Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
I don't know why everyone says that New Jersey is so horrible.
Last week when I was visiting my brother in New York, while driving from the Newark airport into the City, I remember thinking: "Huh, New Jersey is kind of pretty.....in a rather industrial kind of way."
Monday, August 29, 2005
Aaah, today was a good day.
There was a quite a bit of laughing and lots of general good-natured cheerio.
Especially for a Monday.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
The other day while we were riding on the bus my younger brother asked me: "When, do you think, do people get old?"
And I chuckled, a bit due to the sheer innocence of the question, a bit too perhaps at the anticipation of the facetiousness in my reply, which went along the lines of: "Oh, I don't know, around the time they turn 65, probably."
But as I said this I already recognized, that there are a lot of 25-year olds jaded and bitter after having chosen, sarcastic, unforgiving, distrustful, and angry at artificial exaggerated hurts, to carry the weight of a world on their shoulders, and as said this I also already knew, that at 65 I would still be much younger than they.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
I have a friend who says, no, claims, that given that one sees only a few people every day throughout one's lifetime, and the fact that they tend to be the same people most of the time, and given also, for instance, the dearth of population that strolls through the downtown streets of any of the desert towns here in Silicon Valley on any given day, plus the 100 or so people one may see on the TV news footage that live in other countries (for the people of the movies and Hollywood aren't even real anyway), plus/minus another 50 or so that you hear about from your friends and acquaintances, and so forth, there really are only about 1000 people on this planet.
But when I came back from New York this weekend (I had gone there to visit my brother who for some strange reason has chosen to make that city with its packed subways and streets teeming with people like ants around a honey drop which make walking along the sidewalk against the current an impossible task his home), I thought: "Nah, my friend is wrong, there must be something like....oh, mmmh, maybe two thousand."
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Hmm....the other day, through a very random and rather roundabout way I came across the following piece of music:
Vienna Teng: Lullaby for a Stormy Night
Listen, particularly carefully, to the lyrics.
It is beautiful, isn't it?
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
I used to have a very admirable, remarkable literature teacher, who once said: "I don't so much want to be loved as I want to be understood."
When I remembered this the other day, I couldn't help thinking, that my teacher got it backwards.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
So today I had to go visit the land of HR, which is always, at least for me, a decidedly surreal experience.
On this particular occasion, I dropped by to inquire about a rutinary payroll issue, and was cheerfully greeted by L., who asked me if I had enjoyed my Saturday.
Of course, I always enjoy my Saturdays, so (it being a Tuesday the question had seemed a little strange to me) I replied with an amused, "Yes, of course!", to which she beamed and commented on the gorgeous weather we had had that day, and how lucky that everything had turned out great.
At around that point I realized, that she was referring to our company's picnic, which took place on the Saturday in question and which, as it happens, I did not attend. As the inevitable chuckle, excuse and explanation followed, she replied with: "Are you sure? I thought I saw you there..."
Now, this was quite refreshing, for if you recall the past instances where my existence has been denied (refer to documented evidence here and here), and the resulting distress and existential crisis that inevitably follows, in this case it turned out that I was actually present somewhere where I was not, so I figured the universe, after all these months, was finally turning around and balancing out correctly the way it should do, this conclusion then producing the expected serenity and peace of mind which one always appreciates especially on dreary, rainy Tuesday mornings.
Still, it is a little worrying, that the laws of quantum physics seem to bend a lot whenever I am (or in this case am not) around....
Monday, August 15, 2005
So there's this sequence on one of the Calvin and Hobbes comic book panels, where Calvin announces that he's in a bad mood, so his mother makes him lie on the couch and brings him peanut-butter crackers and a stack of comics to make him feel better.
Now, the only reason I know this is because yesterday morning I was feeling kind of glum so I went to the local bookstore to read the comics, and thus came across this one.
Which is kind of recursive, if you think about it.
Friday, August 12, 2005
So I just happened to catch a short section of a popular kid's cartoon called "Dragon Tales" on TV the other day.
In this short snippet, the two apparently 4 and 6 year-old human sibling protagonists are helping their 3 dinosaur friends because one of them has somehow managed to get himself trapped inside one of his own soap bubbles.
Yeah. Strange, huh? But hold on. The idea at this point is to freeze the bubble so that they can then break it and release their friend, so to this end they tether the floating dinosaur-bubble to a cord and fly, dragging their distressed bubble-trapped friend in the process, over to some snow-capped Himalaya-like mountain region.
As the bubble freezes, though, it acquires some weight, so it lands fairly softly onto the cushioning snow and all seems fine until the moment where it starts slipping downhill, at which point the only thing that one can hear from the TV apparatus is 5 child-like voices going on a quite prolongued, dramatic "Woh!!....." that chirps first to high and then to low frequencies in a sing-song backgrounding the images of these 2 kids and 2 and a half dragons (for one of the dragons is two-headed, so it is one dragon, but it is also two dragons...which averages to one and a half as far as I can tell) skiing in tandem behind their friend in liquid-like snow with what appears to be a half a meter high white wake....
I didn't get a chance to finish watching the episode to tell in the end whether poor Ord (the blue bubble-trapped dragon) was relieved of his dilemma, since I was in a hurry, and just caught this fragment in passing, and the short minute or two of story-watching was enough to make me wonder at how bizzare and depraved stuff is on TV these days.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Nighttime, Half Moon Bay.
We drive silently along the highway with the brume hugging the pavement and the headlights reflecting orange, like the start of one of those low-budget horror films. Disembarking on the county beach parking lot, closed to visitors at this hour, for it is very late, past midnight, the fog envelops me completely, and a sharp, cold, small needle-like droplet hits my cheek. "It is raining!" I exclaim to my companion, who laughs and corrects me: "No, it is just the mist."
We walk along the darkened sand, me vainly looking up searching for the faintest trace of starlight, it is new moon and sky-watching conditions would be ideal, for we are in a clearing away from city lights, if it weren't for the wretched mist, which blurs all the surroundings and still reflects orange from the town of Half-Moon Bay already 10 miles north. Up front, the froth of the waves moves capriciously, we turn our flashlight off and in the darkness it looks like the elaborate lace of a ghost's poufy skirt, but still in this blurry darkness it is hard to tell how close you are to the water, and the clammy touch of cold on my now naked feet comes as a surprise.
I search the skies in vain for signs of the Pleiades and Perseus, which will give me the bearings necessary to locate what we've come here to see, but the sky is whitish gray, not a single cloud, just the hazy dispersion of unpolarized light on small water droplets, impossible and imperturbable. "Come, let's walk a bit", says my friend, as there is not much else left to do now, for the silence and the loneliness creeps up on you and engulfs you if you stay still for too long, despite the traces of ancient human presence in the faint smell of dying embers of an abandoned, unseen fire that reaches us sporadically in whiffs, or maybe, even, precisely because of this.
And it is then, that I see them. At every step, the sand sparkles silver under my weight, illuminated, just like those kids' sneakers that light up red when the child runs. Tiny crystals big as sand grains remain momentarily glowing under my footsteps, and after I play and dance delightedly for a bit in the moist fluorescent sand this friend chuckles and says "It is fun, walking behind you, because you leave these little shiny trails...".
And I approach the water again, and swirl the waves with my foot, and see that they too, leave a little lighted imprint of my movement, and the disappointment at the impenetrable sight of the night-sky and its absent stars vanishes immediately. "It must be some kind of algae", he, the Biologist, reflects.
But I smile to myself and think, no, it is here where they are, what we had come to see. The Perseids, the shooting stars debris of Comet Swift-Tuttle, tumbling across the sky every summer, for years and years and years every single August throughout the eons, end up here on this beach. We were just looking in the wrong direction.
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Overheard on ICS channel:
ravaneli(24): dump the guy already, u been partners 30 min!
ravaneli(24): thaz long enough!
Taken out of context, this is pretty funny!
(For those of you who are already letting your minds travel into the gutter, channel 24 is the bughouse channel, and ICS is the Internet Chess Server)
Friday, August 05, 2005
Santana Row, evening.
At the corner two streets down, young and old play blitz well into the night, but at this corner, in the plaza, the passtime seems to be people-watching while sipping coffee at the outdoor tables.
On the proper day, at the proper hour, with the proper music background in the headphones of your mp3 player, the place is a bit reminiscent of Warsaw's stare miasto.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Funny. Over the past couple of weeks, there was a moment when, just for a minute, maybe even two, I completely lost track of what really was important.
Heh. Wrong choices can sometimes be alarmingly seductive.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Now I see why Sherlock Holmes picked up his violin when he was in the middle of a particularly thorny problem and getting nowhere.
I have found that there is no other activity that is so consummately engaging to the exclusion of any other outside stimuli, than concentrating on producing a decent sound off a cheap, scratchy, old German violin with an inherent unexpungeable high frequency buzz.