Drag – 30th November 2022

The dog lashed to the cart
Doesn’t dictate the way
Accepts the choices given
And finds the space to play

We defend with our lives the petty principles which divide us…we fight only for the status quo, our particular status quo.

Henry Miller

Today I’m feeling:
Today I’m grateful for:
The animals that were sacrificed to go into the meat jerky that Tokyo and Tangmo love so much. Tokyo loves to see me in the mornings now and today snatched up the empty jerky bag and wouldn’t give it back, growling and snarling if your hand was anywhere close. Me and Gui’s dad couldn’t get it off her though we tried for ten minutes. Tangmo has also been visiting more since receiving these treats. This afternoon he was sleeping in our driveway when I got home at 4.30.
The best thing about today was:
Sending some positive reinforcement messages to three of my students who I can see have been achieving a little more than usual. I hope it encourages them. I need and want to do this with some of the other students too. I need to look a bit closer at some of them, some of the quiet ones that go under the radar, give them some encouragement too. Though I sometimes get frustrated and angry with situations in my job I really love what I do.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
Most of the 2/7 kids came to class late and unprepared and I gave them hell for it. But I wasn’t really angry, just loud and serious and though they were a bit shocked they made an effort and I made the class fun for them again.
What will you miss about November?
Erm… November is October is December….can you miss something about a made-up word to define a period of time? Was there supposed to be something special that happened in November that I miss? How can I miss it? I did it already. If it’s something I wish to do again, then I will. Should I apply a more artistic approach to the question? Or do I prefer to be this grumpy old man?

Those dry November days
Blistered by sunshine
Wrapped up at night

Foggy mornings descended
And the roadworks finally ended
Arriving early for coffee
And perhaps a fart to signal the start
Of fresh lambs to slaughter

I took this picture because this is an example of my students ‘in action’ today. This is Earn, a quiet girl with no enthusiasm for anything except her girlfriend. At least she’s not disruptive!

Big Tokes – 29th November 2022

Fucked up and thinking
All the crazy thoughts
Eyes half shut and drooping
Smashed out of sorts
Time stretched and twisted
An hour, a second, a day
Wake up next week
With nothing left to say
Your brain on drugs
The egg now over-fried
Paranoia and suspicion
Now set deep inside

I don’t want innovations which improve my shopping experience or make smartphones a tiny bit better. I want innovations which eliminate world hunger…innovations which help humans live in harmony with our ecosystem.

Caitlin Johnstone

Today I’m feeling:
Happy and high
Today I’m grateful for:
Matt giving me some kratom tea and then some weed tea at his place that had me fucked up and paranoid on the way home and when I got in I went straight to bed where I kinda fell in and out of dream state. I woke up an hour later groggy and still slightly bent. I’ve done nothing else but be lazy tonight. Weed really seems to be the best drug to keep people sedated.
The best thing about today was:
Having fun with my kids in class again. I think we got past the rocky start we had last week and I feel a little more confident again.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
Well, due to that unexpected high I wasn’t able to do things that I would normally want to do and I’m at peace with that decision. I felt out of control and the way to deal with it was just to slow everything down.
What are you curious about?
I’d like to say I’m curious about everything but that’s not really true. I’m probably less curious about many things now just out of laziness. There are things I don’t need to know. Actually, so much I don’t need to know. With modern technology, I wonder if my kids feel like this about everything. Just find out what you need to know when you need it. Maybe in the foreseeable future, this will be a benefit.

I took this picture because this is the first foggy morning of winter. Despite it being cooler in the morning we’ve needed the aircon on again at night and right now I’m sweating away with two fans before heading into the chilly bedroom.

Lost Diplomat – 28th November 2022

The art of politics, a war of words
No value holds except for action’s result
The game of life, power and influence
Made all the more difficult
By clowns with big wallets flashing
Of which the ignored must choose
Checks and balances, no winners
The plan is just not to lose

I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.

Hunter S Thompson

Today I’m feeling:
Fairly happy, minorly frustrated.
Today I’m grateful for:
The word search maker website that, with a small amount of prep, helped keep my kids occupied for half an hour or so. Once I realised that they could play online I let the kids keep their phones and off they went, relatively quiet and interested.
The best thing about today was:
Good caffeine hits at House in the morning, getting a bit more blogging out of the way and quickly preparing some work for one of the classes tomorrow.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
If it’s a school day these entries will probably revolve around class situations! Today I got tired of some students being over playful, mocking or disruptive in both my classes so I sent them out. I’ve contacted their homeroom teachers and advised them that this will be how I handle this in the future. I will talk with the students and make sure they understand too. I almost lost it at one point but managed to keep my annoyance in check, helped by the fact I was in a reasonably good mood.
When are you most at peace?
In the lucid dreaming stage of sleep. I love that feeling even if details are forgotten on waking the memory endures. Most other times I feel I am at war, so that even that becomes a sort of peace, in its numbing inevitability. I am at peace on a plane. I have ceded all control over my life, may as well relax.

I took this picture because suddenly the sun appeared after a small storm, just as it was setting. The last light, gone from me for another day.

Dig In – 27th November 2022

The roots have grown
The longer you stay
The harder it is to leave

Now time has shown
That along the way
You’ve found what you believe

The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.


Today I’m feeling:
Relaxed and lazy
Today I’m grateful for:
The fisherman who caught the prawns I ate, somewhere far away. Shipped them to shore, then the factory workers who prepared them and packaged them and the drivers who delivered them.
The best thing about today was:
Enjoying ice cream and snacks after a weed gummy. It’s hard to stop eating!
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
I could tell Amy was getting a little irritable around lunch time so I just laughed and joked a little and not getting sucked into an argument over nothing. She quickly lightened up and everything was normal again. These situations can quickly go out of control when I don’t handle them well.
In what ways have you observed balance in nature or in the universe?
Looking at mountains, staring at the sea. I see balance in nature when there are no humans around and I become a ghost, an observer but only as a memory. Looking up at the stars and the moon, being grateful for this very specific role I have been given.

I took this picture because Jet made this nice drawing of me and my nice shirt! This picture is a throwback to a couple of weeks ago. No pictures again today!

The Narrative – 26th November 2022

Is this narrative true
Or just what you want to hear?
If everything is obscured
It surely can be made clear
Is this narrative a lie
Or what you choose to believe?
When lies are lies and lies are truth
It’s manifest to deceive

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.


Today I’m feeling:
Pretty good. A little antsy but not for any particular reason.
Today I’m grateful for:
The new 100-watt light bulb above me that means I can read a bit more comfortably again. The last one didn’t last for long.
The best thing about today was:
Riding my pushbike to Utopia this morning. Nice temperature, cloudy and little traffic.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
Amy needed some money to buy wine at the shop as she couldn’t pay by card so she came and asked me to get some cash out for her. In the evening the same thing happened at 7-11. We share our money so it’s not that big a deal but it was something that we couldn’t control at the time though because we were together the solution was quick and easy so Amy didn’t have any frustration.
What are you most thankful for?
This seems obvious but I’m most thankful to be alive. I wouldn’t be anything otherwise.

I took this picture because I find this building incredibly interesting. It looks like it’s from a Ghibli movie. I’m not sure if it’s a hotel or a student dorm. I took this a couple of days ago up by the stupa. No photos at all today!

The Tech Ghosts – 25th November 2022

The victim of these spectral slaves
Invited into our rooms
Ghosts of make-believe realities
On which this monster consumes
Mere cogs of a mega machine
Assimilated to technological production
With immediate planned obsolescence
And the means of its own destruction

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

Joseph Campbell

Today I’m feeling:
Pretty good, a little relaxed
Today I’m grateful for:
Kru Fluke coming to assist me in recording my voiceover for the flower festival this year. She helped me with pronunciation of the Thai words and translating with the audio guy. She didn’t really need to come and help but I appreciate that she did.
The best thing about today was:
Being around the students for the open day. We were all happy that we weren’t in classes. I was super happy that some of them were even doing the work I asked them to do!
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
I guess this is connected with the comment above. I asked my students to do some work for me as we didn’t have classes. I realised pretty quickly that many of them wouldn’t bother doing the work and most of them weren’t around to be able to follow up with. There was no way I could control this situation and whilst I feel a little disrespected by the students who won’t do the work out of laziness or sheer bloody-mindedness I have to let it go. So I’m thinking now about how I can reward those students who did do the work.
Name 10 people you love.
Aaron B

I took this picture because there are new monsters everywhere.

What’s Not Mine – 24th November 2022

My favourite mug smashed to pieces
Now strewn across the kitchen floor
Happened a thousand times in my mind
And so this is what I’ve prepared for

Whenever you must learn a new skill or alter your career path later in life, you reconnect with that youthful, adventurous part of yourself.

Robert Greene

Today I’m feeling:
Mostly happy, a little tired.
Today I’m grateful for:
The Bath and Body Works car freshener that lost its smell in the car but I brought it inside and shoved it in the screen door and pierced it slightly so the fluid can slowly drip. In the afternoon the sun hits it and the bedroom smells great.
The best thing about today was:
Not having to teach. Can’t complain about days like that.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
I was expecting to have to teach today but at the last minute realised that I wouldn’t be able to. I hastily prepared some work for my students to do in their own time and was able to feel that I wasn’t neglecting my students or just skipping out. I doubt if most will do my work so at least I can see who is conscientious at least.
Describe your family’s greatest catastrophe to date.
I suppose this would be my father dying which undoubtedly affected things around me but as I was less than two years old I can’t say that it affected me directly at the time. It’s also not possible to say how it has affected me since as I have nothing to compare it with. I don’t think there has been anything catastrophic in my life since though no doubt some things may have felt so at the time.

I took this picture because Kim didn’t really seem to mind balancing across these parts of the sofa.

Til The End – 23rd November 2022

Make sure to watch til the end
This video needs the stats
Nothing happens at that point
As you can see within the chats
But make sure to watch til the end
Cos this video needs to go viral
A dollar for every ad served
Within this ever-downward spiral
Make sure to watch til the end
If you really want to laugh
Forget about the time you’ve wasted
Cutting your life in half
Make sure to watch til the end
Scroll and pause, pause and scroll
You’re the product in this game
And the devil wants your soul
So make sure you watch til the end…

The foundations of a free country is that your freedom to swing your fist ends where someone else’s nose begins.

Ryan Holiday

Today I’m feeling:
Reasonably happy.
Today I’m grateful for:
The old auntie at the market that made an old-style Thai dessert that is hard to come across. It’s a little like Japanese mochi, made with sticky rice and flour and other things I don’t recognise.
The best thing about today was:
Explaining some work to a couple of students and seeing the joy of understanding on their faces when it clicked for them. Small steps. Interested students are a teacher’s pleasure. Uninterested students are impossible to get through to and those moments of understanding are far fewer with them. So even a poorer student that shows interest is preferred.
Daily thought
Who is someone living that you admire?
I’ve been thinking about this off and on all day and as was commented on where I found this question, it is much easier to come up with a person that is dead. Why is that? A finished story perhaps. A life that no longer can be spoiled… I admire many of my musician friends, just for their abilities to create music that sparks me. This can apply to artists I don’t know too but the connection feels vaguer these days. This admiration is not necessarily for who these people are but for things they created, though there is a strong connection in the qualities of patience and persistence amongst other things. If I have admiration for who a person is then that would be Amy. She has her ups and downs as much as anyone but in general, is a happy person whose positivity is seen by most and I’m sure has helped guide her through life with good results. I admire her attitude. I’m not like that, not like her in that way. I wish I could be but I just can’t. It’s one of the reasons I want to be with her though. She’s a counterbalance for me.
What’s your best advice for teenagers?
The best advice is what I have learned through reading about Stoicism and understanding the dichotomy of control. As I am teaching teenagers at the moment this often comes up for them in learning about dealing with relationships and situations. It is always something I have to remind myself about every day though. I think I’ll make that a daily question for myself from tomorrow.

I took this picture because this is typical of my students in class. Today I laughed with them but actually, I feel disappointed for them. The environment is just not conducive to learning.

Your Daily Meditation – 22nd November 2022

Let’s waste some time
Kick a ball
Forget our problems
Forget it all
Let’s watch TV
Take a nap
Rest your brain
Don’t let it snap
Breathe it in
Nice and slow
Fuck it all
And let it go

Revolution starts within each of us – in the demands we take up against the world, in the daily fight against nihilism.

Hua Hsu article about bell hooks

Today I’m feeling:
Pretty good by evening time.
Today I’m grateful for:
The psychiatrist at the hospital for not being upset with me for missing my appointment 3 months ago. The way they work here is just in the outpatient department, just get in line and wait your turn. I’m guessing most of us are just getting re-ups on prescriptions anyway. I’ve been lazy to go recently even though visits don’t usually take more than 30 minutes. If I’m feeling good again in the next few months I may cut down to half a tablet and see how it goes.
The best thing about today was:
Sitting at Daytripper, thinking about the morning, my students, my actions and my reactions. It’s a nice environment with tables of uni students around lazily studying. Usually, there will be interesting people to watch and invent stories for (only in my head). I always think about what other people’s lives consist of, even in their mundanity. I want to see and experience every boring corner of everywhere and everyone’s lives. Do we tick the same?
Daily thought
What is something that surprised you recently?
I’m not much surprised these days, to be honest. I think I need to look out for it again, otherwise, life will just feel like an endless series of disappointments.
Have you been skiing?
I haven’t. I wouldn’t have minded to try when I was younger but the cost always felt prohibitive or not worth it in my mind. It probably would have been a better option than buying a skateboard when I was 40. I gave that up at the first fall landing on my hip.

I took this picture because I noticed the foliage around the stupa has been cut down making it more visible from below and obviously making the views more open from the top. I already have a few good pictures from here before but these are even better.

Rose-Tinted Tears – 21st November 2022

Not understanding consequences
The future impossibly vast
Fire the only guide
With no lesson from the past
Naivety is nature
For kitten and the pup
A world set in wonder
To drink from this cup
Bitter-tasting tears
Wiped from cheeks so red
Whispered-coated rumours
Of words perhaps not said
Blind lead blind in battles
Swords laid to the heart
Voices deepen in anguish
As the youth set to depart
Wisdom-thickened skin
Hardened by the aches
Practised and repeated
Then learned from those mistakes
Where did they go
Those sadder lonely days?
Reminders of a time
Enjoyed in so many ways.

The truth I believe is that silence – like darkness – is a little unnerving but unlike darkness, the apprehension comes not from the fact that it conceals but in that it reveals.

Thomas J Bevan

Today I’m feeling:
Exhausted, a little happy but a little down.
Today I’m grateful for:
Amy being back in the kitchen and cooking up a storm. Before we got home we went shopping and found some vegan pork belly cubes and Amy cooked them and they were delicious.
The best thing about today was:
Chilling at House after a reasonable first-thing morning class. The kids were fairly well-behaved and most got their work done. I got a few things done whilst drinking coffee and enjoyed relaxing.
What book are you reading right now?
Quite a few different ones but the main one is 100 Selected Stories by Anton Chekov. Only just started yesterday but the first two stories were great.

I took this picture because everyone loves a chilled dopey dog. Tokyo can get pretty bitey but I’ve learned to keep her happy and she’s often found like this.