post #3 for 2013

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Yep, you read that title exactly right.

I posted twice this year. Once for the big three-o birthday. And once for a story that was worked out in my head the minute I saw the poser.

Lets compare my other spaces this year: 589 tweets. ~50 Facebook posts. 24 Instagram shots.

As Kottke rightly put it: the. blog. is. dead. In the context of which, mine has hit the rock bottom of life support. Clearly blogs and blogging in all its forms have been eroded, split away into multiple other “specialized” forums that exist today. Earlier this year, my partner-in-crime declared his blog shuttered. Heck, I used to find it hard to follow everyone on my blogroll on a weekly basis1. Of the 50-odd sites that I used to link to, 13 remain.. of which 4-5 occasionally post. 2 of them are actually Tumblrs, which are somehow different from blogs, I think.

Does this mean that no writing happens at all? That would be harsh. I do write, as much as I remember to, in a private local space. Guess this blog is too public to be home to those details. Its more of a daily.. well, to be honest, more like a bimonthly.. log. One of those things you do coz you want to document stuff about your kid. Yep, I’m that kinda dad2.

Is there really nothing I can burden this space with? As far as readership.. well, that has now moved to the many other social forums that people find easier to dip into and out of. Short thoughts/asides? Twitter. Arbit GIFs/links? Tumblr. Life status updates? Facebook. Photos? You name it.

Which leaves long-form, introspective writing. I used to have a tradition of reflectively writing on anniversaries, new years, birthdays, in addition to the regular posts on how I don’t post any more. The birthday one may be the only thing that sort of lives on.. but next year will truly tell whether it stays or not. Writing for the sake of it seems a tad, shall we say, idealistic. Yes, it gets you better at it.. but as time moves on you feel a need to ensure that everything has an end-goal, an objective.

I thought it was well known that blogs don’t need objectives and goals. Least of all personal blogs like this one that have suffered barely 3 posts this year. And yet, I..

Must decide if this space has an objective any more.

..and If this space should officially go on hiatus3 in its absence.

1. Which led down the rabbit hole of RSS readers, and even reviews of RSS readers. One thing led to another, and here I am 8 years later, paying for an RSS aggregation service in the wake of Google Reader’s death. Bazqux.com is highly recommended for a quick interface, Google Reader-y interface, and interoperability with every possible RSS reader client/protocol out there.

2. Heck yeah, footnotes. Nothing like trying something new to believe things could happen. If you click the footnote number that is at the start of this footnote, you’ll go back up top. Enjoy!

3. Typing the word ‘hiatus’ bummed me out unbelievably. Didn’t think this meant that much to me.

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of reading, writing, and everything else i don’t do

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It is curious how quickly a blog can get sidelined. I’ve read a lot about how the best way to keep in touch with things you want to do, is to allocate a set amount of time every day to do such things. You want to write: make that time of 15, 20, 30 minutes a day where you sit in front of a blank page and write. No compromises.

But what if your agenda has so many things you want to get done that the time you want to set aside is just not there? Lets see. I have ‘x’ things to finish during research time. Most of which remain to get done when I get in the next day. Such is nature of research. When I leave lab, I want to go home and kick back with a gaming session on the PS3 spend time gazing deeply into G’s eyes. Of course, there has to be time spent reading. Dinner. Movies. Other arbit stuff that must be done. The number of activities available to be done, and the amount of time available to do them.. are mostly inversely related. Exponentially too. With the constraint that the number of activities only grow, and the amount of time only appears to shrink. Or maybe it does, and we don’t know any better.

Speaking of reading, my reading has either evolved to expand its boundaries.. or disintegrated into pointlessness — I’m not sure which yet. A lot of my time is spent reading articles online; the sheer plethora of excellent writing happening in the multitude of online publications boggles the mind (here is a great example, recently read). But is reading magazine articles and long-form journalism truly reading? Tech-blog articles update way too often to be followed closely. Really, the only way to read such short-but-quick-update sites is to browse them on Flipboard. For once, I see the value of a tablet interface.. excellent for casual skimming.

So, do I remember opening a book on a Kindle (or physically) and reading it? Not recently. A few books have been read, here and there. But nothing compared to what I would like to be finishing. For such things, having a library book is an excellent excuse for finishing at least that in the 2 weeks you have the book. I’ve not borrowed a book in a while, come to think of it. Not good.Yes, photos like these

I find myself constantly trying to optimize the time I spend on the things I want to do. I’ve actually cut down on my Reader feeds. It’s still not at the stage I want to be at, but I’m getting there. I hope. Photos have languished after being downloaded from the camera. I actually found photos which are now years old and had been earmarked for post-processing.. that were never touched. I’m moving to using RAW so that I am careful about taking photos — way fewer can be taken on a single card. Maybe this will fix my habit of saving photos to disk, and leaving them there. Will it work? Time will tell. I’m trying to evaluate every side activity that I do (FYI, before you ask: gazing into G’s eyes is considered a major activity) in this way. For e.g., I’m starting to think I attempt to follow too many comics. Have to strike off a coupla series from the list. Of course, I’m sure some of you will say I should just strike comics from the list.

There have been multiple occasions where I’ve opened up this page to post something. Anything. I usually end up browsing my past posts, reading some that are close to the heart. The further back I go, the more I realize how I much I enjoy writing. And how little I write. So here I am, tapping away at my keyboard..

p.s. I know this post doesn’t really have anything new to say. But I got tired of having a white screen with no text. Ideas only germinate when they’re given free rein. So here I am. Again.

p.p.s. Yes, I updated my blog design as well. The old one was too stark. This appears more stylish. The rest remains the same: minimalism rules after all.

the one i post for the sake of posting. as usual.

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Hello there, gentle folk.

What was that? Who might I be?

Why I posted here just the other day. Do you not remember? Why, yes, it was something about Amex snail mail spam. Which almost none of you appreciated, by the way.

Frivolous? You think that post was frivolous? And it’s actually been over a month since I put that up?

Well, I shouldn’t really expect you to remember month-old frivolities.

It’s the least I should I expect for ignoring you?

Come now, dear readers, surely you do believe I have been ignoring you all. Well, I have, but… and to be honest, it’s probably more ‘reader’ than ‘readers’ after my sporadic posting schedule.

For the manner in which I post, ‘sporadic’ is an understatement?

Time to look at the stats then. 11 posts in the last 6 months. 9 in the 5 months before that. Hmm.. that is.. less than sporadic.

Ok, I’m dropping the question/answer format. It’s getting irritating for me to write in that manner. I can’t imagine the irritation factor for someone reading it. I propose some updates to smooth things over between us.

Hm? I don’t owe you guys an explanation of absence?

Damn, there I go again. Continue reading

updates galore. or something.

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Given the extreme gaps between posting here, it is obvious that a series of update posts are in order.

Well, obvious to me anyway. And I’ve already written them, regardless of how bored y’all get.

So they’ll be following from here on in with appropriate gaps so you guys are not “overwhelmed” while reading them. Getting a sudden influx of blog posts here at staying.cool could prove so mind-numbingly awesome that all your minds would be collectively blown. Which we wouldn’t want to happen.

Well, to be honest with myself, it’s probably just a couple of minds. But I’m a kind, considerate person.. and I wouldn’t wish that on y’all, especially seeing as you’ve stuck with me through so much.

Just don’t say you weren’t warned.

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Continue reading

let me tell you a story..

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There was once a blog that was updated frequently.

Then it was not.

[The end] [End credits]

Ah well. Wish I could stop there.

Something doesn’t let me.

There is the still pending instalments to ‘The Man Who Was‘. Which was supposed to be finished with by now. And I was going to start on my next, partially based off something else I started a long time ago and never finished.

Are we seeing a pattern here?

My flickr has languished too. There are photos piling up, crying out to be looked at and segregated and uploaded.. and they remain there. Crying. There are classic ‘blog’ type posts that I note down here in the ‘Drafts’ folder. And they remain there. ‘Drafts’ for ever more. Google Reader doesn’t look like it can ever reach ‘0 unread items’. I have to organize it to club all the posts that I’m never going to read on time together, so they don’t overwhelm.

Somehow the day doesn’t seem to have enough time in it for me to work, relax, write, watch TV/movies, follow up on hobbies (like photography), game, read… all within the same 24 hour period. I keep resolving to turn over a new leaf every day. And then at the end of the day, I wonder how many times the leaf can be turned before I realize its just a spinning top.

Is it that these things are not fun any more? Not really. I’m enjoying this random ramble right now. But there seems like there’s too much I want to do and not enough time for me to do it in.

I’ve complained about this before, I think. Yeah, there’s a definite pattern here.

Where is this post going?

I thought I would talk about some big realization I’ve had about time management. Then I thought I would make it more moralistic and pin-point my apparent lack of discipline. Now I think I will do neither of those, because that’s what I normally do. There must be something new I want to take up in this post. Something new I want to work with here.

I know its going to get worse from here on in. There’s a new PS3 around. There’s a parental visit. There’s a marked increase in interest in when I’m going to finish and graduate and get out of school after 24 years of attending.

Can I promise much for this space? Can I promise much to any of my hobbies (so to speak), to assure them they are unforgotten? I want to. I really want to. But I guess that’s the point of this post. I’m going to be realistic. And accept that some things are evolving in their use. In the role they play in my life. I just have to learn to prioritize and make sure I don’t lose out on the important stuff in all this ‘realism’ talk.

I guess that’s the pattern. I’m grasping at straws to hold back a ship that has already sailed.

I have to be careful about what I lose. And I have to be careful about what I try to hold on to.

Not everything falls into the correct category when things finally pan out.

pulling things off the back-burner

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I’ve mentioned the general tendency for things to remain in ‘Drafts’ for way too long around here. Take for example, my deconstruction of ‘Raavan’ vis-a-vis ‘Raajneeti’.. which was started on 2 weeks ago. And has yet to see the light of day. I don’t think it ever will now. I can only wonder about what is going to happen to my Disney/Bond deconstructions.

Yes, you read that right. Disney/Bond. Deconstruction.

I’m now going to throw my hat over the fence and try something a little more ambitious than just saying to myself “1 post a week, dude. Thats all it takes to keep your blog alive”.

*drumroll* I’m attempting a serial story. *drumroll peters away as player batteries run out*

The underlying idea, to be honest, is not my own. Its a hybrid of ideas that one friend threw at me.. another sort of fleshed it out a wee bit more. But, since then, it’s languished in my archives for nearly 7 months now.. and I think that if I start writing it, I might actually get round to having it in readable form. Which would be nice.

So, given that I’ve only barely thought out a few parts of it so far.. there will be continuity issues. You know it. I’m going to retroactively edit in case something turns up as a glaring error.

Plus, I’ve wanted to write a serial story since I was in 8th grade. You don’t want to know why. It had nothing to do with reading stories from the Womens Era magazine. Honest.

Currently, it is entitled ‘The Man Who Was’. Will update this post with the archive link for this story once I have at least one part up. As of now, it is just another ‘tag’ on this blog; assuming I complete it, I’ ll make it a proper page and everything.

Parts will be numbered. Parts will be regular, as else I lose track of all trains of thought regarding this story. Parts will.. be interesting?

Part 1 will be up later today.

Comments/feedback, as always, will be essential. And much appreciated.

Update: Link to archive.

the inevitable filler

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If I had given it another 6 days, it would have been all of 2 posts over the last month. True writer’s block, I guess.

In past times, I’ve been able to resort to movie reviews, memes, random thoughts on tech and… you know, those items that apparently interest almost no-one but me. To fill space up. To have something to put in here.. the empty text box under ‘Add New Post’ that I have opened in a new tab every single day.

I kid you not. I’ve had this page open for one full f*ckin’ week. To no effect. Words I put down seem cliched at best. Lamenting the lack of inspiration. Lamenting the lack of time. Lamenting a deadline.

Y’know. Something similar to what you’re reading. Right now.

Well if its to be a filler post, a filler post it shall be. No point delaying the obvious. Continue reading