ROBERT FULGHUM: A mutual weirdness [zenpencils]


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This is just too cute 🙂


How many types of tea do I have at my desk?

Once my colleague asked me that question. Well, I actually don’t know 😀

I like Twinings the most – taste, smell, color and flavor – all is worth the price, but it’s still expensive for a person who has 2 bags everyday, then Twinings becomes kinda fancy treat for just 1-2 times per week. Besides I have Ahmad, Dilmah and Phuc Long. Phuc Long has become pretty popular in Southern Vietnam few years ago.

Let’s see…

  • Twinings Earl Grey
  • Twinings Rosehip and Hibiscus black tea
  • Ahmad Burst Blackcurrant black tea
  • Ahmad Peach and Passion fruit black tea
  • Ahmad Mint Mystique black tea
  • Ahmad Lime and Lemon black tea
  • Ahmad English Breakfast black tea
  • Dilmah Peppermint black tea
  • Phuc Long Oolong tea
  • Phuc Long Green tea
  • Phuc Long Rosebud black tea

Total: 11 now 😉

Among all of those flavors, I like Earl Grey the most. I don’t know why. And among all brands, I like Twinings Earl Grey the most. I still don’t know why.

I also like Genmaicha, Japanese green tea with roasted rice, light flavor and very special taste that makes me miss my mom. I don’t know why. I like Genmaicha of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. But it is super expensive in comparison with Twinings. 20$ for an aluminum box of 20 bags. I don’t buy it. Sometimes I hang out with my friends there and have a cup of tea for 2.5$. Good tea, nice place, good time with best friends.

Among all of those flavors, I have to admit that Dilmah Peppermint is the worst. The taste is very weird. I don’t like it. But it’s good for my bloating stomach. Yuck!

Ahmad Mint Mystique tastes like toothpaste, but still way better than Peppermint.

Burst Blackcurrant and Peach are cool. All fruit tea is fun I think 😉 Sometimes I drink Blackcurrant tea with lemon juice or Peach tea with few slices of peach.

I often drink English Breakfast tea in the afternoon and Earl Grey tea in the morning.

At home I also have Phuc Long rosebud tea. Rosebud only, no tea leaves. It gives a romantic light pink color. It’s perfect to serve hot with few teaspoons of condensed milk. Whenever I drink it, I always feel like I am soooo fancy *evil smile*

Are you a tea person? 😉

100km-pedaling day, Sunday funday

One more time I again pushed myself to step out my comfort zone. And first time ever, 100km on a bicycle!

100km on a bicycle sounds scary but intriguing, said one of my friend who is a marathon trainer. I did it. The thing I never thought I could.

I don’t feel sore at my butt or my back, just dehydrated due to the heat. And my thumbs are painful now, don’t know why 😦

“Real love is capable of being alone” – Osho

I started reading Osho’s books 2 years ago since I was so depressed. I made a choice, and with that choice I bet all my faith on a person, then I failed. Since faith is often misplaced. Lesson learnt. The worse thing is I can barely believe in my own decisions anymore.

“Think about this a little – your constant need for love. You want someone to love you, and if someone loves you you feel good. But what you don’t know is that the other loves you only because he wants you to love him. It is just like someone throwing bait to fish: he does not throw it for the fish to eat, he throws it to catch the fish. He does not want to give it to the fish, he only does it because he wants the fish. All the people that you see in love around you are only throwing bait to get love. They will throw the bait for a while, until the other person starts feeling that there is a possibility of getting love from this person. Then he too will start showing some love until eventually they realize that both of them are beggars. They have made a mistake: each had thought the other was an emperor. And in time each one realizes that he is not getting any love from the other, and that’s when the friction starts.”

I’ve learned to live a fuller life, a less demanding life.

For example, when I’m upset, I call my best-friend and she is busy with her own stuff and she can’t spare her time to listen to me. Is she selfish? Should I be angry with her? Or on Valentine day, my boyfriend doesn’t have any flower or fancy gift for me, should I be mad?

“Hence, it looks very contradictory, paradoxical, when stated in such a way: “Love brings aloneness.” You were thinking all along that love brings togetherness. I am not saying that it does not bring togetherness, but unless you are alone you cannot be together. Who is going to be together? Two persons are needed to be together, two independent persons are needed to be together. A togetherness will be rich, infinitely rich, if both the persons are utterly independent. If they are dependent on each other, it is not a togetherness – it is a slavery, it is a bondage.

If they are dependent on each other, clinging, possessive, if they don’t allow each other to be alone, if they don’t allow each other space enough to grow, they are enemies, not lovers; they are destructive to each other, they are not helping each other to find their souls, their beings. What kind of love is this? It may be just fear of being alone; hence they are clinging to each other. But real love knows no fear. Real love is capable of being alone, utterly alone, and out of that aloneness grows a togetherness.”

Normally there’s a Yes answer from my friends. I think it should be a No. Why? Because those people don’t have any responsibility to take care of my mood or to make me happy. I should be glad if they can schedule their busy life to stay with me. My best-friend – her duty is not to listen to me. I should feel grateful if she have time for me. Plus in case my boyfriend doesn’t show up with flowers or fancy stuff, the question for myself is whether I really need it at all. I don’t like flowers anyway. For me it’s a way of wasting money for spending on flowers on those special days since flowers on those days are ridiculously overpriced. Plus for me, flowers in a vase, no matter how fancy that vase is, are beautiful dying creatures, and it is just cruel.

Well, so that’s just my egoism. Because other girls have flowers, then I must have flowers even though deep inside I don’t care.

That’s it. Lesson 101: To live a less demanding life.

“If you’re happy, I’m happy.”

Is it true? I said it but I did not believe in my words at all. When he told me he’s going to get married soon, it was like I dropped my heart on the floor while my mind was frozen. My mind was like floating somewhere on the ceiling and it looked at my body staring at the phone and my soul just broke into pieces. But I must keep my words.

“I’m happy for you honestly.”

Things have expiry dates, even promises…

Well, a fuller life, a less demanding life, a live-for-this-moment life never assures to save me from that very moment. I kept my motto. I was not mad at all. Never. That’s no one’s fault. I’m just sad, and that’s my fault..

“Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.”

“You feel good, you feel bad, and these feelings are bubbling from your own unconsciousness, from your own past. Nobody is responsible except you. Nobody can make you angry, and nobody can make you happy.”

“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm…”

Watched the “Killing season” movie on HBO last night, I was impressed by one thing

“Sometimes things become part of us, whether we want them to or not”, said Emic Kovac

It’s so true. That reminds me about one of my favourite book, Kafka on the shore, written by my favourite writer, Haruki Murakami.

Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.

And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.

And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.

You know why you love a book?

Light and dark. Hope and despair. Laughter and sadness. Trust and loneliness.

Either it’s fun or sad, you love it because between such beautiful words, you find yourself somewhere there.

I go back to the reading room, where I sink down in the sofa and into the world of The Arabian Nights. Slowly, like a movie fadeout, the real world evaporates. I’m alone, inside the world of the story. My favourite feeling in the world.

Either I do run away from the truth, I mean real distance, or step back and hide in my own tiny shell, at the end of the day, the only one I have to face with is myself.

No matter how far you run. Distance might not solve anything.

No matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away. They remain with us forever, like a touchstone.

In everybody’s life there’s a point of no return. And in a very few cases, a point where you can’t go forward anymore. And when we reach that point, all we can do is quietly accept the fact. That’s how we survive.

Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive.

None of Haruki Murakami’s books is fun. But if you’re looking for a quiet moment with a cup of tea on your right hand and a book on your left hand, you know which book should you pick.

This is a book for you by now and even for the next few years, when things change, life changes, even you change, you may absorb his words differently..

My new babe, Jeep

Welcome on board, Jeep! Lol, it’s a Jett bicycle, Jett Atom Alpha, a mountain bike for entry level. Jeep sounds quite similar to Jett so I call my babe Jeep 🙂


I ride Jeep to work everyday, 21km total. At the very first try, I thought “Wow this is the way we need to learn to live slower, enjoy every moment of life, because life is so short!”.

Tanned skin, short pixie hair, tank top and shorts, mountain bike, ride to work, need to lose 10 lbs tho, well this doesn’t look like an image of a successful woman, but I feel good about myself. I think this is all each of us need at all.