25 November 2009

Macbook pro!

Yes!!!!!! I am the proud owner of a brand spanking new Macbook Pro! I had a big debate in my head between the 15" and the 13" and eventually settled for the 13" which acted as a great upgrade from my old (but classic) white Macbook. It was time it retired.

With the new Macbook Pro comes new ways of working and a lot of "new" lifestyles for me. I've re-arranged all my toys in my room (I love action figures from mcFarlane Toys) and adjusted the way my room is lit. After doing a lot of research, I discovered in interior design, lighting, to my, is king. You can have the worst furniture in the world with a layer of dust on it, but add some good lighting and you can visually add so much to anything. It kind of explains why restaurants and bars are so dim and why clothes look better in the store but suddenly are disappointing when you wear it at home. It's not the mirror, it's the lighting! Speaking of mirrors and lighting, I saw a really cool hanging light from Tom Dixon called the Mirror Ball. It would be perfect for one of the corners in my room because it'll give me a great fish-eye view of my whole room. Heck, one of M. C. Escher's famous drawings was thanks to a mirror ball.

I've also rethought how I follow the advice I got when reading Think like DaVinci about satisfying the 5 senses.

Scented candles have become a new addition to my room. Now that it's winter, I don't have to worry about the fan blowing out my candle. I'm also going scented candle shopping later tonight because I've come to realize scented candles from Ikea just don't cut it anymore.

I've become an avid fan of both Sky.fm and Somafm.com with my lovely Foobar 2000 keeping my ears satisfied with grooves ranging from Smooth Jazz to zen-like Indian beats.

As I said, I've re-arranged my toys so now my desk is actually clean! Also, I've tied up all my wires in a little black tubing so, even though I can't hide them completely and look like I'm wireless, I can still keep them less distracting.
I've also decided that I'm probably going to repaint the wall which I face while working a neutral grey (RGB 128, 128, 128) and get myself some Idea Paint for one of my walls. I've learnt the power of having a plain wall and adding simple decals to it.
Oh and have I told you my recent fascination with Bonzai plants? I'm still in the process of deciding where I will keep it in my room. Hmm.

My lovely Herman Miller Aeron chair is more than perfect although it needed a little tightening, after all, I sit on this like every single day! Also, for my new Macbook Pro, I went with an Incase hardshell cover. It has a rough surface so there's extra friction/grip which is good because sometimes when I'm on the go, I have the Macbook Pro out by my side, under my armpits.

Here's where I'm still kind of lacking. I've set up charts with suggested snacks that are quick and easy to make such as Cheese toast. I've even got its calorific values as well as the amount of time it takes to make so I know if I only have 5 minute, certain snacks are out of the question. I considered getting some green tea ready so I could sip at that while working, but I realized, I'm still more of a water person. I consume so much water, I actually find myself spending quite some time refilling my bottles and jars every day! To the point I even tried to fill up 3 - 4 bottles in the morning and have them next to me before I start work, so I'd always be nice and hydrated. Otherwise, I don't snack on anything tasty like Chocolates or candy. I don't like to.

What do you do for your 5 senses?
So now I have 10 days to give this "setting" a work out to iron out all the teething problems. I already encountered one, that is the high-level of work it take to keep my desk clean! Yikes, I have never had one night, before bed, where I had an empty desk. Somehow things just creep on here! But on a brighter note, I've recently ordered a new bed-frame which'll give me 2 extra draws on the floor that will allow me to use them as spaces to just shove everything I want to deal with later there. Kind of like a GTD inbox, but for real objects that I don't want to see when I wake up.

Speaking of waking up, the people upstairs are still renovating which means I wake up to crazy drilling every morning!! I must admit, at first I thought I could ignore it, weeks into it though, I've found it's really, really irritating. Oddly, when I leave and go out, the normal noise of the roads, vehicles, people talking, sounds like silence to me. Hmm :P Which makes me wonder, if I make my room too nice for myself, will the outside world look like shit? I hope not.

See you in 10 days!

I got inspired by Kimmy_ to take pictures of my desk and share it with everyone. So here it is in all its glory :)

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15 November 2009

Late night snack edition

Hello, hello! So you may be wondering "woah? You're awake at 2:50am?! I thought you wake up at 6am!" well, I'm about to go to sleep and no I'm not planning on waking up at 6am tomorrow, it's not going to happen, sad but true. I've been totally thrown off the 6am principle because of work and comedy. I guess it's a constant fluctuation for me and I can only remember that great feeling I used to have, waking up at 6am to the freshness of a new day.

On a brighter note, the weather's gotten cooler and I'm able to use my right leg to walk up (single) stairs! YAY! You have no idea how happy I was when I could go up stairs like that, it's all finally coming back! I feel like I'm able to conquer the world again! :)

On another brighter note, Paul Ogata is in town and I got to open for him this past Wednesday and hosted the show on Thursday. It's always great to watch the master at his best as he works the room and pretty much unoffensively mocks anyone :) I have to say, I admire his attitude that you don't feel like he's belittling you, but instead make fun but in a good, positive way. It kind of motivates me to push myself a bit more whenever I'm performing in front of professional comics in a show because I feel like I want to reach their level or something and sometimes I throw myself into pits while on stage and hope for dear life I don't sink into my own hole.

So we had black Friday and usually that's one the luckiest days for me but so far this black Friday did nothing for me, other than dealing with work I suppose. I did have a phase of burnt out running through me that day though. I mean, I literally didn't want to do anything, not just work, but I mean anything! I get that every now and then, oddly, when I get it, I know what it is, but mentally I just can't pull myself out of it. After some sleep and stuff, I'm back to normal. Like tonight, I'm quite pumped. I'm pumped because I just returned from my 10-year high-school re-union. It was really a pleasure to meet all my old classmates, at first I thought it'd be just....we... boring small talk but oddly, everyone just got right into it, no "ohh it's so long! How's the family" yadda yadda yadda, but it was like we all just met last week and were meeting again 7 days later! Then they even showed some photos of the old times and that really got to me. I mean just watching all that, brought back so many happy memories. I did miss those old days but it was not a missing that I wanted it back, but just it reminded me that there were some really good times with these guys and I was happy to be there and meet all of them. After all, I spent so many years of my life with them, day in and day out! :)

I guess this day 10 entry is about how things from 10 years ago felt so normal, but 10 years later, they were treasures. Those photos really became treasures to me and when we took a group photo, I was really quite happy to be in it because I knew, in a few years, this'll be something worth remembering. I also made sure to film down the humble little 10 minute comedy set I did during the gathering so I could always check it out years and years down the line.

So this has actually re-enforced me about my logging habits and that I know in some time, I'll be happy that I did with all this effort. I mean, stuff like my blog, when I started it over 2 years ago, it was just a simple sharing of my thoughts, but now it has become a great resource for motivating myself and reminding me of where I was and where I am. So here, I'll say it, log people log!

It's 3am now and I really should hit the sack, I got myself all excited for tomorrow because I'm going to give a new online logging tool called Disciplanner a try and see how it goes. I'm also throwing myself in the deep end of learning advanced things with Sonar and boy, it may seem simple at first but as you go deeper, the power behind this piece of software is amazing!

And speaking of sounds, I've been reading my brain book and it covered a chapter about music and about the differences for genders and the mind. Kind of explains a lot about why we have the typical "guys do and girls talk" idea, it roots to the typical male vs female brain design and how things are wired. It even explains stuff like why certain things are inherited by the guys but not by girls, etc. Freaking mind-blowing really!

Woah, come to think of it, these last 10 days have been quite......packed for me. Not wonder I hit a low point of near-burn-out this week.

Oh well, we got a lovely cool Sunday awaiting tomorrow when I wake up so I'm going to head out to the sack and hit some zzz's! Speak to you in 10 days! :D


04 November 2009

Over-logging? Am I killing my forest of free time?

Hi there, we've hit another Day 10 entry and I figured instead of keeping this on my to-do list all day, I'd clear this out of the way before I head into the deep end of all my work for the day.

I've recently discovered that my love for logging things has grown a bit more. Now I even log how much I sleep using YawnLog. Why you ask? Just because I'm curious. I'm curious as to how my sleeping, eating, exercise, work habits affect my mood. I mean sure, it's going to be a rare occasion I actually take all my logs and put them together and go "hmm, so why was I tired last night at 7pm? Oh, it's because I ate 300 calories worth of carbs at 5pm, was working on 6 hours of sleep and had been up since 7am, so it was time to take a nap because it was 12 hours from the mid-point of my sleep. Not to mention I had worked out over 60 minutes which probably brought my cortisol levels a bit too high and that unnecessary cup of coffee during the client meeting at 4pm probably gave me a caffeine crash at 5pm." Sure.

But I guess it's because I'd rather have the chance of that analysis ever happening than to be happy with the response of "I don't know, I'm just tired because I am!"

However, I've recently noticed that the amount of time I spend on logging things has gotten more and more and even though I've made everything quicker, it still requires that same amount of time as before. Hmm.

  • I log my sleeping habits using Yawn Log
  • I log all my things to do using Remember the Milk
  • I log my eating and exercising using Fitness Assistant (online tools just didn't cut it)
  • I log my expenses using Buxfer
  • I log my expenses on the go using Easy Expenses on my PDA
  • I log all my appointments using Google Calendar
  • I log people visiting my site using Google Analytics
  • I record almost all my comedy performances (sometimes I don't have my camera handy :(..) for studying and you guessed it, logging
  • I log my comedy ideas on a notebook that I carry with myself everywhere
  • I log my other ideas using Evernote
  • I log my thoughts....here
The reasoning behind all this, for me at least, is because I'd rather have that thought/idea/information somewhere than in my past only. Another reason is because the #1 idol of Yours Truly, ol' Leonardo Da Vinci wrote everything down. He externalized his thoughts and well, being one of his fans, I've learned to do the same.

I really wish I could ask Leonardo if he felt the same way that sometimes he was spending so much time writing things, he didn't have much time to just... relax. I guess life was different back then, at least he wouldn't be bombarded with phone calls, emails, drilling from the people upstairs, etc. during the day, so all the other time he had that didn't involve him writing everything down was free time. Hmm.

On another note, I sometimes do feel logging things also drag me down because I can't just let things slip by. And in turn, it annoys me when people forget things you expect they'd remember to do. I have this problem sometimes with my band mates where we'd discuss about something and a week later, they'd come back and tell me "oops, I forgot!" In fact, I've found that if you tell someone to do something and if they didn't write it down somewhere at that moment, chances are they're not going to do it. I'm not doubting everyone's memory, but it's just something I've grown to accept as reality. So whenever I see someone isn't writing down what I told them, and if I really wanted them to do it, I'd tell them again via email or SMS or some black-and-white form which acts as them having written it down somewhere that doesn't require their memory for it to remind them. I don't trust the human memory enough. As I've said many, many times before, I feel the brain's main task is not to remember, but to think. In the process of thinking, we have to use recollection, but not as a means to think. We should not think because we remembered something, we should remember something because we were thinking of something.

Any thoughts on that (if you suddenly remember something while pondering about that, you're welcome ;P)?

One confession, my 6am's have gotten worse recently with today being the ultimate worst of the worst with me waking up at 9:34am! Yikes! I woke up and within minutes the drilling from upstairs began and my peaceful awake time was ruined. I've grown to really appreciate that 1 - 2 hours of peace I get before the phone calls, emails, drilling, interruptions begin. I've learnt to accept that interruptions are part of a freelancer's life and so I've tried to find ways to push that to later. I mean, many people would wake up, go to work and then after work tend to their own interests. I've found that it's better to reverse it because once I've tended to myself in the morning, say practiced my drums or gone for a work out, I'm able to concentrate on my work better because work seems to be the only things left on my list. So I don't feel drained halfway through the day and feel too frustrated to practice the drums or something. Which is why the 6ams were so perfect. I'd wake up, I'd have 1 good hour to log and plan my day, I'd have another hour to practice my stuff, and 1 hour before people even considered waking up let alone contact me :)

Guess tonight will be the night where I force myself back into bed by 10pm. Fingers crossed! Let's see if I fall off the 6am wagon again in the next 10 days! Hmm...