heading over there was to try and find a copy of the new series Doctor Who episode Fear Her on DVD – having missed it when it was played on TV last year. I’d checked out the city on Friday night, but had no luck, so Morley was the next logical option.

Unfortunately as it turned out nowhere in Morley had it either. Oh, sure, they had every other damn episode from the new series in droves, just not the final three of season two. Possibly the DVD hasn’t been released down here yet or something. In any case, rather than return home empty handed I bought the first season of The Awful Truth which I’ve always meant to get around to watching and… *cough*thecompletefirstseasonofgilmoregirls*cough*.

All right, I admit it! The complete first season of Gilmore Girls! There, you happy now?

(I fully expected a visit last night from the Ghosts of Masculinity Past, Masculinity Present and Masculinity Yet to Come, but seem to have escaped their attention so far.)

I’ve watched the first three episodes so far (I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of the first season, hence the purchase – or at least that’s what I keep telling myself πŸ™‚ but it’s quite entertaining to see the series finding it’s feet. For instance Kirk first appears as an ADSL installer named “Mark” and doesn’t seem particularly Kirk-like (he may not even be meant to be the same character). And it’s pretty clearly indicated the Lorelei senior (as in Lorelei’s paternal grandmother) is deceased, which makes her turning up alive and well in later episodes rather hard to explain. And the layout of Luke’s changes radically between the pilot and the rest of the series – he seems to have knocked down a wall overnight, if not actually moved to an entirely different building. But hey, you can find this kind of thing in the early episodes of almost any TV series.

I’ve decided to limit my viewing to a maximum of one episode per night, otherwise I might well end up in some kind of Stars Hollow induced psychosis. I could space my viewing out with the second series of Dead Like Me (which I’m halfway through) I suppose, but then I’d probably end up in some kind of Stars Hollow/Reaper psychosis where I think I’ve got a post-it marked T. Doose, Old Fashioned Soda Shoppe, ETD 10:52am (if you’ve never watched either show please just give up on ever trying to understanding that sentence :).

OK, going to go do some sit ups now (I’ve got to re-assert my manliness somehow :).

Love’s Labours Lost at Lamonts

Marron and embarrasing recollections at Claisebrook Cove

You know, I seem to be suffering from awful amotivational syndrome at the moment. Now that’s usually a term used to describe the effects of pot consumption, which certainly isn’t the case here, but it’s a fairly accurate description of how I’m feeling. Mentally dull, detached and completely unmotivated to do anything at all.

Which is a problem because I’ve got to go to work tomorrow. I mean I’ll go, but I don’t know how well I’ll be able to concentrate. Guess I’ll just have to suck down the caffeine and manage as best I can.

I have had a reasonably busy weekend. Went around to Rebecca and Dom’s new place in East Perth then we went out to lunch at Lamonts at Claisebrook Cove. I had the marron which was nice, but involved a fair bit of work because (Lamonts being such a classy joint) they serve them in their shells and you have to dissect them before you can eat them. This to my mind is the kind of thing they should handle in the kitchen, but then what do I know about the lifestyles of the rich and famous?

Anyway it was a good day out, although one odd note was that one of the waitresses seemed awfully familiar. She kept glaring at me too, although I don’t know if this was because she recognised me, or if she objected to my continual glancing at her to try and figure out who she was. I strongly suspect she was a girl I went to high school with, a girl that I shall refer to as Sam.

Sam wasn’t at St Francis’s for very long, I think she was there for about a year, year 9 or 10 perhaps. She was actually the cousin of and shared a surname with one of the more dominant Rebels, which (to my somewhat deranged mind) gave her a certain edge – a frisson of danger if you will – although hardly knowing anything about her I can’t say whether this impression was in the least bit accurate.

Of course as with most of the girls at my high school that weren’t actually physically deformed I thought Sam was pretty cute and had a bit of a crush on her. However any vague hope I had of getting to know her was ruined by a totally ridiculous – and in hindsight fairly funny – incident that took place one day after school while waiting for the train at Central Terminal.

There were a bunch of us who used to hang together on the train. Justin Simes, Carl Taylor and a few others, occasionally including the unpredictable semi-bully Megsy. We’d sit up one end of the carriages (these were the old diesel belching monsters that ruled the rails before electrification) in what was almost an old fashioned compartment between the passenger doors and the inter-carriage door. You could comfortably seat eight people in there who would be pretty much hidden from the rest of the carriage. We got up to all kinds of chaos on those trips home – the most memorable being Mike Harris’s mooning the cars at the Farnborough level crossing – although I was usually more of an uneasy bystander than a real participant.

On this particular day most of the gang were absent. It was just me and Justin waiting for the train. And surprisingly – to me at any rate – Sam. I don’t know if she and Justin were friends, or if she was just bored, but she wandered up and started a conversation – a conversation including the both of us.

I did my best to be cool, although on the inside I was doing the usual geek “oh my god oh my god she’s talking to me oh wow oh wow don’t blow this man just be cool man just be cool” thing. The three of us chatted for a minute or two, and then she suggested we moved further down the platform where there were some seats free. We assented, and I bent down to pick up my bag.

Now you need to know some things about the equipment I used to carry to and from school. My bag for instance. It was one of the standard, shapeless, green, zip-up bags with two straps and the school crest on the side that we all had to use (in my last two years they expanded the rules to include green backpacks with the school logo, but I never had one of those). In any case mine was fairly old and beaten up, and the zipper was so temperamental that I often left it unzipped.

And you need to know about the files we used. Everyone was required to have a large lever-arch file to store their school work in. I could never be bothered to actually clip anything into it, I’d just shove it in, resulting in it acting merely as a cover for a huge pile of loose leaf papers (my year nine social studies teacher used to take great joy in grabbing it off my desk, taking it up to the front of the room, shaking it out in front of everyone then making me pick it all up – but then he was a sadist who called people ‘gecko-head’).

Anyway on this particular day on the railway platform with Sam and Justin I grabbed my unzipped bag – containing my file – and swung it in a carefully calculated cool and nonchalant motion up to my shoulder…

Unfortunately I only happened to grab one of the straps. Also my file was sticking out the top, paper side uppermost. The bag swung around in a graceful arc, and right at the top of its ascent launched my entire term’s work out in a high velocity wad that quickly separated and landed gently all over the railway tracks.

I stood there in shock, with an expression on my face not unlike that of a stunned mullet. Sam burst into immediate hysterical laughter, as did numerous standers by. Much to his credit Justin immediately jumped down onto the tracks and started gathering everything up (this being quite safe as the station was the end of the line and you could see trains coming for a good kilometre away). I chased down the papers on the platform and before long everything was back under control. But any small chance I might have had of not looking like a complete dork in front of Sam was totally shot, and I never spoke to her again. She left the school not long afterwards.

So that’s one of many incidents of humiliation from my high school years, brought back to mind by possibly running into the girl involved. At least I can actually laugh about it now πŸ™‚


You know, you could do a bit of original research yourselves for a change.

Oh for the love of… Noveboracan – quite obviously the speech of Noveboracum. Noveboracum from the Latin Nova Eboracum, nova meaning “new” and Eboracum being the Latin name for the English city of York. Noveboracan therefore being a humourously pretentious semi-scientific name for the distinctive accent and speech patterns of New York City. There. Would you like me to explain all my other jokes now too?

Categories of Autistic Experience

Lost love in the supermarket, and Regina Spektor.

Well, the new day has dawned cool but humid, and I haven’t developed gills yet, so I figured I’d better write before my hands turn into fins.

Ever since I came out of the closet autism wise I’ve had people saying things to me like “Well you can’t have it that badly”, which is good I suppose – it means my efforts to blend in are reasonably effective. It’s probably also down to the fact that, well, I’m smart. That’s not just rampant egotism *g*, the shrink I got my diagnosis from suggested that my above-average intelligence compensated for some of the effects of the condition. I don’t for instance go walking up to people on the train and telling them my life story, or start rocking back and forth and screaming when environmental stimuli get too overwhelming (although at times I can tell you it’s damn tempting ;).

But just to demonstrate what it’s like being an Aspie, I thought I’d relate a story from my recent past, and you can all judge just how normal or not I am πŸ˜€

OK, well across from where I work there’s a small independently owned supermarket. It’s where we go to get snacks, drinks and often lunches (they make pretty nice rolls) during the working day. Every morning (and I mean every morning, we autistics are creatures of strict habit) I drop in there and buy a can of sugar free Red Bull and a big bottle of water to see me through the day. It’s a pretty good little store, and the Chinese owners are nice sorts – they often give me a discount on my water (since I buy so much of it) and one time complimented me on my Crisis/Never Firefly shirt (which they could read the Chinese on). And until recently a girl – who I shall call Rachel – worked there behind the till.

Rachel. Rachel was nice. She was a student studying ecology down at UWA and always made a point of saying hi to me every morning – even if she was in another part of the store. We’d have a quick chat while she checked out my water and Red Bull. Or at least she’d ask me questions and I’d answer them – off the cuff give-and-take conversation being something my autistic brain has serious problems with.

Now there’s every possibility that she was just being friendly. She was a friendly girl who talked to a lot of other customers. But it always seemed like she put a bit more into her conversations with me (or at least I didn’t hear her telling any other customers how she spent the weekend collecting kangaroo droppings for her course work :). So it’s also possible that she was flirting her heart out. The problem is that without the ability to interpret – or even notice – body language that non-autistics take for granted, I had absolutely no way of telling. All I could tell was that she seemed to like talking to me, possibly more so than with the other customers.

So what were my options? I could assume she was flirting, and flirt back – except that I have absolutely no idea how to flirt whatsoever (it’s not a package that comes installed with the autistic brain), and would have a hard time figuring out her reaction to it anyway. I could be bold and do something like asking if she was interested in getting a coffee after work some time – which if she was just being friendly to a customer would be at best rather gauche and at worst horribly inappropriate. Or I could continue on smiling and answering her questions, which is of course what I did.

And now she’s gone. First she stopped working the till in the morning, and I’d only see her if I ducked across the road mid morning for a snack or some paperclips or something, and now she’s not working there at all any more.

So, life goes on. I miss our quick chats, and without the prospect of having a pretty girl smile at me each morning, work is that little bit less bearable. But hey, what can I do about it?

So that’s a little example of what it’s like to be autistic. Or at least to be autistic and be me. It’s strange, frustrating and confusing, but them’s the cards I’ve been dealt.

But on to happier subjects. I’m in love with Regina Spektor. Well, actually I’m not of course, don’t be ridiculous, I’ve never met the girl, but I am in love with her voice and music. Or at least with her album Begin to Hope which I finally got around to purchasing on Friday. She has the most amazing voice, and the remarkable thing is that she doesn’t just sing with it, she plays it, like an instrument. Take Hotel Song for instance – for much of the song she’s not actually singing words, she’s producing sonic noises that just happen to line up into words when you listen to them that way. And it’s wonderful to listen to.

And her songwriting is great just for it’s unconventionality – take Apres Moi for instance which switches between English, French, Russian and Noveboracan without warning. My favourite is still Better though. It sounds like a They Might be Giants song, but with the same non-verbal word singing stuff going on. It’s great listening, and plenty of fun to try and sing along with (try being the operative word πŸ™‚

You know I’m sure there was other stuff I was going to write about, but it has fled my mind. I’d better cease my witterings and go and see if that burning smell is something to worry about, or just smoke from the bushfires ringing the city. If there’s never another entry on the Wyrmlog I’ve probably been incinerated πŸ™‚

Else the Puck a Wide Boy Call

Numbats and Shakespeare

It’s the weekend, and once again it’s beastly hot. The dominant weather cycle at this time of year tends to be temperatures building up slowly for a few days, suddenly jumping up ridiculously high for a day or two, and then crashing down into a day of cooler temperatures but insane humidity before reseting for another go. This entire process takes about a week, so if you get one stupidly hot day on a weekend, odds are the next few weekends are going to be the same, until the pattern breaks. Fortunately it looks like it’s going to break mid-week, with Wednesday being about 40 degrees, so next weekend might actually be worth living through.

This weekend isn’t worth living through. It was 40 or so yesterday, it’s gunning for 40 today, and tomorrow is going to be so humid we might all evolve into fish without warning. Then it’s back to work on Monday. *sigh*.

In the meantime I have some things to write (or at least complain) about. So let’s begin.

There are some truly awful adds on TV at the moment (I’m obviously becoming old and crochety – expect an entry complaining about kids playing on my lawn soon). One is for some phone company (I truly can’t be bothered remembering which one) carrying on about how getting internet on your phone is the most wonderful thing that could ever happen to you in your entire life. It consists of a father and his two sons out in the wilderness, hiding from the pouring rain in a tent. The father excitedly uses his internet enabled phone to show a photograph of a numbat to his rather annoyed looking sons, saying “See! I said we’d see a numbat out here!”. It then cuts to the three of them paddling along in a dinghy. Or rather two, because the father is futzing around with his phone again rather than pulling his weight. “See!” he says, pointing at a picture of a crocodile on the screen “I told you we’d see a croc out here!”. Then there’s a supposedly humourous moment when the sons see a “real” crocrodile swimming up to the dinghy while their dad is still gesturing gimp-like at the phone (I say “real” crocodile because it’s about as convincing as a plastic log).

Now what’s so annoying about this add you ask? (well apart from the obvious anyway). It’s the father’s absolutely shocking grasp of natural history! He promised his kids that on their camping trip they’d see a numbat and a crocodile. Well, I hope they’re going camping at the zoo, because that’s the only place you’ll ever see the two of them. Numbats (although they once existed across much of southern Australia – a fact I only recently learned) are confined to a small area in the south west corner of the country. Crocodiles can only be found in the northern third of the country. Their habitats don’t overlap! They don’t even come close to overlapping! He might as well promise they’ll see a polar bear and a zebra!

The other add that’s particularly getting my goat at the moment is one for (inevitably) McDonalds. It’s based around the idea that “your children don’t see the world the same way you do” and “where you see a simple trip to McDonalds, they see an unmissable magical adventure!”. The sledgehammer implication being that if you don’t take your kids to McDonalds, you’re denying them an unmissable magical adventure and are hence a Bad Parent. Honestly it gets me really riled up.

TV that hasn’t been annoying me lately on the other hand includes the BBC’s fairly brilliant four parter ShakespeaRe-Told which the ABC finally got around to showing over the last month. I wasn’t quite sure if it would work (as John Safran said “don’t trust anyone who tries to update Shakespeare for the kids”) but was actually really impressed. Particularly by Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (which may have something to do with my being most familiar with those two plays). The ABC messed around with the order slightly, playing Macbeth first – but I think this was justified as it’s probably the most familiar Shakespeare play to most people, and it was a much stronger adaption than Much Ado About Nothing (death and murder probably works better as an intro to the concept than romantic comedy).

There were some truly inspired moments through the series, in Macbeth for instance the three witches on the bleak Scottish moor become three bin-men on a bleak landfill, and Banquo’s spectre at the feast manifests (initially at any rate) as a voicemail. In The Taming of the Shrew Petruchio is actually given a believable reason for turning up at his wedding in ridiculous garb, and the writers deftly manage to turn the play’s message from one of wifely subservience to a statement of marital equality. And as for a A Midsummer Night’s Dream, well just about the whole thing was brilliant. Puck, Oberon and Titania were perfectly cast and the writers resisted the temptation to try and modernise them into something other than faries (you can do that fairly sucessfuly – I believe there was quite a good version set at a rave party a few years back with Puck as an ectasy dealer and Oberon and Titania as DJs, but keeping them as fairies makes everything much more authentic). I have to admit I found Bottom rather annoying, but that may well have been intentional.

The whole episode was very entertaining, and actually funny – one of the big problems with Shakespeare’s comedies is that the archaic language tends to block access to the jokes (some of which just plain ain’t funny anymore anyway).

I particularly liked Puck’s monologue at the end. It’s always been one of my favourite bits of Shakespeare and the writers managed to update it while keeping the meaning almost word for word. I can’t find a copy of it anywhere online but I’ll attempt a comparison based on my no doubt faulty memory.

The original…

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.

And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:

And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;

Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

The rewrite… (more or less πŸ™‚

I wasn’t born offensive. I had to work on it. But you know there are some people who’ll get offended at just about anything. So, if you were offended, I’m gonna give you the third and final nugget from Puck’s bank of wisdom. Pretend it was all a dream. Try it – works every time. But if you’re still not happy, then let me know, and I’ll fix it. I ain’t lying.

Or at least it was something like that πŸ™‚

Right, disolving into a pool of sweat now. I’ll see if I can write tomorrow, if I don’t turn into a fish.

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