Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I've heard from more than one source that I sound a lot more serious in print than in person. When I write on my blog, write email and so on, I tend to come across as being quite serious. There have been rumblings from some quarters that I sound like a preppy upstart. DQ remarked on my seriousness once, and I've had other friends say the same.

The musings on this blog tend to be introspective, well-thought-out and so on. I can punctuate my writings with :), LOLs and :p, but what the heck, my blog was meant to challenge my writing style and not my texting vocabulary (which is fine, thx! ). If trying to be articulate and very precise with my vocabulary in speech and in writing is a crime, guilty as charged.

However, all this seriousness isn't because I don't have a sense of humor. It's just that my sense of humor is not very bloggable. I find humor in stuff I talk about, observe (especially personality traits, attitudes etc) and not in things I write about. It's also that I'm never satisfied with the attempts at 'humor' I make and they never end up on my blog for the same reason. Being a medicore humor-attempter is fodder for a Seinfeld 2.0 episode.

Elaine: "He writes lame jokes on his blog."

Seinfeld: "He's a pseudo-humorist!"

Elaine:"OMG, I just met a pseudo-humorist! Is it infectious?!"

This leads to a weird dichotomy: a somber persona online combined with a dry, sardonic tongue-in-cheek flesh-and-blood personality. The twain do meet, in the form of this person, who long ago learned that caring too deeply about what people think about you tends to over-analysis of your own behavior, which is never fun. As coeus would say "Doosron ke bare mein soch ke kiska bhala hua hai."

*The title of this post is pure genius, which is not me. Hat-tip to elder Bhratashree. It's also to avoid actually saying "Why so serious?!" - the dialog cliche of the year.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Tale of a day set right


7:30 AM - To self: "Wake up. You've got lots of work to do today."

7:50 AM - "OK this is it. Enough is enough. At this rate I'll be really late to work."

8:00 AM - Finally wake up to a miserable day out.

8:20 AM - I'm getting ready. Maybe I can get out of here by 8:40.

8:40 AM - Ha! I'm still wolfing down breakfast.

8:50 AM - The 16 is here. Why the 16? The 5 would've saved me a few minutes getting to downtown. But I'll take what I get.

9:45 AM - I'm walking to office from the Transit Center. "Alright! Will be in office before 10 - only half an hour later than planned. Work to be done."

Act I

10 AM - As I'm prepping a couple of machines for testing, I'm furiously multitasking, catching up with the market and bailout news...wait, what's that? Neil Gaiman's reading from his new book in Seattle tonight.

OMG OMG OMG, Neil Gaiman's in town. Wait, he has a new book out and I didn't know?!

I *have* to go for this! Chance of a lifetime! It's Neil Gaiman!

It's at 7 in U. District in Seattle, so I need to get out of work by 5:45. If I really rush my way through work, have a quick lunch, maybe I can get done here sooner.

1:30 PM - Things looking OK and on track.

Act II

2:30 PM - Why TF is that happening? An AV, of all things? Why today? Why now?

4:30 PM - NJ and I are no closer to figuring out what the problem is. NJ goes and tries something to fix a separate unrelated bug, re-builds and voila! The problem is gone. I'll still have to chase it down later, but the crisis is averted for now.

5:45 PM - I'm still not done here. Neil Gaiman's not happening. *sigh*

6:20 PM - Overlake Transit Center. I'm waiting for the 545. Me to self: "If I make it to the Montlake stop by 6:50, I'll take it as an Omen. I'll go then. Otherwise I'll go all the way to downtown and take the 5 home."

6:30 PM - The bus is whizzing through insane Friday-evening traffic. Hurray for the carpool lane! At this rate, I'll make it to Montlake by 6:50!


6:50 PM - Montlake ramp sidewalk - Two buses whizz by as I'm walking up to the Montlake Ave stop. Bummer. I'm going to have to walk 8-10 blocks which will take a minimum of 20 minutes.

6:52 PM - Montlake Ave stop - the 48 pulls up just as I reach it. That'll save me 10 minutes.

6:58 PM - A girl is asking the driver where the University Bookstore and church are. I ask her "Are you going to the Neil Gaiman reading? Do you know exactly where it is?." "Yes. My friend told me it's in the church across the street from the bookstore."

7:00 PM - We( The Girl From The Bus & I ) are rushing down 15th Ave NE and then across on 42nd street. We're late!

7:05 PM - I've paid up for the book. It's either that or a $5 fee. The clerk tells me that the book is autographed. Yay! Also, because of a number of buses running late, the reading's not started yet. Double yay!

7:10 PM - We make our way in: a Safeway grocery clerk from Ballard and a software 'serf from India, talking about the awesomeness of Neil Gaiman's writing and how crazy it was to make it here in time with the insufficient notice. (She learnt of it 20 minutes back just as she got off duty)

7:15 PM - Gaiman's finally on stage! He looks much shorter in real person, but as impish (and as good-looking) as in his photographs. Shorter hair than his recent pictures I've seen elsewhere.

He reads a full 40-page chapter from his latest, The Graveyard Book. It's good. The chapter is also curiously self-sufficient. I later realize it's a short story by itself in M is for Magic.

8:30 PM - Post-reading, there's a short break and we're back to a sneak preview of Coraline, based on a comic book by him.

9:00 PM - Q & A. He's really funny in real life too. That droll British sense of humor shines through. To top it, he reads from a new poem book Blueberry Girl. It's absolutely beautiful. As he ends, he gets a standing ovation from the 850-odd people in the audience.


9:40 PM - I'm out on the street, waiting for the 44 to take me home. There's a smile on my face and a song on my lips as a dull, regular "wait-for-the-weekend" Friday was transformed. And I have an autographed Neil Gaiman book to show for it.