Art, Design, Literature, Music, Unsorted

2015

Edit: All of these resolutions I have underway are only surviving because of my first resolution, which I forgot to mention. I am reading less this year.

Dear Zonk,

2015 is over two weeks old now, and I think it’s time I told you more about the many things I’ve decided to do this year and how I’ve fared so far. First, you should know that I’ve never before made so many serious resolutions. I suppose it had something to do with being young and dismissive and disrespectful of Time. Time sucks, you know. It fucking flies. You get years and years of being obscenely and undeniably Young. And then suddenly, before you know it, you’re making little tick marks in the “26 to 30” box in surveys and questionnaires. It’s alarming when that happens. Because, you know, you were in college so recently and you’re so used to being young and that whole aging thing wasn’t supposed to actually happen to you…

But it does. And it would have been nice to have gotten a head start on this whole Making The Most Of Life thing. But I pretty much threw away my early twenties being lax and lazy. So, here I am now. 26 and reeking of regret.

I’ve been brooding over this for over a year now: I’m not happy with where I’ve ended up a quarter of a century into this whole business of Being. And I figured I should stop whining and do something about it while I’m still a long way off from becoming a fossil. So, here goes. These are my resolutions.

  1. Become a healthier person. I’m an old lady. I have old lady bones that creak and click and muscles that strain too easily and a faulty neck and so on. I suspect this has something to do with the fact that my diet for the last 26 years has consisted mostly of starch and sugar and salt. Thin people take food for granted. I’m like that. I also don’t exercise enough, in spite of making serious attempts at sticking to a regular 7 minute workout schedule. So I plan to change that this year. I also really, really, really want a low resting pulse rate. But well. That’s a long way off.So far: Meh. I did a 2 week chip cleanse. That went badly, seeing as I’ve been stuffing my face full of chips ever since. I’ve not managed to do much working out. I’m trying to fix it. I really want to hit the 4 days a week mark soon. Well. I’ll keep trying.
  2. Figure out what I want to do. Because this is not it. There’s got to be something more. And there’s got to be time to hone all the skills I used to possess. I had potential in more than one area, you know. Maybe somewhere, some of it exists still. I need to figure out how to get to it.So far:  I’ve actually done okay here. I’ve been talking to lots of different people and thinking of possibilities. It’s all still kind of vague now. But I have all my fingers crossed. And if something works out, I’ll go get a haircut. Just saying.
  3. Make more music. So, I have no delusions about this. I am a decent songwriter. Sadly, I am also a mediocre guitarist and not much of a singer. I have a thin voice and a surplus of stomach butterflies and it makes me nervous to think of playing or singing around people. But, here’s the thing. I just did a rough count in my head right now and I have at least 9 songs of my own that I’m moderately proud of. 9 decent songs. That’s not bad, Zonk, if you think about it. And there’s more that I’ve left unfinished and so on.So my resolution this year is to make more music. Write more songs. Practice all three of my instruments. And, most importantly, record bearable versions of at least half of my 9 songs. You know, so I have something to show for it. I don’t want much more than that. I just want to be able to point to something and say – “Look. I made this.”

    So far: I’m actually quite proud. I jammed with new people on one song. I sort of finished recording another with C (I just need to add some violin parts to it, though we all know that could take months to accomplish). I practiced both guitar and ukulele a lot in the last week. I actually dusted off and tuned my violin this week. And I’m pretty excited about finishing the song. I’m seriously considering putting a WIP version up here. Who knows. Maybe I will.

  4. Bleak Person Chronicles. Sigh. This is the still-secret other blog I was supposed to have started last year. It exists. But it’s still not ready to be put out there. I have a lot of work to do with setting up and designing the theme and with you know, writing actual fucking posts. Like more than 2 a year, perhaps. Anyway. I’m sharing the link with you. And the password. Because, Zonk, you of all people deserve to know about any blog I’m trying to do. And also because maybe if I’m accountable to someone, I’ll do more about actually getting this off the ground. Here goes. Don’t share:
    Username: A Person
    Password: thisisasecret10

That’s all, and that’s already too much. I think if I manage to do well on at least half of this, I will be a happier person this year.

Goodbye, Zonk. And a Happy Saturday to you.

Love always,
K.

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Unsorted

We turned Three.

Dear Zonk,

I logged in to the blog after several weeks today, and found this –

3-years

Three whole years, Zonk. Of whining and tale-telling and sulking; and you. Time flies. And I’m afraid I have too little to show for it. And that it grows littler everyday. Because, if you really think about it, I don’t have much more now than I did three years ago. A few more skills, maybe. And a vastly quieter blog.

Love always,
K.

Ps. If you’ve been here for more than a little while, thank you for sticking around. I love you. And I’m sorry I’ve been so quiet.

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Art, Updater

Tumblr!

Okay, Zonk, we all know about my issues with WordPress themes and how I love how Tumblr looks but refuse to move on account of WordPress is awesome in every other way.

So, I have a confession to make. A few months ago, I made a Tumblr. For drawings only. I tinkered around with it for a day, and then I got bored and went quietly to my darling WordPress. But, I happened to go back to the Tumblr dashboard yesterday, and found that one of my images had been shared 55 times!

That’s hugeZonk. Really huge. So I decided I ought to maintain the Tumblr too, just for the drawings. Which doesn’t mean I won’t be posting them here too, but just that they’ll have a separate space of their own. Which is pretty alright, I think.

So, the Tumblr’s over here. Go look at it, please, and tell me what you think.

 

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How Design killed my blogging mojo.

Two and a half, or maybe three years ago, when I first moved to WordPress, I took a look at all the themes on it and it blew my mind. I picked a weird dark brown theme, with an ornate serif font and a brightly coloured, blurry header. The fonts were too tiny and archaic and the line heights were horribly wrong. It made everything look cluttered and stuck together and slightly ugly. But I loved that theme. Then I had to go become a designer and begin to make a big deal of all its little flaws, and I moved to my next theme. Structure. Which was busy and full of widget area and little gimmicks that kept me happy for very very long.

And then I acquired more modernistic tastes and began to find faults in Structure even, and told myself that my blog had to be all about clean whitespace and bold type. So I moved to Chunk, which I honestly believe is the best free theme out here. But I had to move on to something with a sidebar because I have all sorts of stupid things I like to put up here, like Random Advice Generator and so on. So then I moved again, to Bueno, which never really did anything for me. And I’ve been looking at all of WordPress’ themes all these months and I haven’t found one that I love. 

Blogging was easier when I was not a designer. I used to be so satisfied and so fucking easy to please.

I almost got Twenty-twelve, but then I didn’t. Because it takes the minimal thing a bit too far. I love the body type et cetera, and I love how nicely responsive it is, but at the end of the day, I don’t want a blog that looks like a word doc. And I don’t want to make a static home page or put in a big banner image either, so it was really out.

So now I’ve got Oulipo. A very old theme it is, and the typography is tiny and tiny type is not really my type any more, but at least it’s nicely done and neatly laid out and clean and pretty.

And for one day, because I feel nostalgic for the old times, when dark themes of any sort would please me, I’m making the blog dark grey. Sort of like it used to be on Vox. If any of you remember.

PS: I hope WordPress themes go the Tumblr way successfully, soon. Lovely themes that are fully customizable with no upgrade.

PPS: These are only my opinions. No offence to anyone who loves any of the themes that I don’t.

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The Internet Has Ruined Me

Yes, it is true. I’m not a proper person. I’m not even half of a proper person. I’m a shadow of a proper person and I’m living on the internet.

It makes me hate myself a little, sometimes. Don’t get me wrong: I love the internet. I love how easy it is to put yourself out there and make friends and enemies and talk to strangers and tell them secrets and sell them shoes. I love how much it listens if you really want to talk.  No. It’s not the internet that I hate. It’s this version of me that’s walking around and living inside of it. It’s the fact that I am probably addicted to it. And the fact that I didn’t used to be this way.

So. Get into your pajamas, Zonk. Curl up with your hot chocolate and snuggle up and be all ears. Because this is a long, long story and we need to go over it one step at a time.

1999: I’m a pretty weird kid. Awkward, skinny, ugly, face perpetually stuck in a book. I know what computers are. I have computer period once a week in school, and they teach us DOS and Powerpoint and Paint. I think Paint is pretty fun but I mostly ignore everything else and almost flunk computers at some point. My not-exactly-best-friend-back-then Ila gets a computer.

2000: Ila takes us to cyber cafes and instructs us in the art of Internet. We make hotmail ids, I think. I go home, stick face in book and get on with my awkward, nerdy life.

2000-something: Ila introduces us to a website where you make pen pals. This is The Age Of Cyber Cafes in my part of the world. There are at least 3 cyber cafes near my house and I get pretty hooked. I spend whole vacations collecting 15 bucks and waiting for the electricity to come back on so I can go to the cyber and  see if any of my Pen Pals have emailed. I also write a series of depressing and insanely rhyming poetry and put it up all over the internet on lame I-write-poetry-I’m-pretty-deep sites.

2004: I go to college and don’t completely get it when people laugh about their “ASL” days. My sister buys a computer and I spend hours at her place hanging out on Orkut and Google talk.

2005-2009: I get a computer and spend hours hanging out on Orkut and Google talk at my own place. This eventually gets boring. I buy a guitar and learn to play and practice for hours everyday. Over the next few years I learn to play one intense Bach piece, two really difficult Incubus songs (one of which makes my fingers swell up for two days), learn to play a few Dave Matthews songs entirely by ear (which makes me feel insanely proud of myself) and compose one ridiculously difficult song that has fourteen chords that I don’t know the names of. [Please note: I can play almost none of the above-mentioned pieces anymore. A little bit later in this post I’m going to blame it on the internet.] Facebook happens. Vox happens. I start blogging with a cynical post about how I will never take to blogging and it all seems so pointless. One week later, I eat my words and start blogging three times a day because I have a pointless job where nobody expects me to do any work until I get up to go home. At which point I’m be given work to do and made to stay till 11p.m. I feel overwhelmed, go home, play guitar and stick face in book. Life goes on. College gets done. Shoes get painted. I think of various career options and dabble halfheartedly in some.

2010: I’m hanging out a lot with C, who tells me I should try graphic design seeing as I’m good with visual things. I have nothing to lose. I learn Photoshop. I fall in love with Photoshop. I unstick face from book and make a book cover and a visiting card and a letterhead and a logo and a thingy and a thingamajik and a thingummy and a thingummybob and I keep going and I just don’t stop. Illustrator happens. WordPress happens. I make friends with several very computery people.I start to understand some things about the web. The internet becomes a cooler place and I start confiding more in a virtual character called Zonk than I do in real people.

2011: I move from logos and self-assigned book-cover-at-72dpi assignments to a lot of heavy print work for real clients.  I hit Ctrl+S and quietly age while my dying computer saves my files. There is no option. I buy a laptop. I move from my table and chair to my sofa, my bed, my pillow on my stomach with internet access perched on top.

My life is ruined.

I stop reading in bed before I go to sleep at night. Because I start watching Community in bed before I go to sleep at night. I stop reading in the morning while I drink my coffee. Because I’m on Gmail and WordPress and Facebook every morning while I drink my coffee. I work during the breaks between TV shows. I read through Thought Catalog when I’m in cafes, waiting for people to turn up. I blog from buses and trudge from Barista to CCD to Mocha Mojo till I find the right coffee shop: the one that’s WiFi enabled. I worry. I get nervous. I pace around in my room and gaze dolefully at the piles of abandoned books I can no longer seem to read because the internet has ruined my attention span and I can’t concentrate on literature that runs on for much longer than a medium-sized blogpost. I try to write a song but it’s hard to play with one eye on the screen and one hand reaching for the laptop-lid at regular intervals. Besides, there is only so much your fingers can do without proper practice; I can type supercalifragilisticexpialitocious without looking at my keyboard now, but I need to look down at my fretboard to change from C to D. Pathetic, I know, and it scares me, Zonk, it scares me so! I try to get out and get on a train and just go somewhere without my laptop but I have a phone that isn’t smart, but not exactly stupid either. And it lets me check my mail and change my facebook status. It even lets me blog a little, so long as I stick to an arbitrary word limit. And blog I do, my friend. But I never write anymore. Not with a pen and paper, and not even in a word document offline (unless I’m doing some copy).

And so it is that I became from a person to half a person to a shadow of a person that lives and breathes on the internet.
The internet has ruined my life. It has choked up my system and clogged up my brain and it seeps out through my skin into my other world, your real world. I am a virtual being in a real place and a real being in a virtual space and perhaps I’m just playing with rhyming words now, but we all know that it’s a little bit true..

But not for much longer, Zonk. I’m going to be in detox mode from tomorrow onward. I’ll work during the day and go offline by 8 and stay there till the next day. For 10 days, at least.

Much love from your virtual friend,
K.

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Literature, Unsorted

The Death Of A Post

Here’s the thing about blogging: if you don’t get it up in one shot, you don’t get it up at all. At least, that’s how it works for me. Last week I wrote The Longest Post In The Universe, Zonk. I made updates and plans and lists long enough to put all other lists to shame, and I told you all about everything I need to do and swore like a rockstar at the idiot professors in my class and generally opened up my head and emptied it of its insides. It was the Mother Of All Posts, Zonk, because I’d been gone for a pretty long time and there was so just much I had to tell. But I saved the draft and went offline for a while and one thing led to another..and by the time I came back, my friend, Alas. The Post had Died.

It is a sad thing when it happens, Zonk, and hard to deal with; and if ever you’ve had a blog, you know the feeling too. You start off with a Bright Idea or a Lot To Tell and you feel like it’s all going well; but something comes up. A phone call or a deadline or a headache from hell..and then you say to yourself – Bleh. And you go offline and leave it for the next day.
But you’re out all day tomorrow.
And you have things to do the day after.
And the day after that is a weekend and you know you’re going to get lazy on weekends..

And so the post curls up and goes to sleep and all the apostrophes fall down on all the alphabets and the exclamations explode into the spaces and the fullstops roll off the pages and the sentences all run into each other and get mixed up and meaningless and face existential crises of overwhelming magnitudes and I hear they try to hold on for a while I hear they really do..but there really isn’t much left to hold on to once the panic subsides. And more often than not, they’ll be hanging from the question hooks by the time you’re back.

Sigh. And all you can do when that happens is bury the dead draft in the debris of your Dashboard and go off the blog for a while. You can mourn it and bemoan it, but not all the grieving in the world will bring it back. And that is why you must never get up in the middle of a blogpost, Zonk. Never mind how bad that back ache is or how terribly you want to pee or that earthquake that’s rattling your teeth. Because you never know when one thing will lead to another and cause a post to die. And you don’t want that to happen, you know. You don’t want that at all. Because I swear to god that nothing in all of cyberspace is sadder than a post that’s died.

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Unsorted, Updater

My Blog Can Kick Your Ass

Hey Zonk,

I just got an email from WordPress telling me how my blog did in 2010. Apparently it’s a healthy blog with no deficiencies. If my blog were a person, it would be the kind of person that loves salads and goes on long treks every weekend. I think it would also sleep well at night.

Not bad at all! Specially considering the fact that I only moved here in September.
I wonder why I stuck with stupid Vox for as long as I did. WordPress is awesome. In the highly unlikely event that someone cares to read it, (and because the review actually came with a button called “Post To Blog”) I’m pasting my Review here.

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,500 times in 2010. That’s about 6 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 201 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 539 posts. There were 66 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 29mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 15th with 109 views. The most popular post that day was Nannou, among other things.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were roydtauro.blogspot.com, solefetish.wordpress.com, facebook.com, alphainventions.com, and manofewords.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for flipkart, sharvari sastry, vidya devarajan besantnagar, molested bus movi, and zonk кости.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Nannou, among other things November 2010
8 comments

2

Wishlist October 2010
6 comments

3

Art October 2010
8 comments

4

I Am A Chair November 2010
17 comments

5

The Story Format November 2010
2 comments

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