dal niente

Month: December, 2005

“A day is not a vase we fill, it is a flame that we ignite.”


-Ragnar of Septentria, from My 14th Haven

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Every new begining comes from some other begining’s end


 


6:40am at the hospital. I’ve been here for about 10 minutes. And, as predicted, all hell has broken loose.  We’re missing about one nurse on 3 out of 4 units (3 missing units total) which means that each one of those units, which was already scheduled to be working on a skeleton crew of 3 each (4 is standard) will be down to 2 during the daytime shift.  Which means, 50% under standard, and 33% under skeleton standards.  Not good, needless to say.


But I can’t say it wasn’t unexpected– you can’t blame these people for calling in sick.  At the hospitals nowadays you’ve even got burnout-hotlines for the employees.  It is cheaper to have an in-house counselling department than it is to hire new nurses– sorta like doing the minimum maintenance to keep that used car working.


I am working today (New Year’s eve) and tomorrow (New Year’s day) and I’m missing out on what I’m pretty sure will be some fun parties… sorry to all those people.  Sigh.  I’m not saying that work will be *fun* per se, but I do feel that for me, I’m in the right place right now.


Well, it’s early, i’ll surely have time to post sometime later in the day if not before my next shift.


A thought though.  I work in a respiratory hospital… so you wouldn’t normally think that we’d get more people on the hoildays.  But apparently it’s possible that, if you have asthma, when you drink enough you basically get this massive asthma exacerbation that doesn’t go away until you’re sober.  Can you imagine that? Someone can actually drink enough that their lungs go apeshit.


I’d tell you all to cut the alcohol because it’s fucking dangerous to begin with.  But who am I kidding?  It’s new year’s eve and ain’t no one gonna listen to me.


 


Well, drink responsibly at the very least.  Don’t drink and drive, and all that!


 






I think to Chinese families in particular, New Years is more significant than any other holiday.  Bigger then thanksgiving, christmas, hannukah, whatever and whatnot all combined.  New Year knows no religious or cultural divides.  Well, okay, well maybe some minority out there that doesn’t work on our calendars thinks they’re special… well good for you.


But the 31st being the first new year’s eve of the year (as opposed to the Chinese New Year’s) it’s one of those times where things run a bit differently.


For one thing, I really need to step it up cleaning my room at home.  Rumor has it that if you start the new year off messy and disorganized, then that’s what it’ll be like for the rest of the year. Pretty raw deal huh?


Hmm.


Reflections.  What’s happened in the past year?


I managed to start up RsM, not just the store, but the club as well.  And it’s really been as useful to myself and friends as I hoped it would be– it’s been tough competing with the chain stores of course, and you can imagine that it’s pretty hard to juggle finances when I’m still paying for university– but with the support of the local community and friends it’s all be able to happen.  We even managed to have a pretty massive tournament during the summer (over 80 players, some of whom were even from out of province and out of country!).  Not bad for a first tournament, considering i’ve never even played in one.


My grades are looking up, I think. Well, I hope.  I like the term “grade ninja”– I tend to do little or no homeowork, reading or studying during the year, just because I’m so busy with other things. And so I cram in the few weeks before finals– and blam.  I got an A- in biomedical ethics and a B+ in philosophy.  I shit you not, I have paid attention to no more than 4 hours of BioMed and no more than 2 hours total of philosophy.  But I did manage to learn as much as I needed to for my papers.  So the grades are looking up, so far– I still have two classes where the teachers are behind in the marking.  But still, I put up a good fight I think.


AM and I are going to be marking– what is it now, 4 years together in february? That’s a long time.  Or is it 3 years. God, don’t look at me like that, I’m just bad with numbers.  I have trouble remember things in terms of days, how much more for months or years. Ups and downs of course, but overal, my life has been coasting a few notches higher because of her.


My sister is growing up.  She’s gotten into education at McGill, ironically, the same program that I tried to get into but got refused from– looks like soon, I’ll have to stop treating her like a little sister and start treating her as an equal.  Soon. Heh.






You may be asking yourself, it’s 7:11… if work is going so terribly, why are you on xanga?


Answer to that question is that things don’t go down until 7:30, which is the first wave of the day shift.  Then at 8, the real work begins.  In the meantime, I’ve just mapped out all the stuff that’s going to go wrong.  Imagine that there’s like a whole flight of turds heading for the fan, in bullet time.  That’s what’s going on.  You can see it about to all go down, but it’s not quite NOW.  You just know it’s inevitable, and you put on your boots, and you tell yourself to get ready to dance.






I missed two stops on the metro today. Ususally I’m supposed to switch train lines at lionel groulx, but I fell asleep and only woke up 3 stops later. Luckily, I could switch at berri-uqam as well, and I did manage to wake up mere seconds before the doors locked me in.  Unfortunately, I fell asleep during the one stop between berri and sherbroke, so i overshot my workplace  by one station. Whoops.


Ah well. So much for getting to work a bit early and taking a quick nap.






Alright people, new year’s eve… the last day you’ll get to be you, because tomorrow, it’s the new you and all those mendacious new year’s resolutions! Talk to you all later.

It’s amazing what a full night of sleep can do for you.

Wake up your day with the cool folks at Hot Pot Radio (listen to the show).


I finally got my damned programmer’s liscence to use on Moo.  It’s about bloody time– I only failed it FOUR TIMES. Duhhhh.

But now I can really start using my brain.  Being a lit major has
majorly made that part of my capacities go straight down the tubes so
it’ll be nice to be able to do some sorta programming again, and in a
multiuser environment.

I think the appeal of Moo for me is that it’s mostly text based (the
misconception is that Moos are 100% text based is untrue, in fact, it’s
just that no one goes through the trouble of implementing graphics–
but someone could, if someone wasn’t lazy).  Me, being old school
and coming from a background of BBSes and usenet newsgroups, and having
deffended DOS with extreme prejudice against the Windows revolution
until Windows 95, well, text is nice.

For one thing, Moo takes a mere slice of the computer power that MSN or
Trillian does– and on the other hand, your conversation modalities are
not limited to the traditional frameworks of MSN or other IM
clients.  You can change the way the chat itself looks. Aside from
that, you can basically create an entire world with rooms and
objects.  I suppose you might say that it’s the modern online RPG,
but minus the killing and the graphics, but plus the customizability of
the world itself and the capacity to serve as an educational tool.

Personally, I just like the fact that the client to log on to a Moo is
so damned CLEAN.  I don’t have none of this crap about updating my
software every two weeks (fuck you MSN) and I don’t have any background
leeching of my connection just to download more lavalife ads and stuff.

I’ve pretty much decided that since I lost my main msn account anyway,
I’m going to spend less time on msn and see what I can cook up over at
Moo– since, you know, you can’t really change anything about MSN
anyway.  I’m going to see what I can do with my programmer’s
permit to spice up the chat interface, or rather the ‘chat experience’
at my Moo room.

Many of my MSN contacts have expressed extreme distaste for Moo… and
I find this is rather unfortunate, because it has a lot of potential to
be developed into something interesting if only people would take a
step away from the frameworks of traditional IMs.

For instance, I was contemplating the possibility of writing a 14th
Haven story into the Moo… You would basically be reading an
‘immersive’ book, in which time flows linearly, yes– but you’re an
entity in space with the characters of the story.  So if you want
to skim past to the action, you can just follow the characters along as
they go about their plot– or, you can take the time to examine the
surroundings.  Or you can leave the group, and join another party
if the option is open– you can get the story from someone else’s point
of view.

So on one hand Moo interests me because as all IMs, it’s got the power
as a communications tool.  As a writer, it allows me to make an
‘interactive’ novel that doesn’t require the hardcore programming
abilities as if i were to be a full fledged game programmer.  It’s
an engine to sort of mimic at a very basic level the sorts of
interactions we have with the real world.

Okay, enough Moo talk, I already can feel the blank stares and glares.


Side note: I did make a new msn account, and there’s always my
yahoo.  The contact info is on the left side of my xanga– to
everyone who i’ve been out of contact with, sorry about that… add me
to your list again.  Unfortunately, being as dependant as I am on
automated address books, with the dissapearance of MSN dissapeared all
my recollection of email addresses of people who I talked to.

Don’t be a stranger.

I am, therefore I think.

Sometimes I feel cursed. Really.  Because of the contrasts. Because I can think.

Powerlessness in certain situations really bugs the hell out of
me.  I find myself rational in action, but irrational in
thoughts– but I guess that’s the best I can hope for. I’m allowed to imagine wanting to break people so long as I don’t do it in real life.

And I look at the insane man with envy– because he is not bound by
rationality.  He is truly creative.  He can act on what he
thinks.  He is not bound by rationality.

I do not like bitching about people very much, except once in a while
when I just must to keep from exploding.  I just feel that
complaining about people just extends the sensation that would
otherwise die down with the numbness of my short memory. But, wide
awake in anger at my fellow man at 1 in the morning, I can’t sleep–
again.  If only people weren’t so fucking stupid.  If only I
didn’t know.  If only I could be stupid too.  I mean, if only
I could be totally oblivious.

If only I couldn’t think.

If only I could live without thinking.  Thinking is what brings me
all my suffering.  And though even I might argue that this
suffering provides the background for joy, I could also argue– I would
like the choice of not having to think.  But there is no way to do
that without dying, and I do not want to die.  Do you know what I
mean?  Don’t you wish you could be oblivious in all the right
ways, and just be selfish?

And I envy the truly selfish man.  The selfish man is oblivious.  The selfish man does not have to think.

That’s a lot of ifs, and an if is and if which means it makes whatever
you if iffy.  Reptition is useful— if.   If you use it
to break down the thought. If you repeat something often enough it
becomes meaningless– it takes up the whole of the uttereances, and by
monopolizing the speech it makes it so that nothing else gets to be
said– and so if you repeat, you reduce all other non-repeated things
to insignificance.  But if you reduce everything in the background
into insignificance, how do you have a foreground?  If nothing
else matters, how does what’s in front of your matter?  How is it
defined if not by contrast?

To think is to know what it means to not think– thus when I am smart
others are stupid and when others are stupid I am smart– this is the
way the world goes, but perhaps this is just something that I think,
this is something that I work on and repeat in my head until it makes
no sense because the repitition makes it iffy to the point that it
means nothing, and nothing means anything or anything could mean
absolutely NOTHIN.

I need to find people with answers because the questions i have
answered already for myself are but simple ones– i have seen total
ignorance in myself and in others and that’s not enough, it is a
disbalance that makes not sense. It needs the counterpart, I need the
harmony.  Illumination is iffy.  THe word enlightenment is
based on the idea of the light– but the problem with the light is that
it shines on only that which you can see.  You cannot be
enligtened about darkness.  It eludes the sense of sight which we
take forgranted.  The light is exactly the problem– we are
looking at what has been revealed.  The light is how we make
illusions– things to look at that are meaningless but which we
attribute meaning to.  The danger comes not from the warmth of the
light– but from the darkness. The darkness is where it’s all at– it’s
the pit.  The void.  The basics.

But light is not good or bad, just as darkness isn’t either… metaphorically speaking. So sue me, I can’t make my point.

The greatest mystery is not the written word– it is the blank page.

Nothing I say here matters. That’s perhaps the problem.  The
changes I can make to the world in my lifetime cannot satisfy me. 
Am i to live in such a way that  i can beleive the future is
everything, even beyond the span of my own life?  Do i really
beleive that? Do I?

I repeat the thought over to myself, over and over– and repitition makes it meaningless in its isolation.

The opposite of sadness is happiness right.  I am not sad nor happy.

I am angry– at what, who knows.  But what is the opposite of anger? I think it is resignation.

I think I am at once angry and resigned.  Anger is the force that
drives you to change things– resignation, the act of acceptance. 
The dance continues– the repeition of the cycle– and it all becomes,
meaningless.

Chelsea, wherever you are, we’re sorry

Yesterday LaSalle had it’s fair share of freezing rain, so I had to
cancel some of my plans to finally get around to inventorizing the
two-hundred and some odd badminton rackets that are currently lodged in
my bedroom.  The badminton stock has been a particular probel as
of late because during christmas, I had to move all my stock to my
bedroom since the basement would be used to entertain guests. So all
those rackets, not to mention about fifty peices of badminton apparel,
and odds and sodds of birds, grips, and nick knacks, well– end result,
the room is a bit crowded.  On the 25th, I had about a foot wide path of
walkable floorspace that lead from the door of my bedroom to the
bed.  Everything else was stock.  That foot-wide-path has since shrunk to about six inches.

But anyway. That’s another story.  The reason why i had to put off
cleaning up my room is because I went to help my grandfather with some
shoveling and the groceries, which he hasn’t had the chance to do as of
late because of the festivities and such.  So we went and did it
all today.

Of course wouldn’t you know it, those overqualified cashiers over at
the loblaws in their oversight made some errors in the bills.  We
got into an argument with the cashier, a head cashier was called in–
don’t you just love it when the cashier seems to understand neither
french or english? In any case.  Arguments. Resolution. Okay.

I packed away all the groceries.  When we got to his house as I was unpacking his cake, he tells me that it isn’t his.

Ummm. Okay.  So who the hell does this cake belong to? Because we didn’t buy it.

Ummm.

Ummm.

We opened the box.  “Happy birthday Chelsea!”

For your information, no one in our families is named Chelsea.

Whoops.

Random thoughts:

  • I have nothing to write.  Things have been rather drab and
    meaningless lately.  I don’t mean that in a negative way– it’s
    nice for things to be simply simple for once, ‘transparent’, even if
    that means things are uneventful.
  • I actually enjoy uneventful sometimes, and this is one of those times– decompress.
  • Tomorrow I’m hitting the courts for the first time in a while,
    lets see what a little exercise can do to liven me up where mindless
    holiday rituals haven’t.
  • (Can you smell the ba-humbug?)
  • This is one of those days where I feel I have the answer for
    everything.  I am on fire. This is what happens when I have enough
    free time to meditate.  My ego transcends the laws of physics and
    there I am, up there, looking down– fearful of what i do for it might
    outright crush people.  Ah such power. Such drunkenness.
  • Ever get that feeling where you feel really looking at something
    from the fringes, but can’t talk about it?  On one hand, it’s
    sucky cause you’re alone, so you have no one to bounce ideas off of but
    yourself.  On the otherhand, it’s a lot like watching a game of
    simcity or something similar on auto.  You can just sit back and
    watch.
  • The world is my idiot box.  But i suppose that makes me the idiot.


Taken from Tatsuya Ishida’s manifesto for Dec 27:


On legacy. There comes a time when a man
seriously contemplates his place in the cosmos,
his life, his work, his legacy. Did I do anything at all worth
remembering? Did I live up to
my potential? Did I wrestle alligators and kill the six-fingered man
who murdered my father? One might think that
being a webcartoonist, charged with the awesome responsibility of
bringing shits and
giggles to dozens of people worldwide, would erase such anxieties. Not
so. Doubts and
worries abound. Why do I do what I do? Do I make a difference at all?
Maybe there’s a kid out there at the end of his rope, on the verge of
doing something terrible, whose tragic path could be averted with a
well-timed pimp joke. Like Schindler, I wonder: How many lives could I
have saved with one more punchline about bitches and hoes? How many
lost souls, how many broken
hearts, desperate for a laugh, could I reach with a shake of Monique’s
ass? What more could I have done? And for the love of Zeus where in the
world is the six-fingered man???
-T.

2am.  Having a bit of trouble sleepin because I’ve been sleeping at 3 am for weeks now.

Christmas was cool, had the chance to meet up with a lot of people.

Talk about work schedules– I went to work at 3am on christmas
eve.  That was because I had a christmas party to attend which
only finished at 2:30 am.  So it turned out to be easier for me to
go to work and sleep a few hours before my 6:30am shift started. 
Then at 6:30 I took a nap until about 8:30, at which point all hell
broke loose at the hospital and it was helluva busy for the rest of the
day.

Come to think of it, I think I rather enjoy the stress of working at
the hospital. It makes me feel sharp to be able to keep on my feet and
fixing problems, despite obvious sleep deprivation that I can feel in
the back of my brain pan and in the leadenness of my breathing.  I
feel like i’m getting things done.

If you work at a hospital during the holidays, everyone there is tired.
EVERYONE. From patients to staff.   But everyone sorta treats
you… in an odd sense… like family.  Because you took the time
to be there.  And that’s nice.

Not that working at a hospital is about being appreciated.  But
the fact is– so many other people chose to take the day off during the
holidays– so many people find it easy to just go home and forget that
for every day off a patient gets a little less care in a time when they
may need it most.

Health care people, seriously– they’re not just doing a job– there’s
something different about the way that their brains operate.


A twenty dollar bill was once speaking to a looney– he said that he’d
been to the movies, to expensive restaurants, golf courses, fancy
hotels.  The looney, on the other hand, had been in guitar cases,
hats and cups.


I am officially tired of taking picutres for that style of family
portraits that every chinese family does like clockwork during
holidays, that sorta mise-a-jour.  From now on i’ve
decided to maintain my artistic integrity by refusing to EVER shoot a
regular head on family portrait style picture with the flash on EVER
AGAIN.

If you look at our photo albums, this is what we’ve done every year
since we were able to afford a christmas.  We have each of the
families of our clans lined up in rows taking a cheezy picture next to
the tree.  You could pretty much photoshop different clothes and
hair on some of us and you could alredy make up the past few (or next
few) years’ worth of photos– it’s all very generic.

From now on, i’ll take pictures in black and white and from different
angles if i damn well please! And YES i will waste a billion shots
trying to take pictures from odd angles and close up, and NO i will not
count to 3 before shooting because that defeats the purpose of trying
to capture people in the moment.


I weighed in, on December 22nd, at about 140 lbs. I now weigh in at
145.  And that 5lbs gain is not just water– it’s downright girth.
Yeeeeeeeeah, winter is good to my gut. I get to eat all the things that
I normally don’t have time to during the school year.


Thoughts: When a family goes to church on christmas, for the first (or
second) time of the year, what’s the point?  It’s like going to
the birthday party of the person you never ever see during the rest of
the year, except at church, there isn’t even any cake.

Unity?  We don’t need a church to unite people.  Especially not people who don’t really beleive.

Blessings? Hah.  How stupid do you think He is?


My MSN messenger abilities are GONE. So is my hotmail.  To those
of you who have wondered why i haven’t been on in the past few days,
you can stop sending my hotmail account email now– ill never be back
online.  At work the other day, while i was changing my password,
there was a javascript glitch which caused the system to save the wrong
password. And I haven’t a clue what my new password is– so i’m
effectively locked out of MSN for good, unless I want to make a new
account.  Which i don’t really feel like doing.

If you want to find me, I suggest you come on http://www.moo.ca and look for
Jinryu.  I’m not on all the time (espcially not during the
holidays since I’m not confined to a class) but I’m the moo whenever
I’m online.  Look for my username or join me at the Cobblestone
Cafe.

The difference between today and tomorrow

Is that tomorrow is just a dream or a nightmare– it isn’t real. 
Not until we take the time in front of us and chose to do (or do
nothing) what it is that will make that reality the now.

Duh.


If there is one thing that seems timeless– as in, independant of my
past, present or future– is the feeling of that mental wall– those
moments in life where I just don’t understand.  And there are a
lot of things that I don’t understand, things good and bad.  Every
now and then I get to something that is so amazing or so terrible that
i get to a mental block.


To think of importance is to attribute importance to importance– but
why do we put importance to things?  Did we really decide this, or
did someone just sorta tell us?  Some things like how we were told
about Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny.  Maybe a tooth fairy.
Whatever.

But there are things that we don’t grow out of– in a lot of cases,
it’s cause no one ever made fun of our beleifs. Like that a certain
minority was to be made fun of because they were outnumbered.  Or
that it was okay to be mean to be people.

So sometimes it seems that the trend is that all of our best faiths are
weeded out by evolution– and what remains are the things that make us
heavier to mankind.  I don’t mean everyone’s racist or something.
But what I mean to say is that in a certain sense we have all retained
prejudices– we have all attributed importance to some things that
might not really deserve it.

And so Christmas in some sense is a day like no other– and yet, it’s a
day just like any other.  Holidays are nothing new. Birthdays are
nothing new.

And finals.  What does it mean to succeed in our educational
system?  Why is it that our society looks down on the plumber,
down on the waiter, down on the secretary and the guy who hands out the
flyers at the metro, and looks up to the doctor, to the engineer, to
the corporate ceo?

Yet we dance like there’s no tomorrow.

Now… I am not trying to generalize here too.  BUT.

When the time of the year is Christmas.

Everyone is thinking about one thing.

And who said that this one thing is important?

Not that it isn’t– but as all eyes are on one thing, no ones eyes are on anything else.

Look around you folks– if people can be united during a mess of snow,
headaches of public transportation, think of how much potential we have.

And the new year means nothing, really– someone just decided to base a
calendar on the confused drunken dance of the earth around the sun. But
if we want to give it importance– well, it’s a good day for mankind if
we live another day.

Who knows what dreams and nightmares may come– except that if we are
to live them, then we still have a future of possibilities. 
Possibilities, I think, are important.

Cleaning up the streets of Canada, literally

…is Paul Martin.  He’s our current prime minister, aiming for
reelection.  And you know how? He’s my new trash can cover.

It’s unfortunate that I don’t have a working blue tooth adapter, cause
if I did I could upload the pictures.  Mr. Paul Martin is trying
to get re-elected.  Someone stole my trash can cover. He has these
huge, plastic, waterproof and sturdy election advertissments.  I
need something waterproof and sturdy to keep snow from getting into the
trash.  He has waterproof and sturdy advertissments.

Are you making the connections?

One

is a strong number.  And it is in difference that we can deffine
one of something.  It is in the different people that we have an
interest for unity.

Zero is not enough. Two may be too much.  But one of each enough, that seems to be a nice number.


I am working on a birthday / christmas gift for my girlfriend. I rather
doubt I’ll be able to finish it in time for the end of the month since
there are to be so many ideas in it, but it’s a sub-story to My 14th
Haven which I’m going to name Sincerity.

Sincerity is one of those things that we need in all our actions. 
It is that missing link that I just figured out while thinking of the
story.

Honesty is not neccesarrily a virtue.  Neither is tact.

But sincerity is– and through an evaluation of sincerity we can decide
weather our actions are right or wrong– by their dedication to our
causes.

You can sincerely love, you can sincerely hate– but to be sincere mans
that you are acting, as one with your mind and soul– you are
presenting a true form of selfness.  Sincerity is not all about
virtue– you can sincerly wish harm on others.  But if that were
the case–

Well.  If I see a sincere man walking down the street, I get out
of his way, for one who is sincere is the strongest among men.

The road to hell is paved with the best of intentions.  A little sincerity is dangerous– too much, absolutely fatal.

But life is the battlefield for those ambitions, those servitudes to truth.


The moment a person hints to me that they are insincere, that is the
moment I begin to make up my mind about  a person: this person
will fail.  And if it is not me who fails them, then it will be
someone else, or they will fail themselves.

And th emoment a person hints to me that they are sincere, I wonder– how?  In this world, it is such a rarity.

But for rarities: we are united in difference.  And those
differences are good, they color our world, as long as we are sincere.