Guy Raz is Ruining my Life

The trouble with life is that too often things aren’t black and white enough. Nothing is ever just fantastic or terrible, it’s a sickening combination of both and the combination of the two just add up to life feeling… meh.

The easiest example that comes to mind of something good being mixed with something bad is the podcast “How I Build This with Guy Raz.”

The podcast itself is fantastic because it’s a podcast that talks with some of the best entrepreneurs and innovators in the world.

Who wouldn’t want to hear Sara Blakey talk about what she went through to invent Spanx? The story of her journey selling fax machines door to door at age 27; before using her innovative spirit to transform her life is so inspiring. Her rags to riches story is heart warming and the perfect way to spend my morning on the train.

Then it’s all ruined by Guy Raz.

Guy is a radio host for NPR and is often referenced in very high regards by his peers.

Unfortunately for me I find the high pitched, patronising and twinky porn voice he interviews his guests with makes the podcast almost unbearable.

The worst part is that when you listen to live episodes where he’s unable to lean into the microphone and really work to squeeze out his crackly teen wheeze, his voice is actually normal and completely bearable.

Why he thinks we want to hear this artificial and insufferable version of his voice is beyond me and ruins the experience. Not to mention his questions that amount to not much more than “what?! What?!!! How is that possible??!! Just 20 years old??!!! How did you do it??!! How??? How is it??? How is it possible?!!

Life in China is almost like this podcast. I love the content so much, I love the culture and the food and I have so many fantastic experiences everyday.

Unfortunately for some of us foreigners, the experience is delivered by shady employers that don’t tell the whole truth, food poisoning and power outages.

Well these are my experiences anyway, and they’re weighing on me as contract re-negotiation season is upon me.

Do I listen to the podcast and learn to live with the interviewer? Do I adapt?

Or do I switch podcast and hope that it’s better over on Radiotopia?

It’s been rough lately because I’ve been sick. My work contract doesn’t include sick days so my days in hospital weren’t paid.

This was a hot topic during the first meeting regarding my future contract. I’m lining up options elsewhere just in case this contract renewal doesn’t pan out.

I’m curious whether anyone else drags their employer through a lengthy and demanding contract renewal process or whether it’s just me…. No it’s not just me, it’s lots of people. Luckily for these people though, many of them have way more skills than me.

I’ve learned that to survive here you have to be clear and concise about what you want, and that you always get everything that’s said to you in writing. Nothing is a fact that isn’t in writing. I learned the lesson eventually, but later than I wish I had.

Lately my employers have been giving me the business, but mistreatment isn’t enough to make me leave any job. I stayed at Disney for 4 years after all and Disney are the best employee abusers ever.

Thats because if you pay me enough I’ll take any amount of punishment.

So I say bring it on! I’m in the Chinese Wild West after all; shooting at me might be legal, but I’m gonna to take your horses and all your booty.

When they hear the figure it’s gonna take to keep me here their eyes are gonna water, but between that day and this one; I’m gonna be the best damn employee they’ve got.

Time will tell how his plan pans out.

The Fiverr Life

I’ve been having a blast lately, and making bank doing it. (By bank, I mean enough to sponsor my morning coffee each day).

And I’ve been doing it all on Fiverr.

Fiverr is place I’ve been turning to since 2010 for all my online needs.

I go there to edit my self published writing (not this content though, for my blog you get to suffer through my self editing).

I also go for any sound editing I can’t manage myself, any picture or video editing (I loathe doing that) or anything else that can be achieved online. I once paid a guy in Hawaii through Fiverr to go to a beach and record a birthday song for my friend with his ukulele and it made a great gift.

Unlike that guy, I don’t sing so good so I do voice acting work.

It’s turned out to be a lot of fun, but a lot more time consuming than I was anticipating.

I think the image I had in my mind was of me coming home some days to a conveniently timed Fiverr order offering me tons of money to record a quick and simple character for an indie animated film that I would nail the first take, polish up on my editing program then minutes later be sending to the client as I skipped to the car yard and bought a Lexus.

Ok obviously I wasn’t expecting that.. within the first 30 days, but I also didn’t anticipate reality.

Several days of nothing, bookended with several orders at once, all with urgent messages about their priority, ordered at rock bottom prices, with scripts the length of a Stephen King book written with the smallest possible grasp of the English language.

So I find myself staying up late into the night recording God-awful writing (that for some people is precious and must be recorded word for bloody awful word) to be sent back because the ‘flow’ wasn’t right and maybe some words could be swapped out after all.

So there’s been some stressful nights to say the least, not to mention the clients who swear an order is a mere 15 minutes away, who just need a second with the script, to then have you wait up all night only to send nothing.. without a word of explanation.

I think the way I dug myself into this charming business model is by charging the lowest prices in town, boasting about my low prices among the community of people that shop for voice actors, then including lil perks like free re-recordings for people who change their mind.

This attracts an absent minded and frugal clientele who think the shillings they’re flicking your way are more than reasonable for the hours and hours you give to them in return.

The positive side of all this is that it’s working and I’m attracting any clientele at all. With my lack of super relevant voice training and, much more importantly, my very basic and self built sound recording space, I wouldn’t be getting much of any work at all elsewhere.

Yet through this site I’ve developed friendships and partnerships with businesses all over Asia and the Middle East who need voice talent, and who need to be free to change their mind, but also need to pay on the floor prices.

This gives me a chance to get in some much needed practice, make money while doing it, and most of all distracts heavily from my day job which is growing increasingly lame as I’ve been doing it for more than 6 months which is an eternity in my mind.

I strongly recommend other freelancers to checkout Fiverr.com and see where you fit.

You can also check out my gigs by clicking this link and see how I roll. (It goes to my profile on Fiverr, which is Fiverr.com/misici

Send me a message once your rolling on the site, it’s a pretty fun community and you’ll need the support when the customers come into your lil digital shop and demand the world. I’ll be your shoulder to cry on, before I tell you to get back to work. *cracks whip*

Moving Abroad Skittishness

Hey guys sorry for the gap, I’m back on the ship!
For those who don’t know, Im an entertainer aboard the Disney Wonder and I travel while performing Disney shows for kids.
Every time I come back aboard I fall behind in my writing and blogging as Im swept up in sudden work and scripts and pressure. Its a never ending onslaught of things to do and worry about, and there never seems to be enough time in the day.
Luckily I have plenty of time to get off the ship in various countries and enjoy new experiences in new places.
Right now were spending time around the south of the US and in Mexico. I love being in Mexico for the wonderful food and amazing ruines, but I can’t stand the searing heat. Recently I was in Alaska for three months so Im missing that climate, more recently I was in New York which is the perfect temperature for me.
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but new immigration standards are being considered by four Commonwealth countries to allow for easier passage between these countries. After an Australian teacher was forced to leave England because of an expired visa, the British Prime Minister came up with the idea to relax the rules for certain countries.
The four countries are Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK.
If this goes through in about a year it would be easier to move between these countries perminantly, without needing an exceptional circumstance.
This would be wonderful because I could see loving living in London, although I’d have to begin again there financially because I’ll die before I convert all my worthless Australian dollars into British Pounds and more than halve the savings that I have built up. So I’d have to move there and start modestly and live with a friend until I got on my feet.
Some people are worried though, most of which live in Australia.
We are a country with very few people and a lot of land mass. Australia is roughly the land size of America, but with the population of Texas. England has far more people than us, and is a tiny island on which everyone is squeezed in. Australians worry if we open the gates we will be overrun.
I think this worry is ludicrous because countries grow and improve with population. Look how awesome America is with all those cities and towns, driving through America must be awesome because there are a ton of populous places to explore.
Driving through Australia, you can drive for ages and see nothing, we have far to much space. Id welcome a healthier population level that forced us to build more cities, perhaps its time for our own Vegas? We definitely have the desert for it.
For now I’m gonna stay in America and Mexico, let me know what you think of people moving around, and where you would live if you could live anywhere!
I’ll be back within a few days, talk soon 😉

Travelers are Investors. Simple.

If there’s something that gets me more excited than anything else, it’s seeing young people who are good with their money.
Now I say “young people” like I’m a thousand years old (I’m 24) but when your my age and younger, not only is it ok to be bad with your money, it’s expected and even celebrated!
How are we suppose to achieve everything we want in life if we’re clouded by never ending debt? Or a constantly empty bank account?
My favorite show in the world is Shark Tank, an investment reality show on ABC, mostly because of the advice and zingers that come out of the mouths of the investment sharks.
They talk about doing without until you can afford to buy what you want. To only have a credit card to build credit rating, and only buy something if you can pay it off the credit card that same day.
I’m reading a book written by one of the sharks (Kevin O’leary) and he talks about thinking while about to buy something “will I want this a year from now.”
Everything we buy is an investment, and some are going to hurt us a lot more than help us.
A friend of mine has a boyfriend who just bought a $25,000 car on a loan. I nearly passed out. With interest he’s going to pay probably $40,000 for that car, which is actually a conservative guess because hes paying back minimum payments, so it could be much more. But the second he drove it out of the car lot, his investment lost a third of its value. By the time he’s payed it off in no less than 6 years, he may have payed over $40,000 for an object that may be worth $8,000. This is why banks are the best businesses in the world.
How are we suppose to travel in our 20’s while we’re unmarried and free, when we’re burdened by being unable to pay for it.
I have been trading shares for years, and though haven’t made much more than $500 doing it, I have built up a love for investment.
Through action I’ve taught myself how to trade, what to look for, and that I don’t invest in anything that doesn’t want to pay me a dividend. As time goes by and my portfolio grows, that dividend twice a year will only grow and as I reinvest it, the growth will only go faster.
As I get older I’m looking out for other markets to invest in, but I wouldn’t have ever done it without experiment and action.
A lot of my close friends won’t do it, it does seem scary and the media does release stories every day of some guy that invested it all in a risky startup and now begs for quarters in the street.
But what I think is far more scary is seeing my money in a savings account, depreciating faster than it makes interest, and sitting merely a few clicks of the mouse away if I feel like spending some of it.
With volatile market times, settlement periods, and just plain hassle, I don’t spend the money I have in shares. So it saves.
I just want to pass on to young people with more than $500 sitting around. Invest a small amount and stay comfortable at first, invest in a dividend paying company that will work to make that payment happen. If they don’t have to pay a dividend then your relying on that less transparent company increasing in value faster than your money is depreciating.
And buy into a company that’s not going anywhere. Being from a country like Australia with limited population there are some companies our country relies on, invest in them. And only invest what your ok with losing at first, just so you can sleep at night. Build a habit and learn to enjoy it! Your part of something now! You are part of the greater world! It’ll do you good in the long run, and may just pay for your trip to China. 😉
I’m not a financial advisor by any means, any financial rant on my blog is just my own opinion. If you wanna talk more about it feel free to comment and subscribe. 🙂 Talk soon!

Everything’s Better in Anime

So you know what rocks? Vancouver!
Now that we port in Vancouver I get to explore the city, which means I have a regular battle between my urge to see the city properly, or hide myself away in Fat Burger and suck up all their WiFi and food.
Seriously, who knew fast food milkshakes could be so freaking amazing.
But seriously I love a good city, walking downtown (or through the CBD if your Auzzie) is what makes me happiest.
Standing there surrounded by tall buildings, feeling like everything is closed in all around you, its amazing. I even prefer it if its a little difficult to breathe, is that weird?
Although I like to visit the country for very limited periods of time, I will only ever live in a city. The only times I really hanker for rural areas is when Im watching a Studio Ghibli movie, somehow those films make me want to pack my bags and leave the city forever. They make nature seem so incredible!
Yesterday I found myself watching ‘The Secret World of Arriety’ (I believe its called) on a tv near some giant windows overlooking the snowy mountains and thick forests of Alaska, and all I could think was damn nature looks good in the movies. Everything is better in anime.
But yeah Vancouver is my kind of place, the people are really nice and like I said, really good fast food.
Also some incredible views of mountains and the air is really nice, which is something I head people apprieciate.
Well Im gonna go and brave the winds and rain and go get something to eat. Please subscribe if you wanna hear more and comment if you’d like to chat. 🙂 see ya soon

Concerns of a Travel Addict

Well guys its back to Canada tomorrow, back to where I’ll call home for the next few months.
I will stay based in Canada until about late September, and during this time will be visiting various parts of Alaska through the week each week.
Although the cold was a rude shock at first, and though I’m still not completely comfortable with it, I am use to it now. Plus the cold is not a high price to pay to be able to stay so far north of the rest of the world.
I’ve been wondering whether I should consider Toronto for a future home? Its a prominent theatre scene, not to mention a strong market for screen.
Not to mention that for an Australian, a working visa in Canada would be much easier to obtain than an American one for sure. Although to do that I’d have to pay to go home whenever I wanted to see my family, and from Canada I’m not sure I could manage the $2000 return flight. I’ve become so accustomed to to flying the world without cost I’m not sure I could justify the cost!
For the price of seeing my family I could re-do my whole China trip again. At this point it becomes an unsavory competition, to see my family and all the places I’ve seen a thousand times before, or go to a country I’ve never experienced and have a life changing time. I’m not yet so mature that I could make that choice I dare say.
But choices such as these are the ones facing all young travelers, do we forsake the nest and see the world without looking back? Or do we return home and build a life, forsaking home sickness and the pains of missing people.
Well I can’t manage the later, so I guess I’ll have to endure the former.
Like most travel bugs I could never make a life in my home town, so if I’m to make a life at all, it’ll have to be somewhere new.
How about you guys? Are these issues your facing?
If you migrate somewhere long term, can you disconnect yourself for as long as it takes?
Right now I travel all around and don’t stay anywhere for long, but I cant do it forever.
Let me know your thoughts, when is one expected to settle down? And can one be expected to do it at home? I’m off to have lunch now but subscribe for more travel tales and thoughts, and I’ll talk again soon. 🙂

Me with the locals

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I don’t really understand the context, but these women were in Sitka and they mean something to Alaskan history. Anyone who knows more than me about this stunning state please feel free to educate me! (My knowledge is as advanced as the Alaskan kids books I’ve found such as ‘the salmon princess’ and other treasures).