doing the same thing over and over again, no matter how well you do it, is bound to get boring eventually. the real fun is in doing things badly, and then getting better!- kris, one bored saturday afternoon
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Saturday, February 23, 2019
about halfway though the movie, for some reason, i didn't particularly want to speak any more. there were things i was going to say, but instead of vocalizing them, i just ran them through my head.
after a few instances of this, i was almost convinced it'd be a nice experiment to conduct.
we're surrounded by words. we're continuously speaking, listening, reading... and if nothing else, thinking. in words.
in fact, one thing about this increasingly connected world that we live in, is that it's overly dominated by words. even a picture-dominated place like my instagram feed, for example, wouldn't be much (i think) without the captions.
is it possible that, by over-emphasizing the linguistic centres of our brains, we're letting the rest of it atrophy?
and so, shruti and i decided: we'll try to keep speaking to a minimum. we'll do our best to communicate non-verbally.
but that's just one aspect of the experiment for me.
i want to enhance my non-linguistic thinking.
i remember this one time when i was so overwhelmed by the amount of music that was playing in my head, that i decided to give up voluntarily listening to music until my mind was in silence again.
it took me about 3 weeks.
after those 3 weeks, i enjoyed about one week of inner silence.
that was about 6 years ago (i think).
language seems to be more difficult to avoid. the overwhelming majority of things that seem to occupy me, involve words. i can't text people. i can't speak to them. i can't use facebook. i can't read books. heck, i can't work!
and this also means i can no longer communicate with people who aren't physically in front of me.
so i'm guessing this experiment can't be absolute, like the music one.
but i'm gonna give it a try anyway.
let's see how long it takes before words stop running through my mind all the time!
Monday, February 11, 2019
so one of the bigger problems related to moving abroad is related to your phone number. if you, like me, have used the same number for a while (13 years!), you probably wouldn't want to let go of it that easily. also, you probably have stuff linked to your mobile number that you simply cannot or sometimes would rather not link to your number in a different country. in general, you have three options:
- activate international roaming, and keep your old number active. this might turn out to be expensive. not sure about other countries, but in india it's way more expensive to keep a number active for an extended period on international roaming. and then you need both sims (old and new) to be in a phone to be useful. my phone forces me to choose between a second sim and a memory card, and i would be quite sore if i had to take out my 128gb memory card out!
- find a way to forward everything without having the sim in a phone. again, calls are expensive to forward, especially if the majority of them are spam calls. i have no idea if forwarding sms without the sim being in a phone is even possible!
- give the sim to someone trusted (either pop it into their dual sim phone or give it to them with a phone that's frequently checked) and keep it active remotely. this obviously works only if you have someone trusted who is willing to take calls on your behalf.
- the person needs to take calls on your behalf (obviously!)
- sms needs to be forwarded somehow.
Sunday, February 10, 2019
in fact, we have entire conversations that solely involve calling each other fat. there may be days when the only chats we've had involve calling each other fat (and that carries over to in-person conversations as well - though not as exclusively). we usually start and end conversations with calling each other fat. when we want to call each other, we frequently simply call each other fat.
we have never actually used the word fat though. it's always mild metaphors. in fact we use these terms so frequently that we now use acronyms. we have acronyms for combinations of these terms. we sometimes say those acronyms to each other on the phone and in person instead of expanding them. we have even created backronyms for fat.
we call each other fat so often that we have even forgotten that they mean "fat"
in hindsight, it's amazing how we have evolved our own language to communicate endearment while effectively calling each other fat.
ironically, we're not particularly fat (although opinions might differ), and there was a time when shruti was positively thin - i had to repeatedly tell her that she really doesn't need to lose any more weight, or she'd be unhealthily thin!
it's like how most people mostly use the f-word without associating it with sex.
like all languages, i'm sure this one will continue to evolve.
but we'll probably continue to call each other fat.
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
i noticed a few changes happen almost overnight, thanks to having that watch on my wrist: i started taking detours on my cycle route to do slightly longer distances daily, pushing myself a bit more just to get myself in a higher heart rate zone, doing a few extra steps when i was close to my target and had a little time to spare, stuff like that.
and then of course there was the novelty value: discovering how my body reacted to things like dancing, motorcycle riding, standing instead of sitting, etc.
however, a month and a half later, i felt i was done with the watch.
i realized that it was quite simple: the watch was just required to push me to be conscious of my body's demands for activity. and once i got there, i didn't really use the watch for much at all. in fact, it was more of a waste of time, spending 5 seconds to lock on to gps before i cycled the exact same route as i used to, to get to work. while i was riding, my speed and effort was more to do with the amount of traffic on the road and what my energy levels were like - the watch just recorded them for me to share to the world. and i'm not sure who would be interested in seeing these rides anyway. the other features were more like distractions - if i forgot my bluetooth on, my watch would vibrate every time my phone did, usually ending with me turning mobile data or bluetooth or both off. also, i liked the heavy feel of my conventional metal watches - after a while i actually started missing them, but the data junkie in me didn't let me take off my smart watch and use my dumb watch - it almost felt like i had some sort of attachment to the watch!
funnily enough, it was a similar experience with the earlier basic fitness tracker band as well - it recorded my activity but didn't do much to motivate me. i was under the impression that this was because the band did a crappy job. i can now say that that wasn't the end of the story.
and so, i've concluded that if you need something to get yourself thinking about your activity levels and establishing a baseline/routine, a fitness watch might help. once you get into the habit though, it seems pretty superfluous. the only use cases i can see for the watch right now is if i start training for something specific (like a 10k or something) - if i just need to push my activity levels, i think just keeping my mind set to it and developing systems to keep my activity levels up (taking the stairs, for example) would keep the momentum going.
curious to know what the experiences of other non serious users are.
Monday, January 21, 2019
anyway, setting aside trivialities (we have instagram for that), the highlights of the last month or so have been a nice good vacation in india (with a quick dash to thailand at the start!), our 2nd anniversary, and then heading back to belfast to brace ourselves for the rest of winter. nothing particularly noteworthy if you look at it as a summary, but i guess the fun is in the details.
on the whole, a few things seem to be falling into place - my sleep cycle seems back on track after a lot of randomness (nightmares, problems sleeping and waking up, feeling sleepy at weird times, etc). i still haven't gone beyond my regular 40 minutes of cycling daily (work and back on weekdays, and the supermarket or suchlike on weekends) - the free gym in our apartment complex is more thought of than visited, but i have been paying a little more than usual attention to my health and wellbeing. no results yet, but i'm going for a more long-term push than something i'll see in a month or even three.
overall, the year seems to have started on a rather positive note, and i'm glad to say that positive changes happening in people around me seem to be helping me as well.
i've stopped making resolutions long ago (actually, i probably still make resolutions of some sort, but i just don't associate them with the new year or call them that), as i've come to realize change comes not from big bang decisions, but incremental improvements, and from internalizing long term goals.
2018 was a good year, with its start and end being so radically different that they almost seem like different lives being lived by the same person. 2019 seems like a time to think about the direction i want to take, and start pushing myself in that direction rather than drifting there.
i have to acknowledge though, that there are some battles on the horizon that will probably come up sooner rather than later, although hopefully i can tackle them without disrupting my plans.
fun times ahead!
Sunday, December 02, 2018
movember meant a little more than the usual (and I guess 4 years qualifies for some sort of usual) to me.
for the first time, I had a lot of time and the right situation to think about why I was doing it. and it was for two reasons.
first of all, I officially got involved. I created an online mo-space (sadly, didn't do much after creating it), but as part of the process, I also was exposed to others' thoughts about movember. and I grew a proper "mo", unlike my usual full beard approach (which, given my usual shaving habits, makes it hard to differentiate between making a statement and just being lazy).
but more importantly, I felt like people cared. I wasn't some freak, I was a genuine person with genuine problems which could be solved if people wanted to. and I'm glad to report, there was real, concrete progress.
I also realized that just making it externally clear that you stand for something, makes a difference.
honestly, I still feel that being a man, my problems are far lesser than what women have to deal with. and so, I remain a feminist first and foremost.
I don't even know if there's an adjective for someone who envisions a better world for men. but I do know that by my actions, I'm making it possible for more people like me to exist. and just like it's taken decades for feminism to make the slightest dent in the crap that the average woman has to go through, I'm fine with the world making its slow and steady progress towards a better life for everyone, and a greater understanding of the fact that the problems men face are both the cause and effect of the problems that make the progress of feminism so slow and difficult.
yes, I'm a proud mo-bro!
doing the same thing over and over again, no matter how well you do it, is bound to get boring eventually. the real fun is in doing things...
a month ago, after a long wait, and as much preparation as we could do, my wife and i hopped onto a plane with four suitcases (and a couple ...
i turned 35 earlier this week. the celebration was a quiet, relaxed time with shruti at home - and for the first time in my life, i also wen...
it was a summer weekend. i was walking around in belfast. it was pretty hot, so i had taken off my shirt and put it away in my bag. as i was...