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Lost, Jaded, and without Direction

I feel like a dork writing this post. It’s certainly #firstworldproblems and I’m certainly lucky to be able to do this but … I’m kind of freaking out.

I mentioned I quit my job and decided to travel. But now I’m finding travel is kind of .. um, overrated? I guess that’s a personality thing. Some people might find it invigorating to travel long term. Me, not so much. Elizabeth Dunn claims long vacations don’t make you more happy than short ones. The advice seems to be take lots of short trips rather the 1 long trip. Sitting on a beach watching the sunset is great but after a while everything gets old? I don’t know if that makes any sense. Maybe a more common example is going to say 5 different cities in Europe and after visiting the biggest church, market, museum in the first 3 cities not really feeling like visiting the more churches, markets, and museums in the remaining 2.

Another thing that’s happened is my burn rate is higher than I expected. I don’t like naming numbers because it makes people jealous and reveals how lucky I am and how whining about it so messed up but … as I mentioned I was paying certain amount a month in San Francisco for rent. So, my goal was to spend not too much more than that for hotels while traveling. That means staying at places under a certain amount a night. Except for hostels though that’s a really hard goal to meet in certain places. I managed it in some cities in Europe but London? Not a chance. Singapore? No way. Honolulu. Not even close. Tokyo I managed to rent a short term apartment within my budget but only because I committed to being there several months.

I guess all of that is basically the long way of saying I feel pressure to choose a place and live there to lower my expenses. And that brings up my issue. Where? I still have no clue what I want to do. Indie games? I need partner(s). Do I really want to do make indie games? I don’t know.

Teach? Clearly I’ve written several educational articles on my other blog and I’ve been answering questions on stack overflow which makes me feel good but teaching sounds like a very low-paying job and I’m not sure I’m willing to go there. Also teaching sounds like a highly political job at most schools. Maybe I should start my own? But I have no clue how to do that or if I’m motivated or skilled enough to do it, or if I’d even find it fulfilling. Even scarier is trying to keep up with tech while teaching.

Maybe make some kind of web app? I have no idea what that would be. Better forum software? A better dating site? (not even sure how to make it better. My sole idea is to try to brainstorm a way to get rid of the aholes and still manage to get people to sign up.

A mobile app? Like what?

Just go back to work? That feels safe but dumb given the opportunity now to do my own thing.

Something else entirely? No ideas there.

But that’s just it, where do I settle? SF? LA? NYC? Tokyo? Singapore?

And —how— do I find motivation? I don’t feel like traveling has helped that at all, except maybe to make me realize I’d rather be somewhere more permanent and doing something productive rather than just sightseeing. Maybe I should go to a bunch of tech conferences, hack-a-thons, or game jams? The #1 thing that dissuades me from doing that is just how big a sausage fest each one of those is. It’s depressing for some reason. It feels like choosing to be alone and nerdy by choosing to do stuff where there are generally only men. I know that’s irrational … or is it?

Another which I also mentioned before is I’m just not as big a gamer anymore. A play maybe 4-5 games a year to completion? I’m not addicted to Candy Crush Saga or Puzzles and Dragons, I never got into Pokemon, Everquest, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Counterstrike, Skyrim, or any fighting game. I haven’t been able to get sucked into an RPG since the mid 90s. I appreciate new ideas like Portal, World of Goo, Braid, FTL, Anti-Chamber but I’ve rarely gotten into them. I’ve never played DOTA or League of Legends. In fact until a year ago I had never heard of it. I guess what I’m saying it’s it’s hard to work up the motivation to start an indie game studio if I’m not actually feeling it anymore. Maybe hanging around other gamers would bring back that love of games?

I also need social support, as in friends. If that’s my goal I either have to pick Tokyo or else make a serious effort to make some new friends, something I’ve never done in my life. All of my friends up to this point have been naturally occuring for lack of a better way to say it.

A World with no Privacy - The Movie

The sci-fi series, Black Mirror covered some of the ideas of this future in their 3rd episode “The Entire History of You”

Check it out if you can.

Void Metabolism

I don’t quite even get what that title means but it was all over an exhibit I saw at the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery.

I’m not 100% sure what the exhibit’s point was but there were several parts. The first was a very large screen with video projected showing some part of Tokyo as seen from above very similar to Google Maps satellite view. The difference where was it as supposed to be a time lapsed video showing the city changing over time, buildings demolished and new ones built etc. I can’t imagine it was real but I suppose it could have been.
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A World With No Privacy

It annoys the crap out of me when someone tells me I can’t take a picture. Examples: I go into a department store. I want to take a picture of some cool merchandise that I want to show some friends. The clerk comes up and says “no pictures”. I’m at a festival. Someone is selling some cool art/t-shirts whatever. I want to take a picture but am told “no pictures”. In Customs there are signs everywhere, “No photography”.

Well, if you’ve seen Google’s Project Glass or things like Looxcie you can see a glimpse of the future. Those devices are always recording and while that might be the next generation of gadget, the one after that is something actually embedded in your eye or head or maybe even just contact lens that have a camera in them.
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Robot Restaurant

When I visited Japan in November 2012 the first things one of my friends asked me was “Hey Gman, are you going to visit the Robot Restaurant?” I was like “Wat? What’s that?” They just said go check it out so … I did
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What's up with the small backpacks?

Remember in the mid to late 90s when small backpacks were all the rage for women? Well, now they are all the rage for men in Japan apparently.

Honestly I don’t know how popular they are but shopping around Tokyo in 2012 every men’s store seemed to have tons of them. The crazy thing to me is they seemed too small to be all that useful. I suppose you could put a Nexus 7, Kindle or iPad Mini inside but you can’t carry much else. What do they put in them? Point and Shoot camera? A single novel? I’m sure some Japanese men’s magazine would spell this all out for me but I didn’t have time to check.
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Being Inconsiderate

Excuse the swearing. I thought about editing this but decided this is how I wanted it. Raw.

Just in case you haven’t actually thought about what being “inconsiderate” means it means “to not consider”. I’m going to assume you believe that being inconsiderate is bad, dickish, not cool, something your parents tried to raise you not be. So why is it sooooo many people are so fucking inconsiderate? I suppose it comes from the definition …. they don’t consider. They are too self centered and selfish to consider others or just oblivious. What am I talking about? Let’s take some examples.
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Men's Coin Purses? Yes Please!

I have no idea why but for some reason there are no men’s coin purses in the USA or at least on San Francisco. Go to Macy’s or Nordstrom’s or Bloomingdale’s and you won’t find a single one. This is despite the fact that they carry many of the same brands of clothing and accessories (Paul Smith, Burberry, etc..)

At some point, partly due to the humidity in Japan, I got tired of having a pocket full of lose change that I had to rummage through to find coins so I picked up a coin purse. I’m not going back.


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Where's the Shoes?

Where are the shoes? I should have taken more pictures but when I visit Japan my consumerism is on full impulse power and I’m especially jealous of all the cool shoes available to Japanese men.


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Looking for a Backpack

Today’s spoiled consumer rant … I’m looking for a new backpack. My old one is around 10 years old and fraying. I got it at Uniqlo back when they used to carry backpacks (they don’t anymore). It’s been great and I still use it. But, I carry my notebook PC more and more and it’s less than smooth getting the PC in. It’s got an inside pocket for a notebook but if the bag is full or if the area is cramped, like when I’m on a bus, then it can by hard to get the PC back in. Sometimes I end up just carrying it outside the bus until I have room to force the bag straight to get the PC to fit the pocket.

So, I’m looking for a new one and it’s surprising with just a few, I would think, common sense requirements it’s hard to find a bag.
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