what the...?

at 20:48

Thursday, 22 November 2007

I swear to God he's motherfucking psychic.

I haven't heard from the boy in literally months. Zip. Nada. Nothing at all. This evening I finished my self-indulgent artwork which, yes, is on the subject of the ex Mr TheOdd, and as I set down my pencil and proclaim to housemates "It's finished!" my phone lights up with a text message.

Guess who?

Like I said fucking psychic.

Side note: He's actually stored in my phone now as "the ex Mr. TheOdd" because I am now incapable of thinking of him any other way. I'm actually not sure he even has a name any more. Weird.


at 10:50

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

I'm aware that I've been a little quiet recently, apologies for that. I've been working on a possible series of self portraits.

The first one "Melancholy in Scarlet" should be up early next week provided I get the graphics work done this weekend.

I weep for humainity...

at 16:59

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

I was flicking through the Guardian today when I came across the "notes and queries" section in the G2. One of the queries rendered me actually, literally speechless - no mean feat (I learnt to talk at the age of one and apparently "haven't stopped since"). Alas, the query isn't up on the website yet so you'll have to take my word for it:

"Evolution is now well-documented and accepted, so if people kept jumping off the roof of a tall building, how long would it take before we developed wings to fly?"


Ok. A deep seated hatred of the kind of people who write into newspaper editorials actually prevents me from writing in to the section in question with my response, however it doesn't stop me from passive-aggressively ranting about it in my blog. Here is a highly simplified crash course on how evolution works:

Evolution is in its simplest form "survival of the fittest". The best adapted members of a species are more likely to survive and/or be chosen as breeding partners - meaning that they are more likely to pass on their genes to the next generation. This makes those favourable genes more common in each successive generation. As the process continues through the generations the "favourable traits" that led to the first individual's evolutionary success become more and more widespread until eventually they become "normal". I'm aware that my hastily noted ramblings may be confusing so let's use a totally fictional and rather extreme disease model to simplify things:

On planet Alex there are millions of bunnies (why bunnies? Because it's planet Alex. Deal with it). The bunnies all live in harmony on planet Alex, which is plentiful in food and free from predators, and are free to interbreed at will. Because of this there is a large amount of genetic diversity. Some of the bunnies have spontaneously mutated so that they carry gene X (note the "spontaneous" part. This is random people). At the moment gene X has no general effect on the population and so it is passed on from parent bunny to baby bunny with no real consequence. Until the plague comes.

(The plague has been brought to planet Alex by evil toad overlords who came for a two week holiday and then buggered off again)

The plague is fatal to the bunnies on planet Alex, however it just so happens that gene X makes the bunnies that carry it immune to the plague. This is a total coincidence. Pretty soon the entire bunny population has been wiped out by the plague, leaving only the bunnies with gene X alive. Because they are bunnies they set about repopulating planet Alex pretty sharpish. The result? Every in bunny in the population now carries gene X.

That was a very simplistic and entirely unrealistic scenario (in actual fact there are no bunnies native to planet Alex) but the basic point I'm making here is that evolution is a process that happens by chance not by design. It is caused by the selection of existing genetic traits that have become favourable for survival due to a particular environment. It is not caused by the actions of individual members of a species over time.

Taking the above example: people continually leaping from a roof top would not cause other members of the population to sprout wings, it would merely serve to remove those idiots who jumped off of buildings from the breeding pool.

And that ladies and gents is why I'm going into science journalism.

The worst thing is when I told one of my co-workers that I'd seen something truly depressing in the newspaper our resulting conversation was as follows:

"You mean the thing I sent you?"
"Erm, what thing you sent me?"
"The thing with the scratchcards."
"What thing with the scratchcards?"
"The thing I sent you with the....Jesus, Alex. Try checking your work email."
"Ok, ok..... Oh, crap."

The little gem awaiting me in my inbox was this. My favourite line of the piece?
""I phoned Camelot and they fobbed me off with some story that -6 is higher - not lower - than -8 but I'm not having it."

I'll be out back, researching tall buildings with roof access in my local area.

cerebral, apparently.

at 16:36

Monday, 12 November 2007

Quizlaw linked to this nifty little application. I must say I'm rather impressed.

cash advance

Apparently my little slice of the interwebs reqires a higher reading level than Pajiba, Quizlaw and Webster's Is My Bitch (three of my very favourite places)... I wonder if this rating was determined before or after Ranylt's fabulous review?

ps. Proper update coming soon, I've had kind of a mad few days so bear with me.


at 14:52

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Stolen from BlondeSavant's blog because it is so very, very cool - here is my VisualDNA:

I know, two posts in one day - insanity.

an Alex by any other name

at 12:42

A piece over at Jezebel this week on names a guy should never call you (personally nothing gets to me other than any variation on “crazy” a favourite of the ex Mr. TheOdd), as well as the fact that a large number of people have been calling me Miss O’____ all week (name change official – hurrah!) got me thinking about the matter of names, how we refer to ourselves and others. This is kind of an entry about the ex Mr. TheOdd also, as he had quite a large influence on me as far as names go.

My nicknames past and present

I have an inherently shortenable name. Alexandra, it turns out, is absolutely replete with possibilities for, how shall I put it? “Mangling”. I will state for the record, right here and right now, that I love the name Alex. I love that it’s unisex, disyllabic and has an Xtra Kool X at the end. Plus: there are hundreds of us, it works fine for a kid and a grownup alike and nobody spells it wrongly. Unlike….


Nobody calls me this any more. And by “nobody” I of course mean “both my parents as well as my friends from high school” if I had my way it truly would be nobody. The people who do call me Lecky (a name that makes me cringe) are militant about it and point blank refuse to call me anything else, unless it comes with air quotes. They will sometimes shorten it to Lex though.

I was given the nickname after an ex (ie. current) girlfriend of my Father’s. He’d already decided, pre-conception, that I would be called Alexandra (and incidentally, would be female) and as soon as I was born he named me “Lecky” which stuck… and is yet another reason I hate the man.

I mean seriously.

There are some members of my family (and I’m talking close relatives) who, after twenty two years, still cannot spell this particular nickname. There are far more wrong spellings of it than I would have ever thought possible. Also, people use it on cheques. Not too bright as all my accounts are under my full name.

I kept the name all throughout elementary and high school (as well as a wide array of bizarre lengthenings including, but not limited to: Leckifer, Elecebeth, Leckyzandra, Lecticia, Lectoria oh and Leckerbocerglory. My friends are odd, this I know. One still insists on lengthening my name out, at the moment I’m Lexagonal, Lexophagus or Lexonical depending on her mood). It was University when I finally managed to shake it off and moved full time into…


My Father’s second wife Carolyn named me Lex because she, like any right thinking and sane person, hated the name Lecky. Of course originally it was “Lex Luthor” but let’s skip over that. Most people shorten Lecky to Lex now if they still call me that.

When I got to university I introduced myself to people as Lex, having never ever been called Alex by anyone it would have felt weird changing completely, and so that’s how anyone I met in my first few weeks of Uni knows me. I say “my first few weeks” because anyone I met after the ex Mr. TheOdd knows me as Alex. See below for the reasons why.

There is one notable exception to the rule though and that is my Biologist friends: My ex flatmate S calls me Lex despite having met me at the very end of First Year, all her friends call me Lex too because she is a vile harpy who has no respect for me or how I wish to be known. I’m kidding. Mostly. Although even if I do introduce myself to someone completely new while she’s around she will immediately jump into the conversation and correct me, invariably they end up calling me Lex too and I die a little inside. Her reasoning is as follows: there are four other Alexes in that particular group and it gets confusing. That’s the extent of it, I’d complain but she’s surprisingly determined on this matter.

Other than introductions sabotaged by S, everybody now calls me…


Before University I had one Physics teacher and three P.E teachers that called me Alex. Mainly because they hated me. But other than that I had never been known as Alex before. Upon meeting the ex Mr. TheOdd on the first afternoon of University I, of course, introduced myself to him as Lex. He, in turn, looked at me, frowned and replied “I’m going to call you Alex” and it stuck.

I confess that I had always wanted to be an Alex, but changing your name in high school is nigh on impossible and I’d always had a sneaking feeling that I wasn’t “cool” enough to be one (yeah… maybe we should skip over my past self worth issues). It turns out that one person (granted with the charisma of about twenty – the ex Mr. TheOdd was damned charming) using it stopped me from feeling like I was playing pretend and made me able to actually own the name I was born with. I know it’s terrible to be pleased at someone deciding they hate your name and hence rechristening you but I still can’t help it.


Two people have called me Lexie in my time. One was my first Mr TheOdd, D, and the other is my amazing name lengthening friend from a couple of paragraphs up.

Anyone even considering calling me this now is liable to get one of the following ripped from their body: right eye, throat, spleen, spinal cord. Their choice of course. As the ex Mr TheOdd said (sorry this entry is rather “him heavy”) “It sounds like you should be entered in Crufts” and loathe as I am to say it: I agree with him.

Pet Names

This section goes some way to explain why the “names guys should never call you” thing got me thinking as most of the pet names I’ve ever had have just seemed slightly… off.

The ex Mr. TheOdd had a rather interesting take on pet names – he started off with the cutesy diminutives but about a year into our relationship he pretty much liked to call me things specifically to piss me off, getting slightly better once I resigned myself to it and played along. I started out as Pumpkin or Cherub (excuse me while I go and throw up, back in a sec) and then moved on to… Worm.

Does anyone else think that’s kind of offensive? I mean, it’s not just me right? It was said in an affectionate way and everything but my attempts at explanation as to why it bothered me were brushed off with the statement that I was a “crazy lady”…

That name stuck with me for a year and a fucking half.

Worm eventually became “bee” (along with the notion that I could literally fly and was fuzzy with black and yellow stripes… this man is currently doing a PhD in cancer research – I weep for humanity) which in turn led to “bug” a name I have it on good authority that he now uses for his new torture victim (or should that be “girlfriend”?). I don’t know about you guys but finding out that the fairly unusual pet name my new guy is using for me once belonged to a former beau would leave one hell of a sour taste in my mouth…

And that’s me, and all my incarnations in a nutshell. I confess that I act differently depending on what name people use for me – perhaps it’s something to do with the expectations tied to me from the period of time when that name was used, perhaps it’s something more elemental than that. But there we have it.

Oh, and my next entry is going to be about shoes (more ex Mr. TheOdd ranting there too unfortunately, it’s all tied in with a pair of black stilettos you see…)

a very pajiban drinking game

at 10:38

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

I must confess that I love drinking games, like I love them. The Odd household can turn anything into a drinking game (case in point: in addition to the standard rules of drinking rugby the Argentina vs Scotland match in the rugby world cup was made infinitely more fun by the introduction of the Patterson hat, whoever was wearing said hat (given as punishment for infringements of the International Drinking Rules) had to drink every time Chris Patterson was shown in close-up for the duration of his appearance. Five minutes in the Patterson hat and you are fucking wasted) and we do, frequently.

Because my music died on my walk to work I had plenty of time to sketch out some basic rules, just in case the benevolent Pajiba Gods decide not to give us a comments diversion for it in the near future. I have crafted a rudimentary set of rules mainly for the comments found on Pajiba reviews. If anyone has suggestions for a review based drinking game, or rules to add please feel free to abuse me in the comments. And now, far be it from me to deprive anyone from boozy goodness so, out of sheer public service, may I present:

The Pajiban Drinking Game – because reading through fifty odd snarky and bickering comments sometimes needs something to take the edge off.

The basics:

Drinks taken are measured in “fingers” of depth down the glass. I suggest playing with pints of beer, bottles if you’re a lightweight. For the love of God, please don’t play with whiskey. The basic terminology is as follows:

Sip: does exactly what it says on the tin, take as much (or as little as you want) depending on how hardcore you’re feeling
Drink: take two finger’s worth of your drink
Swig: take four finger’s worth of your drink
Chin: finish your drink
Shot: take a shot of the hard stuff (your choice but you get extra points for making it Bushmills)

Most rules require you to drink but you may need to take a shot if certain conditions are met. Got it? Good.

The Rules:

Sip every time you see…
An offended comment
Shot: it was made by BarbadoSlim
A comment by socalledonlycousins
The phrase “fantastic review”
A suggested addition to a Guide to What’s Good for You
A quotation in italics
A commenter name in bold.

Drink if…
A commenter corrects the reviewer’s spelling or grammar
Shot: it’s within the first five posts
A commenter uses a shortened or acronymic version of another commenter’s name
A commenter uses a shortened or acronymic version of an actor/director’s name
A commenter references Firefly or Serenity
Shot: it’s a quote
Something is deemed as deserving “a Paddlin’”
A commenter downgrades their excitement about seeing a film
A commenter thanks the reviewer for taking a bullet
Anybody bemoans a remake
A comment exceeds three paragraphs
Two commenters get into a conversation entirely unrelated to the review
Take a drink for each comment that is part of the exchange
A commenter reminds someone of the site’s tagline

Swig if…
A commenter is referred to by name before they reply in a particular section
One commenter proposes marriage to another
Someone complains of elitism
There is an argument over the definition and/or usage of a particular word
Shot: That word is retarded.
Shot: That word is misogyny.
Shot: That word is anything relating to racism.
Someone offers to hand in their Pajiba membership card
Anyone complains that the review is invalid because the reviewer is not of the target demographic
Anyone claims a commenter’s arguments are invalid because they haven't seen the film
A collective noun for the site’s readership that isn’t “Pajibans” is used
Someone claims that Hollywood is watching us

Chin if…
The review was in a non-standard format
Someone claims to be “first”
A comment is under three words in length
A trade round up is entirely positive

Drink yourself into Oblivion if…
A Tyler Perry review gets less than thirty comments
If none of them concern race you’re going to need rehab
Any of the following people are referred to as “talented” or “a visionary”
Lindsey Lohan
Paris Hilton
Dane Cook
Uwe Boll
Brett Ratner
Larry the Cable Guy
Eli Roth
Somebody admits to liking Norbitt

Suggestions? Random abuse? You know what to do.

a letter to my brand new pair of purple leather boots

at 11:15

Monday, 5 November 2007

Dear My Brand New Pair of Purple Leather Boots,

I'll admit it, at first my attraction to you was purely physical, my eyes were caught by your glorious amethyst colour and I was reeled in by your cowboyish vibe. To be honest, I thought it was fleeting - a passing crush that would be over just as soon as I tried you on and found that you didn't fit over my calves, like so many pairs of boots before you. I was skeptical, after all - I had already bought four pairs of shoes on that fateful Saturday (God, was it only two days ago, Boots? It feels like a lifetime) and surely my luck could not be that good?

But as we know, I was wrong. And when my flatmate offered to buy you for me as a belated Birthday gift it seemed like we were fated to be together.

I know that it was risky, taking a chance on you that evening. Pub crawls take their toll on even the most familiar girl and shoe relationships but you stuck with me, and for that I thank you. Miraculously your flat soles allowed me to not only wear a short skirt (my first since the age of eighteen) without feeling sluttish but also kept my legs warm even on the walk back to a random house at 2am. I am so glad, Boots that I did not overlook you for your high heeled counterparts, seductive as they were. Even though you are flat, and my legs are so very, very short, you still gave me the confidence to hook up with a cute boy and you prevented the embarrassing drunken stumbling that so often comes with high heels.

Despite a couple of mis-steps, like when I stepped too hard down on my left foot before your leather had softened and convinced myself I'd broken a toe, you've shown me that not only are you beautiful but also reliable. No other pair of new shoes would have lasted as long, or remained as comfortable the next morning as I trekked the three miles back to the second pub we visited in search of my lost phone. Walking along the riverside blinking into the early morning Sunday sun I thanked you for being comfortable to allow large amounts of hungover walking and for being casual enough to prevent passers by from assuming I'd been out all night. You saved me from the walk of shame, Boots and I'll never forget that.

And now, as you accompany me to work, breathing new life into my standard skinny jeans and vest combo, I feel the time has come to tell you this: I love you, Boots. I promise never to surrender you to a boy's flat out of embarrassment as I did with my suede slingbacks or to donate you to S. Please, say you won't fall apart in a week's time.

Yours in style and comfort,


ps. Do you also come in teal?


at 11:25

Thursday, 1 November 2007


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