0154 – A challenge

 I wrote in my diary to tell you guys this:

I know that our brain processes what the eyes see into the real image that we see with a lag time of about 0.00x seconds. And I used to try to beat that lag time by trying to shut my eyes and swiftly open it to try to catch that momentary blank. I failed. You can go ahead and try it.

There’s more of this. I can’t remember the other one I wanted to tell you about.

Little things I do in my life.

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0153 – To go with the flow.

 I’ve been tolerating for so long. If this is what it is, then fine. I give up. I’ll go with the flow.

I’ve been doing so much writing work such that I actually pressed Apple+S to try and save this entry. Huh pretty crazy huh.

First week of summer program is over, and I must say there were loads of homework. I thought the IB program was one of the hardest things to get through. Little did I know. Little did I know indeed.

Interestingly, I have a culture class in which I have to write a journal entry (about culture) a day and many of the questions can potentially be subjects of my LJ entries! So it’s kinda like I’m actually writing blog entries often, which is cool. I’m gonna post them up from time to time.

I’m staying in this small town called Wolfeboro in New Hampshire. The population is so small, in the 4-digit range, and the people are all so friendly! We can just say hi to strangers, and 80% of them will reply back. And a lady in a store told me that the people all knew each other in the same area! It’s just so so nice. They even recommended their friends’ shops to me! It must be nice to live in a town like this. Now I’m feeling like I don’t ever wanna move. πŸ™‚

USA is turning out to be pretty awesome. Nothing extremely bad so far, apart from this severe sore throat and flu that have lasted a week. groannnn.

0151 – The United States of America!

It’s late and I’m sleepy. But I promised myself to blog today. And I don’t wanna break my promise. So here goes my first blog entry from USA.

 I’m in UNITED STATES OF AMERICA now!!!! WHEEEEE!!!

Not bad a place so far! πŸ™‚ Decent weather here in New Hampshire. Rain, shine, rain, cloudy, rain, cloudy. That’s New England.

First time I spent money in the US:

$5.455 on half a grilled ham, cheese & egg panini from La Brea Bakery Shop in Chicago O’Hare Int’l Airport.

I couldn’t sleep on the plane throughout my whole journey. Horrible experience. I did manage to catch, Coraline, half of Watchmen and… Confessions of a Shopaholic!

Confessions of a Shopaholic is kinda nice, I must admit. Brainless, but nice. Helps relieve the tension. I now somehow feel that the hours spent watching a brainless movie is very wasteful, but sometimes it does help. The Buddha said, "I think of death every breath that I take."

A one-in-a-lifetime experience. United Airlines offer real-time listening of their radio communications with the control tower. AWESOME! They all were talking in codes and acronyms and numbers and think accents. I couldn’t catch a thing! The speed of the inflight communications is absolutely phenomenal. Phenomenal. Tough jobs on both parties. However, what I noticed was that there only ONE female pilot out of the 20-ish planes communicating! Rather sad and surprising revelation. Why can’t females fly the plane?

I like UA’s flight attendaants. They make an effort to be nice, and they smile. a lot. And I get the feeling that they took better care of me than the Thai Airways flight attendants.

And you’ll never know how much influence politics has and how egocentric politicians are nowadays. Even in the airlines industry. a NATIONAL CARRIER, a symbol of PRIDE of the country! gosh. Talking to flight attendants reveals much. In fact, talking to ANY people reveal much. There is no limit to diversity.

Well, let’s stop here for nowww. I’m heading to bed. Tests tomorrow :/

Oh, and flight attendants gossip a lot. lol.

0150 – Small missteps

You know, I just don’t know what I’m doing here, and why there’re so many things I don’t understand. Life is damn freaking enigmatic, and it kills me sometimes to sit here clueless and upset about my being. And all these while, unpredictable thoughts enter my mind at unpredictable times.

Well, at least I know that things in life can change quickly and unexpectedly. I compare it to walking along those curvy paths to the top of the mountains. One just start at ground zero, and slowly makes his way up, trying to reach the very pinnacle, the ultimate goal. Sometimes one stumbles and falls back to lower ground, and sometimes one is dragged down. Sometimes, one can make a really really big misstep and fall off the cliff. However, the thing is, one doesn’t fall off into an abyss; one simply plunges, however sharply, to a lower level. So, with attitude and determination, it’s always okay and possible to restart!

On the other hand, sometimes when we misstep, someone walks by and offers a hand to pull one up. That’s what friendship is about.

Well, I reckon I haven’t made any big missteps yet, but I’ve tripped countless times – ’emotional’ trips. There aren’t many big rocks or anything; I just magnify and multiply them rocks, and make myself fall. How then, can somebody save me? Cam somebody save me from myself?

Tonight is one of the nights where a small rock seems gigantic.

It’s like when you’re happy the path seems much wider, and when you’re sad the path is so narrow you always fear that you’re gonna fall. Perception changes quickly.

We can change quickly. Many of us do. Some of us don’t have that gift.

Oh how I wish I change quickly too.

0149 – That elusive forgiveness

Why can’t we forgive?

It is almost a built-in function that when we’ve been hurt, we want to see retribution of some sort.

Takes a lot to overcome that feeling huh.

Remaining angry and stubborn doesn’t help matters. After all, it only hurts the other party, if it even does, a wee bit; it hurts oneself much more.
However, the thing is, we all don’t like being treated unfairly, and the world just seems unfair if there isn’t any retribution, right?

We desperately want to see retribution. We may deny it, but deep down inside, once we got that not-so-elusive retribution, ooohhh yes! satisfaction.

Seems cruel, but that’s the way some of your fellow worldly mates are built.

So… now what? The opposite party is hurt, and you’re satisfied. yippe! or not… What happens if both of you never forgive each other? It’s gonna turn into a really wicked and wretched dogfight one day, I daresay.

Now let’s imagine, the world where we’ve mastered the art of forgiving?

Peace. Sheer peace.

So how do we get that elusive forgiveness to shine through?

By now I’ve realized that there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all formula that will lead everybody to the expected results. We all have to figure out the paths that will guide us in the right direction. And walk that path. It’s a matter of determination and attitude. Gotta try! Forgive & forget, as they say.

One thing I can assure you is that karmic retribution is indeed the fairest thing in the world. So be peaceful, retribution is on the way.

It troubles me that while I’m saying all these, I cannot realize my words. The mind is a pretty tough thing to control. Oh well. No matter how long it takes – maybe a lifetime, maybe three, maybe 10, maybe millions – I know this is the path to walk, and I will keep walking. Johnnie Walker.

-.-

0148 – Getting involved

If not one of these four things happens, I WILL DIE:

-Paula Creamer wins LPGA Championship ’09.
-Tiger Woods wins The US Open ’09.
-Rafael Nadal wins Wimbledon ’09.
-Venus Williams wins Wimbledon ’09.

Haha. So much for talking in hyperboles.

Well, ‘I WILL DIE’ may be hyperbolical, but it still amazes me how much heart and soul many many people, including me, put into certain passionate things which have no bearings on them whatsoever. I won’t be affected by any of the abovementioned points happening, but I’d be severely depressed if they don’t.

Funny, ain’t it?

It’s almost like I’m inviting suffering into my life. Ahh… wait a minute. Life? Is there life without passion?

I don’t think I can explain this rather irrational behavior. I mean, one can say that tennis is awesome because bla bla bla, but what makes you like the bla bla bla so much so that you devote your life to tennis??

Maybe, the satisfaction received from seeing your favorite player wins is just that much… more impactful than seeing him or her lose. Maybe that’s enough to pull someone through. Or maybe it’s the attachment that one has with that player; I’ve supported Rafael Nadal at first and now I’ve stuck with him. Attached to supporting him. Pitied him when he lost in RG to Soderling. Suffered a lot.

I always loved Paula. Ahh don’t make me start on her. Pretty lush long blond hair (DON’T ever cut your hair Paula), her melting smile and her attitude. ok let’s sto there for now. Back to the point. Well, I feel sad every time she loses. How does it even affect me?! Ridiculous.

But there lies the danger of getting too much involved. One shouldn’t attach oneself to anything, because every single thing, formless or corporeal, is impermanent. Detach, and let go. πŸ™‚

On the other sideeeee……………………

"Brain neurotransmitters work in patterns of stimulation or inhibition.  The interaction usually begins with just one neurotransmitter and then spreads and involves others in a pattern that resembles a cascade. …if the normal reward cascade of neurochemicals is interfered with … the resulting chemical deficiencies, excesses or imbalances create discomfort—a reward deficiency.  The discomfort takes the form of restlessness, anxiety, difficulty focusing, feeling incomplete and inadequate, or hypersensitivity.

In plain language, this means that we have to get a certain amount of pleasure and stimulation or rewards from our daily activities and what we put into our bodies. If we don’t, then we create a pleasure deficit or what is known as "reward deficiency," and are subject to depression, anxiety and poor performance. Each day we have to stimulate our reward pathways adequately if we are to function well emotionally, mentally and physically."

Pleasure deficit. Interesting. Well, again, people are built differently (which might cause some people may argue about fairness) but yes, I do need these things to survive. I can live without then for a day maybe, but I at least check the scores or news as soon as I can. Is this actually a pleasure source? It actually makes me sad, but yet I still need it every single day. Oh there’s pleasure all right, but it fades in comparison with the amount of suffering.

Sigh. Will I ever understand life?

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The lighter side.

In a recent email:

Boo. beansprouts suck! carrots are awesome πŸ™‚

Weird question indeed.

*evil laughter* MUAHHAHAHAHAAHHAHAAHAH.

Pete’s laughter reverberates throughout Chris’s room. Chris shudders with fear.

Mystery.

πŸ™‚

lol. that was so random. see you soon!

Cheers!

Pete

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lol am I crazy or what!! -.- or maybe at the time i was writing the email, my reward pathway was gravely in need of stimulation! πŸ˜›

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A little bit harder side of life.

Schadenfreude sucks. Being too involved, I used to laugh at Federer fans when Nadal won Wimby last year. Now I’m getting a taste of my own medicine.

Nobody benefits from this. Federer and Nadal are both fantastic players, and they both have their moments. So let’s not fight, shall we?

0147 – Having faith in oneself, and viva la vida.

Believe it or not, I just really listened to Viva La Vida today. I heard it before, but never really paid attention to the lyrics, partly because I can’t really catch them (the accent and the pace made it difficult for me to follow). Now that I’ve focused on it, and looked up the lyrics, I must say I’m impressed. I know they won some awards, but I didn’t give a damn. lol.

Viva La Vida… Long live life.

"I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own"

Captures the very essence of life.

I always mention that uncertainty is the only certainty. It’s getting boring, i know, but this can’t be truer. In one’s life one simply has to deal with the constant fluctuations of both emotional and surrounding states. There are many different sources that can aid one’s dealing with these things. Of the many things, myself and religion are my most frequently sought sources of guidance.

Christianity teaches people to have faith in God.

Buddhism, on the other hand, teaches people to have faith in themselves. It teaches me to have faith in my own determination to resist the defilements, and my ability to cope with life no matter what obstacles I come across.

It’s really a learning journey, life. More and more challenges emerge everyday, and the harder and harder we have to fight. And more and more handsome is the reward: the sense of accomplishment.

So, viva la vida. Long live life.

0146 – What do you know?

If you were to guess one thing about your previous life, what will it be? Give me the reason as well.

Well, as for me, based on the rule of karma (simply what you did is what you receive), I’d say I probably tried to chop off someone’s little toe, or maybe try to gash it. The reason is that in this life, i keep getting my pinky toe injured for some mysterious reasons. It’s probably bled for like 5 times already. and the funny thing is that every time itrip or brush my feet against something hard, my little toe takes the most damage. every time.

not just coincidence is it?

i say… karma rule does stand. You won’t believe it until you know it.

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Just got myself Twitter =) let’s see if i get addicted to it. Paula Creamer is there! =)

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Well well. Serena is out. Surprise there.  This tournament is crazy. I tell ya, if Federer doesn’t win this, he really really has to dig himself a whole and stay in there until Wimbledon.

Life is unpredictable.

0145 – Crawling my way there.

I take longer than others to get to the finish line, but I’ll get there eventually. I just crawl my way into things. I really like to do things fast, but my brain processes more slowly than others’ brains. Gotta make do with what I have. If I take two days to figure out a solution while others take two minutes, so be it. However, it is really a dogfight sometimes; fight against myself, that is. I’m not gifted with a lots of patience, but I’m gifted with stress tolerance. It’s amazing the way each and everyone is built differently and all of us have to find a way to deal with our own issues. We learn from one another – that’s how we can all survive.

What do you do when you’re walking in a long hallway and you see a stranger walking towards you? Do you look down? Do you stare at the floor? Do you pretend to be using your phone? Or… do you smile or greet?

I look down. I pretend to use my handphone. or whatever that avoids any interaction. So most of the time my world is limited to myself. Occasionally I let my friends in. I’m feeling that maybe it would be nice to be smiled at or have strangers enter my world. Maybe we all can help each other out. I remember my friend saying that a stranger who gives her a little smile just makes her day.

Maybe we should start smiling at each other eh? Well, if you start to do that now, the stranger will either shoot you down or think that you’re weird.

Maybe… we should crawl our way there – the point where smiling at strangers is reflexive muscle memory.

Smile to the world, and the world smiles with you.

<edit>

Funny I found this quote right after I write this entry:

"There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist." Mark Twain

This quote is gonna be my blog title now πŸ™‚ I need to absorb the quote, bit by bit. Maybe my life can be happier. I’ll start smiling πŸ™‚