If you are aware of a state which you call “is”, or reality, or life, this implies another state called isn’t. Or illusion, or unreality, or nothingness or death. There it is. You can’t know one without the other. And so as to make life poignant, it’s always going to come to an end. That is exactly, don’t you see, what makes it lively. Liveliness is change, it is motion, and motion is going to fall out and be gone.
Everybody should do in their lifetime, sometime, two things. One is to consider death. To observe skulls and skeletons, and to wonder what it will be like to go to sleep and to never wake up, never. That is […] a very gloomy thing for contemplation. But it’s like manure. Just as manure fertilizes the plants and so on, so the contemplation of death, and the acceptance of death is very highly generative of creating life. You get wonderful things out of that.
(Quotes by Alan Watts. Song is “Hungry Ghost” by STRFKR.)
Lullatone is a band by Shawn & Yoshimi (as in, battles the pink robots!). The music is so cute, and so is the couple that makes it. They started dating in college, and after graduation they moved to Japan, Yoshimi’s home. They make concept albums that revolve around a certain theme. In their own words, “…we try many ideas based around that theme and use the best ten or so. Our concepts up to this point have included: instruments tapped and plucked to sound like musical raindrops falling; making up a melody in your head, forgetting it, and then trying to rebuild it (scattered but still super melodic;) sine tone symphonies, and, of course, pajama pop.” (The quote is from this interview.) So for fun, I created a song list for an album about kisses. The list is below. Listen to and buy their music here!
Sticky kindergartner kisses in the sand box
Kisses at picnics in sunny parks
Kisses on Ferris wheels, while your heart beats so fast
Nervous first date kisses on the front porch
Kisses stolen in the kitchen while guests and family aren’t looking
Kisses in mornings with stale breath and stubbly beards
Kisses in the quiet of freshly fallen snow
P.S. they created some crazy fun games for making music and animations here. You can play on your computer or download a phone app!
I’m boy crazy. I thought it was just because I was 16 in an all-girls high school. In college, I blamed it on the fact that 75% of the students were male. But now? Nope. I totally own it. I’m boy crazy, and I’m ok with that. I’m thinking recently that it’s more that I’m love-crazy. Boys suck, love rocks, don’t ya know?
So once I got back from my trip and settled into an apartment, I jumped into the world of online dating. My friends taught me the ways of tinder, and helped me choose some profile pics. Suddenly I’m flirting constantly, and my calendar’s full. At first it was super fun! I love meeting people, and it turned into a good way to check out all the cool bars/restaurants/coffee shops in my new neighborhood. Some of the dates were awkward (this one guy couldn’t shut up about how much of an introvert he was). Most of my dates were ok: good conversation, polite, intelligent, no deal-breakers or red flags. So when they asked for a second date, I’d say “yes”.
But you know? I wasn’t genuinely interested in any of them. What a waste of time. I don’t want an ok date; I want to love madly. Just like the song!
So yea, I’ve scaled way back on the dating*. It’s confusing. I’ve don’t even want a relationship at the moment. I don’t want to get all caught up in someone, and I don’t want to give so much of myself to someone else. So what have I been doing? I’ve been focusing on bettering myself. Per Derek Sivers**:
Raise standards. Say no to anything less than great.
Every person that doesn’t rejeuvenate me and make me feel better, say no. Blacklist them. Banned. Not allowed in, not even for a minute. No explanation needed. No compromise. No favors. Done. Gone.
More fountains, less drains.
Every thing I’m doing that isn’t good for me. Every thing I’m eating or drinking that isn’t making me more healthy. Stop. Say no.
This even means saying no to half-ass conversations that are not whole-hearted and unconflicted. People that are “fine” and I “kill time” with, but don’t actually love and actively enjoy? Nope. Not good enough.
Doing this gave me a huge feeling of self-worth. Setting the bar really high for something to take my time.
It means more empty time, but that leaves room for POSSIBILITY!
Empty time has the POTENTIAL to be filled with nourishing and awesome new actions and people, whereas filling it with half-ass things and people kills all that potential and possibility.
It’s more than just dating. I’ve been evaluating EVERYTHING and seeing what value is added to my life. My friends, my habits, my possessions, my opinions, my character, my job, and how I spend my time have ALL been under scrutiny lately. I love that I am the most important person in my life; it’s a rare and precious privilege, and I’ve been embracing that even more lately. In trying to make the most of it, I’ve edited and eliminated a lot. I’ve also been adding choice things, like a daily practice of yoga and meditation. I’ve spent more time with Eric, Sara, Emmie and Lynn – dynamic, inspiring, empathetic people that I don’t see often enough. I’m drowning myself in art. My Netflix habit has been replaced with a TED talks addiction. And I’m generally focusing on the process of things (cooking, cleaning, exercising) more than the results (food, clean home, feeling fit).
Life is fucking finite, people. Don’t waste your time. Don’t waste your resources.
Because the more I put in, the more I get out.
*I also realized that this is the longest I’ve been truly single since high school! And it’s only been 8 months! Damn! It’s weird to think about, because even though I’m still getting used to being single in some ways (I’ve never gone stag to a wedding), in other ways it feels so familiar (endless, endless questions).
Song is “Love You Madly,” by Cake.
Divya took me to MRJ’s for breakfast today, to try some different kind of dosas. Dosa is a kind of Indian bread. We shared an idly, which is a grain (not rice) with herbs and nuts in it.
Then we had the dosa (not sure what the name is). It has a lot of butter in it, and was served with a side of melted butter. Inside is a flavourful mixture of potatoes, chick peas, and other vegetables.
We stopped at Fab India for a couple of final gifts, then stopped at a flower cart on Divya’s block. I’ve admired the chains of flowers every day I passed the stand, and the music festival is the perfect occasion to wear some! In Hindu these chains of flowers are called mallige hoovu, and are often worn in the hair as a decoration.
Divya’s family took us to lunch today. After hearing that I like spicy food, they chose a restaurant called Nagarjuna, which serves Andhra style food. It’s from northern India. The food here is served on banana leaves. It’s a common custom in India, especially at weddings. We wet our leaves with water to wash it before our food was served.
They ordered chili lime chicken (on the left), and another kind of very spicy chicken (on the right).
And some chicken fried rice, that we ate with onion-soaked yogurt sauce. The rice was definitely tastier with the yogurt!
Divya’s dad ordered the meal below specifically for me! I’m not sure what it’s called, but there’s spinach dal, and a carrot dish. You mix the dal with the rice, and with chutney or other dipping sauces if you like. I’ve really enjoyed saying “yes” to tasting everything on this trip, even without knowing what it is. So freeing! So nice to say “I eat everything,” when invited to a restaurant or a home-cooked meal! What a fascinating culinary experience this trip has been! I like being vegetarian for a number of reasons, but it’s been so fun to totally break out of that comfort zone!
After lunch (thanks Divya’s parents!), we headed to WEEKENDER for day 2. I have to be at the airport at 2am tomorrow to catch a flight to the Maldives, so I packed my luggage and took it with me. I’ll head to the airport directly from the music festival. I snapped this picture on the way to the festival grounds: it’s a vineyard! There are vineyards and orchards lining the streets, so beautiful and unexpected for India!
Flower crown time! I felt like a princess, and loved the jasmine scent.
The first band we saw was Inspector Cluzo, from France. They played fun music, and interacted with the audience a lot. The crowd and I loved it!
Later in the day I saw Jon Hopkins, who I also saw at Pitchfork in Paris 10 days ago! I snuck up super close to the stage and danced danced danced!
The night ended with MuteMath. For their last song, the singer crowd-surfed on a platform, it was wildly fun!
Divya and I got up late today. We had breakfast, dressed, and headed to WEEKENDER music festival! We went with a bunch of her friends.
This is Sarish, Divya’s friend and business partner. We’ve spent a lot of time with him, and I’ve gotten to know him a bit. He’s incredibly polite, a true gentleman, and he has a fun and lively spirit. He often picks us up when we head out to meet with friends. Thanks Sarish!
WEEKENDER is near the airport, about an hour drive away. Bangalore is crowded with buildings, but out here there’s enough space for this big fest. There are five stages, and a bunch of booths selling food, drinks, and souvenirs.
The different stages loosely represented different genres of music. There was one stage for rock, another that was mainly heavy metal, another that featured some Indian music, and my favourite was the EDM (electronic dance music) stage. I realized today that I’m in a bit of an EDM phase, and I don’t mind that one bit! Today I saw a bunch of bands:
My favourite act was Peking Duck, who ended the night at the EDM stage. They sampled a large selection of music, from old school classics to modern hits. They won me over when they mashed ABC by the Jackson 5 with Sleepyhead by Passion Pit. I also really loved the reggae mixed with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by the Beatles, and oh, so much more! I’ve taken to doing a voice recording at live shows, and I enjoy replaying the low-quality recording, reliving the night.
Good morning Paris! I started the day with a stroll through Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, a cemetery near Flora’s place. Famous people like Chopin, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, and Molière, to name a few.
I took the train to Montmarte today, and visited Sacre Coeur. It’s one of the highest points on the city, and the beautiful lawn offers a view of all off Paris.
There was a man doing stunts with a soccer ball, while climbing and swinging around a light pole. Amazing! My little cousins would have loved it!
As soon as I entered the cathedral I said to myself, “c’est brillant!” Wow, how it shines! The altar features a huge mosaic depicting Jesus, with gold tiles. Pictures aren’t allowed inside, but everyone was taking pictures. I snapped just one:
I walked through the neighborhood of Montmarte, which was surprisingly crowded. There were street vendors with peanuts, souvenir shops, tourists by the boatload. But somehow there was also a used clothing store that advertised clothing sold by the kilo! I had only seen this concept once before, near Madison, Wisconsin. Weird. I tried to find the Moulin Rouge. I was probably pretty close to it, as one section of town is laden with sex shops, but I didn’t find it. Anyway, on to the Arc de Triumph! I walked down the Champs-Élysées almost all the way to the Grande Palais, and then headed back up. Doesn’t she look lovely in the twilight? I decided to go to the top.
I climbed up to the top; there are tiny spiral staircases leading you up to the top.
Once I descended, I saw there was a military service going on near the Eternal Flame. Flora later told me that the ceremony was probably to honor a French soldier that had died the previous day.
I walked down a side street, looking for something quick to eat. This crepe restaurant had a large table in the center, with five crepe hot plates, worked by one quick chef. I’ll also note that I paid €4.50 for what I thought was a carafe of free water. Whatevs.
Then: PITCHFORK! I met Flora and some friends outside the venue.
There was a SmartCar exhibit at the entry, where I fell in love with this disco ball version:
The only artist I had truly listened to before tonight was Mogwai, but I also saw (and LOVED) War on Drugs, Jon Hopkins (fave!), and James Blake. We danced most of the night and went home sweaty.
Tags100 birthday cakes Agerola and the Amalfi coast animals art & design baking big questions biking books & prose Brussels chicago cooking eating Europe-India-Maldives garden Geneva Greece happiness India komorebi life lessons love Maldives mindfulness music my home my thoughts nature NYC pain Paris people I love pictures quote quotes revelations Rome sewing soloing The History of Love travel ttmmhs unity video who am i words for everything