Tag Archives: random

Blurring Borders

I was just thinking about how last time I was in Korea no one was using Twitter yet and people I knew were just starting to use Facebook. Instagram wasn’t a thing. Tumblr was, but I didn’t know anyone using it.

No one had a smartphone. Or a tablet. Wifi wasn’t everywhere because there was no need for it to be everywhere. We weren’t nearly as connected in 2007 as we are now.

My blog, emails and Skype calls of the shittiest quality (so bad that video was pretty much useless then) were the only ways I could share my experiences. It usually meant taking photos and notes and waiting for a block of time when I felt like uploading photos from my camera and sitting down to write out blog posts lengthy enough to actually be blog posts.

Now, I can share on the fly. In real time. And with pictures or videos, no less! Quickly, easily, and from just about anywhere as Korea is rocking the WIFI IN ALL THE PLACES thing.

It’s both wonderful and strange.

There is a bit of a downside to all this sharing shizzle though, I think. Even when I was here in Asia seven years ago, I was thinking then about how much of the mystery – the romance, if you will – of travel has dissipated. With how much easier it is to get a flight these days than it was 50 years ago, it’s much less strange to know someone who’s travelled most of the way around the world.

And now with the changes to how we communicate, I feel as though we’ve lost even more of that mystery. Gone are the hand-written journals. The long letters sent home that would take months to arrive. You might still get a postcard these days, if you are lucky, but you’re more likely to get a Snapchat of someone pulling a duck face on a beach somewhere.

Borders are blurring as more people share their experiences more often, with more immediacy, with a much broader audience.

dance dance dance



I love this picture so much. 😀

Christmas Wishes

I am FINALLY going through all my photos from last year and trying to get them uploaded. This year I’m going to try my best to a) take more photos and b) upload them regularly. Because uploading this many photos is NOT FUN.

Anyway… I found this picture in amongst my May photos from 2011…

24/12/09 - It's me Robert. I am seven on Christmas. My dad is poo. Merry Christmas.


I was with Eva in a pub near Black Friars Bridge that day. We had been just roaming around London and then stopped for lunch. I seem to remember that the food was okay and the ale was lovely. They had a guestbook lying around, and this entry was just one of many. It made me wonder about this poor 7 year-old kid, in the pub with his old man on Christmas Eve.

>Li’l Knight

>I’m having trouble these mornings getting up. Mostly during the week. Read into that what you will.

I commute for about 40 minutes to an hour, and 25 minutes of that is walking. Which isn’t a bad commute, really.

This morning it was making me grumpy though. Doesn’t matter if the journey is tolerable if you aren’t happy with the destination. On top of that there were no seats, the weather was bleak and I hadn’t had any coffee. A recipe for the grumpies, really.

So in a sour mood I got off the train at London Bridge. And on the platform was a little boy wearing a plastic knight’s helmet and scowling even more than I was. Which made me smile big – I nearly laughed. Just the ridiculousness of the helmet, the facial expression and the location: Perfect. I loved him in that moment… he was made of pure awesomeness, the impetuous little bugger.

And after seeing the li’l knight… the sky didn’t seem so dour and suddenly I could wait for coffee. And despite things not being great in all aspects of my life right now (read: work, boys, money, etc), I really need to remember that if the sight of a kid in a helmet is enough to pull me out of my morning slump… life ain’t that bad, kiddo. Life ain’t that bad.

I write like

>So I checked out the website I Write Like, where you pop in a sample of your writing and it tells you who you write like.  Interesting.

And I popped in a short story I wrote (Fair Acres) and it came up with….

I write like
James Joyce
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Which I’m very happy with. But I thought it would be cool to try a different kind of story. So I copied and pasted Fallen into that bad boy, which gave me….

I write like
George Orwell
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Which is pretty fucking ace. But you know… those were short stories. I wonder who it would spit up if I just went ahead and had a blog post analysed? So I thought I would toss in a sample from my favourite blog days back when I was in the toilet paperless land of Aurghville. This time the site awarded me with….

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Who I have to admit I don’t really know.  But I’m going to check him out because obviously he’s fucking hilarious and awesome. But now I’m kind of addicted to this game (but don’t worry… I’ll grow bored of it soon) and want to give it one more go. I thought I would use a “serious” blog post (it does happen!) and so I fed it my post on commuting. And I got David Foster Wallace again. I really need to start reading that guy…


>On the way home tonight my music was all of a lovely instrumental variety that I wasn’t overly familiar with. I was listening to it and leaning next to the train doors, looking out the window and watching London slide by. And it was lovely. Because there were no words it felt like it was just ambient music for a film… adding just a wee bit of mood to give some colour to the journey home after a long day.

>Life Currency

>I just finished reading a book called “Errornomics – Why we make mistakes and what we can do to avoid them” by Joseph T. Hallinan. Hallinan is a Pulitzer Price Winner and I wonder if he knows that he shares his surname with the cook in The Shining.

The book was good. Some interesting information. Like all books that deal with micro-economics (and moreso those that deal with people’s brains) you have to be wary of their bias towards, you know… proving their point. Still, interesting.

There was something at the end of the book that I found particularly interesting. I just completely killed the spine of the book (iz mine, I pwn it, I can haz spine bust if I want) in order to share with you guys the last bit of the book. It is paraphrased from pages 220 and 221:

“The currency of life isn’t money, it’s time. When people make major life changes, like moving ot a new city or retiring from work, one of their biggest mistakes is not changing the way they use their time.

It takes determination and discipline to re-craft a life — which is why … so many retired people end up going back to work. The mistake they make is that they spend their time doing the same old things they’ve always done and not the new things they thought they were going to do. [I]n the end … it’s not where you live that makes you happy; it’s how you use your time.”

I think I’ll blog about this more later. I’m thinking about this right now though. About time. You can always earn more money, but time is in limited supply. Am I doing the most with what I have?


>I have the maternal instincts of… well… of a dude. Maybe worse. Maybe not as bad as Medea, but getting there. Somewhere between Medea and a crotchety* old male bachelor. The kind who yells at kids to stay off his lawn. Therein lies my level of maternal whatevers.

There is a parasite masquerading as a miniature human being in the office. As soon as it entered in the arms of its host (or parent, however you wish to look at it), people rushed over to it and started doing that… thing… people do with babies. Cooing and speaking in chopped up retarded sentences and waggling their fingers in its face and stuff.

What’s the attraction?

I really don’t understand it. All babies seem to do is eat, poop, cry and sleep. Granted, once in awhile one of the little buggers will charm you with a smile, but I’ve seen dirty drunken idiots with vomit down the front of their shirts in the street pull off a charming smile and I don’t see anyone going over and tickling them under the chin.

Babies. Sick.


Now it’s crying. Now it just needs to shit itself, eat something and sleep and it has finished everything on its to-do list.

*Heh heh. Crotch.

>Significant Nightmares

>I’m not going to go into details because I can’t imagine that what I dreamed early Sunday morning would be frightening to anyone except me.

I’m only mentioning it because it was disturbing enough that I felt nervous about going to bed last night and woke up this morning still thinking about the dream from Sunday.

It’s been a long time since my own brain has turned on me like that.

>I don’t want clever conversation…

>Brendan was here last weekend to visit and watch Ricky Gervais with me in Oxford.  Something happened on Sunday that accurately summarises our entire relationship. If you have ever had the dubious pleasure of hanging out with Brendan and I at the same time, you’ll understand this. If you haven’t had the pleasure… well, this is us:

We were walking from The Telegraph to The Green Man (both pubs, for those not in the know). Brendan was sick and sniffling. I was mildly sympathetic. We decided that we’d have just a half pint at The Green Man and then head home to watch a movie or something.

I turned to Brendan at this point and said, “You know, this is what I imagine being married to you would be like.”

He asked what I meant and I said, “Deciding at dinner time to have half a pint of ale at the local and then go home to fall asleep in front of the telly.”

“What would be wrong with that?” he asked and began to sing Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are”.

The exchange, taken on it’s own, might seem sort of sweet. But because it is Brendan and I, it dissolved into an argument about who Joel wrote the song for (Brendan thought it was for Christie Brinkley and I said it was for his first wife) and in the end we had to look it up to find out who was right. (It was for his first wife but her name was Elizabeth, not Linda).

Yup. B and I. In a freaking nutshell. From the beer to the thinly veiled insult to the singing to the argument (that I, of course, won). All we needed was Brendan to make a ridiculous pun and for me to tell him off for it.

Don’t imagine you’re too familiar
And I don’t see you anymore
I wouldn’t leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I’ll take the bad times
I’ll take you just the way you are 

Thanks for coming to London, Brendan. As always, it was the bestest thing ever to see you.