Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oh, the things I do to amuse myself.

The past year has been... well I hesitate to call it hell so as not to trivialize the plight of those going through hell or actually literally in hell if there is such a place as described by Dante and is a subject of debate among theologians and... Right, back to the things I do to amuse myself. Obviously I havent been blogging which, although a highly pleasurable activity takes a considerable amount of time, not to say that such time-taking is evident in the slipshod way the entries in this here blog are written. With sixty-hour work weeks spent in this project, (which we shall henceforth call The Project) with very little time for self and family, regular blogging would take a sizeable chunk of the whatever me time is left. 

Twittering on Twitter and plurking on Plurk affords me the ability to take mini-breaks, and since The Project dulls the mind and saps the soul, my brain has been limited to 140-character bursts of activity that is threatening to spill over onto my other thought processes. Unless I can do something about it.

The Project eats twelve hours a day Monday to Saturday so by the time Sunday rolls in, my energy's sapped and I have no desire to do anything other than vegetate. I realized the downward spiral I was in so before I permanently turn into a parsnip, I decided to go out. The trouble with this is Jakarta is just like Metro Manila. Once youve seen a mall, youve seen 'em all and so far malls are what are on offer. Im sure there are other places to go to in this city that isnt a mall -- Jakarta has a storied and exotic history after all, one of the hubs of the spice trade -- but for some reason, not having a camera to record the exoticity puts a damper on my desire to go exploring its more interesting nooks and crannies. I know it's a character flaw. Anyway, with my pal Grif's help, that would be remedied soon. (I had him buy me this and it arrives December via TimeBandit.) Ive gone to the old part of the city (Kota Tua) and to the Botanical Gardens in Bogor with officemates. Nothing spectacular. The Bunga Bangkai, which is a giant flower of the Rafflesia variety, wasnt even in bloom in the botanical garden, but going somewhere that isnt a mall, a bank, or an apartment was fun.

But desk-bound or couch-bound I need to take mini-breaks -- breaks that dont require me to physically leave The Project -- even for a couple of minutes. What to do? Then I remembered a story I read more than twenty years ago called Ladle Rat Rotten Hut. I remember laughing my head off when I finally got what it was about. Even after repeated readings it never fails to get a chuckle out of me.

Here are the first few lines of the story (a popular kid's tale that Im sure youve heard of):
Wants pawn term dare worsted ladle gull hoe lift wetter murder inner ladle cordage honor itch offer lodge, dock, florist. Disk ladle gull orphan worry Putty ladle rat cluck wetter ladle rat hut, an fur disk raisin pimple colder Ladle Rat Rotten Hut.
Wan moaning Ladle Rat Rotten Hut's murder colder inset.

"Ladle Rat Rotten Hut, heresy ladle basking winsome burden barter an shirker cockles. Tick disk ladle basking tutor cordage offer groin-murder hoe lifts honor udder site offer florist. Shaker lake! Dun stopper laundry wrote! Dun stopper peck floors! Dun daily-doily inner florist, an yonder nor sorghum-stenches, dun stopper torque wet strainers."

"Hoe-cake, murder," resplendent Ladle Rat Rotten Hut, an tickle ladle basking an stuttered oft.
Since reading it I pay attention to how words sound which is not good for speed reading but brings me more pleasure. I enjoy writers who also take the sound the words make on paper into consideration. That story changed the way I read. And it gave me my mini-break. I have since started twittering like that, much to the consternation of my pals most probably, but I think of it as giving them a good exercise as well.

Anyway, Ive done a few, shall we say, translations of popular songs and foisted them on Plurk, a task it does so much better than Twitter, by the way, even though both have 140-character limits. Here goes (with spelling errors corrected and minor tweeks from the original Plurk version):

Deschanel commode Tamara. Fletcher bought and hollered at Tamara Daryll Besson. 
Justin in a boat Tamara queers a wade a cud wedging the Zorro Tilda's nun.
Venoms tucking daddy dots crayon Longley, adjust pinko matching and Gwynn Nancy. Ohhhh. 
Deschanel commode Tamara, Soyuz gutter anon too Tamara kumquat neigh. 
Tamara, Tamara, high loaf yet Tamara. Ural weigh Sade aweigh.

Sinning Indurain
Arm sinning Indurain. Jet sinning Indurain. Water glower use peeling. Arm a pier gain. 
Arm loafing aft clothes solder Kappa bud. The sand sin may harken arm wordy furloughed.
Letters dorm me clothes chaste ever worn form deface. Common withering, hive ass mile-long map ace.
Ewok dangling wither a pier feign. Jet sinning, sinning Indurain.

Ear Daring Heavily Ware
Toledo beta light, honeyed mile oaf tubby ear. 
Ear, mating itched hay oft dyer. Chaining mile light wither wade offer end. New berry candy nigh dot threesome tinder.
Dare, ruining Mayans truer heir. Votive ass stinking augured dick and bee. So money's peaking bitchy dozen no wheezed hare.
A wonder heavily ware. Edit sheets betide mere Ainu oil knead leathercare. Bottle over Easter kneader heavily ware. Gnawing dot loaf Easter chair. 
Itchin' bleeding dot loaf nether dyes. Washing arise Zen doping armoire wheeze dare. 
Tubby daring heavily ware. 
Ear daring heavily ware.