Stellar Chariot

By Arun Neelakandan

Reading You Like a Book

My friends chuckled in incredulous surprise. I was looking intently at it. But it wasn’t because I wanted it to turn green, but simply because I was slow to process what was said and at that particular moment, I found the object — a bottle of clear spring water — mesmerising. My eyes lingered on it beyond what was to be considered normal, as the gears sluggishly clicked into action about its unambiguous limpidity. This is why they laughed.

Before I could explain myself that I seriously did not wish or believe that a higher being was going to turn the liquid green, they had decided that this is exactly what I had been thinking. And it stuck. I was now labelled earnest and religious.

Left Turn Only

road rage

When driving to work, I park my car in a designated car park building. It’s a multi-storey building, with a cork-screw ramp to take you between levels. As you exit the ramp going up, only left turns are legal. However, it is possible to turn right, and thus take a shortcut to the next ramp which takes you to the next level, though this is illegal.

Site Update

Sorry about the lack of posts recently. I have an excuse!

My site is powered by some blogging software called Octopress. After I updated some software that Octopress depends on, things broke and therefore, that has put me off blogging for many months.

I’ve now reinstalled Octopress, and changed my theme — because I had to, because the old theme didn’t work with the new version of Octopress as well as I would’ve liked.

This current theme is the Readify theme, which I’ve just tweaked with the ‘Stellar Chariot’ colours. I would like to create my own theme again, but I just don’t have the time. I figured doing something is better than nothing.

An Opinion on Opinions

It seems that every man, woman and canine has an opinion nowadays. Often, we’re pressured to have them, despite not grokking the topic at hand. Not opining is a matter of unworthiness. What do you mean you don’t have an opinion? Everyone’s got one!

I say, how can you have one — especially so easily? Even if you do, what makes your opinion so valuable?

We swim in a sewer of unverified factoids, and I for one, find it difficult and oftentimes exhausting to see through through the muck. In order to formulate an opinion that is reasonable, I must filter and investigate this effluent — and it’s a stinky job, I tell you.

Is this just the Dunning-Krueger effect at play?

Lemon Prank

Last year, my friends and I filmed a little stunt/prank outside Town Hall, Sydney. Check it out:

‘Saturnic’ by Rotaris

Here’s a recent tune I made.

An ominous soundscape experiment. Tinged with pulsing industrial noises with an other-wordly vibe.

On Friendship and Shizz

I had a crappy day yesterday. I came home to find that I’ve been fined $405 dollars for running through a red light a couple weeks ago and given 3 demerit points (for those of you unfamililar with demerit points, it’s akin to a ‘strike’ against your name — it’s a penalty points scheme). What stings is that I didn’t do it on purpose. I ran the red because I was wholly oblivious to it, driving home late at night, vision distorted behind a aqueous lens of tears. I ran the red because I was emotional and teary at the time.

I wanted to talk to someone about it, but didn’t know who. At times when I’m emotional and irrational (they naturally go hand-in-hand), it feels like I have a great many acquaintances, but not many friends I can turn to. The people you can just call up randomly, without a particular agenda, for no other purpose but just to chat about something tangible.

I do have a few friends I could’ve turned to, but there is this sweeping sense of bother, and pride, that butts in and prevents me from doing so. To talk about shit that’s bothering me. Why is it that I’m happy to share about mundane, seemingly insignificant rubbish on Twitter etc but not something that is all-too-important and meaningful? But maybe this is it. Maybe I just answered my own question.

My family know about the driving offence, but I didn’t really talk to them about the true nature of it all. Shit bit silly y’all.

I think about the ‘friends’ I’ve had over my life. I can’t help but think about how many were and are simply friends of convenience. Calling upon help when they needed assistance (“can you help me out with this assignment dude?”), but then not engaging on any other level or time. Then I wonder whether I’m the same kind of person — taking advantage of people when needed and then forgetting them later. Yes, I can recall some instances when I’ve done this myself — but it feels as though I haven’t been as bad as the others.

Anyway, this is just rambling. I almost didn’t publish this post. But you know what? I’ve decided that I should be authentic and honest.

Author’s Note

This post was originally written on 28th August, 2013 at approximately 8:34pm.

Good Enough

I have an issue. I get stuck when working on personal projects because I think my work isn’t good enough. I try desperately to overcome this molehill but seldom do I succeed.

This very website drew its first breath years later than it should’ve – plainly because whatever design, whatever domain name I conceived, was simply not good enough. I must’ve gone through hundreds of domain name ideas and several design mockups, hundreds of thumbnail sketches until I finally decided to set aside my perfectionist tendencies and just fucking do it. In fact, when this website was launched, I picked an existing website design/theme and went with it. Yes, I know it’s not great even now, but it’s better than nothing. You know what else? I knew well during my dilly-dallying that the content mattered more than a shiny, bespoke design that virtually no one is going to bestow much attention to – yet I still delayed things, paralysed through overanalysis and outwardly ridiculous thresholds for quality.

Notably though, I’ll swallow the bittersweet pill of imperfection if there’s a deadline – but only if the deadline is set by a somewhat impersonal entity such an acquaintance, employer or university/school. Then not only do I get shit done and on time, but with a high calibre of output (or so I’m often told). What upsets me is my incongruence in applying this deadline strategy: If I’m doing work for a close friend or family member, then I’m often afflicted by the disease of oh, it’s okay if I can stretch the deadline get a better result or they’ll forgive me even if I take a long time and actually finish up procrastinating. Mo’ time, mo’ problems y’all.

So what prompted me to write this blog post? I was trying to compose a rap song and got stuck after a few bars (lines) and I couldn’t go past this sticking point. I wrote many other lines independently, but couldn’t stitch the other parts with the part I was flummoxed with. Nothing sounded right or good enough. After what felt like an age (I swear I felt my beard grow a few millimetres), I tapped out, mentally exhausted and frustrated about why I couldn’t break through.

Why am I writing this blog post? Because I haven’t written anything in a while.

P.S. This is all despite me having steadily shed my perfectionist inclinations since the mid-noughties.

P.P.S: I actually wrote this post on 28th December 2013 at approximately 6:15pm. I’m only publishing it now (7th May 2014) after months of neglect. Oh, the irony!