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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Things to be grateful about

I won't lie to you, the past week has not been a very pleasant one. Every new discovery of a socio-political theory that seems to make sense wipes away, completely, current world view and leaves it with a more nuanced and gritty picture. At some point you need to take stock and stop, because there is too much information fatigue, too much passion fatigue, too much anger fatigue. Being a news junkie is heartbreaking some weeks, and this has been one of them.

I want to make a list of things to be grateful for before I go to sleep, and because I want to keep it real, it will likely be a short one.

1) Belief in utter awesomeness of self.
2) Choice of picking battles to fight.
3) Opportunities.
4) Sweets.

Monsoon grey

I'm sitting down with some paints and a sheet of blank paper. My current living room is a study in understated 90's elegance. Well, for a shell of an apartment, at least.

The floors are pale cream mosaic, the good kind. The walls are cream too, and the lighting is ornate. Furniture is sturdy and well made, some kind of sheeny expensive wood. There is no art on the walls, save a painting of cranes in the marshes - a blue and white soothing still life.

Amidst the mildy incongruous modern touches like a flat screen television, a space-agey heating device and an extravagantly crafted glass bowl centerpiece, there is a lamp that I have grown to love. A fishing pole meets the hunchback alien probe kind of lamp, strangely grounded in a hunk of marble.

On days like this, where the skies are monsoon grey, and the pool is limpid and quiet, and the fairy lights across the green areas are switched off, I pull one of the heavy chairs towards the lamp by the window, drag the side table so I can plonk my feet on it, and I feel a quiet happiness.


I wish you were here so you could be a part of this fleeting monsoon grey joy day. But wherever you are, I hope you are happy.

***
I don't really listen to much Coke Studio, but this one, which G has sent to me, is an excellent mid-afternoon rainy day song.

Sonu Kakkar and Vishal Dadlani - Coke Studio, Season 2, Episode 1: Madari

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Yar no more

I'm watching Star Trek: TNG and Yar just died! While I was a little shocked, I expected this, as I had already read plot synopses.  What I particularly liked was how simple and effective (and true-like) her death was.

This really isn't a morbid post, merely an observation.

Hello, is it me you're looking for?

Righto.

1) Firstly, I'm really sorry if you have me on Google Reader (why, why would you do that when this header and bloggy design are so pretty?) and I've 'published' about 131 posts today and you missed out on the important news-bloggy stories out there.

Anyway, calm down. I, even I, am not that prolific. They're re-posts (as you already know).

2) Secondly, I know I went away, but I couldn't write on my new secret blog on wordpress. It was a short-lived affair but I am back to my current and usual true love - blogspot bloggy.
(Also, I like tinkering around here better). Also, I heard you missed me. I missed me. So I had to come back by popular demand. Sigh - fandom.


3) Thirdly, like, have you been reading the news? What an AWFUL world we seem to live in. There's been way too much abuse and grief and sadness on the news for my liking. Only the Higgsteria made up for it. And Aung San Suu Kyi. And Santorum withdrawing (horrid man obssessed with vaginas and foetuses and uteruses). America - don't become the Knife of Never Letting Go.
(shudder)

4) Fourthly, I have been reading a lot. Feed by MT Anderson was brutal and honest in a way that little else I've read recently. Except Charles Stross's science fiction which I liked and then immediately unliked and you'll see why.

5) Fifthly, I have had a lot of time to think. Serious think. Like, I read Saturn's Children and I was like wtf is it with female sex robots and why tf do sci-fi writers write semi-porno-sadistic-abuse crap about them? (See below). I mean, is it because you won't be respectable if you write about semi-porno-sadistic abuse crap of male sex robots?  Why dude, why? And The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. Why talk about their perfect breasts and mango smooth skin and perpetuate body imagery that is patently illogical. WTF is mango smooth skin? And these books are insanely famous. Promethues, Hugo, Locus, Nebula - you name it they've been nominated.
This is not fiction. This is Cosmo + Fifty Shades of Grey.

And lets not even get into gaming and quizzing.

From Wiki, a little intro:

"Emiko is a Japanese-designed windup girl (a humanoid GM organism, used as a slave, and programmed to seek a master and obey him; windups call themselves "New People") abandoned by her Japanese master. As such, she is illegal in Thailand. Raleigh, a sex club owner, gives her some measure of safety by bribing the police to let her live, but at the price of forcing her to work in his club, where she is routinely abused and sexually humiliated." - The Windup Girl


 6) Sixthly, the internet is a wonderful place because there are so many important ways to say what you can about the issues that anger you. Like, you can ready about the Bechdel Test and then say: I will legally only own copies of stuff that passes the Bechdel Test. And you can tell people about it on-the-line :). How wonderful a place is the internet. Also I am now a wiki editor. And a news junkie; seriously, I've read SO much news in the past few months. I've also completely STOPPED buying hard copy books. Ok, if I go on in this rein, this blogpost will not end.

7) Seventhly, I have not been shoe-shopping at all. I have disavowed the excessive materialism which characterised my life for the past couple of years. I like my simple (non shoe-shopping life now). I thought I should tell you this, in case you thought I was buying every pair of flat happy open-toed shoes I could find here

8) Eightly, I am in Singapore - did you already know this? I can never go back to living in a non-sun non-swimming pool place anymore. There is also less Asian vegetarian food in Singapore than in London (also less cupcakes - sigh) so I have been cooking more and I am an excellent chef. Really truly. I am on a new crazy eating and exercise plan though so I haven't eaten a cupcake in about four months. I didn't even eat one when I found out about my new job - though I skipped the gym for 8 days in celebration.

9) Ninthly, I am going to need to make new friends because I will be moving to Delhi.
(Sad face * 453867)

10) Tenthly, hey, hello, gentle reader!!!! Are you well?

Distance, love and 437 emails


Sometimes that's all you need.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Who me? Busy?

Soul balm for Monday morning: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/

Note especially when he says:
“More and more people in this country no longer make or do anything tangible; if your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary. I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter.”

And then he says what I believed all along, instead of the lies that this world fed me:

““The goal of the future is full unemployment, so we can play. That’s why we have to destroy the present politico-economic system.” This may sound like the pronouncement of some bong-smoking anarchist, but it was actually Arthur C. Clarke, who found time between scuba diving and pinball games to write “Childhood’s End” and think up communications satellites. My old colleague Ted Rall recently wrote a column proposing that we divorce income from work and give each citizen a guaranteed paycheck, which sounds like the kind of lunatic notion that’ll be considered a basic human right in about a century, like abolition, universal suffrage and eight-hour workdays. The Puritans turned work into a virtue, evidently forgetting that God invented it as a punishment.”

*BEAMS*

There's been a lot of criticism and analysis of this post, but its a definite goodread.