Currently I am at the snow, but what you may or may not know is that I wrote this on Tuesday and scheduled it for Friday. What is the significance of this? Absolutely nothing at all.

A little on the poem. Altair and Vega represent lovers, and Deneb the bridge which allows them to see each other. This poem is my interpretation of the story behind tanabata or qi xi as it originated from china. Enjoy!

tanabata

even if i am as altair
and you my vega
i will cross the milky way
just to hold your hand.

i will not let mere constellations
dictate when we can meet-
no star system nor galaxy
shall hold me back.

i will break the universe
to hear your voice,
the distance between celestial bodies
is a minor hinderance
on my way to you;

because you know i will be there,
traversing the universe and fighting
black holes
which draw me away from you.

so wait for me on the other side-
you do not need Deneb anymore
for i will learn to fly
and walk on water
if it means we could be together.

My inspiration (how awesome is the animation?):

I shall be going away to the snow sometime Thursday morning but poetry Friday should still be coming. Monday’s post will be delayed because I don’t have enough material to write three posts in one day. I haven’t been snowboarding for many many years and hopefully I will not spend all day with my ass in the snow. Weather forecast looks good though with a lot of snow coming down in the past few days!

My cousin will also be joining me so that will be a lot of fun, especially because we haven’t been on a trip together since forever. However I really need to get some details off my friend because I know next to nothing about the trip besides the fact that I will be going. Aren’t I prepared?

Still have to turn up for work today before I head off at night so it shall be a very interesting few days ahead of me. Wish me luck!

Lists are your friend when you have a million thoughts and not enough words to fill the page with.

  1. Booking my car in for a service – ever since I changed departments to do field tech work I have needed to service my car. I am currently about 800km over my scheduled service kms and the next closest time I can take the car in is Saturday week because I need the car every day and I am going away to the snow this weekend.
  2. Until this morning, finalizing my expense claim form for work – I actually had no time at work to do that until today. Filling out forms and writing up paperwork is a major major pain in the ass because it takes so damn long for me to do any of it. I needed signatures from different people and receipts which I left at home and whatnot and it is just a time consuming non-productive task. The only reason I filled them out is because it is to claim back money I spent for the company… and the fact that those expenses almost puts me in negative account balance…
  3. Practicing card tricks – I usually play around with a deck of cards whenever I am watching something so that I get good enough to do it with my eyes closed. Lately I have just stopped doing that and vegged out in front of my computer instead. Not to mention that I am already bad enough with my lack of dexterity and having no knack for performance.
  4. Organizing my finances – I have 3 months worth of bank statements I need to file, as well as doing my tax and paying off several purchases and preparing for several purchases. Firstly, I cannot find my hole punch, secondly, I need to find my tax file number, and finally, I need to get paid and reimbursed this week otherwise I will have to live off whatever is in my pantry until I have my money.
  5. Finalizing parish website – I actually did that today, but I had unfortunately put it off for a while since I wanted to scan some photos. But since my scanner is broken I have also put that off so it is a vicious cycle of inaction.
  6. Send my car climate control in for repair – I have needed to do this for a long time, but the weather has made it a bit dangerous to drive without air con since if my car fogs up I won’t be able to clear it up. I really should send it away while I am at the snow, but I need to contact the guy and rip out my air con first.
  7. Cash my cheque from UNSW – I won a prize for $125 for topping the class in an assignment and the cheque is still just sitting there on my desk waiting to be cashed at the moment. Must do that one Saturday morning.
  8. Burn stuff onto DVD – My computer has only about 20gb left out of 1TB so I am in need of backing up a couple of things onto DVD. I don’t know if i should choose cheap or convenient, backing up onto DVD or to just buy hard drives to store all my shit. 50 DVDs cost $19 and the equivalent HDD costs about $70 with 1TB drives going for as low as $130.
  9. Formatting my laptop and checking if Warcraft 3 works on windows 7 RC – I “upgraded” from beta to windows 7 RC last Saturday but realized on Sunday that it mcfucked Warcraft 3 and directx. So now I need to reformat and reinstall windows properly. I didn’t want to do this because I have configured eclipse and gcc to work off my laptop as well as java. If I ever needed programming tools I could revert to my laptop and it would all be there but if I reformat it will all be gone and I would have to reinstall and download a ton of crap to get it all working again. I also need another gig of ram in my laptop since it runs so damn slow.
  10. Clean up/sell stuff I took out of my car – I have wheels, headlights and various audio bits taken from a ’91 toyota soarer/lexus sc300 which are sitting around doing nothing. I need to sell some of it so my garage and backyard is cleaner than what it is now, that and the fact that my dad has been bugging me about it for a couple of months already…

I wish I could write music sometimes.

a song without it’s music

i thought to write a song for you,
oh i’ve tried so hard
but i just don’t have talent for music-

so imagine this instead,
piano chords will strike softly
to the beat of your heart
that i dream to feel;
it begins to fill the void of silence
with the rhythm of your soul.

drums continue the pace,
following the piano’s heartbeat;
as the piano transforms to mirror your delicacy,
they remind me that i am very much alive
to witness you dance through life.

and so you know who you are to me,
this is where i come in
mellow with the bass;
i am a conflicted player
plucking at familiar strings to match your tune-
but somehow you don’t mind and accommodate
for my ineptitude.

you let me know that it’s alright to be myself
through our collaboration.
bold and brazen now i follow suit
introducing the melancholy violin;
mostly known for it’s pensive sound
today i will transform  to reveal
a turn in the tune.

the bass leads with the violin right behind,
whilst you are steady drums and piano chords.
i build upon your melody;
drums mark the rhythm
the bass is background melody,
piano plays unchanging,
pairing well with violin’s vision-

close your eyes and listen
to the way the music strings you right along,
hear the violin’s voice that resounds throughout
your very core;
because you are listening to a love song
without it’s music.

Bakemonogatari Obsession

July 22, 2009

I don’t know what to say, besides that I am totally obsessed with Bakemonogatari at the moment. I am totally in love with the art direction, dialogue and the characters, namely Hitagi Senjougahara. She is the most moe character that I have seen in any anime. She breaks the fourth wall in self referencing herself as a moe character and it is just so amusing to watch! The director Shinbo really makes the dialogue and scripting so damn awesome as well, the wordplay and even the way scenes are presented add so much to the series.

Senjougahara is an awesome character, though she is an absolute bitch to Araragi they both seem to enjoy each other’s company. I love the way they play off each other; also how she plays him like a toy which makes this so entertaining to watch. She is a total tease and acts like she is not interested even though she seems to be, but the thing is that Araragi doesn’t bite. Araragi is just too shy to admit anything on his own and Senjougahara does not want to show real interest so I am not sure how this relationship will pan out in the end.

Bakemonogatari episode 3 was 16 minutes of Araragi talking with Senjougahara which was so funny because it was pretty much 16 minutes of beatdown which resulted in her being disappointed by Araragi telling her to buy him some juice. People might say that it is too boring but if they had the patience or appreciation of the dialogue and character building that happened in this episode then they would think otherwise. Even though the episode probably could’ve been a radio show, Shinbo enhanced it with beautifully simple backgrounds and delicious scenes of the verbal fighting(abuse).

I shall leave you with some fanboyism in hopes that you will also pick it up and enjoy!

Random cravings

July 20, 2009

Do you ever feel sudden cravings to want to do something? Just a thought comes to mind and you spontaneously want to carry it out? I am not talking about scratching a mental itch that has been bugging you for a while, but suddenly want to go out and fulfill your mind’s desires. I do.

The other day I had a sudden urge to produce my own music; despite the fact I cannot read sheet music nor can I play any musical instruments. I thought of buying/borrowing/acquiring a synthesizer and a pair of quality headphones and learning how to play piano and write music. Where I got that idea from I have no idea. But I felt at that moment that I had the ability to produce my own music and was for those brief minutes a musician. I figured that I could write my own lyrics so the rest would really be up to how much music I could learn and absorb.

However reality kinda sucks in that learning any instrument takes a tremendous amount of time and dedication of which I probably have neither. Also the cost of a keyboard/synthesizer is pretty high, a couple of hundred dollars for a standard one as well as a pair of headphones (now in my wishlist) for $200 which I have wanted for a while… not to mention all the accompanying gear that I may have to buy to cater for this sudden urge.

I also wanted to change the opamps on my sound card too but that involves soldering, of which I am not too keen on. That was my other sudden craving. I read up on how to do it but it involves a very fine tip for my soldering iron and to actually source the opamp. For those who don’t have any idea what I am talking about (most of you), the opamp is what controls the quality of sound on my sound card before being passed through to my speakers. Seeing as though my speakers are actually quite good, the limiting factor of my computer sound system is actually the sound card. The opamp currently used is some cheapo chip which produces better sound than onboard solutions but it is by far inferior to a proper standalone unit. The replacement that I have read about will make the sound be studio quality compared to what is currently being used, or so I have heard.

The other random craving or should I say impulse buy I have made this week was the purchase of ikaruga for xbox live and also 5000 xbox live points for $80. Ikaruga has to be the craziest scrolling shooter I have played, here is a youtube video for proof. This guy is playing both 1p and 2p at the same time.

Anyways that is enough insanity from me, I am going to watch Bakemonogatari.

I wrote something which started good but ended badly, so I would like to focus on language today. The English language is not really a pretty language, it is too complex and contains a very inconsistent system of rules. No matter how people seem to twist the words around, it still does not sound very musical and requires a lot of work for anything to turn out just right. Because of the complexity of the English language, with some words being impossible to rhyme ie “orange” and “animal”, writing original songs after hundreds of years of recycling the same words is a challenge at best.

In my experience there are 2 languages which facilitate original songwriting very well; Mandarin Chinese and Japanese. Japanese language is very structured and is actually very easy to learn because of the strict rules in terms of syntax and the organization of its alphabet. It is very easy to find rhymes for words, making lyrics very easy to write. Furthermore, some words have double meanings and some phrases have associated historical relevance, making it easier to write powerfully. It is for this reason that I like listening to Japanese songs more than English ones. The imagery in jpop is just so much richer than that of it’s English counterparts. Of course I can probably find an English song with my desired level of imagery but as I said before, English is such a cumbersome beast of a language.

Probably the only thing that trumps Japanese music is Mandarin Chinese music. The language is so powerful because one word says so much. Unfortunately, for the amount of people in China and Taiwan (>1 billion) they sure don’t pump out very many good singers nor do they write many good songs that have stuck in my head. The lyrics all seem very reminiscent of western culture and that is disappointing, especially when compared to Japanese songs which so often includes snapshots of its rich culture in the lyrics. The only Mandarin singer I love is David Tao, everybody else is really just average.

I actually would like to write something in Chinese or Japanese, but I just don’t have a strong enough grasp of either language to do so. The best I can do is to emulate the style and imagery using English which does fall very short of the bar. The poem I wrote actually has nothing to do with this post, but here it is anyways!

heavenly hearts

god gave us hearts-
and that is why i live with hope
and not despair;
maybe tomorrow i shall know you better
than not at all.

his eyes are the stars in the sky
and the dewdrops on the grass,
i am jealous that he
watches over you
better than i.

god gave us life
to live as freely as we choose,
but sometimes,
our hearts decide
who we give ourselves to.

likewise,
our hearts decide
who we receive and reject
and sometimes-
you may not be enough.

god gave me you
so i could learn to love like him-
a gift is a gift, i expect nothing in return;
i will pray instead
that he continues to love you
as much as i do.

Anime update

July 15, 2009

As I wrote last Monday, I have started following 2 anime, Bakemonogatari and Canaan. After watching 2 episodes, I can tell you that both are worth watching and it seems to me that anime has picked up again this season, hopefully it will only get better!

Canaan is a bit slow to pick up though that is partially due to the fact that it is an animated sequel to the video game 428. There are a lot of things that happen that leaves you wondering what is going on, I think that is because the writers are making the show for those who have played the game and that lets me down a bit, although things are explained in time, they seem more to be an afterthought than a means to explain the conspiracy. I am a bit let down by this but the show makes up for it in terms of animation and cool factor. That and Maaya Sakamoto voices Alphard!!! Now if only she would sing a theme song for it…

Bakemonogatari in my opinion is absolutely fantastic. Animation is crisp and stylish, art direction is very refreshing and new. The series is superbly animated by SHAFT, the same ones who the recent Maria Holic. I found that they drew a lot on the crazy style of Maria Holic and twisted it to suit the mood of this anime. They have a lot of weird angle shots and the pacing could do with some work, but all in all if they manage to pull it together by the end of the next arc I will be a very happy man. Hitagi Senjougahara is also my new animated crush after episode 2 which provided more fanservice than you can shake a stick at…

The ideas that they threw around in the first story arc were very interesting, the play on the words “weight” and “feelings” in the japanese word “omoi” is very novel. The idea of a god crab that takes away a person’s emotional weight is a new one for me and the animation used to represent this was perfect, if not for the accelerated pacing in the last half of the episode. The first half was filled up with glorious fanservice but that is besides the point!

I leave you with a few images taken from the web and hope that they convince you to follow at least Bakemonogatari with me!

oh the prettiness...

oh the prettiness...

I love a girl who knows how to defend herself... with stationery

I love a girl who knows how to defend herself... with stationery

  1. Let him learn from his own stupid mistakes – you learn a lot faster from your own mistakes than other people’s experience. A parent’s experience is handy as warning or advice and should never be used as a threat ie “don’t do it that way because this bad thing is what happened to me when I did it.”
  2. Let him roll in dirt and be a grub (to a certain degree) when young – best way to build up antibodies apparently! When you expose children to the great outdoors their immune system is faced with all this new information which it will use to prevent possible future diseases, making it stronger than if they were kept in a 100% sterile environment. Not to say leave the kid in his own filth, but a little bit of mud never hurt anybody.
  3. Never impose your own life ambitions onto him- when you make the kid do what you wanted to do in life that is when you fail parenting. Your child is not a mini-me and you have no right to force him to live his life as you would have wanted to live yours. A parent’s job is to provide for the child, not the other way around.
  4. Never tell him that he cannot do something – a little phrase I picked up from the Will Smith movie “The pursuit of happiness”, never tell your child that they cannot do something or that something is impossible because nothing ever is… sometimes it’s just fucking hard.
  5. Expose your children to art and literature and music early – there is nothing like a bit of education in creativity and art appreciation. Children are sponges, and if they can absorb as wide a variety of creative juices as possible then I think I am giving them a headstart on all the other kids who are trying to do algebra out of the crib. If there is one thing that is harder to learn than anything else in the world, it is how to be creative and to appreciate creative efforts.
  6. Give him whatever he wants – but make him work for it every single time. There is no such thing as a free lunch in life and it is better to learn that the hard way starting young than to suddenly impose it on them when they reach a sentient age. If he wants some candy, make him do some chores. Let him know that he must work for everything that he wants, and that things that he wants most are hardest to earn. Don’t stop until it is ingrained into his psyche. On the flipside…
  7. Always reward good behaviour instead of punishing bad – don’t forget to give him a dollar for mowing the lawn. Do forget to beat him up for mowing over mum’s prized flower patch. It is probably your fault that you forgot to tell him about it anyways.
  8. Encourage independent learning – if he is interested in something, do everything you can to help him learn, even if it means learning yourself to make sure you can help him out. If he’s 5 years old and wants to know how to solder or weld, let him watch you and teach him like you would a friend instead of a child. (probably not for dangerous activities)
  9. Talk to him as an equal – the only time you should talk down to him is when he is shorter than you. Treat him like a fool and he will think that it is ok to be a fool. Not saying to treat him like an adult and talk to him about your day and how the global economy is making it hard to put food on the table but you should never have to “dumb down” to his “level”, just explain it to him as clearly and as patiently as possible.
  10. Let him talk to whoever he wants – almost. If he wants to talk to somebody, let him, as long as he is exposed to no risk and you accompany him. Social interaction is important and he should know how to talk to different types of people and how to respond to people’s reactions.

I’ll stop at 10 and pray that I also marry someone that has better sense than I.

Apologies for missing my Wednesday post but I have come down with something like the flu and it has been killing me slowly since Tuesday. I was feeling fine on Monday even after I went to the gym but all of a sudden when I woke up on Tuesday I could barely get out of bed and had a headache the size of Everest, not to mention feeling like I was stuck in the freezer despite wearing 3 layers and hidden under my doona. Bedridden for all of Tuesday I couldn’t even take a leak without feeling like my head was going to explode, not to mention not being able to lie still because every part of me hurt.

Come Wednesday I was well enough to sit up and eat and also try to take the pain away by watching some anime, but to little avail. After about 3 episodes my eyes were sore and I had to take a break, leaving me with little to do besides watch midday television. Joy. Having had very little sleep the night before I decided to nap to take my mind off the pain… only to be awakened by another bout of headaches. My only solace, sleep, has been taken away from me by my mortal enemy. Having nothing better to do I stumbled over to watch Masterchef and ate a few mouthfuls of noodles. The rest of the night was uneventful besides not being able to sleep until about 4am due to random bouts of cold sweat and sharp stomach pains.

Thursday I felt much better, partly due to the fact that I awoke at 12, and the headaches have died down to a mild throb. The body aches were manageable and I could for most part ignore them whilst I played SF4 and read at the computer. There is not a lot to do when your head is a ticking time bomb waiting for the next explosion. Spent the rest of the day watching Black Lagoon.

Today was a repeat of yesterday, and consisted of watching the rest of Black Lagoon and wondering why season 3 is still not out. Also watched FF7:AC Complete and realized at long last that it is an amazingly shit fanservice movie. The uncut version did no favours to the poor plot and lack of facial expressions on each of the rendered cast.

My brain is slowly being destroyed by headaches so there will be no intelligent posts until I have recovered.