Friday, May 25, 2007

Still Friday photo-blogging

Montague Book Mill

I was just foraging in my camera and I found this picture of the Montague Book Mill that I had snapped during my last visit to New England. I don't know man, I have a strong urge to go back there tomorrow, 6 hour drive through New York City be damned.

Don't go

Don't go anywhere. I am still here. I will be back. Life has been unfunny lately. Hopefully it will get better soon. Yesterday morning on the road I saw a long-haired guy sitting in a Mini-cooper, driving with one hand and lifting a dumbbell with the other. So as you can see, things are looking up. On the other hand, America is getting ready to kick out its Indian software engineers. So the scales of funny continue to rise and fall depending on whether you are watching long-haired guys exercising their biceps in a Mini-cooper or reading about comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

My friend slime is getting married in India. It's his second wedding. Luckily, to the same woman. He had one here in the US and now he will have one in India. He has decided to go against Indian orthodoxy and refused to wear a turban or ride on a horse during the wedding. Or brandish a sword like I did. He will, however, still have to smile all day when he is being photographed with you so there's still that. I wish him all the best.

We are thinking of going on a long drive for the next few days on the long weekend. Drive to where there are trees and grasses and lakes or similar other bodies of water. I forgot mountains. Mountains too. Maryland? New Hampshire? New York? I don't know. Maybe all. Maybe none. What about a tent? I'll have to buy one. Even though I already own a tent. It is lying at the bottom of the Delaware river. I bought it long ago when I was still in grad school and we decided to go camping in the Adirondacks. We all chipped in to buy a tent except I had not realized that the concept of chipping meant that I would be paying for it in full now and everyone would pay me later. Which they never did. So essentially, I bought a tent. I never used it after that. I never even had it in my possession. My friend S remained the custodian of my tent, loaning it out to everybody's uncle and every once in a while he would call me up and give me periodic briefings on its health and whereabouts. I am glad to say that my tent has seen more of the world than I have. One day he called me up and started telling me this tale about his voyage up the Delaware river on a canoe with his office friends. And how it became dark and his canoe began to fill with water and how they all had to carry their belongings through the river to the shore. And then I felt a tightness in my stomach and I anticipated his next words which were, "I am sorry but your tent didn't make it". And I said no way, it was made of waterproof material, how could it drown, and he said, well, skin is waterproof too and yet we dare not walk on water and then I resigned myself to its demise. Look at it this way : I now own a part of the Delaware river.

So anyways, I have to go buy a new tent and I will go have a vacation and I will be back. So don't go anywhere.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Here, pull

In the gym. Wife had just left the room to get a drink of water or admire the wallpaper in the ladies room or something of that nature. Strange old guy doing biceps next to me asked, "Is that your wife or girlfriend?"

"Wife", I replied.

"She's pretty".

"Thanks", I said, although I don't know why I thanked him, the correct response would have been to say wokay, I will go tell her you find her pretty and she may come thank you if she feels complimented.

"Does she wear glasses?", asked the admirer.

My wife was wearing contacts that day so I was impressed. Wow, I thought to myself, how did the fucker figure it out? Did he spot spectacle marks on her nose from this far? He must have awesome eyesight for a man his age. Or maybe it is that we glasses-wearers have a peculiar way of looking at things? Do we squint unintentionally? Are our eyes extra-large? Do our tired retinas give off some kind of bio-luminescence only visible to old people? Impressive.

"Why, yes, how did you figure that out man?", I asked, reverence dripping from my words.

"Well, she married you, didn't she?"

"You didn't see that coming?", asked strange guy number 2 on exercycle. "Thank you for the entertainment".

PS : By the way, I don't know if this was apparent enough because it wasn't to me at the time but what the old guy was saying was that the only possible reason behind my wife marrying me must be her bad eyesight, hence his guess. Also, the sky is blue and water is wet.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Please bear

Please bear with me as I sort out some changes happening in my life that continue to pose an obstacle to its unfettered contemplation and subsequent documenting.

Also, I decided to learn a new musical instrument and settled on a flute. When I went to buy one, it turned out that a Western flute costs about seven hundred dollars and looks like the cockpit of an Airbus A320. So instead of buying a new flute, I rented one on a trial basis. The fact that no matter how hard I blow into it, no matter from which direction, I still am not able to produce any sound is weighing on my nerves. And it doesn't help that the rental agreement says, "Thank you for giving your child the musical advantage", thereby implying that the activity of flute learning usually does not lie within an adult's domain.

So please bear with me.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Cutting down

On the occasion of Earth Day which was celebrated some time in the past few weeks I don't exactly recall when, I decided to be less of a parasite on the earth and its fragile planetary ecosystem. Towards that end, I decided to consume less non-biodegradable stuff. For starters, I am cutting back on plastic usage. The very first item on the agenda whose usage I decided to cut back on was plastic forks and spoons. Why I use plastic forks and spoons in the first place is a fair question. It is because in my household, we only run the dishwasher once a week. This was done to curtail the consumption of manual labor, also a non-biodegradable and non-renewable resource.

But as a result, every week, we used to find ourselves facing a severe shortage of silverware. That brought about the need for an alternative, namely, plasticware. But not any more. There was a moment in my life yesterday when I looked at the plastic spoon in my hand and bending down on one knee, said to it, "You are the one I will be spending the rest of my life with". And then I kissed it deliciously because it was covered in gravy, with the kitchen faucet presiding over our holy union, shedding tap water of joy. There comes a time in every man's life when he gets tired of eating around with every piece of cutlery he takes a fancy to and for me, this time was that time.

So now this spoon will remain on my person at all times and I have decided that I will use it repeatedly for every culinary assignment or emergency. Why plastic, why not a metal spoon? Again, a fair question. This is because most delicately structured external human organs are built to withstand puncturous pokings from plastic but not from metal. And since plastic requires a thousand years to degrade (a nice round number, thank you Mr Inventor), every plastic spoon I do not discard into the trash from now on will add a thousand more years to the life of my earth. And if you take into account all the times I eat pickles out of a jar with a spoon when I have little else to do, that is some solid anti-aging cream for the planet.

As far as I can see, the only major obstacle to my plan is Chinese take-out food. I am deeply fond of my Chinese brothers and sisters and I am a devoted disciple of St. MSG but sadly, I have to admit that I have found them to be quite indiscriminate in their use of plastic cutlery which they ruthlessly force upon all their clientèle along with the duck sauce which doesn't taste anything like duck. So every time I order Chinese food for take-out, I have to remember to check the package for any plasticware and give it back. Because if I specifically ask them not to add it to the package while ordering, they show an inordinate amount of surprise at my request for me to repeat it without feeling stupid.

Secondly, I have also begun to do volunteer work at the neighbourhood recycling bin and garbage dump. Sometimes when I am going through people's unshredded documents in the recycled paper container, I find that someone has mixed plastic cans along with the paper, yes I said plastic cans, can't you people fucking read, it clearly says "Paper Only" on the cover. Nevertheless, I do my part and remove these cans and restore them to the correct recycling bin. But I know who you are pal, I have your bank statement right here. Two more strikes and you will be getting yourself a new credit card with 0 % APR for the first six months, 14 % after that, and you will NOT have read the fine print.

Just take a few seconds and read what it says on the goddamn container, won't you?

The Onion

Even though I no longer follow an abbreviated online existence, ROTFLMFAO.