Machines 7, Fleshlings 0 / On the dole again / Media dolphins, media sharks

typed for your pleasure on 31 October 2013, at 11.04 am

Sdtrk: ‘Long as the sun’ by Medicine

Ladies and gelatin, it has been a heady couple of weeks. Let me get you lot up to speed with things:

In the process of lifting my lazy affictitious Russian one Saturday evening in late September, I did something unpleasant to my back, to the point where I was in excruciating pain for about a week and a half. This is the thing that kills me: I’ve lifted Sidore (just under 100 lbs from 2000 to 2010, now down to 78 lbs) thousands of times over the course of 13+ years, with no ill effects, but the one time I have a go at lifting Elena (57 lbs), something goes wrong. Really, what are the odds?

Due to my injury, I took the week off work. I saw my GP… well actually, I had to see the other GP who shares the clinic with my GP, and after determining that I had a herniated disk, she gave me some cyclobenzaprine, which is a muscle relaxant, and some prescription-level ibuprofen, both of which did the business. When I went back to work after my week of cursing this ineffective meat body, my job laid me off on the 30th. It wasn’t to do with my injury, but work had been extraordinarily slow for a couple of months prior to me fucking up my back; when I returned, one of my coworkers was doing my job, but saying there was nothing for him to do. However, at the very least, I was laid off, not fired; my boss told me with his own mouth that as soon as things picked back up, he’d give me a call. So there’s that. Thankfully, I’m collecting unemployment, though…

You’d think it’d be nice to take advantage and get caught up on things in the absence of a day-to-day job, right? Get some reading in, start and finish building any model kits that need to be assembled, that sort of thing? Well, yes and no. Fellow iDollator Everhard summed it up pretty well in a recent Email to me:

Being unemployed really is a full time job that leaves no energy for the creative things. I have plenty of experience with that. You need proper freedom of time and effort to achieve worthwhile things. Even when you attain that state, or something approximating it, it seems to take a while to get acclimatised to it. Old habits die hard.

Instead of digitising all those pieces that I’d recorded as Wreath.VCA onto cassette tape years ago, or scanning all those print photographs I’d taken over the years, I’m spending my time seeking work online, or sleeping, or catching up on telly shows that I’ve been wanting to see for a while — the first two eps of The Owl Service are good, then it kinda gets bogged down in a Young Adult Fiction vibe, but the last episode is basically The Exorcist, and Children of the Stones is like The Prisoner crossed with ‘The Wicker Man’, and its last episode wouldn’t be out of place during Pertwee’s run on Doctor Who — or compulsively checking my websites. A large part of it, I think, is if I weren’t so concerned about trying to find ‘gainful’ employment, I could relax a lot more…

Apart from the idle distractions I’ve been engaged in, I’ve also been busy either accepting or deflecting loads of media appearances, brought on by Julie Beck’s article about me in the Atlantic! A few days after my back felt well enough for me to not spend 23 1/2 hours in bed per day, I’d received enquiries from two separate radio chat shows — one in Vancouver, the other in Australia, as well as some bloke working for Barcroft Media who mentioned eventually selling my segment to Dr Phil, and a writer who wanted to publish her article in Cosmopolitan, but had ties to the iDollator-hating feminazi site Jezebel. Obviously I’d said No to all of those, as if they didn’t look insubstantial or derisive, they seemed like too much of a risk.
What I’d said Yes to, though, was a fun and in-depth two-hour interview via Skype on 16th October with Maya Docha, a freelance reporter/writer, and a five and a half hour interview by Roc Morin, who entered Deafening silence Plus of his own free will on the 28th of this month. Maya struck me as funny and insightful, and the fact that she’d spoken with the Kinsey Institute means she was looking to do more than a puff piece, and when Roc and I weren’t discussing Dolls, Gynoids, and the past and future of artificial companions, he was telling me hilarious/unsettling anecdotes about his trip to North Korea a few years ago. Neither one of their pieces are published yet, so hold your horses; you’ll know when I know.
And to top it off, on the 26th and 27th of October, Shi-chan, Lenka, and I were filmed by a telly crew working for RTL Germany! We’re due to appear in a segment of a programme called Explosiv, which looks like… a show on telly. Most pop culture news shows look alike to me. It was an experience involving a bit of a drive out and about, digging for soundbites, and last-minute planning. Loads of last-minute planning. Every single one of us will have the final product to look forward to in the next couple of weeks, so hold your horses; you’ll know when I know.

Lenka, still unsure about the whole ‘being on telly’ thing; Shi-chan, showing off a prezzie from Mr Morin purchased in Pyongyang, North Korea

At the very least, our appearance on Explosiv will have a number of firsts: it’ll be the first time an Anatomical Doll has been on non-Russian television, as it’ll also be Elena’s first foray into being on telly, and the segment will possibly show her first trip with me out of doors! We went to a cemetery, which should surprise absolutely no-one. Lenka found the cemetery thing to be wonderful — any time you can be outside without being harassed by people is always fantastic — but she’s still shy when it comes to being displayed on other peoples’ telly screens. ‘It’s not all that bad,’ Shi-chan had reassured her. Onwards and outwards!

A number of weeks ago, one of the Missus’ tumblr friends left this in her Ask box:

Sidore agreed that, were it not for the fact that I’m currently on the dole, it’d be a hell of an idea. Maybe since we can’t actually dress the part for this year’s Hallowe’en, perhaps some keen and generous artist could draw us as the aforementioned Blade runner characters, hint hint?
Just so you know, I nearly typed ‘Blade rubber’ there. Really, what are the odds?

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LOST: one week-end / As long as I don’t have to wear one of her shirts / Heavy dreaming

typed for your pleasure on 8 June 2013, at 11.03 pm

Sdtrk: ‘La réciprocité’ by The new lines

This week-end, I’m currently ill. Over the course of this past Winter, I’d dodged so many bullets as far as not catching everyone else’s specific plagues, but now that it’s Springtime, and the temperature in SE Michigan has been careering up and down like a rollercoaster, I suppose it was inevitable that I got something. So at the time of this writing (Saturday eve), instead of hanging out wi’ t’ lads at t’ Playhouse as I usually do, I’m getting up to speed with episodes of Kamen rider 555 and Kakumeiki Valvrave, while under the influence of my patented ‘lurgey cocktail’ (generic equivalent DayQuil chased with two tabs of Alka-seltzer). Writing and editing posts in this state probably isn’t entirely recommended, but if Hunter S. Thompson could get away with it, then so can I. Although I’m certain he was blowing his nose less.

Last week-end, however, those of us in SE Michigan experienced another brief but much-appreciated glimpse of Springlike weather last week-end, so Sidore persuaded me to use a photoshoot idea she’d thought of, where she’s wearing one of my shirts. Well, I say ‘wearing’.

Few things are as stimulating as seeing your lover flounce around in one of your shirts, no? Not surprisingly, Elena made me promise that I’d get a solo shoot of her in with the next bout of nice weather. DOLLS: constantly demanding!

And late last year, I’d run across a trailer for a student film entitled ‘Traumfrau‘ (Dream girl), directed by a German bloke by the name of Oliver Schwarz. I’d reached out to him to see if I could review his work, and so far, I’m awaiting a response. Looks somewhat promising, though!

As the film takes place in Germany, or at the very least, Europe, Jenny, the affictitious lass in the relationship, seems to be either a Mecadoll, or some variant thereof. Be sure to lift with your knees, and not with your back, Dirk!

Right; I’m off to follow Dirk’s example in the photo above, and collapse headlong into bed. At least if I’m unconscious, I won’t mind everything tasting like iron filings so much. I might well dream that I’m eating a car!

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Silicone makes everything better, or, Slow news day

typed for your pleasure on 17 February 2010, at 1.04 am

Sdtrk: ‘A longing to be absorbed for a while into a different and beautiful world’ by Leyland Kirby

If you’ll indulge me for a bit, I’ve a confession to make: lately I’m finding that Heidi Montag lass to be really quite attractive. I’m sure if you have any amount of pop culture leaking into your lives, you already know where this is leading, but if you don’t: basically Ms Montag is an obscenely overpaid professional idiot. She’s apparently what can be loosely termed as an ‘actress’, having appeared on a reality show, as well as laughingly referred to as a ‘singer’, thanks to her full-length album of so-called music. Worse still, she’s a god-botherer as well as a republican — those two categories are usually found joined at the hip. I’d first heard of her sometime a year or so ago, and as she was a reality TV star, any cursory interest I had in her immediately disappeared. That is, until earlier this month.

@davecat doesnt Heidi Montag from MTV’s “The Hills look like a real doll after her recent plastic surgery?

MafiAMillertime | 1:17 AM Feb 2nd from web

As I had no idea who the living hell she was on about, I had to look it up on das Goögle, and ooohh my goodness why hello there.

Fully articulated and posable, with a neck hook for display

According to an article on online gossip rag Access Hollywood:

On November 20, Heidi underwent 10 procedures that included a mini brow lift, Botox in the forehead, nose job revision, fat injections in cheeks and lips, chin reduction, neck liposuction, ears pinned back, breast augmentation revision, liposuction on her waist and thighs and a buttocks augmentation. But, she told Billy she’s not addicted to plastic surgery.

But of course. She then goes on to say:

I’m starting to move my face more and more, [But,] I feel very plastic… especially when I first came out, it was so hard for me even to smile and it’s still hard for me to chew sometimes. But it’s feeling more and more natural everyday because the swelling is going down.

I should point out here that I’m completely for the idea of plastic surgery. As long as it makes the person happy, and if it’s not done to a dangerous and unaesthetic degree, that is. I mean, if you’re gonna get ten procedures done, it may seem practical to have them all done in one go, but you’ll more than likely be living like a Cenobite for a number of weeks. Not too clever, but I guess that’s kinda par for the course with our Heidi.
Furthermore, there’s something to be said about the state of pop culture where people, particularly women, are pressured into valuing appearance over intelligence. Unfortunately, it seems that she’s unaware that pursuing both qualities combines the best of both worlds.

Only $6000, minus shipping and handling

HEIDI MONTAG: Bringing Bold New Meaning to the Term ‘Churl’. But thanks to her new silicone rubber body, she’s much nicer to look at! rrrRowr.
Ergh. That’s enough Hollywood-related talk for a couple of months

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typed for your pleasure on 13 September 2009, at 2.14 am

Sdtrk: ‘Falling for you’ by The Soundcarriers

Ah, good! It’s nice to be back, and nicer still to see that you lot haven’t set the place ablaze in my absence! Although I see our liquor cabinet’s been broken into, and all our absinthe is gone. That figures.

So what have I been doing during my Official Excuse for Not Writing Period? Well, attempting to take it easy, really. I caught up on a few Emails, which may not sound like anything significant, but anyone that knows me knows that my missives tends toward freight trains of paragraphs, with periodic months in between responses, so it was nice to polish some of those off and get them to their intended recipients. After having to reintroduce myself, that is. No, seriously. ‘Hi, remember me? You wrote me last year, and now I’m writing you back?’ *shaking head* Man.

Also, I contracted pleurisy! Which is a heresy. I got it from Morrissey! Alright, I’m done. But yes, I did indeed get it, which is frankly ridiculous, as far as I’m concerned. I mean, how Dickensian can you get? Although I did know two people that once contracted shingles, and one of my best friend’s past landlords apparently came down with gangrene, so I’m merely contributing to the Revival of Olde-Tyme Ailments and Maladies. Much to my chagrin.
The upper part of my lungs were somewhat sore for over a week, so I went in to my doctor’s office to be seen to. Unfortunately, my doctor was on holiday, the tosser, so I was shunted over to the other doctor that shares his office, whose curt manner left a little to be desired. She called for bloodwork, chest X-rays, and an EEG, which is the most activity I’ve ever experienced at my GP’s office — usually it’s just ‘stand on this scale, roll up your sleeve, breathe in, breathe out, here’s a script, GET OUT’. She did, however, prescribe me some Zithromax, and gave me an inhaler to use. Weeks later, I’m still making use of those, as I’m still fighting this sumbitch. Ergh.
Pleurisy, if you’re not familiar with it, in which case you should be grateful, is ‘an inflammation of the pleura, which is the moist, double-layered membrane that surrounds the lungs and lines the rib cage,‘ as WebMD says. It’s usually caused by bacterial infection. Of course, that has me wondering where and how the hell I got infected, as I’m one of the neatest freaks in Christendom. In lieu of a definitive answer, I shall blame my workplace, as it’s never brought me anything good.

Actually, no, I take that back; work has brought me exactly one good thing! Well, ish. Since there’s now a ban on bringing in books — I refuse to comment on that, cos you already know what my answer would be — they gave out company-branded notebooks made from recycled paper. Each one came complete with a pen, and a cloth loop to hold said pen, which was actually kinda cool. As I’ve been arbitrarily herded over to a different section, I’m surrounded by coworkers that I’ve never seen before, which means they’ve never seen me before. I tend to hide and keep to myself when I’m there, if you can believe that. But on two separate occasions, I’ve had coworkers, upon viewing me scribbling in my company-approved notebook, ask me if I was writing poetry. Poetry? Also, there was one lass who’d asked me if I was writing raps. Raps‽ Do I look like a rappist??* Well, I suppose if that’s the only reference point for music that you possess… no, wait, that still doesn’t make any damned sense!
So since there’s a ban on reading, and a ban on using cellphones, I spend my workdays writing posts or letters, and being made aware of two things:
1) Paper slows me down, and
2) My handwriting is a collision of indecipherable glyphs. Huh.
*tears out sheet, wads it up*

Apparently, BBC America aired ‘Love me, love my Doll’ again on the 22nd of August. I recall that evening I was poking round my blog’s Dashboard and checking its stats, as per usual, when I’d noticed that at one point, there were like ten people looking at ‘Shouting etc etc’ simultaneously! As I’m always the last to know whenever the BBC America programme directors decide to trot that documentary out again, I was wondering what forum / site was linking to me and making disparaging comments and snide remarks this time. It was all good, as the kids say, though. It’ll just be nice once the National Geographic documentary airs, as it won’t be so… dated. And no, I don’t have a date for it yet; I could tell you were getting ready to ask.
Coincidentally enough, I was spotted, thanks to ‘Love me, love my Doll’, at one of the stores I frequent! As I was making my purchases, some random lass stopped me and said I looked familiar.
SOME LASS: ‘Were you on television?’
ME: ‘Perhaps I was!’
SOME LASS: ‘Yeah, you were on that documentary with the Dolls, weren’t you! I thought you looked familiar!’
ME: ‘Yeah, that was me. My partner and I have been together for about nine years.’
SOME LASS: ‘That was really… interesting. How much do they cost, $10,000?’
CLERK: ‘You were on TV? What kind of show was it?’
ME: ‘Noooo, they’re only about $7000! (to clerk) It was a show about artificial humans.’
CLERK (takes my wrist, squeezes it): ‘Are you real?’
followed by hearty chuckling from all parties involved. You’ll note how I didn’t answer the clerk’s question, though. *winks*

Finally, if you cast your gaze to the lefthand sidebar, just below that ‘Today’s Kanji’ widget that remains largely ignored, you’ll spot a new addition to that particular area: my wish list. It’s rather large; you can’t miss it. Compiled over the course of seven years of wishful thinking, it’s a great way to click on and shop for things that interest me that might well interest you. It’s also a great way to discover what I’d like for a gift, and to buy it for me! Cos really, when it comes down to it, I ain’t too proud to beg.

And that brings us, roughly, up to now. Expect more posts soon!
So how are you, then?

*I don’t call them ‘rappers’, I call them ‘rappists’, as rap rapes my ears. I’m fairly certain you’ll agree

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typed for your pleasure on 4 April 2009, at 11.20 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Sheila take a bow’ by the Smiths

If you’ve not been following my godforsaken Twitter feed, you’ll note that it’s Saturday night, and I’m at home! In fact, I just woke up for the third time today this eve! Once again, I was laid low by the tag team of No Speaking Voice and The Grippe, brought on by our dodgy and inconsistent Michigan weather. It never fails!
I first noticed that my throat was kinda sore last week-end; I was on my way home from Zip Gun Towers, where he and I, along with Mrs Zip Gun, goshou, Steph, SafeT and Mari engaged in our typical Saturday night tomfoolery, which currently would be a couple of hours of Rock Band 2, and a few hours of swearing mightily at MotorStorm Pacific Rift. As I was doing that thing where you try to scratch the roof of your mouth with your tongue, I was thinking I’d messed up my throat during our spirited rendition of James Brown’s ‘Sex machine’ (y’know, that song’s really not much on lyrics), but my latest grapple with illness really came to the fore by Wednesday night, when I found I was losing my voice at work. Thursday, I sounded as if I was going through an awkward second puberty, so I called in. Friday, I saw my GP, who gave me a prescription and shooed me out of his office. Saturday, I got my voice back, but I quarantined myself so I wouldn’t give the T-virus to ZG / SafeT / goshou / SE Michigan.
So here we are, and I’m awake again! Wonderful, horrible wakefulness!

Anyroad, self-promotion time! Yeah, I know; that’s so out-of-character for me. My interview at ULTRAKILLBOT is up! Well, half of it. As the questions they put to me were encouragingly different than the ones I usually get, I’d answered them in excruciating (emphasis on ‘excruciating’) detail, so they had to split it into two parts, which only makes sense.

What’s your ideal job?

Hrrm… realistically speaking, something behind the scenes, where I could be left to my own devices and not have to deal with the general public. Something like proofreading, or research work, or stacking books in a library… something non-descript. Ideally, however, my dream job would be working on the staff of something like i-doloid magazine; that’s a Japanese magazine that centres round life-sized Dolls, or if not i-doloid specifically, then a magazine with the same intent. Even better than a magazine would of course be a television programme. Since it’s a niche market now, it wouldn’t be just about Dolls, it’d cover Androids, Gynoids, robotics in general. Something with the finger on the mechanical pulse of the Synthetiks revolution. It’s gotta start somewhere!

Part II will be on the site next week, so you’ll want to bookmark that. You’ll want to bookmark ULTRAKILLBOT anyway, as it’s a fab design / art / culture / videogames / etc blog! Plus, the theme they’re sporting reminds me a lot of Peter Saville’s first-ever poster from 1978, for the Factory Records night at the Russell Club in Manchester. Well done!

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typed for your pleasure on 26 November 2008, at 2.03 am

Sdtrk: ‘Get closer’ by Valerie Dore

It must be Winter (not officially, as the Winter Solstice hasn’t taken place, but nevertheless), as I’m currently losing my voice and fighting a flu with my bare hands. In between extended seven-hour naps, however, I managed to nominate the original version of Actroid, ReplieeQ1-san, to Carnegie Mellon’s Robot Hall of Fame.

A vote for Actroid is a vote for a Sexy Future

It seems that they hold induction ceremonies every two years, and I’d missed the one for this year. The nominees can include both real and fictional robots, such as Osamu Tezuka’s titular Astro Boy (inducted 2004), and Sony’s late-lamented AIBO (added 2006).

Here’s hoping that a) they choose to nominate Actroid-san, and b) the people will do the right thing and vote her in. Actroid in 2010!

Technorati tags: Carnegie Mellon, Robot Hall of Fame, Osamu Tezuka, Astro Boy, AIBO, Actroid, ReplieeQ1, Android, Gynoid, robots

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Sorry, I’ve been out

typed for your pleasure on 10 May 2008, at 12.25 pm

Sdtrk: ‘My year is a day’ by Les Irresistibles

And by ‘out’, I mean ‘largely unmotivated to do anything due to illness’. Yep, sick again. Either I caught the last vestiges of whatever plague from SafeT when we were round to goshou’s last Saturday, watching the last five episodes of Gundam 00 (note: fucking amazing, and we can’t wait for the rest of the series), or I obtained it from Tsukihime, when she was round last Sunday, moving out more of her belongings and coughing like a pro. Personally, I’m hoping it’s from SafeT, as Tsukihime has had an on-again off-again battle with bronchitis for months…

So I got round to my GP on Friday, cos although I don’t really have the fever or shivers or any of the usual symptoms of the grippe, I’ve been congested, and my throat’s been bone-dry. I could be uncharitable and partially chalk that up to my job, which has me constantly talking to twats across the nation five days a week, but I won’t for now. He has me open wide for the tongue depressor assessment, and I’m a third of the way through my AAAHH when he pulls the popsicle stick out, telling me that it’s really red in there. As quick as that judgement was, it was undoubtedly pulsing a bright crimson at the back of my throat. He’s got me on stronger antibiotics this time round, and these feckers are the biggest pills I’ve ever encountered. Behold its enormity (sorry for the blurriness):

left, a 2008 United States penny; right, a suppository

Imagine, if you can, a two-month old baby. Now imagine swallowing said baby whole. That’s what kind of dimensions we’re dealing with here. Dr S., do I look like a horse??
Ugh. Organiks. Walking germ factories. But I did manage to stop round Borders and pick up vol.10 of Monster (‘a taut psychological thriller’) and How to read Death note after my visit, as well as pre-ordered the new book about Boyd Rice, Standing in two circles, when I arrived home, so the day wasn’t a complete loss…

Well then! Back to work, or back to bed?

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