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Posts Tagged ‘life’

Favorite LEGO memory

26.11.2010 03:35

A recent post by Chris Pirillo described one of his favorite memories, where he got his first LEGO set.

I, too, was once a LEGO fanatic. From early childhood and up to my late youth, I’ve have LEGO sets in a wide variety. At some point, my parents even got me a big storage sack; when placed onto the floor, the pieces laid out in the open on a big, flat fabric circle, and when I was done playing for the day, we just gathered up wayward pieces to the center of the pile, grabbed all the rope loops surrounding the edges of the fabric, and lifted it up to make a nice sack to hang on a knob or some other safe storage place. You know, like this one.

Anyway, I can recall what my first LEGO set was. It was in 1983, I had recently turned 3, and my baby sister was just born (my birthday’s in mid-February, she was born in mid-March). Granted, my memory is rather vague (no specific details), but I recall this LEGO set in particular. We called it my Postman Pat LEGO car, although it had no actual relation to the TV show. It just looked kinda the same.

You can see the similarity, right? The Postman Pat image is from Wikipedia, the LEGO set images are from Peeron. Still copied off without any permission whatsoever.

I remember showing off this toy to my mom while visiting the hospital right after my sister was born, and I was quite hung up on dismantling and building this set over and over (this part of the memory is filled in through stories my mom has told me, though). It was the start of my creativity as I know it today, and thinking back, I wouldn’t want to be without having LEGO in my life.

Now I’m grown up, and even though I had a recurring stint of buying LEGO sets about 10 years ago (yes, in my early twenties), these were donated to a local school during a major cleanup operation at home, and I believe my original bag of LEGOs were given to my almost-step-brother (his mother and my dad weren’t married, they just lived together from the time he was less than a year until his early school days – his mother and my dad did have my youngest sister together in that time, though).

I no longer own any LEGO sets, but the memories remain. I would always be able to recommend LEGO sets to parents with young children.

Oh-kay!

18.02.2010 02:28

Believe it or not, I actually got a reply from SAS Norway (airlines) via Twitter, as well as replies to my blog post about my airplane woes earlier this month. Apology was accepted, and I actually learned something new about air travel.

The few of you who actualy read my blog might notice that the comments to my blog post didn’t appear at once. That’s because I’ve set up the blog system to let me approve the first comments from someone (by which time their comments will be auto-approved). This is more to avoid comment spam, something which is (thankfully) due to a secondary system of the new blog system. I always approve comments that are not spam and not direct attacks on my person, just give me time.

Also,  the more perceptive of you might’ve noticed that I also just turned 30. I’m already done ranting about my life achievements, but the big day more or less came and went. I had an aunt and uncle over for coffee and cake (not originally planned), and I’ll have another aunt and uncle over tomorrow (Thursday). I’m having a larger family gathering on Friday (with dinner), and I might go clubbing on Saturday (I haven’t decided just yet). The clubbing run might include finding a special someone, but to avoid being disappointed, I’m not going to make that the primary goal.

I’m a man of very few friends (and many acquaintances), so the clubbing run will also be an alone run, as usual.

I don’t go out clubbing much, really, I go out rougly two or three times a year (not counting when I’m on vacations). I like going where people are (as long as it’s not overcrowded), but since I’m a shy guy, I have difficulty hooking up with anyone, even as basic as “just friends” (my list of actual close friends proves that).

My shyness seems to be my biggest hinder, both with gaining friends and finding a life partner, and I have no idea how to overcome that hinder. Just jumping in to the ocean of relationships is not an option, my shyness sees to that (in case any of you were going to suggest that).

Then again, a compliment I got from a pair of girls at the aforementioned singles party (after the matching cards had been given out) does suggest that I’m boyfriend material. They didn’t seem interested in me in particular, but they were trying to push me to go seek out my matches, as I seemed like a very nice guy who deserved it.

So apparently, I seem like a nice guy, and a safe bet, it’s just that there’s this wall of shyness (and appearance) blocking the view. I just never seem to catch a break, at least not good enough for someone to see the person inside the body fat.

Okay, I’m done now. I promised not to rant too much about my life goals, and yet I did. I guess I just don’t seem to get over it. Ah, the sad life of a loner.

Back from Oslo

08.02.2010 15:30

I landed in Ålesund again last night, and wasn’t home until 11pm. I was so tired, I barely had time to get updated on the latest news and read my e-mail before falling asleep in front of my computer.

The flights were just fine, so was the hotel, although unless they plan to redecorate in the near future, I don’t plan on staying there again. The room was clean (which is the most important thing), but the decoration style (the bathroom in particular) was clearly not from this site of Y2K. The shower water pressure wasn’t up to standards either. But, anyway.

Saturday’s singles party was indeed somewhat of a grand event. Then again, my shy self (and the fact that I arrived about 8pm, an hour after it actually opened) contributed to me sitting alone so-to-speak all of the time. I didn’t get a chance to actually meet and talk to anyone, as all females in the interesting age range (from 20 and expanded upwards to around 35, just for the hell of it) were already in mid-conversation with a guy or two.

Then, at 11pm, the time came for  handing out the matching cards. When we arrived, we got nametags (simple stickers and a permanent marker) with the nickname we use on that dating website (can you guess which one I use?), and our photo was taken and attached to our nickname. The result for me was this (which I scanned in once I got home):

Match card, ages looked up at the dating website: nak (age 30, match 91), Maia82 (age 27, match 91), idita85 (age 24, match 91), ennah80 (age 29, match 91), SøsterMaja (age 26, match 90), liza_elle (age 23, match 90), helligku (age 24, match 89), wingwoman (age 25, match 89), kristy27 (age 27, match 88), ssl (age 28, match 88), Lindav82 (age 27, match 88), Gizly (age 31, match 87), Jenpen (age 25, match 87), Cadi (age 31, match 86), ida1984 (age unknown, match 86), whippet (age 24, match 86), Merrilee (age 29, match 86), Julia82 (age 27, match 86)

The blue background just means that I’m a guy (girls’ cards had a red background). For the ones who hadn’t already hooked up with an interesting person, it was almost a hunt to find anyone on their cards. All the girls on my matching card were good looking to me, but I had trouble finding any of them. In fact, I did cross paths with one in the top row, but she was already walking through a crowd with someone dragging behind her.

So basically, this whole singles event was a fruitless search for me. Bummer. Then again, my expectation for the evening was to gain some field experience for myself. I can’t say it was a big gain, but at least I had a change of surroundings for once.

On a more positive note, while I was already there, I met up my friend and his wife, who both had moved to Oslo late last year (he was offered a better position in the company he worked at, which meant he had to relocate to their office in Oslo, simple as that). We went out for dinner a few hours before I headed off to that party,  and I was invited to dinner at their place on Sunday. It was great to see where he now lives and catch up on other things in life.

Creeping birthdays

01.02.2010 21:03

Birthdays don't creep anymore - Garfield (reprin.... bah, you know the drill)

Yes, my 30th birthday is rapidly approaching (only a couple of weeks away), and I still haven’t made much of my life. This, of course puts some self-applied pressure on me, considering I haven’t achieved as much in life as I had hoped for at this point. I still live in my mother’s basement, I’m still single and unattached, and any sign of offspring is highly dependant on the previous two. I also haven’t reached as high career-wise as I had hoped for. All these thoughts don’t exactly help me keep my spirits up on a daily basis. What is it about decennial birthdays that brings on these kinds of thoughts?

This is the kind of thinking that pushed me to attending a large singles party in Oslo this coming weekend. Earlier this year, I noticed that one of the dating websites (Norwegian only) was hosting a grand event for singles in Oslo on Feb 6. From what I’ve read, this singles party is somewhat of a regular thing, and these usually have 500-1000 attendees, and usually only members of that dating website may attend (others may attend only by invitation from an existing member, something that also has to be authorized by the dating website). Once the party starts, matching cards with photos are handed out, and these include your best matches of the people at this party.

Three weeks ago, I made up my mind to attend this one (for the first time), so I ordered a ticket for myself (the party ain’t free, ya know), booked the flights and hotel (Oslo is a little under an hour flight in each direction), pre-paid for transportation from the airport to the hotel (and back), all completed and confirmed in less than 30 minutes (I had checked up on prices the week before, just to fuel my decision). Thank goodness for Travellink (a site similar to Expedia, both in pricing and concept – I used them for booking the flights from home to Orlando when I went to the US last summer) for making the flight and hotel booking simple and affordable (even for a 4 star hotel like Radisson Blu Scandinavia). Who can pass up such a great offer when it’s even smack dab in the middle of Oslo?

The flight leaves this Friday evening (liftoff at 8:25 pm from Ålesund, landing in Oslo at 9:20 pm), and the return flight is on Sunday evening (liftoff at 9:45 pm, landing in Ålesund 10:40 pm). The bus ride between the airport and the hotel in Oslo takes almost an hour, but at least that bus stops right outside the hotel entrance, so I won’t have far to walk (I’ll find something to pass time on the bus, don’t you worry). Transportation (bus, taxi, parents driving, whatnot) to and from the airport near Ålesund takes 15-20 minutes, so I won’t be home until it’s closer to 11-11:30 pm that Sunday. I deliberately wanted a late flight on Friday so I won’t have to miss work, and I sincerely hope I’ll get to check out late on Sunday (considering I have about 6 hours to kill after the usual checkout time until I head out to the airport). Like I did when I went on vacation alone to Copenhagen and to the USA, I’ve planned most of my trip down to the detail; I’ve pre-paid for and received a tram ticket (which was 25 NOK when pre-purchased on the web or at a convenience store in Oslo, but 40 NOK if paid to the tram driver/conductor) to use when travelling from the hotel to the party (the tram stops right around the corner from my hotel, and also stops under a city block from the party location); I’ve written down tram times (every 20 minutes, it takes 17 minutes from the hotel to the party); I’ve researched taxi companies and prices in Oslo (for the return trip to my hotel), and written down phone numbers for the 5 biggest. I’ve even saved map images around my hotel (walking route from the hotel to the tram stop) and around the party location (walking route from the end tram stop to the party) on my phone. All times (flight, party and return flight) have been plotted into my calendar and synced to my phone, and relevant info has been included in each of those calendar times.

Sometimes, I think I plan too much. Then again, planning is part of what makes it a safe trip, and leaves the remaining time (aside from the flights and the party itself) up for spontinaity.

The party may result in a girlfriend, or it may not. My goal for the party is to at the very least breach a boundary in me to go out and find love more actively (rather than spending time with my family and my introverted self – don’t get me wrong, I love the family time, I just want more than that).

Never having had a proper girlfriend does something to you (and I’m not counting “girlfriends” from kindergarten and grade school). However, I have made my observations on other couples, as well as reading into a lot of articles and forum posts on dating, romance (actual romance, not novel or fantasy romance), relationships, sexuality, conflicts and stuff like that. In short, as with sex, I have taken in all the theory I can get my hands on (which is, btw, a continuing quest for information), but I have yet to take all that theory into practice on a real live person. I now intend to do something more active to rid myself of my relationship virginity (of sorts). How that will actually play out, remains to see. I hope I don’t have to move away from Ålesund for it to happen, though (I just love my hometown in spite of all the cold weather – then again, what happens, happens).

Of course, my sister’s pregnancy and the pending arrival of my first niece in May does make me feel left out in a way. I may be putting too much pressure on myself, but being 3 years older than my sister, I had hoped to be close to 3 years ahead in life than her as well. That obviously didn’t happen. Instead, I’m left with a feeling of not having achieved anything significant in life at the entrance of my first 30 years as a human being.

That’s not to say I’m happy for my sister and her boyfriend, because I am. I just wished I had something like she has. And every time I catch myself in envy over my sister, I also feel ashamed for (in my mind) putting pressure on her (I’m only thinking about that pressure, though, I’m not actually putting any pressure on her).

Then again, I’m also still (relatively) young, and my seeds don’t t have the same expire date as a female’s eggs, but I’ve reached the point in life where I actually look forward to bringing a new life to the world, and perhaps even experience being a grandfather before it’s too late, in addition to having someone to grow old with. How’s that for a comfort level and sense of commitment? And that’s even before having someone to share it with!

I hope life still has something special in store for me, and I’m sure it does. It just isn’t happening soon enough!

Now, how’s that for a rant about life?