vitamins for the soul

“The building doesn’t matter. However modern and futuristic it may look, its only sand and bricks. The people working within its walls is what makes it special.”

Heard the above from an unexpected quarter this morning. Have a sneaky suspicion that it may not be entirely original but its still a noble concept and should be applauded. Kudos to leaders who are passionately committed to their cause.

i hate music

Two days in a row, now that’s weird. As i was turning a particular corner while driving home from work, the same song came on the radio. This was at the exact spot and almost at the same time. “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” by Bon Jovi. Boy, how i hate Bon Jovi. I swear my brain is turning to goo with the rubbish top 40 hits that they play on the local station. Anything to beat the silence in my car.

damien jurado – sad-sack folk rock

Ang Lee made a mistake with the otherwise flawless ‘Brokeback Mountain’. He neglected to commission Damien Jurado to score the soundtrack. In his latest release ‘And Now That I Am in Your Shadow’ Jurado has created the spiritual equivalent of doomed relationships between individuals born at the wrong time and in the wrong place.

If the breathtaking sceneries in the movie can sing they will sound like this collection of songs, sparse and possessed of a stillness that is overwhelming in its scope.

She has a dad she doesn’t know

Who sends her letters with no return address…
“I don’t know his name…”
“He don’t know my face…”
“I am better off this way…”

You never ever listen to Jurado on speakers. His music is painfully personal and should be listened to only on head phones preferably with the lights turned way down low. Recently Jurado declared himself officially a band by adding 2 permanent members ostensibly to augment his musical vision. Ironically he sounds even more alone than ever.

The melodies are skeletal but speaks of wide open spaces where strangers meet up accidentally and just as suddenly break up and move on. Memories of painful separations permeate the words which say more by saying less. Love goes unrequited giving rise to painful longing which feels so bad that it feels good. Looking for a good hurtin’? Look no further. File under ‘very special indeed‘.


excess baggage

During a short lull in activities around the workplace, I was shooting the climate-controlled breeze with a few colleagues.

“So-and-so decided not to pursue his career further because of his aging parents. He has to take care of them at home,” said my lady friend who has 3 children of her own, one of them pre-school. She goes home on weekends but stays in a rented apartment during working days.

Baggage; that’s all we have to show in life. Being humans we all, understandably, need contact and love. In fact that’s what make us humans in the first place. As a consequence we are indelibly linked to others. Some more so than others. Things get messed up when the latter prevents you from realizing your full potential. Inadvertently they drag you into their vortex of crippling neediness and dependence. Like a junkie jonesing for their next fix they will whine and snivel till they get your undivided attention. Against your better judgment you succumb, to the detriment of self. They chip away at your given time of existence and before you know it, an old used-up self stares back at your from the mirror.

“Where did I go?” you ask, desperately trying to rub out the crow’s feet around your eyes.

There is an urgent hammering on the door. “Can you drive me to the drug store? My arthritis is acting up again,” an all-too-familiar voice says.

blame mother earth

Well the dateline has come and gone and we are still struggling in snail-paced internet limbo. A day after the Taiwan quake happened we were informed that several ships were on the way to repair the damaged underwater cables which linked major parts of Asia to the rest of the world. A few days later news started appearing that one of the ships broke down and needed repairs itself. Then we were given a deadline of January 23rd for all services to resume. Many eagerly awaited the date only to be disappointed including myself when coming home after work on the 23rd I found that my connection was even worse than what it was a few days prior. A new date has been announced – 29th of January. Dare we dream?

For a long time now my local internet provider has been throttling p2p and torrent traffic. Maybe this time they have found the perfect excuse to completely eradicate high bandwidth usage by customers who pay a premium for broadband. After all broadband should just be used for emails and web surfing, right? Heavens forbid you should use it for anything else.

Irate customer : “Hello, I am calling to lodge a complaint about my slow connection when I am using bittorrent”

Call center : “So sorry the earthquake did it and we are not responsible. Good-bye and have a nice day.”

hands free

When the inventors of hands free earphones came up with the idea, did they give any thought as to how a person would look talking into them while they are all alone? Sitting in front of his dinner plate, a man in long sleeves and a tie suddenly started talking seemingly to himself. Another man who was walking pass did a double take when he saw him, just to make sure the former is not off his head.

Things get even weirder when they start gesticulating and decide to have a heated debate with the party on the other end of the telephone conversation. Its hilarious when a group of them stand in close proximity, each holding a different conversation. some are laughing while others scowl into thin air. i think the scene would not be any different in an asylum for the clinically insane.

the life of pi

Ever wondered how the mysterious value 3.142 or better known as ‘pi’ is derived? Click here for an animation and explanation. Why should you care? For the same reason you should care that at the exact moment when we die we weigh 21 grams less than when we were alive. Some say that’s how much life weighs.

slow internet – an alternate explanation

My sister has a theory worth blogging about. She was cursing a few moments ago about how slow the internet is. Her reasoning is that it is the middle of the month and a lot of people are broke for the month having spent all their salary during the first 2 weeks. Since going out entails spending, everyone must be sitting in front of their PCs now and surfing the web seeing how the internet is the cheapest form of entertainment. Thus net congestion. The Taiwan quake be damned.