Friday, January 30, 2009

Mood- appalled

It has happened again- that appalling thing called 'moral policing.' This time, a bunch of 30 goons entered a pub and dragged out the female customers, kicking and verbally abusing them. This was done because, according to the previously-unheard of group that is behind the attack, it goes against Indian culture for women to visit such establishments and to drink alcohol.
This is what it has come down to. So tomorrow, I might be dragged by the hair too, and thrown into a cell for all bad women like me simply because I am sitting in a pub, and horrors, am dressed in jeans and a 'skimpy' top. It nauseates me, this urgent need and desire to somehow control all women and lay down the law about women's choices.
All the blather about Indian culture excludes any mention of men. If 'women are our mothers' as the chief lout pointed out, then, logically, men are our fathers. I fail to understand why morality and cultural codes are to be applied exclusively to mothers and not fathers. And I would like very much to read the paragraph and page of this famed and much-quoted book of "Indian culture" that prescribes bashing up and abusing women to protect this culture.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I adore irony

Listening to the radio today and the RJ is asking us to tell her the thing we hate most about our roommate. Now, let me hasten to add that it is not J that I am going to talk about here- he is quite the model roommate and, besides, keeps the kitchen frighteningly clean. No, I have one particular horror-story about a roommate and food.

She was much older than I was, I being but a callow mid-twenties type in those days. So she disliked me already, and she objected to my very existence and the fact that I didn't spend my every waking hour studying or worrying, like her. One day, she put something on the stove and went off to visit a friend upstairs. Now bear in mind that we lived in a dorm, and it was January. The windows were closed and the apartment was, in keeping with the wildly fluctuating thermostats, overheated.

Presently, there started emanating an odor from my roommate's cooking-pot. When I say odor, I mean nauseating, suicide-inducing stink. I held my nose as long as I could, but not being a human whale, couldn't manage it for long. I finally sneaked over and lifted the lid, just to see what could be possibly be in that blessed pot. And what was it? It looked like a white, gluey honeycomb. I think I screamed and dropped the lid back on.

Later, when she was back and the food was gone, I casually asked her what she'd been cooking. She said, 'oh that was some tripe.' Which means, the stomach of some animal. Right. The next day, for breakfast I fried some eggs. She got out of bed, came to the kitchen and said, "can you open the windows? I can't stand this smell."

Golden Globes 2009

Blue was quite the color of the evening. This actress, whose name is apparently January Jones, stole the show in this pale, beautifully constructed gown- Versace, after all.
Then there were a lot of pale, skin toned gowns. Sandra Bullock also looked lovely in her delicately flounced number. Normally I am not a fan of flounces, but the Bullock proves they can be done classily. I particularly like her blue accessories.

Speaking of blue, this Mary-Louise Parker electric hued gown is quite a stunner. And despite the big hair, Drew's look also got my attention. Her dress looks like a misty morning or a pale cloud.

And lastly, what is up with Freida Pinto's choice? I cannot get on board with the bunching and the unattractive color. This is a pity because she's so pretty and self-assured; she would have won the red carpet battle with a better gown! Also disappointing was my girl Penelope Cruz in a boring, tube-like cream colored dress and poor Cameron Diaz in a hideous, wrinkled pink concoction.
all images from nytimes

Thursday, January 08, 2009

9th and Hennepin

Big Time (Tom Waits album)Image via Wikipedia
Besides Sudoku and longneck steamer clams, the significant discovery of the last year was Tom Waits. Listening to his music and his gravelly, late-night voice answered some deep-seated need for music that goes beyond the standard pop-chart fare that you normally listen to on a daily basis. I feel compelled to post this song. It's a whole story, a film, a night for an insomniac, a dream, the last course of a great meal..and maybe in a year or two I will outgrow it as being too gimmicky, too dissatisfied or too something else. But for now, I am happy to listen to this stuff.

Well it's Ninth and Hennepin
All the doughnuts have names that sound like prostitutes
And the moon's teeth marks are on the sky
Like a tarp thrown all over this
And the broken umbrellas like dead birds
And the steam comes out of the grill
Like the whole goddamn town's ready to blow...
And the bricks are all scarred with jailhouse tattoos
And everyone is behaving like dogs
And the horses are coming down Violin Road
And Dutch is dead on his feet
And all the rooms they smell like diesel
And you take on the dreams of the ones who have slept here
And I'm lost in the window, and I hide in the stairway
And I hang in the curtain, and I sleep in your hat...
And no one brings anything small into a bar around here
They all started out with bad directions
And the girl behind the counter has a tattooed tear
"One for every year he's away", she said
Such a crumbling beauty, ah
There's nothing wrong with her that a hundred dollars won't fix
She has that razor sadness that only gets worse
With the clang and the thunder of the Southern Pacific going by
And the clock ticks out like a dripping faucet
'til you're full of rag water and bitters and blue ruin
And you spill out over the side to anyone who will listen...
And I've seen it all, I've seen it all
Through the yellow windows of the evening train...
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The Morning After

It has been a somewhat trying morning. Two days ago I discovered that I have no Internet. Ack! After not attempting to log on at all a few days ago, what with suffering from Internet-fatigue and all, I was even more aghast. I felt like, to quote PG Wodehouse, a dog who has been refused cake. But what if I had offended the Internet Gods and now I would be Net-less, forsaken and out on the cold steppes of Local Access Only?
However, I stepped up to the plate. I did my duty. With trepidation sloshing in every pore, I did it- called Customer Service. What with my long and roaring history with Those People, this was nothing short of an act of flag-waving gallantry. First, I called the automated number. A human chap whom I procured through clever navigation of all the auto-menus then told me a new number I could call for Internet queries.
So I called this other number. Again, I cleverly subverted their auto-menus and got another human chap. This one, however, did not respond nicely when I told him my account number. "Account number?" he wailed. "What is this regarding?"
"Er," I said for the ninth time, "this is regarding the fact that my Internet service is not working." "Oh," the chap said, sighing with relief. "You are an existing customer. This number is for new customers only. Do one thing, call the automated number."
So I spent the next ten minutes whirling round and round their suggestions and numbers and existing menus. Finally, after keying in about 12 different choices, I hit gold. I got another chap! Except that she was a girl. She proceeded to walk me through the most complex set of troubleshooting steps I've ever undertaken, involving blinking cursors, IP addresses, Subnet Masks and who knows what else. Midway through step no. 25, what happens? I get disconnected! The blessed call terminates.
In a cold sweat, I called them back. I went through the whirligig. And I got another chap. I patiently explained the entire saga. And then we began hacking our way through the troubleshooting undergrowth again. Of course, at one point I had to ask him to slow down. He said, "oh sorry ma'am. We are supposed to finish the call in 10 minutes and it's already 15 minutes so I applo-gize for that."
Right. My IQ fell by several points after this brutal confession. Anyhoo, I successfully folllowed the ninety steps and lo! the Internet is restored! I am the dog who has won the cake back!

J now calls me Tech Support Queen. I smirked and said-'see, told you there are advantages to marrying an Indian!'

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The sweetest days

And Tuesday

disappeared into Wednesday

like the honey

on those strawberries...


Sometimes I feel guilt. These days are so sweet that I can hardly bear to give them up.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Sixth of January

The cat sits on the back of the sofa looking
out the window through the softly falling snow
at the last bit of gray light.

I can't say the sun is going down.
We haven't seen the sun for two months.
Who cares?

I am sitting in the blue chair listening to this stillness.
The only sound: the occasional gurgle of tea
coming out of the pot and into the cup.

How can this be?
Such calm, such peace, such solitude
in this world of woe.

~David Budbill
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