All posts filed under: Lifestyle

The Heart of the City at Minus 8 Degrees

A Valentine’s Day poem written during my walk to work.  A bus stop advertisement mentions “the heart of the city” and inspires the title. The Heart of the City at Minus 8 Degrees The smell of rotten vegetables touches my nostrils The city is a fermenting refrigerator A hint of freshly dug dirt The sidewalk under repair Diesel exhaust – Frozen hearts of the workmen Engines running to stay warm on Valentine’s Day ___ Hardened souls, Yet the scent of colognes and perfumes Betrays secret desires How embarrassing to need love Hold me, on Valentine’s Day ___ My eyes meet other eyes For a moment, the reality of city life: Wide open hearts, closed windows Always I wonder Who is chasing whom, Valentine?   Critical Thinking: Take two minutes to mentally review your day, recalling images  and seeing them behind your closed eyes.  Write a short poem of your own.  Three or four lines will do!  Use a metaphor, which is a literary device for comparison and symbolism, a word or description is applied to …

Travel Pics: A Day At Tokyo DisneySea

While in Japan earlier this month, I finally made the journey to Tokyo DisneySea. I’ve been to Tokyo three times before and it’s so easy to get to, but not once did I visit Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea.  Time to see what it’s about!  As usual, critical thinking questions follow! Disney Sea is for Adults The first thing you’ll realize at Tokyo DisneySea is how popular it is with adults. Compared to Tokyo Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland, the ratio of adults to children is much higher here.   The atmosphere of DisneySea seems more adult themed: less cartoon-y, fewer venues with overly-cheerful music (not It’s a Small World!), less emphasis on animated characters and princesses.  Instead, the park is set up like a sailing adventure.  The architecture create fantasy scenes from the Middle East, the Mediterranean, South America, and early 20th century New York waterfront.  There are also make-believe locations such as Triton’s kingdom and the Mermaid Lagoon.  In the background to the right, you can see the Islamic architecture of Aladdin and Jasmine’s kingdom. Remember when you …

Love and Cosmic Loneliness

“You’re my one in seven billion…”  (below: Hong Kong view from the Peak, 2018) If you reflect deeply enough on human life experience, you might eventually encounter the existentialist belief that we are all suffering from “cosmic loneliness”.  In regards to existentialism, cosmic loneliness refers to the idea that our perceptions, emotions, and the qualia of the physical world as it touches our senses give each of us a truly separate experience. This isn’t just about life in general, but it applies to events, too. No matter what action I do, even when performed in the same way as others performed it, I can’t claim to have any better access to their experiences than someone else who hadn’t performed that act. Think about the experience of viewing a sunrise. Even as millions of others viewed the sunset from Hong Kong’s Peak in similar fashion to the way I view it, with the light hitting my eyes as I stand on the well-worn path, there are still at least a few ways that my experience is …

My Post-Vacation Blues

The post-vacation blues are a real thing.  It’s not just jet-lag, which I manage to avoid by timing my meals, staying very hydrated, using masks and headsets on the plane, and exercising to get my body back in the schedule.  Post-vacation blues are more difficult to manage because it’s a perspective that takes over.  Brain overstimulation in the form of sights, sounds, delicious foods, shopping, sunshine, and immersion in a new culture. I got back from an exciting two week vacation on Tuesday, just four days ago. At first I was really busy with work for my Pragmatism class at UBC, and then writing.  But today I had to go into my workplace and it struck me again: real life is, well… it’s just not vacation! 😦 It’s easy to idealize a foreign culture and way of life when you’re in a good mood and having fun.  So, what’s the cure to my post-vacation blues? Why can’t I love my “regular” life as much as vacation? Solution: Find the beauty in regular life.  Lucky that …

Travel Blog: Hong Kong Consumerism as an Identity

As I write, I am sitting in Hong Kong International Airport awaiting my flight to Narita from Hong Kong.  I knew my first post-Hong Kong blog post had to be about one thing: consumerism, and specifically consumerism of brand name products. That’s because one of the first things you’ll notice about Hong Kong is the prominence of high-end brand names: Atelier, Balenciaga, Chanel, Ermenegildo Zegna, Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Hermes, I.W.C., Jaeger-LeCoultre, Kenzo, Louis Vuitton, Montblanc, to name just a few.  Pacific Place and IFC are just two of the places where you can literally find everything on a “high brand” shopping list.  It’s not just foreign brands that are popular, either.  On practically every street corner in Hong Kong you are almost guaranteed to see a beacon of bright red and gold – jewelry stores Chow Tai Fook, Luk Fook, and Chow Sang Sang.  No matter what direction you turn, there are opportunities to brand the most special moment of your marriage with their trademark. Is it just the mainland Chinese tourists that are driving …

Fasting Benefits: Weight Loss, Mental Clarity, Anxiety, and Anti-aging

Keywords: fasting, natural remedy, health, anti-aging, mental health, anxiety, ketogenic diet, spiritual growth Yesterday I fasted and today is day two. I started on Monday night at around 9 pm and have only had tea and sparkling water. I was feeling a bit dizzy this morning so I had some salt and nutritional yeast. I broke my fast this evening with vegetable fish-broth soup and beef brisket (with no ill effects!) at Deer Garden Signatures in Vancouver on Fraser Street. Yum! Why fast? The idea of going without food for at least 24 hours, and still not yet knowing when I’ll eat again, might seem crazy to some people. Most of the times I’ve told people that I am fasting, I hear a version of one of the following: “That’s not good for you! Starving yourself is unhealthy.” “You’ll make yourself sick.” “You’ll become anorexic.” Well, now, none of those are true about fasting. First of all, consider that every major world religion and culture has some mention of fasting for health. Biblical religions prescribe …