I woke up yesterday morning prepared to grind away at Cruise Sheet all day. This is actually a great type of day for me-- I love non-workout days when I have the whole day to block off and make huge amounts of progress. I always start the same way, though: tea and email.
In my email I had an offer for two free tickets to Nicki Minaj in Las Vegas at the new T-Mobile arena. I was in San Francisco. I immediately reserved them and emailed friends to see if anyone wanted to come. My friend Lenore, whose go-to Karaoke song is Super Bass, snagged a cheap flight and agreed to go.
I still got a ton of work done on the plane, but my day ended much differently than I had expected when I woke up.
The night before I was having dinner with a bunch of my friends. We talked about music, and people got on my case because I said that I wasn't a huge fan of any female artists. I'm not a big Nicki Minaj fan, although I do like a bunch of her songs and collaborations. The point being that I didn't go to Vegas because I was a huge Nicki Minaj fan, I went because it was a spontaneous adventure.
You know how some people have jobs that sound really cool at first, and then you realize that because they do it all day it's probably not all that interesting to them? I took a flying trapeze class a couple weeks ago in Vegas which was a lot of fun for me, but was very obviously not fun for the guy who had to hang on the trapeze and catch us.
Spontaneous events are the exact opposite of those sorts of things. Events that you have to go to are less fun than they should be, but events you weren't expecting to attend end up being more fun than those you had planned. Think about how much my friend and I enjoyed the concert versus a lighting technician working there.
A couple takeaways here. The obvious one is to just do spontaneous things once in a while. It's a good way to have a multiplier on activities, to make them more fun or interesting without much cost. Or you can surprise other people, making their life more spontaneous as a result of your planning.
The other takeaway is to think about how variable your level of delight is. I was in the same room listening to the same music as a light tech, but I enjoyed the concert more because of external factors. Does it have to be that way? Could he enjoy it as much as I did?
I think about this all the time when I'm working. I spend so much time working that any additional enjoyment I can squeeze out of it increases my overall enjoyment of life. I think about bugs as little logic puzzles and delight in trying to understand them and figure out a solution. When I build a new feature I imagine that I'm constructing a new building in my little online kingdom.
Like so many other things, it's a problem to work from both ends. Be aware that delight is variable and can be increased through gratitude and perspective, but also go to Nicki Minaj concerts on a whim sometimes. I mean, seriously-- where else are you ever going to see a butt that big?
Photo is right before the concert. Not sure how I managed to forget to take photos.
Back in SF now for the calm before the storm... Tokyo, Melbourne, Sydney, and then a cruise from there to Seattle, followed by an island trip.
I spent the weekend in Hong Kong, which sounds a lot more extravagant than it actually was. Early last year there was a flight deal that offered a round trip flight to Hong Kong cheaply enough that the miles earned in the process were worth the price of the ticket, and the flight alone was very nearly enough to earn Platinum status on American Airlines. In other words, the flight was such a good deal that it was worth going for just two days.
And besides, I had unfinished business in Hong Kong, or rather, in Macau. Todd and I came here six years ago, and only when it was too late did we find out that the world's tallest bungie jump was in Macau. I've never bungie jumped before, and I knew I had to wait until I was back. Why jump if it's not the tallest one out there?
So yesterday we went to Macau. We bought our ferry tickets from a slightly sketchy tout who sold us first class tickets for less than coach price. Both of them said that they were only valid when used by "Hoi Pang", but we must both look like Hoi, because no one batted an eye.
Macau is essentially the Las Vegas of Asia. At the ferry terminal we saw a free shuttle bus to the Wynn, and figured we may as well use it to get to where everything is. We walked around the Wynn, which is extremely similar to the one in Vegas, except that all of the signage is also in Chinese. Starving, we ate at Red Eight, which was so good and cheap that we double checked the conversion rates on our phones.
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Gay male (Photo credit: Wikipedia)"][/caption]
I was watching The Graham Norton Show on BBC1 Friday night and I noticed that guest Zac Efron was wearing a pair of bright rainbow colored socks. The next time I refreshed my Twitter feed (@justxjosh for those that don't already follow me) I was bombarded by tweets of "I love how Zac Efron promotes gay equality" and other such drivel and I was genuinely a little disheartened by how much people in support of gay equality find meaning in the most abstract of ways.
Is everything around us now a symbol for something? If Zac's technicolor sock choice automatically present him as a supporter of gay rights rather than a lover of quirky undergarments does that mean my love for watermelon makes me an advocate for Martin Luther King month? Has my favourite military style jacket now become a symbol for my supporting of our troops? Does the fact that I know all the words to Nicki Minaj's 'Super Bass' now mean I'm a passionate spokesperson for woman's equality, freedom of expression and the peoples right to wear wigs?
No, no and no. Can we all just take a second to breathe and remind ourselves that sometimes a pair of socks is nothing more than a pair of socks, a watermelon is just a delicious way to get one of your five a day, a military jacket is just fashionable and that Nicki Minaj is just fierce. Not everything we say, do or wear is fraught with hidden meaning and symbolism. Our lives are not discarded plots in a Dan Brown novel. Just chill out and enjoy them for what they are.