actuality.log


All entries tagged 'perplexed'

Thursday, December the 3rd, 2009

I’ve been spending these past days discussing art history and poetry, and I am now invited to a couple of art auctions? What the deuce?

A stranger I ran into on the street sounded remarkably similar to someone else I used to know. And I mean ridiculously, remarkably similar. The same mousy demeanour, the same accent, identical vocabulary, everything. So I did something a younger me wouldn’t have even contemplated: I rudely walked up to her and asked her if she knew this other woman.

Turns out she did; they were sisters! What the deuce?

A day or so before I left Oslo, my favourite pair of shoes completely fell apart. And I mean utterly, completely fell apart. The nature of the failure was very strange, but “No worries,” I told myself, and packed a pair of sturdy boots for my trip.

I show up here, and within a couple of days of walking around town, my “sturdy” boots fall apart too. Rubber and leather and metal (how the hell have I ever gotten on a plane with these things?) everywhere.

Has my gait changed so much these past days? What the deuce?

I don’t know what’s gotten into people around, but they keep trying to set me up with this Danish girl. Granted she’s really cute and fun to hang out with, but why are these guys pushing so hard? Is there something about turning older that brings out the inner matchmakers in women? What the deuce?

Saturday, February the 14th, 2009

(When it transcends the bad things.)

I’ve come to believe there are essentially two kinds of people in this world: Ones whose first semi-serious relationship blossoms in to a continuous, positive influence in their lives, and the rest of us. Decades may pass since these first encounters, but I’m beginning to think that those whose fledgling first loves end up crashing and burning are forever doomed to wonder what-if, unable to appreciate what they have in their hands, nor able to look hopefully into the future. Scarier still, I think this only gets worse with time.

The trouble, you see, seems to stem from the fact that most memories—especially emotionally-charged ones—are infinitely malleable. They morph steadily as the days pass, seamlessly melding-in elements of fantasy and threads of what you once wished things were. Before long, they’ve ballooned to an unrealistic standard no future relationship can ever live up to, leaving one forever unfulfilled and unhappy.

While it’s quite depressing to think about things like this, the conclusions I have reached are nothing profound. It’s quite apparent that the gap between fantasy and reality in the public consciousness has been steadily growing over the years. What exacerbates the problem for me personally is that I don’t tend to fall for geeks. Sweet-sounding singers, expressive painters and petite pastry chefs maybe, but never the geek. And the more specialised I’ve become over the years, the less likely it’s become I meet anyone but. Which makes it hard not to reminisce about times when the pool was more eclectic.

Monday, January the 14th, 2008

Ever since the end of December, I’ve done little but laze around the house—eating like a pig and catching up on months of lost TV time. The funny (or is it sad?) thing here is that all this wasting away is shamelessly occurring not at my own home, but at my Aunt’s.

Not having a job or a regular means of income, I’ve given up my apartment in Ann Arbor and moved bag and baggage to their home in a town nearby. I am not particularly pleased with this scenario, but I am not exactly perturbed by it either. At least, not perturbed enough to do very much about it. But, just so you don’t come to the conclusion that I’m completely hopeless, I have to let you know that I’ve sent out some (a couple of) letters of application to other bigwigs in the field, and I’ve also had the chance to meet one in person for quite a while as he was touring these parts. From what I can tell, it appears as though people in general are impressed by my credentials, and something ought to materialise soon enough.

It’s just, I’m still wrestling with my existential crises (as always), and I’m unable to firmly put my foot into any door; which isn’t much of a surprise given I’m not certain I want to enter any of the doors before me. Either way, to add to the generally muddled state of affairs, I’ve been seriously contemplating a couple of things. Firstly, I really do want to take a proper break from all of this. I know that my state right now could be easily confused with a break in itself, but it’s not what I would deem a proper break. To this end, I’ve been looking up the usual relaxation hot spots (I seem to be particularly fixated on Hawaii right now) and trying to plan something which ought to help clear my mind.

And secondly, even if my offers materialise sooner rather than later, I don’t want to begin my academic work right now. I want to spend some quality time away from all of this and do something real with my life.

Now, all I need to do is figure out just what that is.

Friday, January the 4th, 2008

Why doesn’t he talk to us anymore? Does he no longer love us? Doesn’t he even care that we miss him?

A sad state of affairs this, but only over the past fortnight did I realise that writing on my journal had, for the most part, entirely substituted my need for actual conversations with real people.

My quarter-life crisis induced meandering coinciding with the Christmas holidays have resulted in me spending a lot of quality time with my family. The whole lot of us—my mom, brother and I, my cousins, uncle and aunt—have all been huddled together eating heartily, talking openly and having a blast shopping, gifting and re-gifting.

The whole affair has been intensely therapeutic for me, and while I still haven’t a clue about anything—professionally or personally—it doesn’t bother me nearly as much. It’s comforting to have people around who are understanding and supportive, be it whether you’re yearning for a heart-to-heart, or just a buddy to trounce in Mario Kart. Things have been so positive, in fact, that I’ve (after consultation with the doctor-like shrink) weaned myself off my medication. Moreover, I’m now relaxed, rejuvenated and itching to return to the sciences, math and other geeky pursuits. I’m not quite as concerned where I get to do it nor with whom, but the important thing in my mind is that I’ve realised being a geek is a fundamental aspect of my existence. It is not something that I can abandon under the guise of lusting after trivial pursuits. And believe me, in the lowest of my lows, I was quite settled on abandoning the sciences and other scholarly pursuits entirely, to quest for other avenues that might lead me to being happy.

There you have it. Things are going rather well, and I’m even contemplating a break from this break, to somewhere warm like Hawaii, before I get sucked into the rigmarole of the next stages of my life. Let’s wait and see.

So don’t you worry about me not caring enough about you to report-in here. I still love you all dearly, even if you’re the kinds who abscond for a couple of months only to re-emerge married to someone else.

Saturday, November the 10th, 2007

If you are expecting this entry to be some sort of misguided rant on the menstrual cycle, you’re going to be quite disappointed.

While most people imagine themselves “navigating their way through life,” I envision myself standing rather inert, allowing life to flow past me. As with a lot of other things in this world, I find it pointless to question why this is so, and instead just acknowledge that things are the way they are.

As far back as I can remember (which, arguably, isn’t very long), I cannot recall making any significant decision with any degree of surety or conviction; I seem to just lie there as eventualities take their course, and the decision is conveniently made for me. (And no, choosing just the right caffeinated beverage from the plethora of delicious choices from the nearby vending machine does not count.) Be it my academic choices, or choosing parts of the world in which to pursue them, to determining what kinds of relationships I engage in, with whom, or for that matter, even when those relationships dissolve—the sorts of decisions that ought to shape the core of my existence—I find myself more as a passive observer of events unfolding rather than an active participant in the intricate tapestry.

If you think about it though, this in itself really isn’t a bad scheme of events—as long as one’s happy with the way things evolve. And therein lies the unfortunate twist in our tale: Recently, I’ve been hating everything in the picture. And what’s worse, I seem to have gotten so used to sitting back and allowing things to “fall into place,” I’m not sure I’m even capable of weaving the fabric of my own life any more.

Wednesday, June the 6th, 2007

As surprising as it sounds, I’ve been paying attention to what the numerous presidential candidates have been saying recently. This is surprising not only because I’m usually of the opinion that politics is balderdash and the elections under discussion are well over a year away, but also because I’m not a citizen of this country; my opinions don’t matter and the election’s outcome is of little consequence to me.

I don’t recall paying any attention to politics back home, but that’s probably because I didn’t live there long enough after turning old enough to vote. And often times, arguments about things I don’t care about were made in languages I don’t understand… or care about.

Anyway, returning to the U.S., what baffles me about the state of affairs here is how the system still manages to hold onto a (predominantly) bipartisan system, especially when there are so many issues worth arguing over. One would assume that these differing opinions, principles, ideas… would soon spawn a multitude of parties. At least, definitely more than two major groups. I mean, even if you just looked at the “hot-button” issues, there’s a good chance your views won’t align perfectly with one party or the other. How then do you make a choice? Why then would you?

Let me put things in concrete terms here. If, hypothetically, I had a vote that mattered, I still wouldn’t know who to vote for (or even see the point in voting), because on certain issues, my views line up with the Democratic party and on others, they match the Republican party. For instance:

I believe that the country ought to be fenced, and all business should be conducted only in English—forcing everyone inside to learn the language. I also believe people who’ve entered unlawfully, or outsiders who are generally a thorn in your sight, ought to be booted out. The last thing any country needs is an erosion of its culture.

I believe that the Iraq war is unjust, and puts a tremendous undue burden on the country. It’s not the U.S.’s problem if Iraq falls apart—does anyone really give a fuck?—they have to cut their losses and retreat as soon as possible, saving money and lives.

There is no war on terrorism, it’s a bumper-sticker slogan designed to distract the public from real problems, and an umbrella under which to silently erode human rights. From illegal wire-tapping, to the PATRIOT act, to secret prisons in Guantanamo Bay, you know things have gone too far. The people we’re supposed to be fearing are not as technically-sophisticated as the fear-mongers and war-mongers would like us to believe. Iran and nuclear warheads? Hah! How old is their nuclear science program again?

I believe in tax-cuts for the richest portion of the populace. They’ve worked hard to get where they are today, and they’ve done a lot of good for society during their ascent, like creating a ton of jobs for the middle-class. They deserve to enjoy the fruit of their labours. Besides, I fully intend on being one of these rich folk and enjoying myself some day; I’ve worked at it long enough, and the last thing I need is 40% of my income being taxed away to help someone else.

I believe in science, and that theology has no place in science classrooms. Humans evolved from apes as apes did so from their predecessors. It’s the way it is, and did not require the “hand of god.” Evolution is not a “theory,” it’s a fact. Global warming is not a “theory,” it’s a fact. Study of human embryos is not “killing innocent babies,” it’s exploratory science; science that will help you some day. Lumping all that you don’t understand under the actions of the “glorious hand of god” is the reason why this country is so anti-intellectual. And the reason why this trend has to be reversed, if the U.S. wants to compete, technologically, in today’s global economy.

I don’t believe in social programs like “universal health care” for all, because I know all this means is that the rich will be made to pay for it, while the poor will just sit down and reap all the benefits. That’s not fair. If you want your medicines, pay for it like everyone else. Or move to Canada.

This does not mean I don’t believe in helping my fellow man (or woman). By all means, support an orphan or three. I just don’t believe mandating it through taxation and social programs is the right way of going about it.

I believe that sexual preferences play no role in determining how good a person you are, and that gay people should have the right to marry and enjoy all the benefits married couples enjoy. Where one sticks their penis is their own business, and besides, is there anyone out there that doesn’t find the concept of two women naked together hot? Remember people, gay people includes lesbians too.

In fact, I strongly oppose affirmative action, favour vaccinating girls against cervical cancer so they can have safer sex, favour the death penalty, favour strict gun control, support a woman’s right to abort her foetus, if she’s talked to the father about it.

So, what could I do? What does everyone do?

Apart from starting their own party and declaring themselves a candidate… only to be later lambasted as a “spoiler” in the race, of course.

Update: Some of the comments below, originally published under a public domain licence, are reproduced from digg.com.


1 people conned into wasting their bandwidth.