Monday, October 31, 2005

43. So It Begins

Thus it begins, the festive season is upon us. Be happy, be merry, say hey nonny, nonny.

So to absent friends, have a good one eh, and to present ones, what are you guys waiting for?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

42. You Just Never Know

Just this week, I witnessed an almost fatal accident. In a morbid sorta way, being party to someone's near death has somehow sparked me to life. Anyway, this is what happened.

Headed back from work as usual, going the normal route, there's this stretch of road that's quite a climb. That's never stopped people from flying up or down at reckless speeds, me included. This is round 9 pm, the roads usually moderately busy at this time. People on the way home from dinner or heading out for a pint. I'm heading up as usual, quite knackered after a day's work, mind preoccupied with the usual disturbing (dastardly?) thoughts. I hardly even realise the car in front of me, or the motorcyclist in front of it. I'm just aware of them as how a normal driver would be aware of the cars around him without even paying any particular attention.

Then, out of the blue, I suddenly realise all is not well. The motorcyclist ahead does a funny sorta jig. A bit of swerve to the left, a jerk to the right. Then he drops in a heap. The bike and him. The car behind him misses him by inches. How do I know this? Because I'm right behind. Everything happens in slow motion. He drops. Brakes screech. The car swerves to the left. I'm behind, by a quite safe distance. So I manage to stop easily. I think fifteen seconds pass between the time he falls and the time I stop my car. So I pull over to the left. I notice the driver in front of me, the one who almost maimed this particular motorcyclist remains in the car. I'm first out. I rush to the guys side, a mixture of concern, curiousity and excitement.

My first thoughts when I see him is pure relief. Because he's conscious. More so because his head is still intact and there are no bits of brain on the road. There's also little blood. But a little blood is always way too much by my reckoning. But his eyes are open. He looks up at me, still dazed, and asks me what happened. I rather stupidly answer that he fell. He looks up at me again, clearly confused. By now the driver from the other car has joined us. She's young, perhaps a college student, and she looks anxious and genuinely concerned. I ask her if she knocked him. She says no. She asks if he's ok, I don't really answer because I don't know. She goes pale. This entire conversation happens right in the middle of the road.

At some point of time, a few cars must've stopped because now we have about 3 to 4 people who's joined us. They ask what's happened, the usual stuff. One of them says he's a doctor. He gives the motorcyclist a quick body check-up, the motorcyclist at this point is still laying sprawled on the road. He asks a few questions. Does this hurt? Blurred vision? Can you feel your legs? The motorcyclist answers that he's ok, but still asks what happened. He's clearly suffered a slight concussion, that's my expert medical advice. I notice that he has quite a few cuts on his elbows. No massive blood loss though. Some of the others move his fallen bike to the side. I observe this all silently. Maybe I should say something.

The roadside doctor decides that he's fine and heads off. A few of us stay back with him. Coincidence of coincidences, turns out one of the people who stopped was a former colleague of his. He calls the guy's colleague. Then we carry him to the side. He sits, still in shock. Many cars pass by and slow down at this juncture.

A few minutes pass and his colleague arrives. When he sees that he's ok, he offers to take him back to Pizza Hut. Yeah, did I tell you he was a pizza delivery man? The guy says he's dizzy so we don't move him yet. An elderly gentleman says he'll take him in his car even though his parked on the opposite side of the road. I offer my car meekly. No one moves for a while. His colleague gives him a mini-massage. We all chat a bit by the roadside. Talking about what happened, speculating on how he fell. He still asks us what happened. I keep telling he fell.

About fifteen minutes pass now from the moment he fell till the time we finally escort him to the elderly gentleman's car. His colleague thanks us profusely. I'm almost embarrassed to be there. Why is he thanking me? I didn't do anything. In fact every one thanks each other. We say our goodbyes, and share warm smiles in passing. Every one goes home.

Something's happened here. I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it's because I rarely see it. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. It seems that we're not as disconnected and selfish as we think we are. This minor incident has shown me that. Though I didn't get the names of the people I spent those 15 minutes with, I know everything I need to know about them. The most important things.

Friday, October 28, 2005

41. For Every Mountain There Lives A King

Take this fella for instance...

Bad Pun for the Week #1
- It seems that Beckham is a rather popular figure with the other players in Spain. Apparently that has something to do with his nickname over there which is, wait for it, "Golden Balls". Well, what can one say? Everyone just wants to have a little nibble of the Beckham. Cue laughter here. Hee haw, hee haw. Eh? Eh?

Monday, October 24, 2005

40. WTF?

The mind's a monkey. Really. We've seen proof over the weekend that us humans are a complex bunch. Very deep thinkers we are. Daft we're not. Seriously, all one has to do is check it out here or witness it for yourself here as an example of how far we've come since the Dark Ages. The brilliance of the human mind never ceases to astound me.

"If you don't cut your toe nails, then they will grow,"
- Ancient Eskimo proverb (originating from the Iguwawa tribes of Igloo City)

Saturday, October 22, 2005

39. Well?

Get it on before it's too late dudes...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

38. Hail and Farewell!

To the newly departed, friends and foes alike, ave atque vale!

Friday, October 14, 2005

37. Something Wicked This Way Comes

Remember that old novel by Ray Bradbury? The one about a dark carnival of sorts that comes to town and grants you your deepest, darkest wishes, only for you to lose your soul in return? Great stuff there, very gothic-ish with an absolutely brilliant title (kinda like the title of a rock song circa late-60's/early-70s, you just can imagine some high-pitched vocals strung out on drugs going "Yeah, yeah, yeah, something wicked's a coming, and baby, this way it comes, yeah, yeah, yeah" to Led Zeppelin-esque riffs).

Well anyway, crazy at it seems, apparently something similar has come a-visiting upon us unsuspecting simple folk of this urban jungle. Will save this for another day. Well, at least if I have the inkling or inclination to write about it that is. Watch this space.

Now then, back from the fantastic to the mundane. Over the weekend, I stumbled upon two rather interesting blogs (one by an acquaintance and the other by accident) dealing with more or less the same thing, an unhappy break-up (was there ever in the history of the world where a break-up was all nice and sunny? I think not). Ok, so it's not really mundane.

Anyway, two blogs by two different people...different genders, different ages, different countries, different reactions, same pain. We've all, at one time or another, been down that lonely and ugly road before. And we've all dealt with it in our own different ways. Some might've wept like little babies (girls included!), while some might've gone all ape-shit and bonkers, like the ex of a buddy of mine who threatened to kill herself if he left her (he did and she got married, eventually). Others might've just actually tried to suck it in and get on with it, looking at the bright side of things (yeah right, just who do you think you were kidding???). Either way, whatever route chosen, never is it pretty.

Pick one of the following; pain, anguish, anger, sorrow, self-pity, more anger...and mix it up with the rest. That's more or less how it goes.

Of course the internet is a good an outlet as any to vent those feelings out, even perhaps as a form of rehabilitation. Of course what we see is just the surface of those raw emotions, like a snapshot of the deep ocean of melancholy that lies underneath. Yet it is remarkable that people can be so open and honest with their heartbreak to begin with, sharing their innermost feelings for all the world to see (and judging by the regular visitors to this blog, countless perverts and potential serial killers included). Never underestimate the power of a broken heart.

So back to the blogs. Both are extremely honest, displaying in words and images the turmoil the writer feels. One seeks closure, and expresses the familiar feelings of anger and search for answers that we all go through whenever we're in such a position. Mostly the question is how someone we care about so deeply could hurt us so. I think deep down we all know the answer to that.

Now the other blogger goes about it in a different way, with not a single word written in torment or despair. Instead, what she doesn't say in words, she more than makes up for it (peculiarly) through the form of comic strips. Yet what is said in those simple stick figure images are deeply more expressive and complex than any words can ever hope to convey. They're humourous and heartbreaking at the same time, and you just sense how alone and empty she feels. Why? Simple, because you've been through it yourself.

I've noticed that most of the comments left by visitors of those blogs are the usual get-over-it-and-move-on sorta thing. Well-intentioned but irrelevant under the circumstances I think. No matter what anyone says, they can't change how you feel. Only time can heal such hurts. And it's something that you have to deal with yourself. But it is after the healing where the true test lies. I guess heartbreak makes us want to harden our hearts to a certain extent. It's just our job never to let it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

36. Ever After

History repeats itself in disturbing ways...don't believe me? The year's coming to a close, and we've had a terrorist attack and the usual catastrophic natural disaster. Just rewind back a year to see what went on round the same time. And rewind another year back, and another. See a trend? Does this mean anything? Probably not. So why bring it up? Because I can.

Too many opinions with too little and nothing new to say. Ugh, this is pathetic. There's a whole lot of shit happening in the world. And the least anyone would want to do is read about some hack writing and giving his thoughts about it. Ah, enough now. Shush.

Rather than subjugate myself to another harsh dose of suffering that only CNN can provide, I decided to watch Ever After on HBO tonight. Ah bliss. In my reckoning, a damn fine film. To most others, nothing but over-wrought sentimental drivel (didn't Radiohead warn us about all in don't get sentimental, it always end up into drivel...listen to them, for they are wise...).

But if film as a medium is meant to entertain, just as news is meant to inform...then I think it fulfills that objective rather splendidly. Not all films are burdened with spreading some deep meaning message...jeez, for every Kubrick or Kurosawa you get a thousand Michael Bays. For every Dead Man Walking or Grave of the Fireflies you get the endless likes of Aliens vs Predator and Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (and even worse shit like Star Wars Episode I).

Hey, not every film can be the masterpiece that is Team America you know. But watching Ever After has re-enforced my believe that films do not need mind-numbing and complex plotlines to be entertaining (like how Kieslowski's deeply layered Three Colours trilogy was, but then again you get supposedly other "deep" film like Eyes Wide Shut, jeez Mr Kubrick, wtf was that about anyway??). Just see Mr Zhang Yimou's beautifully crafted The Road Home and Not One Less for an example of films with very simple plots that somehow transcend into works of poetry.

If only more filmmakers understood this, yes I'm talking to you George "He Who Created Jar Jar Binks And Midichlorins" Lucas and Michael "Let's Blow Up Some Shit Real Loud" Bay (think about it, wouldn't the world be a better place if Pearl Harbor and the first two Star Wars never existed at all? Think about all those psychological scars that could've been averted if one did not have to endure that scene when Anakin Skywalker, in all earnestness tells Padme that "Your skin is so soft"....yes, I know, it's painful for me to even write this).

So anyway, back to Ever After. A nice and simple old-fashioned storyline. A beautiful score by George Fenton (who also scored Groundhog Day, The Crucible and Shadowlands rather nicely). Nice tight direction by Andy Tennant (who also incidentally directed Hitch). And great and heartfelt performances by Drew Barrymore and Dougray Scott. All these the ingredients of a really watchable flick with an ever-present feel-good vibe to it. God knows we need more films like that to cheer us up now and then eh. Much better than anything CNN can offer. On this present mood that is. Now please excuse me while I go cuddle with my inner wuss.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

35. What A Load Of Rubbish

More bomb blasts in Bali...let's hope and pray that it won't be as bad as the last the time...all these freaking terrorists should be put in concentration camps along with G.W. Bush and his oil loving and arms manufacturing pals...then they can go on and rip each other's eyes out and leave the rest of the world well alone...

Jeez, what do these people stand for anyway? Nada, nothing, el zilcho...these wankers spread this damning message of hate under the guise of righteousness...come on, they're fooling no one but themselves here...