Came across Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman at Vijitha Yapa and purchased it almost immediately. I distinctly recall reading a story called tar-baby or something like that when I was a kid. I found it absolutely hilarious back then, as I did a lot of things that seem boring and mundane to me now. I guess I was a six year old with a much less jaded outlook on life. Anansi is a trickster god in African folk-lore and it is said that he could never be captured (or something like that), and all it took was a tar-baby with some attitude to bring him down. I don’t recall much, but whatever it was, it was funny as hell. Any six year olds reading this would probably know what I’m talking about.

In some ways, Neil Gaiman, like Anansi, is King of All Stories. Loved his American Gods, which incidentally features Anansi’s Norse cousin, Loki, Neverwhere – which was just awesome! and Smoke and Mirrors. I have yet to read Stardust and rumour has it that there’s a movie in the making.

For those inclined towards cyber stalkery, here’s Neil Gaiman’s blog.


A Dapper Weekend

Last weekend was eventful than most. My weekends are generally spent lazing around at home watching entire seasons of sit-coms back to back. The LUG has had an active week with a LUG-ercise taking place at Mount Lavinia beach where a bunch of LUGgers and their families met up with the express intent of socializing. Geek-talk was strictly forbidden (which made some of us very uneasy). After a couple of attempts at sports, I realized that I wasn’t cut out for strenuous physical activity and instead decided to just chill for a bit.

Kosala built a replica of the Fortress of Mordor (to scale) that was widely acclaimed by the gathering as an engineering masterpiece that was probably visible from space, and his talent was matched by Anuradha R who built Minas Tirith (also to scale) adjoining the behemoth of Mordor. To add the final touches to these masterpieces in sand, Mahangu dug a massive hole in the center of the Fortress. ‘Nuff said.

On Sunday, the Ubuntu Dapper Drake release party took place at Excel World where I dist-upgraded to dapper over the free wifi and did some work on my BF interpreter that I’ve been too lazy to debug. Had several shots of Espresso at the coffee shop and as a result spent the better part of the day (and night) in a state of agitation.

Way to blue

Been playing Nick Drake on endless repeat the past few weeks and it amazes me how it never gets old. I’ve been nursing a Drake obsession for more than three years now, but then I’ve been known to hook onto particular works for exceedingly long periods of time. Its part of my obsessive compulsive personality, please don’t let it scare you.

Nick Drake’s work is just exquisite, especially Pink Moon. He completed it shortly before his death in two midnight recordings and its just him and his guitar, with only a single Piano overdub on the Pink Moon track (also done by him). It’s as sincere and raw as it gets. Pink Moon is certainly a tribute to the songwriting and musical genius of Nick Drake.

Bryter Layter, 5 Leaves Left and Pink Moon were produced during his life time, with Time of No Reply being produced after his death, containing some timeless classics like “Been smoking too long”.

He was genius that went unnoticed, and it was years after his death that he got the attention that he truly deserved. He makes this prophetic vision in one of his songs, the Fruit Tree:

Fame is but a fruit tree
So very unsound.
It can never flourish
Till its stock is in the ground.
So men of fame
Can never find a way
Till time has flown
Far from their dying day.

Here‘s a link to more lyrics.