Trial by Error

This is my personal blog and creative outlet.

We Don’t Need a Smart Watch, But We’ll Get One Anyway

The iWatch promises to do everything a traditional watch can’t. You’ll be able to monitor your heart rate and blood pressure, be used as a more convenient credit card, interacting with other smart devices, and being internet enabled pretty soon enough. The problem is, nobody needs these things on a watch.

Although heart rate and blood pressure monitors may be helpful for those with health problems, it’s all bells and whistles from there on out.Credit cards don’t need to be made more convenient. Facebook and Twitter don’t need to be more accessible. We don’t need our watches to do everything. We just need them to tell our time, and occasionally, remind us of their beauty (if you have a beautiful watch, that is).

If it gets in the way of performing the function of the tool it’s intended to replace, I don’t see how this will be any more useful or functional, even with all the added apps. At best, the iWatch is a gimmicky strap on the wrist that can do things other devices can do, only now it comes it watch form. And for some, that’s enough.

On Carpe Diem

I guess there comes a point in time when you start realizing you’re getting older. I think the moment for me is when you realize that your childhood figures have passed away. To me, Robin Williams was just another one of those likable actors that I wasn’t all that crazy about. I enjoyed his films, and that was the end of it. There was no inspiring story of how he helped me overcome the challenges I’ve felt throughout my life. Like a parent, he was someone who you appreciate and know how much better the world is because of him, but end up taking for granted.

I still remember watching the Dead Poets Society in high school. Only a few movies have made me so moved and so emotional as it did, and Robin Williams made that possible. I shared that moment with countless others who were touched by those words, even just for a brief moment in that fantasy world.

Because we are food for worms, lads. Because believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day, going to stop breathing. Turn cold, and die. 

Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of which they were capable?

…make your lives extraordinary.

His death serves as a reminder of our own mortality, and the battles we face everyday. He chose to get up and decided he would live an extraordinary life. In doing so, he inspired others to do the same as well. 

"There’s three things in this world that you need: Respect for all kinds of life, a nice bowel movement on a regular basis, and a navy blazer."
Robin Williams, The Fisher King  (via mypantalones)

wallflowerbloom:

No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.

(Dead Poets Society, 1989)

Robin Williams.

A Pocket

I still remember my favorite tee-shirt. It was one of those tee-shirts with brands you didn’t recognize because it probably wasn’t bought in mall stores. I think it was SUNGEE or something like that. I don’t remember where it came from; I don’t even actually know if it was bought for me or if it was a hand-me-down.

It was a white tee-shirt with a pocket. It didn’t have a picture of Spider-Man on it, nor was it flashy or eye-catching. It was special because it had a pocket. I remember placing small items in that pocket like legos or batteries for my GameBoy Advance. It didn’t really make things easier for me. Most of the time the things I put in the pocket I could easily hold. But I placed it in my pocket because I could. Because I had a pocket.

I remember seeing one day that the stitches of my pocket were fraying, possibly because I had always been placing stuff in it. It broke my heart. The thought that my tee-shirt was wearing down was an incredibly frightening moment. My mom stitched it up for me. I also spilled orange juice on it once, and again, my mom washed it, and my mind was at ease.

One day, I got too big for my shirt and my mom packed it away. To this day, I don’t know where it’s gone. I’d like to think that it’s in an attic, waiting for the day I have children of my own, to which they can experience the joy of having a pocket on a tee-shirt. Or maybe it’s with someone else now, after being donated to a charity, where another kid is placing all sorts of stuff into that pocket. 

The simple joys of a tee-shirt with a pocket.

Pictures and Real Life

It’s hard for me to reconcile the fact that I can always seem to look good in a mirror but never in a picture. Maybe it’s because my eyes have found the perfect angle to view my face from in a mirror, but the camera does no such liberties with my photographs. Sometimes I just look at a photo and revel in how I can’t see my own ugliness, or the fact that no one points it out.

Through my eyes, all I can see all the detail that makes me think I look terrible. I get stuck in a box where all the feedback is the same, all from my worst critic, myself.

But then the smallest note of encouragement from someone, anyone, is enough to make me question the credibility of my criticism. It allows me to tone down that cynicism that runs rampant through my head. 

A compliment goes a long way.

Delusions of a Teenage Writer (well… sort of)

This is embarrassing.

Years of praise in high school from friends and teachers have conditioned me to believe that I’m actually a good writer. I used to write with a sense of confidence, knowing how to write in a certain way that surpassed the levels of many of my classmates, who were either too stuffy or too casual in their nature.

Blogging has been my wake-up call. My writing is fucking terrible. It’s difficult for me to read my own writing, knowing how bad it is. It makes me want stop ever writing all together. 

Every time I manage to write, I end up failing my own expectations because I expect to see writing on the level I see on the internet. In my mind, every piece I write is perfect. I can visualize how I want it to look and how good it’s going to be. I can’t see the words though. And when I get around to writing, it ends up looking like a piece of shit.

Maybe as I continue to write, I’ll improve from the sorry state that my writing is in. As good as it gets, I don’t think I’ll actually ever come to terms with how I write. And maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe this will motivate me to become the very best at what I can do. Or maybe it’ll trap me in a spiral that will forever condemn myself and ultimately lead to depression.

Well I fucking hope it’s not the latter.

(In)equality

I have this terrible habit of comparing myself to other people, wondering if the advantages and disadvantages that they have outweigh my own. And I always come to the conclusion that no matter how good someone is, I have other aspects that are better anyway. Whether that person is smarter than me, or more athletic than me, I always have something else that puts me over the top.

It doesn’t really work when someone is better than you in everything though.

Maybe it’s just so difficult for me to admit that I’m just inferior in every way to some people. Chances are, there’s someone in the world who’s better than you in every single aspect. 

Thinking this way is just a defense mechanism to prevent myself from ever feeling bad about the state at which my level is at. It allows me to never do work and still become just as good as those who do. It lets me pretend that I’m just as good as anybody out there, instead of wanting to become more like these people, and to be a better man than I am now.

Same goes for you. We’re not equal. Go out there and do something about it.

Guilt

We don’t usually realize when we’re doing something so awful and hurtful to other people, especially as teenagers. Being a teenager is a weird and confusing time. And maybe because of all the hormones and our desire to be perceived as mature functioning adults in the real world we lash out onto other people who prevent us from doing so.

We’ve all made mistakes, and probably a lot of them as teenagers. Our conscience always tells us that our anger, actions, hate, decisions are all justified, and that if only people saw the world the way we did it would be such a better place. We blame others for lacking the empathy towards us when we lack empathy towards them as well. Being a teenager is like suddenly becoming partially able to see after being blind for so long. We realize there’s been so much that we’ve been missing and this new wave of information overloads our senses. Suddenly, we think we’re unlimited, infinite, omniscient even. We chide our past selves with haughty derision for not knowing better. I guess nobody can really realize the irony upon them.

And when we do get out of that deluded state of ours, whether it be in our late teens or during adulthood or even as we become old and gray, it’s difficult not to look at the past with shame and guilt. It’s hard to imagine that we could actually be a person that was so insensitive and rude and apathetic towards others.

We constantly look at our past selves and wish that we didn’t do what we did. We wish we could change the past mistakes. But we can’t. We can only accept that this is part of our shameful past, and that the mental baggage we brought from the past will weigh us down. 

Stuff in your past is like a carving on the bark of a sapling. Over time, the scar, the carving, won’t go away. Because of the way trees grow, it won’t go up or down much either it will just stay right where it began. It might even get darker. But it won’t get bigger. You, however, can. You can keep growing doing more things, more branches, being more things.

                                         -Ze Frank from Michael Stevens

The most important thing about having to live with this guilt is that we don’t have to move on. The fact that we realize the mistakes we’ve made in the past helps us to, hopefully, become a better judge of our own actions. Hopefully, we can break the vicious cycle of mistakes and guilt that we face, and make our lives a little less ironic.

I’m Kind of Weird

I was about 12 when I attended a karate class. My parents urged me to take up a sport, so I chose karate, influenced by the countless hours watching SpongeBob and Sandy square off against each other in wacky outfits. SpongeBob was probably one of my favorite cartoons, and it had an undeniable influence in my early childhood years.

I learned a lot from those classes. Back then I thought I would never stop karate, and I knew how much I loved practicing it. It wasn’t just the self-defense techniques that I learned. There was really only thing that really stuck with me over those conversations that I had with my sensei was about. I’d put it in quotes, but I don’t really remember exactly what he said. 

"The reason you join karate changes as you grow older. Some might be learning to beat up some kid or become stronger. But the more you practice the more you learn that you’re not doing it for the same reason anymore."

Okay so I put it in quotes anyway. But the point is that it stuck with me.

The other thing is that I’ve also been into men’s style and clothing for a long time now. I think it’s been about three years since, and the improvements in my learning have been vast, all of my education coming from the internet.

Back then, the websites I read about men’s style was highly technical and scientific. There was one post about how one’s skin complexion affected the colors of your outfits. Now that I think about it, it was pretty weird. It was weird that they talked about how things would look better on certain people, like how some asian dude looked better than Ryan Gosling because of the contrast in his skin. It was…weird.

Well I’m not in a position to judge. Now I’ve become someone who wants jeans and sweatshirts that are about triple the value of normal ones with detailing that even a keen observer would be sure to miss. Someone who wants to wear Neapolitan suits and shirts, despite being in an environment that is either sweltering hot or currently experiencing a torrential downpour. It’s impractical. And honestly, kinda weird.

What I realized from these hobbies though (and also the advice my sensei gave me okay it was mostly from my sensei), that there’s something more to liking something than just what’s superficial about it. Hobbies that people get into and are passionate about, for one thing or another, change you as a person, not only through what you learn about your hobby, but also what you learn about yourself.

And I learned I get into some pretty weird shit.