Monday, August 27, 2007

I like documentaries - yikes!

The good news is, I've survived the Weird African Flu thingee! Boy, it's good to be alive!

The bad news is, I'm behind on some writing and have to drag myself out of my lazy stupor.

I've gotten used to feeling vaguely ill and lying around in front of the TV. Now that I'm all better and therefore have no excuse to do that anymore, I find myself faced with the unattractive prospect of getting up off my arse and getting to work.

Who knew illness could be so much fun?

Despite my general delight with the squandered time in front of the TV, I'm glad to report that it wasn't a complete waste. While frittering away the hours, I chanced upon a very sudden and rather bothersome insight about myself.

I've discovered that I just LOVE documentaries.

I suppose that doesn't really sound bothersome and might actually be a good thing but in my mind that's a definite sign of..... Old Age!! Argggghhh!

Think about it - kids, teenagers and young adults either have no interest in documentaries or have no time to watch them (because they're out living their lives and having fun)

So, while The History Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery and National Geographic might be highly intelligent and informative choices for the TV viewer (especially if you give Girls of the Playboy Mansion on E! a miss), it doesn't say much about your social life and even less about your age.

Let's face it - no one below 30 voluntarily tunes in to documentaries. Goodness knows, I certainly didn't. In fact, the very word 'documentary' used to make me feel bored. No kidding!

I think this is a sign that I should get out and live a little. Unless, of course, Discovery comes up with something like How To Stay Young After 30.....

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Flu

I've been out of commission of late due to, a what must only be, a Weird African Flu Virus.

The darn thing has had its grip on me for more than a week and I've been unable to do much in the writing department.

It seems to be on it's way out but for some reason (probably coz I'm feeling ill) I'm also terribly homesick.

Flu + homesickenss = Misery

So I shall resort to my time-tested remedy:

Chocolate + Sex and the City reruns = Comfort

Monday, August 13, 2007

TV is good for you

To the people who say that watching TV is a bad habit - I say to you (as Mr. Burns would) bosh, flimshaw!!!

TV, like chocolate, has had a bad reputation for far too long and I predict that, like chocolate, some scientist somewhere is going to prove that watching TV is actually good for you.

To prove my point, below, is the impressive list of the things I learned from watching TV yesterday:

1. Cardamoms are one of the most expensive spices because they are difficult to grow and must be hand-picked
2. Saffron is actually the stigma of these gorgeous flowers:

They're also one of the most expensive spices because it takes hundreds of these flowers to produce just 100gms of saffron

3. The world is coming to an end sometime in 2012. This is according to the ancient Mayans, the book of Revelations, the medieval predictions of Merlin and something called the Web-bot project which makes massive scans of the internet (just Google 2012 and you'll see what I'm talking about)

4. The ancient Aztecs of Mexico made human sacrifices every, single day and actually reached into the chest cavity of their hapless victims and tore out their hearts. Plus they apparently had some of them for dinner after.

5. According to renowned diver Jacques Cousteau, two-foot long frogs were to be found in Lake Titicaca.

Of course, I had to watch a Whole Lot of TV to get these bits of information
Of course most of this information isn't going to help me much unless I enter a gameshow based on meaningless trivia or wish to impress the unsuspecting public on my vast knowledge about nothing in particular.
Of course most of that information had flown out of my head this morning and I had to look up the details on the net
Of course all that TV watching made my eyes feel tired and made me feel lazy all day.

But I stand by what I said - TV is good for you. Besides, as Joey from Friends said - where would all your living room furniture be pointed at if you didn't have a TV?

TV, bad for you? Bosh, flimshaw!

pics courtesy of and

Monday, August 06, 2007

Row, row, row your boat....

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,

Life is but a dream

I haven't thought of this rhyme in about 10 years but it suddenly sprang into my mind this morning. It was triggered by a most unlikely source - Buddhism.

I was reading a book by Pema Chodron called Start Where You Are. Pema is an ordained Tibetan Buddhist nun and although I'm not a Buddhist, I've always found her books offer me a sense of comfort and peace especially during difficult times in my life. If you're curious you can find out more about Pema and her books

Anyway, I was reading about a concept where you should 'regard all dharmas as dreams'. This sounds deep and confusing but it's actually quite straightforward.

Tibetan Buddhists believe that whatever you experience in your life is like something in a dream.

Pema explains in her book (it's a bit long but I think really worth a read):

We went for a walk this morning but now it is a memory. Every situation is a passing memory. Just a few moments ago, you were standing in the hall and now it is a memory. But then it was so real.

Although you might think things are solid, they are like passing memory. All that arises in your mind - hate, love and all the rest - is not solid.
The key is, it's no big deal. We could all just lighten up. Regard all dharmas as dreams. With our minds, we make a big deal out of ourselves, out of our pain, and out of our problems.

If someone instructed you to catch the beginning, the middle, and the end of every thought, you'd find that they don't seem to have a beginning, middle, and end. It's like trying to see when water turns into steam. You can never find the precise moment. Everything is like that.

Have you ever been caught up in the heavy-duty scenario of feeling defeated and hurt and then somehow for no particular reason, you just drop it? We all know this feeling of how we make things a big deal and then realize that we're making a lot out of nothing.

Quite profound, I think. It made me look at my problems from a completely new perspective. It was when I was thinking about this that it came upon me that life itself is like a dream and that's when the rhyme came to mind.

Who would have thought that all these years, one of the great teachings of Tibetan Buddhism was also to be found within the simplicity of a child's rhyme?

pic of lotus courtesy of
pic of dhow courtesy of yours truly *grins*

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Are you sure you don't have kids?

I was talking to a new friend today and we happened to get to the topic of having children. I thought I'd had it bad when people asked why I haven't had kids yet (they're usually quite interrogatory and pushy about the whole thing)

This friend of mine has definitely faced worse. Apparently when someone she just met asked her if she had kids and she said no, this person asked her, "are you sure?"

What kind of a remark is that? It's almost like it simply cannot be true that a married woman of a certain age does not have kids. There must be something WRONG with her, right?

After all, which woman on this earth could resist this:

I suppose it's easier for people to accept that such women have, in fact, had children and this has simply escaped their notice rather than to face that these women knowingly don't have children.

So weird!

pic courtesy of