Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Neighbour

Its been aorund three months since our neighbour passed away. He was one of those men who could smile about everything. Always had a kind word for everyone on the street. He never shut the door on you even if you were simply walking past his house. He moved in with his beautiful wife a month or so after we had moved into the neighbourhood ourselves. We thought he said his name was Clinton, but the news of his passing away reached as "Cleveland has passed away"... we still don't know his 'real' name. But we will remember him, always. Sometimes I can almost see him walk passed our house cheerfully calling out, "How are you? Not going to work today?" I miss him. He was the happy grand daddy of our street.

I had often thought of baking something (an experiment of course) and taking it over to him. I liked him a lot. He would be up in the wee hours of the morning in the winter and you know he is out there when you hear the shovel on the sidewalk as he shovels the snow off both his and his neighbours' sidewalks.
It's been snowing for two days now, and his absence is very noticeable, the sidewalks have not been shoveled. I just opened the front door to check if the snow was accumulating heavily, and wondered if I ought to salt it, and I heard a shovel on the sidewalk. It was his beautiful wife, shovelling. If I were not with child, I would go out and do it for her. It seems wrong that she should be doing it. She must miss him so much.

What makes me so sad, is that it took this man's death for us to step into his house and speak to his wife. Take nothing for granted, not a day, not a soul ... life is too short.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Visa Drama

Every so often something happens that completely throws you off and you wonder what to do ... becuase to begin with you believe you have done the right thing and stuck to the rules ... now what? Break the rules, lie??

Hubby and I are expecting our "Bandito" (as Hubby likes to refer to him/her), and we hoped my parents would be able to visit from Sri Lanka to give us a hand in the first few challenging months and then hopefully spend some wuality time with us as the miserable weather improves and the spring bulbs blossom. So they go ahead and apply for their six month Canadian visitor's visa at the High Commission in Colombo. They had all their papers in order, just as they did the last time they visited. All they had was a letter of invitation and our tax papers, and they were granted a three-month visa, stating that first time visitors are only granted a three month, single-entry visa, although they had applied for a multiple-entry visa. This time, being their second time we had hoped it would be a six month visa, but apparently not. Since we were honest about the pregnancy and the reason for the visit, they granted them a three-month visa, the reason being there was no letter from my Physician stating that I am in fact pregnant! 

This makes absolutely no sense to me because, they did grant her a visa without that letter. It would have made sense to reject the application out right and ask her to come back with a letter. Why just reduce the duration of her stay?

To add to this nonsense, the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website does not state anywhere that we ought to include a letter from a doc, they only need proof of financial support and I know there is enough. Well, it was adequate to grant them a visa the first time. To top it off, the CIC website does not talk about a three month visa at all. Or I must have missed it. We could apply for an extension, but that takes 74 days (not sure working or not) to process, and we don't have that kind of time. Ahhhhhh... I can do without this stress right now. 

I really don't understand how these things work, and who bloody makes these decisions!! So anyone applying for visas such as these, include all the possible letters and papers possible and hope and pray that it lands in the hands of a sensible person behind the counter. I do believe that is what ultimately matters, which makes the whole process really unfair and the rules/laws rather silly to have in place.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Regret

I always took pride in saying that I speak my mind. Wise parents, friends and family have always cautioned me against doing that. But I find it so hard to refrain from saying something when I feel that what is happening is unfair in anyway. I can't say I take sides, but feel that the truth must be heard. But am I ever sorry I said what was on my mind recently.

I have learned that it is one thing to try and reason with friends, colleagues and even strangers, but you cannot reason with family. You never really know with family and when your actions, meant to help someone you love ends up hurting the same person, it feels terrible. I doubt I will 'speak my mind' like I have all this while, ever again. At least not with the family.

Monday, 3 November 2008

The beginning...?

After what the media claims as the most expensive campaign in history, Barack Hussein Obama is president elect, with the democrats organising to pull the US out of the hole and hopefully help fix the ailing economy.

No doubt Obama has a lot on his plate. I do believe the expectations are rather unreal. I really like this man, he is intelligent, no doubt. He organised a terrific campaign and raked in the votes for the democrats, I doubt Hillary Clinton would have had the energy to pull that off. Happy as I am that it is Obama in the White House and not McCain, I am not convinced that things will change too soon or for the better. Although things cannot get any worse than they already are.

The US is not the superpower that it once was. Obama has to restore its credibility globally, and I think by voting for him the Americans have to some extent restored the faith of the international community. BUT, I will remain skeptical about the foreign policies that will emerge from the White House come January. He has to fix the economy (easier said than done), and keep the promises made about tax cuts, health benefits and so on. I am also eager to see what his stand will be on environmental issues. Will the US finally ratify the Kyoto Protocol? So many questions...only time will tell.

In the meantime I hope Obama stays safe. His middle name is not going to do him any favours and everytime I hear or read of comparisons to JFK, I shudder. I do not want this man, or any man to have to face an end like JFK or MLK Jr for that matter. So here's hoping...and praying.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Equality


It was only recently that I noticed one of my male co-workers who has his office on the second floor of the building I work at come up to use the Men's room on the third floor. I just assumed that the toilets downstairs were probably in bad shape. But it just occured to me as I made my way downstairs today to heat my lunch (the kitchen is on the second floor) that there is no Men's room on the second floor!

Now that I think of it there are only two men on the floor and perhaps the management decided these guys can walk up to use the washroom. But there is a Ladies room down there. Some will argue that there are other washrooms on the same floor, just outside the building we work at. But what would the women say if the situation was reversed and two women on a floor had no washroom?

So much for equal rights!

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Confession

I was walking home from work yesterday afternoon when I found one of our elderly neighbours stuffing his recycle bin to the maximum and in his efforts spilling a lot of the trash on the sidewalk. Being the good neighbour that I am (or not), helped him pile the rubbish in the bin, all the while flinching at how much garbage was being stuffed into the recycle bin.

Earlier in the day hubby and I had a chat about "recycle or garbage tonight" and I was pretty sure we said it was garbage, so I thought I must share that with the nice gentleman and I did. I very confidently told him it was "garbage day" and not recycle, so he should transfer some of the trash into the garbage bin and put it out. He thanked me and added that I was very kind. I walked away feeling good about having helped a dear old man.

Later in the evening as I was cleaning out the trash in the kitchen etc., I double checked the calendar and it had a clear picture of the bloody blue bin, which meant "recycle", urrghh, I had misinformed the poor man. I wanted to walk up to his house and tell him I was wrong, but the devil in me said, "it is way too cold outside, you will need to pack on the layers to go out," so I stayed home. I couldn't check this morning as to what he had put out. I will apologise the next time I see him and if I see someone struggling with an overflowing bin I will help them pick their trash up, and walk by saying nothing. Lesson learned!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Could this happen?

I don't remember Osama releasing a hate message just weeks before the previous US presidential election, and had no idea that it had a lot to do with Kerry losing. But could it happen again? What are the odds of McCain winning if that were to happen? Would people panic and go with an old-timer rather than take their chances with a man who actually has a functioning brain?

Friday, 10 October 2008

Produce

I might sound a bit like the Queen of France who suggested people eat cake if they have no money for bread, but this summer we tried our luck with vegetables in the garden, well, if you call tomatoes and chilies vegetables in response to all the news about the global food crisis.

Anyhow, we are pleased with the outcome. We did nothing but plant and watch them grow. Mother nature took care of the watering and the beds had just been done so the soil was good, and we got a decent crop. But there were more tomatoes and chilies than two people could consume so it was distributed in the neighbourhood. It felt good to do that, especially for kind neighbours who bring fantastic food over at times. But one thing we did learn was that it is important to pinch off the little shoots that appear between the main stalk and the branches. We didn't learn this soon enough, so the plants did look a bit like Jack's beanstalk before we cut it back. It was after cutting them back that we started to see more fruit. The chilies however just thrived and we got a good crop. Ah...the test of fresh chillies in a sambol...a little taste of home.

I must thank the girl for inspiring me to put the pictures together like I have. I have done it once, hopefully can do it again. You know how it is with computers, you do something once and then completely forget what you did. Well, at least I do that, all the time, much to the annoyance of my hubby.



Thursday, 9 October 2008

Why?

I did not want to rant about the US presidential elections, but goodness me it is getting to be a drag. I wish Palin would shut up, I am still trying to figure out why McCain would pick a scatter brain like her to be his running mate. The Republicans also ought to get themselves better "coaches" for the debates, perhaps different ones too, so Palin and McCain don't sound like they just came out of Debate 101 classes. And in all fairness, both the men are beginning to sound like dummies, saying the same thing over and over again and stop the bloody finger pointing!

Since Obama sounds like the only one with functioning gray matter at the moment, I do hope the Americans vote for him. But its common knowledge there are enough Americans with no gray matter whatsoever who will vote for McCain and as a result for Palin. How sad is that? I know Obama is leading in polls but that is no guarantee he will win. This is American afterall, and they did elect George Bush Jr., twice!! Well, that may be stretching it a bit, who knows what happened the first time.

Nevertheless, what has me is that Canadian federal elections are less than a week away and no one is talking about it. Canada will feel the effects of the American economic crisis more than any other country in the world and I don't think even the Canadians care. Unfortunately, there is little to choose from in terms of a decent leader north of the border. Australia got rid of John Howard, and Tony Blair is gone, so it would be nice if the Republicans take the back seat for a bit in the US and gosh wouldn't it be nice to see what the New Democratic Party can do for Canada! But it certainly would be one big experiment...sigh...

Monday, 6 October 2008

Mammary Glands

Mammary glands, more commonly known as breasts or boobs, are specialised sweat glands. Although the secretion is not quite the same as sweat, it nevertheless is a sweat gland. And hence I wonder what the obsession with it is? It is a mass of adipose tissue (fancy way of saying fat) with a lot of ducts that allow milk production and secretion during pregnancy and lactation, that being the purpose of those glands. But some would argue that is serves more than that just the purpose of satiating a howling infant. I won't get into that.

I got to thinking a lot about it over the weekend because I went shopping for support apparatus for the glands. As I paid the hefty bill, I wondered why men are turned on by big breasts, is it a sign of heightened fertility in women or something? And it must be because men are attracted to larger glands that women strive to increase their size, some of them, at any cost. There are however women that have had to battle the constant attention their glands have attracted due to their size, and the battle goes up one level when these women get pregnant - one can easily go up two sizes, and in some cases the growing fetus does not overshadow the growing bossoms. So much so that people notice the breasts before the belly.

So perhaps the easy solution for women with smaller breasts is to get pregnant? And if a man's only complaint about a woman he likes is that she has smaller breasts, then he should get her pregnant and watch it grow? And it will grow by the day! And I hear from the veterans that the size never goes back to the pre-pregnancy size. So...hope for the teeny ladies and not so much hope for the buxom ones.
(picture courtesy funny-potato.com)

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Globalisation

I am going through a "globalisation" phase. I deliberately spell it with an 's', because...I am me!

This gentleman explains globalisation better than anyone I have heard do it so far. I have listened to him at least twice and for anyone trying to understand the current credit crisis in North America and why there is a third world and a first world and all that kind of nonsense, must listen to him. It may take a while to get the hang of his accent, but it is certainly worth listening to.

It is what I said a few weeks ago, when I talked about the economic crisis. We just need the whole world to catch onto what he is saying and then hope that we can change things for the better..

Stuffed

I just got back from a talk on the global food crisis...it has been all about a crisis of one form or another lately. That's the reality I guess. And as I write, I am drinking tea (probably not fair trade) and eating a slice of cake from a local supermarket. Perhaps I should feel guilty, but I don't. The only way to ensure that the food I eat is not harming anyone else or me for that matter is to grow it in my own backyard. The corporate bastards have had control over the food industry for over a century. What am I going to do? Well, Dr Raj Patel, says we must be proprietors of democray, and that is how we can change things, because the world we live in is not democratic. Yay, so that is what we must do, change the world! Is it really that simple?

He is an accomplished academic and has seen more of the consequences of the free market economy on farmers in most developing countries than most people I know. I am humbled by his knowledge, but like most scholars he pointed out all the reasons why the world is the way it is: why India has a rapidly increasing rate of type II diabetes; why the rate of suicide among farmers is on the rise the world over; why billions starve, while the rest are stuffed...the title of his book. I am going to read the book. I want to understand better, why this is happening. I know knowledge is power. But would the power I gain from the knowledge suffice to take on the power of the corporate world that controls nation states, the governments that we elect in a so called democratic manner? Who ultimately governs us? The corporations or the 'government'?

Well, I am going to have to read the book and draw some conclusions. In the meantime, I am not sure I can afford to purchase fair trade or organic foods. I don't earn enough to pay for that, and my taxes, which are being used to bail out stupid corporations. And this means, while we arm ourselves with the power the poor farmers all over the world may continue to take their lives to keep us fed.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Economic crisis! Really?

Global markets are a mess with stock prices plummeting like it is the end of the world. To some people it will be the end of the world. It is largely because the average person invests his or her retirement savings in the stock market. But what is annoying is that once again the world pays for American stupidity. Stupid banks lend with no security whatsoever and are going bankrupt all over the place and the government is using tax payers' money to bail them out. And as a consequence the markets crashing around the globe.

I blame the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. They are the chief of all money launderers out there. I am of the opinion that the WB set the precedence for what is happening world over and most importantly in America. The institution, contrary to its name is all American. Who knew that the world's most indebted country is the United States of America. I wonder how they get away with it, while third world countries auction public estate to pay off their loans. This is part of the so called debt-relief plans offered to most countries, so eventually American corporate idiots will own half the world.

It is going to be interesting, yet depressing to watch how the crisis turns out. The last global recession was followed by a World War. Here's hoping that is not how it turns out this time. I only hope Obama, who acknowledges the plight of the economy comes to power and works to turn things around, in fact he has to, or he will remembered as the President who took the country to damnation. Because another World War will not be so kind to America. The rest of the world is ready to take on the super power of yesterday.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

The election

I have been following the US federal election alot more closely than ever before. Only because it is so much like a Jeffrey Archer novel...the first female, or even better, the first ever Black President for the US. Sounds like fiction to me.

Everyone knew that it would either be Obama or Clinton, and Obama it is. McCain was certain to lead the Republican from day one, but Palin, oh boy, now that was a surprise, or should I say shock? Some claim that McCain has handed the Presidency to Obama. But I beg to differ. We are speaking of the United States of America...they stand 'united' on issues such as the BigMac and NFL, not so much issues such as choosing a leader for their nation.

Obama has a tough fight ahead. It does not help that McCain's team is taking every opportunity to veer away from real issues at hand and create silly diversions about lipstick and pigs and dogs and what have you...although I wonder if the new polls are evidence that their tactics are working. The two fellows are tied in the, so this election could go either way. I cannot wait.

On an interesting turn of events, Canadian PM Harper, clever bugger, has called for Federal elections on October 14th. With all that is going on south of the border, Canadians are not likely to pay close enough attention to what is going on at home, and may earn Harper the win he desires. Regardless of that, I doubt he has any competition in Dion.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

The cheaper option

Having stayed away from the Golden Arches for the longest time, we decided we could indulge in some pancakes and hashbrown this morning and since these places are so conveniently located inside supermarkets, we could finish up the weeks grocery shopping as well (doing the environmentally friendly thing and saving on gas/petrol). So off we went, not bright and early, but around mid morning.

We get there and surprisingly get to order after just a very brief wait. "two hotcakes, two hashbrowns and two coffees please. But hang on, I want to to know if it would be cheaper to order the happy meal rather than the item individually, and the happy meal comes with the toy, right?"

The girl behind the counter, "oh I don't know, hang on, let me find out. And yes, you get the toy."

She spoke to the lady with the scarf around her collar, who we presumed would know, since she is wearing the scarf around the collar and that probably means she knows a little more than the girl with a plain shit and no scarf.

So the scarf lady approaches us, and we repeat the question. Her response, "its not much of a difference, may be around fifty cents."

We say, "okay, so which would be cheaper? Should we just order the items separately or the happy meal?"

Scary lady, "like I said, it is just a fifty cents difference."

Me responding (not the patient of the two of us), "we get that, we just want to know which of the two options is cheaper."

Scarf lady, "I can't tell you the exact difference, then I have to punch it in, but it is a small difference."

Me (losing my patience, to the extent of not wanting the meal anymore, also for fear she might spit in the food), "I understand it is a small difference, I am just asking which of the two options is cheaper."

Scary lady, "let me punch it in." She does her finger dance on the punchy thing. "That would be 8.41."

Now I am not a mathematician, but 11.30 for the intial order and 8.41 for the meals as a combo work out to a little more than a fifty cent difference! I don't comment, but husband does, "well that is more than a fifty cent difference, what toys do you have?"

She probably was not impressed with two graying, obviously over the hill individuals asking for toys, but she plonks down Yoda and some other space thingy on the tray without making eye contact and proceeded to get us our order.

But honestly, why could she not tell us which of the two options was cheaper? Did she not understand what the word cheap meant, or was she not sure of the cost and did not want to admit it because she was the scarf lady? Whatever it was customer service is heading downhill faster than I am.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

What?

So Radovan Karadzic wants a new judge appointed because he believes that the presiding judge is not likely to be impartial and will likely convict him. If you ask me, anyone of sane mind would want this man behind bars. It is no secret that he was behind the 1990s genocide in the Balkans. It is this talk of 'democracy' and 'right to a free trial' that even allows guys like this to talk. Urrgghh!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Peace in Paradise?

It has been twenty-five years since the 'riots' in Sri Lanka that caused tens of thousands of Tamils to flee the country. Since then things have only gotten worse. In 1983 the oppressed were Tamils, hunted and killed and burned alive in their homes and vehicles. In 1986, in and around tea plantations, dominated by Tamils, it was the Sinhalese who were oppressed. There were Tamil casualties too, but those in danger of being killed were the Sinhalese, taking refuge in the homes of Tamils, just the way the Sinhalese provided refuge to their Tamil friends in Colombo in 1983.

If the two groups were looking out for each other, who the hell was responsible for the 'riots'. Who is to say that the war is between Tamils and Sinhalese? Who still supports the bloody 'dispute', which has escalated into a full fledged war in all these years? Will the LTTE ever have a separate state? And if they do who will live there? The millions of Tamils who have migrated since the "riots" to make a life for themselves overseas? Would they want to go back and start tilling the lands and raising crops and teach their children, who now speak anything but Tamil, what type of rice to cultivate?

And if the bloody governments were about protecting the Sinhalese, how do they account for the thousands of soldiers, almost all Sinhalese who have died fighting this futile battle, with no vistory in sight for either side? If the government did wipe out the LTTE would the thousands of Sinhalese who have migrated over the years move back and go about their daily business in Colombo again?

Life as these people had known has changed. But it appears as though the LTTE and the government are in complete denial, in a world that involves no one but them, where the ego previals over all things rational. Or perhaps these insecure individuals who lead both sides are being fed by the power and money hungry nations that mass produce the weapons and spur them on, because without warring countries would the weapon's industry thrive?

So many questions with no answers! Life goes on, people carry on, bomb explosions that kill a dozen people are just events of another day in paradise. Is the situation beyond any hope of peace? Will the fighting continue until the end of my time?

Friday, 2 May 2008

The Jane Austen Book Club

A real feel good movie and fantastic for anyone who love books, and for those who don't. You needn't have read Austen to follow the movie either. Its been ages since I saw a movie that was just plain nice and this fits the bill perfectly. The book club was a brilliant idea for cost effective therapy...strangers and friends are always the best therapists in my opinion.
Picture courtesy: imdb.com

Sights and sounds of Spring


American Goldfinches are one of my favourite birds. I love watching them at the feeder. And the only gentleman in the flock is waiting patiently for his mates to be done before he takes his turn. Actually in birds' world I hear that the younger chaps have to wait their turn for food and a nice piece of real estate, not to mention the mates. They only ever get the left overs. So perhaps he is not a gentleman as much as he is a rookie.

We fed Mr Chip here plenty in the Fall and hoped he would return, so naturally I was thrilled that he made his way right to the door step for lunch.

video

Chickadees calling out to each other. So entertaining and so loud for teeny tiny birds. There are beautiful photographs of these birds on Songshards' site.

video

Prophecy

I have been too busy to make entries...but this I have to tell you. A wise friend once predicted that I will witness the following incident.

I walked out into the cold earlier this week after a particularly gruelling day of trying to accomplish various things and joined people walking by, dressed as if it was a warm summer day on the sidewalk. They did not appear to have much subcutaneous fat to keep them warm either, I shrugged and walked on with hunched shoulders to keep warmand stepped aside for a man who obviously did not feel the cold on his roller blades. As he passed me on the sidewalk I realised he was headed for this silly pedestrian engrossed with his cell phone or whatever the gadget was that he had in his hand. Fortunately for the pedestrian Mr Rollerblades saw him in good time and swerved (if that is the term), but unfortunately for him lost his balance and fell sideways into the guy headed from the opposite direction on his skateboard and a cyclist who turned into the sidewalk from around the corner ran right into Mr Rollerblades and Mr Skateboard. What a mess! And the irony of it was that Mr Pedestrian just walked on oblivious to what had happened, quite content in his little electronic world.

What did I do? I just stood there, speechless, trying really hard not to grin as I watched them pick themselves up and curse the pedestrian. When they looked in my direction I did grin, and then did too, thankfully. We shrugged and grinned and went our separate ways.

This was especially funny (to me, I know that's nasty) because as I said, a wise friend once predicted that this would happen years ago, and it did. Only wish I had had my camera. This description does no justice to what I saw.

Friday, 11 April 2008

"American" Idol

I have been watching the American Idol beyond the auditions this year, perhaps because the final 24 were quite talented and when it came to the top ten, they were brilliant. There are a couple of singers I don't care for, but for the most part, it is a talented line up. But I wondered if America would vote for an Australian, Irish, Filipino or a Japanese singer for that matter. All of them reside in the US and obviously qualified to be on the show, but the cynic in me was doubtful.

The Japanese singer was first to go, can't remember his name, and his Filipino friend followed shortly after (in all fairness, the others were way better than her and I was not surprised, but she was cute and did a great job while on the show). Last night the Australian, Michael Johns, was eliminated and he is very very talented. The Irish girl, Carly, was also in the bottom three. She will go soon. I hate to put a political spin on a show like American Idol, but it is through programs like this you sometimes get a feel for what is really going on in people's minds. Some may argue the song choice...I disagree, Kristy Lee Cook who really doesn't belong in that show has managed to stay on. Perhaps there are more men (and lesbians) voting.

If Americans cannot vote for a foreign born pop idol...what are the odds that they will vote for a President who actually tans rather than turning red in the sun?

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Why?

There was a bomb explosion on Sunday in Sri Lanka that killed a number of people. So many have been killed in that bloody war and more that I have lost count and cannot afford to care anymore if I am to retain my sanity (at least whatever is left of it). So I heard the news and tried not to process it, especially since so many civilians had died in the blast and they were about to begin a marathon, a reasonably happy occasion you would think.

On Tuesday, I go into work and log onto my email and there was a message with the subject "Sunday's Bomb Blast" in my mail box. I saw the paper clip on it and was a little concerned that it might be pictures, but then I usually don't receive repulsive pictures from that specific sender so I open it, and lo and behold, there are pictures of body parts scattered and 'officials' removing body parts, not bodies. Because that is what happens when bombs go off, you just have to clean up the flesh and blood and all things gory, there are few in tact bodies to remove. And for anyone involved there is little you can do to rid your brain of that smell, the smell of burnt flesh. It stays with you for life. I deleted the email as soon as I had opened it, wishing I had not seen what I had.

But this left me wondering why we take pictures of things like that and circulate it. I know that news organisations do it for the sensationalism. But to email these pictures? There is no "viewer discretion advisory" on these emails and so there is no warning of what is to come. What is it about humans that makes us take some sort of perverse pleasure in viewing pictures like that? I can't help but wish I were not human and can remove myself from all of this madness of killing and exploding and wars...none of them have any rationale whatsoever except in the minds of those killers.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Daffodils

Spring always arrives for me with the arrival of the daffodils, all over the city as volunteers raise funds for the Cancer Society. I was well into adulthood when I saw a real daffodil and I was struck by its beautiful form and colour. Spring can take a while arriving, but the daffodils come out and smile in all their radiance, promising you warmer weather. The hyacinths and crocuses all come out at this time too, and they are just as beautiful, but daffodils are the most cheerful of all, at least I think so. So this week's picture is just that..my daffodils coming up in my little garden. I can't wait!!

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Friends

It must be at least five years since the series concluded, and I still watch the re-runs. I have watched it so many times, I actually know the lines, it is kind of sad. I have often wondered why I watch it almost everyday! Am I able to relate to these characters at some level? Is it that the show is realistic at some juvenile, ridiculous level? Or perhaps no other show has quite come up to replace Friends. Whatever it may be, I still watch the show and probably will for some time to come. I hope I learn the real names of the characters and not continue to refer to them as Monica, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Joey and Phoebe!
picture courtery: imdb.com

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Talk to Each Other

Rarely do you a sign like that on an elevator! Well, I have never seen a sign like that before. It was printed in big bold letters and taped to the door with masking tape. I first noticed it on my way up, but I was stuck behind a huge guy and could barely see everyone's expression. As I came down arms laden with books (this was at a library) and two others got on I looked at both of them wondering if I ought to smile or start a conversation about the sign. But then the guy acknowledged the sign with a smile and said, "it would be nice," and I agreed, grinning. Then the girl standing next to me smiled and said, "yes it would, wouldn't it!" We had just got started, but the elevator was too fast so we got off smiling at each other. We didn't really 'talk' but it was nice that we at least smiled at each other. I wonder why strangers don't talk to each other on elevators? We seem to talk to strangers every where else, at least most public places.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

A book by a different cover

Subways are a great place to watch people, and I take particular interest in what people read, only because very few people read books these days. A majority of the commuters either listen to music and play with their cell phones or little portable computers or whatever they are called. Lately I have seen a lot of folks with Bibles and I figured it may have something to do with this being the Lent season.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to find a seat next to this dear old lady reading her Bible. I settled myself to watch people and slowly took a peek at the 'Bible' and what do I find, "In a Rebel's Arms"…and one line I managed to read said something like, "…he looked wild and untamed…" Somehow it did not strike me as a book in the Bible or that the wild and untamed individual was any of the people written about in the Bible. The book had this lovely dark fabric cover, hence my assumption (clever disguise for a raunchy cover). I wanted to laugh out loud as I glanced at the lady's deeply lined, serious face. I didn't dare grin.

As we neared her stop she carefully put her book away after making sure her bookmark (which looked like a child's drawing) was in place and the lovely fabric cover was free of creases. She then grabbed her elegant walking stick and got off the train.

I just stared after her wondering if it is ever too late for these crazy romance novels.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Really now!

The Indian railway system, apparently the largest in the world is to receive a whopping amount of money, and of course officials claim they are improving services. One would hope so. I do hope this means there won't be many more babies falling through toilets.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

The road less travelled

I had to trudge through over a foot of snow this morning, and realised how it was easier when someone else had already walked ahead of me. I was walking in the other person’s footsteps, literally! It was so much harder when I had to wade through snow where no one had been. And then I got to a part where a lot of people had walked by and was relieved at the thought it should be easier to get through the rest of the way, but no such luck! Now that snow was harder and really slippery, and I had to walk more carefully, which slowed me down considerably.

This is like most things in life. It is always easier to go where people have been before, and harder to take the road less travelled. But then again, if lots of people have been there before, they have likely messed up the place or left the path too beaten and too difficult for you to make your way with fewer challenges.Sometimes its nice to take the road less travelled and other times its safer to follow in others footsteps. The choice is ours, and that is always a challenge, isn’t it?

Friday, 25 January 2008

Sink or swim

You eat a meal and it takes around two to three hours to clear most of the gastrointestinal tract before settling in the colon for further absorption and breakdown. A lot of people empty their bowels once or twice a day, at least they should. When they do, I wonder how often people take a look at their poo poo? I certainly do! You poo poo can tell a lot about you.

What should it look like? This question came up in a class discussion on recycling hemoglobin (I say this, in case you are wondering if I sit around thinking crappy thoughts).

So what should it look like? According to most literature on defaecation, it should appear brown, not too soft or pebbly as far as the consistency goes, and it should sink, and of course as Oprah's handsome doc Oz would say, dive in smoothly without a splash!

Think about this the next time you take a dump, and take a peek.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

If I were a ...

Have you ever wondered what you'd rather be? I don't mean in the sense of your occupation or ambitions, I mean in terms of the organism that you are. If you are reading this, I would assume you are a Homo Sapien. So, my question is, have you wished you could be anything but?

I reckon it would be fanstastic to be a bird! Rain or shine, you get out. Find some food, sometimes a reasonable shelter and eventually a mate, and ensure the safe passage of genes onto the next generation, and then find some food, and maybe shelter and a mate...you get the picture? And of course you get to fly miles and miles, no passport, visas or any of the hassle. No baggage, no clothes to worry about, just preen the fantastic feathers and look smashing.

It must be rather cool (literally too) to be a fish, especially if you were like Nemo and got to live on a coral reef! Oh, so beautiful!! Of course, you just would have to listen to Daddy and never wander too far off the shelf.

I also did consider elephants, but knowing what they are going through, it would be mighty dangerous to be one of them right now. I know quite a few of my fellow H.Sapiens that walk around with a piece of an elephant on them. I don't fancy that.

Come to think of it, there are a lot of creatures I'd rather be, but not in the present circumstances, not at the rate at which we are wiping them off the planet, and how much harder we are making it for them to get by. Since it is my kind that is doing this, I certainly am not proud to be one of the so called 'intelligent' species. Unfortunately, since I am what I am, and there is not a lot I can do to change that, what am I going to do to help the creatures I would rather be?