Archives for the month of: May, 2008

I’ve done it. I’ve completely committed to this traveling malarkey. You could argue that spending just over seven grand (so far) is quite a commitment, but that is only money and can be earned back… admittedly it would take me about five years to save that much up again but it’s still just money.
Now however I’ve handed in my notice, definitely going now! Not that I was having second thoughts, I can’t imagine the amount of regret that I would feel, for the rest of my life if I didn’t go through with it after being so excited and getting everything so nicely organized.
So my last official day at work will be 25th July, not long now!

I hated the fact that I had to give up tai chi, I found it very relaxing. One thing that I never really understood and have been struggling with is the idea of chi energy. Strangely I found a helpful pointer to aid my understanding from listening to the philosopher’s zone podcast, from Australia’s ABC national radio. The mention of it in an episode about translation almost passed me by and I was going to try and re-listen to it. I couldn’t because of the auto delete settings I have on my podcast program. However I did manage to look at the transcript. I’m glad I didn’t listen to it again as the pertinent fact was glossed over in a single paragraph that I’ll quote:

Alan Saunders: There is a show on Pay-TV at the moment called The Bullshit Detector, and this week they were looking at Feng Shui. They were analysing the works of three Feng Shui practitioners, all of them Caucasian and presumably not Chinese speakers. And I was thinking, Well look, the Chinese grid, the way in which classical Chinese thought divides the world up, is not the way in which Western thought divides the world up. So it’s going to be different, and you cannot translate concepts one for one. So if you talk about ‘chi’ and you’re an English speaker and you translate ‘chi’ as ‘energy’, well that is bullshit, because it doesn’t behave in the way that energy behaves in western science. The world is simply divided up very differently.

Karyn Lai: That’s right. And so given what you say, and I agree with that, that you can’t define, properly define, or hope to catch the universal meaning of a concept purely by definition, you have to look at it’s instantiations as well, so Chinese language is very anti-essentialist in terms of the meaning that’s embodied in particular characters. It’s non-absolutist, and I believe that’s very much correlated with the way the Chinese might see the world. For instance, I think there are very close correlations between the way the symbols represent meanings and how the meanings are articulated differently in different contexts, and the way they understand the self. So there is a self, but they refuse to talk about the self in abstraction, it’s always the self in that context, or in another context, or as a relational self and so on and so forth.

Of course this doesn’t give any answers at all, but it does give me some better questions to ask.

After you’ve watched this:

Or at least this year anyway.
Friday: Went to Canterbury to visit Laura, and see Canterbury Acoustic. A night of truly fantastic music, and then after the music to the pub where we got to hang out with the performers! I found this to be slightly surreal, one minute someone is moving you deeply with their music and song, the next your chatting away, flirting even… mad. Then there was an after party at the organizers’ flat, which was also very cool and surreal :)
I bought the music of the two main acts, the headliner played fantastically relaxing music and to be honest it felt a little wrong that we weren’t listening to it outside with the sun setting.
Saturday: Back to Guildford as Dave and Matt were visiting, spent the afternoon chilling out watching spaced and generally not doing a great deal, which was fine. Then in the evening we fired up the BBQ, and put on the music from the night before. And yes it was playing as the sun was setting. Perfect.
Out into town after the BBQ, six friends many of which I hadn’t seen for a long time out in Guildford laughing chatting and generally having a damn good time. Superb.
Sunday: By definition this had to be a chilled out day, started with grilling some of the remaining food for breakfast and watching Top Gear and the remaining episodes of spaced. Then after Matt left myself and Dave went into town to buy tickets for speed racer and then relaxed in the sun for a few hours and had some lunch.
Speed Racer review: Definitely a kids film but we were watching it for the visuals – mind blowing. The colours were so incredibly intense there is no way of describing it. It was almost like when I tried Cannabis in Amsterdam. That was the highlight (no pun intended) of the film, so you can imagine the strength of the storyline.
Then more food, and bed. It may not sound like a stunningly good weekend, but everything just seemed right and in place, wouldn’t have changed anything… well apart from I’d have asked for the number of the girl I was chatting to in Canterbury, but other than that :)

I’m forcing myself to write, because I want to get back into the groove. So this may not live upto the level of enthrawling prose that you’ve become used to. Today I went to the gym, and ran 1km! This may sound like a pretty feeble distance, and to be fair it is. But you have to understand that this is the first time I’ve run since I twisted my knee and insulted my shin at parkour. I was pleased, things seem to be healing up nicely.

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