Word of the Week #239:

Latitude

As this blog grows longer and longer, and new posts keep piling upon the old, it is fun to look at how the tone of my writing has evolved over these few years.

As I began, I believe most of my early posts were much more sincere and focused on my craft. Plus, there just were more of them, as I had the time and energy to devote to them… until I suddenly didn’t.

Soon, the posts took a sharper turn towards activism. One would think the writer was trying to fix the entire world over a few clicks of his keys. Maybe he was, but that didn’t work, so that phase of the blog didn’t last too long either.

After that, I just started talking. About myself. About together was on my mind or in my heart at the moment. I think that phase has been the most rewarding as a writer.

And lately, within this third phase, I feel like I have just been coming here and bragging about how amazing I am and how well I am doing. That is always fun, right?

What will happen next? Who knows. After all, we do live in interesting times.

Still, let’s keep having some more fun while the light lasts.

Word of the Week #238:

Acceleration

One of the most important things we need to learn is pace.

There are times to slow down and take every step with precise measurement, and there are times to leap and bound towards the goal.

I feel like I have gotten good at doing either when it is obvious which of the two is required in any given situation.

You know what are the things that—in my opinion—are the most helpful.

First, of course, is composure. As hurried as you are, it is vital to keep a level head on your shoulder. Even as the clock is winding down and the buzzer is about to sound, if you use all the time you have in the right direction, more often than not, you will handle things.

So, how do you stay calm and composed in crunch time?

Preparation.

If you know what to do, how, when, and how much time it normally takes, actually doing it becomes a lot easier.

So, composure and preparation…

What else do we need?

I’ll tell you what I do have: Confidence.

If I start writing a blog post at 11:41 PM and it is due at 12:00 AM, I know I can get it done WITH TIME TO SPARE?

Why do I know that?

Because I have done that in the past, and I will do it again.

What can I say… I’m just that good.

Now, is that bragging? Some might say so, often with a whiny but cute drawl.

But me?

I have confidence in sunshine,
I have confidence in rain.
I have confidence that spring will come again!
Besides what you see I have confidence in me.

—Sound of Music (1965)

Word of the Week #237:

Nude

I have always thought that presenting your art is a lot like presenting your bare body.

Some people like to show off what they’ve got to everyone in the world, some wouldn’t look at it themselves if they could help it, and most of us are somewhere in the middle. We may show some parts to some, other parts to others. 

It can be daunting, right?

After all, everyone is a critic.

“I liked this. I hated that. I get what you were trying to do with this thing, but it doesn’t really work for me.”

That is not what we want to hear, right?

You wouldn’t want people to pay TOO MUCH attention. Who doesn’t have some insecurities, after all, right?

And yet, people paying too little attention is almost worst, isn’t it?

It’s just… exhausting…

So, how do I handle it?

Well, when I do figure it out, I’ll let you know. For now, I’ll just keep scampering.

Word of the Week #235:

Ectoplasm

For the most part, I think I have indulged in a broad range of artistic experiences.

I have read books of all kinds. I have tried music and movies and dramas covering many genres and themes as I sought to figure out what I like.

However, overall, I do have one gaping hole in my exploration: horror.

Somehow, I just never chose to try it on my own accord, and I wonder why.

Part of it may have been from the fact that I just grew up around a lot of substandard, derivative horror. The movies or shows of that nature rely on shock for their impact more than anything else, which I always found irritating. 

I have read Poe’s works. I have watched a couple of Hitchcock classics. I enjoyed them—more the former than the latter—but I didn’t love them, maybe largely because of the aforementioned derivative crap. 

Overall, though, how do you even define horror? Being scary? The same things cannot possibly scare everyone, right?

What scares me is not exactly horror, although it is definitely horrifying. After all, most documentaries are scarier than any horror movie you’ll ever see.

Still, I think I could try a couple of new ones. I have some reason for optimism.

Let’s see how it goes.

Word of the Week #234:

Reflexive

“In order to seek truth, it is necessary once in the course of our life to doubt, as far as possible, of all things.” 
—René Descartes

Lately, I have been revisiting some of the things I knew to have liked or disliked, and I have had some interesting insights.

Some of the TV shows I grew up loving—absolutely loving—now seem just… meh.

Normally, when I do rewatch old series, I often discover something new in them. Lately, though, I have begun to discover more things in myself, I suppose.

Hindsight, as they say, is always 20/20, and in hindsight, one would conclude that most—or many, at least—pieces of art and entertainment are anchored to their era. Remove them from their time, and they lose a lot of their value.

With the benefit of hindsight, I have begun reexamining many of my past choices and preferences.

I look forward to seeing how much the world around me has changed, and how much I have.

Word of the Week #221:

Contrition

People often ask me what I do all day.

Okay, not often. More like, occasionally.

Anyway, I don’t usually have a real answer. I don’t have a schedule, per se. I just do what I like.

Still, what does a day look like in my life?

Well, let’s take a look.

12:00 PM

Awaken by a call. Client asks if I can take a new project and complete it in 24 hours.
“Of course, I can! Sure thing!”

12:02 PM

Go back to sleep.

4:14 PM

Actually wake up.

4:16 PM

Send confirmation to client without actually reading the whole email or checking the attachments.

4:20 PM

Freshen up.

4:40 PM

Think about working out.

5:30 PM

Actually start working out.

6:15 PM

Finish working out.

6:30 PM

Finally catch your breath.

6:31 PM

Think about taking a shower before getting distracted by a text.

6:56 PM

Actually shower.

7:13 PM

Walk out of the shower.

7:20 PM

Have dinner. 
“Dinner”? “Lunch”? Whatever.

7:40 PM

Consider getting started on the project.

7:41 PM

Decide to start at 8:00

7:42 PM

Chat.

8:00 PM

Realise you don’t want to start working yet. 

Reconsider.

8:03 PM

Decide to really start at 9:00.

8:04 PM

Continue chatting.

9:00 PM

Check the attachment in the email and realise you are not going to enjoy this project.
Whine.
“Nah! I don’t wanna do this!”

9:08 PM

Play video games for an hour.

11:20 PM

Realise it has been more than an hour.

11:21 PM

Decide to really, really start at midnight.

11:22 PM

Tell everyone you have decided to really, really start at midnight.

12:00 AM

Play video games for an hour.

5:28 AM

“Is that sunlight? Son of a—”

5:30 AM

Open a 98 page document.

5:40 AM

Finish reading the 98 page document.

5:41 AM

Get started on your task.

5:55 AM

Finish your task.

6:00 AM

Check once and submit.

6:01 AM

Go down for breakfast.
“Breakfast”? “Dinner”? Whatever.

6:02 AM

Realise that society’s definitions have no hold on you.

6:08 AM

Eat scrambled eggs.

6:11 AM

Lie in bed and watch anime.

10:00 AM

Turn the laptop off and go to bed with zero regrets.

That’s the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, I like it…

Du du du du du du du du du… Du du du du du du du du du… 

 

Word of the Week #207:

Quarantine

So, all my life, I have worked from home. 

I mean, okay, “home” is a weird topic, right now, but that is an entirely different thing. 

Anyway, spending long hours sitting in front of my Mac, typing away furiously with nary a distraction, that has been my life for as long as I can remember… Or at least as long as I have had a Mac…

Hence, imagine my consternation when the one time I decide working from home is not going to be enough, the entire world seems to want to reverse course. And that too when I was just beginning to feel at home where I currently am. Now, the stores and malls and, well, everything is closing around me.

Fate has a keen sense of irony.

I have little food, little money, and little reason to stay, but I don’t think I should leave either. Also, I don’t want to leave. 

I plan to stay my ground and fight for the home I’ve built, here.

The vibes, right now…

When the gusts came around to blow me down…

That song is just perfect…

But it doesn’t end on a pleasant note.

Then again, what does?

Word of the Week #206:

Abode

Home…

It seems like a simple concept, right?

And yet, for the past several months, it has continued to elude me.

Actually, I only started actively thinking about it in the past few months. I suppose it has weighed on my mind for almost all my life.

As social beings, humans are forever cursed to seek somewhere they belong. I have been seeking for as long as remember.

And it has been a struggle. I could never relate to people, never connect with them. I could never feel at home.

I will accept that I have been lucky to have been surrounded by many people who love me, and a few who might even understand me. I wonder how many people are afforded that luxury. And yet, I always struggled to find somewhere I belong.

And after several months since the stark realisation that I have no home, I have only now begun to understand what I need to do.

I cannot find somewhere I belong because that place does not exist.

Time has come for me to build a home.

This is a place where I don’t feel alone.
This is a place where I feel at home.

— The Cinematic Orchestra, To Build A Home

Word of the Week #205:

Nonpareil

We tend to normalise the things in our lives, right?

I mean, we HAVE to. Otherwise, our lives would be far too skewed.

Still, I believe that when we do this, we tend to overlook too many of the most important things about the world around us. 

We might not notice how comfortable or pleasant our home was until we move away. Because, why would we? Comfort is the norm within our experience, right? A deviation from it is noticed, but its sustained prevalence is forgotten. But after having moved away and struggled to feel “at home” ever again, we realise just how special and valuable that sensation is.

The same goes with people, of course. While we have them around, we do not notice what we have. We may never learn some of the most interesting things about the people we see every single day. Is that not an opportunity too precious to lose?

As an artist, one never knows what single word or idea may spark a masterpiece of a lifetime. Inspiration may be lurking in any corner of your world, just like that scary snake we spotted in the parking last night, which led me to add a new, interesting chapter to an ongoing project.

As I said, inspiration may be lurking in any corner of your world, and you never know when it may strike. 

So, look at the world. Look at the people around you.

See. Understand. Absorb. 

Word of the Week #189:

Ruminate

So, I have been thinking a lot about myself.

Surprising, eh? 

Well, to be specific, I was thinking about what I want from my life and how far I am from my goals in each aspect. I realised that random, unfocused thinking would lead to no results. I needed a system.

Thus, I did what I do best: I turned abstract thoughts and ideas into numbers.

Screenshot 2019-11-04 at 10.28.45 PM.png

Looks pretty, right?

I don’t want to propagate the “Lonely Writer Guy” trope. This was really just the status at that very moment. Matters of the heart can change rapidly, and with little warning.

Money is good. I have as much as I could want, right now.

The rest, well, is a work in progress.

It is interesting, right? And helpful, too. Already, I have begun incorporating significant changes in my life based on this assessment.

I have completely transformed my exercise schedule and my diet. I have begun taking better care of my hair and my eyes.

I know what I want, and I go get it.

I wonder if everyone can do this.