All posts by DJ Baird

My name is Dan. That's about all I'm sure of.

Alexa, Write Me A Humourous Blog Post

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Remember 5 years ago when Apple released Siri and everybody thought it was amazing?

For 2 minutes.

Which was the time it took to realise that Siri:

a/ Didn’t understand what the hell you were saying half the time.
b/ Was embarrassing to use in public. “Siri, is my mole cancerous?” Continue reading Alexa, Write Me A Humourous Blog Post

Am I Anti-Opinion?

When I haven’t written anything for my blog in a while, I start to wonder what’s stopping me. Sometimes it’s a lack of inspiration, other times a lack of motivation. Often I’ve fallen out of my routine.

Since moving to America, I’ve had a lot going on in my life to think about (and so, a lot to write about.) But still, I’ve found I’d prefer to do other things.

Much of my writing is about my perspective or my experiences. My opinions. But upon moving to America, that’s something I’ve found myself overwhelmed with.

I’ve become tired of opinions.

For anybody thinking of moving here, a piece of advice: don’t move in an election year. You will be bombarded by opinions.

I think this. She thinks that. We think something. They think something else.

You’re wrong. He’s wrong. Everybody is wrong.

You can’t turn on the TV without seeing something foaming at the mouth, shouting about some person or some thing.

Everywhere you look, people are arguing, angry about some topic.

It gets tiring. 

I’m not above it either. I find myself drawn into arguments from time to time, as we all do. Feeling a surge of adrenaline as somebody says something I disagree with, thinking, “I’ll show them how wrong they are.”

I think we can somehow fool ourselves into believing we’re doing something worthy when we argue with others. Like we’ll help them see the light.

When mostly all we want to do is prove them wrong and feel good about ourselves. Often it’s a waste of oxygen. We are all so narrow-minded that rarely do even the most civil discussions lead to useful conclusions.

So mostly I’ve tried to avoid arguments, discussions and whatever else you’d like to call them. If somebody says something I disagree with, I’ll take a breath and just ask myself, “Why bother? I’ll just get frustrated with myself and all that will do is make me feel upset and nothing else.”

Part of me wishes to say that this is purely an American thing. Often it feels like opinion is more important than fact here.

But I’m sure the UK has similar issues  at the moment. These last few years have been especially divisive in the UK and America. Many of us are divided by our opinions. There’s a lot to argue about.

I find it a bit disheartening. I don’t think the world is as black and white as we often want it to be. A person isn’t all bad because they have an opinion we disagree with. We’re all complex in our beliefs, but that’s often the last thing we’ll consider.

I suppose my main issue is that I believe it’s better to find common ground with others, rather than to focus on what divides us. Nothing good comes from division. It’s probably better to bond with a person over your shared love of football than it is to argue with them over their political beliefs that will never change.

I’m starting to sound a bit idealistic and possibly naive. I do think that we should challenge our beliefs and the extreme beliefs of others.

But I don’t necessarily think that our entire lives need to be devoted to our opinions. Which is how it can often feel.

Anyway, what does this have to do with my blog? (And yes, I get the irony of this opinion piece being a direct attack on opinions.)

I guess I’m often just too tired to write about what I think and feel, when I’m surrounded by what others think and feel a lot of the time. My energy for writing has been drained by an atmosphere of constant opinion and outrage.

To sum it up:

I can’t be arsed with opinion.

Spending Time in a Florida Library

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In an attempt to be more productive with my job search and to get myself out of the house, I’ve been spending a lot of time at the library over these past six months.

The Library of My Expectations is close to heaven. A silent place, with comfortable chairs – plenty of back support, soft pillows. Every book I’d ever want, easily accessible, always in stock. Maybe even a cafe with giant muffins that also sells decent cups of tea. Continue reading Spending Time in a Florida Library

On Goals and Life Problems

It’s been almost three months since my last blog post.

I’ve been feeling uninspired. Low on energy. Lacking the motivation to write.

A voice in my head speaks:

Uh oh. I know what that means. You’re not doing too good, Dan.

I agree.

Moving to America has (and continues to be) one of the biggest challenges of my life. I thought it would be easy. But I overestimated my resilience to tough situations.

While I was back home in England, I was pretty miserable. Working a job I hated – nothing meaningful on the horizon. I turned 30 and realised more than ever that I was years behind my peers in terms of wealth, status and generally sorting my life out. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been waiting for years for my life to actually start.

When you’re in this position, it’s easy to fall into a trap.

We focus on a goal in our future and we believe it will unlock every problem in our life: Continue reading On Goals and Life Problems

One Year in a Hagwon – Teaching English in Korea

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I’ve written an ebook.

As the title suggests, the ebook is about teaching English in Korea and my experience of it. It’s not always positive, but I’ve tried to be as balanced as I could. It’s sometimes funny, sometimes sad. It’s even somewhat interesting.

You can buy the ebook on Amazon US or Amazon UK. They list it as 79 pages. It’ll take you an hour or two to read.

If you do read it and enjoy it, I’d love it if you could email me (mrdanbaird@gmail.com) or comment here. If you really love it and think it’s the best thing ever, you could send it to a friend (or even review it on Amazon!)

 

Living with 5 Cats, 2 Dogs, 1 Bird, 8 Fish and 4 Humans


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Since I moved to America a few months ago, I’ve been unable to work. It takes months for a work visa to be processed and in that time I can’t leave the country, or do much of anything really. To save on costs, my wife and I have been living with her parents and brother.

It doesn’t matter as much as you’d think. Most houses in America are huge in comparison to the UK. Living with other people isn’t a problem. If you need some time alone you can sulk off to your own wing of the house and pretend that nobody is there with you.

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Ninja cat lies in wait to scare the crap out of me.

When it becomes a problem, is when you also have enough animals in the house to open a petting zoo. My wife’s family seems to collect animals like most people collect useless kitchen appliances. Instead of an ice cream maker they’ll only use twice, they get a new cat. Instead of a popcorn machine, a dog. When you have as many cats as they do, it probably seems like something you buy regularly. “Hey, don’t forget to stop by the store on the way home and get a new cat!” “Cat food. You mean cat food, right?” “No no, I mean a cat.” Continue reading Living with 5 Cats, 2 Dogs, 1 Bird, 8 Fish and 4 Humans