December 27, 2010

TRON: DEADLY DISCS

I was a little kid when the first Tron movie was released. I watched it at my grandparents', on their TV set with a video player. They were the times right after the military coup in Turkey, and movies weren't really coming to the theaters. I don't know, maybe it was something political or simply maybe the distributors didn't have enough money to distribute big movies. And of course, those films were not coming to video tapes in a legal format. They were shamelessly pirated and nobody gave a shit about it back then. As a matter of fact, i don't think anything changed today and people don't still give a shit about the pirated copies.

Well, i can merely remember one or two scenes from the movie. But i remember i adored it.

Then came the game: Tron Deadly Discs. I spent hours and hours playing this game. I had a 4k PC which did not have a popular brand name, and my game options were really very limited. I think i had 6 games in total and i really spent unbelievable amount of time on these 6 games. Tron was not really my favorite, but i liked it anyway and played it.

So today, i had a chance to watch the new Tron movie on big screen. Well, i had some other things to do so i didn't really watch it, but i had a chance to see the arena fight. I don't know if it resembles the old movie, i can't remember that, but it definitely resembles the arena in the game. But of course, you may need to use some wild imagination to find a connection between a 3D movie and a game which looks exactly like this:

But the reason why i wrote this post is quite different. I don't how to describe it, because it is one of those very private moments which is individual-spesific. The whole thing initiated some sort of a chemical reaction in my brain and my body. This extremely slight connection between the two images helped me to bound to my childhood. And what i felt was kind of something i wish i could feel all the time.

Now it is all gone, and all i can do is to try to write it, simply because i don't know what else to do.

December 14, 2010

THE RUNNING MAN - IN A THEATER VERY NEAR TO YOU

Anybody remembers the movie Running Man, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Arnold plays a prisoner who obviously is framed for somethnig he hasn't done. And his only way to freedom is a TV show, a wild game in which death row inmates are given a chance in an arena. If they succeed, they are freed. If not, then it means they are dead.

Even though i haven't seen mentioned anywhere, i am pretty sure that the movie is based on a story by Stephen King. I am not really a King fan, but i clearly remember reading that particular story about a man in a game show with the exact same concept. The difference is, King's story pretty much focused on the show itself, while in the movie there is another challenge Arnold has to overcome.

It turns out that, in the movie, Arnold is actually a good cop who refuses to obey the direct order to shot fire at innocent civilians. So the system punsihes him. And the media shows makes him look like a pshycopath who kills civilians even though he is ordered not to. So, Arnold has to survive from the game, and then he has to find the actual footage which prooves that he is innocent.

What a wild imagination this movie has, right? Media shows a man doing something which he explicitly refuses to do? Gosh, how do they come up with these crazy ideas? Thanks God, it is just a science-fiction and the world we are living in has nothing to do with the world shown in the movie.

Well, at least we don't have arenas in which people are killed just for the sake of a little entertainment. At least, not yet.

December 07, 2010

what the hell was she doing in the football game anyway

Turkish Republic is doing a really very good job in democratising the counrty. A new level of understanding has spread all across the republic, and now we are all enjoying the privilidges of the new constitutional laws which was accepted in a nationwide referendum which was held on September 12th this year. Ironically, this is the very same date the nation has accepted the constitution constituted by the military power in 1980. Nobody had seen how anti-democratic the constitution initially was; but no worries. It is all history now and Turkey is leaping towards a more open society.

OR NOT. 

Last Sunday, December 5 that is, some university students were beaten down by the police who are supposed to maintain the peace in the community, because they were obviously ordered to stop these terrorist minded youngsters who dared to protest  PM Erdoğan who is allegedly the founder of the new democracy in Turkey.

It seems like a free university means a collection of buildings in which the headscarved girls can enter freely, and nothing more. Or at least, this is what our shallow liberals want you to believe. In any political forum, you can bet that there will always be someone who brings up this headscarf issue as if this is the only indication of a democratic Turkey.



That's very true: everybody has the right to get proper education no matter how they want to express themselves. Girls can wear headscarves and boys can wear Taliban-alike beards. I don't have to approve their way of life.

But yet, this is really not the only criteria in a democratic society, and unfortunately, these fierce headscarf supporters mostly fail to criticize when police decides to use brutal force on students.


Very interestingly, on the very same day, the very same police force failed to prevent a very harsh fight between the holigan fans of two opposite football teams.

Violence in football games is a pretty much regular scene in Turkey, and i honestly don't like football. So i didn't really pay attention to just another crap in our new democratic society who can't even  tolerate to the opposite football team...   That's only until i went to my regular barber shop this evening after the office hours. The TV was open. The news was on. And there was just this another guy, probably another regular customer and we were all hearing this news about the holigan violence.

And the news said that, a woman was severely injured because she was hit by an empty beer bottle which was blindly thrown to the crowd. She was severaly injured and it will take a hell lot of time for her to fully recover.

And what the hell was she doing in the football game anyway?


Right. This is the exact bullshit that other guy said. I tried to shut up, knowing that my response would not possibly open a new perspective in his pathetic mind. But he just kept talking the same crap, so i loudly said "Is it banned to go to watch a game? People can go anywhere they want."

He was having his hair cut on another chair, and me on another. And that's when my barber started talking to me, probably triyng to distract me from him. And guess what. He was in that game, with his wife. And he was just lucky that he was in the scene only 2 minutes after the figght was over.

And i am sure the guy has talked behind my back when i left the barber shop.

Are there any social and political conclusions which can be derived from this simple experience i had not more than 6 hours ago? You can bet on it. But unlike our shallow liberals who love to draw the most optimistic pictures based on their very limited encounters with the most elite rich conservaties, i prefer to let you draw your own conclusion. And you are free to share your thought with me.

December 02, 2010

Kaiser Soze

Even though Reservoir Dogs is still one of the best moives i've watched so far, i sort of think that Jackie Brown is the best movie came from the director Tarantino. I love Jackie Brown because it relies on real suspense rather than some exegrated viloence scenes which Tarantino apparently thinks that he is best at.  You can't believe how much i was frustrated while watching the movie Kill Bill.

So anyway, last night i was watching the movie The Usual Suspects from the director Bryan Singer with my wife at home, and in a moment of enlightment i realized that the movies The Usual Suspect and Jackie Brown use the same method with a different technique.

Twisting the story is what most movies do. Actually, twisting a a story to an unexpected direction is pretty much the biggest factor to like or dislike a movie. The best it twist, the best we tend to like it. And these two movies, twist the story by telling us what we haven't seen before.

OK so, there is a mildly spoiler in here. So if you haven't watched those two movies just don't let me spoil them. You are warned.

In the movie Jackie Brown, Tarantino shows us the very same scene but from different perspectives over and over again. So essentially you watch the very same thing, but in fact it is a different scene because you see what you haven't seen before. In the movie The Usual Suspects however, you don't repeatedly watch the same scene. But you follow the adventure through a series of flasbacks, and between those flashbacks, the characters tell you something new so you start to keep watching things with the new information at hand. (THE BIG SPOILER ALERT:) First you think there is coke in the ship, then suddenly you learn that it is not about coke or money: it is about getting rid of someone.

Yeah, when i think about it, they both are great movies.

November 21, 2010

a general template for the mysterious tv shows

a mysterious chain of events happen. you don't understand what is really going on, but you really want to learn more. as the story develops, you start to learn more about the characters. the mystery slowly starts to reveal itself, or rather, it shifts from the event itself to the characters. now, you have a better understanding of what is going on, and you more likely focus on the characters. you want to know how the characters react as the new situations occur. perhaps, the initial mystery is not solved completely, but it keeps revealing itself, as the seemingly bad guys turns out to be the good guys and the seemingly good guys turn out to be the bad guys, until of course, they switch back again. and just don't forget one or two characters who continiously switch side either because they are compelled to it for some reason, or they only think about their selfish benefit all the time.

and, how many tv shows did you watch using this template?

lets's think. hmm, lost, heroes, flash forward, persons unknown, the event.

do you know any?

November 08, 2010

back to my childhood

When I was a kid, I couldn't swallow pills. That was a big deal for me. I just couldn't. It was a good thing that i really didn't need much pills while growing up.

Later, I got over this problem. I learnt to swallow everything with a sip of water, which i later found out that was not the healthieast way to take a pill. But the the thing is, i could even take this pill on the left, and if you can't figure out from the picture, it is as big as your mouth.

Then, the thing started again. I don't know when exactly, but it became really hard for me to swallow the pills. I blame my nose on this one. There is a problem with my nose, and i can't breath as much as i should. That's why people think i get tired almost immediatly, because i mouth-breath heavily even right after climbing few stairs, but only because i cant breath enough from my nose. Unfortunately, i cant enjoy the scent of things around me because of the very same reason (but honestly, i dont think it is a bad thing because there are a lot things that just stinks around here).

So anyway, now i know it was not a child's caprice that i couldn't swallow a pill. It was a real thing and it is happenning again.

October 30, 2010

no mules are allowed

There is a saying in Turkish: "Don't speak like that. Or Allah may resent"

It means, you shouldn't complain about your situation or Allah may give you such a trouble that you will realize it wasn't that bad in the first place.

Perhaps, the phrase "Be careful what you wish" in English may be equivalent to the Turkish phrase regarding that they both refer to an unwanted outcome. However, they are not same in the sense that the Turkish phrase reflects a negative perspective and it sublty suggests that you should accept what you already have and not complain about your situation. It is quite obvious that the Turkish phrase comes from a cultural and social environment in which things are expected to become worse anytime. On the other hand, even though the English phrase warns about an unwanted outcome, too, it is actually about the unexpected consequenses rather than the situation itself, and it reflects a more progressive cultural and social perspective.

So in the late 90s, when i first bought my cell phone, i was always making this joke: "OK. Now i have the cell phone. So why don't the chicks call me," pretty much trying to say that a nerd is a nerd and just because he has a cool gadget does not make him a playboy (see exbit a: myself).

And now we are in 2010 and Allah might have actually resented me back then because i keep getting phone calls from ladies all the time. Yep, i do get them even at 3 am. Yet, i'm still not a playboy, and i am still the same nerd guy. So i am not dellusional. These ladies are not calling me because they think i am attractive. They don't call me because i am fun to chat with especially at 3 in the morning.  Nope.They are calling me because i am doing their job and they know that i won't go to bed until it is done so i am available at 3 in the morning. And i know that our relation is going to end in the second the project ends and we exchange the classical "thank you" and "see you next time" words.

I know some of these ladies for years. We do business together all the time. Yet, i haven't seen how some of them look like because we always talk on the phone and bounce the project forward and backward through email.

And sometimes i feel like i am a mule who is always overloaded but never complains. The merchant takes care of the mule as long as it carries the merchandise for him, but when they reach the destination, the merchant enjoys the profit he makes while the mule waits in the barn for the next cargo, which is probably the first thing in the morning. If the mule ever dares to bray to complain about the situation, it gets the stick, not the carrot.

OK, as a matter of fact, even though the workload might be at extreme levels sometimes, at least i am lucky enough to do a job that i like doing. And i really don't expect much from people, knowing that people forget you when they don't need you. And to be honest, this is what i am doing to other people as well. I talk to them as much as it is necessary for the project and stop communicating with them when the project is done. If we happen to work together again, we start from where we left.

But sometimes, seemingly small things may happen which destroy your entire mood at least for a couple of hours. That's what happened i saw the invitations to the premiere of a spesific turkish movie which our company have been working on for like 10 days. For most of the part, it was me who did the job and it was me who they communicated when they wanted something to be done. Then, my colleague took over the job and i started on another project.

And they didn't send me an invitation but to him? OK, don't get me wrong. I am not jealous, not at all. And i don't care about the event itself. Even if they send me an invitation, i will probably not be able to attend because i will be busy with carrying another cargo.

But, if they decide to show an act of courtesy, perhaps it would be nice to remember the guy who they didn't hesitate to call at 3 am. I feel bad because they treated me exactly how i feel: a mule who carries their cargo and put into the barn while they have a good time in the inn. You see, they don't allow the mules in the inn.

So, in order to prove myself that i am actually not a mule but still a human being, i tried to list down the differences between a human and a mule:

1.Mules have four legs but no arms. Humans have two legs and two arms.
2. Mules have a tail. Humans don't.
3. Mules have long ears. Humans don't unless they are not from Vulcan.
4. Mules can't blog.

October 18, 2010

the vicious circle of unlawful state brutality

Hanefi Avcı is one of the most pronounced names in Turkish political arena nowadays. He first became the center of attention with his book in which he talks about how a spesific religious community tries to hold position in Turkey.

There are already a library full of books on this topic, but what makes his book pretty unique is that, he is a police chief and he is talking about his own experiences in the book. And i mind you, he is not just one of the police chiefs around there, but someone with a quite reputation. So he was taken seriously.

He was first taken seriously, and taken to custody. Now he is behind bars waiting for his trial to be handled in which he is charged with being a member of an illegal leftist organization. Which doesn't make much sense to me actually, because this man has always been known for his right wing and religious stand. So it is not convincing for me that he is a member of an illegal leftist organization.

But from another point of view, that makes perfect sense. Let me distract a little bit to talk about this book "Blind Date" i read many years ago written by Jerzy Kosinski. In this book, the protagonist goes to a small American town. He is actually American but from a Russian descent and his name pretty much resembles a communist name. If i recall it correctly, it must be mid 70s.  And the sherrif of the town invites him for a friendly chat. And the sherrif blackmails the protagonist to do some sort of a dirty work. He has some false evidence against our guy for the blackmail but that doesn't matter at all. The sherrif says something like this: "It doesn't matter how weak the evidence is. The jury will be from here. You have a Russian name. And I will spread the word that you are a communist. Now, our folks know only one thing about communism and that is, it is worse than Nazism. You can't find one single person in the jury who thinks you are innocent."

You get the idea? It wouldn't really work if he was accused for being a member of a the rightest organization you can ever imagine. Call him a leftist, and here you have a case. There are still a lot of people in Turkey who has no idea what left is, only that it is evil.

But i will come to that later on.

When his book was released, all the attention was and still is on the religious community thing. Well now, i have the book. I have to admit that i cant read fast enough. It has almost been 2 months now and im still at the page 350. I know, you can sue me for not treating a book as it deserves. So anyway, in that 350 pages, i still didn't come to the part he talks about the religious community. But, he talks about some really very serious stuff. And i personally think it is just unbeliavable how come nobody talks about his very serious allegations in his book which are not directly related to the religious fight.  I simply can't believe the horrendous level of corruption accompanied with a horrendous level of incompetence in this country, told by a police chief who is talking about his own experinces and observations. And even if there are some skillful people who try to do something, they are just obstructed in a way or another either because of political reasons or worse, because of plain old jealousy.

At this point, i have to make clear that this man is not a saint. And even though he doesn't mention about it in his book, he is a known torturer. Actually, this is what they tried to attack him with at first, but it didn't make the desired effect, because he had already apologized for his brutal methods he used in the past. There is something he mentions in his book though:  He says that most of the police officers (along with any other officials as a matter of fact) still beleive that brutality is the most effective method. They sincerely believe in what they are doing because they just don't know any better.

Here is another distraction for you: Ezel is one of the most successful Turskish tv shows. At the beginning of the story, our guy Ömer is framed by his best circle of friends and goes to prison for robbery and murder When police captures him simply because someone informs them about him, they just beat him to death to make him confess. Unfortunately, he is really innocent and has nothing to confess. But nobody believes him and they keep torturing him. The rest is his story to take his revenge. You may or may not like the tv show but there is something for sure: the police attitude depicted in the show is accurate and that is mostly because they dont really know better.

Back to book now. There is an entire chapter in his book dedicated to the Uzan Family. I believe that The Uzan Case is really very important because of multiple reasons.

First of all, let me assure you that I have no doubt that the family was nothing a bunch of crooks and blackmailing criminals. And when i read in the book, i just couldn't believe how far thay had gone in their criminal activities, how blatantly they had stolen from the people. There is no doubt that they are a bunch of criminals.

Today, Cem Uzan is residing in France, knowing that he will be put into jail for his crimes if he ever steps into Turkey. Almost all of their family assets are confiscated. Yet, i'm pretty sure that he is still wealthier than any average person in this country. Much more wealthier, actually. 

When Mr. Avcı talks abolut the blatant crimes of the family, you rightfully feel angry. At some point, you feel like "These guys deserved everything happened to them." Yet, this is not the entire story. It has been like 7 - 8 years so forgive me for not remembering the details, but i remember that the state force was too brutal on the family. I don't necessarily mean physical brutality,  no, not this time, but i remember that most of the police raids were somehow --well, a very flex interpretation of law. OK, they were unlawful.

But, Mr. Avcı does not talk about this aspect of the situtaion. Of course, he is a police chief and his only concern is to catch the criminals. But there should be ways to catch a criminal, so that the regular people will be sure that their rights are protected. This is kind of a thing i tried to explain back those days. Nobody seemed to care much, mostly focusing on how they deserved it. But in a proper democratic country: 1. The laws would never allow the Uzan Family to go that far in the first place, and 2. Even if they find  wise ways to steal from people and get caught in the end, there should definitely be a set of laws which defines how to react, in case they are innocent. What the hell, they weren't innocent so why do we care, right?  Wrong.

Mr. Avcı also mentions the Ergenekon case, which is the biggest thing going on in Turkey nowadays. This is really a very huge file, and if you don't know about it but wonder what it is, i suggest you to google it to learn as much as you can.

The general public attitude for the Ergenekon Case is not actually any different than the attitude Uzan Family received back then. Some people already believe that these guys are guilty of trying another coup, so they deserve to be behind bars. Don't make mistake. I am not defending them. I am not defending a coup, as in most people want to make it look like. I am defending their rights which they are supposed to have in a counrty which is ruled by proper laws - which they are obviously deprived of. Make your own reserach, and you will see how weak and irrelevant most of the evidences are. What's worse, most of the evidences are nothing more than a bunch of phone talks which are bugged illegaly. And nobody cares about it.

Mr. Avcı in his book talks about his impressions on the case, saying that nobody has the right to make a coup. Second that. However, he does not talk about the evidence which are most likely captured illegaly, or in a dubious way. Nobody has the right to do that, either.

Funny enough, at this very day, he suffers from the exact unlawful vicious circle. Today, he is the victim of the methods he not only defended but actually invented himself. Actually, he is one of the first police officers who introduced technology into police investigations, which doesn't sound like a bad idea at first. However though, when you read his book, you simply realize that he didn't really cared about the legal aspect of his investigations and listened to anyone he suspected. Those people he listened might be the worst criminals this counry has seen, or they might be innocent. All I am asking is, where is the law in this?

There is no law. That's why Mr. Avcı is now in prison waiting for his trial to begin in which he is accused of being a member of an illegal leftist organization. That's why his office which he had left months ago was raided by the police, without the attendance of his lawyer, and some sound tapes were found which were illegaly recorded at least ten years ago. It is really not clear why Mr. Avcı left those tapes in an office which he had already emptied, only if, they were not planted there. And if, unauthorized sound tapes are illegal, what are we supposed to do with all those sound tapes regarding the Ergenekon Case, which Mr. Avcı was defending so fiercly in his book.

Now he is the victim in a game in which he has always been the hunter. Unfortunately for me and for my possible children in the future, i don't see no light here.

October 11, 2010

Zuckerberg and The Winklevosses

The movie Social Network tells us the story of Facebook, how it is founded.

It is already a public information so i don't condiser it as a spoiler: The Winklevoss twins and another  friend of theirs, Divya Narendra, claim that Mark Zuckerberg stole the whole idea from them.

The thing is, no matter if the Winklevosses are right or wrong, it really took too long for them to build and activate the social network site. They have a cool idea but they just can't make it real regarless of their excuses. Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, builds the entire site in like 2 months, doing almost everything by himself.

Bottom line here is: he does shit, not talk. 

Zuckerberg is a genius, or at least this is how he is portrayed in the movie. So he has an advantage in that. But honestly, i really don't think you need to be a genius to make a site like Facebook, or at least the one in its early forms. Obvioulsy enough, you need to know coding, or you will have to stuck with other people who knows coding and who can steal your idea or who can stall you like forever.

This is how things are run in real life too. Many people have a cool idea. But they don't really do much to make them real. It is not like all of them will become the next billionaire, but at least they do something. And the others, they just wait.

October 05, 2010

i actually pity her, you know

like 10 minutes ago, i heard a guy shouting in the other room. a fight maybe? then he rushed into my room to grab the phone. i think the one in his room was occupied. and i asked him what is going on.

he told me that he just received another SMS from his bank, saying that they have activated an insurance policy -which he had already cancelled once. so he was angry because the bank simply insisted on doing what they intended to do in the first place.

which reminds me: i hate banks.

they love to pretend as if they always follow the latest technology, and they work so hard to serve us better and better and...  well, this is bullshit. ask a bank to do something which is not in their regular work plan, and you will see how clumsy they get with all that technology they love to brag all the time. when i got married and moved to our own apartmen like 6 years ago, i remember that i had to visit the bank office at least 3 times just to make them send my credit report to my new address. yep, they can't even do that. each time the person i talked to said that she change it and made me sign a lot of papers, but reports were sent to my prior address anyhow.

so i hate banks, but of course i don't hate the people who work for them. in fact, my sister-in-law used to work for a bank and i pretty much know how a stressfull workplace they are. and even if i didn't know anybody who actually worked for a bank, i could have easily guessed that.

yesterday i got another phone call from my bank. they do that from time to time, mostly to let me know that i am eligible to receive a bank loan which i never asked for. and yesterday, a girl called me to inform me about a new credit card. i should have hanged the phone right at that moment, but you see, i am a polite guy and i can never do that. there are people who close down the phone before they click to turn off the connection and you hear a big bump echoing in your head. i never do that either. but some people do, not necessarily noticing how disturbing it is.

so anyway, the girl started to tell me about the advantages of their new credit card. i think there was a list in front of her and she had to read them to me no matter how hard i try to tell her that i am not interested: "We have a 5% advantage for blah blah.." - "I don't care." -  "I see sir. We have an option to make installments even if your bank and the shop don't have an agreement."  - "I don't care." - "I see sir. We also have..."  - "Please don't continue. I don't care and I will not buy your credit card." -  "I see sir. But we have..." - "F.U"

Ok, i didn't outspeak the last part. But finally i had to stop her from reading her list and hanged the phone down. it was irritating. but i was angry to the bank, never to that poor girl who was forced to politely read some shitty list in front of her no matter how hars responses she gets, and i am pretty sure that not everybody is as polite as i am.

September 30, 2010

remembering the numbers when you are in a box

Last night i was talking to my father about some important and private issues. And he was sort of trying to find some inconsistencies in what i was saying, so that he would hopefully win the argument. For example when i said something about last Saturday, he told me that "It can't be last Saturday, because..."

Whatever. Finally, i told him that i have a very weak memory and i can't even remember what i did yesterday, so if it is not Saturday then it is not Saturday. Details are not important.

Later on, when our conversation ended, i thought about my weak memory. I guess it is getting worse every year. I remember my childhood, or even my younghood when i had a very sharp memory. If you told me a phone number for once, i would remember it for like forever.

Not anymore. Now, i can't even memorize a phone number even for ten seconds, and i just have to look at it more than once to dial it. Yes, i know it is pathetic. I blame my computer for that.

Interestingly, I watched the movie Buried (II) today. The movie is about a guy buried in a coffin who doesn't have much time before he finds the ransom.  He is only equipped with a cell phone, a lighter, a flashlight, and a pencil. This is actually a very powerful movie with a very powerful ending and you should really watch it if you think you can bear with the extremly claustrohobic atmosphere. But as always, ı am not going to discuss the movie in this blog.

Now, the guy has a pencil to take some quick notes on to the wooden board of the coffin. Well, if it was me in there and if i had no pencil to take notes, that would really be devastating. OK now, the situation is already fucked up with or without a pencil and you will see what i mean when you watch the movie, but this is not what i am talking about. Actually, you know what, i really don't know what i am talking about. I kind of forgot it. 

September 21, 2010

the most valubale commodity

In fact I should have already left the office instead of posting this one and prove that i just got the message but no: i love killing time even when i know what is relevant and what is not.

in the movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, the sequel to the movie guess what,  there is this line Gordon Gekko played by Michael Douglas says:

  "The most valuable commodity I have known is time."




I even noted it down in order to not forget before i write a blog post about it.

I am not good at controlling time (but hey, who does). So i have to confess that i am pretty much one of those guys who just watch the life passing by. There are really very few moments i really did something in my life to give it a direction. For example, i clearly remember saying to myself "if i don't do it now, it will probably be one of those missed opportunities." before i asked to go out to that marvellous girl who became my wife later on (ok, this is irrelevant, obviously) .

There might be a lot of time between the moment i make a decision and i put it into action. And it becomes even more pathetic when you consider that i have figured the importance of time (at least in theory) when i was a kid.

Today, i am finally starting to go to gym, something which i should have started ages ago. I know it may sound crazy. Perhaps you don't understand why going to gym is supposed to be a big deal. You know what, i don't know either. I don't know why i didn't do it earlier even though i knew that i should do it. I don't know why i had to talk about it for like 5 years before i really did it. So it is a big deal, and given the fact that I am 36 now, this might be my last opportunity for me to get into some shape. I have never been a very fit guy in my life, but i was always as healthy as i could, and i can see that this may change any time if i don't start exercising.

The last time i went to the gym was like 7 years ago and i had to quit because i had no time. Now, i just hope that the whole story will change.

September 17, 2010

this is not an accident but a murder

Last sunday, while the rest of Turkey was still enjoying a 5 day long holiday, 13 people were killed in a very tragic accident. Yet, i refuse to call this an accident.

Turkish laws suggests that a traffic accident is an accident, and the responsible parties are punsihed due to that. Meaning that, any moron who thinks that he/she is superior than the laws and violates the traffic rules can easily get away with a few years sentence even if he/she kills another human being.

Among all that shitty things i see in the news, such accidents are what drives me crazy the most. I totaly belive in zero tolarence in traffic, and anybody who violates the rules should be punished severely. This is not a joke. 13 people were killed last Sunday because a moron mini-bus driver thought that he could just "ignore" the red light. The truck driver is also guilty as far as i can see from the video, but i think the real responsible guy is the mini-bus driver. He also died in his own slaughter alike accident, and i hope he burns in hell for taking 12 lives with him just because he is an ignorant bastard.

September 08, 2010

lame dialogues

There is an old lady living upstairs, and we have a nice, friendly dialogue with her. She always talks nicely to us. Or at least, this is what we think, because we can't really understand at least half of the things she says. Because her accent is really very alien to us.

Whenever I watch a movie with characters from different parts of the world, I am sort of irritated when i see that the characters can understand each other so easily. It irritates me, because i know that it is impossible, and it is far from convincing, and i feel angry for the script writers who don't do their job good enough and angry for the director and the rest of the crew who simply don't care.

It is not only the accent thing. A language is not something you can grasp only by literally translating the words. It is more than that. There are always idioms made up of words with a completely different meaning than the combination of those words. And yet, people understand each other so easily. It is just lame.

For example in the movie Eat Pray Love, there is a barbershop scene in which two Italian guys, one American woman and one Swedish woman have a chat. And one of the Italian guys talks about his theory about Americans. And the American woman says: "It is not far off, acutally". And the Swedish woman nods. Really? So did she get what the American woman says? OK now, if you are already a native English speaker, you might ask "what is the big deal?" But it is a big deal. This idiom is not something they will teach you in basic English courses. You have to live with English speaking people to grasp the meaning at the first instance you hear about it.

You see, this is actually lame. Very lame. And it is far off from the reality.

September 05, 2010

ice cream at 10 pm

i pretty much complain about how hard  i work. well, i indeed work too much, that's a fact. but i guess, i finally reached that point in my life where i can afford giving small breaks and start to enjoy life. i know that in theory, everybody is supposed to enjoy this life no matter what happens because it is only a one time opportunity, but i think we all know that this is not the case in real world. unless of course you are not Paris Hilton or something.

When i say small breaks, i really mean small, humble breaks such as watching a movie with my wife and eating some ice cream. and i prefer this combination to any wild parties out there which i would have killed to attend 15 years ago. well, what can i say? people change.

But the reason why i am writing this post has nothing to do with me or my little breaks. well, it is somehow related to the little breaks and particulary to the ice cream in them, but the real reason why i am writing this post is the local grocery stores. you see, i went out to buy an ice cream at 10 pm tonight, and all the grocie stores in the neighborhood were open, waiting for the customers who forgot to buy something in their shopping list during their day time shopping from a big market.

so, i always complain that i work too much, and that is true, but it is also very true that these people are working much more haeder than i do. and im sure they dont make much money, especially when you consider that at least half of their customers are on credit. they always buy stuff but pay later, very later. and they are always smiling. they know that if they treat the customer moody, it very possible that he/she will never see that customer again. so i really appreciate them.

September 04, 2010

headscarves, flowers, and stupid rules

Headscarf is a highly controversial issue in Turkey. No worries, i will not bore you to death with the never ending political issues...  well, at least not now. But just listen to this.

At first there weren't any bans and girls with headscarves could study in the university as freely as anybody else (pun intended: universities are not free in Turkey but this is just another very boring political stuff). Then suddenly, in mid 90s came the ban: and girls with headscarves were not allowed in the universities any more. Internet is full of articles on this ban, trying to convince you whether this is evil or good, depending on who wrote it. Read them all, and maybe you will be as confused as i am on this matter.

Today, there is still supposed to be an headscarf ban even though the prime minister Erdogan had promised to lift the ban entirely before he was elected. He could not lift the ban, at least not officialy, but you can bet that the tolerance pitch against this ban is really very high.

So, in the early days of this ban, when it was applied pretty much strictly, some of the girls had invented a very interesting, a genius solution for themselves: they wore wigs. Yep, wigs. The purpose of headscarf is to hide your hair, because Allah says you so in Koran. But Allah does not say how you will cover your hear. So, what happens if you cover your original hair with a wig? Err, I honestly don't know. But you surely cover your hair and you surely enter from the university gate.

So, from techical point of view it is a great solution. But in reality, it is just ridicolous.

And enter the smoking ban

It has been like 2 years since there is a vert smoking ban in Turkey. Generaly speaking it is a good thing. But, there are also some extremely ridicolous almost impractical aspects of it, too. Just look at the picture below which i captured while watching the movie The Greatest Game Ever Played on TV.


Do you see that interesting blue thing on the face of the guy right handside? That is a flower added later on to the movie to cover the cigarette the guy is smoking, because showing people while smoking on tv is banned by laws.

It is just a very neat solution, but it is also absolutely ridicolous. What does it really matters as long as everybody knows what is under that flower. Then why do you even care?

I am sure there must be some sort of a conclusion, a lesson to be learned from this whole thing but i am not really very sure what it might be. So you are very welcome to enlighten me.

September 01, 2010

not the food, not water, but i missed my coffee

We are in the holy month of Ramadan, thats for Muslims of course. Muslims don't eat or don't drink anything during the day time. And this is called fasting.

I am not a religious guy, but i am fadting anyway. When people find out that i don't skip even one single day, they are rather surprised. My attitude in the office, or in society in general don't suggest that i am that kind of a guy. But here i am, fasting, with my kind of reasons.

Turkey is experiencing a very hot summer this year, probably just like the rest of the northern semisphere. And Istanbul is a particularly though city because of the extreme humidity. The weather is suffocating for most of the times. Even though today is a rainy and cool day, it is really hot for most of the time.

Most people find it difficult to fight with the thirsts. This is what i hear from most of the people. They can cope with the hunger, but it is much harder to deal with the thirst.

I think i am pretty fine with them both. When you don't drink or eat for long hours, it is totally natural to feel hungry and thirsty, but they are not really something i can't deal with. I do just fine.

With one exception: coffee. I can never completely awake without my daily dose of caffeine. I am always in a semi-trans state, always ready to fall asleep. So it is really not the food, nor the water, but i did miss my daily coffee.

August 27, 2010

in the name of repeating myself: boundaries of cheating

My quesitons about life didn't resolve themselves, so here i am with the very same question again which i asked about a month ago: what is the boundaries of cheating. And since my life is pretty monotous as ever, my argument will base on another movie. Going The Distance. (Important note to self here: I intend to keep my life that way).


This romantic comedy is about a long-distance relationship which of course ends in...  oops, sorry. no spoilers in this blog.


So anyway, at some point in the movie, this girl played by Drew Barrymore feels extremely frustrated in life, dissappointed in almost every aspects of it. And she has a long distance boyfriend with whom she is genuinely in love with. But yet, this is another frustration because he is never there when she really needs to feel him. And at that exact point: enters the handsome friend, who is there to listen to her.

OK, they talk, they rant (or she rants), they get drunk (or she gets), and they too intimate, and that's the point when she draws the line. well done, kudos to her. Then the real boyfriend learns about it, and he simply doesn't like it. But she defends herself: "It was nothing. Nothing happened."

Well, what was supposed to happen? I mean do you name it cheating only when they sleep together? Should it not be considered cheating if they don't sleep but share their secrets, build some sort of a very emotional relationship, yet don't have sex?

But on the other hand, if we start thinking like that and don't strictly define what is cheating and what is not, then when will we ever be able to stop? I mean, this is not a joke, women are killed in Iran or Afghanistan just because they were in a same room with a man. I remember a news story about a man in Saudi Arabia who divorced her wife because she was watching some guy on tv. And talking about tv shows, i personally know a woman whose husband forbid her to watch a very popular tv show in Turkey because she said that the star of that particular show was handsome -and i sincerely dont think this stopped her watching the re-runs in day time.

August 17, 2010

who really kicks ass and who just pretends

The movie Expendables may give you a good idea about who is really kicking ass and who is just acting. In fact, you can do your observation in any action flick: just pay attention to the body. if you don't see the full body of the guy while he is giving his best kick, he is probably not doing it.

Expendables is a good laboratory because it gives you a chance to see all those tough guys in the same movie, which makes it easier to compare. This is of course a very cheesy and very predictable movie, and as a matter of fact there is nothing much to predict at all. Yet, it is highly entertaining and it is really nice to see some of the old faces such as Stallone, Lundgren, and even Schwarzeneggar for 2 minutes. And no, Scharzeneggar is not fightnig. He is just a guest star.

So anyway, just pay attention to those moves next time you are watching an action movie. Now of course, it is all about make-believe after all, and maybe you just don't care if your guy is really a ass-kicker or just an actor. And after all, this is a movie and of course they should act, but somehow it feels better when yoı know that he is doing his stunts properly.

August 11, 2010

the art of communication

back way when i was at university, i remember one single time while i was studying for a very important exam and realized that one particular question was constructed in a wrong way. i mean, literally.

i was both working in a full time job and trying to finish the school, so i didn't have the chance to attend all the classes. and therefore, i had to rely on the xerox of the notes other students took. to my surprise, nobody seemed to realize the mistake. what the teacher intented to ask and what she actually asked were different. and don't get me wrong, it was all in Turkish, in Turkey, where all the students were Turks.

the thing is, everybody knew what the teacher intended to ask. so nobody cared how she asked it. all they needed was the numbers given in the question so that they could immediatly start solving in the way they had already memorized.


just half an hour ago, i got an email from our client. and the mail made no sense at all. if i had taken  it literally, i should have started doing something in the completely opposite way i was supposed to do.
the good thing is, i know her for years so i can sort of estimate what she really means. so what she actually wrote didnt matter.

funny thing is, we had a similar conservation with my wife just last night. and she told me about a meeting they had with their clients. and at some point, the clients spotted a mistake which turned out to be their own fault because they messed up the mails. but while we were talking at supper yesterday, my wife said that "i should have guessed that there was a mistake because it said blah blah but in fact it was supposed to be blah blah." yeah, right. because she is some sort of a witch and she has to understand what the client actually wants even if they send the wrong mail.

August 10, 2010

quake

11 years ago, on August 17, 1999 the northern Marmara Sea region was hit by a powerful earthquake, taking 10s of thousands of lives. It was a total disaster.

Istanbul, where I happen to live, felt the eartquake strongly but the devastation was not as horrible as the neighbour cities.

There is a highly strong belief that Istanbul gets hit by a powerful earthquake in like every 100 years and it is around time that the next one will come.

Now, in my personal opinion, the expected eartquake was already the one we felt 11 years ago, but many professionals don't agree so, claiming that the Istanbul-quake will be Istanbul-centered as it has been recorded for hundreds of years.

However though, i suggest that it must be the first time in history that the mentioned earthquake was measured by advanced technology, considering that the last one was more than 100 years ago. All the eye-witnessing symptoms are the same, only that the center of it is not in Istanbul as it was described in historical scripts.  And the thing is, the historical scripts claim that the quake was centered in Sultanahmet, which tuırns out to be a very unlikely place because there aren't any fault lines passing through there. BUT, Sultanahmet happens to be where the Ottoman Sultans lived, so it makes sense that they thought the center was in Sultanahmet.

So, i pretty much tend to think that we experienced that expected merciless earthquake 11 years ago.

Or maybe this is just an escapist thought. I don't know.

What I know is, that night was another hell of a hot night. I was awake, still working at 3:02 AM and I experinced every second of the devastation. That huge apartments building was bending with an incredible angle, making you think that it might collapse any time. 

Even years later, I was still alert with any sign of noise, not completely healed. And perhaps it is very recent that I start to forget about it.

Last night was an exception. Last night was another very hot night, without any winds blowing. Just like that night 11 years ago. I went to bed at around 2 AM, just before I went to sleep, I prayed Allah, something I rarely do. I asked Him to save us from any catastrophe or at least wake me up in time if the eartquake hits.

You know the drill, you tend to forget your nightly fears whan the morning shines. So I sort of forgot about my fears in the morning. My mind was pretty much occupied by the tasks I have to handle.

But however, we had some clients in the office today. And I heard one of them saying that "Last night I prayed to Allah to prevent an earthquake." You see, I am not the only one who feared last night.

So I just thought maybe I should share this with the world.

August 09, 2010

the race against the city

i love living in istanbul, well sort of. i love what this city provides me in general, but if only i was sure that i could find a proper job in a less crowded city...  i would not hesitate to move there.

everything is about racing in this city. no, i dont mean competition, which is another fierce factor, but i do mean race. for example every morning, it is a perfect race from home to the bus stop, because even seconds matter. im lucky enough to get on the bus from the first stop, but this does not grant me an empty seat. i have to be fast. i have to be early to get a good spot in the line. or, i will have to take the 1 hour and 10 minute ride on my feet.

yesterday we had a family union. one of the little girls in the family (and believe me we have a lot of them) had a birthday. so we went there. after a brief celebration indoors, we went to a hill top which is a quite popular place for the exiting istranbul view and nowadays more importantly: for the wind. it is hot in istanbul nowadays, and it is really very hot. so it was a wise decision to escape to a top hill with sone wind.

so we went to Çamlıca Tepesi.  The view was exiting as ever, but the wind wasn't really cooling. but the real problem is: it was very crowded. actually, i took some pictures showing both the panaroma of Bosphorus and the incredible crowd on the hill top, but as always, im too lazy to post them here. But the thing is, we really had to race to find a place to sit. and as soon as we got off, there were some other people who filled our space.  

in the past, like 15 years ago, i sort of enjoyed being a part of this chatoic crowd of the city. but today, im just sick of it.

August 05, 2010

sleeping on my feet

in fact, this is not news for me. i know that i can do it, because it happened before. and it happened this very morning too. i slept while i was standing in the bus on my way from home to work.

i had a very urgent job to finish. and i finished it. however though, it pretty much means im awake for more than 24 hours, if you don't count the time i slept in the bus.  well, and of course it wasn't a proper sleep but it wasn't a simple black out for a few seconds, either. i closed my eyes, and opened it, and must have been like 10 minutes.

well, at least nobody will be deprived of the turkish subtitles for the lyrics of the songs in the movie...  oh god, i think i forgot the title of the movie. and im not joking.

August 02, 2010

back from vacation

All i wanted was to lay down and read my book(s). And i did that in my first part of vacation. For the most part of it, we stayed in a small town at Agean Sea, named Küçükkuyu. This is when i mostly read my book when i wasn't busy with sleeping, or swimminng, or drinking, or doing some other things. Later on, we hit the roads to enjoy more of the region. We took a lot of pics, as expected, but they are mostly taken by my wife's camera and i am too lazy to upload them to my computer and select the non-private ones and publish online. So just don't expect me to post any pictures.

It was a cool vacation in general even though there were some minor bugs and i hope i can remember to remind myself about those bugs next time.

So, here i am, at my office desk one more time, enjoying another work day -you can bet. Things are as busy as i left them, and those regular office problems are as regular as you can find in any other office in any other office in the world.

July 23, 2010

a woman running barefoot

There was a scene in the movie Salt, in which Angelina Jolie's character was running barefoot on the streets of Washington.

So this is an action movie and Jolie does all sorts of incredible stuff, so running barefoot is really not a big deal. But however, she runs in front of people, and they all seem to mind their own business, never ever look at Angelina Jolie.

What would you do if you see a woman in a fancy suit but barefoot running on the street? I mean, isn't this something which would grasp your attention? Would you keep waiting for your bus? In fact, it doesn't even matter if she is barefoot or not, or even if she is a she or not. I would definitely turn my head and look at anybody who is running in a sitution when it is obvious that she/he is not supposed to.

But again, this is an action movie, and after all those stunts i saw Jolie's character is doing through out the movie, perhaps this is the last thing the audience would care about.

July 18, 2010

kill bill, romantik and the foreign factor

Romantik was one of the movies i watched as a part of my 4 Nights 4 Turkish Films project i mentioned in the previous post. After watching it, i got online to see the reivews about the film and saw that there is a wide range of responses as it is always.

Some liked it, and some hated it.

For me, this particular movie can be a perfect study case to prove that a movie is nothing without a proper script. If you watch it, you will see that almost all the scenes are shot with an artistic approach. The music is great, the angles are great, some may not like it but the acing is great, too, and the acting reflects just exactly what it should reflect.

But the story is horrible. I don't even consider some very crude flaws in the script regarding calendar. The events are supposed to happen 20 years after a spesific incident happened, meaning that the main guys must be older than 30, but yet, they were still students. But just never mind about that.

The story is cheesy, and i really think this is what the director Sinan Çetin intented in the first place. Considering how well the scenes are crafted, i am pretty sure that this not a case of bad script choice but a deliberate attempt.

You may find this stupid or may be even offending, but i really think that there is a resemblance between the movie Romantik and Kill Bill, directed by Tarantino. Some may suggest that the two has nothing in common other than the fact that they both are a story of vengeance. And this doesnt mean anything because there are tons of movies based on vengeance. Maybe half of the movies in the world are based on vengeance somehow.

But, it is not the vengeance i am referring to. I think these two movies are alike because of the same style they have adpoted. They both have a very cheesy story, and they have no problem with that. Instead, they try to make the best of the visual treat at each scene no matter how stuid the story is.



But, now im thinking local, if you ask people in Turkey who loved the movie Kill Bill whether they liked the movie Romantik or not, I am sure that there will be a significant percentage who will say they hated the latter. Why is that?

I think that is the foreign factor. The story in Kill Bill is already a foreign one for the Turkish audience, so they can more easily accept the pecularities in the movie, not really differentiating what is realistic and what is bullshit. But when they watch a Turkish movie which is supposed to tell a Turkish story, they know what is realistic and what is bullshit, and it is harder for them to buy it.

It is funny though, there are a lot Hollywood films I have watched and said "If we made this movie we would curse the director for the crap. But somehow we watch and enjoy this American movie." I belive that's the foreign factor.

July 15, 2010

4 Nights 4 Turkish Films

While I am still trying to recover my accidentaly stupidly mistakenly deleted files, I also have a project at hand which includes watching 4 Turkish films. So this is a great project because they don't last too long, meaning that i can watch one movie with my wife every night. Of course, after watching the film i have to do what i have to do, but this is really going to be a fun job.

Last night I watched the film Whatever You Wish.  It was an interesting movie. I just hope the rest of the movies are as good as this one or even better.

July 14, 2010

losing my hard drive aka fail big time

i really enjoy windows 7 as an end user, however it is far from satisfying my demands when it comes to doing some serious work. that's unless of course i don't begin buying some very expensive softwares right from the beginning.

and why should i do that? i had already built a perfectly working system in my windows xp. i already had all the softwares and tools i needed to do my job, and i learnt how to work with them to get the best they can give me.

the compability options in windows 7 are pretty good when it comes to playing games, so i installed and played some of my good old games, but when it comes to video editing: it sucks big time. well, i managed to find a way to work with some of my softwares, but it pretty much looks like pushing a car on the neutral gear to try to make it work rather than stepping on it. this is no way doing a business.

so, i was planning to find a second hand pc with a working xp on it. perhaps that would be the best solution but then it occured to me that i could use a dual boot. this means, installing my windows xp in my new box, next to my windows 7. so i will not have to buy another pc and morever, i will be able to use my softwares on a much faster computer. wow, that would be great.

not so easy.

after a lot of try and errors, i figured that installing xp next to windows7 is not as easy as it is told on the internet. now, in a nutshell, when you open your computer, one of the first things it does is to look for an operating system to run. and this is done by a small file generally named a bootloader.  if you have two operating systems, the bootloader is supposed to ask you which one you are willing to run. but the problem is, windows 7 uses a completely different bootlader system. it is not a big deal if you install xp first and then windows 7. the new bootlader can handle that. but if you try to install xp after the windows 7, then you have a problem.

after lots of long hours, i finally figured a way and managed to run the two operating systems. good for me. but the thing is, now i had two fresh starters, meaning that all my documents and configurations were lost in windows 7. never mind about the configurations,  can do that any time but i really needed some of the docs in my c drive where all these installings and re-installings took place.

but, before i started all this, i took an image of my c drive. i knew that it would be handy if things get worse. simply put, an image means the exact copy of your computer, or  a part of your computer which you choose. so, if things get irreversible, you can always use that copy to go back to the exact point when you made the copy.

in a typical computer there are usually 2 hard drives. and in fact this a logically partitioned one physcial hard disc. there are many benefits of cutting your hard disc into 2 virtual parts. first of all, since the area your computer has to run in that hard disc is lowered, it runs faster. but more importantly, the part you install your operating system might be very unstable as in my case so it is a good practice to keep your archive in the other hard drive which is supposed to be intact.

i keep most of my files in my d drive. this drive is essential for me. and doing so, i can play with my c drive as much as i can, knowing that my sensitive data will not get any harm.

and therefore, there is no need to make an image of my d drive. becuse it is supposed to be immune from the instabilities of my c drive. also, the bulk of my files are in d drive and it is sort of impracticble to make an image of it.

so you see, i managed to run 2 operating systems just as i needed, but they were fresh and i needed some of the files which happened to be in my former sytesm which already had an image. trusting that i know how to do it now,  i decided to copy back my image one more last time to get those documents and then repeat the entire process once again. so i copied back my image file.

remember that i never made an image of my d drive. and i didnt intend to touch it anyway. but the thing is, the whole drive blew up because somehow, the system thought my d drive was an empty one and erased everything on it. amd this is a true disaster because the files in my d drive are far more important than the ones in my c drive. they are vital. and they dont have an updated back up. and i cant even retrieve the ones i already have, because i lost the directory too.

it is good thing that there are ways of restoring deleted files. but it was already too late and i just couldnt find the right tool at the time, but i am hoping to restore a lot deal of my lost files back.

July 13, 2010

another pyramid scheme with no online activity involved

My cousin from second degree, if not third, mentioed me about this pyramid shopping thing last Friday in which you are supposed to make lots of money when you convince just 4 people to buy this plan for €150 or more. And they have to finf 4 other people and so and so. No thanks, not for me. It may turn out to be the next geat business opportunity, but still it is not for me. And I just couldn't explain this to him.

So we met after work hours today. And he and his friend tried to explain me how this system works. The more they explained the more I lost my interest. And I was just too gentle to stop them right in the middle, so they kept talking. Well, in the end I had to apologize anyway for making them talk for like 1,5 hours and not buying the thing.

There was a reason why I agreed the meeting, though. I offered them the only thing I could do, and I thought we were going to talk about it, instead of 1,5 hours of their lecture. If this is such a great program, why not sell it online? I proposed them a social media plan, and it turned out that this great company who invented this pyramid was about to launch its own ad campaign and any internet activity was forbidden. That is the silliest thing I have ever heard. They want a pyramid, they want people to recruit other people but they don't allow it online for whatever the reason might be.  I mean, you encoruage me to spread the word, but with a catch: no online activity involved. 

I will respect their rules anyway and won't mention the name of this pyramid, in case my cousin might get into some trouble because of it. Well, wait, he might already be in trouble because he first mentioned me about this on MSN.   

So it turned out to be a complete loss of time. I wasn't going to buy the plan ayway but at least I could have run a social media campaign to help them recruit other people. Or better, I could have skipped the whole thing and came home earlier and pay attention to some other things which matters.

July 08, 2010

kissing with eyes wide open or shut?

I haven't watched the movie Going the Distance yet, but I just finished translating the trailer. Seems like another romantic comedy which may attract you if you are into the genre.

Anyway, somewhere in the trailer, two guys hug because one of the guys have an emotional issue and the other guy, probably his best friend, is trying to comfort him. And a third guy asks: "Why do you close your eyes", suggesting that this other guy might have a thing for him. Sort of funny.

Well now, even though the line is pretty much self-explanatory, it can only be funny if you aware of the suggestion that closing your eyes while kissing / hugging / etc.  is an indication of true love. Is that really so? I mean, maybe I want to keep my eyes open to see her more, right? Or otherwise, I might be fantasizing about another woman when I close my eyes while kissing.

They wouldn't really use it if they doubted this joke wouldn't be clearly understood, at least not in a trailer in which there is no space to explain things. At least not in the international version. But you see, they made the joke and I am pretty sure everybody will catch it.
But I wonder, is this just another bullshit from the silly women magazines, or is there any truth in it. I personally don't think so.  

July 06, 2010

trapped in one dimensional thinking

at this very moment, i am witnessing the most stupid debate about turks, arabs, and jews, and i decided to share my pain with you in case you missed the action in turkish.

i call this one dimensional thinking disorder. i dont have the guts to say that im completely immune from it, but at least, i try. i really hate it when people take sides on serious matters as if this is a football game and make their stand completely based on their political preferences.

now, as a historical fact here, the arab nation chose their own independence as opposed to continue being subjected to the ottoman empire. this whole event has been perceived as treachery, and it is completely understandable for the time. arabs had reasons to uprise and turks had reasons to see it as a treachery. that was 100 years ago.

today, though, there are some people who say that they should not care about palestine because arabs betrayed turks. holy shit. i totaly understand what a big treachery this must have been 100 years ago, but is this really going to be how you react to a humanitarian crisis? or can this really be your excuse to ignore how people suffer there? i can relate if you say turkey should have more important priorities before poking the middle east. that makes perfect sense. but are you really going to make your stand with this betrayal thing?

there are also another group of people who totally reject this treachery concept and claim that the arabs were deceived and they were victimized and blah blah blah. but the thing is, they did choose their own independence and they did uprise the ottomans at the time. just because it didnt turn out as they were hoping does not mean they are victims.

they did what they did. and whatever it was, it was 100 years ago. it is the most silly thing to use it as an excuse to make a policy for today. this is not a football game. you cannot take sides when people are dying, or living in the most miserable conditions. you make a stand with your moral values, with rights and wrongs and what feels right to you. and honestly, it feels completely wrong to me when people say we should ignore palestine becaue whatever shit arabs did 100 years ago.

further on, it doesnt even matter if the ASALA terrorists were trained in palestine camps as it has always been alleged so. or it doesnt matter even if it is hard to find interntional events where the arabs backed turkey, nor they backed each other. vengeance is not the best virtue you should choose as a guideline in life.

July 05, 2010

the dark movies we like

i just finished a pretty dark turkish film, a losers gig, if you will. i plan to write a review about it and i will let you know under the appropriatly named page "movies you will probably never watch.", if i ever write it. but, i can't stop thinking about what really attracts me about this movie in particular, and all the dark movies in general.

it must probably have something to do with the losers these movies show us. the more realistic the characters are the more we seem to enjoy it. because they sort of makes us think: "oh, thank god, this is not my life." interestingly, we all have things in our lives, and if captured from the right perspective, our lives  might also be presented as a great dark movie. at least, i know i have. so it must some kind of a relief to see the pains of others.

July 01, 2010

butterfly effect in istanbul

we are having very weird days here in istanbul regarding the weather. it is cloudy and rainy most of the time and it is not normal. what's worse is, it is not stable and can change very quickly. i mean, i heard the thunders yesterday at noon time, and i think it rained a bit, but when i left the office in the evening, it was hot and shiny. and this is really very abnormal.


personally, i really enjoy rainy weather. it is far better than the sweaty summer days but i fear that this will have some serious consequences. for example, take the butterflies. there are a lot turkish tweets around about the butterflies indoors. everybody's guess is, they are trying to save themselves from the rain and the cooler weather coming with that. we have a butterfly in our apartment too. i dont touch her, trying to help her survive as much as i can in my kind of way. but now i wonder, how many of them couldn't find a secure shelter and just died?

and you don't really need to be an ecosystem expert to figure that dead butterflies are going to have some negative effects on the overall survival of the planet.

June 30, 2010

the boundries of cheating

In the movie Chloe, directed by Atom Egoyan, this is what Liam Neeson's character says to his wife, played by Julianne Moore, in a scene to the end of the movie:

-I didn't screw her. I flirted with her.

And I'm like "Yeah, right." even though it is not as catchy as "Release the Kraken," i believe this phrase should be in every husband's repertory, because when you put it this way, it suddenly becomes ok if you flirt with another woman.

to be fair to the movie, i really think it is a great story about relationships, marriage, and love, and it is one of the very rare movies with a pretty calm pace but yet keeps you watching. and yes, it is about cheating spouses. 

in the movie Knocked Up, there is this guy who has the habbit of dissappearing at odd hours and his wife rightfuly suspects that he is cheating on her. but, it turns out that the guy meets with his friends to play some kind of a nerd game. when the wife, however, finds out what is really going on, she feels dissappointed as much as she would be if she had caught the guy with another woman, claiming that what the guy has done is not any different than actually cheating.

of course both of the movies are just some portraits of real life situtations and maybe it would be misleading to consider them, especially the latter, as absolute references to the real life itself. yet, it makes me wonder what is the boundry of cheating. or, are there really any boundaries? i mean, is it ok if you flirt with a girl to some extent, but then stop at a point saying "that's it. this is where i draw the line," or maybe worse "my wife will feel im cheating on her if i go any further"?

obviously enough, i don't have the answer, and i don't believe that there is an absolute answer. it is more convenient to think that every relation has a different perception of boundaries, and what might seem totally normal to a couple might be considered as a sin for another couple.

on the other hand, it will be wise to memorize that phrase i mentioned above, just in case.

June 29, 2010

how to debate NOT

maybe it is just me because i see this kind of approach almost everywhere as if this is the standard. when i try to debate on something, make a stand about anything, people immediatly make a point which is actually not directly related to the topic itself but yet they feel they have a stronger hand with that.

today, i read a twit from an old friend of mine regarding Kurdish terrorists. the thing is, he didnt call them terrorrists but fighters. maybe this wasnt really his intention but this jargon sort of legalizes the PKK terrorists, as if they are something else other than bloody murderers.


Turkish politics is as complicated as it can be, and you can bet it is full of errors, millions of them. and if i spot a mistake, i dont hesitate to call it a mistake. and i can assure you that Turkish Republic made very serious mistakes regarding the Kurdish issue. but this is something else. now, trying to put this to the table to justify not calling a terrorist a terrorist is just lame. and even trying to make link with the recent policies of PM Erdogan -especially reagarding Hamas- is even lamer. first of all, we were not even talking about Palestenians or Israel. we were simply talking about terrorists, and you cant make your judgment based on the actions of PM Erdogan, or anybody else, on a issue which is irrelevant.

a terrorist is a terrorist and naming them fighters or rebels or something else is nothing but a PR campaign.

i dont know, it doesnt have to be about politics at all. i see this kind of an aporoach everywhere, even in this very office,  and i dont know if anybody else but me can see this is totally lame.

June 28, 2010

women who can't open the can

in the movie Hancock, there is a scene when Charlize Theron's character Mary tries to open a can but she can't so she hands it to her husband Ray, played by Jason Bateman.

***SPOLIER ALERT***

Later on, it turns out that Mary has super powers and she can break walls. It is really not a big deal for her to open the can. But she pretends as if she can't. Why? Does she doing a great job in hiding her secret identity, or does she trying to do something more subtle such as feeding her husband's ego.

***END OF SPOILER***

This particular scene has been a joke between my wife and me when ever she hands me a can to open when she can't. I ask if she is doing this to feed my ego. Actually, there is a philosophy here: Treat your husband as if he is the king of the world, especially if he has a wounded ego in the real world. It might ne archaic, but i am telling you, it is the secret formula.

Of course, in order to make this golden formula work, it needs a traditional family in which men go to work and women stay at home and take care of the house work. otherwise, if the woman is working too, as in our family, she will also have a equally wounded ego in the outer world, and asking her to do what her mother had advised will become a torment. 

Just don't make a mistake. im not supporting -or unsupporting- the idea. i am only talking about an observation which i have seen working. now, this is actually a very superficial way of approaching marriage, i know that, because it doesn't deal with the real emotions and it is totally based on the art of faking. but again, the world is about faking, and we all have to sacrifice something in order to get something. your wife might be brownnosing you just as you are bronwnosing your boss, just as your boss is brownosing to the clients.everybody fakes, and everybody knows that. but if you want things to work in this world, this is the rule you have to obey, and im willing to appreciate any exceptional examples if you want to share with me.

i dunno, i wanted to talk about this when i read a twit in turkish about men who can't realize when women intentionally play the dumb when in fact they are just wiser. it was a joking tweet, but i think it involves a serious amount of reality.

June 24, 2010

countdown to my extended weekend

tomorrow morning i will be joining to my wife in a hoiday resort in which my father-in-law has an time share apartment.

the wether is not sunny and it is supposed to be not sunny the entire weekend. and even though this is not a very desired atmosphere for a holiday resort, when i think about it, i like it better. well, the thing is, i dont really enjoy swimming and i dont definitely enjoy sun bathing or spending the entire day at the beach trying to protect myself from the sun while my wife just lies for hours. in fact she cant sun bath either because she is slightly allergic to the direct sun light, but this never seems to stop her.

but a rainy weather with dark clouds covering the sun even in mid summer? thats my day - of course unless im not too unlucky to get exposed to the collosal rains. i domt know why, but i really love the kind of weather istanbul is having nowadays. i can really live with it for the rest of my life, not necessarily needing to feel the sun.

on the other hand, this turned out to be a very busy week, even busier than i thought it would be, and i have no idea how fast the time past. and i couldnt finish some of the projects in time. this is not a big deal in the sense that the client agreed on the extended deadline, but it is indeed a big deal because there are already other projects i have to handle when i come back to office on monday.

but before that is the big day: sonisphere iastanbul. hell yeah. even though our seats are for 3 days, my wife and i are only interested in the last day because we will be watching antrax, megadeth, slayer, and metallica in that order on the same stage. and this is really going to be fantastic.

June 23, 2010

it is better to listen to the universe

there is no need to push it. i knew my wing-tzun classes wouldn't get me anywhere and my main motive wasn't really about becoming a kung-fu master but to give my body a chance to move it. but, i quickly reaized that it was a rather expensive hobby for me. i admit that it was the friendliest environment for a sports complex ive seen so far, but i guess i have to be reasonabl about it. missing a class costs me a significant amount of money and there is really no need for that, at least not now, not before i get insanely rich. and i keep skipping classes.

yesterday morning i didnt go to the class partially because i didnt feel good and partially because i had another translation to finish until friday morning. that translation thing isnt going at the speed i would like to see it, because there are some other projects came out which had to take the short-term priority. but that's another story. to keep the long story short, the universe simply tells me to quit wing-tzun classes and this time im going to listen to it.

June 22, 2010

sick and back

that rain i mentioned in my last entry came only sundat afternoon, giving my wife and me a sunny saturday to enjoy before she left for her vacation. im supposed to join her this friday for an extended weekend, but it is getting harder and harder with pop up jobs coming from everywhere. i knew this was going to be a busy week but this is more than busy, simply because it is always a last minute job and i am the only one who is asked to keep the deadline which nobody else did.

and i was so sick yesterday, proving that im really not getting any younger. a friend of mine got married last sunday and we went to drinking after the ceremony. i dont know if it was the drinking part or the exhausting sun we were exposed to, but i got really sick yesterday. now im ok.

i had some ideas ro write to my blog but i guess they will have to wait because i really dont have much time to spend on anything else if i want to be in that seabus this friday morning.

June 18, 2010

i (don't) know kung fu

when i first started wing-tzun classes i knew that i wouldn't be able to attend all the lessons. i am not talking about the sunday class -which i can't attend anyway because sunday is dedicated to my wife. so i totally learnt to live with the fact that the universe holds a grudge on me and it is pretty much determined to stop me from my plans. thar's ok. yet, i dared to take the course.

i was expecting the universe to hit me with my job. i love my job, that is for sure, but it is very demanding and there are always last minute projects which also happen to be the most urgent ones. so i expected to skip  class or two because of my job.


but it hit me with my family and other personal affairs. tomorrow my wife is going out of city for her vacation. this is the first part of her vacation where she goes to her father's time-share apartment. i may talk about that later on. sometimes i find a chance to join her and rest of her family there, but not this year. our calender is pretty much occupied with tasks in the office. yet, i will try to join her next weekend. anyway, so she is going tomorrow eveninig and i rather spend the day with her other than wing-tzun class. so, you might think that i can go to the wing-tzun classs this sunday, instead of saturday. but no, that is impossible because a very old friend of mine is getting married this sunday and i just have to be there.

so lets try to stay positive, right? i will be spending the day with my wife and it is more valuable than trying to be the next Bruce Lee. well, that would be really great only if the weather report didn't say that it would be raining tomorrow. so i and my wife will be stuck indoors when in fact we already had made some good plans about how we should spend the day. so i told you, the universe is against me.

June 17, 2010

frustration with windows 7

as an end user, i really enjoy my windows 7. well, i really do. but as a professional translator who needs his box foe some spesific kind of job, it turned out to be very frusttating. because, there are several softwares i need to run on my machine to do my job, but i cant. ok, i know there is a compability thing, but unfortunataly it is not good at my video editing softwares as much as it is at with some old pc games.

of course there are some professiomal solutions for my problems, but unfortunately they are not free. i mean, i can find tons of software to do the job in xp, but most of them wont work in windows 7 even if i run them in the compability mode.


so it is a frustration for me. but i am already working on a way to solve it.

June 15, 2010

karate kid and the mouse clicks

in the first karate kid movie, it was about painting the fence and waxing the car. i won't reveal what the kid did in the new version but you can bet there is a repetetive action which he repeats thousands of times. and today, it was my turn for an extremely repetetive job: i clicked the mouse button. and im telling you it was not for a hundred times or two hundresds times. it was more than 1000 times. well im sort of in a hurry now so let me talk about this repetitve job later on. but you can bet it was more than 1000 times even maybe 1500 times.

and did it help me with anything -of course other than finishing the job? well, i dont think my sifu in the wing-tzun class will find a way for me to benefit from it. but maybe, just maybe, i can do slightly better in street fighter game in the next play staion party.

June 14, 2010

universe hears me

i think universe, or the Force, or even maybe Allah himself heard me when i said i dont have much to do and i feel rather clueless when i dont have a job to do. so he blessed me with new projects, all of which are urgent as ever, as usual.

do i complain? not exactly. i mean, it is better to have a job than not having any, right? and it is even better when you do something you really like. but the things is, i really would prefer a more organized life, a life where i dont have to rush from one project to another. when i go home, i would really prefer to spend some quality time with my wife not worrying the deadline as soon as the next morning. yet, this is the consequences of what i have chosen earlier, and even though it is getting tiresome as i get older, i sort of like it, and perhaps i am really blessed for i get what ive asked for.

June 13, 2010

focus. concentrate

focus and concentrate must be the two of the most frequently used words in the movie Karate Kid. I think this new one is also as cool as the one we adored back in the 80s. and i really appreciated Jackie Chan playing the master and almost never fighting. I think that is a good step for him to prove his acting skills rather than his no-proof-needed fighting skills.

so anyway, "focus and concentrate" can be two words i may benefit myself. i mentioned about how i keep forgetting things in a previous post. so this time, i just wanted to make sure that i didnt forget anything while packing for my wing-tzun class. so i made sure i got everything today. towel, extra underpants, extra socks, my roll on and all that stuff. this time i made sure i took everything with me.

it is just that i forgot when the class started. i dont know why in the hell i thought it started at 3:30 pm while in fact i was there at 3 pm last week. i have no idea how come i thought it was at 3:30 pm. so skipped the entire 30 minutes and sifu was good enough to accept me to the class.

June 11, 2010

one thousand ordinary people

yesterday we went to a pub with some friends after the office to celebrate an insignificant occasion. the pub was in a very busy district in istanbul, and in fact it was in the middle of a very busy intersection point. it makes you feel like you are sitting in the center point of istanbul.

and we were there, sitting, having our beers and looking outside, to people. in that 1,5 hour i sat there, i must have watched more than one thousand people passing by, all of whom were busy with their own business. ugly people, beautiful people, atteactive people, fancy people, repulsive people, short people, tall people, fat people, thin people... you name it and. they were all there.

and each of that one thousand people occupied my focus for like 5 seconds, maybe 10, never more than 30 seconds. so we see a fat girl, we think she is fat and ugly and that fancy dress she has cant change this fact. than bam, she is gone. so we see that young girl with yellow sneakers matching her yellow tshirt, and we think girls spend to much time to find accessories that match, and bam. she is gone. we see that fat guy in a expensive suit with a cigar in his hand, walking as if he owns the fucking world, and bam, he is gone too.

at least, it is what it looks like from that window we looked through. however, that fat girl, that young girl, that fat guy and the remaining 998 people, they are all there living in their own universe. we glimpsed that blonde hair for 5 seconds but that girl is going to see it like forever whenever she looks at the mirror. that ugly girl probably knows that guys find her ugly. and there is nothnig she can do about it. she was born that way. she is that ugly girl, and this is what she will be carrying for the rest of her life. she is not a five-second detail. she is an entire universe of her own.

and we are there, at a pub, enjoying ourselves, probably not even realizing that we are 5-second details too. i dont know, this concept of why am i me and you are you has always amazed me since i was a kid, and i think im born this way so it will keep amazing me like forever.

June 10, 2010

slow season

the (relatively) slow season for our business has started. thats good. i can enjoy some slow motion. however, im pretty much a workoholic -not necessariliy something i am proud of- and i pretty much have no clue what to do when i am not working. if you are following me on twitter, you might have probably caught me complaining about how hard i am working. they are not fake complaints and  i do feel like that when i have to work non stop for days (like every-normal-body else), but the thing is, i need stuff to do to keep me in a direction. otherwise i completely get lost and suddenly find myself surfing the net for the most vain things. no, i dont mean porn. well ok, i might have glimpsed porn sites once or twice, but i dont really mean that. i am talking about the endless political debates which is never proven to be helpful to anyone. i have never seen a case when anybody ever accepted my stance, or i dont really remember accepting somebody elses stance which was initially opposite to everything i believed in. so, it is better to work and make some money rather than surfing the net and chatting endlessly for a political cause i can never win.

June 09, 2010

the universe is against me

i am totally convinced that there is some sort of a force which prevents me from my plans. and whenever i dare to make a plan about anything, something pops up and it turns out to be the most urgent errand, as always. sometimes it is directly business related, or sometimes it is just a stupid errand from our clients who think that we are sitting here all the day, waiting for their call or something.

well, from a more positive point of view, this is not as bad  as it sounds. because i realized that i am very bad at coping with loose deadlines. it has to be close or i dont really do it. i mean, i do the job alright, but it takes like 10 times longer than it should. so these pop up errand come in handy, force me to do my job as fast as i normally do.