rabbit hole

Not that it’s of any practical consequence, but I’ve managed to conclude within the space of an afternoon that “The Dark Tower” was not a forgery and that C.S. Lewis and Janie Moore were lovers at some point. Don’t ask me how I fell down this rabbit hole.


Playing and singing

I’ve never been a natural at playing the piano. I’ve never been a natural at singing. When I try to do both at the same time, it means one has to go to autopilot or else both go to custard. A while ago, I concluded that if I can’t master one then I can’t master both; I’m just not one of those people who can sing and play at the same time.

But then I surprised myself despite having given up. It’s as if my brain wanted to prove me wrong. I’m starting to discover the balance. Good singing requires more control, so it always has to be piano that goes on autopilot. If anything, the piano is just an afterthought to the singing performance. The voice does not accompany the piano after all.

Easing back into WaniKani

My main challenge for today was to force myself to sit down and knock out 200 reviews on WaniKani without taking breaks. Since I used to use WaniKani as a form of “productive procrastination,” I think my focus eventually degraded to the point that it had no connection to any specific goals. Furthermore, I’m not sure I currently give much of a damn about that box containing the fantasy called “Japan.” But learning a language is still a long-term investment that I see many subtle benefits of making.

200 reviews took me just 58 minutes. I wasn’t even rushing. But if I hadn’t set a specific time for it with a specific measurable goal in mind, it would have taken much longer. Or more likely, I wouldn’t have gotten very far before quitting. But after this session, there won’t be any more legitimate excuses, because it’s not a serious time commitment as long as I learn to discipline my mind.

I won’t give up. I refuse to give up. I will fight for what I believe in. I will fail everyday until I succeed, if that’s what it takes. I won’t let the things I care about slide away due to procrastination. I promise to be more mindfully selfish; I pledge it by my livelihood. I will transcend fleeting emotion; my heart will vouch.

Movie Moments: Train to Busan (2016)


Train to Busan (2016) is a Korean zombie movie that falls into my favorite category of mindless action. There’s nothing remarkable about it, and yet it’s the first zombie movie to:

  • make me feel *something* about multiple characters (usually there’s no context to, in my opinion).
  • think about real life at all. There’s a lot of serious good in this world that goes unnoticed. Most of it makes no difference in the long run; these contributions are lost within the span of days, years, or centuries. Even so, it’s something that within our lifetimes we can appreciate around us without necessarily seeing. Who knows which of your fellow train passengers might be heroes in a parallel universe?


I’ve realized I want a challenge in Romania. Well, logic compelled me to decide on this trip as a challenge in the first place, but now I actually feel the need for it. I don’t altogether understand how this could be, but the source of my need seems to be from an emotional side. There are times when my logical and emotional circuit are distinctly connected, but this is not a familiar case. Even so, there’s no need to overthink it. I could reflect on a hundred possible explanations, or I could just go out and live and make mistakes and confirm how things really are. In any case, at this exact moment, my instincts are urging me with the idea that challenge isn’t something that just comes to you. (Of course, clearly it does come to us, sometimes in the most unwelcome times, but gut instinct is not one to mind about technical correctness.) I have to go and do things. I have to try things that I might not explicitly want to do, but that’s where challenges arise. That’s the point of trying new things: for the challenge. I want to go where they don’t speak English. People in Bucharest cooperate too easily with tourists. I don’t need to know a word of Romanian, and even if I try to speak it, people don’t hear what I say, they just read my actions. I want to get lost. I want to depend on the generosity of others. I want to depend on chance. I want to depend on my willpower.