26 January 2013


Well hello again. I hope you've been enjoying 2013 as much as me. So far, the year has turned out to be very... normal. You know how sometimes things go too smoothly and you start worrying because it feels too unreal? Well this year has already had its bumps and twists so I'm liking it very much because that's how I think things should be. If things get too hectic, that means I'm back at where I was before, chaos and if things go too well, chances are I'm not really doing much with myself.

Today I had the honor of moderating a discussion session at this year's MaD event. I've had the pleasure of attending the event for the last 3 years, going from performer, to facilitator to moderator....hopefully one day..speaker? :P Anyway, it was great taking care of a bunch of open-minded youngsters who were ready to open their eyes to new things. It made me realize I still very much have that hunger to constantly absorb new ideas.

Speaking of new ideas, I got my hands on the Belkin WeMo Switch and have set up one of the two devices and can't wait to tweak it around with the absolutely awesome ifttt.com. I still have yet to fully work out how I can best maximize this device but heck, it took me years to set up my work desk so the lighting, height, etc. were perfect (well near perfect, nothing's ever perfect for me).

Yep, when I read this, it totally blew my mind because it's something I've thought about a lot and this just makes it even more worthy. The older I get, the more I realize, it's so much about the journey not the goal itself. My obsession about logging everything is because I want to be able to retrace my journey not to see "oh look, I slept 8 hours on Monday and 7 hours on Tuesday, yay".

Speaking of journeys, I've been having one heck of a wild time playing Hitman Absolution.

Seriously though, I am absolutely loving this game mostly because it's so...open. Like there's no fixed way to win and get through a level. It depends on your personal style and patience. I find myself sitting and hiding in corners, waiting things out because timing is everything in this game (well at least at the hard level that I'm playing on).

Timing. This is another thing I'm slowly growing so very fond of recently. I think I love challenges that involve timing. My drumming, my stand up comedy, hitman, it's not the action, or the storyline or the graphics that get me hooked. It's the need for precise timing. I think a lot of my obsession with logging things down is for me to see how things fit together best, and yield the optimum results.
For example, I work for 45 minutes, then rest for around 10 minutes, but this is a constantly changing number because if it's during the day, I actually require more rest time because in those 45 minutes, I'm dealing with a group of issues (phone calls, emails, work, designs, etc.) whereas at night, distractions are less and so I can work for 45 minutes, rest for 10 minutes and be fully recharged. Hmm.... timing?

The other day, I had an MC gig, and the organizers asked me to make a quick announcement at the end to please remind the guests not to take the ornaments on the table, they are not meant to be souvenirs. I actually wracked my brain to come up with funny ways or stories to use to say that message... but when it came time to execute and make the announcement, I went with the most basic "you see the beautiful ornament on the table" *pause* "please don't take it with you" and the audience laughed because they all were thinking of taking it. After the gig, the organizer complimented me on delivering the message perfectly (they wanted to make sure no one felt like they were being accused of being a thief). Someone asked me what I said and I resaid it and the organizer said "no, it was much smoother earlier, you had just the right timing and tone to make it really funny". It was true, I can't redo it now, I think everything aligned and it worked out.

Timing. And speaking of timing, I think it's time I get my butt away from my computer for a bit and finish some of my to do list so I can complete my final goal of the day: to play Hitman until my eyes pop. Yes, this is how I enjoy my Saturday nights. It's a good time to me :)

12 January 2013

We don't like to lose

Happy New Year everybody! I hope 2013 has been kind to you! It's been great to me so far and I'm trying my best to stay focused and balanced without burning out. So far so good.

So I've started reading (well listening to, since it's an Audiobook) Sway and I think I'm growing more and more fascinated with human psychology. I literally look forward to plugging this into my ears and listening to how people become irrational under different circumstances and theories behind why.

It talks about how powerful the fear of losing is that we easily end up digging ourselves a deeper hole than we started out. It makes you rethink a lot of things, about how you commitments are like 2-edged swords where it can either become a great motivator or literally make you crash and burn voluntarily. The more successful people I meet, the more I learn that their biggest challenges aren't really their work or what needs to be done, but the balance in trying to be realistic while still embracing the world of the unknown. Speaking of the unknown, I've recently started playing Hitman: Blood Money (yes it's been out a while) and I've got Hitman: Absolution lined up followed by Dishonored (thank you Steam Holiday Sale, you have burned my wallet once again). The game is both hard and difficult, depending on how you want to play it. I am absolutely loving it because it totally fits into the human psychology that I am growing so fond of, along with that every problem has many ways of being solved, depending on what style you prefer. In the games, I could be a violent, just-get-the-job-done-at-all-costs and just go out with guns, kill everyone and run off, or try to stay focused and only work towards eliminating my assigned targets (that's the cool thing about the game, it's possible to go in, not get noticed, do your job, and leave).

Along with my obsession to log stuff down and my need to find the absolutely most efficient/productive method in what I do, I'm getting obsessed reading about how humans form impressions (especially first ones) and how they have such a strong impact on the rest of your decision making process that it could totally sway you for the rest of your life.

This is exactly like the thesis I wrote in University where I talked about how a lot of art and artists have this impression around them that makes people value them at a different level, regardless of the quality of their artwork. I suppose this applies to all forms of artistic expression. Heck, as a comedian, I get this as well. Just last night, I was on as the closing act of the show and I suppose this both gives me an edge because people have this impression that the closing act is going to be good, but also giving me extra pressure because now people are expecting you to be good. I had a bunch of new stuff I wanted to use but it's always a tough call how to interleave my material with new stuff so the audience isn't left there checking their tickets to see if tonight was actually an open mic.

Well, I guess at the end of the day, whatever impression you have around you through whatever means, it boils down to your integrity as a person to quality control your creative outlet. As long as you approve of what you're producing, I suppose at the end of the day, if no one likes what you're doing, you can still smile while you enjoy it.

Speaking of enjoying it, it's Saturday, I got a bunch of commitments that I should tend to (so I can play Hitman in absolution later tonight before bed). Oh gaming addiction, you are such a great motivator and time waster, but at least you make me think and no one gets hurt.