It’s official (I put it on Orkut!) – this blog is libertarian no longer. I don’t have time to go into the lengthy whys and wherefores so here’s the short version:
1. Giant corporations are out to get me.
2. The government is ALSO out to get me.
3. Therefore I choose the evil I have at least nominal control over to run my essential services.
That is all.
PS: And Ron Paul? I’ll give up my right to choose abortion the day you vote to make it compulsory for people to donate their body parts (extra kidney, eye, liver, bone marrow, etc) to biological children in need. Bastard. Calls himself a libertarian, honestly!
If you knew what was happening in my life (viz: nothing), you would not wonder why I haven’t been blogging. Unless, of course, you want to hear all about the facinating intricacies of transcribing tax forms into code…?
Just to prove it to you, here are a few unfinished drafts of posts over the past three weeks:
—Friday was Ice Cream Day at work: pity Wendelin doesn’t like ice cream, eh? Usually too sweet, always too cold. Brr. But I went to the 16th floor conference room anyways with the rest of the work bunch and found myself staring at a GIGANTIC container of trifle – all chocolate and jam and whipped cream. I succumbed to the temptation, but it didn’t taste nearly as good as it looked… but chocolate is chocolate, so this was worth it. Could I be more pointless?
—I haven’t exercised in five weeks! Pounds, where is thy meltage? Death, where is thy sting? Woe!
—Freakin’ Alberto Gonzales QUIT!! LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALA. But this probably means there isn’t going to be any investigation any more, dammit. I want this blasted presidency over already – like the media seems to be pretending it is. This week’s Economist reminds us: there’s still seventeen months, left. Bugger. But still… there is this surreal atmosphere of everybody knows they’re bullshitting us, you know? It can only be a good thing. Someday we’re going to wake up and find ourselves back in Kansas, and maybe if that day comes within the next seventeen months, we’ll even impeach the president? Nah, that’s Oz-talk. But there is some cause for celebration at dear old Alberto’s sacking. Ding dong, ladies and gentlemen, the wicked witch is dead. Thank you.
—I got a free mug and sticky magnets today at work. Bwah.
—A Prayer for Owen Meany turned out to be a great read, not at all boring, very vivid characters, and Irving has a splendid turn of phrase I could really, really learn from. Then why is it that I can’t finish the damn book? This is freakin’ insane, I LIKE it!
… and so on: posts, I am sure you’ll agree, are best left to unpublished obscurity.
…u seem to be diggin your own grave..with your “oh so great” english…ur arrogant attitude towards people…what have u really learnt from all your education..?
Hilarious as this comment is, my cripplingly low writing self esteem has simply latched onto his inadvertent compliment (“oh so great” english, he calls it! *wibble*), and thus was my day made by Narayandas Murali Krishna. Will wonders never cease?
Y HALO THAR, INTERNETS! Hope you’re feeling spiffy today coz I sure am, lalala ponies.
Or perhaps I am lightheaded from donating blood. HEEE. Yes I did. In honour of independence day, too, and got cookies and cake for my trouble. There was a little dip in the happiness radar when they didn’t have a free tshirt in my size (I WILL AVENGE THIS INJUSTICE, RED CROSS) and now Saurabh gets the fruit of my labour. Oh well.
Oh and a weird thing happened. My blood floated up in copper sulphate solution (they do that to check its specific gravity; if it sinks it means you have enough iron to donate). But then they ran the centrifuge on a sample and my iron levels are perfect. So why’s my blood light, I ask you? Huh? HUH??
My mom sent me a “Happy Independence Day” email today, all bright and happy primary colours flashing at me first thing in the morning when I opened my inbox. Not a bad way to start the day. She says she’s going to the Indian Embassy out there in Shanghai for celebrations.
Then my Greader (if it’s Gmail, it’s Greader, yo) threw up a slew of patriotism-inspired posts – no fewer than FOUR from Wini alone – and this one from Sayesha induced pangs of discomfort.
I am so conflicted about India.
On one hand, it’s my country, dammit. On the other, I loathe automatic patriotism.
On one hand, those old patriotic songs and nation-building exercises on Doordarshan ( see Snowbeak’s Muffler: Hamara Kal) bring back such fond memories, but on the other, they just remind me of all that propaganda India stuffed into me in place of a civics and history education.
On one hand, India calls to me with its homeyness, its lip-smacking food, its welcoming heat, its familiar trees, the smile in its air every time I visit it – but on the other, it repels me with its insane rules and its thieving public officials, making what is now “normal life” to me impossible there.
On one hand is its earthiness, its reality, that sense of being free from this artificially hyperhygienic remote bubble I live in now; but then there is the reality of living too close to the earth: the raw emotions, the crudeness of behaviour, the snap-reaction way of life that just takes you over when you start living there.
On one hand, I have such rosy memories of the people I knew as a kid, and on the other there is the stark reality that though I will never relate completely to Americans, never really know them in my bones, never feel at home with them, they are simply vastly more civilised than Indians on the whole.
On one hand, I cringe at my statement above, because a big romantic part of me still considers India home, but on the other, I must admit I see its truth every day: I see its truth in the doors that are not shut in my face, in the racism I have not experienced, in the respect others have for my body.
The patriotic part of me now wants to say something like: perhaps my conflictedness is a reflection of India itself, maybe this is how a person who really loves India should feel. The realistic (cynical?) part of me says: what a load of bollocks that is.
Happy independence day? Yes, I think so. I think so.
… and I am going mad. Despite my disenchantment with the forums four months ago, I am back on the SugarQuill because, what, you expect me to get through these last superstretchy looooong hours without a support group? I’m a wreck. I’ve just nearly cried reading “The Day The Music Died (And I Got Farked)” again.
Oh, and there we were all in one place,
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again.
For this final book I’m going to a release party – a first for me. I’ll be at Borders (I can just hear you going ‘lame-o’) from 7 pm onwards, mingling and trying to calm my jangling nerves. I will also be in freaky goth make-up courtesy of ubergay (and ubersweet, actually) colleague, who promises he can do it in 10 minutes. Honestly, this is like new year’s eve, night-before-first-day-of-school and night-before-dentist’s-appointment, combined.
And in the streets: the children screamed,
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.
But not a word was spoken…
Saurabh knows something. Something beginning with a certain letter of the alphabet that I won’t reveal here, except to say that it’s a letter Jo Rowling seems to like very much indeeed. I’m dying from guessing what that letter could mean, what follows it, what he knows.
But february made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn’t take one more step.
That’s all I know about the 7th book, I swear. I don’t think I’ve ever been so pure white for any other HP book… I read Goblet of Fire before I read the first, second and third books. For Order of the Phoenix I found out about Harry’s trial a couple of days in advance. For Half-Blood Prince, I knew the chapter titles beforehand, which pretty much meant my suspicions of Dumbledore dying were completely confirmed.
Did you write the book of love,
And do you have faith in God above,
If the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in rock ’n roll,
Can music save your mortal soul…
But this time, the extent of my spoilage is ONE FREAKIN’ LETTER. Thank you for the applause. It feels good.
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?
And now from some last-minute crystal gazing. Just two thoughts from reading Prisoner of Azkaban yesterday, actually -
Dementors will be used to destroy one or more horcruxes.
Trelawney will make a third real prophecy.
A long, long time ago…
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile.
Ok, kids. Goodbye. This time I really do mean it – the spoilers are EVERYWHERE and I’m beginning to crack myself… It’s off the internet and back to work. See you on the other side.
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before,
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play.
I think I’ve just stumbled onto the Aussie redneck radio station. Two guys, you understand, blathering about stuff before they start playing music, and on and on they go about “Afro-Americans”‘ sensitivity to being called black.
“And calling them coloured is just daft because black’s not a colour, mate, it’s the Asians and Indians and all those sorts of things that are actually coloured.”
So the other guy says, “If you could be spray painted a colour, which colour would you pick?”
There isn’t even a pause – “White.”
“Yeah, mate, as white as a bloody pommie in midwinter.”
“Har har har.”
“Har har har.”
Harry Potter is like good chewing gum… endlessly chewable because it lasts and lasts and lasts.
This thought is brought to you courtesy of an ubergay colleague (he just spent our lunch hour buying the TALLEST animal print high heel pumps you’ve ever seen) who offered me Orbit White gum about an hour ago and I’m still chewing it and and it’s STILL got taste and goddamn my jaw HURTS.
Potterism, otoh, has not given me chewing fatigue yet. Since I brought it up, I want to recommend this essay posted by a friend on his blog Ribbonfarm. A neat analysis of the nature of magic in the world of HP which isn’t afraid to get technical and use big words (TM).
A tug at my upstretched arm, and I step out of the relentless sun into the cool shade of the grocer’s awning. Incense, black tea and oil in the air. Grimy glass jars full of salty treats at my eye level – sweets are nowhere to be found. The grocer smiles with yellowing teeth, smooth brown head shining under the lone bulb.
“A block of jaggery,” Mother snaps from somewhere above.
Thud. The distant spice of cane fields tickles my nostrils. Then the rustle of old paper, the low whirr as the ball of twine unravels at the grocer’s command, scattering discordant particles of woody dust when he snips off a parsimonious length to tie the package off.
“Goodbye, child” he says to me, his tongue an unnatural red between his black lips.
Ulalume was her name, and skipping rope was her game.
She was a little black child in a faded white sundress, maybe seven or eight years old – the dress and the child, both. She skipped in the most surprising ways through the most surprising times: sideways in the morning rain, high and floaty in the springtime, backflips through war and running skips when the bees chased her. Sometimes she climbed trees – the tall straight ones that only knew to grow straight up with no complicated networks of branches, and she stayed till past sundown to see if she could catch dew happening. But that wasn’t very often.
Ulalume was her name, and skipping rope was her game.
And when time came for her to go home, she left behind a mist of sundrops that condensed gently into the lake, each plop of each drop as clear as the thwack of her skipping rope.
Hamadryad (Bewitching Brews)
Hamadryads are born into a tree that serves as both a home and an anchor for the creature’s soul. They are sometimes tricksters, sometimes seducers, sometimes helpful and benign, but they are always fierce and furious protectors of the natural world. Seven dry woods with mossy lichen and a gentle breeze of forest flowers.
…. I’m sorry, but this one smells exactly like Iodex to me. I tried to write a funny piece about it, but I can’t keep a straight face, and everybody knows the worst jokes are always told by laughing people.
I discovered BPAL scents through M-, who is ‘Alchemilla’ on the BPAL forums (I am Wendelin, but this information is useless to you because I haven’t posted even once yet). I am HOOKED, HOOKED, HOOKED on the perfumes. I’ve tried about 12 Imp’s Ears (the tiniest little bottles of oils with helpful little wands in them, probably less than 1 ml) – hated some, loved others – in case you can’t tell, I hated Rage and loved Ulalume while that Iodex one just makes me laugh. Interestingly, the perfumes change on you. I’ve just discovered that Shattered, which I thought smelled like rotting drainwater the first time I tried it, is a really pleasing light floral and aquatic scent that I want to buy. And apparently what smells like one thing on you will smell completely different on another person… which is giving me wicked ideas about finally putting Saurabh to good use. If he goes to work smelling like white tea, lilies, moss and sandalwood (ah, I see I have made my perfume tastes public) in the service of my own little private olafactory experiment, so be it.
Even more addictive than the scents, which drive you mad trying to figure out exactly what that little note of something-or-the-other in the background is, is the website itself. Is that heaven or what? It wakes up my inner Goth, it sates my hunger for all things mythological and literary, it pleasures my inner geek to a hundred little thrills. I mean, look at me, cooing about my inner Goth! I love that it’s not organised in a perfectly orderly, easy-to-locate fashion. BPAL’s website is Paris: it invites you come take a walk in it, discover its secrets, lose your way and just keep wandering simply to soak in the beauty all around you.