30 September 2011

Hmm... it appears I have a date

Like most things in my life, I just kind of fall into random situations where I am not entirely sure how they how they came to be.  This has happened again, as without really realizing I find myself planning for Friday night in which I actually have a date with a girl. Ha... yeah... cool?

The reason I am not overly ecstatic about it all is because firstly, as I just mentioned above, I am not really sure how I got here.  I met her about... 3 weeks ago at a friends birthday party, we hit it off pretty well.  Didn't see her for a while after that (although she did float into my mind from time to time, she had made a great impression), and then about a week ago I was heading out with friends so I sent her a text, she came along, we pretty much were glued together with conversations the entire time, then I vaguely remember some time during the night (after ridiculous amounts of beer) I challenged her to a bet, lost it, with the result being I am to pay for dinner for our just then decided upcoming date.  Ha.

However, somewhat regrettably, I already know I don't want to take it any further then we are now.  That's not to say she is not cool, as very much on the contrary she is actually really awesome.  Super smart, funny as, really casual and friendly, she is just about everything I would ever ask for (keywords: just about).  But without being too judgmental or superficial, my main reasons for not wanting to take it further are simply that I honestly don't really want a girlfriend right now.  Sure the company would be nice, not to mention how amazing it would be to finally have someone to bring with me to all my family events and occasions where all my relatives have a partner and I am the only odd one out.

That's not even including my cousins upcoming wedding in November where again my single-ness will be portrayed almost as a disease as I stand next to the crowd of couples around me. Ha!

But anyways, yeah, as it stands I am currently just having a ridiculous amount of fun at the moment in life.  I'm living out of home with an amazingly cool house mate, I'm currently focusing a lot on my health and fitness, trying to save money for next year, and spending lot of time on my many hobbies.  Then there is simply the joy of the unhindered freedom to go out on random wild nights out, attend parties, catch up friends, all without having to worry about another person.

It's the bachelors life really =P

Oh! And then there is also the fact that I am leaving for New York City in 6 months time in which I could be gone for up to a year.  So... yeah... now is not ideal.  Anyways moving on.

Am I nervous about the date?  Surprisingly not really.  As I said she is really cool, I feel really comfortable around her (to the point where it is hard to shut me up hehe).  In fact I am hoping she will end up as a good friend afterwards.

To be honest though, it has been quite a long time since I have been on a proper first date, the last not being since my long-term ex-girlfriend, which is going back quite a few years now.  I've definitely hung out with girls since then, but this time it is a proper: Dress nicely, drive round and pick her up at 8pm from her house, have a booking at a nice restaurant... then go... to... umm... I am not really sure where to go from there... haha!  Luckily I still have a few days to plan it all as it is only Tuesday at the moment.

Yeah... I'm smooth.

Let's see how it goes then I guess.

27 September 2011

Syncing Gmail, iPhone, Macbook and Facebook calendars

With invitations to events coming in from Facebook and my Gmail account, in addition to dates that I enter into my iPhone calendar manually, having three separate methods to keep track of important dates (Facebook, Gmail and my iPhone), it was getting out of hand.

After a bit of work I have managed to have my iPhone, Gmail, Facebook and my MacBook's iCal calendars all sync completely automatically with each other, supporting the theory that I should now be able to look at or edit any of them and they will all reflect the latest changes, making everything much easier. The part that I was particular fond of was the automatic addition of my Facebook events into the other calendars (especially to my iPhone) as that is the place where a lot of the invitations I receive come from.

All this took a little while to figure out but I have since found it to be extremely handy so I thought I would write up a quick guide on how I went about it in the hope it might help others.

How To Sync Gmail's, iPhone's, MacOS's (iCal) and Facebook's Calendars

Things to note:
- Facebook does not allow you to view dates from the other calenders
- Dates entered into iCal (the calender that comes with MacOS) will not be seen in Gmail, Facebook or iPhone calendars as iCal can only view the dates from the others but not add to them. This is explained in further detail below.

Step 1. Open up your Facebook page and proceed to your 'Events' page on your profile where you should be brought to a screen that lists all your events.  Down the bottom of this page is a link called 'Export', click this and you will be shown a URL in a little window.  Keep this open.

Step 2. In a separate browser window/tab, proceed to your Gmail calender that is included free with your Gmail account. Login and bring up your calendar via the navigation bar at the very top of the page.

Step 3. Once loaded, click the little drop down arrow next to the 'Other calendars' heading and select 'Add by URL'. Copy the URL we found in Step 1 and paste it here. Save this, wait a moment, and your Facebook events should now automatically sync and display within the Gmail calendar.

Note: While your Facebook events will now show in Gmail, this does not work the other way, meaning your Gmail events/dates will not show in your Facebook events list.

Step 4. With your Facebook events now displaying within your Gmail calendar, we now want to link both of these to your iPhone's calendar so that any events/dates entered in will be automatically synced and displayed.

On your iPhone go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Add Account -> Microsoft Exchange. Fill in the fields, leaving the Domain field empty, enter your Username and Password as that of your Gmail account (and not your Apple ID details), and of course, your Gmail email address.

Select 'Next' and a field called 'Server' should appear if successful. Enter in m.google.com into this field and press Next, completing the process. Waiting a moment and then re-opening the Calendar should now display your Gmail dates and your Facebook events.

Helpful link: Proceed to this Google Support page for further details on connecting Gmail and your iPhone.

Step 5. Additionally we can also connect MacOS's iCal to display the events and dates of the other three. On your MacBook open up iCal and proceed to iCal -> Preferences -> Accounts (the top left of your screen) and enter your Gmail username and password into the field. Save that and you should soon see the events added from your Gmail, iPhone and Facebook calendars, which will also stay synced automatically as the other three change.

Note: Adding events into your iCal calendar will not show up in the others (as far as I know).

And that's it. You should now be able to see all your important dates across all four platforms. Just remember that you can only create new events from the Gmail, Facebook and iPhone's calendars (and not iCal). This has worked wonders for me already, having my Facbook events sync directly to my iPhone has made everything much simpler.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

21 September 2011

Time for a ramble

Yikes, what a crazy few days that was.  It is now 9.37pm Wednesday night and I have been on the non-stop go since last Friday.  I don't work very well if I am denied the time to stop and catch up on my thoughts... my mind gets messed up, complex, full.  Ha, my writing at this very moment is absolutely terrible, these sentences aren't flowing, the story is being dragged into a million different directions, and I am constantly deleting lines I have just written to replace them with as equally confusing ones.

I do apologize!

Alas, I am here to force myself to ramble in the hope that I can straighten some thoughts out.  Rambling (and procrastination) is why I originally started this blog nearly 2 years ago now, and over that time I have realized greatly the plethora of benefits blogging can bring.  It allows me to keep track of my progress in life, to rant a little, to get things off my mind and chest, and also to just basically figure out what is going on at the given moment.  

And on that note, at the present moment I would say I am feeling... deeply overwhelmed.

But I don't mean emotionally overwhelmed... that doesn't really happen to me I have found haha.  I seem to have the emotion range and sensitivity of a dog... with my emotional spectrum basically ranging between; hungry, ridiculously sad or ridiculously happy, and nothingness.  Anyways, no, the overwhelming feeling I am speaking of is in regards to my thoughts... the last few days were hectic, thus the pressure of finishing my ever growing to-do list is becoming quite daunting.  So much to do with the appearance of such little time!

The to-do list (from what I can remember off the top of my head):

- Apply for Visa for NYC trip (Sigh... getting close!)
- Catch up on blogs (at least that is one thing I am finally attempting haha)
- Practice iOS development (got a tutorial book to get through)
- Design any of the apps ideas (I have about 15 iPhone app ideas I want to get a move on with)
- Organize SOMETHING eg. laptop files, clothes wardrobe, myself (Was getting desperate here lol)
- Start my novel (This can wait)
- Create story for video game  (I'm currently developing a video game with a friend)
- Organize email inbox (50 emails in my inbox simply act as reminders for myself...)
- Develop app for my musician friend Jason (This can wait)
- Develop app for my best mates band (This can wait)

Hmm, I guess that doesn't look too bad.  I mean... none of them have deadlines really (besides applying for the Visa of course), all the rest are just things I like to do for fun.  My only concern is that I am letting full-time work get the better of me and am not doing more of the fun stuff that I wish I had the time to do, especially as some of these items have been on my to-do list for literally over 6 months now.  

Hmm, I do feel slightly better having it written down on my blog at least (and not just spread over my email inbox where I have sent emails to myself to remind me these things...).  There are quite a few more pressing items that are on my mind, but I think that is enough spilling of the mind for one night.

Yes, my mind feels slightly lifted already.

I love blogging =)

15 September 2011

Happy Birthday lil sister!

The other day was my younger (and only) sister's 21st birthday.  But, I must be mistaken of course. My sister simply can't be 21 already. 

People who are 21 years old are... you know... grown up, and kind of... adult-like.  Hmm, however, I did see the number 21 on numerous birthday cards she was given, and I think the phrase 'the big 21st' was thrown around by a few guests... and I guess, if I do the maths, taking into account the year she was born... then that technically means that yes, she would be 21.

But... but... she isn't meant to be an adult already!

We've had the strangest of relationships.  When we were really young we used to spend a lot of time together, but then over our teenage years it turned into nothing short of all out civil war. Our house was a battlefield, our rooms our solitary fortresses, our weapons were our words (and sometimes flailing hands haha). 

And then, I don't know, about two years ago everything kind of changed all of a sudden.  She helped me during a tough time, I provided her with advice for her University and career choices, and before I knew it we were friends.  These days, and as cheesy as it may be to say, she is one of the coolest people I know and I thoroughly enjoy and am filled with a sense of pride when she comes to me for advice or assistance. 

In a way I kind of regret that we spent all those years as enemies, but I like to think I am making up for it from now on by trying to be the coolest, smartest and most reliable brother I can be.

I'm not sure if she reads this blog, but maybe she will.

All in all, life is moving very quickly, and nothing should be taken for granted because it might not be around forever.

Happy Birthday lil sis!

05 September 2011

Small update

Hi guys! It's Saturday night at the moment, 10.51pm to be exact. I was meant to be having a BBQ at my house with my friends, but those plans kind of fell through, alas here I am having an amazing time in my own company, listening to music, writing blog posts, and having a drink or two because I can.

The joys of being young, single and living out of home =)

 During the day I spent 3 hours researching for my New York City trip and managed to gather, decipher and organize quite a lot of useful information, particularly in regards to visa applications (which is quite a tricky subject I have found). If you head over to the New York City Trip page you will be able to see the latest of my planning and research. This page is which is where I keep all my preparations for the trip, it acts as for a central place for myself to be able to organize and retrieve any information whenever needed, and also for a reference where I sincerely hope that it could provide useful to others who may also have a big trip in mind.

Wow, I have such big hopes for this trip.  Maybe it is the influence of the drinks I have been having tonight, but I feel like I want to share this with you guys (and also, I guess, to share it with myself).  For quite a few years now I have basically lived with the following mantra in mind:

"I picture myself as a 30 year old (I am currently 23), I envision a BBQ, a gathering of friends, of friends of friends, of random strangers, having a good, casual time.  I meet new people, get introduced by people to other people.  Conversations flow, the usual pleasantries exchange "Hi, so nice to meet you, how do you know the host?".  As the night goes on, and the familiarity increases, talk turns to our personal lives.  Stories are told, memories of past times re-surface."

And it is at that precise moment, as the stories from the past are re-told to those who already know it, to those who were perhaps even there in the first place, to those who are new to the story, to all of the surrounding crowd.  This precise moment is what fuels my entire being, my mantra for life, my drive my for New York City trip, for my good grades at University, for my good job I have now, for my constant daydreaming of the future... 

I want to be able to look back, at 30, and be damn well proud, excited and reminiscent of the last decade of my life. For my stories to mean something, to stand out, to have no regrets that I didn't live anything but the absolute fullest life that I could have. At 23 years old I am pretty happy with life so far, I know when I go to parties I always have a story or two that grips a crowd and leaves them with an array of different reactions; howling with laughter, exasperation from shock, or even blank faces of amazement.  But these, I hope, are just the tip of the iceberg of what could be ahead of me!

Full-time work sucks the soul of out you, it truly does. This year is my first year ever of full time work, and I can already realize that this year (as it is already somehow September) I have done hardly anything memorable the entire year. Apparently, according to our society we have built, I have another 40 years ahead of me of full-time work until retirement... I cannot, will not, get into the habbit of working full time and letting life drift by.
This, to sum up, is why I am doing this New York City trip.  Hell, it may turn into a nightmare, a let down, a disaster, but I just have to try! As I said in just my last post (Who I want to be) I have already established clearly that I am struggling with my current 'career' choice.  I need to be bold, be brave, and put my full trust behind the belief that destiny will take care of me, that I won't be another face in the corporate slave machine, and that I can make a life for myself that I can be happy with, proud of.

Ha, I apologize, this honestly was meant to be just a quick, 10 minute update on my New York Trip planning progress. Instead, it has turned into an 1 hour divulge into my very deepest thoughts, no doubt brought to the light by the couple of drinks I indulged in earlier in the night.

I'll leave this post here, else I know I could ramble easily for another hour more. I hope others are living the life they have always envisioned, but if not, they are at least attempting to hold onto it for as long as they can.  

It truly is never too late to be who you have always wanted to be. 

Well, at least I hope not!

01 September 2011

Who I want to be

"Where do you work?"

I get asked this all the time.

"Oh... umm, I'm a Software Developer" is my automated reply.  My voice sounding eerily similar to the computers I spend my days on.

A majority of my time I spend at work, isn't spent actually working.  I read the news, check my Facebook, watch YouTube, blog.

I even watch movies.

No, I am not kidding.

Some days, I'll sit there for hours and watch movies, without touching my work.

The other week I watched Harry Potter 1 to 6 over the course of two weeks.  All whilst at work.


For starters, I was terribly bored.

Secondly, I have no desire nor motivation to perform my job any better then I currently do.

I have thought into this a great deal, and I know that I cannot continue on like this forever, only working half heartily.  Working hard or hardly working? As the saying goes.

Hardly working, it evidently would appear.

I have, however, been at my current job for 3 years now.  That is a respectable amount of time, especially seeing as it is a rather prestigious job, doubly so for the fact that I have such a job at such a young age, fresh straight out of University only last year.

There is this guy at work, I can't stand him.  He loves the job, without it, he is nothing.  I on the other hand feel that I am nothing because of the job.  This, I feel, all leads to the same, seemingly unanswerable question:

"I am only 23 years old, what, if not what I am currently doing, could I possibly do for the next 40 years that makes me not feel like I am just wasting away..."

The answer? I have not a clue.

"Where would you rather work?" should be what people ask me instead.

I don't know what my reply would be, but maybe one day, if I were indeed asked that question, the answer may just spring to mind.

"They say good things take time, but truly great things can happen in the blink of an eye" - Unknown

In saying all that, hope is definitely not lost. Hope can be found from the first few words of that declaration above: "I am only 23 years old".  I am young, very young.  Young enough to have the time to wait around for a while longer in the hope that the answers may find me.  Some people can spend their entire lives not knowing what they want to be or do with themselves.  I hope I am not one of those people, nor in fact do I truly feel that I am one of those people anyway, the reason being perhaps is because of the difference between myself, and those people; my strong desire to seek.  Seek, and you truly shall find.

Eventually, anyway.

So with all that said, place both feet on the ground, spin around three times on the spot, stop, then proceed to walk into the sunset with a smile on your face, ignorance in your thoughts and hope in your heart.  

Viva la vida!