Writing Prompt

18 02 2009

It is 7:30 am again. I hit snooze on my alarm. I hear the crunchy steps on the floor above me. Someone has woken up and is now walking towards the bathroom. I hear the vent fan. Then, steps again, to the patio door and windows and back. Now to the walk-in closet. Then the faucet, the shower. A minute or two pass. Then I hear steps out of the room. Some noise in the kitchen above.

It is 8:10 am by now. I have hit the snooze button 7 times already. So I drag myself out of the bed. Grab my clothes from the closet and rush in and out of the bathroom. There is steam everywhere. But I am out by 8:30. Grab my bags and get to the shoe-stand. Then back to the closet to get a pair of socks. To the door again. Then back to get my watch and bracelet. To the door. One last trip to the kitchen. I get a glass of water. Back again to my shoes. Slip them on, spend a minute searching for my keys, my car keys and office badge. I lock the door, stuff the keys in my pockets.

I get to the elevator and hit the button. Sometimes as I wait for it to get to my floor, I hear the elevator doors close on the floor above. And I meet this anonymous person from the floor above. Always perfectly dressed, mostly in a dress shirt (who wears them to work these days?) A laptop bag and a gym bag with squash racquets peeking out. We both stare at the ceiling or the floor all the way to the basement and walk out different doors to our cars and drive out.

One more day.

fell for it too.


This really isn’t the Onion

12 02 2009

“Move over Pepsi and Coke, there’s some new competition on the shelf.

India’s Hindu nationalist movement is launching a new soft drink made from cow urine.

The bovine brew is in the final stages of development by the Cow Protection Department of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), India’s biggest and oldest Hindu nationalist group, according to the man who makes it.

Om Prakash, the head of the department, said the drink — called “gau jal,” or “cow water” — in Sanskrit was undergoing laboratory tests and would be launched “very soon, maybe by the end of this year.”

“Don’t worry, it won’t smell like urine and will be tasty too,” he told the Times of London from his headquarters in Hardwar, one of four holy cities on the River Ganges. “Its USP will be that it’s going to be very healthy. It won’t be like carbonated drinks and would be devoid of any toxins.”

The drink is the latest attempt by the RSS – which was founded in 1925 and now claims 8 million members – to cleanse India of foreign influence and promote its ideology of Hindutva, or Hindu-ness.”

source (I can’t believe I just linked to FOXNews…eww)

Charles Robert Darwin

12 02 2009

Wislawa Szymborska

They say he read novels to relax,
But only certain kinds:
nothing that ended unhappily.
If anything like that turned up,
enraged, he flung the book into the fire.

True or not,
I’m ready to believe it.

Scanning in his mind so many times and places,
he’d had enough of dying species,
the triumphs of the strong over the weak,
the endless struggles to survive,
all doomed sooner or later.
He’d earned the right to happy endings,
at least in fiction
with its diminutions.

Hence the indispensable
silver lining,
the lovers reunited, the families reconciled,
the doubts dispelled, fidelity rewarded,
fortunes regained, treasures uncovered,
stiff-necked neighbors mending their ways,
good names restored, greed daunted,
old maids married off to worthy parsons,
troublemakers banished to other hemispheres,
forgers of documents tossed down the stairs,
seducers scurrying to the altar,
orphans sheltered, widows comforted,
pride humbled, wounds healed over,
prodigal sons summoned home,
cups of sorrow thrown into the ocean,
hankies drenched with tears of reconciliation,
general merriment and celebration,
and the dog Fido,
gone astray in the first chapter,
turns up barking gladly
in the last.

Translated by Clare Cavanagh & Stanislaw Barańczak

By doing experiments in his yard, Darwin proved that earthworms were turning the soil and making it more fertile. This was a surprising finding to 19th-century gardeners, who thought the worms were pests.” – more here.

Happy Birthday Sir!

And thank you Alfred Wallace for being such a good man!

The men take over

10 02 2009

on Devis with Babies. Men on fatherhood, marriage and all that jazz.

Apropos of nothing, did you know that Irish Gaelic has different set of numbers for animate and inanimate objects. That is, two cows not equal to two pints of lager … unless they are dead cows.

And they do a modulo 3 while counting gods… That makes no sense to me. They mean the Holy Trinity add up to nothing?! Does anyone know more about this?

Time Pass

5 02 2009

McElman_071126_2008 L a C Copper Lowercase Letter k
m letter letter A Getting Clean B A


excerpt from a job posting

3 02 2009

for a software engineer… seriously. They surely have their bases covered.

“PHYSICAL DEMANDS: While performing the duties of the job, the employee is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle or feel, reach with hands and arms and talk or hear. The employee requires dexterity in using telephone, computer keyboard, mouse and calculator while seated at a desk. The employee is frequently required to stand, walk and sit. The employee may frequently move to interact with fellow employees and/or clients. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS: While performing duties of this job, the employee is required to read and comprehend instructions, correspondence and memos. The employee requires the ability to write effective and detailed correspondence and to effectively present information both in one-on-one and small group situations.

MENTAL DEMANDS: While performing duties of this job, the employee is required to deal with stress associated with a fast-paced work environment and multiple priorities/tasks. The employee will be required to make judgment decisions and adapt to changing work situations, grasp and apply new ideas, communicate with various personalities at all levels and have the ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out detailed instructions.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: While performing duties of this job, the employee is required to work in an office environment, and the noise level is usually quiet to moderate.”

Thank God for the 2 of them

1 02 2009