Monday, July 25, 2011

Wherein I Speak Ill Of The Dead

Since the news broke about Amy Winehouse's death, all I've been hearing (aside from "Back to Black" on a constant loop) is how she's the newest inductee to the infamous 27 Club: the group of uber-talented, super-messed-up rockers who all not-so-mysteriously popped it at age 27. This clique includes the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison - all personal favourites of mine (hell, who DIDN'T have a Cobain poster hanging on their walls and "Heart-Shaped Box" on repeat in the mid 90s?).

But everytime I think of their deaths - drug and alcohol fueled to the last - I lament not the loss of human life (cold as that sounds, it's true - they brought it upon themselves) but the unbearable waste of all that talent. All that power and energy and genius - gone. Snuffed out. Because they couldn't stay away from the needle, or the bottle, or whatever the eventual implement of their death may have been (to be fair, it was a shotgun in Cobain's case).

I'm not the first person to ask this over the ages, and I won't be the last, but what IS it about these artistic types?? Why do they have such addictive personalities? Sex, drugs, booze, gambling - is it too much money too soon? Excessive time on their hands? Greater opportunity? Less willpower? Does injecting something in their veins give them the added push to create the magic they do? Whatever the reason, obviously they never heard of "Just Say No", and end result: the world is deprived of decades of musical bliss because these coked up idiots couldn't get their shit together enough to ensure they didn't OD.

Honestly, ya morons. Join a 12-step programme. Pain and suffering and addiction may be good for your art, but your untimely death isn't.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


"...And I tread a troubled track
My odds are stacked;
I'll go back to black."

Apparently, you did. Rest in peace (if you knew what that was), Amy Winehouse.

Dead at 27 - what a sad, stupid waste of all that talent.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Perils of Being Unable to Say No:

1. Unable to Say No to Food

- When one of your best friends is pregnant and goes through mad cravings, you run to the supermarket with her in 50-degree weather.

- You try cucumber sticks with peanut butter, carrot sticks with nutella, goats’ cheese with EVERYTHING.

- You gain more weight than she did during her pregnancy.

2. Unable to Say No to Friends Who Are Leaving

- You go out every night with them.

- You go out every night with them and do mad shit that ensures you look like a wreck in the morning (and throughout the day…week...nevermind), but have a blast doing said mad shit.

- You log in late to work every day for a week as a result of only getting to bed at an hour that is both too late and too early to be sane.

3. Unable to Say (a Loud, Rude, Vociferous) No to Guys Who Ask You Out

- Your polite refusal is taken as a sign of weakness.

- They keep pestering you, even when they have a chickie baby on the side (honestly, am I the only one who sees something wrong with that???)

- They eventually turn into psycho loonies who make up mad shit* about you.

(*not to be confused with the more pleasant, enjoyable mad shit referenced in point 2. This mad shit is all bad and bound to earn someone a kick in the nuts).

4. Unable to Say No to Shopping Expeditions

- You get to a point where you’re scared to look at your bank balance.

- Your shoe collection could make Imelda Marcos say: “Whoa there, a little restraint please!”

- You cannot open your closet door for fear of being buried in the fabric avalanche and not being found for a week.

5. Unable to Say No to Books

- Your overflowing bookshelves make your closet look pristine in comparison.

- When an idiot at a club tries to strike up a conversation using the lame-ass line “You know, the dress you’re wearing is the druidic colour of healing!”, you’re actually in a position to say “Um – no, lameass – that’s green, not purple.”

- You can quote William Shakespeare and Pablo Neruda alongside J.K. Rowling and Charlaine Harris, but no one else gets that and you just sound pompous anyway.

So, lesson learned: the new word that I will wear out, and I mean really wrestle down to the ground and make my bitch, is “No.”

Life’s too much bother otherwise.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Wishes For NV....

....the week before her wedding.

As fiercely as I cling on to my old friends, I’ve come to learn that it’s possible to love the new ones just as much, and want the very best for them always: whether or not you know all their history, their journey, their mistakes and their triumphs.

I can’t lay much of a claim to knowing what true romantic love is all about, and descriptions and best wishes and sweeping hand gestures (that ALWAYS knock over a few wine glasses) don’t seem to do the emotion justice. And marriage – well, never had a clue, doubt I ever will, so how can I know what wishes I’m bestowing on this friend of mine? However, Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XVII has always seemed to be the best way to put a voice to my ineloquence. From the moment I first read it, I thought “That’s what I want someday,” even if the thoughts were half-formed and shooed away as wistful and longing. But, for the people who have found that love….

So, for you, NV:

“I do not love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
Or arrow of carnations that propagate fire;
I love you as certain dark things are loved:
Secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries
Hidden within itself the light from those flowers;
And, thanks to your love, darkly
In my body lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where;
I love you simply: without problems or pride.
I love you in this way because I know no other way of loving

But this: in which there is no I or you.
So close that your hand upon my chest is my hand;
So close, that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.”

I hope your love, your wedding, your marriage, and the life after is all of this, and so much more. All the very very best to you and AM :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Apparently I Was One Of Those Angsty Teenagers

My God, I could not be a BIGGER cliche. How disappointing. Looking through my old stories (Draco Malfoy/Hermione Granger fanfiction, how I miss thee), I came across a poem I had written at the ripe old age of 19. It positively drips with love scorned and world-weariness. Sheesh. How pretentious we are at that age, how we think we know EVERYTHING and have been through EVERYTHING and NO!ONE!UNDERSTANDS! I'm quite embarrassed by it, actually!

Of course, chances are I'm going to stumble across this blog post in 10 years' time and think the same thing :)

For anyone who cares, here's the melodramatic goodness:

Waiting and hoping,
Watching and praying;
Replaying the words
Of the rubbish you were saying
To make me forgive you,
To make the lies true;
To make me forget
My trust in you.
Mumbling and cursing,
Smiling and rehearsing
My most genuine fake smile
To keep your lips from pursing
At how childish I'm being;
How naive I am for not seeing
Through the half-truths you told me
To keep me from leaving
When I could have walked without getting hurt;
When I could have left without feeling like dirt:
Walked all over by you
Like I'm not even worth
A proper kiss,
Or a promise you'll miss
All that we had
All eternity, then this:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

As Ever...

... Bombay was superb, sublime...beyond words, even.

I'll attempt a few, but maybe next post, when I'm over my homesickness and the horrible wrench of missing A.H. and N.M. and all the others. I honestly can't wait for that old-age home we're all moving into in our 80s least we'll all be together!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Who, What, Where, When, Why, How

It seems everyone I speak to these days has hit a bit of a wall….not so much a dead-end as an obstacle in the road. On the way to where, though? That’s what is relatively unknown. Why are we doing what we’re doing? Is this really what we’re going to do forever (or at least till retirement beckons)? What else is out there? Is this really all there is to life?

I’ve always found it unbearably pretentious to question the why and how of our existence. Sure, answers would be nice – but we’re here, we’re healthy, we’re loved, we’re happy – we should be grateful. All this “What is the meaning of life” business is best left to philosophers and drunkards at 4 a.m. Of course, they tend to wonder about it on a larger scale. As ever, my musings are more self-involved :)

I’m down with the programme – we’re born, we go to school, we go to college, we get a job, we get married, we have kids, we have grandkids, we shuffle off this mortal coil and people boohoo for a bit until they pop it too, and pretty soon there’s no one left who remembers us. If we’re lucky, we’re memorialized in a family tree some great-great-grandkid will create for a school project, or we’re a name scrawled in a few books handed down in the family. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, because I know that in some small but significant way, there’s a piece of us that gets carried forward in time, and even if it’s not recognized or acknowledged, we definitely lived.

But how did we live? Right now, where I am…I want more. Okay, I’m working, I’m doing an MBA (and I’ll probably do another after this), I have a loving family (touch wood) and an amazing set of friends (thank you). Life is routine – good, but routine. But what am I doing that’s going to leave a mark? Is it egotistical to think I can leave a mark? Is it enough that I attempt to be a good human being (and hopefully, maybe, succeed some of the time)? Is it possible that there’s something more out there? Should I be satisfied with okay when there’s a possibility that amazing is around the corner? What if there’s nothing around the corner?

I think what bothers me more than the status quo is not having any of the answers.