Monthly Archives: January 2009

Cryptamajig

That’s Cryptic + Stringamajig. If you aren’t into cryptics but are curious, there are a lot of good sites on the web on how to solve cryptic crosswords. If it doesn’t hold your interest, there’s always Stringamajig. Of course, you could do both; nothing would delight me more.

CRYPTIC:

  1. Back off in burning platform (11)
  2. Smash a lot of rhinos (5)
  3. Jealousy of minister, nothing less (4)

g

STRINGAMAJIG:

Below is a set of six words. You need to string them together in one whacky sentence – or a profound one, if you wish. There’s no word limit. But if you want to break it up into more sentences, you do have a word limit of 15.

Flippant, Kiwi, Apprehend, Mortgage, Bang, Harpoon.

-Verbs could be used in any tense, mood and form.

-If a word has multiple meanings / parts of speech, you are free to use any.

May the whackiest sentence win. Well, there’s no winner – at least not yet. Just have fun with words.

Edited to add: The cryptic has been solved by catcharun. The answers appear in the comments. If you still want to give it a sincere shot – and I say you should – do not read the comments just yet. If you crack it, please state the answers in your comment; I’ll gladly take your word for it. -g

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Mo!

Here I am, barely done setting up a blog, trying to figure out who this starving political party nationalist organization is, and why it needs to feed on my blog of all places; playing with some html – which was nothing but Hotmail without vowels before – trying to tell a widget from a gadget, and what happens? They throw one more thing at me to figure out. I get tagged. Well if anything, I realize that gadget is more like tagged than it is like widget. At least to those who are biased towards anagrams rather than rhymes.

So the tag, yes. They call it an award. A bit of a shuffle, and it could well be ‘a draw‘; a lucky one at that. But what it really is, is a gift. A nice gesture by a very nice person, in wicked humor. And it has achieved exactly what it set out to do – encourage a newbie, kindergarten blogger, and make her squirm with embarrassment. And to add salt to the embarrassment (don’t you just love blogetic license!), it has to be displayed. Right here. So I’ll be a sport, swallow the embarrassment – the salt wasn’t in vain, then – do my Oscar speech and move on.

butterfly-small

I would like to thank Mom, Dad, the dog, the neighbors, their little brat, my maternal uncle’s best friend’s sister-in-law, and her third cousin. I love you all! Well, maybe not the brat so much. And a bunch of smart writers – mostly whacky – with nifty blogs, who don’t just help me unwind; they actually show up here, comment and make my day! And, since there can never be a speech without a last but not the least, last but not the least – Mother Teresa and World Peace.

Alright, that last bit makes no sense to me either. But it has to be mentioned if you want to be cool. And I must want to be cool. Else I’d be uncool, which is not a very cool thing to be. Or so I’m made to believe.

Now that the frivolities are done with, I’d like to quickly pass this on to (opens envelope):

Aparna: The very first blog I started following; a quiet inspiration to many a mommy blog in the sphere, directly or indirectly. Love her simple, succinct writing style and her attitude towards everything in life :) Keep being you, Aps!

Rads, thanks again! And I mean it in a good way :-D

For anyone who cares to know – the title is the final mo of eenie-meenie-mynie-mo, that landed the tag here :-|

Hyperbloge

hyperbloge /haɪˈpɜrbləgi/ n. A constant added to any mundane incident to give it optimal drama to blog about.

Usage: Why don’t you blog about your conversation with the pharmacist? A little hyperbloge and you should be good.

Root: hyperbole

Prease Exprain!

Unlike good old India – I refer to the one I was brought up in – having kids in the US means chauffeuring them to a bunch of unnecessary classes at a ridiculously young age. Quite contrary to my own liking, my kid happens to be one such victim of a couple parent-chauffeured classes – not to be confused with parent-driven classes. And in the true esprit de chauffeurs, the parents always wait outside for that measly half hour, chatting other parents up.

On one such occasion, I had a chance encounter with this interesting rady lady from Japan. I could tell from the corner of my eye that she was sizing me up. After giving her the customary 5 seconds to do so, I flashed her a the-world-won’t-perish-if-we-say-hello smile. We did, after all, have something in common – a half hour to kill.

She took me up on my offer, and with this authoritative conviction, stated, “You don’t rook Indian!” Surprised as I was, I decided that must be Japanese for ‘Hello’. Quite paradoxical, that statement. If I didn’t look Indian, maybe I wasn’t. Why then, would she even think of mentioning it?

I’ve often read, and even experienced, that the Japanese are one of the most polite peoples in the world. Given that I very obviously look Indian, I started wondering if there was a deeper, underlying meaning to that charge. Surely this must be some form of humor. Polite Japanese humor, perhaps. I didn’t want to make a fool of myself with an ignorant “Oh but I am Indian!” That’s tantamount to admitting you didn’t get the joke. I felt obliged to reciprocate in just as absurd a manner, and replied clumsily (but politely), “You must be from Croatia.” Lame! But it somehow seemed to satisfy her. “Asia, yes. But no crows, onry buildings.”

Our conversation went on to the weather, other small talk, and the coming long weekend. She asked me if we had plans, and I told her we’d be going camping. “Camping!! Indians don’t camp!” (What?! Whatever gave you that idea?). But again, the conviction was unmistakable. She must know something I didn’t. Besides, I didn’t look Indian, so even if I did know, I doubt how much it would count. My curiosity got ahead of me, however. Before I could stop myself, I had asked her why she thought so. “Oh, my neighbors are Indian,” she said confidently, “they never camp”. Aha! That explains it! Case closed.

Apparently, the case wasn’t closed. What do you know, I had more to learn about myself! “You don’t seem the camping type, my dear. You want to stay inside the walls of your home, with your comfy bed and your comfy satin sheets.” I was flummoxed. Where was that crystal ball that was telling her all this?

I didn’t even know where to begin. Should I tell her how wrong she was? But even there, I wouldn’t know where to begin. Apart from the crucial truth that I did in fact believe myself to be “the camping type”, I would find it very hard to breathe inside the walls of my home. Unless there was a hole drilled to hang a painting and then forgotten about. Besides, satin sheets are not my idea of comfort. The slippery things would keep me fidgeting all night. Do they even exist outside Hollywood and commercials for 7-star resorts? It didn’t matter. I didn’t care to know.

I was exactly at the point in the conversation where I wasn’t sure if I was losing patience or beginning to enjoy this. I decided to give her what she’d like to hear. My cheap thrill in doing so would only be a harmless by-product. “We’d be taking my husband’s truck,” I played along shamelessly. “We always take the bed, mattress, bedding set, heater-fan, microwave and our little TV. And the generator, of course. But that’s all we take. What’s the point in camping if you take along conveniences like washer, dryer and the Jacuzzi? We’ll buy dinner from Olive Garden to take along.”

I doubt she actually bought that, but by now she was visibly convinced I was outlandish enough to actually do it. I could tell she was debating whether to believe me. She opened her mouth to say something, but thankfully, her son was out just then and she had to leave. She muttered a good-bye, which I acknowledged with a we-must-do-this-again nod.

In the course of our interesting conversation, I failed to notice this fly on the wall all along – a partly amused, partly embarrassed American lady. As she watched Miss Cleo leave, she leaned towards me and almost apologetically said, “That’s not really how all Japanese are, you know. I spent three years in Japan; they’re wonderful people.” It was nice of her to say that. “Yes, I do know,” I assured her briefly, with a smile.

Of course I knew. It wasn’t so much where Miss Cleo was from, it was what she was about. That’s just how it is with some people. They are simpry beyond expranation.

Funny Bone

funny bone /fʌnI boʊn/ n. Ironic nerve at the elbow; fails to elicit laughter when hit. Neither funny, nor a bone. Near-humerus, but not quite.

www.scri8e.com

Image courtesy: http://www.scri8e.com

Sum, Ergo Blogito

There was a time we had philosophers do our primary chore for us – the burden of thinking freely. What bliss! René Descartes established his existence as a thinker with his statement, “Je pense, donc je suis“, more popular as the Latin phrase Cogito, ergo sum – I think, therefore I am.

How times change! Before, we wouldn’t think freely. Now we think for free! We fancy ourselves as the Descartes or Kierkegaard of our times. Sheer existence seems to be enough qualification to putting down wisdom on paper. Because I have neither wisdom nor paper, I was looking forward to being one unenlightened earthling without a blog. There goes my dream – damn existence!

Add one more common face number to the crowd, Blogworld. What can I do? I exist. I must blog. And with due respect to Monsieur Descartes, here I establish my blog with my statement: Sum, ergo blogito.

PS: I honestly would not have started this blog but for the constant nagging encouragement to write from a dear friend with unlimited patience. Or the persuasion to start blogging by this persistent mad med buddy. Can’t thank you enough – and won’t hesitate to blame you if this sucks ;)