the passenger seat

fade into the background

I haven’t blogged in an age. This has mainly been because nothing really great has happened since I last wrote. Probably the only things worth mentioning was Thursday’s Year 11 vs. 12 Basketball game and Friday’s Final Prefect Assembly.

The 11 vs. 12 game went okay, I thought. There was some speculation as to whether it would be on or not, but luckily the rain held out enough for it to be just playable at lunch time, albeit after quite a bit of sweeping. So the game was on and a good amount of people came down to watch, which was good. The year 11s all rocked up in their NBA jerseys, while most of our players were in full school uniform. To play the game was a bit tricky, since the ball quickly got wet and slipped out of our hands many a time, and the wet ground made it difficult to move around quickly without fear of slipping. I think we all played well considering the conditions, and the year 11s weren’t bad either, but despite our lack of preparation in terms of clothing, we still emerged, quite convincingly, as the victors (pardon the pun). All in all it was a pretty fun game, and it was good since most of us haven’t played a proper full-court game for a long time (although I have Hills).

So Friday was the last day of school and the Prefects’ Final Assembly. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t that great, but there were some good parts. I liked the “Thriller” and “Smooth Criminal” dances, and Grubsy’s “I Want You Back” was great as always. I know he doesn’t read this, but apologies to Grubsy for not playing bass for that song. Chris was much better at it than me, anyway. Otherwise, the quizzes and games were kind of awkward in my opinion, but it was okay.

My parents and brother are still away in their respective overseas countries. For the past week it’s just been me and Tasha; she’s sleeping on my bed right now. I spoke to my parents today and they told me they’d visited the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors, both of which were apparently amazing. I’m so jealous, and I can’t wait to see the photos. Speaking of photos, I asked my dad about the camera I’ve been wanting, and he said “when we get back”. Good sign. Anyway, my parents told me that my brother sent them a text saying that he had successfully made it to the top of Mt. Kinabalu (the tallest mountain in Malaysia), which was the main part of his tour to Sabah, Malaysia. The summit of the mountain is 4,095m above sea level, and they did in in two days. I’ve heard of many past students failing to reach the top and having to return to the rest house halfway up the mountain due to the tough atmospheric conditions (low oxygen, low pressure), so it’s pretty awesome that he made it all the way up.

Anyway, that’s about all I have to say about life, since nothing happens anymore. I realise that I say that a lot nowadays, that “nothing happens”. I guess it’s true, to an extent, that year 12 does lose the fun of year 11 and our junior years. Everyone is so concentrated on studying that there really isn’t time for anything else. Yes, I know I’m basically repeating what everyone is thinking and has been saying, but it’s so true, and I’ve really come to realise that now. Last holidays I went out quite a bit, so I didn’t really feel it, but I have a feeling most of these holidays will be spent at home, with books for company. Great.

But, digressing, in the past few days I’ve just been procrastinating and making the most of my nights before I have to start studying for trials. And so I’ve found a number of interesting things during my travels. I haven’t posted stuff like this in a long time, and I won’t be saying much about any of them.

Remember those light trails that I posted a few blogs ago? Well these, from an album entitled Fun with Long Exposure, totally blow ours out of the water. More photos and larger images at Icon_ology.







Does anyone remember that crazy stop motion video with the wolf and the pig? To refresh your memory or if you haven’t seen it, go here. Well, Olympus has made a similar video to promote their “PEN” Camera. Go to the Olympus website, or watch “The PEN Story” below.

I thought this ad was pretty clever; it speaks for itself.


You know those videos/movies of marriage proposals where the guy proposes at a sporting event or over the PA somewhere or at a fancy restaurant with a little band playing? Well how about this one, in the middle of Disneyland’s Main Street. I thought it was great.

And lastly, is this video, entitled “Kittens Inspired by Kittens”. I don’t know why, but it made me smile and laugh.

Anyway, that’s all folks. Don’t study too hard these holidays; have at least a bit of fun.


pity and fear

What is your deepest fear, young man?
– Ken Carter, Coach Carter

I know this quote is from a movie about basketball (it’s really about more than that), but there’s something about the way that Samuel L. Jackson says it that makes it resonate.

What is it that we fear, as 17/18 year olds in our last year at the best high school in the state? We are so lucky to be living here, where we are safe and well-off. Now, in Coach Carter‘s world of the USA it is a place wrought with crime, poverty, gangs and a much higher prison rate than Australia. Where we live, we’re lucky to not have to worry about any of these things that we take for granted.

But what about our futures? Sure, most of us are going to get extremely high UAIs, well above the standard of any other high school in the state, but does this mean that we are set for life? Will we all be successful and get where we want to? We all have our perceptions of what our life will be like after high school and university. We expect to be in a stable job, earning good money. We expect to be safe and have our own place to live. Most of us expect to start a family, and live happily with them for the rest of our lives.

But what happens if our lives are not as perfect as we expect them to be?

We, as well-off young adults, are very naïve in the way we view our futures. But statistically, there are a number of things that could go wrong during our lives. And I don’t just mean messing up an exam or even getting bad grades or losing a job. I mean those events that could drastically change your life. Permanently.

Deva proposed this thought to me today in Chemistry. He mentioned two of his deepest fears: What if I have a baby and it comes out deformed or disabled? What if my wife dies in childbirth or before we can be happy?

Now these two things are things that I haven’t really thought about before, so it struck me when Deva mentioned it today. Now, I know that for most of us, if we had a child that was not perfect like we expected, we would still accept it and love it all the same. But is this the way we viewed how our lives would be when we were in high school? Definitely not. It’s a scary thought- a parent’s deepest fear- and something none of us would ever want to experience.

Onto the second question- what if your wife/husband/partner dies before you can be happy together, whether this is through sickness, childbirth or an accident? What then? Will we move on? Will we find someone else and live out the perfect life that we once imagined? I don’t know how I would handle it or move on until it actually happens to me, and I would like to keep it this way.

I’m not really sure what my point was to this blog, it was more just to get out some of my thoughts on the subject. But I think the underlying point is, as morbid as it sounds, that our lives may not turn out how we expect them to. My question is, what do you expect out of the future in terms of a job, family, friends? And how would you bounce back if something bad did happen?

Right now, I’m not really sure of what my future holds. I have a rough outline of what I would like to be doing, but most of it would be made up as I go along. I would want to be in a media or design related job that I’ll have fun doing and will give me enough money to support myself and a family, and I’m sure many of you will agree with me, for your desired fields. I would want to one day buy a really nice house and create a perfect living space for the family. Kids? Maybe two or three. Another of my dreams is to play for a band as a hobby and to travel the world, and of course to stay fit and healthy all the way through my life.

But I digress. My deepest fear? Like Deva, my deepest fear would be losing a loved one. I’m not too worried about things that happen to myself, but I don’t know how I would cope if I lost someone close to me. Grief and regret. Two terrible, terrible things.

I think that’s all I really wanted to say in this extremely morbid blog, so that’s that I guess. There’s probably a lot more I wanted to say but can’t remember, but I’ll leave that to another day.

To break up the mood a bit, I’ll leave you with a video of an original song by TheBathroomGirl, a very talented musician and singer on YouTube. The song is called Leaves In The Wind/Floating Free”.

“Pity And Fear” – from the album Narrow Stairs.

steadier footing

Disclaimer: This blog is going to be a bit different to my other blogs. For the first time, there will be no pictures. This will be more of a thought-based blog. As I’m beginning to write this, I’m not really sure what direction this will take, so please bear with me as I go off on many tangents.

Anyway, I was listening to a bit of Death Cab For Cutie today (as I very often do), and I heard the song “Steadier Footing”, off The Photo Album, my favourite song off one of my favourite albums by the band. I don’t know why (maybe it’s because of how late it is), but along with all the talk recently about our futures- uni, careers, life in general- it got me thinking about what life will be like after we leave high school; and what will happen to the friendships we have formed these past five and a bit years. I’ve listened to this song before and had the same thoughts, but this time I’m blogging about it, which is really the whole reason I made this blog in the first place- to put down any thoughts or findings I have during the day. Here are the lyrics for “Steadier Footing”:

it’s gotten late and now i want to be alone
all of our friends were here, they all have gone home
and here i sit on the front porch
watching the drunks stumble forth into the night
you gave me a heart attack, i did not see you there
i thought you had disappeared so early away from here
and this is the chance i never got to make a move
but we just talk about the people we’ve met in the last five years
and will we remember them in ten more?
i let you bum a smoke, you quit this winter past
i’ve tried twice before, but like this, it just will not last

It’s a short song by Ben Gibbard; only 1:47 long, but it’s a very succint way of saying what he wants to say. I can just imagine a situation just like this at the end of this year, where we would be having some sort of party or get-together (schoolies?) at the end of our high school life. Then, one by one, people would leave, and that might be the last time we see some of the people we’ve been to school with for six years. Scary thought, isn’t it? For some, you may be in the situation described by Ben Gibbard; “and this is the chance i never got to make a move”. Maybe this move might be with someone of the opposite sex, or it may even be with someone else who you’ve always wanted to be friends with or wanted to know better, but have never gotten the chance to talk to them properly. Regret is not a nice feeling.

but we just talk about the people in the last five years
and will we remember them in ten more? 

This is the phrase that really strikes me in this song; it just so perfectly sums up the way I feel about all of my friends and the people I’ve met here at Ruse. As corny as it may sound and as unbelievable as it may be, you all mean a lot to me. I feel as though our grade has grown really tight over the years; we all say “hi!” to each other in hallways or if we see each other elsewhere, sometimes even if we don’t know the other person that well. I think this is really a testament to the environment of our school and to the people in our grade. I don’t think I could find another school that would harbour the same kind of friendliness that is so abundant here, and for that I am very grateful to belong here. Luckily for us, however, all of us will be going to university next year; most of us to the same few, and therefore we won’t really lose very many friendships at all, at least for the next five or so years. But the song says “will we remember them in ten more?” I really hope so. In ten years, some of us may already have a stable job (maybe not you doctors), and (maybe I’m stretching it here) maybe even a family. To me, the perfect life would be if I could still meet up with all my friends from Ruse and have parties or whatever on weekends. That would be awesome. I think it’s really sad when people lose long-term friends, and six years definitely counts as long-term.

it just will not last

Will it, though? I don’t know. I really hope Ben Gibbard is wrong in that part of the song.

Anyway, more about the song. I find that it’s really appropriate that it’s the first song of an album called The Photo Album. The album title suggests memories, sentimentality, family, friends, while the song talks about the end of something- whether it’s high school or university or whatever, with a photo album the only thing left to remember people by. For us, this would be our yearbook or the year 12 contact book, but I really hope that this won’t be the only way we remember each other.

Instead of looking to the past so much, I think I should think about the future. Where would I want to be in ten years’ time? I would be twenty seven then. I think I would like to be in a decent job that will support me, but with room to move up. Hopefully it’s a job that will challenge me as well as allow me to use some creativity, as in design or media. Family? I’d probably hope to be at least thinking of starting one by then. I don’t know; it’s hard to say.

But I digress. The whole point of this extremely sentimental and corny blog was to just pour out some of the thoughts I’ve had about the past and the future. The title of the song, “Steadier Footing”, kind of reflects the way in which we are grounded by our friends while in school. When we move into university and out into the big world, we might lose this as we move on to bigger and better things; but that’s a good thing. Friends are still important, though- especially the ones you’ve known for years.

blacking out the friction
May 7, 2009, 11:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Blacking out… I think that’s the theme of today’s blog.

Does anyone else have unreliable power in their home? It seems that sometimes if we turn on too many appliances, power in the entire house just goes kaput. This happened tonight. We had both our TVs in separate rooms and three computers on at the same time, plus the normal appliances like the fridge (I think the washing machine or dishwasher may have been on, too). Anyway, I was happily watching the beginning of MasterChef. I was looking forward to the winning team’s visit to the restaurant and just as they were heading in … black. Turns out my brother was cold and had decided to plug in a heater next to him, which ended up overloading our power and tripping the fuse. My dad then went outside to the power box to reset it and told my brother to unplug the heater. He didn’t unplug it, however, and by the time my dad had come in, asked him to unplug it again, then went back outside to reset it again, half of MasterChef had passed and I missed the part I wanted to see. Awesome. I’ll be sure to catch up on it later, though, since the MasterChef website posts full episodes a day or two after they’ve aired. I also decided to catch up on all the old audition episodes I missed from the beginning of the series. Wow, I realised that I talk about the show a lot in my blogs.

Speaking of blackouts, does anyone ever get prolonged creative mental blocks? Lately I’ve lost all ability to think of things to do creatively. There have been times where I’ve opened up Photoshop or got out pencil and paper, hoping to come up with a project of sorts to cure my boredom, but nothing at all has come. I’ve also attempted to continue my Extension II English short story, but to no avail. To make matters even worse, I haven’t played guitar properly for almost a week now. Usually I’m able to pick it up and think up random new songs or else a song will come to mind and I’ll look it up and play that, but I’ve found that in the past week my longest guitar session has probably been about five minutes, since I’m unable to think of anything new to play. To say the least, it sucks. I wish I were like John Mayer, who is constantly able to conjure up new song ideas and riffs on a regular basis, as evidenced by his YouTube videos, blogs and frequent Twitter updates about his new ideas. Maybe I should follow his approach to songwriting:

Again about memory, don’t you hate it when you remember to do something then forget what you were supposed to do in the process of doing it? For example, often when I feel hungry I decide to go to the kitchen to get some food, such as peanut butter on toast (usually). On my way from my bedroom to the kitchen I begin to think of other things and by the time I arrive at the kitchen, I’ve forgotten about the toast. It usually comes to me again after about a minute of standing in the middle of the kitchen and staring at the ceiling trying to remember, but it’s a bit of a scare when my memory bails out on me and it’s frustrating when I can’t recall what I was meant to do. Sometimes I’ll walk all the way back to my room and remember just as I sit down. Now that sucks.

Anyways, following the theme of blackouts (things going out, dying), today I had a really random thought. Isn’t it really weird how plants live for so long, while humans and other animals only live for a maximum of about one hundred years? I mean, plants are living organisms too and some are so small and easily damaged, yet they have lifespans that can beat any animal that could easily squash them with a step. For example, the oldest recognised human was a French woman named Jeanne Calment, who was 122 years and 164 days old when she died in 1997. In comparison, the oldest identified plant is a very fragile-looking 9,550 year old spruce in Sweden, thought to have begun its growth at the end of the last ice age:

Anyway, to end this blog I’ll leave you with a video of an extremely talented amateur musician on YouTube. He’s known as ortoPilot, and he’s a really amazing guitarist; an overall class act. He really brings a whole new level to each cover that he plays. His latest video is his own version of “Californication” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Watch it here:

PS. The title of this blog is once again a song by Death Cab For Cutie, also from The Photo Album.