Myself, Weirdness

The Sucky Post

The vacuum cleaner at home went kaput around Christmas. For an interminable amount of time, the room-mate and I dilly-dallied about fixing it – do we spend 200-odd dollars fixing a five-year old appliance or buy a new one? And simply buying a new one wouldn’t do, it had to be a good one. Something that made us want to clean up. Well, it didn’t have to, but we talked about it all the same.

On Tuesday, ‘Drea the Awesome informed me that fixing the old one was out of the question. It was too old, the repairman said, and it couldn’t suck any harder. I know that last line sounded ridiculous, deal with it. I agreed that I should be the one to buy the vacuum cleaner, it was only fair because 80% of the items in the house belonged to her anyway. On Wednesday, ‘Drea pinged me again. “I have the perfect model”, she said. All the reviews on Amazon seemed to agree with her choice, but $500 for a vacuum cleaner? If it were possible to slowly back out towards the exit when you are in a GTalk conversation, I would have done that.  My Indian self decided to opt for Civil Disobedience instead – let’s just not bring up the topic again, I thought, until the house got really really dirty, and then maybe we would buy a cheap-ass vacuum cleaner and be done with it.

But I read some more of the reviews. And the world re-aligned itself in my head, slowly.

It helped that on Thursday, ‘Drea pinged again. “20% discount coupon at Best Buy”, she said. Say the word ‘discount’ to an Indian guy, and things become much, much clearer. “Fine”, I said. “Let’s do it.” On Friday, we realized that there was an even better deal to be had at Costco. All self-doubt vanished. I actually began to look forward to Saturday, just so that we could buy the damn thing. And we did. And came back home and finally took down the Christmas tree, and unleashed the new Dyson DC25 in my room. My heart sang along with the vroom of the motor, and I moonwalked as dust rattled into the canister, swooshing in from awkward recesses and stubborn little corners. And it even worked on wooden floors! ‘Drea and I took turns cleaning the living room, where pine needles and cat fur jostled against each other, and where, under normal circumstances, one would need herculean levels of self-control to not fling the previous vacuum cleaner against the wall. It felt…empowering. Suckadelic.

Or maybe it’s just my brain trying to calm myself down after this act of financial cold-bloodedness.

By next Wednesday, 50% of the items in the house will belong to me. That’s because 134 cubic feet of books and comics (weight: 1100 kgs) land at my doorstep. And with that, my books officially have had more adventures than me. Most of them were bought in the US, and have traveled from here to India, and now they’re back in the USA again. I occasionally freak out at the thought, because 134 cubic feet feels like a lot of space in a two-bedroom apartment, but deep, calming breaths are being taken. I will be fine. Everything will be fine. Right?

Life, Myself

Meta Post

A good friend recently mentioned that I’ve had a blog for almost ten years now. This was slightly shocking to me, because while the passing of time did register, it still feels more than a little…scary.

The blog actually turns ten end of 2012, and my, my, things have changed in nine years. Livejournal, where it all began, used to be this bunch of people just having fun. The LJ friends’ page was that generation’s Facebook status, young ‘uns, and unlike Facebook, you would find genuinely interesting content to peruse in the mornings. Actual written content, you know, not just a funny link or a professionally-written, well-articulated article. There were threaded comments, there was roaring LJ-Drama every once in a while. LJ also proved conclusively that it is possible to make – and sustain -lasting friendships online, even with strangers whose real names you did not know.

Beatzo, at that time, was this distinct personality. He was a fragment of who I was, a slightly deranged self-conscious pop-culture-humper who was trying to figure out if there were other people willing to play with him in his walled garden. He was trying to figure out how big the garden was. (Yes, I know, super-creepy talking about yourself in the third-person. But I don’t do this often, and I am talking about a persona here, so cut me slack, yeah?) For those who were not around in those Livejournal years, I used the image of Gollum as a user-picture, because that sort of fit.

I am not sure if Beatzo exists anymore, the character that he was back then and the voice he had in my head. If he does, he may be Beatzo v3.0 right now. (v2.0 was a maladjusted, angry little creature because of some people who pissed him off, and when he wrote, he really did not give a fuck.) And he’s also more of me than ever.

There has been prolonged periods of silence and of course, unrelenting quantities of self-indulgent blather. But I guess the blog has been a sort of weird daemon/shadow-creature/sounding-board for me all throughout. I still figure out what to say and what to leave unsaid. Much of what I write makes me cringe when I read it the second time, and I continue to write my posts in a frenzy of typing until I figure out it’s time to end or I get bored, and click on publish without that all-important edit pass. I am no longer up to writing wall-of-text posts, because I cannot handle them myself – a case of my writing habits adjusting to my online reading habits. My eyes just glaze over. Or I press Alt-tab. The moment a post crosses 500 words, I start telling myself that The Blather Needs To Be Contained. And I do.

But hey, it’s just a blog. Right?

And the funny thing is, I’ve gone on record telling friends that blogging is dead. It is, at least the version of what we thought of blogging 10 years ago. I miss unselfconscious writing, you know, seeing people I know just be themselves or their online personalities, playing their parts with unrestrained glee. Sure, all the memes, the clip-board videos and excerpts and photographs and the one-trick pony blogs have their place in the sun. But there is this dearth of everyday, non-schticky writing that just is. The kind of writing that reminds me of a quiet evening with a bunch of friends who would sit around talking about all the things under the sun. About the books and comics they read and the movies they saw last week, without having to go into deep critical commentary.  About their ride to the office and why it sucked, without trying to constrain themselves to a 140-character barb.

I am not sure if any of this is a complaint, or about what.

So, anyway, this is not a tenth anniversary post, because hey, this is not even the tenth anniversary. This is just me taking stock of things and trying to gear up for this artificially-induced mental reboot that the New Year brings with it. As if the passing of a calendar day can wash off the daily sediment off our lives and make different people of us. Nope. This blog will, in all likelihood, continue to be the same as it was two days ago. You, all of you who’re reading it and rolling your eyes or smiling along or have alt-tabbed before you read this, I still do not know who you are. Doesn’t matter, we’ll still have fun. Umm – actually, I will still have fun, you can join in. (That was v2.0 popping up to say hi, just so you know. 1.0 made a small appearance and forced me not to post this on January 1, because that would be too cliche. Sheesh.)