Want List


My current wants have naturally coalesced into a want list, so here it is.

1. First of all – and maybe one or two of you can actually give me your advice about this – I’ve decided that I want to learn how to play the viola. But even if I can manage to get my hands on an instrument, there’s still no way I can pay for lessons, which leaves me teaching myself.
In my far-flung fantasies, of course, I’m a latent virtuoso! Ha ha… In my more reasonable but still pretty unreasonable fantasies, I pluck my way along until I’m a kind of hedge-violist who can play some Chrono Trigger songs almost well.
Realistic best case scenario, my neighbours hate me for the next several years, but are kind enough not to call building management. Realistic worst case scenario, it’s a decorative hunk of wood forever representing my shame and failure, and my family never listens to my gift requests ever again.

2. You know what doesn’t require me to develop new skills, though? Shoes. I always need shoes. My feet are made of razors (current working theory). I’d like some bright red sneakers, and I still wish I could get those Dries Van Noten Derbies. They don’t even have to be shiny silver. I’m not picky.

3. I want oat cakes. But better oat cakes than you can get from a box, at least in my boxed oatcake experience (which is extensive).

4. And I really want some kind of, I don’t know, triple strength ginger ale. I have a high resistance to everything in the ginger/horseradish/wasabi family (are they actually a family?), so normal ginger ale just tastes like sugar water.

5. I guess the coat comes next. I didn’t arrange my list very well. Anyway, I haven’t bought a winter coat in nearly a decade, so it seems like a reasonable thing to want. I’d go with a men’s overcoat, one size too large, in the same navy-black as every other piece of outerwear I own.

6. Alice Oswald has a new poetry collection coming out late next summer, and I’m so excited. Jumping up and down and batting at dust motes excited. That’s almost an entire year away, however, so wants being wants, I’d like to have a copy right here, right now.

7. And a shiny, of course. There are rules about this. Quartz crystals with various inclusions (hematite, chlorite, etc.) are the shinies of the moment.

8. Tiny animals. Brandon and I used to get little plastic ones for each other, but we exhausted all the really good options, and now I’ve gone further into the dark to find people who make custom creatures out of porcelain. There’s no end to the weird nerdy shit I could commission from these unsuspecting strangers.


Filed under Hchom

20 responses to “Want List

  1. Sean

    If you want extra strength ginger ale, just switch to ginger beer. The name is a distraction as there’s no alcohol involved (well, in most of them), bit they usually pack a mich bigger kick than ginger ale. My favourite is Fever Tree, an english brand. It has a nice burn in your throat and sinuses when you drink it.

    • Marian

      I’ve always wondered what the difference was. I assumed it was just a matter of marketing.

      I think I’ve seen the Fever Tree stuff around town, so I’ll try it asap. Exciting.

      • Leda

        You should also check out Reed’s or Bundaberg brand ginger beer. The Bundaberg kind gets extra points from me for a cute bottle shape! :>

        • Marian

          I love Reeds. My local stores stopped carrying their “extra ginger” version, and that’s what prompted this list. I’ve never seen the other, but I’ll keep an eye out, thanks.

          • Lee

            I like Bundaberg, but Ginger People’s ginger beer seems to pack more of a kick than most i’ve tried if I remember correctly. Also there’s a brand called Cock & Bull which i may be confusing with GP (tried them both around the same time) which is also pretty strong.

            As far as the viola goes; I can second what the commenter below says. Ukulele is tuned the same way, so that transfers right over when it comes to chord shapes and scales (in other words, if you can play a certain melody on a Uke, you can play it on a Viola/Violin) Same for mandolin. However, there is no substitute for the mechanics involved in putting bow to string, and that’s where the awful banshee noises come in and, as noted, that’s a steep learning curve. This is why my attempts in adulthood to relearn the violin ended mainly in a scenario much like you described.

            Good Luck

  2. John IG

    Have you ever gotten the little limb-swappable animal toys out of chocolate eggs… what were they called… some kinder surprise knock-off. Well the only equivalent thing I can find on google are “Creature Mix” toys.

    Here’s an old fuzzy picture of some monstrosities you could make: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/13283221/ZooAnimalToys.jpg

    I still have a giant bag of them somewhere I think.

  3. Leia

    When it comes to learning the viola/violin/fiddle ect. There’s a terrible learning curve for everyone where everything you do sounds like a banshee giving birth. But it’s a noble goal to want to learn! I recommend borrowing one or renting one, and then go to a university that has sound dampening practice rooms you can use. My old uni let anyone use them for free, so long as you let whoever signed up for the room have it when they arrive.
    Another thing you could do is learn the ukulele first, as it helps in the transition and they are much cheaper, easier to learn, and sound much better when practicing. I haven’t touched mine in ages, I should pick it up and re-learn the moon dog tunes I had. Hmm.

    • Marian

      Inevitable banshee noises is what I’m afraid of. I guess I’d try to soundproof my apartment as well as possible, because my university is a fairly long bus ride away.

      I hope it’s a noble goal. I figure if I can get through the first few years of sounding like balls, then I’m purchasing future happiness.

  4. if you do learn an instrument everything can now have it’s own soundtrack! because all in all, aren’t we all cinema! :)

    marian, you’d probably count it as diluted, but i’m a hunker for a good root beer float. i actually make a special one during saint patrick’s that uses mint chocolate chip ice cream.

    what you could maybe do with yon favorite poetry on the horizon is find out if she’s doing any readings. it’s always interesting, to see what inflections and pauses season an already great stanza. (p.s. me & rachel met at a poetry monday)

    • Marian

      I would kill to see this poet do a reading! She lives in Britain, but I’ve watched a few recorded ones. That’s adorable that you guys met at a poetry monday.

      You know I’ll never deprecate another man’s beverage, and Brandon could certainly join you in a good float discussion. I’m not an ice cream person under most circumstances, but that’s my loss I’m sure.

  5. Tracy

    Have you have the little ginger candies you can find in the Asian store? Very gingery, and I figure perfect for you.

  6. This poet is excitingly good! I hope you’ll post about the little creatures you commission.

  7. I’ve recently found out that it’s embarrassingly easy to make your own ginger beer, at whatever strength you wish.


    Asian markets sometimes carry super cheap ginger root.

    Mexican markets sometimes carry Goya brand ginger beer, which is decently strong.

  8. Kayleigh

    As a professional violist, I’m just happy you prefer the viola to the violin. I wonder if anyone in your local symphony would do a barter/trade of things/food/art/etc for lessons?

  9. Lu

    Second Kayleigh’s comment. My violin teacher gave lessons for pies/food if you couldn’t afford the lessons. I think retired members of symphonies are good choices and you might get some hits by putting up flyers in music schools/music departments of larger universities asking for lessons in return for food/other barter. Not sure about relative values, but maybe even something like doing cd cover art for x number of lessons?

  10. misterneener

    “Realistic worst case scenario, it’s a decorative hunk of wood forever representing my shame and failure, and my family never listens to my gift requests ever again.”

    Reminds me of my easel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s