Sunday, July 25, 2010

Patience on a Leash

Since I got home from work Thursday evening, a neighbour has been treating us all to loud sessions of uninhibited, frenzied drumming. Not sure if he bought himself a new kit or borrowed the gear but the first couple of days, at any time the mood took him, he'd play a snatch of Winds of Change, Always Somewhere or some other 80s rock classic and enthusiastically launch into the drum parts. Drums, cymbals, et al, all smashed with the greatest gusto. The first night, he struck up after 9 which is on the sedate side of the evening in these parts, and the next morning, I could hear him banging away around 5. Mercifully, he hasn't been so inconsiderate with his timings since then, only slapping his trap set in broad daylight when everyone's presumably wide awake already.

Mind you, he's not one of those drug/alchohol-ics. Edging close to 40, he's always been a really nice, helpful fellow, very involved with church activities etc, though when I think back, he always did like cranking up his music system a notch too high on occasion. What's probably set him off the deep end is that his wife died of brain cancer a year ago. It was one of those fast-acting cancers and after a few weeks in hospital, she just gave up, leaving three kids and a young husband. The kids ranging in age from 14 to 7 are schooling in Shillong where his parents live, which means he lives here alone with nothing but memories. Reason enough to go more than a little berserk, I know, and the neighbours are humouring him by sympathetically putting up with the racket. But when the crash boom bang gets a little too much, I wish social niceties and etiquette could just be shoved aside and someone would pipe up in capital letters S-H-A-D-D-U-P!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The way it is

Busy times these. Humid, hectic. The hearing in my right ear is still overly sensitive so I've been avoiding attending church services with the obligatory drums pounding deep into the recesses of my ear bones and making me miserable. It's almost 3 months after the surgery but I have no idea when my ear will acclimatise itself. Also most sounds are still higher on the bass register and I can't wait to be able to hear treble notes again.

I've also put on a lot of weight. Not sure how much precisely since I don't make a habit of stepping on the scales but definitely enough for all my clothes to feel tight and stretched. And that's if I can still get into them at all. I feel heavy, slow and sluggish, and the monsoonal weather isn't helping any. Oh, and did I mention my arthritis? I inherited it from my maternal grandmother who couldn't get up from a herhsawp (a low circular stool made of cane or bamboo) without clutching her knees and yelping "Aaih, aaih, aaih!"

The World Cup was great. The last two passed by with me not really registering much of it because it takes a lot to wean me off the computor and the internet. This time Facebook provided great company. A page called Ban the Annoying Vuvuzela etc gave me daily laughs as people (as in regular, eloquent, adult folks and not silly, incoherent teens) threw in wit, sarcasm, indignation, annoyance, and a generous dose of plain stupidity to make for a very lively discussion group. Unfortunately, the page sank under the weight of its own popularity, and disappeared halfway through the competition.

At work, I've been assigned something new that I'm not sure I can do justice to. Rhetoric and prosody is something that I never formally studied so it's going to be a tremendous challenge mastering all the intricacies involved enough to be able to teach it all in turn. I know I'm going to benefit a lot from it once I sort out what's what but for the moment, argh, my workload weighs heavy. Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

With the angels..

Totie passed away this afternoon. He was 13. He was named indirectly after Dodie, the man Princess Diana died with, and who were both in the news at the time. My sister thought the name Dodie was just so cute and begged to name the puppy with it but I said no, so we settled on Totie. 13 years is a long time especially for dogs. I read somewhere that 1 human year equals 7 for a dog so that would mean Totie was 91. While he did have filmy eyes, decaying teeth, incontinence, and not too sharp hearing, our 5 year Koorie kept him lively, dragging him to play when he would have probably preferred to sleep quietly. Totie sometimes snapped back impatiently but most times, he let Koorie tease him around, which inadvertently helped him get some good exercise.

As my sister and I have been leafing through old photographs of our many dogs, we're having problems remembering who was born when, whose mother was who, whose sibling was who and so on. We're also realising that 13 years is also a long, long time for human beings.