Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Letters to the void.

The notion of peace of mind has had several varying avatars in my mind over the years. For the first time though, I had to accept my Dad's take on it today. I usually don't directly accept his take on anything quite without qualification, as a matter of course :).
Does it become easier to expect others to accept what you accept of yourself? The reference is obviously not to the trivial situation when there would be no trouble for anyone to accept... whatever. Instead, to all those things one would not imagine to be quite readily acceptable. But where such non-acceptance appears at least somewhat unjustified.
--You can probably only truly tell if you are at ease (peace? not necessarily,) with yourself, life, love and everything considered, when said life, you and everything have all slowed down to a point where the surrounding static has wound down to a whisper. Longer-than-usual breaks are good for that :). As long as you are, indeed, at ease that is. Otherwise they can lead to an intensifying of the unease....
Some things in the past are best never forgotten. And others that can't be. It would appear, though, that happiness is in striving not to forget, but to assimilate. The past with the present. Whatever surprises the future holds, few can be more... surprising, for lack of a more appropriate word, than the ones that bring up something of the past, hidden away, or forgotten.
Happiness, however, appears to be distinct from peace. Inside the mind or outside in the Universe. Sometimes I almost wish I could imagine, no, see (I do imagine,) the strings and webs stretching across space and time that would make everything make sense. Except for this tiny wrinkle, I do not believe.

Feeling: at ease...
Listening to: Aqualung - Easier to lie

Sunday, 26 April 2009

An unexpected newcomer

It's really wonderful how awesome very surprising, good news can make you feel, even momentarily at least :). Could put you in a proper good mood :). Of course you still have to avoid messing it up in under 2 minutes flat :|.Not that I need any particular reason to be in a good mood these days :). The break's going quite nicely, despite the almost Sahara (or maybe Thar) - like weather, uncharacteristically dry and soaring Mercury levels. I'm done with most of my mandatory travelling and I've still got almost 2 weeks of break to go!! :D

Blissful joblessness :). I am, of course, aware that under the circumstances that's not necessarily a state one hopes will last overly long :|. Still, while it lasts the least one can do is enjoy it :). I think I've not been spending much time at home over the last year or so (like, DUH!! :|) Usually, I never actually get to this comfortable state without already having to worry about the next travel stuff!

Currently: at peace :)
Listening to: Barenaked Ladies - Pinch me

Monday, 20 April 2009

Summer is here

12 hours straight, and I'm satisfactorily de-zombified! Ah, it's good to be home :). I think I recover from lack of sleep somewhat more slowly these days... Getting old :(.

I actually had quite an easy trip back this time! Only the long stopover in Delhi, and the new terminal. Which I had to get to through what looked like miles of rubble, 'cos the bus driver didn't know that the new terminal was already operational! The terminal itself was quite nice though! Wi-Fi, power sockets, half decent food places open well past midnight!
I don't think I was looking at quite the same piece of geography while taking off from Oslo as I did on the way in, but it was still obvious that almost all the snow was either gone or soon about to disappear :-<.

Also worth a mention would be the fact that I finally got a PSP. Not a big fan of gaming on small screens... but the deal with NFS Undercover was kinda hard to pass by :P. It's surprisingly (and somewhat scarily) easy to end up spending way too much time on it :|. But hey, I'm on break! :D And so far I'm still supposed to be on break for the better part of three weeks, a first since the beginning of '08! So that's good. Should get some more reading done. Finished off the Asimov and started off with Slam. Almost done too! A Long Way Down remains my favourite Hornby. I like this one a fair way better than I liked How to be Good though :). The 'wizzing' into the future bits put me off a little to be honest... I think I'll carry on with Robots after this. I'm actually toying with the idea of getting some more Asimovs... We'll see when I'm through with the next 2 books.

hot and sweaty, it's 40 degrees in April!! :(
Listening to: Audioslave - Be yourself

Edit: See now that's exactly why I usually wouldn't go ahead and say something about a book before I'd actually finished :|. But how was I to know that right up to the end of chapter 18 it wasn't going to be all that and right there, between the end of 18 and the end of 20 it would all get better?! Anyway, just to clarify, A Long Way Down is still my favourite Nick Hornby. But now this one's gone past High Fidelity and well, while it's not past About a Boy, it's quite close :).

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Midnight in an imperfect world

Sudden unexpected truths can have far-reaching effects. Heh, vague huh? :)The other night I couldn't sleep. Doesn't happen to me all that often, actually. I do honestly believe that sleep is one of those few things that could never possibly be over-rated. Of course, that also means that on those rare occasions when I fail to find sleep quickly, I tend to start panicking. Just a little bit :).

But there are times when other things seem more pressing. Like staring at yourself in a dark mirror realising that you never ever see yourself quite the way others do. (And vice versa.) And finding that a little saddening. Or feeling as if you are looking at a part of yourself you have avoided for a while. And failing to recognise it any more.I find it a lot more comforting to take long exposure pictures of the tiny blinking lights in your living room that only show up when all the rest is dark :).

Currently: bemused
Listening to: Craig Armstrong - Be still my soul

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Awesomeness :)

It is ironic that the first time I went snowboarding was the very first weekend of this season at the Tryvann Vinterpark, and this, the last weekend before it closes again for 7 or 8 months, might prove to be the last time for me too. For a while at least. Chances of me being here next time around are not exactly high, to put it mildly.
So yeah, I finally made it, despite the surge in temperature lately, and despite the rain. The weather was actually quite nice, the sun playing hide and seek with clouds that otherwise left the bright blue sky largely unmasked :). Seeing how there arent exactly a whole lot of people here this time, plus this being Easter weekend and what not, there were eventually only three of us who made it. One of them a complete newbie.I am now quite proud of myself as a snowboarding basics instructor :D. Okay, maybe the guy was a slumbering snowboarding genius, but seeing how I was the one that managed to instruct him to a fair degree of skill in a mere 5 hours, I'm taking all the credit :P.For some vague reason Tryvann had decided to shut shop at 5pm instead of the usual 10pm. So even though I managed to drag myself out of bed at the unearthly hour of 8am (this is a Sunday morning, I'm not on the boat!!) and out of the house an hour later, and we were suited up and ready to roll (ahem, slide) at a little bit past 11, we still had less than 6 hours!! And boy did we make good use of that time! :)
I think I definitely am getting better at this :D. By the end of it, I'd even managed to figure out how to get off of the chair lift without ending up in a complete tangle. I was still raring to go for at least a few more rounds of the easier slopes. And this, after we'd done about a gazillion different combinations of the million different interconnected slopes they have :D. As it is, we weren't the very last people on the lifts, but it was a close thing :).
And as alway, I left wishing that I could get some more of it. The absolute quiet as we were carried back up on the lifts. The roar as I'd thunder down on a particularly ambitious slope, gathering some speed. The clamour inside my head as I continuously hurtled on on the edge, every little twitch keeping me up, or throwing me over :). You hardly ever hear the quiet as you charge down the hillside :D. Oh well, who knows, maybe I'll get to put those ski-pants to some more use one of these days...

Currently: :)
Listening to: Jeremy Kay - Have it all

Thursday, 9 April 2009

On the importance of timing.

It's raining here a lot these days. Sadly. It was quite nice the first couple of days or so. Unfortunately that makes the possibility of going snowboarding rather remote. Good thing is the weekend forecast looks better.

Of course, even though I say weekend as though it's something remote, I've already spent one day of it. Yes, here it's a rather heavily extended weekend. Five days! And a half, Wednesday was a half day. No lunch at the canteen, and in case you didn't know that and weren't suitably prepared, you had to leave early or your stomach presented the potential problem of digesting itself :|. I of course, left well before that :). Even made use of the intervening time quite judiciously, catching up on about a month of insufficient sleep :D.I've recently noticed how specific activities can quite effectively be mapped by soundtrack. (Even though, given that songs are rarely of a uniform duration, it is only an approximate notion. Then again, we're not exactly doing time trials here.) Walk to and from work - 4 n a 1/2 songs. 3 n a 1/2 if it's raining, or if it's really really cold. 5 songs to the mall from work, 4 from my apartment. 5 - 6 songs for the grocery store, from when I'm through the gates to when I'm at the counter. Of course, the period from then on to when I'm out the door is somewhat more random.

My boss is on holiday. Have I mentioned? For the entire period that I'm here :|. Of course, had I known I'd probably have headed home straight from the boat. I'm not sure which is the more tempting scenario though, that I'm actually getting days off even when I'm on office time and will still have my proper time off regardless, or that I could just have gone home and taken it completely easy without the stray pangs of guilt that maybe I'm slacking off a bit, 'cos my boss is not here....

Aah, who cares!

Currently: sleepy :)
Listening to: Foo Fighters - Learn to fly

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

The snow is melting away.

And the first thing you notice is all the grit on the side walks. Well, that's the first thing I noticed anyway. See, all the stuff they pour on the hardening and progressively more slippery snow through the winter months, once the snow's melted off, it's left lying around in heaps. I wonder if they ever sweep it off...Good thing though, is that there's still a fair bit of snow very much in evidence all around. Though as it melts slowly, there are little streams of water all over the place. Softly gurgling over the rocks next to the less busy streets, where you can actually hear it :).

Oh, in case it's not obvious, I'm back in Asker! Yeah, finally! :) Very big relief indeed! I was still sort of holding my breath till we actually were on-board the chase boat that was to take us back on-shore overnight. And not entirely at peace till that boat was out of sight and radio contact with the Trident :). Unfortunately, there are still some desperate souls stuck there. For once, I'm not the one with the absolutely worst story!
It was quite nice on the chase boat to be honest, with containerised accommodation and eight doubled up bunks rather strongly resembling some back-packers lodge :). Okay, so what it actually was, is that it was a hell of a lot better than I was expecting it to be :). It's been a while since I'd last been on one of these! But of course all that nice stuff came to a grinding halt as soon as we got to Luanda. It only took us, like, an insane 3 hours plus to get through a mindless succession of queues just to get checked in! And that without any check-in bag :|. Followed by a waiting area with broken air-conditioning that was a free for all for smokers, resulting in a thoroughly pervading haze. And only after some more queueing and irritating 'random' bag searches were we able to escape! Wanna know the really sad part? In about a month or so I'll be trying to get back in :(.Oh well, I'd promised myself the last time I was travelling that as soon as I had my bigger back-pack, and the opportunity, I'll get two books: Nick Hornby's Slam and Chris Cleave's The Other Hand. This time I got both. Unfortunately it was in Heathrow, I don't like the Pound :|. I also managed to almost finish the Asimov. I would have too, had it not been for the rather unusual spectacle that greeted me on the way into Gardermoen. Massive expanses of semi-frozen water. A landscape slowly waking up from winter and shrugging off the white blanket. Of course, there's still a lot more shrugging to be done :).So I guess that brings us back up to speed, I am in a new apartment this time. Well, one I haven't stayed in before. And I quickly found out that none of the electrics worked in about half the apartment. Unfortunately, the half with the fridge and the microwave :-S. With the Easter weekend coming up, that was a serious problem. Apparently nothing stays open, no restaurants, no shops, malls, nothing!

Anyway, turns out it was only a tripped load switch. Took me forever to actually find it though! But now that the fridge is back to normal operating temperature (this is one of those 'smart' things that keeps flashing an alarm if the temp's too high, or if you leave the door open for too long and all that jazz :|), I'm safe from starvation over the long weekend!
To top it off I just found out that at least one of the slopes here will stay open through Easter. Plus the local multiplex is showing Monsters vs Aliens and Fast & Furious :D. Good times!

Currently: being lazy :)
Listening to: Katy Perry - Hot and cold

Friday, 3 April 2009

Cloudy skies

For a change, this time around I have photographs. Truckloads of them. But still nothing to write about. Nothing barring the annoying 'oh my God when the hell am I ever going to get out of here' kind of stuff that is.Speaking of which, looks like we might finally be getting off here sometime today. It wouldn't be a very good idea to get too excited till it actually happens.... In the mean time, there's always basketball on the heli-deck at night.

Currently: packed up and ready to GO!
Listening to: Audioslave - Be yourself