Archive for March, 2006

The Right Word for the Right Whatchamacallit

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006

I have a tendency, when talking, to suddenly forget most of my vocabulary. This is particularly the case when talking to someone I don’t know well, which is an unfortunate side effect of never having outgrown shyness but being way, way too old to hide my face in my mother’s skirt. Mostly I cover this up by babbling, which is sort of my only defence because my mother lives several hundred kilometres away and generally wears pants these days.

There are a couple of things you can do when you suddenly realise you no longer know how, to paraphrase your kindergarten teacher, to use your words. You can pause and smile at the person you’re talking to (or at) in what you hope is a beguiling manner but will really just look goofy. Or you can do what I do, which is to plough on regardless and demarcate any misused or ironically used words with air quotes.

It’s probably best, really, to pause, to laughingly reflect that you’ve gone blank on the exact word, but whoops! it will come to you eventually. Because while you might look like an arsehole if you forget what you’re trying to say or are obviously having vocabulary issues, you will always look like an arsehole if you use air quotes.

“She was dropped on her head as a baby and she’s been a bit queer ever since”

Friday, March 10th, 2006


I think I’ll keep the entry below, as a reminder to myself about the dangers of drinking and mashing my poor old keyboard. It’s just that when I’m drunk, touching things that move and do stuff is the most fascinating and wonderful thing in the world. This has led to many regrettable sexual encounters. Or it would have, if I didn’t have a strict policy of never regretting any sexual encounter I’ve willingly entered into, if only because it can be counted as a learning experience. Sometimes the lesson learned is “beer goggles are not your friends,” but still.

Given that I tend to correct my keyboard mashings rather haphazardly, you may have gleaned that I have returned to study. I’m now doing a Professional Writing and Editing course, which is a refreshing change from Uni. I actually get to do stuff, instead of talking about the theory behind why someone else has done stuff. It’s very odd. Also, it’s nice to be surrounded by people who actually care about writing enough to want to do it well, rather than people who a) share Adrian Mole’s acquaintance’s view on writers (see entry title) or b) are doing a writing subject because it it looks like a bludge and if they don’t do well on their English minor, Daddy is going to make them pull out of the Arts part of their double degree and then they’ll just have to do Law instead.

I’m taking Novel as one of my subjects, which has already made me have several minor freakouts; while I’ve started many novels, the idea of actually working on one to completion terrifies me. I submitted two synopses to my teacher because I couldn’t decide what to write, got his blessings for both, then thought “fuck this, I’m writing a werewolf novel”. So I am. Watch me backflip as the internal “You should be writing your Vogel entry” demon fights with the “Dismemberment is FUNNY!” demon. Dismemberment Demon usually wins, partly because I have the sneaking suspicion my “literary” fiction is horribly overwraught and no one wants to publish it anyway. DD also likes to remind me that I won a straight literary competition with a balls-out horror story and that my other successes have been in the sniffed-at “genre” categories too. Also that nothing makes me as psychotically tearful as badly-written “literary” fiction and the people who take it way too seriously.

I may return to this rant sometime in the future (and believe me, if I don’t stop here, I’m going to go careening wildly off into rant territory), but I think I’ll stop it here for now. Much like my increasingly frequent drunken antics, it’s something no one really needs to see.

Student of the Year

Wednesday, March 8th, 2006