Mindlessness Mindfulness

Because real cities are made to be colored in.
Real cities are made to be colored in.

Because my vocabulary appears to be shrinking and my creativity waning, I’ve decided to take a stand.

I’m going to play adult for just a little while.

Like.. omigod… where do I even start? Umm…uh…like you know…I don’t get it.

I’ll be filling in the blanks with my coloring pencils and felt tips I’ve accumulated during my stationery craze days. I’ve been doing some writing offline and my ideas just seem so absurd. Ludicrous, even. And I’m supposed to be the queen of nonsensical poetry.

It also feels like my personality’s been watered down. I definitely was a lot more passionate about everything back then. Now my thoughts are marred by specks of nihilism. by My teenaged self would be so mad right now. But then again, she’d also be distracted by the pretty colors on the coloring book.

What Looking for a Job is Really Like

12482493

Let’s get this out of the way first – apologies for not actually blogging. (Paid) work has been relatively busy with new clients coming onboard and the fact that I scheduled a day just me, myself and I. Feeling like I needed a break in my now daily 9-5 routine, I wanted to take time to sip my tea slowly and not eat lunch at my desk.

Also I apologize for not being a very good at keeping in touch with my readers. I should be reading your posts more and generally dropping more comments. I do, however, occasionally enjoy just playing the role of the silent spectator. If you’ve noticed a drop in the number, quality and heart in my pieces, you’re not crazy. Perhaps my creativity has been muffled by my hours at work. Maybe I’m just lazy. I confess that I’ve also been slack with incorporating new vocabulary into my writing. This probably has something to do with me not visiting the library as much as I used to.

I’m beginning to open myself up to the world of audibooks, podcasts and streaming music once again. It’s obviously different from having a book in your hands and turning the pages, but I consider it a new way of reading. They’ve etched a new path of escapism for me.

I know I have at least a handful who regularly stop by to see what I have to say, so now the microphone is on you. Do you have any recommended reading lists for me?

Now back to the topic. What is looking like a job really like? It’s honestly like looking for a boyfriend, girlfriend or a significant other. Interviews are just like dates. A lot of the time, it doesn’t even have to do with you, but a huge factor called timing. You may think it’s conicidence that you bumped into that girl at the cafe. You could also miss her, just by walking past. Just imagine, you’ve walked past so many potential dates already.

But not to fret, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t other dates lined up for you.

Every no you receive, is actually a blessing. I know that it sure doesn’t feel like it at the time (feels more like someone kicking you when you’re already down), but really, it just wasn’t meant to be. And if you think that I’m just being horrendously wistful here, then just take note that you’re doing yourself no favors by bogging yourself down by negativity.

You just have to push on.

And just like relationships, there are some jobs that are absolutely worse than being unemployed. Some relationships are trouble from the start and later down the track, you’ll realize that you never should have started. You call quits. But what about the children? They need us to stay together. It wouldn’t be fair on them just because we don’t get along. Sound familiar?

Being single isn’t the worse thing in the world.

With most things in the world though, you should never trade your health – be it mental, physical or emotional for something that can be found again. It isn’t worth it. Time and health are just two things that you can never get back. Money, on the other hand, can be made in other ways.

Likewise, do not put all your eggs in one basket. Although it is very inspiring to hear a story of someone hitting the jackpot with their dreams, they are made of a mixture of hard work, luck and stupidity audacity to dream big. Dreamers are, after all, going against all odds. The problem with doing what you love as a job, is that it is a job. The legendary Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli fame understood this. With the commercial world, you will be required to work a set number of hours but not necessarily be productive or creative. You might even start to loathe your so-called work. You don’t want to be that person.

And I know there’s some of you out there that think that unpaid internships may be a good idea. You’ve been looking for a long time, I get it. But no. DON’T. If my mother hadn’t talked some sense into me, I might have been just like David. It’s on par with exploitation and short-term modern day slavery, and it will continue as long as we allow it to. What David should have done is protested, started a petition and refused to work without pay. The United Nations is supposed to be protecting human rights, not disregarding them. There is no guarantee of a job after an internship anyway, and you’ll just have wasted a whole lot of time spending money, instead of making it.

It’s great for you if it works, but it’s like a train wreck if it doesn’t. It’s soul-crushing, and a huge blow to your self-esteem. If unpaid internships were a kind of relationship, it would be one where a leeching scrub dangled a carrot in front of a horse.

tl;dr: Spend your time wisely; find someone who will appreciate your worth.

A Lunch Break for a Peanut Butter Sandwich

I suppose it’s time for a break and to explain my absence. In all honesty, I may be in need for a day to myself. Time to reflect, time to kill.

And despite being neglectful of my own needs and writing, there does come a moral to this story. Reddit is doing another one of their great secret Santa events for teachers. A lot of schools don’t get the public funding they need, which means less resources for educating kids.

And just to let you know, I am in no way sponsored by Reddit to promote this event, but if you’re too late for the main event, why not be a rematcher? Though I hate to say it, someone’s always going to default. But also, what better way is there to brighten a stranger’s day and pay it forward?

Of course you can just sign up to any other secret Santa event to give and receive – after all, one can only exist without the other. Likewise, if you’re not in a good financial position to actually partake in secret Santa, you could always just pass the giving bug on. Otherwise, pooling resources is a good idea. Maybe with a group of friends and/or family, you could come up with $20…

But honestly being a teacher is one of the most glorified and underrated jobs of all time and most get very little thanks for it. These are people that are meant to be educating the minds that will make up the future. Even the most skilled builder wouldn’t be able to put together a house without the right tools (and let’s not forget, at least one of my readers is a teacher… ).

One of my warmest memories was a time where I had forgotten to bring my lunch. Luckily for me, my school would hand out sandwiches (usually peanut butter or Marmite) to kids who didn’t have lunch – no questions asked. My assigned ‘buddy’ (an older student who would accompany us on certain events), who was no older than 13 at the time handed me a Marmite sandwich with a smile on her face. Now that time I had just forgotten my lunch. For other kids, it was pretty much their only way of getting lunch at school.

Not everyone in life is born with the same hand. Some will have royal flushes and some will have hands so bad it might not be worth even gambling. Yes, good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. But sometimes bad things happen to good people too. I grew up in a street where it was not uncommon to hear of things like domestic violence and for kids to go hungry. One of my friends in elementary school was a pretty, mixed Maori girl. She was always very kind to me but she would often come to school with tears in her eyes. It’s only caught up with me years later that she was potentially a victim of abuse. It’s more prevalent than we realize, if only we took the time to feel.

Now even if you don’t sign up to any of Reddit’s secret Santa events, I won’t blame you. After all, it’s your decision. But it’s break time for me. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, anyone?

Seeing Through The Rain

Image credit: Petr Kratochvil
Image credit: Petr Kratochvil

Sometimes people take things for granted.

Scrap that, we often take things for granted.

For this world to exist there’s got to be light to dark, good to evil and so on. They just can’t exist without another. If we wiped the dark from the world, we would only see light. And by default, this would also be the new darkness.

Take all the beauty in the world – pretty girls, handsome men, flowers, hand-sculpted masterpieces. Now if we were all physically beautiful, then by default we would all be ugly too. We’d all be average too. I don’t know about you, but living in a place where there is absolutely no diversity would actually be quite absurd. Plain, to be exact. The same argument holds for those against interracial relationships.

To keep one’s race ‘pure’ is just really an idea stemming from fear. Hearing second-hand stories of how interracial kids are bullied more would instil a bit of that in you. But here’s the thing, anyone that is different and stands out is going to be picked on. Anyone who is from a minority group would have most likely experienced bullying growing up, being called things like chink, kike and other mean things. Is it nice? No. But does that mean that they shouldn’t have children? Obviously not.

Being different is what makes you, well, different.

And some of these kids grow up to be very successful adults, like Barack Obama. And seeing that your background is not exactly something you choose to have, these kids are not in the wrong. So why is society treating them like dirt? Why don’t people want to have mixed children? The kids don’t need to change anything. Neither do their parents. What needs to change is people’s attitudes, because it is something that they can control.

And if you believe in the whole evolution theory thing, we’re all black too.

I understand that these people may want to protect their children-to-be, but having any child is a risk. There are so many things that kids can make fun of, not pertaining to race. To be honest, the thing these people should worry about the most is whether their children are born healthy. Even that in itself is an amazing feat.

Now back to you beautiful people. So if you do happen to be blessed with good looks, then remember to thank your more homely friends of the world. Regardless of whether you want to admit it or not, they reinforce people’s perceptions of your beauty.

That being said, if you are not considered physically attractive by modern standards, you should remember that the perception of beauty has changed many times over the years. And you should also take note that perceptions of beauty vary greatly depending on the society you live in. But most of all, it’s actually okay to be a little plain or physically unattractive. After all, you define beauty as much as the next pretty face.

And let’s not forget that old song, Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall.

But what comes after rain? Rainbows. And although they can be explained by science, the purpose is something that can’t. To me, it’s just a beautiful reminder of things to come. I got caught in a sunshower while walking and after being a little irked by it, I saw a very large rainbow. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to see two rainbows – a large arch parallel to a smaller one.

I couldn’t help but smile.

Whiplash, A 100-word Story

That is all one needs to break. One step forward, two steps back.

Old memories return every night to haunt me. My past playing back, over and over again like a broken record.

I take another swig from the bottle, hoping to drown it all out.

But it never does.

Boom. Even in silence, I can still hear the screams.

But it is her face that I cannot forget. Her eyes – gentle and brown, swelling with tears, staring back. Hair tangled, blood soaked.

Losing heat, all I could do was hold her in my arms.

I wish it were me.

P.S. Sometimes relapse is something I’d rather not deal with, but a story to wake up my new followers. Thanks for following – I’ll be sure to visit all of your blogs sometime.

Dear Mr. Iwata

As you probably all know, I do enjoy video gaming and the passing of Nintendo’s president came as quite a shock to me. It also felt like I had lost something,

You see, Mr Iwata was quite an extraordinary talent. 

The reason and magic behind Mr Iwata was that he was first and foremost, a gamer. It was also quite remarkable that someone who had started as a game developer quickly grew to direct Nintendo. So we had someone that understood the inner workings behind the game and knew what other people wanted to see. While other gaming companies were always focused on the super mega-charged turbo graphics, he was always pushing for something else. Something different.

In all honesty, Nintendo really reminds me of, well, me. Someone who isn’t a technophobe or a Luddite but still plays around with old technology because there is still something that transcends well beyond time. There are many games from Nintendo’s library that are still being enjoyed by people around the world. Take Super Smash Bros. or Super Mario for example. Even after all these years, people are still hooked on the plumber with the moustache trying to save a princess. But with games that focus too heavily on graphics, there is a pitfall in that there is always something bigger and better just around the corner. There will be games with even higher definition graphics and before you know it, you’re stuck with pixels. If however, you have a great concept and foundation, you have something strong and evergreen.

Like a beautiful song, if you have a strong melody you can be sure that someone will want to hear it again and again. With a beautiful exterior but shaky scaffolding, how can you expect a house to withstand the elements? Iwata was someone who believed in making games readily available for everyone to enjoy, against the wishes of many disgruntled people (so-called ‘hardcore gamers’ and investors who were neither game developers nor gamers). Now that was something different.

Now some of you might be thinking that I’m in over my head and that I’m being a huge schmaltz who lives on nostalgia. Well, I wouldn’t say that’s 100% incorrect, but remember I’ve stated that I’m quite a sensitive person. My memories are linked to certain senses and my surroundings. Funny I can’t really remember what the password I set last week, but I can easily tell you when and where I was with my copy of Nintendo 64’s Super Smash Bros. I was at home, playing against my brother. I was playing with a handful of my friends from middle school and I was always laughing. Always.

I’ve played games when I was happy, sad, angry and bored. The point is, the video games were a part of my journey to growing up. And remember that time I wasn’t working full-time? I played a lot of video games. A lot. And in a world where everything seems to be weighing down on your shoulders – be it bullying or illness, a little escapism goes a long way. I’m not saying that it was the only thing that helped keep me sane, but sometimes friends and family can be unavailable for a number of reasons. A video game will never really turn you down. Not pretty enough? And so you’re not a guy. Well, that’s okay.

As the late and great Iwata said:

P.S. Mr Iwata, you will be missed. Rest in peace, and thank you. 

Poetry Jam: Beware of square eyes

Beware of squareitis,
your eyes will turn wild.
They’ll turn into cubes
when the case isn’t mild.

How do you stop squareitis, you say?
Stop playing games and watching TV all day.
But what do you do when your eyes are cubes?
I don’t know, but here are two tubes.

P.S. Unfortunately, I think I overspent on my eyes too. Jeepers. Remember to rest your eyes, people.

Overspent.

Image credit: http://marcelnunis.com/

I can see why some people call credit cards the devil’s advocate now. I’m totally overspent this month and unintentionally too. That’s the price we pay for credit and convenience. Just whip out your piece of plastic and don’t have to think about things for another month. Then boom. Pay this now or choose to pay $10 and build yourself a nice house of debt.

No thanks.

I didn’t really sign up for consumer debt. I’m doing absolutely no one any favors by getting myself into debt. Especially high interest debt.

Even the most well-intentioned person can get off track simply by seeing something that makes their. Remember when I stuck to cash for pretty much everything? Those were the days. Cumbersome change may be, but that’s the whole point. Fumbling around with small loose coins really makes you think, is it worth it?

With more power comes greater responsibility. With more money comes greater spending. Sometimes things were a lot easier when I didn’t have a lot of money. Things that were totally out of my reach, I wouldn’t think twice about. Now there are so many things just within my reach and there’s a piece of plastic just lying there. It’s too easy to just say yes.

I’m especially bad when it comes to online spending. Click, click and click. Done. It also doesn’t help when you’re particularly good at remembering numerical sequences, so a card iceblock is totally out of the question.

Now economics is based heavily on theory. “If we assume that humans are rational beings— wait, no we can’t!” said one of my former statistics lecturers. And that’s the truth. No matter how rational anyone is, there will be something they have a weakness for— be it cosmetics, the newest game or even just puppies. Yes, puppies.

So in order to counteract the whole overspending bit, it means some scrimping and saving must be done for the next month. I overspent on my next month’s personal allowance as well and that’s bad. I’ve never really done that before. Obviously I’ve never been given a few extra grand as a credit limit increase, either. So you can see the psychology at work: you can now buy the things you’ve always wanted. Now I didn’t go buying a jet plane or anything like that, but things have a way of stacking up. It also only takes one big purchase to blow up your balance.

But I suppose the only way to progress from here is admit that I overspent and to leave my card at home. I know I said I was going to treat plastic like cash, but they’re clearly different. It would probably be best if I just went back to the basics – cold, hard cash.

Yeoowch. Credit card burn.