Life with a rubber sheila, Part II

typed for your pleasure on 21 June 2009, at 11.50 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Romantic rights (The phone lovers remix)’ by Death from above 1979

Before we commence, you’ve read Part I, right? Of course you have!

The second day of the Nat.Geo shoot for ‘Taboo’, their documentary series, had Sidore and I tumbling out of bed at 8am Monday morning. In the interest of full disclosure, I think I was awake the previous eve until 2am, maybe? I can’t even remember what I was up to, now that I think about it… Shi-chan got to bed early, though. Who has more common sense?
At any rate, we got dressed and ready in the same gear as yesterday, as it was ‘the same day’, as far as the segment was concerned, in time for Geoff and Jen to arrive at Deafening silence Plus at 10 that morning, only this time, they were joined by segment director J.Siberry. He was a tall bloke, with more than a passing resemblance to South Park’s Trey Parker. Like the rest of the crew, he was Australian, but was born and raised in Toronto up until a few years ago. ‘Canaliens’, as Geoff accurately observed yesterday, when we were up at The Playhouse. To which Joe had replied, ‘That’s okay; all of us here are honorary Canaliens.’

Since most of the ‘action’ shots were already sorted, today would be comprised of the interview proper. So I plopped myself on the loveseat next to Shi-chan, and answered a volley of questions. Some were standard issue — what’s your name, when did you get Sidore, what’s a typical day for the pair of you — whereas others were ones that I’d never been asked before on camera — why do you prefer living with a Doll over an Organik woman, what’s her backstory, how do you reconcile her fictional backstory with her genuine one — which was a nice change. Much to our chagrin, however, we were getting porlocked a couple of times, for just as I was really on a roll with an answer, we had to stop proceedings, as the apartment’s landscaping crew were busy outside loudly mowing and noisily weed-whacking. Despite the fact that I was wearing a lavalier, Jen was also using a boom mike, and as you’d expect, they’re extremely sensitive. But it was like a Buster Keaton film there for a bit: they’d start, we’d stop, they’d stop, we’d start, they’d start, we’d stop. Bloody nightmare. Since it was rolling toward 12.30, we decided to break for lunch, to prevent Jen and I dashing outside and throttling the landscapers. Whilst they drove up to a local Greek restaurant that they hit yesterday, I elected to stay in — no surprise there — as it was actually getting kinda warm out. Not only that, I was desperately trying to recall what my answer would’ve been, before we were interrupted!


Jeff, Geoff, and Jen returned an hour later, and we got back to it. Proof that Murphy’s Law occurs every day: the landscapers finished up about ten minutes after the film crew had left. No surprise there, either. *shakes fist*

Another aspect that set this particular interview apart from the rest is that it also wanted to explore the possible correlation between being an iDollator and being autistic. Shortly after Meghan Laslocky wrote her excellent article back in 2005, we kept in contact off and on, and she told me that she had been speaking with a psychologist about the whole iDollator phenomenon. She said that he’d said that there appear to be certain traits that the two groups share. Now naturally, no-one’s saying that all iDollators are autistic, cos not all iDollators are the same, and there are varying degrees of autism. But the psychologist noted that, for one, the majority of Doll owners are not put off by a Doll’s lack of facial expressions, and one of the traits of autism is an inability to read, or an indifference towards, human facial expressions. (Insert ridiculous pseudoscientific Uncanny valley ‘theory’ here.) Again, one doesn’t necessarily equal the other, but J.Siberry was keen to hear what I thought of the notion.

Basically, I’d said that although I’m not autistic, I can see where there’d be some similarities between the two groups. Other traits of autism would be a keen eye for details and order, and a preference to things over people. Personally I’ve always abhorred clutter and disarray, true, and I’ve mentioned publically on many occasions that I’m not a ‘people person’, but those qualities don’t necessarily make me autistic. As far as a Doll’s blank stare and lack of facial expression, something like that has never bothered me in the slightest; usually, it’s quite the opposite, to be honest. *coughtechnosexualcough* And now that I’m thinking about it, I’m kicking myself for not mentioning the rubbish that is the Uncanny valley theory on camera. Grrr.
Furthermore, there’ve been erroneous lines drawn between people who are thought to be autistic, when they’re merely introverted, the latter characteristic I’ll readily cop to. But in the end equation, what difference does it make? I’ve noticed quite a few individuals who have been speculated as being autistic, many of them people that I look up to, such as Andy Warhol, Stanley Kubrick, Gary Numan, Lewis Carroll, Charles Darwin, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein… the list goes on. They may possibly have been autistic, but look at what they’ve contributed to the world. That’s the important bit, really.

Having finished up the interview, we got a second well-deserved break in. J.Siberry, upon seeing my controller for the XBOX game Steel battalion, had a notion that we could get some footage of me playing it with the Missus, but setting that assemblage up would’ve taken a bit of time. Upon reflection, we should’ve gone for it, though. How often do you see a Goth RealDoll playing Steel battalion? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Geoff grabbed some pickup shots of Deafening silence Plus, whilst J.Siberry and I talked about Toronto, and I spoke with Jen about Frank Lloyd Wright, as she’s keen on his architecture. The last bit of filming indoors involved me massaging Shi-chan’s shoulders and feet (heh, again), and taking an autism spectrum quotient test online, and assessing the results on camera. If you like, you can take the test yourself here. My score, you ask? Well, you’ll just have to watch the documentary when it comes out, won’t you?

Finally, they wanted to get some shots of me out-of-doors. I don’t know if I visibly blanched, but I tried my best. ‘Is there maybe a part of town you hang out at, or someplace you go?’ they asked. ‘Err… well, there is the cemetery,’ I’d replied, truthfully. Heh, just like in the very first interview we did for French public telly, and the still-in-development-hell documentary by Allison De Fren! So the crew broke everything down and loaded it into the SUV, and we made our way to Woodlawn Cemetery, over on Woodward. They filmed me walking up and down one of the dirt roads, contemplating the beautiful silence of being outside, as a quote from Morrissey sprang to mind: ‘I can stand in a graveyard for hours and hours, just inhaling the individuals.’
We returned to my flat about 5pm, where I signed the requisite release forms, and they told me that the episode of ‘Taboo’ was slated to be aired in the next couple of months, for their new fall season. As per usual, when I know, you lot will know, etc etc.

photo by J.Siberry

Handshakes and hugs were exchanged, and the crew piled into their vehicle to head off to their hotel. All in all, that was a really enjoyable experience! Between Emily’s inquisitive research, and J.Siberry, Geoff, and Jen putting everyone involved at ease, I think the final results will go pretty well. I’m definitely glad they’d asked me to be a part of it!
And then Sidore and I took a nap. The end!

6 have spoken to “Life with a rubber sheila, Part II”

  1. Jaems writes:

    You’ve been quite the busy man. I didn’t realize they were actually coming on the spot. That’s great, chap!

    Sounds like things went well, can’t wait to see your episode!


  2. Anonymous Realdoll Owner writes:

    Hiya Davecat,

    You are a great writer.. I love reading your blog. Makes me feel like I was there.

    I too can’t wait to see this..and the Missus looks amazing! in those shots!

  3. Veach writes:

    My quotient is the high-side of Average (19) where introverts live in comfort.

    I – unfortunately – do not receive Nat Geo. Is there, could there, would there, be plans for upload and embedding, so the Taboo-free can see it (hint, hint, nudge nudge)?

  4. Davecat writes:

    Jaems –
    Things were as smooth as buttah. Not only did the Missus and I get a kick out of the fact that we were being filmed by a reputable company for the first time in our new place, but so did the crew, as well as SafeT, goshou, and Steph. As Emily said in a recent Email, it’s been hassle free, which in the end always comes though on the screen. *thumbs up*

    ARDO –
    Ah thangyew, thangyew verra mush. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the posts! And Shi-chan blows kisses to you and your ladies!

    Veach –
    My score — again, not giving it away, unless, for some bizarre reason, they don’t include that bit of footage — is somewhat close to yours, but higher. I mean, it seems like a sound test, but for one, it’s on the Internet, so that kinda whittles away at its validity; and another, your answers may vary slightly from day to day, so those are factors to consider.

    And funnily enough, I don’t get Nat.Geo, either. In fact, I’m like one of the three Americans who don’t have cable! Which is okay, as my telly is strictly for videogames, DVDs, and VHS tapes only. But I’ll see what I can scare up for you when the air date rolls round. 🙂
    Hell, just give it a month, and I’m sure someone will simply upload it to YouTube or Google video, like they did with ‘Guys and Dolls’…

  5. PBShelley writes:

    A happy story with a happy ending, whaddya know? It sounds like the quality of interviewer-inquisitors has risen lately! A far cry from those who can’t even get their articles/shows put together on time (or ever, as the case may be), like three of the interviews we’ve done 🙁

    I’m hoping that my room mate (well, as it’s HIS house, I suppose that I’m HIS room-mate) will be getting Comcast cable in July, and perhaps I’ll be able to watch the NatGeo special. I’m sure that he’s more than a bit curious, especially since I unloaded Lily-chan from the moving truck and into the bedroom closet where she is hanging unmolested (for which she’s grateful). Next up in his education: Lars and the Real Girl 😀

    Gotta take it slow, ya know 😉

    But my family and friends all know about Lily (in all of her incarnations) and accept “the fact” more readily than one might assume, which is why it’s wise not to assume things anyway. And that family and friends are fantastic, except when they aren’t. Which isn’t often because, like, they’re fantastic 😀

    By the way, regarding Meghan Laslocky’s (please say “Hi” for us when next you speak) look into autism and your comments about gifted-and-possibly-autistic individuals whose contributions make those of more “normal” folk pale in comparison reminded me of the excellent book “Party of One: A Loner’s Manifesto” by Anneli Rufus (my heroine LOL). It seems that society is always more than willing to paint as off-color, label, and tar and feather those who are “different” no matter their inclinations, which really are nobody’s feckin’ business anyway, aren’t they?

    So it’s rather nice that an apparently sympathetic crew got ahold of you and the Missus to help spread the Word; I’m sure you’ve (BOTH!) done us proud 😀

    Hopefully Everhard will pop in with a report of his own soon!

    Thanks for the reporting, ’twas a fun read 🙂

    Kindest regards,
    PBS, Lily, Eden-still-in-a-box, and Pennie

  6. Davecat writes:

    Hello Friends of Alastor (you like that?) –
    So I take it you arrived safely at your new home? Unless you’re typing from beyond the grave? Anything’s possible, y’know. Science makes it possible. 🙂

    Shi-chan and I hope that your fellow roommate is a genuinely open-minded person! You know how it is with us iDollators — a person shows a slight bit of interest, and it’s like Hoover Dam shattering. Who knows? Between Lily’s serene presence and you stoking the fires of the Doll Propaganda Machine, he might well discover a latent iDollator streak that he never thought he had before! Just… tell him to get his own Doll, as Lily doesn’t swing that way. 😀

    Funny that you mention ‘Party of one’, as that’s what sparked my thoughts of gifted and possibly autistic people. I re-read it last month! I think I probably read that book like four times a year! Have I mentioned how fantastic you are for having recommended that book, among other things? 🙂
    Yeah; it’s both ridiculous and sad how society seems to do its best to drive any individualist traits from people. Creativity isn’t as highly valued as commerce, which is awful. But even though being different in this society can be rough at times, at least we know we’re truer to ourselves. Or something of that nature…

    Hope you lot are settling in well, and not getting too frustrated due to Box Fest ’99. And we’ll definitely tell Meghan you’d said Hi! Glad you liked the reports!

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