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In December of 1983, when Barack Obama was 22, he met Genevieve Cook, one of his first loves. It was at a Christmas party at the East Village in New York. And Obama wrote of her in his memoirs:

“There was a woman in New York that I loved,” he wrote. “She was white. She had dark hair, and specks of green in her eyes. Her voice sounded like a wind chime. We saw each other for almost a year. On the weekends, mostly. Sometimes in her apartment, sometimes in mine. You know how you can fall into your own private world? Just two people, hidden and warm. Your own language. Your own customs. That’s how it was.”

Yet, Genevieve’s diaries spoke of a man whose warmth was still cold, distant at times. He harboured dreams, wanted to effect change, yet hid so much about his past, and erected walls. When Genevieve told him he loved her, his reply was “thank you”.

The sexual warmth is definitely there—but the rest of it has sharp edges and I’m finding it all unsettling and finding myself wanting to withdraw from it all. I have to admit that I am feeling anger at him for some reason, multi-stranded reasons. His warmth can be deceptive. Tho he speaks sweet words and can be open and trusting, there is also that coolness—and I begin to have an inkling of some things about him that could get to me. – Genevieve’s diary

And in the end, their love and connection wasn’t enough. He was in pursuit of something entirely different, searching still for himself, only at the beginning of crafting his identity. Obama was still coming to terms with who he was- black or white, american or international, but Genevieve, hailing from distinguished, white and upper-class families, no longer fit in his path. In his memoirs, he describes it,

“I pushed her away. We started to fight. We started thinking about the future, and it pressed in on our warm little world.”

The future, pressing in on warm little worlds no longer big enough for two.

Source: Vanity Fair

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A couple of days back I was having brunch at a a nice cafe/restaurant, one of those that seem to attract many families with little ones in tow. At the table next to mine sat a lady with two daughters, probably about 7-9 years old. I wondered where her husband was. She looked distant, perhaps he was away on a business trip. At first it seemed hard to tell if she was their mother, as their conversations sounded like that between equals, and not of a typical parent-child relationship. They were free to order as many cupcakes as they wanted, eat whatever, and however much they cared to devour. But what caught my attention immediately was that the mother was sipping a glass of white wine at lunch, and then ordered another promptly after she was done. At which point one of her daughters said:

“You cannot drink too much, if not you can’t drive us home!”

Then I realised, If i ever have kids, there is a high chance that I may become just like the lady, dragging my daughters around for brunch and having prosecco for my first meal. Well at least I hope I would treat my daughters the way she did, talking to them as adults instead of talking down to them.

Yet another commencement speech, but this at least makes an attempt at being frank about life post-university. No, most of us won’t end up doing “great” things, like win nobel prizes, cure cancer etc., and soon, the working world teaches you that a lot of life is just about getting through the day-to-day grind, not trying to screw up too spectacularly, or faking it till you make it. The writer dispenses advice through a list: 10 things your commencement speaker won’t tell you. This is particularly true-

10. Don’t try to be great. Being great involves luck and other circumstances beyond your control. The less you think about being great, the more likely it is to happen. And if it doesn’t, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being solid.

Being “great” is overrated. I found being happy a much more worthwhile pursuit.

Tumblrs or blogs with funny gifs have been going on for awhile now but i just stumbled on BornAsian. It’s hilarious.

When white guys be all like “Ni Hao Ma?”

But my personal favourite is still whatshouldwecallme. It’s reserved especially for crappy uninspired days and a silly laugh goes a long way.

It absolutely has the funniest gifs. like this owning one:

WHEN I WRONGLY ASSUME I CAN HANDLE ONE MORE SHOT

Have you heard of the IG Nobel awards? (pun on ignoble). Just read something about it here. Apparently past winners include, for Biology: For the discovery that herring communicate with one another through farting.

And my favourite: My peace: To the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, Arturas Zuokas, for discovering that running over illegally parked luxury cars with tanks can effectively get rid of the problem of illegally parked cars. there is also a video, which is extremely funny and also features a gangsta-like eastern european figure, being all pissed his merc just got rolled over, and then thanking the mayor (as if).

This guy also deserves the award for his dedication- Medicine Prize given to Donald L. Unger for steadfastly only cracking the knuckles on one hand and not the other for 50 years in order to determine whether cracking knuckles can be a cause for arthritis in fingers.

For someone who cracks her knuckles pretty constantly, i can imagine the discipline and effort that goes into only cracking knuckles of one of your hands.