Tuesday, June 30, 2009

To Mug or not to Mug...

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
-Ernest Hemingway

I guess, as the exams pick up and the mugging gets heavy, this shall be my only respite.

Kinda like taking shelter from the storm by begging your ingrate daughter for shelter.

Between the storm of ideas in my mind, and the impending invasion of test papers, my mind and soul remain in conflict. Passion and need, reason it not, for in reasoning it I find my heart does ache, and my thoughts clash like thunder.

A dozen ideas I have, none of which seem to work; half a dozen textbooks I have, none of which seem to make sense.

Oh Fool! I shall go mad...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

An old Wave of presenters


Awesome video, awesome tool, but that's not really the point I'm thinking about.

I'm more thinking about how the presenters here are well, obviously not presenters. They're engineers, the people who made the system, built the system, and tested from the time they designed its roots.

In business we learnt about this thing called Product Based Marketing and Consumer Based Marketing. One markets a product based on what the product has. The other does it based on what the customers have.

The latter is the route favored by more and more corporations these days, including a certain company with fruit for its logo. What makes me sad is that increasingly, people seem to favor style over substance. And that it has become the norm.

I suppose the part I liked about this presentation was that it wasn't some smiling salesman with a mask of friendly words, amusing jokes and sharp wit talking. It was just three (four?) honest engineers, presenting the fruits of their efforts over the course of two years. Somehow, it just added this extra element of...I dunno, Honesty? Tangibility? Credibility? To their speech.

There is show. There is flair. There is hype. And in the middle of it all, a little coffee-stained, greasy-hand, slightly myopic man with a paunch. Just going along his own way, building things that last.

Perhaps that was Google's intention. If that's the case then well, all I can say is that they're doing it right.

For me at least. *sigh*...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

In My Day, In My Sky

*old geezer voice*

In my day, we dinna haf all dis fhancy smhancy 'graphiks' no we didn't! We had books, and our brains w're dee displays screens, and if yer couldn't lookinta da clouds and see a elephatmougous you'ere in big truble me boy! Now if yer want to look at a creature wita thousan'flayi tentacles and a hundre'eyes you jus needa go to the neares'viddy shop and searh'up them japanese dirty-stuff! Nonsense! Why, back then'if we wants to hav disturbing and twisted fantaschees lik tat we hadz to PAY them gud money ta get drunk as an old-foxina chicken pen. An alcoholic chicken pen. And we hadz BOOKS too! Now'ish all abouts World of Whorecraft and havin's a gud's fling with a flat-piture onyer deskhtops...


Scuze'me. Now, as I was shayins, it all be with them pretty pichures nowadays, alls shiny and drawings. Last'times we made them piktures, madez'em wif our own two'ands, soaked the blood'f paints and the flesh of crayons. Oh how we toilsed in those days! A flower'ana three'ana 'ouse covered in reddish tiles, wif them smoke that lookit lika cloud with them loohks lika elephatmougous...but nowsish all about lookin for the best'sm piks on shes winternet thingy, and prints them and sticks them on the walls.


And da stories, oh da stories. Me papa used'ta tuck me inna bed each night, as me mama poured a glass'o' them warm beer, none of that pussy milk stuff you drink now. Took me out lika light it did! Course, I wash'seven back then and it-be a 1-pint jug but ey? Hoosh complain? But anyways me paps would tells me a story everynights, filled ith all the proper gory bits and violence, with Mr Bear knocking the stuffing outta the evil Fluffy Octopuss! Oh...I couldn't sleeps with the excitments sumtimes, but then beers would knock me out soon after tats...but now all youz peoples can do be talk abouts them old stories and 'ow theys be horrible, or wondibibble, wif all them lit-tit-ture and bandwagons and stuff. Ands you has all these knew stories, whicha some freshed old stories with sparkles and fancy graphiks ontops! I sawhs the Little Red Riding Hood! Little kids made me watchits with them while the other shoved pastry inna me ears. Egads, a girl that thin wolda fallen ova the basket, the way she swings it like that! And those eyes! Me thinks da wolf o'eats her would gets swollen from all them bacteria in there, they been swollen liks that.

And da teenagers all payin their Whorecraft cause them too prissy ta go downtown with ten bucks for a proper job. I asks them 'ose the bad guy, o'se them good guys, and who the butler killed this time. They shays there be no baddies or goodies, only lotsa monsters ta kill! I then I goes: oh, so them monsters must be baddies and you be good guys, yes? And then theys stares at me (cause I think me pants fell off then) and says that there dont be any goods or bads, jus them slades of Grey. The only shades of grey I know be the greys on me head. And me armpits. Them goes on aboits hows their favourtie characters be this demon-bat-wizard-robot thing with a gazzlion wings and teeth and claws and everyone thinks he be a monsters except that he ain't cause well, he helps little kids cross the street. Oh wait he doesn't. He just smashes other monsters, so he's good. Except those monsters be helping little kids crossing the street, so their good too! Or bad, cause they breath fire. They all breathe fire. With horns, Good..bads...ugly...Ack, me brain be hurting, time for the pills...Seesh whats I means?


But the point! The points of this ere speech be well...I dunno, what was the points again? Everyone be jus lookin for them points these days. Aesop hads lotsa points, but you dinna listen ta him cause he hadz poinst! No, the bloody bird hadz good story-yelling thats wut. He could shout them tales so loud all the folk would ere him in the mountains over, and thats how them stories spread. But thats not the point, cause there ain't any, shees? Sumtimes ya just gotta tell them stories, but all peoples these days be doin is hitting things, and calculatins numbers, and even with all them pretty graphiks and colors and shows all I ere' them do be talking about the next quarter of experience needs to "lever up" or something, though why them be playin wif see-saws at their age I wouldn't know.

And in the end wells, when we're all done with this and all, its like there be so much colors and lights and good grapiks that show you everything you need, that do all them thinking and imagining for you that well, you dinna need ta do anything no more.

Long times ago we'd look up ina sky and sees the elephatmougous; but now there be no space left for dreaming no more.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Passing On

All things like candles fade away in time;
but like candles, and torches,
the Flame passes on-
through Reason,
in Word
by Rhyme.


Just a short verse I wrote. Couldn't figure what else to add onto it =/

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Weird Dream

I had this really odd dream last night.

I can't remember how it started, only that it was strangely twisted. But I do remember the back bit, which I think some part of my mind was subconciously controlling or something:

What happened was, I dreamt that I was in this writing contest of sorts. There were people all around me, and I think an assassin or two. I was supposed to write 3 stories from a list of 5 possible questions. Seemed simple enough.

Until I read the questions.

I can't recall all of them, but one of them stuck out:

1) Write a story about a statue in love, with a hole in its ass that contains an interdimensional portal to another area of your choice.

Title of the story? Arse.

Its dreams like this that make me very worried about myself sometimes...

Monday, June 1, 2009



The landscape flowed past as Nmir climbed and leapt her way up the hillside, one hand clenched tightly around her haversack. Inside it the empty medicine bottles jingled, as if urging her to hurry. Nmir doubled her pace, scrambling from rock to branch to the occasional piece of flat-land, until she burst into the clearing, still soaring through the air.


Quickly checking that none of the bottles had been broken, Nmir sighed, looking at the small thatched hut before her. Beside it lay a small well, and a large garden filled with all many of herbs and plants. She recognized a few of those flowers from her classes back at the village. Most of them grew only on elevated ground like this, where the temperature and wind made conditions ideal for their flowering.

She walked slowly down the worn dirt-path, savoring the atmosphere, the tranquility, the sheer isolation of the place. Over the years she had come to enjoy these quiet moments of being alone, away from the noise, from the suspicious glances and curious looks…

At least illusions can be seen through-
It’s not like she belonged to the village…
How can you trust something like that?

The mission was simple. Deliver a small bag of food to the old herbalist in the hills in return for the medicines he grew. Twice a month the village would send someone up here. Twice a month, they chose her. The trip took at least two days on foot, as the hill was quite a distance away. For more than a year she had done so, to the point where Elder Dunzon could recognize her approach without even turning to look at her. He’ll be just behind the door again, waiting with a pile of dried herbs and a big mug of tea…

Nmir reached the door at last, a faint smile of anticipation on her face. Without hesitating she slid the wooden panel to the side, the sound of Elder Dunzon’s cheerful, creaky voice already on her ears-

Nmir! What a surprise. Come, have a seat-


Nmir blinked, looking around the tiny living room. The simple wooden table was where it always was, yet there was no one sitting there. No wrinkled old man smiling atop the rattan mat, a mug of tea in his hands.

Silence. The room was empty, eerily so. Even the sounds of the forest seemed muffled inside. Something was wrong…

“Elder?” she called, wincing at how loud her voice seemed, “Elder Dunzon?”

Silence was all that answered.

“Elder Dunzon! Hello? Anyone?! I’ve come for the usual delivery! Elder Dunz-”

There! An answering cough, coming from the bedroom. Nmir approached cautiously, carefully sliding the separator that divided the living room and the old man’s sleeping quarters. What she saw made her gasp.

“Nmir…” wheezed the old man from upon his bed, his skin as pale as snow, “tis good to see you…”


Nmir poured the last of the soft blue flowers into the jar, sealing the lid tight. The herbs had been all prepared, laid out just for her in the shed at the back. She had left the bag of ingredients and soup-stock on the table in the living room. For all purposes, she was done.

And yet…

Elder Dunzon was dying.

Dunzon. The old man with whom she had spent several afternoons twice a month talking to, drinking tea, listening to his stories. Elder Dunzon, whom didn’t know of what she could do, who knew only the nice girl that visited him each time, unaware, unprejudiced...


A sudden, wracking cough from behind made her cringe. The sickness was getting worse. According to the Elder, it was simply age, nothing more. The inescapable disease, that all men shared, that could never be cured.

For a while Nmir simply drifted, walking from the living room to the shed and back, not quite knowing what to do. Finally she sat down; her green eyes dull, staring at the tiny portrait of a young woman dressed in blue, her smile eternally frozen upon the wall.

Anami. The old man’s wife. Elder Dunzon used to go on and on about her, on the afternoons they shared. About her smile, how she would always cook for him, and how she passed away fifty years ago. He moved up to the hills soon after, away from the village. Some wounds never quite heal.

…while others simply continue to grow. Just because I wasn’t born there…

The mat felt oddly uncomfortable, as though there was a something underneath it. She checked: yes, a small bump, just next to where Elder Dunzon used to sit. Curious, she reached under the rattan, fingers closing around something rectangular and hard…

“A diary…”

The book was old but well-preserved, pages yellowed with age. The cover was the common brown of the village record books, the ones commonly used in administration. Yet scrawled in faded black ink in the bottom right-hand corner, was a single, curled signature.


Realization dawned. An idea of what she could do. Nmir looked at the diary, then the portrait, and then the diary again. For a brief moment she seemed to hesitate, as if wrestling with some inner voice...but then the moment passed, and with sudden force Nmir wrenched upon the cover page, glancing at the opening words of the book:

To chronicle our time together, from the night of our marriage to the day we part, I keep this diary. That in the years to come we may look back upon these pages, and recall the wonderful times we had…

In the light of the noonday sun, Nmir began to read…


Dunzon..." whispered a voice, "Dunzon..."

The old man's eyes creaked open at the sound of her voice. So familiar...filled with warmth...

"Anami?" he croaked, old withered eyes squinting in the evening's soft light. Thousands of wrinkles, like crevices on his forehead, bunched up as he frowned, trying to lift his skeletal-body off the bed. She shouldn’t be here…couldn’t be here. And yet…and yet…

"Shh..." the voice whispered, soft hands easing him back into bad, "you must rest. Rest..."

…here she was.

A small, warm bowl was pressed against his lips. Dunzon swallowed, drinking the simple herbal soup. The taste was bitter, as memories flashed past, memories of times spent with his wife in the forest. Every mission without fail, she would make a bowl for him. She was always a talented cook…

"Heh..." chuckled Anami, that light, airy chuckle that he loved "sixty-five years and you still can't stand my soups. And after all the trouble I went through to prepare it too! You could at least pretend to like it."

The words were exactly what she would have said. Exactly what she used to say.

Dunzon smiled, looking up. A pair of bright blue eyes -Anami's eyes- gazed back at him, filled with concern. Long red locks of her spilled messily from her head, framing her long, oval face. She smiled too, thick red lips pursed in the exact way she used to smile, all those years ago. The vision wore the same blue dress that he had gave her, every thread identical in pattern and texture. Exactly the same...


"Now don't you go apologizing now," she sniffed, getting up, "Focus on recovering. And at least use thicker sheets! You're going to catch a cold at this rate. Sheesh, men these days..."

She walked swiftly towards the door, taking the bowl with her, careful not to make any noise. "Anami" had barely gotten five feet away before Elder Dunzon spoke up;

"You're not her, are you?"

She froze, simply standing there, not knowing how to react.

"You're not Anami, though a better imitation I have never seen..."


"You look the same. Sound the same. Even your behavior...mannerisms. An exact duplicate. But you're not her, are you? There's still something different..."

Nmir turned around, dropping the disguise. Long red hair faded to a dark blue, while the face became more youthful, more immature. She sighed, lowering her head, whispering;

"My deepest apologies for the deception Elder. It was…rude of me to assume the form of your wife without permission. I shall-I shall take my leave at once."

"No. Stay." croaked the old man, one withered finger signaling for her to come closer. Nmir complied, not knowing how to react.

"I knew you were not her, but still..." he chocked, eyes glistening, "but still...for a while...I could pretend she was here again. I wanted her to be here. I knew it was just a disguise, and yet...would you, could you..."

Nmir didn't need him to elaborate. Anami returned, hands gently grasping the old man's wrist, stroking his forehead tenderly.

"Hah. Don't...have much time...left" wheezed Dunzon.

"Idiot. Stop saying that," she chided softly, tightening her grip on his wrist. His limbs felt felt so weak and brittle, pale even under the setting sun's light...

"Ha!" grinned Dunzon, "even on my death bed you use the same old insults. Ever since we first met, eh? Its been *cough* eighty years and you still...can't come up with anything better than that..."

"Idiot..." whispered Anami,

"I always loved to see you in that dress, y'know," he rambled, "always thought you looked...beautiful in it. My dancing flower, blue petals under the moonlit sky..."

Anami was shaking now, her eyes wet as well. She was gripping his wrist so tight now that her fingers had turned white.

"I'll be...meeting you soon. Hold my hand, Anami. Hold..." whispered Dunzon, his voice barely audible, "Everything feels so cold now. So dark and cold..."

Slowly, quietly, Elder Dunzon closed his eyes, never to open them again.

For a while, she sat there unmoving, eyes closed as well. Then, with a choked sigh, Anami got up, leaving the bowl by bedside. As she stood her body shimmered, leaving Nmir standing there, face bowed in respect. With an almost ritual-like stiffness she pulled from her cloak two articles: a diary and a small drawing of a red-haired woman, placing them upon the old man's chest.

Her head kept low, Nmir exited the room, picking up her haversack as she did. The bag felt unusually heavy, as though it was filled with more than the herbs she had been sent to collect. High above, the full-moon gleamed brightly in the darkness of the night.

Only then did she realize that she couldn't stop shaking.

A cool wind blew, rustling the trees. In the old man's garden, where the herbs he planted grew, a small blue flower broke from its branch. Caught in the breeze, it scattered into the air- A series of small blue petals, dancing under the moonlit sky.