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Life

Worry,

Hurry;

Blurry,

Scurry.

Curry,

Flurry;

Bury.

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A Midnight’s Dilemma

To write or not to write- that is half a question
To go over in the mind asleep;
Slings and arrows of wakefulness
To surface from its sea to consciousness
Or suppress them, end them. To sleep, to sleep–
No more– and by a sleep to say release
Let go of a thousand and more thoughts
That the mind is heir to- ‘tis euphoria
Devoutly to be wished. To sleep, to sleep–
To sleep, perchance till twelve. Ay, there’s the rub,
Of an eye, for ‘til the fresh rays come,
The thought has left this mortal coil.
This gives us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long and dark a night.
For who would bear the glares and ticks of time,
The spacing out, the offended glares,
The pangs of a body hungering for sleep, and its arrival’s delay
The sleep deprivations and the spins
This patient merit of th’ body takes
When he himself his bed made,
With bare hands? Who would fardels bear,
To fumble in the dark, for the light switch
But the dread of losing that thought,
It’s departure to new-found lands
From where it never returns, puzzles the will
And makes us pick those quills we have
And have them fly over flapping sheets
Thus does the clock above make fools of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
To shut the eyes tight, and ward off all thought
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of another thought
But enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard, their currents hasten
But sleep must lose the name of action– Sleep-deprived you now!
The fair inkiness! Black, In thy testament
Be all my sins remember’d.

 

P.S. as you can probably guess, it’s that time of the year again.

Test time.

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Bohemian Lament

Exams draw near, and it brings out the worst in me.

In my defence, I get bored.

 

Is this a real pile? Is it just fall-acy?
Caught in a landslide
Of books sliding down on me
Open your eyes
Look up to the ceilings and see
I’m just a poor boy
Pile of books taller than me,
Knowledge easy come, easy go
Little high, little low
Any way the wind blows,
The answers seem to blow with them
Away from me

Mama just killed a man
Just the turn of a page,
Now he’s confused and filled with rage

Mama, the lesson’d just begun
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away

Mamaaa ooooooooooo
Didn’t mean to make you cry
But I won’t be done with this by tomorrow
Grind on, grind on
As if nothing really matters.

Too quick
It’s time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Eyes shutting all the time

Goodbye everybody
I’ve got to go
Gotta leave the world behind and face the books

Mama, oooooo
I don’t wanna die
And sometimes wish I’d studied a bit before

I see a little silhouette of a book
Scandium, scandium, can you be less scandalous
Thunderbolts and lightning are just electrons flying at you
Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, Galileo Galileo didn’t see this coming,
No-o-o-o-o.

I’m an unpaired electron, nobody loves me
Unpaired and Lost from his metal was he
Spare him his life of unfulfilled valency
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?
Bismillah! No, we will not let you go
Let him go!
Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let me go.) Will not let you go
(Let me go.) Will not let you go. (Let me go.) Ah
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
(Oh mamma mia, mamma mia) Mamma mia, let me go
Bismuth has an orbital put aside for me
For me
For mee!

So you think the plain ground state was made for I?
So you think I’ll just keep spinning here till I die?
Oh, gaining, velocity baby,
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right out of here

(Put down the book, and)
Nothing really matters
All the prep there can be
Nothing makes the difference
For me.

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Cycle of Life

I was reading an article on how the population equilibrium on the planet will be maintained- a cycle of events that supposedly take place, that ensure a balance in human numbers on the planet.

Very roughly, they cycled as follows:
At first, there was a medium-ish population, and a small, hand sowed-and-reaped produce just enough to feed it.
If the population increased, the food supply was the limiting or checking factor, maintaining our population size.

Then came the mechanisation.
All of a sudden, with industrialisation, machines were reaping more crops than ever.

For once, an increasing population had enough, and even surplus food in store. (Cue: the Great Depression of the late ’20s, where the grain produce was so much, it had no more value in the markets.)

With this, and advances in technology and medicine, the so-far tight check on population growth loosened, and what began was the third phase of the cycle: something we call the population explosion.

In this stage, life conditions look relatively hunky dory, people live, live, and keep on living.

We’re accelerating too much, the problem of today.

Well, here’s what the cycle says.
This is where a fourth phase in the cycle kicks in.

There will then follow a stabilisation, wherein, with lower mortality rates and more longevity, humans will start reproducing less.
There simply won’t be a need for people to have as many kids anymore.
[Also, I may add, the lack of a libido, as seen in the Japanese, and the introduction of AI into the sex sphere, may play big roles in bringing down the very need/urge for human sex, and indirectly, reproduction.]

Now, I’m not economist or researcher. But I have another theory.

The human race will advance further in the intelligence sphere, and we’ll soon be delegating our intelligence to algorithms.

We’ll progress to the point where we’ve become far too comfortable.
(And trust me, we’re on our way there.)

The human body was designed for action. We were predators and prey once. Now we prey on the supermarket.
We use to be on the move.

Heaven knows we may adapt to inactivity. But mostly, I think that would fall apart.

Soon, non-movement-related illnesses would begin to take control of the human race, and human numbers will fall, because most likely, we won’t be able to reverse the damage.
Lifestyles mostly only progressively change, not regressively.

Now birth and death rates will balance out, and for all you know, despite improving technology, we may not have the problem of food surplus, because of the growing importance of (and money diverted to the production of) medicinal precautionary drugs, etc. in the human diet.
We come back to Step 1 of the cycle, i.e., balance. (Birth = death ≤ food supply).

There is another way, though.

Human beings’ strongest claim to the top of the hierarchy has always been their superior thinking ability. We’ve outsmarted and ousted almost every other dominant species on the planet. We call it civilisation.

But, of late, we’ve been handing over the reigns to the Golden Age bearers; with a machine to do everything a human can, the human needn’t work anymore. We have submitted to the idea of the Reigner Supreme: the now preferred machine.
Soon enough, the machine takes over the thinking aspect as well. Like a rusting machine, the now-useless human brain rots away in wastefulness.
No longer the well-oiled machine it once was, the evolution of the human brain stops.
With our front running claim to the top, our biggest weapon blunted, we will slide lower. Rationality and logical thinking will be lost, one bad decision will lead to another, till we’ve effectively dwindled down to the last human.
Ain’t that hard to kill the last dodo, is it now?

At last the cycle will end, and the winners, created by the ones they destroyed, the Reigning Machines, the victors, would stand tall, perfect and purposeless.

Hey, I’m only a science fiction writer, but who’s to say that dolphins won’t rule our planet one day?

 

Schrödinger’s Snowflake

As my assignment deadline grows nearer and nearer, I am officially getting closer to the rabbit hole.

At this hour of the day, I can’t recall the exact details here, but some aspects of physics don’t really work the way you’d expect them to when you get really close to some powerful landmarks.

Let’s just say my upcoming assignment deadline is a landmark.

Does this look the same to you as it does to me?

According to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, you can never know the exact velocity and position of an object. At this point, I’m pretty close to the deadline’s position on my calendar and my momentum is spiralling outwards and out of control.

It suffices to say, things aren’t looking very normal.

Welcome to my city, a place where we simultaneously experience summer and winter. (I refuse to answer any follow up questions about this “summer” I speak of) Sleep deprivation and insomnia. Panic and procrastination. Dead and alive, and Schrödinger and his cat. And my assignment due.

Although fair to say, the whole city doesn’t have an assignment due. But then again, this close to the deadline, I can’t even be sure. What if they do? What if all this mounting ice we’ having is nothing but the entire city crying over their share of my CS assignment? No wonder the snow tastes salty here.

Pass me the maple syrup please!

It’s probably an error, and with the winds it’s probably no more than -7 degrees anyway, and it’s not going to change the fact that we are living in the centre of a giant skating rink that isn’t nearly melting as quick as it piles up, but there we go, this forecast fascinates me. It’s my current state of mind. On repeat for the last five days or so.

Once this is over with, I am so out. Out cold!

Too Many Symbols In One Picture

Right here, in a single frame, are two iconic landmarks, both representative of the same place I’ve come to grow used to, but my word, both such contrasting figures.

Set against a foreground of what’s miraculously more ground than snow and ice, is the stone memorial Soldier’s Tower, a landmark erected in honour of soldiers who died in the two World Wars, with the CN Tower in the backdrop.

And behind the camera is an ancient relic, so old, withered and tired and falling to pieces, that the two towers might feel like budding roses next to it: me, walking home at 8.

I am so ready to get my assignment done with. I’m so ready for reading week.

I’m so ready fo—

(This post could not be completed as the author dozed off mid-post.)

Rewind

Know how we spend half our energy hating on the movie adaptation of a book just because it absolutely cannot be good?

It seems half the excitement of watching a movie adaptation is having read the book and being the fact geek at the table going, “and if this were ANY like the book, then character X would have said BLAH! And what an iconic line indeed. It’s a bloody shame to have cut that out.

The movie’s no good!”

Sure, sure, say what you like, you love doing that too. And you live for when someone adds to your practically screaming chorus, especially when in unison.

But apart from movie adaptations being a twisted horror story’s version of regrouping and unity, I’ve just realised I might have a real reason to be thankful for shit movie adaptations.

For one, they make for brilliant author disses Author Max Brooks has said about the movie adaptation of his acclaimed book World War Z, that the only thing the book and the movie had in common was the title. It was also pretty much a sheer delight to read a snippet of Rick Riordan’s letter to the makers of the Percy Jackson movie adaptation outlining his very discernable concern about how they were taking his book and killing it, turning it into an absolute nightmare. (I haven’t been able to find that letter anywhere ever since. Would any know?)

That’s pretty much the author sitting on your couch with you during your movie dissathon, stuffing their face with popcorn and slamming their fist down on the table with you and shouting up louder, except this time, your couch has the added edge of smug self righteousness, and you feel reprived. Oh brilliant author, save me from these madmen who ruined my favourite book!

“Ruined my favourite book, hell right! I wrote that stuff!”

But movies do have a much wider reach than books do. You won’t see a repetitive blockbuster-scale commercial on air every five minutes with JK Rowling popping up and shoving her latest book in your face.

So one cool thing about shit movie adaptations are that they seem cool enough without the book to introduce you to a good idea and lead you to a better book, and because the director gets high enough on their own story to completely change the ending, they end up doing me a service: I still have a really good, suspense filled book to read!

The only real spoiler? The book isn’t going to end that stupidly. (For référence, go read Fight Club. Then come back and talk to me.)

Interval Moods

Like scales, chords, modes and dynamics, intervals have feelings and moods too. And god knows they can vary. 

Today, I sit alone in silence and figure out what moods each interval holds to my ear. But this could just be for today. The mystery and charm with music is that the same piece can sound very different from day to day. Based on your mood, the music’s mood changes. One day’s mellow becomes the next day’s rumination, one day’s euphoria becomes another’s pensiveness (not even kidding that’s possible).

Are you a musician? What do little snippets of music sound like in isolation to you? Are you a non musician but an avid music lover? What does music sound like to you? 

What do you feel about my interpretation?

Fifth – courage

Sixth – augmented 

Fourth – lost

Maj third – safe

Min third – thinking/reflecting

Maj second – waiting

Min second – dissonance

Octaves – echoes 

Min seventh – weirdly happy 

Major second – stretch

The order’s a little up and down here, but that’s sort of on purpose.

I’d love to hear from you!

Sentient

So I’ve been on autopilot for a while. All my brain can do right now, is fix values for numeric symbols. I probably don’t know my name anymore. Oh, and I’m unrealistically pumped up for my computer science proofs test tomorrow.

So now you probably think I’m ill.

It’s all the autopilot, and I blame everything on this buggy piece of sentient AI I’ve become over the week. Everything’s sort of been an if-then clause with me. It was five degrees yesterday—POSITIVE FIVE I KID YOU NOT!—and with all the snow melting around me, my natural reaction was to go out without a jacket. Most of you who’ve experienced winters before will tell you not to rely on the evening’s weather to be like the morning’s—that is deception at its finest!

But I did, and also being the metallic AI-in-a-machine that I am, I didn’t even realise it was cold as the sun went down.

My friend asked me how I was doing today, and I replied, I don’t know.

I don’t know? What does that mean? They asked.

I don’t know.

I came across a packet of nuts today that read the following description: Premium Salty Mix.

Running my beta autopilot software, I thought, just like me.

It took me about five minutes to realise that no kidding, I was right.

I’m a Premium Salty Mix (not to mention a messy one) right now.

And that is basically all I came here to write. I’m sorry if all you learnt today was this pointless fact.

And I’m switching back to autopilot mode. I’ll be back after my midterms, probably sentient.

Put me through the Turing test already! (Spoiler, I’ll probably fail on account of randomness.)

And that is all.

Laundry Bag

I’m currently my laundry bag:
I’ve been lying around all week
For you to trip over me;
I’ve been sitting around
Waiting for someone,
Oh someone please take me out
Of here.

I’ve been filling, and filling
My head up with trash,
And all your dirty laundry
And all your dirty thoughts
And all your old secrets
Lying in my pit that you forgot

And I’m in the one you want
To hide when your friends are around
Just a silent slide, underfoot
And then you think I’m gone

But I’m not;
Constant presence in your life
Constantly in your lies
My sloth like appearance belied
By nothing in particular

And if you’re so inclined
And if you have the time,
Can you please spare a minute
And straighten out my tangles?

Midterms

Midterms next week
And answers I seek
And find a reprieve in sleep

But don’t be negative, you say
Stuff will find its way
And I could just point to the streets

Positive temperatures due this week
Pending like that assignment deadline
I’m trying to keep

And all three feet
Of snow from over this week
Is going to water away to waste

Is this what procrastination looks like?
Muddy slush bursting your pipe
Scrunched under foot;
Slip and slide
And fall on your butt on the ice.

Art Attack (On My Budget)

My favourite kind of person is that one who walks into the art supplies section of your school’s bookstore and tries out pens on a sheet of very public paper by penning down ironically sad, depressing poetry and leaving it there for all posterity. 

This really did happen today, and I was oddly amused and impressed. I should probably do the same. It’d be just like that Los Angeles street artist who scribbled down poetry on Post-It’s and stuck them all over town and on his Instagram. Except this would probably be cooler. 

Or it could be worse, because I’d be a bumbling perpetrator who couldn’t get off the crime scene: I have a massive affinity for art supplies, and every time I have to be in the bookstore, I end up staying in the stationery aisles for a solid half hour.

Heck, I’d probably be standing around admiring the pen I just scribbled with while everyone else reads through my incomprehensible scrawl and stares at me. 

(Incomprehensible is the very definition of university life. Am I relatable now, or what?)

We’re allowed to use our left over meal dollars at the bookstore, and I know that if I have any spare left when I’m graduating, I will come and blow it all on those specially handcrafted pigment liners: manga version, that come in seven different point sizes, because the lay comic book reader is So-o-o finely attuned to telling the difference between 0.6 mm tip and 0.7 one. And because as an Artist (TM), I should be horrified at having to compromise on that 0.1 millimeter. 

Vive le capitalisme!

(I’m just a broke, cynical pseudo-artist. Don’t mind me. The pens look good all the same.)

So if you see someone walking out with a ridiculously stuffed bookstore bag of pens with a gigantic, almost idiotically pleased smile on their face, you’ll know who it is. Come and say hi. Tell me something flattering about my baby blog and fan my ego. Or something. 

On a completely random note: has anyone ever successfully studied for a test the next day from inside their warm, cozy blanket, in bed, when it’s freezing so much that the Celsius and Fahrenheit naysayers both agree on the temperature, when it’s 1 AM, without falling asleep? What’s that you say? No? Oh well, just checking.