I wanna go back to Rome

Of all the places I’ve been, it remains one of the most fascinating.

Romans have amazing architecture and art pieces growing out of their wazoos and they don’t seem to realize it. I wish I could go for short city breaks in Rome whenever I want.

“We can’t build more subways because we’re afraid we’ll hit some lost city if we do anymore digging”. That, my friend is an actual quote, sort of…but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s true.

My mates and I literally stumbled upon the Trevi Fountain while walking around some suburb. We were pretty convinced we were lost (which our group seem to have an uncanny knack for doing) (we have ways of getting lost that other people can only DREAM about) after wandering around some narrow alleys and high rise building before we heard the gushing of water, we turned a corner and lo and behold! We saw a drunkard pissing into a drain. Na..seriously, it was one of the grandest things I’ve ever seen.

A wonder carved outta marble if there ever was such a thing. It’s a wonder to behold in all its glory. And it does help that we had the best gelato known to man in our hands while we watched the cascading waters (and the tonnes of ignorant fools who were throwing coins into the pool) (we lost a grand total of 4 Euros to that pool) (damnit).

This is where I am going to insert a blatant plug: if you EVER need to request for a last meal (I know it’s only a matter of time for some of you bastard reading this. Hur hur), DEMAND for San Crispino gelato from Rome. I swear I could’ve died happy then. It’s what I would have for EVERY meal if I could go for Rome city breaks.

And that’s just one of the many delights we saw there.

While I was not terribly orgasmic about the Colossium (bite me!) or the Sistine Chapel (bite me and hang me to dry), I was just generally blown away by the whole haphazard  “we got more antiques then we could deal with” way in which the Romans leave pieces that are ‘just’ a few centuries old to rot in the open.  And here in Homeland, we treat ANYTHING that’s more that 30 years old as a national treasure.

Kinda put things into perspective,huh?

Other fun things we did in Rome? ALMOST seeing the Pope, blatantly ‘forgetting’ to pay for our public transport (a crime that would catch up with us)(but that’s a story for another day), and being singled out by authentic home grown pickpockets.

Yup. Yours truely had his wallet stolen by a pair of impeccably dressed buggers on the local bus. While losing the wallet was a tad inconvenient for someone who is backpacking, it was kinda a blessing in disguise.

I mean for a few tens of euros and a bit of hassle I now have a story that I can repeat forever and ever as a show of my street creds. Now, It’s also a story that will live on in cyberspace long after I’m gone… Just like the stories of the other million bugger like me who got robbed when they went for rome short breaks.

I’ve since grown past that and these days I can proudly say that I no longer bear any ill will towards those 2 fuckers

Why so Serious?

No… this is not actually a review for Dark Knight.

In fact, this post actually came about after watching one of the OTHER summer block busters: Hellboy II.

Hellboy, golden army, mignola

I enjoyed the movie… A LOT.

With recent super hero movies immersing themselves in a  “Darker Tone”, Hellboy came out and showed everyone how superhero movies should be made.While these “darker” movies show how mature a medium the graphic novel can be, they forget that at the end of the day, we’re often talking about men/women/big green things prancing about in their underwear.

And that, in itself is a whole bag of fun.

Women prancing about in their underwear, I mean.

While Hellboy has its fair share of plot points and subplots involving unrequited love, family hatred, death and maiming of parents/work mates. It does not result in the characters moping and looking anguished while  hanging upside down on bridges, hanging out in inpoverished South American Towns, or just plain hanging.

Nope, for Hellboy, these “issues” are resolved over beer, cigars and an unhealthy dose of Barry Manilow.

Sounds good to me already.

I’m a recently converted fan of Guillermo del Toro. Pan’s Labyrinth was a huge revelation for me. Some of the best stories I’ve read/watch/seen/heard tread the fine line between darkness and light. They’re about light being found when all hope seems to be gone; or even better yet, they’re stories that slowly peel and crawl and chew away facades of seemingly bright and cheery scenarios to reveal the filthy, rotting and decomposing surface below.

It’s hard to find this balance. To have a story that is heavy on its rhetorics and yet, doesn’t really preach to its audience.

And finally, to round it all up, Hellboy boasts some of the most devilishly (hur hur) beautiful creature designs this side of Mirrormask. Mike Mignola was a genius at incorporating mythology and folklore into the tales of Hellboy and del Toro managed to put his own twist to Mignola’s creatures and bring them alive on screen.

Just check out the scene where Hellboy battles the plant elemental whatchumightcallit. While it is not one of those Waichoskily complicated, well cheorographed “Fight sequence” per se, but the fight and its aftermath has got to be one of the most whimsical (in a good way) piece of cinema that I’ve ever seen.

Great stuff.

Being there…

One of the nature of The Job is that I could be uncontactable for days on end.

For the most part, this is ok (sometimes even a blessing in disguise)

But there are times when you look back and think… Is the Job really worth missing out on some things in life? Is it worth not being there for some things that are happening? Is it worth the time away from your family and loved ones?

Someone much wiser than me said recently. “Almost everything that you can dream of is achievable. Anything can be done. But thing is… there’s a price to everything. The only question you need to ask is… Are you willing to pay the price?”

For the most part, the rewards (not just monetary) I’ve gotten from the job outweighs the price I’ve been paying. Sure, I’ve missed celebrating at home during the Festivals, had not been able to make it to several weddings that should’ve been significant to me (not mine la), and have not seen some close friends for too long than is healthy. But, as I’ve said, on the most part, it is ok. The rewards have been outweighing the price.

The things that really matters. The potential “Instant Job Quitting Triggers”, however, are something else altogether.

One thing I hate more than anything else is not being able to be somewhere that I am needed.

Somewhere where my presence might make a difference.

A difference to people that matters to me, at least.

And today was one of those days.

Really really guts me to know that someone whom I care about was not able to contact me for the whole day just because I was goddamn working.

And that I could’ve made a difference but didn’t because of the Job.

And that I could’ve made a difference to someone that matters a whole lot but didn’t because of the Job.

This just plain sucks.

Today I found out that…

Some aliens out there actually thinks that cigars smoking is an anti social behavior and drives people apart.

CIGAR smoking, not just any type of smoking.

To that, I can only say 2 lil words..

“Denny Crane”

denny crane, alan shore, cigar, boston legal

I know that TV is not exactly the best place to find logic to support your case for arguments but I think that a glass of scotch and a cigar might be all some people need to bond at the end of a work day. Of course, I learnt that from Boston Legal. But watching Denny and Alan sit at the balcony week after week makes it easy to believe that the argument is true.

OF course the Girlfriend detests smoking so that rules out one potential cigars and scotch buddy for me.

It proves that romance would always be slightly different from… (wait for it…) bromance.

boston legal, denny crane, alan shore, cigars, scotch, balcony, bromance

Fractional Sailing?

It’s no secret.

I want to see the world.

And the way I’ve always wanted to do it is by sail.

I know that it’s totally impractical, given today’s (relatively) low flight cost, but there’s just something about sailing that knocks the winds outta you.

Hur hur…

I am good.

Right back on point.

There’s just something about being in the middle the wide open seas with almost nothing standing between you and mother nature that is so, dare I say it? wonderfully romantic.

There! And not just in the pussy “I am the King of the World” kinda romantic.

It puts a lot of things into perspective, being that close to the whims and willies of the sea.

But the ironic thing about this whole concept is that it is so damn bloody expensive. Not just to own a sail boat but to maintain and upkeep it as well.

I’m more or less a desktop traveler these days. Yes… sad but true. I’ve said this before but you’d be amazed by the amount of information and misinformation you’d be able to find on the net given some time in hand.

Anyway, on my recent flight of fantasy, I actually thought about and dug up some dirt on fractional sailing. Or owning part of a luxurious sailboat. It’s a fairly cheap alternative to actually buying and maintaining one. It’s sort of like a time share of boats.

Seems interesting.

Now, to find the time to do it.