Monday, 30 November 2009

Convoluted? I hope so.

Otherwise, if everything I wanted to articulate came out clearly, you'd run a mile. Isn't it lucky, then, that I must post from my phone and its tiny keypad?

I hope you've recovered and detoxed and are back on track.

I'm determined to be what you ask for, even if - in the end - I'm not what you want. I wish my efforts were brought about from a desire to improve myself for God, or for me, but right now I feel like not enough comes from there.

When all is said and done, I sometimes think that you're not really interested. You try and convince me of it, but then I see through it all. You want me to grow, to show what I'll become.

Thank you for that chance. I will keep working.


P.S. You gave me a scare recently. You might not have noticed. Please wait for me.

P.P.S. Don't respond via a comment to this particular post. As Rob says, "that stuff you write is soooo ambiguous". It's easier for people reading if it's that way. And I don't want to implicate you, my love.

P.P.P.S. I'd love a text or email about it, though.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Happy Birthday, Julia!

Thirty-three? Goodness... I'm not sure I can even count that high...

I hope you have a marvellous birthday! I'm very glad to hear that the "ticker's still tickin'" as Rob puts it!

It's always a shock to find that someone reads (well, I suppose "subscribes to" is very different from reading) this self-centred drivel.

Wishing you much love and happiness way up north!

I hope to come up one day to enjoy the sunshine!


Sunday, 22 November 2009

He has a plan

Psalm 37:3-6 (NIV)

Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

It's foolish to dwell on what I can't control. I need to accept that He has a plan.

Thank you, Lord. Grant me Your peace.


Is this asking too much?

I'm good at asking too much, but I didn't think I was asking too much today.

I wanted to smile. I wanted to study. I wanted to laugh. By and large, I did those things. But why couldn't you just say what I wanted to hear?

"I can't stand you"? Really? And you want someone perfect? Genetically engineered? What happened to "there are some things I dislike about you, but I wouldn't change a thing, because then you wouldn't be you."?

The aches and groans I feel each day are a reminder of the great gifts I've been given. It may hurt, but at least I can feel everything around me- everyone around me.

You are changing your tune. Do you have to do it publicly? Today? At least commit to the promise of friendship you made.

I will spill blood if that one is ever broken.

Try me.


P.S. I'm wearing my boots today, because the rain claimed my sneakers. I think my shoes might be ruined, too.

age ++

I got me a birthday present! Can't wait 'til my Pig Rabbit arrives from Korea!

I'll be thi-i-i-i-i-is happy (see below)!

Friday, 20 November 2009

Easy does it...

Don't ever hide the truth from me. How can anything be done if some facts are hidden? Say what you mean. And, if you mean it, like you say you do, then don't withdraw it.

I had a nice day today of post-exam destressing. Now that'd make more sense if I'd finished...

But it was nice to just relax and watch an on-screen love story unfold in a very silly/cute way. Thank you for not running away after everything that's happened. Thank you for bringing me to have a fun picnic (indoors!) with your friends. Thank you for understanding and promising to care for me and for being the best friend possible. When my world crumbled, you reminded me of God's awesome power. You reminded me of how beautiful friendship can be. Thank you for shining the high beams on, leaving me exposed, and showing me that when everything is out in the open, that you'll still run along side me. Excuse the in joke, there.

Thank you, Lord, for such a friend.

Thank you, Lord, for all my friends.

People, speak the truth. The last few weeks have been amazing, because not once did I ever have to probe to find answers. The answers were laid out. No one second guessed. The honest truth was all I received.



...Everyone dislikes statistics. Congrats to those who have ploughed through the painful topics and silly assignments.

Sticking around unless something better comes along? That one hurt the most. You know why? Ask anyone.

I don't think I've met anyone "better". Quantifiably and statistically.

You will always be as close to my heart as a person can be. Thank you, dear friend, for not throwing me aside.

I know your exam today will go well and I look forward to a time of relaxation afterward.

I pray that my study will be fruitful over over the next few days and that I will keep level-headed and glorify God in whatever I do.


Thursday, 19 November 2009


Welcome to the new phase.

I'm not going to think in the way I used to. I'm just going to care for the people around me as best I can. Once This exam's over, it'll be bliss. God has looked after me this far, and I know He'll never leave me.

I can't wait to watch some more You're Beautiful tomorrow. And a nice picnic in the evening will be lovely.

I've had a bit of a confusing ride over the last day or so. People really do care about me. They've gone out of their way each day to ensure that I'm staying afloat. Thank you best friends, parents, tutors, etc.

I'm going to calm down and just sit this one out for a few rounds.

I pray that picnics and drama watching, paddle steamer rides and milkshakes, will all be relaxing and equip me for the summer break. I can't wait to spend more time with a certain friend and some lovely pixels. Him and I will have some fun this holidays, too.

A random thought... Mother 3 and You're Beautiful appeal to me for the same reasons. I enjoy the scenario where the pure and innocent teaches the corrupted or world-weary, and in the case of Mother 3, tears the world down to build it anew.

Barely a connection? Perhaps.


Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Much better compliment

Thank you for a wonderful day of joy, study and increasing my nail polish collection. You're right. Your second attempt at that compliment was much better.

I've got four lectures to finish reading before I go to sleep for a couple of hours. I hope I cover enough material.

When I asked what you thought of my review, I didn't mean you to critique my reviewing style.


I was merely asking whether you thought it was fair.

Thinking more about it (how could I not?), I'd have to say that these kind of dramas play out a lot like cartoons. They're over-the-top, with lots of internal monologuing, and an unnatural, story-book timing. Comparing it to something like Life on Mars, it's easy to see how very differently scenes can be constructed.

I don't know why I chose to mention Life on Mars. I guess because it's the first thing I've watched since finishing episode 12 of 미남이시네요.

And yes, that's the very next thing I'll be watching with you once exams are over.

Back to study, I suppose...



Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Otaku still applies, right?

Even though it's Korean?

Well, I'm not sure if it's the right word (well, I am sure- I'm just not sure if I am an otaku) but I am certain that I've downloaded wallpapers, YouTubed the soundtrack and even found myself whistling the theme tune.

Sounds otaku to me.

I've been watching 미남이시네요 / Minami Shineyo / You're Beautiful as a reward for studying and it's... turned into more than that. I've watched all 12 episodes that have aired so far, even though I only started watching several days ago. Each episode goes for a little over an hour, so it's been a fair amount of TV time.

It's the story of a fragile girl from a convent, Go Mi Nyu, who is training to be a nun, but instead is whisked into a life of celebrity. Not only is she a fish-out-of-water in this respect, but she has to pretend to be her twin brother (Mi Nam), who was intending to join a pop group before some touch-up surgery went... wrong. So while he's being repaired, she must keep alive his dream of being famous enough to be contacted by their missing mother.

The three guys from the pop group are an entertaining bunch. There's the impatient, angsty, king-of-the-hill, (adorable?) Tae Kyung. There's the kind-hearted, charming, (dreamboat?) Shin Woo. And there's the fun-loving, childish, slightly paranoid, Jeremy (yeah, he's cute too). There are also many side characters, like Mi Nyu's funny manager, Ma, who is the one who implements the plan, as well as the nasty celebrity princess, Yoo He Yi, who tries to make trouble for Mi Nyu wherever she can.

The story is made up of sinister characters setting obvious traps for the heroes, while all the time, a series of contrived misunderstandings result in a lot of emotional confusion. Some of the funniest miscommunications revolve around Jeremy and his fears that the new band member is here to seduce his buddies (and he wants to keep any potential man-lovin' out of the pop group - until he begins to question his own sexuality).

The acting is suited to a more comedic version of our midday television programs, with plenty of comic relief (although it gets a little sparse later on) in between the long looks of angst/betrayal/longing/despair/etc.

I get the impression that a lot of kdramas follow a similar pattern in terms of themes and I would probably be happy to sit through some others if I got any recommendations.

It may not sound like a good review, but I can assure you that I'm hooked. The interactions between characters ooze cuteness and there is enough excitement to tie one episode to the next. You'll enjoy hating the bad guys as well as watching the cute cast stumble around each other in a beautifully mistimed dance.

If you've got the kind of personality that gets addicted to TV serials, then I suggest you steer clear until you've got enough time on your hands to afford watching several episodes at a time.


P.S. I'm not sure if it's a cultural thing, but sometimes the show's concept of love is a little strange... It seems to be that the way they fall in love with a person is when they're the one who makes the tummy feel funny... even if there are few other characteristics about the person to like.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Breathe easy

Now isn't the time to panic. I'm just short of breath.

Today was really nice.

It's just now that it's over, I'm going into shock.

Today was good. Today was good. Today was good. Why is tonight not very good?

I want a hug.


I let you down again

I'm sorry. Let me try harder. I let myself down, too.

Hopefully, I can still salvage this.

Maybe I did. Just.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Lovin' Windows 7

YouTube video in parts, with subtitles, download tutorial

I have found a fantastic way of getting episodes of a certain Korean drama I've wanted, English subs and all, without the hassle of subscribing to a video sharing sight, or having to wait several days until various free accounts reset and allow me to have enough quota to download the next episode!

It's not exactly hassle-free, but it works, and I like the results.

Here are the steps:

1. Install Video DownloadHelper for Firefox.

2. Install Greasemonkey for Firefox, along with this guy's code for ripping captions off YouTube videos.

3. Install Media Player Classic.

4. Find the parts of the episodes you want to watch on YouTube, and download the high quality versions using DownloadHelper.

5. At the base of the video, if you've got the Greasemonkey code for downloading captions running, a drop-down menu should appear, from which you can select the appropriate subtitles. They will open in a new tab. Select this tab, then go to File -> Save Page As, then save them as the same title as the video/part, except with the extension, .srt, which is the subtitle format.

e.g. "MYSHOW E01"

6. Once you have downloaded all the parts and all their associated subtitles, open a text document in Notepad, and follow the example form, to create your complete episode playlist (making sure that there is a blank line after the last part - include the "MPCPLAYLIST" at the top of the file):

1,filename,MYSHOW E05 P1.mp4
1,subtitle,MYSHOW E05
2,filename,MYSHOW E05 P2.mp4
2,subtitle,MYSHOW E05
3,filename,MYSHOW E05 P3.mp4
3,subtitle,MYSHOW E05
4,filename,MYSHOW E05 P4.mp4
4,subtitle,MYSHOW E05
5,filename,MYSHOW E05 P5.mp4
5,subtitle,MYSHOW E05
6,filename,MYSHOW E05 P6.mp4
6,subtitle,MYSHOW E05
7,filename,MYSHOW E05 P7.mp4
7,subtitle,MYSHOW E05

7. Save this file with the extension .mpcpl, and you have just created a correctly formatted Media Player Classic Play List file. Yay!

8. Continue this process for each episode, until you have the whole series!

9. Run the .mpcpl file (with Media Player Classic) for each episode to watch an entire episode through, subs and all.

10. Run around in the sun for a while, then get back to watching Korean dramas!

I hope this tutorial helps someone. It took me a while to come up with a good solution- I'm using a VPN connection that has disabled torrents, and because of the nature of the connection, Rapidshare, etc. think I've always gone over my download quota for the day...

Not too bad at all, I say.


Friday, 13 November 2009

If you plan to grow up,

Abandon those plans and run with me.

Today was beautiful. Really beautiful. I think I'd better go to bed now, so that all of it remains as such. Hmmm... I feel a headache coming on...

I didn't get the study done I'd hoped for, but instead, I was insulted in the most complimentary way (or complimented in the most insulting way?). And it was beautiful. I bothered someone when they were trying to study- I'm sure to the annoyance of her friend. And it was beautiful. I received forgiveness and concern and love from another dear friend. And it was beautiful.

Thank you, God, for giving me assurance and showing me your great love. Help me understand and be ready for new directions and help me be armed with love for the battles ahead.


Deviance or conformity?

I don't care which one it is. I want to be that way. I want to enjoy being a little left of centre, having a lust for life and... other things...

I want someone who won't mind going places. Fun places. All in good time.


P.S. I'm really looking forward to an escape. A geographic escape. I've had a lot of fun lately, but freedom is what I'm craving right now.

P.P.S. Thank you for hugs, however brief. They can always make my day.

P.P.P.S. I hope someone can handle me. Better yet, I hope people want to jump on board.

P.P.P.P.S. Wow. Sorry about another cryptic post. Hope this clears things up. Didn't think so.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Mr. Saturn

Well, it's no secret that I enjoy the Mother series by Shigesato Itoi/Nintendo and some of the most well know characters from the series are the little beings called the Mr. Saturns.

These creatures live in Saturn Valley, and are particularly good inventors (escpecially good, considering they have no hands). They speak in a curly language which is basically English, in an odd font, with extra "zooms" and "boings" thrown in. They have huge noses. They each wear a bow in their single strand of hair. They have whiskers. They are all called Mr. Saturn. Even the female ones. They try hard to aid the protagonists in any way they can.

They also seem adorable.

Here's one of the in-game sprites, so you can see how they appear in the games.

Now, upon seeing that sprite, and getting to know the way these little creatures interact, it's easy to see them as cutesy, Japanese, cartoon characters. Make them a little, round ball, and you've got yourself one of the cutest things around.

Even though this cutesy, chubby approach is mimicked in the plush toys and other merchandise of the series, if we take purely the sprite as a guide, these creatures can end up looking...

...completely different.

Once they start taking on slightly more human features, and certain parts (which are left to the imagination in the sprite) are filled in and guessed at, we see that they can look rather odd.

Well, that's enough procrastination for today. Time to try and pass this Statistics exam.


P.S. Sketches by me, sprite copyright Nintendo/Shigesato Itoi. Hope you like 'em.

P.P.S. Apparently, if one doesn't find them cute, an image search of "mr saturn plush" is enough to convert you.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

And a dog

Sun Vector

Here is a vector, created from the sun sketch I did, while listening to Sunshine by Old Man River. It's probably still on my header as well.

The bed one's coming along nicely, too.


Time to fight

I think time is the key word here. That's the one everyone keeps throwing at me. Let your heart settle. When have you known me to have a "settled heart"? Give it time and everything will come together. But it needs to be through my actions that anything gets done, so when should I start? You'll need time to get over her. Getting over her is not something I intend to ever do. I don't think that's the point of it. You've got too much to worry about at this important time.

All times are important. At this stage of our lives, all times are times of transition. I believe I will always be growing, and if growth is change, then I'll always be changing.

This fight may be one in which I humble myself before those who wish to persecute me. But it also may be one of heartache and fury. I may finally be able to tear the earth from beneath us.

I pray that you'll all brave the storm with me. I pray that you'll find comfort in the Lord and that He will protect you. I pray that I'll have so much strength next year, to be supportive and strong for those seeking guidance and refuge from a troubling world.

Let Jesus be at the forefront of any battle I might wage. I pray that there needn't be a battle, but merely softened hearts ready to accept. It's time for everyone to do some growing up. I mean everyone.

Bring it.




Thank you, everyone, for your prayers.

Tonight was going to be the last Bible study for a while, but instead, we've decided to keep meeting each Wednesday until we're kicked out of our respective places of dwelling. That's good news indeed.

Now I just need to manage my studies. I've been missing deadlines, as I set them. It's hard to keep an eye on the big picture when other things creep into view. A smile that won't leave my mind, for example. My head returns to promises I'm told to break. I curl up. It's easier when I can look into her eyes.

Everything's easier in another's arms. There's a point where you know there's nothing you can do for the next little while. Your time isn't your own. It's shared. Just like your heart.

My heart doesn't belong to me.

Do I epitomise "needy"? Perhaps. It's more that my life is spinning. I'm trying to grab onto things. But I can't even take hold of an empty marmalade jar.

Do you think the same things are beautiful?

Will you let me dive into your soul?

Unlike Alice, I'm not moving slow enough to see.

But do I want it to stop spinning because I've fallen into loving arms? Or should I be strong enough to take control? Should I just hide?

I feel you around me. I'm scared you'll disappear. Please don't disappear.


P.S. Gimme a break. I need one of these posts every now and again.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Is your bed made? Is you sweater on?

Last night, many important things transpired, not the least of which was my grandfather adding me on a certain social networking site. Is he ready for it? Let's hope so.

But of all the important declarations last night, and all the important decisions made, something strange stuck with me more than I thought it would.

I have a whole world of music to explore from this new stage in my life.

It sounds odd, but it's very exciting. My music tastes are extremely varied, but I've found a friend who can show me something new. It reminds me of Daniel Kitson's We Are Gathered Here. During the aforementioned show, Kitson talks at one stage about how profound it was when his best friend sat him down and proceeded to show him the kind of music he would from that day onward have a preference for. I have my own tastes, but expanding them is a mouth-watering prospect.

These days I like listening to music from Antony and the Johnsons, Fleet Foxes, The Shins, Ben Kweller, The Last Shadow Puppets, Belle and Sebastian, Old Man River, The Bees, Glasvegas, Vampire Weekend, Barenaked Ladies, Ben Harper, Tally Hall, Little Dragon, The Triffids, The Wombats, Yves Klein Blue, Augie March...


...Stimmhorn, The Cat Empire, Colin Hay, Jack Johnson, Sun Ra, The Kinks, The Clientele, Jeff Buckley, The Small Faces, Yoko Kanno, José González...

The list goes on.

All of a sudden, I can feel a shift. I can feel new appreciations. Bring it on! Never mind the other life-changing decisions.

Studying with full force,


P.S. I have to thank my sister, Kim, for most of my musical influences thus far. Great work, Kimikins!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

A new colour scheme

Just like my blog, my life has a new colour scheme. Like the colours here, it can be clear and gentle when looking one day, while sad and wistful another. The colours don't change (unless you mouse-over the sketches), but the way I interpret them does.

I'm also feeling naked. I shaved off my beard for a costume party on the weekend. It won't take long before I'm back to normal.

A friend stayed over last night. We walked through an abandoned residential college nearby. We had a chat with mutual friends. It was a great evening. I hope we both learned a little, as well.

I hope my head pulls itself together quickly. I want to be strong. I want to be worthwhile.


My words are all I have...

I wish I could make you see... But your heart must be open to hear it.


Monday, 2 November 2009

Here I am, Lord

    I, the Lord of sea and sky,
    I have heard my people cry.
    All who dwell in dark and sin,
    My hand will save.

      Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
      I have heard you calling in the night.
      I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
      I will hold your people in my heart.

    I, who made the stars of night,
    I will make their darkness bright.
    Who will bear my light to them?
    Whom shall I send?

      Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
      I have heard you calling in the night.
      I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
      I will hold your people in my heart.

    I, the Lord of snow and rain,
    I have borne my people’s pain.
    I have wept for love of them.
    They turn away.

      Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
      I have heard you calling in the night.
      I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
      I will hold your people in my heart.

    I will break their hearts of stone,
    Give them hearts for love alone.
    I will speak my words to them.
    Whom shall I send?

      Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
      I have heard you calling in the night.
      I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
      I will hold your people in my heart.

    I, the Lord of wind and flame,
    I will send the poor and lame.
    I will set a feast for them.
    My hand will save.

      Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
      I have heard you calling in the night.
      I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
      I will hold your people in my heart.

    Finest bread I will provide,
    'Til their hearts be satisfied.
    I will give my life to them.
    Whom shall I send?

      Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
      I have heard you calling in the night.
      I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
      I will hold your people in my heart.
Daniel L. Schutte

This is the song that's been going through my head for days. I remember when Dad used to sing it to us when we were little'uns. A song is an easy thing to hold an association. Other things bring back memories, strange things. Things that take a while to fully form an image, but are so specific, and the memories they conjure are so potent that we'll forever have that connection between sensation and event.

One thing for me is the smell of whiskey sauce.

Whiskey sauce brings back memories of a day at the beach, then an evening listening to Spanish guitar, having scotch fillets with mustard, green beans and roast potatoes. It reminds me of clay pouring jugs and fancy silverware. And a green tablecloth.

It reminds me of Bible study in the evening, then meditation, while listening to an old record.

Now begins a period of intense study. Thank you, Lord God, for the support network that keeps pulling me up when everything looks bleak.