Peacocks’ Pub

Hello, dear readers, if there are any, in this world of 140 character tweets, unnecessarily long and tedious Instagram captions optimistic for increased engagement, pointlessly opinionated Facebook status posts and almost non existent purely personal blogs, Hello.

I return to the world of blogosphere with as inane a story as it gets, pretty much the highlight of my day today. You see, it’s not that other exciting things haven’t happened (to be totally honest, they haven’t, but that’s not the point). It’s just that these rather boring but exciting little moments are the ones which I deem worthy of being chronicled in this little no holds & judgments barred digital space of mine. I say digital because obviously I have a diary like any self respecting, introverted, but very chatty person.

Coming back to the subject at hand.

This afternoon at about 4 pm I decided to take a stroll upstairs on my terrace. It seemed rather pleasant outdoors, albeit blue skies were hidden by a thick haze of grey smoky air, at least it seemed to be warmer outdoors than indoors.

So I headed up the stairs, cautious as always. You see, at times the roof of a little shed on my terrace is occupied by various local fauna. Large groups of pigeons are the most frequent visitors. Monkeys are not completely foreign to this area. Little birds like sparrows and parakeets generally come and go in small numbers. I do expect a little fluff of flight when I reach the top of the stairs and on to the terrace.

Today, nothing moved when I reached. All was still. Well, at least for a millisecond. Then, all of a sudden, I hear a loud thud and a flap of what sounded like heavy, luscious wings. I quickly turn around, thinking it might have been a larger bird – like a hawk or a vulture – again, part of the local fauna normally found circulating overhead at a safe distance.

As I turn to get a good look, I see a large peacock – yes, peacock with a proper blue and green patterned plume and wings and everything – flying off of my terrace and on to the neighbours. I’m not sure whether it was more afraid of me (to have flown off promptly at my arrival) or I was more afraid of this ginormous creature for that micro second when both of us were casuals visitors on the same terrace.

At it’s departure, I felt rather assured that now my terrace was fauna-free, and I could saunter about adding to my step count for the day (I aim for a 10,000 like any ambitious millennial).

I take, may be about 100 steps in various directions, when my eyes are drawn towards this rather delicate organic form up on top of the aforementioned shed on top of the terrace.

Okay then, I see there is another peacock (or may be a peahen) up there! This particular creature was in no hurry to leave the area despite my noisy & restless presence up there. It was calmly perched, looking out into the dusty horizon. I also managed to sneak in a little photo of it.

As you can see, it’s – ahem – for the lack of a more polite term – rear side is out of view so I could not ascertain whether it’s a peacock or peahen.

After getting a good look at it (actually after snapping this covert snap) I was done scaring off gigantic birds (and being started by their sudden movements), and I proceeded downstairs. Rest of my steps will have to be taken in the safety and fauna-free zone of my living room.

p.s.: This is not the first time I saw these birds. I see them almost daily – but on other people’s terraces. I have seen them in flight multiple times, and they can often be heard calling out (their partners??!) when it rains. I should note it was a rainy-ish day today.

The Weird Sisters are Back – with Yanny & Laurel explanation

For those who are utterly stumped by the notion of Weird Sisters (side note: first of all, please read Harry Potter, thank you very much), let me clarify.

Weird Sisters is the most apt moniker which BlowOwner uses to describe her sister & herself. All thanks to the genius of J.K. Rowling, who, I am positive was influenced by the realities of life with her own sister, coined this phrase. Well in the books it referred to a musical band – but, you know – BlogOwner and her sister have even been a musical team of two in the past (singing & recording songs together, putting up performances for the parentals on special occasions like their birthdays – yes, we were those kids).

Anyhoo, coming back to the point of how exactly the Weird Sisters are back

Today, BlogOwner was met with a rather (totally) (would be shocked if it didn’t happen) expected bout of afternoon slump. Which of course led her to randomly browse the internet (is this even thought of as net addiction anymore?) and stumble upon the Internet War of The Month – Yanny vs. Laurel.

Here’s the original clipping – do you hear Yanny or Laurel? (click on the link in the first tweet to hear it)

This obviously meant BlogOwner had to do some in depth research on the matter, as she only heard Yanny, and could not hear Laurel no matter how much she tried (and try she did – her left ear was numb to high pitch tones for a while after a loop of 20 Yannys in alien-speak).

Many of Twitteratti claimed they heard Laurel – and only Laurel. Even Ellen said so.

So then what’s a girl to do?

Youtube, duh.

Quite naturally, there were already dozens of videos “explaining” Yanny vs. Laurel – none of which actually explained anything. Most of them claimed that there was frequency overlapping yada yada, and Yanny was high, Laurel was low, and those sensitive to one could hear that. Neat, but the audio sounded rather standard to me (not excessively high frequenc-ied) Note, that up to this point, BlogOwner could still not hear Laurel.

Then she chanced upon this video where she could at least hear the Laurel.

Of course, since it’s on Youtube, it is Gospel right? Like, people don’t just put up nonsense on Youtube. Youtube is the destination for serious research.

So, armed with this explanation, BlogOwner decides to poll people in her real life (all 5 of them).

She posts it on her Girls Whatsapp group – two of the three girls are on holiday and are naturally not inclined to waste their precious time at a beach/historic sight/ Napolitan pizza place looking at a dumb Internet Debate Video – like who does that? (**raises hand sheepishly**)

BlogOwner also posted the original Yanny vs. Laurel video on her family Whatsapp group.  This is what happened next:

Husband: Yanny

Mother: Yanny

SisterAnd this is how Hitler convinced an entire nation to murder Jews.

Remember that.

BlogOwner: *wait. what? This-is-a-stupid-internet-joke-not-evil-propaganda puzzled face* *unable to type* *in complete shock*

SisterThe original source of this is probably reddit or 4chan and some of the biggest trolls live over there

BlogOwner: *regaining speech & cognitive function* Yes… it did originate on Reddit…

Sister: Every human will hear Yanny

The ones who hear Laurel would never hear Laurel if you didn’t tell them Yanny or Laurel or told them something else

…. insert more explanation on #TeamYanny…..

Don’t believe everything

Be tolerant and also always question

BlogOwner: *dumbfounded by level of depth in analysis of an Internet Debate* *mind boggled AF between (a) being inexplicably offended that her stupid Yanny or Laurel forward didn’t attract light hearted banter as expected and (b) being stumped by how this haha-check-out-my-afternoon-slump-meandering had turned into deep conversation which required thinking, which admittedly was low on her priority list given said afternoon slump* 

*recovering from said stupor*

*makes politically-incorrect but self-gratifyingly-funny remarkLaurel is the new acche din. Can’t hear it, can’t see it, everything out there suggests the contrary, but it’s allegedly there!

Net Addiction Circa 2006 versus Today

I found this old GEM of a post about addiction to the Internet from my old blog, which I wrote many, many years ago.

Oh little did teenage BlogOwner know about what’s going to ensue in the next decade and how she’d be looking back at her teenage self thinking “she was so damn tame“.

Without further ado, here are my perceptions of Net Addiction from 2006:

7.30 am……

Net-addict(NA) has just woken up. She had a glass of juice while charting out a mental schedule for herself (an extremely ambitious one that too). After having juice, she is supposed to do her homework, but she feels this inexplicable, incredibly strong urge to rush to the pc, switch it on and surf away to glory. What if there is a new mail? A new comment? A new something? This urge surpasses her already weak will-power(which is known to have betrayed her to such an extent that she ate up full boxes of belgian chocolate(yumm…) at a go on many occasions till date) and she is on her way to the pc. She may spend only 10 mins online, but she simply has to do it.

2 pm…….

NA has had her lunch. She should be preparing for her classes in the evening. Yet, strangely enough, she finds herself drawn to the pc the way iron filings are drawn to a magnet. She tries to resist. She takes her books to the other room. Somehow, she starts feeling so thirsty that she absolutely must get up and go to the pc room, the room where her bottles are also present. However, in a bizarre(?) turn of events she takes a detour to the pc even before she has reached the bottles. PC switched on. Net working. NA has given in. Again. SMS from friend arrives.

“Hey, what r u doin?”

“Er… Iam online. Sorrryyyy 🙁

A surge of guilt takes over. NA promises to blog about this in the hope of alleviating her angst and guilt for being unable to control her whims.

9.15pm…….

NA has returned from her classes. This is normally the time when she can do all her fun-things without feeling guilty since 9-10pm is her destress time. She blogs about her addiction. Her inability to work untill she has a shot of mail-checking, blog-reading, and other net-related things.

She thinks, probably no one has even got an idea that behind that ‘normal’ exterior, there lies a hidden, dangerous, compulsive, wicked net-addict. A net-addict who wants to be normal. “

To this, I, modern day REAL net-addict say: Girl, cut yourself some slack, and chill the eff out.

This little jog down memory lane makes me shudder rather vigorously to what might be considered as “REAL” net-addiction 10 years hence. Will how much time we take off from our virtual glasses? Will be able to be “online” while we sleep? *throws hands up in the air emoji*

Routinised Creativity – Challenge Rejected…

….and rejected rather badly.

So. The short story is that I’ve dumped this challenge for now.

Why?

By default actually. I didn’t stick to it for 2 continuous days after starting.

Now before you go around tut-tutting me about “giving up” “not giving it a fair chance” and “trying harder” (side note: hate the last one with particular gusto), let me tell you something about myself.

I’m not a kid. I’ve seen myself for many, many years. And I know that when a routine is truly beneficial for me, the biggest sign is that I’m excited about it & look forward to it from Day 1.

I don’t have to “make myself” like anything – either it hits a chord, or it doesn’t.

Over the years I’ve spent (edit: wasted) many a time and useful energy which could’ve been doing useful things (or watching Netflix – hey, watching Netflix is better than spending time berating yourself for something completely random) in “trying to get myself to do stuff” that didn’t quite fit. I’ve learnt through experience, that when it doesn’t hit a chord from the very beginning, it has usually not proven to be of much value to me.

Now, this is absolutely not to say that every body should do this and those who stick to annoying routines and try to plough on and try to get “get done with it” should change their ways. Quite the opposite.

For me, “getting stuff done” attitude is not nearly as optimal as “la la la, lets DO this, b*&^%es!”

So, I’m not going to push on with the routine that didn’t quite work for me. It just didn’t get my juices flowing, I sort of dreaded that particular time block on the second day – and refused to cooperate with my own Challenge. Well.

Now that we’ve made our introductions, we can take this thing somewhere.

Creating Everyday by Routine – Challenge Accepted

I’m a creation junkie.

I would like to believe I’m a “prolific creator”, because I’m happiest when I look at a nice little bundle of things I’ve just given rise to.

I’m someone who tries to build routines all the time, to support said creation.

I think every creator of any kind (artist, writer, business person, any one really, who makes something out of nothing, that, by the way is my definition of “creator“) has faced this challenge at some point – how do I create, and keep creating good quality material consistently while also enjoying myself in the process?”

There are many components to this question:

  • how do I create
  • how do I keep creating
  • good quality material
  • consistently
  • while also enjoying myself in the process

The reason why most creators ended up, sort of getting addicted  to creating was because of the way it made them feel – good, to put it rather simplistically (it’s a feeling of utmost joy & accomplishment, from a state of flow, where you enjoy and thrive in the feeling of being in that moment, not realising the minutes or hours pass by, and the joy of beholding something that you have created literally out of nothing).

But, most of us also feel at some point, and we have reached a bit of a stumbling block. And are often searching for the best way to make it as easy as possible for us to tune out every thing else, and simply create.

At this stage, your logical mind must most naturally be enquiring “Erm, then why don’t you do just that – tune out and create? Why are you writing pointless articles like this?

Well, because, intelligent reader, the reason is that at times it seems quite an arduous task to tune out. There are so much distractions readily available that tuning out of one thing mostly leads to tuning into something else. While creating takes a backseat.

Ever felt like you know you want to lose those 10 pounds and that you know that you need to exercise and eat well, yet you don’t end up doing it. When you do do it, it feels good, right?

Yet, you don’t do it?

It’s futile to doubt your intentions of doing it – because just like those yearly resolutions and tax deadlines – they are always there. Yet, it doesn’t get done.

Now you say, “okay, all that is great but what are YOU doing about it?

I recently read this informative article The Daily Routine of 20 Famous Writers – yes I am the sort of person who googles about other people’s habits & routines during my “breaks”.

The common thread I found was this – most of them committed to blocking off a chunk of time around creating as a routine.

I’m a total sucker for routines so I’m thinking of giving this a try.

Are there challenges? YES.

Like, blocking off all distractions.

Doing the same thing at the same time every day (even weekends).

Sticking to it when it feels like its getting me nowhere.

Am I going to try? Yes. Because I’ve noticed massive gains in my work life when I have committed to a particular kind of routine.

I shall try to report over here how my routine goes.

The Routine that I’ve set for myself is this:

Create every single day from 730 am – 11 am.

It’s not difficult really. I any way usually work at this time. The challenge is this – all work is not “creation”. In fact, most “work” in my line of work is not creation really. But creation is obviously critical to work – as you see, I am an artist.

Well this challenge has already cause one good thing to happen – I wrote this article out.

A bit of a self fulfilling prophecy, but I think this thing works!

Work from Home – What it Means to Different People

To people I’ve just met and have unsuccessfully tried to explain what I do for a living:

Netflix – Friends on repeat – laundry – eat – nap – work (may be?) – Facebook – enjoy the benefits of work-life-balance

(a.k.a. the dreamer’s conception of work-life-balance) (at which I usually gurgle and point out that life becomes work and work becomes life – interpret that as you will)

(sidenote: they are the ones who are most disappointed to learn that I have a normal routine like everybody else)

To most of family:

Free, in general. Might on occasion be indulging in some abstract notion of “work”, mostly just as a hobby or for fun.

(a.k.a. it’s ok to treat my weekdays like a weekend or public holiday) (I normally have to remind them that the operative part of “work from home” is the work bit)

(sidenote: completely unaware of the digital economy)

To my friends:

Whatsapp – work – Instagram – work – whatsapp – whatsapp – whatsapp

(sidenote: due to the alarming speed at which I read and respond to whatsapp messages) (this may be hotly contested by some, but true for most)

To my mom:

Work – not put enough thought into my meals – eat – work – work – work

Separately, not to be disturbed M-F 8 am – 5 pm (but I can call her whenever I want)

To my sister:

Soul sister and is painfully aware of what my day is actually like because of the unsolicited and unnecessary details I incessantly share with her (also, she is a work from home creative too – and so she’s clued in on this little world)

To my husband:

wake up – go back to sleep – wake up again – eat breakfast – laze – not change out of pajamas – emails – work – work – work – enquire about his ETA – be found in pajamas (does not notice if they are different from the morning pajamas)

(a.k.a. pajama + productivity central with a little bit of procrastination)

(sidenote 2: most days he refuses to believe that I change out of pajamas and into proper clothes, and change back into pajamas before he’s home) (which is the truth. most days) (ok, some days)