This will probably be the most personal post I ever make.
Reality has slapped me in the face hard, and I’m crumbling under all the pressure. Not really, but I’m stressing out so much right now over nothing. There is nothing to be worried about, yet I feel very anxious.
We received this one…
Hey James, I’ve actually had the exact same feeling. In junior year I felt like I was stagnating in school. I had no motivation to do assignments, and later on even my social life was in disrepair. Problem was, I didn’t really know what I wanted. All I knew was that I had to do something to pull myself out of it. At first I tried to blame the things around me, but eventually I figured out that was counterproductive, except to alleviate some momentary exasperation with life.
Receiving college mail also got me to think about the future, in a way that invalidated all of my previous beliefs about what my education should be like. Eventually, I began to believe that I shouldn’t have to exert myself to the point of complete exhaustion over things that I clearly could not resolve, and that what I had to do was make the most of what I had, what I have, and let life unfold itself. Fruitless labor just isn’t worth it.
Setting your priorities is a good thing, but I think more importantly one should begin to define the boundaries between what one can control and what one cannot. This way, you not only relieve your anxieties but increase your efficiency and performance in life as a result of having a calmer, clearer mind. To make that last sentence clearer, by calming down and understanding your locus of control, you can create higher efficiency than when you are stressed and overburdened by what others deem to be your goals or standards, for everything from grades to social life.
I understand that not everyone works this way, but having read many other entries on your blog, I believe this applies in the same way for you as it did for me. Hope everything works out for you :)
“Once again I find myself wondering what drives us to undertake this sort of work. I remember my friend Daniel saying that there are 4 motivations for working with MSF – escape, adventure, money and idealism.”—
Dr. Kiran Jobanputra, MSF doctor working in the Congo
Hahah, typical. Journal #1. Diary #1. To-do list #1. Random Quotes #1. Translation #1. Paragraph #1. Item #1. Thesis #1. This problem is probably responsible for 90% of all the paper, lead, ink, ideas, and trains of thought I’ve ever wasted. I probably won’t have a Journal #2. You can bet on it. Or, if I do, it must mean something big is happening.
Walking down the street yesterday was like wading through a sauna. Then I got home. My sister’s arms were all grimy with sweat, even in the air-conditioned hotel room. The AC in my room is broken. I slept on the couch at night. Transcribed some of Screamer and read some of Lolita before I tucked in. Today I got a new cellphone number. Skipped breakfast. Learned how to jailbreak an iPhone. Talked about free will and determinism with a friend. Argued with my father during lunch. Figured out how to dial a Bangkok number. Listened to a seminar on How Music can Relieve Stress from Work. Discovered how deprived a lot of Chinese people are of good music. Read a synopsis of The Forest. Wiki’d double entendres, cross-cultural onomatopoeia, and Kopi-Luwak coffee. Took another trip to philosophy-land; half an hour, no shortcuts. And now I’m on Tumblr. It’s 6:30, a time when a good number of people are watching movies at work. And some are working, of course. I should probably go soon.
Philosophical question of the day (haha, there it is again… I probably won’t have a philosophical question tomorrow): Do we have free will or are all events predetermined? Do we doubt our free will because we are daunted by the size and complexity of the universe?
“My English, this second instrument I have always had, is however a stiffish, artificial thing, which may be all right for describing a sunset or an insect, but which cannot conceal poverty of syntax and paucity of domestic diction when I need the shortest road between warehouse and shop. An old Rolls-Royce is not always preferable to a plain jeep.”—Vladimir Nabokov, author of Lolita
“@cowzilla8 LOL perhaps not. Bumble Bees beat their wings at ~230 times per second. That’s 23690 beats in the 103 seconds of Yuja Wang’s performance. Cziffra’s arrangement (allowing for repeated sections) has 137 bars, each comprising 16 or so percussions of the keyboard (where a ‘percussion’ is any number of keys struck at once). That’s 2192 percussions in 103 secs, or just 22 per sec. That said, it’d take a lot more than steroids to enable a bee - even a queen bee, to play piano like Ms Wang.”—Lennythewinner, Youtube
"Are you old enough to watch New Moon over there?" - one of my Chinese colleagues somewhere in her 20s. I nearly sprayed out a mouthful of water.
"Are you allowed to drink over there?" - my team leader. "No. The drinking age in California is 21." - me. "Wow, that’s a long ways off from 18. Have you ever secretly drank any alcohol?" "No…" "Wow, you’re disciplined." "What’s the age limit over here?" "There is none. When we were little, our parents dabbed booze on their chopsticks and put it into our mouths." "……….."
2 weeks ago 5 @Imobiz38 I think your wrong…the emotion is fine. Every “Moonlight snob” as I like to call peeps who often bitch every time Moonlight is played without William Kempff in the title. If you can see the emotion in this piece…sorry. I suppose if ol Beethoven himself were alive today and put up a video of himelf playing Moonlight on YouTube there would be some troll saying “Not enough emotion!”. Well a 4 year kid banging on the piano is emotion too…but it sounds like crap!”—Youtube
Blaming the average citizen for being nostalgic about the good old days seems unfair, especially given the widespread corruption and inequality in present-day society.
To equate such hopeful reminiscence with a desire to reutrn to an egalitarian past, or posit that as animosity to teh present, may be somewhat narrow-minded.
Ordinary citizens seek a just society where the bureaucrats are upright and governance is a picture of probity and fairness. This is the reason why, once in a while, society turns nostalgic for an idealized past, even if the people then were more impoverished than today’s generation.
Yet no one wants to actually live miserably. Which explains why this “essentially retrogressive trend of thoughts” - as a professor at the Communist Party of China’s Central Party School observed - is not the norm, but the exception.
Nostalgia for a perfect past is fine as long as it can act as a counter-weight to the passive acceptance of the corruption-ridden and imbalanced nature of society today. But, to call such thinking a subversive trend is simply going over the top.
Instead of nailing perfectly normal thought with an intimidating ideological sticker, scholars must focus more on the ills of present-day life.
Nostalgia is a sign that the present is not as flawless as it is touted to be. Moreover, it is nothing to fear. Trial and error is an inevitable part of reform, and correcting the wrongs shoudl become a natural part of that process of remediation.
I have been an admirer of the US Constitution’s First Amendment since my school days.
Even if it may be a politically incorrect thing to say, like the many similar instances in my 20 plus years with the paper, I continue to hold my job.
Yet two American journalists, 44-year-old senior CNN Middle East editor Octavia Nasr and 89-year-old White House correspondent Helen Thomas have not been as fortunate. They have both lost their jobs for saying things that are politically incorrect in the United States.
Thomas, who shares the same Aug 4 birthday as US President Barack Obama, was forced to retire for telling a rabbi on May 27 that Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine.”
Octavia, who had worked at CNN for 20 years, was fired immediately after she posted a Twitter message expressing admiration for Lebanon’s Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, who passed away recently.
Although Nasr later explained that she was referring to Fadlallah’s attitude towards women’s rights as the cleric had ordered a ban on the so-called “honor killing” of women and permitting women the right to hit their husbands if attacked first, CNN would not tolerate her different viewpoint.
I am not trying to argue whether Nasr and Thomas were right or wrong, or whether Fadlallah should be loved or loathed. What is deeply disturbing in these and several other recent instances is whether there is true freedom of expression in the US news media, or whether reporters and editors ought to say what is politically correct in mainstream society, instead of what is true according to their true observations.
Would news organizations like CNN want Nasr to be dishonest and say that she hates Fadlallah? Or would we like to see Thomas, who outlasted nine US presidents covering the White House since the 1950s, to leave just because she said a few offensive words, for which she apologized later?
The two cases show that the most trusted news may not be that trustworthy after all since things politically incorrect have been filtered out, or censored.
While CNN does not like its senior editors to express a personal view different from what most Americans hold, in order to remain “objective” as some describe, it has taken sides for years by airing the CNN Tribute to Fallen Soldiers, saluting American troops who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
By producing such a program, CNN shows that it cannot take an objective attitude in reporting the wars the US is engaging in. The thousands of Iraqi and Afghan soldiers and civilians who have perished in the wars have rarely been covered by CNN and other news media organizations.
That bias has proven time and again when US news organizations embed their journalists into the army and then file stories that are sympathetic to the US military.
For long, the US media has derided countries like China for conducting patriotism campaigns, but a recent report eulogizing an act of patriotism in El Paso, Texas, goes way beyond my imagination.
CNN and many others reported 10 days ago that a homeless man, Gustus Bozarth, had rescued a national flag - and folded it military style - from a rainstorm in the city, calling it a worthy patriotic act.
Many, such as Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, also a well-known legal expert on the First Amendment and matters relating to freedom of speech, are now worried about the survival of the US news media under great financial difficulties.
What seems to be more worrisome is the political correctness that is intimidating excellent journalists.
The Chinese news media landscape, though beset by many problems, has become more open and professional in the last 30 years, according to several well-respected American journalists I talked to lately. They also rated highly AlJazeera English, an English-language TV channel headquartered in the Middle East.
It seems that even as the journalistic environment is deteriorating in the US, those in other parts of the world, often underreported or unfairly reported by the Western news media, have been more aggressive in telling the untold stories, promoting debates and challenging established perceptions.
I am absolutely apalled by the attitude people over here in China have toward teenagers. What do they expect 17-year-old teenagers to be? Something the equivalent of a grade schooler? I hate to become all politically biased, but seriously… if teenagers over here really are what these people project their views to be, then I’d be seriously worried about Chinese youth. Or perhaps it’s another issue altogether - these people make unfair distinguishments based on economic status. If they perceive me to be someone of a “privileged upbringing,” then they assume me to be oblivious to the rest of the world. “He must have no idea what we’re talking about.” That hurts. I feel like Satou when he gets told that he doesn’t know who Freud is. Well, at least they said it to my face. Too bad for me, I’m not the type that speaks out.
Assumptions! These people don’t know anything about me and they’re making assumptions. Why does everyone make so many assumptions. Even when they’re not required. Or maybe I’m being oversensitive and setting the bar too high for these people. My standards for crossing the line on assumptions aren’t the same as theirs, due to cultural and age differences. Perhaps what they thought was an innocent comment in an innocent conversation ignited an unnecessary, overkill reaction in my brain. Or maybe…
These people think there’s nothing wrong with being oblivious. Now that I think about it, whether I’m oblivious or not doesn’t really affect their lives in any way. Except to the extent that I’d be a more interesting conversational partner during their lunch breaks. 17-year-olds aren’t supposed to know about such horrific things. I guess I was in for it in the beginning. There is obviously still quite a bit of time to pass before something similar to teen culture in the United States begins to surface in China. Not to say that anything similar to American teen culture is the best by any standards, but that it’s an unavoidable general trend for developing countries.
So I guess the best way to deal with this is… ignore it! Yayy the always-available solution to every problem. Not always best, but in some cases necessary. One person isn’t going to fix world hunger. And neither will I be able to change the attitudes of one billion individuals. Let money take over people’s lives. Let the world run its course. Why should I let myself be bothered by this when I know it’s just one small part of a huge, relentless, conspiratorial system?
First off, the soccer ball is kicked so hard, that if the goalie doesn’t react and jump in the right direction, he has next to zero chance of blocking the ball successfully. So at this point, it becomes a simple game of strategy involving three basic choices for the kicker: kick it to the left, the right, or the middle. The goalie in turn also has three choices - jump to the left, the right, or stand in the middle. He must accurately predict the kicker’s intentions to block the ball.
For a right-footed player, it is much more natural to kick to the left side of the goal than otherwise. The goalie also knows this, and therefore has a high incentive to jump to the left. However, statistics show that the goalie jumps to the left much more often than the kicker actually kicks it to the left, despite the kicker being right-footed (most of them are). This phenomenon plays almost perfectly in line with what economists call game theory.
There is another choice, however, that players rarely take: kicking into the middle. However, given what was just discussed, kicking into the middle actually presents a logically smart choice for the kicker. The goalie will most likely do his heroic dive, as long as it is in some direction, either to the left or the right, rarely staying in the middle. So the chances of making it by kicking to the middle are actually quite high. Then why do kickers rarely employ this option?
The problem here is that in game theory we assume the sole objective of the kicker to be scoring a goal. However, that is not the case. He also has the incentive of not looking foolish. Even though kicking the ball down the middle seems logically advantageous, a kicker would be unlikely to do so because if the goalie were to block a ball shot down the middle, the kicker would look like a moron. He would be remembered as the idiot of the century. Even the recent penalty kick delivered by Japan that sent the team home would be considered less embarrassing (ricocheted off the top of the goalpost). On the other hand, if the kicker were to kick to the left and the goalie caught the ball, it would be a failed yet valiant attempt.
Knowing this, will coaches encourage their players to go for the mathematically prudent choice or will they keep quiet and let their players flow according to human nature?
On 8 December 2005, Mizuho Securities erroneously placed an order to sell 610,000 shares of J-COM Co., Ltd. for one yen each, instead of a commissioned order to sell one share of J-COM Co., Ltd. for 610,000 yen at Tokyo Stock Exchange. J-COM Co., Ltd. (J-COM Holdings Co., Ltd. since December 2009). is a Japanese staffing service company, which was listed on the Mothers (Market of the high-growth and emerging stocks) section of Tokyo Stock Exchange on the day. As a result of this incident, Mizuho Securities accrued a loss of approximately 40.7 billion yen.
[Takashi Kotegawa] first gained fame in Japan after he managed to profit 2 billion yen (apr. US$20 million) in 10 minutes from a Mizuho Securities order blunder.
Was watching Welcome to the NHK. Did some research. Was an enlightening read…
I suppose I’d like to post some quotes from the article…
"While issues of morality and ethics can be tricky to discuss, materialism and greed are universally condemned by every major religion, and even by most of the irreligious. This does not mean people ar enot materialistic or greedy; in fact, the common ethical call to not be so is strong evidence that we are."
"Telling lies about people or groups is slander. Systemic and malicious slander is illegal in most civilized countries. Slander is a sin listed next to murder and adultery in Biblical texts. But how will you know when you become the slanderer by repeating what you heard in an MLM meeting?"
"Do not expect to hear the full truth in the MLM video."
"But if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck. Unless it is an MLM, and then it is NOT a pyramid."
"Mr. Prospect, now you aren’t required to buy more than three product units, but why bother joining unless you plan to succeed? Besides, all of our products are 100% money back guaranteed." "Hmmm… To ask for a refund, then, is to admit defeat. Others appear to be doing O.K. at this. I’m no failure! Perhaps I should go to another motivational seminar or strong-arm and alienate one more friend to join. I wasn’t fooled! I’m no failure!"
"Talk to a mobster, and he will tell you that he is "merely misunderstood in his benevolent intentions." "We are just trying to ‘build our business.’" "It’s all a conspiracy to make us look bad." "The Feds are out to get us because they are jealous or afraid of our new way of life." "Why, look at all the good we do!" "We are looking more legitimate every day." "Here’s a statement from a famous DA that the Mob is really a good organization and no harm ever comes from it." "We’ve even got a minister to endorse us now!"
Yay today’s China Daily had an article about Yuja Wang, my musical idol… she’s a classical pianist :P
No surprise that she’s in the paper, of course o.o
A few new things I learned about her and things I already know:
1. she released her second Deutsche Grammophon (DG) Album Transformation in April
2. she’s 23
3. her first concert in Beijing was only 70% full… O_O no way.
4. Chopin is her favorite composer.
5. She grew popular after playing Mozart’s Turkish March (but she plays the Volodos version…..) and Rimsky’s Flight of the Bumblebee (I thought it was Cziffra’s version…will have to double check) on Youtube, earning her a reputation as a “speed player”.
6. She moved to the Curtis Institute of Music in Canada when she was 12.
7. Her life schedule has already been booked all the way to the year 2013.
8. She gives more than 100 concerts a year…. O_O But she wants to tone down to 60-70 concerts so she has time to practice and think.
9. She was acclaimed Best New Artist and Young Artist of 2009 by a slew of classical organizations.
10. She is an avid user of Facebook, Youtube and Twitter…. to keep her company during her lonely, jet-laggy tours.
11. She’s been compared to Lang Lang and Yundi Li, a comparison which I despise and which she also denies :)
12. She listens to jazz and pop…. and admires Lady Gaga and Rihanna (I DID NOT KNOW THIS WTF). >.>
Quote: “Playing the piano well does not mean you will be a successful professional pianist. You have to be tough both physically and mentally. Sometimes, you fly three hours and are asked to play as soon as you land.”
Her Turkish March and Bumblebee are AMAZING. Watch on youtube :DD
If the world is teeming with possibilities, why hasn’t anyone claimed the heavens as their own? Why hasn’t anyone claimed a status above God? Why are there still people suffering? Why is failure always looming around the corner?
The potential of the human race amazes me. We are an evolving…
Believe me, we’d all rather be emotional, lazy beings than mechanical robots who only know about efficiency, productivity, and progress. We all need to take a rest before we tackle society’s biggest problems and attempt to advance humanity - individual good is the greater good. Let humans run at their own pace.
The Ouroboros is a symbol that depicts a serpent in a circle, with its tail in its mouth. It represents cyclicality and repetition.
I’ve surmised that life, more or less, is a cycle: You are born, suffer, maybe enjoy some ephemeral happiness, suffer a bit more, then die.
Some of you who are…
My counter-argument (not my whole opinion) would be that everyone, living in different circumstances, may or may not have the opportunity to experience that eye-opening experience that defines or dramatically changes their life. However, each person has the power to make a choice - a choice to pursue what makes them happy or to be content with what they have. Now while realistically it may seem foolish to think that the “possibilities are endless”, just having that kind of mindset can make a huge difference. If you desire to break the monotonous cycle, then make that your life goal. When you satisfy that goal, you will have proven yourself capable of making a worthwhile change, worthwhile because that change supposedly has made you happy. After that, it’s simply a matter of whether you know yourself well enough - what really makes you happy? For you in particular, what can I do that will make my life seem less monotonous, less cyclical, more special?
Going to Bed when the Birds start Chirping Outside your Window
What the fuck, I’m wasting the very last hour of sleep I can get by posting this. Funny thing, I had no jetlag whatsoever going to China for four days, then when I came back I didn’t feel any different either.
Correction: I slept at 10 pm in Beijing. That’s jetlag for me.
Well anyway, when I got back it was back to sleeping at 4 am. As the number of people on my AIM list dwindle, I feel a strange sense of peace. There really is no night and day…
I knew I shouldn’t have finished reading it. Now I can’t draw anything because I can’t find the right mood. I should have put off the last seven chapters until a few months later….
Hell, now I even have Aogeba Totoshi, the song, on my computer. The day I finished I nearly cried, and was going to download the movie (and probably would have watched it all the way through, even though it was 1 am by the time I finished reading, if it weren’t for downloading problems.)
This is a lesson I’ve learned… but I don’t even know when I’m going to get over this one ugh………………………….
A - AVAILABLE: i suppose. B - BIRTHDAY: 6.16 C - CRUSHING ON: no one :/ D - DRINK YOU LAST HAD: soup. E - EASIEST PERSON TO TALK TO: keilwun, matt F - FAVORITE SONG: too many G - GUMMY BEARS OR GUMMY WORMS: bears. H - HOMETOWN: bay area. I - IN LOVE WITH: this is a continuation of C? J - JUGGLE: nope x.x K - KILLED SOMEONE: hmm….nope. L - LONGEST CAR RIDE: Lake Tahoe? or mabye socal. M- MILKSHAKE FLAVOR: vanilla N - NUMBER OF SIBLINGS: one. O - ONE WISH: can’t decide. P - PERSON YOU CALLED LAST: matthew. Q - QUIZNO’S SUB: it was good. R - REASON TO SMILE: harems :D S - SONG YOU LAST HEARD: … i actually don’t remember. T - TIME YOU WOKE UP: 10 -.- (slept at 4, i’m a night owl.) U - UNDERWEAR COLOR: …white? V - VEGETABLE(S): I haven’t eaten carrots in a long time… but that’s the first thing i thought of. W - WORST HABIT: procrastinating. X- X-RAYS YOU’VE HAD: a few times. including dentist. Y-YOYO’s ARE: tricks hard to learn…..especially with a crappy yo-yo. Z - ZODIAC SIGN: Gemini.
Random Questions About You:
Spell your name without vowels: chrls Your favorite number: i get annoyed when i deliberate over pointless questions like these. 18. What color do you wear most?: my closet has been getting rather colorful over the years…. Least favorite color?: purple. What are you listening to?: the humming sounds from my computer. Are you happy with your life right now?: no. What is your favorite class in school? : I’d like to say calculus or psychology, but… Chinese. with shame… When do you start back at school/college?: tomorrow morning..? Are you outgoing?: on a 1-10 scale, i’d like to be around 7 but i’m probably a 5. Favorite pair of shoes?: my black checkered loafers, which have holes now…. Where do you wish you were right now? in a ryotan in Japan. THE CANS:
Can you tie a cherry stem with your mouth?: never tried. Can you whistle?: much better than i can sing. Write with both hands?: i’m still working on my right hand… Cross your eyes? yes. Walk with your toes curled? yes. THE DO’S:
Do you believe there is life on other planets?: yes. Do you believe in miracles?: no. Do you believe in magic?: no. Love at first sight?: yes. Do you believe in Santa?: no. Do you know how to swim?: yes. Do you like roller coasters?: more than a normal human being should. Do you think you could handle the stuff they eat on those reality shows?: No raw animals or animal secretions or dangerous chemicals or diseased food… that’s everything, isn’t it?
Have you ever been on a plane?: yes. Have you ever asked someone out?: yes. Have you ever been asked out by someone?: no. Have you ever been to the ocean?: never been alone, wanna go alone. Have you ever painted your nails?: no. THE WHATS:
What is the temperature outside?: just right. i think low 50s. What was the last restaurant you ate at?: Left Bank Brasserie, Santana Row What was the last thing you bought?: time. What was the last thing on TV you watched?: … that was several months ago.
Who was the last person you IM’d?: Kei-lwun. Who was the last person you took a picture of: I don’t remember. Probably a year ago, at some park.
Ever really cried your heart out?: yes. Ever cried yourself to sleep?: yes. Ever cried on your friend’s shoulder?: no. Ever cried over the opposite sex?: umm…. i don’t think so? wait….. Do you cry when you get an injury?: no i say profane things. Do certain songs make you cry?: some songs make me want to cry. When was the last time you cried?: yesterday. HAPPY SECTION.
Are you a happy person?: god i want to be. Do you wish you were happier?: yes and no. Can music make you happy?: yes. LOVE SECTION.
How many times have you truly had your heart broken?: only very slightly… once. Have you ever loved someone so much that you’d die for them?: no :\ … maybe my sister. BODY SECTION:
What is your current hair color?: black. Current piercings?: none. Have any tattoos?: none. Eye color?: brown or black. probably brown. CURRENTLY WEARING:
What shirt are you wearing?: Nordic Track. Pants: jeans. Shoes?: socks. Necklaces?: … ….I am not averse to the idea. IN A BOY/GIRL
Favorite eye color: no color preference, but other preferences…. Short or long hair: either. doesn’t it depend on the person? Height: average Best clothing: what miranda said… THIS OR THAT
Pepsi or Coke: either. McDonald’s or Burger King: neither…i haven’t had fast food in years. Single or Group Dates: lack of experience. Chocolate or Vanilla: either. Strawberries or Blueberries: strawberries. Meat or Veggies: both. once an omnivore, always an omnivore. TV or Movie: anime. lol. Guitar or Drum? both. Adidas or Nike: both. Chinese or Mexican: chinese. Cheerios or Corn Flakes: mult-grain cheerios <3 Cake or Pie: pie.
I want to take Journalism 1. Why? Because it sounds fun and a rewarding class. Compared to anatomy that is (Woo. Chan again. Woo.). By the end of senior year, I’ll have taken six science classes even without anatomy. I pretty much completed the…
Hey, at least he said, “do whatever you want” at the end.
It recently struck me that the things I spend a vast majority of my time doing are things I never would have done had I independent control of my life. Now then, I knew this before, in various vague bits and pieces, but never has the realization struck me so fully, so obviously.
I’m not going to…
It really sucks to realize this, but it sucks even more to realize you can’t do anything about it. We’re all victims of the system. There was a time when the system wasn’t so harsh, but times have changed and now everyone is required to do things they don’t want to do, in a machine-like way. Everything is about economics and productivity, at least for our niche in society.
You know, everyone says that stressed people do things to escape from their lives. And then they say that what you feel is only temporary, because eventually everything terrible that’s going on in your life comes back to haunt you. But what really matters is that you don’t completely give up on life. When people start ignoring their chaotic lives and continually drown themselves in something else, they don’t feel the pain when reality hits them in the face. They become accustomed to it, to the point where it doesn’t register in their minds that making an effort to change things might improve their lives. They don’t know, they don’t care, they don’t give a fuck. And whenever they think about trying to care again, they become fearful of the stress, even if there’s no reason to be stressed at the moment. But we don’t hear stories about these people as often because they don’t make a lot of noise, social-wise. They leave quietly without a trace. And I can bet money that at the moment of death, they will convince themselves that they’ve done all they wanted in life, that they have no regrets, even though reality is exactly the opposite.
The good news is that when things seem hopeless, you can tell yourself that at least you’re still alive. You can still make an effort. It is never too late to turn over a new leaf. You still have time. And if you don’t have time, then do whatever you can. The true meaning of living life with no regrets is this. If disaster comes and you’ve lost everything dear to you, remember you still have yourself. Forget about the opinions of those around you, and focus on what you can do for yourself. Eliminate everything that might hinder you from making progress.
The truth is, however, that different people in differing situations need different attitudes in order to fully promote their well-being. On the flip side, having that “escape route” stuck in your mind can also hinder your progress. It may not even be a conscious thing. It can become evident in your efforts in anything, be it your schoolwork, your job, your relationships, your habits. (yay I used an asyndeton/isocolon) and….. yeah, I lost my train of thought for a moment……uh..
So basically time is an obstacle in this case. The framework each and everyone of us has to work with is the length of our lives. We can do anything we want — but only while we’re alive (at least, for those who don’t believe in afterlives). Okay, just so I don’t offend anyone, the timeframe we are working with, or are concerned about at this point, is only the humanly perceivable existence of life on earth, in corporeal form. Those who believe in afterlives have essentially relieved themselves from the stress of presuming the finality of death.
Back on topic - because you have a limited amount of time, you have a “second chance” only as long as you’re alive. But don’t lean on it - wasted time is wasted time. Yes, stating this is somewhat useless - people are often more motivated when they reach a pitfall (or dead bottom), and attempt to climb out of it themselves, than when they are reminded by someone else of their time limits, especially when we’re talking about their entire lives (younger people especially think they have a lot of time left).
And… oh.. I would continue but my brain is tired and I keep digressing. And my parents are home. So, apologies for a little mindblurb turned into a looong philosophical thesis that must be tiring to read. I should really omit some of my digressions………
And I switched pronouns a billion times, from you to we to they to us to… = utter fail.
Just had a very intense piano session. About an hour and a half long. In fact, my laptop keys feel like butter under my fingers. my forearms are sore. and I feel really warm… lol
Only happens when i’m alone and my parents are gone… ha!
Which is an interesting thing that I’ve always wondered about. There are certain things I play in a certain way when my parents are around, and there are things I play when I’m alone. When there’s no one around, I’m not afraid to play loudly, which then allows me to play at a faster tempo. It is soooooo fun to push your limits…without being afraid of anyone there to judge you… except the lingering voice of my piano teacher, which will forever be etched into my conscience.
Of course, when my parents aren’t around, I’m also not afraid to show emotion when playing, which is the biggest thing - in fact, I can’t show it to anyone x.x
16” x 12” on-screen drawing, sketched onto a 22” x 28” poster. Grid construction taking forever. 20 minutes into it and I find out my ruler isn’t accurate…….When juxtaposing two of my rulers, after about 6 inches they’re off by 1/16 of a fucking inch. GODDAMNIT. NARGGHGHGHGHGHGHGH
1/16” isn’t much broseidon. Keep going.
put in 8 of those and you’re half an inch off from the end. unacceptable.
16” x 12” on-screen jpg, sketched onto a 22” x 28” poster. Grid construction taking forever. 20 minutes into it and I find out my ruler isn’t accurate…….When juxtaposing two of my rulers, after about 6 inches they’re off by 1/16 of a fucking inch. GODDAMNIT. NARGGHGHGHGHGHGHGH
So I was doing math homework and my mother complained how I took too long to do it. I was having trouble going through it, so I got my dad to help me. An hour later, I’m done, but there’s one problem left that really wasn’t supposed to be in the book - a multivariable calculus problem in a single variable calculus textbook, that I obviously have no idea how to do. I give up on it - my dad insists that he try to figure it out (since he’s trying to remember his math as well). He walks over to my mom and starts explaining the problem. At this point, I’m already upstairs in my room, and I hear her exclaim in Chinese, “Integration?! They’re already learning integration??” I roll my eyes. Then I hear my father’s voice of reason: “You didn’t even know what he’s doing, and you’re complaining that he took so long?” All’s well that ends well.
This is another momentary dip into that motionless, paralytic state of sleep, as if struck by a shockingly cold wave of ocean water.
But it’s a pity that timeframe is so short, so that you can barely retain any of the information that was brought into your focus… or rather, your line of vision…The emotions, the extraordinary, unartificial feelings, as if lying on the brink of death.
But in that moment, you see a side of yourself you have never seen before, clamoring for something you never knew you wanted, and still don’t know if you truly want.
It is gone in an instant, and afterwards no matter how hard you try to recollect, it is gone, replaced with normal feelings - it is the rest of your brain at work again. No matter how hard you try to imitate, to reenact the situation, that moment of truth - it is beyond your grasp.
I’m already back in reality, so I don’t know what to make of this. Arggh, the frustration…..
A Reply to Kainmistwind's Treatise on the Human Condition
As usual, Matthew has a very deep remark to contribute =.=
I am completely with you on the last paragraph there - it is because high school students vie for relationships in a competitive and “defeat-the-purpose” manner that enduring high-school originated relationships are so rare. Companionship is really as far as it should go in high school; anything further leads to social, economic, and potentially very messy family issues. In short, it is not practical - for example: even if the emotions work out, the livelihood issues don’t.
The point I’m trying to make is that when most high school students strive for relationships, it can be for one of several generic reasons: to relieve to peer pressure, to gain status, or simply to gain acceptance among a highly socialized group. Then you have the few who do it “for the thrill.” And then you have the ones who are truly looking for a relationship, who are in for a rough time unless they are under uncommonly propitious circumstances that support their relationship.
But as it is, dating and relationships have become a signature characteristic of high school life, precisely because it is distinct from relationships later on in life. Only in high school will you get all that crazy drama, all the peer pressure (which although burdensome, can be exciting), and possibly parental problems. These things collectively give high school relationships an ephemeral quality, as if you’d feel you missed out on something if you didn’t join in on it. Although it is prudent to note that these feelings usually don’t hit people until they’re out of high school >.>
Well, there are some of my thoughts. Hope I didn’t offend or annoy any of you with my comments.
Cheers to everyone for an awesome rest of your high school career!
Completed at 4:42 PM on Wednesday, February 17, 2010. Unedited.
Well what do you know, it’s 2:30 AM in the morning and here I am updating my tumblr. Since I really am quite tired today, I will keep this post as short as possible. Narration of my day:
My dad had promised me last night to take me to Barnes & Noble in the morning to get the two books we ordered. I had slept around 4 AM yesterday (unbeknownst to my parents), so I was understandably still sprawled across my bed until around… 10 AM. Then suddenly I hear the front door slam, and there was my Dad, with books in hand. Admittedly, I was somewhat disappointed that I didn’t go — the kind of “left-out” feelings that I’ve had since grade school. I read some of A Pale View of Hills in bed before I got up.
Chinese school from 11 to 12:30. More 花季雨季, and then a glimpse at 孙子兵法, an ancient war strategic manuscript now apparently used by businessmen who want to gain an upper hand in the economy. And politicians.
Went to chuch to grab some food. Signed up for a ping-pong tourney. The poster that advertised the tourney dates was wrong, because I asked the man and he said it started on the 7th of March, not the 28th of February. Registration deadline was February 24th. I signed up for singles, beginner level for several reasons: Although I am no newbie at table tennis, the church isn’t that strict on tourney rules. If I bomb my rounds right from the get-go with the advanced group, it’s over. However, if the newbies suck, I can always move on. That reminds me yet again of the difference in flexibility regarding strictures between Chinese and Americans. But I will save that for another post.
My last three hours of community service with the elderly were completed today. Makes me laugh to think of the whole thing - came in as a meek, silent kid who felt obliged to formalities and turned into a slack, go-with-the-flow kind of person who smiled and felt little hesitation for things. I really would like to do more hours, but for the fact that my hours are already completed and that I find yelling out numbers for Sunday “elderly” bingo and sitting in on conversations which you can only understand half of not as rewarding as I’d like it to be. Don’t get me wrong — if I had the time and if all service was this easy, I would keep doing it. But I don’t, and it’s not. I will save my in-depth reflections on “Valentine Cards for Old People” for another post.
My mother made an interesting comment today about New Year’s that I can’t say I haven’t heard before. It roughly translates into: “There’s only a couple of days during the entire year in which you can genuinely enjoy yourself, a time where we are relieved of all other distractions, such as the pursuit of money. Why spend it working or sleeping? (If you were wondering, this speech began because I wanted to take a nap as soon as I had gotten home from service) Chinese New Year is like the only thing we can look forward to. What is the point of living if there’s nothing to look forward to?” And I’d agree with you, my dear mother, but I don’t particularly look forward to a game of cards when I have loads of academic debt piled upon my shoulders and a burning desire to bury my head into the folds of my bedcovers. But sure, I’ll help you make dumplings…
Umm… okay, so I haven’t gotten anything done today. Again. Therefore, tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow is also the day when I will be getting my second haircut from an actual barber. The first instance occurred long ago, in a time period far, far away… This time, I will be making sure to say, “No gel or spray.”
Ha, so much for making it short.
Well, here’s my picture of the day:
Under the earnesty lies a deceptively positive phrase.
Completed at 4:14 AM on Monday, February 15, 2010. Edited twice.