Getting Reviewed

Through some freak of nature, my web site ended by being reviewed in the November 1997 issue of “NetGuide” magazine.

“Robyn’s Web creation efforts began in 1996 with some bad advice from her father. The site is much better today, but you can still check out the early efforts on the site. The “bits” section is particularly interesting, describing Robyn’s experiences on IRC and her first non-enthusiastic comment on her site.”

It’s an ok review, although it seems like all that was looked at was the Bits page and nothing else.

But what disturbs me is the context in which the review is presented. It shares page 89 with reviews of six other sites. The page heading describes them as “eight of the nation’s best personal home pages”. Apart from the fact that there are only seven, it should also be noted of the six others, all but one are total crap.

Ugly animated GIFs, Java that won’t go away, badly designed pages about complete shite. Stuff that makes the BadWickedEvil page seem normal. And in the middle is my page, probably seeming just as retarded in the company.

The rest of the magazine was pretty good. Interesting articles and reviews, and really good layout.

But as cool as it is to be reviewed (and it is cool), it’s kind of disappointing to be classified with dicks.

Funeral Arrangements

This is all assuming that I die (and I will die) with my body more or less intact. In the circumstance that I end up horribly mutilated or something, adjustments need to be made.

The first thing that is done with a dead body is embalmment. I object to embalmment. When I was at school I visited a funeral parlour and had the process described to me. I do not want the blood in my dead body pumped out and replaced with embalming fluid. I do not want plastic caps placed on my eyeballs to keep my eyelids closed. I do not want my internal organs removed. I do not want to have heavy make-up put on to make my corpse look un-dead.

It seems that the whole purpose of embalming is to make a dead body look like it is still alive. Like the person has just gone to sleep. But dead is not alive, dead is dead, accept it. I am not Eva Peron, do not embalm me.

Secondly, the coffin. Coffins are shockingly expensive. And what happens with it? It gets buried, never to be seen again. What would be more appropriate is a cardboard box. Not like an empty fridge box, but I believe special cardboard coffins are made.

And now for burial. There will be a burial. I really object to cremation. Dead or alive I do not wish my body to be burned. So I want to be buried in my cardboard coffin. What would be really cool is to just be buried in the ground without a coffin, but that might be a bit too hard to arrange. A cool idea would be to plant a tree over the burial site so the trees roots would grow through my decomposing body.

As far as the funeral goes, I don’t think it would be right for the funeral to be in a church. Just one of those funeral function places. No soppy songs. No deliberately emotional music like “Lightning Crashes” or, ahem, “Candle in the Wind” that makes people go boo hoo. Something like “A.D.I.D.A.S.” by KoRn would be cool.

I would also like to add that I do not wish for my funeral to be conducted by a funeral celebrate or some other professional funeral conductor who never knew me. I say this because I do not wish for uninformed sentences such as “Robyn enjoyed the www cyber internet and like chatting with her friends on the info superhighway and did some www pages with a picture of her cat Mr Fluffy and her close friends the McKay family of Hamilton. She hoped one day to marry her cyber-fiance HuGGGy1” to ever be uttered.

Dress is not to be formal. And I will not be buried in something I didn’t wear in life.

And also, there will be no “It’s what she would have wanted”. This is what I want.

I feel it is also important that I add that I do not wish to be buried in Hamilton. The thought of being buried in the Newstead Lawn Cemetery with all the drunk driving bogans and suicides is really sad pathetic thing.

So, to summarise, when I die, put me in a cardboard box, dig a hole, bury me, plant a tree and have a party.

Ok, now y’all go and have a good time.

And remember: The first three letters of funeral spell FUN!

I’ve just reread this five years after I wrote it, and I still believe in most of it. I’m not sure if I’d want the funeral to be in one of those funeral function places, though, because they are usually really dull places. But I’m not sure what would make for a good substitute.

I’ve also found this company that specialises in the kind of funerals that I’m into. I also understand that the Waitakere Cemetary has a few eco-friendly funeral plots. I really like the idea of having a tree instead of a big ol’ slab of granite.

Girl

When I was little, my mother made me have short hair. Her theory was that it easier to look after, which makes hair seem less like part of the body, and more like a part of a car. Forget fashion, forget what I wanted, maintenance came first.

So anyway, I was this little girl with short hair called Robin. One day my we went and visited my mother’s insane aunt on a farm. Me and my brother were both dressed in shorts and t-shirts. I think I was probably 5 and he was three. Anyway, my great-aunt said “Oh look, two little boys”. Yes, she thought I was a boy.

I went over to mum and told her that her aunt thought I was a boy. I would like to think, that if I had a daughter who was mistaken for a son, I would correct the person as soon as possible. But my mother didn’t. In fact, it seemed to me that she didn’t really care what gender my great-aunt thought I was. So I was left to go over to insane auntie and say “I’m not a boy!”

Anyway, my mother dressed me and oh my god, there were some hideous garments. I remember a matching shirt and blouse that would be more suited to some old lady working hidden away in a library than a 7 year old girl. I was helplessly unhip.

Not only that, but I wasn’t allowed to wear sneakers because unlike ugly leather shoes, they didn’t let my feet breathe. Like that matters to an 8 year old.

So I was this little girl being make to dress like a 65 year old woman. Then my class was going to visit a farm. My mother made me a tracksuit and told me I had to wear it to the farm. I didn’t want to, but I eventually did and it was revelation. It was comfortable, and it didn’t suck too much.

After that day, I decided I didn’t want to wear a skirt ever again. This did not please my mother. For some reason, it was wrong, oh so very very wrong for me to not want to wear a skirt. Like it would turn me into a lesbian or something?

I remember by mother being like “Oh why won’t you wear skirts, Robin?”. I don’t know if there were rumours about me, or whether it make her look like bad mother, but I got hassled by my own mother for not wearing skirts.

I remember giving in and going to school wearing some hideous outfit consisting of a pink floral skirt, a pink t-shirt and a pink cardigan. Fortunately that didn’t last for long and the tracksuits won out. Whilst not exactly very cool, they were better than the flowered skirts.

Now that I look back on it, I was getting really mixed signals from my mother. First of all she doesn’t care that her aunt thinks I’m a boy, then she’s yelling at me to dress like a girl.

I always felt that I’d been given a boy’s name. There was a guy in kindergarten called Robin, so from a very early age I felt like I had a boy’s name. All the Robins I knew of were men, Robin Hood, Batman and Robin, Robin Gibb. I knew no female Robins.

However, sometimes I would tell someone my name and they spelled it with an y and it seemed somehow liberating. Like Robyn didn’t just say “a person called Robyn”, but “a female called Robyn”. Then at the age of 8 I started to call myself Robyn. It was great moment.

I knew I was a girl, no matter what my mother said, or didn’t say. Fortunately I’ve gotten over it all. No damage done, just having to grow up with a retarded sense of fashion, really bad hair and the mistaken belief that complete strangers care about me.

Playboy Is Rude

When I was about seven years old, the epitome of rudeness was Playboy magazine.

My friend told me that at midnight Playboy tv shows were screened. She was sleeping over one night and we stayed up to midnight, which was a major effort at that age. At 12.01 we turned on the tv, an old black and white set that took ages to turn on. There was some tv show on with a fully clothed man and woman talking. We figured that was Playboy, we’d seen it, so we went to sleep.

Another time we arranged some naked Barbie dolls (and this was in the days before Barbies had underwear permanently moulded on) on a pot plant and took a photo of them. Yes, I was a 7-year-old Barbie porno photographer. And here’s the photo.

As well as Playboy being rude, so was anything with the initials PB. There was a boy in our class whose initials were PB, so be figured he was some sort of Playboy person. Peanut Butter was also really rude.

I was once exposed to Playboy. My family went through a walk around Mt Pirongia. We were walking through some trees and attached to one was a centerfold. I went over to it and pulled it down. I remember seeing the “Playboy Party Jokes” on the back. I wanted to keep it but my parents wouldn’t let me. I went to put it back on the tree, but there were some people coming so my dad said “just leave it, let’s go”. I guess he didn’t want those people to think that he was this guy who took his family on bush walks and made his daughter stick up posters of nude chicks.

I remember sitting around asking my parents “So… who’s read Playboy?”. I was slightly shocked when my mother revealed that she had when she was staying at someone’s place and that’s all there was to read.

So those were my experiences with Playboy. In the next 15 years I became no longer obsessed with Playboy. We inherited from my grandmother some glasses with the Playboy bunny on the bottom. I read an article that Gloria Steinem wrote about her experience as an undercover reporter as a Playboy Bunny and how badly treated she was. But I’d never read a Playboy.

Then one night I thought it was about time I read a Playboy and see just how damn rude it was. I was too scared to buy one myself. I blame that on, uh, my parents?

I found a willing victim, or purchasing agent. He said he’d buy it for me. There was a bit of hilarity because he thought I wanted the Playboy for the pictures of nude people and brought, as a gift, a publication called “The Cunt Cock Connection”. As impolite as it is to reject a gift, I did so.

Anyway, after trying a few service stations we eventually found one that sold Playboy and he bought one for me. It was the May 1997 issue of Australian Playboy with Pamela Lee on the cover. After bidding my purchasing agent good night (and making sure he took CCC with him), I went back to my place and examined the magazine.

After opening the plastic bag it came in and getting through the tape on three sides, I started to read it. It was more or less like men’s magazines like Details, but with more sexual content. People writing in with questions about their sexual problems. There was a quite interesting article (ha!) with John Cleese and Jamie Lee Curtis. There was a boring short story, an article about old cars and, of course, the girls.

There was an article about the top babes on the web. Pictures of semi-naked chicks. Where’s all their pubes gone? I got a bit of a shock when I discovered that the centrefold chick was born in the same year I was (but unlike me, she cooks in the nude). It was also pretty scary seeing all the fake boobs. Implanted boobs just don’t look real.

The funniest thing was an erotic cartoon. It has been drawn showing quite explicit things, but was censored with speech bubbles. So where you originally saw some action there was instead a bubble with things like “Ohhhhh….”

All in all, it was pretty average. I think if there was a time when I would have appreciate Playboy it was back when I was 7 years old But at the age of 22, it was just another magazine, with some pictures of semi-naked chicks.

Med-i-cool

I woke up one Friday recently and I was really bored. I thought to myself “What would spice up today? I know! A minor surgical operation!”

So I got the bus into town and went to the very happy and friendly accident and medical centre. I saw a doctor and told him that I had a thing on my leg (he described at as ‘mainly fat and fibre’ – cool) and asked if I could have it removed. He said it would be no problem and so we went into an operating room thing.

He got a trolley full of goodies and then got out a big-ass needle and proceeded to injected some anaesthetic into the surrounding area. I’m not scared of needles (which doesn’t quite explain why I haven’t had my tetanus shot which I was supposed to have when I was about 15) so I just sat back and let him squirt the stuff in.

Unfortunately the actual anaesthetic stung, like getting salt in a cut, only it was under the skin. But soon enough the anaesthetic took effect and he was able to prod my leg with a needle and I couldn’t feel anything.

The good doctor them swabbed around the area with iodine. Then he got a scalpel and started to chop. I was going to look at it, but it was too uncomfortable sitting up so I just lay back and relaxed. I could feel the skin feeling pulled around and there was the noise of chunks of flesh being cut. The doc said it was quite tough to cut through.

Eventually he got the thing cut off and he stuck it in a little jar to be sent away to a lab to get analysed. He had cut the thing off, but cut around it in an oval shape so the skin could be pushed together. It was at that stage that I felt some blood trickling down my leg. The doctor had said that it was quite vascular so there would be a lot of blood.

Next he pushed the skin together and put some stitches in. I wasn’t watching, so I don’t know how many stitches were put in, but I’d guess that it was 3 or 4. I could feel the skin being pulled over. It was a really strange sensation.

After I was stitches up I took at look at my leg. My skin was really white – possibly due to the blood loss. The stitches pulled the skin firmly together and it was sort of bulging. It looked really ugly, it slightly reminded me of something in Seven.

The doctor cleaned it and put a few sticky plastic strips across which aided in bringing the sides together. He had to put some glue type stuff on to help it stick. He then put a small pad over the area, then a bigger sticky one. Finally he put a smooth thin plastic sticky thing over to keep it water proof.

So I walked around with the dressing on my leg for a week, unable to do Kung Fu kicks. I was so paranoid about ripping that stitches that I started walking funny. A week later the stitches came off and it was fine. It had nicely bonded and was healing. The lab report said that the thing was just fibre – nothing to worry about. Cool.

And that was it. It was fun and it only cost $40 plus $5 to get the stitches out

1994. Marina Del Ray, Los Angeles, California, USA.

It was my birthday. It was supposed to be really cool. Like “Yeee! It’s my birthday and I’m in LA!!!”. Ha ha ha.

I’d been feeling pretty bad the few days before. But on my birthday it was really really sick. I was unable to digest any food. I woke up and I was feeling so bad. My parents were like “So! What do you want to do for your birthday!!!”. I told them I damn well didn’t want to do anything because I was feeling so sick. I think they thought I was just saying it because I was being anti-social. Sure.

The day went on and I wasn’t getting any better. I demanded that I be taken to a doctor. I didn’t want to move from where I was, but I didn’t want to feel like that for any longer. My father and brother and disappeared in the rental car, so my mother and I had to take the hotel courtesy van.

I distinctly remember sitting in the back of the van huddled in a little ball feeling like shit. There were two American women in the seats in front who wanted to talk to be. They complied with every stupid stereotype of loud Americans: “OH, YOU’RE SICK. I WAS SICK LAST WEEK. I SPENT THE ENTIRE DAY IN THE BATHROOM THROWING UP.” “OH, YOU’RE FROM NEW ZEALAND. I WENT THERE LAST CHRISTMAS. YOU HAVE A VERY BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY”. Blah blah blah.

We got to the hospital, and I was wished well by the women. The hospital has since been made vaguely famous as where Kurt Cobain escaped from in rehab about a week before he died. So I went in and an old woman who wasn’t a doctor or a nurse but some happy greeting person happily greeted me and took my name.

I had to go and give them my name and stuff. A problem happened when the computer had no space for my country, so they tried to put “NZ” as the state, but it wouldn’t accept it. And my 4 – digit postcode wasn’t long enough for them. I should have said “90210”.

Then they asked me if I had medical insurance. I did, but my mother had left the papers at the hotel. They wouldn’t see me without them or something like that. Mum asked me if I really needed to see a doctor and I gave her the most evil look I could muster. So mum had to go back to the hotel and get them. That took about 15 minutes. I was left sitting in the waiting room with the Time magazine “grunge” issue.

Just as I was reading about Babes in Toyland being described as “punkettes” (is that like Smurfette?) my mother got back with the insurance forms and I could finally see a doctor.

There was someone else who was walking through behind me. A nurse person went screaming at her “You can’t go through there with her!!! No one is allowed to be with the patient!!!” It turned out the woman was a patient herself, but it sounded like a law-suit prevention thing. Like if someone went in with me I could sue the hospital because I was sick and didn’t know what I was thinking and they should have stopped it or some bollocks like that.

I had to change into a paper gown thing and got given a plastic wrist band, which seemed really over the top.

All the times I’ve been to the doctor in New Zealand I’ve been seen in what ever I was wearing at the time. I even had the thing cut out my my leg with only having to take my jeans off.

So I waited around and a doctor turned up and her name was Robin. She checked my name tag and made sure that I was who it said I was. She asked me a few questions and did stuff like take my temperature and listen to my chest and all the time I was thinking why couldn’t I at least have my jeans on. Eventually she told me that I was sick (hey!) and prescribed me some penicillin.

The bill came to US$150 and the penicillin was about $15. This totally freaked me out because I am used to paying $20 for going to the doctor and about $5 for the drugs.

Fortunately the next day I was feeling better so I went to Tower Records and bought lots of good music.

Why I Don’t Drink Coffee

“People that don’t drink coffee are weird.”

– From “The Perfect Cup of Cofee” by Alexis Massie.

When I go to someone’s house and they say to me “Would you like a cup of coffee?” I say “No, thanks” (although sometimes I don’t even say thanks. It’s like if someone offered to bash me over the head I wouldn’t say “No, thanks”.) Then the person has a little trouble comprehending that I don’t want a drink and has to ask “Are you sure?” like maybe I’m playing mind games with them. I then have to make the statement “No, I don’t drink coffee”.

My parents always drank coffee, and I assumed that when I grew up that I would too. But now than I’m an adult, I don’t. It’s not like I never drink it at all. The Planet Espresso thing at the Bongo Bar at Waikato Uni makes a very lovely hazelnut latte and I love it and if it were a person I would be its love slave forever.

What I don’t do is consume coffee on a daily basis. When I wake up I don’t think “coffee!!!”. I usually head for the shower.

I’ve been asking around to find out why people are so fanatical about coffee. The answer I got from a lot of people is “caffeine!!!”. This is what caffeine does to me. Because I don’t drink a lot of coffee, one cup of coffee makes me freak out. I get really restless and need constant stimulation. Then I can’t get to sleep and end up lying in bed at 7.00am still trying to sleep, hating myself for having for not being able to get to sleep.

The other reason people have given for liking coffee is the taste. I’ll agree to that, but there are lots of things I like the flavour of and I don’t eat/drink them every day.

I think a lot of people who drink coffee are like psychologically addicted to it. Ok, I don’t know much about psychological addiction, but it sounds good. My parents have several cups of decaffeinated a day. My mother says it’s not coffee, rather than a “hot drink” that keeps her doing it. Well how come I can get by in life without several “hot drinks” a day?

Do I have some gene missing that makes me not have to head off to the kitchen every few hours to make a cup of coffee?

It’s not like I don’t drink caffeinated beverages at all. I enjoy Mountain Dew, but when I drink a can of Mountain Dew I don’t exclaim “CAFFEINE!” before drinking it. I don’t understand the need for caffeine either. Like it would help me stay awake longer so I can sitting around doing nothing for longer? When you feel tired it is your body telling you that it needs sleep, not that you should stay awake longer.

So I don’t drink coffee. I do not own any form of coffee. If you come over to see me, I will not make you a cup of coffee. If you ask me for a cup of coffee you will not get one. And I’m happy like that.