"Right, you bastards, you're... you're geography"- Terry Pratchett('Guards! Guards!' )
Congratulate me. We are getting lost for the next three days. My dad loses his way even with English signs, and this is a French town we are going to tomorrow. Fun days ahead.
Wish I atleast had a good new book to read on the 6 hour journey :P
There IS Poe. There always is Poe. Its like the dwarf bread* of books for me: the fact that the only other option to not reading what is currently availabe- is reading Poe...will occupy me for days reading anything but Poe.
I hate not living in England. Thats where all the cool books get published.
*To learn about dwarf bread read the Discworld series of Terry Patchett. It's like LOTR only its a satire with reference to everything from Pop culture,Shekespear,Physics,Current news and ofcourse Religion. You can take a peek at some of the hilarious quotes from his books :) The man is pure genius. 'Men at Arms', 'Jingo' and 'Hogfather' are my personal favourites.
from the inside
My mother wants to see Montreal
Father has made reservations
I have no money
Might end up seeing it all from the inside of the car
Grumpy or Dopey or Bashful?
Its Elections night in Canada tonight.
Most interesting one of recent times, not only because its going to be very tight one but it also happens to be the Federal one, meaning you'll be seeing him posing beside Mandela or any international leader of your choice. Soooo - along with all other political/economic/social implications of the outcome what are also important are- his looks,looks and oh yeah looks.
Ladies and gentlemen and young ones lets get started.
On the Left we have Mr Grumpy: aka Paul Martin from the Liberals- with permanently crinkled forehead- current PM- lobbied against Cretien in his desperation to succeed Jean- his focus: Healthcare(he is approaching retirement, he knows what's ahead)- oh and his party just happens to have stolen/squandered millions of our money in sponsoring...umm race cars?
Fear not, on the Right we have Mr. Dopey: aka Steven Harper from the Progressive Conservative party- sexy haired, young and has the look of a snitch- and wears boring ties- lobbied to get sexy interns for his office in case he wins (umm okay made that one up but mark my words it might just happen)- wants to improve the military to send troops to Iraq should retards south of the border come knocking again- his kids are babies and he is young himself so he cares of neither education or healthcare- in fact might just follow Harris and cut down a few more nursing legs.
And in the Middle acting as referee is Mr. Bashful- aka Jack Layton from the National Democratic Party(quasi socialist)- cutest guy with a mustache(I know I know I must be losing my mind)- he acts like a fun grandpa and has twinkely eyes- focus: merge with the winning party
Oh yes of course we have Gilles Duceppe from Bloc Quebecois - no we didn't forget you Mr Duceppe- yes we know Quebec is a part of Canada too- no we don't think we Ontarians are Canada- yes sir I can speak some French- Oh.. merci :D
So now take your pick- Vote-I did- yes it might not make much of a difference- yes all of them just might be crooks- yes none has a program that's inspiring but at least I can say I made a stand. No I am not telling you where...okay it was behind a cardboard booth :).......just know its not Harper. Cheerios!
Went to Jack Astor's near Sq One today after almost a year...last time being with Sim during the wedding....And boyoboyoboy has it changed! :O
I was so shocked I blurted out to the greeter that the new decor looks so (f*&%ing implied) CIVILIZED!
The place used to be very quirky,loud,fun,young- the kind of restaurant where the servers(and a lot of them very regular looking, not even with nearly perfect bods) swayed around sporting Winnie-da-Pooh T shirts with inscriptions like 'I'm so cute'!
Now its virtually indistinguishable from East-Side/AliceFazoolee type places. *moan*.
Yes they still have the brown paper over the table with crayons for you to doodle with, but the number of crayons have decreased(I got no yellow or orange ones :P)!
The 50s posters, the Campbell soup cans+beer bottle displays all gone. Servers are walking around wearing formal black shirts smiling (roll eyes) politely. The Menu has a big Asian section that's just so out of place. In fact the change is best described by the new large blackboard hanging from the ceiling that says 'Like the new decor? Our decorator now has a new cellmate' with a picture of Martha Stewart ! The place has gone *gag* ordinary.
What is up with this McDonaldization of the restaurant world- erase uniqueness, increase conformity.
The garlic breads are still good though :D mmmmmmm buttery. The Elvis shrine remains intact as well.
The other side
So for months I have been thinking of doing a painting of the sky on oil- either day sky with cumulous clouds floating over a green field or the sunset sky over the ocean.
But the damn clouds are delaying me. They can never be sensible enough to hold the regular colours* or even the proper fluffy shapes. Everyday I study the sky, on my way to work, back from work (I work in a windowless office so no chance there) and I take a mental note of how I want the colours. The very next day, the clouds will do something stupid like completely change on me- forcing me to replan. Just now when I was heading over to pick mom up, there they were - baffling me with weird papery yellow, dirty brick red, strokes of purple and wait.....was that a swirl of green?!!WHAT THE &*%$.
Where does one find the right mix of colours to imitate that? So there I am driving away and shaking my right fist at the Maker of clouds-"you are not helping me!!"
Okay, by no means am I a religious person- the logical part of me knows its the fault of the contents of the atmosphere that are making the colours appear so, the whole refraction-reflection business blah blah. But that can't be all! Just look at it...okay you can't look at it coz Tazzy here is thinks she is too cool to carry around her digicam in the car....but just go outside look up, I mean really look at it.
Dude/dudettes, we'll never be able to imitate that sky nor explain it. The real Maker has his own pallate of colours and He will just sit on the other side of the clouds smirking at our foolish efforts.
PS: I think Tagore is getting to me- my mama always warned me so.
*That IS the proper spelling! I don't care what Windows tells me otherwise.
Finally I found the English translation of one of my favourite Tagore poems.
THE SONG THAT I CAME TO SING
The song that I came to sing remains unsung to this day.
I have spent my days in stringing and in unstringing my instrument.
The time has not come true, the words have not been rightly set; only
there is the agony of wishing in my heart.
The blossom has not opened; only the wind is sighing by.
I have not seen his face, nor have I listened to his voice; only I have
heard his gentle footsteps from the road before my house.
The livelong day has passed in spreading his seat on the floor; but the
lamp has not been lit and I cannot ask him into my house.
I live in the hope of meeting with him; but this meeting is not yet.
Tr. Rabindranath Tagore
Brought to you by Poetry Searcher
Another day, another beheading of a foreigner, another counter strike by US on 'safe houses' (what the FUCK are those?), some more Iraqis dying......
I had promised myself that I would refrain for venting out at the whole Palestine-post 9/11 war on terror-Bush-Iraq/Afghanistan occupation and its effects, on my blog.
But its so hard. So very hard to sit on one's hands as the world crumbles. Though we all have been doing that pretty well till now. There was the Peace Rally before the Iraq invasion(its about time the Media called it that, it was not war, it was an invasion)that was made ridiculous by Bush and that was the extent of action by The People.
The Big people continue with their hidden agendas and us little people concern ourselves with a Olsen twin going into treatment for anorexia.
Would it have come to this if it was the 60s? I don't think so. I'm not sighing over the past(though I have a tendency to do that), but people- especially the youth- seem to care back then....And not about the celebrities. They believed in something. They were united, vocal and active. Now any card wielding activist advocating for the environment/peace/against the corporate world, seem to be stereotyped as a hippy-pot smoking-welfare hogging-lesbian!
I fully and uncompromisingly blame the Media-print and TV. So few magazines/programs want to tell the real stories. Every other ones just feed the current mad fascination of the masses about celebrities and their life: People either want to become one(all reality shows) or know every pimply detail about one(ET,STAR) or live/dress/look like one. These days if you are not told you are fat/ugly and could do with a face lift/implants/lipo, you are told your house is ugly, you are nearly not making enough money to buy the latest gizmo, oh and your clothes suck too. Its no wonder people can't think beyond their personal/financial issues to care for other's scarcity of food/clothing/house/meds/security/education/peace.
Again and again, I somehow manage to get myself into doing things I hate.
I couldn't wait to move out of the house--> I get into a school so close to home that I'm somehow forced to commute from there.
Of all the courses I took in school, I hated Neuroscience most-->First proper job in research and it turns out to be in the department of Neurscience, even now at the UHN I am working in Neuroanatomy!
I was convinced I took the last math course ever in first year--> I'm using STATs again and again for research.
I hated working on the microscope in any school lab--> Now I'm back on the microscope for the lastest neuroanatomy project, peering into histology slides, trying to distinguish the edges of the subthalamus but only seeing my eyelashes!!!
This has got to stop.
Hmm this is probably THE sign, I was asking for previously!
Trust Calvin to nail it! :) Thats exactly how I feel now.
Candidate for Trading Places?
Finally getting some of the things from my to do list done.
*Shell jewellery bought
*Mothers off my back(for the time being)
*and painting the house......well parents did most of it, my brother and I were responsible for our respective rooms. I was all excited....I'd be a natural...I've watched all the right shows....I know all the techniques- the rag, the sponge, the stencil, the fabric effect....yes I'm a home decor goddess.
Within 10 mins of starting with Sameer's room, I dropped the roller brush, stained the carpet blue, broke the extensor to the brush and was painting it horizontal which apperently is all wrong! grr. So I was reduced to doing the edges with a tinny winny brush as Sameer took over the real painting job. (He is becoming rather useful as a brother lately ;)
We somehow managed to finish his room. Tomorrow we'll be doing my room, the corridors,kitchen etc. Fun fun fun.
Atleast Tusch was having fun, exploring everything we pulled from under the beds and claiming them as his own by laying down on them.
Did I mention I have the greatest cat in the world? No really he is. I challenge anyone to show me a cat who fetches better than him. He is a genius and he has impeccable timing without having to wear a watch and gives me kisses every morning. I wish I could attach a video here to show you how he plays with his fluffy ball. Its sooo cute.
I am the Greek God.....
Isn't it great?! ha ha :D
Which Greek God are you?
As I'm leaving for work today, my mother, out of the blue, comments how my cat is more religious than me (Tusch likes to sit by my mother when she prays)! She goes further by suggesting since I'm becoming more 'Canadian'(with the appropiate accent), aka I'm not wearing ill-fitting clothes or 80s style jeans or keeping my hair in a neat plait, I might as well go full fledged and become Christian too!
HUH? Did I miss something?
This coming from a woman who likes making Turkey for Thanksgiving, gives broad hints about what to buy her for Mother's Day and was grinning madly at the Judge when we all took our Pledge to the Queen 4 years ago?!!
Where do mother's get these things? It vaguely reminds me of the times when she used to scornfully suggest we might as well join the Hindi movies since my sister and I loved watching the songs in our teen years! Didn't stop us then and still doesn't.
Memo to Self: kick yourself if you ever talk this silly to your future kid!
Back in Toronto after a four day stay in Halifax with Sim.
Its weird how I crossed the Atlantic one summer and then the Pacific last year, and never really stepped outside of Ontario (aka Greater Toronto area)!!
So the Atlantic Canada/East Coast/Maritimes was breathtaking in view,
the air crisp, the sun bright, the people friendly and relaxed, the food wonderful and the sense of history humbling. FAR too much walking involved though, and mostly uphill.
I recommend the Citadel ,Doull Bookstore,lobsters, shawarma at Sahara and very comfortable shoes.
Speaking of traveling- the kids on Bangla.ca are all excited about visiting Bangladesh which made me think back to what I loved about being there.....had to think far far far back.....to the times in my grandma's village-
The 2 hour boat journey that let you enjoy the lush view stretching the horizon, sound of oars, the clean air, the changing colours of the water, the yelps of joy from kids jumping into the river, the fishnets, the bamboo bridge, and at night the blanket of darkness pierced by lanterns glowing in houses hidden in trees.
Our little garden across from the pond was my favourite, especially in winter when all the pretty flowers were in bloom- Merigolds,Shiuli, one palm tree and fenced by Hasnahena. How I loved to collect Shiuli (fragnant white flower with 6 petals and an orange stalk) covered in early morning dew. A most curious flower-if I could get the English name for it- blooms in winter at night, falls to the ground in the morning and whithers away by noon. Merigolds are not my most favourite flowers but the image of hundreds of them glowing silver on a full moon night is imprinted in my mind forever. My dad got red stone steps built as benches in there, so I would sit there for hours with a book with only the sound of birds for company. In all my travels I hvn't come across a more peaceful place.
But just like childhood, it is not a place you can go back to. We had the garden set up when we lived there for 10 months during the Gulf War. No one took care of it after we left. Now that my grandma has passed away, I doubt anything is there. The river has dried up in some places and the boats don't move by oars anymore.
Should I get the chance to go Bangladesh again, I don't want to see the changes. I don't want to see Dhaka. I want to see the Sundarbans, Cox's Bazar, Kaptai lake, Sylhet- all the treasures of Bangladesh that my parents enjoyed while my dad shifted from place to place reviewing Railway projects all over the country, all before my time. And then I want go next door to see Kolkata-the Haora Bridge, Shantiniketan and Darjeeling. I know just who would come with me too- Lipi Aunty and Finki Uncle- the coolest couple I've met :D. Now only if I can arrange them to come from New Zealand to Bangladesh just when I go over from Canada, we are set!
Love having the car.
The freedom to escape whenever I wish is too precious, kind of overpowering as well. Its quite fascinating to not look at the speedometer....just imagining how far one might land should the car go off the curve. Thats the name of a new resturant in Mississauag now -Off the Curve.Yes it is right off the curve near Walmart in Sq One.
If only I could drive all the way to Halifax tomorrow. *sigh*.
Its 25 degrees in Toronto right now and if the weather ppl weren't just making it up, supposed to rise to 30 degrees later in the day!
YEY YEY YEY gonna sit outside with an iced cuppa :D
oh wait, (looking down) the only thing summer-y I have on are my sandals. *moan*.
Mental note: Turn on TV to the weather report prior to dressing for work.everyday.
All this hot weather here, means rain here later, meaning hot weather in Halifax when I'm there?*wishing and hoping and praying and planning and dreaming*
In other news, every single person on the planet seem to have watched Prisoner of Azkaban, except me! GRRRR. Damn those critics, they are applauding this one when the fans are booing it. Me worried. Its my fav book of the five, if the new guy ruins it I'll cry :(
To do list for this summer-
* Buy new sandals (one black and one white, very unadventurous when it comes to shoes)
* Save enough to buy a shell or a Paua jewellery set to add the ones I got from NZ :D
* Lose weight while doing >100 chinups by August (already up to 20)
* Paint my room, my bro's room, the living room, the deck, garage door.....okay become a p/t painter :P
* Go on all the scary rides at Wonderland
* Either land a new and better job Or its off to Korea to teach English/hand out condoms in Afria/whichever comes first
* Oh and get my two mothers(one by birth and the other acting like one ever since her marraige) off their mission to nudge me into marital heaven :)
Off for lunch at Oishi Kada(sushi)in Kensington now...spicy salmon....mmmmm yum :)
So they tell you they are advancing in technology in leaps and bounds, making-
* Computers you can take with you to the toilet and surf wireless for a better toilet paper,
* Cars that drive themselves on cruise control while telling you what’s around the next block so that you can relax and watch DVDs in your car with your honey/kids just like at home.
* and Phones small enough to be attached to your keychain, you can use to dial your friends in a busy cafeteria and locate them instead of *gasp* looking around for 2 minutes.
But really what you are getting is short term technology with the WOW factor of a bigger bone for a small dog.
* You get computers that'll constantly need new programs/spy ware/virus scanner every year/month to be functional and are worth 50% less than what you bought it for three months ago
* Cars that can still kill you or at least leave you with a good whiplash and cost you +the city+ the environment a lot more than what you paid for in the first place
* and Phones that will somehow stop working with the network provided by your phone company (right around the time your 2/3 year contract is expiring) as a result of some 'upgrades' they did; requiring you to purchase another $300 phone whose only selling point is it just came out (untested) on the market 2 months ago and can take pixel-y pictures of your dog with a large bone.
Another weekend and another wedding.
This one is going to be the ordinary kind where you just sit around, watch people, eat and hopefully get a chance to talk to the Bride and Groom and take a picture with them. Atleast I like the Bride :D
UGH. This catagory of weddings is definitely not my favourite.
In other news, the daily life has become a chore. Time with past friends esp the married ones has reached a new level of pretentious cheeryness. Work is at crossroads. Frost has hit yet again. Should I continue on the less travelled one or fall back on the well-trod one.
*Moan* wish I had a sign. Everyone seem to have had that 'life altering moment' when eveything about what they were meant to do becomes crystal clear. What about me?
The Only highpoint of the week was a trip to The best Art supply store on my list now Curry's
Tusch- on the patio, chasing bees
So I buy this Cat Collar and leash today from the Pet Store, (as per my plans from an earlier blog) that says- 'Snag proof' and has a plastic snap and cute lil bell. Makes him looks like a gentleman cat wearing a tux and bow tie, who will stay that way while I take him out for walks.
YEAH UH HUH. He obviously had other plans. And the collar manufacturing company have some crazy ideas about what a cat can do as well.
They have some explaining to do as to how my cat managed to break free so easily while I took him out to the lawn with a leash attached to his collar. He basically ran like his tail was on fire and escaped between the fences to the neighbours backyard!!
There I was wandering like a chicken without a head screaming out his name and contemplating running around the block.......and finally his Royal Pain decided to waddle back in at which point I pinned him down and brought him inside.
Since then I have put the collar on him 3 times (each time making it tighter) and he has taken it off. Now he sits on my pillow (after hiding under the bed for 4 hours to escape being put in his pen in the basement) and is licking his paws without a care in the world.
Would you look at that- the collar is named 'Break-A-Away'- was that a hint? :O
Books I have read and didn't like
A shorter list but I feel quite strongly against these ones :P
* Alice in Wonderland- no child in his/her right mind likes this book except for the 'off with their heads' part
* A Tale of Two Cities- yes a classic, but left me with nothing
* A Fine Balance - this book I wanted to fling out of the window, the ending pissed me off
* The Scarlet Letter- again a classic but overhyped in my opinion
* Of Men and Mice- Totally dumb book
* Kidnapped- Too boring
* Wizard of Oz- I wonder what was in the Witch's pipe :P
* Bourne Identity - Loved the movie though, the book just put me to sleep
* English Patient- Just couldn't finish it, you know my views on the movie already
Books I have loved over the years
I'm going to like listing this, more like an updated version of the one I kept in my diary from when I was 11 !
Among the classics
* Pride and Prejudice, Persuation, Emma - Jane Austen
* Room with a View, Passage to India- E.M. Forster
* The Prophet- Kahlil Gibran
* The Idiot- Fyodor Dostrovevsky
* Madame Bovary- Gustave Flaubert
* Lord of the Rings
* Anna Karenin
* To Kill a Mocking Bird
* A Steetcar Named Desire- Tennessee Williams
* Daddy Long Legs- Jean Webster
* Among Shakespeare ones- Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, King Lear
* Little Mermaid- the sad version of Hans Christian Andersen, not the Disney one
* Arabian Nights- was there ever an author?
Among more recent Fiction
* Tamarind Mem- Anita Rao Badami
* God of Small things- Arundhati Roy
* Love Story & Oliver's Story- Erich Segal
* Bridget Jone's Diary (1&2)- Helen Fielding
* The Outsider- Albert Camus
* Life of Pi- Yann Martel
* If Tomorrow comes - Sidney Sheldon
* Harry Potter series
* Duke and I - Julia Quinn
* Atonement- Ian McEwan
* The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho
* Girl with a Pearl Earing- Tracy Chevalier
* Contact- Carl Segan
* Hichhickers Guide to the Galaxy series- Douglas Adams
* Discworld Series- Terry Pratchett
* Coma- Robin Cook
* Dune- Frank Herbert
* The Dark Half and The Shining- Stephen King
The following from my old list...that I can not remember what the story was about, but I had childishly put stars beside them so I must have really liked them
* The Pendragon virus- Cait London
* Just Killing Time- Derek Van Armen
* A Parcel of Patterns- Jill Patron Walsh
* Airport- Arthur Hailey
...............there tons more that I am sure I'm missing :~/
Oh ofcourse among the Bangla ones
* Kaalbela- Shomoresh Mojumdar
* Durbeen- Shirshendu Mukharjee
* Prothom Alo and Shei Shomoi- Sunil Gangapadhaya
* Pother Pachali- Bhibhutibhushan
* Na Honnota- Moitree Debi
* Chourongi- Shonkor
* Bou Tubani Phool- Joshimuddin
* Megh Bolechey Jabo Jabo, Daruchin-ir Deep, Rupali Deep, Shajghor, Shey or Nortoki, Debi, Dui Duari - Humayun Ahmed
Books I plan to read/finish reading
* Crime and Punishment - started and now stalling for the Sidney Monas translation
* Moby Dick
* Gone with the Wind - :( :( pathetic, I know I know, even the high schoolers have finished it, I did see the movie and absolutely loved it (gawd can't believe I just said that- me the advocator of *the book was so much better*)
* Tuesday's with Morris - Almost done, beautiful book.
* In the Skin of a Lion
* Stupid white Men and Dude where Is My Country?- read first chapters of both sitting at Chapters
* Cidar House Rules- again watched the movie, must read the book now
* Plath- Bell Jar and Mrs Dalloway
* The Quran
* Diary of Anne Frank- read enough about it but not the actual book
* Memoirs of a Geisha
* Shonar Tori (Bangla)- by Tagore
* Brick Lane- Monica Ali
* A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man- James Joyce
Wedding pictures 2
Us friends at the Reception:
Sham's aunty in the centre is staring at me because she is adament at setting me up with some uncle type Bengali guy