Conquer

…says the poster of Arnold Schwarzenegger right above our bed here in Shanghai.

CONQUER: successfully overcome (a problem or weakness).

It’s just one word and unlike many German words doesn’t explain in length of the word or through diving down into the heritage of the word or composition of different parts to what that entails. I love that poster. It’s Arnold in it’s prime, arms stretched out, a smile on his face, slightly blurry masses of people in the back and big bold letters spelling conquer.

Successfully overcoming a weakness or a problem is vital to our lives, to survival, to grow as a person. There is a power in that word and that can transcend and did unfortunately so in a militant way throughout human history, but that shall not be what this article is about.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is incredibly smart, reached a physiology that few could ever achieve (yes, there was steroids involved, I am aware) and even before and after his Mr. Olympia titles this man has achieved and conquered like few others.

I am not one for idols but apart from Jackie Chan (the man that brought me to China), Arnold might still be or is one of my role models in more than one way.

To grow as a person and to develop further one needs a fire burning inside and that means more often than not to overcome your own weaknesses and solve problems. To be uncomfortable from time to time and stretch that comfort zone little by little. It means to stand on your own two feet, to stand up for yourself and others, as tall as you are and with all the pride and power within you to move forward.

Reading Jordan Peterson’s. book and listening to the podcast I will end this article with, the Jordan Peterson ‘Clean Your Room’ movement came to my mind again and Arnold also says he concentrates on one thing at a time and move forward.

Sometimes it is the small things you can tackle, you can overcome and conquer (it doesn’t have to be big, the definition doesn’t say conquer is overcoming a big problem or weakness after all). I really love my freedom and doing things my way or even just having the option to do so (because it doesn’t mean I want to have things my way but having the option is great). At the moment I am proud to have conquered my alcohol intake with having a whole month off of all sorts of alcohol and to have conquered and reset my food intake as well. At the moment I am eating in a roughly 7 hour window 6 days of the week and eat once or maybe twice (I do have caloric drinks in that time too, like Golden Milk, Walnut Powder Drink and Tea or Coffee with Coconut Oil). It’s fascinating to learn on how little food one can function and feel just as great.

What I want to say is, you have to conquer, yourself, your fears and take charge of your life or others will do that for you,

Here is Arnold in a fantastic interview with Tim Ferris on a lot of interesting topics. You might be surprised how great of a person he is:

Walking

Yesterday has been the first day since the surgery I walked a substantial amount (with a leg brace on and another 2 weeks of this thing).

And while walking, I realised that I have to write about how much I love to walk. It’s my favourite physical activity. It heals the soul and is good for you (maybe not at all times in Chine and/or Shanghai with air quality being horrid but even then preferable to being sedentary).

As a kid I hated walking. I vividly remember one birthday (I must have been around 12 or turned 13 or so) when my family decided to tae us kids to a lake and stay in a camper/bungalow for a week or two. It was great, there was nature, us kids quickly made friends, I had my He-Man figurines and there was a cinema right at the entrance of the park for cheap. So on my birthday my parents have the audacity to ‘walk’. Around the lake was the plan. On my birthday they decide we all should walk. This didn’t bode well with me and I threw a fit. What’s walking? Boring! Would have much rather watched another movie in the cinema or anything really BUT walking.

How the tides have changed.

I love, love, love walking. Going from a place to a place or to run an errand or to discover new parts of the city, the woods or whatever tickles my fancy. My love for walking goes so far that some of my friends are (most of the time playfully but sometimes really) annoyed with it.

I prefer walking to riding my bicycle, but the bicycle comes in handy too if bigger distances have to be covered.

Walking unhindered and in my usual above average speed (5 kilometres per hour seems to be average) is the thing I look most forward to and that I will enjoy whenever I feel like it. Just that 9 kilometres yesterday lifted my spirits tremendously and gave me sore calves today. I feel great and have to put to digital paper how much I like walking.

My brain is working so much better and my mind is clear. It is absolutely beneficial to have walks through nature, there is this fantastic New York Times article that goes a bit deeper than my positive ramble.

Now let me ramble a bit about the state of the world (completely anecdotal of course) when it comes to walking. I find it baffling how people here take the elevator to go one floor up or down. People call taxis and wait longer for the taxi and the trip included might be a bit faster than walking the whole way. To me, the process of calling a taxi and waiting for said taxi is definitely more annoying than walking 5 to 10 minutes longer. It’s also fantastic t walk a couple of kilometres home after a few alcoholic drinks too many.

Walking is great to explore a city or place. Walking is great for your body and mind. Humans have made evolutional trade-offs to be able to walk on two feet (we are more efficient than chimps that way) and we are therefore made to wal, for long distances or stretches of time with not too much energy expended. Again we are efficient walkers, so there is no real excuse to not use our legs more for walking.

Tim Ferris has a good morning routine, but I would argue, even though it is just a side-note in that article, that everyone has that hour a day one can use for walking. Add it up! Sometimes I get out a station or two earlier out the metro because I would have to interchange and find that less preferable than to walk and enjoy my feet on the ground and my thought to myself.

Anyway! I love walking and can’t wait to get back to the good amount of it I did before. Just hope you like walking too, because with me as a friend you will inevitably do more of it.

The best movie from my childhood

When I was 12 and a pre-puberty kid with a Beatles haircut I had sleep-overs at friend’s houses.

One friend lived far out the village (possibly 10 kilometres out there) right in the mountains and woods. So we used to recreate and shoot our own 80s movie renditions: there was a scene where an avalanche hit us and we generously came up with no budget effects. We also used to camp outside his house one time and got scared and woke up early at night as boars where around the tent which made us move back into the house.

Most excitedly this friend’s parents had the most massive collection of VHS tapes I have seen in my life (these are not around anymore as far as I know). I’m saying they had two massive drawers full of movie tapes that they recorded from TV. So this amounted to around 200 or so movies at least. Naturally, every weekend sleep-over or meet up with that friend became movie filled. Movies were only interrupted by us eating (here they had one of those sandwich makers that lead to my early childhood obesity), shooting our own movies, playing with Ninja Turtles or Mega Drive. I still have nightmares of the bike level in Battletoads.

We watched everything and ratings were largely ignored, though horror movies sometimes were questioned or not allowed to be watched by us until we hit 14 or so. One time we watched 3 almost three hour long war movies in a row, I believe it was Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now. I don’t remember the order but I remember I asked to watch a cartoon or two right after. I believe we watched almost every Jackie Chan movie at his place that existed up until then. Definitely every Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Michael Dudikoff (of America Ninja fame if you have trouble remembering him) vehicle.

But there is one movie that stands out. One movie that still holds up today, that I still enjoy just as much as the first time I saw it and is just all around 80s move gold. And it’s still a hidden gem as the movie is not that well known.

Are you ready? I am!

The Crow is one of my favourite movies of all time and this movie shares a lot of similarities with it. The soundtrack is absolutely memorable and all around great. The story is simple and works, the setting is the 80s and there is revenge, cars, sex and a young Charlie Sheen.

The film is ‘The Wraith’ (in Germany known as ‘Interceptor’)and before you look it up on Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes remember that they are clearly wrong. I couldn’t find a review that does that movie justice apart from the amazing video I will end this article with so here is my review of THE WRAITH/INTERCEPTOR:

The Wraith is a supernatural horror car action movie from 1986. A short synopsis would be that in the 80s a mysterious car shows up to avenge a murder and a gang gets taken out one by one.

Let’s get the few negative points out right away. It’s a pretty low budget movie with a simple story with a lot of plot holes and wooden acting here and there. That being said, still there is not a minute of the movie I would fast forward or skip. It’s totally silly that no one figured out that Packard killed Jamie back in the day, it’s also baffling how no one seems to connect the dots to the new kid on the block Jake

I am not a big car enthusiast but looking at the main character of the movie (it’s the car) makes me all excited. The soundtrack features 80s metal galore with Ozzy Osbourne, Bonnie Tyler and more of that calibre. Seriously when did movies (even bad ones) stop having all around great soundtracks, I mean Mortal Kombat, The Crow and even the more and more awful sequels had fantastic soundtracks. I can’t think of a modern movie that has a soundtrack that (apart from all instrumental soundtracks by Clint Mansell, Hans Zimmer or the Chemical Brothers) from start to finish has me hooked like these.

The characters in the movie are almost caricatures but they just work. The movie seems to be not pretentious, has suspense, does not overstate its welcome and the world it’s set in is just one that I want to return to, over and over. Also, with me barely noticing the CGI moustache of Her Cavil and movie mistakes in general, I did notice the camera in the shadows of the cars during some of the racing scenes and you can see some of the cars are replicas (just with chassis mounted) but that doesn’t bother me.

Here the movie by Good Bad Flicks:

Cooking Shows

I’m really into cooking shows. I mean who isn’t? It’s food, it’s fuel and you can learn something most of the time.

Gordon Ramsay’s shows are the crown jewel to me, because I find him so likeable and authentic though the American versions/shows fall a bit short due to the dumb dumb production (I’m referring to the overly dramatic music, the recaps, oh my god, don’t get me started on the recaps in American shows: this is what happened so far, less than 1 minute ago this person didn’t finish the sentence or the winner/loser was not announced yet, so let’s repeat until the last person with a one digit IQ gets it, it’s revolting). For Hotel Hell I saw a youtube upload that cut the horrid intro, all the recaps and repetition and it made the show 10 minutes shorter and about 10 times more watchable. Master Chef is great especially with the sneaker and suit Italian and the kid’s version as it shows how great Gordon is with kids and you learn more due to the positive critique of the children.

I really enjoy Chef’s Table especially the episode with Francis Mallmann. The way this series is shot and the stories are told is extraordinary and Francis to me stands out as the most interesting Chef so far (in episode 3 if you want to know) in the way he cooks and his philosophy. So great!

There is also Hot Ones that I enjoy as it is a unique concept of a podcast mixed with interesting people and spicy wings. Good stuff.

The Food Ranger also is something me and my girlfriend enjoy for the laughs. He comes of almost as a caricature but the production value and the places he goes too, as well as the food seem to be top notch. I’ms sure he has the heart in the right place but his vocabulary and persona make me crack up.

This mental world class bodybuilder also has great cooking advise and knows a thing or two #sarcasm.

But my new favourite is Something’s Burning:

Watch it! It’s hilarious. Bert ‘The Machine‘ Kreischer is super funny, of course with the story in his name and even more so with the bit he does here.

There is two episodes so far and hopefully this show goes on for as long as Gordon Ramsey has produced shows. Brilliant!

I’m off. Cooking.

 

New Year’s Resolutions

I had none. Zero! Nothing. Nichts.

And yet, this is so far the biggest change I have had in my life since coming back to China in October 2011 with 1 pair of jeans, 3 shirts, 2 pairs of shoes, some socks, some underwear and a job that paid really sub-par and not much in the bank. In fact, the money in the bank served as my indicator of returning back to Germany, if ever that would fall under less then a flight back (on average) to Germany I would buy the ticket and go. I never had to do that.

Having lived in Shanghai since then I grew. Career-wise, in a monetary sense, as an individual, in relationships and also in bodyweight. In late July last year I have had a really minor bicycle accident. I rode into a bike that was parked in the bicycle lane. I was super slow, just feel over to the side but there was a massive pain in my left knee and I still biked home fuelled by adrenaline. The next morning I couldn’t bear weight on that knee. Long story short – ACL torn and surgery was advised but having been at home and unable to work for 3 weeks I wouldn’t want to do it at that time, I thought I possibly could have been fine, maybe it grows back together? It didn’t.

I decided to get the surgery done before I leave China and had it done in early January and took the recovery time since then and ongoing to make a lot more changes. Planned is the move back and the flight ticket bought and I got rid of a lot of ‘useless’ things I accumulated over the years. There is only a few things I am taking back with me and two great ones will follow on there own – my girlfriend and my cat (together as the cat probably has a hard time buying flight tickets because she can’t read well).

The doctor insisted that I please, with sugar on top. do not drink alcohol for at least 2 weeks following the surgery and reading up on the effects inflammation it is not really something you want to have in a part of your body that heals relatively slow due to constant movement and not much blood flow to and around the ligaments. So I haven’t touched alcohol since the surgery and it was super tough, because I don’t think I did a week without alcohol since I was about 16. Obviously just that and the muscle atrophy from the surgery leads to weight loss but I also incorporated intermittent fasting since I am off the antibiotics (I figured it makes sense to have three regular timed meals when taking medication to not screw anything up).

I do 16 hours without food, have lunch at around 12 or 1pm and dinner between 6 and 7pm where I allow myself a lot of fats (coconut oil, ghee, olive oil), protein and some carbs (mainly oats) and Chlorella, Spirulina in the morning and tons of tea and unsweetened hot drinks, sometimes coffee in-between.

From my fight weight after Christmas of a shocking 95 kilogram I am now down to 87. It has been incredibly easy, I do have a lot of energy and feel mentally clear and I have updated this blog, my computers, phone, things in my house and things in my head. I am basically 87 kilogram of a new me.

Once some changes where made, others just easily fit into the current modus operandi. So before bed I read for 30 minutes every day on my Kindle. I do my 30 minutes of rehabilitation workout every day. I stopped smoking again from January 1st and am back on vaping. I blog daily currently and will keep this up for a week in total and then dial it down to a rhythm and schedule I can keep up and feel good with.

So again, tons of changes that just came about with not having made any plans or resolutions. I never found resolutions on New Year’s a great idea but this all worked out.

One of the biggest changes however took a long time to figure out and I am still working on it. I found out that I punish myself a lot. I feel guilty for things I do or think and take my mental whip and whip myself into place. I used to sell those punishments to myself as being tough, as preparing for fights, being ‘a man’, being strong and definitely ‘not weak’. I often saw ‘being weak’ in others and felt mentally or physically superior as I would not moan when the shower water is cold or I am wet from the rain or lament about a ‘long’ walk (everything more than 1 kilometre). Obviously I do not want to feel or think in a way like that as it is not healthy nor is it fair to put myself above others in such a way.

It’s not easy to make these changes, but now I grow tougher by being more open, by not beating myself up mentally, just working out by myself. Looking at my natural reaction, understanding it and improving myself and just keep walking. I never needed that negative motivation I created in my head. Negative motivation never worked on myself in real life, why would it do that in my head?

Having done the test from understandmyself.com (by Jordan Peterson, with the help of ‘h3h3’ as a code and thanks to them with a discount, if you want to take it too) didn’t teach me a lot of things (still some though) I didn’t know about myself but it helped me understand myself better. I am very high in Extraversion (Enthusiasm and Assertiveness (super high!)) and relatively low in Agreeableness (low in Compassion and average in Politeness). High in Conscientiousness (Industriousness and Orderliness). Moderately low in Neuroticism (low in Withdrawal, moderately high in Volatility). High in Openness to Experience (Openness and Intellect). So what does that mean? Do the test and find out for yourself.

What it means for me is, that I am super open to experiences, my mood can swing relatively fast but I bounce back just as fast, I easily convince myself and others of new ideas, plans and love to have people around and hear myself talk. I am a bit stubborn (maybe scratch the ‘bit’) and will most of the time talk straight as an arrow, be one of the first persons to speak up and blunt, even when this might work to my own disadvantage. Those are all great things to know about oneself and they just help me understand myself better, was well worth the price of an expensive coffee.

Just wanted to share some positivity and write down what I learned from the test, as somewhere I read before that you only understand a subject fully if you are able to rephrase it, break it up and ultimately teach it, not at the teaching phase yet, but that was good enough for me to share.

Maybe we don’t need a New Year’s resolution, maybe we just need to understand oneself and that makes it easier to understand others too and maybe a bit of the world.

Some movie reviews of movies I have recently watched

I deserve an award for this creative title.

Let me start this of by saying there have not been a lot of movies I have watched 2017 that really left an impression on me. There is no spoiler in any of these short reviews, so knock yourself out.

‘Justice League’ in December was surprisingly good, but underwhelming when it comes to what I expected. It just cemented more to me that Henry Cavill is THE Superman for me and is just scene-chewing and before you critique the CGI-stache I can’t say it was that obvious or disastrous as people make it out to be. Batman got a bit of the short stick fighting-wise but his words of encouragement to the Flash where everything Batman is in the Justice League and that was fantastic. Solid Wonder Woman, surprisingly good Cyborg (I am not familiar with that character from comics or the cartoon) and Aquaman kind of useless and obviously the character with the most scenes on the cutting floor, but that hunk of a man was still great and fun. Super weak CGI on the main villain and him being under-developed but I believe the ‘Snyder’ scenes where the ones that feel and look the greatest to me and the ‘Whedon’ parts are nice but miss more often than not. I would love to see director’s cut, but there is a slim chance this will ever happen, so yeah… What works is the Danny Elfman score and this is possibly his best work since Batman Returns and ten times better to the uninspired Terminator soundtrack, that sounded great on paper but turned out underwhelming, still I would love to hear what Junkie XL did have planned, maybe if that director’s cut ever happens. To end this on a positive note, the cover of ‘Everybody Knows’ at the beginning of the movie is just glorious!

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ meanwhile was hands down the funniest Marvel movie so far and definitely the best movie in the Thor trilogy and Taika’s style bleeds through every scene, which is refreshing and it just works. Shortly after I enjoyed ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ and laughed my ass off. Super good and hard to place somewhere between Guardians 1 and 2 or tied with them if you want to rate the move. Very metal, very 80’s and very Taika, so there is not much to criticise here.

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ continues the greatness that was The Force Awakens and I do not understand what the hardcore fans have to moan about, but again I am not the biggest Star Wars fan, so I enjoyed it and more than anything the movie made me want to see where all this leads. Somehow, somewhere I read that fans want more explained, like the ‘additional’ Jedi powers and other stuff, gosh, really? Do audiences need everything spoon fed? I find it’s fun and filling some gaps with your own imagination is more fun to me, but maybe I am in the minority here.

‘The Disaster Artist’ possibly my favourite movie of 2017 and possibly one of the best movies I have seen after 2000. I expected a riff on the glorious movie and a comedy that pokes fun at said movie and good laughs, but surprisingly it is soooo much more than that. It’s touching, it’s deeper than I would have expected and it has something my favourite documentary of all time (‘American Movie’) has – a super interesting main character with a big heart that fails in a lot of ways but ultimately succeeds with not 100% they had in mind, but they grow and are the blue collar heroes (not really the case with Tommy, as he has a mysterious amount of a lot of money – haha) that take you on this journey. I can’t stress enough how great this movie is and how it works. If you haven’t seen ‘The Room’, then please do so, before that or at least watch this best of, before diving in.

‘Blade Runner 2049’ is the runner up to my favourite movie of 2017 and possibly the best looking aka most cinematic movie I have seen since 2000. The world-building is grand and Batista shows his acting chops in scene chewing 10 minutes or so. Music is great and I have no idea why this movie failed in cinemas, possibly due to the want-to-be-spoon-fed-crowd mentioned earlier, but it’s so great in so many ways and lives up to everything the original was and will be, which is an accomplishment in and on itself.

‘Bright’ the Netflix produced movie starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton by David Ayer, who shows that he can do better than ‘Suicide Squad’. It’s also the first good movie Will Smith is acting in since ‘Bad Boys 2’ in 2003 (he is okay in ‘Suicide Squad’ and great in the ‘Pursuit Of Happiness’ but let’s not count these for reasons). This movie got horrible reviews but seems to be liked by the audience that actually saw it (read: not critics) and let me tell you, I enjoyed it thoroughly. The world it builds is believable and this is done by showing, not telling mostly and if anything there is a bit much cramped in there and the climax seems rushed and a bit much, but I do want to see more of this universe. It’s unique, fun and great. Haters gonna hate!

‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ is fun and starts with a brilliant action sequence, has some great throwback to the first part and is solid all around. A fun romp with a great villain and superb action scenes that are kinetic, fast, well shot and the choreography is on point, so that one can easily follow. Fantastic work by Matthew Vaughn again how turns into a director that rarely stinks, in fact he is just great at what he does for the last 6 movies or so.

‘Atomic Blonde’ was okay, watched it on a plane and it makes Charlize Theron outshine everyone else in the cast, but ends up being somewhat forgettable.

‘Dunkirk’ (I watched that on the plane with horrible sound and picture quality) was a good movie, sad, great soundtrack, great Tom Hardy and the horrible voice mixing that Christopher Nolan is known for since Bane had to be dubbed over and Matthew went on interstellar trips trough dimensions and now in France all the soldiers are hard to understand. It was okay, so cinephiles throw your stones.

‘The Big Sick’ the third movie I have watched on the plane (it’s a long flight from China to Germany and back) was touching, funny and just all around a solid movie. Well worth a watch.

‘Baby Driver’ is a better concept than a movie, overall more style than substance, a great lead actor, an interesting premise but in the end just an okay movie to me.

‘The Dark Tower’ was an okay movie too, if anything it just crammed a bit too much in a relatively short movie. Some of the scenes are fantastic and both Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey perform at their best, but there is just too big of a story compressed in there and this only had a vague resemblance to one of the books of the series I have read.

‘Braven’ I watched last weekend and it was a super solid action movie that could have came right out of the 90s with Jason Momoa this sexy hunk of a man and some solid performances all around and again it’s nothing more or less than a good action movie.

‘Don’t Breathe’ was on my watch list since it came out and due to Stephen Lang in ‘Braven’ I remembered to watch it and did so right after. My girlfriend says this is loosely based on a real story and it’s a solid horror movie, really some great ideas in there and a good atmosphere. I enjoyed it.

‘The Lobster’ was genius. Definitely the dark horse movie in this article. It’s utterly strange, slow, violent, awkwardly funny and all in all just an experience of a movie. Loved it but this is certainly not for everybody.

Let me close this article with 3 German movies that I would like to recommend, 2 of which I have watched on the plane and one that is, to me, one of the best German movies since Werner Herzog moved to Germany (excluding ‘The Lives Of Others’ and ‘Look Who’s Back’ here as these are superb exceptions).

‘Fack Ju Göhte (1+2)’ are two movies about a small time criminal that somehow finds it’s way to a job in a school and succeeding in ways that one wouldn’t expect. These movies where unexpectedly fun and I came to understand why they are/were so popular. The characters are interesting and well written and the story is funny and has heart. I believe my girlfriend enjoyed these too.

‘Head Full Of Honey’ came as a surprise to me. Germany’s Hollywood export Til Schweiger stars and directs in this movie. I am not a big fan of his movies in general nor of his acting in most movies, but here he does a solid job acting and a great job directing. The film looks great, the casting was well done with getting German comedian Dieter Hallervorden as the grandpa in the story that has Alzheimers and strings the story together. Now I know ‘Diddy’ Hallervorden just as a comedian from when I was little with an odd sense of humour and he carries his role with a chutzpah and depth that I haven’t seen for a while in a German movie. This movie made me laugh, has a back beating heart and it made me cry. It’s great, it definitely has it’s flaws and pretty much no Til Schweiger cliche is left out the movie but it comes together and is s great movie. Watch it!

I think I got them all and that shall be it for today. Thank you for reading.

 

 

 

Ohrwurm of the week 05/2018

Being As An Ocean – Dissolve

My Sundays are ‘holy’ again, meaning I use this as a day to really calm down, relax and do things I really enjoy doing. It’s also the day where I allow myself to cheat food-wise and the thing is, this time, I just had one proper meal (let’s call it one and a half) a big ass Avocado Chicken Sandwich and a sauce covered Potato Salad. Now I am not hungry to have dinner and just have a Golden Milk (Epicurious is also a a must have app I find and just so you know I made mine with Almond Milk because I had the powder at hand) instead. Visiting a mine in Germany in my hood I got reminded that back in the day people had a Sunday Roast, it was usually the only day people had meat on their table and physically working part of the family had the biggest chunk of that. With my sedentary lifestyle at the moment, I feel not entitled to a whole day of expensive, calorie-rich food, so hence all that, but I don’t know if that is interesting for you all.

Now to the song and band: Being As An Ocean (I don’t have Spotify or know how it works but you can follow them there) is a Californian Post-Hardcore outfit with a Christian background. They have three fantastic albums out and are clearly influenced by some of my favourite bands, namely: Comeback Kid, Listener, Sigur Ros, Underoath just to name a few.

Dissolve is a touching song, like most songs they put out. There is also a acoustic version of the song, that shows the prowess of the band, especially the voice of Joel, however, I believe the original version has a harder hitting chorus and you need the contrast of the screaming to the buttery smooth chorus. I am not even joking this song alone makes me want to get a tattoo of a heart on my sleeve…

Self-improvement is masturbation…

… is a great quote to think about from both the book ‘Fight Club‘ (by my favourite author Chuck Palahniuk, it’s not my favourite book by him, but possibly my favourite movie) and the movie of the same name.

When I was younger this movie was everything, it was the bible to my nihilistic puberty self, I would have had to read Nietzsche all day every day and lose a couple of kilos to be that kid (Dwayne) from ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ (fantastic movie too by the way).

In the book and movie this statement comes up to represent the identification with the masses, the status quo, the Ikea self-expression and the temporary fix and means to an end that a self-improvement like this (hint: one that can be finished, not unlike masturbation) represents. So looking at it from that point of view this seems to ring true.

I love self-improvement. Been going at that since after puberty, read ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’, countless other self-help books and personality tests and working on habits and trying to become a better version of myself. Unlike masturbation this is a task that is possibly only finished when I die. So self-improvement is clearly not like masturbation and rather a noble path I find.

The reason I am writing this is because our worldview changes all the time. Recently I am super entertained and learn a lot from podcasts, mainly that is ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ (the one I listened to today with the absolutely awesome Joey Diaz) and H3H3 (the guys that always punch up).

Coincidentally both podcasts had the same guest this week: Jordan Peterson. A clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Toronto. Jordan Peterson is a role model, he is super smart and speaks the truth, he is a fantastic example of keeping your cool in the face of adversary and with a book out that I am planning to read as soon as possible – ’12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos’.

Currently I am in a great state of mind and body. I have the big move to Germany in front of me and the re-integration there after 6+ years in China, I restarted the blog and got all the old articles back, I sleep very well and I am recovering from the ACL surgery and dropping weight due to intermittent fasting and no alcohol (as inflammation would not be beneficial for the healing of my knee). In this state of mind I thought I might want to learn a bit more about myself and masturbate, nah, jokes aside I did a personality assessment test developed by Jordan Peterson on www.understandmyself.com, where in case you want to do one for yourself (and you should because it’s brilliant) you can use the code ‘h3h3’ that gives you 2 dollars off of the 9.95 price. Well worth it!

What I really want to say is that self-improvement is great and for me a necessity and hopefully plays a role in most people’s live. I would like to leave you with the following video that was suggested to me with all the Jordan Peterson mania going on and I learned it was pleasantly surprising not what I thought it was:

Holy Guacamole and Hello World 2018

This was seriously stressful, but here I am, back again!

I haven’t posted in ages, as you might have noticed. For reasons. The main reason was that in October 2017 I have made a big decision. The decision to return to Germany and leave China for good.

It wasn’t easy, I have had a huge love for this place and enjoyed the majority of my time here, however it became more and more clear that the next step waits and I want to move my life forward. So this decision was made.

Also after roughly 6 months I have had my ACL replaced in early January and am currently recovering and trying to get mobility and stability and muscles in my leg back. So this leaves some time for blogging, thinking, getting healthier, implementing new routines and getting ready for the big move.

A good 10 years ago (almost exactly plus 2 months) I had started a blog, I wrote to pass the time, to learn things about the internet and to have a break from binge-watching House M.D.

I have had a save file from 2011 as a *.sql file that I tried over the years of restarting this blog to implement to no avail. So yesterday I gathered all the willpower and courage to give this a last and final try and maybe risk to lose the old articles forever, because I couldn’t seem to figure it out. So after a late night and chats with my web host (Dreamhost) and 6 to 7 deleted mySQL databases and even more installs and deletions of WordPress on this site, I have managed to bring all the old posts back!

I feel like a badass! Some images are missing, some links are definitely outdated but this now is a consolidation of my old blog and the new and a new start. A lot of material to pick from and to improve on and I will not let you or myself down with it after all this work.

The two paragraphs above probably don’t make much sense to a lot of people but it was stressful and now everything seems to fall into place again.

So let’s get back to some other stuff. I have not written a lot during my extended break, which I am a bit sad about, but I will try to blog more or less daily in February to give this blog a boost that is much needed for the blog and myself and maybe you enjoy it too.

Let’s leave you here with an song from a band that remained constantly awesome for all these years:

36 Crazyfists – Also Am I

If you were looking for someone to save you, also am I
If you were looking for something to believe, also am I
If you were looking for someone to save you, also am I
Don’t go quietly

I won’t go quietly not with a bigger blog and a great year to come.