From Screen & Keyboard back to Pen & Paper

Date posted: November 27, 2023

I haven’t been posting as much as I wish in this blog as much as I wish for the past couple of weeks. The reason I found for this laziness is whenever I open my laptop or tablet, my cursors as well as my attention automatically drifting to opening work emails, youtube videos and all kind of other distractions, anything besides that I set out to do, which is writing.

So I figure the solution for this issue would be to take my writing offline, back to pen and paper.

By doing this, I find out that by the act of holding the pen and see the word forms with ink letter by letter, my ideas and thoughts flow out more naturally, or maybe that simply because I have no other distractions.

“People have always been anxious about the technologies that they use to do their work. It’s never really been so true that the same device that you can use to write your book, or to make your artwork, can also interrupt you and distract you throughout the day.”

“I think this idea of constraints in work and in life is super-important. There’s something about analog tools — there’s a simplicity that’s easier to get started with.”

“The notebook is the place where you figure out what’s going on inside you or what’s rattling around. And then, the keyboard is the place that you go to tell people about it.”

Austin Kleon on Hurry Slowly Podcast on the topic Pencil vs Computer


My Jiu-Jitsu Notebook: Too much information

Date posted: October 10, 2023

I’ve been learning a lot about Jiu-jitsu: watching videos from YouTube, asking for advice and feedback after roll, staying late to listen in higher-belts conversations about skills and tactics,… I realize that there are so many tactics, ideas, and foundations that I have to remember and keep in mind, but everything just seems to vanish from my head during the actual roll, everything just seems to revert to staying alive,… But on the bright side, there’s a couple of things that I feel have been improving:

  1. My stamina improves during roll: I managed to roll 3 5-minute rounds consecutively last night, which is the first time for me.
  2.  Better at breathing during roll compared to the first couple of times where I just spaz out and tense my body up every time I got into the mount, hold guard, or side-control, I remember to take in breaths during those positions but can’t seem to know what to do next as my submit move is limited at the moment.
  3.  Recover faster: I remember being so beaten after every class, last week I felt like my left forearm was burning, feeling like somebody shot or stabbed me there,… my left elbow was also sore a bit after every class but now everything seems to have recovered much faster, I wake up next morning feeling more relaxed and even go to the gym for a quick workout.
  4.  Focusing more on the details: I go to class a bit earlier to stretch and warm up as my class doesn’t have like “proper” warm-up but only a Jiu-jitsu kind of warm-up, I have more time to practice front roll, Upa to side-control, I pay more attention into the push and pull elements in the drill practice, the opponent’s hip and neck position during side control.
  5.  I have finally learned how to tie a Jiu-jitsu Belt via this YouTube clip, I felt so embarrassed while my classmates or teachers pointed out that my belt was messed up and I didn’t want to ask them to show me how to do it again as I’m quite bad at remembering this kind of pattern knotting sort of stuff:

I’m thinking about organizing the techniques and details into some sort of flashcards in Quizlet where I can revisit and learn by heart just to make sure everything is organized in my brain and not get jumbled or forgotten. I will share it in the blog once I finish the first version! Subscribe to stay updated! Os

My Jiu-jitsu notebook: Escape from closed guard

Date posted: October 4, 2023

Leg Takedown: be mindful of the foot placement, hang your opponent’s lapel, swing, and grab your opponent’s leg with your arm, place your head on your opponent’s side/ rib cage, and push.

2 ways to escape from hold guard:

  • one to hold the waistband, base down, put one knee on the tailbone, 90 degrees, and sit up.
  • another way is to twist the intersection of your opponent’s lapel, push down and forward onto their ribcage, use your left hand and grip the inside of your opponent’s knee, pull out, and slide to side control, if your opponent put their shin up on your body, use your elbow to push it out of the way, roll with the leg and on to side control.

My Jiu-Jitsu Notebook: Leg Takedown, Hipbump sweep and Cross-collar choke

Date posted: September 28, 2023

This is what I learned on my second day in Jiu-jitsu class.

After warmups, we started with the Leg takedown, this is one of those things that look quite easy when I see the instructors do it but I had trouble grasping the technical of it. I paired with a beginner who was in his first practice. The idea is that I start at the offensive position, grab his lapel, and drop down my body weight, as my opponent’s body drops down with me, I swoop in forward and tackle his leg, take control of his calves and ankle, locking it in between my legs.

We moved on to the Hip Bump Sweep, we started at the closed guard position, grabbed the opponent’s lapel on top of me and pulled him close to me, released the closed guard, and planted my foot on the mat, driving force into one of my legs and throw your hip upward, throwing the opponent and into the mount position. I remember when the instructor did the hip bump sweep, his hip really hit my chest and nearly knocked the wind out of me even before rolling to the side.

*Remember to tuck your opponent’s arm into your body as you roll as they can easily stable themselves by planting their hands on the mat

Cross Collar choke: this technique can be used in both offensive and defensive positions as long as you have both of your hands free, cross them, and drive them onto their collars, placing your forearm bones (or the knuckle of your wrist where your watch usually lives), this will block your opponent’s blood flow from their veins, they should feel the effect of the choke by now. From there we can solidify this by pulling the opponent closer and closing their airway by restricting the gap between our forearms and their throat

For the last part of our day, we got to roll with the instructors, the mission was simple enough, keep the instructor back on the mat, don’t let him escape or let him turn us over and slam our back to the mat, if that do (eventually) happen, escape and get up, each of us has 5 mins.

Way harder and way more draining than I thought it would, all 4 of us beginners could not keep going after 2 or 3 minutes, maybe we forgot to breathe or weren’t used to the action of Jiu-jitsu yet, the next couple of days my toes are so sore but my stamina recover faster than the first day of class! Can’t wait to learn more.

My Jiu-Jitsu Notebook: Hold Guard, Mount and Americana

Date posted: September 26, 2023

This will be my series of what I’ve learn in Jiu-Jitsu class starting from the beginning as white belt with no martial art experience prior, I’ve done running and do freeletic excercise, lift some weights but thats it

Hold Guard: The first thing i learn in Jiu-Jitsu is to hold guard, which is to lie on your back, hook your legs around the opponent waist in a seated position, one key thing in hold guard is you must REALLY look your feet together and your legs must be in front of your opponents.

Mount: for mount, you are at the opposite of the hold guard position, but with a key difference where your body is on top of the opponent, your legs are in front of the opponents.

Americana: from the mount position, you grab your opponent (left) wrist and pull it to the ground , keep your right elbow on the side of your opponents head (ear) and forearm sticking to the ground (the opponent must not lift his wrist of the ground or this trick will not work) from there you slide your left hand under the opponent left elbow, grab your right wrist and slowly lift it up, waiting for the tap.

How to defend against the Americana:

Little Talks by Of Monster and Men

Date posted: September 22, 2023

One of my favourite song since I was in high school is Little Talks by Of Monster and Men. I love the song because of the sorrow lyrics hidden under the upbeat tempo melody (how emo of me at that age haha), I don’t think much about the meaning, maybe a vague idea of losing someone you loved. I came across this video on instagram today that reminds me to actually listen to the song:

The song is a conversation between a wife and her late husband reminiscing the good times they had together but it’s not sure if she is actually talking to him or it’s her hallucination of him.

In the comments, people were sharing their own interpretation of the song such as: A husband trying to calm his wife who is having hallucinations or a conversation between an elderly couple where the woman has Alzheimer’s/dementia and he’s taking care of her. 

I love it when people make art that has multiple meaning and it is up to the viewer’s interpretation and experience to decide the meaning for themselves.

Of Monster and Men also did a couple iteration of this song, this is one of my favorites, the acoustic and the guitar lick is angelic!

Past Lives: Where are your childhood friends?

Date posted: September 8, 2023

From the same production that made The Whale, Everything Everywhere All At Once comes the story follow the relationship of two childhood friends: Na Young and Hae Sung reconnecting after 20 years.

The acting and chemistry of the characters, the cinematography and the attention to detail and realistic dialogue bring the movie to life and I think that a lot of people will find themselves relate to these characters.

The deep connection between two kids

The awkwardness and the long pauses between conversations.

The feeling of so close yet so distant.

The comfort ending

Would recommend and watch again 8/10

You can watch the trailer here:

Do you know about the Mirror of Erised?

Date posted: August 21, 2023

Anyone who has read or watched Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone) might remember the magical item called the Mirror of Erised. Although I watched Harry Potter on TV when I was in my early teen, I didn’t pay most attention to it (“that’s cool and all but I want to see some action” is probably what I had thought). But when I entered college and started listening to Audiobook, Harry Potter is the 1st book that came to my mind and wanted to listen to and I must admit: the Mirror of Erised then became one of my most memorable magical items in the Harry Potter franchise.

So what is the Mirror of Erised?

It is explained in the book by Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts school where Harry Potter was attending:

‘Let me explain. The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is. Does that help?’

Harry thought. Then he said slowly, ‘It shows us what we want … whatever we want …’

‘Yes and no,’ said Dumbledore quietly. ‘It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible.

Chapter 12, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling

Harry Potter who discovered the mirror, looked at the mirror and see his late parents and relatives, Ron Weasley, his friend, look at the mirror and see him achieving a lot of things since he’s the middle child in a big family.

Dumbledore upon finding out that Harry has been visiting the mirror to meet with his family, offered a piece of advice:

‘The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.[…]”

Chapter 12, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling

What would you had seen in the mirror of erised? Would it be fame or fortune or something else? Will it be inspiration or illusion for you to dwell in and stop trying and working towards your dream?

‘Sir – Professor Dumbledore? Can I ask you something?’
‘Obviously, you’ve just done so,’ Dumbledore smiled. ‘You may ask me one more thing, however.’
‘What do you see when you look in the Mirror?’
‘I? I see myself holding a pair of thick, woollen socks.’
Harry stared.
‘One can never have enough socks,’ said Dumbledore. ‘Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.’


Chapter 12, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling

Image source:

Artwork by Daan van Genechten on ArtStation:

Are you in need of a warm hug (from the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse)?

Date posted: August 21, 2023

I came into this movie with not so high expectation thinking this will be some cliche children movie but was blown away by the genius simplicity, amazing dialogue, composition and the hand drawn animation. “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” is like a children illustrated book coming to life.

The movie is only 20-minutes long and have great pacing! Definitely a must watch, suitable for all ages. A great pick-me-up when you feel down or lost while journeying through life.

You can check out the trailer here:

‘Sometimes I feel lost,’ said the boy.

‘Me too,’ said the mole, ‘but we love you, and love brings you home.‘

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy

Are you A Fool, Victim or A King?

Date posted: August 18, 2023
Video taken from The School of Greatness Podcast episode 760

The idea

One of the most memorable podcast I’ve ever listened was The School Of Greatness episode 760 where Terry Crews shared his ideas of a person mindset can change (or stay) among The Fools, The Victim, The King. The following is me paraphrasing the core ideas I listened from the podcast:

  1. The Fool: The Fool think that life has no consequences and they don’t think much about anything, he’s living on his emotion, without any worry of his action may bring any lasting effects.
  2.  The Victim: The Victim is the person who blames everything, and they don’t take responsibility for their action. Anything bad that happens to them or when something doesn’t go their way, it’s anyone’s fault but their own.
  3.  The King: the King realizes that their life and decision is in their control. He decides on how he reacts to situation. He takes responsibilty for his action, courage to not make excuses and admits his own mistakes.

“At some point in every man’s life, he is either a fool, a victim, or a king.”

Terry Crew

It’s easy to live life thinking everything that is happened to you is out of your control, leaving your fate to “destiny”. It would be harder take courage to own up to your action and face the consequences or mistakes you might make along the way. By taking responsibilties and control, you can learn from your experience, grow and find what you are looking for in life.

About Terry Crew:

Terry Crews is an actor, activist, artist, and former NFL football player. He plays “Terry” on Brooklyn 99 and is now a host on America’s Got Talent. Terry was included among the group of people named as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2017 for going public with stories of sexual assault.


Podcast shownote:

Listen on Spotify:

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Movie reviews, random thoughts that I can't categorize into the above 4 categories