Saturday, December 6, 2014

Get Well Soon, Mordeth13, His Accident + "Are You Happy With Who You Are?"

Sad news today. M13, a youtube vlogger who I used to follow when I was in high school got in a motorcycle accident. It was a while ago, actually, but I've been so out of the loop. Both his legs were broken and his hands are pretty messed up; seemingly bad enough to never be able to use his clutch hand again (for those of you who don't ride, the clutch on a motorcycle is usually a lever that's operated by your left hand).

He's a Canadian dude who was from Alberta (I think) who's now an expat in Taiwan. He started off by putting a camera in his helmet and just pressing record. I remember seeing a video of his when I was an angsty 16 year old titled "are you happy with who you are?" and it hit me really hard at the time.

The gyst of it was that you know you're happy with who you are when you can be alone. Because when you're alone, that's when you have all that time to look inwardly, reflect, and think about who you are as a person (and whether or not how you turned out is acceptable to you). When you need other people to distract you from you, it might be a sign that something needs to change.

I no longer watch his videos, but I'll always be grateful for the entertainment that his videos provided at one point in my life. Riding motorcycles is still one of my biggest passions, and having followed someone talking about interesting things while having a first-person view of what it's like to be on a bike was the final push in me deciding to save up and actually get one. Hell, I even had some videos at one point and wanted to get into Vlogging, myself. But I suppose that's a story for another time.

Thanks M13, and I hope you get well soon.

Here's the story of his crash + donation page:

Here's the video that I was talking about earlier:

- Alvin

Monday, August 11, 2014

Margaret Mitchell's The Fucking Truth

"I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and them together again and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken -- and I'd rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken places as long as I lived."
- Margaret Mitchell

Life's pretty good right now. I read this quote earlier on today and spent the good portion of my day thinking about it (even through my shift at work). Whenever people ask me about my past relationships, I always say that they were all good while they lasted.

It sort of catches people off guard because it sounds pessimistic, but it has nothing to do with expecting an end-life; but it has everything to do with knowing it might have one. I try to enjoy things for what they are, as they are; but I know that it's sometimes easier said than done.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"Beautiful things don't ask for attention" - James Thurber

When I was learning how to freedive, my teacher recommended visualizing a place to keep me distracted so that I could stay underwater longer. I've never told anyone this, but this view is what I used. I would focus on little details of this picture as I could imagine any segment of this picture and find it beautiful. When I got close to giving up and going up for air, I'd zoom out and it would buy me a little more time.

 Before I knew it, I'd be under for minutes at a time and eventually, I stopped using it as a crutch because it distracted me from appreciating everything that I was seeing underwater.

As of late, I've been trying to figure out why I didn't like this specific chick. On paper, she was pretty great, had a lot going for her, and happened to be easy on the eyes. But for some reason, I didn't like her as much as she liked me. I think I've finally realized that it's because beautiful things don't ask for attention. She was gorgeous, and she knew it. But she wanted everyone else to know it in front of her.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Spare Some Time

I arrived in Cambodia a little under a week ago and my first stop was a town called Koh Kong. It was a mellow day since I was a little tired from being on busses all day trying to cross the border from Thailand into Cambodia.

I rented a bicycle and was going around town trying to find some toner (lol first world problems). I parked my bicycle outside and came outside to a kid playing with my back wheel.

I started moving the bike so I could head back to my guesthouse, but he nearly started crying.

I realized that I had nowhere to be and no one to I decided to stay until he got bored of it.
Every now and then, I'd hit the brakes and he couldn't understand why the wheel would stop spinning/wouldn't move.

Anyway, I see a lot of beautiful shit when I'm out here, but some of my coolest experiences have been little moments like this.

 Maybe I'm just easily amused. But so was the kid; and I think we could all learn a lot from them.

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Simple Life =/= A Poor Life

Dated September 7, 2013:

In case anyone's been wondering what I've been up to, I've been in The Philippines for the past 2 months. Cultural enrichment, finding my roots (LOL), yada yada, all that good stuff. But mostly to see some nice shit.

The title is something that I've been thinking of for a while since I've gotten here, but I guess I didn't develop the idea fully until I talked about it with some people that I met. I was in a town called Batad, which is only reachable by foot (from the closest road, it's about 400 steps down, and a 30 minute-1 hour hike to get to the village).
I got to wake up to this for a couple of days and It's probably been one of my favourite places so far in The Philippines (which is saying a lot as I'm writing from the infamous Boracay beach right now). I hiked all day and bumped into another Canadian named Shannon while looking for food and after she asked me about my funny-looking toe shoes, we  got into a pretty interesting discussion about Philippines. I was able to offer a little more insight because I'm often treated like a local/can speak the language but happened to grow up abroad.

 Anyway, Shannon and I got to talking and we both agreed that peoples sometimes [mistakenly] equate a simple life with one of poverty. We see kids with dirty feet and ripped clothes, and we automatically assume that they're in need. But I think we forget to ask: "but by whose standards?"

Instead of seeing underprivileged people, I see communities that are happier with less things. Their clothes have holes because they don't need to throw away a functional everyday shirt due to a rip or two. In fact, many of them have nicer ones to use when there's an occassion. Money goes to more important things because there's less to go around and a rip in a shirt is less important than something like food.

 Don't get me wrong; I'm not rationalizing, I'm not claiming that it isn't a significantly poorer country in general, and I'm definitely not claiming that this is always the case. I'm just saying that sometimes we need to check our privileges and remember that our standard of life can sometimes be higher - with the emphasis on our.

 As silly as it sounds, "nicer" isn't always better.

 Anyway, I hope that you're all well. My visa expires on Christmas, so I have to start thinking about what my next country's gonna be soon. If you'd like to see my write-up on my 2-week motorcycle tour in Luzon, you can click here

- Alvin

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gold Medals

"A gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you're not enough without the
medal, you'll never be enough with it." - Cool Runnings

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What Screws Us Up Most in Life is The Picture in Our Head of How It's Supposed to Be

It's been a particularly contemplative week for me, and I think I saw this picture again just in time.

I've been having a lot of interesting conversations as of late. With one friend, I was discussing whether or not seeing everything as a blessing/positive thing gives us a skewed image of reality. On one hand, you're last stressed about things that happen...but on the other hand, you might be setting yourself up to take things less seriously. After all, some lessons are meant to kick your ass and make you feel like shit. Besides "everything happens for a reason", right? And sometimes the reason is simply that you're a dumbass who made a stupid choice.

But I digress! A wise DJ that I once knew asked me whether I'd rather be happy or right. To this day, I'm still trying to figure that out. But I find that as time goes on, I'm increasingly leaning towards the former.

- Alvin

p.s. I've been thinking a lot about happiness, and seeing as how my birthday is usually the most contemplative day of the year for me, maybe I'll save it for that. But if my past behaviour is an accurate predictor of future behaviour, I don't blame you for choosing not to hold your breath.

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