25 November 2007

Love to drum

Ahhhhh... it's like 3am and I'm just re-watching a few videos of tonight's band show. All those hard, long hours of slaving away at the drums practicing have paid off. After two and half years of drumming it's all coming together. Don't get me wrong, I may have come two and half years worth of distance, but the more I learn, the more I realize there is to learn! It's like everything else I suppose.

So tonight, I played with Crazimals. It was a fun gig and yes I had my happy pink shoes on as usual :). I also wore the Love Life No Regrets band show t-shirt from 2005. Woah, that was the last proper time I played drums in a show. I mean, don't count last Saturday's performance and maybe a few drum gigs in between but I can totally see where I was and where I am today. Oddly, even tonight, I never needed to play the ride cymbal. At least I've properly incorporated toms into my playing although Crazimals' songs don't really require much Tom or Ride action

Anyways, I really should hit the sack because I got a lot lined up for tomorrow (or today or Sunday, whatever you want to refer to it as).

Just thought I'd share some happy times with you all. I've noticed I'm starting to get an audience at my blog based on my logs so yay to me :) Anyways, I'll leave you with one of the videos from tonight's show. Yes, that's me at the drums :P

22 November 2007

One too many...

Woah, talk about having an intensive start! I wake up, and get like 3 phone calls straight of people asking me questions and stuff! Don't get me wrong, they did nothing wrong, but today I really just wanted to wake up and just relax for a bit. I've had a long hard day yesterday as I juggled many meetings and pushed myself to rethink of strategies for the day while I was outside most of the day. My new GTD implementation in Outlook is really rocking! There still are a few glitches I need to work out on a personal customization level, but otherwise I'm loving my current work process I've created for myself. The only problem is when my next-action widgets keep growing while I don't have enough time to crank through each one of them. It's like, I know what I need to do and they keep piling up but I physically can't keep up with it at times.

Yes I need to get extra help, I agree, but I think there are a few more kinks I need to sort through before I can think of hiring people to help me out. I guess the main thing stopping me is the need for a flexible schedule on my part. You know that experiment where they pour oil in a bottle of sand and the oil seeps into the gaps of the sand granules? I'm taking that concept into my daily scheduling because I realized instead of working on one level, for example, like burning a CD-R, I can work on two levels, so while burning the CD-R, I could finish typing that email because burning the CD-R doesn't require the resources I need for writing an email. And as I expand, I realize I can do a lot more, like if I need to go to the library, I'll definitely schedule my gym working within that time so I don't find myself going out and coming back and then going out again (ie. I cut out one whole journey from my schedule). However, this requires a new way of thinking when scheduling my time/day because I need to categorize each job and see how they fit best with all the other things I need to do. This is where my GTD implementation comes in with those @PC, @Outdoors, etc. tags but I need to customize them more to suit my personal requirements and taste.

So what has been up? Well I played at a band show! :D Wahoo! I mean not just jamming at the last minute, proper performance. I play drums for this band called Crazimals and we performed last Saturday and it was awesome! I haven't played a proper live gig like that in ages! They're, in my opinion, an emo-hardcore band which reminds me of my old band where we tried to achieve what they're doing. It's quite good fun because their songs aren't all metal, they have more emotions in them so it gives me a good change from my own band : ) Not to mention they sing in Mandarin and all I have to take care of is the drums rather than help manage the band too. I must say I freaking love playing drums, I've been disciplining myself a lot lately with my practice and working hard at it because I know drumming is one of those things you just cant cram. That's a thing I have to take into consideration when organizing myself, there are jobs that can be done all at once and some others that are temporal and need to be spread over time. It's like a wound healing, you can do all your dressing on the same day but no matter what it'll need time to heal.

Speaking of healing wounds, I finally wrote lyrics for 2 of my band's songs! I realized it's quite therapeutic at times but also can sometimes pull you down into the shits while writing it. We're down to our 5th song now and once we get that down and also work out with the vocalist we'll be ready to rock at shows! :) I look forward to it, but before that, there is so much to still do. I need to re-tune my drums a bit better so we can record better because I'm really getting sick of my current drum sound but at the same time what sucks is that I need to re-tune 7 at a go if I plan on doing this! Not to mention a huge burn of time but money too! Drum heads aren't cheap! Especially when you use 2-ply ones as well! Yikes! Ah well, what can you do...

Like I said in my title, there are always one too many things to consider with everything. I've learnt what information-overload is really like and in many ways I'm facing it everyday. I was joking with my friend Samuel yesterday about how it sucks to be "smart". What I mean is that, and as my other friend Sharon told me, the smarter you are, the more people will cling on to you and need your help. It's cool but at the same time can really wear you out. Just yesterday, one of my uncle's computer died and he urgently needed me to help him build a new one, I got it done within 24 hours with everything setup for him. The only reason he called me like this was because he'd heard I was reliable and fast. I knew exactly what to do so within minutes I re-arranged my schedule to accommodate going to the computer mall and getting a custom built computer for him. This brings me to yet another self-organization problem where urgent cases pop up and you need to immediately decide what not to do so you can do this urgent job first. If I hadn't taken the time-sensitivity of the custom-built computer into consideration, I'd have probably lost this opportunity and the income that came along, not to mention a new client :).

So it's another Day 10 entry, and the main thing that happened was I played drums in a live gig! I got my GTD properly implemented into my PDA and Outlook and I'm ready to move on with learning other tools/methods to organize myself. Hopefully in another 10 days I'll have that sorted out too and I'll be one step closer to achieving productivity zen. I like Thomas Edison's goal of every 10 days achieving a minor goal, it really helps me focus better on the bigger picture because I've broken it into smaller bits and pieces. For anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about, go read a bit about him and you'll see what I mean.

So how am I doing today? I'm a bit stressed out at the moment because I've got to go for a seminar tonight but I have quite a lot of coding work to get done today. I've already got my next week's work scheduled for myself so I must stay on track this week! Oh man, this is like crunch time for me where everything is happening at the same time! Let's see what happens over the next 10 days and I'll let you know if I rocked and rolled or crashed and burned :P

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11 November 2007

Bun departs

... and so the day has come. My good, good friend Bun leaves for Germany tonight. I must say, I'm a bit bummed out as I can't just give him a ring every now and then and meet him for lunch or something when I'm down in central every now and then. Well, actually I can give him a ring every now and then (yay for overseas calls!) so it's not all bad, but then again I'll stick to good ol' msn I suppose :)

So many things we were supposed to do but since we're both workaholics, it's so damn hard to find time when you're already making time out of a tight 24 hours a day. Bun and I have come a long way as friends and productivity-maniacs. Yes, we're both synergy-fanatics where we really strive to compliment each other and find people who compliment us. It's hard to explain but think of it this way, we push each other's potential to the max. Bun has taught me a lot when it comes to the physical outdoors, he's taken me to lots of places and opened my mind up to many new horizons in Hong Kong. He's helped me through some tough times and if you remember, he was the one who was with me when I got my lovely pink shoes :) My happy shoes!

I used to push Bun to be as productive as he humanly be and talked him through a lot of confused times he went through before. It's not like I'm losing him as a friend or anything, it's just that he'll be in Germany bettering himself and I'll be here striving towards all my goals. As my mom told me once, strive for the moon and even if you don't succeed, at least you'll be amongst the stars. That has really stuck because every time we aim towards our goals and when we don't succeed, we feel bummed out with failure when actually we're still a vast improvement over what we used to be. I'll give you an example with my freelance web business. Few months ago, I was still a mess but now even though I haven't reached that level of perfection I would like to be at, I still have come a long way since day 1. I've learnt so much along the way I don't know where to start, I've learnt to adapt to so many things I never thought of and I've taught myself how to deal with things better.

Bun will be coming back in around a year's time most probably and we were both joking about how it'll be one year later after seeing where we were one year ago! So much has happened! I was in his office two days ago helping him pack some stuff up and we came across some video tapes we had filmed down last year! We came across some DVD print-outs of an educational video I acted in while Bun directed! Man, that was ages ago and the coolest thing is we had fond memories of the whole experience and could stop and just laugh about what a great time we had doing that all. Where life was seemingly so much easier back then :)

I guess Bun and I are both at stages of our lives where we're defining who we are and really making futures for ourselves. The cool thing about the both of us is that we have the energy and passion to strive for what we want. We're men of honor and prefer to win with dignity rather than just win. I guess we see the deeper level of success. I mean if our goal of success is to be rich, we could either make the money or win the lottery. Both ways we'd achieve our goal, but one way is with honor, the other is meaningless. Sometimes I do get told off for my view of "with meaning". I mean the world's so different now, things like chivalry and stuff barely exist even though I'm one of the guys who enjoys it. I mean I just somehow enjoy opening the door to the taxi for, say, my mother and stuff. I guess it's much like she enjoying cooking a good meal and watching someone enjoy it. The effort is paid off with the final outcome. Speaking of my mother, I took her out on Friday since it was Diwali to Haagen Dazs and after ages, we actually sat in the restaurant and ate and chatted. It's been ages since I took my mom out alone but it's nice and I enjoy that :). I bumped into my friend Adam while he was busking with his musical buddies and asked me to join but I was going home with the mother person so maybe next time :).

Music's cool, I've been practicing my drums a lot more disciplined lately, it's getting back into a good habit where I want to practice my seemingly boring exercises. I'm still trying to see which musical direction I want to go towards right now, although I'm still debating over drum 'n' bass or Afro-Caribbean, still pondering. There's so much to learn in just drumming! It's awesome!

The other night I was eating dinner with my uncle when he told me that I really do do a lot with my life. You know, I never really stopped to realize how much I do do each day :P I guess it becomes the norm after you do it for so long. Everyday I keep trying to think of ways where I can reduce the time it takes me to do stuff so I have more time to do more things. I guess I really am working hard to be as lazy as I can. Like I said before, I hate, hate, hate redundant work and so whenever I find myself repeating myself, I automatically try to find another way to get the job done. In many ways, it's kind of like investing now so I get returns in the long-run. Like today, I finally figured out a whole system of filing all my bank statements so I don't need to have folders and folders packed with papers that I have to physically mull through each time I want to check something. Now it's all digitized :)

But this brings me to my next topic, where when you do something a new way, 10 other necessities creep up. What do I mean? Now that I have my documents mostly digitized, I need to think of a better backup solution for myself. I have a simple method that I'm happy with, but as you should know by now, I'm only happy when stuff is totally automated and right now, the way I do it requires me to.....literally.........click.... once. And I'm not happy with it :P Remember how I hate repeating myself? Well needing to click the same button daily sucks in my books.

Hopefully in 10 days, I'll have sorted out some more systems for myself and my business to speed things up even more.

So what's today's big Day 10 entry topic? Well that today marks the day Bun and I go our ways for a while and make life for ourselves. I look forward to seeing how things turn out a year later when our forces reunite :) Where do I see myself in a year? Scuba diving after jumping off of a helicopter. Too much? Well let's just say I'm striving for the moon and I'll be happy to be amongst the stars in 365 days :)

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02 November 2007

I'll make you laugh and scream!

Wahoo!! What a crazy 10 days!! Life is mad, hectic yet totally full of surprises! :P

So first off, great news, I am officially Hong Kong's funniest (Chinese-speaking) person! I won the Chinese category for the First Hong Kong Comedy Festival. I got into the finals for the English one but didn't make it in the top 3 in the end. I was quite exhausted since I had to perform practically every night of last week!
Also, I got to open for Paul Ogata on Thursday (25 October 2007)! It was awesome to be in his presence. I got to see him perform and boy was I blown away! The guy is so smooth with picking at the audience. I admire the way he delivers his jokes.
Oh and here's a picture of my trophy! It's so cool, when I first saw it when I joined the comedy competition, I thought "Man, that'd be cool to have on my desk!" and guess what, it's on my desk! Enjoy the photo:

And so people laughed away last week. Then came this week, the almighty Halloween on Wednesday (31 October 2007). Every year I have a tradition of dressing up and going out to scare kids around Lan Kwai Fong. This year I was so tied up with work I almost missed it. I really didn't feel like hitting the streets or dressing up. I was even going to go to the Take Out Comedy Halloween party as myself (with black painted nails only) but at around 6:30pm, I just stopped my work and got up and organized a DIY costume :). I thought to myself, heck it's once in a year anyways, I have a great time going out taking photos and playing with the crowd so why not! It was so cool at the party, then I headed out and then turns out my friend Adam from Spermatic Chord was playing at the California Entertainment Building and I joined him for improvised drumming and beatboxing for a while. It was so cool, first time I've played drums for him for a whole show!
I'll see if I can get my hands on a full-body picture of me in my Halloween outfit because all the pictures I have are head shots only (yay to arm-length photography).

And today is Friday. I've finally calmed down and got my focus back and I'm ready to rock at my work again. I got to go on the Suzie Wong Radio show today in the afternoon to talk about my Chinese Stand-up Comedy experience and it was quite fun. I realized I really do enjoy just chit-chatting and joking around. It brought back memories of City University's Web Radio show I used to do with my friend Daniel (who I met today). In case you click on the link, the blue-colored show on the top-right corner is the one I was in (yep, that's me on the right with my tongue sticking out :P).

And now comes the weekend. The weather's cooler and life is turning good lately. My projects are calming down and I'm finally hitting the point where I'm under more and more control of everything. I'm more focused than before partly because I'm finally realizing a lot of things about life. So today is my Day 10 entry and I really should have a lesson or something wise to say. Well let's just say that sometimes when you just have faith, things work out. I'm not talking no religious faith, I'm talking faith in yourself that you know what, you're not retarded, you do it, it just works out. Stand up comedy has long been something I've been interested in, I just always filed it under Someday/Maybe (Yes, all you GTD lovers, I am a GTD guy, too). Today, it's filed under I did it! :) It's a good feeling.

My friend Bun's leaving in a couple of weeks so I'll be hitting the camping trail with him sometime. He took me up to Mount Davis once to see the view of Hong Kong and omfg! WOAH! It's so refreshing, just like the view from the Lookout point near the Ching Ma Bridge! He never fails to take me to places that inspire and relax me at the same time. I get into this meditative state whenever we're out in the wilderness or just away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Heck I get inspired when I just hang out with him! He helped me a lot with my Chinese stand up comedy's material by being honest and critical about every joke I have. His special lady friend Sally helped out a lot, too! I get both their perspectives and work stuff out. If it weren't for the two of them, I'd probably be making cheap jokes in Cantonese and would never have this lovely trophy on my desk (unless they made pirated knock-off's! :P).

Anyways, it's time for me to head back into reality and get some stuff done. Tune in next time, I may have a tonne more happy stories to share with you. If not, well, make my life interesting somehow.

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