Updates of the week (Paint job, Game of Thrones, Acting, Longboarding, Irish Seedsaving, Kung Fu at the Library)

A day late on a post because of unplanned action (skated until late yesterday). I’ve been doing a miscellaneous number of things in the past week. Spent my time earning money painting. I like the job because it allows me to come and go as I please and also builds my handiness in the field of painting. It also tests my endurance by seeing how long I can keep going with a certain action. It really reminds me of the ‘Karate Kid’ with painting the fence or in the newer version, that there is Kung Fu in everything we do. With that in mind, I train my body to perfect my technique and stay in the moment as a wandering mind cannot achieve solid results. I’m still learning 😉

I’ve also been in the middle of going cold turkey on my marijuana habit. It is now day 13 since the last time I smoked and I found that I seek other stimulation now that I don’t have the green herb to fall back on. I actually went ahead and bought a crate of beer, partly also because the sun was shining and I had some nice smoked sausage that needed to be complemented by an equally tasty beverage. During this time, I also started watching ‘Game of Thrones’ more intently… and wow. What a world to escape into.

When I finished the last season I was left still wanting more. Series like this are highly addictive which is why I’m careful about getting into them. The amount of artwork and detail that went into this is quite extraordinary however. You kind of expect nothing short of greatness when you watch it, considering they have an average of 6 million USD to spend on each episode. The show had to even make their own language for the sake of authenticity. The detail that went into each set and character is also something that wows me about this industry; everything has to be just right and every detail has been thought about. My favorite character is Tyrion Lannister (the imp) because of his quick mind and sharp tongue. He kind of reminded me of Nick Vujicic in a way, although not as perverse and drunk. It seems small statures breed big personalities. I’ve taken note of my own clarity of speech after watching the series, although I don’t take habit of practicing psychological warfare on a daily basis.

I’ve secretly envied the movie making industry for a long time, even trying to become an extra for a series they were shooting near the house in Melbourne where I used to live. The problem then was that I needed to pay 300 AUD just to get some studio pictures taken for the series makers to judge approval on. Also during my time at the university in Rotterdam, I joined weekly acting workshops which I used to get back in touch with that side of me. I remember it being one of my favorite subjects in school, especially when we were doing scenes. Playing Seymour in my high school production of Little Shop of Horrors was also a good role for me, and it’s funny how I’m into plants in a similar way that my character in the play was too. My nerdiness also overlapped somehow with that of Seymour’s which is why the role was a good fit for me.

Apart from that part of my past, some actions have stayed with me for longer. Like my longboarding… even though it comes and goes, I frequently commute with it especially now, since I don’t really have that many alternatives and it saves me money. Getting prizes in distance competition also stimulates me to compete, although I’m kind of done with ultraskating… maybe I’ll pick it up again later, especially if it’s in a different form than it is now, but skating circles in the name of ‘prestige’ or ‘the list’ or ‘breaking your personal record’ has become a bit of an empty motivation for me. Perhaps if every round you made would contribute to a charity I’d think differently about it. Otherwise, I would really want to explore downhilling more, and getting more comfortable on the slopes. I’d probably have to move out of the Netherlands if I wanted that.

Speaking of moving out of the Netherlands, I’m making more solid plans to go to Ireland this September to August to work on a seedsaving farm for Irish heirloom vegetables. It feels good to travel, although I need to figure out some next steps for myself as ‘Game of Thrones’ is telling me as well: Winter is coming. So I’d best think carefully about what that will mean for me. I plan to distance skate my way to places and hitchhike where I can, and hopefully I’ll have some more stories to tell by the end of it all.

This blog is actually posted another day late as internet is down for a few days at my place of residence. I’m now posting this in the library and am having interesting interactions in Amsterdam… I purposely dressed a bit loosely just for the sake of experimentation; I’m basically wearing these baggy yoga pants that make me look a bit more exotic. I was standing outside the library just eating an apple and some nuts in my break and it seemed that people were staring at me, expecting me to do something as a street artist. When I was done eating, I needed some stretching, so I did some of my Shaolin stretches. That got heads turning. When a family walked past, one of the kids was like “what’s he doing?” in which the dad replied “that’s a Shaolin Master”… eh??? The mom was like “Should we give him 5 euros?” which I felt was unnecessary and a little weird, but gladly the dad thought so too and they walked past. They were talking in Dutch and probably expected me to be non-Dutch speaking, but that’s always the fun part of being a mixed breed 😉

It did give me incentive to work on my art though, and become better at my Shaolin movements, even as simple as they are. They have gotten me this flexible, and have improved my mindset as well. Perhaps I should take Kung Fu as a focal point for my activities like gardening, skating, and painting. In a way, I already do, but this event just made me realize it that much more. It’s funny how small things can change your mind…

It’s probably time for me to leave the library now though, so be good and see you next week!

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