Friday, June 25, 2004

Really sorry about the lack of updates.. I've been selling Gmail invites these days, and I guess its been taking up a lot of my time. I'm finally out of school now, a senior to say the least, although the atmosphere is definitely not one of jubilation. I dunno, its so weird how things go here.. usually the last day of school there's tons of people milling around saying goodbyes, and yet there weren't much yesterday. Probably because most seniors get to see each other at graduation, but still, when I graduate next year I'd be sure to come back to school to say my farewells to the lower classmates..
Today I went to Champs Elysees to catch a glimpse of the runner with the Olympic flame.. I got a few great pictures while they were waiting to go around the Arc de Triomphe, and I ran down the Champs to get another picture. I think I might pursue photography as a hobby. I mean, not that I'd be able to do half as well as this guy.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

"Eyesight sees what is on the outside," Murray (pastor of First African Methodist Episcopal Church, where Ray Charle's funeral was held) said of [Ray Charles], pianist and composer. "Insight sees what is on the inside."

That's what I want to be able to do.. and I'm striving to do it.. not to become anyone great as he was, but to simply be able to have a simple thing called insight. People nowadays care about the outside, or say they do care about a person's heart, but you can always tell people fall for looks, fall for what they can see... and I guess its expected of people, because its the easiest thing to do. What's harder is to have the ability to see a person not through the outside but the inside... its become so cliche that "Don't judge a book by its cover" seems silly to hear. But if it were actually possible to compare people with books (and I know I shouldn't), and if we were to get rid of all the "covers" of every book, I wonder if we'd see the person next to us in the same light as we do now?

Sunday, June 13, 2004

A recant on my last post.. anyhow somehow or another my life is marred with conflicts... both in my house and out. Lately its been more of a case of the invisible wall thats been erected in my home, and I'm really worried that things are going to deteriorate from here. Its always a case of a seemingly harmonious relationship between my parents that, with the presence of one small word, can shatter the whole wall of hope that I had. Its an icy comment (often attached as an end-thought) that just reveals how things are hardly better than when there's a full blown argument. And I just can't fathom the thought that my parents would live apart. Until now its been a patchwork quilt that's been sewed by the fact that I was still young, but next year when I'm off to university, I just can only pray that the lack of my presence might bring conflicts to an end, cause sometimes arguments arise from a discussion involving me. I can only pray...

I just wanted to say that I'm going to have finals this week so I'm not exactly going to post. Of course, those who know me know that I live in procrastination, but then again an initiative to move out would be a step forward. Just a note to Happy: Congratulations (yet again). Oh and I (think) my email will be at xanadu(at)gmail(dot)com. Here's a section of a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (yes, yes, I know its not original, but my brain is a bit on overload right now.. =) The rest of the poem is here. Until Saturday, g'day to ya'll...

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery...

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Just found out 5 minutes ago that Ray Charles passed away at 73... although I admit that I'm not the world's greatest fan of R&B and Blues songs, Ray Charles is a name I know cannot be ignored.. I saw on TV some of his greatest concerts, singing Georgia on My Mind and the like.. My hats off to him and his great musical soul, and may he rest in peace.

read the news article here

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Happy Weblogger's Day!
I never thought that I would come to say these three words, and certainly not any of them together, two years ago. It was out of the question to put anything remotely personal on websites, let alone even divulge one's own thought or even a name for fear that "stalkers" would come knocking on the door. Or so that seemed for me, at least. It was inevitable passed down through my parents, and I am well aware, thank to them, of the dangers and fears of lurking "personality" theives. But that hasn't stopped me from making my own websites, divulging (part) of my name, the city I live in, and my age. And it certainly didn't keep me from coming up with an idea that I immediately knew was something that needed to be concieved, and the only fear I had was that it already had been. Countless were the days where a splendid idea would be shattered by the thought that someone already had thought of it. Such it the marvel of originality.

I came up with a very primitive weblog early in 2002, when I came upon Moby (the singer)'s blog on his website. It gave details about the snippets of his life, his voyages hopping across the world, as well as his thoughts. I promptly stole his HTML code and altered it beyond recognition, and pasted it into my nifty Geocities webpage editor. Every time a bright thought came whizzing through my restless brain, I copied and pasted the code, and manually added a few lines of a meagre pensive note. One sleepless (and undoubtedly hot) night in Brazil I came upon the realisation that the web-forum that I had set up for my class website had exactly the similar template as a blog: all I needed to do was make sure that I was the only one who could post, and that my post would appear on the front page, rather than a normal, forum-type subject and author. Thus my first "automated" blog coded in Perl was born, although it underwent many modifications until it became what it was in April 2004. Sadly the transition from text-style blog to Perl and archived-style blog resulted in a mighty loss of archived material, and thus what remains now dates only back to May 2003. In April, upon the realisation that my archives were sopping up space in my prohosting web account, I moved to my present residence, Blogger, and realised how much I had missed out on "Push-Button Publishing". I have to admit it was also a transition based on the fact that I might get a Gmail invitation. but I do miss the fact that I could proudly claim it was the world's (possibly) one and only weblog coded in Perl that boasted an integrated commenting and archiving system.

What set me on the path to blogging (and to some, revealing the unneccessary tedium and boredom in my everyday life) was the realisation that I was not required to write something personal in order to have people read it. Personally I find it more fun to have people read a blog than to keep it entirely out of the public eye, not unlike a sort of open-ended conversation that invites a personal response. But it is true that writing for the sake of someone else can more often than not take out the shine in a weblog's appeal. Weblogs are nonetheless a great medium for communication on the web, a 'movement' that sort of spontaneously evolved because of the personal satisfaction one can get from releasing one's thoughts for open consideration. I guess I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said many people now spend time online because of their blog. And rightly so, because every blog is unique. Even the mundane blogger template (grey on black, white on blue) has its touch of originality. And webloggers also force people to actually read, because unlike books, some entries don't have a direct 'plot'. I've realised it one too many times after skimming through a seemingly boring blog, catching my eyes on an interesting entry, reading it, and then immersing myself in the whole blog. If people have one more good reason for spending more time online, at least no one can argue against weblogging.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

I've committed weblogger blasphemy. Well not really, but I did delete a post, and I've seen enough blogs to know that such a thing is most likely unacceptable. Some hecklers even cross out instead of delete sections of their post so that it even seems more like a diary. And if anything is changed, its almost always preceded by an "update:" notice. Oh well.

Life is as usual, if not quite askew. I've been listening to "Pomp and Circumstance" at least 23 times now, primarily because I was asked by a teacher to cut a snippet out from a CD (you know, the Taa-tadada-daaa-daa part, if you know what I mean). Its one of the songs that stick somewhere in the annals of your brain like a long-forgotten Post-It note... and before you know it you're humming it on the way to school. Sorta sad, because I'm not even the one that's graduating...

Its sweltering hot. I heard it was at least 30°C out there, and considering the fact that our school is the only one with specialised heating during summer, it isn't surprising that the majority of our school completely disregarded the school uniform and wore tee-shirts. (Wait, were you thinking something else? hehe) Miraculously most of us had the dexterity to put back the uniform on for the moments when the headmistress passed our way through the hallway.