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March 31, 2005

Drilling Deep for Pride

Frontal Trepanation / Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI have been trying for almost a week to shed my cold. Many remedies have been attempted; many remedies have failed. Now, I had never previously considered trepanation, which the aesthetically pleasing and extremely well written “Trepanation Guide” defines as “the practice of making a hole in the skull in order to improve the brain pulsations and hence the overall well being”. Already it sounds like sound medical practice, no?And just why wouldn’t one want to bore a hole into one’s skull when one is feeling under the weather?

My endless cold shows no signs of departing any time soon. My mouth has tangy zest of throat lozenge permanently embedded in my taste buds. This made the Nepali dinner I had with my parents and best friend and nemesis AlefAlef a delicious mouthful. What could be more delightful than lamb tandoori seasoned with super-mentholated lozenge with extra nose flames? The mouth simply waters at the very idea.

And the litany continues. A cute boy told me I look “awful”, although he did promise to come over and make me matzo ball soup (my favourite!) if I’m not better this weekend, so all isn’t lost. Still, though!

My pharmacist warned me that decongestants are contra-indicated with another medication I take, and now I know why. So with no decongestants, I have had to settle for slathering a thick, snot-like substance that smells as if someone beat a few sugar plum faeries to death with candy canes and slowly boiled their corpses to produce this vile slime all over my torso. Ah! the soothing sensation of setting one’s chest on fire …

Trepanation through the ages / Image Hosted by ImageShack.usSo I’m quite ready for an alternative solution. So let’s explore trepanation a little more. I already gave the definition above, but it sounds so good let’s see it again (remember, from the colourful and "no copy editor for us!" “Trepanation Guide”. “Trepanation is the practice of making a hole in the skull in order to improve the brain pulsations and hence the overall well being.” My word! I have no idea what brain pulsations are, but I’m already ready to be convinced. But the colour combinations of the site were so enchanting that I had no choice but to read on rather than just find my drill and away with my cold!

The guide warns how restricting the brain within that pesky protective skull coupled with the upright walking stance causes the “brainbloodvolume” to “plummet”. This, in turn, causes us to become “lethargic, estranged, depressed”. Could it be true? Was the blood gurgling away from my brain with every second of the day? Was there even any blood left in my brain at all? I ran to the mirror to see and even though my feet didn’t actually appear to have more blood than my head, I just knew it had to be true (the logic path of this may actually be its own proof!). Bad feet! Naughty, greedy, inconsiderate feet! Give my brain back its rightful blood!

Trapanation through the ages / Image Hosted by ImageShack.usBut what’s to be done? Thankfully, there is a solution. I must merely drill a hole in my head and I’ll be “happier, more energetic and less prone to crippling bouts of ennui.” Ennui, you say. I do quite often find myself swooning dramatically on my divan, one limp wrist flung pathetically to my forehead while the other grasps weakly for the smelling salts. It would certainly be agreeable to put an end to all that!

But what of my cold? Can this trepanation help me with that? I continued to read through the bits with paragraphs as long as Moby Dick and figure references to diagrams that weren’t there. I didn’t happen to find anything specifically about colds, but I felt that colds would most certainly be alleviated by such a progressive procedure. I did however that there is an anti-trepanation conspiracy concocted by doctors and scientists because if they “recognized the benefit they would be obliged to announce to the world that upright walking humans need a hole in the head!” This was followed by an advert for “cheap discount airline tickets.”

But what clinched the deal for me was when I discovered that evidence of trepanation has been discovered in the Holy Land. They have proof that it was practised in Jericho around 4000 years ago, as well as one “further case”. If my ancestors practised it, then by all the good and mighty in this world! it’s good enough for me!

Things sgould never, ever change / Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThis is why I’m glad that the Orthodox Rabbinate, Muslim leaders, and Christian leaders have joined forces to condemn the World Pride Festival to be held in Jerusalem. You see, if there’s one thing looking to our past and only to our past teaches us, it’s that the world should be a static place where nothing should change, ever; a world where men are men, women are women, gays are unclean, anyone who doesn’t share one’s beliefs should be killed, and, finally, where drilling a hole in one’s skull is a really smart thing to do! That is why the world is in the happy, happy state it is in today!

But I don’t believe I require trepanning anymore. The thought that orthodox religious leaders will unite to condemn a tiny blip – in the grand scheme of things – of an activity that has nothing to do with them but will not unite to coax their followers out of a hideous cycle of anguish and bloodshed … well quite frankly, that scared the snot out of me.

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Very Pretty ( יפה מאוד )

אביתר בנאי / Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Israeli singer Eviatar Banai ( אביתר בנאי ), sort of a straight Rufus Wainright with less showtune stylings and more actual music.

March 29, 2005

Very Pretty

Kamron Boonteesud / Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThai model and actor Kamron Boonteesud. I thought he was hot even before I found out he was one of the guys crashing about on the backs of rabid elephants in "Alexander", perhaps one of the funniest movies of all time.

No Spruce Goose for Me, Thanks

Spruce Goose / Image Hosted by ImageShack.usYesterday I mused whimsically about the Howard Hughes School of Seclusion. He founded this school during a rather serious bout of insanity. I, however, considered enrolling not due to any insanity (in my opinion), but due to a serious bout with a cluster of ill-mannered cold viruses. After much study, travail, and due consideration, I have decided that I cannot, indeed, do Mr Hughes any justice whatsoever. Here is why:

First, no discussion of Mr Hughes would be complete without proper attention given to grooming and housekeeping.
  • Although I haven’t shaved in a few days, my beard is beginning to itch and so I cannot pull off Mr Hughes’ ultra-chic Moses-returning-from-the-wilderness look.
  • I do not believe that germs are everywhere. Granted, I do have piles of tissue mounting up, but they are less for cleaning and more for catching the droplets of my brain that appears to be transforming into a yellowish, semi-gelatinous substance leaking out my nose. Briefly, if my cat can eat too quickly, immediately regurgitate the food he’s scarfed down, eat the regurgitated Flavoured Vittles, and then lick the floor clean where the regurgitation occurred, then by gumm! the place is clean enough for me.
Second, I do not fear physical contact. In fact, I enjoy physical contact very much. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve been enjoying enough physical contact lately at all. This brings me to my next point.

Alexandre Despatie / Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThird, Alexandre Despatie. When oh when will he realise that I am what has been missing from his life?

Fourth, I did not think, unlike practically every other living creature, entitity, presence, or intelligent, amorphous trans-dimensional energy being in the universe, that Cate Blanchett’s performance of Katherine Hepburn in that Scorcese movie that everyone else seemed to like much more than I did was brilliant or even enjoyable. I found it wooden and stagy, a caricature of Ms Hepburn; it was as if Mad TV were doing Captain Janeway plays Cate Blanchett playing Katherine Hepburn. Mr Hughes certainly seemed to enjoy Ms Blanchett’s performance, as he spent so much Kate Beckinsale plays Ava Gardner / Image Hosted by ImageShack.ustime with her, teaching her to fly, cheating on her, etc. In the end however, he left her for ...

Kate Beckinsale, who, after a string of atrocious movies (Kate! “Van Helsing”? “Underworld”? tsk tsk), has regained the coveted apple of my eye she whisked away a decade ago in “Much Ado About Nothing”, “Cold Comfort Farm” and “The Last Days of Disco”.

And there are five extremely compelling points as to why I can never be like Howard Hughes. I’m certain you followed my logic completely.

March 28, 2005

A Mitzvah on the Bottom of my Fridge

Howard Hughes / Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAs my wretched illness continues I’m considering adopting a Howard Hughes-like existence. I will drop my used tissue in piles, wander around my apartment naked (actually I already do that), and allow no one into my physical presence. It turns out that the fever and strep throat were merely a mild case of hysterical hypochondria – I’m allowed; I’ve had a rough few months – although the congestion is very real. I am waiting for my head to explode.

Mercilessly, it didn’t explode yesterday when I was invaded by parents and various other family members in towns from various cities spread across a couple of countries – a mini diaspora. Instead, I hacked and sneezed mucous all over them as we ate our non-Easter dinner. While the Christians were dressing up as bunnies, eating chocolate, and crying over crosses (or are they happy about the crosses? – meaning no disrespect, but I can never tell which one it is), we went for dim sum and ate all sorts of things we’re not supposed to. The Chinese and the Jews have polar opposite views of food.

Curried Cuttlefish / Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

I ate shrimp and cuttlefish in various forms (bad Jew!) – I cannot live without my monthly dose of curried cuttlefish. I ate pork mashed up, rolled up on rice, barbecued as sausage, mixed with beef (bad, bad Jew!). No dairy product in site, though. Two of my cousins ate the only thing that didn’t completely break kosher: barbecued chicken feet. I wasn’t brave enough to try, however. It looked too much like barbecued zombie child hand (although to the best of my knowledge, I’ve never seen zombie child hand, barbecued or otherwise).

I did my best not to transmit my plague to my family by way of germ-laden chopsticks, but I’m not altogether certain how successful I was.

Not that I keep kosher anyways. I do, however, have a brisket marinating at the bottom of my fridge that, if I’ve done it right, will turn into corned beef in about a month. Either that, or it’ll just be rotting animal carcass at the bottom of my fridge … or zombie cow come back to haunt me for eating curried cuttlefish and sticky rice with pork.

Faye Wong

Faye Wong / Image Hosted by ImageShack.usShe was the star of Chunking Express, one of my favourite movies, with sexy Tony Leung. With the fashion sense of Björk and the voice the Elisabeth Frasier of the Cocteau Twins (with whom she's worked), Faye Wong (at left) sometimes sounds a little the Cranberries in Cantonese and Manadrin and sometimes sounds like cheezy, straight-ahead Asian pop.


I don’t get it.

March 26, 2005

The Pterodactyls Are Coming!

The pterodactyls are coming / Image Hosted by ImageShack.usLeaping to the conclusion that the Earth was under attack from pterodactyls was quite logical considering the circumstances. It began when I woke up in a sweaty fever this morning. No. I guess it really began when I was born. Or it began when the universe blinked into existence with an enormous bang, which – I was taught – is different from Gad creating the Universe. But I don’t really see why the two are mutually exclusive.

Happy flowers / Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIn any case, let’s start when I woke up this morning. I had recently inherited a flu and a pleasant case of strep throat from a good friend (Thanks a lot for sharing AlefAlef!). Being sick has taught me several important things necessary to all walks of life:
  • Cats, no matter how friendly, will not fetch the throat lozenges or make you soup;
  • Friends, even the one responsible for one’s illness, are not interested in hearing one whine telephonically about how miserable one feels;
  • Molasses is no substitute for they honey one is too weak to go out and buy for one’s super-duper, illness-assaulting ginger’n’garlic tea. It is, in fact, a wretched, hideous, nauseating substitute;
  • The friend responsible for one's illness will not drop everything and rush out to fetch the required honey, no matter how much one whines, whinges, and entreats, if he himself is still ill;
  • Using the paint programme on one’s computer when one is unaccustomed to controlling a paintbrush with a mouse reduces one’s artistic skill to that of a 5-year-old;
  • When one decided a few months ago in a fit of purity and beatitude (and poverty) to get rid of one’s TV, one was not thinking ahead;
  • Pterodactyls are not attacking the Earth.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThis last point is perhaps the most important (although the second-to-last point also carries some consequence), since were we to believe that these giant, ancient reptiles were indeed swooping and darting through our skies, all of humanity would run panic-stricken through the streets, causing grievous injury to both body and property alike.

Now, thus was the state of my brain as I lay in my bed this morning. Suddenly I caught sight of creatures flying in a formation high in the sky. They were black and I could see no details other than that they were big. “The pterodactyls are coming!” I shouted to my cat, sitting on the window ledge, looking at me as if I had just announced that cats and dogs should get along. I ran to the window for a betting look, upsetting my glass of cold tea from the previous night all over my ... er ... private gay men’s magazines, also from the previous night.

But, as I have already stated, pterodactyls were not attacking the Earth. Instead it was just a flock of stupid geese flying north for spring. Big deal.

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Very Pretty

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French-Canadian race car driver, Jacques Villeneuve

March 24, 2005

Happier Days

Farhad Darya concert, Kabul, May 2004 / Image Hosted by ImageShack.usWaheed at “Afghan Warrior” states that “Around 80% of the Afghan people are happy that the US overthrew the Taliban and installed a democracy”. After the hardships of the Russian invasion followed by the horrific Taliban, Afghanis are certainly due all the joy they can get.

It is heartening to see these pictures of young Afghanis grooving to Farhad Darya, darling singer of the various ex-pat Afghani communities and now a major star in Afghanistan. These pictures are from his concert there last May at Ghazi Stadium. In them one can see shaved men and burkha-less women enjoying themselves in the stadium known for ghastly acts of torture under the Taliban. These are happier days in Ghazi.

Farhad Darya concert, Kabul, May 2004 / Image Hosted by ImageShack.usDarya has a beautifully rich and agile voice. If you can wade through the odd semi-hysterical ballad with cheezy casio backup, his bridge between modern sensibilities and traditional Afghani music sung in Dari, Pashtu, Hazaragi, and Uzbek is a charming testament to better times in that troubled country.

 Farhad Darya concert, Kabul, May 2004 / Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Pictures taken from Farhad Darya’s official site without permission


MIA – Arular / Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

It’s a bomb yo, so run yo
Put away your stupid gun yo
Cos see though like a protocol call
Which is why they blow it up fore they go

Semi-9 and snipered him
On that wall they posted him
They cornered him
And then just murdered him

He told them he didn’t know them
He wasn’t there they didn’t know him
They show’d him a picture then
”Ain’t that you with the Muslims?”

He got colgate on his teeth
and reeebok classics on his feet
at a factory he does Nike
and then helps the family
from "Sunshower"

Sri Lankan-English M.I.A. raps nonchalantly about life under in revolutionary conflict (not just in Sri Lanka but all over the world), a Tamil Tiger father who disappeared one day, being a brown refugee in white West London, all with infectious beats and weird blats and beeps that hit on dancehall, hiphop, electronica, and everything between.

! חג שמח

Oznei haman and sakhlav / Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Happy Purim!

March 23, 2005

Very Pretty

Aryan Vaid / Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Bollywood star, Aryan Vaid

Remember the People

A voice from Damascus:

American warships are said to be coming our way. What does that mean? Is it really going to happen? Can nothing be done to help prevent the situation from reaching this bloody climax?

The window of opportunity on a peaceful rational settlement is quickly closing. Can they see this here? Can they move that fast? Can they divorce themselves, for once, from wishful thinking? Is it still feasible?

From Amarji - A Heretic's Blog

Cat Owner Narrowly Avoids Blood-Soaked Death

A resident of [some city somewhere] was “shocked and amazed” when his cat, Noudnic, 3.5, not only accepted a new brand of cat food but seemed pleased by its flavour.

The last time I tried to change Noudnic’s favourite brand, he peed on all my plants, knocked all my books off the bookshelf, kept me up all night by playing with my feet, and generally tore about the place as if his tail were on fire / Image Hosted by ImageShack.us“The last time I tried to change Noudnic’s favourite brand, he peed on all my plants, knocked all my books off the bookshelf, kept me up all night by playing with my feet, and generally tore about the place as if his tail were on fire. It was quite maddening,” said Popup Pupop, 794 years old. “And he’s normally a very friendly, placid creature,” added Mr. Pupop.

Cats – unlike dogs and humans, who have less discriminating taste – are very particular about the food they prefer to have served them and will often refuse, at times violently, a change in sustenance routine.

“But when I noticed that Flavoured Vittles had changed their packaging to better reflect a lifestyle I think appropriate to mine, I had to buy them,” continued Mr. Pupop, author of the already famous Blample Sog blog, as well as of the legendary, now-defunct Surly Snobby blog; various letters to national and international newspapers; and translator of such popular training manuals for bank employees such as Try Not to Giggle When They Complain about the Service and Discussing Loans With “Clients”: Up Your Condescension. He is also the author of various brilliant yet mystifyingly as-yet unpublished short stories and novels.

He is also the author of various brilliant yet mystifyingly as-yet unpublished short stories and novels / Image Hosted by ImageShack.us “But the kicker was when I saw that they were advertising that Flavoured Vittles now contain 4.3% more animal product. That’s a lot more animal product! How could Noudnic possible refuse that?”

Some of Mr. Pupop’s friends and family contend that he should get himself a real job, get a life, stop going on dates with bubbleheaded boys with nice bums, stop having meaningless sex, and get a real boyfriend and settle down fer gawd’s sake. Mr. Pupop, however, is satisfied with the course of his life so far and sees no reason to change anything but his cat’s food.

March 22, 2005

Totally Big Confession

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usOk, guys. I have this like totally important confession to make. I never liked Dvora Shermanski ever. Ever. I know I like hung out at the mall with her and walked to school with her and everything, but she liked totally got on my nerves all the time and I wanted to slap her most of the time. She was so annoying!

I didn’t hang out with her because she’s popular. No way! I was way popular without her! Like, she should feel lucky I hung out with her. I was on the Student Council.

I hung out with her because I was totally in love with her boyfriend, Ofir Barr. Like, sometimes I new that if I went over to her place he would be there n’stuff. Like, you don’t understand! I was like so in love with him!

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usLike that time we went to the Huey Lewis & the News concert and he looked soooooooo hot in his acid wash jeans I thought I would die!

Another time she was sick or something so in Chemistry Mr. Wojoczosznyk made me Ofir Barr’s lab partner and he like said to me, “Wow! We have great chemistry together!” HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! He was so funny!

Anyways, I ran into him at the bar a couple of nights ago. He looks ok, but being in his 30s hasn’t been like totally kind to him and everything and I kinda wondered what I ever saw in him. But he seems happy. He introduced me to his boyfriend and he seems like a nice guy.

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Pic like totally donated by José Cuerva

And now I just want to find Dvora Shermanski in whatever little suburban hellhole she’s ended up in - she’s probably like an accountant or a claims adjuster or something – and say to her, “Haha, bitch! Your boyfriend is GAY!”

Yearbook photos totally scammed from my yearbook. The photos are like totally not the people I’m talking about, whose names I like changed n'stuff. Some circumstances have been altered: I never EVER went to a Huey Lewis & the News concert ever!

March 21, 2005

Lion in Winter

When will winter end? / Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image kindly donated by 5500

When will winter end?

It may take me, say, fifty cups of coffee to wake up in the morning, but reading about the Republicans and their newest law applying to one single person gave me enough of a jolt to skip the fiftieth and move straight on into my normal daily routine of awaiting impending doom. Whether or not one agrees with the decision to remove Mrs Schiavo's feeding tube, one must admit that recalling a government and enshrining into law an action that has already had its due process in court and was struck down sets a very dangerous precedent. Tremble in fear, my American cousins ...

Another jolt was provided by an electric little tidbit from the Holy Land.

Separation / Image Hosted by ImageShack.us.
Image kindly donated by Jonathan McIntosh

Why I'm surprised by this I have know idea. Anyone familiar with the peace process on this side of the world knows that "give and take", ie. compromise - and I mean for all sides of the conflict - means "I give a little, and then I take a lot". And Israelis and Palestinians will continue to die over a neighbourhood here, a house there ...

March 20, 2005

Good Shape

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Stolen from somewhere. I forget where. Sorry, ghost photographer.