VSX, A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist: Starbuck Powersurge - a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of Viper Squad Ten, a long-disbanded group of stranded timetravelling troubadours, formed to help finance repairs to their time-machine. Now very much stuck in C21...
All text is copyright the Viper Squad Ten blog team 2003-2006 unless otherwise quoted or credited. If we've not credited you properly, please let me know. Throw us a link if you're desperate enough to use this guff...
My wife's discovered a strange soft bulge at the back of my neck... that bit in the middle between the sinews on either side where people are meant to have a vertical hollow...
... she thinks I'm unique... a glorious freak of nature...
... I think I'd just done too much heavy metal headbanging as a kid...
Five things you didn't want to know about me
A while back I was tagged by Astolath to "reveal five things about myself". A difficult task for someone who's never dared revealed that her reveal name is Petra Pinyin, and that she's actually a timetraveller from the distant past, but there you go. And my apologies to those out there who've tagged memes onto my bloggy carcass over the past few years only to be met by silence; rest assured that I've recorded all those that I've spotted, and they're just awaiting fulfilment. Just as soon as I get my old PC up and running again..
Anyway, here's my five things:
A regular refrain on my school reports was "Beware of coasting". This used to bring me great shame - a run of slightly above-average grades or remarks brought sharply down to earth by the accusation that I was too complacent, too lazy, to maintain my academic momentum. Self-fulfilling.
I've been coasting all my life ever since. I've coasted more than the Beach Boys. And it still brings me shame.
Supermarket shopping paralyses me
Too much information to take into account. Too much data to process. Weight versus price versus calories versus fat (esp. saturated or hydrogenated) versus salt versus air miles versus country of origin's political situation. Sometimes I just end up standing there unable to form any sort of decision.
I'm currently a fitly unfit fatty
At school, a long time ago, I was a champion sprinter. Several years ago I was a long distance stamina man, once managing nearly miles without a proper training regime or diet, with a fucked-up foot from four miles. Periods in between have been spent overweight and chronically under-exercised. But however long it gets since my last run, I know I can still force an exertion if required. I'm flippin' marvellous, me!
I like rooms with wombs
As a student I sometimes felt the need to return to the womb. I used to find cosy little spaces to curl up within, spaces under tables or within wardrobes to hide inside. Its not something I do now - I'm quite capable of closing my brain tightly around my mind when the need arrives.
In more recent years I've become more and more dependent on various sonic sleep aids. It all started when the need arose to blank out unexpected sudden noises from a set of nuisance neighbours, and it soon became a necessary comfort, whether its the sound of an electric fan (whatever the weather), or more recently, an electric dehumidifier; the latter creates that necessary wash of womb-interior sounds whilst actually doing something constructive (the breath from my metabionic body creates a hell of lot of condensation at night).
I long for plane crashes
Ever since I was an adolescent, whenever travelling on a plane or train I've normally hoped that it will crash.
I've actually seen various interviews with people suffering from depression who've said such things, and they often say something along the lines of "I thought it was normal, I thought that everyone felt the same".
However it does feel normal, and I wouldn't be surprised if everyone felt the same. And for the record, I'm not depressed as far as I know.
But dying in a plane crash would be a neat way to go (not "neat" in an American sense, more of a tidy sense), and it'd be an experience. A brief experience for sure, but an experience. Its just a shame you'd not be able to tell anyone about it...
I'm put in mind of the lyrics of a joyful litle ditty by early 90s band CNN (aka XC-NN) called Looking Forward. Ongoing Real Life concerns mean that it'd be insensitive of me to reproduce it here, but I'm sure you could unearth this pop rock classic if you really tried, and you never know, it might even give you some strength. Life's something to be embraced to the full, and death's not something to be afraid of.
So there you go. Five things about me. Not exactly the best five things about me, but there you go. As you can see, as well as being a brilliant man full of untapped physical and intellectual potential, I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me. Only joking! Please don't.
And with that, dear Reader, I tag thee, . Reveal thyself!
Four courses for £17.95, information-fans, which for myself including a Proscecco & strawberry cocktail, root vegetable crisps and olives, a truly delicious starter called Fungotto ("Making a star of the flavoursome portobello mushroom - known locally as 'cappellone' or 'big hats' - the Fungotto blends fresh mozzarella and creamy goat's cheese with parsley, garlic and breadcrumbs to create a tasty starter. Baked in the oven 'al forno', this is a great winter warmer...", an American Hot pizza with extra hot, and some kind of sundae with fudge chunks in it. Not forgetting a half-bottle of red wine.
Overnight I dreamt I was back in Pizza Express, and having had my plate taken away the waiter then returned it to my table, having discovered a large tooth which unbeknownst to me had been dislodged from my mouth by a chunk of pizza.
I kept this to myself myself - people tend to find dreams a great deal less interesting than those who are telling them (the brain immediately switches down a level of attentivity when it realises its being told a figment of the teller's imagination; much as yours will be doing right now, dear reader, as this essay bores deeper into your boredom lobe).
Later on this morning, myself and Mrs Powersurge were talking about other matters, and she only went and brought up the fact that I hadn't visited a bleedin' dentist in decades. Spooky!
Of course a less cynical man than myself would jump to the conclusion that the close bond that the Powersurge's possess helps to create an almost-paranormal psychic interlink between us, and my wife's comment had been prompted by an overflowing dreamstate lapping at her subconscious.
A more rational explanation is the possibility that the Starbuck Unit had processed at purely a subliminal level the visual notification of a glance that may have been cast at my wine-stained Austin Powers teeth that evening...
It's quite scary how much of this potentially-overwhelming torrent of stimuli that constantly rains across our sensory apparati that must necessarily be received below the threshold of conscious perception whilst still impacting in some way upon our selves.
(On a side note I was telling Iron Monkey something similar just the other day - its not just readers of VSX that I like to drone on and on senselessly to!)
But most importantly, never underestimate the power of coincidence. Coincidence is responsible for much of what we steadfastly believe about our worlds and the world around us.
Hurrah! It's Valentines Day today, and although the troposphere around Starbuck's world is always bathed in love, that emotion is very much in the air right now.
As exemplified by my internal jukebox.
"I think I'm in love, I think I'm in love" repeated in a glorious gospel stlye (although "think" is very much underplaying it, Mrs Powersurge, if you're reading this!).
Yes, I've got Spiritualized's wonderful "I Think I'm In Love" stuck in my head, which tends to rattle around at good times.
Ah, a such beautiful, uplifting, joyous song. Let's look up the lyrics shall we...
Sun so bright that I’m nearly blind Cool cos I’m wired and I’m out of my mind Warms the dope running down my spine But I don’t care ’bout you and I’ve got nothing to do Free as the warmth in the air that I breathe Even freer than dmt Feel the warmth of the sun in me But I don’t care ’bout you and I’ve got nothing to do Love in the middle of the afternoon Just me, my spike in my arm and my spoon Feel the warmth of the sun in the room But I don’t care ’bout you And I’ve got nothin’
I think I’m in love Probably just hungry I think I’m your friend Probably just lonely I think you got me in a spin now Probably just turning I think I’m a fool for you babe Probably just yearning I think I can rock and rool Probably just twisting I think I wanna tell the world Probably ain’t listening Come on
I think I can fly Probably just falling I think I’m the life and soul Probably just snorting I think I can hit the mark Probably just aiming I think my name is on your lips Probably complaining I think I have caught it bad Probably contagious I think I’m a winner baby Probably las vegas Come on
I think I’m alive Probably just breathing I think you stole my heart now baby Probably just thieving I think I’m on fire Probably just smoking I think that you’re my dream girl Probably just dreaming I think I’m the best babe Probably like all the rest I think that I could be your man Probably just think you can Come on
I think I’m in love
Erm... yes. Ahem. Somehow, in all of those hundreds of listens, I hadn't cottoned on to the exact nature of the song's subject matter. Oh no, my wife's gonna kill me... I've only gorn and accidentally endorsed the mainlining of hard drugs on this, the most saintly of Saints days traditionally dedicated to the celebration of the love of our sweethearts! Needles... ugh!
Harumph. That's put me right off "romancing" for one day... Sorry Mrs P, if you're wanting a portion of Starbuck this Valentine's Day then you're right out of luck. I'd be put right off my stroke!
But its dark, and I'm inside anyway. And I don't own a sledge. Boo!
So, what better way of satiating my tobogganing urges, than to revisit webtoy extraordinaire Line Rider. Bliss... can't wait for the DS version.
Such a simple game, but it can be breathtaking experience watching a good designer (not like myself) in action. Like this one, for example...
Not sure if the Bloc Party soundtrack best suits it though. For some reason, when I'm playing my internal jukebox fills up with James Hewitt and Rebecca Loos' execrable Celeb X Factor performance of "Baby It's Cold Outside". So you might want to mute the above, and shove the one below on instead... (but make sure you fastforward past all of the horrible Cowell-Osborne bollox to get to the song itself...)
Not for what it is; it fulls my body with adrenaline and my mind with excitement.
But for what it does to my fellow Brits.
A few inches of white stuff, and a hysterical media- and government-fuelled paralysis sets in. Instructions not to go out unless absolutely necessary, demands by staff to leave home early, and worst of all, people on the roads driving at 10mph despite conditions being fine and causing absolute gridlock everywhere...
When the first snow warnings were coming in, my in-laws were even talking about putting snow-chains on their 4WD, despite us living well and truly in the flatlands! SNOW CHAINS!
IT'S JUST A LITTLE BIT OF WEATHER! And safer weather than rain or fog, for that matter, I would hazard.
I blame the climate. The climate of fear, that is. By cowering in fear when faced with the threat of a bit of precipitation, we're giving our manipulators a small but powerful hook which can be used to ease ever-more infringing controls on our liberties.
n n motir cold [anag], that's what it is. Watch out for that phrase. It slips off the tongue.
Knowing them, knowing me
It's interesting how people who know you well tend to know aspects of yourself much better than you do yourself.
Unbeknownst to me, my ex-flatmate and London Saviour Gillette Dumpling-Cakes told the following truthhood to the future Mrs Powersurge before she stole me away from the Smoke: "Starbuck's problem is that he feels the need to fit a whole lifetime into every day".
So very true.
I "feel the need" or "need to feel like" I've fit a whole lifetime of experiences in, however mundane the experiences may be, not helped by the fact that I never quite get round to doing what needs to be done (sorting out finances, catching up with friends, tidying my "stuff", getting through my burgeoning media collection, etc.)
Its always "Should've done this, should've done that", as Starbucketta likes to tease me in a faux-grump voice.
The overwhelming magnitude of chores and joys leaves me frozen like a rabbit in a headlouse, whatever the frack that phrase means.
Still, its interesting hearing vocalised those traits that we hide so carefully from ourselves.
Things have been a bit of a rollercoaster since I last wrote, and not the crummy Dragon rollercoaster that stank up the bit near the Enterprise at Alton Towers theme park.
Some things exciting. Some things bad. Some things which could lead life on new pathways. And some things which, while striving to make those pathways difficult to innavigable, nevertheless can't prevent their negotiation.
Before my recent blogscence I'd drafted (but not published) the first piece below, prompted in part by dismay at the wider world. Nothing specific to my life as such, just a throwaway reflection, a mere glimmer.
"Rational people, consider procreation. The world needs a John Connor, we need a J.D. Shapely. We need hope. We need as many likeminds as we can get."