Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hello, World.

A bird, possibly a seagull, drifting in the air above Niagara Falls, 25th May 2009.
The appeal of freedom versus the reality of the diet.

Hello, World,

My name is Nikheil, and here begins my foray into the strange world of Blogging.

I do not know yet what I shall write, or even if I will write very much more than this introduction. Although I have been aware of the existence of blogs, and have heard both rave and enraged reviews, I just seem not to have given in to curiosity.
Until now.

Often, thoughts, ideas and opinions have sauntered into amorphous and undefined existence in my mind and been frustrated by attempts made in vain to find an escape. With a disgruntled shake of their tiny anthropomorphic fists, they sulkily vanish in a poof of forgetfulness or distraction. They are consigned to the abyss, and are seldom retrieved, dusted off and better inspected, as there are always new thoughts entering the echoing cavern that is my brain.
Perhaps I shall find a solution here. I've never been one for diaries, despite my fixation with recording and preservation, not especially those handwritten. Suffice to say I avoid seeing my own handwriting at all costs. I can either think OR write by hand, a mutually exclusive pairing that makes life difficult. Having grown up in the Age of Wars (or as we prefer to call it, the technological age) I feel far more comfortable penning my thoughts - as it were - on my laptop keyboard.

As I mentioned earlier, I was not unaware of Blogger - I just never found the inclination to find out what exactly this strangely named phenomenon was. I did not spend the last 18 years of my life living under a rock, although I first met a computer at the age of 10, so perhaps the first decade can be written off. After the turn of the milennium, I discovered the world of computers and made an ungainly entrance onto the virtual stage, signing up for and forgetting the passwords for about a dozen various mail services. I admit I was slow on the whole social networking/life-on-the-internet thing. I completely missed myspace, friendster and Hi5, only hearing the names whispered around during computer classes in high school. I had only just begun to use Instant messaging, namely MSN, but I was otherwise disconnected. I based my adolescent life on resisting almost all kinds of peer pressure, which seemed like a good idea, and so remained aloof. However -
"If you try to avoid every instance of peer pressure you will end up without any peers whatsoever, and the trick is to succumb to enough pressure that you do not drive your peers away, but not so much that you end up in a situation in which you are dead or otherwise uncomfortable. This is a difficult trick, and most people never master it, and end up dead or uncomfortable at least once during their lives."
- Lemony Snicket.
Luckily I had a singular group of understanding peers, and so I was not entirely alone. That said, it didn't stop them from applying some pressure from time to time, and eventually I decided it was safe to cave just a little, and I signed up for a Facebook. This was mid-December 2007. I had absolutely no idea what Facebook was, just that I now had one. I gave the home page a disinterested glance, excitedly added two or three friends, quickly got bored when nothing happened and so signed off and forgot about it for a month and a half. When I returned sometime in February, this time armed with knowledge, I ran down a beach and kicked off into the ocean. It's now only a year and a half since then, and my online life is now a significant portion of my real life, blossoming with wild abandon. I rely on it heavily to keep in touch with friends and family spread out across the globe. I have discovered both a love of photography and an ensuing - almost obsession (I won't bother denying it) - with uploading photos, as anyone will attest.

About two weeks ago, I read the June (I think... yeah, I'm pretty sure it was June) cover article of TIME Magazine, which discussed the phenomenon called twitter. Once again, I'd heard of it, but never really given it much thought. It seemed to me like someone had sat with an xHtml pair of scissors and trimmed the Facebook API until only statuses remained. I already had this in the package deal that is fb, and did not see the need. I also only had time for one social networking site in my life, and my Facebook life was, and still is, quite satisfactory. However, upon reading this article, (,8599,1902604,00.html) which posited that Twitter would soon replace Google as a dynamic and real-time search engine, I decided - not out of infidelity to Facebook, but out of curosity about Twitter - that I would check it out.

So I used my trusty old Gmail and roped me a Twitter account (making me a Twit-izen - cool name, right?), posted my first tweet (no, I take that back, it's weird.) about something, and then did the usual search for familiar faces. I found about one friend, and so expanded my search to include celebrities. I added them, got bored and signed out. I later signed in and experimented with the profile customisation settings - something lacking, but not missed on Facebook - which gave me about an hour of fun ( I tend to get carried away). I grew tired of this, closed the tab and returned to Facebook, sighing with relief to see the friendly and familiar #3A5998 blue, and the reassuring Lucida Grande. I have since returned to Twitter when the whim takes me there, but I seem to have missed the point, and grow tired of strangers writing nonsense to me, and companies taking advantage of current topics to market themselves with stolen topic tags. It does not hold the same magic for me as it did for Mr. Johnson, or as Facebook does for me.

I am now reminded that I may well have themed my blog after Mr. Snicket and his delightfully dark works. Oh well, perhaps another time. I am quite happy with Romanticism and Romantic poetry.

Well, look at this. I have allowed my fingers to run away from me. I think it's quite likely that no one will ever see this, or care, but at least I can say I've given it a try. I will explain later what motivated me to give Blogging a try, even in light of my recent disappointment with Twitter, but for now, I must check my facebook...


  1. You know, Camule has a blog, and so does Amanda. Just saying. There are others who I cannot remember.


  2. nikheil, you are incredible. you put my blog posts to shame. the lemony snicket quote is not only fitting, but gorgeously formatted. i, for one, cannot figure out how to italicize, never mind indent. i probably should not be posting this, for you shall inevitably make your way to my sad excuse for a blog.
    BUT i am deeply concerned, my friend. this world is not "cold" (confusing, yes, but cold, not so, my friend!)! you call yourself a romantic when you find the world only occasionally beautiful??! for one "always looking up" you have a rather pessimistic outlook on things! isn't it incredible that you have a million people who love you, and one who loves you with the lovd of a million people? (and no, i do not refer to myself ;-) isn't that amazing?!!
    okay. romantic rant over.
    :-) your seagull photo caption made me laugh.

  3. js, I have now become aware of that fact... a Whole New World, or something like that...
    Do you have a blog? I feel like that could make for rich reading...

    Avant-garde, nice name :)

    Thank you, it took me about four hours to do, first tweaking settings and when those ran out, fiddling with the coding too until it pleased my eye. It was one of those times I got carried away, way away, but it paid off.
    We shall skype soon, and I'll see if I can figure out how I got it italicised and so on...

    Right now, I feel optimistic, and brimful of ideas for posts, once I find the time. Hopefully that won't wear down and fade away. We shall see...

    The cold world was mostly a poke at the ghastly weather down here, but also admits the reality of the messed up modern world we live in. It makes being a romantic that much more important, don't you think? But okay, I see your point about an occasionally beautiful world, bad word choice... I was doing this all after 3am, after all, it still needs some refining...

    And as the old adage says, it's what's on the inside that matters applies. I've not yet had a chance to peruse yours, but it's far from sad, or an excuse of any kind. And it's not awesome ONLY 'cos it's yours...

    It took me a moment a) to work out who you were, and b) what your romantic rant was about, and then I smiled. What about this? - (although I'm sure you've heard it.) "To the world, you are one person - but to one person, you could be the world." Yours just reminded me of that.

  4. haha, i just changed my name...juliana, you may get it..."avant-garde" was too cliche. i came up with it in desperation last year, desperately needing a name and unfortunately not finding a good one. i'm sorry about the mystery of my not-naming my furor i completely forgot!! i also was inspired by your blog to a) spruce mine up (if you looked after yesterday night, you are seeing the new version) and post something...however i seem to run out of words much sooner than you do. the plague of a boring life.
    okay, so this new name, it means "small girl in a large world" but there is kind of a pun because the word for "girl" is "b-n-t", which is also how one would write my last name, just with different vowel markings, which don't show up in informal type anyhow...


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