At Water’s Edge

This book seemed like a pretty decent read. It was easy and fast-paced enough to hold my interest. I realized slowly that I did not much like the insidious chauvinistic undertones this novel carries. I was starting to get really angry towards the end of the book, however, the author did attempt to redeem the book and the protagonist.

Honestly, I cannot feign to understand authors today. I’ve been reading quite a few books by female authors these days and the one repeating theme I see is that each of them either paints the picture of a woman who is an alcoholic and a drama queen or a helpless damsel in distress who needs “saving” of some sort. Each woman is shown to be weak and dependent either on alcohol or on a man. This book was no different.

The book began with the character being a self-obsessed, self-absorbed stuck-up society girl, who grows into an empathetic woman and realizes everything that is wrong with her environment and the people she has been surrounded by. What I don’t understand is how or why she has to go on this journey of self-discovery by learning how to do housework, sweeping floors, and making beds. Understandably, it shows that she is growing sympathetic to the plights of the help; what I don’t understand is why she didn’t choose to go on this journey by instead learning to attend to soldiers hurt in the war (which, honestly, would have made me respect her a tad more). In any case, by helping around the house, she wins the love and respect of the manager of the inn. Another problem here: why does a man only seem to fall in love with a woman who tries to change herself by learning how to work in the kitchens? What kind of example are you trying to set? What are you inspiring female readers to become?

One other thing that drew my attention was that each of these books that supposedly are a journey of a woman on “self-discovery” in some way involve a man, who somehow acts as a catalyst for this woman to “better” herself. This man is always painted as a through-and-through hero, who, literally in this case, comes back from the jaws of death and who dispatches a few to the fate that was to be his. I don’t understand the need for these characters in this book. At least, The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl didn’t have a patriarchal figure who had to “save” them or help them improve themselves, and under whose watchful, encouraging <lustful> eyes the protagonist realized she could be and have so much more.

The book painted these characters to be so completely evil or so completely good, I’m surprised she didn’t discover their flaws earlier. Only after being hauled across the Atlantic ocean (and because she was sea-sick the entire time) did she realize how callous and selfish her husband truly is. The character came off as shallow. I loved the journey, to the extent that it was believable. Does it really take war and a life in squalor to humble us? And if she realized so much about herself, in being shallow, how could she not, upon reflection, not come to understand the position of her father and feel sorrow and pity for him?

What I did like about the book was that it made the character realize that the boundaries between the servants and the upper-class were man-made and just existed in her mind. She did become empathetic and sympathetic. Her self-discovery, like I said earlier, was enjoyable to an extent. The book was an easy-read and I finished it in about two days so I don’t feel too bad about reading it. I’d give it a solid 3.5 stars for solid writing style, even though there was a lot wrong with the characters, I thought.

Also, there wasn’t much about the Loch Ness monster in it. Which I was really excited and was hoping for. Disappointed.

Turmoil

I wrote this years ago, when I was having trouble at my workplace and social politics. Over the years, I have come across a lot of people like this, and this post and this significant change in my attitude has always seen me through. It has helped me through life and not just at work.


When the mind is in conflict with the environment, two things can happen; you either run or you adjust your attitude. I tried to run. But then I thought that no one was going to make me do anything I didn’t want to do. I wasn’t going to run. No one could make me. I think this was the best change of attitude that I’ve had in a while. It really made me think that I haven’t really stood up for myself and if I ran now, it wouldn’t be BECAUSE of so and so. It would be because I gave up on myself. So I decided to stay and take measures that would allow me to adjust my attitude instead.

So when I realize that people slack off and leave their work to be done by others, I said ok. I’ll do their work. This is an organization and more than that; a field where no one can proclaim your work as their own. And since the brands are now not divided amongst the Art Directors, no one person can claim that they handled an entire big brand etc on their own. So if I did do some work on “brand”, it would be mine. It would go in my portfolio as my own. With my name on it. Even though I wouldn’t be able to claim that the entire brand was handled by me, my work would speak for itself no matter where I went.

Having thought of things in this way, I was appeased and realized that I would never say “No” to any work that was assigned to me, no matter how much pressure I was under. And things seem to be working out. Even though everything is still fresh and the wounds seem to have been buried. Let’s hope things change with my attitude.

I guess all that matters is a change in attitude. Things always seem to fix themselves. After all it is always just your perception and how you see things. What you allow to bother you and what you seem to consider inconsequential. I’ve stopped showing or thinking of anything that in the least bit matters to me or bothers me.

Obviously I realized that my work-ethic is very different from everyone else’s. So many things don’t matter to me that matter to others. Whereas, so many other things matter to me that don’t matter to others. For example things like coming to work and making it your first priority are things that matter to me. Responsibility and investment into the content of what is going out there in your name also matters to me. The need to learn constantly and to keep moving forward, thats also something that I’m starting to hold very dear to me. It’s the little things that matter. I think, I need to relax a bit and stop putting things on such a pedestal.


It worked out. I stayed at that job for 3 years, being promoted to a Senior Art Director. I handled many big brands and became one of the most trusted Art Directors in the agency. Brands loved my work and appreciated it publically. I left the agency with my head held high and my pride more than intact.

One other thing I realized then was, life is not in statis. It is constantly moving. People were going to come and people were going to go. It was up to me to decide who I wanted to keep, and who I wanted gone. This thought has helped me tolerate a lot of people’s bullshit. It has also allowed me to keep my sanity; knowing and understanding that I will rid my life of the parasites who are stupid enough to think I am stupid and who are currently and forever trying to leech off of me.

There’s something about snow

It’s true. I was listening to this song about snowfall on the radio and I told myself that I would remember the words and the tune. I’m an idiot.

I do, however, remember the feeling it left me with. Profoundness. There is something about snow that makes me feel so alone. The quiet, the calm is almost unnatural. However, it is a happy kind of loneliness. I don’t want to seek the company of others. It makes me want to be by myself. A lot like the patter of raindrops on your window can make you feel. What is the word for it? Something like Chrysalism but for snow.

There’s something so pure about it. Like you want to be out there in the silence but alone. Or holding hands with someone very dear to you. And that you can sit there and watch the snowfall forever.

I like being outside when it snows. Just sit around and watch. Everything looks so much better covered in snow anyway.

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The spirit of Christmas is something I have always felt and wanted to be a part of. The joy and wonder and cheery happy contentment it brings with it is indisputably the best feeling in the world. All I can ever ask for is that everyday be filled with the same happiness that Christmas brings with it. And this year was the first Christmas I got to actually celebrate. It was the complete package deal too! Christmas evening going to service, sleep-over at my sister’s in-laws and then attacking the Christmas tree for the presents!

2015-12-24 10.49.03 1.jpg The best thing about it though was the tree. Always the tree. Laden with ornaments and fairy lights. All the stockings hanging over the fireplace. Cookies being baked to be frosted and decorated and left out for Santa. All the presents being slowly added under the tree.

And to all these festivities, the snow outside adds a quiet calm. A feeling of safety within the walls of our home.

And the holiday music I could listen to forever. Oh, how I love holiday music being played in the background as you sit in your comfortable armchair with a coffee mug in your hands as you transfer some love to the dogs by scratching their ears.

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There’s nothing quite like it. Wearing your fuzzy socks at home, wearing your fuzzy animal hat and mittens. Nice and cozy and toasty. I wish this time never goes away. I don’t want this feeling to go away. Even though Christmas is gone, I play the music all day in the house, annoying the crap out of my roommate but I just can’t help myself.

Beacon 23

This is the thing about being a hero: It’s all about when you get your picture taken.

Imagine having the guilt of killing a million people at the press of a button lying squarely on your shoulders. At the apex, it was you that was asked if you wanted the war to end? Would you kill a million in a flash? Or would you care to be responsible for the deaths of a billion over a longer period of time? How would you choose?

I think this book touches on the guilt left in the souls of people who make these decision in closed rooms, sitting in their cushy chairs surrounded by “advisers” who don’t falter for a minute giving kill-orders for millions of people even in today’s day and age.

Do the deaths of people actually weigh on us? Or do we separate the images of these people from our idea of living breathing humans. The way we do with the chicken. How many of us see a chicken running around in a field and connect it to the block of meat we eat almost everyday? We probably wouldn’t be able to swallow even if we saw the meat as the animal.

Is it that wars are easy now because the decision makers don’t actually know what it’s like to pull the trigger? I think these people should be at the forefront of the wars. Not just watching on screen as drones drop bombs. These people should be made to kill another human being, in real life, just so they know what it feels like to take just one life. Just so they can realize the value of it. It is so easy for them to condemn all of mankind to hell, just at a flick on the button.

Back to the book. The story was a bit slow for my liking. But as with most Hugh Howey books, it takes time to get to the core. Even though the book wasn’t as interesting as I thought it would be and it was creeping along at a pace too slow for my liking, the premise kept me going. I wasn’t too disappointed. Sometimes flaws in books are forgivable if the conclusion is strong enough. Or if the book makes you think. Or if it brings to your attention something you hadn’t thought of. The book was bland, true, but it was funny. I’ll give it that. At some points it cracked me up.  And it did make me think. So it redeemed itself in my eyes.

A lot of people would say it was downright boring. The connections from one chapter or one part of the book to the next were flimsy and didn’t make any sense. I guess maybe that’s what real life is like. We look for an overall theme to our life, whereas, our lives are actually just a collection of memories with no ties to each other.

I hate human beings and people are dicks.

How impermanent is life anyway? Nothing remains and/or nothing remains the same. Friendships end, love fizzles out, hearts break, parents die. They have a bad habit of dying on us. Why do we humans have to have relationships? Why can’t we just be isolated..alone in our heads so people don’t disappoint us and we don’t disappoint them? Or is it that human relationships drive us forward? Force us to progress? Why do some relationships hold more value than others? And why do they have to change too?

Why does everything have to change? Can we just for a moment, stop this constant change and not know that everything will be gone in a moments notice? Can we have some permanence somewhere? Know that this part of our lives will be with us for as long as we live? That it won’t change and be gone the next moment. Why is life always such an uphill battle with ourselves and with our surroundings?

Why can’t things be valued the same equally? Or why don’t I learn to deal with things and difficulties in a graceful way so that things don’t devolve into an immature drama unfolding like a movie. Oh, I tried learning to deal with difficulties. And I’m very good at solving problems too. But only problems that do not involve other human beings. When it comes to dealing with issues with other humans, I get stuck. Why? I can’t imagine. I’ve tried a variety of different ways of dealing with issues. I’ve tried fighting for things I care about and that doesn’t work. I’ve tried ignoring problems..always ends badly, trust me. I’ve tried being the better person. And now I’m attempting to deal with things by cutting the drama and the people causing it from my life. It doesn’t seem to be working. It weighs on my mind and it causes more fuss than I would like. And sometimes I feel like I will be left with no one because every human being entails so much baggage that they think I will want to help them carry. No I’m not interested. It’s like every human being comes with more than their share of problems that they feel they need to spread out so everyone around them is miserable. No I don’t want to know what your issues are. I have enough of my own crap to deal with. Don’t spread your hate and poison my mind and then feel guilty because you manipulated me by projecting your hate onto me and now that you have changed your mind, you feel guilty for ruining my peace-of-mind. Feel guilty? But only sort of. No you will not be forgiven. No you will not be let off the hook. No you will not be excused.

I am not your mother, or your friend or your lover. I don’t want to know, I never did. I listen because I pity you. I pitied you. And that was my mistake. You poisoned my mind and I will not forgive it.

Most times I’m so good with knowing what a person entails. Sometimes I get fooled. People should have signs over their heads that tell me how much “color” each person will bring into my life. Oh, hey! I am going to be the most insidious out of all the people you have ever met in your life! Welcome me with open arms! I’m far away from my parents me I’m definitely older than the entire lot here. But I do not and should not feel pressured into dealing with the crap these 16 year olds hash out for me!

Jurassic World!

I grew up watching the first three movies and I’ve waited for a hell of a long time for the new one and guess what?! I loved every minute of it. Oh man the raptors

That woman though. Running around in heels in a jungle!? How did you even survive!? Even if Indominous Rex didn’t kill you, the pain of running in those heels should have!

Secondly, the movie really made me think you know. All these movies which are centered around men being heroes portray the hero as this rugged, motorcycle-loving, earthy macho man. None of these movies seem to have a man who actually looks like a nerd or is portrayed as one. Its all brawn over brain. Honestly. I mean why does the man always have to be this muscular guy who seems so inconspicuous until the shit hits the fan?

Secondly, in real life, a girl like that never even gave a second glance towards Pratt until, well, the calamity as dinosaurs literally wreaked havoc on the island. Why do women only seem to fall for the guy in such high-adrenaline do-or-die situations? Why can’t she develop feelings him earlier? And do you think it’ll last? I mean once the dinosaur situation subsides, he turns back into the loser she saw him as. So do her feelings last or does the heroic image she had of the guy fade? Or does she crave a situation as drastic as the dinosaur one to revive whatever feelings she has towards him? And it’s not just the woman. Even the kids latched onto him. Would they have cared had the situation been normal? Nope. He’d be the regular joe. No one would give a crap unless the dinosaurs were loose and destroying everything and eating everyone. Then everyyyyyone would want to be with him. I feel sorry for men in these movies. They deserve better. They deserve women who care about them BEFORE disaster strikes.

Honestly. It’s so primitive of us. But it’s true. We only look at people when we think they’re going to be useful to us in some way. My thoughts are all over the place right now. Someday I’ll sort them out.

Life is like taking a poop

Life is like taking a shit. It really is.

Most of the time it’s easy. Just like life in the toilet. And sometimes it gets tough as you get constipated. I get a lot of shit from my life. Parents, teachers, friends. I take it from most of them quietly. Why lie about me being confrontational and all. Yes I take it sitting down. I’m a problem solver. I prefer to solve my problems rather than make a huge fuss.

Other than that, I make myself feel better by talking a whole lot of shit about people who give me grief. But most of the time I take it. Because I know. You see. You can’t fight life. You can’t fight God.

So you see? When things get tough life is really like being constipated. The grief will pass. It always does. Everything just passes. You gotta wait it out. That’s the only option and enjoy your life and make sure you don’t make mistakes that get you constipated in the first place. And get it over with quickly. Just the way you should when you get constipated. It’s of no use extending the misery you’re already in. Face your fears and your pain. Soon it will be a distant memory.

Other than that. Just don’t waste your brain cells fighting. Put them to good use and solve the problem. Then sit back and relax. Read a few books. Move on.