Sunday, March 20, 2011

No one writes songs about the ones that come easy.


For a reason that I don't completely  understand, I couldn't put down this book 'Scars Upon My Heart', a compilation of World War I poems written by women during the war. Every page offers some deeply profound imagery and powerful emotive language that had me reading whole segments at a time. I found the picture on the front captivating too; a portrait of a woman sitting with folded legged on a bed. Holding a pen to paper. And a smile you only have when the words just come. Her goliath shadow cast onto the back wall.

She looks a lot like my mom. Back when she was young and childless and happy.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Silence of Four Parts

The first time he saw her... he stopped breathing. There in a car parked precariously close to the sidewalk... For once, the sun shone bright on this shanty town... A piece of sky had come down - and didn't crush him.

She spoke with a voice so strong, you'd believe in miracles. His world receded. And he didn't know what he was doing anymore. Since he had met her, words hadn't flowed easily. She asked him how he was doing. He struggled... And she still persisted. He had spilt his coffee twice at home... He had forgotten to pay the maid. His arms felt like they cramped... and the pit of his stomach was in upheaval. Otherwise, he was fine.

He didn't know whether he should get angry... or if people genuinely were supposed to swap those kinds of stories. He had no story to tell her.

A month later, she asked him if he danced.

He wanted to say something along the lines of how he found much less occasion for that these days. That he used to dance quite often before he uh.. turned 25. At clubs and at parties and all that. But how, that he was older, he didn't just take to it anymore. Something like that the dancing phase of his life was over. That he was afraid his skills may have atrophied.

He managed 'uh-uh'.

She held his gaze and spoke in a low voice 'Maybe I should have made myself clearer. I meant would you dance with me.'



xx - - - - - - - - - - - - - - xx



He sat across the table in her city across her friends. One of them actually had the gall to ask him - why her?

He stared blankly back at her. He grasped at straws. Why? Why her indeed?

Because he could break down in her arms, and she'd still hold him. Because he could talk to her about his past. Because all she cared about was him. Because she prepared a romantic dinner. Because she'd ditch her friends to be with him. Because she could clean his house in five minutes. Because she'd reach out to hold his hand on a street. Because she'd rest her head on his shoulder while watching a movie. Because she could stand up to anyone. Because she played nice with him. Because she looks across the table to find his eyes right now. Because she wouldn't take his money even if she needed it. Because she wanted to go public, but respected his wishes. Because she planned a weekend getaway. Because she'd beat him every time racing cars. Because she looked so disappointed when he did something stupid. Because he thought she was hot. Because she left him notes. Because their secrets were hotter. Because they made elevators look good. Because she wanted to make sure he was okay. Because she finally took him out dancing. Because she loved her parents. Because he wanted her to trust him. Because even throwing insults was foreplay.

He didn't answer the question...

On the way back, he turned to her as she drove. 'S, why do you want to go be with me?'
She flashed him a smile as she took a languid turn. 'Well, that's for me to know.'

He was scared about what went on in her mind. Yet he was as thirsty for it as a fish out of water.



xx - - - - - - - - - - - - - - xx



He thought he was disconnected from everything. For too long now he had been leading an unstable, risky life. He had hung out with all sorts of people. Nothing could shock him anymore. He was not impressed by the unexpected, he had always been able to handle it. That day however, when he saw S again, he just fell to pieces. He thought he had managed to push her out, that he had overcome the pain and remorse which made him want to see her again.

She looked at him again, then with a painful smile she kissed him on the cheek as she got in to a car and drove away. The room is dark again. S was gone. A few months ago he had asked her to wait for him. He had been scared he would never see her again. And now he was terrified that he'd never see her yet again. He moved away. No doubt believing it was all another lie, she slit her wrists with a knife. The Gods were on his side; they found her, saving her life in the nick of time.

At some point in the distant past he had asked her if she preferred movies with sad endings or the happy ones.

'The sad ones definitely' she had replied. The ones that could make her cry.

Ruefully he looked up at the ceiling. She was probably with the right guy then.



xx - - - - - - - - - - - - - - xx



She was reading his diary when he entered. He could see that she was past the end. He couldn't see her well through the heavy air. 'Well' he ventured. She looked back down. After a long pause, 'I blame you, you know. But not for what you have put down here.'

He stood perfectly still. He waited. 'Making me go through through the dark side wasn't the worst thing you know' she continued.

'What was?'

'Making me go alone' she sniffed.

He had been holding his breath he realized. He didn't care if he exhaled again. He couldn't meet her eyes anymore. He shifted on his feet as he exhaled. 'What are going to do?'. And she didn't answer. 'I am no longer the smart one here' he said. 'Help me out'.

She packed her stuff as she headed out. She stopped at the doorway to turn and tell him 'You have to do what writers do - You have to start on a new book'.

She carried on . She had to head back. Do a couple of things. And meet some friends. In no particular order.

It wasn't complete dismissal. He looked up the road and then back at her. 'Would you mind if I walked you for a little bit?'

She nodded and smiled. Politely. 'Why not?'

And he fell in step by her side. No word was spoken. When they crossed the street, she held his hand.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Breaking up. . . All over again.


This is hard. And I want you to know that I didn't expect this. I didn't uh, see this coming. But I umm I've reached a decision and I think it is time that we break up.

And you probably want to know why. You deserve to know why. Its because I have met someone else. Its not that you are bad company. Actually if I think about it, you've probably been very very good to me - if I really honest about it, I've had some of my best times with you. Its just that I have come to realise that the things I used to think were important aren't anymore. For instance, sharing. You've never been that good at sharing. And I am realizing that its something that it is more important to me now. With my blackberry I can send a song as an email, I can post it to facebook, I can even setup a caller ringtone all with just a couple of clicks. You've been really closed off. You have to admit that sometimes it is really hard to get something out of you.

And then you know, there is experimentation and wanting to feel more free and adventurous. You know, with the berry I have all these apps that are really fun, they are easy to use, sometimes even borderline cool. I can play around with videos and effects. I can even add a soundtrack to a video that I recorded. I don't know - maybe for you, things like shaking to shuffle and creating less than genius playlists was really exciting. But honestly it wasn't really for me.

And maybe the most important thing is, you are not always there. I know that is hard to hear, but you are not. And my smartphone is just always by side. If something happens, I have a three hour layover, I want to be entertained as I eat lunch, even if I am lost on a pointless conference call - it is there for me. I have to remember to bring you along all the time, otherwise you just sit there at home.

Waiting.

It is torture.

I am sorry, this probably makes me out to be a bigger jerk. I don't mean to be. It is just that I have come to realize this now. And... I don't even really know what else to say. I guess I should just probably just stop. Yeah, I am just going to go. And go.


Saturday, March 05, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

When you are away my heart comes undone

My house is tidy.

Actually tidy. For once, if i swabbed a finger across anything, there would be zero grime. And I walk around on said floor with no feeling of scrunching dust poke up between my toes. It’s almost magical. I also played a game of Tetris with the furniture and it actually looks bigger! I’m in awe. There must be some karma going on here that I cannot comprehend.

I was awoken this morning by the mailman ringing on my front door, wielding a silvery looking package that moved beneath his arm. He had me sign his digital thingimajig (I miss those days when there were some things at least that were left un-digitized) and left the peculiar parcel in my hands before rushing back inside and out of sight. I inspected the package and came to the conclusion that it was, indeed, a package addressed to me. So without further delay I ripped it open, feeling excited and nervous at what lay beneath its space-agey depths. Was it something wonderful, fantastical, technological, maybe anthraxable?

It was a pack of duvet sheets and a President's Day card from Pottery Barn.

I promptly fell back asleep.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Breaking the Cycle

Why you should listen to people and just buy a Japanese car - because those mechanics are easy to come by. In my case, the only one that would give me an affordable quote is twenty miles away.

So I caught the metra back home. And now I am all jittery about this girl sitting beside me on the metro with dark glasses pushed up on to her long, elaborately done up, straight hair. She is wearing a blue cardigan with a glowing white shirt under it. I cannot see her legs, they are hidden from me behind the seat, but I can catch a glimpse of her shiny silver bag.

She knows I’m writing about her, and she is sneakily watching while trying to look interested in her social networking site.

I’m listening to Arcade Fire. And I really like them even if they are giving me a headache. They have this strange lyrical genius.

I think I know the girl sitting beside me from a long time ago or chance meeting. Only the people I knew before 2 months are about 8000 miles away.

Who can tell these days anymore?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

For Life and and all that it does to us.

Maybe it is the way of telling a story of the couple's origins building to its romantic peak against the one of their present day relationship sinking, but the cross-spliced canvas is in so many ways the story of my life.

Blue Valentine seemed tailored specifically to my tastes: a natural anti-romantic-ballad that acknowledges the evanescence of mutual fascination, presented in grainy, deeply saturated imagery that captures those eloquent minutes that you can never have taken from you.

Most movies reduce love to a grieving heart sentiment. Eternal Sunshine of a spotless Mind treats it as a subject of extended philosophical viewpoint. The film is cerebral, conceptually realistic, dense with literary allusion and as unabashedly romantic when you least expect it to be. I am so seduced by Valentine's final moments primarily because I have so often tragically interpreted something that is great now to automatically mean it will be great forever.

Life, and love, can be depressing propositions. Good people meet, with good intentions. They truly love each other and want only the best. But you can’t depend on getting only the best. And how we deal with the worst is what, in the end, determines the poetry of our lives.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Incomprehensible foreign movies for three plus hours

Am so far away.

~ It isn't the choices we make that haunt us, its the ones we choose not to take.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Come as you are. Leave as you want to be.

People are defined by the cars they drive. It is part of the American identity. It is have your own car and the car will set you free. It is the extension of the horse in the myth of the exploration of the west and what-not.

But when you try and take public transport to ferry yourself around, there is this whole lifestyle of philosophical components to it. If you are hoping to cultivate things like detachment and understand a Buddhist notion like impermanence I would highly recommend it. You develop a strong sense of self. You get to know who you are fundamentally in the absence of any other external trappings or anything that socially people recognize, or frame our identities like - I was there; I will be there; It is 4 o clock now, I should be there in an hour. When you are publicly transported, you do nothing. You sit at a station. You listen to radio stations. You sit at a stop. You watch the young boy being yanked along by the bored mommy. You sit in a train. You read a book. You hop off. You pat yourself down searching for the ear muffs. You sit in a bench. And I guess I did grow in that regard too. I really became comfortable with myself beyond whatever society might have thought I was or what I was supposed to be doing or where I was from. I was the guy that sat there.

So in an effort to not just sit there and uh.. get around - I decided I am going to buy a car. So you do the usual haunts - reply to messages on social boards, walk in to coffee shops to look at notice boards, walk in to foreclosure sections in banks maybe (?). But yeah, the word was out on the street. This man was on a mission. He wasn't going to be content with life. He refused to just uh.. sit there. He was going to get himself some wheels. A sweet set even.

Then the time comes when you start visiting up on people that you have called in advance to make appointments to see their cars. Its this place where civic order and rules cease to apply. People tend to leave a sense of perspective and style that they believe has rubbed off on the vehicle that they have guarded for many years; sometimes many, many years. My first reaction to seeing trustafarians get out of a 80,000$ vehicle that gets 8 miles to the gallon to sell me a car that is older than me is - I hate you. But I am not going to do anything because I am going to deal with my hatred . . . . positively. By umm... grinding my teeth into nubs. The midlife crisis guys - they were the second worst in line after the sorority-sister-frat-boy types. The ones that are adamant that they need to find a good home for Old Betty and ask you embarrassing questions about your personal goals and financial plans. I hated them. For gods sake, I was going to pay in cash. In full. And I will never see you again. And you do not get visiting rights for the car. The most extreme example of people's sense of entitlement and fundamental laziness is the lack of engagement with the living. All of a sudden it is unfair to expect that the photo that you had on the ad is the picture of the car you are trying to pawn off and not something you found on the internet. For god's sake if this is how your car actually looked I wouldn't have made it 40 miles across town. And then I'd really feel sorry for the lonely looking grad guy who lives in a booth kind of structure that Jesus might have collected parking fees from, who needs to sell his car to pay for tuition or drugs or something. But student cars are really terrible. As a rule, it is like they have been told never to service it as long as they own it.

People would bring a certain assumptions to play in their interactions with dealers that to them seem perfectly rational and may seem rational and reinforced elsewhere in consumer culture. You know, the notion that the customer is always right. The notion that if you have the money, you have the right to get whatever the money can I buy you. These are the kinds of things that are if not taken for granted are pretty often the case. But if you are buying your first car, they are simply not true. There's registration and then titles and deeds. Then there are plates, temporary, special, vanity. And then the license. And don't get me started on insurance. And all of these have these are viciously cyclic too.... You need a combination of a couple or more to get each of these. And for someone like me, who doesn't have any, this can be a trying experience.

It makes you seriously consider the existential implications of your quest. What does this actually mean. Where does this fit in. Which is of course the problem of being unnecessarily over-educated at a fairly uncomplicated service sector job. You plenty of time to think about it.

If it all goes well, tomorrow evening I won't just be sitting. I'd be victorious after my battle with humanity. I'd be driving. Something that would say "I'm just sexy enough for you to notice me (wink wink), but I'm elegantly understated and well-groomed. Without being high maintenance. I'm quality. I'm sporty on the weekends. You can introduce me to your parents."

Audi A6 Pictures


Saddle. Up. Baby.
.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dual Personality to Diabolic Possession

Facebook Will Make You Feel Like A Loser

You know when you go on Facebook and all your friends are going to a million parties every second with people who are more awesome than you? Scientists say that's an illusion — but it can still make you sad.

Specifically, Stanford researchers found that undergraduates underestimated how often their friends got lonely or had fights, and overestimated how much they partied and had fun. The researchers also found that underestimating the crappiness of other people's lives was linked to feeling crappy oneself — although its unclear whether students were sad because they thought their friends had better lives than they did, or the other way around. Slate's Libby Copeland applies these results to social networking: "[lead study author Alex] Jordan's research doesn't look at Facebook explicitly, but if his conclusions are correct, it follows that the site would have a special power to make us sadder and lonelier. By showcasing the most witty, joyful, bullet-pointed versions of people's lives, and inviting constant comparisons in which we tend to see ourselves as the losers, Facebook appears to exploit an Achilles' heel of human nature."

Copeland's piece includes some of the kind of talk about Facebook that just makes me feel old — teenagers creating "a character" in their profiles and experiencing "presentation anxiety" about how said character comes across. This kind of Facebook use frankly feels like science fiction to me, and I sometimes wonder if teens exaggerate their investment in social media just to mess with impressionable adults (kind of the way I suspect this Amazon tribe of messing with anthropologists). However, it's certainly accurate that the nature of Facebook encourages the documentation of fun over the recording of malaise, boredom, or misery.
The real disconnect, though, is between the fun depicted in Facebook photos and (some) status updates and the crushing e-nnui we often experience when looking at a lot of said photos and updates. Our posts on Facebook may depict the high points of our lives, but we're most likely to troll through others' posts during our low points — when we're avoiding a looming deadline, killing a dull evening at home, or stalking an ex after a recent breakup. It's not just that Facebook presents other people at maximum awesomeness (though it often does) — it's that we're most likely to view their lives from a vantage point that's decidedly un-awesome, and it's no wonder that a virtual parade of others' fun makes us feel even worse. I'm not one of those Luddites who thinks Facebook rots your brain or whatever, but I do think that when you're feeling down you should turn off your computer and pick up a book. Because there's nothing like literature for reminding you that other people are secretly miserable.

 - The Anti-Social Network [Slate]

Monday, January 17, 2011

Luke Skywalker might be a hillbilly with a bowlcut, but his dad was Space Jesus.

I have written a dozen posts that are saved to drafts where the first sentence always began with “So” and the ended with “right?”, but they all seem too obvious or a little too weird or too similar. Here is me starting from scratch.

The truth is I am terrified. That came out of nowhere. But it is still true. Here I am. Scared. I’ve been scared for a while though, so I’m getting used to it in a strange way. It feels like getting a tattoo and feeling the pain at first, but then becoming used to it despite the fact that it still hurts.

Anyway, I am scared. I stood at the tallest point in the city yesterday and as I looked down at the world beneath my feet and I knew I was not ready. My writing isn’t getting any better. My social skills are retarded. My memory fails me at every turn. My laziness is all consuming. I spend too much money I don’t yet have. I eat when I am not hungry. I spend too much time doing nothing. I never finish anything that I have spent so long beginning. I never make the effort to see my friends. My tastes for music and books are collapsing in front of my eyes.

And everything seems to be ending so very quickly. My winter is ending. My social life is ending. My lust for blogging is ending. Everything is ending. At at the same time so much is beginning and I am scared because I am not up for this future. I am not ready for economical and social turmoil. Neither am I ready for oil wars and mass exodus, climate change and all that kind. The world is ending and I am scared because it is ending at the worst possible time. If the economy collapses I’ll never sell a deal. If energy wars begin I’m going to be crushed under greedy men’s feet. If the world ends then I’m not going to get the reward that school and family and television have promised me.

This is the most exciting time to be alive ever, and it’s only beginning and I am fucking terrified.

Fuck. This. Shit.



This now adorns a wall.

.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

No proof just faith. No reason just faith

Removed on grounds of blatant narcissism.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

New Years' Deception

He sat around the living room with his partner and friends, not to mention about 6 people he didn't know particularly well. It was large in size and better decorated than any bachelor flat he'd ever seen in his life. He held his partners hand and tried not to look his old flame directly in the eye.

Yes, his girlfriend knew they used to date, and it was in the past but neither of them had expected to see the girl from his past on New Years Eve of all times. He knew his girlfriend would get jealous as they used to date for so long and they had so much history and that the new relationship was still new but that made it no less valid - this had been explained to her already, he had confirmed this to her. The girls on the other side of the room was his past, the girl next to him was his present.

The unfortunate part was that so many people he was friends with were also chummy with the girl he had separated from all those months ago. It looked like he'd end up talking to her at some point in the night. Even if it was only to make sure the the party went on as smoothly as possible. Someone always cried at a house party, and he wasn't going to be the reason that someone cried at this one.

Most people knew his girlfriend B already. So once she was comfortable with the idea, he chose his time to go over and speak to the ex. A hard conversation to approach he knew, but he waited for the right time, when there was only one or two other people talking to her at the time. As he started talking to the group, it meant he could talk to her to to clear the air.

'So.. how's everyone's New Year's Eve?' he asked

He got some acknowledgements, cheers' and high fives from the small group. The ex however, ignored him. 'How about you M?'

'It's OK, I guess'

'How have you been?' he not so much inquired out of wanting to know but out of duty so people can witness he tried.

'Not bad' she answered. Everyone sitting around looked awkwardly around and just started talking amongst themselves, blatantly still listening however in case they needed to intervene at any point.

'Have a good Christmas?'

'Yeah'

'Right, I'm gonna go for a bit. I'll maybe come back later and see if you fancy catching u with more than one word at a time. Good to see ya.' He said standing up and leaving.

If nothing else he was missing his girlfriend. That's why he knew that the new relationship was going to be different. He never felt this with M, he couldn't even get a conversation out of her now, all these months later without being scared for retaliation. He never missed her after days and he missed B after minutes, this wasn't the 'honeymoon period' either - this was different. This was Love.

He stopped on the way to talk to some friends before making a trip to the bathroom, where he saw B, crying. He took her outside and asked what was wrong, he consoled her, he hugged her. She wouldn't let him kiss her though.

'Whats wrong?' he asked ' You can tell me anything, I love you'

'Why did you have to say that' she shouted

'Shouldn't I have?' he retorted, shocked.

'I cheated on you' she said through streams of tears

'When?' he said calmly, with eyes as cold as stone

'With my ex, on Christmas eve' she said again through more tears.

He called her a taxi and waited with her until it came, he couldn't look at her, couldn't say another word. He gave the driver the money and the address to get her home safe.

He turned to B 'I'll see you around, but I don't want to. We're over. Lose my number. Don't call me. Don't expect anything.' He opened the door and let her get in. She was still crying. Harder than ever now he guessed. 'Happy New Year B' he said, before closing the door and tapping the roof of the taxi.

Thought for the day -  God loves fools. Women love bastards. Everybody loves cake.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Enough to make Baby Jesus cry

On February 4th 1912 Franz Reichelt attempted to test his latest invention — a parachute jacket — at the Eiffel Tower. He donned his apparatus and tentatively stepped to the edge of the viewing deck.

He had multiple primitive video cameras pointed at him to capture this amazing feat. The video shows Reichelt standing on the edge and staring down for a long, long moment. Obviously, he was nervous about what he was about to do, but knew that there was no turning back once he had gone that far. Anyways, what a wonderful publicity stunt it would be!

When he leapt off the edge, he plummeted straight to the ground. The jacket was supposed to open up and allow him to float gently to the ground, but it failed to perform as he intended.

His parachute jacket turned out to be a failure of an invention. But Reichelt inadvertently invented something else that day: taking videos of yourself doing something wildly idiotic and hurting yourself in the process. It's something that took a long time to really catch on, but it's safe to say that Franz was truly ahead of his time in this regard.



- Gizmodo

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Currently listening to

Lucky Man - The Verve

~For my own reasons.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

If they could make a movie along the lines of "And so the lion fell in love with the lamb"

Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess. Her name was Victoria or Katherine or something like that. She was the princess of Bratislavia or Latistonia or one of those eastern European nations that later disappeared under the brutal heel of Stalinist terror and his misguided efforts at breaking the backs of the bourgeois landlord class and forging the mighty industrial monolith that the Soviet Union isn't today.

Ever since she was a little girl, her mother (the queen) and her father (the king) had told her that appearances weren't everything, and the chances were that one day she would meet a horrible warty frog and, merely by kissing him, he would reveal himself to be a handsome prince and the love of her life. An unlikely story admittedly, but back in those days before worldwide information technology and "mythbusters.com" they believed in all sorts of crazy things.

And so, Princess Victoria went in search of her frog prince.

Eventually after wandering the length and breadth of the kingdom she happened upon a pretty little pond and happened to rest. To her great surprise, sitting on a medium sized round stone half submerged in water, was a horrible, ugly, warty frog. Actually more often than not, it is toads that are horrible and warty. But in this case it was a grog with a particularly nasty skin condition.

Pausing only to wash her travel weary hands and change in to one of her favourite evening gowns she closed her eyes, puckered up and kissed the frog. And when she opened her eyes, she felt a gentle breeze wrapping all around her, birds fluttered from their tree perches, the sky started to turn azure. She felt the magic in the air. But then nothing happened. The frog just stared back at her with its unblinking exophthalmic eyes.

Now her mother always called her fickle and her brother maintained that she was pathologically unable to commit to a meaningful relationship for various reasons (not the least of which all was her eating disorder and drug abuse) and her father well... he was just annoyed, he had had quite enough of tripping over her many shoes scattered all over the palace.

But she decided that she would jolly well prove them all wrong. She felt the tug of magic and she knew in her heart of hearts that her handsome prince was within grasping reach. So by the bank of the pretty little pond, she made her home, forsaking all comforts save for three square meals a day and a new gown brought daily to her from her father's castle about a mile away (Silk and mud just didn't seem to go well together).

At the dawning of each new day and once again just before bedtime she planted a kiss on the disgustingly horrible, ugly, warty frog.

But he remained unchanged.

The days stretched in to weeks and the weeks in to months but the beautiful princess repeated her ritual. She was sure that only through a supreme act of devotion and love could she save the prince from the spell that was upon him. . .  which she assumed was laid on him by the evil witch that lived in the sinister and crumbling old house close by. She knew that through her sheer constancy and single mindedness she would prove wrong the bleatings and winnowings of her family. So the beautiful princess stayed true to her promise (the one that she had made to herself about sticking around) but the handsome prince still stubbornly stuck to his amphibious form.

Occasionally it occurred to her that the whole situation was a bit ridiculous and that the very idea of witches and princes being turned to frogs ran contrary to all her hitherto sensible sensibilities. But damn it all, she had started and she was going to see it through to the end.

The months stretched in to years and years stretched in to . . . well, more years (decades?). And eventually, the princess grew old and died.

Shortly after that the frog died too.

* * * THE END * * *
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Prologue

Once upon a time there was a handsome prince who happened to visit an ugly old witch while he was on his way to pay an impromptu visit to a beautiful princess who lived a castle nearby. His name was Colin (of Firth fame - I continue to own movie rights by the way).

He had dropped in to buy a love potion or something. Anyway, he must have said something off-the-cuff of some sort because the witch got really annoyed and cast an evil spell on him. . . and turned him in to a rock (of medium size, and round).

She said - a rock he would be until he received a kiss from a beautiful princess, or for that matter from anyone. And without further ado she hurled him out her window and he rolled down the slight incline till he came to rest half submerged in a pretty little pond.

Soon after that a horrible, ugly, warty frog crawled out of the pond and sat on him.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Quod me nutrit me destruit

From our days hunting on the prehistoric Savannah, the human brain is famously adapted for picking out relevant details from a jumble of images. Computers, however, would most likely have starved to death long before discerning an antelope in tall grass, let alone a phone number or contact information in a scanned document or PDF. They're evolving, though.

I've been devoting most of my working hours (and then some) to a difficult campaign with some asinine clients. The guy doing most of the work designing the campaign (thereby working closely with me) pretty much keeps to himself. Mr. Chill speaks only when necessary. Gives looks that make people think their mere visage offends him. Wears his headphones so as to block out ambient noise and makes a mess on the table he eats on. Still he doesn't talk.

In the beginning of this month, I joined this new team when we were all allocated, and I found myself in the cube directly across from Mr. Benign Rotundness. Late last week, we had this much-needed communication breakthrough. RB started actually speaking to me. Both about work in general and about things unrelated to work. I was particularly pleased with the turnaround and looking forward to the benefits of our new found working relationship. And yeah, Hindi was the medium of communication.

The other day, my work buddy Buddhist Catholic tapped the glass behind me and blew me a kiss. I turned in my chair just enough to blow a kiss back at her, which left me facing the aisle and Mr. Chill. Usually engrossed in his work and/or social networking, Mr. Chill took this opportunity to turn toward me - as I was mid- kiss... lips puckered, hand in air... and facing Mr. Chill directly.

I tried to assure him that I wasn't blowing him kisses, but I felt the flush rising in my cheeks and saw my shame mirrored in his suddenly rosy face. Certain any further explanation on my part would only make things worse, I turned back to my work.

So, yeah... Pretty sure the new found lines of communication with Mr. Chill are shut down as of now.

And Buddhist Catholic? After laughing hysterically at my retelling of the story, she's banned from blowing kisses my way.

* No, that's not an excuse, just the facts, people. I'm not silly enough to think anyone is out there wondering where I've been. It just happened to be a good lead-in for a little self-deprecation. And we all know how much I love some self-deprecation.

I know, I know, I haven't been spending too much time at the blog lately because I've been working on advancing my career. Or so I'd like to believe, but all that is about to change.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A pattern in the fractal

She checked the time on her phone. He should have been here by now. So she went back to waiting. It would have been sweet if he had shown up early, and she wasn’t the type to raise a ruckus if he was a few minutes late. This was definitely hovering over that line.

He might actually have a good excuse. Maybe a scooter splashed a puddle over him and he had to change. Maybe he was dropping that elderly aunt he told her about. Maybe a hyena had escaped from the zoo and had him trapped in a corner. Still, he should have at least sent her a text.

She flicked through the magazine again. Somehow Maxim didn't seem to hold her attention today. Served her right for arriving early, so eager and excited and stupid. To pass the time she tried to memorise the release dates of all the films PVR seemed intent on screening. June 29th, July 12th, August 3rd, which was also her birthday. Maybe he would surprise her and they would start going out and he would take her to see the film as a birthday treat.

She got her phone out again. No new messages. She told herself she would wait 2 more minutes before sending him one. The film was due to begin. That way she wouldn’t seem desperate or needy, only practical. “The movie is starting now, are you nearby?” She composed it, added his number, and when the two minutes were up sent it.

And then she waited two minutes. Not a problem, parking lots can be painful to type in.

Then five minutes went past. Well, she could miss the trailers.

Then another three minutes. She hoped there was a long credit sequence at the start.

How much longer would she need to wait before it looked pathetic?

20 minutes or so probably, though she knew she’d wait as long as 40.

A boy sat down beside her, and her heart soared.

It took three seconds before she realized that it wasn’t her date. Just someone that looked as bored and lonely as she did. He caught her looking, and flashed a tight smile. Then he went back to staring at the cinema entrance and glancing at his watch. It was curious to see him doing exactly what she was.

146 seconds passed. She counted each one, in hope that time would go slower and she might still see the film with her date.

When she got to 147 an enormous sigh let up besides her. She looked and again he caught her.

“You've been stood up too?” he asked glumly. She smiled wanly, a little glad to see that she wasn’t the only reject in the world. “Sucks” he said. “Yeah” she mumbled.

A silence followed this. He took one more look at his watch. Then he said “Which movie?”.
“Sorry?”
“Which movie were you going to see?”
“Oh, Finding Neverland”
“Ha, same”

He reached into his pocket and pulled something out. It looked like some paper, and he tried to iron them out with it in his hands “Did the smart thing and bought both tickets early” he said.
She gave him a sympathetic nod. At least she hadn’t gone that far she confessed.
“Yeah, sucks to be me too” he said.

He stared at his hands holding the tickets in front of him. Then he looked up.
“Do you…like the look of the film?” he asked.
“Well I thought the trailer held promise, and of course Johnny Depp’s in it”
“Of course. And let’s not forget Kate Winslet either”
“No,” she laughed. “I guess not”

He looked at the tickets some more. “Would you like one?” he said “I don’t want to let the world know I was stood up - sit alone next to an empty seat. And I don't think they'll give me a refund” He tried to give her a ticket.
“Oh, well let me buy it off you” she said, as she rummaged for her purse from her rather large handbag.
“It’s no big deal.”
“Then let me pay.”
“Girls shouldn’t have to” he muttered.

She smiled.

At least there was one gentleman in the world. And while he wasn’t handsome in the classical sense, he wasn’t particularly unattractive. Besides, she had been looking forward to the movie; A date for the film was insurance that she didn’t have to go in and sit alone. She made up her mind.

“At least let me buy the popcorn” she was still rummaging around her bag.
“You don’t have to sit next to me if you don’t want to.”
She looked up sharply, got up, took his hand and pulled him up as well. “Come on” she said “we’re missing the film, so get moving”
“Oh, ok fine. Let’s go”

So they did, and it was nice, and they did end up having fun after all. Except as they got out, the doorman shot the boy a wry smile and shook his head, but she soon forgot about that and its oddness. The film had been lovely and she was feeling so grateful towards the boy.

It was next week. The boy went to the cinema by himself again. He looked up at the listings and went up to the ticket counter. Behind it was the doorman. He smiled at his old friend.

“What films are out that couples will want to see today?”
The doorman rolled his eyes “The Pianist”

The boy bought 2 tickets. He sat down and waited, looking around for when a girl would show up, looking unhappy and alone.

Looking like they had been stood up for a date.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Spanning years and continents. Lives ruined. Bloodshed. Epic.

So long ago I don't remember when
That's when they say I lost my only friend
Well they said she died easy of a broken heart disease
As I listened through the cemetery trees

I seen the sun comin' up at the funeral at dawn
With the long broken arm of human law
Now it always seemed such a waste
She always had a pretty face
I wondered
Why she hung around this place

She said it's cold
It feels like Independence Day
And I can't break away from this parade
But there's got to be an opening
Somewhere here in front of me
Through this maze of ugliness and greed
I seen the sign up ahead
At the county line bridge
Sayin' all there's good and nothingness is dead
We'll run until she's out of breath
She ran until there's nothin' left
She hit the end
It's just her window ledge

This place is old
It feels just like a beat up truck
I turn the engine but the engine doesn't turn
what sounds of cheap old wine and cigarettes
This place is always such a mess
Sometimes I think I'd like to watch it burn
I'm so alone and I feel just like somebody else
Man I ain't changed, but I know I ain't the same
But somewhere here in between the city walls of dyin' dreams
I think her death it must be killin' me

- Wallflowers

Friday, June 11, 2010

Grey Wolves, Red Blood, Black Clothes, White Bones

The fever that threatened to ruin me yesterday hit me hard this morning. I am spending my money on comfort food and Halls. But it's raining. It's why I'm shivering, huddled outside the office trying to decide where to go to kill my time. Curious Hedonist is away working at a different office by now and our timetables don't match quite so well now. I have a page of a story that I'd planned to finish yesterday but I doodled characters from One-Piece instead but that's ok. I haven't written much lately. I have quite a few things rolling around my head but no drive to write them. I have been reading instead. Devouring pages of text on my little screen. There are so many books waiting to be read and I don't have enough time or money to get through them all.

My head's been in the clouds lately. I have not been thinking anything through. I think I prefer life that way. I enjoy trundling along and hoping for a surprise. I no longer want to make the first move, don't want to make any decision. I care, don't get me wrong. I always care. It's been a long, long time since I gave up caring and I like to think I've grown up a little. I can deal with things better. I am still floored when people see through me. When they say something, usually offhand, and it niggles away and makes me think far too much. I'm happy to an extent. I know what I'm lacking. I want somebody to curl up sleepy and cosy with and talk about anything and it doesn't matter. I want to fall asleep in somebody's arms and feel safe for once. There's only been a handful of times when I could make that claim.

But whether I want a relationship is debatable. I love being somebody's guy. I love that thrill when you tell somebody you're off to meet your girlfriend. I love the butterflies in my stomach when I walk down the road to meet her and I wonder what the day will be like. But I've been on my own for a while now (which was mostly self-inflicted so I can't complain too much) and sometimes I wonder if I can go through it all again. I need control. Maybe I'm just tired of declaring love. I mean at twenty seven what is love exactly? When you can't stop thinking about her, and she intrudes on all your thoughts and you just have to be near her? When you lie awake at nights and wonder what she's doing and if she's thinking of you and is it too late to call her? Why is that the women who consume me are always the ones I can't have? I try not to dwell on them but they fascinate me more than the girls who insist on interrupting my life.

I feel awful. It's not the alcohol because God knows I didn't drink enough of that even if I was less than steady on my feet. My face aches from the cold that I hope goes away soon. My feet buzz from walking too far around today. I'm rambling again. This is merely an extension of my mind and sometimes I forget this is public and people who know me read it. And when they mention things I've written in conversations I freak. I remember feeling I'd written something profound and insightful but then I always think that until I look at it a week later and laugh at my pretentiousness.

Nevermind. No doubt time will catch up me unawares and deadlines will scream in my ears and I'll be too flustered to give a damn about anything real.

~ You must forgive the title. I hope this makes up for it.


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Brighter the light, the darker the shadow

Watching Walter the ballroom-dancing unicorn on stage, you'd think he was all honey and sweetness inside, right? Well, you'd be wrong. Come inside the apartment and you'd see the real Walter. He's got guns and knives leather jackets and nunchuks and all sorts of tough stuff.

But that's the way it is - when you grow up a unicorn on the mean streets of south neverland, you learn to be rough - or you don't make it out alive. Long eyelashes, rhinestone horseshoes and a fluffy mane might take you places in showbiz, but in the gritty world of gangs and street wars, they make you a target.

But with a combination of streetwise attitude and a killer foxtrot Walter knew he could make it. He just knew it. And make it he did!

And hey, if Walter had to off a few talking bunnies and the occasional leprechaun and whatnot along the way - Well, tough luck.

Life's a bitch.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The unnatural silence

I had always thought I was a proponent of silence, that in some way or another the unrelenting connectedness provided by email, smart phones, music players, the internet and even 24-hour television programming would not create a desire within me to fill every moment of silence we find with some sort of tech distraction. I however noticed that on this really long car ride today, as rather than stare out the window like I might have in the past, I kept reaching for the blackberry to see if I had missed any news from the online world.

Social networking, web connectivity and cell phones did not necessarily create this desire or problem.

Am the person who keeps his music on every waking minute, just to ensure there is never complete silence in the house. And to me, all that the new connectivity, on-line virtual game options and instant messaging is doing is to make it easier avoiding the awful specter of silent, alone time. Those who hold Blackberries or Facebook responsible for their chronic distraction misplace the blame. These technologies are enablers of our own innate desires that have existed far longer than transistors.

And our ingrained habit of constant connection makes disconnecting more difficult. And potentially more painful.

Where there's a will there's a way, of course. Which is what makes me suspect that at least part of the constant connectivity movement and technology stems from an inherent desire, within many of us, to have that distraction.

We are not, as a species, hard-wired for solitude. We're social animals, made to exist in tribes and packs.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Drops of Jupiter

I have worked out why this blog is prosaic. It is because I do not write things down as they happen, or even any thing close to near when they actually happen. I let time dull my memories and thus the words chronicling them, making it seem less than what they were.

My mind has been wandering a lot recently, partly due to learning some news that puts many things in the harsh light of objectivity. The news itself being the death of a cousin. Calling him a close friend would be stretching, but he was still someone we all liked to look up to.

Mortality always makes me have a good think about morality, it being something I am keenly interested in. Generally after its too late to put into effect.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Test

Aha.

Call me the King.... of all things boolean.



Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone

Friday, May 21, 2010

Round is the Circle. From Dust. To Dust.

R.I.P. Dio

You were good enough to have succeeded Ozzy in Black Sabbath but met your match in a garden gnome.

Thank you for Rainbow.

Thank you for not indulging in the undignified buffoonery that metal was becoming.

Devil horn salute.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Climbing up a Bloody Great Hill


So although Bhutan is tucked away into the isolated Himalayas between India and Tibet, it seems out of place to discover an affluent way of life that has only newly begun to be exposed to contemporary mindsets and Western culture.

There are plentiful dzongs (temple fortresses) that should be seen on a Bhutan travel tour, but Taksang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery is undeniably the most famous. The name is enthused after the story of Padmasambhava (from India), the monk who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, who in fact flew to Taksang on the back of a tigress to defeat five demons.


They are this intensely spiritual country, who seem to love their royalty and is domicile to some of the most striking temples. As a country that it dumbfounds you with its splendor and fascinates your imagination with its prehistoric culture and beliefs.

Until the 1960s Bhutan had no roads, no electricity, and no telephones. Goods traded with Tibet went by yak, over high windswept passes. But the Chinese invasion of Tibet put an end to that, as Bhutan closed its northern border. Now trade is solely with India, a few hours' drive to the south.


In little over 40 years, a father- and-son team of kings have, with help from India, lifted the country out of isolationist poverty. Bhutan has adopted many of the benefits of the modern world, such as hydro-electricity, schools and clinics, while hanging onto the culture it treasures most, and without destroying the environment. It was the younger of the two kings, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who coined the phrase "Gross National Happiness". In 2008, in a move that puzzled many of his subjects, he voluntarily abdicated his throne and formed the country's first democratic government. The elections were, according to UN observers, "serene".

Changes that have happened to the country are all so very sublime... The country seems to have come to terms with land cruisers parked within bamboo fences, high tension cables across rolling fields, traditional attires in nightclubs, chopsuey in cream sauce, vintage rock on the radio peppered with the Bhutanese jockeying.

The Bhutanese down 12.5 million litres of alcohol a year and a staggering 54 percent of the country’s total 56 percent youth population below 24 years are the main consumers. It is little wonder that Bhutanese youth make up the main consumers. Visit any bar along the streets of the main Thimphu town, where there’s almost one for every ten metres of sidewalk, and the customers are fresh graduates, school students or dropouts. Save for hardware shops, almost every shop in Thimphu town, be it a grocery or a general store, sells liquor.


And who was I kidding. I wasn't in any shape to trek. Sangyang - Taktshang - Wangchang - Rinpung Dzong. I had to wheeze my way through to the top. My head throbbed because we were at an altitude of more than 13,000ft, higher than I have ever trekked in before. Below us eagles soars, etched against the clouds way below, clouds that seem so solid. It was all unnaturally quiet, the air thick with the muffled silence of the fog rolling in.

We were in yak territory now – around 4,000m. Shiny black beasts with lustrous tails and delicate feet, they roamed the high hills with their young. The cry of a young boy carried across the valley from one settlement to another. Here babies are born and bodies cremated under an open sky, a world away from the fast-developing superpowers to the north and south.

At the highest point were tangled strings of coloured prayer flags, sending prayers to the heavens. As the sun hung low in the sky that afternoon, we rested a while on a ridge with a view as beautiful as I've ever seen: hill interlaced behind hill in soft cinnamon fading to golds; and atop a smaller hill, a dzong. From a distance the dzong appeared as two cube-shaped buildings, one a little lower and to the right, mirroring the lie of the land. A camera could never do it; I felt a need to paint, to capture this exquisite marriage of nature and the subtle touch of man.


Of course there is a flip-side to this rural idyll: On one of the isolated dzongs, we got chatting with a couple of monks. They stayed three hours away from water, fresh food and electricity and yet seemed moderately content with their lives.... On a little more prodding they started on their individual stories.... It is kind of shocking to know that they were pushed in to the clergy when they were 7 years old, made to drop out of school, start on a life of religious rigour all against their wishes... So I am not likening it to prostitution but it still doesn't feel right. Being deprived of basic education has ensured that there is no possible exit from the lives they lead.

Whatever happened to "I am going the right way, following the path of the Buddh. I think about enlightenment. I don't want to be attached to the wheel of life."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Who the Force is that?


Ans: Cade Skywalker, the culmination of the long line of Skywalkers who have entertained us over the years. Only this one goes rogue and is much better than the rest.

This Skywalker is a stark drug-addicted pirate with no misgivings for either side of the Sith / Jedi divide. His panic whininess not withstanding, he is Dark Horse's attempts to bring a sense of reality to an otherwise altruistic franshise. And all of the wrangling and scheming between the Jedi, the Imperial Knights, the Sith, the Empire, the Imperial Mission, and so on, gets more and more byzantine and glorious as it goes along.

This is what Dark Horse's Facebook page has to say about pulling the plug on the series even as they continue to fund defunct others.

Recently, we’ve heard several fans voice their concerns over the end of one of our most popular titles — Star Wars: Legacy. So, we’d like to take a second to explain what’s happening with the title and the rest of our Star Wars line.

For many years now, we’ve had the pleasure of taking the rich universe of Star Wars and its characters to exciting new levels. Fans and critics have long agreed that Dark Horse Comics has done well by the beloved property, staying true to the tone of the original films, while introducing fans to new corners of the galaxy far, far away.

In 2006, Dark Horse Comics launched Star Wars: Legacy #1, with covers by Adam Hughes, story by John Ostrander, and art by Jan Duursema. Over the last four years we’ve seen people embrace the tales of Cade Skywalker—a direct descendant of Luke, a rogue Jedi, and a bounty hunter. Much to our delight, Cade quickly became a favorite among comics fans and Star Wars enthusiasts.

Unlike other publishers, Dark Horse has never been one for prolonging a series simply to do so. Our comics come from a place of creativity and artistic expression, and this applies to all of our titles, whether creator owned or licensed property.

One of our promises to ourselves, our fans, and George Lucas himself was that we would treat our line of Star Wars books with the highest level of respect. We hope that you’ll agree that we’ve achieved this goal, and trust you’ll take our word when we say that we’ll continue to strive for such high standards.

We are proud to say that the quality of Star Wars: Legacy has never dropped. John Ostrander and Jan Duursema have consistently created issue after issue of excellent art for nearly four years straight. Very few creators can claim such landmark success, and we hope John and Jan are as proud as we are of delivering such great material.

We have never felt that John and Jan’s work dipped below the benchmark of fine sequential art. So, it was a hard, but ultimately necessary, decision to close this chapter of the Star Wars universe with issue #50.

At this time, we cannot announce what, if any, projects John and Jan will be a part of in the future. We hope fans will appreciate our proprietary stance in this matter. Know that we will make announcements regarding new Star Wars projects at the proper time, in coordination with our partners at Lucasfilm.

We are now focused on making our future Star Wars comics as incredible as possible, including Star Wars Adventures, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Invasion—Rescues, and the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic. We are also extremely excited to work in conjunction with Del Rey and writer John Jackson Miller to create a brand-new tale in a largely unexplored time with Star Wars: Knight Errant.

We ask that fans continue to support the Star Wars line, and us, and hope that any concerns will subside as we move forward.

Any questions can be left in the comment section of this note. Please understand that we may not be able to answer some specifics due to the nature of our business. We’ve had an extraordinary time publishing Star Wars, and we hope you’ve enjoyed the journey as much as we have for nearly twenty years here at Dark Horse Comics. So remember fans, keep hitting the local comic stores for all your Dark Horse Star Wars comics and keep the interest alive! And don’t forget: as always we will bring you the word as soon as we hear it!



In words of Luke's daddy..... "Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo"

Why I need supervision.

Oh well... It's a been a few weeks since I had access to technology. So a lot of the posts that will follow were typed while ago, I just didnt get the time to post earlier.
So Amsterdam is awesome. So one and a half nights of Pub-Crawling later (and I have the t-shirts to prove it) we are back to adding new entries on to our science-experiments-gone-wrong .

Creating a Storm in a Teacup 2 Litre Plastic Bottle
Water vapor, pressure, temperature and seeding are what it takes to make a cloud. Below are instuctions to become a rainmaker with a two-liter plastic bottle, some warm water, a match, and some hand .

This is demonstration is meant to be safe. But all the better, do not try it at home. I well without lawsuits. And if you are my friend I trust you even less with matches. But I suppose it can't be helped.


Empty a two-liter plastic bottle. You don't necessarily have to drink it all. The last thing we need is you doing this while over-caffeinated. Fill the bottom with hot water. Just half an inch should do. Light a match and hold the head of the match inside the tip of the bottle until the bottle fills up with smoke. Cap the bottle tightly.

Wait until the air inside the bottle has cleared and then squeeze the bottle a few times. After a few squeezes, when you release, a cloud should form inside the bottle. Congratulations, you're a Wizard.

Feel free to send me your tuition for Hogwarts.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Look like Tarzan; Sound like Jane

People who have lost limbs through accidents or disease sometimes continue to feel pain in the non-existent body part. It is called phantom pain. The name suggests an imaginary suffering and yet science confirms the pain is real. I used to find this bizarre but it does not seem so strange anymore.

I understand the ache where there is an absence. Like an amputee who leans forward to scratch a toe that isn't there, I still turn in my sleep to hug the emptiness on the left side of the bed. Every time there are some programs on the telly I almost call out to remind. ....

Morphine cannot dull phantom pain just as time doesn't seem to work on the hurt of those severed from a loved one. Forgetting is the other great narcotic for the human heart. But sometimes, you don't want to forget, even if it means holding on to the pain.

I have tried many approaches to deal with my loss. I am still appalled when people resort to drastic measures.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dedicated to me.

Love will abide, take things in stride
Sounds like good advice but there's no one at my side
And time washes clean love's wounds unseen
That's what someone told me but I don't know what it means.

Cause I've done everything I know to try and make you mine
And I think I'm gonna love you for a long long time

Caught in my fears
Blinking back the tears
I can't say you hurt me when you never let me near
And I never drew one response from you
All the while you fell all over girls you never knew
Cause I've done everything I know to try and make you mine
And I think it's gonna hurt me for a long long time

Wait for the day
You'll go away
Knowing that you warned me of the price I'd have to pay
And life's full of flaws
Who knows the cause?
Living in the memory of a love that never was
Cause I've done everything I know to try and change your mind
and I think I'm gonna miss you for a long long time
Cause I've done everything I know to try and make you mine
And I think I'm gonna love you for a long long time.

- linda ronstadt

Thursday, April 15, 2010

And I am the Single Child Again

It is kind of devastating that the women in my life keep flitting away from me.

This time it is the lil sis who is moving halfway across the globe to start on a new life and all that.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Unrequited love. How deliciously tragic.

As I sat there watching the waves crash on to the shore, I could still hear her waiting on the receiver. I wanted to tell her that it was over now and that this was the only way things could be. I to die, and she to live. And that she would eventually see the light of my argument. I could feel a faint shift in a faraway place. A flood of unexplained consequences was on its way, moving towards me like a juggernaut of fate.

Well that was a lie, its been 3 months since I saw her, 2 months since we had a cordial conversation, a month since I heard her. And things haven't changed in the slightest.

I wish there was some way to go back and undo the past. But there isn't. So I stay silent on the grounds that I have no answers to her questions. I am reduced to telepathically trying to communicate how sorry I am about what happened. I think of all the grief and suffering in the world that has gravitated towards me, and it makes me want to escape. I wish with all my heart we could just leave this world behind. Rise like two angels into the night and magically disappear.

All that I am left with is this messy brain after the breakup.

What have I done? I am such an idiot. She was the perfect girl. She really was the perfect girl, which makes her even more perfect because she also happens to like bourbon. She was kind and thoughtful, she was funny and beautiful, she was in shape. She was good at her job, had good friends, a good life. She loves her family, really respected people and she was romantic. I remember that time she got me the best gift ever. She knew how to take care of herself, a rare quality in women. She was well-groomed. Of course she made mistakes but they were all pretty honest. So why am I doing this?

Am I making a mistake? Why couldn't it have just worked out? What if we had continued to live in the same city? Maybe I'm just scared because she is too perfect for me, too close to the ideal. Why don't I know what I want? Why am I so damned fickle? BLEH.

Time will tell. Time will tell. Repeating hasn't made too much difference. To just be patient and let her go and see what happens after some time passes. It will get better. I will be fine. Calm down. Ugh why do you sap me so much? Why am I even focusing on this? My life being back home is awesome, and I am finally trying to do exactly what I moved to this city to do. I have have great friends, a nice place to live finally, a supportive family, festivities on the horizon and even some savings. I have everything I could ever want at age 27. So why can't I just shut up and focus on something else. Writing. Blogging. Focusing on new ventures.

That is it. Maybe I am just completely focused on the wrong things. Who cares about women and being in love and relationships? It's not like I went to school for 16 years so that I could start a career in being a good boyfriend. Why do people even want to be in relationships? What's the point? You should just be pouring all your energy into making the life for yourself that you always wanted. I should make myself a writer, an editor, an architect even. Read some good books. Meet a lot of new people. Yeah, I'll be fine. I don't need anyone. Nothing is missing.

But her crooked smile. Her eyes. The way she talked with her hands. Her voice. Her laugh.

She thinks missing me is hard; She has no idea what it is to miss her.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Flint to your Long John

The king and his men
stole the queen from her bed
and bound her in her Bones.
The seas be ours
and by the powers
where we will we'll roam.


Some men have died
and some are alive
and others sail on the sea
– with the keys to the cage...
and the Devil to pay
we lay to Fiddler's Green!


The bell has been raised
from it's watery grave...
Do you hear it's sepulchral tone?
We are a call to all,
pay head the squall
and turn your sail toward home!


Yo, ho, haul together,
hoist the colors high.
Heave ho, thieves and beggars,
never shall we die.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Horny ladies

I have no idea, but I wonder if the punchline is actually as funny as I think it is.

"If females must compete, evolution will furnish them with weapons to do so"

Mar 4th 2010 | From The Economist print edition

WHEN a species evolves traits that seem to have little to do with individual survival—bright colours, say, or oversize horns, it is typically the male alone who sports these excesses. Observing this, Charles Darwin proposed the idea of “selection in relation to sex” as a follow-up to his theory of natural selection. He defined it as the struggle between members of one sex, “generally male”, to possess the other. The plumage of peacocks attracts peahens. The stag’s antlers are there to fight off other stags. And so on.

But females, it turns out, have some tricks of their own. Nicola Watson and Leigh Simmons of the University of Western Australia have published a paper this week in the Proceedings of the Royal Society about Onthophagus sagittarius, a species of dung beetle in which not only do both sexes sport horns, but those of the females are larger than those of the males. They set out to discover whether female competition accounted for these impressive armaments, and whether there was a trade-off between horns and fecundity.

There are around 2,000 species of dung beetle. All, though, live their lives around faeces. In the case of O. sagittarius, each female constructs a tunnel after she has mated and then packs it with the stuff in the form of a brooding ball, on which she lays her eggs. Her mate guards the entrance, fighting other males to stop them entering the tunnel and cuckolding him. Tunnels are often so close together, however, that other females may break in to their neighbours’ underground, to try to steal dung. Females, therefore, are constantly in conflict with other females, which is why they need horns.

In their laboratory in Perth, Ms Watson and Dr Simmons divided their female beetles into three groups, according to body size. Some of each group were allowed to mate with fertile male beetles. The others mated with beetles rendered sterile by irradiation. This ensured that all female beetles would become pregnant, but those who mated with irradiated males were impregnated by damaged sperm, and would not lay viable eggs. The researchers could thus put three females into a burrow and allow them to compete yet, by ensuring that only one of those females had mated with a fertile male, they could be sure that all the grubs in a burrow were hers.

By comparing all possible combinations of females in this way (mating two of the three sizes with sterile males), and also looking at the success of females who were able to lay their eggs without competition, Ms Watson and Dr Simmons showed that the bigger a female is, the more reproductively successful she is. No surprises there.

The next stage, though, was to do the same experiment, but match females who were the same size except for their horns, in order to see if a bigger horn results in more offspring. The reason to ponder that it might not—and the presumed reason why females of most species do not go in for sexually selected accoutrements—is that such things are costly to grow and maintain. The resources a female spends doing so are therefore unavailable for turning into eggs.

In fact, Ms Watson and Dr Simmons found, horn size was even more important than body size for determining reproductive success. Fending off females who have designs on your dung-ball is evidently more important than laying extra eggs.

If the evolutionary circumstances demand it, then, females can be just as aggressive as males. But they are being aggressive to a different end. This is no struggle to possess the opposite sex, so does it qualify as sexual selection?

That is a matter of definition, but it does go to the heart of the difference between the sexes. Males compete because the more females they inseminate, the more genes they will leave behind. Females mainly let the males get on with this, and pick the winners. They increase their genetic contribution not by promiscuity but by nurturing. If that requires violence, so be it. As to whether there are any human parallels, Ms Watson herself would not be drawn. She did, however, observe that “somebody suggested stilettos.”

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"The unexamined life is not worth living."

I am going to erase some things out of my life. I had so many plans for so many things, but of late I think I have grown wise to the idea that I will not have enough time for many of these things. I am not sure if I have complained about this before, but my life has been completely scheduled. If my life was a restaurant and you came in my maĆ®tre d’ would tilt his nose into the air and say that I am full.

From one Monday to the next, every week, I am booked. I never used to be this way. I used to have more free time than I deemed necessary. People would call me up out of the blue to invite me for a night out, and I would gladly accept. Now my nights out are planned two, three, sometimes four weeks in advance. I have people consecutively booking me at the same time every week. One of these, my kid brother I look forward to and enjoy immensely. However I loath that he just won’t give me the controller as he sits on my bed and plays Halo wrong.

Whenever I am not stuck at work, I’m being either pushed to the gym or being pulled to play tennis (because my kid sister is getting married and she will not have me at the festivities till I can fit in to that damned kurta she got). Because of this four evenings a week are taken up (the other three being occupied by the Internet and my latest online muse of the week) which means I can’t go to the beach and stare at waves and I can’t get drunk on boys' night out and I can’t go scrounging around for that new really nice, really cheap place to eat.

I have also been travelling, reading and catching up on my sleep. Everything else is taken up by everyone else. So I am going to delete some from my life. Deletion. Simple catharsis. The joys of chopping away at weeds as they strive to enter mainstream essence. But what can I delete?

Friends.
Films.
Reading.
Writing.
Work.
That startup that refuses to budge.
Tennis.
Recent History.
Internet.
Music.
Television.
Useless talents.
Family Drama.
Musical Instrument Learning.

Internet would be a good start, but I don’t actually spend much time on here. I read blogs, read comics, download videos and that’s really it. Occasionally, once in a blue moon, I gorge myself on wikipedia or the entire archives of certain webcomics. This takes up a lot of time but I have an addictive personality. But, it is still the reason I stay up to 3am most days.

The telly is a negligable item; I am too fresh for mainstream programming to a point that I barely watch it and when i do it’s mostly films or the box.

Family Drama can be cut. Easily. When my sister moves to the US, my parents should realise how much easier it is bringing up one kid. Sons! They are the future of everything. Atleast, they ought to be.

I refuse to give up reading and writing things. They are too much fun. Have I told you about Hari Kunzru's Revolutions I am reading? Well, I should.

Work has been cut down, to an extent. I used to work 10 hours a day spread over 6 days a week till about a couple of months ago. But, as of now, I have managed to stave off work to a minimal few hours every day. I still have to stay in office the required 8 hours. If I am able to redirect all the energies to a venture on my own is a different question altogether.

Musical instrument learning has be deleted for now. One day I will learn that precious guitar.

Useless talents? I can name some but I will refreain. Gone.

Music and Movies? I’ll cut down, but never ever will I give them up. No matter what the expense. I love my unpaid escapism.

Delete .

And now I am left an empty shell of someone. Hooray for the brother that won’t give me the controller and won’t play Halo properly.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Long Stark Tea-Time of the Soul

Unlike my previous record for not ever returning to places that have served as short term havens, I actually went back to a Delhi for a few days. There is probably a reason why I don't go back ever so often. Mixed feelings of anguish, doubt, memories and relief dont really make for my cup of tea.

In any case, it was worth the effort this time around.

Long live corporate travel policies.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

How do I do it?

Without it I’m failing
My heart waits in the wings alone
The stages I go through
Keep coming time and time and time again
Do you wonder how I stay
So complacent
It’s like waiting for the ocean
To save you from the waves
When you’re so far under
Silent
Never moving
You’ve taken your timing
So flawless executing me
So fearless and hopeful
Can you imagine such a scene?

- Finger Eleven

Who died and left me boss? Isaac Asimov.

Look into your heart. Your answer to this question tells you a lot about yourself.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Shaken and slightly stirred

I do not know why I have dreamt about this so many times over, in spite of knowing in the back of my head that I could never actually do it, because this remarkable value of responsibility instilled in me by my parents pulses through me too prominently.

This pulse bugs me.

I have always wanted to be one of those people. One of those that would drop everything for art and love and beauty. One that would take risks in the name of creation. The one that you would find crouched on the floor over scraps of paper, with hair that was long and messy, or maybe short and messy, surrounded by abstract models and word doodles, with my two best friends on either side talking about our next great idea just as dawn gave way to blazing skies.

I emblazoned this image on to the back of my eyelids, labeling it "desire,". But I still couldn't stop with my normal, responsible adult life. But even this credit-worthy side of me can not make me stop wanting it.

And once I want something, that's usually just it. I just don't forget things I desperately want. I don't even think I can.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

This is all very well, but I had specifically asked for the Nobel!

I have the best idea ever.
But I am still too darned lazy to do anything about it. Also, if you have noticed, different people tend to have the same great idea around roughly the same time period. Which is why you have this debate over who actually invented or discovered what.

Anyway, the best idea ever is to write a Wolverine-Aliens crossover widescreen graphic novel.

Why would that make such a great idea - you might ask.

Well, with Wolverine's accelerated healing, you can pencil some really awesome scenes where a chestburster blasts right through him and he heals back up. W could even make him stab himself in an effort to kill it while it's in him, only the acid blood melts through him. However, because Aliens assume the characteristics of their hosts, these ones have awesome healing too.

So there they are, both slicing away at each other and melting and regenerating. Then who should we have come in? Weapon X! Alien gets captured by them and it too is grafted an adamantium skeleton, okay in their case an adamantium exoskeleton.

I will make no money at all from my great idea. But remember you saw it first here.

Nighttime Daydreamer

This is how I have spent my nights.

Stripped of all context. A singular screen with moving images that twist to the whims of my fingers. That is the singular ability true to all video games - Amplification of Input, the translation of a simple input into complex output: I press one button and a whole new range of options become available to me; I pull this trigger and that car explodes. The idea is not to exactly replicate the input required to achieve the desired output; the chain of causality from action to consequence is often long and complicated, one single action rarely leads to a complex output without a myriad other factors.

The base aim of all games is the codification and abstraction of complex life-like ideas and situations into ones over which it’s easier to obtain competence in, and eventually the mastery of.

Through mastery comes insight, understanding, and an appreciation of the complexity of the original situation. In order to achieve this insight, this appreciation, the simplification and abstraction of the original situation must be achieved in such a manner that the simplified version is easier to master but that the lessons learned from this simplified form are still applicable to the original.

The closer games move to complete 1:1 replication of input to output, the smaller this amplification effect becomes until the gap between the skills required for a video game version of Golf and an actual game of Golf start to disappear.

Is this really a problem? Well I did not turn on Burnout Paradise in order to crash my car at 180 mph, I did so in order to play a video game representation of some rash driving.

The appeal of the representation is different to the appeal of the reality. When will everyone get it.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the fault with everything

I know...I didn't stick at it to the end. I guess I feel like I've heard you say all those things before...all the reasons why things are so difficult now.

Trust me, I know them. I also know that the course we took was probably...maybe..not the best one to take at the time, but I'm still not sure. I still know I'd do it all differently if I had it over again, but you know that, too.

I've been thinking about you a lot lately; this past weekend I couldn't think of much else, and I had to stop myself & shake myself back into reality a couple of times. I'm not saying that to scare you & I hope it doesn't, but I guess it just says a lot...how difficult it is to stop you from occupying my thoughts.

The last time I saw you...I really, really tried to take it all as some kind of sign...that I was going to be ok & that life goes on. After all, I kind of ensure that I still was there till the terminal at 6 in the morning... I remember hearing your voice while I was out in the cold, and knowing you were holding back tears every time you turned to look around.... And I remember exactly what you looked like, and how I stood there with my hands in my pockets trying sheepishly to cover where I'd sloshed a little juice on the side but I didn't want to wipe it up & I hoped you wouldn't notice. I remember you seemed like you were disappointed in me for what we spoke the previous night, and how much it still stung me to know that I was somehow making you unhappy with yet another of my actions. And I remember leaving that day & telling myself that it was some sort of final test that the universe was putting me through, to see if I was man enough to go do what I needed to do to follow my dreams....until I remembered later that I don't believe in that kind of stuff. or maybe I do... I no longer know.

I'm not even sure what I'm trying to say now, I guess I'm just trying to put everything in your perspective. I don't have any idea what your day-to-day life is like or how you're getting along with it, but I'm hard-pressed to argue with anything that's made it easier for us to talk to each other

In any case, I'm just really glad that I've been able to communicate with you again. I have no idea what the future holds, but I'd like the present to hold the promise of us at least letting some of our guard down & accepting the fact that we are still important to each other....to say the least. I don't care how it sounds, but there's always a hole in my life when you're not in it. I've tried to get used to it before, but it's always there...unless you're here. I could write & write to you all night, but I think I'll stop now....I'm getting better at quitting while I'm ahead.