Sometimes I wonder how many people have wondered why they keep on going, since nothing matters in the end anyway.

I wonder if they then go on to wonder about this till the very end, even after believing it does not matter anyway.

I wonder if they wonder about the end, and about whether they will still be able to wonder then.

I wonder if at the end, they will be wondering about why they wondered if it does not matter.

I wonder why I wonder about this, when it does not matter in the end either.


Bloggysses, Bloggysez

or, How not to read Joyce

1. Without notes.

Cuz you ain't seen nothing like it, yo.

The man brings all his Latin-filled, literary-enthused, religion-obsessed chaos and thumps it right across your face. And you'll feel pretty much as if you're facing ol' Curtly at Antigua while carrying a table tennis racket. In a swimsuit.

Get an annotated version.

2. At night, in bed.

After a long day spent working, reading up on all the shittiness that is the world, and trying to keep track of all the blogs you follow (and leave some sensible comments on them), and finally getting your bleary, addled brain to a soft (so soft) pillow - that is really not when you want to be reading this book.

Especially if you happen to be reading chapter three*.

3. On a lovely, sunny day with a slight breeze floating through it.

Otherwise you will just hate yourself, anybody who ever suggested you read Joyce, all the books and articles that keep going on about it's such an important piece of literature, and the man himself.

There is also the risk that polite police officers might land up at your door wondering why you thought it necessary to give so many people a minor heart attack with all the banging and clawing against the window.

4. Simultaneously with other books.

Especially if they're of a genre or by an author that you really like. Or if they're the type of light fluff that floats out of navels. Or if they have pretty covers. Or .... basically, don't have anything else in your house that you haven't read, because otherwise you will waste endless hours wondering just why you're reading this book instead of all those others.

* Three words - no fucking clue.


Manual of Life - Things You Didn't Realise Were Weird Till You Did #78

How dogs and (house)cats are pretty much the only land-based animals whose genders display almost no discernible differences in habits.

Fish and reptiles are just too different to understand, so I'm excluding them, but all land animals have quite obvious differences between the two genders. Lionesses hunt, while the lion just ambles up and hogs everything. Male birds have to perform dances and build nests and indulge in warbling competitions (and look prettier), while the females act whimsy. Bull elephants act all crazy, while the matriarchs protect the herd and bring up the calves. Male mantises and spiders offer their souls and bodies to the female. Male bees and wasps are mindless drones, while the females keep the hive together.

Another sin to the list of humankind's tab - how we've managed to train two animal (sub)species to forget that their male and female ancestors ever had disparate behavioural patterns.

So, at last count, it was three men and two women who'd prefer to be dogs, and six women and one man choosing to be cats. Two abstained, preferring to be fish and a horse, one anonymous wouldn't reveal their gender, and Feanor linked to a book instead of answering the question directly (typical math-lover behaviour).

Which confirms my hunch - that there's not much difference in the genders for those who would choose to be dogs, but cats would be overwhelmingly chosen just by females.

And while quite a bit of that would be due to the very nature of the creatures, it does raise the question whether it's also perhaps related to the subsconscious gender that we automatically associate with animals, which has been generated by language-associations.

I would be willing to bet that when most people think 'dogs', they think 'male'. Even though that's just the species, we still think of dogs and female dogs (we won't even go into why nobody but vets and dog-owners use the technically correct 'bitch'). Yes, we know that both genders exist (heck, you may even had several as pets), but most people will still instantly - for that brief moment before conscious thought kicks in - assume you're talking about a male dog when you do talk about one.

And the reverse applies to cats. You instinctively think cats and tom cats. If just the generic term is used, people will immediately associate with female overtones. Cats are so Egyptian goddesses. And Selina Kyle in all her sleek, snugly-leathered glory arching her....ahem. Right. But see?

And it's not just them - it's the animal kingdom in general. There is so much immediate association, and distinction, all because the names and the language was written up by men. All deer are female, except when they're does and stags. All sheep are female, unless they're ewes and rams. All tigers are male, all bears too - although lions and lionesses are unique, for some reason.

So, maybe it comes down to this (and yes, this is slightly far out) - that subsconsciously, equal numbers of men and women would choose to be born as males in another avatar, but men can't (won't) contemplate being born as women.

I could throw a lot of theories behind that too, but I suspect it's simply this - Men realise that they have it easier than women in this world, on so many counts (one word - periods), so they wouldn't want to change. The odd male who would consider it, would do so because they like a challenge. And most women hate men and their domineering entitled smug parochialism too much already to even contemplate being one of them. Ever.


On a minor note, I would also suggest that men are more antipathetic towards cats than women are to dogs because cats are more obviously female than dogs are male. By which I mean that it's easy to visually distinguish between male and female dogs, but not so easy to distinguish between male and female cats. Which enhances the male-female association.

Maybe I should've added a coda - If you're a woman and you choose to be a dog, which gender would you rather be?


People often talk about the reasons why they are dog-lovers or cat-lovers (if they are either, that is). Lots of theories there. This isn't one such, but it's related.

The theory is that dogs have the kind of personality and life humans secretly wish they could have, while cats have ones which more realistically resemble ours.

Most people would love to have a life where all they did was run around, and scratch away, and be petted constantly, and be loved by (nearly) everyone, and be fed everytime they looked at somebody else with pity-inducing eyes, and be allowed to get themselves all dirty in the mud, and (of course) be able to hump who they pleased - in public too, natch.

However, what humans really do is create this big mystery about who they really are, and let others in only after they've met some arbitrary and secret standard of acceptance, and pretend to be entirely self-reliant only to come running the minute somebody offers them a warm blanket and some nice food, and still reserve the right to turn around and scratch somebody's nose off - just because they felt like it. And of course, they keep their humping to themselves.


It certainly would be interesting to see the results of a poll in which people were asked to choose which of the two they would rather be, assuming ideal living conditions. Apart from the overall results, it would be fascinating to see the way the gender vote goes. I have my hunches about that, but let's put it to the test, small test sample though it may be.

Go on, pick one.


Assume nothing, believe everything.

Assume everything, believe nothing.


Friday Fun: Fact/Fiction

(Warning: May or may not be true)

Sometimes, when I'm feeling really, really blue, I take a few packets of jelly and bung them into a big pot.

After the mixture is ready, rather than chill it, I simply let it cool down till it's that right balance of not very firm but not very runny.

I then pour it into two small tubs and squish away with my fingers and toes simultaneously.

45 seconds later, Blue --> Buttercup yellow.

PS. When I get really, really, really, why-o-why-me-why blue, I find a bathtub and pour the jelly in it, and then just splash about.


Mad bloggers and Irishmen

And, just in case you haven't been avidly perusing the commentspace, the Great Group Blogger Ulysses Reading Attempt* begins today. Current team members - The Bride and moi.

Feel free to join in if you're foolhardy enough, or just plain irritated at having had a copy of it on your bookshelf for what seems forever without you having gone through it. All you need is a copy of your own.

We plan to post regular updates on how we're progressing, what we've made of it so far, and whether we hate it or not. The aim is to finish it this month. Hopefully.

* Anybody who uses the terms 'Blogyssey' or 'Blogysses' is immediately banned from this blog. We shall hunt you down and heap much mockery and scorn on you. You have been warned.

News for you

* For TR, JAP, Veena, Szer, Black Mamba, Dilip, and all you long-journeymakers out there:
If you haven't read this series yet, do so now. Quite, quite fascinating. Not to mention utterly poignant and depressing.

* For what I'm sure is likely to be a sizeable proportion of the readers here:
A simple, yet wondrously effective physical activity that helps with tennis elbow.

* And for KM:
Because others hate FB too.