Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hah! Validation!

As I discussed in this post, I have ruminated upon the Coyote known as Wile E.

Tanja and I watched The Brothers Bloom this weekend. And it has this line, from Maximilian Schnell (playing a Russian Gangster), to Adrian Brody (playing a half of a conman duo):

"You probably won't believe, but I loved you both very much. But love... You know, folks like us, you can always blink and realize that it's a fiction. And like Peter walking on water or Wile E. Coyote running off a cliff, if you look down in doubt, you will fall. That's the price of our lives, the wax in our wings. One day, [your brother] Stephen's going to fall. It may be glorious, but he's going to fall hard, and he won't be there to tell you what to do, to protect you. And without him, what would you do?"

HA! I turned to Tanja with a triumphant look, and she said "I know, right?"


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Points from a waiting room.

(all points bar the last one transcribed from the last two pages of my Pocket Posh Crosswords Book)

[-] If you're taking a cab ride to the hospital at 5:30 am, hope the cabbie is not playing the all-Ominous-Latin-Chanting station on the radio (he totally was).
[-] The interview office has 3 separate paintings of the same lake from different angels. Somewhere, there is a painter endlessly circling a body of water, hoping to be in a waiting room's interview office.
[-] 7:03: Fluorescent hospital lights make you notice every single hole in your shoes.
[-] I'm petrified to put my headphones on, in case one of the roaming nurses call my name.
[-] News on the TV above my head is alternating between a Blackhawk crash in Cameroon & Joanne from Masterchef getting "hate mail" on Facebook.Said hate mail was people saying "I hate her, I wish she would get voted off." The response of the anchor? "I thought Facebook had cleaned up. Maybe it should be cleaned out." Yes. Because expressing a preference for a television show is grounds for the closing of a site.
[-] Finally moved away from the TV. Now people next to me are discussing some National Secretary and Keating advisor. I've begun my second crossword.
[-] My stomach keeps churning with acid whenever I let my mind dwell on what's actually happening in the operating room.
[-] I have a strange urge to punch people who don't know how to sit quietly.
[-] The sun is up. I wish I smoked so I could stand outside the door and puff nervously.
[-] 7:42 That guy next to me STILL has the nervous chatter going. Admittedly, he's less annoying than the news. "He went down like a fackin' fart in a church."
[-] Finally put on headphones, half-off the left ear just in case.
[-] Started watching Funny People, giggled for a second, then decided to watch something else, so people wouldn't look at me.
[-] A nurse approached from behind me and I felt my stomach drop away for a second.
Switched to watching Max Payne. Fits my dismal mood better (I don't deserve a good movie).
[-] 8:00. Found an old payslip in my bag. Drew stars and scribbles all over it.
[-] Come on. Come on, come on, come on, come on.
[-] Nurse: "Christopher Cross?" Nervous Talking Guy, without sarcasm or irony: "Wait, Chris Cross? He was a pop star! He was in Kiss, right? And wore clothes backwards." [note: 1 Christopher Cross. 2. Peter Kriss 3. Kris Kross.]
[-] Just had a morbid thought so bad my vision shivered and I nearly slid off the chair.
[-] 8:27. Sketching. Half watching movie. Thinking about tattoos. Need to go to the bathroom. It's now been long enough that I'm worried I'll miss the call for me if I go.
[-] 9:00. My stomach is cramping (stress? hunger?). I've had no news.
[-] I'm wearing one of the plainest shirts I own. I couldn't bear to wear anything with a stupid saying on the front in case the news was bad (see BtVS, "The Body").
[-] Old Man next to me just farted. Long and rolling.
[-] 9:45. Finished Max Payne. Now reading latest Sookie Stackhouse but can't concentrate. Really starting to worry. I'm 10 minutes from asking them at the desk what's going on.
[-] Just got a call to be a referee for someone for a job. Not. A. Good. Time.
[-] 10:20 Finished my book. Haven't asked yet. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. For all I know, they haven't even started the procedure.
[-] 10:35 Just heard the nurse give someone a hard time for wanting hospital information, when they just check people in here. I can't ask now. FUCK.

Thus ends my transcription, but not my story. So finally, after staring at nothing for an hour. Literally staring at nothing until 11:30, and watching the nurses come in and out, I grabbed one and asked if there was any news on Tanja Brown. You know, the wife I checked in 5 hours ago. She checked the computer and said "Oh, yes. It'll be another hour or so."
"What?! She hasn't had the surgery yet?!"
"No, no, no, she's had the surgery. she's in recovery."
"So it's all fine."
"Oh, yes! She's just fine. We'll be sending her up to ward 7W2 in about an hour, so you can go wait there if you want."
She was then speaking to a Lucas-shaped dust cloud. I bolt up to Level 7, where I suddenly meet Tanja's parents. The parents who were meant to call me to see how it's going before coming into town. Then the nurse at 7W2 says "Oh, we actually don't have the beds for her here. We're redirecting her to 6E1." So we all rush down to 6E1. The nurse at 6E1 looks confused at all this because Tanja's not out of recovery yet, so there's nothing for us to see, and she recommends we go get coffee. We do. Later, I get a message that Tanja's actually going to Level 7 again, so we should go there. At 12:30.

It's all fine and okay, and poor Tanja was so pale and sleepy. The thought still burns in my brain, though... would they have left me dying from my own fear in that waiting room with no news for 6 straight hours had I not plucked up the courage to ask*?

*I'm not bagging out RPAH, they've been nothing but good to Tanja and the actual medical stuff has been without fault. But geez! 6 hours?!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What's Actually Going On

(this is my way of relating actual news about our lives. Lord forbid a post about t-shirts and copywrite be ignored in favour of actual news)

So Tanja needs to go to the hospital next Tuesday, for surgery. She has three little nodules on her thyroid (and parathyroid), and two of them are growing, so they have to remove the thyroid and potentially the parathyroid. She's not suffering any symptoms, but you can see the spot at the bottom of her neck as a little bulge. They've done all sorts of tests and ultrasounds and stuff, but they're still unsure why the lumps are there. There's a 20-40% chance that it might be cancer (eep), but the doctors are saying that even if it is, they can remove it while they're there. Apparantly this sort of thing is pretty routine.

I'm controlling my panic quite well. Really.

Part of my controlling my panic was to buy Tanja an eReader, so she'll have something to read while she recovers. Because that's how my brain works.


Well, not ACTUALLY a quandary, as Tanja and I talked it out, but here goes:

Tanja and I were wandering Newtown after lunch and looked in at a store called Made590 (, which does all sorts of interesting stuff. I was looking through there shirts and I spotted this one. I went "hey! I know that shirt! That's from Threadless!" I was outraged that this store had stolen the design. Then I looked at the tag, and lo! It was a Threadless tag.

So my quandary compounded. Threadless is a retail site, not a wholesale site. THey sell their shirts for $10-$20 dollars. If this store purchases them, and pays shipping, is it okay for them to mark the price up to $45 and sell the shirt on?

Tanja and I talked it out (see?) and she said that Threadless pays the artist for the design, then makes the shirt at their cost. Once they sell the shirt, what the buyer does with it is their business, as long as they don't claim it for themselves. This made sense to me. I then brought up that I'd seen Jinx WoW shirts being sold at Minotaur in Melbourne for exhorbitant prices, so it's not just these guys.

My main thought was that the shirt was being sold twice, but the artist was only paid once. The other reason that this was on my mind is that I've been communicated (well, sort of) with Ian Leino (, an artist from the states, whose shirts I've bought several times from TeeFury and whose work I admire. My first (admittedly selfish) thought, upon viewing his store was "Wow! I'd love to make shirts with these designs!" which I instantly chided myself for. That thought's now developed to "Well, if I do go to the markets with my shirts, I might buy some of his from TeeFury or something and sell them on. Or maybe inquire as to how much he's paid by TeeFury for his designs."

So yeah.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Agnostic Coyotes

Clearly I have been reading to much analytical commentary by way of TVTropes.

I was watching the Rifftrax for Terminator Salvation, and it got to the point where John Connor strings a wire between two wrecked cars in order to trip up and capture a motorcycle drone. The Rifftrax guys, in their way, said the Connor's next capture would involve a rock face and a terribly convincing painting of a tunnel.

And today I thought about that.

You see, when Wil E. Coyote sets his trap for the Roadrunner, he is completely aware of all of the variables in the equation: 1 30-foot wide flat rock face, solid. 1 bucket, paint. 1 reasonable facsimile of a tunnel. Roadrunner thinks it's a tunnel, runs into rock face, gets roasted with parsnips. This equation is based upon quantitative fact. He has measured the wall, calculated the speed and acquire all the paint he needs (though in one bucket. Hmm). The result should be a foregone conclusion.

But then something happens.

The Coyote, seeing the Roadrunner's cloud of dust approaching, hides and watches. The Roadrunner heads straight for the tunnel. He does not hesitate. He does not slow down.

And he runs through the suddenly-real-enough tunnel.

Now Wile E. is faced with a quandary.

The Roadrunner is a creature of purpose, of linear focus. It follows its path, never deviating unless it must, and then returning quickly to its original direction. At that speed, there is no time for doubt, no time for uncertainty

He knows the tunnel is not real. He created it only moments ago. He knows it conceals a rock face, and with it, pain and suffering. But he has just witnessed something that he is unable to measure, and flies in the face of what he believes. He also knows that his physics-defying quarry is getting farther away by the minute.

Should he reject his world of science, reason, and rationality and believe?

He makes a decision, and trusts to belief, having for once in his science-based life, faith to take a leap. He runs full-tilt at the tunnel...
....and smacks straight into the rockface.

Thus the agnostic is punished for his doubt, his fence-sitting. Had the coyote believed in his heart that he could travel through the tunnel, he would have. Perception and idea shape reality. Something about it not being a spoon (but then again, soup).

So yeah! Tune in next week, when I discuss Wile E. Coyote not falling down until he looks down and sees the ground and how it's a metaphor for Vatican II.

Friday, June 11, 2010

My Morning, as Drawn By Me

As alaways, click to enlarge.

Monday, June 07, 2010

A Variation on the below theme

(click to see giant image)