Conversation with my father this evening on the phone (we'd been talking about our respective Christmas presents and got round to what he sent me);
Dad: So what do you plan on doing with the rest of the present?
Me: The ... huh?
Dad: The money.
Dad: Yes, the money I sent you, in the card.
Me: There ... was no card. What money?
Dad: In the package. Don't tell me you've lost it.
Me: But there was no money. There wasn't a card in the package.
Dad: Well now you've lost $200.
Me: I'll look for it.
Dad: You better find it.
It was worse than that, actually, but you get the idea. I emptied the package he sent me for Christmas, and it contained the following contents;
- Newspaper clippings about LotR.
- Two CDs Dad had forgotten to wrap.
- Two wrapped presents.
That was IT. There was no envelope containing a card and money. IT WASN'T THERE. I ran my hand through the packaging, Mum did a visual check, and it was empty. It's not ANYWHERE. It didn't fall out, it wasn't hidden in the clippings, HE DID NOT SEND IT. Or if he did, it somehow did not get here. There was no $200. Both Mum and I can testify that I took out all of the contents and there was no envelope. We both would have noticed if there was.
GRR. I could've really used that money, too. I'm so pissed off. He's going to accuse me and get REALLY angry, but he should have known better - he knows not to send money by post, he knows to put it directly into my bank account, and this is really his own stupid fault.
I also realise how hypocritical it is for me to want money when I'm one of the biggest promoters of the "money is the root of all evil" position, but while I hate it, money is necessary. Just because I think it's the root of all evil doesn't mean I can't want and need it. It seems like the only way to overcome money is with money. The need for money gets in the way of all good deeds - you need money to go to Africa, you need money to pay for petrol to get to those in need in your own country, you need money just to buy food for the starving and shelter for the homeless - and it's bloody infuriating. It's a vicious cycle, really.
On a more positive note, I dyed my hair. Blue. Good bob it's crazy. I feel like a bloody clown! But I like it. It works with my afro-in-the-making. No, I don't think I'll grow an afro, but I like my hair how it is. I'll take a photo and get that scanner of mine fixed. Stupid freaking thing. But wow, my hair looks cool and insane and silly and mad, all at the same time. Go the blue!
I actually like my hair coloured. It accentuates my albino skin and I'm all for weird contrasts. Don't know why Sam's so against me dyeing my hair ... he reckons I look stupid. I guess you all can be the judge of that when I eventually get photos up.
I could set the scene, but I'm not really sure it's necessary and I may give away plot elements in the process. Just enjoy this for what it is - an excerpt that isn't really that good because I wrote it at midnight last night.
Schweklen had a strange concept of fun, and he was definitely revelling in it as he roared through hidden valleys [in his modified blue biplane] and flew dangerously close to rural roads outside Setlacyt, all trying to confuse and throw off the fighters that were on his tail. He was doing such a good job that they had lost him, and more fighters and a couple of reconnaissance planes had been scrambled into the air to search for him and uncover the route he was flying. But the one direction he chose was the one they didn’t expect, and when he burst back onto radar, his flight path was most mysterious to those watching. When they realised what was happening, it was far too late, for one missile – followed by three more – burst from the missile launcher. The main dormitory [of the air force base he was attacking] had already collapsed, but not completely, and the first missile slammed into the wing still standing, quickly reducing it to a pile of debris next to the library and intelligence block, or at least what was the library and intelligence block, for it incurred a direct hit from the second and third missiles. The fourth shot straight over the destroyed buildings and then swung to collide directly with the main radar installation and control tower of the base. The tower had barely begun to topple to its side directly onto a hangar as Schweklen let loose with both guns, bullets ripping up pavement, planes, and people in a devastating mix of metal, blood, bone, and explosions. Immune to the horror of what he was causing, Schweklen laughed morbidly and then whirled his plane around, flying straight back in the direction he’d come from. One of the reconnaissance planes attempted to track him, but lost both radar contact and visual sight when he plunged into a gulley that split into multiple branches.
Thinking he was home free, Schweklen let out a loud whoop as he rose from the branch he’d chosen to take. But as he soared back into the blue sky, he realised two things.
Firstly, instead of being killed as his plane slammed into one of the main road bridges over the Axix in central Setlacyt [he was trying to die in a spectacular, memorable fashion], he was still very much alive and heading very much towards his airfield.
Secondly, the two fighter planes that were initially on his trail had just appeared within his field of vision. His hopes that they were too far away and on the wrong angle to spot him proved erroneous, and both planes banked sharply in his direction.
Letting loose with a string of profanities, broadcast over the airwaves for anyone to hear, Schweklen made for the Axix [River], hoping to find safety by ducking low above the river. He reached it at a point north of the Vickerson’s and Weck’s farms, where trees lined the river, and he sharply turned south, hoping that the trees would provide visual cover from the fighters while the low height provided radar cover. Unfortunately, it didn’t, and as he raced out from the trees and screamed low past the two farms, he spotted the jets not far above him and quickly gaining.
But he still had his guns and his missile launcher.
“Schweky boy, c’mon, prove you’ve still got it.” he urged himself on.
It wasn’t over yet.
Stay tuned for surveys.
--- 10:01 ---
ten bands you've been listening a lot to lately:
Five Iron Frenzy
Surprisingly, NOT Jimmy Eat World or REM, and this situation must be rectified. Where was I? That's right, need two more bands.
The Living End
nine things you look forward to:
U2's new CD coming out
New U2 singles
Anything U2, really
Getting some non-U2 music
Getting a copy of Meteora that actually will run on my computer
Converting more people to U2
eight things you like to wear:
My glasses, because I rather need them
Anything in any way related to U2
Anything in any way showing support for the All Blacks
Shirts and shorts in solid dark colours like black, red, and deep blue and green
My runners, even if they're falling apart and they almost don't fit me any more
My Wellington Hurricanes cap
My formal school uniform, because it has enough pockets for everything I want to carry around and I feel so important and formal and whee in it
Either one of my penguin shirts
seven things that annoy you:
People who don't appreciate U2
The inflated Australian sporting ego
People who are WRONG
My flaws and shortcomings
Homosexuals, especially those of the male variety
U2 not releasing new material quick enough
U2 having pretty static setlists
six things you say most days:
five things you do everyday:
Listen to U2
four people you want to spend more time with:
Everyone else I like (alright, so that was a cop-out, but I really do not care)
three of your favorite songs at the moment:
11 O'clock Tick Tock (5 June 1983) by U2
40 (2 May 1985) by U2
In My Place by Coldplay
two movies you could watch over and over again:
The Great Escape
The Great Escape
one person you could spend the rest of your life with:
Myself. There's a problem if I can't.
--- 11:11 ---
1. What did you do in 2003 that you'd never done before?
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make New Year's resolutions.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Depends how close you define 'close' to be.
5. What countries did you visit?
Australia and New Zealand, as always.
6. What would you like to have in 2004 that you lacked in 2003?
More than you can imagine, probably.
7. What date from 2003 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Midday June 30, American Eastern Time/2am July 1, Australian Eastern Time. When the LBMB went down.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Being the first grade eleven to receive the Senior Debating Award. Whee.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Not winning Dux of grade eleven.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Everything U2. Though I think it was all bought for me because I'm a stinge/have no money.
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Yours, because you spelled 'behaviour' correctly.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
14. Where did most of your money go?
To the mail goblins.
15. What did you get really excited about?
16. What song will always remind you of 2003?
None, really. Though I will always remember I discovered 11 O'clock Tick Tock in 2003 and that Gloria, With Or Without You, Wake Up Dead Man, and Beautiful Day saved my faith.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
Much, much happier.
ii. Thinner or fatter?
iii. Richer or poorer?
The fact you think I have a monetary status is laughable.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Writing and study at school.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
So I'm just imagining things when I think Christmas was three days ago? Well then ...
22. Did you fall in love in 2003?
23. What was your favourite TV program?
M*A*S*H, with Fawlty Towers a close second.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
25. What was the best book you read?
The entire Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy trilogy of five. Best books ever written.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
U2. I didn't become a fanatic until January. Oh, and the following bands: Tool, Pink Floyd, Five Iron Frenzy, and I rediscovered Crowded House.
27. What did you want and get?
Lots of U2 stuff.
28. What did you want and not get?
Lots of U2 stuff.
29. What was your favourite film of this year?
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned sixteen and did bugger all until Mum dragged me out for a late lunch.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More U2 stuff, having a better relationship with God, not doing that stupid Lily thing, listening to more non-U2 music ... oh, oops, it says ONE. Too bad.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2003?
André = DOES NOT CARE.
33. What kept you sane?
U2. That's if you consider me sane.
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
In what way do you mean 'fancy'?
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
- the Iraq war debate
- the most amusing internal turmoil of the ALP
36. Whom did you miss?
Bono, The Edge, Adam, and Larry.
37. Who was the best new person you met?.
Lauren. We both posted on YTF in 2002 but we didn't really meet until 2003. I wish we'd met earlier. That would've been the grandest.
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2003.
Listen to more U2. Do not - I repeat, DO NOT - date online. Faith is helpful.
-- Name: Andre Withoutalastname.
-- Birthplace: New Zealand.
-- Current Location: Queensland, Australia.
-- Eye Color: Blue.
-- Hair Color: White ... well, blue now.
-- Height: 5'5" or so.
-- Righty or Lefty: Neither 'righty' or 'lefty' are words. So sorry.
-- Zodiac Sign: Capricorn.
-- Your heritage: Just about everywhere European.
-- The shoes you wore today: None.
-- Your fears: Apple stickers.
-- Your perfect pizza: Has lots of pepperoni, BBQ sauce, cheese, and maybe some pineapple and other meats.
-- Goal you'd like to achieve: Be an incredibly famous author who, unlike J. K. Rowling, won't be a flash in the pan writing poorly written garbage people won't remember in a decade.
-- Your thoughts first waking up: "Can I go back to sleep?" or "This U2 song rocks as my alarm, but I'm going back to sleep."
-- Your best physical feature: ... none.
-- Your bedtime: School nights - I aim for 10:30 but it usually ends up being 11-11:30. Non-school days - these holidays it's been about 1-1:30am, but as always, it varies from the last holidays.
-- Your most missed memory: If you mean what do I remember that I now miss, then YTF, but if you mean something else, learn to say what you mean a bit better.
-- Pepsi or Coke: Coke.
-- McDonald's or Burger King: Subway. Ha.
-- Single or group dates: Never been on either, hence no preference.
-- Adidas or Nike: I like both. They like my feet.
-- Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Neither.
-- Chocolate or vanilla: Chocolate, naturally.
-- Cappuccino or coffee: Neither.
-- Smoke: Hell no.
-- Cuss: Fuck, do I? *smirks*
-- Sing: Only when I'm alone, or sometimes when Mum's around.
-- Take a shower everyday: No. Every second day, more like it.
-- Have a crush(es): I crush ants.
-- Do you think you've been in love: With U2's music.
-- Want to go to college: I actually want my life to go somewhere, so yes.
-- Like(d) high school: Nope. Too many immature prats, peer pressure, class politics, and other needless crap that proves teenagers, on the whole, have very little sense.
-- Believe in yourself: Yes, I believe I exist.
-- Get motion sickness: Rarely.
-- Think you're attractive: Most certainly not. How deluded do you think I am?
-- Think you're a health freak: Hahaha, no.
-- Get along with your parent(s): Mum - yes. Dad - not often.
-- Like thunderstorms: Ooo yes.
-- Play an instrument: Electric guitar.
LAYER SIX: In the past month...
-- Drank alcohol: Yes.
-- Smoked: Most certainly not.
-- Done a drug: Yeah, I'm high right now. What the hell do you think? Of course bloody not.
-- Had Sex: To rip off my above answer, yes, I'm having sex right now. What the Popmart do you think? Of course bloody not.
-- Made Out: No.
-- Gone on a date: A loser like me? Haha, no.
-- Gone to the mall?: Woe.
-- Eaten an entire box of Oreos: I've never eaten a single Oreo. So there.
-- Eaten sushi: I'm allergic to fish.
-- Been on stage: This last month? Hmm ... no. Presentation Night was just over a month ago.
-- Been dumped: You need to have had a partner to be dumped.
-- Gone skating: Nope.
-- Made homemade cookies: No.
-- Gone skinny dipping: It's called a shower, fwoohaha.
-- Dyed your hair: Haha, just this evening.
-- Stolen anything: Nope.
LAYER SEVEN: Ever...
-- Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: Never even been drunk.
-- Been caught "doing something": Yeah, I've been caught doing a lot of things. Getting stuff out my locker, listening to U2, reading, studying ...
-- Been called a tease: ... what?
-- Gotten beaten up: Yes. Crap that hurt.
-- Shoplifted: Nope.
-- Changed who you were to fit in: No. If you don't like who I am, that's your problem.
-- Age you hope to be married: 21 is nice but unrealistic.
-- Numbers and Names of Children: 2-3 would probably do, though I'm prepared to go as far as 5. There's a whole bunch of names I like: Vladimir, Xavier, Florentyna, Lauren, Felka, Megan, Jasmine, Eve, Bono (I so should name a son of mine that).
-- Describe your Dream Wedding: One at which U2 performs a setlist designed by yours truly. Hence, it shall include 11 O'clock Tick Tock, Heartland, and Acrobat.
-- How do you want to die: Listening to U2, peacefully.
-- Where you want to go to college: Somewhere.
-- What do you want to be when you grow up: World-famous novelist.
-- What country would you most like to visit: For the simple reason of seeing my friends, the USA. But if you take friends out of the equation, then Ireland. Take U2 out of the equation ... hmmm ... Switzerland or Sweden or somewhere beautiful.
LAYER NINE: In a mate
-- Best eye color? Don't care.
-- Best hair color? Don't care.
-- Short or long hair: Still don't care.
-- height: Wow, I am the apathetic one.
-- Best weight: Nope, don't care.
-- Best articles of clothing: Trying to care, but no.
-- Number of drugs taken illegally: Oh man, I'm so stoned, I took so many drugs a couple of hours ago, even though I have never even seen any illegal drugs with my own eyes or taken legal drugs in an illegal fashion.
-- Number of people I could trust with my life: A few, notably Sam and Lauren.
-- Number of CDs that I own: 20? 30? I don't know.
-- Number of piercings: None.
-- Number of tattoos: None.
-- Number of time your name has appeared in the newspaper?: Not sure.
-- Number of scars on my body: A few.
-- Number of things in my past that I regret: Don't start.