Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Once in a while I have a thought that begs to be shared so pitifully that I force myself to sit in front of this here box and attempt to pull it bodily out of my brain. Alas, often my skill will not allow it to be done, and at other times it is my laziness at fault, and so I'm stuck with tens of drafts that I will never complete as long as they're sitting there unpublished.
Here they are, then. With dates attached. I think I might just keep adding to them as I go along.

My city has become a menagerie of shouting people.

wts txt spk? is dat whn u tlk lik dis? i cant do it 2 wel........its tuff to think of ways to shrtn the wrds apart 4m removing vowels dammit a relapse.
But that's text speak, and I want to talk about the postrophe. Lynn Truss wrote an entire book about it, but I don't care. How do perfectly intelligent, erudite, well-read persons end up confusing its and it's?

What's the likelihood that there'll be an entire book on text-speak soon? Very high, I'd say. People talk about it all the time. Mostly the ones talking are the ones bemoaning the loss of sensible spelling, and I've read at least four newspaper editorials on the subject.

I'm not doing
What I can't get around is the staggering amount of apostrophe abuse around. I don't think I'll be able to say it any better than Lynn Truss, so I shan't try. I will just choose one certain little annoying trend I've noticed in

I can't understand its and it's, though. Some of the smartest and best read people I know make that error. It's horrendous. Its horrendous.
I hate the way it pulls you up right in the middle of whatever you're reading. Inexcusable, in my opinion, especially when they spend their time poking fun at people with poor grammar and then turn around and say "whatever" when you point the error out to them yourself....
I mean, don't you read whatever you've just written before you post it???
Damn, some people are stubborn and stupid.
3/18/07 9:07 PM

Something that was brought home to me the other day was the fact that far too much depends on appearances. How much do we change by walking down the street proclaiming we can do as we want, wear what we want, say what we want? Perhaps not as much as we aim for.
The truth is that the way you walk says so much more about you than the clothes you wear. Unless, of course, you're wearing something designed to be so eye-catching that it detracts from everything else!

Is there a line that "decent" girls should not cross? Yes. There is. But it isn't the same line for everyone. My idea of clothes I will not step out of the house wearing are different from those of my sister, for example.
Just the other day, I watched a young man at a traffic signal pull out a comb and style his hair into something closely resembling a bush of some sort, but he seemed exrtremely pleased with the result. So that's my line. Wear something that makes you look good.
Something in colours that complement. A cut that accentuates. Be pretty.
3/29/07 7:04 AM

My boss thinks women should protect themselves from male eyes.
He asked me about Blank Noise. "Why do you think men do those things? It's because of the way women dress! Between a woman wearing a miniskirt and a woman wearing a sari, who do you think is more likely to be molested? If you don't respect yourself how can a man respect you?"
"Men and women are made to attract each other", he says. He thinks women can prevent harassment by covering themselves up. "If you wear a burkha", he says, "then you're completely protected."
There was something so entirely disturbing about the way he told me this; the manner in which he posed it as a self-evident truth shocked me so much; that I found myself unable to defend my position at all.

Is it a male conspiracy, this celebrating a woman's freedom to deck her body? I do not know. Perhaps men do go along with women's rights because they think that they will get a chance to see more skin. But then again, women should be able to show their skin even if they know men will look.

What do we ask for, with the clothes we wear? Respect? Attention? Flattery?
Does it make a difference?
What we wear should reflect where we're going, what we're doing, what season it is. I think the question of poorly dressed does not arise as long as you are dressed to fit the occasion. Isn't it rude to attend a wedding in shorts, for example? It isn't about covering yourself, or being decent. It is about fitting the profile, about looking as though you belong. And as long as we are part of society, it is necessary to make sure we respect the boundaries that circumstances demand.
The only thing that's changing is the idea of everyday wear. What is it appropriate to wear, if you're not doing anything special? One wears shorts or jogging tracks to walk in the morning, to go to the gym, to play tennis. One wears a sari to a wedding, one wears formal clothes to interviews. One wears jeans to construction sites. We dress sensibly as long as we know the boundaries created by societal norms or dictated by comfort and common sense.
What happens with a regular outfit, though? What are you "allowed" to wear when you're out on the street on an ordinary day? Things that send the wrong message? Who decides that? I think each of us do. What I think every woman must do, in my opinion, is to look at herself once before she leaves the house. Stand in front of the mirror. Lift your arms, bend over. If your clothes stay where they're supposed to, and you don't expose any more skin, any fat, any hidden parts that were covered when you were standing still, then you're okay to go.
If you do expose those things, well, then, you're just not well dressed.
The women on the street I find badly dressed are the ones wearing things that don't suit their figures. Tight shirts showing tires of fat. Low pants that fit so poorly you can see underwear when they sit down. The beautiful thing about a salwar kameez is the fact that it suits anyone if cut properly, and the main reason we wear clothes is to be comfortable, isn't it?

I have rules about things I would not wear in public. I will not wear something that reveals my nipples, because of the fear of titillating the man on the street. I will not wear clothes that display cleavage, because of the same reason. I will not wear clothes that show my thighs above the knee, because I believe shorts or short skirts absolutely do not flatter my figure.

The mental thumb rule for me, then, is this: do not draw attention to any one part of your body as a part belonging to a woman. Not unless your objective is to do so. People attach to all outfits a purpose for wearing them. Why would you wear shorts? Or display cleavage? Why would you? If you have a reason, and one can see that reason, then i think no one can question or comment on your choice of dress.

This is just so much patriarchal rubbish. :( I'm a brainwash.

I once promised a friend I would write a post about the misuse of punctuation

I've been wondering lately about how limited all forms of expression are when compared to the real thing.
How do you describe in words the exact tilt of someone's head and the lilt in their voice and the way you feel when they smile to punctuate?
6/3/07 6:05 AM

My sister has a friend who used to call home and ask to speak to her.
She would say, "Hello, is MySister'sName there?"
My mother would later rail and rant over the loss of politeness in the young, and I? I would agree with her.
Lately, though, T has been wondering about boundaries and the way people follow rules in different places. T has been wondering this as she works in an office on the grounds of a traditional Muslim house. How true that it is only
Do we treat other people the way we hope, in our heart of hearts, to be treated? I submit that it is a more than distinct possibility in my own case. After all, do I not give every new and old friend the benefit of the doubt, and their space, and hugs whenever I feel like they need some? Butyes!
It's not really a solution to anything, though. If everyone went around treating everyone else the way they wished to be treated, no one would get treated the way they wanted to be treated.

There is a microphone in the house now.

I don't like it so much.

I think the real problem with writing with Squid Piss™ on Dead Trees™ is that

Brad Bird's The Incredibles has a line that might have struck me more if it hadn't been as oft-quoted as it was - "Everyone can be super. And when everyone's super, no one will be."
And again: "They keep creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity, but if someone is genuinely exceptional..."

I have watched performances by people who are disabled or autistic or children, and I never until recently questioned that a chance had to be given to those less privileged. Do we really value quality so little that we celebrate effort more than achievement?
Does all achievement have to be weighted against opportunity and upbringing and situation? When put like that, of course, it sounds a stupid question: the very basis for academic equality in the best institutions is based on that weightage.

It strikes me, however, that it is only in the field of education that merit speaks for itself - the concrete proofs of your excellence are valued as they ought to be. It is in the fields of the performing arts that the distinction has become blurred - where the mediocre gets more recognition than the
I had an adventure today. It was only a small adventure; minuscule, really; but I've been stuck indoors so long that anything out of the ordinary excites me...
I went for a walk today. I wore my brand new pink reebok sneakers (I know, I know. Pink sneakers. But they're new.)
And I sat there on the stone wall and wrote a letter. With a little lizard in it.
10/10/07 6:16 PM (this is a special day.)

the so-strangest thought
i have had one of those, i have.

Bear with me. My theories are often based on little more than random burblings of my mind when tired or hungry or travelling or some such, but they are usually interesting theories and this one...has promise.
I feel as though I have been...putty. Malleable,
12/18/07 11:38 PM (this is when the heart broke)

P.S. It is very nice to have three adventures in two days and then stay awake until five a.m. reading. :)

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