24 August 2008

The milking phase

I've recently developed an even bigger love for milk. I've always been a big milk drinker but recently, I've found the need to start and end my day with a nice (read big) glass of milk.

Milk, it's one of those things that has a very healthy image attached to it. We see smart kids drinking it, we see strong people drinking it, we even have sayings with it ("Crying over spilt milk"). I wonder how it managed to earn so much respect and influence over mankind. Perhaps because it's one of the first things we drink when we're born? Or simply because of proper marketing on our part? Really makes you wonder about a lot of good things in life and how they got to be considered as good in the first place.

I mean, with my comedy, I have material that I personally thought was average, yet when I delivered it, it turned out to be hilarious! Was it because I was so de-sensitized by being over-exposed to that humor or was it that people just have a different sense of humor compared to me? I guess it's always good to have some sort of difference, after all, if we were all the same, there really wouldn't be much to make fun of or laugh about in my stand-up comedy routine in the first place.

The question is, how far do you milk your difference and try to use it to your advantage? What I'm saying is, at what point is it no longer good to point out people's differences? It's a rather odd way of thinking but I was just considering this this morning (yes I know I'm 1 day late for my Day 10 entry....) because I was recalling a very, very funny man called Dave Chappelle who (from my understanding) stopped his hit TV show Chappelle's Show because he felt he was no longer simply making fun of people's racial differences, but in a way was contributing towards racist thinking by pointing out people's racial differences. Sometimes I feel the same way. To me, I always believed that laughing about our differences is the best way to kind of bring it out into the open. Like instead of seeing these differences as taboo, bring them out proudly and boldly and let people know we all know about them! I mean, for my Cantonese stand-up, I very often do this since I pretty much know what Hong Kong people are thinking when they see an Indian person, so I literally bring up these points and kind of "answer" them. Stuff like "You're Indian right? Can you make snakes dance?" Ahahah no!!!! No I can't damnit! But I bring it up and people have a hearty laugh because of the fact that I took the higher ground of not only waiting for them to ask, but to give them an answer to a question they never thought I'd even know they were thinking about :). But at times, I feel bad, when I make fun of how sometimes Indian people are cheap-thinkers. I mean, I don't want people to get the idea that I'm ashamed to be Indian, if anything, I'm very proud to be Indian! I don't care what people associate Indians with, I'm happy to take the good with the bad any day!

I suppose as long as I know what my intentions are, then that's all that matters. So what is my point. That's a good point. I've been watching a lot of Curb Your Enthusiasm lately and it's really made me question everything and in some ways is a really good thing because now I'm noticing even more about what's going on around me! After doing stand-up comedy, I'd notice the funny things around me, but after watching this show, I've started noticing the potentially funny things around me which has really helped me a lot in my comedy writing abilities. So I guess there are so many things you can milk that sometimes it's hard to over-milk something, because if it can be milkable, that means you have overdone it. Maybe. Yes, this is an open-ended post. I'll have to think this over for the next 10 days.


14 August 2008

The bun is back

So my friend Bun is back and I got to meet up with him (for a short while) last night after English Open Mics (woohoo! Hosting is fun! :)). I got late because the English open mics go on for so, so long now.. ahah people need to learn to stick to their 7 minutes. Probably going to start getting stricter on the rules.

So we hung out a bit and as usual had a lot of stuff to talk about, but in the end, we were both tired so it was quite an early night and now he's basically packed with meeting family, friends, etc. sorting out everything that he couldn't do while he was in Germany. I actually don't even know when he's leaving heh. Hopefully we'll get to meet up once more before he's gone. It's been over 6 months since I last saw him, time really flies, but as we said last night, who knew we'd be where we are now 6 months ago? So 6 months later, who knows again! :D

Who knows. That really is the question at the end of the day. Destiny anyone? Karma? Just a blank canvas for you to paint on perhaps? Well I've become firm believer of "tomorrow's a new day" because not knowing what will happen means you do have the paint brush in your hand and the canvas is technically completely blank. It's for you to decide what strokes it deserves. I mean, this whole 10 day per entry thing is great because when I look back, I can see how 10 days before another entry, I'd have no idea that in the next 10 days, so much would happen. Even now, as much as the last 10 days seems to have gone by so quickly, it actually hasn't. When I stop and think back, a lot of memories come flooding into my mind. I've met people I never thought I'd ever meet, I've had conversations I never thought I'd ever have, I've an experiences I never thought would ever happen to me. It's weird but in a good way.

So really, who knows? I don't disagree with people who say "if it's meant to be". I mean, a lot of things work out in weird ways. Like Karma, I believe in that stuff because often I've seen things fall into place as they are meant to be. I suppose, I see it as more of an energy balance thing, like every action needs to have a reaction, and shit people will get shit handed back to them. It's just a matter of time and relativity. I mean 2 people could have great lives, but 1 of them could have a greater life, and relatively speaking, the other one had a shittier life. Even though that so called shittier life may still be a great life, it's still a shittier life. It's hard for me to explain, but this whole idea of everything in life is relative has struck me quite deeply because it happens all the time. What is stress to someone else may be a walk in the park to me because relatively speaking, that is nothing compared to what I face every day. This brings me back to the "if it's meant to be" because sometimes you could see it as "if it's not meant to be". I mean it's like looking at the popular optical illusion where you have the 2 faces or the vase?

Like which one do you prefer? Without the vase, you wouldn't have the 2 faces, but without the 2 faces, you wouldn't have the vase. So like when something happen to you, it also means something else didn't happen to you. Like you have that opportunity cost at all times. If you're busy sleeping so you can be refreshed the next day, that also means you're missing out on what happens at night. So like maybe somethings weren't meant to be. Like you weren't meant to win the award so that you'd reflect a bit more about your personal skills and what is lacking. In some ways, you gain more from things that didn't happen. When you lose out, it makes you wonder why you lost out and in turn you discover a lot more. I mean, a lot of people who've been dealt a shit hand of cards in life often don't wish they were dealt a better hand, instead, they've learned to not only deal with a shit hand, but make a good hand out of a shit hand. In other words, they get to enjoy the life of a shit hand of cards along with a good hand a cards that they managed to create! So their level of achievement just doubled! Whereas the guy who had a great hand of cards, now only gets to enjoy what he was dealt because he's not going to go and make it a bad set of cards, just to increase what he experiences. So it's like if you started at the top, well you miss out half the fun.

Who knows? You might decide your life's long enough to go down, and climb your way back up. You know how they say, sometimes you have to take two steps back to take a step forward. If anything, after you go down and climb back up, your whole view of the bottom changes, now you know what you're looking at. You'll notice things like those buildings you walked by when you were down there. What I'm trying to say is that, very often I do catch myself wishing for something after I see someone else with it. Sure, I could use that extra 1 hour a day to just review everything. After all, a lot of my friends spend 2 hours just watching TV! I'm sure they can spare 1 for me. But this also makes me think faster because now I try my best to review what's going on on the side while I'm doing other things.

Ahaha, yes, so my last post was about keeping things simple and it is late at night, I should be getting some ZZ's, so let me get to my point. The thing I was thinking about today and I'd like to say is that sometimes, be glad of the things you don't have. Why? Because that means you have another thing that could be a potential goal that you could work at achieving! The joy of earning something completely outweighs the joy of being given something. Yes. That was my point. I said it in 1 sentence. Ahah but it too me 10 days to get to it.

Enjoy the week!


04 August 2008

The art of KISS

Nope, I'm not about to get all romantic on a Sunday night/Monday morning. KISS as in Keep It Simple Stupid.

A lot of my blog entries have been looonnngg posts with an automatic-writing style to it and in some ways, it's tiring for me to even re-read them after a while let alone anyone who's curious about what I'm thinking, so I'm going to try my best to get to my point as soon as possible here.

So I've been spending my whole day re-organizing my room/work area and everything else so that I've created more empty spaces. Oddly, I've always been the type of person who aims to just fill up any empty space with something because I feel that I'm not making the most of a shelf if nothing's on it. But I was thinking about its relation to design and even music. If anything, it's the empty space in a design and the non-notes in a song that allow people to stop and enjoy what is occupying the space/music. And so I started telling myself to keep it as basic and simple and minimalist as possible and so far so good! My room feels more spacious all of a sudden and I feel like I can even kind of go for a walk if I need to do a 'ponder stroll' :P It's quite nice, just having what is necessary and chucking away all the rest. Of course, there still lies the problem of me needing a lot of things! For one, I've got 3 freaking screens on my desk! :P I've managed to connect all my many computers so I only have to use 1 keyboard and 1 mouse thanks to the crazy power of Synergy! I've streamlined a lot of my drumming area. Like I used to have a little flat area to keep my macbook for recording/practice and another area for my mp3 player for play-alongs and another area for my exercise books. Then I realized, I never ever use all 3 things at the same time! They're mutually exclusive! If I'm reading from an exercise book (by the way, for all you drum freaks, I'm working on Afro-Caribbean Drum Grooves, I remember like 9 months ago, I tried out the first exercise and just gave up because of the insane coordination/limb independence it required, but now I can do it and it's a lot of fun!) Ahaha, I can appreciate the finer details of this type of music now! I never realized how complex it was! The accents, the crazy hand/foot patterns, it really forces you to divide yourself into 4 parts!

And this whole mutually exclusive thing made me think about how much this can be a good factor in my arranging my life, which kept leading me to the whole KISS attitude. I went berserk and started throwing away drum catalogues I had collected as knowledge/references because I figured if I ever needed to read something, I could download the PDF's! I threw away name cards of people because I have all that information stored in my contact database, so what's the use of the card? I cleared up my desktop and re-mapped some of my shortcuts (yay for AutoHotKey) combined with ol' trusty ObjectDock but I still have Launchy installed for times when my hands are on the keyboard so I don't ever need to move away or to the mouse if I don't need to. Yes, if you haven't noticed, I'm a productivity/efficiency freak. If you're wondering, my macbook is similarly set up but I use QuickSilver (I prefer it over Spotlight). Though I still haven't found a good mind-mapping software that I'm happy with (so if you got any suggestions, please let me know).

Alright, KISS! Mutually exclusive, it's another thing that came up when I was researching some more about the typical "I want to lose fat and gain muscle" routine. In fact, those 2 things are mutually exclusive! In a nutshell, to lose fat, you need to burn more calories than you consume. To gain muscle, you need to consume more calories than you burn! And the only proper solution is to do them at different times. In other words, in phases. You burn fat first (but also risk burning some muscle) then you pack on some muscle (but also risk packing on some fat), then go back to burn fat, repeat. In the end, your goal is to come out with more muscle and less fat after a few phases.

So now we got the KISS attitude, we've got the realizing that things that are mutually exclusive can help towards KISS and now we have the concept of phases. This brought me back to when I first dove into GTD, one thing the author David Allen talked about how you end up wasting a lot of energy in the process of changing tracks. Like if you tried to over multi-task you end up wasting more effort because your lack of strong, deep focus on the thing you're working on results in a weaker outcome. As a lot of people know, I'm a multi-task lover. I try to make sure I'm pushing everything to the limit, I try to eat while I walk rather than sit down, I leave my reading to the bus instead of sitting in my room and wasting precious work-time, etc. But this phases concept brought me back a lot because I do agree, I've suffered from a lot of over-multi-tasking and ended up more confused with what's going on than I expected.

KISS, mutually exclusive, phases, not over-multi-tasking and focus. And that's my goal for the next 10 days, to keep it simple by making sure I focus on phasing all my mutually exclusive tasks while trying my to make sure I know my multi-tasking limits. This is going to be a tough 10 days because it'll require quite some discipline on my part because I know I get really greedy sometimes and just wanna do so many things all at the same time which sounds possible on paper, but from my experience usually fails :P. Like telling myself I'm ready to go do cardio for an hour straight at the gym! Sure, I'm fit enough, but 1 hour later, I'll be dead. And the rest of my day/night suffer.

So here we go! Woohoo! A (relatively) short simple post! :D Have a good week + 3 days!

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