Thursday, July 23, 2009

Restless legs, dead inside

The west wind is speaking to me again and not in a way that would require me to undergo schizophrenia therapy; its a reference to 'Chocolat' which is a great movie. I am getting the restless legs indicative of dusting up my luggage and moving on to a heretofore undiscovered frontier.
Should it be a permanent move back? Would it just be a month long vacation to my home? Or is it indicative of some divine/heavenly change in my destiny?
Dont Know.

All I know is that something has to change somewhere. If its not forthcoming on its own then I will initiate it.
You see, along with Restless legs comes the baseless courage of the extremely brave and the totally stupid, to just take a plunge along the edge of the waterfall and see where it takes you.
The very minimum risks that I used balk at are not even appearing to me (in my current mindset) worthy of pondering for a second more.
It could well be that I am so tired of stagnancy that I would rather run the odds of going bust than just stay where I am.

Also, I miss my family. I haven't seen them in nearly two years now and of late, I feel very incomplete by myself.
This statement would shock my sister [at the very minimum] because we are not a very openly emotional or affectionate family. But even she knows that jokes apart we are bound by everything from genetics to metaphysics (spiritual).
It didn't help repair my mood to have spent this last saturday meeting my college mates (all married and talking kids),playing a couple of cutie-pie little girls at different points of the day(their respective mothers are younger than me) and meeting the parents-in law of B (who's sooo very svelte - she should be in the movies).
On the contrary, it might have excerbated the situation making me feel more disconnected with my current life and very dissatisfied.

Quite obviously there is great scope for crash and burn and very little good that can come from decisions made now.
But I feel like if I miss this bus, ignore this tidal wave sweeping within me and let it peak and crash without any break from routine that I would miss the proverbial knock of opputuinity.
That I would condemn myself to the hell of regularity.

My reactions to the present are so violent I actually feel very nauseous right now when I letting myself feel.
Reminds me of the character of Rochette in 'Public Enemies' (it was cool) who gets entangled with John Dillinger knowingly when he's been declared 'Public Enemy #1' in the country.
She explains to him that she lived in the reservation where nothing happened and moved out to her Aunty's for sometime where again nothing happened, till she finally came to Prohibition era Chicago and became a coat-check girl.
Quite obviously, that was not a very good call she made becoming 'his girl' [how very deliciously archaic!] considering she was intelligent enough to always know how things would turn out eventually.

And despite all my strong feelings on boredom and monotony of my life, I am not likely to strike up romance with some known felon...the desparate, reactive move could be on some other front.
Right now we have an all out battle between my self-preservation instinct and the combined forces of outrage over negetive career growth, homesickness, jealousy and boredom.
In the meanwhile, I am supressing all the negetivity in me which prevents me from appreciating anything wholesome.
I didn't even like 'Ice Age 3' because I am dead inside [Couple of ladies assured me that its not so on Fbk butI know better]

I am listless, vapid, impatient, angry and prone to shrewish behavior. I fear having become one of those perennially frustrated spinsters that everyone hates.
Like a bird caught in a cage, a fly tied to a web...awaiting slow torture and bad results but unable to get away. Threshing and spuring but sinking faster into the quicksand.

"Boredom is an emptiness filled with insistence."

The Empire that struck my fancy

An Indian cannot but help being slightly British. Why else would a three year old in Madras be taught to sing about the calamities that befell UK - London Bridge is falling down & Ring-a-ring-a-Roses?
Why would the only english language books in any library for children under 10 be only comprised of the works of Enid Blyton and Beatrix Potter ?
And speaking of Potter - You know how magic crazy the desi muggles are because most of you have contributed to the wealth of J.K.Rowling.

The Brits laid out the concepts behind our educational system and bureaucracy (thanks for that) amongst other things.
Our spelling and use of language is more British than anything else, although to be fair English is taken on more desi words and sounds like our cup of chai.
I personally could never think of them neutrally (like I would think of a Swiss person) because of their penchant for grabbing whatever they could lay their hands on regardless of the consequences for the grabee.
It seemed to me that maybe they had no respect for anyone besides anything to do with them. You can well understand the resentment,my country had a British Empress once and we are Indian.

Conversely, we were always having cosy, fraternal feelings for the US. They seemed more easy going and had broken off from Britain (adds points to them) and like us spoke english with their native twist.
America gave us Hollywood and Wall Street - 2 things known to every common Indian. The US accent became very familiar to the average desi and there was a phase in our high school when the creme-de-la-creme decided to sport afore mentioned accent just because.
I was extremely comfortable with books and movies from the US, being predominantly, an English speaker because they were more famous, fun,widespread and available.

There then came I time when I started living here in the US and felt right at home with everything (almost).
Until now I never thought about the British except for news snippets with British Primeministers or some adventure of the Royal Family.

Then things changed. My work was in its ending phase and with the voluntary ouster of a colleague, I was made a offer for a position in the UK.
Nothing was known and the position itself was not confirmed, it was just a possibility. I started reading the UK and Ireland editions of Google News.
BBC browsing became a routine and I actually have downloaded lessons on speaking Scottish Gaelic in my system.
I borrowed 'Mind Your Language' DVDs from the Library and rewatched the last 2 Bond movies atleast 10 times (although related, it was actually for some other reason)
The accent was suddenly a little endearing. Then I knew I was in danger of become an Anglophile.
I spoke with my friends who'd been to London and other cities for work and enquired about the lifestyle and conditions there.
Having looked up apartments for rent and Bus company sites for weekend trips to London, I then proceeded to tell almost anyone who'd enquire as to what I was going to do next.
J and I even made plans for sightseeing in May. I read up on the pre-christian pagan culture of the Isles [ask me about Samhain & Beltaine] and all the historical romance novels that Georgette Heyer ever wrote.
I am probably one of the few people of non-UK origin who knows what 'Corinthian' means. I also watched the gangster movies for the feel of the present day UK -
Lock Stock &.., The Bank Job, RocknRolla, LayerCake (I love cake). I also watched all the BBC mini series of the novels of the Brontes and Eyre.

Having done all this, I suddenly started seeing the British men in a very flattering right and as a direct result, started despising the women.
I also noted that in Hollywood some of the most ruggedly handsome men and the most chocolate faced lets-drive-the-teens-crazy guys were imports from UK.
In stark contrast, the women were all very thin, statuesque (and I dont say that with admiration) and perennially smoking.
No female seemed likeable, except Bridget Jones and they had to bring an american to play that role.

I am quite unable to muster any semblence of interest in football (I am Indian and do not deign to call it Soccer).
Hopefully that can be imbibed once I actually land there and soak up the ambience (or the smell of burning petrol from the riots).

Also the coverage of the English on Jon Stewart is mostly just brilliant :) [Hellooooooooow!]

Now, I am still in the Big Apple and will be for the better part of the year. The opportuinity that could've taken me to GB had morphed into a form no longer suited to me and job-wise I have moved on.
Still my interest in the United Kingdom still remains strong. I rather fancy them.
So I drink my English Tea, read the Telegraph UK and dream about going there.

I bet the sun sets on their empire now...

King George of Acerbitude

For your information, the title is contradictory because George Carlin hated the English [he's Irish American so go figure].

While trying to return my George Carlin books I found out that I couldn't. Not that there was any operational issue in the actual returning of the library books- The library was open, I had the books with me, all I had to do would be to drop them in an ubiquitous little collection box and NYPL would accept the prodigal.
It was also not as if the hesitation sprung from not having read the books. I read all 3 (Brain Droppings, Napalm & Silly Putty and When will Jesus bring the Pork Chops) fully and the 'Short Takes' repeatedly. It wasn't the first time I didn't want to send back a book on its merry way; the other books with which I had a similar reaction were - Lord of the Rings, Pride & Prejudice and The Shining.
What I was feeling was a sense of loss if I were to send the books back into circulation. As if the smart alecky, angry and very brutally honest voice would stop inducing me from bursting into a fit of giggles at mere recollection.
Such incidents had been occurring as a pattern especially in mandatory meetings where I had nothing to do but lend an air of glamor to the proceedings with my charismatic presence.
Also while typical the erstwhile commonplace work emails when I would suddenly note that I say 'respond' instead of answer and 'review' instead of 'read'; He saw all and through the clinical eyes of an anthropologist.
That is beyond awesome.

Truth is that it takes very little to amuse me, like today I was so diverted to discover a fluroscent yellow splotch (blend of tumeric and olive oil) on my shirt at the location where I wouldn't want attention (in office & by these people)
But that is neither here nor there.(which would tick old Georgey to no end because he is against the ambigous use of terms to indicate location - here, there)

I probably felt lonely to consider life without sayings like - My motto: F*%K Hope, I finally found out the meaning of Life but then they changed it or I am repelled by Wholesomeness.
As a believer in the almighty and someone who turns to goo at the sight of a slobbery little baby (however cute/un-cute), I know I am the kind of person who Mr.Carlin found so despicably stupid and quite masochistically I enjoy laughing at my ridiculousness.
I loved the parts of the books which dealt with Men & Women and how we got the short end of the stick which led me to infer that maybe the dear author was at some intrinsic level a (dare I say it) Feminist.
But best of all I worship the commentary on Language - the unnecessary doublespeak, the softening of the meanings for political correctness and sharp criticism of the abuse of English.
If it were up to me, I would take some of these excerpts into textbooks for students of English and they would certainly remember these lessons (with glee).

Coming back to my issues of letting go, I have pacified my possessiveness with a temporary extension of return and plan to be the proud owner of the complete bibliography of George Carlin for quenching my long term need to laugh at humanity despite being such a conformed little part of it.

Its true that I am a big Jon Stewart fan and follow Stephen Colbert's tweets but having dug back to source of their style of social/political commentary I realize that the real thing had been here and was now dead (he'd have hated it if I said 'passed on')
Amusing part is, no one else I know seems to be aware of this man's ever having existed or is affected by that information to the degree that I am (besides just one person who signalled '...likes this' on facebook)
Feels like being the solitary keeper of a delicious secret but with the kind of company offered to me, I prize my solitary joys.

My humble thanks to the man who started with 'Is everyone doing good today?' and after hearing a chorus on the affirmative followed up with 'Well, F*%K you!'

This was written a week back but not posted in a gesture that is very characteristically me.
So its my duty to update on the matters that occurred since relating to the subject matter of above post.
Daily Show with Jon Stewart mailed me saying that they have no tickets for me. I returned the George Carlin books this morning (had done max extensions).
If any of my friends are reading this then here's a clue as to what would make a great gift for me (whatever be the occasion)- all or some of George Carlin's books.
Subtlity is also my characteristic.

"Always do whatever's next."-George Carlin

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Sword of Honor or How my DVD drive ate the DVD

Today I found some Brit Miniseries in the Library and on the cover was a very familiar pair of piercing blue eyes gazing into my very soul. It was the Vol 2 but I didnt give a damn.
So as I watched, I began to jolt down the thoughts that popped into my head-
  • If a man in loose khaki knee length shorts with a name like Guy can still appear macho in a movie, he should get an award for ' Standing Straight despite overwhelming Gayness being heaped upon the person'.
  • Anyone using the word 'Indubitably' in a sentence when circumstances are dire is a giant ass.
  • Its impossible to maintain a deep crush on an actor once you've seen him de-objectified. Once that happens you just feel like a shallow flake for having liked someone for his appearance. Then the guilt triples when you see him onscreen all good looking again and go 'Hubba Hubba' (involuntarily, of course). Then you think of every lech in every street corner and bus who tried to paw you when you were barely 12 and think - I am just like that in concept (not implementation) only additionally hypocritical.
  • Second stage of self-loathing sets in when you realize after nearly 60 years of independance when your ideal of manhood is a golden haired blue eyed englishman. So much for reverse racial discrimination.
  • How did the hero find the time and implements to remain clean shaven all through the British Troop withdrawal from Crete in WWII?
  • Was his role in the army to set female hearts aflutter?
  • His eyes are the color of the water in the shores of Crete. I'm a smitten kitten.
  • Just when I think I'm too old to be petty, my revulsion for slate thin, conventionally attractive, icy blonde women goes up a notch.
  • You're never too old to be petty; just too old to be pretty.
  • Being drawn to troubled, angry, forceful men of power and hoping to marry a gentle, stable man shows deep inner conflict; Or conditioning a la Pavlov. Both prospects are highly unsettling.
  • There is something worth noticing about a man who writes in longhand with a fountain pen, even if its in a period movie.
  • Its important to belong somewhere.
  • why can't there be a British war movie without everyone smoking in all scenes?
  • Guys with thin mustaches in WWII movies are either cowardly villians or treacherous scum. That is how you know and will aid you when you scream "Dont trust him, he has a pencil thin mustache!" at the screen when the hero goes to the forest with the creep.
Things were reaching drool point (a threshold of how much pathetic mooning bearable by machinery) when Sri Krishna (my sentinent laptop) shut off my DVD drive and now the 'Sword of Honor' Volume Two is stuck inside. My Computer doesnt show evidence of there ever having been a DVD drive. I have done things that will make my engineering background very proud, restarted my laptop 3 times and drummed on top of the drive. The damn thing won't even light up. That is the problem with a sentinent electronic device, it gets temperamental.
When the System sulking stops and hopefully that is soon, I will be able to rescue the enabling cupid from Sri Krishna's stranglehold.

I long for a chance to call somebody a 'Crentin',

PS: Just realized I never mentioned the name of the actor being referenced in the post above. If you didnt guess/know already- Daniel Craig.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Obvious Science

My current visceral malreactions are towards people who state the blindingly obvious condescendingly or as if it were a revelation to the listener (me).
It happens with unfortunately unerring regularity in my place of stay (which I will not call my apt because I am still looking for a place to call - my apt) and to a more amusing extent during my perusal of the Google News.

So focussing on the less bile invoking option, here are some headlines in the Health and Lifestyle sections over the past few weeks which I thought was just common knowledge but it took a team of scientists years to research and come to the exact same conclusions in some corner of the world (only to be debunked by a small variation of the same in a microsecond?)
Junk food is manufactured to get you hooked - I am so shocked. You mean to tell me the good people at McD, BK, Wendy's are only behind my money and don't care about my behind?
Study Says There No Such Thing as Empty Nest Syndrome - For generations, Indian parents have been happily getting rid of their daughter accompanied by music and gaiety; so yeah this one, I saw coming.
Women show grace under pressure, while men are likely to take risks in the same high stress situations - Which is probably why we don't work on combat duty and only serve drinks at high stakes poker.
Daily sex improves chances of conception for couples where the men have low sperm count - D'uh...try try try again till you succeed works on all levels
Modern men prefer skinny women: Study - This one's right out of the blue! With all those celebrated stars and models who eat bi-annually, I would've never figured its because the men would prefer them, I just thought they were good at what they did. [No, I didnt]
Women more likely than men to hit nail on the head when there is light - Why would that be relevant to anything ever? Its not like 'hitting the nail on the head' was a metaphor...these guys actually mean taking a hammer and hitting a nail with it.
Migraine pain more common in women - that is because we are supposed to be skinny, keep trying to get pregnant and show grace under pressure. try living with that on your head always!
Heavy women have low quality relationships - or the corollary of the previous headline 'Modern men prefer skinny women'
Men, women use Facebook differently - wow...that is so difficult to determine, how did they manage to find out? Next related discovery could probably be that men and women select different options in the signup sheet which asks for gender.
Being careful about the future is in our genes - Mind boggling! Really?! That does explain Life Insurance policies and Wills. So those werent random inventions as previously held by scholars!
Boys 'have sweeter tooth' than girls - that is why girls are sweet and made of "sugar and spice and everything nice". And I extend this great finding with my addendum - Guys have sweeter everything than girls and present for evidence the Daniel Craig in swim suit shaped, grape flavored popsicle. Or was that my evidence for how easily we can cross lines from eye candy to actual candy in a very wrong way? I forget. [I may think he is yummy but eating one of the above mentioned popsicles would take a bite out of the object of my affections...the puns end here]
Men set for 'extinction' - poor things. You became redundant with co-existence of the concepts 'Being Gay' and 'Cloning'. New nail in your coffin human parthenogensis becoming possible.
‘Taller people get fatter pay packet’ - All I needed to get to come to the same conclusion was look at the depressing pay stub of my hobbit sized self.
Macho guys don't always get the girls - Depends on how you define 'get', I would say Guys in general dont 'get' girls.
Care for elderly, be blessed with longer life - its called good karma
Anger 'is down to genes' - Dammit Parents! See what you gave me?! and all I wanted was travel scrabble.
Second-born kids are more rebellious: Research - that's because their spirit is not surgically wrenched from them at an early age with the litany - you are the eldest, you have to adjust and give up for your sister.
'Night owls cleverer, richer than early birds' - oh yeah, where is my money and IQ then? This is so dimwitted it could only be written by a poverty stricken day lark!
'Milky Way's heart tastes of raspberry, smells of rum' - And we wonder why obesity is becoming an epidemic while we blissfully think of the entire universe in terms of food and drink.
World over, rivers are drying up - which is what we should expect in days of 'Global Warming'
Old smiling snaps predict marital bliss - happy people divorce less. This did need some of the best minds working with zillions of dollars to realize.

Coming soon to the Blindingly Obvious section - The Pope's catholic, Sun rises in the east and I need to move.