Ahh, you've all read enough of the sweet melancholy stories about my family, right? You're sure there's more to come later, but you'd like a break for a moment, hmmm?
Well, aren't you just like me?
First off, Craig and I were walking downtown today from our newish apartment and we found an Atari Headquarters. The Asia/Pacific Headquarters, maybe? While there, we learned about the very exciting new Jamie Oliver cooking video game-- I mean, what will that guy not merchandise? Anyway, it made Craig think about his first ever video game console, which was apparently a Sears-brand knock-off of an Atari. It made me think about the only video game console I've ever had in my life.
I was young. My sister was eight years older, but still, she was young, too. And we wanted video games. My dad was pretty sure video games would eventually lead to worse things, like watching The Golden Girls, and he was not interested. But we worked and planned and negotiated our mutiny, wearing him down slowly with our magically irritating little girls' voices.
Finally, we got an Atari. We had a car racing game and it was awesome. Voom.
And then it broke. Like three weeks after we got it. It actually broke, providing my father with an extremely neat excuse to never buy a video game again. Why spend money on things that just break? See what I mean? Too neat. I was sure he had purchased a used console, knowing it would break-- no, maybe he had actually bought a broken one! Ahhh, what a crafty gentleman my father is. It was a brilliant move, so out of character--my dad really wasn't ever the kind to pay good money for bad products. But this time it was necessary to prove his point; it was part of a nefarious plan.
Of course, thinking back now, it seems a little ridiculous. Would Dad really want to play a trick like that on us...and then keep it a secret for years? I know all children have secrets they keep from their parents. But do parents keep stuff like this secret? Shouldn't parental secrets be about more fundamental things, i.e. "I'm not actually your mother," and stuff like that?
Earlier this week, we went out to "Penguin Plays Ruff" again (see prior post about said event). Basically, once a month, they organise a few writers to come up and read pieces, and they let a few "wild card" folks to sign up on a list and get a chance to climb on stage and inform listeners of their genius. Here's my rundown--
--writers who write stories about waking up in some girl's bed, knowing that her cat is about to claw your eyeballs out, and about quantum mechanics and Schroedinger's cat in a box that you're pretty sure is going to claw your eyeballs out.
--writers who perform their pieces with the annoying practiced lilt of a hackneyed open-mic performer.
--loudly reading an entire piece in one long undeniable breath, while wearing a leather jacket with a possible fur collar.
--writers who wave their hands and heads in annoying rhythm with aforementioned irritating lilt.
--writers who write pieces about the process of writing screenplays to the most painfully lame, awkward and boring romantic comedies. Alice Williams-- I think that's her name-- deserves a TV show just for her performance of that piece.
--writers who actually don't know how to read their own pieces, stumbling over the words as if they don't already know how the story might end.
--writers who write about stabbing threatening bears in the gut, only to find the bear was pregnant with Care Bears. Honestly. Nick Coyle (Coil? Coyel? Qoyle? There might be a silent f in there, somewhere) has lost his mind. Benedict got his info for Final Draft, so listen out on the podcast for that guy.
--when you should have left after the sixth reading, and you knew it, but you didn't and thus, had to suffer through three terrible stories, read with humourless doleful sincerity. I sat there, listening to wafts of Lebanese music floating in the windows off King St., sipping a harsh red wine that burned my throat by the second glass, and I really really wished I had left early.
We're experiencing the most beautiful amazing stretch of warmth this winter--we went out to the park; I practiced my Spanish with my most patient tutor, Mr. Boy Wonder himself. I love wearing skirts in the middle of winter, a light jacket, no scarf. It's hard to write, work, think when the city is in such a light and airy mood.