Saturday, July 30, 2011

An old favorite.

My day begins and ends with idleness, the vast amount of it spent in front of the screen of my laptop. (A typical day in my life in Shenzhen is forthcoming in the next blog post.) I feel this is highly normal, though that doesn't entirely excuse my lack of creative output to myself.

One creative output I do have though is discussing movies, as I just did for a few hours over beers with friends. I consume large amounts of critical discourse on movies, or basically read AO Scott and Michael Phillips and watch Ebert Presents 'At the Movies'. So on that note, here's an old favorite intro that for a guy like me, revs up a lot of nostalgia, being from Chicagoland, and of course, being a film criticism nut.

Perhaps in the spirit of the moment I'll write a film review for Terrence Mallick's The Tree of Life. Though that would be no small order.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the nostalgia for Roger and Gene as much as I do. They were and always will be icons.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Forget Your Mind and You'll Be Free

I had to gently ease in to writing this blog post. I kept several other tabs open on my Google Chrome while beginning and even had video playing in the background to convince myself the actual writing was more an afterthought and not to be taken so seriously. I was actually watching some film criticism, as I am known to do, on Ebert Presents: At the Movies (I recommend it:, though I do still miss A.O. Scott and Michael Philips, and even Richard Roeper for that matter).

Why I couldn't quite bring myself to write is something that's been plaguing me for the last 4 months or so. I'm still not sure I can express it now, so I'm determined to keep this first post in many months short and sweet, a mere omen to what I hope is more to come regularly. The Gier Spot is a few years old now, and my writing continues to be highly sporadic. New goals are to not make posts so long, but rather just update regularly, sharing small thoughts and rants that happen to be on my mind, in addition to the usual travelogues and stories.

The truth is I'm living a quiet and enjoyable life here in Shenzhen, China. Shenzhen may be the outlying part of that sentence, but it's home to me, and I like it. Though it hasn't always been a walk in the park: Despite my imperious positive attitude toward having roommates when arrived here, my first living situation with two other men crumbled quickly into decay, leaving me to hastily dart out of the living situation and find my own place. So I did, and man am I happy I did so. Living there really sucked. There. I said it. But now it's over.

Furthermore, my job as a lowly ESL teacher (I do say lowly, as teaching English as a foreign language is usually something any jerk-off can do, though that has certainly changed in many parts of world) keeps me pretty busy with a 45 hour work-week. That may not seem like a lot, but it certainly decreases the joys of being an ex-pat somewhere, where one would hope to have time to explore the new, foreign place, rather than just be cooped up working all the time (in my last ESL gig in China I had plenty of spare time, but the catch was I was basically in the middle of fucking nowhere, so you see the trade off between Shenzhen and there). I usually come home not exhausted, but without ideal time to get many things done, such as exercise and pursue artistic endeavors.

But there I go complaining, and that was not my intention. My intention was to merely explain, to you or myself, why I haven't written in a while. True, I've had other things on the mind, but those are really no proper excuse. The truth is, I simply could have written in the blog more, could have studied Chinese more, could have learned guitar, and could have made more travel movies like I planned to do here upon my arrival. But I didn't. I chose not to. Nothing was stopping me but myself. The wall was in my mind and my mind only. And only I can conquer such wall. As trivial as it may seem, I believe it's this wall in all of us that stops us from doing things that, aren't easy per say, but are definitely not impossible. Why not start a band and try to get a recording contract? Why not pursue a career in stand-up comedy, or start your own scuba-diving business? The only thing stopping you is in your mind. So forget your mind, and you'll be free. (I listen to a lot of David Bowie, and Hunky Dory has become one of my favorite albums of all time). And yes, I do realize there's lot of Tim Ferriss in what I just wrote, as well as David Bowie.

So this post was hopefully a step-toward forgetting my mind and achieving the goals I've set for myself. Now I'll cut the self-help crap, and get on to something else I've been intending to do: learning Chinese characters. In the meantime, the Gier Spot is back.