Saturday, July 28, 2007

Time it was, and what a time it was.

Another summer, gone. And what's waiting is the wretched semester we have ahead of us. One which isn't just looming large now, but has come out on to the porch and is about to knock on the door.

How I wish I had a bigger padlock. Or a moat.

In my room for this one last night, staring at the rain-flecked window, hearing the soft sounds of drops falling on it, I feel quite melancholic. The others, they have all left. My own flight back being on Sunday, I am still here... finding myself in a rather pensive and contemplative mood. Why I am writing this of all things when I am so, ask me not.

It's been one terrific summer, one of the best I've ever had. Alas, all that is good comes to an end. And the better get done a-quicker. This summer got over almost with an unseemly haste. Few are the things that I value before they are gone.
But this was certainly one.
And now it's gone.

As you might have surmised, I really like starting sentences with conjunctions. Terrible grammatically, I know. Even then. Maybe because it is grammatically incorrect. Perhaps to subconsciously compensate for my otherwise pigheaded nature about spelling and grammar and so forth.

But I digress. You know, earlier I'd wanted to test something out. Testing to me quite obviously meant disproving, vain as I am. I wanted to drink water from the Old Well and then stay away from Chapel Hill and be living proof that the well was just a well. No myths attached. Not the most glorious of aims, I agree.

Now... now I am not so sure. There is a good chance that I might come back here next fall. Dunno if any place 'higher up' would be really better for me. And people seem to like me here, and want me to come back. That just makes me grin a grin that's proud, triumphant and elated.

I know what you're thinking. The well worked it's stuff, huh?

Heh. Me reinforcing a myth. I would never have thunk it. Would've considered myself way too cynical and suspicious for something of that nature. But there you go.

For some reason I'm reminded of lines from the Simon and Garfunkel song, Old friends.

Can you imagine us
Years from today,
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange
To be seventy.
Old friends,
Memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fears

Goodbye, UNC. Or maybe, au revoir!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Smoked Chow Mein.

It's been a while since I last blogged. I guess I was too free to do so. I need some activity, I need to be busy, and I need to be running out of time to do something else for it to be perfect for me to do random, pointless things like blogging. As I have a poster to finish and present on Tuesday, it is just so.

This was... 2 weeks back, I think. Yes. July 11. And why do I remember that date? 'Cos the new Potter movie was out, and we were going to watch it that night. In little more than an hour. I'm feeling hungry... as I usually am, thanks to 6 o'clock dinners, and decide to cook a packet of those wondrous, delicious Chow Mein noodles, the ones I try to empty the nearby Walmart of.

Instructions to cook? Delightfully simple. Open box partially, empty the veggie pieces into carton, fill water till shown line, and heat in the microwave for 6 minutes. I open the box, empty the veggies, and shove it into the microwave. A minute and a half goes by.

All hell breaks loose.

There is a brief moment of enlightenment, amidst the incessant blaring of the fire alarm and smoke emanating from my microwave.

Crap. I forgot to add the water.

What should have been boiled, had instead combusted. Not explosively, thank heavens, they were after all noodles... but in a way which stank and produced immense amounts of smoke. Me, apart from experiencing that singular revelation, I was still clueless. The noise, that earsplittingly (Hmm... is that even a word?) loud alarm, was so loud that I felt that it was coming from everywhere. My first thought was that the microwave had gone bust, and it was producing the noise. I realised otherwise only after someone else told me that it was the smoke detector making all that noise.

Cursing softly, I tossed what was left of my precious noodles into the trash (which, as was pointed out later by the nice fireman, wasn't one of my brighter ideas... as garbage bags are made of plastic and burn quite easily).

And yes. You read right. The fireman. I go downstairs to tell the person in the lobby that my smoke detector went off, and what do I see? A splash of Fire Engine Red outside the glass doors. With lights blazing. And in come two of them with armour, axes, rope and hose... the whole shebang. And up I go, sheepish as I can possibly be, to show them that pesky smoke. Pointedly ignoring the blatant incredulity directed at how I could have possibly burnt noodles, I do so.

The smell, obnoxious. And the sound, 'twas quite something else. Incessant, trilled, something which 'loud' cannot even come close to describing. The sound which one could hear behind multiple closed doors, 60 feet away. The sound which was determined to continue till the next morning.

Real shoddy, that alarm design. No freakin' off-switch! Could it not have at least been designed to turn itself off once the smoke was cleared? Nope, not this one. The security company had to come in next morning and turn it off.

I did manage to see the movie though, average as it was. It was quite good for a Potter movie, that I'll have to admit. And I did have to sleep in someone else's room. And manage a bath in the morning amidst the hellish blare.

On the bright side, the microwave still works. Stinks a bit of roasted noodle and plastic, but not too bad. It let me make noodles the next day, so I'm all happy.