What Is The Most Productive Thing I Can Do When I Am Bored?

TIME

Answer by Visakan Veerasamy, an employee of ReferalCandy and writer for Poached Magazine, for Quora.

I’ve noticed that everything that’s been stated involves doing something or trying something or focusing on something.

I propose elimination. See how much you can cut away from your life. Via negativa.

Eliminate needless clutter from your desk.

Eliminate needless noisemakers from your social media. (Eliminate needless social media channels altogether.)

Eliminate needless apps from your phone.

Eliminate needless blogs from your RSS feed.

Eliminate needless books from your shelves.

I think of this as an ‘Odyssean’ activity.

Odysseus guarded himself against temptation by the Sirens by getting his men to tie him to the mast of his ship.

Our willpower is limited.

In moments of clarity (or boredom, when we have enough energy to do simple tasks but not major ones), it helps if we tie ourselves to our masts by eliminating…

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Deadmau5 Coming Out Strong With Single “Seeya”

Next month is an exciting one for all Deadmau5 fans ’cause they’ll be releasing a new album entitled while(1<2). The two-part album consists of 25 tracks — enough Deadmau5 to last a pretty decent dance party. Since announcing the release of their fourth album, they’ve been teasing us with a couple of awesome singles, such as Avaritia. But just this week, another one of their explosive tracks, Seeya, got out. The song features the vocal styles of Colleen D’Agostino, frontwoman of San Diego-based band, The Material. In all honesty, the six-minute song makes me want to perform faux ninja/spy moves in the shower. It’s infectious, believe me.

Yo Ho (A Writer’s Life For Me)

It’s amazing how everything falls into place. Two weeks ago I blogged about missing a writers’ conference at Yale University but just last Tuesday, I got my US visa approved. Booked my plane ticket. Paid my conference registration fee. Sent in some required manuscripts. Now, BOOM!

I’m flying off to New York on the 3rd of June, then later traveling to Connecticut for the conference, which runs from 7-22. Hold the phone and the job-hunts for about a month more because for two weeks, I’ll be in New Haven, living a writer’s life. It might only be for a few weeks but I’ll take whatever opportunity I can get. I’m taking up non-fiction under the tutelage of writers Luis Francia and Richard Selzer. In the second half of the conference, I’ll be tackling life stories with a workshop group headed by Lisa Page.

My dad took the liberty of listing a few notable Yale graduates, such as Bill and Hillary Clinton but I’ve discovered an article in the Business Insider listing 30 of the university’s most famous graduates, which includes Samuel Morse, Anderson Cooper, and even Meryl Streep.

In Case of Emergency, Just Read

Every event that follows a graduation at any level is a blur. I just marched down one of the most important aisles I will ever have to walk down, and no I did not get married nor go to the grocery store. I’m talking about graduating college almost two months ago. What ensues is the perpetual questioning of what your plans are now that you’re an “adult”. This is where the fear comes in. What if you’re not ready to handle the reality of paying taxes (honestly, how do you go about these buggers?!), job-hunting, and leaving the ol’ family behind for good? I know graduation has caught me by surprise.

Here are a few things to remember:

  1. Take your time! Once you get employed, there’s no turning back. It’ll be bye-bye, vacations ‘til God knows how long. Allot time for travel. Cash in your parents’ graduation gift and travel the world for a month or two. I know I would’ve missed an awesome Japan trip if I sought employment right away. Also, don’t forget to chill with friends and family before you get down to dirty business.
  1. Think, think, think! Settle what you really want to do for the rest of your life before you send out that resumé. After all, you don’t want to get stuck doing something you don’t love. Avoid getting pressured by those Facebook statuses about your friends’ first days at work; it’s not as fun as it looks. Anyway, it’s better to be prepared for the war, than to be firing bullets blindly.
  1. Work doesn’t always come after graduation. Consider pursuing a master’s degree or go to that awesome conference abroad. The more experiences you garner, the better rounded you’ll be. In the end, you’ll come out the winner with your polished resumé and your new lease on life.
  1. Just breathe. Relax, you’ll get settled sooner or later. It might take time and the habitual, “What am I doing with my life?” but you’ll get there.  Everyone is just as scared as you are when it comes to making big life decisions.

I am speaking from experience when I say, sit back and enjoy the ride! It might be a bumpy one, but hey, c’est la vie.

Throwing Tantrums Doesn’t Get You to Yale

Yesterday, I asked for something amazing to happen, and true enough, it did! I was accepted into Yale University’s Summer Writers’ Conference. I applied a week before, never even dreaming I’d get in, but it seems to pay off when you give something a try. I prayed for whatever is meant to be and I thought that this it. I got the acceptance letter and everything! But lo, I hadn’t had a US visa in years. I filled out the forms and everything but when I checked the embassy website, it said that the first available interview date was on June 16, when I had to be there June 5!

I cried like a dying wildebeest, just as any other sane person would once they’ve lost that sort of opportunity (never in my years have I ever imagined my setting foot in YALE!!!). I am still bent on getting that visa and doing whatever it takes to go to this conference. If it doesn’t happen, I’m sure another equally great opportunity will come again, right?

Wes Anderson’s Magical World in Films

(Photo from Nicohitoride, DeviantArt)

In light of Wes Anderson’s 45th birthday and the relatively new release of his latest project, The Grand Budapest Hotel, I’ve developed a sudden infatuation with his feature-length and short films. I decided to go on a Wes Anderson binge-watching spree. Among the eight films he’s directed, I watched four of them in less than a week. Of course, I had to re-watch all-time iconic favorite, The Royal Tenenbaums, which had an intriguing plot: an estranged family of washed up children geniuses come home after 17 years when they find out their habitually absent father is dying of stomach cancer. Little did the Tenenbaum children know that their father, Royal, was faking the illness to win his wife and family back. Oh, Royal was broke, too. The complicated plot reflects intricate family ties present in the modern world. Anderson’s second film, Rushmore, seemed one-dimensional to me. Its plot was similar to the complex one of The Royal Tenenbaums but the direction was not as good yet.

The Darjeeling Limited, which featured actors Anderson so fondly works with (Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody, Anjelica Huston, and the ubiquitous Bill Murray as an extra), was set in India, as given away by the title’s Darjeeling tea produced there. Although it received pejorative criticism and garnered not even half of its production cost, I found the film to be quite distinct. The geographic setting provided the audience with an informative adventure around India, by means of a train, the Darjeeling Limited. Three estranged (makes me wonder about Anderson’s fascination with alienated families) brothers come together in a “spiritual” trip across India, which culminates in a reunion with their mother. The Whitmans experience several misadventures, leading them to getting kicked out of the train, because of their dysfunctional relationship. At the departure of their mother in the end, they learn to appreciate each other and continue on their journey together.

I would have to say 2012’s Moonrise Kingdom is a favorite among the lot. The vivid colors and straight-cut video editing gave the film an odd characteristic that captured the attention of viewers. The editing was almost satirical. The film’s two protagonists, 12-year olds Sam and Suzy, were as peculiar and eccentric as the film itself. The introverted pair of lovers immaturely decides to elope to escape Sam’s lonely situation as a foster child dumped in Camp Ivanhoe for Khaki Scouts and Suzy’s withdrawn life at home with three brothers and parents that deem her a problem child. They go off to the wilderness, surviving with Sam’s scouting skills, in hopes of finding their utopia.

I found the characters well developed and the film itself clothed with symbolism. Our misunderstood heroes may be young and naïve, but their audacity to elope, marry, and just be together, proves such innocence and resolve to be greater than the more dull and hopeless lives of the adults around them. The big storm at the end is a fantastic representation of the climax of the story, where all of the characters gather and manage to get trapped at Camp Lebanon in their attempts to find the two children. The duo was prepared to jump from a tower and possibly die together before a proposition favorable to their positions came along. A happy ending ensues when Sam is adopted and gets to see Suzy often. It’s everything you have imagined your first love to be like, but much, much more bold. Although I missed the Grand Budapest Hotel at cinemas, the trailer and cast of characters look promising enough and are sure to hit it off the park with Wes Anderson at the helm.

You Who Never A…

You Who Never Arrived
Rainer Marie Rilke

You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start,
I don’t even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of
the next moment. All the immense
images in me — the far-off, deeply-felt
landscape, cities, towers, and bridges, and
unsuspected turns in the path,
and those powerful lands that were once
pulsing with the life of the gods–
all rise within me to mean
you, who forever elude me.

You, Beloved, who are all
the gardens I have ever gazed at,
longing. An open window
in a country house– , and you almost
stepped out, pensive, to meet me.
Streets that I chanced upon,–
you had just walked down them and vanished.
And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors
were still dizzy with your presence and,
startled, gave back my too-sudden image.
Who knows? Perhaps the same
bird echoed through both of us
yesterday, separate, in the evening…

I just finished watching the 1994 film, Only You. In the film starring a young Robert Downey Jr. and a wide-eyed Marisa Tomei, the two shared a moment on the streets of Rome, reciting the lines to this poem by Czech writer Rainier Maria Rilke. Afterwards, I had to look it up. It talks about this “Beloved” (note the capital letter at the beginning, suggesting it is a proper noun) that the first person always misses by a second, and was “lost from the start”. The beauty and tragedy in a fleeting moment is the main theme here. Overlooking the romantic aspect, the endless transitory phases and missed opportunities in this poem, are constantly reflected in life. Perhaps life is the “Beloved”, always one step ahead of us, waiting for us to follow but never meeting us at where we want it to be.

On a side note, I’ve decided to dedicate Tuesdays to sharing art in the form of music, poetry, illustrations, or other forms, on my blog.