How I almost died (Part 1)

January 15, 2010

Ok ok, you can all stop cheering now. I didn’t *actually* die. I definitely felt like I *was* going to die. And now you can do your disappointed aww.

So in my current quest in search of the mythical being called fit I decided to take up swimming laps. The reason for this is when I was in Beijing I went to a traditional chinese doctor who said that my lungs weren’t as strong as they should be and that I needed to exercise more. This was about 3 months ago now so I felt it was about time I actually got off my ass and did some exercise.

The night before my dance with death, I was feeling quite proud of myself because I had decided definitely to go swimming. I was committed. Had I known what would happen the next morning I should have been committed. To an asylum. For crazy people.

I woke up pretty early the next day and had a coffee and drove out to the pool near Garden City Shopping Centre. It had been so long since I’ve gone to a pool I had no idea about the process of getting access to it. Remember that this is the pool I went to when I had my holiday swimming classes when I was still in primary school (which by the way was probably the last time I went swimming). What I remember of this pool, was that it had an outdoor pool and in indoor pool which was heated. But when I got there it had completely changed. It was now a gym/pool place. Both the gym and the pool were completely packed and I didn’t know that holiday swim courses were in progress which meant that the chances of me swimming in child pee was significantly higher than usual.

I go to pay to go and use the pool and found out it costs $5 to go swimming now (I remember it being a lot less, about $1.50). As I go into the pool I see one of my tiny cousins, an 11 year old who just so happened to be having her swimming classes. So we have a brief chat and she goes off to her class and I get into the pool to start my laps.

At the end of my first lap I was feeling ok and felt as though that amount of effort was adequate for my first lap. Sure I was starting to get tired, but what did I really expect. Anyway I get to the other end of the pool and I stop for a bit just to catch my breath when I hear “Are you tired already?” To myself I thought, “Who the fuck is that and who knows me well enough to sass me already?” I look up and it’s my wiener cousin. I tell her it has been many many years since I went to swim in a pool but in my mind I was saying “I’ll show you, you smarmy little shit!”

I turned and began swimming up the other end. Admittedly I put a little bit more effort than the first one.

Then another lap.

Slightly more tired now.

And then another.

I know, I’ll start swimming breast stroke. More than slightly tired now

And another. Even more than slightly tired now (looking back this is probably the understatement of the century)

At the end of this last lap, I am pretty frigging tired. I’m breathing pretty heaving, and my arms are pretty tired. I realise that my towel and everything was at the other end of the pool. And this point, friends, is where I start to almost die.

There are probably heaps of decisions that I regretted in my life, but this regret definitely rates pretty highly on the scale. I decide to swim one more lap. I think it was about half way through that lap of the 50 meter pool that I find that I’m wasn’t really moving forward as much as I thought. What I thought was real however was the rate that I was sinking further and further underneath the surface of the water. I didn’t quite panic just yet. I swam that another 10 meters when I thought I was at the spot where the pool was shallow enough for me to stand up. Turns out I find out two things. One: I’m not as tall as I thought. And two: the pool was way deeper than I thought. I hate to think what this looked like to an observer, but I’m pretty sure the thought of “Gee, never seen that stroke before.”

I was sinking/swimming desperately towards the end of the pool and the last 5 meters my feet finally touch solid ground. The edge felt so far away and my legs felt like lead. I reach the edge and lean on the edge. I think I sat there for about five minutes trying to catch my breath, but while I was there I swear a lady of what I guess to be 60 years old did about four laps. After seeing this I decide to get out of the pool. I try and lift myself out of the pool and I get half way and stop. I’m pretty sure I didn’t tell my muscles to stop. In fact, I’m sure I didn’t. So there I am, half hoisted at the shallow end of the pool. I realise I didn’t have the strength to get out of the pool, so in order to save my pride I pretended to decide not to get out of the pool and slowly lower myself back in. I stay there for another 5 minutes.

Whats worse in this situation is that the gym section of the recreation center has a glass wall where people in the gym can see out into the pool so the amount of people who saw me clawing for the edge of the pool would have doubled in number.

Now the lane that I was in was right in the middle of the pool. This meant that the steps on the side of the pool to get out was 4 lanes either way. So humiliation incident  number two of today was going underneath each of the lanes. It was like a very wet walk of shame

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Ok. As promised here’s part two of How I Met Your Friends. My analogy kind of fell apart at the end of the first post, and the reasons for me pushing out a blog post that I myself aren’t happy with  are my own. So what I’m trying to do now is stretch it as much as I can to try and make it work.

So the last post I went through and talked about Sarahmey (Jeremy and Sarah) with them being the Marshall and Lilly of our group. Thats definately a clear case. But then I talked about John which doesn’t really fit into my analogy but bear with me, because John represents some part of the Barney of the group along with the combination of Mike, Tim, and Debari.

After thinking about it, (I know this will be a bit of a stretch) John is like Barneys pornography collection. Except Johns pornography is music. And vynil records. And information about bands that you haven’t heard of. John has spent so much money on records that if his collection was sold off he could probably buy his own african country.

Next up is Michael. He is by far, the most competitive board game player I have ever met. Pretty competitive in general and in all games pretty much. I wouldn’t quite call him “that guy,” as in that guy who tops everyones stories. But he would definately be “that guy” who argues whether a narwhal is a real animal or not (by the way, he thought it wasn’t real because he saw it on Futurama. Also just to remind everyone that they do exist. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narwhal). He goes to extraordinary lengths to prove he is right with the trusty use of his electronic information butler called his iPhone. He’s the part of Barney who will go to the ends of the Earth to find the Robin Sparkles video. But he’s also the part of Marshall who always wins game night.

I became friends with Tim about 2 years at university when I did a games project with Jeremy, John and Tim. If I was to stretch this analogy even further (which I am for the sake of this post!), I’d say Tim is the part of Ted with the know-it-all attitude and grammatical and pronunciation corrections.

Debari and myself are the part of Barney which is continuously inappropriate. Making inappropriate jokes in inappropriate situations is what we’ve done best.

Hrmm, as you can see, these analogies are getting shorter and shorter. I’ll probably try and rewrite this at another point but y’know what are you going to do!?

If you knew me, you’d know that my favourite show of all time is How I Met Your Mother (and that my favourite movie is Grosse Pointe Blank. That fact has nothing to do with this post, but I think it’s a good bit of information about myself. Also if you haven’t seen Grosse Pointe Blank make sure you do. It’s an absolutely fantastic movie. But anywho’s thats something for another post at some other point in time).

There are heaps of reasons why I love this show. The main reason is that I feel like the show is extremely easy to relate to with me and my circle of close friends. There are some equivalents but there are definitely some missing parts to the machine (eg the Barney character, I’ll get to this later). The perfect example is my closest friends Jeremy and Sarah. These two are the equivalent to the Marshall and Lilly of HIMYM. These two have been going out with each other since high school and got married in 2005 (I think? oh god don’t murder me you guys!). I got to know Jeremy when I went to TAFE and then met his girlfriend at the time which was Sarah. At the time Jeremy and I were slow to start being friends, I think it took us about a semester before we decided to all go to the movies together.

To be completely honest, most of the time I’m pretty jealous of what Jeremy and Sarah have. They’ve just got that couple thing going on that’s so strong of a bond that you can’t help but be impressed with the devotion that they have for each other. It also makes you realise how lucky some people have it and how dismal other people have it. You have people like myself on one side, destined to be alone for the rest of their lives and on the other side of the relationship coin you have the Jeremy and Sarahs (or Sarahmey’s) of the world who find love when they were young and kept it going.

Anyway fast forward to us graduating from TAFE and then going onto university. By then we were all pretty great friends and thats when we met John. John doesn’t really fit into my HIMYM analogy but he deserves a mention (I suppose! :P). This guy is one of the nicest, most randomest and amusing friends I’ve ever had. I for one was definitely guilty of judging a book by it’s cover. The first time I saw Ji-hon John (I like making nick names for John, Ji-hon John is his Korean nickname), I just assumed he was a bogan. But then I saw something that contradicted the following story. I saw John reading. Thats right readers, a book. A novel to be more specific and just in case you were thinking that he was reading a picture book. Of porn. He wasn’t! An actual novel. I thought to myself “Bogans can’t possibly read!” I think Jizzle just became a really good friend mainly because he was a cool guy, and he was always sitting pretty close to where we were in during lectures. So I mentioned a story contradicting the idea of thinking John wasn’t a bogan. Apparently there was this one time during a lab, John comes in carrying a goon bag (a cask of wine for those non-australian readers) offering drinks to everyone in class. And to show how classy he really was, he had removed the cardboard box containing the goon bag and drank from it as he did his lab and coding assignment. To this day, I don’t know what to class him as. I’d say he was a nerd, but in my circle of friends it’s kind of hard not to class everyone as a nerd. But if I had to classify him, I’d say it would be impossible to do. And, like I said before, John doesn’t really fit into my HIMYM  analogy but he’s one of my best friends now who definitely deserves a mention in this post.

But yep! Thats all I’ll write for now!  More later!

Day 1

December 15, 2009

Mission 1: Evaluating myself

  1. Write one or two sentences describing how you believe other people currently perceive you.
    • At the moment I think people perceive me as weak, not confident and jerkish. Full of inconsistencies
  2. Write one or two sentences describing how you’d like to be perceived by others
    • I want to be seen as not a jerk. Confident and self assured. Above all I want to be respected
  3. List three of your behaviours or characteristics you would like to change
    • Fitter, happier, sexier, be less bitter at the world
  4. List three new behaviours or characteristics you would like to adopt
    • More confident, smile more, and be happier

Where I’m at right now.

November 15, 2009

I think you all need to know. Also I’ll add the word [Distracted] in between paragraphs when I realised I really didn’t want to write this and went off and did something else.

So many times I’ve opened up this stupid wordpress blog, logged in, wrote a sentence, and then closed the window. I just don’t think people need to know about all the things that I know and feel about things. And thats a pretty vague and stupid sentence I just wrote. So I’m going to try and suck it up and not let this new post become the 18th draft I’ve saved in the last 6 months.

Pretty much all of you know know the current work situation. I took some time to sit down to honest think where I’m at with both my career and emotional stability. I couldn’t help but remember the 5 stages of grief that is often associated with the prospect of dying. Looking at that there isn’t that much of a difference between the prospect of dying and the prospect of losing a job.

Just so we’re all on the same page here, below are the 5 stages of grief.

1. Denial — “I feel fine.”; “This can’t be happening, not to me.”
Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of situations and individuals that will be left behind after death.[1]

2. Anger — “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; “Who is to blame?”
Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Any individual that symbolizes life or energy is subject to projected resentment and jealousy.[1]

3. Bargaining — “Just let me live to see my children graduate.”; “I’ll do anything for a few more years.”; “I will give my life savings if…”
The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the person is saying, “I understand I will die, but if I could just have more time…”[1]

4. Depression — “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to die . . . What’s the point?”; “I miss my loved one, why go on?”
During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect oneself from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.[1]

5. Acceptance — “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.”
This final stage comes with peace and understanding of the death that is approaching. Generally, the person in the fifth stage will want to be left alone. Additionally, feelings and physical pain may be non-existent. This stage has also been described as the end of the dying struggle.[1]

[Distracted]

I think (if I’m being completely honest with myself) I’m pretty sure I’m bouncing in between stage 4 and stage 5. Wait. Probably 70% stage 4 and 30% stage 5. Thats not really bouncing in between. What I’m aware of is that when I’m in stage 4, I’m more of an asshat to everyone else. More than usual. The guys usually bear the brunt of this and I can apologise forever for it, but it really isn’t an excuse. One day they’ll have had enough and that will be that.

[Distracted]

Stage 4 definately feels familiar, maybe even comfortable to me. I’ve been there for so long, everything else seems strange.

I really don’t want to write this, so why force it. I hate this.

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The Goonies Drinking Game

February 15, 2009

Game Modes:
– Easy Mode: Rule 1 in effect
– Normal Mode: Rules 1 and 2 in effect
– Hard Mode: Rules 1 to 5 in effect
– Nightmare Mode: All rules in effect

Rule 1: Every time someone mentions One Eyed Willie or references him everyone takes a shot

Rule 2: Every time Mikey takes a puff of his asthma puffer everyone takes a shot

Rule 3: Every time Mouth brushes his hair everyone takes a shot

Rule 4: Every time Mikey uses the wrong words in a sentence or phrase everyone takes a shot

Rule 5: Every time Data’s gadgets fail everyone drinks takes a shot

Rule 6: Every time Chunk breaks something everyone takes a shot

Rule 7: Every time Sloth yells “Hey You Guys!” everyone takes a shot

Rule 8: Every time a trap is triggered everyone takes a shot

Did this on Facebook, thought it was ok enough to put on the blog

Rules: You are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose some people you want to find out more about .

1. I’m intensely private. I guess me doing this note thing means I’m becoming less private I suppose. Still pretty intensely private though

2. Last week I had a cigarette after a particular stressful playtest at work. It was just one and I haven’t had another one since, so don’t lose your minds.

3. I really hate how upper management works sometimes

4. I used to be an 8th grade pianist. Now I regret stopping because when I sit in front of a piano to see how I do now, my fingers feel like german sausages clumsily driving a tank into Poland

5. I use sarcasm as a defense mechanism for most things in life.

6. I wish I could read peoples behaviours and emotions better.

7. When people go out to a restaurant to have a meal and complain about stuff like the food being crappy or the service being crap it really annoys me. How about you realise how lucky you are that you are out in a restaurant and eating food with people that you like while people in other parts of the world are dying from starvation and get shot at.

8. People who swear in the presence of children are just embarrasing themselves. And they’re embarrased because I punch them so hard in the kidney they pee themselves. Also people who swear for the sake of swearing just to seem like they are bigger than they actually are make me laugh. Grow up you chumpsacks.

9. The day the project ships, I’m going to buy a $100 cigar and a fine scotch and smoke and drink in celebration

10. I hate the way I have to be polite to people in certain situations. I wish I could just say what I thought with no overhanging threat of repurcussions.

11. I am now eating an ice cream.

12. I may have regretted coming home. I haven’t decided on that one yet.

13. I love all music (except for country and opera).

14. My top 3 bands are NiN, Qotsa and Tool

15. When people first meet me, it’s usually not a good impression. I never know why.

16. When people start to get to know me, they think I’m a generic asian.

17. When people know me they know I’m not generic in any way.

18. I really don’t like to give or receive hugs. I’m not trying to be a dick about it, it’s just, nyehhh

19. I am now eating my second ice cream. I just really like ice cream ok? Don’t judge me!

20. A goal of mine is to have 3 square meals consisting of food made out of icecream or icey poles.

21. The only place where I would sing is in my car. While not at a set of red lights. Going 100kmph. Down an abandoned road.

22. My ultimate dream job was to be an F1 racer.

23. I have a condition called “Unabletofindmywayplaces-itis” This is a condition where I can’t remember any street names or road directions and I usually need a navigator

24. I have little to no tolerance for arrogant people

25. One day I hope to be a Producer working on a AAA project.

Dreams be messed up

January 28, 2009

So I’ve not been sleeping well at all. The reason for that is a recurring dream almost every night that I started having a couple of weeks after I came back from Brisbane. Firstly I have to say that I have absolutely no fear of flying. I love being on an airplane. Especially during take off and landing. But thats something else.

Anyway, my dreams start off at an airport. I have no idea what airport I’m at. I see the people who I know right now I’m hanging out pretty cool, having a chat and waiting for our boarding call. I look around and look at the other passengers when I realise all the other passengers are people I used to know or have met. Turns out I was pretty well off (somehow) and had paid for a trip to a surprise location. However people seemed to be extremely uncomfortable when I start talking to them. I remember feeling extremely confused as some people were extremely stand-offish and I couldn’t remember whether it was because I had done something to make them feel that way.

So the boarding call is announced and all of a sudden everything went quiet and everyone became still. I was confused. Lost. Suddenly, everyone started to move again to line line up in front of ticket counter. Their eyes just stared ahead. I was beginning to panic and started trying too ask people why they were being like that. They didn’t react to anything I did. I even punched someone in the face and they just stood back up unfazed, and got back in line staring ahead. The people checking the tickets however were all smiles and cheerfulness as though there was nothing wrong. The people in the que were eyes front and almost marching through the ticket counter.

All of a sudden I realise that I was yelling at the last person in line. However she does exactly as the others did before her. It’s my turn now and the ticket woman asks for my tickets. I yell and scream at her, but all she does is repeat the same thing “Tickets please, have a nice flight” over and over again. I yell louder. In a real world situation I’m sure she would have called security. I beg her to call security but she continues to repeat herself.

Deep inside, I know I shouldn’t board the plane, but the idea of leaving everyone on the plane and not finding out what was going on was not an option. I give the ticket woman my ticket and proceed through the boarding tunnel. I look out the windows of the boarding tunnel and there is no one outside. No trucks ferrying around luggage. No engineers performing final checks on the aircraft. No other aircrafts at all.

I find my seat on the plane, and everyone is back to their usual selves, except the mixture of fear/disgust permeates everyone of their actions when I try and talk to them. The seatbelt sign lights up and the pilot announces the takeoff. Everyone reverts back to their eyes front and silent mode. My unease increases as the plane speeds up, the nose of the plane aims towards the sun and I watch the ground beneath me move further and further away. The plane flies through clouds and I lose sight of the ground completely. I feel completely and utterly useless and a sense of foreboding grows.

Lightning strikes outside the aircraft. Turbulance increases and the plane begins to shake. The pilot announces nonchalantly that this is normal and all is well. Everyone is still in their emotionless face. Lightning strikes the plane and the plane begins to fall. The air supply units drop from the ceiling. I am halfway through frantically putting them on before I notice no one else is trying to put them on. I try and put on the air supply thing on the person next to me and the person next to them, but I can’t reach the person. I take of my air breather and seatbelt and move to try and put theirs on for them. It is difficult as the plane is shaking but I manage to do it. I move on to the next set of seats and do the same. Every single person on that plane has no reaction.

Another lighting strike and the plane drops further. I fall to the floor. I scramble towards the cockpit and open the door. The pilots do not have their hands on the stick. They are like everyone else on the plane, emotionless and staring forwards. I try to wake them up, yelling and hitting, it is useless. I try the radio, and I am replied with the hiss of static. We break through the cloud barrier and the deep blue ocean begins to rise towards me. I yell into the announcement phone to brace. And while I do this I turn to look back to the passenger section of the plane. No one is reacting, no one moves. I yell and I yell and I yell until my voice is hoarse. This is the loneliest and longest moment of my life. The plane begins to dip further and further. I grab the stick and try to pull the plane up. It is no use. The plane begins to bank right and the blueness of the ocean fills the right hand window. It gets closer and closer and I keep yelling and yelling.

Just as the plane is about to hit the water, I wake up.

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