Lifting/workout injuries this year so far (listed in descending order of severity):
Pulled muscle in my lower left back.
Micro tear in my tricep in my right arm.
Pain in the region of my right knee.
Bruise on nose. This was a result of doing what I call a “jump clap push up”: it’s a clap push up in which you also lift your entire body up while you’re clapping, so your feet are lifted off the ground when you clap. I can typically do these without any problem, but because of injury #2 in this list I fell and my nose hit the ground. Hard. This happened before I knew that I had torn my tricep; I was trying to see if my arm had healed. Turns out it hadn’t.
The Contortionist released the first single “Reimagined” from their new album Clairvoyant a few days ago. The song is beautiful and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it since it came out. This single carries over the style they developed on 2014’s Language, which is one of my favorite albums. I can’t wait for the auditory bliss Clairvoyant will (hopefully) bring.
I love mathematics. I was looking for ways to increase my knowledge in this area and stumbled upon Numberphile, a YouTube account dedicated to mathematics videos. All the Numberphile videos I’ve seen so far have been super interesting and easy to understand. Here are a few of their videos I enjoyed watching:
Here are my fitness goals for 2017, in no particular order:
Bench press 1.5 times my body weight: This works out to be around 225-232 lb. I can currently do 3-5 reps at 205 lb. My goal for 2017 is to get to a 225-232 lb 1RM.
Workout at least 5 times a week.
Consistently squat 2 times my body weight:(by consistently I mean each time I’m squatting at the gym) This works out to be 300-310 lb. While I have done 1 rep at 315 lb in the past, my current squat weights are in the 225-275 lb range.
Focus on parts of my body that (I feel) need to be improved upon: namely my shoulders, my abs, my pectoral muscles, and my calf muscles.
I’d been toying with the idea of buying a seven string guitar for some time now. Most of the bands I listen to (TesseracT, Periphery, Skyharbor, etc.) all use seven string guitars, and it would be awesome to be able to play some of their songs. Plus I feel reasonably comfortable playing a six string guitar. Minus solos. So last week I walked into Guitar Center and bought a Jackson seven string guitar.
I’m super happy with my new guitar – it sounds incredible, is very comfortable to play, and it looks beautiful.
I’ve currently tuned the seven string to BEADEAD so I can play songs from Polaris by TesseracT. I found a guitar transcription for the entire album and am very slowly working through Messenger and Tourniquet. TesseracT songs are quite challenging to play on the guitar, but the feeling of playing songs by your favorite band is sublime.
She had heard it said that humans are supposed only to use about a tenth of their brains, and that no one was very clear what the other nine tenths were for, but she had certainly never heard it suggested that they were using for storing penguins. – The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
It was his subconscious which told him this – that infuriating part of a person’s brain which never responds to interrogation, merely gives little meaningful nudges and then sits humming quietly to itself, saying nothing. – The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
The music stopped abruptly, with the air of having delivered exactly five cents worth of joy. – Player Piano
“Tell me about today.” “Nothing about today. One more, like all the rest.” – Player Piano
The two were inseparable, though their personalities met at almost no point. Together, they made an approximately whole man. – Player Piano
Yeah, it’s tough – like anything else. Tough to be the best. – Player Piano
The television cameras dollied and panned around him like curious, friendly dinosaurs, sniffing and peering. – Player Piano
I do know that it’s far easier to ask questions than to answer them. – Player Piano
The fear of awkward conversations: One consequence of wearing your heart on your sleeve and always wanting to be open and honest with the people in your life is that it can lead to awkward, scary conversations. I used to be a bit afraid of them. However, I had so many of these talks (for better or for worse) over the course of 2016 that I can now have these conversations WITHOUT avoiding eye contact with the person I’m talking to.
~3 inches on my waistline: I went from 30-31 inches at the beginning of 2016 to 28 inches as of December 2016. I’m still a bit amazed by this, because I wasn’t explicitly trying to lose weight.
One of my best friends: One of my best friends moved back to India after being in the Bay Area for ~3 years. It was really sad to see him go, because I was so used to him being a part of my life here, and being able to hang out with him easily. In this digital day and age distance is a not a barrier between friends and we still message each other almost everyday, but I’ll miss all the adventures we had together when he was physically here.
Expectations: (still trying to decide how I feel about this) Towards the end of 2016 I realized that life is better when you have no expectations from anything or anyone. That way you’re always surprised when good things happen to you, because they’re always unexpected.
What I said “Hello!” to in 2016
A new most favorite person: 247cae00bedc4032b015212c1c72e800cf7b6dc2e4a41886d77bdceed4de6ee6
More respect, admiration, and love for my family and friends.
Running: 2016 was the year I started running seriously. While I’m not quite ready to say I love running just yet, I will say that I do enjoy it quite a bit.
Incredible books, albums, concerts, and research papers.
Emotions and Feelings: I experienced a wide array of emotions and feelings over 2016, some of which I never felt before. Looking back I think 2016 was the year I grew the most at an emotional level. I learned things about myself that I did not know.
A sense of style: I put in effort (and money) into dressing well and generally improving my stylistic sensibilities. I think on average I look better now than I did in pervious years. What do you think?
Improved writing skills: Apart from writing a lot (or trying to do so) on this blog, I also wrote a small book (~10000 words) in 2016, and a speech for my best friend’s engagement ceremony.
It’s quite hard for me to pick one book as “Karan’s Book of the Year” for 2016. Each the books above had great stories, were well written, made me experience a smorgasbord of emotions, and had something that stuck to my soul long after the book was over. If I was forced to pick one, I would have to say that book would be The Nightingale. I felt that this book was pure literary perfection. As I said about the book in September —
I LOVED this book! It’s beautifully written, with an engaging story, a haunting backdrop, and well developed characters. It made me cry quite a bit. This is one of my favorite books of all time
(why yes, I did just quote myself)
This simplistic review doesn’t even come close to describing how breathtakingly sublimeThe Nightingale is. Please read this book.