Going to see a percussion group called STOMP! at the Lowry Theatre. They are rumoured to be really something else. This is a follow on from the great Kodo Drummers I saw at Bridgewater Hall in 2006 and my first introduction to stage percussion, a really energetic German group whose name I forget in Weimar’s Kunst Nacht a couple of years earlier.

Lotto Rapist Ruling

Once again the structural ambiguity inherent in the English language rears its confusing head in this BBC News 24 headline.

What kind of pervert rapes the Lotto, and why is he ruling?

Full story on the BBC site.

He shall bear them as the ass bears gold…

A very cynical passage from my all-time fav by Shakespeare- ‘Julius Caesar’.

Background:- Anthony has given his speech rousing the Romans against Caesar’s assassins. He now sits with Octavius Caesar and Marcus Lepidus (forming The Second Triumvirate) deciding who might oppose them and thus needs to be eliminated. When Lepidus is sent on an errand, Anthony makes clear what he thinks of Lepidus.

Exit Lepidus.

ANTONY. This is a slight unmeritable man,
Meet to be sent on errands. Is it fit,
The three-fold world divided, he should stand
One of the three to share it?

OCTAVIUS. So you thought him,
And took his voice who should be prick’d to die
In our black sentence and proscription.

ANTONY. Octavius, I have seen more days than you,
And though we lay these honors on this man
To ease ourselves of divers slanderous loads,
He shall but bear them as the ass bears gold,
To groan and sweat under the business,
Either led or driven, as we point the way;
And having brought our treasure where we will,
Then take we down his load and turn him off,
Like to the empty ass, to shake his ears
And graze in commons.

OCTAVIUS. You may do your will,
But he’s a tried and valiant soldier.

ANTONY. So is my horse, Octavius, and for that
I do appoint him store of provender.
It is a creature that I teach to fight,
To wind, to stop, to run directly on,
His corporal motion govern’d by my spirit.
And, in some taste, is Lepidus but so:
He must be taught, and train’d, and bid go forth;
A barren-spirited fellow, one that feeds
On objects, arts, and imitations,
Which, out of use and staled by other men,
Begin his fashion. Do not talk of him
But as a property.

Everything is Illuminated

I’m talking about the book by Jonathan Safran Foer that I’m currently reading. It was gifted to me by a dear friend in Bangalore, and I only started reading it a couple of days ago.

What can I say about it?

The closest I can come to it is that is is as wacko as Joseph Heller’s Catch 22, as bittersweet as Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being (or Immortality) and as funny as a centipede crawling across the bare soles of your feet (I obviously couldn’t remember a funny novel in time).

There’s narration, flashbacks, and also the author and his Ukranian translator conduct dialogues between each other, face-to-face and through letters. The translator has been gifted a Thesaurus; unfortunately noone instructed him in its use. Hilarious results ensue.

And as if that weren’t enough, as a special treat to me it is chock-full of Ukranian word puns that I’m not sure many readers are getting.

Read it.

Travel Bug 2

Sorry, couldn’t upload any photos, been so busy and all that.

Actually, I tried with Flickr and they said I had reached my maximum free amount (a measly 200 pics) and tried to sign me up for a $30 account. Me being a long time customer of Flickr with a highly developed sense of loyalty, I promptly jumped to Picasa but found out I couldn’t download their software to the work computer. Apparently our tech admin doesn’t trust us with such priveleges because we’re some moronic breed of imbeciles, or worse, timewasters who will download stuff from the internet.

Apart from important stuff of course.

Travel Bug

I have received pics of my little motorway jaunt in India, I’ll be posting the pics on Flickr and Facebook soon as I can so all of you can vicariously share in the enjoyment.

Next trip seems to be emerging as Vietnam in September, initial thoughts with Rayk are Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh over three weeks. Let’s see about rallying more of our troops so we can invade that country. This will not be a typical jaunt for all us ISOMers, I should imagine, and though we’ve sallied forth in the past a trip to Vietnam will herald a new era of maturity, forward planning and sensible travelling.

Or we might just go get high in Amsterdam πŸ˜›

Apart from two work-related trips, one to Dubai and one skiing somewhere in Les Chalet on Les Mountains in Les France, there’s nothing else for this year. The Vietnam trip obviously means that the trip to Beijing for the Olympics 2008 will be cancelled, but it seems it will work out to be too expensive and difficult, with billions of people descending upon the city for the event. Plus all the tourists!! πŸ™‚

Using other doors

I see a sign on a shop in Piccadilly Station every morning that says

“Please use other doors”

I am perplexed.

To sum it all up

A number of quotes/phrases come to mind when I cast my mind back to my sojourn in India.

“Bartaare” (coming) = Used by the waiters of Airlines Hotel, Bangalore where we convened daily for coffee. You will note the deliberate omission of any indication when the waiter will be coming.

“Aiyyooo” = Cry of desperation. Used in many situations but mostly in response to poor attempts at humour. By KP.

“Naz, your skin..” = Used by MJ. As an excuse to stroke me.

“Spiderpig, Spiderpig” = Unofficial soundtrack in my head.

“You want Slayer?” = Used by KP at Yamaha Rock.

“You have 3 minutes left” = Used by the MC at Yamaha Rock. Repeatedly. Annoyingly.

“Your gang of Jamaican Al Pacinos… drinking Blue Mountain cappuccinos” = Sung by some seriously crap Reggae MoFo at Namaste on Om Beach.

“Let’s build a fire” = Uttered by Abhi when we were stranded on the mountain top, because it was getting dark.

“That auto’s never heard about emission control” = Uttered by Abhi as a smoke machine/bug fumigator disguised as an autorickshaw passed us on the road to Gokharna.

“Adjust madkoli” (make an adjustment/an exception/space) = Used by everyone in Bangalore.