Easy listening

Long time no post. Partially due to exams but more so for other reasons. Ennui is a terrible thing.

Let me get back on the road with some easy listening, words that might represent my mood (past and perhaps future).

 

Billboard song sessions are always terrific. They give the same song such a warm, lived-in feeling.

If you like this then you might also try Young The Giant’s other more quiet track, Strings.

 

To conclude with something a little more optimistic; who cares if it features a woman that loves everything neon pink?

This is what inspiration looks like

Bill Cunningham is a New York City based photographer who pioneered the candid street-fashion photography. He is 83 and still at it.

Besides his perennial humility and devotion to his work, his principles are amazing. For one thing, he does not accept any money for his work. “If you don’t take money they can’t tell you what to do. That’s the key to the whole thing.”

This documentary is an amazingly fun, fast, and intriguing look at a man who followed his passion.

“It’s as true today as it ever was. He who seeks beauty will find it.”

– Bill Cunningham

 

Stephen Fry and the ways of the jungle

It is difficult to not admire something about Stephen Fry. If his humor, presentation, wit, acting, or writing don’t work for you… how about his cuddleability? Some how I feel no one will be harmed if they approach him on the street and give him a big hug.

Got to know about this interview thanks to ManchesterLab. Stephen talks with Tony Jones on Australia’s telly show Late Line last year. Topics include everything from Steve Jobs, Christopher Hitchens, Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), population, atheism, being gay, Christianity, evolution, science, groupy who wants to have his baby, zoology, and other usual stuff. He does go off the topic sometimes but cuddly people are allowed this much.

You can jump to my favorite 8 minutes of the interview from 16:00 to 24:30 on the unforgettable ride of sleeping in a jungle and how animals learn to forgive humans. Wonderful stuff.

Lost keys

Words of Wisdom: if ever you lose your car keys in the middle of a busy market… check ALL your pockets first.

Before you start fretting and retrace all your steps to the bakery store you entered a minute ago, poke under each counter, before you leave your name and phone number with the owner, rummage through the sand and dirt on the pavement, embarrassingly call your sibling to come and deliver the spare key, or curse the moment you ever urged for a quick piece of cake… before you do any of this ritual… check ALL your pockets. That includes not just your jeans but also your jacket.

If you are not smart enough to do that on your own then listen to the kind advice of the homeless helping you find the keys. They might just ask, “did you check your jacket?”

 

Versatile Blogger Award – you like me, you really like me!

What a way to jump-start the new year! I got nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award!

All thanks to the wonderful Joe Beans 2002, better known as John Phillips, but I like Beans so much more. It feels strange to be nominated when it seems there are so many more talented bloggers out there. However, I accept it with a big grin. I know it is too obvious for me to praise the man who nominated me but in all honesty his blog is so interesting. Posts involve chin-rubbing-new and comforting familiar. They are varied, short, easy-structured, and mostly about music and travel! It’s win-win.

Now as the protocol goes, I am to nominate 15 other awesome bloggers, inform them, and mention 7 interesting (embarrassing) facts about me. Here goes:

1. Thaino’s Blog

A young enthusiastic “man-child” English teacher had his dream come true when he was accepted for teaching students in China. His blog is perhaps the oldest wordpress blog I keep checking time-to-time (he had an earlier one on his tutelage adventures in England too). Sharp and witty with a more strange sense of humor that I just love. If only I had English teachers like that.

2. Literarydormouse

A hopeful writer studying literature in University in Bristol, UK. He makes writing poetry seem too easy (I have to read it twice) but just don’t think of lifting any of his work as he so candidly warns on the sidebar :).

3. Maximum Wage

Always a delight to visit because of the funny images in each post. Few things will give you a smile under 30 seconds like this.

4. Music Court

A terrific find just made thanks to Joe Beans’ list. It is easy to tell Matthew knows what he is talking about, from goldies to the very latest. I just wish I could describe the technical makeup of a song as well as he does. He makes me look bad!

5. Steve McCurry’s blog

The photographer extraordinaire. Most famous work of his would be capturing the Afghan Girl. Each one of his photographs is a magnifying glass towards an aspect of being human. He was given to shoot the last ever Kodachrome reel manufactured! Needless to say, he’s a legend.

6. Joel and Michael Meadows

I’m sorry to put two bloggers together but I suspect this listing is supposed to be around wordpress users only and they both are nestled at Travel Blog. I still had to mention them. Each has such a fresh and acute perception while on his cool backpacking adventures. The constant humor helps. The brothers cover a sort of different region (almost as if intentional) of the world so you might find something fun on each one. Like Michael’s 45 hour achy-in-all-the-wrong-places ride on Indian public transport or Joel’s smooth impromptu dance at a 10-minute-old friend’s wedding in Tunisia.

7. Mixxed Tape

Just another college girl on the quest to get healthy and happy… is how she describes herself. Nearly all posts concern scrumptious food. The terrific part is her recipes are so wholesome but doable. The absolute best part, though, are the mouthwatering photos she takes of each temptation. Visit just for the photos if nothing else.

8. Admit one

There are a lot of movie review websites out there. Being a self-anointed tough critic myself who always struggles to find a decent film to watch in any genre, this is  a super blog. Really. The range of movies are diverse, thoroughly observed, and never swayed by popular opinion.

9. River Under Water

Colleen Ponce is one mighty talented sketch artist! Incredible what can be achieve in B&W and with zero special effects.

10. Deidra Alexander

A funny writer who has certainly received this nomination in multiples of tens perhaps, yet, I would like to annoy her by adding to that number.

11. Peg-o-Leg

Another funny lady who blogs (can’t get enough of them). See her sly take on the daily little things we all face, like the complications with the English language.

12. Just-in-Time

A story of travel told in pictures. The pictures are evocative enough to convey a message without even reading anything. Here’s proof.

13. Chasing the wild goose

Simple little original comic and quotes. If only more things in life could be as easy and amusing…

14. Journalist on the run

She has had quite a life so far and it appears she is intent on building upon it. Janet’s blog is fairly new to me but it seems heartfelt.

15. 365 Captures

A popular concept that is also ingenious — take one amazing photograph each day for 1 year. Let’s see if 2012 will see this undertaking come true for her. From the looks of it, it should be a cool ride.

 

Now, 7 facts about myself.

1. I work tremendously well with the carrot and stick approach. The hope for a little reward goes a long way with me but I mostly get started when the stick is about 1 inch away.

2. I like to blow bubbles… even in a public park… in winter. 

3. I’m a little (cough) obsessed with Simon Reeve.

4. I don’t long for the “good old days.” I’m quite content and in-terms with today.

5. I’m terrible at making interesting facts list.

6. Spontaneity is not my forte. I can plan too much. However, I entirely blame my circumstances… since the last 8 years. It’s getting old.

7. I’ve just been told that I like to “squint when being squeezed.” He meant hugged!

 

Have a wonderful 2012!

Joy and horror of French lovin’

Very mini book review of Me Talk pretty One Day by David Sedaris.

This is one book you definitely should glance through. I say glance because since the book is a compilation of several autobiographical essays, reading any one at random will still cause you to laugh out loud. That is the mildest guaranteed reaction.  If you believe milk can spew from your nose, that too.

It starts with his childhood in North Carolina with his firecracker of a family and progresses towards his meandering twenties. ”Part Deux” focuses on the later tribulations of learning French culture and its language after he moves to live in Paris with his partner.  Sedaris’s sharp observation of the mundane and remarkable ability to convert it into an enviable zany life is pure talent. His writing seems effortless, which always means it is not. No wonder his books have sold over 14 million copies.

Why not judge for yourself?

Listen to him read a chapter from the book. Learning French by a sadistic teacher and describing Easter in a handful of words never sounded so good.

Or read the very first chapter here.

A funny little interview with the man.