Friday, December 25, 2009
How change has been wrought by a year.
I finally achieved something I have worked towards for so long. And found it wasn’t the end.
I looked across a table at someone I thought I wanted for years, and realized I didn’t.
I had a moment of utter calm and happiness on a boat in the Pacific Ocean.
I spent a month in despair and will more in my fight to move on from the past.
Became the citizen of two countries (and just remembered that I haven’t finished the whole process).
Did a crash course in patience.
Realized that some friendships, however brief are meant to last. Some however long aren’t.
Broke my previous road trip record of a 1,000 miles in a weekend.
Almost followed my genes a couple of times, but came back every time.
Still didn’t figure out what I want to do in life.
Though the most important thing I realized this year is that there really is no light at the end of the tunnel. But that the tunnel itself is not dark.
Merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year to all!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Are we blowing the difficulty of what we are doing out of proportion?
Let’s think about World War II for a moment in terms of total human cost. The first war where civilian casualties outnumbered military casualties. Also the war where the Holocaust took place. Germany not only launched a war on most of Europe but also single handedly tried to eliminate the Jewish race, failed, but managed to kill six million of them. Of course if you count the other ‘minorities’ that they killed including gypsies (Romani), people with disabilities, homosexuals and Jehovah’s Witnesses of all people, then apparently the toll goes up to between 11 or 17 million.
That’s the equivalent of depopulating the majority of this country, give or take a few million.
11 or 17 million people.
Yet barely a generation later, the country was back at normal. If anything more than normal but ridiculously industrious producing BMWs and large jugs of beer. Does anybody else find that odd? That a country as a whole were a bunch of Aryan domineering murders (and lets be frank, you can’t kill 6 to 11 to 17 million people without a whole bunch of willing and able helpers) but a few years after losing a war, apart from 24 people being charged for war crimes and around 11 hung at Nuremberg, the country went back to pretty much normal.
Not to belittle the level of human suffering a 30 year war and 100 thousand casualties has brought to many people, but it is kind of baffling why normalcy escapes us so when you compare the relative amount with WWII.
Right, I’m going back to my headache.
Monday, December 7, 2009
My relationship with the family, on both sides has never been a simple one. Too many secrets in the past and other skeletons in the closet to have ever resulted in what anybody could term a ‘normal’ situation. It was however quite interesting to hear the old stories, stories I’ve either never bothered to hear or have bothered to remember.
The old house in Negombo, three hundred years old but sold by an irresponsible grand uncle and now torn down. The great grandfather who was brilliant but an inveterate gambler, he apparently got a medical scholarship to Kings College but spent far too much time gambling and got sent back in disgrace. He then promptly won another scholarship in Ceylon (it was a long time ago) and had the dubious honour of being one of the students who had taken the longest time to finish medical school. There were countless more tales of people whose genes I shared but had never really thought about. It was surreal.
I guess family emergencies do have their plus points.
Monday, November 23, 2009
She will probably, hopefully come back but I’m sick of the reason why she’s there. I want to whisper. You may pretend to be some holy practitioner of a philosopher, writing religious books before age took your eyesight, vegetarian for decades but you are the scum of the earth. A bringer of death and destruction and the only rebirth you will enjoy will be one of eternal pain. Of course there are ‘norms’ that prevent me from speaking the truth, but I feel that everyone has had enough and the pot will boil over soon.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Take economics. You’ll need it in the future. Drop physics. Wait don’t drop physics, the fittest girls are in physics, not to mention Mr. L will introduce you to white water rafting, rock climbing and drinking games. He’ll also never give you a test in your life. Now that’s an ace if you ask me. Drop chemistry, everybody in your class sucks ass apart from one person and she’ll always be your friend. Do economics because for some strange reason, you will find it fascinating in the future.
Ask C out for fucks sake. She’s a really nice girl, very into you and is quite the looker. There’s a reason that she hangs out so much and does those million little cute things...COS SHE’S INTO YOU!! Did I mention she was nice? The next class trip would also be the perfect opportunity for this. Of course you won’t as her out; you’ll think too much and set a trend for that and quantity over quality and horrendous judgement in womenfolk which will haunt you for years. Also lets face it, international school or not, IT is going to have to wait until college.
Play way more cricket. After you leave school you won’t pick up a bat and you will miss it terribly. Also stop keeping, it’ll fuck up your knees and besides, you’re much better at opening. Don’t ask for your score in that final from the dressing room. Once you do and that idiot lies to you, you will lose your concentration and get out shortly thereafter, missing out on a 50, best batsman award and winning the final for your team. Kick Z’s ass and tell him to reschedule the B Match, you’re in fine form opening these days and you really, really need to open for that game, play notwithstanding. Even if you don’t, avoid charging down the pitch for that ball. Things won’t end well. If you still do lose the match, splurge a bit more and get the arrack instead of the local vodka, your head (and liver) will thank you...somewhat.
Train properly for that road race. Getting beaten by MA is kind of embarrassing; of course beating him up afterwards will help take the edge off. Keep doing that by the way, as you have since you met the obnoxious bastard, you will meet him a decade and then some afterwards and he’ll still be an asshole and then you can’t hit him. So enjoy while you can.
You know that wow feeling you had after seeing the BG Wildlife Photography exhibition and the inkling of going to college in the US to do a major in environmental science and a minor in photography. DO IT!!! Not that going to one of the best universities in the world won’t be a bad second place but trust me...go with that instinct. By the way, go with all your instincts. Really do pick up a camera though, even that dodgy Minolta will do. It will change your life in the future and again, better sooner than later.
Leave N and S well alone. The former will become a royal pain the ass in your future for a year, take things waaaay to personally and then never talk to you. The latter will cause you a very uncomfortable few moments on New Year’s Eve 2006 when all you were looking for was some nooky. They are both hot but not worth it.
Don’t go to see that dentist, the old codger, see the other one, the sweet lady...the one who identifies your grinding issue instead of giving you that filling that will torment you for a decade. Sort that grinding issue while you’re at it. Take care of your glasses as well, square frames are the way to go, in black. I won’t even mention what you are wearing now.
Oh yeah the attitude. Let it go. Stop hanging out with the wrong crowd. Yes it’s cool to be the big kahunas in school with the swagger and big balls, but in the end it’s not worth it. They are not really your friends, trust me. Also popularity is not such a big deal as you will find out in your last year when you get a bit too straight talking for most people’s liking. But then you’ll find out who your real friends are, few but good. Also the fights and the drama are not worth it, they will rather unaccountably make your second year of college a bit weird (believe it or not) and at the end of the day none of it really matters.
Spend more time with seeya and P mamma. Once you leave for uni in a couple of years it will never be the same and you will never, NEVER, be able to spend as much time as you have had with them and their time on earth is limited. You will miss them when they are gone and realize they were the most influential people in your life. Call your mom and sister more often, think of something to say. Also continue that conversation with Short Stuff in the trishaw, despite her uncertainty on whether it is her responsibility to tell you those things about your past. She will be the one who tells you in the end and it will be much easier to fight those demons then than now. Read that letter.
By the way, those couple of times you try meditation? Stick with it and learn how to do it, it will save your life someday and sooner than later is always better. Also it will help you do a lot better at all the things you are already good at.
Listen to Ms. Hellhouse and write. Write, write and then write some more. Enter some essay competitions instead of smoking weed in your spare time. It will do you some good. DON'T SMOKE!!!!! LEAVE the cigarettes ALONE.
Well I’d love to tell you that everything turns out hunky dory.
But it doesn’t, there will be good times, there will be bad...in fact some terrible times but as of November 20th, 2009 you have made it through and there is much, much yet to come.
I'd also like to say that you won't have any regrets. Again not true, if so this would not exist. The future you has plenty of regrets, things I shouldn't have done or said and things I should have done or said. But your past doesn't define you, your present does. Which since you are in the past won't matter much I guess. Existentialist confusion much?
Meander apart, don’t worry about being confused about what to do in life because that will never really stop.
On the bright side you will throw yourself out of a plane (multiple times), learn to scuba dive, fall in love with photography and meet some absolutely amazing friends across many different countries. You will rock across three continents and fall in love with the wrong girl(s).
But trust me if there’s one thing that runs true, life is absolutely insane so just enjoy the ride and be thankful for the amazing scenery.
I tag...hmm.....April Fool’s (who else but me) and good ol’ PP.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Surviving isn’t easy. It takes reserves of strength and climbing mountains that seem almost insurmountable, especially in the mornings and the stuffy afternoons. Everywhere I look I find walls, those that I’ve put up and those that have been put up. I found myself today falling into that old pattern, another checkpoint in the future where my life will change, begin. But now I’m googling how to start it now instead of further down the road. Fingers crossed and a strong heart.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
These two songs bring back some vivid memories. Nervous, sweaty palms sitting in my soon to be beloved RAV in a furniture store parking lot. I hadn’t had a lot of interview experience and I just remember leaning back in my seat, breathing deeply as Rob Thomas and Sufjan Stevens washed over me, wandering what 9am would bring. Agoura Hills was grey and cold as traffic whizzed by on the 101, blurs through the tall wire and I desperately tried to remember everything I had read about the company. Little did I know then that I was a few minutes away from a two and a half year journey. A journey that seemed to last a lifetime at the time but now seems to have only lasted an incandescent moment, one that was one of the most rewarding, most frustrating, challenging and difficult experiences of my life.
Looking back on it now I wonder if I did the right thing, walking away from it all. Of course you tend to remember the good and forget the bad as with anything in the past. I know I wouldn’t give up that experience for anything but it still wasn’t quite for me. The team was mostly great, DD and MC providing their endless encouragements and patient leadership, CD with his erratic brilliance, SM with her mothering, SR providing the musical background, MD with his surfing tales and understated humour, DS being the most demanding boss I have ever had. I still remember sitting in my office and dealing with the unfamiliar sensation that I would miss most of my workmates when I moved on, a feeling I hadn’t had thus far in my working life.
The location was brilliant as well. Climbing the hills of Malibu, the ocean breaking in the background, golden sunshine breaking down the Pacific Coast Highway and Malibu Canyon drives past the houses of the rich and the famous. The chaparral and bush of southern California, the red earth roads and hard rocks of the trails I hiked. The characters were varied and interesting, Bob the contractor, gruff, father Christmasy but hugely knowledgeable, sweet talking the ladies at the City to get what I needed done, trying not to punch out the assholes at the City and County who were holding up my projects.
It was a great trip for those couple of years, being a bright shining star in that team, topping the company in productivity and earning quick promotions, closing out tough projects under pressure. Of course those are the good memories. And it takes some dredging to remember why I left. The 12 hour workdays, the constant requirement to keep running at high speed and keep billing out with no end in sight, the unyielding pressure to meet your minimums, the stress when there were a million things to do and the worse stress when there weren’t, the financial under appreciation and those hours stuck on the 101 in congealed traffic.
Most of all I remember the panic attacks in the morning, the nausea and insomnia, the drugs and pills to take the edge off living the American Dream. I think I made the right decision. Given the uncertainties I face now in making a living, I have my moments of doubts and weakness. But that trip in the end was not sustainable, it was not my niche.
Where that is though, I’m yet to find.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I know of late I’ve been moaning a bit, missing the high hourly pay, ants that are more discreet and less venomous and a room that doesn’t suffocate me at 2.00pm in the afternoon. I would apologize to those who have put up with me without complaint but of course there have been complaints. I apologize anyways because even I’m finding myself a bit of a pain in the ass. And that’s something for someone as self obsessed as me.
I quite liked the head honcho’s outlook though. “Those 16 years in the US, they were good, but that chapter is closed now. You CANNOT compare here and there, otherwise you go mad.” Truer words have never been spoken. So here’s to prickly heat, rathu kumbi, underpaid work, broken Sinhala, nagging grandmothers, squirrels chewing on my t-shirts and fucked up internet connections. Here’s to sunsets, impromptu trips to Yala and Short Stuff. Here’s to home, warts and all.
I promise I’ll stop complaining soon.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
This house is like a museum, I guess old people really don’t like to throw things away. Today I disposed off all my report cards from school. A nondescript bundle I came across while clearing my bookshelves to try and accommodate the library I shipped over from the US. Who knew the school I lost my Sinhalese was called Reseda Baptist Elementary? I never knew I was so good at history either, I guess writing all those analytical essays and topping my class at o-levels has had some beneficial effects. My cyclical aptitude at mathematics and chemistry was also interesting to see. I think it was all down to teachers. Mrs. S, Mr. L and Miss D always brought out the best in me with their belief and free wheeling attitudes. Mr. J and Mrs. C always brought me down with their rigid inflexibility.
I’m trying to figure out how much of that kid remains, a decade and more on. I know I’m wiser and yet more bitter. I’ve tried a fair number of things on my journey, the drugs, meaningless sex, workaholic, partying, love, voodoo chemistry, yet nothings gelled. I know I feel the most alive with a camera in my hand and recently slipping under the waves. Yet I wish I knew what I want in life, some sort of goal which still seems so elusively blurred.
I am piecing the jigsaw together. A million pieces tackled one day at a time. One day at a time. I think that’s the mantra for happiness, but so much more difficult when I haven’t had a proper nights sleep in three years. I miss the constant companions of the last one and a half years. I know the work may have eventually killed me but those were the worst and the best of times with the friends I had, I have, but 10,000 miles away. I’m still navigating the social webs here, trying to figure out where I need to put up walls and where I need to tear them down. The old threads are most definitely fraying and even some of the new ones.
Here’s to six months from now and the jigsaw being somewhat in place. Fulfilling work, the opportunity to practice my passions and some like minded peeps. It’s not much I ask to piece the shards together. Of course nothing comes easy. Also here’s to this.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
My heart screamed yes, but my gut whispered no. And I went with my gut. The light in her eyes died as I stayed silent, her hand slipped away. The crab grew cold in front of us and the phone came out, cabs were called. I had just changed too much and she didn’t know it. She had changed too little and I could see it. I’m not who I was in 2006 when I fell deep into those brown eyes. The physicalness of her has no hold on me anymore, the soft lips and hot skin.
I guess irony really has no bounds. When the place is right, the time is wrong. The sad part is I don’t think she understood as much as I tried to make her understand. The hurt shows in her eyes even now when she’s with someone else. For my part I understand that there really was no other way. I don’t know if I’ve grown up, but I for me the confines of a club will never have that allure. No more crazy Friday nights and early Saturday morning. I get my thrills from the wilds, meters under the ocean and she cannot comprehend that lifestyle.
I’d like to think that the last few years weren’t just about my ego, having the It girl want me, playing those games, cold one night, twisting in the sheets the next. There was some sort of deep voodoo connection and I guess there always will be some part of me that craves for her, in the dark depths of the night. But right now I’m trying to stay in the sunshine and keep life good. Too good for complications.
I think my gut was right.
Monday, September 21, 2009
This time around in Yala was certainly an eye-opener. The digital age is certainly upon us as it seemed the time of the rally racers. The tracker has been shunted into a corner by the new breed of young, fast safari tour drivers. Admittedly since Sumudu had been doing this for eight years the revolution must have happened some time ago, but due to my extended sojourn out of the county it had slipped past me unnoticed.
This is not to say there are no advantages.
Two nights, six leopards and a bear sighting will attest to the fact that the safari drivers’ approach works.
Three (give or take) members of the same company will traverse the park in different jeeps.
The cellphone rings courtesy of a magical Dialog network that only the safari tour drivers seem to have access to.
And then a drive that Colin McRae would be proud of would ensue. I believe our jeep may have started off with side view mirrors, but they were long gone and are probably still festooning some poor spotted deer whose standing by a jungle road going ‘what the fuck was that?’ Trees, rocks swerve by in a flash as you desperately hold on to anything tied down to the truck to avoid getting thrown out into a thorn bush. The jeep then screeches to a halt in front of a slightly taken aback leopard/bear/elephant while the people inside try to figure which way is up and try to remove camera equipment embedded in friends body parts.
Add a few hundred (well maybe just a dozen) cars to the spot in about an hour and you have your sighting.
I’m not sure how I feel about the changes in Yala. Sure it would seem foolishly nostalgic to wax on about some pseudo-golden age where the animals were less hassled and the onlookers more noble, but those are probably selective memories. I am a bit saddened by the demise of the tracker though, at least in the company of the safari tours. The grand old men of the jungle are no more or at least have no voice.
Out with the old and in with the new I guess. At least you're guaranteed the goods.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
The alienation from my culture and traditions and the life of an pseudo-elitist has made me feel like a foreigner in my own country. Though I am still not and never will be a ‘religious’ person in the strict traditionalist sense, nor for that matter I guess a ‘true’ Sri Lankan I feel less foreign, more with my country now. If even for a bit, I found myself.
Times going by and I’m still wrestling. It’s strange the things that bring me up, a conversation with a friend (who incidentally now knows more about me than most people) brought things I have never talked about to the surface. 21 years is a long time to carry something within myself, getting it out felt good despite the constant fear of the possibility of alienation.
Today brought me closer to my blood, where my roots are and the shell is scouring off, one painful layer by layer.
I just hope the world holds up for me while I return to normality.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The most I could muster was a half bend at the waist, the task of remembering something that I really don’t want to, for the sake of absolving a non-forgivable guilt. I’m never sure what they expect of me…do they expect me to garner ping by feeding some people who have nothing better to do than sit on their asses all day and get fed once a day by fools?
Am I supposed to remember something I cannot, a voice that I can’t remember hearing, a betrayal that’s left me with multitudes of demons to fight without guidance?
To me it’s just bullshit. I’d rather forget, it might as well be any other day as far as I fucking care.
But then I don’t share in their guilt.
Friday, September 11, 2009
So what’s keeping me going when getting out of bed seems as hard as bench pressing 200 pounds? It truly is the connections, the friendships and the relationships I have around. SR emailing me all the details from sunny SoCal so I don’t miss anything with the old crew, SO to have random late night conversations about the best in 80’s music, sweaters and see through shirts, the sibling wishing that I find what I’m looking for (perhaps in a few years), the thought that maybe, just maybe I’m somewhat employable, T providing entertainment in that special way she can, A and S being the usual jokers and R akki pointing out that this transition is something that everybody goes through and that everyone who has gone through it, is unanimous that they don’t want to go back.
At the end of the day I guess I should have been more aware that this would be hard. The relentless pursuit of a goal and its actual attainment has left me a bit bereft. Perhaps I shouldn’t worry as much about where I’m going anymore and start enjoying where I am. For one thing the sunsets from Marine Drive, something that’s starting to become a habit for me are truly one of a kind.
I’m looking to each step now instead of the long road since I have in the past been too focused on the destination. To end on a somewhat random (if typical) note, here’s my favourite song of all time (and surprisingly it’s not a Snow Patrol tune(.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Finding the bus for my impromptu trip to Nuwara Eliya was a task in itself on a not so bright and breezy Saturday morning. For one thing due to a night out before and a consistent lack of sleep over the last few days, my head felt like it had been rammed full off cotton wool.
I tottered around the Pettah bus stand trying rather unsuccessfully to blend into the greater Sri Lankan public whilst looking for the bus. My inquiries of Ayie, Nuwara Eliya bus eka koheda thienna (Brother, where is the bus to Nuwara Eliya) elicited rather sympathetic smiles from the various brisk looking individuals at the Kotuwa bus stand as they directed me to all four corners of the bus stand . I actually think they were being sincere in their own individual opinions of where the requisite bus was parked.
Here’s a tip to any similarly culturally misplaced, clueless individual who tries to grab an inter-city bus to one of the more remote destinations from the Pettah stand: Keep a sharp ear for your destination being called out in the staccato cries of the conductors entreating passengers to use their particular bus. It was only by hearing the sharp shout of Nuwara Eliya, as I stumbled in the direction pointed out by yet another well intentioned, possible employee of the Pettah Bus Stand, that I found my bus.
It had of course been carefully concealed as the Welimada bus which apparently was both past Nuwara Eliya and better known to the general populace than my chosen destination.
After paying the pittance of the Rs. 247 to ride to Nuwara Eliya I settled in next to rather severe looking lady in a mostly full bus. As I smiled unsurely at her and something about Nuwara Eliya mumbled (I’m not sure why I did this, it must be something to do with the current inability to handle the easiest of social situations), she looked me rather witheringly and said Welimada ta yanne and that was that. Gingerly I placed my bag on my lap and looked around at my bus compatriots. There seemed an inordinate number of children around me who looked like they would get motion sickness at the slightest vibration. Steeling myself to the thought of little children hurling over me in the near distant future I closed my eyes and leaned back against the seat to try and catch up on some sleep.
Any thoughts however of getting any rest were rapidly extinguished as what seemed like all the street peddlers in Fort poured into the bus selling everything from education booklets to mangoes to cadala by the time honoured tradition of thrusting the said materials into your face and yelling in your ear about their dubious qualities. Many people seemed to buy items simply to try and preserve their hearing. One enterprising individual even got so carried away with trying to sell his sheets of old bank notes from Sri Lanka that he seemed intent on coming half way out of Colombo with us as the bus started out on its six hour journey.
There are many adjectives that spring to mind when trying to describe my journey wending it’s way up the Kandy road and up to the hills, redolent, noisy, exciting, chaotic and indescribably screechy being some of them. I did in fact manage to fall asleep until around noon so missed a lot of the early part of the drive. The few glimpses I caught were courtesy of the lady next to me who rather stoically pushed my head to the side as I lolled in my sleep onto her personal space.
I was also woken up intermittently as being a ‘semi-luxury’ bus; various people were loaded on at what seemed like every stop possible so they could spend the better part of the trip pressing their bodily extremities onto those of us who were seated. Stoically ignoring the seemingly distracted advances of the gentleman pressing his crotch into my shoulder, I absorbed the views visible from the open window as the bus trundled on with a disconcerting screech.
It must be said that the rather distorted views available from a single bus window are anything but boring. You catch brief, tantalizing, enigmatic glimpses of the towns, people and landscapes as they whiz by and often only disembodied parts of whatever is outside. The gigantic wrinkled backside of an elephant taking a ride in a truck resolved into a side-on of him contentedly chewing on some stringy bright green leaves, hands bearing cobs of corn and other interminable edible items flashed beguilingly past the window and at one stage, two white upright PVC poles intriguingly flew by as the bus swerved around something in its path.
I won’t lie; despite the many distractions, a semi-luxury bus is probably not the most comfortable way to get to Nuwara Eliya. After a while the screech of the engine, the radio blaring and the press of humanity can get a bit overwhelming, but such a journey is certainly the most organic way to remember what Sri Lanka is and who makes up the vast majority of the country.
The school teacher manner of my seatmate was but a front as she offered to share her lunch of bread with me and placed my uneaten snacks of Maliban chocolate biscuits in what she deemed was a more respectable siri siri bag than what I already had. The children declined to throw up on me and instead rather endearingly maintained a delighted commentary of what passed outside the bus, often shedding some much needed light on the more obscure items I saw from my limited perspective of the minute window. More spectacular scenery, terraced fields, lush misty mountains and bright green tea fields fled past as the bus miraculously, despite the determined efforts of the driver both remained on the windy road and to the six hour timeframe for the journey.
s the bus rattled into Nuwara Eliya central, exactly six bone crunching hours after departing from Colombo, and I peeled myself off the chair in weary anticipation, the mind did still boggle, what exactly did a non-luxury bus ride to Nuwara Eliya entail?
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tonight was perfect. The moon was up, scudding through the clouds. The local kottu joint echoed across Havelock Road. The chef at this noble saivar kade was quite the creative cat. To liven up the tedium of the clacking he interspersed a few baila tunes here and there to bring some rhythm to his cooking. The traffic hummed as I inhaled. And thought about the past two weeks.
The move back hasn’t gone exactly as I envisioned. In fact I’m not even sure what I envisioned back in that hazy Californian sun, now so recessed in my mind that it’s more a mirage than my reality a month ago. I think Pissu was the one who sagely advised me that things aren’t really greener on this side. Not that I expected it to be, but reality is always sobering. The issues at home are more real than ever. I’m trying to find the patience to deal with the slight manic ness, the somewhat overwhelming obsessive ness. Coping mechanisms I’m sure but it just all feels a bit mature to me to be dealing with these issues.
Issues in the crowd notwithstanding, my own personal crowd issue in as expected somewhat ambiguous. I think the lack of the usual 3 week window, impending departures and the boiler cooker atmosphere has left us both a little underwhelmed. The reality that there is time this time has left us both a bit unsure of the next step. I personally am not too fussed, the essentialness of being with her has faded. There are far too many interesting members of the female sex that I know and are out there to be known to be too tied up in this one. If it works, it works, if not…so be it. I am a bit worried though about her issues in the crowd. The potential for hurt is kind of overwhelming and I’m a bit disappointed that some people won’t compromise. I’m trusting, but my gut tells me it’s the truth.
So yes the first two weeks have been less than the complications I expected. Too many let downs to be honest, half filled balloons unceremoniously popped prematurely. But this is reality and it’s a whole better than sweating under another killer deadline, doing other people’s work and pulling their weight in the corporate drivel of the USA. Time is ticking and I’m slowly starting to get my act together. I’m quite looking forward to knuckling down, if anything for some routine and framework.
Before that though, I really hope this week jaunt to Wasgomuwa works out. And to end another muddled post, the rooftop is the best but one must take care. Today I sat tripping out in the middle of the nightly perambulation path of a couple of polecats. Reverie is fun, but nothing will snap one out of more than what appeared to be two small leopards prancing towards you. Thankfully they both absconded when I hurriedly got up before a new pair of pants was warranted. Yeah…watch out for those polecats.
Monday, August 3, 2009
I just remembered. I said I’d call. Crap. Crap. Crap. Damn these things I say at . I should have just kept my mouth shut when I dropped her at her door. I really don’t want to call. I like my girls edgy, damaged with enough of a dark side to add some spice. She’s sweet, cute and totally wholesome. It would be like dating my aunt. I would have nothing to say. Crap.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
It’s nice that A and SH haven’t changed much to this day. It may sound a bit like a broken record sometimes but then it always leads to the best of times. Some of the rest of the crew however really need to move down the evolutionary level…or is that up it? Seriously the foolishness and almost super model type (though certain lack of the looks and the right sex department) need for attention is nauseating. These guys need a harsh dose of reality soon.
Good nights are still possible, even with the idiots and the soap opera antics, just some of the boys, some drinks and good jokes.
Chemistry is a difficult thing to find. I spent the better part of a night talking to a perfectly sweet girl, walked her back to her hotel room, had a slightly nervous run in with her cousin on the way and didn’t have the slightest bit of a tingly feeling or an urge to do anything that involved a grope in the dark. Not sure if the usual suspect stalking up and down like a wounded, albeit beautiful panther the whole night, helped much either…though in retrospect it was a lost cause to begin with. Also problematic was the rather tender gastroentinal situation that was going on.
Now comes the difficult task of reigning back the interest levels without compromising feelings. My social life in the US was truly a lot simpler with four mostly male minds to deal with. My current situation is like a tense standoff somewhere in the inner regions of Mogadishu….where was I? Oh yes, chemistry is impossibly rare to find.
Last but not least is the poor judge of character I seem to provide sometimes on a special exclusive contract basis. I suppose I could provide some sort of back serving, convoluted excuse for the rather unexpected cold shoulder on Thursday night after the multitude of phone calls. At least try and make a reasonable assessment of the reason for the tardiness, instead of taking it personally and so personally enough to block out communication for the rest of the weekend. Surprisingly emo after the early morning smoke session, man the girl has issues and no desire to provide full explanations. The mind did boggle as to how much of a goldmine she would be for any aspiring psychologist. As to where this goes from here I know not. I just don’t want to be the straw that broke the camels back, hence not take things too personal myself.
By the way, the government knows not how to throw a party. The stage girls had on more clothes than I did, the public PA system was blaring fuckingkennyG and the old dudes with jittery trigger fingers on their civil defence AK47s were not the most conducive to a beach fest atmosphere. Next time try some subtle security and less puttering morality. If they could regulate the moon reflecting on the waves, some of these fuckwits would do it.
All in all the weekend was good, but it has in the objective light of the rear view mirror, too much of the sameness of the last years. I’ve moved on and in search of a different vibe now. Less destructive, more fun. Less morning, noon and night drinking, more unwinding. I will be back many times to the same old ways for the near future as that is mostly only what I know.
But things are a changing for sure.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
“Why did you leave? Isn’t it amazing there? You can have anything you want!”
“What are your plans now? What are you going to do?”
“You didn’t want to stay there and make some more money?”
It’s astonishing to me that somehow people think that they have some kind of right to question my decisions and motives because I did something they cannot comprehend doing. The questions from family members irk me the most. I know where they have fucked up and made mistakes and taken silly decisions but I’ve never pointed those out or questioned them. My take on it is if I wish to make a mistake, that should be my right to do. Maybe this was a mistake, maybe it’s the best decision I ever made in my life. Only time will tell.
‘Til then expect a roundhouse slap (at least metaphorically) if you ask me what I’m going to do now or any more of the inane questions described above. Make that a thundering roundhouse slap…
Monday, July 27, 2009
Cab’s outside to take me to the Rowing Club to hang out with D. The rattley door closes as I sink into the seat.
“Mona dawasada awey?” “When did you get in?”
“Acchiee kohomada” “How’s your grandmother”
It took me a few minutes of surprised silence to put a face to…well…if not a name then a familiar face and a few more than a few excursions. There’s something ironic about a cab driver who both knows about your grandmother’s health as well as what you did with that girl in the back of his cab on the way back from Sugar.
The possibilities for blackmail…they make the mind boggle.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Will I miss California? Undoubtedly. For all the crap, the rat race, the heat there were moments of unspeakable beauty, loving family, comfort with friends and spine tingling excitement. The bygone weekend was a microcosm of what I gained from my six year sojourn in the US, Tori Amos at the Greek, alcoholic nights, skydiving and friends and family around.
The boys and I have seen some amazing groups in the last couple of years and to top it off, SR and I went to see Tori Amos on Friday. Admittedly I may not be her biggest fan unlike my obsessive interest in groups like Death Cab for Cutie or Snow Patrol, but boy can that girl sing and play various keyboards. High on Tori Amos we then proceeded to meet up with P and S and enjoy my dubious Mojito mixing skills. As was proved last July, the summer heat and the refreshment of a sparkling Mojito makes a bad combination, as we dragged ourselves out of bed with mighty headaches at the ungodly hour of 5.30am to make the drive to Lake Elsinore, so D and I could throw ourselves out of a plane.
The thrill of the skydive wiped all the alcohol residues from my system quick time. This being my second jump meant I wasn’t hamming it up for the camera and was bucket loads more confident. Instead I watched in open mouthed wonderment as the Pacific glistened from 12,000 feet up, the slipstream tearing at my goggles as we hit terminal velocity. Pulling on the parachute straps as instructed by Lelloo, my tandem instructor, we spiraled into a 360 degree turn, the parachute disconcertedly at right angles to us. I felt a twinge of regret as we dropped quickly and come in for a rapid landing at the drop zone. I would have loved to have taken the para course and jumped solo while I was in the US though with the constraints of time and money, this was always a bit of an impossibility (especially considering my other hugely expensive hobbies).
The sibling’s engagement party in the evening brought together some of the most important people in my life. Being able to give a toast at the party and say ‘I love you’ to my sister was when the final wall between us, built up during the decade apart and then warily explored when we met as adults was finally torn down. I will miss her most of all though the maternal unit comes in a close second. The last six years will probably be the last time the both of us will spend significant amounts of time in the same country much less with each other. I should be bitter that geography and family considerations have led to us leading such separate lives, but then what would be the point? I am grateful for what I’ve had so far.
All in all as S put it was one of the best nights ever, friends and family coalesced into one wonderful night of merriment with the Old Reserve flowing and the chocolate biscuit pudding being inhaled down. I am going to miss California, CP & RD up north, my boys (& one token girl) to blur the weekends away, the sibling and the maternal unit all made California worthwhile, made the rat race bearable and I am grateful beyond words. I’ll even miss the work team, as crazy as it was they were for the most part an excellent bunch of peeps.
As D would put it, One Love to the past six years and the memories. And I look forward to a new beginning and new aspirations to achieve.
Monday, May 11, 2009
These were nice, but on the dark side the trips to the dealer became a ritual. Every Thursday, Friday roll into the valley. Quick call on the phone, fist bump, sly exchange of baggies and cash and empty platitudes. The cost mounted quickly, both financially and mentally. Every day was fuzzy and I started to get stupid. Things would fizz past me as my mind slowed down to the speed of molasses. Weekends were spent in bed, in a haze, trying to dull the pain. To be honest I can’t figure out why it stopped but the memory of a random trip with the grandmother to listen to some Buddhist dude helped out. The memory that Ajahn Brahm had a podcast with P’s rather brilliant idea of ripping CDs and listening to them in the car brought me light.
Note I’m no middle path Buddhist now, no pansal going, pirith nool wearing chap. I still like to drink, smoke up occasionally, eat meat and fornicate with the best of them. I have however managed to get a handle on the addictive personality that my genes have blessed me with. As opposed to going off the rails like so many of my male brethren, I have regained some control and the obstacles seem more handleable. And the words of Ajan Brahm, with his wry sense of humour and simple but powerful stories have definitely helped me gain perspective. I wholeheartedly recommend checking his podcast out. If a cynical, hardbitten, atheist like me can find comfort in his words…well…let’s just say he must be good.
To paraphrase Jimmy Cliff, I can see clearly now…there maybe some rain ahead…but I can see clearly.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Three Sri Lankans met up, one came from Scotland to Los Angeles, where the other two lived (much to their dismay, the living there, not the friend visiting). From LA it was a road trip to Las Vegas which was followed shortly by one very sexpensive venture. Following which was a cab ride. Said cab being driven by someone who was wearing a cap with what I thought was an Ethiopian flag, which in fact turned out to be an upside down Ethiopian flag (so I wasn’t far off). The cap was in fact being worn by an Eritrean who despite living in the City of Sin knew of the best places to eat Ethiopian food (a personal favourite of mine), one of the best which was Nyala, in Little Ethiopia in Los Angeles.
In short we found ourselves, three Lankans, one from Scotland, two from LA, going for an Ethiopian meal at a restaurant recommended by an Eritrean who we met in Las Vegas. Gotta love continent hopping.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
It was during the latter part of the climb up that I realized I had become a big pussy, there was a nervousness in sighting the next rock, sweaty grasping of branches and a definite lack of certainty in jumping from rock to rock. A couple of years of mostly sitting behind a desk has had its toll. Even just five years ago I happily trekked miles a day in the heat, well if not happily quite effectively, up and down the mountains of Maragalakanda counting birds and dodging vipers. Now a brief jaunt in the woods was a challenge. It’s not even a question of fitness, it’s more that the hand eye coordination is lacking, I guess bushwacking is not like a bicyle but needs some practice.
Of course as gentle as the hike was, with us, nothing is quite as simple. On the way down from the head of the falls, P somehow managed to lead us off the trail and down a much rather entertaining rock fall down to the base of the hill. Carrying a couple of thousand dollars in camera equipment on my back didn’t exactly increase my levels of comfort either. To add insult to injury on getting to the base of the climb and finding out that we still had plenty of time on our hands we headed enthusiastically up another upwards running trail in pursuit of the gal short girls that P had seen going up. It was when all three of us took a second look at a tree on the path that it was indeed the original path we had climbed up earlier and the way we came back was most decidedly non-convential.
Apparently navigation skills take some practice as well.
Friday, April 17, 2009
I must be crazy though, while everyone else is buckling down, I’m going to go free in the middle of the worst recession in a lifetime, leave comfort, a good salary, promotions, career path (that one makes me gag every time) to chase the whisper of a dream. An uncertain path I’ve known all my life I will have to take, but I’ve avoided until now. I’m done with the easy route, the one that fulfills the baser needs but leaves one’s spirit charred. Time to try and get real.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
The night later progressed in its usual, trips taken, arrack drunk and the most bizarre conversations had. Somewhere in there was drivebys, bestiality, crossfit, strange attempts at pushups, bitching about Portishead, loving Portishead, animalknappings at the local petting zoo and finally in a common consensus, a trip to the local strip club.
I swear she looked like J…it was such a brilliant coincidence that I had to text R know that a J lookalike was currently wrapping her legs around my neck and giving me the kind of anatomical lesson that one always wanted in high school. Of course with my iron clad will I spent exactly twice my budget, but lets just say it was well worth it. I of course will not be able to look J in the face again…well maybe with a slight leer.
Sunday morning dawned bright and early, blindingly some might say after the two hours of sleep that was had. As expected with the randomness that befits us, the morning saw P and I role blearily to a volunteer gig feeding the homeless. Absolving for some of our sins of the past night, we engaged in a whirlwind of stuffing bags for a brief 20 minutes. Eventually heading back after the world’s shortest yet somewhat efficient volunteer efforts it was to a Brazilian barbeque for a belated b’day lunch for S. He had also come of Lent so anything bovine within a hundred miles was in mortal danger. The food was brilliant at the Sampa Grill with the green shaker up most of the time. Succulent sections of cows, garlic chicken, some polish sausage, beans, cheesecake, brownies and bread pudding passed before us.
We left lunch bloated and with a possible house visitor to Sri Lanka next year in the shape of a friendly Brazilian waiter (male unfortunately). It was to one more of those afternoon naps and then a somewhat nervous drive in the new wheels, courtesy of N. I’m pretty sure all of us are resting our tired bones this evening, on our respective trips. One more Monday to come and what’s keeping me going is that there are only to be around 8 more of these to go.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I read NB’s post with some discomfit, firstly I didn’t see what the big deal was. To me the post was just a general poke. To burst the bubble on a bloggers anonymity, especially over something so trivial (I can understand if its slander or copyright issues) seems to me to break some kind of code, a betrayal of our community. I mean a lot of us know who each other are, but we tend to keep that knowledge out of the public eye. Outing information like that is mostly quite tasteless.
I’m all for freedom of speech and forthright talk but there is a difference between being outspoken…and being an asshole.
Friday, April 3, 2009
- Hanging out with the two jokers, R a friend for almost 20 years, S for 10. The three of us could not be more disparate, but somehow it works as the best of friendships. Fingers crossed for that lasting.
- Chilling with the boys, the surrogate family in the US. P, always breaking something, D spaced out, N always trying to impress and S coming up with the most priceless comments; ‘ai oi jangia kanne?’ being my particular favourite on seeing the Kim Kardhashian tape.
- Anywhere in the dry zone, where I feel the most at home. There’s something about that dry scrub, the waves of burning heat and the shimmering tanks that makes me feel complete, human and happy.
- Sex in the afternoon. I mean everybody (I sense a sarcastic comment here from a couple of my readers) does it in the night, but what about the afternoon? The suns blazing mutedly through the curtains, the fans whirring. Absolutely perfect for an afternoon session and siesta. Especially enjoyable when done when you should be in lectures or at work.
- Taking photographs. The pulse racing as you look at an ever-changing tableau in a fast moving city like San Francisco. Colours pulsing as you try to figure out what will work in the lens, the camera whirring smoothly as it autofocuses. The thud of the shutter. Bliss.
- Dinner with Arcch, as I’ve affectionately called her since I could talk. At the round table in the pantry. Not much conversation but reassuring, never changing phrases here and there. I don’t know if I can ever go back to that.
- The few tropical water dives I’ve done and the prospect of repeating them soon. Fish swirling everywhere, the meters of visibility through the dreamy green water. Bubbles rising reassuringly from our regulators as we explore the rock and reef in Lanka.
- Enjoying R akki’s company. Seriously the most fun person over 30 (and even under 30 when we knew her back then) and an automatic booster to the day. Somewhat difficult to take snorkeling but a blast to keep you company while you roll one. The only person I know who would while you were rolling in a dazed state sit by you with a towel on her head, drunk of her skunk, giggling to herself for an hour just to keep you company. Priceless.
- Getting to know the sibling. A difficult task after nine years and a culture apart. But we have made progress and the last weekend was much fun and it sounds like she’s going to be taking an important step forward in her life. I’m very proud.
- Editing photographs, I forgot about this one. Almost more fun than taking the shots, running actions, blurring, history brush here and there. Channel mixers and curves to play with. I just wish I could make up my mind which iteration I like.
- Talking to short stuff. The closest thing to a mother I had growing up considering the age gap between me and my grandparents. It’s a bit scary that she thinks I’m a responsible person now, the potential for disappointment is discomfiting.
- CP, another one of the old crowd. Now all grown up and expecting but still the same old, sweet concerned golden hearted girl. She said I think too much. And I think she’s right.
- Superblende Kandos.
- Cold Old Reserve and coke.
- Hot butter cuttlefish.
- Mornings on the beach, that fang toothed, dorky half smile.
The list seems to have gotten a bit long and unwieldy. I’m not even sure what I’m writing about anymore but I do have a lot to be thankful for, which is reassuring. In fact writing this has been a thereaputic way to spend a Friday evening after the hellhole of the week. Apologies for any randomness….must be the trip I’m on.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
It also reaffirms one off my more morbid musings, if I were to be reborn as anything, please let it be a dolphin. To be that at home in your environment must truly be a liberating experience. Though the odd crazy Jappo beating you about the head every now and then in the name of tradition might be a bit of a bummer.
And besides, if the world were to become part of a big transportational construction site, at least I would be saved.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Dark mocha skin
Broody, shuttered brown eyes
Endearing affection for general knowledge
Ability to wield a handbag with unerring accuracy
Legs that go on forever
Closet Gorillaz fan
Seafood enthusiast, especially the Japanese variety
Disconcerting ability to waiver between unbearable cuteness to complete looniness
Smooth, lilac scented hair (maybe with the random brown streak for old times sake)
Annoying habit of ignoring texts and endearing habit of blabbing for hours on the phone
Always there when needed
Yes I’m a sucker, but hey one can always hope…if even a bit foolishly.
Willingness to negotiate on the above…open to suggestions?
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Luckily I noticed halfway through my lane change, a third through my conversation that the traffic had gone from 60 to zero in a nanosecond, that the fleeting rear end of the Civic in front of me was alight with red. Thankfully I had room, the presence of mind to brake, swing right and with a slight screech of tires avoid rear ending the car in front of me at 70 miles per hour. Thankful that I didn’t have to experience any cartwheels, windows exploding or airbags popping.
What really surprised me was the lack of reaction on my part. The sibling didn’t even notice a break in the conversation. I guess a cool head prevailed, I don’t think I will try that again though. The phone is to be strictly off limits on the road from now on, especially after a dog day at work.
Because I really want to at least make the motions of passing my genes on.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Personally, I’ve been through a lot, two jobs, two cities, best friends leaving, best friends getting married, best friends getting pregnant, video toasts, drama, one night stands spurned, alcohol drunk, girls chatted up, endless hours worked, new friends made, businesses started, friends lost. Some things have stayed the same, friendships, stresses, the girl, feelings of home and place.
When I started off I had this grand plan but I seemed to have put that on the fast burner. I have got an import/export business with two very able partners albeit into Australia and it is extremely hard going at the moment and I have almost two years experience in a consultancy working in development. But I’m jumping a lot earlier than I envisioned, I want to take the risk now and not wait til I am comfortable living the dream here. I just received notice that my exit dates can be implemented as planned, now it’s just the financial tiptoeing to make sure everything is in working order. Then there’s the logistical nightmare of moving a life across a couple of oceans.
Oh yeah and fingers crossed this space should get a lot more interesting, I seem to be more prolific and erudite when I’m not playing the part of a corporate whore, not living the rat race dream. Salut to three years…..and hopefully more to come!
Saturday, February 28, 2009
It starts out with a documentary style tale of the Bushmen in the Kalahir….documentary as I mentioned.
Then all of a sudden there occurs what is possibly the worst planned yet close to successful coups ever shown on film. The elaborate plan involves a bunch of armed people in two jeeps pull up to the presidential palace, charge in unchallenged and blow the cabinet up in a hail of machine gun fire. Of course the presidential guard shows up inoppurtnely late shoots a few people and then gives chase in a Mercedes gazzguzzler, which promptly runs out of gas.
By this stage I’m scratching my head, theres a fat rebel leader who looks like he was outsourced from Cuba and a bunch of joker rebels. What part they play in a documentary I know not. A lot of banana trees promptly get the fuck blown up, a positive banana smoothie. All through this the little bushman wanders, walking to the end of the earth.
Baboons and Bushman talking, now it’s like a social/nature documentarty on crack. There’s a great white hunter (though an awkward around ladies great white hunter), a beautiful blonde teacher in distress. Oscar award wining drama written all over it by this stage. A grand rescue, machine guns, a romantic liplock and of course all through this the little bushman walks to throw the coke bottle off the end of the earth.
My favourite random quote from the movie:
That’s funny, this elephant’s dung is completely missing Boron.
I personally think this movie in terms of interpretation beats out the best of David Lynch. Mulholland Drive aint got shit on Gods Must be Crazy. It’s a social statement on the evils of materialism and the modern world with a random lovestory, third world coup, adventure tale thrown in for kicks. I have no idea who produced, wrote or dreamt up this movie…but I think I should look them up. Cos I want whatever they’ve been smoking.
And my newly rediscovered catchphrase: Ai, ai, ai, ai
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Aunty N’s friends boyfriend…he went to Australia, got citizenship, came back and didn’t get dual. They refused him
Sure….why do I have the feeling more aunties and their mothers are going to have trouble with dual, dealing with the shock of moving back.
What baffles me sometimes is the selfishness of the people who say they love you. All they really want is succor for themselves. So what if living here will crush my soul, destroy my sanity and make me a mindless corporate drone consumer? So long as I’m there in some form, who cares if it’s just the husk left.
All I really wanted to say was fuck off, stop putting doubts, paranoia into my head, into a situation which is already scaring the shit out of me. Self doubt is a specter difficult to fight even without the little whisperings of doubt from people who should know better.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
There’s this song, Knuddelmaus by Ulrich Schnauss, that automatically causes the strangest , bittersweet memories to play of all the senses. A grainy, almost eighties film vision of the airport at Hong Kong, a suitcase on a grey cart, red uniforms. An empty chair, rattan crackling as I ease into it. The musty metal smell of the old school telephone, the dusty unused air of the cabinets. Crawling, itchy, sweaty April heat. Soft skin, crinkly cotton and sweet scented perfume. A solitary mynah croaking by the window. A spray of hair down my shoulder, steady breathing. Bright sunlight, as the plane lifts off, rays sparkling off the ocean blue. I’m not trying to figure out the montage, just describing it.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
And boy did I hit bottom. For some reason, it seems that people dive out here in California with much more weights than we did back home. Even taking in the discrepancy of wearing a full wetsuit, hood, etc 27 pounds seemed a bit excessive. As soon as I went negative on my buoyancy, I shot through the water so quickly my sinuses didn’t so much equalize as implode quietly. I’m glad I didn’t do this over the Marianna because I’d still be falling.
Dave’s instructions rolled through my head, 30 seconds down and if we don’t find each other surface. Of course being on the bottom of the Pacific in conditions that seemed reminiscent of the inside of an Blue Whale after a solid rice and curry session wasn't exactly condusive to recalling those instructions. Visibility was down to a couple of feet and everything was pea soup green.
It was with some relief then that Dave appeared out of the gloom, fluorescent tank gleaming. As he motioned for me to follow him and we swam off, I assumed we were going to join up with the rest. Yet we continued swimming, at what seemed to me unseemly haste through the kelp. The brown green streamers pushed at us as we weaved through them. If I thought visibility was bad in the open, under the kelp everything went a chocolate brown. All I could see was the fluorescent tank and the faint gleam of Dave’s torch.
We continued swimming through the kelp, at one point Dave jerked up over a rock as something zapped him. I took great care to swim further up over the rock (turns out it was some kind of electric ray). After approximately 17 minutes of exploring this area, getting sick of kelp and learning to control my fear as the light kept ebbing and flowing, Dave gave the thumbs up. Ascending through the green and then dark blue waters, we got to the surface, right hand up as a sacrifice to any passing speedboats, we surfaced.
I was intensely curious to find out what had happened to the original plan of all five of us swimming in one line. Maybe because of the visibility Dave had decided to split us up. Of course it was with some surprise that I noted when the mask came off at the surface, that my dive buddy was in fact…not Dave.
I could however hear Dave in the distance, yelling. Floating on the surface, nervously eying Phil next to me, I couldn’t for the life of me make out what they were yelling. It was only as Phil looked over curiously and wondered aloud what the problem was, that it started to dawn on me….Phil hadn’t stuck to the plan. He’d grabbed me as a dive buddy and decided to go a wandering without waiting for anyone else. Me, being unable to differentiate white folks at the best of times and most definitely not underwater and in scuba gear, followed as had been instructed. Admittedly I did think the situation strange at the time, but then how does one discuss these things a couple of stories down in the water? Also if it was any consolation, Phil had thought I was P, which if anyone has seen us in real life would realize how laughable a mistake that would be.
As it turns out Dave had, rather un-gratifyingly in my opinion, decided that I must have panicked and drowned Phil (another experienced diver) with me. He had gotten Brian and P to take off their BCs and tanks, tied them to a kelp plant in order to help him look for our bodies. The worst thing is that P didn’t even defend me, pointed out that I’m not a likely person to panic. He was just trying to figure out how to tell the maternal unit without losing vital body parts. 911 was even being dialed as Phil thankfully decided not to explore anymore.
As it turned out, once we surfaced all was well with the world. Universal OK signals were exchanged and we came back to shore in staggered shifts. One thing is getting through the surf at the beginning of the dive was not an issue. But at the end, freezing, tired, disoriented, it’s a hell of a thing to be battered by waves while carrying that tank and wearing those fins. It was not with much dignity that I exited onto the beach. The rest of the dive club members assured me it was standard at the beginning.
Carrying the weights and tank in a wetsuit up PCH was also not the most fun. But it was worth it, despite some of the worst visibility I have seen outside of a drain in Colombo, I mean for all I know I could have had Jaws next to me I wouldn’t have noticed, the dive was an experience. The main lessons being stick to the plan and learning to recognize white people better. I think I’ve had my fill of kelp but I am looking forward to seeing what populates those forests, Channel Islands next stop!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Oh yeah and my lawyer was looking quite dishy and smelt really nice, the perks of spending two grand on her I guess.
So obstacle one is down, the major one. Now just some paperwork to be done and the light is shining ever more brightly down that long tunnel. The boss asking me about ‘putting down roots’ did kind of bum me out though in a defensive kind of way. For one thing, it’s none of his business and for another, ‘roots?’ Ermm….marriage and kids….out here? No thanks. The thing is that when it’s a pretty girl and I’m under the influence I can lie with the best of them. But a big, white dude…not real good.
To add the surrealnes of the day was the other email, a PhD offer from Monash. Unfortunately no funding accompanied this so despite R’s rather out-of-the-box thinking that I can fund it by gigoloing myself in Melbourne I will have to, with great regret, decline the offer. On the plus side though, it does open up dialogue with someone who seems a great supervisor to figure out exactly what I have to do in the next couple of years to get funding.
Items on the plate now:
- Await the final bit of paperwork and then implement some further paperwork for the homeland.
- Figure out financials, a retirement fund, a safety fund, travel money, etc.- Figure out travel plans, the thought of going to Amsterdam and then Qatar seems fraught with danger for some reason.
- Figure out what equipment is necessary for the future.
- Talk to sup about publications.
- Research potential jobs, leads, etc.
- Keep plugging away at the Reserve deal
- Get the fuck out.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
What is surprising is how many of these people cannot think out of the box and how many keep turning to me to get things done. Now this doesn’t mean their bad at their jobs, the vast majority are excellent to a fault, but the bigger picture is something that seems to elude them. In a way it provides me with some comfort. I’ve never been the kind of person to want to specialize. The thought of being a dentist or mortgage broker or something similar scares the crap out of me, doing the same thing over and over again.
I need variety, on a large scale to keep me enthusiastic. Even in a job as varied as the consulting I do, things have started to pale. It might be the economy, the lack of big clients but things are boring now. Stressful and boring. Not a good combination, fingers crossed for a big fuck up of a project with a client looking to get shit done by spending money. Like a headache subdivision, in the coastal zone, in the mountains with a couple of access problems and pissed off county staff. Now that would make the stress worthwhile, for a bit longer.
I think I went off-topic there.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Also I discovered that one of the advantages of bonding with the maternal unit over a movie was that there wasn’t much talking involved. Don’t get me wrong, I love the maternal one as one should, but considering I met her a handful of times over more than a decade, our interactions are always a bit guarded. Especially considering the sibling and her have such a strong bond, it tends to leave me feeling a bit of an outsider. The lack of context with the family unit tends to make close interactions difficult but thankfully it’s gotten easier over the last couple of years.
Anyways familial complications aside, watching slumdog with the mother was quite a pleasant way to spend the evening, despite getting the slight ribbing received. Just another step toward normality.
P.S. I wonder what this does for my badboy status?
Friday, February 13, 2009
I’m still trying to figure that out.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
But at least I have friends like R (and a good exit strategy) to help keep me going.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Unfortunately even at seven, I wasn’t the best morning person. The next memory I have is the jingle of the phone, the sun still wasn’t up but it had become noticeably lighter. The customary polkicha was whistling its piercing call. There was a hubbub of voices above. Charted. Emotional. Finally a choke of grief and a woman crying.
That’s when I knew. Even though the voices were hushed I understood and it was buried somewhere deep in my subconscious. Even though the truth came out only a decade and maybe more later, from that day I knew. My world had imploded and its shards were spreading across the continents. And my old life was blowing away as the sun rose to chase the grey away.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Wild ride it is.
Monday, January 26, 2009
But of course I don't...because it is only six months, because there is a lot to be done and I have...for the past 10 (or so) years...gotten up every day and done what I had to do to get here and move forward.
P.S. T and PP, you better not give me grief about that being emo...it's not...
Sunday, January 25, 2009
He could hear his mother mutter something…
At the edges of his consciousness, through the haze of blood clouding his vision, he thought, ‘that’s an odd way of putting it?’
A piece of flesh, half mutton chop flying through the window hit him on the ear, breaking his reverie. His mother still mumbled, now incoherently next to him. As the figure got closer he tried to focus, the blurriness sliding in and out.
His mouth fell open, out of the corner of his eye he saw his mother’s do the same, a semi roasted, semi-masticated duodenum fall out.
It was Uncle Victor! There was no doubting it. But…when was the last time he had seen Uncle Victor? It was on the farm, that exciting, breathless holiday with his moisturizing, musical uncle. Uncle Victor had been one of his uncle’s best friends. With a liking for brightly coloured sarongs and a taste for nationalism, he was an artsy piece of work. Old Reserve and Ginger Beer (Elephant House only) was his drink…though he did waver towards Cream Soda every once in awhile…muttering under his breath, ‘it’s those damn ads I tell you, all those young….”
Memories from that hot, wet, yearning summer kept flooding his mind as Uncle Victor loomed closer. He looked over at his mother…still chewing on the duodenum. As the smooth metal shone out of the dark, he realized with shock that Victor had a gun, beautifully polished .338 Lapua Magnum, air still steaming out into the cold out of the blackness of its muzzle.
‘Fuckity, fuck, fuck,’…his mother had finished the duodenum. The rough words barely on him as all he could see was the muzzle edging closer with a sweaty, brown finger on the trigger.
”You and that fucking sheep…” Uncle Victor’s voice was a low hiss…menacing in its quietness.
“He knew you know…he saw it all…we both did. And it broke his heart! After all the hard work he put in saving her from those military experiments, being her friend…to see you do that to Fluffy…”
The memories came flooding back to him now, the supple legs with their short tight black hairs, the thighs with their white, soft fuzz…the wetness…
“You know he left, he bought a gigantic tub of moisturizer and disappeared!” The voice was now tinged with manic…”he was my best friend…and you broke his heart! You broke my heart!”
He remembered, the tightness. The power he felt as he moved, the soft entreaties.
Such soft music to his ears, he could almost imagine her calling out his name, in a bovine sort of way.
“And now you’re going to pay!” The gun came, up…the finger tightened.
It was a different sound. The erotic charge had become low and menacing. This was not his imagination. It was very real, deadly.
Time seemed to freeze. Uncle Victor hesitated, the finger loosened. There was barely a whisper of sound through the quiet air as the cloven hoof came around.
The gun clattered to the ground.
There was a blinding flash, because as the gun was a cheap Russian knock off, the safety didn’t work really well.
Two red eyes welled up though the inkiness of the night…
Over to Sach:)
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Was having a FB chat with an old friend I haven’t seen in yonks, now happily (I guess) married with a kid. The usual jazz about how are you, what have you been doing, blah, blah, blah…
“so any thoughts of getting married?”
What I really wanted to say is I’m 27. Not to mention bat-shit crazy. Why on earth would I want to marry or settle? Everybody I talk to complains about marriage. I hardly think the wifey would be happy with workaholic, crazy business idea, scuba diving, porn star photographing husband right? Well the latter I can understand, only because I don’t really have the opportunity any more to photograph porn stars…sob…
So what is it with the mid twenties, married girls? Do they just want everyone else to jump the bandwagon?
Mind you this girl’s very sweet but when she hinted she wanted to hook me up with a bird with wider shoulders than mine (I’m sure she’s a nice girl as well but I like my chikas hote/cute…what can I say, I’m shallow) I decided enough was enough and moved on to the fact that I was now an alcohol peddler.
Surprised uncomfortable silence. As much as it is possible on FB chat (which sucks by the way).
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I love this feeling. It takes the pain away. That gnawing, gnarling pain at the base of my shoulders. That pain from being where I don’t want to be, not being who I want to be. That’s all replaced by bliss…a white haze of tropical light…someone there, something there to fight for…hold on to…bleed for…bliss…
Then I wake up. Gird my loins. And get busy doing what needs to be done to get there.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Check website is live.
Email a bunch of random people letting them know OR is finally available in Australia.
Find hiking boots.
Place insoles into said hiking boots
Purchase knee supports for hike tomorrow.
Get bars, camelpak, change of clothes and laptop, dive stuff ready for a productive day in the Valley.
Fly and finish watching Leon.
Stick to task list ....
Thursday, January 15, 2009
It reminds me of Beethoven. Can you hear it?
It's like when you put your head to the grass and you can hear the growin' and you can hear the insects zzzzzzziiiingg.
Do you like Beethoven?
courtesy Luc Besson