Friday, September 23, 2005

I Love Doug

I just finished re-reading Douglas Coupland's Girlfriend In A Coma for like, the millionth time. Anyone out there who hasn't yet dipped into Doug, well, you haven't lived. Get yourself down to Waterstone's pronto.

The best sex scene ever, from Girlfriend In A Coma (reproduced without permission, sorry Doug, I'm assuming you won't mind):

"That night - December 15, 1979 - Karen had been so ravenous, demanding that we connect full-tilt. She said to me, "So, Richard, are we ever gonna do it or what?" She unzipped her bib overalls on a steep, breast-shaped mogul, then hauled me into the woods, where she yanked me down into the scraping snow, a snow too icy for snow angels. I felt so young, and she looked so mature. She pulled me with unfamiliar urgency, as though an invasion were about to occur that would send us off to war. So there we lay, pumping like lions, the insides of our heads hot slot machines clanging out silver dollars, rubies, and sugar candies."

If I could just figure out a way to curl up inside Douglas Coupland's brain then I would die a happy woman.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Oh. My. God. - I'm A Guy!!!

Never before have I questioned my gender identity. But here I am, shock coursing through my veins. The reason for my gender confusion? The Gender Genie.

Here's the blurb: Inspired by an article in The New York Times Magazine, the Gender Genie uses a simplified version of an algorithm developed by Moshe Koppel, Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and Shlomo Argamon, Illinois Institute of Technology, to predict the gender of an author.

So I follow the instructions and paste in one of my posts. The result?
Female Score: 669
Male Score: 1148

The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!

So, am I a man trapped in the body of woman or is The Gender Genie totally, utterly crap?

You decide.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Mind Your Manners

We're in the pub one night and my friend Paul says, Girls, tell me something, why is it that women think that men get off on having a finger stuck up their bum?

We stare at him. Let's face it, it isn't a topic that usually comes up in conversation. Especially not in the middle of a heated debate on skinny jeans versus bootlegs (verdict, inconclusive).

He continues, It's enough to put a guy off his stride. This woman I ended up in bed with last night stuck her finger up my bum, just as I was really getting into it. He winces, and she had very long fingernails. So what's the big deal? Is it some kind of a hint? Like, secret code for get off me you're crap?

Helen goes, isn't that what you do to a Pit Bull to unlock its jaws? Paul's like, fuck off Helen. I'm serious. Helen laughs and goes, one of my past shags loved it, couldn't get enough of it, used to beg me to do it. She laughs again and says, but I made sure I kept my fingernails short.

I'm like, it's a biological fact that you've got a gland up there, it's a shortcut to orgasm heaven. You're supposed to love it. It's supposed to make you come like crazy.

Paul's like, all it made me do was scream and fall off the bed. I mean, think about it, there you are, having a great time and all of a sudden you're in uncharted waters. Being probed without prior warning is plain bad manners.

So the question is, what constitutes bad sexual manners?

When it comes to the sexual arena, isn't being polite something we should shrug off along with our clothes? Do we really need to submit a detailed business plan to ensure our partner is fully prepared before we get down to it?

Isn't sex supposed to be rude? I'll leave it to you to decide.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Are we settling for second best?

Or is it that we're just too unrealistic about romance to start out with?

I was out with a friend a couple of nights ago, and I tell you, she's a mess.

It surprised me. I've known Vic for five years or so. She's always been one of those people that you look at and just sigh. She has it all; the body, the boyfriend, the job, the wardrobe, the flat, the car, the holidays, the social life... everything. She even has great hair. She's like a living aspirational magazine spread.

Anyway, we're out sharing a pizza and a so-so bottle of wine. Just like most nights when we go out. Then Vic looks at me and she says, Sara, where did it all go wrong? I go, yeah, well, I wouldn't quite put it like that. My life might not be all that great but maybe wrong is not quite the right word to use. Especially if you want to stay my friend. She gives me a blank look and goes, huh? I'm talking about me here. So I return the blank look and say, what the hell are you talking about? What could possibly be wrong with your perfect life?

So it all comes out. How her relationship with Jake sucks. Like she says, she expects to be stressed at work. That's what she's paid for. But she does not expect to be stressed at home. Home should be her haven, her refuge, where she recovers in time for the next working day. And it just isn't happening because every time she looks at her boyfriend Jake, she's like, why? What am I doing with you? Why am I cutting my losses and settling for second best? And the very thought is, like, Stress City.

You'd think Jake is top boyfriend material. He's a nice guy. He's a good-looking guy, but not so much that he's all vain and cocky about it. He's never, as far as I know, screwed around on Vic. He buys her great birthday presents. They go on sun-drenched holidays a few times a year. Own a flat together. Party together. Laugh together. I mean, that sounds pretty good, right?

But Vic says it's not enough. That she needs to be with someone who makes her short of breath. Someone who makes her want to jump his bones. Someone who holds her hand like he means it. Someone who makes her feel passion, every waking moment of the day.

I'm like, Vic, how long have you been with Jake? She's like, too long. Ten years. I'm rolling my eyes at her, going, Vic, life is not like a Mills and Boon novel. Jeez, doesn't it tell you something that the last chapter ends with the couple getting it together? The excitement is all at the start, you can't sustain that for years and years. You can't have that first flush of romance forever. And she goes, yes, you can. You've just got to keep looking for it. You've got to be prepared not to settle for second best.

Personally I'm of the opinion that love doesn't exist. Romance is just so much bullshit, designed to rob females of common sense and self-respect. Who wants to spend their life weeping into a pillow and sitting by the phone? But Vic is buying into the whole true love thing big time, to the point that she's willing to toss everything she has to go off and chase rainbows. However, this is her life, not mine, so I have to try and bite back my judgement of it.

So I'm like, whatever, if it's causing you this much grief then maybe you should just dump Jake and get out there. Maybe you've outgrown each other. Maybe you're just bored.

But what's causing Vic the major stress is that she wants to start having kids. She's several years older than me so she's of the opinion that if she wants kids at all then she needs to get serious about it, and soon.

She goes, if I dump Jake to find someone else then I run the risk that the kids won't happen. I mean, I'll have to find someone who I can get crazy in love with, who'll also be crazy in love with me, plus who's ready to do the family thing. And I have to do all this before my eggs run out.

I'm like, I don't think I'd bet money on it.

Or, she says, do I just stay with Jake and have kids, because that's a cast-iron guarantee? But then I'm doomed to a life of boring sex and the thought that the right guy for me is out there somewhere and I'll never find him because I lost my nerve and settled for second best.

I go, that's the risk. You have to figure out what's most important - the hope of having kids or the hope of finding everlasting romance.

And Vic says, well, I could always forget about having kids and just get a cat instead.

And I say, I guess that's your answer, then.

And she says, I guess it is. And then she smiles, properly - with her eyes and her soul - for the first time that night.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Is Commercial The New Cool?

This new barmaid started work at the club last night. She's young, really young, and a dead-ringer for Debbie Harry rewound twenty-plus years.

She started out on my bar - I guess I was supposed to train her up or something, although let's face it it's not rocket science -and in between serving liquids to the desperate hoards, she turns to me and goes, how old are you, Sara? I'm like, I'm twenty-seven. She gets all twisty around the mouth, regards me with pity and goes, Oh. I'm like, oh? Oh what? She's like, nothing, just that's kind of old, isn't it? I'm like, you reckon? She goes, well, yeah. So I go, and what does that mean? She makes a face and says, I just can't imagine being that old, I can't imagine being that old and still being me, y'know? I'm like, well I don't know because I'm still me at my advanced age, so I guess you've got some serious thinking to do on how you're going to manage to survive past the age of twenty. And then I make her empty ashtrays and sweep up spills for the rest of the night.

I'm kind of pissed off for a while. And then I start thinking that maybe I am on the way to Past It. I mean, I remember when I was nineteen that anything past twenty-five was like, Life Over, past thirty was Practically Dead, and forty-plus didn't even register on the radar. But here I am, three years away from Practically Dead, and I'm still thinking that I'm pretty fucking cool. Am I kidding myself? Am I involved in some serious self-deception? Does the younger generation look at me and think, no way granny. Not that I really give a shit what a load of spotty hoodies with their trousers hanging halfway to their knees think of me, not like that gives any meaning to my life, but it's kind of weird.

Why is it that teens think they own being cool, and that by definition, if you're one second past twenty-five then you can't be cool?First off, being a teenager has changed. I run the risk of sounding nostagic here, just like an old wrinkly, but when I was sixteen or so being cool was all about being alternative. Yeah, it was also about getting pissed and laid and doing whatever drugs we could get our hands on, and I doubt that's changed at all - especially as it's not like any new drugs have been invented in the past ten years -but it wasn't about buying into the brands. For the 'instant gratification' generation being cool is about owning the right stuff - the ipod, the latest mobile, listening to chart hits, wearing the right labels. Being cool is about obeying the marketing men and coming up with the cash to buy what you're told is hot. I mean, how uncool is that?

Or maybe this kind of commerical cool is truly radical in that it's a total rejection of being alternative?

Fuck, I don't know, but it all seems kind of lame to me.

Maybe I should just accept that I'm getting old and that it's time to trade in my dancing shoes for a pair of comfy old slippers. Yeah, right....