Post #177: Just What I’m Up To

July 8th, 2013

I’ve had two late nights in a row. I don’t mind them, as long as I have time to sleep again. One friend of mine does it regularly, and it freaks me out. I wonder if you can do permanent damage by missing out on sleep? Maybe just indirectly, because you’re more likely to mess up and hurt yourself.

I went to a housewarming party, on Friday. Two different groups that slowly became one. We all ended up outside to play KanJam, and each game had an audience of ~15 people. Fun times til 4 am. I was drinking wine by the pint, and woke up with the biggest headache. (Who knew?)

On Saturday, I serendipitously became the host of both a UFC watching and an early morning Wimbledon final. My brother was having people over, and I went to invite one additional friend, which then became five - all guys. We went through two extra large pizzas and 48 beers. We didn’t call it a night until 5am, and at 9am on the dot, I was buzzing people in again. I love being able to do that. It’s why I bought those ottomans!

My website has been stagnating for a while now. I don’t have the energy or drive to maintain it as-is. Even this blog - I remember when I wanted to separate from LiveJournal, because I was going to start branding myself as a serious artist. Instead, I’m just isolated, and the views I get are from the few in the know still willing to pop by. What I’m planning on doing, soon-ish, is using this site just as a portal to all my stuff around the internet. I’ve already got it automatically picking up my YouTube channel. I could do the same with my Tumblr page - which I don’t update because I have this as my journal… but using the Tumblr site would be so much better than having a bland wordpress site.

Also, this is probably not going to happen, but I’m also considering getting bigger. i.e. Muscle mass. I’ve waxed philosophical on it before, but I’ve never really done it. The past two days had me eating much more beyond what I can normally handle. I’m a bit worried that I’ll just get heavier, but we’ll see.

Post #176: How To Not Sabotage Yourself Becoming A Better Person

June 17th, 2013

My girlfriend and I ended it last weekend, after giving ourselves a long grace period to come up with an exit strategy. If I were a more secure and perhaps more organized person, I’d probably know how to manage this new sense of freedom and loneliness, but so far, I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants.

Luckily, my Monday and Wednesday was filled with Frisbee and friends. I spent Tuesday calling my family to let them know the news. On Thursday, I was lucky again to get a call from my friend, Adam, about a Magic tournament that needed a replacement player. So, it wasn’t until Friday that I was home by myself, and I had no plans whatsoever. It was the first time I could arguably do whatever I wanted. I was raking my brains for what I wanted to do, but I could come up with nothing worth doing.

You know what I mean, right? You do a cost analysis of what you’re currently interested in doing versus what you think you’ll get out of something short-term and long-term….

I learned a lot from my girlfriend; she’s been a good influence on me. We complement each other very nicely, with how she’s an information-gatherer, whereas I’m happy to MacGyver situations with what little I’ve got. Now it’s time for me to step up, and slow down, and do some research before I jump into anything too serious.

On Friday, I ended up taking a nap, creating a reddit account, and reading whatever I could to pass the time.

Post #175: It’s too simple to be fair

April 29th, 2013

“If it doesn’t matter who wins or loses, then why do they keep score?” - Vince Lombardi

When I was in high school, I tried really hard to change the way they scored our Cross Country event, because there was a glaring issue with it. They argued that they wanted to encourage everyone to participate, and so awarded anyone who completed the 10 km run with 10 points. The biggest problem with this was that 10 points was a lot (in comparison, winning the 100 m race was only worth 5 points) so there surely was a lot of peer pressure to participate… but my issue with this was that some houses had more people who could participate than others. The year I looked into it, Blue house had 7 more people than my Green house, and 8 more than Red. I argued with the teachers for weeks, (I suggested using percentage instead), but they wouldn’t budge (i.e. didn’t care). Cross Country came around, and even though Green House dominated the top positions in the event, that didn’t matter… there was nothing we could do to catch up, and Blue House came out as the big winner that year. And the next year - i.e. the year after I graduated - it was Green House that had the Cross Country advantage, and they ended up winning the trophy that year.

I get really invested in developing fair methods for scoring things. My girlfriend and I are in a bowling league this year, and I was taken aback by their scoring method. The teams are six-a-side, and you bowl one official game each. To score, they match up the teams’ individual scores together, based on the arbitrary order in which you bowled, (first against first, etc.) and the one with the better score gets a point. They also give the team with the highest total score 4 points, which helps, but that ordering seems to leave things too much to chance. I started thinking about other ways to do it - like sort both teams by score first before matching them, or inverse-sort them first, or just use the Mario Kart Wii method of scoring 12 racers (15,12,10,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1,0). My girlfriend likes tracking our bowling stats, so she’s got her own spreadsheet of scores tabulated… but I started keeping a separate spreadsheet with ALL teams scores, and I might do some crunching after all is said and done.

Often I make things too complicated (because I can :P). These past few days has had me crunching NHL stats for my girlfriend’s office pool. I thought I’d help her out a little… but I ended up creating a monster. I pulled out all games from the season, and crunched them something fierce to determine team ratings. For shits and giggles, here’s what my stats would argue is going to happen in the first round… with adjustments in brackets for when I don’t agree completely. Read the rest of this entry »

Post #174: Cravings…

March 8th, 2013

Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing. — Redd Foxx

I just read this article on a young Christian male who’s newly married and considers his addiction to pornography to be a devastating sin. He tells us that he thought his addiction would be solved by marriage - “Things will be fine,” I told myself. “After all, we can have sex whenever we want now.” - It breaks my heart that this guy thinks that he has a problem with pornography, beyond thinking that it’s an unhealthy addiction. Article

But them’s the breaks. The comment section is a mix, and I’ll stay away.

Porn, coffee, sleep, meat, the internet, oxygen… I’ve tried to rid myself of all of these so-called addictions at one time or another, and failed at all of them. I don’t think death will come any quicker or painfully because of it.

No one likes to admit that they’re ruled by their cravings. Heck, there’s an entire religion devoted to denying any and all such cravings - i.e. Buddhism. They want you to simply observe your cravings, yet do nothing about them; just watch them magically disappear. I have trouble with this theory because it doesn’t seem to be a one-size-fits-all answer. Like, if my bladder is full, do I just observe the pressure building up, and not satisfy this craving to empty it?

Admittedly, I’m waking up with a bad stomach, and I get these weird pangs in my chest… but I think it’s too easy to just blame the coffee. My eyesight is going, so it’s all this staring at the computer, right? And my disillusionment in the institution of marriage must be because of all my easy access to porn since I was 15, right?

Post 173: Keep On Truckin’

January 29th, 2013

I’ve been fighting for a while with this one song of mine. So far, it’s called either “Hard Truth” or “Life Always Needs to Keep On Living”. I put up on my website what I’ve got for the lyrics so far, but I’m still working on it. (Heck, I’m still working on “Weather Vane Woman….”)

I must have been listening to a lot of Tom Waits or something when I anchored the “voice” for this tune, because I don’t really listen to soul-wrenching bluesy music on my own. The song started when somehow I came up with the line, “Mama, I’ve come towards a hard, hard truth.” And it’s left me with the hard, hard problem of trying to work out what that hard, hard truth could be! Talk about making life difficult for yourself….

So, I started thinking about all the “hard stuff” that’s out there. And whenever I got something good, it was always just a brief sound byte, and never on-topic with the other “hard truths” I had previously thought of. Yet, I pushed, and pushed, and it’s to the point that I want to insist that these ideas should be considered as one.

The more I try to explain the song in this entry, the more I end up deleting.
So, I’m not going to say another word!

Post #172: Religious de-baiting

January 22nd, 2013

A friend started yet another religious debate on his Facebook wall. He started it with the statement, “Ethical systems grounded in secular humanist theories eventually devolve into self-centred systems that cannot be called “good” ethics.” And then he waited.

I took the bait, as did a number of people. It just seems so offensive to me. It’s like telling people who are starting a business that they’re going to fail, or telling a couple who are getting married that they won’t last.

I get where my friend is coming from. He practices law, and just like the police, you get a certain grim outlook on society when you deal with these matters. He’s openly admitted in his loss of faith in humanity. Still, I chose to argue with him, than to let him get away with the statement.

Startlingly enough, we found something to agree on. Somehow, we both agreed that in the end, you have to have faith in humanity’s natural desire to recognise and seek the truth. Even though he had no faith in humans coming up with a ethical system on their own, he reasoned that, “In the back and forth of reasoned discussion, I trust that the truth will come out….” Yet who’s doing all the communication? Da people! Yeah! He’s got some faith in us! Whoo hoo!

We were also able to agree that we’re on different sides of the same coin: I fear those who would blindly follow rules, and he fears those who tweak them selfishly. That was as far as I was able to get with him, while I was willing to weaken my position all the way to accepting that, sure, maybe humans don’t know if they’re good or evil, but even then, we could still develop a fair ethics system that could at best be called “tolerable” ethics. (Can’t say “good”, but you can’t say “evil” either.)

This was after a good five days of debating, with many hours of thought put into each rebuttal. I enjoy a good discussion on religion, but it takes too much time to type it all up, and then edit for fluff… and oh, the tangents! Maybe next time, I’ll wait to say something to him in person.

Post #171: My balls just dropped, yo.

January 5th, 2013

I’m back to work. It’s not bad. It hasn’t really started since my new manager has been on vacation since I got back. I’m already working (and arguing) with my new team, and I’m just trying to get my bearings again.

The new year started with a bang. A slip and a reset, if you will. The biggest source of stress for me in 2012 came to a head no later than the 99th hour of the year - in fact, it popped exactly half an hour before the year was up. It set the theme for this year. Last year seemed to be a lot about bargaining, and trying to make it all work. Every ball in the air was given a disproportionate amount of energy just to keep ‘em all there. Not this year. The time to speculate is over. This year, we experiment.

I feel pretty good about this.

Post #170: Week 13

December 17th, 2012

Monday - Rearranged my room, bringing all music gear back in it.
Tuesday - last day of bowling for the season!
Wednesday - Bought suitcases - 3 for the price of 1 at the Bay!
Thursday - More Christmas shopping, more bowling (CJ’s turkey!)
Friday - MORE Christmas shopping, chilling with CJ
Saturday - Frisbee tournament, RDC’s farewell party
Sunday - Trivia (Nuts & Gum debuts at 73/100!)

So, there you have it. 13 weeks off work.
It was a big mystery, filled with dreams and imagination as to what I could have accomplished.
However, there’s still so much to do, that it’s hard to stay focused on one thing. Then again, what’s better? Bowling once a day for two weeks, or once a week for 13 weeks?
I made a little progress on a lot of things, and my life is still pretty much on course and intact.
Yay, me.

Post #169: Weeks 11 and 12

December 10th, 2012

I’m again, not remembering everything. Will try to.

Thursday - went clothes shopping, grocery shopping, did chores, cooked Shepherd’s Pie
Friday - can’t remember…
Saturday, Dec 1st - can’t remember…
Sunday - cancelled trivia led to games night at Eric and Jo’s, played the Resistance.
Monday - reviewed an ultimate frisbee video, worked on a background tune for one of Shetu’s interview videos.
Tuesday - skipped bowling
Wednesday - can’t remember…
Thursday - Went bowling with Dasri and Shetu
Friday - Eaton’s centre shopping, ate at Mercato, where Stirling cooks, made Shepherd’s Pie again, watched the Avengers.
Saturday - made breakfast for CJ, played SMBWii, went to Jacquie’s birthday party
Sunday - magic drafting, got June and Ken to come out for it.

One more week to go!

Post #168: Week 10

November 28th, 2012

Shoot me in the face, I want it to be over.
I don’t fully remember what we did.
At this point, I’m a wreck. A complete wreck. Not sure if work will make me feel any better, but at least it’d be a distraction.

Monday - Watch Magic drafting videos, played Halo and Mario Kart
Tuesday - More of the same.
Wednesday - bowling.
Thursday - played Mario Kart for 8 hrs straight
Friday - Jackie’s crazy Easter Egg Hunt in November.
Saturday - Recovering from Jackie’s party, to go to Claire’s birthday party
Sunday - Magic drafting of Innistrad, plus a quick visit to the Veees
Monday - Finish off Mario Kart stuff, stayed up until 6 am watching Myst and Riven playthroughs
Tuesday - Bowling.
Wednesday - that’s today… so far, nothing of note.