South Park Self

for daws to peck at

Occasionally my life is surreal. This morning I madly registered 23 rugby players for their year's courses, an early taste of reg hell occasioned by some giant manly rugby tournament they're all dashing off to and for which they are not eligible unless they officially exist on our systems. I would not have survived the morning had I not incautiously consumed a giant slice of mocha cheesecake for breakfast, which cushioned things nicely. (The boingboing recipe. I totally recommend this recipe, it's the only baked cheesecake I've ever made that I felt actually worked, and it's a totally delectable dose of sugar and caffeine, both of which are essential to my registration-surviving strategies.)The rugby players are sweet lads, but two-thirds of the first-years evinced a desire to study Law. What is it with rugby players and Law? It does not compute.

On the subject of people who do lots of exercise, I'm still madly into my brisk evening (or, occasionally, morning) walk around the Common, and feeling much the better thereby. It's a lovely walk, and I'm weirdly even enjoying the happy community feel of all the walkers/ runners/ cyclists/ kids on scooters/ floppy dogs/ nice ladies' walking clubs having chats. But I'm also a bit of an outsider to that crowd, on account of how none of the above tend to represent my essential tribe, viz. geeks. I see this mainly in the t-shirts. Exercisers tend to wear t-shirts indicative of Serious Sports, in the form of rugby shirts, American football shirts (I have no idea), shirts commemorating particular runs or white water rafting trips or hikes other manly/sportly activities, sports commodity brand shirts, or Serious Exercise Shirts With Exciting Support Bits And Radical Cuts. I wear whatever t-shirt happens to be at the top of my two-foot-high pile of random t-shirts I bought on Teh Internets because I like the design and/or sentiment, which means that over the last few walks I have treated the Common to "AND THEN BUFFY STAKED EDWARD, THE END", "KLAATU BERADA NICTO", "Ask Me About My Ray Gun", "OH R'LYEH?", a facsimile of the original edition cover for Orwell's 1984, that Scary-Go-Round cute robot one inscribed "IT IS OK TO BE YOU", the Knights of Good, and Captain Marvel. They are, shall we say, somewhat exotically out of place. The Common's exercise community can be under no illusions that a geek is in their midst. They don't seem to mind - a lot of them smile at me, in fact - but I feel as though I'm rather visibly advertising Difference.

And I was thinking, during one of these excursions, that in fact t-shirts are the modern way that we wear our hearts on our sleeves, very much in the sense of the medieval knight tying his lady's sleeve around his arm before hieing him forth into battle. I wear t-shirts which attest to the things that I particularly love, and for which I wish to be recognised - on some level, because there's a subliminal hope that fellow humans will admit to a love of the same thing, thus short-cutting social interaction. Which is not, in the final analysis, very different to the mad exercisers wearing trophies of races or excursions. But sf geekery is clearly cooler than brand names, even outside its natural habitat. And, on the evidence, considerably more entertaining.

The subject line is the second half of the Shakespeare quote about wearing your heart on your sleeve, which I had totally forgotten was Iago speaking. I loathe Othello with every fibre of my being, it's one of those slow-motion train-smash plays where you simply have to sit and helplessly watch people being obliviously self-destructive idiots, but I have a sneaking fondness for Iago. Efficient villains are worthy of respect.
I know! At the gym it's the same. I don't go any more, but when I did I would defiantly wear either a maths t-shirt, or an SCA t-shirt.

We did Othello at school and I read Iago. Good stuff.