30 August 2012

5.5 years. This is nuts.

Wow. 5.5 years into this blog. This whole year has been year of milestones for me. Actually, I'm writing this entry aboard a plane returning to Hong Kong from Singapore. Got to say, I'm absolutely loving the idea that I have 3 seats to myself! :)

Anyway, so life is good. Things have been hectic but they've always been hectic so I'm no longer surprised or shaken by that. In fact, it's when things are too calm that I tend to worry and wonder and start getting suspicious. 2012 has been a year of milestones for me and the 1st milestone has been my level  of acceptance.
I've started to become much more calm and understanding when it comes to life in general. I've also developed an old-man-grumpy attitude at times.. but it's all good because along with that I've developed an old-man-whatever attitude as well where at the end of the day, whatever happens I'm like "ahh, whatever" so it doesn't ruin my mood.
So I finally got my  photos using the LC-Wide camera from Lomography developed. I have to say, this camera is fun! I think at first, I wasn't used to the idea of a non-digital camera because Im so used to taking a picture and being able to see the final product immediately! With this, I had rolls of 36 pictures and that meant I had to finish the roll, take it down for development and then wait and finally see my handy work. And I have to say, I should have paid more attention in photography class :P I mean, out of 3 rolls, I got a few good pictures that I liked as you can see below, but I think this camera has got me very curious now, I want to take even more pictures to see what everything does!

I still have a bunch of rolls and I look forward to taking more pictures and seeing how they turn out. Bravo Lomo, you've done something I never though would happen: You've made me enjoy taking photographs. Well I enjoy it mostly because you've created a new anxiety for me where I need to find out how my pictures turn out, so I have a need to take more photos so I can develop the roll and eventually repeat the process. Great economic plan! :) For anyone who's always enjoyed taking pictures or is an instagram addict, I suggest you give a normal film camera a spin if you're ever going on a trip. Develop the pictures after you return, you'll find going through all the photos a real thrill!

So I'm looking forward to getting back to Hong Kong because I'm excited about what lies ahead. Oddly, I remember around 4 years ago, I would go to bed excited because I wanted to wake up already and get going with all my plans and ideas for the next day. There was a long period when that kind of excitement wasn't there. I'm not saying life was boring, but it was the kind of life where things were smooth sailing and therefore I would go to bed peacefully knowing things are going and moving. I'm excited now because it feels like there's so much I want to do and there's so much I can do. It's just a matter of taking advantage of any opportunity and just doing it.

As I said earlier, this year has been the year of milestones. I just experienced another milestone. I was in Singapore as the headlining act for Comedy Masala'sCentury Masala show! 100 shows into Masala and I had the honor of being the chosen act to close this show! Every single local comic there was on fire that night and even the newcomers did very well. I absolutely loved the high energy and especially the challenge because as a headliner, you better have something that takes the game to a whole new level! After doing gigs in Singapore for a few times, I've managed to absorb the environment and write some local humor. I was proud to have 3 new bits I incorporated into the show that I had just written after my plane landed. On my flight to Singapore, there was a monk on the plane (like literally 100% monk, with the robes and all) and I wrote a bit joking about how the monk sat next to me and the weird thing was, I was at the Window Seat, the monk in the middle seat and…. no one at the aisle seat, so when I asked the monk to move to the aisle seat, he said "I'm buddhist, I always find the middle way" :P, on the taxi I noticed a lot of construction sites that sported cool safety signs like "Safety today, alive tomorrow" and some trying to be funky like "when it doubt, check it out" so I added my own and said there was a big sign outside my hotel window that said "don't die" ;P… and finally, when in my hotel room, I encountered a very weird lotion in the bathroom that said "Hair and Body Shampoo" so I took it to the show and asked the audience "how did they know I was that hairy!?". Got to say, I was so happy it went well and another thing is I got 1 full hour of pure un-interrupted writing time which was amazing! It has been ages since I had a whole hour where I could just write without distractions. It helped me refine these 3 brand new bits and thankfully, I trusted my gut and just let it flow on stage. Comedy Masala finished and everyone was happy including myself. An honor and a milestone for me as well.
I've recently gotten back on track with the balance between comedy and my web design work and it has allowed me to rest my mind and give it a chance to just…be creative. While I was in India for 2 weeks for my cousin's wedding, I had no choice but to put work aside and I could feel my brain turning faster, my responses were quicker and I could just think more. My creativity started flowing like before and it was great! I realize that just like your body's muscles, your mind needs a chance to just stretch, relax and do its thing.

Speaking of web design. my business is going well and I'm proud to say all my "systems" are functioning properly. I've tweaked and re-tweaked and well I've finally found the way that I enjoy working. Sure things can still be improved but my workflow etc seems to be going well. The only variable factor is my time and energy. I'm finally not overwhelmed and can feel at the end of the day, my work is moving forward. My clients are happy and I'm happy because we've all found each other's working style and found ways to synergies, something I'm a big, big, big fan of.

My drumming, however, has been suffering for the last month. I'm started to get back on track and luckily, thanks to muscle memory, the time it takes me to get back on track is shorter. I've noticed it gets shorter each time! I suppose my brain is just cleaning out rust rather than laying new groundwork and so I can be back on track to where I left off within 1 week of practicing daily. Speaking of drumming, my band, Eve of Sin, is finally a full band now! We have the drummer (moi!), 2 guitarists, a bassist and a vocalist! We're a complete metal band. In fact we're playing a gig on 15 Sept 2012  at the HKMetal Alliance show and we're super duper excited. We're working hard and practicing during all our free time (in fact, I land in HK today, and go straight to band practice. Yes, that's right :P)

Someone once asked me where I wanted to go with my band, and I remember when I was younger, I was hoping I could tour the world. Then that stopped and I figured if I could just play in a band, I'd be a happy man. But now, my dream has been revived. I'd love to tour the world, heck I'm touring around Asia with my comedy, why not the band as well? Heck, why not one day be the official theme-song creator for Legend Fighting Championship? You never know!

Speaking of "you never know", I think I've developed a new optimism partly because at the recent Legend 10 event, I got to meet THE Grinder Girl. You know, the one as see on The Late Show with David Letterman? I got to see her perform, introduce her and also speak to her! I couldn't believe that was happening because when I was a kid, watching David Letterman on TV, I would have never, ever, in my right mind imagined that one day I would meet the Grinder Girl! After that happened, I figured you really never, ever know, so the whole world is open to me now. I mean, I've performed on the same show as Sugar Sammy, someone I remember watching on Youtube even before I started my comedy career, and I got to hang out with him…..what's stopping me from one day speaking to Jerry Seinfeld? Or sitting across Chris Rock?

I was re-reading my old major blog entries and I remember one of them talked about how I wanted to try some crazy workouts and I am proud to say, I not only do some mixed up workouts but I absolutely love it. I've always believed that a strong mind starts with a strong body and sure I've had my periods where I just don't care (eg. after I returned from India and had that upset stomach, I just ate whatever), but it's great to be back! I love taking myself to the gym with a partial workout in my mind and then trying to see how far I can push myself as my workout happens. Dripping in sweat is what I look forward to followed by a yummy workout shake at the end, that just makes my day :)

Today's 29 August 2012, which means I'm passed the 50% mark of 2012, but it still means I have a good 4 months before the year ends. That's 16 weeks. A typical workout program is 12 weeks long. My drumming exercises says its a 16-week long program. If I write 2 minutes of solid, hard-core funny stuff a week, in 16 weeks, I'll have 32 minutes of laughter, which is half a one-man show. I think at this point, I have no excuse but to progress in the direction I want to be going. Now, it's just a matter of executing, making sure you face the world with a Mind like Water, and keep track of everything so you keep the motivation up. These are all methods, tricks, techniques I've learned over the last 5 and a half years, since the day I began this blog. The most interesting thing would be seeing how I actually progressed in 6 months time.

Until then, keep achieving those dreams and make sure you have a tally of which ones you did! Then one day, sit back, get a bowl of ice cream, and like flipping through an old photo album, look at all the little ticks you have in your life's timeline.
Follow that with a smile :)

PS. This entry was written on a plane around 20 hours ago and I finally got a chance to upload it and stuff....yes, this is how crazy fast time flies here...

20 August 2012

I found my weakness...

... it's my stomach. I think over time I've realized whatever situation I'm in, I'm really on at the mercy of the situation and its time constrains. But the moment my stomach gets wonky (like now), I'm a zombie. My energy levels drop, my mind can't think straight and the only thing I want to do is lie down and sleep. I have been sleeping most of today, and being Sunday, I allowed myself to take a nap without an alarm clock. 2 hours later, I wake up, feel butter but just want to go back to sleep. Hmm.

So it's been ages since I last blogged, mostly because I have been so bogged down with work that my brain reaches a point where it no longer can think and just wants to be passive, which is when I turn on the TV shows and veg-out till I can't stay awake.

Since the last time I blogged, almost 2 months ago, so much has happened I don't know where to start. The lovely folks at Lomography were kind enough to give me an awesome LC-Wide camera for me to muck around with. At first I figured I'd probably end up taking a few pictures here and there, but that thing got me hooked, I started wanting to see the world through that wide-angle lens because everything looked so much...cooler. The weirdest part of my whole experience was that I couldn't take the pic then check my camera to see how that pic turned out. Yep, it uses ol-skool style film which added a new excitement, mostly watching everyone else use the camera and asking me why there was no screen, then when they look through the viewfinder, they're like woooooaaahhh!!
I have to take my rolls of film I have used to get developed then I'll shower it all over the Internet for everyone to enjoy (I hope heh).

Speaking of taking photos, I went to India for 2 weeks for my cousin's wedding and man, I thought I was tired in HK, but going to that trip was a new kind of exhaustion. You know when you are active so much, that you get to a point where you literally just shut down. Like nothing is exciting and all you want to do is stop? It's like the reverse of being so bored you start finding pleasure in doing the dumbest stuff? These 2 weeks were packed with events, preparation, hanging out with cousins and the ultimate experience -- eating. I ate so much food while I was in India I can only say I would like to apologize to the sewage pipes. The food there is freaking fantastic! Oh my goodness! It puts Indian food found in HK to shame, but then again, that's like comparing Chinese food in India to Chinese food in Hong Kong. Speaking of Chinese food, we actually went to a Chinese restaurant while I was there and I have to say, they had some funky stuff on the menu. A few things that were absolutely not Chinese (like deep fried threaded Indian Cheese aka Thread Paneer ). Absolutely not Chinese but absolutely tasty! Then there was Kim Chi (ahaha soooo Chinese right?), which surprisingly wasn't that bad.

Time flew by and when I returned to HK, I was burnt out. I'm talking burnt out to the point I didn't really know what was going on, I just knew I had to keep going. Finally my stomach gave way from fatigue and here I am, enjoying weird cramps and an upset stomach. I honestly feel like I'm going through withdrawal symptoms of all that spicy, sugary, fatty food I've been eating for the last 2 weeks because all I can think of eating is spicy, sugary, fatty food. Oh addiction, why are you so cruel to me!?

Well tomorrow's a brand new day and I'm excited (fingers crossed I feel better) because it's a heavy duty week. Legend Fighting Championship 10 is on 24 August 2012 and I always get psyched and nervous for that. I need to start getting my voice ready for this as well as my endurance, who would have thought speaking into a mic at intervals for 4- 5 hours would be a great ab workout? Anyway, the line up of fights looks awesome this time and I strongly recommend you check it out if you get a chance. Heck, you can even come over and say hi during half-time and if I give you a weird face with a "who are you?" look in my eyes, just blame my blogging and we'll be cool :)

I better get some rest, have a good week and I'll come back with pictures and more stories once the Gods of Time are kind to me again :)