Today turned out to be one of the days where you are awake but your mind is groggy and your self asleep. Despite a handful of espressos, I couldn’t much do anything — not reading, writing or editing my photos. Instead just stared ahead, unable to focus.

Just after lunch with a friend, I went to the Leica store to get the sensor of my Monochrome cleaned — man it was dirty. While walking back, I was thinking about what what could Jack do for Twitter? I can’t think straight, but thankfully Dave has some ideas. 
But as the day ends, I forced myself to get out of the bed, go meet friends for a dinner and figure out what I am going to do next! I am thinking about finishing editing some photos and then going to sleep early! 
December 30, 2016. San Francisco! 

9 Years Later… 

First George Michael and now Carrie Fisher… two amazing individuals were taken from us this holiday season. They both fell victim to heart attacks. Some say that there is a 4.2 percent higher chance of people having a heart attack during the holidays, though I wonder if it really is the case. The amount of stress and poor diet we live with and changing work environments means that we are likely prone for more such metabolism disorders. 

I can’t help but count my blessings that I survived my own heart attack, nine years ago. I had lived a very unhealthy and dangerous life. I got lucky, for I got to the hospital in time. And while I have not been able to keep all the weight off, I have not smoked since. I have avoided red meat and I am about 75 percent vegetarian- aka three out of four meals don’t have animal protein. Most importantly, I have learned to sleep a little more, let go of things and ask for help when I need it. That one event put me on the right track, and at age 50, what I do know is that I have had an extra nine years of life. 

I am excited about the future, especially for the new drugs that will help prevent all the heart attacks! Like this one

December 27, 2016. San Francisco. 

My favorite 10 blog posts of the year

img_7467In over 17 years of blogging, I would say, 2016 was the year of least production. I guess, I wanted to write longer pieces and as a result was able to focus on a few things. Here are some of my favorite posts of the year. In case you missed these, do give them a read. I would greatly appreciate it. 

The Method to Neatness

Two years ago, a friend gave me a copy of Marie Kondo’s best selling book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and after reading it over the weekend, I realized I’ve been doing it all wrong. So this holiday season instead of accumulating new things in my wardrobe, I decide to eliminate as much as I could. I was relatively clinical about it, but and the years of consumption had made the problem a bit difficult to handle. Every so often, I would eliminate a few things but it wasn’t a very efficient way to lighten up on the things I owned.

Two relevant thoughts about media

I have been mourning the death of George Michael, whose music was quintessential part of my early years and is associated with many happy memories. His death at age 53 (of a heart attack) is a rude reminder of the very short time we have on the planet. I have been listening to some of his music, and reading about him in various publications. Tina Roth Eisenberg, who happens to be as much a fan of his as me, blogged something today from The New York Times interview with the late pop-icon that was published back in 1990:

 “It’s my way of trying to figure out why it’s so hard for people to be good to each other. I believe the problem is conditional as opposed to being something inherent in mankind. The media has affected everybody’s consciousness much more than most people will admit. Because of the media, the way the world is perceived is as a place where resources and time are running out. We’re taught that you have to grab what you can before it’s gone. It’s almost as if there isn’t time for compassion.”

As luck would have it, I came across this piece on The New Yorker:

Theodor W. Adorno believed that the greatest danger to American democracy lay in the mass-culture apparatus of film, radio, and television. Indeed, in his view, this apparatus operates in dictatorial fashion even when no dictatorship is in place: it enforces conformity, quiets dissent, mutes thought.

What I find ironic is that the a thinker in the 1950s and a pop-star in 1990 got everything so right, while media industry keeps coming up with explanations that increasingly sound hollow. Media (as an industry and as cultural barometer) has often tried to shift blame to others — cable, Internet, Facebook, Google, Fake News — but seldom takes into account its own role in accelerating the breakdown of social norms and values. It is chasing dollars and attention at any cost which has led to where we are.