Parallels

On looking back through the leaves of history
She found parallels abound;
There was so much she didn’t understand
And so, she knew, was the trail she’d leave behind

Odd little sprinkles of time
Stamped anachronistically upon the ageless
Showing its years in different ways:
In ways she didn’t understand

All this while, she’d watched the books,
She’d found it rather cute
The misunderstandings, primitive,
The misfits but misjudged

And yet there were parallels
Things that stayed the same
Searching, still frowned upon
Some things never changed

She suspected, they never would
And so, she made up her mind:
Why should she hold out on hope
For change that never came?

She would live her best life now
She and what she held dear,
It was her neat cropped prim roses,
It was her picket fence

And not to live in lasting fear
Of the end drawing near
For in her little bubble
She was right, fine, unconquered.

Outside it, not very much so
But she never did set out to please,
Fair then, if the world didn’t please her
Her acknowledgement was never needed

Torch Bearer

The new generation will carry the axe to the finish line.

Staring into the eyes of those she challenged
She gently put her axe down
The vibrations rattled off its body
And seemed to make a different sound;

Their protective armour was studded
And hid in it legacy
But the history was now in the books
And their shell wore only hypocrisy

She came from a different land
With different way of tread
They looked upon her, questioning,
So she opened her mouth and said,

Those are your gods you talk of, not mine
To me, they’re but influence
They taught me how to stand up
But have sat down since

They taught me how to sing
And you, how to talk;
Their spirit flows within my veins
But I choose my own cause

I’m not out to topple the stars
I merely build on the earth beneath
But bearing the torch lit in last flames
There’s mountains to go before the peak.

 

Time

I’m being a little emo here, but here goes.

One good thing

About having more time this year,

Having time to really think

About what’s going on around me,

And to really see what’s happening

As opposed to last year’s rollercoaster:

”Ensure the arms and feet

Don’t leave the ride at any moment”;

Is that I finally have the time

And the mental headspace

To miss mum and dad

(And my sister, because she’ll be mad if I leave her out).

 

Blrlrrlrlrrlrllrlrlrl (shakes head and arms vigorously)

Green Thoughts

There’s going to be a generation of kids to come who are going to hear the word ‘eco’ and never think it means “ecosystem” or “ecology” or even “economics”. The first thing they’re going to think is “eco-friendly”, and it’ll completely be our fault.

Download

The thing with streaming sites

Is that the whole music world is at your command

At your feet,

Or rather, at your fingertips:

Flowing out of tops like the memory of song comes on demand

Except for those agonising moments when you can’t remember

Which is great.

But the only defence of your own downloaded libraries

Is that every single piece on there

Is there of your own free will

And each song is really your own.

 

 

Shh, I know, I’ve been gone. I’ve been a terribly escapist vacationer. I’ve been home and I’ve been living the home life. The very home life. The doing absolutely nothing life. Allow me to sneak back into some semblance of normalcy. September is round the corner.

Sweet Dreams

Man, I miss the old days of nursery and day care where part of your day was just curling up for a nap.

I’m at work right now and tired out by stuff I’ve been doing since morning. Of course I’m too self conscious to sleep. It’s not something you do at work.

But imagine if sleeping was in fact a part of your workday. Some new-fangled study claiming that it boosts productivity and miraculously, ensures bug-free code (nothing ever ensures bug-free code).

This would be the next big thing in quotidian work lives.

Now, people fuss over their hair and clothing, cuff links and ties, formal leather shoes and a neat haircut.

Authoritarian look, good language, a firm handshake. Sharp briefcase. All the things we focus on because we’re allowed them at work.

Clean wallpapers, work-filled laptops.

Now bring sleep into the foray.

Imagine IKEA rolling out its latest collection of chic yet work-friendly pillows. Pillow cases and pillow stands for people with their own office rooms. Foldable pillows that fit into your briefcase. The artist’s work-pillow. The boss’s work pillow. The intern’s work pillow.

The big question to be asking a successful CEO in a ‘look into the life of’ interview: what sort of pillow do you prefer?

How does the sort of pillow you carry affect your job interview? GQ articles on the most subtle yet effective pillows to bring to the workplace.

Adverts showing approving colleagues watching the smartest pillow-carrier sleep:

The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight
But they while on Impressionist Pillows©™ slept
Were toiling upwards all the while

Impressionist Pillows: Making marks… even in your dreams!

Of course this is going to be more about the pillows than the sleep itself, or atleast until Memory Foam decides to enter the scenario.

It probably won’t happen, but oh well. I can dream. And get back to work.

Pro Tips

I just realised something today. You can actually measure your level of distractedness by the number of tabs you need open on a browser. The more tabs open, especially those you feel you cannot close, bam, you’re ultra distracted.

I often go from working on a page, to doing my research for that work on a second page, to having a third tab redirecting from something interesting I found on the second tab and can’t afford to close the second tab for. Then I’ll read something that will lead to a nagging question popping up out of curiosity and leading me to google on a fourth page. Then when I finally hear time stop tapping her heels indignantly at me and choose a more direct route of action: a whack on the head and back into reality, I’ll keep those tabs open for break time and head back to my work.

At break, I’ll probably want to check out listen to a particular song that’s been stuck in my head and then I’ll check my phone for texts and someone would have said something that reminded me of a scene from a SpongeBob SquarePants episode, which means I’d just have to notify them of that fact got sending them that particular scene. A sixth page opens!

Post break, I’ll remember an important part of my assignment that needn’t be started until I finish the current part, and will open a new  tab and begin a search. After half an hour of working on that, I’ll realize I will probably not get too far if I don’t finish my groundwork.

Then I’ll look up and scroll through the ten or so tabs I have open and think, sheesh, this must be slowing down my laptop. I’ll pop down to laptop activity to see if it’s (unsurprisingly) taking as much of my power as it should. Woo, it is!

Back to work.

I’ll look for my first tab and think, what a mess am I. I should close one of these tabs.

Ten minutes later, I have so successfully argued out why I need each one of these that I could easily quit my job and become a lawyer. They stay, this case is closed, and the work continues.

Fifteen minutes of work later, it strikes me that this probably means I’m quite distracted. I think to myself, what a find. Everyone should know about this.

And so I head over to WordPress to share my little musing.

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Lo and behold. The power of a distracted mind.

In the end though, we’d have finally reached puffin documentaries.

Behind Enemy Lines

I hate the people behind the counter.

Yeah, you know the smug guys on the other side of the barrier, showing you how clearly and plainly they have not picked your side in this war. Them of the tired, weary looks, and also them of the indistinguishable, incomprehensible drive-thru voices, but they’re a different story.

It’s them of the “Next, please” that I am onto today.

(And also, this has nothing to do with the little yellow guy who’s biggest ambition was to stand before a table, pen and in hand and say, “May I take your order, sir!” Just so we’re clear.)

So I went to buy my a sandwich, which is a very ordinary, Adult™ thing to do. Nothing fishy here.

…I occasionally stop by to buy food, because I don’t want to cook for myself.

And given my cooking capabilities stretch across the vast expanses of egg, bread, cereal and milk, who am I kidding, I’ve bought me more food from outside this month than I have in the last nine months combined.

So I go to Tim’s, and ask for a sandwich.

Hi, could I have the xyz sandwich?”
(No, I’m too mad to recall which one it was)

“Sure thing!” Says she, because why wouldn’t she say that?

I say, cool! Sandwich for dinner and then straight to bed for the tired adult kid who stayed up till 4 last night. I’ve only half a good reason, and that reason was SpongeBob SquarePants. The other half was work.

What, logically, should have been the next thing for her to say?

Maybe “to go?” Except everything in Tim’s is wrapped.

“Napkins?” If you’re feeling judgy.

Or, “Have a nice day!”, because you’re Canadian.
Okay, no that’s too nice, even for a Canadian.

The correct answer is, you ask, “debit or credit?”

And guess what she asked?
“Debit or credit?”
—NOT!

She asks, “Would you like a combo?”

No, I would not like a combo, I just want a sandwich.
… what’s in a combo?
Well, I just want a sandwich.

Somewhere behind enemy lines, a siren rang out. Soldiers gathered in formation and blared their trumpets, cocked their guns upwards, and sang the national anthem. They summoned the very fathers and mothers, and going back far enough, apes, velociraptors and cockroaches, of this land and poured their very animal spirits into their souls. Then all together, they looked towards the enemy approaching on the horizon, with a look of hope and new found confidence, as they prepared to begin their march for victory.

Whatever all that above was about, this lady seemed to sum up, within milliseconds, with a smile.


The end of the day arrives, The soldier takes a break. Trying to walk back home is great for the adrenaline, not so much for a backpack with a laptop on a back for an hour. At least I don’t need to make me food.

The hand dips into my bag for that hard earned loaf, and wanders to the side pockets of the bag.

Defeat is bittersweet, and I mean it.

She had me and my social awkwardness at the eyebrow raise. You can’t take a word back. You can’t take a question back. The aftertaste of the question is bitter.

Good for me that I have this whirlpool to numb it down.

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It smells like vanilla, but this stinks.

Social

Sometimes, you just have nothing to say. I’ve often had nothing to say, I’ve just hung around wondering how people talk so much.

Then they turn and hit you with the s-bomb. You’re so silent!

Yes, well, if all you can talk about is the last wedding you all were at and all the food you ate there, there is no way in a million lives I can contribute to that chatter.

I’ve realised of late that my way of coping with this, anticipating that dreaded blow, has been verbal diarrhoea: oh you wanna talk food? Allow me to divert and rant about how spicy this was, and then hijack the conversation and start talking about the history of spices and why all countries in the world wanted to set sail for India back in the set sail times (hint: thé answer is spices). Then I plan to dart and run away before you can throw any kind of bomb at me. I’m out.

Or you can be nice and give me the wifi password and we can avoid this whole mess. Keep me leashed, I guess, if you value your sanity.

And yeah, of course you’ll probably end up in one of my comics. That’s the sole reason why artists exist. We love annoying you.

Life of the Party

To be honest, I’m probably more of a panel number two. Who wants to deal with real people anyway, right?

Wait, you’re telling me they exist and I’m hurting their feelings? What?

Anyway, there are probably even more stereotypes, but I only get so many square inches of napkin.

You ever sit around wondering how on earth could anyone be enthusiastic about something as dull as a “reunion” with people you mostly don’t know? Or rather, people who ask you if you remember them but you could swear you’ve never met them in your life—but of course you remember them don’t you? You met when you were two years old!

Well, call me a silver-liner, but here’s what I just realised: reunions, or any gathering with a lot of people, are happy hunting grounds for material. So much material. And so here’s the outcome: new material!

What other stereotypes have you seen at gatherings? (Yes, you’ve been to one and had to stay for five hours, don’t hide it. And you observed too. You were too bored, so spill.) Did you run into my characters? And were you the life of the party, or me?

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