Saturday, July 22, 2006

Today, mum was born

Today is my mum's birthday.

My mum and I fight a lot, mostly about the same things over and over again. She complains that I never shut drawers after I open them, and I always complain that she should be grateful that I'm not an angst-ridden junkie and that surely, leaving drawers open is the best bad habit a daughter could have.

My mum and I occasionally fight about more important things, and neither one of us likes doing that. We fight because sometimes, I can be a really mean and never admit to it, and because sometimes, she can be a really mean too but never admit to it either, which in turn makes me act even meaner. It's a vicious cycle, really. I have drawn a diagram using sophisticated software (MS Paint) to illustrated just how vicious it is. See below.
Thankfully, when it comes to fighting with my mum, I have only a limited capacity for anger and so I end up giving her a hug five minutes after and things go back to normal.

My mum and I sometimes don't manage to get things to go back to normal, because we're both very stubborn and refuse to admit that we might be wrong. Also, I am always right, so it's her fault, really. When these situations occur, we have what I often refer to as a Cold War. We try our best to be polite, whilst internally fuming. At least, that's what I do, but I'm sure she's exactly the same.

My mum and I engage in activities other than fighting. We like to lie down on the couch together and watch TV. Sometimes, it's Gilmore Girls, which reminds us of ourselves except that, well, my mother is not a single mother, and my love life isn't half as exciting as Rory's (read: I don't have one). But these are differences that can be overlooked. Sometimes, we watch CSI and delight in trying to guess who the murderer is and invariably getting it wrong. A few years ago, Tuesday evening used to be our ER evening, and we'd randomly get weepy over dying cancer patients and children with incurable genetic diseases and stillborn babies. We like to watch movies that make us cry, and then laugh at each other for crying.

My mum and I are always late, for everything. Despite this, neither of us have ever missed a plane, train or bus. People are so exasperated that they are literally praying for the day the plane leaves without us, so that we might learn. They are, of course, delusional. We'll never give up being late.

My mum is not very good with names, which is a family joke, so she practices learning random celebrity names from the Italian version of Dancing With the Stars.

My mum is also not very good with languages, which is another family joke, but she refuses to speak any other language than Turkish with me, even though it could help her improve her English and Italian. She says that if she lets me forget Turkish, she'll have no way to communicate with me when I'm older. She's right, as usual.

My mum is always right. That's why I never even bother to complain anymore when she makes me take a jacket out with me 'just in case,' even if it's Spring.

My mum worries about the most absurd things. We were going on holiday for a few days some time ago, and we had to park the car at the airport. She insisted that we park it underground because 'you never know, there might be a hailstorm'.

My mum worries about things that are worth worrying about, mainly because she cares about people other than herself, which is more than I can say for me. Because my mum is so nice, everybody loves her, including me.

My mum is the most incredible people person I know. She can walk into a stuffy government office, wait in line for a tediously long hour and then smile and make friends with the person behind the counter, so that if she's missing a document, she can come back later and skip the line and get it all done in a second. She's friends with bank workers and consulate workers. Cleaning ladies tell her about their family sagas. The whole extended family loves her. I have yet to know of a single person who did not immediately love my mother after meeting her. I don't know how she does it, but it's amazing, and it makes me really proud.

My mum is one of my two best friends. I tell her absolutely everything.

My mum is hilarious. She is also a great actress. Sometimes, I ask her to be 'angry mum', an act in which she pretends to be evil, snaps at me and generally acts completely out of character. She is so believable that I have to tell her to stop after a while because it scares me.

My mum is an advocate of healthy eating. She puts so little salt in the food she makes that once, when we went for a check up, our blood analyses showed that everything was in the norm except for our salt levels, which were below the ideal lower boundary. The doctor, who had never seen something like that in his life, could hardly believe it. I just found it hilarious, and thenceforth took the opportunity to eat my food salty, just how I love it.

My mum has been trying to 'get back to 58 kg' for the last ten years now.

My mum is now more than half a century old. When I think that she's on the way to being 60, I get scared, so I try not to think about it.

I love my mum very very much, and wish her a very happy birthday. I'm glad she was born and I'm glad she's my mum, because, as I often tell her, she's the best mum in the world.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

In defence of internet regulations

The internet is such a scary place. Even though it's not technically a place, insofar as it is not a physical location. OK, I shall amend that. The internet is a scary medium. Better? Loads.

It's scary because all the things that make it so amazing also make it overly easy to misuse. Like, for example; it takes five minutes for any random person to start a blog. I should know; I've done it myself. Now, whilst this may provide a safe and healthy outlet for all manner of human expression, including but not limited to bad poetry, miscellaneous venting and the narration of imaginary sexual escapades, it also allows anyone and everyone to say the most absurd things.

Unfortunately, absurd does not always mean 'My pink slippers ate my cobra.' It also means bad things. Terrible things that are better off not mentioned, lest some impressionable mind should stumble upon them and spread the badness.

Also, under the comforting shelter of anonymity, the internet allows people to create characters for themselves, which in turn allows them to say whatever they want, which is never a good thing. I mean, peer pressure exists for many reasons, one of which is to curb dangerous deviant tendencies.

What exactly do I mean by this? Well, as a mentor figure probably told you at some point in your life, extremes are bad. They are. But you can publicise any extremist viewpoint on the internet without anyone stopping you or knowing who you are.

So you get all manner of creeps and idiots, alongside the mature and interesting individuals. And the worst thing is, you don't even know what you're looking at until you're drawn so into it that you can barely tear yourself away form the screen and succumb to the fits of hilarity and/or frustration that the situation warrants. Is it just me or do many internet users act much younger than they are? You see adults bickering and flaming each other like there's no tomorrow. No such thing as healthy debate. Which makes for free entertainment, but also makes you reflect on the general crappiness of humanity, if you should so happen to be inclined towards depressive thoughts.

OK, fine, freedom of expression, I get it.

I like the internet. It has email and Wikipedia. It also has online newspapers (which I don't really care about, but which my dad likes to read) and gossip columns on BBC (which I try to avoid but end up knowing off by heart anyway because of Pan). But it scares me. Mostly because people scare me. People are creepy. They shouldn't be allowed on the internet.

Go ahead and disagree.

Oh, and before I forget. One thing that makes me say 'Screw human rights! This is punishable by 56k modem!' is the abysmal state of grammar on the internet. 'Grammarcrime', as I like to call it, is the worst possible offence in today's web-based world. In my totalitarian dictatorship, which I shall establish as soon as I take over the world (I do seem to have autocratic tendencies, don't I?), words such as 'definately' and sentences such as 'Your writing a new post on you're blog?' will be hunted down and executed.

PS: None of this, of course, applies to me or my blogroll. I love me! And my blogroll!


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Catching Up

Dearest readers,

I apologize for my prolonged absence from the blogosphere. Pan told me she had a new post today, so, after reading it, I went on my own blog and noticed that I hadn't posted anything for more than a month. The guilt almost overwhelmed me, I can tell you.

Many things have happened in my life in these past few weeks, emotionally significant events.
What happened that was such a big deal?, you may ask. Here's the list:

I got back from India,
which was traumatic, to say the least, because India rules and it reminds me of Turkey so I've developed an unhealthy emotional attachment to it. After three weeks of a mostly vegetarian diet, I was thinner and healthier, so much so that the first thing my mother said to me after not seeing me for ages was not 'Oh, TPF, apple of my eye, how I missed you!', or 'Oh, TPF, home is not the same without you!', but 'Wow, TPF, your skin is loads better.'

No, seriously, she actually said that.

And now for the visual aids.

Now this is what I call persuasion. Would you dare defy the author of this? I know I wouldn't. Of course, I don't own a car with which to risk it, but if I did, I'd steer clear of that gate. You know, this kind of reminds me of that scene from Godfather where Marlon Brando sends a guy the corpse of his favourite horse so that the guy wakes up in bed to see blood all over the place, lifts the covers and sees his dead horse. Of course, I stopped watching the movie after that scene because my 12 year-old cousin was with me and also because the volume didn't work and it was hard to understand Marlon Brando's sexy accent.

By the way, you've probably heard about the bomb blasts in Bombay. I was actually on one of those trains a month ago and I know people who use them every day. Luckily, everyone I know is OK, including adorable fuzz-head Eris, and Gary, whose house we stayed in for three days, but I think all that, plus the clubbing, plus the trudging in fashion street under heavy rains warrants a separate post.

I got a sexy tan
at Harry's house in Liguria (which is an Italian region by the sea). Yep, friends. I am no longer 'she of the sickly pallor', but 'she of the chocolate brown sexiness that goes with her prom dress'. Oh, right, the prom.

I partied
at the prom, which wasn't very good because the music was bad, but hey, at least I didn't buy a new dress for it. I used the same one I used in my tenth grade prom. Which means a) I haven't gained any weight, which is good, and b) My frontal assets have remained unchanged, which is decidedly less good. I personally like to think of option 'a' more.

I also partied at Vintage Girl's cool end of year bash/early birthday party where, believe it or not, there was an open bar and, believe it or not, decent music. Two mojitos, one vodka lemon, one sangria and liberal quantities of wine later I was having the time of my life. And this was the day after the prom. Thank God for Pan, who was somehow more sober than me (and that, friends, is an event in and of itself). And the day after that, at nine in the morning, I had to go for Graduation Day rehearsals.

Oh, right, graduation.

I graduated
from high school, obviously. My family was late for the ceremony. You know, I keep telling people that it runs in the family, that I can't help it if I'm always late, it's genetic, and people don't believe me. Well, if their parents were late for their graduation, they would believe me. And that's that.

Oh, Pan and I went to order photographs from the school photographer today and I discovered that I look positively miserable in my Graduation Day ones. I wonder why that is. Hmm. Maybe because my parents were late for it, and I soooo hope my mother reads this so she can see the pain she caused me. Sniff. I will so never get over this.

I went to the EXIT festival
in Serbia, where I got to watch Franz Ferdinand, Morrissey and, drumroll, BILLY IDOL. Oh yes. Billy Idol. Who is still incredibly hot despite his age. Who is so sexy I couldn't refrain from drooling and practically fainting despite the fact that my mother (also a fan) was next to me and I should have perhaps tried to maintain some decorum. Oh my. I am swooning at the memory of his hotness.

He sang everything. Everything except Cradle of Love, but perhaps that's a good thing, because I might have truly fainted had he sung Cradle of Love.

Franz Ferdinand were OK, but I don't like them much so I wasn't all that interested. Morrissey rocked, but I was disappointed because I'm much more of a Smiths fan and he didn't sing any Smiths songs. But he did sing How Soon is Now, which I happen to know off by heart because I used to watch Charmed.

Oh dear. I have just publicly admitted to watching Charmed. You know, I always hated Prue and was so glad when she died because every time I saw her I was inevitably reminded of Brenda Walsh from Beverly Hills, 90210 and I really disliked Brenda Walsh.

OK, now that I've got that out of the way...

I saw the Rolling Stones
at Milan's football stadium. Pan's post has more details on that. I can just tell you that it was amazing, despite the fact the Mick and Keith were little more than specks dressed in weirdly coloured clothing. And, oh, Start Me Up and Brown Sugar, one after the other... I practically died.

I got my IB results
which were good, and I am officially a Uni girl now! SQUEE! But term starts in October, so I have plenty of time to basically do whatever I want. Pan, Harry, Marry and I are supposed to go to Berlin sometime this month, but the way things are going, that is so not going to happen.

Speaking of Berlin...

Italy won the World Cup
for the first time in 24 years! AND I WAS THERE! Well, not at the World Cup, but in Italy. Italy went crazy. Even I went crazy, and I'm not even Italian! Seriously, I bought a flag for 10 Euros before I even knew if Italy was going to win or not. And I wore it as a belt the next day.

Meanwhile, the Middle East is going to war again and my life seems stupidly fickle and useless. Oh well. I shall indulge in the fickleness. Meanwhile, I shall also do some much needed blog-hopping and see how my beloved blogroll is doing.


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