Hoarder Mentality

I’ve seen the horrors of hoarders, thanks to all those shows on TV. I’ve always wondered how people can do such things to themselves. Collect so much shit until the point where it’s practically impossible to walk around their homes without tripping on anything. Why do these people want more things than they need?

Today it struck me, I have a similar mentality too. Fortunately for me, I’m mostly limited by my budget so I can’t really afford to buy everything I want on whim. However, my problem doesn’t lie with physical goods. Beyond the countless books I have waiting to be read (thanks Big Bad Wolf!), I have more digital content than I can ever hope to finish consuming in a lifetime. I’ve got tons of music. Every time I fall in love with an artist, I tend to download their whole discography so I have access to it anytime. It just annoys me to know that I don’t have the complete collection of an artist’s catalog even if I’m only a fan of a couple of albums or songs.

At first I thought, maybe I’m some sort of completionist, but then I realized I’m far from it. Especially when it comes to video games – I don’t really care about collecting all the achievements or getting every item in the game. I enjoy games pretty casually – as long as I finish the game and get to experience the story, I’m satisfied. I don’t need to do anything extra to enjoy it.

I’ve got enough movies, TV series and cartoons to last a lifetime if I played them continuously nonstop. When will I find the time to watch them all? I won’t. Yet they sit idly on my hard disk drives, metaphorically collecting dust, until I decide to watch them. Same thing with all my ebooks and digital comics.

Computer games – I’ve got a few hundred games in my Steam library, many I know I’ll never touch (titles I’ve obtained from bundles) and yet many more in my wish list. I bought them all because I was interested in them and they were available at a cheap price. I would love to play them all, but I don’t have the time to do so. I have more guitars and keyboards than I need, and god knows what else that’s hidden in the back of my shelves.

And all these things I’ve mentioned have only been acquired over the past decade. There’s a whole lot more than I can’t recall at the moment I’ve been collecting my whole life. I used to keep empty alcohol bottles when I first started drinking, but I got rid of them in January. I know I don’t have any problems throwing out things I don’t need, I just need to find out why I wanted to keep so many in the first place, and stop that problem before it starts. I don’t want to end up on TV with a crew of people trying to coax me out of my room and clearing out my house because it has become hazardous to live in. It’s time to stop.

What’s Your Potential?

I was listening to an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience (a very good podcast I discovered recently) where he was speaking to Dr. Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist. One of the topics which came up for discussion was potential. An unquantifiable value that human beings hold each other accountable for, despite it being vague and different for everyone. It brought back memories of the comments I used to receive in my report cards in school. George has so much potential.

For context: I was never a top student, neither was I at the bottom of the class. I was the very definition of average. I got by in my classes, wasn’t much of a nuisance to my teachers, and I didn’t participate in any delinquent activities. But when you were enrolled in one of the ‘top’ schools in the country (debatable, also subjective), there were expectations to be met.

I’m not sure how many kids received the same comments, but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one. While it seemed like a reasonable comment back then (my parents took it as a neutral-positive statement), in retrospect it was just another way of saying I was a shitty kid. I mean, think about it. Everyone has the potential to do almost everything they want to in life. As long as they are physically capable, it’s all up to them to work hard and practice the right skills and techniques correctly to accomplish their goals.

We all had the potential to become something. Whether that is something to be proud or ashamed of, nobody knows, we find out when it happens. If the teachers were blunt, they would have written: George hasn’t been showing any signs of being a future rocket scientist or doctor, he’s what we call in this school a disappointment. I guess if they wrote that, it would have probably been applicable to many other kids in the school as well. And there’s no way lil ol’ me could be the problem. It’s the fault of the school/teacher/education system! There would have been an uproar from the parents.

However, as I grew older, I realized that school wasn’t as important as adults had wanted me to believe. With each new phase of life, what I had learned in the previous one didn’t matter to me. High school didn’t prepare me for college. College didn’t prepare me for work. Nothing prepared me for life in the working world – I learned all I needed to learn for work while on the job! School was just an alternative name for daycare. We were being taken care of until we could go out to make our own money.

Back to my report card. Did my teachers have foresight? Did they know what I was going to be? I can’t say for sure. After all, they never told me what they thought my potential was. It’s vague statements like these that will haunt me until the day I die. What if I had already achieved my full potential? Does that mean I can’t do any better in life? Do the goalposts shift? Would I be capable of achieving more? How can I have so much potential if I don’t know where I am and what my limit is? It’s practically infinite, right?

And that’s how I ended up writing.

Turning Eleven

Today, I paid my web host the money to keep my blog running for another two years. I don’t even know why. I have like 10 readers a day (honestly, thank you for reading) and I don’t even write content that I think is appealing to anyone who isn’t me.

Anyway, for those of you wondering – I have no ads on my blog. No, it’s not because you have adblock on, it’s because I chose not to monetize it. I’ve been campaigning against ads and advertorials on personal blogs since forever, and shall continue to do so. I paid for a domain and hosting so that visitors don’t have to look at ads on my blog. Also, adverts just make sites look ugly.

“Oh George, you’re so stupid. You’re stuck in your old ways! You’re being stupid by spending money and not making any.”

You know what, maybe they’re right (though I highly doubt it because the number of hits on my blog isn’t going to give me revenue anyway) but I write more for myself than anyone else. It’s just something I enjoy doing, and for me to monetize it would be turning it into some sort of job, which I wouldn’t want to happen. I like recording my thoughts down because I enjoy trips down memory lane for a few reasons:

  • I like seeing how much I’ve grown over the years in terms of writing style, vocabulary and choice of subjects.
  • I enjoy reminiscing – reading through my old posts allows me to travel back in time, to see what kind of state of mind I had then.
  • It’s fun to read about good (and bad) memories. See whether you’ve learned anything since or you’ve been making the same mistakes over and over again. I guess it’s kinda like looking through old photo albums except that I’m not much of a photographer, and I think I do a better job conveying my thoughts with words than photographs.
  • Hence, I see no reason to run ads on my blog and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    Earlier this year, I made some slight modifications to my blog’s appearance, and you might have noticed I have a lot fewer constraints when it comes to what I write about. The only thing I’ve maintained is Technology Tuesdays and Writing Prompt Wednesdays. I did a Music Monday this week just because of Moose Blood, it’s not a regular thing anymore. Who knows what I’ll write in the coming months. Even I don’t know what I’m going to be up to. I’m insane!

    I’ll continue to write until I decide to stop writing one day, but for now I’m here to stay. Feel free to give me any feedback if there’s something you’d like to see more or less of and I’ll try to accommodate it.

    So once again, thanks for reading this trash blog for the past 11 years (longer if you’ve been following my shenanigans on Geocities and Blogspot). Here’s to another 11 years (or my death, whichever comes first).

    Doors for Days

    Doors are wonderful inventions. I can’t imagine this planet without doors. If there were no such things as doors, life would be extremely different. Since that’s not true, I can only imagine what it’d be like.

    We would have no privacy, or total privacy. Imagine – if rooms had no doors, homes would probably be designed to have entrances that didn’t face common pathways. Everybody can see you taking a shit in the toilet (then again, I’ve heard that happens in China). If rooms didn’t have entrances, we’d probably be using ladders to climb into them, so nobody could peek inside easily. That would make it a bitch to move anything heavy inside.

    Homes would probably be designed vertically instead of horizontally – since we’d have to climb up or down into different rooms. Seems impractical to me, but I guess that’s why we have doors for a reason. Did you know the earliest record of doors can be traced back to the Egyptians? They were believed to be doorways to the afterlife. Today you learned something new! I know I did.

    On the plus side, not having doors means we wouldn’t have broken doors. It would also mean people can’t run into doors (they can still run into walls) and doors can’t fall on people. I guess the lack of doors would mean fewer jobs in the world (we wouldn’t have locksmiths or door makers). Would the absence of doors mean no doors on vehicles as well? Hmm.

    No doors would mean we wouldn’t have to deal with not knowing whether a door is supposed to swing towards or away from you or if it slides open. I’ve seen way too many people not following instructions on doors (pushing instead of pulling and vice versa). This problem has been eliminated in some places (by removing the handles from the side you’re supposed to push) but it isn’t a standard implemented worldwide – something I’ve wondered about for some time. I mean it makes so much sense – why would you want handles on the side where you’re supposed to push?

    Having handles on the pushing side will prevent people from falling on their faces while opening doors, since they’ll have something to hold on to. But in my opinion, if you’re incapable of pushing a door open without wiping out, you’ve got bigger issues to deal with.

    I’m looking forward to the day where we have some sort of membrane you can just walk through if you’re allowed to pass through it. It would also have the option to be transparent or opaque, depending on what you need it to be. This way you still get privacy when you want it. It will also have options to block out noise and retain/lose heat. I’m sure it’ll come soon. In my lifetime.

    Hot Long Black

    It wasn’t too long ago I learned about the difference between a long black and an Americano. Initially I was oblivious to the differences, but I knew that I preferred the former for some reason. Turns out, it was the crema present in long black which tickled my fancy. In terms of preparation, it’s water at the bottom and espresso on top vs espresso at the bottom and water on top – that’s it!

    However, I seem to have problems ordering it in Malaysia. Here’s an example of what usually happens when I try to order a long black:

    “I’ll have a long black.”
    “Oh, Americano?”

    I’ll say yes because I’m not picky enough to make a fuss about it (I’ll just bitch about it on my blog), and also because they are essentially the same after a few minutes anyway, when the espresso has mixed with the water. Sometimes they have long black on the menu but serve me an Americano anyway.

    Since I don’t make my own coffee, I don’t know if it’s much more difficult pouring espresso into a cup of water as opposed to pouring water into a cup of espresso – but something tells me that it isn’t. If it really isn’t that difficult, I don’t see why these baristas aren’t trained to serve long blacks? Is there something I’m missing?

    Hot long blacks are the default drink I’ll order when I’m in a cafe. However, under certain conditions I’ll change my order. If it’s extremely hot outside, I’ll get a cold one instead. If I’ve already had enough coffees for the day, I’ll switch to tea. If it’s very late at night, I’ll get an uncaffeinated tea. I judge a cafe based on the quality of the long black they serve. They could have the crappiest food ever, but if they make a good cup of long black, I’ll be back. Also, if you’re a hitman trying to get me, you know what to do.

    I discovered long black by chance – I usually ordered Americanos when I first started drinking black coffee because that was what Starbucks served me. It was when I was at a cafe that didn’t have Americano on the menu and only long black was how I found out about the better coffee.

    I started drinking coffee thanks to my stint at Ubergizmo. I had to stay up for an event that was happening early in the morning (due to time zones), so I kept myself awake with some instant Nescafe that my mom stocked at home. This was quite late in my life – about five or six years ago? Previously, the only coffee I consumed were ice-blended drinks from Starbucks/Coffee Bean. It was a life changer.

    I’ve had coffee from Melbourne, supposedly the best coffee in the world, and I disagree with that title. Also, I don’t understand how something as diverse as coffee can be given a best in the world title when taste is so subjective? And if I disagree with that opinion, I’m wrong. Fuck that shit. If anybody asks me about my favorite coffee, I can answer that in a heartbeat – the Caribbean beans long black from Doiffee. Hands down, best coffee I’ve ever had. Which is why I had it almost every day during my three-month break. That shit is the bomb.

    Never expected to write over 500 words on such a trivial subject. What’s your coffee story?