Meaningless chatter

Towards the end of 2011 I made a bold declaration, I am going to be a sports fan.  I decided that this sport would be football (soccer to all Americans and Americanised Australians). This, apart from field hockey, is the only sport I’ve felt drawn in by. I was super excited! I decided that the best way to approach my new found passion would be to pick a team in the British Premier League (yes, I know it’s not actually called that, but I dislike calling things by their sponsor’s name, it cheapens it and takes away the sense of community and history). I happened to be in a bar in Siem Reap with my friends Elysse and Ally at the time of the great revelation. The bar tender, a friend of theirs, was a Brit and a Premier League fan. I asked him to help me pick a team.

Although new to the world of sports fandom, I do have opinions about it. Having grown up in Newcastle I had attended many Newcastle Knights games and cheered along, drawn in by the energy of the crowd, rather than the game itself (I remember the first time I saw a union game, I remember thinking ‘oh, that’s what the scrum is for’). The players had the status of minor deities, and I remember taking Paul Harragon’s ticket at the Glendale Cinemas when he went to see The Nutty Professor 2 (rugby players, I suppose all the brain injury makes stupid movies enjoyable). I also remember the time we went to Scratchleys and every time we called my brother by name, Matty Johns, who was sitting right behind him, would turn around in response. This is not a post about whether or not sports stars should be revered so highly (I don’t think they should), but what I’m trying to say, is that growing up in a city (not a town, stupid Sydney people) like Newcastle instilled in me a strong sense that one should support the team where one is from.

So, when I was choosing a team with the help of the bar tender, I specified that it should be a North London team, as that is where I lived when I was in London. There were two options, Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur. I chose Tottenham over Arsenal, as Arsenal has a canon as part of their symbol (or whatever you call those things). The bar tender was delighted, he was a Tottenham supporter. I promptly announced my new found allegiance on Facebook, which of course made it real, and prepared to stay up at all hours to watch every game of my beloved team.

I failed. Miserably. I’ve seen one game, and that was a rerun about a week after the actual match (are they called matches?).

Why does this matter to me? Well, it actually doesn’t really, not in a day to day sense. It’s bigger than that. I felt I had covered all of my cultural bases. I can discuss film (obviously not of the Nutty Professor variety), music, politics, religion, ethics, and other things that I can’t think of right now. But I have nothing to contribute when the conversation turns to sport. And I really want to.

Sports fans seem like they have so much fun! I want to be willing to wake up at 2am, watch two teams kick around a ball, cry with joy when my team wins, sob in anguish when they lose. I want to understand the off-side rule and scream at the ref when he gives one of my beloved boys a red card. I want to call them ‘my boys’. I want to hug sweaty, stinky, drunk strangers and share a camaraderie with people I wouldn’t look twice at in another context. I feel I’m missing out on something beautiful. But I just never seem find the motivation to start.

My good friend over at Mummy In Progress tagged me in this game, and because I always like a bit of distraction (and talking about myself) I’ll play along.

First Things First, The Rules:
You must post the rules.
Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
Tag eleven people and link them on your post
Let them know you’ve tagged them!

Eleven fun facts about me (in no particular order):

  1. I wear bifocals for lectures and when I’m knitting in front of the TV.
  2. I knit.
  3. Throughout high school I was known by my close friends as Fred, or Fred of the Outback.
  4. I was an annoying goodie two shoes in high school. Ask anyone I went to high school with, they’ll  agree.
  5. I kind of still am a goodie two shoes, but hopefully not as annoying.
  6. I like beards, maybe not on women though, but I am open minded.
  7. I believe that every self respecting woman should own a pair of red flats. I am currently not a self respecting woman, however I do own a pair of red chuck taylors. Do they count?
  8. My pet hate is people who say ‘would of’ instead of ‘would have’. I hate it so so so so so so so so so so much.
  9. I’m considering getting some tattoos, but am pretty sure I’ll chicken out.
  10. I have lived in four different countries in my nearly 29 years.
  11. I turn 29 tomorrow.

Okay, now for Mummy in Progress’ questions:

1. Cat person or dog person?
Dogs, but I actually really want a pet pig.

2. Who is your hero, and why?
Anyone who knows me will know that I have a bit of an obsession with Audrey Hepburn. Why? She’s fabulous. But you could add Katherine Hepburn too. Why? She’s fabulous.

3. What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Probably tarantula or crickets, but I no longer consider those weird.

4. What’s your favourite book?
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. You could also include anything by Margaret Atwood, who is my favourite author.

5. If you could have 6 people, living or dead, over for a dinner party at your place, who would you invite?
Hmm, Slavov Zizek, Zach Galifianakis, Kate Winslet, Margaret Atwood, Stephen Fry, and Christian Bale (of course).  I am not confident about this list.

6. What is your favourite song?
La Vie en Rose by Edith Piaf.

7. What language/s do you speak?
I speak English, basic French, and basic Khmer. I used to speak Solomon Pidgin and Roviana (a dialect in my village in the Solomon Islands), but alas, no longer.

8. What is the number one thing on your “bucket list”?
See the Northern Lights.

9. How do you like your coffee?
I drink espressos.  But if I want to curl up with a cup of coffee, I take it black with a tiny dash of milk. If the coffee’s a little weak, I’ll add one sugar.

10. Who would play you in a biopic of your life?
Leeana Walsman. She had short hair when I did and I fancied we looked alike.

11. Which animal would you steal from the zoo, and how would you get it out of there?
I’d steal elephants from bad zoos and take them to the elephant refuge in northern Cambodia. I have a plan, but I need to acquire some super powers first.

I’m tagging:

I only know two people that would even think about doing this, and one of them tagged me, so you’re it Thought and Musing.

My questions:

Yes, I’m going to be that person and revert to the ones Mummy in Progress asked me.

I recently finished the fifth and most recent instalment of the excellent series A Song of Ice and Fire. Some of you may be familiar with the HBO television series Game of Thrones, which is named after the first book. I highly highly recommend it! I have loved the books so far, and am seriously considering starting them all over again. The TV series is also particularly excellent. I mean, it has Sean Bean, how could it not be fantastic? I’ve also developed a bit of a crush on Kit Harington, who plays my crush in the book, John Snow.

But what really stands out for me are the women. The women in the books are amazing. Ranging from young children, to old women, they are so strong! Even sensitive, naive, and vain Sansa. And I promise you will all fall in love with young and feisty Arya. And Daenerys Targaryen!!! Ok, I’ll stop now.

The book doesn’t wash over the violence and exploitation women faced in medieval times and today. The story is very brutal, at times I was completely overwhelmed and had to walk away and have a cup of tea to compose myself. But after five minutes I was curled up on the couch with my new friends again.

If, like me, you like having a sound track for your books, I recommend Bon Iver’s self titled album. It fit perfectly for me. The only problem is, whenever I listen to the album (like right now), I want to pick up the book and start again.

And for those of you who say ‘oh, I don’t read fantasy…’ Get over yourselves, it’s brilliant. Have you ever read a fantasy novel? Probably not. You’re just stereotyping.

Note: It contains a lot of violence and some graphic sex scenes, so don’t read it or watch the series if that will make you uncomfortable.

Note: If you have read fantasy (or science fiction for that matter) and genuinely don’t like it, then please ignore my comment above. It was directed at those (usually women) who dismiss the entire genre without ever having read it, based only on their own bias.

I have stolen this from one of my favourite websites Brain Pickings and you can find the original post here. I plan to attempt this but I think it will take a little while. Has anyone read any of these books? What are your thoughts? Any you would add or remove?

While we’re talking books, can anyone recommend some good classic sci-fi novels? i.e. real old school ones.