the passenger seat


walking on a dream

I had the weirdest dream yesterday. It’s probably only the second long dream I’ve remembered recently. A couple of months ago I had a really vivid and long four-part dream involving Transformers, but I might recount that another day.

Anyway, the only dreams I’ve ever remembered are just like SY said in her recent blog (which prompted me to write about this dream): “I find that when you fall back asleep after being awoken by an alarm, you remember your dreams more easily..”

I’m really paranoid about missing things (or school back in the day) because I’ve woken up late, and so I use both my phone and an alarm clock. I started this system because there was a period of time where I got so used to my alarm clock that I was able to subconsciously reach behind me to turn it off while still in a sort of half-sleep, hence missing it and waking up late. So, I began to use two alarms where I would set my alarm clock 10 minutes after my phone alarm just in case. But then I got into the habit of using the time in between alarms to sleep some more (and those extra 10 minutes actually made me feel more awake when I woke up for real), and this is when I would often have dreams that I could remember.

However, yesterday was a different situation. After waking up early to go to Sydney Markets for some pre-Chinese New Year shopping, I came home wasted and found myself dropping off while on the computer. So I decided to have a nap, and that is when my dream unfolded…

The italic parts are what happened in the dream and the non-italics are things that happened in real life.

I walk into a store (not in a mall or shopping centre, but on the street) and it seems to be a weird hybrid shop that sells everything from guitars to boardgames. I spot a nice classical guitar with the price tag over $1,000 and I remember that I need to find one to buy for my brother’s birthday (my mum had a guitar that as a present the other day). The price tag is obviously too high so I go to the store assistant (a guy about our age) to ask him if there are any cheaper ones. But then a 60-70 year old man walks in and he is joined by two of his friends and they start chatting VERY loudly right next to the assistant and I. I go ahead and ask my question anyway, but the guy mishears me and starts telling me the days and hours that he works at the store, as if I am enquiring for a job (I have been trying to find a job recently). Soon the men stop talking but the guy is still going on about the job details, so I stop him and tell him what I really meant to ask. But he gets pissed and starts mouthing off about how he wasted his time explaining all the other stuff to me and that is when the manager comes over and sees what is happening. So I figure this is a good time to leave the store and as I walk out I see the assistant getting told off by the manager.

For some reason I decide to go back into the store soon after, and I go to the back where there is a desk with a computer on it, so I go to sit there (without using the computer). I stay there for a while but then decide to go outside again to check where the rest of my family is. I see them going into another store not far away so I go back inside and start using the computer (for what, I don’t know). After a while I decide to leave again but as I look through the store’s windows from the outside I realise I have left my phone and wallet on the desk.

So I go back inside to pick them up but the store has somehow turned into a library. As I walk past the desks I see people that I recognise (the only people that I remember seeing are Grubsy and Swami) but they don’t seem to notice or recognise me. I go outside and see my family walking into another store and so I follow them in, and it turns out that it is some sort of mall with a high ceiling. My family walks into Sanity (no idea why it would be that store in particular) and I walk ahead, coming across a staircase; the kind that spirals down in a square to get to a car park. As I walk down I pass a bunch of random people before meeting Janet at the bottom. She is wearing a black leather jacket (I think this was from seeing James’ new jacket).

We go out the door at the bottom of the staircase and we emerge into a large open-air car park. But somehow it is now night time and all the cars are lit up from underneath, some with their headlights on. Seeing Janet’s jacket and the weird light, I am reminded of the video for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” (I think my actual self thought of this and it became manifested in the dream). And so I make a joke, singing a line from that song out loud: “‘Cause this is Thriller, Thriller night”.

But then I look to my right and I see a big, flat-topped hill that has a really big blocky building sitting atop it, not unlike prison buildings. The buildings are all lit up with a sickly yellow light. Suddenly I hear some weird noises coming from the buildings and then the shrieking scream of a woman.

Then I see a woman with long dark hair and a white hospital gown running out of one of the buildings, presumably the same woman that screamed, and she is followed by a horde of other men and women dressed similarly, all running out of the buildings down the hill towards the car park while making lots of noise. It is then that I come to the realisation that the buildings are those of a mental asylum.

At this point we are both freaked out, so Janet and I rush towards the door we came out of but a hand reaches from inside and closes it. With the people still running down the hill we approach the door but it is locked and we are unable to get in.

Then I woke up.

The weird thing is, I’m pretty sure I was only half-asleep during the dream. I had parts where I would kind of wake up but I’d drop off again soon after and the dream would continue. Also, I found that I could actually somewhat control my dream. It was like my actual self knew that it was a dream and at parts I think I actually watched my dream self from a different viewpoint. When my actual self thought about something it seemed to immediately happen in the dream; like in that part about “Thriller”.

Another weird thing that happened is that I remember at times dreaming that I was asleep. This may have just been me waking up in a semi-conscious state, but when I tried to move my mind was telling me that I was moving but I found myself still in the same position after.

Is it normal for dreams to be remembered only when they are had in those light stages of sleep? Does this happen to anyone else? And has anyone else ever had any sort of control over their dreams as I had?

I’d love to hear your dream experiences, so leave them in the comments. But until next time, take care.

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*fin

I am so beached right now. Totally exhausted. It’s been a crazy long day and an even more hectic week.

But, it’s the night of the last day of high school and our entire schooling lives and so I feel compelled to blog about it tonight while it’s still fresh.

I think I’ve pretty much covered all my sentimental feelings in my previous few posts, so I’ll try to keep that to a minimum this time round. But, if you’re not a fan of recounts, skip to the end for the more reflective stuff. Actually, after writing this blog I think there’s still quite a bit of sentimentality intertwined with the recounts. Okay, upon reaching the end I realised that there is no reflective ending to the blog. Maybe next time. (Yes these were added further into the blog, not at the beginning because that would be weird.)

Anyways, let’s start with Monday…

Monday

Monday was our farewell assembly. Arrived at school early for Single Ladies rehearsal since I only knew like the first five moves prior to Monday. It was fun letting go of our inhibitions and our dignity in the name of going out with a bang, and I definitely will not forget it. I never thought I’d do what we did on stage on Monday, but we did. And I never thought we’d wear what we wore, but we did. I don’t think I need to go into specifics about that. But it was just really awesome to do it with a lot of my friends; most of whom I never thought would ever put themselves in that position. I never thought I would ask a guy “So, are you wearing a leotard?” and hear the reply: “I guess so.”

Dancing with the Single Ladies was great, but I had two performances to prepare for the assembly, the other being the “4-Chord Song” with SY, Carol, Annie and special guest appearances by Angelina and Mindy, or rather “JACS ft. AM-Dawg” as SY has dubbed us. This performance was not on a whim; it stems back from our time in musical in year 11. Being only minor principals, we were not often required for actual rehearsals at late-night principal rehearsals. So, we spent a lot of time outside the hall and in the gym equipment storage room just jamming to a guitar; mostly to the “4-Chord Song” and its many variations. For those of you who don’t know it, it’s a medley of a number of different songs to the same four chords, since hundreds of popular songs in the last few decades have been written to the same chord progression. It’s been done many times before by Norwegian Recycling and AJ Rafael and friends, just to name a few, but ours consisted of: Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours”, The Black Eyed Peas’ “Where Is The Love”, Alicia Keys’ “No One”, Sam Hart’s “Mario Kart Love Song”, The Black Eyed Peas “Where Is The Love” (the rap), Colbie Caillat’s “Realize”, Missy Higgins’ “Scar” and Ne-Yo’s “Easy”. Since the end of year 12 was a lot about remembering old times and reliving memories from our younger years, it was really nice to go out with this song, and I had a great time practising and performing with you guys.

Following the performances were the traditional speeches (although there was none by year 11s this year), video presentations and then our final roll call where we received our rams and walked to the back of the hall. Speaking of which, I would’ve liked the usual walk down the centre aisle rather than the side, but ah well.

After that there was the massive photo-taking and hug-fest. A little known fact about me: I like hugs. Some were more emotional than others, and frankly I was a little bummed that I wasn’t as sad as I’d expected. I guess I knew that I’d still see my friends in the following two days, so the reality of the end of high school hadn’t quite hit me as hard as it did for others.

Tuesday

The morning started with a mass shirt and book signing that only got bigger as the morning went on. At first it was difficult thinking of messages to write, but I think we’re all experts at it now. Not much to say except that I enjoyed this part a lot.

Then was the luncheon. I arrived in the hall a tad late and so the food supplies were low, but I managed to fill myself.

Then a group of us boys headed down to the oval for our last game of gridiron at school. Due to Deva’s request, our team became the “skins” team, along with Gabriel, Bryan, Ben and Eddy. Twas fun.

Tuesday night was Cabaret Night; the last school concert I will ever attend as a student. I kind of regretted not performing as I usually do, but it was nice just watching and cheering on the performers from our grade (and the other grades). Following this, I got home and proceeded to make the little puff things I brought for Winnie and Carol’s birthday picnic the next day.

Wednesday

I’m sure by now you’ve realised that I’ve kind of gotten a bit tired in the process of writing this blog. But anyway, I shall motor on with it. Don’t you just love unnecessary lines talking about the unnecessary nature of certain lines in a blog? Yeah, I’ll stop now.

Today I arrived at school to see everyone in mufti with their beach gear and everything. A few more shirt signings later and we had roll call (wait, what happened to our final roll call on Monday?), and during this, Rena from year 8 came to give Annie and I a little graduation gift and a final hug and goodbye. I found this gesture very touching, so although I know you don’t read my blog, thank you Rena, I love my monkey.

The beach was great, but unfortunately at this point I am too beached to remember the details. Briefly playing with Winnie’s skimboard, dunking people, eating at the picnic, doing a little bit of photography with James’ camera, a huge grade photo taken by a million different cameras… All in all it was a really relaxing final outing with the whole grade.

Upon arriving back at school, I noticed a few people pondering, and it was obvious to me that the end had finally hit them. For me, it still hadn’t. I knew that I would be seeing everyone again at night…

Winnie and Carol’s birthday dinner was held at The Ranch. There was a lot of talk about beer and there was a kind of mini-crackdown on underage drinkers but it all worked out somehow. I didn’t have any since I had to drive. I ordered the Scotch Fillet Steak Sandwich, which was pretty good, but the majority of the night was not spent eating. We watched Winnie and Carol open their gifts, we sang Happy Birthday to them and then the photo-taking started. Everyone just chilled out around the three big tables we had reserved and took luvos and just chatted. I lack the words right now to express how nice it was, so for now I’ll just use some an adverb and say that it was really, really nice. I guess it somewhat hit me at that point as people were leaving that I wouldn’t be seeing them properly again for a long time. But I know we still have the HSC and schoolies and ATAR BBQ and all that jazz. I think all of this is actually my mind making up excuses because I can’t accept the fact that it’s all over. But we’ll see.

After the dinner a small group of us headed to Karaoke in Eastwood: Janet, Winnie, Carol, Annie, SY, Angelina, Danny, Aryan and I stayed for the majority of it, while Leeanne left early on. Sang a few songs, then hugs all round as we left.

Anyways, I think that’s all I have the energy for tonight/early morning. Maybe I’ll write some more tomorrow. Photos from tonight should be up tomorrow or over the next few days.

But until next time, stay safe and don’t forget the memories we’ve shared at school.

Ruse 09; I love you all. And I truly mean that. We were the best grade ever. I am so thankful to have known you all, and for those I haven’t known so well; know that I have regretted it.

Take care everyone.



let the music play

Just a quick note: that movie post I mentioned in my last post will be posted tomorrow, after I have watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

This post will be about the music I’ve been listening to as of late.

My music taste has definitely changed a lot recently. I remember in year 7, Eminem and D12’s “My Band” were all the craze, as well as Usher and Chingy and all those guys. Man, those were good times. I look back and wonder “what the hell was I thinking?” All I did back then was go with the latest craze and listen to what everyone else was listening to. I remember going onto Take40.com, seeing any cool songs up there and downloading them on Limewire. Yes, Limewire. Awesome times. I was so naïve, and that was probably when I first started actually getting into music. I really didn’t know anything about music before then except that John Farnham and Human Nature were cool and the Bee Gees were okay, because these were the only artists I ever heard in my household.

Shoot forward one or two years and I only listened to indie rock and acoustic guitar artists. Remember back in the day when everyone listened to bands like Fall Out Boy and Panic At The Disco (back when they had the ! in their name)? Yeah, I was part of that craze. That was the only music I listened to for a long time. Throw in Death Cab For Cutie, who, as you probably know by now, are still my favourite, Anberlin, who I’d like to think are set apart from the other indie/punk/alternative bands are are also still a favourite, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, who I actually have not listened to for a long time.

I think my music taste has matured as I have matured. If any of you remember my blogs some time ago, I talked about listening to bands like Lymbyc Systym and This Will Destroy You- indie instrumental soft rock/post-rock. That was a phase where I somehow really got into a genre I had never heard of before and it was nice for a long time. The soft, gentle background music got me through that exam period and it was great.

After that, you might remember my post about MGMT and Empire Of The Sun. That was a short electronic phase. After discovering new post-rock bands, many of them were heavily electronic- and synthesiser-based, and I guess this stems from my liking of The Postal Service (of which Ben Gibbard is the vocalist, so, naturally, I like them).

From there, somehow I’ve started to like Hip-Hop and RnB a lot, mainly since I was introduced to Kanye West a while ago when his latest album was released. Some of my recent downloads include:

  • Mos Def – The Ecstatic
  • Mos Def & Talib Kweli: Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star
  • Ne-Yo – Year Of The Gentleman
  • Ne-Yo – In My Own Words
  • Akon – Freedom
  • The Foreign Exchange – Leave It All Behind
  • The Foreign Exchange – Connected
  • Wyclef Jean – Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs Of An Immigrant

A lot of these have been due to James’ influence. Right now I’m really feeling The Foreign Exchange and some of Wyclef Jean. I’ve pretty much been listening to only those artists for the past few days. There’s just something about the beats and production of some of the tracks that sounds really fresh to me. They feel clean, too, unlike to mess of guitars and drums and things like that in other music. It’s easy on the ears.

Actually, I’m listening to Norah Jones’ album Come Away With Me right now, which I’ve been meaning to obtain for a long time now. Really nice stuff; soothing.

I’ve noticed my music taste has really broadened in recent times. I find myself liking songs on the radio that I never would have thought I’d like, and that I know other people don’t like at all. I guess I’ve grown to be more open with this sort of thing, and I’m no longer trying to follow any trend or be “cool” and go with the crowd. I’ve just been listening with my own ears and deciding what I like and going with that. I think this is a result of growing up and having a lesser sense of peer pressure and more individuality. Oh gosh, that’s made me think about English. Yuck.

On a completely different topic, today I went to the city. Picked up a few bargain shirts which I’m really happy with, but while shopping I saw David Lam and Gavin shopping together at General Pants. Does anyone remember them? The crazy baller guys from a few years back; they were in year 12 when we were in year 8. Anyway, they were good friends back in the day, and I just find it really nice to see them still going out together and hanging out even four years after they graduated from Ruse. This is what I hope for in the future. I still want to be hanging out with my high school friends throughout university and beyond, and for those that this is not possible, I definitely want to at least keep in touch online or something like that. Reunions every now and then would be awesome, too, just to see everyone’s faces again and to catch up and see how people have changed.

But yeah, I think that’s enough sentimentality. I really love my friends here at Ruse, and you’re all awesome people, so thank you for that.

Anyway, that’ll be all today. Expect that movie post tomorrow, but until then, adios.

PS. Blog title? It’s a song by an artist I liked for a short time a while ago, after going to a concert… Well done to Swami for picking up the blog title, “Too Much Food” by Jason Mraz off his album Waiting For My Rocket To Come. You can have twenty points for that. And also thanks to everyone else’s comments. It’s nice to see all the different opinions on MasterChef.



the feel good drag

This will be a fairly short blog, since it’s late (actually it’s a lot earlier compared to when I usually blog) and I have some things to do (Edit: crap, I knew it wouldn’t be short). I need to blog because it just kind of takes my mind off other things during the time I write it, and it’s a nice break at the end of a day. Also, I love the feedback that all of you give me in the comments after I blog; it makes it feel that much more satisfying. However, I’ll probably end up writing heaps because I kind of get into a flow once I start writing.

Firstly, there are a few things that need to be mentioned.

The first: UAI –> ATAR. I don’t really want to say anymore because it’s been well-discussed already, and after hearing all the information it doesn’t bother me at all.

The second: ANBERLIN! Thanks to Joseph, I found out that Anberlin are playing in Sydney on August 28 this year, at the UNSW Roundhouse. Conveniently, this is a week after our Trials end. I bought tickets last night, so I’m very excited about it! I love how it’s going to be in a small venue, since the atmosphere is better. I’ll even be able to drive myself to the venue by then. Actually, I’ve never been to a concert in a small venue, but that’s what I hear. I’ve been to Red Hot Chili Peppers, which was at Acer Arena, and that was cool since we were relatively close but with seats. And of course there was Jack Johnson at Centennial Park. That one tops any other performance I’ve ever been to by far. We (Harry, Laura and I) sat outside the gates for about six hours so that we would be first in line when they opened, and it paid off, since we were directly in front of the stage, literally as close as you can get (we were leaning on the front barrier), with tens of thousands of people behind us, the furthest ones more than one hundred metres back. Ah, that was an awesome day. Here are some photos from that day (15 March 2008):

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While writing this, Kanye West’s “RoboCop” is playing. Right now Kanye is one of my favourite artists- I was introduced to him by James a while back when his newest album 808s & Heartbreak was released. His music is very different to what I normally listen to, which is a mixture of alternative rock, indie-style bands and acoustic guitar stuff. Although, I’ve noticed recently that my music taste has really been widening. Some of the albums that I’ve downloaded recently are: Jamiroquai’s A Funk Odyssey (jazz/funk/disco), LP3’s Ratatat (electronica) and Empire Of The Sun’s Walking On A Dream (electronica). These three are all a big change from my regular listening, and it seems that I’ve taken a liking to electronic music lately. Yesterday I also downloaded Bright Eyes’ Cassadaga and Digital Ash In A Digital Urn, of whom I’ve been a long-time fan. His style is folk; it’s usually just him with an acoustic guitar, but the latter album is actually electronic-based.

Another thing that has happened to my music taste is that I’ve been listening to movie soundtracks. Two weeks back or so I obtained the soundtrack for The Lion King. Yesterday I downloaded the soundtracks for Gladiator and The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King. I love the epic-ness of all the songs.

Anyway, a few blogs back I mentioned the movie Up, a movie that I really want to see. Well, tonight I found and watched the short film Partly Cloudy, which will be shown before Up in cinemas. For want of a better, less gay word, it’s cute. It’s only just over 5 minutes long, so I really recommend that you watch it below. I hope the video doesn’t get taken off YouTube because of copyright, as all the others have, so if you notice it doesn’t work, please let me know (Edit: Damn, YouTube blocked my re-uploaded version too. I’m afraid you’re going to have to find it on your own. Trust me, it’s worth it).

partlycloudy

Did you know that Baby Mario and Luigi were delivered by crane also? Yeah, I learnt it from playing the Yoshi’s Island series of games on Gameboy Advance. Well, here’s a really nice rendition of the Super Mario Land theme, by David Choi (whom I’ve mentioned before) on guitar and his friend Paul Dateh on violin. I love it.

Another great YouTube artist is AJ Rafael. I’m sure I’ve mentioned him before. Well, at the moment he has a Disney series going, and the second song of this twelve song series is the introduction and the theme song for Beauty And The Beast. I don’t know why, but I’m a sucker for Disney songs. Love the Mulan soundtrack, and of course The Lion King mentioned earlier. Don’t judge me. But watch the video below.

Lastly, here are some photographs (well, each image is a bunch of photographs put together) by a photographer named Martin Wilson. They speak for themselves. More images are at his website linked above. The small versions don’t do them justice at all, so click on the images for a larger view.

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cracks

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Anyone recognise the “Big Yellow Taxi” lyrics, by Joni Mitchell/Counting Crows? That was a great song back in the day. Still is.

Anyway, I think that’s all for today’s massive blog. Come to think of it, I think I will go on that hiatus I mentioned in the previous blog. I realised that however I try to blog quickly, I always end up going for ages, and I can’t really afford to spend that much time on this coming up to exams. It’s been forty minutes since I began this blog, and that’s a short time for me. The next time I blog will probably be after exams, unless something really compels me to blog before then. I doubt it, though.

So, until then, good luck to everyone for their exams and don’t stress too much.

“The Feel Good Drag” is by Anberlin, from Never Take Friendship Personal.



champagne from a paper cup

Oh my goodness. Jeremy didn’t post a blog yesterday? Outrage! Blasphemy!

You may be wondering what happened to my OCD-ness about having one blog each day. This can be explained by a few things:

  • I’ve felt like the quality of my blogs has been declining over the past few posts. They feel forced and boring.
  • School is boring, hence not much to blog about.
  • I’ve noticed that school really drains me nowadays as well as homework (stupid maths which is hard), and so by the time I get to writing my blog I’m already really tired and can’t think properly. Maybe I should blog earlier. Or maybe I just need more sleep.
  • Blogs take a long time to write- for me, anyway. I have concluded that the elusive “15-minute blog” is an impossible dream unless your name is Belinda Cheung. I usually take like an hour on average from when I start my blog to when I click “Publish”, and I decided that this was too long a time to be spending on it everyday.

So yeah, as much as I love to blog, I just don’t have the time or energy to do it on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, I do thoroughly enjoy it, but therein lies the problem. It means that I end up spending too much time on it. Also, I’m a stickler for detail, and so I usually spend some time formatting and fixing up pictures and stuff. Yeah, a lot of me is OCD. This is a funny time for me to stop my daily blogs, since today Mawson made a note in Jason’s blog about me blogging everyday. I think you jinxed me!

But don’t worry! Although I am discontinuing daily blogs, I will now be OCD about blogging every two days. I think that’s a bit more reasonable, and I’ll have more interesting blogs since it will be an accumulation of two days’ happenings.

And now begins the random unrelated topics that are characteristic of my blogs. I shall subtitle them, for your and my convenience.

1. Netbooks (aka mini laptops)

After seeing a few people at school with these (Ambert, Carol) I realised that I really want one. Why not a normal laptop? Well, these are cheaper and smaller. Smaller being a good thing, since they’re easier to carry and just look cooler, in my opinion. Right now I’m hoping to get one before university starts; there’s no need for one in year 12 and, by Milo’s advice, there will be better technology and the likes if I wait. I just think it would be really handy to be able to take a small and light laptop around to use anywhere, especially with internet on-the-go. Heck, then I could blog from places other than my bedroom. How fun. Right now I’m actually the only person in my family without a laptop. My brother got a Dell Studio 15 last year, and my parents both have a laptop for work. My consolation is that I have this computer in my room, which is pretty awesome too. However, as much as I like the size for it’s aesthetics and convenience, I foresee a problem with that same characteristic that I am so lured in by: I have big hands. And you know what they say about people with big hands… Yeah, I don’t either, except that using a tiny keyboard may be a bit of a problem. Ah well, I’m sure I’ll get used to it. I guess I’ll have to put up with the RSI and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Anyway, if I were to get one right now, I would probably get one like Ambert’s. Compared to the other netbooks I’ve seen, his Lenovo S10 (the new S10-2 looks even better) has the biggest screen and keyboard, which are both pluses for me. I don’t want to ruin my eyesight either. Heck, if I went blind from looking at the tiny screen all day, I wouldn’t even have the strength in my hands to hold a guide dog or a cane.

netbook

2. The Chaser’s War On Everything

I didn’t follow the first two seasons of this show, but after realising my mistake I watched a whole lot of videos of them a while back. So, when Joseph profusely advertised the season premiere on the forums and his blog, I decided to start following this season tonight. It was a bit of a let down to be honest; not as funny as the videos I’ve seen. Although I did like the cracks on the Cronulla Leagues Club, Knox Grammar (I was disappointed that “Apple Chapel” wasn’t mentioned) and the “Chk Chk Boom” girl. The Quentin Bryce thing and the lawsuits segment were alright, too. The Shore rowing thing was so weird. Just the fact that theywent to Somalia and asked for money- that was kind of cruel, as well as the cracks at Palestine. Although I’d have to say it was made a little more interesting since I was watching with my brother, who goes to Kings. Throughout the Shore segment it was like “Hey, that was the GPS athletics carnival! I was there!” and “Haha, Shore sucks. Kings wins everytime.” Despite the unsatisfactory nature of the first show, I will continue to follow it every Wednesday night since it’s only half an hour out of my time.

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3. Bloglines

I recently went searching for a better way to keep up to date with the blogs I follow, and investigated a good selection before settling on Bloglines. Bloglines is simply a way to organise RSS feeds and to keep up to date when new blogs are posted, rather than my use of Belle’s blog as a portal to other blogs. Also, it means that I don’t have to check those blogs that are not on Belle’s blogroll such as the art and design blogs I like to view. So far it’s pretty handy, except for the fact that it currently only updates hourly. However, I think I have no need for it anymore. I just realised today that the client for Windows Live Mail actually has an aggregator (i.e. feed reader) built in, and it can update every fifteen minutes. Also, it’s a lot faster and  easier to use since it’s not web-based, and I can check my feeds and email at the same time. So, I think I don’t have the need for Bloglines anymore. But for those that don’t have Windows Live Mail installed, Bloglines is quite a useful tool.

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4. Sungha Jung

Sungha Jung became famous almost three years ago after his father posted a few videos of him on YouTube playing solo acoustic guitar (or fingerstyle) pieces by Kotaro Oshio, a very famous Japanese acoustic guitarist. He was eight years old at the time, and was already a much better guitarist than many older than him; I can’t play the pieces he played at that age. Now he is eleven, and an even more talented guitarist who has matured into someone who really understands the intricacies of solo acoustic guitar playing and understands what he’s playing. Not only does he play solo acoustic pieces, but he also plays his own solo acoustic versions of pop songs. He is now somewhat of an internet phenomenon, and has gone on to play with some of his idols such as Ulli Bögershausen and Tommy Emannuel, as well as appearing on many TV shows such as Korea’s Star King. You can find his YouTube channel here. His most recent video is his own version of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” and is below.

Anyway, that’s all for today’s super-long post. But for now, I’ll see you all in two days.

“Champagne From A Paper Cup” is from Death Cab For Cutie’s You Can Play These Songs With Chords.

PS. I’ve been spending some time on various art and design blogs and also sites like NOTCOTbut does it float and eatsleepdraw recently, so expect an art post sometime in the near future.



transatlanticism

It’s 1:09am and I’m blogging while watching Memoirs Of A Geisha. It’s interesting, so far.

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that I usually get tired at around midnight, but there was no school today and so I’m not as tired; I woke up at noon. The afternoon was then spent doing maths at a very slow pace while watching a live show by Chris Cendana on BlogTV.

ccendana
ccendanaphoto

Chris Cendana is another famous YouTube artist who rose to fame when one of his original songs “When The Lights Burn Out” was featured (back when non-partner users were able to be featured), followed by another of his videos “Velvet Fingertips” being featured a while after. His style is based around his acoustic guitar, and all his videos are acoustic covers or original acoustic songs. I’ve been a fan of Chris’ since before he was famous, back when he only had around 200 subscribers. He now has over 24,000, and has recently released an album called Waiting, and an EP called Guarding Joey. Check out his website here and his YouTube page here; his video for “When The Lights Burn Out” is below.

Today I had the sudden urge to watch The Lion King again. Unfortunately I don’t have a copy of it (I think the VHS we have is broken), so instead I watched clips of it on YouTube. I ended up watching the videos for “Hakuna Matata” and “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King”, later downloaded the soundtrack for the movie, realising I had it on my old computer but lost it. I then learnt them on guitar and recorded an instrumental acoustic version of the latter. I might upload it somewhere someday. If anyone has The Lion King on their computer and are willing to give it to me, please let me know!

lionking

Hmm, it looks like tonight’s blog is a lot short than yesterday’s , even though I’m less tired. Weird. The point of my blog isn’t to make up a word count everyday, anyway, but rather to chronicle the random things I’ve done or found on the net each day.

The title of this blog is off the album of the same name, by Death Cab For Cutie. If you haven’t figured it out already, the reason for the title is in reference to the Chris Cendana’s live show, which I watched even though he is in Charlotte, NC in the States and it was broadcast at around 2am their time while it was 4pm here.



different names for the same thing

Once again I’m blogging at a time that’s not the said posting time above. In fact, it’s well past that time; it’s 12:53 and I am really wasted. So, this will be a relatively short blog due to my current state of mind and the fact that I’ve found very few things that are worth blogging about lately.

Actually, if I stayed up and began this blog in an hours time it’d probably be really great. Isn’t it weird how that works? There’s always a certain point in the night when somehow all previous fatigue disappears to be replaced by a somewhat euphoric and receptive mood. For me, my day usually runs in a cycle of tiredness to alertness. Usually (on a school day), I begin the day with a horrible mood. Anyone who’s ever seen me in the mornings (my family) will know that I am definitely not a morning person. If my mum or brother try to talk to me in the mornings, it’s usually returned with “Mmm…” or silence. Following this tired stage is my alertness for the day. I’m usually fully awake by period two, and this goes on during the day until I get home. When I first arrive home I sometimes feel kind of tired, and I eat and just do nothing until about 5pm when I’ll start doing work or things like that. I stay good until around midnight when it should be time for me to sleep. Like now. At this point I’m really tired and in need of sleep. Now, on those rare nights I stay up later than 2am or during sleepovers, I begin to shift into the aforementioned euphoria. From past experiences, it has kicked in at around 3am. At sleepovers when I have pulled all-nighters, I am usually in this stage until around 7am when I get completely and utterly tired and I actually do sleep. Thankfully, I only reach the latter stage on very rare occasions.

Wow, that was weird. I think my brain flows a little bit better at night. By now I can’t even remember what I wrote in the last paragraph. I’ll probably have to read it again tomorrow.

Anyway, the main point of this blog was to showcase an artist I found today, named Justin Taylor (Belle, you will recognise the name, but it’s not the guitar one). His style is a kind of realism with some elements of impressionism, often using bright colours; which I really like (as mentioned in my previous blog, lack of color). Almost all his works are of the human figure, and his usual medium is oil on canvas or panel. A few of my favourite artworks of his are below, and you can check out his gallery on his website, linked above, for a larger view.

carwrecks
bicycle
bike
subway
manstreet
girlvertical
manvertical
girlsketch
Coincidentally, Justin Taylor is also the name of a guitarist and songwriter introduced to me by Belle in our free period today. When I got home and looked him up on YouTube, I realised that I had already heard some of his songs, as I’ve been subscribed to the channel for CANdYRAT Records, a label that supports talented acoustic guitarist such as Justin Taylor. Below is the song Belle showed me today, called “Cheesy Little Love Song”.

And that is all for tonight’s blog. Goodnight, everyone.

PS. The title of this blog is from the album Plans.

PPS. Maybe it wasn’t that short after all.