Thursday, July 31, 2008

Loopy Logos

I posted some logos here earlier but on second thoughts decided they weren't worthy of being blogged for all posterity (ha). So I've left just one of them in. It -- and its friends -- got a chuckle out of me when I got it by e-mail from (you guessed it!) Anvar but up here in my blog they seemed to lose their sparkle. Whatever. Here's the best one:


Friday, July 25, 2008


The morning after taking the photographs below, I found E holding the bird in his hands. Then he looked up and said, "He's dying."

It was a painful shock -- even though I could see right away that there was something wrong with the little body. E said he'd found him that way a few moments earlier. There was no sign of any external injury. The eyes were shut but he seemed to be experiencing some type of convulsions. It was very sad to be unable to do anything to help.

We wrapped him in a bit of soft cloth and then I just held him in my hand till the tiny whirring sensation that signified he was still alive gradually ceased. It didn't take very long, perhaps ten minutes. I am glad that at the very least, it didn't happen in the darkness and all alone. It occurred to me that perhaps the saddest of fates is to be alone at the time of death. It must happen to so many people! Of course, one could argue that it hardly matters, since the dying person is not going to "know" -- since he/she will then be dead ...


We're guessing that it was the diet that did in our little guest -- we should've been able to hunt up a few spiders or at least some caterpilars to feed him. Instead we were lulled into complacence by the fact that he did appear to be managing on the tiny scraps of meat we were feeding him -- in the sense that we could see it was certainly being processed, judging by the little white deposits that appeared at regular intervals. Alas, we were wrong.

I will remember a sweet moment: I was lying on the bed, napping, when he flew down from his favourite perch, on the ceiling fan (off, of course) and landed on my tummy. Then he just stood there and had a bit of snooze too!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bird Season (again)



Four days ago, E was walking around the local Community Centre when he happened to see a tiny bird attempting to break into the Standard Chartered Bank ATM salon. According to the security guard sitting by the door, the bird had been there ALL DAY. So of course E picked it up and brought it home.

It appears to be a young robin, able to fly, but not quite ready to leave home. He's (I think it's male, going by the picture of the adults in Salim Ali) survived so far, but every day we worry about his prospects. He's an insectivore so we've been force-feeding him tiny kababs of mutton, but we realize that spiders would be much more to his taste. Ordinarily this house is awash in spiders, but of course now that we want to find some, there isn't a SINGLE ONE IN SIGHT.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Washington Post Invitational

In case it isn't already obvious, this post is aimed at women rather than at men. Or at any rate, those women (or men) who wear women's underpants, hereinafter to be referred to as "undies".

It's very possible that millions of you have never been annoyed by the need to remove undies while peeing. This could be because you either do not wear undies (perfectly reasonable -- one of my cousins (and I will NOT say which) told me, years ago, that her mother didn't believe in wearing 'em. I was deeply impressed) or because you have already discovered the solution I am about to reveal or because you wear split-crotch panties, which, I am told, nonscarlet ladies know nothing about, despite having seen salacious advertisements for them (the undies, not the ladies) in comicbook end-pages. Whatever the reasons, this post is not aimed at you but at all your friends and relatives who have not yet seen the light (but would like to).

The solution is this: you prepare yourself to pee without removing the undies -- whether sitting or squatting -- and then you just reach underneath yourself, pull your undie aside and, umm, pee. It's as simple and brainless as that. Most undies these days have elastic around all their edges, and even if they don't, it makes very little difference: the gusset underneath is very easy to pull aside and just as easy to return to its position.

Amazing as it may be to confess this, I have spent some part of my 55 years fretting about having to pee out in the open, while en route to a picnic spot (or indeed AT a picnic spot since I belong to the generation and type of family that believed it was utterly bourgeois to frequent picnic spots which had been created for picnickers, complete with cement-concrete benches and public toilets). I don't go out on picnics or long-distance car journeys anywhere near as often as I used to as a child, but it does happen now and then.

Just last week, f'rinstance, when I was in Bombay, I went up to Panchgani in the company of my friends A and J, who drive up every weekend, to visit their farm. I may blog about this visit at greater length some other time, but on this occasion, the relevant point I want to make is that, as one might expect of farmland that was only bought last year, there was no loo. A and J, being men, had no concerns. I knew that I would, eventually. When that time arrived, I was pointed in the direction of a handy tree, behind a screen of walls and bushes.

This was when I, for the first time, employed the above-described method of peeing without having to bare the royal bum to the elements. The weird thing is, I've thought of it many times but never actually done it. Can't explain why. After all, there are many occasions when (in trains, in airport toilets) the only available toilet is a floor-level squatter. If you are anything like me, then you will have cursed the need to be perched above the toilet-pan with your ankles shackled in a tiny elastic undie that has been stretched to breaking point, while you pee. The option is to partially disrobe. This means removing the undie from one leg, which means that you must balance on one foot while performing this operation, attempting all the while to prevent the intimate underparts of your garment coming in contact with your germ-laden shoe as the undie passes over it ...

Well. You get the picture. It's been a nuisance. And yet I've never, before last week, considered the very simple solution described above.

Isn't that astonishing? The funny thing is, it really is less hassle and yet I must report a peculiar resistance to doing it -- like discovering that I'm a closet-Nazi and not wanting to admit it. I don't even know if it's unusual. Is it? I don't normally discuss peeing procedures with my friends (or even, it must be admitted, with my enemies) nor do I attempt to watch what others do, so I have no existing fund of information to share on the subject. I did once review a book called THE BATHROOM, by Alexander Kira, but that was many years ago and anyway, it did not concern itself with undies at all but the design of bathroom fixtures.

I need hardly add, moving the panty aside is the easier solution to disrobing prior to peeing wherever one needs to go, at home as well as anywhere else -- yet I still prefer to take the longer route (i.e., the pull-'em-down approach)! This reluctance is, in my opinion, bizarre, so I have begun applying corrective measures.


And when you've disentangled yourself from your underwear, here's a list of words distilled from the WASHINGTON POST MENSA INVITATIONAL, sent to me by my tireless buddy Anvar. Some really good ones. Lists like this are a serious JOBSTACLE ...

Contemporary words you should know

A journalist using someone else's beeper

A small, barely audible emission of wind from the anus, ridiculous in nature.

Unhappy, miserable, desperate sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons.

Large, unintelligent, hairy people meandering obliviously in your path and not letting you pass by

Party at a monastery or convent

Deja pu
The inexplicable sense that you have smelled that malodorous gas before

An attempt to get people from different coffee drinking cultures to live happily ever after in caffeinated harmony

A species simlar to the antelope, who can't do anything

A song that gets stuck in your head despite all your efforts to get it out

A musical instrument whose strings are pulled by your mother.

A conscientious, meticulous, thorough fuck

An individual who disrupts andprolongs a meeting with an irritating series of foolish questions

A genital injury resulting from overzealous self-gratification.

Plea Market
A flea market where you have to beg for the lowest price

A lesbian who's just not quite sure

Really, really expensive toilet paper. Like the kind you find at Buckingham Palace

A unit of computer memory so enormous it can only be comprehended by Steve Jobs.

A member of the opposite sex who you tolerate, despite their stupidity, because they are ridiculously good-looking.

Lower back discomfort experienced when not seated in business class.

A laundry appliance for washing futuristic herbs.

Suds specially formulated to remove those embarrassing brown stains from underpants.

Chronic Fartigue Syndrome
Medical condition where excessive flatulence causes exhaustion.

Intepid Traveller
A tourist who is absolutely fearless of luke-warm water.

Centrifungal Force
A phenomenon in physics whereby mushrooms are pushed to outer edge of a high speed rotating object.

An inexplicable attraction to someone who can effortlessly and frequently clear a room.

Keying words or data in time to a Rolling Stones LP.

A singular focus and complete commitment to taking the next street on the left.

A condition resulting when toe replacement surgery goes horribly wrong

The artful shifting, placement, and ultimate arrangement of butt cheeks to achieve harmony with the seat of a bicycle.

An unkempt monarch

Tequila Bunrise
A drink made from tequila that makes you want to shake your ass

Anything that prevents you from doing your work

Hands like Sylvester Stallone

Edible complex
A man who is totally in love with his mother's cooking

Chairs you get from a fire sale

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

ATTENTION: all e-mail users

Got this in the mail from my sister G, who got it from someone else ...

Subject: appreciate your mail-MANY THANX for keeping me on your E-mail address list!!

My thanks to all those who have sent me emails this past year........

I must send my thanks to whoever sent me the one about rat shit in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet towel with every envelope that needs sealing.

Also, I now have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown); who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the "$$$150,000" that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program ....

Or from the senior bank clerk in Nigeria who wants me to split $7 million with me for pretending to be a long lost relative of a customer who died.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa's novena has granted my every wish.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

Thanks to you, I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward e-mails to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

Because of your concern, I no longer drink Coca-Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer can buy petrol without taking a friend along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm filling up.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with an aftershave sample and rob and rape me.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica , Uganda , Singapore and Uzbekistan.

Thanks to you, I can't use anyone's toilet but mine, because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my bum.

And thanks to your great advice, I can't even pick up the £50.00 I found dropped in the car park because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhoea will land on your head at 5:00pm this afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump.

I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbour's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beauticians relative once removed.

By the way ....
a South American scientist after a lengthy study has discovered that people with low IQ, who have infrequent sexual activity always read their e-mails with their hand on the mouse.

Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Updates, Updates ...

Markku Salo, Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimaki, 2008

This is just one of the many beautiful pieces of glass art I saw at the Finnish Glass Museum in Riihimaki -- the artist's name is Markku Salo and my photograph in no way does justice to the piece. My camera's battery died before I could take many more -- but even if it hadn't, I would urge you to take a look at his web-site if you want to see more of his work.