Sunday, April 29, 2007

Moving on swiftly to Foucault's Pendulum, by the same author, I was unimpressed at the narrator's awe of the Absolute Physical Point of All Things. No doubt the story will develop further like a good wine, one that has metal in its terroir; there is no softness in Umberto Eco's books - he pushes you to think.

Until your mind explodes, or you grow wiser. Either wiser about the nature of all things, or wiser about avoiding explosives. Both are satisfactory outcomes.

Which reminds me - a friend who had spent some time going through all my archived posts remarked that I had thoroughly misinterpreted Kazuo Ishiguro's When We Were Orphans, though the Wikipedia analytic description of it seems to back me up. =) He claimed a postmodernist analysis of the Sino-Japanese wars, I on the other hand viewed it as a story of a man pursuing the eternal mystery of his ruptured childhood. Fair enough fair enough, to both.

C once told me she enjoyed Ishiguro's An Artist of the Floating World, which I have not yet read.

I have, however, read One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and alas, to me it was a dreadful bore because I could not match the allusions within to real-life Latin American history, not having knowledge of the latter. The repetition of Aurelianos also got too much for me to keep straight, although I did manage to catch the cyclical nature of time in that :) Again by that same friend as above I was remarked upon as a boor, in jest. Tsk tsk.


You see the perils of having a short-term memory are these: not having the same timescales, we do not live in sync, nor share memories within the same time. Another friend told me not long ago that "different people have different perspectives in life"; I gather he was trying to tell me an important something of much that same nature.

Perhaps there is a name for this Form.

Perhaps the Namer or the Patterner or other stories in other books (other lives in other books) might know of it.

Book review of The Name of the Rose.

It's a murder mystery, tied up with some truisms about the actions of simple people in society, and some very sophisticated (to me) theological arguments about Christianity, poverty and evil. Even if you had no time to read it all in one sitting (I didn't), the narrative of the detective search pulls you along so that you can get past the dry parts about (fictional?) church-secular politics. But when I finished the book and knew who the murderer was, I knew I wasn't going to read it again for the murder mystery aspect of it :) Anyway my Latin isn't so good as to appreciate the nuances of each phrase that led to the solution.

Did I mention that Umberto Eco has quite a cool sense of humour in the first chapter of the book? :D


I have a question. A few questions. How do you live with someone who claims he has short-term memory and actually forgot something that was centrally important to you, despite your consistent somewhat unusual behaviour when you discussed related topics with him? How can you remain hurt by someone who had no intention to hurt you and claims he is physically incapable of remembering enough to not hurt you? Should you trust in his charity and his professed friendship with you to remind coerce request plead with him to change his behaviour and remember the centrally important thing so as to avoid causing you pain?

Looking at what I wrote in the above paragraph, if it were my friend in this position I would advise her to drop the guy from her life like a hot potato. But I'm not following my own advice, yet.

This puzzles me.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Ok enough of moping.

There is an assignment due next week. There is a public holiday next week. There is the weekend, which is already here.


By the way, I'm now reading The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco. It is atrociously good stuff.

Monday, April 23, 2007

What do you do when you're awake at night and all your friends are asleep, and you really should be, too?

You blog. You blog about inconsequential things. You write a great deal, and hope the things that are keeping you awake will dissolve in the writing. You hope that the many things that keep you awake would just go away, and not give you nightmares or restless sleep. You hope that all things will work out, and that you are not sliding slowly down a thorny path....

You hope that you will not wake up crying again in the morning. You hope that you have enough self-control to stop yourself before your life becomes a living hell.

You write. You just write.


I have been much preoccupied with coursework and paid work for some weeks now. But I try to keep in touch with my friends and to know their situations and sorrows :) what is life if not for love and friendship? Similarly I try to keep in touch with the blogosphere as well, because this is my country, though I hate it (both) sometimes, quite often. But the blogosphere, though a part of my country, is not my country too, any more than the school or my workplace is my country and my life. Sometimes it's good to remember that.

You can't trust those who say they love you, and you can't trust those who can't make up their minds. In the end you only trust those whom you can trust. Ain't that a sick truth now.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I have begun and finished reading Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales over the weekend, it is a richly fulfilling and provocative book of short stories about the human condition amidst "ill patients". =) Am happyjoyed. Dr. Sacks first wrote the book in 1970 and rewrote a few new editions, latest being 1985. I'm holding the 1998 publication by Touchstone (Simon & Schuster). Beautiful book.

The 2003 freshman welcome talk at the University of Chicago. I got it from Jnet a while back, and was inspired by another friend to search for it again.

The Aims of Education

also known as education for its own sake.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

It is probably timely to announce to my friends and the general public that the work I have been doing for the past 5 1/2 months has unexpectedly ended, and I am transferred to another lab to work. I will no longer be doing the stable admin-type work I was doing before, but far more research work. It is also probably timely to say that this terrifies me in light of the reallocation of time and energy I will have to do for all my various activities. All.

I had given up continuing with salsa Intermediate classes recently because of the time requirements for my social work course. Now that I am expected to improve existing projects and come up with new ones from a research point of view, I fear that I cannot manage. Now, I can only go one step at a time, knowing that this is not the way to go about life, but lacking any better ideas.

Do you have any advice?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

"Facets, Matthew. Each facet catches the light in its own way. It glints and sparkles and flashes uniquely. It would almost be possible to believe that the facet was the jewel; not just a tiny part of it. But, then, as we move the jewel another facet catches the light..."

"So? What's your point?"

"My point? I have no point, Matthew. Save for the jewel, and the facets, and the light. We see an aspect of the whole. But the facet is not the jewel..."

- Sandman #9: The Kindly Ones
by Neil Gaiman

Friday, April 06, 2007


"The fool that willingly provokes a woman has made himself another evil angel, and a new hell to which all other torments are but mere pastime..."

-Beaumont & Fletcher, Cupid's Revenge
found in Sandman #9: The Kindly Ones, by Neil Gaiman

I've never quite heard it this way before, but that's a good one.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Now I know how it was found. It's going to take some time to get off Technorati, though. But I have edited and re-pinged it. Now to wait.

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