Monday, 31 May 2010

#151: Grumble Pie.

Everybody needs a good whinge every now and then, the cathartic effect is obvious and often much needed. As the people around me (and especially the various managers I've had over the years... =) will know very well - I'll bitch and moan with the best of them, it's in our very nature!

The difference between the occasional grouch and an insufferable old fart, however, is the step taken after the gripe. All that energy that went into the wail has got to lead somewhere, otherwise it's just a useless load of noise.
For example, don't like your job? Quit.
Can't quit? Take steps to make your job better.
Don't like your family? Move out.
Can't move out? Make peace.
Can't make peace? Run away.
Don't like your relationship? End it.
Can't end it? Stop being a wimp.
Don't like your life? Change it.
Can't change it? You're not trying hard enough.
Think you're already trying as hard as you can? Try harder.

If you're grumbling then it's coz you're not happy about something.
If you're not happy about something then there's always something you can do, without fail.

I absolutely refuse to believe that there is ever no choice. It's all down to what you're willing to accept to make those choices available. If you don't/can't/won't take the steps to open new doors - then you only get to complain about the same thing to the same person three times. After that you're gonna have to find somebody new to yammer to, coz unless you've shown that you're actually trying to course-correct - that first person will have stopped listening after the second time. What do you expect them to do? You can't help someone who's unwilling to help themselves.

Hungry? Go make a sandwich.
Don't know how to make a sandwich? Learn.

Oooh... the view is quite nice from way up here. Door's always open. =D

Sunday, 30 May 2010

#150: Guhhhhhh...

This is my 150th daily post, please excuse me while I take the easy way out and present a quote I came across just 5minutes ago. I quite like it:

"If you wanna feel rich, just count the things you have that money can't buy."

Saturday, 29 May 2010

#149: Challenge America.

Part of the reason why the Great Roadtrip of Japan was so fun was how it became about something so much more than two mates caning around in a convertible. It became about touching all those near-mythical places we'd dreamed about as we were growing up. After all, how many people can say that they've visited 90% of the actual courses used in Initial D?

I'm thinking that my American Roadtrip is also gonna need some kinda extra purpose. Something for me to pursue as I meander my way along. A photo project, a treasure hunt, a bodycount? My own personal cannonball run...

Hmmm... suggestions, welcome...(.")

Friday, 28 May 2010

#148: Time Travelling.

Whoa, that week went by fast. Wasn't I looking forward to a bike trip to the beach only a few days ago?! (O_o)

Thursday, 27 May 2010

#147: Momentum.

I live just south of the central part of Taipei, my workplace is out in the north eastern part of town, past other side of the river.

If I time it right, I'll only need to stop for red lights three times on my commute across the city. "Timing it right" means hammering it down from the first light outside my apartment and not letting the revs drop too low for any significant amount of time. My engine is a solid lil workhorse but having spent most of it's 15yr life as a rental bike means that it's not as spritely as it might've once been. It'll keep cruising speed quite readily - just takes a wee bit of time getting up there.

Most days this means I'll get to work in around 25mins door-to-door. If I get blocked by a swervy taxi or an overenthusiastic truck driver though this'll throw me out of sync with the lights and my journey time will easily increase to around 35mins. That's like a 40% increase in time taken!

Amazing what a single misstep can do. There's a lot I can accomplish in those 10minutes!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

#146: Trimming The Fat.

Sometimes it only takes one element.

I have classes where, were it not for one kid in that class, they'd be the smoothest running classes in the world. It doesn't have to be the typical misfit broody rebel gangser wannabe, it might just as easily be the one who is so hilarious - he makes the rest of us laugh the whole way through until I realise that we haven't actually gotten anything done. Great for the occasional boring session, gets tiring when it's every lesson and you're trying to make sure they all meet the requirements for the next big test.

So whenever those kids are absent for whatever reason. I'm always amazed at these kids sitting in front of me - it's like they're lil genius angels!

It applies elsewhere as well. Sometimes it really is a case of surgically removing the disruptive elements from our lives so that we may properly focus.

Just like the kid who's not actually naughty, just extremely distracting - these things are called guilty pleasures for a reason - I could take away most of my tech and be no less bored, it'd certainly free up a lot of my time and I might actually be able to sleep at night. But I haven't and I don't coz I'm still a weak puny human with puny human tolerance levels.

But in truth, I wouldn't be here and as comfortable with myself as I am today, if I hadn't applied this logic a while back. I wasn't happy with my situation, it was leading me down a dark road, so I walked away from all the negative influences in my life. Of course it's never such a clean differentiation and I've sacrificed a lot of good ties as collateral, but what I've found is that this is where you discover where your bonds are strongest. Cut the crap away and see what strands are left, those are the chains who are gonna stay with you a long long time. Still gotta be able to recognise the good chains from the bad chains though.

Hmm... I've kinda lost my point on this post... (¬_¬)

What was I talking about again?

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

#145: Live Forevaaaaaaa.

I wear my watch facing the inside of my wrist to stop myself scratching up the face, I'm not all that co-ordinated.

But I originally started wearing it this way because that's how my Dad wears his watch.

I'll order the fish burger nine times outta ten now because living in Asia has made me appreciate the value of a true, honest, flame-grilled bloody rare steak. Asia is still figuring how to cook a hunk of cow, but they definitely know how to do fish.

But everytime I order the fillet-o-fish I'll remember my Grandfather, in McD's, it was the only thing he could eat.

For all the major influences I have received from my family. It's the little legacies that I love the most. =)

Monday, 24 May 2010

#144: Choke Choke.

Whenever I think of moving back to England, the same feeling resurfaces each time.

It's a stuffy, stifling feeling. My senses get dulled, my energy wavers and my general zestiness (I have some!) gets slashed. England is my kryptonite!

And I think that's what's holding me back from saying with conviction, "Yup! I'll be moving back to England after my last country!"

Wonder what it would take to get me to move back...

A huge, financial incentive. Yea, that'll do it.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

#143: Squints.

This picture amuses me greatly.

No idea what we were looking at - But everytime I see this pic, I see an extra nuance. Am I looking at her? Am I looking at what she's looking at? Is that puzzlement on my face? Or is that the beginnings of a smirk? How comes I've never directly seen that look on her face myself?

So many layers in a moment. I grin.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

#142: Be Like Water.

In one day, the plan for tomorrow changed from paintballing, to surfing, to karting before finally settling in it's current incarnation - a bike trip towards the surfing.

At each change, we'd get within the last step of saying "This Is What We're Gonna Do Dammit!", and then something would scupper it.

Freeflow Freeflow. See what I mean about the best laid plans?!

Friday, 21 May 2010

#141: The Best Laid Plans...

...rarely work out for me. I always end up stressing about the plan functioning smoothly rather than the actual event itself. I suffer from micromanagement myopia.

Hence I've come to plan events (inc. lessons) with only a loose idea of what I wanna do, and then freestyle between the gaps. Life becomes a lot less stressful that way.

Though it also means I can never give definite answers. Definite answers kick my arse.

But I reckon the benefits outweigh the blood pressure.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

#140: Crap, Signs Of Maturity Are Appearing...

I've always adamantly said that I'd never do a long-distance relationship. I don't believe I have the mental stamina for it, physical connections mean too much to me.

For The Marshmallow though, for some reason, something about her makes me feel like with her, I'd do it.

Something about her makes it seem like it'd be worth it.

Dammit this girl is restructuring my belief system. (O_o)

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

#139: That Tentative Plan.

In September I will officially stop being an English teacher in Taiwan, after which I will take a few days/weeks to hammer a lap around the island, maybe two.

Then back home to drop off the past 3yrs of accumulated trinkets.

Sometime in October/November I intend to make it to America, and drive across it. Not quite sure how I'm gonna go about that. But I'm gonna do it.

Then back home for Christmas.

I intend to be in South America by the second month of 2011.

I know I've missed something out...

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

#138: There's A Flaw In This Plan.

I live by the "Why Do It Later When You Can Do It Now" approach to life - it's a good way to keep my impatient tendancies at bay while at the same time covering for my epic absentmindedness.

The only times when I put things off for later is when I don't have time to finish the task before I have to be somewhere else physically - I'm already late enough for most appointments as it is.

Though since there is Always Something That Must Be Done Now - I never get around to doing all that has been put off. The backlog is getting pretty immense.

Where's that time machine already goddammit?!

Oh right, that was put off for later too...

Monday, 17 May 2010

#137: Bluddy Goldfish.

I knew what I was gonna talk about tonight while in the shower...

That was 3minutes ago

I've forgotten it now. Huh.

It was a pretty good thought too.

I need waterproof Post-It notes.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

#136: I Prefer Draughts.

Social engineering. The trick is not to actually forcibly make anyone do what you want them to do - positive or negative.

Prepare the idea in the right way, use the right lighting and wrap it up with the right bow - often all that remains to be done is to allow the opportunities to present themselves to the right parties.

How do you know what's right? Easy! Practise makes perfect. ;)

(Otherwise known as a more pedantic, targeted version of the "Throw Everything At It And See What Sticks" approach)

Saturday, 15 May 2010

#135: Biznatches.

That simple urban definition prompted a crazy uncontrollable laughing fit last night.

First one I've had in a while...

Now if these could be made once-a-month-mandatory.

We'd definitely be living in a lighter place.


Friday, 14 May 2010

#134: That Windy Road Beckons.

Going on a proper bike trip with The Grandfather Mark II this weekend. Can't wait!

Ya know, for someone who couldn't really say he leads an inactive life. I'm actually kinda proud that I still find time to be incredibly lazy.

It's almost like a superpower...

Thursday, 13 May 2010

#133: Wrong Kinda Bunnies.

One of my most spouted claims is that I've been living without regret since 2004... but having just witnessed the horror that is the condition under my bed - I really really wish I'd plumped for that Roomba six months ago... Yikes! (>.<)

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

#132: Twiddly.

Sometimes I think the fact that I can't sleep properly at night comes down to a simple case of sweaty toes. I need toe fans.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

#131: Those Fricken Buses.

It always amuses me - that cosmic joke that is how whenever anything worth doing happens, it always occurs at the same time as ten other events worth doing too.

Never fails!

My "Both! Always take both!" philosophy falters at this point until we perfect quantum entanglement/replicator shared consciousness technology.


Monday, 10 May 2010

#130: Who Ate All The Pies?

Every Tuesday, there's a lady with a truck load of pies who sets up a stand just outside our school. I usually buy a variety box and bring it up to the school for everyone to share. Coz her pies are pretty popular, she sometimes saves me a box whenever she's selling them especially fast.

I've also gotten to know the girls at the milk chocolate/crepe store down the road, and I'm going paintballing with the guy who owns the bag shop next to them.

This never happened in England or Japan. When did I become this crazy sociable creature? (O_o)

Sunday, 9 May 2010

#129: Vu JaDe

At some point I'm pretty sure I'm gonna start repeating my posts... including this one...

It's gonna happen - in the same way that I always seem to link to the same bunch of retro youtube 80's cartoon intro's every few months.

Speaking of which...

Saturday, 8 May 2010

#128: Iron Man 2

Don Cheadle was a fine Rhodes in this movie, but I reckon Terrence Howard brought more spunk to it in the first movie. Just sayin'.

Friday, 7 May 2010

#127: Self.

The person I am today is not the person I really am. That is to say - the person I am today, is somewhere in between the person I would otherwise be, and the person I aspire to be.

Some people are naturally, effortlessly cool, charismatic, great conversationalists, have interesting hobbies, all that great stuff.

I am none of those things, at least not without a degree of effort. Neither are most people.

Left to our own devices, the majority would stay at home, scratch our privates, sniff it, drink straight out of the milk carton, all that great stuff. The majority would also be wishing that we could be something more.

And thats the point: Why just wish, when you could actually take the steps and start doing. Remove the initial "No Way!" reaction from the equation and really - Really - anybody could do anything after all. You just gotta get pass that mental block. Heh.

The advice "Just Be Yourself" is actually pretty crappy when you think about it - sure there are people out there who make things look damn easy - but they're not the ones who tend to receive motivational tips. "Be Yourself" is not helpful when most people are lazy, whiny, twisted slobs (No use hiding it, we all know).

Perhaps a better one to take heed would be more along the lines of;

"Stop Whining Dammit And Be Who You Want To Be."

It's not gonna be an overnight transformation, we are talking about Real Life here.

But you start living the life you wanna live for long enough, eventually it'll turn into the life you're actually living.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

#126: Seeking Everywhere.

When I'm go karting, I sometimes purposely slow down into the middle of the pack just so that I can have someone to tangle with.

I think that's one of the reasons why I find myself enjoying tearing through rush hour of Taipei traffic so much - it's one continuous melee to get to a front that doesn't exist.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

#125: Knackered.

For someone who only officially worked a total of 3.5hrs today, I sure did find myself pushed for time throughout the whole day.

Where does it all go?!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

#124: Oooh. Glowy.

I was gonna ramble on about something ever so deep and meaningful, when I noticed what my room had become...

It happens every time...

Monday, 3 May 2010

#123: The Line.

I'm always interested to see the reasons that vegetarians choose to be so. Often it will be coz of religion, lifestyle, family, but the one I love - is when they tell me they don't want to eat dead flesh. The Food With A Face concern.

It was Roald Dahl's - The BFG that first showed me the concept of lateral views on life. It's easy to grasp the negative concept of killing animals coz we can see the blood when they die, we relate to that with our own blood.

But while we consider plants to be alive, people rarely spare a second thought when plucking a flower from the ground or munching on some delicious dead veggies. But Dahl told me that flowers will scream if you can listen carefully enough. I was a young and dumb kid, I could see the logic in that. Now that I'm older and dumber, I still don't see why not.

There's also that whole soul, self-aware and existence-of-consciousness thing. Dahl's View still applies here, just coz we can't see it - who's to say its not there? A friend told me that there are massive debates as to when an egg becomes a life. Wow.

Sometimes we become so focused on defining our world into something comprehendible that we lose sight of what is important:

If you're lucky enough to find in front of you a steak dinner with a side of eggs, mushrooms and veggies. Appreciate the fact that we have the capacity to recognise that it is delicious, and tuck in!

Coz if you don't, I will. And I will Enjoy. Every. Bite.

Yummy. (^^)

Sunday, 2 May 2010

#122: Erm... Doc... Is That Supposed To Be Pulsing?

Had my first ever acupuncture experience today, 30 seconds after that, I had my ever panic attack too.

Was kinda weird, my body was going through the motions of a panic attack - hyperventilation, clenched fists, pins and needles (in this case both figurative and literal). Yet my rational mind was completely lucid, and bewildered throughout.

The whole time the brain was thinking, "Well this is odd... Hey! My hands are pincers!". While the body was doing all sorts of weird things and required 3 people to carry me to the nearest bed. Everytime I tried to speak, I'd be crying instead. It was pretty trippy.

Where the brain was fascinated and wanted to prolong the event. The body was scared witless and freaking itself out.

Yup, my body has finally divorced itself from my brain.

All this coz of a coupla pins in a swollen ankle.
Rar. I gotta go back tmw and do again too. Doctors orders.

Have Pics, Must Show.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

#121: Leaving Impressions II: KL.

To showcase the differences in our encounters in KL...

Mike got approached by a very sweet and cute waitress. I got approached by a Vietnamese lady of negotiable affections.

When we both went to a get a massage, Mike got the granny from Helga's House of Pain. I got an aggravated ankle and an unexpected butt massage.

But in the end, it was Mike who kept trying to blow me hard with his dart.

(With the blowpipe that he got in the jungle, what were you thinking of?!)