Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fallen but not completely felled

Crossing my path on a chill Saturday night, like a thief it ransacked my health and bore away my powers of thought. Throughout Sunday I lay prone upon my humble futon, shivering and lamenting this unwelcome, yet not completely unexpected visitor. The schemer rapped at my forehead, pounded at my sinuses, scratched at my throat, and tickled my stomach into a hungerless frenzy that left me sparring with faint touches of nausea. Had it not been for the blessing of a three-day weekend, I would've had to drag my aching muscles to work a day early to suffer through my labours. Monday I felt strong enough to leave my warmly blanketed realm to get dressed and go grocery shopping for a few things. It's Wednesday now, and I've been to work two days in a row, though I have toyed with the idea of calling in sick. As it stands, my schedule for the last couple of days has been light enough for me to endure the merry dance of the common cold. I've reached the 3rd level of my oppressor's game, so to speak, and this is the ominous part of my yearly tango with this beast.
There's a tickle at the back of my throat, and without something to quell the cough, life is a noisy growl that threatens to strike me dumb for a little bit. I thought I had lost my voice this morning, but after a few sips of water I was fine enough to warrant going in today. If I do lose my voice tomorrow, I'll have to call in sick, and I would rather not do that. That's what's going on with me right now. Just got back from a visit with the parental units. They got back from Playa del Carmen on Saturday, and my Dad's already back in the bush. I've got plans to go to the library tomorrow and do a book exchange. Reading Trollope's 'The Warden'. The protagonist's a real pawn right now, caught between well-meaning but frustrating folk. That's all I am going to say about that.
I'll need to get some sleep tonight and drink as much orange juice as I can. Otherwise I forecast more lamenting on the morrow. BYE.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Live at Kurukshetra!

One of my literary forays took me through 'Bhagavad Gita as it is' recently. I read it maybe 4 or 5 years ago, but it was not until I watched the Chopra's "Mahabharat" that I really understood why Arjuna and Krishna were there and having this very important discussion. Krishna, the God of Gods, became flesh to transmit His words to the regular (and not so regular) mortals. Sound familiar? In this case, Arjuna was seriously unsure about going to war against his cousins, teachers, and his most beloved grandsire Bhishma. It took a great deal of cajoling and commanding on Krishna's part to convince Arjuna that his part in the plan was necessary and that Evil had to be stopped; even if that meant all 100 of his dastardly cousins and millions on both sides died. Actually, now that I think of it, Jesus did the same through the Gospels. I seem to recall that he supposedly said 'I bring not peace, but a sword.' And how many millions have died since then? Similar, wot? Only the Battle at Kurukshetra is much more overt and early in the game. Also, Krishna didn't have to be crucified to get his point across. He just revealed his True Form to Arjuna and that took care of everything. My understanding is that Krishna died of old age and his whole family was later killed in a drunken bloodbath (Wikipedia shows the way!) But I digress.
Krishna transmitting His wisdom and commands to Arjuna makes for a fascinating read. Sometimes we face difficult ethical issues in life, and rather than shrivel up from indecision, sometimes it's better to make your decision and not worry about the result. This is not carte blanche to do terrible things in the name of Ethics, however. Here's an example. That soccer team that crashed in the Andes had a terrible ethical issue, and their agony must've been intense. Then the ones who were left made their fateful decision and it saved them. The only other example I can come up with right now is the Donner Party, but I've already got one example where cannibalism was the biggie, so I'll move on.
The Battle at Kurukshetra presents tons of ethical issues (and violations), with leaders breaking the Code of War left and right. With Krishna on the Pandavas' side these violations are apparently justified (debatable), and more often than not, it was the opposing side who broke the rules first. For a very insightful and wonderful read, I highly recommend 'Bhagavad Gita as it is'. Have a great day!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Idle weekend

Spent most of the weekend watching Let's Play vids and reading. Enjoying what distractions are available to me, after all. I've gone back to studying matters Sikh today with W.H. McLeod's 'Sikhism'. I would like to study Islam more, but I've never come across anything beyond the Qur'an (nothing really awesome like 'Mahabharata') that brings a lot of colour into it. If anyone out there has suggestions of such materials, PLEASE let me know! Much appreciated. Meanwhile, I finished reading more works by Katharine Kerr yesterday, and I plan to continue with her Deverry series soon enough. From matters Sikh to matters literary I'll eventually go with Paul Scott's 'On writing and the novel'. Don't know if I'm ready to re-read it, but it's on my list of stuff to re-read, and I'm a little anal that way. Word of warning; 'Phineas Finn' is also on my list of books to re-read, so expect at least one entry complaining about fox-hunts and the like. I've also got 'Bhagavad Gita as it is' warming up on my shelf. I've watched enough 'Mahabharat' to be familiar with Arjuna and Krishna and the legendary battle at Kurukshetra. I've read 'BG' once already, but it's a great excerpt from a masterful saga.
Let's Play vids have become quite a fascinating distraction for me. I bought 'Dragon Age: Origins' thanks to this one dude's LP videos. He had a great time playing the game, and word of mouth is still a driving force behind the success of a product. I won't say anything else concerning the game, as others have said much more and have doubtless said it better. I guess Youtube has become quite THE distraction in this wry spinster's life, but it's better than TV. There was a time when having cable was the big distraction (Night Court loved taking shots at the racy stuff one found on cable when only a handful of folks could afford cable). Good times, but far behind most of us now. Okay, enough whining o'er the past. I've got reading to do and LP vids to watch.
The parental units have gone on their annual vacation. I'm asking for pics of whatever libraries they find on their travels and for local music. Goes with my territory. So, I guess that's about it. Another time.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Muy frío!

Not as cold as it was last week, but cold enough to make me break out the long johns and thick socks. My heater's blower has been rather vocal over the past few days too, which has not sat well with me. It should warm up a bit tomorrow, and then get even warmer on Wednesday. Apparently there's a blizzard brewing in the States. I don't want to mock my southern neighbours, but I will if any governors decide to call out the army to do some shoveling. I scoffed when the folks in Toronto whined for help. Be strong, be fearless, grab that shovel and get out there! Makes me wonder what the snowblowers are like in various states. Hopefully strong enough to get the job done. Keeping warm here in the 'Peg with the legendary Rush and 'Test for echo'. I'm also reading D. Brin's 'The postman'. I like the premise and the story is well written. How did Costner butcher this story, anyway? I guess his dastardly touch was incredibly powerful then. Has Kevin Costner done any decent movies since 'Prince of thieves'?
Of course, some folk would say that Costner butchered that movie as well, and it was only Bryan Adams who could save it with that incredible song. I swear, that was THE song of 1991-1992. Just like Richard Marx's 'Right here waiting' was THE song of 1989-1990. All the girls taking piano in my Fourth Grade class were hammering away at that song. Phil Collins' 'Another day in paradise' and anything by Paula Abdul were also fine draws for classroom parties. There was also Salt n'Pepa's 'Push it', which snuck past the teacher's censor. I wouldn't have known what they were singing anyway when I was 9. I know now, and it gives me a mighty guffaw when I think about it. Speaking of Rush, I first learned about these fine fellows back in 1991 with 'Roll the bones'. Some of the best rap my lily-white ears had ever heard. The thinking man's rap, maybe? It has been said that Rush is the thinking man's rock band. Feel free to challenge me on that, by the way.
The weather can get warmer, as long as the sky does not decide to unleash another two tons of snow upon the hapless heads here at home. They just did the streets AGAIN (there goes next year's snow removal budget!) and I don't think the 'Peg needs any more snow. Meanwhile, I'm getting back into watching 'Law & Order' (anything after the 1st five seasons matters little to me). Chris Noth was so yummy in those days. Ah, time does ravage the photogenic! Well, that's about all. BYE.