Saturday, October 20, 2007

So Dumbledore is gay. Am I stupid for NOT seeing this coming and for thinking it stupid and / or random? Don't get me wrong, I don't really care that JK Rowling revealed during a reading that Dumbledore is gay: it would be a fantastic character developement tool, if it made sense, but it doesn't. There is nothing in the books that even remotely points to that. Yeah, OK, Dumbledore has no close relationships with women and a troubled past, but what does that mean? That describes about 2/3 of all the Dungeons and Dragon players in the United States, not to mention about a good third all Harry Potter characters. It could mean anything: he was a serial killer, suffered from PTSD, or harbored, as was my apparently ignorant assumption, a monkish disinterest in such things. Personally, I would expect a person who had looking into the dark heart of evil on several occasions to be a little emotionally aloof, but then again, maybe that's just me.

And while we're at it, I would like to point out that Sirius was never mentioned as having had a female interest (he doesn't seem to care, as a matter of fact). I personally would argue that his love for James Potter is a bit odd. And McGonagall, the spensterly teacher, was thoroughly sexless as far as I can tell. Is he gay, is she a lesbian? No, they're just partially fleshed out characters in what is increasing becoming a hodge-podge universe. OK, well, more than it already was.

Forgot to write something in the book, some piece of vital information or character trait that fundimentally affects the characters actions or thoughts, like, say, sexual orientation? Don't worry, poor writing and a loss of narrative thread mean nothing when you can just SAY it in an interview and it becomes part of the canon! Hell, if I had known that's how writing works, I would have gotten a lot better grades on my papers in undergrad.

Speaking of which: Heather, remember my senior capstone paper, how it kind of lost itself in the middle with little concrete evidence to back up my central thesis? Well, I didn't actually WRITE IT DOWN, but I obliquely implied it. Or at least that's what I'm saying now, so you should give me a better grade.

Wow. That felt good. Man, thanks, JK Rowling! Without you, I would never have known how make up for my own inability to adequately express my ideas in writing! Now I don't have to worry about whether I efficiently build upon my ideas on the page so that others grap them: I can just say things after the fact and pretend that's what I had in mind all along.

So you should all keep this in mind the next time you read one of my posts and think: "man, that sucked," because there's most likely an entire paragraph that I just didn't bother to write down, but would have made it a lot better, had you know about it at the time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It has happened. Walking back from the S-Bahn last night around 10.30, I saw, waddling out from between the bushes along the road, a WILD PIG! And let me tell you, this was no little porker, but a big hairy bastard with a long snout, beady little eyes, and freakishly tiny feet. I was a little freaked out, to be honest, since I had heard so many stories about how aggressive wild pigs can be, and the fear of being gored and the embarrassment of having to explain that to the doctor sent to spin my knee back around kept me at a healthy distance.

That said, I was really excited; it's not every day that you get to see a wild pig walking around a soccer field looking for old potato scraps. And this also means that I have seen, within the last year, whales and a wild pig! I can now happily move out of my dorm, for I have now see all that Eichkamp has to offer.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sometimes you can see something coming. This little voice somewhere inside you says: "Oh, this is going to be bad," but both of you know there's nothing you can do about except it keep going. It's the poor man's ESP, the Tiawanese off-brand action figure of prophecy with all its rough edges and bad paint jobs.

And it will hit you in the strangest places. Just last week, I was on the S-Bahn platform at Tiergarten, and I saw a little lady reading the S-Bahn map while holding the leash of a huge dog. A assumed it was a pit bull, because I assume all huge black dogs with brown belly fur are pit bulls, but I don't actually know. But, as far as this story is concerned, it was a huge, evil dog of hell, kept chained by Odin before his throne of skulls, wearing a tight orange spandex shirt. I wish I were making that part up, but I'm not. I'm really not.

I look at the dog, and the dog looks at me. We stare. I blink. He doesn't doesn't. "This," I say, "is going to bad places." I walk on, past the old lady toward my exit, and the dog jumps at me, gurgling. I don't know if he wanted to play or tie knots in my arteries, but it's all pretty much the same to me; having over a hundred pounds of dog jump at you on a stone train stop looks pretty much the same, either way you cut it. But the little lady caught him before he actually made it to me, save for a nice swat on my legs with one of its hell-paws, so I guess I'll never know. I'll never know.

What I do know is that prostitutes on Oranienburger Straße are very....persistent, we'll say. I'll just say here that I don't really have anything against being solicited, really, because it's their job. It's what they do. My job is to turn say "no" and go on with my life. As long as both of our parts are respected, I'm cool. An arm around the shoulder? That's a bit much, but it's not binding, so to speak, and again, as long as I can shrug it off and go on, no problem.

But in no way does grabbing onto my arm with both hands, looping them around the elbow, and pulling as hard as you can fit into the social contract between prostitute and disinterested person who just wants a beer. No, when DPWJWB says "no," and leans forward against your weight and pulls forward, I'm pretty sure that's a sign that this isn't going to go your way. I mean, there were hundreds of people in the street that night; there had to be someone up for

And here again, I knew this wasn't going to go anywhere good as soon as I saw her. Both of us did, me and the other American on my hall; we both knew that one of us was going to get it, and Lo! and Behold, it was I. I must have a kind of prostitute/hell dog beacon around my neck. Or maybe it's something more fundimental, something innate and unavoidable, like a stomach ache after a bag of gummy bears. Have I met my destiny? If I have, I must embrace it, take up my cross and sell my speeder at Mos Eisley space port. But if this turns out to be some kind of innane evolutionary adaptation that's run its course, like the appendix, me and Darwin are going to have some words.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The other American in my dorm is a really nice guy, and he drives me crazy. I don't know what it is, I can't explain it, but spending more than three or four hours with the guy is like listening to water drip into a sink all day. I talk a lot, anyone who knows me can tell you that, but he takes it to a new level: he fights against the silence and any prolonged break in the conversation the way some people go to church, or with the kind of excited energy and good naturedness I imagine dairy farmers in Wisconsin harness to get out of bed in January.

I frequently have times when I just don't want to talk, to anybody. Period. I don't know where it comes from, or why I do it, but sometimes I just don't want to talk about anything, to pretend I care about what comes out of someone else's mouth. Well, this doesn't go with this guy. He'll just jabber away with his inexaustible enthusiasm until I give an answer, any answer, which is more often than not a short sentence that usually has as many syllables as I have fingers. It's all very rude, and I feel guilty about it, but the alternative (screaming at him to shut up), just doesn't seem socially appropriate, even under the most viscious social duress.

I think this all just boils down to the fact that I don't do well with people who are ALWAYS completely enthralled by everything, from the bleaching red of a stop sign to the length of a girl's skirt. I mean, can't you just be a little less full of wonder, just for five minutes? I can't keep up. It's a marathon of good will, and he's won. I'm out. I can't take anymore. Every jolly clap on my shoulder is hammer stoke on my chains, and every good-hearted, nervous apology, an arrow in my eye. His desire to get along almost completely runs directly counter to the fact that we have very, very little in common.

He's just so damn wholesome. I'm up against farmer Brown on the back forty, and my tractor's broke.

Case and point: Somehow it came up that I was a Quaker (I think he asked what I was, actually), and we had a rather in depth conversation concerning God, campassion, and non-violence. It's a conversation that I put right up there with buying new jeans and unpacking on my enjoyability scale, since it always ends with everyone disagreeing with me, or at least throwing Hitler in my face, which is a topic for an entire other post. Anyway, he didn't agree with me, and now feels the need to suggest readings on non-violence and peace movements to me (they're usually accompanied by a hearty shoulder slap), and to express his own views on violence, while adding at the end that I have the right idea. It's all very nice of him, because I can see where he's going with it, and why he's doing it, but knock if off already!

I don't care that he doesn't agree with me, because 99.97 % of the human race doesn't agree with me. If I only hung out with people who did, I'd have about 4 1/2 freinds, if that. Yes, I watch violent movies, no I don't mind MENTIONING the Second World War, and no, I don't mind reading novels that have a viewpoint different from my own, because it's art. It's not real. I understand the difference between what I see on TV and how I should act. Ahhhh. OK, breath. OK.

We were both invited to a concert together today, so I should head off and work on my tolerance before I have to sit next to him and have him tell me during the concert how fantastic this is.

Oh, did I mention that he'll just come and sit down to talk just wearing his bathtowel and nothing else? I mean, seriously, what the hell is that all about?