surrealcouchuniverse

"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." – Dean Martin


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The Person I Am vs The Person I Could’ve Become

I recently came across this quote again:

“Someone once told me the definition of Hell: The last day you have on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.”

This has got me thinking about the person I am becoming versus the person I could’ve been. One of the things that age has helped shed light on is that I always had all the tools to become the person I could have been.

In the past, I have been quick to blame the world for missed opportunities, tending to easily fall into the habit of blaming life and circumstance for not giving those opportunities. I didn’t get the job I really wanted because I didn’t happen to know anyone at the company. Me and my friends just fell out of touch as we got busy with other stuff. I didn’t go out with the person I had a crush on because I never had the opportunity to ask them out. I always struggled to make meaningful connections with people.

These days, I realise allot more of the blame belongs to me. It all started after I read a book that encouraged people to look at where they are to blame for there things, even if it is only 1% of the blame. This was an attempt to get people to focus on what they control and can change as opposed to what is outside their immediate control. Of course, once I started doing that, I realised that for me, it normally never is a small portion of the blame.

Even with the aforementioned examples, I can look back and see how my choices led up to these situations. I never tried to meet fellow professionals so that I had a professional network (eventhough I hate that world). I never put in extra effort to keep in touch with people as we got busy, instead losing myself in doing other things (I now realise that the 50/50 split in effort isn’t always equal). I never took a chance with someone I liked because I was too scared about what other people would say or even just ask them out for some quality alone time. I struggled to make meaningful connections because I compartmentalised my life allot and never let friendships develop beyond rigid activity constraints (and if you don’t meet people through mutual activities, you are just relying on random chance).

I hope that, going forward, I am doing better. I realise there is still a big void between who I am and who I could become. However, I am trying to take active steps to address the issues I have identified with myself and I am slowly getting better. I still see opportunities pass me by, but now I realise how much it is my fault and I do try to give myself a decent shot at being better.

At the end of the day, the definition of Heaven is probably realising that the person you became and the best person you could’ve become are one in the same.


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My Romantic Reading Experiment: Update

So a quick update on my romantic reading experiment. The last couple of books I have read have been Barnes and Nobles. I have noticed a common theme running through them so far.
This is a beautiful young girl with a secret in her past meets a rich, single, handsome, troubled stranger. Together they somehow save eachother from their tortured past while holidaying in exotic locations (did I mention the rich part) and being beautiful together.
So far from these I have learned it is easy to impress a beautiful person. All you have to do is be a rich, beautiful person yourself so that you never have to worry about things such as a working week or money issues.
I wonder what the next lesson I learn will be. I think I may stick to self-help books.


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Arrow Season 2- First Impressions

So now I am 10 episodes into Season 2 of Arrow. In short, it is much better than Season 1. In all fairness, that wouldn’t be that hard. Season 1 of Arrow was a mess of themes as it couldn’t decide what it wanted to be and ended up being a poor man’s Batman.
Season 2 seems to be much more willing to embrace its comic-book origins. It has super powers, people actually nearly calling him Green Arrow occasionally, and more costumes and super-villain type enemies. Everything Arrow seemed to want to muck up it is slowly fixing, but what impresses me is that it is doing it without completely ignoring Season 1 in terms of loose ends and character development.
Arrow seems to be doing quite a successful job of juggling dark-and-gritty with campiness and it is working. Whether it keeps this up or not is a different story, but for now it is quite and enjoyable superhero show.


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Book Thoughts- Men, Women and Children by Chad Kroetger

This was a weird book to read. It almost felt like the author was against young people being able to do anything right due to the cultural forces at bay. In this book, you had
– teenage sex
– parents over-policing their children
– child semi-pornography
– eating disorders
– game addiction
– suicide
– well, you get the point.
After reading through this book, it makes you wonder how anyone manages to grow up without being a complete mess with the internet and all the modern day vices around (drugs, prostitution, etc.). Even those who seem to be coping are just being set up for a tragedy later on in their lives.
It almost reads like a deliberate attempt at scaremongering, with everything that could go bad going bad with the group of kids. It is not necessarily a bad book to read, even if it feels a bit surreal at time. At times it made me wonder if it was trying to be a satire of itself.


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My Current Web Comic Reading List

 I have recently renewed my love of web-comics as bite sized bits of information that I can consume between jobs. The following web-comics are the ones I am into at the moment:

 A Softer World- I got back into this after I received their Kickstarter, which I ordered mostly for the flask. It sets you up, to then subvert your expectations in the final panel or two.

 Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal- A long-running favourite that gives bite sized jokes or some social commentary. It is always entertaining.

 XKCD- Black and white stick figures. I can’t believe I gave this a chance but one of my favourites.

 Adventures of Dr McNinja- He is a doctor. And a ninja. And ninja’s can’t catch you when you are on fire. Very awesome and has an overriding story.

 Daily Dilbert- An oldie and a goodie. Very enjoyable following the lives of IT office workers, even if it is a bit of a mid-level manager fantasy.

 Penny Arcade- I am back into this ever since I went to PAX last year. Even if I don’t like the new layout and don’t get some jokes, it is still awesome.

 Ctrl-Alt-Del- I am back to liking this ever since they got rid of the story and went back to videogame skits. I particular like their recent (all too literal) console wars.


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My New Reading Topic- Relationships

 I have started a new goal. Before bed every night, I will replace my normal reading book with a book about relationships. This could be anything from How to Make Long Distance Relationships Work to How to Attract A Date. I have noticed that most of these books tend to be shorter than I am used to. Hopefully, by doing this, I get through about one book a week in addition to my normal reading.

 I am not quite sure why I feel a desire to do this reading. I think it is because I am subconsciously trying to compensate in the one area that I have always struggled with. Namely, my struggles have been how to develop and maintain relationships past that first couple of months. I don’t know if this will address my major problem (generally starting to lose interest a bit and shifting focus onto other things), but it couldn’t help.

 I also think I am approaching a stage in my reading where I try to read non-fiction books to try to learn. It has happened a couple of times before where for 6-12 months I will view fiction as a waste of time (which I know it is not, but can’t convince myself otherwise). Therefore, I will focus on reading up about random topics that grab my interest until my desire to make every book a learning experience fades and I fall back into my normal reading patterns. So  I guess the topic that interests me now are relationships, or maybe it is just filling the gaps in my knowledge.

 I will see how this goes. It is going to feel interesting next time I go out with a bunch of rules floating around in my head.


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House- Halfway Through

So I am now halfway through my goal to watch the whole of House. That is Season 4 of 8 completed (although it is probably more than halfway as the initial seasons were 22 episodes). I am taking a small break to start on some Game of Thrones (finally) and I just wanted to share my thoughts on it.

What I have liked about House so far is that they are always trying to push the characters into new and unfamiliar territory. So far, none of the episodes have repeated themselves in their quest to push the characters into new and challenging situations. Season 4 left on a cliffhanger  regarding Wilson being pushed into a new area which should affect how he treats the world as well as his interactions with House.

One thing that I don’t like is there reliance on some sort of underlying narrative involving conflict, as well as their case of the week. Whether this be a new hospital chairman, House’s relationship with his ex, or the policeman, I think that the show is strong enough without it. I prefer if they just focused on the case-of-the-week and the slow interactions and growth of the characters. Instead, we have this “villain” character who is around for a few episodes, then goes to be replaced with another “villain” a few weeks later.

And the interactions are what I most enjoy about House. Although sometimes it feels like 2-steps forward to 1-step back with the evolution of House and his team. I enjoy how they don’t always win and how sometimes a point-of-view they mocked previously might end up being right (such as Cameron’s interest in her patients). I do feel that some episodes oversimplify the characters too much (like making Chase a complete suck-up), but for the most part the characters work well.

So overall, halfway through, I am really enjoying House. I plan on giving it a break for a week and then continuing on. In the meantime, I am halfway through Game of Thrones Season 1 and that has also been quite good. 

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