Day 137 - Party World!

August 22nd, 2015

The plan was oscillating between karaoke and grabbing brunch. Yesterday they changed it to brunch because karaoke wouldn’t work. I skip my morning coffee because I’m expecting brunch at a cafĂ©. This works in the favour of my vocal chords when I find out that we’ve switched back to Karaoke. Hooray…
This was the combo: "burger",
cold, spicy noodles, and a drink
To be clear, I don’t like karaoke. I am self-conscious about my singing voice and, like many musicians,* take myself much too seriously. I have not played anything in a long time and know I am currently garbage at all my instruments. In either case, this is a good way to get over another of my issues. It’s the same group as last night, minus Leo.**

The karaoke place is called “Party Planet” and requires us to have passports to get in. Strange, considering the pool place sold us beer last night without any ID. We have our private room, and have booked, apparently, 4 hours of singing. Wow. I didn’t think we’re be there that long. 

We take turns going back and forth between streaks of Chinese music and English music. They don’t know Bohemian Rhapsody, What’s My Age Again?, All My Life, and only vaguely know some Bruno Mars songs that I chose to see if they’d recognize them. I send voice clips of my bad singing to people for fun, also because it will force me to shatter the false image I have of my own singing. All these events were a great distraction from the e-mail at the beginning of the session telling me that I can’t get my visa from Australia, and that the Chinese Gov basically said “Go home, you damn Canuck.”

Here's the steps of the paradox, and I know I'm not alone in this self-delusion:

  • I want to think of myself as a good singer
  • I don’t sing because I'm afraid of evidence that I'm not good 
  • I can continue to believe that I'm a good singer because there is no contrary evidence
  • By not singing, I ensure that my singing will stay bad / become worse
  • Repeat

I’ve found myself falling into this thought paradox with a few different things, including body issues. If you hide it from the light of day, no one will know! So then you end up not actually solving the issue, and falling into this fragile ego state. Sending out voice clips of me singing songs - automatically and without listening to them first - is like holding the mirror up to my faults in this area. It’s ok to suck at something, but it’s not ok to live in delusion or fear of failure.

Darling, this is maaahvelous
Why is it not okay? Because at some point it will be brought to your attention that reality doesn't match your self-concept. This will cause you pain in some form, which will probably then be projected at nearby people, innocent or otherwise. This makes me want to write a post about "real" happiness and "manufactured happiness."

After Karaoke, Luke brings us to a Chinese restaurant that has food from Lee’s*** hometown. Chinese hamburgers it is. Their combo is a Ground meat sloppy ‘hamburger’ on an english muffin-ish thing, and a side of cold, spiced noodles. All this, washed down with an Asian soft drink. Sure, why not?

I want to grab a coffee, particularly because people don’t want to head home just yet. Gloria Jeans Cafe, AKA Australian Starbucks (according to Luke), where I explain to Sunny what psychology actually is. People seem to think having a psych degree means you can read minds or have great insight into people. I mean, you can have better insight, and you could trick people into thinking you can read minds if you study the correct, fringe areas, but that’s not what a stock psych degree gets you. 

Almost didn't notice this, 10 feet up
I have looked into the weirder sides of how the mind works, like hypnosis (honours seminar, boi), body language, cold reading^, and mnemonics systems. Check them out, they’re all have useful tools if you apply them correctly and I'd be happy to answer questions on them. Bear in mind that the usefulness of some of the techniques is purely anecdotal. I originally went in to see how it jived with the research that was well established. If you’re interested in any of these areas, I could talk your ear off for a while about it, so don’t be shy.

The problem with talking about this stuff, particularly with the generally more superstitious Chinese, is that I’m dispelling stuff that they might believe in. Superstition is like weak religion - you can’t argue it with logic, and might end up offending people. I don’t think I offended anyone, especially since I ended up doing superficial palm reads of the three of them.

We grab groceries from coles, train home, and play a full game of Golf, which Shimou and Leo tied. Great game. Afterwards, Shimou and I watch the first half of Ted 2. She really wanted to watch it for some reason. Don’t ask me why.

Editing Music: Anna Sun by Walk the Moon

*Former musician is probably more accurate.
**Sunny, Shimou, Luke, and Me
***Shimou’s housemate from Perth
^I still want to open a free palm reading booth to practice

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