Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Do I have to?

Blogger ennui has set in. Am trying to convince myself I still do want to blog, for even as I write my mind is turning off the whole thing and... I ... don't... know... if .... I... really... zzzz

Gosh, that last line sounds right out of a Barbara Cartland novel, in which the swooning heroine shows a marked partiality for ellipses, those much-misunderstood punctuation marks**. "My... Lord... Duke... I cannot conceive how... you ...can bestow... such an honour... upon one... so undeserving ... as... I" she goes before she swoons right into the arms of My Lord Duke, and has her lips and sweet upturned face smothered with ardent kisses.

As is apparent, I have been reading a lot of trash lately. Not Barbara Cartland, thank heavens, but her slightly more upmarket counterpart Georgette Heyer. Actually, she is quite a bit more upmarket, for a quick search tells me people have taken her seriously enough to write research papers on her. At least, her heroines are mostly spirited, almost hoydenish, and extremely bold creatures who never swoon. One thing they are not is 'missish' and to know the exact connotations of that word, one would have to familiarise oneself extensively with Ms Heyer's works, which is more than what I can expect my readers to do.

Can't bring myself to do more serious reading these days. Am telling myself it's just a phase and I'll turn back into my literary self but there's a horrible feeling deep inside that I'm turning into my mother who reads Sidney Sheldon at age 50 with great gusto. A common fear, I am told, as one approaches 30 -- that one is turning into one's mother. But seriously, though I haven't sunk as low as Sidney Sheldon, anything that needs more than one-tenth of my attention while reading is not being read. Hell, the only thing I'm doing these days with any amount of enthusiasm and animation is playing Minesweeper. My score is at an all-time high (141 seconds to complete the expert level) and constant efforts are being made to improve it.

Ok, so Minesweeper. My dedication to the game surprises me constantly, for I am totally those non-game types, I can't begin to understand why people would spend hours playing Bounce Ball on their mobile phones or Motoracer on their computers. But put me in front of a PC and watch me reach inexorably for that Minewseeper icon, in yet another effort to beat J K Rowling whose expert time is somewhere around 120, I believe. I write two lines of whatever crap story I am working on at the minute and play a game. I can't talk on the phone without clicking away simultaneously (and some of my best times have been achieved while this huge multi-tasking experiment is on) and I've been doing this for well nigh a year now. What it is about this game when worthier interests have been gleefully abandoned is something I'll have to figure out while I'm playing the next game. I have no doubt there are people who have better records but I don't think they can touch me on dedication.

P.S. Started playing Minesweeper even as I wrote this, prompting a long-suffering colleague, whom my click-clicking must drive crazy, to say 'They should give you a Loyal User Award, these Minesweeper people'. Ha! Anybody know of international tournaments, or anything? Can already see myself as Sania Mirza-type celebrity, including visions of interviewing self for the ol' paper.

** Lynne Truss, I have failed you, for despite your best efforts the right way to use them eludes me, too.


At September 27, 2005 10:11 PM, Blogger Gamesmaster G9 said...

Ha! A fellow Minesweeper. So, what's your best time in the Intermediate and Beginner levels?

Sadly the all time record for Expert is 60! I wonder what kind of person manages that. My score has time has never gone below 110.

At September 28, 2005 3:07 PM, Blogger The Marauder's Map said...

110? 110? What are you, a monster Minesweeper or something? Me sees will have to play lots more to get anywhere near that. Not that I needed the excuse. My beginner best is 5 seconds and intermediate is around 35, I think.

At September 28, 2005 5:20 PM, Blogger Jasmine said...

Hehe.. I'm sorry to have to break this to you, but my best is 112. Ha-ha! Beatcha! :P

Anyway, JKR's is 99, I believe. She even made a special post about it on her website.

At September 29, 2005 12:32 AM, Blogger Gamesmaster G9 said...

Time to gloat.

My best scores are:

Beginner: 5
Intermediate: 28
Expert: 110

One of these days I will break the damn 100 barrier. Just another thousand attempts or so.

At September 29, 2005 1:24 PM, Blogger acidrocks said...

hey !!! i remember the time when you got hooked onto this game...

At September 29, 2005 2:04 PM, Blogger Sheetal said...

'her slightly more upmarket counterpart Georgette Heyer'
you do the Heyer serious disservice, you really do.

At October 04, 2005 2:00 PM, Blogger The Marauder's Map said...

Damn! Why did I waste all those precious hours working when I could have improved my game and got close to the kind of scores I can see people have managed? What are they, even more jobless than me?

Sheetal: I admit. Apologies to the Heyer. If it's any consolation, I'm still hooked.

At October 04, 2005 3:05 PM, Blogger samit said...

ha! fond memories of Delhi office days, when i was the only one around who could finish the expert level...

accha, i love georgette heyer, so am very glad to see shes getting attention on this damn blogosphere. totally understand declining interest, btw, same things happening to me.

whats your favourite georgette heyer? mine is these old shades sometimes, and sometimes its the talisman ring. the grand sophy is somewhere up there too, but these two are simply wonderful.

At October 04, 2005 4:19 PM, Blogger The Marauder's Map said...

My dear Samwise, forgot you are Georgette Heyer fan too. Much mwaahs. Let me see, my favourites would be Venetia, Cotillion, Grand Sophy, Arabella, These Old Shades, Bath Tangle ... possibly in that order or very possibly not. I think I like Venetia the best. Am reading Sylvester right now, don't think have read it before though I get mixed up sometimes. Oh, I also like Civil Contract and Infamous Army.

At October 04, 2005 4:20 PM, Blogger The Marauder's Map said...

Haven't read Talisman Ring but since you rate it high will do so pronto.

At October 09, 2005 9:00 PM, Blogger Teleute said...

okay - i LOVE georgette heyer. agreed that some of the books are rather barbara cartland-ish, but there are just so many more brilliant ones! my favouritest ever is the spanish bride despite the fact that i never really completely understood the spanish dialogue, and there is a fair bit of that, and also beauvallet. also love the grand sophy, and devil's cub. and now i feel an irresistible urge to curl up with these books and feel mushy.

and the best way to ensure that you don't end up reading sidney sheldons with gusto at the age of fifty would be to finish reading all of them by class 9 :)

At October 09, 2005 9:03 PM, Blogger Teleute said...

oh, and the masqueraders, too!

okay - i'll stop now :)

At December 04, 2005 12:44 AM, Blogger Sue said...

Ok, I'm really hurt about the Heyer line. I've read more Cartlands than the next person I believe and I cannot comprehend anybody comparing her to la Heyer. All they have in common in the genre. Might as well compare Mickey Spillane to Dame Agatha, you know?


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