Saturday, 31 July 2010

#212: The Long Way Round.

Our hotel was only supposed to be a five minute walk from the bowling alley. Made one wrong turn the block before we got there and we ended up on a one hour hike around the harbour area of Tokyo. Normally not a bad walk, but probably not best appreciated in a hot and muggy 1am stagger.

Apart from that it was a good reminder of one aspect of Japan that I'd forgotten - plan ahead, coz it takes bloody ages to get anywhere!

Man, Taiwan's tichyness has spoiled me.

Friday, 30 July 2010

#211: Live Forever.

Two weeks ago, I received a phone call from my mother that my grandmother had entered a serious condition while she was in hospital. My mother said she might not make it through the night. My grandmother thought otherwise.

Within the next couple of the days, I was on the plane back home and by my grandmothers side. When I arrived, she was the weakest I had ever seen her, but still coherent enough to recognise me. Every few days, we would get an urgent phone call from the hospital and every few days, my grandmother would show them just what she was made of.

At eight minutes past midnight this morning Grandma Lee passed away peacefully in her sleep. She was able to see all of her children by her side before she joined Grandad Lee.

It's strange to think that while we might not have shared the same kind of relationship as we did with Grandad Lee, she's probably the grandparent I've inherited most of my core traits from - from her stubborn refusal-to-give-up-attitude to her stubborn... stubbornness. She also used to have that boiling-pot temper that a few people might recognise... heh!

Not understanding the concept of retirement, at 83yrs old my grandmother woke up at 5am every day to go to work in the family business, nobody forced her - she just decided that she wasn't gonna stop no matter what anybody said. In her more coherent moments in the hospital, she would still be asking about matters in the factory and checking that things were hunky dory.

More than anything else, Grandma Lee taught me loyalty, dedication and bloody well sticking to your commitments.

So that's where comes from.


Grandma Lee was the last of my grandparents to move on up.
Grandad Lee is gonna have to start behaving himself again. =)

- Grandma Lee (1927-2010) -
- Grandad Lee (1928-2009) -
- Grandma Lau (1926-2008) -
- Grandad Lau (1921-2005) -


Thursday, 29 July 2010

#210: Long Haul.

What do flying long-distance, 3am laundry at the laundromat and high-altitude hiking all have in common?

I recently realised I love doing all of the above for the exact same reason.

They're all activities where I can focus - like really, purely focus on doing just one, single thing for an extended amount of time. I've been physically taken away from any distracting elements and I can just get one with whatever.

I can't do that at home or anywhere else (that has signal reception).

There's always something just around the corner to check out or one more thing to finish up before I move on. But when I'm in a plane, I'm almost forced to relax. When I'm doing laundry in the morning, the rhythm of the machines against the silence of the night is immensely soothing. When I'm hiking, the only thing you need to think about is how to tackle the next step.

I'm aware that I'm a forever distracted person, so these moments of clarity in purpose - they're pretty invaluable.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

#209: Two Months. Two Weeks.

Flying back to TW, though now knowing that I gotta set up for moving out in a few months... feeling kinda homeless.

Yeesh, where do I say I live now?!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

#208: DND.

I'm exhausted.

Monday, 26 July 2010

#207: A Change Of Topic Is Needed.

My left hand is relishing in the clunk clunk...

Oh my GAWWWWWWWWWWWWWDDDDDDD it's so good to be driving something with a proper manual gearbox!!!!!!!!!

Even if it is a spongey diesel people carrier. (^_^)b

Sunday, 25 July 2010

#206: Code Red.

We hadn't planned to be back in Ipswich so soon, but with one phone call, the London cousins were at our Gran's bedside in the countryside within a few hours.

As far as grandparents go, my sister and I have been given some pretty great examples to follow. =)

Saturday, 24 July 2010

#205: A Brief Respite.

Took a daytrip with the extended family to see the airshow in Farnborough today. We spent the day looking at aeroplanes, eating food sold from trailer-stores, generally doing Sunny-Saturday-family-stuff.

It was good, even for a few hours - we were able to take a break away from the tension and get a chance to regain our heads.

Much needed.

Friday, 23 July 2010

#204: Gapless.

I've noted this before, but this is my blog and I never stated that I wasn't allowed to repeat myself... so nyah! =P

One of my favourite quirks that I've noticed over the years is that with the people I'm closest to, our conversations never stops.

It doesn't matter whether we don't see each other for a few days, or a few years... we always seem to pickup exactly wherever we'd previously left off. Whether we were finishing off a story or trading monosyllabic grunts, the flow never died - it never even noticed we were gone.

I'm absolutely rubbish at keeping in touch. But with friends and family like mine, it doesn't actually matter. (^^)

Thursday, 22 July 2010

#203: Great Tiddlies injected.

While I'm in town, my uncle has lent me his guilty little pleasure to use...

He's had the block under the bonnet fettered just a bit more than the fancy set of wheels might indicate... 0-60 in nigh on 5secs fettered...

While I can count on one hand the number of people who truly understand the deepness of this love of driving... I can count on the hand of a bomb-maker the number of people who share the love and have the means to indulge that passion.

I know just how incredibly lucky I am to have one of those people be my uncle. (^^)v

Excuse me, it's 1am. I'm gonna go for a drive.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

#202: Troubleshooter.

It was definitely my dad that cultivated the problem solver in me.

He used to buy me these puzzle books with filled with logic problems.

Now I can't help but try and find solutions to issues I see all over the place, it's a compulsion.

So when I come across a problem where there really is nothing I can do... the world goes a lil off-kilter.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

#201: Urgent Stillness.

It's an odd feeling when you find yourself dropping everything and literally flying halfway around the world to see a loved one in their time of need, only to realise that when you get there - the only thing you can physically do is to sit by their side.

Logically, I know that just sitting there is helping in itself. But that initial rush rush to get back in time, tethered by a sudden stop.

It never stops being disconcerting.

Monday, 19 July 2010

#200: Less Like Minty, More Like Sticky.

When you're staying at your grandparents place, there are some unique hazards that might be worth pointing out.

For example: When brushing your teeth, make sure that tube you've picked up is actually toothpaste - and not denture cream used for keeping false teeth attached to old-granny gums...

...they look very very similar... (>.<)

Sunday, 18 July 2010

#199: Comedius Fugit.

Turns out all you need to survive a 13hr flight trapped between an old-biddy tourist group and a cranky journalist, is 13yrs worth of standup comedy in mp3 format.

I spent practically the whole journey with my headphones in, eyes closed and grinning like a maniac. It was a very pleasant flight.

Think that made the journalist even crankier. Oops.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

#198: Impulse Control. Again.

There are 12 episodes in the first season of Warehouse 13.

I figured that would make a nice lil introductory marathon run for my 13hr flight home.

Was quite looking forward to it too since I'd never seen it before and I've read it makes a nice complement to Eureka, which I also like alot.

Only problem is, I got the season on Wednesday.

Three days is just too long for a bunch of unwatched tv to be sitting on my computer.


What am I gonna do now?


Friday, 16 July 2010

#197: Egoriffic

I know it's not a good thing that there were students who have decided not to continue their classes coz of the fact that I'm leaving...

...I shouldn't feel smug.

...but still... Hee!

Guess I musta been doing something right...?

No no. Bad thing.


Thursday, 15 July 2010

#196: What? But It's Summer!

...and now my body has decided to turn itself into a mucus factory...

I'm gonna be quarantined at the airport, aren't I?

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

#195: Ahh, You Funny Colonials.

So as far as I know...

What we Brits call vests, Americans call "wifebeaters".

What they think of as vests, we would recognise waistcoats.

Our idea of pants are known as "tighty whities" over there.

While their idea of pants is what we know as trousers.

And yet the only people who tend to say the phrase "drop trou", are Americans...

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

#194: Crap. It Just Got Real.

And suddenly, prematurely, I find myself in my last week at my school.

On the one hand, while I do appreciate the position I put my head office in - it can't be easy to reshuffle the schedule and find a cover teacher at such short notice - maybe they coulda been just a lil less eager to suggest that I consider terminating my contract a coupla months earlier than agreed (i.e. "Don't come back!"). Had to fight to keep my remaining days as planned.

On the other hand, to put a positive spin on it - and an upside is needed right now - this will probably be the last time I fly back to England for a grandparent in hospital.

It's always good to see the whole family together again.

Monday, 12 July 2010

#193: Boom Shake The Room.

Sometimes, when I'm sitting on the end of my bed with my laptop, I mistake my heartbeats for earth tremors.

Sometimes I mistake earth tremors for my heartbeats.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

#192: Exodus.

Feels like everybody is leaving TW within months of each other.

Feels like we're approaching the end of an era!

Actually, feels like a whole new generation has come out to experience this wicked incredible island. (^^)b

Time to prep a new tag for the blog.

Wow, feels like I'm saying the words of an old person.

That can't be right, I'm only 19.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

#191: In The Shadows.

When I was lil I used to love attention. In the intervening years I've gained a loooooooooooooooot of humility. Enough to know that I despite those kiddie urges, I'm actually really, really quite rubbish with attention.

I'm much more effective at being the fixer than at being the man with the mouth.

...says the person who updates his tweets, fb and blog a bazillion times a day... (¬_¬)

Friday, 9 July 2010

#190: "It's Not That Simple."

Over the years, that's probably the phrase I get thrown at me most often when talking to friends about their shippy issues.

If they're smart, I'll reply, "It's only ever as complicated as you make it."

If they're smart and stubborn, I'll reply, "YES IT IS!"

If they're stupid, I would've already turned and walked in the other direction.

To me, things really are just that simple, it all comes down to what you're unwilling to let go of. People really do hold on to a lot of crap.

It's a shame that it seems like the majority of the world fail to realise that as long as they keep a grip on the core truth and shake off everything else... they'll gain a brief moment of clarity. Just before all that crap settles back around again.

Only this time they'll have gained that bit of extra perspective.
Usually it'll be all they'd need.

*shake shake*

Thursday, 8 July 2010

#189: Fuzzy Tangentials.

Reading back my post from yesterday, I'm noticing that I pretty much missed the point entirely on what I originally intending to say. Nnnggghh.

Evidently I've still got some way to go in figuring out that dang translational conversion between the concepts and ideas that are so clear my head, into words and sentences that regular humans might understand... (¬_¬)

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

#188: Think Big.

In my life so far, I've met a few people whom I'd consider 'successful', whether financially, socially, spiritually or just plain attitude-ly. More than anything else, what separates these people from the rest is scope.

That is - they never seem to be limited in their visions of their relative areas of perceived success. They just seem to think bigger than everyone else. Why aim for sky when you can go way, waaaaay beyond?

The sky is merely what you can see. There's a lot more stuff behind that big bluey thingy.

There are those who would reject an idea or a concept for the most worthless of reasons, like pride and principle. Even laziness would be a more valid reasoning. Even worse would actual complete lack of consideration at all, these are the people who need to stay away from me.

Think bigger, what's there to be scared of? Fear is just adrenaline fuel. Rowr.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

#187: Words From A Standup.

Don't idolise, be inspired instead.

Idolising is useless, it will inevitably lead to disappointment every time.

Inspiration, however, has a much more solid chance of leading to greatness.

Now if I could only remember which sketch I heard this from... =/

Monday, 5 July 2010

#186: Don't Do It For The Kudos.

While the reason why I live by the "Treat Others As You'd Like To Be Treated" ideology is purely selfish (It makes me feel good about myself). I do hold to it very strongly; it's simply good karma and something I'd definitely try and encourage my future kiddies to live to too.

I'll always follow it up with the warning sticker though - even if they show others the level of respect that they'd wish to be reciprocated back at themselves - they should never, ever, ever expect that to be the actual outcome observed. The world isn't built that way, play to its flow:

The person who is good and decent to others coz they want to be treated good and decent themselves will be disappointed 80% of the time.

The person who is good and decent to others coz they want to be a good and decent person will be smiling 95% of the time.

By taking the external party out of the equation you really do become the master of your own destiny. Whatever the response is - it should not be the majority share in your own disposition. Take the positive and forget the negatives.

Selfish and satisfied... like a true sociopath. =)

Sunday, 4 July 2010

#185: Old School Rocks.

Favourite part of tonight:
Watching the Western popstar getting the Eastern crowd to join in on a selection of his earlier works... and then bemusement when he realised that said crowd wasn't actually as familiar with his earlier work - most of the kids didn't know the words. (><)

Still, he came back strong and almost took the place apart when he busted out the new school favourites though! (^^)

Saturday, 3 July 2010

#184: Water Babies.

For some reason, I always thought I could swim. My primary school did have a pool, after all.

Evidently, turns out I can't actually go more than 15metres without swallowing water.

Well that's a bit unsettling. (O_o)

Friday, 2 July 2010

#183: Hey Daddy.

This weekend is a pretty special one for The Marshmallow and I. Dunno what the fuss is about for everyone else though.

In fact, it's so special that even Usher is coming over to celebrate with us. So that's a pretty something in itself.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

#182: Ridcully.

A while back, I read a five-sentence description of a character which once and for all, told me that this author is truly one of the most astute observers of our time.

If you know the character, and if you've ever had an extended conversation with me in the past 7years - then there's a chance that you might understand just why I love this paragraph (and a bit) so much.
"A lot of this was beyond him, but to people like Ridcully this didn't matter for very long. Ridcully was simple-minded. This doesn't mean stupid. It just meant that he could only think properly about things if he cut away all the complicated bits around the edges.

He concentrated on the single main fact."

Reaper Man - Terry Pratchett

Uncanny. (^^)