Thursday, 29 October 2009


Why isn't there any? There's so much to be confused about. Simple things are where I need to keep my mind.

When I keep thinking about what is good and what is simple, I feel such joy. And it's made me happy. I want to sing. This morning I did. I can't sing quietly, though. Unless I sing with strength, I can't hit the notes.

Thank you, Lord God, for song.


Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The flowers that bloom in the spring, Tra la

Breathe promise of merry sunshine —
As we merrily dance and we sing,
Tra la,
We welcome the hope that they bring,
Tra la,
Of a summer of roses and wine,
Of a summer of roses and wine.
And that's what we mean when we say that a thing
Is welcome as flowers that bloom in the spring.
Tra la la la la,
Tra la la la la,
The flowers that bloom in the spring.

Wow. It's been too long since I saw a G&S. Better fix that, methinks.

My nails are all one colour, for once. I couldn't help it. I saw the sunlight on the new growth on the trees and I couldn't help but dress to match.

Colours make me happy. Spending time in God's creation makes me happy. My friend keeps looking over his shoulder at me. Are you sure you're alright? You're not going to... explode?

Nope. Not today. Today I'll smile. Today I'll enjoy a picnic. Today I'll hear the drums. Today I'll watch the bees.

Dad says I should eat lots of fatty foods. A friend suggests watching a chick flick. Another suggests taking her chocolate supply.

Nope. I'll be fine. Thank you, Lord, for the strength that I could never have had on my own! Praise to God for the colours today.


From between sheets...

...using just my thumb. That's where this post comes from.

My friend's asleep on the air bed beside me. I kept him up talking far too long and he's got an exam tomorrow. Ah, tomorrow.

Tomorrow will afford me some more time to smile. I have my hours planned from 9am to 4pm and it feels good. There are few feelings that can beat knowing that for the next little while, I don't need to think about how to pass the time.

I'm optimistic. I might be jumping the gun, but I think that I'm safe right now. What does that mean? I think it means that where each foot fall lands, there will be solid ground. Even if my hopes don't come to fruition.

Dare I hope?

It appears I fell asleep. It's morning and I've just found my phone. This post is still unposted. There's snoring. My eyes are sore. And I have to give a demonstration in a few hours.

Bring it on.


Monday, 26 October 2009


It can't be true, can it? I was so scared... But why? Everything worked out. Everything will continue to progress.

So long as I trust in God. Not by my strength, but by His, will it come to fruition.

I fall on my knees. I truly don't deserve it. That's why it's called grace.

I'm so happy! I want to cry out and sing! It's all too beautiful.

It always was. I just had to see it.

Now it's time to pull together the strength I need for the coming exams. Let's do it!


Saturday, 24 October 2009

Ah, Dainty

Yes, it's back. My favourite restaurant is back and it's still got it.

After a brief transition period, Dainty Sichuan Food is alive and kicking (me in the stomach right now). I won't forget the enjoyable evening I had last night, and my tummy is making sure of it...

Despite the usual reaction to the chilli, I will definitely be back.

All things considered Dainty has changed for the better. It looks much nicer, it's bigger and the food we had last night was as good or better than that of the previous kitchen.

The five dishes we ordered between the four of us turned out to be a little extravagent. We ended up bagging a fair portion of it up to take home.

The Ants climbing a tree, which was a favourite of one of our party, from the old joint, returned to us with an extra bite. The kong pao chicken was as tasty as ever and the garlic cucumber helped to take the edge off when we were getting chillied out.

Our overall favourite was perhaps still the fish-flavoured eggplant, with its crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside, sweet, chilli-coated deliciousness.

The chilli coated beef strips were slightly improved with fresh chilli slices accompanying these spicy little guys.

The service was fast, but the bill was promtly delivered, discouraging people from lingering to enjoy the after-glow of the meal.

I feel I must return soon.

Thank you, dear friends, for joining me. I really did have a good night. I hope your tests/work/study go well. I hope we can do it all over again when my exams are over.


P.S. Thanks for the input, people who have mentioned my last post to me in person. I was surprised that it was that last topic that inspired the most dicussion.

Friday, 23 October 2009


I'm creepy. So very, very creepy. I don't think I'll ever be tested beyond what I can handle (for a given definition of "handle"), but when things start to fray, I do something very strange.

I feel like nothing could hurt me any more. I feel like I could tear at the earth beneath me and everyone around would fall in. When I think I have no sway over the hearts of people around me, I get the sensation of being all-powerful over the physical realm.

Next year I'll have a position of responsibility. I need to put others before myself. I need to filter anything I say. I need to try and live each day in the knowledge of God's great gift.

This might take some effort.

Let me give all that I have.

I need to be less...


Some of my favourite things that I need to cut back on are:

- Breathing down someone's neck from behind, when they don't know I'm around.
- Feigning a lust for random, slightly odd things.
- Smelling people's hair.
- Responding to the question, What're you doing later?, with unorthodox responses*.
- Pretending to have an uncontrollable urge to stroke the hair of someone in front of me in a lecture theatre, just to see how the people sitting beside me respond.

That's enough for the moment. I shouldn't give away all my tricks.

Yesterday was unforgettable. It might surprise people to know (maybe not if you've met me in person), but my favourite things to do usually involve a sunny day, a smile and a milkshake. Thank you for trusting me and thank you for caring for me. It was never your place to go out of your way, but you truly live as an example of the Lord at work in someone.

Thank you.


Some of my favourites responses include:
- "Why? What have you heard? Has someone ratted me out? Get off my back!"
- "I'm gonna go to my room, turn off the lights, turn on the music and weep."
- "I think I'll take to the streets with a machete and exact my own form of justice."
- "Anything, just promise you'll stay by my side."

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Cross the grass

Okay, that's done. Now there's gravel for a few feet. Now a concrete step. Another. Another. Still a few more. Do we need to count them? Yes. Here goes. One more, then we're at the top.

Where to from here? Ah, more path. Keep following. No choices about direction yet. Gotta keep thinking this through. There are people everywh- STOP!

Don't think about it. Don't you dare think about-

Got it. I won't think abou- Ah! You nearly did it again! Just get back to walking.

More concrete. Wait. What's that? There are buildings or something with doors and I could go in them or I could go around. Around where?

Too many questions. Just like the question of-

Shut. It.

Shut your head. Deal with everything later. Just shut it off. There. Much easier. Now we must name everything in front of us. Slowly.


My arm appears to have been ripped off.

Ah. This part might be hard to navigate. Another sense is kicking in. Pain? Aural pain? No, just a loud sound. What makes that sound? Sirens? Sirens are good. At least with all the noise, I won't be reminded of-



Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Night walking

Our city's treasures sleep peacefully. These were some of the results of my night prowling.


Well, Ames, it looks like I'm gonna have to rethink the basis for this blog.

One of my 4 constants just bailed. It'll be alright. Three outta four ain't bad.


P.S. Well, technically it didn't bail. There's nothing going to change any of them. It's just, well, you get it. It's not on any more.

P.P.S. It sucks... quite a lot, really.

P.P.P.S. I will manage, though.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Why do I worry?

Last night the sermon was about dispelling worry.

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
Luke 12:25-26

The minister talked about worrying about expenses and storing up treasures away from God. The opposite of being rich toward God. The dangers of a mentality that says the way to happiness is through expansive televisions and jewellery are obvious. There is nothing wrong with having wealth, if we endeavour to be rich toward God. It's only when we endeavour to be rich that we run into trouble.

Looking at my extended family, I see just how blessed I am. We aren't burdened by the money-chasing bug. It's a hollow pat on the back, when they commend you on your career options based on your salary potential. I don't want to hear about entrepreneurial opportunities and how to make a quick, secure dollar. What about a secure family life? A secure faith? God will take care of the rest. I just need faith.

It's still hard not to question why we do stupid things to hurt the people around us.

Ask the obvious questions. Why do I worry about the future?

What this generation needs is a war
But it’s hard to choose a side when you don’t know which is right
Cos all my friends are frustrated, boring or bored
Yes, they all derrain their minds without a good excuse as to why –
Lusting after yesterday's golden stars,
Ah well, maybe that just never happens any more

What this generation needs is a score –
Because we realise we can all get along
But no one is willing to drop their arms
Cos our forefathers have made reforms
To civil rights and moral law.
But now that fewer are maligned,
There’s less pushing us over the line
But, oh, we really ain’t that far –
Well, somehow none of that matters any more

And the result of all this is we’re rushing on our own
Cos we ain’t with the people we look like but we ain’t part of the whole
We almost understand our world but we’re resting on our laurels
And now my heart is shattered
We can’t even try, even when it matters

Oh so please don’t let me go without you
My heart never shows without you
Lately things have been so distant
And I don’t know what I can do to fix it
Why don’t you love me like you used to
Why do I worry about the future?
Is it just that how we manage is not by love, but force of habit
And if only I could be a man
Rip down all your dreams and plans
Smash in all of your pretty things so the only thing you could see was me
For what we’ve done should be a crime
We should be locked up so we never see the light
In the darkness we could see how worthless all our lives must be
If two lovers like us can drift apart
There must be something wrong with our hearts
And be something wrong with all of us to never care til things are lost

Why don’t you love me like you used to
Why do I worry about the future?

-- About the Future, Yves Klein Blue

Thanks for that. I really like the desperation in the singer's voice.

Some people have said they never understand my blog posts. All those who are confused by what I write should keep certain things in the back of their minds when they read my posts.

If you can't understand what I'm trying to say, then there's probably something fundamentally very wrong with you.

Or me.


P.S. Nah, it's definitely you.

Do something pretty while you can

On a beech tree, rudely carved
"NC loved me"
Why did she do it?
Was she scared?
Was she bored?

-- We Rule the School, Belle & Sebastian

It's very much like that. This song details the marks we leave, however insignificant, around us. That's all we're really doing. This blog contains the scribbles I've done, and the joys and gripes I've found in this world. It contains heart-felt dedications, screaming accusations and messages of love.

Do something pretty while you can.

Yesterday was a day filled with joy. I saw my younger sister publicly announce her dedication to life in the community of Christ.

Thank you, Lord, for my family and the amazing love in my life.


Friday, 16 October 2009

The process

I've been reading up a lot on sprite creation. I've read several tutorials and I thoroughly enjoy moving those tiny pixels around the screen until I'm happy with the result.

It's creative and time-consuming. For some reason the nerd in me appreciates the latter element. I also do sketches and write short stories, but there's something appealing about the amount of time that goes into a piece of work.

I really like Derek Yu's tutorial. I also like this one on spriting at The Cave of Dragonflies.

I've started in a slightly different way to both of them. I took one of my little SNES RPG-esque characters from a sprite I'd created earlier and now I want to realise a larger version.

I'll detail the process in this blog post over the next little while. Not all at once, just when I need to procrastinate.

Let's start from the beginning:

I like to work in Paint.NET, a freeware utility that lends itself well to sprite creation.

1) I took my original image and blew it up to a size I was happy with (using the "nearest colour" setting for resizing, and blowing it up to an integer multiple of 100% - only necessary if you're working with a smaller sprite).

2) I then took the pencil tool and outlined, in a cartoon fashion, my original creation (this was done in a new layer and with very little care given to exactness).

3) Keeping the original sprite open in another file (still in Paint.Net), after saving a new file, I removed the background image, leaving just my outline. I then proceeded to scour the outline and ensure that each line only had a width of 1 pixel. I also added a few touches to improve my original attempt.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Try and stop me

I couldn't. Here goes.

Tonight we studied Luke 12:13-35. We looked at these passages with the topic of Grace for the Anxious (this week's topic for Commitment Month, week 3). We all came away feeling that we really need to trust God a little more. Or a lot more. His timing is perfect. Using the knowledge from last week (that we need to come before God and ask for that which we don't deserve, and to be persistent about it) we admit that God knows our heart and our fears, and that if we're not afraid to ask, we will see His work.

His work might not be on our terms, like the man who asked Jesus to make his brother split the inheritance, but it will be in our best interests if we have faith.

The overwhelming feeling I have is one of standing on the precipice, looking into the void. It's not darkness, but it's completely obscured. I know certain things. I definitely don't know others. What's worse is knowing something, with a gnawing sensation that things aren't going to happen the way we anticipate.

That gnawing sensation needs to be replaced with a trust in God. Not a confidence in the outcome, but confidence in an outcome.

My misguided cry for help was along the lines of the man asking for the fortune to be split. I need to look out, as best I can, for others. I wish they'd look out for me, but it's not a requirement. In fact it's the opposite of how I should work.

I have to acknowledge the help I've been getting. Thank you. You might not realise, but it's been fantastic. I love how you never question my motives. The trust you've put in me has been uplifting. It's tough trying to be a person of integrity if no one thinks you can be. Thanks for letting me talk my nonsense. Yes, if you think there's a possibility it could be you I'm talking about, well, it is you I'm talking about.

Prayers for stability would be much appreciated. But most of all, prayers for trust in God are what I need.

Also please pray for my two sisters. One is getting confirmed this Sunday, which will be a joyous celebration of a commitment to life in Christ. The other is facing tough decisions in her walk with God.

Now to review this post.

I think it passes. I didn't say anything I might regret. I think.

I love you,


I'm late!

Well. I missed that tute. Ah, well.

What I'm really late for is a post to celebrate the anniversary of me publicly discussing my life in that established, egotistical way, that is my blog.

It's been a year, people!

I've written some 35,000 words just to fill in the time between assignments, parties, dates, etc.

But it's been more than that. It's been a way of expressing joy, venting anger and, well... Not much in between, really. I usually just have those two settings.


It has to be about me, doesn't it. Always bringing it back to self-absorbed little me.

Yeah, I'm pretty good.

Just looking back at my first post isn't as interesting as I'd hoped. I haven't moved far. Except what started out as an exercise in keeping my memory from slipping away, turned into something quite different. Even from the get-go.

Apart from being a way of showing my hobbies to other people, this blog has offered countless examples to me of how much people want to engage us. I've had offers of coffee, conversation, etc. I've had many words of encouragement. I've had several of desperation, too.

There are several overwhelming constants that I've identified throughout the posts. These undoubtedly reflect on who I am.

I note:

My over-enthusiasm for my own wit.
My apologetic nature.
My trust in God.
My love for a girl.

A love that won't ever fade.

Thanks for sticking around, y'all.


Monday, 12 October 2009

Back online

Sorry for scaring people. I got several messages of confusion and frustration.

I just need to work hard for a while.

I love you. See you all soon.


Friday, 9 October 2009

Not gonna play this...

Fantastic concept, though. A game in which the goals are uncertain, the purpose is perhaps counter-intuitive and rewards aren't what they seem.

Seriously. Check it out.

It's called lose/lose for a reason.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Vanity in pixels

We all know I love me. Who wouldn't? But I love me more when I'm made of tiny coloured squares. We've all seen my little versions of me running about the blog.

Here are a few:

Then there's the larger, more isometric me.

Then I was inspired by some groovy, avatar-style portraits I saw... Somewhere. I wanted one! So I took a random photo (perhaps a poor choice - you'll see why) and decided to make some pixel art!

I didn't want to just run a filter over the photo. I wanted to do it by hand. When there are assignments to be done, everything else must be done with maximum amount of procrastination as the goal. Doing a pixel portrait by hand was the logical choice.

Below is the finished product:

Here is a comparison with the original photo. You may notice:

- I've updated my hair cut
- I've enlarged the cross
- My jaw is now clenched
- My back is straighter
- I'm looking generally more mean

There you have it. More images of me to make me happy.

Have I mentioned I love pixel art?


Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Hair cut

I got one. It's shorter, but unlike earlier, the shortest layer is actually quite long. I would show you a photo, but I left my camera cable somewhere that I can't remember. So here's a stylised interpretation. It's pretty much identical to what I currently look like.

Except I have eyes. And I don't have a lock in my forehead. Oh, yeah. I also have a neck. But the hair's spot on.


Little Dragon

My new music interest. It's really tough to beat their Swedish brand of electro-funk-soul. Seriously. Check 'em out, if you haven't yet. Their first album (Little Dragon) was an extremely soulful experience and their second album, Machine Dreams has some great chill-out tracks.


Fly away

Well, I have to say I much prefer Kim's caption for my drawing (image below). Much nicer.

"Wow, I've never been inside a blog before... It's kinda sticky."
-- Kim Ritchie, just then

Monday, 5 October 2009


I feel ill... My stomach is churning. My eyes are sore.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Radio static

It's just white noise...

...then silence.

Short of breath

While my girl pushes herself to new physical limits, I sit here, short of breath and hoping she'll pop in tonight to tell me about her weekend. I think it's the coffee that's got me panting for some reason. I'm also a little shaky.

It's tough being apart from her so much.

She's such a busy bee and after this weekend, she'll be a fully qualified gym instructor. It boggles the mind how one gorgeous girl can have so much energy. It's been said before, but she really is a powerhouse.

If I could only have one effect on her, it'd be to show her the benefits of giving the body and the soul time to breathe.

Heh heh. We'll get there.

Time for me to finish off this assignment and start on another.

I'm back in town (admittedly, I'm booked until the 11th of this month) and ready to work hard and hopefully see a lot of you people.


I really like hugs.


P.S. Seriously. If you see me, just come up to me and hold me.