Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Eyes on You ...

It's time again for another apology for yet another long silence. The last three weeks have been busy: five midterms, one seminar presentation, and a lab exam. My blog always takes a back seat when life gets busy. I really wanted to blog the other day but I didn't get the time, and that small burst of inspiration was lost. Anyway ...

What I wanted to share today was a picture of all of you, my good readers. Well, not quite ... but sort of. Some time last semester, I set up an account with a branch of Google called Google Analytics. Once I had the html code put in all the right places (much easier said than done), Analytics allowed me to track my blog. I can see where you're reading it from, what pages you look at, which site directed you to it or whether you are one of those exceptionally loyal folks and you know the web address off by heart. I can tell what internet browser you used (and I'm pleased to see that the Firefox users are finally out-numbering the Internet Explorer users), what your internet speed was, what resolution you have, and many more interesting details about you. I can even see what network you're on. It's pretty creepy, really. (I hope this isn't putting you off)

What I think is amusing about all of this is that while my blog allows some of my more engaged readers to keep track of me and see what I'm up to, I can also keep track of all of you. It allowed me to make note (some what indignantly) that my parents had not read my blog in months and only once I pointed out to them that I could see that they weren't reading my blog did they actually start reading it again. I asked Nathan to read my blog from Hawaii and he did and I got two little dots show up on my map for the two places in Hawaii he read it from. I can see others of my friends that I can identify for certain: Sam, a shout-out to you in Dunedin (New Zealand). And, there are lots of other reader that I've taken particular notice of. I get a lot of hits from the University of Sussex in Brighton and Manama, Bahrain.

I have readers on every continent, from 31 countries, in 159 cities. I'd say that that's pretty cool. I have friends who tell me that I'm obsessive about checking my Analytics page and seeing what's going on, but I think it's pretty neat. Here I am in the middle of nowhere in Sackville New Brunswick, and there are people in Cambodia, Iceland, Chile, Finland, Egypt, Iraq ... that are reading about me.

And all of that is to say, thanks. I get my measly $8.25 an hour for writing this blog and that's fine, but it's taken on a whole new life now that I can see who sees me. Believe it or not, but this blog is a fairly big part of my life. Even if it's only that I think about it with a twinge of guilt every now and then when I realize that I haven't posted in a long time, or whether it's because I spend a week thinking about the next post I'm going to write and planning out the things I'm going to say and how to say them just right. Maybe my blog has drawn students to Mt A (which is really the reason why they pay me to write it at all). Who knows. All I know is that there's someone in Manama, Bahrain who reads it often, that Sam checks on me all the time waiting for that post I promised I'd write about him, that Nathan has taken up the task of getting me hits from far-away places ... and that I get a kick out of watching it all unfold.

So here's the famous picture:

Sorry to all those of you in the mess of dots on the east coast of Canada/USA. I have a lot of eastern seaboard readers, not sure why. That gigantic dot over there is Sackville. Hawaii doesn't show up on this screen, sadly (sorry Nathan). But most of the rest of you can probably spot yourselves.

Don't stop reading. I promise I won't creep on you beyond where your dot shows up on this map. I'm not really interested in what browser you're using, or whether you have Java support or not.

Till later, then ...

Saturday, 7 February 2009


You've caught me on a strange day. It's still winter outside and my heart is aching for summer. I just spent way too long thinking of 25 things to say about myself because I caved to stupid Facebook peer pressure. I resent Facebook. Anyway, this list made me think about myself and what I feel about things and where my life is going. That's never a good train to hop on while listening to the 'mellow' tag on with the impending horror of trying to study for a Comparative Chordate Anatomy midterm later today. I get pensive in a sad kind of way when I listen to mellow music and think mellowing thoughts. I think I'm an emo kid pretending to be a nerdy science kid pretending to be a dreamer. For now I seem to be stuck in a place of not knowing - not knowing what I think, what I want, what I want to do with myself. It's weird. I was always the kid that was so sure, so with it, so in control. So much for that.

I had my first midterm on Thursday in Ecological Geneics. I also had a seminar presentation for my Cultural Geography class. It was a little bit stressful. This week brings two more midterms - Comparative Chordate Anatomy and Evolution. And the week after I have my Chordate lab exam (which is going to be about a million times worse than the midterm), my Animal Physiology midterm, and my Geo midterm. Fun, fun. I get to study non-stop for the next two weeks! Sweet! And then spring break. Whee ...

So, um, there was this video that I wanted to share. Nathan showed it to me and the first time I watched it, it kind of settled over my whole day like a weight. Not really a bad weight ... but a weight none the less. How often do we think about the lengths that we could go to to see our dreams come true? Here's a story about the dreams of a Kiwi bird - that an adorable, flightless , awkward creature.

It's food for thought, I think.

I thought maybe I'd also share some of the things I said about myself in that silly Facebook note.

I'm from India. I haven't been home in a year and a half. I miss my parents and my puppy. She really isn't even a puppy any more ... she was when I left. Maybe that's testament to the fact that I've been away too long.

I'm a twin. I'm four minutes older than my brother, Arjun.

I'm obsessive compulsive. I organize crayons and coloured pens in order of the colours of the rainbow. ROYGBIV.

I have a tatoo on my foot. It took me four months of thinking and planning before I got it. I love it.

8. I really care about recycling, and not wasting water, and turning off lights when I leave the room. It makes me sad that not everyone cares as much as I do.

I'm a little bit in love with Roger Federer.

If I could be an animal, I would be a cat.

I fucking love science. I love how it makes my eyes widen, my jaw drop, and makes me think "holy shit ..."

I want to be a veterinary surgeon. I always have.

Paul Simon and Pink Floyd are part of what made me who I am.

My favourite book is Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

Summer is my favourite time of year. I can't wait for the blue skies, greenery and warmth.

I have a plant called Henry. I adore him.

I love music and books.

I love to cook.

Some day I want to live by the ocean.

And I think that's all for today. I still have homework to do before I can start studying for this midterm. I'll try and post again this weekend. Ciao.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Jason Mraz - I'm Yours

I looked through a ton of videos of this song on Youtube and this is the best one because he looks really cute in that hat and the guy he's singing with is particularly good in this version. The video really long because he chats with the crowd a lot after the song is over so listen to the song and then you can stop it. It's a lovely song. I guess that's sort of how I feel today: mellow and a little sad.

Anyway. Another week gone by, another weekend gone with too little work done and too much time wasted. Today I'm recovering from having drunk maybe a little too much last night ... but I don't mean that in terms of a hangover. I'm not hungover. It just seems to me that a night of drinking puts a spanner in the works. No matter whether you're feeling hungover the next day or not, it's very hard to get anything done. There's this ... pall of disinterest and slothfulness which falls on everything and makes even the smallest task seem daunting. Not daunting really. That's not the word I'm looking for. It makes things seem not worth the effort and it's just easier to sit around and waste time. That's why my room is a complete mess right now. The bed covers are all pulled out and crumpled, there are clothes and change that fell out of my pocket all over the floor. I have unwashed dishes in the kitchen and muck on my floor that needs mopping. And I just don't want to deal with it. I spent all afternoon outside my room because I can't bear to be in there when it's such a mess, but I just don't have the energy or the motivation to clean. Given that kind of feeling, imagine how horrible the thought of studyng seems. It's totally out of the question. If my room wasn't such a mess, and if I didn't actually have to study today, maybe I wouldn't feel so shitty. But for right now, I'm thinking that this whole alcohol thing is a pretty stupid idea. I was talking to Nathan about it today and one of the most fun nights we've had in the year and a half that we've been at Mount A was right at the end of the winter semester last year. Nathan, Noah, Rhiana, and I went out. I think we'd had a few drinks, but the aim of the night wasn't to drink and get drunk. We went to Mel's and ate junk food. There's a great video from that night on Facebook. It's of Noah stuffing his face with onion rings and looking like a total pig. The whole night was us making snarky comments to each other back and forth with everyone getting a turn to be the butt of the jokes. There was lots and lots of laughing. We ended up at the pub and Rhiana was dancing (there's a video of that on Facebook, too) and being ridiculous ... and it was just a really, really fun night. But none of us were very drunk. We were just hanging out and enjoying each other's company, and it was awesome. There's not too much of that any more. I guess it's not 'cool' to have a quiet drink at home with your friends and goof off all night. There has to be a party and loud music and unhealthy volumes of alcohol consumed. I think I'm bored of it. It certainly doesn't help that my room is a mess and that I have a ton of work I should have done and should be doing right now ... but even still. It's getting a little boring.

This weekend was the final for the Australian Open. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal made it to the final again. It was expected and anything else would have been a disappointment. Federer is my hero. I worship him a little bit. He's not the world Number One any more, but he's Number Two and Nadal is Number One, which makes it ok. Anyway. I missed the final. The fact that it was in Australia makes the time difference incredibly awkward and the matches were never on at a reasonable hour here. My mum watched it for me and sent me an email after the second set, and then I got updates from her after the third, fourth and fifth sets, too. Given the kind of day that I've had, her emails made me miss home for the first time in a while, and I'll admit it, I got a little teary. Watching tennis with my mum is one of my favourite things to do. Ah well. I'll be home in the summer for Wimbledon - the greatest of the grand slams.

Wow. It's almost 8:30. I've been at this for more than an hour. At some point it'll be unreasonable for me to spend any more time in the lab and I'll have to go home and tackle the mess in my room and get some work done.

It's crazy how miserable I've been all day. Just because of a few too many drinks last night. Also, I was watching House this afternoon with Nathan, Cate, Vic and Sebastian, and in the episode this guy who's a paraplegic dies. And then his aid dog that he has also dies because it accidentally eats the medication that was supposed to be given to the guy. It was a beautiful dog and yea ... it made me really sad. On any other day it would have been sad but it wouldn't have bothered me. But I was already feeling pretty shitty so it just added to it. Oh well. C'est la vie. We get good days and bad days.

Ok. Well. That's all for now. I'll check in again later this week. There's a video I want to share so I'll make a post out of it.

Until then ... enjoy the week. Happy February.