Day 99 - Sensei Bobo

Plastic Bag Triforce (mine: bottom left)
July 15th, 2015

I am a deep sleeper. What amazes me is what I can ignore and what will wake me up. Two or three houses ago, we had a drum kit that shared a wall with my room. I slept through one of my roommates drumming away for a half hour, yet.. my phone vibrating will wake me up. I suppose we train ourselves to pay attention to these things. This is my roundabout way of saying that I was woken up by my phone going off, again.

It was Nadja, asking me to work at 5 today and tomorrow. It’s 10:30, which is as good a time to get up as any. I find getting up “earlier” fine when I’m not hitting it hard at night. Naturally, I swing back and forth between focused learning/work, and intense social interaction to counterbalance. As I’ve said, I’m just slightly on the extroverted side of the Intro-Extro scale.

My extroverted side was totally buggered - fried - from doing the door to door thing. That’s more social than I wish to be, especially since most of the interactions were negative. As my Aunt told me, you need to keep a schism between ego and persona (the role you’re playing). She’s right, but I think that the constant negativity wears you down, eating away at you. In either case, I am now free and neutral feels like heaven after that bloody hell. Yin and Yang, brothers and sisters.

My most recent coffee venture
Breakfast of champions: steak, peas, and black coffee. Gym, grocery store, and preparing for work. While preparing for work, I check my bank account to see if The Grid has paid me. Mother Fu… They still haven’t paid me! But wait a second, it’s not in my checking account, is it possible that it came in through my credit? Seems unlikely because that’s.. just strange, but let’s double check before calling and harassing them. Ah.

Now I feel like a dumbass with an obvious, but painful, moral dilemma. I check the credits to my checking account and see that the last two were both for approximately the same amount from the grid. As George Costanza said: It’s not a lie of you believe it. I conned them, accidentally, into paying me twice. It was only for $166, so it won’t break them, and I am in desperate need as my coffers welcome dust bunnies for rent. I am wishing I didn’t notice until I left the country because then I’d have a helluva time giving it back. Knowing what I know, I have to return it. The Grid really needs to be more organized if it was this easy to steal from them.

I apologize to my landlady for Yuzu staying, and whatever subsequent trouble was caused, offering to pay for the night. Again, painful offer that I’m hoping she doesn’t actually accept, but it was the right thing to do. Morality, bleh.

As I may have mentioned earlier, they said there was a make-or-break moment at Paella Republica (my work) where the owner was leaving on the 22nd and he was training me up to work full time while he was gone. My flight for Bali is booked for the very same day, and I’m formulating situations or wording to break the news to him without being an asshole. He's a great guy and I actually like the place. I decide I’ll tell him tomorrow when I work, telling him that my visa came through for China and that I’ll have to leave shortly. Both statements are independent of each other, and factually true. This is my roundabout way of lying without actually lying. One of my best friends, Steve, and I used to play a game called “The Politician’s Answer” that we made up. You have to give an answer to a question using factually true responses - though possibly unrelated to the question - and mislead the questioner into believing the opposite of the truth.  The questioner is left thinking the answer is “yes, I have,” when the truth is “no, I have not,” as evidenced below:

A Common Garden by the side of the Road
Prototype question: “Have you ever had an STI?”
Response: “I have had many diseases in my life.”

Back to the Republica: There’s bad news, the owner tells me. They are closing for the time, but I”ll be welcomed back with open arms if I wish to return. Amazing. He tells me I will be paid 11-12 for training, and only $14 for the remaining hours. 

I say “Oh, wow,” as a default response, not particularly registering what he just said.
“Wow, what?” He inquires, wanting to leave this exchange amicably
“Oh, I just thought that you said $17 an hour when I was hired”
“That’s when you get into the swing of things. But, hey, if you want $17 an hour for the hours you worked - if that will make you happy - then we can both be happy. It will not break me, and I like how you work.” Bonus.

This situation could not have worked out more perfectly for everyone involved. My luck knows no bounds, and I feel like this will be continually true as I adopt the concept of “The Obstacle is the Way,” which is a book on the idea that any obstacle is just another little adventure to make you better, or to help you express yourself. 

Back at the share house, I play musical chairs with my housemates, trading Sandra for Ricardo, then Ricardo for Sandra and Bobo as people come and go through the house. Bobo had cleaned up the kitchen, organizing it in a way that makes more sense, though is less convenient for me in it’s lower placements. She shows us how she packaged the plastic bags, using origami. Sandra and I to jump on the opportunity to learn how it's done. So cool, I’m definitely going to have to stop in Japan some time in the next year.

I am entering a personal renaissance. Motivated through the roof. and able to learn stuff quicker and more eagerly. It’s been shown that exercise and vegetables make you smarter, while sugar makes you dumber. These are not debatable, they have been well established and it makes sense. Since I’ve cut out processed sugars, increased exercise, and introduced a fist-size serving of vegetables at meals, shit’s super charged.

I had bought this almond butter from the grocery store. First time trying it, I put it on celery sticks. Actually a good combination, I recommend it, giving one to the girls. I tell them about the “would you rather” game, coming up with two more as demonstration of how it’s easy when you approach it a certain way. Honestly, people seem to think this game is difficult to come up with new scenarios.

Pick something you don’t like: cockroaches. Ok, “eating a large cockroach.” Now, think of something approximately as bad “having your foot run over.” You know it’s a good question when people give you the response you wouldn’t expect, and people seem to have a hard time with it. Tweak the difficulty by changing intensity or duration (e.g. slowly run over your foot; eat five cockroaches) until it works for you. The other two were:

  •  “10 minute preying mantis ‘bath’” vs “wake up with a large, nonpoisonous spider on your body everyday for a week.” 
  • “freeze to death” vs “burn to death.”*

A stretch.. something.
Bobo says her memory is terrible, leading to me showing them the “chaining and linking” approach to memory. It’s easy. Give it a shot: Write 1-10 on a piece of paper, and an easy-to-visualize object. The more concrete the object (e.g. Chair, dog, kite) the easier. Avoid intangibles (e.g. Hope, happy, light). Now, go through the list and pair them together starting with 1 and 2. Say it’s Car and Dog. Make it as novel, bizarre, and/or emotionally responsive image you can. If it makes you think “what the f*ck” then you know you’re doing something right. In this case, It could be a car-sized dog with doors on the side. Imagine yourself opening the door, and sitting inside the car-like interior that’s all organs, blood, and flesh. Disgusting, right? You won’t forget that. Now, do the same with 2 and 3. Remember, and this is important: Forget the first image. This is not a coherent scene, it’s a series of images. The mind works in images, so creating a novel image that pairs them makes it easier. Go through the entire list putting them together, like chainlinks. The first run from 1-10 is a little difficult, but once you’ve done it, you’ll find going from 10-1 exceedingly easy. In fact, most people go backwards faster.

Try it out! You’ll be surprised how well you do.

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