Happy 7th Blogaversary To Me

Happy 7th birthday to my blog Awake & Dreaming & a happy 7th Blogaversary to me!

It’s been exactly 7 years to the exact date since I started this blog, all the way back in 2007. I had setup this blog in a day with the help of my cousin (over the phone), who guided me through the process and by night I had the thing setup. Then I installed WordPress and started blogging.

This isn’t my first blog; I first started blogging in 2002, through blogger.com,  when I lived in Calicut and continued with it when I moved back to Cochin. I was an inconsistent blogger, nothing having an internet connection at home & from 2003 till 2006, not having a computer at home. By 2005 I started getting more & more into blogging and I created a new one in blogger.com and called it Awake & Dreaming. I started spending more time in internet cafes and hence could blog a lot more consistently. But I always wanted my very own website & domain and I wanted to install wordpress.

Since then this blog has become more than just a website & blog to me. It’s the place where my feelings, thoughts, cares, hurts, wonders, loves, likes, sadness, anger & joy are recorded. Ofcourse there are still things I keep to myself as they are very personal but for the most part, this blog is an extension of who I am. You get to know me through my posts on various things. I hope I can keep on blogging for many more years but I am not sure if I will be continuing with this for long. We shall see.

Thank you for visiting Awake & Dreaming and for reading through these 7 years!

Seven deadly sins, Seven ways to win, Seven holy paths to hell, And your trip begins

Seven downward slopes, Seven bloodied hopes, Seven are your burning fires, Seven your desires…

Reasons You Should be Blogging

I’ve been reading blogs since 2001-02. I first started started blogging in a blogger account in 2002. In October of 2005 as I started blogging more and more and did not like what my first blog was becoming I created a new account and tried blogging more regularly and more about personal things. Then on January 1st 2007 I created and set up this blog website with this URL and I’ve been at it for almost 7 years. I’ve been blogging almost every day (totally missed days must be less than 30; about a month) and I usually do multiple posts on a regular basis. Why do I keep at it and why do I think you should create your own blog or if you were a blogger, that you should get back to blogging?

For one, blogging is a great way to get your creative juices working. You can work on your language skills and your writing skills. Next, it’s a great way to capture your thoughts, ideas, feelings, opinions and the events that have happened to you. Years from now when I want to check on something that I had noted back in 2008 – all I gotta do is come to my blog and search for the event with the keywords and voila – there it is! I have had to rely on my blog posts to remember certain places, events and even certain details that others have forgotten but need it now. And it always impresses people when you can help them or get some point that was discussed back then. It’s helpful and resourceful.

You get to meet a lot of people who share your opinions and/or like your blog posts and make friends with them. You can create a community of like-minded people and help promote each other’s blogs. Positives, positives galore! Get to writing!

Late-Night Infomercial Narrative For This Blog

Write a script for a late-night infomercial — where the product is your blog. How do you market yourself? What qualities do you embody that other “products” don’t? What are the benefits of reading your blog?

Ladies and gentlemen, boys & girls – let me introduce you to the one blog that does things better than most. Sit back and give me a few minutes of you time while I explain why you “NEED” to visit this blog regularly and keep coming back!

This blog values truth, freedom or speech and loves people (for the most part, there are some elements of humanity that don’t deserve any sort of love) but isn’t going to take any of your bullshit! It’s a bullshit free zone! This blog like humour in the form of words or images and usually is written (typed) with a big smile on the face of the blogger. This blog has a lot of thoughts, musing and dreams (both while asleep and awake). This blog does not contain anything that the blogger does not feel passionate about – and hence every single post is written up or posted (in case of videos or images) with a heavy dose of enthusiasm and not just because the blogger has to post!

This blog has a variety of categories – sports (football and hockey and the occasional other sports), music, movies, tv shows, some politics and local events, lots of food and drink, coffee, humour, books, other blogs, religion & atheism. Lots of photos of delicious stuff. This blogger also blogs about his loves, hates, family, friends and some of his feelings, happy or sad or angry or whatever.

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The Odd Places To Blog From

What’s the strangest place from which you’ve posted to your blog? When was the last time you were out and about, and suddenly thought, “I need to write about this!”?

I, alas, haven’t really done much blogging from outside of my apartment or at an internet cafe/the office system. There aren’t that many places where you can get free Wifi in Cochin with the exception of a handful of restaurants or cafes (I’ve been to just 3 or 4 and one is closed now). Currently I do not use internet services on my mobile phone but I used to and then it was easy to get online and blog using my BlackBerry Bold. So I’ve blogged from the coffeeshop / cafes.

Ive blogged while riding in the bus, on the train (but never on a plane) and done it while sitting on a bench at the Marine drive walkway facing the sea. I’ve actually blogged while sitting in a big work review (the review took almost 4 hours of which I was needed to present for exactly 20 minutes at the very beginning) and yes I have blogged on my phone while sitting on the toilet – at work as well as at home The urgency of the situation begged it to be done!

I Am Thankful For….You!

The internet is full of rants. Help tip the balance: today, simply be thankful for something (or someone).

Ok that’s a good thought for today. More positive thinking. Let’s see; I am thankful for the handful of regular readers I, or more correctly my blog, has managed to attract. There aren’t that many that bother to visit regularly. There are even less who bother to comment. I am grateful for having you in my life. Thank you.

I am thankful for the few who have kept coming back all these years. You are an old friend, each one of you. I miss you when you stay away and I beam with happiness when you come back. I yearn for your comments and look forward to reading the little notes you leave for me. I cherish them.

I am thankful for the newer visitors, the ones who have just started commenting. Welcome and I hope you stay with me for a long time. Let’s hope you enjoy your time visiting my little blog as much as I enjoy writing the posts.

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Why I Follow The Blogs I Follow

mindbump suggested by Inspired to Write

“What things prompt you to subscribe to a blog or become a regular reader?”

The kind of blogs that I follow have only a couple of things in common – 1) they are genuine and 2) they blog regularly about themselves and their lives or things that I have  common interest in with them. Plain and simple.

It can be a blog that’s mainly about music or hockey or football (the kind that North American calls soccer). Or it can be about my favourite science fiction tv shows. Or about movies. Or about food and cooking. With lots of amazingly delicious looking photos. Or it can a personal blog, capturing thoughts, events and ideas. Travel blogs. Anything! As long as it’s original and from the heart, I’m likely to follow it.

The personal blogs are my favourite kind. With plenty of photos from their life. I want to get to know you. So blog. From the heart.

What Does Your Blog Reveal About You?

Think of your blog as a mirror: what does it reveal? Consider your blog name, theme choice, design, bio, posts… what does every element tell you about yourself?

My blog as a mirror is very reflective of me as a person and my nature. It shows off my characteristics and things that I life. Here’s what each aspect of the blog reveals about me:

  • The title : it says it all. Awake & Dreaming is a statement about myself. When I am not doing anything that takes up most of my attention or not doing much at all, I’m usually of in my dream world. I day dream a lot and it’s quite vivid, detailed and the futuristic universe that I have created is a great place to live in. Reality is so much of a downer in comparison!
  • Theme choice :  after a long time of preferring the 3 column look, I settled on the more common 2 column theme – posts on the left hand bigger column and links & informational stuff on the smaller right hand. I like a lot of links. I want big but not too big a space to post my blog posts. And the background chosen stated that I love exploration of space and the universe we live in.
  • Design : I don’t like to flashy stuff. I like to keep it simple, somewhat big and easy for people to read and follow without much of a hassle. I like some order and categorization. I read a lot of other people’s blogs, more than the average person. I firmly believe that black or dark grey text on white background is the best way to go but we do need some colour. And I love images & photos!
  • Bio : I want you to get to know me well….if you care to that is. I want to explain how I got here and why I am where I am!
  • Posts : the posts speak for themselves but….I love food, coffee, drinks, movies, football, hockey, rock & metal music, dogs, WOMEN, tv shows, Science Fiction, Star Trek…..and I hate religion, most politics and all kinds of crap!

There you go. What does you blog say about you?

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What A Blogger Must Have

mindbump suggested by Gates’ Claptrap“What are 5 character traits needed to be a successful blogger/writer?”

I am in no ways an expert or a successful blogger. I have a personal blog that has at best a handful of regular readers. So what do I know? Still if someone were to ask me what are the 5 character traits needed to be a successful blogger, I would say:

  • A good command over your chosen language and a good vocabulary helps
  • A keen sense of observation – sometimes the best posts are about the small things/news
  • It helps if you have a ton of resources of the topics you want to blog about. Get your facts straight the first time and that will lend a lot of credibility to your blogging. And if by chance some wrong information slipped past your notice, correct it and admit the mistake.
  • Integrity – Do not blog for others or follows trends. Stick to what moves you, what you are passionate about. Your readers will know if you are faking it and will leave.
  • Imagination – you have the tools, the resources, the best web server, the best blogging platforms, the latest trendy themes, a vast vocabulary and a command over the language; you need to back it up with a good sense of imagination. Humour helps as well but imagination is the best asset to complement the tools!

No go get blogging!

The Starting & The Changing Of My Blog(s)

Why did you start your writing? Is that still why you write, or has your writing gone in a different direction than you’d planned?

Honestly when I first started blogging back in 2002, after reading a few blogs that caught my interest, it was mainly to capture my new life in Calicut, the city to which I had moved to from my hometown of Cochin. Having joined a company there I was living on my own in a small room in a lodge (I had colleagues in similar rooms nearby) and I wanted to capture the things that happened and events that pass along the time that I would spend there. So I created an account in blogger.com. The stay in Calicut was short lived – just 8 months – and I came back to live in Cochin at the end of it.

From then on (somewhere in 2003) the blog became a weekly or atleast 5-6 times in a month hello, this is what I have I have been upto, I bought this cd, I watched this movie kinda thing. That is the way it would stay for a while until somewhere in 2004 I started blogging a lot more of my thoughts, along with the events and ideas and some movie/tv reviews. I also started posting heavily on football & hockey and it became a catalog for sports players. I got disinterested in the blog even though I was posting very regularly and in September of 2005 I started afresh with a new blog in blogger.com which became a lot more regular and a lot like this current blog. When I finally bought a home pc and took up an internet connection, a year after I started the second blog, I started doing daily posts and multiple posts in a day. Pretty soon I wanted my own webaddress and storage space and bought this one that you see here.

I don’t know how much longer I will continue to maintain this blog and this format. I’ve been at this website for over 6 and a half years and blogging for almost 11 years. I think I will always have a blog in some format or the other since I don’t always like the Facebook format. Facebook is fun but I want to continue a blog for as long as I can.

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My Blog Posts, For Everyone?

Who is the one person you hope isn’t reading your blog? Why?

I don’t have any one person who I hope won’t read my blog. This blog is open for everyone – except for people who work at the same office as I do. And that goes for the current place & each different place I will work for in the future. It’s just awkward to have people, especially your superiors go through your writings and then discuss them with you the next day. I’ve not come across much of that type of situation at work – at a previous workplace, a bunch of my peers & at the levels below my position have read my blogs and commented to me about them the next day. Mostly is through Facebook, since I link my posts to Facebook, hoping to reach a wider audience that way. A lot of them didn’t comment much but some are regular readers to this day.

The thing is that I write about some stuff which may seem controversial to a lot of people over here. Criticism of religion and government and other such stuff. That might not go down very well with some of the people at work. If it is a peer or a subordinate who has an issue, I can tell them to mind their own business and to take a hike. But one can’t just say or do that when it’s a superior employee to you who is inquiring about the content can one? The inevitable questions start coming up and you have to do a bit of explanation and finally stand your ground and inform Human Resources that your world outside of the office is completely separate from the one in the office and you have the right to do whatever you want in your personal time.

And then from time to time I will do a password protected post because I don’t want everyone to read it and prefer that only a select group of trusted readers get to go through the post. Those are few and far between, less than 10 at the last count.

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Misfits Of Blog Posts

We all have something we’d like to write about, but that doesn’t really “fit” our blog. Write it anyway.

Not me! This is a personal blog and hence I write about everything and anything that comes to my mind and about interests that interests me. I write about events, news, sports, music, music, tv, things that happen to me, things that I see & notice, things that I hear, that I think about and things that I like or dislike. Is there anything that I missed out on? I guess not. I write about everything that I can think of. I have one of the largest blog posts category lists I have ever seen. Probably the biggest!

I have thought of creating a separate blog for either movies & tv reviews or a music blog. At one point I almost started up my own blog dedicated to Arsenal FC news, match results and stuff. But I just use this blog for everything. The only posts that I would use for outside would be for that novel that I planned to write but I have zero posts added after the first 2 or 3 and that’s so bad. I really wanted to work on the novel and that would be the only kind of blog posts that I wouldn’t post over here as I’d want a separate blog just exclusively for the novel so readers can read it back to back and not be distracted by posts of other nature.

Ok I just thought of some. I do not write about sexual stuff or porn posts or anything too explicitly about sex. Like describing a sexual scene or a sexual tryst I had in detail or one that I could imagining that I would have with a certain woman or women! Hmmmm threesome! …………………………….. Oh sorry, my mind wandered off for a moment. So yeah I do hold back on those and neither do I post sexually explicit photos or video clips even tastefully done ones.

Which is gonna change soon! Maybe! You will have to wait and see.

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Gonna Live Forever

Back in 2008 I had started a project of trying to write a book or a separate blog of the scifi universe that I had dreamed up off. I’ve had this dream back in 2003 and ever since then almost on a nightly basis I have extended this dream into a larger than life idea of a time when humans have everything. I had created in my head a time period 5000 years from 2013 where humans are a dominant race in the known universe, having traveled throughout this galaxy and interacted with numerous alien life forms and been to many star systems, planets, moons and other celestial bodies. With the advancement of technology faster than light space travel in various comfortable & practical and even luxurious space ships that can house cities of people if needed (with everything that they need at their fingertips), life is very exciting.

The Earth was completely abandoned for dead, it’s atmosphere unable to sustain life at all and after the discovery of 3 extremely suitable planets in another star system in 2490, it was decided that all humans, along with the animals & birds, would relocate to these 3 planets in the Vetra system as we came to call it. The evacuation of earth & the colonization of the 3 Vetra planets took over 10 years but finally, with the exception of some insects, all life on earth was either in transit in huge bioships, residential & military spaceships or already on their new home on one of the 3 planets. 10 years and 5 months after the first ships left for Vetra, the last ships reached the orbits of the 3 planets that we call our new home and humans and animals were led to their locations.

In the universe I have created, things are great with no poverty, no hunger, no killing, no animosity between humans, no diseases and life is relaxed. Although still not written down, an event will take place many many years later after conflicts with an enemy alien race, one of many but the most dangerous of the lot. Humans have stopped aging, except for babies & very young children who still have some slow growth for a while until it stops. This is because of a revolutionary, flexible forcefield or shield, that virtually makes us immortal and impervious to outside forces (natural or non-natural) that could otherwise harm us. But this forcefield also happens to reactivate a virus, a biological weapon that was sent upon us by this alien enemy race. When activated & reacting with the shield it stunted growth in all humans and earth’s animals. So now aging, no new births and no one dies as well unless they went and harmed themselves or someone else harmed them.

Would you like to live forever be immortal in a way?

Fancy A Blog Switch Mike?

If you could switch blogs with any blogger for a week, with whom would you switch and why?

I don’t really want to switch blogs with anyone, rather I’d want to make mine a lot better, a lot more popular and a lot more glamorous. However if there simply must be an answer, well I guess I’d like to switch blogs with only one blogger and that’d be Mike Boon aka Toronto Mike from www.torontomike.com!

Once you have checked out his blog a bit, you should know why but if not I’ll spell it out for you….really slowly cause you must be slow (no just kidding). Mike has been blogging at his blog since November 2002. I’m not sure about this but I think he’s also blogged at another blog before this. The reason I say this is because I first started blogging in October of 2002 (using a blogspot account) and I’m pretty sure that Mike’s was one of the first blogs I read which made me want to go start blogging myself. I can’t be sure of that and I guess I just have forgotten to ask him or put a comment in one of his posts.  Anyways as far as I can remember I’ve been following his blog, reading & commenting on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

I will admit to having been inspired by one of his weekly posts – he used to have a Friday Five (top 5 lists of various things) that he used to post earlier but hasn’t in a few years. This was the inspiration for me to start my Roshan’s Eleven (a pun on Ocean’s Eleven) posts that I do from time to time. He blogs a lot about things I like including tv shows, music (Pearl Jam, The Tragically Hip being among his favs), movies, etc etc. Also he gives me a taste of Canadiana in the form of posts, photos & videos from time to time. He also gets to try out different gadgets, a couple of cars as well and gets free tickets for sports events and some other free stuff from companies because of the popularity of his blog and for his reviews. That is awesome. Also I am a big fan of his & Rosie’s banter on The Toronto Mike’d podcasts. Oh yeah – he also does podcasts – he hosts 2 and produces 3.

So if I do get to switch blogs with anyone, it will be him. Because, and big props, I’d get to be in Canada for a week. Yeah I know it’s only Toronto (not Vancouver or Ottawa or Montreal) and also I’d be close friends with his good friend Rosie of My Toronto Scoop! Anyway, thanks Mike for some inspiration, a lot of entertainment and keep blogging & doing podcasts.

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Lady Banana Hits 300 Comments

For those of you who frequent the blog you’d know that I have a regular reader & commenter named Lady Banana. She’s an English lady from London and she is awesome. She blogs at Lady Banana and has been a long time blog, email & twitter friend of mine. She’s always been there for me ever since I’ve known her; whenever I feel down if I reach out to her, I know she will make me feel so good about myself. Not surprising as she is also a longtime nurse, a profession that I have a lot of respect for.

That Diana has stuck with being my friend for this long is something I consider to be cherished. I just love her so much. She is my cheerleader and she is so kind and sweet.

She has two cats Mabel & Freddy and has a daughter and a son and a grandson. Check out her blog when you do get the time.

Q1. State your name, location and what you do for a living?

Name – Diana – better known as Lady Banana

Q2. Do you remember how you came to know about Awake & Dreaming?

I really don’t remember, I seem to have known Roshan forever, in the nicest possible way

Q3. How often do you visit my blog?

I visit 2/3 times a week, sometimes just in my feed reader.. Often I’m too tired, lazy or at work – don’t tell the boss, lol, so I can’t always comment as much as I could/should.

Q4. What is it that you like so much about Awake & Dreaming that you visit frequently and post a lot of comments?

I like the mix of posts, sometimes personal about yourself, some about sport and movies and books.

Q5. What are the kind of posts that you like the most in my blog?

I like your personal posts the best, the ones that help me get to know the real you, your likes and dislikes

Q6. Is there any topic that you would want me to blog about (that I haven’t yet)?

Just keep on doing what you’re doing, you do it so well

Choose the following

Q7. Admit it: you have a big crush on Roshan and that is why you are here a lot : Choices (true/very true/absolutely true/damn right it’s true/hell yeah and I’m proud of it! ) ).

Q8. This is for you; say anything you like and I’ll post it here (cause you deserve it)

Your’s is the blog that makes me happy when I open my reader and see you have posted!

You are a good friend, far far away but I know that if I ever need a natter, a cheer up then Roshan is there for me. Long may it last {kiss kiss kiss}

Hope the answers are ok, and here’s to the next 300 comments.. (They are more than ok Diana, they are excellent)

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : Odd Questions

Q. Which food, when you eat it, instantly transports you to childhood?

A. Shawarma sandwiches and khuboos & hummus

Q. If you could become any type of animal, what type of animal would you choose to become? Why?

A. Hmmm, maybe a wolf cause they look so cool. Or a hawk so I could soar across the skies.

Q. If you could learn to play a musical instrument, which would you choose? Why?

A. First choice the guitar, second the drums.

Q. Describe your ideal job — where would you work? What would you do?

A. Provided money wasn’t the issue, I’d like to work in the music industry and work closely with musicians and bands.

Q. If you could have one superpower, what superpower would you choose? Why?

A. The power of invincibility

Q. If you could travel to any planet in our solar system, which planet would you choose and why?

A. Mars is where all the action is. But I also want to visit Pluto and console it for losing it’s planet classification.

Q. Would payment in the form of money sway you into doing something you wouldn’t normally do?

A. I must be honest and say absolutely!

Q . Sea or sky? Why?

A. I love the sea and would love to see the fish and animals that live under the waters but…the sky is my eternal love!

Q. Do you shower in the morning or at night before bed?

A. Usually in the morning. If I am not going out, I might only shower in the late afternoons, 5 or 5:30 pm. If it is a terribly hot day and I have traveled and am sweating like a pig, then I’d shower in the night as well.

Q. If you could travel through time, what period would you visit?

A. The time periods during which the great pyramids of Egypt were being built. 2560 BCE and before. I’m curious to see how the built them and if aliens were involved!

Q. What’s at the end of a rainbow?

A. One end of a rainbow. You travel to the other end you will find the other end of the same rainbow!

Website Server Space Locked For Another Year

My URL having been paid & locked up for one year in November, it was now time for the server space that I use to store the files of this blog. The payment due date being today, I was sent the invoice a few days ago.

Well I just made the payment via credit card for $44 USD which secures my web server space for the next 365 days. That comes to around Rs. 2330. Not bad for a year. I was thinking about paying for a couple of years in a row but I think I might want to change the package I have with them and expand a bit in a year. We’ll see, I have some plans for this website – the blog will stay the same but I might do a few more things along with it. And I will need more webspace for the same.

Anyway rest assured regular readers, the blog will go on as usual. You can expect me to blog on a daily basis for the next year atleast, provided I don’t die or something equally horrendous happens to me.

The Why Of It All

Why do you write? What keeps you motivated?

I dunno, I guess I’ve always wanted to keep a journal and maintain it for as long as I possibly could. I remember hoping when I was 14-15 that I would write poems or song lyrics and did some once in a while. At the age of 15 I kept a diary in which I would enter a few lines about the day and my thoughts about certain things on a daily basis and even back then I had a song for the day section at the end of each entry. I soon started writing about my feelings and opening up my heart about certain stuff that was going on in my life. When I went on a 3 day school trip to Kodaikannal, it was a way of recording the things that happened there on that fun trip. I stopped writing in my diary the next year – although I should have continued as so many things happened to me during the ages of 16-19.

During my 1 month rest post operation at the age of 21, being mostly restricted indoors and mostly staying in my room, I started writing a bit again but it didn’t last beyond those 30 days. Mostly I wrote in a book about the albums & songs I listened to each day (and I listened to a lot). I also managed to create a scrap book of the 1998 World Cup in France and wrote stuff about the matches that I would see. In 2002 I moved to Calicut and mostly to keep a record of things there, I started a blog after having started reading a few during the past few months. I created a blogger account and the blog is still there but I lost track of why I kept it once I moved back to Cochin and around 2004 it became a hockey & football oriented blog with the occasional blog post. Then in 2005 September I started a new one in blogger – also called Awake & Dreaming – and it became the kind of style that you see today. And in 2007 Jan 1st onwards – I started this blog you see here.

Why do I write? It’s mostly for myself and for the handful of regular readers – all 6 of you – who like what I write about and keep coming. It’s a place to vent my frustrations, air my views, share my thoughts, write reviews of movies, books & music and pen down eventful happenings. I love blogging and I love writing. I will always keep an online journal even if no one read it. And that’s the biggest reason you should write – for yourself first & foremost!

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