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 reference, go read Fight Club. Then come back and talk to me.)

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Dinnertime Blues

She turned just in time to see

What was now a familiar sight:

An impressive, green projectile

Spiralling in mid-flight.

The cause of the acrobatic display

Looked up with a face somewhat contrite

But steadfast in his belief

That broccoli was the blight.

Her face was the opera

A symphony crescendoing up with might

For her son, he had a theory

That broccoli violated his human rights

He was the leader of a revolution 

He wouldn’t stand to see such sights

He believed with an inward passion

That this was his fight

Pulling up the old psychology book

Eight hundred pages long and white,

He began reciting verses

He’d been reading before he could write:

“Kids have powerful senses,

We can taste bitter in the slight:

One part in two million;

No wonder broccoli doesn’t taste right.”

She knew she had to soldier on,

Till her son would see the light

Vitamins and minerals,

And your future looked bright!

But to zoom out of the picture,

That’s an age long fight;

As for me,

There’s nothing more to see;

I’m just tired of studying psychology.

 

(And yes, the white, 800-page long psychology textbook does exist. It’s on my desk.)

I’m Capable Of Being Late To My Own Graduation

I’ve had a weird day.

Here’s some background. There’s something sad and something very weird about being underslept in the summer vacations.
It’s like some law of the universe being violated. But it’s also inevitable.

At this point, you’re probably on the verge of giving up on me, but give me a chance to explain.

Summers often mean free time, sure, but it’s not just free time for me, but for everybody.
There’s the phrase about an empty vessel being a devil’s workshop. Let’s only focus on the empty vessel. Have you ever pretended to be a drummer banging on a steel plate when you were young? (Or still are young, who am I to say)
If you look back on those rock star days, you realise they probably wouldn’t have gotten you signed to a major label with a multi-million dollar contract, and you know the reason why.

Empty vessels don’t sound good.

They don’t, to me either. And that’s why, come the night, I am overcome by an irresistible urge to read. Reading a book is really not about the words. It’s not so much about seeing, recognising and understanding the words you come across on a page.
It’s about being immersed in the story, to feel your characters, thinking what they’re thinking, creating in your head a scene envisioned by the writer, basically living in the same world your story unfolds in. It’s about forgetting that there’s a white page with black impressions before you, and replacing it with a face, an expression, a conversation, a city, with colour and sounds and voices.
And man, can you do that in a mind equivalent of High Definition, in the silence of the night.

Also, as you can guess, I’m a book addict. Naturally, I sleep at 2.

It’s led mum to become quite the Sherlock Holmes in the morning, trying to figure out why I’m falling asleep repeatedly till 10 AM in spite of having supposedly gone to bed at 11:30 in the night, and why I begin yawning at a plum 4 in the evening. (Hint: boredom exists)

Anyway, I’m sleepy in the mornings, and the weird look mum gives me is only the start of a weird day.

In short, I was out on an art expedition (fancier than saying ‘design class’, eh?) and got late coming home. I also brought back with me an assignment to study dragons because my dragons look like friendly dinosaurs from the 9 AM slot animated children’s show.
Now I’m figuring out how to make meaty dragons.

But back up a bit and you’ll notice I mentioned the word late.
What’s new about that, you ask?

True, I’m almost always late, or being more optimistic for the future, let us say I pretty much have been late, to school, to classes, to go home, throughout the year. What made this time any different?

What made this time a little different was that I was off to school again. I know, school has officially ended, and all us ex-twelfth graders are in the hazy mist of confusion of neither being current students, nor being alumni. Not really.

But today was the day, in our principal’s words, we don the tag of ‘student’ for the last time, and really become alums. No, not potash alums. We’re not wiping anyone clean… only having our own brains wiped clean because our exams are finally over. And for a long time.

Whatever you want to call it, it’s the closest thing we were going to get to a graduation ceremony.
It may be true that we wouldn’t have the graduation gown nor the hat, not the open grassy podium, t’is a fact, but for the school terrace we are given for the occasion, I’d rather not be pent up in a stuffy gown and be sweating worse than I can possibly cry, for hours.
So it’s the closest thing we get to a real graduation ceremony. Oh, and no diplomas, though. At least we all know for a fact already that we really have passed and are graduating!

My record, as many people know, has been to just about make it to school in time. I still don’t know how they’re graduating me, given that I almost missed the beginning of the first period, just about slipped in and sat on the very first bench– almost every day!

Here I stood today, chancing the ridiculous: I might very well end up being late for my own graduation!
This is the epitome of asinine, and you agree with me.

So I spent five minutes, sticking my thumb out ridiculously, trying to hail a ride home.
As always, in times of need and all times otherwise, the auto guys bail on you. With an all-important look on their face, they watch you desperately flailing you arm out.
As if out of sympathy and to test out waters, they ask you where you want to go. The look on their face already gives you their answer, but you try and mumble out your location anyway.
The eyebrows furrow, the head goes deep in thought, the mouth pouts. All this in the space of half a second.
The head then tilts, shakes, and out comes the answer: “Nah.”

Well, yeah, I knew that.

Eventually, I decided to walk home rather than waste another minute. I tend to be one of those people who either thinks real deep and does not execute, or doesn’t think at all and begins, and makes up a plan along the way.
The current plan, I thought as I crossed the road, dodging a car, is to stay alive.

Having safely made it to a non-existent footpath, I devise a further plan. I have twenty minutes until an hour for the event. I need that hour, or maybe half an hour and some buffer, to get ready. So I get running.

Taking some weird inroads and wishing every five minutes that I’d stuck around to play the cabbie’s game, I finally made it home only five minutes late.
Oh well, I guess we’re used to it by now.
Of course, any time I saved not playing to the cabbies’ tune was lost on a 25-minute walk, and the absolute NEED to shower after.

But it was definitely a strange feeling slipping into a school uniform again. It had been months, nothing since the end of March, and possibly for the last time. I’ll never have to wear the uniform again. I’ll never have to wear any uniform again. I will officially not be a part, not responsibility, of the school again.
Of course, that’s not going to stop me from spending all day there!

I’ve legit talked to my teachers and told them they’ll be seeing much more of me than they should, and that with me doing close to nothing all day at home, she’d rather not see me at home at all right now.

And I proved my commitment to my word right today, arriving for a graduating event at 4:07 (?) and leaving at quarter to 8. Booyah.

So now I’m an alumnus. I’m free. I’m really free. In a way, I’ve lost my home of two years. But I know that’s not true. I’m still going to be squandering my days away down there. I’m thinking of trekking down there and spending a full day drawing the building. I actually hadn’t thought of that before I typed it down. I probably won’t do it. Researching dragons is enough for me.

The feeling of really not being attached to an institution for the first time since I enrolled in playschool is definitely unreal. It hasn’t hit. I suspect it won’t get the chance to, because college will engulf me soon enough.

But symmetry rules our universes, and everything eventually comes full circle. So, weird day or not, I know that if I was almost late for my school graduation, like I was almost late for school everyday, everything will really be okay.

Over and out!

 

Doom

Woke up this morning with a feeling in my gut
That unlike yesterday, today was going to be a new start
Lay in bed, counted on my fingers to nine
For that’s all the days I have before I run out of time
Nine sure sounds like a lot! I happily snapped out of my snooze
Gotta grab that physics book left on my desk; there’s not a second left to lose.

Somehow I sit here at the end of the day
Calculating interference fringe widths has left me fringed and frayed
Get that electricity up ‘n, it’s not yet the end of day!
Though you’ve tried studying all through Christmas, there isn’t much to show
So I’ll sit and watch my hopes recede and watch the growing gloom doom grow.
And think for the millionth time that I really ought to go.

(Seriously though, aren’t the books in the picture amazing? As you know, I’m a HUUUUUGE fan of diaries like that; I can’t help drooling over the white one with the pink borders!)

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.

LCD

Born of home soil
And raised in a clay pot
That was lined by concrete and spiral screams
Grew up in the CRT
Surrounded by dots of LCD reality
Always dreamed of warmth
But I lived on a cloud
Red flowin’ love pipes mystery in shrouds
Learn to believe the overworked voice in my head
That from the retina burning blue light read
And learnt to live life when life means you’re dead
Optical fibres to my nerves and I’m well fed
Crumbling earth is the land never tread
When to shoot through the ceiling’s for what you were bred
The flapping noises of yellow a haze from the past
All I’ve known them for is to gather dust
Pull out the plug for there’s no one to trust
Locked the heart vault, now the key’s crumble rust
All I live in, my mirror screen
All I live in, my mirror scream