To the Sea

As you have probably noticed, I have failed to blog in a while. Staying inside most of the time trying to get down to study doesn't seem to have a good effect on my creativity. I need to have that certain degree of "nothing to do" to just escape into my head and ponder things to write about. So yeah, I've had nothing to write about for a while. Unless you want to hear about gynaecology. No? Thought not.

I finish exams on Thursday! It's almost here! After a month of sitting in my study looking at photos of friends on the beach and at parties, I actually get to go and do those things soon (well, and not feel bad about it). The past two months have not been good to me. Very little sun exposure and way too many biscuits have left me looking like the beached whale. But no matter! Very soon it's all about sea, sun, and sleep. And music. My keys are literally covered in a layer of dust. Time to shake that off soon. Time to start making things. Coincidentally the discovery of Gungor has really been fuelling the creative juices (thank you Jamie and Van).

So yes. Summer (for me) is almost here. Let it bring new life. Good times. Fond memories. And a regular blog post.

Ok Go

I have no new post for you this week. The combination of having two exams to study for and lack of inspiration have led me to thus. My apologies. Currently I'm at my desk, paediatrics book sprawled on display. Tomorrow marks week three of exam season and I tire of it, especially as many people are very close to finishing their exams and we meds still have a bit of a stretch to go. I'll not fret about it, this too shall pass.

But I cannot leave you with disappointment and ranting! Never! Here are some shiny things to distract you! (I realise most of you have probably seen these by now. It's just what my day has largely been about).

Yes, I'm a huge nerd.

I have become rather obsessed with The Vampire Diaries. I realise that it sounds like the girly television version of Twilight, which, I won't deny, in some respects it can be. But it takes a similar premiss and does an incredibly good job of making it both believable and addictive. Well... ish. Still, I'd recommend it.


Good morning. Good morning! I said it twice... Oops.

This is not a 'real' blog post in the sense that this is not a 'serious' blog post in the sense that this is not the 'blog of the week'. Oh no. This is just an update. I watched a TED video by a guy named Ze Frank this morning about... well I don't really know what it was meant to be about. He mentioned the internet a lot. And it was funny. But I don't really think there was any point in it. Odd. Anyway, he illustrated this Google function where if you search "what am i going to say next" followed by your name (you'll notice that the ze frank option comes up automatically) and then hit "I'm feeling lucky" you'll get... well... what you're going to say next. Now, I don't really believe this works. Or not well. But I tried it and it generated a blog entry I posted back in 2007. I read it and kind of enjoyed it, and well, here I am. Does this mean Google was right? Unlikely. More that Google's affecting my mood and thus my course of action. Where am I going with this? Good morning!

Another interesting site I came across the other day is called We Feel Fine. What this site effectively does is allows you to generate a (very nicely designed) app that scans the internet for blog entries and who knows what else that includes the words "I feel" or "feelings" or things thereof. Then, anonymously, it allows you to view them in several formats. You can even adjust demographics like gender, age, date posted, and even the kind of weather conditions present when it was posted. The purpose? Well I think it provides a good insight into what other people think about and what matters to them. Ultimately it helps us understand each other better. Maybe. Also, if you're up to it, you can pray for anyone who's post touches/disturbs you.

Interesting site number two: Incrédibox. This site lets you generate a song yourself using different dynamics like instruments, voice, chorus, beat, etc. It's all done in a fun animated setting with replicas of one charismatic dude pumping out all the sounds. If you're good enough there are three bonus features that might make it into your track, and there's a shuffle feature for good measure too. Pure fun.

You'll notice that to the right of this entry underneath the tweet section there's a little questions box (Vous avez un question? Oui, oui, bien sur!). I got insanely bored studying yesterday and ended up setting up a formspring account. I really don't like how spending all day inside studying compels me to spend a whole lot more time on the internet. I end up signing up for all these social networking sites, even if I don't really want to. Anyways, if you're itching to ask something extremely vital or insanely random, give it a whirl. Maybe it'll turn into a kind of anonymous agony-uncle feature. If not I'll probably just delete it after a while. Like after exams. When I can go outside more often. Like normal people. Normal. C'est vrai non?

An excuse to write

Today I have a case of blogger's block. Very simply put, I don't know what to write about. So perhaps I'll write about that - writing.

I'm not going to write about the history of writing, the writing of literature or even the systems of writing. Wikipedia was made for that. I'm going to talk about what writing means to someone who writes.

It's an art. Above all other characteristics that make something artistic, such as interpretation, the ability to communicate or express, or even that subtle enigmatic quality of inherent beauty that is common to all art, personally I believe it is an art because it is something that you cannot do all the time. A painter may paint, a musician may compose, and a writer may write. But the product itself is not always the same. It's quality ebbs and twists subject to the inspiration of the artist. Sometimes the muse is playing and the hand moves as if of its own accord, the person seeming to be no more than a spectator in the birth of something truly remarkable before him. Other times it is as if one doesn't know how to operate his or her own thumb, almost as if it were a new acquaintance. It's not on. It's not happening. You have yourself a firm, rude, mocking block. And it is frustrating.

Yet if it were not so I wonder if we would treasure art for what it is. Surely the qualities mentioned above, the emotional implications and delicate statements art can make give it more value than pearls and trinkets. Yet this fleeting feature to it, that it is rare, here and then gone, is what I believe makes it precious. If every time we were to hear a person play the piano it would, without fail, be a masterpiece, then just as surely as the value of currency it would depreciate to nothing more than a common-day thing. Moreover, we would most likely be upset if it were not so, stamping our feet and pacing in outrage. No? Think about computers. I have a Dell PC at home that I've had for almost eight years now. Until not long ago it was still my main hardware at home. It took roughly half an hour to be able to operate after being switched on because of all the painstaking loading of programmes it had to do. If I tried to run more than three programmes at the same time it would slow down to the pace of a very indecisive sloth. If I dared to have a wind filter coming in from the right on Photoshop as opposed to from the default left, it would have a heart attack and the program would freeze. It was below par. And it frustrated me. Now imagine dancers were like PC's. To a great degree the industry already treats all manner of artists in such a light, pushing them to be the best and create the best in order to make the final cut. But what if you or I, the average Joe, had to be so very critical? If every wrong note or misplaced brushstroke, or, dare I say it, the occasional misuse of syntax, provoked the same response as a desktop that just took too long to load?

Perhaps I have gone off point. Perhaps I never had one to begin with. But, if you have made it this far, leave with at least one sentiment in mind. That at its core art isn't really about the product. Like life, it's about the journey, both of the artist and the beholder. It provokes thought, emotion and reflection. It provokes change. And in the end, it transforms something small and rudimentary into something meaningful.

THE GREATEST ART from Hillsong Church on Vimeo.