dal niente

Month: April, 2006

“Thanks for your time Mayor!”

thank you.”


I didn’t finish within the projected 72 hours, so now I’m going for
that extra 24. I hope to be done most of my paperwork today.  This
is damage control though, I had taken this possibility into account…
I’ve got another thirty or so pages of paperwork left, so that should
be not so bad.  It’s all uphill, they says.

So, to start my day off I like to get this feeling that people are
guillible. It makes it easier to start writing my papers.  If I
look at my teacher in all his literary sageness, there’s nothing I can
say, no way I can work my way in. So I find that one of my tactics is
to watch a bit of television, particularly those morning shows– they
have just the right amount of optimisim, not too much politics, usually
something about healthy living.  And you get all this stuff about
like “it’s very important to
gradually increase your fibre intake”.  Etc. Okaaaaaaaaay.

I was reading this interview with the Mayor of Cote-Des-Neiges, and
apparently they’re going to be installing 1000-15000$ GPS units on next
years fleet of snowcleaning and de-icing vehiciles.  That’s one
thing.  But what I was mostly impresed by was the Mayor’s total
ability to direct his interview.  They were asking him questions
like “is this big brother?” and “does this have anything to do with the
9 employees who were fired last year due to ‘inefficiency’ Mayor?” or
my favorite “what does this hope to ameliorate? Is this to say that
your establishment discovered there was something wrong about the way
things were run?” and all manner of pointed questions were effectively
deflected.  He kept his cool, he stayed polite…. he never
dropped the ball.
He was good

Of course, he did avoid all the questions and that makes him somewhat
of an asshole, but then again, I don’t live in Cote-Des-Neiges.

The fashion trends part of every morning show is just so
laughable.  It’s always stricken me as sort of ironic for people
to be ‘dressed well’ but in effect, that means that the casual wear
that you wear looks more or less like what the guy next to you is
wearing.  It’s largely struck me that all sense of ‘orginality’ is
sorta a moot point… people just shouldn’t fool themselves in that
respect.  Originality and uniqueness is sorta defined by
scarceness– and when’s the last time that you saw someone wearing
something in a totally different where it was a good thing?

Okay, sure, you have variations– but in most cases, fashion is an
expression of attitude, or a reflection of character, so you can sorta
see when something doesn’t suit someone, or moreover, how often their
attempts at originality still revolve around the same core themes.

There’s nothing wrong with fashion on it’s own, mind you… my problem
is the commercial aspect of it that makes some of my classmates spend a
hundred dollars on what I would honestly say looks pretty much like an
extra thick fruit-of-the-loom undershirt.

My other problem is when people use fashion for it’s external wrapping
qualities– compensation for lack of anything on the inside.

Heh. Or maybe I just have a tendancy to hate beautiful people.

Ugh! eTalk Daily! Okay, I’ve got to shut off the television now. 
Celebreties are really no different from regular humans (you have your
smarts and your stupids) but I can’t stand the interviewers who are
gobbling up their shit like mana from the gods or something. Ugh.

Anyway, back to
work.  See y’all on the other side of the wall.

The next 72 hours
will decide if I make it through the semester.  During this time,
I’ve got one research paper, 3 final papers and 1 take home exam to

Let the games begin!  Wish me luck.

Jinryu says:
Z says:
While you’re drowning in papers, I’m having orange sorbet.
Jinryu says:
you bastard!
Jinryu says:
and for your information i am not drowning in papers
Z says:
No brain freeze just yet, though.
Jinryu says:
i am drowning in the proverbial blood possible only from the millions
of proverbial papercuts only possible with the unpensible amount of
Z says:
What kind of hell proverbs do you hear about?
Z says:
Jinryu says:
in another world, proverbs might just mean higher verbs.
Jinryu says:
drowning is pretty action packed.
Jinryu says:
as is papercutting.
Jinryu says:
are both acts of violence
Z says:
Papercuts are action packed?
Jinryu says:
Z says:
I suppose they certainly *feel* action packed.
Z says:
I feel distrustful of food products that are not hermetically sealed.
Z says:
But dammit, I wanted the sorbet.
Jinryu says:
heh. hermetically sealed
Jinryu says:
for a moment, i somehow thought that meant all the genetalia had been cut off of it.
Z says:
Well…  uh…  I suppose, as a consequence, all genitalia must, by definition, be sealed away.
Jinryu says:
Garfield once said that if you want get rid of that stabbing pain in
the eye when you drink coffee, you should remove the spoon from the cup
before drinking.
Jinryu says:
is this what you meant by distrust then?
Z says:
Not quite.
Z says:
The genitalia thing was closer.
Jinryu says:
well i was thinking getting stabbing the eye by a phallus. that’d be enough to make me distrust non-hermetically sealed things.
Z says:
I just don’t want things that are not sorbet in my damn sorbet!
Z says:
Is that so much to ask for?!
Jinryu says:
perfectly reasonable.
Z says:
Argh.  Okay.  MOO?

If I were a dolphin, my first instinct would be to use my fighter plane to blow up squids

(taken from Nimbus  but I just had to put this part up, because I like dolphins, fighter jets, and squids. )

To Be Determined

This damn cold is not going away.  And it’s really mucking up my
paper writing schedule– I had everything timed down to the hour. 
And now, because I’m spending extra hours sleeping or just feeling in
general very miserable, that’s a lot of hours
not writing
papers.  As you can see, Xanga seems to be easier to lock my brain
on than papers at this point… it’s a bit tough to focus on a research
paper since they’re so long, and I’m so very distracted by the
drowsiness induced by the medicine.

At this point, I just came across a question.  I’d like to think
that I can chose what I want to do.  But can I chose to
fail?  Can I really?  We all know that there’s a billion
different directions we can go in, and though success may be a long way
down the road, at least you’re heading in a good direction.  But
forget about failure and success for a moment.  Let’s talk about
fate, and determinism.

Can I fail?

Here I am, lying in the corner of my bed, wearing sweatpants, t-shirt,
long-sleeve, sweater, and a bathrobe, with my hood on and a bandanna
scarf around my neck, under a blanket.  I am miserable.  The
conditions have been limiting my sleep to blocks of 4-5 hours at a
time, at random parts of the day. During my concious hours I try
desparately to finish papers which seem to make less and less sense the
longer they get.

Can I fail?

I know that I can get this all done. It hurts a lot right now to even
imagine the hurt that will come with every passing minute as deadlines
close in on my timeline.  But the question is… am I free? 
Can I really chose what direction I want to go in?  This moment is
the result of every moment before it.

Can I choose to fail?

But I don’t intend to… so I guess I’ll never know if i ever had that freedom on my list of abilities.

You. Yes, you.

Listen up.  Get away from your monitor. Dig up that new year’s resolution to live a more fit and active life.

Join my badminton club.

I expect you to be there this saturday, when we open up for the new spring / summer season.

Do it.

For those of you with a decent connection, check out this.


I like to indulge myself in the fantasy of what I might want to buy if
I had the money.  But in the end, most things I want are often not
on sale… experience.  A good story.  A smart bit of advice.

all the prized possessions that I’ve ever had, I’ve mostly lost or
misplaced them in my room somewhere.  What I thought I might hold
important to me one day has turned out to be another thing in the room,
the room which is in effect exactly what it’s name implies: a room is a
place with room in it.  Assuming it’s not filled to the brim with

well, in the end, the only things that I can really collect and
appreciate are experience.  The material posessions, may, in some
sense, be not ends in themselves– they are a means to experience, a
vessel for activity and potential.

The instrument isn’t the point… it’s the music.  That’s as good an analogy as I can think of.

I developped a really bad case of sore throat-ness yesterday, something
mutating from what was originally just a minor sore-throat-ness the day
before that.  So what did I do? Burned it off with some
badminton.  A lot of people say that when you’re sick, the best
bet is just to have plenty of juice and stay in bed.  While there
are a lot of cases where this is true, the opposite may also work
depending on the degree of the sickness.  So, for me, I can in
some cases do some exercise and I’ll end the day less sick than when is

Yesterday I went with Vittek to play at Hua Xia.  He’s been
playing there a few times more than me… the last time I was there to
play was almost a year ago now, when I was rather new to the
game.  Last time I was there, we played and we lacked
experience… I remember that the feeling was “we lost, but we put up a
good fight”.  What was nice about going yesterday though was that
the same people who I thought were pretty good before, I now think are
just regular people… the pressure, the tension is gone.  And to
top it off, we beat people who beat us the last time we played here.

And that’s a wonderful feeling– the feeling that the work you put into it paid off.

Lockpicking +1

I didn’t bring my laptop to work this morning, but I did bring a DVD to watch. Unfortunately, it seemed that the remote control for the DVD player in the office was locked away in a cabinet, and I don’t have any keys for it.  Without the remote, I can get as far as the main menu, but I can’t actually select the ‘play option’ because there’s no buttons on the actual machine except for power and eject.

So, 45 minutes later, with a pair of scissors, a broken bullclip and a paperclip, I gained +1 to my lockpicking skills. At first I thought it was futile, but now that I got the trick, I can re-open that lock with 70% success. Of course, every ‘try’ only takes about 5 seconds… so really it’s not too shabby at all.


I got to watch two DVDs full of Ranma 1/2.  Lost episodes, you might say– when I first started watching Ranma how many years back, I never finished watching the entire series.

There are a lot of things that I’d see reruns of by chance and I’d think to myself “God, I can’t beleive I used to like this crap”.  But Ranma, I watched those lost episodes, and I can’t say I’m in the slightest bit dissapointed.  It’s got some of the best dialogue ever. Sure, sometimes it’s a bit convuluted, but the melodrama is part of what made the series so damn great. The key word is “exposition”.

Ah, simpler days.

papers at the end of season is not just a cliche.  Though everyone
does it, and everyone bitches about it, you will never understand the
horrors that every individual person goes through.  You have your
stories. I have mine.  Others have theirs.  Never
underestimate the suffering that finals induce, because those pains are
more creative and they are more abundant than we can ever
imagine.  Everytime it happens, its the same, and yet, its still
something like the first snowfall that catches us offguard.


the last 24 hours, I’ve written no less than 9000 words worth of
paperwork. For those of you who think it’s easy for me to write
“because I always write long xangas” let me tell you– it isn’t. 
It really
I still have 5 papers and 1 exam left to do.  This expereince is
nothing short of mortal combat.  Frankly, I’d sooner have my torso
ripped off than go through any of these courses again.  Yes, the
battle is begining to have physical tolls on me too– for example, I’m
awake at 1am because my throat seems to be developing something that
feels unpleasant, and it’s keeping me awake with a burning
sensation.  My body is getting a bit weak, my reflexes aren’t
feeling all that sharp. I’m only on Xanga because I want to tire myself
the point where I just fall unconcious.  If I choke on my own sore
throat, so be it– at least I’ll be asleep when it happens.

have to go to work in 4.5 hours. That will be very difficult.  I
was invited to dinner tomorrow (tonight, rather, meaning tonight after
this night is over with) but frankly I don’t think I’ll go because I’m
almost certain my brain will feel as if it’s been fermenting in a
malboro carcass. The only thing I look forward to about work tomorrow
is that…. um… well…

…hell.  I guess it’s gonna be one of those days.

Confessions of a guilty suburbanite

The reason why suburban style single family
dwellings are so popular is not because fiscal considerations—it has, in fact,
been established that living in the suburbs, though cheaper perhaps in terms of
land, more than compensates in inconvenience and cost in terms terms of timely transportation
and access to services.  The reason why
suburban style single-family dwellings are popular is because they offer a
relative amount of exclusivity.  Many
families feel that their quality of life is heightened because of the prestige
and enjoyment they derive from owning, for example, their own exclusive
backyard and parking lot.  Of course,
few devout suburbans would ever admit that public parks in metropolitain areas
are several times larger than their backyards, or that if one lived downtown,
one wouldn’t need a car in the first place to get to work or school.

So if the two are equally convenient/inconvenient in one way or
another, why chose high density residential over low?  Because low
density residential is selfish.  It strains your city, it strains
taxpayers, it strains the environment.  All so that you can have
your white picket fence.