I presently have the worst headache of my life that I can remember. I used to get headaches as a kid but that stopped long ago and I rarely get them anymore. I think the prescription for my glasses has changed. Guess I need to get my eyes checked now. This also means, sitting on the computer staring at the screen is almost impossible. So I'm gonna go offline and cook myself a nice dinner.
All day I had been staring at the logo on my favorite hangout reddit.com and kept wondering who the dork on the alien's body was. I went to redditalien.com and redditall.com to see if there were any details but no such luck. I gave up thinking it was probably some weirdo online. Turns out, *I* was that weirdo! The always awesome Alexis put MY head on the reddit alien's body. And despite staring at it all day, I didn't even realize it was me!
Alexis changes the reddit logo often so here is the screenshot with my head on reddit logo and here's the original photo of yours truly on the beach by Taylor. Since early afternoon, Tay had been sending me cryptic messages, as if hinting at something, and only now do I get what he was pointing at! I feel like the most clueless person ever. And here's folks on reddit discussing today's logo.
Stop trying to save the EarthSat, 29th Mar '08, 6:00 pm::
"Earth Hour" is exactly the kind of feel-good useless environmental activism that makes me want to build a rocket so I can get off this planet. If I wasn't so lazy, I would celebrate Earth Hour by turning on all my four computers, every light and fan in my house, turning on my big-screen TV, setting the microwave, electric oven, and all four gas stoves to high, running the washer/dryer to max-cycles + max-loads, cranking my air-conditioner to highest setting, and putting up Christmas lights for the whole neighborhood to see.
You want to "save the planet?" Give up leisure flying. Don't ever fly to Europe, South America, Nepal, or New Zealand for a vacation. Ever. Only travel when you absolutely have to. Oh, is that too much of a sacrifice? Well, if you don't want to make a real difference because that entails giving up something you want and instead just wish to pretend like you are somehow helping the planet with no major inconvenience to yourself, go ahead, turn off your lights for an hour. I will spend my evening doing things I do every Saturday - cook, watch TV, go online, not participate in meaningless group-think movements, teach my cats to play fetch - you know, the usual.
Interesting peopleSun, 23rd Mar '08, 6:20 pm::
Sometimes when I meet new interesting people, I get this urge to thank them for being themselves. It is a pretty unusual thing to tell someone directly to their face and I've never been able to put it eloquently in a real conversation, but if I ever did, I think it would go something like this:
"I am glad you exist because that gives me hope in humanity. Maybe we're not the best of friends and don't have much chemistry to work, travel, or live together but it warms my heart to know that the world isn't full of hopeless, copycat, materialistic dunces. I know that you are doing your part to keep things weird and interesting for the rest of us folks. Thanks for being yourself and keep it up."
I think all the problems of my life would be solved if human teleportation became a reality. The only thing about my life that isn't awesome is that nearly every person I love and cherish, is far away from me. Some people are a few hours away, some are across the country, and some are across the world. Often I have dreams wherein distances don't matter. So I could be having lunch with my friends in New Jersey and then walk into my room in India to say something to my mom and then walk out to my aunt's backyard in Utah. I woke up yesterday morning, forgetting that SXSW is over, and almost group-texted "Where's everyone, let's get lunch..." Everyone's too damned far.
I think I finally slept enough today to shake off the tiredness from SXSW. I actually woke up at 5am to go kayaking but went back to sleep after I checked the weather online. Cloudy days are no fun for kayaking but perfect for sleeping in. I am now washed and dryer'ed. It's time to hit the town.
I'm home from 10 crazy days of SXSW. So very tired.
Every day, a new theory pervades my mind and connects all the random musings into a unified outlook on life. After being here in Austin for a full week now, I feel overwhelmed by the number of interesting experiences that I was able to have in such a short span of time. I was able to compress the events of an entire year into seven days and that basically means, I have two 2008's - the regular 2008 and the SXSW 2008. In 2007, I saw about 6-7 movies, went to 3-4 music shows, met 6-7 interesting people, went to 3-4 parties, and got famous 2-3 times. Hmmm, that's less than one week here in Austin! So I already hit my personal entertainment goals for the year 2008. Now I have ten more months to live it up.
Yesterday I went to see musicians Robyn, Sia, Jens Lekman, Islands, and my favorite Asylum Street Spankers. Today I watched part one of the trilogy: Mongol and a documentary series about Punk Rock band NOFX's World Tour. Also saw Lykke Li today and now we're off to dinner!
Say what you want, do what you shouldThu, 13th Mar '08, 2:20 pm::
I don't know what exactly I was mulling over a few days ago but I concluded that it was all because I say what I want and do what I should. When it comes to expressing myself, I don't try to please the audience by saying what they want to hear but rather what I really think. Words should not be spoken to appease but to communicate. However, when it comes to doing things, actions, I don't do whatever I want. I do what is appropriate and is expected of me morally and sanely. So that means I will tell you that you are a moron for dropping out of school but I will help you pack and move if you have made up your mind. I have noticed that most politicians are the complete opposite of this and which is why I'd never make a good "leader" anywhere. You are expected to SAY what people want to hear but in the end you just do whatever you want and thankfully for you, get away with it.
I think the people I tend to like are also the ones who speak their minds but do what's right. My family and relatives tend to fall into that category, which would explain why despite them saying completely crazy things, I still love them all so much. I don't have much respect for those who say what they should and do what they should because they have no backbones. I have learnt to stay away from those who say what they want and do what they want because their lack of control often ruins the evening. It's not easy to have fun when you get kicked out of every party because your companions are reckless morons.
It's a nice day outside, I'm going to walk around and get some food. Austin, TX is a nice place to walk around.
Everything Taylor told me about SXSW has either proven to be exactly true or beyond my wildest expectations. He told me how initially you meet a lot of really neat people and parties get crazier each night. Then you start to lose physical energy, wake up later each day, stay up later each night, till the last day when you can't even get out of bed. He said how friendly everyone is and how carefree the atmosphere is. So far, it's been pretty damn awesome being here. Having people thank and congratulate us for Sched.org is icing on top of the already sweet cake. The music festival started today and although I didn't get the pass to attend official music events, there are still many unofficial shows I might go to. I'm going to watch a few more films and continue to meet more people, preferably while sober. Quite a few folks are following me on Twitter and I think I finally see the utility of the site. If you want to know what I'm doing during my stay here, sign up for Twitter and click 'follow' on my profile.
Having so much choice in what to do around here has had an interesting impact on the way I see things. Regular life is seeing and working with the same set of people day in, day out. So you get to learn who they are and can react based on how they have acted in the past. Here, I don't know anyone and nobody knows me (at least not on a personal level). The only person I know is me and the more people I meet, the more I hear this 'me' person talking about himself. I'm not on some mission to "find" my true self but my voice is clearly establishing an identity for itself.
I have often wondered where I fall on the introvert/extrovert divide. I can be social and meet 20 new people within an hour any given evening if I so desire. Or I can sit in the lounge (like I am right now), not talking to anyone and just minding my own business. I could be an extrovert and confidently call the girl I met last night without a single misspoken word or I can sit here hoping nervously that she calls me. I am beginning to feel that I am really a typical introvert who simply has a lot of experience faking extrovertedness. Who knows. All I know is that it's just wonderful being here and having the time of my life. And I have my buddy Taylor to thank for all this and more.
Sched.org on front-page of WiredMon, 10th Mar '08, 12:35 pm::
Wonderful Wired.com article about Sched.org. As of right now, we're the front-page story.
Yesterday, I met the guy who made one of my favorite pieces of coder-libraries, jQuery. Then the insanely cool Alexis from reddit bought us dinner. The entire group chilled at the Gawker party. Tay and I ended up on Wired.com frontpage. We also met Mark Zuckerberg at the Facebook party. I saw only one movie, Beautiful Losers, and it didn't disappoint. I don't know what I can do today to top all of that off. I'll try to watch some more movies and attend a few more panels. I'm so hungry.
Austin has been non-stop fun so far. During the day I watch movies and attend interactive panels and after the sun sets, we go to parties where I lose my inhibitions. The daytime-me is a calm, collected individual who loves documentaries and engaging discussions. The nighttime-me has drinks in both his hands and dances with any girl he fancies. Of course, the morning-me is a tired, worn-out fellow cursing at nighttime-me for partying too much.
In other news, our little website Sched.org has 2,000 users! People are recognizing me through the website and coming up to me to thank me for making it. Taylor and I got interviewed by Wired about Sched.org - let's see if they write something neat. A lot of the panelists and industry leaders are using and promoting Sched.org themselves. The site was mentioned in both the 'How to Rock at SXSW' panels and Taylor even got a big hand from everyone at one of them.
I have a lot of cool things to watch today so it's time to shower and get ready. This is day 3/10. I am so excited to see what happens next.
I'm in the Austin airport, waiting for the rest of the crew to get here so we can go to the hotel. So excited!
I'm leaving my house in a few minutes for Austin, TX.
Living as if tomorrow is your last day?Sun, 2nd Mar '08, 12:35 am::
It always bothers me when people say you have to live your life as if tomorrow is your last day. That's because if tomorrow is my last day, there are many things I will do that I would certainly regret if I'm alive on the day after tomorrow. Given just twenty-four hours to live, most people including yours truly, will just party non-stop for as long as they can and then retreat into delirious seclusion because of the immediate threat of death. Living your life as if you're going to be dead before the next mortgage payment comes up is pretty irresponsible and not a good motto to live by. On the flip side, living as if you have all the time in the world to do everything you want just makes you lazy and procrastinate without ever accomplishing anything.
People are bad at making 5-10-15 year life-plans and except for a very few people (like med-school students and retirees), nobody knows where they'll be in a couple of years. What made me think about the appropriate length of the ticking-death-clock is a mention of Prof. Randy Pausch online. About six months ago I watched his moving "Last Lecture at Carnegie Mellon" online. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September 2006 and given three to six months to live. His last lecture was in September 2007 and thankfully, he is still vigorous and active till date. Here's a brilliant, energetic family man who has lived the last 18 months thinking he'll die within the next three months. And to top it off, he has went on to accomplish his childhood dreams (like practicing with his favorite sports team and getting a talking role in the next Star Trek movie) as well as ensuring his wife and kids have wonderful memories of him.
In a span of three to six months, you can do a lot. Travel across a continent, write a book, build a swimming pool for the kids, and go on a long road trip with your best friend. You can live each day to the fullest while not driving the people you leave behind crazy. This is quite achievable and exciting if you think about it. Today is March 2nd. If everything you ever wanted to do, had to be done by September 2nd, what would you do and when? No, you can't wait till Christmas. You can't put off going skiing till November. You don't have infinite money and your savings aren't enough to support six months of bills on top of all the fun you want to have. That means, you have to keep your job, you have to continue to pay auto insurance, and you have to be responsible about your actions. All this, while the six-month clock is ticking.
I can't imagine what Prof. Pausch is going through, especially with the chemotherapy treatments and tremendous media exposure, but I know it in my heart that whenever he hugs his wife and kids, he does it like a man who has three months to live and wants to make every moment of it memorable for the ones he leaves behind.