The Nemesis

Everybody Has a Nemesis

And I am no exception.

I am referring to one who shall remain nameless at this point. However, I can say that we train in Karate together.

This post is a dedication to one most foul. Most evil. And yet, most skilled and worthy as an adversary. They say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. But what if they are one and the same?

Read on…



Our relationship is not unlike another
famous duo*. Click to enlarge…



The Beginning

He walked into class the same week I started.

I remember it clearly. A cool winter’s evening. I was standing in the lineup, waiting for class to begin. I felt a chill down my spine as a cold, heartless energy entered the room. The energy was wrapped around the form of a tall, broad man around the same age and size as me.

A hollow whisper echoed throughout the room, unheard by anyone save us.

Nemesis. Arch Nemesis.

He looked up, his gaze was a weapon for piercing the soul.



Behold the evil gaze of my Nemesis**.
Click to enlarge, if you dare…


I noticed that he had an orange belt, which means he had trained somewhere before. Indeed, his level of skill was quite obvious, as his technique was clean and his knowledge was vast.

We both realized the whispers were correct when we sparred for the first time. We instinctively knew each others limits, and we each wanted to see how much further we could push.

To top it all off, every thursday we would go for drinks at the same bar after class, learning about each other, and straining to discover some type of Achilles’ Heel.

It would be safe to say that we were each inspiring the other to greater heights, which made the goal of victory that much more difficult to attain…



My Favourite Nemesis Moment

He was grading for his blue belt, and I was grading for my green.

I was grading on the other side of the room from him. I poured a lot of effort into my grading, so I didn’t really have a chance to watch him, save during resting periods. I watched as he performed his tasks with great energy.

Since my grading had started slightly before his, I was done earlier. The black belt in charge of my side of the room was about to let me go (which meant I would have to leave the room, thus barring my view of the sparring matches between Nemesis and whomever).

Our Sensei, however, had other ideas.

He told me not to go anywhere except into the ring to face off against my Nemesis. You could hear the room collectively draw in its breath. Those who had seen us spar knew we didn’t hold back, and those that didn’t seemed to know.

It was a fun match. As usual, we gave each other a run for our money.



It was a colossal battle*.
Click to enlarge…



Black and Blue

Now we are roughly the same level. And I mean roughly. Check out this series of bruises that my Nemesis gave me when we were sparring the other day…



Casualty of war. Click to enlarge…


On a serious note, it wasn’t a big deal. It doesn’t even hurt. It’s just bruises made by his fingers when he was trying to take me down to the ground***.

It’s just a testament to how great my Nemesis is. The best thing you could ever do as friends is to help each other push past your current limits. This is something we definitely do.



Who will win the battle for
supremacy***? Click to enlarge…




* – Pictures courtesy of Capcom Entertainment, used without permission.
** – Photos courtesy of Callis.
*** – But it didn’t work, did it Nemesis?

Advertisements

Miss Label

How’s the weather up there?

Zara had been asked that question so many times it almost didn’t register at that moment.

She looked down – she almost always had to look down – at the man who posed the question. She struggled with an answer. She responded with another question.

How do I see the weather with my head in the clouds? She raised an eyebrow inquisitively, wondering if what she said sounded stupid.

The man was shorter than what she would consider to be average height for a guy. From her vantage point, she could see the balding crown of his head. What’s that supposed to mean? Sounds kinda cryptic, he shrugged, his shoulders looking wider than they really were in his navy business suit jacket.

She was in a bad mood, and really didn’t have time for this all-too-familiar ritual. It’s not supposed to mean anything, she replied, I’m getting a little tired of being asked that question.

He turned red, though she was not sure if it was out of anger or embarrassment. Perhaps both?

I’m just trying to make conversation, he huffed, going on the offensive, Last I checked, that wasn’t a crime.

Look, she smiled, Were you asking because you honestly wanted to make conversation? Or were you trying to flirt with me?

His aggressive posture deflated, his true intentions revealed. She felt bad.

I’m flattered, she lied through her teeth, attempting to diffuse the situation, I just get that all the time, and I really don’t understand why guys just can’t have an actual conversation with me without it becoming sexual.

Hey, it’s not our fault you’re a model, he sputtered.

I’m a forensic scientist, she replied.

Things That Wait With Baited Passport

Things That Pop Into My Head

Have you ever seen a person who resembles someone you know? I’m sure you have. But how many times do you see a look-alike who is actually from a different ethnic background?

I was on the subway this morning, and I was standing next to a young Indian gentleman who looked like an Indian version of André 3000 from Outkast.

The funny thing was, every time I looked at this guy all I could think of was…


Out-caste


I’m going to hell, aren’t I?



Waiting With Baited Beth

Beth came over the other night to hang out with us. It was great.

I hadn’t seen Beth since Dave’s wedding several years ago.

We went to high school together, and traveled in different circles. I met her through her sister, and always thought she was a great person

We basically chilled on the deck with Beth and our neighbour, eating take-out Indian food* and drinking some fine wines.

You should take a moment to check out her page. She’s a great writer as well as being a fun person to hang out with.



The Beer Passport

I have decided to keep track of all the different beers I have ever tried. This idea was inspired by Reay who gave me eight different beers from around the world for my birthday.

It’s in the side bar, and the top bar under Passports, pluralized due to the fact that I will be putting in a wine list at some point.

Click and enjoy!




* – Go North of Bombay! YES!

Graphical Repz

What Does Your Website Look Like?

I like the fact that most of the people on the internet are smarter than I am. One of those people (my friend Adrian) posted this neat article about a utility to graphically represent one’s website.

You can also go to the author’s website to see how you can make your own graphical representation of a website.



Legend

This is what the colours represent…


blue: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
gray: all other tags



Barking Space

This is the graphical representation of the blog you are currently reading…



Click to enlarge…


I suspect it is so complicated due to the nature of the templates I am using. Even within that framework, it’s pretty simplistic.



Figtography – The Blog

This is the graphical representation of my photography blog



Click to enlarge…


I set up my photography blog for those who like more detail about the photographs on my photography site (as well as a number that are not displayed there).

The template I used for that is a little different than the one for Barking Space. For the photography blog, each article is essentially structured the same (photo, technical details, description), whereas on Barking Space, the articles vary in structure.



Figtography – The Site

This is the graphical representation of my photography site



Click to enlarge…


I’m pretty proud of this one.

Unlike the WordPress blogs, I designed this one from scratch. It’s very simple, which was the goal.

World Cup Runneth Empty

My World Cup Runneth Over

I suppose that a lot of people will have their feathers ruffled at what I have to say. Of course, seeing as this is my opinion and those people can stop reading whenever they like, they have only themselves to blame.

The world is abuzz with team names, stats, and flags from all over the place. It’s an exciting time unless, of course, you are annoyed as all hell with the marketing.

Don’t misunderstand me, though. I have a lot of respect for the athletes of the sport. It’s not the easiest sport to play, taking a lot of endurance and coordination.

And I have entered a pool for the sport, picking mostly underdog teams just for the heck of it*, so it’s not like I live in a hole and have never heard of the world cup.

My problem has more to do with people than the event itself.



The World Cup is Half Empty

I can guarantee that for the next few weeks that someone will stroll up to me at some point during each day and ask me who I think is going to win the World Cup.

I can also guarantee that their faces will contort when I tell them I don’t really care


Soccer Nut: What do you mean you don’t really care?
Jorge: Exactly what I said.
SN: How can you not like the sport?
J: I didn’t say I didn’t like it. I just don’t care about the World Cup. I’d rather be playing soccer than watching anyway.
SN: You’re weird.


Truth be told, most sporting events in their finals stage highlight how weird a number of sporting fanatics are.

I’m sure more people become excited about these events than they do about elections or political issues. It wouldn’t be a lie to say that there are more people who know the statistics of their favourite sports teams than they do about issues that affect the environment.

I am certainly not perfect. I could be better versed in the news and the goings-on in the world. At the same time, though, I try my best to be a good person, helping where I can.

Sports, as fun as they are, do little to forward our species’ development. I know that they encourage people to go out there and play. But seriously, take a look at your average sports fan and you tell me what you see.

If people** spent a fraction of their sports fan energy on building their knowledge of the world, raising their children to be good citizens and protecting the environment, we would be in far better shape.




* – As you can guess, I am in last place in the pool.
** – This is not intended as a slight to people who like sports. It is really more of a commentary on people who endlessly complain about the country they live in while never doing anything about it. However, these same people have no problem painting their faces and running around causing trouble because some sports team won or lost.

Misclosure

The following is a work of fiction. Any similarity to folks alive or dead is purely by chance and unintentional.




Have you ever marvelled at how salt and pepper shakers look the same in practically every greasy spoon you’ve ever visited? I’m pretty sure that the guy who invented those things is probably sitting on a pile of money as high as his house.

They sit at the end of the table, huddled against the wall with the ketchup bottle and a small folded menu. Unassuming little dispensers made of glass and stainless steel, scuffed with years of use and the abuse of falling off the table to bounce off the floor, only to be wiped on a shirt front and secretly replaced as if nothing had happened.

I glance at my watch – which reads a quarter past six – and then outside, which didn’t look anything like a quarter past six judging by the moon high in the sky. Upon closer inspection it appears that the second hand is on strike, as it refused to move from its comfortable position between three and four.

Fucking watch. Come to think of it, everything I touch seems to break. My curse, I expect.

I wonder if she has already been and gone. My wife, that is. Since the marriage counselling finished last year, we made this place our date place. Somewhere to get away from the hustle and bustle, as well as escape the children. We’ve come here every week and sat at this very table.

Our sanctuary.

The counselling had been her idea. Probably a good one, too, as we would have been splitsville if the good doctor didn’t make us confront our demons. By us I mean myself, of course.

I look around the unassuming little diner, my eyes passing the door several times. This place is located close to the outskirts of the city, which means that it is seldom full, except in the middle of summer. The lack of patrons indicates that it is not the middle of summer. Of course, the snow on the ground outside would lead you to the same conclusion.

No Beverly yet.

Odd. I thought I was late. She’s always on time – early, even.

Strange.

I reach into my pocket and check my cell phone, but it seems to be participating in the same event as my watch.

The waitress passes by, rudely ignoring my presence. Mind you, I don’t really feel hungry, so I don’t say anything.

My mind drifts back to the counselling sessions.

For the longest time I thought the doctor was against me from the get-go, her being a woman and all. Birds of a feather went through my mind as I tried to use every excuse I could to escape the truth – That I was an undeserving prick.

All of the drinking and the instigation of fights drove a stake into the heart of our marriage, the doctor told us, Pulling it out is going to be just as painful, so it would be best to just have an open mind and listen, for Christ’s sake.

I made nice, just to get her off my back, and it seemed to work well enough.

But some of the words echoed in my head. Some louder than others.

I would drink on the sly to try to get rid of them. They would persist.

I feel like I’m sweating. I wipe my forehead but there is nothing there. Why do I feel so strange? Maybe it’s because of the big surprise I have for Bev when she gets here.

I was at the bar earlier today with the guys from work, and we were all making fun of our wives. It’s what we did practically every other day. I would tell Bev I was working late, and have a few with the boys. I’d arrive home in time to spend an hour with the kids and watch TV with Bev, so no harm, no foul.

But today something different happened. I don’t remember what it was that I had said about my better half, but the others seemed to be in shock. One of them told me how much of an asshole I could be. I wish I had remembered what I said. It caused the evening to end earlier than usual, sending them back home to their families.

I stayed for a bit, and it got me thinking about what I had been doing all this time. By avoiding the real work of improving myself, and instead pretending to be what she wanted me to be, I was slowly becoming more and more of what she hated.

As I walked to my car, I decided that maybe it was time that I turned things around. Since we went to counselling, things did not get worse. But I realized that there was a lot of room for improvement, and the ball was in my court. That much was abundantly clear.

The door chime jingles, and I look up and see her walking through the door.

She doesn’t even see me. Even though she looks tired, there is something angelic about her. She is beautiful. I can’t wait until I surprise her with what I have to say.

Beverly sits down across from me, and places her pale hands on the table in front of me. She looks up, and I look into her eyes.

Bevvie, I’ve been a complete shit. I want you to listen to what I have to say. I don’t care that you’ll be angry with me, because I love you, and I want us to work. I want to change. I’ve been staying late and going to the bar with the guys. I’ve said things about you in fun that I believe to be untrue. I’ve swallowed breathmints and chugged coffee so you wouldn’t smell the beer on my breath. I want to spend more time with you. I want to really love you. I hope you can forgive me.

She sits, looking through me, unblinking. No tears. No smile.

I move my hands forward to caress hers, but they don’t seem to touch.

The waitress walks up and places her hand on Bev’s shoulder, I’m sorry Bev. I probably should have told you about what he did, but I didn’t think it was my business. All of us knew, but we just didn’t have the heart…

Bev looks away from me, up at Joan, I can’t believe that he was doing that all this time, Joan. All this time he was lying, and I find out by having to identify his God-damned body. Her eyes well up, And I have to find out that he didn’t just kill his own fucking self, but two children. Two innocent children! I don’t even know why I came here, Joan. I’m sorry, I have to go.

Beverly stands up, and pushes her way past Joan, weeping uncontrollably. She leaves the building, getting into her car and driving home.

I sit here, drowning in the fear of what I have done, and never being able to apologize to anyone for it.

I begin to weep as I notice two sad-eyed children staring at me through the diner window.

A New Catch Phrase

THINK TRON!


What do you think?