Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Evening

So, I'd spent quite a lot of time writing - well, 90% of it thinking of what to write, 10% actually writing. I'd also spent some time looking for literature, most of which require subscription, which I could only access from my office. So, my engagement today brought me within a short driving distance to campus, and I thought - well, why not? So, I'd expected the place to be totally still and deserted - for who, other than me occasionally, would be insane enough to be at the workplace on a Sunday evening? But as I sat locked in my office, I heard footsteps, doors opening and closing, the turning of locks... Someone else was there and was going about. As I was leaving, I saw him re-entering his office.

So, one of the best things about being in academic is that one can be as crazy as one pleases, for crazy is the norm!

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Absent Mind

My tendency to be totally lost in my own thoughts manifested itself in the one of the most annoying blunders (though I generally find all blunders arising from my innate clumsiness and/or carelessness very annoying), not once, but THREE times, in the past seven days! Five, if the weekend doesn't count.

You see, Reader, although I generally like to take the stairs when I'm going up, I definitely prefer the elevator for the opposite way, given my high likelihood of falling down when I'm going down. Last Friday, the elevator halted one floor above the one I was to go. Without so much as a second thought, or a glance at the LCD display on the panel beside the opened doors, I stepped out... only to hear a very sarcastic "We're not yet at the-destination-floor". I turned on my heel hurriedly, reentered the elevator, and did my best to ignore the smirking and laughing. In all my years taking that lift, it's never happened. Surely it's just a one-time thing.

No, it isn't. On Tuesday, I made the exact same mistake, only this time, I realised it way too late, and the doors had shut before I could get back in. I had to take the stairs down, and slowly too, so to minimize the chance of running into the people walking out of the elevator which I'd quit a floor too soon. I had a long day that day; I was so tired I practically stood inside the elevator with my eyes closed, I reasoned.

Come Thursday. It happened AGAIN! No, I'm not going to describe my silliness a third time. Given that the floor I was heading, to exit the building, is the lowest there is, I really want to put the blame on the lazy bums who pressed the elevator button at the level right above it - I mean, how unfit must one be, to want to ride it ONE floor down? Right? Wrong - my opinion aside, they have every right. *Sigh*

What more was I going to write, actually? I can't seem to focus my mind enough to remember. I think I'd wanted to say that I'd been writing a lot, and yet I haven't been writing, and something along the lines of my journal weeping, for it wants a little attention. I had this post all outlined and properly organized in my head while I was driving home...

There is also a vague memory of the plan to briefly mention 23rd June being Jason Mraz's birthday, but it fails at how the idea relates to the one about my out-of-focus-ness. Surely they're not both meant to be in the same post? Well, anyhow, they are now.

I really should not blog when I'm so overwhelmed by exhaustion and experiencing temporary (I hope) senility...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Windblown Cactus

Pretty convincingly so, except there is no wind in my office. I got the trio two years ago at Cameron Highlands. While the other two grew quite a bit, right up till end of last year, this little fella looked almost exactly the same as it did when I first put it on my window sill. Recently, I noticed it's grown a little, and quite skewed to one side.

I was told it was because I didn't give the pots a quarter turn every day. I was also told that they're probably dying slowly from my constant abuse/neglect, and expecting them to survive on just water and dirt.

My poor cacti. However, I really like how this one looks windblown. Maybe I can give the other two their quarter turns every day, but leave this be...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Not Pretty

My roomee was recounting a conversation she had with a certain individual, who happened to have said that a certain other individual isn't pretty. She made a remark along the lines of how terrible it is to call someone ugly. While I agree it is indeed rude to call someone ugly outright, in his/her face, but if someone truly isn't good-looking, is it really so bad to express it?

Sometimes, I wonder what is so wrong with not being within the "standard" definition of beauty. I myself have been labeled "bad" or "mean", reprimanded, and smacked, by my girl friends, just for expressing honest opinions of some other people's looks. (Fine, I called them ugly. Sorry, but I really do find them ugly). It is as if I've judged a person solely by the looks. That is not true. When I make any comments on anyone's looks, they refer exactly to that - the looks; nothing about the person's (perhaps) admirable talent, (possibly) generous heart, (probably) wonderful personality and (hopefully) worthy life-partner material. If one is all that, should one care that one isn't gorgeously hot as well?

I remember reading a post on the official Sarah Brightman forum where the members sort of squabbled. It started with someone posting a link to a YouTube video of Sarah performing somewhere, and amidst doting, flattering, and ardently-in-love-with-Sarah replies, one person, though full of praises for the performance itself, had the misfortune to say "Sarah looks fat". (Note: personally, I don't think she is, but she's certainly not celebrity-standard-thin, in a good manner) That poor fella was shot left, right and center, over and over, by so many. They echoed the same sentiment - Sarah is beautiful, she is not fat. It made me think - do they mean if Sarah were to put on more weight than is ideal for her frame, she wouldn't be beautiful any longer? More importantly, if she doesn't look she way she does (say, much less pleasant to look at) will her music be less amazing?

It is something we all should think about. Perhaps then, one does not need to give a damn (that is, to take offense) when someone passes a comment unfavourable to one's ears (and ego, mayhap). Furthermore, there's no "flaw" anyone might have that make-up and wardrobe can't take care of =P

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fear of Falling

Knowing that someone reliable will always catch one when one falls doesn't make falling any less scary - for me, at least - especially so when one is falling from 10 or 15 meters from the ground. That's probably more than the distance beyond which my uncorrected myopic eyes can no longer distinguish facial features.

There actually is a term to describe the fear of falling from a high place: bathophobia. In fact, there is a word describing any fear you can think of - - even fear of falling down the stairs (no, I don't have it, although I've never yet met a flight of stairs on which I'd not fallen down)

Two fears - that of heights and of falling from a high place - must somehow come together. I don't imagine there are many who are afraid of falling from a great height, yet don't mind being perched up high. It makes even less sense for someone to be afraid to be elevated, but do not mind falling off from there. Mind you, I use the word "fear", as opposed to phobia. Phobia implies irrationality, and although I feel it is hardly irrational to fear plunging down, possibly to death, the fear I intend to write about isn't intense enough to qualify for that term. So, the two fears - I have them both, I'm afraid. (Is there a phobia of phobias? Like, the irrational fear of being afraid of everything?)

I was first asked to overcome my fears by going up the bouldering wall beyond my comfort fall-level, and let go. Owing to one very insistent, I did, although I was immensely terrified and embarrassed (you would be too, if an involuntary squeal accompanies every fall). When I started top-roping, every time I felt I was going to slip, or felt I would likely not succeed making the next move, I'd shout a warning (or more accurately, an outright demand) to my poor belayer to really tighten the rope. With the rope absolutely taut, a fall isn't really a fall. Over time, I learned to completely trust my harness, the rope and the one holding it, and I was able to climb less noisily.

However, when it comes to leading, I've come to understand that I have no choice but to embrace falling. Suddenly, I find that I am afraid to attempt moves which, if it was a top-rope, I'd probably done without a second thought - for the rope must be slack, and if I fall, I'd really fall a long way. Clearly, if I were to pursue lead-climbing, this fear must be overcome.

He said it is common, in climbing training, to practice falling. Thus, we did, in small increments in the magnitude of the fall. First, we let go immediately after clipping the rope to a quickdraw, then halfway up between the last and the next one, and lastly, just before making the next. These falling exercises do help condition my mind to not respond with panic, which is crucial in preventing injuries. That said, giving notice to my belayer - "I'm gonna fall now!" - just before letting go sort of sets the exercise back a little. One day, I will, I hope, gain enough courage and confidence to just let go without warning, nor stealing a glance at him to ascertain he's paying attention and will not fail to catch me when I fall. He said I must, however, be careful not to attempt it when we're in company of any hot female climbers.

Yikes. OK, I have been warned.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

How To Be Fat

Step one:
Wait till it's late at night, you're all alone and feeling kinda hungry, then go look at food blogs. Find one which comes with the most pleasing photo:

Step two:
Drool over the photo until you've forgotten all about how lazy you really are, and are determined to sink your teeth into the frozen pie, no matter what it takes. You will be motivated enough to make it, even if you can't get all of the required ingredients.

Step three:
Cut a slice, put some Elvis on, and enjoy...

Note: If you're seriously underweight, repeat step three as many times as you deem necessary!

(Note to self: Try not to post a professional-looking shot in the same entry as one taken in a hurry, under poor lighting, and of an object not half as pretty-looking)


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wake Me Not From My Reverie

Wake me not from my reverie
Stir me not, rouse me not,
Let me dwell in my fantasy,
Allow me solitude in my thoughts;
For this world suits me poorly
And I too, please in it naught;

So, let me dream, let me make-believe,
Let me be fulfilled being alone;
The bliss I desire my imagination does give,
Let me be content being on my own.