Friday, September 26, 2008

Note to all the IDIOT USAmericans who write Important Things

For the LOVE OF GOD.

Oversight is NOT (did you see that? yes, NOT. N.O.T.) the noun form of oversee. To get the noun form of oversee, we use this handy little thing called a gerund, formed by adding an 'ing' to the end of the verb 'oversee', and we end up with overseeing.

Which means that while reading the following passage:

In some cases, yes. But for the most part, these third parties cut up these securities, mixed them up, repackaged them, and sold them down the line in the form of Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) or Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDO). There was little, if any, regulatory oversight. At each step, the parties in this chain collected profits, and believed they were handing off the risk.
one does not go EH? Very little regulatory oversight is a good thing! Cos it means they DID oversee. They DIDN'T miss the checks, inspections etc.

If one uses the word overseeing instead.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

And the last one for today

After the whining, two pickshures of two people who make my life better than bearable.


There was this Ace of Base song that was very popular when my sister was a teenager and I was on my way there. It was called "The Sign" and I remember we had a friend of the family staying with us for a while and she used to perform this energetic thrusting dance to it - I believe i was called stumping. It was quite a sight since she was Anyway, the song says, I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes; which was then extended to some boy-girl thing and how to save it or end it or something.

The reason it popped into my head (apart from the 15 seconds of goggle-eyed distraction at the memory of said girl stumping) was because, on the way home today I said to The Roommate in the auto: I wish I had a sign. As I said the words I realised that well, signs are kind of redundant anyway, since they are about 90% interpretation. Remember my signs in the past? And how they ended? So I'm a little ahem cynical about this whole sign theory.

But I can't deny it is tempting.

I would love to know that this place I'm at in my life, right here and right now, with its joys and sorrows and immense frustration, is somewhere on the right road. I wish it were as easy as this morning, when I made a turn off the highway, stuck my head out the window and said: "Sagar road?" to a nice man, who nodded and jerked his head in the direction I wanted to go. Isn't there a shared auto driver on this road who can reassure me, so that I know no matter how many potholes on this road, and how unkempt it is; no matter that the lights don't work and there is so much roadkill; I will end up at the majestic dam, with its twenty-six gates of energy and enthusiastically flow downriver to the sea?


There isn't any really. Well, the Yahoo! Horroscope guys have stopped stalking me so yay!

The Roommate and I (and her Boy) seem to have gotten into a rhythm of Sunday expotitions (source anyone?). They are quite lovely, and seem to be getting further afield each week! Yay! Today we went to see the Nagarjuna Sagar dam, which has all of its 26 gates open and a reservoir that's quite disturbingly full. It looked a LOT like the Niagara Falls. Don't believe me?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Is it strange

That two of my deepest secrets were on postsecret this week?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rock on!

So I saw the movie and have been deeply affected by it. Sing the songs to myself most of the time. Read the reviews online. Force everyone I know to listen to the soundtrack. Offer to go and see it with anyone who's interested.

Some reactions to the film and music puzzle me:
It's a cliche! There's no depiction of the musical creative process! There's no psychological depth! The songs are basically ripoffs of much classic and pop rock.

Here's my point: What did you expect? It's BOLLYWOOD!!!!!!!!! The audience they are reaching out to is SO stratified that a common denominator has GOT to be low. Subtlety is great and all, but symbolism is more effective. Look at Indian politics and you'll see how well it works. Sometimes I wonder at people who insist on applying irrelevant standards to life and its aspects in India (and other postcolonial nations [wheeee long time since you saw that word eh?]). When I read Six Suspects, I'm not expecting a thrilling, psychologically socially layered text that provides insight into the workings of the Indian justice system. I'm expecting a fairly stereotyped, highly predictable, sensationalist jumble thats trying to be very smooth and slick. And that's what I got.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mean that we have nothing subtle, or sensitive, or talented in our cultural sphere in India. I'm just saying that when you're in the middle of the churning of the creative process of a giant nation, theres going to be chaff. What you recieve transmitted from other nations usually has most of the chaff removed. So don't act surprised that you, with more capita, have more chaff per capita than they do after they have winnowed.

Drawing into the distance

These are pictures of the aquaeduct at Segovia, in Spain. We did a little day trip, with my dear friend's parents kindly driving us there and back. They have a Mercedes, and on the way to Madrid to fetch me on my previous trip, the car had a crazy accident, at something like 120kmph if I know her dad. They were on a very high bridge, as the highway curved, and the car lost control. I was received at Barajas airport by a BA official who, palpably relieved I spoke Spanish, told me to call a certain number, where my friend's mum told me about the accident, and that not a thing had happened to either of them, but that the car was totalled. It really was. The inside, however, looked like nothing had happened. They bought the same car with the insurance money, saying that if there ever was obvious evidence of the level of safety Mercedes provides, they'd already seen it!

The funny thing for me was that, in India, the Mercedes is the car of the obscenely rich, and so I told them they made me feel like a princess, riding around to sightsee in a Mercedes, and stopping by the side of the highway to get hot chocolate.

I really began to appreciate the first picture only when it was framed and put on the wall, because only then, against the blank cream expanse, does the way it pulls you in really come across. Ugh what a dreadful sentence. And here the Bride's been telling me how my writing's getting better!

Anyway, the MAIN story attached to this picture, forgive me if I've already told you, is the silly conversation my friend imagined between an Iberian slave and a Roman master while building the aquaeduct:

RM: You are blessed slave, to be a part of this great project to carry water across your land!
IS: er...that's all very well, but why do we need to build this giant structure?
RM: Fool! It is to carry water across the hills, by giving it a level path, for it could hardly flow UPHILL now could it??
IS: don't need to build a platform! Water rises to the same level on the other side if you use a my village we use a tube-
RM: *cracks whip* silence slave! Generations to come will revere this great work! To work!


In case you haven't realised it Gentle Reader, MinCat spends a LOT of time online. And if you know her in real life then you also know that theres a 90% chance she is online at any given point of time. Obviously there are people she wants to chat with and people she doesn't. This can sometimes be a problem, but usually a quick, hi, hello, sorry I need to go now suffices to get rid of the people she doesn't want to talk to.

Why not chat invisible, you might ask. Well chatting invisible just feels shady. Though many of her friends have done it and still do it, to MinCat chatting invisible indicates a need to be in control of the relationship to a slightly scary extent. Seriously, I admit passive aggressiveness, or a general reluctance to be not nice to people whom you don't really want to talk to anymore is a good reason to appear offline, but isn't it a little messed up that when people who you DO like talking to want to talk to you they can never know if you're there?

Yes, too much free time, and much too much time online :)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Spanish Sunshine

Taken in Galicia, last sun-drenched June, during a startlingly idyllic interlude of wood-fire cooking, cherries off the trees and surprisingly cold nights.

Friday, September 05, 2008


Lost. Lost. Lost.

That's how I've been feeling for a year now. I remember last July, a time of Spanish sunshine and complete confidence. I came home on vacation and OF ran into me somewhere and he said: you seem different. Settled somehow. I remember riding a bus from Madrid to Valladolid and watching the sunset blur through the dirty windows. And thinking to myself with a smile, that for the first time in my life I was so filled with contentment. My life was full and so it promised to continue.

And then reality (such an ugly word, but why? Because it's always used as the pejorative form of life?) caught up with me. A year later, I'm fairly settled. I have a job, I have a flat, and I live with someone I love. I see my parents whenever I wish, something vital to me. I have found GOOD friends and happiness in companionship. But I'm lost again.

In some ways I'm happy like I never thought I could ever be, here in this place, giving up New York. I remember a friend talking sense to me: "No sé, es que cada vez que he tomado una decisión me ha jodido. Las cosas buenas me pasan sin tener que hacerlas." I said to him. "Pues si no ves manera de quedarte, no estás tomando ninguna decisión" he replied. So I left New York, with a heavy heart, but not so heavy that it drowned me. And now, six months later, I'm sure that things have happened as they should have.

But, I find myself torn and weeping, again, yet again, in this place, surrounded by love, joyous in my homes - both of them, but stricken without. And I think, yes I DID take a decision, and look, I AM fucked.

But what to do? I don't see a way out that's not cowardly.

And yet, here I am because of fear. Fear that I wouldn't succeed on the road not taken, fear that all that I have instinctively revolted against was merely the dregs of teenage rebellion. However, I find I cannot look myself in the face, because all those ideals, of fulfillment, of believing that what I do makes a difference, of taking control of the consequences of my actions, of not backing down, they have drowned in a cesspool of fear. It is easier to accept that I was wrong in my youthful whims than to accept that I might fail in my adult beliefs.

If this is what I fought against engineering and medicine and MBAs for, I might have been better off not fighting.

And that my friends is the unkindest cut of all.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Wee fluffy cloud

Yesterday was the most extraordinary day. We had sunshine and heat, both fairly normal, and a blue blue sky with fluffy clouds. Also normal. However, the blue was this of this intensity that I have never seen in India before. If it is that blue then there are never clouds. It reminded me a bit of the world in that show Pushing Daisies. Anyway shall stop faffing and just show.

Edit: Dammit! For some reason it doesn't show in this photo. Grrrrrrrrr.

Monday, September 01, 2008


up into the trees. This picture makes me yearn. I had it as my phone wallpaper but I couldn't stand it after a day and took it off. It makes me grind my teeth and try to fall into it and has this inexorable pull that can only lead to pain.


Your result for The Animal Archetype Test...

The Cat

Domestic, Solitary, Serious, Intelectual: you are the Cat!

Cat represents a balance of strength in both physical and spiritual, psychic and sensual powers, merging these two worlds into one. Curious, intelligent, and physically adept, cat people tend to live in a world all their own.

This test categorized you based on four different axes of personality, which were then associated with a different animal. The four axes, as well as all possible results are explained below.

Wild/Domestic: This first axis categorizes you based on how much you are drawn to the outdoors, versus how much you are drawn to civilized situations. Domesticity has many shapes and forms, and varies from the joy of dolphins leaping next to a ship to the steadfast loyalty of a family dog.

Gregarious/Solitary: This axis measures how solitary you are. If you scored high, it means that you enjoy the company of other people, while a low score indicates that you prefer a more solitary lifestyle.

Trickster/Serious: This axis measures how well you line up with conventional trickster archetypes. People who fall into this archetype have a sense of humor and an excitable, highly chaotic streak. Scoring low doesn't mean that you don't have a sense of humor; it just means that you probably don't think dynamite is very funny.

Intellectual/Emotional: This last axis determines whether you are more emotional -- acting based on feelings and instinct, or rational and intelectual -- acting more on thought than on your gut feelings.

Take The Animal Archetype Test at HelloQuizzy