Monday, November 25, 2013

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

For the first 20 years of my life, I was confined to a bedroom and a 25 mile square of landmass. I jokingly refer to this time period as my second incubation; an external womb. At the time, I viewed it as a meager lot, and but a beautiful prison cell, an emerald menagerie. Much of what I believed then, still holds truth to me now. But during this time I spent a lot of time planning the rest of my life, but even with the most astute foresight, even the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. The results I was expecting to see now, are far from the plans I sowed in my teens.

"Daedalus" a song by my favorite group Thrice, sung by this chick.

I find myself now, however, laying down plans once more, a first, since I've been living in exile from my own ambitions. Wandering -- but not lost -- and searching for some sort of foundation to reclaim my past designs. I do realize that we are all but powerless to circumstance, and halfheartedly believe in the futility of projecting further than tomorrow, however I do find security in having some overall goal or a properly aligned sequence of short-term goals. Discipline is meaningless without purpose.

Financial guide.

My aim is set to reinvesting in the compartments of my life, upgrading as a whole as time progresses. I drafted this guideline to add to my H.U.D. at my computer con. I believe this to be an instrumental visual tool in maintaining a sound course of action. What will most likely be critical is replacing my feeble restaurant job for a better, more lucrative one.

Besty, our new companion.

I've been upgrading my life little by little for a more stream-lined and efficient one. Betsy (as seen above) will be utilized for the many gigs the band has been doing. I am also one step closer to achieving my pre-Oahu Oahu goals. I recently acquired a Jiu Jitsu gi to replace the one that was stolen from my container. I am scheming to use U.H. enrollment in a few days to enable me to utilize "student discounts." If only I could afford to continue Kendo then I would be true to my word, which is something I always strive to be.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Knee Injury 2.0

Sure enough, almost 1 year to the date since I impaled myself under my left knee-cap, I gone and done it again. This time it wasn't so bad and I believe it will be far less debilitating.

Since living on Oahu I have provisioned both my home, and my car with a skateboard. Unlike Kauai, the streets are swept here and the streets and sidewalks are reasonably debris free making it more welcoming to the the miniature-wheeled death-boards that I've come to love. Oahu is also pretty flat in comparison to Seattle where I couldn't skateboard effectively due to the uncontrolled speed from the hills. There are times in accordance to finding free parking or even where I have to park for work, that I have to travel a few blocks to finally arrive at my destination. It is in these scenarios that I gleefully utilize my car-based board to skate myself to the my goal.

"Ken's Theme" from Street Fighter 2
(recorded hours before my incident)


Last night was a night like any other in where I found parking blocks from my destination, the only difference was I was a little more reckless and overconfident in my abilities than usual. I saw a lip between the road and the sidewalk where the two joined and believed it to be small enough for my skateboard to climb over, my assessment proved wrong, I was sadly mistaken. The wheels of the skateboard caught the lip and the skateboard stopped, but I -- by inertia's fury -- continued forward. I sailed through the air like superman, and landed on my left knee and both hands almost simultaneously. It didn't hurt too bad at first, but impact injuries (aka bruises) tend to be most painful a day or two after the incident. I was unable to bicycle to work this morning, so I drove, and I managed to provide sufficient surf lessons while being ginger with the movement of my left leg. Even while being a gimp, I managed to milk two $20 tips from the two lessons I had today. Sympathy? Perhaps, but a wise waiter once taught me many years ago when I was an ignorant and naive young waiter, a lesson that I've lived by ever since.

"Brian, does the customer want to tip you for becoming their new found food and beverage friend or would they rather tip you for having their food on time, their drinks filled, and their dirty plates cleared? Both avenues will get you a tip, but you'll have to decide what side of the food force to choose, but remember people are here to eat, not listen to you hustle for tips. You reek of desperation." I decided to become a man of duty. I became proficient in the dining experience to a point where it's now as effortless as walking. Thus, any of my customer service jobs become interrelated with this simple ideology. What is the offer or purpose of the product or service? This must be the primary goal, and if it is not, you are guilt tripping your customer into giving you money out of pitty. I couldn't live a hollow and insincere life like that. After 10 years in the business, I could go on and on...

I submitted this meme to @server_life
I hope I get noticed

I remember doing ATV tours and living by this creed. It even got me in big trouble with this company, to the point where I believe I'm no longer welcome to work there, such a shame. But if one were to sign up for an ATV tour albeit a "family" tour, were they not expecting to maximize their time riding ATVs? I thought so, and made it so. I got in trouble for "adding mileage" at no cost to anything we offered or anyone else to the tours I lead.

Well, time to rest. Hope I feel better in the morning! Big double for me tomorrow.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

An Inauspicious Day

The Far East has long had a tradition of using the ideology of Feng Shui for many things. I am not an expert on such matters and what little I may understand stems from the cult household design phenomenon that interior decorators live by, and the references characters make to the "almanac" in the novels I read regarding the Orient (yes, I used Orient). The "almanac" these characters refer to is used to calculate when to do something or what to name something in accordance to good fortune. Much like how some people view a horoscope. As I've read, it's often referenced to auspicious days or inauspicious days etc. I feel like I had one such inauspicious day this week.

Worked at the surf shop for an afternoon shift, had no lessons. Sold my friend a game cube, which unknowingly was broken. Didn't have parking immediately available for my student, got his car towed. I would believe this to be an "inauspicious" day.

Hoarding is nuts. I am thankful I've moved around quite a bit as an adult and have adopted a pretty nomadic lifestyle as far as belongings go because of which. The only things I really tote are my music gear and some select electric equipment items for computing and such. It's nuts.

No shave November for prostate cancer awareness is in full swing. Followed by man-scape December, and I've been toying around with the idea of getting my hair dyed black. I guess the biggest hangup is that I don't know of any bitchin' hair salons here on Oahu that specialize in off-the-wall rockstar hair do's.  I'll have some before and after photos by the beginning of December for sure.

I really hope to replace the restaurant job for an upgraded version of the same thing, someplace else. Why must hotels be so difficult to join here on Oahu?

"While Your Lips are Still Red" by Nightwish

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Five Years to the Date (+2 days)

It's been far too long since I last wrote. Today marks 5 years (and 2 days) of the 2nd part of my life. The significance of November 3rd is what I jokingly refer to as my own personal holiday. On this day I nearly lost my life, and maybe on another entry I can properly illustrate the circumstances of this event, but for today, here is an update.

It's been many months since I've moved into my new home, the Garden Island guitarslinger's fortress of solitude, the H.I.B.R.I. training stables, the Ishiki-ryu dojo, Brian's Bistro, the decked out inherited hermit crab shell. I've managed to record some basic tracks having moved into my new place, being that that was a major complaint of living with strangers, among having to share a refrigerator, kitchen, bathroom, laundry as well. The privacy has been crucial for allowing me more creative freedom.

"A Gift of a Thistle" from the movie Braveheart

This relocation to Oahu has given me a critical shift for my view on income, money, and lifestyle. Now that I've been getting paid to play guitar and slice in some heavy metal guitar solos in a versatile entertainment band (which has been a secret goal of mine to hold in tandem with a heavy metal group, being that the average person would have little interest in hearing the loud and intense guitaring of Leviathan) I've been trying to find other ways to get paid to do stuff that I would do for free otherwise.

After leaving the restaurant with $2 after completing one of my shifts in April or so, I decided I needed to find another consistent source of employment. It's make it or break it out here on Oahu for me, and I can not subside on $2 a shift. So, with the intention in mind that I tend to get better at anything I get paid to do, I decided to scour craigslist for some jobs. I stumbled upon an ad for surf instructor based out of Waikiki with bonus pay to those who have Japanese language skills. I thought to myself, perfect! I'm a mediocre surfer, and a 2 year old when it comes to Japanese, I'm there! So I applied and now, today, after coming a long way from the training days, I find myself with 2 set surf days (mirroring my 2 set days with the pop band), having much improved in both surfing and Japanese language. Score. Getting paid for something I would do for free anyway.

I decided to strip myself of my three banquet jobs and put myself on on-call scheduling, which means I never get called. Now that this has stabilized and I've weened myself of the reliance of the restaurant for its [non-existent] income I've been empowered to pursue more creative enterprises. This allowed me to meet this older fellow, which I lovingly refer to as my Hawaiian Gandalf/Merlin, only because he's an older like-minded musician, and we've been working on developing a little acoustic duo act. It's been great for me because it's been a day time thing for me and great practice with recording to a click track and learning material I don't know. It's nice to have a running partner too when it comes to recording.

And now, fairly recently I've managed to have enrolled two guitar students for my own little side business of teaching guitar lessons. It's been nice. Still, the full-time/part-time job with benefits has eluded me, but, I hope that that will soon change and that my Leviathan enterprise can find a solid and stable drummer.

I've been critically busy at times, and at times not at all, but even when the soup isn't stirred it will still remain murky for some time before the bits and pieces settle to the bottom. Still, I hope to post more now that I'm getting a more consistent schedule.

Stay tuned!