Welcome to Darkside Daily

When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Bah Humbug

And so it's Christmas (eve).


In all my years on this earth, Christmas Eve has always been a day that marked a) me enjoying my birthday loot of the previous day and b) the anticipation of the loot from the next day. Often people have asked me if I got combined 'economy' gifts since my birthday was just 2 days before Christmas, and I have snickered at the thought every time. No, I was lucky in that my generous parents indulged my childish greed.


Fast forward to the present, however, and I feel like something is missing.


I've just turned 26, and I am now looking back at what the average man considers to be a a little over a third of his time on this earth. While I have been known to brood often, I usually am able to go through the holiday season without mournful introspection. This year though has just been very, very different.


It's been a great month in many respects, but not such a great year. More than anything, I feel a sense of relief that it's over, and I can now mentally start a new leaf thanks to the new year. But then, isn't that the case every year? The new year resolutions, the promises, the hope and optimism for a better year to come?


I'm not quite sure why I feel very jaded about this season. Perhaps it's been the work, and the busy schedule I've had this month. Perhaps it's the lack of real family time, and the little time I've had at home being tainted with endless chores and duties for the family. Even now, we are busily clearing up the house for guests next week, and stressing over a plan to go to Nuwara Eliya and Colombo with them. All the while, I'm planning on making a fake excuse to stay at work and skip it all. I'd much rather be left alone.


I have often wondered how my parents are so nonchalant about their birthdays and christmas. Their non-interest in getting presents or treats was something I couldn't quite fathom when I was young, especially since I was usually so giddy with anticipation to dive under the tree and tear off whatever gift wrapping was in my way. Yet, perhaps they've just gotten tired of it all, for at the end of the day, they still had to work till the 23rd, they still had a house to maintain, bills to pay, and often, family to entertain. Perhaps, I now understand it.


Perhaps I'm going through something similar. I hope not.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sleeping Awake

Last month I (finally) watched 'Inception', and this morning I had a dream.


'Inception' is quite possibly (in my opinion) this decade's equivalent of 'The Matrix'; a stunning and mind-blowing story told in amazing fashion by Christopher Nolan. For those who haven't seen it yet, it tells the story of a group of people who steal ideas and information from others by entering their dreams and tricking their target's minds. I can't even describe it properly and do it justice, so I'm just going to link the imdb page here and you can watch the trailer below.




Take it from me, a really fantastic movie. Not since I saw 'Dark Knight' (coincidentally, another Nolan project) have I actually gone back and pondered over the storyline of a movie long after I had finished watching it.


And now, on to this morning. Today I reached our staff quarters a little earlier than usual, so I decided to take a power-nap before getting dressed for work. As is often the case with these short naps, it was filled with very realistic dreams.

One of them featured two of my very close friends from India, where I studied. Part of me knew it had to be a dream, and yet the rest of me was convinced that they had actually arrived at my work place to surprise me. One of them was my room-mate from college, and as can be expected, he looked exactly like he did back then, down to the terrible hair cut. My other friend was lounging on my bed the way he used to in hostel, reading something with that half-intellectual, half-amused smirk on his face, and for all intents and purposes it might as well have been 2005 all over again.

And then, I woke up.

As my eyes opened, and I took in the very real surroundings of my room, I realised two things: a) I was dreaming and b) I was, surprisingly, exceedingly upset about it. The power that dream had over me was amazing; it took me a good 3-5 seconds to get my head straight, and during that time I felt immense and very real disappointment.


I have no idea why those two featured in my dream, as I haven't spoken to or heard from them in years. Nothing in the recent past made me even think about them of late, and yet somehow my brain dug up those images from almost 6 years ago to replay in my unconscious mind, just like it was yesterday.

Something so random, and yet it got me thinking about the sheer processing power and untapped potential of the human brain, and its amazing ability to lift and destroy our mood, and as a result, our very lives. If it's true we use just 10% of our brains, imagine just how powerful we really are. In fact, the very act of imagining itself is an amazing feat in itself.


I guess I'll end with this; made famous from the movie 'Coach Carter', it's a quote from Marianne Wilson's book "A Return To Love".


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."


Friday, December 3, 2010

Was This Necessary?




While I'm sure none of my readers would find this worthy of a post, and in fact, most would find this highly amusing (it is quite clever isn't it?), my question is:

Was it necessary?


Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Family Planning


I'm sure I'm not the only one that stops and wonders "What were they thinking??" when coming across a very large family. I'm not talking about a 'family of five', mind you; I'm talking basketball team plus reserves. While I'm sure there are ways to handle such a large family, it just strikes me as being silly and inviting conflict more than anything else, especially these days. Some kid always ends up the favourite, and daddy always gives him the 'coat of many colours', and next thing you know his bro's be selling his ass to some tourists.


Raising a family is no laughing matter. It's something that, regrettably, crosses my mind every now and then, much to my own dismay. Perhaps I'm having a mid-twenties crisis; perhaps I just have too much free time. Whatever the reason, it is a legitimate reason for stress.


I mean, have you seen what the kids are doing these days?!


Lets face it; the kids aren't alright. They got issues, stemming from a smorgasbord of factors ranging from the petty to the pretty freaky, and no one can deny it. Naturally, we try to create safe environments for them, organise programmes to teach them it's in fact not a good idea to get knocked up in high school, that drugs and alcohol are only cool when both you and it are legal, and yet somehow, we've forgotten all about the parents.


Who's talking to them?


I am convinced that I would be a terrible father right now, simply because I just haven't experienced enough to qualify myself for the post. As I look at my own parents who, just like all parents, are great but far from perfect, I realise how much of thought and planning went ahead of both my brother's and my arrival into this world. I see how their experiences, both good and bad, have influenced the way they raised us. It's a fascinating study, one that only people who are as jobless as I am seem to notice these days.


But where do you learn about becoming a parent? What kind of life experience could possibly be relevant to the raising of an infant? Sure, there are books and studies on these things, but those are as helpful as googling how to ride a bike. Do our work and social lives really provide us with enlightenment towards being a better parent? Knowing how to organise a party or negotiate a deal or how to raise funds for a charity; all completely useless to a parent. My expertise lies in basketball. I hardly see how my knowledge of a pick-and-roll or a backdoor screen will be relevant at all. And no, none of those are related to sex, you pervert.


It's at this point that my mind freezes, turns to a blue screen and reboots.


I know this is a completely random post, and rest assured I am nowhere near the perils of becoming a parent. Yet, something for you, dear readers, to ponder on before you decide to bring a screaming miniature version of yourself into the world!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Living and Story-Telling

Yes I'm still here.

Due to a sudden avalanche of work-related activity (notice how I didn't say 'work' per se) my return to blogging suffered a slight break from the internet. It's a shame, especially since there were many times when I felt the stirrings of a post but didn't have a laptop nearby.

Either way, it's been an eventful 3 weeks, and I feel I have made it out relatively unscathed. As I type that sentence out, I once again realise how 'survivalist' I sound. Honestly, I think I need a break from all this 'fighting' and 'surviving'. I just want to live for a while, no matter how teenage-angstish that may sound.




Recently we went out for dinner with some family friends. My father had schooled with him, and he regaled us with stories of all the mad things they did while in school to their lecturers and classmates, ranging from theft to forgery to faking suicide. It was all done in 'good humour' though, where the students often owned up to their pranks, unlike nowadays when students seem to commit pranks for a more sinister agenda. Many times I wanted to interject with some story of mine from school or college, but every time I had to stop myself because it just didn't fit. I wanted to tell the story of how some guys got caught smoking weed in the chapel at night while drinking arrack from the chapel chalices, or that time some kids broke into a lecturer's chambers to change their marks, only to be expelled a week later (the lecturer had a backup and just checked which grades were changed). But none of them seemed to be appropriate for the kind of humour that existed among students 'back in the day'.

As I sat there laughing by guts off at their stories, I wondered what kind of stories I'd tell when I was in my 60's, and whether I'd be able to tell them at all.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rise

~The Rise of a Planet II by 'taenaron~

It's been a while, hasn't it?


I haven't written a post in a long time, and I find myself struggling to start this one. I missed writing. When you write, you have time to read and review what you say, before putting it out for your audience to see. It is an advantage that I would dearly like to have with the spoken word, for I have lost count of the number of times I have spoken without intending to, or said something that ended up being taken in a way I had not intended.

There were two reasons why I stopped blogging:

1) I didn't enjoy it anymore.

My posts had turned so - gloomy - and no one likes a whiner. It was not just the content, it was also the quality. Whenever my mouse hovered over the 'publish' button, I could hear my older posts mocking my new one already. It just wasn't the same, and it somehow lacked that zing. I didn't want my blog to suddenly turn into a party-of-one-pity-party, the type I had often mocked 'back in the day'. It had to end.

2) It reminded me of how much had changed.

Perhaps the biggest reason was that I realised I was not the same person I was back when I started blogging. My blog constantly reminded me that there was a time when I was happier, and a lot less - poisonous. Had I changed so much? Had I let life's challenges rob me of my laughter, or had I been the one that decided to focus my efforts solely on survival rather than actually living?


Another reason, I suppose, was that I was increasingly distressed with what I felt was the general opinion of the blogosphere of me. This is not something I easily confess to, but honestly, due to several poor choices and bad judgement, I had perhaps built up a false persona of myself. One that was, maybe, much too close to the truth than I liked to admit.


Truth. What is the truth anyway? Is it what we say it is? Is it the general consensus, the acceptable norm? Is it a variable factor that is dependant on time, situation, place, person? If the truth is not constant, then what is?


I've learned that when people doubt you, question you or misjudge you, you only have one option, and that is to be honest. From now on, this blog will represent me as I am, whether you like what you see or not. Whether I like what I see or not.


Perhaps, the truth will set me free.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Goodbye, and Goodnight

This will be my last post, for the forseeable future, if not ever.

(Like you care)

Cheers, God bless you all.

Gehan

Friday, August 6, 2010

The End

In continuation of lyrical imagery, here is Pearl Jam with "The End".

I'll be quiet now.





"The End"

What were all those dreams we shared
those many years ago,
What were all those plans we made,
now left beside the road.
Behind us in the road.

More than friends, I always pledge,
cause friends, they come and go.
People change as does everything.
I wanted to grow old.
Just want to grow old.

Slide on next to me,
I'm just a human being.
I will take the blame, but just the same,
this is not me, you see, believe,
I'm better than this.
Don't leave me so cold.
I'm buried beneath the stones,
I just want to hold on and know I'm worth your love,
and I, I don't think, there's such a thing.

It's my fault now, I've been caught,
a sickness in my bones.
How it pains to leave you here
with the kids on your own.
Just don't let me go.

Help me see myself,
Cause I can no longer tell,
Looking up from inside of the bottom of a well,
it's hell, I yell, but no one hears before, I disappear,
whisper in my ear.
Give me something to echo in my unknown future,
you see, my dear, the end, comes near, I'm here,
but not much longer.



Sunday, August 1, 2010

Motorcycle Drive By



I remember the first time I heard this song was back in the winter(?) of 2001, during my first semester in college. My friend S had a fantastic collection of alternative music, ranging from the Goo Goo Dolls to Nine Days and of course, Third Eye Blind.

I've always loved this song, for a variety of reasons. I really wish I had the vocal ability to do justice to is but I definitely can't (trust me I've tried).

I just stumbled across the lyrics today for some reason, and I just love the imagery it paints in my head. It's just so.. vivid. I don't want to write more; just click play, and read along.

Let me know what you see.


Have a great week guys. Cheers!


G



Motorcycle Drive By - Third Eye Blind

Summer time and the wind is blowing outside
in lower Chelsea
And I don't know what I'm doing in this city
The sun is always in my eyes
It crashes through the windows
And I'm sleeping on the couch
When I came to visit you
That's when I knew
That I could never have you
I knew that before you did
Still I'm the one who's stupid

And there's this burning
Like there's always been
I've never been so alone
And I've
Never been so alive

Visions of you on a motorcycle drive by
The cigarette ash flies in your eyes and you don't mind
you smile
And say the world it doesn't fit with you
I don't believe you
You're so serene
Careening through the universe
Your axis on a tilt
You're guiltless and free
I hope you take a piece of me with you

And there's things I'd like to do
That you don't believe in
I would like to build something
But you'll never see it happen
And there's this burning
Like there's always been
I've never been so alone
And I've
I've never been so alive

And there's this burning
There is this burning
(yeaa)

Where's the soul I want to know
New York City is evil
The surface is everything
But I could never do that
Someone would see through that
And this is the last time
We'll be friends again
And I'll get over you
And you'll wonder who I am
And there's this burning,
Just like there's always been
I've never been so alone, alone
And I've, and I've
I've never been so alive

So alive

I go home to the coast it starts to rain I paddle out on the water
Alone
Taste the salt and taste the pain
I'm not thinking of you again
Summer dies and swells rise
The sun goes down in my eyes
See this rolling wave
Darkly coming
To take me
Home

And I never been so alone
And I've never been so alive

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Perfection And Promises

I remember it like it was yesterday.

I stood at the entrance to my room and paused, just to survey it. It was somewhat spartan, and yet it felt homely to me. Doesn't speak much of my idea of 'home' I suppose. My trusty bedside lamp was on, providing me with its inadequate and yet appropriately dull yellow glow; a peaceful silence seeped through the curtainless windows, waiting as if with bated breath.

"Must get curtains.", I tell myself. I need my privacy, and never as much as I needed it tonight.

The bed was made, and the fan was on. I almost hated to switch it on, it disturbed the quiet that I had been soaking in till then. At that point I realised I was being rather OCD about all this, and I smiled to myself. She was just coming to say 'hi', that's all.

I moved my shoes to the corner, sat on the bed and once again surveyed the room. I felt myself growing anxious with every passing minute in my attempt to make everything just right. I wasn't even sure what I was expecting for that night; all I knew was that I had learned to expect the unexpected. Just a few weeks earlier I had been 'surprised' at Odel; I wasn't going to let that happen again.

"Odel.", I whispered, a wry smile on my lips. I would have to get her back for that.

I turned to my laptop and flicked through iTunes, looking for something that would befit the mood. I knew so little about her, and yet I knew her so well. Kings of Leon were her favourite then, but instead I decided to queue some Andy McKee. Gentle yet precise music, with no vocals; in a strange way I found that very appropriate.

I sat back down on the bed, and waited. There was so much running through my head at that time: work concerns, family problems, and the usual barrage of static that fills your head after a long day. All that faded away though when my phone beeped to indicate a text message. I read it, and smiled as I flicked the switch of my lamp off.

Stealthily, I made my way to the front door and opened it ever so softly.

"Hi", she said, and in that moment, nothing else mattered.





This one is for you.

My inadequacies as a writer do no justice to the perfection of that night, perhaps one of the only instances where I can claim to have done something right in an ocean of wrong. My inadequacies as a man do no justice to the perfection of you, either.

Words are cheap, and my words are nothing, just as this post is nothing. Mere letters in cyberspace, soon to be erased by the passage of time like chalk writings on a pavement. Dust in the wind.

You deserve more.

I make you no more promises, for I know your distaste towards them. No more confessions of love and devotion; you are sick of them as well. I cannot ask you for anything; you have already given me so much. Perhaps though, if my words are moot, you will allow me to paraphrase someone else's.

All I ask is, now that my 'time has come';


forget the wrong that I've done
help me leave behind some
reasons to be missed
don't resent me
and when you're feeling empty
keep me in your memory



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Insomnia


While going through a few of my old draft posts, I stumbled across this. I had written it not too long ago in a moment of 'emotional abandon', a state that lasted almost until I had finished the post. After re-reading it however, I had decided against publishing it, perhaps for the same reason I am posting it now.

It's not often that I am this honest and blunt with myself, and as I read it now I find it almost refreshing. It brings a smile of understanding to my face, and while these emotions may or may not have passed by now, it still is a reminder to me on the importance of being honest with one's self.

Also, I wonder what those last lines would have read, had I continued writing.

Perhaps a more self-indulgant post, and for that I apologise. And yet, perhaps it may strike a chord with someone out there.

Cheers!


G








As usual, I'm awake when I really should be asleep. I honestly find it hard to get even a single nights sleep that is more than 5 hours these days. I thought that once the routine of work would settle in, I'd be hitting the sack early. Not so.

So I'm lying here, and I have GnR's "Civil War" going on in my head for some reason, probably from all the times I played it this morning. It's not a song that puts you to sleep.

I wonder if perhaps I am afraid to fall asleep. That doesn't make sense though. I don't have nightmares; heck, I don't have any dreams at all. The pictures I paint while lying in bed in the dark are much more vivid than any unconscious imagination could be.

One of the reasons I can't fall asleep is because unless I'm utterly exhausted, I end up thinking too much. I reflect a lot; I guess it's just my nature, and I feel that's a good thing. You can learn a lot about yourself from your past.

Personally, I know that I got a lot to learn, and a lot to fix.

It's not easy to admit that I'm wrong about myself, but I think that's where I'm at. For example, reading my old posts, especially the one about me not being a snob, I realise that perhaps I really am. I just didn't know it. It's a sad realisation, that all my indignance at these 'false' accusations were just me fighting the truth. Could it be that I was that wrong about myself?

Another thing - I think the whole 'misunderstood' label is something too liberally used as well. I find myself clinging to that myself, to explain the criticism I receive, and that's pretty sad isn't it? Hiding behind a false sense of right?

What have I become...?

The day light always brings ...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Single Ladies FTW!

There are many things wrong with couples these days. Drama has reached an all time high, as have the levels of PDA, which isn’t all bad to be honest. I always laugh at how couples try to get as close to (and discreetly feel up as much of) the other person as possible, all while walking down the street. It takes great skill and co-ordination to pull that off.

But I digress. Couples, go ahead and do ya thang, I have no issues. Except when it’s in buses and in restaurants and in a 10 foot radius of me. Then we have a problem.

Every once in a while, I make friends with a girl who is fun, relaxed, and doesn’t immediately go to that default conclusion a few annoying women do when a boy is talking to them (“OMG I think he likes me - wait till I tell my BFF - do I look fat in this? - [giggle giggle]..”). Everything is fine and normal and I don’t give anything a second thought, until said friend finds a boyfriend.

Then everything goes to hell.

First, said boyfriend tries to befriend me, if he’s not in my circle of friends. This is fine; we talk, I am polite and act like he’s the cat’s meow, everyone is happy. Right? Wrong.

Phase two involves said boyfriend acting slightly strange towards me. No worries, it’s not my problem.

And then comes phase three. The girl starts acting weird.

It’s all slightly amusing if you look at it. Let’s go with a few examples:




ME: “Hey, where were you? We missed ya at the party last night”
Girl: “Hi, yes I missed everyone that happened to be there, not just you but all persons present. As a friend, I mean”.


ME: “Hey what goes on? Haven’t spoken to you in a while, we should catch up”
Girl: “Hi, yes I haven’t spoken to a LOT of people in a while; I need to catch up with SO many people, not just you, but including you too. As a friend, of course”.


ME: “Can I borrow some cash?”
Girl: “Of course, because I would give cash to ALL my friends if they asked, since I treat them ALL equally and enjoy giving my money to anyone who asks. As.. a friend”


ME: “My cat just died, I’m depressed”
Girl: “Oh that’s terrible news, I feel AWFUL! Just like I would if anyone else’s cat died, because I love all cats equally. As a friend”





You get the point.

Naturally, blame initially falls on the boyfriend in question, but seriously how insecure would you have to be to induce such paranoia in your girlfriend? I mean, he’d have to be reading her texts for any of this to be even close to justified, and surely no one does that. Right? The only explanation I can come up with is that sometimes, when we get into a relationship, there is a particular pattern and expectation of us on how we should interact with people now on. For guys, we’re expected to find all other girls mildly boring yet tolerable, and unattractive as mud. Girls, apparently, are expected to reinforce the perimeters of the friend zone with electric fences and barbed wire.

A rather mundane and pointless observance, I know; and yet, perhaps if there are any ladies out there who are unknowingly doing this, perhaps you will realised the error of your ways and decide to give your guy-friend a break.

After all, he was there first!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Your iPhone Is A Poisoned Apple

I want to buy a phone, and I am very confused. I have been in the market for a new phone ever since the paint on my trusty SE z610i started cracking and fading faster than Robert Pattinson in direct sunlight (or is that shrivelling and dying? I really have no clue). My initial searches only ended in complete confusion; did I want a touchscreen or not, a slider or not, qwerty or not, wifi or not, android or symbian or windows mobile, batteries included, kitchen sink or not? I would like to say it was like a kid in a candy store, but at least a kid knows he has a chance of getting any one of the candies on display. For me it was more just tech-porn.

And then I saw - a goddess.

Sleek. Slim. Curves in all the right places. Sophisticated. Bright. And likes to be touched.

No, I didn't meet Angelina Jolie. It was the iPhone 4.


Fine, so its not a goddess, and perhaps not even female (though I wonder why not). Yet, you have to admit that the new iPhone has been stirring up peoples interest for a while now, what with all the armies camping outside stores, waiting for the first shipment. It sounded extremely nifty in Steve Jobs trademark presentation, plus - well, it's an iPhone right?? What more could you want?!

Adding the magical lower case 'i' in front of anything has been the digital age Midas touch, turning any product into marketing gold. The mp3 player was not a new technology when the iPod came along, but Apple turned it into some form of status symbol. Then they made it smaller, and smaller, until you had the new Shuffle almost as big as your finger nail, and they make it sound as if that was a good thing. All I know is, if I pay that much money for something, I don't want there to be a chance of it vanishing in the first stiff breeze.

Then there was the iPad. I still don't know what that does.

And now the iPhone.

Make no mistake, I think it's very cool in its functionality, but from what I've gathered, the phones have never really been excellent at phone calls. You would think that they could at least devise some new technology that would make phone calls sound like they were right there with you, but no; call quality remains "good". I don't want good, I want flippin' fantastic for that price. As for the design, don't get me started. the old iPhones have just been slightly un-pretty, to say the least.

Perhaps it's just personal preference though. Of course, the phones are well engineered, and they have pushed the borders in many areas. Which is why with the new iPhone 4 launch, I was expecting it to be the real-life version of a Bond gadget, complete with satellite link-ups and cool exploding gizmos.



Instead, we got probably one of the worst PR disasters for Apple in a long time, with several phones either having yellow or white spots on their displays. And then there was the 'death grip'. Apparently, if you hold the phone in a particular way i.e., in your left hand like any normal phone, the attenas short out and you lose signal.


Yes, the iPhone 4 only makes calls if you use your right hand.


The legion of Apple maniacs have been quick to forgive this engineering defect, and even quicker to brush off Steve Job's arrogant response to this flaw ("Just don't hold it like that"). And who can blame them, they probably withstood rain and sleet to get their hands on one in the first place.


My point is, no other company could have survived this sort of disaster. People are already making fun of the 'death grip' like this Motorola Droid X ad and this article on how to fix your iPhone problem. It's a catastrophe on the face of it - a phone that makes calls sometimes.

Yes, yes, it's got a whole stash of nifty gadgets too and a mediocre camera, but for pete's sake it's a phone. It has to make calls whenever and however I want to, right handed, left handed, upside down and sideways.

So, my question is - have I been going about this the wrong way? Like I said before, I have no beef with Apple in general. I own a 4th generation iPod myself, and it does just fine except for the annoyance that is iTunes. But has marketing succeeded so much that we have lost the ability to judge electronics solely on merit? I would buy a phone if it worked well and perhaps looked good as well. It has to suit me. Some of the new smartphones in the market look like an expensive ornament that would shatter into a million pieces if it spent a day in someones pocket without heavy protection.


So dear Apple users; I envy your spending power, but try not to make it that easy for Steve Jobs to steal your money.

In closing, please please read this cartoon courtesy 'The Oatmeal' on what its like to own an Apple product. Hilarious!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday, T...!

This post is largely redundant (in more ways than one), especially since T's birthday was a good two days ago. However, I am going to ignore that minor technicality and cling to the hope that it really is better late than never.


I have known T for quite a long time, in fact it was on her birthday last year that I first spoke to her. Well, that's not entirely true; I called her, and she put me on voicemail. Needless to say, my planned smooth dialogue promptly fell to pieces when faced with the silence of a voicemail.


Despite this, we had been in contact for a long time via email, which all started due to her rather shady comment she posted here.(You'll have to scroll all the way to the bottom; on a side note, wow I used to get a lot of comments!) As it turned out (and much to my disappointment, I must add), it was a song request. I was very touched, and most of our correspondence from then on was always centered around the music I did, and suggestions for new covers. I remember smiling to myself when she suggested some extremely difficult songs, as she seemed convinced I could sing anything. The most famous ones though will always be the 'mystery songs' she heard while smoking up in Jamaica, the ones she would have told me about if only she could remember!


While she has been one of my biggest fans, she has also been one of my harshest critics, and I think perhaps that made me respect her opinion even more. I would later find out that she was head groupie/music critic for the band LBW, a very talented local band over in the States, and so she was no rookie at this.


Over the last year, she has gone from an anonymous blogger to someone who will forever be rooted in a special corner of my heart. We meet people every day that we sometimes laugh at, sometimes forget. Rarely do we find those unique people that challenge us in the way T has done to me. Rarely do we find people with a face (the horror!) like hers either, but that's another story entirely...


So, when she first stumbled across this song and told me how much she loved it, I think it was only natural I should attempt to cover it for her, seeing as I lost the keys to my private jet and wouldn't be able to be there for her big non-birthday. While I am always wary of my own music, forever analysing and over-analysing each minute note and bar, her reaction when she first heard it, and her subsequent reactions to every other listen, easily erase any technical faults I may find in it.


So, happy birthday T. Thank you for the wonderful, wicked, whirlwind year we had together so far, the scandalous adventures, the heart-warming moments, the lows and the dizzying highs. Here's to many more years of face-jokes, failed attempts at dieting and generous dissing of the world in general.


Much love (and a slice of cheesecake, 'cos we both know you prefer that!)


G




If you want to download the audio, just click here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Respect Your Elders, Children Of Rock

I remember growing up how into R&B and Hip Hop I was, feasting on all manner of soul, blues, and occasional jazz. I was lucky in that I didn't fall too deep into the pop music 'revolution' (I was the 'uncool' guy that didn't know all the Spice Girls' names) but lets face it, we all listened to the Backstreet Boys at some stage.

Before the dawn of CD's, us 80's babies used to make do with recording an endless array of tapes off the radio. I had a small library, which I diligently updated every 2 weeks or so, filled with Will Smith, Boyz II Men, Babyface, 98 Degrees, Coolio and if I remember correctly, even some (radio friendly) 2Pac.

One day however, while listening to YES FM with my finger hovering over the record button, I suddenly heard "Sweet Child of Mine" by Guns 'n' Roses, and my life was never the same again.

Well not really.

While GNR never revolutionised my music taste, it did mark the opening of rock music to me, and it wasn't long before I fell in love with Incubus, Nickelback and Third Eye Blind. After that, there was no turning back.

Modern rock and alternative rock have really changed over the last decade or so, and it was just recently I was speaking with a friend about the 'golden age' of alternative music that was made up of the above mentioned artists as well as the Goo Goo Dolls, Hootie and the Blowfish and Matchbox 20. Nowadays, I find most of the 'good stuff' is churned out by one-hit-wonders, who make one or two good tracks that I will enjoy but not enough to go out and download buy their album.

So when I heard Slash was back with a new solo album, I was definitely interested enough to go look for the torrent album as soon as possible. I am still in the process of listening to it, though so far it has been only average. Still, it ignited some memories of the 'old days' where rockers were bad for you but rock 'n roll was good for you.

So no matter what your musical taste, or even if you don't like GNR, I highly recommend you give a listen to these amazing live covers played at the MTV Classic Launch in Australia earlier this year. On vocals is Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge, who probably does as good a job as can be expected when you're covering Axl Rose. Fantastic music, believe me. While I have heard these tracks countless number of times, it was great to watch my younger brother listen to them and be blown away. That is probably the definition of classic.

Enjoy!



Sweet Child O' Mine




Civil War




Night Train




Paradise City


Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Subtle Art Of Humour

So three guys walk into a bar...

One of the most coveted adjectives that most men strive to attain is that of being 'funny' - and no, I don't mean in the I-think-he's-a-pedo way.

I never was the funniest guy in the world, and in many of my earlier blog posts I often mentioned how my attempts at humourous writing were often derived from hours of careful pondering and several failed experiments. Unlike Jerry, I was hesitant to simply string together random and unrelated every-day objects to produce an analogy. It was much too hit-and-miss for me, and perhaps only Jerry's formidable comedic genius allows him this luxury (the buttered cat is still a personal favourite).

Still, I wrote my fair share of funny posts back in the day, and unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your view) those have all but disappeared on this blog over the last year or so, though more a reflection of my circumstance than my writing abilities. I chose not to force anything out for, as the saying goes, either you got it or you don't.

There is a subtle shift in what we find 'funny' of late, and I feel this is reflected in our conversations and even in the media. The last decade or so has brought us such atrocities as "American Pie", "Euro Trip", "Sex Drive" and (insert teen related sex movie here). I admit I find some of them humourous and perhaps even witty, but there is only so many times I can watch some naked guy fall into a bush, hump a pie or get caught wanking off by his parents. It gets old.

The same goes for real life; it's rare to find a person who is genuinely funny and can actually make a good joke that doesn't involve comparing something to genitalia. However, I've noticed that this only applies to my english speaking friends. When it comes to Sinhala, it's a totally new ball game.

Telling a funny Sinhala joke will probably be an art that will forever escape me, but I can at least appreciate those that can. After spending the last 3-4 months with largely Sinhala speaking guys, I've found that it doesn't really take much to make a good Sinhala joke. It's not so much about the content, it's the delivery; the right inflection here, the right pause there, and everyone is in fits of laughter. Perhaps it's just me, but I feel it's a lot easier to make something, anything funnier in Sinhala.

And THAT is what I feel is missing these days. People are always looking to tell us a funny story, never really bothering about how they tell it. Sarcasm is a lost art these days, and I am forced to get my fix from re-runs of House. The last time I met someone who knew how to be sarcastic was T. The first time we met was at a coffee shop, and I had picked the table. Sweetly, she commended me on choosing a table with such an excellent view, and I immediately thanked her without giving it much thought. She then looked at me dead-pan, looked out the window at the walled off parking lot, and said "I was being sarcastic."

I'd have applauded if I wasn't so utterly embarrassed.

Good times.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's Not Cheating If...


... it's for practice.

Probably one of the funnier responses to a trending hashtag on twitter recently, followed by "it's your mother" and "we're on a 'break'... ".


Of late I have had several discussions and conversations about infidelity. It seems that it is the latest trend that is doing the rounds in all circles, both the friends and the famous. I am hardly the person to come to for juicy gossip; everyone knows I have little or no interest in other people's dramas, at least not enough to spread the word. However, this tight-lipped-ness is also a magnet for all those people that have stumbled onto a secret and are not allowed to tell another living soul. Apparently, I am either not living, or without a soul.


While filtering through all the 'goss' that comes to me (which I dutifully keep to myself, of course) I notice that I don't have to look to Hollywood or the tabloids for scandal. I hear of bizarre hook-ups, between best friends and ex's of siblings; I hear of cheating on spouses and lovers; I hear of drunken one-night stands and year long secret relationships. In short, life has become the set of "The Bold and The Beautiful".


I have often been called judgemental, so I try to be as open-minded to these things as possible. Having never been in such a situation, perhaps I do not get the thinking and the reasoning behind it. 'Angel' wrote a few interesting posts on the topic, but I'm not really trying to 'define' what cheating is, but rather the thinking behind it.


Take for example, dating an ex of your best friend or sibling. While men stick to the unwritten rule of "bro's before ho's" whenever possible, clearly someone forgot to create a witty saying regarding the bro's leftovers. I think there are some lines that just shouldn't be crossed, and if they are then you're either in the most understanding of relationships or in an episode of One Tree Hill. Same goes for best friends; I mean, how do you go out with someone knowing that your best friend has already - err - gone out with her? That's just not something you can male-bond over. As for women, well, you're going to have the "who's the ugly sister?" looping in your head throughout the relationship.


Infidelity in marriage is nothing new these days, infact it's almost yawn-inducing. It's come to the point where I am sure people get married just so that they can get involved in some steamy scandal ala the silver screen. "Marriage? You want me to get married Ammi? YES! FINALLY! No more conservative living, time to get my freak on...!"

In this strange world of infidelity, the one-night stand is probably one of the more forgivable, especially if there is alcohol involved.




"I wasn't in my senses baby", he says, tears streaming down his face, "I just had too much to drink at the strip club, and I thought I was in a Snoop video."




Why anyone would want to let that slide is beyond me; in my opinion you're just encouraging it in the future then. However, I'm not quite sure about that one though, so please, don't go experimenting based on anythin I say here!





Bottom line: I'm just a bit saddened that it's so hard to find completely faithful couples these days. There was a time when perhaps holding another girl a bit too closely would be equivalent to 'cheating', but nowadays people don't just cross the line, they run all the way to the end zone.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wherever You Will Go

I'm not even sure what to write about this song; I find it increasingly hard to explain the thought processes that go on while doing a cover. When it's straight forward, you can write about the lyrics and the tune and how you decided on doing it, but that's all rather academic and no one's really interested in that.

This cover is pretty unique, simply because I may have actually created a song that is too difficult for me to sing. Switching up a song and making it your own is always risky, and more often than not it ends in failure. Trust me, I've listened to this cover at least 50 times since I recorded it and I'm still not sure which category it falls into.

"Wherever You Will Go" is such a classic early 2000's happy song, back from the golden era of alternative rock music. I was told recently that I sometimes do songs that are too similar, and that I tend to favour the moody minor songs. Which is why I thought I'd do this as a cover, and honestly it sounded good until I played a wrong chord, and all of a sudden this haunting, echoing version was born.

While I played it I felt all the happy hopefulness of the original song drain away into this empty, almost desperate alternate version. The promise of 'going wherever you will go' had turned into 'I'm not there, but you will never be able to get rid of me'. A declaration of love had turned into an ominous vow of sorts.

My imagery is heavily biased towards all things dark and shady, I admit. So I'll leave that to you, the listener.

As always, click here for the original, and click here to download the mp3 of the cover.

Peace.

G



Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Alone

We are all alone.

It has been a tough few days for me (I say that a lot don't I?), both on the home front and the personal front. Of late I've started feeling like everything in my life has just gotten too loud, and I'm unable to find the volume control.

Panic and pressure are nothing new to me, neither is the feeling of having my hands tied. (No I don't mean that in a good way.) Most of my college life, and the year after in which I was quite literally 'lost' with regards to job hunting, I always felt I was under 'too much'. Most of the time I was wrong, at least during my first few years abroad. I was just unable to handle what normal students would call 'exam tension', and as a result I moped instead of mugged, resulting in poor grades and a GPA sink-hole that would affect the next 4 years of my life. Yes, I was an idiot.

I learnt my lesson, and my final years in college went by with more success, even if the pressure and the stakes had now more than quadrupled. I realised that if I didn't show my panic and my worries to the outside world, I felt stronger. This was rather easily achieved; I have never been more alone than that final year in India, where I lodged in a hostel of more than 1000 people, all juniors, and all strangers. Every friend or even aquaintance I had made over the years in my campus had graduated and left, and so I walked between hostel, library and canteen all to myself, my blue headphones firmly clamped on my ears and my trusty Creative mp3 player clamped to my pocket. Yes, I looked like an idiot.

Things have looked up since then. I returned home, back to the comforts of home and family. I bonded with my brother, so much so that his return from school was the only thing that kept me going, especially during the trials that our family went through last year. I made new friends, and I fell in love. I got a job, and I found some form of independance. I spent half my birthday in a hospital. Yeah, that was legendary.

Last night, I couldn't fall asleep, so I got out of bed and switched on my small bedside lamp. That lamp is more than 9 years old, and had been my companion during my entire uni life. I had brought it to my work lodgings only that morning, and as I sat at my desk in that familiar yellow glow, I felt a feeling of deja vu. Late nights, quiet, alone in a large room, the reflection of the yellow beams on the wooden table.

I sat there and I realised that we spend most of our lifetime with ourselves rather than with other people. Whatever time we enjoy with others, whatever fun we have in the company of friends, those are all just benefits not to be taken lightly.

Perhaps when we realise that fact, and accept it instead of cursing the loneliness and complaining about it, perhaps then we can truly be at peace with ourselves, and as a result, acknowledge and appreciate those around us even more for choosing to enter our lives and be a part of it, even if it is only for a short time.

I am alone. I am alright with that.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Burning Bright

Suffering from writer's block. Well, not really; I just don't seem to have the time to formulate my ideas properly.

Or perhaps, I just feel there's no need for conversation.


G









I feel like there is no need for conversation
Some questions are better left without a reason
And I would rather reveal myself than my situation
Now and then I consider, my hesitation

The more the light shines through me
I pretend to close my eyes
The more the dark consumes me
I pretend I'm burning, burning bright

I wonder if the things I did were just to be different
To spare myself of the constant shame of my existence
And I would surely redeem myself in my desperation
Here and now I'll express, my situation

[CHORUS]

There's nothing ever wrong but nothing's ever right
Such a cruel contradiction
I know I cross the lines its not easy to define
I'm born to indecision
There's always something new some path I'm supposed to choose
With no particular rhyme or reason

[CHORUS]

I feel like there is no need for conversation

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Aerials

Greetings from the Darkside.

Yes, it's that time of month. No, not that time of month. It's time for a headless video.

This cover has been a while in the making, mainly because nowadays it's a lot harder for me to find time to work on these covers. I had toyed with the music a lot, but through experience I've learned to not rush into recording something until I've really got the music down 100%. Confidence in the music gives me more freedom to experiment in the vocals.

Either way, the end result is a bit 'brave' I'd say, and no doubt will draw sharp criticism from all the metal heads and other S.O.A.D. fans out there, but then again this is just an interpretation; nothing more, nothing less. I enjoyed doing the harmonies, but honestly it was such a hassle mixing it all together with my amateur skills.

Enough blabbering though; here is my piano cover of System of a Down's "Aerials". No doubt you are used to the routine by now, but if not - click here for the original, and click here to download the audio mp3 file.

Enjoy!

G


Friday, May 7, 2010

Go Until I Break



Shinedown - Break

Let go of the mystery
And retrace all the steps where you've been
And forget all the history
And start over again

For as you can see
Its up to me
For as you can see
Its all on me

I can't erase it
Because it's with me everyday
The strangest feeling
That never goes away
And I have to face it
Because I can't walk away
And every time I'll
Go until I Break


Let go all confusion
And forget the hate in their eyes
And convince yourself it's illusion
Find a reason to survive

For as you can see
Its up to me
For as you can see
It's all on me

I can't erase it
Because it's with me everyday
The strangest feeling
That never goes away
I have to face it
Because I can't walk away
And every time I'll
Go until I Break

So maybe I can't be you
But I choose not to be
And maybe I don't need you
To show me how to see
What if the sky fell
And time slipped away
If these are my last words
Then here's what i say

I can't erase it
Because it's with me everyday
The strangest feeling
That never goes away


I can't erase it
Because it's with me everyday
The strangest feeling
That never goes away
I have to face it
Because I can't walk away
And every time I'll
Go until I Break






It has been a tough few weeks, and I hate writing these posts that remind me how tired I really am. Sadly, this is all I can churn out, so bear with my 'drama' just this once.

Listen to the song, it's one of my favourite Shinedown songs.


Cheers!

G

Friday, April 30, 2010

Suicide - Part 2



(continued from here)

When I wrote Part 1 of this entry on Suicide, I was a little hesitant to publish it. Most of my posts, be it my headless videos or my other random musings are generally received with mixed emotions, and so I was slightly uneasy as to how people would perceive this attempt at semi-fictional writing, especially since it was in a rather sensational and over-the-top style, if I do say so myself.

Still, I published it, and even I was slightly surprised at the different types of comments and feedback I received regarding it; on Facebook, the blog and even in person. Some focussed on the writing style, and commented on that, while others were more focussed on the content. Some noticed the “Based on a true story” at the end, and were confused by it. Still others were eager for part 2, to ‘see how the story ends’. This, I suppose, was the most unexpected response.

Because, you see, this really is based on a true story. Luckily, it was not someone that I knew, but my friends had told me of this incident recently and it greatly disturbed me. For, in real life, there was no happy ending. There was no ‘part 2’. She texted her friends; and she jumped.

Suicide is a ‘phenomena’ that is disturbingly prevalent in our communities. When I was in school I used to hear tales of how school children jumped in front of trains when they got bad O’ Level or A’ Level results; I simply could not wrap my mind around it then. Last year we read of suicide in a prominent girl’s school in Colombo, all due to some petty matter regarding the possession of a cell phone. I read those articles too, and I shook my head in disbelief.

I do not look down on people with suicidal tendencies; in fact, I understand the thinking behind it. I’m sure that every one of us, if we peer inwards with honesty, will admit to having considered the thought of ending one’s life, simply due to the burdens we bear on a daily basis. This world may be more technologically advanced, but the average individual is now more stressed and pressured than ever before, making us susceptible to depression, anxiety, and suicide.

To be completely and brutally honest, even I went through a phase where I wondered about ending my life. I was in my late teens, studying abroad, and I felt I was in over my head. I just couldn’t handle the stress, expectations and decisions of life with regards to family, friends and studies, and the thought of escaping all that with a simple decision was indeed intoxicating.

Yes, at the end of the day, it really is about escaping. I sincerely doubt anyone that commits suicide pauses to think of where they are escaping to, as long as they get away from where they are. Over the last year I have heard people who are dear to me talk of suicide, and wanting to give up on their lives. Rarely have I ever been so heart-broken than when I heard them say so. It is a bitter reminder to me that I live in a world where people rarely stand up tall when the storm comes.

We have become a people of quitters. We sometimes mock celebrities for their string of failed relationships, but in the end we are people who would rather save a rainforest than save a marriage. We would rather compromise than stand firm. We would rather get high then get real. We would rather end our life than actually live it. This is no way meant to be condescending; it is just a conclusion I have reached after endless encounters where I am left holding the strings as someone I know and love gives up and succumbs.

Our world is changing before our very eyes, and we seem to be unable to cope with it. I read of teenagers, no older than 15, going into depression because of the peer pressure to lose their virginity. I read of senseless murder and assault, done merely for entertainment sake. I read of false religious leaders hiding their perverted fantasies behind the guise of ‘faith’. Whether you’re a Christian, Buddhist, Muslim or an atheist, believe me when I say – there is a storm brewing. It’s time we took up a stand, because from now on, we are literally fighting for our lives.

Friday, April 23, 2010

My World Is A Lie That's Coming True

I feel this post links up with two posts I wrote earlier; one is "Wrestle The Angel", in which I linked to Switchfoot's "Twenty four", and the other is "Soul Song" which I wrote way back in January.

There is something special about that moment of surrender, when all hope seems to be lost. It is a moment when words are not really needed, where articulation does not need to be conscious, as long as the emotion is released. It is a difficult place, where we go against every natural instinct to stay in control with our hands on the wheel, instead of just letting go.

I have always wanted to sing, not merely to sound good but to sing out with all my heart. We live in a world where we are so confused about who we are and what our purpose is, that we blindly hold on to the convictions and hopes of those around us who seem more sure of what they are doing. We sing their songs, we claim them as ours, and in the end we don't find out who we are.

I am not a 'religious' man; in fact, I hate the term. I would much rather be called a man of faith, even if more often than not, that title does not befit me. It amuses me when people label Switchfoot and their music as 'religious' - somehow, bleach-blonde surf-crazed rockers hardly go with the word.

But this song, it speaks to me. It stirs something inside me that has been lying dormant for so long. I keep coming back to it ever since I first heard it; indeed, the whole album seems to have that property. I envy Jon Foreman, the lead singer/guitarist/song-writer for the band. I envy his ability to verbalise what I so often can not.

I hope you enjoy the song. Click here to read the thinking behind the songs from their new album.


SING IT OUT

I'm on the run
I'm on the ropes this time
Where is my song?
I've lost the song of my soul tonight

Sing it out
Sing it out
Take what is left of me
And make it a melody
Sing it out
Sing out-loud
I can't find the words to sing
You'd be my remedy
My song, my song
I'll sing with what's left of me


Where is the sun?
Feel like a ghost this time
Where have you gone?
I need your breath in my lungs tonight

Sing it out..

I'm holding on
I'm holding on to you
My world is wrong
My world is a lie that's come true
And I fall in love with the ones that run me through
When all along all I need is you

Sing it out..

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Suicide - Part 1

She screams.

“SHUT UP!!! SHUT!! UP!!”
The room spins. The phone drops to the floor.
His words echo in her head, over and over again.
He’s lying. She knows what she saw.

I saw you!! I saw what you did!!

The smell of cigarette smoke on her clothes mingles with expensive perfume, and reminds her that she could use a smoke.
She digs into her purse, a vulture clawing at helpless leather.

Where did I put it??

Finally, it yields one, but the quick tug and the slow exhale do nothing to stop the damn spinning.
She craves release, and the cigarette fails to deliver. She throws it off her balcony in disgust, and watches as the dying embers plummet into the darkness of night.

She screams. Again.
But this time she’s not sure who she’s screaming at anymore.

She looks on, at the dancing lights of the city, full of life yet unfocussed and blurry in her eyes; and then, in that moment, there is clarity.

She stumbles into her room – damn tequila – and finds her phone.
Somehow, she types a short text message, and sends it to her friends.

They’re not really my friends!! I don’t HAVE friends!!

She goes back to the balcony, not feeling the cold chill of the night’s breeze.
As an afterthought, she drops her phone on the balcony floor.
The screen fades on the words of her last text message, just as she hooks one leg over the rail. It says “Goodbye”.

She screams. One last time.


Wind by ~tA-89

To be continued..



Based on a true story

Friday, April 9, 2010

Under The Bridge

Once in a while, you hear a song that goes on to define a certain period of time in your life. For me, there are many songs that remind me of either high school, college, or some other specific time period. This could be either due to the way in which I first heard it, or where I was when I used to listen to it, etc.

Then there are songs that go bigger, and are forever associated with a generation; a decade even. The Red Hot Chili Pepppers "Under The Bridge" is one such song. Few songs define the 90's like this classic, which cemented RHCP into the minds of all those 80's babies forever. Even the music video is a classic, something that is instantly remembered for the young fresh-faced Frusciante in the beginning of the video, and the long haired, bare-chested Anthony Kiedis running in slow-motion towards the camera.

Recently the topic of song meanings came up in a conversation, and I mentioned how interesting it was to find out what the artists had in mind when writing the lyrics to certain songs. The meaning behind "Under The Bridge" is haunting; a personal statement from Anthony who wrote this song after he had given up drugs. Due to his newly found clean-streak, he felt somewhat alienated from his band mates who would continuously get high while practising and jamming, thus making Anthony feel a stranger in his own band, and to his own friends. This forced him into long drives around L.A, helping him recall the days when he would do anything to 'score' some drugs, even once pretending to be the fiance of a local drug lord's sister to gain entrance into their circle, all this while having a loving girlfriend waiting for him at home.


Without much further ado then, here is "Under The Bridge". This cover is also special to me because it's the first one featuring my kid brother on guitars, so do take some time to appreciate his fancy finger work as well. If you haven't checked out the video before, you HAVE to do so! Click here for the original (it's not on youtube, but be patient and check it out), and click here to download the audio for the song. As always, I hope you enjoy it!



Tuesday, April 6, 2010

If You Only Knew

I am always slightly amused at charitable donations by celebrities that are "advertised" in the media. I understand the thinking behind it; they're celebrities, and they need to be marketed. So if they do perform some form of kindness, whether it be honest or contrived, it should be mentioned so that the public says 'hey, maybe Kanye does care about the community and not just himself'.

I get it, I really do.

But more often than not, the more cynical (and perhaps the more astute) observer will note that such donations of charity should not be made public, especially if they are done out of good will alone. If not, then there aren't many things lower than using the under-privileged as a media tool, which sort of defeats the purpose of your marketing plan in the first place doesn't it?

I guess the same goes for individuals, because aren't we just like that? More often than not, we hear people talking about the beggar they generously helped, or the good deed they did for someone else, while at the same time proclaiming how 'humble' they were. I always crack a wry smile and nod in amused understanding and fake approval; that is, in the end, all that they are looking for.

But let's flip the coin. How often have you wanted to tell someone that hey, this is what I feel, this is what I really think, this is what I did for you even though you didn't know it was me, this is what I gave up for you even though you never realised? What if for one clear moment, all our intentions and motivations were out in the open, and we were able to look around at the people around us and really 'see' them for the first time? While many (myself included) would hesitate to have their darker secrets revealed, I would be more interested in seeing what made other people 'tick', and how they really thought about me and life in general.


There's a verse in the Bible about how God looks at man:
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Don't judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." - 1Samuel 16:7


I wonder how that must feel, to look at a man and truly understand what kind of person he is. I wonder how it would feel for someone to look at me and straight away understand who I am and what I stand for. No explanations required, no disclaimers necessary.


How refreshing.


Then again - I wonder what they would see....?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wrestle The Angel



"I wanna see miracles
See the world change
Wrestle the angel
For more than a name
For more than a feeling,
For more than a cause
I'm singing
Spirit
Take me up in arms with you
And you're raising the dead in me...

Oh, I am the second man
Oh, I am the second man now..."

So Jacob was left alone, and a Man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the Man saw that He could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the Man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." The Man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob [meaning trickster, liar, cheater]," he answered. Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel [contender with God], because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."

~ Genesis 32:24 - 28

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fast Car - Tracy Chapman and.. Kings of Leon?

I haven't put up a proper cover since before the great viral infection of 12/09 (yes, that's what it's called!). The main reason for this has been the death of my trusty Sony Cybershot, which I shot my original videos with. My new camera, despite being better at taking pictures, is sadly a little lacking in the video department, at least where sound is concerned.

Which prompted me to dig into our music room, and actually put together a microphone and mixer to record.

It was a fun project, even if the song is not my best. The Bro and I had a lot of fun setting it up and messing with all sorts of different arrangements and settings.

The result is a better sounding video, and an interesting mix between Tracy Chapman and a not-so-popular Kings of Leon song.


So without much further ado, here is "Fast Car". The original is here, and the Kings of Leon song is here. As always, you can download the audio from here and see the Youtube video here.

Phew.

Enjoy (here)!

G



video


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Time Zones


The lights stream down from the roof, as the music drums against her ears. With one hand holding a glass and the other in the air, she sways to the music before deciding to get to the dance floor. She kicks off her shoes; it's best to be comfortable now.

Here in the center of the floor, the music is much louder, mingled with the shouts and laughter of the crowd she is among. Her feet ache, but it is not often that these moments arise, these opportunities to let go. Opportunities to silence the voices in her head, to forget about all the wrongs and the hurt. Yes, she can endure the pain a little while longer; after all, it's more than worth it.

And so she dances, she drinks, and she dances some more. Yet, in the midst of it all, she finds time to glance at her phone. The music, the beats and the high are still not enough to escape that one final habit. She looks at the time - almost midnight. But somewhere, this night is over and tomorrow has already begun. Somewhere, it is already morning, and the music, the beats, the joy have all faded away like the morning mist.

Somewhere.


The sunlight streams through the windows, accompanied by the melodic chirping of the birds outside. With one hand on his temple, and one on his hip, he shakes his head slowly before deciding to sit down on the sofa. He stretches his feet; it's best to be comfortable now.

For there, in the center of the room, the shouting is loud, overpowering the pleasant feathery falsetto's from the window. His heart aches, but it is not often that he is here to witness these moments now, these incidents when something finally gives way. Incidents that drown out everything else in his life, and replace them with hurt and wrong. Yes, he can endure the heart ache a little longer; after all, if he doesn't do it, who will? In the end, he tells himself, it will all be worth it.

And so he listens, he shouts, he reasons, and he listens some more. Yet, in the midst of it all, he finds the time to glance at his phone. The anger, the hurt and yelling are not enough to quell that one habit. He looks at the time - almost noon. But somewhere, it is still yesterday and this day, with all it's issues, hasn't even begun yet. Somewhere, it is still night time, and the peace of the night is, to the raised voices, like the calm before the storm.

Somewhere.



Saturday, March 20, 2010

Kobe Bryant Takes Everything Seriously


Kobe Bryant is an assassin.
Not the type flying over ancient Jerusalem in white robes, nor the bald guys with bar codes on their head and very red flimsy ties.

Just a cold-blooded assassin on the floor.





My respect for Kobe has lasted a long time, even if I only started 'liking' him recently. Despite his many run-ins with the media regarding his on-court spats and off-court lawsuits, the man comes back season after season, hits game-winner after game-winner after game-winner, all with that look of death plastered on his face.


Here's an excerpt from his article with GQ that I felt like sharing.



On being surrounded by the best of the best athletes at the Olympics: "I felt like Harry Potter going to Hogwarts."

On his relationship with Shaq: "The biggest mistake I made was responding to what he was saying about me. Once I responded, now that made it seem like I was part of that whole thing. It's like, Okay, these two are against each other. As opposed to just staying quiet, which is what I've been doing the last few years. Let him say what he needs to say."

And finally, this hilarious exchange on how Kobe's win-at-all-costs mind-set does carry over to the rest of his life:
"What people see on court is another side of me; it's not me. That dark side that's coming to get you — ha ha! I'm not losing this [expletive] game — that's not who I am. That's part of me. Off the court, I'm completely different."

In almost the same breath he admits that a simple game of Cranium with his wife can turn into guerrilla warfare.Cranium? The kids' board game? With Sensosketches and Cloodles?

He purses his lips, nods his head slowly: No joke.






Have a great weekend!


G

Thursday, March 18, 2010

You



Clouds rolling on moving shadows
Over the countryside
A ray of light descends from the heavens
Your presence fills the sky

I can't deny what I'm seeing is true
When all I can think of and all I can dream of is
You

You're the love I have always known
And it's You
I will never be alone

You're all I desire You're all that I choose
I guess that explains why I feel like I do
I cannot deny what I'm falling into
When all I can think of and all I can dream of is
You

The earth declares Your glory
There's nowhere it can hide
And still You let me in
You draw me to Your side

You are my hope and I know that it's true
When all I can think of and all I can dream of is

You

You're the love I have always known
And it's You
I will never be alone

You're all I desire You're all that I choose
I guess that explains why I feel like I do
I cannot deny what I'm falling into
When all I can think of and all I can dream of is
You


- "You" by Kutless

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spam Comments


.. are absolutely the best!

Despite me hardly blogging of late, the spam-bots have been busy at work, flooding my inbox with anonymous comments and retarded attempts at sounding ‘human’. I’m still at a loss to know how anyone could fall for a spammer, I mean, how stupid must you be to click on a link for “magic penis enlargement – REAL!”? It’s just beyond me.

While I understand how companies out there need to use whatever methods possible to get people to buy their products or visit their websites, I’m somewhat confused as to why they can’t design them better. The English is just atrocious, the grammar is non-existent, and – well, see for yourself.

“good morning fellas. I’m honestly into shoes and I was looking for the sake of that exact brand. The prices as regards the shoes around 300 pounds on every page. But for all I base this location selling them for half price. I in reality like these [fake link here]. I will definitely purchase them. What can you say about it?”
- This was for “Love Hurts”. Clearly, the connection between music, Incubus and feet is obvious to everyone except me.

“I congratulate, an excellent idea”
– I really wanted to put that up, but it was for “Blog Action Day ‘09” and I really had nothing to do with it.

“You have tested it and writing form your personal experience or you find some information online?”
– This was for “I Could Use A Hand Right Now”; so apt, don’t you think?

“Hello. And Bye.”
– One of my favourites.


“You are not right. I can prove it. Write to me in PM, we will talk”
– This was again for “Blog Action Day ‘09”, so I’m assuming he/she/it means I’m wrong about global warming. Well thank goodness for that!

“Exceptional site! Nearly everyone needs to acquire insurance at one time or another, whether it is auto insurance, life insurance, health insurance, or homeowner’s insurance. These times it is more painless than ever to find complimentary insurance quotes for several businesses in order to find the optimal deal. You can also see how to save oodles of money in free gasoline when you acquire your insurance price quotations. [link to insurance site] [link to wedding rings site] [link to site to discover family tree]”

– I have absolutely no idea why after a huge comment about insurance, they include links to wedding rings and family trees. But points for using the words “oodles”.



“You must have seen Ranbir Kapoor’s wonderful chemistry with Katrina Kaif in Ajab Prem Ki Ghajab Kahani. Katrina is really exited to romance Ranbir, obviously in reel life. Katrina is really eager to be a part of Ashtvinayak’s next film that casts Ranbir. However she is well known to this fact that her looks as well as accent can not relate. [link to bollywood blog]”

– Posted in “The Basketball Analogies”, one of my favourite posts. How Bollywood and Basketball are related, or how Ray Allen points to Katrina Kaif, is yet another mystery that only the spam-gods can understand. On the other hand, I’m SO excited about Ranbir Kapoor’s wonderful on-screen chemistry though, and I can’t WAIT to see his next project!

“Naja, ob das alles so richtig is...”
– Posted on “My Reason For Blogging”. All I have to say to that is: “Arschloch! Heil Hitler!”

“高松宮記念の最新予想!オッズ、厳選買い目は?!レースの鍵を握る馬は裏情報を特別公開”
- And then I get spam in Japanese. Apparently this is about horse racing or something. Sheesh.

Of course spam is not restricted to my blog; twitter gives me enough and more headaches on a daily basis. I just have to tweet about something remotely popular to have all these bots following me. Sports, music, movies – anything is a trigger for a spam-bot. Of course, the most annoying are the bots which add you for no particular reason, but have some half-naked women as a display picture and a handful of tweets, all linking to her “private webcam”. As I delete them, I just wonder what are the odds that perhaps one of them is actually a real person? Just my luck.


However my favourite has to be the MSN spam messages I get from infected contacts. I sign in and I get a list of offliners from different people, earnestly telling me that “Bob” has been using some secret pills to enhance his sex life so they stole a few to check, and lo and behold, they actually WORK! Just $5 too, how could I resist?

How could I indeed. The moron that falls for that should be given a special prize, like a live chat with a call-girl of his choice.

A call-girl that’s a 29 year old guy sitting in a cubicle in India.


Feel free to add on any interesting spam comments you’ve come across!
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