This silver ball has a cloudy edge

The unexpected benefits of working from home:

  • You put on four kilos in two months.
  • You realise how little you're spending on shaving implements and accessories.
  • And deo.
  • You realise you're keeping in touch with more friends, and keeping more in touch with friends.
  • You're cooking a lot more. New stuff, too.
  • And reading a lot more.
  • And listening to more music.
  • You can't remember the last time you wore a formal shirt.
  • Mid-day nookies (hai la!)
  • Four kilos. Two months. Woooohooo!
Cloudy bits include:
  • Gasping when you try to do your normal cycle-run in the same time as you used to.
  • Being expected to not have a problem in running errands.
  • Being unable to wriggle out of invitations by blaming public transport.
  • Because everybody knows exactly where you are.

Friday Fun: Fact/Fiction

Even if you didn't want to, you get to know more about me.
(Warning: This may or may not be true)

On Wednesday evenings, I play 'Bouncer Bouncer' at a nearby pub.

Don't be fooled. The weekends may have the larger crowds, and the noisier ones, but Wednesday nights are more dangerous. After all, somebody who's determined to get seriously drunk in the middle of the week (despite two more working days to go), is somebody you really want to keep an eye on.

It can be....interesting.


She hid within the thick hedge, waiting. She had been squatting there for a while already, but she was content. After all, there was so much to do.

Like tasting the different tangs that the damp breeze carried as it swirled around her. Seeing how deep her toes could go if she kept pushing them into the softened wet earth. Counting how many of the little bodydraggers came sliming their way out to revel in all the water. Making sure that she was in position to see the road clearly, but was hidden well enough to not be spotted.

She realised she probably wouldn't be upset if her original plan didn't come to pass. But she kept a sharp lookout anyway, peering constantly at the rapidly glooming road, determined not to let an opportunity pass.

Like the one just arising.

Oh, yes.

A pre-occupied young man. Hurrying-scurrying. Worrying more about mud-sprays from the nasty little cars flying by in the murk, and sparing only the occasional look to notice where he was stepping.

She waited.

He came closer, shaking his head and muttering - and occasionally shouting - as more muck splashed onto him. Striding quickly, and only distractedly taking care to watch the path.

She waited.

...and as he passed by, and looked up to shake his fist yet again to some unknown antagonist, she SNAPPED the twig she had been holding for so long.

And almost laughed out loud as he turned horror-stricken eyes to the ground, trying to locate the snail he had accidentally stepped on. And she kept on laughing (hand clasped to mouth) while he nervously glanced around to see if anybody saw it, tried one last time to distinguish the snail from the twigs and stones, and then scurried away from the scene of the (assumed) crime.

When the giggles finally subsided, she picked up the next stick.

Oh, yes.


Blog habits I don't get

If I was being honest, I'd admit to being peeved, and a little bewildered, by -

* Blog comment-spaces that show the time of the comment, but not the date. Very confusing.

* Bloggers who allow comments, but don't (often) reply to comments. Very rude.

* Mini-feeds by non-professional blogs. Very pointless*.

* Word-verification by non-professional blogs. As pointless**.

But....some of my favourite blogs have some of these features.

So, not peeved, just bewildered.
Really. godpromise. Katti mat karo. I louuwwwww you guys!

* What, beyond the little thrill of allowing the blogger to see how popular they are, is the point of them? And don't say it's for tracking who's visiting the blog. There are site-trackers for that. And even if you knew, how does that help? You can't block them from visiting, and you can just as easily comment-ban them with full feeds.
** How many spam comments do you get anyway?

Guide to Blogging - Problems, disorders and side-effects

Blogpost Thought Intersection
Or, the I-Was-Thinking-The-Same-Thing-Too!! Eventuality

One of the most frequent, and almost certainly inescapable, side-effects of blogging, this regular occurrence describes the event of a blogger coming across a post written on a topic/idea that the blogger was about to write on/was considering writing on.

The discovery of a BTI inevitably results in (also inevitable) comments that muse upon the 'amazing' or 'weird' coincidence of such a post-thought occuring to both bloggers. With exclamations.

Much research* has been conducted into the occurrence, frequency, and underlying factors of BTIs. The studies took into account -

a) The low level of internet penetration globally
b) The large segmentation amongst web-users in sticking to one language for all their online activities.
c) The relatively low percentage of bloggers amongst web-users
d) The natural tendency amongst humans to drift towards others of their own level of intellect, interests, and inclinations.
and crucially,
e) The Idea Repetition Meme**

Given the above factors, it was individually concluded that it was natural that bloggers, who converse in a certain language online and interact with other bloggers who are interested in the same things they are, would often end up thinking about an identical concept at the same time as each other. This result was famously (unofficially) summarised by one of the authors of the report as 'Like, duh, why is it so surprising'?

* There were studies. Just take our word for it. What? You don't trust us? Whyever not? Just because you're reading 'our' and 'us' when you know it's 'my' and 'me'? Tchah.
** Any thought/emotion/belief/experience that you have, has already happened (many times) before, with very minor differences (if at all).


The obligatory AB* post

* Which moniker now belongs to the Bindra boy, not the Big B. Get with the programme already.

No, no comments on the maid-story (which, if it's true - bad Papa!), or his wealth, or how one yellow round thing is needed to give over a billion people some validation.

Nope. Nothing of that sort. Just this one thought -

You know what would really be interesting in the aftermath of Mr. Shooter-Man winning The Gold Medal? What would really show the fickleness of the public, the shallow nature of 'everybody's triumph' in the victory, and be just a really good way for a tiny percentage of the country's population to get a hernia from laughing at the reactions?

If, during one of those interminable interviews, when asked yet again about his marriage plans, he announced that, actually, he was oh-so-very gay.

Can you not just picture it?

It would be brilliant!


In the beginning, there was the rock.

And the rock was all, and all was on the rock.

And in the time before time, and for more time than there was time, there was only the rock.

And then the rock thought, let there be more.

** ** ** ** *** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

And the rock sent forth its thoughts, and taking from itself, created.

And the rock created quartz, and feldspar, and kaolin, and mica.

And then the rock begat shale, and sandstone, and chalk, and gypsum.

And yea, the rock also brought forth hematite, and magnetite , and calcite, and limonite.

And the work of the rock did not end there, but carried on for time uncounted.

Till finally, the rock rested, and looked with pride upon its creation.

** ** ** ** *** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

But then the rock grew troubled, for there was disharmony within the many.

For sedimentary warred with igneous who fought with metamorphic, and the battles were terrible.

And the rock grew saddened, and drew together its children.

And the rock asked, What is the cause of this discord, amongst you who have come from one?

And the rock was told, We seek to establish who is your chosen, and who shall lead us forth.

And then each began to proclaim its own honour above those of the others.

And long did they all speak, but the rock made no answer.

And when the clatter of the last had petered out, the rock was silent for a while.

** ** ** ** *** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

And then the rock rumbled,

There is one yet to come,
who will be less than the least of you,

but who will be above you all.

And this one, whom I have so long worked to perfect,
shall be known in all the lands,
and while time may dull each of you,
the ages shall only polish its lustre

** ** ** ** *** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

And then the rock brought forth its last creation.

And its name was The Pebble.

** ** ** ** *** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

And the rock said,

The Pebble is the all.
The Pebble is the joy.
The Pebble is the glory.
The Pebble is the shine.
The Pebble is the touch that delights, when others would but hurt.
The Pebble will walk lightly upon water, when others would only sink.
The Pebble will be buried under, but will only become More Pebble.
Believe in The Pebble.
Trust in The Pebble.
Have Faith in The Pebble.
For The Pebble is all.

** ** ** ** *** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

And ages passed, and boulders turned to stone, but yet The Pebble endured.

And all who saw, learnt to believe, and took The Pebble to be their own.


This thought wasn't really expanded on, and it might as well be done now (Reno-boy, the post should answer one of your oldest questions). More specifically, this:
"It means not being able to promise anything, because you know that you can never guarantee something, only that you will try to make it happen. It means not being able to use definite terms such as always and never and totally and absolutely."
Let me explain.

While the experiment to attempt Complete Truthfulness may have failed, some things stayed with me. And given my fascination with language, it was but obvious it would be related to that. This meant that, for a long time, I couldn't say things like "Good morning" (I try not to). I remember driving a friend crazy over a few days over those two words. The conversations went something like this:

Day 1
Friend: "Good morning!" (was one of those early-morning cheery types)
Me: "Is it?"
Friend: "Isn't it? Why, aren't things okay with you?"
Me: "I didn't say they weren't. But you made a statement saying it was"
Friend: "It wasn't a statement. I was just wishing you!"
Me: "Ah, so you didn't mean to say 'This is a good morning', but rather 'Have a good morning'?"
Friend: "Yes!!"
Me: "Well, then, you should've said that"

Day 2Friend: "Hi. Have a good morning"Me: "Hey! Don't put pressure on me. It'll either turn out to be good morning or it won't. Don't tell me to go actively turning it into one. What's with all the stress? Why can't people just let things be? Why should I have to have a good morning - why can't it just be a nice morning, or a normal morning, or an uneventful morning? Huh? Huh?"
Friend: "Whaaaaa...?"

Day 3

Friend: "Hey...I hope you have a good morning, or any kind of morning apart from one which is not bad or harmful to you"
Me: "So it's ok if my afternoon goes bad, or my evening's a disaster? You don't love me enough to hope that my whole day goes well? What kind of a friend are you?"
Friend: "........!" *Stomachpunch*

Ok, so I deserved that (and it hurt).

But I still do it to people I've met recently, and it has changed the way I greet others. I stick to hellos, or I ask them if they're having a good morning/day. And sometimes (if it is truly a lovely day), I have no compunctions in stating "This is a wonderful morning". But I try to avoid obvious statements like that (a continued hangover of reading that bit from Hitchhiker's where Ford Prefect muses on human conversational habits*).

This habit also means that I stopped saying "Happy birthday". Because it's not. Your birth day is the day you were born. The celebration you have every year is the anniversary of your birth (day). So it should be "Happy birth day anniversary". However, given that we don't say "Happy wedding day anniversary", I've trimmed it down to "Happy birth anniversary".

And yet people react strangely every time I say that, and call it a 'typically weird (myrealname) statement'. Simply because it's not what everyone's used to hearing - regardless of whether or not it makes more sense. I can only assume it's because the former sounds better, and is less cumbersome. That, and the whole dumb-sheep thought of school.

But sooner or later, this gets very difficult. Because you begin to realise that if you have to be Truthful, you cannot make definite statements. Or rather, cannot always make such statements (see what I mean?).

Simply because you realise that when you're saying words like never or actually or always, what you really mean is (I believe it will) never/actually/always, which in itself fully means (Taking into account all that I know, it's my considered opinion that it will) never/actually/always. And since the sum total of one's knowledge is bound to be less than the actual amount of knowledge/possibilities in the world, you realise that what you're really saying is (I'm hoping that I'm right when I say that it will) never/actually/always.

I can't do that anymore.

And so my conversations, and indeed (if you've been reading this blog for long) my writing, are indefinite. Hedged.
I use a lot of perhaps', and maybe's, and possibly's. There's an overpowering urge to qualify almost every statement, give an alternative option for almost every supposition or belief. And an equally overpowering urge to correct people, which in turn is only restrained by the overwhelming worry that I run the risk of turning into a pedantic bore.

Needless to say, this isn't necessarily a good thing.

But it has its perks. Especially when you get to mess with people's minds early in the morning.

* "One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about human beings was their habit of continually stating and repeating the obvious, as in 'It's a nice day', or 'You're very tall', or 'Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you alright?' At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behaviour. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favour of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working." - Douglas Adams


People, there is still some hope

Any world in which people say "Hey, wouldn't this be a great life-mimics-art thing to do?", and then actually go ahead and take a gnome around the world (a la Amelie), is worth having some faith in.

This story is just so cool, it made my day. No wait, month. Nay, year! Ah, joy joy joy.


Manual of Life - Didn't see that one coming #79

When electric and hybrid cars, which through decades of hope (and sci-fi stories) have been promoted as being not only clean but less noisy transportation, have to be fitted with artificial engine noises.

Because, duh, how are the blind, or cyclists, or pedestrians round a blind corner supposed to know they're approaching?

So basically, you can forget about lower traffic noise if you live in a city.


Thursday Torment: Food, other people's

She's besotted with one city, and unfortunately also takes lovely pictures of the food you get in it. Why unfortunate? Because she's hogging it all by herself, and all we can do is drool. No fair.

Go see Szerelem's latest Turkish culinary orgasmoscope*.

Only if you want to suffer, that is. And then go inflict it on your friends/family/colleagues/random people passing your computer - after all, why should you keep the pain to yourself?

* orgasmascope? orgasmathon?


Manual of Life - For The Lack Of Formal Approval #4

Words that should be in the dictionary, but aren't

...for some vague and arbitrary reason, even though in many cases they sound more appropriate than the 'official' words. These are distinct from 'made-up' words and 'words that should exist, but don't', due to the seeming obviousness of the reason for their existence - and the quite definite lack of their being so.