Archive for February, 2009

Monday Morning Madness

So the idea is that I will write every morning, for an hour, about whatever. It was something I picked up on the “tips” section of a writers’ blog in the vastness of the Internet. That being said, not everything I write will end up here. And not everything that ends up here was… Well, you get the point.

Today however, is one of those days, when what I write will end up here, like it already has.

So what is on your mind today, Al?

That sounds like something my shrink would ask me. Not that I have a shrink, but if I had, that sounds like something he’d ask.

I would reply with something like, “Nothing at the moment, but I can make something up.”

At which point, he would say “Fine, then make something up.”

From there on, we would get into a long and complex, but strangely familiar dialogue, before realizing halfway that my shrink is in fact Dr. Jeffrey Squires, and I am still asleep, and dreaming like my life depended on it.

But come to think of it, dreams make life worth living. I mean, why exist if you have nothing to achieve? You might as well just die and make space for the dreaming humans, after all, resources are very scarce.

But right now, it is not the scarcity of the resources in the world that is on my mind; it is the Maths class I’m having in an hour that bothers me.

One morning, I woke up to find myself studying Artificial Intelligence. Funny thing is that I’m not particularly bright at Maths. Sure, I like computers (who doesn’t?), and have experimented with a few programming languages, but Calculus just isn’t my thing.

I want to be a filmmaker. No, not in a Hollywood sort of way, although I have to admit that’ll be quite good. But small scale, Indie, so to say. And not only direct my own films, but work on other people’s. Help and teach others in non-formal ways and just live in the filmmaking. Live in the filmmaking: That’s my dream.

But I have a problem. Maybe not a problem in the I-owe-the-mob-a-shit-load-of-money-and-they-want-it-by-tomorrow sort of way, but a problem nonetheless.

None of my close friends is really into film. Sure, we often have great times at the movies, and even talk about said movies afterwards. But there’s a way moviegoers talk about a movie, and there’s a way moviemakers talk about a movie. Not one of my friends talk like the latter.

I’m not saying they should. I like pizza, and If it’s hot and smells nice, I’m game. I don’t really care how it came to be.

But I have my artsy friends, only not as easily accessible as I’d have wanted, but what the hell. They are the kind of friends that you’ll need a computer with a pathway to the interweb just to say Hi to. But take my word for it, it’s worth it.

I mean, take when I wanted to get my DSLR for example. Sure, I could have thrown the problem at Google, and gotten a thousand fucking answers which I would spend the whole day checking. But no, I asked Sean, and he gave me his honest to God opinion, straight up. It is refreshing.

Or when I so much like to talk about a film related something, and none of my friends seem to be paying any attention. Then on, she comes and we argue for an hour. No, it’s not the kind of argument that frustrates; it’s the kind that liberates. There is just something relaxing about having a deep, but meaningless conversation about something you care about with someone you know knows their shit, even if they don’t agree with you. In fact it’s more fun when they don’t always agree. Thank you Nadira for being there, even if so rarely.

This is turning into some kind of love letter to my online artsy friends, which is fine. They keep me alive, fuel my dreams and give me a reason to live. I love them all.

I would probably die if I didn’t have such friends. Not a physical death of course, but what’s a body without a soul? I’ll tell you, a vessel for the body snatchers to invade!

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I Believe in Harvey Dent

It started with a coin. No, it actually started with me, and my innocent mistake.

Thinking it was Thursday, I woke up fashionably late to get ready for my 11 am class. At 11:45 am, I was in class, but there was no one there. Had the class already finished, I thought. That can’t be possible, it is a two hour class after all. It was five minutes later that I realized it was actually Wednesday, and I didn’t have any class till an hour later.

I decided to get breakfast instead. Fish and Chips maybe, I remember thinking. Or maybe a light sandwich with some veges on the side to give the illusion of health. I decided to have some rice, I  was in Asia after all.

It was somewhere around the school’s ATM, on the edge of the steps to the cafeteria when I spotted Manisha. I remember saying something like “What’s up Manisha?”. She wanted me to sign up for the debating society.

I’ve never really liked the idea of clubs and societies. I think they are a con, much like weddings and pyramid schemes. But it was Manisha; probably one of the few genuinely nice people I know, so I said to her, “You got a coin?”

“What for?” she asked. I explained that I was going to toss it: Heads, I sign up; tails I fuck off. It was fine with her, so she handed me a 50 from her purse.

I threw the poor thing into the air, and we waited. It seemed as the coin elegantly rose to the heavens, time slowed down. And when it reached it’s maximum height, it came to a complete halt. For a second or two, it danced like a ballerina-fairy, before falling down to earth in full speed, turning and twisting like an Olympic diver. It came crashing into my palm, and I quickly covered it with the back of my other had and waited.

Anticipation, you could feel it mounting in the air. I stood my ground, letting it sink in. What would it be? Heads? Tails? Maybe neither. Maybe this is some Chris Angel shit and there isn’t even a coin between my hands.

Slowly and carefully, I moved my hand over, and there in the middle of my palm was the king’s head, facing the sky and praying to the lord for me to sign up. How could I let down a coin like that?

The first meeting was so much fun, but that’s another story entirely. Should I tell? Well that depends, “You got a coin?”

Coin