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


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.