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.

Advertisements

Drills

Fire drills at work are 75% needlessly dropping my facade of pretending I’m busy doing work and 24.5% awkward socialisation, and 0.5% remembering the last horrific time there was a fire drill, more of a false alarm really, that happened to occur only on the day I had a really bad case of diarrhoea.

Needless to say, I don’t like fire drills anymore.

 

Leading Line Adventures

 

Where do these lines lead? What lies beyond the bright point? What’s that blue blob? A door? A portal?

I find it interesting how you’ll never know. I do know, because I took this picture, but to you, the very same picture is, and will remain, an utter mystery. A supposition, at best, an educated guess, a figment of your own imagination.

Can you imagine a character running towards the light, arms outstretched, trying desperately to reach that portal and escape to some imagined safety? Do you see a lost traveler wondering how on earth they got into this underground labyrinth, feeling the brick walls as much as to feel its texture and feel some warmth, some assurance, some hope that they’ll ever get out alive, as for some direction? Them, feeling their way along the long, low corridors, fervently wishing for some sign of life to appear… As they make their way down, they see a door. Then another door, hidden in an alcove. Which one might lead to escape? Oh dear, there isn’t time to go exploring, and there isn’t time to waste around guessing!

It’s now or never, they must take their best shot!

The hidden door, that must be it! Freedom can’t be that obvious, right? Here goes, swing, and in!

Swish!

What’s that? Carpeted floors and low, concentrated light. Where is our hero now? They look in front of them: another door? What on earth? It’s too late to turn back. Swing this one open too!

Weeeeoooooeeeeoooowwwoeeeeoooooweeeoooeeeoooo!!

Siren! They’re done for! What sort of trap have they triggered now? What lies ahead for our protagonist?

Our hero sees movement: there are living beings here! They slowly turn their head and look at our befuddled hero. They don’t look happy. In fact, they seem almost… gruntled?

Our hero takes a step back in panic and confusion. They grip the strap of their backpack. So down they must go. Well, they’ll go down fighting!

Sweat droplets begin to form on our hero’s forehead in spite of the cool night air around. Their fist clenches, their muscles tighten. They silently promise themselves that if they make it out of here alive, nothing is going to stop them from going home. They will go home.

Slowly, they take a tiny step forward. They suck in a breath. They open their mouth to say something, but they’re still shaky from the wailing siren around them.

And the figures in the light, they don’t seem to like the wail either.

As they’d figured two minutes ago, “now or never”, our hero whispers through their parched throat.

Just then, a larger figure appears! Her silhouette descends from a higher level and comes down to stand before our hero! As she does so, she blocks the blinding light before them, and our hero’s vision finally begins to come into focus.

With the alarms still blaring around them, our hero really sees the scene they’ve landed themselves in for the first time.

The figure… she seems human, just like our hero! Her brows are furrowing on her forehead, and she adjusts the glasses on her nose. Is she from around here? Will she be able to help me find my way home, and out of this fearsome place? Or is she one of them? What do I do?

At that moment, the woman—for woman she seems to be—begins to speak.

“Sir, I’m going to need you to enter through the other door.”

Our hero simply stares at her in confusion. A-what now?

“Sir, do you hear me? Are you alright?”

Our hero looks up and meets her eye. “What?” they ask.

The lady shakes her head and sighs. “You don’t look like you’re in any shape to pull an all-nighter. I suggest you go home and rest.”

It made no sense, but one word resonates with our hero. Home! That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do all this while: get home.

“I don’t understand,” they reply slowly, the confusion beginning to climb up their chest.

“Kid, you can’t enter the library after 9 PM through this door, don’t you know it’s an emergency exit? It says so on the wall. Now you’ve disturbed everyone around. I understand it’s finals season and tensions and emotions run high, but you need some rest, look at you! If you really have to study in here right now, I won’t stop you, but I highly recommend one thing: get home, and get to bed!”, the librarian gushes.

The librarian?

Our hero looks around as the other faces come into focus. Human indeed. Or maybe almost human. Finals season zaps the humanity out of every studying soul and turns them into zombies. They don’t look happy to have had their preparation for that big final worth 40% of their grade interrupted. Now one of them gives up and leaves to go to the washroom. Curses, now they can’t focus and need a break.

Our hero stands there with their mouth hanging open as they watch the kid leave, taking it all in at once. It’ll be a few more minutes before they can remember who they were and what’s really happened in the last half hour or so. Did they fall asleep in the corridor, or one of the classrooms it leads to? Were they really home? Are they just another student taking finals season badly?

For the truth, as you shall now discover, is that this is an underground passage connecting two of our residential buildings on campus. There is an underground entrance to the library, which comes in very handy during cold wintry days. And during finals season, almost all libraries are open twenty-four hours. It’s a blessed necessity.

Now of course I knew that. You only did a paragraph ago, unless you’re also at my school or just made a brilliant guess, which like I said, is only a brilliant guess.

So there you have it.

Also, if this reads a little weird, I’ll put it out there that I have never written a gender neutral character before. Never used these many “they”s in the same piece. Pick your own adventure, I guess.

Off.

It’s that rare sort of day

When the sky’s 67% blue

More than a wisp of light in the sky

And winds raging at 32

We call it good weather these days, folks:

Don’t settle for less!

Lower your expectations,

And today’s been the best!

But I digress; the sun’s out, it’s so quiet

And calm and maybe even a hint warm

And of course, I also have a truckload 

Of studies taking me by storm

A quiet place, headphones, 

Math textbook, lots of light 

And a booster dose of motivation’s all I 

Need in my life

So of course I picked today

To be feeling extra sleep deprived

Of course today I feel obliged 

To run away from all my responsibilities in life

And so with my nose stuck in the air

With lots of work and none a care

I do hereby out loud declare:

Goodbye suckers, I’m off to bed. 

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.

I’m Coming For You.

I have it!!

After days and weeks of thinking, I finally have the idea I was searching for!

Since I live on residence and flew with weight constrains, I hadn’t packed for Halloween at all. No fancy costumes, no elaborate art and craft material, and an ass too lazy to go off campus do not auger well for my trick or treating prospects. 

Yes, I’m in college and I’m ready to trick or treat. I also have a math problem set due the next day, does that sound familiar now?

So I’ve decided to do the best I can. 

I’m going to wrap my comforter around myself, not brush my hair, and go knocking down doors. 

I’m going to be your bad hair day. 

I’m going to be that day you can’t leave bed. 

I’m going to be your lack of motivation, your depression, you crushed hopes and dreams. 

Get your candy ready. 

Random Musings

How many times have you seen in the movies, an empowered, emancipated person giving an emotional speech, impromptu perhaps, to a number of comrades, associates, or even complete strangers?

There’s a crowd gathered around this person, listening in rapt attention, maybe even re-evaluating their whole lives, agreeing with this wonder who has managed to sum up everything they’ve wanted to say, who’s breaking the shackles, creating a new World Order, or perhaps, retiring.

As they go over a particularly delicate piece, emotion begins to take over, and the cellos behind either snap a finger and disappear, or go crazy to the point where the emotion is lost on you because you actually can’t hear what they’re saying.
That’s also just another one of the million infuriating times you will glance at the glaring white subtitles and miss a moment’s worth of reel and then curse the subtitles for being so distracting.
Honestly, I’m not ranting. I’m just asking for the subtitles to be turned transparent instead of white. Back to the emotional speech.

The camera zooms into the speaker’s face and then slowly pans over to the audience, whose faces match the mood of the cramping, sore orchestra in the recording studio, and then back to the Orator, who suddenly cracks, first a cough, a choke then a sob, and then has a complete breakdown. If you couldn’t follow the speech before, even the subtitles can’t save you this time.

To be honest, the subtitles themselves are confused by this point.
I can only imagine the guilty party would want nothing more than to simply display five whole minutes of “*******” until the madness dies, but since they can’t do that or they aren’t getting called back (and an audio transcription of their phone call with their employers too would match their fine work), so they do the next best thing.

” (inaudible murmurings)”

Yep, that is precisely why you chose to look to the subtitles in the first place.

The look on your face is disruntled at best, but the look on the Orator and the audience’s face is disfigured, the ability to conjure up such a look being what the actors have been paid for.

Basically, the speaker is shook, the audience is moved, everyone’s on the verge of tears and the speaker’s in shambles. Glycerine does its job well. There are red eyes and screwed up eyebrows and glycerine pouring across faces. And you buy it. If you’re watching the movie alone and happen to have your door locked, you crack a sob. If you’re watching with a friend (or any other person), you curse in your head and angle your head away and suddenly want the violins to get louder and the subs to get more outrageously distracting.

But on doing some thinking, I realised I really haven’t seen these earth-shattering speeches work their magic in real life.

Glycerine does its job well. In real life, if you did manage to cook up such emotion (in which situation, the violins would actually seem out of place), there’d be bleary eyes, guilty people looking out of it as they realise something’s amiss and jerk up from their phones, and snot.

Seriously, it’s an image killer if you really think about it. In real life, crying like that would almost always be accompanied by snot. By the time you’ve shed two tears, there would be a new born stream coming out of your nose.

It’s all very nice if you’re myopic and sitting five metres away, but for someone in front, and for you, the speaker, to notice that clear line of dribble trickling down your nose, for its salty taste to fill the top of your mouth as you open it to speak in a situation where you’re already struggling to get the words out— it’s a mood killer!

I wonder how it would work if some hyperrealist filmmaker became obsessed with glycerine pouring down actors noses.

The subtitlers would have a field day:

“(Snot pours)
(Sniffles)
(Audibly chokes on glycerine snot)”

My Roommate Selection Process Feels Like Tinder

I filled applications. Then I filled some more applications. I’ve browsed through majors I’ve never dreamed of doing and fantasized about others my mother would never dream of me doing. I’ve answered questions in writing that no normal socially functioning person should ask a person, much less a seventeen year old. My personal data and quirks have merrily sailed into data banks of colleges I have no obligation to be selling out to, and even paid them for it.

I heard back and got admit letters and rejection letters (tons. The environment thanks universities for having the sense not to print rejection letters on paper. Phew, fireplaces are not even violent.)

I’ve even attended meet-and-greets with other university admits.
But nothing, and I mean nothing, makes the idea of going to college a distinct reality like trying to find a roommate does.
Or more accurately, providing a self-profile and being matched with a roommate.

They say, provide information about yourself, interests, passions, other things that you may be looking for when searching for a roommate.

Isn’t that exactly how Tinder functions?

To make it more sinister if possible, neither me nor my Mystery Future Match get to swipe in either direction. Faceless shadows behind administrative desks will do that for us. Now that’s a swipe in the face.

I’ve done this, what, fifteen times already, and I’m still procrastinating describing myself. It’s hard stuff. Makes me want to run away and hide. I wonder if that’s a valid description? “Having to describe myself makes me want to run away and hide. Looking for a roommate who doesn’t mind me bringing along a broom closet to hide in.”
Maybe I should stick with “Not a morning person. Bear with black curtains. Drawn close.” Or go with the very considerate warning: “I might just blog about you.”

Yikes. Maybe no one should want to room with me.

At least I have some time to think about this.

And I’m thinking.

I’m thinking, is Tinder for asexuals a thing?

While I’m thinking, I’m drawing dragons. I’ve graduated beyond researching them.

image
This draft oughta amuse you.

%d bloggers like this: