Monday, 28 March 2011

Presenting... RoseBerry;

Eurgh, cotillion flashbacks. Not really. However, I am now a BlackBerry debutante and therefore have been presented to BlackBerry society, with my very own escort and black ruffle dress.

When I enlisted the help of Hutchy to scout out a possible new phone, I did not have any intention of actually getting one there and then. This was supposed to be more of a research trip—like an archaeological dig yields results like Oh, and this bone goes here and this one right there, but does not actually bring the dinosaur to life. It's a kind of maternally-instilled principle that you should not rush into things, especially potentially expensive and twenty-four-month contract things. But as my capacity for knowledge in the field of technology is absolutely nill, I inevitably had to delegate all my decision-making. This meant that in less than ten minutes a model, a tariff and an operator had been selected, and all that was left for me to do, in the words of the Dolly Parton-esque sales assistant, was Sign my life away—which I did.

And because I lacked the energy/enthusiasm to set the thing up on the train in the presence of HELP, I was left to my own devices. Just me and the new phone (can I even call a BlackBerry a phone? Isn't it like a hybrid species all on its own?). I will spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say I eventually prevailed in operating the little gadget, successfully locating my PIN number (fanks James), sending/receiving several texts, linking it up with my email (and inadvertantly deleting 90% of my contacts along the way...ahem), and accepting a call (which I afterwards completely forgot how to do and ended up muting it several billion times). I even made it a little more homely by personalising it with a wallpaper of a Wisconsin field which is oddly significant to me and serves as a constant reminder of my ultimate goal, and making my ringtone this. It's my thing, let it go. Now, duh, my old phone was not so neolithic it could not be personalised—to some extent—but having things that make me manically happy always with me in some form filled me with such a mix of ebullience and trepidation I cannot tell you. Things like that ease the otherwise traumatic transition from one era to another—with the concomitant counter that I begin to panic that a device so socially open will pollute my private private private stuff that I have never shared with anybody. I worry that the magic will fade out.


So after all this excitement, I was left with the cold corpse of my old phone, which is now stuffed in an Ikea compartment of my top drawer. It was a twelfth birthday present from my mum in 2004, and the sole reason I wanted it was because it had a pattern of a rose on it, and I was in the rather obnoxious belief, or holding up the pretense that, anything with a rose on it I must have, or must be meant for me, or we shared some kind of link, etc. It was only after I got the phone and inspected it a little closer through the inevitable anticlimactic realism that comes with expectations being met, that I realised the roses were in fact tulips. Doh. But, it was all good, I realised after the chagrin wore off, because actually I preferred tulips at this point to most any other flower, as roses tended to be a little too cliche for me to bear. (If anyone is keeping track, my irrevocably favourite flower—for the foreseeable future—is a daisy. And not the big flouncy African kind, although they are gorgeous. I mean the ones you get out in your back yard and make pretty crowns out of and have petals that turn flamingo pink in the sunset etc.)

I guess after I realised it was dead and never to be used again, I started racking my brain for all the times I'd had with it. Most of my teenage life has been accompanied by that phone. I have pictures on it some people would demand ransoms for. I have texts on it that will never cease to make me smile or laugh or cry or feel all warm and fuzzy inside! I have numbers on it of people I no longer know and people I will never forget. I have never been one of those people who is surgically attached to their phone, but it has been right there with me through some of my worst and best moments. Sometimes it has even been the instrument of them. It has alternately tempted me and saved me. It has seen me up and down, and everywhere in between. It may even have been thrown at a wall or two in its time.

I don't know about anybody else, but I seem to form emotional attachments to inanimate objects, whether intentional or not, and only come to realise the full extent of my affection when the time comes to part ways. When my television went on the blink and began performing rainbow dances during the pivotal moments of Jonathan Creek and I was forced to recognise I needed a replacement, I was distraught. No matter the vitriol I'd spewed at the thing, no matter how violently I'd hammered my fist against it and shook it from side to side, no matter how many points on the Richter scale my blood pressure had ricocheted through—when faced with this dilemma I was absolutely adamant that I would do anything to save my television. I mean, it was big and beautiful and silver and had an in-built VHS system. And all the new ones were black and sleek and like something straight out of Nineteen Eighty Four the way they just stared blankly at you from the opposite wall with their out-of-sight DVD slot and microscopic remote control with buttons like RADIO on them. But eventually, after an arduous battle of resistance, I was forced to admit defeat, and within a week one of those imposters was carted into my room and placed on the hallowed spot above my underwear drawer—while the poor silver beast was chucked unceremoniously out the back, not even the right way up! I was deeply upset.

There are countless episodes such as this breadcrumbed throughout my life, starring anything from books to shoes to pens to cameras to straws. And the result is invariably the same; after a week or so of passive-aggressive mourning and absolute defiance, the resentment seamlessly melts and before I know it it's next year and I'm laughing to myself thinking, Hey, remember when I used to hate this? What an ass was I! And as much as I strive to be faithful and hold onto that love of the deceased even after it is gone, eventually it fades and is transported to the new.

So when I acquired this BlackBerry, it got me to thinking about all of this. And aside from this week acknowledging that I am of an inherently manic disposition, something I knew only subconsciously, I also came to the conclusion that part of the affection projected onto these inanimate objects is purely the virtue of the people, the actual human relationships imprinted upon it. That's why it's so hard to leave behind at first, because I panic that I am leaving all of those indelible and yet oh-so-fragile memories behind to disintegrate, that my abandonment is their nullification, their nihilation. And that's also why it is eventually so easy to readjust, despite my initial misgivings. Because those memories and whatever else are part of ME, not the phone or the camera or the television or the whatever else. (Clothes and books and fings like that, I grant you, are extremely different.) But that realisation was quite a revelation to me. And while I know in some cases those personal associations are not all that goes into the DNA of the affinity, because for me there is something else a tad more stubborn/self-sufficient/holistic about it—that revelation was nonetheless quite an uplifting one!

Of course, while all this rumination was working the cogs of my subconscious, I was going into a total tiz about becoming surgically attached to not only a phone, but a BlackBerry, which is, as wisdomous Meejin agrees, a whole nother kettle of fish. Like Buns. They have things like PR status and BBM and having one makes me feel a little like Hugo Horton doing his rap. But I got it out of my system. We bonded. We survived the teething. And it helped infinitely that Meejin understood and dubbed it The RoseBerry.

I also do this thing when anything with an attached time-frame falls into my lap, like a bus pass or a voucher or something—I wonder where I will be then. I wonder what will have happened. I fantasize about all the amazing possibilities, good and bad, that could take place.

So now, with a twenty-four-month contract ahead of me, I'm wondering again.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The Assassination Of Doctor Fox;

Emma, Patrick and I were most disturbed to hear today that Dr Fox was involved in an accident on Friday and is still in hospital. What I heard from Mrs Steedman's mouth was He fell off his bike and what Patrick heard from the same mouth at the same time was He fell onto a spike. Now, usually this would be an easy linguistic mistake to remedy, but Mrs Steedman is Swedish and has a slight accent and so really it could have been either. (Personally, and I'm not being biased, but I am leaning more toward my own judgement, since a) I was closer, b) I have superhuman hearing, and c) let us face the fact that it is more probable.)

Patrick and I discussed the curious incident all the way to our Classics lecture, conjecturing the possibilities and coming up with a compromise: perhaps what happened was, Dr Fox fell off his bike onto a spike. Crazier things have happened. 

We then proceeded to break the horrifying news to several fellow Classics students, two of whom looked tertiary, one of whom was named Jamie, and the fourth of whom was extraordinarly tall and waistcoated. Patrick seemed to take perverse pleasure in reiterating it four times over, but perhaps this was more because we were the only ones in the know and he is the self-proclaimed number one fan of Dr Fox. Even so, a little too much relishing...a certain flash about the eyes...

"Aw, I was imagining him on some Ducati beast, cruising down Great Western Road :(."
"No Patrick, it was a bicycle."
"How do we know?"
"Because we followed him last week, remember?"

"Jamie, Rosie and me have horrible news... It's about Fox..."
"Oh dear God. He's not straight is he O_O?"

"So, either he fell off his bike, or he fell onto a spike, or both."
"...He's so cool. Even his injury rhymes."

I suspect we shall rendezvous some time this week to discuss the case further. Pending an investigative conclusion, the six of us are holding T-shirt Guy accountable for what will henceforth be known as The Assassination Of Doctor Fox.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


I would have included this in the previous post, but that would have monopolised it and made the scroll bar disappear; plus I don't want it contaminating Fox/Yoav/Aron Ralston. I just defeated the purpose. Oh well. 

*clears throat* I was totally sexually harassed on the bus today! I am not best pleased. In fact I am still partially jittery & freaked out, but what-ho. My recount is gonna be like when you have a genuinely terrifying dream that just sounds ridiculously funny when you tell someone else, but anyway. This is how it went;
  • I am minding my own business near the back of the bus, listening to some Bananarama or some such, relaxing because I have my routine down pat and know this bus will get me to English spot on time, when the bus stops, at a bus stop, and a boy of about 17 gets on, and my eye happens to cursorily glance over him and he smiles and waves as if he knows me and I think Poor bastard thinks I'm someone else.
  • Yon psycho pauses halfway up the stairs after ascertaining the second story's emptiness, comes back down, sits next to me. Shit, do I actually know him? I am not a particularly ignorant person when it comes to people, so I'm doubtful that I know him and have forgotten him. So he wedges his feet against the seat in front so I am pretty much trapped, and his elbow grazes against me and he says Sorry and I mouth Sorry even though it wasn't my elbow and so far it's a little odd but not sinister. And then, he begins to talk;
(I should note here that he is exceptionally good-looking in a Peter Pan kind of way. I don't mean he was wearing green tights and had hair brighter than fire; I mean he had that kind of mischievous and slightly vacant/lost aura. His eyes were piercing and blue and strangely hypnotic and ringed with long dark eyelashes, the kind only boys have and all girls want. This made the whole thing a little more disturbing somehow.)

PSYCHO: Hi :).
PSYCHO: What's your name?
ROSIE: Rosie. I should have said any other name but my own, goddamnit.
PSYCHO: What? *bends ear toward me*
ROSIE: ROOOSIE. What's yours?
PSYCHO: Derek. Nice to meet you. *offers hand*

I just realised that I did in fact shake his hand. I would now quite like to boil it.

PSYCHO: So where are you going?
ROSIE: Uni. Should have said anywhere but where I was actually going. Have just remembered a woman got raped in Byers Road last week. I am going to Byers Road. Given, she got raped by a black guy of around 5'4, and yon psycho is white and around 5'10, but you know, a rapist's a rapist.
PSYCHO: What :)?
PSYCHO: Why do you talk so quietly :)?
ROSIE: I don't know. *shrugs helplessly*
PSYCHO: Okay. Where are you from?
ROSIE: Clydebank. Seriously, you'd think I'd have picked up survival tactics by now. ANYTHING BUT THE TRUTH YOU TWIT.
PSYCHO: Do you go out with someone?
ROSIE: No... Omg, what is wrong with you? Yes, I do, he has a blackbelt in castrating rapists on buses.
PSYCHO: How come?
ROSIE: *starts to feel sorry for self but does not feel like giving her psychological life story to someone who does not want to get inside her mind* I don't knowwww :(.
PSYCHO: What age are you?
ROSIE: Eighteen.
PSYCHO: *whistles like he's looking at a red convertible and says nothing*
ROSIE: *doesn't understand whether this is old or young for him; feels strangely like an old woman/victim of ageism all of a sudden*
PSYCHO: If you knew me better and I asked you out, what would you say?
PSYCHO: Want to go upstairs?
ROSIE: *eyes the stairs, glares at the bunch of dicks around her not helping, knowing that he knows there's no one else upstairs* Um, no.
PSYCHO: Why not?
ROSIE: Because I like sitting downstairs.
ROSIE: *hears how fucking stupid this sounds the second time around* ...Because I...I like sitting downstairs...:(.
PSYCHO: Come on, let's go upstairs.
ROSIE: No :).
PSYCHO: Come on.
ROSIE: Noooo :).
PSYCHO: I won't do anything, I promise.
ROSIE: *alarm bells go off in head, horror drenches face of blood, his sentence becomes inverted* 
PSYCHO: If I asked you out now what would you say?
ROSIE: *feels momentarily empowered* No :).
PSYCHO: Aw :(. How not?
ROSIE: Because I don't know you.
PSYCHO: Okay :) *looks game* What do you want to know about me?
ROSIE: Nothing :).
PSYCHO: Come onnnn, ask me anything. What do you want to know?
ROSIE: Nothingggg :).
PSYCHO: Aw okay then :(. *stews for several seconds* Where do you come from?
ROSIE: *partially horrified at his dementia* Clydebank. O. M. G. I hereby give up.
PSYCHO: Yeah I know, but I mean originally?
ROSIE: *confuzzled, she over-pronounces like he's the foreign one* CLYDE-BANK.
PSYCHO: Really? But you have a pure weird accent man.
ROSIE: Well you are quite the charmer, aren't you?
PSYCHO: *looks Rosie up and down like she's turned into a giant T-bone* You look nice.
ROSIE: *thinks she is not wearing anything particularly come hither; thinks in fact she looks rather like a boy; thinks the boy beside her is a right dick* Thank you...?
PSYCHO: You're welcome...Rosie? And what's my name? *grins like he thinks I will have forgotten, like he's been all gallant up till now*
ROSIE: Derek.
PSYCHO: Yep. So what would you say if I asked you out again, now?
ROSIE: No :).
PSYCHO: Aw :(. *sits for five minutes in silence, sighs, nudges Rosie's knee with fist* I'll see you later okay?
ROSIE: If I ever see you again it will be too soon. Okay :).
PSYCHO: *slouches off upstairs*
ROSIE: *breathes sigh of relief and tries to ignore the chagrin heating up her face, as if she incurred the damn incident, makes plans to run full pelt as soon as she gets off bus so PSYCHO won't rape her in the hospital car park*

....And then in our Classics tutorial we spent an inordinate amount of time talking about the rape of the Vestal Virgins. Anyway, Domino's is assuaging me, so s'all good. I must write myself a post-it with instructions to buy pepper spray.


As of editing this on 12th April 2012, I think it's safe to say the Rosie of last year overreacted to young Derek. But I'd just like to reassert a little more maturely and with that handy thing called retrospect that it is NOT okay to make a stranger feel uncomfortable/vulnerable, regardless of gender. Even if, Markus (who later boasted of posting the first comment below), the person has no ulterior motives and is simply 'hitting on' you. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't care to be whistled at like I am a red convertible or looked at as though I am a juicy T-bone and the one staring is a cartoon dog. And I do not think that is an insane preference.

*feminist rant over*