dal niente

Month: September, 2006

Looking in the Mirror

“Yo, shit! [Jinryu]! Take a look at this!”

“What? What am I looking at?”

“Look what he’s doing!”

“There’s someone in the tube?”

“The reflection! He’s chopping crack!”

“Are you serious?”

I look in the reflcetion of the glass door to the laundry chute, which reflects right into the patient’s room. Sure enough, it looks like he’s chopping lines. A moment later, he’s snorting.

“Holy shit.”

We tell the nurse, who tells the doctor. It is illegal to buy drugs, it might even be illegal to do drugs. I don’t know the laws of it all, it doesn’t matter–in a hospital, nothing’s ever so black and white. The doctor is new here, only on service for the last month or so. She looks to us and asks us what should we do, what’s the ‘procedure’.

“There isn’t one, I don’t think,” I reply. The nurse concurs, but as a formality we’ve begun thumbing through the manual, as if to reassure her that we mean well and are trying to help her even in futility.

We conclude that good sense says that the doctor though has to go in there and give the man a talk.

The doctor doesn’t look pleased when the nurse suggests this, in fact, she looks really anxious. But while the patient on the line is bound by very few laws, survival being the main issue, doctors are legally obliged to advise their patients no matter how hard the subject matter. I really feel sorry for her. Have you ever tried to convince a man teterring on the brink of death that he’s not allowed to do something? Do you know what it’s like to convince someone twice your age that they have to beleive in you? And to beleive in what? An extended lease?

“Is he gone?” asks one of the other nurses.

“No–! Of course not! I mean, well, nothing’s sure, well, not yet,” says the doctor, her voice shaky. “I mean– he’s still got good chances I think. Why would he, arg!”

We hear coughing from the patient’s room, violent coughing. The doctor rushes to go see him, one of the nurses right behind her.

“Damn him,” says the nurse next to me after the doctor’s left. “She’s done everything right. It’s just bad luck to have a junkie on her first tour.”

I think about it. That patient is actually a well known Canadian writer, I’ve read some of his work. Don’t ask who– non-disclosure agreements and all that probably say that I’ve already said too much. To be honest, my instinct is to be dissapointed in him; we’ve chatted in the past and he is a really nice guy. But perhaps valuing life is different on my youthful end of the spectrum.

It doesn’t matter that he’s not in shape and can’t relate to the physical activities that soak up the majority of my interest points. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t play games, or go to school, or deal with complications of the social life or even work. He’s got stories– lots of them, and I could and have just listened to him in the past.

So is this just another story then? Razors and white powder on a disinfected hospital shaving mirror? Is this how it’s supposed to end?

“Fuck,” says the nurse. He’s mostly upset for the doctor I think, because I think he has a crush on her. “Fucking fuck that stupid fucker!”

I nod my head, there’s not much more for me to say.

Status Report

It’s week 3. Last week I handed in my first written assignment worth grades. I wrote a 1000 word essay about a book which I read cover to cover on the outside— meaning, I’ve read the front cover and the back cover. I just sorta paid attention in class to what everyone was saying about Irish tragedy and I watched about 10 minutes of the movie, read the questions really carefully… result: A- !! Well, I never. MINUS?

I’m shocked.

I hate people who are talented, so I try not to think about them. On the other hand, people hate me because they think I’m talented. If someone says so though, I don’t really take it as a compliment because to recognize talent primarily disregards hard work. If it looks like I do things ‘naturally’ now, this is in fact just hard work paying off. If I had any talent, it’s long ago been buried under lots and lots of hard work. Talent is only the begining. It’s more of a ‘jumpstart’.

To be realistic, if I was say, missing two arms there’s little chance I’d be a concert pianist. There are some things that hard work doesn’t have solutions for.

Nonetheless– usually talent is regarded in terms of time. If someone is talented at piano, we say “I couldn’t be that good in 10 years”. But what if you did actually spend 11 years on it? Then you could probably get to where that person was from year one. You’ve established a level playing ground. And if that talented person didn’t do anything to build upon his/her talent in those years, then what’d be the difference?

Talent has a lot to do with the jumpstart and perhaps the rate of learning. People who aren’t tallented have do do things ‘manually’ because they don’t get any freebies. But talented or not, the measure remains as the mirror, not the guy standing next to you.

I’m at work today for the first time in about two weeks. So far so good. I had a helluva hard time waking up this morning because trying to wake up out of the blue at 5am is just impossible for someone who usually has class at only 11:45am.

I wholly recommend that you all jump on youtube and start watching the anime Fullmetal Alchemist (watch the dubbed ones sent in by Alexander). At first I never really looked at it because the series was rather dumb looking, but it turns out that it’s easily one of the best animes I’ve ever watched. They pay lots of attention to plot and character development, moreso than fights, which is something that I appreciate.

Fighting Intuition:
People who ‘don’t know’ kinda nod and smile when I say that gaming, sports or martial arts is a way of ‘understanding’ people better. The thing is that in real life, people can get pretty far by just ‘intuition’ and riding the waves. The path of least resistence. We go to school cause it’s easier to do that then to starve jobless someday. We get into programs that our parents want for us because doing so is easier than fighting them on a day to day basis. We work for a boss because it’s easier than making our own descisions. In fact, even bosses sell products that society wants of them because it’s easier than trying something new.

So where does originality come from?

I put it forth that originality isn’t something that you can just sit at a desk with all your creativity candles burning in the middle of the night, trying to pure-think something into existence.

Nevermind originality for a moment. How does someone get stronger?

It’s called resistence training in the weightlifting world nowadays, aptly so. It deals with an opposition of force.

The example of weightlifting is an interesting one in itself– it’s not the lifting that begs a question, but WHY the person is lifting.

I’m going off on a tangent. Back up.

There are a lot of situations where the only way to improove is to go against your instincts and intuition and train for something that will ultimately return better results. In sports, martial arts, and games, things more obvious. The person who can perform a quarter circle from down to forward and who can hit a punch button can throw the fireball– it is NOT intuitive, in fact, the motion seems almost arbitrary at first. But for all the suffrances you take to aquire that skill contrary to all button mashing instincts, you see a result in the way your engagements end. Similarly, a basic side kick and a straight jab are hardly intuitive– unless you’re a horse, kicking clowns around left and right, the human physiology is more similar in combat to a cougar or a bear– it’s a slugger, specializing in curved slashing attacks. And yet, when the rapier (a stabbing sword) was invented, it basically made broadswords (a swinging sword) obsolete.

The pioneers said “lets think out of this box” and they had the guts to try something that went against their intuition. They didn’t just do what felt natural. They went forward and experimented with the unknown.

Fighting intuition is, in a sense, not relying on talent.

Everyone can breathe– and yet, some people develop their breathing habits in such a way that they can hold their breath for more than a minute. Everyone can speak– but some people train so that they can sing.

But last i checked– when did anyone consider breathing or speaking a talent? Because that’s what talent is– the ‘natural’ starting point. Some start further down the course than others. But it’s not the start that defines the person, but rather, the steps afterward.

My sister broke my Minidisc player, which i’ve owned for many, many years. She’s now using my MP3 player, so that leaves me without a music device. So I went out on eBay, did some research, and in a moment of weakness blew a few hundred dollars on a phone, the Sony Ericsson k750. Well, it’s a good phone and I got it at a decent price, so whatever. It handles my mp3s too and has a 2mp camera on it.

School Redux:
It’s week 3 and I’m starting to get into schoolwork now… Have to read a few books to write a few papers. You know the routine. The stress hasn’t hit me quite yet.

LBA season starting soon. Unfortunately, I think that I’m overal only as good as I was when I finished the last season, as far as mens’ doubles play goes. I think I’ve gotten better at mixed and singles though. As much as I would have liked to have more results between last season and now, I’ve been making too many corrections on my basic technique to see the overal effects so far since it’s almost as if I’m learning things from scratch. Ah well, it can’t be avoided I guess.

Jinryu says:
Dismember a zombie midget          9%
Dismember a zombie buddhist          7%
Dismember a zombie that looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger          5%
Jinryu says:
those percentages are my chances of success
Z says:
5% of killing an Arnold zombie?
Jinryu says:
Z says:
That’s either really good or really bad.
Jinryu says:
well, i am only level 3 human right now.
Jinryu says:
i’m dual wielding two broken bottles and my armor is a pair of sunglasses.
Z says:
A necessity for the post-apocalyptic survivor on the go.
Jinryu says:
cause you know, zombie infested towns are SO DAMN BRIGHT

Do you want to take my picture (’cause I won’t remember)


People change, but constant exposure to the people that change
sometimes makes the change too imperceptible.  If you take a break
from particular people, you’ll notice right off when you next see them
the things that changed and the things that stayed the same.

  Someone once wrote “every great man keeps a record of himself, because greatness is relative”. I
think that some day, being a good parent will be about remembering what
it was like to be young.  Expectations are usually based on where
you are currently at in your own life– it’s hard to judge people ‘less
mature than you’ on their own scale of progress, and it’s easy to look
at others and measure them against yourself.

If anyone has ever figured out how to judge people on their own
worth, it is those people who say “do your best” and actually mean it.

Tolerance for others, in my mind, comes from trying to
remember.  Owning the club makes me interact with people who are
older and younger than me.  I feel the urge to be impatient and
dismissive of people younger than me because they’re ‘stupid’ or
‘immature’, and when I look at those older than me I feel they’re too
‘close minded’ or ‘set’.  I do my best to resist the temptation of
giving into those easy instincts– the way towards harmony often isn’t,
I’ve found, intuitive.  It will always be tough to swallow that I
was once younger and making the same mistakes, or that now that I’m
older there are people still older who have a more complete picture of
the world than i do– so maybe that’s why they see things differently.

The thing about dealing with ‘younger’ people that I have to
constantly remind myself is that I’m not them– I probably was their
‘age’ once, but now that I’m not in that situation I don’t remember
what it felt like.  Unless I can remember, then perhaps I have no
right to judge.  I can only offer advice and guidance where it’s

The other instinct to supress is the instinct to assume that I’m
right.  Truth is that in most cases where we advise the young (I
mean  young in terms of experience, not in terms of actual age),
we are not necessarily ‘right’– we are simply ‘more experienced’.

It’s funny though… because I really feel that a large part of
social understanding has to do with remember who we were– to remember
our own hardships and trials specifically.  To remember the stage
of ‘practice’ before the mechanics of our life became ‘intuitive’ and
‘natural’.  Because that’s the difference between the ‘young’ and
the ‘old’… the young are still putting together the tools that
they’ll use for the rest of their life, while the old take it
forgranted that they already have tools.  That’s why the two camps
are impatient with eachother.

It feels as if so many problems could be solved if we could only
remember.  Not just in terms of a continuum and maturity– but
many many things could be solved with murder.  Look at the world
at war.  Could revenge be justified if we could remember what we
lost?  Or, more specifically, could an act of anger in retribution
be possible if we remembered how it was that we love what we
love?  Could we appreciate acheivement at the expense of others if
we could only remember what it was like to be a child and to have our
candy stolen from us?  And yet, it’s often so difficult to do
that.  It is so difficult, simply, to remember.

I am not suggesting to beleive in an ideal past– but what I am
suggesting is to remember the emotions of the past which we either
conciously supress or forget.  It is true that some emotions
become components of larger tools in life– for example, most of us
learn to be less petty as we grow older– but that doesn’t mean you
shouldn’t remember what it was like to be petty– because that’s the
only way you’ll be able to understand those who still are.

Humanity is within us all– that doesn’t just mean all the nice
things, like mercy, sympathy and kindness.  Humanity includes all
the vices.  The first step towards creating a better place is thus
to find within yourself the fact that you are not excluded from
the  methods of those you consider vicious– your were and perhaps
still are capable of everything that everyone else did or does, and you
have to appreciate that fundamental relationship to your fellow
humans.  An indictment of your fellow man is never just an
indictment of him alone– it is also of the society, in which you are a
part.  That is not to say that you aren’t good enough– but
rather, that you could always do more.  It is just easier to ride
the high horse when you forget when you were still crawling yourself at
some point, or pretend that on the inside we’re as strong as we
outwardly portray.


So, I did this test that’s supposed to evaluate and guess my religion based on my answers.  Here are my results. Interestingly enough, I’ve been raised Catholic.

1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Secular Humanism (88%)
3. Liberal Quakers (86%)
4. Theravada Buddhism (82%)
5. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (80%)
6. Mahayana Buddhism (69%)
7. New Age (65%)
8. Taoism (63%)
9. Neo-Pagan (62%)
10. Nontheist (55%)
11. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (53%)
12. New Thought (53%)
13. Scientology (53%)
14. Reform Judaism (50%)
15. Jainism (48%)
16. Bahá’í Faith (47%)
17. Orthodox Quaker (45%)
18. Sikhism (44%)
19. Hinduism (35%)
20. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (28%)
21. Jehovah’s Witness (28%)
22. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (27%)
23. Islam (19%)
24. Orthodox Judaism (19%)
25. Seventh Day Adventist (17%)
26. Eastern Orthodox (11%)
27. Roman Catholic (11%)

Take your time

He looked at the footprints. “What
is this?”

“It is my life. It’s a metaphor if
you want, but its also true.”

Trist looked pages as they turned of
their own accord. Trist didn’t understand.

“Yes,” said the woman, “they’re
footprints. And handprints. When one looks upon these pages they
see the answers to their question.”

Trist looked from the pages flipping
by, showing nothing but the stationary, black inked prints. As pages
went by though, he became aware that between the pages the footprints
were positioned differently, and it gave the illusion of them moving
before his eyes.

They were, in fact, very small at
first– and he could make out not just footprints but handprints too,
along with small grooves and shuffled drags. They were the crawlig
trails of a baby. The pages continued to leaf by, the magic of it
being that no matter how many pages past there were still more left
in the volume. Trist watched intently, trying to hold a boyish,
fascinated smile from being too obvious. It seemed alive! It was

He saw the footprints and handprints
crawling before his eyes, like a fly walking about a table. And
then, at some point, the handprints dissapeared entirely. Trist
didn’t understand at first, and he turned his head sideways to ask
but his eyes couldn’t leave the pages.

“I did learn to walk you know,”
chuckled the woman. “You can see that the learning was not always

Indeed, Trist remarked, there were
moments when the erratic progression of footprints would curve in one
direction then suddenly whip in the other, only to stop completely,
suddenly accented by the exclamation of shin marks dotted with small

But as the pages trailed on, there were
less stumbles. The handprints became more and more rare. The
footprints became larger. And their direction wasn’t random
anymore– it was obvious that the footprints were walking in a
particular direction.

“The first part of finding the Way
was to try and get there.”

“Get where?” Trist asked. She
didn’t answer.

Trist found himself growing more
excited as the rhythm of the footsteps grew faster– they weren’t
walking steps anymore, they gradually turned into a heavy march, with
a strong rhythm driving them forward. Then there was a sudden
lightness, a jog, until finally it was a bowling sprint, with no page
with more than a single foot down at all, while several pages in
between were just blank. Then suddenly, the race stopped. Both feet
were there. A second set of footprints appeared, facing off with the

And again, the footprints began to
waver. So did the second set. But they began to waver and circle

“What… what’s happening?” asked
Trist. He felt his heart sinking, panic somehow taking him over.

The footprints were now erratic– they
were all over the place, both sets.

“Is it an enemy? What is that?”

She laughed. “No, that is when I met
my husband. And that is where I learned to dance.”

“I… so what happened? You gave

“I told you, Trist, that this book
gives you an answer to your question. Not your questions. But the
question that is the root of your other questions. What is that

“I… I don’t know. How do I put it
into words? I don’t know.”

“The Way is like words– it’s the
answer that you know, to the question you can’t phrase. And if you
cannot answer, it is not a problem– just as how following the Way
does not mean that you have to go in a straight line. From the
moment when I crawled on my hands and knees until I would finally
fall upon them once again, I was living the Way. There is no
direction but forward. One does not go back in time, but turns
around so that even that which has been visited can be revisited in
front of you.”

“But, why aren’t you still going that

“Aren’t I? They Way isn’t the
destination, Trist. It is the steps.”

I saw a video of myself playing badminton yesterday– Vittek brough his cameraphone with him and filmed a couple of minutes of me in action so that I could play it back to myself.

Seeing oneself on film is always a shock.  I’m not talking about home movies when you’re a kid at your own birthday party.  I mean, when you’re doing something that you’re really into.  I remember the first time I saw myself sparring on video, years ago– it was a total shock.  How my world felt like from the first person was totally disconnected from what I was seeing on that tape in the third person.  It was surreal.

Years later, yesterday, I would relive that moment but with badminton, instead of the martial arts.  And then I understood.

I have a really … shall we say… strange body mechanics.

When I was  beginner, I remember (yeah, I do) that players used to laugh at me because of the way I moved.  I always figured that it was just bad technique– it wasn’t anything particular, it’s just that I was awkward.  And now that I see it on tape, despite the fluidity of my motions it is still something that I totally didn’t expect.

And yet, the more i look at it, the more it does feel like ‘me’.

I got a few lessons, basics really, from Demarco, who is a player who I highly respect.  I asked him to show me the basics– I asked him to teach me how to hit a clear.  I’ll spare you the details, since not all of the readership here follow badminton– but suffice it to say that I thought my technique just needed some tuning– turns out it needs a total overhaul in all the important areas.  A few minutes with him and he told me what I could change and it was like throwing potasium in water– it just sparked.  It was uncontrollable.  My body and brain didn’t know how to contain what I was learning– I was hitting wildly powerful clears, and I was having a very hard time keeping birds in the court.

Looking at what he was showing me, I couldn’t have been able to take his teaching earlier on– i needed some basics, some experience ‘doing things the wrong way’ before i could appreciate what he was telling me.

He changed a few other moments of my game too, and gave me a total ego boost.  He told me “[Jinryu], you are too fast.  You know, you are actually outrunning the bird?”

“Really?!” I said.  I never realized.

“Yes!  You are running faster than the bird but you are getting there early and wasting your time so it’s USELESS!”


He told me to change some parts of my techniques– eliminate hesitation, and take net counters high… and I tried it.  And it was insane.  They aren’t physical differences in my running speed, but when I went to take drop shots at the net I was literally too fast– I was arriving too soon and I was literally forcing my muscles to stop because otherwise I felt I would fly into the net.  I was uncontrollable!

It was an amazing feeling.  I never felt I ever had any specialties at badminton, but now that Demarco explained to me how to actually use my speed properly (which I didn’t even really know I had until he pointed it out) I really feel that damn– looking around me, others really are kind of slow!  I’d be running at the net with his modifications in mind and then suddenly, I was there.  It’s like time around me slowed down.  Ever read GUNMM?  There’s a chapter in the last book where Dr. Nova increases her clock speed.  She’s running so fast that the world around her seems to be running slow– and she gets to where she wants to be in an instant but then realizes that her momentum is still very real, despite the relative slowness of the world around her, and she literally can’t stop herself and her body just flies forward wrecking everything in her path.

Okay, so i’m not running at Mach 1 or something.  But the technique that i’m trying to do requires a particular ‘prime’ position… you run to get into this prime position from which you can hit.  And after making the changes demarco described, I was in my prime position coming in fast, so fast that I felt that my muscles were straining to keep me from bowling into the net.

Okay, okay.  I’m just gloating now.  I’m not really THAT fast.  It’s just that… my perception of things has made the world around me seem a bit slower, even if I’m not actually physically going faster.  His techniques– his method– his method of doing this particular basic counter is so refined compared to my previous paradigm that its like I’m learning it from scratch.  The difference between his method and my method is simply scary– I never understood until he showed me his version just how many years of experience lay like a moat between us.

Demarco is, in my opinion, a fucking genius.  His analytical ability just astounds me.  I’ve always been asking people for pointers before but they just gave me the general sermons about my technique and stuff– no one ever told me anything useful enough to really help me the way he did in just a short 15 minutes of the most basic drills.

To tell you the truth, the whole experience is kind of hard to put into words.  So… I won’t bother.

Suffice it to say that I’m feeling really good about myself.  Because this is the first time in a while that i can clearly see a path.  I know how to do this now.  It doesn’t matter how I do it– but I know I’m going to try, and every step is a bit closer to it.

When I was doing the drills with Demarco, he kept on telling me “take your time”.  Take my time?  But… I need to get there sooner! Otherwise…. oh shit, i’m flying into the net.  What the hell changed?  Why was this happening?  I’d done this kind of run from the backcourt to the forecourt thousands of times… why was it hurting my body so much?  Why was I clenching up and feeling so tense?

“[Jinryu], when you do this, don’t forget to breathe.”

I exhaled as if someone had just punched me in the stomach.  What the fuck… he was right.  I’d been so caught up in doing his netcounter’s technical aspects that I was running the length of the court without breathing, to the point where I could only acknowledge his pointers with a nod, yes, nod, yes.

To tell you the truth, it was embarassing.  But how couldn’t I hold my breath?  I was nervous with excitement, I’d never felt I was so close to a breaktrhough… I had always been searching for a better paradigm, a better skillset, a better art of war, and I’d thought that it would take forever– and he had shown me a taste in just 15 minutes!!  Not even.  It couldn’t have been 15 minutes, come to think of it– my body wouldn’t have lasted those drills for 15 minutes.  It was perhaps 5, maybe 10 at most.

When I finally got the chance to play a game against Demarco, i felt i was being crushed.  I don’t mean by his moves.  I mean by his presence.  The fact that he had given me the keys to learning something was an enormous weight on me– if he could change me world that quickly, what could I hope to accomplish by playing him?  If the bird went to Demarco, I felt my muscles tensing, I felt my weight double and my body resisting me.  His aura was paralyzing me.  He didn’t have to do anything– he just had to teach me a fraction of what he did, and the mere thought of facing someone so far beyond me had me moving as my veins were circulating lead.  My partner and I still managed to put up a good fight, but in the end we did lose.

I tried the techniques that he taught me.  A few times, i got them perfect and they scored uncontested points.  It was beautiful.

But at the end of the game– even though it was actually a relatively slow paced game– I found that I had gotten a cramp, and I had to force myself to breathe normally.


High Horses

Used to be back in the day, people started sporting black belts in every dojo.

Days are different now now people are self-proclaimed ‘pros’ in the Halo grounds– game names tagged as “No n00bs”.  People making clans with their fellow pros and whatnots.  But who’s really got what it takes?  How many of these so called pros are just a bunch of 14 year olds with trigger fingers?

It’s no different from the badminton courts, no different from the dojos– people occasionally need their reality check.

There is nothing wrong with playing a game for fun.  But when you declare yourself as an expert– that’s an invitation to all challengers.  I surf around the game listings LOOKING for pros to play against– I’m not interested in posers.

Still though, every now and then i run into someone who is actually good who makes it still savagably fun.

Game: “Xyz CLAN notforN00Bs!”
Capture the Flag
Welcome Jinryu
Welcome Dutch Death [Xyz]
Welcome MasterCHEF [Xyz]
Welcome New0002 [Xyz]
Welcome NuevoBueno
Welcome aCidiTY [Xyz]
Welcome YouLose [Xyz]
Welcome xXWONDERXx [Xyz]

(5 minutes later)
[Score is 0 – 0]

xXWONDERXx commited suicide
xXWONDERXx betrayed Jinryu
Jinryu [All]: WTF reds, work with me here!! learn to drive!
xXWONDERXx [All]: stufu n00b
Jinryu [All]: xyz pros my ass don’t know shitall about twork
aCidity [All]: you try drive then asshole
Jinryu [All]: drive why? you shitheads can’t shoot, it’s like driving a turkey – some clan
Welcome Davenator
Jinryu [All]: NATOR!
Davenator [All]: sup ‘jinr
Jinryu [All]: bust game– 2 take vs clan?
Davenator [All]: they pro?
Jinryu [All]: ‘pro’
Davenator [All]: ah k.  10 mins if no fun we bail k
Jinryu [All]: yeps
Davenator [All]:  attention Xyz assholes get yourself on the blue team and prepare to be asswhuped
Jinryu [All]: sooner than later
aCidiTY [Xyz][All]: you fubared, this is Xyz server
Davenator [All]: we take red so save time to clean your blood off our boots assholes
Davenator [All]: this is a dojo bust

[Capture the flage– Davenator and Jinryu vs Clan Xyz 2 vs 8]

Jinryu [Team]: plan?
Davenator [Team]: u choose
Jinryu [Team]: centerblitz, flag, port, blockport to supression
Davenator [Team]: K, after port, I supress
Jinryu [Team]: who drives
Davenator [Team]: two cars, you score, i supress

Jinryu killed Dutch Death [Xyz]
Davenator killed  MasterCHEF [Xyz]
Davenator killed New0002 [Xyz]
Double kill!
Jinryu killed NuevoBueno
Jinryu killed aCidiTY [Xyz]
Double kill!
Jinryu killed YouLose [Xyz]
Tripple kill!
Davenator killed xXWONDERXx [Xyz]
Red team has the flag!

xXWONDERXx [Xyz][All]: gay

Jinryu [Team]: frag port/s
Davenator [Team]: noworry

Davenator killed Dutch Death [Xyz]
Davenator killed  MasterCHEF [Xyz]
Davenator killed New0002 [Xyz]

You scored!
Red team scores
Red team leads 1-0

Davenator [All]: jinr wasn kiddn, 8 on 2 and not a single kill boo hoo sad saddddddddddddd
Davenator killed  MasterCHEF [Xyz]
Davenator killed New0002 [Xyz]
Davenator [Team]: low ammo
Jinryu [Team]: switch
Davenator [Team]: kgo
Davenator killed New0002 [Xyz]
Double kill!
Jinryu killed NuevoBueno
Jinryu killed aCidiTY [Xyz]
Double kill!
Jinryu killed YouLose [Xyz]
Tripple kill!
Davenator killed xXWONDERXx [Xyz]

Red team has the flag!
Davenator [All]: hey wonderbra can u see me assrape you with flag
[Davenator is squatting repeatedly while hitting xXWONDERXx with the flag]
Jinryu [Team]: dude lol
Davenator [All]: teabag for douchbags ^2

How far can you go

There are a lot of skills out there that just don’t get enough respsect.

So, a lot of times, and I say this of asian families in particular because it’s the environment that I know best, a doctor will get a lot more respect than, say, an electrician or a cook, or even a janitor.

But what, really, does it take to be a better human being?  Is it in the functional benefits that you provide for society?  Is it your altruism?

I do beleive that the individual always owes something to his socieity, but I do beleive also that their contributions can be whatever they want.  “To each what they need, from each what they can.”

A lot of times people wonder why it is that certain people get ‘ahead of them’.  And it’s not just that there’s something there… some sort of substance that makes one person more successfull than the other.  It is also that people don’t have an ‘appreciation’… they don’t have the observation skills necessary to identify the differences between themselves and others.   Often, people don’t have the tools necessary to look at themselves “honestly”.  And even when someone does look at him or herself honestly, the final gate is their own ego, preventing change.

In short– people sell themselves short.

People have all sorts of hobbies.  All sorts of interests.  But what separates the passionate from the interested is how far they go with what they do.

You think that using glue and paper to make a ring of people is some dumb kindergartten skill?  Check out Azriha’s site (click here) and see how wrong you are.

ANYTHING can be an art.  Anything can be your passion.  No one dictates what you beleive in– but you do dictate your own limits.

There is a painter in montreal who paints houses… he wears a tuxedo while he does his work.  He doesn’t toss dirty tarps all over your furniture– he just does his work VERY carefully.  If he gets a spot on anything, then you get to keep his spotless tuxedo.  He invites you to challenge him.  He is 63 years old, and he loves to bring color to homes.

What is real substance?  There are those who have a volume of substance– they seem to be a jack of all trades.  You can throw them anywhere and they just float.  But that’s only one type of substance… substance in volume (polyvalence).  The other consideration is in density of character or skill.  You don’t need many– you just need to go REALLY FAR with that one magical passion you have. And it is not how you measure up against the other socialites that counts– because your substance is built on the confidence you have in your own gung fu.  If others cannot appreciate that, then they’re the ones who lose out.

There are, I think, two general ingredients to a better world– first, is to develop and appreciation for passion.  That means appreciating the specialties of others and yourself, no matter how odd and socially unrecognized.  Play the yukalalie?  Are you a mad banjo bandit?  Do you write poetry? Are you the king of thursday night mini-putting?  None of these practices are intrinsically meaningful– however, once someone decides to attach meaning to it, then they can be developed into tools to navigate the Way.

The second step is thus to develop those practices into vehiciles to get you around your Way.  And that means, above all, not selling yourselves short.  I run into people all the time who were passionate about something but then they give it up– they say it’s because it wasn’t for them.  While it is true that there are things that we don’t prefer, everyone knows genuine passion, even the little spark of it, when they see it– however, people sell themselves short.  The most common reason is “I’ll never be as good at it as this other guy”.

This is NOT how we should measure the worth of a person.  There are indeed people out there who are talented.  But the equalizing factor is something that everyone can have.  Everyone can ignite a passion, given an initial act of courage.  And who can say that passions have a limit?

I will not say follow your dreams becuase the object dream in itself is something that isn’t real– I will say however that if you use all your logic, all your science, all your ability and fibre of your body and soul, you can get to be that someone you never thought you could be.  The ennemy of self-improvement is expectation– let go of your expectation and just see where the drive takes you.