Saturday, April 14, 2007

What's with all the screaming?

Ah, springtime. All the sun, birds and the warmth put me into a very giggly and playful mood, which I use to the utmost extend. I forgot how much fun teasing everybody around me is.

Now I am really ready for all the medieval fairs.

I went downtown today because I needed an envelope to submit a short story to a writing competition (I wrote the story when I had 38.5 degrees and everything was spinning around me - thankfully I've been more or less healthy again the last few days, after literally weeks of being ill).
"Pure Irony", I thought on the tram to the city. I was reading Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine while I was on my way to go shopping. When you do that, thoughts about shopping for pleasure roam around in your head all the while you're walking in and out of shops. Not that I bought much (compared to other people), but most of what I got was probably not necessary. I checked out a couple of shops that sell organic clothes, bought envelopes, a small sketchbook to carry around with me, two CDs, an organic Fairtrade shirt and a tiny lipstick box. (If you now think "What the hell?" you're entirely right to do so. That was just my thought the first time I saw the lipstick boxes. It seems ridiculous that a market exists for such a thing. However, the box has the perfect size to put some small pencils and an eraser in, to carry around with the sketchbook.)
70€ total, roughly. 10€ of that are for things that I needed (envelopes and office material). For all the stuff that's not needed, I have excuses. With the shirt I support the local Weltladen, and I'm on an all-time-low for shirts anyway, because I gave away a lot. I want to sketch more, so I needed a sketchbook and the lipstick-soon-to-be-pencil-box. I need new CDs to not go insane, because you tend to listen to a lot of CDs when you paint several hours a day.
I see I'm still quite a bit away from my year without shopping. I'd probably even try it as a project, but I just can't see how I could live without going to the cinema and buying books. I breathe and eat books. The last two weeks, I've been devouring them (seven books in ten days, mostly for uni or my diploma thesis). More, I don't just need books, I need to own the books I read. Books are the one thing that I need to possess and dominate, I reckon (probably for lack of anything else I can dominate, so maybe I can stop buying books once I have a pet).
Ah, books. Source of wisdom, travel companion, burglar stunner; I could not live without your pages of words.

Of course, a month without shopping is on my 101 list. A month is ok. I have enough books to last me a month. I just need to find a month without good films (and looking at most of the recent films, the possibility of such a month arriving gets increasingly likely).

These thoughts crossed my mind while I walked through the streets and shops of Linz, feeling increasingly bad due to the increasing weight of my shopping bag. Back on the tram, on my way home, however, I consoled myself by looking at all the teenage boys and girls with their plastic bags from H&M and all the women with their plastic bags from Kleiderbauer, some of who had more mass in their bags than in and on their bodies (shocking, really), while sitting there with my book and my cloth bag, in which I had conveniently hidden the plastic bag I had got when the shot assistant hadn't asked me whether I even wanted one.


I stumbled across musician Jonathan Coulton the other day. His songs are very entertaining. Typical pop tune, but the lyrics are hilarious. I especially like Skullcrusher Mountain. First of May and Chiron Beta Prime are also quite funny. Shame that it seems I can't get his CDs anywhere here.


Current insights from my reading of secondary literature for my diploma thesis:


Amazons somehow got pregnant (through raping their future victims, I presume) and killed their male babies (instead of bringing one or two up as a baby-making-machine).

They also cut off one of their breasts in order to improve their usage of the bow.

(Makes you wonder if that really works. My bow-shooting skills are quite good even though I have two breasts.)

(What do Amazons have to do with Victorian fairies, you ask? Nothing at all, love, and at the same time everything. Sexual liberation and independence.)


Sketches: Some mermaids here, because they've been part of my thesis reading as well, next to Amazons. Nina Auerbach compares them to angels in Woman and the Demon, saying both creatures submerge themselves, but to different means.


Magpie said...

you didn't find out about the 101 thing at Shadowmarch, did you? I found your blog while looking at some of the lists, first I saw "Austria", then "Manuela", and I thought, "wouldn't that be funny if it was the one from Smarch?"
Anyway, I've been reading your blog since then (a couple of weeks, I think, I can't remember exactly) and I totally agree with many of the things you wrote. Oh, and I love your sketches!

Manuela said...

Haha, yes, I think it was on Shadowmarch that I read about 101 first :D

Funny coincidence. And you're from Linz, too! The world is so small.

Magpie said...

definitely! It was funny enough to meet another person from Linz at Smarch, but to come across you again -!