Category Archives: Random Thoughts

8 Days

As the title suggests, I leave for Iceland in eight days. I’ve already started packing/preparation and already, a few things have happened. A few weeks ago I handed in my letter of resignation to the part time job I’ve been working at. I expected to leave and come back with no job whatsoever. On Sunday I found out that I could indeed quit, but my employer suggested I stay on as I am classified as a student still and it would make more sense to stay on as a student until later on in the year. When that time comes, I can decide. It’s not really that big of a loss since the student position is really flexible. Can’t work because I need to “study”. A bit bummed I didn’t actually quit in the end, but on the flip-side I will still have a means of getting some cash flowing in when I get back. Not the most ideal way as I am trading time for money (and not a lot at that), but it’s one way. Plus, I was only working weekends anyway.

Moving on to something else, more personal. I think we can all relate to looking back and seeing our present selves as different from our past selves; in the sense that our values, opinions, and/or goals have changed. Usually (at least for me) it’s an instant realization that “hey I don’t enjoy this anymore”, “wow, I remember disliking this before”, or “jeez I wish I knew this when I was younger”. Ok, maybe that last one is a bit iffy. It makes me seem like an old fart (no disrespect intended old farts, I’ll be one too) and I’m still pretty young technically speaking. The past few days I’ve felt myself in the process of changing. I’m beginning to understand the direction my future self will take in terms of personality. It’s weird. I feel like I’m almost watching myself in the form of a plot/plot development. I suppose that’s what life can be described as though, a plot development.

Tangent aside, I am feeling and watching my values and goals change. Age. Mature. Grow. Die. Take shape. Begin. Stagnate. It’s bizarre. The changes are rapid and slow. Easy and hard to accept. Some of these changes were made by my own decisions. Others just happened. I’m watching my view of life change. I’m also watching my view of life solidify. A lot of questions arise as a result of this. I am able to see myself in the third person and ask questions. Why do I hold that belief? What makes that important to me? Is that even important to me? What makes that valuable to me? Is that really who I want to be?

Right now, I am really questioning my current set of necessities vs. wants. There are two aspects to this for me, possessions and ideas. Possessions are pretty straightforward. Do I need this item? Or do I just want it because of reasons XYZ? The ideas aspect is more along the lines of “Do I need to know this?” With things like Google or Wolfram Alpha at our fingertips, do I need to remember certain kinds of information? Or do I just want to know them? Do I need to keep a learning attitude? Or do I just want to because other people have said so? Or is it just because I want to keep a learning attitude? Is it necessary for me to have a more independent lifestyle? Or do I just want to? There is a bit more to it than that at the moment, but at 2am that’s all I’m going to flesh out.

Stay Frosty

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Iceland, oh Iceland

This post represents some rambling about post-university life. The thoughts. Feel free to ignore.

Iceland is less than 13 days away. A few days ago I thought it was 10 days away as a result of doing some terrible math. I was both pleasantly and sadly surprised that the number ended up increasing to 14 (now 13) days. On the one hand it meant a few more days to mentally prepare myself and finish up a few things. On the other hand, LET ME GO SOONER! This will be the first time I’ll really be travelling on my own, with no guarantee that I’ll meet someone I already know at the destination. Well…other than that motorcycle trip I did on a whim the previous summer, but that’s a different story altogether. Maybe I’ll mention that sometime. This time it’ll be longer than that trip. This kind of trip is something I’ve been itching to do and the buildup has taken place over a period of years.

Each passing day of not having any classes has been an odd experience. I suppose I should have been out and about applying for jobs and such, but really I’m not in the mood for it. I keep putting that off for when I do get back. I’m quitting my part-time job so when I do get back I’ll actually be unemployed. Luckily I’m still living with the rents and I don’t mind it one bit. There is that desire to move out on my own and make it out there in the world! But now I keep questioning the point of doing that. I’m not really sure what it is I should be doing. I guess what I’m trying to say is that post-university, that is the “real world”, is chaotic and makes no sense. It is full of structure, complications, hypocrisies, and confusion. Just like this paragraph. In school, we strive towards a pre-given goal. It seems to work okay for most people. Come graduation, and it’s all about survival. No, it is not about finding your passion, life dream, or saving the world. You can’t do any of those sorts of things if you end up without food or shelter. I could be wrong and anyone could argue against the following statement.

Chances are if I were able to somehow pick you up and plop you into a situation in which you live nowhere (everything else being as they are for you now, family, friends, location, and money), you would find a way to get a place to live and find something to eat first. The ways of doing this would vary from person to person of course. Crash at a friend’s place, crash at you parents, buy/rent a place if affordable. Buy some McDonalds, go to the grocery store or coffee shop, or go through some trash. Those sorts of things take time away from you. You could have the greatest ideas, but they wouldn’t mean crap if you didn’t have the time to share them with people. Everything takes time. For most of us, making money takes time. Learning takes time. Relaxing takes time. Finding your passion takes time. Saving the world takes time. Yeah, basically everything takes time. And we don’t like to think about this, but we don’t really have a whole lot of time. Even at 22 I’m finding a lot of moments passing by faster than ever before. Most of us end up trading our time for money. That money then, in theory, lets us do the things that we want to do. Often, this isn’t the case. We’re either too tired or don’t feel like we have the time. Or “I don’t have enough” yet.

Yet, the “real world” is also full of wonder, joy, and things that make ridiculous sense when they shouldn’t. Oh yes, I forgot potential. In the past few years leading up to the present, I’ve begun to see how everything is tied together. All the problems that should be solved become more complicated. Rather than making me feel worse about those problems (i.e. environment, poverty, human rights) I’m amazed at how everything just ends up working as it is.

2014

First post in over a year and the first of 2014. It would be rather cynical for me to say that I find the whole New Year celebration concept to be a joke, an excuse to party and feel good about one’s self. Then again, I used to feel hopeful about the start of a new year and chances are I’ll feel that way sometime in the future. I just don’t feel that way for 2014.

Writing in my personal journal has grown to feel more normal. I remember thinking private topics were a matter of choice and very few things are needed to be private. Of course, I’m beginning to value private thoughts and musings more and more as I grow older. Funny thing about time and age. Well, what can I share?

A few things I’ve started and/or will be doing:

  • Learning how to code, starting with HTML (soon I’ll be attempting to write posts using HTML as practice).
    • First step, make at least two posts using some bit of HTML
  • I’m traveling to Iceland in a month and a half. Truth be told, I’m a bit nervous; there is a growing desire to travel
  • Brushing up, or at least attempting to, on my languages that I’ve learned
    • Continue using Duolingo and watch a few shows in Russian, German, French, and Chinese. No particular order
  • Organizing more: selling things on Craigslist, cleaning (albeit slowly), getting rid of unnecessary things, going a more minimalist route
    • Make one posting of stuff per month (minimum)
  • Getting more financially involved in budgeting (before I just estimated everything)
    • Bought “You Need A Budget” (YNAB) on steam for $14.99, normally $59.99US and it’s making budgeting more fun. If that is even possible
    • Budget for the month of January and figure out where it is specifically I’m spending the most, rather than estimates; first step to financial independence. Get rich slowly
  • Blog more, this time more focused on a person’s day to day life (mine) now that it’s become post-post-secondary
    • One post a week, about said goals
  • Find ways of describing things and events more visually
    • Describe things I talk about in future posts, one overly descriptive post at a time
  • Continue improving myself and my thoughts, never staying the same  for too long
    • Read outside of my comfort zone with one book a month. Science: biology, physics, space. Business: the random business textbooks I have lying around
  • Tinker more
    • Start by taking apart one random object a month

I don’t have to care about the new year, but I can still add some new goals. Hypocritical? Yeah. Next post will be about preparations for Iceland

Music is so…amaz…actually no it comes and goes

Ever hear a song that makes you want to get up and dance? or seems to just portray your current mood so well? It’s a wonderful feeling, but how about when you want to skip pretty much all the songs being played? When you’re at that point, music kind of sucks. Cleaning out that music list seems like a good idea, but then that’s a bit of work so you can’t really be bothered to. Plus, maybe you’ll grow nostalgic towards an old song when you hear it again a few weeks down the road! So we tell ourselves anyway. The best thing is probably to clear out the songs one at a time. That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing fairly recently when I have my songs on shuffle on iTunes. Each time I hear a song I don’t quite like anymore, the delete option is not too far off.

It’s hard to work in a subject where you lack interest. That’s how it is for most people and a lot of people (not all) are still able to work pretty hard in subjects that aren’t interesting anyway. This year I can’t seem to do that. I find it increasingly difficult to pay attention in class and work hard. It’s strange, my first and second years were probably much more busy and chaotic than my third year is now. I dropped many things to concentrate on school and I ended up doing much worse than when I had absolutely no time to study. I have more time to study now and yet…studying is the hardest action to do. I find a very limited number of things that are mentally stimulating. My camera has seen little use these days, blogging is infrequent (if not nonexistent), questioning of myself is frequent, slight aversions towards the internet are abound, and the turning to books (not school related of course) as a source of comfort. Maybe I’ll try and do some book reviews in the future…

As for the music, I’m probably just gravitating towards a different style. What it is I don’t know just yet. Keeping posts short and simple for now.

Here’s a pigeon.

Welcome death like an old friend and you’ll be fine.

It is a fact that the new of the passing away of the man in the SUB is spreading rapidly. To me he was always known as “that guy who sits in the chair in the SUB”. It wasn’t up until I found out about the news of his passing that I learned what his name was (might be). It is, dare I say tragic, to learn of his passing but then it is also curious. It is curious to read all the comments regarding his death. It is curious that his death has impacted not only those who talked with him, but those who never did. It is curious that not all that much is known about him. It is curious that he read and sat in the same chair for so many years. It is curious…well everything about all this is curious.

All this eerily reminds me of a previous experience (in a good way though). There always was longing to go and talk to him (and possibly take his photo, what? I like photos) and I wouldn’t be the first one to admit regret over not doing so. It seems that his passing is a shock (of various degrees) to many at UBC. Logically speaking, it really shouldn’t be such a shock. People die/pass away all the time, strangers, friends, family, and acquaintances. Even then though, the feeling from the knowledge that we won’t be able to see this silent man again is…peculiar. Future UBC students may only hear of him in passing or his memory may end up becoming a story.

In a way, he was more than just a person sitting in a chair, reading a book. For anyone who came to UBC on a regular basis (and especially the SUB for that matter) he may have represented a sort of consistency. Seasons change, courses change, faculties change, servers change, friends change. As people, we’re all stubborn towards change (think of Facebook style changes), some more than others. Among all the mid-terms, social conflicts, renovations, and graduations he was generally there; his chair was always there. Day or night, I can’t even count how many times I may have walked by him. I can say that he may have represented one of the many anchors that keep us from drifting to and getting lost in open waters. For those of us who noticed, he may have been an uncomfortable sight, a familiar sight, a curiosity, a quirky secret of UBC, or a mysterious person who was just there. He could have been just about anything for anyone. Or he could have just represented nothing at all. Perhaps it is just the silence and mystery of his past that makes him so memorable. Whatever he represented, he was a part of the UBC campus for many students and staff both past and present.

Credits to Miya Gu

Let no one weep for me, or celebrate my funeral with mourning; for I still live, as I pass to and fro through the mouths of men.
-Quintus Ennius

It’s curious that I have been affected enough to go visit that chair tomorrow and visit I shall. There are already many flowers and cards, my own share shall join it soon. It would be very curious indeed if nothing was made in his memory. I do hope UBC or its students puts that into consideration.

With credits to the UBC Campus Security Facebook page

 

More here

Oh look it’s 2012! What a difference! No.

Hello internet, it’s been a while. First off, I’d like to share this video:

From the looks of it, it’s gone pretty darn viral already and these guys will probably get caught within the week (that is assuming this is a real video and I don’t doubt that it is real). This video doesn’t show it, but the victim does end up running away. If the video outrages you, good. You still have some sense of morality. If it doesn’t, well I dont’ have much to say regarding that. However, now that some of you are outraged I’d say take a minute (or a dozen minutes if you have a slight temper) and just chill. Relax. At first one would like to see these guys (punks, cowards, losers, assholes, scumbags, pussies, pick your adjective(s) from the lot or add your own) have the same thing happen to them. Probably not the best as it only just makes the problem worse and make violence justified. Will they end up getting what they deserve? Yes and no.

It is likely that those responsible may get a light sentence (relatively speaking). I do not believe the legal system works 100% of the time, but that doesn’t meant these guys won’t get what they “deserve” in court either. Now the question is: who do we blame? It’s simple to say that it is entirely their fault. I could also be the devil’s advocate and say that the victim in the video did do something to evoke that sort of response from the “attackers”. That is highly unlikely of course. One could also blame societal structures, bad parenting, education, the music industry, the government, xenophobia, poverty?, human nature, aliens, or the bad burritos they ate beforehand. Some “causes” are more plausible than others and the point being is that while it is easy to place quick blame, it isn’t so true in reality.

What do these guys deserve? Death penalty? Life in prison? An equal sort of beating? Public shaming? A combination of everything? It can be both easy to say and hard to say. Why this video was uploaded onto Youtube originally is beyond me. One would imagine people would have been smarter than that by now. What I do know is that events like this happen more often than people realize or care to admit. This video was just luckily (or unluckily from the other viewpoint) found on Youtube and a combination of circumstances allowed it to spread and be re-uploaded after the original was taken down. Is it good that videos like this pop up every once in a while rather than all the time? Probably. Otherwise we’d most likely be accustomed to seeing events like this. We might not be so shocked if that were the case.

Right now, I see an online petition going around. The phone numbers, addresses, Facebook accounts, and Myspace of some of the perpetrators (and their parents) available in the info of the video. Public vengeance is…quick. This could easily get out of hand in the near future. I do not doubt peoples’ abilities to obtain personal info using online methods, nor do I doubt the ability for people to harass these individuals and their families for the next month. Do they deserve it? Maybe, maybe not. I am not the judge of that. I do not believe in the “eye for an eye” idea, but there is a fine line between a slap on the wrist and excessive punishment. How fine? Probably more than razor thin.

Yes, this act is disgusting, terrible, horrible, unnecessary, devastating. Throw in any words that you would use. Is humanity going down the drain? No. Let’s say these folks do get caught. Justice is “served” and public shaming online goes on. What then? We give ourselves a nice pat on the back? Feel whatever it is you’re feeling, but don’t give yourself that pat on the back when they do get caught. Keeping ill thoughts does not make one any better.