Russell Kirkpatrick's Journal
Last post of the year, so here are some random thoughts.
Politicians get a bad rap. We think they're sleazy and untruthful - yet expect a higher standard from them than we do of each other, and ourselves. I got a speeding ticket recently, yet didn't appear in the news. Had it been a politician, it would have made the front page. Pollies can't take short cuts with their taxes, can't get traffic tickets, and are held accountable for things they did when moral standards were different (one of our pollies has been in the news this year for administering corporal punishment when he was a teacher decades ago). I don't think they get paid enough to have to live in a fishbowl.
Sarcasm is my favourite form of humour. Is this because it's the lowest form of wit? Hyperbole (deliberate exaggeration for effect) is a close second.
Humour is, along with music, the greatest gift we as humans have. I'm going to try to be funnier next year.
My one regret? I wish I'd been a musician. I could sing when I was younger: I ought to have joined a band.
Blast. It's tea time. I might come back later with more random thoughts.
I've invented a new word. Crowdier. That's what the local mall was this evening when we went searching for lots of things we couldn't find. 'Got a copy of Love Actually?' we asked the DVD store. 'Nope, sold out yesterday. But they were all $12.99.' Great. 'I'm looking for some Iain M. Banks. Got any?' we asked at the bookshop. 'Nope, but we have plenty of Iain Banks.' Double Great. 'Do you have those shorts in large?' we asked at the local department store. 'Nope, we only have them in Stuart Little and the Incredible Hulk sizes.' Argh.
I hate being a consumer. When I finally make up my mind as to what I want, no one can supply it. Meanwhile the mall gets crowdier by the minute.
At least I'm getting to see a sports injury specialist to load me up with cortisone. Oh, wait a minute, I'm not. I rang to book an appointment and the secretary tells me I don't have a referral. 'But what about the referral Fingers of Steel Melissa faxed you?' I asked. 'No record of any referral. Are you sure you have the right place?' No, I just rang you at random so we could have this inane chat. 'Well, I've only been here a week. The real secretary is on holiday. You can ring when she gets back, some time in January, and make an appointment then.'
Good-oh. Meanwhile my head gets crowdier.
Today my son Alex and I had an exciting adventure together. We went to get his paintball gun gas cylinder refilled as part of his Christmas present. It was fun.
First we had to buy a new rubber seal because Alex broke the old rubber seal, causing the gas to evacuate swiftly, with attendant excitement. The seal had to be shipped from Rotorua, and it arrived in the Hunting and Fishing shop today. Cost: $1.50.
Then we proceeded across town at the height of Christmas shopping traffic to the paintball place where the Hunting and Fishing people assured me we could get the cyliner filled. When we arrived there Alex reminded me that the guy wouldn't be there unless we rung first. But there was a place where we could get the cylinder refiled. Just down the road from the Hunting and Fishing shop - back across town.
Because Alex lives his entire life in a dream world, he did not know where this place was exactly. So I bought a map. Imagine, me having to buy a map of my own city. While I was trying to choose a map, the gentleman at the counter lectured me on what makes a good map. I didn't have the energy to tell him I made maps for a living.
Map in had, we proceded back acroos town through bumper to bumber traffic to the street where we could get the cylinder filled. The man said it would take three hours to fill the cylinder because it needed to be cooled. We didn't have three hours so he filled it anyway, with much wastage of gas. Cost: $15.00.
After some other shopping, and stopping for a highly nutritious takeaway meal, we parked by the river and ate our food. The cylinder sat smugly on the back seat, silently absorbing the sun's rays. Suck suck suck it went.
When we had finished our burgers and cardboard we set off for home. A few hundred metres from home the back of the car exploded. There was an enormous shrieking hiss and suddenly the car was filled with CO2. I thought the petrol tank had let go. Alex assumed it was more of my weird music until he saw the cylinder spinning around on the back seat.
So we arrived home with the same cylinder we set out with, in much the same condition it had been three hours previously.
Later in the afternoon we went back across town, enduring gridlock, to the cylinder filling place. He explained that the valve on the cylnder had burst, and he could not fill it with gas. He also did not have a replacement part, nor could he tell us where to get one. By this time the Hunting and Fishing place was closed.
Four hours and many kilometres in total. Achievement = nothing.
I love Christmas shopping.
Got an email earlier this week from a fellow asking if I could sign some books for his wife as a Christmas present. We met for lunch today at a local mall where I signed their books and chatted with them both. Great fun.
They drove down from Auckland for the meeting. How flattering! Charlotte and Neil are both keen fantasy readers, and meeting me was part of Charlotte's Christmas present. An off-the-wall idea, I thought, and more a punishment than a gift. Still, there's no accounting for taste. I tossed in a copy of Path of Revenge since they were so keen.
Charlotte was the only reader so far who has correctly identified Hal's real father, among other insights. It's great to meet someone who 'gets' what I was trying to do. I left feeling very encouraged (and much fuller).
Thanks, Neil and Charlotte. I feel like I got the Christmas present.
This injury to my arm is worse than I thought. I'm being recommended to a specialist who is likely to use cortizone injections to loosen the muscle.
Oh yay. I just love needles.