Saturday, June 10, 2006

Blogaddiction and other addictions

I get addicted to different things at different points of my life. Fortunately I don't smoke, don't like alcohol and have no curiousity about drugs, so no harm done to my physical health. Ok, I shouldn't be in a hurry to claim that last last bit... I do wear glasses...

My very first and long-lasting addiction was books, stories.
It was probably introduced to me by my grandmother who used to read to a toddler-me every evening. There used to be a stupid story about a pet hen surprising its kid owner by laying eggs "magic", and I used to love this story. This one had to be read to me every evening apart from another story. I why my grandma didn't tear off her hair in frustration. One of my earliest memories is of throwing a tantrum because she couldn't read to me since we had visitors.
But the main "credit" for my reading addiction goes to my grandfather's cousin who had remained a bachelor and used to dote on us kids. He used to bring us books and read to us very regularly. Nowadays I don't read books all that much, but do read a bit during bus or train journeys.
I have been wearing glasses since I was 10 years old, and I believe my reading addiction is responsible for that.

Once in a while I also get addicted to particular people, that of course usually means that I have developed a crush, or more often that I am in love and cannot have enough of that person. Most often an "addiction" means I overdo it and manage to push them away. But that is a topic for a separate post someday.

Since quite a few years, I have seen myself getting addicted to the internet. And that is certainly not good, as I browse aimlessly when I should be working or doing other important things. This is something I really have to bring in control.

A related addiction that I can sense is in the process of development is reading people's blogs. I have a weird way of doing that. When I like a blog, I often go back to the very first entry and read through all the posts sequentially. Especially if it is a personal blog like a diary, not if it is a news blog. Crazy, isn't it?
I first discovered a blog when I was living in Heidelberg, and I came across Trey's blog. He was a postdoc at my institute (whom I didn't yet know, and had never come across). His blog was mainly about how he and his partner (now husband-- they were married last year thanks to SF mayor Gavin Newsom) had adopted their daughter and he continues to blog about bringing her up and his thoughts about various issues. Soon after discovering the blog, I contacted Trey and walked down a floor to meet him. Later on I met Guy and Emma too. In many ways, theirs is an ideal family for me, and it is nice to keep track of Emma's growing up since we both moved-- I to Vienna and they to San Francisco.

Another parenting blog I had found through Trey's blog was about a former stay-at-home father whose daughter is already a teenager, and his son is about to be one. I guess since both his children read his blog now, he can't be very straightforward any more lest they take offence and so his blog is mostly a reminiscene of stories of when they were younger.

A blog I discovered a couple of years ago through a website was of an American guy who lives in Vienna. I have never met him, although we have had long interesting discussions. What I fascinated me was that many of his inner thought processes and insecurities etc are very much like what used to be me.
From the same website, I recently came across Prashant's blog, and it is interesting to read about another Indian living in Europe (in his case, Paris).

I had also discovered Metroblogging Vienna, a group blog which has interesting news, observations and stories about Vienna, from different perspectives.

While looking browsing through profiles of Couchsurfers in Paris because of my impending visit, I came across Justin's and Sam's blogs. Justin is an American theatre actor living in Paris, and his writing is delightful and fascinating. As I once commented while checking whether he could host me during my visit, if he "is half as good an actor as [he is] a writer, [he] must be very good indeed!" He won't be able to host me during my visit, but I hope to meet him for a drink. Unfortunately he has not been updating his blog since a long long time. Sam is a British kid who has just finished a course in Paris and will be going back to the UK. It is a pity that he will be away during most of my visit to Paris, and so we probably won't be able to meet up.

Recently, since the reservation issue has come up, I have been commenting on other blogs, and going to blogs of people whose comments are interesting, and through their blogs discovering other blogs. A very good blog that discusses various social and other issues is Indianwriting, and although I don't always agree with what she says, it is always a fascinating read. A blog that I am hooked to is now is called Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind, by a bong with his very hilarious of discussing various issues pertaining to India. Other blogs I have bookmarked include that of a gay guy from Bombay, has achieved proficiency in both German and French simultaneously in less than two (?) years, and also a blog in Hindi that I have bookmarked but am yet to read.

On Thursday, while I was supposed to be preparing for my progress report for the next day, I discovered another parenting blog of a professor of Economics, Lisa Giddings, who writes about her life with her partner and their (biologically the latter's) daughter, Maggie and a younger son (I haven't reached his birth yet). I had clicked on this blog from a random list that appears every day from his collection of blogs, but since it was a random list and I had not bookmarked it, I lost it on Friday (and read the whole of another lesbian parenting blog last night), but rediscovered it again today. I like the way she (actually the other one as well) uses pseudonyms and abbreviations for refering to people, like "BioMom" for her partner and the biological mother of their daughter and "FYO" (Four Year Old), the daughter etc. Considering that she blogs quite regularly, I haven't even reached half way yet, but it is a delightful read.

Now how do I get any thing else done, if I really keep track of so many lives every day...


kate said...

interesting I get that way too about things... then tend to tire of them. I have called it more of an obsession, but I guess it is a bit of an addiction. It seems that coffee and self awareness are my my addictions of the day~

cheers! Kate

A.S. said...

Thanks for visiting and commenting, Kate. You are the third commenter on this blog, and the first one whose blog I had not previously commented on! Yay! defines addiction as The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or or involved in something.

Most examples I give falls within that definition, except that I have lost the compulsive occupation with books. But I really wish I could tire of the internet :-))

Have a great day with coffee and self awareness!

L>T said...

Hi! I came over from Kates. I has been purusing your posts. Interesting. I too am interested in "reservation" I have fallen in love w/, people everything.
Going there is on my list of things to do before I die. that would be after i win the lottery of course. :)

i'm going to read your post on reservation soon.

Prash said...

@ A-S,

Welcome to the BlogWorld. We learn many things in this universe. Certain people and certain become friends too...I have seen it. I am in this blog world since Jan 06. I find it interesting to share views. I have to been french blogs too....i find them really 'nothing' is mostly teenagers with their pictures and pictures of their friends. No articles and nothing interesting.

Prash said...

@ L>T,

Oh lady, tell the truth..why hide ? after all a.s is a friend of mine, you fell in love with me !!! (why pretend that you fell in love with India and it's food..) :-) LIAR.

Prash said...

hey...could you beep in g.romeo site...i was typing a message for you and the system got blocked and i had to close all the windows and I lost your conversation windows. I tried to find you in the site...not possible. I havn't mastered the site yet...

A.S. said...

@ L>T
Thanks for visiting my blog, perusing my posts, and for the comment! And I am impressed that you are also interested in "reservation"... most of the Indian blogs have been fighting about it, and now I guess people have moved on to other topics.
India is indeed lovable. I hope you do get to visit soon. It is only the plane tickets that are expensive, after reaching India, things are very cheap.

@ Prash
Thanks. Yes, I am enjoying the exchange of ideas, the extremely varied topics and often the humour of the posts of different blogs.
I have messaged you on g.r.

@ Prash vs L>T
Well, since she fell in love with you, she's just checking out your country, food and friends :-)

L>T said...

I'm speechless.

& that doesn't happen often.

On the other hand Prash is pretty darn irresistable.

L>T said...

I read your original post on reservation. very imformative & interesting.

Your last sentence about politicians using it to milk votes... yeah, that happens everywhere doesn't it?

That's exactly what's happening here in the U.S. with the illegal immigration issue.

Politicians using the downtrodden to garner votes in the name of humanitarism.

The caste system is bound up in religion also, this of course makes it a much more emotional issue & easier for politicians to pluck at the heart strings of the populace.

I have questions but I'll save them, so this post doesn't get too long.

A.S. said...

Wow, , L>T! I am really impressed that you managed to wade through the reservation post... I would think it is a bit of a difficult read for someone not familar with social and political issues of India. However, since writing the post, I have been reading other articles and blogs, and feel that I might have been a bit one-sided in writing it. So please do check out the other side, in my post of Sunday, June 04, 2006.
Thanks a lot for reading all this!

L>T said...

Acually my interests are not political but more humanistic. I am interested in how people in India are dealing with this 'Civil Rights' challange. I want to know how it is like similar situations in other countries.
Or better yet what makes it similar.?

I did read your Sunday june 4 post.

The Visitor said...

Hi AS - reached here from Prash's blog.

I did go through many of your posts - I like your posts for being introspective and very honest. I still have many more posts to go through. Your post on GMO could have been more elaborate - somehow the message doesn't get through.

But I thought that this post was a right place to say hi, because I share many of the addictive qualities that you seem to have almost along the same lines. :) But as Kate said, I wonder how long the addiction / obsession holds me.
True, some of these addictions take their toll on work and other things also.

Will be dropping by often

A.S. said...

hi The_Visitor, thanks for visiting my blog, going through so many of my entries, and even refering to this in your own blog! And of course you are most welcome to drop by and leave your views on my posts.

Regarding the addictions, in my case, they hold me for a long time and usually lose when they are displaced by a new one.

As I noted in the GMO post, it was written very hurriedly and as a posting on a forum that was discussing a specific issue. I butted in with the huge response that was too long anyway. But you are right, I do need to sit down, reseach the area and write a more coherent and detailed article.