Flavours of Funny

Funny has two flavours.

One that makes and one that tastes.

We can be both, but we are not necessarily both.

One cooks, one eats.

One can eat what one can cook. Not always, though. It’s always better when someone else eats what we cook.

A friend refused to come to my place ever, because he discovered that I cook. I am now referring to ‘real’ cooking. Like food. He is afraid of dying of food poisoning.

That is funny.

I tried to be funny once. I wrote a post.

Tried.

You are funny or you are not.

Perhaps you cannot always be funny.

Or, once you were funny, now you are not. Maybe you will be funny later.

What you cook remains the same but their tastes change.

Maybe you will cook differently in some time.

Maybe it will appeal to the new tastes.

Maybe not.

What’s important, is the food.

Not whether you cook it or eat it. 

One who eats is as important as the one who cooks.

The kitchen needs the dining room. And vice versa. 

 

Up in the Air

There’s too much of more. There’s a new fanatic in town, and her exposed argot has more words that end with -er.

Faster, smaller, thinner, longer. Sharper. And the sorts.

In Victor Hugo’s apt words, however, argot is the language of the dark; a language of misery.

Here’s a blurred photo.

1787

It’s blurred. You cannot see much detail. There is hardly any specificity in the image. What does this mean for the image? Not for the photographer (that’s me, and I do not care much about what you think of me). Does it become a bad image because, alas, we cannot see the twist and the weave of the fibre that makes the thread that have revolted out of the binding Rexine?

A friend would take up this argument and talk of test cricket and the T20 format.

I’ll digress. If you don’t want to, skip the marked section.

<Start Digress>

I quit Flickr Pro and moved to 500px because it was a suggestion by a well known photographer. I hated it as soon as I saw the “top” photos. They just do not seem real to me. 500px is a muscle show of post-processing. Not that post-processing is bad. I use it all the time. I was looking for a word when I was discussing 500px with a friend. I didn’t find it then, I have it now.

Synthetic.

Over the years, the 500px platform went through a number of revisions and changes, growing together with technology and photographers, and keeping focus on the highest quality photos. Via 500px  (emphasis, mine)

500px offered a way to sell photographs, but I was not (and am not) interested in it, anyway. I’ve (mostly) quit 500px.

</End Digress> 

There is no doubt that our tastes are changing, our attention spans diminishing. We have lesser time for our friends and no time for ourselves. Enough research floating around to prove that. 2831215 is the phone number of the travel agent of my first company. This was when mobile phones didn’t exist. Now, I don’t even remember my fourth travel agent’s name. Hell, I don’t even remember if I use a travel agent anymore. I have to remind myself to add keywords to her address card. My choice of keywords defines what I will forget about her and what I might use to search for her. It’s exhausting, in a way. Her’e a worthwhile exercise – how many mobile numbers (of close friends or family) do you know by-heart?

I need to travel a bit. But I digress. (I should have warned you)

Adobe recently announced that the Creative Suite will now be cloud-based. To make the news worthwhile they included some super sharpening tools to the CS. (Now you know what triggered this post)

Apart from the irritating plugin that I *have* to use with browsers, I do not use any Adobe products because of their bloated sizes and prices. But this post is not about Adobe, at all. Software is a tool; it makes sense in a way that you use it. I find arguments about tools pointless. As long as you do your work well, the tool doesn’t matter. Hammer vs. Pestle. Mac vs. Win or Can vs. Nik. Same difference. 

This post is about simple questions.

How much sharper do we need our images to be? How slimmer should our phones be? How faster should our computers be? How much thinner should our laptops become?

And while the inanimates around us become more ‘-er’ and ‘-er’, what about us?

What ‘-er’ should we be striving for?

A French View

My blog-addiction was under control for a while. Gladly, I lost control.

Defying concern that the folks at WordPress might actually limit the number of blogs I can have, I have started yet another blog.

A View from the Top

This one is interesting. I have started learning French and have chosen not to attend classes. Yes, there are other sites out there (and I’ll link to these resources as I find them — and as my need to learn more French grows), but they are mostly structured — usually in the same way. Greetings, family, check-in to a hotel, ask for a taxi.

What if I am not travelling to France or a French speaking country? What if I want to learn to write poetry in French or watch French films without sub-titles? What if, I want to write a blog in French?

This one is a double experiment: Learning the French language and Exploring how you can learn a language through Web 2.0 — through people who are learners or teachers or just plain old you and me (who know or are interested in French). I plan to leverage all possible Web 2.0 means to learn French. Twitter. Facebook. Goodreads. Blogs. Google (I have been warned against translate.google, though).

I believe in the Web as it is today. I think I’ll learn well. I may not learn it quickly, but it will be a fun experience and more-so — a very fulfilling experience. In any case, I do not have a deadline. I am not going to France soon (but hey, I already have learnt useful French phrases).

So if it sounds interesting (whether the experiment, the language or the experience), I’ll be Learning French

Fluttering Thoughts

This time around, she didn’t challenge me. But a gentle conversation was good enough to push me into writing a very satisfying post, after a long time. In recent times I have not liked what I have written, here. There is a tense tentativeness in the thoughts.

In any case, it seems that I am forgetting the advice from Forrester, and waiting for the clear thought to permeate a cloudy head.

And for the same reasons, I have begun wondering if there is anything called the clear thought, in the context of expressing one. Is this the only noun doomed to be celibate? Never to have a perfect adjectival companion?

Thoughts, at best are caterpillars — they carry within them the future expression of beauty. But unless expressed, they remain just that – ugly, creepy creatures.

Thoughts should aim to become butterflies.

Blog Talk

We all have a language we speak. We all have a language we understand. Blogs speak too. Not just through what you write in them. Through their understanding of the words that we fill them with, they make their own language. And it looks good too!

Wordle

What does your blog have to say? Find out!

Failed in Abstraction

Lorelle has an uncanny way of kicking your blog-backside, every once in a while. I haven’t taken up all the challenges, yet once in a while the chemical reactions are too overwhelming to ignore the act of opening your blog-editor and type. Just type.

This time, the challenge is to write about a post that died an undistinguished death. Write about a post or many posts. Doesn’t matter.

He hangs it out for the world to perceive.

That is what I did, when I wrote the post, A Discrete Process of Abstraction.

This post deserved more attention than it got because it summarised well, my thought process of all that goes into most of my blogs; especially this blog. Because the name of this blog is a coined word, many often ask me what it means. Well, this post captured the meaning of Gaizabonts as discretely as is possible. EU, perhaps, caught on to the message, to an extent; commented that, that is precisely the reason why most may find it difficult to comment on this blog. The lack of context; which is a kind of a loop. The reason of avoiding explicit context is to begin a conversation, abstract though it might be. In explicit context, all is (often) understood and clear. It seldom leaves any room for further discussion. (Yet my blog-travels have proven me hopelessly wrong); the fogged context is supposed to be a conversation starter.

I know I have lost significant participation here since this flavour of abstraction began.

Why do I think this post failed? It was very dogmatic, to begin with. Its statement left no crack even, to pry open a possibility for a conversation. Then, it used artistic metaphors for something that isn’t often considered artistic. Finally it got tangled in its own wordsmithery. It still makes meaning to me, even if I shed the context I have, but I can imagine why, somewhere towards the end of the third paragraph, the reader may get lost. Anthropomorphism abounds.

And I am in serious risk of losing this blog challenge. For the same reason.

My Defunct Pen

There is a strong compulsion to write. There isn’t a thought that is insistent on expression, or such a thing, yet. The mind isn’t blank, either: there are the usual what-if thoughts associated with the day’s events. Nothing useful enough to solve a problem or to understand the world around me (or within me, for that matter).

Every time I use my ink pen, I am reminded of school. I recall, a senior, was once questioned by a teacher about the ink-spill on his hands.

Blood of knowledge, he replied instantly.

I remember nothing about him, except his name, and his face at that instant. I am pleasantly surprised that I do.

Leaky pens, misbehaving ink-droppers.
Dinner laid out.
Old rag to clean the hands and the pen’s barrel.
Mother’s automatic assumption: wash your hands before you come for dinner…


I am now attempting to write fast — simulate the feeling of writing an examination paper. History, perhaps, or English. They were ink-intensive. No diagrams, no pencils and compass boxes. I see it almost perfectly as it used to be.

The watch, off the hand, on the desk.
The backup pen(s) laid out.
Click of the clip-board.
The four-page main answer sheet — supplementary sheets to come, if you knew most answers.
Remember to draw margins, while waiting for the question paper.
Get you roll number right.
The purposefulness of answering the questions; solving problems.
Name and roll-number on all supplementary sheets.
Ensuring you get the thread to tie all the supplementary sheets.
Ensure that you number the supplementary sheets correctly.
And even if you are still writing the paper, tie them all up in the last 15 minutes and continue writing. You never know, sometimes they would snatch the paper from you, when the bell went.
Writing fast, yet maintaining a good handwriting.
All this while, ignoring the intense escalating pain in your index finger.


I stopped using the ink pen with advent of the micro-tip pen. Then to the gel-inks and other technological innovations. Perhaps, I wanted to let go of the memory of writing a time-bound examination paper. And then, there was no need to write as fast.

But somewhere (and perhaps, even, therefore), with the ink pen, the purposefulness of answering questions was also lost. Sentences started becoming phrases, phrases became keywords. And because t was only keywords, why write at all — not too difficult to remember keywords. Not surprisingly, very soon, I lost my handwriting to the keyboard.

Slowly but surely, there was more typing and a micro-tip pen lasted more than any pen I ever owned. In the ink pens, the ink dried and sad flakes clung to the inside of the barrel.

The ink pen now became an object of romance — a something to help you go back — in the hope that the determined nature of answering questions, will be ours again. Rather than being the sword that drips the blood of knowledge, it became an accessory. The branded clip or the monogrammed head of the pen’s cap, on display.

Heck, most forms today insist on using a ball-point pen.

Sometimes, it is good to just go back and get your Camlin, Cruiser, or Hero pen out of the shoe-box of school memories and write with determined aimlessness. It not only reminds you how you used to answer questions; solve problems — it gives answers; solves problems.