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April 30, 2005
A few places to go*, while I'm young and kicking:

Japan - like an alternate reality for Western culture, Japan is fascinating, I think, both for its history, and its contemporary culture. I decided I had to visit Japan after watching Lost in Translation. I'd always known the rural areas were gorgeous, but began to feel that the city could be equally awe inspiring. I love high-technology.

Russia - To me, Russia in many was characterises Europe. Studying the Russian Revolution at school has helped create an interest, too. I love the language, and it would be amazing to see St. Petersburg, which is, apparently, largely unchanged since the days of Lenin. A good place, also, to experience true, friggin' freezing, cold.

UK, Scotland, Ireland - Rich history, amazing comedy, adorable accents. See how those reasons get progressively more superficial? Love the scenery. I'd stalk Jennifer Saunders.

Mexico - Again, another mainly historic interest here. Would be visiting Aztec ruins more than anything else, poking around in the jungle with a machete. OK, maybe driving on a road surrounded by jungle. Maybe just looking at pictures of the jungle. Will buy something made of llama wool. Will eat potatoes. Will buy amazing quality classical guitar. Will learn how to play flamenco. Because I'll be rich at this time (der), and able to pay for this stuff.

US + Canada - I'd mainly like to see the people in the US. How do they think? Where do they live, really? What makes the country like it is? I can see skyscrapers and desert at home - it's the culture I'm interested in. Something, maybe, that you can't understand unless you are sitting in the middle of it. Travelling there is the closest I could get... unless I end up living there, some day. Can't imagine the circumstances that might lead to that, though. Canada is where I will meet my future husband (Hayden Christensen or other).

Maybes: China, Mongolia, Egypt, Spain.

* List may change as idealistic youth aspirations are re-shuffled each week.

iPod Woes
My friend and I both own iPods - though I've had mine a little longer than he's had his. Mine is more than a year old, and the battery is wearing out, each full charges equates to only one or two hours of listening time. Things could be worse though: my friend's iPod has stopped functioning completely, and inside, it sounds as if some part of its inner workings has come loose and is rattling around, banging against the case. Luckily his is still covered by a warranty, but if mine stopped working now, I'd have to shell out a few hundred dollars to get it repaired. I've heard so many stories about iPods breaking and carking it, that I'm feeling a little worried.

Not as worried as my friend will be if he can't find his Warranty papers!

Is it commonplace to have this kind of trouble with iPods?

Something interesting.

April 27, 2005
maps.google.com. Some would say the Satellite feature is an invasion of privacy.

Even the sternest amongst you love pop-culture. I'm scolding of Ausculture, our home-grown pop-culture fix, however, because through it I've viewed an image of someone very much like G. W. Bush with his wang hanging out.

My eyes. My eyes.

But scolding only in a lightly admonishing and still loving way, because I was given much fore-warning before clicking through. Still, the US is the home of Western pop-culture (arguably), and is home to two great pop-culture blogs in particular: Low-Culture and the Panopticist.

One reason why you should visit and enjoy Low-Culture: 'Unintentionally Hilarious Photo of the Moment, Vol. 51'.

One reason why you should visit and enjoy the Panopticist: 'So, Tonight I Spied on Area 51'.

Of course, don't think I'm going to neglect Nelson Aspen. From him, we learn that Jennifer Lopez is writing a self-help book for celebrities. The topic? How to deal with unwanted attention. What a wide market.

April 23, 2005
*Dusts corners.*

*Sprays. And wipes.*

*Makes the Windex and paper towel.*

Done. Let's pretend like this thing wasn't abandoned for a few days, shall we? I don't particularly have a good excuse either. Busy. You've heard that one before. I can hear you going 'pffft' with all your might.

The pope, ay? I think I've missed the boat with this one, but didn't we all? It was only when JP II stopped speaking that the media gave a rats about him. They circled like vultures for weeks, waiting to get the first scoop on his death. Strange that the most ineffective period of his life should recieve more import and attention than anything else he's ever done, good or bad.

Still, there's one point I'd like to focus in on:

1) Ratzinger was involved in the Hitler youth - but it was compulsory, and his family were anti-Nazi.

2) He is the second German pope in almost a thousand years.

If we've held out on a German pope for that long, why pick one who lived through the 20th century? Why not pick someone else, youngish, for a pope, and pick the German guy next time - who wasn't exposed to the Nazi regime. Really, who knows what effects this may have had on him? And one thing we can be certain of, the stigma is unpleasant. There were a lot of other choices.


Cardinal Arinze

So, he could have been the first black pope in 1,500 years? Does this mean there have been Caucasian popes for 1,500 years? Might have been time for a change there too.

He's got to be better than Ratzinger!

/End of Pope commentary forever.

April 16, 2005
If a tree falls in a forest, and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

I think the answer is no, because what we call sound is the conversion of vibrations into brain messages in the ear. Therefore, if there is nothing present to perceive sound, it remains vibrations.

I think this is same for the composer who recorded a few minutes of silence and called it a composition, because to him, silence was sound. However, if you use the above argument, that sound is the interpretation of those vibrations, and the absence of vibrations is the absence of sound, his composition is not a 'sound' at all.

I'd also like to say that secret tracks are really disappointing. Especially those ones that come in at the end of a song after say... 9 minutes of silence. Usually they aren't worth the wait. I think they spoil the feeling of coherency in an album.

Now that I've completed several random musings, I'd like to finish with: If you fail to leave everything important that you have to do until the last few days of the holidays, is it really a holiday? I don't think so. That's why I've done just that...

April 12, 2005
I got something pretty good delivered to me yesterday. Guess what it is. No, you're wrong. It was an IBM Thinkpad computer tower. Funny thing, you see, the screen was sent by seperate courier and is coming two days later. So I can't enjoy the tower at all. I can still enjoy the attractive look of it, though.

I'd say the only other truly excellent thing I've had delivered to me was a T-shirt signed by Audioslave, which includes the three best guys in Rage Against the Machine. Yes, I have Tom Morello's signature. He's just about the best contemporary guitarist that ever tortured a guitar. I won it for being like, a nerd. It's now lying folded at the bottom of my drawer.

What's the best thing you've ever had delivered to you?

April 08, 2005
If I was a cartoon I would be drawn with bloodshot eyes with droopy black bags beneath them. Suffering from a bit of our friend sleep deprivation. Can't have coffee. Should sleep, but... Thought I should blog something. Blog wins.

It encourages me to see that you all love books so much. It makes me want to love them again too. I'm going to try and slog through all the books that have been reccomended to me in the last few days, and I'll let you know what I think. Made a start today with a trip to two op-shops, here's what I picked up for $4.40 (I'm not going to do this in the form of a list, because Martin has referred to me as Ms. Listmaster and a friend of mine said my blog had enough music lists to choke a donkey, so I'll just let it be with the numbers and bullets, shall I?).

I think I managed to score dodgy class of 1982 school text editions of most of Shakespeare's prominent works: Romeo & Juliet, Julius Ceasar, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, and Twelfth Night. Also, Stephen King's Misery, Roger Lancelyn Green's Tales of Ancient Egypt, Robert Jordan's Crossroads of Twilight, three Alfred Hitchcock Mysteries, and, for some ironic-distance, a novelization of the Mad Max screenplay.

Of course, with Neitzche's The Gay Science, Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Thucydyde's History of the Peloponnesian War and some Henry Lawson short-stories to read before the end of next week, they may have to gather dust for a little while.

. . .
We took my nan to have a look at retirement villages today. It was quite depressing. In her words: "they look like they're waiting to go to God." A human elephant graveyard. That got me thinking about my baba, and Anzac day has me thinking about grandpa. But I'm not one to dwell. Am I?

April 05, 2005
1
Max Barry, author/blogger extraordinaire, has picked up on OMO's national Dirt Is Good Day. Get your kids dirty, then wash their clothes with OMO!

But remember kids: No Stain. No Learning.

As Max suggests, maybe this could lead to more corporations inventing community-minded national days like the 'ExxonMobil National Go For a Long, Aimless Drive Day', or the 'AT&T National Just Check Your Relatives Are Still Okay Day'.

Ah, those wily corporations. Just what will they think of next?

You can read his post here.

2
The man from Sterne has put together a 'Choose Your Own' opinion piece on the Pope's death, where you call the shots. Was JP the hotness, or the notness? It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.

April 04, 2005
If you'd like to suggest an excellent book for me to read, see below post. I think you would.

Just a quick note to say that I had a driving lesson at night yesterday, and for the first time started without jolting. Yay. Of course, the starts following were kind of jolty, but not so much. Progress is being made. Now we've moved on to changing up to 3rd and down again, which is sort of tricky in a car park. I was rounding a bend and thought I'd gone down to 1st, when actually I went up to 3rd. That was an interesting kind of jolting that led to a hand-brake start on a hill.

But yeah, things are moving along. Soon I'll be doing burn-outs on your front lawn.

April 03, 2005
Maybe my imagination is deteriorating. When I was younger, I used to read two or three books at a time. I could read for five hours straight. It wasn't detached, you know, a little bit here, a little bit there: when I was reading, I felt totally gripped by the story. When I began a book, I would finish it. I enjoyed everything. And I miss those days.

My writing was better, my imagination was clearer. Reading, even the trashiest of novels, never makes your brain feel limp and bloated like television does.

For some reason or other I haven't been able to read properly for the last year. I begin a book, but I can't see it as anything but an author tapping away, trying to make me feel certain things, elicit certain reactions. There seems to be some kind of wall between my mind and the words on the page. And it's terrible. Reading has always been one of my favourite past-times.

I went to the library yesterday and returned only with CDs and DVDs. I read Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness for my literature class and it didn't move me at all. Am I reading the wrong books? Am I turning into one of those people that "don't read books"?

Ugh. Don't know what to do.

April 01, 2005
My nan is excellent. She also votes Liberal. Recently, she remarked that muslims spoil Easter, because we don't celebrate it in schools anymore: "I know they have their own culture, but they've got to be flexible". She also declared that a lesbian on our street was "confused".

My mum votes for the Greens, but was telling me how it's sad that there are so many 'Asian' people, and 'Asian' shops, in the city. "If you were a tourist from another country, you'd think Melbourne was another city in Asia". I don't really understand where she's coming from. Of course, I let her know what I thought about that. But I didn't say anything in response to my nan, even though I found a lot of what she was saying pretty objectionable. I love her. I love a Liberal voter, who is somewhat racist and somewhat homophobic.

I think we all have someone in our family or circle of friends that holds questionable social/political views. But you still care for them - because they're funny, caring, or have always helped out your family. Do I say something, start an argument? Or do I let it slide, and think, I'm close to this person because of their other qualities?

She stayed over the night of the election. In the morning, I was carrying her bags to the tram-stop with her, and said "It's going to cost me another $10,000 dollars to go to Uni now." She just made this noise... a sigh, or a groan, I can't really describe it. A human malfunction. She just doesn't know. I just keep quiet.

Terry Schiavo's Blog

I can't really explain this. Can you? I mean...