Updates: December 31, 2011

It’s been a while since I wrote anything here, not counting posting the interviews I did during the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). So what happened? Well for starters, it’s not because of lack of time but I think it was more towards lack of discipline and probably lack of effort.

After VIFF, my brain was fried. Strangely enough the first thing I wanted to do after having watched 60 films in 16 days was to go watch more movies. Specifically Hollywood produced movies. I just wanted to watch something predictable for a change. I look at movies in a film festival as vegetables and Hollywood films as steak and junk food and comfort food. They’re not healthy for you if you keep eating them every day but in moderation, it’s all good.

Sometimes though, you do get the occasional hearty vegetable or healthy dish out of Hollywood. But now a days, those are too few and far in between. They mostly come out in the fall or during Oscar season.

As for me, I’m a meat eater. I belong in the Anthony Bourdain church of having vegans crucified as to prevent their genes from getting passed on to future generations. Basically during the festival I turned vegan for 16 days. So I was really craving for some meat.

The first movie I saw after VIFF was “Real Steel”. I thought it was stupid judging from the trailers but surprisingly it was very good. It was gloriously fun. The next day, I went with my mom and watched the remake of “Footloose”. It was OK. It was very predictable but I didn’t expect much from it in the first place. 3 days later, my mom and I watched “The Ides of March”. So from “Real Steel” to “Footloose” to “The Ides of March” it was a perfect combination of steak to junk food to vegetable movie consumption.

After that I was refreshed. I first started working on transcribing and publishing my interviews. That took me a couple of weeks. But after I finished publishing my interviews I didn’t want to do anything else. I didn’t want to write reviews of movies I saw during VIFF. I didn’t want to write a chronicle of my VIFF experience. My interest suddenly shifted to wanting to write and finish my scripts. That’s what I have been doing lately. Well the proper term would be “trying to write a script”.

If I’m not working on my day job, my day mostly consists of idea gathering. I define “idea gathering” as me just reading books, watching movies, TV, loafing around just trying to come up with ideas for a story. If you have seen the movie “Young Adult” starring Charlize Theron, it’s similar to that. Occasionally, I go into Charlie Kaufman territory, like in the movie “Adaptation”.

Pretty boring stuff but I actually like it.

I like the freedom of doing whatever I want and not be stuck on a 9 to 5 job. If only I don’t have to worry about the money to support myself. I guess that is what we all want in life; getting to do what we want to do and be paid to do it.

There is a saying, “You don’t feel like you have worked a day in your life if you are doing what you love.” I have made that saying my motto in life.

It’s a simple principle but it is very hard to achieve because we need money to survive. We search and strive to be in a position where we get paid handsomely to do a job that we love and would gladly do it for free. Only few people get to do that. Most of the time, we are forced to do things that we don’t like for the sake of money and supporting ourselves.

We tell ourselves, “this is only temporary” but we forget that life moves so fast. We can easily fall into a routine and the next thing you know 2 years, 5 years, 10 years have passed and you still haven’t achieved your dreams. Then one day you wake up and your dream is dead. You have given up on it. You settle with what you currently have. You learn to like what you are doing or at the very least tolerate it.

There is a huge difference of liking and loving what you do from the very start and LEARNING to like what you do, learning to like the hand that you have been dealt with.

That happened to my mom. She is an accountant. That’s her profession. But it’s not a career she chose wholeheartedly. After graduating from High School, she wanted to become a doctor. But her parents didn’t want her to be a doctor because they wanted my uncle to be the one who will study medicine and become the doctor. They told her to just take accounting.

My grandparents had high hopes for my uncle because he was a guy. During that time, guys get more opportunities than girls. I guess it’s just how things were back then. Unlike now, where it’s more equal.

She loved and respected her parents and she did what they wanted her to do. She went to university and dutifully took accounting. Over time she learned to like her profession. Then one day, I was born and her life is not her own anymore. She is responsible for someone else now. From that moment on, she buried her dream and found a new one. 

My mom never believes in dwelling on the past and on what ifs. She believes if you do that, it makes you bitter and sad.

The ironic thing is my uncle didn’t want to become a doctor. He dropped out from his courses and decided to study Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM). The profession fit his outgoing personality. He liked dealing with people and providing good customer service. He has been working in a hotel ever since.

Later on, my grandparents would look back and regretted not sending my mom to medical school. My mom would tell me that if she had her way and became a doctor, I would not be born today. She is probably right. In a weird twist of fate I have to thank my grandparents for not sending my mother to medical school. It’s funny how life would turn out.  

I swore to myself that I would never live my life doing something I don’t want to do. No matter what, I will pursue what I love.

I love movies and I love storytelling. I want to become a movie Director. If I can’t be that then I want to be a Cinematographer. If I can’t be that then I want to be a writer like Ernest Hemingway meets Hunter S. Thompson, travelling the world going on adventures and living life to the fullest and of course, write some novels along the way. If I can’t be that then I want to be a movie Producer.

So I have lot of possibilities.

After the film festival, nothing much happened, other than me badly spraining my ankle on November 20. In a weird twist of fate, I was hurrying to watch a documentary about Fishbone at the Pacific Cinematheque. I sprained my ankle when I was crossing the street. Instead of going home, I decided to continue and go to the theatre. Afterwards, I could barely stand on my left foot. I was on crutches for 3 weeks. It was a pain in the ass and I missed getting to attend the European Union Film Festival.  

You don’t realize how blessed and lucky you are until you lose the use of one of your feet or leg and you are forced to walk, support your entire body, and live on one leg. Don’t get me started on how a bitch it is to live your life using crutches, especially when you are overweight and out of shape. But I guess one needs to be reminded from time to time the value of being able to use both of our legs and feet.

The Lesson: Don’t be cheap and keep using your old worn out shoes, especially if the back heel is worn out on one side and uneven. You might catch yourself crossing a street and have your feet suddenly buckle and next thing you know, you have a major sprain and can’t use that feet for weeks.             

That’s how life is, a series of twists of fate. One moment you are healthy and the next thing you are in bed for 3 weeks. Looking back before I sprained my ankle, I was debating whether I should go out and watch the movie or stay at home. I was feeling lazy at that time but I forced myself to go. That one choice created a domino effect.

Most of the time, we don’t think about our choices. My mother didn’t know that by dutifully following her parents and study accounting, that it would later lead her to giving birth to me. How can one know these things? We think we know but in truth we don’t know shit. We try to predict, plan, do whatever we can to know for certain the outcome of our choices but in the end it’s up in the air how it would turn out. It’s true, life rarely goes according to plan.

That uncertainty is the biggest reason why people stop themselves from doing and pursuing what they love and what makes them happy. Fear of the unknown. Fear of not knowing how things would turn out. It took me almost 30 years to realize this.

One cannot live forever inside ones house and be content to swim inside our comfort zones. One must not be afraid to sprain his ankle, to break his heart, and to fail miserably in choosing to live life. I think that is the biggest fear each one of us face in our lives, the fear of really living. Maybe once you conquer that fear will only then you would be truly free. 

…………….

Now it’s December 31, 2011, the last day of 2011. Looking back on the year, nothing big happened. It was more of a year trying to figure things out. The biggest thing that happened is I created this website.

Looking forward to 2012, I pray to God that it is not the end of world.  According to the Mayans, the world will end on December 21, 2012. Personally, I don’t want the world to end. I don’t think anyone would want to either, unless if they’re crazy or a hipster.

I saw this show on History channel about the doomsday predictions. They had the Mayans, Nostradamus, the Bible and other sources pointing towards the end of the world and all are predicting towards the same time frame.  

A few weeks back some experts said the Mayans are wrong. I hope they are right but you never know. No one actually knows the future, except God. So I’m keeping an open mind. All I can do is just pray and hope and not think about it. I think if you think about it too much, it will cripple you. I think there is a reason why God doesn’t tell you the exact time and date of your death.

But if it will indeed come to pass that 12 months from now judgment day will come or just plain old THE END for everyone, like in the movie “Melancholia” then I would like to say, “It has been a great ride. I may not have lived an adventurous life, ala Indiana Jones as I wanted to or made anything significant like saving the world or be a male version of Mother Theresa or be like Tony Stark – a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, and super hero. But overall, I have been blessed with a good life compared to most people. Looking back, I have made a LOT of mistakes and I have wasted a big chunk of it doing useless, stupid, non-productive activities. But it’s ok, that’s how life goes. There are no do-overs or a restart button. You just have to keep moving forward.”

Anyway, just because the world might end 12 months from now doesn’t mean I’m going to stop living my life. I’m looking at 2012 as a big year for me. It’s time to put my plans into action and start getting into real adventures.

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