Posted on

All Kinds

I am a hopeless romantic. 

But wait. That doesn’t make sense, because romantics are the ones who do hope, even when it makes more sense not to. They’re the ones who dare to pursue ideals, chasing the shimmering tail of a shooting star even as it fades from sight. Offer a romantic a glimpse of beauty and she cannot forget it.

Romantics envisage a world where moments have meaning, and souls, significance. They give gravity to a stolen glance, a simple gesture, the light in a room, or the timbre of a voice.

Of course, romantics are idiots. I am an idiot, but I’d like to be an articulate one. You see, romantics struggle to accept reality because they conflate how things are with how they ‘could’ or ‘should’ be. They mind-wander down a thousand roads not taken, set up camp in the land of dreams, and embark on rambling soliloquies. 😉 And they feel so intensely it exhausts not only them, but the people around them. Romantics are the sods who are moved to tears watching Toy Story, because ‘Woody doesn’t want to be left behind!’ and ‘Buzz believed he could fly, and he can’t!’. Since romantics care too much and hope too hard, they often take on the emotion of others’ as their own. They are the pathetic people who can’t bear nature documentaries, because they know they’ll end up yelling at the TV screen as a seagull closes in on a baby turtle, slipping on sand as it tries to reach the ocean.


In a word, romantics are annoying. They need level-headed friends who can tell them, ‘I’m pretty sure the shooting star’s gone now, and maybe it doesn’t make sense to keep tromping around all night in the dark after it.’ Or stuff like, ‘You know, the movie’s not real – but here’s a reminder: the toys work stuff out.’ And, while watching documentaries, these same friends chime in with, ‘Don’t look right now. Oh cool, the turtle made it. Yeah, it really did. No, I’m not lying. Jeez, that was one time, and you weren’t s’posed to be looking…’.

Yeah, romantics sure are a handful. But this world needs all kinds of people, and I think maybe romantics and pragmatists help each other. Pragmatists need reminders that’s it’s okay to feel vividly and look for beauty and wonder, so they don’t become pessimists. And romantics need a little grounding so they’re not overwhelmed by emotion.

So maybe romantics aren’t hopeless after all.

Posted on

Blurred Realities

Skynet is on the rise.
It begins with games like Pokemon Go. Games that tap into the GPS and camera functions on your phone. Your Smartphone. Is anyone else concerned about all of the intelligent technology?
People are actually working on inventing spiritual machines. As in, machines that can make decisions independently. Sure it’s clever, but I just keep thinking, ‘Didn’t you people see Terminator?!’.
I know, I know – I sound paranoid. And the truth is, part of me is super-psyched about Pokemon Go. I mean, it’s flashing me back to primary school days, running around the oval with my buddies at lunchtime, playing a game I called ‘Catch Pokemon’, where, funnily enough you…Well, you guessed it. And I’ve also been remembering dashing around the backyard and jumping on the trampoline with my sisters – pretending to BE Pokemon. (I was Squirtle.)
90s kids are going nuts for Pokemon Go because it’s a chance to play out a childhood fantasy. My friends and I used to project ourselves into the world of Pokemon, using our imaginations. ‘Look, t
13592289_10210045455952323_8666147970104975950_nhere’s a Kangaskhan over there! No, behind THAT tree!’ Now, we can look at our screens and see two worlds collide. Yesterday, I watched a Charmander balance on the frying pan in my kitchen. At first I was worried about him getting burnt, and then I realised how silly that was. I mean, he’s a FIRE Pokemon. Duh.
And so, even though my natural inclination is to romanticise the past and distrust modern technology – and I keep thinking about the inherent dangers of allowing something to pinpoint my every movement – I have decided to embrace this new phenomenon. I’ve said, yes, please use my email account
, track my steps, and plug me into the Matrix. There are Pokemon inside.
World domination was never so easy.
And being a willing participant in Skynet’s uprising was never so much fun!

Posted on


A friend of mine maintains that everyone has someone who they want to punch in the face.

‘What do you mean?’ I ask. ‘Like an ex, or someone who bullied you as a kid?’

‘Nah – it could be someone you’ve never met. But you hate this person, all the same.’

I blink in confusion.

‘My person is Tobey Maguire.’

I’m sure I look as baffled as I feel. ‘Why?’

She shrugs.

‘You don’t like his acting? I think that he’s pretty good. Did you ever see The Cider House Rules?’

‘If it has him in it, I’m not going to.’

Her expression is so serious, I can’t help laughing. But I still have to ask, ‘Why?’

‘There’s just something about him…’

Irrefutable logic there. Shaking my head, I try to decide if there’s anyone who I want to punch in the face. I guess the fact that I’ve never considered it means the answer is ‘no’. Sure, a few people annoy me, but I’m pretty sure that the only ones I’ve mentally beat up are fictional.

‘I’m glad we’re friends, Em.’

In my mind, I see a fist sailing through the air, and bloody teeth spewing from my mouth, because I did something that reminded her of Tobey Maguire. ‘Me too.’