Blogger's void, Showers, Spontaneity and Facebook

(Reflections from an ongoing journey to make the perfect to-do list)

So there is this blogger's void, appearing out of nowhere and boggling down any desire to go near our blogs and write something. As the issue becomes increasingly frequent and extended, we increasingly start our blog posts with excuses for not blogging.

The root cause is obviously a persistent lack of that creative trigger. We can try scribbling down a note to make a blog post, in our to-do list. And we can comfortably end up writing another post opening up with the excuses. This is a fundamental error in our planning. What we actually need to note down in the to-do list is just some free time. Yes, exactly without a purpose. Just a chunk of sloppy time 'scheduled' in your busy day.

* * *

We can safely assume that majority of the people here are good at taking quick showers. This is an art that I haven't got a clue about.
I am always criticized for taking so much time for a shower. If I am to take a so called quick shower, I will have to concentrate all my will power and energy and brain signals solely on the act of taking a shower. And that sounds like a lot of effort, doesn't it?

In almost all the cases, I can only remember upto a few seconds after opening the shower. Then I get carried away in thoughts. When consciousness is regained, I wouldn't have the slightest hint as to how much time has passed by. In many cases, I can't remember whether I have touched the soap yet, and will have to do everything all over again. Worse, sometimes I can't remember how many times I have been repeating.

It is a well recognized fact that ideas can happen a lot under the shower. The first ever comic published on et On Fire is titled Thinking Under the Shower. There was this idea, born under a cold shower, and drawing a comic was the only way I found to communicate this idea. Thanks to the shower, now the comic is running well and fine with lot more entries.

* * *

Resuming the first paragraph: You can as well take more showers, and you might actually get over the blogger's void. Same goes with an afternoon nap. Same with a few minutes that you will allocate in your day, labelled with no specific task.
Even though a to-do list is a symbol of great planning, something which makes each minute of the day constructive, a perfect to-do list should contain a certain amount of scheduled 'sloppiness', so to speak. Especially in the modern world - overwhelmed with information overload, always projecting more and more things to learn at us - where wasting a few hours doing nothing can appear like a big loss for people who dream big.

The last sentence brings us to a paradox when we come to the next topic, which is - yes, none other than - facebook.
Latest observations by researchers about the eternal question of "Why we're unable to sign out of facebook (even though the logout link is right there)?" while not failing to check their own status updates every minute, is that it is one of the easiest way available today to feel important. And who wouldn't like to feel important? Even better if that's happening subconsciously, eh?

There is a boost in our inner self when we see a Like for our most unexpected status, or a positive comment on a photo  we accidentally uploaded. This effortless way of feeling 'Liked' is what glues our mind on to the Wall, writes the scientist on his facebook page. This comes in a number of derived phenomena.
See Miss.K's post on FOMO. (And meet Nim, one who is apparently feeling so content with her real life that she's NOT on facebook) :)

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Albert Einstein

What we miss in our run to fill every minute gobbling up as much of information, effortfully finishing up the movies and books known to be the best, or virtually 'feeling important', is our spontaneity. It is what some people partially get a glimpse of in their showers. In the present world, when we're eager to make sure any minute is not wasted, we really got to write down empty blocks of time in our to-do list. Let yourself be clueless at that time, let yourself sit and look out of the window, but don't try to think of pending works to fill that time with.

Even the most entertaining activity, when done regularly, gets slowly hardwired into our mind. This kind of getting used to is a block on creativity. Don't be blindly strict about following your schedule every single day. When a great idea appears to be boiling up inside, give it a chance and some time. You can gain information at will, we have all the technology for that. But when shall it get processed to something entirely original, is spontaneous. And this probably wouldn't happen so much if we're trying to push more and more spontaneity out of the way.

It is great if you're making good use of your time, but learn to love the occasional sloppiness that comes your way. If it is not happening,  have the heart to create it once in a while. :)

To Build a Planning Board

Although it does rhyme with the name of a good ol' English classic, the post title intend - for a change - to literally describe what this post is all about: to create a planning board from scratch and stick it up on the wall of your precious little room.

The motivation? Well, people make to-do lists for organization, order and other such seemingly achievable qualities. What I found out is, my to-do lists - the daily ones, those for short term works, and those for long term projects - wander across my room, hide under the pile of books, or completely disappear into thin air, thus creating quite a chaos.

Here I will take you through the simple steps to creating a planning board for your own room. That too, quite graphically with some wonderful *ahm* snaps from my mobile cam and tons of thanks to the creators of GIMP.

Raw materials: Thermocol sheet, Black chart paper
Tools: Craft knife, Scissors, Ruler, Gum, Double-sided tape
Usage materials: Drawing pins, Paper & Pen :)

Slice up the thermocol sheet to the required dimensions with the craft knife. Now slice up the black chart to a slightly larger size by leaving some border on each side. Glue the chart on the thermocol.

Congratulations, the major part is done!

Now we can get the double sided tape and drawing pins near to the board so that they'll get used to each other.

For a peaceful life together for the rest of the days

Good things come to those who wait? May be.
Anyhow, we gotta give the glue some time to settle, and some weight would be greatly appreciated by the glue molecules trying to bring together the chart and the thermocol. Here I've found some use to all my engineering text books even after the course is so bleeding over.

Learning never stops!

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a much cooler book to read than any of the stuff above, but the text books are much cooler when it comes to giving a dead weight on the gluing process.

It is also funny

At last, we're ready to cut up some small pieces of the double-sided tape and fix it on proper positions on the board.

And then, stick it up! You're done!!!!111ONE :)
I placed it between my bed and table, so that I can add and manage the to-do lists on it easily.

The planning board can find a number of uses if you're creative enough, and also depending upon your work. You can even use different coloured charts instead of the black chart, and decorate it with whatsoever.

Apparently I can strike that off now

Tip: Use different drawing pins to categorize and prioritize your plans

Signing off, yours truly. Let me know your suggestions and tips and impressions on the planning board :)

Where spongecakes and salads are made

At the beginning of this partly humid, partly warm month of June, I happened to watch the movie Julie & Julia. It is exactly at this point I decided I had to do something about my desire to be able to cook a bunch of delicious and vivid recipes.

Cooking for me goes in parallel with the idea of travelling around the world. In both the cases, we're looking for change, for variety. The boundaries of the place I live, and the variety of its recipes, both  continue to exist as constants. And for some people, there is always a saturation point for how much they can live with constants.

Although travelling will have to wait a bit more, I found no more excuses not to start cooking. That is, to bring into action that motivation I had even as I was watching Ratatouille (besides the animation). That is also, to expand my knowledge of the kitchen beyond Tea, Coffee, and Maggi ;)

Having a very clear idea of my intentions and whims very well by this age, I shall not venture anything even close to the Julie/Julia project.
Anyhow, it's quite a pleasant thing to tell y'all that the first recipe was a success! :)

Basically, I started from this:

Bone-less fish in pepper and salt, egg, flour, bread-powder, what-not

And made this:


Based on some magazine recipe, undergone a number of customizations, that's my very own Coated fried fish. Enduit de poisson frit.

Since we don't have any pet animals at home currently, everything was tested and verified on human beings :P
And what do you know, it was even delicious to some extent! :)

Bon Appetit