Sunday, October 28, 2007

My newest adventure!

As they say, its never too late to learn anything new, Which is of course a damn lie. When I thought it would be good idea to learn swimming being in Florida, I was told I would have to put my whole head underwater for a significant amount of time. That may sound trivial, but for someone who almost got drowned in a five foot pool in a water theme park, it is a deal breaker. Then I know of someone who tried to learn cycling at a ripe old age, and started riding into one disaster to another - and lucky to be surviving without breaking anything. (Other than the cycle perhaps!)

So it came as a surprise to me when I enrolled for this rock climbing course. May be I remember missing out on a similar opportunity at my undergrad days or may be I wanted to find a easy way to lose weight. Whichever it was, it did not take long me to find out that climbing is not for me. That was in-spite of the instructor being impossibly encouraging and friendly, most of the classmates trying to make me feel I am just a little away from succeeding, and the presence of this really attractive girl in the class. And she was a powerful climber too - should I say a joy to watch? But there was also this never married lady of my mother's age, passionately putting much more effort than I was and this unrelated gentleman of a similar age who was once a gymnast. Others were, if nothing else much more athletic than me, and even with all the emphasis on technique and stuff, at the end of the day raw strength matters. And that is not one of my forte, since primary use of my fingers are for tapping computer keys, not balancing my entire body from the edges.

It was fun though. We started of with climbing walls with lots of footholds everywhere and being held by a rope - which I know now is technically called rappelling. As days progressed, the walls tended to have less footholds, and the alignment of them made life more and more difficult. Then we tried what they call bouldering, where one moves almost horizontally across the walls, balancing on uncomfortably spaced out grips and edges. Then there were roof climbing, resembling Spiderman like traits, which needless to say, I did not even try.

I am better off running at treadmill. If I do anything at all, that is.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Simply bad english?

"Hw z lyf?" wrote my not so little cousin in my Orkut scrapbook. It took me a while to realize what exactly is she asking. I see someone wishing everybody "vry hpy pjo". Someone else says she will "tlk 2 me tmrw". What the hell is going on?

I can see everyone is very busy and working their backside off. However, I do not see how they cant be so busy to spare a few moments to write down the vowels. Oh wait, all these comes from sms language, which I am told the main form of communication nowadays. I was trying to explain to someone over there in Calcutta that the primary use of a cell phone is talking. She vehemently protested, pointing to the menu of her handset, and sure enough, messaging was above talk there. I have to give it to them, as punching those tiny keys at breakneck speed to compose a message sure requires a special skill set, and that possibly needs getting rid of those vowels. However, I would tend to think big enough computer keyboards should make the language slightly more respectable, but alas, its not so. Using acronyms have been part of instant messaging lingo from time immemorial, as we all grew up with LOL and BRB. However, dropping vowels randomly and condensing words arbitrarily is not exactly the same thing and I would argue that makes it look ugly.

When I first started chatting, way back in 2000, I refused to use Bengali in English script. I felt it looked ugly. Over the years, mostly due to peer pressure, I have reluctantly started using it. Sure it makes things more informal - but it also results in funny misinterpretations, like "Ashole" (actually) like Asshole or as my YM prompts me to search for Kobe Bryant when I type "Kobe" (when). I very much doubt if I will start using vowel-less non-english for communicating though!