Life's like an analog clockSun, 28th Aug '05, 9:45 pm::

I don't 'blog everyday, not because I'm too busy or have nothing to say, but rather I like saving up the energy to write slightly longer posts and to say things I normally don't in course of everyday life. In everyday life, people just execute their daily duties. You wake up, go to school and/or office, get home, do the chores, entertain yourself a bit, and go to bed. Next day, lather, rinse, repeat. And the cycle goes on.

Life's like an analog clock that you have to wind-up every 24 hours. And more often than not, the clock gains or loses a few minutes every day. In a month, you could be as much as half-an-hour off the correct time unless you synchronize your clock with some official time keeper. Similarly, if you just live your life without any form of introspection and retrospection, sooner or later, you're gonna be out of sync with your own life and the rest of the world.

In other words, if you never take some time to stop everything you're doing and take a 36,000 mile big-picture overview of yourself, your life's path, your goals and dreams, then things are just gonna get tougher. If you're lost in a maze, you can forever run around every corner to find a way out but the most optimal way to get out is just look at the maze from above and find the shortest path to the exit. Everybody knows that is the best way but nobody wants to do it.

We're all in a rat race. Life has become a rat race because we're all materialistic - chasing objects that money and only money can buy, running after goals that solely bolster our egos. So now even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat. The trick is not to win the race but to stop being a rat. How can you do that? It's easy and sounds so very cliched. Take control of your own mind. Stop letting yourself be led by others. Realize that you and only you make your own destiny unless you unfortunately happen to be living under some ruthless dictator or corrupt communist government. But even then, there's a lot you can do to control your own mind. Sure you may not be able to control the fact that your dad's not a rich industrialist but you can sure control the emotional turmoil your mind goes into after the love of your life rejects you.

Control of your own mind is quite possibly the easiest and the hardest thing to ever do. It's hard because throughout our lives we have been force-fed the notion that we are all emotional by our very human nature and we are but the victims of our moods. We have adapted to feeling sad when our mind decides it's time to feel sad and we are trained to feel happy when our mind tells us so. But it's not at all hard to decide to tell our mind that shut the hell up and stop being so moody. And after that, it's all easy. Once you realize that you can tell your brain to feel calm in the most adverse of life's circumstances, you suddenly find yourself equipped with the world's greatest arsenal of strength and power - emotional maturity. Most people get stuck in life because their emotions overpower every rational thought.

I know, everyone says you gotta think straight and do right but so many people just can't. Why? Because saying is one thing and doing is another. It's very easy to say "never lie to yourself" but very hard to do. It's the wide gap between saying the nice wise quote and explaining HOW to do it, that prevents people from actually doing it. So I said above, take control of your mind. Well great quote but how does one go about doing it. What's the first step?

The first step is to stop all negative thoughts. That's it. It's a very easy thing to do once you start doing it. No matter what you're doing, something is going on in your head and if that thought happpens to be laden with negativity of any kind, be it sadness, guilt, remorse, angst, revenge, stress, worry, or anything else, just let it go. Tell your brain "hey that's a negative thought and I'm not gonna have any of that in my brain." And stop. Change the topic and focus on something else. Keep doing it every single moment, every day and every night. Very soon you're realize yourself that things just seem so much easier. Life will suddenly be easy, much more clear.

I know, all of this sounds so pseudo-wise psycho-babble but from personal expeirence, I can say it's very true. College years were quite tough on my mental stability, especially the stress of multiple degrees and multiple jobs and I always felt so lost. Lately, things have got so much better since I started following the aforementioned guidelines. None of the stuff I said above is something I pulled out of thin air. Most of this 'wisdom' stuff is from ancient Hindu and Buddhist teachings. Too many people apply the practical rituals of religion in daily life instead of following the wise teachings.

Nah, I've not suddenly become overtly religious or anything. I'm just saying, the day you take control of your mind is the day life stops being difficult. The grass really is greener on the other side because you have a lot more time to tend to your lawn as you're not stressing all day about meaningless objects.

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Thu, 25th Aug '05, 8:55 pm::

Yet another wonderful Florida day. I feel so relaxed and at home. Work was busy but exciting overall. Got home and watched a little TV and now online. Looks like we're gonna have another hurricane but let's see how it shapes up.

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Wed, 24th Aug '05, 10:45 pm::

Just got back from my second baseball game ever, thanks once again to Ken from my work. This time I went with him and we saw Tampa Bay Devil Rays plays with the Cleveland Indians at Tropicana Field. Once again, the Rays won :) I had a great time and got to learn a lot of things about the sport. It's kinda like cricket but only 100 times more weird. Cricket is more fun to play but I think baseball is more fun to watch because it's not too long, just a few hours. Volleyball of course (especially the Brazilian Women's Team) is the most fun to watch, followed by Soccer.

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Sun, 21st Aug '05, 4:55 pm::

My house has never been THIS clean. I spent five hours cleaning everything from my bedroom to bathroom and kitchen. Tomorrow I'll take care of the outside. I think I've turned into my aunt. I was doing laundry while vacuuming the bedrooms as the tile-cleaner was doing its magic in my shower. Oh yeah... multi-tasking baby :) The kitties hate it when I clean though cuz of the noise and weird new smell of "clean." Hah.

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The Joys of Living AloneFri, 19th Aug '05, 7:45 am::

"The strange new truth, according to census figures, is that the single largest chunk of American households now consists of people who live alone. No spouse or partner, no kids or other relatives, no roommate or boarder. Alone." Thus reports the Wall Street Journal. I am a statistic now. Here's the original Census Report in PDF.

The report goes on to say "Yet a list-topping surge to 27 million separate little cocoons is still disconcerting. Among other things, it suggests a demographic bulge of lonely souls. Even if you discount the college graduates who paint the town every night before crashing happily at their first pad, you're left with a huge number of people who have found companionship and lost it or are still looking for someone to share their life with. They may not be miserable or call themselves lonely, although many senior citizens do use those words. But most probably are missing something, and we don't mean the better health and the longevity boost that scientists have associated with marriage and other forms of intimate living."

The author of the article goes on, "27 million lonely grown-ups probably isn't great for society either." So that's one side of the story. The other side of the story is what random people are saying here on Fark: "Living alone is the greatest thing in the world." "People are choosing to stay single. I'm single by choice." "I wish I lived alone."

I can pretty much attest to the awesomeness that is living alone. I love the fact that I have a house I can go to every day without having someone nag me to depression on when I'm gonna cut the lawn or paint the backyard door. I love the fact that I can do whatever I want, whenever I want - nobody bothers me, nobody annoys me. If I feel alone or bored, I can either stay at home and entertain/educate myself or I can go out and hang out at my friends' places. I really don't see how living alone could be such a bad thing. I don't have to worry about anyone's dirty laundry and nobody leaves dirty dishes in my kitchen sink. It's awesome! Sure, I miss hanging out with someone 24/7 and that's why I have my friends come once in a while for sleepovers etc. We can watch TV and play boardgames all evening till late night and then have breakfast together. No force, no compulsion. So very stress free.

I think the biggest mistake this author made is assuming that living alone means being alone. Repeat after me: Alone does NOT mean lonely. I live alone, by myself, no other person in my house. However, that doesn't mean I am lonely or sad or feel neglected or unloved. This is just a different way of life than previous generations were used to. And as long as I'm comfortable with it, why should anyone care?

However, there's the economic side to this issue. Be it one person or two living in the same house, you're pretty much gonna use the same amount of electricity, phone, gas, and other utilities. If everyone lives alone in their own house, a lot of resources are wasted. By living together, people can save a lot and split the bills. Maybe that's what I will look into down the line - converting my computer room to a bedroom and renting it out to a friend. I'll be able to save on my bills and my friend will have low rent. But till that day, I think my kids are enough for me to take care of :)

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Thu, 18th Aug '05, 8:50 pm::

Ever loved something so much that you wanted to tell the entire world about it? Well now you can! Hop over to this silly little new site that I designed along with my buddy Tony and tell the world that "I wanna marry ___ and have its babies."

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Mon, 15th Aug '05, 7:10 pm::

Song for the season: "Coconut" - Hary Nilsson.

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Mon, 15th Aug '05, 5:45 pm::

Here's a fun little spelling puzzle. Can u spell "12th" in English without looking at a dictionary? Here's the answer.

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Sun, 14th Aug '05, 12:25 pm::

I can see blue skies out of the windows on three sides of my house. and yet it's raining so hard the noise is scaring my kitties away. Just been relaxing this weekend, recovering from my sickness. Coughing a lot less now but still not feeling strong enough to go out and mow the lawn. Everything else is just normal, just one of those forgettable weekends when I did nothing great.

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Mon, 8th Aug '05, 12:05 am::

Happy First Birthday to my sweet little kids Giga & Tera! I can't believe I'm this stupid but I just went and sang Happy B'Day to them both together :) Tera's in my lap right now, kneading my tummy as usual. Now I can feed them adult-kitty-food. And that also means they're no longer kitties but cats.

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Thu, 4th Aug '05, 9:05 pm::

I'm so unique even my diseases are exotic. I've been sick since Tuesday and last night I pretty much figured out what I had, based on my symptoms and Google. I woke up Wednesday morning with sore throat, extreme dizziness, mild fever, and rashes under my arms. All searches lead to Scarlet Fever aka Scarlatina - a contagious disease that in the 1800's and early 1900's killed sailors across the world's oceans. I went to the doctor and as soon as he saw my throat, rash, and inside my left ear, he said "Hmmm... looks like Scarlet Fever to me..." Good thing that today it's easily cured and has no long-term effects.

I feel quite crappy right now and considering the fact that it's hard to breath or walk around, I can't really do anything other than just sit and watch TV. And even that hurts after a while. The doctor told me to not come in contact with anyone for the next 48-72 hours and that means I get to sit home alone till Monday! NOT FUN! I can't even go out and walk on the beach because of red tide (algae). Wow my tropical beach paradise is sounding more and more like a nightmare.

Anyways, nothing to worry. I got scarlet fever (more like strep throat with a mild rash) from someone in public. Now that could be anyone I came in contact with in the last few days. Could be someone from Walmart or at the gas station... can't really tell. However, the best thing to do is not infect anyone else. So I'm gonna sit right here and get fatter :) Warm food makes me happy. Plus the kitties are being very playful and cuddly. So it's ok. I'm just mad at I can't go to my work because I have so much work to do :(

PS: I also have this Scarlett Fever :)

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Thu, 4th Aug '05, 8:00 pm::

Here's the Purvi & Allen Photo Gallery with pictures from their wedding in Salt Lake City, Utah last week :) I'll add more pictures to the gallery as I receive them from everyone in my family here.

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Tue, 2nd Aug '05, 9:50 pm::

Went kayaking today for the second time. Spent about an hour in Lake Seminole just learning how to move forward without zig-zagging. It was so beautiful and didn't really feel like an hour, more like 25 minutes. Tomorrow I'll go for an hour and a half. I got home tonight and my upper-body felt so pumped up even though I wasn't tired at all. I'm beginning to love this kayaking thing :)

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Mon, 1st Aug '05, 11:55 pm::

A few weeks ago I mentioned that my car has a permanent space for two beach chairs, one beach umbrella, an ice cooler, and a beach towel. As of tonight, it also has a Sevylor Tahiti Classic Inflatable Kayak, a lifevest, a dual-sided aluminum/plastic paddle, and a hand pump. For about $300+tax, I purchased all the kayaking equipment from the West Marine store near my work. I went kayaking at Lake Seminole that's about six minutes from my house. The plan is that I will kayak every weekday for one hour at least. The water is beautiful and since there's no cost of fuel every time I go, it's a pretty cheap hobby. As long as I don't puncture the kayak somehow, though it's easy to patch a small hole or two.

The reason I went for an inflatable one instead of a typical rigid hull is that I didn't wanna buy an expensive rack for the roof on my car. Inflatable kayaks are good for beginners like me and when I get more experienced, I can look for a good fibre-glass model or something. Till then, I'm going to paddle hard and learn how to steer it straight. Trust me it's not easy! But I'm sure with practise, I'll get there.

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