loaf of thought: aug '21

August, the month that lasted 4 days. Scientists and researchers from around the world question the possibility of this phenomenon as they head towards YET another month. How is it possible? How could it be that a whole month only lasted 4/7ths of a week? Unprecedented, the research continues in universities and labs around the world, determined to give the people a reason for why this month was so short. Some say it’s because “time flies”. Others blame it on the changing weather (the obvious answer). We may never have a definitive answer, but the most we can do is hope and pray that September is at least 5 days long… phew.

i’m feeling lucky

This month’s playlist is a good one. Nothing fancy, nothing crazy, just a solid good. Archive playlist can be found on my Spotify page.

murphy’s law

Since this is the most exclusive news source out there and gets you the most important information in the quickest manner, I should let you all know that I had covid this past week. Yes, I’m okay and yes, it sucked.

It’s been 20-something months since the pandemic hit the US, and I’m surprised I even made it this far without getting infected. Albeit the first several months of the pandemic were stuck in isolation but once we all grew impatient and restless, the virus was bound to infiltrate my bubble too. And ofcourse I made sure I got the vaccine before I even remotely thought about going out anywhere. But then I made trips by flight, car, bus and train… I was bound to get the virus that literally everyone had already gotten. But I had this strong conviction that I wouldn’t be snatched like all the others. For a long time I was the paranoid one about cleanliness, mask-wearing, and sanitization. I remember when my family and I took a trip to New Mexico last summer I wiped down the whole room with Lysol wipes before we put a single bag in the room. It’s not that I was extra vulnerable to the virus or had a weak immune system, but I was just extra careful knowing that others were extra careless.

Nonetheless, when you live in a city like Manhattan, surrounded by millions of people everywhere, everyday, it’s quite inevitable that you’ll share things with one another - be it a cute glance or the coronavirus. My symptoms hit me like a train one night and put me straight into bed after work. Chills, fever, body ache, headache, sore throat and congestion took over my body like a restless wave on a weak cliff. The next day I went from clinic to clinic trying to get a test to validate the fact that it was covid, with each waitlist being longer and longer. I think the longest one was 4-5 hours??? Like how many people around me need a damn covid test? C’mon folks, do better. Or just go somewhere else.

I spent the rest of the weekend watching movies, mindlessly scrolling through Instagram reels, and playing charades with my girlfriend, who was also infected a day before I was. The weekend gave me a lot of time to think about Murphy’s Law. Simply put, the law states that ‘anything that can go wrong, will go wrong’. In other words, if I can get covid, I will. And I did. There’s a lot I take for granted in life; my senses of smell and taste were on that list - yet another thing I said “oh, I’m already four days into my symptoms, I won’t lose them now”. But I did. There’s so much going on in the world that we simply don’t have control over, and therefore it becomes subject to Murphy’s Law. And I feel like when we explicitly state that something will or won’t happen, and we make it a point to tell people that something won’t happen… then Murphy lurks even harder trying to prove you wrong or to reinstate his law. Murphy, you win this time; but you’re on thin ice my friend.

keep the rally alive

Communication is the foundation to all things in life - mastering it is impossible and yet it is the only way to function superfluously. Communication happens on so many levels; facial gestures, body language, spoken word, automated beeps, lighted signs, emojis, AI voices, text message and so much more. Animals even communicate in ways we can’t understand and probably with greater efficiency. So why is it that communication is so crucial to our survival and well-being yet we struggle in trying to understand one another?

You see, communication is a game. And it’s a game you are supposed to get better at, with practice (much like any other game). In tennis, when you serve the ball to your opponent, your opponent judges its bounce on their side, positions their body, positions their racket, and swings at the ball in an attempt to hit it back to you. Now in a Wimbledon game, athletes fire these balls menacingly at each other to win a point. But let’s assume that the game of communication is more like a father and daughter trying to keep a rally going for as long as possible. Over time, the father will hit it favorably to the daughter’s abilities and strengths, in order to keep the rally alive. The daughter will run and move accordingly to make sure she’s in the right spot to receive each ball. The father will try his best to hit most balls to his left, knowing that his daughter’s forehand swing is better. And the daughter will make sure she stays a little behind the center line so as not to misread the father’s notorious backspin. With each hit, they learn a little about each other’s strengths and weaknessness, and they try to keep the rally alive. Although they are on opposite sides of the court, each new rally gives them a chance to improve their own game and therefore get better together. If one of them plays to win and the other only hits curveballs, then the rally never lives. If one of them wants to play soccer and the other is too tired, the rally doesn’t go on. In order for the back-and-forth to continue, the pair must learn to read each hit and play as one.

As we meet new people, build new relationships, and lose contact with old friends, it’s important to note how our communication varies from person to person. The methods and frequencies you use with a friend may be completely opposite to how you speak with your significant other. Each person in our life brings a new game of communication and we must learn to play that game all over again. Sometimes they serve exactly how we anticipated and we can easily return, but other times they hit constant curveballs and we need to work on our footwork. But when both people work on their game and have a passion to keep the rally alive, then the game becomes so much more enjoyable. Notice how you communicate with your loved ones, and notice how they communicate with you. Give in to their methods and make your preferences known. Continue to strengthen your skills in these games of communication and work towards mastery. I bet if you keep the rally alive long enough, there might just be a Wimbledon trophy waiting for you.

Disclaimer: Ofcourse I didn’t come up with this analogy of communication as a game of tennis, but it is quite beautiful, no? Listen to my inspiration here, read about it here and watch it on tv here.

what is your strut song?

Have you heard That Life by Unknown Mortal Orchestra? If you haven’t yet, you might hear it on this month’s playlist. This song is currently my “strut song”. Every so often, someone makes a song that is just the perfect anthem to strut to. These songs make you feel like you’re the main character of a musical series. Sometimes I like to wait til I’m ready to leave the house, put my headphones on, and as the first beat of the song hits, I take my first step outside. Cheesy? Yes, incredibly. But damn the high that I get when the music blares through my headphones and envigorates my day is one that is rare. It’s even better if you wear your favorite shoes, make sure your hair is oh-so-perfect and smile just a little. Maybe add a little swing to match the rhythm of the song, and snap your fingers while you’re at it. IT WORKS. I promise, it makes my day every time. I encourage you to find that strut song, and get high next time you step into the world.

(and maybe I’ll share my strut playlist if you want)

link dump

An orangutan that’ll make you laugh.

Amazing photographs taken on an iPhone.

Click for joy!

Mac Miller was a musical genius.

Ever wondered why public transit in the US sucks?

Good news, the divorce rate isn’t really 50%.

The month of August was busy for me, I rarely got a chance to sit and breathe. But it was a good month; I’d rather be busy than bored. If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve seen the photos of New York through my lens… I hope they bring you joy. Please share them if you feel so inclined. And as always, send me your thoughts and opinions from this month’s newsletter.

have a lovely September, folks!