dal niente

Month: December, 2006

2006 at a Glance

“To tell you the truth, I don’t remember all their names,” I said quietly to him, staring out the window of the otherwise empty cafeteria.

“And this bothers you?”

“Shouldn’t it?”

“So it doesn’t then? I mean, you say it probably should, but you wouldn’t say that if it did.”

“…right.”

He looks me over, and laughs.

“Fuck, [Jinryu], what can I tell you?  Names aren’t everything.  Even I don’t remember all their names.  What’s a name?  Make someone feel special and different? This is the kinda place this is.  People come and go.  You take some fuck off the street and put his mom in one of these wards, he’s gonna make the biggest shit about it.  Top notch treatment for my mom and all that.  Know her name.  Special treament, you know what I mean?  Everyone wants special treatment.  But when you work here?  It’s nothing personal, but your mom is just another mom on my list of people to clean up after.  We treat them equally badly, equally goodly– we aint here to do favors or to judge, I’m here to do fuckin god’s work, one shit at a time.”

“It doesn’t bother you when someone goes over?”

“Course it does man, fuck.  Course it does.  I appreciate more cause of it.”

“Yeah, I know.  And… you know, you can say you appreciate it, right?  I mean… I see these people one week and next time I come in for a shift, they’re just another SP-15 that I have to photocopy.  Triplicate.  One for us, one for statscan (statistics canada) and one for the funeral home.  And that’s it.  No more voice.  They just… stop.  Like a movie i had to return or something.  Before i could finish.”

He shakes his head.

“That’s where you’re wrong, see. nothing can make you feel appreciation for life.  Not even being surrounded by people who are all going to die.  I mean hell– we all know we’re all going to die– you just think it’s a big deal because we work in a place where it happens sooner than later.  But everyone on the street?  Fuck, that timer’s always tickin. What you gonna do?  Worry about it?  Worrying about that thing at the end, and fucking ignoring it, but always having it there in the back of your head.  Fuck, that ain’t no way to live.  Knowing you’re gonna die.”

“You said it,” I murmer.  “I mean.  I dunno.  It’s all words man; you can say that, I can say this– but at the end of the day, I don’t understand why people die.”

“Back in manilla, used to be some scary shit goes down at night if you know the places.  you don’t think about dying, all you think about is living.  streets here? Fuck, streets here I see the streets here and me working the job I work I’m a fucking king!  I’d be a prince already on these streets, softies getting handouts! You want to tell me about fear of death man?  I’ll tell you about the gutters where I come from.  Here, they full ‘o fuckin’ leaves.  That’s no real gutter.  There, everything’s corrupt from your best friend to the presidente.  Life is different wherever you go– it all sits on a common denominator though.” He puffs his menthol cigarette. “You beleive in God?”

“My break only lasts 15 more minutes, man.  Don’t get me started.”

He laughs.

He tosses the cigarette.  “Why you gotta understand everythin?  Sometimes it’s all about feeling.  Death– well… I don’t know.  I’m afraid of it.  Sometimes I don’t care.  But I think the day we stop being afraid of death is the day we die man– fuck, who cares if you don’t understand it?  Once you understand it, it’s nothing special no more.  In the meantime…”  he takes a swig of his coke.  “In the meantime, we work for time and a half, waiting on some shithead to wrap his car around a tree.”

“In the meantime, we do what we can,” I correct him with a grim grin.

“Fucking rat race, isn’t it?  We’re all fucking Mr. Bean.”

My styrofoam cup makes a dull clink against his tin can as we salute.

“We do what we can,” I nod.

“2006 is over man.  But look at all those ugly babies in the paper– there’s a future– fuck ugly future– but it’s there.  I don’t know what that all means.  Don’t matter though. In the mean time, we enjoy the ride.”

“I’ll drink to that.”

He laughs.

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Flashback: One year ago (click here).


At about 1 or 2 AM this morning, I spoke to Zanshin, who is currently in Sydney. He asked me what were my plans for New Year, in the non superficial sense.

New Year? I asked. I was planning to go to work (as per usual) and honestly, I’d all but forgotten.

But he did raise an interesting point– it is at least habitual to start thinking about the year in wake of it’s close I guess.


So, for the record, Jinryu, here’s your Post-Carnage Report:

* Got certain ennemies to become friends
* Managed to ALMOST finish university (one semester to go!)
* I did finally beat Borris at singles (see last year’s resolution, and the two-years-ago resolution)
* I also…

No wait.

This isn’t how it should be. It shouldn’t just be a list. This isn’t a scoresheet, this is my life we’re talking about. Nothing that big should be simplifyable into a summary– every one of those lines deserves it’s representation. It has it’s own story, it has it’s own significance. To glaze over even my own acheivements is just like to glaze over my failures– and that means that nobody gets to learn from what I’m saying of my experiences, and that I’m just saying this all out of vanity.


My conclusion last year was that all you needed was to love and to learn. This needs some further qualification. All you need is passion and courage. The learning, the loving, it comes from that.


Bah, I’m way to tired for a post of this much ambition. I’ll write my new years post some other time when I’m better rested and have more brain cells cooperating.

Our deepest fear

… is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others

These empty corridors

… it is a bit past 6:30 in the morning and while most people touchdown to the last hours of sleep, we here are already awake, finishing our second round of tasks.

The world spins; the momentum cannot be imagined in timelessness. Every moment leads up to the next; every moment is anticipation of the next, waiting to plunge into the future.

***

No amount of training will prepare you, truly, for the sensation of getting kicked really hard in the solar plexus. I remember one such day, it was a tournament, I think it was back in 2004 perhaps. The exact year doesn’t remember really. During a round with one of my opponents, I had actually been knocked down several times. Lucky for me there was no TKO rule in effect.

The most painful moment of that day was when got punished for overextended for a cross– I was reaching, and he was leaning back– and I barely managed to stuff my glove in the eyeslat of his headgear. Why was he leaning back? Because he was winding up for a kick.

My opponent outweighed me by at least 40 pounds. I tookthe lower half of his shin between my solar plexus and my stomach, and at that very precise moment, as I tried to drag my guard back to me too late, I felt my gloves bounce touch eachother gently and my elbows drop to my hips. I felt a jab in my face for good measure, and my head snapped back painfully. A moment later, I was on my knees, my body suddenly shut down and curled up. I could see the shadow of the ref suddenly in front of me, blocking out the gym lights. I could feel my mat pressing against my forehead through the headgear, and the lunch jumping around my stomach.

***

There were other times that I had gotten into bad situations in tournaments. The worst one was at the first tournament I was in, that was perhaps back in 2001 or 2002. I was slugging it out hard, but I was taking damage, and I was taking a lot of it.

It’s all fine to say that you’ve got to persevere, that you’ve got to go those extra few seconds, and when you’re done that, do a few more, and a few more… but sometimes? Sometimes, the truth is, you don’t know why you’re doing it. Why are you putting in those seconds? Why are you going through all that pain?

During that first tournament, I felt outclassed, and small. I did lose that round. People tell me it was a good fight. I don’t remember it that way, I just remember it as if I was fighting for my life and not in a heroic last stand sort of way. It was reflex. Plain and simple. I was scared. I was a cornered animal who only had the sense that flight was impossible. I wasn’t chosing to fight– it wasn’t the lesser of two evils– it was fear that made me fight. I didn’t have a choice.

It’s funny how such memories come up at such odd times. I remember Carlo of all people asking me after the fight if I was all right. I was breathing heavy– really heavy. And it wasn’t even that I was short of breath, but… it’s as if sometimes, you’re so scared that you start breathing hard even if you don’t need it.

I remember going to the washroom, trying to wash blood off my face, looking at myself in the mirror. I was laughing and crying at once. It was not a sense of relief at it being all over. Neither did I really care that I had lost. But I had the sinking feeling that I didn’t know what I was doing there.

And you know, when you fight, when you fight as if it really mattered and then you realize you don’t know what that fight was for?

That’s not just an empty warrior’s spirit. That’s an existential crisis.

A bathroom, a headache, a nosebleed and a sweat covered body. That’s an existential crisis.

***

Flip back forward to 2004. I’m on my knees, my face is against the floor. It’s the fourth time I’ve gone down. No TKO rule, sure, but I’m down on points because of that. Regardless, there is a rule that says that if you go down and don’t get up, you lose regardless of the points.

This isn’t fight or flight. This is a conscious choice. I am not cornered. I am hurt, yes– but my mind not cornered. The rule of the game is when someone goes down, the other has to back off. That means yes, physically, I am cornered– there’s only two things that can happen. I can stay there, and I can just roll over and close my eyes. Or I can try and get up.

The thing about getting hit in the solar plexus is that the sensation is a lot like taking out all your organs and then throwing them at a wall, individually. Systematically. WIth prejudice. It hurts. You gag. Breathing is like trying to fill a soccer ball with nothing but a straw. Your abs clench up involuntarily, your arms and legs curl inwards. Your brain has it’s instincts wired in like that– it wants to protect your vitals and so you curl up, your turtle so that you wont take any more damage.

The several thousand years of genetic programming comes down to that– an innoportunate, involuntary fetal position.

Times like that you’re happy you wore a mouthguard and indeed, if you aren’t, you’ll probably chip your teeth just from biting down so hard.

The body shot hurts your legs. The more shots to the body you take, the weaker your legs get. Boxers don’t have to go down from the head shots– though it looks more dramatic, all you have to do is cut the legs, and the body will follow. The solar plexus is the shortcut. I try to get up with my legs, but they’re not waking up just yet. I need some momentum. I try to use my hands to push me off the floor, but they won’t uncurl from my stomach.

***

Yes, when you’re hurt, physically, mentally, there is always that easy way out. Just close your eyes. Let it wash over you.

Your brain, your body, your programmed instincts– they know everything about the shortcuts to self preservation of your engine, of your vehicle. If you listen to it, you will survive. You never have to go that extra mile.

But what about your spirit? To satisfy the spirit is very seldom to obey the demands for the body, of the brain.

The body says he can’t. The brain says stop. The spirit tells them to shut the fuck up.

***

I trick my body. I use my forehead to push off the ground.

For anyone who doesn’t know, and you can try this, it’s a simple experiement– most of us cannot support our weight with our faces. But if you train enough, if you get to know yourself, you’ll see: pain is the language of the body. It sees pain, it reacts. Right now, it’s thinking about my organs, and it’s afraid for all that, and I sympathize. But right now, we need to get up. As incentive, I’m leaning on my face. That pain starts to grow– my nose, barely cushioned by the headhear is still being squahsed to one side and it’s hard to breathe through the mouthguard like this, and my neck muscles, one of the few I still have command of, is straining under the orders of my spirit to arch my body.

The body reacts to this self-destruction and releases it’s hold on my arms.

I push up with my arms. My legs follow grudgingly. My mouthguard feels like nauseating entire pack of stale, bile soaked chewing gum. The thought of what happened in 2001 races through my head. This time is different. This time, I know why I’m here. Because this is… it. This is me. Not just this. All of this. This now, everything that lead up to this, and everything that will follow.

I get up, and I finish the last 30 seconds of the round, and I win by judges descision. Not that I care what the judges thought.

***

On a ‘bad day’ for me, it’s seldom that I can’t get anything done. I can go through all the motions of my passions. I can be writing, I can be playing, I can be working, I can be with friends or family. But my spirit won’t be in it.

ANd so my bad day isn’t defined by a lack of movement, a physical apathy. It’s defined by my inabaility to align with my spirit. It’s a day where I just do what I need to survive.

And I can see that at times, this would be so easy. It’s comfortable, after all.

But something in those days is missing– and this isn’t just drive, in the small sense of that word– it is life itself.

Human existence? Let me sum it up for you. Your biology is a ticking time bomb; a series of leases on unowned property. Your instinct is to die. Indeed, when a situation comes up, what goes through your head? There are a hundred ways to fight it– but that one common solution to the conflict is to just roll over and die. And indeed, that instinct will win over, when someday, you get so tired that you stop fighting entirely.

But until that day? Until that day, you must do things. You must fight your programming. You must be selfish with your passions. You must take the hard way. You must lie to yourself that you are not dying.

And when you beleive that, when you finally do truly beleive that you are not dying, then you are without a doubt alive. When you beleive that, then you have freed your soul, and you truly cannot die.

***

The most common thing I hear from people is “I envy you”. And I don’t mean this directed at me, per se. People always say that, to everyone. I’m so envious of this or that. As if, somehow, they don’t have it too. Where along the line did you decide that you couldn’t do it? Who told you this? Why do you beleive them? Why are you trying to impress? Do it for yourself. When you look at that mirror and feel empty– there is nothing there but space for you to create your own reasons for living.

… it’s 7:37 am, on New Year’s eve eve. It’s time for you to wake up.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. *We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by a sign stating: “For Whites Only.”* We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”¹

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”²

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of
Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

The stuff

There are days where it feels like there is something
within my chest
something deep inside of me that need to be let out

On some days, it feels like a scream, on some days, it feels like a conversation, on other days, it might be a punch, a run.  On other days it might be the plans of something, a battle plan, maybe a story.  Sometimes it’s a game.

On most days I know how to get it out. Well, it’s not that I know– I do something and it diffuses. But there are days where I am too tired, and so I am left at the mercy of restlessness.

There is too much power in here, in all of us… and sometimes, the frustration is that the body tires.


I have tolerance… I have discipline… but there are times where the one thing I don’t have is patience.  For others. For myself. For anyone or anything.  I’m impatient, and it annoys me to no end.

Facebook

Any of you people on facebook? Email me your names!


I saw the Rocky Balboa (Rocky VI) today and it did not dissapoint me.

Okay, so there weren’t as many of the training scenes as I expected, and also, the fights themselves were relatively short.  But has Rocky really ever been about the actual boxing?


The usual response that I got when I asked people to go see this movie with me was that it was probably going to be lame.  I can see their objections from a few differing angles: it’s cliche; it’s unrelistic; Sylvester Stallone is too old.

Is it cliche?  If I tell you that a chair has four legs, would you retort that this is cliche just because it’s overdone? What, really, is the difference between cliche and the coincidence, the consistency of the validity of a truth?  How much you get out of a movie like Rocky depends on how much, really, you can look at yourself, because the stuff he talks about is true to his heart.  He’s not just a boxer– he’s a human being.  And so when he tries to tell you something about his life– is it really so cliche?  And if it is…

… who cares if it’s a cliche?

The ‘unrealistic’ part of the movie is supposed to be that Rocky is now somewhere in his 50s, trying to fight again in the heavyweight division just to proove to himself that he can still step in there.  But the movie isn’t really about that fight– it’s about the people around him, the dreams that were given up along the way and the compromises that people made to satisfy others.  When Rocky gets caught up telling you that you have no business stopping someone from doing what they love doing, you’re damn right he’s being selfish– but in an odd way, through that selfishness he also wishes you well.

The way it works is that he will do it for himself.  But at the same time, he expects you to do it for yourself.  This is his simple forumula for a better world.  He wants you to do it for yourself.

And what is ‘it’? It’s anything you want.

So people tag this whole ‘go after your dreams’ or ‘act passionately’ thing as a big cliche, and they try to tag it this way as if it was a negative thing.  If only it were so commonplace!  In reality, I think the truth is that those who aren’t interested in Rocky or any such cliche movies are likely just annoyed at being reminded that they’re not going after what they want.  Indeed, what we tend to dislike in things external to ourselves are, in fact, the things we don’t like to see about ourselves.

It’s so easy to dismiss Rocky, or boxing in general, or sports, or passions or whatever because the people who do them are crazy for the amount of time they devote to it.  It’s so easy to tag something as a cliche as if that in itself is enough of a stigma to tell the world that it’s not worth trying to understand.  When, where, how will you ever get to become who you are then, if at the sight of someone acting on their passion you cannot appreciate their devotion?

The universal unifier will probably be that drive that everyone has for their own goals.  If the world remains un-united, then it’s because people aren’t being true to themselves; for if they were, the odd reality of the mechanics of passion is that by serving your own passions for yourself, you serve others as well through your example and your inspiration.


Yes, everyone’s entitled to their preferences in movies of course.

But what I’m getting at goes beyond Rocky. Rocky Balboa is just the manifestation of what an audience grudgingly doesn’t want to admit it wants: hope.  Hope for themselves.  A hope that yes, they can be all that.  In the end, the only thing that matters is self-respect.


Is this post such a cliche?

Does it matter?


One of the most common and yet greatest disrespects is that which young people tag to older people.  The assumption is that life, or security, or comfort, is everything.  And thus when your parents get older, they tend to settle in.  They’ll do less vigorous activities, they’ll be less adventurous.  This is supposed to be reality sinking in.

My grandfather has a limit to how many teaspoons of salt he can have per day.  He can’t eat nearly as good food as he used to.  If he takes salt, my parents scold him.

I think a lot of growing up has to do with responsability.  Some old people will do things that are destructive for them, but the way I see it it really is their choice.  As long as they take responsability for their actions.

That’s what passion is about, on some level.  It’s about responsabilities.  Maintaining responsabilities while in the pursuit of passion.

I mean, passion is power, and power is responsability, isn’t it?  In that sense, I would not say that someone who is a serial killer is someone who I’d look up to– because they’re acting irresponsibly.  The sacrifices they are making aren’t theirs to make.

But a lot of our social ties really are limitations, that don’t need to be there.  That’s what I’m getting at.  Friendship– family– whatever– all of it, at the end of the day, who do you answer to?  You answer to yourself.  You don’t need to earn anybody’s respect except your own.

Responsabilities aren’t just to other people– they’re to oneself.  That’s integrety, that’s self-respect, and that is the only kind of respect that invites respect from others.  That is the only kind of respect you should respect.


Not everybody is cut out to be a boxer, that’s for sure.  But you can certainly try your best, and as cliche as that sounds, that is all you really have in life.  You, and your best.


Thus cries, yes, cries, Rocky at his son:

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all
sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will
beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.
You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard
you hit;  it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.
How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is
done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what
you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not
pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her,
or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than
that!
” 


So… are you better than who people tell you you are?  Are you better than this?

How much can you take, and keep moving forward?

Public appearances

There’s a little option on MSN that allows you to “check service status” and if you do that, your web browser opens up  a page that will tell you the ‘status’ of MSN Messenger servers.  I say ‘status’ in quotes because it’s nothing but a big lie.

In all my years of usage of MSN, never once has the service indicator indicated that the system was down… even if, in fact, it <i>was</i> down.

Who do they think they’re fooling with this?

It’s probably not intentional, but the feature in itself is completely gratuitious, if you ask me.


All things considered, Microsoft does get a lot of things done.  People make a big deal about the monopoly and all that but if you really look at the situation, this isn’t true.  There’s a lot of competition for Microsoft out there.

While I agree that sometimes Microsoft does act pretty dumb, I think it sorta falls into the category of “benevolent dictator”.

And in any case, bitching about Microsoft is like when some idiots actually got a published opinion that said “Michael Schumaucher shouldn’t be allowed to drive anymore, because he just keeps on winning.”

What, are you people <i>insane</i>?


A rather overlooked fact is that there is another organization, called the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.  It’s a charity organization.  And not in the sense that they just throw money at problems.  They go out there and actually engineer solutions from the ground up.  Refer to the 2006 people of the year award from time, in which Bill and Melinda share the annual title with Bono for their influence.

I’m not entirely sure how much of this story to beleive of course, but to be fair, if all I read about Microsoft is complaints it stands that perhaps we should give them a sporting chance of some good publicity for once.