What’s In A Name? (My 100th Post!) [Video!]

[This is my one hundredth post! Given the blog’s about a name of mine, this piece seemed an appropriate one. To mix things up, I made a video! There’s a transcript below so  you can read it if you’d rather, and so you can check out the links.]

Everyone loves the chance to be someone else sometimes, right? Apparently, I do more than most… Much of this is through my fantasy persona Skylance, who I’m hoping you know by now!

Despite his owning this blog, Skylance isn’t really a concrete figure in my head… just a name I always liked. I guess if I had to pin him down, he’d become the warrior as whom I played with my friend and my sister, even though he was called Jake (and then, when he died tragically, his younger brother Timothy). Read about them here if you’d like 🙂 Skylance rides dragons, fights evil, that sort of thing. Your standard fantasy lad, really.

I have a few other characters as well:

For when Skylance just isn’t socially acceptable (and, to be fair, my definition of socially acceptable is pretty generous, to the point that my ultimate (wait, what? You don’t know what ultimate is? Click here please!) teammates call me by my beloved fantasy name) I will opt for Lance (again, no surname). Most often, this comes in handy when I go bowling. I could (and will..?) write a whole other post on bowling, and the peculiar habits and rituals my mate (Knight) and I have invented for it, but suffice to say, whenever I bowl, I do so as Lance, and insist anyone with me chooses an equally cool name. I have to give quick shout-outs to Storm, The Jouster, and Sassy Rivers here – three of the strongest guest bowling names we’ve had. Respect.

Tobias Khash
Hoorah, a surname! This is a bit of an odd one that started at university. I decided to book restaurant tables under a fake name, because why not! It’s not like the restaurant asks for ID before they’ll seat you. Not quite sure where Tobias Khash (think ‘cash’ but with a long ‘a’ – subliminal messaging that I’m loaded and important, right?) came from, but when I book a table, he shows up.

Where to start… My best friend and I named my ‘alter ego’, which is essentially just the quite different person I become when I’m in a mood. The transformation is drastic – from loud, reckless, tactile social butterfly to a cold, calculating introvert who loves nothing better than discussing hypothetical disasters without a hint of empathy. That paints a fairly negative portrait – I actually really like the guy. He writes brilliant angsty poetry and is often ‘summoned’ by the completion of a particularly powerful book (1984 and Norwegian Wood were both big hits with Holden). And, of course, Catcher in the Rye, whence he gets his name. We share the same disconnect, imagining we’ve been shot, holding onto childhood innocence… Essays could be written on him (Holden loves being deep and complicated) but for now this will have to do.

At uni, I wrote a few raps. My most ‘successful’ (in that my friends would occasionally request performances on nights out) was about being an engineer and the love of maths and fear of girls that come with the job title. I performed it with a couple mates and we unofficially called ourselves ‘Awfully Tame’ (the opposite of Wretch32’s ‘terribly wild’ in his song Traktor on which the chorus is based). My rap name within the band was the above bastardisation of my own name, plus a gangsta link to borderline illegality, because an engineering rap star would be at best borderline cool. I’m still undecided on capitalisation – originally it was JayWalker… unlikely to matter as my rap career has stagnated somewhat since!

Jake, Skylance, Lance, Tobias Khash, Holden, and jaywalker. If we ignore the various nameless fantasy warriors and creatures (I’m 25, of course I don’t still imagine I’m a magog (not the biblical kind, the fire-throwing demon from Heroes 3, obviously) assassin who throws blue fire!) then I think that just about covers it…

I hope you enjoyed this view into how balanced and cohesive I am!


The Cycle

[Happy Friday! Hope you’re having a great day and are excited for the weekend! I’m in a great mood, but here’s an angsty piece I wrote a few days back while reflecting on two recent reads, ‘1984’ and ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’. Hope it doesn’t dampen your spirits – have a wonderful weekend.]

bury your dreams in conformance
send all your hopes to the grave
seek only continued existence
give up those who cannot be saved

Work to fuel Spend to fuel Work
a cyclical landscape of greys
death: less an event than a process
overlaps life in a haze

Consume Allocation Required
Pay Homage Appropriately Due
Perform to your Median, Modal Ability
mean’s too much thinking
means too much thinking
don’t be
mean too much thinking
mean too much

–Herein the Unit was deemed DEFECTIVE and the Process TERMINATED.–

A Spontaneous Rant

[Disclaimer: The following may offend you if you permanently look attractive and stylish. However, if that is you, I don’t really care about offending you. In fact, take all the offence you can handle with your charmed existence. I’m not at all bitter.]

<insert bitterness>

What’s the deal with these people who walk around looking good all the time? How do they have the energy to do that?

The types you pass on the street and think ‘ah damn, I look bad today, or at least I look human…’ because there are these preened gods strutting around. All these guys in turned up jeans and ralph lauren polos and it’s January for goodness sake, aren’t you and your stick-thin model girlfriend cold?

Look at me (your look, silly-attractive man, is no more than a cursory, derisory glance). I’m wearing safety shoes because it looked like rain (if not snow!) and my battered brown work shoes have a hole in the bottom which means my sock would get wet, and the same black trousers I’ve worn to work for the last year (I wash them at weekends, ok?!) and while my shirt (no tie, admittedly) is pretty smart, it’s completely covered by the massive ski jacket I’m wearing because it’s January and it’s more comfortable to be a shapeless lump than to be stylish.

Granted, I can scrub up alright when I make the effort – nice shirt, skinny jeans, contact lenses, a bit of a pout – but that takes time and effort and is generally reserved for nights out, or dinner parties, or dates, and is not something I can maintain every day!

And you strut past, clearly not on a date or a night out as it’s 4pm on a Thursday in an industrial estate SO WHY HAVE YOU BOTHERED, while I trudge along in my safety shoes looking grey and dreary but I have the last laugh because when I finally get into my glamorous transportation (bus) I can snuggle up at a window seat and keep my boring black beanie on because it’s cold (January!!) and read 1984 and damn that book is good.

<end bitterness>

[Note from the author, after he’d calmed down a bit and apparently started speaking in the third person: The conclusions to draw from all this must be that I get grumpy when it’s cold and that having a good book into which to escape can make everything better.]