5/14/2018
Chemistry

This is ideally framed awkwardly, yes.

I'm writing this entry - with a notebook and pen - at a beauty salon. I've watched Shalla get some sort of dry shampoo, I think; I'm now watching her get a back massage from an assistant before the stylist gets to her hair.

Read more »

5/03/2018
Connecting the dots

I don't like the label, to be honest, but for the purposes of this essay I will embrace it.

I am a blogger.

I have been a blogger for the past thirteen years. Most of that has not been of any consequence: it's just me writing about what I feel, what I think, like many of my peers did when we were teenagers, when we started. Over the years I have learned a lot more, understood a lot more, including how I should not say a lot about myself - but I digress.

Read more »

4/29/2018
How do you make fun of a tyrant?

I've been watching American political satire for many years now. I've watched what I can watch when it was Jon Stewart and The Daily Show waving the flag, and I've followed with interest when his acolytes - and a few others not necessarily within his orbit - flew the nest and landed elsewhere. You have Colbert and Oliver and Bee; you have Noah and Klepper (and you had Wilmore); you have Meyers and Che and Jost; you have Kimmel, surprisingly. I have not followed Maher, for some reason, but the rest, I have, wherever geographical restrictions allow, some more than others.

"It's such a good time for comedy," they said, especially now that they have Donald Trump as president. Do the jokes write themselves? Yes, arguably, but as things get increasingly absurd it gets particularly hard to really hit your target. Many still argue Colbert has lost his bite - should he have not ditched "Stephen Colbert" to become "Stephen Colbert"? - and that his mantle has effectively been taken over by John Oliver and Samantha Bee, new masters of the once-weekly fueled "holy shit!" style of exposition. Still, I watch them equally, and I see some instances when they really hit the mark. Also, it's a good way to kill time when you find yourself finished with work but still unable to leave for home because this city just sucks.

But also, all that comedy must really help those who felt despair when it became clear Trump was going to be president. Now, I don't want to wade into the partisan implications of it all, but the comedy certainly helps their cause. Sure, it may be humanizing what they call the worst president their country has ever had, but it helps them let off steam. It helps them laugh about it. It helps them reassess what really is going on. "It's not so bad after all. We can fight this." It's like knowing your enemy has a most vulnerable gap in his defense. It boosts your morale just as you exploit that hole. Over here, on the other hand, well...

Read more »

4/28/2018
Feels like thirty-nine

I don't remember where exactly I heard this theory, but it's definitely in school. Was it elementary school? Was it high school? Was it anthropology class in college? I'm sure it was earlier. It was something about the different working habits of people across the world. The thinking was, people who live in countries with cooler climates tend to be more productive, because they need to work to get rid of the cold. In contrast, those who live in warmer places tend to do less, because it's just too damn hot to do anything.

As I write this, on what's more or less my desk, the temperature outside is at 34 degrees. It's the peak of the dry season. If I step outside, it will feel like it's 39 degrees. No wonder I haven't gotten much done lately.

All right, that's a misnomer. I have been busy, another one of those events that's going down the wire, despite of - or particularly because - we've swapped a ship for a bus. But then, the temperature is not at all conducive for free-wheeling thoughts that's not related to what you're being paid to do. You don't really want to think too hard, not in this heat. I mean, right now, I am alone in the living room. I have the electric fan pointed at me, and me alone. I look at the window and it's way too bright. I start sweating immediately.

Read more »

4/19/2018
Green apron

It has come to this point. You have been at this coffee shop so often, your third space as the smart ones call it, your spot for a quick pass through pending work before you go off to another meeting - such is the freelance life, after all. You have your usual seat, and the staff no longer have to ask for your name whenever you put in your usual order.

"Can I have your order, Dan?"

"Crispy chicken sandwich combo, the usual."

Read more »