Advice on Cultivating Good Friendships as a Teacher

Advice on Cultivating Good RelationshipsLeaving the emergency room in a cab, everyone starts speaking.

“Who was there when you got cut?”

“What did they do?”

I describe the event for the sixth time.

After washing away the blood on my shoes, I texted those friends that I cut my foot on glass, as a courtesy. Because good friends have the right to know about my personal wellbeing, or lack thereof.

I never expected two guy friends to rush down the street offering to carry me, and I didn’t need a bashed forehead in addition to a stinging foot. One person ran into two different 7-11 stores for bandages, but they only carried beer and antiseptic cream.

As I tell the story in the cab, everyone gets angry at a specific guy who stood by when I got cut. I sit by, amused, while snide comments fly around. “Everything is fine now,” I say.

“I can’t believe it.”

“You guys are here,” I say. “There’s nothing to be upset about. Except my luck.”

At this point I’m so tired that I stop using my sensibilities, and I get my phone out to text the guy they’re discussing, and also my dad. It’s daytime in Canada and he’s at work.

“Wait, you cut your foot in the middle of the night?”

Advice on Cultivating Good Relationships

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4 Sneaky Ways to Practice Music While on Holiday

4 Ways to Practice Music While on Holiday
Now that I’ve seen Malaysia and my weeks in Asia are dwindling, I’ve become more conscious of how I spend my time — I’m brutal now.

No swiping through my phone during breakfast; in Kota Kinabalu, Em lay in bed for hours on Facebook until I turned the lights on or off. We are more productive travellers without the internet, believe me. But I look at our addiction to technology and I don’t see a solution.

The most surreal moments are foggy until I relive it in a photo. Did I really teach myself to drive a jet ski? I recall watching the choppy waves and reminding myself to ride across them, then my eyes stinging with salty water and Em clutching my waist for dear life.

At night in Malaysia, I get bored of scrolling through my phone and switch to writing in my travel journal, then reading the bestseller novel I got in Hong Kong. How many side projects can I be doing during the time I’m re-editing a photo on my phone?

So I got to thinking that we keep saying we’re time-deprived, but there are so many crevices of time that we forget about, and each is a chance to take charge.

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How to (Easily) Record High Quality Music at Home

How to (Easily) Record High Quality Music at HomeMath’s music recordings have great sound quality despite zero post-processing.

In comparison, I’ve been recording music on an iPhone mic and processing with Adobe Audition. The results aren’t out of this world, but it gets the point across, as the iPhone + Adobe Suite workflow tends to do (Have I told you about my photography in Asia? iPhone photos + Photoshop).

Back home in Montreal, he shows me his supposedly simple (and ghetto) recording process: a microphone plugged into a USB audio interface, and recording the music twice (DI & MIC). On the first take, DI is plugged into the right input with the mic into the left; on the second take, switch inputs. Then he combines the two takes using Reaper.

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6 Classic Christmas Piano Solos

6 Classic Christmas Piano Solos

Holiday means celebrating the best parts of love and joy.

Home takes on a different meaning as I’m in Asia away from my usual friends and family but it will be just as special.

In Hong Kong, everything is so close that I can wake up and text a friend, then in the next hour we are scouring the streets for baked bean goods and fruits while dodging air conditioning mucus.

Don’t worry, for these excursions I do the Woke Up Like This look but nix the basketball shorts/sweats/stereotypical crap. Think Donna Karan runway bedhead from two seasons ago–that’s Grace representing North American culture.

I have a hunch that holiday culture in Asia is radically different, but of course it’s up to each of us to create our own holiday seasons with people we enjoy.

I’ve collected 6 classic Christmas pieces to listen or play below. Enjoy!

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Macau in 9 shots

Jackie Chan in a fight? America’s Next Top Models visit Asia? Gangsters running the blackjack table? Classic Macau. Or at least, so it would seem.

Macau in 9 Shots
We arrive to Macau without a plan, but palm trees swaying against the blue sky was exactly what I wanted to see. Paradise, no? Meandering about the hotel for a while, we finally approach the concierge since otherwise we’d clearly spend the day wandering the hotel and not Macau.

“Do you have a walking tour of the city?”

“Walking tour?” She says, pulling out a map, and circling things we should see.

So we become our own tour guides. Even better.

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Curing Culture Shock (With Starbucks)

Curing Culture ShockI discover a small pizza shop by the waterfront with my new friends, and it’s the first time that I feel like everything might be okay. There’s one pool table beside the dart board and our cues are shorter and lighter than the standard, yet each time we turn around, the cue is poking up someone’s butt. This corner of the city is my favourite impression of Hong Kong so far: hip, but smashed.

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How to Live a Hollywood Movie-esque Life

Have you ever packed up your life to move to a new part of the world?

I just did.

I’ve finally started to evaluate this decision. One of the first questions I asked myself was: shouldn’t I have seen this place, at the very least, before moving here?

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