Thursday, October 29, 2009

Music makes me happy (or 'time for a very conventional blog post')

I tried to count my passions the other day. They are few, and they are intense. On the other hand, they are myriad and they are shallow and transient. But a few endure, and one is music.

I love a more wide variety of music than most people. It sounds arrogant but I truly believe that. When most people say 'oh, I love all music', it comes with a caveat. 'Not that bloody rap music'. 'Not country'. 'Not dance/trance/techno/classical/jazz/gay shit'. But I love it all. Even the gay shit.

These are not my top five songs, just the first five that entered my head as I type this.

When The Saints Go Marching In - Louis Armstrong

Ok, I lie. This one probably is my favourite song ever (it helps that he describes his drummer as a 'little filipina boyyyy'). It also ties into one of my other enduring passions!

I have a huge hardon for dixieland, especially satchmo, who makes the most simple melodies so so great. Love that dude. His duets with Ella Fitzgerald are breathtaking.

Everyday I Have The Blues - John Mayer Trio

Of COURSE I got John Mayer in here. Those of you who know me (should) know he's my favourite artist. If you don't know why, then you don't know John Mayer. He fills my appetite for hardcore blues, hardcore guitar playing and seriously, seriously softcore pop. This one, from the live album 'where the light is' contains my second-favourite guitar solo of all time.

Keep an eye on his face when he plays, it's hilarious. And please ignore the terrible grammar in the title.

Little Secrets - Passion Pit

This band caters only to my love for pop. Also to my primal love for percussion mixed with high-pitched singing. That's why it succeeds: serious bass and serious treble, with a real trough in the middle. Their entire catalogue is superb (it's still small though...).

Strawberry Swing - Coldplay

Embedding's disabled and I can't be arsed figuring out how to finagle it, so click the damn link already. The video's neat, but the song is neater. If you don't like Coldplay, you won't like it. But then I don't care what you think if you don't like Coldplay.

Concerto For Orchestra Movt 1, Introduzione - Bela Bartok

I know, I'm trying to make myself classy by including a classical (um...not classical!) work. But I legitimately love this song, though I don't feel equipped to describe why in any great detail. Certainly not without more time and a bit earlier in the day, perhaps.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Someone recently asked me the age-old question of why the hell i do maths. Why should someone care about all of the useless crap I care about?

Do I care about it simply because it's for my qualifications? I don't think so, or I'd be doing something else. Mathematics is not something you choose to do for the glamour, power, or money.

Is it because all the people around me care about it, and I'm just mimicking them, like the new kid at school who pretends to like the same music as the cool kids and ends up loving it? Like the showbiz kid who's pushed into singing by his crazy parents and ends up needing the spotlight as much as his mum needed him to have it?

I hope not. But I can't truthfully answer this. Maybe I'm just part of a big club that happens to (barely) fund itself and make careers for its members. If it's the case, I'm not all that bothered: it's a freaking fun ass club to be in.

Is it because I was the smartest kid in the room all through primary school, and I need to hold onto that feeling? I *seriously* hope it's not that.

I hope, though, I'm in it for the fun of it. For the so-called `quest for knowledge', even if we make up the questions. The feeling you get when you beat Rubik's Cube for the first time, or solve a riddle and see how everything fits. That's mathematics. See the pattern, prove it's there. Find out why, if you can. Prove it.

If someone figures out a way to make it useful....good for them.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

an early night

There is nothing for the self esteem quite
so helpful as an early night.

Though sleeping early suggests a dearth of things to do tonight,
there's nothing on this earth so right
for making one feel in control
like everything is under control
as an early night.

For in the morning you may sleep
like today's Sunday, last night a late, late Saturday night,
but upon waking look at the clock to see it's not eleven, twelve, one,
but only seven
and the day has just begun.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Writing things Down

Corrently I'm supposed to be writing a paper about matrices. Of course, writing down things that are obvious to me (only because I've been steeped in the theory for nigh on six months now) in a way that makes people gain both understanding and self-esteem (the true goal of any writer is to make the reader feel good about themself) not easy. Nor is it especially stimulating (with rare exceptions).

Here I sit, then, alone in my office. Type type type. Do not pity me, for it's Better Than A Real Job. It's ostensibly my dream. I suppose with every dream there comes a reality which is never the same, for when we dream we're not practising prediction but hope.

So I keep plugging away, safe in the knowledge that "I have perspective!". The mental acrobatics I perform to convince myself that I, in fact, LOVE typing and retyping this definition so that a chimpanzee could understand it, but a genius doesn't feel like I'm talking down to him. I can't please everybody, but I'm asked to. So I will just try my best, once again safe in the knowledge that in "perspective", I'm actually not that bad at it. Or rather, that I'm lucky enough to have English as my native language.

I gotta get back to work

Monday, August 3, 2009

Have They Ever Heard of the Internet

Soon to be released on Nintendo Wii:

It's poker, only sexier!

Sexy Poker brings you an entirely new set of unique and sexy women that radiate personality and fun, inspired by famous celebrity sex symbols and today’s hottest sources of sexy content. Unlike other games on the market that offer only one woman, Sexy Poker offers high-quality images of six incredibly alluring women for six times the value and game length. These girls are so confident, they'll bet all their clothes on this game!

  • Offers high-quality images of six incredibly alluring women.
  • 3 game modes: 5-card draw poker, video poker, and blackjack.
  • Photo gallery, so you can quickly access all of the images you've unlocked
This raises a metric buttload of questions. The first of which is, "how did this get approved by Nintendo?". A press release reveals the truth:


Platform: Wii

Rating: M for Mature

Content descriptors: Simulated Gambling, Suggestive Themes

Rating Summary: This is a Strip Poker game in which players engage in games of Black Jack and Poker against female avatar opponents. The object of the game is to win hands in order to remove articles of clothing from still images of the female characters. Nurses, police women, office workers, and sports figures can eventually be stripped down to show their lingerie. The female opponents encourage the player with provocative comments such as, "Perhaps you could be my business partner...for tonight at least?" and, "If you impress me, I might give you my special treatment."

Aha! There's no nudity at all! Which makes only more pertinent my second question: WHO IS GOING TO BUY THIS GAME?

If I wanted to see an office worker or sports figure in her lingerie (or less), I think I could manage without having to spend money and win at poker. Ah well, even if I wanted to, it's been banned in Australia.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Where Analogies Go To Die

From Facebook chat (the opinions expressed herein are not necessarily my own. ):
by how un-upset i was to let her go
lol i dont feel like a 22yo needs to 'work on' a relationship
there are plenty of fish in the sea

thats true brian

1.3/2 billion


in china alone

this illusion that you are under
that relationships
just work
all by themselves
is sadly mistaken

leul im under no illusion
they 'just work' for a finite time
after which i jettison them

a suitably worrying thought
mr corr
it might be nice, to try?

no point
just get a new one
like trying to fix a broken glass
no point
glasses are cheap

that they are
if you keep on breaking glasses
then all you end up with
is a multitude of cheap glasses
instead of some nice crystal
you know
waterford or soemthing

but you always have something to drink out of
and also you don't get worried that youll break your fancy crystal
i hate drinking out of fancy glasses im not comfortable in case i drop it

but if you take care of your cheap glasses, then you will know what it takes to look after an expsensive one
that is great

no point

for entertaining at dinner parties
and showing off to friends

get a plastic cup

cheap glasses and plastic cups can only sustain you so long
you will miss what all your peers have
waterford crystal
and you will be left an epmtpy, broken shell of a man
without nice glasses

quite the opposite
you will covet the variety
while you're drinking every beverage from the same fancy glass
i'm trying out new wacky designs
drinking from curly straws

no you
are using and breaking
a never ending supply of cheap glasses

but each one is according to my whim
you're tied to one glass

you shall never know
but oh what a glass!
waterford crystal for gods sake!

i'm all about the inside of the glass
anyhow some glasses are better for different occasions
like maybe you want a coffee. are you gonna drink from your waterford crystal then?

HAH i worked hard and payed good money for my wateford crystal! i would drink my own urine out of it if i wanted to!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


To what extent can we control who we are?

Some would say that who we are is completely under our control, and that we (and perhaps some God or equivalent) are the only people who can truly observe it. And that to know another person is impossible.

But if we define a personality as something that can't be observed, then what's the point? If I can't possibly know, then why should I care? What good does it do us to think so hard about ourselves except to inform our actions? We are what we do, what we say, what we present to the world. Nothing more. Anything else is just an exercise we perform that informs our actions. The only value in considering this is to understand how it works, that we might predict actions in the future. Stopping at 'knowing a person' is stupid. Knowing how a person works and thinks should be information to be used (for your gain or theirs or someone else's). 'Who we are' means 'what do people know about us'.

How, then, can we control the message? If who we are is what people see, then we can easily lose control of who we are. Telling lies, we can change who we are, but at the risk of being found out and losing credibility. Misunderstanding, rumour and malice can all change the story and we might not even know it. Left unattended, a false rumour becomes truth, and if that rumour reaches someone before you do, there might be no hope for you. Because like it or not, you are what people think you are, and if you don't like it, you have to do everything in your power to change it.

It does you no good to claim a high moral ground and pretend you don't care what people think. You do, and you should. So next time you want to take a look at yourself, try to do it from someone else's perspective.

Monday, June 1, 2009


I'm at home writing this. My new home. So new, i'm on stolen wifi, since I don't have internet installed yet. I've only been here 8 nights, but it's my home now.

Last night I got back here about 2 in the morning, locked the door, brushed my teeth, drank some water and turned out all them lights. Then climbed the stairs in the dark and felt for the doorhandle to my room. As I touched it I felt at home in a way that I've never felt outside of my parents' house. It didn't matter that there's next to no furniture downstairs or that we don't have a fridge yet. It didn't matter that I've not been here long enough to connect a phone or the internet. It didn't even matter that when prompted that very same day, it took me 5 seconds to remember the address.

It doesn't matter that this place isn't finished yet, because it's mine (at least, in part) and I get to have a say in how it ends up.

Friday, May 22, 2009


As I write this, I'm engaged in a discussion over facebook chat over the merits of blogs, and an internal dialogue over whether to start one. It was a fortnight or so ago that, in a fit of self-esteem, I opened this thing and gave it a title, thinking the rest would take care of itself. It clearly did not, as the status of this as the first post reveals.

At this point (if I should be so bold as to assume that you exist, dear reader), we're both asking ourselves questions. I'm asking myself (and you) why on Earth a person would choose to read a blog by this chump. You're asking yourself a related question, with your fingers hovered over alt-tab, your cursor hovering on Firefox's little orange X on this tab, ready to stop at any second. You and this blog are on a first date, and it's dark enough in the cinema that you could simply walk out and I wouldn't notice.

Indeed, I just took a break from writing to continue the facebook discussion. Not because I want to seem nonchalant; a great deal of my self-worth is tied up in my online persona (SO'S YOURS, DON'T LIE), and if you have any love for me you'll compliment, encourage, hail this blog as a masterpiece and we'll all pretend I didn't just ask you to do it.

But really, I don't care one way or another. For if I do, I'm one of those people who thinks everything thought in their mind is publishable, and that my life is some compelling narrative in a way that distinguishes me from the masses. The friend on the other end of facebook thinks that my awareness of this fact in some way DOES distinguish me, and that my thoughts must be worth reading since I'm aware that they're not; I'm too tired to try to find the hole in that logic, though I'm certain I could find one.

But if there's anything less compelling than my thoughts, it's surely my digressions. The reason I don't mind you not reading this is that everyone's distracted. Right now i'm thinking harder about how funny the coffee cup balanced on my leg is jiggling as I type than I am about the content of the post; this fascination is to blame for the frequency of run-on sentences you'll find here as I'm desperately trying to find ways to make myself type longer, less thoughtful, more complicated strings to typ so that I can see what happens to my cup.

And a distraction pulls me away long enough to drink most of the coffee and ruin the effect, as if punishing me for my bad writing. I've gone completely off track once again, but then, as the title suggests, that's what happens when you're on The Internet. So get used to it, dear reader. Or don't get used to it, and don't be a reader.

Hey did you ever notice how it's hard to end a blog post without seeming like a tool?