Monthly Archives: September 2007

Transitions

I feel that my life is going through a transition, though I cannot say how long it will last or what will come of it. I reckon something will transpire within the next 12 months, in other words the metamorphosis or whatever it is I will be experiencing in that time span should be complete. So long as I don’t turn into a cockroach as what happened to the poor sap in Franz Kafka’s unforgettable short story. But that change took place overnight. Maybe I will transform into some other animal or vegetable during my slumber one evening, you never know.

The autumn has officially arrived where I am in Armenia, which is probably the most significant transitional season. Even well into October it can be pretty warm–in New England where I am originally from they call autumn warm spells the Indian Summer for some reason. The seasons are very similar here as in New England–actually I would say they are identical. It also depends on where you are in the country. On the Iranian border to the south in the town of Meghri snow never falls, and the weather is nearly always humid, even balmy. Kiwis can grow there without any difficulty. The majority of the country’s inhabitants freeze their asses off once December rolls around.

Transition is important in life I believe. I think the more transitions one encounters the more mature he or she becomes spiritually, ethically, and mentally, not necessarily professionally because you can have a shallow character and be successful in terms of how much money you earn. Many people fear change, especially financial which is natural. But personal life changes should always be embraced, to push yourself to higher levels of consciousness and inner tranquility, but to what extent those ideals can be achieved is unpredictable.  Yet the struggle is always worth the associated risks.

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Water

It is said that water comprises 90 percent of our bodies, for without the element mankind would shrivel and die, just as a leaf from the mighty oak that is no longer able to sustain itself by photosynthesis. Our bodies must be continually replenished by fluids so that the regenerative process of our cells continues. Water ensures the hydration of our skin, ridding it of toxins that we absorb in our everyday environs or from the foods we consume. Its oxygen and minerals help to protect the body’s organs from disease and premature decay.

Water is the guarantor of our persistence, as it enriches the soil to produce crops and hydrates our livestock to provide us our sustenance. And the integral component of water, namely oxygen, is the same that nourishes its sister life force, fire. Yet uncontrolled, water can also lead to man’s peril—just as it ensures life, it can also just as easily suffocate life.

Copyright © Christian Garbis

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Defy

You demand liberty, self-reliance

Is it attainable?

You scorn comfort, embracing sweet strife

Is it viable?

Bonds forged melt, assurance decays,

Promises mocked, fidelity unsound,

Yet persistence is fragile

Christian Garbis © 2007

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Apart

An open door separates us

A veil, concealing the dread

Spreads across our faces, protecting

Against winds that blind, they stun

And in the blindness our love remains

But tarnished, the stains of inky pain, of loss

You find the door, but do not cross

The threshold is not significant

I roam through the storm, seeking the hope of morning

You search the gateway of tomorrows everlasting


Christian Garbis © 2007

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Sunday Morning Contemplation

It’s Sunday morning. The ditty by the Velvet Underground announcing the fact comes to mind, the perfect brunch-time song written by Lou Reed and John Cale.

Sunday morning
Brings the dawn in
It’s just a restless feeling by my side
Early dawning
Sunday morning
It’s just the wasted years so close behind
Watch out the world’s behind you
There’s always someone around you who will call
It’s nothing at all

Sunday morning
And I’m falling
I’ve got a feeling I don’t want to know
Early dawning
Sunday morning
It’s all the streets you crossed, not so long ago
Watch out the world’s behind you
There’s always someone around you who will call
It’s nothing at all

Ordinarily I would prepare to jump into my Niva and go off to adventure. But today, I have to mop the linoleum floors in the kitchen and foyer. Then I have to scrub the bathtub since I haven’t done it in five months–maybe my wife did it at some point afterwards, I don’t know. Yesterday was laundry day–I am privileged to have a washing machine as it was installed shortly before we moved in here. My apartment is fantastic–always sun shining in, a sprawling front balcony, huge bedrooms–kind of wasted space for a room you use eight hours a day while unconscious, but nice anyway. It’s a great place to spend the day, I never feel compelled to get out when I need to for some reason, the only place I have had in which I have felt wholly comfortable, even serene despite some bombastic blowouts with my wife before she left for Costa Rica.

The autumn is coming. September is the most enjoyable month to spend in Armenia. Next week I hope to go to wine country in the south, I have always wanted to visit while the grapes were ripening on the vine. I was going to visit there today but errands compel me to remain in the city. The grapes might all be harvested already but you never know. There is always next year….

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An Unfortunate Mishap

Last night I dropped my cell phone into the toilet.

You might be wondering why I dropped it there of all places in the entire world. Well the explanation is quite simple: the electricity was cut.

Not making sense, huh? Well, let me shed some light. I was out with some friends at an “Irish Pub” in Yerevan, then I drove home only to find that the lights were out not just in my neighborhood but on several blocks in the vicinity. I opened the door to my apartment and felt the urge to urinate very badly, having drunk two half-liter bottles of Kilikia beer (which is one of my favorite brews worldwide I might add). Since there was no electricity, I needed to figure out a way to see the toilet while I was pissing in it. My phone lucky enough–or so I thought–has an extremely bright screen, apparently one of the brightest on the market today. And the screen is long which means it projects a wide light. So imagine that I was facilitating the urination process with my right hand and holding the cell phone in my left. But the phone has a strange feature where the screen’s brightness starts to dim after about 20 seconds, which is solved by pressing any button on the phone. However, in the process of waking the screen the phone fell out of my hand and into the bowl. The toilet’s bowl is rather strange as there is a flat surface in the front and a narrow well in the back of it. I am assuming the design was meant to somehow conceal anything that was placed there in the bodily fluid release process, I can’t say for sure what the designer was thinking. In any case, the phone fell into that part and immediately became soaked in water mixed with urine. I reached in and yanked it out immediately, but in the midst of urinating, so I had to finish the job before I began frantically drying the phone with a bath towel, all the while cursing myself for being so stupid.

The phone in question is the Nokia 6131, which is a “flip” style phone, meaning of course that it opens from a folded state so you can talk into it. And it has a clever mechanism whereby a button on the upper right corner when pressed opens the phone immediately. It’s more like a switchblade phone rather than a “flip” phone. For the most part the button is the reason why I bought the thing in the first place, never mind the nifty features like Bluetooth connectivity, wireless Internet capability, memory expansion, and all the other things I will probably never use.

Needless to say I was furious about what I did. I was even more upset when the lights came on five minutes after the mishap occurred. At least I was able to find some drops of water here and there to soak up with a special chamois cloth since the bath towel proved to be impractical. I put the phone on and was relieved to hear the Nokia chimes, although the screen was black but occasionally flickered. The keypad did not seem to work, however.

So I took the battery out as well as the SIM card and let the thing dry over night. I popped the SIM card into my old phone and was relieved to see that it was not damaged at all from the dunking. I tossed and turned most of the night lamenting my blunder, but just before I fell asleep I had the thought that perhaps the store I bought it from would take mercy upon me and either service or replace the thing as per the one-year warranty, although there did not seem to be a clause stipulating that it did not cover accidentally letting the phone sink into the toilet.

Surprisingly when I woke up this morning I had a smile on my face when I realized how ridiculous the incident was, as I hoped I would the night before, and that somehow I would have either a repaired or new phone as a result of my idiocy. In the middle of the afternoon I made the 40 minute journey from my workplace to the downtown area–a trip that should take no more than 10 minutes, but thanks to the horrible traffic I had to swerve away about every other minute from suffering a potential fender bender to add to my problems  on the way towards the store. Nevertheless I made it there in one piece, thankfully. One of the guys in the shop meticulously scrutinized the phone and said, “Dude, you can just dry this thing out, leave it for several hours, 24 if you need to.” The gentlemen who sold me the Nokia in the first place told me to take out the battery and leave the phone someplace warm, and that it should work fine when it completely dried out. So I went home and put it on the window sill in the living room–hopefully the afternoon sun evaporated most of the moisture, as it becomes sweltering in there after 3:00 pm. I’ll find out what the situation is when I get home tonight. I don’t want to walk around with a piss-infused cell phone in my pocket, that’s for damn sure.

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About Tings

“Tings” has been a sort of one-word summing up motto of mine for 10 years now. It was inherited from a guy with whom I used to work at a newspaper in the Boston area. HeI heard tings. was also a fan of film and one day began quoting endlessly from the masterpiece “Raging Bull,” in which Jake LaMotta, played brilliantly by Robert DeNiro back in the days when he was passionately acting, in a supreme moment of paranoia accosted his brother that “I heard tings,” “tings” being of course a slang derivative of “things.” The phrase was simply chopped down to the main subject for reasons of simplicity, and after a while I came to understand the context in which it was being ceaselessly used by my friend. Around that same time I realized that the word was used in another classic, but much lesser-know film called “Things Change,” starring the great Don Ameche. I expect you can imagine how the first word in the film’s title was pronounced.

“Tings” is used in conversational situations where virtually nothing in response can be said, or there is nothing really to say in the first place. It is also used as an interjection of surprise or mild confusion. It is an innocent word, it poses no wrongdoing and is not offensive, no one in their right mind can be insulted by the term. But for me at least, “tings” expresses what some can only voice in dozens of pages of prose. It is a simple, monosyllabic expression for awe, grief, sublime, discontent, euphoria, malaise, inspiration. I suppose most everyone has their own catch phrase, a common one being “awesome” used by countless millions of English-speaking humans across the globe. Yet it seems I am also not the only one that identifies with the word as the URLs tings.wordpress.com and tings.blogspot.com were both taken.

Anyway, in case you did not gather from the last two entries, this blog is just about “tings.” There is not much else to say about the intent or the goal. But hopefully you will find “tings” worthwhile.

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